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Would you go wiiiith me???

Welcome to the second installment of Throw-Back Song Fridays! Below is the 90s gem that plays in my head every morning when my alarm goes off.

Please listen to it. It’s amazing.

Listening to 5ive always reminds me of my friend Kate, because my friend Kate, like me, loves really really horrible music. Back in high school, where we met, all of our friends pretty much listened to the same, weird, shit—stuff like Dispatch and Led Zeppelin and uh, Phish.  I could stomach some of it, but a fourteen-year-old girl can only take so much noodling before she wants to put on some SheDAISY and lip-synch in front of the mirror. Thank God for Kate. Kate always came through for me. I could go into her bedroom at anytime of the night (we went to boarding school), turn off the lights on her while she was sitting on her bed in a trucker hat eating Fritos and strumming a ukulele, put “Oops!..I Did It Again” in her CD player, and before I knew it, private dance party. (We also did emo quite well; a pair of young women screaming “don’t you know you betta run, run, run, run, RUN!”  in the bathroom together has never sounded so beautiful.)

Kate lives in Los Angeles now. She is also the loudest person I know. I bring this up because sometimes I wonder if I could hear her telling a story from LA if I stuck my head out the window and tried hard enough. For real. I used to call her “The Chip” in high school because I thought she had a microphone lodged in her trachea when I first met her. But Kate is much more than just a loud voice—she knows how to work a room, too. She has weird, witch-like movie-star charm. Even if you are the only person in that room with her, and you’re just sitting on a couch watching Don’t Mess with The Zohan and eating Ritz crackers, Kate will work the shit of you.  Or at least herself, because she is also one of those people who laughs a lot at her own stories, and not like, a series of a amused little giggles at herself, but full-on belly-laughing at what she’s saying, slap the table, eyes-watering—she never ceases to find herself and her life incredibly amusing. Kate has a million friends and all of them, like me, think we’re DEFINITELY in the top two or three of her inner circle. There are legitimately forty-seven people out there who think this. Parties she throws often end in snap-offs.

After college, before Kate moved West and I moved…to Boston, Kate taught me how to drive. On a rainy December night in 2008, I took my driver’s test in Bruce, her recently departed Ford Focus that was always filled with random things like neon-green pipe cleaners and empty cans of seltzer and mix CDs of country music and trance disco and the odd tennis shoe. (Kate hearts clutter.) During the test, the cop actually had to turn around and yell at her for trying to mouth me the answers to his questions from the backseat. If I hadn’t already mentioned it, Kate is unfailingly loyal. There are very few friends who would give up their time to try to help someone like me learn how to do a three-point-turn in a high school parking lot at the age of twenty-three, but there she was, texting furiously and laughing the whole time, while unironically proclaiming that should have been running her own ad agency at this point. We spent many hours in that high school parking lot that winter, drinking cinnamon lattes and trying to avoid having me kill the track team. At the time, I was very much like “uh, what is HAPPENING in my life, this is like Garden State but not sexy” but of course I now miss it.

So…I miss you Kate, lover of life and music good and bad, who introduced me to this song and the glory of the “Jenny From The Block” station on Pandora, and who has never met a night out you didn’t dominate.

Happy Friday! The end.

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Oh Lana, Lana, Lana….

A few days ago I didn’t know who Lana Del Rey was. Now I do, so I’m just gonna go ahead and add my two cents about that fact, cause I’m pretty sure that’s why Al Gore invented the internet. And all I can say is, I am getting old, people. And bitter. Because I mean, really? REALLY?

Watching those SNL performances, I think I felt how most people did when they saw them: bored/very confused. It was, like, wait am I watching a sketch? Is that Kristin Wiig impersonating a drag queen on quaaludes? Or did Emma Roberts just put on a wig and huff some serious testosterone? Because if it’s none of the above, I’m not sure that that person is okay. And someone needs to get her off that stage immediately.

I don’t want to be too mean. If I was singing on SNL I’d be peeing my lacy white dress and twirling around in awkward circles too, but hey, that’s why I’m not booked to be the musical guest next week, in’it! Also, I get pissed off when I’m super naïve. Ex: After watching the LDR trainwreck, I showed my boyfriend some of her performance. Within ten seconds of watching the clip he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah, there’s no way that chick’s father or uncle or something isn’t some seriously well-connected millionaire.” Then he walked away. Oh, please I thought, don’t be so paranoid and jaded! This isn’t Enemy of the State or something! This is real life! And then a little light googling, and …uh, he’s right! I never think that stuff, and then I’m like…HEY that’s not FAIR! That’s now how it works! Talent is what gets you ahead in life! She’s not a phony with connections, she was just…really nervous!

Which brings me to Susan Tedeschi. Probably never heard of her. That’s fine, she doesn’t really care about that. But I was lucky enough to see her perform live this weekend. And America (well, my twelve readers) I think you’ll agree that that is a musician. (Seriously, click the link.) That is talent. That is SNL-worthy, and also, that is a WOMAN. I repeat: A WOMAN. Not a hyper-packaged, hyper-sexualized, hipstamatic-I-crawl-around-with-tigers-“vintage”-aesthetic spectacle, and certainly not a girl who was born in 1986 and has already had plastic surgery in order to get more youtube clicks. (Yes, Lana Del Rey had her lips done. She’s 25, people. TWENTY-FIVE! I just used letters to spell her age out that’s how sad this makes me. What is wrong with all of us??) Susan Tedeschi could eat LDR for breakfast. Not that she’d want to. But still.

Obviously all this is nothing new. In some ways, Lana Del Ray is just the Britney of 2012, except that dancing around the lockers in your sports bra and jogging pants doesn’t really cut it as “edgy” anymore. But you can at least do crunches and scrub your bathtub to Britney’s, cough, music. I’m not sure what LDR’s “music” is for yet, though I imagine it provides a nice soundtrack for when you feel like burning your forearms with candle wax or being depressed in a sexy-vintagey sort of way.

But hey, to each their own. I just hope this chick gets the collagen out of her face and goes on a very long vacation. Also, she needs to dump that boyfriend.

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Maggie hearts cows.

If I could rub a genie’s lamp three times and magically turn into another woman, it would be Maggie Gyllenhaall, and if I could throw a magic penny into a fountain at sunset in Italy and magically transform into an iconic advertising campaign it would be the Got Milk? one—don’t tell me you’ve never thought about this either—so…basically this image below is causing me to go bananas.

She is STUPENDOUS. AND I LOVE LATTES.
(And berets. And leopard print. And bananas!)

Happy Friday.

xo

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Green shoes on a rainy day.

And a green umbrella too.
(This woman was amazing.)
I hope I look like her when I’m fifty.

xo

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Well, this is no good.

This is what blowing a lead looks like, when you really can’t afford to be blowing leads. Last night in the 8th inning. Yikes.

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Ciao

When I was living in New York City I would walk by a pale green Vespa every day. It was always parked in the same spot on 77th street, and it was a beautiful little thing. Sometimes, depending on the time of day, I would see pretty German-looking people milling around it with coffees and nice looking sun-glasses. I really enjoyed this Vespa, and these pretty German-looking people. Not only were they easy on the eyes, but they were one of the small things that was consistent in my New York life, and so they became very neighboorhood-y to me—like, woop there’s there’s the homeless guy who lives outside the magazine store and bathes in the Starbucks; there’s the security guard smoking and humming and nodding his head at me as I pass with a plastic bag full of granola bars for lunch; and hey, there’s the beautiful pale green vespa glittering in the sun.

Well, anyHOO, I saw the green vespa today after work! I was just walking along and minding my own business and enjoying the delicious cool air we had today and I saw it and was like, Vessssspa! Is that youuuuu? You look so good! Where are your parents! I took out my camera to take a missing persons’ picture, took it (as you will see), and then three seconds later its owner came over—a pretty young girl in a straw hat, reeking of coolness. (I think it’s a requirement that you have to be REALLY fabulous to own a pale green Vespa.) I backed away asap to avoid major creepiness, but I still took another photo anyway. I think I even got the fabulous girl hugging her fabulous hipster friend good-bye.

Yay for Vespas!

And one day, when I live in Italy and bathe in bathtubs filled with raspberries, I will own one too.

xo

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The waitress at Red Bones was a vegetarian…?

Awhile back now, my friend Leandra came to visit me from NYC. Leandra and I lived in the same apartment senior year of college. Most of my memories of that time in our lives are traumatic: they involve staring into the empty bottoms of jumbo-sized bag of Stacey’s Pita Chips, watching instructional dance videos to Soulja Boy as thesis’ sit neglected on our desks, and asking Lee for her soothsaying advice whenever I received a text message at two in the morning that said something really hard to decipher, like, “u awake.”

But what does it mean, Lee? Does the absence of a question mark in this text mean that he wants to take me out to a romantic dinner tomorrow night and ask me about the meaning of human existence?

I don’t know, Care…maybe, but, uh, did you eat all the hummus again? I really need some hummus….

So yes, I was very excited about her trip. It’s always fun to be around a friend who you can sit next to in silence while eating Fruity Pebbles and feel perfectly happy. Also, Leandra is a pretty major foodie (foodie; what a stupid word) and lover of treats—she works at Serious Eats (major cool food website) and writes a blog about, you guessed it, FOOD—so I knew the trip was going to be wonderful in general, because it gave me a great excuse to get off my ‘arse and explore the city a bit. And like a ten-year-old saving up for her second Puppy Surprise (yeah, I still played with Barbies until I was a junior in high school), I had a stash of cash hidden beneath a pile of old tank-tops in my bureau, just to make sure I could fully enjoy our weekend together when she came. Did somebody say egg benedicts and manicures!! I say no to nothing!!

We had a ball. It was like the First Wives Club movie all weekend long, when they’re all wearing white power suits and dancing on the tops of chairs. Leandra wrote all about it on her blog here. (Take a loook.) We began our trip by hitting up Beacon Hill for breakfast and manicures on Saturday (I enjoy me some Town Nails in the basement off of Charles Street: minus points for all their US Weekly’s being five years old; bonus point for the manicures being faaaaabulous), followed by lunch and treats in the North End, followed by my inaugural trip to Red Bones in Somerville (my boyfriend’s version of DisneyLand), followed by another inaugural trip, this time to Flour, in the South End. (So many inaugurations in one weekend! I even wore this hat the entire time!) And because I had spent all week mentally preparing for the trip, I was able to put down food with Leandra like we did in our glory days of college, when every trip we took to the dining hall turned into a competitive eating contest. (“Well, I mean, do you want to go home and eat Doritos or are you going to get fro-yo?” “Fro-yo, duh, and I’m going to mix Cap’ N’ Crunch, granola and hot fudge in it.” “Well, I’m going to do the same, and then I’m going to eat a Belgian waffle.” “Fine.” “Fine.”) So yeah, it was amazing. But due to the situation at Monica’s and Modern Pastry pre-Red Bones, I couldn’t muster up the courage to order ribs by myself, and Lee and I had to split a plate of pulled-pork together. But it was some pretty good pulled-pork. (According to my boyfriend, eating anything besides a small breakfast at least eight hours before entering Red Bones is a “rookie mistake,” and we had sort of blown it. And, yes, he really talks like that. During the Final Four, I think I heard him say “punch their ticket to the big dance” about twelve times in one night.) But it’s fine. I’m clearly just going to have to go back.

Which brings me to Flour. The only thing I knew about the place was from my life-changing experience with Ms. Chang’s home-made oreos, but I knew Leandra couldn’t leave Boston without trying one. And I was confident the rest of Flour’s food would live up to the hype. And it did. The three of us got there around eleven a.m. on Sunday. The place was way too crowded, but I suppose that’s part of the Flour experience, and the extra time in line gave us plenty of minutes to oogle at cinnamon buns and over-order. Here are some photos I took at the shop below. They capture the deliciousness of the donuts and OREO COOOOOKIES; Leandra’s infectious energy and beauty (in her blog post, she conveniently left out the fact that the men at Monica’s started hitting on her the moment we entered the sub shop on Saturday. I go in that place all the time and attempt lame banter about the Bruins as I purchase goat cheese, and am routinely shot down with awkward silences and “take your sub and get outta here” looks. But they took one glance at Lee’s sexy Italian style, heard that throaty Long Island voice, and she was already getting the credit card look-over, followed by “So, uh, where you from Leandra?” and “Come back in and visit us soon, Leandra.” I was like, ‘Come back and visit us soon, Leandra‘? I always visit you guys! It’s over!) Anyhow, I digress. Here are the photos, and, also, my boyfriend’s dimple. (Thankfully, he still likes me, even if Leandra and I made it over to Ernesto’s a measly two hours after our Flour trip…)

Do yourself a favor and try really hard to eat one of these oreos before the day ends.

Next stop: making Leandra come back so we can try Toscanini’s ice cream. I’ve never had it before….

xo

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Feels like Friday.

The OptimistFreak, giggling in front of le Barking Crab. Those red and yellow stripes always put me in a good mood—means summer is here.

My roommates are both beautiful, right? (And clearly they have a thing for cute shoes.) Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful day. Go Celtics!

x0

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Cafe Nuovo, binge-eating, and Libya.

The North End is known for its Italian Restaurants, its tourists and its cheese shops. It’s known for pizza and espresso, pastry places like Mike’s and Modern, and old ladies with shopping bags and swollen feet. It’s not really known for having great breakfast. But when I woke up this morning, I had sore legs and a crabby-mood headache, and I made the executive-decision that only one thing was going to cut it: fresh coffee, and someone else making me eggs. (Okay, that’s two things. Math is over-rated.)

I’ll rewind a bit. Yesterday I had a very long (aka fourteen hour) day at my unpaid internship, followed by work tonight at the restaurant, straight through Monday. Wah, wah, wah, someone call the WHAMBULENCE, I know, but I really just needed to get out of my apartment and relax a bit before my shift today. And I guess I feel slightly guilty going out to eat by myself. It seems very Sofia Coppola to me. Like I needed new gladiator sandals and a pale blue mole-skin—and maybe also a directing career and a fortune—just to do it. Shockingly, I still somehow managed to get out the door.

And thankfully there was somewhere to go, since Salem Street now has Cafe Nuovo, a restaurant that as of now still serves only breakfast and brunch food. Which is fine, because they’re very good at it. I’ve been there three times since I moved here in December, and I have to say, me likey a lot. Big fan. It’s incredibly reasonable (5.99 (!) for two eggs any style, with delicious scali toast and very good home fries), they have good coffee, and the waitresses are nice. Hmm, what else…it gets great light in the morning. Good banana bread and orange juice, too. And it’s nice to eat alone at.

Of course, going out to eat today was really stupid of me, after the debacle of what happened last night. I was working an event that had a lot of food, which meant a lot of left-overs and harried face-stuffing while running dishes, and I got an up-close-and-personal reminder of why I was fifteen pounds heavier in college. (Let’s just say a buffet dining hall + stress isn’t good for anyone’s arm tone.) It was a night where it seemed completely normal to me that I was mixing shrimp cocktail with Popeyes fried chicken, followed by mini chocolate eclairs and roasted red pepper crostini, topped off with coffee-oreo JP Licks, and then a nice glugging of ginger-ale, with a side of macaroni and cheese and tiramisu to finish things off. (This all occurred in the span of twenty minutes.) I should probably be juice-fasting for the next 48 hours, or cayenne peppering, or whatever it is that Beyonce does to get “healthy” fast, but sometimes you just need to order an omlette with peppers and cheese and watch SportsCenter on mute, even if you’re still full from the night before. (And probably will be for the next month.)

But the North End really is lucky to have this spot. I sat there peacefully, drinking my fresh-squeezed orange juice, texting my boyfriend, and attempting to read an article on Libya, which is always fun first thing in the morning. (Whenever I come home to a new New Yorker at night, I always crawl into bed, read the celebrity profile (this week Jane Fonda—why is Klute SO GOOD?), read the movie reviews and other pop-culture-ey things (great article on the Pioneer woman blog), browse the comics and snort a little bit, and then throw the thing on the floor in exhaustion, feeling incredibly guilty that I have by-passed all the poems and in-depth articles on the numerous wars going on in this world, and chosen, instead, to sleep. (Does anyone else read those things last….or never?)) But it is what is. And I don’t like how little I comprehend of that stuff. (That stuff? Uh….) The question is, of course, what comprehending any of it does, anyhow. It’s strange to read about rebel armies, and the deaths, and the desert, while looking out a window at laughing old men and food trucks slowly lumbering by and feeling like you live in a very peaceful part of a very peaceful city in a very peaceful nation. But I’m going to finish the article now, most likely with a window on Wikipedia open, so I can understand what the hell the reporter’s talking about. And hopefully I don’t fall asleep from my idiocy, or from being too full.

xo

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HERE-WE-GO-CEL-TICS!

Big game tonight.
                           
And like Ray in this amazing photo of 90s tight-and-belted-blue-jeans above, I was not amused with Game 1. At all. It gave me a serious case of heart burn. Let’s hope Rondo and Baby play MUCH better, the refs aren’t huge BIG idiots, and Lebron does his confused and hurt face all night long.
Also, there’s this…
xo
(photo from onthebuzz.wordpress.com)

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