Tuesday, August 25, 2015

remember the real world?

i'm not really sure why, but i've been thinking about mtv's the real world a fair bit lately. is it still airing? as far as i'm concerned, the "back to new york" season was the last watchable one. below are my five favorite seasons of the show, ranked. what are yours?

1. hawaii

can we all agree on this? it might be partially due to nostalgia for the era, but they hit casting gold with these seven strangers. we had alcoholic ruthie, adorable matt and colin, annoying amaya, charismatic teck, evil justin, and evil/naked kaia. from the moment they started skinny-dipping on the first episode, i was ALL IN.

2. boston

there was the fact that everyone had super-weird names: elka! montana! genesis! syrus! kameelah! there was also montana and her boyfriend vaaaaaj's tumultuous relationship: one minute, they're hanging a "gone sexin'" sign on the bedroom door. the next, he's screaming "WHORE!" at her on the phone. this clip is absolute gold.

and how can we forget elka and her rocker hottie boyfriend, walter? i wonder whatever happened to those two crazy kids. finally, i definitely credit the dreamy jason (along with brandon boyd in incubus' "drive" video) for making me feel all of the feelings at age 14 or whenever i happened upon my first marathon of RW boston:


i still wander by the house, which is now a community center, when i'm in beacon hill. if walls could talk, amiright?

3. new orleans

if there were a list of best real world musical moments, david broome's awesomely, awesomely bad "come on be my baby tonight" (a total rip-off of "luck be a lady tonight") would be my #1 forever and ever. the original clip is on youtube, but this parody is sooo much better and makes me cry with laughter:

seriously, words can't describe the joy this song has brought to myself and my friends over the past 15 years. like, when i was in new orleans about a year and a half ago, i actually made a sign that said "come on be my baby tonight" and stood in front of the RW mansion for a photo-op that didn't quite pan out. anybody else? no? cool. anyways, the cast was rounded out by mormon julie, orange-haired matt, rugged jamie, sassy melissa, hot danny, and ho-hum kelley (who's now married to scott wolf...um, wut).


4. seattle 

who could forget the slap heard 'round the world??

the nathan/david bromance was cool, too. oh, and lindsay! i totally wanted to be lindsay when i grew up.

5. miami

so spicy! to be honest, all i really remember about this season was the scandalous "shower scene," and the "WAS IT F-IN' YOURS TO OPEN UP, YOU STUPID BITCH?!" scene:

but that's totally enough to lock this season down at a solid #5.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

the best of texts from friends

there's really nothing like a great text from a friend, is there? sure, IRL interaction and phone calls are great, but text is a fine art that -- when done well -- can make a much bigger impact. after receiving a particularly amazing one the other day, i decided to comb my inbox archives for some gems.

i found ...

style statements:

potentially dangerous words of encouragement:

liberating proclamations:

philosophical discussions on emoji:

hilarious thursday night observations:

a vote of confidence when i came face-to-face with a former flame's new chick:

musings on fallen pop stars:

drug-fueled nonsense:

pure silliness:

and a succinct summary of late-20s single life:

what are your favorite friend texts?

Monday, August 10, 2015

place i love: portland, maine

this past weekend, i spent a little over 24 hours in the "other" portland: y'know, the one in maine. while i've never been to its oregon counterpart, i do have to imagine that the two cities are similar in a lot of ways (or, maybe just one way: BEARDS). regardless, it had been about 3 years since my last visit, and i was even more excited because one of my oldest friends is now living there, and showed me a whole 'nother side to the city.

i knew i was in for a good time as soon as i set foot in his big, airy apartment on the east end of town. there was a hammock and a fireplace and a guitar in the living room, and i fell in love:

it reminded me of a time i went to go visit my cousin in this massive old apartment she shared with like 6 other people in somerville around 1998, and there were lots of books and guided by voices CDs and all sorts of cool shit that basically changed the trajectory of my life (ok, i'm exaggerating a bit). but seriously, it felt like the lemonheads were about to start playing and jordan catalano was going to pop out of one of the bedrooms. for this reason, i let this apartment become my '90s muse. it was great. i also flopped into the hammock after our saturday night of eating and drinking. glorious!

anyways, the day began with a stroll along the eastern promenade, which sits on casco bay.

we pressed on to old port, the "touristy" district:

after lunch and an afternoon beer at an irish pub, we hopped on the ferry to peaks island, where we hiked around and tried unsuccessfully to climb up to the top of this fort thing:

we saw some cute buoys (and boys?) and cute houses and other cute stuff, and ate some ice cream.

a visit to the west end, which is full of funky stores and cafes, rounded out the afternoon.

jacob's cousin runs an art gallery in this neighborhood, so we paid her a visit after i got some incredible vintage acid-washed cut-offs at a boutique called moody lords and browsed the vinyl at strange maine.

next on the agenda: fancy drinks at top of the east in the eastland hotel. i got the "bluth's banana," which had chocolate bitters, banana liqueur, rum, and egg whites. tipsy town, population moi!

and what do you do when you're half-drunk in maine? you call a goddamn uber to take you across town to portland lobster company and set fetty wap's "trap queen" as the soundtrack, while your cranky 60 year-old driver complains, "what is this? never heard it. oh yaaaah, this is great. real great." THEN, you order lobster mac and cheese (or an old-fashioned lobster roll) that costs a million dollars and rub elbows with surfer brahs at a picnic table. perfection!

earlier in the day, we passed this dive called mama's crowbar, and i was really intrigued. the sign promised "beer. friends. music. prose." and it certainly delivered at least 3/4 of those things (prose is questionable.)

the place is beer only and cash only, with white christmas lights, trivial pursuit cards on the bar, and a soundtrack that includes the cardigans, the magnetic fields, and tom waits. in other words, my kinda spot. it was the perfect choice for a nightcap, as there was only a handful of customers that came and went over the couple hours we were there, and the bartender was a sweetheart. apparently, it's closing in a month or so. i'm glad i got to experience the magic before it's gone for good!

sunday was basically just a coffee and breakfast tour of portland. it started at hilltop coffee, a great east end cafe where we pre-gamed our brunch with coffee and croissants/bagels and did half of the crossword in the alt-monthly before we gave up.

by the time we walked over to hot suppa and waited the half-hour to be seated on the patio, i was ready to go ham on some smoked salmon. during the walk, i saw some great sights:

before i hit the road, we made one last stop at tandem, a holier-than-thou hipster haven where the man bun contingent was WAY TOO HIGH. wanted to cut 'em all off. however, the malt iced coffee was crazy good and gave me just the caffeine boost i needed to deal with new england sunday traffic.

while it can probably get pretty brutal in the winter, portland is a beautiful city that's half-hipster, half-hippie, and all awesome. already looking forward to our next rendezvous!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 things i love right now

1.  kurt vile's new song, "pretty pimpin"

he's baaaack! admittedly, it took me a while to get the whole KV "thing." i totally missed the boat on his epic smoke ring for my halo album, but quickly became obsessed with wakin on a pretty daze and have been a fervent vile fan ever since. i think i enjoy this tune from his forthcoming record, b'lieve i'm goin down, more and more with each listen. can't wait to see him live in october!

2. this local taqueria, victoria 

on my way back from a saturday afternoon matinee of paper towns (good, clean, whimsical movie BTW), i stopped at this spot in my town that i'd been wanting to check out for a while. i'm always a fan of "street food" that is, um, not on the street, so i got an order of the fish tacos and promptly fell in love. i think there is one in beverly, too. muy bueno.

3. this advice column, ask polly

i've always been a loyal boston.com love letters reader, but a friend sent me one of these "ask polly" columns a few weeks back and -- sorry not sorry -- her advice is far superior. funny, thorough, and filled with pearls of MMHMM wisdom, there's always some value to be gleaned from each response, even if you can't relate to the reader's sitch. my personal favorite is this one about tepid dudes (or, "tepid MFers" as polly colorfully dubs them). polly (real name: heather) goes on a tangent about kanye west, and leaves us with an amazing mantra which seems unrelated, but also makes perfect sense when encountering half-assed people in your life: "fuck you and your hampton house." i've used it about 5x this week already.

4. my new record player!

insound.com was going out of business and selling turntables for next to nothin'. i finally took the vinyl plunge and i'm already scouring flea markets like a fiend to build my collection. all i have so far, besides jimi, is prince's purple rain. someone buy me all the records, please.


i'd basically been begging anyone and everyone to go on a damn picnic with me for the past 2 years, and my dreams finally came true this weekend. my friend kathleen and i got word that a bunch of local restaurants were offering picnic baskets for a zillion dollars, so we snagged one from precinct in the loews hotel. it was adorable and we found a relatively clean-looking bench in the public garden and went to town. charcuterie, cheese, grapes, little pickles, and individual boston creme pies in tiny jars. oh, and a bottle of wine! we got tipsy (shhh) and shared stories, watched the people and dogs, and had a lovely afternoon. highly recommended.

Monday, July 20, 2015

the tao of justin bobby

in the summertime, i have three basic needs: sweet treats, jumpsuits/rompers, and despicably mindless television. i'm talking america's got talent and celebrity family feud, people. but the one show that i come back to, summer after summer, is the hills. something about those glossy-haired blonde nymphs, prancing around west hollywood with starbucks and jamba juice cups to a soundtrack of up-and-never-quite-came indie rock bands immediately boosts my mood. the staged, awkward pauses give me life! and every time i re-watch an episode, i extract some new nugget of wisdom from it. okay, wisdom is a stretch. but what i recently realized while viewing the show 7 years later is that justin bobby was the REAL OG. like, i remember him being sort of an enigmatic joke back in the day -- lauren conrad summed him up when she exclaimed, "homeboy wore combat boots to the beach!" however, the man has some choice advice that really stands the test of time. let's revisit it, shall we?

there was this gem:

he also said something during this conversation about kicking toxic people who don't add anything to your life "the fuck out." i'm paraphrasing, but still brilliant.


"there's something zen-ful about it." (what? no idea.)

"it's not a matter of like, how slow, how fast, it's just like ... for me, putting statements on things, i'll be gone. like, i don't like that."

and finally ...

and so i thank you, justin bobby, for entertaining and enlightening generations to come with your nonsensical adages.

Monday, July 13, 2015

new york weekend: 4knots music festival

sooo my boltbus didn't explode, actually had working AC AND wi-fi, and was pretty darn close to on time, which is always half the battle of a weekend in NYC, amiright? also, my seatmate on the trip from boston was an infectious disease doctor, and i couldn't help but chuckle at one point at the juxtaposition of my reading material (a cosmo article about...well, cosmo thangs) and his (the journal of infectious diseases). i stopped myself just short of making an STD joke.

but anyways! i ventured down this time around to attend the 4knots music festival at hudson river park in manhattan. the event used to be called sirenfest and was held at coney island, for you music festival junkies. i had been to sirenfest, but not the revamped 4knots, so i was pretty excited. it ended up being a great day, and the pre-and post-festival activities were fun, too!


the library

once i got into town on friday night, i joined gleni and her friend for some food and dranks before we went to see mates of state at the bowery ballroom. after the show, we headed to this nearby dive bar which was uncrowded and awesome at first but went rapidly downhill as the night went on. first, there was the slurring, lonely creep next to us who was trying unsuccessfully to discuss thin lizzy. then, there was the bro who squeezed in between us and tried to pay for shots with gift cards at 1am. the last straw was a group of bridge-and-tunnel douchebags who took my seat and then acted like complete dicks when i alerted them to their indiscretion. GET OFF MY LAWN!

reunion surf bar

everyone, i've found my spirit bar. we stopped in for a nightcap after the festival, and from the moment i walked into the softly-lit room to the sounds of chris brown's "loyal," i knew this was special. they had "graffiti" on the walls:

(there was also one that said "no music requests #noscrubs" and "save a board, ride a surfer." omg.)

i got some drink with grapefruit vodka and grapefruit juice and some sugar rim that was completely light pink and adorable. they also had outlets, which takes a good bar to GREAT in my opinion. always be charging.


we paid a teensy bit extra and got the "VIP" tickets for 4knots, which i understood would involve a boat of some sort. but it was so baller, guys. basically like a dinner cruise charter that had a little bar with cute cocktails and AC and comfy seats and some lame-ass snacks, but still. no port-a-pottys and no heatstroke? i was a happy girl. and i was even happier when i spied some rock 'n rollers milling about the boat with us, including bass drum of death. the boat ruled, basically.

AND THERE WERE SO MANY FREE SAMPLES. not on the boat, but at the festival in general. iced coffee, turkey jerky, polar seltzer, ugh i love free stuff so much.


we saw this awkward british trio called happyness, and witnessed the brilliance of mikal cronin:

we also swayed along with '90s indie legend steve malkmus of pavement -- who was looking disturbingly tan and had a strange middle school haircut that wasn't really working for me. sounded great, though:

but, i just really want to talk about twin peaks, because they stole the show (and my heart).

i discovered these dudes last year through my favorite internet radio station, The THING!, so i was stoked to finally get to see them live. their video for the total jam "flavor" will give you a great idea of what these guys are about. and it's sooo summery:

the bassist jack (aka rock 'n roll harry styles, as gleni dubbed him) was channeling his inner julian casablancas, saying stuff like "THIS IS MY FIRST TIME ON A BOAT! IT WAS SCARY! I GOT SEASICK! IT WAS GOING WAY TOO FAAAAST!" and "it's not toooo hot out there anymoooore." meanwhile, guitarist clay was my favorite type of musician to watch because of his ridiculous facial expressions, which ranged from blank stare and o-face to goofy grin.

"i'm into this one," i said aloud at one point, pointing at lead singer cadien lake james (what a damn name btw).

"you mean the white trash one?" gleni replied. pretty much! let's also forget about the fact that they're all of 19 and 20 years old. it's fine. best performance of the day, and even steve malkmus gave 'em a shout out during his set. now that's high praise. 

TL;DR: go to reunion surf bar and listen to twin peaks. i'm out!