Tuesday, August 30, 2011

100 things to do in 2011: month in review.

it's seriously so messed up that it's almost september. but i'm comforted by the fact that for the first time in my life, the weather is only going to get better from here! though i might have foliage withdrawal. anyways, i actually made some progress towards my 100 things goal this month! i'm only at 23.5 total, but whatevs.

13. see 50 new movies: CONTINUED.
in my first week down here, i popped into a matinee of "crazy. stupid. love." by myself. ryan gosling makes everything better! i'm only at a pathetic total of 10 new movies, btw.

14. dine at 50 new restaurants: CONTINUED.
tried a sushi place near school tonight (kyoto) which was surprisingly good, stuffed my face with pulled pork, mac and cheese and fried pickles last weekend with some new friends at 4 rivers smokehouse in winter park (if any of y'all visit, remind me to take you there), and discovered a new favorite casual lunch spot in a place called crispers.

i'm at 31 new places...i'm totally going to hit 50 by december. right?!

32. try one new recipe a month: CONTINUED.
i've been turning into a domestic diva and it's even freaking me out. i made scallops with angel hair and pancetta a couple weeks ago, and i'm gettin' the fixins for chicken puttanesca tomorrow. who am i?

50. yelp about 10 places i've been: COMPLETED.
i've also been turning into a yelping freak lately, but it's fine. i love to eat so damn much that i don't know why it took me so long to get going with it. if you're on there, friend me!

58. read one book per month: CONTINUED.
finally got around to reading "talking to girls about duran duran" by my writing role model/pop culture guru rob sheffield. great summer read!

59. make my bedroom a cozy sanctuary: COMPLETED.
i guess i had to move to do it, but i feel completely cozy and relaxed in my new room (and place, for that matter). i think it's the all-over carpeting.

69. nurture a plant: COMPLETED.
bought a little palm plant for my patio (read: needs as little nurturing as possible) but i've been watering it occasionally, dammit.

77. eat breakfast daily: COMPLETED.
after not eating breakfast for probably close to 3 years, i vowed to myself i'd turn over a new leaf. thanks to my new weird grad school schedule, i've been uber-successful! i just went through a banana nut crunch phase and i'm kind of over it, though. suggestions?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"is this yours?"

i'm ironically totally removed from the hurricane here in FL (too weird), but all i could think of when i heard the name irene was the chick from real world seattle. fortunately, best week ever is also as cray-cray as me. hunker down and enjoy this slice of reality tv history.

Monday, August 22, 2011

childhood dance routines we'd rather forget.

Following a spirited Twitter conversation last week with Children of the '90s , stand-up comedian/fellow '90s enthusiast/generally funny guy Andy Shaw and I decided to team up for a blog post on bad childhood dance recitals. We know this is a topic that hits close to home for many of you, especially those born and bred during the '80s and '90s. Share your traumatic experiences with us, please. In the meantime, you can follow Andy's musings on Twitter here. Enjoy....and remember, YOU'VE GOT THE POWER!

Kim: Sequined headbands. Hip-hop songs blaring out of a static-laden sound system. Animal-printed, neon lycra. Six year-olds wearing red lipstick. Fathers hoisting camcorders bigger than their heads. While I may have just coincidentally described an episode of “Toddlers and Tiaras”, these things were also part and parcel of a dance recital in the ‘90s. Sure, it all seemed normal at the time, but so did a song by a dude with a mullet called “Achy Breaky Heart”. Why did we – nay, why did our parents – stand for such madness?!

Andy: … Oh, sorry, I was momentarily in a stupor thinking about a child with all of that stuff on. It boggles the mind. Here’s the thing, Kim. We are all guilty of having an embarrassing dance goblin in our childhood closet. We can blame our parents, sure, but they were just doing what everybody else was doing - if we were born 70 years earlier, we’d all have been drowning on the Titanic. But we’re 80s kids, so they sequined and neoned us to within an inch of our godforsaken but totally tubular lives. So it’s no

t a matter of why, I suppose, but how bad?

Kim: Excellent point, Andy. I’ll admit that things got pretty dark, and it wasn’t only because the stage lighting was on the fritz. I hate to harp on the costumes, but I distinctly remember a year when my mother rounded up all of the other moms to sew up an ill-placed, suggestive hole in the center of our tops. You’d think that the designers of children’s apparel would have considered this prior to peddling such slutwear! And then there was the music. It might have had something to do with the particular taste of my gum-snapping, 20-something teachers, but I ended up shakin’ my groove thang to some tunes that were either totally lame, completely inappropriate, or both.

Andy: “Peddling such slutwear” is a phrase to be remembered. I wonder if the dance instructors got a private kick out of the irony of making little kids dance to all that stuff, unaware of what the words mean. Ah, childhood. I can’t wait to make my kid dance to a Katy Perry song.

And now, the evidence...

Kriss Kross: “Jump” (Kim)

In short....wiggity-wiggity-wiggity-WACK. This routine was one of those perfect storms of a one-hit wonder, a low-budget after school program, and a composite of stretchy, black-and-fuschia fabric left over from real dance studios.

Performed at Long Branch Elementary School in Liverpool, New York at the end of my first grade year, we were deluded into thinking that merely enacting the song’s title – repeatedly – and switching lines during the “breakdown” formed a dance routine. But at least we weren’t wearing backwards overalls. Faces are blurred to protect the guilty.

Paul Revere & The Raiders: Indian Reservation (Cherokee People) (Andy)

What’s that? This song is offensive, patronizing, wildly inappropriate, and tries to capitalize on the sorrows of a people nearly wiped off the face of the earth?

You’d be wrong. This song is all of those things, plus a dance number for a group of children! Readers who have checked out my older blog have seen this photo before, but for those who haven’t, well, you’re welcome. It’s not every day you see a little boy in a pink Indian costume excited to dance to an 80’s rock anthem about Native Americans who are “so proud to die.”

That’s right. “So proud to live/So proud to die” the lyrics state, likely something the settlers shouted right before burning villages. Ah, western civilization. The fact the band is “Paul Revere and the Raiders” creates so many jokes, I don’t know where to start.

Janet Jackson: If (Kim)

In case you’ve forgotten about this little gem, here are some choice lyrics:

How many nights I've laid in bed excited over you

I've closed my eyes and thought of us,

A hundred different ways

I've gotten there so many times

I wonder how 'bout you

If I was your girl...

Oh the things I'll do to you

I'd make you call out my name

I'd ask who it belongs to

Clearly, clearly G-rated material that was suitable for seven year-olds to be gyrating and thrusting to. Thank the lord that the lyrics were too breathy and fast for any parents to catch on. Hell, even after dancing to it 50 + times, I don’t think WE caught on. This was also the costume that had the boob-hole. Just family-friendly stuff all around, folks! It’s a miracle we all turned out halfway normal (there was that ONE girl, though...I don’t think she ever fully recovered).

God: Jesus Loves the Little Children (Andy)

Perhaps overlooked in the anthology of childhood dance numbers, we’ve got Bible Camp music. I’ve been to more than my fair share of Bible Camps, so I got get Michael to Row the Boat Ashore, or B-I-B-L-E with the best of them.

Here’s the thing about Bible Camp songs: They all, and I mean ALL, have a series of hand motions with them. No reason, really, other than overly eager parents thinking the message of Jesus can’t be full appreciated without two sets of fingers curled together to signify a heart.

“Jesus Loves the Little Children” is a strange song to teach kids. First off, you’re telling them to identify people by their skin tone - “Look mom, it’s a red one! Like in Cherokee People!” Second off, the underlying premise here is that Jesus loves more than just the other middle class white kids. “Look how culturally sensitive our children are!” On a related reminder note, I went to a lot of Bible Camps.

Sidenote: That video is ultra creepy.

Rob Base & DJ E Z Rock: It Takes Two (Kim)

I really should have learned by this point, age 14, to stop indulging in these ridiculous routines. But the truth was, I did love to dance, and if the price was enduring a painful 3-minute dance for a year of fun combinations and warm-ups, I’d gladly pay it. I’ll never forget my teacher for this one, a nasally club chick who probably hung out at 18+ nights at “Ozone” just over the border in Massachusetts.

There was a lot of booty-shaking, booty-popping, and generally a lot of movements that made me uncomfortable because my trunk had (and still has) absolutely no junk. Our costumes, a crop-top and pants in a shocking neon green, could have triggered epileptic seizures. In this case, two were definitely not enough to make this routine go right.

We know you guys have similar stories (and perhaps even pictures!), so spill them in the comments. May the scarring memories live on!

Monday, August 15, 2011

beef + food trucks = awesome.

since i haven't started school quite yet, i've been in this weird limbo of trying to explore orlando and sitting by the pool and drinking a glass of riesling on my balcony e'rry night, which has been kind of odd because i feel like one of the retirees that everyone up north thinks i'm surrounded by down here (couldn't be falser, btdubs). but anyways, i've uncovered a couple food-related gems here in the past week...come on, don't even act like you're surprised. so, without further ado:

beefy king

desperate to find a replacement for my beloved beef slingers up north (that sounded dirtier than intended), i took a little spin over to the place that locals here in orlando have adored since the 70s. despite the creepy clown decor inside, i kept meat on my mind as i approached the counter. the young man who took my order clearly knew that i was a newbie when i ordered my sandwich with sauce: "oh, there's barbecue sauce over there with the condiments." rookie mistake. nonetheless, a steamed beef sandwich with cheese, pickles, and onions appeared before me as if by magic, and it was quite delightful though not AMAZING. and in true friendly orlando fashion, a random old man came up to ask me if i played keyboard because i had a keyboard on my shirt. i informed him that i did not, and he responded: "why you wearin' that, then?" touche', sir. anyways, i still have a hard time letting go of my old haunts, but i think i can definitely warm up to the BK.

the daily city food truck bazaar

i can get behind any city that holds large gatherings of food trucks. this one, up the road from me in oviedo, was dampened only slightly by the downpour that happened right as the event was starting (picture of the aftermath above)...however, it was still a great time. i was tempted by many trucks, including the one you see below. GATOR! but due to long lines and the fact that i immediately fell in love upon spotting the treehouse truck's "pbj" - a deep-fried peanut butter, banana, nutella and strawberry jam sandwich - it was all over.

quite honestly one of the best things i've ever consumed, and also one of the only things i've ever felt GUILTY about eating...now that's saying somethin'. now, after that little teaser, i'll give y'all what you really want: the foodporn. freaks.

no. words. except "praise tha lord that i worked out earlier."

Friday, August 5, 2011

100 things to do in 2011: month in review (and some other stuff).

oh my godddd how is it august? it's hard to believe that i'm sitting in my new living room in orlando right now, looking at a damn palm tree outside my window. the past 4 days have been hectic and weird, but i'm finally starting to feel a bit more at home now that i have actual furniture (thanks, rooms to go!). i think i'm gonna love it here once i befriend more than the 3 ducks that hang around the pond at my apartment complex 24/7...and yes, i named them isaac, taylor, and zac just because it makes me chuckle. still, i'm having a bit of culture shock.

some things i've noticed about orlando so far:
  • everyone is SUPER nice. like, i'm-not-used-to-it-and-it's-almost-creepy nice. literally every individual i have encountered has been overly talkative and helpful. and i mean, a random dude came up to me in bed bath and beyond the other day and asked for help finding his mom a birthday gift. the new englander in me said "run away!" but i knew that i had to embrace this newfound approach. "does she bake?" i shrugged as i pointed at a cake pan. meh!
  • i have no allergies here. i seriously would wake up in new england and run for the box of tissues every morning, and i haven't picked up one since i got down here. SCORE!
  • the heat is fiiiiine. i've been hanging out on my balcony every night and it's totally effing pleasant. my conclusion? people just love to complain about everything so they exaggerate about everything. or i guess i'm just a sun child, man.
  • everything is spread out. i haven't even ventured out of my little corner of the city yet and i'm already a little overwhelmed. but more to explore, i guess!
  • i wish i could bring my friends and family down here with me. i miss my buddies a ton already, so they better visit.
anyways, i was pretty much totally consumed with moving this month, but i managed to add two more movies to my list ("no strings attached" which was surprisingly cute and "the back-up plan" which was predictably stupid...but alex o'loughlin oh my oh my). i also had a whirlwind week of goodbye dinners in boston which included sushi at yoki, yummy pizza at pisa pizza, and chicken parm at a townie place in malden. i also discovered a gem of a chain restaurant in pooler, georgia called FATZ en route to orlando, where the manager sat down to chat and was super-nice. i ate some fish called basa which was badass.