Monday, February 16, 2009


I have very cheap hand soap in my bathroom that I think smells like tequila. Last night, I had a friend over for dinner and after washing her hands she said, "This soap smells like my Nana." I'm just saying.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Somebody to Love

Last night for Valentine's Day I went on a date with myself. I had a few invitations to be out and about, but decided to stay home for a few reasons: 1) I was out until 2 am the previous night with my newly-engaged, finalist in the best couple contest friends "celebrating" 2) I went to brunch VERY early at Sullivan Diner and had french toast with a SIDE of toast and more coffee and water than the waiter was comfortable with and then walked uptown window shopping/flea marketing with a friend and finally 3) because I had two awesome movies from Netflix, Queen Under Review: The Freddie Mercury Story and The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese documentary on The Band's last concert.
This may not seem like the most exciting thing to do on the Hallmark Holiday, but it was perfect. The Last Waltz is highly-recommended. The Band was friends with some of the most amazing musical artists of their time, and some of my personal favorites: Neil Young, Van Morrison (who does NOT match his voice at all - hello purple suede glittered outfit!), Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan, to name a few.
The Freddie Mercury Story was amazing for a whole other set of reasons. Queen is definitely one of my favorite bands, but I didn't know much about them. Last summer I was shocked to find out that my aunt and uncle (who are in their 60s) had NEVER heard of them before. I always thought they were comparable in popularity to U2 or Coldplay (who my aunt LOVES) today. I burned them all the music from Queen I had, and my uncle's response? "Hm, I thought they wrote this music for baseball games!"
My favorite part of the documentary was when they were discussing Freddie Mercury's sexuality. One of the talking heads said, "It became abundantly obvious he was homosexual when he grew his moustache." Wait, what? Now, I'm not here to judge anyone - including the intelligence of the British who have given us such brilliance as English muffins - but, it wasn't obvious when he was dancing around in a bare-chested unitard? Or how about the music video where he wore a black, leather mini-skirt. No?
But before you pity me (hopefully you don't), my night wasn't without a little steamy action. When the guy who delivered my supper showed up, I realized that after I gave him a pretty generous tip and went back inside my apartment, my shirt was pulled down revealing a significant portion of my right boob. Nice.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

College Bands

In high school, a lot of my friends were in the band. I used to play the violin when I was younger, but there was no place for me to wear a bad uniform and travel to competitions.
I've always been really impressed with my musical friends, and have a whole new respect for them joining a traditionally unpopular social group in high school, some in even still in college.
Over the last few days there have been two amazing performances from college bands backing up two of my favorite bands: Beirut and Radiohead.
Friday night I went to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see Beirut perform. They're such a talented band, and midway through their performance they used a backing band: the Vassar College orchestra. The show was incredible, they played a lot of new stuff and good Lord, the lead singer is a babe. I think more men screamed out "you're so hot!" than women did.
That same night they performed on Letterman, and used some of the orchestra in that performance as well:

And, on last night's Grammy's Radiohead gave an amazing performance with USC's marching band. In case you didn't see it, here it is (feel free to skip over Gwenyth Paltrow until she rightly calls them the "utterly brilliant Radiohead"):

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

As you know, I've been dying my hair since I was 18. That stuff's expensive, even when buying my "Medium Golden Mahogany Brown Chocolate Caramel" Garnier from the drug store.
I have to dye my hair just about every three weeks, and each box is $8.49. So, every year I spend $147.16 on hair dye (a leap year: $149.99!) Before I buy a new box of dye I will check every pharmacy in my neighborhood - CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade - to see if any of the places have my shade on sale.
In my neighborhood there are two Rite Aids within a block of each other, and I've always wondered why. Until now. (Actually, that's not true, I usually save one Rite Aid to purchase all my "embarrassing" products from: toilet paper, lady products, etc. so there was ONE good reason already)
Being so broke right now, I was thrilled to discover that it was on sale at Rite Aid this week for 50% off, but only one per customer with coupon. I was with a friend of mine, and the poor guy, I made him buy me a box of hair dye at each Rite Aid so I'd end up with four boxes to carry me through the beginning of May.
There's no point to this, really, except I've learned this weekend who my true friends are and the lengths they'll go to keep me looking somewhat youthful.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Maggie!

Anyone who reads this may have noticed a few links to the right of here. You see them? Well, click on the one that says Keegan Gross Family. Or, hey, just click here.
Today is Mama Keegan Gross' birthday. I've know Maggie since 8th grade, when I wore khaki overalls and white Keds and she wore mostly black. In fact, I think I lovingly (?) signed her yearbook asking her if she started her witch clan yet.
Maggie is a smart, beautiful and funny girl who always has perfect hair. She's also married to my brother's best friend, Josh. In high school, Josh would yell to me on campus, "Brian's Little Sister!" He may or may not know my real name. They're a lot of fun, and also parents to the cutest child alive in the history of cutest children.
Here's proof:

(I have friends who (from a safe distance) are obsessed with this baby, never having met said child. You know who you are.)

So, Happy Birthday Maggie! I hope you have a relaxing day, and take some time away from studying for the bar exam to enjoy your wonderful family and your special day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Everybody Dance Now

All day yesterday I was still sore from my night with the trainer, but I decided to power through with a Power Dance class at NYSC.
It took a lot of motivation because it was snowing horizontally on the walk to the gym - and I had a hole in my boot. I didn't know what to expect when I got there, but heard that it might be tough because sometimes the classes rotate in fours where they work on one dance routine every four weeks.
When I lined up for the class, I saw some people that looked like professional dancers. (I know what professional dancers look like because I own "Center Stage" and "Save the Last Dance" on DVD.) I even saw a guy that was wearing real dance shoes and what appeared to be the bottom half of a figure-skating costume - he wasn't hiding ANY secrets.
Before the class started, I was talking with another girl who had never taken the class before so we made a pact to stay together, and to keep going back week after week. The (male) instructor walked in wearing a circa early '90s Janet Jackson tour T-shirt and some very tight yoga pants. He said hello to a lot of the dancers who had been taking his class for awhile, some for as long as four years. He said, "Hi guys! Hi newbies! Just to let you know, I won't be dancing with you tonight because I just had a face lift and lipo the other day - don't want to pop a stitch!"
We started stretching, doing crunches, going through the positions of ballet (thanks again, Center Stage!).
I had so much fun in the class, I'm still on the high. I forgot how much I love to dance, learn routines and be sassy in front of a mirror. Plus, we danced to the best songs in the world.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Am I Supposed To Do About My Legs?

Remember that scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Judge Doom gets steamrolled, and they find out he's a 'toon? He's trying to stand up and walk, but he's all wobbly and can't get his balance.
Well, that's what I feel like today ... only a lot worse.
A few weeks ago, I went to take a yoga class at New York Sports Club and the teacher was a few minutes late. A NYSC employee came into the class, took our information and we would all receive a free session with a personal trainer as an apology.
Last night was the session. I met with the trainer right after work, wearing a shirt I got after participating in a 4-mile running race to let him know I was a serious athlete.
We talked for a few minutes about eating habits, drinking habits, his successes and failures as well as mine. I refused to get on the scale, but agreed to do the body fat/BMI calculation. The good news: I'm about average. The bad news: The session didn't end there.
He started me out with jumping jacks, resting (and by resting, he meant running in place), doing high knee kicks, "resting", jumping in place, etc. I was winded, but I felt pretty good. Then, he had me do at least 50 squats which was a poor decision on his part.
After the squats, I had to do reverse squats - starting out on the floor and standing up over and over and ... I started to get that familiar feeling I had two summers ago on that hot subway platform. I thought I was going to faint again or vomit.
NYSC also made an ill-informed decision to use a polka-dot pattern on their floor which subsequently was creating one of those 3D images - only, I couldn't see the sailboat, I just saw the floor coming to meet my face.
I didn't think the trainer could do much damage in an hour session, so I didn't plan ahead and bring a rubber band to pull my hair back. I just had my usual hairstyle of pieces of hair pinned everywhere with bobby pins. By the end of the session there were bobby pins strewn EVERYWHERE. But, we weren't done yet.
After lifting weights for 30 minutes (!!), he gave me my evaluation (yikes), what I need to work on (everything) and asked if I wanted to sign up to meet with him again (no way). He was really nice, and completely understood that financially I couldn't do it and said if he saw me at the gym again he'd work out with me, which was kind - even if it was a total lie.
The worst part of the night, though, was getting home. Walking up and down stairs for the subway, standing for more than 2 minutes and having the energy to make a healthy dinner. Also, I bought some hand soap last week that for some reason smells like tequila. We all know my history with the drink, so smelling that after almost vomiting on my trainer was enough to send me to bed early.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Random Photos: Take 1

I have had pictures in my camera since the summer of 2007; it's time to start downloading ... AND sharing!
Green toilet paper!

From the Smithsonian in D.C.
What happens when you order a bagel with cream cheese in Queens? A bagel with a melted piece of cheddar.

Autumn in New York.