Monday, July 30, 2012

Shoes for Thought

Yesterday's paper offered up these beauts:

I love the idea of my feet feeling aged. And that these shoes would somehow make them feel younger. I'm thinking not so much. Because every time I'd look down at my feet, I'd feel about 50 years older.

These suckas claim that my feel could feel up to 20 years younger!
I guess the trick would be not to look down at my own feet?

Instead of paying the $19.95 plus shipping for either of the above glamorous styles, I bought these for $19.95 at Anthropologie:

I'm not in love with them, nor do I think I'll wear them that much, but I had some leftover giftcard money to spend. And they fit. I'll let you know how old my feet feel when I wear them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Julie

I saw this on my facebook page:
I would LOVE to go. I have probably blathered about my raucous internship on The Adventures of Pete and Pete during the summer of 1995.  Actually, when searching my blog (and I don't think the search feature is quite comprehensive), it appears that I've never fully blogged about it, although I have podcasted about it once. So, because this fabulous reunion is coming up (who's going? SOMEONE I know must go!) I thought I'd do a full-on Pete and Pete blog.

Here's the abridged version of how I got the internship:
I was a film major ("Communication Arts: Radio, TV, and Film") at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while The Adventures of Pete and Pete aired on Nickelodeon. For some reason, basic cable was standard on all our college television sets. It seems like we should have been trying to save money or something, but that's how it was. I loved the show for its commitment to weirdness, fabulous soundtrack, and usage of stars from all of my college-era indie movie faves (particularly the darlings of Hal Hartley. Check out this gorgeousness with Damian Young from my favorite Hartley movie, Simple Men. And if you have never seen a Hal Hartley movie, just listen to this song and know YOU NEED TO. Or watch this:

A bunch of people in my film classes were talking about their internships on film and TV sets, so I was like (as I often am) why not? I called around (you can already sniff out my future as a librarian), first to Nickelodeon Studios in Florida (does that still exist?), and eventually a few calls later led me directly to the P&P offices in New York. I asked if they needed an intern, and they said they would as long as the show was renewed for a third season. I called back over the months, and eventually I think I talked to Will McRobb, one of the creators of the show. I remember talking about bands over the phone, which is why I think I talked to him. I might be wrong, but however it happened, I got the (unpaid) job. My friend, Jason, from high school let me sleep on his couch (for half a month's rent) in his West Village, roach-infested apartment (I don't know if I would have gone to New York without his help, so thank you, Jason!), and I was off for an Adventurous summer!

This blog is already too long, and I am about to post a million pictures, so let me just end the paragraph-filled portion of the post by saying I WAS AN AWESOME INTERN. Really. Here is my internship letter to prove it:

But what was funny was that as much fun as I had and as much as I fell in love with the TV biz, I also realized that it was not for me. I much preferred my interactions with the kids on the show, which led me to my career as a school librarian. Also, I was really good at finding things they needed for the show. For instance, Michelle Trachtenberg's character, Nona, wears a cast on her arm all the time. It was part of my (unpaid) job to find a doctor in New York City who would not only make her a cast that could be cut apart and Velcro-d closed, but would do it for free. I did that. I also had to find a Mack truck driver willing to drive his truck down a residential street in New Jersey and honk his horn for, if I recall, twenty-five bucks. I did that. Total precursors for my life as a librarian. Sadly, season three has not been released on DVD yet, so I can't see my name in lights or the fruits of my labor (?).

Without further ado, ladies and germs, my summer with Pete and Pete in pictures:

That's me with Damian Young, who played my favorite Pete and Pete character: bus driver Stu Benedict. Can you tell I'm excited to meet him?

Me with Michael Maronna, aka Big Pete. There are a lot of tongues in these pictures.

I went to the Statue of Liberty for the Fourth of July. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Me outside the apartment on Thompson Street. My outfit is rad.

My friend from Madison, Marcia, visited me, and we went to an art museum. I hate that white tank top I'm wearing, and yet it is in many of these pictures. I imagine it had crazy sweat stains. This was that horrible heatwave summer (although, I can't imagine it was worse than Chicago's heatwave summer this year).


Me raiding Artie, the strongest man in the world's closet.

Me and Danny Tamberelli, aka Little Pete. Note the tongues and the gross, white tank top.

Me and Patty Hearst! And me with really frizzy hair. I said it was hot.

I hung out with Danny a lot during down time. We got along famously, since he was of middle school age and that is my favorite demographic. Blue M&Ms had just come out, and we separated a bag by colors.

On-set shenanigans (I'm wearing Little Pete's hat). The girl behind me was another intern (Debbie? I have decided I have a learning disability when it comes to remembering names. I even stayed at her house for a while, yet I don't know her full name.)

Me and Danny again. I have no idea what we're doing.

Me and Hardy Rawls, who played the Petes' dad. He had a girlfriend named Laurel!

A rather horrid picture of me and Will McRobb. This was in the days before digital cameras.

The infamous picture of me sitting on Iggy Pop's lap! What is that ghostly mark?! Sadly, it's the only picture I have of us. Sigh.

Me and the Wellsville kids! I spent the end of my internship hiding out with them.

Fun people who worked on the show. I don't remember names, but they were very nice!

I remember this guy being really cool. I think he was the King of the Grips, or something.

The woman on the right (Robin?) let me stay at her house sometimes. I was a couch-sleeping vagabond. I love that the guy on the left is rocking a vest with no shirt.

Michelle Trachtenberg and the cast I found for her!

I shall end on this bizarre picture of me kissing Danny Tamberelli. Such an amazing experience! (Um, the internship. Not being a twenty year-old kissing a young teen.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Watch. Repeat.

I was thinking yesterday about movies I have seen multiple times in the theater. I don't know why I was thinking about this. Often my blog ideas pop into my head while I'm driving, which is useless because I can't write anything down and I can't blog and I can't even blog when I get out of the car because I'm with Romy and I'm usually listening to a kid audiobook at the same time as I'm trying to hold onto this idea (Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is probably my favorite reading). I may have even blogged about this before, but since I've been blogging for six years (dang! Time well spent?) that's bound to happen. So here is the list of movies I remember seeing in a movie theater more than once:

  • Popeye - This was my first multiple-viewing movie (that is such a clumsy phrasing. I was up way too early with Romy this morning because of a thunderstorm. Therfore, the phrasing stays). My Grandma Bess took me, and I was so enamored with this bizarre flick and its music (I remember the sensation of feeling "cool." I was five.) that immediately after watching the movie once, we walked back into the theater and watched it again. I always wonder if my grandma paid for two viewings. I'm guessing she did. She was a very classy lady. Who had to sit through Popeye twice. Ha!

  • The Neverending Story - If I recall correctly, I saw this four times in the theater. And if you recall correctly, I still love the dang thing. I think I used to imagine having a child-like romance with Atreyu back in fourth grade, when this movie was out. You can relive the moment I finally met him at last summer's Chicago Comic-Con here.
  • Ghostbusters - I was going into fifth grade, and this movie was huge. I saw it with the family and with my summer camp. My favorite part of the movie is still when Rick Moranis asks if anyone wants some lox from Novia Scotia.
  • Dirty Dancing - Junior high. I don't remember much more. Who didn't love this movie?
  • Rattle and Hum - What can I say? I was a huge U2 fan in junior high and early high school. 
  • Heavenly Creatures - Quite disturbing, but I was a brooding college film major at the time. Peter Jackson still remains one of my absolute favorite filmmakers. I will argue that Dead Alive is one of the best horror movies of all time. And he made those little Lord of the Rings movies, too.
  • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - I saw this with some friends and then decided I needed to see it with more friends. Such a great, happy movie.
For some reason my brain keeps needling me to say I saw Showgirls multiple times in the theater. Did I? What was wrong with me? The only reason I may have, and I'm not saying I did, is that I was working at a video store at the time it was out and we had a reciprocal thing going where the people who worked at the indie Madison movie theaters got free video rentals, while we video store clerks got free movies at the indie theaters. But, really, I don't think I saw this more than once. I feel dirty. Maybe I should go see Magic Mike a couple of times to cleanse my soul.

Someday, Romy (my Romy, not the one in the movie) will discover her own Atreyu, and that will mean a new generation of multiple movie viewings. I'm just grateful that moment did not come after Chipwrecked.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I was going to blog about the TV shows I've beeing watching this summer, but I'm not quite in the mood and the day is already getting away from me. Instead, I will write a tiny blog post about the most excellent word Romy used last night. She is rather obsessed with circuses, and we found this great open-the-flaps book at the library used book store:
Inside, a ringmaster is "doffing" his hat. Romy noted, "The ringmaster is doofing his hat." First off, know how proud I am that my 3 year-old uses words like "doff." And then also know how hard I laughed at the hilarity of the word "doof."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Give Me a HAND

I broke my HUGE blogging streak (three days, y'all!) because my daughter had things to do first thing in the morning both Thursday and Friday. "First thing" for her is ten a.m. Not that she wakes up that late, but getting her out of the house is a bitch. So there was no blogging time. I won't do a mega blog today, since I don't think people read blogs as much on the weekend, but I thought I would propose a question. HAVE A NICE DAY, the sequel to my novel, GET WELL SOON, is fast approaching! Not that fast, but it will be out October 16. I have yet to make a webpage for it on my website, so I thought I might do a similar thing that I did with GWS and answer some reader questions. Check out the FAQs on the GWS page, and then send me a comment or email ( if you have any FAQs about HAVE A NICE DAY. I realize pretty much none of you have read the book yet, but these can be FAQs about what might be in the book. I'll add them to the page when I create it. I'm thinking I'll either make a trailer or read the first chapter or something else on the page, too. Romy has a regular art class in the next month, so maybe I'll actually find some time to do it. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as MOM this summer. Who knew that two hours, two afternoons a week (when Romy went to preschool last year) was so freeing?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Movies of Summer

You see how these posts are working? Tomorrow it will be TV. Then, hmmm, maybe food? I don't know. I'm still trying to get back into the swing of blogging.

Yesterday I took Romy to see Madagascar 3. We haven't seen any of the other ones, but this one was reviewed well and we couldn't possibly not see it after seeing this in a trailer:

I can't remember what movie we saw originally that had the trailer. I now realize fully that I have a terrible memory. That is going to be my excuse from now on. I think people make excuses like that so they don't have to try as hard. I am officially not trying as hard. Um, what was I writing about? Madagascar. I thought it was going to be a lot funnier than it was, based on reviews. I wanted to be roaring with laughter. What was funny was how Romy kept asking, "Where's the afro circus?" And when the actual afro circus moment came on, she was so busy telling me that he afro circus moment was indeed on that she missed it. Luckily they repeated the song numerous times throughout the film. I guess they knew. I really liked the circus scenes, which were probably way more impressive in 3-D.

For our anniversary, Matt and I saw Moonrise Kingdom in the theater. I have seen every Wes Anderson movie in the theater, except for Bottle Rocket, because I'm not that cool. I didn't love Moonrise Kingdom, but that probably had to do with my very protective nature towards middle school-aged kids (which the two stars were). I said to Matt that I thought they weren't portrayed realistically, and he said pretty much no character in a Wes Anderson movie is very realistic. True. But I still had trouble buying into it. I'll still see all his movies in theaters, though. They're quite good-looking.

As for rentals, I have become one of those people who checks my local library's website every day for "on-order" DVDs. That way, I'm usually one of the first ten people on the hold list for the newest movies (people are way crazier than I am and must check the library's website ten times a day because there is always someone ahead of me). My brain is in such fart mode that I may have to run upstairs to get my movies watched cheat sheet. The favorite so far of new movies was 21 Jump Street. It was much funnier than anticipated and has now put me in full Channing Tatum mode (I almost typed both "Stockard Channing" and "Carol Channing" first). Last night we watched The Eagle, and I'm watching Step Up on the treadmill. I must say I am thoroughly enjoying Step Up. I love a good star-crossed dance movie, starting with Breakin'.

Whoa! Shabba-Doo! Your hand is totally on Special K's ass! This type of movie also includes Breakin' 2, as well as Save the Last Dance (this movie still makes me embarrassed for Julia Stiles when I watch it). They are especially good for treadmill viewing because they have lots of motivational music with good beats, and the dancing people make me want to move. As I type this, I am still dreading getting on the treadmill. Although, back to Channing Tatum-- how adorable is he? Quite. And dancing with his little sideways baseball cap? Sigh. I think he'd be some generic jock actor in my mind if it weren't for his exceptional dancing prowess. I may have to go see Magic Mike in the theater. I hear he dances to one of my favorite, hilarious, ridiculously perverted hip-hop songs: "Pony" by Ginuine.

Other movies seen this summer: Wanderlust, A Dangerous Method (I will never be able to look at Keira Knightley again without seeing her make the awful faces she made in this movie), and the first two minutes of American Reunion. Because I realized that at this point in my life I have no desire to watch Jason Biggs masturbate. Do other people?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Books of Summer

As a librarian, I am required to join a summer reading program. Like, not officially, as if the library police are going to come after me if I don't join one. And I'm not technically a practicing librarian right now, since I don't have a job (although I think I may be more of a practicing librarian than I am a practicing Jew). But how can anyone not join their local library's summer reading program? They give you free stuff! For reading! Romy has already received a free meal at her favorite fancy restaurant, The Rainforest Cafe. It's easy to have her succeed in the kids' program, which is measured in minutes, since I read to her every night for a half hour plus she reads in the car and at other random times (Let us not pretend that she doesn't also watch way too many episodes of Imagination Movers). For me, though, I always struggle to complete the program. I wish we adults could measure our accomplishments in minutes instead of pages, too. Our program (every library does it their own way) is that every time you read five books, your name is entered into some big raffle. I may check out five books at a time, but damn if I even manage to finish one of them. If only the summer reading program had started when I was tearing through The Walking Dead collections-- that would have been fifteen books! I don't know why I take it seriously enough that I won't fudge when I read the books in order to enter the titles into the program. I think I'm afraid they are going to see when I checked those books out and when I returned them, note that it wasn't during the summer reading program, and call my bluff. So here will be my final five (sadly, that's all I'll manage, and I will be stretching the truth about finishing all five of them as it is):

1. Walking Dead Volume 15 (I did read this one during the summer!)
2. Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way by Mayim Bialik (I had to inter-library loan this one, but then I won a copy from!)
3. Tough Shi*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith (What is it about celebrity books that they need to have annoyingly long, explanatory titles? I may talk more about this book in another post.)
4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (I thought I'd try these for light fare, and also to see if Godric is in the books, but the first book starts exactly like the first episode of the series. Are all the books exactly the same as the show? Because I don't want to repeat myself.)
5. Um, I totally can't remember the other title on my list. I have until the 28th of July to turn in my list in exchange for (the possibility of) fabulous gifts and prizes.

My reading habits as an adult are exactly the same as when I was a kid: I love to read, but I have to be able to do it in my own time. It's a rough position to be in as a parent, librarian, educator, and author. How can I justify trying to convince kids to read when I can barely do it myself? Or perhaps all of the kids I've charmed into reading books (and, proudly, I can say in ten years as a librarian there have been a lot of them) are making up for my lack of reading prowess. If only I could add all of those titles to my summer reading list! Think of all of those raffle entries... The restaurant gift certificates would be mine. Oh yes, they would be mine.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Songs of Summer

I know I've been absent a long time, but it's a little (a lot) too personal to explain. So I am going to start blogging again and pretend I was never gone. To all of the two people who are still checking my blog: thank you.

I was watching an episode of "Hoppus on Music" (do you watch this? Do you also think Mark Hoppus is super smart and funny and awesome? You should also see him in the documentary "The Other F Word" about fathers in punk rock), and he was asking his guests what their song of summer was. He was pushing for that "Call Me Maybe" song by Carly Rae Jepsen. I will admit I have not heard this song in its entirety, but it's not because I am all above it and whatnot. Although, I do feel that way about Justin Bieber. Not that I am above listening to Justin Bieber (my fingers would not stop typing "Justin Biever"), but as a person (or media figure, which isn't technically a person) he grosses me out. I don't want to watch him fondling his child bride, Selena Gomez (who also grosses me out. She will never look, or sound, like an adult to me. Do you remember that ABC Family movie she was in where she was dancing-- and a really good dancer, I might add-- with some guy who turned out in the real world to be in his thirties? And they kissed! Ugh, so disturbing). This picture sums up my disinterest in Justin Bieber's music:
Living the Thug Life, I presume. According to Fashion Police, there are numerous websites dedicated to lesbians who look like Justin Bieber. This is the first interesting thing I've heard about him. Anywho, back to Jepsen. The reason I haven't listened to her song is that I'm afraid it's going to get stuck in my head. It's that kind of song, right? Like that freakin' Gotye song that has been stuck in my head for months. I don't even know if I like the song because I have no choice whether or not I want to listen to it. Every single radio station in Chicago plays that song (except the hip hop ones. But just you wait for that remix). And they're still playing it. Time to give it a rest because I'm sick of waking up in the middle of the night with "Somebody That I Used to Know" scrolling through my head. The other song that has been stuck in my head this summer in the middle of the night when I'd rather be sleeping is "Pop Fly" by the fantastic kids' music guy (I don't know what I'm supposed to call a musician who makes music specifically for children) Justin Roberts. Do you know of him? He's from Chicago, so I wasn't sure if he's known around the country or just locally. He should be known everywhere because his songs are great and super catchy, and we've seen him in concert three times. Actually, twice in one day. Here's Romy, aspiring rocker, in the pigtails right in front of the stage ready to rock:

I'm semi-drawing a blank when it comes to what actual music I've listened to this summer. When I'm in the car with Romy, it's between Justin Roberts, The Monkees, or kid books on CD. And when I'm at home, we flip on the radio, and it's either commercials or a Billy Joel song (I swear, Chicago radio cannot get enough of Billy Joel or Elton John. Me? I have already had enough of both of them). I've managed to slip in a few moments of my music of choice, which right now includes Iron Maiden and The Specials. So my song of summer? I think I'd have to go with "It's a Small World." That was Romy's favorite ride at Disneyland, and I've put it back into my head on numerous occasions since to bring me back to that happy place. I know it drives people crazy. But I'd rather go twenty rounds with a bunch of animatronic children than a dude and his lady rehashing their break up.