A List Of Things You Probably Don't Care About

It’s already 2010 so a list of things that I loved from 2009 is very outdated. Whatever. This is my buh-log. Plus, I haven’t updated in a long time.

Lists always pop up around the end of the year and I hardly agree with them. I understand Twilight was (still is) a huge hit but that doesn’t mean Taylor Lautner is going to be on my list of ’09 Hotties. That’s just not happening. Sorry Tay Tay!

That said, here is my list of 2009 Favorites and Bests!

1. Bobbi Brown lipstick in Pink – I’m really into lipsticks right now and fell in love with Bobbi Brown’s creamy semi-matte lipstick in Pink sometime during the fall. I’m not usually a bold lipstick wearer so it was quite a shock when I put it on. I thought it was too much but my friend, Bianca, insisted I buy it because it “gave me life.” I hesitated before handing over my debit card. I later texted her THANK YOU after I gave myself time to get used to the color. She was right. I no longer looked corpse-y. This particular pink color is so ridiculously ON it can make anyone look like a cute, fresh, 50s pinup. Especially good for girls who are on their way to transitioning to luscious bold red lips comme la lippy goddess Angelina Jolie. $22, Nordstrom.

2. ‘My Love‘ by The-Dream featuring Mariah Carey

Just about everything The-Dream touches is gold. Absolute gold. I mean, he is the reason Jesse McCartney’s ‘Leavin‘” is good. I actually perk up when I hear that song. Ok, I love that song. DON’T JUDGE. And this one. The moment I heard ‘My Love’ I could not stop replaying it. The-Dream has been out for some time now but he really blew up this year, which is why I will consider him ‘new’ for purposes of asking this question: Don’t you miss getting excited over a new artist? I do. That’s why I love The-Dream. He’s taking R&B to a whole other level while still maintaining that familiar classic R&B groove we know and love.

3. Thakoon for Target line

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Fun, fun, fun! I snatched two pieces from this line and they are holding up so well.  I still wear them.

4. Jeremy Renner’s performance in The Hurt Locker

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5. Mo’nique’s performance in Precious.

GOOD GOD SHE IS GOOD.

6. Robin Thicke’s falsettos in ‘Sex Therapy.’

7. Robin Thicke dancing at the :44 mark. Nicki Minaj’s voice (Not her best performance and say what you will about her being a wannabe Foxy Brown/Lil Kim I still don’t think she’s bad!)

8. The first 10 minutes of Up

9. Manohla Dargis interview on Jezebel.com.

Let’s acknowledge that the Oscars are bullshit and we hate them. But they are important commercially… I’ve learned to never underestimate the academy’s bad taste. Crash as best picture? What the fuck.

What a bitch. I love her.

10. Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody music video

11. Snooki

12. Keel’s Simple Diary by TASCHEN

I was reluctant to try this diary out at first but writing in it now has become one of the little things I look forward to on a daily basis. It is a day per page diary that is structured with a brief questionnaire and statement to get you thinking. The purpose of Simple Diary is to “help us look inside even when we are overloaded outside. The book offers structure for those who don’t have time to wonder, making it easy to record life’s moments. It gives the pleasure of a quick response and the sense that no matter what’s wrong, more is right.” Cheesy, yes, but it makes me feel like some of kind of significant public figure filling out Vanity Fair’s Proust questionnaire (Sample Simple Diary questions: What you don’t miss about the past; Your day was (only choose one): ( ) someone else’s, ( ) like two days, ( ) nowadays…Explain why; A character flaw that you cover up with a white lie). In other words, that I have something important to say underneath all my word vomit.

Too bad there is only one volume of this diary. Volume Two coming…??? Good for people who avoid writing in diaries because they feel they have nothing to write. Also good for people who want to feel like a character in a Nancy Meyers film seeking enlightenment, a brain tickle, or a chuckle. Not good for people who diary for pages and pages and pages on (un)lined paper. All jokes aside, like any diary, this will be a hilarious and insightful read ten years from now. Can run anywhere from $10 to $20 depending on where you buy. I bought mine from Barnes & Noble online for about $13. Check Amazon.com. Google is your friend!

13. Glee – I love the hell out of this show. Haters to the left.

14. The phrase, ‘Haters to the left.’

15. This gif.

16. And this one.

17. Jersey Shore

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THE SITUATION, SNOOKI, AND PAULY D WITH BEN MOTHERFUCKING SAVAGE.

Oh, I love this show.

18. This was not in 2009 but I caught up with Ugly Betty this year and died when I saw this.

19. Lollicup milk tea boba

I moved back home in late ’08 and have grown up in California all my life so it’s not like boba is a big ’09 discovery. Since moving home, however, I’ve been downing boba as much as I can before I move to who-knows-where. Look, I’m taking advantage of my location. This stuff was so hard to find in D.C. They sold it at my university but they called it ‘bubble tea’ and there were only two flavors that I can remember, taro and milk. Bor-ing! I’ve tried several boba places here in the L.A. area but Lollicup stands out for me. The milk tea is silky and creamy, perfectly sweet, and very well mixed. I don’t feel like I’m chugging milk tea powder mix residue. That’s gross. Oh, and the tapioca balls are black pearls of gooey goodness. That’s not gross.

20. Yogurtland

Again, this is another taking advantage of my location type thing. The place is self-serve with a dozen delicious staple flavors like plain (tart) and dutch chocolate and rotating other ones like mango and strawberry sherbet, and the most random topping selections (mochi, yogurt chips, brownie bites, coconut shavings) all at 39 cents/pound. Never mind the crowds of loud teenagers who either bring out the crabby old lady in you or bring back high school memories of busting through the local hangout like you owned the place. Sure beats Pinkberry any day. I love it!

Here’s to 2010.

Story of My Life

My favorite movie moments are the teeniest tiniest ones that don’t really contribute to the plot but make you go, “Oh my God, that’s what I’ve been trying to say!” or “Thank goodness I’m not the only one who does that!” The following scene is from Rush Hour, one of the greatest movies (IMHO) ever, and is a prime example of audiences (IMHO) “relating to the character.” Who HASN’T done this?!

Done and Done

I’m not one to talk politics in public but I will for the sake of a good friend of mine who said that she’d read “in a heartbeat” a political update I wrote. Mel, this one’s for you so I’m going to pretend that this blog entry is one long e-mail to add to your growing inbox.

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Dear Melissa,

Not going to lie, I broke down in tears much like Jesse Jackson did after finding out President Obama won the election. President Obama. Wow. I can’t believe that’s real. But it is! Can you believe it? The first thought that ran through my head after I saw him crying was, Wait a second, wasn’t there beef between the Rev and Obama over the summer? That faux pas now seems like ages ago because those tears I saw streaming down Rev. Jackson’s face last night were sincere tears of joy, pride, astonishment, and “We did it!” Did you catch Oprah’s tears? She was standing near the Rev. Oh, man. I could go on about her tears. Her makeup didn’t smear. Oprah is divine. The Rev, Oprah, and I probably cried enough tears to sail the Queen Mary around the world and back again. And don’t get me started on my favorites, Jill and Joe Biden. When Joe walked out to join Obama on stage my heart swelled so big. Sobbing. Sobbing my eyes out. Then when Jill walked out with Joe’s mom I just about lost it. I swear, Mel, if I ever met Jill Biden I would pee my pants. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I’d have to write down on a piece of paper all the things I’d tell her otherwise I’d be a blubbering idiot. I think I’m more in love with the Bidens than I am with the Obamas! Should I feel guilty? Ha!

I’ve never been emotional or heated about elections. Granted, I’ve only been eligible to vote for two presidential ones, including this one, but still. I didn’t realize how emotional this whole thing had been for me until I – WE – heard the results of who would be our next president. I’ve never been a patriotic person but, man, I can’t describe to you how proud I felt of everyone who voted – regardless of who they voted for – when I went to my polling place and saw my fellow neighbors walking to the polls as well. We mattered. We matter! How wonderful is that?

Is it naive to say that I really really believe faith has been restored in the country? That I really, truly, 100 per cent feel there will be a change? Not to quote Oprah, but to quote Oprah, “It feels like there’s a shift in consciousness. It feels like something really big and bold has happened here” (Sidenote: After Oprah said that, the reporter who was asking her how she felt post-election said she, the reporter, was also a woman of color. Oprah smiled, cupped her head, and said, “We’re women of color!” To which I exclaimed at my computer screen, “I’m a woman of color too!” Women of color. HOLLER.). Yes, yes, yes! When one man can get that many people to join him (Did you see how PACKED Grant Park was?!), you have to give him credit. He must be doing something right if he can inspire that many people. I will say that he also has a lot to do with getting more people to register to vote for the first time, with getting people who don’t usually vote to vote. I’m no political analyst but his simple presence in the election had that kind of effect. I read somewhere that this whole thing is not just about a man, it’s about a movement. Last night was the mark of the beginning of a great movement. Forward.

As you can imagine it was a bit awkward for me to watch the results at home considering my parents and I have differing political views. I ended up watching Obama’s acceptance speech alone. That was frustrating. One of my hopes is that McCain/Palin voters follow McCain’s suit and take this with humility and grace. McCain’s speech following his defeat was just as it should be. Not going to lie here either, I sobbed my way through McCain’s speech too. No one can deny how much respect and love he has for our country. The crazy part is, I really do like the guy. Last year when the race was just underway, I was open to the possibility of him as president if Obama or Hilary lost. He wouldn’t have been my first pick but I’d deal with it just fine. However, it became obvious after primaries ended that his campaign was getting desperate and he seemed to be losing sight of things. I just wish he could have chosen a better VP. He could’ve chosen anyone – Huckabee for Christ’s sake! Sorry, I’m not a Palin gal. But God bless her! 😉

 

OK, seriously. McCain’s speech gives me hope that, yes, we should – and we can – find ways of meeting somewhere in the middle. He asked supporters to lend their support to Obama. He sees now that, yes, it is possible to cross party lines and unite. The voters and vote results are testament to that. From what I’ve seen and read, it is upsetting that the Republican party seems to have been overtaken by these neoconservatives who go on spreading hate rhetoric, inciting fear, and generally being very hostile people. Again, maybe I am being naive but I hope those 10 minutes of John McCain’s speech wisened up a lot of people in his party. What I would love to see is a good solid real Republican party. Come on you elephants! Let’s get these next four years going. Make it count! I know you’re out there!

Gosh, how and when did this country get so divided? Should we attribute this all to the Bush administration? I honestly don’t think things ever got to be this bad until he came into town. Hmmm.

Last night felt like Christmas morning. I’m crazy tripping happy. On a complete high. Like everyone else, I’m anxious to see the new direction our country will take. It will take awhile for Obama to gain the support of others but I have faith he can do it. He’s got A LOT of cleaning up to do but, according to the voters (US GUYS!!!!!!), we’re willing to take that risk. You can do it Mr. Prez.

I’m off to bed. Mel, this is so corny, but really I’m just so excited to wake up tomorrow knowing full well that while I still have to fill out these damn grad school applications, continue to find another part time job, and try to find a way to pay for classes I want to take next semester, I know things are going to be slightly different. It’s going to be tough but it’s also going to be so so great.

Lots o’ McLovin’,

Genny

P.S. Godspeed with apps. UGH. Killing. Me. Softly. *Pounds mouse on desk*

Plan B

The deeper and deeper I get into this grad school process the more and more the reality sinks in of possibly not being accepted into any program. I don’t think I’m being pessimistic. Some of these admissions requirements for the social sciences are off the charts for me, especially since I majored in journalism. I can count on half a thumb how many times I’ve written a scholarly paper that was 15-20 pages long. Of course, what do I expect, applying for an academic field. But shit, I can’t turn in my story on HR 4437?

Ah, if I’d a known then what I know now…

Anyway, today I had some kind of cheap ass revelation where I realized, Dammit, I need a backup plan. That said, I’m sounding the call (Is that the correct expression?) for aspiring biz types who want to live the dream with me in some dumpy apartment in L.A. We’ll all have crappy day jobs and probably dig the couches for spare change to buy KFC specials but who cares, it’ll pay off because we’ll make a blood pact prior to signing the lease that whoever “makes it” first will employ us in his or her feature film, t.v. show, production company, or music video (?). It’ll be sooo cute.

Like Matt and Ben. Or the Hollywood Frat Pack.

Or Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and Co.

We’ll show up to Sundance together and pose on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in some terrible photoshoot where the theme is “dysfunctional and incestuous but quirky loving family” because, you know, the rumor mill will be flying by then that when we were “struggling writers/actors” living in such close quarters, we got so close that we had naked cookouts. But that’ll be one big joke. Or is it? (In creepy Brittany Murphy voice) We’ll never tell. Gotta keep ’em guessing as they say.

So, any takers???

Ok, I’ve been living at home for three-and-a-half or so weeks now. I thought my head would explode by now but surprisingly it hasn’t. My friends who moved back home after graduation advised me to keep a calm head and to expect near strangulation of the parentals by month three. Well, I haven’t reached month three so there you go. Let’s be real, I do get annoyed with my parents every once in awhile but then I remind myself that I am not paying rent or groceries or spending lots of money and that I haven’t really been with my family in four plus years so effing get over it because this time is precious.

The big adjustment hit me big time, though, when I realized after my first weekend in L.A. that, no, this wasn’t some weekend stay and, yes, you no longer live in D.C. Freakin’ started panicking, journal-ing (not for your eyes though!), tears welling up, “Oh, shit (ting), oh, shit (ting).” My social circle has decreased dramatically as well as my urge to go out. I know you’re thinking, Well, that’s why you’re having a shitty time Gen. Because you don’t go out. Listen, if gas prices aren’t what they are and traffic in L.A. isn’t such a bitch, I’d be all up in the city like, Heeeey. But they are and I feel ultra guilty when driving off doing my own thing since I don’t even have my own car; I’m borrowing my dad’s for the meantime.

It’s a good thing I still have a job (part time but I’ve still got my benefits!) and am applying for grad schools, a part time job in itself. I’ve found keeping myself busy makes this three month transition to the next big move bearable and quick. Also, my parents have been very understanding about this whole where am I going stage and are supportive of me “exploring,” my mom’s favorite word when it comes to any sort of post-undergraduate, 20-something, life talk. It’s quite nice considering I get the impression that some of her friends and family members think I’m not being practical when it comes to “my plans.” One of my mom’s best friends keeps telling me there are great jobs with the city of Los Angeles. “Starting salary is usually $40,000,” she said. Yeah, my job paid me nothing in comparison to that when I worked full-time but that’s why those jobs are great. Because they are boring office jobs and they need something – AKA dolla dolla bills ya’ll – to lure people in. Kinda like working at the Fed. Bernanke took good care of you there. The facilities in that building are to behold. We’re talking cafeteria views of the National Mall, underground passages, gym, convenient store – it’s like a little city over there. And the benefits are stellar. But honestly, there are people that have been there for 30 years, still working more or less the same job. Stability like that makes sense when you’ve got a family and “real” responsibilities but when you don’t have that…then why would you?

Researching this grad school stuff has been all kinds of scary for me, mainly because I never saw myself going back to school. Like, ever. It explains why you will see some discrepancies on my transcript and why my resume doesn’t look like that of a future scholar. I’ve always wondered about people who knew what they wanted to do with their lives when they were, like, five. Last night I was watching a rerun of Project Runway and Rami said he knew he wanted to be fashion designer when he was six. SIX. When I was six I wanted to be the check out girl at the grocery store because I liked the BEEP sound the computer would make after running the bar code under the scanner. What about Seth Rogen, who freakin’ started writing Superbad when he was 13. Are you kidding me? Dude was all up on that when he was 13?

There’s admiration for folks like that but then a tinge of jealousy. It’s like, When will my time come? But the more and more I think about this and the “Greater Plan,” the more I think, Maybe it – that ultimate dream goal or dream ambition – has always been in me, I just laughed it off or suppressed it because it was just that, a dream.

Two years ago, the last winter break of my senior year of college, I read over old journal entries from high school. Sometimes I read them to bring on the LOLs. It works. I came upon this one entry I wrote in July 2001. It’s a silly entry where I pretended I was being interviewed for some magazine and they were asking me what I wanted to be when I grow up. The inspiration for the entry must have been some “10 Teenage Girls that Are Making a Difference” type article you’d find in Seventeen magazine. I told the “interviewer” that I wanted to be a broadcast journalist much like Diane Sawyer. However, if that didn’t work out I’d want to work as writer for National Geographic.

“National Geographic?” the “interviewer” asked. “That seems so different.”

Oh, yes, I know, I said. I’ve always been interested in ancient civilizations, different cultures, archaeology. It’s so fascinating!

Haha.

Whoever thinks life is on the random needs to wise up because this stuff is raw. You probably think this isn’t a big deal but just imagine coming across something you wrote five years ago, thinking nothing of it and then five years later, after all these life experiences, reading it and freaking out because your five years older self forgot about it and now gets it. Like reading a book the second time around and catching all the little symbols and metaphors you missed when you first read the book and understanding them. After my 21-year-old self read that entry I just about started shrieking to myself, WHAT THE FUCK?! Unbelievable. I wrote that? Did I know I wanted to do that? Cos that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life now!

The funniest part was I forgot that I wrote that entry. In that five year span, I went to college thinking that I’d graduate and be some kind of reporter or correspondent. I forced myself to like some of my classes and to enjoy this whole j-school process because for so long I convinced myself, and other people, that one of these days I’d be like Diane Sawyer. Every time I went home and saw my mom’s aunt she’d say, “So when are we going to see you on the t.v. Genny?” and then bring up that new Filipino, “or is she Chinese?” anchor on channel five. Uh, well, you see Lola. Yeah…no.

Digging up bones or talking about pop culture never seemed like real jobs because they just seemed like so much fun and not practical. I don’t really know where I’m going with this but it’s just…I didn’t think I’d be here. I didn’t think I’d like school as much as I did. I didn’t think I’d have the fortitude to try for an advanced degree. Hell, I don’t know if I have the fortitude to try for an advanced degree. I don’t know if I’ll change my mind in a month, a year, three years from now. I just want so badly for my time to come you don’t even know. Sometimes I imagine me sitting with Oprah, chatting with her about my book, reminiscing about my “Aha!” moment. Or sometimes I imagine me sitting with James Lipton, answering those damned questions about my favorite noise and my favorite curse word, telling him I love the sound of the ocean, and my favorite curse word is “Fuck.” Then turning to my mama in the audience and apologizing because she is not fond of curse words. See, this is what I imagine in my head.

I know I probably sound self-absorbed and like a whiny little asshole and I apologize. Truth is just spilling out everywhere now isn’t it?

Spicy Poop

NOTE: Some people get really offended by poop. If you are offended by anything remotely related to poop, pooping, and bodily functions that are PERFECTLY NATURAL and NORMAL you have been warned. This post may not be to your level of comfort.

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Last Saturday I capped off a typical Adams Morgan night of fun with the ever-tasty and ever-reliable Pizza Mart jumbo slice. If you are like me, you pack that sucker with chili pepper and garlic powder. I had not had Pizza Mart in ages so you can imagine how excited I was (Though I’m willing to bet those beers earlier in the day had some kind of effect). My mouth was on fire and the next morning, when all the beer and pizza had digested, so was my butt. WHAT THE BLEEP…? That question ran through my brain as I sat on the toilet. In All Caps and everything. I wondered why that day’s morning toilet pow wow felt different from the rest, made a mental list of what I had eaten the previous day, and when I got to “Pizza Mart, chili, garlic,” I knew why.

I had to confirm my theory and so I went to my friends, the trusted ones who would not judge or make fun of me for asking questions about their poop and my poop. The ones who would not laugh in my face or, if they did, they would laugh in my face and then say in an apologetic and then sympathetic tone, “No, really. I’m sorry. Okay, I’m going to Google this right now.” My roommate, Rebecca, Googled “spicy poop” and found a blog with a person who asked the same question. My friend, Sara, said she’d ask her friend Lauren who works at the NIH and was on her way to becoming a doctor.

Here’s the diagnosis:

11:47 AM Sara: i’m talkign to lauren about spicy poop
me: lol
what’s the word?
11:48 AM Sara: me: if you eat really really spicy food, is it normal for the poop to burn when it comes out?
Lauren: i think so — the cells there are very delicate
and a lot of the spicy probably isn’t broken down during digestion
me: YES
Sara: you’re not crazy!
me: YAY!
Sara: and:
plus, it may cause extra stomach acid to be produced that gets mixed in and that would burn too

So there you go. If you’ve ever thought, No way! because the thought of having burning sensations down there due to spicy foods sounded crazy, don’t worry you’re not. There’s a scientific explanation for that.

Autobiography in Songs

(As of June 12)

Stolen from Aminah.

 

[ Morning ] 1234 – Feist
[ Noon ] Paper Planes – M.I.A.
[ Night ] Every time We Say Goodbye – Ella Fitzgerald 

[ DC ] The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – The Postal Service
[ Los Angeles ] Pictures of Success – Rilo Kiley
[ London ] This Modern Love – Bloc Party

[ On Love ] The Nearness of You – Connie Boswell

[ On Betrayal ] Against All Odds – Phil Collins
[ On Disappointment ] Parting Gift – Fiona Apple 
[ On Heartbreak ] I Fall to Pieces – Patsy Cline
[ On Regret ] Crazy – Patsy Cline 
[ On Happiness ] I Feel It All – Feist
[ On Fun ] Lo Que Paso Paso – Daddy Yankee
[ On Hope ] The Greatest – Cat Power

[ The Only Advice I Can Offer ] Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac
[ The Part of Me that Will Never Change ] Tell Me When to Go – E-40
[ On Work Ethic ]  Ready to Die – Andrew W.K.
[ Modus Operandi ] Not A Crime – Gogol Bordello

[ All My Emotions in 8 Minutes and 3 Seconds ] Olsen Olsen – Sigur Ros