Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So, I'm not going to lie, Monday was a rough day for me. I dreaded checking my email all weekend long as I knew that my inbox would be flooded with letters with people who would not be very happy with the news I sent to them Friday afternoon. I was not expecting, however, that around 100 of those emails and the like would be waiting for me. Ugh. By 9am I was officially on the struggle bus and by noon it was game over.

After working a week straight of 18-hour days (and a good portion of the weekend), I decided I needed a little break from the daily grind and my usual jaunt to Starbucks just wouldn't cut it. So I took a little trip to a bridal salon to pick-out my bridesmaid dress for my little sister's wedding. Let's just say that this dress will be lucky number seven for me.

I slunked into the salon already feeling a little defeated and was greeted by a 19-year old bridezilla trying to find dresses for her eight (yes, you read correctly) bridesmaids who range in sizes 2 to 22 for her wedding in three months and a rather exhausted consultant. The consultant looked at me and I looked at her. "I just need long and black," I said. "Rack's there, knock yourself out," she sighed. I began the hunt, but my search for a red carpet rather than "bam. . . bridesmaid" dress was looking dreary. Then I made a decision: if I get to pick my dress and I have to wear it to my baby sister's nuptials, then by God, I'm spending the money and I'm going to look good.

The consultant came back to check on me and I explained my situation to here. "I knew you looked like a pro. I think I have a few things hidden away that may be what you are looking for." Feverishly she took to the overcrowded clothing racks and pulled three dresses that fit my description beautifully, except for their $300 and up price tags. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I crept into the dressing room and slipped into gown number one. Eh, not bad. Dress number two, not worth what they were asking for it. Dress number three deserved to be observed in the 3-way mirror- that's right next to the brides, and I gave them a run for their money. Two consultants came over to me and began pinning and tucking the dress to make it fit even better. . . and. . . bam. . . booty. . . wham. . . hips . . . shazam. . . waist. . . Done.

I went back into the dressing room, took one last, long look at the price tag. After a five-second stent of soul searching, I choked down a deep breath and handed the gown to the consultant. She whipped out a tape measure and starting maneuvering around my body. "36-24-36." "What?" I said, a bit perplexed, but very excited. "Yes, you're the perfect size 4. Is that an okay size to order you?" "I'm still stuck on the measurements, are you positive you did that right? Bust, waist, hips?" "Yep, own it, sweetheart. And I'm going to cut you a deal."

I walked out of there in 30 minutes flat, and I was walking on air.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

One Foot in the Grave

For Christmas last year, my family saw it fit to bestow upon me one of the greatest gifts ever given: the monolithic hardback "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die." This is unfortunate because upon my count today, I have seen close to 400 of these films. What does this mean? Have I lived 40 percent of my life thus far? Say it isn't so! However, dying before I hit 70 doesn't sound all bad. 70 is the new 50 these days, so kicking the bucket before I get senile and wrinkly sounds like a pretty good deal.

Back to the list: I've decided that it's bunk. Don't get me wrong, it is because of the book that I was introduced to incredible films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Red Shoes, but I find that it leaves me wanting. Seriously, who can publish a book with such a brazen title and leave off such masterpieces as Wayne's World- a film that shaped a generation, or Empire Records- a movie that has one of the greatest collection of 90's music in history? Zoolander is nowhere to be seen and Dumb and Dumber fails to even earn a honorable mention. For shame, dear publishers, for shame.

Now I realize that my taste in movies may not be as sophisticated as those who took a film-critic correspondence course, but I think that I know a good movie when I see one. Which begs the question- what makes a good movie? Some would argue that it the story, art direction or even the dialogue that makes a flick worth watching, but I contend that it is the feeling, nay the emotional investment the viewer experiences while taking in a reel. Though I probably can't come up with over a thousand films, I humbly offer my list of the top 20 films everyone must see that can't be found in a publication.

20. An Affair to Remember (not as scandalous as it sounds)
19. Grease 2 (it involves motorcycles and the lively tune Reproduction. . . you'll thank me later)
18. Stranger Than Fiction (you'll want to write a novel after taking in this one)
17. Sixteen Candles (Jake Ryan is to blame for my taste in men)
16. O Brother, Where At Thou (I still don't know why it is entitled that)
15. Christmas Vacation (You'll never look at cats the same way)
14. A League of Their Own (chick version of Band of Brothers)
13. The Three Amigos (plays a big role in my family's lore)
12. Top Gun (I take that back, Maverick is to blame for my taste in men)
11. Big Fish (Tim Burton's best work, in humble opinion)
10. The Dark Night (if you haven't seen this film, where have you been living for the past three years?)
9. Donnie Darko (hauntingly good, creepily executed)
8. The Princess Bride (how can any list about movies leave this one off?)
7. Tommy Boy (the highest quotable line/scene capita in film history)
6. Benny and Joon (Johnny Depp before he was Johnny Depp)
5. Pretty Woman (just. plain. good.)
4. The Prestige (Christopher Nolan strikes again)
3. Goodfellas (because I LOVE ganster movies)
2. Forrest Gump (the film that made me love films)
1. Almost Famous (a biopic with the perfect soundtrack)