30 August 2014

Never Mind the Buzzcocks

I'm lazing about my apartment this afternoon just watching Never Mind the Buzzcocks. I SHOULD go out for a run...and I might still do, but I've got a birthday party in a couple hours so I need to do it soon...

I bought this back in 2001, I've still never read/listened to it...

Over the winter I got into watching NMtB on YouTube (oh thank you, people that find happiness from uploading old episodes of a show I have no other way of seeing). NMtB is a bit special to me because way back in 2001 I lived in London for about three months for a study abroad program, and it remains one of the best times of my life. I often wish I'd stayed on longer, but who knows how that would've affected the rest of my life... Anyway, in that time there were two shows that I found and loved to watched. One was The Dave Gorman Collection (which maybe I'll post about another time) and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Looking at the series dates, I believe I watched season 8. I totally developed a crush on Sean Hughes and ended up buying a couple of his novels. Once I found it, I didn't miss one for the rest of my time there, but of course I couldn't watch it anymore once I'd gotten home (I don't think torrenting TV shows was that big a thing yet...if even a thing at all...so that wasn't an option).

This is where I lived!! I take a walk by it whenever I visit London.

[Sort of related, I actually ended up getting to see We Know Where You Live, Live! hosted by Eddie Izzard on the last day of my time in London (I'd accidentally booked my flight home a day too late but being a HUGE Eddie Izzard fan, I was very happy once I'd see an ad for this show). Phil Jupitus, who is a team captain on NMtB performed that night and did the most hilarious impression of Eddie Izzard.]

Anyway, I'd mostly forgotten about this show until a few months back when I had some friends over to watch Doctor Who (yes, it's taken over my life), I wanted to show them some Who-related videos on YouTube and one of my friends saw a video in the "related" section that had Richard Ayode on it that he wanted to put on. It was an episode of NMtB that he was guest-hosting. And it was bloody hilarious. (Another side note, it's what got me to finally watch The IT Crowd which I ended up loving.) After they left, I decided to watch some more NMtB as I saw there were tons of episodes up on YouTube. Being me, I needed to start from the beginning. I blew through the first 5 seasons in the following week or so, but then fell off. I think because I'd started during rerun season and new TV had come back on.
"Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

So this afternoon, my Netflix was not connecting for some reason so I just put on YouTube on my TV and decided to watch some more. I think I'll finish season 6 today.

After all of that, maybe I should explain the show! It's basically a music quiz show, but points aren't always awarded fairly and no one actually wins anything. The first 17 seasons are hosted by this guy Mark Lamarr, who I think is a comedian but I don't know anything of him outside of this. There are two team captains, Phil Jupitus and Sean Hughes, also comedians. These three also have an amazing amount of music knowledge. Each episode has four guests, two for each team, sometimes comedians but mostly musical performers. Some guests include Suggs, Boy George, Billie Piper (omg she was around 17 at the time and ADORABLE and long before her stint on Doctor Who), Lemmy, Billy Bragg, Adam Ant and a ton of other mostly-British people I've never heard of, but many of whom are quite funny. (Eventually, Simon Amstell becomes the host followed by a bunch of guest hosts, also Sean Hughes leaves around season 10, replaced by Bill Bailey, who've eventually replaced by Noel Fielding, also from The IT Crowd.)

There are a bunch of different categories, like the one where they have to perform (without lyrics) the intros to famous songs or the one where the host says a lyric and the team needs to say the next line. There's another round where they show an old video focusing on a particular performer, then they bring out five people and you have to guess which one is the one from the video. (Ugh that description is so poorly written, I hope that makes sense.) Oh and the one where you have to figure out the lyrics to a particularly hard-to-understand song. That one is great and always makes me think of my mom who always talked about how she had no idea what the lyrics were to some of her favorite songs, particularly with The Rolling Stones.

The show is apparently incredibly popular over there and has made it to 27 seasons! So far there hasn't been any new episodes in 2014, but supposedly there's a new regular host in line for the next series. I would really like it if this show lasted forever. I've got quite a way to go to catch up though, so I'm not worried of running out just yet...

So that was all a long way to tell you, hey, I like this show called Never Mind the Buzzcocks. If you're a big music buff, or just an anglophile, you might like it. Check it out. :P

28 August 2014

Weddings and Pull-ups!

So last post I mentioned that I got depressed trying on dresses for a wedding. BUT I didn't mention that I'd found an AWESOME dress for that wedding that fit pretty nicely! Thanks H&M! Granted I had to get a fairly large size...largest I've ever had to get...BUT I will comfort myself in the knowledge that sizes are weird there and I even had to go smaller on a different dress I tried on.

Anyway, I ended up buying a couple dresses in a similar style because they fit me well. Though I do hope to be losing a bit of weight eventually. Guess I'll just have to wear these dresses soon. :)

So here's the dress!
Totally sucking it in.
 Twas a very comfortable dress as well. This was the last wedding of the year for me (phew). I have seriously been to a minimum of one wedding a year for the last 10 years, with many years have 2-3 (I had three this year). Insane. But I do LOVE weddings (for the most part), so I don't mind. I mostly just mind how much money I have to spend, since as a woman, I have to double-dip with the bridal showers too. Being single, this shit adds up.

Standard wedding selfie. But with beer.

So today I did another 2 miles run/walk this morning. Yay! I did have Chinese food for dinner last night, which isn't the healthiest, but I didn't follow up with cookies or some other snack. Just another couple glasses of water. I've been doing really well drinking a lot of water the last couple weeks. Pretty much like two liters a day. Which makes me get up more often to pee, so more walking! haha

More like the alcohol.
I also am trying to do this pull-up thing program thing which started with 5 sets (though I could only do 4) of negative chin-ups (cuz I can't even do ONE real one yet). After the first time I did it, my arms were INSANELY sore for days! It hurt just to get dressed! So I waited like five days (instead of two like the guy on YouTube said), but then when I tried to do my second day, I felt a pain in my shoulder that hurt like a real pain, not like an exercise soreness, so I'm waiting a couple more days. But I've always wanted to be able to do a pull-up (or even a chin-up) so I really want to try to stick to this.

26 August 2014

Trying

So recently I had to try on some dresses for a wedding and in the process became incredibly depressed about it. I swear dressing room lighting is the absolute worst in the world for feeling good about yourself.

I'm definitely the heaviest I've ever been in my life. (And to think, I thought I was fat back in college when I was 30 lbs. lighter. So dumb.) I know it's partially age, the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight. Plus you (or at least I) get tired more easily. But it's mostly the fact that I'm so god damned lazy! Too lazy to cook healthy meals, too lazy to burn off calories. Oh and I LOVE TV. I know everyone does but man, do I. One of my BFFs always jokes that I watch EVERYTHING (this is untrue of course but an indication of how much TV I watch). Even I don't understand where I find the time.

But anyway, that was a depressing week in dressing rooms but it's motivated me more than I've been in ages. A year or so ago I ran three days a week for at least five months, but I think more. Once that winter hit, though, I basically stopped. Now I run like once every few months. But no more!! (I hope.) Today I ran/walked for the third time since last Monday.

One reason to run. This view!

And I'm trying hard to cut back on the food intake. It's hard to say "no" to yourself. And when you're in a city full of delicious food all around... And when the main form of socialization consists of dinners and boozing... And when you've got one hell of a sweet tooth... More excuses. But I'm trying.

So I heard blogging helps. You tell people what you're up to and don't want to be embarrassed when you don't do what you say. So we'll see. But considering I'm too lazy to blog about FUN stuff, I don't know. But I'll try.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

02 March 2014

I Kinda Miss This Place!

Looking back at this blog, I saw there was a time I was really on top of it. These days I think I just have WAY to much pop culture to consume! I was always a big TV person, but ever since Netflix streaming, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBOGo, etc... It's just gotten crazy! haha But I still get the sitemeter emails telling me how many views I get every week and I always delete them so quickly because I feel guilty for not keeping up with it. I know I have no reason to feel guilty, but I did really like it and it was pretty cool when people actually read and commented on stuff I wrote!

Every so often I write one of these "I'm gonna get back into this" posts and then nothing happens. But I'm going to keep trying! I AM!

Hot Topic has a lot of cool Who stuff too. :P
So what's something new about me? Well the one thing I can't stop thinking about these days — The Doctor. If any of my friends or twitter followers read this, they're probably rolling their eyes. This is literally all I've been talking about for the last two months. I admit my I've gone a little off the deep end when it comes to Doctor Who, but I don't care, I flippin' love it. (Oh I just watched all of The IT Crowd too, and am now really into "flip" and "flipping." haha)



I've definitely been known to get a little obsessive over new nerd things I get into, but this is definitely one for the record books. I watched all seven seasons as well as all four seasons of the Torchwood spin-off in about 7 weeks. And as for merchandise...holy crap. Part of me wanted to get into Doctor Who because of all the amazing TARDIS merch out there. So you can imagine...I've got a lot of TARDISes about! :P


I've even started to get crafty with it. I've already done a couple Who cross stitches and I started a gigantic 9th Doctor portrait cross stitch (that I got from etsy, where you can find a TON of cool Who stuff) that I'll be luck if it only takes me a year. Yes, the 9th Doctor is my Doctor. But 10th comes VERY close. 11th... well, I DO like him very much, but he just doesn't hold a candle. :P Oh and as for the companions... I love them all. It's hard to choose, but Rose with always be #1. And Clara is last, though I still do like her. I really hope I can get down with the new Doctor. I'm not sure how I feel about an older doctor, but I wasn't sure about Matt Smith and I eventually grew to like him. Soon I will start my "best of" list of classic Who episodes to watch. I don't want to watch them all because a) time and b) they are ridiculously cheesy. :P But I do want to see a couple from each Doctor.

The Doctor has two hearts.

(I am currently watching Saturday Night Live and I just squealed when they showed Beck in one of those little preview bits of what's coming up next they put in the middle of the commercials sometimes. I heart Beck 4Eva)







 So anyway, The Doctor is a new thing for me. There are other new things with me. Hopefully I will post about them soon! Woot!
I even buy things that just LOOK like a TARDIS. Sigh.


07 October 2012

War on Religion

I made this thing the second I heard Jon Stewart say it because it's full of truth.
The Daily Show rules.
I still can't get over this idea that (religious) people think there's a war on religion in this country. Do they really think their right to practice whatever religion they want is being THREATENED?? Are you KIDDING me?? Just because we don't all subscribe to their beliefs and we don't want our lives and our rights to be dictated by those beliefs, we're waging WAR?? Just because we want ALL people to feel included in this country?

I don't believe in god, I don't believe in heaven or hell, I don't go to church, I don't pray. But I'm a good person. I am nice to strangers, I love my family, I work hard, I have fun with my friends and I want everyone to be happy and healthy. And I am an American. I'm sorry, but this country is NOT a Christian nation. It's a nation of differences. The country was not founded as a place for Christians, it was founded as a place to be free to practice whatever religion you choose and that includes NO religion. IT DOES. Accept it. My not believing has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on your believing. It doesn't affect you. If you don't want to marry a member of the opposite sex because it's against your religion, that's YOUR CHOICE. It is NOT your place to tell others what they can and cannot do. If I have a company and I want to include EVERYONE in my holiday wishes by saying "Happy Holidays" or by displaying decorations from multiple religions, that's a GOOD thing. It's being inclusive. It's say "hey, I recognise that we're not all the same and I want to make you all feel welcome in this holiday season."

And I definitely think the government SHOULD ALWAYS seek to include everyone. When the president acknowledged non-believers in is inauguration, that was a GOOD thing. It is not attacking you. I don't want to take away ANYONE'S right to practice whatever religion they want. Sure, I often want to try to convince people that they're religion makes no sense... haha But I would never, ever, ever suggest there should be laws restricting that. (Except, of course, if their laws harm another human being... no human sacrifices allowed.) And I will NOT accept any religion that DOES want to do that. Keep it to yourselves. Separation of church and state. This is one of the most important aspects of our government that needs to be preserved. The religious need to understand that this idea protects THEM TOO. What happens if this country DID have an official religion? Many religions would be furious. Sure, right now they all agree that gay marriage is bad, but if there was one religion in power that had views the others didn't, they'd be screwed.

Look, ultimately it comes down to this: What do you care?? I understand that you think you're helping all these lost souls. And if you want to run around waving pamphlets and trying to convince others the error or their ways, go right ahead. But to go as far as trying to make these things law, is NOT OKAY. And you don't have to worry about seeing all these awful sinners in heaven, anyway, right? God won't let 'em in. So why don't you just let them live their lives in peace and he'll take care of everything for you in the end.

Sound good?

02 October 2012

Ich lerne Deutsch!

I did a quite scroll through all the posts I've made on here through the years (man, I did so many back in that first year! In 2008, I made 78 posts and that was only the last four months! Shameful.), and I found that I never told you guys that I started studying German!

I've wanted to study German for as long as I can remember. I don't know why, but as a kid I thought it was cooler that I was half German than it was that I was half Italian. (I like to say it's because of all the guidos on Staten Island, but I really don't know for sure.) I even remember making German food for the two international fairs we had in junior high school (German potato salad & apple strudel). I also remember that before I started junior high school, I thought I would have the option to learn German, but when I got there the only options I had were Italian or Spanish. (I took Italian, hated it, but still did pretty well because I'm a nerd.)

Then when I got to high school I went to Staten Island Technical High School where they only teach you Russian (it's something to do with looking good on your college resume). At first I was terrified of this language (I even went to summer school BEFORE school started to get a jump on it — I told you I was a nerd), but I instantly fell in love with the language. There's something really cool about learning an entirely new alphabet — not the least of which is that you can write secret notes to your friends in English but using Russian letters that most teachers and parents could not read! You are required to take 3 years of Russian, but I ended up taking an AP class in my final year because I loved it. I wanted to continue in college but they only offered beginner Russian. I took that anyway because I needed the language credits and it was an easy A. I never let myself forget the alphabet through the years, though, and while I can't really translate much, I can still read it, which is the only way to use a Russian dictionary, so it's something.

I've often thought about continuing my Russian studies. But then in 2010, during the World Cup, after USA & England had dropped out, I was on to rooting for my third team, Germany (they've moved up to #2 since then). During matches, my dad would text me some things in German. Now, he doesn't speak fluent German. When he was three, he was brought to the US by his parents and didn't speak fluent English until about 8 years old, but his parents encouraged their family to be AMERICAN. Which meant, stop speaking German. So he stopped. I now remember all the times my dad would tell me one word or one phrase in German during my childhood, but I never really payed too close attention. It's amazing how much still stuck with him even though he never really spoke it. To this day, he can understand a lot of German when spoken to him, but the opposite is a little more difficult.

So anyway, these little German texts about the World Cup games got me really thinking about learning German again. While a part of me still wanted (still wants, really) to continue learning Russian since I think it's such a cool language and I'd already started, a bigger part of me wanted to connect to something that was actually ME. Back when I was living in London for a semester (2001!), I took a 4-day trip to Munich on my own. I know it's silly, but I just felt this little connection to it. It's all in my head, I know, I had never been there or even really had any interaction with my German relatives, but still, it felt cool. And I wanted more of that. Again, I don't know why I don't have that yearning for my Italian side. Maybe it is BECAUSE I've had no real connection to that side of my family growing up, while I grew up very close with my mother's side of the family, eating Italian food, etc. But there it was.

So one day about 2 years ago I saw a Groupon for 5 classes at Rennert and they offered German, so I grabbed it. I've been going there since. Not non-stop, mind you, but tonight I started my fifth semester (they're 10-week semesters, 1 2-hour class per week)! I'm FAAAAAR from being fluent, in fact I KNOW that will never happen without living in Germany, but it's pretty amazing how much I've learned after just 80 hours. And it's really fun TO learn. It's funny how much you miss school when you've not done it in forever. I mean, not all those classes you hated but had to take or all the homework and tests, but there were definitely a few classes you just loved being in the classroom for, learning stuff. Taking a class for pure interest is so amazing. You WANT to be there, the homework is not really that difficult (and it's only for practice, no "points off" for not doing it) and there's no tests. There's no grades, it's just about doing it because you WANT to know. It's awesome. I can't recommend it enough.

And as an added bonus, learning German has been a cool bonding experience with my dad. Often when I'm visiting my parents we'll just start saying words to each other. Me practising, him trying to remember. I help him remember, he helps me pronounce. It's pretty cool. My poor mother feels left out, but that's ok because usually I'm talking to her most of the time anyway.  (The other thing that my dad and I do that kind of ignores my mom is the crossword. haha)

So that's about it really, I'm learning German, I love it, and I hope to one day be able to live in Germany for a few years so I can really get this shit down pat. :) I have no pictures of me learning German to share here, so here's a picture of some wine I bought just because of the label!

Eins, zwei, drei, vier... FÜNF!

23 September 2012

Best Photo Booth

I'm a very big fan of photo booths. I mean, who isn't?! This weekend I went to a wedding that had the coolest photo booth ever! Well, technically it wasn't really a booth. These two guys dressed sort of old-timey (adorable) had a digital camera that looked like an old-timey camera and they had props. They took three photos and you chose your favourite and they printed them out for you. Here's the only one I took by myself. I love it!

Fancy!
If you're interested in such a booth for your party or wedding or whatever, they are called Shoot Booth! I can't recommend them enough!