Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Upstairs, Downstairs

First, I want to thank everyone for their advice and support regarding my last post. It is so comforting to know I am not the only one dealing with crazy relatives.

Now, on to my post. ;)

I often recommend television shows I fall in love with. Many of these shows are either hilarious, fabulous, or jaw-dropping.

I am now going to tell you about a television show that I can honestly say is the nearest and dearest to my heart. It is Upstairs, Downstairs.

About six months ago, Rian brought home this 1970s British television show from the library. The show focuses on the lives of the aristocratic Bellamy family and their endearing servants from the years 1903 to 1930. Don't let your eyes glaze over, the show is incredibly third-dimensional.

Sex scandals, dark secrets, romance, and tragedies embrace this household at every turn. It is also a captivating history lesson, showcasing the fashion and habits and hobbies and attitudes of the upper and lower social classes during the early 20th century.

Never before have I become so emotionally attached to each character in a show. The acting is phenomenal.

The storyline hooks the viewer. Vital characters suffer fatal consequences. Pivotal characters are brought in near the end. It is a soap opera without the cheese.

Rian and I watched the final episode last night. In celebration (or, I should say mourning) we made dinner using recipes from this amazing cookbook from the show.

We made Irish stew, Welsh rarebit, and spice cake. Oh, and we drank sherry before dinner and Earl Gray tea after dessert.

Upstairs, Downstairs was immensely popular, not just in the UK, but around the world. It has had ONE BILLION VIEWERS worldwide and garnered several Emmys and a Golden Globe.

I heard BBC recently created a sort of remake of Upstairs, Downstairs this past year, where a new family moves into 165 Eaton Place, starting in 1936. As a possessive fan of the original show, I was kind of taken aback. But, if the new show is even a pinch as good as the original, it might be worth checking out.

Rian and I are incredibly sad the show is over for us. I know this sounds cheesy, but it is almost as if we were a part of the show ourselves. It felt so real. It felt like we were part of the family.

But we will always keep this show close to our hearts. It is so special. Plus, a new boxed DVD set of the show, featuring loads of bonus material and restorations, came out last week. Rian and I are saving up money to purchase it!

It was quite an educational experience for us.

In memoriam, here are the top five things I learned from watching Upstairs, Downstairs:

5. There is no situation a nice cup of tea can't solve. Dog lost? Let Mrs. Bridges fix you a nice cup of tea. Feeling sick? Poor thing, let's fix you a nice cup of tea. Husband murdered? Oh, you simply MUST have a nice cup of tea.

4. World War I was a Big Fucking Deal. This show has taught me more about the Great War and how it truly affected the European public than any textbook or teacher in high school.

3. The butler knows best. Whether it is a minor household incident or an international crisis, the butler ALWAYS knows what to do.

2. Marrying a beautiful redhead can only end up in tragedy.

1. It's cute to be a heartless bitch when you're rich!

I really hope you watch this show sometime in the future. It is a gem.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Leave me the f#&% alone!

I have a bunch of stalkers.

Technically, they are "relatives" but I'll let you be the judge.

Those who have read my profile know that I am half Indian. My dad came to the US from India 40 years ago for graduate school and never went back. Growing up, all I knew was that my dad hated his family. He calls them "those people." He has around 12 siblings (?) and I never knew their names or anything about them. It was pretty frustrating growing up, because I felt like half of me was a mystery.

Well, about a year ago, I was at work and I received a call from a woman who said she was my cousin. She had a thick Indian accent, so I could barely understand her, but I was thrilled. She told me she had googled my name on the internet and found my work number at the newspaper. We chatted for a little while and I discovered she was my age, but married. I couldn't believe that for the first time in my life, I was talking to a paternal relative. And I knew her name! She asked if she could add me on facebook, and I insisted she do so immediately.

Well, a couple hours later, not only had my cousin added me on facebook, but so had about 20 more cousins and a smattering of aunts and uncles. All of the sudden, I had an entire family on facebook! It felt so surreal.

When I excitedly told my dad, he was FURIOUS. He told me "those people" were very bad and I didn't know what I was getting myself into. He told me I had made a huge mistake. We got into a screaming fight.

The next day, it all started.

Every single status update I wrote, a relative would comment. But the only thing they would write is "I like dat!!" It didn't matter what my status was about. I would write "I had a bad day" and an uncle would write "I like dat!!" or I would write "I have a huge headache" and another uncle would write "I like dat!!" Soon, they began to make comments everywhere. Every time I became friends with someone, an uncle would write "I like dat!!" underneath. Every time someone wrote on my wall, one of my new Indian relatives would comment on that comment, "I like dat!!" My friends and coworkers immediately noticed and teased me relentlessly. It was confusing and embarrassing.

Then, my female cousin kept calling me at work. I let it go the first time, because she was a long-lost relative after all. But I had nicely told her she could no longer call me at work. But she kept calling. And calling. And soon other relatives from India were calling me at work, despite my pleas that they not use that number.

When I got laid off from the newspaper, this female cousin did the worst thing possible. She sent me a gigantic facebook message telling me how I could have done my job differently. She told me I clearly had not been doing my job correctly, otherwise I would not have been fired. She said I should have paid someone to tutor me in journalism because I obviously had no idea what I was doing. It was so incredibly hurtful. The fact she was even trying to tell me what I did wrong in my job was preposterous because she had never studied journalism or been to college! Devastated, I deleted her as a friend. She then tried to add me on facebook again and wrote me another message asking what she had done wrong. Umm...

Finally, her younger brother intervened. He found my twitter and started following me there and started sending me messages there. I have about ten from the past year where he says "Y r u ignoring us yahh???". He created a gmail account so he could chat me up every time it showed I was online. As soon as I would see him online, I would log off. He started writing facebook statuses that said "Every time I go on gmail she logs off!!" He started sending me e-mail after e-mail, even after I told him to leave me alone.

Meanwhile, I had created another facebook. I didn't want to delete my original facebook because I had too many photos and messages from the past six years I wanted to preserve. But it was nice to finally have a refuge from these overbearing relatives.

They noticed my absence on facebook and soon I was bombarded with messages like "wat u doin? Not on internet anymore????" which I just ignored. But to this day, they still post stuff on my wall or comment on my old photos. They post childhood photos of my dad and tag me so I'll be forced to look. And they keep calling my old office, not understanding my former editor when he tells them I no longer work there. They keep e-mailing me over and over again, asking about how rich I am and asking personal questions about my boyfriend and asking for my cell phone number. I ignore them or politely say no but they won't go away!

Recently, I finally broke down sobbing to my father about the whole mess. I had not told him the extent of it before, out of embarrassment. He felt bad but at the same time, told me I brought this upon myself. He said his entire family is crazy and he had warned me. If only I had listened...

Now I'm not quite sure what to do. If I delete them from facebook, I won't have any way of contacting them ever again. And they ARE my blood relatives, whether I like it or not. Plus, there are a handful of the Indian relatives who leave me alone on facebook. So, I don't want to be rude and only delete the ones who pester me but then keep the ones who don't. Or should I? I'm so confused.

I don't know.

I need a drink.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paz de la Huerta

Paz de la Huerta caused quite a stir this week.

The actress was arrested for assault because she threw a glass at her friend, Samantha Swetra, and socked her in the face. Apparently she had tripped while flirting with some hot guys and Samantha laughed and made a bitchy comment about Paz being intoxicated. Of course, that pissed off Paz and the claws came out. Their mutual friend Lindsay Lohan, who was there at the scene, had to help pick out shards of glass from Samantha's leg afterwards.

After reading this piece of celebrity news, I googled Paz out of curiosity. I had heard the name, but I did not know that much about the actress.

I was not disappointed.

Crazy violent temper aside, the 26-year-old actress is pretty fabbing fuckulous.

Paz grew up in the heart of New York City's art scene. The daughter of a Spanish duke and a human rights activist, she didn't stand a chance of having a normal American childhood. As a little girl, she insisted on only wearing silk vintage lingerie and spent most of her free time painting.

As a teenager, during the late 1990s, she shaved her head and joined the punk rock scene. In high school she became best friends with fellow student and budding fashion designer, Zac Posen. (She still serves as his muse today.)

It was also in her teens that she began to act. She started out with small roles in The Cider House Rules and A Walk to Remember.

By her twenties, she was an indie film darling. She was also notorious for her odd choice of boyfriends. She's dated aspiring rock star junkies to Jack Nicholson to everyone else in between.

These days, she's raising eyebrows with her intense performance in the critically acclaimed HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.

But there's more to Paz than her background and acting resume.

She's crude, she's constantly broke, and she's a bitch. Better yet, Paz simply doesn't give a damn.

From what I gather from interviews and news stories, she's the kind of woman who has the intensity of a savage and the charm of a princess. Paz knows what she wants and she gets it. She was born to royalty but is no stranger to the streets. She's a nudist and a fashionista. She's a hot mess and yet completely in control.

Long story short: Paz de la Huerta is a fucking bad-ass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

High School Horoscopes

When I first joined my high school newspaper, I was desperate to write feature stories. I wanted to write about fashion. I wanted to write about prom. I wanted to write about the drama club.

Shit, I was even willing to write about the boys varsity soccer team, even if it meant I had to spend two hours after school chatting up each and every muscular, sweaty, good looking upperclassman on the field. That was the kind of sacrifice I was willing to make.

But the editor, who was this snooty cheerleader bitch, decided that the new kids at school weren't good enough to write real stories. So, for an entire semester I was given the unenviable task of writing the horoscopes.

I was so bitter and upset, that every week I wrote mean horoscopes. Surprisingly, the editor didn't flinch when I turned them in and she kept publishing them. And instead of kids getting upset, I discovered they...loved it. Students I didn't even know approached me in the hallways to compliment my work. They loved being told how much they sucked!

The mean horoscopes were such a hit that when the editor finally did let me write feature stories, she started getting messages from students who wanted me to write the horoscopes again. Haha. Fat chance.

Well, I found one of my old high school newspapers when I was cleaning my bedroom closet the other day. I transcribed my awkward teenage work below.

Enjoy! (Or not)

Aries (March 21-April 19): Love is in the air. Unfortunately, so is the flu. Breath at your own risk.

Taurus (April 20-May 20): You know that crush you have from third period? The one you lovingly stare at all the time? Yeah, we all know. It's not gonna happen. We'd all feel sorry for you, if you weren't so pathetic.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): Go home and change. Please. You look ridiculous.

Cancer (June 21-July 22): You studied really hard for tomorrow's test, didn't you? Well, the stars are telling me you're going to fail.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): An opportunity to become really popular just came your way. Never mind. It's gone now.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): High school doesn't last forever. Except it will for you. That sucks.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): People love you. You're perfect. Oh wait, this was actually intended for the Capricorns. Sorry!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I'm done with you. You're hopeless.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You know that reoccurring dream you have where you come to school and discover you're naked? Well, it's not a dream. Look down.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): See Libra.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Don't kid yourself. You're not going to get a date to prom.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): I know what you did last summer. Just kidding! But if that statement scared you, perhaps you should speak to one of the school counselors. Or Officer Dave...

What sign are you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

That Girl

I think we all know that I'm the go-to person for all things fabulous.

I mean, let's be real.

So, take my word when I say the most fabulous television show in the world is....

...That Girl!

Before Sex & The City and Friends, there was That Girl. It was the first television show centered around a 20-something-year-old single girl trying to make it on her own in the Big Apple.

I discovered this 1960s gem when I stumbled upon it at an antiques mall six months ago. Intrigued, I bought the entire series on DVD. To say I am obsessed with this show is an understatement. I want to LIVE this show.

The main character, Ann Marie, played by the gorgeous and funny Marlo Thomas, is pretty much my idol right now. She's charming and bubbly. She lives in a tiny apartment, waitressing and doing other odd jobs, as she tries to make it as an actress. She has a handsome journalist boyfriend, Don, who is pretty much the perfect guy. Her parents are strict, yet understanding. She is awkward, yet graceful.

And then there are her clothes.

The fashion in this television show is jaw-dropping. Honestly, while the show is absolutely adorable and comedic, it is pretty much a 30-minute fashion show.

The stylish opening credits, featuring Marlo in stunning dresses and coats, underline the show's obsession with clothing, accessories, hairstyles, and makeup. Her wardrobe consisted of the latest fashion from the most famous designers and fashion houses of the time period, including Cardinali, Halston, Courreges, and Oscar de la Renta.

That Girl made Marlo a household name and one of the greatest fashion icons of the 1960s.

Her character, Ann Marie, was even turned into a Barbie Doll!

And paper dolls!

The show was such a huge success, it paved the way for television shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Murphy Brown, Sex & The City, and Friends (in which Marlo plays Rachel's mom).

Despite the drool worthy clothes and hilarious plot lines, the show has an important message.

Women can be independent. They should follow their dreams. And although success is a sweet reward, it's getting there that is half the fun.

I hope you had a great weekend. ♥

Friday, March 18, 2011

For your entertainment...

I need to chill the fuck out.

It is just one of those weeks where I am finding myself surrounded by negativity and I'm letting it all get to me. The frustration, the anger, and the stress are boiling up inside of me. It's not fun.

Oh, and my laptop isn't working again. Lucky me!

This might sound lame, but when I'm feeling this way, one of the ways I cheer myself up is with mindless entertainment. In other words, youtube.

I found these hilarious re-cut movie trailers, which really did put a smile on my face this afternoon. I hope you enjoy them!

Ferris Bueller's Day an indie drama.

Mary a horror film.

The a romantic comedy.

Sleepless in a horror film.

Oceans a Muppet film.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yesterday's News

I miss the days when kids used to be kids.

When I was 10-years-old, I still played make-believe. I adored running around outside with my friends. Riding bikes. Playing board games on the front porch. The world seemed gigantic and the possibilities in life were endless. Life was magical.

That was 1994.

I feel like that's changed. Today, 10-year-old girls have cell phones. They act so grown up, and not in a good way. I mean, in a Miley Cyrus way. They dress like teenagers. They talk back to their parents. They get manicures. I feel like 10 is the new 15.

Many of them want to be famous. I can't tell you how many little girls I interviewed in my journalism days who boldly declared their main goal in life was to be the next Disney pop star. Oh, and all the little boy bands I did feature stories on for the newspaper. Eleven-year-old boys who couldn't name a Beatles song but desperately wanted to be a bad-ass rock star on stage.

The difference between my generation and these kids may simply be the parents. Cool young wealthy parents who want to keep up with the times. They love their kids, spoil them rotten, and by golly, if their child wants to be Miley Cyrus, then WHY NOT?

Give them a couple years of expensive dance lessons and a few years later, pay thousands of dollars to make them an instant "pop star."

And what do you get?

I know you're probably sick of it by now, but here she is in all her auto-tuned glory. Rebecca Black, a 13-year-old wanna-be pop star, who horrified the world this week with this pathetic excuse for a song.

She is the product of the Ark Music Factory, a record label which turns kids into pop stars overnight...if their parents have the cash.

Want another example?

Check out this 11-year-old girl. This video is even more creepy than Rebecca's because the little girl sings about the pitfalls of fame, before she's even attained it, in front of creepy older men jamming to her tunes.

Oh, and in this next video, you can see the root of this exploitation.

Am I the only one horrified by this record label which takes advantage of super rich little girls and their pop star dreams?! We all should be. It's destroying everything that is sacred to humanity. Childhood. Respect. Hard work.

It makes me frightened for our future. These kids, with their warped mentality on life, are going to be leading this country some day.

These kids are trapped in a world where selfishness rules and materialism is a religion.

And adults are only making it worse.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Downtown (no finer place for sure)

Kerrie and I are planning something epic for this summer.

I can't reveal the details yet, but let's just say it's going to be fucking awesome. Our Victorian tea party last month was such a huge success, we became addicted to event planning.

Our planning took us downtown on Friday afternoon. We had a couple business meetings and we took three tours of possible event spaces. In between, we managed to squeeze in lunch at one of the fanciest restaurants in town and take a tour of our city's fashion museum. It was a very productive day!

We were so sober, we forgot to take our standard closeup photo of ourselves. Haha.

Oh, and to put a smile on your face, I found this little gem:


Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Vampire Diaries

This show isn't new to anyone.

But I have to admit, I'm obsessed with it. I can't keep it a secret any longer.

I only started watching the show a month ago. Kerrie made me promise to watch it. She has been a faithful fan since the beginning. She insisted it was a Jenny show. I was skeptical. After all, I am not a Twilight fan. Those films do nothing for me. And the whole vampire teenage craze really went over my head these past few years. I thought it was silly.

Unfortunately, I was the silly one. You see, Kerrie and I know each other better than we know ourselves.

I got season one from the library and after a few episodes, The Vampire Diaries became my crack. And now that I've finished season one, I'm dying to see season two, but it's going to be a while before that DVD set comes out. Such torture!

For those who don't know, the show is based on a popular book series. The plot revolves around a gorgeous girl-next-door, Elena, who falls in love with a sexy boyscout of a vampire, Stefan. Her best friend is a witch. His vampire brother is a bad boy. Their town is filled with secrets. Hilarity, drama, and eeriness ensue.

It. Is. Awesome.

At first, I was a little put off by the show because of its cheesy nature. But once you get past the silliness, you start to see the show for what it really is. The show does not take itself too seriously. It's filled with wry humor. Plus, everyone is super hot (just like REAL LIFE! Right?!) and the soundtrack is kick ass. The characters are deliciously three-dimensional. In other words, this show is way cooler than Twilight. I know that's shocking for some of you, but trust me, I'm an expert on all things cool.

Every episode is action-packed and filled with mystery and sexual tension. When every episode ends, you want the next one to begin. Immediately. Like I said, crack.

If you have not seen this show, do yourself a favor and either netflix it or check it out from the library.

I insist.