Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Things About Me

For those of you Facebookers, you've seen this note spreading like wild fire. For those of you who are not, there is a chain note of sorts going around that asks you to list 25 random things, goals or thoughts you have or are about yourself. I decided to do it and after the end found it to be somewhat enlightening. So, for those of you who haven't seen it, enjoy. I also encourage you to make the list for yourself, even if you're the only one that will ever read it...

1.I’m doing this because several of my friends who don’t know each other tagged me in theirs and now I feel obligated.
2.My middle name is Joy (but I’m probably the least chipper person you’ll meet.)
3.I don’t know where the last 6 years of my life went. I remember turning 21 and then POOF! Suddenly I’m 27.
4.I’m capable of a lot more than people want to admit or accept.
5.I’m determined to make the people in #4 WAKE UP and smell my coffee.
6.I remember when we did these “surveys” via email, when there were no social networks yet. I bet we were all more efficient at our jobs back then.
7.When I was 11 I wrote a short story that a professional writer mistook for something that might have been done by a college student.
8.As a child I believed my Sylvester the Cat doll would protect me from all evil.
9.I believe you cannot lose hope based on one person’s opinion. If I’ve learned anything being in this [entertainment] business it’s that for everyone one person who thinks they know what everyone else wants to read, watch and listen to, there are ten people that think they are wrong.
10.Chicken soup does soothe the soul. It’s making me feel warm and fuzzy right now.
11.Certain people you work with become family. How can they not when you spend more time with them than your actual family?
12.Sushi is incredibly overrated, but that’s my opinion. So, according to #9, I’m sure a bunch of people would disagree.
13.No matter how many friends I have, it’s always the same few that know everything that’s going on in my life.
14.(In honor of V-Day) Love is knowing that no matter how many lazy hours you spend with someone on a couch watching 30 Rock/Drake & Josh/random movies, it never feels old or boring.
15.The idea of having my own children one day completely overwhelms me and I don’t know when I’ll be confident to go through with it.
16.The jury is in (or so says Jonathan and I), having an awesome sense of humor is #1 in things that attract us to potential suitors.
17.I have somewhere between 10-15 unfinished manuscripts that have accumulated since I was a child.
18.It’s time to do something about # 17.
19.#18 was a way to add more to this list. Oh wait, so is #19. (Damn it I need 6 more!)
20.If I chose to go to Applebee’s, don’t give me the Weight Watchers menu. If I wanted to diet I wouldn’t be eating there. That’s like going to McDonald’s and ordering a salad.
21.I’m fully aware that I’m better looking when I’m tan.
22.I wonder when people will stop assuming that just because I’m Puerto Rican I probably grew up in the projects. (Um, no. I actually grew up in a house with a backyard and a pool. And I’m probably a lot smarter than you if you’re making that assumption.)
23.I may never understand my parents, but I’ll love them regardless and always.
24.I wish there were more ways to cook chicken.
25.If it weren’t for Jaime, I’m not sure I ever would have found and nurtured my creativity. I'm eternally grateful :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Case Study: Those Who Love Chuck Bass

I’m not normally one for teen dramas (outside of the time I actually was a teenager, circa the original 90210.) Don’t know where I was during My So Called Life, caught a few good episodes of Everwood, and never got into One Tree Hill (and explain to me how they are suddenly all in their mid-20s adopting teenagers?) So how did I end up addicted to Gossip Girl? Two words: Chuck Bass (or as he often likes to explain “I’m Chuck Bass.”)

During Gossip Girl’s first season, I watched an episode focused on Dan and Serena. This could easily be why I wasn’t intrigued to watch more of the show. That couple dynamic BORES me. Lowly boy loves (super) upper-class girl and that alone means they can never be, blah blah blah. (And someone please explain to me how living in a sick loft in Brooklyn is equivalent to the ‘other side of the tracks’? Do you know how much living in Dumbo BK costs?!) What I didn’t get to see was the Chuck-Blair dynamic. Lucky for me, I gave GG a second try with its season 2 premiere which revolved heavily around Chair (I’m upset there isn’t a better way to mash their names together.) Evil games, tortured souls and insane lust! Now that is what I’m talking about. That is melodramatics at its finest. That is what makes me watch television!

Although I named this blog after the character of Chuck, I have to admit that I love Blair nearly as much. I also adore their real life entities as actors much more than anyone else on the show. Leighton Meester (Blair) is by far the best actor on the show; well-rounded and doesn’t miss a beat. Although Ed Westwick (Chuck) is stuck playing the ultimate bad-ass over and over, I like him enough to be interested in seeing him try something else (something very sweet and innocent perhaps?) Regardless of what they may be capable of in worlds outside of GG, at the moment I only care about having them remain the focus of this show. One admits feelings for the other, one then publicly castrates the other, then one stops one from jumping to their death, then one runs away from the other and then…(I forget where in this vicious cycle I was!)

This leads me to the timeless question: Why do good girls love bad guys? Blair isn’t the only person in love with Chuck Bass; 95% of girls/women between 15 and 30 who I know watches the show is completely infatuated with the fictional character (5% love Nate, gag boring!) Read that carefully my friends. It’s not Ed Westwick they want to lose their virginity to in the back of a limo, it’s Chuck Bass. But he’s so…bad! Which is exactly why he’s so good; the ultimate unattainable prize. The brooding, the daddy issues, the womanizing…he’s a total mess and mortally flawed. Which is why we absolutely love him!

BUT! Do not fear, all you good boys out there! The Chuck Basses of the world may be attractive, but eventually, like the games they play, their overall effect gets tiresome. We chase the unattainable because we hope that we will be the only ones capable of nabbing the prize (Hello, Experience? Are you calling me?) However, unlike Blair, most of us come to our senses rather quickly and realize this isn’t the kind of person we want to spend our lives with. We want the guy who doesn’t humiliate us, the guy who doesn’t leave us for a Thai prostitute, and who doesn’t make us cry. So see, you good guys win after all!

And when we want our fill of a Chuck Bass experience, we just bump him up in our Netflix queue =-)

Check out Teen Vogue's interview with Ed Westwick here:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Holiday Coma

The Monday before Christmas I made a list of all the random things I could get done with the ample amount of free time I would have from 12/24 through 1/5.

The Wednesday before Christmas (Xmas Eve), I threw the list out.

Why? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that as soon as my brain became aware it would not have to exert itself as it normally does, it went into a state of hibernation. Case in point: On the night my vacation began I went to sleep at 11pm and woke up at noon the next day. (For all of you not great at math, that translates into I slept for 13 hours.) Weirded out that I had slept so long, I checked my clock to see if the time was wrong (it wasn't), took my temperature (perfectly fine), and then took an extra dose of vitamin C pills. Nonetheless, after I'd gone out and spent 3 hours doing some last minute shopping, I laid down on my couch... and promptly fell into a nap. It wasn't until Jaime called me an hour later to remind me we had a family party to get to, that I was even aware I'd been snoring gracefully. I shook myself awake and headed out.

Although I doubt bouncing a 3 year old on my lap for 15 minutes really causes any sort of fatigue, I was dead tired after midnight rolled around and everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas. Jaime's family thought I might have some kind of bug. I was whiny, I didn't want this to be the way I'd spend my entire Xmas vacation! I thought getting to bed would put the worst of it behind me. Yeah Right.

Christmas day, although we woke up at a decent time, it wasn't long before I was back asleep for a 4 hour nap. What was worse was that Jaime had now come down with whatever I had and joined me on that nap. What could it be that we were experiencing?

A couple of days later we headed to Virgina. Lots of food, lots of lounging and lots of chatter didn't change my bad sleeping habits, but those things did add to a great time with my family. Together we watched three Golden Globe nominated films: Benjamin Button (somebody explain to me what made Pitt & Blanchett's characters fall in love, I missed that somehow), Milk (very good if you're into politics, ok if you're not) and Slumdog Millionaire (awesome! especially the random dance break at the end -oops! spoiler. kidding, it happens during the credits.) We did not watch these at a theater, we were able to view them from my godmother's couch and I am not at liberty to say how :). Family time = fun.

While in Virgina, we were also able to visit a friend of mine who has an incredibly beautiful home and an even more incredible amount of land. What better way to travel over the extensive acres than by ATV?

Lauren & Jaime's ATV Adventure
Uploaded by LaydeeRiv

After 4 days of being in VA we traveled back to NY but on the way stopped to see my goddaughter Imani who is growing so quickly I think her chicken nuggets are injected with growth hormones.
As you can probably tell with the way this story has been going, NYE ended up being very low-key: just me, Jaime and a countdown with the tube. Pretty wonderful if you ask me :)
So WHAT was the cause of my ongoing coma throughout the vacation break? Well, once I returned to work, I was back to normal (i.e. not closing my eyes every few hours.) And that basically means my body just took (extreme) advantage of the downtime. Now that I'm up and running, I'm fully energized to take on 2009. This is a year of change. I can feel it.
Happy New Year :)