Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

31
Jul
09

Spain Reunion 2009

This weekend is not only my last full weekend in NYC, it’s also the weekend of Spain Reunion 2009! A few months ago I had the crazy idea to invite my best study abroad friends to New York for a mini-reunion, and it worked! Six people from my Toledo program are flying in tonight/tomorrow to join a few of us who already live here. I miss these kids more than anything, and I can’t wait for this weekend to start. Right now, everyone’s flights are delayed, so I thought I would reminisce and post some of my favorite pictures from our time abroad. It feels so strange that I wasn’t friends with these people before the spring of 2007 because they stayed my best friends senior year. I haven’t seen some of them since graduation, which breaks my heart to think about. Can’t wait for them to all get here!

 

An otherwise adorable picture of Analisa, Lindsay and Rachel ruined by yours truly.

An otherwise adorable picture of Analisa, Lindsay and Rachel ruined by yours truly.

 

Me, Analisa, Lindsay and Rachel. This was the beginning of a memorable evening in Granada.

Me, Analisa, Lindsay and Rachel. This was the beginning of a memorable evening in Granada.

Kait, Me and Lindsay enjoying tinto de veranos and tapas outside Enebro, the bar by our school.

Kait, Me and Lindsay enjoying tinto de veranos and tapas outside Enebro, the bar by our school.

 

John and I were the only two people in our group in Fussen to get the yellow ponchos. I wonder why...

John and I were the only two people in our group in Fussen to get the yellow ponchos. I wonder why...

Getting cozy in our Paris hostel that had no hot water.

Getting cozy in our Paris hostel that had no hot water.

 

Doug looks younger than ever, and my hair is shorter than ever.

Doug looks younger than ever, and my hair is shorter than ever.

Smallest booth ever in Florence.

Smallest booth ever in Florence.

That knight was actually a beer tap.

That knight was actually a beer tap.

 

Chris and I problem solving in Barcelona.

Chris and I problem solving in Barcelona.

Anita, Me and Tara in Barcelona. Tara was unable to make the "Cassie face" without looking terrified.

Anita, Me and Tara in Barcelona. Tara was unable to make the "Cassie face" without looking terrified.

24
Jul
09

Improv 101: My teacher abandoned us for Pop-Tarts

As many of you know (especially since I mentioned it before in this blog), I’m taking Improv 101 through the Upright Citizens Brigade this summer. It’s an eight-week course, and we meet once a week for a three-hour class.

I was absolutely terrified before I started the class. I haven’t done any improv since high school, and that wasn’t even real improv. (We had time to prepare scenes. We don’t have those kind of luxuries at the UCB). But I wanted to do something fun for myself while I was in the city, and I wanted the chance to meet new people who actually live here. It turns out that taking Improv 101 was the best decision I made all summer.

I really was terrified at the first class. But guess what? They don’t plunge you into scene work right away. We do warm-up exercises at the beginning of each class that are meant to help us learn to trust and respond to each other. By the time you’re done doing warm-up exercises, you’re not nervous about jumping into a scene anymore. The first thing I had to do was to learn not to be embarrassed. If I don’t do well, I don’t do well. I don’t let it bother me.

Our original teacher abandoned us after two weeks to tour the East Coast to promote Pop-Tarts. I didn’t make that up. We like our new teacher, though, so it’s all good. We are NEVER bitter about it. Never.

Although I haven't eaten a Pop-Tart in years, the ones without frosting are my favorite.

Although I haven't eaten a Pop-Tart in years, the ones without frosting are my favorite.

I absolutely love the people in my class! I’m even Facebook friends with a few of them now (big step!). A lot of them studied theater in college, and some, like me, are just doing it for fun. All of them are a blast, and I love laughing at their scenes. I know a few of them are going to continue on to 201, and I wish I could do it with them. Whenever someone tells me that they don’t want me to leave New York, my heart breaks a little. I don’t want to leave either!

But before I do go, I must perform in my class’ show at the UCB Theatre next week — in front of people. Yikes! So far I’m bringing 15 people. We have been told that the more audience members we have, the better we will perform, especially since the audience is made up of friends and family who are there to love and support us. If you are attending my show, please laugh even if I am not funny. After seven weeks, I’m still a bit terrified.

08
Jul
09

Michael Jackson

I can’t speak for how the rest of the country reacted to Michael Jackson’s death, but I can speak for New York City. Of course, you probably already know about the many gatherings in Times Square and outside the Apollo Theater. These fan gatherings have been broadcast on national television since Jackson’s death. It’s odd to be watching the coverage and to realize that I’m only a subway ride away from Times Square or Harlem. I could have easily made my way to these gatherings, but I was most likely content with just watching it on CNN.

What has fascinated me most is that the city has been running on a constant Michael Jackson soundtrack for the last two weeks. The bars and clubs have been playing MJ music more than usual, especially that first weekend. Even Blockbuster is playing all MJ all the time. Both times I waited in line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets (and failed), the same flautist went up and down the line of people and played “Billy Jean.” Subway musicians especially have pulled from MJ’s songbook. Just today at the 86th Street stop on the 6, I saw and heard a man playing “I’ll Be There” on the clarinet.

Then there are those who are just trying to make a little money. Vendors who once only sold pictures of Times Square and the Empire State Building have added framed photos of the King of Pop to their stands. T-shirt vendors have popped up everywhere. My favorite was the vendor at Coney Island who will hand-paint an MJ T-shirt for only $20, even creepy ones like these:

 

T-shirt at Coney Island

T-shirt at Coney Island

 

I was at the office when I actually heard the news. I think it was rather fitting that I was at an entertainment magazine when I heard that one of the greatest entertainers ever had died. Thanks to Twitter, I was the first intern to hear about the cardiac arrest. I went numb when I saw that TMZ reported Jackson was dead. We waited and waited to hear word from someone besides TMZ, but when I heard the owner of the company declare that “TMZ is the best,” that pretty much gave me my answer. I decided to go home, and as I waited at the elevator banks, the receptionist’s radio announced that the LA Times had confirmed Jackson’s death. Just then the elevator doors opened, and I exited the building not knowing if the people swarming around me in Midtown knew what I knew.

I know a lot of you are tired of the media coverage, but prepare yourself because it won’t end anytime soon. Do you know why the story continues? Because Michael Jackson was the biggest and strangest figure in pop culture in at least the last 30 years. His death has an enormous cultural impact, and the world needs to come to terms with his absence. Maybe it’s just because I like seeing entertainment journalism in the spotlight or maybe it’s because I really like hearing MJ music in the subway, but I don’t think I’m going to get tired of the story for a while.

07
Jul
09

Celebrity sighting: Jim Gaffigan

 

Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan

On Sunday night we walked by the restaurant we ate at when we spotted Michael Ian Black. Approximately 60 seconds later on that very same street, we saw Jim Gaffigan.

Christine: “That’s Jim Gaffigan.”

Me: “Oh my God. Can we talk to him?”

Christine: “No.”

Me: (to Jim Gaffigan) “Hi!”

Jim Gaffigan: “Hi.”

New Yorkers generally do not bother celebrities when they see them on the streets, but I’m not a New Yorker. When I recognize a celebrity, I want recognition back, even if it’s just eye contact. It makes my one-sided relationship with that celebrity a little less lonely. And hello! It’s Jim Gaffigan! It took everything I had not to yell “Hot Pockeeet!” and tell him that I watch “My Boys” just because of him. If anything, I showed great restraint. Give me a gold star for not embarrassing myself.

07
Jul
09

More celebrities

I’ve had quite a few celebrity encounters since I came to the city, but the best ones are courtesy of my internship. A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Cloris Leachman, and I attended a luncheon with Kellan Lutz (Emmett, “Twilight”).

Cloris Leachman was performing in the National Dance Institute’s “Imagine: A Celebration of John Lennon.” All year, 35,000 New York City public school children learned about John Lennon and did their own Lennon performances in their schools. About 200 of the top NDI dancers from those schools put on a John Lennon performance at the institute’s Event of the Year, which is what Cloris performed in. Jacques d’Amboise, the famous American ballet dancer, founded the NDI to bring the arts to children. The performance was essentially an hour and half of children dancing to Beatles and John Lennon music. It was probably the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a long time. Cloris Leachman performed in the number “A Cloris Line,” where she tapped danced and sang “When I’m 64.” Actually, she changed the words to “When I’m 104.” Her son George Englund, Jr. played the saxophone.

My job was to sit front and center, enjoy the performance and interview Cloris after the show. She is exactly how you would expect her to be. She speaks her mind, laughs a lot and has a very short attention span. I was lucky enough to hear her drop one f-bomb and hear her speak rather lecherously about Robert Pattinson (in a strange Count Dracula voice even).

Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman

Speaking of Robert Pattinson, I got to meet his on-screen brother in the offices. The magazine had a luncheon with Kellan Lutz, and the interns accidentally stumbled into it after thinking we were going to a different luncheon with the editor-in-chief of Men’s Journal. Clearly, we stayed at the Kellan Lutz luncheon because everyone in the office is obsessed with “Twilight” (I am not obsessed, but I pretend to be because I like to participate). There was a Q&A during the luncheon where he talked about his career, how Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are not dating, and how he doesn’t want to date an actress (which gave hope to every woman in that conference room). Kellan (we’re on a first-name basis of course) stuck around to take individual pictures with everyone who wanted one. I would post it here, but after seeing the picture, I realized that I am not meant to stand next to the beautiful people.

This man exists in real life.

This man exists in real life.

As Emmett

As Emmett

Did I mention that this is my future husband?

25
Jun
09

celebrity sightings/encounters/experiences

One of the aspects of New York City I was most looking forward to was the inevitable celebrity sightings! So far, New York has not disappointed me. My celebrity sightings/encounters/experiences are due to both my internship and chance. Here’s a rundown of who I have seen recently.

 

Michael Ian Black

Michael Ian Black

Michael Ian Black

We were eating at a Mexican restaurant in Chelsea. My half of the table was situated just outside. I saw Christine goofily waving at someone. When I turned to see who it was, I exclaimed, “Oh hey!” as if Michael Ian Black and I were best friends (which we are). He gave a cheery “hello” and kept on walking.

 

John Krasinski

John Krasinski in his adorable GAP ad

John Krasinski in his adorable GAP ad

So I didn’t actually see John Krasinski, but I did talk to him on the phone. Christine’s friend saw him at the Met, shoved a phone in his face and made him talk to us. We were on speakerphone and very confused. After a few awkward hello’s, he told us: “Okay, I’m going to go back to the museum now.” 

 

Amber Tamblyn

 

Amber Tamblyn

Amber Tamblyn

 

 We went to the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island and I saw her walking around! I was happy to see a celebrity out and about and not being bugged by anyone. I was tempted to chase after her, though, because she originated the role of Emily on General Hospital, and I love soap opera stars.


Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel as King Neptune

Harvey Keitel as King Neptune

Speaking of the Mermaid Parade, Harvey Keitel was King Neptune, so we got to wave out him and shout his name. Analisa wanted to yell, “I loved you in Little Nicky!” I wanted to yell “I loved you in Mean Streets and Sister Act! Both are amazing movies!”

 

Brooke Hogan

Brooke Hogan

Brooke Hogan

So technically I only saw the back of her head when I was at work, but I’m counting it. 

 

Constantine Maroulis

Constantine Maroulis

Constantine Maroulis

He stopped by our offices to film a segment for the web site, and he said hello to the interns. He was very nice and very tall and told us all to go see his Broadway show, Rock of Ages. I probably won’t see it.

 

Speaking of Broadway, I was bound to walk by the Red Carpet of the Tony Awards, wasn’t I? I hung around for about 20 minutes before heading to Analisa’s to actually watch the Tony’s. But here’s the people I was able to get pictures of. Sadly, there’s no Liza:

 

John Stamos

John Stamos

 

Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth

 

Stockard Channing a.k.a. First Lady Abbey Bartlet

Stockard Channing a.k.a. First Lady Abbey Bartlet

 

Bret Michaels (or at least that's his hat)

Bret Michaels (or at least that's his hat)

 

Just a teaser: I’ve also met Cloris Leachman and Kellan Lutz (Emmett, Twilight), but both of those warrant longer posts. So there’s more to come!

20
Jun
09

I wish all traffic lights were like this

 

Traffic light near Grimaldi's in Brooklyn

Traffic light near Grimaldi's in Brooklyn




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A blog about my summer as an unpaid intern in New York City.

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