Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bangkok Devastation

This is what the mall looked like from the outside:

This is what is happening right now (via Reuters):

From the airtrain station right outside the mall, in December:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On Courtney Love's Sex Life and other Important Matters of Great Merit

Two weeks ago, I was on The Joy Behar Show to talk about things that are really really important, like Courtney Love's sex life and TomKat's awesome dancing skillz. I use the phrase "badger sex" at one point. And I make a lot of faces when I talk. Do I do that in real life?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Schwartz Family Star Trek Adventure!

When I was 12 we went to California for a family vacation, using my bat mitzvah money! I was DESPERATE TO BE AN ACTRESS at that point in my life. My parents indulged my pleas to wait on line to be cast in the Star Trek Adventure at Universal Studios.
(from the website): "Based on one of the most popular series on television, Star Trek® Adventure is our latest and greatest live-action show. At each performance, members of the audience are selected to join Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in battling Klingons, fantastic space creatures and alien superbeings. Then only minutes later, you see these scenes videotaped and edited into actual Star Trek footage. You may go in a spectator and come out a star!"

We were wearing matching "May The Schwartz Be With You" shirts. And, because we were amazing and also because we were wearing matching shirts, they cast ALL OF US. My dad is an alien precept (the tall one with glasses and the prosthetic forehead). My brother is the dragonhound (in the dragonhound suit). My mom is in the landing party. (She is the one giggling after they get beamed). I am the sleeping engineer who sleeps through the crisis (in a white jumpsuit). ACTING! I told them I was taking acting classes so they could give me a really juicy role. Ugh, I must have been despicable.

August, 1991! (Annotated for your viewing pleasure).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Spectral Tarsier Says Hey

The spectral tarsier says hey. Hey, hey! That is what a spectral tarsier says! And sometimes it says "WOO" and sometimes it says "uh-huh." The spectral tarsier loves Jay-Z! Hey! Hey! Hey! Show me what you got, spectral tarsier!

(Great adventures in insomnia. This is what happens.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Despite All My Glee, I Am Still Just A Bear In a Tree

Happy pre-Mother's Day! You should watch this video of a momma bear rescuing her baby bear from a tree at the bearpark in Berne (it is really called a Bear Park; I went when I was in Berne doing Einstein research for my senior thesis production. Quelle reve! A park full of BEARS. Bears.) (link via Claire Zulkey's facebook update.)

Also, and not in a fishing way, more in a musing out loud way, I sometimes wonder who would rescue me if I were stuck in a tree.

When I was 7 or so, we went to a barbecue at a friend's house in Glen Rock and I climbed a tree. Getting up the tree was very easy. Getting out of the tree was terrifying. So I stayed in the tree and cried and my dad told me he was taking my allowance away (this was during the 4 month phase of my life when I got an allowance; I am pretty sure it was taken away after the stuck-in-a-tree incident and never reinstated). I was probably in the tree for a few hours, crying hysterically, as my dad tried to coax me down. I think eventually someone stepped on a stool and helped me down - I was probably only 6 feet in the air. But it was terrifying! I was paralyzed with fear and I was pretty sure I was going to fall out of the tree and die if I moved at all. (To this day I am pathologically afraid of heights. I am so much fun to be around!)

And so, although, admittedly, I am scared of many things that will probably never actually happen, such as being on a boat that gets turned over by a whale and then being trapped under said boat and drowning, or somehow surviving a nuclear armageddon and then having to stick it out, The Road-style, there is definitely a chance that I could once again climb a tree and get stuck in it. Great. Now there is one more thing about which to worry and one less reason to sleep at night.

You know those terrible horrible online dating commercials where the girl is like "I'm just a goof, looking for my ball?" (Which, seriously, someone approved this copy? Because in my head, she is actually saying "I'm just a vagina, looking for a scrotum!") Anyway. My point is, "I'm just a baby bear stuck in a tree, looking for someone to rescue me."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tune-in Alert

tonight ... on the joy behar show:

Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank and renowned feminist Gloria Steinem discuss the significance of the birth control pill, which was approved by the FDA 50 years ago this Sunday. Plus, 70's action herione Pam Grier, whose new memoir is entitled "Foxy: A Life in Three Acts." Tonight at 9 pm ET on HLN.

AND ME! (with andy borowitz and ben widdecomb) talking about pop culture stuff for about 15 minutes. Hopefully I will be endearing and sort of almost well-spoken, maybe kinda sorta.

We Built Sioux City on Rock and Roll

My dad has to spend Monday -  Friday of every week in Sioux City, aka SUX. (Seriously, they call themselves SUX). He sent me this video and I have to say - it is a paragon of wonder. (stay with it, it only gets better, and more literal as it goes on.) This is truly a thing of beauty. Oh, Sioux City, bless your earnest, eager little heart. I am so glad you couldn't even afford to get into a studio and actually overdub the words "Sioux City" over "This City" and instead you forced your fine citizens to awkwardly stop lipsyncing in order to shout out your name. I just kept waiting for Leslie Knope to show up. Or for them to wage war against, say, Omaha. Oh, Sioux City. Via my dad, via this awesome site which promises that you will have a ROCKIN' time in Sioux City.
And clearly, clearly, you will.

edited to add: via my friend Sean, have you seen these AMAZING Cleveland tourism videos? The 2nd one is extra doublesauce amazing.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

And the Heart Says Whatever

I don't review friends' things because that is weird! And I am overly analytical and deconstructive and no one really wants to hear a 10 minute exegesis on a sentence they wrote a year ago! But! I will tell you: a book called "And the Heart Says Whatever" by Emily Gould comes out today! And you should get it. And I am not saying that just because Emily will sing duets with me at Karaoke. I am saying that because it contains this sentence, among others: "I came back from a trip to the tiny bathroom and made a joke about the poster on the back of the bathroom door: 'It's the Belle and SeBathroom!'"

And also because Emily is one of my favorite people on this planet. So you should totally buy her book.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Freeze Company

When I was a little kid, I was only allowed to watch educational TV during the week, which meant things on PBS like 3...2...1 Contact. (I could watch cartoons on Saturday mornings, don't worry). In first grade, my classmates were really into a show that I thought was called "Freeze Company." They would talk about it during art times and play it during recess after lunch. I had no idea what they were talking about. I knew there was a guy and two girls. When I was (rarely) invited to play, I would just ask to be the cat because I imagined there would be a cat there. Because in my head, since I knew the show was called "Freeze Company," I decided that it must be a show that took place in an igloo. Like, there was a guy and two girls and they lived in an igloo where they made ice. Because they worked for the Freeze Company.

One night at dinner, I asked my parents to tell me about Freeze Company because that day during lunch I eagerly suggested that I could be the penguin, because, surely, if these people named Jack and Janet and Chrissy lived in an igloo making ice (for their job!) then there, clearly, would be a penguin in the igloo, as opposed to a kitty. My parents had no idea what I was talking about. I explained that it was a popular tv show that took place in an igloo. My parents were stumped.

And then first grade was over and then in 2nd grade no one was talking about Freeze Company anymore and I forgot about it, and eventually I was allowed to stay up to watch the Cosby Show and finally by the time I was in 7th grade I actually sneaked downstairs to watch 90210.

And then I stopped thinking at all about Freeze Company until John Ritter died and I was like, "Oh. (blink blink blink). I see."