Sunday, May 31, 2015

Contagious Thumbs Up Epidemic Sweeps Office

                Synergy Systems Inc. workers were aghast Thursday morning when HR rep Jessie Sikorski flashed a cheesy thumbs up at the conclusion of her announcement on summer wardrobe policies.  The horrifying gesture tragically seems to be contagious, as Gwen Gelish was reportedly spotted giving a double thumbs up when she scored a free soda from the vending machine later that afternoon.

                The source of the epidemic has not been officially confirmed, though Paula Anderson from accounting strongly suspects marketing exec Theresa Kelly, who was spotted giving no fewer than four thumbs ups, two high fives, and a hang ten surfer sign in rapid succession at Wednesday night’s happy hour.  “It’s just irresponsible to parade around your coworkers when you’re experiencing those sorts of contagious symptoms,” commented Anderson.  “She could have at least given us a warning about her situation—I definitely would have kept my distance!”

                At this time, there is no known cure for this unfortunate condition, though management is urging employees to sit on their hands and to avoid asking questions that could lead to positive responses.  Point-and-shoot gestures accompanied by a wink and clicking sound have also been banned until further notice.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

SNL's "The Office: Middle Earth" is Perfection

My fingers are seriously crossed that this little gem spawns a spin-off series or major motion picture a la MacGruber.  At the very least, I hope Taran Killam reprises his Gollum portrayal at every possible opportunity this season.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The 9 Stages of Attempted Vegetarianism

I’ve always admired vegetarians.  Foregoing an entire delicious food group is not easy.  (I should know—I gave up candy for the first week of Lent this year.)  But vegetarians put compassionate living above their cravings, and that is a level of selflessness and will power that I will always envy.  As someone who has tried vegetarianism and failed—twice in the past year—I’m now gearing myself up for attempt #3. Third time’s a charm, right?  Ideally, I’ll be able to leave my meat-loving ways behind me for good this time, happily driving off into the sunset, without a backwards glance at the bacon cheeseburgers in my rear-view mirror.  But anyone who’s attempted vegetarianism before knows that it’s never that easy.  Realistically?  It usually goes a little something like this:

Stage One: Binge-Watching Documentaries
You sign into Netflix and decide to check out that Food, Inc. documentary everyone is talking about.  Before you know it, you’ve also watched Hungry for Change, Food Matters, and Vegucated, and are now sobbing bitterly at the injustice of it all.  You solemnly promise yourself you will never eat meat again.

Stage Two: Foraying into Veganism
If you’re going to try out vegetarianism, why not go full-out vegan?  You don’t need eggs!  You don’t need cheese!  You are Gandhi.  You are one with nature, and living on Larabars and lettuce will be a piece of cake. (A piece of egg-free, milk-free cake, of course—you are vegan now!)

Stage Three: Foraying out of Veganism, Because, Pizza
Fuck veganism.  No human being should live like this.  You are hungry.  You are tired.  You need protein.  There are probably ways to get adequate protein from plant-based food, but you didn’t read that far in Skinny Bitch.  Eggs and cheese, get over here—you are off the bench and back in the game!  Because you need your protein, goddammit!  And also, because, pizza.  Yum.

Stage Four: Eating Delicious Garbage
Wow, cutting out a major food group like meat sure leaves you a lot of leftover calories to play with every day.  You decide to use them wisely, on colorful fruits and leafy green vegetables.  Just kidding!  You fill up on delicious garbage like cookies, ice cream, and potato chips.  Because these things do not violate your agreement with Mother Nature, and also because they are delectable.

Stage Five: Wondering Why You Feel Like Garbage
Ugh, you feel terrible.  You thought this whole vegetarianism thing would have you feeling energetic and lean, but lately, it’s taking you two tries to get off the couch.  You decide that maybe a diet of pizza and ice cream is not the way to go about this, and vow to find healthier alternatives.  You can do this!

Stage Six: Eating Less Delicious Non-Garbage
You’re doing better.  You’ve traded in your KitKats for quinoa, and pray you’ve been pronouncing quinoa correctly.  (Key-noah?  Keeny-wah?)  You’ve found some healthy protein alternatives, you’re eating your fruits and veggies, and it’s…okay.  Not the most exciting menu in the world, but think of all the good you’re doing and all the cute little chickens you’re saving!

Stage Seven: Envying Your Friends’ Meals When You Eat Out
You’ve been going strong, but when you head out to dinner with your friends, it’s a little hard not to eye their chicken quesadillas and sliders with envy.  You could never return to that ignorant way of life, though.  You dutifully return to your salad.

Stage Eight: Slipping Up
You’ve had a stressful day at work, and hit up the mall for some much-needed retail therapy.  After a few hours of frenzied credit card swipes you’ll regret in a few weeks, you head to the food court to grab a salad.  But wait, what’s that?  The intoxicating smell of gyro meat envelopes you, and you gaze longingly at the Greek food stand.  After a lengthy internal debate, you break down and order a gyro.  Yes, you’ve slipped up on a food court gyro.  You eat it hurriedly, casting furtive glances around you to see who is judging you for eating this “murder food.”  When finished, you hastily wipe the tears from your eyes and the tzatziki from your mouth, and solemnly swear you will start anew tomorrow.  This is just a temporary setback.  You are still a good vegetarian.  You can do this…right?

Stage Nine: Going H.A.M. at Chili’s

Wrong.  CHICKEN FINGERS!  MINI CHEESEBURGERS!  BONELESS WINGS!  Oh, rapture!  Even the most steadfast of vegetarians has fallen from grace in the hallowed, grease-scented halls of Chili’s, and you are no exception.  You resign yourself to the fate you always knew you were destined for: a life of beautiful, meaty deliciousness.  Bliss.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mr. Bates' Motel

This past Sunday marked the end of the fourth season of Downton Abbey, and there’s plenty of buzz on the webisphere that people are ready for Mr. Bates to just be killed off already.  Personally, I don’t have a problem with him, and I certainly don’t have a death wish for him.  But I must admit he doesn’t hold the same untarnished, upstanding reputation and charm he used to.  Did he kill Mr. Green?  Why is he an expert at forgery?  Why does the twinkle in his eye come off as creepy and murderous these days instead of delightful like it used to?  Bro’s got secrets, and I’m betting they are dark ones.

Meanwhile, Bates Motel starts its second season this Monday, and I am anticipating this premiere more anxiously than Vince Vaughn awaits wedding season.  Based on the trailer, it looks like things are going to get even crazier this time around.  Though we’ll see a lot of the same psychos we’ve come to know and love (see what I did there?), there are rumors of some new faces as well.  One newcomer I wouldn’t mind seeing in White Pine Bay?  Mr. Bates.  That’s right, I’m proposing the ultimate collision of worlds: Downton Abbey meets Bates Motel, in the ultimate TV special—“Mr. Bates’ Motel.”

Norma and Norman are back and creepier than ever, and Bates Motel—their family-run motel—is finally starting to pick up business.  But wait, what’s that?  A new motel just opened down the street?  “Mr. Bates’ Motel?”  Is this guy for real with that name?  Frustrated, Norma and Norman head down the street to investigate, hand in hand.  You know, because it’s unseasonably cold out and they forgot to wear gloves.  Not for any other reason.  Nothing to see here folks, just a 17 year old boy holding hands with his mom.  Moving on.

Norma and Norman arrive at Mr. Bates’ Motel with tempers blazing (and, it must be said, a palpable sexual tension between them), ready to ream out the lowlife responsible for putting their business in jeopardy.  But their fiery tempers are abruptly extinguished when a polite, older British gentleman dressed as a butler greets them at the door, proffering tea and crumpets.  Get a load of this guy, Norman mouths to his mother, he is an absolute treat!  Norma nods in agreement.  He really is darling, she mouths back.  Like something out of a Jane Austen novel.  I wonder what he’s doing working for a nasty old deadbeat like this Bates fellow.  The two gaze fondly at each other, then at the butler, who shuffles his feet and clears his throat in obvious discomfort, having been a mere foot away, plate of crumpets still in hand, for this entire exchange.

“Ahem…allow me to introduce myself,” he begins, with what Norma and Norman silently agree is the most adorable British accent they’ve ever heard.  “I am Mr. Bates.  Welcome to my motel.  I’m sorry if the crumpets are a bit dry.  It’s my wife Anna’s recipe, but I don’t think I used enough buttermilk.  Oh bother!  But I’m rambling.  What can I do for you Lord and Lady Bates?”

“Please, call us Norma(n),” replies Norma, smiling and blushing furiously.  “You see, the thing is Mr. Bates…we only just recently opened our motel—Bates Motel—down the street, and business is just starting to pick up.  And now here you are, with your own motel, a mere block away, and those dreamy, twinkling eyes of yours…”  At this point, Norman elbows Norma sharply, snapping her out of her reverie.  “Right, yes, so anyway,” she continues, “surely you can see how this puts us in bit of a tricky position…And you’re wrong about the crumpets by the way—absolutely delicious.  Your wife must be an excellent cook!”

“She was,” Bates replies cryptically, a twinkle in his eyes that Norma and Norman silently agree is both absolutely adorable and also “a little murdery.”  “Anyway, I am sorry for any inconvenience I’ve caused,” he continues.  “Twas never my intention to draw business away from your impressive establishment.  I merely came here to get away from…some things, back in England, and to have a fresh start after some…other things.  I’m afraid I can’t really say more about it than that, but you understand, don’t you?”

They do not understand at all, but nod enthusiastically nonetheless.  Who could disagree with those sparkling eyes, like two glittering jewels set perfectly against the backdrop of a gentle but rugged face?

After an awkward beat during which Mr. Bates realizes that Norma and Norman have nothing to say—and will continue to nod and smile at him with a strange desire in their eyes unless he does something—he continues.  “So, that’s the deal.  Mr. Bates’ Motel is here to stay.  But I do promise not to make any trouble for you two—if you can promise not to mention to the police any of the strange things you may hear or see on or near the premises of my motel.  Do we have an agreement?”  He asks this last question in an ominous, threatening tone that Norma and Norman silently agree is “totally dreamy.”

“Absolutely we do,” Norma and Norman reply in perfect unison.  Truthfully, Norman would agree to anything this perfect man suggests, short of dressing up like his mother.  And even that he might consider.  This Bates fellow is persuasive…

“Goodbye Mr. Bates!” chorus Norma and Norman a few minutes later, skipping down his walk arm in arm.  “Thank you again for the crumpets!”

Mr. Bates smiles warmly, closes the door, and heads to the kitchen to clean up after his earlier baking session.  “That’s the last time I make crumpets,” he chuckles to himself as he puts away the eggs, flour, buttermilk, and rat poison.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

10 Events That Should be Added to the Winter Olympic Games

           The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have been exciting to watch for sure, but at this point, I’ve just about reached my max on bobsleds, ice-dancing, and speed skating.  (Curling is a different story—I will never tire of those silly little men with their brooms…I digress.)  This being the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, you would think by now they might have come up with some new events to throw into the mix, if for no other reason than to “spice things up a bit.”  But again and again with the triple axels, death-defying ski jumps, and record-breaking bobsled runs.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say: yawn!

Having survived the polar vortex these past few weeks, I can think of a number of challenging feats and obstacles deserving of gold medals, and I’m sure anyone else living on the eastern seaboard knows what I’m talking about.  So I’m proposing some new events for the 2018 Winter Olympics—because let’s face it, the 2014 Winter Olympics are “Sochi” thing of the past.

1.       Lasting a whole day with dry socks.
2.       Navigating the streets of NYC without accidentally poking someone’s eye out with your umbrella.

3.       Navigating the streets of NYC without losing an eye to a fellow pedestrian’s umbrella.

4.       Singing “Let it Go” from Frozen in the shower, without crying when you realize that your voice will never be as good as Idina Menzel’s.  Never.

5.       Lasting a 3 ½ hour drive that normally takes 20 minutes, in a blizzard, without cursing.

6.       Passing a Starbucks without going inside and ordering something either gingerbread, peppermint, or pumpkin flavored.  (Ditto to butterbeer.)

7.       Walking in an icy parking lot (or any outdoor space) without slipping and falling on your duff.

8.       Not eating every food in sight when you’re stuck inside on a snowy day.

9.       Driving past a snowman without saying “Awwww!” and reminiscing about your childhood.

10.   Sitting through an entire hockey game without thinking about the movie Miracle, and silently daydreaming of the day Kurt Russell agrees to be your life coach.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"One More Thing" by B.J. Novak

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly be any more excited for B.J. Novak's new book than I already was, this book trailer was released, and now my psychitude has grown beyond measure.  Snooty French accents + Mindy Kaling + B.J. Novak = Absolute Perfection.

My personal favorite line: "I know every word that Sartre said and he never said that." 
One More Thing hits shelves on February 4.  But if you want a sneak peek beforehand, check out this hilarious excerpt here.  B.J. will thank you for it. (See below for shameless documentation of that time B.J. and I chatted on Twitter like a couple of old friends.)

See?  We're basically one matching tattoo away from BFF status now!

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Coldplay Album?

Word on the worldwide web is that a new Coldplay album may quite possibly be released in 2014, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that this news makes me feel like I’m in Paradise. (See what I did there?) This Grammy award-winning band of Brits has always been a favorite of
mine—a staple for my Spotify playlists and mix CDs—and the prospect of new Coldplay songs to add into my rotation in the coming year brings waterfall-sized teardrops of joy to my eyes. (Too much?)

Be that as it may, it doesn't take a Scientist (last one, I swear) to figure out that the placement of Coldplay songs throughout playlists is a refined art—a delicate balancing act, if you will.  When properly peppered throughout a playlist, Coldplay can provide the perfect variation to a mix—invoking inspiration, motivation, and contemplation in all the right places.  Yes, I would daresay that in moderation, a healthy dose of Coldplay can enhance even the weakest of playlists. 

Take caution though, Coldplay listeners, for the key word here is moderation.  Binge listening is
another beast entirely, and let’s just say it’s a slippery slope from feeling pumped (Viva la Vida), to mellow (Yellow), to hugging your knees while sobbing in the shower. (Fix You)

Who better to illustrate some of the more…interesting…side effects of Coldplay listening, than America’s sweetheart, Adam Devine!  Enjoy!