Thursday, March 28, 2013

Equal = Right

I do not wish to make this a preachy, holier-than-thou rant against homophobes in this world. Enough has been posted, written about, and said these last couple days that I don't feel I need to write a lengthy endeavor. I just wish to say this. Nothing means more than equality. No matter who you are, what you do, who you love. I think Barbra Streisand summed it up perfectly quite some time ago. "People who love people are the luckiest people in the world." No matter who those people are. It is simple. And it is true. Equality trumps all. And equality will prevail.

10 Things I'd Rather Do Than Go To the Dentist

10. Go to the zoo. But ew.

9. Spend the afternoon going on roller coaster rides the whooooole time. This may be ironic-seeming given the "fun" nature of the activity but suffice to say, my last trip to Great Adventure ~2 years ago during my adult years...not pretty.

8. Put the silverware away after emptying the dishwasher. That part just eats away at my soul.

7. Attempt to put the fitted mattress sheet which always seems too small on the bed. I have never once been able to successfully accomplish this in one shot.

6. Watch a football game on TV in its entirety.

5. Attend a football game in its entirety.

4. Drink nothing but water for days on end.

3. Do a juice cleanse. But definitely not that horrifying Acai berry one I tried from GNC last week that made me feel like I was simultaneously dying, experiencing morning sickness and having a stroke.

2.  Give up my Showtime subscription. And believe me, that would pretty much kill me.

Drumroll please...for this is a big one...

1. Skip a day at the gym. While it sounds relaxing and blissful to most to have a day off, to me a day sans a workout is pure torture.

Note: All of the above remain in tact with the caveat that they all become null and void if my favorite endodontist were to be present. :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nurse Jackie

     Normally I come up with witty, catchy titles for my ever-compelling blog posts. I enjoy a good cliche slash catch-phrase to reel in the best of the literary folks. It gives me an odd sense of satisfaction to know that I've successfully drawn the attention of the blogosphere with the crafty manner in which I've arranged words. Today, though, I am making an exception; please see above uncharacteristically straight-forward post title. Why am I doing this, you might ask. The answer is a simple one: when something is inherently good, it needs no finessing. If my words are not enough to convey the high caliber of the show at hand, though, allow the following fact to do so. Within the time span of under one week, I successfully managed to watch every episode of Nurse Jackie from 2009 to present. To be clear here, that is four seasons in their entirety, equating to 48 thirty-minute episodes. For a girl who touts herself as a non-TV consumer, that's a hefty amount of hours in front of the tube. But not without good reason. Nurse Jackie could possibly be the most solid dramedy I have seen. Ever.
   As a preface, I was never much of a hospital / doctor show fan; neither ER nor Grey's had the allure to keep me tuning in week after week. The characters quickly grew stale and the plots predictable. I could only tolerate so many gunshot wounds and aneurysms in a thirty minute span. But those network shows did not and do not hold a flame, not even a spark, to Showtime's Nurse Jackie. For very important starters, Edie Falco is literal brilliance incarnate in this role. Her portrayal of Jackie Peyton, the drug-addicted, brash ER "trauma queen", is nothing short of mesmerizing.  Okay so yes, needless to say, when the Nielsen measured population at large hears the name Edie Falco, only one thing comes to mind: the Jers-a-rific Sopranos. Falco's role in the 2000's era mafia-saga as Carmela Soprano was hysterically fantastic, and no doubt served as her entry into the hearts of premium-cable-viewing America. I, like the best of us, loved me some Tony and Carmela. I must say, however, from a pure character-evaluation standpoint, that Falco's role as Jackie earns just a little bit more admiration from me than that of Carmela.
     Perhaps the most alluring element of Falco's Jackie is her consistent, unwaivering believability. Jackie has such an abundance of flaws in her life that there are few, if any, other actresses who I fancy would be able to play the role with any rivaling semblance of plausibility. Falco embodies the dichotomous qualities of a cheating wife, a struggling mother of two, a talented nurse, and an addict...all wrapped into the neat confines of clean blue scrubs.  And she does it with ease and smooth grace. While Falco's Jackie is in the throes of her addiction to prescription pain-killers while simultaneously attempting to balance a life of lies, her desperation seeps through the TV into our hearts. Her fragility is tangible; we sense that, at any given moment, the thin shell of lies in which she has encapsulated herself is going to crack. And then there she will be...a lying, cheating, drug-addicted woman on the edge. From the start of season two, we watch and wait for her to crumble. When she finally does, the brilliance of Falco's character portrayal morphs from alluring to utterly spell-binding.
     Falco adeptly takes Jackie from a closed, bitingly bitter bitch at the show's inception to a raw, struggling-to-stay-sober-after-rehab-I-forgot-what-it-is-to-have-feelings soul from the sophomore season onward. It is a stunning metamorphosis that could only be demonstrated by a former addict herself. Likely little known to the public at large but quite essential indeed, Edie Falco has nearly twenty years of sobriety under her belt...and a less-than-sober past that is the clear basis for her spot-on performance as the addicted-then-rehabbed Jackie. She struggled with alcohol and drugs and if I did not know I was watching premium cable, I could swear I was witnessing a Discovery Channel documentary on the unstable past of a fallen Hollywood angel.
     I'm fairly certain that my stance on Nurse Jackie as a show as well as on Falco's acting creds, is clear at this point. The viewing experience is raw, real, and unmatched from anything I have seen to date. It makes even the most sober of us feel the pain of desperation, addiction, and ultimately, recovery. Two days after finishing the four-season series, the void in my life is tangible. My countdown has now officially commenced for the start of Season 5...and the re-entry of the unpredictable, alluring woman in blue.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Daily Bunnies

It seems there are other bunny enthusiasts out there.  Who doesn't love a good bunny face to brighten up their day? In case you're in need, check out the below community of bunnies on the interwebs...I just stumbled upon it:

Also, fun fact du jour: bunnies and rabbits alike love raisins. How apropos.

Saturday Night Dive

     I have pretty much always been a Saturday Night Live fan. Ever since I was a small child, it carried a strange sense of magic for me. Long after my babysitters would put me to sleep, I can distinctly remember hearing the introductory "Live from New York It's Saturday Niiiight!" from my yellow-walled bedroom and wondering what all the fuss was about. It seemed so elite with its much-past-my-bedtime time slot, so grown-up cool. Boy, that must be really funny if it makes my babysitter laugh so loudly all by herself.  I wanted so badly to have some part of that cool factor for myself, to be allowed to hear those slightly off-color jokes. I would sit in my bedroom dreaming of the day I, too, could watch those fake commercials and live skits on inappropriate topics.
     So from the moment I was old  (or sneaky) enough to dictate my own bedtime, I became a dedicated SNL viewer. I spent the better part of a decade anxiously anticipating 11:30pm EST to hear the familiar opening monologue and once again, be graced with contagious belly-aching laughter. It was a once-weekly high that I could always depend on to transport me to another mental place. Let me stress the past-tense of the word was here. That dependence is no longer. Starting with roughly the second episode this season, Saturday Night has gone from humorously Live to, I am so sad to say, quite an abysmal dive. (Typically I judge those who employ rhyming as a writing tactic but it felt oddly appropriate in this context).
    The whole feel of the what-was-once-intelligently-snarky sketch show has morphed into a messy cluster of tasteless dirty jokes. On average, there is usually one sketch per show that does not somehow involve sex, drinking, drugs or genitalia ... and it is a pleasant delight if it is even a funny one. It is as if Lorne and his team of writers have spontaneously lost their sense of actual humor and have substituted that out with vulgarity in its purest sense. The words "butt, sex, kill, rape" and the likes are so frequently spewed during the 1.5 hours that by the time the show finishes, I oftentimes feel the need to clean out my ears before going to sleep. (I will refrain from pulling a Lena, however. Q-tip in the ear looked really painful).
     And need I mention the cast? I don't much see the need given its obviousness but I will do so regardless. While Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Seth Meyers still amuse, the rest of the cast is just lacking. Cecily Strong garners a chuckle every now again, portraying her space-cadettish-former-porn-star commercial actress but outside of her, the female contingent  pretty much sucks. Sorry ladies. I think we all miss the days of Tina, Amy and most importantly, Kristen Wiig. Those were the days when every episode was a veritable 1.5 hour comedy that we didn't have to go to the theater to see.
     Justin Timberlake provided some temporary respite this past weekend with his mostly comical joint host / musical guest role. But let's be honest, does JT ever disappoint? I know, however, not to expect this level of show going forward given how lackluster it has been in the recent past. So in summary, fellow SNL fans (or otherwise), the sun has set over the era of my Saturday Night Live love affair. I suppose the time has come for me for me to find a new late-night magical escape. Please wish me luck as I embark on this daunting journey and be sure to check back for updates on my progress. In the meanwhile, stick around...and I'll be right back.

Altruism Off the Field

     Who would have ever guessed I'd be writing a blog entry on anything even remotely related to football? Certainly not me and I presume likely no one else in my life either. But alas, here I am and here it is. I have developed a new found respect for Victor Cruz, commonly known as the New York Giants wide receiver...a stellar athlete, fast, furious and fierce. Go Big Blue, right? But surely I know I must be confusing my blog readers with this seemingly the-glorious-sport-of-football post so I will move on to the heart of the matter here. Although commonly known for his NYG position, Victor Cruz also touts an alternate title: philanthropist slash good man. Although I cannot yet publicly say in writing why I suddenly possess all this knowledge on Cruz, I will say that, from doing a pretty thorough deep dive into his life, career and extra-curricular activities, he is a tried and true kind soul.
     Perhaps the most touching element that I have learned about VC came from the following. After the horribly tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, Cruz took on the respectable duty of honoring one of the unfortunate victims, Jack Pinto, a young boy who was a huge Cruz fan, by wearing Pinto's name on his gloves and shoes during the Giants game against the Atlanta Falcons. And although the media seemingly incessantly touts story after story about "celebs who do good things", somehow this act of kindness just felt different...more genuine, close-to-home and unfabricated.  In addition to Cruz's Sandy Hook honorable act, he also supports the Magic Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization committed to making a difference in the lives of children living in under-served communities. And all of this is not secondary to, but equally as important as, VC's superbly awesome football career. So now, from a football-hating gal to all of you, I will say this: the kindness of an athlete may be just enough to get me to not change the channel during future Giants games. But I do repeat, may. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013


     I will keep this short and sweet. I have always proclaimed myself a "bus girl" versus the much-more-common "subway gal (or guy)".  Throughout the nearly ten years I have resided in Manhattan, there has only been roughly one and a half years during which I consistently rode the subway (consistently, read daily). This may at first seem normal but if you live here in the city o' Apple, you know that is far from ordinary. So how did/do I get to work all those other years? In time past, I would proudly proclaim my inclination for the bus when asked this very question. "It's so much cleaner!" I would tout. "And it gets me there just as quickly as the subway." I used these (what I have now embraced as false) lines year after year, all the while always arriving at my destination of choice ~5-10 minutes post start time. I would rationalize the few minute delay with the "infinitely more enjoyable" quality of my commute. I lived like this for much longer than I care to admit.
     Okay, now that that's on the table, I'd like to hereby proclaim, on this day, the eleventh of March two thousand thirteen, that I am officially retiring my "bus girl" title. It is gone. Never to be used again. Why the sudden departure from where I was? (No pun intended). Well, today was the not-so-sweet icing on the cake of my transportation karma. It took me forty minutes,  yes that's right folks, FORTY long minutes, to be transported from 23rd and 1st to 23rd and 5th. Yes, Manhattan dwellers, your avenue math is indeed correct, that is a mere five avenues. That equates to more than ten minutes per avenue. I know, I know, I should have walked, you are undoubtedly thinking. And you're right, I should have. But, I was cold, tired and I did not. Happily, I had left my apartment this morning with a plethora of time padding so, despite the nightmarishly slow commute, my arrival was not tardy. But enough on that...there is nothing positive to say about a 40 minute 5 block commute. But alas. This unnecessarily frustrating event will no longer be a part of my daily routine. Adieu, was grand while it lasted but I'm now off to the murky underworld of the 4-5-6. See ya on the flip.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Not So Master-ful

     Due to my intrigue and love for Philip Seymour Hoffman and as a post-mortem Oscars tribute, I recently made the decision to rent The Master on demand. After all, two hours rife with PSH and Amy Adams couldn't possibly be anything but fantastic, right? The Master is their second of two films together, the first being the deeply philosophical and dry-humor infused Doubt. Doubt was two hours of pure on-screen brilliance and not attributed solely to its all-star Meryl-inclusive cast. The film was thought-provoking, raw and real. It penetrated the core of the best of us, making us ponder the essence of the most seemingly mundane human emotions. We left Doubt questioning what was truth and what was fiction, finding ourselves stuck in the mental space in between. It had that tangible intensity that gives dramatic films their heart.
    The Master, on the other hand, embodied nearly none of the aforementioned qualities. While I can partially appreciate what the film set out to accomplish, when the final credits rolled, I was left not so much in the space between fact and fiction but instead at the crossroads of confusion and annoyance. Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, an alcoholic World War II veteran who we watch morph from fragile at the film's inception to completely broken. During his nearly two hour demise, we watch as Phillip Seymour Hoffman's preacher/motivational speaker Lancaster Dodd attempts to stop him from crumbling. In scene after scene, we hear Hoffman hypnotizing and preaching to Phoenix as well as  other groups of people on the likes of free will, attempting to heal their deepest set problems and dry the tears of their damaged souls. I'll be honest, there were times during this film when I was not sure whether I was watching a documentary on Scientology, witchcraft, or any of several other illegal religious practices. Perhaps the most intense scene came when Dodd (Hoffman) hurled a rapid-fire sequence of personal inquisitions at Freddie, mandating that he not blink all the while. It was a clear attempt on his part at hypnosis but which came across more like an exorcism to the common viewer. By the time the strangely intense scene came to a close, I was completely exhausted. And not in a good way.
     I really cannot concisely sum up an overall take on the film in my usual last witty sentence or was simply too out of the ordinary to do so. What I will say is this -- if you are in the mood to be confused, stupefied, and mildly disturbed all at the same time, The Master is definitely for you. Seriously, go run and rent it right now. If you're not, though, I would advise that you steer clear of this adeptly-cast-but-poorly-done docudrama. All that said, I am cutting PSH his losses on this one and will optimistically wait for his next sure doubt.

Just sayin' hi

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Little (Delayed) Post-Awards Chatter

     Much to my pleasant surprise, I have gotten my fair share of disappointed earfuls from loyal Bunnylogue readers for being absent in the blogosphere in recent weeks. So before I get started, let me take a moment to apologize to the loyal bunnies for not providing my usual dose of pop culture buzz / entertainment / snarkiness as of late. Rest assured, I am alive, well and BACK!
     I am shocked and mildly dismayed at myself for my lack of awards show posts, particularly Grammy's and Oscars. I suppose I was too engrossed in my television and consuming other people's witty commentary to put out anything of substance of my own. But if there's one thing I cannot abide, it's excuses. Admittedly, I was nowhere to be found in real-time during the latter part of awards season and I fully recognize critiquing the shows with such shameful delay seems futile.  But I am going to go ahead and do it anyway. And I will commence in chronological order.
     In typical fashion, Grammy's night was pretty epic, or rather in LL's Grammy-infused-tweet-speak, #rockinawardsshow.  Awesome as it was, every year despite my "I-am-no-longer-a twenty-something-but-age-is-all-a-frame-of-mind"mindset, the Grammy's inevitably makes me feel approximately two times my age. While I self-righteously tend to place myself on the favorable end of the "in-the-know" spectrum as it relates to pop culture (inclusive of music, movies, fashion, and otherwise), the Grammy's has an uncanny ability to ricochet me straight to the other end within a matter of minutes. While I love me some Rihanna, I fancy Adele (along with most other singing British folks who make their way into my headphones) and Alabama Shakes' "Hold On" occupies a steady place on my treadmill playlist, these preferences didn't get me quite as far down the Grammy's-know path as I would have hoped. During the nearly two hour show, I found myself anxiously anticipating the next pre-commercial-pod "coming up next" announcement of singers/celebs, optimistically holding out hope I would recognize at least 50% of them.
     Okay, I'm cool, I'm hip, I found myself saying after humming the words to The Lumineers' catchy slash quirky Ho Hey. If I know this "indie" tune, I'm golden.  Mmmm yeah, that theory did not hold out quite as sturdily as I had hoped. As I sat on the couch pleasantly multitasking, musing to myself at my own twenty-something-seeming musical knowledge, I was all of a sudden abruptly stopped in my tracks, nearly choking on a spicy tuna roll. Cough. An ode to Forrest Gump? Who is this fellow and why is he moving so slowly on the screen? Is this a real song? An optical illusion? For the love of God, someone please clarify what's currently going on!
     Good for this guy, I guess? This has to be the worst song I have ever heard in my life. But props to you, Frank Ocean, for selling both it and yourself to the iTunes top 50? Rationalization works wonders.  Actually not so much ... this is just absolutely terrible. Forget feeling old, hearing that Forrest-Gump depicting disgrace of a song successfully assured me that one of the needed characteristics to attain musical popularity today is clearly NOT quality. Glad we got that straightened out. But alas, I will abstain from further Debbie Downer-ness.
     All in all, the Grammy's did not disappoint. Rihanna was radiant, Kelly Clarkson a class act through and through, and Fun. more fun than ever. I will never recognize, like or even feign to understand every artist on the iTunes top 10's crafts, and I'm okay with that. Music shapes life, and with that, here's to looking forward to next year's show...and no further musical renditions of Forrest Gump.