Whoever said bloggers were lame, basement-dwellers who lack the talent of ‘real’ writers has never met the awesome array of bloggers I have via WordPress. I’m continually amazed by the gifts and goodness they possess.
So I guess in some ways I wasn’t surprised to receive this text from JM Randolph (Accidental Stepmom) last Thursday morning:
Totally last minute. CC can’t come to my opening nite show. I only got 1 ticket- do you want it? 6:45 curtain.
The show JM was referring to was Jesus Christ Superstar, which opened on Broadway March 22nd. Thanks to JM’s gig doing sound for theater, I just scored an invite to opening night – on Broadway! I responded accordingly:
Hi JM! I just saw this! Is it too late to say hell yes!?
And so it was. We agreed to meet at 6:30 in front of the theater. I went to Kohl’s on my lunch break and picked up two new blazers because, of course, nothing in my closet was right. I settled on all black: black stretch pants, black calf-high boots, a black high-necked shirt with a sheer overlay on front, and a black blazer with similar sheer trim along the bottom.
I lightened things up with my wedding-day earrings, which are getting a lot of play lately:
I boarded the 4:23 NJ Transit train, excited as could be. JM and I met for the first time in January, before I saw another Broadway show, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I was really looking forward to seeing her again. From reading JM’s blog, it’s obvious she’s smart, witty and completely badass. I expected to meet a tough, somewhat no-nonsense chick. Which intimidated the hell out of me. Oh, how wrong I was! JM is warm, welcoming and lovely. And gorgeous! Not I’m going to wear leather pants to kick your butt gorgeous, but Princess Bride gorgeous.
It was only on the train, nearly to Penn Station, that I saw an earlier text from JM (I’d been having battery issues with my phone all day):
oh and dress semi-fab. you will need a pic of yourself on the red carpet.
Red carpet?! Moi?! My honest-to-goodness first thought was: I think my stretch pants are see-through! I was willing to accept that any pictures of me would be less than flattering, but transparent pants was where I drew the line. It was akin to stepping out of a limo with no underwear.
I quickly texted JM:
Oh holy shoot. For some reason I just saw your text about the red carpet. I did buy a new cute blazer on my lunch break BC that’s how I roll LOL but I don’t think it qualifies as fab?!?!?!?!
JM assured me it was no big deal, and that at least one person would be in sweatpants. I couldn’t tell if I’d just gotten myself out of it.
It was a gorgeous day for March, 75 degrees and sunny, and Manhattan was absolutely packed. It took me 40 minutes to work my way through the throngs of people to Neil Simon Theatre (I always prefer to walk to the theater district versus taking the subway or a cab from Penn Station, even though it’s at least a mile). I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen Times Square so jammed up.
There was also a huge crowd in front of the theater, though I couldn’t see who was on the red carpet. Several skeletal women passed by me in bright, silk dresses; it was clear they’d spent the entire day getting ready. My heart was in my throat at the prospect of sharing any kind of floor space with Broadway elite. I didn’t know the names of these producers and directors. I wouldn’t know Edward Albee if I tripped over him (just to make this reference I had to Google ‘living playwrights’).
When JM met me outside and handed me a ticket, I followed her lead. Okay, good, we weren’t headed towards the flash bulbs and cheers. Instead, we walked in through a side door. Hallelujah, I was spared! Under different circumstances, I would have been disappointed. But not that night. Not in see-through pants.
JM showed me to her motherboard, which was on a platform at the back of the orchestra section. She introduced me to some of her colleagues and it was clear they all adored her (and vice versa). Being part of the in crowd really is all it’s cracked up to be, Chipmunks.
I told JM I was learning about the inner workings of Broadway from one of my new favorite shows, Smash. She said they do actually do workshops like the one currently depicted on the show, confirming my suspicion that I can learn everything I need to know from TV. She paused.
“You do have crazy eyes.”
I laughed. I recently wrote a post about my crazy eyes; in it I described my giant pupils. Being in a dark theater surely made them noteworthy.
“I know,” I replied. “Everyone thinks I’m high all the time. …I wish.”
“Do they even need to dilate your pupils when you go to the eye doctor?” she asked with a good-natured smile.
Because the show was soon starting, I bid a temporary goodbye to JM and found my seat in the center of the balcony section. I smiled to myself when I saw the skinny-minnie-silk-dress girls in seats right by me. Ah, opening night on Broadway, what a great equalizer you are! I felt smug until I realized my see-through-panted butt could still barely fit in the wee Broadway seats (despite, and let me pause to brag for the first time here, a significant weight loss in the past year).
The audience was extremely enthusiastic, and while I’d never seen the play before, I was blown away by the production value and, most of all, the voices of the cast. (I bet some of that can be attributed to JM!) Andrew Lloyd Webber came out during the curtain call, and the standing ovation was the longest I’d ever taken part in.
I didn’t linger because I had to catch my train home, but hoped I managed to convey my gratitude and enthusiasm to JM before dashing. (In the end, I missed my connecting train -for the first time in my life- because I was too busy texting about my fun night out!)
Hey, we can still pretend I shared the spotlight with the likes of Megan Hilty (from Smash) and Andrew Lloyd Webber:
Hey, wait a second, Lisa Lampanelli…
…That dress looks familiar…
I’m so ahead of my time*! Maybe see-through pants will be in four years from now! Damn. I guess I should have walked that carpet.
*I bought this dress for $25 from Target 4 years ago. I cannot believe it’s on the red carpet right now.
Photo credit (marquis and red carpet pictures): broadwayworld.com.
I own this book. I love this book. My first job was at an independent book store, and when I got wind of this bad boy in 1999, I had to have it. I may have even paid full price: $24.95.
New copies on Amazon start at $143.36. Hot diggity! While this surprised me, it’s probably only because I never thought about it. Of course this book is costly, if it’s in short supply. Sometimes the world makes sense.
It’s the best coffee table book ever made. Just look:
If you’re not busy calling your therapist right now, you can see even more heart-stopping pop-ups by getting this book used for a good price! Don’t make me say “I told you so” in another 13 years.
Do you have any irrational fears? (Reactions to my last post suggest a strong aversion to sloths.)
Photo credit disclaimer: While I took these photos, I do not own the content of this book, which was created and written by Gary Greenberg, illustrated by Balvis Rubess, pop-ups by Matthew Reinhart, published by Rob Weisback Books, and produced by Melcher Media, Inc.
You thought this post was going to be about my labradoodle, Uncle Jesse, didn’t you?
Well, you’re wrong. Okay. Half wrong.
Uncle Jesse DID celebrate his 2nd birthday yesterday, after all:
I’m pretty sure he’s a contender for Happiest Animal in the World. We got him as a puppy, from an extremely reputable breeder, after doing months of research to find a breed that would be compatible with my husband’s allergies. (I am a huge supporter of animal adoption, which you can read about over on JM Randolph’s amazing blog, Accidental Stepmom.)
When Uncle Jesse licks his lips, sometimes the hair on one side gets a little caught up, and it looks like he’s smirking.
When his mouth is open, the sides of his mouth are upturned, resembling a smile.
All in all, he’s one content-looking pooch.
Yup. It would seem Uncle Jesse has the Happiest Animal in the World contest in the bag.
Nay, Chipmunks. My best friend, Jenn, just shared the following link with me (and if this doesn’t prove why we’re sisters from another mister, I don’t know what will):
Most likely you’re still nursing your post-St. Paddy’s day hangover, if I’m to believe those who dialed into NYC’s most popular radio station, Z100, this morning. One woman woke to find her prosthetic leg in a tree, another man discovered himself in bed with his ex-girlfriend…and ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.
I’m taking all of this to mean that you have the most raging case of the Mondays to date. Me too. Let’s turn these frowns upside-down with a few things that make me grin, giggle and guffaw (in that order), despite the fact that an endless week of fake niceties and spastic colons (thanks, Hoops and YoYo) await.
#1 – Going Bald for Good
Many of you have read that two of my favorite bloggers, Deb (The Monster In Your Closet) and Chris (From the Bungalow), will be shaving their heads this coming Saturday, for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer charity. For immediate inspiration, head over to their blogs by clicking their names above; I encourage you to offer words of encouragement and/or a donation.
Not much guilty pleasure in that, but there IS guilty pleasure in finding a website that lets you try on Halloween wigs (for free) without leaving the comfort of your home:
#2 – Hoops and YoYo Sympathize
Hoops and YoYo are Hallmark’s rock stars. I love them. They sum up what Mondays feel like better than I ever could:
A recent comment from the talented (and hilarious) Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) inspired me to dig up a clip of one of my favorite actors, John Krasinski, doing his marionette man. If this doesn’t make you smile, you have a lot in common with things that don’t smile.
Yesterday, while on my lunch break, I headed to the nearby liquor store to take advantage of their competitive Korbel champagne prices. (What’s it called when you have beer taste on a beer budget?) I wanted to celebrate the positive 2011 performance review I had just earned when I got home that evening. Suddenly, I started laughing. I knew what my next blog post would be about.
You Know You’re a Guilty Pleasure Enthusiast When…
1.) You Start Embellishing Life Events to Make Them a Cause for Celebration, i.e., Champagne
As it is, I toast to myself every Friday night for making it through another work week, but lately I’ve come up with reasons, mid-week, to celebrate. Last week, it was reaching a significant milestone in a project. The week before that, I celebrated finding delicious, cheap champagne at Trader Joe’s by drinking said champagne.
Next week, I suspect matching socks will earn me some of this liquid happy.
2.) You Have to Give Up Vampire Diaries on Your DVR to Make Room For 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and American Idol
This was a tough one for me to give up on the DVR, which only allows me to record two shows at once. Unlike my early dismissal of MTV’s Teen Wolf, I’ve been holding out hope for CW’s The Vampire Diaries. Believe it or not, it wasn’t the brooding vampire brothers, but rather side character, Caroline, who really won me over. She’s got layers, people.
Oh Thursday nights, why are you such a cornacopia of television goodness?
3.) Your Co-Workers Laugh at Your Breakfast
I see nothing wrong with the two giant slices of leftover pizza on my desk, thank you very much. Keep it up and tomorrow it will be egg salad.
Something Borrowed. I am completely obsessed. It’s on HBO OnDemand right now, through April 30th (which, incidentally, is my 30th birthday. This movie happens to open with the lead character’s 30th birthday. …I’m seriously starting to see cosmic signs in this. It’s not good. I even downloaded songs from the soundtrack. Intervention? Anyone?).
I’ve bawled my eyes out for a week over this movie. I’m still not sure how I want it to end; somehow the happy ending is also the bittersweet one. To me, it takes the road less traveled, as far as romantic comedies go, and despite its inherent cheesiness, there is something so genuine about the relationships. Kate Hudson executes her female d-bag role perfectly, and Goodwin’s sweetie-pie persona is irresistible. Oh! Oh! They even have a whole bit about a chipmunk (chipmunks are kind of my thing, in case you’re new here)! See what I’m saying about cosmic signs?
And I haven’t even gotten to John Krasinski yet. Suffice it to say, he’s as perfect as a chipmunk eating Dunkaroos.
If that surprises you, it’s probably because you’re one of the millions three who think I’m the spitting image of Katherine Heigl*, and
consider me an A-List kind of gal. But you should know I’m more the type to surround myself with greatness, in the hopes that some of it will just rub off.
Celebrity correspondent Ross Mathews is the gay man I never knew I always wanted to be. A kindred. He’s funny, adorable, positive, and living my dream. He knows his pop culture, struggles with his weight, and is living my dream.
I LOVE this guy. Let’s talk about him.
I first heard about 32-year-old Mathews via his long-standing gig over on The Tonight Showwith Jay Leno as Ross the Intern. In 2006, when they paired him with the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin, Mathews went viral. It was worth writing this post just for the excuse to watch this video again. I don’t care who you vote for [on American Idol], how you eat your Reese’s peanut butter cups, or what kind of vodka you drink, you will love this:
I was immediately and understandably obsessed after that, and spent many hours watching Mathews’ video blog (“Talky Blog”) on YouTube. His charm and enthusiasm left me in stitches.
On the last day of his internship on The Tonight Show, the head writer told Mathews they wanted to hire him, and sent him off to interview George Clooney on the red carpet. Not too shabby. Since then, Washington state-born Mathews has made appearances as a correspondent for E!, The Insider, and various award shows. He’s had guest spots on Days of Our Lives and was even on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club.
Wouldn’t he look great in a GoGuiltyPleasures slap bracelet (or eight)?
Recently, Mathews got an offer from E! to write a talk show pilot, produced by Chelsea Handler’s Amazing Productions. I can’t wait! (For a short, hilarious, but risqué interview between Handler and Ross, click here.) And just a couple of weeks ago, Mathews interviewed my Second Husband, Darren Criss, before Criss sang with Kermit the Frog! Sigh. …Double sigh.
I could watch Ross Mathews all day.
Who’s your celebrity soul sister/brother?
*How many strangers have to tell you you look like someone before you can let it go to your head? I already know the answer to how many it takes before you can brag about it on your blog.
Today is my brother’s birthday. I don’t think he reads this blog, but I guess I love him anyway. (He did comment once! Back in July, to let me know he was uncomfortable learning we both want to make-out with Emma Watson.)
My brother’s IQ hovers roughly above the 1.5 billion mark, or more accurately, around the place where he posts pictures like this on his Facebook wall just to confuse me:
Right now he’s wrapping up the last semester of law school, where he’s on a free ride thanks to his disgusting ability to earn perfect scores on all standardized tests, including the LSATs. Though it sounds like we don’t have much in common, whenever I think back on my comedic influences, my brother is there.
Four years my senior, he introduced me to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and DuckTales, which morphed into an Animaniacs obsession. After that, it was repeat viewings of Spaceballs and The Princess Bride (which he could recite in its entirety, with the voices, by the way). We spent countless hours watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, Whose Line is it Anyway? and Amazing Johnathan (who later helped execute my marriage proposal – as part of his show!).
When my brother sent an email to the family saying he wanted “chimichangas and sh*t” for his birthday dinner, my chipmunk heart rejoiced. But just when I thought we were kindred spirits, he sent another email asking us to make donations in his name to WNYC, in lieu of birthday presents.
Because I’d already started gathering gifts Because this guiltless -though typical of him- gesture threw my birthday-loving world off-kilter, I decided to make the donation and then get to work.
In order to make a good balance-restoring gift basket of Guilty Pleasure Wonder for a selfless sibling, you will need:
In order to make a magical balance-restoring gift basket of Guilty Pleasure Wonder for a selfless sibling, you must add:
Yes, this is a real thing, and yes, it is worth every penny of its somewhat alarming price tag. Vosges makes Mo’s Bacon Bar, which many learned about a few years ago thanks to the all-knowing Oprah. My wise, caring husband bought me a couple of bars a while back, and my life has never been the same. There are tiny bits of crunchy, salty, melt-in-your-mouth bacony goodness ensconced in some of the creamiest, most delicious milk chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s euphoric. Go buy some. Now. I’ll wait. (And if Vosges would like to send me any free chocolate for this endorsement, I guess that would be okay with me.)
My brother claims he’s married to Chocolate-Covered Bacon on Facebook (though lately “it’s complicated”). Chocolate-Covered Bacon even has its own Facebook page:
It seemed only fitting that I present him with a tangible representation of his beloved this birthday season:
And just to be sure the guilty pleasure stars were realigned, I made a guilt-ridden family favorite for dessert (double the cream cheese frosting, thank you very much). Guess what kind of cake it is?
Happy birthday, Bryan! May you accept this post as a staggering donation to the Awesomest Sisters of The Universe Foundation.
What’s the coolest birthday present you’ve ever given/gotten?
With an impending tax return about to pad my wallet, I started looking for living room furniture in January. We’d been in our house almost two years, and it seemed high time to replace the folding table with something a tad more permanent.
I started with the basics, leaning towards country cottage meets shabby-chic. A rug, TV and TV stand:
Then I found out we’d be getting significantly less than I thought we would from Uncle Sam (thanks to Peppermeister‘s new job not taking out the appropriate amount), so I had to switch tactics midstream.
It took weeks of perseverance, but eventually I found this Pottery Barn coffee table on Craigslist for a steal (a steal I tell you! When we went to pick it up, an attractive, somewhat scraggly, 30-something-year-old ginger gentleman was waiting in his garage. He lived in a very posh development on a golf course, but there was an air of deprivation about him. We found out it was his parents’ house, and he was storing the coffee table there because of the extra room. We immediately convinced ourselves the darkest fate had befallen him; either he was the father of Snooki’s unborn child, or he was newly divorced and had to sell his furniture to pay alimony. Our glee at finding such a bargain quickly turned to awkwardness and sympathy. And why yes, thank you, this is my longest parenthetical aside of all time):
Then, I found this end table and lamp from HomeGoods:
I wasn’t sure either of them were working, until, on Sunday, February 12th, I put them to the ultimate test…
Finally, I handed my phone to Peppermeister and asked him to take a picture of me – to confirm that the living room matched my style champagne. I grinned, glass raised.
Peppermeister fussed with my cell phone for a moment. “Say, ‘Whitney Houston just died!'” he cried.
My grin dropped and I giggled uncertainly. “Wait, what?”
He laughed cackled at my dismay.
“Did she really die?” I asked, laughing in the way people do at funerals and at their boss’s jokes.
“Yes!” he replied, trying to catch my reaction on camera:
On the upside, the final product is delightful:
Do you think I still love my husband? What’s your favorite Whitney Houston song?
I feel guilty about the lack of pleasures on this blog as of late. Because of personal and professional duties doodies, I haven’t been able to post as regularly as I would like. (Either that will change soon, or I will go Britney Spears circa 2007 on ya’ll.)
I hear your cries. I know. It’s unacceptable. So, to get you through to the next post, I give you your very own…
Guilty Pleasure Survival Kit!
Indulge in these items, and it’ll be like I’m right there with you (hopefully in a slightly uncomfortable way…I love that shirt on you).
1.) More ME
If you haven’t seen my last cinematic masterpiece in celebration of my 1-year blogiversary, you’re dead to me. Watch it! You’ll love it! Critics are calling it, “Um, who are you?” “The best thing since your video before that.” When you’re done watching, check out my archive over there —–>. 132 thought-provoking posts.
2.) Tube Schmoob
I’ll be honest. There are a couple of free hours at night where I could be writing, but vodka and American Idol always wins. (Although, let’s remember this is technically research for me.) Be a boob tube schmoob with me and check out some of my new favorite shows:
If you love Glee and American Idol like your favorite guilty pleasure blogger, you’ve got to give NBC’s new Katherine McPhee-a-palooza a shot. Let’s just forget about Nick Jonas’s guest appearance last week. Suspend your disbelief a little longer.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have done it again with this HBO winner starring little person, Warwick Davis. It was touch-and-go for the first episode, but bringing Johnny Depp into episode #2? Genius. Davis’s assistant is also not to be missed.
3.) Second Husband Croaks!
My beautiful Second Husband, Darren Criss, got to perform with Kermit the Frog for E’s Oscar pre-show last weekend! They sang Rainbow Connection and the result was magical. You can watch the video here.
4.) Tried-and-True Food/Beverage Combos
I have graciously road-tested the following food combinations for you over the past two weeks. You can enjoy knowing they have the GOGP stamp of approval.
cherry peppers on pizza
chocolate chips mixed into cupcake batter
refried beans and bacon
vodka and Simply grapefruit juice
As a reminder, please indulge recklessly, and whatever you do, DON’T:
use the following words or phrases in casual conversation (and maybe don’t use them ever):