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nostalgia

Ok, I’m just going to put this out there – Lena Dunham reminds me of the childhood picture book character Little Critter. Don’t ask me why I think this, I just do. And I spent a solid 45min googling 90s books trying to remember what it was called. I now have the closure I need to begin watching GIRLS again.

Please note – this is nowhere near close to a ding on Ms. Dunham. For the most part I think she’s fabulous. She just happens to look like an anthropomorphic animal character created by Mercer Mayer.

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No?? Am I on my own on this one? That’s ok. I’ll just post more cover photos and geek out ‘cuz the week’s out.

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Did you know I love Paul Rudd? No?? Well I do. In a MAJOR way. Ever since I first laid eyes on his dorky but sublime nerd-faux-bro in Clueless I was smitten. Why couldn’t I have a former step brother turned boyfriend? Girls in California have all the fun. But I digress.

I also LOVE Leslie Mann. I love any female actress who can make me laugh, but I particularly love the ones who can be physically and scatologically hilarious while still looking downright awesome. It’s this awesome combo that I strive for on the reg – a girl who’s down with the grossness but still emits sex appeal.

So, point being, Leslie Mann is married to Judd Apatow and reprising her earlier role from Knocked Up in his newest flick, This is 40. Bonus! Paul Rudd is back as her doting, fantasy baseball-on-the-sly-playing hubby. And, those two adorable potty mouthed kids are back in their teen and pre-teen forms – Mann and Apatow’s daughters. Wild stuff, no?

too presh for words. makes me sick.

I’m highly anticipating leaving the theater sitting on the couch* and wishing with all my might that by the time I’m 40 my life will turn out like theirs. I’m not even sure what that means yet, but I know they’re funny, have friends, and live in a nice house. What’s not to want there? Oh, and they have precocious children. If you have children and they’re not precocious, what’s the point? (Tangent – I don’t know what I would do if my child was picked on at school or unpopular. I’d be devastated.)

It’s interesting to think about where my life might be in 13 years. Just last night I was at the gym and Ke$ha came on Pandora, and I literally thought, ‘Christ. Now there’s someone who’s not going to age well.’ And then I felt better about myself, b/c ya know, there’s that.

foulness

I just spent 45 min trying to unsync my google account from Chrome, and then an additional 20 getting rid of the uTorrent toolbar ‘add on’ –>; sooo effing annoying. Also, it’s now impossible to have my bookmarks and backgrounds come up w/o being signed in to my google account. There’s no going back. Stupid computers trying to be helpful.

Don’t I sound like a spoiled American? I would agree, slightly. Except for the fact that today is also World Hunger Day, and if the most pressing issue I’ve faced is dealing with electronics while watching touching and inspiring E60 stories, well, I’m sitting pretty.

I can’t help what country I’m from or the situation I was born into, but I can change my awareness. And so can everyone else. I’m not asking for anything drastic like donating all your worldly possessions and moving to a third world country to help out (although, more power to you if that’s your thing – can’t say I haven’t thought about it), just read on for a few facts to keep in mind while you’re chowing down on BigMacs this weekend (buy one, get a second for just a penny more!)

Hunger and food insecurity affect millions of people worldwide (Starvin Marvin), but more incredibly, there are at least 16 million children in AMERICA struggling with hunger. That’s nearly 1 in 5 kids suffering from the persistent hunger that negatively affects their development, ability to learn, and quality of life.

You may or may not remember school lunch lines in elementary school, but there were always kids on reduced lunch and those who showed up early to school to sit in the cafeteria before class to ensure they received a free breakfast. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, I know that they were there because for whatever reason their parents weren’t waking them up with delicious plates of Eggos. I mean, 62% of teachers report regularly seeing kids come to school hungry b/c they aren’t getting enough to eat.

And what about holidays when there’s no free lunch? And weekends? And the need for afterschool snacks before practice? And what about when those children grow up to become adults who are still facing unwavering hunger? And what about those adults dealing with food insecurity the world over???? It’s completely depressing and heartbreaking and makes me feel so helpless.

BUT, I don’t have to be, and neither do you. It all starts with awareness, and then maybe a food drive, or even a donation to a proven charity (one whose overhead doesn’t exceed 10%), and then maybe action from Congress. And awareness starts here: http://www.nokidhungry.org/problem/overview

Tonight is the night DC fans have all been waiting for – our first look at RGIII on the field in a Skins uniform. Granted, it’s only preseason, but it’s hype-worthy none the less. Unfortunately I’ll be unable to watch as I’ll be en route to NOLA, and Delta is a POS airline w/o direct TV. Key words from above = PRESEASON and NOLA.

That’s right – I’m heading to the Big Easy with my favorite girls from college for a pseudo bachelorette weekend. (‘Ah, New Orleans. The Big Easy. Sweet Lady Gumbo. Old… Swampy.’) NOLA is one of my favorite cities in the US and I can’t wait to share it. We’re going to be lazy, drink delicious concoctions and eat all the fabulous food. Honestly, according to my (self-made) itinerary, it seems as if all we’re going to do is eat – and I’m more than ok with that. Reviews to follow upon my return.

I know everyone is beyond stoked about RGIII (see above), but I wanted to give a shout out to another DC superstar – the Nats’ Gio Gonzalez. Not only is he adorable, but he’s an amazing pitcher and team player. I’m a recent convert to the baseball scene, but I’m pretty sure last night was a banner night for him. He a) pitched a complete game, b) won the game, leading the Nats to an MLB-best 25 games above .500, and c) hit a 2 RBI homerun! What a stud!!

I just really appreciate everything he’s done for the team (solid, unselfish play) and the community (inspiring fans a la Angels in the Outfield. sigh. I miss Tony Danza. Whatever happened to him?) I recognize that it’s a team sport, and I have special places in my heart for the rest of the gang – Morse, Strasburg, Zimmerman, Harper and LaRoche in partic – but Gio’s smile makes it seem as if it’s just a bunch of guys out there having fun. And if having fun helps them win, their winning helps me have fun. That’s the circle of life right there.

I’m about to get real real corny with you – this is a post about my hero, my dad, AND is written on a Sunday, clearly breaking the no post weekend rule. THAT’S how important my dad is to me.

I suppose hero is the wrong word choice – my dad has never pulled a cat from a burning building, or caught a thief who snatched an old woman’s purse. Hell, he doesn’t even break for squirrels. But, none of that matters to me, b/c he’s pretty much 80% responsible for the awesome person I am today.

A little background – my pops is an old man. Straight up – he’s turning 68 on Tuesday (I’m his oldest and only 26). He’s been retired since I was in 8th grade and has basically just hung around the house since, living the dream. He worked his ass off my entire childhood (traveled constantly, late nights at the office) to make sure that our house was paid off and we had everything we needed. We didn’t always get everything we wanted (ahem, name brands), but we never went without.

My dad and I have always had a unique relationship. Early in high school he tried to be tough (‘I expect straight As’), but after my brothers turned out to be less than ideal academics (‘I expect A B C honor roll’ ??!) he morphed into the lax, funny dude he is today.

To my recollection, we’ve only had one fight that lasted more than a day – and it was my fault to begin with. I was the one who broke curfew to stay out all night with some guy and then lied and said the movie had run late (way to go 14 year old me!) Other than that, we shouted over where I’d go to college, but in the end I gave in. And thank god! Otherwise I would have ended up at a subpar school close to home simply b/c my then-boyfriend was there. Pops 1, me 0.

My dad has stood by practically every decision I’ve made, even those I’m sure he could tell weren’t going to work from the get go. He scrimped and saved early on so that he could provide me with 4 years of school debt free. Hell, just recently in a moment of insane irresponsibility I put a $500+ flight on his cc simply b/c I wanted to get home from a business trip 12 hours earlier, and when he called all he asked was if I would be home in time to join him for dinner.

This is getting sappy and long winded, but I have one last point to talk about. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 3 years ago. It started with a slight tremor (‘fack Dad, stop shaking that damn newspaper!’) and has progressed to a relatively crippling disease. Luckily, he’s still able to function independently, but it has affected his motor skills in that both his hands shake to the point where detailed work, such as writing and typing, has become arduous and taxing. He currently takes medicine that is supposed to lessen the symptoms, but it’s not capable of fully eliminating them. Thus, he has a few good hours in the morning before the medicine begins to wear off and make him nauseous and dizzy.

It breaks my heart to see my strong, independent dad so miserable. He tries to joke about it (‘what’s the point of me getting an ipad? It’d end up like an etch-a-sketch’) and keep the severity from my brothers and me, but I know it’s taking its toll. To try to stay sane, he builds kayaks in our gazebo out back. These turn out beautifully – all shiny with lacquer and intricately detailed – but there’s always the underlying concern regarding him and a table saw (80/20 joking). He’s since branched out into hand carved paddles as well, but the market for these is a bit, um, niched.

paddlefun.com!

He no longer goes kayaking or bike riding solo. A quick aside – his bike is now this bad ass incumbent trike with this bright orange flag on a pole off the back, so cars can see him as he goes whizzing by. My dad doesn’t have too many friends (by choice), but the few in his crew of bros have been as supportive as they can by going with him when their schedules permit. And of course, the OG bros – my brothers – live at home and try to keep him young. (Pops says he’s the only 68 year old living in a dorm.)

‘you’re my boy blue!’

Enough rambling. Today my dad was supposed to go to the Nats game with my brother and his gf (a Yankees fan – blech), but is having a bad day symptom-wise. The more responsible of my two irresponsible brothers called to let me know and to ask me to stop by to check on him, so I’ll be spending the afternoon with him – watching the Germany game, and soaking up some QT with Pops – the man, the myth, the legend. Father’s Day is supposed to recognize fathers everywhere, but I say to hell with that. All I care about is making sure my dad knows that I’d do anything for him. But the beauty is, he’d never ask me for a thing.

Sometimes I wake up late and end up bringing a bag filled with a loaf of bread and fixins to lunch for onsite assembly. This time, it made me the hit of the lunch room – no one can turn down a quality PB&J on (whole grain) wonderbread. It’s just too good! And that is how I went through approximately one half of my lunch stores for the next week – feeding the masses – a small price to pay for popularity.

Did you see that the Capitals actually won last night? They managed to squander their 2-0 lead in the last two minutes, but some clutch shots saved the day in a shootout. After being hailed as the preseason favorites for the Stanley Cup, they now sit poised immediately out of playoff contention. They have to win their remaining four games and have some other teams implode for them to make the cut.

(Check it our – it’s a capitals LEGO! No matter how sucky they’re playing I still want one.)

It’s a damn shame actually – the one team that most recent years can be counted on to make a postseason push has let us down even before the postseason starts. I’m relatively used to my May letdowns – not sure I can handle it in April. Not to beat a dead horse, but why the DC area can’t have ONE championship caliber team is beyond me.

Maybe it’s because we’re trying to participate in too many sports? Spreading our talent too thin? I mean, Pittsburgh is a sucky town with really only one sucky team – the Pirates – and for all I know they’ll end up better than the Nats this year.  We have the big name players on each squad – Ovechkin, Wall, Strasburg, RGIII – but I guess the support players are all trash. Either that, or these ‘stars’ aren’t worth the money.

At the end of the day, it seems as if none of the DC teams play with any cohesiveness or consistency. When the defense is stellar, the offense can’t make a 3rd and goal; when the Caps kill 5 minutes of power play (a la last night against Boston), their stats on offensive power plays are dismal; bucket lids afflict the Wiz; and the back walls are just way too far for the Nats to hit homers.

I currently root for any and all DC teams b/c it’s the right thing to do. But, if the management were to one day decide to combine their efforts into one winning squad – I’m looking your way Snyder – I’d happily downplay other allegiances. Basically, my plea is for Ted Leonsis (even though neither the Caps nor Wizards are particularly good) to take on the Skins too. They wouldn’t be any worse off than they are right now.

One of my earliest memories is of the Redskins in the Super Bowl in 1991. I was in first grade and my mom allowed me to stay up and watch the first half. It seemed so late, but in retrospect I was probably still in bed by 8pm. Either way, that experience is now a distant memory, as it’s officially the 20th anniversary of the last Redskins Super Bowl win. The Washington Post provided a great chronicle of that event here.

For that matter, this is also the 20th anniversary of any Washington sports team playing reasonably well. It’s a well-known fact that Washington teams are all teases – first round playoff losses, second round losses, lack of playoff appearances – we have a plethora of failures.

But enough negativity for one day – I’m going to focus on an awesome article from Grantland – ‘The 10 Best Super Bowls in Trivia History’ – written by, wait for it, Ken Jennings(!) You remember him, right? He was on Jeopardy! for aggeeeeessss. Rather than reposting the entire article, I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite trivialities that he cites. The full list can be found here.

10. Super Bowl XIX – Dolphins v. 49ers – ‘…this game is mostly of note to fans of movie trivia, since a fictional San Francisco-Miami championship was a major plot point in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Any Given Sunday…and Teri Hatcher was a 49ers cheerleader in 1985…’


5. Super Bowl XXIII – Bengals v. 49ers – ‘…as the story goes, with the 49ers down three with three minutes to go, Montana calmed down a nervous huddle by pointing into the crowd and asking, “Isn’t that John Candy?” Then he proceeded to march the team 92 yards downfield for a game-winning touchdown to John Taylor. Cool customer…’


4. Super Bowl XLI – Colts v. Bears – ‘…first Super Bowl win by an African-American coach (the Colts’ Tony Dungy) or the only score ever to come one the game’s first play (the Bear’s Devin Hester returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown just 14 seconds in…’

3. Super Bowl XXI – Giants v. Broncos – ‘…It ended with Giants coach Bill Parcells getting a barrel of Gatorade dumped over him – a historic Super Bowl first! Then Phil Simms got a $75,000 check…for telling a camera that he was “going to Disney World”…and Bud Light’s controversial spokes-terrier Spuds MacKenzie made his TV debut…’

spuds mackenzie is ranked sixth on stan's top ten favorite dogs he counts down in 'the people vs. martin sugar'.

Those are the examples that I geeked particularly hard over, but there are so many more! I sincerely hope that if I ever end up on Jeopardy! a Super Bowl category comes up. I’d run the table (thanks Ken!) Here’s hoping this weekend’s game proves at least as entertaining as the last time the Giants and Pats met in the big game…

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