Posts filed under ‘Fun Time Nicki’
Since I’ve been residing in Wisconsin for the last little while I’ve had a lot of time to park myself in front of the t.v. and try to make amends for the programs that I missed when I was at college. With today’s latest technology (tivo) the entertainment world is my oyster. I’ve watched everything from the Real Housewives of Orange County and Real Word Las Vegas Reunion to Chris Matthew’s Hardball and the Republican Presidential debate. Yes it has been a very fulfilling summer indeed. But none of it meant anything until I stumbled upon Charles Dickens movie adaptation of Great Expectations, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. Watching it was pure joy. Everything from the story line to its visual appeal was magical. After watching it I had an ache within my stomach that I couldn’t explain. I had a terrible night sleep and woke up distraught not knowing exactly what was bothering me. I tried to blame it on the salmon I had for dinner that night but I subconsciously knew I was telling myself a lie. I spent the rest of the day ill at ease and then suddenly out of no where it hit me. I realized that I miss Gwyneth!
When I was growing up my sisters loved Gwyneth Paltrow. She was the standard for style and beauty that everyone else tried to live up to. One of my sisters even claimed that she looked like Gwyneth and made sure that her prom dress was green just like the dresses that Gwyneth wore in Great Expectations. So even though I grew up with a biased opinion of Gwyneth I still feel that I can arguably say that she was a classic Hollywood starlet. She wore Armani and Gucci to all her premiers, she made history in her lovely pink dress at the Oscar’s when she won for Shakespeare in Love, and she was fortunate enough to date Hollywood’s hottest hunk Brad Pitt for three years and even convinced him to get matching blond bobs. The girl had it going on. And now as we fast forward almost a decade it is sad to see what has become of our sweet Gwyneth. It seems like she decided to openly rebel against her title as Hollywood’s fashionista and plummet herself to grunge girl. The days of her pink Oscar dress went missing and instead she showed up to the Oscar’s looking like Heidi gone gothic. As far as dating the likes of Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck she went the total opposite direction when she up and decided to marry the most unattractive rocker out there: Chris Martin of Coldplay. While I enjoy his music I find it too painful to see him in a music video, with his crooked British teeth and gangly underfed body haunting the screen. I don’t know what spell he cast over Gwyneth or how he did it, but he is the only one I can blame for taking our starlet and convincing her to name her two children after a fruit and a biblical figure. It just isn’t fair. People say Kevin Federline was a bad influence but what about Chris Martin? He took the classy Gwyneth we came to love and changed her into a rocker hippie who hates America. Instead of the media making t-shirts that read “Free Paris” I think it’s time everyone takes a hard look at the situation and start churning out the t-shirts that say “Free Gwyneth.” She’s been in a prison all these years and she just doesn’t know it yet. I wish that someone would enlighten her.
Sure there are those who say she’s happier now with life out of the spotlight. But to them I say, what about the rest of the world? Instead of getting to see a classy girl like Gwyneth on the cover of Us Weekly we’re forced to see drunk Lindsay Lohan holding a knife to Vanessa Minnillo or doing lines of coke at a club. As much as I wish we could bring Gwyneth back I’ve come to the harsh realization that she is too far gone. There is only a small window of time that you can save someone from there self and unfortunately that time has passed for our dear Gwyneth. But we’ll always have the good ol’ days and that will just have to suffice. We can only hope that in the future we will get someone as classy and beautiful as Gwyneth to grace Hollywood’s doors. But for now my friends we’re stuck reading about the one night stands of Jennifer Aniston and Paris’ jail stints. Oh well. Hollywood starlets aren’t born everyday and for now we just have to wait.
I’ve come to realize that every generation has its trademark. Each one handles situations in entirely different ways and each criticizes the other for it. It’s like how my grandparents won’t throw food out. Even if a chunk of cheese is green and has visible fungus sprouting forth my grandmother will scrape it off and try to disguise it in a sandwich. While I may question this and even accuse her of passively aggressively trying to kill me, it’s something that I have respect and try to understand.
Topic that I feel that no one outside of my generation understands is the beauty of text messaging. Text messaging is a gift from the cell phone gods enabling us to get messages across to people in short, efficient ways without ever having to speak to the person. While some may argue that it is bringing about a generation of impersonal, digital freaks who are incapable of ever being able to make eye contact let alone talk, I see it as a beacon sheltering me from having to spend 1 hour on the phone when all I have to say can be said in 2 sentences. See the problem with actually calling someone is that people like to chat, and when you’re a gal on the go, you just don’t have the time. Sure there are some people I enjoy talking to but those people are limited to the number of fingers I have on my hand. Also, text messaging can be done anywhere. In a movie, during class, or anywhere else that is deemed inappropriate. It’s fabulous!
Text messaging has not only taken over the way my generation communicates but also the way we date. The last bloke I dated was against text messaging and saw it as a futile means of communication and insisted on speaking voice to voice over the phone, and to be perfectly honest, it made me ridiculously uncomfortable. I got used to the routine of talking every night, but when something spontaneous or funny would happen it was just a pain in my neck that I couldn’t text him. Instead I had to pick up the phone, dial, and wait for the fool to pick up. I stand by the statement that we didn’t make it because of his inability to text. I believe that we would have had a fighting chance had I not been forced to pick up the phone every time I needed to say something. It just wasn’t necessary. Now I’m not saying that phone conversation is a bad thing, but one must admit that it’s not the most productive thing in the world. When I’m in a texting conversation I am free to do whatever the heck I want. I can be eating, I can be doing homework, watching t.v., reading a book, or anything else that tickles my fancy. Talking on the phone limits you’re options.
I feel that it’s time texting is embraced by the general public in all forms. There’s all this etiquette tied up with it, and I’m just saying I think it’s time we relax, accept it, and worry about other things. I mean if someone wants to break up with someone via text message, why not? It sure isn’t the classiest way to handle things but if you’re dating a jackass, I wouldn’t blame you. I mean you didn’t see anyone get on Britney’s back about dumping Federline over a text, you saw it with a lot of her other actions, but the text message was a fair hit. It sends more than just a break up message, it sends a universal message. It says, “You weren’t worth actually calling or doing this to your face so here it is in font. So there.” I think it’s fantastic, a bit shameless but fantastic nonetheless. In the future I predict we’ll see wedding invites through text messages attached with a camera snap shot done with the slide show feature. Again, it’s not something I’d do, but I sure would support it. I would certainly question how they got away with doing it with out being murdered by their parents and the rest of society, but still it would be an action that would secretly please me, or at least humor me. So all I’m saying is that the next time the person you’re dating dumps you via text or someone invites you to an extremely important personal event in font, feel free to hold a grudge but do your best to laugh and embrace it. It’s a new generation, however weird, ridiculous or misunderstood it may seem. Try to go with it.
Currently I am visiting my sister and her five children in the great state of Wisconsin. Great is usually a word not associated with Wisconsin. All Wisconsin is usually linked with is beer, cheese, brats, football, and fatties. And let me tell you it lives up to all of the above! Now I have to admit that when I was younger I was quite the little porker. I had enough fat to go around for all my fellow class mates, but then puberty came and I grew 6 inches and all of a sudden it was c’est la vie to that awkward stage in life. After a couple of years went by and I finally came to the realization that I was no longer an awkward, chubby tomboy I unfortunately joined in with the mainstream opinion of seeing “a little extra meat” as a bad thing. When I got to college things got better, seeing as how we were freshmen at BYU and gaining weight was only normal, but still there was a stigma associated with it in my mind. I was never too particularly concerned with myself. I went to the gym about 4 times a week and I was sorta health conscious so I figured I was taken care of. But it was more of my fellow students who would linger in the back of my mind. Every time I ate at the dining hall and saw a girl or guy who were a little on the heavier side standing at the desert table the words “Are you sure you really wanna do that?” would always go through my mind. I never audibly said anything but I would think it, which is just as bad.
Coming toWisconsin I’ve been astounded with what I’ve seen. I am a frequent drive through patron at Mc Donald’s, because I truly believe that no other fast food chain in America has a better diet coke mix than they do. So it would be safe to say that you can see me drive through there at least twice a day. I noticed, being the frugal, savvy patron that I am, that in the long run I would be saving money if I got the extra large size instead of just a medium of large because they now have an 89 cent deal going on all summer. Now seeing as how I’m ordering diet coke this isn’t a problem where weight is concerned (the health factor is another story, but I’ve harshly come to terms that my death will be diet coke related) but what about those people who get regular coke? Now a large regular coke has 310 calories. I checked to see how much their extra large drink has and that nutritional fact is conveniently not listed on Mc Donald’s website at the moment.
But to make a long story short, there’s a whole heck of a lot of calories in one. Probably more calories in it than would be needed for an entire meal. So after coming to this realization I was concerned. A concern for the ever increasing waist bands of my fellow patrons. As I was pondering this dilemma I received a phone call from my other sister who lives in the polar opposite demographic of Wisconsin; Los Angeles. Now I hate Los Angeles. It’s a bunch of aging hipsters running around drinking their wheat grass and eating something organic. It’s a town full of obsessed fools who spend their day at the gym and only take an hour or two off for their weekly botox injection. Now if you wanna see miserable self obsessed people just go to Los Angles and take one look at those anorexic fetuses. Talking to my sister made me remember just exactly how much I hate it there and how much I love being in a place where weight is a non issue. The people in Wisconsin are genuinely happy. And I’m convinced it’s because of the lack of judgment. Because when you think about it they really have nothing else to brag about. Their weather sucks and their sports teams are just as dismal, but yet these people have an inner cheerfulness.
After looking over all the facts I am ashamed of myself. Ashamed of the judgment I’ve placed on others, ashamed of how I ever questioned Mc Donald’s extra large option, and ashamed that I have not come to this realization sooner. So what if high school girls here are busting out of their jeans, so what if middle age men with beer guts walk around in speedos on a hot day. They’re happy. And to tell you truth it’s liberating to be in a place where being overweight is not seen as a problem. It’s just part of life. I figure people should do what makes them happy and if that means drinking that extra large regular coke or going back for that second scoop of ice cream than go for it. So what if they may die sooner than others, at least they’re going down grinning. Now if being thin is what floats your boat and makes you happy feel free. But what I’ve learned is irreplaceable. I’ve learned that in Wisconsin one can always feel at their all time best. It’s a pretty great place.
So I just completed my first year at BYU, the overwhelmingly Mormon college located in
Provo, UT. All in all it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes I met my fair share of bubbly, blonde Mormon girls all ready and waiting to have any guy pop the question, and of course there were many parties which used board games as a substitute for beer, but all in all I was able to find normal people who shared my same sarcastic views on the whole experience. But to tell you the truth I really wanted to see first hand the true desperation of BYU students, so I did what I knew I had to do. I enrolled in Marriage Prep class.
I knew in a way I was asking for punishment by enrolling in this class, but I decided I needed to take it at a young age before I’d grown too cynical to experience the ultimate BYU experience. I thought for sure that I would be the youngest person in the class by far considering I was only an 18 year old freshmen, but not only was I not the youngest, but there was actually a 17 year old there. So considering that the class was just my age I figured I’d blend in pretty well. And I was able to blend in, that is until the second class period. That class we were talking about children in a marriage and the teacher wanted us to go around and say our name and how many kids we wanted to have. So everything was fine until they got to me. The most typical answers were something like, “Hi my name is Sherry. I’m from Sandy, Utah and I want have, umm maybe like, 5 or 6 kids by the time I’m like 30. I dunno. I mean I’m from a family of 8 so I wouldn’t feel right not having a large family.” So that was the kind of answers I was up against. So when they got to me I figured I shouldn’t sugar coat anything. So I said, “Hey my name’s Nicki, I’m from Washington D.C. and I’m planning on 2 kids and I don’t plan on having them before I’m 30.” I was just going to leave it at that until the teacher gave me this concerned look and asked why I wouldn’t want the blessings of children before the age of 30. So again I decided that I’d just tell the truth, I mean I figured I might as well make this boring class as interesting as possible, so I said, “Well ideally I’d like to get married at 25 and to tell you the truth I want to have at least 5 solid years of the fun aspect of marriage, because as we all know once kids come the sex kind of goes down hill from there.” And there it was. I had dared to go where no other marriage prep student had gone before. I got one laugh from the guy next to me in the back row and I gave him a nod of appreciation, but everyone else was bright red and silent, including my chubby, bald teacher. He mumbled something unintelligible and then moved on to the next person. So before we’d even finished the 2nd day of class I was all ready branded the liberal, selfish, east coast girl, who had no respect for the sacred act of procreation. And to tell you the truth I was just fine with that. As I said before, someone had to make that class interesting, so I figured the torch had been handed to me and it was my duty to bring a little excitement and conflict to the generally sheepish and conservative BYU marriage prep class.
I never acted out in ridiculous ways in the class but I would just let my opinion be known when most people would have generally kept quiet. One day our teacher was talking about dating and how guys need to get more courage in asking out girls. He then went on to make the outlandish statement saying that “any guy can get any girl he wants as long as he plays his cards right”. When he said this utterly ridiculous statement I looked around expecting to see the look of disagreement on every girls face but was appalled to find all of them nodding their heads up and down agreeing with the guy. At that moment I knew I had to speak up. I raised my hand and I said, “I’m sorry but I really disagree with that statement.” The teacher looked up and said, “Oh really, well please go ahead and enlighten us on what you disagree about.” So I went onto say, “Well it’s absolutely ridiculous that you’re saying any guy can get any girl he wants. I mean that’s just not the case. I mean if some guy who was 5’4 came up to me with horn rimmed glasses and high fastening pants it wouldn’t matter how funny or how charming he was, because at the end of the day I wouldn’t be able to get passed the horn rimmed glasses or high fastening pants. A physical attraction has to be there.” The teacher rolled his eyes at me and said that life is more about looks and that focusing on that is an extremely shallow perspective and that my marriage was bound to be in a lot of trouble if looks were all I was basing it on. Now this was a funny statement coming from a guy who had previously said a couple of class periods ago that all men care about in a girl is that she’s hot and that she laughs at his jokes (no I’m not even kidding he really did say that in all seriousness). So I decided to unload on him. I told him that looks was not all I was looking for in someone, but that obviously an initial attraction had to be there. I mean the guy doesn’t have to be Brad Pitt, but I have to find him attractive to ever consider dating him. Of course if he’s an idiot or has absolutely no personality I could never continue with it, but at the beginning a physical attraction is necessary. I don’t think this is a shallow perspective but just a blatantly honest one. Maybe there are girls out there who could care less about looks, in fact I know there are considering the amount of pretty women I see married to total duds, but all in all I know attraction is a needed component. The teacher uttered another unintelligible statement where the only word I heard was shallow and of course proceeded to move on with the class, trying to avoid any hint of a conflict that he was sure to lose. Again the class was silent except for my friend in the back who whole heartedly agreed with me.
For the rest of the year I only put in my 2 cents when absolutely necessary but in general stayed quiet and listened to the idiotic concerns of my fellow classmates. The type of concerns you hear in 7th grade health class, like if it’s possible for a condom to get lost or what’s still considered a sin in the bedroom even after you’re married; just ridiculous stuff that suggested to me that these kids’ parents and the public educational system had failed them greatly. I learned to abhor the class and grow even more cynical about BYU. It was the last day of class and I couldn’t have been happier that my misery was about to be put to an end and that I’d never have to see my teacher’s chubby, red face again. The bell rang and I was just about to leave thinking to myself how the class had been the biggest waste of my time, when this little, quiet blonde with glasses who sat on the front row and who probably said about 2 words the entire semester tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up thinking I was in trouble for something, but instead she said in a little voice, “I just wanted to say that I’m so glad you were in this class with me. I totally agreed with you on everything you said and was so glad someone was speaking up about this stuff. It was so nice to finally hear someone say all the things I was thinking.” At that I didn’t know what to say because she had caught me so off guard. All I was able to mutter out was, “Well someone had to be the black sheep of the class. Haha, so I figured I’d do it.” We talked a little bit more and then said goodbye. Before talking to that girl I had expected to walk away from that class permanently bitter from the wasted experience, but after that girl came up to me I felt like it had all been worth while. I was glad that I’d enrolled and glad I’d had the experience. I feel that being myself had actually paid off. It was a feel good moment that helped me reconcile the fact that I’d come to BYU. That experience showed me that no matter where you go it always pays off to speak your mind and be yourself. That is of course unless your name’s Don Imus or any other conservative media figure. But considering the fact that I’m just a struggling college intern, I figure I’m safe.
As my first course of action as an intern I would like to address a topic that has been plauging me since the year 2001. This topic is Orlando Bloom. I’ve pondered this man’s star power ever since he emerged on the scence as the pixie elf in ”The Lord of the Rings” with platnium locks and cunning arrow skills. To me he looked more like a girl in an advertisment for Pantene Provine than the sex symbol that had all the girls in my 8th grade class all a buzz. At the time I merely passed him off as “a phase” that would come and go with time. I thought that for sure people would realize that he was nothing more than a high pitched soprano with a little body and even littler acting talent. But as the years have progressed I have been shocked and dismayed to realize that Orlando Bloom is no passing phase, but he is a legitimate male star that has gone on to play the romantic lead in box office films. I am confused by this. Why am I the only person who sees Orlando for what he is….a feminine sissy boy, who as far as I’m concerned is built up full of estrogen rather than testosterone. Why are women attracted to this and further more why on earth is this man allowed to be in action films such as “Pirates of the Carribean?” I admit like all my other fellow Americans I’ve seen the trilogy and in the parts where Orlando is swingin’ a sword and standing next to Johnny Depp it is down right embaressing. I mean really…are we as an audience suppose to take this mangirl seriously? I mean the man is 5’11 but looks like he’s weighing in around 130. He is forced to date fetuses like Kate Bosworth because that’s the only way he will ever appear to be the man in any relationship. I don’t mean to sound harsh….well maybe I do….but I miss the days when real men dominated the screen. I mean does anyone remember Rock Hudson? There was a man who batted for the other team but was still viewed as 6 feet and 5 inches of opportunity to every woman that laid her eyes on him. He was a real man. It didn’t matter that he was gay and that women were about as appealing to him as a diet is to a fat man, all because he knew how to act. Everytime you watch him in “Pillow Talk” you think you’re watching a real live hetero playboy conquering conquest after conquest. Unfortunately our dear Orlando does not possess the same hunky qualities. All I ask is that America wises up to what a real man star is. I will not ask this of Europe seeing as how they do not know any better because unfortuantely that’s all they have to work with (of course Jean-Claude Van Damme is the glorious exception). But America should know better.. It’s time we stop supporting mangirls as our leading guys and demand men where there is no question that they are in fact men. This is all I ask.
Anticipating “Music and Passion” at the Las Vegas Hilton
Every generation has their heart throb. Today Justin Timberlake titillates young women and gay men everywhere with his high sexy voice, smooth dance moves, and cocky demeanor. In the 80s George Michael filled girls’ rooms everywhere with his poster displaying his rough five o’clock shadow, black leather jacket, and skin tight blue jeans. Yes, every generation has a man to lust after. But as every decade comes and goes so does the heart throb attached with it. Their looks fade with time and they are no longer the sweet pieces of meat that they once were. This is pretty much the standard procedure for famous idols. They have their time in the sun and then they fade away as fast as the night. However, there are the rare few who go beyond all expectations and who linger around longer than they were supposed to. The elite that are still able to capture audiences in their old age and maintain the prestigious status that they held in their youth. While these men are uncommon, they can still be found. And one such man that has been able to captivate audiences for over 40 years comes in the form of Barry Manilow.
While no one has ever accused Barry Manilow of ever being a sexy young thing, he was and still is viewed as a heart throb. While many would doubt this claim, seeing as how Barry is a short Jewish man with wavy blond streaked hair and a face that has seen more botox than Joan Rivers, his popularity and heart throb status can not be argued, solely judged by his concert at the Las Vegas Hilton. I had the opportunity to not only attend Barry’s concert, but was fortunate enough to sit on the second row stage side at his April 26th show. Now I have been a Barry Manilow fan ever since the 8th grade. His songs have lifted me through rough, angry times and made me forget the world. I have an appreciation for him which runs deep and I am an avid fan and supporter. However, even with my profound respect and admiration for Barry, I was expecting a somewhat paraplegic performance from him. I figured that he would have a glass of water in his hand at all times and that I would be lucky if he stood for more than 3 songs. I also thought I would be stuck in an audience full of seniors hooked up to oxygen tanks and IV drips. It turns out that I was wrong about all of the above, well maybe except for the part about the ailing seniors.
Barry Manilow pauses and prepares for the Copacabana at the concert
What I am about to say is a great claim to make, but I am going to make it anyway. Barry Manilow is the greatest performer of the century. How can this be you may wonder? The man is ancient, he looks like the love child of Siegfried and Roy, and to be perfectly honest the man’s singing about his deep love for the opposite sex while he obviously bats
for the other team. Well even with all those factors playing against him let me just ask you this. Do you know any other 63-year old man who can dance and belt out songs for two solid hours with out stopping for a breather? Do you know any old man who can get away with wearing multi-colored neon jackets and shake his bony rear end to a crowd and still get sighs from 70 year old women in the audience? Do you know any man who can get people out of their wheel chairs and shaking what’s left of their decaying bodies to the Copacabana? Well the answer is that there is only one man who can do all this, and that man is non other than Barry Manilow.
Winding down at the end of the show
His performance at the concert was outstanding. He never stopped moving. He has a genuine compassion to his voice that can make any soul on this earth trust him with their life savings. This trust and compassion, mixed with a jaw dropping talent on the piano and a voice that still belts out the high notes for seconds on end, is all encompassed in what is Barry Manilow. Barry’s concert was in no way shape or form a disappointment. He sang all his hits one after the other. He riled up the crowd and even brought up one lucky soul to come up and slow dance with him. He won the crowd over within seconds and I got to see it all up close from the second row, with my very own Barry Manilow champagne glass (which I had them fill with orange juice) and a personalized Barry Manilow glow stick (all of which came free with the my seat, seeing as how I had to pay a pretty penny to get the upfront action). Looking in the crowd I was the youngest person there at the ripe age of 19. But being there made me feel sorry for my generation. The songs on the radio today are about the pure superficial nature of love, or I should say lust. No one is digging deeper. We get lyrics like “I saw you in the club! I’d like to go take you and make sweet love!” and that’s what my generation is plugging into, as where Barry is singing about something deeper, something more than skin deep. Sure it may sound a bit idealistic, but isn’t that what songs are for. To take you out of reality for just three or four sweet minutes and make you forget about the harsh reality that is life. Well that’s what Barry did for me. His concert was one mesmerizing two hour escape from the rest of the world. I could forget about school, problems, and all the other junk that life throws at you and just have a brief period where I could have hope. That is the magic that Barry can give. For anyone who thinks his music is facile and stupid you’re missing the point. The man has sold over 75 million albums worldwide and just last year his CD of 1950s classics topped the billboard chart at number 1. A man who is facile and stupid could never do that. But more than his impressive resume is the message that his music gives. It leaves you feeling good, uplifted and just plain happy. For anyone in Vegas I highly recommend that you give Barry a chance. You will not be disappointed.
*Thanks to JL’s little sister for this thoughtful review of Barry’s concert. While she is prepared to defend her pro-Barry stance, she maintains that this passion is certainly less bizarre than her older sister’s preoccupation with Manny.