Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nonsensical Rambling: You've Got Mail

I have been on a mini letter-writing kick lately. I know right?! Letters? If I'm gonna go old school, why don't I just chisel out some tablets and leave them on a mountain for my friends, or grab a pigeon from Fairmount Park and have it deliver rolled up parchment?

But, that's exactly the problem! I love paper, so I have a lot of stationary, but no one writes anymore. Also, my over-exposure to movies like The First Wives Club has made me fearful that I will die shortly after writing a letter. That way, when they're delivered, but friends will gasp, cover their mouths with one hand, take a step back, and be really touched by my insightful words about pretending to be Lizzie Bennet. Morbid, I know, but I can't help it. I'm like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally, reading the last page of the book in case something kills me before I finish.

Perhaps my fears will decrease if I write more. So, give me your address. If you want me to write you a letter, I will sit right down and write you a letter.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Starting to Think About Osteoporosis: I'm a Big Girl Now

Well, it has been a long time. How is some racially-ambiguous young actress going to get her big break playing me if I don't keep my virtual auto-biography updated?!


A couple weeks ago, I decided that my Flintstones vitamins may not being doing it for me anymore. I came to the stunning revelation that what may keep a four year old healthy may not work on a 21 year old. Go figure! In response to my truly impressive thought, I asked my parents to get me some big girl vitamins -- the Green Tea Vitapac from GNC. I read online that they are supposed to give you energy and this 'being tired all the time' thing is really starting to affect my life, so I wanted them.

They come in little packets that each have six pills in them. And, of course, by little packet, I mean big packet, because all of these pills are fucking huge. Seriously, they can only fit an A on aspirin tablets. They can fit a whole sentence on these -- a long winded one. I have never before feared death by choking.

There are three capsules that get slippery when wet, so I take those in the morning becasue they're easier to swallow and I usually get up before my roommates. The second trio has two multi-vitamins and a calcium pill. The multi-vitamins are disgusting. The calcium are really chalky. When I first took them, I my brain jumped to "What if these are bones? Yes, my calcium pills are ground-up bones. What's better to make bones better than bones?!" Yeah, I get weird sometimes. But anyway, the second batch of pill are gi-normous, so I take them at night while my roommates are awake, my door is open, and there is "Self-Heimlich" video up on YouTube, just to be extra safe. I'm not kidding. I use this one:

I have been taking these pills for a week now. Being a child of the instant gratification era, I thought that, after one day, that I would have stronger muscles and a smaller tummy. Not so. However, I do feel a lot better. I used to feel tired and worn-out all the time. Now I just feel normal and ready.

Ready for anything.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nonsensical Rambling: Good Hair

If you have ever taken a close look at the an actress's work over a number of years, a keen eye might notice a common thread in several careers. It is common for an actress, in the beginning of their careers to have curly, wilder hair that gets progressively straighter and tamer over the years. Indeed, all you naysayers, we do have to account for changes in fashion and trends, which is why you'll not find me citing Julia Roberts' hair that made her a star versus her current do. However we can look at the hair of women over a relatively short span of time or even the follicle evolution of a single character. Observe:

Gina Torres in Firefly (2002) versus Suits (2011)

NCIS's Ziva David Season 3 versus Season 6(ish)

This small study proves the nationally known hypothesis that as women grow as people, their hair gets straighter. Fact.

Well! One relatively small step for man, one giant leap for Alexandra, I have now entered the realm of the straight-haired. I should probably say re-entered, since I had straight hair for a long time, but my locks have been curly for about a year now and it's time for that shit to end. So, here I sit, in my old salon getting my hair chemically altered.

I always find a couple things funny when I come here. For one thing the ludicrousness that we do this does not escape me. The relaxer on my scalp actually burns and anyone who has seen Good Hair knows that the stuff can melt aluminum cans. And yet, like so many other American women, I pay two weeks worth of groceries to have it done.

The other thing that's so funny is that everyone here is always shock by the volume of my hair. They are all haridressers, and yet there is still staring and often pointing. I cannot quite put it into words, so I will again cite Sir Joss Whedon:

But somehow, my beautician, who must have gotten her certification by way of Hogwarts Beauty School Annex, makes my hair look sleek and smooth.

It's funny. Since I haven't done this in a year, there is now a whole network of people that have never seen my hair out of a bun. My getting jobs and friends with my hair perpetually in a knot on my head proves that I don't need straight hair and I have always known that.

But there is a scene from True Blood (and please leave your True Blood complaints and controversies at the blogger door and enjoy the parable) in which Lafayette's schizophrenic mother escapes from the home and only agrees to return after she has applied a full face of makeup. She says something along the lines of "I can face anyone now that I've got my war paint on." That's how I feel about my hair. It makes me feel more confident and prepared to face anyone and everyone. And isn't that was growing up is all about?

Disclaimer: I appreciate that about 500 more articles could be written about the questionable social norms and psychological issues I have gleaned over in this post, but as I have a lot of other homework to do, I'll stick to the innocuous for now.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm Too Old For This Shit

In my group of friends, you can't just have a party. If you throw a party, it has to have a theme. And my friends are the best at theme parties. So, from the great minds that brought us the Shotgun Wedding/Vegas party, the Pun Party, and the Under the Sea Party, came last night's Rumspringa Party.

Rumspringa: The time in every Amish teen's life when he or she is allowed to set out into the world and try it our way. Often times, they go batshit and party like they've never partied before, because well, they haven't.

For this party, everyone was required to dress as a slutty Amish person. A seemingly difficult task I realize, but we are Honors students! This morning, I had a Philadelphia Film Festival Volunteer Training Session and had to be a work at 8:30 AM. Therefore, I decided to go easy at the Rumspringa Party and purchased a 40 in lieu of my usual Vodka and "Enter Mixer Here."

A "40": A 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor beer, the drinking of which will get you suitably drunk but not knock you on your ass. Taste horrible at first, but improves as you drink. Remarkably inexpensive. Common in ghettos including but not limited to North Philadelphia.

So I got my 40 from my local shady convenience store and headed to Rumspringa, where I had such a roaring good time that I would have surely traded my bonnet for a trendy knit cap were I actually Amish. When I got home, I went to bed, watched an episode of Primeval, and promptly passed out. Before, may I add, setting an alarm for the morning.

Hint for Everyone, Everywhere, Ever: Always set your alarms before you go out for the night!

It was only by the grace of God and a couple late relatives looking down on me that I naturally woke from my drunken coma at 7 AM to find my computer still safely perched on the edge of my bed. I managed to ready myself, fix a lovely Hangover Breakfast of Cheetos, Lays, and Diet Coke, and get my ass to work.

As I got dressed, I thought of the second party I was meant to attend tonight. The mere thought of drinking again -- especially drinking as much as I was expected to drink -- made me want to crawl back into bed. I only had a 40! I used to drink that and be able to get up in the morning and do jumping-jacks. When did I get so old?! I realize this is supposed to happen, but I didn't think my body would start hating me until I was at least 30. Perhaps it's a strange affect of Global Warming? Perhaps in anticipation for the end of the world, my body is trying to do all its aging before 2012? Whatever the reason, I'm not 18 anymore!

When I was a freshman, we used to like to do "three-petes," going out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Back then, the prospect of a three-pete made me want to get out my party shirts and hit the town. Now the idea of doing a three-pete makes me want to curl up under the covers with a romance novel and a mug of Sleepytime Herbal Tea (I have a busy day tomorrow!) My friends and I have had many a conversation about our decreasing tolerance for college party life. By this time next year, I expect that our three-petes will consist of a daytime trip to Atlantic City, a Friday night movie at the Home, and the 4PM buffet special at the Lobster Shanty. Holla!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aikido: The Way of Harmony

I'm not quite sure how this relates to my maturing. I'm going to chuck it in the "Diversify" bucket, when it may actually belong in the "WTF" bucket. Anyway, anyone who knows me well knows that I am an Italian minor, with the, lets say quirky caveat that I don't speak Italian. I can understand it and say semi-coherent sentences when under pressure or the influence of alcohol, but I am not fluent. This why my "Survey of Italian Literature" class was kicking my ass. If I'm not totally comfortable with modern Italian, it stands to reason that Dante is going to cause unnecessary stress.

So, I decided to search for a class to take Italian's place. And the one that I found was Aikido, aka "soft" martial arts.

Aikido: A Japanese form of self-defense and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent's own movements. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you.

Last week, I was having a meeting with my co-producer and decided that I would skip Italian and go to Aikido that day. The decision was made, of course, about 10 minutes before the class started. As fate would have it, that was the day I chose to break in my new boots. They're adorable -- leather-ish, black, Granny-boots with approximately, a THREE INCH HEEL. Error. Error.

So, I head over the Pearson Hall, the Gym Building, the building I have never before stepped foot in and sashayed into Aikido. There I am, doing my urban chic impression, surrounded by twenty people bouncing around the carpet in dogis, aka those white karate pajamas. To say I stood out, would be to say that Gigli was sub-par. I think the TA had to do a double take when he saw me. Meanwhile, I was just grateful that I wore my pseudo-boyfriend jeans rather than skinny jeans.

Luckily there was another girl there who, though in much more appropriate attire, was new, so I partnered up with her for the technique and we struggled through together. The teacher and the TAs were very nice and patient with us as they corrected our stances and went through techniques slowly. I thought that Aikido would be fun and easy. Well, it was definitely fun, but not easy. It seems that much of Aikido is an art form, so the rules are fairly strict. Nonetheless, I enjoy learning different things and after class, I headed to the bookstore to buy my very own dogi.

If you don't know what Aikido is, here is a video of Steven Seagal doing it. One day, that will be me...jk

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Here, Take My Card.

For some time now, probably ever since seeing my dad's Honeywell business cards as a child, I have equated having business cards with being successful. "You mean to say that so many people need to contact you that you can't just write your number down? Woah." More importantly, I equate having business cards with having a job, and for a recent college graduate, that is a success. Well, as of last week, I do not have a job (at least not one that pays me), but i do have business cards!

After receiving someone else's business card at a Philadelphia Film Society event, I quickly decided that I wanted ones of my own, so that I may also hand them out to interested parties. (My sister suggested that I find the highest staircase in the most populated building on campus and 'make it rain,' but I feel I should be more conservative with my cards.) Upon deciding to get them, I went to Vistaprint's site and began designing.

Note to would-be adults: Vistaprint is really good for business cards. You can design 250 two-sided card for $15. Or allow them to put their logo on the back and it'll be free!

As I indeed judge people by their business cards, I knew that this was a big step. People (myself included) judge appearances and a business card could be your first impression. Neurotic, yes. False, no. So, I tried my best to make mine tasteful, yet unique. I think they came out quite well. Now all I have to do is wait for someone who wants to hire me. I look forward to the day when the person on the receiving end of "Here, take my card." is not a blood relative or a roommate.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Over the summer, I had one of my first real 'pain in the ass' grown up days. I returned to Philly after a weekend at home and scooted off to work in my Loser Cruiser-Soccer Mom Van named Bertha. About half way down the block, I noticed a strange sound coming from the car. When I pulled over to inspect, I saw that my tire was flat. But not only was it flat, it had been slashed!

I tried to think of the person with whom I clearly had some beef, but came up empty. I have never slighted someone so badly that they would slash my tires. Now, I understand vandalism for the sake of profit (or I suppose that's theft?) or vandalism for the sake of expression like graffiti. But slashing my tire got me a ginormous pain and some kid ten seconds of tire air in his or her face. So thanks to what I presume was a troubled teen without cable, I had to call AAA. The AAA guy unscrewed the doughnut from my 1998 van and found that it was rusty as shit and not completely filling with air. So after he left, I called out of work and looked up my nearest Pep Boys. On the phone, I asked the Pep Boy for two tires -- one to put on my car and one to put in my car as a spare.

A note to all my fellow adulthood newbs out there: Apparently this is crazy woman talk because no one gets a tire and throws it in the back. They take up a lot of space, which would be really inconvenient since I only have an entire Soccer Mom van with two extra rows of seats.

After arguing a little with the Pep Boy and hearing him shake his head and roll his eyes, I let it go and drove my three tires and one doughnut over to Broad and Other Street. When I got there, the guy I'd talked with, who clearly found my naivete darling, flirted with me a little. But he left fairly quickly because (1) he was working (2) I happen to be an expert in the ancient art of warding off men and (3) he'd just treated me like a moron, so there was zero effort on my part. Instead, I waited patiently in the customer area for my turn to pay $120 for a new tire.

Although I am grateful for my automotive support, if I never see AAA or Pep Boys again, I will die contented. Ahhh, life lessons....