Today is September 11th, 2001.

I can’t believe it’s been 13 years. It seems like just yesterday I was tucked tight under my covers at the end of a long, confusing day, scribbling desperately in my journal as I tried to make sense of what was going on. It still doesn’t make sense. The least I can do is remember and honor their memories with service to make our country a tiny bit better than it was yesterday.

 

Today is September 11th, 2001.  This morning, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center and both buildings collapsed, killing thousands of people.  Another plane crashed into the Pentagon and another crashed in Pennsylvania, they think they were trying to keep the plane from killing more people.  I was in math class and there was an announcement over the loud speaker that there had been an attack in New York City.  Everyone was scared, we live close to New York and no one would tell us anything and kids kept getting called out of class.  In Science class Mrs. Hastings turned on the radio and let us listen and the broadcaster just kept saying that people had jumped out of the windows of the top floors.  Both towers fell and not everyone got out in time.  We heard that Bush was on a plane to New Orleans and I was mad that he was leaving in the middle of this.  I came home alone cause my mom and dad were still at work and Michael was still at school.  I was so scared that something would happen to me?  What if there are bombs?  I don’t think it’s over I think we could die.  I turned on the tv and watched the planes hit the towers over and over.  You could see people jump.  They interviewed a woman and she was covered in dust.  I still had dance class and when I went we kept talking about how 9/11 is 9-1-1.  Marissa wasn’t there.  Her dad works in one of the towers.  I came home and our neighbor still hasn’t heard from her husband.  He works a few blocks from the towers.  I wanted to write everything down because I know this is going to be important someday.  I’m so sad I don’t want this to be real.

 

 

Transit umbra, lux permanet. KAZ.

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Influence of Familiarity

If I could telepathically transmit all my would-be blog posts from my brain directly to WordPress, I would have so many posts. But, alas, I have to try to remember my weird musings and then find the energy to write them up later. I am really not fancy enough for that.

I’ve been thinking lately about how familiarity influences our perception. Getting beyond the point where you’re judging that book cover. The better you get to know someone, the better you can love or hate them. I’ve started to see circumstances where familiarity forces something to grow on you. It’s like some sort of voluntary Stockholm syndrome.

Whenever I commute, I kick off my mornings with the Z Morning Zoo. It’s tradition. I’ve been waking up with the crew since middle school when I’d jam out to LinkinPark at 6am via my super cool shower radio. I can’t do pure music in the morning. I tune out way too easily and hearing peopledebating the merits of facial hair gives me that much needed buzz.

So anyway, my dial is tuned to Z100 when I get in the car to head home. I’m too lazy to set up a playlist, I have no space on my phone for music, and honestly it’s just easier to become a slave to Top 40 pop for an hour while I tune out. So I keep it on. Even for the crappy songs. I can pretend to be a music snob all I want, but I still jam out to Katy Perry.

I’ve started to find myself enjoying songs I used to completely hate. Like all I want to do when Timber comes on is belt along. Is it just that I know the words and melody and I like singing along, even though I am literally singing about a falling tree? Does that familiarity increase the positive connections I have with the song? Is my first instinct being trampled on by radio replay?

This can ring true in so many other situations. Like when people find themselves stuck in the same monotonous life they wanted to avoid all along. Or you get stuck in a bad relationship. Maybe you just get used to it. It becomes easy and familiar and you don’t have to try.

I don’t ever want to stop trying.

Saturday Seven

I’m gonna experiment with some little “about me” posts which will hopefully lead to link-up opportunities in the future.

 

 

Seven Songs You Love Right Now.

Lost in My Mind – The Head and the Heart

Stars – fun.

You Ain’t Alone – Alabama Shakes

I Get a Kick Out of You – Frank Sinatra

Wild at Heart – Gloriana

Down in the Valley – The Head and the Heart

Something Good Can Work – Two Door Cinema Club

Six Silly Facts.

I can’t whistle.

I can’t snap my fingers.

I’ve tried to change my name twice.

I make up songs constantly.

I hate wearing bras.

I have reoccurring dreams about working on a cruise ship as a professional ventriloquist.

Five Favorite Movies.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

UP

Anchorman

The Artist

Devil Wears Prada

Four Places to Go.

Buenos Aires

London

India

Thailand

Three Stories.

Divergent

Pride and Prejudice

Romans

Two Beloved Board Games.

Mad Gab

Life

One Wish.

To be happy.

Age of Innocence

I stopped by my mom’s school today on my way home from a day full of meetings in which I decided to become a superhuman and overload on credits so I can finish my degree next May. After trying to convince her that I could handle this schedule without melting down or eating a baby, my mother (whom I loving refer to as Cinders, C-Doggy, or, more recently, Schwindy) then proceeded to tell me this tale.

The fifth grade teachers were running practice tests for the standardized testing that will take place when the kiddies return from spring break. Today was a writing prompt: “Tell us about a time when you were very excited about something happening”.

The teachers came into the office after school with one particular paper because they wanted to get the principal’s opinion. There was one word in the paper that they thought may require some sort of action or follow-up.

The paper had been written by a sweet, little ten-year-old girl. She wrote about her excitement for her family’s summer vacation in Cape May last year. She talked about counting down the days on her calendar, planning what to pack, and how the days seemed to drag by.

She concluded her paper with “I had so much fun on my trip and Cape May was an orgasmic experience.”

Orgasmic.

As in orgasm.

From a ten-year-old.

I didn’t know the word “orgasm” when I was ten, let alone what it meant. I didn’t even know what sex was. I thought people made babies by rubbing their belly buttons together.

The teachers, principal, vice principal, and secretaries spent almost an hour trying to figure out if she may have meant a different word. Perhaps organism? Origami? Honestly, the only word that fit the context was the one she had chosen. They decided to leave it and not take any action.

Schwind and her fellow secretary started making jokes about how Cape May could use this idea to pull in tourists.

Cape May: We’ll Make You Glad You Came

How to get out of jury duty: forgoing your civic duty.

I received my jury duty notice a month ago, filled out the info online, and was told to check-in at 5pm the night before I was due to report. Everyone told me I probably wouldn’t even have to go.

The month flew by and when I called, the recording said only jurors numbered 1 – 329 needed to report.

Guess who’s #328?

It sucks because it’s not even a cool, giant murder trial. It’s petit jury duty (not just for shorties).

So, I am devising a list of ways to get out of this and one day get a big, bad-ass trial.

1. Loudly state I don’t believe anyone should be allowed to own a gun while wearing tie-dye and dreads.
2. Carry a copy of Mein Kampf.
3. Casually mention my mafia connections.
4. Answer every question with “guilty”.
5. Pretend to go into labor.
6. Refuse to remove my sunglasses (lawyers don’t like mystery).
7. Attempt to organize a flashmob.
8. Participate in a different form of flashing.
9. Speak in Pig Latin.
10. Sob hysterically.
11. Act like a velociraptor.
12. No pants.
13. Request a police escort 24/7.
14. Make up a highly-contagious disease.
15. Answer every question with a question, Jeopardy-style.
16. Recite a monologue from my high school play, The Jury Room.
17. Ask if our alien overlords will be participating in the proceedings.
18. Pretend I’m auditioning for the Wizengamot.
19. Wink constantly.
20. Refer to myself in the third person.
21. Tweet everything.
22. Instead of swearing to tell the truth, solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Now accepting any and all tips.

The One Where I Met Courteney Cox

Saturday night was one of the best nights of my life.

I’ve been a fan of Cougar Town from the get-go. Even though I wasn’t crazy about the first few episodes, I stuck with it because I adore the actors and have always been a fan of Bill Lawrence’s work (Scrubs, Spin City, Friends).

The show really came into its own about halfway through the first season. It completely abandoned his premise of Courteney Cox chasing after guys half her age and became a wonderful show about the fun, cooky relationships between a group of neighbors. I like to describe it as a grown-up Friends with more wine, but it’s honestly better in some ways. (This is crazy for me to say because I LOVE FRIENDS and I own every episode and know every line. So obviously, Cougar Town is good.)

The past few months, the producers and actors have been running one of the best guerilla marketing campaigns I have ever seen and something completely new in the world of television. Cougar Town has been running viewing parties across the country complete with free booze and all on the producers’ dime. ABC has not endorsed these or paid for them at all. The producers have also taken to twitter to interact with fans, run giveaways of wine, t-shirts, and walk-on roles, and generated a ton of buzz for this struggling sitcom.

And it’s working.

By repaying their most devoted fans with personal viewings and free alcohol, Cougar Town has pushed us to be even more devoted and spread the word. I have recruited almost ten new fans in the past couple weeks, including my best friend who I brought to Saturday night’s viewing party.

Speaking of: I had submitted to win tickets to one of the NYC viewing party weeks ago. Last Wednesday, I finally found out I had won two tickets to the formal event at the Paley Center. This event was special since it featured a screening of two new episodes and the ENTIRE cast. I sat thirty feet away from Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, and Busy Philipps. I got to hear them talk and joke around. It was amazing. Also, the two episodes they showed were the funniest yet. The first one (which is on tomorrow, Tuesday, February 14th at 8:30pm) is pilot-esque in order to introduce new viewers to the show. I also got to see the 5th episode which pays homage to Scrubs in an amazing way.

After the screening, I rushed outside to where I hoped the cast would be exiting. The dark-windowed SUVs along 52nd were a sure sign. I was able to squeeze to the front and was right next to the doors. Since the show features a lot of wine drinking, I brought along a wine glass and permanent marker for signatures. I was able to get three of the guys to sign: Josh Hopkins (Grayson), Ian Gomez (Andy), and Bob Clendenin (Tom). I really wanted Busy, Christa, and Courteney as well, but they were rushed out surrounded by security. When I realized I wouldn’t be able to get their signatures, I yelled out to Courteney: “Courteney, I’m Christine and I absolutely adore you!” To my surprise, she turned quickly, smiled and responded: “Hi Christine! Oh my gosh you’re so cute!”

I almost cried from happiness.

Later on, after my bestie and I stumbled across Cello Wine Bar on the East side, I realized something. I was surrounded by candlelight, sitting on a cozy hand-carved stool, guzzling delicious red wine, and engaged in great conversation with a wonderful friend. That’s when I realized: this is why I love Cougar Town. It’s about getting to a place in your life where you accept everything about the people you love. There’s none of that “will they, won’t they” teenager-y angst that’s ever present in every show on tv. Relationships are established and you get to see the goofiness between great friends. And that’s something I love about my own life.

So, I will now post a challenge to all of my adoring fans. Watch Cougar Town. Tomorrow (Tuesday February 14th) at 8:30pm EST on ABC. Seriously. Watch it. Put it on as you eat a pint of ice cream alone, DVR it for after date night, or use it as background during your V-day nookie. Give this little show a chance and I promise you won’t regret it.

If you pledge to watch it and prove it by telling me your favorite scene or line on twitter (@ictine) or here, I will send you a drink. I am completely serious. I’ll respond and get your address and send you a delicious adult beverage to enjoy before the following week’s episode.

Obviously this is only for 21+, but if you’re under 21 I will send you grape juice or write you a haiku.

Thinspiration

This is lame because I forgot to post earlier and then I got consumed by multiple girl crushes during Glee, New Girl, and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Speaking of, oh my gosh. I am going to blow up this picture of Miranda Kerr in the $2.5 million bra and just stare at it every day to get the motivation to get back into my running routine.

 

The One with All the Thanksgivings

I know I promised this post this morning (well really it should have been yesterday), but life got in the way. We spent all day decorating and now I’m trying to knock this out before our company gets here, so bear with me!

I absolutely adore Christmas, but ever since my parents got divorced, I have not been a big fan of Thanksgiving. Half of my past nine Thanksgivings have been spent shuffling between the houses of various friends and while I always had a good time and appreciated their hospitality, it wasn’t the same. Growing up our Thanksgiving was pretty simple: just my mom, dad, brother, and I with my maternal Grandma and Grandpa. Everything got broken up when my dad left and my grandparents got too old to make the drive from Erie. My brother would spend the day with my dad sometimes and often my mom and I wouldn’t even celebrate.

Despite all of this, I have one favorite Thanksgiving from this time. My brother was with my dad, so my mom and I decided to have an anti-Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking a ton of food for two people, we decided to drive around and get one dish from every restaurant we saw that was open. We collected a variety of Chinese food, diner appetizers, and chain restaurant desserts. We brought everything home, set up camp on the floor of our family room, and spent the day pigging out and watching Gilmore Girls. It might have been weird, but it was one of most fun days I’ve ever had.

I hope everyone had a great day with their families and friends yesterday and I promise I’ll get back to my more comedic-oriented posts this weekend.