Friday, July 31, 2009
That word is: maturity.
I feel that although people may be very mature in a professional situation or while in the public's eye, people as a whole are not very mature when it comes to dealing with other people. For example, how many games of "he said that she said that you said that your mom said that your sister's dog-sitter said that Julie said that Timmy said that...etc etc" can one play before you get tired of it?
With that, I suggest taking a look at this link, which I read through just now.
I find that as I grow older I too fall subject to silly games and immature ways to deal with situations. And yes, I for one am a selfish human being who thinks about himself before others most days of the week and most hours of the day. However, who among us does not do so?
If I happened upon a wishing well, I'd say my only wish would be that people could approach one another with respect, maturity, and face problems they have head-on instead of all the silly side-winding they normally do just to get someone's goat. It gets old, if you ask me. I'm striving to be more mature in the ways I deal with other people and situations I find myself in. I hope it's working, but I guess it's hard to tell since I'm on the inside?
I know we all wanna be a Toys'R'Us kid, but I think we're allowed to stay a child at heart as long as the adult in us gets to take first priority when necessary.
This morning I sat (well, I wish sat... since the subways are so effing crowded, I STOOD) for 25 minutes in my unmoving 5 "express" train. Why? Well, according to the conductor, who mumbled through a staticky speaker, this was all thanks to a "sick passenger at Brooklyn Bridge."
Really? Because I know that MTA conductors like to lie a lot. As does the MTA. They've lied and said they had no money, while secreting away a second set of books. The conductor sometimes assuages our fears about not getting into packed train because "another train is right behind this one," only to pull away with no following train in sight.
And, plus, we were in the station for TWENTY FIVE MINUTES. Why? What was that sick passenger doing? Projectile vomiting and doing a rain dance on the tracks in front of another train? Was he stuck halfway out a window? Did his sickness make him eat the train's brake pedal?
It is for this reason that I think sometimes the MTA mixes up there excuses. We riders wouldn't like to hear "we are stopped because of train traffic ahead of us," every day (which we basically do). So instead they hope to wring some pity from our stone hearts for a fabricated sick passenger. We imagine a heart attack. Children at home. We feel bad. Meanwhile, what's really happening is some guy in another station fell asleep at the wheel.
Oh, and don't forget that they just raised our fares while axing service. Because, you know, the MTA was so awesome to begin with.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
But all that aside, who's got a soft-spot or a specific type of hairstyle? I know that's an odd part of the human body to focus on in terms of attraction, but I find hairstyles to be a big deal when it comes to initial attraction to someone I see at a club, bar, party, running in the park, or sitting under a tree, etc.
So now let's do some show and tell... These are a few of my "soft-spots" when it comes to hair... I give you, my top 3!
Number 1 - the emo swoosh, as I call it... Yes, call me cliche, but I have a soft-spot for the emo look... I can't explain why, and I've tried to cut it from my diet, but there it stays...
Number 2 - spikey-ish... Neat, tidy, with a touch of mess. Just how I like it.
Number 3 - curly but short. Dunno why but this does it for me too. Maybe it's the ability to grab onto it? Maybe it's the ability to mess it up but have it stay exactly as is? Who knows.
So share some of your favs, or agree and disagree with mine. Could be fun to debate!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Still, I really enjoyed it, and it surprised me with its ability to pull real emotions out of me. I guess I expect movies to not really strike any strong emotions with me nowadays because it's been so long since I've teared up, laughed out loud, or (even rarer) screamed during a movie.
NOTE: If you haven't seen HP yet, don't read on because I'm about to discuss a part of the ending of the film. Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!!
However, the part of the film after Dumbledore's assassination where the students and faculty all raise their wands together really made me tear up. I think it's because of the beautiful shot of the students all together. Something about unity always gets to me. On top of that, being a composer I'm always drawn to the music choices the composer of a movie score makes. During this scene your ears are swarmed by warm, growing, morphing strings.
Which brings me to this... Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings is a piece that has always been really close to me, and the HP score reminded me of it at that point in the movie, as well as the very final scene. So here's the Adagio. If you haven't ever heard it, I encourage you to close your eyes, sit back and just listen to this entire piece. If you have heard it, I encourage you to do the same anyway :)
You win some, you lose some.
While planning how to find and obtain the Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms Jon blogged about earlier, I came across a scary story on the news.
While blue M&Ms may fix your spine (and turn you temporarily blue), it turns out that tanning beds will kill you with cancer. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
In London, a new study raised the cancer classification on those magical booths of instant brownness, putting them in the same category as arsenic, cigarettes, and old lace.
A new scientific analysis has upgraded tanning beds' cancer risk from a likely cause to a definite cause of the disease.Well doesn't that just suck? You see, I am no fan of lying around. Needless to say, the prospect of lying on a beach towel for hours at a time, rotating myself like a chicken on a spit, is anything but attractive. I need to move! To be productive! Naturally, a tanning bed was the ideal solution - I popped in to one of the stand-up devices and danced to club music for ten minutes and left a nice carcinogenic brown.
The report, by experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, changes the category for tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation. It concludes skin cancer risk increases 75 percent for those who used tanning beds before the age of 30.
Lichtenfeld emphasized that the study says there is no safe use of tanning beds. "This study says UVA causes skin cancer," Lichtenfeld said. "It's a Class One carcinogen. This causes cancer. Period. End of statement."
Of course, I'm also a packish-a-day smoker. So, you know, clearly I don't heed the warning of scientists.
I guess it's a moot point, as I haven't seen the inside of a Hollywood Tans since last summer at least, if not earlier. This is more of a warning for the lot of you who indulge in a little toasty roast between layout sessions.
Perhaps you should reconsider. Just munch on some blue M&Ms instead.
That info about the blue M&Ms was TOTALLY on a news page online that I read yesterday,which is odd because I don't normally sit and read news on the computer. To continue the M&M trend,I can't help but point out two new M&M bags I've seen trying to infiltrate the candy sections of most delis in Manhattan...
Ready for this?
Yes, Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms and Coconut M&Ms... I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, but I was willing to give them a shot. Tragically, the strawberry PB ones that I ate were only satisfying because I enjoyed the color of the M&Ms.
And on that note, off to a meeting! Till later....
When you went shopping last night, I hope you went ahead and picked up one of those large sacks of M&Ms. Because there's about to be a run on them.
In case you all didn't hear, scientists have discovered that blue M&Ms can reduce spinal injuries. Well, not the M&Ms of course, but, rather, the dye that makes them that pretty, pretty blue. Totally random, but hey, I love excuses to eat more candy.
Perhaps they should start packaging sacks of just blue M&Ms and send them out to rehabilitation centers? I mean, I can't help it, they've got my marketing mind on overdrive. They should certainly get the news out. Not just because people will eat them, but because it's a cute angle they can use.
I mean, it's been a while since they even bothered talking about blue M&Ms.
Since that old commercial, all they've told us is that the green ones make you horny.
Now all they have to do is prove that Reese's Peanut Butter cures cancer and I'll be set!
Oh, and PS: the one side effect of the blue dye is that it might turn you blue. Which is kind of cool too, I think.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Loving that video. Makes me kinda wanna do that myself for songs that have crazy music videos. But I'm lazy so I probably won't :-)
I just got out of a very long rehearsal for some short musicals at NYU I'm directing the music for, and through most of them I just sorta stared blankly at the pages of music pretending I could actually focus. I did find this awkward note left on the piano thought. Hopefully not meant for me, but I thought people may enjoy this...
It reads: "This is my card. I shyly pass it on to men because I have low self-esteem, no personality and not pretty enough to bag a dude on my own. I like you and hope that you like me. But it's highly unlikely (over-->) Call me... PLEASE."
And is signed: Homely in Harlem.
Kinda sweet, kinda sad, but all in all I'd say it's kinda a failed attempt to get someone's attention. There's no phone number, either. And besides, clearly the note was left behind by whoever it was intended for.
On that note, I'm off to shop; something I haven't done in a while. Any suggestions of great places to go where I can spend not-so-much money but get the best results and quantities?
It's be oh so lovely to get some new stores to hit up besides my usual places...
I have seen that video of Total Eclipse of the Heart before, and yes - I do wish that some of these silly music videos were more literal with their lyrics when putting them over their imagery.
Plus One Alum of just two weeks ago, Kristin, tweeted me back this morning with the original video that kicked off this "literal interpretation" fad on YouTube.
It is the Tears for Fears video of Head Over Heels. Even more hilarious, I'd say.
Check it out!
I love that song, and while some of the lyrics in that aren't really that funny, on the whole you have to admit that's pretty damn funny. At least I think so...
Monday, July 27, 2009
So here are my qualms with this... First of all, who wrote that "song" (if it can even be called a song). Let's call it a jingle. The lyrics are awkward, there's no melody that I can find, and there's two creepy puppets with crazy eyes. One is playing a guitar with a pirate hat... The other screeches out the advertisement. Now, yes it's effective because it made me remember Quizno's for the rest of my life. However, sometimes I remember it because of a nightmare or other awkward encounter with creepy puppets (which happens more often then you'd think).
Second, I want to know what the writers were dropping while they wrote that. Also, I'd like to know where it can be purchased. Jk, I don't do those things. But I do enjoy boxed wine on a Monday night with friends while watching the finale of the Bachelorette.
Feel free to discuss that show in a comment if you feel so inclined!
Sleep tight, and don't let the bedbugs bit. Unless you're into that, then by all means let them bite...
Your first post made me wonder - who the FUCK orders Domino's pizza in New York City? Well, I guess a lot of people do because I see them everywhere.
But, I mean... wouldn't that be like ordering Taco Bell in Mexico? Or Steak-Ums in Philly? Or Boston Market in Boston?
Plus they have those horrifyingly new Bread Bowl Pastas (now with more carbs... so so many more carbs...) which apparently don't look half as good as their ads make them seem.
But one thing you did write about gave me an idea to riff on, and that is your tie-in to the musical theater. Which we all know I adore. One week ago I was lucky to catch one of my fave Broadway boys at Musical Mondays. He goes by the name of Marty Thomas.
You may remember Marty from Xanadu. Or Wicked. Or Mr. Broadway. He also beat Britney Spears in Star Search. He's also totally awesome.
Funniest tidbit of info? When I was in LA and found my way to THEIR version of Musical Mondays... guess who was performing? Fuckin' Marty Thomas, that's who.
Anyway, instead of telling you how awesome Marty is, I'll let him show you himself.
Check out these two numbers I taped from last Monday!
Don't Rain On My Parade / Single Ladies
And I'm Tellin' You
A little about me without boring you... I'm from Central New York (yes there are other parts of NY besides NYC and the surrounding areas). I spent 22 years in Syracuse looking forward to outings to Applebees with friends, driving to Taco Bell at 1am for no reason at all with my former roommate, breaking small laws because you'd never get caught up there, and waiting for the day I could move down here.
You see, I'm a writer, but I write for a very specific genre. I'm a songwriter, aimed towards musical theatre (although I've written outside that genre many times as well). Yes, before Elphaba could defy gravity, and before Tony met Maria, and before Christine got taken down to the Phantom's lair someone or a team of someones had to write it! I started writing by mistake back in 6th grade, and it just grew and grew ever since until it became so much a part of my life that I figured I'd rather be struggling to decide how to afford lunch the next day while writing and living in NYC than to do something else and be financially stable 24/7. Let's face it, when you're in a field like musical theatre writing you're not exactly getting handed a paycheck every Friday before the weekend...
But enough about that, because I have to discuss something I've been thinking about for the past hour: pizza. I find it amazing that we no longer have to even call a pizza place, like Domino's, to order. We can simply log into our account (don't deny it, you know you have a username at dominos.com), fill out our order, and charge it right to our credit card or debit card, and never have to fill out any information besides what we'd like delivered THIS time. Not only that, but now Domino's has the pizza tracker, so I can sit here and watch the steps being taken to create my order... And what's interesting about that is that I watch it and wait for it to fill up. It's all so personal too now. Marjina made my pizza this afternoon (That's the "prep" step). Then she put it in the oven (that's the "bake' step!). Then my pizza changed hands, and Alamgir put it in the box ("box" step!!!) and finally he delivered it ("deliver" step). And guys, apparently Alamgir is a "delivery expert." At least according to the news feed on Domino's pizza tracker...
So long for now. I'm off to enjoy my pizza and see if there are any reruns of CSI: Miami or Law and Order SVU on tv... and debate whether or not to turn up the AC a little more. This couch is kinda sticky...
Allow me to welcome you all back to Justin Plus One, as well as to welcome yet ANOTHER Justin Plus One virgin. If this were Rocky Horror, you'd throw undies at him. Since this is on the Internet, feel free to leave links to photos of your undies.
Ladies and gents, I met this fella, Jon Balcourt about six months ago. He's fun. He's funny. And I make fun of him all the time via IM and text and yet still he speaks to me. AKA: I adore him, and know you will too.
My Site/ Sites:
www.jonbalcourt.net (eek but it sucks right now)
What I might post about:
theater, moving and apartment hunting, crazy experiences on subways/public places (they seem to follow me...), random internet finds, I dunno, I can post about a LOT of things...
What I love:
good times with good people, iced carmel macchiatos (macchiati?), music, theater, going out, having to remember the previous night via facebook pictures that get tagged the next afternoon
What I hate:
fake people, tasteless rap music, rain (when i'm caught in it w/o an umbrella),
My Last Word:
I'm a capricorn. I enjoy long walks on the beach. That's cliché, but I do. I'm not registered to either party, mostly because I don't believe completely in what either party stands for strongly enough to choose sides. I'm happy being in the middle with my own values and beliefs.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
It's come to the end of my week here on JunstinPlusOne. Please excuse my absence yesterday, I've had the eventful weekend of flying home to CA for my parents 25th wedding anniversary.
I'd like to do two things before I hand the baton to next week's plus one: the first is to say that I had a great time and thanks to Justin and everybody who stopped by to read. And secondly I'll leave you with one last link/product endorsement.
The website is Blurb.com, I'm sure many of you know it already. What blurb does is provide you with software to lay out your very own text based or photo based book, then will print a very professional looking copy for an extremely reasonable price. Book prices begin anywhere betweeen $5 and $55 dollars based on the size, amount of images. The website itself creates a very interesting community of book lovers, as the staff posts their favorites that they've seen go through the system and amateur photographers can actually design their own books and have them for sale on the site.
While this could be a great start for an amateur photographer, I'll admit that it is a little strange that people leave their wedding photos and father's day gifts up for sale! but, we're living in the culture of no privacy, and maybe these couples are pleased that somewhere in America their faces could gracing the coffee table of a family they've never met. Check it out- what better gift than a beautiful personalized book. Great for a landmark anniversary... :)
Congratulations to my parents; and congratulations to John and Tina Brown (see below). Thank you for having me. Joe out.
Friday, July 24, 2009
But you know what? If my husband-to-be was down with choreographing a fucking rocking hardcore wedding party church entrance like this...
I might consider settling down and doing it up, matching suits and sunglasses style.
Special thanks to co-worker Nadia for sharing the mid-work-day pick-me-up!
Now if only Kevin had proposed to Jill with an amazingly magical Disney World wedding proposal like this:
Who they are is a duo of pranksters that serially impersonate leaders of corporations or the WTO who then are invited to conventions or onto news programs to speak. one of the ways they managed this was by setting up a fake website that somewhat resembles the WTO's actual website. People stumble across the website, contact the "WTO" for a representative and one of these two dudes puts on a suit, goes to a conference and represents the World Trade Organization.
They have a few documentaries, including a new one coming out called The Yes Men Fix The World, which I highly recomend watching. The best part of these videos is that you watch them saying this really, crazy outrageous stuff and nobody ever stops to ask: wait are you really from the WTO? They're wearing a suit and they look the part. One of my favorite hijinks of this type is when they infiltrated the Fabrics of the Future conference at Tampere Technical University in Finland, pictured here.
I think this stunt and the "ReBurger" stunt (only for the strong stomached) are quite funny. But at times their stunts can be very sad. The major example, and the anchor prank for the newest documentary is the impersonation of a Dow Chemical executive on the BBC news explaining how after 18 years Dow Chemical was going to take full responsibility poison gas leak that spelled disaster in Bhopal, India. He promised Dow was going to give the affected population clean water and pay for the site to be cleaned up, when of course...it wasn't. In the 23 minutes after the interview Dow's stock plummetted a billion dollars. Here's the trailer for their new documentary:
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I mean, sure, I hate paying taxes. But I'm still pretty much hardcore for all of what the Democrats stand for.
And if you are like me, you revel in watching people expose the GOP for the band of Looney Tunes and batshit crazy people that they are. Well, you need to spend some time over at Crooks and Liars. It often seems to me that the Republicans get the last word. Some crazy jumps up and tells us that
Obama isn't a legitimate American.
Bill O' Reilly thinks government employees will be memorizing our private health records and Dick Morris says a public health option will KILL US.
A soldier captured by the Taliban deserves to die.
And just as I feel the crazy can't get any thicker and my head is about to turn into a boot, I turn to Crooks and Liars. It's fun to watch the crazies get zinged, defeated, and even embarrassed.
Much like this great clip of comedian Tom Arnold making Sean Hannity look like a fucking moron.
When everything seems to be nuts, it's good to see intelligence and truth find its way through the clutter. And at Crooks and Liars, I get to see that a number of times a day, often with video footage.
So if you're like me, and you get a bit too invested in this vicious back and forthing between crazies... take a trip over to Crooks and Liars and have a good laugh at the expense of idiotic politicians who should have never been elected to begin with.
Because you know that if you don't laugh, you'll probably end up crying.
This is not to say that I don't go onto the internet. I just have different uses/obsessions. Instead of flipping around on the facebook I am actually more likely to spend "bored time" on yahoo games playing Text Twist, since deciphering 6 letter anagrams can kill half an hour startlingly easy. OR, equally as addictive and possibly more rewarding is FreeRice.com. For every question you answer correctly FreeRice donates 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program (helping to end world hunger!). It is very much like that vocabulary-rice thing that was circulating on the facebook, but in addition to vocab they have Geography and Art History! Who can name the highlighted country to the right? Who can name the artist for the painting below? (Answers are in anagram form as the title of this post.)
The most intense of all is my my love of podcasts. Oh My God. Everyday an unrealistic number of podcasts are delivered to my Itunes library. So many that it's actually nearing 24 hours of playtime. Among them are 3 dedicated to learning Spanish; 2 to learning Italian; 2 to learning photoshop; 5 that together make up "the NPR Suite;" 4 that fall under under general Vocab/trivia; and about 11 more that range from drawing instruction to financial advice. Do I listen to these? Sort of. Some of them. No.
I yet can't let them go. My single favorite thing about technology is it's ability to drown people in their interests. I just can't get over that all of this is delivered to me for free each morning. All I need is for the knowledge to somehow osmos into my brain without any active participation. My big question for the world: Everyone does this right? all of you have 1000+ unread articles in your GoogleReaders, don't you?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My friend Paul likes to make light of my dying before him. I ask him if he'll inform my loved ones if he's the first to find out, and he says "sure, once I've gotten to your apartment and taken your TV and PS3."
He's a smart guy. I'd do the same with his stuff if I didn't already own a Wii, or if I wanted the entire series of Sex and the City on DVD.
But, aside from our earthly possessions... what about the Web? Right now, most of us are accustomed to our older relations dying. These grandparents, aunts and uncles (at least til recently) didn't have online accounts, assuming they even knew how or had care to go on the Internet. But every once in a while when we are shocked by the death of someone in our age group, spooky things happen.
Facebook and MySpaces become eerie digital memorials - with comments and wall posts being left in lieu of flowers. Their photos remain and if you look at their activity, you can see the last thing they did.
What will become of us once we meet our maker? Right now there is no single, unifying block that connects to all of our digital possessions. There's no way that someone, unless they get to googling, will find all of my many online profiles and memberships. You might get my Facebook and Dlist, but what about my 12seconds and my Linkedin? Or whatever sites I became a member of because they had message boards filled with free porn?
What about my Amazon wish list? My xtube points bank? My newsletter subscriptions and numerous email accounts?
Will they just lie there and collect weeds like a .com gravestone?
In the future, as we start dying off, will we need to put into our wills our YouTube content? Who will operate my channel and watch over my go-go boy videos? Who will take over my Twitter? Will they at least tweet "here tweeted Justin?"
And, as the Internet continues to grab up more of our lives and memories, this problem or challenge will only get deeper and more complex. Online health records. Blogs. Characters in online games. Hosting positions on video and podcasts.
And how will we honor someone who dies on the internet? Will there be a Graveyard.com with memorial profile pages? Allow people to post their memories of photos and do mashup videos through vimeo and youtube? Will whole funerals exist online via webcast and livestreaming, due to the fact that some our closest friends will be at all points around the world?
In the end, it seems as though technology, while making our lives simpler, may also be making our deaths far more of an inconvenience.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
I remember that the day he passed away people were stressing the fact that another person has died. oh my gosh. another. And back when Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett each passed I heard people around the office saying: well, they die in threes. It wasn't long before I was hearing: well, they die in sevens.
The sad truth is that our society will need to get ued to people dying. Maybe our loved celebrities are passing in groups of 3's and 7's for now, but they are going to end up passing 365's. I think the simple reason for this is that we know and recognize so many more people that we used to. We've been in the information age for multiple decades, I would love to actually research this and see how many nationally recognizable personalities 2009 has compared to 1969, whether they are performers, politicians, or activists.
And oh my goodness, what about Youtube? I mean if MirandaSings passed away wouldn't you tell everyone you know? In my mind I'm now having comic flashes of people mourning everything that ever happened on Youtube.
A: Did you ever see "snake eats hippo" on youtube?
B: Um... yeah I might have.
A: Well that snake died today.
B: Oh no! how sad.
A: I know it's horrible.
B: Well, they do die in 3's.
I'm certainly not trying to make light of Mr. Cronkite's passing, or anyone else's. It's always sad to lose someone who gave a lot to the world. But we've set ourselves up with enough names and faces that aif anybody is watching for the next person to die in order to start grouping them, well... somewhere someone recognizable is kicking it.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Because there is so much wrong with it. Go figure that it is my most commented on photo in my Facebook history. Apparently some friends still use it as their computer backdrop. Who wouldn't? These characters clearly aren't official... because I doubt either the Children's Television Workshop, or Disney, would approve of their creations having a smoke break, let alone co-existing in the same photo.
A true rarity. It should be worth money. Maybe I'll put it on Ebay.
It also reminds me of a recent time I was in Times Square, stopping at Starbucks for much-needed caffeine prior to a crazy Saturday night out. Standing in front of me was a man half-out of his unofficial Spiderman costume. It was there that I noticed he was wearing a g-string; yes, his ass was on full view through the venomous leggings. Power to him, he had the toned body of one of those pedicab driver/international soccer players.
But still... unsanitary... and not how I imagine Marvel would want their arachnid hero to be viewed.
And no, I didn't snap a photo of slimey Spidey Twink.
SO, What could possibly be going on in this picture? It turns out this image is not doctored and that a person dressed head to toe as an imperial stormtrooper is actually offering the International Child Abuse Network organization a check for over a $1000; check signed by lord Darth Vader of course.
Odd, right? Well recently my friend Mike, who lives in the San Francisco bay area, told me about this group of Star Wars enthusiasts that have created this vast network of those like themselves across all across the nation called the 501st Stormtrooper Legion. Their Tagline? Bringing Order to the Galaxy Since 1997! This picture is from the local Golden Gate Garrison, based out of the San Francisco area and the reason our plastic fellow is presenting this check, however stoically, is that It turns out the 501st stormtrooper Legion is primarily dedicated to community service. Who knew?
As I looked down their list of events there are all kinds of community service appearances being made at PTA fundraisers, community faires, even the AIDS walk. It turns out anybody for any reason can request these guys chaperone just about anything and they'll do it gladly. All you have to do is fill out the online form. One of the bigger events of 2008: Elijah's 7th birthday.
Now I was kind of inspired by the good deeds these clones are cranking out so I was looking into membership until I saw that your suit is not provided. It turns out you can purchase one for the low low unheard of price of $799.99- marked down from $999.99 at officialcostumes.com, but what is actually preferred is that you make your own from scratch. The process is laid out for you and all materials can be purchased at Studiocreations.com. It begins with making a body cast of yourself and special molding the vacuuformed platic plates so that your suit is comfortable and uniquely fit to you. This seemed like a lot of work to me; I probably won't end up joining.
All of these photos of full body costumes reminds me of those people in Times Square dressed up as Elmo, or Minnie Mouse or Hello Kitty. It makes me laugh when tourist parents push their children up against these characters for pictures thinking that the people are legitimately employed to walk around and take photos with kids. I wonder if the parents would still take these photos if they knew that these people were just random schmoes (who even have to use the payphone now and then) that happen to own a full body hello kitty costume in their adult life.
I try to not be judgmental of people who love to dress up as characters in public. Whether they're an Imperial Stormtrooper or Hello Kitty, they probably all mean well. There must be a secret society that governs and dispatches these people all over the globe. I just wonder what their leader looks like. Could this be far from the truth?
Monday, July 20, 2009
Great first post! And thank you for penning it, because you have inspired in me a desire to tell a story I til now have never documented in type: the Genesis story of Justin Plus One.
Often when I tell people about Justin Plus One they tell me how brilliant it is - how innovative! How smart! How creative! With all this praise you'd think I'd be pulling in 5,000 or more visitors a week. Well, I'm actually pulling in 10,000 a week (I'm not really.)
Anyway - much like so many other "innovative" ideas, Justin Plus One came about by chance, and fate, and a string of things outside of my control.
If you've been reading this blog for more than a year, you may remember it once had another name. Namely, OMFGNYC. It was penned with my then-best friend, Patrick. We decided to go into the blogging business together. We donned fake personas (Blanche and Jane from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?) Every day a mystery narrator would each come up with two subjects, write a biting summary, and then invoke Blanche and Jane to weigh in with their opinions.)
This lasted for a good six months until Patrick and I had a falling out. The blog came down, all the posts were deleted, and the Jane Blanche Facebook page we created for marketing purposes went back to Jesus. (Well, it's still up, and apparently had its birthday earlier this year.)
After that, I tried to resurrect OMFGNYC as a different blog. It didn't quite work. I was used to Livejournal, a place where getting 100 comments on a post was expected, versus the silent tunnel of blogger where you're lucky to get 4 or 5 a week. It felt like I was yelling into an abandoned mine shaft. I needed someone else.
So I contacted my then-new-friend, Stephen Tylor O'Connor. You may remember him from the week of Clint, where we pimped the shit out of his movie while also literally pimping him out, offering sex with him as a "thank you" for voting for him in a contest. It should be noted that Stephen actually did follow through and fuck every guy that voted for him. Sucks if you didn't take advantage of that offer... because he's now straight. (No he isn't.)
Anyway, during that time the Blog became "Justin and Stephen Explain it All." Problem was that Stephen was super busy, and didn't have much in the way of blogging experience. I couldn't take it. I needed someone to post with and he just wasn't doing it.
I was whining about this online to my cousin Kristin. "Well, how about I help you out?" She asked.
Of course! That would be great! Kristin and I had known each other for 25 years at the time. We'd have awesome blog mojo. Yes yes yes I said.
"Except," she added, "I can only blog this week."
Shit shit shit shit shit!
And so I ran to the next person I could think of, my friend Jake. He too, could only offer me one week.
I cried for a bit (not really... okay well maybe a lil). And then I stopped. Wait a minute. What if I just went around asking my friends to co-blog with me for a week? It was perfect! So many people I spoke to about blogging often said the same thing: "I usually start off great, but then it dies down." or "I don't have the patience to gain a readership." or "I'm in jail."
And from there, Justin Plus One was born: the ultimate solution to every person on the Internet who ever wanted to blog. A blog with no commitments and a built in readership! You came on, blogged your heart out for 5 days, and then gracefully exited and went on your merry way.
On my side, it was beneficial because I'd never run out of topics - I could always bounce off of one of theirs (much like this post is doing, thanks again, Joe!) Also, the readership would expand every week as the Plus One brought their own friends, family members, and former cell mates to Justin Plus One.
Now, where did Justin Plus One come from? To tell you the truth, I have no fucking clue. I wish I could tell you, but I have a very very shitty memory.
Born out of desperation, I am really proud of Justin Plus One. It has helped me meet new people, it was the spark that got me into nightlife promotions, it helps me reach a deeper level with friends, and it's something to talk about that people find interesting.
Yes, much has changed over time. I used to require that Plus Ones write 3-5 posts a day, and from Monday - Sunday (aka I was clearly insane). Then I realized no one wants to read that much blog.
So now we're more structured at these parts. 2 posts a day. Shut down for the weekend. A hello post and a goodbye post. There is a Justin Plus One Welcome Pack that every Plus One fills out. There is a separate Welcome Back pack for returning alums.
Recently I christened the "Alum Club" - those Plus Ones that were so good, that I keep having them come back to chill with all y'all.
And there have been failures too... like "This Just In," (I don't have the time nor desire to do a weekend recap).
Who knows what's on the horizon? Well, I guess you'll need to stick around, and find out :)
I hope you enjoy reading Justin Plus One as much as I enjoy writing :0D
I’d like to thank you all for stopping by and taking a chance on my first blog post ever(!). I am so stoked to spend the week here co-blogging with Justin because I’m hoping it will jump start a very, super, extra-special blogging project of my own.
What is this project? I wish I knew.
You see, recently I was reading a job listing and was kind of floored when the listing ended by adding that applicants with blogging experience were preferred. The thing is: this post was for a job in a Ticket Office, and nowhere in the listing did it mention: oh, and by the way you’ll be managing a blog for the theatre. As far as I could tell blogging had nothing to do with the position. I interpreted this desire for an applicant that blogs to be a sign of the times. NOW, I am always competitive and pretty ambitious so I DO NOT want to be seen falling behind the times. I vowed then and there that I’d break into this whole blog thing.
And here I am! I get a whole week to try this out, to test some styles, to experiment with topics, and generally try the whole thing on for size. It’s like a trial period for an as seen on TV product. AND just think- while I experiment, you can try me out, risk free.
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Nature blessed New York City with essentially three days of sunshine (although it did smite us with pouring rain briefly on Saturday night). So we were sure to get drunk in Central Park, on the pier, or even on the street (we'd be drunk anyway, but it's that much more fun outdoors in the sunlight.)
If you're a regular reader of Justin Plus One, you may have noticed that I usually feature a Plus One that is either living in New York City, or California. This week I went ahead and combined both... a Californian who now lives in New York City!
Allow me to introduce you to Joe Ferreira - a hilarious and intelligent fella originally from NoCal now living in Harlem, NYC. Super cute, ultra engaging, and rather fantastic as a human being, he will be going through the rigorous blogging gauntlet that is Justin Plus One this week. Do be welcoming and supportive of his efforts. I assure you he will not disappoint.
Take it away, Joe!
What I might post about:
Things I'm discovering or learning this week. Crazy stories from work. California and Food.
What I love:
Marching bands; avocado; bar trivia; good storytellers; really good mash-ups; Davis, CA; and that alligator/hippo segment from the original Fantasia.
What I hate:
Cutting in line, actually. I really hate cutting in line.
I'm a recent New York transplant from northern California. After growing up near Sacramento I went to school at UC Davis- You will probably hear A LOT about UC Davis in the next week- and I'm currently enjoying work as a publications asst. at Samuel French. I've been fascinated by blogs and blog culture recently and, excepting a now long lost Xanga account, have never blogged before so I'm thrilled to take my first steps into this madness.
Friday, July 17, 2009
If you've been reading me for a while, you've no doubt been introduced to my brother, Jared Zirilli. A triple threat with supermodel good looks, Jared is not only my best friend, he is also my hero - my inspiration.
Others look up to celebrities, political figures, historical personalities. I'm lucky enough to just have to look across the family dinner table.
Having overcome every challenge thrown at him, my brother has really carved out the beginning of a successful career and a happy life for himself. And today he turns 23 years old.
Jared, I hope you have the happiest of Happy Birthdays. And I can't wait to come and see you tear shit up as Roger in Rent next month. I am proud of you. I am inspired by you. I love you more than the rest of this world.
Thank you for your love and support. Your humor and non-sequiturs. And teaching me that I shouldn't have beaten the crap outta you so much when you were little, because now you can thrash me with one arm tied behind your back. While being attacked by a clan of ninjas. And blindfolded. And possibly during an earthquake with the fault line opening up beneath you.
And no one can make me laugh like you do. Challenge me to make THEM laugh like you do. You are loyal and protective to the point of verbally threatening people who are only PRETENDING to hate me. You would throw a fist or a dirty glance to anyone you felt was trying to hurt me. You seem more excited by my successes than your own (granted, the same goes for me.)
Keep it real, brudder bear. We've grown a long way since when we were 8 years old and I was stealing your french fries in Dad's Volvo. Now neither of us really eats french fries. And if I ever stole any of your food, you'd throw me off the Brooklyn Bridge.
Happy Birthday :)
AKA: Brudder Bear, Broseph, Justy, etc. etc. etc.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I may have heard of it before, but I didn't bother to Google or get to know The Creation Museum in Kentucky until today. It's all because of a preferred blog I read, Ad Rants, which featured this ad for the museum.
And I had to Google. Why? Because it raised questions: why is The Creation Museum, a museum about Creation (one that is, of course, anti-evolution) have a Pterodactyl tearing apart its billboard? I mean, I thought maybe it's a cute joke - the dinosaur doesn't want you to know it exists, so it's eating the ad. Of course, logic then flies in the face of this interpretation because that would mean that the ad was inherently confirming the existence of dinosaurs.
I wish I hadn't Googled further, because now I respect the uber religious even less. Turns out that at The Creation Museum you will see a ton of animatronic dinosaurs. Because they lived with humans. And they were on the ark.
Of course, the bible never mentioned Noah chillin' with a Stegosaurus... but they have a convenient answer for that. As they have a convenient answer for everything. Also, by agreeing to the fact that dinosaurs were chillin' with our fave characters from the ole testament, they reap the benefit of having gigantic robotic dinosaurs that children will love everywhere. Best of both worlds!
To see ignorance and scary re-definition of fossil fact, do take 9 minutes and watch this "Documentary" on The Creation Museum:
Also, bonus points to the God-fearin' crazies for turning Science into "Scientism" which in fact DOES make it seem less factual. Even though it isn't. Because it is science.
Or, you know, don't. And just realize these people are crazy.
But yes! The Creation Museum, which has a very catchy tagline: Prepare to Believe. It's eerie. It's a movie slug. It's sexy (which makes it sinful! repent!) At The Creation Museum you can check out Noah's Ark where you can...
"See the scaffolding, smell the freshly-cut timbers in the busy work site of Noah’s Ark. Delve into the belly of the Ark and imagine the stalls full of animals, in close quarters. Listen to the sounds of thunderous, driving rains and the pounding of water against the sides of the great Ark."That's a lot of "Ark" in one description. And where, exactly, did they get the "freshly-cut timber" smell? I'll bet that Science had something to do with it.
Also, don't feel the need to travel to Kentucky... just watch this little home movie of some boy and girl and their day at The Creation Museum:
I mean don't get me wrong. There SEEMS to be good behind all of this idiocy. A man says "if it's all random occurrence and coincidence and lawlessness, then we all mean nothing." So The Creation Museum is about giving people purpose in life. A meaning for being there. A reason to stick around.
Which is totally cool until they start trying to stop rape victims from getting abortions, or me and my fellow gays from getting married. That's not as cool. That's when I'll openly call these people morons who shouldn't be allowed to operate any machinery more complex than an electric toothbrush (and even that could be hazardous to those in the vicinity.)
In the end, though, I can tell you that The Creation Museum is more about profit than anything. Sure they have a .org url, which means they're a nonprofit. But I'm sure they are funneling funds into Prop 8 and other such evil things. I mean, where else are the profits from "Noah's Cafe" on the main level going?
It's brilliant marketing. With technology from a former Universal Studios robot creator. And nice fonts. And a lot of stupid shit to say with no one to refute it.
I'd say "Let's create an anti-creation museum." But then I realized that that is what every other museum in the world is. So I guess we win.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Best friend and Plus One Alum Becky, whom I went to Vegas with, and who got me featured in Ted Casablanca's Gossip Blog, The Awful Truth today for blabbing about Robert Pattinson, sent me this video about an hour ago.
I was browbeating her for not getting on Twitter. Her response was "there are far more important things to be worried/upset about... like this poor bear for instance."
I almost cried. Look at that poor bear cub! He doesn't know what the fuck is going on! He's scared shitless :0(
THE KOREANS ARE HORRIBLE PEOPLE! I mean, it is ONE THING to shoot unknowing ski-trippers down a snowy mountain, naked on a rocket-powered sleigh.
It is also acceptable to make them jump through horribly uncomfortable holes at their own peril (can't find YouTube video... believe me, it's out there).
But to torture a poor baby bear? And laugh about it? NOT FUNNY! BAD KOREAN TV SHOW PRODUCERS! BAD!
I hope that bear grows up and eats the lot of you. And for his sake, I hope you're delicious.
Here in New York, we take issue with everything. At Starbucks, you won't be served if you're on your cell phone. If you spread your legs too wide on the subway while sitting down, you'll get punched in the face. If you wear fur, we throw paint at you. If you're caught painting, we throw fur at you.
Everyone is always screaming about someone and something or other. It's Save the Whales, Feed the Children, and Release the Hounds.
You can't walk half a block without someone trying to sell you chocolate to help support their basketball team, or to get your signature to remove someone you've never heard of out of a public office you didn't even know existed, or to get your money to help bring musical theater education to street urchins living in Appalachia.
Well, just recently, New York took on a new enemy: carriage horses. You've seen them before if you've been here. They line Central Park South and give overpriced rides to tourists or people who are the most unoriginal romantics in the world. In fact, just two days ago, Plus One Kristin and I were cabbing by, smelling the wafting odor of horse crap.
Why the smell? Because the horsemen catch the poop in these sacks that hang under the horse's patoot.
Sure I don't like the horse carriages. They smell. They cause traffic. Their only contribution to society was that hilarious Beefareeno episode of Seinfeld. And then every once in a while you hear about some horse goin' nuts and running into a garbage truck.
But I still have an issue with the "group" who is posting posters all around the city. NY-CLASS, it seems, is here to make our city safer, cleaner, and better. Problem is... they are acting like they care about anything more than horses.
Read the letter from their site:
Dear fellow New Yorker-What they don't tell you is they only really give a shit about the horses. Why not just say "Hello Fellow New Yorker - we're against the horses."? It reeks of shadiness. Even their name stands for "New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets". Again, why not just call it "NYATFFH" (New Yorkers Against Those Fucking Filthy Horses)... hell, even the sound of NYATFFH! evokes that smell coming up around Central Park.
At NY-CLASS, our goal is to find common-sense solutions to public safety and quality of life issues such as sanitation, traffic congestion and road safety. We also work to preserve the unique culture of New York, enhance the City’s economic base and protect the workers who keep our City running.
Please browse our site to learn about NY-CLASS and join us in making New York an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Even worse, NY-CLASS is really harping on a "number of solutions." Those solutions are all one single solution... a sustainable, rechargeable classic car model. What? I mean, I see how they're better for the planet... but you have to be shitting me if you think that'll replace the horses. Frankly, when I read their posters, I thought they had come up with some cool kind of robot horse.
Alas, no robot horse. Maybe next year.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
(pause for laughter to die down).
I know! Who was I kidding? I couldn't lie to a child, I couldn't whistle on-key, and I had all of the rhythm and grace of a Saint Bernard tied to a wobbly walker.
Yes, me, the guy with the super famous brother (better known as Jared Zirilli - hi Jared! I know you got a Google alert about this post!)
But, luckily for me, one day I realized that - hey! - I really should get the fuck out of this acting thing. And fast. It wasn't until my Junior year at Muhlenberg College, but I got out just in the nick of time. A few summer courses and an ultra-aggressive senior year later, I graduated with a double major in English and Communication (instead of English and Theater.)
And boy am I glad I did that. As I watch all of these actors struggling with the recession - and I mean TALENTED ones! I am glad to know that I sold out at just the right time.
And that's not to say anything for all of those bad actor/singer/dancers. The ones who bring new meaning to "Triple Threat." Those guys who are selling programs or serving at TGI Fridays who think that they "just haven't gotten their break yet," as they sign on the dotted line to perform yet another non-equity tour of Blues Clues through the Ozarks.
Well, for them, my hero Weird Al Yankovic has created a new ditty. It's called Skipper Dan and it's a catchy tune the likes of which I have NOT heard since "Frank's 2,000 Inch TV" (you may have never heard of that song - but it's one of my faves. Not particularly funny but MAN it's a good song.)
Either way - whether you're a working or non-working actor, a fan of Weird Al, both, or neither... I think you'll dig this song.
Check it out.
You may have noticed that last week, Justin Plus One went dark. Like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory shutting down to the public, it was viewed with skepticism and horror. Where had I gone? Where were the rants? The opinions? The near-naked go-go boys? The RANTS?
Well, I was on a 9-day vacation out on the West Coast! It began with a day and a half in Los Angeles, and was followed by a 4-day bacchanalian stint in Vegas.
Let me tell you something: that was my first time ever going to Vegas. And I can say, with 100 percent certainty, that I have NEVER been overwhelmed in my life... because I was overwhelmed in Vegas. My eyes popped out of my head every other minute.
A hotel with a ROLLER COASTER? Is the Eiffel Tower STICKING OUT OF THAT BUILDING? There are LIONS in this lobby? There's a SHARK REEF 100 feet from my hotel room? The elevator to this bar goes along the OUTSIDE of the building? HOW MANY Cirque Du Soleil shows are there? Is that Pirate ship EXPLODING? My GOD! Is that a VOLCANO? Wait, I can call a number and have a girl DELIVERED TO MY HOTEL ROOM? I can ride a GONDOLA through a SHOPPING MALL? That 3-scoop gelato costs EIGHTEEN DOLLARS?
Just recounting all of this is causing me to go blind.
Yes, Vegas was unbelievable. I left 4 days later, with little to no sleep in my system, saying I needed to spend two weeks in a quiet, dark room with a blanket over my head, lying flat on the floor, just to recover. Despite the never-sleep, I felt like I got nothing done. I saw no shows (minus Kathy Griffin, which was fun, despite her constant chatter about stupid reality TV shows that I will never watch - Real Housewives, mostly.)
Any way, words can only achieve so much... so please to enjoy the video I created. In it you will notice Plus One Alums Becky Bain and X. Alexander. They were there with me, and made the trip that much more memorable.
PS: Be sure to crank up the volume and hit the "HD" button for the full experience, including the incomparable tones of Miss Katy Perry.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I am hoping that you will be able to weigh in here. You see, I have never considered myself fashionable. The fact that my mother dressed me til I was 13 (mostly by choice, I liked having my clothing laid out for me) and the additional fact that, until a few years ago, I didn't know what clashed and what colors went with what, has resulted in me defaulting to what I call "Frat Chic."
I wear jeans. I wear t-shirts. I wear polos. Sometimes I'll add a longsleeved shirt into the mix. Most of the time I go clothing shopping, I bring you with me for fear I'll leave with horrendous outfits that will result in derision and mockery.
However, as far from fashion as I am, I look upon outfits like the following and think "Jesus... that's horrifying."
Am I wrong? Are they actually fashion-forward? Should I be strutting my stuff down Wall Street in this $1,300 (discounted from $2,600) skirt suit? Am I blind when I say this is Serverus Snape doing drag at talent night at Hogwarts? Or formal attire for a dinner with Skull and Bones?
Am I wrong in saying that madras should be drank and not worn? And why wear short shorts with such a blocky jacket? Why wear such a blocky jacket? Why pay $888 (discounted from $3,000) for the "pleasure" of wearing a boxy madras short short suit combination?
And finally, who the fuck is this Thom Browne? Is he playing a huge joke on the fashion crowd, or is he man coutoure's next Jesus?
I look to you for guidance.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Just hopping in to send you my love from the Left Coast where I am vacationing until Friday. I have decided not to blog this week as I will be running around, and don't want to leave ANY Plus One hanging in the wind.
So take the week off, read all the other blogs that are better than this one, and I will be back with a Plus One and ready to roll next Monday!
Friday, July 3, 2009
So Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! I hope you all have amazing plans. As for myself, I will be hosting a picnic in Central Park around noon tomorrow. We'll be in Sheep Meadow, so if you're around, look for a whole gaggle of gays basking in the sunshine and drinking wine. We love to have new guests at our Pink Tea Parties!
Then fireworks over the Hudson! I make my move over to the Upper West and the fireworks come with me. I always envied people born on the Fourth of July, because they can pretend the festivities are for them. However, this year, I can do the same.
In fact, everyone should take time to value themselves. Of course, you don't have to pretend that every celebration you see is for you (but I'm not really pretending--I know it's all for me), but just remind yourself that you are unique and special. No one is like you.
That being said, I hope everyone enjoys the fireworks tribute they are putting on for me tomorrow night. It's supposed to be bigger and better! When the dust and ashes settle, we'll see what sort of phoenix Justin will pull out of the remains for next week.
Until my 5th time, au revoir!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
But no, I'm talking about Single Ladies. For some reason, Disney has decided to sacrifice Joe Jonas to the frothing gay community, throwing him in a tight set of spandex and having him perform Beyonce's way overplayed single.
I'm sorry, the only person who can continue doing Single Ladies is Shane Mercado. And only at Splash when he is in tiny undies. He created the Single Ladies YouTube fad, so he can keep doing it til he's old and using a walker to crouch on his knees.
Everyone else? It's time for a moratorium. Let's find a new dance we can all embarrass ourselves to. Maybe it's time to go the way of the Sweet 16 or the Bar Mitzvah, and bring back the "Cotton-Eyed Joe" or the "Electric Slide". I am sure there are tons of obese girls who will struggle around to pull that off, too.
I mean, of course Joe can't be THAT gay - they made sure to choreograph him awkwardly - creating a thoroughly uncomfortable 4 minutes of video footage. In fact, I could only bear 2 minutes of it.
I also want to know why the crazy girls that love the Brothers Jonas wanted Joe in spandex dancing to Single Ladies. Maybe because like in their real lives, all the cute guys they date and/or pine for are actually gay, and so this feels right to them.
One last thing: can someone please tell me Joe's actual age? I want to know if I should feel guilty for thinking he looks fantastic in that get-up.