NoSalesTax

Two Elon alumni (2002) have pooled their talents to bring excitement and joy to your day. One is a classy woman who combines her Italian and feminine powers to influence men of all shapes and sizes. The other is a tall blond man who relies on wit and boyish good looks to impress women, especially when they're drunk. Join them in their epic pursuit of the phenomenon known as adulthood. NoSalesTax side effects may include addiction and abrupt laughter as colleagues look on in confused jealousy.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Great Office Moments

I just came across an interesting conversation, in which office ladies were talking about how much fun work used to be.
One volunteered, “You can’t drink during the day anymore. I used to have wine at lunch and then come back to work and drop my pen everywhere. It was great. Very innocent.”
Another responded, “Yeah well, there wasn’t AIDS back then.”

Christmas Music

Does anyone remember the Claymation Christmas special? It must've aired more than 10 years ago, back when the California Raisins were takin the world by storm (think of the drug combination that would lead to thinkin up singing and dancing raisins). Anyway, that half hour was so spectacular, my brother and I watched the video at least 100 times while growing up. The Carol of the Bells skit was by far the funniest.

Being from New Hampshire, Christmas actually feels like Christmas. More often than not, snow is on the ground and wood stoves are pouring eat throughout neighborhood houses. Walking downtown, past decorated store fronts and the giant Christmas tree in Central Square, the holiday mood really hits you when you walk into a store and hear Christmas music. Of course, there is no greater platform for Christmas music than church on Chistmas Eve. Every year at the midnite service, my church ends its service by singing Joy to the World. It's just so powerful, so pure, I'm gettin a bit teary-eyed just writing about it. It makes you appreciate everything you have, even the sub-zero weather (still warmer than Canada) sitting on the other side of the church windows as it awaits your walk to the car.

My family always sits in one of the sanctuary's side balconies, enabling me to see everyone below. The wide variety of Christmas attire is sobering, ranging from suits and ties to old sweaters and winter hats; here, on Christmas Eve, the poor shake hands w/ the wealthy, wishing each other Merry Christmas as everyone climbs into their coats and scarves before leaving.

Since T-Rock, the Christmaholic, threw out her fav songs, I'll have to counter w/ my choices. And no, there are no muppets on my list.

Carol of the Bells
This is a fast lil diddly (can you call a Christmas song a "diddly?") that originated as a Ukrainian folk song called "shchedrivka." Just in case you were wondering. This is also one of the few Christmas songs I can play on the guitar. Btw, for all you true Americans who love Seinfeld: "The Ukraine is weak." -- Kramer

O Come, All Ye Faithful (church choir)
Maybe it's cuz this is usually the first powerful song sung during my church's midnite service, but there's something to be said about the strength of hundreds of people singing w/ the giant pipe organ while most of the city is already dreaming of morning. The way the choir belts out "Come and behold him, born the king of angels" really gets me into the Christmas spirit.

Do You Hear What I Hear? (The Roches)
Everyone remembers songs they listened to when they were really little because their parents listened to 'em. Well, The Roches' Christmas album is something I've listened to every Christmas I can remember, which could be why they hold a special place in my heart. This A capella group can flat-out sing, too. Ch-ch-check 'em out.

Christmas Time is Here (Charlie Brown and friends)
I've always loved Charlie Brown, probably because he's such a hard-luck loser all the time. You've gotta feel for the kid. Btw, is he bald, or does he just have a really bad haircut? These are the things that keep me awake at nite. This is a great gift-wrapping anthem, as it's very soothing w/ a touch of melancholy, fitting for the beautiful wrapping paper soon to be torn to shreds. Also a good choice when sliding that ring on your g/f's finger. Remember, every kiss begins w/ Kay.

My Guilty Pleasure

I would like to express how much I LOVE Christmas music. My officemate and I are currently jamming to a remake of “Santa Claus is Comin to Town”. Its quite possibly making my day.
I have so many memories of listening to Christmas music with my family. My mom starts playing it around Thanksgiving and the hits don’t stop till after New Years.
I feel like I’m in AA right now, but I’m going to say it anyway. “Hello, my name is T-Rock, and I listen to the Christmas music radio station.”

"Hi T-Rock!!"

My Top 4 Favorite Christmas Songs:
-Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley
-Christmas Is Coming the Goose is Getting Fat, John Denver and Miss Piggy (several other muppets also contributed)
-Christmas Eve in Sarejevo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra
-White Christmas, Frank Sinatra

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Sex

What are you reading this because I used the word sex? Ah HA! I knew that would draw readers in!
My co-blogger seems to think Seinfeld was the best show ever. I really, really disagree. It’s a funny show. Sure. Let’s leave it at that.
My best friend isn’t crazy about Seinfeld, either. It’s one of the reasons I love her. We have actually had conversations about how some people are too obsessed with it- will watch all the re runs, know the episodes and lines by heart… and we kind of look on in awe, wondering, was it really that funny?
Being a non-Seinfeld lover today is kind of like being a Republican. You’re almost afraid to say it because so many people will flip out. It’s like you totally and full heartedly believe it is average, but you don’t want to start a revolt. (Not that I feel the least bit of sympathy for republicans. Look what you did! He’s back for four more years!!)
Sooooo, I will instead write about what I feel are the 4 best episodes of what I believe is the best show in history- Sex and the City!

Episode 4: Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys
"There are no available men in their thirties in New York. Giuliani had them removed along with the homeless." -Miranda
In this episode, Carrie finds herself hanging out with a much younger counterpart. They kiss for 5 hours, his house is sans TP at a most critical moment, and he likes to smoke pot. Seriously, if this kid isn’t straight out of Elon then they don’t call me T-Rock. Do you remember kissing for 5 hours? Do you remember the first time you were at a boy’s house and there was no toilet paper? It’s probably about the same time you started dating OLDER MEN! I sure did….

Episode 55: Time and Punishment
"I got to thinking about relationships and partial lobotomies. Two seemingly different ideas that might just be perfect together - like chocolate and peanut butter." – Carrie

Classic Aiden. He is so loyal and gritty. He is one of those guys who deeply loves who he loves and will fight to the end for them. I loved his raw and very real character. This is the episode when Big calls during a Carrie/Aiden romp. Carrie can tell Aiden is upset about it and worries that he may never really forget her past.
This is an issue a lot of couples deal with, especially those that do not meet when they are 16. I like this episode because it deals with that question- Will my past hurt me in the future?
Carrie finds Aiden flirting with another woman. This was a great moment in the show because it just shows this man who is obviously affected by this brush with his lover’s past. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He wants to forget it. But it makes him jealous and self conscious. It makes him want to not trust her.
Carrie and Aiden work through the resentment. I think this was a good take on a very real problem. And a good portrayal of a man I have a SERIOUS crush on.

Episode 57 :Sex and the Country
"You can't be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit." – Carrie
Anyone who loves Aiden loves this episode. I have to tell you, I have never been, from beginning to end, a Mr. Big fan. I love Ayden, I love Aiden for Carrie, and he was at his best in this episode. I mean Christ, he has a house in the country and he builds things with his hands. Can’t you see those artsy hands like, cutting wood and building fires in overalls? I digress.
Carrie and Aiden take a trip to the country, Samantha comes along for fun……and she has some fun…in true Samantha fashion. Watch the episode and check out the farm hand that, well, gives her a hand…
This is also the episode where Charlotte finds Trey taking a bath with his mom sitting next to him!!!! If you think you’re dating a momma’s boy, you haven’t seen this episode. Trey and Bunny freak me OUT. I just always felt for Charlotte. She wanted the dream- the perfect little life. Instead she ends up with Trey- who can’t keep it up, can’t get from under his mom, and can’t leave Charlotte alone. Sheesh.
Finally, this episode shows a great side of Miranda. The workaholic and suit side of the woman take a break in this episode when we get a real sense of her love for Steve, and her fear of his cancer. Maybe even fear of life without him. This proves to be a great theme for the remainder of the series.

Episode 94: An American Girl in Paris (part deux)
"The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." –Carrie

This quote says it all. While I do disagree with Carrie ending up with Big in the end, I think this quote says ultimately what all women want. We want you to love the things about us that we think are great! Easy.
There are a few significant parts- One, when Alexander gives her the necklace…um, HELLOOO!!!!! That’s a serious necklace. I think I got indigestion when it broke.
Two, when Smith comes back from God knows what country to tell Samantha he loves her. They cast this beautiful man and turned him into this saving grace for Samantha. I love that the show ends with her knowing love.
Three, when Charlotte sees the picture of the sweet little Chinese girl and says, “That’s our baby.” Three words have never quite affected me the way those did. It’s all she wanted, and that wonderful, bald, angel of a man named Harry wanted to see her get her wish. LOVE Harry.
Four, Miranda washing Steve’s mother in the tub. All of these women, in a sense came full circle and became more well rounded people. Each of them were totally lacking in at least one aspect. But I think Miranda really came into her own here. Miranda loved Steve so much. They were the ultimate “opposites attract” couple. And when they had a baby, we all cringed at the thought of Miranda having to be maternal. We didn’t think she had it in her. But not only did she manage to have a semi normal kid (I have to say it, he is not a cute baby) she managed to love a man so much that she took in his mother and took care of her.
What a great final episode. Even though Carrie ended up with Big (or John, as we find out his first name), this finale left no stones unturned, no doubts in our minds. You can’t say that about the final episode of Seinfeld, can ya J-Mazz?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Top-4 Seinfeld Episodes

I just got back from the gym during my two-hour lunch break. God, I’m gonna miss this job. Today was especially grand because the Y put in new floor mats in the showers, giving the entire bathing facility a bright yellow shine. It’s kinda like walking into the sun, but w/out the whole burning feeling.

After almost a year of attending the Downtown DC YMCA, my eyes have learned to stay focused ahead and never down. Still, a naked old man will occasionally cross my field of vision. Quick question: At what age do men decide they’re just gonna walk around the locker room naked, holding a towel in their hand rather than having it wrapped around their waist? If anyone knows, I’d like to hear the answer. And why is it the older a man gets, the stranger his activities become while naked in the locker room? The other day I noticed a guy sitting on one of the stools reading the newspaper. He was butt naked. On my way out of the locker room today, I noticed an elderly man bending over to dry his hair beneath the hand blower by the sink. Just picture that for a second, just so you can offer me some empathy. Yesterday I encountered an elderly man doing naked pushups beside his locker. OK, I made up the pushups story, but the others are true.

Does this stuff happen in the women’s locker room, as well? I wish I could compare, but I’m still waiting for my wig. All this talk reminds me of a classic Seinfeld episode dealing w/ “good naked” and “bad naked.” The aforementioned scenarios are all bad naked. Trust me. Speaking of the greatest TV show in history, let’s get to the Top-4 Seinfeld episodes! On a side note, choosing my four favorite episodes is like asking an NBA player to choose his four favorite groupies; every one is appreciated, and dozens stand out as memorable, but there can only be four favorites. Here goes.

Runner-Up: The Contest
This was probably the defining episode for the show, an entire half hour dedicated to four friends challenging each other and themselves to refrain from masturbating. This episode meant so much to me that my friends and I participated in our own “contest” while living on Catalina Island. Memorable Moment: To keep himself from looking at the naked woman in the apt. across the street, Jerry sings along to Tiny Toons while Kramer sings him the play-by-play of the goings-on across the street.

4. The Cigar Store Indian
Jerry buys a cigar store Indian for Elaine to impress her friend, who happens to be Native American. This leads to an entire episode dealing w/ the overly touchy topic of racism. This is also the episode we learn of Frank Costanza’s TV Guide collection. George brings home a woman while housesitting for his parents and leaves the condom wrapper in his parents’ bed. Whoops! Memorable Moment: Jerry tells the Native American woman they’re going out to a fancy restaurant. She can’t believe it because they’re always so crowded, to which Jerry responds, “It’s OK, I made reser—,” stopping before possibly offending her. He then announces they have floor seats to the Knicks game after he “got tickets from a scal—,” again stopping for fear of saying the wrong thing.

3. The Bizarro Jerry
Elaine finds a new crew of friends that are the exact opposites of Jerry, George and Kramer. Falling back on his Superman thought process, Jerry refers to Elaine’s new friend as “The Bizarro Jerry.” This is also the episode Elaine sets Jerry up w/ her friend, who happens to have gigantic “man hands.” In fact, George and Jerry refer to her as “Man Hands” throughout the episode. George discovers a secret club scene filled w/ supermodels who become attracted to him once he tells them his fiancée died and displays a picture of her (really a picture of Man Hands). Memorable Moment: Jerry and Man Hands are out to dinner. She wipes an eyelash from his face (w/ a huge hand) and tells him to make a wish. He closes his eyes and blows the eyelash away, then looks at her hands and says, “Didn’t come true.”

2. The Non-Fat Yogurt
I think I just like this episode because it uses the “bleep” multiple times. For instance, the beginning scene takes place in a frozen yogurt shop. Jerry leans back and says, “This yogurt is so f*cking good!” just as the store owner’s wife and young son walk by. Memorable Moment: At the end of the episode, after the yogurt shop goes outta business cuz Jerry and Elaine prove the yogurt isn’t fat-free, the owner’s son walks up to Jerry and says, “Thanks for ruining my daddy’s business, you fat f*ck.” Maybe the greatest line in Seinfeld history.

1. The Voice
This episode has quite a bit going on. George’s boss at Play Now tries to make him quit with a variety of unconventional tactics. Jerry’s g/f’s stomach moves when she sleeps, as if it were talking. He thus creates a voice for the stomach (Hellooooooooo) and makes the mistake of telling her. She gives him an ultimatum: her or the voice. I think my friends and I “did the voice” for weeks afterward. Kramer gets an intern to work at “Kramerica,” and together they test out his bladder idea with a giant ball of oil. Memorable Moment: Jerry knocks on his g/f’s door w/ an answer to her ultimatum: “Hellllooooooo!” as she slams the door in his face.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

What Do You Do During Staff Meetings?

Having joined AmeriCorps*NCCC right after college, I didn't experience my first staff meeting until moving to DC in January. I had no idea what to expect. During my previous employment w/ an underachieving nonprofit, staff meetings consisted of everyone sitting around the conference table trying to avoid eye contact w/ the boss (The King). In fact, I wouldn't enter the conference room until The King had, so as to avoid sitting next to him and his lethal-to-small-animals breath. On a side note, he JUST called the office hoping to speak w/ my supervisor. Weird. Anyway, staff meetings would last about 90 min. and consisted of The King and his henchwoman speaking for about 85 min. Presenting the week's news items regarding DC elementary schools was my only contribution, aside from the witty comments that would make everyone around the table laugh (except The King, of course).

When I started working at my current nonprofit, I dreaded my first staff meeting, which took place the first Monday of my employment. Luckily, my immediate supervisor spoke for both of us during our allotted 10-min. window, leaving me w/ two hours of free time while pretending to listen. Here's what I did:

October Staff Meeting:
Caught up in the fever that is Red Sox Nation, I scraped my memory for the 25-man playoff rosters for the Sox and Evil Empire. I listed pitchers first, then moved to position players. The Sox were easy to list, but I came up one or two overpriced Yankee benchwarmers. Of course, I put Jeter on top of A-Rod because I hear that's how they prefer it.

November Staff Meeting:
I think I skipped this meeting and instead manned the phones in the office (and checked my email 327 times).

December Staff Meeting:
Having just accepted a new job in Boston (to start in late January), I figured out my monthly budget once I move up there. This didn't take the full two hours, so I finished the meeting by listing the Celtics' 12-man roster and players on the injured list. Awesome.

A Smile Was Brought to you Today by...

On a visit to one of my organization's partner-elementary schools today, I overheard a girl talking to the receptionist on my way out.

Girl: "Can I use the phone to call my mom?"
Receptionist: "Why?"
Girl: "Cuz my sister peed on me."
Receptionist: "Again?"

Which reminds me of a girl I used to date. She once told me she and her younger sister would race to the bathroom (to pee) when they were little. The winner of the race would sit on the toilet and pee, while the losing sister would sit on the winner's lap and proceed to piss all over her. I really loved that girl.

Christmas

Christmas shopping and gift giving can be a lot of fun….and it can be a total disaster. I never really understood how Santa felt, having to figure out what people want, fighting traffic and lines of frustrated mommies and daddies and then giving gifts to kids who have shorter attention spans than J-Lo. By the time you wrap the latest Playstation 2 game, there is a bigger and better one for sale….how do you compete with that?

While I don’t have any small children (knock on some SERIOUS wood) I have spent the last 2 months drilling my boyfriend for ideas, listening closely to my little sister, racking my brain for something that might impress the in-laws, and trying to figure out what kind of gift I can give my brother that might put him on his path to success. It’s madness. And I’m sure everyone can relate.

(Side note: this morning I mixed my coffee with hot cocoa mix. INCREDIBLE. Add a little milk and you’ve got café mocha to die for.)

Back to presents. You want to buy the perfect gift. And you want to buy for everyone you know. But you can’t. It’s not possible. You can save and think and plan and buy and buy and buy and you still might end up giving a fruitcake, getting a fruitcake, or feeling like a fruitcake (what???). So just relax and enjoy the season and remember to get gift receipts.

My parents are great about gifts. My mom does most of the shopping; my dad picks out a few special items he likes to buy for us. Then my mom wraps the gifts, and my dad comes up with creative tags to put on each gift. For example, one year my brother got the Sopranos first season boxed set. The tag read: “To: the little guido, From: Big Pussy.” Classic. It was great to hear that on the family Christmas video.

Every once and a while my dad will make a tag and have no idea what it is, who it was for or what he was going for. That’s how you know they were drinking when they did the tags.

There are a few Christmases that really stand out in my mind. A long time ago in a galaxy far away when T-Rock was just a little princess, she wanted a Barbie Dream house. You know the one- two whole floors of pink party goodness. Totally furnished with a white bed, a porch swing and all of the rest of the plastic that dreams are made of. Two days before Christmas I announced that I wanted the Barbie Dream house.

My parents were broke. The stores were empty. But my Pop pop (see hot cartoon entry) knew I couldn’t live another day without it. That, and I said to him, “Pop pop, I love you so much, and I just know you will get me the Barbie Dream house. You always take care of me and get me whatever I ask for. I love you!” (Yeah, I actually said that. Remember I was young and little kids have no pride, or shame.)

So, pop pop scoured the tri state area, found a Barbie Dream house and had it wrapped and under the tree by the time I woke up Christmas morning. The man has never disappointed me- never.

When I was about eleven, my brother had a huge obsession with Joe Montana and the 49ers. Christmas morning I picked up a huge box with my name on it and ripped into it. Inside I found a red sweat suit and a Joe Montana jersey. I thought it was pretty cool that Santa had thought to leave this for me! Red was my favorite color!

Well little brother started to cry, my mom yelled at me for opening a present with my brother’s name on it, I yelled back because 1) it had my name on it and 2) I wanted the damn red sweat suit! But alas in the end I parted with the sweat suit and the jersey. Joe got his 49ers apparel…..and I got…..that’s right!!!! A Miami Hurricanes Starter jacket and a Steve Urkel doll! Yeah, baby!

I learned an important lesson that Christmas- be patient, even Santa can make a mistake. And if you give your brother his Joe Montana jersey you get even luckier with a Starter jacket. I mean, no one even knows who Joe Montana is anymore….but Starter jackets are timeless.

Here are a few more gifts worth mentioning:
- Hyper color t shirt and tie dyed leggings. I have a picture of this if anyone is interested
- The Coach bag I got last year from the Greggster. I think I hyperventilated when I opened it.
- Tetris
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe novels
-"My So Called Life" boxed set
- NKOTB Sleeping Bag
- The miracle bra (the gift that keeps on giving)

Monday, December 13, 2004

More Hot Cartoon Characters

I love how T-Rock tried to play it off like this was my idea. Please. Cartoons were a big part of my life growing up, as evidenced by my pre-school days when I would go to my friend Josh's house after school to be baby-sat by his mom. Josh's mom would make us watch Sesame Street every afternoon, but whenever she left the room, I'd quickly change the channel to He-Man. I stopped going to his house after I left a red shirt on a lamp (for the red-light effect) and almost burned the house down. I blamed it on Josh, who has downs syndrome. Apparently his mom didn't think that was too funny. I could write an entire post on babysitters, but not today. The cartoon vixens are calling my name. Here are some of the finest:

Rainbow Bright
I still remember the theme song from this show, which is pretty pathetic until you remember my mutant memory. My first sexual dream was about Rainbow Bright when I was six years old. Apparently I skipped Freud's whole latency period and went straight to Stage Five. This would explain a lot.

Cheetara
Any straight man who claims not to have lusted over this Thundercat is a dirty dirty liar. Just thinking about her wild blond hair and gymnastic ability is enough to drive a lesser man crazy. I will never forget the Thundercats episode that showed each character sans clothing. That was the highlight of my life until I kissed Allison, the hottest girl in my kindergarten class. Btw, whoever drew this needs a g/f.

Teela
Ever seen someone the morning after a hook-up and wonder what you were thinking? That's how I feel right now after searching Google Images. Talk about a butter face! Alas, if she's good enough for He-Man, she's good enough for me. Check out this picture of Teela discovering a rare sex toy just outside Castle Grayskull. Come to think of it, how sexual was that entire show? Just a few character names for you to think about: Beast Man, Trap Jaw, Ram-Man. And where did He-Man's arch-nemesis, Skeletor, live? SNAKE MOUNTAIN!

Hottest Cartoon Characters

So then, it’s pretty obvious that I did not pick this category. This is totally a male category. This is one of those things a male thinks about when he watches “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, or a variety of anime…. “Dude, she is HOT!”
I do not think about hotness level when I watch cartoons. To be quite honest, I really don’t watch cartoons anymore. My dad and I, when I moved back home after college, liked to watch “Rugrats”. I also found entertainment value in “Doug”. But if I sat here and said any of the little babies were hot, or the awkward sketch of a teenager known as “Doug”, I’d be a pervert or a weirdo. So I won’t do that.
Instead, I will dig deep into my childhood to try to muster up some hot cartoons.

Captain Planet
I heard he has supposed to look like Tom Cruise, and what little girl didn’t love Tom Cruise, eh? I saw “Top Gun” and sort of fell in love with that leather jacket and hair gel. I still have a thing for hair gel. Earth! Wind! Water! Fire! Heart! Gooooo Planet! I remember the whole song. I could sing it but I won’t. I think he was blue, on the show. Can someone confirm that for me?

New Kids on the Block
I heart NKOTB. And people may not remember but yes, they did in fact, have a cartoon show. My first love was Donnie but then he got kind of skeevy. So then I loved Jordan. But the cartoons were soooo cute. There were comic books, too. I still have them. And the trading cards. And the gum. And the tour jacket. What? Did I go too far? Back to cartoons….

Popeye
I had a crush on Popeye because he reminds me of my grandfather, or as we refer to him, my “pop pop”. Pop pop was a sailor, and had the best navy tats ever. He was tough like Popeye, had a raspy voice and squinty eyes and I still love him to death. He is the cutest old man I’ve ever seen. Hot? Maybe not. Adorable? Yes, please.

Frankly I cannot think of any more hot cartoons characters. It’s just weird.