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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

To Everyone Who Threatened to Move to Canada if Bush was Re-Elected...

Here's even more incentive to take up residence w/ our northern neighbor.

You Don't Want Us? We Don't Want You!

Leaving a bad taste in New Englanders' mouths was Johnny Damon turning his back on the fans who made him a celebrity. Even worse was the fact he signed for only a few extra dollars to play for the team most Sox fans hate more than gas prices. It's like having your g/f dump you a guy you absolutely hate, and her only reasoning is he drives a '99 Corolla while you've got a '98.

Less than a year ago, Damon was quoted on mlb.com as saying:

"I want to stay here, but I may walk and go home. I might shut it down in a couple of years.

"There's no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they are going to come after me hard. It's definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It's not what I need.

"I'd like to finish my career here [Boston]. I'm not sure they'll let me do it, if they offer me [only] two or three years [on a contract]. I want at least four or five."

The fact he sold his soul for a measly $12M (which really isn't a lot in pro baseball) is disgusting. Not even allowing the Sox to counter-offer makes it even more despicable.

If Theo returns to the Sox, he will undoubtedly feel like a mother who leaves the kitchen for five minutes and returns to discover her kids have knocked over the fridge, broken all the dishes and stuffed the cat in the microwave. Is this the winter we will describe to our grandchildren as the downfall of the franchise? Are we destined for another 86 years of misery?

Regardless, there will be few cheers for Damon when he returns to Fenway as a hated Yankee. Here's hoping his career spirals into an underachieving abyss, without even sniffing another postseason.

Top-4 Christmas Movies

4) Scrooged -- Like Coming to America and Shawshank Redemption, this is one of those movies I always watch if I catch it on TBS/TNT/USA while flipping channels. Aside from Sean William Scott (Stifler), Bill Murray is my favorite actor. I can really empathize w/ his sarcastic humor and damn-the-man attitude. On a side note: Is it just me, or are edited-for-TV movies better than the original versions? Nothing proves this more than the Samuel L. Jackson scene in Coming to America. The dubbed-over profanity is priceless.

3) Die Hard -- Yes, it's a Christmas movie. The conflict begins at an office Christmas party, not to mention the scene when John McClain dresses up one of the dead terrorists in a Santa costume and sends him up the elevator w/ a sign that reads "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." This movie gets bonus points for featuring Reggie Vel Johnson, aka Carl Winslow from Family Matters.

2) A Charlie Brown Christmas -- Something about Charlie Brown's depressing, failure-filled adventures really strikes a chord w/ me. I find myself always rooting for the bald child even though I know he won't succeed. Is this what it's like to be a Cubs fan?

1) It's a Wonderful Life -- There are certain characters in entertainment history I try to emulate. Ed Stevens, Jerry Seinfeld and Peter Chiara (Rudi's fat little friend) are just a few that come to mind. But before any of them were even born, George Bailey touched the lives of Americans in this cinematic classic. I always get a little misty-eyed during some scenes, such as George running through the streets yelling Merry Christmas to everyone and every landmark. I also get some sand in my eyes at the very end, after the entire town saves him from financial ruin and his brother raises a glass and says, "A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town." What better message than toasting a wealth of friends? Keep that in mind as we approach the new year. "Remember, George: No man is a failure who has friends." -- Clarence

Keep your vagina, I don’t want it.

It’s a hard word to say, an even harder word to write. That’s part of the reason why I auditioned for the Vagina Monologues. Why should we call it other names? Why should we be embarrassed about our own? And why shouldn’t I use my very outdated acting skills to win a part in a play that exposes it’s audiences to this most important movement?
A local organization was producing the Vagina Monologues, and put out a call for volunteers to act and help with publicity. So all last week I reviewed the script. I picked a part to audition with, I mostly memorized it (though we would be reading off cards at the audition) and I tried to really understand what the writer meant, while also really giving it my own meaning and flair.
On Saturday morning I woke up and put on some “audition clothes” (obligatory black sweater and jeans….very twisted soul, artsy-artist kinda look) and headed to the public library where I would meet the competition. I stopped at Starbucks on the way and thought it a “sign” when they were brewing my favorite coffee- Sumatra. I meant to order a grande, but ordered a venti by mistake….or is that vice versa? Anyway, I ended up with a giant cup. I headed over to the library I sat down next to a girl I have met before and we chatted a little before the auditions started.
I drank some of my giant coffee and when I started to sweat (anxiety? Nerves? Heavy black sweater?) I put the cup down by my feet and listened to the other women read. Each one gave a piece of themselves to the part, each one recited monologues slightly different. I think that’s the meaning of the show- every woman, every voice. All stories we can relate to and appreciate.
So the girl next to me was called. She got up, and as she walked down the aisle, she kicked my giant coffee over and it spilled all over the feet of one of our aisle mates. Unfortunately for her, she was wearing very open high heels and her feet got drenched with scalding hot coffee. The three of us jumped up, ran to get towels, and wiped down the feet and the floor. The woman running the auditions did not looked amused at a) the coffee b) the spill or c) me trying to joke to lighten up the situation.
So after we got the coffee cleaned up and my neighbor read her part, it was my turn. I felt like I did a very nice job. I solicited a few laughs out of the audience and I felt very comfortable up there. I felt I read it like rehearsed and from the heart. When I finished up, the women running the auditions (who was earlier giving a scowl at the coffee mishap) said thank you everyone, I will contact you tonight to let you know if you got a part or not.
I waited, and I waited, and here it is, 5 days later, and I STILL haven’t heard from her. I am assuming this means I did not get a part. I emailed her Monday to find out the status, volunteer to help with production or publicity and to just say thanks for letting me audition…..and NOTHING.
All I can figure is that I’m just not cool enough. Maybe I didn’t read well and I am okay with that (I would never claim to be a professional) but I’m pretty sure the coolness factor had something to do with it, too.
How sad- you try to get involved in a good cause, and the cause doesn’t even want your lousy vagina.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Eve Excitement

And it's still days away. Tomorrow marks the release date of Ryan Adams' third album in 2005, and I find myself extremely excited. For those unfamiliar w/ his work, check out his first solo album, Heartbreaker. It's been hailed as one of the greatest breakup albums of our generation (we twentysomethings), what Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks did decades before.

Before this year, I was lukewarm on Ryan Adams. I'm a huge fan of Love is Hell and Heartbreaker, but never warmed up to his other albums. Then Cold Roses arrived midway through my return trip to California back in May. Whether it was the surreal landscapes of SoCal and Western Arizona or the gradual release of the past, the album found an empty space inside me and took up residence. There is something beautiful in every song on the album, each track unlocking its elegance at different times. Some jump out as immediate greats, while others drip away mediocrity to reveal elegant melancholy.

The much-anticipated Jacksonville City Nights arrived the end of Sept. Its honky-tonk flavor threw me for a loop, and barely resembles the Dead-inspired album that preceded it. However, Adams' smooth transition from drugged-out blues to country twang make JCN another gem, albeit one more difficult to uncover. As I gradually get a feel for the album, his third and (presumably) final album of the year sits in boxes at record stores across America, waiting patiently to go home w/ the first cute girl who grabs it.

A little background on the album known as 29. Of 2005's three releases, it was the first one written and the only one not written and recorded w/ Adams' new band, The Cardinals (who give his music a much fuller sound). The album's concept is simple: After turning 30 years old, Adams reflects upon the past 10 years and realizes his 20s, like many others', were unbelievably difficult. Like most, drugs, drunken days and dragging hearts are littered throughout his 20s. The new album features nine tracks, and each song represents one year of his 20s. Granted, I've only heard 30-sec. samples from the album, but I've got the feeling this album, perhaps more than any other, will really blow me away. This CD has the makings of one of those albums that's never forgotten, that carries w/ it far too much pain and hope to fit on an 80-min. disc.

And if the music echoes even a fraction of the darkness found on the album cover, it should instantly become one of my all-time favorite albums.