Posts Tagged 'girlfriend'

MOFT: Episode 14 (The soon-to-be Mrs. Deadman)

Sorry for my extended absence the last couple of weeks, but the excuse is a good one: I’m engaged!!

So as much as I may have wanted to make the clementine My One Favorite Thing of the Week – I mean, really, it’s got all the health-filled, sunshine-y goodness of the orange but with more sweetness, less seeds and in an adorable little easy-to-peel package to boot – it’s only fitting that I bestow that honor instead on the amazing girl who finally convinced me to give up 35 glorious years of singlehood.

The soon-to-be Mrs. Deadman is sweet, smart, sensitive, silly and sexy (yes, she too comes in an adorable little easy-to-peel package). Even though we’ve been together for just under 2 years, it is tough to imagine my life without her. She has a very caring soul, is incredibly nurturing (you should see her coddle our dog – and to think she wasn’t a dog person when I first met her) and totally trustworthy. Her smile and laugh are infectious. She keeps me entertained and challenged. She supports me in every way imaginable. She gets along beautifully with my family and friends (and as a big bonus, I love her family and friends, too). I really could go on and on about how great my fiancee is (we both hate that word and have stolen her sister’s use of the word beyonce instead), but suffice to say, she is a catch.

Now that I’ve made all the readers sick with my saccharine description, I will begrudgingly admit we’re not perfect. We have our scraps. But that’s OK. We know we love and care about each other a great deal and we start with that premise whenever one of those thankfully rare disagreements arise.

At some point, I will probably discuss my qualms over the institution of marriage in general and how I got past them. But for now I just want to keep this (mostly) romantic!

The bottom line is that I’ve found someone who makes me laugh, who makes me think, who makes me horny, who makes me dinner (on the rare occasion!), who makes me happy … who just makes me better.

And I feel like a very lucky man.

MOFT: Episode 11 (McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish commercial)

Every Tuesday night after my weekly basketball game, I pick up some Mickey D’s for me and Filet O Fish cartonMs. Deadman (or Deadwoman, if you prefer) to eat at home. It’s a classy tradition in the Deadman household, one that we both totally look forward to, with the main source of our enjoyment being the Filet-O-Fish sandwich that always makes up the entree portion of our meals.

Snicker if you must, but we are just huge fans of the Filet-O-Fish, so you can imagine my intense glee when I found out that McDonald’s recently launched a promotion for the sandwich – the pricing apparently varies depending on the location, but two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for $3 is the going rate at the establishment I frequent (compared to the regular price of $3+ for 1 sandwich).

That steal of a deal would have been normally enough to make the Filet-O-Fish My One Favorite Thing of the week, but whoa, wait just one second … because you see, in order to advertise this particular promotion, McDonald’s created this friggin’ awesome commercial that has this fish on a wall singing a catchy little theme song. It’s a good thing it’s catchy, too, because my best estimate is that the ad airs on average about two million times every day.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, for your viewing enjoyment, here’s the original commercial:

Oh, how Ms. Deadman and I love this commercial. Every time it comes on, we can’t help but join in the singing, and we even started doing our own little dance (well, basically, just a bunch of funky head moves). So we thought we’d demonstrate our appreciation of this marketing masterpiece by crafting our own little homage video and – because we have no shame – sharing it with all of you. (As you can tell from the outtake version below, this was a much more difficult task than I had first imagined).

So congratulations to Mickey D’s, to that little square of processed fish goodness, and of course to whatever creative, daring agency is responsible for this particular commercial – You are the winners of this week’s prestigious My One Favorite Thing award.

And here’s the final, (mostly) error-free version:

MOFT: Episode 10 (Ingrid Michaelson)

I finally have a celebrity crush!

For the first time in 35 years, there is finally a woman out there whose posters I want to plaster all over my bedroom walls, whose biographical trivia I want to accumulate like so many rare golden nuggets, whose live and TV appearances I want to schedule my life around (while still respecting all applicable stalker laws, of course).

The object of my intense affection and the clear winner of this week’s My One Favorite Thing award is singer Ingrid Michaelson.

Before last Thursday, all I knew of Ms. Michaelson is she sang this simple, catchy love song called “The Way I Am” that my girlfriend dedicated to me on Facebook (That song, featured in an Old Navy ad, propelled Michaelson to the significant indie-type of stardom she now enjoys. My girlfriend dedicated it to me mostly because it contains the line “I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all of your hair,” which, alas, has some, uh, personal relevancy).

I didn’t have much in the way of expectations when my girlfriend told me she bought us tickets to go see Michaelson live at New York’s City Winery (which for all you locals is a fairly new, awesome music venue worth checking out – cavernous yet still somehow cozy, with great acoustics, and good, reasonably priced food and wine to boot).

I certainly didn’t expect Ingrid Michaelson would give one of the most entertaining, enchanting performances I have ever witnessed, and that she would make me all giddy with girl-crush tingliness.

Now I knew from listening to a few of her songs that Michaelson had strong pipes, but she’s no mere studio voice. On stage, her sound reached soaring heights with very little effort, showing at least as much range and power and clarity as on her albums. Plus, she also knew how to use the occasional, well-placed ‘crack’ in her voice to display an endearing vulnerability and fragility in songs that were inevitably about the getting and/or losing of love.

Though it played a clear second fiddle to the star singer, Michaelson’s band was pretty tight as well, benefiting from their long-time collaboration. And the backup vocals – performed by the three guitarists and a key factor in many songs – meshed beautifully with Michaelson’s voice. Her music overall generally rocked a teensy bit harder than some of the other female songwriters who I would put in a similar category, like Feist or Regina Spektor.

But it wasn’t the technical performance of the concert that won me over. The star of the show was clearly Michaelson’s silly, playful, self-deprecating, lovable personality … which came as a complete surprise to me. I don’t know if it was because of her name or her voice, but I expected Ingrid to be this tall, stunning, rail-thin, aloof performer, yet she was actually a bit on the short side, full of curves, mad funny and totally engaging.

Dressed in a stylish yet comfy-looking hipster outfit – tight dark pants, brown leather boots, sleeveless black shirt, colorful scarf and a cute, bowler-like hat –  she reminded me of the sexy best friend you totally dig hanging out with and then all of a sudden somewhere along the way, you realize you’ve fallen in love.

Despite her talent, she seems rather humble and doesn’t take herself or her work too seriously, joking during the concert that she composes all her songs in the ‘C’ chord because it’s the simplest and turning the lyrics of another song into a catchy paean for the Lost TV show.

(I wondered at times if her humility and self-doubt were a bit of an act – she seemed way too engaging of a performer for it to be totally legit – but then there were moments, like when she came back for her encore and spent several minutes trying to remember how to play a tune on the piano, where she truly seemed about ready to lose it).

Michaelson loves interacting with the audience, and its one of her biggest strengths as a performer. Early in the show, she obliged one fellow who wanted to propose to his girlfriend by popping the question for him and then dedicated a beautiful, yet also sweetly realistic song of hers called ‘Giving Up’ to the happy couple. “Thanks for reminding me I’m alone,” she joked. (Oh, but you so don’t have to be, Ingrid!)

At another point, she chided the audience for not being more enthusiastic about joining in on the chorus Ingrid and Deadman ... Can you feel the love?to her song ‘The Hat’. She created this hilarious little story/metaphor – seemingly on the spot – about taking us on a date and comparing our vocal performance to a lame first kiss:

“I take you in my car. I take you home and I reach in, I lean in for a kiss. And what you just gave me was like a dry, half-mouthed, Aunt Mabel kiss. And I bought you like seven dirty martinis so I think I could get a little bit more. So I’m going to try once again, and at least let me get a full lip situation, if not a little over the blouse action.”

When the audience subsequently obliged with a more full-throated response, she screamed “You’re a slut” into the microphone before finishing the song.

I fear I’m not doing a good enough job explaining her rockingness, so I just encourage everyone to catch her act when she’s in town and see for herself. You won’t regret it.

The only thing I regret is how stupid and flustered I got after summoning up enough courage to approach her after the show to get her picture. I don’t remember what I said, but I’m pretty sure it was incoherent. My girlfriend tried to help me out by telling Ingrid that I had immediately placed her in my Top 5, and thus was free to fool around with her, but I think that scared her even more!

Oh well, I’ll do better next time ;-)

Thanksgiving Surprise …

So my girlfriend and I decided a couple of months ago to surprise my parents with a trip home. The folks knew my brother was coming in, but I had told them that the flights were too expensive, especially since we had just seen them in August out in California for a cousin’s wedding. But I changed my mind and bought the tickets soon after, and then continued to tell repeated lies about our plans for the holiday Laughing.

I knew this would be an especially meaningful Thanksgiving given that last year at this time, my dad had a heart attack and underwent major bypass surgery that almost killed him with a lung complication known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Then, a couple of weeks ago, my dad got laid off from his job. My mom told me several times how excited they were that my brother was coming home so they had something to look forward to. It was not easy to keep silent but I did Sealed

Anyway, we arrived on Tuesday. My brother had come in earlier in the day after almost missing his flight, which ended up being a good thing because his luggage was put on a later plane, conveniently giving him a legitimate excuse to come back to the airport to pick us up when we got in that evening. We decided on the way home that my brother would drop us off a bit up the street from our house, and then go home alone and tell mom and dad that by the time he got to the airport, the luggage was already on route and being delivered to the house by the airline.

A few minutes later, my girlfriend and I arrived at the door with my brother’s luggage and we captured the moment on my Flip video camera. (The one mistake I made was not telling my brother to go to the bathroom so that one of my folks would be forced to open the door!!). Here’s what happened …

Yo Deadman, please don’t hurt ‘em …

Ring the bell, school’s back in, break it down … Stop. Question time!

10) Ok, several days have passed. Are you still smiling and dancing, or do you find yourself suffering a bit from some sort of post-partum-like depression?

9) Not that I would know anything about this, but which is a more important element of looking good on the dance floor: Rhythm or self-confidence?

8) So I turned 35 this week. Is it lame that one of the things that most annoys me about this age is that I can no longer check off the 18-34 age group in surveys?

7) My awesome girlfriend got me one of those comfy leather recliners for my birthday (we once got in a fight because she said she thought those chairs were ugly and didn’t want one in her apartment while I insisted they were one of man’s god-given rights), and I have now fallen asleep while watching TV on that chair each of the past several nights. Have I become my dad?

6) Why or how did humans evolve so that they crave and demand variety in their meals? Every day, my dog acts like a Democrat who just found out Obama has won the presidency (i.e. like a delirious nut bag) when I take a scoop into his jar of food, even though I’m preparing to give him the exact same crap I always do. It seems like it’d be so much easier and more efficient if we humans could also be content eating the same thing every day.

5) Which is worse: Sarah Palin’s ignorance; the McCain advisers who chose Palin despite her ignorance; or the fact that those same advisers are now just piling on, anonymously leaking to the press more examples of that ignorance and suggesting she torpedoed the campaign?

4) One of the ironies of the election was that the heavy black turnout caused by Obama’s candidacy contributed to the passage of Prop 8 in California, which outlaws gay marriages. Do you believe the civil rights struggle of homosexuals is equivalent to the African-American struggle. If not, what is the difference? (This is not a trick question; I think there can be legitimate debate here, though in the end I personally don’t think there’s a difference.)

3) If you could find out the exact date of your death, but couldn’t do anything to change it, would you want to know? If you found out you were going to die within the next 12 months, what would be the biggest change you’d make in your life?

2) I have plenty of regrets in my life. One of them I remember well is telling a childhood friend in first grade that there was no Santa Claus, which was a really crappy thing to do (especially so cuz I’m Jewish). Do you remember when you first found out there was no Santa Claus and what was your reaction? (My apologies if I have once again spilled the beans and destroyed any delusions you may harbor).

1) Please look at the attached map below. It’s a graphical display of the voting trends in Tuesday’s election compared to 2004. The blue sections are areas where people voted more heavily Democratic; the bluer the section, the bigger the change.

Which of the following facts does this map reveal (Choose all that apply): a) The Republican brand and agenda is dying b) The Democratic brand and agenda is ascending c) Barack Obama was a better candidate than John Kerry or d) Damn, the South is disturbingly full of racists, esp. Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

2208 Voting Trends

Best-laid plans ….

Quick post from the countryside (gotta love WiFi) …

So my girlfriend and I (and the dog) left the city late last night to head to the Poconos to celebrate our one-year anniversary (boy, time flies!). We were going to stay at a house owned by my friend’s parents, and we were almost finished with the two-hour trip – driving in the fog-shrouded middle of nowhere, the perfect setting for your typical city-slickers-get-lost-and-then-get-dismembered horror film – when I asked my girlfriend if she had the keys.

After a few seconds trying to figure out which keys I was referring to, she finally revealed the shocking, regrettable answer: Sorry, Charlie. The house keys are in New York. After a moment of shock, we started laughing and didn’t stop for quite a while. What the fuck we were going to do??

It actually reminded me of the time in college – right before Thanksgiving sophomore year I believe – when I was sharing a cab to the airport with a couple of other dormmates. We were all settled down in the backseat, and about ready to get going, when one of my friends suddenly remembered he forgot his plane ticket in his room.

After he had left to go get the ticket, the other two of us laughed at his foolishness but after about twenty seconds the girl remembered she, too, had forgotten her ticket. I couldn’t believe it and was now absolutely cracking up … until I realized several moments later, sitting alone in the cab watching the girl run back into the dorm, that I didn’t have my ticket either. The cab driver must have thought we were either the biggest morons, or playing a huge prank, and I’m guessing the former since he stuck around until we all came back, tickets sheepishly in hand. (Thank god for e-tickets!!!!)

Anyway, back to last night, all worked out well. My friend (whose parents own the Poconos house) told us to head to this cute town called Milford, where he found us a couple of cheap lodging options. But while driving through Milford, we noticed an adorable little place called Hotel Fauchere and checked it out. Unbelievably, they had an available room AND accepted dogs. The cost was somewhat reasonable and the service was great, so I highly recommend the place for New Yorkers looking for a romantic getaway. The room even came with a complimentary bottle of wine!

And then today we picked up an extra key to the house and are now relaxing in the piece and quiet of the Pennsylvania woods. Time to stop blogging and enjoy it!

Time to Google ‘Laziness’?

Is Google making us intellectually lazy?

That was the gist of a question financial wildman Jim Cramer asked Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt on a CNBC interview this week. Cramer pointed out that one of his daughter’s fifth-grade teachers banned the use of Google for an assignment she received. Schmidt seemed genuinely surprised by the anecdote, comparing it to how math teachers often ban the use of calculators.

Schmidt called Google ‘a new way of learning … Kids are going from knowing everything to being able to search (for information) very quickly.’

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I have to agree with Schmidt.

For me at least, the Internet and search engines haven’t made me lazier, but more inquisitive. Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself doing a search on a topic I’ve never studied, a person I’ve never heard of, a word I’ve never learned, etc. And I don’t think the Internet has let me down yet in terms of finding the information that I seek.

Last week, I was writing a short story about a loan officer for my writing class, and I was worried about the piece’s verisimilitude, so I went online to do some research. There was just a ton of stuff out there, from consumer advocacy organizations discussing how to get a loan, to government agencies explaining the daily life of a loan officer.  Some of it was overkill for my purposes, but even adding just a couple of small details to the story really helped make it more believable.

And I can’t even imagine doing my job – researching stocks – without having the Internet at my disposal.  The productivity boost I get from finding information so much faster than ever before possible far outweighs the potential risks of relying too heavily on other people’s work, which can at times either be based on faulty assumptions or, worse, just plain wrong.

Schmidt’s calculator analogy is somewhat apt. The Internet and search are tools which help us more easily find basic facts and figures, but if we’re looking for anything more than simple answers, and we don’t understand the underlying issues or concepts, they won’t do us much good.

Remember, trivia does not equal knowledge. And knowledge doesn’t equal intelligence.

So, in the meantime, I’m going to continue to do what my girlfriend tells me to do whenever I question one of her dubious oddball statements: ‘S-T-F-W!’ she’ll say, exasperated that i just won’t believe her.

Don’t know what that means? Neither did I … ’til I STFWed.


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