I swear I'll stop blogging about Connect Four, but I found the original television commercial on You Tube.
Enjoy, ye children o' the 80s.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Very few great events have occured in Hoboken, shy of the birth of Frank Sinatra. On Saturday, April 28th, a great event did actually occur: The Connect Four for Charity Tournament.
We all know and love Connect Four, but the brilliant team of Godfrey and Rachel Chan put together a tournament in which we played Final Four bracket style until one winner took all.
Naturally, I was knocked out in the first round, but that didn't stop me from taking the snaps until the very end.
First off: Ambiance. Old skool snacks suchs as Oreos and M&M's were plentiful and offered a much-needed sugar rush. Background music was 1980s classics such as "You're the Best Around" from the Karate Kid soundtrack and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."
This led to some heated matches, some lasting close to half an hour. Sara was my first opponent and the gal who knocked me out of the tourney. She knew how to give a good skunk eye. I shiver.
The guy on the left, Alex, showed early prowess at the tender age of 19. More on him later.
Hoboken guys who were not friends or family of Godfrey or Rachel. They came for the pure sport of Connect Four. Awesome!
Obligatory Godfrey/Pauline shot
Obligatory Velazquez/Pauline shot
Sure, there were prizes, but pride was at stake as well.
It didn't take long for everyone to notice that "the kid with the iPod" was beating everyone. Curious, indeed.
Including Mike B., who made it all the way to the Final Four, only to be knocked out by the young samurai.
The Final Two came down to Alex, a local college student, and Karen, a friend of Godfrey's.
The final games were played on this board, in the main bar.
It was a true game of skill. The suspense was killing me.
Spectators were everywhere.
It was a nail-biter...
...but Alex emerged victorious!
Prizes were handed out and we all went home to train for next year.
Kids, it all starts with some checkers, and a dream...
Friday, April 27, 2007
True, it may rain tomorrow, but what better rainy day activity is there than Connect Four?
My friend Godfrey is organizaing a Connect Four for Charity event in which people will face off in Connect Four matches, March Madness bracket style, until there is one winner.
All proceeds go to an assortment of charities.
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
10th and Park
Be there or be square!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Some of you may have been wondering where I've been for the past few days. The short answer is cruising Bag, Borrow or Steal. The site has been around for a while, but thanks to some insomnia and a credit card that was too close at hand, I got sucked in.
I love handbags, but not large bags. I'm not a large bag kind of gal unless I have to drag my laptop somewhere. I do, however, like a nice looking sack, and Bag, Borrow or Steal solves a lot of of my purse ADD. My apartment is littered with handbags mines all over the place. Thanks to this site, I can send back a bag when I am done with it. It's genius!
Monday, April 23, 2007
Le Doug and I spent Sunday at the beach in Greenwich, along with the rest of the town. The lighting was amazing and I took a lot of photos. Below are some of my favorites.
A strange rock. It actually sparkled a little.
Geese on the water.
An egret that let me get close, but not too close.
I am trying to talk Le Doug into getting a sailboat.
View of the Long Island Sound From the Secret Garden.
Creepy cherub in corner of the Secret Garden.
The link to this CNN.com story about South Norwalk, CT made me laugh. It made SoNo (please) sound like some Parisian oasis in the middle of Fairlfield County. Not so, said the native Nor-whacker.
South Norwalk is not a "little taste of New York" as the guy who runs the chocolate shop said. It's more like a little taste of crack alley. While it is true that the place is leaps and bounds cleaner than it was 15 years ago, anyone who has ever spent any time there knows that you still can't walk from the train station to Washington Street without keeping an eye on your purse. There are a few nice restaurants and such, but it's more or less just a weekend watering hole for yuppies fleeing domesticity.
I'm not hating. I'm just saying. The journalist in me wants to see accuracy, and this piece was far from accurate. Is CNN.com sure that someone from the Chamber of Commerce didn't write it?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
For some reason my friend Dave saved this e-mail I sent him well over a year ago. Thought you kids might like it.
"Little known fact about Pauline: During the summer between second and third grade I was in a summer production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in New Canaan, CT. Given that I was so small, I was, in fact, an Oomp Loompa. I had wanted to be Veruca Salt, but I was too young. She was more of a sixth grader.
I was an Oompa Loompa and I sang the song right after Augustus Gloop gets sucked into the river. Oh, and I also had to double up and play Grandma Josephine in a bed for a scene or two. As a small child, I must add that it was hard not to eat all the candy that we had in the fake machines we built. It was during that summer that I was introduced to the exciting world of gobstoppers. I've never
been the same since.
And that's some great moments in theater for you."
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I've been teaching writing for about two years. On the first day of any class most students look a little scared. This is not because I'm large and imposing, it's because as a general rule, writing scares people. This is curious, considering writing involves nothing more than sitting and being quiet. So why all the looks of terror?
I find that most people have trouble with writing because they don't do it everyday. By that, I don't mean e-mail. E-mail isn't exactly writing. For the most part it's stream of conciousness on a computer screen. Most people don't sit and write for at least 20 minutes everyday, and over time the mental muscles needed to write well get flabby. Yes, even if you were an English major.
As a teacher I've noticed a few other common mistakes that students, both undergrads and adults, makes time and time again. I made up a worksheet for my current class, but I like it so much that I posted it below.
It’s quite simple: You are not William Faulkner. Don’t think that you can get away with long sentences and not completely lose your reader. Instead, try to be Ernest Hemingway. Keep your sentences short. The period is your friend. The semi colon only confuses people because no one uses it correctly. If you’ve used it five times in your life, you’ve hit your limit.
Avoid starting sentences with words such as:
A lot of people think that developing your voice as a writer means writing the way you speak. This is not so. If good writing depended on writing the way we talk, the English language would be in a lot of trouble. Cut the filler words and your writing will sound a lot more polished.
On that same note: If your favorite example of a great writing voice is the narrator in Catcher in the Rye, you need to read a lot more. A lot.
Let It Bake:
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, good writing doesn’t come from a twenty minute brain dump. Whenever you write something, close the file when you’re done and come back to it in a few days. Chances are you will see things you want to change and places where you can tighten, etc.
On that same note, try reading your work out loud before you think it’s done. Like music, good writing has a cadence and a rhythm to it. Hearing it out loud may identify areas that need work.
Don’t Abuse the Exclamation Point:
The only time an exclamation point is needed is when you want to convey that someone is shouting, or something on that level of intensity. When you over use it, the exclamation point loses its punch and will make your writing look like it was created by a 13-year-old girl. There are few things I loathe more than an exclamation point abuser. If it gets extreme, I may have to arrange an intervention.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I have loved the North fork of the Hamptons, and more specifically, Mattituck, since my friend Jon took me out to his family's country house back in 2002. I love the North Fork so much it is the location of the La Pauline Dirty 30 Birthday Weekend in June. Invites will arrives in select mailboxes shortly.
You can imagine my horror, then, when I saw the travel piece in New York magazine about how kid-friendly the North Fork is. While that is true, I always liked to think that the Noth Fork was one of the few semi-pure beachfront areas that have amazing wineries and where you can ride a bike on rural roads and not fear getting hit by a car. Bah.
And now...I have a summer of Upper East Side yuppies to look forward to, who think they are getting off the beaten path from Bridgehampton.
Thanks New York.
And goodbye, old friend...
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Generally speaking, construction sites freak me out. I don't like walking near them, and not just because of the inevitable cat-calling. Think falling debris. That said, I wasn't surprised when I read that One Ten Third Avenue, where that crane fell onto a cab a few months ago, had yet another accident today. It seems that glass fell from one of the upper levels. I don't care how much smooth techno music you pipe onto its promotional website, I'm not sure I would want to live there.
Everyone nowadays seems to have some sort of spin on the obesity epidemic. James Altucher at Forbes.com watched a few stocks that deal in weight loss products and services and found that some are quite profitable. Talk about a growth market.
I am in the middle of reading Dana Vachon's Mergers and Aquisitions and it is as goos as everyone says. So good, it actually makes me want to go into finance. For serious.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I never tire of photos of Mozart in a Box. For some reason the cat is obsessed with boxes, on many levels. I should also note that despite appearance, Mozart is not fat. In fact, at his last check up he only weighed in at 9.2 pounds. He's pretty much 90% fur and only 10% cat. That equals 100% awesome.
The weather channel has a blog about this rainstorm. Wind! Flooding! Destruction! Good times!
Last night I was dragged to the Westport Country Playhouse, where many a great actor has graced the stage including Paul Newman, Liza Minelli, etc. I saw a confusing play called "All About Us" which was about a half hour too long and leaned on the hokey side. However, Eartha Kitt was in it and she was phenomenal. I think she's about 81 years old now.
I filed for an extension to finish my taxes, and for some reason this makes me feel lazy. The last time I filed for an extension I was in college. Hmm. Am I regressing?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Not so for the Seward Park branch. At first I was excited to come down to this part of the Lower East Side, even though it's raining cats and trees outside. Inside it was well lit and cozy, kind of like what I imagined NYC libraries to be like when I was a kid. I quickly settled on the third floor, had a nice view of East Broadway and got to work.
About twenety minutes later a security guard came up to me and told me that I had to unplug my laptop. Even though the chord was against the wall, he said someone could trip on it. Incidently, I could count on one hand all the people who weren in the library at that time, and almost all of them were reading the newspaper. I should also add that the library rent-a-cop was about 5'3 and skinny and even with one arm I could probably kick his ass.
I went back down to the first floor, to the "approved" section for laptops and was told that there was one laptop station for plugging in. The security guard and I exchanged words, and I told him exactly how ridiculous the rules were, because I know for a fact other libraries don't force people to sit in special areas just to plug in their laptops.
After all: New York Public Libraries are funded in large part by taxpayer dollars. As a taxpayer, I should be able to log on where ever I feel like. Furthermore, who takes their job as library security guard so seriously that they have to pick on nice girls with shiny new laptops?
Seward Park Library: Our relationship is over. I'm taking my business to the Ottendorfer Branch.
Here is a link to a piece about new Wi-Fi routers which apparently can flood an entire McMansion, plus the neighbors', with a signal.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Moi: Yes, malls. I'm fascinated by malls. I worked in them for years during high school and college.
Friend: You'd have to find an angle. I read an article today about the National Mall down in D.C. I'll forward it to you.
Moi: Um, that's not the same kind of mall. I'm pretty sure there's no Aunt Annie's on the National Mall.
This book isn't exactly what I have in mind, but it's refreshing to see that other people have examined malls.
Monday, April 09, 2007
It is said that you need to live in New York City for at least seven years before you can officially call yourself a New Yorker. By those standards, I am officially a New Yorker. However, I propose a new set of criteria: You officially become a New Yorker the minute you realize that you hate tourists. By those standards I have been a New Yorker since the summer of 1998 when I was an intern at Elle magazine.
This past Saturday afternoon I made the poor decision to walk from Herald Square to Times Square. It was cold outside, and a holiday weekend, so I figured there wouldn't be too many people around. How wrong I was. Not only were the sidewalks flooded with people, but they moved at a glacial speed, as if Seventh Avenue is some sort of promenade to see and be seen.
As I was jostled around I started to fantasize what New York City would be like without all the tourists. Sure, the Chamber of Commerse would tell me that New York City needs the revenue, but I think the financial capital of the world would do just fine if a few midwestern families chose to go to Disney instead of The Big Apple. Don't they reason how cold it's been here?
Back to my beefs about tourists.
1. You wear rhinestones in broad daylight.
2. You stare at the lights and buildings in Times Square as if it is the Eighth Wonder of the World. It's not. It's a tourist trap. Maybe you don't have those back in Norman, Oklahoma.
3. It's because of you people that there are at least two Olive Gardens in Manhattan.
4. If you don't understand why New Yorkers are rude to you, imagine how you would feel if hundreds of thousands of strangers descended on your podunk town during the holiday season, causing the price of everything from a hotel room to a sandwich to go up.
5. When you purchase tickets for a show like "Legally Blonde" you are only contributing to the decline of western civilization.
6. You're still wearing trucker hats.
7. You most likely voted for Bush.
Who knew that Vice magazine was forging into the world on online video? One of their projects is a six-part series about why the Williamsburg and Greenpoint areas are toxic neighborhoods. Industrial waste is a definite don't.
It's a big week for concerts in NYC. A few of my most favorite artists will be in town. Mat Kearney has two shows at Websters Hall, and Jesse Baylin is opening for James Morrison at The Knitting Factory on the 11th. Later in the month on the 26th the always brilliant Brandi Carlile will play the Bowery Ballroom. Yes, all these musicians are on some sort of Sony records label, and mostly Aware. That said, either Sony has a great ear for music or just great publicists.
Is anyone else on Twitter? If so, add me!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Hope everyone is having a nice Easter weekend. I'll be having swordfish and good wine with some family and friends later on out here in Greenwich. The cats will surely look on in envy.
Yesterday I went to PodCampNYC and it was beyond awesome. I knew very little about podcasts when I walked in at 9:00 AM and by the time I walked out at 5:00 PM I knew more than I could ever want to know. I met some wonderful people and I'm glad I discovered the vast community that is podcasters. I'm sure that in a few days there will be lots of photos and downloadable things from the event.
Here are some links to some of my favorite podcasters/speakers:
Also, the photo above was taken by my friend Hassan, who is one of my fave amateur photogs ever. He's def worth adding to your Flickr contact list.
"It was like the heavy metal of its time," Andrew said. "So I don't know where 'Moonlight Sonata' came from. Maybe that was the power ballad? Was that the 'More Than Words' of Beethoven's era?"
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Here is this week's column on The Simon about how New York is the ultimate place to indulge in an extended adolence.
I spend a bit of time in Greenwich, and so I love any piece about bored soccer moms belly-aching about their kids being bussed around town for the sake of making the schools more racially balanced. You wouldn't want your kid in a diverse school because....?
Here's an op-ed from the local Greenwich paper that explains in greater depth what one of the new magnet schools would be like. It sounds like a pretty good deal. Who wouldn't want their kid to have access to a new media center and free violin lessons? Is it because this school would be in a not-so-Hedge-Fund funded part of town?
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
My awesome friend Godfrey has created a competitive Connect Four Tournament for charity.
Contestants will play Connect Four in an NCAA type bracket elimination and can choose to donate to four different local charities. The entry fee is $15.
The Final Four participants will receive prices such as local gift certificates, amongst other things.
It's on Saturday, April 28th at a bar/ lounge type place in Hoboken
at 4 p.m.
Do it! I'll be there.
It's a pretty crummy day outside and I have holed up inside Le Doug's house in CT. I have writing to do
Here are some things for you to read and enjoy:
The interview with Keith Richards from NME magazine in which he admits to snorting the ashes of his dead father. There are a lot of other brilliant gems in there as well. A must-read.
There seems to be some discrepency about what is really in Jamba Juice's non-dairy blend. It seems there might actually be dairy in it. The jury is still out.
I'm not one for self-help articles, especially if they look took girly or are surrounded by photos of Anne Geddes-esque babies. I am, however, all for dealing with the congnitive dissonance that the writing life inevitably brings. That said, here's a link about setting realistic goals and achieving them. It's short, so you can get back to whatever you were doing. Nothing worse than someone who reads about writing but doesn't actually do any writing.
P.S. I totally stole this photo from Ned, who is also a writer but clearly more prolific than myself.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Does anyone know an easy-ish way to get tickets? We're big fans of the show and would really like to go. I should note that I believe in bribery.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
It's been a good weekend. Last night had me lookin' sharp for a party out in Park Slope, which is much farther than I usually will trek for cocktails. For the right writer, though, I will brave the Grand Army Plaza subway station. Erin C. and I realized that there aren't a lot of bars in that stretch of the 'Slope. That must be remedied toute suite, especially when we are jonesing for some pre-party margueritas.
The big news is that I completed my first 10K this morning in Central Park. It was a little rough, mostly because the back end of the park is one nasty hill after another. I am happy to report that I ran the whole thing and finished 6.2 miles in literally one hour flat. That was my goal and I made it and so I am a very happy camper right now. Sure, my hamstrings feel like they could dislodge at any moment, but it's nothing a little Advil and some yoga can't fix.
Here I am, minutes before the race. No make up, no filler. Except Gatorade.
Here I am post-race, thrilled to have finished in one hour. It was also 43 degrees outside so I was looking for a subway. Stat.
Next stop: a half-marathon.
In case you don't already read The Debuatante Ball, they gave me a shout out today. It's a blog about debut fiction for 2007. Good stuff all around.