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Where Are They Now: Gilmore Girls (a work in progress)

6 Oct

Everyone has been busy posting ‘Gilmore Girls’ Facebook statuses, thanks to Netflix recently adding all seven seasons to their collection. So here’s my contribution.

I have seen almost every episode at least six or seven times, and the show got me through some depressing times in my life, so … I’m pretty attached.

Here is what I think could have happened to each of the characters since we last saw them on The WB:

(Adding characters slowly).

Jess Mariano – Although his foray into the book store/art space was bold and well meant, it financially crumbled within a year’s time span. His first book sold modestly (with Luke buying enough copies to wallpaper the diner), but not enough to eek out a living on. He headed back to the West Coast to spend time with his dad after he was diagnosed with cancer. Through chemo treatments and remission, Jess took charge of his pop’s food stand on the boardwalk while writing a second novel – this time in the YA category. Starring a troubled young male with devilish good looks, Jess used his own experience to jump start his writing career. It worked. He was able to land an agent and a contract with a medium-size publishing company. With his dad in remission and their relationship firmly intact, he moved to NYC and became an editor at an online magazine.

Dean Forester – Oh, Dean. After sulking for what felt like an eternity in Stars Hollow, he started over. Well, he didn’t have a choice. His best friend Kyle and his ex-wife Lindsay began a relationship and quickly became pregnant. He moved out, she moved in, and Dean became more depressed than ever. Dean’s dad was transferred back to Illinois, so the whole Forester clan decided to make a go of it in the Midwest. Dean attended community college and received a carpentry degree (he also played a few games for the team before blowing his knee out and ruining any chances of an athletic career). After cutting his hand at a construction site, he was stitched up by Bethanie, a nurse, who stitched up his wounds and his heart. They quickly married a few weeks later, had seven children and are extremely involved in their church. He started Forrester Construction, Inc. and is happy with his current life. He still loves Lord of the Rings.

Logan Huntzberger – A heartbroken Logan headed off to California to start his new job. Colin and Finn followed suit. Logan partied hard to forget Rory, and he was fired for his lack of ever showing up. He washed his hands of the experience, and ended up backpacking through Europe in style for a couple years (financed by Daddy Warbucks). While soul-searching, he discovered a lot. Nadia. Celeste. Jessica. A couple Marias. Logan moved back to the East Coast and became his dad’s right-hand man and the heir of Huntzberger fortune, after his grandfather and father died in a private plane crash. He ended up marrying that lovely Fallon girl, BTW. Last I heard, Fallon’s weight bounces up and down 20 pounds every month, she chain smokes like none-other, and the philandering Logan is still out on the prowl.

Liz & TJ – I’d like to say that Luke told them to hit the Renaissance road and never come back, but no. Instead, they started stealing out of the register of Luke’s Diner and finally Liz’s dear brother had to put his foot down. He never called the cops on them, but the relationship was pretty damaged. They moved out of Stars Hollow and into an RV. TJ has been in and out of jail since then, with quick money schemes and DUI’s. Liz still calls Luke for help. Of course, Luke always sends them a check once a month like clockwork.

Lane and Zack – Hep Alien did make it big. Well, they had one hit single that rose up the charts. Touring became a nightmare with Steve and Kwan, so the couple put down the axe and drums and headed back to Stars Hollow. Sophie moved out to write a Broadway play based on her life, so they took over the music shop and started giving out lessons to local kids. They jam out still, but their craft took a backseat to raising their family of now four kids. Gil ended up reuniting with his 80’s rock band, while Bryan manages the Century 21 branch in Woodbury and loves wearing gold blazers and the health benefits that come along with the gig. Oh yeah, Lane and Mrs. Kim still enjoy a tense but loving relationship. Mrs. Kim has softened with the birth of her grandchildren and has ventured into the world of online dating.

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Funny story …

13 Aug

pilot-light

For a majority of my undergrad college career, I held a variety of jobs. I paid for my schooling, room and board, and I tried to make most of my money in the summer months. I worked in my dad’s accounting department, at a grocery store, interned at the state fair, and worked in the office of the university president. My biggest money maker was working as a bev cart girl at a golf course. I held on to this job for a quite a few years, as it really helped keep my school loans at a minimum.

Although the job was pretty self explanatory, it took some time my first year to get used to it. It was about turning on the charm, flashing toothy grins and delivering quick beverages to the golfers. It was about earning tips. You weren’t out there to make minimum wage, you were there for some big bucks that kids just aren’t used to. I wanted to be the best at my job, so I worked all the hours that were thrown at me and tried to perfect my bev cart persona. At first, I was really quiet and awkward, then I was loud and boisterous, and towards the end, back to being quiet but funny.

Part of the job was cleaning up the clubhouse at night. There was a laundry list of things that needed completed, and it was kind of scary, out in the country putting away golf carts in the middle of the dark. So, I tried to finish as quickly as possible and wait for the last customers to leave. But I am not a hurry, half-ass kind of person. I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning – with gleaming counters and sparkling floors.

Well, as I was cleaning the kitchen one night, I decided to really get under the big industrial-sized ovens and fryer. And low and behold, while cleaning up a couple of hidden old French fries from the ground, there were these candle-like things on the bottom of each appliance. One oven had four! It confused me, as no one told me about blowing these lights out. No, it wasn’t listed in the cleaning manual either. I was confused. But I didn’t want people to think I was inept, so I just went for it. I spent a good 25 minutes lying on my stomach, blowing each of the 7 candles out. I had had a long day already, and using all of my wind power was exhausting. I hoped that the manager wouldn’t make me do that every night, and I took a mental note that it needed to be written down in the manual for future reference.

It was around 11 p.m. that night when I ended up back at my parents’ house.

“Man, I had such a long day at work, Dad,” I said. He was watching a baseball game on TV in the family room.

“Oh, yeah?” he replied, half interested and wanting to get back to the game.

“Yeah, I had to blow out all these candles underneath the ovens, so exhausting,” I said. This got his attention.

“What do you mean, ‘candles underneath the ovens’?” he suddenly seemed very intent on hearing about my cleaning routine.

I then explained to him about the silly little candles and how I was disappointed that this wasn’t listed in the cleaning manual.

“You mean the pilot lights?!?” he yelled. I innocently asked him what a pilot light meant, thinking it was some kind of bright light that kept the oven aerodynamic.

Soon, we rushed out the door, while I called my manager. We ended up having to call some more recruits, and the crowd ended up at the clubhouse, very gassy smelling by then, picking up industrial-sized ovens and lighting the pilot lights. I was made to tell my story over and over again, as middle-aged men just looked at me incredulously, shaking their heads thinking “Wow, what a ‘smart’ girl.”

I finally knew what a pilot light was, and the rest of the clubhouse crew was lectured the next day on keeping to the manual. What was on it was all that needed to happen at night when closing the place up. I’d like to say that I really learned a lesson there, but no, I didn’t. Maybe it was stop being stupid. Lesson not learned.

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12 Aug

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American Girl memories

25 Apr
Halloween-pic-Carrie-Emily

I’m on the left in my homemade American Girl Jelly Belly costume. My little sister is next to me. Obviously, we loved candy. It’s amazing that we still have all of our teeth.

Yesterday, I posted some of my favorite books from my childhood. And one thing that I have not touched on is the American Girl collection. I grew up completely immersed in the world it offered – and it definitely helped shaped my adolescence. For years, I ordered the magazine. It was so awesome, and I believe that most of those are in storage somewhere. Each issue was divided up into categories which I found to be of all-important interest to me. In the middle, was an everyday real girl paper doll with assorted outfits (I LOVE PAPER DOLLS), but I was unwilling to break any of these out of the package, in fear of ruining a perfect issue. Every year, there were homemade Halloween costume ideas. I eventually used one – becoming a giant Jelly Belly bag (as shown embarrassingly above).

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I always wanted to submit my story to the mag to become a paper doll. But I didn’t have the courage. And I didn’t want a cartoon version of myself in a swimsuit available to the public.

My love for American Girl didn’t stop there, oh no, I loved, loved, loved the dolls. Unfortunately, I never had one or any of their beautiful clothes. But, thinking back, I wasn’t a huge doll person, just a clothes person. I would rather have Barbie outfits than the actual doll itself. So shuffling through the catalog that came four times a year was an absolute pleasure. The glossy paged booklet would sit on my bed stand, and I would flip through it numerous times. The pictures of beautiful wood-carved wardrobes stocked full of outfits, next to their four-post beds … magnificent (but obscene prices!. I would pretend that I owned one of the historical dolls and would decide on which costume was best for certain occasions. I liked the catalog almost more than the magazine, and decided to send it to any and all my girlfriends (which consisted of four of my girl cousins.) Imagine their confusion, when they realized I sent them unending amounts of American Girl catalogs. Why wouldn’t you want 20 of these lying around your bedroom?

When this came in the mail, I raced up to my bedroom to compare to my previous issue. Just to admire the new products.

When this came in the mail, I raced up to my bedroom to compare to my previous issue. Just to admire the new products.

I did, however, own many of the books. I had every book for three characters: Felicity (Colonial), Addy (Civil War), and Molly (WWII). Kirsten (Swedith immigrant) was meh for me, and I loved Samantha (Victorian), but ended up just borrowing her books from the library. The other dolls were after my time, and the original ones are the ones I liked best. Not only were the stories well-thought out, but they weren’t happy-go-lucky tales for children. Each character had to deal with the issues of their time period, and not all had happy endings. There was a section in the front of each book that talked more in detail about each of the characters, and I mustn’t forget the back pages. Oh, the back pages! History at my fingertips. Pages and pages of black and white photos, information about the time period – I was in heaven.

This is my absolute favorite book of any of the series.

This is my absolute favorite book of any of the American Girl series.

I have recently found that Samantha, Felicity and Kirsten were archived, WTF???? And while the books will still be available, no longer will you be able to go to the store and see the beautiful furniture, wardrobes, and dolls in all their splendor and glory.

This is the doll I wanted and the outfit I wanted her to come in. And yes, under my family Christmas tree.

This is the doll I wanted and the outfit I wanted her to come in. And yes, under my family Christmas tree.

Seriously, I owe this company (and its parent company Mattel) a great deal of thanks, as I can’t say enough about their collection. Although I was never able to afford the doll and accessories, and I was never able to get Felicity’s hair did (she was the doll I wanted most) or dress her in her blue velvety ballgown – the collection of books, the magazine, and the catalog were enough for me.

A Sunday

15 Apr
12th-Double-Wide-1

Double Wide. Just go there. Do it.

Since I enjoy revealing my deepest darkest secrets for online viewing, I decided that today I would write something…else. So I’m basically just going to document what I did yesterday. Kind of like my old diary entries from fourth grade, where I wrote about what socks were on my feet that day.

 
My Sunday in the East Village
Even though I live in an area where weekend activity possibilities are endless, I have a hard time always saying, “Yay! Let’s do this!” More often than not, I’d rather throw on my ratty sweats, watch some old movie (lately, my go-to has been “Baby Boom” starring Diane Keaton) and eat lots of things I shouldn’t. Especially old Easter candy and leftover Papa John’s pizza.
So that was my Saturday.

 
Sunday, we decided to be a bit more ambitious and explore our favorite area of NYC: East Village. It was too nice not to be outside, as it was the previous day, but I digress. After a little too much Wii and Facebook, we wandered outside. After being indoors for so long, especially in a dark basement apartment, I imagine we came out shielding our pasty-white faces from the beautiful day. After arriving at our destination, we sauntered to the bar Double Wide  for brunch. Um, awesome. Totally recommend it. Southern food in a super relaxed atmosphere. I may have ordered chili with Fritos sprinkled on top and a drink that tasted like cherry 7-Up. But that’s just because I’m highly sophisticated.

 
Afterwards, we ended up gawking at dogs at Tompkins Park. We would dash over to the large dog run, then to the small dog run, and back again. Again, because we are highly mature, we made up impossible story lines for all the pups. Because frolicking in a park isn’t fun enough.

 
We wandered into some really interesting shops that had decrepit books and monkey skeletons – we really saw the gamut. We needed a break, so a cantina it was. We get ever so tired quickly when doing nothing. Somehow this drink gave us the liquid ambition we had been waiting for, so we decided to walk a mile to our favorite bookstore in Soho, McNally Jackson Books.

 
On the way there, we happened by this indie movie theater Sunshine Cinema. While my significant other was trying his hardest to convince me to see this downer movie featuring Ryan Gosling, another couple shoulder-to-shoulder with us was doing the same thing. The guy’s voice seemed familiar, and he was wearing a really nice cologne. Low and behold, Jonah Hill and his girlfriend were two inches from me. Trying to decide if they were going to do the same thing as us. Because they are a somewhat normal, boring couple too! My boyfriend is pretty casual when it comes to celebrities and is able to contain his enthusiasm. He just nodded at Jonah, like “what’s up?” before giving me a slight nudge. It took most of my superpowers to bottle up any weird frenzy that comes up when someone famous is nearby. I usually sputter something insanely stupid and act really weird all of a sudden. Somehow, I managed. I probably ended up looking really bored and uninterested, because my overacting skills come in to play at these times. We ended up going in, they ended up not. In the end, they should have just become our friends and went into the theater arm-in-arm, because they were soon mobbed by a bunch of hipsters.

 
Afterwards, we saw a drunk man stabbing the subway wall with a knife, so we ended up not going to that station. So that was that. We went home and got ready for another work week.

 
And if I have to be as descriptive at my 10-year-old self, I did wear socks. They were Adidas, I bought them from Kohls.

The journey for caffeine

1 Nov

Many of the trees around our neighborhood were pulled out by the roots, damaging cars, power lines and breaking sidewalks.

Here are a some highlights/ fun facts of our week during Hurricane Sandy.
Monday:

• We found out what news sources were most informative during the storm. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The Star Journal get mad props. The live blog of NYT was awesome, WSJ gave blunt, informative news, and SJ gave quickest local news. We watched the Weather Channel, Jersey City’s local access channel, and a few of NYC’s local news stations for the television viewpoint. I have to say CNN was the slowest at reporting. I find them to be the most unbiased of the three big stations, but their information came at least 10 minutes after my more favored networks.

• Our hurricane furniture consisted of two fold-up lawn chairs in front of our television, propped up on an old metal tin Wonder Bread box. Lawn chairs are definitely not meant to be inside furniture. So uncomfortable after a few hours.

• Gluttons. We tried to eat and consume all of our refrigerator’s dairy and meat contents so that we wouldn’t waste too much. Ravioli, ice cream, milk, yogurt, and shredded cheese was eaten in large quantities.

Tuesday:

Most basement apartments in the area look like this from the outside. So much damaged furniture lays outside now waiting to be picked up by garbage trucks. We were lucky.

• It seemed like everyone in our neighborhood came out at the same time to survey the damage. We peeked out the doors, expecting disaster. Wires were down, trees were uprooted, and cars smashed.

• Headaches started quickly as we became undeniably cranky from no caffeine. We drink a lot of coffee, so it was understandable. Of course, nothing was open. So confusing around here as it is a mecca for consumerism. Coffee shops on every block, Dunkin’ Donuts are a staple, you just expect someone to pour hot java down your throat. The only thing open in our area was the supermarket. So we ventured to that place, that crazy, crazy place.

The lines went forever. Luckily, most people were patient and friendly. Unluckily, the Dunkin’ Donuts in the store did not open for customers. I was sorely disappointed.

• The store had very few checkout lanes open, which meant that lines were as far back as Black Friday shopping. That wasn’t the most interesting part, though. Every aisle was crammed with people plugging in their phones and computers to charge at every outlet. In the deli, liquor store, dairy, all along every aisle were people trying to power up.

• Verizon was king. Still is. Every other person with a different provider could not access their phone or internet easily. I had to walk three blocks to find a spot to give my parents an update.

Many cars were damaged in Jersey City and surrounding areas. Either due to the flood waters or downed trees, many people were in for a surprise on Tuesday morning.

• We were one of only a few buildings that didn’t have flooding. We surveyed our block and those surrounding us and found out that we were extremely lucky.

• Our neighbors are awesome, caring individuals. We ended up in a great place, which we are thankful for every day.

• Instant coffee sucks, but it does the job. We lit the pilot light to our gas stove and chugged the nasty concoction. Our headaches went away though.

Wednesday:

Lots of downed power lines. We heard that a few people in NYC lost their lives from live wires on Monday. A very sad situation.

• Power. The almighty power came back on! We immediately started reading news and watching videos of the aftermath. We had just been getting information secondhand. Nate also found out through his e-mail that the school he attends and the school he teaches at were canceled for the remainder of the week.

• We searched far and wide for restaurants that were open for lunch. We found two. Chili’s and Iron Monkey (an awesome pub). Understandably, they had lines that extended down the street. We ended up eating some of our hurricane canned spaghetti at home. We went out for Thai food for supper, it took an hour for our food to come out, but it was delicious.

• Our town is under a curfew. People are supposed to be in their homes from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Most traffic lights are still out. Businesses also have curfews. If they don’t have power, they are supposed to close at 7 p.m. Many of the bars have been open, even without electricity. Non-emergency vehicles are supposed to not be able to drive on the streets, but they still have been lately.

So far that is all I got, information-wise. Time for a nap.

Finn, the stray cat that our neighborhood takes care of, stayed warm and cozy during the storm. A neighbor took him in his garage and was provided with a litter box, scratching post, and food to ride it all out.

Looking forward to our main transportation, the PATH, to reopen in the future (hopefully, soon)!

Aftermath

1 Nov

Sad PATH Train. Sad.

When I was little, I dreaded hearing the television music that meant there was a tornado warning in the area. Nightmares about it. That meant crowd into the basement with flashlights, our battery-operated radio, and wait for the storm to blow over. Sometimes it amounted to nothing, other times were not so lucky.

I’ve never been through a hurricane or experienced the aftermath of such a weather system. I’ve never had to sit for days anticipating for the worst. Luckily, with that amount of time, we were able to ready our basement brownstone apartment — placing our furniture on plastic boxes, rolling up the rugs on our hardwood floor and filling up the bathtub full of water. We had gone to the supermarket for drinking water, batteries, and non-perishable goods before the store became too crazy. Our bags were packed in case of evacuation. We were ready.

Monday was hard for me. I can’t stand sitting still, not sure of exactly what was coming our way. Some news reports excitedly said that people in the area had the day off (oh, joy!), but it wasn’t a lazy day of watching movies and lounging. No, it was full of the weather channel, pacing, and wringing hands in worry.

We knew that it was coming our way and hard. Jersey City sits across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan. The town is connected to Hoboken and we can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the waterfront. Our apartment is a 10 minute walk from the water and just a 5 minute jaunt to the Holland Tunnel. So when the reporters started talking about Battery Park and other parts of NYC, we knew exactly what and where they were talking about. When you are removed, know just the general surroundings, and watching it from afar — it’s quite different.

The river’s surge came just two blocks from our apartment. Our neighborhood weren’t evacuated, but those surrounding us were. The buildings went dark around 10 p.m., and stayed that way until Wednesday morning. According to Jersey City’s website, more than 75 percent of the town was without power on Tuesday. As of Wednesday night, much of the city still did not have power still.

The area is full of restaurants, shopping centers, and people. Lots of people. Many citizens commute daily across the water from Jersey City and Hoboken to NYC for work, so the storm has caused quite a lot of problems. Commuters use the PATH Train (a NJ subway/train system that connects the two cities and Newark to NYC.) That will be closed for the forseeable future. Bridges, tunnels, ferry and bus systems are slowly starting to resume.

So we are kind of at a standstill right now. We have power (it has gone on and off a few times since coming on Wednesday morning), running water, but we are a bit stir crazy at the moment. All that I can say is it can be worse (a lot worse.)

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