Friday, January 30, 2009

TGIF Munchkins! It's Video Time!

This little ditty really made a difference!

It takes a bit to load given how awesome it is, but you're going to want to stick around for the whole shocking thing. How did so many talented artists agree to such a self-righteous shitbomb of a song? (It was no "Do They Know It's Christmas.")


• Billy Joel had hair!
• Why was Michael Jackson forced to stand over by himself?
• Does Willie Nelson even know where he is?
• Bruce seems a bit... constipated.
• I love it that Kenny Loggins and Steve Perry do back-to-back solos.
• Holy God, it's Bob! (I don't remember him being there. But he probably doesn't either.)
• But let's really give it up for the c-listers - Latoya, Tito, Shelia E, I'm looking at you.
• Yeah I admit, I still know all the lyrics. So what!

Look, all I'm saying is We are the World!! We are the Children!!

TGIF everyone, let's make it a better day, ok?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Is Now Known As "The Snow Incident of '09"

The Blue Angel was NOT. HAPPY.

Out of a deep, blissful sleep I was awakened at 2 a.m. this morning by the freakishly loud and obnoxious door buzzer of my apartment.


It was so consistent and uniform Adam thought there was a short in it. I figured it was a disgruntled ex of a resident looking to throw a snowball at said ex; or maybe someone had gotten locked out in the snow.

Either way, I was pissed. In my pajama pants, tank top and bare feet, I padded down the three flights of stairs to the door prepared to choke-out whoever it was.

It was a police officer.

Hmm... Am I about to get arrested? Have I done anything arrest-worthy lately? Am I being subpoenaed? Is another resident in trouble somewhere? Oh god no, did someone die?

Of all of the things that when through my head that she could have said, "Are you parked on Madison" was not one of them. Which is what she said.

Uhh yeah, I stammered.

She told me my car was about to be towed and ticketed because of the snow emergency, but if I'd kindly move it they'd spare me the hassle. I thanked her for telling me and told her I'd be right down. This time with some shoes on.

"But just to be sure, what does the car look like," I asked her. "You know, before I go out into the cold?"

It's your car, she said. "I ran your license plate. That's how I knew you lived here and how I knew you were home."

Ohhh yeah!

Back upstairs I tell Adam the sitch and we both remark at how amazingly consistent she was in her buzzer ringing, to the point where we were both driven mad by it. Kudos to her.

We both put on our jackets and boots and Adam volunteers to move the car for me. I thank him but refuse. It's my car and I was the one who parked on the street during the snow emergency, it's only right that I drag out and move it. He insists. I insist. I walk out the door, he walks out behind me.

It doesn't take two people to move a car, but whatever dude, I'm thinking.

The tow truck was all up on the Blue Angel. I could tell she had steeled herself for the violence the tow truck was about to inflict on her, like a cat who hunkers down on the couch when you're trying to push him off when he refuses to be pushed (Cassius).

I reassure the Blue Angel this will be over soon enough. I start her up, put her into first and then "WHRRRRR. WHRRRR!" Great. We're stuck.

The kindly tow truck driver starts shoveling out the front tires and Adam gets behind the wheel. (Who'd have thought he'd be useful?!) The cop, meanwhile, is roaming the neighborhood looking for other car owners to warn.

As Adam tries to get the car out, I start pushing the Blue Angel forward using the open door and the roof as my leverage.

Adam looks up at me from the passenger seat and calmly asks, "What are you doing?"

Duh! I am so clearly going to push this 2,000 pound car out of two feet of plowed snow with my 120 pound frame. What does it look like I'm doing?!

Shockingly, the car doesn't budge. The tow truck driver shovels some more and Adam and I switch spots.

Heave-HO! Heave-HO!

Nothing. More shoveling.

Heave-HO! Heave-HO! Heave-HO! And just about then the Blue Angel lurches atop a snow heap and cascades back down. We're free! I drive about 20 feet to turn into onto my side-street and drive right into another giant bank of snow, this time even deeper. "WHRRRRR!!"

My WEEEE! turns into weeee. :(

Adam starts pushing again. No dice. So he goes to borrow the tow truck driver's shovel. Shoveling, shoveling, shoveling. Heave-HO! Rocking. Heave-HO! Rocking.

Ugh. More shoveling, more burning rubber, more rocking. We must have done this three or more times.

I get out of the car, watch him shovel some and in a fit of tired resignation announce, "It's going to be stuck here FOREVER. Let's just leave it."

Never mind that it's in the middle of the road.

"They'll tow it if you leave it."

"Good. Then it won't be stuck anymore."

"Let's just try one more time."

Phssht. Reason at 2 a.m. Who needs it.

Adam pushes from the front, then runs to the back. Rocking. Burning rubber. Dirty snow flying.

Again. And again.

As the car spins futilely I wonder if the police officer and the tow truck driver are watching this epic battle of snow vs. car. vs. humans.

Then the Blue Angel and I let out a squeal so excited you'd have thought we got invited to do the dance-scene in Slumdog Millionaire.

WEEEE! We go careening down the snow-bright street.

This morning I woke up and wondered if it was a dream. Then Adam says, "From now on if we are ever called out at 2 a.m. by the cops, one of us has to bring a camera."

Then I apologized for rolling my eyes at him when he insisted on coming out with me, and added, "I can't believe you did all that in your pajama pants. Hahahahaha! Oh hey, if I get stuck again going to work will come back and get me?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adam Makes Tacos... And Puts a Ring On It

Adam Makes Tacos... And Puts a Ring On It from GinaBlogs on Vimeo.

25 Things

Facebook is afire with these 25 things about you things. I enjoy reading them, even about people I don't really even know. So away we go!

1. I fear there are not 25 interesting things about me.

2. In the 9th grade I pierced the second and third holes in my left ear because my mom wouldn't let me "get them" pierced.

3. I was the fastest girl runner in the fourth grade; and I thought the Presidential Physical Fitness award in elementary school was my time to shine.

4. I was also the only girl in school who could climb the rope to the gym ceiling. I'd bet a million dollars I could still do it.

5. People think I am creative; I do not think of myself as creative.

6. People also think I'm funny; I do not consider myself funny.

7. I was voted senior class clown. The yearbook photo is of me and my male-counterpart climbing a tree.

8. When I laugh really hard I completely fall to pieces - I can't talk, I get weak and tears stream down my face.

9. When I was a little kid I thought cats were girls and dogs were boys. When I learned our cat was a boy I was stunned.

10. I used to have a step-daughter. She was two when we met and seven the last time I saw her. I have a photo of her on my fridge.

11. I'm a big picture person. I don't get too caught up in trifles and I don't get too worked up over trivial things. I've always been like that.

12. I was struck by lightning in my car on 275 when I was 24; I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 27. Not cool god.

13. Cancer was not the worst thing that's ever happened to me. The worst thing that's happened to me was when my brother died. As long as I live I'll never get over it.

14. I've kept a journal since the fourth grade. Entries are rare when things are good.

15. When I grew up I wanted to be Stevie Nicks.

16. I used to hide behind the curtains and under the kitchen table and spy on my parents. Prowling around the house was my favorite activity as a kid.

17. I moved to Virginia when I graduated from Ball State for my first newspaper job. It was a culture shock. Everyone still talked about the Civil War, and I lived at the corner of Stonewall and Jackson Streets.

18. I think I am missing the "Mom" chip.

19. I like the way my boyfriend holds his coffee cup.

20. I have a secret blog.

21. I am not a fierce competitor. (Unless it's Ms. Pac Man.) I am, however, competitive for other people. I think it's because I am happy about rooting for people, and I want my friends to do well.

22. I get very excited about simple things, like balconies, stars, sunshine, and driving with the windows down. At the end of the day, I'm a pretty easy person to make happy.

23. I've had a pen pal since the 6th grade. She is a pediatrician at Brooklyn Hospital in New York and grew up in Florida. I met her 8 years ago and she's awesome. We still write letters to each other - actual letters! - a few times a year. But we are also Facebook friends.

24. The first time I snuck out I was 11. It was so exhilarating I did twirls down the street and danced under the streetlight.

25. I feel like I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fine Dining

I had the luxury of eating at two of Cincinnati's finer restaurants this weekend.

Friday night I at landed at Boca with the most random people I could ever image myself with.

I'd never been to Boca for dinner before and honestly didn't want the hassle. Eating some noodles out of a bowl at some Thai joint sounded fine to me. But the guys I was with insisted we go to Boca, as it their "spot," and sure enough, they knew practically everyone there so getting a nice table and quick service was easy. (I guess it's nice to know people who know people.)

They told our waiter, a friend of theirs, just to start bringing us whatever was good. It turns out, everything at Boca is good. (I'm clearly the last to know this first hand.)

Instead of entrees we all passed around plates and shared. Roasted lemons (roasted lemons, weird right?), grilled caesar salad, Boca sliders, roasted almonds, bruschetta-something-or-other and some sort of pasta that was so damn good I wanted to bathe in it. We got two orders of that.

For dessert we shared creme brulee, several kinds of sorbet, a custard-cookie-rasberry thing that made my knees weak and then... fried dough. Oh yeah, like deep fried biscuits coated in cinnamon and sugar. I'm Indiana girl, so it was just like being at the Grant County Fair eating an elephant ear.

I selfishly ate three of them, but backed off the other desserts to make up for my greediness.

In the end I was it was fantastic though I doubted their initial claims of how "fun" it would be. Sometimes you just got to let it ride.

Then last night we celebrated my friend Missy's birthday and went to Vito's Cafe in Ft. Thomas, "home of the singing servers." All of the servers/singers are CCM or NKU theater students, and of course they are incredibly talented and creatively incidental, one minute singing their hearts out to patrons and then the next second delivering a martini.

My favorite moment was when one waiter, mid-baritone, interrupted his part in a song to direct a woman to the restroom. All part of the job, I reckon.

Anyway, I had the rigatone and mushrooms with sun dried tomatoes and goat cream cheese sauce. It was very good, but I think my more daring friends - who ate scallops, salmon and veal - enjoyed theirs much more judging by the way they raved about their meals.

But about 2 a.m. the fine dining was over. I finished off the night with a large fry and a 10-piece McNugget. Because what you really want after drinking and dancing is some fast-food. Yum.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I'm starting a new weekly feature here at Gina's Blog. Welcome to the first TGIF video of the week! Come back next Friday for the song that changed all of our lives!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Groove Your Pants Off

I'm late on this, but thanks to Kari's kick-ass piece in this month's ELLE (Kate Hudson is on the cover) I was introduced to Feist and the Constantines' cover of Islands in the Stream. And whoa.

It's the opposite of the Kenny and Dolly version, which I've always loved.

But look out Dolly, this might be my new favorite version! Intimate and trippy (think Sonic Youth covering Superstar), it sounds like they really are islands in the stream, with no one in between. It's a lovely juxtaposition to the effervescent original, and I can't stop playing it.

So rush to iTunes right now if you don't already have this version. Then drop ELLE an email about how fabulous the music piece is on page 102 and let them know that that Kari Wethington (whoever she is!) is a rock star!

(Side note: When I was a kid I thought people who duetted together really were a couple. Which is why for years I thought Dolly and Kenny were married. How else could they sing that song together?!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Want to Remember This

When President Obama was sworn in I was here.

Gotta go now, the Neighborhood Ball is on and the Obamas are gettin' down!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh Happy Day

With all due respect to the amazing kick-ass camera I got for xmas, it wasn't my favorite gift.

This poster is.

Happy January 20, 2009.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good Night, Mr. Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth died today at 91.

This probably wouldn't mean much to me, except that two years ago I had the privilege of interviewing his granddaughter at the Cincinnati Art Museum. She is just a few years young than me and is seemingly Wyeth's appointee to continue his legacy and tell his stories.

I was interviewing her for an exhibition of his early drawings, including the first outlines of his famous/infamous Christina's World. It was stunning to see the evolution of something like that, like a window into what it would be like to be a painter.

Here is the blog post I wrote about my interview with her. She was so affable and charming referring to her famous grandfather as "Andy" that it cracked me up. She also told me everyone in the family, including "Andy", thought the painting kind of sucked when they first saw it.

I've always liked it. It's strange and unexpected and eerie.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Girls of Summer

I put away my helmet and pushed Stella into the garage for the winter last month.

It was happy and sad. She has own her space in the big garage now (rather than the basement) but it was a bittersweet parting for us.

We had a big summer together.

When I got Stella this time last year I was pretty afraid of scootering in traffic.

Riding a scooter is stressful. The first few times I took her out I'd be exhausted when I got home. For one thing the wind hitting you at 35 mph the entire time is tiring, but you're also constantly looking out for cars, opening doors, people changing lanes, pedestrians, wondering if people see you. Intersections are particularly scary.

In a car you can relax a little bit. On a scooter you're dead.

Mostly I rode this summer with my friend Dean, who sold me Stella when he got his new super fancy scooter.

By mid-summer I was comfortable going just about anywhere on Stella. Dean, Stella and I rode over into Kentucky a lot (the Taylor Southgate is the best scooter bridge, if you're wondering), across the Licking River, up into Ault and Alms parks, down Eastern Avenue, through downtown, into Mt. Adams and over to Mariemont.

You probably saw me and wondered, Who is that cool chick?

The destinations of these trips were usually scoops of Graeter's or UDF ice-cream. I'd carry my helmet up to counter like, "Yeah, I'm a bad-ass. Now let me get a strawberry cone." Then me and Stella would drive away in a 40 mph purple flash. (We're freaking FLYING!)

Dean, Stella and I's last event of the season was to Metro Scooter's final scooter rally/cook-out during the warm spell we had in November.

Everyone had cooler scooters than me - new Buddys, old Vespas, cool new (real) Stellas. Whatever. I wasn't ashamed.

But as Dean and I were rolling out these two guys were pulling out with us. One of them, riding a super cool old Vespa, turned and asked me - in a very groovy accent of some type - what year Stella was.

"1998," I beamed. "She's got 10,337 miles on her." (I put the 337 miles on her.)

In his groovy accent he said, "It's hot."

I was shining brighter than Stella's headlight. (Which actually shines brighter when you rev the gas.) I asked Dean what he meant - I know that dude isn't being sarcastic about my sweet ride! Dean said Hondas are hot right now because no one really has them. And it was true, I had the only Honda at the rally.

Stella and I would have chased him down and asked him and his scooter to marry us, but we can only go 40.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm Alive!

A violent, rib-bruising cough kept me up at night for the last week, so I finally went to see my doctor on Friday for some cough syrup with codine. I was convinced I had pleurisy.

Turns out, no. After some deep breaths and a chest x-ray my doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis and early pneumonia in my left lung.

So that explains the sharp pain on the left side of my back when cough.

I'm laying low tonight instead of going out. It's just as well. I started reading Kathrine Switzer's Marathon Woman during my week of sleeplessness and it's been thoroughly enjoyable. Everyone knows the iconic images of her at the 1967 Boston Marathon, but knowing the back story makes them even more meaningful.

And you never know, maybe once my lungs stop burning I'll shuffle out for a walk around the neighborhood or something. (HAHAHAHAHA!!! Obviously the codine has made me delirious.)

Friday, January 02, 2009