Sunday, January 24, 2010

To Unbridled Joy

A few weeks ago Ronson and I were having brunch at The Green Dog Cafe when a couple of toddlers came teetering past our table all smiles and waves, their little bodies stuffed into puffy coats and mittens.

"That's what I want in 2010," Ronson said.
"Babies?" I asked, surprised.
"No, unbridled joy. Completely oblivious. Look how happy they are. You just walk up to strangers and they tell you how cute you are."

I raised my coffee in solidarity and polished off the above breakfast burrito. It wasn't quite unbridled joy, but it was damn good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Look out Vancouver!

Wintry mix from GinaBlogs on Vimeo.

If sledding were an Olympic sport... Adam would crash into parked cars on the street, Aiden would rush over to laugh at him and I'd flip off my sled and get snow in my butt. But still, Olympics!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This Little Blog of Mine

I was at just about hook my thumbnail in between my teeth and rip it from the quick when a guy appeared in front of me and asked, 'Is your name Gina.'

It is, I told him. And I took my thumb out of my mouth.

"I read your blog," he said. "I just thought I'd say, 'Hi.'"

How awesome is that?!

This was today Target. I was giving up my search for sticker paper and was on my way to the potato chips granola bar aisle, so I guess I was somewhere near the notebooks and party planning aisles when I met Dan, a blog reader I've never met.

In the five or so minutes we stood there chatting I learned that he's a graphic designer and that his friend, Heather, who moved to San Francisco, sent him my URL when he was looking for local blogs to read. He told me Heather's last name, but I didn't know her. Then I learned that his sister has her dream job at Children's as a child-life specialist at the Liberty campus. I asked if he has a blog (he doesn't) and we agreed we both probably spend too much time reading about other people's random lives on the Internet.

I was happy to meet him.

Back in CiN's heyday it wasn't uncommon for me to be occasionally recognized (usually by a teenage boy) while I was out and about, an occupational hazard of having your photo in the weekly entertainment rag. But never has anyone recognized me simply because of my blog. How outstanding. I'm just sorry I had my thumb in my mouth for my first in-person impression. Aww well.

As I was pushing my cart away I wondered what Dan, my new blog reading BFF from Target, must have thought of its contents, because come on, who wouldn't look, right? So I took a photo and while I can't pretend to know what Dan thought, here's what I'd have thought if I'd have bumped into me at Target:

1.) She's addicted to Advil.
2.) She has sensitive teeth and might also be addicted to toothpaste.
3.) L'Oreal Excellent 9A Light Ash Blonde is a fantastic color on her. (Cooler blonde shades really bring out her brown eyes and pale skin.)
4.) She has a cat, or two.
5.) Wow, this girl really loads up on the toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

All of which is true, of course.

So anyway, a big 'Howdee' to all you Gina Blogs readers out there who I don't know. Which, now that I've met Dan is probably like, no one. So 'Hi' to everyone I do know. See you at Target!

Friday, January 08, 2010

TGIF 2010!

Let's kick off the year with one my fave songs from 2009, Nothing To Worry About. Not only is it a fantastic notion to start the year off with (just let it roll, y'all) but it's also the weirdest video since... Lily Allen kidnaps Elton John? (Another great song from 2009.)

But it just so happens that for my money, it doesn't get any better than extreme pompadour mullet mohawks and Asian motorcycle gang dance-offs. Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Decade In Review

• Kicked it off in Chicago with my great pal Sandy Bressner at some bar. Most vivid memory: Seeing Chicago's finest dressed to the hilt in SWAT gear. They look bored. The world was supposed to end, y'all.

• I get into grad school. Even though according to my GRE score, I might be mildly retarded.

• Sitting at my apartment complex pool one sunny July afternoon, I see my downstairs neighbor and take note of his big guns and broad chest. Well helloooo there neighbor!

• I quit my newspaper job, move to Clifton, start grad school, begin dating the 'neighbor.'

• In grad school they require me to teach. Students. Hahahahaha!!!!

• Summer 2001, I get my piece of paper (I believe they call it a master's) and marry the neighbor under a full moon. Move to O'Bryonville.

• 9-11. I cry at work.

• Daniel Pearl is kidnapped. I take this personally.

• January 2002, I'm diagnosed with cancer. (So that explains the horrendous back pain!)

• I think if Daniel Pearl lives, then I'll live too.

• Daniel Pearl dies.

• I realize I make bad decisions when it comes to random connections that are totally unrelated to me. Further example: 'If I make this shot into the wastebasket, I'll live to be 70.' Shit.

• I 'survive' in spite of myself.

• I take a job writing press releases. Nearly die of boredom. Move to Mt. Healthy.

• Journalism keeps making eyes at me, I try to look away but get sucked back in. The Enquirer hires me in the spring of '03 as a feature writer.

• I meet some of the best friends I've ever had there.

• Fall/Winter of '04-'05 - I turn 30, my brother dies, I get divorced, I move to Mt. Lookout, I start this blog.

• Decide I hate my teeth, start sleeping with a retainer to straighten out them again. This marks the beginning of me being absolutely irresistible at night.

• Determine I want to move to another newspaper. Denver? Phoenix? I go to Phoenix for a visit, decide it's a boring cesspool.

• '06-'07 - Realize newspapers are circling the drain, decide to go to law school, start studying for the LSAT.

• While eating lunch with Julie and Kari and bitching about our futures in journalism, Kari tells me about a job posting at Children's. I apply, move to Hyde Park, continue to study for the LSAT.

• I get an interview at Children's, get dressed down during said interview by my now Boss Man... and then he hires me.

• Thank god I didn't end up in law school, move to another apartment in Hyde Park.

• Spring of '09 - Boss Man taps me for a different job at Children's, this one with more drama and intrigue... I now sit next to a mini-fridge and a microwave. (You can have it all.)

• Michael Jackson moon walks out of my life... and everyone else's.

• Realize under the full moon of 2010 New Years Eve that a) I don't want to move anymore, but know I will b) note to the universe that I won't be mad if the next decade is marked by fewer personal traumas and c) raise my glass to life's rich pageant and the next ten years.


Btw, I'm happy to report that the lovely woman sitting next to me in the "then" photo is still a good friend and an avid reader of this blog. How's that.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Singular Sensation

My best friend in the fifth grade, Kelley, had parents who were vastly different than mine. At the tender age of 11, Kelley's mom took us to see the movie A Chorus Line, starring Michael Douglas, dancers, moving songs about crappy childhoods and being gay and catchy songs about 'tits and ass.'

I freakin' loved it.

I also loved Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo about the same time. What can I say. I liked movies about dancing.

This weekend I was flipping through the On Demand movies (look out for this party, y'all!) and stopped at Every Little Step, a documentary about the revival of A Chorus Line on Broadway.

Wow. Freaking outstanding. I was gripped.

The movie follows the dancers who audition for the 2006 revival against the backdrop of how choreographer Michael Bennett came up with the idea of the stage-show in the first place.

How's this for novelty: In 1974 he put 22 dancers in a room with a jug of wine and interviewed them about their lives, his premise being, 'We dancers are a different and interesting breed, tell me your story.' Those characters I first met in the movie at age 11, actual people. How do you like that.

That's one of the best things I learned about being a reporter. If you ask people about their lives, more often than not, they will tell you. And what touching and entertaining stories they can be.

Rather than the stories Bennett uncovered from dancers in the '70s, Every Little Step follows a new bunch of hopefuls about what A Chorus Line, dancing and work means to them. But more than that, it's a documentary about the spirit it takes to be a performer in the face of near constant rejection.

One dancer, in describing her laser beam focus on dance and the pursuit of her dream, says, 'I feel like if you have something to fall back on, you'll fall back.'


I found myself caring about each of these kids auditioning from the minute go, and as the director and his assistants wiped tears from their eyes during one especially poignant audition, I wiped them from mine. (Good news folks, it appears I am human!)

It's mercilessly intense, ruthless, exhilarating and hopeful. How can you not be impressed at what artists do to pursue their craft.

I sat on my couch wondering why I hadn't packed up 18, moved to New York and joined a dancer's union for this tough as nails life. Oh wait, I remember, I'm not cut from that mettle. But bravo to those who are.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to dance around my living room.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Success Is Mine

I don't ever have new year resolutions, but I'd like to be one of those people who do. So this year I'm just going to make up resolutions for things I either a) already do or b) don't already do.

Resolution No. 1, I'm not going to do heroin this year. I already don't do heroin, so this should be pretty easy. Success!

God I'm so going own 2010. I'm wrestling it down and pinning it before it can even tap out. What's that 2010, you crying cause you got your ass kicked already?! Well, there's more where that came from, Cupcake.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Joy to the World!

I got some new pots and pans for Christmas, y'all, and my dude could not be more excited. You know, being that he's the only one who cooks around here.

No more peeling Teflon, er "secret ingredient," in my spaghetti sauce.