Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lose Your Dreams and You May Lose Your Mind

When it all gets a little too crazy, just remember to keep going for what you want in life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Bite Is HUGE

You know the expression "bitten off more than you can chew"?
Well, I am pretty freakin' stubborn so I won't admit that.

My seemingly simple week has blown up and I look at my new obsession, my iGoogle page and all I see is my calendar that is booked up to the point of every hour I've got a meeting or a deadline, and a to do list that seems like I've done everything but check off my own personal goals.

My friend Andy would probably send me a book on how to organize myself right now, or something on fast tips to save time.
While I'm sure that works for some, that is just so not my cup of tea.

I'd rather just complain about it and then just work until I drop. It helps me sleep, that and tea.
Speaking of which, I've got a peppermint cup of tea waiting for me at the Treehouse Open Mic, so I gotta run....

Oh, heck I'll treat myself and saunter at a medium pace.

Thank goodness I took next week off for my birthday... more on that when I get the time.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Week

Oy, so full.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the family:

"Sam, you're my friend."
"I'm your cousin, too, Chris - don't forget."
-My nephews

"Hey Mom, (pause) Um, hey you!"
"Do you know my name?"
"Hey Aunt You!"
-My nephew Chris to me

"Offensive- Bullwinkle's junk"
-Family game of Apples to Apples

Other great moments:
- Looking at this with my niece.
- Kicking my brother's ass in the drinking version of Scene It TV Edition.

Best quote of the week from friends:
"Happy day-we-showed-the-indians-who's-boss!"
-Becky Donohue via text

"Hey Sue, where are you right now?"
"Just got home."
"I'm at the Liar right now."
"Oh, no, I'm at the Queens home."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Writing Process

I was working this week on a letter to encourage people to donate to a homeless shelter on Christmas. I handed in what I felt was a really sappy thing that middle America would love. (Sorry middle America, but what do you expect when you elect fucktards like Bush? Us to think you're not gullible?)
It was liked by my editor, but I was asked to make it a little more gritty and gripping. I went back to the drawing board and had about ten drafts. I went really extreme - pulled back too much - I just couldn't get it.

And then I realized that I needed inspiration.


What says help the homeless more than this song?
You can laugh, but I got some great copy listening to this song. I don't think anyone even gave money to charities before this song came out.
...don't fact check me on that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blogging From Your Cell Phone

Ok, so I did spend this past Sunday live blogging the cooking of my "pre-Thanksgiving" meal.
I'll admit it, I'm dorky.

But really people, who is in dire need to blog from a cell phone?

Me.

I'd totally do it if I wasn't already freaking sore from texting.
I'm hooked on it! It's sooo addictive.
I have cut down tremendously on my phone time. This is awesome for me because I'm someone who often doesn't know when to say goodbye - not so much in that awkward way, it's more like I tend to have friends that I know that can talk for hours.



That blog right up there, so boring - but if I had been able to do it from my phone it would've looked like this:

Bloggin' from your cell phone - lame...but I'd do it.



THE MORAL: I'm kinda lame, and kinda dorky. To further prove this I now present The Best of You Tube -

Oh, wait what was that?
Ah, Twentieth Century Fox took it down.

Well, then see something original. Here's "Gettin' Some" on Funny or Die:

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Pride of Poultry

I gotta say, making a turkey is pretty darn gratifying.
And it gets you respect.

When I tell people that I woke up at 6am to make a 20lb turkey for an indefinite number of people - friends, collegues, and family alike look at me in awe

...or maybe it's just that wide eyed smile with the hanging jaw you give someone that is totally nuts.

I'm taking it as awe.

For some reason, when you're able to endure the process of cooking a bird though, people are really willing to talk with you about it. And ask you all the questions you're totally willing to answer because you're just as giddy.

It's like I matured into this special cooks club.

I hope it comes with a pass to cut the express line at Whole Foods.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Miss Funke, We Done Did Good"

Well, we pulled it off. Three roommates with one dream: a Thanksgiving meal with our friends.

I dunno if you had a slow enough Sunday to follow our high jinx, so I'll recap (click links for full blog):

My freelance check came in, and my roommates and I decided to actually go through with our Thanksgiving dinner. (Originally, I held back because I didn't think I could chip in, and we weren't sure if we'd have the time either.)

This meant that I had to cook my first turkey.

Which was intimidating, and sleep depriving.

I learned the biggest concern when cooking a turkey is that it might be dry
.

And after all that, no one was showing up.

Well, Fred the turkey took almost 10 hours to cook, and gravy is a lot harder to make than I remembered - here are some tips on making turkey gravy:
  • DON'T ADD A TON OF CORN STARCH! Man, that gravy tasted nasty...with like a chalky after-taste to boot.
  • DON'T TRY TO SAVE IT WITH A TON OF TURKEY DRIPPINGS...it becomes gelatinous and no matter how much stock you put in, it still kinda looks like chunky snot. (It was eventually delicious, but briefly, as soon as it cooled it was grossest fat chunk gel ever.)
We had two guests arrive in time for pigs in a blanket (Tom's mini hot dogs in Pilsbury croissant), our friends J and Ben that we know from the Liar. They came with high spirits and ready to help and in the last hours we pulled it together.

The table was upstairs, the boys had put up the mini tree, hung the big bow on the door, and strung the lights. Emily and I brought up the meal- it was a ridiculously large, but absolutely delicious.

Between courses we went across to the park and went on the slides. We learned this helps you make room for pie. On our way back we rung our neighbor's doorbell and they joined us for desserts and another round of the main meal.

Then we all just sat around contently talking about which foods we enjoyed the most, and the ones we didn't get to, but wished we had room for.

Everyone went home with left overs and the accord that we may have outdone real Thanksgiving.

All Emily, Tom, and I know is, we really pulled it off! We put a Thanksgiving meal together, and it was worth every penny.

The Most Expensive Meal for Three

Well, the guests were supposed to show about oh...an hour ago.
Fred is still not done, but we could feed an army.

Our pals who were stoked to come over seem to have forgotten their excitement and won't answer our calls/ messages. You would think free food would lure 20 and 30 somethings. Especially a giant home cooked meal. Emily even made the pies from scratch!

But alas, no.

We are now drinking some left over beer and wondering if it's possible to eat 6lbs of turkey each, and all the sides, and not explode.

The concept of having a pie each to ourselves is alluring though.

We are in need of a Thanksgiving miracle.
Come on Fred, make it work!!!

Don't You Dry on Me!

Well, we're at the six hour mark. Fred the turkey is looking pretty good. He's snug in his tinfoil comforter that I keep stripping away every 45 minutes to pour more drippings upon him.

I've lowered the temperature from 325 to 300 in hopes of avoiding any chances of drying him out. It's something Emily and I both fear so much that we added an extra layer of foil on him for good luck.

We're about an hour away from prepping all the side dishes. This should be interesting. We're under the belief that since this is all for fun it won't be stressful- but somehow the three of us know that when we're at zero hour things are gonna be hectic around here. I've gotta go prep myself for the madness, but I'll leave the menu down below for your enjoyment:

The Astoria House Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Pepperoni and crackers
  • A 20lb turkey named Fred
  • Sweet Potatoes with Marshmellows
  • Crazy/Crunchy String bean casserole
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Corn
  • Can o' cranberry
  • Corn bread
  • Apple Sauce
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Apple Crisp
All this food, and it looks like we're only going to be about 6-8 people right now...

You are probably wondering if we're absolutely nuts right now. The answer is yes, but we're happily insane.

Flipping the Bird!

When I was watching the instructional video on how to cook a turkey I laughed like a 13 year old when they said quite seriously, "Now you must carefully flip the bird".

Because I have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy.
Other things I will laugh at:
Guys named Dick
Anyone saying "That's what she said."
Fart jokes
Poop jokes...you get the point.

Here's the thing though, I am such an adult that I flipped my own bird!
It was pretty thrilling for a Sunday at 10am.
Reasons why this is so exciting:
-The turkey is 20lbs. and I didn't drop it taking it in or out of the oven in the tin foil roaster we bought at Stop n Shop.
-Fred and I are old pals, and I treated him with the dignity he deserved.
-I topped him with butter and bacon, ensuring everyone will be heart attack ready after the meal.

He's looking decently succulent now. My hope is that he stays that way and I don't space out while working and forget to keep douse him in his own juices.

Cooking a turkey isn't pretty folks, but it's a task I've chosen to take on because....well I'm not really sure why we're doing this besides the enjoyment of food and inviting friends over for impromptu parties. That's enough though, right?

My First Thanksgiving Turkey

His name is Fred.
Roommate Tom, and new-roommate-Emily, and I named him in the Stop-n-Shop where we found him. We had originally picked out a frozen turkey, named Bill, but after a call to Tom's mom we learned that it's pretty much impossible to defrost a turkey within a 12 hour period. So, Fred was an expensive thawed out bird with lots of watery blood in his packaging.

As the youngest of four children, I've seen a lot of Thanksgiving cooking being done, but I am usually on the sidelines. It was usually my job to do simple things: arrange platters, make appetizers, cut veggies, peel potatoes.

Now, I am cooking my own turkey. I watched a 15 minute video, Emily got some advice from her Aunt Susie, we've got the directions off the package, and I've got 25 years of observation logged. So, at 6 am this morning I started cooking Fred.

I dunno if it's because I've named it, or the fact that I had my hands up it's carcass, but I feel a strange connection to Fred. It's like we're in this together, and you better be freakin' delicious Fred.

I'm off to go peel sweet potatoes, but I'll keep you posted on how this all goes. Especially when I flip the bird. That's gonna be interesting.

Don't fail me now Fred!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Waiting for My Check to Come in

I've been working part time on some freelance writing assignments four about six months now.
During this time I've been paid only once, and the money they owed me was piling up.

The check finally came in and I'm using most of it to pay off many bills, but I also promised myself a hundred bucks or so of "fun money".

I thought hey, maybe I'll get an iPod, or a pretty dress, or some movies I really want (I currently don't even own my favorite movie of all time, Annie Hall - although I do look at the DVD prices about once a week and tell myself, Sue you don't really need to spend $10 on a movie you've seen countless times.)

This weekend I'm cashing the check and I've spent the money on something fun -
a Thanksgiving dinner for me and my friends. My roommates and I all put in about a hundred dollars each and now have a full feast for some of our close friends for tomorrow... that we are boldly going to make ourselves.

Well, it's no iPod, but it is pretty awesome.

Gobble, gobble pals.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Commercial Music

We've all had it happen, you are watching TV and a commercial comes on, and the song gets stuck in your head.

Lately though, the songs that are getting stuck are much better than say, the Meow Mix commercial (for those of you who don't remember this was just meowing in a repetitive beat). I was talking to my friend Urban about it last night and he said that commercials are the new radio. I believe it.

Take the new touch iPod commercial that has the infamous ditty, "Music is my boyfriend! Music is my imaginary friend..."that was stuck in my head all day. I decided to look it up. Turns out the song is called, "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex". Nice. It's also by a Brazillian band called Cansei de Ser Sexy, and that means tired of being sexy. Here's the article about how they basically went from obscurity to the next big thing.
I'm a total sucker for commercial music. Don't believe me? Here's a playlist I created made up of music from commercials. See if you know which song goes to which commercial for fun.


SeeqPod Music beta - Playable Search

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Jessica Simpson's Acting Career



She is no Goldie Hawn.

Skip this movie and watch Private Benjamin. Oooh! and then Protocol.
I smell a movie marathon...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Best Homeless Dude Ever

I had kind of a bad morning on Friday. My shower schedule was messed up, it was cold, I was grumpy. As I sat on the V fake sleeping we pulled into the 34th street stop. A homeless man walked into my train and not only changed my day but damn near changed my life.

"Who here is going to work today?" He asked in a happy, booming voice.
There was no response from the fairly empty car. Probably because only 10 out of the 20 of us in the car were comprehensive of the english language.

"From that response, I'm guessing all of you. You all look miserable. You should be like me -
I'm drrrunk!" he proclaimed this in laughed happily to himself, "I have been drunk a looooong time ain't that crazy? Well it ain't because I'm happy!"

He pointed to a man in a suit and said, "Hey Wall Street let me guess, you work in finance?"

"No," the man laughed.

"Well, then you should get drunk with me today. I'm a good guy." He then turned his focus back to the rest of the car, "I want to let you folks know that I am a Christian, and a pimp. " This statement was said so profoundly that I knew he was only going to get better from this point forward.

I took out my cell phone and started texting myself what he was saying while I held in my giggles.

"I'm not making this up people," he went on to say, "women love pimps. Christian women love pimps, you can ask them. They'll lie, not very Christ-like. But those Christian women love pimps. Trust me on that. Stay poor and be happy. Work hard and you're all miserable. Suit," he turned back to his suited pal, "you got a wife or girlfriend?"

"No," the man continued to play along.

"I'm gonna get you a lady, because after all, I am a Christian, and a pimp. How about that lady over there. She probably likes assholes. Women like assholes too. Listen to me suit. I know this stuff, I'm not just a drunk. I'm a pimp! And I'm telling you, that lady over there is your women. Hey! Phone girl. Phony! Aww man all women are phony, too. Suit, remember that. Miss! Miss! Aw she thinks she's cute. Only the pimp is cute."

At this point, I realize he might be talking about me. I turned around to get a look at the guy. He caught me looking at him and I looked away.

"Aww Phony don't do that. I see you looking at me."

I looked back again and smiled.

"Look at THAT you are beautiful! Do you see that Suit? Hey Beautiful, are you Irish?"

"Not really," I replied. Not wanting to explain my muttness to him.

"Well, you should tell those folks at the parade next year you are Irish. They need more beauty in that parade. I tried last year to march along with my beautiful self and you know what they did to me? They said, 'you are an American Negro' and they cracked a bottle of whiskey over my head! I still got the scar. But ya know what? I didn't care because I had all that whiskey pouring over my head."

By this time I was at my stop, and was making my way towards the exit.

"Beautiful! I want you to know something, you are something else. Let me give you some advice - Don't be afraid to be poor, be happy. Oh, and marry a dark skinned man, ya got that beautiful?"

I nodded, laughed, and walked on to work.

Thanks for the advice dude. Oh, wait - I mean Mr. Christian Pimp.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Writers

Lately, I feel like everyone is talking about writing. This is awesome because as a writer I kind of always want to talk about writing. I'm usually always writing something. If it's not manifestos for work (wink) it's comedy, or this blog, or ad copy for a pet store, or a compelling story for a charity. I love words.

This month is actually celebrating writing. Did you know that it's National Novel Writing Month? Known to enthusiasts, and participants, as Nanowrimo- the goal is to write 50,000 words that translates into a 175 page novel. The thing that kind of boggles my mind is, you're not supposed to go back and edit - you're just supposed to keep going. As an editor, and a perfectionist, it mystifies mind. I give participants a lot of credit, and think it's cool that it's inspired so many people to finally get down to that novel they've been meaning to write. If I were to participate I'm pretty sure my novel would be like this:
"It was a dark stormy night and... I really need to drop off my laundry. I wonder why I wait to lug 40 lbs of clothing in while I'm wearing bikini bottos and a dolphin t-shirt to do this. I like popsicles. Remember when I said it was dark and rainy? Yeah, scratch that it was the year 4045 and we're all iguanas - with relationship issues."

As you can see, my stream of consciousness is an odd place that is better off not captured in long form. Ever since I wrote my screenplay that sits on my hard drive taking up space, I have given up the long form. The comedy writing does much better for me. Although, it's kind of screwing over a lot of people lately...
(like that transition folks?)

I have to say, as someone who wants to write comedy for television, I love these strickers. They are fighting for my future. Also, they have a great reason to strike, they make no money while everyone makes money off of their work. Hopefully, talks will resume and my future career in television writing will hold a great prosperous deal. Until then, continue marching on my future co-workers!
Also, people side with the writers, please - or else it's gonna be all reality TV, and American minds are rotting enough as it is.

I'm getting off my soap box now. Off to scribble in my notebook....

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Returning to My Roots

In an impulsive, yet well thought out move, yesterday, I went to the salon by my office and got my hair dyed to match my roots.

For the past four years I’ve highlighted my hair. I was going to Long Island and spending money like I actually had it. It was my girly splurge that I really enjoyed. Lately though, I feel like I need to change situations and I’m stuck in the mud. So, instead of moping I figured I could act upon my hair.

It’s weird because I really did enjoy my lighter hair, but as soon as Sam, my wonderfully flamboyant and wine-pushing hair stylist, dried my hair I felt like I was seeing me again. I have spent much more of my life with a natural brown-toned hair color than without it. I was so happy to see me, I smiled with my eyes.

For those of you who do not understand how one could even do such a thing, I recommend watching America’s Next Top Model. There will most likely be a marathon on this weekend; don’t make any plans. Just sit there and watch Tyra Banks teach you that with just a little squint of your lower lid and widening of your upper lid you can show your inner happiness. Either that or just go back to your natural color.

I should also note that I got my hair done next to a “celebrity”. That’s right folks. The woman getting the white bleach applied to her roots has been seen on Maury and CNN because of her roots in a crazy sex cult. She is now a dancer at Scores. I was talking to the owner of the salon about this and said, “good for her, it’s competitive to get in there. She must’ve paid a lot for that body. I couldn’t do it, but it’s probably good money.” He then reminded me that it’s hard work: 9-5 on a pole. Well, at least she can afford her roots to be touched up on the regular.

We all have our priorities.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Dinner

I come from a family where "family night" was pretty much every night.

There was no missing dinner, drive-thru feast, or pizza Fridays. Funkes ate together and all went to bed at a reasonable hour - thanks to Mama Funke's ability to make a home cooked meal and raise four kids all before 7pm when Dad rolled in from a busy day in the city.

Sunday dinner was the penultimate meal of the week. In fact, Sunday was pretty much all about God and food.

We'd wake up and get into our Sunday best. Church was at 10:30 in the morning and lasted until 11:40 - unless we "received and leaved". The "receive and leave" was when you ate the body of Christ, bowed most reverently toward the big JC with a giant smile, and then went straight to the door and frolicked down the grassy path to the car - skipping out on boring announcements and final prayers. You were home about 10-20 minutes earlier, but it made a difference.
Because you were getting a nice sandwich.

It was the kind of sandwich that dreams are made of. Best bread, handmade condiments from the finest ingredients, leafy greens grown organically, and giant beef steak tomatoes that rested on thoughtfully selected deli meats.

We'd then break for the Sunday mystery movie.

Around 4pm we'd have cocktail hour in the living room. Everyone had fancy drinks. Minor's got Shirley Temples (who am I kidding, I was the minor). Adults got Pimm's cups or Mom's famously strong Manhattan's. There were cheeses, smoked meats, liverwurst, crackers, sometimes even mini pizzas with pastrami and provalone - creative recipes from my father's mad-cook mind.

My father only cooked on the weekends. When he did he might as well have been a top chef. Food was prepared delicately, perfectly, and deliciously. Of course, tears might be shed and words might lead to blows but dinner was consistently pretty damn good. Served in the dinning room, on the good table cloth. At least three courses. Sometimes, we'd go all the way through cordials and get to cheese plates and fruit.

It was a day of rest, and good conversation. Most Sunday nights I remember laying in my bed with a full belly and a giant smile as my head hit the pillow and I passed out.

So, when new roommate Emily moved in and made chicken pot pie last weekend for Sunday dinner I was fondly reminded of a past time long dropped but never forgotten. We all agreed we enjoyed the week starting out with a home cooked meal.

This Sunday was my turn. I made stew. Sure, I didn't make tons of courses, there was no happy hour because we're tired from the week's drinking, and we just don't have the patte and brie kinda money - dinner alone was nearly charged. But, the warmth of the home cooking, and the fun of having a sit-down meal together made it feel like Sunday at home.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Pretty Sure Wonder Woman Doesn't Get Colds

On November 1st my apartment sounded like a Dimetapp commercial.
Coughing, sneezing, groaning in misery.

Roommate Tom and I both had a cold.

"How do you both get colds at the same freakin' time?!" My co-worker asked.

"I guess we shouldn't lick faces good night anymore."

-look of horror and disgust on my co-workers face -

I'm kidding!
We live in the same apartment. These kind of things happen. Kind of like last year when we moved in and we all got pneumonia together because there was no heat. That was a fun week!

Luckily, this cold isn't too bad and Yogi Tea's Cold Season has made me feel loads better.
I highly recommend it for when the season change cold hits your house.

This blog has now become just one giant ad now, hasn't it?