Monday, January 30, 2012

Better Late Than Never

My Top Ten List of things I'd like to tell you about when I attended a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks ago:

1. I got tickets through a program at work which I assume the Late Show offers to other corporations aside from my own called Work Perks.  I got a notice in November to send an email to a certain address with three days in January or February when I could go see the show.  I got a phone call about six weeks later with all the details and decided on a final date and confirmed my guest.  If you can't get tickets through work, you could also try on the CBS website or try and get standby tickets the day of the show, but I hear they aren't so easy to come by, so take advantage of the Work Perks offer if your work has it.

2. The Ed Sullivan Theater, on Broadway between 53rd and 54th, has housed David Letterman since I had my first website (1993, 3rd grade, Eeyore's Hideaway, NBD).  I did know that the theater was the place where the Beatles first performed in America while on The Ed Sullivan Show so I made sure to take that in while I was there.  I did *not* know that the theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (probably because they knew I was going to be there at some point in my life).

3. My guest and I had to be at the theater by 3 pm OR ELSE.  I think if we had not gotten there in time, they would have become standby tickets.  I know this was the timing rule for the Work Perks list but not sure how it works for other tickets you might come upon. We were told to come back at 3:40 and line up outside at that time.

4. The Late Show pages recommended we spend the wait in Three Monkeys, a bar around the corner on 54th Street and who were we to deny the Late Show pages?  Though for what it's worth, they didn't seem nearly as awesome as Kenneth from 30 Rock. 

5. We lined up back outside the theater at 3:40 and froze for about another 45 minutes until we were let inside.  During the wait we were "trained" by the pages.  They told us a few bad jokes and we had to practice our laughter.  AND they told us whatever we do not to "woo" which made me nervous I wouldn't do a good job because I am a total woo girl, it's my go-to.  But apparently wooing gets picked up too much by the microphones and sounds awful.

6. When we finally got into the theater, we were directed to the back right corner of the studio.  The studio doesn't go back that far so any seat is a good one.  The pages once again tried to rile us up by leading clapping rounds while the band played.  An old guy comedian came out for a few minutes and then Letterman came out to say hi before the show.  An audience member asked him a question and David asked him back what he did for a living and he said he worked for a website that can look up the value of your home.  The writers incorporated that website into a monologue joke and into the Top Ten. List  When we heard it in the monologue, we figured it would be edited out since people watching at home wouldn't really get it, but then when it was put in the Top Ten, we knew it would be in there.

7.  The monologue and the comedy bits before the guests came out were pretty good.  Like my dad said, some of the jokes aren't actually funny, but Letterman delivers them all really well.  If the joke's not that great, you still end up laughing at how Letterman says it.  I got a kick out of a bit they did where they showed photos from the campaign trail and said all photos you see fall into just a few categories, including "Newt Cannot Take a Bad Photo," "Sweatervest," "Fake Laugh," and "Looking Good, Ron."  You can watch a clip below:

8. The guests scheduled for that night were Kate Beckinsale (who was looking amayyyzing in a tight sparkly dress) promoting whatever terrible zombie/vampire/whatever movie she's in this time around and Marv Albert (sports announcer dude) who was sharing sports bloopers (which always remind me of rainy days at my elementary school when they wouldn't let us out for recess and they would show the same exact sports bloopers video each time and always bring out 3 games of Connect Four for about 200 kids to share).  The musical guest that night was The Little Willies featuring Norah Jones.  I hadn't heard of the Little Willies but my dad said he had coincidentally been listening to their album that day because he is way cooler than I am.

9. The actual production of the show was pretty interesting to watch and gave me an idea of what to expect for when I have my own show someday.  David's tie was messed up for a little bit and we saw people giving him clues about that so he fixed it while on camera.  He didn't know what high school Tim Tebow went to (who was the subject of that night's Top Ten List), and we saw the producers googling the answer on their smartphones and passing Dave an index card with the answer.  The band plays throughout the commercial breaks and the producers and Letterman chat through the breaks about what is coming up next.

10. My mom claims that just as when I went to see the Daily Show last January that she could hear my laughter when she and Daddio watched the show.  I mean, I tried my hardest, so it totally makes sense that out of 400 people laughing, she could hear me louder than everyone.  And I only (accidentally) wooed once.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Frosting Nipping at your Nose

For her birthday last year (in October twenty TEN), I got my fab roomie a few gifts courtesy of Groupon, for some fun activities that we could do together.  Unfortunately, we let time get away from us and didn’t use any of them for over a year.  The Butter Lane cupcake class expiration date was creeping up on us so in December (the same night we scheduled our painting class at Paint Along), we sat down and booked it for last Thursday.  I was pretty excited to finally be able to take this class because as you guys know, cupcakes are basically my best friends.  And I’ve made and decorated cupcakes on tons of occasions, my favorites being those decorated with the LOST numbers for the finale (I still cannot talk about the finale without getting incredibly frustrated) and the ones I decorated a few years ago for the Superbowl (I still cannot tell you who won or even played).  I sadly cannot find a photo of the NFL logo-ed cupcakes so you will have to settle for this one, which still boils my blood because it is reminiscent of the reason why I gave up dramatic television.

ANYWAY, our class was at 5:30 so I tip-toed out of work and made my way over to the East Village in the rain.  The class was in a “studio” right next to Butter Lane bakery and all students got a free beverage and cupcakes to eat while we waited for the class to start – I chose a yummy caramel popcorn cupcake with actual popcorn on it because I had never seen this before.  (It’s only appropriate that I wrote this post on National Popcorn Day.)  

The Groupon was originally advertised as a class in which we would choose two cake flavors and two icings and make everything ourselves, but by the time Nicole and I went, the class had changed to an icing-only affair.  There were about 12 people in the class and we were told we were going to make three types of icing - vanilla, chocolate, and cream cheese.  

Nicole and I rushed to the chocolate table because it was obvious to us that it would be the yummiest.  We got to use those really nice Kitchen-Aid mixers that everyone puts on their wedding registries and that will never end up fitting in any NYC apartment I will ever live in.  We poured in lots of butter, cocoa flakes, and confectioner sugar and drooled as the icing got fluffier and fluffier. 

Our instructor, Sunshine, then taught us how to make a variation of each frosting.  She made us raspberry vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, and a cinnamon icing out of the cream cheese base.  We were then taught how to ice cupcakes in the Butter Lane way, the icing is so fluffy that you can just roll it into a ball with your icing tool, plop it on the top, and rotate your wrist while tapping down on the icing.  The icing just kind of ends up falling where it wants.  

We were brought non-iced cupcakes in vanilla, chocolate, and banana flavors and we each took four.  The frosting part took a while because the icing placed at our end of the table was not what we wanted to use and the other students were being particularly hoggy of the good flavors.  Sorry vanilla and cream cheese, there were just way better options out there.  I went home with a chocolate-chocolate, a banana-chocolate peanut butter, a chocolate-raspberry, and a vanilla-cinnamon.

I’d also like to share (because I am extremely proud of this) that I didn’t eat them all that night.  BUT I did eat them all without actually sharing with anyone.  One step at a time.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Weird Experience

A few weeks ago, Aubrey and I traveled to the Lower East Side to the New Museum to explore Carsten Höller's: Experience.  We heard about this particular exhibit because of the chatter around a giant slide in the museum.  We didn't know much about it otherwise, but knew that if there was some sort of slide in the museum that people were talking about, we wanted to be on that slide.

We walked into the museum and had to wait in a short line to sign a waiver.  I've clearly never had to sign a waiver to go into a museum before and I thought it was pretty funny, but it was also a tiny bit nerve-wracking - what kind of slide *was* this?  There was a longer line that we could wait in to obtain upside-down goggles which were huge headsets which I just *assume* had mirrors in them to make everything you see upside-down.  We decided not to do this part both because of the line and because everyone wearing those glasses looked ridiculous and like they were struggling.

Aubrey and I made our way up to the upper levels of the museum where the slide started.  We could already tell this was going to be a strange experience.  There were huge tv screens on each side of the elevator with the face of a girl who was just whispering words.  When we got up to the slide, we both looked at each other and laughed at the ridiculously long line.  A sign near the end said the waiting time would be about an hour.  But clearly, we were going to wait in that line no matter what. 

There was another part of the exhibit in the same room that we wasted a few minutes of wait time on, a carousel with mirrors all around it in different angles.  No one was on the carousel and the seats looked like those of the spinning swings at our local boardwalk theme park.  Aubrey and I hopped on and soon realized that they were NOT like the spinning swings at all.  The carousel spun around at a snail's pace and we just rode around looking at things in the mirrors.  It was pretty anticlimactic, and I think it may have been cool if there had more in that room that could have been reflected (like colors of any kind?), but there were basically just people waiting and a few bird cages on the ceiling on the opposite side of the wall.

Oh, hey.

We finally made it to the front of the line after passing lots of other warnings about how you can't go down the slide if you're pregnant or have back problems.  Seriously, what kind of slide *was* this and why were they trying to scare us?  And what?!  We had to wear helmets?  Okay, fine, it could be a cute picture.

Aubrey went down the slide first and I could actually hear her scream on the way down, which again, made me wonder what the hell I was getting myself into.  But it was my turn and I didn't want to go into the elevators with the creepy girl again so I sat down and had the nice gentleman at the top of the slide push me.  It was super fast and a very tight space and there were flashing psychedelic lights and suddenly I landed on a soft mat and there were guys who worked at the museum cheering and telling me how great I was.

The rest of the museum was equally as strange as the carousel and slide.  Where the slide ended up, there were tons of giant neon animals that Aubrey and I tried to play with:

There was a giant fish tank that you could stick your head into so that you could see fish swimming above you:

As we were leaving, Aubrey and I stumbled upon another part of the exhibit where one pill a minute is dropped from the ceiling into a giant vat of other pills.  There was a sign saying "take one" and a water cooler next to the vat.  Aubrey and I thought that maybe this pill was supposed to be taken before we did the exhibit as if it were an actual drug that the museum gave us.  Of course the pill was just plastic and was empty, but it was pretty funny that we thought for a second that a museum would drug us.

If you want to check out Carsten Holler's exhibit, get your booty over to the New Museum by January 22nd.  Totally understand though if you don't want to check it out, because it. was. weird.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Best New Artist Award

Happy 2k12, readers!  I am looking forward to so much this upcoming year.  As a hell LOVE a town devoted reader, you can look forward to:
  • Me remembering (or trying to remember) to post at least once a week.  I just love to jam-pack my calendar (mostly because I like writing in my planner) and I shirked my writing responsibility a little bit in 2011 because I was EXHAUSTED, but I'ma try really hard this year.  Writing this is important to me, even if no one ever reads it, because it's a great way to document all the wonderful things I've done in this magnificent city.
  • Finally seeing a few New York staples I've somehow missed the past couple years.  Empire State Building Observation Deck, I'm talking to you.
  • A food project to be revealed soon that I'm pretty pumped about.  The rules need to be broken out and it needs a title, but RG and I will work on it and get back to you.
  • Taking more classes and checking out my creative side again which has been MIA for a while, aside from when Katie, Aubrey, and I made signs for the NY Marathon.  Nicole and I are taking a cupcake baking class (thanks Groupon!) next week AND we signed up for pottery classes.  I took pottery two years ago and I'm really excited to get started again.
A few weeks ago, Nicole and I took *another* class together, a BYOB painting class at Paint Along NYC.  We bought a deal somewhere online for $22 classes, but regular classes are $45.  It was AWESOME.  We were able to pick which painting we wanted to do on the online calendar and decided on a Monet-like waterlily one.

We got a bottle of red and made our way to the studio in the Flatiron District.  The instructor was great, giving us really easy step-by-step instructions like "paint your entire canvas dark blue...paint light blue circles here, here, and here...paint green circles here, here, and here".  The experience was really soothing, I forgot how it felt to have a paintbrush in my hand.

Even though we had a really good time, I actually didn't think my painting was that good.  I decided that I needed to make the reflections on the lilypads a little more subtle and I took the time to do so.  I liked the painting a lot better the next morning, and even more when I got back from work that day.  I think sometimes you have to take a step back to see what's really going on.  (Also, I wrote that sentence so that I could quote the old and amazing WB show Roswell).

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