Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An Open Letter to Netflix | The One Where You Took Away All The Jokes

 Dear Netflix,

I am writing this with a sad, gaping hole in my heart (but still keep in mind that I’mmmm breezy) and even as I type these words, I am filled with the worry that I am being too greedy. But alas, there are two types of people in this world: People who do evil (you) and people who watch evil being done and do nothing (not me anymore since I’m writing this).

When you announced that "Friends" was going to be on Netflix, I basically flew out of my barcalounger and handed Chandler a lamp from the table. You see, Chandler is my dog. I named him that for reasons that I plainly do not need to spell out for you. However, if I have to explain the sentence before about the chair and the lamp as I was drunk with excitement, I fear you who put this on air did so without the level of expertise that someone in your position warrants.

 Sure, we all have the full series of Friends on DVD. That’s a given. And I’m fairly certain those who don’t, are not the target market you had in mind when you decided to close the best television deal of all time: Fusing the world’s most beloved show with everyone’s secret desire to remain horizontal for hours on end on the weeknights & weekends. Being able to glide through episodes and bounce around from season to season has been what I can only imagine Heaven is like. Without accidentally exercising, I can watch Monica introduce herself as Richard’s twinkie to her Mom, witness Rachel have trouble seeing her baby, feel for Chandler as he desperately tries to guess which sister, hope that Ross one day WILL BE AVENGED, visit Joey (and his hand twin) in Vegas and be happy for Phoebe when her Mom comes to visit her as a cat. I CAN DO ALL OF THAT IN ONE SITTING AND I’LL NEVER THANK YOU ENOUGH.

 So, it is with sadness that I pose the following question: WHERE ARE ALL THE JOKES!?!? Why have you cut out lines from every episode? Where are all the punchlines I’m mouthing out as the scenes progress? Why did Joey not hand Phoebe non-glass glasses with handles & olive oil? Was there a particular reason that Monica stopped at serious and didn’t try to be funny by dancing & saying “A guy from Ralph Lauren called you got a second interview!”. Was there anything particularly offensive about the way pregnant Rachel asked the couple at the coffee shop if she was making them uncomfortable?

^My wedding day with my dog, Chandler. I made a lot of jokes about Chandler's vest that day. Netflix Execs: Would you even get any of them?

 You didn’t release this show to new fans, and you knew that going in. You knew exactly who we were when you announced that on January 1st (National Worldwide day of hangovers & TV binge-watching) the entire series would be released for our consumption. You fed the masses. You basically promised homemade candy to all the neighbors. You threw a bone to us screaming fans who you (and I) both know, will watch that show over & over & over again until the guy outside our window starts singing “MOOOOORNNNINNNNG’SSSS HERE!”… So why did you treat us like we wouldn’t notice the bevy of missing jokes. Did you think we were all smelly cats (It’s not our faults smelly cats, it’s not our faults!)? After all, the relationship between a network & its viewers is a love based on giving and receiving (as well as having and sharing).

Unfortunately, like Chandler finally admits to Joey, I don’t think this was your big break. I think you have a little more work to do to get there, but I think your big break is coming. It’s as if you are on rollerskates with a blonde wig serving James Beans- so close to the perfect job, but not quite there yet. Consider this letter the big push you needed to roll into something better.

So Netflix, grab the team together, whistle while you work and change the fact that you forgot to proofread.

I’m sure someone at Netflix with excellent compuper skills can quickly remedy this problem. Otherwise, you should drop the front and just call yourself TBS. Because I hate to break it to you: Severed episodes of ‘Friends’ have already been available for years.



The Cobras
(Do you get that at least? If not, I quit, I quit! Or you should.)

PS: Now I understand that you’re probably going to want to read a letter from one of the people who did not yell at you and storm out and I think that’s a big mistake and here’s why: I made a huge fool of myself posting this online- that takes courage. When I thought you guys thought that we’d blindly accept this chopped-up show, I spoke out- that shows integrity. And I was not afraid to stand up and divulge just how much I watch this series- that shows courage. Okay, now I know I already said courage but still- you gotta have courage. And finally, when I thought you were making a massacre out of this art, I shouted ‘NO MORE!’ and I was not litigious. So there you go: You got courage, you got integrity, you got courage again and not litigious.
PPS: Please write me back ASAP:
The Cobras
15 Yemen Road
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the speed of time

We, as a society, really need to come together and work for 4/10 work weeks. You know, getting rid of the whole '8 hours for work, 8 hours for play, 8 hours for rest' schedule that runs our entire lives because it's truly a farce. My 8 hours off of work are usually designated not for 'play' but for exercising, getting to and/or from work, cleaning my house, cooking my meals, getting ready... etc. etc. There's just not enough time for everything! I would soo love working a 10-hour day, 4 times a week. I just wish we as a United people, came to this conclusion.
^Saturday night baby shower prepping

I say this because this weekend was busy, so very busy! And as great as it was, it left me with noooo time to take care of anything else until it was Monday morning again and work and responsibility were slapping me in the face. Literally, because Chandler associates my alarm with a morning walk now and starts slapping his paw on my face bright and early. And this Monday morning I was STILL sick from a bug I got this weekend. Oy, Coughy & Tired would have been my names in Snow White in that moment (and right now, my name would clearly be "Whiney").
^Friday night was spent watching movies & continuing party prep

Illness aside, my Sister's baby shower went great and I'm planning to have pictures of the whole thing up on Thursday or Friday. After months of work and a weekend of designing, shopping, decorating and organizing for its Sunday arrival, I was really happy with the way it turned out. I must say the internet has made these things quite the breeze.
^These designs will all be explained soon. A British themed shower for a half-British Nephew comin' on board.
So anyway, back at the normal work week vibe and trying to cure this tickle in my throat so my colleagues don't hate me as I cough to the beat of 'Stayin' Alive' for eight hours. Perhaps in this instance, it's good we don't have ten hour work days.
Friday, February 20, 2015

Snowless Getaways

Snow. So much snow!

I'm clearly not talking about my neck of the woods since we've been SOL in that department. For instance, I drove past my favorite ski resort a few weekends ago only to see a bunch of brown dirt down the main run. What in the heck? If Mother Nature was a peacekeeper she'd bundle up some of that unwanted snow over on the east coast and deliver it to us westerners who look forward to skiing all year! It really bums me out. Not to mention, I would adore all of that snow you all have right outside my front door... I truly would. But alas, it's not meant to be.

What can I say? I just love a really cold winter. And so even though we didn't have the usual chilliness a couple weekends ago in Central Oregon, I still loved the annual trip to a city that shines during the winter months:
 ^Keep your friends close. Keep cabin-owning friends closer.
 ^Thankfully it's just people obsessed with their cats that get the bad rap, because I know I've reached an unhealthy level of compassion for this little one.

^Brewery, outdoor cold weather, college buddies, dog... can't complain.
^And here's a nice depiction of the winter we've been having. #WhyIsAllTheSnowEast
^Chandler & Bowser: Two Titans of 90s Pop Culture
^10 Barrel Brewery in Bend, Oregon. A delightful way to spend a Saturday.

^T-Shirts in January.
^Having him at the driving range was not the best plan. Tons of moving balls all over that he can't access... so that was fun.
^Our buddies & their adorable Puggle below.
^The outdoor patio at the brewery is riddled with dogs, Chandler made an equally-sized friend in this one.

^Cabin relaxation.
^At the driving range trying this out. Spoiler alert: I am awful (as if you couldn't tell by the way I dressed to go there).
^After getting way too rowdy for this crowd with that other puppy, someone was in time-out from the ground for a little bit. I see Jay really minds the added weight.
^Cabins: Where dreams come true.

Happy Weekending, all!! I'm throwing my Sister's baby shower on Sunday so it's gonna be a busy one for me. :) Gotta usher that nephew into this world properly.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Be Better Than The Gap

My husband doesn't like to spend money on things. He just plain doesn't. And I mean 'things' as in its truest definition: Inanimate, material objects. He does, however, like to spend his money on experiences. Jay is down to splurge on a dope food truck concoction or to throw some extra money at the airline in order to start a trip in first class and he is the first one to sit us down so we can plan a vacation, even though that always means we're spending money. To him, doing something or going somewhere are reasons to make a dent in what you work for and I love that quality in him.

Except for the fact that I'm ready for an update in his wardrobe. He dresses well enough and he truly does have some great pieces and always looks splendid at formal events. But, on the casual days, he subscribes to the policy of 'wear whatever you see first'. And since he looks so d*mn good dressed-up, I'd love to see it happen a little more regularly. Just would love a little less loose, baby-blue button-ups and a little more slim-fit, rich colored shirts.
^Can we just do this scene this weekend? | VIA
And herein is the issue, Jay loves this idea but would much rather spend his money elsewhere as well as likens shopping to his eyes being gouged out like he's in a "Game of Thrones" episode. But every now and again you gotta treat yo'self to some attire and I'd say being in your thirties with a new wife is a grand, ol' excuse to do so.

Here's a few type of looks I'm gonna try to pitch to him over the next couple months and I'm hoping he will see the light ...
^I LOVE this entire look. | VIA
^All four above VIA
Though I do think there's such a fine line in men's fashion between suave sophistication & 'Whoooa, Nelly... you tried way too hard'. So we'll have to be on the lookout for those styles as we go.

Wish me luck and send any tips my way!
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

La Mia Famiglia

Our weeknight evenings are scarily choreographed. Most nights I arrive home first and deal with the jumpiest, most excited dog. Then Jay either takes Chandler running or heads to the gym and I will join sometimes if I haven't done my usual lunchtime workout. On the nights I stay home, I usually then take the dog on a walk, get my nightly shower in, pack our lunches for the next day and do some laundry. At which point, Jay will return, shower himself then make our dinner for the night which is always followed by a huge kitchen clean-up, little television and then bed. Oy. Sometimes I feel like a wild animal, we just are living to live! Work, Sleep Eat, Repeat. Where's the fun in that?

Well, the fun does come as we actually sit and eat the meal and then embark on the classic workers' lazy time at the end of a long day: Couch + TV + Blanket. For instance tonight after an amazing taco salad for dinner by Jay we watched the usual enthralling & simultaneously depressing episode of 'Breaking Bad' (No spoilers- we're almost done!) over hot tea. However, tonight was a treat because immediately after, we switched over to PBS's "The Italian Americans" and nestled in to learn a bit more about part of my history (well Jay cast his attention to Reddit instead but I'd like to think it was something we shared together as we sat silently on the couch not interacting).
^In Verona, Italy in 2013 with my cousin, Luigi

As the story unfolded under the narrative of Stanley Tucci, I loved seeing all of the old world images of hard-working Italian immigrants, forging ahead and making their home in this new land. Their sacrifice in moving here was rooted in promise of a better tomorrow yet I know it came with immense hardship, poverty & daily struggles to work and keep a home/family together. I couldn't help but think about the fact that any person I was looking at could just as well have been MY Italian-American family, who came here under the exact same circumstance.
^My Italian Nonna "Nana", looking as beautiful as ever!

I think a lot of your family history gets lost on you when you're a little kid. Any news about where you came from has to be delivered under a two-minute marketing presentation or else you are out and on to the next toy or visual stimulant. However, as you age- it all comes to actually mean something and becomes such a large part of who you are and the legacy you want to leave in the wake of those before you.

And nothing can quickly display that better than the below.
^I spent many days "talking" with Luigi in Italy. It was incredible.
 This is Luigi. He is my Nonna's First Cousin and he still lives in Verona, Italy where I met him in 2013. He is spritely, vivacious, funny, kind, warm, loud & talks with his hands like you wouldn't believe.

And might I also add, he speaks no English. And I speak no Italian. Yet here we are, talking- can you tell? Talking with eyes, talking with hands, talking with words in their own way. Talking. To my Italian family member. In Italy. With no shared words.

Reflecting on that made for a nice change of pace on an otherwise normal night. I guess work/eat/sleep/repeat isn't so bad of a pattern. After all, it's a privilege bestowed on you due to the sacrifice of family. The act alone carries generations of lineage and creates a barrage of stories to share centered on the included triumphs & pitfalls.

And these shared experiences far surpass the need for a shared language.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I think your home airport is generally a pretty special place. Like most of my fellow Americans (so politico), I have flown my whole life starting from when I was a little girl. My family especially flew to the east coast (where my Mom is from) and the Midwest (where my Dad is from) numerous times a year. From the vantage point of a 5 or 6 year old, a day of flying to those locations was a long, exhausting, hands at my side, small bout of h*ll.  As I deboarded the plane with groggy eyes and my pink backpack flapping away behind me, I specifically always remember how happy I was to see the first official sign of home.

This carpet.
 Over the last few years, this odd patterned, kitschy, weird print/color has gained its own little following. You may or may not have seen numerous pictures of people's feet at the airport on Instagram with the hashtag #pdxcarpet alongside it. It has become its own little visiting destination. And I totally understand why. Because apparently it wasn't just me who felt comforted by this (horrifically) ugly carpet and knew that they were home.
 Well, unfortunately to us Natives: It now has an expiration date. They are removing the beloved design on the left (below), with an even uglier design on the right (below). I mean, what??! Clearly we have an affinity for odd carpet at the airport but forest green (vs the teal of the original) and that 80s design? Ugh, I don't get why they can't just duplicate and keep it the traditionally bad design that we all adore.

 Anyway, the announcement came a few weeks ago that they were officially starting to tear up the carpet. I felt a wee bit sad that I wouldn't see it again as I truly have loved it forever. So, because we had a workout planned that Saturday adjacent to the airport, we stopped in and went to say our goodbyes...
... only to find out that it will take them through Thanksgiving to change out all 13 acres of it. So we have some more time to embrace it before it goes away, oooops. Oh well, it gave us a chance to wander the airport with no stress of getting to a flight (when does that happen?) and throw some money at all the local businesses who have sold-out on the carpet for profit.

^Purchased that local brew of course.
^I have had those shoes since high school and I have worn than no more than 7 times, I swear. I can't believe they would ever get into a post. Odds are so low!
^iPhone captures of that majesticness.
 So, happily we'll have more time to soak it all in before it's gone forever. Which makes me a happier camper. Sidenote: Of course all national coverage of this is now declaring that we're all so 'Portlandia' and quirky & weird and 'omg classic Portland freaks...'. Um, no. This genuinely means something to people from here. Well either that or I'm just as weird as the rest of the city & don't notice it anymore. But I prefer to fight for the reputation of Portland and loudly proclaim that we aren't made up entirely of hipsters & clowns. Can't some normal people just love an airport carpet anymoreeee?!?

However, I do love our airport besides its flooring. It's so clean & the entering breezeway (below) just makes me appreciate the structural gifts of mankind.

Catch ya later, carpet.