Monday, September 29, 2008

And if you try to keep us down we're gonna come right back!

And come back they did, after 15 long years. Back to all the women who loved them in elementary school, like me. Back to pop radio, with infectious songs like "Summertime" and "Single." And back to their hometown, Boston.

In a dream come true, I got to see them! Yes, internet, I went to the New Kids on the Block concert at the TD Banknorth Garden on Friday night (Boston Herald article here). The sold-out crowd at the Garden was electric. You could feel the giddiness in the air. When the first opener, Colby O'Donis, came on stage, we cheered--it was finally starting! When second opener Natasha Bedingfield (who has a powerhouse of a voice, I realized) came on stage, we cheered louder. When New Kids on the Block's video intro started, we screamed (you can watch video of the beginning here and here). When the boys rose up to the stage on a platform, we SCREAMED. And that's how it was all evening: screaming, screaming, and more screaming, like the little girls we all were 20 years ago when we all thought we were going to marry a New Kid (my favorite was, and still is, Jordan). I was hoarse by the end of the night and had a sore throat all weekend. I didn't care.

The whole night was amazing. I feel like I experienced a little piece of history--the "boy[s] from the city" making their triumphant return to where it all started. I think they felt that way, too: Donnie was nearly speechless when he took a moment to talk to the crowd (here and here), and had to pause to collect himself. Joey got choked up, too. They sang and danced their hearts out all night, and seemed so proud and excited to share their music with their fans again. We were just as proud and excited to be able to share it with them.

Some highlights:
  • Danny breakdancing--boy's got skills, and hot tattooed arms (not shown in the video, though)!
  • Jordan performing "Baby I Believe In You" and his song "Give It To You" with his shirt unbuttoned and blowing like this--and yes, he still has those washboard abs. Oh. My. God. It is so hard to refrain from talking about how sexy he is in front of my husband (who is also very sexy, and does somewhat resemble Jordan). Video of the actual performance is here.
  • When they ran out into the crowd and performed on a turntable in the middle of the floor seats (video here and here).
  • Their encore--performing "Hangin' Tough" with a bit from "We Will Rock You" while Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics strutted around the stage carrying the NBA championship trophy (video here).

More on this tomorrow.

New Kids fans, feel free to commence screaming like little girls as you go watch all the lovely clips I linked. And if you went to one of the Boston concerts (or have been/are going to any of the other tour dates), how did you like it?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stuff I Like, Volume 1

So I know my last post was all about getting healthy and losing weight, and I am working on that (when Big Kitty's not using the Wii Fit balance board--he is also battling the bulge). Just ask my ab muscles--they're so sore that they complain every time I try to sit up in bed. I have to roll over onto my side to get up in the morning. I can't decide if this is a sign of how pathetically out of shape I am, or a testament to how hard I've been working.

But... I just had the most delicious vegan ice cream, and I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of experiencing it, so we're just not going to discuss my transgression. Consider it a public service--a sacrifice for the greater good of non-dairy ice cream eaters.

Jason and I had a field trip to Trader Joe's this evening, in search of an acceptable cruelty-free carpet cleaner for the omnipresent cat barf (the other day, Jacob projectile vomited all over the couch--he got the seat cushion, the back cushion, and the arm--it was an impressive fountain of puke, and that's why I need more cleaner). We failed on that task (I was searching specifically for Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Odor Removing Carpet Cleaner), but managed to find some other treasures, such as dried lychee fruit and boxed quinoa, that made the journey worth it. The pièce de résistance, though, was the Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip vegan ice cream. It tastes just like Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, with less fat, fewer calories, and no cholesterol--so you don't need to feel as guilty about eating it as you would regular dairy ice cream. Willpower fail. But strategic gluttony win!

I think I'll do a new sometimes-recurring feature on this blog: Stuff I Like. Mrs. Meyer's makes the list, of course, as do the following items I've been using and loving:
  • Alba Botanica Sea Algae Enzyme Facial Scrub and Coconut Milk Facial Wash: The scrub exfoliates without being too gritty or drying, and doesn't leave a weird film like some other natural face scrubs I've tried. The facial wash smells delicious and leaves my skin soft and fresh. It gets rid of oily spots without being drying--it doesn't have any soap in it. Confession: I struggled with acne until earlier this year. It was awful--nothing ever helped! I tried so many products--prescription and store-bought. I was even broken out at our wedding in December (luckily I was able to cover the worst of it with makeup). It was so humiliating to be 25 years old and have the same (and sometimes worse) skin problems that I had when I was 15. I got things under control with Retin A and a stronger birth control pill. I don't use the Retin A anymore--these face products keep everything balanced nicely. Try the Alba products out--they're not tested on animals, have all vegetarian ingredients, and are available at Target.

  • GapBody Stretch Cotton Capri Pants: Great for working out. They're form-fitting and stretchy, so they're good for yoga and the like, but don't shimmy down, dig in or cause muffin tops. They're made of material that's substantial enough to not become translucent when stretched over my also substantial ass, and it doesn't show cellulite like some spandex-y workout pants do.

  • Chanel Allure Sensuelle Eau de Parfum: It smells good. Intoxicatingly good. Worth dealing with the snooty perfume counter bitches good. Both my husband and my mother-in-law like it, so you know it has mass appeal.

So there you go. Agree with my likes? Like something else? Want to suggest something I might like? Leave a comment and let me know.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fatty Fat and the Wii Fit

Here I sit, eating meat on a stick* and watching a show about the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. One girl just got told she is too fat at 130-something pounds. If I weighed below 150, I would be elated! Today the scale momentarily flicked up to 200--a number I haven't seen since the end of college, when I was at my heaviest, around 205. I am disgusted with myself, of course. I've always been chubbier than my peers (though never the fattest kid in school), but I never set out to become such a heifer. Since meeting Jason in 2005, the weight has just snuck up on me.

This must, must, must change. If not for my vanity, then for my health. I've talked with my doctor about needing to lose some weight--I have high cholesterol; I take medication for it. She says it is genetic, not from my diet--she knows I'm vegan most of the time, and plant foods don't have any cholesterol. It's aggravated, of course, by the excess weight.

One way I'm going to combat all this flubber is with the Wii Fit Jason got me for my birthday. We hooked it up the other day. One of the things you have to do to set it up is to put in your height and real age, then it weighs you and makes you take a bizarre balance test in which you shift your weight back and forth ever so slightly while standing on the balance board--all this predicts your "Wii Fit age." I somehow missed the memo on what I was meant to do, and did so badly on the balance test that the Wii narrator person said something to the effect of "your balance is so bad that you probably have trouble walking without falling over." When it did my BMI, it ticked up and up and up the meter until it reached the red zone--"obese"--and then it announced, in a child-like, sing-songy voice, "ooobese!"

Yes, really. Because those physical fitness tests in elementary school where I couldn't do a single pull-up and had to just HANG there in front of my whole class were not humiliating enough, I get to have a machine with an eight-year-old's voice telling me I am "ooobese!" in front of my husband. It nearly gave me flashbacks of all that damn HANGING while boys with rat tails laughed at me in the background (it was the late eighties and early nineties, after all--lots of bad hair choices then).

It said my "Wii Fit age" was 37. Thirty-freaking-seven! I was so mad after that shit that I refused to do any more. I made Jason take the balance test while I pouted. He, of course, did fine; he apparently can walk about without falling over. And his "Wii Fit age" was 26. Mother effer.

Because I don't want to be a quitter, and I do need to get in shape, I am not giving up on the Wii Fit. I could just do without the "ooobese!" chirping--I KNOW I'm OBESE, already!

I retook the "Wii fit age" test tonight, and I scored a much more respectable "age"--24 (I'm 26). See? I do have good balance! I did, however, gain two pounds for no apparent reason. The Wii Fit said it's likely a day-to-day fluctuation, so I'm going to choose to believe that.

Ugh. Back to the balance board. I do need to work off my "fluctuation," after all.

* Have faith, Internet. Of course it's fake--it's Yves skewers.