Monday, July 28, 2008

JUST A SPOON FULL OF SUGAR

After seeing this ad on Craigslist, I have come to the conclusion that it is finally time to leave my job at Vh1 and pursue my life long dream of being a nanny to 5 pathetically spoiled kids from the Upper East Side. Life in the city is hard for kids these days, and what would a 19-year-old college freshman do if he didn't have someone to pick up his dry cleaning or manage his social calendar? I am 100% legal; I speak perfect English (I think), I'm skinny or "in shape" as they put it, and I have more than just "some college." Plus the 60-75 k ain't bad. Maybe this will be my opportunity to get that new iPhone I want, it surely would help me "interface" with the other assistants.


WANTED: Nanny/Family Assistant to start 2nd week in September (Upper East Side)

We're a family of ten. My husband and myself, our 5 children, 2 dogs, and cat. For as long as we've lived in the city we have been lucky to have the same nanny/family assistant. Originally starting out as my eldest son's baby nurse and staying with us for nearly 19 years.

I have had a hard time meeting people that have been right for the position. We've sought help from agencies and other nanny finding sites and have now moved here in search for some more dynamic candidates.

I feel that I must be up front, this job is a VERY much so a FULL TIME job with NO flexibility. Both my husband and self work full time in jobs where it is essential for us to work long hours (hedge fund and fashion industry).

I do need to be upfront when I say my children can be a bit difficult. This job is very nontraditional in the sense that my kids are older and still need someone to "parent" them 24/7. My oldest son will be starting his first year at Columbia in the fall and will not be around much, but, will probably still need support. Picking up his dry cleaning, if he needs anything for his apartment, scheduling doctor appointments, anything to help him and his daily life run smoothly.

The younger three, well, they're the one's you will have the most interaction with. They are 14 (son), 12 (daughter), and 9 (daughter). They are extremely particular and each have their own set of demands and little "isms" about them, but, I assure you they are entertaining, charming, and delightful most of the time.

Mostly impart to my children's ages the nanny will be expected to do some "family assistant" type jobs. This includes food shopping, light errand running, coordination of children's school and personal schedules in a way that both my husband and I can access, walking dogs, and interfacing with our assistants.

You should be: Younger and ambitious. This job is a lot of hours and not always easy for people that are not in shape to keep up with my kids.

MUST be 100% legal and able to speak PERFECT English. MUST be presentable/polished. MUST have SOME college. City savvy and Blackberry Accessible. HONEST. AND willing to have at least a 2 year contract.
Compensation will be: 18 days paid vacation. Half to be determined by you the rest by us. Health/Dental benefits (full, great plan) (after 90 days)

60-75 k DOE Paid over time at the rate of $60 an hour for any amount of time worked over 50 hours.

Option to live in our beautiful second apartment located on 84th between Park and Lex for a reduced rent.

To apply for this job please submit the following: "Resume" outlining your child care experience. A brief explanation of why you want to apply. My family and I will review these as they come in and will contact you with in 24 hours if we'd like to move you further along in the interview process. Please make the subject of your email- Nanny of 10 Position.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

VIVA LAS VEGAS

It's summer, and you know what that means... WEDDING SEASON! To celebrate my parents' 30th anniversary, we took a nice little family trip to sin city, because nothing says love and commitment like Las Vegas. During our time there, Momma and Papa Kaps headed on over to the Little White Wedding Chapel to have their vows renewed - at midnight. And oh how the mayhem ensued. Just take a look at their webpage and try to tell me that this place doesn't ooze sophistication and class. You know it's going to be good when you're driving down the street and one side is all wedding chapels and the other side is strip clubs and massage parlors. This place also gave its patrons the opportunity to have a drive through wedding, and I'm pretty sure at least one of the "minsters" was an ex-con. There were so many crazy things that words cannot do it justice, so I'll let the video speak for itself. It was a sentimental event for the entire family - oh, and Elvis was there too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

I'm not talking about bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens (You've had an extra pair this whole time?) I'm talking about my favorite youtube clips. We all have those times when we're at work and maybe feeling a little down, but thank god for youtube! Here are a few of the videos that I can watch over and over and will always, ALWAYS brighten my day. Or at least make me look like a fool when I laugh out loud at my desk.

UNNECESSARY CENSORSHIP

Being a Telecommunications major, I cannot tell you how many classes, and hours of my college career were spent talking about not only the FCC and censorship but also regulations dealing with children's programming. So it pleases me when I can see the two come together in such a hilarious way. And I love anything inappropriate.




BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA*

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this is very much a real trailer for a real movie. I have been following the press for this film very closely and was ecstatic to finally see the trailer for it when I went to see Wall-E the other week. It might be the dancing and signing dogs, it might have been the margarita's I had at dinner just before, but seeing this just make me burst out laughing, even more than seeing Pierce Brosnan sing in Mama-Mia! 50% Worrier, 50% Lover, 100% Chihuahua? This movie is going to be so bad that it'll make those horrid Rob Schneider movies look like Citizen Kane... but I'll probably go see it anyway.


* I had to look up how to spell "Chihuahua" because I had no clue. And have you ever tried to type this word? It is inappropriately difficult.

SHOWBIZ PIZZA BAND PERFOMRS "LOVE IN THIS CLUB"

When I was a kid, I loved going to Showbiz Pizza, that was what it was called before it got bought out by the evilness that is Chucky Cheese. I loved ski ball, whack-a-mole the ball pit, the whole nine yards. But by far the best part about Showbiz Pizza was the animatronic animal robot band that would play for you while you ate pizza and your parents drank beer. It's kind of like a poor man's country bear jamboree. If I ever get rich, I'm talking Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen rich, I will do exactly what this gentleman has done. I will purchase all of the robots, props, and set, and program the band to play my favorite songs in my basement.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE BATHROOM

There are many factors that make an office more enjoyable to work at. Having your favorite snacks in the vending machine. Unlimited amounts of soda to drink. Having a friendly and knowledgeable receptionist. But one thing that I think is very important is the location and placement of the bathrooms. I don't know who designed my office building, but they must have not put much thought into bathroom placement. Every time I what to go to the bathroom, I must set out on a long and arduous journey that takes me into parts unknown. The men's bathroom is 10 feet from my desk. To go to the woman's I must get up, walk across the floor to the reception area, exit the big, heavy glass doors and walk through the elevator area (which has a disco ball by the way). Then I must scan my ID card to open another big, heavy glass door, pass the stairs and the go through 2 more doors to get into the bathroom. I wouldn't mind it being far away if I didn't have to do so much work to get there. The doors are really heavy, and I have to bring my ID card so I don't get locked out. I also am sometimes forced to make small talk if there is someone waiting for the elevator. Then there is the seemingly growing tension between the receptionist and the rest of the employees, or I get sucked into some story she has about her family or kids, which I could not care less about. But that is another story for another day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

MYSTERIES OF THE DEEP SOUTH

Last Thursday was "one of those days" and on my way home from work, I found hope and inspiration from this flyer that was posted in my subway car. It seems pretty legit so I think I'm going to check it out.



If you cannot read it from the flyer, I will type it out for you here...

GUARANTEED RESULTS IN 24 HOURS

THIS SOUTHERN BORN Spiritualist who brings TO YOU the solutions to the mysteries of the DEEP SOUTH, seeks to help many thousands of people who have been CROSSED, HAVE SPELLS, CAN'T HOLD MONEY, WANT LUCK, WANT THEIR LOVED ONES BACK, WANT TO STOP NATURE PROBLEMS, or WANT TO GET 'RID OF STRANGE SICKNESS. If you are seeking a surefire woman to do for you the things that are needed or WISH TO GAIN FINANCIAL AID or PEACE, LOVE and PROSPERITY in the home, you need to see this woman of GOD today! SHE TELLS YOU ALL BEFORE YOU UTTER A WORD. SHE can bring the SPIRIT OF RELEASE and CONTROL your every affair and dealing. ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM ILLNESS OR DISEASE that YOU CANNOT CURE? There is a doctor of all doctors. This doctor is GOD. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE are amazed at the resulted gotten by TERESA.

WHEN YOUR CASE SEEMS HOPELESS, THERE IS A REMEDY FOR YOU. Then come to see TERESA as many others do from far and near. YOU'RE BOUND TO BE SATISFIED!!! SATISFACTION DOUBLY GUARANTEED. (One visit is all you need).

THERESA works her power to SATISFY each and everyone. She reveals to you all of the hidden secrets, evil eyes and lurking dangers that my harm you. If you really want something done about the matter, HERE IS THE WOMAN WHO WILL DO IT FOR YOU IN A HURRY. DON'T TELL HER, LET HER TELL YOU. See her in the morning. BE HAPPY AT NIGHT. THIS WOMAN DOES WHAT OTHERS CLAIM TO DO!!!!!!!

DON'T LET THE DISTANCE KEEP YOU AWAY

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NEW VH1 SHOW CANCELED FOR NOT BEING PATHETIC ENOUGH

Here was a lovely little article I found in The Onion... I'm so proud to work for such a fine and upstanding network.

New VH1 Show Canceled For Not Being Pathetic Enough
June 18, 2008
NEW YORK—In a press release Tuesday, Viacom executives announced their newest hour-long VH1 Celebreality program, Knight Life, with former Brady Bunch star Christopher Knight, has been canceled for failing to reach the wretched depths of the network's low standards. "Despite some really excellent footage of Christopher vomiting into his hot tub, Knight Life was just not pitiful enough to meet our audience's expectations," Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said of the show, which only featured three unsuccessful attempts to hit on strippers, two drunken brawls, and a single midget. "Unfortunately, the program lacked the petty and reprehensible acts that demean all humanity and make for good, compelling television." Dauman added that VH1 would consider bringing the show back if Knight were to become so distraught by the cancellation that he had to be hospitalized for an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WHAT I DO AT WORK

So I have been a little neglectful of my blog... ok a lot neglectful, but I promise to be better.


In case any of you would like to see what I do at work, take a look at these two promos for I LOVE THE NEW MILLENNIUM... you know like I LOVE THE 80's or I LOVE THE 90's but for the past 8 years. I did the casting for these two promos and I'm excited to share them with you all.


I Love the New Millennium: Bushed from Vinny Lopez on Vimeo.


I Love the New Millennium: Hobbit from Vinny Lopez on Vimeo.


Kick off your Ugg boots and put down your iPods, 'cause VH1 is bringing you the next big hit in their hugely popular I LOVE THE... series. That's right, it's I LOVE THE NEW MILLENNIUM! In fact, we love the 2000's so much we couldn't even wait for them to end. This eight-hour series will cover the first eight years of the new millennium (2000 -- 2007, duh) and we're not leaving any stone unturned. Join us as we travel back in time to an era when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were happily married and Britney Spears still had her S#!T together.

From "Thong Songs" to Big Fat Greek Weddings, "wardrobe malfunctions" to the XFL, it's all here, and our expert team of celebrities, musicians, actors and comedians are back to tackle every hard-hitting issue you can imagine.


Don't forget to set your DVR for to watch the show...

June 23rd-26th ONLY on VH1 Rated #1 in OMG!

Monday June 23rd 9:00 PM- 11:00 PM EST (*2000 and 2001*)
Tuesday June 24th 9:00 PM- 11:00 PM EST (*2002 and 2003*)
Wednesday June 25th 9:00 PM- 11:00 PM EST (*2004 and 2005*)
Thursday June 26th 9:00 PM- 11:00 PM EST (*2006 and 2007*)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BUT HOW DOES IT KNOW?

Every so often, an invention comes along that revolutionizes the way that we live our lives. Last weekend I invited one such invention into my home and I know now that my life will never be the same. On Saturday morning, there was a knock at the door, and a wonderful man, perhaps a saint or angel from heaven, brought me a magical box that records all of my TV shows. All I do is type in the name of a program that I like and it automatically gets put into the magic box, then I can watch it when ever I want! I can even fast forward through commercials or other parts of a program that I don’t care to watch, which is really quite amazing. Do you realize that it really only takes 4 minutes to watch an American Idol results show? The funny thing is that even when fast forwarding through commercials, I have found my self rewinding and choosing to actually watch select commercials, such as those oh so clever, apple vs. PC adds that everyone loves. I don’t know how the magic box works, and frankly I don’t care. As long as when I get home from a Thursday night happy hour and The Office is there, then I am a happy girl. This wonderful invention correlates directly with joke that has become some what of a Kapral family classic:

There was a conference in London where all of the greatest scientists in the world have met to discuss the greatest invention ever.

German scientist responds first saying, "That's easy; the automobile. It opened up society and changed our way of life. Offshoots such as the truck changed distribution, the development of cities, rural areas, and suburbs."

The American scientist says. "No, it was the telephone. It revolutionized communications, made anyone accessible to anyone else, anywhere in the world. It created the template for all future communications media, changed business, social interaction, and created entire industries."

The Polish scientist then says, "No. It’s the thermos."

The other two scientists are incredulous. "The thermos? How do you figure? All it does it keep hot things hot, and cold things cold!”

"Yeah, but how does it know?"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TOILET TALK

We complain about traveling all the time. Waiting in long lines to check in, delayed flights, having our carry on items ransacked and being forced to discard those little bottles of shampoo that I love so much. But after this guys story, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about flying again.

AIRLINE SAT ME ON CAN
$2M SUIT VS. JETBLUE

By DAREH GREGORIAN
May 13, 2008 -- A JetBlue pilot forced a Manhattan man to sit on the toilet for
three hours during a cross-country flight to free up his seat for a stewardess,
the flush-with-fury passenger charges in a $2 million lawsuit filed yesterday.

Gokhan Mutlu claims the experience made him feel like a first-class
loo-ser - and his Manhattan Supreme Court suit says that he suffered "emotional
and psychological trauma" and that the JetBlue crew "publicly . . . humiliated
and dishonored" him.

"In the middle of the flight, the pilot told me to
go to the bathroom and have a seat," Mutlu told The Post from his home in upper
Manhattan last night.

"I guess the flight was overbooked, and I didn't
want to make a big deal in front of the other passengers, so I just had a seat.
"I don't feel good. I was humiliated."

Mutlu says the can-finement
happened Feb. 23, when he was a standby passenger for a flight from San Diego to
New York.

He was told the flight was full, but a stewardess told him
that he could take her assigned seat and that she would sit in the "jump seat,"
said his lawyer, Zafer Akin.

Mutlu was issued a boarding pass and took
Seat 2E, but got a rude awakening as he dozed off about 90 minutes into the
red-eye flight, he claims.

The pilot called him to the front and
"advised the plaintiff that he would have to give his seat up" to the flight
attendant, the suit says.

The pilot told him the "flight attendant
wanted to be more comfortable and that the 'jump seat' was not comfortable for
her."

A stunned Mutlu asked whether that meant he was supposed to sit in
the jump seat for the rest of the five-hour flight, but the pilot told him that
would be against regulations, Akin said.

The pilot told him to "hang
out" in the bathroom," the suit says, adding the stewardess took Mutlu's seat,
"closed her eyes and pretended to sleep.

When Mutlu argued, the pilot
advised him that "this was his plane, under his command, and that [he] should be
grateful for being onboard," the suit says.

"The plaintiff walked to the
back of the plane, trying to hide and cover his face," and "stepped into the
bathroom, closed the door and locked it," the suit says.

Soon after, the
plane ran into turbulence. While other passengers were ordered to buckle up,
Mutlu was "sitting on a toilet stool with no seat belts," the suit claims.

"He was looking for things to hold on to," Akin said.

After
landing, the suit says, the pilot asked Mutlu "if everything was OK."

"The pilot said, 'I don't think you appreciate what I did for you.'
My client said, 'You locked me in the bathroom,' " Akin said.

"I brought
you home," the pilot countered.

Akin said his client would have been
happy to wait for a later flight, and probably wouldn't have sued had the crew
let him sit in the jump seat.

JetBlue said it doesn't comment on pending
litigation.

Friday, May 2, 2008

TEXTING YOUR WAY TO LOVE

We've all done it. We meet someone we're interested in at a bar and exchange numbers, but instead of being an adult and actually calling them to ask them out on a date, we start the ritual of text messaging. Here is a step by step how to guide for finding love over text message. Enjoy!


Monday, April 28, 2008

ULTIMATE SUMMER VACATION

The summer is quickly approaching and the time has come to start planning a summer vacation. Every Friday around 1:30, New Yorkers start their mass exodus to that glorious place known as The Hamptons. Sure The Hamptons are great with all of the ridiculously rude New York society members who feel “entitled” to rule the beaches, nightclubs, and polo matches. But I am looking for something more in my summer vacation. I need to go somewhere that will allow me to leave the hustle and bustle of a busy New York life behind. Somewhere that brings me back to simpler times where unanswered e-mails are not my top priority. It needs to be a place where I can indulge my passion for beeswax candle making, formal tea service, and my bitter hatred for the King. I am talking about Williamsburg. No not the hipster neighborhood in Brooklyn with skinny jeans, Chuck Taylors and $2 PBRs. I am talking about Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, the cornerstone of activity during the American Revolution. Have you seen the commercials? It looks like so much fun. They are not just preserving historical houses; they have created a “living museum!” Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a drum and fife band marching though the street? I know I do. Why would you ever want to go to The Hamptons when you could go to Williamsburg and witness the collapse of the British royal government? Sure, a lot of celebs frequent their Hamptons mansions during the summer months, but I’d much rather debate over the newly written Declaration of Independence with the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George and Martha Washington. Plus the fashions in Williamsburg are much more my taste. I have to say that I look pretty damn good in a petticoat and bodice. I'm also a sucker for a guy in a tri corner hat.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'M JUST SAYING...

I have a new blog that I am addicted too. Basically this is what I wish my blog could be, provided that I was funny enough. It’s called Not Hating, Just Saying. It’s written by three comedians who list different things that they hate. Things among this list include: Office One-Liners, People Who Run Marathons, Local News and my personal favorite, Hipsters…

HIPSTERS

I’m not hating, but hipsters suck - they are a waste of space. You guys are some of the biggest haters in your own right, and that’s why I hate you. Your whole goal in life is to hate on stuff that everyone else likes and then love stuff that everyone else hates. This isn’t just because you were born different and you just happen to like different stuff. This is because you were such a clown growing up that you were forced to find the shit that nobody else wants and call it your own.

Let’s say the world is like a big pack of wolves, which it basically is. You all would be the lowest dog on the hierarchy. You pick up the scraps after everyone is done with them already. The thing is you have been doing this shit for so long, that you are able to pretend that you like it! You guys take everyone’s trash and love it. Maybe you should be called dumpsters instead of hipsters.

Here is a perfect example: thrift store clothes. The stuff you are buying (overpriced, I might add) from a thrift store(or vintage) was shit that was hot 20 years ago, but you rationalize it by saying “it’s ironic.” You just picked up the scraps of some guy who is now 30 but wore that stuff when he was 17…oh wait you are 30 also. High school hipsters I get, but old hipsters? There ain’t shit hip about a 45 year-old in skinny jeans. Why don’t you just go to the kids you hated in high school's old houses and raid their childhood closets? That way you can wear the very clothes of those that were such “jerks” to you in high school. How is that shit for ironic?
There is one thing I have to give you guys credit for because this is truly one of the strangest phenomenons I’ve ever seen. It is your ability to infiltrate a neighborhood and plant the seed of a pretentious gentrification bomb. Now I believe - and I’ll have to check the hater records - but I believe you guys may have taken over as the top gentrifyers on earth. I guess that makes sense because no one really wants to be around you, so you go places where people will just ignore you if they can. As far as hipster, you are always left alone, no one wants to deal with you.

Case in point, hipsters open up a bar right in the middle of a historically Black or Hispanic neighborhood, yet the music, the beer, and the atmosphere are soooo shitty that not one person actually from that neighborhood wants to set foot in the establishment! How the fuck did you all do that? I know that the music of some asshole from Iceland no one has ever heard of and the scent of PBR is enough to keep most people away, but not one local!? People avoid you like the plague, I guess they don’t want any of your fake apathy to rub off on them.

Fake apathy? Yes, you know what I am talking about hipsters, so don’t even deny it. The type of apathy where you say stuff like “I don’t care man, it doesn’t even matter what I wear,” even though you actively seek out the lamest (ironic) shit that you can find so you can put yourself on display out in some sort of hipster establishment. I’m sure you don’t give a shit, even though your skinny jeans ran you like $170, and your nondescript hoody, which looks like it is cheap but it is actually from American Apparel so it ran you a little over $120. Yea,

it’s pretty clear you don’t give a shit.
Just like when your band plays in some shithole bar, you don’t care that only 8 people are there, because if there were any more people you would feel "too mainstream" anyway. Don’t you worry about being "too mainstream.” I’m pretty sure your concerts that consist of you with a laptop just full of animal noises and snare isn’t going to catch on anytime soon. I’m not hating hipsters, I’m just saying.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A TALE OF TWO PROMOS

Today has been an exciting day of promotions here in New York. We were introduced to new products from both Jamba Juice and Starbucks. Being a sucker for anything free, I attended both events, but had two very different experiences. Jamba Juice rolled out their new breakfast meals, and was offering free breakfast between the hours of 6am and 10am. I was so excited that I even left for work a little earlier than normal to insure that I would reach Jamba Juice before 10am. I arrived, and the place was packed. The people behind the counter looked crazed, shouting out orders and running all over the place. Everyone was having a great time though, they were playing Michael Jackson music and keeping it very upbeat; they were even counting down until the promotion was over. I chose to have a Peach Mango Granola Topper, and it was quite delicious and filling. It was basically a smoothie with mangos, peaches (obviously) bananas, soymilk and low-fat yogurt, then it was topped with the most delicious organic granola I have ever tasted. It just had this wonderful icy and crunchy texture and really felt energizing and healthy. I would definitely order it again.

My Starbucks experience, however, was nothing to write home about; I was very disappointed. At noon, Starbucks rolled out it’s new “Pikes Place Brew” which is supposed to change the world as we know it. Basically it’s just normal coffee that is going to be brewed fresh every 30mins, which in my opinion should be expected anyway if I’m going to pay 4 dollars a cup. CEO Howard Schultz has claimed that "It's the best of Starbucks," It will be freshly roasted and shipped directly to stores, hand-scooped, freshly ground and brewed in small batches. Baristas have been told to throw out any brew that hasn't been served within 30 minutes. We’ll be pouring out more coffee than most people serve.” Really? That sounds like a great business plan. I have also been reading this Starbucks Employee Gossip Blog that is just hilarious. Some of the things that these people write are just, for a lack of better word, amazing. I am truly amazed at how brainwashed some people can get. Just read this one barista’s post, I love how she thinks that Starbucks is actually trying to save the world….

“This is the finest coffee that we can make. ALL of this coffee is in the store within 2 weeks of its roasting date, and is fresh everyday, delivered from our new roasting plant, intended for your satisfaction. Its a mild coffee and is made fresh every 30 minutes, instead of every hour. Starbucks spent alot of money on this. I just would like to share with you, that we are not just about baristas, and frapps. Its about the farmers as well. We help their children eat, and the farmers take great joy into working with us. I encourage all of you on Tuesday to go to your local store and try the new blend. And when you try it, think of the positives instead of just assuming the coffee sucks. To us, coffee is a goal, and a dream. If anything, work together. We have gone astray with the values that we used to have, so hang in there as we transform that company back to what it was inteded. Quality service, and great tasting, fresh, coffee.”


I think I’ll skip the commentary and let that stand on it’s own. So I went over there at noon and no one was in the place, no one looked excited, and I didn’t see them giving out any free cups of coffee. So I left and went back to the office. This is the coffee that is supposed to change the world, the least they could do is put up a banner outside. Where coffee is concerned, I’ll stick with McDonald’s.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NO CUTS NO BUTTS NO COCONUTS

Yesterday when I was politely waiting to purchase my ten items or less from the grocery store, a women blatantly cut in front of me. This was not a two lines merging cut, or "hey I for got one item, let me go grab it really quick." She just blatantly cut in front of me. Let me set the scene….


INT: FOOD EMPORIUM AT 49TH ST. AND 8TH AVE. EVENING

We are in the basement of a New York City grocery store. The grocery store is nicer than the typical bodega and appears very corporate and clean. The shoppers are a diverse group containing people of all income levels, ethnicities and ages. Carrying their items in WIRE BASKETS and hilariously tiny SHOPPING CARTS they try to maneuver their way down the tiny isles. Each isle can only comfortable fit one person at a time.

We see KIKI, she is tall, thin, very beautiful, and has short brown hair. She is dressed in casual yet trendy clothes. She is tired from working hard all day and appears as though she is going through the motions. In her basket she has: ASPARAGUS, EGGS, STEAK, BUTTER, POTATOES, LEMON JUICE, and a SIX PACK OF PBR. KIKI appears to be having a little trouble carrying her basket because it is heavy, she is awkwardly leaning to the side to balance the weight. She comes around the corner from the produce department and sees the TEN ITEMS OR LESS LINE.

LAWANDA is the cashier behind the counter and she is checking someone out. There is no one else in line. KIKI walks up to the small checkout counter and places here items on the conveyor belt. A large older WOMAN in her 60's walks up in front if KIKI and places TWO CARTONS OF ORANGE JUICE on the conveyor belt in front of KIKI's items.

KIKI
(Confused, looking around like she doesn't know what is going on)
Umm… what? Uhh..
-
LAWANDA
(to the woman)
Excuse me, I think this young women was in front of you.
-
WOMAN
(in a Mexican accent)
No, I was here first
-
LAWANDA
(still finishing up the transaction from the person before kiki)
No you weren’t. I saw that she was first and then you came up and put your items in front of her.
-
KIKI
(filled with rage, but not wanting to cause a scene)
It's fine, whatever.
-
LAWANDA
(to the women)
You know she was before you.
-
WOMEN
(in a very rude tone)
No I was here, I just wasn't standing in the line, so don't talk about things you don't know about.
-
KIKI
You weren’t in the line.
-
WOMEN
(to KIKI and LAWANDA)
What is this, an army where you have to stand in a straight line? I was here, I was standing over there.

LAWANDA takes the TWO CARTONS OF ORANGE JUICE and rings them up. The WOMEN takes 3 minutes counting out her cash. Pays and then leaves.

- THE END -

So that’s how it happened, I didn’t think people still tried to do stuff like that and get away with it. I am all about getting to be the first for things. I have no qualms about pushing my way to the front of the subway platform to insure that I will get in the car. But I would never just deliberately just cut in front of someone in an organized line. If you would like to learn more about the art of line cutting and what is and is not acceptable, they spell it all out for you in the Cutting (in line) Wikipedia article.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CRAIG STEVES:

My fellow New Yorkers, I encourage you all to check out the YouTube video diary of Craig Stevens. He is an adorable kid originally from Murfreesboro TN and a recent graduate of Tidewater College in VA. He has come to the big city to pursue his dreams of being a Broadway performer. Through Craig’s 6 video blogs, he has chronicled what his life has been like since moving to New York, finding a place to live, a job and the general thrills of the big city. He also tells us of his failed auditions, most embarrassingly when he tried out for the part of little Simba in The Lion King. He's also brought along his girlfriend Janine, but it’s a long distance relationship. He lives in "a part of Manhattan called Inwood" and she lives out near Coney Island. According to Hop Stop, that’s about a 1 hour 40 minute commute, on a good day. While he is auditioning for musicals, he pays rent by working at Broadway Babies (a store that sells kid size Broadway musical apparel), and his girlfriend works the souvenir stand at The Little Mermaid. Although Craig is the kind of person that most New Yorkers loathe, (his hobbies include “hanging out in Time Square” and his favorite restaurant is TGI Friday’s) there is still something so sweet an innocent about him. It reminds all of us New Yorkers that originally we did come to this city with some sort of grand plan, naively hoping to fulfill our dreams. I’m not sure whether to laugh at him or cry for him because there is something so hilarious yet ultimately tragic about it. But let’s be honest, I’m laughing and you should too. If you watch his blog I’m sure you will become a big Craig Stevens fan too. I have posted the first video in his series after the jump. But I really encourage you to visit his You Tube profile and check out all 6 of his videos. Also please read his profile; it's really a good laugh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

IT'S RAINING MCCAIN

If you are still undecided about who you're going to back this election season, I encourage you to watch this very professional music video. I was unsure of who I was going to vote for, but after seeing this, I am sold on McCain. That Obama girl doesn't have anything compared to these gals. I love the fact that one of them has pants that disappear on the greenscreen. Also, please take note that it is literally raining McCain during the final chorus.

Monday, March 24, 2008

OPENING DAY DECISION

The Indiana basketball season came to an embarrassing and depressing end on Friday night. But with every end, comes a new beginning because opening day is right around the corner. I am a born and bred CWS fan and that will never change, but as long as I have made the commitment to become a New Yorker, I feel like I must make the commitment to a New York team. The question now arises to what team will I pledge my allegiance? I can think of reasons to be a fan of each team, and I’m really at a deadlock here. I refuse to be one of those people who cheer for both teams. Growing up in Chicago, we have the Sox and the Cubs, and I know that no true Chicagoan honestly cheers for both teams. A choice must be made, and the same for anyone who calls themselves a New Yorker. When there are two baseball teams in a city, the team you cheer for becomes part of your identity; it classifies you, is a marker of the kind of person you are. So here is my list for each case and I would appreciate you all to cast your vote to help me make this most important decision.

YANKEES:

The Yankees are in the American League; same as my White Sox. Therefore I should cheer for the team in the same league (just like I cheer for other teams in the Big Ten).

Because the Yankees are in the American League, I have seen them play against the White Sox many times when I lived in Chicago. So I feel like I already know the team pretty well.

The Yankees get so much more coverage in New York, and they are “America’s Team.”

I have already been to 3 Yankees games since moving to New York, and I haven’t been to any Mets games.

I already own a Yankees cap so I wouldn’t need to buy a new one (a dumb reason I know)

METS:

Because the Yankees are in the American League (same as the White Sox) I should not cheer for them because they hurt my team if we ever make it to the playoffs… therefore I should be a Mets fan.

Shea Stadium is in Queens, the same borough in which I live.

The Mets are like the White Sox of New York. They are the less popular team and it’s not as ‘easy’ to be a Mets fan/go to Mets games.

Doesn’t everyone want to see the big guy (aka the Yankees) go down? It’s so much more fun to root for the underdog.

Two words: Mr. Met

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SHAKING THINGS UP

March means two things to me: The NCAA Basketball Tournament and St. Patrick’s Day. As an Indiana alumna I sure do love me a good tourney, but St. Patrick ’s Day holds a special place in my heart. Growing up in Chicago, I always felt left out because I was one of the only non Irish kids in my elementary school, but none of that mattered when St. Patty’s day rolled around. We would all wear green; my mom would make delicious corned beef and cabbage for dinner; and during recess a mischievous little leprechaun would come and mess up our class room. But there has been one St. Patrick’s Day tradition that has been long forgotten about. The Shamrock Shake. In case you are not aware of this glorious tradition, the Shamrock Shake is a “seasonal dessert” sold at McDonald’s to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Basically it’s your standard vanilla shake, flavored with mint extract and dyed green, and it normally shows up around mid February. This was one of my favorite treats during the season. It was always something to look forward to and just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. Having something only offered for a limited time, just makes it all that more delicious. So today I headed over to my local McDonald’s restaurant (50th and Broadway) to get one of these tasty treats. However when I got up to the front of the line, I learned that they do not sell them! I was furious. The name of the restaurant is McDonald’s, clearly it’s an Irish restaurant, and just the thought that they would have done away with this tradition makes me sick. I returned to the office, and upon further investigation I came to learn that starting in the late 1990’s, McDonald’s started to phase out the Shamrock Shake. It can only be found in selected restaurants around the nation. Furthermore, the Shamrock Shake is not being soled in ANY of the five boroughs. On the McDonald’s web page they say that it is only offered in Ireland. Apparently it is up to the individual restaurant to decide if they want to sell them, and not mandated from the corporate office. Perhaps I will take a little trip to Jersey and see if my “luck” will be better there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

HOW MANY FIVE-YEAR OLDS COULD YOU TAKE IN A FIGHT?

I encourage all of you to take this wonderful quiz to find out how many five-year olds you could take in a fight. Now I personally had never seen a swarm of five-year olds as a threat to my safety, but I guess next time I see that kindergarten fieldtrip on the subway I will feel more secure knowing that I can take down 20 of them. I thought I would only be able to take 10 kids, but I guess I’m more ruthless than I originally thought; a little eye-gouging never hurt anyone.

Monday, March 10, 2008

THE WRITING ON THE WALL

On Saturday night I went to a great spot to play ping pong and shuffle board with some friends. While there, I found some inspiration in an unlikely place; the graffiti on the bathroom wall.





Saturday, March 8, 2008

ONE MILLION PENNIES

In regards to my previous post about the penny, here is an interesting article about a man who tries to get rid of 1 million pennies.... it's pretty funny and worth the read.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS


In this election season, there are many important issues that our country faces. Universal healthcare, immigration, Iraq, the deteriorating economy, the mortgage crisis and environmental issues are some of the main issues. But there has been one issue that has been overlooked, and I will not choose a candidate until I know his/her stance on this most pressing issue. I want to know if the candidates are pro or anti penny. That’s right. For those of you who don’t know, there have been two bills introduced into The Senate trying to eliminate the penny. The most recent is known as The Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation Act (someone worked real hard at fitting a bill to the acronym COIN). What the bill would essentially do is force the rounding off of all cash transactions to the nearest 5 cents, thus making the penny coin useless for everyday transactions. When looking at the facts, there are a lot of good reasons to do this, but there are also a lot of reasons why the penny should be kept around. Here are the basic arguments for both sides of the case. I’ll report, you decide, like that whole FoxNEWS thing…

ANTI-PENNY

  • PRODUCTION AT A LOSS: Zinc is the penny's main ingredient - which at current prices brings the cost of making the coin to 1.4 cents each. At current prices, eliminating Penny production would save the US Mint $44 million. This is not a hard one to figure out.
  • TIME IS MONEY: Using the Penny slows down business transactions. How many times have you been at the store waiting for the cashier to methodically count out those useless pennies? It’s ridiculous and my ever decreasing patience cannot stand it. It has been calculated that nation wide, the cost of time wasted by counting pennies adds up to $1 billion annually. Using a different calculation, economist Robert Whaples estimates a $300 million annual loss.
  • NO HIGHER PRICES: Although this really does not make cents to me (pun intended), I have read that Robert Whaples, an economics professor at Wake Forest University, has calculated that rounding up to the nearest 5¢ would have virtually no impact. He actually claims that consumers would gain a tiny amount-- about one-fortieth of a cent per transaction. I was never the best at math, but I’ll take his word for it.
  • PENNIES ARE USELESS! I can’t use them in the vending machine, toll booths or anywhere else. Most people don’t use pennies to pay at all; they simply use larger denominations and get pennies in return. Personally, I cannot even be bothered to spend the time and effort to bend down and pick a penny up off of the street (and living in New York, who would want to pick anything up off the street). Please raise your hand if you have ever thrown away a penny (my hand is raised). The only thing pennies do are get stuck in your vacuum cleaner. Also, is it just me or has anyone else ever realized that the cent sign (¢) isn’t even on the keyboard?
  • INFLATION: Now this is interesting… Did you know that there has never been a coin in circulation in the US worth as little as the penny is worth today? Due to inflation, a nickel is currently worth approximately what a penny was worth in 1972. If you are bored at work you can check out this really cool inflation calculator.

PRO-PENNY

  • HIGHER PRICES: Rounding to the nickel would effectively raise prices. Raymond Lombra, an economics professor at Penn State, estimates that rounding would force an annual $600 million rounding tax on consumers (this amounts to about $2.00 per person per year)
  • TARGETS LOWER CLASS AND CHARITIES: You all remember in elementary school, how you would collect pennies in a coffee can and see which classroom could collect the most. Well those days will be over. And what would a college night out at the bars be without those annoying IUDMers begging for coins?
  • DEPENDENCE ON COPPER: The penny primarily made of zinc, and its removal will require more nickels. The nickel is 75% copper and copper is less abundant than zinc. The cost to produce a nickel is also more than its worth, about 5.5¢, so that really doesn’t get us anywhere.
  • COOPERATION: Retailers have not yet taken a lead in abandoning the penny and until they do so, the Penny is still necessary.
  • SENTIMENT: To me, this is really the biggest reason to keep the penny. The cent was one of the first coins authorized to be minted by the American government, and the first to be put into production. The penny is "an integral part of the American experience" and I personally cannot imagine a world without pennies. Eliminating the penny would be like eliminating the stamp. Is the penny soon to be one of those things we give our grandkids when they come to visit? My grandma gives me 2$ bills. What about lucky pennies? The thought of having a jar of nickels on my desk just does not bring the same smile to my face.

So those are the facts. I encourage you to do more research and form your own opinion. I myself have not made a firm conclusion, but I would like to see the penny stick around, I guess it’s the romantic in me. I can’t imagine the American people going for it. It would be like trying to switch us over to the metric system. Lincoln has had it hard enough. First he got offed by Booth and now this… well at least there is always the 5 dollar bill.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

THE PET PEEVES OF A STRAPHANGER

The other day I had an experience that filled me with shock and disappointment. For the first time in my New York life, I, Kiki Kapral, was not able to get on the subway because there were too many people and simply did not fit. Let it be known that I have always been able to be that last person to sneak on, standing on my tiptoes, and grasping my bag against my body so that the door will not close on it. On this particular day, I came down the stairs in Time Square as a part of my daily commute to transfer to the uptown 1. My first thought was that the train had broken down somewhere along the line because there were more commuters standing on the platform than normal. I was elated when I actually saw the light shining down the track, indicating that the train was approaching; I jockeyed my way towards the platform and positioned myself in front of one of the doors. The doors opened and a few people got off, and the mass of straphangers pushed their way onto the car. I did my best to scramble to the front but I couldn’t get in! I was flabbergasted. I stepped back onto the platform in amazement. Then as the doors closed and the train pulled away, a feeling of rage came over me as I saw through the window of the car that no one had moved into the middle of the car. I don’t understand why this is such a hard concept to understand. If there are people trying to get into the subway, move in. This experience got me thinking about other things that I hate about the subway. And it’s not the subway itself; it’s the people that ride the subway. So besides not moving into the car, here are some things that I just do not tolerate on the subway…
  • Clipping your nails
  • Eating fried chicken or other messy foods
  • Breast-feeding
Yes, I have seen all of these things. Seeing any of these things truly tests my gag reflex. It is quite disgusting. The subway can probably be most closely compared to a public bathroom of some sorts (and sometimes used as such). But this doesn’t have to be the case. We are not animals; we are humans, and we should act as such.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PERFECT COMPANION

So as some of you know, or maybe don’t know, I have been seriously thinking about adopting a dog. I know it's a big responsibility, I know it costs a lot of money, I KNOW so you all can stop reminding me, I've thought about it all and have made my decision and that's final! So the past few weeks I have been doing considerable research trying to find a good match for me. I have spent a lot of time looking at animal shelters in the New York area and have come to a conclusion. Finding a suitable dog is much like trying to find a suitable man. Don't worry, this is not going to be an "all men are dogs" rant. But there are a lot of similarities in my search for a perfect pet and my search for the perfect man. In my search for a pet, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Size of the animal, breed, Pedigree, Age, Maintenance (do they shed, or need to be taken to the groomer), Personality, can they easily be trained, and most importantly if they are housebroken or not. And then, at least in my experience, just when you find the dog that has everything you've been looking for, you call up the shelter and find out that, of course, he has already been adopted. So for now, the search continues for the perfect companion, both human and canine. But lets face it, a dog is way more fun than a boyfriend.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

TOUCHING THE THIRD RAIL

Yesterday a great friend made her move to the big city and officially became a New Yorker. However, it seems to me that simply moving in New York does not automatically make one a “New Yorker” per say. There are certain rules and codes of conduct that come along with this prestigious title. These include things such as walking as fast as possible even though you don’t have anywhere to go; knowing that Time Square is a disgusting hell hole that must be avoided at all costs; and perhaps most importantly somehow being able to avoid eye contact with all 200 people crammed on your subway car. So my friend and I took at trip to the Upper East Side for dinner last night, and while waiting for the train I mentioned something about the 3rd rail. She did not believe me when I informed her that if one touches said rail, one would instantly be vaporized into a toasty pile of ash. Apparently thinking of something so hilariously gruesome gave me a little smirk on my face so I didn’t appear to be all that sincere. She volunteered to prove my wrong. However, crawling down onto the tracks with all of the mud, rats and trash only to inevitably be burnt to a crisp did not seem like a good idea to me. So I advised against it. Having her here reminds me of when I first came to the city and how magical and perplexing it seemed to me. One must take all of these little encounters, and bits of information and fit them together like pieces of a puzzle, until it reviles the final picture that is life New York City.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"NOW YOUR ASS HAS BEEN IN THE SAME PLACE AS LINDSEY LOHAN'S"

Last night, Vh1 had a going away party for our fearless leader Michael Hirschorn. Of course in true Hirschorn style he picked quite possibly the hottest place in New York, the Beatrice Inn down in the West Village. Normally filled with ultra chic, artsy fartsy hipsters, and celebs, I am sure that the bartenders and ridiculously skinny waitresses (One with quite possibly the worst nose job I have ever seen, even worse than MJ) were a little taken aback by the casual and generally "un-cool" Vh1ers. We all agreed that this will probably be the only time that we would ever be able to go to a place like this, and we only were there because someone rented it out. Miss-matched furniture and a low ceiling of about 6 foot 4 inches gave the place the feel of a depressing New York apartment. Maybe that’s why it’s such a draw for Celebs, for a few hours they can experience what us commoners have to deal with all of the time. Apparently the place is frequented by all of the bestest celebrities; one of my bosses was excited to tell me that "Heath Ledger was there the night before he died." She used it in a way that was meant to complement the Beatrice Inn, as if it was some badge of honor. In the small VIP lounge there was a hilarious black pleader armchair that I just had to try out. I went to sit down for a second and then promptly returned to my group of co-workers when one of them joked "Now your ass has been in the same place as Lindsey Lohan’s" Around 11pm they opened the bar up to the "public," and myself and what co-workers were still left must have stuck out like a soar thumb. I’m not quite sure how to describe the crowd, but I did see a girl with a leopard fur coat and matching pillbox hat. In New York, being stopped by a "dress code" means that you are either under-dress or uninvited. At the Beatrice Inn the dress code states that suits and ties are required, but (surprise) almost no one I saw inside was wearing either (oh, the ironies of New York nightlife).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

THE SKY IS FALLING

Sometimes real life is so much more exciting than the movies. Sure we all enjoy the movie Armageddon, you know, that one about the blue-collar deep-core drillers that are sent into space to nuke a Texas size asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth? Well as we speak we have a situation that is much more perilous and not even Bruce Willis can save us. US 193, a US Spy satellite launched in December 1996, lost power and its central computer, leaving it uncontrollable. Now this 5,000-pound spacecraft is tumbling towards earth and the kicker is that we can’t even figure out where the damn thing is going to hit. BUT FEAR NOT! In one of the most audacious moves that the US government has made in years, we are actually going to try to use our missile defense system to shoot it down. We have never used our system, but I figure this is a pretty good excuse for a trial run. However, it does seam like something that a ten year old boy who has enough Play Station experience could easily take care of. On the news today they were interviewing a Psychologist about the paranoia and mass hysteria that this kind of thing will cause. Then they interviewed some New Yorkers to see how they felt about this terrifying threat to mankind. Not surprisingly no one was really too worried about it. Not because our cowboy of a president ordered the satellite shot down, but because there is only a 1 in 2 billion chance of being hit by it. Just to put that into perspective, odds of myself being canonized are 1 in 20 million, so I don’t think I have anything to worry about. However, if this brilliant scheme does fail and we are all doomed, I’m just going to pop a bottle of Champaign sit on the roof and drink with my friends because “I don’t want to miss a thing.”