Author Archives: manchelster

About manchelster

I'm a recent college graduate trying to make my way in the world. I watch as much TV as a TV critic, except I don't get paid to write about it. Yet.

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

Almost Famous is my absolute favorite movie of all time. There are movies that are better made, more interesting plot, better acting, better directing, etc. etc., but despite all of that, no movie has ever inspired me like Almost Famous did.

My first experience with Almost Famous was in 2002. I was 12. It was the first night my parents let me stay home alone. They got me a pizza and let me rent a movie, and then they went out. I don’t think anyone knew what 7th-grade-Allie was getting into. I can 1000% say that this night, and this movie, changed my life. I always had a particular interest in music and things like that– going to camp my favorite part of packing was making mix tapes– but I didn’t know people could love music and have a career based on their love for music. And that’s one of the most important lessons I learned from Almost Famous— you can find a career in something that you love to do. This movie inspired me to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

When I was 12 I didn’t understand everything that was going on in the movie– all the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But I understood the core part of the movie, the part of the movie that really spoke to me. William Miller’s life could be complete shit but he still wanted to write about music. I don’t want to write about music. I love music. And I love writing. But the passion I have for an over-encompassing umbrella of entertainment news and popular culture would make a music journalism career difficult. But Almost Famous didn’t make me want to be a music journalist, it made me want to find something I love and do it. Just find a career and pursue it and love it. And I guess that’s what I’m doing.

To this day I can watch Almost Famous and still be just as inspired by it. I watch William Miller grow up, I watch fights between bands, I watch hearts breaking and hearts mending, and I am still so moved by what is happening on screen that I can’t wait to find something I love as much as William Miller loves writing about music.

So thank you, Cameron Crowe, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, etc. for being in the movie that changed my life.

“Never take it seriously, you never get hurt. Never get hurt, you can always have fun. And if you ever get lonely, you can go to the record store and visit your friends.”-Penny Lane, Almost Famous


No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future

I’m graduating in just over 100 days. I am FREAKING. OUT.

Actually, “FREAKING. OUT.” doesn’t even explain the myriad of emotions that I am feeling. About graduation. About moving out of my house in East Lansing. About potentially having to live back at home with my parents. About not knowing what I am doing with my future. About turning 22. [Trivial, maybe, but still it’s another year older.] About practically everything school and future and life related. At any point in time if someone comes up and asks me how I am, one of the words I immediately go to is “arghuuuhhh.” Yeah. Figure that one out.

There are few things that can keep me sane. Wanna know what one of them isn’t? Most of my friends [even though I love all of them dearly]. Yeah, you. Probably. Because I am graduating and there is a chance you are also and we are probably freaking out together. And if you aren’t graduating that means I am probably leaving you and chances are I don’t want to do that either! You know what else isn’t helping? Season Two of The O.C. [Actually, now I’m onto Season Three. NOT. MUCH. BETTER.] Why does that show freak me out? No reason. No good reason, at least. But it reminds me of things I want that I don’t have, and it reminds me of people I want to work with that I’m not working with.

Things I want that I don’t have- Adam Brody
People I want to work with- Adam Brody. But more realistically Josh Shwartz. But really. Adam Brody.

I often feel the need to apologize for how pathetic some of my dreams are. Like, my dream of marrying Adam Brody. I apologize.

I am crazy. And the countdown I have leading up to graduation and real life is NOT. HELPING.

HALP.

However, I have learned some things this past year that can kind of help me take this graduation thing with a bit of a kick in my step. I now have goals that go deeper than “meet famous people” and “be best friends with Chelsea Handler.” While those are two of my goals still, I have other work-related and future-related dreams I hope to accomplish. I have actually learned INTERESTING things in classes, which I find rare. I think I have finally found something in my major that pertains to what I want to do without making me sound incredibly vain and shallow.

And what I’ve found most interesting as of late is new media and media marketing. And keeping old media alive. Because watching a television show ON the television is now considered old media. I think there is some sort of beauty in watching a television show ON the television. And well, it may be selfish, but I need television. How else am I going to expand my emotional journey through life? I can’t do that on my own, I need Meredith Grey guiding me. And how to fall in love, I couldn’t do that with Elliot from Scrubs, or Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother. What if I fall in love with someone of the undead variety–Buffy the Vampire Slayer will show me the way.

[COMPLETE TANGENT..kind of…: I realize how fake television shows are. Especially that last little quip about falling in love with a vampire. I hate vampires. Twilight has ruined vampires. But none the less, the love story in Buffy is one of the greatest and most heartbreaking I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot. Practically all I ever do is see. And watch. So trust me when I say this, Buffy knows how to kick ass and kick my heart into my chest so deep I’m not sure it will ever come back.

That was a Buffy tangent. The original tangent started off by me telling you that I realize that television romances are fake. And that Meredith Grey can’t really guide me through life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want her to. And I realize that Seth Cohen is not a real person, he was a character written by Josh Schwartz [love] portrayed by Adam Brody [love +], but that doesn’t mean that I can’t find certain characteristics of his attractive in real people. It shouldn’t be IMPOSSIBLE to find a scrawny indie Jewish kid with a good taste in music, movies, books, and an ever expanding knowledge of pop culture. Is that too much to ask for? I hope not. [It is, I’m crazy. I’m aware. Again. Apologies.]

Oh. Eff. I have no idea where this tangent started. Or where I am going to end it. I think it started with me saying I know that there is a difference between real life and the characters in my favorite shows. I think it is going to end with me saying that I would rather not realize this difference and take characteristics from my favorite TV characters and have them show up in real life. Even more apologies for the crazy.] /End Tangent. I think.

Again. I apologize for my patheticness and craziness. And I digress.

Television is changing. And while I can accept that, I would like to work with it and change with it. I guess I can give up my commercial breaks but not for some crappy product placement advertising. It needs to be well thought out and something that fits in with the characterization and the plot of the show. Or like how they do it on 30 Rock, and they just mock product placement. That is also acceptable.

BUT ANYWAY. I feel I have digressed. I’m not sure. I have not blogged in a while and have lost all blogging etiquette it seems and I do not want to scroll up to see my original point. If I even had one. Apologies.

I guess the main take aways and the reason I started this post are the following:
1) I AM GRADUATING SOON. THE EFF?
2) I have more concrete goals than “meet famous people” and I find that comforting
3) I can FINALLY kind of give half of an explanation when people ask me what my plans after graduation are
4) I’m completely aware that I’m crazy. Now you are, too.
5) Adam Brody is the perfect man. Or Seth Cohen. They are interchangeable to me. [reread number 4, please]
6) I’m not the greatest at real life because I take life lessons and life advice from television shows. Once more, apologies.

That seems to sum it all up. over 1100 words all for those 6 points. Who knows who read this. I won’t read this. That’s a lie. I’m narcissistic and will TOTALLY read this. Not only today, but sometime in the future when I go through all my old blog posts, I’ll read this to see how much or how little I’ve grown. Normally how little. But one can hope.

I don’t know how to appropriately sign off of this rambling I’m doing.

Enjoy the day, I probably love you.


Nothing Matters When You’re Dancing

I’m out of New York and back in East Lansing. It’s good to be back, the 2 weeks I spent at home were rough, but I miss New York so much.

Being back in Michigan for the past 2.5 weeks has made this whole summer seem like some faint memory. I have all these great memories of New York and of my internship and everything, but it just kind of seems like I was never there, like I wasn’t living on my own in New York for three months. It seems like a dream or something.

I have a poster of a Manhattan map right above my desk, reminding me to work hard so I can go back. I can see L.E.S. and kind of pin-point where I lived, and I can definitely pin-point where I worked, and some of my favorite places. Iiiiiiiii miss it. I miss just being able to say I lived in New York, and worked in New York, and walked around New York, and all that jazz.

Anyway. My room is a huge mess. All I have set up is my desk (not organized, just put together), closet, and book shelf– except I haven’t organized my books yet. I have a bunch of shit on my floor and a lot of other posters to put up and my stuff to organize and what not…but the room feels pretty alright. Once I put more effort into organizing it I think it will be good.

I can’t believe this is my senior year. I’m about 50% excited and 50% freaking out. That percentage changes daily, though. Sometimes it’s more of a 60/40 thing, and sometimes it’s like a 10/90 thing. I have a feeling as graduation moves closer (THE FUCK, SCHOOL HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET) I’m going to be freaking out way more, especially if I haven’t found a job yet. I just want to road trip to California and hang out with famous people.

Aw sheeeeeeeeeeeesh, ya’ll.


Moving to New York

I can’t believe in one week I will be back in Michigan. I can’t believe it, and I don’t want to believe it, so until I am off the plane and back on Mitten-ground, I refuse to believe it.

This summer has gone by far too quickly. I got here on May 15, and before I knew it, the month of June had come and gone. And then July happened way too fast. And now it’s August?! AUGUST?!! How did that happen? Summer flew by, and I want it back. I want to go back to May 15 and move into my dorm for the first time and see Times Square for the first time and walk around mid-town and L.E.S. and walk through crowds in China Town and get gelato in Little Italy and be overcome with the disgusting scent of trash and heat that I’ve grown oh so accustomed to.

These past few weeks have been a lot of fun. I don’t remember what I last wrote about, but I think it’s been about a month since I’ve blogged. In the past month I’ve been to the Siren Festival, New Amsterdam Market, Brooklyn Flea, Central Park Summer Stage (comedy), Central Park Summer Stage (music), Second City Theater, and so many other places.

Siren Festival was a free music festival on Coney Island, and it was a lot of fun (and also a lot of heat- there was a heat advisory that day but it did not stop anyone from having a blast). I saw Screaming Females, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Matt and Kim. It was awesome.

At Central Park Summer Stage I saw the Daily Show correspondents do some stand up, followed by Lewis Black. It was absolutely hilarious. I also saw a free concert there with Basia Bulat, TuNeYaRdS, and St. Vincent. All of them were incredible and so much fun and so adorable.

This past Friday I saw my first New York play (off broadway, but still fantastic). It was Trust, with Zach Braff and Sutton Foster. It. Was. Fantastic. And not just because I am unhealthily obsessed with Zach Braff, it was a really great play. It was very funny, a little twisted, a good amount of dark humor, and the music they used was great (it had Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Grizzly Bear songs!) After I ended up getting to meet Zach Braff which has probably become one of the best moments of this summer, if not my life. He was incredibly nice and down to earth and willing to sign autographs and write notes and take as many pictures as you wanted. It was fantastic.

Ah! I’ve done so much, and I feel like there is still so much to do! Leaving New York will definitely be a heartbreaking day, I’ll miss this summer so much. But I’m excited to get come home and see my friends and family and my dog. And I do miss East Lansing. But it just seems like the past 12 weeks have gone by so quickly, I just wish this last week would slow down so I can savor every last bit of New York living that I can get.


New York I Love You

Every weekend I’m in this fantastic city I love it more and more. I can’t imagine coming home in 5 weeks. I don’t even want to think about it.

This week has been exceptionally nice. It’s been sunny and nice out everyday, and this weekend has been really hot, but there is not one single cloud in the sky and it makes being outside so enjoyable (and sweaty. But mostly enjoyable).

On Friday I sat outside at Bryant Park and read for a few hours, and I also got sprinkled on, which was really refreshing. But that night I went out for a friends birthday dinner, and we went to this cool Asian-themed restaurant called SEA in Williamsburg, and after that we went to the South Side Sea Port where PUMA has set up a lot of things revolving around the World Cup (woooo) including a fun dance party– complete with foosball and ping pong. The ping pong table was hard to get to, but the group of friends I was with pretty much controlled foosball all night when we weren’t taking up the majority of the dance floor.

On Saturday the Brooklyn Museum had Target First Saturdays, which is just some cool free stuff that Target sponsors at the Brooklyn Museum. We walked around and looked at the Andy Warhol exhibit which was very interesting, it was more of his abstract stuff and less of his pop-art, so it was a side to his art that you don’t hear about or see very often. I really enjoyed it. After that we went outside to the parking lot and saw an Art Battle, which was were 4 painters painted for 15 minutes and we got to vote for whoever had the best one. The theme was American Idols (or something like that) so one girl did Woody Allen (which was really cool but it looked like she didn’t finish), someone did some Indian (also really cool), someone did Madonna/Lady Gaga (hard to tell, but her fingers were in her mouth!), and then the last guy had a really cool painting and then he put some afro-tastic guy on it (I have no idea who the person was) but it was still cool. It was very interesting to watch.

After the Art Battle they turned the parking lot into an epic dance party. I don’t think I can explain how many people were in this parking lot. It looked like people waiting at the main stage for Lollapalooza. It. Was. Awesome. And epic. We got right in there and busted some moves. They were playing like 80’s reggae and pop music and rap and stuff, it was a lot of fun. Then we came back into Manhattan and went to a few bars on my street, which was super convenient for me, dancing some more, and called it a night.

Sunday was the 4th of July, and I went over to Bushwick to watch the fire works. We had a nice spread of food and we did some grilling, and when it was dark out we went onto the roof and could see fireworks in every direction we looked. It was literally 360 degrees of fireworks, very cool. We hung out on the roof for the rest of the night and it was fun.

Now I am waiting to head back to Williamsburg to go see Beirut! Ahhhh I can’t wait. I love Beirut! I’m very excited!

Anyway. Like I said, I, sadly, only have 5 weeks left and still there is so much to do! I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend! lovelovelove


Fairy Tale of New York

I can’t believe I have already been in New York a month. Time is seriously flying by, it seems like each week goes by faster than the last, and the weekends just zip on by also. This week/weekend has been exciting and tiring. Instead of having Friday off of work, I had Thursday off, and took that day to explore everything I wanted to see in Central Park. I ended up wandering around, constantly being lost, for about 3.5 hours. But! On the bright side, I did see everything on my list I wanted to see. I saw the carousal that Holden talks about in Catcher in the Rye, I saw the boathouse, multiple bridges, Strawberry Fields, the Imagine sign and where John Lennon lived/was also shot (sad face), the Belvedere Castle, the Jackie O. Reservoir, the Alice in Wonderland statue, the zoo! It took a long time but it was fun, I’m glad I got to see everything I wanted to see so now when I go back to Central Park I can just pick a spot to sit and read.

After wandering around the park all day, I came home for a little bit, then met up with some friends for dinner in the village and then we went to Park Slope for a Frontier Ruckus concert. The concert was at Southpaw, which is a pretty small bar/venue area, and it was mostly full of Michiganders because the band is from Michigan, and they went to MSU (wut up!) All of their lyrics are riddled with different Michigan references, its awesome. It was a really great show and a very fun night, except it ended much later than expected and I didn’t end up getting home until 2am and I had to wake up at 7:30 on Friday to go to work. Sooo, I was really tired at work, but it was well worth it.

Friday I worked until 6 and after went to Grand Central Station to try to catch a free Band of Horses concert, but of course by the time I got there it was full, so I hung around outside for a while trying to listen, but I couldn’t hear too well so I left. Huge bummer, I would have loved to see them. Then I met up with my friend and we walked around the East Village, hung out on the roof of her apartment, and went and got Peruvian food– it was verrrrry yummy.

Then Saturday came! I woke up at like 8:30 because I wanted to go buy $10 Beirut tickets, and they were only available at the box office, but of course when I got there at 9 no one was there, so I ended up heading out to Williamsburg and walking around there and sitting by the water for a while before getting back in the line for tickets and sitting outside in the scorching heat for 2 hours waiting for the box office to open. However, it was all worth it because my friends and I got $10 Beirut tickets for July 5 and I am super excited! After getting tickets we went to The Lodge for lunch and got really delicious sandwiches, and it was a really cool restaurant, it was all wooden and they used jars for glasses and I really dug it.

After lunch I met up with more friends and walked around Mid-town a little, picked up tickets to see Zach Braff in an off-broadway production of “Trust,” and I ended up buying 2 pairs of sunglasses for 10 bucks. I’m very happy about that because my sunglasses that I brought with me broke within my first couple weeks here :(. Walked around for a few hours and just enjoyed the weather. I also went to the New York Public Library and it was absolutely beautiful…and REALLLLLLY quiet. Like, creepy quiet. But they had some really nice architecture and rooms and stuff, so that was cool.

Today I went on an NYC Candy Tour and it was delicious! We went to like 6 or 7 different candy stops around the city and ended in Brooklyn. Each place was awesome and had something really cool to offer. It took about 3 hours and it was a lot of fun. Afterwords I went to Madame Tussauds, which is the wax museum, and it was a lot of fun. Besides kicking it with a bunch of wax celebrities, there was this really cool Spongebob Squarepants 4D film– which was 3D but it also enlightened other senses. The chairs shook, we got spritzed with water, there were bubbles, things brushed our feet– it was really cool. And startling. But mostly awesome.

Anyway. I can’t believe I only have another 7 weeks here. It seems like a lot, but I have a feeling time will keep moving faster. I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I’ll be home in less than 2 months and then I’ll be moving back to EL and starting my senior year of college. Oooh well.

ANYWAY. As always, I still really miss errybody. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Love and stuff!


Talkin’ New York

Oops. I guess I haven’t blogged in a while. My bad!

Since my last post, I’ve been to the Empire State Building, a few bars and a few restaurants, a few friends apartments, and many little shops. The Empire State Building was pretty sweet, just to go all the way to the top and look out at the city from that view was pretty amazing. Also, I got to think about Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meeting at the top in “Sleepless in Seattle” and Chuck and Blair rekindling (and then rebreaking up) in the season finale of “Gossip Girl,” so that was cool.

Later that weekend I also went to Brooklyn for my first time and had a “Welcome to NYC” brunch at my friend Laura’s apartment. It was delicious and fun and I met a bunch of people from MSU/ U of M who have moved to New York in the past few years and who are just in NY for this summer for an internship like me.  Brooklyn was pretty cool, rather industrial looking. I want to go back and explore some more, I was in Bushwick and I want to go back and go to Williamsburg and Prospect Park and other places like that. I live right near the Williamsburg bridge so I think one night I’ll walk across, it’s supposed to be a spectacular view.

I made a list of things I want to do in NY and I’ll get to crossing them off. These things include different museums (The Met, Guggenheim, the museum of natural history, the wax museum), different touristy things (the carousel in Central Park and the zoo and stuff), the Serendipity restaurant from the John Cusack movie (“Serendipity”) and also! I found the crossroads of the house that was used for “The Royal Tenenbaums” so I’ll definitely have to go there.

Even though I’ve almost been here a month, everything here still seems so new to me. The walking and the street shopping and the culture, it’s just so much busier and livelier and more exciting than anything else I’ve ever experienced, and I love it!

Next weekend between watching world cup games I’m going to knock a museum or two off my list and definitely do some more sight seeing and Central Park wandering! I’ve got so much to see and only 2 more months left. Eep!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer. I wish my other friends abroad would blog more (AHEM, Fima, Mindy, Trista!!!!!!)

Time to get some rest before cheering on the USA tomorrow!!! Wooooo! (I love FIFA!) G’night!