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Lookalikes: Nick Jonas & Vinny Guadagnino

I can't pinpoint exactly what the similarity is, but I think it may be something in their eyes. Or, this is just my way of trying to justify why I end each episode of Jersey Shore with a crush on Vinny.

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5 Men I Would Trust To Save My Life

Disclaimer: This list was compiled based on fictional characters these men have portrayed over the years, not their real-life personalities. Should you run into any of these fellas on the street in reality, I cannot vouch for their life-saving capabilities. 

1. Mark Wahlberg

This seems like a no-brainer really, but I'll explain. First, he's not bad to look at. If I need saving, I'm obviously in a crisis situation, and nothing will calm my anxiety faster than the sight of a good-looking action hero who's come to rescue me. More importantly, he seems to know a lot of useful information. You may remember that in Shooter, he waltzed into a convenience store with a gunshot wound, gathered a strange set of supplies, and voila!--performed minor surgery on himself so that he could keep running from the government. Sure, there are lots of action stars who know useful information, but Mark Wahlberg has the added bonus of knowing these things without throwing them in your face.

Let me elaborate. Will Smith is a perfect example of the opposite of Mark Wahlberg, and the kind of personality I don't want with me if I'm being chased/assassinated/hunted down. Yeah, he may be strong and well-versed in being a cinematic badass, but he also always makes time for a lot of sarcastic comments. I don't have time to hear that kind of squawking if I'm about to die. I need someone to work through that shit in their head, and then tell me what we're going to do. There's only room for one person to be freaking out. 

2. Matt Damon

While he wasn't my first choice, it seems like a smart idea to have Matt Damon around if I'm in danger. Based on his character in the Bourne movies, this is the kind of guy who would do a great job of getting me out of a conspiracy situation. He doesn't trust anyone, so he won't get us involved with "the wrong kind of people". He also seems to be a quick thinker, and resourceful--remember that scene in Bourne Supremacy where he beats a guy with a textbook? Love that. As long as I can keep up with him, I'll be in good hands. 

3. Dexter Morgan

Yes, I know he's not a real person. But if he were, I'd love to have him on my side during tough times. Why? Well, obviously I don't want him as an enemy. Though I'd love to see him in his kill outfit, I really don't want to be on the receiving end of his dark passenger. If we're on the same team though, he would be endlessly valuable. Should someone end up dead (fingers crossed it won't be me) during whatever debacle I've gotten myself into, he clearly has a lot of knowledge surrounding the disposal of bodies. He also has access to police department databases, should we need to gather information on whatever people are after me in this scenario. Dex also has a real hatred for people who think they're above good ol' lady justice, which means that whoever messes with me will be instantly taken care of. 

4. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leo may work better as an alternate to a main life-saver, but he deserves to be on this list. If given the choice, I would tag him in if I find myself in some kind of life-threatening mindfuck. Judging from Inception, he seems to be adept at understanding a lot of very vague information, and I trust that should I ever wind up in some deep, deep dreamland murder scenario, he will get me out. Plus, he's proven time and again that he likes to try to do what's right. Assuming that I don't deserve to die, he should have no problem taking my side. And lastly, should I ever find myself with him in the freezing Atlantic, I know that he will let me float on the last piece of wood that exists while he freezes in the water. (However, unlike Kate Winslet, I would at least offer to share the piece of wood rather than hog it all for myself.)

5. Albus Dumbledore

This one only applies if I should find myself in a life-threatening magical quandary, but you never know what could happen, right? On the off chance that it does, there is no one who will know how to help me more than this man right here. He's powerful and knowledgeable, and even if I don't trust his directions in the moment, I'm sure I will understand their value in the end. The only downside to this choice is that he may get in one of his moods and will want to start philosophizing about good and evil, and how Harry Potter was The Chosen One and blah, blah, blah. Somehow, I'll have to break it to him that I don't have time for chit-chat. Just apparate me to safe place, teach me a protection enchantment, and I'll be on my way. 

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Rant/Rave: The Devil's Double

Today, I embarked on an adventure to a lovely air conditioned theater on the UWS, and settled into watch The Devil's Double. If I'm being totally honest, I have been intrigued for weeks with this movie, largely because Dominic Cooper is incredibly attractive in the role of Latif Yahia (yet not in any way attractive as Uday Hussein). In fact, the first time I saw the trailer for this movie, I walked away from it feeling attracted to Dominic Cooper, and not attracted to the poor sap who signed on to play Saddam Hussein's son. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were the same person. 

Fast forwarding to the present day, I have now seen the movie's trailer countless times, and was looking forward to see how this whole story played out, especially since it's based on a true story. Unfortunately, actually watching the film was not as rewarding as I had hoped. 

For starters, it was often awkward, and made me feel like I should've read Latif Yahia's memoir before I walked into the theater. I can only imagine that people who agree to see the Harry Potter films without first reading the books feel the same way. The story makes sense, but it feels like you're missing out on something. It was as if the minds behind The Devil's Double were rushing to make sure they fit every last piece of information in, and what ensued was a series of forced relationships and strangely truncated scenes. When the main love interest for example, Sarrab (played by Ludivine Sagnier), appears out of nowhere, you're expected to experience some kind of emotional connection between she and Latif after nothing more than a few stolen glances. 

There were also some moments when I had to turn away from what was happening onscreen. I like to pride myself on having a strong stomach and an indifference for violence in movies, but today my limit was undoubtedly tested. Scenes involving torture, senseless murder, and at one point a knife incident that resulted in a man's intestines spilling out pushed me to the brink of what I could tolerate watching. To think that it's based in reality only makes it worse. 

To Dominic Cooper's credit, it was always clear who you were looking at onscreen. When playing Uday, he had a maniacal look in his eyes, and a strange spring in his step that can only come from a life of entitlement. When playing Latif, he was stone-faced, seemingly looking down on all he was surrounded by while acting as Uday's body double. 

When the credits finally rolled after a semi-intense conclusion, I felt conflicted. I was fascinated by the film, but also somewhat disappointed. Yes, I was grateful for the time that I had been given to ogle Dominic Cooper, but largely I felt like there was an inner circle to the movie that I hadn't been invited to. Although I was allowed to see plans (and people) be executed, I never felt fully informed on how these plans were coming together, so when they were carried out, I had no investment in their success.

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To my fellow New Yorkers:

I try not to let you get to me. When you rub up against me on the subway, I let it slide. Maybe I'll give you a passive aggressive dirty look once you have your back turned, but that's where it ends. When you walk into me on the sidewalk as if I have suddenly become invisible, I brush it off. When you block my path in an attempt to suck a monetary donation out of me, I pretend like I don't see you. But today, you overdid it with the stupidity and the inconsiderate attitude. 

First, in the form of a twenty-something asshat, you darted out into heavy traffic despite a DON'T WALK sign, and then you had the nerve to yell, "Watch out, asshole!" when a cab almost hit you. Despite numerous people yelling back at you for being an idiot, you continued to waltz through the intersection in your 5-inch heels at a mind-numbingly slow pace. Sadly, I had my fingers crossed for some kind of hit-and-run that involved you and an angry driver, but I would've also settled for you tripping in your heels and eating the pavement. I was highly disappointed when neither happened. 

Not to worry, you reared your ugly head numerous times on my trek through the UWS today, usually in the form of extremely large groups of people hogging the sidewalk. Is it now a custom to wander around with all of your aunts/uncles/cousins/neighbors/acquaintances in tow? Maybe I missed that memo, I'm not sure. I appreciate your commitment to family, I really do, but when I'm forced to walk in the street to get around you because you are fascinated by something shiny that caught your eye, my appreciation starts to dwindle. It truly is a mystery to me how the slowest people always walk in the biggest packs. And always, ALWAYS in the middle of the sidewalk, as if to say, "Hey you, behind me--slow down. You're moving through life too fast, and I'm here to police the sidewalk speed limit. So just take a chill pill, and enjoy being late to wherever you're headed, because I was raised to believe that I am the only person who exists in this world."

Later on, as I tried to enjoy a nice afternoon movie, you were there, two seats down from me, texting on your phone. I am touched that the first time this happened during the previews, you tried to shield the blinding light from your phone's screen, thus giving the impression that this would not be happening again. Was I foolish to think that you had taken your phone out to shut off the ringer? Yes. Yes I was. Because halfway through the movie, I began to think that the makers of The Devil's Double had some kind of advertising deal with AOL, due to the fact that I kept hearing that god forsaken "you've got mail!" sound byte over and over again, mixed in with your highly annoying ringtone. I seriously doubt that anyone as stupid as you is that popular. And although you kept ignoring your phone calls, eventually, why didn't you just turn your phone on vibrate? Were you trying to prove to the rest of us in the theater that you do indeed have friends, and that you're so popular that you can't even go to a show without being hounded by the hoards of people who are vying for your attention?

Just when I thought I was rid of you, you returned--not once, but twice--in the women's bathroom. First, while I was standing in line and already at my wit's end with a bladder that had reached its maximum capacity (that one is my own fault--I should know better than to order a soda that comes in a container the size of a beer keg), you appeared as a mother/daughter set that had some personal space issues, and an indifference to their own behavior. I'm not sure who started the myth that children are embraced by everyone, but someone needs to put a stop to it, because it's not true. If you chose to have children and you've subsequently brought them out into public, I applaud you. Congrats. But please don't make the assumption that I should in any way help you to babysit your children just because they are within arm's reach of me.

While I was trying to mind my own business waiting for a bathroom stall to open up, you felt it was entirely appropriate to push your pigtails into me, and to have your nose essentially shoved into my ass. Even as I turned around and gave you a look of Just what do you think you're doing?, you were undeterred. When it happened again and I gave your mother a look as if to say Handle your daughter, before I handle this situation in a way you will not like, both of you remained unaffected. I'm not sure who led you to believe that trying to mesh yourself with the people in front of you will get you through a line faster, but I regret to inform you that you have been seriously misled. 

In this same bathroom line, I watched you emerge from a bathroom stall, careless to the requirement that you clean up after yourself, like the adult that you are (supposed to be). As another woman looked into the stall you had just occupied, disgusted at what you left behind, you shrugged her "attitude" off, and kept on moving. When she called you out in front of all the other women, you became annoyed with her tone, as if anyone should expect you to flush a toilet at some point in your life. Seriously, who does she think you are? 

Finally, as I was heading out of the movie theater, just trying to get home with a drop of sanity left in me, you had one last surprise in store. You saw a spinning revolving door at the exit, and you hopped in to presumably push yourself around and out of the theater. However, once you aligned yourself with the door and walked approximately three steps, you were astonished that the door had stopped moving. Of course, you did not notice that I had also stopped pushing the door. Funny thing about revolving doors: if no one is pushing them, they don't move. As you began to shout at the door for breaking down while you were inside, you did not seem to realize that this door never was and never will be automatic. Granted, I enjoyed it immensely when I gave the door a little nudge and saw your face light up because, like magic, the door was working again! But in the end, all you did was sadden me, and wonder how all the intelligence seems to have been sucked out of the residents of Manhattan. 

Tomorrow, I'm sure that we will be back on speaking terms. But today, I want nothing to do with you. You exhaust me. 
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Big Sean: Dance (Ass)

Everyone has a line for how much sex/vulgarity/profanity they can take in any given song, and I thought I knew my limit. I was wrong. Normally, a chorus that only includes the word ass would make me think twice about clicking the download button. But "Dance (Ass)" is not a normal situation. This song not only exclusively uses ass in the chorus, it uses it 97 times throughout its entirety (though it's possible I lost count at the end). Absolutely spectacular. It may seem like overkill, but somehow, it works.

This may not be the best song to help those (myself included) who campaign that "rap music is not all about sex and money", but it is incredible. Golden. Indescribably, ridiculously awesome. Oh, did I forget to mention that it also samples MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This"? Fantastic.

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Boyce Avenue: Rolling In the Deep

As someone who has been replaying Adele's Rolling In the Deep for nearly nine months now, I'll take any excuse to hear a new version of this song. Reworked versions from Adele herself? Sure. Lil Wayne rapping over the instrumental version? Great. A live, in-person version that makes me think twice about whether or not there is a god, and if that god is in fact named Adele Laurie Blue Adkins? You betcha. An acoustic version by Boyce Avenue? Abso-fucking-lutely.

In the too-often-repeated words of Randy Jackson: I'm pretty sure Alejandro Manzano could sing the phone book and still make it sound magical. (Need more proof?)

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Taking Back Sunday: Latest & Greatest

In honor of seeing them in concert for the 6th time tonight (at the Best Buy Theater in New York), an old favorite (one of many) and a new favorite from Taking Back Sunday:

Call Me In the Morning (Taking Back Sunday, 2011)

A Decade Under the Influence (Where You Want To Be, 2004)
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Adele: Can't Make You Love Me

Bonnie Raitt's Can't Make You Love Me is without a doubt, an exclusive member on a list I like to call "The Saddest Songs I've Ever Heard". Extra heartbreak points have recently been added, now that my beloved Adele has released her own version of the song, available on her iTunes Festival: London 2011 EP.

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Colbie Caillat: Before I Let You Go

It's a mystery to me why I don't know more people who enjoy Colbie Caillat. What's not to like? Her music goes down like soft-serve ice cream, and contains an almost beachy quality (no wonder my friends haven't bothered to listen to her following my recommendation--I've been describing her as beachy, and no one even knows what the hell that means). Let me try to clarify: it's simple, it's catchy, it's summery, and even if you don't end up liking it, you won't have wasted much energy giving it a shot.

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Lloyd ft. Andre 3000: Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)

Although this song is reminiscent of Run and Tell That (from Hairspray), it has a very different meaning. It is deceivingly fun and upbeat, which means that when singing along with it in public, you may easily forget that you're singing about, well...pussy. That pussy done changed! (According to Lloyd, anyway).