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GoT S3E1 – Tell the Old Man He Smells of Piss

8 Apr

Hey everyone, I want to give you a totally awesome excuse as to why this recap didn’t come sooner as the next episode has already aired in America, but I don’t have one. I apologize for being completely awful about blogging. This next admission won’t make this any easier, but I might have also been drunk on mulled wine while watching this episode.

The best purchase ever.

The best purchase ever.

My friends and I had a premiere party where we ate like Robert Baratheon and I drank like Tyrion Lannister. And I wore a direwolf shirt and shouted things like “My dragons” and “Winter is coming bitches” a few times at the screen. So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to in Japan.

This recap might be not the most in depth or insightful but I promise to do better next time. Actually – Brem is writing up episode 2 so it should be more prompt. Heads up – I am completely nerdy for these books and this show but I promise to do my best and not spoil or foreshadow any future plot points. So let’s go to Westeros. Apologies in advance for my booze addled thoughts.

Beyond The Wall

We last left Jon Snow as a captive of the free folk of the North. The episode starts with Ygritte bringing him through the wildlings camp to meet Mance Rayder. I have to say that the actress playing Ygritte is doing a damn fine job. Her taunting and sexual chemistry with Jon Snow is so ridiculously great.

jon and ygritte

I love how she teases him by saying that Mance will kill him if he doesn’t believe him (which is actually true) but you can tell she has a real affection for him and is totally checking him out. In her defense — Kit Harrington does make me think dirty things so I don’t blame the girl. How bad ass was Ygritte taking down one of the kids throwing shit at Jon with a flick of her staff, Master Splinter style? Such a lady crush on her, even if she is a ginger.

John gets taken in to meet the King Beyond the Wall but because Mance is a tricky man he hangs back and watches Jon make a fool of himself by bowing to one of his underlings — the Magnar of Thenn. Ygritte and the boys all get a kick out of this until Mance gets down to business and questions why Jon Snow would leave the Nights Watch.

There is a tense exchange that I can’t remember because Jon Snow is just so dreamy, but basically he says he wants to fight the wights who are coming and doesn’t believe the Nights Watch is doing enough. In the end, Mance believes Jon or is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as he orders him to get a new cloak. Awww yeah. Jon Snow has infiltrated the camp.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate this?

Can we just take a moment to appreciate this?

Also beyond the wall is Samwell Tarly, cowering like a craven as a wight approaches him. The walkers are genuinely gnarly. Just as Sam is about to be attacked, Ghost (the best direwolf of all) and then Commander Mormont save the day. We find out that Sam failed to do the one thing that he was supposed to do in the event of an attack — get ravens off to the castle to inform the brothers at the wall of what was coming. Poor Sam, he can’t do anything right these days.

Across the Narrow Sea

Drunk Thoughts

1) Dany is sooo pretty. She is even prettier as a brunette. I wonder if she dyes her hair or if that is a wig? I also wonder out loud if Dany and Jon Snow ever banged in real life because that is the fan fiction of my dreams.

How is this picture not in flames from hotness?

How is this picture not in flames from hotness?

2) The dothraki are vomiting on the boat. I hate vomit, but not as much as dothraki hate the sea.

3) When is Dany going to learn not to trust people in market places? She has a soft spot for children and slaves and it’s going to be a problem. Thank god that Ser Barristan Selmy saves the day and kills the terrifying poisonous robot scorpion contraption sent by the child warlock. I hate their creepy purple mouths. Nightmares.

4) Jorah Mormont looks really sexy this season. Like whoa. Have I been in Japan for too long that I find nearly all the men on this show to be super hot?

No one is mad about this.

No one is mad about this.

5) The unsullied terrify me. I had to turn away and try not to yak mulled wine when the dude’s nipple was being cut off.

The Unsullied and their desensitized nipples.

The Unsullied and their desensitized nipples.

6) Looks like we have met Missandei – the girl translator for Dany who goes on to become a bigger character in the books. She seems pretty cool. We also had some solidly funny scenes with the slave owner saying terrible things and Missandei tactfully trying to figure out what to translate.

7) THE DRAGONS ARE AWESOME! Looks like they upped the CGI budget this season.

Wee Drogon

Wee Drogon

8) Barristan Selmy rules. It takes nearly a whole book for Dany to find out who he is, but on the show he just comes forth  and presents his name. If you can’t remember, Barristan the Bold was exiled in the first season by Joffrey even though he was the best and truest knight of the Kingsguard. He’s like a hot grandpa and I love him.

The Onion Knight

Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight, lives!! HUZZAH!

Drunk Thoughts

1) Davos looks really messed up. I appreciate this because in the book he is described as barely clinging to life.

2) Davos stays loyal and proclaims Stannis to be his true king when picked up by a group of pirates. Saying the wrong name could have cost him his life but he follows his heart and gives his loyalty to his best bro.

Looking pretty scurry

Looking pretty scurry

Davos is returned to Dragonstone and is immediately brought before Stannis and Melisandre. Sidenote – I don’t know what is happening but Stannis is looking mighty fine this season. One of my friends claims that this is because this episode is really well lit. Not sure I buy it.

3) I really hate Melisandre for pushing Davos’s buttons. He just lost three sons and many men in a battle he fought for Stannis. He stayed loyal and true and almost died and this is the welcome he gets? BULLSHIT.

4) I have a hard time believing Stannis would be this much of a dick to his number two man upon his miraculous survival.

Oddly hot but kind of a dick.

Oddly hot but kind of a dick.

5) Loved that Davos tried to kill Melisandre on the spot and blamed her for not helping them in the Battle of Blackwater. She is awful and I would totally try to strangle her too. Even if it meant that I was sent to the dungeons like our buddy Davos.

The King in the North

Drunk Thoughts

– BORRRRINGGGGG

– Robb is finally seeing that war comes at a terrible cost as he stumbles onto a castle (I think it’s Harrenhaal) and finds piles and piles of bodies. This doesn’t look good for the young King in the North. Winning battles but losing the war is his specialty these days.

Kings Landing

Tyrion Scenes

Drunk Thoughts

1) Bronn is oddly sexy. I know that’s wrong, but I don’t want to be right. I always have liked him since he’s a rogue and a wildcard in the whole game of thrones. Pod interrupting his fuck sesh was pretty classic. Anyone else go “Awwww POD!” upon seeing Tyrion’s squire (and savior)? More Bronn please!!

Best bros.

Best bros.

2) Tyrion really is the best person ever. I love everything about him. I thought Peter Dinkelage turned in another fine performance here with his conversations with both Cersei and Tywin. You could really sense his depth of vulnerability and hurt that his father never came to see him when he was extremely injured. Tyrion basically saved Kings Landing while Joffrey cowered and his reward has been being replaced by his dad as the hand of the king AND finding out he will not inherit Lannisport. Way harsh Ty. (Zing — I’ve been waiting to use that one).

More like Asshole of the King.

More like Asshole of the King.

3) Tyrion’s comeback to Cersei was comic gold after she disparages his new living situation – “Grand Maester Pycelle made the same joke. You should be proud to be as funny as someone whose balls brush his ankles.” AMAZEBALLS.

4) Cersei tries to threaten Tyrion by telling him about her network of spies in the castle. He doesn’t give a shit because the half man is the smartest person in Westeros. Cersei is obviously nervous now that Jamie isn’t around and her father is back. She fears Tyrion spilling the truth about the twin fucking or any number of sins. I love that Tyrion isn’t cowed by her ridiculousness as he lets her know he is ten times more clever than she is.

(P)imp

(P)imp

5) Was there anything more awful than the exchange between Tywin and Tyrion as Tyrion tried to ask his father for his birthright, Lannisport? Twyin makes it clear that not only will Tyrion not receive his land, money or titles, but he also loathes and distrusts his own son, a son who had just saved the kingdom. Awful. Poor half man.

Cersei

1) Cersei is going to be fun to watch this season. Not only is she terrified of Tyrion scheming against her, but now she is also worried about her position in court. Now that Joffrey’s young, beautiful, and beloved fiance is at Kings Landing, she is old news and has already faded to the background in the eyes of her sociopath son and her subjects.

The most epic of bitchfaces!

The most epic of bitchfaces!

2) Love Cersei and Tyrion verbally sparring.

3) Cersei’s faces as she interacts with Margaery are pretty much amazing. The realization that Margaery now has more sway over Joffrey than she does is pretty painful for her and I love it! Can’t wait for their future passive aggressive bitch fights and plenty of subtext.

For real. Did she go to bitchface drama academy to get that scowl? Loves it.

For real. Did she go to bitchface drama academy to get that scowl? Loves it.

4) Joffrey is such a douche – I wonder if Cersei thinks about slapping his face as often as I do.

Margaery/Joffrey

1) Cersei isn’t the only queen playing the Game of Thrones. Lil’ heart shaped face Margaery is also quite good at playing Joffrey and the people. How much of her stopping at the orphanage is genuine and how much is an act? Does she really love the people or does she realize that she is marrying a hateful monster and the only way to survive anything is to become a beloved figure of the commoners?

2) Margaery is either very cunning or very sweet – but I think I will stick with cunning for now. She is the Princess Di of Kings Landing and Joff knows he maybe just found a way to become more likeable. Better stick with this one Joff.

The Princess Di of Westeros

The Princess Di of Westeros

3) Looking forward to a lot more scenes of Margaery and Cersei being pleasantly awful to each other this season. Nothing like really angry passive aggressive Cersei battles.

4) Is anyone else still disappointed that Loras Tyrell isn’t hotter? In the books he is basically described as the sexiest man in Westeros.

The worst.

The worst.

Sansa

Sansa is adrift at Kings Landing now that she has been cast aside as Joff’s future bride. She is only glimpsed briefly here as we are given a bit of foreshadowing with Littlefinger’s plans to take her away from the castle. Our two former prostitutes with hearts of gold (Roz and Shae) quietly talk while Littlefinger, the perv, creeps on Sansa and promises her safety.

Disgusting

Disgusting

Roz tells Shae to keep on an eye on Sansa, especially around Littlefinger. That Roz knows what’s up. Shae promises to protect and look after her lady the best she can. In other news, Sansa finds out Arya is alive, or at least was, the last time Littlefinger had heard. YAY!

Overall Vibe – After getting over the initial drunken bliss of being back in Westeros I have to admit that I think the first two or three episodes of each season are a bit tedious. There was a lot a going on here and we didn’t even glimpse Arya, Brienne and Jamie, Bran and plenty of other characters who will soon become important. Hopefully all of the exposition and plotting we are seeing now start paying off with exciting action and sexy times within a few episodes.

I have great hope as I feel that most seasons start off slow and build to something awesome like the Battle of the Blackwater last season or what I know will likely be the finale this season. Thanks for reading this, I promise less drunk thoughts and a much better recap next time. Winter is coming!

The Ultimate Road Trippin’ Tunes

29 Mar
Over in Japan, Spring is in the air. The cherry blossoms are blooming, I don`t want to die when I sit on a cold toilet seat, and I just had my first road trip of the season. Is there anything better than getting into a car with a bunch of your friends, rolling down the windows and hitting the open road with the music blasting? Okay, I could probably think of a few things but all of them are dirty and involve Ryan Gosling and a chocolate fountain so let`s not get into it here because my mom reads this blog (Hi Mom!).
Oh and one last thing. My friend Molly and I have started a twitter account that is basically the greatest/most awful and inappropriate things we chat about on g-chat. The tweets are pulled from actual g-chat conversations we’ve been having for months while being bored at work. We thought it was rude to keep all of this hilarity to ourselves so in the spirit of Easter and giving – we bring you Assholes on G-chat https://twitter.com/chataintright. Follow us, promote us to your friends and when we’re famous we’ll totally pretend we remember your name.

Anyway, the weekend road trip has inspired this week’s entry — ultimate road trippin’  songs! So without further hesitation – my list. Please feel free to add your favorite jams in the comment section. Looking forward to getting a few new ideas for my next trip!

Road Trip Tunes (In No Particular Order because I am not spending two hours making you lazy jerks the perfect playlist)

No Diggity – Blackstreet – I feel like this one hits particularly with those of us who remember wearing Calvin Klein t-shirts and mini-backpacks we bought at Claire’s  to middle school dances in the mid 90s. But for real. I dare you not start singing this when you hear the words `Shorty get down, good lord…` Impossible.

The Chain – Fleetwood Mac – Really any Fleetwood Mac song will suffice on a road trip because they are amazing but there is something primal and intense about this one. You can tell that some serious hate fucking was going down when Lindsey and Stevie wrote this. I particularly recommend the version off the live album The Dance. Just yell singing `Cha-aiiii-aiinnnnnnn — keep us together!` over and over again is so fucking great. Bonus – there are amazing opportunities for epic air bass and air guitar.

Ooh La La – The Faces – For those of you not up on your Rod Stewart before he went solo then basically this is the song that goes `I wish that I knew what I know now…when I was younger. I WISH.THAT. I knew what I know now. When I was stronger` and he sings Oooh La La  quite a few times too. Basically, it`s as close as Rod Stewart ever got to perfection outside of his beautiful 80s mullet.
You're welcome ladies. Enjoy that Kentucky waterfall.

You’re welcome ladies. Enjoy that Kentucky waterfall.

Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey – Sing it with me ladies (and men who are comfortable with their love of Mimi) -” Doo doo doo doh, doo doo doo doo doo doo doh. We were as one babe, for a moment in timmmmmme. And it seemed everlasting that you would always be minnnnneeeeeeeee.” Let`s just all flashback to listening to Mariah on our portable discmans on the back of the school bus and smile. Thank you. Great sing-along for a girl road trip because erryone knows the words.

Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly – Please. If you don`t instinctively go “Awww yeah” when you hear the beginning of this song then we probably aren’t friends and will never be friends. Also, let’s just all admit that at one point in time in college our AIM away message was “Sippin’ on Coke and Rum. I’m like so what I’m drunk. It’s the freaking weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun.”

Laid – James – This is that song that you always heard in the dive bar you went to in college about getting laid. If you don`t think you know it, I guarantee you do. It starts with `This bed is on fire with passionate love, the neighbors complain about the noise from above…`. Basically what is great is that this song is super dirty and catchy and ends with everyone trying to go into their falsetto to sing `LaaaaaIDDDDDDDDDDDDD, LaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID` and it is a beautiful moment. Go for those high notes y`all, the windows are down and your friends are hopefully not a pack of dogs.

Sympathy for the Devil or Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones – The Jim Beddall classics of my car ride. Because sometimes you are on a road trip with your dad from Pennsylvania to Florida and musically what you can both agree upon is how great both The Roots (yes, my dad loves the Roots) and The Stones are and then you put on Let it Bleed, start up Gimme Shelter and both start shout singing `War, Children. It`s just a shot away. It`s just a shot away!!!!!!!!!!!` very loudly on I-95. And if Gimme Shelter isn’t your thing then Sympathy for the Devil has a great rhythm section at the beginning and then you get to do all the “doo doos” if you don`t really know all the words. Road trip perfection.

Basically anything by Prince – Do I even need to explain how great singing Prince in the car is? I hope not but in case you aren’t convinced just add When Doves Cry, Kiss, Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret or Let’s Go Crazy to your mix and watch your whole car go crazy.

The best.

The best.

Say It Ain’t So – Weezer – I know this shows up on my ultimate karaoke jamz list too, but seriously guys, everyone seems to know the words to it and you don’t need a particularly good voice to sing along. Plus it’s so satisfying singing the chorus – `Say it ain’t soooooooooo-whooooooaaaaaa`.

Lovefool – The Cardigans – Dear I fear we’re facing a problem if you love this song no longer. Easily one of my favorite (and best) pop songs of the late 90s. If you don`t know all the words to the song like I do after listening to the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack a LOT in seventh grade then I guarantee you can at least join along for the chorus of `Love me, love me, saaaaay that you love me. Fool me, fool me, go on foooool me. Love me, love me, say that you love. Leave me, Leave me, just say that you need me. I can’t care about anything but you`. Candy pop perfection.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness – This song reminds me of living in Ireland my sophomore year of college (shout out to the Dublin crew). The Darkness were insanely big in Europe and the minute I heard this song I knew I was destined to shout sing it from my little Tercel on all future road trips. Not only do you get to sing in a faux British accent, you also get to shout sing in a high Freddie Mercury style falsetto and have the opportunity for really intense air guitar solos. Sing it now – TOUCHING YOOOOUUUUUU, TOUCHING MEEEEEE! Yeah, done and done.

Hey Ya – Outkast – Another not quite old school but almost old school crowd pleaser that everyone knows and can seat dance to. We all like shaking it like a Poloroid picture and the Ladies and Fellas shout-outs in the song because they are magical.

Say My Name – Destiny`s Child – Another repeat off the karaoke jamz list but that is only because it is so magical. If your car is full of ladies you can try for the harmonies and Beyonce is pretty much perfection whether she is flying solo or heading up DC. No playlist is complete without Queen B.
I totally forgot there used to be four of them!

I totally forgot there used to be four of them!

Gin and Juice – Snoop Dogg – Okay, so when I wanted to throw some old school rap on here, what I really wanted to put on was Juicy by Biggie because that is my personal preference. Biggie’s flow is obvi the best in the biz but the more popular and easily sung to rap was chosen and the D-O-double G wins the day. Plus, it’s a really great rap song and it`s about rolling down the streets smoking and drankin.
Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes – Everything about this song. Everything. The fact that your voice doesn’t even need to be close to great to sing it, the fact that it’s what Angela Chase danced to after she realized she was finally over Jordan Catalano, the fact that it is so perfectly 90s and that people both 15 years older and 10 years younger than me can universally agree that it`s great to shout/sing is enough for me. LET ME GO ONNNNNNNNN…..LIKE A BLISTER IN THE SUN!
This youtube clip of Claire Danes dancing to this song pretty much goes to show that Claire Danes has always and will always rule.

And now for the songs that I recognize aren`t for everyone but are undeniably for me. If you don`t like it, then get outta my car jerkface.

Ex-Factor – Lauryn Hill – This song just makes me put on my sunglasses so you don`t see me cry, grip my chest like I am having a heart attack a few times and just really belt the pain. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was THE album of my mid teenager years and will never die. I whipped this out on road trip this weekend and I think I made one friend feel pretty uncomfortable with all my emoting and another friend was just as into it as I was. Know your audience, or be like me and not give a fuck.
THE album of my teens.

THE album of my teens.

Anything by Paul Simon – Graceland, Late in the Evening, Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes, anything in the Simon and Garfunkel collection. Paul Simon is pretty much one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time and I can guarantee that he will be on my road tripping playlist. I recognize he is not for everyone, but I also recognize that a lot of people have terrible taste. Paul for the win! My personal favorite Paul road trip song is Graceland because it`s just so beautiful and perfect.
The Rat – Walkmen – I like to get a few good angry sings in while I drive and this song by The Walkmen is full of fury and break-up rage but is also extremely catchy and not like MegaDeath angry. A perfect pop-rock ripper.
Anything by Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis/Fiona Apple — Sometimes I gotta get my girl angst out and feel my feelings for two seconds. Any song by Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis or Fiona Apple will usually suffice. I usually don`t do this with gents in the car — so broads in my car — it`s happening. We can sing our feelings. It will be great.
Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper – See above. Except I have no problem singing this with dudes in the car. Ya been warned.
Parks and Rec knows what's up.

Parks and Rec knows what’s up.

What’s on your road trippin’ playlist? Please share in the comments or on my twitter (https://twitter.com/eebeddall) or facebook because I love hearing from you. Smooches. Get ready for our Game of Thrones recaps starting next week!

My Week in Pop Culture

22 Mar

It’s almost Spring in Japan which means perfect weather, cherry blossoms and road trips are just around the corner, but as of now I’m still sleeping with my electric blanket on most nights and waking up freezing my ass off. Soon enough I will long for the days where I’m not sweating like Chris Farley after the timed mile in gym class, but for now, I want warm weather. While I’m still cold and cursing living in the mountains I have had time to catch some new shows and tunes.  Here’s what I’ve been listening to and watching these past two weeks.

Oh and hey – do you guys do the whole twitter thing? Because Brem and I totes do. Follow us on twitter – Brem posts great tweets about music she is seeing or listening to and I am generally an asshole who comments on random things.

Me – https://twitter.com/eebeddall

Brem – https://twitter.com/bremily

What I’m Watching

Top of the Lake

So this is a 7 hour mini-series starring the amazing Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson on Mad Men) as a New Zealand detective looking into the case of a twelve year old girl who is pregnant and then disappears outside of Queenstown, NZ. The missing girl is the daughter of the town thug and her brothers, father and several other creepy townspeople are suspects in the crime.

Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake

Moss’s character is back in her hometown from Sydney to take care of her ailing mother when she receives the call about the girl and goes in to help question her. The whole case is being handled with an air of indifference (the dudes in this town are highly sexist) and she quickly takes charge and attempts to help the frightened girl.

Moss is steely and strong but also vulnerable and sympathetic in the role and I have to say she is one of the best actresses on the small screen these days. Her character has some sort of history with the girl’s older half brother and there are hints that something really bad happened to her that led her to become the avenging angel and badass detective she is today. This all works because Moss holds a little back and we’re never quite sure exactly what is going on in her mind. I  look forward to the reveals about her past, her family and her relationship with Tui’s (the missing girl) half brother.

Most badass lady on TV.

Most badass lady on TV.

Basically this show is everything the Killing wishes it was. Not that the The Killing was bad, in fact, there were parts of the first season that were riveting until the writers shit the bed and created all of these crazy plots and then decided not to reveal who the killer was until season 2. But I digress. The town is full of eccentric oddballs and menacing killers and has a vague Twin Peaks feel to it, which I obviously love.

Holly Hunter and a group of strange women trying to mend their broken hearts offer some levity to the series. Hunter plays a prophet sort of character who has a sort of hippie commune for women who are trying to get their lives together and they happen to be living on  land apparently owned by Tui’s volatile father. The women take Tui in when she initially runs away but she disappears before they learn much about her. The women are great and Hunter is always a delight. There is a story about a woman who was living with orangutan that literally made me snot chocolate milk out of my nose (sounds weird, but it was a great scene – trust me).

Tui's creepster bros.

Tui’s creepster bros.

The setting of the show is also gorgeous as it is filmed in creator/director/writer/Oscar nominee Jane Campion’s homeland on the south island of New Zealand. I loved watching the first two episodes and have high hopes for the final five.  It’s airing on Sundance Channel in America and also can be streamed online if you know the right websites. I definitely recommend this mini-series very highly and it’s not like I’m telling you to invest in a whole season of television here — just seven hours spread out across three or four weeks. Let me know if get the chance to check it out.

Game of Thrones

The season hasn’t started yet but I am already dying and have watched all of the trailers at least five times each in anticipation. The third book is my favorite so I hope they do it justice. Just seeing clips of Brienne and the bear, the dragons and Jon Snow and Ygritte in the cave (ow ow!) are making me salivate with excitement. If you still somehow haven’t watched Game of Throne or think you’re too cool for it, then get off your high horse because it rules. Catch up on Seasons 1 and 2 so you can join Brem and I in our weekly recap discussions.

Archer

I need to preface this whole thing by saying I’m not a cartoon person, not even close. I’ve seen about three episodes of The Simpsons in my life and I’m not into the Family Guy unless I’m completely wasted. I once was out with a guy who endlessly quoted The Family Guy and tried doing the vocal impersonations and I’ve never wanted to punch someone in the face so much in my life. So when I asked for show suggestions (and thank you for those that gave them — I’ll be checking out Luther soon Colleen), my friend Molly https://twitter.com/MollyTRex (who has similar tastes to my own — aka very good taste), suggested Archer.

The Dutchess

The Dutchess

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about this show as it’s basically a partial Arrested Development reunion in the fact that it has Jessica Walter voicing the role of Malory Archer, a caustic alcoholic withholding mother and boss of spy agency ISIS, Jeffrey Tambor as a director of a rival spy company and once paramour who is still in love with Malory, and Judy Greer as Cheryl Tunt (yep – great names) – who is basically playing Kitty from AD all over again as the vapid and sexually inappropriate secretary to Malory. Arrested Development in cartoon form — sign this girl up!

Danger Zone!

Danger Zone!

Rounding out the vocal performances are H. Jon Benjamin as the pompous ladies man/asshole/super-spy Sterling Malory Archer, Aisha Tyler as the sexy, no-bullshit super spy and former lover of Archer – Lana Kane, Chris Parnell as the hapless accountant/sex addict/nerd Cyril Figgis, and Amber Nash as the hedonistic, ridiculously amazing HR rep Pam Poovey.

My favorite asshole on tv right now.

My favorite asshole on tv right now.

This show is fucking amazing you guys. The  jokes are fast and furious and super inappropriate and because the characters are cartoons, the violence, sex, and shenanigans are way more insane and hilarious because they can get away with so much more. The more I watch this show, the more I love it and all of the characters. Characters I thought I was going to hate have turned out to be my favorites (Pam, Cheryl).  This show really appeals to my inner twelve year old except it is slightly more sophisticated than twelve year old me, only slightly. The voice-overs are great, the editing is amazing and the show is worth your precious viewing time. Thanks Molly — good call.

What I’m Listening To

Foxygen – We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

Yes, I recognize how positively ridiculous this album title is, but the music is legit. It’s my soundtrack to spring right now. I am not sure how to describe the sound exactly – it’s like a bit of 60s California Rock mixed with Belle and Sebastian sensibilities. The lead singer sort of reminds me of a young Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan and I really thoroughly dig it. I also really enjoy the full album as a listen which is sign of good music to me.

http://grooveshark.com/s/San+Francisco/50xyHW?src=5

http://grooveshark.com/s/No+Destruction/50KpI2?src=5

Although we currently live in the age of singles and digital music – I often will burn a whole album to CD to listen to while I drive (I have a half hour commute to work each way and drive often) and there are not many albums that I feel like play well all the way through. I give each album I burn at least three listens before deciding whether or not it will get regular play on my drives to work. Foxygen passes the test. My favorite tracks off the album are – San Francisco, No Destruction, and Shuggie.

Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

I am gonna need a minute because I feel like I’ve been waiting for this album for forever and that’s because it has been seven years since Justin released FutureSex/LoveSounds onto the earth. I missed him and his slick dance moves and sexy falsetto and terrible lyrics but amazing musicality.

I have finally listened to the full album two times and I give it two thumbs up and am also wondering why he released Suit and Tie as his first single. There are way more catchy tunes on this album that I look forward to dancing around to it sans pants in my living room once it gets slightly warmer.

Yes please.

Yes please.

You know he’s amazing because he even takes a song titled Strawberry Bubblegum and makes it great – it starts with some Barry White voice stuff at the beginning and combines it with JT’s most beautiful falsetto. I don’t even care that the lyrics are like “She’s smacking that strawberry bubblegum” because the song has funk and soul and weirdly sounds like amazing elevator music during a break down. Not even mad, so good. Good god.

The music is great and happy and soooo danceable – but none of that dub-step shit that shows up in most everything these days. Listen I love a good dancing song with some dub-step bidness every now again but once Taylor Swift starts throwing dub-step breakdowns into her songs it has officially been overused and overplayed. This album is like a mix of 70s soul (the horns on That Girl, Pusher Love, etc — great stuff) with some terrific rhythmic beats underneath JT’s soaring voice (good call on collaborating with Timbaland).

Jessica Biel is one lucky betch.

Jessica Biel is one lucky betch.

Some song make me want to dance (Let the Groove Get in, Body Count) and some make me want to get down and then smoke a cig (Tunnel Vision, Dress On).  Favorite Tracks – That Girl, Tunnel Vision, Mirrors, Let the Groove Get In — damn, this is hard, pretty much all of the songs are pretty great. Do you think Jessica Biel just high fives herself in the mirror every morning because she knows this whole album is pretty much JT singing about how much he loves her. Lucky bitch.

http://grooveshark.com/s/Tunnel+Vision/54MJk4?src=5

http://grooveshark.com/s/That+Girl/54Kpbo?src=5

http://grooveshark.com/s/Mirrors/54KprR?src=5

Have a super weekend everyone.

Thanks for reading!

SXSW music! Part 1!

22 Mar

I’m back! And I’m cold.

Last week’s trip to Austin was everything I’d hoped it would be. And reminded me that I’m ready for spring. It was sunny and warm. That isn’t even close to important and perhaps I’m writing that because it’s the second day of spring and I’m fucking freezing. And a little sad the whole thing is over.

So our trip started with a funny (haha) little snafu on our part.  When we got to the Philly airport on Wednesday I said to Brad “So, I think I saw that we are flying into San Antonio?”. He looked at me funny and said “No, why would you think that?”. I looked at him blankly and said “I don’t know, maybe I made that up?”.

I didn’t.

We had originally booked our flight to Austin then needed to change it because of Brad’s work schedule. It seems that at some point during the switch we were offered “nearby airports”. 80 miles away. Which required renting a car to drive to Austin, park the car in Austin, come back to San Antonio the night before our return flight at 8am, rent a hotel in San Antonio (and ditch our already paid-for hotel in Austin).  So car+parking+gas+additional hotel ended up costing us about $700. FUUUUUCK. And that was after the $300 fee for switching the flights. What a waste.

We remained upbeat.

We had originally planned on hitting a Cold War Kids show at midnight on Wednesday, but after our little detour we weren’t able to make it.  Probably my biggest regret.  But then things got good.

Here’s one thing I learned about myself: I have absolutely no gauge on how popular bands are, apparently.  I find music from word of mouth, xpn, and random music blogs, buy music online and mostly see the same local bands over and over.  I guess this has lead me to have no clue whether a band is very popular or not.  Also, I think the number of shows and variety of venues at SXSW lead to crowds that are not necessarily representative of how many fans they have. I guess? I was repeatedly surprised.

Also, we had no SXSW badges to get into any official showcases – this really didn’t cramp my style at all and I don’t regret that decision one bit. This could actually be quite an affordable trip if you find the right place to stay and plan parties to get food and drinks (and don’t fuck up your travel plans to the tune of an extra grand).

Another fun fact: I drunkenly deleted all my pictures from my memory card on Thursday – the wise people from the internet say that I can get them back since I haven’t taken any more pictures on that card since, and hopefully I will.  I can be rather lazy. Cell phone pics for now, because if I try to wait and edit all that shit, we’ll be 6 months out and I won’t remember anything.

Thursday:

Cheers Elephant

We showed up about 2 hours early for a band I was sure was going to have a line wrapped around the block only to get a table with a waitress 15 feet from the stage, with about 20 other people there.  The band members were sitting at the table next to me.  While coming back from the bathroom I nailed my arm into the lead singers chair and felt like an awkward dork (he was very nice though).  I got a pretty nasty bruise on my arm which I consider a battlescar (in the war of me vs. clumsiness). The show was lots of fun and the perfect way to get started. High energy, small but fun and enthusiastic crowd, perfect sunshiny warmth, slight buzz. Ahh.

I also took an accidental 7 minute video of the girl-in-front-of-me’s butt. It’s very avante garde.  My 4 year-old niece thinks it’s the funniest movie she’s ever seen. Sorry, girl.

afterlight

Ali Wadsworth

We left and rushed over to Rachael Ray’s Feedback House Party at Banger’s – a really cool outdoor venue, to see a few of my favorite local acts.  Ali is actually an old friend of mine from when I was a camp counselor, and she is just fucking great. Banger’s was a converted house with a huge fenced in yard with looong picnic tables and cornhole and buffet. Free food, free drinks, free music. That part of SXSW was incredible – free shit everywhere.  Ali is an incredible singer and mixes some fun funny drinking songs with some huge, monster songs that will blow your hair back. She’s working on an album and I can’t wait for it.

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Toy Soldiers

I’ve probably seen them more than any other band in my life, and just couldn’t miss ’em down there.  Great show, as always, a little more low-key than usual – the frenzied crescendo that ends most shows was notably muted – but it was the middle of the day, with most people sitting and eating at that time, so I can see why.

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Jonny Fritz

I saw him as a “surprise” guest a few weeks ago and loved him – I honestly enjoyed his acoustic duo at the house show more than the full stage act, but still a really talented guy, with seriously quirky songs. He just seems like a super odd guy, but way talented and genuine. I talked to him a bit after the show and told him I contributed to the kickstarter he had for his wedding (I told you, odd!). He seemed almost apologetic about it (said he had to cancel a bunch of shows in order to do it, plus the total amount they were trying to raise was only $1500 – I donated 5 bucks to get the postcard they had as a perk!) and told me he just met her that week. I wasn’t sure what was true, but he was really nice. I was pretty drunk and ended up buying a copy of his CD that I already owned. Corndawg!

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So we stumbled back to the Convention Center to catch our shuttle (R&R shuttles, which worked pretty smoothly overall), I promptly accidentally deleted all the pictures from my big camera, and fell face down into the bed fully dressed. Success.

Friday:

ALT-J

So again, I misjudged the popularity of a band and started our day with a 1.3 mile walk (which included a long detour through some neighborhoods thanks to crap maps on Brad’s phone [they were beautiful neighborhoods, though]) we ended up at Waterloo Records headquarters to see Alt-J. No way. Hundreds of people wrapped around the place, long lines, people yelling at us that we couldn’t block the sidewalk. No go. Walk away. Ok, sorry – I had no idea they were that popular. We are not worthy.

Joe Fletcher with Jonah Tolchin and other guy with great big beard and smiley face

My goal was to see David Wax Museum and we showed up during the proceeding act, Joe Fletcher. I figured this show would be huge, I would be late and was ready to give up on the whole day after walking an extra 2 miles the wrong way across town again (Um, The Tap Room on 6 was… not on 6th. that’s some tricky shit.). It was 2:30 and so far the whole day was FAIL (well, except the flautas. Tex Mex food agrees with me). We showed up to the venue and it ended up being a smallish, open concept bar, uncrowded and perfect. These guys were fun, solid folk with harmonicas blazin’. Brad was lukewarm (his folk sensibilities are not quite as folky as mine), but I liked them. Not love, but maybe it was because I was SO! EXCITED! for:

DAVID WAX MUSEUM!!!!

This show was hands down my very favorite performance of the entire trip. AHH! I discovered David Wax Museum after shazaaming a song I heard on the radio, and quickly fell in love.  I hadn’t ever seen what he looked like though, so as I stood there waiting for him to take the stage I google image searched him and started looking around the bar for him. Yeah, he was right behind me on the balcony, watching me google him. STARING ME IN THE FACE. HA! He happens to have the bluest eyes I have ever seen, and somehow reminded me of a killer, so I was seriously freaked out. I can’t describe it. I was really uncomfortable.  He was making a very serious, murderer face.

BUT THEN! They started. With BIG, HUGE ADORABLE grins on their faces, obviously enjoying themselves more than possibly anyone I’ve ever seen on a stage, and just killed it. They describe their sounds as Mexo-Americana,  folk mixed with Mexican Son music. They play about a million different instruments. Suz Slezak (David Wax’s main partner in crime) was possibly the most adorable human I’d ever seen, as well as being sick talented. I was obsessed with her. There were a few parts of the performance when I literally laughed out loud – a thing my friend Mandy does when a band is unbelievably awesome, which I never understood before. Now I get it.

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Hacienda

We headed across town to see a friend and ended up catching a few songs from this band. I didn’t know much about them at the time, but later found out they’ve opened for the Black Keys, Grace Potter and and the Nocturnals and Dr. Dog.  Liked them a lot but I really wish I would have listened to them before. I spent too much time processing to really enjoy myself. Solid show to accidentally catch, for sure.

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Michaela Ann with Jeff Malinowski

Jeff was another friend of mine from when I was a camp counselor in Maine, many moons ago. He commented on a photo I posted on Instagram and mentioned that he would be playing in Austin the next day, so of course I had to go see him.  He was playing guitar with a friend, Michaela Ann at a cool place on the East side of town. A bit of a hike, but it was cool to see another side of town – artsier, scrappier, with even more personality than downtown. They were great – female vocals + country isn’t usually my favorite, but she had a lovely, soothing voice and seemed like the sweetest human being on earth. The show was in the front yard of the place, and the street quickly clogged up with people stopping to watch her. Lovely. Jeff mentioned before I left that he was sure our paths would cross again, and he hoped it wouldn’t be ten years this time (FORESHADOWING!).

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Jim James

We left and tried to hail a pedi-cab to take us across the lake to Auditorium Shores – a free “official sxsw” concert at a huge outdoor venue. The bike cab driver told us no – he said it was pretty much the furthest place you can go and maybe we could ask around to see if anyone else would do it.  After a long day of walking and sun we were fairly burned out but decided we’d hoof it.  It really wasn’t that terrible. We crossed the river lake with about a million other people and entered the venue – it was pretty well organized and hassle free. We got as close as I could get Brad to go (until he started hissing “we don’t need to be in the front!” – sorry, love, but we will just have to agree to disagree on that one) and Jim James started right away.

So I knew him, I knew he was in My Morning Jacket, and knew a few songs from his new album and liked them. I had no idea that many people would have gone to see him. I want to say it was in the tens of thousands.  Another big surprise in the “how many people will show up” arena, though I’m sure that The Flaming Lips playing after had a bit to do with it. Or I’m just totally out of it.  Anyway, I love the song New Life and was a little tipsy and swirly at this point and the sun was setting  and it was great. Wow, that whole paragraph was not actually about Jim James. Good thing I’m not a music critic, shiiit.

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Flaming Lips

Holy Moly. I don’t believe I can say that I was surprised by the antics that went on during this show, but I can say I found it absolutely grotesque and bizarre, horrendously painful and also relaxing and beautiful.  Wayne Coyne came out wrapped in cords of lights, with an incredible light show – carrying a baby doll. Cradling the baby doll. Kissing the baby doll. Talking about the baby doll. For at least an hour, while playing their new album (that no one has heard yet) – mid-tempo outer space rock. I hate to say it, and tried to be open minded, but whooosh. It was boring and creepy. When he said he had one song left I asked Brad if he wanted to leave. Brad, The Oracle, in his INFINITE wisdom, said “No, maybe he’ll play a good encore.” (In my defense I was really asking in case Brad was dying to leave. Crowds are pure torture to him, and he had been an amazingly good sport with all my rushin’ around). And then, there it was: 5 songs from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (starting with my absolute favorite Lips song: Fight Test. It’s my “song I never get tired of”. Check it.) and ending with Do You Realize?.  Everyone around me sang and danced like they were tripping. Actually I knew some of them were tripping, because I overheard them say it (come on, they were one foot from my face). The one dude right in front of me kept turning around and looking at me, and for some reason I knew I was reassuring him – he would smile a tiny bit with a scared look on his face and when I would smile and nod he would visibly relax and turn around again. I had no idea exactly what was going on in his mind, but I was glad to be of help. It happened like 7 or 8 times (and again, he was less than a foot from my face, so it was probably weirder than it even sounds).  I saw him in the crowd while walking out and he stopped dead and stared at me – I had no idea what to do so I just said “See ya later!” and ran off.  Oh, drugs.

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So that’s the first half – this shit is getting looong (2nd time I’ve used the word looong in this post, btw) so I think I’ll kill it there, and make a Part 2. Hopefully with real pictures. I haven’t even looked at them yet. Could be magic! Congratulations if you made it this far! Even if you just looked at pictures, I still love you!

South By Southwest: WTF am I doing?!

6 Mar

So, for my 30th birthday, my super nice husband said “Surprise – we’re going to Austin!”.  He had planned the trip for 2 weeks later, which would have put us in the last week of February. I was obviously excited, as we’d always heard that Austin was cool, but I was actually quite bummed that the trip he was planning didn’t include either of the two major music events in Austin (one being Austin City Limits, the other South by Southwest, or for short “SXSW”. Apparently really cool people call it “South By”, but I realize I’m not there yet and most likely never will be). Anyhow, his work schedule got all fucked up, as it tends to do when you work for a pile of dicks, and we had to reschedule. I saw this as my opportunity to mention that what I REALLY wanted to do for my birthday was sxsw! BAM!

sxsw-01

photo credit

Sxsw, which in case you don’t know, is huge and has hundreds of free concerts scattered up and down 6th st., in conjunction with a conference for music industry professionals. The amount I have learned about this event in the past few weeks is incredible, because it’s COMPLICATED AS FUCK! I knew that it wasn’t like other music festivals (get a ticket, find a spot).  Apparently there are official and unofficial showcases – and there are badges, wristbands and people (like me) with nothing.  For some shows you need a badge, many the people with badges are given priority and some don’t rely on badges at all. A lot of showcases require you to RSVP – an absolutely all consuming task where I search for events online through a million different channels then end up on a million different sites trying to sign up for parties that I don’t even really know if I want to go to or if I’ll be able to get into.  It’s nuts.  I’ve made a ridiculously intricate spreadsheet of events that even I can’t understand.

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about people’s sxsw experiences (people are seeing 150 bands in 5 days!) and I am trying to set some small goals – maybe pick a short list of bands I’d like to see and a few Austin sights and not be disappointed in how it goes down. My biggest hope is that my husband likes it. He hates crowds, so this is a big question mark. I am actually very afraid I will be dragging him from place to place and forcing him to wait in long lines and pack into venues and he will be miserable. I hope I’m wrong on this one!

Since I have never been there before, I can’t really tell you how it all will go down, but I will tell you what I anticipate, my hopes and dreams and what bands I would really like to see, and then I’ll let  ya know how my dreams compare with reality after next week!

  • Eat at food trucks. I hear they have incredible food trucks in Austin and I don’t care if I don’t sit down for one nice meal (besides that Shady Grove Trailer Court, of course. My friends got me a gift certificate there and it looks incred. Can’t wait to gain 8 elbees!).
  • Make an attempt to see Cold War Kids (Brad’s favorite, so this is our #1 goal), Dawes, Foxygen, Cheers Elephant, Houndmouth David Wax Museum and Gringo Star. There are a few bigger bands I will try to see but won’t be surprised if I can’t, due to my non-badged state (Flaming Lips, Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit, among others). I’m really bummed J. Roddy Walston won’t be there despite previously released information. Dick move, J. I have about 80 more on my list but, it’s too overwhelming to think about.
  • Go see my old reliable Toy Soldiers and Ali Wadsworth. I know they are local and I’ve seen ’em a million times, but I think it will be awesome to see ’em tearin it up at SXSW. Brad thinks that’s kinda dumb and that we should be seeing bands that we won’t be able to see another time. I get it. But I can’t miss ’em.
  • Hike at Town Lake. Apparently a beautiful spot for nature and enjoying warm weather.
  • Wear summer clothes, drink heavily and be happy that I’m there.

If you have any tips, suggestions, band recommendations or are going to be there, I’d LOVE to hear from you! I have no fuckin clue what I’m doing and would love to hang out with people – send me a message!

Up, up and away….

Random Pop Culture Thoughts

6 Mar

I’ve got no cohesive theme for this post other than I wanted to jot down some things that have been on my mind this past week. So please enjoy a glimpse into my pop-culture addled brain.

Life of Pi – This was the last Oscar movie I saw before the ceremony and therefore never really had the chance to blog about it. It was a stunning visual feast and I couldn’t remember the last time my eyeballs were so completely dazzled by a film. I read and loved the book years ago when it came out but scoffed at the idea of someone making a movie out of an experience that is so reflective and full of ideas about faith and life and also mostly features a boy and a tiger.

This movie also won best visual effects the Oscars.

This movie also won best visual effects at the Oscars.

Ang Lee deserved the best director award for bringing this seemingly impossible to adapt bestselling book from the page to the screen. The story is beautifully told and I liked it so much I am still thinking about it and I downloaded the soundtrack. Go see it.

Taylor Swift

I just read the article in Vanity Fair about T. Swift and I’m still smarting over her comment about Amy Poehler and Tina Fey making fun of her at the Golden Globes. She said that there is “a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Really Swift-y? REALLY? Tina and Amy are two giant feminists so get to steppin! And their joke about you wasn’t even particularly harsh. They just joked that you were going to try and date Michael J. Fox’s son. Pretty harmless and not cruel or awful.

nemesis

You live your life in the public eye and if you want everyone to stop talking about your boyfriends then stop dating so fucking publicly. Example – yes, I knew that Jennifer Lawrence used to date the super duper hot guy from Skins but I never read much about them because they were discreet. Charlize Theron, Emma Stone, and Lena Dunham are all wicked famous and I know next to nothing about their present dating sitches because they aren’t making it public all the damn time. I can think of a million other examples – but basically, I don’t feel bad for you and this whole “Everyone is picking on me. Poor me!” shtick is getting old fast. You’re 22, get over it lady.

What I’m Reading

You guys, I am reading this book that I can’t put down and I’m pretty disturbed by it. I had just finished the quick and light “Silver Linings Playbook” and decided that I could really get into another non-fiction piece. I’d had the book “Columbine” by Dave Cullen on my goodreads.com ‘want to read’ list for over a year now but was never in the right head space to read a book about the school shootings in Littleton, Colorado. I mean, is there a “right head space” to read such a thing?

Anyway, Cullen was a reporter on the scene when the story broke and since the shootings he had spent 10 years compiling interviews, documents, first hand accounts, evidence, tapes, etc. to write a book about the shooting, the killers, the victims, and answers as to why these two boys would be driven to such unspeakable violence.

I started the book two nights ago and am already more than halfway through. The story is terrifying and fascinating and I can’t stop thinking about it. In light of Sandy Hook and recent conversations on gun control – it’s definitely a book that is worth a look. This book was published in 2009, so I am a little late to the party as far as reading this story, but I am extremely impressed by it thus far.

Other Random Thoughts

  • Rachel McAdams broke up with her long time boyfriend two weeks ago which means we can keep hoping against hope that Gosling will dump Mendes and our real life Notebook fantasies can come true.
Too adorable for words. Just get back together you two.

Too adorable for words. Just get back together you two.

  • I spent an embarrassing amount of time last week while swimming laps trying to think of a screenplay idea for a movie which Jlaw would want to star in. Obvi – Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron will both somehow also be involved in this movie. Perhaps they can play sisters and Streep could be their mom. Imagine the awesomeness now.
Can the world handle this much awesome at once?

Can the world handle this much awesome at once?

  • I’m getting creepy levels of excited for the new Game of Thrones season. The second half of book 2 and the whole of book 3 are my favorite in the series so far and I can only hope the show will be half as good. The recently released trailer for the third season looks like it just might live up to the awesome. I bought a direwolf t-shirt to wear on the premiere night, I am buying a pack of cigs for after the famous “lord’s kiss” scene and will be secretly shipping Brienne and Jamie. Sigh.

  • Brem and I are going to take turns recapping the goings on in Westeros and beyond. So if you don’t watch Game of Thrones yet – you have a few weeks to catch up and then begin Season 3 with us here on GOP!
My direwolf premiere t-shirt!

My direwolf premiere t-shirt!

  • My friend and I are thinking about creating a youtube channel. Would you watch our stuff? I promise we’ll be at least moderately funny.
  • I’m really hating how all tv shows are currently airing re-runs. Since nothing is new I’ve been catching up on The League and Shameless. Have you guys ever watched The League? I never thought I could like a show about something I hate so much (fantasy football) but it’s genuinely hilarious and amazing. It’s like the Sex and the City for men except instead of talking about dates and shoes they talk about football, make fun of each other, and one of the funniest characters is a girl. The most accurate portrayal of what dudes are like and talk about with each other on any tv show.
Greatest dude show on TV!

Greatest dude show on TV!

  • Brem has already discussed her love of Shameless on this blog and I am on board. It’s not the most perfect show but Emmy Rossum and the kid playing Lip are pretty amazing. And no one breaks my heart more than little Debbie Gallagher. Just finished the first season and am moving on to the second. #karenistheworst
  • Does anyone else have suggestions of tv shows I should be watching? I’m open to pretty much anything. A friend recently suggested Archer and I thought about getting into that. Thoughts?
  • I recently downloaded “snapchat” on my phone which is an application where you can take pictures or video, send them to friends and then they basically “Mission Impossible” themselves and disappear after the viewer looks at the image from a period of time from 3 seconds-10 seconds.  I mostly use this app to take pictures of cute Japanese things and then draw dicks on them with the pencil edit tool before I send them to friends but mostly I can’t stop thinking about how a pervy 15 year old boy probs invented this app to encourage his girlfriend that it was safe to send sexts. Gross.

And now a completely new segment called

Why Aren’t You Watching This?

Bunheads is a show that is created and written by former Gilmore Girls creator/showrunner and former Roseanne writing staffer Amy Sherman-Palladino. The show centers on a Vegas showgirl Michelle (the multi-talented, ever delightful Broadway star Sutton Foster) who wasted her potentially serious dance career on being young and stupid. When the show starts she is still dancing in Vegas and has a man who is in love with her who sees the show regularly – but this man isn’t a creeper – he’s Cameron from Ferris Bueller and he sees in our star all of this potential and amazingness. She gets wasted one night with him after a show and they end up getting married.

Preach Michelle!

Preach Michelle!

Michelle moves back to her hubby’s small town on coastal California and clashes with his overbearing mom Fanny (played by former Mama Gilmore – Kelly Bishop) who owns/runs the local dance studio. Right after their marriage her husband dies in a tragic car accident and we find out he leaves the house and all of his money to Michelle, even though his mother lives in the house and the dance studio is his property. Soon Michelle is living in with Fanny and eventually she begins teaching dance at the studio to the students. The show focuses on four teenage students as well – Ginny, Boo, Sasha, and Mel and they are as delightful and different and whip-smart as Rory Gilmore.

The charming principal cast (minus Mama Gilmore)

The charming principal cast (minus Mama Gilmore)

If you loved Gilmore Girls then this show is for you. It’s not just a show about teen ballerinas and a Vegas showgirl. It’s about the terror of hitting a certain age and realizing things didn’t go the way you planned. It’s about figuring out a new dream, being a new girl in town, finding family in places you never expected and growing up.

The show also creates great stories about friendship, boys, and adolescence with the teen girls. Of course the town where Michelle and Fanny live is populated by as many awesome weirdos as Stars Hollow was and it makes the show even more delightful. AND – I didn’t even mention that all of the girls and Foster are extremely talented dancers in real life and we are often treated to some spectacular numbers.

In signature Sherman-Palladino style – the characters banter like it’s no one’s business, allude to pop culture on the regular, and speak at a rapid fire pace. This show is on the bubble for being renewed since it’s on ABC Family, but if you liked Gilmore Girls then you should absolutely give it a try. I don’t care if liking this show makes me a fifteen year old girl, it’s good and funny and super underrated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKcQ-9mRhWo

What I’m Watching – The League, Shameless Season 2, Bunheads

What I’m Listening to – Youth Lagoon’s new album – Wondrous Bughouse – It’s got a dreamy sound and for some reason makes me feel like I’m underwater, but not in a drowning way. The guy who produced it produces for Washed Out and Animal Collective and you can totally tell. It just came out yesterday so I’ve only listened to it once so far, but I liked it

What I’m Reading – Columbine by Dave Cullen – see above to read all about it

Thanks for reading!

-EB

The Best Life Lessons from my 20s

2 Mar

Brem and I recently had a milestone weekend (Okay – Brem’s was bigger than mine). Two Fridays ago, I turned 29 and began the last 365 days of being considered a “twenty-something” and on Saturday Brem bid adieu to her 20s and turned the big 3-0 (complete with braces). Pretty crazy that the two ladies who write these blogs for your viewing pleasure should have birthdays that are so close to each other.

I came down with the flu the night before my birthday and had a pretty terrible day (minus the adorable cards/cakes made for me by my students). This day included vomming in the staff bathroom at school and then ended with crying to my mom over Skype when I called to ask her if I can take two more Tylenol on top of the Sudafed I was already ingesting (a very grown up move right?).

As I laid in my bed, cursing the flu and running a high fever which led to dreams such as being bffs with Jessica Chastain (what? I am clearly JLaw’s bff) I started thinking about how weird it was going to be to not be in my 20s any more in less than a year. And then I started thinking about all of the valuable things I have learned in the last 9 years and how much I have changed. And so for your viewing pleasure I’ve compiled a list of the best life lessons I learned in my 20s. Some are funny, some are serious, and some are awkwardly embarrassing.

– An effective way of making sure your friends can find you on your birthday in a crowded club is by having them tie a balloon to the belt loop of your jeans. This might mean you don’t look cool, but it also means that your drunk ass won’t get lost or end up getting into a cab with a rando when you are hammered.

– If and when you decide to drink more alcohol than you should (and we know you’re going  to – because you’re in your 20s and you are young damn it!) – be sure to drink plenty of water before you go to bed. This is common sense. Use it.

-If you are still in college  – I want to grab your face Billy Madison style and tell you to “cherish it”. College will likely be the last time you live in close proximity to your best friends and when drinking on a Wednesday night feels completely acceptable.

-For those of you who just graduated or are in your mid-20s funk. It’s okay. I know it may seem like everyone is having more fun than you or that all of your friends have their shit together and you don’t – but the truth is — they aren’t and they don’t. Even people who seem like they know exactly what they’re doing are just really good at faking it. I guarantee they sometimes cry in the shower too. You’re not alone.

-Figuring out how to be an adult is difficult. I’m still using my “fake it til you make it” motto.

– Confidence is sexy as hell. But not annoying over-confidence — c’mon – that’s just dickish.

– The years after you graduate from college are some of the toughest of your life. I wish someone would have told me this. I don’t know if it would have made it easier, but I wish I knew that.

– No one wants to hear stories about “That time when you studied abroad” or anything that starts with “My ex-boyfriend (or ex-girlfriend)…”. No one. Just stop yourself. Take that, rewind it back, and never let it fly out of your mouth again.

-No good decisions are made after 2am.

-It’s okay if you still haven’t found your passion or life’s calling – I found a lot of things I didn’t want to do before I decided what I wanted to do. And some of the most interesting people I have met are well out of their 30s and still don’t know what they want to do with their lives.

– Check in on your friends. Even the ones who now have babies and are married. They appreciate that you are thinking about them even if they can’t get back to you because they are lactating all over the place or because they are picking out patio furniture for their newly purchased house. It might be annoying – but one day, you may in a similar position and your day could be made by an e-mail or phone call.

-New Years Eve is the prom of adulthood. Stop trying to make it happen. It’s never going to happen. (Said in my best Regina George voice).

– 401ks. Yep. A good idea.

-Tattoos you decided you would get “on a whim” — bad idea. Like it for at least year before committing to it.

-Hiding your phone in a box of cereal is an effective way to not drunk dial. Also, it make you feel like a little kid to find a prize in your cereal box the next day.

– Febreeze is no longer an acceptable form of getting bar smell off of your jeans past the age of 22. Do your fucking laundry slacker. Same goes with wearing bathing suit bottoms when you run out of underwear. Buy more underwear if you hate washing your clothes so much.

– Volunteer. It’s good to help other people and will help you stop feeling so sorry for yourself when you’re in a spiral of self-loathing that your 20s are known to sometimes bring on. And it’s a really nice thing to do. It always warms my heart to see young people doing something good and giving back.

Brem’s Take:

I’ve made it to 30. I know this is totally weird, but for some reason I can’t think of many things I learned in my twenties. I kinda feel like I’m the same person I was when I was 17. I was yet to have a broken heart or break someone’s heart (milestones of your 20s, for most, but something I can absolutely not give you any advice on) but overall, I don’t really feel more mature than I ever have been. I’m guessing this is ok. So, in place of things I’ve learned in my twenties, I give you a list of things I WISH I’d learned in my twenties:

– How to pay my bills, update my registration, get my car inspected, fulfill any time sensitive obligation, etc… on time. I still need to get emails every month that my bills are late in order to pay them. WTF.

-How to cook decently healthy meals. Om nom nom, let’s just go out to eat then.

-How to be assertive in uncomfortable situations. I am a totally non-confrontational person and I often just let things fester instead of facing them head on and you know, saying something. Because that might make someone uncomfortable and I just can’t handle it. Even when I know the worst case scenario is exactly the same as the present. Maybe it’s just a personality trait or maybe it’s just that I need to grow up and grow a pair.

-Get over my fear of animals, dogs in particular.  Nothing awful has ever happened because someone’s dog rubbed up against my leg and I look like a total bitch when I whine and ask people to not let their dog come near me. I need to let it go and try to be nice to a dog so it will be nice back to me and we can be friends. I know that my cowering and running away makes dogs not like me, so it’s a cycle. It’s weird and I should consciously try to get over it, especially because Brad loves dogs and totally wants one.

– How to budget. I just spend money and hope it’s not too much. It’s terrible and makes my husband want to kill me. I totally don’t blame him. It really sucks when your car breaks down and you have no money to get it fixed (or do you!? you have no idea! Why don’t you just run this card and see if it works?!).

– I was going to say how to stop procrastinating, but now that I look at the above topics I think everything may fall into this category.

-How to deal with my mother. She and I fight like we are teenagers and there is no one I want to physically strangle more than her, which brings her great joy! Because she’s a looney! She tortures me and gets serious satisfaction out of it. My sister, on the other hand, does not get this treatment because she doesn’t get pissed off, or she just hides it really well. When will I learn to ignore her and just let her sit in the front seat so we don’t end up in a hair pulling fight in my sister’s driveway because my mom is not following the correct rules of calling shotgun!? Yes. This is really seriously something that recently happened. I told you I haven’t matured in my twenties. Maybe I get it from my mother?

So there. Maybe some advice is to write a blog about the shit you suck at and it will make you feel great about being 30! Because really, eh, it’s ok to pay your student loan 3 days late. You’re still a nice person.

Note: I totally disagree on the Febreezing your jeans thing. I wear mine at least 3 times before washing. But I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re only going back to the bar, right? Or I’m a filthy animal, which is probably more likely.

Things I Thought While Watching the Oscars

25 Feb

Hey everyone, so I know this is a bit late but because I was at work in Japan while the Oscars were live, I had to follow the ceremony via tweets and live blogs. Did I tear up a little bit when J-Law won best actress? Yes, yes I did. Did I gag on my tea when I realized that Anne Hathaway is probably going to make Gary Marshall re-issue new Princess Diaries DVDs with a name change to ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Anne Hathaway on them? Affirmative. So after I came home and made myself some fajitas and poured a glass of wine – I decided to blog all my random thoughts of the Awards ceremony. For those of you who prefer my less wordy blog entries – then this is for you.

Things I Couldn’t Stop Thinking About During the Oscars:

  • Samuel Jackson in red velvet smoking jacket ftw!
  • Robert Downey Jr. didn’t clap for Seth MacFarlane. My love for RDJ grows even more.
  • I had to take my first sip of wine less than three seconds in when a Tommy Lee Jones comment was made. Damn it.
He's smiling. You should have had to finish a drink for this.

He’s smiling. You should have had to finish a drink for this.

  • Wait — they ‘themed’ the Oscars? What is this? A spring fling sorority mixer? Just hand out the fucking award.
  • Emanuelle Riva is adorable. I’d like her to be my French grandma.
  • Seth MacFarlane’s openning monologue is making me uncomfortable. Slavery jokes? Really dude?
  • First J-Law camera cut of the night. DRINK!
Telling Seacrest what the deal is before the show. Love her.

Telling Seacrest what the deal is before the show. Love her.

  • I’m going to hate myself for saying this but is Seth MacFarlane kind of attractive or is the wine talking already? I think he is boning Daenerys from Game of Thrones in real life – so I can’t be 100% off base on this right?
Am I drunk or is he sort of attractive until he opens his mouth?

Am I drunk or is he sort of attractive until he opens his mouth?

  • Also MacFarlane’s voice is pretty nice.
  • Charlize Theron — you are the best. That was the ultimate Dancing with the Stars audition.
  • Is Channing Tatum really impressive or am I more impressed by him because he looks like a guy you knew in high school who was totally hot but dumb as a fucking brick so when I see Channing Tatum I automatically have low expectations?
Impressive.

Impressive.

  • Too many weird racist comments. Wtf dude?
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – my crush on you increases. Can you please be in a musical soon?
Look at JGL in the back. This is for you Brem!

Look at JGL in the back. This is for you Brem!

  • GOD, this opening monologue is PAINFULLY long and all about Seth MacFarlane and not about the movies or people. UGH!
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman brought his little son who a total mini me of his dad. Can’t decided if it’s adorable or creepy.
  • Yep, still have the hots for Christoph Waltz. I’m okay with this.
Sexy Austrian beast.

Sexy Austrian beast.

  • Cuts to Jack Nicholson, J-Law and De Niro. I’m getting drunk.
Thanks Jack.

Thanks Jack.

  • Even though I am pissed Wreck It Ralph lost – I really enjoy that the guy who won for Brave wore a kilt. Get it dude!
  • After Brave wins the camera cuts to ginger Jessica Chastain and her ginger mom. Coincidence? I wonder if my mom was rooting for gingers to win last night…they look out for each other.
  • Quvenzhane Wallis is just the cutest — flexing her arms after the best picture montage. Love it.
Hushpuppy is the cutest!

Hushpuppy is the cutest!

  • Continual drinking for the riff on Wallis’s age. DAMN IT DRINKING GAME!
Check out her puppy purse! It really doesn't get cuter than this!

Check out her puppy purse! It really doesn’t get cuter than this!

  • The cinematographer for Life of Pi totally deserved to win. I haven’t seen a more visually stunning movie in my life. It was a feast for the eyes. If it’s still playing in theaters where you are, I could not recommend it more.
  • Everytime Ang Lee fist pumps I love him even more.
  • Playing the Jaws theme to play people off is tacky as hell. Terrible.
  • Bond tribute was pointless except for Shirley Bassey belting out some Goldfinger. Homegirl still rocks the shit out of it.
  • How can there still be another 2 hours of this show? Jesus. Good thing I’m kind of drunk. Patting myself on the back for my drinking game.
  • Jennifer Garner’s dress does not belong next to Jessica Chastain’s. Chastain – you brought it tonight – maybe my favorite dress of the night.
Ginger-y perfection

Ginger-y perfection

  • Musical tribute thoughts – not sure why the Oscars are themed but 1) DAMN – Catherine Zeta-Jones is still hot. Also, she should seriously consider cutting her hair like that for realsies 2) FUUUUUUUUUUUCK. JENNIFER HUDSON IS A GODDESS! Seriously, I kept yelling “DAMN” while she sang. I would not want to follow her. She has the voice of an angel – a powerhouse vocally gifted angel. Even Jack Nicholson was like “Da-yum” during the standing O. 3) Seeing Hugh Jackman on the stage makes me wish he was hosting again. He was the best. And that chest. Anne Hathway came out and ruined it for me. But Eddie Redmayne brought me back. But then Russell Crowe came out and ruined it again. Womp womp.
  • Is it the wine talking or are a lot of dudes with really long hair winning tonight? Is that a thing? Maybe De Niro should have grown a mullet.
  • That Sound of Music gag was turrrrible.
WTF?

WTF?

  • Did Anne Hathaway have a heart attack when Christopher Plummer started with “Miss” instead of just “Anne..” Also, I have a massive old man crush on Plummer.
  • Ugh. Anne Hathaway’s speech. How long do you think she rehearsed saying “It came true” in her bathroom mirror. We all knew you were going to win — it’s okay to act like you knew it too. DDL knew he was going to win and he was charming and hilarious. Hathaway – 0 DDL – 1
  • Anne Hathaway’s husband is a poor man’s Ryan Gosling.
Poor man's Gosling.

Poor man’s Gosling.

  • There has been a lot of Oscar clutching. I am drunk. Thanks drinking game.
  • J-Law introducing Adele — it’s like my two best friends together on stage at the Oscars. Love them both.
  • Adele’s hair is perfection. It’s like soft golden waterfalls. Her hair and make-up are flawless. She is flawless.
You're amazing. And perfect.

You’re amazing. And perfect.

  • Nicole Kidman is looking fly. Seriously – she is so hit or miss at these events but tonight is a hit in my opinion. Work those sequins you Aussie Amazon!(Can you guys tell I’m drunk right now?? haha)
  • Did someone kick Kristen Stewart in the shins and beat the fuck out of her before she came out to present? Brush your hair hippie — this is the fucking Oscars!
Buzz, your girlfriend. Woof.

Buzz, your girlfriend. Woof.

  • Clooney — you smolder. Stay golden.
  • Is that REALLY Barbara?!?! Good god, the BEST. She’s like buttah. A giant stick of buttah! I feel like I’m in a gay man’s fever dream. First J. Hud,  then Hugh Jackman, Adele, and now Babs. Good lord, I love it.
Eternally Babs.

Eternally Babs.

  • What the hell happened to Renee Zelleweger’s face? A combination of too much botox combined with copious amounts of coke? Damn. Especially looking harsh compared to the lovely Queen, Catherine Zeta and the dapper Richard Gere. Also — did Catherine Zeta-Jones always have a rack that big?
Yikes!

Yikes!

  • God, I fucking love Adele. She is perfection. And I love that when she opens her mouth to speak that cockney accent comes out. And she called her husband her man and started to cry in the cutest way. I wish Adele could give every acceptance speech. She is also now half way to an EGOT!
  • Charlize Theron is the most attractive laugher ever. I mean, seriously.
Charlize - you are adorbs.

Charlize – you are adorbs.

  • I love Tarantino but the man looks like a mess. Did he sleep in that tux? On the other hand, his speech was great and he ended with a peace out. Love it. Love him.
  • Jane Fonda looks great. I wonder if she still does her aerobic workouts in sweet 80s gear.
  • Ang Lee is adorable. I saw Life of Pi on Saturday and he absolutely deserved that award and that standing ovation. It was a film making masterpiece! Also, his wife is amazing too!
  • JENNIFER LAWRENCE FOREVER AND EVER. In case you can’t hear it – my heart just exploded with joy. I’ve never been so excited for a stranger in my life. And that fall — goofy and perfect – and the recovery was amazing. She looked genuinely shocked and breathless and was perfect. God, I just fucking love her.
ACADEMY AWARD WINNER JENNIFER LAWRENCE Y'ALL!

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER JENNIFER LAWRENCE Y’ALL!

  • Daniel Day Lewis looked surprisingly emotional after winning. And his speech was funny and warm and classy. Also, he looks pretty damn fine in a tux.
  • Michelle Obama — looking good FLOTUS. Classy dame as always.
  • Ben Affleck  – you magnificent son of a bitch. I just cried at the end of your speech — especially when your voice broke when you dedicated the win to your kids. You are adorable and I am so glad you won something.
Congrats Ben!

Congrats Ben!

  • The ending with Kristen Chenowith and Seth MacFarlane was really weird. Good thing I’m drunk for this.

Thanks for reading. I’m off to take Tylenol, drink water and furiously google all things Jennifer Lawrence.

Best Dresses – 1) Jessica Chastain 2) Naomi Watts (some people hated it, but I loved it!) 3) Charlize Theron 4) Nicole Kidman 5) Sandra Bullock

Worst Dresses  – 1) Jennifer Garner 2) Kristen Stewart 3) Kerry Washington 4) Anne Hathaway 5) Zoe Saldana

Review Roundup: A Bunch of Unrelated Stuff

11 Feb

So, wow, yeah, I’ve been terrible at blogging. My excuse is that we opened our homebrew store this past week and have been really busy. It’s a terrible excuse because I didn’t really do much for the store opening and also who cares? Anyway, I’m going to cram a bunch of unrelated crap into this post for your digestion!

Act 1 – Guilty Pleasures: Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant

My biggest weakness when it comes to “bad” TV is the dynamic duo of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom (or as Brad now calls any bad TV show “Teen Baby Mom” or as JK called it “pregnant babies and teenage retards” [i don’t like to use the r-word, but please!]). I know I’m not alone in the love of these shows, and that does bring me some solace. But just a teeny, tiny bit.  It is SO bad, so, so painfully bad that it forces me to take a look at my life and realize I’m living on a golden fucking cloud. So, yeah,  it is the worst ever reason to like a show. It is the exact, exact same desire to look for a person lying on the ground as you drive past a car accident that causes me to watch these shows. Oh, look, your life sucks way worse than mine. Imma spy on you! HOLY SHIT, your life is a shitshow!  Wow, yeah that makes me feel pretty despicable.  But, oh, look – cute babies!

janelles-mom

And in response to you, Beddall – I also really loved Coyote Ugly and me and my friend Jess saw it in the theater and tried to learn dance moves and pretended to dance on bars for a few months. We were still in the “career exploration” period of our lives so it was totally worthwhile.  And we learned something – nope, I don’t think we can make it in the world of dancing on bars. Thank god we didn’t try songwriting – I’ve seen my journals from that age and there is literally nothing more horrible ever written in the history of human beings.  Not even Twi.lig.ht.

Act 2 – Oscar movie review: Life of Pi

I decided to go to the movie theater alone for the first time in my life. And actually I almost failed as I got the time wrong and found myself banging on the door of the movie theater when it wasn’t even open yet and I felt really stupid. No matter. I really didn’t know what this movie was about – I knew there was a part about a boy on a boat with a tiger – but what I didn’t expect was allllll the animals.  If you don’t know about me and my feelings about animals I will simplify – I am afraid of them and when animals are near me I feel like I’m right on the verge of peeing myself.  So there were some uncomfortable parts and many, many parts when I was really afraid of the tiger.  I honestly doubt most people will have this reaction, as I am a weirdo.

But the important points – the story was sad and heartwarming and the whole thing was a beautiful, huge, visual feast – it gets a little weird and fantasyish at points but the visual effects are dazzling.  I may have audibly gasped a few times when different animals appeared onscreen and I was embarrassed when people in the theater turned to look at me. Thank god no one was there for me to embarrass.  Yeah, that’s a whale jumping through a sea of bioluminescent plankton.

lifeofpi

I am honestly at a loss about which movie I think should win best picture this year. More in depth analysis when I’ve seen ’em all.

Act 2 – Bonus Movie Review – 50/50

This movie just came on TV so I left it on not expecting much, but I ended up really liking it. I must have totally missed it when it was new, or it just didn’t generate a ton of buzz (ugh, did I really just say that? gross.) but whatever.  Joseph Gordon Levitt is super adorable in it (much better looking than when he was in Looper and they did weird stuff to his face to make him look like Bruce Willis – which didn’t work by the way) even when he was sickly and didn’t have hair (it’s a cancer movie – surprise!).  His crinkly eyes, awwwh – just as cute as he was in 500 days of Summer. I also really like Anna Kendrick, she does an amazing job of being a little girl pretending to be a grown up. She’s going to end up being the biggest breakout of Twi.light after all. Great awkwardness, Anna! (Is that a good compliment or what?!).

Anyway, in just about every romantic comedy (this one is a little romantic, but I really wouldn’t call it a romantic comedy. Or even a comedy. What is it? Heartwarming, sarcastic cancer movie with cute boy and Seth Rogan?) there is usually a point where one character does something really stupid and annoying that pisses off the other one and then they are separated and have to jump through hoops and have a series of annoying misunderstandings and “DON’T DO THAT” moments and it makes me tense and angry and if I didn’t mention it, annoyed. This movie didn’t have that.  Also, I really like his face.

Joseph-Gordon-Levitt

Act 4 -Album Review: Local Natives, Hummingbird

Sigh. I pretty much never feel the need to write about music I don’t really love, but I just can’t stop thinking about the sad, sad phenomenon that is the sophomore slump.  Beddall was the one who introduced me to the Local Natives first album, Gorilla Manor and I was hooked. I listened to it over and over and couldn’t get enough. It had the lines and the punch that made me rewind and replay 10 second parts because I wanted to sing along over and over and squeeze my hands into fists because it was just so GOOD (A cubism dream, the most beauuuutiful squares I’d ever seen!).  So I was really excited to purchase this album the day it came out. But it’s gone.  Nothing offensive about this album, but the punch isn’t there, the floating feeling, the need to take a deep breath when a song was over. I feel sorry for it. It’s in the friendzone.

localnatives

Act 5 – Concert Review: Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel)

The back story is that after the album ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’ came out in 1998, he couldn’t tolerate the relative fame and he stopped performing publicly, with very few exceptions (a benefit for a friend, once for protesters at the Occupy movement in NYC, among a few others).  So when he announced a tour I was psyched (but still waited til the last minute to get my hands on some tickets, which wound up working out perfectly with awesome seats).  I think that the room of people at this show could have all been my soul mates. Just looking around at the faces I just knew that these people appreciate music the way I do – I was among friends and was somewhat distraught we would only be together for a night.

Anyway, the crowd sat in hushed anticipation as he walked out – and looked the part of grizzled hermit with long hair and giant mountain man beard. But his voice soared and everyone sang along and it was warm and fuzzy and when someone asked if we were allowed to stand up and he said okay and everyone walked respectfully as close as possible for the encore of ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’.  And we all sang along again, and we were happy.

And the crowd may have included Sean Hoots (of one of my all time faves, Hoots and Hellmouth) and seeing as how he was about 25 feet away from me I had to accost him and tell him I really liiiiked him and he was really nice and he looked at me with smiley, crinkley eyes and I’ve been listening to them for days with a smile. Geez, with the runon sentences.

My picture sucks, and pictures of him on the internet looked nothing like him so here’s a link to Mike’s: Mountain Man Jeff Mangum

Act 6 – Book Review: A Visit from the Goon Squad

So far I am having a hard time keeping everything straight and have to keep going back to remember who the fuck is who.  It’s one of those books with a million characters and jumps through time without chapter headings that say something like “Bennie, 1974”. That would probably help me. It has great reviews but so far I’m not too wowed. I’ll let ya know if anything changes. Or I’ll forget, you never know with me.

SO – here’s the question I pose to you – My “What I’ve been Reading” section has been really sucking, so I toyed with the idea of dismissing my reservations and reading 50 Shades of Gray just so I can review it here. But I don’t know if I should do that because I have avoided it like the plague and don’t really want to. eh?

Link

Why I’ll Never Really Be An Adult (But I’m trying really hard)

6 Feb

The Ways In Which I am Slowly Becoming an Adult

I’ve always thought that adulthood sounded like some exotic destination that I’d never really get to like Fiji or the inside of Ryan Gosling’s bedroom but in reality I guess it’s been slowly creeping up on me for some time now. I thought perhaps it’d be like Publisher’s Clearing House where someone knocks on my door after I’ve put together a book shelf with real tools without crying or cooked myself a balanced dinner with all the food groups and I’d magically be handed a paper that says – “Congratulations – you are an adult. You are able to make mature decisions and can now be taken seriously”. I know now it doesn’t really happen this way but wouldn’t it be better if it did? I’d love if there was a checklist to maturity of things I need to do in order to feel like I both have my shit together and that others recognize it. You need to sign a lease for a new apartment? — no problem – just hand them your certificate of adulthood and sign away. If only.

Feel free to comment and add to the list but here is what I think I am doing and have done that really makes me feel like an adult these days:

1) Buying furniture for your house or apartment. This does not include bean bags or hammocks, because c’mon – as much as we’d all love to live in a fort – it’s not practical.

2) Having movers move said furniture into your apartment/house. Nothing says “I’m doing okay” like the ability to pay that extra $30 to have your shit delivered to your house instead of asking your dad or friends to help you move it.

3) Doing your own taxes. Seriously, I really felt like I was the most mature person in the world when I did this. It only happened for the first time three years ago and I still have my dad double check it but man did I feel moderately competent at life after I did it. Also, last year I filled out a foreign tax form AND checked my friends’ tax form. #adultfosho

4) Being able to kill vermin without crying/screaming/vomming. I can’t lie – I’m not all the way there with this but no longer living with other people is def. forcing me into being my own heroine as I rescue myself from stink bugs, spiders, and (shivers) cockroaches.

5) The ability to refuse taking shots and to avoid certain types of alcohol. When I was 21-26 I had a hard time saying no – even when I know it would hurt, it always hurt so good. But once you’ve vomsploded so violently on New Years Day that you had to wear sunglasses to New Years Dinner (which your grandma was attending) and had to lie about said sunglasses (I’m sure everyone believed I “scratched my eye”) you’re hitting a bottom. There are many more stories of me and shots and alcohol types that make me behave badly (*cough* – tequila) – but my mom and dad read this blog so we don’t really need to get into it here do we?

Anyway, I think the ability to say “no” in any situation (not just booze related) is a major step in being an adult. It says you know your limits and you aren’t afraid to stand up for yourself and that is badass and adult. I’ve always admired people who can just say “No, I don’t want to do that” without giving excuses, mostly because I am not that person. To this day when I don’t want to do something for whatever reason I feel the need to give 3 reasons why I don’t want to or can’t do it. It’s terrible and I blame my guilty Catholic conscience (Thanks a lot God!).

6) Being able to be alone and live alone. Yes, this is a bit of a depressing one but a good indicator of adulthoodness I think. Last year in Japan marked the first time I have lived alone without friends or family. It was hard at first. If there were dishes in the sink they were clearly mine – same goes for hair in the drain, a disgusting bathroom, and expired food in the refrigerator.

Being able to live alone makes you accountable for all of your shit and being able to balance cleaning, cooking, and entertaining yourself is super hard. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it but I find I am doing okay. There are days when I’m lonely but then I go to the kitchen (sometimes pantsless – one day I will write about the joys of being alone in one’s apartment pantless) and start cooking a well balanced meal like a real adult which I usually narrate with Julia Child’s voice. Disclaimer: I never said living alone doesn’t make you a little nuts.

7) Being financially responsible. This is the pits. Do I need to say more? Paying your Bills, Bills, Bills like a Destiny’s Child song is the worst, but it’s necessary because you can’t flee the country and live off of the grid for the rest of your life no matter how much paying students loans makes you want to die inside. Paying the bills sucks. It’s part of being an adult and it’s horrible. Not everything on this list is great you know.

8) I will follow paying the bills with something awesome. Traveling. Or shopping. Or whatever it is your real world job affords you to be able to do that you love. Yes, being a student rules, but being broke sucks balls. Being an adult means you are making money and maybe you have enough dough to save or put aside to do some cool shit. Did I mention I just got scuba certified in Malaysia over Christmas? I did? Well, see, — being an adult fucking rules!­­­­

Look at me, I’m killing it and that is only 8 things on the checklist that I have done toward my girl scout badge of maturity. I’d probably also add being a good friend, a good listener and a good family member is probably on that list….sort of like not being a selfish asshole, but I feel like that is sort of a given and not just for adults but for all humans. Anyway, I think I am doing a pretty good job of acting like a grown up but before I go to the front of the auditorium to get my Big Kid diploma I have some confessions, which brings us to the next portion of this blog.

Reasons Why Being a Grown Up is my Everest (aka – a basically impossible and deadly climb)

1) As you can see from the above title of this section I might be a little bit dramatic. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of my dramatic and hyperbolic reactions to things, it can’t be helped. I recognize when I am being ridiculous but it doesn’t mean I am actively trying to stop being this way. And not trying to change or improve my flaws means I am not really there yet on the maturity spectrum. I’m over it. (yea, a real mature answer, I know).

2)  My Amazon Shopping Cart. I could probably put online shopping in here in general because it’s something that stops me from doing my responsible household duties and instead has me surfing the internet for hours putting things in virtual shopping carts that I don’t really need. Things in my current Amazon Shopping Cart include: A) An iPad case (very responsible choice – I like to take care of things) B) A  bathtub crayon that isn’t going to leave marks all over my body like the last one did C) Various records for my new record player D) Lego Set – Hogwarts Castle  – I mostly keep it there because a girl can dream. Oh god, this was embarrassing to write. Japan is really cold in the winter and doesn’t believe in central heating so I take a lot of baths to warm up. I couldn’t find a Walkmen to play a tape of Prince’s “Kiss” like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman so I went with toys. I don’t regret this decision. I have a basketball set, boats and a crayon that leaves unfortunate stains on me when I write with the red or purple colors.  As far as the Lego set goes – my joy for Lego was rekindled two years ago when I was a nanny for a week for one of my favorite co-workers.  I spent a snow day with the kids building Lego sets and it was oddly the most satisfying thing I had done that week (including anything job related). Legos give me a tangible sense of accomplishment I don’t get from much anywhere else.

3) I like to talk in voices –  If we are pretty good friends then you have probably witnessed or participated in the talking in voices/being characters. It can’t be helped. I LOVE talking in voices and taking on characters. When I go on vacation with my best friends there is chance that there might be a whole day dedicated to talking in voices or being characters. Why? Because we are 12 and it’s awesome to make up a back story and then go out in public and be ridiculous. My best friend and I have had entire conversations mostly conducted by using the word “Meow” (I know it’s sounds weird, but I think it might be hilarious and slightly endearing – no?).

4) Photo shoots and fake mustaches/costumes – One time on the way to Disney World (yes, two grown ass women went to Disney) with my best friend we almost missed our exit because I was laying down beats and she was freestyle rapping as disco played in the background. I have a collection of fake mustaches. I save ugly sweaters and shirts in hopes that one day there will be a costume party where I can bust it out. I love costumes and Halloween more than the average seven year old. Last time I was with all of my best friends at once we had a photo shoot that was deemed too embarrassing to post on facebook. Our best gay played the photographer and used phrases like “Work your angles”. I brought fake tattoos to this gathering and we spent a good half hour deciding what to use and where to put them and what it means.

5) Inappropriate Conversations About Fictional Characters – Last year one of my best friends visited me in Japan and our conversation turned to Harry Potter. We have pretty much sorted everyone we knew into houses on another trip but then we started sorting my friends she had met that week. We then moved to a conversation where we speculated on the sex lives of the Hogwarts students and staff (totally inappropriate). But I mean, there were hundreds of teenagers in Hogwarts Castle and you want to tell me that NO ONE was doing it? Dream on. Pansy Parkinson was a total ho. She was the village bicycle of Slytherin House. And Lavender Brown? Total rebound hook-up with Ernie McMillan after Ron dumped her ass. This naturally led to a conversation on whether or not Madam Pomfrey ever performed magical abortions. What is wrong with us? I say nothing, but you may think just a little less of me after reading this section, and I think I am okay with that.

6) I talk to my mom…a LOT! Okay, so I guess this is kind of sweet now since I am 6000 miles away but I can’t lie, I talk to my mom an ungodly amount of time. After college when I was working in a job I hated and ate lunch alone (oooh, so sad like Cady in Mean Girls) I used to call my mom and talk to her about my shitty day. She listened to me and told me about her day and what was going on and it was a mundane conversation that still made my day better. Then there were the 2 years that I lived with my “roommates” Jim and Peg Beddall when I moved home to figure out my life. I would go on walks every night with my mom, eat most meals with her and then watch our programs together. I would even take her out to dinner on Fridays when my pops was reffing b-ball and we would talk some more.

My mom has heard every random thought in my head like “I think I want to be a children’s librarian” or “I am applying for a Fulbright to teach in Nepal” and not once has she said “Erin, stop talking – you are ridiculous”. And I love her for it. I’m not sure if this falls into the category of not making me an adult or not but if daily talks with my mom (okay, now more like 3 times a week since I’m so far away) make me a baby then I will NEVER be an adult.

7) I am obsessed with pop culture, trashy magazines, celebrity gossip and am way too involved with my tv shows, books, and favorite movies. I recently spent an hour youtubing videos of Jennifer Lawrence interviews because she is hilarious. I also spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at pictures of Ryan Gosling and trying to figure out if Jon Snow and Ygritte from Game of Thrones on HBO are dating. A real adult with actual responsibilities would never waste their time on this shit.

Future husband. Adult style Tiger Beat crush

Future husband. Adult style Tiger Beat crush

I am sure can add to both of these lists for a VERY long time but I’ve already taken up so much of your sweet and precious adult time that you could have used to work on a budget or pay online bills or something so I won’t bother you anymore. The good thing is that being in Japan has definitely placed me more in the “real adult” column than in the “baby adult” column despite some drinking and crashing on people’s floors. Again, I’d love to see your “Adult Checklist”. Sidenote: You must be at least 24 to submit an answer because if you are younger than that then you haven’t had time to be a “real adult” yet unless you’re that chick who ‘From Homeless to Harvard’ was based on. Seriously, not having enough money to buy good beer or wine not in a box means you can’t answer this.

*This post was taken and edited and updated from a personal blog I wrote last year to my friends and family while I was living in Japan. I wrote a blog every week last year chronicling this adventure and will be trying to post all of the old blogs/e-mails on another blog page soon!

What I’m Reading

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe – It’s non-fiction and it’s beautiful. A book about a mother and son and how their love of books and reading brought them even closer together in the mother’s last months battling stage 4 cancer. I fell asleep last night with tears in my eyes and I am only halfway done.

What I’m Watching – Beyonce’s Superbowl halftime show — over and over. So fierce that I actually yelled at my computer “Fucking strut” when she got onstage. Also, under Brem and my sister’s recommendation I am watching Shameless and delighting in it’s trashiness.

What I’m Listening to: Tame Impala – Lonerism. A sort of psychaedelic surfer sound to the album that I am enjoying. It’s not rocking out music but rather just nice background music while I am cleaning or driving.