Wednesday, May 20, 2015

#ThanksDave

Earlier today I was talking to my mom as I was scrolling through Twitter and reading her some of the #ThanksDave posts on Twitter in honor of the last episode tonight of The Late Show with David Letterman.


 I read her my tweet about being 10 and the fact that my parents told me that I could stay up past my bedtime because it was Letterman's last show before jumping networks and landing in his current CBS time slot. Probably to appease their own insecurities about their bold parenting decision, they reiterated that this show had historical value many times. [Tangent: Although she didn't remember it, my mom now finds it funny and a bit skewed the things my folks found historical...lest we forget her decision to allow me to stay home from Pre-K when Maria got married on Sesame Street. My addiction to pop culture has clearly been enabled by those closest to me for quite some time.]

At this point in my life, I don't know if I had ever focused on an episode of a late night show before. The jokes were always over my head, [Tangent: WHY IS THIS CLARENCE THOMAS COKE CAN GAG FUNNY!!??!] so I guess I found them useless and just continued to wish I was watching TGIF instead. That night was different. Not only did I watch my parents laugh hysterically, but I laughed, too. I remember them showing a clip of him wearing a velcro suit and stuck to the wall. It was so ridiculous that I can still picture it and how it was so stupidly funny that it bridged the generation gap between me and my parents. My mind raced with two thoughts: Who is this man? and OHMYGOD! This is the coolest job ever.


I'll admit, I haven't been 100% loyal to Dave. In fact, when Conan took over for Leno [for that year that existed] that was my clear choice from 10:30- 11:30. And once Jimmy Kimmel moved his show up a half hour, that has been my default. However, Letterman was my first love and I'm slowly realizing it as I have teared up at almost every episode counting down to his retirement. [Tangent: Most blatheringly during Ray Romano's heartfelt Thank You and then again during Norm McDonald's stand up set. It was so touching that snot might have presented itself. I even teared up during a montage of Rupert moments on last nights show.] As stated in Steel Magnolia's- "No one cries alone in my presence", so it's highly likely that I will be crying with many tonight and thanking my mom and dad for instilling in me the important things in life. [Tangent:...and remembering how hard my dad used to laugh every time they played Will it Float?]  Thanks, Dave!

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Mom's guide to Facebook

Last month was a momentous one because my mother joined Facebook, and as expected- she has heaps of commentary on the matter. [Tangent: My mother is the funniest no-filter person on the planet, and I often have said that if she had a Twitter account, she would be Internet Famous by her fourth entry.] Although practically every human in on the grid, my mom has always remained steadfast that she wasn't interested in joining. My father and her were always under the assumption that just because you joined the site meant that everyone HAD to know your business. [Tangent : I can't tell you how many times I heard "I don't want someone to know where I am at all times or what I'm having for dinner."] Over and over,  I tried to explain that FB only posts what you type in on the site, but they weren't  having it.

Being that everyday, and for a paycheck, I sit on Facebook, this abhorance of social networking didn't sit right with me [Tangent: OK. Maybe it wasn't  that bad before. Back before she was on social media, my mom never had to send me text messages to alert me that someone I know has posted an unflattering yet trying to be sexy picture or  god forbid to question why my boyfriend has posted a drawing of a penis in a post.]. She needed some frame of reference when I tried to tell her about my day at work. [Tangent: For example, if I wanted to brag on a day when I got a lot of "likes" for my work account. Her response before was, "What does that mean to 'like' it. I don't need Facebook to like you."]

When she broke her hip in February, my sister and I saw FB as a way to give her a project that would keep her occupied. Against her will, we set up her profile and started adding friends for her. Slowly she is picking up on ins and outs. [Tangent: I forget what it is like to be new to Facebook. I joined 10 years ago when it was still "the Facebook" and limited to people with university email addresses. I have adapted to the  evolution and the lingo and the various quirks, but explaining it to someone for the first time is surprisingly difficult. Sometimes it's like teaching English to someone from another country...it makes sense to me, but I know it sometimes is illogical.] Within a week, she was already forming a lot of strong opinions about people on Facebook and had expressed several times to me a real concern that she would be Catfished. [Tangent: Yeah, although she wasn't on the social media grid, my mom watches Catfish and lots of Criminally-mindsy type shows, so she is super aware that the net can be a crazy place.]
Here are some of mom's feelings as a newcomer to the social matrix:

  1. Profile Pictures- My mom feels super strongly that it should be make it be of YOU...not your pet or you and 9 other people. This is mostly due from the fact that a lot of the people requesting her friendship are total blasts from the past and sometimes a name isn't ringing a bell, she relies on the photo. If the photo is of a kitten in a hoodie, it makes her powers of deductive reasoning null and void.
  2. Being invited to games- Because she is a newcomer to Facebook, she thinks being invited to play Farmville or being asked to get upped a level in Candy Crush is like being invited to a party. I heard her say the other day, "I got invited to play a game today, which is so nice of them because it's someone I don't know very well. Too bad I don't play." I'm sure after her 30 millionth invite, I'm sure it will lose it sweetness, but for now- mom finds the whole exchange very charming.
  3. Liking Your Own Picture - One day I came home from work and called my mom out on this faux pas. She, of course, had no idea that she had done it (and didn't know how to delete it), but was glad she had because it pushed it back into people's newsfeed, and hence got lots of new people to see it and comment and like it. So mom's lesson here, if you want more likes on your photos, give it a few days and like your own. I'm not sure this will catch on, but she has a valid point.  
This is just scratching the surface! Don't you think she's halfway to a technology blog by now?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I had to weigh in on the girl in a wheelchair winning a treadmill, right?

On Tuesday, a friend sent me the now infamous video where the girl in a wheelchair [Tangent: Not me...there are others and this lady's name is Danielle Perez.] wins a treadmill on the Price is Right. The irony of the matter of course made me giggle hysterically. I watched it multiple times as I imagined the producers heads exploding.

I was in no way laughing at her, but laughing with her as a sign of disabled sister solidarity because I knew the Internet would lose their damn minds over the palatable awkwardness. Here are a couple of the scenarios I dreaded.

1. Somehow someone would see her appearance on the show as inspiring despite her disability. Ugh. I'm pretty sure the ability to walk and the ability to guess prices are not mutually exclusive. She wanted to be on the show, so she auditioned to be a contestant. Simple.  [Tangent: I didn't love that most of the articles featured the phrase "wheelchair bound"...which sounds so scary to me!] It's always good to see people like me on television, but not when it comes standard with a morality play.

2. People would be mad at the show for airing the episode or for giving her the prize at all.
I don't really get why people get their panties all in a twist about this. I think pulling it from the air would be insane. I mean if an 80-year-old woman goes on the show and wins a Roku TV or high-tech sound system or a dune buggy, she may not use that either, but they wouldn't pull it from the air. [Tangent: I've also considered what if someone won a giant sectional sofa and 90 inch TV but lived in a teeny apartment?]

Luckily, Jimmy Kimmel had Danielle on his show last night and extended her 15 minutes a fame a little longer, which I am A-OK with because this girl is definitely someone I could roll with. [Tangent: Yep! Pun intended, shamelessly.] He got to know her a little and they discussed the absurdity of the whole thing and spoiler alert: he awards her with an accessible cruise. 



My favorite part of this whole thing is Jimmy's statement:
"People are looking for reasons to be mad about things they have no right to be mad about all the time. That is why the Internet was invented."
Well, i for one am not mad.. maybe because I am such an unabashed game show nerd, but I am glad this weird pop culture faux pas has introduced the world to Danielle!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Crapiversaries

On Friday, my friend and morning helper Kate came to get me out of bed and brought my mom and I a pretty potted plant. She said, "I know this is your crapiversary, so I thought this would help." Friday marked one year since my brother, Chris, passed away suddenly and this new term "crapiversary" seems like the perfectly fitting way to describe a day that is indescribable.  Every few years, I seem to acquire new crapiversaries, days that deserve remembering but not for fun joyous reasons. They are the "never forget..." days of your personal life.


Crapiversaries are not easy and usually end up making you cry at random times. To keep me from dreading these inevitable calendar pages, a planned day with equal parts remembrance and diversion is kind of crucial. This year, on May 1st, in addition to the standard eating out at a favorite restaurant, my mom and I decided to go to the Southern Women's Show, which for me is a lot of stimulation and food samples and monograms and bedazzled BS coming at you like whack-a-moles. [Tangent: Seriously, I don't know how everyone there looked so happy. I hit my ceiling after being there for 15 minutes.]

We were feeling kind of defeated in our search for diversion there because I didn't need hair extensions or floor refinishing services. Then we wandered into a booth by World Vision, who does mission work with third-world countries and has a child sponsorship program. [Tangent: Because I am always dubious, I used to think these things were Sally Struthers style shams, but my former roommate sponsored a child and I used to see the notes she got from her sponsor child from Africa..and now they are Facebook friends. Clearly, these people are real. It forever reminds me of Garden State where Natalie Portman's sponsored "brother" comes to live with them from Africa when he goes to Rutgers...but I digress.] They shared the booth with a group that sets up businesses for native artisans and sells their wares stateside. At first we were just lured in with pretty textiles and magazine bead necklaces, and before you knew it we were sponsoring a child.

The sweet woman with the nose ring working there told us that we could pick based on country or even a birthday, so at that moment a little light bulb went off cohesively between me and my mother.  We decided this was some sort of cosmic way to remember Chris. We "adopted" a little boy from Nicaragua named Christian who shared my brothers birthday. It seemed only right and it led to us both crying in the Music City Center like damned fools. I felt like my brother, the ever charitable Jones family member, was pleased with our decision.

I know there will be many Crapiversaries to come, and some may be more laced with sad than happy, but I think they are important.  It made me happy to see that my brother's friends celebrated the crapiversary, too. They went camping at one of their favorite camping/canoeing spots. It also seemed like appropriate timing that last week, Hello Giggles ran my story called Being there for Someone who has lost a loved one. [Tangent: You can read it here. I had written it a few weeks prior after a week of REALLY awkward interactions regarding the losses in my family. I think it was a perfect time for Hello Giggles to run my first story about something other than TV. I know it feels awkward plugging this in a post that is dedicated to Chris, but I think it's an important one to read and is relatable for anyone that has lost a loved one.] I miss my brother everyday, and I think he is somehow pleased to be contributing to my creativity. 
 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Netflix Documentary Hits and Misses Vol 9 (April 2015 Edition)

This month has been really busy. It has definitely been one high on entertainment consumption, but unfortunately low on documentary viewing. [Tangent: Except I did watch Going Clear, the Scientology documentary like the rest of premium cable-having Americans. That was some batshit stuff, right?] However, I have squeezed in some Netflix...because not unlike Jell-o, there's always room for Netflix.


Killer Legends- A
Jamie told me about this one about urban mythology from the makers of the film Cropsey, which I reviewed a while back[Tangent: He belongs to a Facebook group for the Last Podcast on the Left, which is a comedy podcast that deals with dark subject matter like cults and etc...so a lot of times, he gets hints on viewing material from the people on the message boards.]. Because I love Criminal Minds and this kind of stuff always intrigues me, I loved it. It tackled several familiar campfire  story tropes like killer clowns, the couple being attacked by a man with a hook on lover's lane, and the babysitter getting the call from inside the house, but possibly the most shocking to me was the poisoned Halloween candy. Being that I grew up being convinced strangers were spending all of October injecting rat poison into Kit-Kats, I was appalled to see the route of that myth. I won't spoil any of them, because if that's your cup of spooky tea, you need to check it out for yourself.

Love Me- A+
OH MY- I have so much to say about this one, and it will probably be the big winner from this batch (which is hard because this group was pretty top notch.) This film is about a group of men who have subscribed to a service to find a bride from Eastern Europe. After watching When Strangers Click and Mail Order Bride and every episode of TLC's 90 Day Fiance, one would think I had exhausted myself on the topic. [Tangent: For some odd reason, I have a lot of web traffic from that corner of the globe, so I'm glad I am finally catering to their interests.] The whole concept is extremely hard to wrap my practical mind around, mostly because I can't imagine entering quickly into a relationship with someone I only know based on appearances and that we have to communicate with through a translator. The men in the picture are characters unto themselves and you will feel bad for a couple of them who are clearly being bamboozled by women who just want money/green cards. It's not all negative, there are some success stories, but again, it is so outside my realm of imaginable scenarios, much like the Duggar family, that I tend to watch like it's a National Geographic expose. [Tangent: Also, weird feminist moment, why can't I mail order a groom from some sexy war-torn oppressed country!?! Maybe I can...perhaps I just never looked hard enough. Spoiler Alert: That is not how I met Jamie.] 

We Cause Scenes: The Rise of Improv Everywhere- B+
After watching a crap ton of documentaries, I have come to realize that I love a movie that chronicles from start to finish- the rise of a movement or a company [Tangent: Some of my favorites are Time Zero (about Polaroid) and Burt's Buzz (about Burt's Bees).] This one definitely filled that quota; it is about the man (and later group) that basically invented the flash mob concept. I feared it would be exhausting just watching pranks over again, but it was interesting to see that this whole movement was born out of boredom and a mind numbing job [Tangent: Because that's the long and the short of why I started blogging.] and in a pre-YouTube era. Everything they did was initially done without the expectations of "going viral", it was simply done as a fun story an elite group of random passersby could share at parties. I definitely enjoyed it more than I expected.

Paul Williams: Still Alive- B
One of the perks of being a documentarian is that you can base a whole film on living out a childhood dream. [Tangent: Seriously, I wish I had some film talent so I could pitch something that would give me an excuse to meet some random people like the casts of Kids Inc. or The Mickey Mouse Club circa 1990. ]  In this movie, the filmmaker remembers fondly one of his childhood heroes, songwriter and 70s TV staple, Paul Williams, and wonders what ever happened to him. He isn't even sure if he is alive. [Tangent: I was vaguely familiar with Williams because he has a definite and unrecognizable "look".  I knew he was a songwriter, but didn't know that he wrote The Rainbow Connection and Rainy Days and Mondays. I kind of thought he was more or less the Shadoe Stevens or the Paris Hilton of the 70s....famous for just kind of being around.] The film chronicles his meeting and coercing Paul Williams into letting him into his life...which isn't shocking considering his pitch was "I want to convince the world that you are still 'a thing'"  [Tangent: Can I get off topic for a minute? I am noticing a rampant epidemic among covers of Netflix documentaries- pictures that feature the subjects face  from the nose up on the bottom half of the cover. Seriously...expect an upcoming post about this!]

Unhung Hero- B+
I'm pretty sure Rae told me I needed to watch this a while back, but at the time my mind was still reeling from The Final Member and I didn't want to cram in too many penis-centric docs.  [Tangent: However, after watching this (finally!), I would almost recommend that you watch them as a double feature.] This one is slightly more graphic, but equally hilarious. I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is easily disturbed or prudish- but the long and the short (pun intended) is that the narrator and film's subject was rejected by his prospective finacee [Tangent: This is the downside of proposing on a JumboTron!], because she said he was too small downstairs. Part of me wants to doubt that the story is 100% true (because the subject is an actor and parts of it play out a little ridiculous!), but regardless I think it's an interesting take on the subject. You hear about women and their body insecurities all the times, it's about time the script gets flipped and examined through different cultural lenses. Also, you get to see an Asian man lift heavy weights with his junk...that's something right.

To Be Takei- A
This one has been on the docket since it debuted, and I'm mad that I didn't watch it sooner. [Tangent: I mumble a lot so whenever I suggested it to my boyfriend, he always thought I was saying something about "BTK."] Because I am a human on the internet, I of course am familiar with George Takei being his super funny Facebook posts, but I didn't know a lot else other than that he is gay, Asian and on Star Trek. Sometimes, I don't love when a autobiographical doc tackles too many things, but I loved that this one covered his whole life because it made me basically fall in love with George and his fascinating life in a Japanese American Internment camp and then later breaking down all sorts of barriers as both advocate for Asian Americans and gay Americans. Also, I love his relationship with his husband...they are adorable, and I want to go to NYC to see his musical based on Japanese internment. I'm sure this won't help the issue of convincing my Netflix algorhythm that I am not a middle-aged gay male, but it was TOTALLY worth it!

What They Left Behind-C-
The subject matter of this one- young people and gun violence- is definitely a heavy yet important one, and I watched it because it was 30 minutes and I needed something short. I daresay that was my biggest criticism- that it was far too short to tackle such a broad issue. It followed a handful of  people who lost loved ones due to gun violence and concluded with a family who lost a child at Sandy Hook. [Tangent: It was very upsetting and heavy, but due to it's length and amount tried to cram in reminded me of From One Second to The Next (a movie I covered in December about texting while driving). It came off a little like a film strip (using that term really dated me) or a movie you might show in a STARS program, and less like a fully formed film.] I know that makes me seem like a heartless asshole, because these children's stories NEED to be told- I just kept wanting to see more and not just 9 minutes with each family. I would probably give an A to the unabridged version.

Atari: Game Over- A
Although my family owned an Atari when I was wee and I grew up loving video games, I had never heard about the crazy mythology that surrounds the alledged "Worst Game Ever"- ET for the Atari gaming system. I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy even if you, like me, had no idea about the urban legend that Atari was so ashamed of that game that they buried all copies of it in a desert landfill, and it bankrupted the company. I have a secret love for corporate histories, so I enjoyed the story about how this random ragtag group of programmers became the brains behind Atari [Tangent: Spoiler alert: They were pretty much like the rock stars of video games. Drugs and women for days!] and I won't spoil it by telling you whether or not they found anything in the desert, but the movie is extremely riveting. That really isn't easy to do...to make watching men dig through garbage compelling...but it is. Also, for all your non-gramer nerds, you will get to see cameos by George R.R Martin and a Delorean.

Have you seen any of these? 
What should I watch in May?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What I Saw at Wild West Comedy Fest 2015


Dear sweet sugar-coated lord. Last week was Wild West Comedy Fest and thus exhausting and fantastic. [Tangent: I am seriously still recovering and thus spending this rare gorgeous day being a lazy shut-in.] This is the second year for the week of comedy shows that brings big names and comedy events to Nashville. [Tangent: Last year we went to a live taping of @Midnight and went to a Q&A with Vince Vaughn and The Lonely Island. You can read about that here.] When the tickets went on-sale in December for the various events, I think we got a little carried away, but there was SO MUCH to choose from that I had a hard time cutting myself off.  In fact, after going to 3 different shows this year, I still regret missing Joel McHale, but it wasn't in the budget.

OK. So here is what I did see.


1. Benson Interruption

Because I love Doug Benson live [Tangent: Seriously, his stand up doesn't even do his humor justice, his quick wit and improvisation is unmatched.] and cheesy cinema, I naturally was onboard to see The Benson Interruption of Footloose at The Belcourt. Although I am a huge fan of his Doug Loves Movies podcast, I have never listened to one of these before, so it was all new and exciting! Basically it is Doug and some comedic guests making fun of a movie live as an audience watches it along with them. [Tangent: It is kind of like Mystery Science Theater, but unlike that series- it is 100% made up on the spot...so I like it even better because the comics are mostly just trying to make each other laugh.] The guests for this were Ralphie May, Rorey Scovall and Nate Bargatze. They all cracked me up and I will probably never watch Footloose the same again.

2. Kevin Smith Q&A
Like most people my age, I spent a lot of time in high school and college watching Kevin Smith movies and Mallrats is one of Jamie's favorite films, so this was an obvious choice of something we needed to go see. It was back-to-back with a live taping of his podcast with Jason Mewes [Tangent: The Jay to his Silent Bob.] so although we didn't go see that taping, while waiting to get in, we actually got to talk to his cohort for a few minutes. [Tangent: Mewes cracked me up because he was wearing a very enviable floral headband and a man-bun! I loved his look. After signing something for Jamie, I asked him to defile it with something dirty or maybe some genitalia, to which he just started saying "so you want me to draw a wiener?!" He then used the word "wiener no less than 10 times in two minutes.  I loved that one of the allegedly filthy actors was using the term wiener. It made me happy. ] The Q&A was pretty cool and it was interesting to hear about the up and coming Mallrats 2 and some back story about the making of some of his movies, but Smith is hella long-winded and the show didn't let out til 1 AM! I don't think my inner grandmother had adequately prepared for this, but luckily Smith was the nicest person in the world and came outside afterward to meet and say hi to everyone.

3. John Mulaney and Nick Kroll

Although I have not seen a lot of their stand up (aside from some short appearances), I have loved Mulaney's writing on SNL and I love Nick Kroll whenever he is on ANYTHING [Tangent: Seriously...he could do absolutely anything and I would crack up] ! I have recently also started watching Kroll Show and feel as if the Wheels, Ontario skit really speaks to me.  Anyway, our seats for this were incredible thanks to the random favor that occurs from the handicapped seats at the Ryman.  I laughed non-stop throughout the entire thing, especially when they broke their strides to interact with/heckle audience members for being late so they could get chicken fingers or for leaving to go to the bathroom. After a costume change, they also finished both of their sets with an encore where they reprised their famous roles as Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland aka the "Too Much Tuna guys." Although, I love Kroll Show, this has never been my favorite skit- but their improvisation was amazing and now I will watch it with fresh eyes!  Also, as we were leaving we overheard the girls walking behind us say that Amy Poehler had been sitting likely really close to us, because she was there to see her boo, Nick Kroll!!! HOW DID WE MISS THAT!?!??! [Tangent: here is Jamie's mapping out of the situation after the fact.]


Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Elbow is Famous Now

A few months ago I tagged along with Jamie to go see Justin Townes Earle play an in-store at Grimey's. As is the case with most musical performances with no assigned seating, I will generally get there early or throw down the wheelchair card to get to the front, so I am not nostril to butt hole for the entirety of a performance. For JTE, we got insanely lucky as we had for some prior shows, and got up front.


Cut to today, while I was in bed comfortably at my house enjoying a lazy Saturday, Jamie was out and waiting in line like a crazy person since 1 AM for record store day releases [Tangent: He is not satisfied unless he is one of the first 5 people there. I told him that one year maybe I will go with him, but I doubt that will happen. Couples need separate interests, right?  I like music and all, but I am also aging in dog years, so therefore am refuse to be vertical at that hour.] Anyway, upon getting home and dumping out his spoils like a child with his Halloween candy, Jamie discovered a familiar body part gracing the back cover of the Justin Townes Earle Record Store Day exclusive Live at Grimey's release...and he promptly texted me this photo:


Yep- that's my elbow on the back cover. My weird bony elbow is famous...at least to the people who now own this limited release album....and the percentage among those who can even identify that as a human elbow. [Tangent: At that height level and the awkward angle, it's kinda like a magic eye- you're not sure what exactly you are looking at. However anyone that knows me in real life knows can identify my contorted alien body parts from a mile a way. ] My elbow is now exponentially cooler than I am, and won't be taking any of your calls; I however will continue watching some documentary about Paul Williams on Netflix.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kimmie and Kimmy in the same room together- The Unbreakable Ellie Kemper

 Over the weekend, my friend sent me a screen cap of a story saying that Ellie Kemper was going to be doing a speaking engagement at Vanderbilt for students, but that it was open to the public. [Tangent: They do these every once in a while, but I never find out about them until I see a picture of Billy Joel or LaVerne Cox in my instagram feed and see it geotagged at Vanderbilt the morning after they occur. Never am I in the know on these matters and I am always pissed about missing out.] Because I am a Vanderbilt employee now, I knew that I could use this to my advantage and get free tickets, only being employed by a prestigious university doesn't necessarily mean that I could figure out how exactly to go about that. Frankly, I couldn't even read the map well enough to find the student center, so I bit the bullet and paid the $10 on the phone with Ticketmaster the night before the event.  I am a failure, and clearly cannot compete with these spry 19-year-olds who have mastered the free ticket garnering process.

Anyway, because the only event information I had was limited to a couple paragraphs on a screencap, I was kind of in the dark about what exactly we were going to [Tangent: For all I knew it could be one of those weird Eyes Wide Shut parties...luckily it wasn't. That I couldn't write about.]. I just heard Ellie Kemper was going to be there, and I think she is adorable and charming, and I indirectly owe my first paid piece for Hello Giggles to her, so I had to be in that auditorium...wearing hot pink "former mole woman chic".

After the introduction, I learned it was more or less a loose conversation and Q&A.  Within the first few minutes, Kemper revealed she has never done a speaking engagement before so this was going to get interesting! I have watched Ellie Kemper in lots of things, from Bridesmaids to The Office and she is generally typecast as naive and dare-I-say ditzy, but although she was a goofball to the core, she is a smart cookie. She went to Princeton and Oxford, yet is somehow the most unpretentious completely charming ginger on the planet [Tangent: And we all know charming gingers are my savant category.] Here is what I took away from the hour-long presentation, which will probably make her all the more loveable to you.
  • Ellie Kemper just got new bangs. She is unsure about them and her mom thinks they make her look like a Vulcan.
  • Ellie Kemper has a problem where she wets her pants when she laughs too hard. She peed on the lap of Titus Burgess on one of their fist days of shooting on Kimmy Schmidt. 
  • Ellie Kemper  loves to sing and her go-to Jams are Beyonce and Richard Marx [Tangent: It was interesting to hear the incredulous "huhs" when Richard Marx was mentioned in a room full of college students. I felt about 90-years-old at that moment as I internally sang the opening to "Right Here Waiting".]
  • Ellie Kemper grew up obsessed with Ferris Bueller, Seinfeld and My-So-Called Life.
  • Ellie Kemper addressed the accusations of racism that surfaced after the Netflix release of her show, and she did it flawlessly, explaining that much of comedy is based in social commentary and that the show's tight writing walks the fine line of addressing race, but not in a negative way...they poke fun at stereotype, but don't reinforce negative ones. It's better to address things instead of pretending they don't exist. 
  • Although she went to prestigious universites, Ellie Kemper said multiple times academics don't matter and that sometimes an extracurricular passion can steer your course. [Tangent: Of course me and my two fellow 30+ seat fillers "woo'ed" at that snetiment, but it surely stuck a dagger in the heart of the Vandy kids. Their tuition isn't cheap!]
 By the end of the hour, we loved her all the more and are excited for the many bucket list items she expressed interest in: writing a book, being on Broadway,  being a guest in the Bravo clubhouse on Watch What Happens Live and continuing to do comedy; she didn't seem to think a dramatic turn was in the cards for her. I will also commend her on being super polite when almost every student at the mic to ask her a question invited her to a rando podcast taping or webcast or improv team practice. [Tangent: I'm shocked she didn't want to hang in someone's dorm room on her only night in Nashville. I guess it was worth a shot, though]

Overall I'm glad I went and it really set the tone for the next few days. this week I have Wild West Comedy Fest to look forward to, which means going out on nearly every weeknight. After that I can return to being an old lady, staying in to watch Shark Tank and eating Paul Newman frozen meals out of a bag.

Monday, April 13, 2015

SPRING CLEANING! Thredup vs Poshmark: resale reviewed (honestly!)

I have a bit of a problem: I hoard clothes and buy compulsively. Because it's a pain in the b-hole to try on clothes for a gal who sits down 100% of the time, I often don't so my closet is chocked full of outfits that don't fit quite right or that for whatever reason don't get worn. [Tangent: This could be for reasons as arbitrary as it's mildly itchy...or reasons as serious as there's no way in hell it would button.] Because I don't spend a lot and buy a great majority of my clothes secondhand, sometimes I get carried away and will immediately purchase a cardigan just because it is my size and $2, never mind that I own literally 37 cardigans [Tangent: Yikes...maybe more. That was last count. This is not bragging, this is just a step below a cry for help.] . I am really trying to get better about this and in the spirit of spring cleaning have unloaded a lot of my stuff recently through a variety of channels. In addition to the garbage bags of goods I donated to charity, I also continued selling some things on Poshmark and sent off a bag to Thredup. I have some strong opinions about both of these app/sites so of course, I feel the need to share them.

These reviews are 100% honest and completely unique to me, I in no way get any kind of kickback from these sites, unless of course you use my codes to sign up for it, which you totally should because you get free stuff out of it too! 


For about 2 years, I have been selling on this PoshMark. Although it takes a bit of work and time to gain traction and followers, I have found it to be fairly lucrative if you have a lot of patience and are willing to work it like a social network and share other people's clothes, etc.

Selling: Over the two years, I have made probably $500 (but not all at once...super spread out) and have probably spent a lot of my earnings shopping in other people's closets. [Tangent: I only get frustrated because due to the "offer" feature  people try to low ball you on a fairly constant basis or they will ask you to hold an item for you indefinitely because they are awaiting a paycheck or something. From experience, that person rarely comes through so all hopes are dashed for a sale.] I do like that because you set the prices, you can haggle and bundle and put the items on sale whenever you get an itch in your britch to do so.

The great thing is that you get to keep 80% of your sale and don't have to pay shipping on your item (because it's included in that 20% taken out of the total.). When your item sells, they email you a packing slip to print off and it's pretty easy!

Buying: I love the idea of resale and haggling and most of my purchasing experience has been really positive. For example, I have a love of Tom's ballet flats, but refuse to pay $70 for a pair, and on this site I have gotten insanely lucky and gotten 2 pairs for about $25-30 a pair. I also have bought some J.Crew sweaters for which I would never pay full price for about $15. Honestly, some of my favorite items of clothing I own were ones I got for next to nothing on here. 

 Also, Poshmark keeps you updated via email when your item is shipped and after that it generally gets to you in about 2 days because all shipping is priority. I love speedy!

Bonus: Wanna try it yourself- we can both get a $5 credit if you use the code HGENX upon download!


I turned to Thredup mostly because I had some things I was having trouble moving on Poshmark and additionally Thredup buys/sells kids clothes and a great deal of my clothes are an XL in little girls and are in immaculate condition. [Tangent: What? They are cheaper and usually come in more festive colors/prints. It is one of the perks of having the upper body build of a pre-pubescent girl. Being as flat as a pancake gives me the right to have a sundress covered in elephants, OK!?]

Selling: The whole process is super easy. You request a mailingbag on their website. In a couple days a huge mailing envelope arrives at your door [Tangent: I cannot stress to you how monstrous this sucker is. You can fit so much in there!]. You shove all you can into the pouch and free of charge ship it back to them. Think of it as a Plato's Closet or Planet Exchange for lazy people who don't want to face the garment rejection in person. [Tangent: IT IS THE WORST! Getting that look of "We don't want your stuff" in person is getting picked last for dodgeball level demoralizing.]

A few months ago, I stuffed one of their polka-dotted complimentary mailers to the gills. Since I had previously given all the junky clothes to Goodwill, what I sent them was mostly name brand and in good condition. [Tangent: With the good stuff,  I threw in a few random items just to get them out of my closet, even though I knew they weren't the greatest. It saved me another trip to the Goodwill donation center, and I know they give their excess to charity anyway.]  I was in clean out mode (and am cheap) so I opted not pay the fee to have the garments shipped back to me that were not bought, but if you are really attached to some of your items- you can opt in to that for around a $12 fee.

 I figured there was no way they would turn their nose up at the boutique dress, never worn dress shoes, and the BCBG silk blouse that were in the bag, but they did...and what they bought was really strange. Out of about 35 items sent, they bought 5 and none of the good stuff. They bought an Old Navy dress, 2 Mossimo t-shirts that were purchased off a Target clearance rack and a pair of fake Toms that I bought at Five Below but never wore. [Tangent: Yes, they bought a pair of shoes that retailed for $5 originally.]

 Although, I was a little weirded out by their random purchases, I figured the whole thing was a crap shoot in the first place and getting $5 was well worth getting my closet cleaned out. My sister also tried Thredup and did slightly better than I, but was also surprised of the things they decided to buy in lieu of what they passed over. [Tangent: In fact she was the one that told me to toss in those shoes from Five Below because she had sold hers months earlier.]

Buying: Haven't tried it yet, but I like how the items are displayed on the app/site. I feel like the photos are well done and seem pretty true. My only hangup is that I think they overvalue some of their items. The "Solemates" shoes they bought were those $5 fake Toms and I think the "original value" they placed on them was $38. False.

Because I like buying secondhand, I'm sure I'll give in at some point. This $4.55 is burning a hole in my account. 

Bonus: If you would like to register for free on Thredup- do so via this link and we both get $10 spending credit on the site. Since that is double what I got for my giant bag of clothes, I highly recommend you doing it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Say No More, Mon Amour- Here are some products to help you celebrate Empire Records' 20th Birthday

So even though it has no official recognition by the Hallmark Corporation (yet!), April 8th according to well…the Internet is Rex Manning Day- a day to celebrate the nostalgic glory that is Empire Records.  Although this movie about some teens in a flailing record store is critically panned, viewers seem to revel in it’s 90’s amazingness [Tangent: On Rotten Tomatoes, it is an anomaly by having a critical rating of only 24% fresh, while having the diametrically opposite audience rating of 84%.] 

Making this Rex Manning Day even more thrilling is that it is also the 20th anniversary of the film. [Tangent: How ancient does that make you feel? I felt like I was a mature individual when I saw it, but clearly that's a delusion. Mathmaticly speaking, I was 12.]  Because I definitely into the category of ardent fan (evidenced by my Halloween costume this year.), this April 8th, I plan to celebrate in some way shape or form, which because I am still trying to kick this cold funk will probably include not leaving the couch [Tangent: Which is pretty apropo really. I mean Lucas couldn't leave the couch either, right?]

There are some festive ways to add a little of Empire Records into your day without embezzling, robbery, or on the clock seances. That kind of behavior I don’t endorse, not on Rex Manning Day...but these things I do...and now I totally want them all! 

Damn the Man Embroidery Sampler via Stitchin In Richmond on Etsy


This Phone Case you Can use After April 8 via Hello Sailor Tees for Redbubble


 This Minimalist Print which is amazing via Fictional Chick for Society6


 This Sexy Rexy Card via Meet Me in Shermer on Etsy

This Tao of Lucas pillow via Emily Farquhausen for Redbubble
This hilariously glorious shirt via Erin Maala for Society6 

This sweet tote via Rainbow Alternative via Etsy
(who have a TON of good Empire Records merch)

This print that I need in my life via Finlay McNevin for Society6


The Best Way to Enjoy your morning via IBTrav for Society6 


So I bet you thought there was very little merch out there for a movie that got shitty ratings and was released 20 years ago...well you would be WRONG. I dare you not to fall down the indie designed wormhole....what a great way to spend your Rex Manning Day

Sunday, April 5, 2015

DJ Tanner got us falling in love again.

I know two Full House related blogs seems like a little overkill, but I apparently lack diversity so here goes. [Tangent: Also, I should take this opportunity to make this blog a mea culpa. Apparently as my friend Ryan pointed out, the Beach Boys were not in Hawaii on potato chip island with the Tanners at the luau. They were invited on stage for some inexplicable reason, but it was to sing Elvis songs...not Beach Boys songs. My bad. Is it nerdier to be the one to make this reference in the first place, or point out that I was off. You decide. That's what I get for surrounding myself with people as die hard pop culture wise as I am.] Last week I was barraged all day on Facebook and via text message with the news that Netflix is doing a limited run Full House spin-off featuring Kimmy and DJ [Tangent: Proving my friends know my wheelhouse and the Netflix programmers have been reading my dream journal!] This is exciting for a lot of reasons...among which is that millenials will get why this shirt is funny.

via

Initially I was really excited and my mind reeled with Kimmy and DJ's crazy exploits and I got thrilled that I may get to see if Steve was still in the picture [Tangent: I mean not only was he DJ's hot boyfriend but he was also the voice of Aladdin, who I still will affirm is the sexiest animated character. A monkey and a fez. Prince Eric can't compete.]  Then I started to remember Candace Cameron Bure is indeed a Cameron and thus that breed of religious where it skews a little "much,"so there is always the very real possibility that this show can fall into the TBN wormhole. I mean her brother made Saving Christmas, a movie which has achieved the impossible: having a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. I am hoping this is just my skepticism. I mean the Tanners are squeaky clean by nature, so I guess my hopes that she will go rogue are all for naught. 

My other worry is that it will come and I won't care, even though expectations are that I will. Pre-teen Kimmie loved Full House and pretty much planned her very non-busy 12 -year-old schedule around the series, but let's face it- 32-year-old Kimmie is 100% cognizant of the fact that the show is scmaltzy as hell. My pure and true love for it is very much laced to the memories associated with watching it at slumber parties and wanting to have bad ass friend named Gia and wanting to have Tommy Page [Tangent: Who I can't recall how, but was somehow associated with NKOTB, so when he made a cameo, my young head exploded.] come to my birthday party and write a song about me. [Tangent: Let's face it, I was always more of a Stephanie than a DJ anyway.]  It's a nostalgic love and I don't know if I want to unfreeze it from our moment in time.

Wait...who am I kidding?!?! We all know that I will watch it. I gotta see who ended up with Gibbler [Tangent: Note to writers: Please tell me she rekindles her young love with Bitterman.] and chances are good that a Stamos cameo is on the horizon. Don't let me down.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Beach Boys made my Full House dreams come true.

Hey guys. It's a beautiful day in middle Tennessee so I am spending the day writing on the patio until the battery in my MacBook craps out. I am even more stoked for these sunshiney days because I spent the evening last night with my mother and the Beach Boys. I could have only enjoyed it more if I was marooned on an island (that I found on a map but turned out to be a potato chip crumb) and came upon a spontaneous luau where they were featured predominantly and I was pulled on stage with my family for a singalong. [Tangent: If you don't get my Full House references...then maybe this isn't the blog post for you...go ahead and X out now.] Of course, our show at the Ryman wasn't the full orignal lineup because would take dark magic and resurrection, but it was Bruce and Mike laced with homages and high tech harmonizing with the Wilson contingent. 
I don't think I'm alone in having only good vibrations (see what I did there?) associated with this band.For anyone in my age bracket, I think there is a definite soft spot for the Beach Boys. The late 80s was their resurgence. Even if it is not regarded as the greatest Beach Boys song, you cannot deny that  a great number of us know most of our Caribbean geography from the song Kokomo. [Tangent: I may not know exactly where Montserrat is on a map, but I can tell you without flinching that it has mystique, even if that is where my knowledge begins and ends on the island. I also cannot hear the nation of Aruba mentioned without in my mind launching into the chorus. This was especially troubling during the Natalie Hollaway disappearence. Yikes, what an inopportune time for an ear worm to strike.] 

 I grew up in a very East Coast/West Coast beach music battle. I remember my North Carolina bred father thinking it complete blasphemy that people only equated beach music with the Beach Boys. If it was up to him, it was Under the Boardwalk and Girl Watcher, or get the hell outta dodge, whereas my mom, who spent the 60s in Hawaii and California had a different opinion. [Tangent: I guess you could say it was like a much tamer and mellower Biggie and Tupac scenario.]

Even so, the Beach Boys were just kind of always around it seems. [Tangent: Not as around as they were for the Tanner family, dropping in periodically to jam with the Rippers or stopping in to save a flailing telethon or helping Uncle Jesse put the harmonies on his wedding song ...but close!] More like they were played on heavy rotation at the skate center and on the Oldie's station.  I feel like at least one of my elementary school plays featured an old Beach Boys hit, and it was before you were old enough to be cynical so you thought having a song that isn't Raffi in school was somehow the coolest thing on the planet. We were so easy to please.  

 
It was so refreshing last night to see all the fans which were decidedly older and more sedentary [Tangent: My Peeps!] mixed in with some people my age and then some children, which all looked so excited to be there. I feel like the Beach Boys are a good intro into Rock and Roll for so many kids and I am glad that they are still doing it and that kids are not too jaded to appreciate songs about cars and surfing and having school spirit. The world could use more of that.

I was a little sad that there was no John Stamos cameo on drums and the Tanner family never bum rushed the stage to garble scream their way through Barabara Ann. A girl can dream. My head might have exploded all over the the shimmying seniors in front of me. I mean check out that pink tank top wearing bongo stud. Have Mercy.


Netflix Documentary Hits and Misses Vol. 8 (March 2015 Edition)

Man, this month has been totally kicking last month's b-hole as far as great doc finds on Netflix. I seriously have so many gems that March 2015 is gonna be the month to beat as far as doc wins! [Tangent: Also, I have to admit that I cheated a bit and am gonna preempt this post to tell everyone who has HBO to watch The Jinx. It pretty well illustrates the power of an explorative documentary series. If you were riveted by the Serial podcast, get on this.  In my opinion, it's even more captivating. Even though I had been following the Robert Durst case and knew a lot of the details, I was immersed from beginning to end. 5 hours well spent!] So instead of preambling too much, I'll get right to it...here are the ones I tried out this month.



An Affair of the Heart
If you look past the fact that this doc has perhaps the most non-descript title on the face of planet earth [Tangent: Truly, my dad used to never be good at remembering names and used to call 99% of romantic comedies "Affairs of the Heart" so yeah...not the most original or telling title.], you will find a hidden gem about the obsessive fandom that surrounds Rick Springfield. This concept was not completely shocking; I had an acquaintance once who worked at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville (a venue locally known for showcasing acts not quite in their prime.), and he told me that the most rowdy show that he ever worked was for Springfield, who the majority of us know as "That guy that sings Jesse's Girl." When I heard that I remember assuming the crowd he drew was all horny women in their 40s, but after watching this doc, I can attest his crowd was surprisingly mixed. [Tangent: Even though there are a bevy of housewives holding onto their childhood crush.] Since my other favorite fanatical docs have been taken off Netflix [Tangent: Seriously, I just got so sad when I realized For the Love of Dolly (about Dolly Parton fanatics) and I Think We're Alone Now (about two fans rabid love of pop star Tiffany) were removed from Netflix. They are both fantastic!], this will hit the spot. Also, I love an unexpected Corey Feldman interview! If any of you watch this, I wanna hear your reaction!

Rich Hill
This is one of those docs that will be slightly upsetting. The filmmakers behind the project were raised in the town of Rich Hill, Missouri and have returned to the now crumbling town to follow a handful of teenage residents in a town of under 2,000. The movie's site says, "Once a thriving mining town, shortly after World War II, the coal was gone – mined out. Stores closed, people moved away, farms were sold." It's kind of a bummer but an important one because many times you never get an inside look on what it's like to live in the lower class, where there is little hope or expectation. Although I initially saw two of the kids Harley and Appachey as asshole punks on the surface [Tangent: Seriously I wanted to smack them on a multitude of occasions in the movie's 90 minute duration], I inevitably sympathized with them and wanted them to succeed.

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story
Remember last month when I professed my love and wish for Bill Cunningham to adopt me as his granddaughter? Well, now I have found another delightful kook who I want to take me under his wing, Tomi Ungerer. If you are like me, that name isn't ringing a bell, but Tomi was a reknowned children's book author/illustrator in the 60s, who basically changed the strict rules of the art form. [Tangent: A lot of this reminded me very much of Beauty is Embarassing. If you haven't seen that doc, check it out! It features lots of love for the art barn at Middle Tennessee State University, where I spent a good chunk of my college years.] He then went on to dabble in controversial societal illustrations as well as pretty graphic erotic art...so I guess you could say he has many layers! I am mad this sat in my queue for so long unwatched, because it was incredibly well done production-wise and because it was laced with his graphic illustration- it was visually gorgeous. I highly recommend this in a delightful kook marathon with Bill Cunningham's New York and Burt's Buzz. 

We Always Lie to Strangers: The Incredible True Story of Branson Missouri
Having never been to Branson, I can only claim my preconceived notion, that it is that Branson is like the knockoff version of Nashville, only with none of the progress and more glitz and ridiculosity. I wish I could say this movie made me lose this stereotype, but it just solidified it, which is OK because it made the movie very enjoyable. Parts of it were so campy that they reminded me of Waiting for Guffman. [Tangent: There is one scene in particular where the one performance troupe is practicing YMCA that I seriously said to myself, "This cannot be real. Who is going to see this?!?] Even though, I thought I lived soundly in the buckle of the Bible belt, it made me realize that Branson takes that title. SO MANY CONSERVATIVE "JOKES." You will also hear a lot of quote gems like, "Grandma and I would pray that Jesus would make me pretty so one day I could perform in Branson."

Closure
Because I am obsessed with race and identity issues and adoption, I expected to enjoy this doc, which was given 5 stars by Netflix, but never did I expect to see someone I kind of knew in it!! [Tangent: Last month, Mr Tiny at Wacky Tacky said he saw someone he recognized in the doc The Institute, and I responded of how bizarre that must be...I guess that was foreshadowing.]  Basically, the girl in this documentary, Angela, was adopted by a white family who adopted several children from different situations and of different races and disabilities. She was born with special needs, but due to intensive physical therapy, she completely rebounded and was even a high school athlete. [Tangent: Before you call me lazy, that is extremely rare.] The movie follows her journey to get to know her birth parents. SPOILER ALERT: Her dad is Sandy the flower man from downtown Chattanooga. [Tangent: Perhaps a lot of people don't know who that is, but if you spend a lot of time in Chattanooga or live there, he is somewhat famous. Sandy is a man who hands out/sells flowers outside the bars on Market street. My sister lives in Chattanooga and my best friend used to work at one of the bars he rides his bike in front of, so I am very familiar with Sandy and have spent a couple karaoke nights singing drunkenly with his flowers in my hair. He is pretty beloved in Chattanooga and even has his own Facebook fan page that has rallied around him when his bike was  stolen and when he was diagnosed with cancer.] I think even without knowing how beloved Sandy is, you will enjoy this documentary. It really was heartwarming and a sweet reminder of the many forms family can take...hokey I know.

Living on One Dollar
Remember a couple months ago when I talked about the beloved by me doc, Andrew Jenks, Room 334 [Tangent: I know...I know! Ya'll are so sick of hearing me reference it.], and I said how awesome it was to see a millenial contributing to society? Well, the same can be said for this movie, which follows a group of young men who challenge themselves by traveling to Guatemala and living at the poverty standard for many countries, which is about a dollar per day. [Tangent: You know those Save the Children commercials which urge you to spare 97 cents a day to sponsor a child and you think to yourself, NO WAY that can be feasible...well, this doc puts it into practice.]

Life Itself
OK. I cheated somewhat. I actually watched this film a couple months ago when it was airing on CNN, but I am very jazzed that it is now offered streaming on Netflix.The movie is a beautiful love letter to Roger Ebert, that covers all aspects of his life. Instead of focusing just on his movie critic career or his childhood or his struggles as a former alcoholic or is beautiful relationship with his wife or his cancer battle [Tangent: All of these aspects fascinating on their own.], it is all encompassing and very well-done. Even though I used to watch "At The Movies" with a fever that most 10 year olds don't possess for film critiques, there was so much I didn't know about Ebert. I had no idea about his screenwriting of campy films like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls or the fact that he met his wife in AA, probably the least glitzy place on earth.  I remember around Oscar nom time hearing a lot of talk about it being snubbed as a pick for bet documentary, and I tend to agree.

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Warning, the first 15 seconds of this documentary features the filmmaker eviscerating a dead albatross and pulling plastic chunks from his innards; if you can stomach that then the rest is smooth sailing. [Tangent: Not sure if that aquatic pun was intended or not. I can't even tell anymore.] This movie investigates Midway island and basically how it has become the catch all for plastic waste. It was pretty eye-opening, especially the whole piece about plastic fishing nets and how much waste they produce. Although this documentary is under an hour and pretty fascinating, I made the mistake of watching it late at night, so it took me about 4 nights to finish it. It will definitely make you look at plastics in a new way and you'll realize that a Ninja Turtles action figure has an incredibly long life span, which is good and bad depending on your outlook.

SO What's next? 
What should I get on in April? 
Have you been watching The Jinx, too? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Game Galaxy: The Happiest Place on Earth

As a 32-year-old, I would never qualify myself as a gamer. I haven't touched a console in 10 years...likely because I the idea of playing today seems overwhelming. [Tangent: My mom just got a FB page, which is probably a whole blog altogether, but I imagine it's a similar feeling. Even though it's not a new thing, it's new to her, which makes it scary. That's how I feel about modern gaming-everything is a foreign concept, so instead of feeling in over my head...I just pretend video games created beyond the year 2000 don't exist in my world.] This is a huge 180 from my childhood where we owned several consoles and  my parents would drop my off at Cool Springs Galleria with $10, and I would waste all my money at Power Play playing the Simpsons game. Arcade games were a great babysitter and hold a special place in my heart.

the T-Rex would eat your ball! It was awesome!

For this reason, when I found out that my friend Nettie was having her birthday party at an arcade I was intrigued. When I learned it was an old school arcade with vintage pinball, console games and freestanding machines, I was super intrigued. [Tangent: I had heard of Game Galaxy before when another friend had a birthday there, but I had to miss it and kind of assumed it was like a Dave and Busters. Little did I know how magic it is.] Then I learned for $10 you can play use all the machines free all day, and the clouds parted and the angels began singing the theme to Zelda. How can this place be real?!??!?

Although I have heard there is one in Rivergate, the one we went to is the Hickory Hollow location, where it resides in a somewhat abandoned strip mall where the Best Buy used to be. There really isn't a huge sign unless you count the one on the window, so I can understand why it is easily overlooked...which makes me happy because that meant on a Saturday it wasn't busy at all. A WIN for me!

This place is definitely no frills, but I am substance over style generally so I didn't mind that the food served was cans of coke and vending machine snacks or that we had to wait a few minutes for someone to take our $10 because they had to finish up a game they were playing. That's just the nature of the beast. It's also SUPER crowded with machines, so I had to navigate a little differently to fit my chair down the aisles, but I didn't mind because that just meant more pinball options for me! [Tangent: I am so eternally indebted to the seat elevator feature on my wheelchair which allows me to raise up to better see/reach things. It came in such handy at Game Galaxy.]

As soon as Jamie and I entered, we were overwhelmed like children at Disneyland...I wanted to play every game immediately and simultaneously, and we COULD because we paid $10 and that was our prerogative! Also, because we didn't have to pay per play, we could just ditch a game if we were not into it. With this in mind, and to fulfill my The Who's Tommy fantasies [Tangent: Minus the deaf and blind part...], I probably played 20 different pinball machines and engaged in lots of fighting games with Jamie, who I love because he doesn't let me win and vice versa. He eviscerated me numerous times in Mortal Kombat and I unleased my inner Chun-Li on him in Street Fighter. It was so much fun. We also played The Simpsons game, which DOES NOT hold up. I think I used to love it because I was good at it...but as an adult, I realize they give you WAY too many lives/chances to fail miserably. [Tangent: In other words, I wasn't good at it...it just is hard to lose.]

Oh, and don't worry...they have a lot of very niche games too, that I didn't even know existed. Like apparently movies like Johnny Mnemonic and Demolition Man warranted pinball machines. Also, the band Journey had a game where a little 8-Bit Steve Perry bounced on drum heads as an arcade-y version of Wheel in the Sky played on. Watch it here. Dream come true. [Tangent: Here is a full listing of all the games they have at that location.]


I can't wait to go back! 
What was your favorite game growing up?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Oops..I wrote it again. The Hello Giggle saga continues.

As many of you know...because I have not been shy [Read: I have been totally obnoxious.] about the fact that I am now a paid occasional contributor to Hello Giggles and that pleases me to no end. I have loved writing here and there and everywhere over the years, but Hello Giggles is a site that has hundreds of thousands of hits per story, which has its plusses and minuses. It's a lot of pressure and maybe I watch what I say a bit more. In my little corner of the Internet, I guess sometimes I forget that strangers may be reading and judging me on my overuse of adverbs and negligence to proofread...oh and the fact that sometimes I talk about literal poop.  I definitely don't watch what I say much on this URL, and I love that...so I plan on keeping it going for a while. [Tangent: Maybe even after the blogosphere has evaporated into the ether. It is entirely possibly I will be like that one friend you have that updates their Myspace profile.]

When I was filling out the payroll information and filling out an expense report and feeling like a bad ass freelancer [Tangent: As in working for myself and not free for a change!], I began to remember when I first discovered Hello Giggles. I was working at my desk job as an insurance provider bill reviewer several years ago...a good job...just not a good fit for me. Every day when I had fulfilled my bill quota, I would spend my free time on the site reading the essays and articles. I remember telling my coworkers how much I wanted to write for them. At the time, it seemed very far off. I was fairly miserable career wise at the time and not at all where I wanted to be. Thank heavens for corporate restructuring and me getting fired...because it forced me to flounder for a while [Tangent: I refused to heed the advice of those around me and make due in another job I hated. Instead I decided to find something that I loved.] and be miserable and figure stuff out.  Now I have 2 jobs I love....freelance blogger and social media and outreach coordinator for a disability non-profit. Is this real life?

OK, I know that sounded real self congratulatory and I am aware! I would apologize, but I don't wanna. Let me bask in it. Being obnoxious is how I got to this point. [Tangent: Like...I literally Twitter stalked Hello Giggles to get my story pitches in! I am Garth Brooks grade Shameless.] Also if you haven't already, check out my piece for Hello Giggles that ran last week about my favorite new Netflix-housed obsession The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. [Tangent: If you somehow missed my media oversaturation last week where I posed it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If I had semaphore flags, I likely would've used those, too. I was pretty excited.]  Unlike my last post where I was a "guest", now I am a "contributor". CHECK OUT THAT SWEET BYLINE, YA'LL! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING!?!??!


 READ IT HERE!

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