Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Childhood Crushes vs. Adult Crushes

I live and breath under the assertion that you are never too old to have crushes. In a relationship or not, it's totally normal and I'm thankful Jamie indulges me and my 7th grade crush proclivities when I tell him I only really wanna see Star Wars: The Force Awakens because Oscar Issac is in it.

The other day my friend Ryan challenged me on instagram to name my childhood crushes by participating in the aptly named hashtag #mychildhoodcrushes. Composing a list was super easy because well...I was once a 13 year old girl. [Tangent: In fact, I found the task so overwhelming that I went with middle school and prior. This walk down memory lane was way for fun and embaressing than I expected.]  I thought it would be fun to consider my crushes circa 1995 vs my crushes in 2015. Do 20 years really make that big of a  difference? Let's objectify some gentlemen, shall we?

My Childhood Crushes! 


  1. McCauley Culkin- In 2nd grade, he was in my favorite movie and when I found out he was my age, I found it natural to make him my imaginary boyfriend. Then My Girl kind of sealed the deal of our love ("HE FORGOT HIS GLASSES!")...that is until he aged out of the cute stage. Despite the fact that I find his pizza-themed Velvet Underground concept band intriguing, I no longer wanna hit it. Sorry Mac. 
  2. Rider Strong- I mean besides having the sexiest would be porn star name of the 90's, I feel like he is a given, right? 
  3. Jonathan Knight- He was my favorite NKOTB member even though my sister claimed him first and told me I had to default to liking Joe. Jon later came out of the closet, so obviously our love was not to be. I should have listened to my sister. 
  4. Matthew Nelson- Speaking of musicians that I'm embarrassed to have once loved- this half of Nelson got my heart all a-flutter for the summer that they were all over MTV. True he and Gunnar are twins and choosing a favorite should be hard, but Matthew was the one with the bangs. How could I resist THOSE WISPY BANGS!?!
  5. Jason Priestley- Although as an adult, I am team Dylan...as a kiddo- I was team Brandon. I even have evidence in this pic.
  6. Zack Morris- Duh.  
  7.  Aladdin- OK, so I know he is animated, but that street rat can get it! STILL! 
  8. Brendan Fraser- Although I have lost that lovin feelin' post Encino Man for Brendan Fraser, my love for him in School Ties was fierce. I remember being in love with him in 4th grade, even though I had never even seen the movie. Just the commercial where he was shirtless screaming in the rain about being the target of anti-semitism...that was enough for me. SOLD!
  9. BJ Honeycutt from M.A.S.H I used to watch M.A.S.H a lot with my parents when I was wee. I don't think I got most of the jokes, but I remember thinking BJ Honeycutt (sans moustache) was super cute!  
  10. Andrew Keegan- This is the one celebrity that I have sent fan mail to. Teen magazine used to make it so easy by giving you heart throb's addresses each month! Anyway, now he leads a weird cult....so I guess I had crystal clear judgement! 
  11. Corey Haim- License to Drive was one of my favorite childhood movies...and my love of the movie was fairly contingent upon my favorite of the Coreys. RIP. 
  12. Ethan (Randall) Embry-  I have written about it before in this post, but I have had quite a crush on Mr. Embry over the years (Can't Hardly Wait, That Thing You Do, EMPIRE RECORDS!) but it all started when he played a little rich asshole in Dutch. That little rich asshole had the keys to my preteen heart. 
My 30 Something Crushes!

  1. Robert Herjavec- This one baffles a lot of folks, but those that get it...GET IT! Anyway, if you are gonna have a Shark Tank crush, he is the obvious choice (with Damon John coming in a close second). To see his eye light up in that silver fox when a dog comes in the tank. That's really all it takes.
  2. Domhnall Gleeson- I have only seen two Harry Potter movies and none of them included this dude at his most awkward therefore I approach him him with a clean slate of cuteness which manifested itself over time beginning when I saw him in that In Time movie with Rachel McAdams and got stronger after his episode of Black Mirror and Ex Machina. He's the other reason I want to see The Force Awakens. [Insert pun about Force Awakening in my groin here.]
  3. Eddie Redmayne- OK. 3 studs in and I am already on my second ginger. Oh well...clearly I have a type in my 30s.
  4. Scott Avett- Picking a favorite Avett brother (a Favett if you will) is a real Sophie's choice...but I went with team Scotty 2 Hotty! I also am mystified that I didn't have more musicians on here. I guess I am more like my boyfriend than I thought...in that he believes you can't be too attractive and make quality music.
  5. Conan O'Brien- Where my love of redheads began...
  6. Jason Manzoukas- OK this is a weird one. I know he plays Raffi who is the disgusting character on The League, but I fell in love with his voice on the podcast How Did This Get Made? An amazingly hairy dude who loves bad movies...sign me up!
  7. Oscar Issac- He was pretty much the reason I love Inside Llewyn Davis so much even if I am not 100% what the hell is going on. I also could watch this dance scene in Ex Machina all day everyday.
  8. Ryan Gosling (in Lars and the Real Girl)- Ok, like most girls I think Ryan Gosling is attractive, but for some odd reason I find him the most endearingly adorable in a movie where he is in a relationship with a sex doll. Analyze that, psych majors!
  9. Paul Rudd- This is a gimme for any gal with blood in her body.
  10. Benedict Cumberbatch - This lizard of a man is adorable. I love him so much. Oh and that brings the ginger count up to 4.
  11. Matthew Gray Gubler- Any girl that has watched their share of Criminal Minds can understand my listing of Dr. Spencer Reid. He's a weirdo genius and no matter how floppy his hair gets....I am diggin' it.
  12. Jemaine Clement I can't believe I almost left him off!! When I was going over my pics with my friend Rae via text, she reminded me! He had me at HipHopaPotamus.
So what does this exercise all mean besides being incredibly sef-indulgent and insanely fun to do? I'm not sure. I guess when I was younger, I went broad and pretty much had a crush on every boy. As I have aged, my tastes have gotten more refined... and clearly my love of beards and redheads is lost on no one. This whole project was really fun and much harder then I had thought it would be.

Who are yours? 
If you have a blog, I wanna know them! Write a post and let me know!
If you don't, just tell me in the comments!
 I'm super curious how other people's then and now crushes stack up.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Most Baffling Christmas Comercials 2015

The holiday season is taking it's dying breaths and I am finally coming to grips with what a terrible blogger I have been as of late [Tangent: Sorry I have been living life, ya'll! It happens. I only even watched half of one documentary in December. My "slacker" card is clearly in the mail.] Every year, I have taken some aspect of Christmas culture that I find a bit baffling, and this year- I have been completely neglectful in discussing with you 2015's BIGGIE. [Tangent: Last year I talked about the wonderfully tacky inflatables and another year I wrote about my mild fear of claymation christmas specials.] This year, I was inspired by those I watch TV with to write about something that definitely falls within this ad major's wheelhouse: Holiday commercials. [Tangent: Also...I realize I am like two weeks too late on this topic, but I have been too busy coloring in my adult coloring book because ya'll...it's 2015 and that's what one does in lieu of being productive!]

Some ads become tradition. Ex: Those damn Hershey Kiss hand bells that have been ringing since the mid 80s. Others we count down the minutes until December 25th so they can be forever swiped from our memory bank. There were two this past Christmas season which didn't disturb me so much, but bothered those around me so much that their ire started to wear off on my own psyche...and suddenly I was taking notice of how bizarre and cringe-inducing they were each time they aired..which seemed like it was every 5 minutes.

The first one is a Kroger ad, [Tangent: but after researching is an ad that has been used with several different grocery chains, because to be honest it's pretty generic so could work for any myriad of things. Hell...this ad could be for Glade or Pottery Barn...no one would be the wiser.]  The ad, which you can watch here, features a guy in a wheelchair hosting a very diverse holiday dinner gathering where for some inexplicable reason...everyone there uses the word "wonderful" whether it seems natural/appropriate or not. [Tangent: If this party were happening in Pee Wee's Playhouse and "wonderful" was the word of the day, I'm fairly certain Jambi and Chairy and  the whole gang would be hoarse from losing their damn minds every 2 seconds.] This commercial never really jumped out at me until Jamie pointed out to me the moment that happens around the :18 mark. A sweet older lady looks down at her ham and just kind of creepily whispers "Wondeful..."
I am not entirely sure why we found this moment so funny and weird, but every single time the commercial aired [Tangent:...which as stated earlier was on every commercial break from November-December 25th because Kroger really wanted to get the most out of this campaign.] This led to daily impressions of this woman while staring at our meals. She was wore or less a meme...at least to us. 

The second ad was for another retailer which seemed an odd match for the campaign and seemed to baffle those around me.  Both my mother and my friend-tendant, Kate, expressed mild rage over the ladies in this Big Lots ad.


Maybe it's because that jingle is a little grating or maybe their rage is because it doesn't really seem on-brand for Big Lots. When I think of Big Lots I think of many things, but glamour and sparkly backup dancers are not chief among them. [Tangent: I think more of weird industrial lighting, discontinued makeup and children without shoes on. I say this in the most un-condescending way possible, because to be fair I have spent my fair share of time inside a Big Lots.] I know...I know...irony and whatnot of glamourizing the big box store...but every time this commercial aired, I wanted to shout "YES IT DOES!" after hearing them bellow, "Christmas doesn't happen without me!" 

OK, thanks for dealing with my nerdy nitpicky rage. As much as I was disturbed/annoyed by these two commericals...I kinda miss them. Holiday ads 2015: Never Forget. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Miracle? Ebates Review (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

Because when I was out of work in 2013, I got pitched every potential pyramid scheme imaginable, my guard and bullshit radar are constantly on high alert for "too good to be true" situations. This was always the case with Ebates. I had heard about it several times (both from friends and on the daytime TV Juggernaut) ...and even signed up for it once several years ago and let it go idle. It just seemed like another source for junk mail and not worth the trouble, so I never made the time to set it up. [Tangent: Even though that "extra time" was literally 5 minutes. I AM THE WORST!]

Then Christmas hit, and I went into full online shopping mode. After posting on Facebook about how I like to spend black Friday anxiety-free and sans pants by shopping online, a little angel named Kristine sold me on Ebates. [Tangent: You may remember Kristine from this guest blog as the girl who is going to be on Portlandia next season! She is good people and would never lead me astray. It wasn't like she was trying to sell me candles or plumping mascaras or essential oils, she was merely recommending a site where I could make some coin back while shopping...so I bit the bullet and went for it.] 

I used Ebates throughout the holiday season [Tangent: Though I was kicking myself that I didn't start using it earlier. I could have made BANK with my black Friday purchases from Ulta, Kohls and JCPenney!] and I am definitely a fan, but there are definitely some super great and just meh things about it, so I thought I should share so you can decide for yourself whether you are gonna jump aboard the Ebates bandwagon. Also if you are gonna board this train, use my referral link (or the button in the right margin) because it throws a little cash my way. [Tangent: That was Garth Brooks level Shameless right there.]  

If you have never heard of Ebates, it's basically a gateway site where you pass through to online shop. TONS of stores and sites are on there (Nordstrom, Amazon, Target, Old Navy, etc etc and over 1800 stores ad infinitum). When you click on the shop, it gives you all the coupon codes for that particular retailer and tells you what percentage you can get back on your purchases (usually between 2%-6% but sometimes higher).  I made about $30 in a matter of a few days....which is pretty good for spending money. Here are the Pros and the Cons that I have found so far.

Pros
  •  There's an APP! This really saved me from having individual store apps on my phone and made me more likely to use it [Tangent: My laziness is real!]
  • It gives me all the potential deals available at a glance! I loved this because it allowed me to unsubscribe to individual store email lists. I feel like I no longer need to be barraged with emails from Old Navy and Victoria's Secret, because I can see them all in one space. 
  • It gave me $10 just for using it the first time. FREE MONEY!
  • So far, it seems to work!
  • They work for non-traditional websites too...like I was extremely surprised that I could get money back for any spending I did on Expedia, Groupon and ancestry.com 
  • Effort is minimal. [Tangent: As I have mentioned just 4 sentences prior, if it's a lot of extra work- it's not usually worth the couple dollars to me. i.e. I will never be an extreme couponer.] After you set up your account, it just means you click on Ebates or login to the app first instead of going directly to your favorite sites. 
  • Perfect if you shop a lot online. Like seriously, if you buy even a couple things online a month, it could be worth it.  
  • Referral Program is top notch.  Although I'm still new in the game, you can make $100 for signing up just a handful of people. That's completely attainable...so ahem...sign up

Cons 
  • It's a little unpredictable. The percentages change from day to day. This is kind of a pro and a con. One day I got 12% back from my Macy's purchases, and the next day it was down to 6%. When you see a good deal, jump on it. Around the holidays, and periodically through the year, they will have a whole section of stores offering double cash back.
  • There is a good deal of junk emails that will come your way from Ebates. They send at least one-a-day, which is a little overwhelming for this email hoarder.  However, if you download the free App, you really won't need these emails. You can unsubscribe, which I would totally recommend.  
  • Money isn't instantaneous. It's not like you shop and your percentage magically goes into your bank account. The money accrues and they send you a live check or send to you via paypal whenever they do their "big fat payouts!" The next one is in February.  I don't mind this because I would rather get chunks of money instead of a few dollars and cents hither and yon.

With all those gift cards that will surely be burning a hole in your pocket, I thought now seemed as good a time as any to sign up. If it seems like something you may be into, use my link! I wouldn't jerk you guys around; this is legit!

What great ways to save have you found this year?
 Does anyone have any online shopping horror stories? 
I wanna hear it all!!!  
 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hello Giggles Post: Farewell to The Soup!

Sometimes when I pitch a story I want to write about to Hello Giggles, I have already been beaten to the pop culture punch by another lady. [Tangent: Birds of a feather...and whatnot...] I still am bummed I didn't get to share my Home Alone 25th anniversary and Rex Manning Day posts with that large Time Warner owned audience. [Tangent: I mean, I love you guys, but I can be real with you and don't have to polish my turds quite so much. Heck, you don't even mind if I use the word turd. I you for being accepting of me 100%....use of the word turd and all. ] For this reason, I was extremely thrilled to get the green light to write about The Soup finale. CLICK HERE to read it. 

 For as long as I have had E! on my premium cable, I have been a fanatic of The Soup. I cite it often in conversations and thank it for giving me memes and gifs like this, so writing about it made me exceedingly happy: 


After watching the DVR'd finale over the weekend, I thought it had the perfect send-off for a little show that was always a black sheep of the E! family. I loved it. 

On a more selfish note,  I'm also really excited because this is my 10th article for HG as a contributor, and my 11th for them overall! [Tangent: The one that doesn't make my author page is my first and maybe my favorite...you can read it here!] My work with them is one of the best things to happen to me this year an always gives me a tinge of cred when I talk to people about my writing...especially people in their 20s, who go from thinking I'm lame sauce (mostly for using terms like lame sauce) to thinking I am fairly hip and with it (even though I use terms like hip and with it!) I get really excited every time one is published or I get the email saying one of my pitches has been picked up! If you or someone you know wants to get that same feeling and join a force of bad ass females behind Hello Giggles, here is the info to become on of their contributors.

Now go read my newest post and tell me what you think...

Click Here to Read "Saying Goodbye to The Soup"

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

a heartwarming holiday story about internet weirdos

So wanna hear a fun Christmas story about getting contacted by a weird stranger on the internet who is trollin' for some wheelchair lovin? Well neither do I!  Neither does anyone really (unless I have somehow missed that Hallmark channel film starring Mark Consuelos and Lacey Chabert), but you are gonna hear it, so buckle up!

via
About once a month, I get a like on my blog's FB page that raises some eyebrows/questions. [Tangent: It's one of those Sesame Street Style "One of these things is not like the other" scenarios!] Amid the list of seemingly normal followers, peppered in will be a few men with the word "dev" somehow squeezed into their name creatively. [Tangent: You may remember my blogs about my devoted deviant fans here.] Their profile picture will look alarmingly similar to a DMV or passport photo... and it will be the only picture of themselves on their page. Every other photo will be of sexily posed women in wheelchairs or with crutches or missing limbs. At that point the freak flag gets raised, and they get the big BLOCK from yours truly. [Tangent: This is not just me being judgey and a little freaked out by the devotee lifestyle, but also because frankly, I don't think they are buying what I'm selling... It's pretty unlikely that they're following my blog because they can't wait to hear about my Saved By The Bell musings.] It's such an oddly predictable string of events that truthfully that they sometimes fly under my creep radar completely; I only am only caught off guard when they leave a comment or send me a message.

Here is a screenshot of one of the message chain that befall my inbox last week. The name has been removed to protect the horny: 

Does he think I run a dating site? How does one even respond to something like this. [Tangent: Also, a little bit of a pro tip: If you have to say you don't have a fetish...you just might.] This guy must think that I am somehow the Heidi Fleiss of the wheelchair community. Should I be flattered? Should I not have blocked him? Clearly he is just looking for love, and in his desperation, did a blanket Facebook search for all sites with the word "wheelchair" in it. Maybe I should tell him to give Kylie Jenner a call....

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baby's First Tattoo...at 33.

Since around college, I have wanted a tattoo. However, knowing my level of indecision when ordering dinner or picking out clothes in the morning- I knew anything with any level of permanence would need consideration...and apparently over a decade of consideration was needed. It was not the thought of pain that plagued me [Tangent: I've always had this thought that you shouldn't complain about tattoos, because no one made you get them. It's a pain you signed up for. I'm not saying that to seem like a badass or incredibly heartless, it's just a bit of truth-telling. I never had sympathy for people that whined excessively after getting tattoos and piercings.]. At the time, I was just overly concerned with being a victim of a tattoo trends, and being stuck with something I hated.
 I have been close many times; in fact years ago, I was in a tattoo studio with a friend and almost succumbed to the call of the ink. [Tangent: Who knows...if I had flippantly decided to get one that day,  I may have a tramp stamp of John Mayer lyrics...who knows!] Even when scrolling through my time hops on Facebook, I stumbled across this from nearly exactly 7 years ago:
There are two things that are especially hysterical about this. 1. I don't even recall what tattoo I was set on getting that day. 2. My friend Andraea's response is so spot on and only shows that my friends know me well (and know that I can be a chickenshit!)

It wasn't until one day I had this epiphany that my brother Chris's 40th birthday was coming up in late November. Since he died last May, I wanted to do something to memorialize him. [Tangent: Without trying to offend anyone, I am not a huge fan personally of the traditional memorial symbols. Angel wings, crosses, names on banners....it's not something I wanted on my body, because those things make me sad. I'm not judging those that have them because I have seen some gorgeous ones, I just don't want to be sad when I see it. I want to remember his life.] I decided to combine the two things that he loved: tattoos and being out on the water. [Tangent: Going camping with his friends was his place of serenity, which was something he didn't always have. Even the box his remains are in is engraved with a scene of a river and trees.] The more I thought about it, the more the canoe made sense. He always went with the flow, but was not always the most stable, but always a good time.

The decision of where to go was easy, I had long admired by friend Rae's tattoos [Tangent: You can read about her Spock tattoo here and her cuckoo clock here on her blog.] , so I made an appointment with Eli Draughn at SafeHouse Tattoo. The whole experience was great and it only really hurt a couple times. NO TEARS! And I was glad that Rae came along and Jamie joined us after work so they could entertain me and show me One Direction videos while I sat there getting it colored in. 
I really love it and I think Chris would too [Tangent: Even though my dad loathed tattoos, I even worked his memory in too, making the flowers purple and gold, which were his alma mater's colors and thus his favorites.]  Knowing that I'm in a wheelchair, I am fully aware that having a canoe on my foot will perplex a lot of folks [Tangent: Even Eli said that they will feel hella awkward asking me about it?], which makes me kind of love it even more. SO MYSTERIOUS!  And if they do ask, it gives me a good excuse to talk about my brother.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Porter Flea Holiday Market- I came. I saw. I bought. I survived.

bottom pieces created by (from L to R): Fish Bone Prints, Groh Artifact  and Wild One Designs
 Porter Flea has gotten to be a huge draw for the craft-loving indie business fans of Nashville (which is 99% of it's population it seems), therefore each year I have to concoct a strategy to get in and get out without A. Losing my damn mind. B. Knocking over a huge display of artisanal brooms and C. Getting my car stuck in a ditch parking somewhere weird. Usually Jamie and I got in the first 30 minutes or the last hour as to keep our nerves in tact. Therefore this year, when Porter Flea out of the blue offered me media access the Friday prior and letting me roam freely (without having to elbow check fellow shoppers), my only decision needing to be made was how many !!'s to use after my "Yes!" [Tangent: And I am really glad I took advantage because by Saturday night I was overwhelmed with relief/guilt reading the complaints from shoppers (from the event's FB page) who had to wait an hour and a half to enter the building. A mix of a last minute venue change (from Silverpointe Studios on the East side to Oz Arts on the West side) and the fact that it is really only a one-day market made it a bit of a headache for many shoppers. It's such a great event that I hope it can continue by finding a solid venue option in future iterations. The vendors are always top-notch and it's a fantastic way of getting them a customer base. They might just have to sacrifice some indie cred to grow to the fairgrounds or somewhere similar. ]

 When I arrived, I noticed parking was a bit scarce (even prior to the event's pre-sale) so I have never been more pleased to be able to handi-hitch my way to a accessible parking space...even if I had to squeeze my big ass robo van between some food trucks and tobaggoned hipsters to do so! It was totally worth it because Decemeber is cold! We were escorted right i, which basically made me feel like this:
Because we had done a little research to who was gonna be there, we had some semblance of a game plan, which was helpful; my iPhone'e notepad had a list of vendors and items that looked interesting online. [Tangent: If you were unable to attend or were really frustrated with lines and drove away, I'd recommend visiting the Porter Flea Vendor list to shop in your underwear or when you are supposed to be working.]  Here were some of my superlatives. 

Best Deal: Dordles
Finding a deal on something at one of these types of events is next to impossible. When we stumbled upon the table of irreverent postcards in the Dordles by Nik Daum booth, I was very tempted to tell him to raise his price. They were $1 each or 5/$4, which is like second coming of Christ level exciting for a bargain huntress such as myself.  Jamie and I ended up buying 6 of our favorites, and I now regret not just buying 20 to hang onto as birthday cards etc, because I don't know if I can part with these. [Tangent: NOTE TO SELF: Make an order stat!] They were so weird/perfect and Nik seemed like a good guy...mostly because he held his own in a convo about Zack Morris phones. Anyone that can do that will get my business. 

Best Pin Game: These are Things
These Are Things was the vendor Jamie and I were perhaps most excited about, mostly because Jamie's latest quest is to TGI Friday's style flair up his new denim jacket. [Tangent: My ginger collects many things and pins are one thing he has no ceiling for. He has amassed a metric shit ton over the years. It's starting to rub off on me, I guess, because he easilly hornswaggled me into the internet famous one...the donut was a given.]  I loved their tongue in cheek enamel pins and the prices were reasonable. I'll let you take a wild swing at which pins belong to who. 

Best Inadvertent Depiction of Me as a Youth: M. Russell Art

Smudged glasses, messy hair, confused demeanor- this illustration b M. Russell Art pretty much sums up my life as a child (and pretty much as an adult, too, for that matter)!  I wish I had the space at this moment to accomodate the full-sized print of this design, but instead I took the economical (both dollar wise and space wise) and bought the greeting card, which I framed, using the envelope as matting.

Best Thing I Didn't Buy:  DVRA
Like a monkey to a shiny object, I was drawn to these fun printed pouches from DVRA. There were seriously at least three that I immediately wanted, but was trying so badly to keep impulses and budgets in check.  I also regret that she didn't know I took this picture [Tangent: I was really trying to get her display, but honestly it looked like she was posing so i kept it in because it was adorable!] 

Best Encounter with Someone One Degree from Robert Herjavic: NerdWax
Because I am on my best days a middle-aged shut-in, my idea of a Friday night rager is my 2-hour rock block featuring of Shark Tank and 20/20.  I was ecstatic to see Nashville's own NerdWax, a former visitor to "the tank," pop up at Porter Flea. The product in question is basically a little chapstick tube of beeswax that keeps your glasses up; when applied- the texture is a bit like dried rubber cement. [ Tangent: Because I buy all my glasses online and none of them are sized to my face, the struggle to keep my glasses up on my tiny nose is REAL! This stuff works like a charm!]  This just brings me one step closer to America's silver fox: Robert Herjavic! 

Best  Print about to Hang Above my Toilet: Methane Studios 


For about a year and a half I have tirelessly been trying different paintings and prints to hang above that hard to decorate spot, the toilet.  It had to be something you wouldn't tire of, because let's face it- the bathroom gets A LOT of use. Thankfully, this wycinanki-inspired print by the aptly named Methane Studios fit the bill/toilet wall perfectly! I had gone in wanting another print entirely from them, but I loved this one so much it came home with me!  I'm in love!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fallin' behind on Autumn

Since fall has basically slithered down the drain (the very one singing blasting Christmas carols) I started thinking, "holy jeeze, there's so many things that I could've written about but didn't the last couple of months!"

Fall is my favorite season, why didn't it get the love it deserved? 

Sometimes when you're excelling at living life, you're abysmal at writing about it. That's pretty much the Amazon tag line for my hypothetical autobiography.  Besides do people care?


Confession: I always feel totally bizarre writing about doing things I've gotten into, because I'm hyper aware that it seems like that girl in your fourth grade class that would come back from summer vacation regaling you with tales of her trips to Jamaica and Nickalodeon studios in Orlando and how her parents bought her a pony (and she named it something not horse-appropriate ...like Tiffany.), and meanwhile you're over here like, "well we got a Y membership." In other words I feel like I'm a big ol' fourth grade style show off, the very ones I wanted to throat-punch when I was nine.  But then I remember that this is my blog and my domain and how I keep record of my life and connect to other people. To hell with the haters.  Since technically we have until the 22nd to welcome winter officially,  wanna hear about my dumb horse named Tiffany aka my awesome fall? 

I guess I'll go about it the lazy man's route...rifle through my instagram feed and pick some highlights!
I love going to TPAC to see musicals mostly for their ridiculous photo op backdrops, and the one for Dirty Dancing didn't disappoint.  Choosing which catchphrase to hold was a big decision, but Rae and I formulated a game plan in line like true pros. [Tangent: Unlike all the 40 something Girls Night Outers, who seriously hemmed and hawed over whether to hold "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner" or "Time of My Life" for what seemed like eons.] I still may need an entire blog post to reflect on the insanity on Dirty Dancing: The Musical. Was it good? Was it awful? Even months later I'm not sure. I know it was weird and there were no original or really barely any songs sung on stage by the cast itself, but there was some weird bed sex/dancing which reminded me a lot of the ballet within the movie Center Stage...so there's that.

A couple weeks ago, my best friend and her hubby won tix to Best Buddies: Party with a Purpose, a fundraiser for Best Buddies of Middle Tennessee, an organization that pairs individuals with intellectual disabilities with peer buddies. We had a great time, but it was bizarre eating the food and drinking the wine at a charity event knowing you were basically a seat filler. Oh well, I had an awesome time and the organization is amazing...plus we got to meet the hottest goalie in the NHL, Pekka Rinne. [Tangent: I strategically didn't tell Kristen to remove her glow accessories...you know...because I'm a good friend.]
On Back to The Future Day, I went to the East Room in East Nashville to attend the Nash to the Future party. There was a viewing of all 3 films as well as 80s music out the wazoo. [Also it gave my friend Ryan an excuse to wear his crazy accurate BTTF2 costume (you can see it here) and my friends Crystal and Marc (of Olivia Frankenstein) to sell this amazing Nash to the Future t-shirt! I am in love with mine. ] As happens in East Nashville at costume parties, it was really hard who was dressed somehow thematically and who was dressed for your average weeknight. Pictured above is my friend Allie and her sister-in-law Nadia wearing some spot-on costumes. So impressed. [Tangent: To clarify, their costumes are intentional.]

To continue the trend of doing something cultural in the most pop cultural of ways, some friends and I took in Heathers: The Musical, which was presented by Street Theater Company. I loved it so much, even though I had forgotten how much darker Heathers is watched through a 2015 lens. Bombs at schools are a thing now. [Tangent: It did everything I wished Dirty Dancing had done, because it embraced the camp and nostalgia factor and turned it up to 11. Here's my favorite song from it that I wish was a karaoke staple.]

When I heard Janet Jackson was coming to Nashville, I bought tickets in record time. I couldn't miss this show and I knew no one would appreciate Janet as much as my best friend, so naturally, she was my date. [Tangent: Plus I wanted to check out the new Ascend Ampitheatre by the river. I bought grass seats, because I wasn't sure of accessibility, but soon learned that was a no go. Luckily, we were able to handi-hitch to awesome seats.] I can't promise I didn't  dance more than is attractive during "Black Cat" or tear up when she performed "Scream" and shouted "You go Michael" and pointed to the sky in the middle.  Sure, she lip synced to most of it, but danced her ass off. She made me believe that when I am in my 50s, I too can be a strong black woman who can still pull off the following things: corsets, huge windblown hair, harem pants, and spanking 20 year old backup dancers.

I also went to see Sturgill Simpson and Straight No Chaser at the Ryman...no, not together because that would have been one hell of a strange billing, but a few weeks apart. Both were magical, but in VERY different ways. Also, one of these two acts performed an a capella parody song to the tune of All about that Bass (but about the traditional meaning of bass)...I'll let you guess which one.

Last year, I was so disappointed that a close friend's wedding fell on the same day at the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee's Buddy Walk...because I could support Team Claire in person [Tangent: If you haven't read about her before, she's the little cheerleader in the picture above and also the daughter of my best friends.] I'm also 2/2 in designing her team's shirt and taking the picture used on her walk photo! Somehow I am her marketing rep, and since she's the cutest client ever, I can be bought with open mouthed kisses (from Claire, to clarify!)! Anyway, since the 2015 walk fell on Halloween, I decided to wear my mermaid tail, because....why not? Frankly, I look for any opportunity where a shimmering fish tail is acceptable. One team had an entire Star Wars theme, so naturally Jamie stalked them and we went to go snag a photo op [Tangent: Even though seeing Chewbacca in person roving Centennial Park is mildly traumatizing]

One of Jamie's favorite films is The Shining and one thing that he looked forward to all October was seeing it on the big screen (at The Franklin Theatre). [Tangent: I like the movie OK, but I cannot handle Shelly Duvall. For some unknown, she irritates me a great deal in that movie, that it starts to make me understand Jack's rage. Oh, and it probably doesn't help that this YouTube video is haunting my dreams. (seriously, click that link...you will not be able to look away!)] Whenever we go see a movie at The Belcourt or The Franklin Theatre, Jamie gets super excited about thematic cocktails....so above is a begrudgingly posed shot of him drinking a RED RUM.
That's just a fun picture from our weekend trip to Alabama a couple months ago to see my friends Brandon and Laura and their cute kiddos. [Tangent: Huntsville is the ideal drive for a driving pussy such as myself because I can get on the interstate and drive for an hour and not have to even change lanes.] That is Amelia screaming "I dont wanna go in wobot car!!!" Part of our jaunt to Huntsville was to show Jamie the glamour that is Unclaimed Baggage Warehouse in Scottsboro (which I have a half post about somewhere), but we really didn't end up getting anything! I am so full of regret!

That's a picture of me and some of my friends meeting Greg Sestero ("oh hai mark!") from The Room. If you haven't seen The Room....it's the worst movie ever made (quite literally...like it's been awarded that honor) and I've been obsessed with it since seeing it. At The Belcourt, they did a live reading of the original first draft of the script, which was batshit bananas kukoo! [Tangent/Spoiler alert: Denny wasn't in it and it made even less sense!]  So good! Also, not sure why I appear to be in some kind of blinding spotlight in this photo. Oh well.

OK, now am all caught up on all that. Bring on winter.  The cold is about to kick my ass into submission, so back to being a mole person for me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kylie Jenner is in a wheelchair now (kind of)

Today I got home from work and upon clicking onto my social media, my eyeballs were assaulted with something a little unexpected and Kylie Jenner related, but seriously when isn't that the case [Tangent:...and granted I totally get that by posting this, I will only up my traffic from weird wheelchair fetishists. I'm talking to you, dude that googled "sexy wheelchair diapered women" a few days ago.] :

Voila! Apparently, a member of the Jennerdashian clan is doing something that is stirring controversy and getting press. (You can read about it here.) Perish the thought...I know. [Tangent: And I know that I am  just fueling the wildfire of batshit media attention for something stupid, but I also realize I am the token wheelchair friend for many of you...so I feel like at some point I will be asked what I think. This is me nipping it in the bud.] The truth is I'm not sure entirely how I feel about this whole bizarre thing...which is generally the case 98% of the time when asked for my opinion on something that is causing a stir in the disability community.[Tangent:...other than I don't think I have the tas to pull this off for a costume come Halloween 2016.]  

To me this isn't even a battle that is worth fighting [Tangent: Only 17% of people with disabilities are employed. I mean...that's the kind of stuff that's worth getting huffy about.] , but it is definitely an interesting discussion. I mean on one hand she is making a wheelchair sexy, which I guess is nicer than the alternative of making it hideous (yay!). [Tangent: Although just to be clear, Maebe Funke in the Miss Inner Beauty episode of Arrested Development didn't offend me either.]


...But on the other hand she is doing so by engaging in an entire editorial photo spread which seems inspired by the idea that she is a sex doll [Tangent: Tangent: You can see the other pics of normal things like her in a shipping crate here. And the more I look at it...the more I think she looks like Bianca, the vinyl protagonist/sometimes wheelchair user, in Lars and The Real Girl.] . It's a teench of mixed messaging, right? So are wheelchair users sex dolls...or worse simply objects? (boo!)  


Honestly, I really think that objectification argument is giving this whole thing more credit for its cultural resonance than it desereves...Ya'll remember we are talking about someone from Keeping Up With the Kardashians, right?  People got  all in a tizzy when Lady Gaga did this whole thing a few years ago in her paparazzi video and in her own life. [Tangent: Remember this gem!]

After reading the articles and seeing the pictures and media over-speculation (that is sure to snowball outta control in the coming days.) , the only certain takeaway I have is this: Where are all these ladies finding solid gold wheelchairs? In my adult life as a wheelchair user, I have never seen one in real life, so I am guessing they are not covered by Medicare. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Netflix Documentary Hits & Misses: Vol. 14 (November 2015)

October was busy...potentially too busy [Tangent: I mean I haven't even written about going to see the insanity that was Dirty Dancing the musical. That needs to be remedied!], so in November, I have tried to reclaim my shut-in title to restore some sense of balance to my personal universe. This has resulted in me watching Netflix....A LOT! Unfortunately, I have spent more time on shows and less time on docs [Tangent: I mean Master of None, With Bob and David and Jane the Virgin aren't gonna watch themselves!] but I managed to squeeze in eight!! 





Back in Time- A+
This movie was the perfect fan film and I loved every minute. I sat riveted even though the week prior to watching it was Back to The Future Day (so thus social media and TV had inundated me with all things related to the franchise). One would have thought, as a very casual fan [Tangent: As in, I have only seen the first two movies and only a couple times. See! total poser!], that I would have hit my ceiling. Sometimes when movies don't target one angle of something, I get frustrated because I think that they'll shortchange me in at least one area, but this movie covered all things Marty McFly and left me feeling complete. They interviewed fans and the cast and crew, which made it very well-rounded. For some reason the part that stuck out most was how the choice of a Delorean was a fluke decision that really paid off. When the producers chose it, how were they to know that AMC wouldn't make cars after the mid 80s and that Deloreans would be like unicorns one day, thus making them WAY MORE iconic.

Parrot Confidential- B+
Seriously who has taken over my body and mind that  I would opt to watch a nature documentary about parrots on my own free will? I hate parrots.  To me, they are the creeps of the animal kingdom [Tangent: Every time I hear a feathered friend talk, I find it jarring. It is a trick that I will never get used to.] , so it might even alarm you more to know that I watched this short doc long before it hit Netflix and that I found it really interesting and found myself talking about to anyone that would listen for the days following. A lot of the special (and the part that made me kinda feel for parrots) was about people not being fully aware of the responsibility that is taking in one of these birds as a pet...because they live FOREVER. One bird rescue was overrun with strays that they took just so their owners could get some peace and quiet.  It's short and frankly better than one might think...and this coming from a gal who usually despises those creepy winged monsters.

The Wolfpack- A
I've been obsessed with this story since it first came about and I know I wanted to see it like hell when it was showing at The Belcourt in Nashville. I liked it, but definitely think a problem that kept me from loving it was that I was already too familiar with the story. I had already read numerous online articles and watched an hour long 20/20 which interviewed everyone involved, therefore the element of discovery and surprise was a little gone.  The movie revolved around 6 brothers who were basically held captive in their own low income NY apartment by a father who was distrusting of the outside. This led to the family bonding in a very unique way over a love of film and reenacting film. The way they went about it was insanely resourceful and I almost hesitate to reveal too much about their process, because it's incredibly entertaining to watch (even though they are being held prisoner). I think it's a must watch for film lovers because it raises a lot of interesting thoughts on how movies can be the ultimate escape.

Twinsters -A
This movie is about twin sisters adopted from Korea into two separate families across the ocean from one another. When the American sister puts out a viral YouTube video, she gets recognized by friends of her long lost twin, and the two siblinds connect over social media and then Facetime and then ultimately meet face to face. Sometimes, I'm a little cynical about stories like this, especially when they are positioned in such a way that wreaks of Inside Edition, but this one seemed very organic. Because she was a bit of a YouTube star, it seemed only natural for her to tell her own story and to be very comfortable doing so. I found it crazy how alike the two girls acted and how immediately they bonded even though they have not been together since birth. You will have to sit through a lot of giggling and inside jokes and girl bonding, so if that is not you scene- be prepared.

Famous Nathan- B-
I've made no secret that if a movie features old kooks that I will be first in line. I also love hot dogs (way more than your average bear!) so when I discovered there was a movie about Nathan, of Nathan's hot dog fame, that featured delightfully eccentric elderly people, I was ecstatic.  Although the movie lost me a little around the end, I still enjoyed hearing about how the Coney Island institution , that is now the site of yearly mass eating (and likely mass vomiting) on July 4th weekend. I think it was both was helpful and hurtful to the narrative that it was made by a member of the family because sometimes an outside perspective is more balanced. One more thing, did I mention the hysterical interviews with all the crazy old friends and family from the hot dog dynasty? I'm pretty sure I did, but seriously- it's the main selling point!

Capital C- A-
I don't think this film's  description does it justice, but I knew I generally like movies about businesses and how they came to be. [Tangent: To name a few of my favorites: Burt's Buzz, Time Zero and last weekend I went to go see All Things Must Pass about Tower Records. I can't wait to tell you about that one. ] Naturally I thought when you factor in the idea of crowd sourcing and social media, this movie, which profiles kickstarter companies, was a can't lose for me...and it was. My only criticism was that the businesses in question were really random- a video game, a customizable koozie and playing cards inspired by US currency. I mean, I liked that the filmmaker went after projects that were different than the typical films and albums...but I just couldn't relate to any of the passions. [Tangent: ...especially the playing cards...that one was a head scratcher...but it got funded in record time...so I am clearly alone.  I really liked the designer behind that concept, so I tried to put my head scratching to rest.] Also I love any programming that gives you some insight, from a small business standpoint, of what it's like to be on Shark Tank! [Tangent: Be still my heart.]

Do I sound Gay?- A-
Thanks to my dear friend, Rae, for knowing me so well to immediately bring this documentary to my attention.  I had heard about it when it was released in theaters and have been wanting to see it since. The filmmaker, David, is on a quest to find out if there is such a thing as a gay manner of speaking. He talks to speech pathologists and voice coaches to find out if the dialect is indeed a thing, and what steps he could take to curb his dialect. Is it nature or nurture that causes the inflection? I don't now that they solidly answer it...but on the way to his answer he gets feedback from many other gay men...including Tm Gunn!

Just About Famous- D
There's something about celebrity impersonators that make me intrigued...just the idea that someone gets paid to pretend to be another person is otherworldly. I wish that I liked this more, but I found it underwhelming and truthfully, didn't even finish it. I know...I know I should have given it more of a chance, but the people being profiled just couldn't keep my attention. [Tangent: I would skip it and watch The Reinactors instead, which is about the people on Hollywood Blvd who dress up to take pictures with tourists. Their lives were way more entertaining, and although it is no longer streaming on Netflix, you can find the movie free online here.] 

What should I watch in December? 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TOGITW: Good Beer is a short film you need to see NOW!

Today I was scrolling through Facebook [Tangent: What a shocking turn of events and completely uncharacteristic of me! I know...I know!!] and saw several awesome ladies in wheelchairs with whom I am acquainted posting about Good Beer, a short film that was released to the public today via social media and on YouTube starring Shannon Devido [Tangent: Hence the TOGITW because this post is all about "That other girl in the wheelchair"] the film's FB page boils it down to to the following summary:
'Good Beer' is a new short film about a blind date that transcends disability and is a universally relatable love story for the 21st century.


After 7 minutes of awesome yet painfully awkward truth bombs, I knew I had to share it with you immediately to show the genius in honesty and talking about things that are hard to broach. It's so good, right? As tired as I am of the weird stereotypical assumption that I know everyone else in a wheelchair, I'm sorry to say it's kind of true because I actually kind of know the sassy dame in Good Beer.  Her name is Shannon Devido.

Throughout my first couple years at Middle Tennessee State University, I had an apparent lookalike..and it just so happened to be Shannon. [Tangent: When you're in a chair, one would think your chances of having a doppleganger would be lessened because that's just math and statistics, right?   (I was never skilled at either subject (hence why I do this.) so I could be way off with that assessment!) According to the general populus , at MTSU at least, there couldn't be two petite girls in wheelchairs with glasses and dark hair at the same time. [Tangent: Surely a miraculous event such as that meant the Armageddon was upon us.] She was a year or two my senior and because she was a cute gal, I chose to take it as completely complimentary. [Tangent: Can you imagine the moment of self-actualization that would have occurred had she been completely unfortunate looking!]

 Although, I only really had cursory interaction with her, I learned a lot about her from strangers on campus who thought I was her and wouldn't accept my words to the contrary. 

Stranger on Campus: You were so good in Fiddler on the Roof! 
Me: What? Oh, wait...no. That wasn't me. But, thanks.
Stranger: Are you sure? You were great!
Me: Yes. I'm sure I wasn't in a play without remembering it. 
Stranger: Well, we miss you in choir class...bye!

I am now very proud to see the person I was mistaken for on the regular circa 2002 is going on to do really bad ass things! [Tangent: Although those mixups are not really happening anymore, when meeting my boyfriend's bandmate the other day,  he did say "Oh wow! Did you go to MTSU...you were in Fiddler on the Roof! You were great!" I almost hated to let him down and to admit I can't sing or act worth a damn... I'm a huge disappointment.] In addition to the amazing Good Beer short, she is on Hulu's Difficult People. I know I am plugging hard with absolutely no prompting on her end...but now I'm just hoping to be confused with the star of an awesome short film...because this time I may just take credit.

Follow Good Beer on FB

Monday, November 16, 2015

Doug Loves Movies- 4peat!

 I try not to be overly repetitive, but I am more or less the most predictable creature of habit that you will ever meet [Tangent: Only creature implies fangs or fins so I want my habitual creature to be non-traumatizing...like an Ewok or Gizmo.] so I'm gonna be writing about going to a Doug Loves Movies taping again, and you guys are gonna deal with it or GTFO! [Tangent: Woah...not sure where that repressed anger erupted from. I got up at 6:30 today like a normal capable human should... so I will blame that.] Last week, Doug Benson was in town...so of course, I was at Zanies! I feel like at this point, after a fourth podcast taping...it just gets more and more fun! [Tangent/Fun sub-story that seems like name  dropping but totally isn't: A couple months ago I was cleaning out my inbox  on FB and for some reason checked my "other" folder where messages get cached when they are from people you aren't friends with. Anyway the message was from Graham Elwood, who is a funny comedian/podcaster and frequent guest on Doug Loves Movies. It said "I'm finishing up Ear buds and Doug Benson mentions you as a fan who is also a medical marijuana patient. Would you be willing to send a photo of you and Doug and sign a photo release?" My reaction was: Wait....DOUG AND GRAHAM WERE TALKING ABOUT ME!?...followed by compulsive laughing because I am the squarest peg and have never smoked pot...not even in high school when all my friends were. Dang these crap lungs and this hyper-sensitive bod! They were keeping me from being in a documentary. Also, without even trying and in very fleeting in person and on twitter interactions, I had somehow bamboozled a man who is reknowned for his "Marijana-logues" into thinking I was a pot user. Unfortunately I have no substance to blame, these junky dietary proclivities and this general demeanor is 100% Kimmie.]

Anyway back to the subject at hand...I don't really feel like rehashing the format of the podcast, because really listening to it is the only way to understand what the hell it's all about. [Tangent: Trust me...it will make the most sense that way and I've made it easy by posting links at the bottom of this post...Or you can read about it here or here.] At it's core, it's a comedy/movie podcast that encourages audience participation, which are three concepts I enjoy a great deal. The prep for it is almost as fun as the event itself because each audience member is encouraged to bring a movie-themed name tag that will make them eligible of the grand prize bag. My printer is a piece of garbage, so this year I couldn't work my photoshoppery magic as I have in the past. I had to get crafty. Here was Jamie modeling his sign and mine that we worked on in the midst of a Fargo binge.
 [Tangent: I have a feeling all the servers and fellow attendees were giving me mass stink eye for my giant prop...but I was hard up for a name tag. And bonus! I passed it along to Doug after the show (because naturally I always have a backup donut float at home...who doesn't?) and after sticking his head through it and deflating it, he added it to the next episode's prize bag. Therefore some stranger now has my donut raft with my boyfriend's DNA (saliva, heads outta gutters) all over the valve from blowing it up multiple times. It's like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants...but with $5 novelty pool toys.] Speaking of Traveling Pants, my table had some amazing signs as well. The one that Rae made for her husband Travis still makes me laugh especially hard...Travising Pants...so good.



 This year, my goal was to twitter-stalk DB prior to the show and get him to call on me to choose a name for his "Last Man Stanton" game where the panel tries to name as many movies as they can from an the filmography of an actor/actress. I hemmed and hawed, consulted the show's wiki and discussed with my friend Ryan potential names. Doug ended up picking me so if you listen to the podcast at the link below, you will hear by grating voice bellow out "Susan Sarandon!" Spoiler Alert: No one seemed to know many Susan Sarandon movies... which is odd because she's been in 220+ films. 

I'm so glad our annual trip to see Doug is still going strong! It's seriously one of my favorite events of the year! Here's a family picture with brother Doug. 
Things to Listen For: discussion of my obscenely huge donut name tag; my shouting Susan Sarandon and everyone grumbling about it; my friend Ryan yelling Curly Sue repeatedly after the Steve Carrell round; Doug mocking the voice of Ryan's friend when he asked where Geoff Tate's comedy special could be found. 


Things to Listen For: At about the 4 minute mark you hear about my giant donut (not a euphemism!) in the prize bag

PS. When I was waiting outside for Doug, a nice dude in a Nirvana T-shirt that actually had Hanson on it said "Hey! That Girl in the Wheelchair!" [Tangent: I assumed he had read this blog before and not just someone stating the obvious.] This threw me for a loop because I sometimes forget people read this blog...especially that aren't connected to me in real life.  So I'm very hopeful I came off nice and appreciative (which I am!) and not creeped out (which is likely the vibe I gave off!) If you are reading this, THANKS! I am weird and awkward and don't know how to act in public. Also, nice shirt!
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