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Archive for the ‘I have a pop culture problem’ Category

If Dean Winchester Were Your Boyfriend

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Pouring one out for The Toast.

  1. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, his shirts would be your shirts, whether he liked it or not. “Babe, we haven’t hit a laundromat in weeks”, he’d say as you wrapped yourself up in one of his flannels. “You smell great,” you’d tell him and mean it.
  2. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, most of your meals would be eaten on the road. For your health, your brother-in-dating Sam would constantly watch what you ate. If you ordered a burger and milkshake, he’d detour to the kitchen and make sure the shake ended up with a few handfuls of spinach in it. When you found out, he’d ask how you thought Dean made it to 40 while never willingly ingesting a vegetable.
  3. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, you’d teach him the names of older musicians he’d never heard of so he could use them as fake names when he ran out of 80s musicians. He’d pretend to just take the information as handy, but later you’d catch him listening to Dead Man’s Curve on youtube.
  4. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he would tell you that you never had to worry about being attacked by demons or witches. Every time you bought a new purse, though, you’d find almost immediately that a knife had been sewn into the lining and an anti-hex hex bag had been tied to the handle.
  5. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, you’d get the kind of attention in bars that you’d previously thought was a myth. The two of you would walk into anywhere and every server in the room would see him and be available all night for your every need. He’d tell you he thought you were teasing him when you told him most of the world didn’t get that kind of treatment, but then he’d wink at you and do a shimmy to whatever song was playing on the jukebox.
  6. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, the first time you got a panic attack because you met an angel he’d bring you a beer and a quarter of Xanax and tell you to play checkers with Cass. “You can’t be scared of angels once you see they have no sense of humor,” he’d tell you, and then he’d punch you in the shoulder and mouth ‘be yourself’ to Cass behind your back.
  7. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he’d use his hunter network to set up an elaborate birthday surprise for you. Every place you stopped on a road trip would have a booth reserved and a different colored balloon tied to your seat. You’d suspect it was partially Sam’s idea, but that wouldn’t matter because Dean would grin every time he saw your huge smile.
  8. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, his mom would try to make you tough and Dean would get mad at her every time. “She doesn’t need to know what it feels like to slice her palm for a blood sigil, Mary,” he’d say. “I’ll always be around.”
  9. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he’d learn what ‘woke’ and ‘kyriarchy’ mean and you’d sometimes hear him explaining them to other people. Afterwards he’d tell you dejectedly that he wasn’t sure he’d overcome his buddy’s idea that women make less money because they don’t know how to ask, and you’d kiss his neck and take him out for a piece of pie.
  10. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, the world probably would have ended by now. If it did, though, he would have been thinking about you while he did something insane to try to save it.

 

parting gifts

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Something that I loved very dearly popped back into my life last week, and then went away again, and it’s all VERY TRAUMATIC.

The Toast was the best website ever.

Don’t  take my word for it. This isn’t one of those goofy things that I love that has a niche following (like jokes about elephants in refrigerators and Zillow alerts for two-to-three bedroom houses with at least two bathrooms in very specific areas of LA). The Toast was an amazing project mostly undertaken by two women, who funded it with personal money because the internet is hard and sucks, and finally they had to quit. If you didn’t hover those links above, one of them is a goodbye post written by Hilary Clinton. Hil.Ar.Y. Clin.Ton.

(Ok, fine, it’s a niche. A really nice, cozy, smart, funny niche. I can think of worse things.)

The Toast closed last year because despite donations and I think some ads? they couldn’t afford to keep it going. I was genuinely very, very sad. Such a small writing staff made me feel like I knew these women, and I missed them when they were gone.

Then tiny hands trashfire did his thing and I had other things to worry about, but.

BUT.

Last Wednesday, The Toast threw eight new posts into the world. Just a hi howareya, nothing permanent. It was lovely but also gave me those sad feelings you have when you forgot how well something fit into your life. When you can’t have it, you get used to being without it and sometimes you even think gosh maybe it wasn’t even that good?, but then BOOM. It was that good.

I am the woman who went into a tailspin when my favorite band broke up. I am the woman that was so distraught on Twitter when one of my favorite authors died that TWO other famous authors privately messaged me to share my grief.

There’s a message here. Is it that I should be a less emotional person?

Or is it that The Toast should come back?

(I know what I vote.)

NB – I was going to write a ‘if X was your Y‘ post in remembrance/honor/cause I wanted to, but I couldn’t think of who to write it about. Riz Amhed? But that’s just because of the Charlie XCX Boys video. Crockett? Myself? (If Emma was your girlfriend … hm. Actually, that could be fun.) Angel from Buffy? Idris Elba and Mary-Louise Parker are taken already. I’ll think on it.

Something is better than nothing, but also sometimes something is ow.

 

 

 

 

thanks, that was fun

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

I wonder if I was any good when I sang in a band.

Indications that I *was*:

  • The boys whose band it was actually let me join and I did audition first and everything
  • People clapped?
  • Sometimes people bought me drinks?
  • We were in a battle of the bands and didn’t get kicked out after the first round

Indications that I wasn’t:

  • Literally everything above can be explained by the fact that I was a 24 year old woman who was willing to wear short skirts and wholesomely flirt with a whole room full of people simultaneously (<- real skill, still have it … think I could spin a TED talk outta that?)
  • WE DID PRIMUS COVERS – how could I possibly have done those well? Primus is a) not meant for a female alto and b) the worst

I was going to see if our old website was still out there so I could glory in pictures of myself in pinstriped skirts and mens ties as belts, but there’s a new band in Denver that seems to have co-opted our name. Which is weird, because The Take didn’t make that much sense as a name the first time around – we were constantly having to explain it. The boys were constantly, constantly high and I think they came up with that and ‘Barefoot Dan’ and made me choose between the two options. Actually, I guess it’s pretty reasonable to think that the new The Take got there the same way …

I’m going to start a new band, and it’s going to be me playing guitar as well as possible (so, you know, poorly) and doing nothing but solo versions of Barenaked Ladies covers. I *am* going to call it Barefoot Dan, because I have no better ideas.

If THAT takes off, we’ll know I’ve got skills and the sky’s the limit, babies.

instagram

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Instagram vs Snapchat.

One of my very bestest friends is an avid snapper, and I was trying to put my finger on why I don’t snap now but I am all over insta like a … a … well, someone who posts a lot on insta.

I do post a lot, especially lately. I mean, I don’t know what a LOT a lot is, but I post two or three times a day most days. Is that a lot (she asks as if she wants reassurance but she really doesn’t)?

I guess I think of insta like a diary. Facebook used to be a diary. For example, six years ago today on Facebook I posted the status ‘iPad, check. Toothbrush, check. Camera… SHIT.’ Obviously I was going somewhere (sailing I think), and I forgot my camera! That’s a fun tiny blurb, yes? No? Yes. But Facebook is mostly for pictures and sharing political links now (and it’s dead, right? Let’s all agree. It’s basically dead. Our grandparents are on it and we are parents of people who are also on it. It’s Main St USA and no one actually thinks it’s cool to be on Main St.)

The thing about Instagram is: it stays and pictures are unambiguous. Filtered, yes, but if you were with someone or not with someone or home or in Portland, that’s permanently represented.

The thing about Snapchat is: it goes away.

I get the appeal of that, but I also feel like it’s part of the issue about space women are constantly struggling with. When you snap, you’re putting something into the world that says ‘heeeeeyyyy guys here’s a thing if you wanna look at it but if you don’t don’t worry it’ll be gone pretty soon so don’t worry about it if you don’t want to ’cause …. yeah anyway thanks byyyeeee’.

I could be wrong. It could (always) be my personal awareness of taking up space in the world. I’m a woman who, despite her best intentions, worries endlessly about the effect my very presence has on other people. Am I too loud? Is my skirt too distracting? Am I talking more than I should?  Does my new tree bug my neighbors? Does my new shampoo smell? It’s tiring, and Snapchat is a relaxing way to show people things. It’s easy to think ‘oh no one has to see this if they don’t want to’. However, by that same measure, Snapchat doesn’t tell any kind of story about you or your life.

So Instagram. Insta is the diary-est of all the available diaries.

(Excepting a blog but WHO BLOGS ANYMORE?)

So, Instagram. People can opt into you without you doing the same and vice versa. Everyone loves a sunset and dogs and yoga, which makes it feel like a wonderful place to *also* love all those things. You’re easy to scroll over, but also anyone who cares can roll back through months or years of what you’ve been up to, and you can too.

None of this touches on the overwhelming desire to share in the first place, of course. I’m always aware of what the perception of my pictures might be, and I’m open to it. This blog is over a decade old – I’m a committed sharer and the reasons are between my and my psyche.

I just … want to leave a mark.

God I’m old.

But still cute. You can confirm on my insta.

ice cold I roll my eyes at you boy

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Picking songs that other people are going to listen to is VERY STRESSFUL.

Like, I think I have good taste in music, but literally no one doesn’t think that about themselves. If they thought what they liked didn’t show good taste, it would thoroughly undermine the entire concept of good taste and that would be the nucleus from which the end of the world sprouted. (No? Are you sure? Like, double check quantum physics and get back to me. I don’t fully understand quantum physics but I went to an engineering school and am pretty sure someone there told me once you could use them to explain any damn thing you wanted, and this is the quantum-music-taste hill I’m going to die on.)

When I was in Portland with my little brother last weekend we had a whole app based youtube queue set up on his chromecast (<- today in sentences Emma from ten years ago would think were gibberish).  We were all adding, and it was skewing rap heavy because that’s mostly what he and his friends listen to. I could have backed off and let it happen, but I wanted to contribute and also not to listen to rap for four hours.

(I don’t dislike rap but I have a hard time staying engaged when there’s not a through melody. Like, I’m a huge Childish Gambino fan, but my brother hates him… I guess he’s intro rap? Because … of the melody? I know it’s shocking, but this is NOT something we covered in engineering school. All your preconceptions blown, right? Right.)

My approach was either great song or great video. I went retro a couple of times (Leave the Biker), full on pandering at least twice (see Lana del Ray and the Jenny Lewis video with Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart (a combo that surprisingly fills the needs of most people who like girls? Can I get an amen?)), and I’m not embarrassed to admit I appealed to my brother with people we’ve seen together.

That is way too much thought.

Literally, what is the worst thing that could have happened? That my brother’s friends didn’t think I was cool? I’m his older sister – they were pretty decided on the coolness of me long before now. (Probably I won some of them over when I looked super fly in a suit as his best man a few years ago.)

These are phases I go through. It’s like I’m scared, sometimes, to take up too much room in the world. To make someone do literally anything that’s not exactly what they had planned.

Probably I need to switch over to some Blondie. Some Tegan and Sarah. Some Tove Lo. Sometimes it’s ok to play your own song.