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

let’s drink and watch

Monday, November 20th, 2017

(Scheduling for pub Monday morning, please rest assured that I did not get up and start drinking at 4 am. All drinking and watching happened Sunday night.)

(If you’re here for NACG 3, hold your horses.)

Drinking: The Independent White Blend
Eating: chips and guacamole
Watching: Grave Encounters (trailer, IMDB)

I’ve actually seen this movie before, but I liked it and am having a stupid, sad weekend, so … comfort horror! A genre you don’t believe exists!

In a nutshell, this movie is about a bunch of people filming a ghost hunting reality show that end up in an actual haunted abandoned psych hospital. Don’t all rush out to watch it, now. As per usual, if you’d like to watch this movie without me ruining it for you then you are in the wrong damn place.

  • The very first, best thing about this movie is how different the host is while he’s filming for the show and while they’re shooting b-roll and he’s just a regular dude. His host-attitude is very Robin-Leach of haunted places – ‘the incredible footage you saw … of this door slamming on it’s own’, etc. His real self says things like ‘this place is as haunted as a sock drawer’.
  • My hair is draped over the back of the couch and the table behind the couch, and I just put my wine down on my hair without knowing it and then tried to lean forward. Wine related disaster, people.
  • Why couldn’t a sock drawer be haunted? Me, asking the important questions.
  • oooooooOOOOOOoooooo scary stuff is happening! Like, normal stuff, actually? A door slammed, a wheel on a table spun. Scary in context, though, if the context is ‘locked in an abandoned insane asylum’. The only person who believes it might be paranormal is the girl with the lip ring and black eyeliner – #gimme.
  • The ghost just lifted goth girls hair and I legit jumped. She went back down to the lobby to hang out with the tech guy and the host is begging the ghost to manipulate his hair, which I love. “Are you… are you into hair? Here, touch mine, ghosty – I’ve got nice hair! I used conditioner and everything!”
  • “Why would we split up, that’s a terrible idea!” Goth girl making all the good calls. Spoiler, they split up anyway.
  • Status: one guy missing, one guy fell down the stairs and is like kinda injured, everyone panicking because (at their request) the caretaker locked them in and they can’t find a way out. The caretaker was, of course, supposed to come let them out, but he’s very late and the sun doesn’t seem to be rising when it should. This is all quite tense and watching them get all mad at each other is very satisfying, but nothing is actually, like, happening?
  • All the food in their coolers is rotten. This is ghostly psychological warfare and I am here for it. Some hair touching, some rottenness accelerating, and couple of doors and windows that aren’t open or closed as they should be, and everyone is going damn crazy. Walls dripping blood etc not required.
  • Now they’re just fighting over a map. This looks like me and Crockett’s last vacation, the Blair Witch Project, or both.
  • Missing guy is screaming! From somewhere! And a metal cot is bouncing up and down! Fuck you, cot. Keep your fucking legs on the ground, you’re not a grasshopper.
  • Oh, baby goth girl has the word hello written in cuts on her back. Such a polite message for such a mean delivery. Maybe the ghost was writing ‘hey’, ‘hi’, ‘hello’, ‘what’s up’, ‘hi guys’, whatever, all over the walls and they just kept missing it because they were running around? Ghost just wanted to get his message seen is all. I get you, ghost, it’s tough being ignored.
  • Annnnnnnnd we have our first dark eyed unrealistically big mouthed demon face. WHY DO I DO THIS WHEN I AM HOME ALONE, someone talk some sense into me pleez thank you.
  • I apologize for inserting that in there, guys. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was trying to distract myself from the guy getting drowned in the bathtub full of blood possibly?
  • Do you remember the song from when I was in high school (a universally recognized means of defining a four year period) that went ‘they say misery loves company, we should start a company and make misery…’?
  • You’re welcome.
  • They’ve all got hospital wristbands with their names on them that showed up when they fell asleep. There’s two different level of attacks happening here. Two ghosts? Grasshopper-cot blood-drowning sliced-back ghost is sending out a very strong ‘die, y’all’. Wristband rotten-food no-sunshine ghost is trying harder for a ‘no hope’ kinda vibe.
  • Both would work on me. And you, don’t lie.
  • Crockett’s leather chair just creaked. Bad. BAD CHAIR.

I fast forwarded, in the hopes that the chair was reacting to a specific scene.

  • There are only the host and goth girl left…
  • Wait, there’s a cloud covering the camera…
  • Why do I keep writing these posts? Why do you guys keep READING them? They are ridiculous play by plays of movies you’re not watching, it’s insane.
  • One guy. Host. Cloud ate goth girl.

At some point, if you’re in a horror movie, it’s got to just be the zen choice to die, right? I mean, yes, there’s always the teeniest tiniest chance you’re the final girl. Probably not, though. Probably you’re going to be terrified and run around a lot and get very very scared and sad and then die, right?

Remember when you told me, at the top of this post, that comfort horror wasn’t a thing? Fine, you were right.

  • Host is eating a rat. That he beat to death with a pipe. Why tho. Host, Imma refer you to the thing I just said about death being zen ok?
  • Oh shit ghost docs and nurses! Ok, that explains the inconsistent hauntings. Good, that would have bugged me.

Don’t worry, guys. Ghost docs are treating host for his obvious issues. Everything’s fine, nothing to see here, and … credits!


a super upsetting review

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

I mean, I’m not super upset.

Well, I might be. It’s been a rough fall.

But this is not about that. This is about A SUPER UPSETTING COOKBOOK ABOUT SANDWICHES (real title, guys). It’s by a guy who owns a sandwich shop in NY called No. 7 Sub and I would really appreciate some takeout from the next person I know who goes there, ok?

I have made none of these sandwiches, but not for the first time I’m sitting on my couch reading through the book and laughing. I’m going to try to give you four funny quotes, but if they don’t seem funny then let’s agree you just need more context and should read the book yourself, ok?

  • “With all the usual condiments, [fake/meaty veggie burgers] taste a lot like McDonald’s hamburgers, which are both excellent and the end of the world.
  • “… I am drinking as fast as I can so that I can be funny again. I am trying to write ‘A Heartbreaking Cookbook of Staggering Sandwich Genius’, but I realize that it’s just ‘An Immature Food Book of Stuttering Sandwich’.”
  • About people who insist on a bag for a single, well wrapped sandwich: “I’m going to start making little handles for your sandwich out of masking tape and make you carry your sandwich like a tiny, broccoli-filled briefcase. And don’t make this sandwich because it is too good for you.”
  • Do a bunch of stuff to prep mussels. “And if any of your mussels don’t close while you’re doing all this, then throw them away and give a very brief speech for each one of them. I never said this was going to be easy.”

Is the funny coming across? He’s mad about a lot of things. People complaining about good food for dumb reasons is what most of them boil down to, but … maybe funny-mad is actually just my particular sweet spot. (Says the writer who is shooting for that at least 68% of the time.)

Anyway. If I was going to make one sandy from this book (and I might! Even though I hate sandwiches!), it would be The Famous Rap Battles of History (again, real sandwich name, guys). I, to no one’s surprise, don’t have permission to give you his recipe (I mean I didn’t ask so this seems like the safe assumption). But look at the assembly list.

  • Fried Fish
  • hamburger buns
  • Coleslaw
  • Dirty Tartar Sauce
  • General Tso’s Sauce

Everything in italics is a whole separate recipe, y’all, and the recipes aren’t always what you’d expect. The coleslaw has fried garlic in it. Dirty tartar sauce is mostly chicken liver. It’s no wonder I haven’t made this.

Super upsetting.

if you build it

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

When I was a kid, my parents took us up to vacation in Breckenridge a couple of times. (Until Crockett and I got a condo in Breck, I thought the location of those childhood vacations had been Steamboat Springs for no apparent reason, but that’s neither here nor there.)

One of those vacations, we went to see Little Shop of Horrors at the Breck local theater.

I love that play so very much.

The man who played Seymour (main LSoH guy) also played Kevin Costner’s ghost dad in Field of Dreams. His name is Dwier Brown, and what he was doing in Breck, CO, is totally unclear – this would have been a little after the movie came out, so maybe he had some time to kill before his next things started? I have a program floating around that confirms it was him. He was great in the show, obviously, and afterwards my mom introduced me to him in the lobby and told him I wanted to be an actress.

He was super in real life too.

I was 12 or 13.

He asked me what I was doing as an actress (being a local yokel in the high school production of ‘Lil Abner, but I didn’t tell him that), what I wanted to do going forward (follow him to Hollywood, but I didn’t tell him that), and what my favorite play was (Little Shop of Horrors from that second and forever, but I didn’t tell him that – also, Grease). He verbally patted me on the head and wished me luck, and I left starstruck and convinced I’d missed my big chance. If I’d been clearer, more verbose, more like the woman I was inside (oh, 13 year old girls, I remember being us and man did that shit suck), he would have seen my potential. He would have introduced me to his agent! Adopted me! Married me! (Again – 13. Sucks.)

Anyway, I don’t know what he’s done since. It took  me a few years, but I realized that meeting a minor but hugely memorable movie actor doing local theater (as a favor? again, no idea) couldn’t have changed my life.

I still think of him every time someone references that movie, though, and man, he was a good guy. I just adore him for being so kind that a young woman *could* get so damn confused.  He’s made grown men all over the world cry for coming up on 30 years, and I will never forget meeting him. Dwier Brown is a pretty cool dude.

exes and oh’s

Monday, November 6th, 2017

I was talking to Star a little bit ago about… something. Something I wanted to bake? Possibly how I wanted to make apple cake during Rosh Hashanah but it seemed disingenuous, somehow? And she said, and I quote (loosely because it was at least a month ago and what do you want from me, a perfect memory or the willingness to check my gchat logs?):

Pinterest has made that irrelevant anyway.

*Quickquick, before you accuse Star of cultural appropriation, she is actually Jewish. Not Seinfeld’s dentist Jewish, either. And Mexican. She calls herself a JewJewBean and is obviously a hilarious person.*


Is Pinterest just a secret bastion of cultural appropriation for Christian white girls? (Hellllo hyperbole.)

Look, I like Pinterest. I do. I’m not great at returning to my own pins, but I love the ease of marking something. I have boards called ‘want to wear’, ‘STEM fashion’, ‘mmmmmmm’, ‘purdy places’, ‘stuff and nonsense’, ‘BANGS BANGS BANGS’, and more, and I pin new things a few times a week at least.


Like, think about the people with the colonial wedding. Or Paula Deen and her plantation wedding. Or Julianne Hough and her blackface Halloween costume.

When I started at my current job, I made hamantaschen around Purim and took them into the office. It was just sort of residual from years of celebrating all the holidays with M- and working at a Jewish owned bakery in Boulder (SO MUCH apple cake, honey cake, challah… ugh, I’m hungry now). Then I chatted with someone in the stairs who saw them and told me about the differences between the recipes his mom and his wife used, and I felt … inappropriate appropriation. In a whole different way than the colonial wedding people, because a) cookies are good and b) there’s no obvious indicators when looking at me that I was borrowing baked goods from the holiday of another culture, but that almost felt worse. I felt like I was misleading this very nice man, somehow, and I haven’t made anything more culturally significant than cupcakes for the office since.

But, Pinterest. The cookie thing was significant for me because I came face to face with someone whose personal history included these cookies. Pinterest is an echo chamber of white women. Mostly with at least some college, mostly of working age. My gut from being actually *on* Pinterest (and the overwhelming dedication to Christmas and Easter) says mostly of Christian backgrounds, although I’m not finding any research to confirm or deny.

So, if someone pins something from outside that world that’s a little iffy (say, a geisha halloween costume), who is going to point out the ways that might be problematic the way they would on Tumblr or Insta? Instead, people are going to pin it to their own boards. Everyone will think ‘other people are pinning it, it’s fine’.

I’ve talked myself into Star’s opinion. In the world of Pinterest, people don’t ask if things are ok – if they’re repinned, they are and can be transferred to the real life suburb in which they originated. If they’re not, they were probably lame anyway.

I didn’t make the apple cake around Rosh Hashanah, but if I make one now, is it just cake? I’ll ask … Reddit. Those white boys love to tell people when they’re doing something wrong.

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.