Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Thank You to Tina Fey for Allowing Us All to Come Out as Lizbeians

Tonight we say goodbye to Liz Lemon and her motley crew of NBC's "30 Rock."
It's been 7 seasons with brilliant writing. Interestingly in her autobiography, Bossypants, Tina Fey says,
"Though we are grateful for the affection 30 Rock has received from critics and hipsters, we were actually trying to make a hit show. We weren’t trying to make a low-rated critical darling that snarled in the face of conventionality. We were trying to make Home Improvement and we did it wrong. You know those scientists who were developing a blood-pressure medicine and they accidentally invented Viagra? We were trying to make Viagra and we ended up with blood-pressure medicine.”
Though this show may not have done what it set out to do, it, and it's creator, Tina Fey, did a lot for me, and many other smart girls out there who are just trying to have it all.
Fey's alter-ego-protagonist of "30 Rock," Liz Lemon, is perhaps the most relatable character for the liberal, modern, single woman ever written. As Jack described her, she is "a "New York third-wave feminist, college-educated, single-and-pretending-to-be-happy-about-it, over-scheduled, undersexed, you buy any magazine that says 'healthy body image' on the cover and every two years you take up knitting for...a week." She is a feminist, an environmentalist, committed to her career, a binge eater, and a neurotic mess plagued by awkwardness, body-issues, and the overall belief that she is smarter than the majority of people around her.Yep, I know I'm not alone in saying that I was all too glad to embrace a heroine like Liz Lemon who made it ok to admit to so many things-like being a Star Wars loving geek who is afraid of slipping getting out of the shower and would love a man to buy her mozzarella sticks at the bar or just go home and eat some night cheese. Sure there are girls out there who are a "Jenna" or a "Cerie," but they didn't need this show to find validation in being who they were. Liz Lemon is a character who will forever change how women accept themselves, much like how a show like "Roseanne" allowed families who weren't the Waltons or the Cosbys embrace and laugh at their own imperfections.
I, like Liz Lemon, always had an unrealistically inflated self opinion that led me to proudly strut when I should probably have crawled into a dark closet. But even I have found such solace in knowing that simply being yourself is awesome and that I am not alone in my passionate quest to just have a good sandwich and a handsome man and perfect career. There's a whole facebook fan page called 'I am Liz Lemon' where women share posts about the endless funny things they have in common with the character. And it's interesting to think, just 8 years ago, many women would not have felt pride or been comfortable sharing things like they pee when they laugh, they wear spanx, or that their idea of an awesome nooner would be going home and eating pancakes for lunch. But Liz Lemon, really Tina Fey, made it ok and cool to be weird. And that is something so wonderful and freeing. It's like she gave an entire generation the best gift ever, the kind of gift that could make you 'Jack' with excitement.
Lemon said it best when she said "I support women. I'm like a human bra."
So congratulations and thank you Tina Fey for being that human bra supporting us and making it easier for us all to come out as Lizbeians and letting us know that in doing so, we really can have it all.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TV Nostalgia: A Netflix Wish List

This afternoon I find myself filled with nostalgia. First Buzzfeed posted about the soap opera Passions that so skillfully combined classic soap romance drama with magic and martinis. Then my roommate came home from the market with a bag of limited re-release vintage Jumpin' Jack Doritos. This, and the dreary winter weather, made me think what other great television shows from the past I would like to be resurrected via Netflix. So here is an eclectic list of shows I am fantasizing about re-visiting with a marathon of watching while snacking on my Jumpin' Jack Doritios.

 Small Wonder

The 1980's was all about a perfect, yuppy suburban family who have an unusual member inserted in there resulting in comedic situations-whether it be the big foot on Harry and the Hendersons, the cat eating alien Alf, or my personal favorite, this show, with Vicky, the robot daughter. And of course there was the annoying ginger neighbor who had bangs that define bangs.

Dance Your Ass Off

This Oxygen network under-appreciated gem did it all for reality television. It combined Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars perfectly with it's weight loss dance competition that was a weekly spectacular production I liked to call "fatty dance party." Week after week you watched these contestants sausaged into unnecessarily abbreviated sequined costumes shake it doing dance styles like hip hop and contemporary and burlesque. And they did lose weight which was great. I still fantasize about a new season of this show coming back.

Picket Fences

This is another show that had it all way beyond its time: cows giving birth to humans, murder, rape, shoe fetish, gays. Law and Order: SVU but set in a small town with a sense of other-worldly elements and a family at it's center. I also recall it was vaguely religious too, but not in a preachy 7th Heaven way-more in a philosophical way. And, for some reason I found moustached Tom Skerritt-who has sense had a regular role as a jerk judge on Law and Order: SVU-strangely appealing in a poor man's Tom Selleck way. But really I would love to spend time reassessing this bizarre but intriguing show.

Empty Nest

Everytime I am watching Golden Girls and a character from this cross over show makes an appearance I long to watch it-though like many of the shows on this list, they really may be best left as a memory. But this show was about Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose's neighbors, a gruff, widowed pediatrician who had two pathetic single grown daughters living with him was once great. And he had a womanizing neighbor who was a cruise ship captain and a big-haired nurse in his office who had the best southern accent on tv ever and the actress playing her had the best name-Park Overall. I think I named one of my Barbies after her.

Melrose Place

Drama, sex, that pool in the courtyard of the LA apartment complex.....this show was a perfect guilty pleasure and I feel the inspiration for all scandalous reality tv like The Hills and Real Housewives. It by all means should be on Netflix for us to revisit.

Two Guys a Girl and A Pizza Place

The Friday night cheezy version of Friends but arguably more awesome because it had cutie Ryan Reynolds and later in the series Nathan Fillion. How could you lose? The show was set in my hometown Boston and was about these 20 somethings who worked and hung out in a pizza shop. Oh the 90's-when working at a coffee shop or pizza place seemed a good goal and was glamorized on tv. Carrie Bradshaw your Minola wearing and martini sipping ruined it all-people felt they had to have jobs and money. But this show was classic carefree 90's. Seriously, Nathan Fillion played a jukebox repairman. And it made you want to just kick back with a beer and pizza. Gluten free was a thing of the distant, dark future.

And finally on the list of why the hell isn't it on Netflix:


A classic afternoon cartoon. It was smart and well written with its incredible pop culture, literary, and political references. Also coined great catch phrases ("Helloooo nurse" "Same thing we do every night-try to take over the world.") and memorable characters like Chicken Boo-a chicken who thought he was people and Katie Kaboom-my personal favorite of a volatile PMS-ing teenage girl. Oh and Bernadette Peters voiced an adorbale bitchy street cat.

*Also must confess I've eaten myself sick on those Doritos while googling and longingly watching youtube videos of these shows.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why My Eyes Are Stuck Like This

Today's post is a collection of things that will make me roll my eyes until they get stuck that way.
First we have Chris Brown.

It wasn't bad enough that the lady abuser went ahead and committed a gay hate crime shoving Frank Ocean around over a parking spot and/or a dissed handshake, he then went home and created some homo-erotic Jesus art for instagram. He says he's just "painting the way he feels today." And that would be as some great, misunderstood muscular messiah being crucified for sharing his message of angry hatred and pop-locking skills? I don't know.....

Next we have the state of Virginia where apparently it is illegal to "shack up." Yes, living out of wedlock is a misdemeanor there. So this means, if you live in Virginia with your significant other, do you have to keep up some comical ruse of him being gay ala "Three's Company" whenever your snoopy landlord or a cop is around?
Florida, Michigan, and Mississippi also have this absurdly outdated law. But in Virginia, a bill to repeal the law is currently making its way through the state's General Assembly. While a Senate committee advanced it unanimously, it still faces a full Senate vote and, if it passes, a review in the House of Delegates. Let's hope that happens. Especially for those estimated 140,000 Virginians living in sin who are running out of Mr. Roeper-tricking schemes that could lead them to a $500 fine for a first offense with subsequent offenses which may carry up to one year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. Yikes. Well, at least this should help put some of those gay rights laws in perspective. See how annoying that is to be breaking the law just to do what you want with the person you love?

Also-Following the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, a meeting of the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group was held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford yesterday. One of the speakers was Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son was one of the shooting victims. When Heslin called for an assault weapons ban at the hearing, dozens of of gun enthusiasts starting heckling him. Seriously? Heckling a victim who lost his young child? Regardless of your beliefs on the constitutional right to bear arms, this is just horrifying treatment of a man who is grasping to comprehend what happened and how he can prevent other parents from having to feel the pain he does. Heckling? What the hell?

And finally, if you can even take anymore eye rolling, we have the new facebook app Bang With Friends. If having Words with Friends isn't enough stimulation for you, this app, which launched a week ago, allows you to use your words and friends to help you pair up for hook ups. You sign up, message the friends you are "down to bang", if they also identified you as a friend they'd be into, they will receive your message, and then you can both get to it. Eek. I'm unclear as to whether or not this posts updates about who of your friends is banging to your newsfeed? Or if it posts a relationship status for you saying you are banging someone? But basically, facebook can now act as your pimp. Did you really need this skeevy app to know which of your friends you could hook up with? In the old days you would just end up sleeping with that hot friend you had perceived sexual tension with after a night of binge drinking. Nope, nowadays you have to be a techno tease and use things like this app and something called "Snap Chat" that allows you to send texts with short lasting sexy selfies. This all sounds like a lot of gross effort to make an awkward mistake. Nothing good will come of this. I do not click like on it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Too Cold For Murder in NYC But You Can Always Go On

Earlier this week I addressed the fact that this freezing cold weather made me just want to hibernate in my snuggie. Well apparently, I'm not the only one. Murderers feel the same way. Newsday reported that according to the NYPD, New York City went for the entire past week without any murders. Retired NYPD Det. Sgt. Joseph Giacalone, who is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was quoted as saying "The best cop I met was a female and her name was Mother Nature. The bad weather, the cold weather -- there are less people out on the streets so there is less chance of victimization." Makes perfect sense to me. Good to know that if I have to venture out into that artic I have less chance of ending up dead. Unless I slipped on the ice, hitting my head, and got rendered unconscious and left there for hours in the cold....not that I sit around worrying about crazy hypotheticals like that or anything.
But what I do worry about is online dating. Yep, I'm going to rant about that some more. Because while I'm seeing that murder is down this week due to the cold, I also read about a women who was a victim of attempted murder thanks to a meet up. She met a guy on the site, went out with him for a week, decided he wasn't the lid to her pot and broke up with him. He then broke into her house and stabbed her multiple times and then stomped on her head. When police arrived, she says "he said he wasn't there to hurt me, he was there to kill me. His intent was to kill me that night." Yikes. But pull up your blankets, because this tale gets more chilling. Somehow, after this incident this psycho was not in jail and got back onto and met up with another woman who he did kill. He then did go to jail.
Are you terrified of online dating yet? Catfishing is the least of our problems. The woman who survived that harrowing experience is understandably suing She claims that they need to put a warning on their site similar to the warning found on cigarettes. I'm all for that. But she claims that "one in five users are part of an attempted murder." One in five?! That seemed an outrageously and terrifyingly high statistic. But then I thought, just this fall a woman reported being raped by a date, and of course there was that woman who reported being matched to James Holmes, the man responsible for the Colorado movie theatre shooting last summer.
Yep, that's three huge examples of danger from Well four actually considering the man who attempted to murder that woman did actually murder another woman. So really I think it's more of only a one in five chance that you wouldn't get murdered by someone
So in conclusion, I really am just safer staying inside in my Snuggie and single. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Angry Hilary

The New York Post cover of an enraged Hilary Clinton mid-outburst during Wednesday's hearing on Benghazi just set women back about 100 years.
There are several problems here with this cover-which will by this afternoon launch thousands of "angry Hilary" memes. But the first major problem is the headline.
"No Wonder Bill's Afraid. Hillary explodes with rage at Benghazi hearing." Why is Bill afraid? Why is Bill even involved in this. With all due respect, Mr. Former President, you are inconsequential to world politics at this point. And Hilary, the now relevant Clinton, is captured here during her response to her actions as Secretary of State. So why is Bill, who was undoubtedly home eating a veggie burger and watching Honey Boo Boo, even being brought into this? And why is he afraid of Hilary? Does she yell a lot? Does she not let him check out other women? Does she make him eat all those veggies so that his heart doesn't explode? The bottom line is this headline manages to reduce a strong, successful female world leader and role model, into a stereotypical cartoon of a nagging, yelling wife. Not that it makes Bill Clinton (pictured in a inset at the bottom looking like he just got caught with his pants down) look any better-he becomes a pathetic victim of this raging women. A man who was once president, now cowering at the sound of this shrew's rants? No.
Also, the photo of a ranting Hilary does not even capture rage, it almost looks more like a child taking a temper tantrum, with her fists clenched and her mouth gaping mid-scream. And I think they purposely chose this photo for that exact reason-it takes down Hilary even more. This is not a poised leader expressing rage and standing up for her decisions, this is a woman unhinged and infantilized.
And while Hilary got intense and emotional appearing with her testimony before congress in regards to the September 2012 September terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, depicting her this way is not right and is sexist. Because Hilary is a woman, she is being depicted as this raging over-emotional bitch throwing a temper tantrum. It's propagating the idea that women get overruled by emotions hence are less competent and capable. A male, in her position, who would have responded the way Hilary did to accusations of a cover up, would not be facing this kind of media treatment. I promise you. There would not be a headline about his wife being afraid or him having "some temper." At best he'd be mockingly compared to Nikita Krushchev who slammed his shoe down on the podium in anger during the 1960 UN meeting.
But really, as ridiculous and sexist as this cover is, it's nothing new. We've seen this "angry Hilary" cover a trillion times before-complete with pathetic Bill picture insert. I hope my homegirl Hilary has kept a collection of them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cuddle Couture: Don't Fight It

It's cold. And it's only going to get worse. My cell phone's weather app shows an icon of a cracked iced-over, plummeting blue thermometer for the next two days. Just seeing that sends me into a dark place of Seasonal Affective Disorder depression. How can I be expected to be productive and leave my warm couch for the bitter bitch slap of the chilly world? I just can't. I just want to be cuddled up in hibernation until May.

So I broke out my snuggie. It's very stylish and leopard print. And I love to accessorize it with my favorite kind of wine-large. But just as I was about to put my arms through those forgiving bell sleeves that allow me to stay warm while doing the important things, like sipping wine and using the remote, I realized, this snuggie is so last season! How embarrassing. And that of course led me on a quest through the interwebs to find the newest innovations and styles in couch cuddling fashions. Because obviously you don't want to be caught watching marathons of Law and Order: SVU and Monk reruns wearing last season's Snuggie.
So I present to you Hibernation Fashion Week for Winter 2013.

First down the runway is the line of the classic Snuggie re-envisioned to express your personality with fun characters such as super heroes. You can indulge your inner child while curling up on the couch. It's perfect for hiding your winter weight gain behind the chiseled muscles and perfect curves of Wonder Woman.

 Available in many characters including Superman, Batman, Rainbow Brite, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and of course Cookie Monster.....which is perfect for binge eating in.

Next, we have another whimsical choice in couch wear that, while keeping the design of the classic Snuggie, makes the brilliant decision of adding a hood, because as you know, heat escapes through your head. So why not unleash your inner tiger blood and slip into this and pull up the hood. So sexy. Every man loves a tiger in the bedroom.

Now, just as frustrating as being wrapped in a blanket and not being able to use your arms is, I find it more frustrating to be dealing with cold feet. Sure that snuggie keeps you all warm and you can walk around in it, but those chilly little piggies are never covered. So the newest invention of the Nuddle has that covered. It's a wrap blanket that has pockets for your feet. That's right, just like this picture from their website shows, who cares that you got all dressed up, kick off your red heels and forget going out, just sit yourself down and tuck your feet into your Nuddle. Your social life can wait until the summer.

And of course this leads us to possibly the best solution to keeping yourself single and all toasty and wrapped up in fleece-the Forever Lazy. It's got it all: sleeves, a hood, a trap door for when nature calls. Perfect. Really whether you are a shut in or even if you do need to leave your house this winter, you should probably just wear this. At all times. And don't worry about those cold feet-this comes with matching booties. And it comes in great, flattering colors-like hot pink.
With the season's cuddle fashion choices like this, the frigid temperatures, the shortened hours of daylight, and so much to discover on Netflix--why leave the house? In fact, the thought of leaving the house makes me think of that commercial for the anti-depression medication where the woman is being stalked by her aggressive cuddle wear who just wants her to slip inside him and never leave. That's all my Snuggie wants too, and maybe it's Stockholm syndrome, but I think it's for the best. Don't fight it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

To Catch a Catfish

If you read my blog, you probably know I am not a fan of online dating. To sum up my opinion, I just feel that people were out there finding the lids to their pots long before the internet was a thing. No need to blindly turn to the land of cat-loving sexual deviants to find your match. The internet is filled with weirdos and liars. Don't believe me? Read answers to questions on yahoo or reviews of anything on yelp.
So it doesn't surprise me at all when people find out that someone they met on the internet isn't who they said they were. I'm more surprised that they are genuinely surprised by this deception. Seriously. Didn't anyone else obsessively watch those classic "To Catch a Predator" specials on Dateline with Chris Hansen busting some horny 40-year-old bringing beer and condoms to a suburban house claiming they were meeting up with a girl who said she was 23? Liars.
But apparently, all this evidence against online dating is not enough to stand up to those few fleeting fairytales you hear about a friend of a friend who met the love of their life on or to everyone's fear of being alone. And because of that we have catfishing.
 What is "catfishing" you ask? Well according to MTV, who has a whole reality show about it, it is:
Cat·fish [kat-fish] verb:  To pretend to be someone you're not online by posting false information, such as someone else's pictures, on social media sites, usually with the intention of getting someone to fall in love with you. 
The term Catfish itself, stems from a 2010 documentary film about this phenomena. In the film, someone explains that when live cod were shipped to Asia from North America, the fish's inactivity in their tanks resulted in mushy flesh, but fishermen found that putting catfish in the tanks with the cod kept them active. He explains that people who do things like this on the internet are "catfish", who keep other people active in life.
I first heard the term catfish at Thanksgiving at a friend's house. His boyfriend was telling a story about a flirtation from back in the day over AOL messenger with someone who claimed to be a professional athlete, but turned out to be a popcorn seller at the sports arena. He then was talking about the film and the MTV reality show that had started following hilarious and often tragic stories of people who are involved in a committed relationship online who they have never even met and of course it is all predicated on a lie. Like they say in that hilarious insurance commercial says-they can't put anything on the internet that's not true.

So back to catfishing........if you had not heard that term yet, most likely you have today as news is hitting that popular college football star Manti Te'o who is a linebacker for Notre Dame and a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Now, keep in mind, sports are the one reality tv I won't watch, so I'm just hearing of Te'o today. But apparently, the young athlete got a lot of attention for his great playing and sympathy for the sob story in September that he had lost his grandmother and his girlfriend within six hours of each other. Tragic. But not true. The grandmother part is. But this girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who was a Stanford graduate who was in a car accident and then subsequently diagnosed with leukemia, is apparently as real as Lindsay Lohan's lips aka fake. There is no documentation to be found on Kekua's life, death, funeral, attendance at Stanford, and she didn't exist on the internet. All the pictures of her are of some other girl. Classic catfish.
So now it's all about whether Te'o knew about this hoax or not. He came forward with a genuine-enough sounding statement saying,
"I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online.  We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating . . . I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.”

It has been alleged that a friend of his, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, may be at the heart of this relationship scandal, but how could this complicated ruse go on for so long?And how will this affect the career of a promising athlete? I already am hearing great jokes like, "now instead of Tebowing, you can Te'o by putting your arm around your fake girlfriend."
I think that it will be interesting to see what becomes of this and how, if at all, this catfishing will cause us to re-evaluate relationships on the internet. Not to say I told you so, but hopefully more people will come to realize that the internet is an excellent place for people to live a life of illusion. But maybe the benefit of this is that Chris Hansen and his hilarioius smug interviews will be back to protect and educate us all with an awesome new Dateline series of "To Catch a Catfish."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Don't Think We're In Belgium Anymore: A Tale of GPS Betrayal

I can't stop laughing about this. Maybe it is because it was a long day. But this story hilariously shows everything that is amazingly wrong about humans placing their fate in the hands of technology.
A 67-year-old woman from Belgium set out to pick up her friend at a Brussels train station about an hour away. So she got in her car and turned on and programmed her GPS. This is where things took a wrong turn for this poor woman. A very wrong turn that led her to Croatia. 900 miles and over 24 hours out of her way!
What the hell! Didn't she realize this at any point? She explained to a local newspaper that she just was letting the navigation system take over and "was absent-minded" and just driving. And she traveled through at least three different countries. I was relieved to read that she did at least notice this. She told the paper, "I saw tons of different signposts, first in French, later in German, but I kept on driving." BUT WHY? Because her GPS told her to keep going! My GPS once told me to drive straight off a pier into water. But I didn't listen. Common sense told me that wasn't a great idea.
Meanwhile, this woman, Sabine Moureau, said she didn't even realize she wasn't in Belgium anymore until she was in Croatia!
To put this absurd journey in geographic perspective, this would be the equivalent of you starting from NYC, intending to drive to CT to pick someone up, but ending up in Georgia instead. Would you not notice something was a bit off, by, mayhaps, Virginia?
 Not to mention, she drove this odyssey straight. Only stopping for gas twice and then pulling over to sleep for a couple of hours. And, not surprisingly given those exhausting conditions and her "absent-mindedness," she was also involved in a minor accident while under the GPS influence. But throughout all of this, she bravely never questioned that maybe something was not quite right. And what about this poor friend she was supposed to pick up hours ago? She apparently never thought to contact her to let her know that she was running a bit late? Nor did she contact her family, who during her unexpectedly long absence, reported her missing. Can't imagine why they'd be worried about her.  She couldn't possibly be lost. She had GPS.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Golden Moment of The Globes

I'm not going to do a whole post about the Golden Globes. Truth be told I didn't even watch all of them. Television offered too many other alternatives including Honey Boo Boo chasing turkeys and getting a pet chicken called nugget and Downton Abbey where they had all sorts of drama and excitement with a wedding that didn't happen. But back to the Globes.....until I am in that room, in a gown, drinking, and nominated, I just really won't care.
Yes, the golden girls Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were awesome. But we knew they would be. And yes, Jodie Foster decided to make winning a lifetime achievement award her platform for coming out in a kind of angry and weird speech. And of course there was the surprise and awesome arrival of Bill Clinton aka Hilary Clinton's husband.
But really, the best thing I saw in all the articles, recaps, photos, blogs flooding the interweb today, this is by far the best and only moment you need to see. It's like an early Valentine's Day card.
And they are holding hands.
To quote Tina Fey's alter-ego Liz Lemon: "I want to go to there."

That's a No to the Death Star

The White House set up a petition system online called WeThePeople. Because we are a democracy. And of course people are using it to petition for all sorts of things, including a Death Star. And the White House had to make good on it's word that it would respond to any petition that received 25,000 signatures and respond to this request from The Empire which received over 30,000 signatures. These are my people. Maybe many of them also spent a good part of their New Years Eve on their couch watching the marathon of the classic trilogy of Star Wars. 
The petition for the Death Star began in November and stated "By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."

The White House response, posted Friday, was written by Paul Shawcross who is the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. And his response, while declining us of a Death Star, shows that the force is strong in him.
Here it is:
“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

So he shamelessly promotes the space program, reminds us that robots almost as cool as C-3PO exist, and tells us that if we want more that we ourselves should pursue a career with the Force in science and math. (That's right kids-don't skip math class. Math is the future. They've been pushing that angle for years. And who knows-maybe if I had worked harder in science or math class I'd have a job.) But the big take away from this response to me is the part about the President "who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshamallow) cannon." What?!? Our President is a Jedi!

I'm intrigued and thinking of starting a petition to see some evidence of President Obama's light saber battling skills. And I am also wondering what this advanced marshmallow cannon is and what we will be using that for?
So while I'm waiting for signatures for the petition to join Obama's Jedi light saber training, I desperately want these awesome Star Wars kicks from Adidas. Even though they look like something my brother had in the 80's and cost $200. They will clearly be money well spent when I'm outrunning the marshmallow cannon attacks.
Plus, they'd look great with this Star Wars dress by Sugar Plum by Rachel DeCavage I once got to model in an eco-friendly fashion show. Yes that is made out of vintage Star Wars bed sheets. A geeks dream come true.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Go for the Gold

Hey single ladies and gold diggers-check out this man! He is rich, single, and ready to mingle. From his Ron Swanson moustache to his Mr. T blingin' chains, this could all be yours.
Datta Phuge is 32 year old Indian millionaire who loves gold so much that he had this sweet shirt made of 22 karat gold. And really, class and modesty is the name of the game here. Yep, I'm sure he's not compensating for any shortcomings or using his wealth to lure women in at all with this fashion statement. His shirt took two weeks with workers working 16 hours a day to make, cost $235,000, and weighs 7lbs. Oh, my heart be still.
Alright. There are so many problems here. First, is that this man clearly thinks that women are as simple minded as moths being drawn to light. Just because it's gold and sparkly, I don't feel the irrepressible need to come closer to your body, Datta.
Also, why did he demand this shirt be completed in a two week time with these poor workers creating spun gold like Rumplestiltskin at all hours of the night? He could not have waited like a month to hit the town in this masterpiece of la mode?
And how comfortable can wearing a shirt that ways 7lbs be? It would feel like a suit of armor. And isn't it hot in India? 7lbs would be like wearing three winter coats in a tropical climate. He'd be curry sweating profusely.
Finally, $235,000 is a whole lotta money. There are so many other things he could have done with his money that would have actually set a gold standard and lured me in. Including, but not limited to:
-Donating it to save endangered animals in India including elephants and tigers
-Donating it to children's hospitals in India-which is for the most part poverty striken
Oh, and let's not forget India's issues with violence against women, which have recently been a hot topic following the gang rape of a young female student in New Delhi. Maybe he could be using some of his money to help protect women, rather than further objectifying them by creating ridiculous haut couture that shows he thinks of women as shallow and superficial.
Ugh. So yeah, I'm going to file this silly goose Datta and his short-sleeved button down rotten gold egg he's laid in the category of "I'd rather be single than......"

Monday, January 7, 2013

Break Out Your Buggy and Bonnet: The Amish Are So Hot Right Now

Having just written about the new cat obsession website catmoji, I'd like to address another obsession that seems to have taken over-the Amish.
The Amish have lived plainly and happily for years making great furniture and sticky buns and just being a weekend escape destination for city-dwellers fed up with advanced society of modern inconveniences. So why all of sudden are we so obsessed with the Amish?
In order to trace where this interest was peaked, I am presenting this timeline of my growing personal awareness of the Amish from the media and how they seemingly, and unfairly, have gone from a simple, peaceful people, to murderers, criminals, and fame-seeking gluttons thanks to this media imaging.

2010-I accidentally get sucked into watching a rerun of Lifetime's 2004 original movie "Plain Truth" about murder on an Amish farm based on the novel by Jodie Picoult starring Mariska Hargitay. It needs to be mentioned that we landed on watching this movie after flipping channels and watched it for nearly a half hour before realizing with great disappointment it was not an episode of Law and Order: SVU.

2011-The Amish Sweeny Todds. News spreads throughout the media about a malicious hate crime of Amish men and women who cut the hair and beards of other Amish men and women. In Amish tradition, cutting the hair is a highly offensive act because they believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry. This crime was committed by a breakaway Amish group in eastern Ohio who were trying to send a message to a neighboring Amish community whom they disagreed with on religious issues. Terrifying. The thought of one of those faces in the mugshots (especially the one in the upper right corner) busting into my home in the middle of the night and giving me a haircut is absolutely nightmare inducing. Not to mention it seems from this hate crime that an Amish civil war could be about to break out.

2012-Reality TV goes Amish thanks to The Learning Channel. This network really has a commitment to knowledge. Maybe Romney was right and we don't need quality, informative programming like PBS. We have TLC to count on. And on warm summer nights, while we were getting sucked into the redneck mud pit of Honey Boo Boo and her clan, TLC took advantage of our attention to promote "Breaking Amish," a fall premiering show about five fresh-faced Amish and Mennonites who were purportedly taken to New York City to explore life outside their culture. I didn't watch this show, but heard that the big moments of drama involved secret marriages, hidden previous arrests, girls trying to become famous, and lots of fighting and hooking up among the cast. So basically it is The Hills or Jersey Shore, but with bonnets.

2012-Because there are no original ideas, once "Breaking Amish" hit, it was only a brief matter of time before other networks jumped on the Amish buggy. And in December, Discovery Channel gave us a new guilty 'reality' pleasure in "Amish Mafia" which follows Lebanon Levi, who, along with three of his assistants, takes the law into his own hands to protect his Amish community in Lancaster County, PA. And yes, their dramatic antics almost fill the void left from "The Sopranos," as these 'characters' clash with other Amish mafia bosses and plot illegal buggy races to repay debt. You almost expect/hope that Tony Soprano will make a cameo to offer them advice.

2013-Last night the newest Amish television exploit premiered on Lifetime with their movie "An Amish Murder" starring Scream queen Neve Campbell in the role of a former Amish girl turned chief of police who is investigating a murder of an Amish girl. And of course it comes out that she left her Amish community after being raped and killing her rapist, but she is still now shunned by them, even her own brother. Oh the drama. So classic Lifetime, but again, just with bonnets.

What will we see from these Amish next? I'm sure Bravo has Real Housewives of Lancaster County in the works. And I would absolutely watch an Amish cooking show on Food Network. (Seriously have you had their sticky buns? Or heard of shoofly pie? Trust me, you'd watch.)

But how do the Amish feel about this exposure? I am still confused as to how we got to this point where they are the center of seedy crime and drama? Especially since all of this and television itself seem against the underlying beliefs of their religion. As stated in Wikipedia,

"Two key concepts for understanding Amish practices are their rejection of Hochmut (pride, arrogance, haughtiness) and the high value they place on Demut (humility) and Gelassenheit (calmness, composure, placidity), often translated as "submission" or "letting-be". Gelassenheit is perhaps better understood as a reluctance to be forward, to be self-promoting, or to assert oneself. The Amish anti-individualist orientation is the motive for rejecting labor-saving technologies that might make one less dependent on community. Modern innovations like electricity might spark a competition for status goods, or photographs might cultivate personal vanity."

Right. So, we are expected to believe that this humble, placid culture that wants to avoid self-promoting and vanity are willingly doing reality tv? If ever I suspected reality tv of being fake, this is it. And as far as the sensationalized Lifetime movies, I suspect they are just running out of ideas for the suburban setting.
So, as much I admittedly would watch that Amish cooking show and do love a good housewife bonnet pulling fight, I propose we let this obsession go and leave the Amish out of our scrutiny and destruction. They had their fifteen minutes of fame, and I'm sure they didn't even want it. I'm ready for the next obsession. TLC has a new show about over the top funerals and Lifetime has a show about a lingerie shop for large breasted southerners. I don't think we'll get bored without the Amish.

The Internet Lures Us Into More Kitty Porn

Several years back, I was working at a children's day camp as the dance teacher. During one of my breaks in the day, I had headed into the air conditioned camp office to play on the computer. Obviously I found myself looking at cats. The Camp Director came in and asked me what I was looking at to which I replied "kitty porn." This inevitably led to a momentarily awkward but later comical misunderstanding that I had said "kiddie porn." For a second I was so fired and was getting the same look of rage filled disgust from my boss that Stabler on SVU gives to those porn-obsessed creeps he busts.
Now, I know, I'm not alone in this guilty indulgence, "kitty porn" is probably the second highest use of the internet other than actual porn. I'm sure there's an entirely scientific graph that proves that most people use the internet solely for porn, cats, and facebook. Wikipedia maybe would come in a close fourth.
And the internet knows this-as it is most likely self-aware and out to cause our ruin. It has birthed a new pod from its web of time-wasting entrapment-the site catmoji. Catmoji is like the ultimate time-waster website pinterest, but instead of wasting your time seeing photos of crafts, foods, clothes, ombre hair, and cheezy inspirational quotes sprawled against an instagram photo, it gets right to the point and has solely images of cats. Lots of cats. And they are sorted by emotions like sad, surprised, happy, cute-which is obviously an emotion to our furry friends. It is truly a catalog of kitty porn. While this website also feeds that increasingly annoying "nom nom" and "I haz cheezeburger" quotas, there are enough undeniably cute pictures and video clips of cats to waste your day away. And with each passing hour you creep closer and closer to becoming that unmarried, wiry-haired, housecoat-wearing crazy cat lady.
This little guy got on the wrong end of excitement over the web's newest kitty porn site.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

He Looka Like A Man-But Does He Looka Like a President?

The old adage tells us don't judge a book by it's cover. And that's good advice. After all, Fifty Shades of Gray has quite a boring cover.
But what about when it comes to people. Especially politicians. Does a look matter? I remember sitting in my 3rd grade classroom looking up at the pictures of all the US Presidents hanging around the perimeter of the room and thinking how much they all looked alike with their white hair and strong features. The few that varied from that look really stood out-like the young, handsome JFK. Must have been a big change for the country to have a president who was a hottie. And it's true. His debates were the first to be broadcast on television, and his rogue charm was definitely asset to him. And now, fifty years later, we have a President who will surely stand out in the collage of leaders of the free world. Though Obama still is marked with much of the same dignity, increasingly white hair, and strong features of his predecessors. But it makes you think, in another fifty years, what could our President look like. And will it matter?
You may wonder what I'm babbling about. But my mind become stuck on this earlier today when I heard about a Presidential candidate in the Czech Republic who looks anything but what we have been conditioned to see as "presidential."
This is candidate Vladimir Franz. While he has no previous political experience he is a Renaissance man who is an artist, dramatist, composer and has a doctorate in law. Oh and obviously he has tattoos covering 90% of his body.
As one of the 9 candidates, he is rising in popularity. But will his appearance change his appeal? Is it helping him because he is a stand out? Or will it hurt him because some people just can't get past appearance. But what he stands for should be all that matters right? According to the UK's DailyMail, "he's a moderate who promotes tolerance, human rights, democracy, and alternative energy."
I am interested in seeing how things go for Czech's illustrated man. And I wonder if it will help open doors around the world for us to look past appearances in making our judgements. It seems only a natural progression. I mean just think-have you seen what these crazy kids are wearing nowadays? I predict a President in our future with ear gages, tattoos, and a maybe a mohawk. In fact Mo-bama-hawk was almost a thing-remember Obama wanted a mohwak with stars to be like that cutie from NASA! I still think that would be awesome.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Future is Now. And Lobsters.

It's a new year and with the start of the new year many of us like to change things up and start anew. New clothes, new hair, new phone case......
It's 2013. It's the future. And if you don't have a smart phone, you may as well be living in 1999. And the phone itself is no longer the accessory, it's all about how you outfit that pricey little gadget. And it seems that it's go big or go home when it comes to the cell phone fashion report for 2013.

Smartphones definitely make our lives easier, like always having an extra hand.

So you can be so last year and go retro and give a shout out to the classic:
 Or go for some understated regal, sparkly bling. Very Kate Middleton.

Or just keep it classy and make your pimpin' intentions clear

But really, I think the lobster phone is where it's at for this year. It's so discreet and easy to carry. 
Yes. 2013 has arrived and in this future we will all be walking around holding a lobster to our ears. Bet Nostradamus didn't see that coming.