Monday, October 11, 2010

Five Kinds of Funny

Because I like to pretend that I am some sort of expert on things that are funny, I am presenting a list of what I believe to be the five different types of funny and examples of people, real and fictional, who reflect each type. I enlisted Amanda and our neighbor Andrew to help me out, as I don't have a mind of my own. (See #2.)

1) Oddball humor

An oddly funny person is that kid who says things that are so utterly ridiculous that you have no choice but to laugh. This differs from the unintentionally funny category because this person knows exactly what she or he is saying but couldn't care less if everyone around her/him think is confused/shocked. The perfect fictional example of this type would be Phoebe Buffay of Friends. In my life, this person would be my roommate Bianca, who is a bit of an attention whore and will do anything for a laugh. She excels in impersonations.

2) Dry humor

Dry humor, which is the sense of humor shared among me, Amanda and Andrew, is humor that is delivered in a stealth, deadpan manner. It is up to those around us to detect the joke and (hopefully) ultimately laugh. Amanda would define dry humor as "the best, the only way to live and the only way to laugh. Bitches." Andrew would define dry humor as "humor without humor" because it depends on whether or not others are smart enough to get the joke.

An example of dry/dark humor I just witnessed:

Amanda, after Andrew tells her that he has a problem: "Do you have HIV?"
Andrew's response: laughter.

3) Unintentional humor

Sometimes, people say things that are funny without realizing it because they are moderately dim/stupid. Unintentionally funny people are necessary, as they provide you with comic relief without giving you that feeling that they're looking down on you. My roommate Allison is the perfect example of the unintentionally funny individual. She may not realize how funny she is, but genuine people like her are necessary in order for there to be balance in society (and in my dorm room).

4) The Caricature

There's always that guy you can't describe. He's both intentionally and unintentionally funny. He's smart, but completely unaware of how bizarre he is. Andrew's roommate Erasmo is the perfect example of this type. As my roommate Bianca says, "You can't even believe that he's a real person." Just watching his facial expressions can make even one of high standards for funny burst out laughing. When I ask Erasmo how he would describe his humor, he says, "Sarcastic, negative and sometimes very positive. And rude. And rough." The fabulous way he just said "and rough" is what makes him this bizarre caricature.

5) The Joey Gladstone

This is the one who thinks he (let's face it; it's usually a he) is hysterical, but he actually just wants to make you want to eat your own teeth. He always goes for the obvious joke and the easy "that's what she said." He is also quite fond of doing poor impressions that really just depress you because you know it means he watches too many cartoons.

Friday, September 17, 2010

So What If I'm Shallow?

Today in one of my creative writing classes, I was forced to tell the class about myself. When I mentioned having been to London, I said that I spent a majority of the trip shopping and that when I was in museums and other historically significant places, I was thinking about shopping. ("Yes, self. You really should go back to Topshop and buy that sequin jacket. Oh, cool building.") My class scoffed in an incredibly obvious manner. I could practically smell the waves of condescension being sent my way.

My professor, along with all of my snotty, well-read peers,
were appalled by my preference of clothes over more socially-acceptable-among-English-majors interests. I think this obnoxious reaction stems from that incessant need modern snobs have to put up an intellectual front instead of just admitting that they're not perfect. In a paper I wrote on Oscar Wilde back in April, I wrote, "Others denounce the act of being 'frivolous,' while Wilde celebrates it becuse it is better to flaunt one's true self than to be forced by society to put up a facade of moral righteousness to shield these shallow qualities." I loved writing that paper, not only because it was validating my existing beliefs, but because it reminded me that it's better to act like yourself, no matter how shallow he or she may be, than to put on a mask in order to impress an ever-judging society.

This is probably why I love Gl
ee so much. Have I not talked about Glee enough already? The character Kurt Hummel (played by the talented Chris Colfer, whom I love and adore) is not afraid to be himself. He dresses better than anyone at his school and he's not afraid to wear something different or outrageous. Kurt certainly wouldn't be ashamed to admit to his English class that shopping is the best activity London has to offer.

feel compelled to mention Clueless, which is one of my all-time favorite movies. Among all of her flannel and baggy pants-wearing peers, Cher wore fabulous jackets and cardigans, in addition to that epic Calvin Klein dress. As a woman of high standards, she knew that it's important to dress well, and was not ashamed to care about things that are considered by society to be shallow.

All of this whining leads me to conclude that no, Prof, I'm not going to write my next piece
on how beautiful the trees in London are, because that's not how I roll. I'm going to write about how shopping in that five-floor Topshop made me feel like a motherfucking princess.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Sarcasm is Essential

Amanda and I are back and just as obnoxious as usual. This time, we would like to bare our souls, if we even have any at all. We would like to explain to the universe (or the two people who read this. Hi, to both of our moms!) why we use sarcasm every day of our lives.

Amanda says, "Mainly, it was in my DNA. My dad instilled it in me at a young age."

I could say the same thing, as my mother also has a dry sense of humor.

But we can't blame everything on genes. There must be other underlying reasons that explain why we rely so much on sarcasm in every conversation we are involved in. But what are they?

Sarcasm allows us to express, in a hilarious way, what others are thinking but are often too afraid to say out loud. These people are weak, cowardly and unimaginative. We are the opposite of all of those things. We find that it's refreshing when people joke about their real feelings instead of, as Amanda says, "getting mushy gushy and spilling their guts."

Some may say that this is our way of avoiding our feelings, and they would be absolutely correct. And to those people, we say go to hell.

By living our lives this way, we are constantly keeping people on the edge of their seats with our wit, charm and charisma. At times people may be intimidated by such enviable traits. And to those people, we say go to hell.

There are many fabulously sarcastic role models out there to inspire us. One of our favorites is the always witty Chandler Bing, who so wisely said, "I'm not so good with the advice... can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" We choose to live our lives by this exact quote. We may not be the best advisers, but you can always rely on us to make light of the situation.

Another one of our heroes is Sue Sylvester, Queen of Hard Hearts. She once said, "This year I got myself a bit of an eye lift. And while they were in there, I told them to go ahead and yank out those tear ducts. I wasn't usin' 'em." We are looking into having similar surgeries performed on our increasingly useless tear ducts.

In conclusion, yes, we do use sarcasm as a defense mechanism and yes, it does put make others very uncomfortable, but us? We thrive on the discomfort of others. So, again, go to hell.

Love ya like a sister!
And that's the way Panda sees it.
(Panda is our celebrity couple name. Haterz.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Five Goals for Fall 2010: How We Truly Feel

My roommate Amanda and I are back and better than ever with our thoughts, but this time in written form because we don't look so hot right now. We are presenting a list of goals we would like to accomplish during our fall semester that begins tomorrow. We are confident that our combined perfection will propel us to inevitable success.

1) Survive.

"We need to survive because Aretha says we do," Amanda says. We're both taking 18 credits, we're both idiots and yet for some reason we both have two days of school per week where we have no classes. On those days, Amanda will be taking six naps (on average) instead of her usual three or four. I will be sitting in a dark room turning in internship applications.

2) Mentor our emotional roommate.

Everyone has to have a crying roommate. We handle ours by soaking leather belts in a tub and slapping them against her bare bottom. "It's supposed to be soothing," Amanda says. We also may offer her brutally honest advice that she will not take. At least we try. Emotional roommate's response? "I never thought I'd be the emotional one. You guys like to demean my artichokes."

3) Watch as much TV as possible.

While some college kids may, like, associate with their peers, we prefer to associate with an Insignia 32-inch television (and DVDs from the '90s.) We will be watching Glee, Gossip Girl, The Office (before it starts sucking without Carell) and 30 Rock. Suck it, Donatella Versace. (We're watching Rachel Zoe right now.)

4) Try to get people to accept our humor in our improv class.

We obviously think we're funny, but the world may not agree. We know this is true because we've been told this by the Taco Bell chihuahua. Also, humans. ("As far as we know they were human," Amanda says.) We are going to win their affection, admiration and constant applause/laughter by "pulling out the big guns and telling 'yo momma' jokes," according to Amanda. I say if they don't think we're funny when we are being ourselves, they can go watch Two and a Half Men and jump off a one-story building (because we're not that cruel).

5) Avoid hoes.

This includes people who we just don't like for reasons we cannot explain, as well as girls who wear disgustingly short skirts/dresses because as Amanda said two years ago, "Just because the sun is out, doesn't mean her vag should be, too."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Curse of the English Major

I highly recommend college. Whether it's a tiny private university where a tour would take about 10 minutes (where I'm at now) or a large state school where a tour would require an excursion of an entire city (where I've been). I do not, however, recommend being an English major. Why? Well I am going to provide reasons, of course. I could never make such a bold claim without providing supporting details. (Yep, this is going to be a boring post.)

An English major spends a good portion of his or her time in college reading and rereading poems, novels and short stories often written by authors who ultimately killed themselves. It's not exactly the sunniest way to spend four years. Said English major is then required to analyze these depressing tales in long, flowery-but-not-too-flowery essays. Unfortunately, this habit of finding meaning in absolutely every word cannot be broken once outside of the classroom.

Ergo, the English major ventures into Fantasyland. No, not the fun kind where you meet witches (see image on left) and pretend to fly. The kind where everything everyone does means something. Every word, glance, action and inaction has a purpose. In the real world, however, (sane) people really don't put that much thought into everything they do. They don't pay close attention to word choice or metaphors. And it's obvious that body language was something Cosmo invented to sell magazines to insecure women. It's just difficult for someone who gets applauded by professors for pointing out "significant" passages to accept this fact.

That's another thing. We're encouraged every day to behave this way. Overanalysis is condoned with great enthusiasm. Even if certain words or character traits mean absolutely nothing, English professors practically wet themselves if you suggest that such things are actually totally crucial to the theme of the story. These well-meaning individuals are ultimately promoting a practice that can be detrimental to the English major's social and personal life.

I have a mini nervous breakdown every time someone says, "How's it going?" because I don't know how he or she (usually he) actually wants me to respond. It takes too long to say, "It's (whatever 'it' is) going well; how is it going with you?" In Fantasyland, I choose my words very carefully and squint my eyes just the right amount in order to convey a certain message. In the real world, however, no one really cares. People are not going to stay up all night analyzing every word spoken to them. That dude who greeted me in a casual manner is going to continue along his merry way no matter how I reply.

So next time an English major bumps into you (because she is probably too busy analyzing her last conversation to pay attention to where she's going), be moderately sympathetic and majorly straightforward because you never know what kind of ridiculous thoughts are swirling around in that head of hers at any given moment.

Well that's one reason to not major in English. So all of the above and the whole not being able to find a job after graduation thing. Two reasons to just say no.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Life = Not a TV Show (But it should be!)

This is something my mother has been reminding me of for probably about 15 years. I am living in a fantasy world, I hear. I need to stop having such high standards, I hear. I need to stop expecting everyone to be as funny and honest and interesting as people are on TV, I hear.

Well, what's the fun in that?

My life isn't exactly nothing like TV, though. I'd say this summer was a mixture of the first seven episodes of season one of The O.C. and the entire second season of The Office. (Oh yes, it can be both.) Instead of delving into why my summer was comparable to such shows because that's why we have journals, I am going to instead list reasons as to why life should be more like TV.

1) Everyone is clever and capable of engaging in delightful conversation.

Now the people I choose to spend my days with are all smart, hilarious folks who dish out the insults as well as they receive them. I have realized with great sadness, however, that not everyone in the real world is like this. Some people? Not funny at all. Most of them are rather boring. On Friends, no one is boring. On Gilmore Girls, everyone is colorful and interesting. Is it so bad that I want everyone in the world to be like that?

2) The perfect music always plays at just the right moments.

I know we don't all have awesome music supervisors editing meaningful songs into our lives, but I think it's something they (I don't know who "they" is) should work on. It'd be so much more convenient if the music were actually playing in the moment instead of either having to control it ourselves (which is awkward) or having to replay the moments back when actually listening to the songs.

3) Everyone dresses well, because duh, they're on TV.

I haven't complained about how people dress in what, like five minutes? I'm way overdue! Perhaps I'm still bitter because I got the door slammed in my face at Starbucks this morning by a dude wearing camouflage shorts (I could still see him) and a woman sporting an Ed Hardy top and sweats. Can't we all just pretend we're on TV all the time? I'm not saying we should all act like drama queens/kings, but if pretending a camera is around is what it takes for people to dress better, then that's what we should all do.

4) It's not that big of a deal if you're an asshole.

Think about the characters we know and love. Dr. House? Total a-hole. Dr. Cox? Major douche. All of those Friends? They insulted each other constantly. Why is it that ordinary viewers claim to love all of these awful people, yet they don't appreciate such characters in real life? When people (possibly me) make dry and crude statements in real life, they don't receive the best reception. They're just assumed to be mean. I say we need to appreciate the mean more. Plus, it makes the moments when we realize that such people really do have hearts all the more meaningful.

5) Everyone is (at least eventually) honest, all the time.

In real life, we're forced to keep up with the six or so forms of communication. On TV, most communication and confrontation happens via person to person conversation. Because it's more interesting for viewers if people declare things in a dramatic fashion, TV characters lash out, freak out and sometimes completely lose their shit (see video below). Sometimes, I think this makes them more real than actual people.

^This is actually pretty hilarious. "What's up, Quippy?! Why so silent?"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scattered Thoughts, Part Two: Super Scattered Edition

So the picture on the right is evidence that I was inspired by the post I wrote on Sunday. (It was taken with my Blackberry, so it's not the best quality ever.) I went out and bought shorts to try out the Alexa Chung/Rachel Bilson look. I tucked in my most whimsical blouse and added some sandals and necklaces worn as bracelets to pull the look together. The result: the perfect outfit to wear while running around and riding whales at Roxbury Memorial Park in Beverly Hills.

In other news, I discovered quite possibly the biggest threat to fashion since Crocs: scratch and sniff T-shirts. I'm not going to pretend I did not sniff each and every one, because of course I did, but can somebody please explain to me why anyone would feel compelled to wear shirts that smell like food? Isn't that what we try to avoid? Not cute, graphic tee companies. Not cute at all.

So right now Larry King Live is on my TV (this sounds much better than "I'm watching Larry King Live," right?) and the talking heads are discussing monogamy. I was super determined about a week ago to write an in-depth blog about the subject in my attempt to reach a much-needed conclusion on the subject. Due to recent realizations/excessive reflection, however, I do not think my head is in the right place to tackle such a topic at the moment. (I think this video accurately portrays what's a comin'.)

My next post will have a point, I swear!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I've been feeling lazy about my style choices this summer, so I decided to do a little (grueling) research in order to get ideas about how to turn it up a notch. This is what I found.

(These pictures are obviously not mine.)

Let's start with Alexa Chung, who looks absolutely perfect, 24/7. A good style lesson many people could benefit from: class up those trashy shorts with a fancy, satiny blouse.

Alexis Bledel has certainly come a long way. The jacket is perfect for an LA summer, the pants could not be more whimsical and the shoes accent it all perfectly.

Oh, Chace Crawford. How I love a good charcoal/black combo on guys. I had originally found a precious photo of Penn Badgley, but then I noticed that he was (gag) wearing flip flops. Notice how they KILL his outfit completely. Just say no, fellas.

Selena Gomez has had several well-dressed days recently, but I chose this one because she looks classy (cardigan and flats) and accessible (white top and jeans). Love.

I spent way too much time scouring the interweb for pictures of Kristen Stewart not looking homeless, but emerged from this distressing task with no success. Instead, I chose her costar, Anna Kendrick, whom I have recently become obsessed with. Just look at those shoes!

Let's call it a weakness for guys in sweaters, because that's what it all comes down to in the case of the amazing Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Trust me when I say that it is quite awkward to be much better dressed than your other half. I'm so glad Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron exist to prove that it's important for both halves to look good.

We end with my personal celebrity style icon: Rachel Bilson. A loose top, cut-offs (Paige Premium Denim - I really need these shorts) and a colorful bag make this the perfect summer outfit. And if Rachel's anything like me, she's only looking down because she's admiring how cute her shoes are.

P.S. This picture makes me happier than anything in the world:

Thank you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page for existing. The end.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Has the imagination become obsolete?

Today on my drive back from the Malibu Hindu Temple (for class), I stopped at Barnes & Noble specifically to sit and read this month's "ideas issue" of The Atlantic because I was intrigued by the cover story, "The End of Men." What I ended up finding the most fascinating (if not the most depressing), however, was the idea put forth by Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air.

Kirn suggests that no one bothers to think or daydream anymore because it is so much easier to just whip out the iPhone to play games, stalk people via Facebook and send out usually unnecessary text messages. This happens when people are waiting for their friends to meet with them, when drivers get stuck at red lights and worst of all, when professors are telling students information students are paying to hear.

Why can't we take advantage of doing nothing anymore? I think my best gym experience occurred when I forgot my issue of Time and spent a good hour just daydreaming on the elliptical. (I don't know why I keep bringing up the elliptical; I'd really rather people not picture me in that state.) Sometimes the best ideas come about when you shut the laptop, turn over the Blackberry (or that damn blinking red light will be hard to ignore) and turn on the brain.

Some may argue that this constant connection to the interweb (my personal favorite word) allows people to stay engaged to what else is happening in the world 24/7. While I am a huge advocate of living beyond a "bubble" and I like checking my CNN app from time to time, the person sitting across from you at Starbucks may not appreciate the fact that he or she is not as interesting as Tony Hayward.

I am absolutely guilty of ignoring what's in front of me in favor of reading the latest Tweets, but I have found that life is a lot more interesting when you allow yourself to live as completely as possible in your surroundings. Even if there are no people around to ignore, those moments of silence enable the chance to ponder, reflect, consider...and get ideas for blog posts.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Five Reasons Summer Doesn't Suck THAT Much

Even though I haven't given up my cynical nature, I do think it's important to focus on the positives in life in order to maintain one's sanity. Ergo, I've forced myself to compile a short list of reasons as to why summer may not suck completely.

1) Catching up on news, books, shows, movies, music, etc.

I love the books I get to read for school (hello, English major), but I also love spending my summer catching up on books I either feel I should have read by now or books that I just really want to pollute my mind with. During the school year, I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt if I'm doing anything other than homework or studying. (Cue me on the elliptical reading Victorian poetry.) I remember my summers by not only the people I spend them with, but by the books I read. One of the best summers I've endured involved Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (summer '07), which remains my all-time favorite thing to read. What you're reading, watching or listening to shapes your mood or mindset, so in order to keep a summer sunny, I recommend exploring lighthearted options (summer '09) in addition to the grimmer but necessary reads (summer '08).

Are you one of the 95 people (I actually don't know that many people) who has told me you want to watch 30 Rock but you just haven't? Hey, summer is perfect for that kind of thing! Also, catching up on old films is an honorable activity.

If it weren't for summer, I probably wouldn't have had the time to listen to Taylor Swift's Fearless album in its entirety. No wonder everyone likes her. Of course, realizing how much you can relate to her songs may or not result in a feeling of "Oh, crap, I am a 19-year-old girl."

2) It's SO easy to get ready.

Dress, sandals, done. Doing hair and anything more than minimal makeup is pointless when you're going to the beach and spending the evening in a movie theater. I know there are others out there who get really excited by the idea of spending the entire day in your swimsuit (uh, my swimsuit; I just really like it) It's oddly exhilarating.

3) Swimming laps

Speaking of exhilaration, my favorite exercise is absolutely swimming laps back in forth in my little pool at home. Only at night. It is one of the best activities you can do when trying to work something out in your mind. Listening to the Glee version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is optional, but it certainly sets the moody, yearning tone of a typical summer night.

4) Those things that involve other people

There are some activities that just don't feel the same when it's not summer, such as driving around at night, spending the day at the beach, sharing a container of strawberries and exploring a new place. It's a lot easier to do these things when you don't have to worry about staying up all night cramming. ("Was she at the professor's again last night?" "Yes, but she claims she was up all night cramming." "Well, she was." "Oh, ick!")

5) Wet 'n' Wild

Some people don't have "water park personalities" (I'm talking to you, J. Tes.) Once you get past the long lines and dry your tears after realizing that Crocs are still around, this Phoenix water park can be pretty freaking fun. It's clean, conveniently located and the perfect place to go to act 10 years old. Taking a best friend is a good idea, or else those long wait times may be a little awkward.

(Not that I've ever been against awkwardness.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Look at that shallow boy!"

Looks > education?

This conclusion is brought to you by this article (thanks, Hillary, who posted it on Facebook). Apparently, the hiring managers Newsweek polled believe that looks are more important than a job candidate's schooling. (Really, they worded this to make it sound more dramatic, because a manager thinking where a candidate went to school is not very important may be a good thing.) What sucks for me is that looks matter more than a sense of humor (especially after being brought down earlier this year after reading this article about how men don't want funny women). Why would one prefer working with a humorless hot person over a hilarious ugly person?

The survey results also reveal that 57% of managers believe an unattractive person will have a more difficult time getting hired. This is meaningless, because I could say the same thing. What's sad is that 60% of hiring managers believe this practice is okay when the people getting hired are working in retail or represent the face of the company.

A very popular example of this is American Apparel, a company that requires hiring managers to take "full body head to toe" photos of their employees before they are hired. AA claims this has to do with "personal style," but if the employees are going to be wearing AA clothes when they're working anyway, couldn't they theoretically just show up in a Princess Leia costume? There's also Abercrombie & Fitch. According to my friends who have worked there, they tell their employees to ask the good-looking people who enter the store if they'd like to work there. That's how they do their "recruiting."

I'm torn on this issue because I think it's important to dress well in order to feel good and be perceived in a positive light by others, but I can't stand the idea of an attractive woman being hired over an average-looking woman with great credentials just because the boss wants to have a pretty thing around to lust after (or to have an affair with, since guys are really into that these days).

Confidence is still more important than looks, though, so standing up straight, looking people in the eye and smiling will have to suffice. I guess you can always just trick people into thinking you're good-looking.

Note: The title of this post is a Boy Meets World reference. Of course.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Suck it, Summer.

Yeah, I said it. I am counting the days until the school year begins, I have my best friend roommates back and I can start wearing my trenchcoats, scarves and boots again.

I'm not the first to lament the perils of summer. Diablo Cody despises wearing white, going to the beach and summer movies. I tend to avoid wearing white, anyway, because as my friend Cody tells me, "You eat like man." Going to the beach is stressful due to weather/traffic/parking, but it is the absolute only place in the world where I'm willing to get dirty, so I'm able to suck it up and deal with it. I absolutely agree about summer movies as I am so far from being a summer movie person. I am no enamoured by 3-D, I zone out during action sequences and I think that Iron Man dude is just kind of an asshole.

There are other reasons to be psyched for fall, though. The school year means classes, stress, roommates and generally being around a lot of people. This translates into discussing literature all day long, living on coffee and staying up late having sometimes deep but usually just innappropriate conversations with my roommates. That leaves less time for thinking, a dangerous and depressing activity. After conducting a very modest amount of research, I found that people tend to get depressed in the summertime because they feel like they should be out frolicking with friends and going to barbeques and that kind of junk, and they feel bad about not having such desires. I say if the outdoor thing isn't for you, embrace the extra time to catch up on those DVDs you bought but never watched and books you said you read but never did. Everyone else can go grill dead animals and get sunburnt.

So hurry up, fall, before I Tweet more Death Cab lyrics and beg my mom to send me my black tops.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Four Alternatives to Douchey Entertainment

I spent my last post hating on Pop Culture, whom I love and adore, so I am making it up to Her by providing a list of films and television shows that I highly recommend to college students who want to expand their respective metaphorical horizons.

1) Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)

I think the biggest consequence of living in a college dorm is that it forces one into a bubble. When the Sunday-Thursday goal is completing homework and the Friday/Saturday goal is to...not write blogs, it's easy to lose sight of the rest of the world. This is a shame, considering how easy it is to get news these days. There are plenty of sufficient sources out there, but I personally recommend my man A-Coop because he's a badass (see video below) and really tries to provide viewers with the truth in order for them to make up their minds about the issues. Plus, he's hilarious.

2) What Not To Wear (TLC)

I know I bitch about the way people dress all the time, but it's not totally unmerited bitchery. One thing Clinton Kelly stresses on What Not To Wear is that the way you present yourself to the world is the way you want people to see you. I honestly think it's a total "fuck you" to the professor to show up in pajamas. How seriously can an outfit like that be taken? Also, it takes just as long to put on jeans as it does to put on sweatpants. I highly recommend getting a light but beneficial dose of Stacy and Clinton every so often to get inspired.

And remember: "Sometimes comfort doesn't matter. When a shoe is freakin' fabulous, it may be worth a subsequent day of misery. Soak in Epsom salts and take comfort in the fact that you're better than everyone else." - Clinton Kelly

3) Heathers (on DVD)

After finally watching this brilliant black comedy from 1989, I decided it should be required viewing for anyone who is a fan of Mean Girls. I recommend this very dark and hilarious film to anyone who wished Regina George had gotten hit by that bus...multiple times. Go watch it now, because as one YouTube commenter wrote, "Without this movie, there wouldn't be Clueless or Mean Girls. These are the most important movies of our generation..."

Best clip:

4) Veronica Mars (on DVD)

I lived for this show in high school, so I still have this nagging voice within me that wants to shout to the world about how awesome it was. Now this is the type of role model girls these days could certainly use. The title character is the Buffy of the '00s - witty, intelligent and generally badass. I wish every girl could learn to be as confrontational as Veronica (the amazing Kristen Bell who needs to spend less time doing crappy movies) is in the clip below. It's never too late to start watching.

How I ended up being so confrontational:

I also really like receiving recommendations (other than "Stop being such a know-it-all douche.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

You're not a character from Entourage. (And that's a good thing.)

Since when did being young or in college give anyone the right to be a total asswipe? And who should we blame for this recent outbreak of idiocy?

During a discussion with my friend Aya last night, I came to the conclusion that pop culture is to blame for this current trend that's sweeping the nation. Specifically, Judd Apatow movies and films like The Hangover, where Ed Helms ditches his wife (who's portrayed as a stereotypical shrew) for a hooker. I can't forget the douchiest show of all shows: Entourage. (I Googled "douchey shows" and it was, of course, at the top of the list of image results.)

You know what screenwriters write about? Fantasies. What they wish would have happened to them. Josh Schwartz created the character Seth Cohen to get the hot girl and write comic books, in other words, doing everything he wishes he could have done in high school. In Glee, Ryan Murphy based the character of Kurt's dad on the type of dad he wished he had - one that accepted him for who he was.

The only problem with this wish fulfillment writing (which is fine; I totally do it) is that it means you get a bunch of middle-aged men writing about a bunch of shit they wished would have happened to them. This means trying to get through as many women as possible and driving ridiculous cars and being generally disgusting. When college-aged kids watch shows like Entourage, they think "Hey, I should be doing that, too!" and proceed to act moronic. They expect girls to fall all over them and they often do, because college-aged girls need better role models. I've been through two universities - a very large state school that knows how to party and a tiny private school that knows how to party and pray simultaneously. This attitude of "I'm young, so I should live it up, drink it down and be grateful for Plan B " is prevalent at both schools, and all schools, I'm assuming.

I know you only live once and you may get hit by a bus tomorrow. Look both ways and that probably won't happen. And then what? Something a lot of college students don't realize is that the young and stupid choices they make now affect, for one, other people. These choices also impact how well they will mature when they transition from college to the workplace. They better wise up fast so they don't end up like this guy.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Not End Up Bitter

Things haven't exactly improved in the dating world since I wrote this article. Apparently the world not only needs tips for a successful date, but also tips on how to find a decent person to waste one's life with. While I have no idea how to describe the perfect guy, I can at the very least present a list of the five types of guys to avoid. Not that they're based on personal experience or anything...of course I'm smart enough to avoid these douchers.

1) The Bro
He can often be spotted wearing clothes that don't fit, driving a lifted truck, blasting hardcore rap, sporting white-rimmed sunglasses and may as well be walking around waving a Confederate flag. He should be avoided because he drives too fast, is incredibly into himself (so you'd think he'd dress better) and is generally uninformed about political issues.

2) The Kerouac Wannabe
While not as uninformed about political issues, the Kerouac wannabe is disillusioned about everyone in government. Because this hipster is convinced that he really is Kerouac, he smokes a ton of weed, spends a lot of time partying (and makes sure everyone knows about it) and treats women like objects without minds of their own.

3) The Drama Queen
When you see a friend's relationship status changing every other day, she is probably dating one of these. The drama queen is indecisive, sensitive and starts arguments the second he gets bored. It is impossible to be in a stable relationship with this one, so it's best to set yourself free the first time he lashes out.

4) The English Major
While one may expect this sensitive, Shawn Hunter-after-his-dad-dies-type fella to shower her with romantic poems and flowers, this guy ultimately proves to be too socially awkward to even know how to date. He fails to express his intentions or feelings, and may end up making you walk back from the library by yourself.

5) The Lazy One
"What do you want to do?" "I don't know; what do you want to do?" This conversation is never a sign of exciting things to come. If a guy really wants to prove that he is a go-getter who's willing to go out of his way to leave a positive impression, he will look up the movie showtimes himeself and know just the place to get dinner. The lazy one may know what he want, but has no idea how to get it.

As George Clooney says in Up in the Air: "I stereotype. It's faster."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Glee is Improving Society

"...We should treat all the trivial things of life very seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality." - Oscar Wilde

Yeah, I said it. Glee, that show on Fox created by Ryan Murphy about a bunch of high school misfits singing about unrequited love and a general desire to be noticed deserves to be taken seriously. Why? Because it is forcing young viewers to be more open-minded.

Evidence of this comes from first-hand experience with my younger cousins. (Score for not being a journalist anymore who has to go find - blech - sources!) Unlike many of my older relatives, they don't see anything wrong with being of a different race or gay. I noticed a palpable change in their attitudes regarding those unlike themselves after they got really into the show. The fact that a TV show's message of acceptance is capable of overpowering those of older role models is not a bad thing when the TV show's message is far more intelligent.

This message comes in two forms: tongue-in-cheek and completely sincere. The tongue-in-cheek elicits laughter because these scenes are so cleverly written, while the completely sincere often results in tears of sympathy and - more importantly - empathy.

Example of a tongue-in-cheek message:

"Adam Lambert. You're on the right track, but still too subtle. Now don't get me wrong. I'll listen to your music. I'll even hum it under my breath as I head into the voting booth the next time the state government offers me the chance to deny you your basic rights."

This perfectly written parody is exactly what viewers need to see in order to realize how hypocritical and ridiculous many conservatives can be about gay rights.

Example of a completely sincere message:

In this scene, we learn that Kurt has an outstanding and supportive father who also helpfully points out that the F-word, N-word and "retarded" are all equally ridiculous and cause the person saying them to sound incredibly uninformed.

If you want a good laugh, go here. This "journalist" condemns Glee for the exact same reasons I used to explain why it's so great. If Glee is "promoting homosexuality, atheism and careers in the arts," then keep it coming, Ryan Murphy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Three Reasons to Love Australia

Without ever having been to Australia, I have come to the conclusion that I would somehow manage to survive there if I ever happened to buy a one-way ticket there after graduating college. (What, you have a better plan?) Here are three reasons why.

TV Show

Summer Heights High
My friend introduced me to this one. It's a mockumentary based in high school that is hysterically twisted and exactly the type of show I wish to write someday. The three protagonists: a egomanic drama teacher, a self-absorbed teenager and very crude troublemaker, are all portrayed by Chris Lilley (who also wrote the show). Fans of The Office and humor in general would love it. There is only one season in existence, but it's pure brilliance and worth the $22.49 on Amazon.


Am I Right or Am I Right?
by Barry Jonsberg
I discovered this one when I volunteered at my high school library for eight hours a day every Saturday the summer before my senior year. (Talk about an unforgettable summer.) The narrator of this darkly funny and tragic novel is cynical, self-absorbed and convinced that she knows everything. (I clearly cannot relate to her on any level.) Sample line after the narrator, Calma Harrison, reveals that she made a friend: "If I'm going to be strictly accurate, I should say I've got two friends. You see, we signed up for cable." Please go read it. It's incredibly underrated.


Ben Lee
Enough with this cynicism worship. For an instant pick-me-up (without the hangover), listen to absolutely anything by Ben Lee. His most well-known songs are "Catch My Disease" and "We're All in This Together," but I strongly recommend "Numb" and "Into the Dark." He also has a peaceful version of "Float On." Oh, and he's a Jewish vegetarian, which is what I would put in my "Looking for" section on Facebook if such an option existed. Alas, he's married with a kid. Blerg!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Long time coming

Given that I picture myself to be one of those people who has a blog, I decided to finally live up to my own image. I'm going to avoid making it all about me and more about things I want people to know about. (Unless I'm in one of those pissy, need-to-vent, Paris Geller-esque moods.)

The blog URL is from one of my favorite movies, Up in the Air, and the blog title is obviously(!) from Mean Girls.