I saved the most cringeworthy essay for last. Just remember, I was 12 and experimenting with the English language. Back then I wanted so badly to be descriptive, but my vocabulary held me back. When it doubt, I guessed.
I found an old scrapbook with all my essays from sixth grade. What a perfect excuse to roll out a new, Madgespace mini series. We'll call it...'Sixth Grade Essays' because it's accurate and 'From The Archives' is already taken.
Today's essay: Birth Story
Highlights: the general smugness (you'll notice that's a theme in these essays).
In case you haven't noticed, we're in the midst of a Tracy Chapman renaissance. Yes, that woman with a male voice who sings 'Fast Car' — all of a sudden, she's back!
I'm not quite sure what's going on, but I've been in America for just two months now and I've already heard more Tracy Chapman than all of the 90s combined (which was quite a lot...before things soured between Anna and Columbia House). Every time I turn on the radio her baritone melodies reverberate back through the speakers. At first I thought it was a fluke, but it's happened so much that I know something's up.
Was one of her songs played during the credits of a season finale or something? Like, Grey's Anatomy maybe? What else could explain it?
What I do know is that I can't help but sing along to "but you can say baby...baby can I hold you toniiiiiight. Maybe if I told you the right words...ooooooh at the right time....you'd me mine." Tune and a half.
Hey, I've cracked it! Just now. I was Googling "Tracy Chapman" and discovered that she performed on Letterman a month ago. That explains it. That explains the resurgence. I answered by own question. This blog is therapy.
(Watch for a boring rendition of 'Stand By Me')
In related news, I was listening to Warm 106.9 today and they have a station advertisement that goes like this:
Warm 106.9, for when you're wearing yoga pants as...pants! We don't judge! Warm 106.9, today's music variety. Well, they certainly know their audience. I was indeed wearing yoga pants as pants at the time. Ugh.
P.S. This blog post is officially in the running for 'Worst Post Title Ever'. Other nominees include:
Let's just pause for a second to remember these facts:
Benicio Del Toro has a baby with Kimberly Stewart (Rod Stewart's daughter / Paris Hilton's bff).
Hally Berry once did a hit and run.
Angelina Jolie kissed her brother on the lips on a red carpet and wore a vial of Billy Bob's blood around her neck.
Oprah's real name is Orpah.
When Sean Penn was married to Madonna, he hit her over the head with a baseball bat.
Jerry Springer was once the Mayor of Cincinnati.
I wasn't planning on watching The Bachelorette. It's been years since I partook in Chris Harrison's little matchmaking scheme, and I wasn't ready to jump back into the rose ceremonies, the teary confessionals, the steamy overnight dates, the skeptical father-in-laws-to-be...SIGH.
But then I heard some baristas at Starbucks talking about it. And my sistahs were planning a viewing party tonight. I didn't want to be the only girl in Kenmore who wasn't in the loop. Plus, Mad Men's over, Mindy Project's cancelled...
So, I'm WATCHING IT!
And I'm living for this drunk guy who they clearly paid to be obnoxious on night one. It happens every season. Oh boy, I think I might be enjoying this (she thinks, as she pops another bite-sized Reese's peanut butter cup in her mouth).
Welcome one and all to the first ever edition of 'Steal This Business Idea'.
This week, we'll be talking about bicycle helmets. They'll save your life, but they're a bloody nuisance to fit on your noggin.
All those straps. The sticky, oh-no-I'm-going-to-pinch-my-neck buckle. The adjustable interior lining. The extra foam padding. The plastic, ear-loop sliders. It's a FECKing spiderweb of annoyance!
Last weekend, my mom and dad stayed in a cabin in Leavenworth. It had a brand new, high-tech washer and dryer. Unlike our ye old washer here in Kenmore, where you set the load to 'small', 'medium' or 'large', this robot washing machine entered "sense" mode and detected the size by itself!
You see where I'm going with this...
Someone (who? YOU!) invent a high-tech bike helmet that senses your head size. You put it on, press a button and then voila, it tightens to suit your skull.
Do it! Invent it! If you don't, then Apple will and iHelmets will be flying off the shelves faster than you could say "fecking spiderweb of annoyance".
Andy and some long-haired mistress on the Golden Gate Bridge.
OK, I can't really count it as "live blogging" because A) I'm watching it on my laptop hours after it aired and B) a blog, as a medium, doesn't allow for real-time publishing.
But it made for a catchy title, didn't it? And I'm still going to jot down my thoughts as the episode goes along, complete with timestamps to make it feel like you're right here in my bed watching it with me. Ew, get out!
Here we go...
The episode title is 'Person To Person' — hmmm....a song by Average White Band. Will they play it? Just looked it up and it was released in 1974. Are we in 1974 yet in Mad Men land? I bet we are.
First prediction: the song 'Person To Person' will play at some point during the episode, but not during the closing credits.
1 min, 41 sec
Don is wearing goggles and driving a car really fast on sand. Looks like Tatooine. Then he has a conversation with two guys about how the car shakes when it gets up to 130mph. But I didn't really understand the conversation and I had to "rewind" it and watch it again.
Still not really sure what was said.
2 min, 50 sec
Poor Don Draper's secretary. At least they gave her a nice send off, with that cute pig latin joke. By the way, what was her name again?
Peggy and Stan in a boardroom. Don D. in a bedroom with the girl from the car warehouse place from earlier (I think).
Both scenarios are making me uneasy.
6 min, 36 sec
Noooooooooooooooo, Joan! Don't snort that cocaine! Just say no! Just say no! That's not supposed to become popular until the 80s—what's happening!?!?
9 min, 55 sec
We really haven't seen much of Harry Crane this season, have we? We'll, he's rockin' a nice coat for Pete's leaving lunch.
Pete and Peg's goodbye chat = very sweet considering they had a kid together and never talk about it and it's incredibly awkward.
Sally being wise beyond her years is starting to pay off. Henry Francis is a good man and she's right, it will be best if they stay at home with him when Betty kicks the bucket.
Also, this is getting really tedious, so I'm going to take a break and check back in at 30 min, unless something unbelievable happens before then.
Alright that didn't last long. I had to get this prediction in here before it left my mind: Joan + Peggy = new ad agency ran by women!? It would be the Cascadia Content of it's time!
Also, that phone call between Betty and Don? All three of us were fighting back the tears.
I'm glad Bobby and Gene both got a line in the finale. Farewell you two, troubled souls.
Yoga and Tai Chi were invented back then? Who knew? Don will never not look like a square in these hippy places.
Yikes! I need to speed things up a bit or I'm not going to make my 12am deadline! Goodbye for a while.
That old lady shoving Don!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So amazing. OK, goodbye for real now.
Peggy and Stan - YES! Great acting by Peg. They make a good pair.
Uh oh, I'm not going to be able to publish this in time. I'm going to hit publish now so that it has today's timestamp, but then I'll keep watching and provide my final thoughts when it's over.
By the way, this was one of the WORST ideas I've ever had. It has totally removed me from the finale experience and I shall never do it again!
Ah, I get it. He went back to McCann and made that Coke ad. Right? Hmmm. I think that's what happened. Is that suppose to make me feel good or depressed? Well, joke's on you, Matthew Weiner, because I don't feel anything other than tired and full from all these Pirate's Booty white cheddar cheese puffs I've been eating.
Well, that's that! Great show. Glad it's over because no show really needs to last longer than seven seasons, except all the Real Housewives franchises, of course.
If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5 feat. Rihanna
This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show
Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift
Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
Goodbye Weekend - Mac Demarco
Kenmore Jam (Wish It Was Summer) - D.J. Polite feat. Mogsquisha
Satisfy My Soul - Paul Carrack
Remix To Ignition - R Kelly
Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley
King Of The Road - Roger Miller
Note: the three best artists on this playlist, Taylor Swift, Rich Kay and DJ Polite, have respectfully refused to allow their music on Spotify, so unfortunately they've been left off the Spotify playlist.
Also, the playlist is made up of songs that I already had in my iTunes. I know I said that there were no rules, but that actually was a rule.
P.S. I like the two Robert Galbraith books—Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm. Have you read them?
P.S. That gets met thinking—what would your opposite-gender pen name be? Mine would be Morné Morkel, even though that's already the name of a South African cricketer, I think I could get away with it in the US.
Over the last few years, Andy and I have observed a troubling trend. Increasingly, the media we encounter assumes we want to be treated like children. Note: said media doesn't just treat us like children, but it thinks we want to be treated that way, which is much worse.
Take, for example, the Britney Spears song I wrote about the other day. Britney singing about drinking shots and clubbing and wiping the floor with all the boys (not men, but BOYS) just feels inauthentic when I know she probably spends most her time at home, watching TV with her two actual boys. Why must she lie?
And now, this—a Hilary Duff music video where she and her friends swipe through Tinder and talk about boys being cute. What in the world? The whole thing seems very...young. It's basically a giant Tinder ad, but that's no excuse. The outfits and the bowling and the backup dancers—the whole video screams Christian high school youth retreat.
The worst offender of all is Buzzfeed. The listicle capital of the Internet is predicted to reach 'peak manchild' in 2016. Oh look, they actually did a post on '23 Signs You're Probably Dating a Manchild'. How meta.
So. Who's to blame?
The music industry?
That TV show called the Big Bang Theory?
The glorification of nostalgia?
Ourselves, for getting older?
Maybe it's the economy's fault. Maybe the crash of '08 set us back and stunted our growth.