Monthly Archives: March 2008

I heart the 90s

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I heart the 90s!

A friend of mine recently told me that bloggers shouldn’t worry about audience, they should just write what they want and hope people like it. Since maybe one day I’ll be a *real* blogger, I figured I’d try that approach and post a few things I’ve been thinking about… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to write something and thought “Why would anyone want to read this?” Maybe you don’t, but here it is anyway…

I heart the 90’s

So, I’ve been watching VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s because a) I love VH1 b) I love the 90’s and c) I’ll watch *any* kind of countdown show… there’s just something about having things in rank order that is appealing to me. But I digress…

I’m totally digging the show ‘cuz I know at least 98% of the songs and find myself jumping on iTunes to download the tracks. But… it’s also making me feel old. Did you realize, for example, that it’s been FIFTEEN years since Tom Petty’s “Into the Great Wide Open”? It seems like only yesterday that I was lusting after Johnny Depp in that video. Some things never change!

Although the show hasn’t wrapped yet, you can find the full list here. No surprise that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the 1 song of the 90s. Although I’d argue there are much better Nirvana songs, I’d say they made the right pick. It’s such an iconic 90’s song that if they’d chosen anything else, I would have been shocked.

However, I take issue with their choice for 3. Although the Backstreet Boys kick-started the whole boy-band craze, I think “Nuthin but a G Thang” would’ve been a better choice. I don’t know *anyone* who didn’t have a copy of The Chronic back in the day… and Dr. Dre’s influence on hip-hop and music in general is undeniable.

As I look through this list I see so many songs that bring back so many memories that it’s hard to pick favorites, but my top 5 favorites would be:

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana: First time I heard this song, I was hooked. I was in 7th grade and listening to ZRock late at night. Most of the time they played hard rock music, but after about 10 p.m. they played “weird” stuff. Stuff with a completely different sound. I remember writing down the name of this song and buying the single the next day. I’d then listen to it on my Discman (remember those?) all night until I fell asleep. I never really knew what they were saying or what the words meant, but there was something about the raw emotion on that record that really resonated with me… and still does to this day.
  2. Enter Sandman, Metallica: Bow-now-now-now-now…ba..bow-now-now-now-now. Just the opening baseline of this song makes me wanna bang my head and get out the black eyeliner. I think I was in 5th or 6th grade when this song came out and only ‘grits’ were listening to heavy metal. This song was just so HOOKY, though. It allowed everyone to have a bit of a rebellious side. This song is also in heavy rotation on my iPod and makes a kick-ass workout song.
  3. You Oughta Know, Alanis Morrisette: This song came out the summer before my senior year in high school when I thought I knew it all about boys. Red and I would drive around screaming “Do you think of me when you FUCK her” as loud as we could and really thought we knew what angst was…. Lord, to be that naïve again. I still listen to this song when I need some old fashioned scream therapy.
  4. Losing My Religion, REM: Again, no flippin CLUE what this song meant… but it had a great hook and the lead singer was flailing around in the video. While singing about flailing around. I still listen to this song every time it comes on the radio or on my random shuffle.
  5. Jeremy, Pearl Jam: You know, I was such a big Nirvana fan that I didn’t really pay attention to Pearl Jam until probably college. But that video for Jeremy is burned into my brain. Years before the whole Columbine thing, these guys really had some powerful imagery. And Eddie Vedder is just cool.

So, those are my picks. I’m not saying they’re the most influential on music or that they’re necessarily even the best songs, but they definitely represented the 90’s to me.

Honorable mentions go to: Under the Bridge (Blood Sugar Sex Magic is still one of my all-time fave albums), Baby Got Back (reminds me of detassling corn with Kevin Morris & Josh Bryant… plus, gets booties shakin’ on the dance floor to this day!), Nuthin’ But a G Thang (Adam & Josh’s apartment in HS… need I say more????), and Whatta Man (Salt N Peppa at their best!)

Lyrical Intervention

First Published: Monday, December 10, 2007

Lyrical Intervention
Current mood: excited

Lyrical Intervention

So, tonight I’m headed to Indy to see Cross-Canadian Ragweed. If you haven’t heard of them already, check ‘em out on their website or their mySpace. Alhough probably classified as country, I’d say they’re more like southern rock. My brother introduced them to me and I’ve been listening to them ever since.

I’m totally in love with their songwriting. You know how sometimes songs come on and you think they’re talking directly to you? There are just certain parts of the song that mirror your own life experiences or somehow resonate with you? Well, when I was first introduced to them, there were tons of songs I felt that way about.

Now, before you all organize a mass intervention, please realize that it’s the spirit of the lyrics that resonates w/me, not the actual experiences themselves. For example . . . I don’t routinely get drunk by myself, I’m not popping pills or taking drugs, nor am I nearly as obsessive as these lyrics may seem… but I’ve definitely had my moments–ahahah!!

Same old story
Same old town
Same old me
Same old hangin’ around
Same old people
And the same old cars
Same old lines
And the same old bars
– From SS 10

I got drunk by myself last night
They say it’s no way to make things right
I just didn’t have anything better to do

If everyone wants to be together
I guess no one would be alone
Life’s a lot of tradeoffs in the end

One thing that seems always true
When I’m hung over makes the sky turn blue
A rough night for me will make a hell of a day

–from Proud Souls

What is love?

There’s more than just one answer
Love’s a golden wedding ring
If only love could be the cure for cancer
Then the world would hear you sing

–From Johnny’s Song
(this was actually Ryan & Jo’s wedding song)

Well it sure didn’t take too long
I woke up this morning she was gone
And the note that she wrote
Didn’t say Dear John

Said goodbye sucker I’m gone

And now I’m wishing for some drugs or a shrink to console me
But I’m never getting over Joely

– From Crazy Eddie’s Last Hurrah (which is actually a Reckless Kelly song)

Could you try to keep it down I was up kinda late last night
Yeah, I’m feeling like I usually feel after I feel alright
I don’t wanna hear another word about morning
I can’t take the light
Could you try to keep it down I was up kinda late last night

–From Late Last Night

I got a one hundred-dollar bill
It’s all shiny, crisp, and clean
And it’s burning a hole in the pocket of my jeans
I think I’ll spend it on some pills
Instead of gasoline
I don’t see any kind of fun in coming clean
–from Look at Me


She picked up the telephone
All she heard was dial tone
She really thought she heard it ring this time
She said what am I thinking I must be only dreaming
Or maybe it’s the hundred times he’s crossed my mind

Just tonight

She said maybe I miss your lovin’
Maybe I miss your kiss just a little bit
Maybe I miss your body lyin’ right next to mine
Maybe I miss your touch a little too much

–From Alabama

Okay, well… that’s enough soul-searching for one day. Check ‘em out… For reals!

Currently listening :
Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s Texas
By Cross Canadian Ragweed
Release date: 09 July, 2002

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You know… Juno

First Published: Saturday, January 05, 2008 via mySpace

You know…Juno
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

You know… Juno

Okay, so it’s January 5 and I still haven’t posted my 2008 New Years Resolutions yet, but I totally intend to…like, maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’ll just tell you that two of my resolutions are to see more movies and to write more, which is why you’re now reading a blog about a movie…

I’ve been anticipating Juno for a while now.  It was “playing in select cities” and then was supposed to open “nationwide” on Christmas Day.  Well, I guess when they say “nationwide” they mean “everywhere but here,”  ‘cuz when I went to go see it on Christmas, it wasn’t playing…ugh.   So, when I found out it was opening Jan 4 here, I was pumped!

For those of you living under a rock w/o cable or commercials, Juno is the story of an awkward/geeky 16 year old girl (Ellen Page) who gets knocked up by her equally awkward best friend/boyfriend Pauly Bleeker (played by Michael Cera of Arrested Development fame).  Her plan is to have the baby and give it up for adoption to a couple of childless yuppies (played by Jennifer Garner and the DELICOUS Jason Bateman). She befriends the Jason Bateman character as they bond over punk music and slasher films, tries to come to terms w/her baby’s daddy and just basically deals with crazy family life, including her Step-mom Bren, played to perfection by Allison Janney (West Wing).

But, like everything else worth getting excited over, it’s not the 20 second plot summary that makes it worth seeing.  So, without further ado, here are the Top 3 reasons you should go see Juno:

3.  The characters are great. 

Juno is your typical “non-conformist” teenage girl.  She plays guitar, likes the Stooges and is clueless about pregnancy, boys, and–well– just about everything.  When she tells her dad she’s pregnant he says: “I just thought you were the kind of girl who knows when to say when.”   She responds with: “I don’t know what kind of girl I am.”  Which sums her up nicely.

Then there’s Juno’s bff/bf/baby’s daddy Pauly Bleeker, who spends most of the movie in ridiculously short running shorts and has whiter legs than I do. He’s madly in love with Juno, but really doesn’t know what to do, so he just leaves her alone to fumble through pregnancy by herself.  He offers to go w/her to a sonogram appointment but she tells him no because… well… she wouldn’t want him to waste the donut holes he bought for a stupid dr. appointment.

 The adults in this movie are really the scene stealers.  Juno’s parents are kinda crazy/kooky, but are super supportive of Juno.  When asked if he ever had a dream, something he knew he was BORN to do, Juno’s dad says; “yeah, heating and air conditioning.”  ahahah!   And her step-mom Bren is equally as interesting.  She’s a nail technician/dog lover who takes her youngest daughter Liberty Bell (yep, that’s right) to “Ice Skating for Tots” and dresses her up in tutus.  My guess is that there was more to this storyline in earlier drafts of the movie, but you only get a glipse of it here.  Even though Bren seems fairly disinterested in Juno, she really gives the sonogram technician a real tongue-lashing when she suggests that Juno wouldn’t be a good mom.

The adoptive couple are played to perfection by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner.  When you first meet them, they’re the picture of suburban bliss– Garner artfully arranging hydrangeas in a crystal vase, Bateman with his buttoned-up collard shirt and sweater.  Then you find out that Bateman (can’t remember his name in the movie to save my life.. and it was only a couple hours ago) is a former rocker who secretly wants to live the rock star life again.  I had a crush on Jason Bateman back in my Teen magazine days and now I’ve re-kindled the crush.  He’s so funny, witty and downright YUMMY in this movie.  I heart him.

2.  The writing is outstanding

I kinda hate it when people compare movies/books/whatever to other stuff ‘cuz if you hate the original that they’re referencing it will turn you off.   So, it is with much trepidation that I say this movie kinda reminds me of a mixture between Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine.   There are some super “boss” quotable lines in this movie a la Napoleon (without all the ridiculousness and dancing).  And the quirky humor and the lovable/not-so-lovable characters remind me a lot of the family in Little Miss.  Regardless, the writing in this movie is top-notch, especially the teenage dialog.  I wish I had 1/10 of the wittiness, snarkiness and sarcasm that Juno has in this movie.

But, the Number 1 reason to go see this movie: The music is AMAZING!

I read something online last week about how the soundtrack for the movie is supposed to be the “next Garden State” (for the record, loved the Garden State Soundtrack…but didn’t really “get” the movie), so I was expecting to hear some good songs.  What I didn’t expect was how central to the movie they would be and how much I would want to rush out and buy the CD.  I haven’t bought a CD in probably 5 years, but I’ll be getting this one on Tuesday when it comes out.  If they would have had the CDs for sale in the lobby, I would’ve bought them on the spot!  It was just so amazing.  You can see the song list here.  I may have to download a few from iTunes before buying the disc!

So, there you have it…my 3 reasons why this movie was so good.  And, I’m a little closer to accomplishing at least a couple of my resolutions this year.  So, do me a solid and go see it!

Oh, and btw– I also really enjoyed Waitress, which I saw last week on DVD and Knocked Up which I saw a long time ago.  All movies about women who don’t want to be pregnant, but all vastly different.

Don’t try reading too much into that, okay??  ahahah!

Rockin’ Awesome!– Classic mySpace post

First published: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 via mySpace

Things that Rock

I’m kind of in a writing mood, so I decided to augment my earlier post on “things that suck” with this one on “things that rock.” I have to give Travis credit for the suggestion, and my apologies for taking so long to write it. We might as well celebrate the cool things in life instead of always just bitching about the stuff that sucks…

Just like my “sucky” blog, I’ve tried to stay away from the big stuff… of course things like love and happiness rock, but I’m trying to focus on the everyday things that bring a smile to my face. I also tried to stay away from naming specific people… I could go on and on about the people in my life that rock, but instead, here’s my list. As always, I encourage you to add your 2 cents:

Sunday afternoons—I love nothing more than lounging on a Sunday afternoon, especially if the weather is nice and I’ve had a full weekend. Serious couch time happens on Sundays at my house.

The bleachers at Wrigley—I’m not a huge sports fan, but there’s no better way to spend a sunny summer afternoon than with an $8 Old Style and a bunch of bleacher creatures. Can’t beat it with a stick.

Thanksgiving Eve—Often touted as the biggest party night of the year, it’s an annual ritual that I wouldn’t miss for the world. It’s usually better if your mom doesn’t have to pick you up the next day—lol!

Really good sheets— There’s just something about high-thread count sheets that makes even the least comfortable bed seem luxurious. I can’t actually AFFORD them, so I sometimes just go to the store and feel the “good” stuff. Hey, we all have our vices!

Espresso chocolate bars—I don’t know the brand name, but they have these organic espresso chocolate bars at Strawberry Fields that are TDF (to die for). Coffee + chocolate = true bliss!

Getting accidentally drunk—Ever have one of those days where you go out for a few and end up getting accidentally drunk? Or you go to a shower or something and the punch is just a *little* stronger than you expected? I love those days…they are almost always more fun than the big, planned nights out.

Road trips—Now, I have the patience of a racehorse, so I don’t like extended time in the car, but a good-old fashioned road trip with your buds beats waiting in an airport line any day. Cheesy music, bad gas station food and inside jokes make for a great time!

The ocean/lake/pool—I don’t really get into astrology, but I’m an Aquarius and I LOOOOOVE the water. Give me a body of water, a cold drink, and a high SPF and I’m in heaven. (Unfortunately, I’m of English/Irish/Polish decent so the SPF is crucial)

Nostalgia—Anything that brings back a “kinder, gentler” time or reminds you of being a kid is a winner in my book. That’s why all those “you’re a child of the 80s/90’s if you remember this” emails are so popular. EVERYONE remembers snap bracelets and Smurfette. Some people say music is the universal language. I’d argue that childhood kitsch is more effective.

The Email Circle– I realize that listing my friends as one of my favorite things is kinda like saying I enjoy long walks on the beach and baby animals. But our email circle is special. Although we may spend entirely too much time emailing one another and chatting about mundane things, some of the best times of my life have been shared with that group of girls and I wouldn’t know what to do without them.

Cheesy jokes—I can’t remember jokes to save my life, but there are 2 or 3 jokes that I can’t get enough of: the blue elephant joke, the “what’s this?” joke with the hand (you have to see it in person), and any of the “what do you call a man with no arms/no legs?” jokes. The cheesier, the better. I don’t like to have to feel SMART to laugh. I like simplicity in my humor.

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Oscar Recap 2008

First published: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oscar Recap 2008
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

2008 Oscar Recap

(note: Due to “technical difficulites,” I’m a little late posting this, but I can assure you I’ve refrained from watching/reading any “professional” commentary thus far. I usually don’t agree with most of the fashion “experts,” which is half the fun!)

Okay, so let me start off by saying I missed the first 45 mins or so of the pre-show, so some of my commentary is coming from the still photos and NOT from my first reactions. Anyway… as they say in Hollywood… the show must go on.

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“I’ll take things that Suck for $100″ please–classic post

First published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
via mySpace

I’ll take “Things that Suck” for $100, please

So today I was trying to avoid actually working at work, and I came across Why Things Suck from Wired magazine. In it, they list 33 different things that drive them (and us) crazy.

While I agree completely that batteries, office copy machines, and traffic truly suck, I take issue a little with their section on “junk mail.” As someone who makes their living off sending junk mail (I mean direct marketing pieces) to thousands of people every year, I’d like to think my work is a little less “sucky,” but I can certainly appreciate its suckiness from the consumer perspective.

But I digress. This list made me think about what things I would put on such a list. Obviously, there are things like death/disease/racism/inequality/hunger/war/global warming etc. that suck… but what about the little every day things?

So, here’s my list… in no particular order:

Mexican Food (or at least what they call “Mexican” in Central Illinois)

I think I’m the only person I know who doesn’t LOVE Mexican. It’s not that I’ll never eat it… but it would never be my first choice

Illinois Winters

The only good thing about winter in Illinois is that it’s over relatively quickly. Yeah, the snow is pretty, but we rarely get it. Usually we’re stuck with cold, gray, dreary days.

Quentin Tarantino Movies

Sorry… but it’s true: they suck. I realize I’ve lost hipster cred with that statement. Not that I had any to begin with.

Litter boxes

I totally want a cat. And I’d get one if I didn’t have to deal with the suckiness of a litter box

Cleaning

Yeah, I like a clean house… and I like the lemony-fresh scent of cleaning products, but cleaning itself just sucks.

Buffets

I could actually spend a whole blog on food-related suckiness, but I won’t. And I actually had a buffet today. But, in general, they suck. Bad food. Poor presentation. Questionable sanitation. Suckiness abounds.

Jagermeister and Kahlua

Again, I sound like a hypocrite ‘cuz I’ve had both of these recently. But they both suck. Seriously!

Hangovers

The older I get, the worse they become. No one *likes* to be hungover (see above suckiness of Jager and Kahlua)

Camping

Face it… camping sucks. Yeah, it’s fun to be with friends, drink beer, and “get away,” but what part of sleeping on the ground with a bunch of animals and dirt is appealing?

Boredom

I’m not talking the “I’m so bored I filled out this mySpace survey” or “I’m so bored I was reading Wired magazine online” type of boredom. I’m talking REAL boredom where even your time-suck activities bore you. Green Day once sang: “When masturbation’s lost its fun, you’re fucking lazy.” Similarly, when you’re too bored to waste hours online… it SUCKS!

Owner’s manuals

Who reads these things? They’re poorly written, useless, and at least 4 times longer than they need to be due to the multiple languages.

Dieting

Yeah, it’s great to eat healthy. And it’s great to lose weight. But dieting sucks. Period.

Shower games

I’m glad you’re having a baby/getting married, whatever. Just don’t make me play a sucky game.

Performance Evaluations

Who has *ever* looked forward to being “critiqued” on their “performance”? Yuk.

Debt

It sucks being in debt. Even “good debt” sucks. I hate owing people anything.

Medical Shows

I can’t stand to watch anyone get cut open, stitched, stuck with a needle, etc. Especially not on TV.

The Outdoor Channel

My brother watches it… A bunch of guys walking around the woods/mountains/lakes waiting to catch/shoot an unsuspecting animal. What’s the point?

Sweat

I love laying out in the sun. I find working out tolerable… But I can’t STAND sweating. It’s gross. And don’t give me that “it’s sexy when guys sweat” line. ‘Cuz it’s not.

Fat-free cheese

I can handle a lot of fat-free/low-fat/low-calorie/healthy food. But fat free cheese just plain sucks. It’s like non-alcoholic beer. What’s the point?

Waiting (for anything)

It just sucks. Do you know anyone who actually ENJOYS standing in line? Didn’t think so.

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