Practical Uses For Garbage Halloween Candy

Even a non-garbage holiday has some trash parts:

  • Thanksgiving: gauging how much to eat before the meal; food comas; always missing the one part of the parade you wanted to see.
  • Christmas: everything after presents – yawn.
  • Easter: church forever.

The downsides of Halloween are that sometimes it snows (in second grade we had three inches!) and sometimes you get garbage candy – but unlike the weather, there’s something you can do about that:

Charleston Chews

What to do with it: Use it to lure 1920s ghosts, like dead flappers or spooky speakeasy owners, when conducting a seance or Ouiji session.

Sugar Babies

What to do with it:  Use Sugar Babies as a reminder to Google “sugar babies.”  The level of sketchiness of your search results will tell you how your internet security settings are working.

Mary Janes

What to do with it:  Mary Janes are egg, dairy, and gluten free, so keep them on hand and dole them out whenever your friend who has Food Intolerance Of The Week Syndrome comes over. [But give good food to your friends who have real allergies, obviously.]

Dum Dums

What to do with it:  Believe it or not, the Dum Dums website has a list of Dum Dum uses for all you suckers out there. Do people regularly end up with bags of Dum Dums they don’t know what to do with? Because it seems like something you’d only buy very on purpose.

My favorites:

  • “Use them to help you quit smoking” (so, eat one as punishment if you slip and have a cigarette?)
  • “Eat them on a diet to curb your cravings; only about 20 calories and no fat” (because eating a Dum Dum provides you with a solid 5-10 minutes to sit and contemplate how much you’ve grown to hate yourself).

Tootsie Rolls, Both Regular And Weird Flavored

What to do with it: If you are serving up some tricks with your treats,  replace the classic flaming bag o’ poop with a flaming bag o’ unwrapped Tootsie Rolls. It’s slightly less disgusting but basically looks the same. Still a fire haz, though.

If you have those stupid pastel Tootsie Rolls, save it for Christmastime, when it will masquerade as elf poop for all you crazy Elf On The Shelf fanatics (or fairy or unicorn poo, for a non-Christmasy twist).

Waxy Halloween Gelt

What to do with it: Play Halloween Dreidel (take a regular dreidel and replace nun, gimmel, hay and shin with a spooky cat, a ghost, a pumpkin, and a witch hat). Or bury them and let a child think they’ve discovered treasure (only to learn they’ve discovered trash, when they try to eat it).

Cow Tales

What to do with it: Hang from a door frame and use it as a fly-catcher, or place it in a plastic cup, cover the top with plastic wrap, poke some holes in it, and use it to catch fruit flies. What I’m saying is, I think insects might eat these, maybe?

Necco Wafers

 What to do with it: When raking leaves, place rolls of Necco Wafers in the bottom of bags, so they don’t blow away before they’re weighted down with leaves.

Dental Hygeine Items

What to do with it: Brush your damn teeth, paying special attention to the plaque of disappointment.

Those thingies in plain orange and black wrappers

 What to do with it: Make new friends at your local hazardous waste disposal! Because these are poison needle drug candies.

Bit O Honey

What to do with it: Save these for the next time your child has a loose tooth; one bite and that tooth is gone for good.

Good And Plenty

What to do with it: Load into a BB gun to scare small animals from your yard; give to children to use as pretend medicine when they are playing Old People.

Pretzels And Fruit Snacks

What to do with it: Pack these in your lunch, and try to forget that anyone ever tried to present them as Halloween candy.

Apples

What to do with it: Extract the razor; use it as backup the next time you run out of blades.

Religious Tracts

What to do with it: I used to love getting these, because then my friends and I could stage sarcastic readings of them at lunch the next day. It’s best if your kids think they came up with the idea themselves. They also make good coloring books for kids who are still illiterate.

Best Halloween Costumes By Fictional People

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to be all gung-ho about Halloween. Even as a kid, I don’t remember particularly being as excited about dressing up and getting free candy from strangers like my peers. I mean I did it, but I feel like more people were excited about it than I was. In recent years, I’ve opted to go a “lazy” route, in that I either use clothes that I already have or only spend under like $30 to throw together a costume. And they’re usually pop culture inspired. For instance, I went as Liz Lemon one year and even made a fake name tag and Sabor de Soledad bag that I carried around with me.

liz lemon

One year I went as a “Friday Night Lights/Dillon Panthers Rally Girl” and just wore the State Champs shirt I owned and wore a yellow ribbon in my hair. This year I paid $15 to buy orange scrubs off Amazon to be Brook Soso from Orange is the New Black, but I also now get catalogs from the scrubs company. Sorry to break it to them, but I’m not even close to being qualified as a doctor or nurse, unless you count 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy as something. Anyways, my point is that for those of you who are ‘meh’ about Halloween like I am, it might be easiest to get inspiration from the Halloween eps on TV. Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best costumes worn by our favorite characters on TV, and maybe you’ll be gung ho about Halloween once and for all.

The Office

Jim Halpert as Dave

I always sympathized with Jim since he never wanted to dress up, but made a little effort. This might be my favorite one of his costumes. Andy, dressed as one of the Cats from Cats in full garb, asks Jim what he’s supposed to be, and Jim simply points to his name tag and says, “I’m Dave.”

Facebook

“Yes, I am the popular social networking site called Book Face.”

3 Hole Punch version of Jim

You can have him either way – as plain white Jim or 3 hole punch. Paper jokes for paper folks.

Michael Scott with Paper Mache Michael Scott

Because why wouldn’t you have a paper mache version of yourself sitting on your shoulder as a “costume”?

Macgruber

One of the things I love about Michael Scott is that he tries so hard to be cool and hip, but he’s always just a step behind. It’s endearing. He dressed up as SNL’s MacGuyver-esque character MacGruber one year. Unless you’re a hardcore SNL fan, you might not even know who he is (or that Will Forte brought his alter ego to the big screen). But Michael Scott didn’t care, and just assumed everyone would know who he was. Bless.

 Community

Troy Barnes as a sexy vampire

It doesn’t matter if he’s Dracula or not – he’s a sexy vampire. Lawd help me.

Eddie Murphy

Ben Chang as Peggy Fleming

How dare you think Chang is Michelle Kwan. Or Kristi Yamaguchi. RACIST!!

New Girl

Jessica Day as a Zombie

To make ends meet, Jess is forced to take on odd jobs, including one as a zombie in a haunted house. However this particular outfit has Schmidt likening her to a Zombie Woody Allen. “These brains are terrible, and in such small portions.”

 How I Met Your Mother

Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin as (Gay) Jack Sparrow and Green Parrot

Since college, Marshall, Lily and Ted had been dressing up in some sort of theme costume together – salt and pepper and cumin, Lady and the Tramp and their bowl of spaghetti, Lewis and Clark and their canoe. They go all out. With Ted going  as Hanging chad (see next slide), Marshall and Lily decide to go for the gold with this Pirates of the Caribbean costume and ended up getting first place. Spoiler alert?

Naomi as the Slutty Pumpkin and Ted Mosby as Hanging Chad

The Slutty Pumpkin/Hanging Chad romance is a long-running story throughout HIMYM. In the beginning of the series, we find out that Ted meets a girl dressed in a slutty pumpkin costume, but Lily accidentally throws out the Kit Kat wrapper that she wrote her phone number on. So every year, Ted dresses in the same costume (Hanging Chad, topical at the time) hoping she’ll come back. A few seasons later she does, and it turns out to be Katie Holmes. And kids, as you know – she is not the Mother.

Barney Stinson as a Fighter Pilot

Just play Danger Zone while watching this gif. It’s pretty self explanatory. Flightsuit up!

 Friends

Ross Geller as Spudnik

You know that Russian satellite Sputnik? Well I’m a potato which is a spud and I have my antennas.

Ugh. Ross is so underrated.

Happy Endings

Penny Hartz and Max Blum as mom and baby

“I wanna be your wing baby”, Max says to BFF Penny. However they run into a problem when they both start talking to men they’re interested in. Hilarity ensues. Sigh. Miss you show.

 Modern Family

Hayley Dunphy as Sexy Mother Teresa

Modern Family has set a precedent for really good Halloween episodes, and it usually involves Clare being really into it and Haley dressing up as something sexy. This is no different.

The Mindy Project

Mindy Lahiri as Lil Wayne on the Prairie

I appreciate that Mindy Lahiri made an effort to be creative in that she had a string of ideas whcih involved a mashup of characters, including Tinkerbell Tailor Soldier Spy and Dirty Harry Potter. But my favorite is Lil Wayne on the Prairie. Mainly because she looks badass with those dreads and grill.

 Morgan Tookers as a Urinal

Morgan Tookers – American treasure.

 30 Rock

Paul as Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Jenna Maroney as  former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann

If you haven’t seen this before, I feel like there’s really no explanation for it. You just need to see if for yourself.

 Parks and Recreation

Ann Perkins as Lolo Jones and Leslie Knope as Rosie the Riveter

Olympian Lolo Jones made her debut the summer before this episode aired, and Rashida kept getting comparisons to her, so clearly the brilliant writers decided to add it on the show. Leslie/Amy as Rosie is a natural choice, no?

 Tom Haverford as T Pain

Again, Tom as T-Pain is a natural fit. I feel like Tom thinks he’s T-Pain 24/7 and Halloween is an excuse to just dress up like him.

Taylor Swift Is So Tumblr Right Now

A new Taylor Swift album, 1989, dropped this week, and a new Taylor Swift has dropped as well. Gone are the country gal ringlets and princess gowns, replaced with skater skirts, crop tops, and a straightened lob. Gone, too, are the Madeleine Albright coffee cup quotes aimed at Tina Fey and Amy Poehler:

And the “I don’t think you understood the question” answers to interview questions like this:

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.[x]

Replaced, instead, with moments like this:

Guys, T.Swift has been on tumblr like a MONTH.

And already she’s celebrating cat aesthetics:

And serving up sass with a side of truth:

And she’s even into John Green, who objectively speaking is the most tumblr of all Young Adult authors:

fishingboatproceeds:

I’m in Paper Towns movie meetings all day and they think I’m making notes on the script but I’m actually listening to 1989.

My
Favorite
Author
Just
Said
WHAT?!?!

In short, Taylor Swift has become tumblr as HELL.

I can think of two explanations for this transformation, and both make me like Swift more than I did before.

1. Taylor, Or Someone On Her Team, Is A PR Genius

The most in-demand celebs today are funny and weird and maybe go off the cuff and say things they aren’t supposed to: Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick – that sort of lady. You could imagine being friends with them.

Sparkly-yet-boring types are out; people who like, or claim to like, chicken wings and binge-watching The Bachelor are in. It’s the difference between 2004 hot and 2013 hot that we wrote about last year. Less Paris Hilton, more Paris Gellar. Less Disney Princess, more Paper Bag Princess. Less Juicy Couture, more Etsy.

I can’t fault Taylor for showing some shrewd marketing savvy. When you’re a public commodity, it’s only smart to sell what people are buying today, not what they were buying 6 years ago. That’s why nobody is out there shilling slider phones and Yes We Can t-shirts anymore.

Or:

2. T. Swift Has Grown Up

Maybe we’re looking at the difference between a 19-year-old and a 25-year-old. Swift bypassed the usual college and young adult experiences that kick the rest of us into gear, but now that she’s is in her mid-20s maybe she’s just grown out of her old worldview. Or, maybe we’re looking at the difference between 2009 and 2014: if people in general are more into cat memes and straight-talking soundbites than they were five years ago, why wouldn’t T.Swizzle be, as well?

I knew things had gone super-tumblr when Taylor became a walking meme, spinning this reblog-able quip:

into this fashion-forward look:

Not to mention, even her friend roster is now tumblr-approved. I will take your Emma Stone, and raise you a Lorde and a Lena Dunham. I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor’s Christmas card list includes the ermagard girl, Grumpy Cat, and that one baby who’s shaking his fist. The card itself is an out-of-context yet empowering quote in Helvetica in front of a picture of the cosmos.

But how will we know when Taylor has gone full-tumblr? When she turns accepting an award into a meme-worthy moment. Getting an award is tough for Taylor; she makes that “who, me?” face on instinct by now. Tumblr needs more than that. It needs Jennifer Lawrence falling up the stairs; it needs Julia Louis-Dreyfus making out with Bryan Cranston; it needs Matthew McConaughey calling us all space men.

From the sounds of it, 1989 will be up for more than a few awards. Taylor has time to figure this out. So get out there, find out what reblogs and what doesn’t, and show us what you’ve got.

We know you can do it, Becky.

 

Yes Please, Amy Poehler

This is not brand new information: we love Amy Poehler. We’ve paid tribute to her on her birthday, we’ve endlessly praised her and her comedy wife Tina at the Golden Globes, we cry at all her Ask Amy videos, and today we raise our glass to her as an author. Her very first memoir/autobiography/life bible comes out today and it has the perfect title for how we view everything about her – Yes, Please. Amy P on SNL? Yes, Please. Amy P on Parks and Rec? Yes, Please. Amy P and her Smart Girls, Yes, Yes, Please.

It’s fair to say that we’ve been counting down the days for her book to come out, and our admiration and obsession aside, Amy is an interesting person who has lived a life/lives that I would want to hear about. As someone who grew up from a working class family in Massachusetts and eventually ended up on the most revered sketch comedy program ever to being one of the most beloved celebrities today, I’d want to know about their life, even if it wasn’t Amy. But I mean, it’s better because it is her.

This is the real author’s photo from the book. I mean, come on.

One of the reasons I love her is that in every interview I read or see of hers, she manages to churn out not only a hilarious response, but also give out heartfelt and genuine anecdotes. It’s one of the reasons I think so many people want to be her best friend. It’s like the Mindy Kalings or Jennifer Lawrences or Emma Watsons of the world – there’s a certain accessibility to them in which their aura of “celebrity” doesn’t get in the way of you becoming one of their friends.

A few months ago, Amy attended BookCon in NYC and sat down with her pal Martin Short to talk about the book. Martin told the crowd that he read it and the best part about her book is that reading it is like speaking to her IRL. It’s absolutely in her voice, and that’s what makes it so wonderful and honest.

As for Amy, she described Yes, Please as a book that doesn’t divulge tooo much into her personal life, and gets away with it by evading the reader with humor. She also says her book is an “attempt to speak to the feelings of being young and old at the same time”, because she’s kind of at an intersection of her life where she feels like she’s lived so much but still has so much more to live. And I think that’s what a lot of people who ‘look up’ to her need to hear right now. It’s not necessarily all about her life and what’s happened to her, but it’s what she’s learned and she shares those life lessons with us plebeians who aren’t worthy to hear such sage advice.

But if any of her past interviews are any indication of what her book’s going to be like, then get ready for one of the best books you’ll ever read in your life. Here are just a few of my favorite Poehler convo nuggets that will not only want to make you read her book, but have you saying, Yes. More, Please.

On her best mistake: “Thinking everything is going to run smoothly all the time. It won’t – things will always go wrong – but it never hurts to be optimistic.” {O Magazine, 2014}

Now that I have little kids, I’m up at 5:30 a.m. no matter what. Sleep at this point is just a concept, something I’m looking forward to investigating in the future. But I’d like to say that I maintain that same sense of play and creativity and spontaneity—of being able to get into a room with people and say, “Let’s waste some time.” When you’re a creative person, even when you’re in a position of power, you still have to be able to straddle those two worlds. Power sometimes comes down to knowing the vocabulary, figuring out how the system works and how to work within it. You need to believe that you deserve to be in the room once you get there.

I like to do things that challenge me and make me nervous. You learn early as an actor that creating your own material is the only way to have any control. Hollywood is like a bad boyfriend. You can’t stand around and wait to be asked to dance. I used to say that I wanted to make great art with people I love. Now I have an addendum to that goal: to get things on the air. {Elle Magazine, 2014}

{In which she schools Neil Brennan on being a woman}

I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading, like, “All right, everybody, now we go over here. All right, now this happens.” {Glamour, 2011}

Sometimes when you get too worried about how you look, or about how something’s gonna go, you kind of lose what made you special in the first place. I think that ASSSSCAT will really do that to you, really remind you that things are supposed to be dangerous, you’re supposed to feel uncomfortable, you’re supposed to enjoy not knowing, trusting your partner, and not falling back on the same stuff, and I think that that does that for me. It’s the kind of thing that every time, even when I’m really tired, or I feel kind of burned-out, or I feel like I don’t have anything—every time I go out and do it, I feel a thousand times better.  {The A.V. Club 2008}

“You know when you look in your closet and you’re like, Nothing’s working? I say, give yourself a theme. Rashida Jones and I have a game: We decide for three months how we’re going to dress, like Japanese Executive, Little House on the Prairie, Female Sailor on Leave. A couple of months ago, our look was Eighties Art Dealer: black blazers with shoulder pads, high-waisted jeans, air-dried hair and big eyebrows.” {Good Housekeeping, 2014}

If I wanted to give you advice as a Bostonian, I would remind you that: (with accent) “Just because you’re wicked smart it doesn’t mean you are better than me.” {Harvard College Class Day speech, 2011}

We’re ushered to a table in the back of the restaurant, and Poehler quickly orders her breakfast without consulting the menu. “Everything here’s good,” she declares. I place an iPhone on the table to record our interview. “Do you need me to hold the phone?” she asks. It’s not necessary, I tell her, iPhones are great at recording conversations. “That’s good to know,” Poehler says. Her eyes dart around the restaurant, then she leans and whispers, “…for spying purposes.” {Paper Magazine, 2013}

Always remember your kid’s name. Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers…for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces. {The Daily Beast, 2009}

I would say my interview style is Morley Safer meets Kermit the Frog, with a dash of Christiane Amanpour. And a pinch of Dinah Shore wrapped in the shell of Lois Lane. My goal is to be the Edward R. Murrow of girls.  {The Huffington Post, 2008}

Grab your copy of Yes, Please today!! (we are seriously not even being paid for this we just love her so much}

Everyone Needs An Arch Nemesis

I’m a firm believer that everyone needs an arch nemesis. I’m not talking about people you know and have serious conflict with – that’s bad for you. I mean those strangers who you can’t stand for one reason or another. They make you want to be better, so that you can be better than them. Today I’d like to offer my sort-of thanks to the following arch-nemeses  – those haters who were also motivators.

The Two A-Holes With A Jogging Stroller

Like this, but pushed by a-holes.

This couple seemed cute –  late 30s, running gear,  jogging stroller – until their stroller started barking and lunging at me. Their “baby” is a tiny dog who hates everything. Despite their running regalia, the couple never gets much mileage because they spend minutes on end hooking and unhooking their dog from its stroller. They want it to run with them, but its tiny legs and desire to lunge at passersby get in the way. The animal hates everyone so much that I wonder why they don’t leave it at home. The only explanation is that they hate everyone, too. Do you remember that SNL sketch from a few years ago, the two a-holes? That’s how I imagine they sound.

These are still on my active nemesis list, so I don’t know what lesson I’m gleaning from them yet.

The Myspace Tattooist

Before Facebook got big, all the cool kids were on MySpace. So were all the creepy adults. In college, I got a message from a man who worked at the tattoo parlor on my town’s main street saying how much he liked to watch me walk by his shop. I ignored it, as well as the messages that followed for the next few weeks, and started walking on the other side of the street. From this nemesis I learned that you should keep your internet privacy settings secure, but when that fails, ride that wave and see where it takes you. I probably could have gotten a free tattoo out of the deal. What a waste.

Hugs 4 Christ

NO THANKS. Cute how Jesus is pals with Chamber Of Secrets-era Hermione Granger, though.

I stopped into a neighborhood church while house-hunting on some type of holy day of obligation. As I tried to leave after mass, a dad-aged guy in a Cosby sweater pulled me into a hug with such warmth and familiarity that I thought I must have known him from somewhere, although usually I remember aggressive huggers so I can avoid them. As I wriggled away, he said “hi, I don’t know you. You just looked like you could use a hug.”

I’m sure he had worked up a whole narrative that I was a lost, struggling soul finding her way back to the church in a time of trial, when I was in fact a normal lady going to open houses. I don’t know what was worse, the hugging or the idea that my regular, neutral face looks sad.

From this nemesis, I learned that while the resting bitch face can make a sturdy wall between you and the world, some fools will try to hug their way through that wall like a Kool-Aid Man of affection. Those people are why you shouldn’t go to strange churches.

Does It Sound Bad If I Have Two Homeless Arch Nemeses?

There’s a man who likes to sit on the bridge and ask for money. I like to walk past him. I’m not a total jerk, but I’m also not a total idiot and opening my wallet on a crowded street is just asking for trouble. One time as I walked past this guy, he yelled after me “YOU… YOU THINK YOU’RE PRETTY.”

That doesn’t sound like much, but think about it for a second. It knocks your self-concept off kilter in a way that a direct insult cannot. If you ever really want to unnerve someone, I suggest you try that line.  My first (unfollowed) instinct was to shout back “NO I DON’T!”, which is true. Then I could have sat on the homeless man’s bench and told him all about my feelings. That would have confounded him so much that he never would have asked me for money again.

My other homeless nemesis is a man who I sometimes see at the park a few blocks from work. He stopped me one day and said “Miss… Miss I just wanted to tell you something.” I braced myself for a gross compliment, because I think I’m pretty. Then he said “I have never seen anyone as pale as you in my life. I mean I’ve seen white people before, but you’re like paper. You’re like CLEAR.”

If my life were a Hallmark movie, those homeless men would be secret angels sent from heaven on a mission to make sure I know I’m not cute.

The Sample Guy From My College Grocery Store

This poor sample guy used to try to give full cooking classes when you just wanted a Dixie cup full of tortellini. I’ve since discovered that you don’t have to pretend to be interested in their product – just grab your free samps and hightail it out of there. I learned that when I was caught in the middle of a 10-minute schpiel about how to sautee spinach and just walked away.

I’m probably also on his nemesis list, as Ungrateful Shopper Girl or something. If you’re reading this and thinking “why didn’t you just go shopping and not try to get free food,” then I don’t think we’re the same kind of people.

The Miniature Law Bro

In law school, I took trial technique with a kid who looked like your typical law bro, except tiny. For the purposes of this story, you should know two things about me: (1) if there were a Ken Burns documentary on the Potato Famine, and a voice over was reading from the diary of a poor yet hopeful Irish orphan, and the camera panned in on a tiny, resilient urchin, that’s how I look; and (2) I was really good at fake trials.

In one class, I nailed my fake opening argument and the professor opened up the floor for critique. Li’l Law Bro spoke first, carrying on for about five minutes. There was no commentary on what I actually said, just lots of talk about how juries would probably really like me, because I seem … the word sweet was definitely used. As was approachable.

Please. I wanted my fist to approach his face. The content of my argument was rock-solid (as are my knuckles, which is why my brother called me Li’l Fists Of Fury when we were kids), and if I were to win (which I did, in the class final) it was because I was good, not because I won the jury’s sympathies by looking like a Dickensian beggar child.

Like the homeless nemeses, I like to think the miniature law bro was sent to teach me a lesson – perhaps a plant from a coalition of small lawyers, preparing me for my career as a below-average-sized attorney.

The Suburban Moms That I DID Give Diet Coke To When I Worked At A Movie Theater In High School

Bitch, it WAS Diet. Now enjoy Freaky Friday with your daughter.

ICYMI: Pretty Pretty Pop Princesses

Pink is a folk singer, y’all. Sorry – Alecia. She and City and Colour’s Dallas Green started a totally amazing duo called You + Me and you need to listen to it right now.
I Think I Owe Pink An Apology

When Pink first came on the pop music scene in 2000 with her debut single, There You Go, it was in the middle of the TRL era, where it seemed like anyone who made the top 10 countdown could easily have a number one hit then go away the very next day (Sisqo, where are you?). Of course Pink went on to record hit songs like Most Girls (yesss that jam), and Lady Marmalade, which won her her first Grammy. Then there was the ‘I love Carey Hart’ then ‘I hate Carey Hart’ and finally ‘I love Carey Hart forever and we have a kid together’ phases of her life that brought her even more hits. Honestly, she hasn’t made a wrong turn anywhere musically over the past nearly 15 years. With over 40 million albums and 65 million singles sold worldwide, she’s a bonafide pop star.

As an admittedly shameless pop music fan, I appreciate Pink. I like her music. I know all the words to her songs that I subconsciously picked up along the way. I’ve sat in awe of her live performances. I mean to this day I still think this one of her hit Try from the 2012 American Music Awards is one of the best ever. She’s an amazing performer, an unparalleled singer, yet I’ve never owned any of her albums or singles or purposely seen in her concert. But why? Everything about her on paper makes her the perfect pop star, yet I’d rather pay to see Beyonce or the Backstreet Boys or even Britney Spears before her.

With Pink’s latest project, a duo called You+Me with Dallas Green from City and Colour, she turns to a folk side of her, a calmer, less flashy side that maybe most of us (definitely me) hadn’t seen before. And I can’t believe it took me this long to realize it, but she’s a true artist. In the back of my mind, Pink has always been that brightly colored hair girl from the TRL days who is just a “pop star” that makes number one songs. I always knew she had a phenomenal voice, but I guess I never thought that if she used it in a different genre, it could change my perception of her completely.

You+Me’s album, rose ave., came out last week and is the perfect record if you’re driving down the highway for a road trip or want to listen to something relaxing while you bake pumpkin pie and sit by the crackling fire. The best thing I can compare it to is The Civil Wars, and that is obviously a welcomed addition to the music world since those two decided to officially call it quits.


If you clicked on that link to listen to Pink’s 2000 hit There You Go, you might be in the TRL frame of mind to listen to some other pop heavy songs from the 90s/00s that you might have overlooked as a judgy teen. Listen to them now as a judgy adult.

Five 90s Pop Songs You Missed While Listening to Dashboard Confessional

Listen. If you know me, you know that I make it no secret about my love for pop music. I mean, I’m going on a Backstreet Boys cruise later this year.

So I feel like it’s my duty to share with y’all some classic songs you may have not heard before, or at least in a very long time. Also, since I’m not in 7th grade anymore, I feel like I can freely share my favorites without being judged. Too much, at least.

A*Teens – Sugar Rush

If you were to open my iTunes right now, this Swedish pop band would be the very first artist in my library. Why did I have two of their albums? And why did I delete all but 4 of their songs from my computer? I haven’t listened to this song in about 5 years, and upon re-listening to it, I realized just how perfect a pop song it is. Catchy melody and lyrics that don’t really make sense = classic pop song. Well done, Abba reincarnate.

Best line: “I got a sweet tooth and a taste for you… you’re the sweetest thing I ever tasted. Baby you’re my sugar rush.”

Hoku – Another Dumb Blonde

Original iMac! Cute boy with floppy hair! Single from the 2000 movie Snow Day OST! All the items needed for a quality 90s one hit wonder. Oh, and get ready to have your mind blown. Hoku is the daughter of Don Ho!!! Ok, maybe your mind hasn’t been blown because you have no idea who that is. Don Ho was the Hawaiian singer who was made famous by his catchy tune ‘Tiny Bubbles.’ Still nothing? Maybe I know who he is because my parents used to make me watch The Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday nights #thisexplainsalotaboutmysociallife

Best line: “Last night I went to a party hoping I’d see you there, and sure enough you were hanging on some other girl playin’ with her hair.”

Westlife – World of Our Own

Of course the 90s weren’t the 90s without boy bands. And this one seemed to be the biggest one in the world – except for the States. Westlife hailed from the U.K., and only had one semi-popular song in America, called Fool Again. I think I discovered this jam when I was in the Philippines, because of course, they were the shiz there. I’m not sure if that means they were behind the times or if we were. (PS: if you understand what the premise of this video is, please let me know… creepy police/dominatrix/downtown/cgi theme?)

Best line: “You make me feel funny when you come around.”

2ge+her – Every Minute Every Hour

You’re saying to yourself, ‘But 2ge+her isn’t even a real band.’ But in a warped way, their parody of the successful boy bands made them an actual successful boy band. And I was totally to blame for their popularity. I watched the movie and was prepared to be offended, but instead, I was lured in and bought both of their albums. Irony of all ironies – this song was written by BSB member Howie D himself.

Best line: “I can’t forget when you left, When we said goodbye. I know it’s hard to carry on, Can I survive?”

M2M – Don’t Say You Love Me

Another band from across the pond, this song was probably the Norwegian pop duo’s ‘biggest’ hit. You can thank the Pokemon soundtrack for that. Their voices are a tad bit annoying and nasally, but hell if I don’t sing along to this jam.

Best line: “The next thing I know we’re down at the cinema, We’re sitting there, you said you loved me. What’s that about?”

 

Saturday Spotlight: Contains Small Parts

Like a children’s board game, this week the blog was full of tiny pieces that probably should not be consumed by children under the age of 4 – both the real tiny pieces of games like Mall Madness (which would make a great movie), or of crustacians like our buddy Marcel The Shell… and just, you know, little bits of writing. Enjoy! Don’t choke.

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The Big Screen Pitch: 90s Board Games

Because apparently movie makers can’t come up with original ideas anymore, there is a live-action film based on the board game Ouija that is coming out today.

In the movie version of the game, a group of teens try to contact their dead friend but have to confront their “most evil and demonic fears” when they dark powers of the Ouija board come to life. That’s the real plot. Of course the concept of taking a board game and making it into a movie is nothing new, with the likes of Clue and Battleship before it, but I feel like it hasn’t been until recently that producers are looking to kids for ideas. I mean look at Transformers and The Lego Movie, which were blockbuster hits. There must be other board game movies in the works, but until those come out, here are a few suggestions from iconic 90s games that should head to big screen.

13 Dead End Drive

Pitch: Aunt Agatha, the matriarch of a rich family in the Hamptons, with a similar demeanor to the Dowager Countess of Grantham, dies at the age of 110, much to the delight of her greedy family. They fight over her estate and assets over the course of a weekend in her Long Island mansion, but her offspring are each secretly trying to kill each other in order to get the most money out of her will. Keep your eyes out for that sneaky cat that might actually trump the humans in the game of trickery.

Mall Madness

Pitch: Set in the 1990s in Minnesota, twin sisters are given a credit card to spend any way they want in the Mall of America for their birthday. But when their parents set them loose, they go a little crazy with their spending habits, running around the mall from store to store swiping the card willy nilly, despite their parents telling them to only spend $150 each. In the process, they witness a man stealing from the local Foot Locker and spend the rest of their day trying to catch him. It’s a big screen version of The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley: The Case of the Mall Marauder.

Dream Phone

Pitch: Jennifer, Kaci and Veronica are having their monthly sleepover and decided to prank call a bunch of cute guys from their school. But when they misdial a number, they end up talking to a man who isn’t as friendly as he sounds and they spend the rest of the night trying to avoid his calls – and his unwanted visits to their house.

Don’t Wake Daddy

 

Pitch: The girl who plays Lily on Modern Family and the kid who plays Cory and Topanga’s son on Girl Meets World are siblings who secretly stay up to play a game that’s like Rock Paper Scissors and Russian Roulette late at night and whoever loses each round has to go into their parents’ room and play some sort of prank of their dad – without waking him up. Luckily he’s a narcoleptic so it’s easier done than said.

Pretty Pretty Princess

Pitch: Set in Renaissance-era France, this movie is a coming-of-age story about a young group of boys sneak into one of their dutchess mom’s rooms to try on her clothes and jewelry and one of them secretly likes dressing up in women’s attire more than the others.

Perfection

Pitch: Mary Anne is a high school junior who has always been a perfectionist and at the head of her class. Lately, college tours, application essays, the SATs and the regular grind of school have been making her go a little crazy, so she keeps having odd recurring dreams. The main one involves her trapped in a labyrinth where the main goal is to put huge shapes into their proper corresponding holes before a giant buzzer goes off and she’s ejected from the game and has to start all over again. Starring Ed Begley Jr. as the Games Master.

Splat!

Pitch: A modern tale of a twenty-something Brooklynite who already trouble balancing her job at the local coffee shop and her dog walking job, and the fact that she’s in a long distance relationship with a boy from New Jersey. It only gets worse when she gets bed bugs.

Ask Zandar

Pitch: Zack and Elisa find an old board game in his mom’s attic, and it contains a weird fortune-telling wizard as the main component. Zack is the ever cynical one of the BFFs, but Elisa knows there’s something more to the crystal ball than they think. They end up seeing parts of their future that they like, but a lot they wish they had never seen at all.

Girl Talk

Photo May 25, 9 28 57 PM

 Pitch: Three high school girls stay up all night talking about boys, school, playing MASH and eating Halloween candy, but what they don’t know is that someone is following their every move and recording everything they say. The next day at school, their secrets are exposed and it’s up to the trio to find out who is out to get them.

*Yes, that is me and my two friends from high school, because we were really cool back then.

Gator Golf

Pitch: A group of friends decide to spend their Saturday night at the local mini golf place after plans for a pizza party fall through. At the final hole, they assume the ball goes through the giant gator and down to the golf clubhouse, but one brave soul figures out that by going into the gator’s cave-like mouth, there is a tunnel of secrets underneath the seedy underbelly of the mini-golf course that the owner never wanted exposed.

 

Reasons I Failed To Successfully Live Blog “Twitches”

It’s October, and around here, October means live blogging low-budget children’s Halloween movies. Or, usually it does. For the following reasons, I sat down to live blog Twitches, a DCOM (that’s a Disney Channel Original Movie for you adult-acting grownups out there) starring Tia and Tamera Mowry as teenaged twin witches, but just could not finish the job:

1. I Didn’t Know There Would Be Tia And Tamera

Look, I’m not the best at vetting crappy tween movies before I watch them. And by “not the best,” I mean the actual worst. As in, when we went to From Justin To Kelly circa 2003, I didn’t realize that it would be a full musical.

idiot.

It’s been a decade, but I still can’t believe that that was a theatrical release. It wouldn’t even have made a good TV movie. It seems like something the counselors would write for the show at the end of summer camp, but at like a decidedly non-performing-arts-y summer camp.

Anyway, I didn’t know that the Mowry twins would be in this, and I spent the first 10 minutes or so trying to see if I could decide which was which. Disney gave one straight hair and one curly hair, which was nice, and their genetic code gave one a mole and one no mole, which is even nicer, but still.

I Googled it later, by the way. Tamera. Tamera has the mole. Tamera is also the reason that I spent my entire childhood mispronouncing the name “Tamara.”

2. Then, I got ticked because they couldn’t even find a new way for Tia and Tamera to meet each other

Please, don’t think I’m the kind of person who hates Tia and Tamera Mowry. I did watch Sister, Sister. I’m not a monster.  And I clearly remember the two girls meeting while trying on clothes in a department store. And it happened again here! Come on, Disney. Give the gals something else to work with. Even Lindsay Lohan got to meet her twin at summer camp. Heck, I met my long-lost lookalike cousin at a family reunion. There’s more than one way to find out you have a double out there. Orphan Black has found like 10 ways. Lazy.

If you didn’t have that hat, you were nothing.

3. The Outfits Were Too… Too

I didn’t see this movie when it first came out. It’s not that I was watching highbrow television in 2005. I hadn’t even grown out of children’s entertainment about twins:  I remember watching an old Mary Kate And Ashley dance party VHS while pregaming to go out around that time.  I just missed this one. While it’s tempting to feel like 2005 was mere moments ago, it was almost a decade in the past and we don’t dress like this anymore:

Although, did anyone dress like that, ever?

The mid-2000s fashions were too much for me. But the Disney Channel had its own sparkly, sequiny velour-ful take on 2005 style that is frankly an assault on both the eyeballs and good taste.

4. Everyone In This Movie  Is Too Accepting Of Magic, Secret Twins, Etc.

It’s a children’s Halloween movie, and I can suspend disbelief. But would it be too much to have the characters be a little shocked to find that they’re secret twins with special powers? Harry Potter was like “WTF is this owl about” and even that girl from Halloweentown was a little confused. I’m just asking for 2 minutes of incredulity.

APPROPRIATE REACTION —>

5. What Sort Of 21st Birthday Is That??

I guess finding your secret twin could derail your plans, but whose 21st birthday was that tame? I can’t remember mine all the way but I’m sure it was more fun than that. In all fairness they did talk about a party that the rich Mowry was going to have (Tiamera? Tameria?) but I quit by that point.

6. Wait. Who Are Those Adults?

While I was taking notes on the outfits, this guy Karsh starts showing up. He’s magic and looks like the human version of a fancy dog. And he brought his bestie Ileana, a woman with flipped-out hair who dresses like Tara from Buffy. They’re boring.

7. Sudafed Sleep

Yesterday I took Sudafed for some sinus stuff, and I was awake every half hour that night. I was at least interested in what my sleep graph would look like on my Fitbit… but my sleep was so restless that I had ripped it from my person and flung it onto a faraway throw pillow at some point in the night.

So by the time Twitches aired, my Sudafed-speed-meth energy had worn out and I was just a tired lady with congested nasal passages.

8. Frankly, I Just Didn’t Get That Into It

After 45 minutes or so, I completely gave up. It didn’t have the 90s nostalgia value, or the all-star cast, of Hocus Pocus. It didn’t have the low-budget childish silliness of Halloweentown. It was starring grown adults, which seems a bit weird for a Disney movie.

I really did sort-of try to live blog Twitches. But you know what they say about trying: it’s the number one cause of failure.

I Think I Owe Pink An Apology

When Pink first came on the pop music scene in 2000 with her debut single, There You Go, it was in the middle of the TRL era, where it seemed like anyone who made the top 10 countdown could easily have a number one hit then go away the very next day (Sisqo, where are you?). Of course Pink went on to record hit songs like Most Girls (yesss that jam), and Lady Marmalade, which won her her first Grammy. Then there was the ‘I love Carey Hart’ then ‘I hate Carey Hart’ and finally ‘I love Carey Hart forever and we have a kid together’ phases of her life that brought her even more hits. Honestly, she hasn’t made a wrong turn anywhere musically over the past nearly 15 years. With over 40 million albums and 65 million singles sold worldwide, she’s a bonafide pop star.

As an admittedly shameless pop music fan, I appreciate Pink. I like her music. I know all the words to her songs that I subconsciously picked up along the way. I’ve sat in awe of her live performances. I mean to this day I still think this one of her hit Try from the 2012 American Music Awards is one of the best ever. She’s an amazing performer, an unparalleled singer, yet I’ve never owned any of her albums or singles or purposely seen in her concert. But why? Everything about her on paper makes her the perfect pop star, yet I’d rather pay to see Beyonce or the Backstreet Boys or even Britney Spears before her.

And I think I’ve finally figured it out. She’s normal. She’s a regular human being or just extraordinary talent and can churn out hits like no one’s business. With Bey, it’s like she’s some kind of immortal goddess that is unreal. BSB will always and forever be my number one teen idols. Britney is – well, we all lived through the Brit Brit disaster of 2007, so we know there’s that. But Pink is like the girl who lived down the street from you when you were growing up (Alecia, you called her back then), and you’re just happy for her success.

With Pink’s latest project, a duo called You+Me with Dallas Green from City and Colour, she turns to a folk side of her, a calmer, less flashy side that maybe most of us (definitely me) hadn’t seen before. And I can’t believe it took me this long to realize it, but she’s a true artist. In the back of my mind, Pink has always been that brightly colored hair girl from the TRL days who is just a “pop star” that makes number one songs. I always knew she had a phenomenal voice, but I guess I never thought that if she used it in a different genre, it could change my perception of her completely.

You+Me’s album, rose ave., came out last week and is the perfect record if you’re driving down the highway for a road trip or want to listen to something relaxing while you bake pumpkin pie and sit by the crackling fire. The best thing I can compare it to is The Civil Wars, and that is obviously a welcomed addition to the music world since those two decided to officially call it quits.

Apparently the two of them have been friends for a while, and Alecia had been hounding Dallas to do a record with her, and he finally acquiesced. The result is a perfect blend of their voices – it’s like they had meant to be singing together all along. Both Alecia and Dallas bring that passion and longing in their tone to each track, making you feel like you’re a part of whatever heartbreaking or romantic situation or feeling of belonging they’re describing. Any good harmony can bring me to tears and if we’re being real, I’ve shed a few while listening to their incredible harmonies on this album.

With this new You+Me era Pink is entering, I feel like I owe her an apology. I’m sorry I never appreciated her for her true talents. I saw her flying up above all those celebs doing aerial stuff at the Grammys but I guess I only saw it for a big production number. I’m only seeing now how you’re using those same talents and putting them in a different vessel and it’s completely putting you under a different light. Pink deserves more than we currently give her and maybe we can start here. Just You+Me.

Stream You+Me’s rose ave. on Spotify (and thank me later)