Shave Time And Money (It’s The American Way!)

TV viewers launched into a 552-episode Simpsons marathon last night, and in my opinion, this is just the ticket to make late summer a bit cheerier! Everyone is talking about their favorites episodes from the series, and as I’m buried under piles of work during my six-month “busy season” I’m reminded of this little gem:

If  you’re not a video-watcher, sample lyrics include “If you cut every corner, It is really not so bad // Everybody does it, Even Mom and Dad // If nobody sees it, Then nobody gets mad //It’s the American way!”

Now, I don’t advocate doing things poorly … but there are plenty of little ways to shave time and money without sacrificing the end result. But can you really nick both at once? Well, sort of… Sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you strike the balance as poorly as a skinny kid on a seesaw (source: a childhood spent as the skinny kid on the seesaw).

If life is hacking into your time and money, too, try some of these life hacks!


Morning Routine

Makeup

Take all of the makeup you actually use on a normal day and put it in one small bag. Sparkly purple eyeliner? The color palette you bought because you saw a tutorial where the girl made her eyes look like a cupcake or whatever? Stash it somewhere else! You don’t need to rifle through all of that on weekdays.  If you’re anything like me, before work you just slap some brown crap on your face and hope for the best.

Honestly if it’s not the color of something you could buy deep-fried off a fast food menu, it’s too much for my face and brain to handle at 6:30 in the morning.

*Time saved: A minute or two, anyway.

Clothes

Take if from a Catholic school survivor: it’s NICE not to think about what to wear every day. One option is to make your closet look like a cartoon character’s, with rows and rows of the same outfit. The other – dare I say better? – choice is to pick your outfit the night before.

I know this seems obvious, but trying on outfits isn’t even the major time-suck. It’s hanging up all of the discarded clothes later that gets you.

* Time saved: 5 minutes in the morning, plus 5 agonizing minutes hanging clothes at the end of the day (ahem… week).

Breakfast

It only takes a second to pour some cereal or pop some bread in the toaster. Or a Pop Tart, because we’re all adults here and can do what we want. Or a Toaster Strudel, which is a Pop Tart for children who like to pretend that they’re German. But nothing beats a semi-healthy filling breakfast – especially when you made it the night before. My favorites:

Summer fridge oatmeal: equal parts old-fashioned (not instant!) oats, Greek yogurt, and milk, plus fruit or honey or whatever.

Baked eggs: nonstick spray a muffin tin, crack in eggs, bake at 450 until center is set, and store in fridge. Toast an English muffin in the morning, add cheese and you have an instant breakfast sandwich!
* Time saved: Up to 15 minutes

* Money saved: Up to $4.25 on the breakfast sandwich!

Commute

Anyone who has to pay for parking understands the struggle. By parking my car semi-legally in a grocery store lot (I do buy groceries there) and taking the bus, I save over $200 a year over even the very cheapest lot. By “cheapest lot” I mean the one that is a 15-minute walk from work. The last time I was parked there I almost ran over a man who was sleeping in a parking spot dressed like a pile of clothes.

* Time Saved: Between negative 15 and negative 25 minutes. But I get to use that time either reading a book or being forced into conversation by a weirdo who doesn’t understand that an open book on my lap, headphones in my ears, and responding to everything he says with “hmm” or “yeah?” is international language for Don’t Talk To Me, Thanks. As a child I did get my school’s Student of the Month award for Politeness And Respect In Answering Others, so maybe this is partially my fault. Should be ruder.

* Money Saved: Up to $350 a year


At The Office

Spreadsheets

Oh, Lordy. Even the word “spreadsheet” makes my eyes glaze over in boredom. I’ll make it quick. I am SERIOUS about keeping an updated spreadsheet of my deadlines and due dates to combat those “oh my gosh did I remember to do that thing?!” moments. Then, I set corresponding reminders for those dates on my Excel calendar so I don’t miss any, because almost every day is something. The technology is there, guys. We have to use it.

* Time saved: Hours. It takes a long time to create a comprehensive annual spreadsheet, but having all of the necessary information in one spot is completely worth it.

Email

I know everyone’s mileage varies with the work/home split, but spending 5-10 minutes checking my inbox before work can shave major time off of my morning. I can delete anything unnecessary, respond to the quick ones, archive anything that doesn’t require a response, and mentally prioritize the rest. I absolutely hate being blindsided by some major issue right when I get in in the morning. I’d rather be blindsided while I’m eating my oatmeal, so I can talk it over with my good friend from the bus who won’t let me read. [Kidding. I don’t talk to strangers, strangers talk to me.]

* Time saved: It should be a wash, but I think this can save me up to a half hour. It’s so easy to get sidetracked once you’re at your desk.

To-Do Lists

Look. I’ve called a lot of things “my jam” in the past decade or so, but to-do lists might be my main number one jam. The best thing ever is to make a to-do list and leave it on your desk at the end of the day. It leads to a lot less scurrying and brain-wracking in the morning.

* Time Saved: Can we come up with a time version of the word “priceless,” because that’s what this is. Like, the amount of time this saves me cannot be accurately measured.

Vending Machine

When 3:00 calls I turn into an adult baby. Not like the kind I saw on this one TLC special, but in that I’m hungry and cranky and want a nap. It’s definitely tempting to head to the office vending machine, and sometimes that $1 bag of peanut M&Ms makes my day so much nicer that it’s worth it. But you can shave a lot of money by buying snacks and setting up a dedicated snack drawer. Take it from the girls who came across an empty locker in high school, bought a lock for it, and made it our “junk food locker” so we could snack during rehearsals for the musical. Peach rings for DAYS, kids.

*Money saved: Up to $2 a day, depending on what you were snacking on. Plus whatever you buy on purpose at a grocery store is probably healthier than whatever you ransom from food jail (aka the vending machine).


 Groceries

I was lead to believe grocery shopping would be so much more fun.


 Bulk It Up

It takes a bit of comparison shopping, but sometimes you can save a ton of money on things like nuts, oatmeal, even cereal by buying them from the bulk bins. Plus you’re not wasting as much packaging, so even the environment wins here!

*Money saved: Depends on what you’re buying. I save up to $2.00 a pound on raw unsalted almonds! Life is a Ferris Wheel and I’m just waving from the peak, my friends.

Shave Pennies

I wear skirts and dresses all summer, so having fresh razors is important. By the way, I also won Student of the Month for Personal Grooming – twice.^ Whenever I buy razors I get really angry that the refills cost more than the handle itself. This spring I signed up for Dollar Shave Club. I pay $6 a month, get 4 blades, and the product is indistinguishable from the expensive ladies’ razors, except not pink. Which is fine. It looks dignified. As do my non-stubbly legs. Win all around.

* Money saved: Legit $5-15 per every 4 refills.

* Time Saved: one grocery store trip. More if you can’t remember what brand you use and buy the wrong cartridges. Hopeless, I tell ya.

^My third and final Student Of The Month award was for Neatness And Appearance Of Work. Put them all together and I believe I won the Type A Goody-Goody trifecta.

Pretend You’re A Duggar

Sometimes it’s better to shop like the standard American family of 20, even if you’re a single adult – in members-only big-box stores. You don’t want to buy cases of perishable food for one person, but if you have the space you can save a lot of money on paper products and shelf-stable items.

I’ll admit it. I probably do eat as much peanut butter as a family of 20.

*Money saved: up to half off of the grocery store price.

Pet Food

Ah, man’s best friend. Although dogs will eat anything from table scraps to literal poop, I like to feed my pup dog food. Call me old-fashioned. If your dog goes through a lot of food, consider buying the larger, bulk sizes. If you get it from some pet stores, there’s even a loyalty card that will give you a a percentage off every time, and bonus dollars for ever $50 or $100 you spend.

*Money saved: Up to $1 a pound on that mid-range of dog food that makes you feel like you aren’t dooming your dog to kidney disease nor treating it to Black Forest truffles.


 Entertainment

Books

I know, “go to the library” isn’t groundbreaking advice,but if there’s one thing I’m likely to impulse buy, it’s books. I’ve started keeping a note in my phone of books that look like I’d like to read. Hello, everything in the Target book aisle! Middle America, I am you and you are me. Then I check them out at the library. I read most books once, anyway. And then I lend them to people, and get annoyed that they don’t return them –  even though I was never going to reread it.

* Time Saved: However long you would have spend stewing over those unreturned books

*Money saved: probably $10 – 25 per book, less your library late fees if you just can’t get it together.

Cable TV

I think everyone knows about Netflix and Hulu and Roku, but presumably some people are just cable people. I’ll just say that between over-the-air programming, free online tv, and an $8 a month subscription (plus a plug-in device if you’re into it) – you can pay hundreds less than your typical cable package and never miss a show. You can save even more if your parents have an HBOGo account they don’t use because they’re too busy watching Gunsmoke on Me-TV.

* Money saved: $50 – $150, depending on your TV package

* Time saved: Negative two minutes if you insist on trying to save 35 seconds by fast forwarding through a tv show’s theme song on Netflix, overshoot a minute or so into the show, try to rewind, and end up somewhere before the song started. But frankly I don’t think I should have to sit through theme songs. They’re like commercials for the thing I’m already watching.


Are there any corners we’re not cutting yet? Let us know your tricks! As Shary Bobbins would say, “If you cut every corner you’ll have more time for play – It’s the American way!”

What to Expect at the VMAs

The 31st annual MTV VMAs are this Sunday, and as the years go on, the older I feel and the less I care about who wins. When I was growing up, I feel like the VMAs was the biggest award show of the year. Like the Oscars for teens, if you will. This might have been partly to do with the fact I was obsessed with BSB and needed them to win every award over ‘N Sync (for the record, this is the third time this week I’ve mentioned BSB. I’m not usually this hardcore). But it was also the days of Courtney Love throwing things, Britney & ‘N Sync performing together, and Diana Ross giving a love tap to Lil Kim’s one boob. Now it’s all about twerking and meat dresses. Ugh I’m starting to sound like Drunk Uncle. But I’m assuming the main reason a lot of people tune in to the VMAs is just to see what ridiculous things could possibly happen. So what’s in store this year? Probably a lot of things that will make you question where your youth went. If you’re thinking of tuning in on Sunday, here’s a few things to look out for so you know what you’re in for.

Girl Power

Everyone’s favorite female Australian rapper whose name sounds like a flower, Iggy Azalea, is tied for Beyonce with the most nominations at eight, and there’s no doubt Iggy will be walking away with at least one of them. It’ll also be a big night for Ariana Grande who is nominated for four VMAs – all of which are for Problem with Iggy. You know who doesn’t have a problem? These two. GET IT??

Crying, because, Sam Smith

All hail the male Adele! I’ve loved Sam Smith ever since the first time I heard Latch last year, and I’m so glad he’s doing so well for himself. Performing on the VMAs is big for any artist, but when you’re a British nobody one year and 365 days later you’re on stage for one of the most talked about awards shows of the year, it’s a big deal. I’m probs going to cry because I have a soft spot for success stories. Also, I have a lot of feelings.

Something Ice Bucket Challenge Related

Apparently there’s no host for the main show this year, but someone is bound to make some kind of reference to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Perhaps Nicki Minaj challenging Iggy? Demi nominating Taylor Swift? Every celebrity in the audience should just pull out $10 bucks and a giant bucket of ice water should just pour over them from the rafters.

Already Being Over Taylor Swift’s Pop Phase

Taylor is performing on Sunday, and one can only assume she’ll be debuting her new single Take It Off for the first time live. I already divulged my thoughts about her new pop record, but seeing it in all its glory will take T Swizzle to a whole new level. That level is not necessarily good.

Referencing Miley’s Twerking

Miley is officially confirmed to return to the VMAs after her shitshow of a performance last year, because MTV bosses are gluttons for punishment. It doesn’t really matter if she’ll be performing or presenting – either way, Miley is going to make her presence known and make sure you don’t forget it – just like her twerking.

Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda Don’t Want None

If the Television Parents Council or whoever always gets their panties in a bunch over the oversexualizing of celebrities onscreen need something to complain about this year – it will probably be over this. Nicki’s video for Anaconda is already risque, so imagine it on the stage in front of a live audience. Butt. There will be a lot of butt.

Bey Being Bey

The Queen is receiving this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. If you recall from last year, Justin Timberlake won the same award, with a 15-minute medley of his best songs, including that epic ‘N Sync reunion. So will Bey be able to top it? I believe B is able to do anything she puts her mind to, but it’ll be a close call. If you watch anything from the VMAs, watch this.

Still Figuring Out Who 5 Seconds of Summer Are

So they’re a real band? They’re not even that cute? But the tweens love them? IDGI.

An (Ice-Free) Moment For Mesothelioma

Today we’re breaking from our regularly scheduled blogging to take a Moment For Mesothelioma.

I promise, you don’t even have to pour ice over yourself.

I mean, unless you want to.

Better?

Your city may not have a big Mesothelioma Survivors Walk every year, but that’s not because it’s uncommon. It’s because there aren’t many long-term survivors. But there is Heather Von St. James. Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma and given a 15 month life expectancy – eight years ago. Now, Heather and her family are giving a face and a voice to the nearly 30,000 people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.Cam_Lil_HVSJ(1)

Normally this isn’t the kind of post suggestion we’d jump on, but after I thought about it for a minute (and deduced that the Von St. Jameses are real, human people and not spam robots), I realized that it was a disease I knew almost nothing about. So, maybe our readers don’t know much about it either. Some quick facts: mesothelioma is the result of exposure to asbestos. Are you sighing with relief because you never worked in construction or asbestos abatement? Not so fast. Any amount of asbestos exposure is unsafe, and even second-hand exposure puts you at increased risk for mesothelioma.

[Sidebar: I went to an elementary school that was somewhere between “dignified and historic” and straight-up rickety. I still remember when they closed a wing of the school to get asbestos out of the building. My friends and I made a ton of jokes about all of the “cancer dust” we were breathing in because they didn’t close the whole school. Because if fourth graders in the 90s loved anything, it was gallows humor. And Fruit By The Foot. And, for whatever reason, Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill album, because apparently we all just had a lot of feelings.

“We’re doing asbestos we can!” – Sacred Heart, c. 1996.

Anyway, turns out asbestos doesn’t give off cancer “dust.” It’s “airborne fibers,” and is when asbestos is the most dangerous. How about that day off, Sacred Heart?]

So, here’s what we’d like you to do:

  • Know if you’re at risk: have you had firsthand contact with asbestos due to occupational exposure? Or through its presence in an older building where you spent time, like a school or workplace? Or, were you exposed to asbestos fibers secondhand through someone you know who works with it?

 

  • Know if your loved ones are at risk: Mesothelioma symptoms can appear 30-60 years after exposure. And, one can be diagnosed with mesothelioma even with only a short-term exposure. So if your dad had a summer job working with asbestos in college, please fill him in. U.S.A military veterans are at the highest risk for mesothelioma, so maybe instead of “supporting our troops” with a sticker on your car, you can tell the vets in your life to be on alert. You can keep the sticker too, if you like.

 

  • Tell your doctor: Mesothelioma symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory diseases. So, if you have been exposed to asbestos, please let your doctor know.

 

  • Visit mesothelioma.com  if this post has you thinking that you or someone you know might be at risk of this disease.

 

  •  If you are the principal of Sacred Heart, and it’s 1996, and there’s asbestos fibers flying to and fro around the music room (and I guess you have some sort of time machine) why don’t you close school while you deal with that? My inner 9-year-old would like to stay home and watch Rikki Lake.

Okay, you can go back to throwing ice over yourselves now.

Taylor Swift’s Ultimate Break-Up Song

Disclaimer: I’ve previously mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of Taylor, so if you’re a fan, be prepared for some tough love. For the past couple of weeks, Taylor Swift has been hinting at this big Yahoo! Live Stream, but didn’t give any hints as to what she was going to talk about besides the fact it was on Monday at 5pm. Turned out, she made a “huge announcement” in a room at the top of the Empire State Building, telling the world three big things: 1) She has recorded her first official all pop music album 2) She has a new single, Shake It Off, and also premiered the new music video 3) That new album is called 1989 and will be released in October.

In the live stream, Taylor talked about how she wanted to do something completely different than what she’s done in the past – i.e. not country music. If anyone’s heard any tracks from her last album, Red, this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Songs like I Knew Your Were Trouble, 22, and the lead single, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, are all more pop than country. Not to mention, all three were co-written by one of the best pop songwriters in the business, Max Martin, the Swedish powerhouse who also wrong songs like BSB’s I Want It That Way, which we briefly mentioned yesterday. Incidentally, he also co-wrote Shake It Off, but more on that later.

The reality is that Taylor Swift hasn’t really made a legit country record since her first self-titled one in 2006. If you listen to songs like her very first single, Tim McGraw and Teardrops on My Guitar, you can clearly hear her (Pennsylvania) twang and imagine yourself drinking moonshine on your front porch. But to her credit, there has always been a pop undertone in all her albums. It’s why she’s become such a big superstar and why you hear her songs on Top 40 radio and not just the country music station. But once Taylor came out with that first album, country music embraced her. They really hadn’t had a young, beautiful, talented, humble, mainstream crossover in the genre in a while, and they scooped her up fast. Throughout her seemingly short eight-year career, she’s won 11 Country Music Association Awards, 7 Academy of Country Music Awards and last year, she became only the second person (after Garth Brooks) to win the CMA’s Pinnacle Award, honoring her for her outstanding accomplishments. Like, this was an award that was given to her by 5 big country music superstars, including George Strait, Brad Paisley, and (full circle) Tim McGraw. Some critics pointed out that this was country music’s last ditch effort to convince Taylor to stay in the genre instead of fully crossing over to the other side. ‘Look, Taylor! All these people love you! There are probs about 20 other artists who deserve this more than you, but we don’t want you to go!’ Apparently it didn’t work.

And the CMA didn’t take it lightly either, tweeting (then promptly deleting) this after her big announcement:

Good luck on your new venture @taylorswift13! We’ve LOVED watching you grow! #TaylorSwiftYahoo

— Country Music Assoc. (@CountryMusic) August 18, 2014

In addition to all those country music awards, Taylor’s also won a few prestigious songwriting prizes (which I personally don’t agree with, but whatever), and everyone knows that the key to a great country song is good storytelling. You know, all the ‘I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up four wheel drive’ and the ‘I’ll take you for a ride on my big green tractor’ and ‘You were Romeo I was a scarlet letter’. And in this new Shake It Off song, these are the actual lyrics:

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

First of all, I’m pretty sure she stole part of this from 3LW. Second, I gotta hand it to Taylor – when she says she’s going all in to pop music, she’s going all. in. And this is coming from a self-professed (former) teenybopper. This song has everything pop music dreams are made of: a catchy tune, easy to learn lyrics that sometimes make no sense, and repetition. Even the music video is something that will have fans watching over and over again, because Taylor performs like 8 different styles of dance, is surrounded by professionals but fails miserably and relies on her usual dorky self to win over their charm and finally realizes there’s nothing wrong with “being herself”. The problem now is that Taylor has hit a point in her career where she really is multiple versions of herself. Just in this music video, she’s got a little bit of Lady Gaga a little bit of Audrey Hepburn in that Gap commercial and a little bit of  Toni Basil’s Hey Mickey – the latter of which is most likely attributed to the fact she said she was highly influenced by late 80s pop for this album. You know who else was big in the 80s? Madonna. You know who is still big now? Madonna. The Queen of Pop is known for her evolution over the years, thanks to her ease in reinventing herself every time she comes out with new music and makes herself relevant. The difference between Madonna and Taylor Swift is that Madonna always stayed in a pop/dance genre, while Taylor Swift seems to be completely abandoning her country roots.

It’s a risky move and it will be interesting to see how all her fans take it (although I’m assuming since they’re mostly hardcore, they’ll be all, ‘omg like this is the best song ever’). But from this blogger’s point of view, it’s kind of a cop out. I’m all about trying to find yourself and being true to who you are, but to me, Taylor’s always had an air about her that she is trying too hard to be cool and ‘down to earth’. This new era just makes her look like she’s the chosen one – the Tai Fraiser of Clueless, the Laney Boggs of She’s All That. The girl who managed to be in with the ‘in crowd’ and is showing the people she left behind that she’s still the same girl, just with better clothes. So, here we are. A pop-ified T Swizzle. RIP Fifteen. Now all we need is a good old fashioned breakup song, because it seems like Taylor and country music may never ever get back together. Like, ever.

Playlist of the Month: Songs With Terrible Lyrics

Songs are poetry set to music. And today, on Bad Poetry Day, we remember that not all poems are good. Some of them make awkward word choices trying to force a rhyme. Others use clumsy metaphors. And still others do things with English grammar that, well, you just can’t do. Out of the hundreds of songs released every year, it’s no surprise that some aren’t necessarily bad music – but the lyrics are terrible poetry.

Listen to the entire playlist below or click here!

Molly’s Picks

Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

I like Jay-Z. I like Alicia Keys. I even like this song, as in I know every word to the rap verses. But the chorus drives me crazy every time. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of?” There are so many easy ways to fix this. Take off the “of.” Change the “where” to “that.” Hell, even toss in a few commas and change the “where” to “which” and bingo, we have a restrictive clause: concrete jungle, which dreams are made of…

Sexy Bitch – David Guetta feat Akon

There are SO MANY words to describe a girl without being disrespectful. For instance: brunette. Like 5’6, 5’7. Looks like that one girl who was in our sociology class. Wears a lot of patterns. Basically anything you would  say when making a witness report. David Guetta and Akon find none of them.

Champagne Supernova – Oasis

Where were you when Oasis was getting high? Not sure, but I know where Noel Gallagher was: writing this song. He’s said himself that “slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball” makes no sense so I don’t even feel bad about this.

Whenever, Wherever – Shakira

The real question is what does this guy do when he comes across breasts that are NOT small and humble? I picture Shakira’s paramour shrugging dejectedly, reaching for his Columbia backpack, clipping on a few carabiners and filling up the ol’ Nalgene when he meets a busty lady, sighing “this is going to be a steep climb.”

Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne

This is what the pop-punk trend of the early 2000s wrought: ratty straightened hair, lots of hot pink, spikey bracelets, and Sk8r Boi. It makes no sense. A ballerina who’s not allowed to be into punk because she has to – what, listen to Tchaikovsky always? And why do her friends all share a single nose? But that plot twist near the end makes the terrible lyrics almost all worth it. AVRIL is with the SK8ER BOY? Did not see that one coming.

Traci’s Picks

My Humps – Black Eyed Peas

You could basically choose any Black Eyed Peas song and I assure you there will be at least one stupid line. In this particular song, the offense comes from the word “lumps” – sorry, more specifically, “my lovely lady lumps”. Come on Fergie, you really thought this would be a great way to describe your breasts? Although, you did change your name from Stacey Ferguson to just Fergie, so maybe it’s just in your blood to name things horribly.

Eenie Meenie – Justin Bieber ft. Sean Kingston

A good rule of thumb is not to use children’s nursery rhymes in your songs. Especially if those lyrics are slightly sexist. “Eenie meenie miney mo/Catch a bad chick by her toe/If she holla (if, if, if she holla) let her go” Does that even make sense? If a girl does holla, wouldn’t that be a good thing (for him)?

I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys

Listen. I love the Backstreet Boys. If you’re new to our blog, this is not brand new information, as evidenced here. But I will gladly admit this song does not make any sense. Like the chorus and the verses don’t want the same thing. Also, what is “it”? In fact the boys themselves will admit it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve even seen them multiple times say in interviews and stuff, “What way? You want it what way??” Kevin’s explanation was that Max Martin, Swedish superproducer, wrote the song and at the time his English wasn’t that good. Too bad it’s like their most popular song ever.

Soda Pop by Britney Spears

Britney Spears isn’t really known for her lyrics. Or her singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the girl but, come on, let’s all be honest with ourselves. If you grew up in our generation, you know how big this … Baby One More Time album was. A deep cut from said album is Soda Pop, a song referring to a beverage that no one actually calls “soda pop”. But props to Brit for namedropping the likes of Homer, Agamemnon and Zeus then later singing, “Open a soda pop, watch it fiz and pop/The clock is tickin’ and we can’t stop/Open a soda pop, bop-a shu-bop shu-bop” But the real reason why she’s popular is that you get these songs inexplicably stuck in your head for the next few hours.

Any song by Kesha

I feel like there is a clear line before Ke$ha and Kesha. Pre-Kesha was so much more of a shit show, and her lyrics reflected that. Particularly on her 2010 album Animal, which included her breakout hit song TiK ToK, and other notable songs called Dinosaur (about an old man hitting on her), Stephen (in which she’s an annoying little bitch asking why Stephen won’t call her back) and Party at a Rich Dude’s House (which is exactly what it sounds like). Then there’s the song Blah Blah Blah that’s about Ke$ha meeting some dude at a bar and she wants him to just shut up and have sex with her and it’s maybe borderline non-consensual? “Come put a little love in my glove box/I wanna dance with no pants on, holla” Everything about that lyric is horrible.

ICYMI: Quit Sharkin’ Around

That phrase is made up. It’s not a thing. I thought it sounded cute. You know what else shouldn’t be a thing, probably? Shark Week.

I’m Trying To Understand Shark Week

We all have our pop culture blind spots, and one of mine is Shark Week. I mean, do I “live every week like it’s Shark Week?” Yes! Absolutely! In that on both Shark Week and the other 51 weeks a year, I … don’t participate in Shark Week.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone their shark-based T.V. program. I love educational television! Granted, I’m more into the “kid with weird wasting illness that the British royals hid in the 1920s” kind of educational programming, but each to their own. I love learning and I love T.V., so I feel like I should at least try. Here’s what info I’ve managed to process about Shark Week – but I still don’t understand it:

Why Sharks?

You know how sometimes a pop culture obsession springs up, and you wonder if you missed something? Like bacon. Bacon is huge. I wondered for a long time whether I missed whatever set off the Bacon Revolution, but no. Everyone just realized that they all liked bacon and it was time to talk about it openly. Or mason jars. For a while after they took off, I wondered if it was the 200th anniversary of Hezekiah Mason’s birth or something. It wasn’t. People just realized that anything you put in jars looks 100% more folksy, like you might be a Lumineer.

So of course my first step to understanding Shark Week had to be determining whether there was something I was missing with sharks. Koala Week, I’d understand. Those not-bears are adorable (but they’re totally bears, nice try Australia). Or Endangered Species week, because somebody has to save them. And the Puppy Bowl? I get that. The kittens are the cheerleaders. But why sharks? They’re  kind of assholes, and not even attractive assholes. You didn’t see Lisa Frank designing a shark Trapper Keeper, and you know why? Because nobody’s that into them.

The answer, like most answers that are probably wrong, is on Wikipedia. Shark Week is supposed to “raise awareness and respect for sharks.” I believe I speak for everyone who’s ever swam in the ocean when I say that I’m aware. Oh, am I aware. And I respect the hell out of anything with that many teeth. You know what animals need respect? Woodchucks, who always somehow look like the hillbillies of the animal kingdom. Or moles. Get better eyes, moles. Your faces looks like butts.

Anyway, no matter what Wikipedia says, the answer to “why sharks?” is really “why NOT sharks?” They’re an animal, people are interested in them, and if you hype it up enough, people will watch Discovery Channel for a week if you tell them they want to. I’d still prefer Koala Week though.

There’s a host, I guess?

Because you can’t just watch shark shows, you need someone to walk you through it. But here’s the thing – the hosts aren’t just shark guys. I don’t know what a “shark guy” is but I picture the crew of the Keldish when they took Old Rose out to sea to die. They’re celebrities – Andy Samberg! Craig Ferguson! Josh Wolf! This year, it’s Rob Lowe.

You’ll notice that most of those guys are comedians. That’s because if you don’t toss in a little levity, viewers will realize that they’re watching a straight week of animals that can kill or, at best, maim you. You’ll also notice that in the two-decade hosting history of Shark Week, there has never been a female host. I don’t think this is because educational television is an inherently sexist industry, I think it’s because ladies are too smart to socialize with sea beasts that might kill them. It’s violent enough on land. Most of us have finely tuned sensors for who might kill us – have you ever watched Nancy Grace or Law and Order: SVU?  I’m pretty sure we’re holding out for starfish week or something. We all saw what happened to that nice little blonde surfer girl who didn’t respect sharks enough. She got her arm gnawed off. No thank you. Gentlemen, you can have this one.


 Fun fact: Tracy Morgan is really into sharks. Does that surprise you? Well these other celebrity/pet pairings may boggle your brain a bit too.

Celebs Who Are Bouts To Get Killed By Their Exotic Pets

One of the earliest lessons of childhood is that certain animals don’t belong in your house. This message was reinforced everywhere. In the American Girl books, Kirsten’s house got destroyed because she brought a baby raccoon inside and he went HAM and burned their house down using his tail as a tiny torch of destruction. Children’s books teach lessons, and I guess the American Girl company thought that “don’t bring weird-ass animals into your house” was still a relevant one in the early 90s. In that one Full House episode, Danny’s heretofore-unheard of sister showed up with her monkey and it got lost. There are even real-life community standards against owning odd-as-shit animals:  the family on my street with the ferrets were treated to open scorn, because ferrets were illegal in our parts. Besides, those animals were little weaselly assholes.

Despite these lessons, some people just don’t get it. Remember a few years ago when that guy owned a menagerie and he set them free and they all got shot? Or that woman whose face got mauled off by her friend’s chimp? Sure, she got a face transplant, and I’d say all’s well that ends well, but there’s somebody else’s FACE on her FACE now and I’m not ready to act like that’s okay.

Here are some famous pet owners who should know better. But since they don’t, I’m here to tell them: you’re bouts to get killed by your exotic pet.

Mike Tyson: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Tiger

Recently Mike Tyson got head butted by his pet tiger. The cork at the top of this champagne problem? It knocked the gold teeth right out of Tyson’s mouth. Still, the fighter has reported that he sleeps with his tiger, answering the question posed by the 90s tv movie “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?” with a resounding YES.

Kristen Stewart: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Half Dog/ Half Wolf

The only surprising thing about Kristen Stewart owning a dog/wolf hybrid is that I can’t imagine Kristen Stewart caring enough to go out and buy a dog/wolf hybrid. I sort of picture her out on her porch smoking weed with a dog/wolf watching her longingly from the side of her yard. She turns to go in and the dog/wolf is at her heels. Stewart looks at the dog/wolf, shrugs, and lets him in behind her. They live apathetically ever after. Until he freaking KILLS her because that is a WOLF Kristen. It’s a wolf. And in real life, wolves don’t turn into handsome muscular teenage boys. They turn into a thing that is eating your still-living flesh.

Justin Bieber: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Capuchin Monkey

Justin Bieber bought a Capuchin monkey, abandoned it in Germany, then was ordered by the nation of Germany to pay monkey support. If there’s one country that I would NOT want to get into a child support relationship with, it’s Germany. They’re stern. That, or one of those countries that people always parental-kidnap their children to. Now Bieber’s monkey is a stern German, too. Plus monkeys are crazy. Watch your back in Berlin, Biebs. That Capuchin monkey is going to revenge kill you.

Nicolas Cage: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Octopus

Octopuses are kind of cute. Until they squirt ink in your eye and strangle you with their tentacles. Before you know it, the last thing you see before you die is the undercarriage of an octopus. And the only time that should be the last thing you see is if you’re an old, married octopus having an affair with a young female octopus and you have a heart attack during octopus sex and that’s how you die.

Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Lion

In the Wizard of Oz, there’s a good reason that the song didn’t go “Lions and Tigers and Bears, You Know, Those Would Be Fun To Have Live In My House With Me.” The Griffith-Hedren clan loved a good lion photo op. Lions in bed with the child! Lions roaring at us in the pool! Lions taking up too much space on the kitchen floor as the maid gets juice from the fridge! Only by the grace of God was the final photo op not “Lions Eating All Of Us With Their Enormous Bone-Crushing Jaws.”

Tracy Morgan: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By Those Sharks

I saw that movie Soul Surfer. It made getting your limb torn off by a shark seem normal, inspirational even. But I ALSO saw that movie Sharknado, so I know that Sharks could kill you – and the fact that sharks live in water, and you’re on land, doesn’t help you. Some day, that tank is going to break and then Tracy Morgan is bouts to get killed by that shark.

Michael Jackson From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Chimpanzee

It’s all fun and games until a chimp eats your face and you have to raze all of your original facial features and rebuild them and regrow your skin in goodness knows what color. Actually, you know what? Never mind. As you were, Mr. Jackson.

Vanilla Ice: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Wallaroo

A wallaby/kangaroo hybrid sounds like a really cute pet, right? Especially when you name him Bucky Buckaroo, like Vanilla Ice did. But you know how you get a little nervous when a large, friendly dog jumps up on a tiny person because it could knock them over? Imagine if instead of a large, friendly dog the jumping animal was a mutant kangaroo. Vanilla Ice, you’re bouts to suffer extensive head trauma when that wallaroo knocks you over.

Audrey Hepburn From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Baby Deer

Whenever I find myself looking a little TOO Etsy-and-twee, I think to myself “girl, you look like you would have a pet baby deer that you feed out of a mason jar. And that baby deer only listens to vinyl. Shit. That baby deer wears a loooot of ModCloth.” Sure, a tiny fawn seems like the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Pet. However, those of us who live in deer country know how un-cute it is to get a deer-sized dent pounded out of your car. Audrey Hepburn from the past is bouts to get into a driveway crash because of that fawn.

Steven Tyler: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Raccoon

Well. SOMEONE didn’t read Changes For Kirsten. Hide your oil lamps, Aerosmith.

Saturday Spotlight: Laugh Today, Cry Tomorrow

Whenever my family started laughing my grandmother would always say the same sing-songy phrase: “laugh today, cry tomorrow!” She was known for it. But seriously, what does that even mean? You could interpret it as “you may as well laugh now, because tomorrow might be awful”…. but that’s not what she meant. It was more of a threat, like the karmic payback for laughter is tears. That’s weird, right? Old people are weird. Anyway, around here we live by the first part of the phrase, anway: laugh today! And we hope you will, too. Here are the happy and sad-happy moments this week had for us:

Stop Complaining About The Ice Bucket Challenge

By now, I’m assuming most of you have either done the ALS Association’s viral Ice Bucket Challenge or seen video of it flooding your social media. Pun intended. In case you need a refresher, a person who is nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge must post a video on social media of themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their person (in regular pedestrian clothes). They must mention why they are doing this ridiculous activity (to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Association) and nominate more people to take on the challenge. Also they must donate $10 to the ALSA. If one decides to not take on the challenge, they must donate $100 to the ALSA. Either option must be done within 24 hours.

I’m Trying To Understand Shark Week

We all have our pop culture blind spots, and one of mine is Shark Week. I mean, do I “live every week like it’s Shark Week?” Yes! Absolutely! In that on both Shark Week and the other 51 weeks a year, I … don’t participate in Shark Week.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone their shark-based T.V. program. I love educational television! Granted, I’m more into the “kid with weird wasting illness that the British royals hid in the 1920s” kind of educational programming, but each to their own. I love learning and I love T.V., so I feel like I should at least try. Here’s what info I’ve managed to process about Shark Week – but I still don’t understand it:

Camp Cookies + Sangria: Revisiting The Baby-Sitters Club Movie

Kristy, the leader of the BSC, pitches this day camp idea and all I can think of is HOW ARE THESE KIDS GOING TO RUN A SUMMER CAMP LEGALLY?? Like do they have to get a permit to run a business in a backyard? Good thing Mary Anne’s dad is a lawyer and has them sign a contract.

Stacey: “Do you guys think I should have told him?”
Everyone: “Who?”
Stacey: “Luca! He doesn’t know I have diabetes.”

The 17 year old you’re crushing on doesn’t know you’re 13, but the diabetes is your first concern? REALLY?!

Poor Marla Sokoloff, always typecast as the bitch. You may remember her for her work as Gia, the smoking girl who befriends Stephanie Judith Tanner in Full House. Here, she is seen wearing an outfit that makes me think she was inspired by Cher Horowitz, and in a diner on a Friday, because these kids are still in middle school.

Who Even ARE You? Teen Choice Awards Edition

The Janoskians

{Presenters}

Okay, so I had definitely heard of this group in my internet travels, but as I was doing research for this very post, I realized that I had been calling them by the wrong name in my head – the “Jankosians”. I honestly thought they were a group of like Armenian brothers who did stuff on YouTube HAHAHAHAHA In fact, they’re a bunch of Australian pranksters whose name is an acronym for Just Another Name Of Silly Kids In Another Nation, which honestly the Armenian backstory is more believable. They are made up of 5 guys between the ages of 18 and 21 (three of which are brothers), and have racked up over 108 million views on YouTube. They also sing and have a song legit called “This Freakin/Fuckin Song”. Oh and one of them dated (I think they broke up again?) Ariana Grande. Slash when they were on the blue carpet at the TCAs, one of them got up on one of the surfboards while the other dudes lifted him up and he ended up falling and needed a neck brace? I think it was a prank? But ugh.

Robin Williams, And Moments Of Joy

The egg scene from ‘Mork and Mindy’

 

Stop Complaining About The Ice Bucket Challenge

By now, I’m assuming most of you have either done the ALS Association’s viral Ice Bucket Challenge or seen video of it flooding your social media. Pun intended. In case you need a refresher, a person who is nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge must post a video on social media of themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their person (in regular pedestrian clothes). They must mention why they are doing this ridiculous activity (to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Association) and nominate more people to take on the challenge. Also they must donate $10 to the ALSA. If one decides to not take on the challenge, they must donate $100 to the ALSA. Either option must be done within 24 hours.

Okay, so let’s back up a bit. This all started when the friends and family of former Boston College baseball player Peter Frates launched an ice bucket challenge campaign towards the end of July. Peter was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, and everyone involved was doing it in hopes to raise money for the ALSA. Since the task involves nominating other people within a small time frame, the challenge quickly spread around the city of Boston. I personally saw it keep popping up on my news feed and then sure enough it spread across the country, reaching my friends here in LA and it seems over the past week, it’s gotten to people in high places. From police to firefighters to entire sports teams to celebs like Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, Tyler Perry (one of my fave videos), Oprah (she has yet to respond to Tyler’s challenge), Mark Zuckerberg, and even Ethel freaking Kennedy, who challenged President Obama – who declined respectfully and donated to the cause.

JT being a delight

As the challenge went viral, I noticed that the message of raising funds and awareness for ALS was getting buried by the actual act of dousing yourself in ice water. Yes, the whole point is to get attention by shocking your body to the core, but why even do it if it’s not going to a good cause? That’s dumb. This whole campaign’s point is to raise money. Yesterday I even saw a video of someone in Japan (one of my FB friends was tagged in it) pouring a bucket of ice water over himself and didn’t even say one word. He did, however write a caption to go along with the video which said, “I just wanted to join you!I do not know the reason why we do this. But, I understand that we only have 24 hours left to do this. Please accept my apology if the way I am covered with cold water is inappropriate.” The Ice Bucket Challenge has reached all the way to Asia but he doesn’t even know WHY Americans are doing it? Not only does it make us look stupid and well, ‘Americans’, but it proves all the naysayers right in that people are doing the Ice Bucket Challenge to entertain and for shock value, not for its real cause. Those naysayers include people like this writer for Slate, who proposes people start the “No Ice Bucket Challenge”, in which people skip the ice bucket thing all together and just donate to the ALSA.

I know I’m starting to sound like I’m against this whole thing, but hear me out: here’s the problem with this guy’s No Ice Bucket Challenge pitch – this is already a thing. Anyone, anywhere, can donate money any time to the ALSA. And since it’s an ongoing thing where they seek funds, the organisation (or its supporters) have to constantly come up with creative ways to get people to donate to their cause. It’s why advertising is a thing. For instance, you know a company like Coca-Cola exists, but they have to always have to keep re-inventing ways to entice customers to purchase their product over Pepsi, and in general, just stay in their brains. ALS isn’t necessarily a well known disease and this one simple campaign has already attracted the attention of thousands of people from around the world. So the next time someone hears about ALS (or Lou Gherig’s Disease), they might remember, ‘oh yeah, that had to do with the whole Ice Bucket Challenge thing’, maybe I’ll donate to them that year.

Not only that, but since July 29th, when this whole Challenge really took off, to today (August 15th) the ALSA has raised $9.5 million, and that amount is only going to get bigger as the days go on (like I said, Oprah has yet to respond). For comparison, this same time last year – the ALSA only raised $1.6 million. That statistic alone should prove to the “No Ice Bucket Challenge” people that all of this wasted ice and water was worth it. Stop complaining and look at the facts. Or better yet grab a bucket and put your money where your ice is.

I’m Trying To Understand Shark Week

We all have our pop culture blind spots, and one of mine is Shark Week. I mean, do I “live every week like it’s Shark Week?” Yes! Absolutely! In that on both Shark Week and the other 51 weeks a year, I … don’t participate in Shark Week.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone their shark-based T.V. program. I love educational television! Granted, I’m more into the “kid with weird wasting illness that the British royals hid in the 1920s” kind of educational programming, but each to their own. I love learning and I love T.V., so I feel like I should at least try. Here’s what info I’ve managed to process about Shark Week – but I still don’t understand it:

Why Sharks?

You know how sometimes a pop culture obsession springs up, and you wonder if you missed something? Like bacon. Bacon is huge. I wondered for a long time whether I missed whatever set off the Bacon Revolution, but no. Everyone just realized that they all liked bacon and it was time to talk about it openly. Or mason jars. For a while after they took off, I wondered if it was the 200th anniversary of Hezekiah Mason’s birth or something. It wasn’t. People just realized that anything you put in jars looks 100% more folksy, like you might be a Lumineer.

So of course my first step to understanding Shark Week had to be determining whether there was something I was missing with sharks. Koala Week, I’d understand. Those not-bears are adorable (but they’re totally bears, nice try Australia). Or Endangered Species week, because somebody has to save them. And the Puppy Bowl? I get that. The kittens are the cheerleaders. But why sharks? They’re  kind of assholes, and not even attractive assholes. You didn’t see Lisa Frank designing a shark Trapper Keeper, and you know why? Because nobody’s that into them.

The answer, like most answers that are probably wrong, is on Wikipedia. Shark Week is supposed to “raise awareness and respect for sharks.” I believe I speak for everyone who’s ever swam in the ocean when I say that I’m aware. Oh, am I aware. And I respect the hell out of anything with that many teeth. You know what animals need respect? Woodchucks, who always somehow look like the hillbillies of the animal kingdom. Or moles. Get better eyes, moles. Your faces looks like butts.

Anyway, no matter what Wikipedia says, the answer to “why sharks?” is really “why NOT sharks?” They’re an animal, people are interested in them, and if you hype it up enough, people will watch Discovery Channel for a week if you tell them they want to. I’d still prefer Koala Week though.

There’s a host, I guess?

Because you can’t just watch shark shows, you need someone to walk you through it. But here’s the thing – the hosts aren’t just shark guys. I don’t know what a “shark guy” is but I picture the crew of the Keldish when they took Old Rose out to sea to die. They’re celebrities – Andy Samberg! Craig Ferguson! Josh Wolf! This year, it’s Rob Lowe.

You’ll notice that most of those guys are comedians. That’s because if you don’t toss in a little levity, viewers will realize that they’re watching a straight week of animals that can kill or, at best, maim you. You’ll also notice that in the two-decade hosting history of Shark Week, there has never been a female host. I don’t think this is because educational television is an inherently sexist industry, I think it’s because ladies are too smart to socialize with sea beasts that might kill them. It’s violent enough on land. Most of us have finely tuned sensors for who might kill us – have you ever watched Nancy Grace or Law and Order: SVU?  I’m pretty sure we’re holding out for starfish week or something. We all saw what happened to that nice little blonde surfer girl who didn’t respect sharks enough. She got her arm gnawed off. No thank you. Gentlemen, you can have this one.

Didn’t Sharknado Just Happen?

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Yes, reader. Sharknado did just happen. We live blogged both of them. At first I thought it was part of Shark Week, but it’s actually just that the American appetite for shark movies is insatiable. Almost as insatiable as sharks’ appetites for the flesh of living humans. I couldn’t come up with an acceptable answer to “why sharks?” but evidently the answer to “how often sharks?” is “at least twice a summer, thanks.”

Sharks or #Sharks?

The answer is #sharks. Shark Week is all over social media, and even has its own Twitter handle (@sharkweek). There’s a live stream of “Shark After Dark.” There are seven – seven! – different Shark Cams on the Discovery Channel website. There are interactive shark games, such as What’s Your Shark Personality ( I believe mine is “human,” not sure).

Is Shark Week Controversial?

Sure! There are a ton of articles about how “scientists” hate Shark Week. I love that – the vague job category of “scientist,” just anonymous nerds in lab coats who begin sentences with “according to my calculations…*”.  I guess scientists are pissed because Shark Week included a fictional movie about fictional scientists searching for a long-extinct Really Big Shark. They think this belongs on Sci-Fi, not The Discovery Channel. Okay. But have they seen the Discovery Channel lately? The only things we’re discovering are how the Amish Mafia operates, or ways people have survived on mountains with full camera crews. Half of the shows are like a slightly more educational version of Jackass.

Scientists who have worked with Discovery Channel have found that the information they gave the network was turned into misinformation. That’s a more valid complaint. If your life’s work is studying an animal, you finally get the chance to spread your knowledge, and it’s turned into something that’s flat-out wrong, you’re right to be ticked. Even worse, Shark Week has allegedly hurt conservation efforts because people now want to eat shark, sort of a “if sharks eat humans, humans are just going to eat all of the sharks” thing. As much as I joke about sharks tearing humans apart, the fact is that humans are way worse for sharks.

* I think that “scientist,” of whatever sort, is pretty much the coolest job ever, so no harm meant. But I doubt most of them call themselves “scientists” any more than I’d call myself a “desk person” or “office lady.”

How Do I Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week?

You know, it depends. If, like me, you aren’t into Shark Week, you live every week like it’s Shark Week by continuing to not watch shows about sharks. If you love Shark Week, then you buy the DVDs, I suppose. If you’re a shark scientist or a conservationist, you try to get your message out there despite the Discovery Channel’s efforts. And if you’re a shark … well, I can’t tell you. Because I don’t watch Shark Week. Just keep swimming, I suppose.

Camp Cookies + Sangria: Revisiting The Baby-Sitters Club Movie

For many girls (and boys) of our generation, the Baby-Sitters Club played a huge part in our childhood. Of course there were the beloved books, the TV show, and in 1995 came the feature film. I was particularly fond of said film, and it was one of my absolute favorites. So much so that I practically wore out my VHS tape – that’s right kids, a VHS tape because this was before DVDs existed. In fact I was so fond of the movie that when my friends wanted to borrow my copy, I was paranoid they wouldn’t give it back that I created a fake library card, forcing them to write their name and sign the tape in and out up the return. That story again: I was a huge nerd.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know that it takes place over the course of the summer, and the BSC decides to make some extra money by holding a summer day camp for the kids in the backyard of Mary Anne’s house. As a nine year old watching the movie, the BSC summer camp seemed like paradise. As I previously mentioned, I only went to summer camp once, for one week only. If you’re wondering what I did all the other weeks of summer – the answer is… I guess I spent a lot of time at home? Sometimes going to my parents’ office? Oh I did go to a day camp for a few years at the Christian school my friend went too. I forgot I did that. NEWAYZ, the point is that as an only child, the thought of hanging out with other people at a summer camp in a back yard seemed really cool.

I decided to watch the BSC movie for the first time in a number of years (on Netflix Instant! My VHS player is out of order), and looking back on it from an adult’s perspective – this summer camp doesn’t look like a kid’s idea of heaven – it looks like hell. Not only that, but it seems so unrealistic that parents would let their kids go to some ramshackle youth gathering with teen girls in charge. So naturally, I had a few thoughts about this. Here are just a few:

Before we start, here’s a song to get you in the mood/bring you back to 1995:

I’d like to start off by saying it’s weird watching this movie on Netflix because the quality is so clear. I’m used to seeing VHS quality, you know when it just felt like you’re watching a movie from the 90s. Even the 90s clothing kind of looks like they’re in style because it’s so clear. Also, hipsters.

Kristy: “I don’t mean to brag or anything, but we’re famous here in Stoneybrook. Everybody knows us. That’s because everybody uses us.” {maybe you should reevaluate the company you keep, Kristy}

Kristy, the leader of the BSC, pitches this day camp idea and all I can think of is HOW ARE THESE KIDS GOING TO RUN A SUMMER CAMP LEGALLY?? Like do they have to get a permit to run a business in a backyard? Good thing Mary Anne’s dad is a lawyer and has them sign a contract.

Stacey: “Do you guys think I should have told him?”
Everyone: “Who?”
Stacey: “Luca! He doesn’t know I have diabetes.”

The 17 year old you’re crushing on doesn’t know you’re 13, but the diabetes is your first concern? REALLY?!

Poor Marla Sokoloff, always typecast as the bitch. You may remember her for her work as Gia, the smoking girl who befriends Stephanie Judith Tanner in Full House. Here, she is seen wearing an outfit that makes me think she was inspired by Cher Horowitz, and in a diner on a Friday, because these kids are still in middle school.

The girls figure that if they charge $250 per camper and get at least 30 campbers they can make  $7,500! To which Jessi suggest, “We can get a fax machine!”

You know you’re old when you sympathize more with the curmudgeonly old neighbor (played by Ellen Burstyn) than the tweens running a summer camp for kids.

I mean look at the types of children that attend this camp though. Why all the band-aids on his face???

“You can tell somebody when you’re ticked off. I mean we can’t let men get away with everything.” {AHEAD OF ITS TIME}

Ok so mouse pancakes are one of those random things that stuck out to me in the movie even after all these years. It was Kristy’s (deadbeat) dad’s signature dish and he called them mouse pancakes because they were shaped like mice. In my head when I remember this, it was always a vague image… however, this is what they actually look like.

Also, Kristy’s stupid dad pretty much lived in the same bright yellow Volgswagen van Abigail Breslin was in as a toddler in a tiara. Kristy should’ve never trusted him. 

Oh hey Ellen Burstyn threatens to reject their permit and the girls freak out because they don’t have one. I guess I forgot they ran into this problem. PERMITS ARE IMPORTANT PEOPLE.

Dawn: “Did we even have a country back then?”
Mallory: “No, but we had a lot of diphtheria. What? I’m writing a novel about the first nurse in America.” {you WOULD}

Claudia had to go to summer school and she has to pass the final test or else she’s screwed. The girls make a rap for her to help her remember all the information she needs to know in order to pass the test.

Listen. There is no way Claudia could’ve passed based on the rap song her friends performed her ONE time. Also the lyrics don’t provide any useful information. They literally keep saying “the brain the brain the center of the chain”. HOW DOES THIS HELP HER WITH MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS?

Kristy’s mom: “Look at nana’s tomatoes. They’re huge! This year she’s singing them showtunes. They’re a lot bigger than when she was singing them church songs.” {and ironically 100% more gay}

Stacey and Claudia go to New York City with Luca and his friends to a teen club – but the problem is that they need to be 16 – and Luca still doesn’t know she’s 13. At least by this point he knows she’s diabetic. Obviously they can’t get in, but more importantly – remember TEEN CLUBS?? ARE THOSE STILL A THING?

Also, remember when we were so reliant on phones to contact people? I mean Kristy couldn’t get a hold of her father at the hotel he was staying at because he checked out and didn’t have a cell phone. Also he’s a douche because he said he would meet her at the carnival and left her a note instead, and the BSC had to get Luca to drive them to go find Kristy. Again, this all would’ve been much easier with cell phones.

One more thing about Luca – still a creep! What 17 year old guy hangs out with 13 year olds for fun? He also tells Stacey that he’ll be back next summer (he’s from Germany) and she says, “I’ll be 14″ and then he kisses her. HELLO THAT’S EVEN WORSE HE’LL BE 18 AND BARELY LEGAL.

that haircut doe

In the end, they barely make a profit from the camp. The greenhouse they renovated to make an office for the club ended up going to curmudgeonly Ellen Burstyn and they’re all friends again. All is right in the world of Stoneybrook. And despite the fact I don’t think a day camp is cool anymore and Ellen Burstyn is probably me in 20 years, this movie is still library card worthy.