For The Peeple, Hated By The Peeple

Last week, the Internet was up in arms (but when is it not) about a new app called Peeple, which lets you rate and review other people. It’s been called “Yelp for Humans”, which is how it’s being marketed around the web, hence the outrage among social media users who haven’t done any further research.

I’m definitely not defending this app, but I wanted to figure out why the founders of it wanted to make it in the first place. These two best friends, one in Canada, one in the U.S., were dedicated to “changing the way people can learn about each other online.” Their solution was Peeple, an app that “allows you to rate and comment about the people you interact with in your daily lives on the following three categories: personal, professional, and dating.”

Ok, seems easy enough. But, why sign up to do it? What is the goal to be accomplished here? According to these ladies, their mission is to “find the good in you”, and “enhance your online reputation for access to better quality networks, top job opportunities, and promote more informed decision making about people” – hence the personal, professional and dating categories.

They also stress that Peeple is a “positivity app for positive people”, and they’ve shown active support to the anti-bullying movement. But you’re wondering how that’s possible when people can just go to your profile and say anything they damn please, right? Well according to their website, if someone writes a negative review about you, it doesn’t go public on your profile right away, it goes to your inbox and you can then “work it out” with the person who left said review. You can also “report” people like on Twitter and Insta, etc. but negative reviews can still show up on your profile.

Also, you have to be 21 to join Peeple, and have a Facebook account and cell phone number to sign up. You also don’t have the option of taking yourself off Peeple.

So those are the facts. Here’s my opinion: I get what these ladies are trying to do. Create a safe space where others can talk about how good you are in a public forum. It’s like the LinkedIn section where employers and co-workers can back up your resume by writing a nice blurb. But in reality, this isn’t going to work. The environment on the Internet has changed so drastically, even within the past few years, that it’s seemingly impossible to create a “positive app for positive people”. Just because you call something “positive” doesn’t mean it’s going to be that. If I say this party I’m going to is going to be “awesome”, it’s not going to automatically be “awesome” since someone vommed near the doorway and it’s basically impossible to escape. Reviews on people are metaphorical vomit.

Plus, the nature of the app itself is wont for negativity. Even though it’s 21 and over, adults can be assholes too. And it’s not always straight out “this girl’s a bitch”, it can be even meaner than that, since grown-ups are strategic and know how to push your buttons. Also, shade.

It’s just not smart idea given the current Internet climate. Especially because it’s already gotten a lot of bad press. This tweet basically sums it up for me:

Peeple sets up users to basically judge the people they know, and this act of judging has become even more prevalent in our digital culture thanks to the simple technology of ‘the comments section’. But Peeple isn’t the first app to take on this idea of micromanaging criticisms. There’s an innocent one called the Kissing Test, where you lit’rally kiss the screen and it somehow tells you if you’re a pro, novice, or horrible. Similar to that, there’s the Passion app which will tell you how “good” you are in bed. Yup. Just set up the app and place the phone near (or on?) you during sex, and using the mic and other technologies I don’t understand, it will give you a score:

Then there’s the Gym Shamer, which will basically humiliate you publicly to friends on social media if you fail to reach your fitness goals that day.

Do we really need apps for any of this? How about instead of making a “positivity app for positive people”, we start with being positive IRL. And that’s a term all you people on the Internet will understand.

ICYMI: Nick Shows You Should Be Re-Watching If You Haven’t Already

#TheSplatIsComing y’all. And it’s coming tomorrow.

Nickelodeon’s Making You Feel Young/Old Again

There had been rumors that the head honchos over at Nickelodeon were conjuring something up – specifically aimed towards millennials – over this past month, and then last week, it was confirmed. Starting on October 5th, there would be a block of programming called The Splat from 10pm to 6am on Teen Nick. To kick it off, Kenan & Kel had a surprise reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by revisiting their iconic Good Burger sketch (despite the fact Kel said Kenan refused to ever be seen with him again?).

They couldn’t have had a better way to get people excited for The Splat, which will of course be showing reruns of Kenan & Kel and All That. Not to mention repeats of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Salute Your Shorts, Rocko’s Modern Life, Legends of The Hidden Temple, and more. So for all your college kids who are already staying up late writing those papers, here’s another excuse to keep procrastinating in the early hours of the morning.

Of course, we’re excited for this new programming (we did have an entire week dedicate to SNICK already), but I’m particularly excited after finding out they’re also showing old promos and interstitials that originally ran in the 90s/early 00s. Have you guys ever gone back and watched commercials from back then? It’s amazing and a black hole that is very hard to come out of when you’re trying to go to sleep (but if you want to waste time, is where it’s at).

Before The Splat actually kicks off next week, here are a few choice promos from old school Nickelodeon that will make you simultaneously get nostalgic and make you feel real old at the same time. Just remember that 1995 was 20 years ago, NOT 10.

Until The Fat Lady Sings

I feel like this particular bumper was played a lot, and one of the more memorable scenarios from the 90s. Watching it now, I’m just thinking how that actress must have haaated her life with that enormous wig on her head for hours.

So in some kind of reverse version of our series Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already, we’re giving you suggestions of 90s Nick shows and their current equivalents. Fan of New Girl? Clarissa Explains It All will be your jam on The Splat.

90s Nickelodeon Shows – And Today’s Adult Equivalents

Buzzfeed, Tumblr, and your Facebook friends won’t let you forget it, and neither will we: 90s kids are adults now, and we’re all still really, really passionate about the 90s. Can you blame us? The 90s were a great time for kids’ culture. With so many Baby Boomers having children from the late 70s to the mid-90s, there were a lot of us growing up then. The economy hadn’t tanked yet, and 911 was still just an emergency phone number. Nickelodeon was at the forefront of it all, promoting a “pro-kid” culture and presenting kids as cooler and smarter than adults. If people want to blame Millenials for forming a mass internet-culture that older folks can’t penetrate, it all started with Nickelodeon and its ‘us against them’ attitudes.

Today’s TV networks aren’t stupid. They know what Millenials want. That’s why, for every beloved Nickelodeon show from our youth, there is an adult equivalent on the air right now:

Are You Afraid Of The Dark = American Horror Story

Are You Afraid Of The Dark: From the second you heard those creaky swings and eerie theme music, you knew you were in for a scare. The midnight society gathered every week to tell stories and throw some sort of weird sand into a camp fire, and we were right there with them. I watched every week as a five-year-old, even turning off the lights for an extra scare. We liked this show because it didn’t underestimate kids. There were real ghosts, vampires, and murders in Are You Afraid of the Dark – it wasn’t that weak-sauce kid stuff where the creaking in the attic was just a leaky pipe, or the ‘ghost’ was just a beekeeper in a bonnet (I’m looking at you, The Adventures Of Mary Kate And Ashley). If you didn’t love the story one week, you’d just wait until the next Saturday when you’d get a whole new plotline to scare the pants off of you and make you ask your mom if she will let you sleep with the hall light on. That’s right – a children’s horror anthology series. Can you really blame us for missing the 90s?

American Horror Story: Like Are You Afraid Of The Dark, American Horror Story is a spooky anthology. However, to account for adult attention spans, each season tells a different story, instead of each episode. This show touches on all aspects of the horror film genre – psycho killers, ghosts, aliens, nuns, evil doctors, Anne Frank, witches, a pinhead, The Black Dahlia … it’s like a winning hand of Apples To Apples.

An aside: I just finished watching Season 2 of AHS. Somebody told me to start with that one because Coven isn’t on Netflix yet, and Season 1 would scare me more. Now that I’m done, I have to wonder – if Asylum was this freaky, what the hell could possibly happen in Murder House? Don’t worry, I’m starting it this week, because I’m an adult now and I’m in charge of my own hall light.

Clarissa Explains It All = Girls + The New Girl

Clarissa Explains It All:A young woman with ambitions of being a journalist lives in a cooler bedroom than you can imagine having. She is supported by her academic parents. She has constant fallings-out with her brother Ferguson, and the undying support of her buddy Sam. She dresses like a cool hobo. Lots of tights. Clarissa has a creative solution to every problem and gets into a lot of scrapes because she sort of doesn’t think everything through.

Girls: A young woman with ambitions of being a writer lives in a cooler apartment than you can imagine having. She is supported by her academic parents. She has constant fallings out with her friends, yet somehow retains their constant support. She dresses like a cool hobo.

The New Girl:  It’s almost like Jess Day and Hannah Horvath are two different versions of how Clarissa could have turned out. Jess and Clarissa have a lot in common. The first word you’d use to describe them is “quirky.” They have wacky clothes. They have a cool home. And – unlike Hannah Horvath – they both have fun, sunny attitudes toward life. So, if Clarissa went to college, became an el-ed major, and held onto her obsession with tights, you have Jess. If Clarissa decided to become a hipster in college, started writing for the school literary mag and reading a lot of McSweeney’s, and went to slightly seedier college parties, she graduated and became Hannah.

Salute Your Shorts = Community

Salute Your Shorts: A group of teens are thrown together for summer camp, and form all of the bonds and rivalries that you’d expect in that kind of close situation. They work both with and against the camp’s administration (counselor Ugg) and truly become a community of their own. There are even themed genre episodes – Zeke The Plumber, everyone? The characters are surprisingly well-developed for a kids’ show, with the jock, nerd, and popular girl presented as being complex people instead of just stereotypes.

Community: A group of adults are thrown together in community college, and through forming a study group, they become a… well, community of their own as well. Like in Salute Your Shorts, there is a love for Greendale Community College, but just like the kids at Camp Anawanna, they also have to work against it sometimes. I don’t think I even need to tell you about the genre episodes. Character development is a big deal on this show, too, and the former athlete and the brainy liberal arts girl aren’t just two-dimensional.

Hey Dude = Brooklyn Nine Nine

Hey Dude: Somehow, a bunch of teenagers are working at a Dude Ranch, because… why not, I suppose? It filled pretty much the exact same niche as Salute Your Shorts, except these kids had JOBS and RESPONSIBILITIES and HORSES. Never underestimate the pull of horses for tween girl viewers.

Brooklyn Nine Nine: This is one sitcom you should be watching if you aren’t already. Equal parts buddy cop (with multiple pairs of cop-buddies), workplace comedy, police procedural (er… kind of) – but with really clever writing an an awesome cast. Like Hey Dude, this is a funny ensemble show that actually shows people doing their jobs. Every kid who grew up watching Salute Your Shorts thinking “ugh, somebody get those irresponsible kids some stalls to muck or cows to lasso” should watch Brooklyn Nine Nine, a workplace show where people actually work.

The Adventures Of Pete And Pete =  Parks And Recreation

The Adventures Of Pete And Pete: This show is probably the reason our generation has been into quirky indie comedies since we were in high school. This small-town sitcom is a bit absurd, and centers around two brothers named – you guessed it – Pete and Pete. The show was so matter-of-fact about the weird goings-on of the town that the place became a character unto itself, and the audience accepted all of its weird quirks at face value.

Fun Fact: The Wellsville of Pete and Pete is apparently supposed to be Wellsville, NY. I live about 100 miles from there and have passed through on plenty of trips, and honestly, apart from an annual Balloon Rally it’s not that interesting.

Parks and Recreation: If you grew up loving slightly offbeat comedies about life in a more-than-slightly-offbeat town, you may as well watch Parks as an adult. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of this show around here, but we’ve never stopped to consider that our childhood watching Pete and Pete primed us for this small-town comedy about a group of unusual personalities. Like our favorite redheaded brothers, the folks in Pawnee face situations that are a touch more surreal than you’d see in real life, but the show somehow manages to be more true-to-life than a lot of more ‘realistic’ comedies.

The Secret World Of Alex Mack = Orphan Black

The Secret World Of Alex Mack:How good was this show? So good, right? Alex Mack was a junior high student who was hit with a truck from a chemical plant, and she developed special powers like being able into morph into a puddle of what looked like mercury, moving objects with her mind, and conducting some sort of electrical charge. Alex, with the (sometimes grudging) help of her brainy sister Annie, had to keep her powers on the down low so the folks at the chemical plant wouldn’t find out about her and … well, I’m not sure if we knew what they would do. Experiments, probably.

Orphan Black:  Here’s another show about a young ladies who are scientific freaks because of circumstances beyond their control (they’re clones). Once again, they have to escape the clutches of the sketchy Dyad Institute, and creepy Dr. Leekie, who are already collecting samples and monitoring the clones against their will. Like Alex Mack, Orphan Black deals with the ethics of scientific progress. No, really –  a major issue ahead is going to be the copyright of human DNA.

Space Cases = Battlestar Gallactica

Space Cases: It’s hard, guys. It’s hard walking around under the burden of being the only person alive who remembers the show Space Cases. It was a short-lived children’s sci-fi show set in space. I think this one is due for a re-watch, if only to revel in the low-budget 90s-ness of it all. Some of the props were evidently things like CDs glued together, and the game Lights Out pasted to the wall. See, things like this are why the Montreal TV industry – and children’s cable sci fi shows – never really took off.

Battlestar Gallactica – I’m positive that this is a sci-fi show with space ships, the future, and I’m pretty sure aliens. Okay, you caught me. I’ve never seen it. But there haven’t been too many outer space-based sci fi shows in recent years, and this is the closest one I could find in the near past. I suppose Stargate Atlantis is another option.

Noozles = Doctor Who

Noozles: According to Wikipedia, this show is 1000% more confusing and screwed-up than I remember it being. But basically, it’s like this: Noozles were adorable koala bears, but only certain people could know that they were actually aliens!

Doctor Who: Doctor Who is an adorable British man, but only certain people can know that he’s actually an alien!

The Mystery Files Of Shelby Woo = Scandal

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo: Shelby Woo was a ridiculously talented teen who, with the help of a mid-90s PC and her crew of friends, solved mysteries and fought crime. As a mere teenager, Shelby wasn’t officially part of the police department, but we all know that Shelby Woo was the law.

Scandal: Children who grew up without questioning how it was possible to solve mysteries in a short span of time with the help of just an internet connection and a rag-tag crack team of experts – without wondering why the proper law enforcement didn’t just deal with crime itself instead of allowing a non-officer to take the reins — well, those children probably grew up to watch Scandal. Like Shelby Woo, Olivia Pope is able to fix anything – even stuff that technically, we’re pretty sure somebody else should be handling.

Nick News With Linda Ellerbee = 20/20

We love you, Linda. We don’t care what Dawson Leery says.

Nick News: This was a kids’ news magazine which tried to deliver the “who, what, where, when, why and how”  of the age to kids whose other main source of news was that Scholastic Weekly Reader that you’d get on Friday afternoons when your teacher had basically given up for the week. To be quite honest, Nick News did an admirable job of it, breaking down issues like presidential elections, the Gulf War, racism, and global warming down to a nine-year-old’s level without condescending. In fact, you can probably thank Nick News, in part, for the environmental “go green” push that’s sweeping the nation. Older adults were just getting into these issues after that Al Gore powerpoint, but us 90s kids grew up hearing about pollution and climate change from one Ms. Linda Ellerbee.

20/20: Well, this one also is able to break news and information down to a nine-year-old’s level. We may have mentioned this before, but both of us watched way more than a normal amount of 20/20 as kids. As a fourth-grader, I stayed up until 11 on Fridays because 20/20 was on at 10. At least these days, 20/20 is light on the news, heavy on the magazine, with a bunch of tiny segments simplifying stories as much as possible. Actually, maybe Nick News was better – at least they didn’t do monthly stories about “places you won’t believe our crew found a lot of germs!”

All That =  Saturday Night Live

Okay, this isn’t quite fair. All That was almost certainly intended to be a kids’ version of SNL, so there shouldn’t be any surprise here. But when you consider that today’s 20-somethings grew up watching Kenan Thompson on All That, it is sort of remarkable that we’re watching the same guy on the grown-up version of the show.

I may have been under-supervised as a kid, but I watched a lot of real SNL in the 90s (especially the older stuff), and was struck by how very not funny All That was in comparison. That Lori Beth Denberg sure could deliver the fake news, though.

Saturday Spotlight: It’s October 3rd


We’ve finally reached what many people proclaim is the best month of the year – October. Weather is chilly enough for cute, bundled-up outfits but not so cold that you’re waddling around like the little brother in A Christmas Story. Crisp leaves are in the air, pumpkin is in all your food, and everything looks amazing on Instagram. So of course, we had to write about all the great October happenings (On October 1st, He Asked Me What Day It Was) – and the not so great (am I supposed to start paying for heat, or…?).


One of our fav October events: Mean Girls Day, when we celebrate the movie that came out when we are teens – that teens actually still love today. And adults, of course. Here are some other people paying tribute to the day Aaron Samuels asked Cady what day it was.

First House Diaries #3: Cold Feet About Heat Season

Are you a renter in the northeast? Then there’s a good chance that heat season began for you yesterday. Your landlord is required by law to heat your residence (or make heat available, if you control the thermostat) to a certain threshold based on the outdoor temperature.

I bet that’s nice.

Meanwhile in first time home owner land, I’m just sitting here in a robe and fuzzy socks, sipping hot tea and wondering if hot water bottles at the foot of your bed are a burn hazard.

Are any of you always cold, no matter what you do? Because I’m always cold. My core body temperature usually measures in the low 97s, sometimes lower. Whenever anyone touches my hand, they usually end up pressing it between their palms for a few seconds because they can’t believe how cold it is. I use throw blankets on the couch in the summer. My heaviest winter coat is essentially an ankle-length down blanket. It’s probably a reflection of my, you know, overall frosty demeanor and chilly affect, right? But it’s also sort of an asset in this heating dilemma. I’m so used to sleeping in sweatshirts in the winter, or putting on an extra pair of socks, or sipping on warm beverages to unthaw, that it doesn’t feel like a huge imposition.

It’s hard to believe that mere weeks ago, I was trying to strategically position box fans, ceiling fans, and cross-breezes in 90+ degrees and 90% humidity so that I didn’t have to start using an air conditioner.

What does that tell you? Well first of all, I live in an area with a lot of temperature extremes. But also, I am one cheap homeowner. Out of deference to real, legitimate broke people, I will not call myself a broke homeowner, because I could afford to plug in an air conditioner and heat my house to 68. Call it stubbornness, or call it some sort of all-American rugged individualism or puritanical self-denial, it just doesn’t seem like the best use of my money.

Let’s put it in 90s nostalgia terms. If you played Oregon Trail as a kid, you’d know that there were two kinds of players. Some people magnanimously paid for the ferry across the river, the bags of grain at the trading post, and the leisurely trek across the prairie. Then there was the other half: grueling pace, meager rations, hope Joeyisabutt doesn’t get typhoid. I’d caulk my wagon to ford the river, because the wagon was an investment – just like I will get my gutters cleaned and have my furnace inspected every year, because I’m cheap, not stupid. I guess the question – in Oregon Trail and in life – is how much of your budget do you want to devote to being comfortable?

There’s one thing that will break my resolve: house guests. I remember visiting my grandparents as they implored me to “take off your coat, stay a while!” as my mother made “you’re being rude” eyes at me. It was like a frigid cave in there. I don’t want to be the house that people have to visit wearing a parka and wielding an ice pick, because I’ve been there. In college, one of my roommates was convinced that we should keep the temperature at 60 and just bundle up in the dead of winter.  I was already wearing sweaters and slipper-socks and waddling around wrapped in swaddling clothes. One of us would always up the thermostat to 70, then she’d come home and adjust it back down to 60. We called it the Cold War, because no actual battles were fought, no aggression exchanged. Also because we were freezing. But now that I am not splitting the heat bill with five other people, it doesn’t seem quite so crazy.

Here’s where it stands right now. When I woke up this morning, my house was 59 degrees. It was 45-ish outside.  Am I crazy to think that isn’t so bad? Yet 59 indoors when it’s 15 degrees outside would feel frigid. I feel like before long it will be in the 60s again, so there’s no need to jump the gun. When my house dips below 55, or the air outside stays in the 30s and 40s for days on end, then I’ll have to do something. I’m just wondering how much longer I can hold out, because as they say about Game of Thrones, a show we don’t watch, winter is coming.


On October 1st, He Asked Me What Day It Was

It’s October 1st.

Do you guys feel like there’s a large majority of people that are particularly obsessed with this month? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy October, but there are folks who are in love with October. But I suppose they have good reason. While September marks a time when kids go back to school and it’s technically fall, October is kind of like the after-dinner mint of summer. Enough to signify summer’s done, but leaves you feeling like you need to order a slice of cake to fully get into dessert.

October is when it starts to cool down everywhere and there’s a literal shift in the air. We finally acquiesce to wearing more pants instead of skirts, ordering more hot coffee instead of iced, crockpots instead of ice cream makers. For some reason, there’s more of a deliberate move into fall throughout the month of October, with certain habits, routines and traditions we take on. These are just some of the things that get us through the month, and perhaps why October is thought to be the best of them all.

It’s October 3rd

Of course, we start off with National Mean Girls Day (not a real holiday, but most of those ‘National’ days aren’t anyways). It may not fall on a Wednesday this year, but Mean Girls devotees and Plastics everywhere will be wearing pink and Aaron Samuels/Jonathan Bennett will have his annual day of, ‘Hey guys, remember me? I still exist’ on social media.

Pumpkin Errything

If something says ‘Seasonal Item’ stamped across an item, it signals the impulse in our brains to BUY IT BUY ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW. From PSL to pumpkin pie Pringles to actual pumpkin pies, we tend to be inundated with orange everywhere… and for most of us, we give in.

And Then Swipe Left On This

Burger King announced they’re also getting in the October spirit by releasing something called the Halloween Whopper, which is basically their signature burg, but with a black bun. Said bun apparently has A1 steak sauce baked into it and has a black pepper flavor flav, and basically it’s disgusting. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you have to make your taste buds suffer.

Insta That Shit

For the non-California/West Coast residents, you get the privilege of seeing the leaves change colors to something out of a Bob Ross painting IRL. But instead of putting it on canvas, sharing these picturesque landscapes and feet crunching on the ground is perfect for social media.  #Foliage #Fall #Autumn #Leaves #Colors #ILoveFall 

It Gets Super Dark

I realize that we’re nearing the end of Daylight Savings Time, but it always, always catches me off guard when I look outside one second and it’s light out then next thing I know it’s pitch black. I leave work around 7p, so I’m used to the sun going down around the time I leave, but the past few days it’s been like a blackout. Like the picture above is me. #BlackoutSelfie.

Avoid The Candy

legit how i would organize my candy as a kid. i was a nerd.

As adults, Halloween becomes more about going out to parties and collecting alcohol as opposed to going out to strangers’ houses and collecting candy. And because we’re adults, we’re more apt to think, ‘I’m a grown ass man/woman, I can just buy a bag of candy any damn day I want!’. But then at work they have candy lying around and everywhere you look there’s free candy – next thing you know, you’re surrounded by wrappers and you wake up from your sugar coma wondering what just happened. And it happens pretty much from mid-October on to mid-November. This is a problem. Avoid it at all costs. What would your dentist say??

Deciding Which Halloween Parties Not To Go To

actually a nightmare

As previous mentioned, Halloween in your 20s means bars and parties and less going door-to-door. But I’m gonna be honest with y’all – as I approach the big 3-0, I want nothing to do with that. Maybe it’s just me, and I fall in a minority (in more ways than one) of not wanting to go rage in an outfit I’m only going to wear once. Is it a sensible affair with wine and mostly people I know? I’m available. Count me out if it’s a party with more than one Sexy *Item that should never be sexy* costume and a keg. I’m actually too old for that shit.

Scared Straight

Halloween is one of the few holidays that circle around the tradition of watching a certain genre of movies  – Christmas has its own set of films and scary movies are reserved for Halloween. I personally don’t partake in this particular tradition, as I’m more of a Twitches girl, myself. But I get the allure.

Christmastime Is Here

I hate to say it, but I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the store displays with my own two eyes and it’s real.

Hamilton Explained: The Schuyler Sisters

True to our promise, we’re becoming a Hamilton blog. Okay, maybe not full time, but you didn’t really think we’d stop at one post, did you? We’ve both been playing the cast recording nonstop, and new references and allusions rise up in the songs every time we listen. I’m sure we’ll keep discovering more, but we’re ready to start unpacking some of the many-layered references in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics.

First up – our introduction to the O.G. Kardashians, the Destiny’s Child-Made-Entirely-Of-Beyonces, the It Girls Of The Eighteenth Century… the Schuyler Sisters. Lyrics are in italics, the lines that I’m elaborating on are in bold, and our comments are next to bullet points.

The Schuyler Sisters

There’s nothing rich folks love more
Than going downtown and slumming it with the poor
They pull up in their carriages and gawk at the students in the common
Just to watch ‘em talk

  • In 1773, Alexander Hamilton began studying at King’s College – now Columbia University – in New York. King’s College was “overwhelmingly loyalist” at the time. [source]
  • The Liberty Pole in the Common (City Hall Park) was a popular site for debates between the Loyalists and Patriots. [source]
  • As a student, Hamilton wrote treatises, delivered speeches, and was known to frequent the Liberty Pole in the common. [source, source]
  • From similar in flow and topic to Melle Mell’s verses in Grandmaster Flash classic The Message. [source, source]

Take Philip Schuyler, the man is loaded

  • The Schuylers were a prominent Dutch American family, and Philip’s wife was Catherine Van Rensselaer of the absurdly-wealthy-and-influential Van Rensselaers. Colonial power couple, right there. [source]
  • And his house was pretty legit:schuyler

Uh oh, but little does he know that
His daughters, Peggy, Angelica, Eliza
Sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at

  • The Schuyler sisters, raised in the pretty good mansion pictured above, stayed with their aunt and uncle for a time in Morristown, NJ. At the time, Philip was serving in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. [source] They met officers in Morrisown, a revolutionary hotspot. [source]

Work, work
Work, work
And Peggy!
Work, work
The Schuyler sisters

  • The repeated “work, work” in the chorus is a bit reminiscent of Do You Love Me by The Contours – possible coincidence. [source]



  • A Rap Genius user suggests that this might be a tribute to the roll call in Hairspray’s The Nicest Kids In Town. [source]

Daddy said to be home by sundown
Daddy doesn’t need to know
Daddy said not to go downtown
Like I said, you’re free to go

  • I haven’t tracked down evidence of the Schuyler sisters gallivanting through New York – although TBH if it was a stealth sneak-out like Angelica’s describing, I guess I wouldn’t find that anyway. But since New York City was occupied by the British during the war, Philip Schuyler probably wouldn’t have wanted his daughters there. [source]
  • But—look around, look around
    The revolution’s happening in New York
    New York
  • The repeated New York, New York sounds a bit reminiscent of the Alicia Keys chorus in Empire State Of Mind.


It’s bad enough Daddy wants to go to war

  • Gen. Philip Schuyler was chosen as a major-general by the Continental Congress in 1775, and went on to aid the colonists in their instrumental victory at the Battle of Saratoga.[source]

People shouting in the square

  • During the Revolutionary War era news and treatises were often read in public (town criers, anyone?) and public debates were common, as mentioned in the first verse. Imagine a live-action internet comments section.

It’s bad enough there’ll be violence on our shore
New ideas in the air

Look around, look around—

Angelica, remind me what we’re looking for

She’s looking for me!

Eliza, I’m looking for a mind at work (work, work)
I’m looking for a mind at work (work, work)
I’m looking for a mind at work (work, work)

  • A twitter user pointed out that “looking for a mind at work” seems to be a West Wing reference:

This was also mentioned on [Which I always thought was called Rap Genius??]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda has confirmed West Wing as an influence in writing Hamilton. [source]

Ooh, there’s nothing like summer in the city
Someone in a rush next to someone looking pretty

  • Potential allusion: The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer In The City – Hot town, summer in the city / Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty

Excuse me, miss, I know it’s not funny

  • Potential allusion: Jay-Z’s Excuse Me Miss. Not convinced because the flow sounds nothing like that one, but this verse definitely sounds like … something? Right? Anyone?

But your perfume smells like your daddy’s got money
Why you slummin’ in the city in your fancy heels?
You searchin’ for an urchin who can give you ideals?

Burr, you disgust me

Ahh, so you’ve discussed me
I’m a trust fund, baby, you can trust me

  • A play on “trust fund baby” – a rich kid with family money.

I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was a 1776 pamphlet that you probably read or learned about in American history. It was extraordinarily popular and was influential in drumming up popular support for the Patriots’ cause. [source]

So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane

  • One Burr biographer described Angelica as “witty, intelligent, and rambunctious,” which is a nicer way of saying it anyway? [source]

You want a revolution? I want a revelation
So listen to my declaration:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident

That all men are created equal”

  • Declaration of Independence,  1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal […].”
  • Its words were echoed 70 years later at the Seneca Falls Convention, in the Declaration of Sentiments (We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal). Which will be relevant in like two seconds.

And when I meet Thomas Jefferson (unh!)
I’mma compel him to include women in the sequel

  • So, there’s that: the words of the Declaration were an important part of Americans’ continued fight for independence. Maybe not an intentional reference, but still interesting.
  • As for the Thomas Jefferson part: Angelica Schuyler Church carried on extensive correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. From his letters to her, it looks like she at least tried to talk politics, to little avail. Jefferson wrote: “You see by the papers, and I suppose by your letters also, how much your native state has been agitated by the question on the new Constitution. But that need not agitate you. The tender breasts of ladies were not formed for political convulsion.” [source] Can’t win ’em all.
  • Aaron Burr, however, would have agreed with Angelica: he was really into Mary Wollstonecraft. [source]. But he was still kind of a dick, though.


Look around, look around at how
Lucky we are to be alive right now

  • This could be a reference to the ‘look around, look around, look around’ part of June Is Bustin’ Out All Over from Carousel, which I forgot was like 10 minutes long. [source] Probably not, because Carousel just doesn’t feel like an influence here. Plus “look around” is like …. kind of a common expression.
  • Okay, now we’re heading into repeat lyrics, so it’s a good time to mention that I grabbed the lyrics from, where folks collaborate on explaining and breaking down lyrics. No doubt more will be added there over time, so you may want to look back in a while. [source]
  • Official lyrics are here.
  • And finally, we can both vouch that dropping $20 on the iTunes album was two Hamiltons well-spent.

Look around, look around at how
Lucky we are to be alive right now
History is happening in Manhattan and we
Just happen to be in the greatest city in the world

In the greatest city in the world!

Cause I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine
(look around, look around)((hey, hey, hey, hey))
So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane
(the revolution’s happening in)((hey, hey, hey, hey))
(New York) You want a revolution? ((look around, look around))
I want a revelation (In New York, woah)
So listen to my declaration ((the revolution’s happening))

We hold these truths to be self evident
(look around, look around) (hey, hey)
That all men are created equal
(at how lucky we are to be alive right now) (hey, hey)

Look around, look around
At how lucky we are to be alive right now
History is happening in Manhattan
And we just happen to be
In the greatest city in the world (in the greatest city)
In the greatest city in the world!

Work, work
Work, work
And Peggy!
Work, work
The Schuyler sisters
Work, work

We’re looking for a mind at work (work, work)
Hey (work, work)
Woah-ah! (work, work)
Hey (work, work)
In the greatest city

In the greatest city
In the world!

In the greatest city in the world!

Nickelodeon’s Making You Feel Young/Old Again

There had been rumors that the head honchos over at Nickelodeon were conjuring something up – specifically aimed towards millennials – over this past month, and then last week, it was confirmed. Starting on October 5th, there would be a block of programming called The Splat from 10pm to 6am on Teen Nick. To kick it off, Kenan & Kel had a surprise reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by revisiting their iconic Good Burger sketch (despite the fact Kel said Kenan refused to ever be seen with him again?).

They couldn’t have had a better way to get people excited for The Splat, which will of course be showing reruns of Kenan & Kel and All That. Not to mention repeats of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Salute Your Shorts, Rocko’s Modern Life, Legends of The Hidden Temple, and more. So for all your college kids who are already staying up late writing those papers, here’s another excuse to keep procrastinating in the early hours of the morning.

Of course, we’re excited for this new programming (we did have an entire week dedicate to SNICK already), but I’m particularly excited after finding out they’re also showing old promos and interstitials that originally ran in the 90s/early 00s. Have you guys ever gone back and watched commercials from back then? It’s amazing and a black hole that is very hard to come out of when you’re trying to go to sleep (but if you want to waste time, is where it’s at).

Before The Splat actually kicks off next week, here are a few choice promos from old school Nickelodeon that will make you simultaneously get nostalgic and make you feel real old at the same time. Just remember that 1995 was 20 years ago, NOT 10.

Until The Fat Lady Sings

I feel like this particular bumper was played a lot, and one of the more memorable scenarios from the 90s. Watching it now, I’m just thinking how that actress must have haaated her life with that enormous wig on her head for hours.

A Cautionary Fruit Tale

First of all, these fruits remind me of those erasers from the 90s that you think would smell like whatever fruit it’s shaped like, but instead just smelled like plastic. Second, kids love a good pun. I mean, I love a good pun, but “orange you glad” is a classic. Add on the fact they’re singing, and you’ve got a catchy tune. Just ignore the fact they fall to their deaths at the end.

Whatever Happened to Porkchop?

Speaking of catchy tunes, any 90s kid can hum you the theme song to Doug. Moreover, the opening credits were also unforgettable thanks to its simplistic nature. It was only natural for Nickelodeon animators to create a bumper in its style.

Get Those Harmonies

Do these barbershop singers look like they’re three heads on one body? Also, why are they singing at night? And why are the billboard workers putting the posters up at night too?

Here With My Friends

I just realized Nickelodeon got to a point where they were like, ‘Hey, ya know what really works for us in these bumpers? A trio of random people/animals/things that sing our theme song in beautiful harmonies.’ This also reminds me of that All My Friends Are Dead book. THAT’S THE HARSH REALITY, KIDS.

Made on Windows Movie Maker

This looks like a commercial for Mad Gabs.

Akin to The Little Mermaid

They stepped up their game and added a lead singing fish. They got a bigger budget.

The Prequel to Chicken Run

Guys, we hit the jackpot. A whole gospel choir full of singing chickens!!


Watch Your Back, Michigan J. Frog

Um, was Nickelodeon throwing lowkey shade at WB? Actually I don’t think WB existed yet, so probs not? Still. This also looks like the croc from the Crocodile Dentist game, which I had to Google as “Alligator Game” then “Crocodile teeth” then finally “Crocodile Dentist”.

Where Are Your Parents?

So you’re telling me this kid fell asleep in the living room while watching Nickelodeon, was dreaming about Nickelodeon when he started sleepwalking back to his bed, where he slumbered and continued to dream about Nickelodeon, but only in orange splat form? Ok, just wanted to be clear.

If You’re Thinking About My Baby

The kids’ version of Michael Jackson’s Black or White.

It’s 1994: Let’s All Decorate Your Grandma’s House!

In this edition of Let’s All Decorate, we are delving into one of my personal fascinations: grandparents. For the design-obsessed, there’s something even more fascinating about grandparents than their stories about the Great Depression: their houses. It’s almost like irrespective of income or geography, everyone’s grandmas and grandpas were decorating from the same catalog.

The best thing about your grandma’s house – other than your grandma, naturally – was that it was sort of a time capsule. After a certain point, your grandma probably decided that she was done redecorating, so visits to her house were like going to the Happy Days set. Even my more modern, design-minded grandma had these amazing artifacts of my mom’s 1950s childhood in her basement and closets. Visiting your grandma was a bit like time-traveling or visiting a living history museum.

Like all of our Let’s All Decorate installments, we are focusing on a time in the near past – roughly 1994, during our peak childhood years. In 1994, the relatively hip baby boomers weren’t yet grandparents (my boomer parents have 8 grandkids, but they don’t have a “grandma” house). No, grandparents of 90s kids were members of the “greatest generation” – which did not stand for “greatest generation of decorators.”

Let’s all decorate in 1994: when your grandparents’ house was full of love. Love, and probably a wooden television case.

Candy You Weren’t Allowed To Eat

“Eat me!”, the candy said.

“Eat some candy!”, your grandma said.

“Don’t eat that!”, Your mom said.

Everyone’s grandma seemed to have glass jars of candy – gumdrops and Werther’s Originals were popular choices. And your mom never let you eat it. Was it old? Dusty? Merely decorative? Who would keep jars of candy that children weren’t allowed to eat? Old people, is who.

It’s like every trip to grandma’s kitchen was a visit to one of those wedding candy bar tables and nobody gave you a gift bag.

A TV In A Giant Wooden Box


In the 1950s, there was an unfortunate collision of home decor forces: the rise of the television, coupled with the rise of suburban Colonial Revival. The result: the television set they would have watched in Colonial Williamsburg, complete with spindles and a drawer that didn’t open.

Fun fact: I remember my grandma searching for a new TV in the mid or late 90s. She complained about how hard it was to find TV sets in the giant wooden box, which she preferred because she said it looked nicer and warmer. Grandparents found naked televisions sort of stark and electronic-looking.

Grammy eventually found the wooden 13 Colonies Television, by the way. I imagine it was in a special basement stockroom marked “Grandma TVs.”

Paneling, Somewhere

When the grandparents of the 90s were the parents of the 1950s – 1970s, somebody convinced all of them that wood paneling was easy to clean and maintain, and could look either stately or rustic depending on how you styled it. My dad’s parents proudly proclaimed that they would never have to paint their living and dining room again!

Yeah. Because it looks like Pa Ingalls’ cabin, instead.

By the 1990s, nobody was installing wood paneling, but most grandparents still had it somewhere in their home, even if only in a basement lounge.

These Bowls

You know why everyone’s grandma had these bowls – often in way less appealing colors? Because she bought them in 1961 and Pyrex is indestructible. My mom has a set too, and I wish I did as well, because these bowls are the best.

Carpeting Where There Shouldn’t Be

And it was always gold or brown for some reason? And just a little bit too long.

When my parents bought their house from some older people in 2000, the entire house was full of gleaming original hardwoods – except the kitchen and the bathroom. The two very worst places to have carpeting.

Possibly Some Clear Runners On The Hardwoods Or Carpeting

Why even have hardwoods? Or carpeting? It really added to the “this is a museum of American life in 1976” vibe.

Toilet Paper And Kleenex Receptacles

Where grandma’s glue gun chops really had a chance to shine. Grandparents loved keeping a spare role on top of the toilet, and covering it in either a floral and lace-trimmed box, or maybe a hand-knitted cozy. Sometimes the toilet paper cover looked like like a human woman from the past, to go with the misguided colonial motif.

Weirdly Dark Lamps

They’re lamps. Yet they’re somehow making everything look darker.

This one kind of chair

Both sets of grandparents had these. I scoffed, but now I kind of which I had them for some of those hard-to-fill corners of my house.

Drapes. Not Curtains. Drapes.

That you’d draw, not open or close. These were usually heavy, light-blocking, and in some kind of a gold  or mustard color.

A tweed couch

Not always the primary couch, it may have been a pullout in the family room for grandkid sleepovers. It wasn’t necessarily plaid.

Knick Knacks From The Land Of Their Ancestors

Whether your grandparents were right off the boat or daughters and sons of the American Revolution, they probably displayed their pride in their ancestral homeland through figurines, dolls, and plaques.

[Aside: in my weird family, my grandpas were both those Irish-American guys for whom “being Irish” is like their number one hobby, so ancestral knick-knacks abounded. I don’t even think I knew until mid-childhood that my grandmothers weren’t at all Irish. Go figure.]

Maybe some religious stuff, too

This varied. I had one of those Catholic grandmas who had all of the merch, so there were statues, portraits and rosaries all over that joint. At the very least, your grandparents probably had a church or synagogue directory with their photo in it, and phone numbers of all the other old people.

There were other things some grandparents’ houses had, like absurdly old photos of you, old people smell, and plates full of baked goods that were foisted on you as soon as you walked in the door. But without the heart and soul of the 1994 grandparents’ house – their total love for and obsession with their grandkids – it would have just been a collection of decorating mistakes and DIY disasters.

ICYIMI: Pope-a-Palooza

DC, Philly and New York – hope you’re surviving Pope Francis mania. Thank God (lit’rally) he’s heading back to Italy today so your roads will be (fairly) back to normal!

So The Pope’s In Your ‘Hood

Yesterday, Pope Francis touched down in his Shepherd One (large Alitalia plane) in Washington, D.C. for his first visit to the States as Pope (and as a human). It marked the beginning of a five-day trip on the east coast, and if I’m being real, interrupted my viewing of Ellen with Lester Holt describing a Fiat 500L. Even if you’re not Catholic, or religious, it’s still fascinating to keep up with, and if you’re a resident of DC, New York or Philadelphia, it’s kind of necessary since it will probably either make or break your day. So if you’re in one of these cities where the Pope is lit’rally blessing you with his presence, here are some guidelines to follow to stay sane with the holy one.

Get Ready For Angry Commuters

In Los Angeles, we already deal with a lot of traffic. But people’s anger is tested when the President is in town, as major streets have to be closed, subsequently rerouting folks all over the place. It’s the kind of anger that’s usually taken out on all social media platforms by pretty much anyone. There’s nothing worse than assuming you’ll be on time for work only to find out the roads are closed and you have to take 15 side streets instead, but everyone else is doing the same thing and you’re at a full stop and the only way to vent your frustration is by tweeting #THANKSOBAMA.

Spot His Ride

In likely Pope fashion, he got off the plane, walked on a red carpet, greeted the Obamas and misc. members of the archdiocese and got in his sleek, black, spacious Fiat 500L. If you’re one of the folks who saw this and thought, ‘Well that’s a choice’, Pope Francis is known for using more modest cars, as a reflection of his emphasis for a simple less consumeristic lifestyle. Still, the Popemobile is nothing compared to the whip he usually rides in all around the Vatican, a Renault 4 that’s 20 years old and has over 170,000 miles on it. I know Catholics are super not into change, but come on bro, at least see if Fiat can score you a 500L after giving them free advertising.

Hey, remember when Pope Francis’ predecessor quit? That was a good time.

So The Pope Dumped You

So, your Pope has left you. Abdicated. Resigned. Whatever you call it, one day you had a Pope, and the next you didn’t. “I thought we were infallible!,” you say. “Bonds only broken by death! Probably yours, because you’re really, really old!”

I know. I know. It’s hard. The worst breakups are the ones where you never saw coming. In these days adjusting to life without a Pope, I’m here to offer words of support. There are plenty of Cardinals in the sea. It’s not you, it’s him. Or Him. I’m not sure which. Have you ever thought about online church?

Like many ladies who have been dumped, I am turning to the seminal self-help dating guide, He’s Just Not That Into You, and its companion volume, It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken. You may know these books from the Sex and the City tie-in, or more likely, from reading them stealthily in the corner of a bookstore or library while heartbroken. Here is some advice from these books, and how it can help you in these dark, Pope-less days.

  • He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Breaking Up With You

I know you thought you were special to him, but considering he’s leaving you in the dust, Pope Benedict XVI was just not that into you. If he were, he’d be here.

  • He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared On You

One day, you guys are doing great. The Pope is retweeting your witty Latin retorts and answering all your prayers. Then you notice that he’s suddenly off of Facebook every time you sign on. You text the Pope, and he gets back to you two days later, and is all, “my phone was charging.” Before you know it, every time you try to receive a benediction at St. Peter’s, the Pope is all, “sorry, I have to shepherd to the faithful in Somalia this week.” And you check the news, and the Pope wasn’t even IN Somalia. Sorry, lady — the Pope’s just not that into you.

  • He’s Just not that into you if he’s married (and other insane variations of being unavailable)

This one, along with the chapter “he’s just not that into you if he’s not having sex with you,” really says it all about your relationship with the pope. He’s married to God, or something, and also to the whole Church. You really expect someone who is married to the entire largest religion in the world to be into you? He’s not and I’m sorry.

  • He’s just not that into you if he only wants to see you when he’s drunk

The ONLY time Pope Benedict XVI called you to worship was when he had a chalice of communion wine at the ready. You didn’t feel even a little weird about that?

  • Don’t See Him Or Talk To Him For 60 Days

The best advice I’ve ever received is to cut off contact for a good long while – like, a month or two, at least. Don’t call the pope. Don’t answer his texts. Delete his number if you have to. Block the pope on G-Chat. Unfollow him on Twitter. You need to get that pope out of your head, and the only way to do that is to move on. When that white smoke appears above Vatican City, you don’t want to be all hung up on the old pope. You want to be ready to love again.

  • Get Rid Of His Stuff And The Things That Remind You Of Him

“But this CD has Pope Benedict’s favorite hymn on it!” – No. Stop. Who still has CDs anyway? Are you my dad?
“P.B.16 gave such a great speech on this piece of catechism!” – Put it down. Now.
“But my commemorative Pope Benedict collector’s plate might be worth big money some day!” – No it won’t. We all remember what happened with Beanie Babies.

  • Get Your Ass in Motion Every Day

You can’t just lounge around eating communion wafers all day. First of all, I think that’s church-illegal. Second, it’s just pathetic. Join an activity. Go to church, where the constant sitting and standing is a small-scale aerobic workout. Or stay home if that’s still too fresh and painful for you. Maybe join a book club*. Like eight out of ten book club members are people who have just been through breakups and need a distraction. The other two are new to the city.

* In the interest of full disclosure, sometimes my friends and I have “book club” but that’s just code for watching Dance Moms and drinking wine.

Saturday Spotlight: #Hamiltunes: I’m Willing To Wait For It


Of course, we’ve both been following Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway hit, Hamilton (do they still say “smash Broadway hit?”). This week the live stream of the cast recording was live streaming on NPR – so naturally, we posted a track-by-track reaction of our favorite uses of foreshadowing, Shakespeare references, and Leslie Odom Jr’s gorgeous voice.