How Did I Miss That? Gilmore Girls Pilot Edition

Monday, October 5th marked the 15th anniversary of Gilmore Girls making its debut on the now defunct WB network. It was the beginning of a glorious six seven-season run of what is now considered one of the best TV series in history. We’ve stated our love for GG before – we’ve had a Gilmore Girls theme week leading up to the epic reunion we witnessed IRL at the ATX TV Festival in June WE EVEN MET #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN AND I’M JUST SAYING THAT BECAUSE  I STILL DON’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED. Needless to say, we’re fans.

GG has been part of my routine ever since I discovered it, and most of the time, if I watch a repeat, watching = doing other stuff while it’s in the background to make me feel comfortable and not alone. One of the reasons why I love the show so much is that there will be times, no matter how many times I’ve seen an ep, in which I’ll catch a joke or background thing or line I’ve never noticed before. It’s a GG mystery that I hope is never solved.

In the spirit of it being the 15th anniversary, I thought I’d revisit the pilot, and take note of all the things I either never noticed or realized before. I’d also like to mention that there is an unaired pilot floating around the Internet somewhere, and I could only find a script for it. However, I did get a hold of a janky clip which shows the original Dean, played by a rando Canadian actor (they shot the pilot in the greater Toronto area). It’s as weird as you think it is. Anyways, on with the show!

VIP Extra

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In the first scene in Luke’s, Rory comes in to meet Lorelai and as she comes in the door, a man passes by her as he’s exiting the diner. That guy is Daniel Palladino, executive producer, writer, sometimes director and full-time husband to GG creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Gilmore Speed in Slo-Mo

The pilot was obviously written by the one and only ASP, so although the dialogue itself is as consistent as it is throughout the her tenure on the show, it somehow feels a bit less fast-paced than we’re used to seeing in later seasons, and even later on in season one (sidenote: if that clip doesn’t make you tear up you’re not a true Gilly).

Is Lisa Frank Billing the Independence Inn?

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I’m assuming the papers Lorelai is going through here are random invoices and the ilk for the inn, so why is one of them rainbow colored and have stickers on it?

Short Skirt Long Jacket

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Look, I’m not a prude or anything, but does this skirt seem just a little toooo short for the manager of an inn? It’s quite the juxtaposition to Rory’s moo moo.

Teens Only

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I wasn’t aware hayrides were exclusively for teens? Or is this just a Stars Hollow thing? Taylor has some strict rules. Actually, Taylor’s not even in this episode, so maybe he doesn’t even exist yet.

Is The Whole Town Out?

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There are way too many extras in this scene, and most of them are completely unnecessary. Stars Hollow has a population of like 1,000-2,000. The town centre is one block. Is this crossing guard wasting his time here?

Crazy Carrie Pulls An Anna Nardini

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I think this is the one that gets me the most that I never noticed this, but Rory’s English teacher at Stars Hollow High is played by the same actress who appears as Crazy Carrie (Liz’s friend who’s too into Luke) in seasons four and five!

Mrs. Kim Rebrands

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We all know Mrs. Kim’s store is called Kim’s Antiques, as the above establishing shot tells us. But then a second later when the girls are going into the house, it’s named something completely different. The Glass Chimney? What does that even mean? And the sign’s also facing the wrong way? Also, Lane calls Mrs. Kim Mom and not Mama, which is somehow off-putting for me.

What Is Chilton, Anyways?


V old pic of me and my friend recreating this scene from the lorelai’s first day at chilton at greystone manor

When Lor and Sookie tell Rory she’s made it into Chilton, Sook excitedly tells Rory, “I’ll make cookies, Protestants love oatmeal”… is Chilton a Protestant school? Wasn’t aware it had religious affiliations at all.

Pre-Paul Anka

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Lor’s Got A Skirt Problem

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“Let me hem it.” “A little. Only a little.” Is one of Lorelai’s establishing characteristics that she really likes short skirts? And Rory doesn’t like short skirts? I don’t get it. Rory tries on her uniform for Chilton and it’s at a really weird length. Not to the ankle but not above the knee. As someone who went to Catholic school for most of my life, uniform skirts were supposed to be just below the knee, but if you were cool, you rolled your skirt up to go above. None of whatever Rory’s wearing rn.

The Pre-Rennovated Gilmore Residence

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Just like Luke’s and Lorelai’s house, the Emily & Richard Gilmore mansion is much different than it is in later seasons. Most notably, behind the couch Lor and Rory sit on is a wall, not an open space with stairs leading to the second floor that we’re used to. Also, Emily notes that Chilton is five minutes away from their house

Hot Dogs

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She’s one step away from a Hang In There poster.

He’s Got Jokes


RORY: You know you should check with Miss Patty. She teaches dance. She was actually on Broadway once.

I don’t really dance much. {😂😂😂}

RORY: No. She just kind of knows everything that’s happening in town. She’ll know if someone’s looking.

Oh. Great. Thanks.

Salad & Coffee Diet

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Mark this moment as one, if not the only, time you see the Gilmore girls eating salad. And what’s also disturbing is that Rory is washing it all down with orange juice?

What Year Does Rory Think It Is?

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I was in 8th grade when this first aired, so I was aware of fashion trends – but I don’t remember the combat boot/thick sock/tights combo Rory is sporting. Isn’t this more of a 1994 look? And it really bothers me that she put her shoes on her bed to take them off. It’s Connecticut and you walk everywhere, those things have to be so dirty!

My World Crumbles When You Are Not Near

In the beginning of the episode, Rory accuses Lor of stealing her Macy Gray CD (which is already questionable, because they don’t seem like the type to enjoy Macy Gray, and are more prone to make fun of her, but whatever). After Rory and Lor get into a semi-fight about Rory not wanting to go to Chilton after meeting Dean for the first time, Rory has a fit and presses play on her CD player and I Try by Macy Gray comes on. Then it cuts to Lor going into the living room and pressing play on her boom box and I Try starts yet again. Obviously it’s not the radio, but they only have one copy of this CD, no? Unless Lor burned it? Pretty sure she didn’t know how to do that.

How tall are you? Why? You wanna dance?

Rory is 5’7″? She’s tall. Still not as tall as Dean. Or her grandfather.

Another Maid Bites The Dust

The maid sees Lor angrily washing the dishes in the kitchen but doesn’t tell her to stop. I get why Emily would fire her.

Take A Break*

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Why is Richard sleeping at the dinner table? He starts off the Friday Night Dinner reading the newspaper during cocktail hour, and now he’s snoozing at the actual dinner table. They make Richard out to be a husband/dad who doesn’t seem to care, but I’m glad they developed him into a strong patriarch of the family. This was just odd seeing him so indifferent.

* This is a Hamilton reference.


What I Think Happens In Doctor Who (I Don’t Watch It).

Well, this one’s going to get me kicked off the internet: I’ve never seen Doctor Who. That is probably the most incendiary thing I’ll ever write here, at least until I get around to penning I’m Just Not That Into Mr. Darcy, And Other Jane Austen Opinions Nobody Asked For, or Macarons: Not That Delicious. As in What I Think Happens In Game Of Thrones (I Don’t Watch It), I haven’t abstained from this show because I think it’s bad. I haven’t watched it because:

  • I’m not sure where to start. One of the things I think I know about Doctor Who is that it’s been on forever and there have been a bunch of different Doctors Who. If I start at the wrong place, am I doomed to hate it?
  • A lot of people I know are fans. So if I don’t like it, I will take it to the grave.
  • Also, I always feel bad when I don’t like a show, even though I realize that David Tennant and co. won’t be crushed if Molly From The Internet isn’t a fan.
  • I reflexively stay away from anything with aliens. I watched a lot of Unsolved Mysteries as a kid and was terrified that I could be scooped up at any moment. [There was an admittedly half-assed abduction attempt around this time, and I just now realized I probably had a misplaced fear of humans scooping me up at any moment? Who knows.]

I’m sure I will watch a few episodes at some point. But before I do, I want to get down what I THINK happens in the show so I can laugh at it later … and you can all laugh at it now.

  • If you aren’t from North America, it looks like normal tv from a regular channel. If you are from North America, it looks like cable access or maybe Wishbone episodes from the late 90s.

    To be clear, “like Wishbone” is never an insult.

  • Doctor Who is an alien who can look like anything, but who always chooses to look like a British man.
  • He has a sidekick, who he calls a “companion” like he’s Aunt March and somebody has to read him the Gospel Of Luke at Plumfield.
  • The companion could also technically be anyone, but in practice is always a young, attractive British woman.
  • For a while his companion is that one blonde girl who’s like British Tyra Collette.

    Plus maybe some Burberry.

  • He has a mission. Helping people, probably? Sounds fake.
  • When Doctors Who quit, they just get a new one and they’re like “no, it’s still the same guy inside, but he’s an alien who turned into a different attractive but not hunky-attractive, wry but not smarmy British man, don’t worry.” And nobody does.
  • They always meet up at an old-fashioned red phone booth.
  • No. I think blue.. Police booth? I can picture it.

    I wouldn’t let myself Google Image it until I had written the whole post, because I was afraid of accidentally finding something out.

  • Like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

    “Actually, no.” – my image search results.

  • I haven’t been to England for 8 years, but I definitely saw a billion red phone booths and zero police booths, so I’m not sure how incognito that is.
  • I think sometimes there’s time travel. Why am I not watching this again?
  • The spaceship is called Tardis and no, I have no clue what that means. Tennant And Regular Dudes In Space?
  • There’s sometimes a big Christmas episode. But I bet it airs on Boxing Day. I just bet.
  • I’m almost positive at some point there are dinosaurs.
  • The special effects are reminiscent of Space Cases or Halloweentown.

    Exhibit A.

    Exhibit B.

  • It’s not America, so sometimes they let unattractive people be on the show if they’re good at acting.
  • It’s not America, so adult characters have parents who are actually 55+.
  • I bet at some point they tried to do a social issue tie-in episode and it sucked.
  • The series, though generally good, has a few episodes that are just notoriously, horribly bad.
  • Is his companion called Poppy one time?
  • He’s not a doctor. Not a medical doctor, anyway.
  • The companion has to make up a series of increasingly implausible lies so her loved ones don’t find out.
  • They don’t fall in love every time.
  • But even when they’re not technically “in love” they totally are.
  • Wait. Maybe every once in a while the sidekick/companion is a dude, like Robin to his Batman.
  • The show has been on FOREVER. Like since the 1960s or ’70s, I think? But it took a break for a while and nobody watches the early years.
  • Also, the Doctor was not so attractive until the more recent reboots.
  • They must have catch phrases.

    There’s a chance I’m thinking of Full House.

  • There’s something like a Dilek.
  • I know that isn’t the word exactly, but that IS the name of a girl who was friends with one of my college roommates, and it is something like that.
  • Anyway. I have no clue what the Dilek is but the phrase my brain keeps going to is “bad guy spaceship.” I don’t think that’s right, though. It might be more like a friendly alien.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch is not in Doctor Who. Tom Hiddleston is not in Doctor Who. Eddie Redmayne is not in Doctor Who. However, there’s a near-1:1 ratio of people who like this show and who like those guys. Which is why I always feel like they were in it.

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Ghost

In honor of it being October and all, I figured my Pop Culture Blind Spot should be Halloween appropriate, hence, Ghost… Get it? This is the movie where they’re all dressed like this, right?

JK, I’m not that dumb.

I somehow missed out on a bunch of hit 80s/early 90s movies, as evidenced from my last post about Dirty Dancing (am I secretly on a Patrick Swayze binge? Maybe). But Ghost was also re-brought to my attention recently after listening to Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy podcast from May, when she interviews America’s favorite philandering fictional president, Fitzgerald Grant, aka Tony Goldwyn. If you have 2 hours to spare and are a Scandal/Fitz fan, you should probs listen to this (interview is here!). So they obviously discussed his role in Ghost, and I remembered that I haven’t actually seen the movie. Weirdly enough, my first real introduction was in the form of the musical adaptation during the national tour last year.

Prior to seeing the musical, I knew this about Ghost: Patrick Swayze is a ghost who maybe was dating Demi Moore and comes back to haunt her? Fitz from Scandal is the bad guy and Whoopi has a miscellaneous part.

And although I saw the musical recently, my knowledge is scant, Whoopi is a psychic and someone gets shot? Lit’rally saw it a year ago but don’t really remember what happened. I also figured the musical is a bit different from the OG movie.

So here we go – first time watching Ghost for real real – my body is ready for you young Fitz. (It’s on Netflix Instant if you want to follow along!)

Title credits are happening as the camera pans over a dark and dusty attic. It’s already more freaky sounding than I thought? It’s like the precursor to the Are You Afraid of the Dark? intro.


:03 TONY GODWYN ABS MAN HAS NOT CHANGED ALSo that was a typo. I somehow skipped the ‘L’ in Goldwyn but that’s gonna stay that way moving forward.

:05 The office office looks like Sterling Cooper in the 1980s. Patrick Swayze is Jon Hamm and Tony Godwyn is Pete Campbell. Except way hotter

:07 For some reason, they’re lifting an angel up into their apartment (FORESHADOWING??)

Forgot Demi’s name is Molly, and suddenly remembered the Molly, You in Danger Girl GIF. V excited about seeing its origin.

:10 Sam (PSwayze) is looking a little concerned, and tells Molly, “Whenever anything good in my life happens, I’m just afraid I’m gonna lose it.” More foreshadowing?!

:12 Even for 1990 that record player looks super futuristic.
 Ah yes, the pottery scene. I get why people think this is sexy but I’m just thinking how messy this is going to be and what a pain it’s going to be to clean up.

Wait they went from the pottery tutorial straight to having sex in the middle of their living room! But their hands are clean!!

:15 LOL at these old DOS screens Sam and Carl (T Godwyn) are using at work. How did we ever get stuff done on those things? Also, why type of company is this? A run-of-the-mill financial firm? I think I missed something.

Knowing Godwyn is the villain is totally changing how I’m watching him in this movie, because I’m looking for hints to his evilness now (this is along the same lines of why I hate spoilers). Per his interview with Aisha Tyler, Tony was recalling how during his audition, he was playing the Carl role as a sympathetic nice guy, but the director didn’t want him to do that, insisting that the viewers need to know he’s evil. But Tony argued, “‘I’m not doing that. You have to invest the audience in this character and make them hopefully fall in love with them and then the betrayal will be that much worse. You want to make them believe that I’m their (Molly & Sam’s) friend’. So I stuck to my guns and (director) Jerry was like, ‘You were right.'”

:19 Sam: “I say I love you all the time”, Molly: “No, you say Ditto.”

After seeing Macbeth on Broadway (Sam fell asleep), they walk home and talk about getting married when a guy appears from the shadows and attempts to rob Sam at gunpoint. Sam tries to retaliate and the mugger ends up shooting and subsequently killing him.

OK BUT ALSO why were you guys walking on a street with no street lights and at a leisurely pace late at night what did you think was gonna happen also how is it possible there’s no one out IT’S THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS.

:21 The blood looks so fake? There’s also a lot of it, but they take Sam to the hospital anyways.
:25 This old guy shows up to the hospital like hes been trolling the place forever and said of a guy doctors are attending to in the ER, ‘He’s not gonna make it. I’ve seen it a million times.’ What is the quality of this hospital?

Omg the special effects are like the magic school bus level when someone goes through Sam

:29 Molly & Sam’s cat just screamed and ran away after looking into Ghost Sam’s eyes. Nine lives and all, amirite?

:31 The mugger sneaks into Molly and Sam’s apartment looking for something, but let’s get down to it – why is there is so much crime in NY rn?

Molly comes back in and he sneakily watches her change her clothes. What a perv. GS manages to leverage the cat to jump and scratch the mugger, and he escapes because, he ain’t messin with no cat.

Molly hears noises (the mugger leaving her gd apartment) and says, “Is somebody there? Hello” YES SOMEONE’S THERE LOCK YOUR DOORS THERE IS CRIME

Well there’s one pro to being a ghost: free subway rides.

:35 This dude just attacks Ghost Sam because it’s “his train”??? Get a grip. Can’t a ghost just ride the train freely?

:38 Ghost Sam spots what I assume is Whoopi’s storefront as “Spiritual Advisor” who contacts the “dearly departed”. Is this the same thing as Long Island Medium?

This entire scene looks like a set up to steal customer Mrs. Santiago’s money. I mean look at Oda Mae’s outfit 
Also shouldn’t she be feeling the presence of Ghost Sam in the room? I wrote this script, it’s fine.

:44 “Are you white? It’s a white guy!” Oda Mae, getting to the bottom of things.

:47 Ghost Sam sings obnoxious diddies as a way to get Oda Mae to visit Molly so he can talk through her, including I’m Henry The Eighth I Am and 99 Bottles of Beer. Yup, he’s definitely white.

To be fair, both Molly & Oda Mae have vaild points in this – Molly doesn’t want to believe her dead boyfriend is talking through a rando “spiritual advisor”, while Oda Mae just wants to get this white guy out of her head.


Guys, Tony Goldwyn is SO HOT in this movie I cannot. But also, he hired this dude to steal Sam’s wallet but ended up murdering him? All for $80,000? Hope it was worth it.  Also how did Carl even get in contact with Willie Lopez?? Craigslist on the DOS?

1:06 Molly finds the penny in a jar Sam found the first day they were tearing down the apartment and smashes it to bits. RIP Sam. RIP lucky singular penny in a jar.

1:08 For selfish reasons, I would like to see Tony Godwyn in a sex scene right now, but preferably not with Molly because that would be horrible.

look at that face. look at that chest.

AS SOON AS I STOPPED TYPING THAT Carl purposefully spills HOT coffee on his shirt as an excuse to take it off and flaunt himself in front of Molly I’m dead. *Not as dead as Ghost Sam I asked for it and it started happening and I’m not okay with it. I just – what if Kerry Washington showed up and there was an Olitz scene I’d be fine with that. I’ve been watching too much Scandal.

1:12 Sam’s back on the train and sticking his head through the train in a hilarious fashion

Train Ghost is teaching him how to move objects.

“YOU AIN’T GOT A BODY NO MORE, SON” – Train Ghost, channeling Alexander Hamilton in Meet Me Inside

1:20 All the ‘spooks’ are in Oda Mae’s office because they somehow heard she can actually channel the dead. Some ghost named Orlando takes over Oda Mae’s body and Whoopi is killing it as this 50ish year old black guy. It’s legit as if this dude took over her body, it’s fantastic.

1:23 Ode Mae’s “I have a formal meeting at the bank to pass as someone who looks like they normally go to these meetings” outfit is *on fleek* 

Ghost Sam is instructing Oda Mae to get money out of some account before Carl can get to it and it requires him talking through her again and I would watch a spin off this if I could

1:30 Ghost Sam forces Oda Mae to give the $4 mil to some nuns, prompting her to say the second best quote in the movie:

Oda Mae Brown: I know you don’t think I’m giving this 4 million dollars to a bunch of nuns!
Sam: Think of it this way, you’ll go to Heaven.
Oda Mae Brown: I don’t want to go to Heaven, I want to go to the bank and cash a GODDAMN CHECK!

Carl checks on his account that he’s planning on swindling money from and he freaks out bc it’s not there and he’s literally sweating trying to find out where the money went


Carl is BUGGIN because Ghost Sam is haunting him, so he goes to Molly’s apartment, covered in sweat.

Molly Jensen: Carl, are you all right?
Carl Bruner: It’s just my stomach! Do you have anything like Pepto Bismol or something like that?
Sam Wheat: Cyanide!

Thanks to Train Ghost, Ghost Sam has mastered the art of touch animate objects, including people, so he pokes around at Carl, who looks like he could vom at any second. GS continues to punch Carl and even though I’ve never seen Roadhouse, I imagine it’s akin to this. Maybe that will be my next PCBS (Pop Culture Blind Spot), seeing as how I’m apparently on a Swayze streak.

1:39 Arsenio Hall cameo! 
“Don’t try to adjust your television, I’m black!” There’s a lot of race talk in this movie, which is interesting. I didn’t think that would be a recurring theme in Ghost.

1:41 Willie and Carl come looking for Oda Mae but she manages to escape. Willie on the other hand can’t escape Ghost Sam. He makes the books and art on the wallpapered walls come down towards Willie and they end up in the bathroom, where GS leaves Willie a sweet message:

And Willie decides to shoot at the mirror, because that will do the trick. Oh and Willie is dead. In a horrific accident that includes four vehicles, one of which runs him over. He becomes a ghost and sees Ghost Sam for the first time. All of a sudden what sounds like zombies are coming for Willie, then I realize he’s probs being taken off to hang with the Dev.

1:46 Oda Mae is still trying to get Molly to believe Ghost Sam is speaking to her, so he manages to “levitate” a penny (aka pick it up with his finger and hand it to her), but still, the 1990s special effects still make me laugh.

1:49 Oda Mae lets Sam take over her body a la Orlando from earlier and they cut it so Demi’s dancing with PSwayze to Unchained Melody and I might be crying a little

Ugh Cock Block Carl comes in during this tender moment, and Molly and Oda start running away from him, because he wants the check from Oda Mae, which as you remember, is being spent by those nuns from the street.

Yo Carl calm da fuq down, why do you have a gun and why are you trying to shoot at a ghost you can’t see??

For some reason, there’s still a lot of construction going on in their building, and their chase leads Ghost Sam and Carl to a part of the place where there is a hanging rope with a giant metal hook at the end, which Carl swings into NOTHING because he can’t see Ghost Sam, but it rebounds a second time, making glass from the window fall down onto Carl and impale him in the gut. Carl basically inflicted this upon himself.

You know, Ghost isn’t really about the supernatural, it’s a cautionary tale about greed.™ Life Lessons with Cookies + Sangria.

As a surprise to no one, Carl dies and goes to be Willie’s pal with the Dev in Hell. The foley artists probably had a blast making these groaning sounds the zombies/dementors make when taking someone away.

1:58 Ghost Sam checks in on Oda Mae and Molly, and surprise, surprise, Molls can actually see and hear him – because he’s about to go into the light. They have a super awkward “kiss” before he goes away for good, and legit his last words to her are, “See ya.”

And with that I say, it’s been quite a ride, P Swayze & Tony Godwyn. until next time.


Low-Fright Movie Night: Halloween Movies That Won’t Scare Your Pants Off

I love almost everything about Halloween. Candy? Awesome. Costumes? Fun! Falling leaves, cider, donuts, tacky decorations? Sure! But there’s one big part of the holiday I can’t get behind: being scared. Slasher movies gross me out. I love ghost stories and spooky stuff, but as night falls and I’m alone in my 105-year-old house, I really, really wish I had skipped it. Besides, there’s plenty of real-life stuff to be afraid of, like repaying my student loans, or the prospect that the dead mouse I found this morning has left a widow and children somewhere in my house. Scaring myself silly over things that probably don’t exist doesn’t help matters.

So what to do if you want to get into the Halloween spirit, but don’t want the Halloween spirit to keep you up in the middle of the night? Here are some of my favorite Halloween movies – either gently supernatural, or set during the season – that don’t leave me feeling all goosebumpy.

Harry Potter

Pick a Harry Potter, any Harry Potter! But for the gentle, slightly witchy fun I’m looking for – before things get quite so heavy and house elves start dying – I like to stick to the first three movies. The Halloween scene in Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s (/Philosopher’s) Stone is especially festive. Note: I have also convinced myself that some of the Harry Potter movies are Christmas-appropriate due to the occasional picturesque snowfall or Yuletide celebration in the Great Hall.

The Crucible

You know what’s REALLY scary? McCarthyism. While the only demon here was the mob mentality bred by religious fundamentalism (Halloween fun!!!), the talk of witches and rustic New England setting make this a great one to enjoy in October.

When the two of us were in high school, we covered this play in English (of course), and entertained ourselves for weeks by saying things like “I saw Goody Traci with the devil, she ‘ad ‘is poppet! She signed ‘is book!” in an inexplicably Cockney accent. Yes, we have always been exactly the people we are right now.

This is coming to Broadway with Saoirse Ronan and Tavi Gevinson as Puritan teens and I couldn’t be more excited.


There’s an awesome trick-or-treating scene, plus aliens always feel like at least a Halloween-adjacent topic. Halloween always makes me feel a little nostalgic and this movie takes me right back to my childhood in the late 80s and early 90s.

Hocus Pocus

Speaking of nostalgia, nothing could bring me back to my youth in a better way than the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus. It has an all-star cast – Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker! – gorgeous visuals, a fun plot, and even takes it back to Colonial times like the Crucible did. This movie is from 1993, but I swear it’s timeless. You can read our live blog here.

The Witches

Based on the Roald Dahl book, this movie has all the offbeat, macabre fun you’d expect, but it’s silly enough that – for an adult, anyway – it isn’t going to haunt your dreams.

Edward Scissorhands

This list is leaning heavily to movies that were shown on cable a lot when I was a child, but whatever, the 80s and early 90s were apparently a great era for non-scary, dark paranormal movies. Tim Burton movies, on the whole, are great Halloween viewing if you’re easily spooked, because everything is sort of dark and rickety, but it’s also absurd enough that it won’t scare you. There will be more where this came from!


Aha! Here we are again. Even as a little kid, I thought Beetlejuice was more fun than scary. What could be more Halloween-appropriate than an old-school “scary” movie night with Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and a few more from this list? While Tim Burton is an easy match for a list like this I’m also noticing that this is the third Winona Ryder movie so far.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Rounding out our Tim Burton trilogy, The Nightmare Before Christmas has an awesome aesthetic, great songs, and is part of a true golden era of Halloween entertainment (it came out the same year as Hocus Pocus! I was one lucky second grader).

The Addams Family

And Addams Family values: part of the weird 90s trend of making feature films out of long-dead tv shows (see also: The Brady Bunch, Leave It To Beaver, The Beverly Hillbillies). But while the show never particularly tickled my funny bone, this movie – particularly deadpan Wednesday Addams, played by a too-talented-for-her-age Christina Ricci – still holds up pretty well.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

None of the goblins and ghouls in Rocky Horror are scary  – in fact, the only “scary” thing is maybe what a weird place we were at in the 70s. It’s a cult classic for a reason, with a farcical plot and catchy songs that are just as outlandish in 2015 as they were 40 years ago (while we’re at it: 40 years?! Round of applause for Susan Sarandon!).

Mean Girls

It’s not a Halloween movie, but the Halloween sequence is truly classic – and, for us nostalgia-heads, a great peak back in the Paris Hilton-y early 2000s. I still get a kick out of Cady in her “ex wife” costume. Much like Harry Potter, I also convince myself that this is a Christmas movie because there’s a Christmas scene in it.


I saw (and live blogged) Halloweentown for the first time a few years ago because I didn’t have Disney as a kid, and was hit over the head by how deliciously late 90s it was. You can also follow up with Halloweentown II, Halloweentown High and Return To Halloweentown (but I didn’t).

The Village

Fun(?) fact: I worked at a movie theater at the time and multiple customers told me I looked like “that girl in The Village” and I’m not sure that was meant to be a compliment, pretty as Bryce Dallas Howard is in other movies.

This isn’t M. Night Shyamalan’s most acclaimed movie, but it IS his least scary! By the end, when the Shyamalan-required twist is revealed, you will probably not be shaking in your boots – but it does have just the right amount of atmospheric spookiness and autumn scenery to make you feel like you tried. It’s like the movie version of going on the tilt-a-whirl, but not the upside down roller coaster.

Tower Of Terror

Look. It’s a TV movie based on a  Disney theme park ride. Enough said? But it’s sort of fun in a 1930s-meets-1990s way.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

I’m not into cartoons – well, except for Disney, Pixar, and Bob’s Burgers – but Hayao Miyazaki knows how to make cartoons that appeal to anyone who likes a well-made film. Kiki is a young witch flying around on a broomstick, but … I don’t know. It’s just a really nicely made movie. If you’re keeping count of the 90s child starlets, this is the second consecutive Kirsten Dunst movie. She’s gaining on Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci!

Honorable Mentions

If you like classics, To Kill A Mockingbird and Meet Me In St. Louis both have fantastic trick or treating scenes. And Goonies – which for me personally just doesn’t feel like Halloween – definitely wouldn’t be out of place either.


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!