Downton Abbey Actors: Unrecognizable in Modern Clothes

It’s Downton Abbey season again! Well, it is if you’re in the UK, anyway.  All of the pre-Downton chatter has me thinking about the actors in real life. Some of them look the same in modern dress – Lord Grantham and Bates, for instance. When I see some of the other actors on a 21st century red carpet, I think they’re from some show I don’t watch. It’s like taking your great-grandma whom you’ve only seen in old photo albums and dressing her in skinny jeans. Honestly, though, some of them are secretly seriously attractive under that ‘20s garb. To wit:

Laura Carmichael – Edith Crawley

While Mary and Sybil carry the title of “Lady”, Edith’s title is “Poor.” As in, “Poor Edith always gets jilted” or “Poor Edith always tries to marry married men” or “Everyone Poor Edith knows dies tragically.” Yes, her sisters dealt  with worse tragedies than her, but you have to admit that there’s a hangdog, unfortunate vibe surrounding Edith. The “Poor Edith” thing isn’t helped by Downton’s stylists. Compared to Mary and Sybil, Edith is certainly the dowdy sister. That’s all TV magic, though. When Laura Carmichael is out in modern-day clothes, she’s every bit as pretty as her on-screen sibs.

Rob James-Collier – Thomas

What a difference a buzz cut makes. While I do think Thomas isn’t half bad looking, you can’t deny that he’s a total dirtbag. Once Rob James-Collier has the layer of Thomas slime scrubbed off, he looks like such a nice guy.

Sophie McShera – Daisy

She’s playing a scullery maid, so this isn’t necessarily fair. Still, the fact remains that Daisy looks pretty plain on-screen. Casting directors must have seen some rough in the diamond, because is actually super-pretty.

Thomas Howes – William

Proof that everyone looks dopier with slicked-down hair.

Siobhan Finneran – Mrs O’Brien

I KNOW, right? Between the weird sausage curl bangs, Victorian spinster dress, and dour attitude, O’Brien is unappealing to say the least. It’s a huge shock that in 2013, Siobhan Finneran looks like she’d play a pretty teacher or nice young mom.

Dan Stevens – Matthew Crawley

Brown hair? Good. Facial hair? Good. A beard that looks like it’s been blasted with spray snow? Not so good. If Dan Stevens would trim up that frizzy beard and hit it with some Just For Men, I’d call his 21st century self a major upgrade.

Lesley Nicol – Mrs. Patmore

The biggest difference is definitely in the downstairs folk, and you have to admit that this is pretty remarkable.At least at first, Mrs. Patmore is that scary boss everyone’s had at least once.  She isn’t even married, but they call her Mrs. anyway, just to show that she’s wed to the kitchen. She’s kind of grumpy and frumpy, but  I can’t snark on Patmore’s hair because it’s exactly what mine looks like with no product or if I’m late for work. Yep, I’m definite downstairs material. Lesley Nicol in her 21st century gear reminds me that sometimes a little hair straightener goes a long way.

August is National Catfish Month

No, you did not read that incorrectly, and no I did not make that up.

In fact, National Catfish Month has been in place for over 20 YEARS. It was appointed to honor the U.S. farm-raised fish as well as the great farmers all over the country who take care of them.

But really, you didn’t click on this post because you’re a fish enthusiast, right?

If you’re like me, your brain probably immediately went to this image:

“Hi, I’m Nev. And this is my buddy Max.”

I’ve previously live blogged an episode of Catfish before, but many hopeless internet daters have come and gone since then. Nev and Max have exposed us to many fake people across the country, and they’ve also let us into their own special bromance that I can’t get enough of (But also, I love Nev and would probs try to Catfish him again if he didn’t have a girlfriend).

So I thought it was only appropriate to celebrate National Catfish Month by honoring our own American heroes – the ones who have helped bring a dose of reality to dozens of people in the U.S – as well as the Catfish they’ve caught in the past two seasons.  Here are a list of the best Catfishes (so far).

5) Sunny & Jamison

Sunny’s search for her true love Jamison was the very first episode of the series and really set the tone for the show. Turns out Jamison is really Chelsea, who created the profile to get revenge on a friend. But then we find out she’s bisexual and actually really likes Sunny. She’s also been teased a lot as a teen, and just wanted to be liked for once without the judgement of how she looked. Unfortunately, this is a common theme throughout the series, which explains why a lot of these folks make up the fake profiles.

4) Lauren & Derek

OH MY GODDD WE’RE IN DEREK’S DRIVEWAY

Lauren met Derek on MySpace and have been dating for the past 8 years. In those 8 years, she’s had a baby, was engaged, and broke it off because she  still had faith in her relationship with Derek – whom she’s never met. What’s crazy about this is that they met on MYSPACE. Tom would be so proud. Anyways, I hate to admit that this episode actually made me cry. It’s probably because of Lauren’s dad, but also maybe because she never doubted that he was who he said he was. Even Nev, who is usually the one who thinks ‘it’s really them‘, had to express his doubts that Derek wasn’t real. One of the few successful stories in Catfish history, Lauren and Derek go down in the internet record books.

3) Trina & Scorpio

Call me crazy, but this may be the first time I’ve sympathized with a stripper. A stripper who goes by ‘Trina the Natural’. And in all honestly, she’s the one that made this episode so great, not “Scorpio” aka Lee, who has 4 children instead of 2 like he told her, and is actually 32 and not 27 years old. She seemed so hopeful about Scorpio – and one of those women who are way too smart and charismatic to be an ‘exotic dancer’.

2)  Cassie & Steve

The second season of Catfish didn’t disappoint. Cassie had been through a lot over the past few years, after her father was brutally murdered. Amid alcohol, drug use, and sleeping around, Cassie found solace in a guy she met online named Steve.  They built a relationship and she began to turn her life around – and she even asked Steve to marry her – to which he said yes. Too bad he wasn’t real, because he turned out to be Cassie’s best friend IRL, Gladys. Oops. Gladys insisted she only did it to help Cassie turn her life around, which I guess is a good reason, if any?

1) Jasmine & Mike

If you only watch one episode of catfish, let it be this one. Jasmine had been in a relationship with Mike for the past two years, but had online chatted online and texted – never met or talked on the phone. Turned out that Mike was a girl named Mhissy, who Jasmine knew in real life. Mhissy was getting back at Jasmine for not leaving her boyfriend alone after they hooked up. But the first confrontation is out of this world – I don’t know how Nev and Max made it out of there alive.

Breaking Up with Breaking Bad: 11 WTF Scenes We Leave Behind

Has everyone recovered from Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad yet? Are we still in denial that that was the last season premiere ever? The correct answers are no, and yes, respectively.

With Breaking Bad’s last eight (now seven) episodes airing in the next couple of months, it prompts us to reflect on the past five seasons with shock and awe, wondering how we ever lived without this show in our lives.

It made us laugh, made us cry, made us angry, and probably most paramount of all – make us scream WHAT THE FUCK at our TV screens like lunatics time after time.

So while we impatiently await the next episode but still want it to never end, the least we can do is take a look back at some of the greatest WTF moments throughout the years.

Season 1, Episode 2: Cat’s in the Bag

It’s only the series’ second episode, and (creator) Vince Gilligan has the balls to write something like this scene. Actually, one of the reasons I’m assuming he wrote the infamous bathtub scene is that he wanted to show that ‘hey, this isn’t a regular TV show. We’re taking risks here and you should watch what we’re doing.’ If that’s what he was going for, it worked, because this was the first time I realized this show was going to be like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Also it was absolutely disgusting.

Season 1, Episode 6: Crazy Handful of Nothin’

In addition to the dead tub guy (a drug dealer), Walt manages to kill another dealer,  Krazy-8, just three episodes in. The guy who replaces Krazy-8 is a guy named Tuco, who we see a lot of in the series. When Jesse goes to make a deal with Tuco, he gets beat up bad, and steals the meth. In retaliation of stealing Walt’s precious blue drug, he blows up Tuco’s safe house by throwing a crystalline nugget to the floor. SCIENCE, BITCH.

Season 2, Episode 12: Phoenix

This is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the entire series. Jesse finally finds love with Jane (played by Krysten Ritter), who I only knew as Rory’s annoying friend at Yale on Gilmore Girls. Anyways, although they were both users, Jesse found someone – and somewhere- to focus his life on besides drug dealing. And it all went down the drain overnight when they used and fell asleep. Meanwhile, Walt makes a deal with Gus (our good amigo Gus), who offers to buy the blue meth but gives him only an hour to deliver the drugs. Obviously Jesse isn’t answering bc he’s half dead, so Walt breaks into his apartment to find the J + J asleep – until Jane turns over it all goes downhill. Walt watches Jane die without helping her, and we watch Walter White turn into Heisenberg in mere seconds.

Season 3, Episode 7: One Minute

{starts at 3:49}

It’s Hank Vs. the scary as hell Salamanca twins. That’s all you need to know. There is blood involved. You need to know that too.

Season 3, Episode 12: Half Measures

Jesse wants revenge against the drug dealers who killed his buddy Combo, and who are also selling Walt & Jesse’s blue meth. The only catch is that the guys are using an 11-year-old kid to sell the drugs – and he was the one who shot Jesse friend too. But because Jesse’s main character ‘flaw’ is that he’s good at heart, he can’t go through with killing the dealers. So when they’re about to come face to face, Walt rolls in to “save the day” … in his own Heisenberg way.

Season 3, Episode 13: Full Measure

One of the best season finales ever,  Walt orders Jesse kills Gale, the nerdy chemist who is the only one who can perfectly duplicate WW’s blue meth recipe. But again, Jesse needs to prove himself by letting go of his ‘conscience’ and just kill Gale. Except the episode ends with the camera on Jesse, staring down the barrel of the gun, pointing it directly into Gale’s face, and the screen fades to black. HELLO?!

Season 4, Episode 1: Box Cutter

We had to wait an entire year – A YEAR – to find out what happened after Jesse shot Gale. So suck on that all you binge watchers – try waiting an entire year for a resolution to the Gale story. But this – this episode showed us just how much of a monster Gus was. Warning: a lot of blood. A LOT.

Season 4, Episode 13: Face Off

Easily the most shocking thing that’s ever happened in the history of television, I bet my entire DVD collection that no one could have seen this coming. I had to watch it at least three times to make sure it really happened. HIS. FUCKING. TIE.

Season 5, Episode 5: Dead Freight

Oh hey, Landry from Friday Night Lights! You’re such a good guy – except for that time in season two when you *SPOILER ALERT* killed the guy who attacked Tyra and threw his body into the river. But I mean other than that, you’re just a kid who made it on the football team and loves playing in a metal band called Crucifictorious, so you definitely wouldn’t be able to kill an innocent kid who just happened to stumble upon an illegal scheme. Oh that’s right – you’re not Landry, you’re crazy Todd, who would ACTUALLY DO THAT.

Season 5, Episode 7: Say My Name

{starts at 3:05}

TBH, I didn’t really care that much for Mike, until season five. We saw the softer side of him, and we also saw Jesse bond with Mike in a way that he never could with Walt. So by the time this episode came around, it was absolutely heartbreaking to see him go after being so close to getting out of the business.

Season 5, Episode 8: Gilding Over All

Before Walt killed Mike, he refused to give up the name of his nine henchmen, who Mike had been paying off to keep their mouths shut. Mike manages to get the names from Lydia, and Walt arranges for all nine guys + Mike’s lawyer to all be killed at once. Thanks to Landry’s Todd’s ties to some Aryan gang in the prison (because fucker is shady as shit), the prisoners kill the nine guys all at once in one of the most scary scenes I’ve ever scene. I don’t like horror movies, but this is more than good enough to take its place.

BONUS

Season 4, Episode 11: Crawl Space

Because, acting. #ALLTHEAWARDS

Kidz Bop Lyrics: Fact Or Fiction

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to listen to Kidz Bop, there are a few things you’ll notice:

  • Not all of the lyric changes are even necessary to make things kid-appropriate
  • If lyrics reference alcohol, drug use, sex, or poor grammar, they will be changed to reference things like having fun with friends, eating food, or school.
  • Like Rated R movies dubbed for the USA network, much of the language makes absolutely no sense once it is cleaned up.
  •  Children in Kidz Bop songs say things that no child has said since the ‘50s. If ever.

Some of the following are real Kidz Bop lyric changes. Others are Cookies and Sangria Originals. Can you tell the difference? Answers are at the bottom of the post.

More Kidz Bop Gold

(1) Bandz a Make Her Dance (Juicy J)

  • Real Lyrics:

Bands a make her dance
Bands a make her dance
All these chicks popping pussy
I’m just popping bands
Bands a make her dance
Bands a make her dance
These chicks clappin’
And they ain’t using hands

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Bands’ll make me dance

Bands’ll make me dance

All you kids are playing records

I like hearing bands!

Bands’ll make me dance

Bands’ll make me dance

All the kids are clapping

Let’s all clap our hands!

(2) Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)

  • Real Lyrics:

You change your mind like a girl changes clothes.

Yeah, you, PMS like a bitch I would know

And you over think, Always speak Critically

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

You change your mind like a girl changes clothes

Yeah, you change your mind like a girl I would know

And you always think, always speak cryptically

(3) The Lazy Song (Bruno Mars)

  • Real lyrics:

Tomorrow I’ll wake up, do some P90X

Meet a really nice girl, have some really nice sex

And she’s gonna scream out: ‘This is Great’ (Oh my God, this is great!) […]

I’ll just strut in my birthday suit

And let everything hang loose

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Tomorrow I’ll wake up do some P90X

Meet a really nice girl, send a really nice text

And she’s gonna write back “you’re so great” ( OMG you’re so great) […]

I’ll just strut with nothing to do

And let everything go through

(4) Bitches Ain’t Shit (Dr Dre Featuring Snoop Dog)

  • Real lyrics:

Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks

Lick on these nuts and suck the dick

Get the fuck out after you’re done

And I hop in my ride to make a quick run…

I used to know a bitch named Eric Wright

We used to roll around and fuck the hoes at night

Tight than a motherfucker with the gangsta beats

And we was ballin’ on the motherfucking Compton streets

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Bringin’ the chips, hohos, and twix

Licked all these nuts, and feelin’ sick

Get the fun dip after you’re done

And I hop on my bike to make a snack run…

I used to know a kid named Eric Wright

We used to run around, eat fudge the whole darn night

Treats that my mother found with the gummy b’s

And we were noshin’ on your mother’s stash of Cadburies

(5) Glad You Came (The Wanted)

  • Real lyrics:

Turn the lights out now

Now I’ll take you by the hand

Hand you another drink

Drink it if you can

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

Turn the lights out now

Now I’ll take you by the hand

Hand you another dance

Dance it if you can

(6) Get Lucky

  • Real lyrics:

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

  • Kidz Bop Lyrics:

We’ve come too far to give up who we are

So let’s raise the bar and look up to the stars

She’s up all night to the sun

I’m  up all night chewing gum

She’s up all night cause it’s fun

I’m  up all night, aren’t I lucky?

Answers: (1) Fiction (2) Fact (3) Fact (4) Fiction (5) Fact (6) Fiction. Thanks for playing!

Celebrities, Will You Accept This Rose?

Listen. It’s no secret I watch The Bachelor. The ninth season of The Bachelorette came to a close on Monday, as Desiree Hartsock became engaged to Chris Siegfried after a seriously dramatic two part finale.  I personally felt like this season was lackluster up until last week’s shit show where Brooks suddenly peaced out,  so now that we’re closing Desiree’s (mostly boring ) chapter, we can look forward to The Bachelor.

Luckily for Bachelor Nation, this year’s fan favorite – Venezuelan-pro soccer playing-single dad- rico suave Juan Pablo Galvais was announced as the next Bachelor, and the crowd literally went crazy upon hearing this news. Scanning Twitter, ladies were saying left and right, ‘Where do I sign up?’ Even past Bachelorettes have offered to sign up again (I’m looking at you Emily Maynard).

Juan Pablo, Latin Lover – hater of shirts. PS: He went to Roberts Weslyan College in our hometown of Rochester to play soccer. So I mean, six degrees.

This got me thinking: who would I go crazy for and actually submit an embarrassing audition tape just for the chance to go on a group date with them? Of course I would absolutely never do this, but in the event celebrities decide to try out these reality TV dating shenanigans, I’m available. If Charlie O’Connell can do it, so can these guys, right?

Taylor Kitsch

Oh Tim Riggins. Just the thought of you makes girls across the world swoon. And while 33 may have been a player on Friday Night Lights, Taylor Kitsch has kept his love life on the DL ever since he became popular. So is he dating someone? We wouldn’t know. We would know if he became The Bachelor, and ladies would literally swoon during the rose ceremony. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Leo DiCaprio

We all know Leo exclusively dates models. So how entertaining would it be if he was The Bachelor? I guess I wouldn’t be able to join in on the fun – but on the plus side, it could be a mix of Bach + America’s Next Top Model, and Tyra Banks would still be there to be a crazy woman third wheel.

John Stamos

Because he’s 49 years old, and deserves love. Also, who wouldn’t want to date Uncle Jesse?

Idris Elba

oh, to be that smart water bottle.

To add to the older men of the list, Idris is 40 years old and may have a daughter, but as we’ve learned on The Bachelorette, a lot of people are okay with that. I would be okay with that if I could hook up with Idris Elba.

Nick Jonas

NO APOLOGIES FOR THIS PHOTO. NONE AT ALL.

Listen, guys. I am unapologetic for the fact that I like the Jonas Brothers. And while I was never a total fangirl over them, I appreciated their music, and most importantly, I appreciated Nick Jonas. He recently posted that photo above, and everyone was all, ‘whoa, when did Nick Jonas get hot?’ He got hot when he turned 18, that’s when he got hot. And recently he confessed he’s into older women because ‘they know what they want.’ Um ok, there’s only a six year difference between us Nick, so I’m totally down for a “cougar” version of The Bachelor.

2 Chainz

Although it would probably end up more like Flavor of Love, I just want to see 2 Chainz hand out roses/gold chains to his potential girlfrans, then shout 2 CHAINZZZ out loud.

Chris Harrison

The host of The Bachelor franchise is single and ready to mingle, so wouldn’t it be great to see the tables turned on him? He’s said he’d never do it, and it would be hard to fill his own shoes as host/therapist, so maybe it wouldn’t work. But so many soccer moms would line up to get a rose from him.

Guess Who? Character Bios: Beyond Glasses & Facial Hair

“Guess Who?” isn’t just for kids. The trick to Adult Guess Who? is in the questions. “Does he have facial hair?” “Does she have brown eyes?” No. That’s kid stuff. Adult Guess Who is all about the character traits: “Does he look like he’d work in I.T.?” “Does she Facebook-stalk her ex kind of a lot?” “Is he really into Jesus, but probably doesn’t feel great about Catholics?” That’s how you play it as an adult.

To help you out, here are my unofficial character bios for our favorite Hasbro characters:

Alex

Occupation: children’s’ basketball league coordinator

Character traits: Considers himself rebellious (for instance, he is growing out a Mohawk that he had cut during his 2-week vacation to a “Sandals” resort).

Fun Fact: Recipient of the first-ever mustache transplant, his facial hair used to be the eyebrows of a 43-year-old single mother.

Alfred

Occupation: “Odd Jobs” (read: sometimes helps his friend cook meth)

Fun Fact: Not allowed to live within 200 yards of an elementary school.

Anita

Occupation: Owns a start-up business putting on “princess parties” for 3-8 year-old girls

Skills: Cheerily diffusing awkward and heated situations; good with glitter and tulle

Character traits: Occasional crippling depression

Fun Fact: Yes, her name is Anita. No, she’s not Hispanic.

Anne

Occupation: Small-law attorney (mostly transactional stuff)

Skills: Can always correctly  “Guess Who” in three or fewer questions.

Character traits: So organized that you kind of hate her.

Fun Fact: Yes, her name is Anne, yes, Anita would be the Spanish diminutive, Yes, Anne IS Hispanic, No, she and Anita don’t think it’s THAT funny.

Bernard

Occupation: Cossack

Skills: Military strategy; driving in snow.

Character traits: Funniest character on the board.

Bill

Occupation: “The Wind” in the corner of an antique map

Character traits: blustery; long-winded.

Fun Fact: Met Anita, Philip, Robert, and Susan at a Rosacea support group. It’s a real problem.

Charles

Occupation: Your Uncle

Skills: Encyclopedic knowledge of whatever your nearest NFL team is

Character traits: None, really.

Fun Fact: If he tries to smile too big, he has to really work to push it past his mustache.

Claire

Occupation: Runs a scrapbooking blog

Skills: Scrapbooking, mostly.

Character traits: Is “scrapbooking” a trait? Then that.

Fun Fact: A real bitch.

Eric

Occupation: Captain of a Revolutionary War reenactment regiment

Skills: Proficient in late-18th century military slang.

Fun Fact: Not a cop.

Frans

Occupation: Former child actor, when he went by “Frankie Jake Bartlett” because Frans Johann Schumacher was reading too “ethnic.”

Skills: Managing his residuals

Character traits: Just really, really charming.

Fun Fact: Best buds with Susan, who sings “Frans a-make her dance!” whenever she sees him. It’s sort of their thing.

George

Occupation: Fun-employed!

Skills: Well, nothing marketable in our post-recession economy, that’s for certain.

Character traits: Downtrodden, with a streak of almost heartbreaking optimism.

Fun Fact: There hasn’t been a “fun” fact about George for the past 22-months, I’m afraid (that’s when the layoff happened).

Herman

Occupation: I don’t know, probably something in finance

Skills: Amateur boxing

Fun Fact: Has broken his nose 3 or 4 times.

Joe

Occupation: Software design

Skills: Computer stuff

Character traits: Gentle. I’d say gentle.

Fun Fact: Really hates when people ask “Does he have a butt chin?” or “Does he have Sally Jessie Raphael glasses?”

Maria

Occupation: High school French teacher.

Skills: Verb conjugations.

Character traits: Romantic (has been chasing Philip since 1982)

Fun Fact: Has never been to France.

Max

Occupation: Flag waver at roadside construction sites

Character traits: Very self-conscious (he grew his mustache to draw attention from his truly gigantic mouth, only to find that it came in lopsided)

Fun Fact: envies Charles and Alfred for their full, symmetrical mustaches.

Paul

Occupation: Family therapist

Skills: Reframing Guess Who? questions as “I feel” statements.

Fun Fact: has worn the same pair of glasses since kindergarten

Philip

Occupation: Podiatrist

Skills: Classical pianist

Character traits: More oblivious than seems probable (he likes Maria back, since ’87 or so).

Fun Fact: Prematurely bald. Had beard hair transplanted to his head, resulting in an entirely seamless head hair-facial hair experience

Richard

Occupation: Plays in a children’s folk group with his wife and sister-in-law

Skills: Writing songs about such varied topics as healthy snacks, bath time, and sharing

Character traits: Slyly passive-aggressive, so that you can never quite come up with a concrete reason to dislike him.

Fun Fact: has had a serious falling out with Sharon, Lois, and Bram, who “stole his sound”

Robert

Occupation: Funeral director

Skills: Funeral planning, lifting (subs  in as a pall bearer in a pinch)

Character traits: Empathy

Fun Fact: That’s just his empathy face. He’s actually pretty happy.

Sam

Occupation: Amateur painter, but really living off some savvy real estate investments

Skills: Can really read the market

Character traits: Judicious and detail-oriented

Fun Fact: Made entirely out of circles.

Susan

Occupation: Studio musician

Skills: Anarchy, zines (early member of the Riot Grrrl movement during her college days)

Character traits: Pretty quiet until you get to know her

Fun Fact: There is a fairly heated debate among the other characters (“board members,” they call themselves) as to whether Susan has white or platinum blonde hair.

Tom

Occupation: Sociology professor

Skills: Can calculate any standard deviation in his head in under 2 minutes.

Character traits: Clear and helpful, according to the scale on Rate My Professors (no chili pepper.. yet).

Fun Fact: He and Paul have been together since grad school.

Peter

Occupation: Retired Dentist

Skills: Has taken up balloon animal-making in his retirement (always a hit at family parties!)

Character traits: Pretty genial and even-tempered, on the whole.

Fun Fact: Flips. The fuck. Out. if you call him “Pete”

David

Occupation: Ikea instruction writer

Skills: Not writing clear instructions.

Character traits: Swedish

Fun Fact: Looks exactly the same right-side-up and upside-down.

Guess the (Ghastly) Goop Prices!

I’ve always said that if I ever win the lottery or suddenly inherit loads of money, I would not buy extravagant things. I would probably still shop at places like Target and Forever 21 H&M, but just buy more stuff without having to think twice about it. None of that designer stuff for me.

But there are some people who do fall under the category of throwing money at random stuff – e.g. American Apparel shoppers. The ones that pay $24 for a tank top. I mean, obviously the quality is better etc. etc., but $24 just seems a little too extreme for some fabric.

If you happen to be one of these folks, I have just the site for you. Welcome to Goop.

goopIf you’re not familiar, Goop is a lifestyle website created by Gwyneth Paltrow. It started off as a newsletter, but has since expanded into a website for online shopping, recipes, parenting advice and more. However, Goop has been known to sell some pretty pricy items, which of course is nothing new. However, the site takes the American Apparel route to the next level, selling simple clothes (like tank tops) for twice as much. Here are a few ridiculously priced Goop products that Gwyneth is peddling to the masses. And just for funsies, try to guess how much each items is before looking at the actual retail price! Either highlight the space next to ‘Actual Retail Price’ or click on the pic to purchase it for yourself!

>Actual Retail Price: $175<

>Actual Retail Price: $98<

>Actual Retail Price: $91<

>Actual Retail Price: $950<

>Actual Retail Price: $295<

>Actual Retail Price: $130<

>Actual Retail Price: $195<

>Actual Retail Price: $1,298<

>Actual Retail Price: $165<

>Actual Retail Price: $55<

>Actual Retail Price: $50<

>Actual Retail Price: $140<

Are You Ratchet?

Sometime in the past year, I realized just how old I am. A term showed up describing a subculture, and I had no clue what it meant. Yes, ratchet. Urban Dictionary has a few definitions, but frankly I’d avoid that unless you’re cool with 13 pages of white boys using the words “slutty” and “ghetto.” Google images helped a little more, but it still didn’t completely clear things up. I believe it was Helen Keller who said that ratchet “cannot be seen or heard, but must be felt with the heart.”

Here’s my take on it: a “ratchet” person is an outspoken and possibly brash young woman who favors ostentatious or eye-catching “urban” fashion and other facets of hip-hop culture. She displays marks of conspicuous consumption, but is associated (correctly or incorrectly) with urban areas of lower socioeconomic status.

However, that definition is kind of boring. In case you’re trying to work through whether you, yourself, are ratchet, please consult this handy guide instead:

(1) Did you learn the definition of ratchet from Urban Dictionary?

The ONLY ratchet definition from Urban Dictionary that was fit to print on our website.

  • You’re probably not ratchet.

(2) Okay, did you learn the definition of ratchet during a conversation about a Miley Cyrus video?

  • You’re probably not ratchet.

(3) In the past year, have you had a conversation about a fact you learned from the John Tesh radio show?

  • You’re probably not ratchet, and may be my mother. Hi, mom.

(4) Did you learn how to twerk by watching a YouTube tutorial?

  • You’re probably not ratchet.
  • Or, you are ratchet, and are just really tenacious about developing your skills, like a ratchet Hermione Granger. I get you.

* In my mind’s eye, Ratchet Hermione Granger has bucktoothed grills and wears a Gryffindor-colored bustier under her dress robes — but also, “ratchet” seems more Slytherin.

(5) Do you care at-freaking-ALL about whether or not I think you’re ratchet?

  • You’re probably not ratchet.

(6) Within recent memory, have you lamented the decline of panty hose in women’s fashions?

  • You’re probably not ratchet.
  • Or, you are ratchet, but have to wear professional attire for work and always feel a little less-than-polished every time you wear a skirt without hose.

(7) Was Sean Combs still going by Puff Daddy the last time you were at the club?

  • You’re probably not ratchet.
  • Or, you are ratchet, but are really more of an introvert, which is fine.

(8) Did you learn the definition of “ratchet” by writing a question in to Yahoo Answers?

  • Trick question. You’re not ratchet, but that’s only because every Yahoo Answers question is written by the same confused but well-intentioned 14-year-old girl who doesn’t quite know how to use Google.

(9) (a) If someone referred to you as “nasty,” would you be offended?

  • You’re not ratchet.

(b) Is the reason you’re offended because you’re assuming they mean “nasty” in terms of being unkind, rude, and unpleasant?

  • You’re not ratchet, and seem like an old lady.
(10) (a) Do you own hoop earrings with your name written across the middle?
  • That doesn’t mean you’re ratchet.

(b) Do you own earrings with “Ratchet” written across the middle?

  • Now you’re ratchet. Unless that’s your name.

(10) Last one: are you Miley Cyrus?

  • Oh, honey. You’re not ratchet. Your dad wrote Achy Breaky Heart.
    (note: Noah Cyrus… Maybe)

Farewell to the Men of SNL

Last week, we were given the unfortunate confirmation that we’ve all been dreading: Jason Sudeikis is leaving the show after 10  years. And that, my friends, is proof that bad things come in threes – first Bill Hader, then Fred Armisen, and now Sudeikis. Not to mention Seth Meyers is leaving at the end of this year to go be a talk show host – which is a move I can get behind. But with all of these folks are departing, there will be a giant hole where these men leave their legacy. While I do have faith that my boys Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan will carry the torch, we’ll definitely miss the longtime SNL players and their great characters. Here are some of their greatest sketches over the past seasons…

Bill Hader

Joined in 2005

Fun Fact: Hader was discovered by a comedienne who worked with him in a LA comedy troupe called “Animals From the Future”. She suggested to SNL executive producer/godfather of comedy Lorne Michaels that he would be really good on the show. That woman? Megan Mullally of Will and Grace.

Dwayne Vogelcheck: the brother in Kissing Family

The family that kisses together, stays together? I mean I guess. This sketch is so disgusting but it’s like a car accident – you can’t look away. Paul Rudd is one of the best hosts that has ever walked into the Vogelcheck family.

Herb Welch: crazy old reporter man with a knack for putting a mic in people’s face

What’s sad is that Herb Welch is probably a real reporter out in middle America somewhere. The fake dying gets me every time.

Alan Alda/Back to the Future

Hader is one of the greatest impressionists that has even been on SNL, and his Alan Alda is so spot on that it’s crazy. Just close you eyes and it’s almost as if Alan is in your ears auditioning for a hit 80s movie. Also, Fred Armisen as Prince .

Keith Morrison – Dateline

If you’ve ever watched Dateline, you know that Keith Morrison’s intros are particularly odd for some reason. And Hader’s follows suit.

Stefon

Presented without commentary.

Fred Armisen

Joined in 2002

Fun Fact: Fred went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, but dropped out to begin a career as a rock drummer.

Garth and Kat

I feel like this might not be as popular as I think it is, but I literally cry from laughing so hard at this. Their off the cuff songs are so ridiculous and with Wiig just trying to follow Fred is worth it in itself.

Nooni Schoener

Nooni. You’re saying it wrong. Nooni. The accents that Fred and Maya use are beyond …

President Obama

Fred + Maya + Obamas + classic duet = Unforgettable sketch

Ferricito

Fred hasn’t done his Ferricito character in a while, yet I still find myself saying “I just keeedinng,” but no one ever gets the reference. I should probably stop saying it so much.

Governor Patterson

Remember that time New York had a legally blind Governor? The way both he and the real Governor deliver horrible jokes is just so bad it’s good.

Bonus: Fred as Joy Behar on The View. ‘So what, who cares?!’

Jason Sudeikis

Joined in 2005

Fun Fact: Jason’s uncle is George Wendt, aka Norm Peterson from Cheers.

Male A-hole of the Two A-Holes

You’re A-holes in these sketches, but I still don’t believe that you’re both A-Holes IRL. Bonus Jon Hamm & Mad Men cast in this too!

Dancer on What’s Up with That

Literally, all Sudeikis does in this sketch is dance in 80s gear. And it’s amazing. This sketch never makes sense, so why does his dancing have to?

One half of Bon Jovi opposite band ‘Jon Bovi’

Jon Bovi: the two band Bon Jovi parody tribute band with Sudeikis and Will Forte. When I work at the theater, Brian and I would rename the shows. It started because there was a play called “Crowns,” and a lady called up asking for tickets to “Hats.” This sketch is similar.

ESPN Classics

Am I the only person who has ever seen Ladies Bowling on ESPN Classic for real? If you’re not a freak like me, this sketch is pretty much spot on. Sudeikis’ awkward Vagasil promos is almost as awk sauce as the Vogelcheck family.

Joe Biden

Perhaps his most famous role on SNL, Sudeikis brings that charming demeanor to our Veep that makes you want to hug him after he says ridiculous things.

Life Lessons From ZOOM

I live my adult professional life by the principles of the late-90s reboot of Zoom. Yes, the PBS children’s show. This wasn’t intentional. In fact, I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I sat down to write a post about Zoom, at which point I discovered that the show had leached into my subconscious and bled all the way through to my working life. Sure, I’ve learned a lot from higher education and on-the-job experience — but everything I really needed to know, I apparently learned from Zoom.

1) Always cheer for your friends.

Remember how every time they were playing a game, all of the kids would cheer for everyone who was competing? They’d be all “Go Zoe! Go Jared! You can do it, Zoe! You got this, Jared!”. At twelve, I thought that no real kids actually did this — you picked who you wanted to win, and that was that. There was a lot more smack talk in my childhood.

Now that I’ve grown up, I realize that I take a Zoom approach to other people’s success. As long as it’s one of my people getting ahead, I’m happy. That’s not to say I won’t work like crazy so that I’m the one getting the good project, or the promotion, or whatever. But, if a friend or colleague is recognized, that’s almost as good as a victory for myself. You aren’t in competition with your friends or even your co-workers, is I guess what I’m saying. It’s good to be happy for people. ZOOM Games taught me that.

2) The zip code in Allston is 02134.

    True story: I had to mail something to Boston a few months ago, and didn’t have the exact address. I was able to look it up on Google maps because I had an approximate zip code, thanks to that damn theme song that is still in my head after 14 years.

3) Sometimes you just need to learn something by watching people.

I’m talking about ubbi-dubbi. I could lapse into ubbi dubbi this second. But ask me to explain how to do it, and it would be super confusing. However, if you watched a few clips of the Zoom-ers speaking it, you could ubbi-dubbi with the best of them. This definitely happens in the adult world — when long, step-by-step instructions fail you, sometimes the best thing to say is “hey, can I watch you do that once?” and you’ll get it.

4) If someone has an idea, you have to listen to them for instructions. If you’re giving instructions, you have to make people listen to you.

I wish someone had told me that 90% of being an adult with a professional job was just being kind of pushy so that people would do what I need them to do. Since Zoom was a kids-only show, one of the Zoomers would be the one to explain the rules of a game or how to do a craft. Unlike real children, the other Zoom kids listened with rapt attention. I definitely try to do that when someone’s telling me something important. But when you’re the one giving orders, you have to speak loudly and clearly and look the other people straight in the face, just like Keiko and Buzz did – unless you’re working over email, and then you have to do the email equivalent of that.

5) Positivity And Perseverance Will Keep Your Team On Track

While the “being pushy so people do what I need them to do” thing does come up a lot, I much prefer it when people just respond to teamwork. It’s not a cool trait at all, but I’m plucky,  like an adult American Girl doll or a character from a Haley Mills movie. No kidding, one of my higher-ups praised my “can-do attitude” when I took over a book series. Well, you can thank PBS afternoon television for that. Zoomers didn’t give up, even when they were losing or really, really struggling.  And when you’re working with other people – whether a production staff or the other kids on your balloon toss game – your positive attitude translates to everyone else. My work is deadline heavy, and as the editor in charge, I can’t say “this is awful, we’re running so late, and by the way it’s your fault because you forgot to do part of your job.” It works much, much better to let everyone know that we can do this, and that as the one responsible, you’re going to do everything you can to get the job done.

6) Crowd-Source Your Content

PBS knew that adults couldn’t always come up with fun kid activities, so most of the games and recipes were sent in by kids. I can’t prove this, but I feel like it was almost always Stephanie M. from Toledo, Ohio. This is definitely the way to go in most real-life professions, too. I mean the “getting feedback from your target audience” thing, not so much the Stephanie M. thing.

7) Sometimes People Way Older Or Way Younger Than You Have Really Great Ideas

When you’re a kid, the difference between an 8 year old and a 12 year old is HUGE. Zoom spanned a pretty wide age range — you know those kids would not have been hanging out together in real life. Still, everyone learned from each other. If you’re starting out in your career and are way young compared to everyone else (that’s me!), or if you’re working with people half your age, don’t just write off those youths or fogeys. Caroline’s ideas weren’t always bad, you know.

8) Always have a healthy snack after school

Or after work, whatever. Or in the late afternoon, if you keep healthy snacks in your desk drawer. 9 times out of 10, when I hit that mid-afternoon slump, it’s some sort of blood sugar situation and a handful of almonds or an apple perk me right up (sometimes the only answer is caffeine. Zoom didn’t teach me that one. Also you know who couldn’t have nuts? Zoe. She was allergic). Thanks, Cafe ZOOM.

9) It’s OK if you show up in the same outfit as somebody else. Or everybody else.

Whatever, it was a good t-shirt.

10) Learning is cool.

My mom was an elementary school science teacher when I was a kid, so my childhood was all dissecting owl pellets and growing crystals. Although it was no Bill Nye or Beakman’s World, Zoom helped emphasize that learning new things is cool. When you’re working, that means jumping in headfirst to learn about a new task, field, or emerging technology. Props to Zoom Sci for that one.