A decade ago this week, we graduated from high school. A fifth grader ago! The entire run of Friends ago! HOW?! We couldn’t let the occasion go by without a MAJOR blog celebration, so we spent the entire week taking you back to 2004.
Guys, this Paris Hilton girl is apparently a big deal and she has this weird show with her best friend Nicole Richie that’s like about them going to different parts of America and having different jobs even though they’re both uber rich. But I can’t help but notice Paris’ style. It’s so edgy and hip! I’m probably never going to wear anything like this, but I bet a lot of other girls will soon enough!
Most Likely to Succeed
Beyonce of Destiny’s Child
Through a whole bunch of lineup changes, DC3 finally settled with Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle, but the two longest members of the group, Beyonce and Michelle have always stood out. Okay, maybe just Beyonce. There’s just something about her that makes you want to see more. If she does solo stuff in the future, she’s definitely one to watch out for!
If you’re an ’04 grad, Ecto Cooler was probably a staple of your childhood. I can still taste it now – a thick, corn-syrupy, vaguely citrusy drink that was almost always room temperature, because I was usually drinking it from a Hi-C juice box that had been sitting in my coatroom for 4 hours. Now Ecto-Cooler really is but a slimy green ghost: it was renamed in 2001 and discontinued entirely in 2007.
I have a hunch that if I used organic ingredients, set myself up in a hipster enclave, and started making artisinal Ecto-Cooler, I could make a killing.
Guys Who Were Born In The 1800s
RIP. Like, literally RIP. Ten years ago there were a pretty good number of folks alive who were born in the 1800s, but now the Lost Generation is… well, you know. The world’s oldest man just died (am I supposed to still call him that? Such a confusing honorific). Anyway, he was born in 1903. There are no more living World War I vets, either. Shout-out to the five still-living women holding it down for the 19th Century ladies. I can’t help but hope that one of them is actually Samantha Parkington.
Samantha Parkington (And Molly, Felicity, And Kirsten)
Speaking of Samantha Parkington, everybody take your $30 doll-sized tea service and pour a little out for our homie. American Girl has discontinued those 90s girl status symbols Samantha, Molly, Felicity, and Kirsten. But that doesn’t stop us from wanting to dress like them. (1, 2, 3)
Oops… I Did It Again
January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).
January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.
July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.
September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.
Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer
I honestly could’ve picked any one of JM’s songs from Room for Squares album for this playlist and it still would accurately be the soundtrack to my high school life. I remember listening to this record non stop, particularly this song – and of course, I would pretend he was singing it to me. Remember this is pre-pretentious John Mayer, so it was okay. I lived and died by all his albums, and even played Wheel off Heavier Things for one of my religion classes (we went to a Catholic high school, I guess one of the things we had to do was bring in a “prayer song”? IDK all I recall is that I tried to be all deep with Wheel and some kid brought in the full, like, 7 minute version of The Doors’ Light My Fire). Also: Heavier Things, tho.
New Slang by The Shins
From here, my list turns into a tour of sensitive indie rock of the early 2000s. My musical tastes were very Seth Cohen-y, to use a 2004-vintage reference. This was before that time in 2005-2006 when “Garden State soundtrack” became a shorthand for a type of music, but – well, obviously that’s what we’re looking at here.
History lesson: the internet was smaller then, and finding a band that wasn’t played on top-40 radio felt like a real discovery. With no iTunes, if you wanted a record you either had to download illegally (mea culpa!) or scour a real-life music store. If you wonder why hipsters are so insufferable about liking things before they were cool, it’s probably because back in the day they really had to earn it. There was no tumblr to tell teens what they were supposed to like, there was TRL and Teen People and you had to dig to find things outside of that.
Introduction to Theater
M: We sort of had a weirdly politicized high school theater department, which I think is such a normal thing. Like, the same kids got all the roles even if they weren’t great, and it was impossible to edge your way in there. Both of us came in with more “experience” (whatever) than a lot of kids, but since we started sophomore or junior year it was like “nope, sorry.” And I was like BITCH I WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL VIDEO ALREADY.
T: And I was all BITCH I’VE BEEN IN ALL THE PRODUCTIONS OF MY CHURCH MUSICALS DAMNNNN. But really. I think I went into the freshman year audition of Cinderella thinking I was the shit and ended up not even getting into the chorus. It wasn’t until junior year when both Molly & I got into Crazy For You – and I got in only because I was good at tap dancing and somehow made the “dance troupe/Follies Girls”. I felt like I finally had an in but senior year, I was determined to get a good role for the musical, My Fair Lady. I started taking voice lessons from a local music school just so I could properly prepare for my audition. I guess it worked because I played Mrs. Pearce, the head housekeeper. CATCH YOUR DREAMS, KIDS. SHACKLE THEM TO YOUR HEART.
M: But the most memorable theater experience by far was The Theater Bandit. During the spring musical, stuff kept disappearing from kids’ backpacks during rehearsals. After a while it became clear it was someone involved in the play. THEN a big sum of money went missing the day of our dress rehearsal, and the play was going to be cancelled – cancelled! – if the person didn’t fess up or turn in the money. The directors called everyone up onto the stage, one by one, and went through their bookbags to look for it. Girls were crying.
Honestly, even for the theater department, calling each kid up to be searched right at center stage was a liiiiitle dramatic. There were three chairs – one for the kid and one for each director – and in my imagination, a spotlight. Maybe some suspenseful piano music.
T: But really, in my head it looked like the “green mile” on So You Think You Can Dance right before they find out if they make the top 20 or not.