Who Even ARE You? : Teen Choice Awards Edition

Back in my day, the Teen Choice Awards were all about the best in music, movies and TV, with only 16 categories and Britney Spears won all the surfboards. Now there are like 90+ and there’s an entire category dedicated to web stars. Before you say, ‘Now Traci, you sound so curmudgeonly, like the adults who complained when the internet first came out’ and I KNOW THIS. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a good Vine or entertaining YouTube video, but good LAWD there are so many of them.

But I can’t say I’m surprised. A recent study showed that YouTube stars are more popular than mainstream stars among teenagers. That means some dudes named Smosh are technically more popular than Jennifer Lawrence and TBH IDK what to do with that kind of information. It leads into a whole other discussion that I find fascinating – the fact that not only are celebrities so much more accessible than they were even 10 years ago, but that literally anyone can be a celebrity, and both are perpetuated by social media.

I guess it’s just a different world than a decade ago – which brings me to my ultimate point – we are old. We are old, and not the target demographic for the Teen Choice Awards anymore. Which explains why I don’t know who a lot of the internet nominees are, and it doesn’t even matter that I don’t. Despite the fact I consider myself to be fairly knowledgable with pop culture, this is a whole other world of the internet that is completely beyond me. So to make the rest of you feel just as old as I do, here are just some of the folks that either won or were nominated for TCAs this year – and are infinitely more popular than you are and ever will be.

*Um, I feel like I should write a disclaimer reminding anyone reading this under the age of 18 that I am a 28 year OLD lady so please no trolling. Save that for your YouTubes and your Vines and your Tumblrs. Okay. Go on.

Cameron Dallas

{Winner, Choice Male Viner}

This dude apparently has more than 5 million subscribers on Vine. He also got butt hurt when he found out that the TCAs are rigged. I mean, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but, this is the Teen Choice Awards. Tell any adult this and they won’t be surprised.

The Janoskians

{Presenters}

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

Smosh

{Presenters}

Smosh is a comedy duo made of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla who are super famous on YouTube and have more than 18 million subscribers with over 3.4 billion views. They have eight Smosh related channels on YouTube and I didn’t even realize that the demand for more video content could be so high that they have to fill 8 channels. I can barely get people to watch one of my stupid videos.

Becky G

{Performer}

Becky G got famous the Justin Bieber way – by posting her own covers and remixes of pop songs. She’s gone on to collaborate with Cher Lloyd and Kesha, and has a song out called Shower, which I’m embarassed to say I heard before she performed it on the TCAs. Becky G was a last-minute replacement for Rita Ora, and my main takeaway from the first 45 seconds of her performance before I muted it was that it sounded like she came front the same training camp as Rebecca Black.

O2L (OurSecondLife)

{Winners, Web Star: Comedy}

O2L is the first “vlogger supergroup,”, which means they’re a group of boys from their mid to late teens who talk about their lives – or at least the interesting parts, i guess – on YouTube. Relatedly, do you guys remember the game Second Life? I had a friend that was super into it. And also, Dwight Schrute was into it too. Basically that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this “supergroup”.

Troye Sivan

{Winner, Web Collaboration}

Um I just got sidetracked for about 40 minutes watching videos of this kid on YouTube. So he won best Web Collaboration for this “Boyfriend Tag” video with (the seemingly divisive) Tyler Oakley and apparently they’re like one of the most popular OTPs out there in the internet (search the #Troyler tag). I got sucked in because Troye is actually this adorable Australian kid and he has an EP coming out soon because he’s also a singer. Now I understand how people can just watch these videos all day.

Jack & Jack

{Nominees, Choice Viner}

These two have been BFFs since they were practically babies and have amassed over 4 million followers on Vine. They also are a hip-hop duo, because apparently all internet celebrities are also musicians.

Zoe “Zoella” Sugg

{Winner, Web Star: Fashion/Beauty}

Zoe is a super adorable chick from the U.K. and I have major hair envy. When she first started vlogging her beauty tips, she worked at an interior design company, and now she’s one of Britain’s top social media influencers, and has even scored a book deal. She’s also dating this other famous YouTuber called Alfie and they’re a popular OTP too (#Zalfie). Oh internet. You are too much.

Every Generation Gets The April O’Neil It Deserves

As the gloriously childless aunt of 6 little boys, I’ve learned a thing or two. First, if little boys did their own grocery shopping it would be an entire cart piled with fruit snacks and Goldfish crackers, and ketchup to dip them in because little boys don’t really care that you’re disgusted by that (also they wouldn’t be able to pay because those children are unemployed as helllll). Second, the more little boys you have in one house, the lower their ability to direct their pee into a toilet. If you have more than four little boys sharing a bathroom, you may as well install a drain in the center of the floor and buy a hose attachment for the shower to spray everything down at night. The entire room is essentially one of those pee troughs I hear they have in men’s rooms at old stadiums. And third, little boys love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was true in the early ’90s, and it’s true today. So while I normally would have left Ninja Turtles behind with Puppy Surprise and Noozles, I actually have a pretty decent working knowledge of those pizza-eating reptiles.

But guys, Ninja Turtles has changed since we all fell in love with those heroes in a half shell three decades ago. Well, not so much the Turtles themselves – they’re still some weird version of the 90s surfer archetype – but April O’Neil. April, a female human, is the Turtles’ keeper, sort of a combination of Wendy Darling and Lois Lane. While the Turtles are basically static, April O’Neil is an ever-changing, bouncy-haired sign of the times. Like hemlines or employment rates, I think that whatever’s going on with April O’Neil tells you what’s going on with America:

1984– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Comic Book)

Profession:

Computer Programmer

Age: 27
Appearance:
What It All Means:

April O’Neil, whitewashed character? Well, maybe. It all hinges on one question: Is that a perm or a jheri curl? 80s style aside, early April is ethnically ambiguous. She was in computer programming when there barely was computer programming. She was a talented hacker back when the only thing there was to hack into was black screens with green writing and the top scores in the nearest arcade’s Pac Man game. Basically, April O’Neil was the future. She’s also a rebel and a nonconformist: remember, this is the go-go 80s, when the successful smart ladies looked more like this:

With her Members Only jacket and bigass scarf, April is obviously dressed for practicality, not fashion. Although those blinding earrings say “hey, I can be glam, too.” Or maybe they’re also weapons.

I know it looks like April’s packing heat but that’s just how jeans made people’s crotches look in 1984.


 

1987 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Animated Series)

Profession:

TV Reporter

Age: 28
Appearance:
What It All Means

Ah, the Reagan Era. Big hair, big shoulder pads, big business. TV reporter is a bit more in line with the flashy professions you’d expect a late-80s leading lady to have. You’ll notice that as TMNT goes more mainstream, April has become conspicuously busty and Caucasian. I tried to Google “why does April O’Neil wear a jumpsuit” (I forget if there was a reason) but to no avail.

April is a smart, feisty lady who obviously needs, from my vantage point, a minimum of eight pockets to store all of her stuff. Buy a purse, April. Buy a purse. Or a fanny pack. Weren’t those the thing during this time?

Also, considering her outfit is all one piece I’m pretty confused about what the belt does.


 

1990, 1991, 1993 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Live-Action Movies)

Profession: TV reporter
Age: ?
Appearance:
What It All Means

If the ladies of the 80s were all about glitz and glamour, the Bush I/ Clinton-era gals were into practicality, sensible footwear, jorts, and unisex button-ups. They were what normcore aspires to be. This was April O’Neil’s Elaine Benes moment: just a regular girl who pals around with the guys, except the guys are these giant turtles to whom she plays den mother. Think less “hot jumpsuit” and more “yellow raincoat from the Lands End catalog.” Although no longer a braniac computer programmer, this April is one heck of an investigative reporter and , like her comic book counterpart, she’s not afraid to admit she likes a good chunky knit sweater.

If you’re wondering where you know her from: Judith Hoag now plays Tandy Hampton on Nashville.


 

2003 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (AnimatedSeries)

Profession:

Scientist, I guess? And apparently also shop owner?

Age: 27
Appearance:

What It All Means

This is a throwback to April 1.0 – because in a post-9/11 world, all we wanted was a little stability? Maybe. I’ve made it this  far without seeing any episodes of this incarnation, but the hair makes me think there’s sort of an Agent Scully thing happening here. You can tell April’s a scientist because she’s wearing a white coat and, more importantly, she has those two loose tendrils of hair that ladies always sported in the early 2000s in order to show people that they were busy and sort of carefree but could totally let the bun down and have nice hair if they wanted to.

 


 

2007 – TMNT (Weird CGI looking movie thing)

Profession:

Archaeologist

Age: adult?
Appearance:

What It All Means

Is this a Bratz doll? This has got to be some sort of Bratz doll. Remember, this was during the heyday of the celebrity gossip cycle about Britney, Lindsay and Paris. Even children’s characters were sort of sassy and weird, with the giant eyes of something that gestated near a nuclear power plant, Michael Jackson noses and Hungry Caterpiller lips. This was also during the era when they started taking all of our beloved 80s and 90s shows and remaking them with cheap computer animation that made it look like it was supposed to be in 3d but wasn’t. You can also see the influence of Lara Croft: Angelina Jolie with the archaeologist job and the big braid.


 

2012 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Computer Animated Series)

Profession:

Student

Age: Like 17 or something
Appearance:

What It All Means

If the last one was a Bratz doll, is this one a Lego person? You know what this April says about America? That in 2012 we were in a recession and we made some cheap-ass cartoons. This looks like one of Clarissa Darling’s video games.


 

2014 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Michael Bay situation)

Profession:

“Lifestyle Reporter”

Age: 20-something

Appearance:

 

What It All Means

Honestly, though, what DOES it all mean? We started with a be-jheri curled ethnically ambiguous computer programmer, went to a sensible 90s tv reporter with Jerry Seinfeld’s wardrobe, then circled around to … Megan Fox. This is where we are and hope we’re all very happy with this outcome.

On one hand, you have that whole “Olivia Wilde is ‘too hot’ to play a journalist” nonsense, and I mean, why can’t an intelligent, professional woman  — who also hangs out in sewers eating pizza with turtles who are also mutants who are also teenagers — look like Megan Fox? But it’s not that I don’t think smart people look like Megan Fox, it’s that I don’t think human people do. But on the other hand, this is a character who, well, hangs out in sewers eating pizza with turtles who are also mutants who are also teenagers. In a Michael Bay movie. Our disbelief has long been suspended. Still, I miss the hard-hitting journalism (lifestyle reporter, April?), the science, the chunky sweaters, the pockets.

Guys, every generation gets the April O’Neil it deserves. And this is ours now, I guess.

Say I Look So Good Tonight ***Beyonce Concert Fashion

Last weekend I was #blessed enough to be in the presence of these two magical creatures for two and a half hours:

It was my first time seeing Beysus in concert, and since this post will not be a concert review, I will simply say that for about the first 10 minutes of the show, I stood there in awe. I could not believe Beyonce was real. I mean I was practically in the farthest possible seat I could be from her, but still, her aura took over the entirety of the Rose Bowl and I may or may not have teared up. It’s just emotions taking me over, y’all.

Anyways, I guess I should’ve figured this going into the concert, but it didn’t hit me until we were there – Beyonce fans DRESS UP. Like of course I’ve been to other gigs where girls dress like they’re going to velvet-rope-name-on-the-list-type-of club. But the fashion at a Beyonce concert combined with the venue that is LOS ANGELES is something that is beyond your wildest. Suffice it to say, I was nearly just as in awe with the fans as I was with Bey.

me & my girl caitlin couldn’t believe what we were witnessing. note: animated speech bubbles don’t actually come out of her head.

Let’s get one thing straight folks: You are not Beyonce. You’re not Yonce. You’re not even Bey. No one comes close to Beyonce, so let’s all be honest with ourselves and remember that simple truth. This fact is not to say that you can’t channel your inner Beyonce. We all want to be talented and confident in our own skin, but you have to do you.

Before I get into these pictures, I want to make it clear I’m not posting these to shame anyone, or make fun of them. I am just utterly fascinated by this subculture of fashion. I’m not putting anyone down for being brave enough to wear some of these outfits, because more power to you. But in all honesty, these people wouldn’t have dressed like this if they didn’t want at least a few people to take note. Now that that’s out of the way…

Los Angeles is not a fashion capital like New York, but you will definitely see people dressing up just to go to the nearest Whole Foods. Like, I’d say New York is more of where new style trends begin, and LA is where people try out new trends that just end up looking stupid. Does that make sense? What do I know, I’m no fashion expert.

What I do know is that I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my life, and I understand the desire to look good. I also understand the need to fit the genre of whatever type of concert you’re going to. E.G. wearing a cowboy hat at a country music concert, looking like a hipster/hippie/inappropriate Native American at Coachella, wearing a One Direction shirt and holding a One Direction sign at a One Direction concert, etc. etc. So naturally, a lot of people at the Beyonce/Jay Z concert dressed like Beyonce (Jay Z fans are too cool to wear anything that would distinguish them as a Jay Z fan).

Take for example, Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell, who attended night 2 of 2 in LA, and wore this:

Shay, a highly influential, gorgeous actress on a teen drama with 4.2 million followers on Instagram, and probably had paparazzi on her that night, did her own take on this Beyonce look, so it makes a little bit more sense to dress as she did. And then there’s the woman below, who didn’t exactly nail it like Shay or Bey. The sheer knee highs is probably the most offensive of the entire outfit, because it makes her look more like a lady of the night than one of B’s backup dancers.

Also please take note of her platform heels. This was a big thing I noticed at the concert. I’d say a good 70 to 80% of girls I saw were wearing high heels. The concert was 2 and a half hours – I stood the entire time and my feet hurt from the wedge sneakers I was wearing. By the end of the night, as everyone was scrambling through patches of dirt and grass made slightly wet from the (unusual) rain that came down for about the last hour of the concert, the heels were digging into the earth, gals were clutching onto their men for support, some were even brave enough to go barefoot, and of course there were those girls who you could just tell were dying in their heels because there were 20 paces behind their group barely walking, focusing on each step and swaying back and forth as if they were drunk (I mean, they very well could have been).

So I took the photo below from Instagram, and you can check out this guy’s insta if you want, but honestly, his caption on this pic turned from hilarious to sexist in a hot second, so I mean, do what you will. He did get some good pix though, because I saw outfits just as bad as these. The top one not only illustrates the whole grabbing on for dear life because your feet are on fire theory, but it also shows the range of outfits that the ladies wore. The woman on the far left went for a more casual look with a shirt and jeans, while the lady in red went for a nice dress, and the girl she’s supporting… needs more support on the bottom. I mean those shorts look like Spanx, amirite, ladies?

And the gal on the bottom? Yeah… remember what I said about distinguishing your own self from Beyonce? Beyonce makes it look good. She is also a 17-time Grammy winner with a multi-million dollar empire, and released this (***Flawless) video without any publicity and still had a best-selling album, so she can wear this.
Again, I’m not trying to be mean here, but all of what this guy is wearing, I’m against. Like even if Shay Mitchell was wearing it, I wouldn’t be into it.

Alright, so there was this girl in our section who basically looked like the Asian girl in your 4th grade class who wore her hair in pigtails everyday. Except IRL, this chick was probably a college student. She was wearing short overalls with a bright neon pink bikini top that is probably from the Under Armor bathing suit collection. And she did the whole one unclasped off the shoulder thing too! It was appalling. To give you an idea of what she looked like, here is Miranda Lambert holding up a fish I’m assuming she caught somewhere in the Oklahoma (again, I’m assuming).

In another example of channeling Bey, here is the Queen in that Pepsi commercial where she pulled an Orphan Black (pre-OB) and danced with different versions of herself in the funhouse mirror.

And this is a girl who can best be described as #YouTried.

All this is to say that apparently there was a world of Beyonce fashion I didn’t fully understand until last weekend, and it hit me in the face like an angry sibling in an elevator. Again, I think this is an important lesson for both women and men is to know what works best for you and your body type, what looks good and what does not. Not all of us can be as ***Flawless as Beyonce.

 Queen B thanks you for your time.

I’m Overly Emotional About Chris Pratt

Earlier this year, Chris Pratt was a guest on one of the final Late Night with Jimmy Fallon episodes before he took over The Tonight Show, and Pratt told the story of the first time they met. When he was first starting out in the business, Pratt got nominated for a Teen Choice Award – and lost – but he also presented a surfboard and did a comedy bit that he didn’t think went over too well. A justifiably disappointed Pratt ran into Jimmy backstage, and Jimmy told him, ‘Great job, man. You were really funny tonight’.

Pratt admitted that the moment meant so much to him since the compliment came from one of the best comedians around and Jimbo cheered him up despite the fact he bombed on stage. He then said something that has stuck with me ever since, and maybe made me (and Jimmy) cry a little. He told Jimmy, “I think you deserve all your success because you were nice to me and nice people deserve success.”

It’s so simple but it’s so true. If you put positive energy and good vibes into the world, it will surely come back to you. And that’s why I’m weirdly proud and happy for Chris Pratt becoming a huge movie star.

Let’s get this out there first – I’m obviously not friends with Pratt IRL. I’m just a Parks and Recreation fan who, like many other fans of the show, have watched this guy turn into a literal superhero. His comedic timing and delivery on Parks has always been on point, and creator Mike Schur will even tell you that Pratt is one of the best improvisers on the show – and this show stars Amy Poehler.

When Pratt got cast in Moneyball, it was exciting for me as a fan to see him in this Oscar-nominated film with BRAD PITT. I mean he was sitting next to Brad in a joint interview on Ellen and I was like – CHRIS PRATT – OF EVERWOOD AND THE OC AND FRIGGIN ANDY DWYER IS SITTING IN BETWEEN ELLEN DEGENERES AND BRAD PITT!!! Crazypants. Then he went on to star in two more Oscar-nominated films, Zero Dark Thirty and Her, and I still got a weird feeling of pride, it was like witnessing a friend on the verge of superstardom.

So in 2011, I went to a TV Academy event for Parks and Rec, where they screen an episode and most of the cast is there to talk about the show and convince Academy members to vote for them in the Emmys. After the panel, the actors usually stick around to take pix and and sign autographs for the fans, and that, kids, is how I met Chris Pratt.

Photo Aug 04, 10 26 34 PM

I usually prep myself with like one thing to tell celebs when I meet them, and my point of discussion with Pratt was that I was looking forward to seeing the film What’s Your Number, which he filmed in Boston (seriously guys, I love that movie. Half-naked Chris Evans? What’s not to love?). I told him I went to school there and he started going on and on about how he loved Boston and how excited he was for the movie, and just conversing with me as if we were having a coffee date. I was thinking in my head, ‘Um, there is LIT’RALLY a line of people waiting to take a pic with you, but you just want to chat with me forever? Okay.’ He was so down to earth, and legit one of, if not the nicest, celebrities I’ve ever met, and I will always remember that about him.

Fast forward to present day, where Chris Pratt, a super jacked, funny and charming motherfucker is seemingly everywhere thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy. To many who didn’t know him before the lead in Marvel’s latest film, it was like he became an overnight sensation. I mean it made $160 million in the worldwide box office – that’s a lot of people who have seen Pratt’s abs and had no idea he looked like this at one point:

This one role has made him a MOVIE STAR in every sense of the word, and next year, I’m assuming he’ll become even bigger thanks to Jurassic World. And then, you know, the GotG sequel, etc. etc.

But one thing for sure is that fame won’t get to his head. He hasn’t let it so far and I don’t think he ever will. In all his interviews over the past few weeks, you can tell he’s still the same guy that started out as Bright Abbott or the lovable golden labrador retriever that is Andy Dwyer. He knows how lucky he is to go from living in a van in Hawaii to eventually becoming Star Lord. He can dominate a red (blue) carpet one day

and be extremely happy his wife is making him tater tots the next.

Screenshot 2014-08-04 23.45.24

So seeing Pratt receive all this attention and acclaim has kind of made me (irrationally?) emotional for someone I just met once. But doesn’t that say something in and of itself? That a 2 minute interaction would have such an impact on a fan that it makes her tear up when he gets a rousing round of applause as walks on stage for an interview with Letterman? Maybe I’m too emotional or maybe I’m too obsessed with Parks, but I believe that this is just the beginning of Chris Pratt’s long, successful career. He deserves all his success because he was so nice to me and nice people deserve success.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Ben Affleck

Well, friends, we’ve cycled back into that biennial rumor that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are having another baby. Frankly, I just don’t know why this is a concern. Is it because people are worried about overpopulation? Because it’s not like the world is overpopulated with charming, well-dressed children who are genetically suited to star in romantic comedies and movies where they avenge the deaths of their blue-collar family members. If there even is a quota on that, we haven’t hit it.

The worst thing about these rumors is they usually say that Affleck is a massive jerk, and Garner is having another kid to “hold onto him.” I have a very specific, mostly baseless mental concept of Ben Affleck, and that just doesn’t fit with it. My Mental Ben Affleck could best be described as a “classy Masshole.” He has a heart of gold, or maybe the outside is gold and the inside is some kind of craft beer.

There are some fictional facts I’m willing to believe about Ben Affleck, but they’re more like this:

  • Ben Affleck’s first swear as a child was “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”
  • Ben Affleck’s first job was giving tours of Old North Church.

    Old ladies loved how into the “one if by land, two if by sea” bit he got.

  • All of Ben Affleck’s high school girl friends had names that ended in “een”: Maureen, Colleen, Eileen, etc.
  •  The city of Boston has issued Ben Affleck a platinum Charlie Card.

On the regular CharlieCard, Ben Affleck is also the artist’s model for the guy in the ball cap blocking the door.

  • Ben Affleck lost his virginity at Fenway (it was closed), at whichever age you, personally, consider neither too young nor too old.
  • Every year, Ben Affleck makes a “Good Will Hunting” pun at his annual hunting weekend with the boys. Nobody thinks it’s funny, ever.
  • But make no mistake, Ben Affleck is freakin’ cherished by those guys.
  • When there’s a mosquito or a fly around his head, Ben Affleck is the only living human person who actually tells it to “buzz off.”
  • Whenever you see Ben Affleck carrying a Starbucks cup, don’t be fooled: it’s actually Dunkin’ Donuts inside.
  • In Ben Affleck’s wardrobe, Friday is Polo Day.
  • Ben Affleck was a very early member of New Kids On The Block. He named the band.

    They were initially called “Kids On The Block” but Ben Affleck said they needed something that “sounds newer.”

  • Ben Affleck’s one true regret in life is never joining a frat.
  • Ben Affleck had to work with a dialect coach for Good Will Hunting. He kept getting psyched out and using his “acting voice.”
  •  Ben Affleck has quite the collection of Hummel figurines. He inherited the first ten or so from his meemaw, but kept buying them because “fuck it, I think they’re cute.”

“If you don’t think this is fuckin’ adorable, you’re probably an asshole.” – Ben Affleck

  • What you may know (via IMDB) is that when he was a kid, Ben Affleck’s mother told him that in order to get a dog, he’d have to pretend to walk a fake dog for a week. He quit after five days and never got the dog. I like this because it has the air of an origin myth, like George Washington and the cherry tree, only possibly even more fake-sounding. What you may not know is that Ben Affleck’s imaginary dog lived to the ripe age of 17, and Ben continued taking it out for walks and to the dog park well into his early 20s.
  • Inspired by Ben’s mom, Matt Damon told Ben that he’d only collaborate on Good Will Hunting if Ben would show his commitment by writing a pretend screenplay for a week. By the end of the week Ben had written the first ten pages of Good Will Hunting, a children’s story heavily influenced by Make Way For Ducklings, and a limerick calling Matt a “doosh bag” (spelled exactly that way). The rest is history.
  • When Ben Affleck takes his wife for ultrasounds, he always looks up at the bulletin board and comments that the doctor “has a lot of babies.” Nobody’s sure whether he’s joking or not.

    Now’s a good time to mention that Ben Affleck loves babies and babies love Ben Affleck.

  • In the mid-90s, Ben Affleck told Movieline magazine that his favorite TV show was “Singled Out.”
  • Whenever Ben sees a lady with a French manicure, he tells her that she “looks real nice.” He appreciates when you make an effort, you know?
  • Ben Affleck was at the receiving end of this – with a super soaker:
  • Ben Affleck has seen every episode of Dawson’s Creek, but hates “that doosh [sic] with the big forehead.”
  •  Ben Affleck was in the original cast of Goonies, but his scenes were reshot with Sean Astin when it became clear that Ben’s baseball team had a real chance of making it to the Little League World Series.

They’re cool now, though.

  • Ben Affleck’s son, Samuel, is named after Samuel Adams. The patriot and the beer.
  • Ben Affleck hates Chicago. Says it “gives him the creeps.”

    Gives Ben Affleck the willies.

  • Ben Affleck’s confirmation name is Matt. Matt Damon’s confirmation name is Ben. (Imaginary Ben Affleck is Catholic, although Real Ben Affleck is, evidently, not).
  • When they’re making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow, the Garner-Afflecks use an affected British accent. Violet’s is particularly good.
  • Ben Affleck is constantly scheming to become best bros with Bradley Cooper.

    Can you blame the man?

  • Ben Affleck has a tattoo that incorporates the logos of all of the Boston teams – and you’ll never guess where it is!
  • Did you guess his butt? It’s there.

Camp Cookies + Sangria: This One Time, At College Camp

Here’s the cold hard truth about getting older – you default to lying only because you can’t remember. “Were you the one telling me about all your horrible birthdays? And how you think they’re ‘cursed’?” “Yeah, that was me… No wait, that’s not true. That’s Penny from Happy Endings. My birthdays are fine.”

For our summer series, we’ve talked about how we never got to go to camp as a kid – and that’s a lie. I’ve been to camp. I went to sleepaway camp for exactly one week when I was maybe 12 years old and that was it. Never went to summer camp again. I think the reason I always forget it happened was because the whole thing didn’t feel real and it was just a tiny blip in my life. Like the day I spelled ‘architect’ wrong in my 6th grade spelling bee was more memorable than my entire week at camp. Let me explain.

I went to a camp called Mindstretchers which was located at Keuka College in the tiny hamlet of Keuka Park, New York, right on the Finger Lakes (there are a bunch of lakes that look like fingers from afar, I realize how weird this sounds if you didn’t grow up in upstate NY). It was approximately an hour away from our hometown of Rochester, so it wasn’t too far that I felt like I was going on some big adventure.

I guess I always wanted to go to camp, because that’s what the cool kids did, like Lindsay Lohan on The Parent Trap, but my parents were never into it until the one year I guess they just got sick of me. But like I mentioned, this camp was at a college. I didn’t actually get that Parent Trap or Salute Your Shorts experience I had envisioned. This was like, kind of smart camp? I mean, imagine you’re like 12 years old and you get to spend a week at a sprawling campus – living in DORM ROOMS!! Shared bathrooms! Living the life, y’all.

college camp

i’m not pictured in this photo, fyi

So here we were, just a group of kids between the ages of 10 to 15 at this camp called Mindstretchers, which BTW, according to one internet poster, is described as a “camp for creative thinking and writing”. They’re not too far off. Also of note – I went to this camp so long ago, that there’s BARELY anything on the internet about it, except some dude who created a FortuneCity homepage in like ’98 and posted pix of “me and my friends at Mindstretchers camp”. Basically, I went to a nerdy camp at a college, and it explains a lot about me as an adult.

Prior to attending the camp, we had to sign up for three “classes” we would take throughout each day. One academic, one artistic, and one athletic. Here’s what I chose:

Psychology Class

legit got this from the keuka college website under the pyschology dept page. is freud all they teach there?

It was my first taste of what a real college class would be like, and I’m pretty sure it was taught by one of the poor professors who basically just needed extra money. I’m sure he wanted to take the summer off like a normal teacher. I remember this is where I first learned about Freud and the Id and anal personalities and whatnot. Something I carry with me to this day.

Acting Class

this is NOT from Mindstretchers, nor do I know these kids, so yeah, it’s a little creepy I’m using their pic

Honestly, acting class was the highlight of my day, even though we had to do those stupid circle acting exercises and icebreakers. But I was into it. Our class took place in the college’s gym, and there may or may not have been one of those multi-colored parachutes involved. I’m starting to regret not going to an all out theater camp…

Soccer

Let’s be real – I am NOT the athletic type. I was forced to pick a sport and I picked the least offensive one, based purely on the fact that one of my best friends at the time was like a superstar soccer player. First day, I was legit the only one not only without shin guards, but without cleats – I HAD PINK AND GREEN ROO SNEAKERS. So embarrassing. To me, it seemed like all the kids were friggin Bend It Like Beckham and I was Posh Spice trying to keep up. The Worst.

We even had all our meals in a dining hall. For some reason, the walk from the dorm to the dining hall always made me feel like I was an adult – an adult in college, and I felt so cool. To clarify – I was not.

Looking back, my experience at summer camp was actually more of  “traditional college” experience than my actual college one. At Mindstretchers, I took a psychology class where I learned about Freud, as opposed to my real college experience, where I wrote an entire final paper about stereotypes found in MTV’s The Real World. But also, the more I think about it, Mindstretchers maybe was just a giant ploy on behalf of the Keuka College Admissions team, attempting to lure impressionable kids with memories of summer camp in order to go to college there for real when the time came. Ugh, adults. This is all to say that it’s not like I didn’t have a good time at the camp, it was just … a thing I did one time that I never did again. That is if I remembered correctly.