Fall Memes Make Me Feel Fine: Me On Election Day 2016 vs. 2017

Election Day 2016 was a year ago today. A year that felt like walking uphill through knee-high mud that’s like 50% sewage and every time you start to make progress more orange mud slides down but you keep going and then the mud starts tweeting¬†at you. On November 8, we were sweet summer children who looked like Shirley Temple and now we all look like Norman Bates’s mom in Psycho.

It’s been a year.

But here, let’s let my favorite election meme of the year – Me On Election Day 2016 vs. Me On Election Day 2017 – tell the tale:

I’m always here for Sissy Spacek, is all.

Like Eleven in season 2 of Stranger Things, this has been the journey from pretty to bitchin’.

They’re not all going to be ’70s/’80s themed, but we are all sweet innocent baby Drew Barrymore vs. Firestarter Drew Barrymore, right.

I think this is my favorite: a classic portrait of Jesus painted by a renaissance master vs: the work of an elderly Spanish woman with a lot of ambition and zero face-drawing skills.

Election night 2016 was (Good Place season 1 spoiler!) that moment when you find out you were really in hell all along.

And here I thought punching Nazis was just a thing my grandpas got to do in World War II.

I saw Triumphant Peggy (Mad Men) vs Handmaid June (The Handmaid’s Tale) as a 2016 vs 2017 comparison earlier this year, but it’s perfect for election day.

I love the ones that paint our 2017 Election Day as badass superheroes but sometimes it’s more like Sad Andy Dwyer.

We should have learned not to make jubilant predictions from Titanic, right?

What I don’t want lost in the above is that I LOVE Britney Spears and think 2007 Britney, in hindsight, was awesome.

One more Stranger Things one? #WinoForever

It wouldn’t be us if there wasn’t an Orphan Black reference. 2016: Alison Hendrix. 2017: a blood-splattered Helena.

In Jessie Spano speak, 2016: I’m so excited. 2017: I’m so scared.

Sidebar: I WISH I had been Canadian on Election Day 2016.

For my fellow Old People: From Gidget to Norma Rae.

I’m 31 and feel personally attacked.

You don’t know how long I searched for Chilton-era Rory Gilmore vs Handmaid’s Tale Alexis Bledel.

Fun fact, you can pick any two images of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Seinfeld, Veep, or both, and they will work for this.

I should have known hooded Kermit would make an appearance; I’m sure tea-sipping Kermit is out there somewhere on Twitter, too.

 

 

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A Letter To My Past Self (On November 7th, 2016)

To: Past Self (November 7th, 2016)
From: Current Self (November 7th, 2017)

Tomorrow is Election Day. It’s the day the world has been anticipating for months years. Countless debates, a tough primary, campaign appearances left and right: it’s all coming to a head tomorrow. But tomorrow –¬†prepare for the worst.

Prepare yourself for the unimaginable. Prepare yourself to see a divided America like never before. Prepare yourself to be constantly shocked but not surprised by what the next four years can bring. Prepare yourself for an election night you’ll never forget.

You’ll see the numbers start trickling in. You’ll get so nervous you’ll start watching The West Wing for comfort. You will think that all the media outlets have made an accounting error. You’ll wait for them to come back like Steve Harvey admitting he crowned the wrong woman Miss Universe. You’ll start to wonder if the electoral college should be a process we should still adhere to when the person with the popular vote loses. You’ll never get over the 3 million more votes. You’ll dread every time you scroll past your Tumblr draft of Lorelai saying, “See you when Hillary’s president” because you were saving that for when she actually was elected president. You will ugly cry. You’ll feel like throwing up (it’s not food poisoning, it’s America). You will feel like you’re in a nightmare. That feeling might never end. It’s not a night you’ll particularly want to revisit ever again.

Wednesday will not be a good day. Going to work will feel like going to a funeral. It will be eerily quiet. Thursday and Friday won’t be good either. For that matter, neither will Saturday, Sunday or the following week. You’ll go through the five stages of grief (even though acceptance might never be complete).

You will see the worst in people. You’ll see the worst in people that you hoped would never happen but does. It will happen immediately. Like within 24 hours immediately. You’ll see stories of DT voters yelling at strangers to “get out of the country, Apu”,¬†¬†his name graffittied on the door of the Muslim Students Association at NYU, and two white male college students driving to Hillary’s alma mater Wellesley & parking outside a house for black students, yelling Make America Great Again. And it won’t stop.

In fact, you’ll see the KKK decide not to hide behind their white shrouds anymore and lead a march with tiki torches, resulting in the death of a protestor. You continue to ask if it’s still 2017 or 1957. The term “on many sides” will have a new meaning after this event.

So many bad things will happen that even when you try to track it all, you can’t. There will be a Muslim travel ban. A ban against transgendered people from joining the military. Denial of climate change by promising to pull out of the Paris accord. A threat of “fire and fury” on North Korea. He & the Republicans will confirm a Supreme Court Justice all thanks to the Senate deciding to change the law in their favor. He’ll encourage police brutality. He’ll bully the mayor of San Juan and continue to ignore Americans in Puerto Rico. Russia. To name a few.

It will get so bad you’ll actually get nostalgic about George Bush and reconsider if Mitt Romney’s “binders of women” was actually just an adorable joke and nothing more.

But the thing is, you’ll also see the best in people. You’ll see strangers come together in a Burbank park the day after the election to talk about their emotions and eager to take action. You’ll never call or contact your representatives in D.C. as much as you will after this day. You’ll have some of them on speed dial. The term “She Persisted” becomes a new slogan for women. You’ll learn that because of the results of this election, thousands of women will be inspired to run for public office and serve within their own communities. Organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU will receive unprecedented donations (some made in VP Mike Pence’s name). You’ll see brave people stepping up and defending strangers against bigots, with some even losing their lives to fight back.

The day after the inauguration, you’ll see millions of women, men, and children across the country come together in unity to advocate for equality. And not just in America, but all over the world, with 5 million people¬†taking a stand against hate and standing for love. But the activism doesn’t stop there. Grab a sign and go to the airport. March for science. March for impeachment. Weekends are busy because Protest is the New Brunch.

Just like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, those who lived through Election Day 2016 will never forget it. Nor will they think they’re the same before and after those official results came in. And neither will you.¬†You’ll wake up every morning for the next 365 days (and probably until his entire administration is out of office) and check the Twitter trends to see what fresh hell awaits you. But remember to never sit back and watch it all unfold. Do something. Encourage others to fight the too. And most importantly, don’t give up hope. Hope that our country actually will be great, but it’s up to us to achieve that.

To take a page out of the Obama Speech Archive: ‚ÄúI have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

Fight. Insist. Resist.

The Way They Were: Today’s Stars on The Rosie O’Donnell Show

The Rosie O’Donnell Show ran from 1996 to 2002, and even though we watched it to the bitter end we somehow always¬†associate it with the ’90s. When I think of Rosie guests, it’s people like Macy Gray, cast members from Ally McBeal, and throwbacks to Rosie’s¬†1970s childhood like the Osmonds. However, there are some modern stars we always forget were active in the Rosie era, so¬†it feels like a total time warp seeing them as guests on¬†The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

The Cast Of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and The Rosie O’Donnell Show had a brief overlap – Rosie even campaigned to play Molly Weasley, and while Julie Walters defined the role I bet she would have been great. However, with the last movie coming out in 2011 I tend to forget that Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone was a 2001 release: firmly in the early 2000s. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 15 years since Harry Potter first hit the big screen, until you see how tiny the kids were here and it feels like when one of your friends posts a #TBT baby picture.

Mae Whitman

We have long loved Mae Whitman as Parenthood’s Amber Braverman, a real-life Friday Night Lights superfan, Ann Veal (her?), and a Dawson’s Creek Live Reading participant. But let’s not forget that before all this, she was one of those 90s child actors who was in EVERYTHING. You might remember Mae¬†from One Fine Day, When A Man Loves A Woman, Independence Day, and as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in Hope Floats. It’s rare that a child actor maintains such a solid career through adolescence and adulthood. It’s even more rare to create such distinct child and adult personas that we almost forget this¬†adorable moppet¬†is the same cool girl who cracks us up on Twitter on a weekly basis.

Lea Michele

Lea Michele first entered our consciousness thanks to Spring Awakening, but there’s a wide audience who didn’t really know who she was until Glee. We didn’t know it, but we were actually familiar with little Lea long before that. In 1998, Ragtime was all the rage (in our circles, anyway) and Lea was the wide-eyed, precocious little girl. Also: AUDRA.

Jimmy Fallon

We certainly knew Jimmy was around in 2001 – we had massive crushes on him that we’d discuss in study hall and at lunch – but it was early in his SNL career and he wasn’t really doing much press yet, so it’s surprising that he was on¬†Rosie. We had no clue he’d be a wildly popular talk show host in his own right over ten years later.

Alas, there is no video of the appearance, so enjoy this photo of Jimmy and Horatio Sanz as Rosie.

Lil Bow Wow

I know he was¬†¬†lil when he started, but Bow Wow as an actual child rapper on Rosie is something I cannot quite remember. But it’s true, he was there – sadly, with no video to prove it. Woof.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer may be a rom-com and movie mom favorite now, but in the early 2000s she was best known as the star of Alias … to other people. To us she was primarily the flirty, 30 and thriving Jenna Rink in 13 Going On 30, which didn’t come out until 2004. That’s why it feels so weird knowing that Garner was on Rosie in 2001 promoting Alias, a show I admittedly never watched.

Lauren Graham

We briefly mentioned Lauren’s appearance earlier this week, as she showed off her “skills” during a craft corner segment on Rosie’s last show of the series. But months before, and nearing the end of season two of Gilmore Girls, Lauren appeared on the show for the first time, and Lo and Ro kicked it off right away. I have always been a fan of LG’s TV interviews because she always comes off charismatic, fun and awkward all at the same time (see: all Ellen interviews), and in 2002, this was just the beginning of Lauren’s rise to fame and her journey with Gilmore Girls. BECAUSE I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S HAPPENING.

Hayden Panettiere

I sometimes forget Hayden was a child actor. But then I remember she played Ally McBeal’s daughter and it all comes screaming back to me. Before she played a country music star on Nashville, she proved she had the chops to be a pop star by singing Britney’s (You Drive Me) Crazy during this interview and bless her heart, it feels like she’s been practicing the bit with her stage mom, whom she keeps looking at off camera. Young Hayden is cute, but I think I prefer confident adult Hayden much better.

Josh Groban

Speaking of Ally McBeal… actually, let’s back up a bit. Josh Groban was just 17 years old when superproducer David Foster called Josh’s vocal coach asking if he had any students good enough to rehearse with Celine Dion at the 1999 Grammys. She was set to perform The Prayer with Andrea Boccelli, but because he couldn’t make it, Josh filled in, and Rosie was in awe after hearing him during rehearsals – this was the year she hosted the Grammys. She invited him to her show, as seen above, and because of this interview,¬†Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley created a role for Josh on his show, and the rest is history. Also, Josh is so nervous and shy here it’s adorable and nothing like what he is now.

Lea DeLaria and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Sometimes when you know actors from two completely different shows, it throws you off when you hear they’ve been friends for years. That is the case for Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria and Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who both starred on Broadway long before their respective award-winning shows. Here they are performing a number from On the Town, and it’s nothing like you’ve seen them before. Ok, maybe excluding¬†Jesse.

Kobe Bryant

When doing research for this, I saw the third guest in a season one episode titled as “High school student and NBA draftee Kobe Bryant”. I’m not even a big basketball fan, but this is iconic. Kobe, 18 at the time, had signed a three-year $3.5 million contract with the Lakers and he hadn’t even played college basketball. Again, like Bow Wow video from 1998 is scarce, so just trust he was on the show.

Kate Winslet

Technically Kate had a few films under her belt before this interview, but it’s just a treasure of a vid because she is actually doing press for Titanic. It’s her first time on the show, and Rosie wishes her the best of luck as an actress. And like we all knew in that steerage party¬†when she went up on her toes, she’s been knocking it out ever since. Also she talks about Leo and their true love.

BONUS:

When the maybe first female president sings a Bye Bye Birdie song. Also note Rosie in her Rosie-est getup.

This Is Not Journalism: Best Dressed Of The Nerd Prom

When Hillary Clinton officially announced her candidacy, I was 97% excited and 3% bummed. That 3% was because I knew that from this point onward, we were in for journalistic masterpieces like Pantsuit Watch 2016. At this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Cecily Strong solved that problem once and for all:

 

It should go without saying that a public figure’s appearance is not news – unless she makes it news. One time when that happens is on the red carpet: part of the deal is that celebrities help promote their designers by mentioning who they’re wearing. We’ll be the first to admit that there’s a home for fashion commentary online – we love outfits so much that we have a post category called Outfit Girl, after all. But¬†what would it look like if journalists paid the barest attention to fashion – just the facts – then¬†switched over to the stuff that really matters? Let’s try it out with the top looks from the White House Correspondent’s dinner.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is a Harvard-educated lawyer wearing a metallic silver dress by Zac Posen. Her Let’s Move! campaign endeavors to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. by promoting exercise and a healthy diet. She has publicly backed economic stimulus packages, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay act,¬†and LGBT equality, and has made a number of¬†diplomatic trips in the capacity of First Lady. It is an unpaid position, and her hair looks awesome curly.

Cecily Strong

Cecily Strong made her SNL debut at the age of 28, and quickly gained popularity for her off-the-wall characters like the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party.¬†Strong has a BFA in fine arts from CalArts and will be a Ghostbuster next year. This year she served as host of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, and her appearance was so hilarious that you should just watch the whole thing here. You can locate the funniest jokes by finding which ones nobody laughs at because they’re not sure if they’re allowed to. Here she is in a black and purple gown by J.Mendel and some strong eye makeup, mere hours before absolutely killing it in front of Washington and Hollywood elite.

Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez is the Golden Globe-winning star of Jane The Virgin, and she used her Globes acceptance speech to express thanks to the Latino community and call out the need for more, and more varied, representation of Latinos in the media. Rodriguez said “This award is so much more than myself, it represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes¬†[…]¬†My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad ‚ÄĒ Today is a great day. I can and I did.” At the White House Correspondents’ dinner, Rodriguez wore a rose-colored Gustav Cadile gown.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel is a Tony-winning actress who has also appeared on film and in television, but you may know her best as the voice of Elsa in Frozen … or as Maureen from Rent or Elphaba from Wicked; I guess that depends on your demographic. In addition to her impressive list of stage credits, Menzel created the A BroaderWay Foundation with then-husband Taye Diggs to support disadvantaged youth in the arts. At the WHCD, Menzel sported blonder-than-usual hair, perfect for her upcoming summer-long world tour.¬† She wore a Monique Lhuillier gown; clutch is by Judith Leiber and jewels are by Jacob & Co.

Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu, an actress known for her roles in Ally McBeal, Southland and Elementary, is also an accomplished visual artist who is fluent in Mandarin. Liu has worked to spread knowledge about human trafficking, as well as serving as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. Here she is discussing the importance of representation in television:

Also, that sparkly gown is to die for.

Jane Fonda

This sequin gown by Donna Karan is reminiscent of Jane Fonda’s costumes in her breakout role in the 1968 film Barbarella. Since then, Fonda has won two Oscars and built an exercise video empire which – speaking of outfits – popularized that 80s aerobic gear that looks like nothing so much as a full-body wedgie. After sparking controversy for opposing the Vietnam War and supporting the Black Panthers, Fonda’s activism efforts have included establishing the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health at Emory University and participating in anti-Iraq War protests.

Ashley Judd

It’s been a rough couple months for Ashley Judd on the internet, so first something positive: she looks fantastic in this Badgley Mischka gown. Missed the online controversy? After posting some rather innocuous tweets in support of her alma mater’s basketball team – the Kentucky Wildcats – Judd faced a deluge of vulgar and threatening messages from mean-spirited trolls. As people who write stuff on the internet, we wouldn’t wish this kind of attack on anybody. However, Judd has spoken out on the inadequacies of platforms like Twitter in dealing with threats, sparking a discussion of how scary and upsetting online bullying can be – and this high-profile commentary just might help change things for the better. This isn’t the only cause Judd supports: she is on the board of directors of YouthAIDS and the¬† Leadership Council of the International Center for Research on Women.

Connie Britton

On Friday Night Lights, Connie Britton played the fantastic Tami Taylor, my favorite Texan I’m not related to. In real life, Britton is a Dartmouth grad with a resume including television (FNL, Nashville), theater, and film. Outside of her day job, she is a goodwill ambassador with the United Nations Development Programme. Gown by Halston Heritage.

Laverne Cox

If you don’t know who Laverne Cox is, that means you haven’t seen Orange Is The New Black – so first things first, queue it up on Netflix and you won’t regret it. Cox, a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an acting Emmy. She has participated in a number of interviews and documentaries to promote understanding and dispel misconceptions about trans people, and speaking of visibility, will you look at her in this silver Ines Di Santo gown?

Barack Obama

Barack Obama, best known as the President Of The United States, is wearing a classic black tux with a bow tie and a flash of white pocket square. Shirt buttons are a dark contrast – mother of pearl, perhaps? – and the lapel is accessorized with a Tiny American Flag Pin. When he isn’t dazzling crowds with red-carpet panache, President Obama is expanding Americans’ access to health care through the Affordable Care Act, tackling financial reform with the passage of the Dodd-Frank act, shoring up the post-recession economy with economic stimuli, and Obama still has time to raise two teenagers and play the occasional pickup game with his Washington buds.

Girls, Gals, Broads & Dames: What’s A Lady To Call Herself?

As I’ve hit my … ahem… mid-20s, it’s gotten harder and harder to know what I call myself. Guys have it so easy, and the reason is in this sentence. Guys. It’s totally ageless! A guy could be 15 or 105. I could talk about an “old guy” and you’d picture a senior citizen. If I talked about an “old girl,” you’d just be confused. What does that mean – like, upper elementary school? An octogenarian who wears gingham a la Baby Jane? Oh, no, it’s not one of those creepy adult baby things, is it?

College was easy enough. I was a girl, no question. But now that I’m a real, serious lawyer/editor person for eight hours a day, that sounds ridiculous. Nobody wants a “girl” editing their jury instructions, you know? But that’s also the only option that matches up with how I feel. Traci hit on this in the first sentence of Is this For A Tween Or Just Fashion Forward, so I think this might be normal at this life stage.¬† Like most dilemmas, I think this might be solved with a simple pro/con list. So, keep reading, lady! Or girl. Definitely not ma’am though, am I right?

GIRL

Pro:

  • Informal/casual. Good for tongue-in-cheek use, for instance a drawn out “girllll” before admonishing someone, or a peppy “hey girl heeyyy” upon seing a friend.
  • Not insulting to most people in their 20s/30s (if you refer to the “girl at the cash register,” she won’t go home and start looking for fine lines).
  • Youthful
  • Lena Dunham

Con:

  • Inaccurate. I know I should be going off of the legal perspective – adult at 18 – but I don’t mean that. I mean that by your mid-20s, your prefrontal cortex has devloped and myelination has chilled out (not for guys til they’re like 30. That’s why they’re like that, and why you probably made dumber choices in your early 20s than now.).¬† You won’t even be adding bone mass for much longer. Sorry, girl, you’re an adult now, even if your bank statements don’t reflect that.
  • Kind of calls attention to the fact that I’m NOT a girl. I liken this to this 60-something lady on my bus who clearly dresses in head-to-toe Delia’s (or whatever the 2013 equivalent is. I’m old). It makes me notice her age when I wouldn’t otherwise. Am I a “26-year-old girl?” Only if I have some weird aging disorder that would land me a TLC special. In college someone used the phrase “college children” in a group project and it sounded completely off. That’s what “girl in her late 20s” sounds like to me.
  • Frankly inappropriate in a business context. I don’t need a prominent judge or legal scholar to refer to me as a “girl.”¬† It’s hard enough to be young-looking without being in the same category as my colleagues’ granddaughters.

WOMAN

Pro:

  • Accurate
  • Fairly value-neutral
  • Sort of funny in contexts where you aren’t womanly: e.g.: “I am a 26-year-old woman who just bought workout clothes in the Target children’s department; okay or not okay?”

Con:

  • I don’t know, like… Hillary Clinton’s a woman. Oprah, definitely. Maybe even Adele, right? Tami Taylor, Caitlin Moran. Woman implies a degree of having your shit together, especially about lady-stuff, that honestly I just don’t have yet.

LADY

Pro:

  • Sounds somewhat dignified. Implies that you’re fairly classy and put-together. For instance, I hadn’t seen a friend in a while and he looked me over and said “ohhh. You’re a LADY!” and I took it as a compliment. In a related note, if anyone knows like ONE straight male, hook a lady up because clearly I’m not friends with any.
  • Doesn’t make me feel weird.
  • Kind of funny when you’re talking about yourself in a non-ladylike context.
  • Like “girl,” really lends itself to colloquial use and makes an easy generic nickname: “hey lady, your blog is really awesome!” eg.
  • Not that this matters to all of y’all, but this is the one I use the most.

Con:

  • Some people really don’t like the stuffy connotations, especially folks who grew up being told to “act like a lady.” True story, in kindergarten this boy named Jamie kept tickling me. I’m CRAZY ticklish and also hate it, so I kept shrinking down in my seat to get away from him. And every time the lunch monitor came around, she told me to “sit like a lady.” Even at five I knew that I was like 20 years and two feet away from being a lady, so how could I sit like one?
  • Not great when used as a replacement for a¬† name, except with friends as discussed above. You can get your waitress’s attention by calling out “hey, lady!”, sure. But wait and see how much saliva ends up in your soup. I bet lots.
  • Jerry Lewis.

FEMALE

Pro:

  • Technically correct

Con:

  • You will sound like Murray from Clueless.
  • Sounds vaguely disrespectful and I’m not sure why.
  • Actually, kind of sounds like how you’d talk about a cat or something.
  • Nobody calls men “males” while being serious, so this is a really obvious attempt to avoid saying “girl,” “lady,” or “woman.” I’m onto you.
  • Oddly clinical.
  • Maybe just don’t use it.

BROAD

Pro:

  • Hilarious.
  • Makes you slip into a 1930s accent even if you’re trying not to.
  • Punny. I don’t use broad much, but when I start a sentence with “When I was abroad,” I¬† MUST continue it “… who lived in Spain…”

Con:

  • Okay in a joking context, but you can’t use it professionally or on strangers.

GAL

Pro:

  • See: Broad re: 1930s accent
  • Implies someone older than “girl” but is still casual. Except in frequency of use, probably the closest we have to “guy.” Maybe we should bring this back.

Con:

  • Nobody really uses it, except for dames in the early talkies, so you’d really have to be willing to start something.

DAME

Pro:

  • See: Gal, Broad supra re: 1930s accent.
  • Maggie Smith.
  • Helen Mirren.
  • Judi Dench.

Con:

  • You will sound like Christian from Clueless.
  • You are not Maggie Smith and you are not Helen Mirren and you are not Judi Dench. But if you ARE Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, or Judi Dench, please leave a comment because that’s pretty cool.