Rex Manning Day, Mean Girls Day and More: Essential Pop Culture Holidays

In The Great Gatsby, Daisy always watched for the longest day of the year and then missed it. In the age of tumblr, I always watch for Saturday Detention Day, AKA Breakfast Club Day, and then miss it. I kind of understand how Daisy must feel. In the interest of never missing another movie or TV holiday, we’re compiling them here. Did we miss any? Let us know before we’re late to yet another Aaron Samuels Day.

Galentines Day

Date: February 13
TV Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning:

Leap Day

Date: February 29, every 4 years
TV Show: 30 Rock
Reasoning: 30 Rock didn’t invent Leap Day, but it did invent Leap Day William, the heart and soul of the holiday

The Day Of The Dude

Date: March 8
Movie: The Big Lebowski (1998)
Reasoning: Anniversary of the Big Lebowski’s Release

Breakfast Club Day AKA Saturday Detention Day

Date: March 24
Movie: The Breakfast Club (1984)
Reasoning:

Winston Smith Day AKA 1984 Day

Date: April 4
Book: 1984, by George Orwell (1949)
Reasoning: The day Winston Smith began his diary.

Rex Manning Day

Date: April 8
Movie: Empire Records (1995)
Reasoning:

The Perfect Date

Date: April 25th
Movie: Miss Congeniality
Reasoning:

N Sync Day

Date: April 30
Song: It’s Gonna Be Me
Reasoning:

The Battle of Hogwarts

Date: May 2
Book and Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Reasoning: Confirmed by J.K. Rowling, who said that Victoire Weasley was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, May 2. The year was 1998:

Star Wars Day

Date: May 4
Movies: Many
Reasoning:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Date: June 5
Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
 Reasoning: It’s iffy. That’s the day the audio from the Chicago Bears game they attended came from, but there may have been a few months left in the schoolyear. Also, that parade would have been in the fall. Let’s say that any day you play hooky can be Ferris Bueller Day in your heart.

Best Friends Day

Date: June 8
TV Show: Spongebob Squarepants
Reasoning: There’s no date given for Best Friends Day in the episode where Spongebob and Patrick celebrate it, so it’s usually celebrated on the Facebook-ish holiday of Best Friends Day, June 8

Bloomsday

Date: June 16
Book: Ulysses, by James Joyce (1922)
Reasoning: The events of Ulysses (main character Leopold Bloom) take place on June 16, 1904

Harry Potter’s Birthday

Date: July 31
Books/Movies: The Harry Potter series
Reasoning: Not only is this the date Harry was born in 1980, it’s when JK Rowling was born in 1965. And of course, Neville Longbottom was born the day before Harry if you want to turn it into a two-day event.

Roald Dahl Day

Date: September 13
Books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and many, many more
Reasoning: Roald Dahl was born on this day in 1916. Last year we celebrated with a whole week dedicated to Matilda.

Mean Girls Day AKA Aaron Samuels Day

Date: October 3
Movie: Mean Girls (2004)
Reasoning:

Treat Yo Self Day

Date: October 13
TV Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning: The ‘treat yo self’ episode aired on this date in 2011

Abed’s Rudolph Day

Date: December 9
TV Show: Community (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning: In the classic 2010 claymation episode Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas, this is the day Abed always watches Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer with his mom. 

Refrigerator Day

Date: December 11
TV Show: Dinosaurs (1991)
Reasoning: The date this classic episode about Refrigerator Day aired:

 

Festivus

Date: December 23
TV Show: Seinfeld  (1989 – 1998)
Reasoning: The day the holiday ‘for the rest of us’ is celebrated with the feats of strength, airing of grievances and Festivus pole.

 

Advertisements

Leslie Knope 2016: Yes We Can’t Not Knope

I think the least politically charged thing I can say right now is that I won’t be voting for Donald Trump. It’s amazing: a distaste for The Donald has actually managed to unite both the political right and the political left in America. Yet somehow, Donald Trump has the highest delegate count in the Republican primaries! But maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t that people love the Drumpf. Maybe people just aren’t excited about the alternatives. But whether you’re a Republican who isn’t on the Cruz Cruise, or a Democrat who’s not feeling the Bern, I have an alternative we can all agree on – Leslie Knope. Not convinced? Keep reading:

 

  • Leslie Knope loves America more than all of the current candidates put together:
  • Plus, she accidentally legalized gay penguin marriage :
  • Her presidential portrait would be AMAZING:
  • Knope didn’t back down from Eagleton; won’t back down from international aggressors either:
  • Would redecorate the Oval Office like the Gryffindor common room:

  • Has real red state/blue state cross-appeal:
  • Good at being yelled at, an important skill for any public figure:
  • And she’s not afraid to take political punches:
  • Finally, there would be campaign ads we’d want to see:

  • She’d be a blast on the campaign trail:
  • Can you imagine the activities at the White House Easter Egg Roll?
  • We’d finally see the executive branch go HAM on the Library of Congress:
  • But we’d also have a president who respects the people who keep America going:
  • She’d deliver the BEST speeches on the campaign trail:

  • The Knope campaign wouldn’t end until victory was won:
  • Would have the MRA movement shut down with a single withering glance:
  • Yet she’d still speak to the traditional set in terms they can understand:
  • Leslie Knope knows what it takes to get America on your side:
  • AND she knows how things really go down in Washington:
  • Possible fictional running mate – Tami Taylor. Just saying.
  • Leslie already knew she was going to be President, so we may as well get on board:
  • Besides, it’s going to happen eventually, anyway:

 

 

 

Best of 2015: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Parks and Recreation

If you’re still jonesing for more Amy and Tina after the epic SNL this weekend, go see Sisters. Or you can look back and read one of our favorite posts from our 5,000 Candles in the Wind series dedicated to Parks and Recreation before we said goodbye to it forever. Amy and the rest of the crew taught us a lot about life through the show, and we’ll be forever grateful.

We’ve come a long way since the pit. From Lil Sebastian to Champion, Rent A Swag to Entertainment 720, waffles to bacon, 2009 to 2017, there was a lot to love about Parks and Recreation. And tonight, we’ll say a goodbye that’s more sad than the Lil Sebastian farewell concert or Ann’s move to Michigan. Parks had a lot going for it: the best actors and writers in comedy, critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. But above all, it had more heart than any other sitcom on the air. The show’s outlook was overwhelmingly positive, and its protagonist was a hard worker with total loyalty to her town, her career and her friends. We learned more from Parks and Recreation than we have from any show since Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers. Dare we say? Everything we need to know we learned from Parks and Recreation.

Friends, Waffles, Work

Or waffles, friends work. No matter. In other words: priorities. Even Leslie, career-driven as she is, knows that work takes a back seat to the big things in life – your friends. And waffles, which in a broader sense you could interpret as something like “taking the time to enjoy life.” Except that I think she really does mean waffles.

Ovaries Before Brovaries

Again, file under: priorities. Parks is about the relationships between a wide net of coworkers, friends, and significant others. If Ben came along and it was The Leslie And Ben Show from that point on, there wouldn’t be much reason to watch. Leslie’s not the sort to get into a relationship and write off her friends. So, the “uteruses before duderuses” approach can be broadened into “don’t forget about your friends just because of relationship stuff.”

There’s also the great way Leslie is supportive of her lady friends, even when it’s tough. It wasn’t easy to accept Ann moving away, but Leslie encouraged her to do what was best for her family. And rather than get jealous that April was moving up in her career, Leslie helped facilitate the move. Leslie knows one of the greatest secrets in life – which is also one of our lessons from Parks and Recreation: when the members of your “team” succeed – whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers – then that’s your success, too.

Treat Yo Self

You could say that Tom and Donna are a couple of silly geese, but no. They both work hard and play hard. The key to Treat Yo Self: it’s a once a year occurence. You don’t rack up credit card debt because you “deserve” good things, but every once in a while it’s good to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Like Tom and Donna, it’s always nice to have a friend to back you up, so when you rationalize that you don’t really need those fine leather goods, a still small voice whispers “treat yo self.”

Say Thank You

I have a philosophy about the “sorry epidemic,” that is, the way people start or end sentences with “sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong. My theory is that in most cases, what the person really means is either please or thank you. Rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in advance, what they really mean to do is ask for something. And rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in retrospect, what they mean to do is say thank you: thank you for accommodating me, or understanding, or going out of your way, or being supportive. People apologize for existing when they really want to thank other people for making their existence easier.

No show does “thank you ” better than Parks. Whether it’s the final moments before Ann leaves Pawnee, or April’s tear-inducing speech in D.C., these folks know how to thank the people who make their lives better. Next time you feel compelled to apologize when you haven’t really done something you shouldn’t, look deeper. Do you really want to say please or thank you instead?

Don’t Write The Concession Speech

In one of my classrooms growing up, there was a poster that said “Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail.” But I also say that “Planning To Fail Is Planning To Fail.” School decor aside, it’s important to not behave as though the worst is going to happen. Ben doesn’t write a concession speech, because he doesn’t think that losing is a possible outcome.

Or maybe the better lesson is this: surround yourself with people who will think that you won’t need the concession speech. Maybe Leslie wouldn’t have won if her circle was full of people who assumed she wouldn’t succeed. Fill your life with the Bens to your Leslie: people who expect you to win, even more than you do yourself.

I Love You And I Like You

The phrase that Leslie and Ben often tell each other is quite endearing and sums up a perfect relationship. But the writers didn’t come up with it – Rashida Jones’ dad did. I believe Amy wrote the episode it first appeared in, and she revealed in an interview that when she was in Monte Carlo with Quincy Jones (as you do), he grabbed her face in his hands and said to her, “I love you and I like you.” Whether it be a significant other, family member a friend, or your daughter’s comedy wife, it’s important to not only let them know how you feel, but actually truly mean what you say. Anyone can say ‘love ya’ as a throwaway, but to add the ‘I like you’ part implies you enjoy them as a human being, enjoy their company, enjoy everything they have to offer.

Know Where Your Money Goes

Okay, on one hand, definitely treat yo self. On the other hand, don’t blow your budget on Harry Potter fantasy camp.

Of course, I would say that, I’m a Ravenclaw.

When You Love Something, You Fight For It

This speech from Leslie’s final statement as she vies for city council is the best summarization of Leslie Knope. “If you love something, you don’t threaten it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first… If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. If I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly.” Leslie Knope is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest female character ever on TV because she doesn’t back down. She fights for what she believes in, and she stands up not only for herself, but for those around her. It doesn’t just apply to her career, it applies to her friendships. From making unnecessary holidays to going to all costs to help a friend propose, Leslie will do anything in her power to see things get done. When it came to her relationship with Ben, she was willing to give up her career just to be with him. She said, ‘Let’s just screw it,’ and it eventually paid off. When you love something, you fight for it. As Ron Swanson said, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” Leslie can proudly say she whole-assed a whole bunch of things.

“I like to tell people get on board and buckle up, because my ride’s gonna be a big one. If you get motion sickness, put your head between your knees, because Leslie Knope’s stopping for no one.”

Time Is Money; Money Is Power; Power is Pizza; Pizza is Knowledge

This is probably my favorite thing April has ever said on the entire series. First of all, the fact that she’s running this meeting is just great character development. I love character development. But no matter how ridiculous it sounds when it comes out, she usually has a point. In Pawnee in particular, there are a lot of randoms who have nothing better to do but complain, like that woman who is always too concerned about her dog and brings up her pooch problems at town meetings. These are the folks April and co. have to deal with and they don’t have time to sit around listening to droll residents all day. Also, pizza. Pizza is always a good choice.

Have Dating Standards

Ok, this might actually be one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the show. When Tom said this, he spoke to my soul on a deep level. The fact that Ann didn’t know who Ginuwine was (Ginuwine – is Ginuwine) was astonishing, and honestly, I, like Tom, don’t think I could ever date someone who didn’t know who he was. Speaking of Ann, in her days of going through guy after guy, she often had a tendency to change into the people she was dating. Like Julia Roberts in Runway Bride – she didn’t even know what type of egg she liked. It’s important to have simple standards for your ideal mate, because when you figure out what you want – like Ann wanted a kid – you will most likely get what you’re looking for.

There’s Always Paris

paris parks

I kind of want this in a tattoo form but not, because it’s too long. Leslie always has a lot on her plate, but somehow she manages it all. She has time to make binders on how to be a garbage woman but also finds time to make a scrapbook about her “Thoughts on Sam Waterston“. So when something extremely stressful comes her way, like being recalled from city council, it’s important to just take a break from it all. We know Leslie loves her job, but it’s important to take a break once in a while. We get so caught up in the millions of things on our to do lists each day that we don’t actually take a chance to breathe and be present and let go of whatever is bothering us. Your trip to Paris doesn’t have to be Paris. Paris can be your favorite park or cafe or a place an hour away to the middle of nowhere. If you have the ability to get away, even for just a brief moment, do it.

Be a Good Person

When Leslie realizes her job is at stake because of her romantic relationship with Ben (and the fact that they bribed the maintenance guy during Lil Sebastian’s funeral to keep quiet), Leslie thinks it’s all over for her. But Ron, in his vast font of knowledge, reminds her that despite the fact she did a frowned upon/illegal thing, it doesn’t make her a bad person. I think this show overall has taught us that there is good in this world, and you can be part of bringing that to real life. Parks never puts anyone down, it inspires and encourages us to be better. We’re human. We make mistakes. But it’s what happens after the fact that shows our true character.

Inspire Yourself

Speaking of being inspirational, while Leslie Knope herself is a great inspiration to us all, she also remind us that often times, the best person to encourage you is yourself. I don’t think Leslie would be half the leader she is today if she never thought she could do it. Yeah, she has to remind herself at times she can reach her goals (“Hey Leslie. It’s Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”) Sure, you can have people like Ben around you believing in you and not writing concession speeches, but when Leslie walked out on the stage and gave the speech (as seen above a few paragraphs), she was ultimately the one to give the impassioned statement. No one fed her lines, she went with her gut and her gut made her win.

Feminism Isn’t Just For Women

I am a goddess. a glorious female warrior, queen of all i survey. enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar. Also men’s rights is nothing.

Johnny Karate’s Rules for Success

I mean, I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

The Only Constant Is Change

Unfortunately, doppelganger Ron has a point. Returning for one of the final episodes, Eagleton Ron shows up like he usually does, out of nowhere, and gives sage advice, like a traveling Yoda who is easier to understand. As we say goodbye to the gang tonight, the gang says goodbye to each other. Ben and Leslie and Andy and April are moving to D.C., Tom’s getting married to Lucy, Donna’s enjoying married life with Joe and moving to Seattle, Ron has his construction company and family to tend to, and Chris and Ann are already off being domestic in Michigan. Oh and Garry’s the mayor (CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). Despite the fact a lot has happened for the Parks department in the past seven/10 years, it was bound to change sometime. Leslie was always bigger than Pawnee, and while her dreams seemed far away in season one, we realize that it’s time for her to actually achieve those goals. She turned a pit into a playground and now it’s her turn to bring that same goal-oriented talent to D.C. And this show, no matter how much we love it, was bound to have its final episode whether we liked it or not. But we’ll find another show to like and love. Maybe not as much and not in the same way, but we will. We’ll move on. We’ll move up. And we’ll miss you in the saddest fashion.

5,000 Candles in the Wind: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Parks and Recreation

We’ve come a long way since the pit. From Lil Sebastian to Champion, Rent A Swag to Entertainment 720, waffles to bacon, 2009 to 2017, there was a lot to love about Parks and Recreation. And tonight, we’ll say a goodbye that’s more sad than the Lil Sebastian farewell concert or Ann’s move to Michigan. Parks had a lot going for it: the best actors and writers in comedy, critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. But above all, it had more heart than any other sitcom on the air. The show’s outlook was overwhelmingly positive, and its protagonist was a hard worker with total loyalty to her town, her career and her friends. We learned more from Parks and Recreation than we have from any show since Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers. Dare we say? Everything we need to know we learned from Parks and Recreation.

Friends, Waffles, Work

Or waffles, friends work. No matter. In other words: priorities. Even Leslie, career-driven as she is, knows that work takes a back seat to the big things in life – your friends. And waffles, which in a broader sense you could interpret as something like “taking the time to enjoy life.” Except that I think she really does mean waffles.

Ovaries Before Brovaries

Again, file under: priorities. Parks is about the relationships between a wide net of coworkers, friends, and significant others. If Ben came along and it was The Leslie And Ben Show from that point on, there wouldn’t be much reason to watch. Leslie’s not the sort to get into a relationship and write off her friends. So, the “uteruses before duderuses” approach can be broadened into “don’t forget about your friends just because of relationship stuff.”

There’s also the great way Leslie is supportive of her lady friends, even when it’s tough. It wasn’t easy to accept Ann moving away, but Leslie encouraged her to do what was best for her family. And rather than get jealous that April was moving up in her career, Leslie helped facilitate the move. Leslie knows one of the greatest secrets in life – which is also one of our lessons from Parks and Recreation: when the members of your “team” succeed – whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers – then that’s your success, too.

Treat Yo Self

You could say that Tom and Donna are a couple of silly geese, but no. They both work hard and play hard. The key to Treat Yo Self: it’s a once a year occurence. You don’t rack up credit card debt because you “deserve” good things, but every once in a while it’s good to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Like Tom and Donna, it’s always nice to have a friend to back you up, so when you rationalize that you don’t really need those fine leather goods, a still small voice whispers “treat yo self.”

Say Thank You

I have a philosophy about the “sorry epidemic,” that is, the way people start or end sentences with “sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong. My theory is that in most cases, what the person really means is either please or thank you. Rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in advance, what they really mean to do is ask for something. And rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in retrospect, what they mean to do is say thank you: thank you for accommodating me, or understanding, or going out of your way, or being supportive. People apologize for existing when they really want to thank other people for making their existence easier.

No show does “thank you ” better than Parks. Whether it’s the final moments before Ann leaves Pawnee, or April’s tear-inducing speech in D.C., these folks know how to thank the people who make their lives better. Next time you feel compelled to apologize when you haven’t really done something you shouldn’t, look deeper. Do you really want to say please or thank you instead?

Don’t Write The Concession Speech

In one of my classrooms growing up, there was a poster that said “Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail.” But I also say that “Planning To Fail Is Planning To Fail.” School decor aside, it’s important to not behave as though the worst is going to happen. Ben doesn’t write a concession speech, because he doesn’t think that losing is a possible outcome.

Or maybe the better lesson is this: surround yourself with people who will think that you won’t need the concession speech. Maybe Leslie wouldn’t have won if her circle was full of people who assumed she wouldn’t succeed. Fill your life with the Bens to your Leslie: people who expect you to win, even more than you do yourself.

I Love You And I Like You

The phrase that Leslie and Ben often tell each other is quite endearing and sums up a perfect relationship. But the writers didn’t come up with it – Rashida Jones’ dad did. I believe Amy wrote the episode it first appeared in, and she revealed in an interview that when she was in Monte Carlo with Quincy Jones (as you do), he grabbed her face in his hands and said to her, “I love you and I like you.” Whether it be a significant other, family member a friend, or your daughter’s comedy wife, it’s important to not only let them know how you feel, but actually truly mean what you say. Anyone can say ‘love ya’ as a throwaway, but to add the ‘I like you’ part implies you enjoy them as a human being, enjoy their company, enjoy everything they have to offer.

Know Where Your Money Goes

Okay, on one hand, definitely treat yo self. On the other hand, don’t blow your budget on Harry Potter fantasy camp.

Of course, I would say that, I’m a Ravenclaw.

When You Love Something, You Fight For It

This speech from Leslie’s final statement as she vies for city council is the best summarization of Leslie Knope. “If you love something, you don’t threaten it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first… If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. If I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly.” Leslie Knope is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest female character ever on TV because she doesn’t back down. She fights for what she believes in, and she stands up not only for herself, but for those around her. It doesn’t just apply to her career, it applies to her friendships. From making unnecessary holidays to going to all costs to help a friend propose, Leslie will do anything in her power to see things get done. When it came to her relationship with Ben, she was willing to give up her career just to be with him. She said, ‘Let’s just screw it,’ and it eventually paid off. When you love something, you fight for it. As Ron Swanson said, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” Leslie can proudly say she whole-assed a whole bunch of things.

“I like to tell people get on board and buckle up, because my ride’s gonna be a big one. If you get motion sickness, put your head between your knees, because Leslie Knope’s stopping for no one.”

Time Is Money; Money Is Power; Power is Pizza; Pizza is Knowledge

This is probably my favorite thing April has ever said on the entire series. First of all, the fact that she’s running this meeting is just great character development. I love character development. But no matter how ridiculous it sounds when it comes out, she usually has a point. In Pawnee in particular, there are a lot of randoms who have nothing better to do but complain, like that woman who is always too concerned about her dog and brings up her pooch problems at town meetings. These are the folks April and co. have to deal with and they don’t have time to sit around listening to droll residents all day. Also, pizza. Pizza is always a good choice.

Have Dating Standards

Ok, this might actually be one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the show. When Tom said this, he spoke to my soul on a deep level. The fact that Ann didn’t know who Ginuwine was (Ginuwine – is Ginuwine) was astonishing, and honestly, I, like Tom, don’t think I could ever date someone who didn’t know who he was. Speaking of Ann, in her days of going through guy after guy, she often had a tendency to change into the people she was dating. Like Julia Roberts in Runway Bride – she didn’t even know what type of egg she liked. It’s important to have simple standards for your ideal mate, because when you figure out what you want – like Ann wanted a kid – you will most likely get what you’re looking for.

There’s Always Paris

paris parks

I kind of want this in a tattoo form but not, because it’s too long. Leslie always has a lot on her plate, but somehow she manages it all. She has time to make binders on how to be a garbage woman but also finds time to make a scrapbook about her “Thoughts on Sam Waterston“. So when something extremely stressful comes her way, like being recalled from city council, it’s important to just take a break from it all. We know Leslie loves her job, but it’s important to take a break once in a while. We get so caught up in the millions of things on our to do lists each day that we don’t actually take a chance to breathe and be present and let go of whatever is bothering us. Your trip to Paris doesn’t have to be Paris. Paris can be your favorite park or cafe or a place an hour away to the middle of nowhere. If you have the ability to get away, even for just a brief moment, do it.

Be a Good Person

When Leslie realizes her job is at stake because of her romantic relationship with Ben (and the fact that they bribed the maintenance guy during Lil Sebastian’s funeral to keep quiet), Leslie thinks it’s all over for her. But Ron, in his vast font of knowledge, reminds her that despite the fact she did a frowned upon/illegal thing, it doesn’t make her a bad person. I think this show overall has taught us that there is good in this world, and you can be part of bringing that to real life. Parks never puts anyone down, it inspires and encourages us to be better. We’re human. We make mistakes. But it’s what happens after the fact that shows our true character.

Inspire Yourself

Speaking of being inspirational, while Leslie Knope herself is a great inspiration to us all, she also remind us that often times, the best person to encourage you is yourself. I don’t think Leslie would be half the leader she is today if she never thought she could do it. Yeah, she has to remind herself at times she can reach her goals (“Hey Leslie. It’s Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”) Sure, you can have people like Ben around you believing in you and not writing concession speeches, but when Leslie walked out on the stage and gave the speech (as seen above a few paragraphs), she was ultimately the one to give the impassioned statement. No one fed her lines, she went with her gut and her gut made her win.

Feminism Isn’t Just For Women

I am a goddess. a glorious female warrior, queen of all i survey. enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar. Also men’s rights is nothing.

Johnny Karate’s Rules for Success

I mean, I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

The Only Constant Is Change

Unfortunately, doppelganger Ron has a point. Returning for one of the final episodes, Eagleton Ron shows up like he usually does, out of nowhere, and gives sage advice, like a traveling Yoda who is easier to understand. As we say goodbye to the gang tonight, the gang says goodbye to each other. Ben and Leslie and Andy and April are moving to D.C., Tom’s getting married to Lucy, Donna’s enjoying married life with Joe and moving to Seattle, Ron has his construction company and family to tend to, and Chris and Ann are already off being domestic in Michigan. Oh and Garry’s the mayor (CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). Despite the fact a lot has happened for the Parks department in the past seven/10 years, it was bound to change sometime. Leslie was always bigger than Pawnee, and while her dreams seemed far away in season one, we realize that it’s time for her to actually achieve those goals. She turned a pit into a playground and now it’s her turn to bring that same goal-oriented talent to D.C. And this show, no matter how much we love it, was bound to have its final episode whether we liked it or not. But we’ll find another show to like and love. Maybe not as much and not in the same way, but we will. We’ll move on. We’ll move up. And we’ll miss you in the saddest fashion.

5,000 Candles in the Wind: Residents of Pawnee

Just when we’re drying up our happy/sad tears from the Parenthood series finale, we’re reminded that we’ve entered the final few weeks of another one of our beloved programs, Parks and Recreation. Because of the “brilliance” that is NBC brass, we’ve been counting down the last episodes two by two, and as we enter February, we only have seven left. In honor of that, we’re dedicating each Tuesday to Parks and how much joy it has brought to our lives over the past six years.

We start with the citizens of Pawnee – the people who make this small town in Indiana feel like a real town we would actually want to visit. We’ve met dozens of folks from this city – most of them a little off their rockers – but it’s what makes the show so great. With the likes of Perd Hapley and Coucilman Jamm and Lil’ Sebastian (RIP), we as viewers get a glimpse into what life is like living with these literal characters in Pawnee, and can understand why Leslie Knope has such strong feelings for her hometown. Pawnee may be fourth in obesity, but it’s first in friendship, and these residents are the prime example.

Joan Callamezzo

Favorite Moment(s): After singing Let’s Hear It For the Boy in a drunken stupor, Ben and Tom take her home, where we see she has a bunch of oil paintings up – of herself. Naked.

Why we’ll miss them: She’s the trainwreck you can’t stop watching. It’s like all the Jersey Shore castmembers rolled into one.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Joan is busy promoting her 10th memoir, dedicated specifically to all the men who have given her STDs over the years. She takes Pawnee Today on the road to Los Angeles, but ends up miles from Hollywood in Sun Valley, in a studio next to a factory that makes sex toys. She ends up falling in love and ditches her job with Pawnee Today in favor of her new show – Porn Valley Tomorrow.

Orin

 

Favorite Moment(s): His performance art piece, where he’s acting as an animal living on a Human Farm.

Why we’ll miss him: He’s just so weird.

Where he’ll be in another three year time jump: A curator from the Indianapolis Museum of Art accidentally went to Orin’s Human Farm exhibit and ran into him again in 2018 at a mutual friend’s gallery called “Laser Snakes”. He offered Orin a curator job at the Museum, and he now seeks out performance artists from around the world. He’s still super weird.

Perd Hapley

Favorite Moment(s): Breaking the news of Leslie’s (non) affair with Dexhart in Christmas Scandal; his role as (not a real) judge in Perdple’s Court

Why we’ll miss him: How will we know when a scandal is supposed to be brewing now?

Where he’ll be in another three year time jump: Starring in the locally produced Western show, Howdy, Perdner! Also, the locally produced quiz show, Revenge Of The Perds. And the locally produced birdwatching program, A Perd In The Hand. Plus the locally produced children’s cartoon, Harold And The Perdple Crayon. Everyone agrees that he’s gotten a little carried away.

Greg Pikitis

Favorite Moment(s): When he unexpectedly turns out to be the boyfriend of Allison, the girl Leslie had been trying to recruit as a Parks intern.

Why we’ll miss them: He may be annoying, but he is never not interesting.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: He realized he had a soft spot for the government and went to Notre Dame for Political Science. He went on to work for President Hillary Clinton’s administration and is currently in the process of campaigning for Joe Biden’s 2024 Presidential bid – against Leslie Knope.

Bobby Newport

Favorite Moment(s): Behaving like a petulant boy prince during the city council campaign, then shocking us all by endorsing Leslie.

Why we’ll miss them: He’s a total weenie, but he’s also a member of the First Family Of Pawnee Sugar. Sweetums has brought so much joy – and so much diabetes – to so many.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Moved up from Nougat to the Caramel Division; conducting a Wonka-esque contest to tour the Sweetums factory – winner scores a totally unpaid, full-time internship.

Ken Hotate

Favorite Moment(s): When he threatened to put a curse on the Harvest Festival, then “lifted” said fake curse by saying fake chants in Native American.

Why we’ll miss them: He may have seemed like the no nonsense tribal elder of the Wamapoke Native American tribe, but he had a really great sense of dry humor that he only really shared for the camera.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Thanks to the economic boom in Pawnee, he was able to open another Wamapoke Casino. He still deals with crazy white people on the daily.

Ethel Beavers

Favorite Moment(s): Leslie drags Ethel out in the snowy cold to Ben’s house to read her statement. “Let the record state that I, Leslie Knope, love Ben Wyatt. I love him with all of my heart.”

Why we’ll miss them: She’s annoying old broad who tells it like it is.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Ethel is still working as a stenographer for the town of Pawnee. After a string of lovers, it seems as if she’s finally settled down… with a cat. The men, yeah she’s still got them on rotation.

The creepy tattoo guy

Favorite Moment(s): He bids on Ann when Leslie puts a date with her up for auction, and he pitches a date which includes “taking her out to watch him do belly flops in the mud pit, then getting Thai food and a tank of Nitrous and seeing what happens”.

Why we’ll miss them: We don’t even know his name, but we don’t really need to to enjoy his creepiness (from afar).

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Still working at the pawn shop, but he added an extension to the store for guns and ammo.

Crazy Ira and the Douche

Favorite Moment(s): Basically every shock jock-y line they’ve ever delivered, such as “I know it’s a winter’s morn but it feels like a Summer’s eve… cuz The Douche is in the building!”

Why we’ll miss them: The best use of radio sound effects since the 1930s.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: After multiple FCC infractions and a boycott by Eagleton, they were dropped by their station. Like most people, they have a podcast.

Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa Saperstein

Favorite Moment(s): Keeping Anna Nicole body spray alive, hoodwinking Henry Winler… honestly, these two never fail to turn our frizowns upside-dizzity.

Why we’ll miss them: They’re the best at being the wooorrrst.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Designer meth (actually made out of designer-imposter perfume and baby powder). Prison sentence. Local home shopping show. Community service sentence (because of mismanaged funds for shopping show). Local reality show. Mona-Lisa has a baby. Wait. Mona-Lisa stole a baby. Then lost it at a rave.

Shauna Malwae-Tweep

Favorite Moment(s)Almost entering into relationships with Andy, Ben, Chris, and Leslie (as an Ann replacement in Galentines II)

Why we’ll miss them: Always comes up with the right headline.

Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Editor in chief of the Pawnee Tribune; has hooked up with all active Pawnee council members.

Councilman Jeremy Jamm

Favorite Moment(s): As opposed to all the times we’ve previously seen Jamm be the one controlling others to get his way, he falls into the Tammy curse and Leslie and Ron have to work together to get him out of his crazed obsession.

Why we’ll miss him: We really won’t, but it’s those you hate that are the ones worth remembering.

Where he’ll be in another three year time jump: It took 2 years for Jamm to fully get out of his post-Tammy funk. He’s finally feeling like himself again, and his ‘You got Jamm-ed’ quota is up to 20 from 10 people the previous year.

Brandi Maxxx

Favorite Moment(s): Standing by Leslie after the bailout … because she was raking in the big bucks for her adult adaptation of the story, Too Big To Nail

Why we’ll miss her: Able to define pornography where Justice Stewart failed.

Where she’ll be in another three year time jump: Starring in an adult version of the National Park / Gryzzl deal, Jyzzlbox.

Lil Sebastian

Favorite Moment(s): When he used to be alive. Particularly, Ron Swanson’s face when he realized Lil Sebastian would be at the harvest festival.

Why we’ll miss him: Dead.

Where she’ll be in another three year time jump: Still dead. Sebastian was li’l, but now he is 5,000 candles in the wind.

O Come Let Us Adore… Holiday-Themed Sitcom Episodes

ATTENTION: IT IS DECEMBER. IT IS THE LAST MONTH OF 2014. WHAT HOW HUH.

Ok now that I’ve made you feel like you’ve done nothing this year, it’s time to introduce you to our special holiday playlists of the month, because we like spreading joy here at Cookies + Sangria.

If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know that we usually have a Playlist of the Month featuring our favorite songs based on the given theme. For December, we decided to give our gifts to you early (yay!) and have THREE ‘playlists’ that are all holiday themed. Today we’re kicking it off with some of our favorite holiday sitcom episodes. If you’re like us, you enjoy watching stuff like this to get into the spirit, so break out the egg nog (or just like, wine or something) and kick back with some of the best Christmasukkah crap TV has to offer!

Molly’s Picks

Parks and Recreation – Citizen Knope
{Season 4, Episode 1}

Guaranteed to bring on my annual Yuletide happy-cry, in this episode Leslie learns that as much love and dedication as she has for her friends and community, they have for her. Leslie always gives almost obsessively perfect presents, but after her rough suspension she receives the best gifts a gal could ask for: the love of her friends, a gingerbread facsimile of her workplace, and a campaign staff.

Seinfeld – The Strike
{Season 9, Episode 10}

Yes, my family has celebrated Festivus. The Feats of Strength were a real bummer because my brothers are both 6’5, but I think the Airing Of Grievances hurt more. If you don’t know what those things mean, you need to watch this episode.

The Office – Christmas Party
{Season 2, Episode 10}

Remember those sweet, early ‘will they/won’t they’ days of Jim and Pam’s relationship? When a Christmas gift exchange turns into a forced Yankee Swap, Jim’s gift to Pam is in jeopardy. She ultimately gets the teapot he bought her, but not before Jim removes the note he wrote her … then gives it to her like 7 years later.

Guys. I really miss this show sometimes.

Friends – The One With The Routine
{Season 6, Episode 10}

Do you guys remember Millennium Fever? Survivalists were freaking out about Y2K and everyone else was under heavy pressure to have the best New Year’s ever. When Monica and Ross land a spot on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, they decide to bust out their childhood dance routine.

Surest sign you were a tweenaged Friends fanatic in the late 90s: you watched the episode (taped on VHS, naturally) over and over until you had that routine down. Guilty.

30 Rock – Ludachristmas
{Season 2, Episode 9}

This one had me at the title. What can I say, I love a good portmanteau. But the episode itself seriously delivered. Jack’s mom (Elaine Stritch) is in town, as is Liz’s family (including her brother, whose brain injury makes him believe that it is perpetually 1985). The TGS Christmas party is ruined when Kenneth takes it upon himself to teach everyone the Real Meaning Of Christmas, and saved when Tracy decides to ignore his alcohol monitoring bracelet.

The Simpsons – The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire
{Season 1, Episode 1}

I was a big Simpsons fan as a little kid, and this is probably my favorite of their Christmas episodes. Homer gets a job as a mall Santa, but still comes up short on Christmas Eve. He and Bart hit the racetrack, and come home with the best present of all – Santa’s Little Helper, the losing greyhound they bet on.

Traci’s Picks

The Office – A Benihana Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 11}

This isn’t just one of my favorite Christmas episodes, it’s one of my favorite episodes of The Office – ever. There is so much going on in this episode that I don’t even know which storyline is my favorite. So let’s break it down. First we have Michael, whose realtor girlfriend, Carol (and Steve’s IRL wife) breaks up with him, leading him into a spiral of depression. To help him with the pain, he goes out to lunch at Japanese restaurant Benihana with some of the guys in the office. Michael and Andy pick up two of the waitresses (Kulap!) and bring them back to the office for the annual Christmas party. Except Michael can’t remember which Asian waitress was the one he was hoping to hook up with, and after a heart to heart with Jim, Michael realizes he really likes someone else and invites them to go to Jamaica with him (spoiler alert, it’s Jan). Speaking of the party, there are actually two dueling parties between Angela’s Party Planning Committee and Pam and Karen’s margarita-karaoke party. This is important because it’s the first time Pam and Karen are actually getting along despite the fact there’s the whole Jim love triangle. Eventually the two parties merge, and all is fine. Oh and as a Christmas present to Jim, Pam has been playing an elaborate trick on Dwight which involves the CIA. This episode is The Office at its finest. It has the perfect mix of humor, heart, and plot progression that will fit in a special hour-long episode. Ugh, I miss this show.

Friends – The One With The Holiday Armadillo
{Season 7, Episode 10}

This is obviously one of the more iconic moments of Friends – even though it’s from one of the much-debated later seasons. Ross wants to teach Ben about Haunukkah, since he’s half Jewish, but all Ben wants to do is talk about that Santa dude. Ross gives in, but it’s too late into the season that all the Christmas-related costumes are sold out, so he settles for an armadillo – the Holiday Armadillo to be exact (who is Santa’s representative for all the southern states. Annnnnd Mexico!) But because Ben has uncles who love him a lot and want to help out, Joey and Chandler dress up too, and the result looks like the Easter Bunny’s funeral.

Full House – Our Very First Christmas Show
{Season 2, Episode 9}

When I was a kid, I always thought Corduroy and his story was just the coolest. The fact that this bear came to life and gets to wander around a department store at night when it was closed just seemed so intriguing to me. Basically, any plot that involves people (or inanimate objects coming to life, I guess) being stuck in a place where they’re not usually supposed to be is great to me. In the first Christmas episode from Full House, the fam is on its way to Colorado for the holidays, but a blizzard forces the plane to land in a rando small airport and they have to spend the Christmas Eve in the baggage claim waiting room. Jesse’s dad tries to get Jesse to kiss Becky under the mistletoe, Deej is mad that their gifts have gone missing, Steph is upset because she doesn’t think Santa will find her in the stupid airport, and Joey doesn’t get a real storyline because this is Full House. Eventually some guy Steph was afraid of on the plane turns out to be the real Santa, and they all get their presents. It’s full of cheese, but what else do you expect from this show?

Parks and Recreation – Ron and Diane
{Season 5, Episode 9}

Because Leslie Knope is the greatest, she dresses up in this elf/santa’s workshop worker costume to tell Ron he is nominated for an award from the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association for a chair he recently built. Ron invites Diane to the ceremony and Leslie invites herself, and therefore meets Diane for the first time (cameo appearance from Tammy 2). Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are planning their annual Jerry Dinner – every time Jerry does something stupid, they put a dollar in the box, and at the end of the year, they use the money to treat themselves to a dinner. But on their way to spend the $500, Tom, Donna, April and Andy pass by Jerry’s house only to find out that the Gengriches, including Christie Brinkley, are having a big Christmas party without them. Ann, who is a guest at the party, won’t let them in, but they finally apologize and end up giving the Jerry Dinner money to Jerry to help pay for his hospital bills after his fart attack.

How I Met Your Mother – How Lily Stole Christmas
{Season 2, Episode 11}

Lily finds an old message on their answering machine that Ted left for Marshall after Lily left him to go off to San Francisco. He called her a grinch (bitch) and urged Marshall to get over her. Ted tells her that in all fairness she was being a huge grinch during that time, and refuses to apologize, which makes Lily furious. She takes away “Lily’s Winter Wonderland”, in which she decorates the entire apartment full of snow and Christmas items, and it’s Marshall’s favorite part about the holidays, especially this year since he’s busy studying for the bar exam. There are a lot of episodes in HIMYM focusing on Marshall/Lily and Ted/Marshall/Barney, but there are a few which get to focus on Lily/Ted, and this is one of them. Throughout college, it was Mashall, Lily, and Ted as a trio, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that with the Marshall/Lily ship, so seeing them fight and ultimately reconcile in this episode is certainly a Christmas miracle.

Saved By The Bell – A Home For Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 24}

Boy, do I love/hate a teen show which tries to incorporate adult subject matter. We briefly talked about how this show handled drunk driving and drugs during our SBTB Week a few months ago,  and this is no different. Most of the gang has jobs at the mall, and Zack lit’rally runs into this blonde girl and hits on her but he turns around for one second and she’s gone. Separately, Zack and Screech run into a man in the bathroom who they realize is homeless. Turns out, the blonde, Laura, not only works with Kelly at a department store, but is the homeless man’s daughter, and they’ve been living in their car after he lost his job. Zack’s mom offers to let them stay at their house until they find a place to stay. At the same time, the crew is putting up A Christmas Carol, which IRONICALLY mirrors a similar story between Laura and Kelly and their mean scroogey boss Mr. Moody. The episode ends with everyone singing Silent Night around a piano, and S2G, if I watched this episode as an adult I would hate it, but because I watched it so many times as a kid, the corny factor doesn’t even bother me. God bless us every one (esp Zack Morris).

Related articles

Best Halloween Costumes By Fictional People

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to be all gung-ho about Halloween. Even as a kid, I don’t remember particularly being as excited about dressing up and getting free candy from strangers like my peers. I mean I did it, but I feel like more people were excited about it than I was. In recent years, I’ve opted to go a “lazy” route, in that I either use clothes that I already have or only spend under like $30 to throw together a costume. And they’re usually pop culture inspired. For instance, I went as Liz Lemon one year and even made a fake name tag and Sabor de Soledad bag that I carried around with me.

liz lemon

One year I went as a “Friday Night Lights/Dillon Panthers Rally Girl” and just wore the State Champs shirt I owned and wore a yellow ribbon in my hair. This year I paid $15 to buy orange scrubs off Amazon to be Brook Soso from Orange is the New Black, but I also now get catalogs from the scrubs company. Sorry to break it to them, but I’m not even close to being qualified as a doctor or nurse, unless you count 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy as something. Anyways, my point is that for those of you who are ‘meh’ about Halloween like I am, it might be easiest to get inspiration from the Halloween eps on TV. Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best costumes worn by our favorite characters on TV, and maybe you’ll be gung ho about Halloween once and for all.

The Office

Jim Halpert as Dave

I always sympathized with Jim since he never wanted to dress up, but made a little effort. This might be my favorite one of his costumes. Andy, dressed as one of the Cats from Cats in full garb, asks Jim what he’s supposed to be, and Jim simply points to his name tag and says, “I’m Dave.”

Facebook

“Yes, I am the popular social networking site called Book Face.”

3 Hole Punch version of Jim

You can have him either way – as plain white Jim or 3 hole punch. Paper jokes for paper folks.

Michael Scott with Paper Mache Michael Scott

Because why wouldn’t you have a paper mache version of yourself sitting on your shoulder as a “costume”?

Macgruber

One of the things I love about Michael Scott is that he tries so hard to be cool and hip, but he’s always just a step behind. It’s endearing. He dressed up as SNL’s MacGuyver-esque character MacGruber one year. Unless you’re a hardcore SNL fan, you might not even know who he is (or that Will Forte brought his alter ego to the big screen). But Michael Scott didn’t care, and just assumed everyone would know who he was. Bless.

 Community

Troy Barnes as a sexy vampire

It doesn’t matter if he’s Dracula or not – he’s a sexy vampire. Lawd help me.

Eddie Murphy

Ben Chang as Peggy Fleming

How dare you think Chang is Michelle Kwan. Or Kristi Yamaguchi. RACIST!!

New Girl

Jessica Day as a Zombie

To make ends meet, Jess is forced to take on odd jobs, including one as a zombie in a haunted house. However this particular outfit has Schmidt likening her to a Zombie Woody Allen. “These brains are terrible, and in such small portions.”

 How I Met Your Mother

Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin as (Gay) Jack Sparrow and Green Parrot

Since college, Marshall, Lily and Ted had been dressing up in some sort of theme costume together – salt and pepper and cumin, Lady and the Tramp and their bowl of spaghetti, Lewis and Clark and their canoe. They go all out. With Ted going  as Hanging chad (see next slide), Marshall and Lily decide to go for the gold with this Pirates of the Caribbean costume and ended up getting first place. Spoiler alert?

Naomi as the Slutty Pumpkin and Ted Mosby as Hanging Chad

The Slutty Pumpkin/Hanging Chad romance is a long-running story throughout HIMYM. In the beginning of the series, we find out that Ted meets a girl dressed in a slutty pumpkin costume, but Lily accidentally throws out the Kit Kat wrapper that she wrote her phone number on. So every year, Ted dresses in the same costume (Hanging Chad, topical at the time) hoping she’ll come back. A few seasons later she does, and it turns out to be Katie Holmes. And kids, as you know – she is not the Mother.

Barney Stinson as a Fighter Pilot

Just play Danger Zone while watching this gif. It’s pretty self explanatory. Flightsuit up!

 Friends

Ross Geller as Spudnik

You know that Russian satellite Sputnik? Well I’m a potato which is a spud and I have my antennas.

Ugh. Ross is so underrated.

Happy Endings

Penny Hartz and Max Blum as mom and baby

“I wanna be your wing baby”, Max says to BFF Penny. However they run into a problem when they both start talking to men they’re interested in. Hilarity ensues. Sigh. Miss you show.

 Modern Family

Hayley Dunphy as Sexy Mother Teresa

Modern Family has set a precedent for really good Halloween episodes, and it usually involves Clare being really into it and Haley dressing up as something sexy. This is no different.

The Mindy Project

Mindy Lahiri as Lil Wayne on the Prairie

I appreciate that Mindy Lahiri made an effort to be creative in that she had a string of ideas whcih involved a mashup of characters, including Tinkerbell Tailor Soldier Spy and Dirty Harry Potter. But my favorite is Lil Wayne on the Prairie. Mainly because she looks badass with those dreads and grill.

 Morgan Tookers as a Urinal

Morgan Tookers – American treasure.

 30 Rock

Paul as Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Jenna Maroney as  former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann

If you haven’t seen this before, I feel like there’s really no explanation for it. You just need to see if for yourself.

 Parks and Recreation

Ann Perkins as Lolo Jones and Leslie Knope as Rosie the Riveter

Olympian Lolo Jones made her debut the summer before this episode aired, and Rashida kept getting comparisons to her, so clearly the brilliant writers decided to add it on the show. Leslie/Amy as Rosie is a natural choice, no?

 Tom Haverford as T Pain

Again, Tom as T-Pain is a natural fit. I feel like Tom thinks he’s T-Pain 24/7 and Halloween is an excuse to just dress up like him.

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.

What Type Of TV Binge-Watcher Are You?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and the rock blocks your WiFi reception, you probably know that the new season of Orange Is The New Black was dumped before us on Friday, like a hefty trough of slop before swine. [Delicious slop, of course. And very high-quality slop. The point is, Netflix knows how we’re going to consume this show, so they save us the trouble and pile it before us in acknowledgment of our TV gluttony.]

While the phrase “binge watch” may have only entered the popular lexicon in the past several years, the habit precedes the Netflix era. In the early 2000s, we’d plow through an entire season of TV-on-DVD in a single, glorious weekend. Even before that, we’d all find ourselves sucked into entire Saturdays watching MTV’s Real World marathons – facilitated by the network’s tricky habit of eliminating commercials between episodes. God bless whichever Netflix person decided to roll episodes directly into each other and allowing you to skip past the theme song when you’re deep in a TV binge, which has the same effect as MTV’s commercial trick.

T.V. Marathoning is such an institution that there are even distinct types of binge watchers. Can you see yourself in any of these types?

The Survivalist

When I was a kid, in my grandparents’ rural town in the Southern Tier of New York, there was an establishment called The Y2K Store. It stocked hand warmers, canned foods, hand-cranked radios – everything that a slightly paranoid individual would need to survive the … was it a giant computer crash? … that was supposed to happen on 01/01/00. When “the Survivalist” approaches a TV marathon, that is the kind of commitment they bring to it. If you are a Survivalist, then when you say you are going to binge watch a show, you mean it: you are going to intake a ton of television, in a short span of time, to the possible detriment of your physical health. You are going to start with the first episode and end with the last. Not hunger, nor thirst, nor sleep, nor the need to pee will interfere with your tv time. You approach your TV binge like those creepy people who are into ‘survivalism’ and ‘homesteading’ and ‘end times.’ You stock up every food item you might need, charge your phone, and account for any possible disaster. What if you start to get a bit of hay fever? No problem: you have tissues and nasal spray. You may even do those airplane exercises to keep from getting deep vein thrombosis. You may have a catheter.

The Lazy-Face

If you claim that you’re “totally about to binge-watch the whole new season of Orange Is The New Black!,” but it takes you two weeks to finish the series, that is not binge-watching. That is just watching. If you had a single course of your Thanksgiving dinner every night for two weeks – mashed potatoes one day, stuffing the other, yam casserole the next – you wouldn’t really be able to say “man, I ate SO MUCH for Thanksgiving!” In the same way, you cannot brag about watching an “entire season of a tv show!” if you spread it out like that. Now, you lazy-faces may try to claim that you are out there doing things and going places and therefore, the actual binge tv watchers are the real lazy-faces. To that, I say that I hope you enjoy your hikes and concerts and real-life friendships, but you are still not a binge watcher.

 Sally Spoiler

In college, my friend – who has never read a Harry Potter book – spent an entire party weekend right after Half-Blood Prince came out telling all and sundry that “Dumbledorf dies!” He got such perverse glee out of ruining the book for people. That’s a Sally Spoiler. If it brings you immense joy to make people feel like they have utterly wasted the time they’ve devoted to a TV series, book, or movie, this is you. And you suck.

Betsy Blabbermouth

This is a more benign variation of Sally Spoiler. You don’t WANT to ruin shows for everyone, but you just cannot hold it in. You have a penchant for accidentally screwing things up, like the adult, TV-obsessed version of Ramona Quimby. It’s just that you get so excited about your shows that you forget to check where other people are. I suggest that somebody create business cards that we can silently hand to these hapless Betsy Blabbermouth. On the front: “Loose Lips Sink ‘Ships”. On the back, a place to list the TV surprise (relationships, deaths, what have you) that the person spoiled. If you rack up three of those violations, I’d say you get upgraded to Sally Spoiler because you are just willfully refusing to keep your damn mouth closed.

Avoidant Agnes

Have you been burned by a Sally Spoiler or a Betsy Blabbermouth? And now you refuse to discuss any TV show you haven’t seen every episode of? Pleased to meet you, Agnes. These are the people who, when someone even mentions the name of a TV show, interjects with “STOP! I’m not caught up!” or “GUYS! Don’t talk about it around me!” I definitely understand not wanting to get spoiled, but really, now. If we aren’t supposed to talk about our mutual TV shows, what are we supposed to talk about?

Luxuriating Lucy

Unlike the Lazy-Faces – who just cannot get their shit together – the Luxuriating Lucy likes to stretch out the time during which they can enjoy their show. They aren’t bad at binge watching, they just want the experience to last. They will do things like watch 4 episodes in a day, then take 2 days off. Or, they’ll watch almost a whole season, panic when they realize it’s almost over, and put off the last episode until the next day. They might even pad their marathon time by watching extras, audio commentary episodes, or cast interview panels on YouTube. Luxuriating Lucies know the truth about TV viewing – the first time seeing an episode is almost always the best, so you should draw it out as long as you can.

The Lone Wolf

You don’t like other people bringing you down by making you take unnecessary breaks, offering potentially spoiler-y theories, or – the horrors! – talking over the show. So you say to hell with all of them! If you are going to watch TV, you’re going to treat it like a job – and you wouldn’t rely on anyone else to do your job for you, would you? You probably also dislike group projects. [I think we need to do a post on group projects, because UGH.]

The Team Player

Team Players consider TV a communal experience, the modern equivalent of telling stories around the fire or reading the latest Charles Dickens serial aloud in the pub. That’s why they like to binge watch with friends. There’s funny commentary, a greater selection of snacks, and a whole roomful of people to share your TV journey. The downsides: you might miss a lot of the show if the crowd gets a little raucus; the possibility that one person in the group is a Sally Spoiler.

The One-Track Mind

You ever get so deep into a TV show that you can’t help but relate everything to it? This probably doesn’t happen if you’re watching like a normal person, but you have to watch out for it during marathons. After 10 straight hours of Friday Night Lights you almost have to remind yourself that no, you don’t live in Dillon, Texas. Or, despite spending an entire day watching American Horror Story, everybody in your house probably didn’t already die in your house. As long as you keep your obsession to yourself, the One-Track Mind should resolve on its own within 3-5 days after finishing a binge; if not, please seek attention from a medical professional.