A Very Caffeinated Post

I’m caffeinated and excited and unfocused, which means that this entry will be too. LET’S GET THIS STARTED.

Do you all like Cheap Trick? I like them. It’s not like I’ve listened to their albums or anything, but I played the shit out of their greatest hits collection back during the summer of 2007.  I saw them back in 2010 at SXSW and they put on a good show.

It’s hard to focus because it’s vacation week! I’m taking a few days off to go home and be with my family and my douchebag little dog.  Also, my birthday is this week.  I will be 28.  I don’t mind turning 28.  27 was a pretty revelatory year for me and I’m appreciative of the lessons and experiences I’ve gleaned from it.  But it’s strange to think that I’m so close to 30.

I cut my bangs on Friday.  Now that I’m not dying my hair different colors every three months, it’s easy to get bored with my look and I needed something to freshen it up.  I saw a picture of Paris Jackson last week and loved her bangs, and decided to cut mine too.  (Last year I dyed my hair darker after seeing Frances Cobain’s look. I don’t know why I get inspired by children of legendary musicians who are much younger than me, but whatever.)

THAT WAS A VERY DEEP PARAGRAPH.

I am in a “all the things” mode lately.  I want to learn basically everything. I miss the structure and rigors of a college class. Isn’t that weird? I miss college.  If I could go back, I’d do something like genetics or biochemistry.  If I was born with more brains, I’d do something like astrophysics. I love the idea of complex mathematics; I just don’t have the intellect to do it.  Now that my crazy field schedule is over, I’m getting back into guitar and drums.  I’ve purchased several drum books over the past several weeks, most of which may or may not be associated with Dave Grohl.  Picking up guitar again makes me realize just how lacking my knowledge of music theory is.  When can I get the time to learn everything I want?

This weekend, I was flipping through the station when I stumbled upon True Blood.  I haven’t been keeping up with that show.  I stopped watching it mid-season last year, even though it was an Alexander Skarsgard centric season. I don’t know; it just lost my interest.

It’s always an interesting experience watching it with non-fans. I watched an episode with a friend a couple years back and he thought it was gross. I watched about fifteen minutes with Boyfriend this weekend.  I told him I just wanted to watch until I caught a glimpse of Eric; he was accepting and tolerant of this.  As I was watching it, I couldn’t help being hyper-aware of how cheesy it looked.  “This was a good show,” I said as Eric and Bill revealed their fangs, started hissing at each other, and flew the air.

I changed the channel since Eric wasn’t even shirtless so it was a waste of time to watch  I was behind on the story lines.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough. Hope you all have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

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The Problem With “Virgin Diaries”

Have you ever watched Virgin Diaries on TLC?  Even if you haven’t, you may recognize this clip:

This is the kind of kiss that you want to laugh about in private later, not have it live on Youtube in infamy so others can squirm with second-hand embarrassment while watching it.

I watched the first episode of this show back in November, and not all of the virgins featured in the episode were as awkward as the poor couple in the first clip.  But it certainly reeked of reality television posturing.  One of the plots revolved around a group of women who were all virgins (well, one was a “reclaimed” virgin).  They all went on a group date with an equal number of attractive men who were – surprise! virgins too.  Wow, what are the odds?

The major problem I have with this show is they find the most socially-awkward people as a representation of “older virgins” and use these people in their marketing campaigns to attract attention for the show.  It’s exploitative and ridiculous, and perpetuates the stereotype that older virgins are losers, outcasts, or social freaks.

That’s far from the truth.  There are plenty of normal, well-adjusted, accomplished adults out there who happen to be virgins for many reasons, and they aren’t as uncommon as popular culture leads you to believe.  I have plenty of friends who lost their virginity in their twenties, or who are still virgins for various reasons.  I’m not about to delve into my private life in a public forum, but it’s safe to say that I lost my virginity well after 17, which is the average for American women.

Apparently, this show is returning next month with a new batch of older virgins to exploit.  I know I won’t be watching.

Three Things: Things to Make a Monday Cheery

It’s always tough to return to work after a relaxing weekend off.  Here are three things that have made my Monday tolerable.

1.  Sunny, awesome weather

Texans relish spring weather because it will be the last comfortably warm days we’ll have until, like, November . It’s especially pretty around here, because all the spring flowers are blossoming, which means BLUEBONNETS!

Ok, so I totally just took a stock photo from the internet, but it looks like this.

I went for a walk in the park this weekend, and I passed by at least four or five families taking pictures of their adorable children among the bluebonnets.  It was already a cliche by the time I passed the last family.

The walk in the park was quite lovely, too. I saw snakes swimming in the water, cardinals, ducks, a goose, lizards, and anoles.

2.  Mad Men returns!

I didn’t watch Mad Men last night, so was eagerly anticipating it today.  It’s okay so far.  I think 2 hours may be a little long for a premiere, and some of the more interesting characters haven’t appeared yet (i.e. WHERE IS BETTY DRAPER?)  But the makeup and fashion is still a treat.  For instance, we must talk about Megan’s hair:

Want her hair, WANT WANT WANT. Hi Don.

Like, if I haven’t been trying so desperately hard to grow my hair for the past year, I would totally want this hairstyle.  Except while it makes her look sophisticated, it will probably make me look like a prepubescent girl.  I’m glad her hair is so awesome, because now I won’t miss having blonde hair whenever Betty Draper comes on screen (WHERE IS SHE?)

3.  Sweet Leaf Iced Tea

I’ve been living in my beloved city for four (!) years now, and one of the cliches I’ve picked up is loving the shit out of Sweet Leaf Iced Tea.  I first tried it at ACL back in 2008, and I remember I wasn’t too impressed with it.  I tried it again last year and thought, “Okay, this is not too bad.” And then like many things I’m initially lukewarm about, I started liking it.  And by liking it, I mean ADDICTION.

SERIOUSLY, I COULD DRINK LIKE 10 OF THESE A DAY IF I DIDN'T HAVE SUCH SELF-CONTROL

My fridge is well stocked with Sweet Teas.  The other flavors are decent but none holds my heart like the Mint and Honey.  If you have the chance, TRY IT.

DO IT.

Okay, I guess I’ll watch the end of this season premiere.  SERIOUSLY, BETTY, THIS SHOW COULD USE SOME OF YOUR AWESOME BITCHINESS RIGHT NOW.

Jenny Picks a Halloween Costume

I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning and have to wake up at 5:20 tomorrow for a run, so clearly I need to make a post about my Halloween costume.

When I do dress up for Halloween, it’s usually a half-assed effort.  One year, I grabbed a black dress I wore to one of my college graduations, bought a black wig and some fake tattoos, and called myself a witch.  Another year, I slapped on a dress, fishnet tights, a Green Day shirt, black stripper boots, and temporary blue hair dye and dubbed myself a Punk Rock Princess (I guess technically a Pop Punk Rock Princess, since only eleven-year-olds consider Green Day to be pure punk, but whatever).

Last year I was in New York City for Halloween (see my header) and didn’t wear a costume (though I should have). Unfortunately, I won’t be in NYC for Halloween, but I will be at a friend’s party that weekend to celebrate.  Naturally, a dilemma – what to wear?

I mulled it over tonight – ideally, the costume would allow me to grab something from my closet. I don’t want to buy a costume, and I absolutely refuse to be Slutty (insert occupation here).  After watching three episodes of Mad Men tonight, the answer was obvious.

BETTY DRAPER.

I know, I’m like four years behind on this show and this costume would have been more in vogue in 2008, but I DON’T EVEN CARE BECAUSE IT IS NOW MY COSTUME AND I DO NOT CONFORM TO SOCIETY’S EXPECTATIONS.  Or something. Whatever. I briefly considered dressing as Joan, but let’s be honest here – I do not want to stuff pillows in my dress for the boobage.  My frame matches Betty’s more.  I have a party dress that has never been worn that looks sixties-ish, and while I do not have the blonde hair anymore (sniff sniff), it will be fun to be blonde again for the night (do not worry, I will be wearing a wig).

I’m really fascinated by Betty’s character (I just started Season 4 so no spoilers, please).  Like, she’s a horrible person.  I’ve considered bringing a baby doll with me as part of my costume, so I could tell it to go watch TV or go upstairs or to stop talking.  But even though she’s a terrible person, she’s endlessly watchable, and I think January Jones completely sells the character (and she’s ridiculously pretty, by the way.  If it were 2009, I would have already gone to my stylist and changed my hair color back to blonde).

This will be our little secret.  But my friends don’t read my blog anyway, so I felt like I could share it with you guys, and it would still be a surprise to everyone else.

Oh crap, I have to go to sleep.

To the People Searching “Are Jenny and Roger Still Together?”

According to WordPress, some people are finding my blog by searching for “Are Jenny and Roger still together?”  When I read this, my first question, naturally, was, “Who the fuck are Jenny and Roger?”

Then I googled it and found out that they are some idiots from Jersey Shore.

OH HELL NO.

I’m way too tired to get started on my Jersey Shore rant, so I will sum it up in a couple of sentences – as an Italian (as in, “a genuine Italian citizen who was actually born in Italy, has Italian-speaking relatives, and multiple cousins named Antonio,” not “my great-great-great-grandmother was a quarter Italian”), I generally do not get offended by portrayals of my culture in the media, say, The Sopranos or The Godfather.

But holy shit, I am embarrassed that anyone on the Jersey Shore cast even attempts to associate themselves with my culture. NO. GET THE FUCK OUT.

So for anyone wondering if Jenny and Roger are still together, I don’t give a fuck, and neither should you.  And watch better television.  Seriously.  Anything is preferable to Jersey Shore. You could be watching the Kardashians, which personally makes my brain bleed, but compared to Jersey Shore, it’s Nova.

Are the VMAs Must-See TV?

Spoiler alert – no.

Once upon a time, during a blissful era when Jersey Shore did not exist, the VMAs used to be required viewing.  If you didn’t watch the VMAs, you were bound to miss a pop culture watercooler moment.  In 2002, when I was watching my then-celebrity crush Jimmy Fallon host (he was so pretty), Guns N’ Roses reunited on-stage for what turned out to be a very lackluster performance.  But still.  It was Guns N’ Roses (well, Axl, anyway).  In 2003, Madonna kissed Britney and Christina.  I was in shock.  “Their careers are over,” I muttered. (I was an innocent nineteen. I didn’t know any better.)

As MTV’s focus on actual music has lessened, the quality of their music awards shows has diminished.  It seems as if the shows are scheduled by rote and no effort is made to distinguish the show from the previous year’s rendition.  I guess I watched some of last year’s awards, but I couldn’t tell you what happened or who even hosted.  Last night’s show didn’t even have a host.

After settling on my couch resignedly, I turned to MTV.  Lady Gaga opened the ceremony.  Excuse me, Jo Calderone:

I have to hand it to Lady Gaga – she consistently goes for weird.  This appearance was some sort of performance art piece in which Gaga, guised as “Jo,” launched into this monologue about how weird his ex-lover Lady Gaga is.   I got such bad second-hand embarrassment watching this, because I kept thinking, “JESUS CHRIST, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF.” Yet I had to give her credit for being ballsy and so committed.  The “WTF” faces from the celebrities in the audience were more entertaining than the monologue. Britney had an expression on her face that had been reserved for her own disastrous VMAs performance in 2007.

The actual performance of “You and I” was really good (no matter what your feelings on Gaga are, you can’t deny that she is incredibly talented), and Brian May just popped out of nowhere to play a solo.  I just realized that a good majority of the VMA’s intended audience probably doesn’t know who Brian May is.  This is very depressing.

Overall, I’m still undecided if the performance art piece was brilliant or horrific.  I think it’s a dilemma Lady Gaga fans consistently find themselves in.

There were some halfhearted attempts at entertainment before the awards for “Best Rock Video.” I think MTV defines “rock” very loosely, considering the nominees in this category.  The nominees were:

Foo Fighters (why else do you think I was watching this trainwreck?)
Cage the Elephant (I love them)
Black Keys
Foster the People (I really like Foster the People, but they’re not rock)
Mumford and Sons.  OH DEAR GOD. 

Can I please rant about Mumford and Sons for a moment? I find that people’s love of Mumford and Sons borders on cultish.  I hear people gushing over them like they are the saviors of music, that they are incredible, and that they “set the stage on fire” when they perform.

To which I say – huh?!

I’m sorry, guys. I tried. I listened to a couple of songs and I could not get past just how much they sucked. Yeah, I said it.   All this hype is much ado about nothing.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy slower music – I really do.  But their music is just monotonous and soporific.  I can appreciate the musicianship of the instrument playing, but that’s about it.  The rest of their stuff does nothing me for, especially the song-writing.  Here’s the opening line from “The Cave.”

It’s empty in the valley of your heart

I mean, come on.  How the fuck am I supposed to take that seriously? And MTV considers this ROCK?! Shitty indie folk pop? Yes.  Rock and roll? Hell to the no.

Luckily, the Foos won and Dave made a speech about how there’s still rock and roll out there if you know where to look.  TELL ME WHERE TO LOOK, DAVE.  I can’t rely on MTV to show me, that’s for sure.  And I know you Foo Fighter haters will think, “How are these ‘Learn to Fly’ guys rock and roll, Jenny?” I used to think the same thing, y’all, until I went to one of their live shows. Trust me, they’re legit.

After that, I tried to watch but the show was just so bad that I switched stations.  I’m disappointed that the VMAs weren’t how they used to be.  But maybe that’s part of being an adult – things will never be as good as your childhood memory.  And maybe I’m sounding like every other generation, but pop music just isn’t as good as it used to be.  Take what I said with a grain of salt, because I know that I feel this way only because of nostalgia.  However, there has to be a ring of truth to it – pop music from when I was a kid may have been corny at times, but Autotune wasn’t prevalent.  I’d take corny and sincere over Autotune any day.

That being said, I’ll probably attempt to watch the VMAs again next year. Old habits die hard.