My Feelings Toward House of Cards

I’m about halfway through Season 3 of “House of Cards.” Miranda Priestley from “The Devil Wears Prada” epitomizes my current attitude toward this season. #currentmood #pickupthepacepeople

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The Most Annoying Songs of 2014

People always make “best of” lists. Well, that’s boring. What better way to enter adulthood than to complain about the terrible music kids these days are listening to?

I present to you a list of the songs I found most annoying this year in no particular order (except number 1. It is the worst). Feel free to disagree… and then get off my lawn.

1. “BREAK FREE” by ARIANA GRANDE. I’m fairly certain that I’ve never heard this song all the way through. Why? Because I immediately turn off the radio, turn off the TV, leave the store, stick my fingers in my ears, or do anything else to get away from this wretched excuse for a song. Ariana’s screaming (lets be real, it’s not singing) plus the stupid lyrics make this song too much for me to handle. If I never heard an Ariana Grande song ever again, it would still be too soon.

2. “RATHER BE” by CLEAN BANDIT. If you gave me a chance, I would not take it, Clean Bandit. There are literally 100 places I’d rather be than listening to your song.

3. “SUMMER” by CALVIN HARRIS. Ugh. His voice. I can’t even handle it. Calvin manages to make his nasal-y voice exude smugness in this song. Something about it creeps me out.

4. “BANG BANG” by JESSIE J, NICKI MINAJ, & THE PONYTAIL GIRL. Too much scream-singing. Shut up, Jessie. No one likes a show off.

5. “RUDE” by MAGIC! Why you gotta be so annoying? Also, why you gotta add unnecessary punctuation marks to your band name? Who do you think you are? Panic! At the Disco?

6. “DARK HORSE” by KATY PERRY. Why was this song even popular? It was so anti-climatic. Plus, the music was weirdly out of this world. It gives the illusion that it’s leading to some great big chorus. That amazing chorus never comes, and instead, we get stuck with creepster Juicy J. * shudders *

7. “BURNING IT DOWN” by JASON ALDEAN. This is some sort of weird slow jam with references to Jack Daniels. I think this song is supposed to be seductive and sad at the same time, but instead it just creeps me out.

8. “LET IT GO” by IDINA MENZEL/DISNEY. This song is annoying because it is overplayed. Also, we will be hearing this song every winter for the rest of our lives.

Frozen

9. Any song by ADAM LEVINE & THOSE OTHER GUYS who are in his band. How many are there, anyway? Also, why does EVERY one of their songs sound the same?

10. Any song by JASON DERULO. Jason, what happened to you? I loved your singles from your first album. Now you’ve got crazy trumpets, disturbing lyrics, and a whispering Snoop Dogg. I feel incredibly uncomfortable.

11. “SAFE & SOUND” by CAPITAL CITIES. OMG, just thinking about this song makes me squirm. I think it’s the weird trumpets (or are those saxophones again?). Too much repetitiveness and too many horns making a racket. WHAT IS THIS MUSIC?

13. “LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN” by BRUNO MARS. I like Bruno Mars, I really do. He is amazingly talented, and his ability to produce music and capture the essence of other artists is truly one of a kind. I love it when other people cover his songs, and I love it when he covers other people’s songs. That being said, I can’t stand him singing his own songs. I can’t explain it. What I can explain is that this particular song was on the radio far too much this year.

14. “BURN” by ELLIE GOULDING. Just blah. Nasal voice. Overproduced electronic mess. No melody. On the radio too much.

*Disclaimer: I reserve the right to make a cliche list of the Least Annoying Songs of 2014.

Out-of-Character Stephen Colbert Explains Where the Other Stephen Colbert Came From

In the pandemonium that surrounded the series finale of “The Colbert Report,” many people wondered what Stephen Colbert would be like when he wasn’t in character as eagle-loving, self-absorbed, ill-informed fake political pundit. Little did they know that Colbert has done numerous interviews over the year out of character.

In this clip from 2012, Stephen Colbert chats with Oprah about how “The Colbert Report” even came to be.

In this documentary footage from the green room of “The Colbert Report” in 2007, out-of-character Stephen Colbert meets with then-Senator John Kerry to give him a rundown of how “The Colbert Report” works. “Are you familiar with what we do here?” Colbert asks. When John Kerry replies that he is, Colbert quips “Well, you know that I’m in character, and I’m an idiot.”

In this clip from an interview at Harvard University, Colbert explains why fake-pundit Colbert works better as a conservative than as a liberal.

As Clueless As I Ever Was

Now that I’m supposed to be an adult, I find myself trying to read more “grown up” novels.  You know, less “Divergent” and more “Gone Girl.” But it’s been a bit difficult to find books that are both intriguing, fun to read, and relatable. While books like the aforementioned are great in their own way, they didn’t necessarily strike a chord with me. They weren’t relatable.

I want books that are like my favorite TV shows and movies. You know why I love shows like “Friends” and “New Girl” and movies like “Silver Linings Playbook”? They are all about characters around my age who are still trying to adjust to this whole “adulthood” nonsense.

Which is why I was thrilled when I discovered fiction author Jonathan Tropper after seeing the film adaptation of one of his books, “This Is Where I Leave You.”  You probably remember seeing trailers for this movie. It stars Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, the guy from “Girls,” and the congressman Kevin Spacey murdered in “House of Cards.”

Anyway, after seeing “This Is Where I Leave You,” I dug around amazon.com searching for more of Tropper’s books.  Turns out his works have a common theme: around 30-years-old-ish characters who have no idea where their life is going. I settled on “Plan B,” a story about a group of 30-year-old friends from college who are are all going through different types of quarter-century crises. The books had a couple of great passages that really articulate what it’s like to be a mid-20-something or early 30-something.

“Thirty… shit. It’s a nice round number to arrive at if you have it all together. Success, love, a family, the overall sense that you actually belong on the planet. If you have all that, you can wear thirty well. But if you don’t, if feels like you’ve missed the deadline, and suddenly your chances of ever getting it right, of ever achieving true happiness and fulfillment, are fading fast. You realize that all your hopes and dreams up until this point were actual expectations that, still unrealized, have become desperate prayers…”

The book was a good, fun, and occasionally thought-provoking read that often reflected some of my own thoughts about transitioning from higher education to the “real world.” It also reiterated something I realized lately: contrary to what we believed as kids, adults have no idea what they are doing and they are not in complete control of anything. Kind of a terrifyingly comforting reiteration to get from a book, but I’ll take it. I suppose it just confirms that we’re all just winging it.

Breaking News: People Don’t Like Girls Who Wear Abercrombie and Fitch Anymore

Today’s teenagers have realized something that my peers in high school failed to realize back in the mid-2000s: Abercrombie and Fitch is totally lame.

Earlier this month, The New Yorker published a lengthy discussion of how and why some stores aimed at teens are floundering. Analysts have actually tried to come up with reasons for A&F, American Eagle, and Aeropostale’s rapid decline in popularity. Apparently it’s because everybody I went to high school with was a conformist, while today’s teens care more about copying high fashion cheaply.

Abercrombie in particular shot itself in the foot in the late 2000s when it marketed itself as a “luxury” and “exclusionary” brand (The New Yorker‘s words, not mine. I never thought of the moose logo as being somehow exclusionary. I just saw it as a representation of a store that doused its clothing in cologne and made you rifle through its merchandise in the dark. I was, however, quite the fan of American Eagle.).

This attitude started working against Abercrombie during the recession, around 2008. That’s when [analyst Steph] Wissink started noticing fewer Abercrombie logos in the schools she visited; people (young, old, fat, skinny) could no longer afford Abercrombie’s prices for T-shirts and hoodies. Around this the time, H&M and Forever 21 started to thrive by selling super-cheap, accessible runway knockoffs. The economy has recovered since then, but the turn toward “fast fashion” proved durable.

Over the past few years, I realized I didn’t see as many people wearing stuff with the moose, eagle, or seagull logo on them, but I attributed that to the fact that I am now an old person who doesn’t hang out with kids who are still running around with learner’s permits. Little did I know that these young kids have wised up and are swapping out their popped collars and lace-trimmed camis for cropped skinny jeans and whimsical button-downs.

This observation from Wissink also stuck out to me:

Ten years ago, I could walk into an auditorium of two hundred kids, I could turn my back and tell them to switch seats and scramble.” Then, she said, she would turn around and guess which kids belonged to the same social groups according to what they were wearing—usually with great success. “Today,” she said, “it’s next to impossible.”

Today’s teens use Instagram, Twitter, and blogs to express their personalities, their views on the world, and their likes and dislikes. It makes sense that they want their clothing to be another vehicle of self-expression. They don’t want to all send the same message as everybody else in their class.

The tail-end of the Millennial generation may be selfie-obsessed, but we should at least give them a little bit of credit for being more creative with their clothing than we were.

My July Playlist (Including the Current Theme Song to My Life)

After I get tired of listening to Kaplan Bar Review Lectures all day, I resort to listening to more entertaining (and sometimes even more depressing) things. Here’s a list of the songs currently on rotation in my iTunes and Spotify libraries.

  1. Hurry, Hurry by Air Traffic Controller (this is legitimately the theme song to my life right now. It’s super fast and upbeat, but neurotic at the same time. I LOVE IT.)
  2. Still by Daughter
  3. Tokyo by Lily Kershaw
  4. Just Be Mine by Cher Lloyd
  5. Back Home by Andy Grammer
  6. Forgive Me by Austra
  7. Holes by Passenger

Top 6 Funniest Moments in “Boy Meets World” History

The greatest TV sitcom of the 90’s was “Friends.” The greatest TV sitcom of the 90’s that was aimed at pre-teens and teens was “Boy Meets World.”

Disney is trying to recreate the magic of “Boy Meets World” with its spinoff series, “Girl Meets World,” but the latter has some pretty big shoes to fill. BMW was ahead of it’s time, in some ways. It was meta, it was filled with double entendres, and it never assumed that its younger viewers were idiots.

In honor of the masterpiece that is BMW (the show, not the car, you nut. Haven’t you picked up on that by now?), I thought I’d throw together a list of some of my favorite scenes in BMW history. Share yours below in the comments!

We’re gonna go by Friends-esque titles for these episodes, mmkay?

1. The One Where Shawn Uses His Horror-Movie Knowledge

This was the first episode of BMW that I ever saw. It was the Halloween episode one year when I was elementary school. I must have caught it after “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” came on.

The episode revolves around Shawn’s inability to cope with Cory and Topanga’s breakup. He is so distraught in class that Feeny gets mad and puts everyone in detention. When Feeny disappears, the group realizes something has gone horribly wrong. The episode makes fun of every horror-movie cliche in the book – mostly courtesy of Shawn. Years later, Rider Strong, who played Shawn, commented that this was the funniest episode they ever filmed.

2. The One Where Eric Wants to Fight Fictional Crime

After graduating from high school, Eric basically turns into a hermit. He watches daytime TV all day in a bathrobe and eats giant bowls of cereal. When his parents try to force him to get a job, he announces that his plan is to become a TV detective. He even comes up with his own theme song, which makes me LOL to this day.

3. The One Where the Show Points Out Its New Time Slot

Topanga is babysitting a kid named Billy, and Cory shows up uninvited. Topanga tries to send Billy back to bed, but he refuses, saying he HAS to watch “the Friday night lineup” (a nod to ABC’s TGIF lineup – the time frame when shows like “Boy Meets World” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” aired in real life). The exchange between Cory and Billy is priceless.

4. The One Where Eric Can’t Stop Setting Fires

Cory can’t decide whether Eric or Shawn should be his best man at his wedding. Eric’s attempts to convince Cory that he is the best choice go horribly wrong.

5. The One With the Duckies

Eric offers his interior decorating advice while his mom tries to select wallpaper for the new baby’s nursery. Not only do we learn that duckies are the “horse-ys of the ocean,” but we also find out why Eric is so weird.

6. The One Where Eric Decides He’s a Lawyer

Cory has to appear before the dean at a disciplinary hearing. The charge? He shoved a professor who had tried to make a move on Topanga. Eric storms into the hearing to save Cory in a rather dramatic fashion.