“Sometimes you gotta run naked”: Thoughts on the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest

It has been well established on this blog (and my Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram…) that I am a huge “Gilmore Girls” fan. And this past weekend, my mom and I got to partake in something pretty special: the Gilmore … Continue reading

I always knew Andy Dwyer was my Spirit Animal

I recently started a 6-week summer job, which means I’m back in my office for office hours. Those first office hours always seem to drag on, as most students don’t come to office hours the day after their first session and I have no papers to grade yet. So, what did I do to pass the time? In addition to some class planning and other busy work, I took this quiz, of course.

I answered truthfully instead of trying to manipulate the outcome (it’s so easy to get the result you want on these stupid quizzes), so the fact that I got Andy Dwyer means A LOT. What does it mean, exactly? It means that ANDY DWYER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL.

I loved Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy, but Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer is still my favorite thing. I think it’s awesome that he has found such success as an action star–just like it’s amazing the success that Melissa McCarthy has found after “starting out” on GG–but goofy, good-natured, hopelessly helpless (most of the time) Andy is my favorite character.

PLUS, HE IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. Here’s how I know, expressed in GIF form, of course.

When I’m running in a 1,000 degree heat for the half marathon my friend Cassie and I signed up to run in September: 

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Why we decided to train for a race in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SUMMER, I will never know. Or, better yet, why the marathon people decided to hold a race that forces participants to train in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SUMMER.
In all honesty, my runs have actually been very frustrating lately. Like, discouraging to the point that I dread a run, which has never happened before. Sure, I’ve not wanted to run sometimes, but I’ve never dreaded it. The only way I was FINALLY able to run three miles yesterday without stopping was by watching “Parks & Rec” on TV. 

When I explain to anyone that will listen (because I talk a lot) why I’d never be able to do any of those crazy diets because I love cheese too much:

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Seriously. I love cheese. And diets are stupid. (Tell that to Katherine who ate pizza twice on Saturday…#oops #noregrets)

Whenever I surprise someone with my intellect:

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Whenever I try to do anything related to technology in anyway: 

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Technological related things Rahul has had to help me with in the past: losing my entire iTunes library, not being able to figure out how to set up new pages on WordPress, signing up for HBOGo and then not being able to access it on my computer, getting locked out of my Verizon account, 1,000 other things I can’t think of right now…he’s very patient when it comes to me and my lack of technology knowledge.

Whenever I try to do things in general: 

anigif_enhanced-11666-1406775913-1OK, I’m maybe not THIS bad, but I have broken two wine glasses this year, a plate, spilled my water bottle in my bag and on student papers more times that I can count, broken a fourth of the blinds in my apartment (they’re really crappy blinds!), and other general problems.

When I realize how frustrated I am at my current lack of creativity:

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This is actually a serious, legitimate one. I’ve been in a major creative rut lately. I can’t seem to land on a story idea that I like enough to keep writing. Also, all of my recent ideas have become too long, and I really, REALLY just want to write some short stories right now until I feel up to finishing my thesis project, which is a novel-length project. I feel like I used to have SO MANY story ideas and, lately, I’ve had nothing. It’s very frustrating and upsetting and makes me question my abilities as a writer. A lot of the stories I’ve started recently start to feel POINTLESS because I don’t know where they’re going or what to do with them. Plus, all of my plot lines become too serious and too bizarre, and I just want simple storytelling. I loved the first season of the TV show “Broadchurch” (seriously, go watch it now if you haven’t) for many reasons, but one of the main reasons I loved it was because of the last episode. The whole season centers around a young boy’s death in a really small town, where everyone knows everyone. Thus, the idea of a killer among them was hard for the townspeople to grasp. Instead of the show leading up to a serial killer or killing someone to cover up a secret (kind of like in “The Killing”), the death was caused by pure human error. It was caused by a character who was experiencing something he didn’t fully understand, which caused him to do something he never expected to do. I’m speaking cryptically because I don’t want to give anything away, but I LOVED this about the show. Even though the mysteriousness of his death kept me watching, I loved (I can’t stop saying that word) that his death was caused by humanity, in a sense. So, all of that to say, I’m trying to find a way to do that in my writing, and it’s hard. And it makes me feel like the above gif. Sigh.

Whenever I try to explain science-related things:

anigif_enhanced-21527-1406774805-3 (2)Also, on a related note, I love snacks. Written while I shovel popcorn into my mouth. I LOVE this popcorn but I can’t find it in my grocery store anymore, but their website says it should be in stock there…LIES!

Whenever I miss Bella and try to convince Rahul we need a cat:

Plo5yPpBecause cats are the best…

Whenever I’m at the grocery store and I forget the difference between 1% milk and skim (read: every time):

Parks-and-Recreation-Milk

Whenever I drive in D.C. and get upset at the terrible, mean, type-A drivers who clearly all have more important places to be than anyone else on the road and I consider throwing my  car into the Potomac (because I have superpowers like that):

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Whenever I accidentally find myself in a conversation about politics or anything government related: 

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Lastly, whenever I’m freaking out about my medical complications, which happened a lot this past year. 

I used the phrase “they took my blood away for science” WAY too many times. But hey, it kept me laughing during my super anxious moments, as did this!

Source for above GIFs: NBC via Imgur & Buzzfeed.

 

 

My Favorite Moments from the “Gilmore Girls” Reunion

The original post was updated once I realized the original panel I watched was EDITED. WHAT THE HELL, EW. I have since watched the whole damn thing. 

There’s a lot of these posts going around right now, but what the heck. Since it’s already been CLEARLY established that I’m a “Gilmore Girls” fan, generation 1 (since season 2, baby!), I want to share some of my favorite moments from the ATX TV festival reunion.
Disclaimer: I’m aware of the Today show interview as well, but have not had a chance to watch it. 

First, let me establish my ethos.* This is what I teach my students, so it’s only right that I do it myself, right?

I discovered “Gilmore Girls” right at the end of its first season. If I remember correctly, I caught the very last episode of season 1 after a “7th Heaven” episode. (I know, I know, my family and I used to watch “7th Heaven,” let’s just all accept it and move on.) I don’t know why, but the show clicked with me. My soon-to-be high school self just knew it was a show I would love.6f910260-bb5d-0131-1add-120afe85a4f5So when the second season was about to start (remember that? anxiously waiting for seasons, back in the pre-Hulu and Netflix days when you couldn’t just watch the old seasons on repeat during the summer?) I told my mom I wanted to watch the show. She agreed to watch it with me and, soon, Tuesdays nights were GG nights in our household. My mom, sister, and I would gather around the TV and watch the newest episode.

One thing I wish the second generation of fans could appreciate is the true experience of watching “Gilmore Girls” as it originally aired. The anxiety of waiting between seasons 2 and 3 to see what was going to happen with Rory and Jess. The pure joy of watching season 3, knowing every episode was special and hilarious. The treat of watching the town of Stars Hollow develop and grow as the show did. When Rory graduated from high school, I had just finished the 10th grade, but I still remember my mom crying at Rory’s graduation speech and itching for that special day to arrive for me. (Even though I wasn’t valedictorian).

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The sheer pain of watching the end of season 4 and beginning of season 5 as Rory and Lorelai fought, mixed with the PURE ELATION at Lorelai and Luke FINALLY KISSING. Season 6 aired during my first year of college, and I hated the episodes where Rory and Lorelai weren’t talking, as their relationship was the lifeblood of the show. I continued to come home every week to watch the show with my mom (I went to college in my hometown), sticking by its side even as it grew weary and tired in the 7th season, it’s wind (and Amy S-P) knocked out of its sails.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who adore and love a show, yet pretend certain seasons don’t exist. Sure, season 7 is a far, far cry from the other six (watch season 7 and then go back immediately to season 1 for a hilarious treat), but it’s still part of the show. To continue on with my ship metaphor–I’ll go down with the ship even if it sinks, because I LOVE THE SHIP SO MUCH!

“Gilmore Girls” was truly a formative show for me. Obviously, I understood that the show was fiction and I lived in reality (sadly), but I grew in so many ways just from watching GG. Through listening to their fast-paced, sharp dialogue, I grew as a writer. Even now, the dialogue amazes me. Through listening to the quick-witted Lorelai and Rory, I gained a quick wit of my own (although it’s pretty rusty at times). Through absorbing the cultural references on the show, I learned about many, many different things that I would not have had access to otherwise. Even now, when I watch the show, I’ll catch a quick reference to something that I can understand and appreciate in new ways. (Plus, for you first generation fans, I totally looked through those “cultural guides” in the DVD collections.) The show was the biggest cultural impact for me as a teenager/young adult and, even now, as I realize how shitty of a boyfriend/person Dean is; as I understand how snobby and pretentious Rory became when she started Yale; as I see how thick-headed and stubborn Lorelai could be with her relationship with her parents; I LOVE THIS SHOW AND I WILL LOVE IT FOREVER.

Okay, now that my ethos is THOROUGHLY established, let’s go through some of my favorite moments from the ATX reunion. 

1.  Lauren Graham mouthing “he was in insurance? I don’t remember that” when Amy S-P stated their reasoning behind why Richard was an insurance man. Clearly, she hasn’t been marathoning the show on Netflix with the rest of us….

2. A Canadian Dean?

3. I love that 1) Milo V. called Matt Czuchry “Mattie,” 2)Matt C. and Jared P. are both team Jess, 3) Matt C. interrupted Amy S-P’s discussion about what kind of character she wanted Logan to be by saying he was “kind of a dick”, 4) Alexis Bledel refused to pick and instead talked about what good actors they were, and 5) Scott Patterson ended the whole conversation by saying “none of you are good enough for Rory.”

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THANK YOU SCOTT P. YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN REMINDED US THAT A WOMAN’S LIFE (OR, IN THIS CASE, A FICTIONAL CHARACTER’S LIFE) SHOULD NOT REVOLVE AROUND WHICH MAN IS BETTER FOR HER. THIS IS AN OLIVIA POPE SITUATION ALL OVER AGAIN:

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4. Amy S-P stating that “at least she got this” about “Gilmore Girls” and her career. Never a better reminder that we owe literally ALL of this to her.

5. Lauren Graham saying “does he have a girlfriend?” when Scott Patterson was musing where Luke was in life. The answer he gave (she comes out for fly-fishing lessons?) was so strange and also so not-Lorelai.

6. Yanic Truesdale saying he never really understood why Michel was in Stars Hollow in the first place. Ha! Good point.

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7. Liz Torres calling Stars Hollow “Scott’s Hollow.” Eh, close enough.

8. I love that Liza Weil stated she was really freaked out about the Paris character and that they created it specifically for her…watching the show, you would never know! She’s Paris through and through.

paris-truth-gilmore-girls-6515

9. Alexis and Lauren (yes, we’re on a first name basis now) whispering to each other about what happened on the first day of set to confirm before sharing. Also, even though I’ve read this somewhere else before, I still love the fact that Lauren had to essentially carry Alexis around the set to help her meet her marks.

10. Scott Patterson admitting his age, whether he meant to or not, by expressing shock that his comments on the podcast “Gilmore Guys” went viral on the internet. By saying, “it was just a little podcast,” he definitely demonstrated that he does not know how the internet works.
But I do agree with his comment that “it’s kinda time” for a TV/movie “Gilmore Girls” reunion.

11. When Kelly Bishop stated that “I know this woman” about her desire to play Emily Gilmore. Just as good as Lauren Graham stating she didn’t want ANYONE ELSE playing Lorelai.

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12. Amy S-P stating that an on-screen reunion would have to be done “right,” and then saying, “the good thing is that no one here hates each other.” Whew, I was worried.

13. They saved a seat for Edward Herrmann. Hearts.

14. Lauren Graham asking why “Oy with the poodles already” is so popular and then saying “that’s so funny” when the audience explained the phrase and its inception on the show. I especially love how Amy S-P responded with “oh, now it’s funny!” Similarly, Alexis Bledel stating “What’s copper boom?” Then pretending she remembered…seriously, the two have the same memory of filming the show that I do of high school. I.e., nothing is remembered.

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15. This statement from Keiko Agena makes me sad and laugh at the same time: “We didn’t know it [the show] was ending, I would have stole so much!” It makes me sad to be reminded that the actors didn’t know the show was ending, even though the seventh season sucked, but also laugh that the characters took things.
But seriously, though. The show could have had a “Community” style comeback, a la season 5. Dan Harmon got to come back, why can’t Amy S-P? 

16. Amy S-P stating “they would validate my parking” when asked how the show’s pitch would be received now. So true, though. With the end of shows like “30 Rock” and the move of “The Mindy Project” to Hulu and “Community” to Yahoo, it’s very clear that a show has to either be “classically” funny or created by Shonda Rhimes to make it on network television.

17. I swear, Lauren Graham is my spirit animal. When she said, “If I could stop talking about Bobby Flay, I’d say they’re [Lorelai and Luke] still together, 100%,” I knew, once again, that our babbling capabilities are equal.

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18. I loved, LOVED that Lauren stated the rift between Lorelai and Rory was hard to deal with as an actor on the show, but also that Amy S-P defended the need for the rift on the show. As she said, it was time for Lorelai to pull out the mom card and for Rory to act out. Still, so hard to watch!

19. I loved hearing Amy S-P speak a little on writing for the show, specifically on how she wrote lines and jokes for each character. Her discussions of jokes working for multiple characters not being good writing is a great reminder oh how important character development is. Plus, let’s be real, this statement of hers was a true testament to all writers everywhere:  “I’m a writer, man, it’s what I gotta do! I can’t do open heart surgery, I got no other skills. If I didn’t do that shit, who’s gonna watch the show?

20. Lastly, I’m so glad Lauren Graham put an end to the questioning about what the final four words of the show were going to be, if Amy S-P had stayed on. I was already kind of annoyed at the moderator, but I got REALLY annoyed when she asked Amy’s husband if he wanted to share the final four words.

That’s like getting a no from one parent about going out, or whatever, and then immediately turning to the other parent to hopefully get a different answer. Rude and uncalled for. I’m glad Lauren stated she didn’t want to know the last four words unless she was speaking them or hearing them spoken to her. With that comment, I believe the mother voice has spoken and we should all stop harassing them about it. I mean, also, think about it: what if the last four lines are “you’re dead to me” or something like that? Then we’ll wish we never asked to hear them in the first place.

Bonus: I had NO IDEA that there’s a GILMORE GIRLS DRINKING GAME. Also, I loved the sassy kid who asked the very last question. When Amy S-P stated she would not buy him beer, he responded “Well that wasn’t my question, thank you very much.” So much sass. So great.

That’s all, folks.

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*As further proof of my ethos, I obviously aced this quiz.

THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE!

Okay, so I’m a day late with this blog post, but my Wednesdays are always ridiculous. But that’s not the point. The point is #GilmoreGirlsonNetflix has finally arrived and this is everything I feel inside right now:

Now if only I had my mom here right now to crash into in excitement and celebration, this would be perfect!

I woke up early(ish) on Wednesday to technically grade papers, but it turned it to me watching “Gilmore Girls” drinking coffee out of my GG mug. And since the quote on the mug is from the 1st episode of the 1st season, I think it’s especially appropriate.

Even though I have “Gilmore Girls” classic (the individual DVD sets), Netflix presents a whole new watching opportunity of being able to do WATCH ANYWHERE. So, you know, that’s good, because some days call for emergency GG viewing sessions.

I also managed to incorporate #GilmoreGirlstoNetflix in every single class I teach, including the SAT classes I tutor. When one student asked why the show was so great, I shared with him the typical answers–smart, witty, funny, other one-word descriptions, and also said “the women are stronger female characters than Olivia Pope.” Another student took great offense to this, but SERIOUSLY. Don’t get me started on Olivia Pope.

In other news, whatever the equivalent of intellectually frustrated is in teacher language, I’ve been experiencing that this week. I guess as Hannah Montana says, “everybody has those days,” but in this case it has evolved into several days. I know it will pass, but it’s a lot of emotions to add on top of everything else.

I’ve made some strides in my grading, only to look forward to MORE GRADING this weekend. But I have three free days in a row (read: no teaching or commitments of any kind), which right now feels like a blessing from the gods.

A student in a SAT class I tutored reviewed me as “loud, nice” after an 8-hour, full day tutoring session. Last night I got “smart, funny” at the end of a 4-hour session. I’m thinking of collecting these to have a list of happy words to make me feel better on those frustrated days. Too silly?

Alright. Back to Gilmoring–err, I mean grading–it is.

“Oh, I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and walking and the words putting-into-sentence doing.”

If you haven’t seen the news in the past week (the entertainment news, not the real stuff), the greatest thing ever happened: Netflix announced that “Gilmore Girls” will be joining its ranks on October 1.
Excuse me for a moment while I scream in excitement.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I’m back. Like any diehard fan, I have the entire series on DVD. I even replaced my season 1 DVD when it was too scratched to play anymore. Yes, ladies and gents, that’s how serious I am about this show. I’ve been known to read articles like this, hoping I’ll learn something new about the show, only to realize that I KNOW IT ALL. I found GG right after its 1st season and quickly convinced my mom and sister to watch it with me. That soon became our Tuesday night tradition, and we never missed an episode. If we had to, I made sure to videotape because oh, THAT’S RIGHT, this was pre-Hulu time. That’s how serious I was (and still am) about this show, guys. Even when it was going down the shitter in the 7th season, I stuck through to the end, because that’s what a true fan does.

That being said, I’m glad to see Netflix FINALLY realized GG needed to be streamed for the masses. Plus, it will make binge-watching that much easier.

Okay, now that I’m done labeling myself as the greatest “Gilmore Girls” fan of all time (and I know I’m not the only one to claim this), I’ll leave you with some of my favorite GIFs from the show. I know Buzzfeed has been ALLLL over this, as seen on Facebook, but I have been on a Buzzfeed break since returning from Paris. I had a major Buzzfeed addiction, and the separation was the best idea for me, health-wise and time-wise and just general ridding myself of unnecessary information-wise.

These perfectly describe most of my days:

Oh, and these too:

GG has so many moments that perfectly describe life and for a very, very long time I referenced this show in my daily life in an Abed Nadir-unhealthy way. But when you’ve had a sucky day, GG is always there. When you want to laugh or cry, GG is there. When you’re upset about the current state of something, your fiancé knows that GG will be the perfect remedy and will watch it with you (which he has been known to do!). When you need a witty comment or cultural reference, GG is there. When you want to make yourself feel better about how much coffee you are drinking, GG is there. Oh, GG is DEFINITELY there.

I can’t praise this show enough. It’s the the most comforting show in the best way. Beyond that, it’s one of the best-written shows (excluding the last season, of course) that’s ACTUALLY FUNNY and doesn’t make the typical wisecrack-laugh track jokes to please the masses. Plus, Lorelai Gilmore should be an inspiration to women everywhere, despite her bad choices when it came to men (marrying Chris? Give me a break) and her bad attitude toward Rory applying for Yale (I still can’t get over that). She’s strong, humorous, relatable, and one of the few TV characters that I don’t grow to dislike after watching a show over and over and over. Rory, on the other hand, is a different story.

If you hadn’t figured it out by now, this is still my favorite show of all time. And even after I started noticing some of the inaccuracies in the show as I got older, and realized how much of a spoiled brat Rory turns out to be (seriously, her transition from Jess-Rory to Logan-Rory is ridiculous, she completely forgets her upbringing), and screamed at my computer at other fans who love Dean (DEAN!? Are you kidding me? He was totes a jerk, at least Logan ATTEMPTED to be nice), and screamed at the TV when Lorelai and Luke not only break up but she also feels the need to sleep with Christopher for some reason, and laughed when noticing HOW MUCH BETTER the show is in season 1 than season 7, I’ll still stick by its side to the end. #GGforever

But really, watch season 7, suffer through the PAIN of how bad and poorly written that season is, and then immediately watch season 1. It’s laughable how much better the first season is.

GG GIF DUMP!

Oh, and this.

DON’T READ THIS!

If you’ve made it this far, then it means you passed my test. As of late I’ve been very curious as to whether or not people adhere to the “DON’T WATCH THIS” or “don’t go here” or “whatever you do, DON’T (fill in the blank here)” warnings that litter websites such as Facebook, twitter, Buzzfeed, etc etc.

For example: I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook the other day, as one does, when I happened upon a status about the TV show “Orange is the New Black.” The status was about how this person tried watching the show, hated it immediately, and had to read something of the religious nature to counteract what she had just seen. She then ended the status with a “DON’T WATCH IT!” warning.
Side note: My favorite part about the whole thing was the first comment, where someone said they wished the show was on HBO so they knew not to watch it. I’m sorry, what!? You need a television channel to tell you what not to watch? You can’t come to that conclusion on your own!?! To use a popular expression, sometimes I just can’t even.

For those of you who haven’t watched OITNB, it’s based on the true story of Piper Kerman, who was imprisoned for a little over a year for laundering money in a drug operation. She wrote a memoir on her prison experience, which Netflix turned into a show. It takes place in a fictional prison, where women group together based on race and other identifiers, lesbians compete against each other to see who can have the most sex, and pay channel language abounds. The show also takes time to go into character backstory, showing who many of the girls were before they came to prison, and how that contributes to the person they’ve become since being imprisoned. Much of the show is dedicated to showing how relationships form and change with the women while in prison, and how each of them as individuals adapt to prison life. It’s definitely not a show for everyone, but it’s also a show that has been pretty honest about its intentions since the get-go, and seems to try to stick as close as possible to the reality of prison. It’s also probably a show that would not be nearly as successful on NBC, as that would cut out a large portion of the truthfulness the show seems to go for. Now that it’s clear I’m a fan of the show, we can continue.

It’s very clear from the above GIFs who my favorite characters are. Unfortunately, I could not find a GIF of my favorite Taystee moment

I found myself rolling my eyes at the status. And then I got annoyed. And then frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for free expression and sharing that expression with others. I wouldn’t be writing this right now if I didn’t. But when did free expression become synonymous with telling others what to do? Not even on a large scale, belief system way either. This is telling others not to watch a freakin’ TV show, that no one forced you to watch in the first place. What happened to making those decisions on your own? What happened to individual thought? What happened to (another popular expression) “this is America?”
I’m fully aware that OITNB is most likely popular in other cultures, I just felt the need to include that expression here.

When it comes to things like this, I’ve always had a hard time with someone telling me I can’t read something/believe in something/go somewhere/etc. It probably comes as no surprise that I balked at the agreement I had to sign my freshman year of college that stated I was not to drink while attending the school (a private, Christian college). Not even after I turn 21, when the country tells me that, legally, I can? And it also probably comes as no surprise that I hesitate to watch a show/read a book/see a movie when someone tells me I HAVE to watch it. As if my life depends on it. It took over a year of Rahul telling me how great “The Office” was for me to finally watch it myself. I didn’t read Divergent for another 6 months after my advisor at Maryland told me I should—he even gave me his copies of the first two books. And I’ve still never watched Pirate Radio, a movie my friend Kyle told me a long, long time ago that I would absolutely love, especially since it’s directed by the same guy who did Love Actually (a movie I love). He even took the time to make a copy of the movie and send it to me.

Some may call this stubborn, but I call this sticking to my personality. There’s nothing I like more than starting a TV show on my own volition because I think it looks worthwhile. And sure, there’s still usually a push from somewhere—for instance, I started watching “Parks & Recreation” (back when it was actually funny) after seeing an interview with Nick Offerman on TV. But I still did it because I wanted to and I was getting no “WATCH THIS NOW” directions. If you stick me in front of a TV show and say “HERE LIKE THIS” then I guarantee you it will be another year before I actually sit down to watch it seriously, even if I do like it. I didn’t actually finish the first season of OITNB until 4 months after my friend Alex showed me the first episode.

But, in my mind, the only thing worse than someone telling you who HAVE to watch something is instructing you not to. And with technology these days, it’s not just Nancy Grace or Sarah Palin or other well-known figures that have somehow been given a microphone, it’s a friend on Facebook. A commenter on BuzzFeed, an angry Twitter post. I know I’m not the first one to write on this topic, and I won’t be the last. But with public platforms like this, suddenly everyone has a law degree. Everyone is an expert on something. Everyone is in direct communication with God. (I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that God would have cared about the Hobby Lobby case.) Everyone knows more than you do and always will, no matter what, and DON’T YOU DARE TEST THEM.

I know what you’re probably thinking: “There’s an easy solution to this, Katherine. Just get off the freakin’ Facebook.” But the problem doesn’t lie with Facebook. It’s with people standing on platforms and shouting their opinions to the world, and sometimes they come out as directions and pushy comments. Like I said earlier, I am all for free speech and expressing one’s opinion. I’m for that 10000000 percent. But I would appreciate it if the opinion was shared without trying to force others to do the same, and while also remembering that each of us has the capability to make our own decisions and draw our own conclusions about something. If you find other people like you that share the same opinion—great! You undoubtly will. But, beyond that, keep the directional comments to yourself.
There’s a whole part of this issue that includes larger forces telling us not to read/watch things, but then leads into a discussion on banned books, and religious groups not being able to agree on a single thing, and former politicians thinking their opinion still matters, and groups of people telling other groups of people what to do, what to believe, and I just don’t have the energy (or the time) to get into that right now, so I’ll leave it at this: Sarah, considering a run at the 2016 presidency? Don’t make me laugh.

A Tale of Two Li’l Sebastians

One Li'l Sebastian + One Li'l Sebastian = TWO Li'l Sebastians!

One Li’l Sebastian + One Li’l Sebastian = TWO Li’l Sebastians!

No, you’re not seeing double. There are two plush Li’l Sebastians in that picture.

Let me explain…my boyfriend and I love the TV show “Parks & Recreation” and watch the new episodes together when they are available. So, when our 2-year anniversary rolled around, I was looking for things to get him that would be representative of our relationship. Since we have given TV-show themed gifts in the past, I decided a “Parks & Rec” gift would be a perfect idea. So I ordered him a Li’l Sebastian and had it delivered to my house. Only to find out…

Enjoying some downtime under some lovely plant shade.

Enjoying some downtime under some lovely plant shade.

he got the same thing for me! So now I have two Li’l Sebastians. We have our theories for why one is a little darker, scruffier, and thinner than the other, but so far they seem to enjoy spending time with each other and haven’t caught on to the fact that they’re exactly the same.

In their free time, they enjoy touring around to small towns to participate in county fairs and have people fawn over their size and adorableness.

Watching some "Parks & Rec" together.

Watching some “Parks & Rec” together.

In other news….

  • A new school semester has started,
  • I saw Barack Obama at Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson’s concert in front of the Capital Building,
  • The guys are back in the house, making their presence known through leaving the TV on 24/7 and turning the dryer buttons to the noise level,
  • I saw Silver Linings Playbook twice and now wish I had written that story.

Happy end of January, y’all.

IMG_2541

Which one is scruffier…..

My new BFF's.

My new BFF’s.

Why No One in My House is Sleeping

First of all, I realize that many of you will not be able to sympathize with what I’m about to write. Those of you that live in big cities or other development areas where the rude alarm clock symphony, consisting of jack hammers and giant dirt claws, happens on the regular will probably just roll your eyes at this. But I gotta say it: I can’t take it anymore!

A few weeks ago, we started noticing a few strange things outside our house. First, part of our parking spots disappeared, replaced by a huge hole in the ground. Then, suddenly, there was a twin hole across the way in our FRONT YARD, destroying the flower garden and sidewalk. The hole was bad enough, but what made it worse was the fact no one was warned before the hole appeared. Somewhere along the way, we discovered they were looking for a steam leak that was affecting a plant behind the row. This came as no surprise—for a while now, steam has been blowing out from the grates and sometimes directly from the ground itself.

The basketball court disappeared!

The basketball court disappeared!

Then, the big news came: the steam leak had been discovered, and it was right underneath our basketball court. The positive news is that we’re getting a new top for the basketball court. The negative news is that, for about three weeks now, my annoying as hell phone alarm has been replaced by the annoying as hell jack hammer outside. And it’s always the jack hammer first thing in the morning. Why do they have to start with the loudest thing first?

Currently the noise is one comparable to a helicopter flying low to the ground. Which, of course, reminds me of the gross helicopter scene in 28 Weeks Later. The reference is outdated, but I only saw the movie for the first time last night and, let me tell you, if I had a choice, I choose “The Walking Dead” zombies over the ones in 28 WL. Those zombies can run and know how to beat people! No thank you.

Which also reminds me, check out “The Walking Dead” Season 3 Recapped in Memes. Hilarious. Also, THAT reminds me of my biggest question about the show: why do they not just climb trees to escape the zombies!???! My friend Alex says this is not a valid theory, but I refuse to believe that not one person in that group knows how to climb a tree. I mean, are you trying to tell me Merle doesn’t know how to climb a tree???

But back to my main point. No one in my house is sleeping beyond 7 a.m. And it’s making us all look like zombies around midday from lack of sleep.

(Like how I brought that back around?)

Super Bowl Cool Club

So, there was a big football game on last night that’s kinda of a super huge big deal to Americans: the Super Bowl. You know, that thing.

Even though I constantly get asked if I’m a Titans fan just because I’m from Tennessee, I don’t really get the whole football thing. If you think about, its really just a bunch of big dudes in padding throwing themselves at each other. To me, it just looks like a shit show. A big pile of confusingness with a football involved.

We went to lots of Nats games when I lived in D.C. as an undergrad because 1) the stadium opened that spring 2) the games were fun in groups and 3) the tickets were FIVE DOLLARS. One of my favorite pictures.

My dad claims the reason I’m not a football fan is because he didn’t have enough conversations with me as I was growing up about sports. I dare to believe that even if we had talked about sports everyday, I still would think that the whole idea of sports is sometimes silly. Oftentimes so. I know I’m stepping on dangerous grounds making these assertions, but let me just give you an idea of how well I understand sports:

  • I thought the AL was a team, until I was informed it stands for the American League.
  • I then had to ask what the American League was.
  • On my church league basketball team, I received the award for “Most Spirited.” Just the nice way of saying “We would rather have you cheer than be on the court.”
  • I often get the terminology mixed up. Oh, you’ve never heard of a basketball field? Or a football court?
  • My hand-eye coordination sucks. I’m also notorious for falling up stairs. Yes, UP.
  • I didn’t attend a SINGLE sporting event while at Southeast Missouri State University. I also didn’t know that Patriots player Dan Connelly went to SEMO until yesterday.
  • I still have no idea what’s going on during a football game. I muted the Super Bowl during the game and turned the volume on during commercials. Plus, it’s long! Did you know how long it is? Someone should take care of that.

    I brought DeShawn out of his box just for this picture. The other one lives with Rahul.

  • Basketball is the most fun game to watch in my mind. At least that’s simple.
  • Hockey=fights. The guys in my house are determined to turn me into a hockey fan. I just laugh.
  • I won 2 (2!) DeShawn Stevenson booblehead at a work White Elephant exchange. I told Rahul I thought they were broken because the hand was in two pieces. He then informed me it’s because that player likes to wave his hand in front of his face after he does well in a game. Who knew.

There are plenty more of these, but I’ll stop. Attending a large state school has at least provided the opportunity to attend large games, such as the UMD v. UNC men’s basketball game on Saturday. But that’s just cause it’s free. And, as I mentioned above, I like basketball best.

Anyway, back to my original point. I was thinking about it, and I think one of the biggest things that makes the Super Bowl a big deal is the “Cool Club” factor. Think about it: other than New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween and Independence Day (and the others I forgot), this is one of the biggest nights where it’s guaranteed thousands of parties are being held. Everyone is watching the Super Bowl, even if they don’t enjoy it. Why? Because it’s a “thing.” It’s a party. And, as you grow older, it becomes a sign of your social status.

I went to a Cardinals game once. Annnnd was the only person not wearing a Cardinals shirt....

I know that last sentence sounds like a college kid talking, but just wait. If you asked around, you would surely find at least five of your friends who were holding a Super Bowl party. And that’s just holding! Then you add in all the friends who attended one and it gets exhausting. The real question is who’s holding what party? And where do you go to watch the big event?

Growing up, I always attended a church party or family event, which is why I remember so clearly when Janet Jackson had her little slip up, as my dad and one of our neighbors both yelled “Did I just see what I thought I just saw?” and ran into the living room to confirm that yes, they did just see what they thought they just saw. But, my family having parties is not unusual. I grew up with Miss America Pageant Parties (so fun), New Year’s Eve bashes, 4th of July family celebrations. We get together a lot.

Rahul and I at a Caps game. We were excited but...

Which is maybe why, as I got older, it became less important to me where I watched the Super Bowl, as I had already had my fair share of gathering together just to watch guys prance around with footballs in their hands. This may also explain why I literally can’t remember what I did last Super Bowl, or if I even watched the game. This shows you just how important this football showdown is to me. But, if you think about it, the Super Bowl can potentially turn into a sign of your friendships instead of your commitment to football. If you don’t get invited to a party, what does that mean? That the Super Bowl is too cool for you?

...not as excited as this guy.

I’m more inclined to think it means nothing. Or that all your friends are uninterested in football. Either way, while it could be perceived as a big deal, it’s just like any other weekend night—you either find something to do or you don’t.

To stop me before I ramble, I’ll mention I watched the first part of the game by myself while also doing homework. I bought one slot in the guy’s bet-score-thing, but I also had to look on TV Guide for what channel the game was even on. Carmen, our chef, had left out food for us, and the guys had ordered pizza, so we were set on that front. I could hear them in the chapter room watching the game, but I only went out a few times before visiting a few other friends/girls I work with to watch the halftime show and second half (quarter?). You see, the terminology.

And, after a few hours, the thing was all over. The night moves on. I had a happy belly full of seven-layer dip and ice cream and enough socializing to make me feel cool enough for the Super Bowl. I’ll catch it around next year. I guess. At least I have my Dad to interrogate me beforehand if I know what teams are playing and where they’re from. He keeps me on my game.

PUN INTENDED.

Oh, and just saying, best commercial ever.

Proof that I have gone to a UMD football game (and my mom too, which is also a miracle).

Rory Gilmore is Bad at Her Job

Anyone that knows me understands my “Gilmore Girls” addiction. Well, maybe not understands, but acknowledges. Has been made aware of. I have literally watched each episode around five times (some waaaaayyy more) and still find the show enjoyable. I still laugh at Michel’s snarky comments. I still get irritated by Rory’s crappy relationship decisions. I still find Lorelai’s quick wit and sarcastic humor worth emulating. When I visited the WB Studios in 2005 after high school graduation, I nearly peed my

My sis and I on the front porch of Lorelai’s house.

pants when we got to tour Stars Hollow, highlights including Luke’s Diner, Miss Patty’s, the Town Square, the neighborhood that features the Kim’s house, the interior of the Gilmore’s mansion (and the pool, which was actually only 4 inches deep), and the exteriors of Sookie and Lorelai’s houses, which are actually the same house—walking through Sookie’s front door and through the house will lead you to Lorelai’s front door. (I don’t know if revealing that information breaks some kind of secret WB-visitor’s code, but oh well).

So your question about my addiction is probably: why? Why “Gilmore Girls”? Why do I continue to watch a show that ended in 2007 when there’s plenty of new show material to take pleasure in (I think Rahul wonders this daily). And to answer your question, I do watch other shows. I soaked up “The Office” in one month, finishing soon after I graduated with my Masters in English. “Parks & Recreation”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “American Horror Story”, “Weeds”, “Arrested Development”, “Parenthood”, “New Girl”, “Psych”, and a few other randoms are currently on my docket. If I could watch TV shows all day, I would. But then who would read Absalom, Absalom for me for my 20th Century English Literature class?

But back to “Gilmore Girls”. When I was teaching, we had a discussion once on TV shows and how different shows resonate with different people. I can’t remember now why we had this discussion, but I do remember mentioning my belief that the TV shows a person would call his or her favorites can often be based on that person’s life and what he or she can find easily relatable. So for me, I have a really

Miss Patty’s.

great relationship with my mom, thus finding “Gilmore Girls” relatable—whereas, per se, someone who has a crazy family might find “Arrested Development” relatable, or ??? if he or she has been arrested a bunch of times.

My mom, sister and I would watch “Gilmore Girls” together every Tuesday night.  I remember being so caught up in the storyline that I literally couldn’t do anything else on Tuesday nights, even when the show started going down the drain in the 7th season. This was a show that very cleverly and intelligently created its characters and plot movements, and one that built upon what you had already learned in previous episodes pretty decently. The show counted on you knowing the characters and the history of Stars Hollow.

That’s why the Rory in the beginning of the 6th season confuses the hell out of me. Things we’ve learned about Rory Gilmore up to this point:

  • She loves academics, books, writing, school, and basically anything academic-y.
  • She is a hard worker.
  • Set lofty, but achievable, goals for herself to attend Harvard University. Ends up at Yale University instead, her grandfather’s alma mater. Either way, NOT SO SHABBY.
  • She loves Christiane Amanpour and wants to be a journalist.
  • She is reserved, makes pro/con lists for everything, and generally takes a long time making any sort of life decision.
  • Has a great relationship with her mother (who had her when she was 16, one of the show’s major plot points) and a sometimes rocky, but mostly decent relationship with her grandparents.

So when Rory suddenly decides not to return to Yale after her sophomore year following a bad internship experience, and steals a yacht with her boyfriend, landing her with 300 hours of community service hours, a bad relationship with her mom, and a new residence in her grandparent’s pool house, the new phase in her life was believable at first. But then she starts pretending she doesn’t love school at all. And letting her life become consumed by community service. And continuing not to talk to her mom. And joining the D.A.R. just so she can work there at the front desk.

That’s what brings me to the whole reason I started writing this in the first place. RORY GILMORE IS BAD AT HER JOB. Miss Hardworking, Could take on the world if she wanted to, potentially bad-ass, sucks as the D.A.R. receptionist. There’s one scene in particular that comes to mind:

Season 6, episode 3: The UnGraduate. She receives a phone call from a woman applying to be a member of the D.A.R., Sandra Tarkington. After talking to her for about 30 seconds, putting on her best snooty, posh attitude to tell Sandra she probably won’t be able to become a D.A.R. member, she puts her on hold when her grandmother enters to essentially fill her in on meaningless gossip. And during that conversation, she takes a cell phone call from her friend Paris, while the whole time you’re thinking WHAT ABOUT SANDRA TARKINGTON!?! The scene ends without ever finding out if Rory remembers she put someone on hold.

I know what you’re probably thinking now: I just spend 891 words (thanks, word count) essentially complaining about a character’s actions on a TV show. And hey, maybe the whole purpose of a scene like that was to advance Rory to the place in the plot where she finally decides to return to Yale. But if you’re going to make it just merely a plot piece, make it less ridiculous and unbelievable. And for the love of God, take Sandra Tarkington off hold next time.

(If you think I had a lot of time on my hands to write this post, check this out; complete history of Stars Hollow on Wikipedia.)