Category Archives: Pop Culture Shenanigans

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Mini Me

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Nikki finished her first Harry Potter book this week. I gave her my Hedwig backpack as a gift for this accomplishment. And then, she had to get special permission to check out the next one because it’s reserved for Third Grade and older. This is one of the finest moments of my parenting life. I didn’t think I could be more proud until THIS happened >>>>>>>>

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Last night Nikki asked, “Mom? Can you help me start a Bullet Journal?”

OH MY GOD. OF COURSE I WILL.

It was SO MUCH FUN. She got so into it and added “Bullet Journal Supplies” to her birthday wishlist which – of course – is INSIDE HER BULLET JOURNAL.

It’s things like this that kinda kickass about being a Mom. Seeing your own personality traits showing up in your kid, and seeing how COOL they are. I mean, when she’s stubborn and flighty? I hate my genes. The bad skin? HATE. The tendency to get social anxiety? HATE HATE HATE.

But this tendency? This organizational desire to log her life? I LOVE SEEING THAT. Her love of Harry Potter, he desire to make lists? THAT IS ALL ME. And I’m totally excited about it all. It’s nice to see the good genes show up once in awhile to counterbalance the crappy ones.

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The Future Of Television – “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”

We showed a YouTube video to the inlaws on our TV the other day. We watched the Evening Of Awesome on the TV as well. It’s really hard lately to draw the line between TV and INTERNET as devices like AppleTV and Roku make blending the two so easy.

BUT! For the sake of this post, let’s keep them separate.

I started watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries one day out of sheer boredom. I’ll admit…never made it through Pride & Prejudice…the book OR any of the movie adaptations. So, a web series/modern-day adaptation didn’t appeal to me at launch. BUT…I have loved every other thing the Vlogbrothers do online, so one boring day I gave it a shot.

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AND. I. JUST. COULDN’T. STOP.

I caught up to the “real” world in no time at all. Ashley Clements is a compelling actor and I loved the personality she gave Lizzie. I loved her sisters and I loved Bing Lee. I just couldn’t wait for each episode to push the story along so I finished all of the videos in a few days. (I think, at the time, there were about 50.)

As I started having to wait between episodes, I began exploring the LBD universe. Lydia had her own channel that was TOTES COOL of course. Charlotte had a Twitter. Everywhere I clicked there was more of the universe I could explore and before I knew it I had THREE YouTube subscriptions and a Twitter List filled with character accounts, actor accounts, and writer accounts associated with the show.

I even familiarized myself with the actual book Pride & Prejudice, even if the modernization of it proved many of the storylines ineffective.

That’s the cool thing about this adaption. You can know the story, but you don’t know how they’ll translate it to this environment. So…there is still mystery and surprise.

But – the series really started taking it to the next level last weekend. The characters Lizzie, Darcy (Mr. Darcy from the book), and his sister Gigi (who is trying her BEST to get her brother and Lizzie together) went exploring in San Francisco. In the story they did. Viewers understood that was going to be happening. But what actually DID happen? Is that the character Gigi started tweeting about it. Photos AND ALL.

(The management of all of those accounts on Twitter and Tumblr and YouTube FASCINATE ME, BTW.)

HOW COOL IS THAT? I was refreshing that feed on my phone ALL DAY LONG. She was posting pictures and making great meta comments like:

(If you don’t get that one, you don’t spend as much time on Tumblr as I do. Here’s the definition of “shipping”.)

It was GREAT. We – as fans – were able to watch this story unfold IN REAL TIME. And we could “SQUUUUEEEEEE!” about it and it was just SO FUN.

And the actors? Are BRILLIANT. Lydia (Lizzie’s sister) has started her downward spiral which is unfolding in this adaptation in ways very different from the book. And watching that actress (Mary Kate Wiles) who rocked the Text Speak with such voraciousness – take it to a dark and almost twisted level? Has been beautiful and devastatingly sad. The difference between her first video and her most recent should win her all of the awards.

And just as I started to really worry about how this story could possibly keep unfolding in the illusion of a YouTube Vlog, the team behind the series launched a Twitter account for Darcy’s Company and that faux enterprise launched another YouTube Channel to promote this fancy new video app.

Basically? The writers opened up an entire new world of video setups for their audience. AND IT IS DAMN GENIUS.

The term being thrown around is “Transmedia” which I think is PERFECT. They are taking us around different YouTube channels, through Twitter, over yFrog for photos, microblogs, videos…giving the fans an all-around interactive experience. The showrunner, Bernie Su, did an AMA at Reddit that’s full of tons of great information, if you want to read more about how he approaches the transmedia aspect of the show.

All of the media babble aside? I’m not sure if I’ve ever had anywhere close to this much fun with a TV show before. If you want to join in (I don’t think it’s supposed to run much longer, maybe a few months?) then you should start here. But, be prepared to be sucked into the world beyond any scope of your imagination.

I really hope this is what is in store for those of us avid TV fans. The potential is endless.

Edited to Add: SHIT JUST GOT REAL Y’ALL!

(Here’s a rundown from the showrunner of the chaos that unfolded in the LBD world yesterday.)

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YouTube Geeks Girls I Love.

I love people who get excited about things that excite me – Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Science, Web Design, Math, Pumpkin Baked Goods…the usual. There are some YouTube Rockstar Women (“Rockstar” by my own standards, not necessarily by traditional standards) who do these great videos about any one of the topics that I love and it occurred to me today: Not only do these women inspire me, but I really want them to some day inspire my daughter. These are the girls I want my daughter looking up to: They’re smart, they’re funny, they’re creating wonderful things on the internet and sharing their excitement, their knowledge, and their joy with the world.

AND I LOVE THEM FOR IT.

Vi Hart – the first YouTuber I “subscribed” to before I even understood how to subscribe. Hell, before I even understood how YouTube worked. I do word blogging, people, not video blogging. It took me awhile to understand YouTube. DON’T JUDGE ME. She makes math SO FUN and SO INTERESTING. I squee like a school girl whenever she uploads new videos.

Karen Kavett is a designer who does amazing videos about everything from graphic design, to building resumes, to decorating her video backgrounds. She even does crafts! Her videos are basically my Pinterest boards in video form. I adore them.

And lastly? My newest Geek Girl obsession? Emily Grasslie from The Brain Scoop. When Hank Green first introduced her on his trip to her museum I totally adored her, and then? He did the best thing ever. HE GAVE HER A YOUTUBE CHANNEL OF HER OWN. And her videos are informative and fun and she’s fantastically entertaining, EVEN WHEN TALKING ABOUT DEAD ANIMALS. And that, is a REAL skill.

So, I’ll keep watching these girls and their YouTube channels and I’ll show them to my daughter and hope these are the kind of women she looks up to as she grows up. Because, I look up to them now, and they inspire me to create more, learn more, and geek out more.

And you’re never to old to be inspired.

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Ah, Come On ‘Glee’, Tell Me It Isn’t So!

Hank Green did a GREAT video about the “ownership of ideas” recently. He discussed how easy it is to think you own an idea, and to only find out that maybe other people had similar ideas before you. And that often times in the world, multiple people can come up with the same idea and never once have influenced each other.

And I believe this WHOLE-HEARTEDLY. I don’t jump on the THIEF! THIEF! bandwagon often when I see people accusing other people of stealing ideas.

That said? Sometimes? It’s COMPLETELY OBVIOUS something is stolen. And this breaks my heart because someone on Glee is responsible and I am one of the most loyal Gleeks out there. Here is their version of “Baby Got Back” which is actually, kind of an interesting arrangement! I was impressed!

And then the internet drew my attention to this while I was simply enjoying a peaceful lunch with my dog:

And y’all…it breaks my heart to admit this…but isn’t it obviously stolen from Jonathan Coulton? I’m no expert on anything music-related, but JEEZUS. It just seems obviously stolen. Coulton even pointed out that his own lyric change is in there:

I know that the singers aren’t to blame. I don’t know who is to blame, but I hope Glee addresses it because I don’t want to have this awful taste in my mouth (ruining my lunch, I might add) surrounding one of my favorite shows.

Update #1: This may NOT be an official song from the next episode. So there’s hope the theft (this time?) may not have occurred. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The storyline I read with the song doesn’t fit what I thought happened in the episode (I don’t want to spoil it) so I’m holding out hope this isn’t really a ‘Glee’ official recording.

UPDATE: Wah. Looks like they did do it.

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Just What The Doctor Ordered! (If The Doctor Hated Me.)

Do you know what is recommended when you have a case of The Sads? Besides tons of supportive and helpful comments on a blog entry written about having The Sads? Going and see a movie whose title translated to english basically means “The Sad People”! It’s a recipe for laughter and joy!

Or…you may walk out of the theater wanting to crawl in a hole and sob to death.

Guess how it made ME feel! Let’s put it this way – while I was feeling better after all of your advice and support – I was still feeling very shitty. But compared to how I felt after the movie? I had been feeling TOP OF THE WORLD.

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(I do mention one character death, if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading. Except – since the movie is called “The Miserables” – it should come as no surprise that ALMOST EVERYONE DIES.)

So, I knew the movie would be sad and I don’t ever go see sad movies. But E really wanted to take me to see it and I don’t ever turn down a request from him for us to do things together. If you have teenagers? You understand how rare that is. YOU DON’T SAY ‘NO’ TO THEM.

And it was sad, of course! But – Did I know the end of the movie would basically be a girl sobbing as she said goodbye to her wonderful Daddy as he died while her dead Mom’s ghost sang him into that death? OH MY GOD. Are you serious? I was still on the verge of tears an hour after the movie was over. HER DADDY!!! HE DIED!!! I could have been having the happiest day of my life moments before that scene and I still would have lost it.

WHO MAKES MOVIES LIKE THAT? AND WHY DO THEY DO IT?

It was good, though. If you don’t mind feeling like your heart was ripped out of your chest and run over by a bus. I have no skillset or knowledge that will allow me to critique the movie’s musical performances, I have never seen the stage show, or even listened to the cast recordings or concerts. But as a movie? It was beautifully tragic and made me feel all the feels. I’m really, really glad I saw it. That kind of cinematic experience is rare and I’m very glad my kid is cool enough to force me to go see it.

But – I never want to see it again.

EVER.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Did your heart survive?

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