I am a lone wolf in the herd of the homebound
A bastard, emanating from darkness unsure of the light
Questionable according to the customs of man
But approved by thoughts mine own and God on high
Surely proven super, above, and beyond the normal
Yet beguiled currently by forces unknown
Eager guilds daily, by the minute beckon my name
Urging for a pledge of allegiance
A comforting seat of inclusion
A dignified seal of indication and zeal
And firmly I stand on ground absolute of choice
Boldly stating to the face of enrapturing masses
Alone I emerge, and Alone I assure my place.
Oh sweet days
of laziness and passive trivialities
hard bodies and flabby minds
rumpled midriffs and indecently exposed behinds
how I shall miss thee.
What lies ahead
the rigor of schedule and ceremony
the tedium of uniform and proper etiquette
and balanced, low-fat, low-carb dietary restrictions
shall enbalm me in misery.
Must I petition
the heavenly father for an extension
of balmy days, the soft wind’s caress and sway
barbecues, open-toed shoes, songs with no intention
with my own wishes to please?
Or pray dutifully
for tolerance of grime and muck
the blow and the suck
the shallow avarice and overblown gossip
and perseverence to weather the semester
Tis the struggle of the American teen,
given an age of bacchanalian splendor
before an eternity of bureaucratic conformity.
We have always been exceedingly ignorant and wayward, and some people, despite being surrounded by important information from various forms of media, continue the tradition and stand out much more.
Funny how we spend our lives trying to inspect and perfect what state we’ve been set in at birth only to discard our flesh at the end, this worn carcass the meal of the earth. Why does vanity and self-worth supplant contentment, good health, social interaction, relative satisfaction? Ants never say to each other, “oh wow, I am strong. I have these capabilities. And they’re better than yours.” Rather, they work together towards a thriving colony. And while you and the exterminator quarrel over humane options and discount fees, those ugly buggers march on, in a single file, to slowly infest the pantry.
Uh… I don’t know if I want to roll my eyes or laugh in astonishment. After the last episode’s risky yet intriguing series premiere hook — the death of a supposed lead role, Hubbel — the show was destined for some really tangible plot proceedings, some of which played out as one would expect. But for this episode to eerily parallel its predecessor in terms of plot points AND twist seems like a cop-out.
Or maybe because its so damn fresh on my mind. Prior to the episode’s ending, I was pleasantly admiring what it had to offer. With Hubbel abruptly cleaved from the situation, Michelle and Fanny are left with no focal point to hypothetically cat-fight over. Fanny begins planning the world’s most Western-influenced Buddhist funeral, complete with tarts, a bulging guest list, a sitar player named Robbie, matching napkins and capes, and of course custom meditation chants: “Ah, finally, a chance to use my high school Tibetan,” nervously jokes one her friends.
She envelops herself in this flippant affair clearly trying to avoid the fact her son is dead, while Michelle is left to do nothing, confounded at her unlucky circumstances. She, in response, does very little for the first half of the episode, merely watching Fanny wrap herself in the minutiae of planning and trying to avoid Truly, Hubbel’s ex-girlfriend who kinda sorta killed him via car accident. Michelle also adorns this numbingly frank demeanor when permitted to speak in the latter half that actually seemed cool and appropriate, like “yep, of course the one time I try to get right with a guy, he up and dies!”
Speaking of a numbingly frank demeanor, the snooty leader of the ballerina quad, hereby named “Snooki” for lack of knowing her actual name, treats the death as any bored teenager would – with a glowing opportunism. She rounds up the other girls from their respective classes under the notion that their “dear dance teacher’s heart has been broken” while they then catch some awful-sounding Mark Wahlberg action flick. Boo, the body-conscious and seemingly socially conscious member, immediately becomes the foil, waging war against Snooki’s petty and morally bankrupt scheming.
To be honest, this side-story was the least interesting part of the whole thing, but Palladino’s billion-word-per-minute flavor of repartee kept the show at a brisk pace, even if characters yapped on about the nuance of a stare. The best writing comes when Michelle finally breaks Fanny down, sending missive after missive of faulty memorial planning onto the flimsy barricade surrounding her emotions. Seeing Fanny actually emote, rather than callously react or judge, has an odd disarming quality to it. Of course she doesn’t know how to act; the only person she loved was taken away from her, and left some ungainly chatterbox in his place.
Thankfully the chatterbox quickly made amends, thanks to Snooki’s sudden change of heart when seeing her fallen dance instructor sobbing on the couch. The dance she and her fellow ballerini (is ballerina a Latin noun? it is now.) performed for Fanny and her closest friends totally justified the new Disney channel model of multi-faceted actors. To a gruff and earnest Tom Waits tune, they gracefully eulogized Hubbel, and also reminded us about the whole dancing pinpoint of the show. Its honestly great to have a group of young actors who can not only portray roles with a known ease and perform an ancillary art without pop sentiments, but who never seem desperate to show off.
And yeah, the final twist. Michelle and Fanny get back to being super-cool-alcohol-loosened buddies again, and then, while greeting one of Hubbel’s friends, she discovers that she gets his entire estate, including the house and the studio. Eh I guess that seems plausible but really? He had enough time in the last episode’s 24-hour span to draw up a will and such? Bullshit bro. A lot of proper entertainment blogs have delegated this show into some summer wish fulfillment/easygoing romp, and if not for the smarmy dialogue and the theatre-style acting (mostly due to the abundance of leg warmers), I would wholeheartedly agree.
Bunheads, in its current projection, seems like a show that works the nerves of its characters, letting them fray, sizzle, and cool off before agitating them again with some new conflict, although the conflict seems highly contrived. But whatevs, I enjoy the Sutton Foster/Kelly Bishop dynamic, and those four nameless dancers (seriously, they just stare each other down and spout declarative statements sans names! I need to know their names!) are some of the most competent child actors on television which says a lot. I did enjoy the episode, albeit feeling jipped, and will check out the next episode where Michelle presumably finds out she’s pregnant or something.
Oh no… wait… they couldn’t do that could they?!? FUTURE HUBBEL SPAWN????
Regina Spektor is fucking weird. My God. What is wrong with her.
I downloaded her newest album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, based on hearing a snippet of “All The Rowboats” on NPR. Being the pretentious asshole I am, there was no stopping the wide-eyed anticipation for its summer release.
However, to steel myself for the “greatness” that would be this album, I listened to her highest critical effort, Soviet Kitsch, which had a really cool cover of her downing a brew while creepily surrounded with matryoshka dolls (she was born in the USSR.)
Turns out the damn thing was full of spartan piano ballads featuring the most crass excuses for kooky experimental singing ever. I don’t know, maybe there’s a certain time, place, and mindset for such music, but how do I vibe to this?!?
Some songs benefit from a more supple arrangement, and the rowdy bar chant “Sailor Song” stands out for the “Marianne’s a Bitch!” line repeated ad nauseum, but yo… how is she famous.
Whatever. I’m a helpless music junkie. I bought the album. And it seems slightly more palatable than the first due to a more involved sound, but even more offensive to my being at the same time. “No Me Quitte Pas” and “All The Rowboats” pretty much define the good of this album: they both have inventive instrumentation, and her weirdness channels itself THROUGH the music, unlike on “Open” where it up and gives listeners a heart attack.
She comes across as the unbridled Kate Bush. Bush is able to be odd and off-putting, but she incorporates that into the theatrics of her work, whether it be Aborigine-inspired production, a song about pseudo-scientific theories, or how she emphasizes her lines. The song “Wow” represents her style quite well, and clearly shows a greater control in wielding the wand of “weird” in her music.
Sure, Spektor’s voice is cutesy-wootsy and she’s beautiful. Yeah, that’s true. But sometimes it feels like she just wraps up these half-assed concepts in musical bacon, but the bacon is actually avocado, so I get hives and throw up for a whole day.
This is what I get for wandering away from hip hop, right? The universe wags its celestial finger at me as I type this. Here’s another epic Kate Bush tune to wrap this up, and then a bomb ass Killer Mike record to get me back on track.
I beseech thee. Your ability to click a button under my banner tickles my fancy to no end; nay, I spat sherry all over my starched linens as my number of admirers had increased exponentially within the fortnight!
But on the real… I don’t do stuff like that all the time haha. I do write a lot of stuff (movie reviews, music reviews, incomprehensible musings, fuckboy drama and more fuckboy drama) but nothing to that degree of deadness.
But yo, I stay grindin’ and reclinin’ and hope y’all down fo’ da count. And here’s a link to my work at this hip hop blog, Dead End Hip Hop, V-Nasty Edition.
I wanted to approach the maiden to inquire, “How did you procure such a curvaceous figure? Pray, let me fondle it, for the night is young.” I would grab ahold firmly, and squeeze for dear life. Oh, the cellulite would feel wondrous and supple underneath the satin garment!
But alas, she evaded my view for the remainder of the night. Miserable fortune, I doth protest.
It was a very serious thing. I could imagine how it would have played out hundreds of years before the white man mucked up our whole solitude thing.
This is how it works: The bride’s family and friends sit on one side of the hall and the groom’s family on the other. There are two MCs who represent the respective groups, who officiate things and are singing constantly. Everyone is in native attire- no oxford shirts, no pants, no ties. Only things sewn in Nigeria. Keep your boring European clothes at home.
The first two hours of the the ceremony were straight praises to God. No one even considered the couple because they couldn’t enter in anyways. After that, they had the mothers (one being my aunt) dance on the floor and get sprayed with money.
The actual, serious officiating began. The eldest daughter from our side (my second oldest cousin) read a letter stating the the groom’s family wanted to usher my cousin into their family to wed their son. The groom finally dances in with his best friends behind him. And oh, when I say dance, I don’t mean pop-locking or anything like that lol.
The bride family’s MC basically has to grill him with questions before he officially bows down to the bride’s parents and extended relatives. She asked him if he was fit to love her, physically fit, and financially fit (the last one requiring him AND his friends to drop money in a bucket.) She then blessed him double-double, and said that she hoped he would have six sets of twins (in Yoruba culture, having twins is a very good thing. My mom and the bride’s mother are twins.) He got kinda shaky after hearing that, but he was down for it. He finally bowed down to first his family’s side (bowing down here basically amounts to lying flat on the ground for an inordinate amount of time.) She then gets them up to do it again for the bride’s family.
Back in the day, that was a very serious thing. If the bride’s parents already didn’t like the groom, they could keep him there for hours and then say no. Of course nowadays people get their parents’ blessing beforehand, so during the ceremony, it’s about respect and thanks to the family.
There’s more dancing, more garnishment, and more money-spraying until they read the letter of acceptance from our family. Then the bride finally dances in. Yo, she had some really fine friends. Real talk. The bride’s friends surround the area as the bride greets her family and then greets her new extended family. She finally does more dancing until she sits by the groom on the special loveseat.
To cut things short, a pastor comes, blesses them, and they kiss. The marriage is official according to our customs. After that, they cut the cake and since it was the groom’s birthday, there were two of them. The ceremony converted into a dancehall into the wee hours of the next day.
aye wutup fam ya boys back like motown jack ya feel me lol just tryna hit yalls up with the good news n shit haha so yo i was bangin dat loud up n down fondren namsaying teachin dese nigga howta boss like ross when dis mark ass trick come up ta me talkin bout soshul desensee n shit fuck atta here mayne yiu aint bout dat lyfe den i let da fodie-fo blow! haha real talk i was sanctified in da blood of tupac at a urly age n shit he was my pops real talk i flew atta dat niggas loins n shit das why i keep a clean bandana on me fo when shit gets real namsayin gotta keep it real fo da brendas n da mamas out there grindin n yo unlike ma pops i aint got nuttin wrong wit da fat muhfucka BIG aight dude had da shit bangin like a real nigga so i could respect dat so yeah im drinkin dis purp blastin ugk n bjork on 1-10 makin ma way to da girlie haha she moved her fat ass to fukkin pasadena i was like gurl yiu no dam well gas cost more than two baggies n a snack at da stop n go how imma hit yo ass up n she was like if yiu don’t hit me up sommun else will so shit like imma let dat happen haha niggas gon be runnin up dere wit dey dicks in ney hands huffin n puffin to get dem vulva walls down namsaying yiu gotta protect yo assets n shit oh shit its hard to text n weave through traffic yall bitches stay trill aight peace.
The jock strives to dominate in his athletic prowess. The diva obsesses toward an inconceivable beauty. The nerd wallows in his ability to assert and compile information. The geek, in a similar field as the nerd, comprehends a singular topic or item to its granular minimum. The gang member, the urban extension of tribal tendencies, fights a futile war for a territory that yields little fruit. The slacker chooses complacency and immediate comfort to guide his actions. The punk, the most American of them all, desires liberty, and by any means necessary.
Each of these reappearing “archetypes” of the teenage population all suggest a need to carve out a personal identity from their surroundings. These notions, while general and certainly not exhaustive, point to biological and philosophical imperative in the teenager to move away from the innocence and assimilation of youthfulness, and into the duty and reality of adolescence.
Yet notice how each of these fails to truly achieve that goal. The jock becomes prone to anger in instances where caution and good reason must arise; the diva focuses on the ephemeral instead of long-lasting skills; the nerd grows cold toward his fellow man due to the excess of knowledge, and likewise, the nerd idolizes the inanimate over the living; the gang member lives his days as a fascist, creating false barriers which only intensify those placed upon him by society; the slacker, subliminally resistant to change, suffers from social inertia; and the punk destroys and blasphemes all, finding everything, including himself, worthless.
Their wayward reaction to their formative years does not hearken to a lack of parental guidance and rearing. The limbo between child and man plays out like Houston weather, cool and calm in the beginning and ending with a cadre of meteorological phenomena in between that renders permanent physical and mental change. How unruly or quiet the storm is depends on the individual, but a clear and present danger exists.
In turn, the teenager begins to churn the waters by clinging to a catalyst in their environment. The fledgling gangster, for example, admires the affluence of his peers in stark contrast to the poverty-stricken world he inhabits. Although constantly persuaded against falling down this treacherous path, like the harrowing narrative told in “Shook Ones Pt. II” by Mobb Deep, oppression cultures a mind jaded to reason.
Probably in the near future, unless it has already come to pass, a collection of statistics will surface showing the number of people who are prone to buying food at night.
I for one fit perfectly into this theoretical block of data when it comes to Subway.
This doesn’t seem to be a conscious effort, mobilizing in the wee hours of the night to get the mythical “five-dollar footlong.” Obviously, something that cheap can’t be a truly healthy alternative to more orthodox fast food in the long run. But my trips are few and far in between, despite occuring so many times that I realized the trend.
Whats irks me is the unknown reasoning behind this trifling dilemma. One possibility could be the distance. As there are two Subways relatively equidistant to the crib, it seems logical that they would gain my ill-timed patronage.
Another could be the assumed guilt that comes attached with extra-curricular eating. My ethos is not at all credible when it comes to fitness & diet (believe me, losing weight is not easy when there’s a lot of it) so I could be compensating this with the bologna cold cuts and regular mayonnaise.
The most appealling possibility, however, is the business model. For five bucks and some odd cents, I can purchase a good-looking, good-tasting sandwich the size of my arm that barely incapacitates my college budget. And to seal the deal, I get to decide the type of sub and what goes in the sub beyond the proprietary meat selection. My ego can barely remain humble at the amount of gastronomic sovereign I can control behind the sneeze guard.
My last visit happened a couple days ago. After waking up from my makeshift yet much needed nap, I could not even think well enough outside of getting something shoved down my throat. How did my car end up hugging the curves of that familiar path shrouded in trees and darkness, eventually pulling up in front of the iconic white, yellow and green sign, the January chicken flatbread melt ravishing my eyes as the door shifted to the side? Only God knows, but at least my wallet was with me.
I was the third person in line, the first shot-calling the final touches on her meal and the second fidgeting impatiently, even more so when she noticed me. I took stock of the menu, wondering which item would work with the current mood. Meatball marinara is too much right now. Turkey breast is eternally boring, as is the chicken breast. And I make my own tuna sandwiches at home, thank you very much. How about something premium? The Philly cheesesteak or roast beef make great visceral teasers, but of course they fall too far out of my monetary range.
My internal torment was put on hold when she, the primer/deli artisan/cashier, asked for the bread. About 5’3”, plump but not fat. Black hair tousled underneath the mandated hat, and her worn expression had the slightest bit of hope for better days. Plus she was genuinely attractive, all that other mumbo-jumbo about height and what not was pretty much scrawl. I chose the jalapeno bread.
“Can I get the veggie delight and the buffalo chicken to count as one footlong?” It was all for naught, as she sadly explained that the combination would exceed my range. Disappointed, the cold cut seemed like the safe bet. I made an off-hand comment about trying the veggie sandwich, and she cooly offered to help me out. I agreed. There had never been such a nicer time spent in a restaurant than that one, her taking a specialized license with the contraption and me looking on in unsure anticipation, only opting to choose the chipotle sauce and not to have tomatoes.
When it was all said and done, she even gave me a free drink for my horrific anxiety when initially buying the food. While my confounding legacy of midnight Subway trips still remains a mystery, it has truly blossomed into something magical, at least for that particular visit.
And she was right, the mayo would have been better.
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