Category Archives: Popular Culture

Linked In Can Suck It and Here’s Why

God, I hate Linked In.

A couple years ago when everyone started jumping aboard the Linked In ship, I was waving from the dock with a cocktail, wishing everyone bon voyage. My initial dislike of it was simple: I thought their design was ugly and boring and also I was an unpaid stay-at-home mom not looking to “network” with other stay-at-home moms.

I can’t remember who sent me the first “Invitation to Connect” but at some point I thought, “Damn, I better swim on out and see if there’s still any room on that boat!” I accepted that Linked In wasn’t the passing fad I thought it was. So I created an account and have maintained the laziest and most blah of profiles, while trying to Beadazzle™ my Facebook and Twitter (and sometimes Pinterest*) on the daily.

Since I’m looking for work in social media now, I’ve done tons of reading about the usefulness of Linked In. And I’ve been advised by people I like and respect to beef up my profile. Damn it. I have to do this now. But first I’m gonna rant for a minute about why I hate it and don’t have to like it and you can’t make me. sam_spratt_300_linkedin_gizmodo_copy

1. I hate self-promotion.

Right now I’m supposed to be writing my own reference letter for an associate (fancy) who is going to sign it when I’m done. I’m having the hardest time! I can write a recommendation for someone else in a quick second but writing about how awesome I am is not coming naturally. And saying that you’re good at things means you create the expectation that you’re actually good at those things! I know, I know: weak. But getting on LinkedIn and coming across like a serious person who knows what she’s doing is haaard, you guys.

2. The endorsements thing is a total scam.

Because of this blog, I get a lot of endorsements that I really, truly appreciate. When I see that someone has endorsed my writing, or web content, or social networking, I feel like it’s a really nice hat tip. But I usually can’t reciprocate. I don’t KNOW if I should endorse your proposal writing skills. ARE you really good at segmentation or integrated marketing? I don’t know because I don’t work with you and I don’t really know what you do! You’re a great pal and I love our chats, but we haven’t talked about your skills in Adobe Creative Suite so I can’t say if you’re good at it!


This is why LinkedIn is just the worst.

Remember a few years ago, everyone was seeing these scammy ads telling you you could see who’s checked out your profile and then it all turned out to be fake because thank God the one thing Facebook hasn’t taken away from us (yet) is the ability to hide our stalking? Well, Linked In totally lets you see who’s checked out your profile. Grrreat.

The problem with this is that let’s say there are only a few people in the world that you would definitely say that you hate. Like, you loathe them. Your interactions with them from more than a decade ago still have the power to get you heated. You may have even crafted a revenge fantasy or two. Then let’s say one boozy evening you decided to google this fool and see what she’s been up to. And LinkedIn comes up first so of course you click on it. Now you’ve visited her profile. She thinks you’re interested in her for good reasons, not bad, shameful, you-should-have-moved-on-by-now reasons. And then BAM! The next day, there it is: your “invitation to connect”! And attached is a stupid note saying something vague about how long it’s been and how glad she is to reconnect. D’OH! You don’t WANT to reconnect with that heifer! But just the fact that she knows you looked gives her the upper hand. And then you cry violently at your life.

In the next few weeks, I am planning to try to do some real networking and self-promoting on Linked In because I know that I need to grow up and accept that it’s important to try to appear professional in order to get people to pay you. But I will be rolling my eyes the whole time.

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*Let’s talk about Instagram another day.

Instagram WISHES It Was This Cool, And Other Things I Learned From A Box of Pictures

I don’t think I’ve shared this on the blog, but I am not currently employed full-time. Or part-time. Or even at all. I hope it won’t stay this way for long but that’s the way it is right now.

So while my kids are at school, I find myself in a strange place where there usually isn’t anything pressing that needs to be done. When you have younger children, there is always – ALWAYS – something that absolutely has to be done, but once the kids are older, the day-to-day urgency of chores lessens a bit. This is all a very long way of getting to my point which is that sometimes I have enjoyable stretches of time to do what I want.

I try to use these found hours to do things I’ve long put off. One project I’ve meant to take on forever is going through my boxes of letters and mementos and seeing what’s actually there.

Today I pulled out a couple of boxes of “special things” and ended up on an all expenses paid tour of Memoryland (Memory Lane is just one small street) that sort of blew my mind. You guys. Here’s what I realized: kids today – yes, I just wrote that – will probably never know the joys of finding a box that contains stacks of pictures and letters and cards. It just won’t happen. Coming across time-stamped and organized emails from your first boyfriend will never be the same as opening a yellowed envelope, holding a letter in your hands, remembering the handwriting. Swiping your fingers across your phone, gazing at the faces of lost loves will never be the same as finding a snapshot tucked into a book. Kids still give each other cards and things (wait, do they?) but there was something truly magic about opening up a box to find a disorganized jumble of memories. Here are a few I found today.


Proof that I’ve always been an excellent speller, as if I needed that. And wouldn’t you know? They misspelled my name. 



First concert. Awww, yeeeeah.


My granny was my hero when I was a kid. She was hilarious, salty, and fun – everything I aspire to be! In this picture, Granny is posing next to picket signs made by her neighbors after she hosted a party and didn’t invite them. What a bunch of fun drunks.

An incredibly detailed scrapbook made (out of construction paper!) by my childhood friend, Roxanne. We are still close and we always remember the intensity of friendships between girls before they discover boys. A lovely example.

An incredibly detailed scrapbook made (out of construction paper!) by my childhood friend, Roxanne. We are still close and we always remember the intensity of friendships between girls in those years before they discover boys. This is a lovely example.


My dad and me at my high school graduation. He was actually very handsome, even though he’s making a weird face here. I don’t have many pictures of us together so this is a treasure. Sidenote: It makes me want to cry that I thought I was fat then.

Double exposures! A roll of film in which a baseball game showed through in pictures of my wedding. Instagram WISHES it could do this.

Double exposure! A roll of film on which pictures of a baseball game, a backyard pool party AND my wedding were shot. Instagram WISHES it was this cool.

More after the jump. Continue reading

So This Is What Courtney Love’s Been Up To


Hey there, Crazy.

When I go too long without some C. Love in my life, things get boring.


Kurt’s just clownin’. He’s not really afraid of her.

Full disclosure: I’m a big, big fan. I think Court is bonkers, crackers, bananas, a wack job, cuckoo, a few sandwiches short of a picnic, insane in the membrane, etc. – and I LOVE HER FOR IT! It’s rare to see someone who cares so little about making herself seem normal and acceptable. And in addition to all those things, she is also smart, witty, and the woman behind one of my favorite albums of all time, Hole’s Live Through This. (Don’t kid yourself: it sounds as fresh today as it did then.) And she was married to my boyfriend Kurt Cobain, whom she did not kill, despite whatever misinformation you may have gotten.

This advertisement “web series” for NJOY electronic cigarettes is officially bringin’ Courtney back – yeah! Them other Courtneys don’t know how to act! (Sorry, got carried away.) The actress who is not Courtney Love is notably terrible, which makes it that much more wonderful when Courtney croaks out, “Relax.” Ah, where have you been, girl?

Yeah, she’s “back” selling e-cigarettes, but a check is a check. Git money, gurrrl!


The Brazilian Twerk Team Is Giving Me LIFE!

Go read a book, Miley. Have a seat, Caramel Kitten. These waxed clean Brazilian fellas are about to show you how twerkin’ is REALLY done!

My favorite thing about this is their totally bored facial expressions. They’re putting a ton of energy into their moves but their faces look like day shift truckstop waitresses who don’t have time for you and your mess.

I also really appreciate that the kid in the middle – you KNOW he thinks he’s the Beyonce of the group – stops to fix his wedgie situation around the :50 mark. He’s both an artist and a professional.

They call themselves As Abusadas, which I happen to know translates to Ass Abuse in Portugese.*

After watching this – and going back to watch Caramel Kitten twerk her way through Wal-Mart again (“Twerkin’ by the beer, twerkin’ by the bread”) – I had to reign myself in before getting sucked into a k-hole of twerk videos. The variety is astounding! But something all twerkers who post videos of themselves twerking seem to have in common is a general “I DON’T GIVE A F***” attitude. And I can appreciate that.IDGAF

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

*It totally doesn’t.

The Week in Celebrity Vaginas

I probably should have used quotation marks around celebrity because the people I’m talking about are celebrities in the same way people like Ingo Rademacher and Sean Lowe (who?) pass as “stars” on Dancing with the Stars.

So, how about this? Some people that a lot of people are aware of said some stuff about their vaginas and I have some things to say about what they said.

Let’s start with Amerika’s favorite sisters, the Kardashians. I generally try to limit my exposure to Kardashianalia. There are a number of reasons for this but the primary reason is that I CANNOT LISTEN TO THEIR VOICES. Because I love trashy pop culture so much I want to marry it, I know that not watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians leaves a gap in my knowledge base. So I have tried, Lord knows I’ve tried, to watch the show. But I have never made it through a full episode because of those voices. The combination of that flat, nasal whine and using “like” every fourth word makes me feel insane.

Also, Kim’s face freaks me out.

But I am aware of them because DUH. So when I read earlier this week that on their television show, two of the sisters asked a third sister to compare and judge the smell of their vaginas, I thought, “Well, of course. Of course they did!” The way in which the winner was determined is that sisters Kim and Kourtney individually wiped their vaginas with a cloth napkin and then each in turn presented their napkin to sister Khloe for a sniff test.

That’s right: these adult women smeared (sorry!) their essences (again!) on a piece of cloth, which they presented to another adult woman to judge.

Big surpise, Kim was the winner! Know why Kim was the winner? Because Kim getting peed on by a third-tier R&B singer ten years ago is the reason these people are on TV. How is Kim gonna lose?

Here’s my favorite line from the whole thing: “Do I want to be the judge of the pineapple p***y?” Khloe rhetorically asks. “Not really, but we’re sisters … if I can’t smell their p***ies, what else am I supposed to do?” Exactly, Khloe! You just summed up sisterhood beautifully! I mean, come on! WHAT ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?!

Some would argue that Amanda Bynes is even less of a celebrity than the K sisters. We’re splitting (pubic) hairs here, but at least Amanda Bynes had a career as an actress with her own TV show and a movie or two before turning full-time professional car wrecker. Everyone pretty much forgot about her until she started acting all weird and druggy a few months ago. And then she went on Twitter with this lil gem:


. . .

C Bale WHAT?

Um. I don’t . . . I just . . . WHAT?!

I guess she means she wants to do sex with Drake? But Amanda, WHYYY do you use words as though you’re a non-native English speaker?

Even though we hear the word “vagina” in public more now than we used to, it still pricks up the ears when people talk about their own. It’s sort of a guaranteed attention-grabber.

So, to you, masochistic Amanda Bynes and you, sweet-smelling Kartrashians, I say well played. Well played.

The 5 Reasons You’re Still On Facebook

Note: This is a slightly edited version of a post from my old blog. If you’ve already read it, you are awesome and I like you. Don’t be mad at me for recycling.

Everyone with a teenager knows that kids today think Facebook blows and it’s all about Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook has had a slight stink of “over” on it for awhile now. Weren’t people already making jokes about what happens when your mom joins Facebook back in 2009? In 2013, we just accept – hell, expect! – that our grandparents will “like” our posts about having a case of the Mondays.

Knowing all this, why are so many of us still daily users of Facebook? I’m about to tell you why. Get ready, because it’s about to get

I thought I invented the word “facecrush”, but according to Urban Dictionary, I did not. Whatever. My definition of a Facecrush is a little different. This is not a crush like the one you might have on the ex-husband of an old friend, not that neighbor you always kind of had a thing for, not your kid’s cute teacher who friended you on Facebook. No. My definition of a Facecrush is a person you don’t actually know in real life but whom you find yourself Facebook-crazy over. For a period of time – usually 2 to 3 months, according to my research – the two of you can’t get enough of each other’s posts. You’re liking stuff all over the place, posting videos you hope they’ll think are funny, and generally vibing with each other – without any sexual overtones. (Again: totally different animal.) Then one day, you realize it’s dwindled to almost nothing between you and your Facecrush. Without the benefit of a real, everyday actual friendship, you end up throwing out a random sympathy “like” from time to time, the online equivalent of the awkward nod across the room.

Deriving at least a little pleasure from the misfortunes of others is human nature. I’m sure there are humans who’ve overcome this nature but those people aren’t reading this blog, are they? There’s something a little satisfying in seeing that the high school bully is now a lives-at-home loser. Something enjoyable about seeing a formerly high and mighty co-worker you couldn’t stand desperately kissing up to people, hoping to “network.” And let’s just say it: seeing that someone you never liked is fat now? That can put ME in a good mood for days.

You probably know someone who just had a baby. If they live far away (or in my case, more than 10 minutes away), how will you see the baby? Facebook, that’s how. New parents take a lot of pictures. BAM. You’re welcome.

Haha babies are cute.

Haha babies are cute.

Need to know who to call to fix your HVAC? Forget Angie’s List; Facebook that mess! When you need advice about contractors, restaurants, babysitters, laptops, vibrators whatever, Facebook makes it really easy to ask every single person you’ve ever met. In 2009, I crowdsourced whether or not I should take a certain job. Mostly everyone’s advice was wrong but that’s okay.


How else are your supposed to know when a famous person dies?

What else? Got a number 6?

A Child’s Garden of Verses (About Lindsay’s Mugshots)

What would Robert Louis Stevenson say about poor misguided Lindsay Lohan’s troubles? Might go something like this . . .

July 2007 :: possession of cocaine, DUI, driving on a suspended license

July 2007 :: possession of cocaine, DUI, driving on a suspended license

Why, Lindsay, you don’t look quite right.
Like you’ve been doing coke all night.
“Unfair! Unfair!” is what you cry
Charged so cruelly with DUI
And driving on a license suspended
This is where your mug shots should have ended.

November 2007 :: misdemeanor cocaine use and driving under the influence

November 2007 :: misdemeanor cocaine use and driving under the influence

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The Longest “Girls” Recap You’ll Ever Read

Oh my God. What the hell happened last night? By the time the episode ended with another Q-tip jammed in Hannah’s ear, I had folded myself into a fetal position. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen three people so spectacularly self-destruct over the course of 30 minutes.

Lena Dunham took a ton of shit last season for the show. Part of that was simple “how dare you be a hilarious, smart, successful average-looking young woman and be this funny?” But it was also because the characters she created were so spoiled and seemingly devoid of self-awareness. That’s why I was only a sporadic, On Demand watcher last season. It’s also why I don’t typically hang out with people in their 20s. The lack of self awareness is draining. This season, I feel like LD is working to show people that she gets it; she gets that these people are over indulged, self-centered brats. And she really made her point last night.


You and me both, girl.

Hannah ::

The episode started with Hannah meeting with her e-book publisher who matter-of-factly tells her he didn’t read the pages she sent him because he didn’t want to. Wow. Okay. Um. So he suggests that she fictionalize her sex life, before sending her on her way with the parting comment that he looks forward to not reading those pages either. (Hannah, blogging is ten times easier and probably as lucrative as the stupid e-book. Do it! )

Later, Hannah is on the floor, presumably working on her book. After she gets a splinter in her butt, she removes it. Of course. Because what would an episode of Girls look like without bare Hannah flesh? Looks like we’ll never have to find out!tumblr_inline_mgxo6xxYrr1rqli3pAnyway, she finds herself driven to clean her ears. (Don’t even act like you haven’t had that same compulsion. Usually it happens to me in other people’s bathrooms but let’s move on.) She proceeds to injure herself by putting something “smaller than an elbow in there” against her irritated mother’s screechy advice.

She ends up in the hospital, being scolded by an older Indian doctor. This is just the sort of man whose hard work and presumably much less privileged circumstances leave him with zero patience for whippersnappers who hurt themselves in stupid ways.

I like that Hannah didn’t talk much in this episode. She sure got her comeuppance and then some, huh? Dismissed by her publisher, annoying to  her parents, berated by a doctor and blown off during a chance meeting with Adam. She’s not doing well right now and maybe, possibly, life is taking the wind out of her usually inflated sails?

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All GIF Friday!

Is there a way to NOT love this song?



Aw, little self-absorbed Hannah Horvath finally figured out that she’s tired of trying to experience everything and be cool all the time. It’s called your 20s, kid, and we all grow out of it.


Sexxxy moves from living cartoon Courtney Stodden.


If he was your boyfriend, he’d never let you go.


Here’s Mariah, reminding us how the dismissive smile is really done.


In case you forgot to loathe Chris Brown today.


This is how I’m gonna say Justin’s name from now on. Every time.


 Mariah gif

Fat Bottomed “Girls”

Do you watch the HBO series Girls? I’m obsessed; have been since the first episode. I don’t write about it here, mostly because writing about it violates my stated mission to go deep into the shallow. You guys, I’m saying it’s DEEP. I think Lena Dunham is not just a buzzy wunderkind, but someone who will continue to successfully shake up conventionally accepted ideas about comedy and the Great American Gender Debate. The kid’s a gamechanger, I tell ya! A gamechanger! (I don’t know why my inner voice just changed into a 1930s gangster.)

So, I’m writing about this week’s episode mostly because there were some real-life Twitter antics that I thought would be fun to share.

If you didn’t see it, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah had an intensely charged – sexually and otherwise – encounter with an older, successful, incredibly handsome divorced doctor in his dreamy apartment. It started when Hannah came to his home to confess to throwing away trash in his cans. Before turning to leave, she impulsively kissed him. The surprising kiss led to raw, intense sex; a topless ping pong game; sleeping together on high thread count sheets; then more sex before Hannah completely freaked the F out. The whole thing ended as quickly as it began.

To put it mildly, there is a great disparity in looks between Lena Dunham and Patrick Wilson, the actor who played the doctor. And although every one of us has watched sex scenes with no trouble suspending disbelief when the man was considerably less attractive than the woman, it’s a bigger dare for an actress to make us accept that a homely girl could do hot sex to someone that much more attractive than she is.

But Lena Dunham is nothing if not a provocateur. Her Hannah can be a real asshole. Larry David is the only other person I can think of on television who is as willing to be such a complete, unrepentant jerk yet still remain interesting and oddly sympathetic to viewers. I give Dunham a couple extra points, though. We accept men as jerks, no questions asked. (Sorry: truth bomb.) And conventionally hot women can be “bitches” without losing viewers. But it’s a pretty bold act to be a complicated, smart, funny, jerk AND look more like a normal woman than a beautiful actress. And to be a rude, demanding jerk who gets it on with a total stud? That’s bold.

Monday morning, the Internet almost broke from all the chatter about how unbelievable it was that someone like HIM would have not just sex, but amazing sex, with HER. This kind of commentary was from not just random gross Internet commenters (the lowest form of life) but actual respected critics as well.

On TV, yes, it actually is kind of a challenge to accept this very plain girl winning the attention and the naughty bits of such a hot dude. But in real life? It happens. Kind of a lot. As someone much closer to the Lena Dunham end of the spectrum than the Megan Fox side, I don’t find it the least bit hard to believe. As Maureen Ryan put it, referring to people who can’t conceive of this reality, “I can’t escape the feeling that these people never went to any truly awesome parties in their twenties.” And this is why I love Lena Dunham. She’s obviously been to awesome parties.



The real shocker here is not that Hot Guy did sex sex stuff with Plain Girl. The shocker is that she made it happen WEARING THAT SHORTS SET! For the love of God, scrub it from my eyes! The only possible way it could have been less flattering is if she wore it with Crocs.

I swear I almost started a “Hannah’s Shorts Set” Twitter account Monday. I was just gonna tweet “I’M SORRY” over and over and over, all day long.

Enough thinking! Here’s the fun part.

As Twitter was exploding Monday with vitriol about how fug Lena Dunham is and how “in real life, he would never do  a fat chick like her,” Patrick Wilson’s wife tweeted this:

OH, SNAP! Internet, you just got OWNED.

Dagmara, it turns out, is not only an actress, but also an author, a mother and a gorgeous woman who wears a size 10. Is her language too subtle? What she’s saying is:

“Suck it, haters! I’ll be bangin’ the hell out of my hot husband while you sit in front of your computer frothing about fat chicks.”

Here’s what Dagmara looks like. Dagmara+Dominczyk+Young+Adult+World+Premiere+YvrMlUerqOjl

Smart, funny AND gorgeous? I think I’m in love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Oh, and this will be me later this evening, halfway through a bottle of wine, blasting “Dancin’ On My Own.”tumblr_inline_mhgu6btpxz1qz4rgp

UPDATE: This happened.Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 8.58.30 PM