Tag Archives: pop culture

The Walmart Microwave Hunt

Welcome to Wal-Mart. Sorry are the giants bin displays of fun pops, batteries, and aloe vera in your way?

Welcome to Walmart. Sorry are the giants bin displays of fun pops, batteries, and aloe vera in your way?

I would’ve put up a better fight, but I was feeling bloated and hungry and the appeal of a cheap and easy nuking machine beat out my conscience.  So we went to Walmart for a microwave. I don’t take this sentence lightly, I assure you — I spent an entire semester Sophomore year of college on a journalism research project about the class action suit brought up by women against the corporation; I’m convinced I only got an A- because my teacher was halfway through having her tenure revoked and fully on her way to becoming a crazy conspiracist.

But Walmart’s just so much cheaper. Sometimes, we compromise our supposed morals for low prices (especially when unemployed) and, of course, for the chance to watch an entire family go from clothes shopping to vision appointments to toy shopping to grocery shopping and finally, to a quick dinner at McDonald’s without having to leave the comfort of their local Walmart SuperCenter — It’s like watching the ultimate Supermarket Sweep challenge live.

mckayla-notimpressedBut Walmart still triggers the spoiled six-year-old brat response in me — My face morphs into a McKayla Maroney “I’m not impressed” look like a true diva. If walking down a frozen aisle where there’s fifteen freezer doors worth of frozen pizza variety and only six worth of frozen veggies doesn’t elicit an automatic face-palm-response then we obviously just wouldn’t get along.

I knew I was losing my mind when Matti held up frozen mozzarella sticks with a remember-how-I-used-to-eat-dairy-and-fried-foods-before-I-met-you face and I said, “Are you fuc– well, actually, I’m kind of in the mood for mozz sticks.” Translation: Sure, I’m kind of in the mood to turn into Ursula from the Little Mermaid later, when the fried dairy starts to Perfect Storm my stomach — but at least I won’t know when it’s coming.

But when we get to the microwave aisle I’m less “not impressed” and more about-to-turn-into-the-Hulk because it’s not even that cheap — it’s basically the same price as Target except I don’t get to venture off next door into the aisle of plates that perfectly matches our apartment’s color palette as Matti pays for makes the hard microwave decisions. (I can sense olive green home decor from an unparalleled distance.)

But we have to get the microwave, because we’re here, in Walmart, and I’ve already started drinking my unsweetened tea without paying for it. As an attempt to make this trip worth it I stop to glance at the bath mats, since we’ve been using a dirty white towel with the word “fun” on it since we moved in. Apparently though, bath mats are the only product where the price, despite the store, never changes. I swear to Mindy that I’ve been in 20 different places looking for a bath mat and they never get cheaper — no, not even at Walmart. What are you good for, Walmart, if not for everyday low prices?

flowersI start to get mad at Walmart like it’s my half sister– what’s up with your flower section? You have carnations, carnations, florescent carnations and dying roses. You could maybe utilize the space being taken up by the giant bins of batteries and fun pops in the middle of the main aisle for a blossoming, slightly neater flower station. Maybe? How about just getting that old man that works in produce to get his hand out of his pants?

I leave Walmart right after handing the cashier an abandoned rotisserie chicken left on top of the People Magazine rack. She seems appreciative and I immediately start worrying about what they are going to do with the chicken. How long could it have been sitting there, getting cold, decomposing, alone in an aisle of candy and soda and last minute grabs. I hoped like me, the chicken would get out of there soon.

Where I Thank You All and Give You a Recipe for Delicious Cookies

There’s an old proverb I just made up that says “all good things happen to those who force themselves to leave their apartment to complete the tasks they’ve been putting off for weeks.” It may seem a bit specific, but I have some pretty scientifically conclusive anecdotal evidence that proves my point.

A few months ago is when I knew Kelly Oxford was meant to be my writing mentor and ultimate life-spiration. I finished her book Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar in about 30 seconds and I appreciated her honesty. I’m also not embarrassed to say I only started twitter this year. I’m sorry that I was busy living — and yes, by living I mean watching The Office re-reruns in my carpeted apartment with the shades drawn, sometimes crying into the bowl of popcorn littered with delicious raisenettes. But when I figured out you could like, directly talk to celebs via bird noises tweeting, I was as intrigued as any pop culture obsessed ex- Nysnc fan (Screw Backstreet Boys!) would be. But I’m also an educated person, so I follow classy chicks like Joyce Carol Oates and Representative Wendy Davis because, you know, I care about what’s going on in the world. It’s called being cultured.

I was super weary to tweet to celebs though, mostly because it’d take me too long to draft a perfect 140 character message that hints at my subtle yet brash humor without sounding wholly desperate and fanatic. (Love me, everyone!) But one night when I finally agreed to babysit the two boys — we’ll call them energetic –that force me into a Dark Vadar mask every time I’m over, a miracle of fandom happened. I was walking out of what felt like was the modern re-make of the classic Full House estate when I started thinking about how awesome the Olsen Twins had it back then — one uncle plays with the Beach Boys and the other has a cool radio show where he personifies a beaver; My uncle still tickles me inappropriately and threatens to throw me in my family pool whenever he sees me.

photo

This conversation was actually severely awkward for me, yet it still makes my top five life moments.

But it was in the middle of this embarrassingly mundane thought, when I heard the noise that means someone on twitter hasn’t ignored you.  Of course, thinking it’s the same spam robot that keeps favoriting old tweets about Community, I continue to find my way out of the labyrinth that is every rich person’s neighborhood in Texas, glancing down to check directions, and seeing a big old Kelly Oxford shaped tweet on my phone’s now beautiful screen. So, that happened.

Then, yesterday, I finally decided it was okay to bring my engagement ring in to get resized and oh yeah, I’ll make sure that “check oil” light on my dashboard doesn’t mean anything important. I don’t know why, but the highways in Austin this week have been scarier than the first time my brother held me down and made me watch the original Chucky Trailer when I was six. Of course,  I have to go see Al Bundy in North Not-Austin-Anymore-Ville to get the “wholesale discount” from Anita the antique jeweler’s guy, which is forty minutes away, or forty minutes longer than I want to be driving.

freshly-pressed-circleBut then… Brrrrrrrrrng! The best sound in an unemployed, self-obsessed writer’s life: A wordpress notification. And then another. And then another. Another. Another. Never before did I believe and want so badly for Transformers to be real so I could shape shift my way to the nearest guy station and figure out why the shit I was blowing up so hard (Because, yeah, I don’t text/use my phone and drive like an idiot teenager practicing for a roll in a tragic car accident ad.) Eventually I got to a gas station where I could read my email and allow my head to fully inflate upon reading the words “Freshly Pressed.” Man, I should’ve started doing errands sooner.

So yeah, shit goes down when you’re busy being completely ordinary, stuck in traffic, wishing you charged your phone more so you could plug it in and play that song Matti is sick of hearing on repeat. And yeah, when my book deal goes through I’ll be sure to thank you all for my humble beginnings.

Seriously, I want to hold all your faces in my hand and kiss both your cheeks like Heidi Klum in Project Runway except none of you will be eliminated. Then I want you all to sit with me on my pull out couch and watch Gilmore Girls reruns and talk about how Lauren Graham was famous before Parenthood. We can eat homemade vegan cookies I made for you all because I’m bad at being vocally appreciative and thankful — something about it not looking “cool.” Seriously, here’s the recipe for said cookies, because you deserve it! (Thank you all and don’t ever leave me!)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe modified from afa-online.org)

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) vegan margarine, softened

1 ½ cups flourcookies

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

1 ½ cup quick oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 egg substitutes (1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water for one egg)

8-oz vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, including flax Seed. Add the margarine and the water from the “eggs” and mix with a hand blender (I use a fork and a can-do attitude!). Add vanilla and mix again. Dough should hold shape in ball: If too dry,
add a teaspoon of water; if too wet, add ¼ cup flour or oats. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand or with a mixer. Using a spoon, form balls of dough and place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Do insanely good things happen to you when you’re busy being average? Where’s the weirdest place you received great news? Did you wish you were somewhere else?

Waking Up Late to Poetry

I was up last night till 4:00 a.m. watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix and fully intended on writing ya’ll a mini review on Jenji Kohan’s (the creator of Weeds) colorful take on the prison system. Instead, I woke up at 11:45 — just in time to still call it the morning — with way too much to do, by which I mean way too many places to go wearing my new engagement ring. Instead, I’m gonna take some advice from fellow blogger, Jennie and share a poem I recently revised:

When I Was Six:

When I was six

me and my brother

spilt our sea monkeys out

of their glass home.

My brother grappled and thought

“what bad luck”

sea monkeysI cried and got a spoon.

There on childish knees

scraped from rocky driveways

and swinging too high

I scooped up my best friends

like I was building a house

with the wrong side of a hammer.

I didn’t watch television

that night, survivor guilt

absorbed me and nights were

dreamless for a while

just haunted by tiny dancing

friends. Until one day

I got a dog, named her Casey,

and fighting boredom,

I washed her sandy coat

with dishwashing detergent.

 

Movies I Hope I Remember to See Pt. 1

Perusing through IMDB this week to spot my future favorite movies I grew incredibly sad imagining all of the poor, defenseless films I’ve forgotten to watch over the years. (Please tell me you’re also a regular IMDB goer, because if so, I feel like this relationship is really going to last.) How could I forget about these once highly-anticipated plot lines? Well, because my memory is really bad — smoking pot incollege takes a lot out of you and I just have a lot on my mind, okay?

Every week I’ll go through the new trailers, and if I’m not satisfied, I’ll go scourging through old archives of favorite actors, writers, or directors to find a movie I can instantly download purchase completely legally. (Cut me some slack I haven’t had cable since Gilmore Girls was on the air.) In this particular stroll through the interwebs’ cafe of cinematic delight, however, I came across some real coming-of-age goodness that demanded my acute attention. Here’s your first installment of Movies I Hope I Remember to See. Feel free to grab some popcorn if that’s the sort of thing you like to do while reading a blog post.

Lifeguard 

Kristen Bell is playing me in my role as a community pool lifeguard in 2011. Well, okay, she plays a 29-year-old women who moves back in with her parents and becomes a lifeguard and may or may not become romantically involved with a seemingly younger skater boy. Liz G. Garcia writes this dramedy along with debuting as a director. This movie excited me almost as much as Bell bringing back my girl crush Veronica Mars.

Afternoon Delight

I like when a supporting actress finally gets that lead role she’s been waiting for. Kathryn Hahn has always been hilarious but she’s always been stuck in the the quirky sidekick role (Anchorman, Wanderlust) which, let’s face it, does fit her well. This time she appears to have some leading role rawness that lends itself well to the part. She plays a stay-at-home mom who bonds with a stripper and dedicates herself to helping this character, played by Juno Temple. Note: I just found out this movie actually came out in January so go watch it! That’s what I’m gonna do!

Wadjda

The first feature-length film by a Saudi female director tells the story of a young Saudi girl carving her own path in the world through her journey to buy a bike. It sounds simple but a go through of the trailer will have you inspired, in tears, or intrigued to say the least. More than anything, this film seeks to offer a look in to a world we haven’t before seen. I hope it succeeds. Written and directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, the movie comes out in September of this year.

Cutie And The Boxer

I love documentaries about artists and I doubt this movie will be an exception. The portrayal of the relationship between boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko is captivating and heartbreaking (and I’m just talking about the trailer here people). I’m sure this is one of those films that will simultaneously inspire me and overwhelm me with all the creative things I should be doing.

Dealin’ with Idiots

I’m a Jeff Garlin fan and any movie that aims to poke fun at the competitiveness of parents during their children’s sporting events, I’m totally game for. My mom was the parent jumping up at and down at my swim meets with an old camcorder in one hand screaming my name (I never saw video of myself swimming). This movie comes out tonight so grab your comedically-inclined friend and make a night of it.

Happy viewing, movie friends!

Do you like movie trailers or are you a no spoiler type of viewer? Are there any upcoming movies you just cannot wait to see? Do tell.