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Although I don’t really do live music, I saw Ingrid Michaelson in Des Moines some years ago. I shouldn’t be allowed at concerts. That many people in such a small space makes me anxious. I end up drinking too much and taking pictures I’ll regret.

Like this:

ingrid1

And this:

ingrid2

Oh the coping skills of youth..

Anyways, her new video for the song Girls Chase Boys is amazing. It’s visually (and beautifully) an homage to Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible. If you haven’t seen it, go do that now. I’ll wait:

Amazing right?

Ingrid’s interpretation/remake says as much about music’s double standards as it does about the public’s expectations of fame. While the dancers wear heavy stage makeup and form fitting tank tops, Ingrid’s looks is subtler (other than that cleavage). She has the power here. Above all that, it’s a damn catchy song.

Atta girl.

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Sometimes when I’m taking yet another picture of this regal poodle I wonder what kind of parent I will be.

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I wonder this more in relation to the internet than my actual ability to be a responsible adult. (I’ll panic about that when the time comes.) With a phone full of poodles and sunshine I worry I’ll overshare. Baby selfies. New outfits. Sunshine. Babies AND the regal poodle. You, dear reader, might worry too.

For now, you’re welcome.

Standing in an elementary school gym during the 2007 caucuses, I cast my first vote for Hillary Clinton. Two dozen older ladies and I stood solemnly under the basketball hoop, all of us wrapped in scarves and winter coats. An ice storm brewed outside. I thought we would be the majority. I really did.

Instead, the younger generations flocked to Obama’s camp. The grassroots were strong in Iowa. My town’s high school art teacher – in all his stereotypical, grey ponytailed, hippie glory – started a chant as their numbers clearly won the caucus. They certainly seemed like the winning camp, the better camp. The fun camp. But I wasn’t on board yet.

I held out for my girl. Hillary simply seemed like the better choice. A little older, a little wiser, a bit more accustomed to the ways of Washington. Some months later, after the ice thawed and the primaries dragged on, the candidates made the State Fair rounds. When Hillary visited, she saw my friends and I in uniform and beckoned us forward, through the crowd.

Star-struck, I stuttered and blushed. I thanked her for visiting Iowa and said I hoped she was enjoying the fair. “Yes, sergeant,” she said. “I’m enjoying myself very much. Thank you for your service.” She knew our ranks. I swooned. She spoke military jargon. She charmed the boys I was with. We took a picture, shook hands, and she melted back into the crowd.

hilary

Conversations then tended to roll back around to what the country was ready for. Are we ready for black president? Are we ready for a woman to be president? Looking back I’m ashamed how much credence I gave those thoughts. What does ready even mean? Are we too bigoted to have a black president? Are we too closed minded and backwards to elect a woman to the highest office in our land? Are we ready to grow the fuck up?

The question shouldn’t be if we, the voting public, are ready or not. The question should be is she, the politician, ready?

Well, damnit, I say she is. I can’t wait to vote again.

Hillary 2016!

A friend of mine recently rose to a mid-level of internet stardom. Perhaps you’ve seen him:

chris

http://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/a-reddit-user-has-recreated-iconic-movie-scenes-using-his-bo

It’s been exciting to watch. He has more than 250,000 notes on tumblr, +100,000 views on buzzfeed, he has been interviews by morning programs and radio shows, even the Rachel Ray Show contacted him.

This modern fifteen minutes of fame isn’t as new a phenomenon as it feels. On the surface this all feels very modern. Fast paced, digital mumbo-jumbo. These pictures, this joke has crossed international boundaries. Everyone, it seems, is talking about it. Yet isn’t that how popular culture has always worked. From freak shows to psychics to America’s Funniest Home Videos. We’ve always loved flare-up curiosities.

Maybe what’s new about it is how accessible it is. The internet can choose anyone. One funny video. One catchy meme and you’re in. At least for a week or two.

Atta boy, Chris.

The wife watched a video on her phone while we waited for the potatoes to finish baking. A little dog yelped from within the phone. Our poodle jumped into action – to save us from the invaders, of course.

We still can’t convince her that her worry is for naught:

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This morning I walked in the office to this question:

“What’s that thing called that lets a girl stand up and pee?”
“I don’t know, man. Google it. Look up something like female urinal.”
“I don’t think I should google that at work.”
“Yeah probably not.”

I spend most of my day at a computer. This means, even when I’m busy I have one or two distraction windows open – facebook or buzzfeed or wordpress. Maybe something more specific the Wikipedia page for Margaret Schilling who died in a mental institution in 1978. Her body, it is said, left an impression on the floor that can still be seen today.

Let’s blame the imminence of Halloween for the gruesome breadcrumb trail that led me to this search. Now who should be more worried? My coworker with this search for the Go Girl (yes, we found it) or me and my ghoulish searches on defunct mental hospitals? Maybe we both should worry.

In the meantime (to kill a little time and help the workday pass) I would recommend this review of the six “Scariest Abandoned Mental Asylums in America” by the Stuff You Should Know guys.

Part of my job is customer service oriented. I help kids figure out how to navigate the vast machine that is higher education. I like this part of the job, I get to see the best and worst of people. Last week this interaction occurred:

Me: “Next.”

Student, fumbling with her bag: “Hi”

Me: “Hi, what can I help you with?”

Student: “Hi, um, you’re really pretty.”

Me: “Ha, thanks. What’s going on?”

Blah, blah, blah onward with professional service.

I took two things from this interaction. One, it’s REALLY nice to get a compliment from a stranger. Two, why is this such an uncommon experience? Why does it feel almost inappropriate to say something nice and unprompted to a stranger? Or even an acquaintance? I’m not sure but it’s true.

We can be kind to one another without looking for something in return. Maybe I can’t stop thinking about this because I see it as lacking in myself. I’m not one to dish out compliments but maybe I should be.

Ok, good talk, I’ll work on that.      

Summer has disappeared but the poodle has been busy:

shirleypoop

Our new “we want to buy a house” budget has made us more mindful of our shopping habits. What will we really eat? And when? Have we devoted too much freezer space to ice cream? Each item is considered far more than n our freewheeling grad school days where we ordered Indian food and pizzas with abandon. (Rough life, I know)

I tell you all this to complain about a bag of Green Giant frozen corn we purchased. I’m from Iowa, you see, so corn is a central part of my diet. The girlfriend had an exciting new chili recipe AND we had a coupon. Done. Biggest bag of corn we could find.

As we started cooking (ok, she started cooking), we found this:

What the hell is that? Butter Sauce – the package says. Green Giant, why have you failed me!? This isn’t green .  All I wanted was some tasty corn in my chili, a little of Mother Midwest’s natural candy. Why Green Giant? Why?!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of person to complain about over processed food or the state of our nation’s dietary peccadillos.  Sign me up for some candy and packaged snacks and fast food on any road-trip or lazy day.  But this product pretends to be healthy.

Fore shame, Green Giant, fore shame

I’ve always known my television choices say a lot about me.

Then tonight shit got real:

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