This Week in Links: January 20-January 26

Wow… this was a very slow Week in Links. Could have probably extended it to another fortnight but… nah.

So that gives me liberty to throw back to a link I ended up shelving last week because the post was already so long:

scoby craigslistExcept– boom— it’s not even actually a link anymore because for whatever reason the post ended up being deleted :(. Maybe they think I was hawking an illegal substance? (brb… making sure it’s legal to make your own kombucha in this POLICE STATE. […tell me you all know I’m joking?]). But no matter, because I was still successful in spreading the progeny of Claire and Collette’s “Thomas”-in-Thailand (someone did ask if mine had a name, girls!) to three– nay, four!– lucky individuals in the Charlottesville area. Soon we’ll have a veritable army of kombucha brewers ’round here.

So onto the slim-pickings of the links by which I was actually entertained this week:

When a friend was telling me about roommate problems, I suggested she write a passive-aggressive (thanks to cheerleading I will never misspell that word) note to him. Then I remembered there was a site about that that I hadn’t been to in years and decided it was high time I got reacquainted. I was almost immediately rewarded with this:

passive aggressive note to mom

though you’ll frequently hear me saying i’m not sure i want kids, if i do decide to go ahead and procreate one of these days, i’ll be pretty disappointed if, at some point in his or her childhood, i don’t receive an almost verbatim version of this note.

http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2013/01/22/hart-brok/

At some point I came across this article on HuffPost, about what some of our favorite celebrities were doing before (or in addition to) making it big:

did you know about this emilie? after you were just reminding me about your lifelong dream to play the banjo.

did you know about this emilie? after you were just reminding me about your lifelong dream to play the banjo.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/creative-outlets-second-acts_b_2542942.html#slide=2011805

I’ve seen a few variations of this floating around the ‘book and while, admittedly, I probably will never do any of them, these “Life Hacks” (as I guess the kids are calling them these days) are good and creative ideas. That frequently employ recycling?

this one's actually maybe made for me right now because i've re-entered a fifth-grade-esque phase of nail polish compulsion.

this one’s actually maybe made for me right now because i’ve re-entered a fifth-grade-esque phase of nail polish compulsion.

 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/01/50-life-hacks-to-simplify-your-world/

Oh, and thanks to some highly coveted connections I have with the 2009 Trustees Board, I landed myself a spot in our Class of 2009 Winter E-news Alumni Profiles section. Celebrity status (though not quite as good as that one time I was in the Chinese newspaper…).

angela calonder winter alumni profilehttp://alumni.virginia.edu/connect/young-alumni/class-of-2009-winter-e-news-alumni-profiles/

And that’s really all I  got this week, darlings! Though it’s not like me to leave a post sitting at 381 words so I guess I could quickly include some of the music/other entertainment that’s gotten me by this week:

[Haha… just started gushing and gushing about “Icky Thump” to the point that it’s going to get its own post.]

I really enjoyed watching Jay-Z’s 2001 performance on MTV’S Unplugged (though I swear, if I have to hear/read one more person bitch about how there’s no more music on MTV… we get it, it’s defying its own acronym at this point, reality shows are annoying and pedestrian, you’re very very upset. But guess what, there are roughly a billion other places to listen to and watch music these days. And no one cares. To quote my eighth grade History teacher, ‘The horse is dead!’). I certainly think of hip-hop as something that could be difficult to, er, unplug, but I guess with the Roots behind you anything is possible. Mary J Blige also makes an appearance at the end, which was a nice addition. I’ve been feeling kind of sad that I was so hellbent on choosing between the likes of Blink-182 and Eminem (in my school it was very gauche to be into both punk rock and rap) back in middle school rather than just embracing everything. I missed out on so much for so long!

A couple of searches and subsequent clicks (found out Gwyneth Paltrow sang back-up for “Song Cry” at a Jay-Z performance in London a few years back, attempted to find a video of this) landed me at a video of Gwyneth Paltrow rapping “Gangsta Gangsta”? Which I found endearing because I too have dabbled in the lucrative industry of white-woman-rap. (Not gonna link to it though haha.)

celeb gossip blogs really want us to hate her but i just… can’t.

But more importantly, I discovered the wonder of listening to standup comedy in the office. It makes the hours fly and keeps your spirits up all day. You might emit an embarrassing chuckle or two, but I’ve decided it was worth it. Notable sets for me this week were Margaret Cho (thanks Chris Kelly, you created this monster), Craig Ferguson (wasn’t at all sure what to expect here but I was pretty entertained the whole time), Louis CK (been watching so much Parks and Rec lately it seemed a shame not to. Also that links to a bloopers reel that you should probably click right now.), Robin Williams (always a classic, and, notably, back in 1986 Qaddafi, gun control, and Clint Eastwood were still the buzzwords), and Mitch Hedburg (also, essentially, a bloopers reel).

And most importantly is that my friend Kyle turned me onto the Bird and the Bee, and specifically their Hall and Oates tribute album.

And then he told me about Live from Daryl’s House, specifically that time Chromeo showed up:

And just to close the subject, two of my favorite pieces of Hall and Oates-related literature: It’s been “A Night”  and Three Exciting Pieces of News from 2birds1blog.

One year ago: Penang, Again (Part Three)
Two years ago: Darjeeling; Leaving Kolkata
Three years ago: Assorted Updates

This Week in Links: January 12-19

Our themes this week are conspiracies, pop stars, and (surprise) animals.

Some of you may remember me discussing at some point or another a bit of stress I may have undergone when first arriving in Thailand on account of all the conspiracy-theory talk circulating amongst my friends. And Lupe Fiasco. “Nine-eleven, Building Seven, did they really pull it?!Planes were dowsing the planet with toxic aluminum and barium on the daily, Princess Di was assassinated, and we didn’t land on the moon. It just really had me feeling like this. (Okay, sorry Emilie, I promise not to start using gifs to illustrate everything, that is truly your realm.)

Of course I’m exaggerating, but it’s funny now to look back on because I do find the whole business a bit fascinating. Though have zero desire to spend any more time blogging about it. Or… about those conspiracies, anyway.

Because the fascination doesn’t stop there, people. Everything we hold near and dear in pop culture, it would seem, is potentially involved in some sort of twisted scheme. I first decided to do some investigating after looking for the full Watch the Throne album on YouTube because I was just dying, for whatever reason, to hear Jay say, “Do you know who I am, Clarice?” in “Murder to Excellence.” (Coincidentally this was the morning after Jodie Foster delivered her allegedly powerful Golden Globes speech, of which I was oblivious at this point.) Couldn’t find the full album; instead found the show they did in London for the Watch the Throne tour (in which they didn’t actually perform “Murder to Excellence,” but who’s counting?). Which brings me to how I started thinking about celebrity conspiracies: in the comments there were all kinds of Illuminati references (including one simply stating, “illuminati muppets,” which hit me hard, because the only thing I hate being called more than a sheep[le] is a muppet. But it was unclear to whom the comment was really directed so I was able to let it slide). And I realized it wasn’t the first time I’d seen the Illuminati mentioned in connection to some of our most beloved superstars, and so decided to find out more.

Now, I’ve read The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons so I like to think I know as much about the Illuminati as the next guy– that is to say, almost nothing. However, a quick, “what does jay-z have to do with the illuminati?” search yielded many results. I liked this one from Slate a lot, and with a title like, “Is Lady Gaga a Satanist Illuminati Slave?” who could blame me? But the graphic for this Gawker article was too good to pass up:

i mean, if nothing else this is definitely making me want to be a part of the illuminati. shoot... is that the intention? are they in my head already?

i mean, if nothing else this is definitely making me want to be a part of the illuminati. shoot… is that the intention? are they in my head already?

http://gawker.com/5886988/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-illuminati-the-conspiracy-theory-that-connects-jay+z-and-queen-elizabeth

It offers two comprehensive “guides” (“The Believer’s Guide” and “The Skeptic’s Guide,” both informative and, in good Gawker-style, hilarious), and gets you kind of hoping that Blue Ivy Carter really is in charge of the world, because an infant occupying the captain’s chair is about the only acceptable explanation for things being so messed up.

Perhaps you recall the 15 Insane Fan Theories… list from Buzzfeed I posted on my first installment of This Week in LinksAladdin‘s set in the future, Tarantino has created a similar but alternate universe, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off all takes place in Cameron’s head? Well Emilie’s directed me to a character-oriented list in the same vein:

literary characters conspiracy flavorwire

it’s like… 95% homosexuality (honestly i’m surprised bert and ernie and tinky-winky didn’t make the list…) but still worth a read, as that’s an entirely hyperbolic figure.

http://www.flavorwire.com/362916/a-few-conspiracy-theories-about-classic-literary-characters

And for old times’ sake, here are links to two of my favorite conspiracy theories from back in the day: Hollywood begins mass brainwashing campaign to get people ready for the next bioengineered virus release (via NaturalNews.com) and THE MOON: A Propaganda Hoax (via The Mad Revisionist). (The latter isn’t claiming that we didn’t go to the moon– it posits instead that our dear little satellite doesn’t even exist. Though in a world of limitless possibilities…)

On the topic of commentary in virtual forums, here’s that update I know you’ve all been longing for of any stirrings we created with out Lil Wayne reference in the Tupac Deposition video:

tupac deposition comments

esfelon makes a compelling argument, i’m just still trying to figure out what an ‘intelegentan’ is.

And my friend Kyle sent me this gem on the basis that he ‘knew I liked reading comments.’ Am I that transparent?? But yeah. Good call, Kyle.

awesome, feminist-insensitive comments on the 'bic for her' pen available on amazon.com.

awesome, feminist-insensitive comments on the ‘bic for her’ pen available on amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-Cristal-1-0mm-Black-MSLP16-Blk/product-reviews/B004F9QBE6/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

I’ll do a little soul-baring right now (if Jodie can do it so can I!) and admit that 25 is a weird age to be newly single… since returning home from Thailand I’ve attended two weddings (one of which was my younger cousin’s) and borne witness to countless engagements and marriages thanks to the voyeuristic magic of Facebook (sorry, I don’t mean to sound disparaging of your bliss… heartfelt congratulations to all you litte lovebirds!). However, the old adage that “misery loves company” has rung true, and in Kathy’s and my case the silver lining has been that it would seem that nothing brings old friends together like simultaneous breakups. During her stay we spent countless contemplative hours going through the full spectrum of feeling like of course we’d end up happy to being fatalistically certain we’d end up alone (the phrase ‘cats eating my face’ got thrown around a bit) at least twice a day week, as well as watching Downton Abbey wondering where our respective Cousin Matthews were. She also hooked me up with these bits of literature on the subject of love in our weird and trying ‘modern’ age. They present a bit of a spectrum themselves.

item 1: a nytimes article in which men are DEFINITELY the bad guys. arg! men! chauvinism! glass ceiling! hook-up culture!

item 1: a nytimes article in which men are DEFINITELY the bad guys. arg! men! chauvinism! glass ceiling! hook-up culture!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/fashion/the-end-of-courtship.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

(My boy “Antoine Vanderbilt” coincidentally also addresses this article in his latest “Dear Antoine” installment, in which ‘Laura from DC’ wonders when is the most appropriate time to put out.)

in this one, from the atlantic, online dating is to blame for millenials’ inability to foster successful relationships– it’s so easy to find someone new ‘we’ don’t put in the time or attention necessary to keep the ones we have. an interesting hypothesis, anyway.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/a-million-first-dates/309195/#.UPQ9AcWMYa8.email

finally, a beacon of hope. a relationship succeeds because of undying effort on the part of a real-life prince charming. but is this still giving men too much agency/responsibility?! i’m waiting for the article about the relationship that succeeded because of undying effort on the part of a real-life princess charming.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/on-love-i-was-totally-into-enjoying-the-time/2013/01/10/c01b99ac-56b2-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html

Anyway, that was a bit of a divergence from the aforementioned themes, let’s reel it back in with another one about pop stars… Specifically two surprisingly similar individuals: Kurt Cobain and Justin Bieber.

this makes ollie a lot like both of them.

this makes ollie a lot like both of them.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/10-ways-justin-bieber-is-like-kurt-cobain

(As long as we’re talking about commentary, let’s just say there are a handful of Kurt Cobain fans that do not appreciate this article one little bit. But I think lil Biebs is great? Just see for yourself!)

baby, señorita, mon chérie…

And moving onto animals (yayyy!).

more buzzfeed... i can't help it. the way the official takes the dog off the field is the same way i take ollie to my room to crate him. all limbs sticking exactly straight out.

more buzzfeed… i can’t help it. the way the official takes the dog off the field is the same way i take ollie to my room to crate him. all limbs sticking exactly straight out.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tommywes/adorable-dogs-interrupt-professional-soccer-game

because the only thing better than a donkey in a well is a comically large one.

because the only thing better than a donkey in a well is a comically large one.

http://www.petside.com/slideshow/photos-guinness-world-record-animals?Utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=cpc#586104

this is a work-find... looking through the church's website and was struck by this headline, and subsequently by the heartwarming story that accompanied it.

this is a work-find… looking through the church’s website i was struck by this headline, and subsequently by the heartwarming story that accompanied it.

http://www.pilgrimshospices.org/news/woody-the-rocking-horse-is-so-special/

another work-find...

another work-find…

http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/asaph/news/realeasteregg2013.php

I mean, it’s no Godbaby but… what is, really?

And, also because I can’t help it, a couple nerdy ones to round out the post and re-express my love of All Things Language.

do words really mean anything

http://hotword.dictionary.com/semiology/

i almost got lost in all the linked articles to this one... this stuff is seriously so intriguing to me.

i almost got lost in all the linked articles to this one… this stuff is seriously so intriguing to me.

http://hotword.dictionary.com/beautiful-sounding/

And… if comparing Justin Bieber to Kurt Cobain is such a sin in the musical world I don’t want to know what kind of offense it will be for him to share “Song of the Day” status with Janis Joplin but… I heard on the radio that yesterday would have been the Queen of Rock’s 70th birthday so I reckon it’d be a greater offense to not give her the last word:

i’d trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday… to be holdin bobby’s body next to mine.

(Ugh it was so hard not to go with “Mercedes Benz,” but Bobby McGee will always occupy a special place in my heart.)

Two years ago: October 24-25: The Final Leg