FOMO, Fyre, and Not Being Those People

I’m a rich white kid from suburban New Jersey. I was raised by professional, college grad parents, (who were both children of college grads) who paid for me to attend a prestigious Catholic Prep School, and then pursue a liberal arts degree at a small Jesuit University.

The best thing about that?  (Besides the obvious societal privileges and stability etc.) It allowed me to become the freewheeling weirdo that you’ve all come to know, but there are traces of the chubby sad middle schooler who just wanted to fit in left in my psyche. She’ll always be there, sitting in her swim team mandated speedo one piece watching the thin, “popular” girls flirt with boys, unsure if she missed something.

She was screaming, as we watched this week’s dueling documentaries, Fyre Fraud on Hulu and Fyre on Netlfix. Mostly, though, saying the thing that I was also thinking, “MY GOD, we could have been one of those assholes!”

Anyway, that was the baggage that I brought to this story, that made me literally sigh loudly and then tweet, “I hate everyone who’s involved in this.”

Well, I don’t hate the Bahamian locals who lost their shirts and credibility because a bunch of white people (and Ja Rule) came down and threw cash at them and them promised more. And I sympathize the anger of the people scammed out of their money and brought to the empty field full of tents or whatever. (But that dude who’s friends pissed on tents so that they wouldn’t have neighbors? WTF?) (And the guy who spearheaded the lawsuit, who uses his full name including IV in his twitter handle, like, no. And I say this as a 3rd of my name herself, and with cousins that go by “Biff” and “Tripp!”)

But I hate JaRule, I hate everyone at Fuck Jerry media, (even poor Orin Aks, who became the fall guy.), I hate the promoters and event coordinators who went along with everything, I hate the fucking “influencers” who tweeted and promoted the festival without making sure that everything was cool, and most of all I hate Billy Goddamned McFarland, and all the fratty shit heads like him, who made me feel small and marginalized and irrelevant all my life. Who run their scams from air while the people I know sacrifice their hearts and souls and free time to bring the art and joy to the world.

I ran a small private event for 8 years. I scraped the bottom of the barrel, asking for donations and fundraising. I upfront told people I couldn’t pay them, that this was volunteer and never drew a salary of my own. The tiny bit of money we did make got donated to charity. I did it because I love theater, and I like hanging out with my friends.

And speaking of my friends, we need to talk about FOMO. “Fear Of Missing Out,” is described as the driving factor of the Millenial generation. (Here I thought our driving factor was that we couldn’t get good jobs right out of school, were crippled by student debt and something about avocado toast.) Am I glad the term FOMO exists? Sure, it’s nice to have a name for that feeling of, “Aww mann, my friends are doing something fun and I have to work,” or, “DUDE! That bachelorette party is the same day as that friend’s baby’s Christening! NOW I HAVE TO PICK WHICH OF THESE WONDERFUL OCCASIONS I WANT TO BE A PART OF!” (That second one is happening to me in a month, not just a weirdly specific hypothetical.) But it’s not a driving factor in my life, or even my social life. I gave up on caring what the cool kids were doing sometime after my sophomore year at college when I actually hung out with said cool kids and found them unfathomably dull. (Lovely, often kind, but MY GOD, all you people do is drink beer and listen to Dave Matthews Band? You don’t even have sing-a-longs or drunkenly rewatch Star Wars? How do you live like this?) I like parties, of pretty much all kinds. I throw an elaborate theme party for my birthday every year. I go to clubs after conventions or when I’m out with a group of people and we want to dance. I hit bars with live music (usually more my speed than the clubs), I hang out around dinner tables eating a meal and chat or talk deeply about culture or politics. I like concerts if the band is in a genre I’m into. (I don’t even have to know the band that well…) I love a wedding or formal event of similar style.

But I don’t spend my weekends wondering if somewhere, someone is having more fun than I am. They probably are. I’m pretty boring. But I wouldn’t trade my boring, basic fun for other fun. While I’m sure Hailey Baldwin-Bieber and Bella Hadid have lots of fun jetskiing around private islands or whatever, but have they ever sat around a beach house all day while it rained drinking a case of rose and watching a cult musical? Or scarfed soup dumplings while in full cosplay? Probably not, and they’re missing out!

The documentaries themselves are well made, entertaining and made me think a lot. I’ve been thinking about my consumption a lot in general.

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What’s Up Gillies???

Thank God for Crystan.

I’ve written before about how grateful I am that my friend Crystan is in my life. Aside from shaping one of my defining life choices in a big way, she’s also my tether to more mainstream pop culture. When I feel like I’m lost in a sea of super heroes and space operas, there’s Crystan, ready to pull me back to shore with talk of Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin and Broadway Musicals. (None of these things, by the way, are explicitly UN-nerdy, but they’re on a slightly different track.)

So when she suggested that we check out the Gilmore Guys live show this past Saturday, I knew it was exactly what I needed to kick off fall. A season for which Gilmore Girls always felt very appropriate. (Fall also always makes me want to watch Gossip Girl, I’m not sure why…)

Gilmore Guys is probably the funnest podcast ever. It’s hosts Kevin Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe are insightgul, earnest and hilarious, they find guests who both love and understand the show, as well as can be critical about it. Overall the whole experience is a delight, and I wish I had given it a chance sooner, but I’m working my way through it now, and I’m just trying to enjoy the ride.

Saturday’s live show was energetic and fun, and relentlessly positive, even though it was about a crappy season 7 episode. (UGH season 7!) Special guest Mara Wilson (!!!!) vibed with the guys and analyzed, kindly, this not that great episode of television.

I should not that when Mara Wilson stepped on stage, I almost cried. I adore her, and have since I was kid, (Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire and that Miracle of 34th Street remake, yo!) and her writing in the past few years has always been awesome. Plus she’s The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your House on Welcome To Nightvale, so you know, win!

Overall it was a very fun night, and I’m deeply grateful to have a friend who finds this sort of thing to do.

And who’ll sit in the car with me on the way there crying along to a Sutton Foster song…but that’s a different story entirely…

To Catch Them Is My Real Test

OK, who else is playing Pokémon Go?

I’m completely addicted. I think it’s wonderful. I’m so addicted that I had to rush to write this post because I decided to go out and a catch a Drowzee on my cul-de-sac rather than sit down and write. (I got him, he’s beautiful, on the same run, I got a Horsea…)

I’m on Team Mystic, mostly because my outfit is blue, and I didn’t care that much. I also have not yet had a gym battle, because I don’t live or work in highly populated areas, so I kind of have to start planning better if I want to level.

It would appear that BIRDS are going to be my purview for the most part because my neighborhood and office park are basically infested with Pidgeys and Spearows (I have a Pidgeot already, but haven’t been able to evolve my Spearo just yet, I should get him there today! He’s basically fully powered.)

I’m level 7, and should be reaching 8 on my lunch break.

What I’m loving about it is that I take these long walks anyway, on my lunch break, in the mornings on weekends. It’s part of my gradual weight loss strategy and my latest fixation on my fitbit. These walks now also give me ample hunting time. It’s pretty great.

I do have to be careful, because I share data with my family, so I can’t suck up everyone’s data with Pokémon, but I’m really enjoying the game.

How’s everyone doing?

Not much to say

I haven’t felt much like writing lately so no big post today!

BUT the new Cassandra Clare came out today so that may get me going again on the obsessive train!

Here’s hoping. 

I’ve also been binge listening to This is Rad. 

Basically this post is a mini Things I’m obsessed with!

Enjoy!

Fuller House: Not what you expect, exactly what you want

Fuller House

Guys, who else watched Fuller House and was delighted by it? I know it wasn’t just me because of Facebook, but I was really and truly charmed by this show.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s awkward, corny AF, totally anachronistic and nostalgic just for the sake of nostalgia. Plus, I’m pretty sure I would feel deeply satisfied by punching Candace Cameron-Bure in the face.

But overall, the thirteen episode revisit to the Tanner clan (plus Kimmy Gibbler…who is sort of a revelation…I’ll get there) was wonderful. I didn’t expect that. Honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy it much. (or you know to try to find the good like I did with Girl Meets World, which I hear has actually deeply improved, but I haven’t been able to get back to it.) But I found myself smiling ear to ear at each episode.

The show, in case you haven’t been on the internet in the past week, is about what happens when widowed DJ Fuller (nee Tanner) decides to replicate the parenting model of her childhood by raising her three sons, Jackson, Max and Tommy with the help of an irresponsible relative, her sister Stephanie, and her whacky childhood friend Kimmy Gibler.

Extra wrenches are thrown in by Kimmy’s impending divorce and her daughter Ramona, who is the same age as Jackson. (I have not yet looked for the hashtags, but I’m sure the fanfic for these two is strong…) 

Aside from one really wonderful scene where Uncle Jesse eats burgers with Baby Tommy (John Stamos + Baby = Gold. Seriously, watch Grandfathered…) what works best about the show is when it branches out on it’s own rather than resting on pure nostalgia. Cameron-Bure eventually settles in, but I found her grating and tough to watch for the first half, as opposed to Jodi Sweetin and Andrea Barber who are straight up fantastic.

I’ve always related to Stephanie Tanner, she the extra precocious sensitive child, grown to an awkward tween, and always less flashy than her sisters. And now, I’m pretty sure that Grown Up Steph is my spirit animal, a wanna be singer, dj (she goes by DJ Tanner, which is sort of amazing) and all around mess, who’s solution to everything with the kids is to badly explain a memory from her childhood and who’s solution to everything with her co-parents is to drink tequila. (I love her.)

Kimmy meanwhile, was always a difficulty for me. I never found her funny, her friendship with DJ never made sense. But Fuller House has given grown up weird misfit kids a gift in Kimmy. Kimmy was married to a super sexy latino dude, has a really cool daughter and runs an event company. She is, by far, the most competent adult on Fuller House.

The kids are a mixed bag. I found young Soni Bringas, who played Ramona to be a breath of fresh air. She’s funny, cool and altogether a good addition to the tween scene. Michael Campion does a good job with Jackson, but his character is a rampaging asshole (can you say that about a fictional 12 year old?) so it’s hard to get on board. Elias Harger’s Max is hit or miss depending on the episode. Harger is fine as child actors go, but Max worked best in the pilot when they were pushing him as a tiny version of his grandfather.

About his grandfather, and great uncle…and uh, Joey. Plus Aunt Becky. They’re used sparingly but effectively. I particularly enjoyed Becky’s running gag of constantly trying to steal Tommy. I am familiar with this behavior in middle aged women. My mother does this. As do her sisters. And sisters in law. In January, at my cousin Robbie’s wedding, my mom took Kristi’s nephew from his parents for like half of the reception. Therefore, I had a major “it’s funny because it’s true” vibe from this gag. As for the others, Stamos wins. He always wins. He’s the best.

The lack of Michelle is glaring, but makes for some good coverage jokes. And the weird love triangle between DJ, her coworker Matt and her high school boyfriend Steve doesn’t exactly work, but it also doesn’t not work…it’s complicated. (#TeamSteve, btw. When I was little I wanted Steve to be my boyfriend. Also he’s Aladdin…literally, Scott Wagner voiced Aladdin.)

In general though, Fuller House works more than it doesn’t. It isn’t deep, it’s definitely not groundbreaking, but it’s amusing, heartwarming and fun. And in the end, it’s good to know that predictability, the milk man, the paper boy and evening TV will be there, everywhere you look.

(Sorry, I had to.)

The Social Media Lie

You know how a week or so ago, Essena O’Neil, that girl who’s an Instagram Star decided that she was going to talk about Social Media causing people to lead fake hollow lives?

Right. It was pretty moving. And as someone who’s not you know, great at social media (Sooo lazzzyyyy…), the whole thing made me think of my mother. She recently had her high school reunion, and remarked, once again how everyone talked about how fun her life looked, and how great it was that we as a family did all these wonderful things together.

Now, I’m not saying that it doesn’t totally rock that my family goes to bars, Yankee and Giant Games, Broadway shows, weddings and The Jersey Shore together. It’s awesome that we do these things, that we get along, and that we have the time of our lives when they happen.

“I wonder if they realize that most nights are just us sitting home and watching TV?” My mom asked. “I mean, I only post the pictures of the fun stuff.”

This was what struck me as most interesting part of the declaration from O’Neil that her instagram didn’t reflect her real life. Were there people who thought that it did? Did she think it did?

I know that I’m in an interesting age group, when it comes to my relationship with social media. I’m young enough that social media, Facebook in particular, is an integral part of my interpersonal relationships and social life. But I’m also old enough to remember not having these things. I’m old enough to remember not having the internet in my house. But there’s a generation of kids who don’t understand that yeah, you only post the fun things. The boring stuff just is.

This leads to two things. First, boring feeds that are just what everyone ate for lunch and what music they’re listening to. And second of all an outsize sense that everything about you needs to be worthy of your feed.

It doesn’t. You don’t. There’s nothing wrong with posting pictures and stories about awesome stuff in your life. There’s nothing wrong with not doing that. There’s also nothing wrong with sitting on the couch in your jammies with your mom and a glass of wine and yelling about how Jamal Lyon is being an idiot. (It’s almost always Jamal, I think because we love him most and we expect better of him then the other two.)

This is why if I had a rallying cry it would be, “I am more than one thing.” It took me so long to come around to this, to accept that it’s OK to be multifaceted, and that I wasn’t being disingenuous. You don’t always have to be on, and not every part of you needs to be shared with the world.

To paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda (the MASTER of being more than one thing) “the world has no right to your heart.” Share if you wish. Don’t if you don’t.

Trinity

I wanted to say something really involved or cool about the new pictures that we got yesterday, but here’s the thing.

I’m too excited to get overly analytical about them, and that’s a good thing.

Lex Luthor

He looks like Zuckerberg, which is fine. The hair is a nice touch, I wish it was more Red, but this works.

BatmanvSuperman1

Mmmmmm, Ben…in tux….mmm…Gal in awesome dress…so long as this doesn’t lead to them together, I just really love this picture.

BatmanvSuperman2

Bat SIGNAL! RAIN! OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!

BatmanvSuperman3

He’s very, very handsome. Also the full color costume looks good. Well, better. I like it, I guess is my point.

BatmanvSuperman5

Not sure what’s happening here, but Ben looks good. It’s exciting.

And then of course there’s the big one!

EW Cover

THEY LOOK SO GOOD! WONDER WOMAN IS SUCH A BADASS! I’m obsessed with this costume, and have been since I first saw it, but seeing it in color only helps it a whole lot! I love the whole shebang!

I have a feeling that we’re going to be getting even more things next weekend, as comic con rages one.

I hope everyone Stateside has an awesome Fourth of July! I’m off to the beach! See you soon!