Holy Fangirls Everywhere

(photo courtesy of www.cilike.com)
Last night marked my first trip to the "new" House of Blues in Boston, MA to see none other than Jesse McCartney (and about 2000 screaming fangirls). Placed at the old location of the Avalon nightclub on Lansdowne Street, A and I were sorely disappointed upon walking in. While I cannot speak for the restaurant portion of the building, there have been little to no renovations of the stage area past some paint and new pictures hanging on the wall. I downed my overpriced Corona ($7 my ass) and pushed my way through the waves of sixteen year olds to get close to the front. Standing, waiting for the main act to go on, made me reminisce and miss the old Avalon nightclub - a location that stood when the rest of the audience around me were watching Barney & Friends on television and drinking Motts apple juice. But I digress.

In this review, I want to make one thing clear. Jesse McCartney is not Justin Timberlake. He never will be, no matter how many remixes he has with Ludacris featured on them. He is not, was not, will not be as huge, because my generation of fangirls will never let that happen. Nonetheless, the 21 year old McCartney (who still appears to be 14) brought on the screams -- and the pushes and the shoves -- from girls all over Boston.

I give him credit for putting on a good show. While A and I couldn't withhold the pushing and shoving up in the front for the whole show (we ditched with a few songs left), we left impressed with McCartney's singing -- and songwriting -- skills. He sang 100% live. His songs sounded just as good onstage as off. The songs were catchy as hell. His stage presence wasn't too shabby. Still, the whole experience makes me pine for the pop stars of yesteryear. Excuse me while I go pop in an old *NSync cd.


Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Last night, while on a conference call with two friends, my bestest A, mentioned an incident that occurred during our freshman year of college. All my life, I was a journaler. Everywhere I was, so was my notebook, from the time I was 12 to 18. I wrote down information about boys I liked, boys I dated, and chronicled my first serious relationship. It was when that relationship went down the drain (you never really forget the first time you walk in on a significant other in bed with another person), that I went home for a weekend, on a rampage, and shredded every journal from my adolescence. At first I started putting page after page, then pages after pages through my parents' shredder. Finally, when I broke the shredder after trying to push through too many pages of my scrawled writing, I sat in my room and started tearing up the remaining journals by hand. I considered it a purging of all my memories with boys from the previous few years. A walked into my room, take-out dinner in hand, to find me amidst hundreds and hundreds of torn pages.

Somehow, I thought tearing all of those pages to bits would let me forget. More importantly, I thought forgetting would allow me to not hurt anymore. Out of sight, out of mind. A few years later, after a particularly nasty breakup, I went through and detagged every photo of us on Facebook. As if pushing the black and white image of us smiling and laughing would make the hurt go away. A year later, still not completely letting the relationship die due to mistakes on both of our parts, I continued to delete every Facebook message from him. I still thought the further I can push the memories away, the easier it would be to forget.

2009, 23 years old, and I've come to realize that no one ever forgets (didn't I just say above how I'd never forget the image of a boyfriend in bed with someone else?). Hurt still hurts and feelings just might never go away. Maybe it's a grown up way to look at the demise of relationships; far away from the idea that one day you will wake up and feel okay again because you just erased the person from your life -- in written, electronic and communicative form. While discussing this with P, she brought up the very valid point that regardless of the state of the union of each other now, there was once a point where an ex-couple made each other happy. Very happy, most likely. Isn't it a bit unfair to simply forget, erase, delete to trash and not acknowledge each other?


Pepsi Fails At Rebranding

(photo courtesy of www.adsoftheworld.com)

Remember all those new Pepsi logos that I'm continually surrounded by in Boston? South Station. The tops of taxi cabs. Walking around the grocery store. Everywhere. Well Pepsi Corp. also rebranded the Tropicana bottle, and consumers are unhappy. What's left to do but nix the multi-million dollar Tropicana rebranding effort and bring back the old packaging next month. And to think, some people say we're in a recession. Apparently Pepsi Corp. isn't -- thank you for throwing dollars away. Want to pay my rent next month if cash is so expendable?


True Fans Watch Spring Training

(image courtesy of bostondirtblogs.boston.com)
Guess what? At long last, spring training is underway and the Red Sox 2009 season is off to its unofficial start. Today the Boston boys beat Boston College in an exhibition game with a score of 7-1. The real fun starts tonight though against the Twins. Watch it on MLB.TV -- or if you're in the Boston area, catch it on NESN.


Sorry I'm Not Home Right Now, I'm Walking Into Spiderwebs, So Leave A Message And I'll Call You Back

(photo courtesy of nodoubtweb.com)

Happy Wednesday Morning. Good news. No Doubt tour dates have been announced! Here's the list, enjoy and see you at the Boston show!


It's pancake day in Kuwait...what are you eating?

You learn something new everyday...today, for instance, is pancake day. hehe. who knew?! but i can't say i'm against a day commemorating the best of all breakfast foods...back in school, M & I (and a whole bunch of friends, boyfriends, coworkers etc etc) would walk down to the best breakfast place in Amherst, the lone wolf, after nights out/long nights spent cramming for finals or writing papers/or generally to unwind...latkes, challah french toast, stacks of pancakes, hot chocolate (special ones around xmas time thanks to J hehe) and mimosas would crowd our table... those lazy sunday brunches are among my fav. memories from umass...anywho, back to pancake day! woohoo! lol...app it's originally a brit tradition, but clearly being appropriated by you americans...ahem...at...IHOP!!!!!!!!!! go grab free pancakes if there is an IHOP by you...(especially because eating pancakes at waffle house is just not as cool)...

March 16th!

(image courtesy of www.watch-gossip-girl-online.net)

Praise the Upper East Side gods. March 16th is only a few weeks away (finally) and here come the start of the new promos for the final stretch of the second season of the best show ever, Gossip Girl.

I, personally, watched the last one of Dan getting slapped over. And over. And over. Power to S, Lonely Boy deserves it after hooking up with skank-teacher.


The Hills for The Win!

(photo courtesy of ew.com)

While watching the worst show ever, I was happily surprised by the trailer for the next season of the best show ever. I nearly squealed at the sight of Lauren, Lo, Stephanie - and yes - even Spencer and Heidi on my television. I feel that I've watched Whitney Port's tired show so much that I forgot why I watch MTV reality television in the first place, and then they put me right back in my place by showing me this gem of a preview.

In college, P and I would rally up our friends and watch The Hills every week in the comfort of my dorm room (with the especially comfy futon that I kept for an extending time post-breakup with a guy). We'd tear into Ben & Jerry's ice cream, kettle corn and diet Coke with lemon as we gave our opinions on Spencer (looks like a gremlin, ew) and Audrina (why does it always look like she's reading a cue card?) and Lo (love her!).

While it won't quite be the same without P in the same country as I (tear!) I'm sure we'll dissect and tear apart every episode in front of you dear readers. Feel free to join in on the conversation!



(image courtesy of fadedyouthblog.com)

Pop Culture Paradox gives huge congratulations to Nicole Richie and Joel Madden upon their announcement of their second child!


The Oscars Overload

(photo courtesy of washingtonpost.com)

I don't know about all of you, but I am on Oscar hangover from last night and today's newscasts. I will choose to skip over the winners (because I'm sure you and I have both heard them 100 time over on CNN today), but instead let me touch on a few details.

Penelope Cruz winning best supporting actress was exciting as hell for me to see. I saw Vicky, Christina, Barcelona at a cute artsy theater in my college town with a friend this past fall and fell in love with the movie as a whole. If you haven't seen it, go see it, and you will love it. It shows the complexity of relationships in today's world in such a brutal light that it's refreshing. An ex told me via text message once that Cruz's character, Maria Elena, reminded him of me. Although it's a definitely stretch (I'm not that crazy people), maybe there's an Oscar in my future too.

On a different note, as exciting as it was to see Heath Ledger's family receive the best supporting actor award on his behalf, was anyone else a bit disappointed not to see Matilda (his daughter with actress Michelle Williams) accept it, as she is the designated recipient?

Finally, let me share this hilarious (and awkward) red carpet interview with LiLo regarding the Oscars. Why so fidgety, Lindsay?


How To Rally Against Those Sick Days

(image courtesy of seethecup.com)

Remember when being sick was fun? It meant a few days off from school with minimal work to catch up on and all day marathons of Jerry Springer. It meant napping all day long and those candy-like 'Feel Better Bear' lollypops and Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup. I remember my mother used to set up a turquoise antique television table (the kind that I'm sure people used to eat their TV dinners on back in the 1950s) with every remedy needed for my ample recovery. Feel Better Bears. Soup. Haagen Daaz sorbet. Ludens Berry cough drops. Vicks chest rub. Vitamin C drops. Puffs tissues with aloe infused into the paper goodness. It meant getting whatever you wanted to eat when recovery finally arrived because Mom was just too happy to see you feeling better, so she could get her life back to normal again with the sickly one back at school. Those were the days that are no more.
Today, while everyone and their mother within a 30 mile radius of the city of Boston is coming down with some nasty cold, let Mommy M give you a few tips of what to do and how to act around those who are feeling a bit congested, cloudy and sniffley. I can't provide you a tray of feel better goodness, but this is second best, don't you think?

1.) As seen below. Teavana. Wherever you are, go out or send someone out to get you a hot cup of their White Needle/Rooibos/Peppermint tea blend. With lots of honey. It costs a pretty penny but the 45 minutes I spent drinking my cup were the most bearable 45 minutes of my workday.

2.) Airborne. A lot of it. Buy it. Take it. Love it.

3.) Don't try to engage in any serious conversation. You'll find that you hear things wrong, pay no attention and generally make a fool of yourself if you try to.

4.) Take a walk! I forced myself out for a hour this afternoon into the nice, brisk, forty-something degree (ooo heatwave!) Boston afternoon. And you know what? I felt better.

5.) Skip the after-work festivities to relax in. Afterall, The Millionaire Matchmaker is on Bravo tonight, and that is reason enough to not go out and drink.

Enjoy. Stay healthy and send some anti-germ filled wishes my way!


If it all adds up correctly...

(image courtesy of: modadimagno.blogspot.com)

According to a blink-and-you-missed-it blurb in boston.com last week:

"It's sounding like the Dave Matthews Band will be at the ballpark for a return engagement. (You'll recall that DMB and opener Sheryl Crow played two shows at Fenway in 2006.) E-mails to Live Nation, the team, and the band's publicist yielded no official comment yesterday, but we're told the jam band is
indeed on board to play a couple of shows at the ballpark. Wondering about dates? Nothing's set, but for planning purposes, the Sox are out of town during the last week of June, the third week of July, and the first week of August."

Well what do you know. DMB summer tour dates were released today on the official website, and may I please point attention to 5/29 and 5/30. That's right. Boston, MA. Location TBD. Just a hunch, if it were to be at the trusty Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA as normal, it would say so. Better keep your schedules open for the end of May, and hope for another Dave Matthews rendition of 'Sweet Caroline.'


YouTube Makes The World Go 'Round

(photo courtesy of www.macuser.com)

As a marketing and trend finding theme, the world of Web 2.0 gave us one of the best inventions ever. YouTube. We all know it. We all love it. And I'm thankful my office hasn't banned it from work computers. My love for YouTube is almost as great as my love for SNL's Andy Samberg. I once told one of my college boyfriends that my love for Andy Samberg might rank him as my #1 favorite Jewish boy (behind the said-boyfriend-at-the-time). Regardless, I find it to be no coincidence that my love for Andy Samberg, the reigning king of the viral video, happens to coincide with my love for YouTube.

With this being said, I give to you my top three, all-time favorite viral YouTube videos (in random order - with most featuring Mr. Samberg). Watch, enjoy - and thank me later if this list saves you from boredom at your job tomorrow.

The Lonely Island - I'm On A Boat.
This video had me at the line, "I got a nautical themed Pashmina afghan."

SNL - Dick In A Box
(Uncensored here)
An oldie but a goodie. Enough said.

Smirnoff Raw Tea Commercial

"'Cause no one's hotter than a New England gangster."
Basically the story of my New England bred life. Oh, and this commercial did it's job. What did I do when I turned 21 a few years ago? Buy Smirnoff Raw Tea. Did I even like it? No. Did I drink it anyway and buy it again? Yes.


Juicy Campus No More

(image courtesy of www.abcnews.com)
You can't deny it. You've logged into juicycampus.com too. It's not just my guilty pleasure. Or, scratch that, was my guilty pleasure. Somehow inbetween visits to the site, I've found it shut down with only this blog post to reason behind it. While I find the excuse of the 'economic downturn' to be quite the cop-out excuse given all the criticism that the site has gotten over the years, the most interesting part about all of this is the now automatic redirection of the URL to another anonymous college gossip site: Collegeacb.com. Much like what Lily Bass said in the most recent episode of Gossip Girl, "You can shut it down with 100 new sites to open in it's place." So true Lily, so true.

This all brings me to the question of what is with our fixation on anonymous gossip? Why can we all be bitchy behind best friends and frienemies backs, but not to their faces. What kind of redemption do we get seeing posts about so-and-so's life on a public board, and how does the passive-aggressive anonymity make it all seemingly okay? We don't hesitate to post our true feelings about someone or something in an instant message, blog, Facebook status message, a quote in your "About Me" - but avoid actual confrontation. But just as our lives are convenienced more by technology (thanks for keeping in contact with me via Facebook, middle school friends), do they decline in quality? I'm not condoning face-to-face bitchfights, but maybe it's due time to take the hand off of the mouse, and have a few, don't you think?


Tea Heaven

(image courtesy of www.teavana.com)
Although the Prudential Center has taken away my beloved Mango, there is still Teavana to keep me satisfied. I have long been a tea and coffee addict. When I feel healthier, I go for teas. In high school I was the Starbucks Chai queen. I drink tea nightly while curled up on my couch, watching Friends reruns. It's delicious and I blame the Asian in me for being hooked.

Introduce Teavana to my tea fixation. Walls of tea of every flavor imaginable. Last week I tried the 'Sour Cherry Serenade' which tasted like a neverending red Sweettart (always a good thing). With A in tow, I tried the Raspberry Sangria flavor. Again. Delicious. Today I tell my trusty Teavana man that I have the start of a scratchy throat. He whips up some white tea peppermint blend with lots of honey. Hopefully it'll get the job done.

With prices comparable to Starbucks, Teavana isn't a cheap thrill, but it's worth the penny for the rest of you tea lovers out there. And if you can get away with it, just linger by the wonderful sample stations located in every store - I suggest the Chai they always have available - and drink to your hearts content.



(image courtesy of theworldsbestever.com)

This past weekend, I took the short excursion from my Kendall Square area apartment down to the waterfront to the ICA in Boston to check out the Shepard Fairley exhibit that's around until August. Known for his Obama 'Hope' piece (that yes, it is there in the flesh in the exhibit -- and yes, I snagged a few against-the-rules iPhone photos of it) during the 2008 election, I wasn't expecting as vast of a span of his work on display at the ICA.

While many of the pieces on display are part of his "Obey" theme (like the above image), the exhibit includes portraits of TuPac, Biggie Smalls, Bob Marley and Andy Warhol (of course) among others. Timely and worldly, Fairley's work reads like a visual novel of our time. Questioning consumerism, peace and the current wars in the world, Fairley properly brings together the world of pop culture with current events seamlessly.

As an avid fan of pop art (I even got the AP Art History award at my high school graduation!), I drew ties from Fairley to the undoubtedly iconic Andy Warhol. Fairley gives thanks to the great pop artist in the form of a portrait, and an image of an unlabelled Campbell's soup can. Much like Warhol in the 1960s, critics have placed pressure and criticism on Fairley and his work. Is a grafittied mural art - or more importantly, does it warrant arrest en route to your own gallery premiere? Is an artistic rendition of an Associated Press photo considered plagarism? Much like the questioning of Warhol's authencity of commercial object art (Soup Cans, Celebrities, etc), Fairley falls in line with those of the past.

Art or not is subjective to your own opinion, but Fairley's work is worth taking a look (or two) of. Check it out at the ICA on Northern Ave in Boston until August 16th, 2009. Only $10 admission for students (or you smart graduates like me that hung onto their student ID).


Mango No More?

(photo courtesy of mango.com)

That's right. The horrible US economy has taken my dearest Mango in the Prudential Center in downtown Boston away from me after only a few short months. I curse myself for not putting more of my own stimulus package into the store -- let's just hope that Zara on Boylston Street isn't next!


The one in which I bitch and moan about MUGGS

So, I walk out of a meeting at work behind a co-worker and glance down...and notice a pair of chestnut brown classic short uggs presumably keeping my co-workers toesies warm. Nothing out of the ordinary? Did I fail to mention this was a MALE co-worker...a manly man at that...Am I completely missing out on this MUGG (Man Ugg) trend...?! WHAT IS GOING ON...Somebody explain...please!

But what am I to do with Monday nights now?

(image courtesy of: www.hairpedia.com)

It's official. Shed a tear. No new Gossip Girl episodes until March 16th. LAME. In the meantime, here are two promos from the CW to tide you over. They, personally, make me want to poke the skank-teacher's eyes out. But maybe that's just me...



(image courtesy of www.bluebuddies.com)


Have fun and be with the ones you love!

-M & P

P.S. While we have Smurfs on the mind, check out this new lip gloss by Too Faced, available at Sephora from their new Smurfette line! Wear it to kiss the one (or more) that you're with tonight!

Real Life Gossip Girl!?!

(photo courtesy of wikipedia.org)

Why couldn't they have done this while I was a prep school student? Life is so unfair sometimes.


In the words of Carrie Bradshaw...

(photo courtesy of: ourweddingplus.com & Google images)

“Maybe all men are a drug. Sometimes they bring you down and sometimes, like now, they get you so high.” - Sex and The City

In honor of Valentines Day (our culture's consumerist and flower-filled holiday that I now detest despite the fact that I have a so-called valentine), I have given great thought to relationships and what they mean to us, the twenty-somethings of the early 2000's. In my parents time, about half a century ago, dating had a standard definition. My dad would drive, pick up my mom (in a town about 35 minutes away from his!), without complaint. They would go out to dinner, have some sort of conversation (about what, I do not know since they're basically polar opposites), see a movie, window shop, enjoy each other's company, have a goodnight kiss and part ways.

In my decade (yes, decade) of "dating," I can count the number of standard dates I've had that fit the above description on one hand - no exaggeration. I've had four serious relationships. One from ages 15-18. One from 18-19. One from 19-21. One from 21-present day (23, for the record). Please don't take note of the overlap, it's not my fault. Anyway, I found myself in all these serious relationships craving dates. Old fashioned, quality time together. Instead, I found myself as an undergraduate student in college in Amherst, Massachuestts during a time where hooking up (with a fuzzy definiton of what 'hooking up' even is - but you can take a sociology class for that) was dating. No guy (or excuse me, boy), takes a girl out for pizza and a nice artsy independent flick, pays, and then goes home -- separately. Dating in this time comes with all of these backhanded assumptions of what's to happen after the movie, after the martinis and after the walk back to your dorm, apartment, house, whatever. Whatever happened to romance? Somewhere Cupid is weeping in a corner over not just my love life, but all of our love lives.

Another thing about my generation and relationships? We have ADD. Literally. Love and sex are drugs and more potent than any grade narcotic. We're told in fourth grade to 'Say no to drugs.' I don't know about you, but no one ever warned me about love. We float from partner to partner, crush to crush, in hopes of feeling butterflies and passion at every moment. The instant that feeling of hope, the sense of, "oh my gosh, this could be the one" leaves, so do we. Mentally, physically, psychologically. However you choose to leave, we do. We're like love junkies, going from one high to the next. And that high is so addictive, there's nothing like it. When your stomach flip flops when you steal a glance across a table or at an event. When you gasp (even silently) when you see the name of your chosen pop up on your caller id or text message. When you look at photos of the two of you and think that there it is. Your future right there. But we're flighty as a generation. The moment that things get tough, we run. Fast. We leave quickly and commit quickly. We move in together out of convenience without thinking of consequence. I hate to say it but my mother has always been right about her disapproval of how we, as a generation, lead our love lives. Irrationality is the way, and regret is inevitable.

I encourage all of you, Pop Culture Paradox readers, think hard this Valentines Day about the committments you've made while you munch away on those tasty candy hearts (I always only pick out the white ones and eat them. Delicious.). Be careful who you choose as your valentine and what it could all mean.


I love that dirty water....

(image courtesy of boston.com)

Just as a reminder to everyone. Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, FL today for spring training! Hallejuah. Let the 2009 Red Sox season start!


Eminem Wants Us To All 'Crack A Bottle,' So I Guess We Will...

(photo courtesy of: http://eminem.celebden.com)
Remember Eminem? I hardly do. His music is stashed in my memories of middle school where my discman (yes, remember life before iPods?) rotated through an odd assortment of Eminem and *NSync. I was a confused child. Also confusing, how I (along with a million other 13 year old girls) thought this man was attractive. I blame being young and naive at the time.
Anyway, we all apparently remember Eminem according to this week's Billboard Hot 100 Chart. He's back with a new single, Crack A Bottle. I gave it a listen or two. It's not horrible, but it's not great. Maybe it's part of growing up, but I cringe at most Eminem songs now. I just can't find the joy in hearing about killing his girlfriend and stuffing her in a trunk. Thanks, but no. I'll pass on it and listen to my *NSync album instead.


I dont' know about you, but this week has been the longest week ever. There's nothing like a little celebrity gossip to refuel my engine to get through these last few workdays before the long weekend!

Margaret Cho (who I personally love) has some harsh words for Miley Cyrus.

Oh Chris Brown... I can't possibly ever listen to Forever the same way again.

Tabloid covers for this week!

Casting call for MTV's True Life series!

Vh1 hearts lists - especially the top 10 anti-Valentines Day songs. I have all of them on regular iPhone rotation.


Michelle Obama in Vogue!

The oh-so-stunning First Lady in American Vogue's March edition. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Michelle Obama is pictured wearing a stunning sleeveless magenta silk dress designed by Jason Wu, who also created the evening gown she wore at the inaugural ball. Needless to say, she looks gorgeous as always...good lord, I wish I had arms like that!


Nope...just another sandstorm in Kuwait... :/

My name is M, and I am a shopaholic.

(image courtesy of www.cinemasterpieces.com)

"...and those girls didn't need money at all. All they needed was their magic cards. And all I wanted when I grew up was one. Little did I know that I'd end up with twelve!"

As mentioned and promised, I attended the Boston advance screening of Confessions of a Shopaholic this evening at the AMC on Tremont Street (my personal favorite movie theater around). When I say I loved this movie, I mean it. I loved the books. I loved the movie. I love Isla Fisher as the shopaholic, designer obsessed Becky Bloomwood. I love how the movie seems to focus on her, and not on the love story that so infiltrates the books. I love the humor, the clothes and the music of this movie. But let me be more detailed...

I consider myself lucky that I haven't read the books by Sophia Kinsella within a few years. Those with the books at the forefront of their minds, you might be disappointed. I, for one, know that I will be bringing my copy of Confessions of a Shopaholic with me on the T tomorrow morning to re-read. One noticable thing that the wonders of Hollywood have done is make Becky Bloomwood not British. Sorry to all you Londonites, but in this, Becky is a born, bred and raised New York girl. Secondly, with that being known, events from books one (Confessions of a Shopaholic) and two (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) are smushed into this one hour, fifty-three minute movie.

The music of the movie is a pop princess's dream. I heard Katy Perry in a few scenes. I heard Amy Winehouse. Most importantly though, I heard Lady Gaga. More specifically, Lady Gaga's rendition of the ever wonderful "Fashion" as sung by Heidi Montag. Choose not to believe me, but I wouldn't say it if it's true, but somehow, someway, Montag takes the win in this pop song duel. Gaga's version appears in a snippet during the movie, and in a longer version during the credits, and is rather lackluster. Disappointing, but true.

Isla Fisher is Becky Bloomwood in this movie. She is not Borat (or excuse me, Sasha Baron Cohen's)'s wife. She is Becky Bloomwood. Journalist and shopaholic. She does such a great job that I couldn't see another actress fitting such a role so perfectly. Her co-star, Hugh Dancy as the charming Luke Brandon becomes more attractive with each moment that the movie goes on. The romance storyline could be better developed, however, the focus on Becky Bloomwood as an individual is wonderful - and a refreshing change from so many female focused movies that focus on the 'they' rather than the 'her' of the character.

The first thing I said as I turned to A, my best friend at the theater with me, was, "Oh my god. That was about eighty times better than He's Just Not That Into You." And it's true. Confessions of a Shopaholic is the first legitimate, fun-filled, non-boring, laugh out loud funny girly film of 2009. It's a fabulous thing.

Grade: A-


Pandora Love!

(image courtesy of makeuseof.com)

I feel the need to take a break from my (again) neverending piles of work to proclaim my love to you dear Pop Culture Paradox readers, for the Web 2.0 godsend that is Pandora.com. Better than internet radio, Pandora is like my own musical psychic. I tune it into the "Teen Pop" (yes, amusing but true) genre station and for 8 hours a day, while I work away like one of the seven dwarfs in Snow White's house, this site reads my mind and always plays what I want to hear. Britney. Old school NSync. Black Eyed Peas. Lil Wayne. It's genius. I love it - and believe me, if you have a full time job, you do (or should) too. It can read moods, I swear. You miss an ex, and somehow "Tattoo" by Jordin Sparks starts to play. You're mad are your significent other, and suddenly "Stronger" by Ms. Spears starts to play. It's a smart one, this Pandora player.

In other updates, I am attending the Boston advance screening of Confessions of a Shopaholic tonight. Expect a full review, opinion and debrief tomorrow.


Because beating up women is AGAINST INDIAN CULTURE

Spread the word about this fabulous campaign taking place at a grassroots level in various cities in India. For the background on this story, check out this NYT article.

(FYI, chaddi in Hindi = underwear as demonstrated by the amazing graphic!)

Grammy = YAWN

(image courtesy of www.wordpress.com)

I remember when the Grammy's used to be good. Really good. Think Alanis Morissette kind of good. Now they air every year and I kind of always forget about them. Today, if it weren't for P's unfortunate post about our beloved C.Brown, I would have entirely forgotten.

In case if you're like me and didn't watch the show, I tracked down the performances online. I only watched a very pregnant MIA start to belt out 'Paper Planes' when I decided I had enough, but click if you so choose. (I was personally more amused by the sight of Matt Lauer in a Snuggie than any of these singers, but to each her own.)


Tsk tsk Mr. Brown

Shocker of the day...my beloved Chris Brown has been charged with a felony in connection with a domestic violence incident.

He was previously under investigation by police for attacking an unidentified woman after an argument yesterday... hours later both he and girlfriend Rihanna missed their performances at the Grammy Awards.

What on earth is going on? Is CB going all Ike Turner on us?! :(


(photo courtesy of mydamnchannel.com)


Face it, he's just not that into you.

(image courtesy of: www.collider.com)

I, along with seemingly every other woman in the US this weekend, saw He's Just Not That Into You. As a part of my bff A's birthday extravaganza weekend, we were hoping with crossed fingers not to be let down. With such high expectations, it was bound to faulter in some way. Of course.

While I'm (as you all know) very anti-spoiler, I will try to review with as little giving detail as possible. I understand that the writers/producers (one of which is the lovely Drew Barrymore) wanted to give the movie a Love Actually feel. A million different storylines that all somehow intertwine. I love movies like this, only, He's Just Not That Into You tries to do too much with too little time. Drew Barrymore's character appeared in so few scenes that I forgot about her character (and its' name) completely. There was an extension of the Scarlett Johannsson (who I loathe as an actress) and Kevin Connolly (who I think is so adorable) storyline that just confused the viewer. This, tied in with the awkward performance by Jennifer Connolly who doesn't play the cheated-on wife convincingly, and the erratic confessional style pieces of random strangers, made He's Just Not That Into You at times, cringeworthy to watch.

That being said. This movie had it's great romantic comedy moments which other recent romantic comedy movies have lacked. Jennifer Aniston was wonderful. She almost too-convincingly played the girl that dreams of getting married to the a guy that is 'morally opposed to marriage.' My only wish was to see more scenes of her storyline. Hand in hand with this, her boyfriend in the movie, Ben Affleck, is like a fine red wine. Better with age. I swear he looks the exact same as he did in Armageddon (circa 1998).

I must admit, I never did read the book version of He's Just Not That Into You. I never really cared if there were rules or exceptions to relationships -- and I still don't, to be quite honest. My suggestion? Go out (or rent!) this for a girls night out or in kind of evening. Don't expect Oscar-worthy performances - but at least Ben Affleck is easy on the eyes. :)

Grade: B.


Coffee Cult(ure)

Have you ever noticed how some of the best, most intense and informative discussions take place over coffee?

Maybe it was all that caffeine or perhaps something about the elevator-like jazz playing in the background, but I had the strangest thoughts at Starbucks recently...Is the concept of long term commitments slowly dying out?

As a generation, we have been brought up to be extremely selfish...right from when we were kids, our parents, who taught themselves parenting 101 on new-age books that touted philosophies radically different from the approach taken by our grandparents, gave us a ton of options. Of course, for the majority of us, the freedom to make our own choices when it came to colleges, majors, and careers remained too...I think we all grew up with a sense of entitlement in terms of making choices... "Just do what makes you happy..." Ok, but what if every time you stop being happy with a certain decision you've made...does that entitle you to go ahead and change it the moment things seem difficult...or leave you unhappy/unsatisfied? This is where relationships come in...my parent's generation was all about making compromises...if you're not happy in the marriage/relationship..."ADJUST"/ "COMPROMISE"..."No person is perfect; no relationship is perfect!" etc etc...
For us, with our well-documented short attention spans, constant craving for new and exciting experiences and selfish attitudes...could we handle the idea of giving up all the possibilities for one person, one family for the rest of our lives...? Is that kind of forever-commitment just too much for us to handle? Would we not always be thinking, somewhere in our heads, I shouldn't compromise or settle the moment something went wrong? Would we want to work hard to remain happy?

Could we ever eliminate all the other possibilities and just hope that we've made the right decision with picking the person we want to be with?

The romantic in me would like to think so...the realist in me is not so sure...

I'd Rather Be working Than Watch 'The City'

(image courtesy of nypost.com)

I felt the need to write my views on 'The City' after bumping into P's post on my Facebook feed. I, unlike with the recent Gossip Girl episode, agree 110% about P's views on The City. What I like and need to bring up though - that even worse than Whitney Port's voice on the show is (who I think is the she-devil herself), Olivia Palermo. I think so strongly about this fact, that I'm taking a time out from my neverending projects at work to vent this out to you, dear readers. I can't stand her attitude, her labeling (of herself!) as a 'social.' This doesn't make you cool Ms. Palermo, and your bad interviews with the Post doesn't help either. It makes you look dumb. So do your droopy eyes, while I'm on this topic.

With this, and Whitney's friend Erin (I mean, who IS SHE anyway? Gawker doesn't even know!) and the skeezeball guys that cheat on their girlfriends. Pop Culture Paradox proclaims 'The City' as the worst show ever. Don't tell me I haven't given it a shot. I've watched all the episodes. I tried to like it. I love 'The Hills.' I love LC, Audrina and Lo. I love them so much that I watch the dvds (regularly!). I just will not ever like this knockoff of such a good, mind numbing show. It's like having the knockoff (ew) Fendi bag while gawking at your best friends' real one. No thanks. It's a bad sign when the theme song is the best part of the episode. It's actually a shame. What a waste of a really good Pussycat Dolls song.

While I'm writing. I need to make a sidenote of two things, as time at work doesn't permit me to write a real newsflash post this afternoon.

Even the media loves this stupid '25 things' list trend on Facebook (for the record, my best friend at home A refuses to do it still. I gave in).

Oh no. How will Michael Phelps buy his weed now?

Miley Cyrus. My people hate you.

I don't even eat eggs and I'd so eat this.

Oops. Did I say two? I meant 4. Enjoy everyone, happy Friday -- AND
happy 21st birthday l! one of our dearest popcultureparadox readers!


The City...the worst show ever?

Sooo...I just spent a better part of my day off watching a "The City" marathon...ick...what a terrible show...and not terrible in the 90210/Privileged/any other random teeny bopper show that I secretly love but acknowledge is poorly made sense...truly BAD TV...Tila Tequila/Bachelor bad...:P The appeal of Whitney in "The Hills" was her seemingly nonchalant attitude to the LA drama that followed LC/Heidi around and the fact that she seemed to have a good (and smart) head on her pretty little shoulders...her practical twist on high-end fashion was refreshing in a show filled with catwalk copycats...alas, how the mighty have fallen. Damn you MTV! I knew it was bad from the moment her nasaly voice started narrating the show during the premiere...then when her Australian boytoy was introduced...goodness, I honestly thought he had a speech impediment for the whole first episode...and eww is it just me or is he just another Justin-Bobby?! What an awful show...stay away from this MTV offering...!

File >> New Playlist

(photo courtesy of: http://iphonenews.desinformado.com)

But first, a sidenote. As we know, P and I differ on the topic of this week's Gossip Girl episode. Apparently the Daily Intel sides with P on this one (at least I have the siding of my friends A and L and my own desire to see the shadowy image of the scandalous teacher ripping Dan Humphrey's belt over and over and over and over again). That being said, I must put the plug in for my dearest and nearest show and state my confidence against any sign of O.C.-age. I mean, afterall, Josh Schwartz (the producer of both) learned his lesson the first time around. Yes? Plus, we know Blair Waldorf could take Marissa Cooper (and Summer Roberts) out in one mean spirited bitch slap anyday.

Now, onto your dose of new music advice - remember kids. Download legally (iTunes is your friend!), or illegally (and just don't say that I influenced you in any way).

Lily Allen - Everyone's At It (and everything else on her new album It's Not Me, It's You)
Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You (extended version)
Nylon Pink - Hello Drama
Jurassic 5 (feat. Nelly Furtado) - Thin Line
Kat DeLuna (feat. Lil Wayne) - Unstoppable
3OH!3 - Don't Trust Me
The Veronicas - Untouched
PCD - Top of The World

Download. Enjoy. Listen. Love.

Blah GG...

This picture is pretty much how I feel about the most recent episode of GG...Sorry M., but the show realllly took a nose-dive into mediocrity this week...With the completely absurd story-lines (the Chuck and Miss. Carr sub-plots were the worrrrrsttttt...even darling Dorota was annoying in this episode)...could GG be showing signs of the dreaded sophomore slump?!

Dean & DeLuca opens in Kuwait!

Right when I was having a Felicity moment...Dean & DeLuca opens in Kuwait...woohoo...it's a combo of the store & cafe and apparently the largest (and possibly first?) one in the Middle East...

Dear Gossip Girl Writers. I Bow Down To You. Xoxo.

(photo courtesy of eonline.com)

Now, now, I know I normally tend to blog about the BEST SHOW EVER the day after the episode airs. However, this post is to serve as a reminder and warning to you, dear readers, that if you did not DVR and do not watch/download/stream or however you choose to get your weekly Gossip Girl fix then you are missing out. Because tonight was the BEST EPISODE EVER of the BEST SHOW EVER. Period. The end. No arguments. I am in awe of far and few things (the makers of delicious champagne, Diane Von Furstenberg and the energy of young children top the list) but Gossip Girl writers, you have outdone yourself. I bow down.

I hate to post spoilers. And so I won't. Go buy the episode on iTunes in a few days (or I know you know the illegal streaming sites too, don't lie). Watch it on your iPod. iPhone. Whatever gadget you want. Have fun, just don't gasp as loudly as I did in the middle of a lecture hall class. Heaven knows I wouldn't want to get you in trouble.


Soda Pop Everywhere!

(photo courtesy of: http://www.joshcampoverde.com/)
While walking through South Station in Downtown Boston last night, I felt overwhelmed as I looked up, down and all around to find the new Pepsi logo and advertisements everywhere in the train station. Apparently, Pepsi felt the need to buy out all of the advertising space available in my beloved train station. Maybe they're trying to woo over the Coca-Cola loyalists of the Fenway Park area -- evidence here -- or maybe the overwhelming amount of advertising show danger for Pepsi Corp. in these recessioned times.

My idea for Pepsi executives to boost sales? Although I love your ad that says "Sody Pop" -- because, well, who really says that anyway -- go back to Britney being your spokesperson and maybe you'll have me sway from my Diet Coke. Or, maybe not, but it's worth the effort.

In baseball news...

(photo courtesy of Boston.com)

In sorry-I-didn't-blog on Friday news, hallejuah. Praise the baseball gods. The Boston Red Sox have a capable pitcher for the 2009 season. While there is most certainly debate within the city about Varitek's shady almost-exit out of Boston, and yes, okay, his questionable numbers last season, I for one am happily content with the return of not just the veteran catcher, but the captain of the team as well. Wahoo. Only 22 days until the first Spring Training game of 2009!


Who smokes the ganja?

(photo courtesy of News of The World)

Not exactly the most shocking of shock here. Go figure, a 23-year-old guy (that gives off the frat boy aura) smokes up. Someone tell me something that I didn't already assume.
P.S. For those (like P) who couldn't tell by the photo. The answer is Michael Phelps likes to smoke the ganja. At least he can clutch onto his zillion gold medals while he waves buh-bye to all his endorsement money.

I've been a bad blogger!

God, it's been so long since I logged onto the blogger website I barely remembered the password :S So sorry dear readers, I've been one lazy blogger...but luckily M has been making up in blogposts for the both of us...gotta love her!
To say things have been insanely busy would be a massive understatement...I got an unofficial promotion at work that has been keeping me in the newsroom at all odd hours of the day and I barely have time to breath or keep up some semblance of a social life let alone blog...
But...I recently read Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan's (aka Compulsive Confessor, my fav guilty pleasure blog to read) new book "You are here" which basically read like a series of her blog posts compiled together in book format and "fictionalized"...MEH...anyway, its spectacular success kinda reminded me of popcultureparadox and what we could do with it...the kinda ppl that get famous off of blogging I tell you...If she can do it...M & I can't be that far behind, right?!

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