Flavor of the Week: Miley Cyrus

Because you haven’t already read at least 50 strongly-worded articles about Miley Cyrus and her shit show at the VMAs, I thought you should read one more.

Don’t get me wrong–if there is a Miley Cyrus fan, I am it. Although with the start of Hannah Montana the uniqueness of my name decreased by 200%, I didn’t hold a grudge. She took away my individuality, but I loved her through and through. When I decided to chop off my hair two years ago, I showed my hairdresser the photo of Miley when she went for the long bob. At the time, I didn’t realize that the haircut only looked good on skinny people. But ne’ertheless, I am #blessed to have shared a stage of beauty and fashion with Destiny Hope, the queen of legginess, crop tops, and now, plastic underwear.

I should not digress; we need to discuss this VMA performance.

First things first: on August 26th, Dave Stopera published an article on BuzzFeed titled “22 Things Miley Cyrus Looked Like At The 2013 VMAs.” This article was incredibly successful, with a total of over 3 million views since its release. I was loving every second of this article until I saw this blasphemy:

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Then, my mood turned from “Robin Thicke getting twerked upon by Miley” to “Will Smith shielding the eyes of his young children while watching Robin Thicke get twerked upon by Miley” because obviously I MADE THIS CONNECTION WHEN I APPOINTED ANGELICA PICKLES (and Cynthia–who’s a really cool dancer–by association) AS FLAVOR OF THE WEEK.

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 4.06.28 PM

 

Whatever.

Here’s my take on Miley’s stint at the VMAs: was it comparable to my experience watching Saving Silverman as a fourth grader in the same room as my teenaged babysitter? Yes. Did I love every minute of it? Yes. Miley looked like she was having the time of her life. Yeah, her tongue was out a lot. But if you look at my Facebook profile photos, it turns out that in about one-third of them, my tongue is out too. I think it’s just a girl thing, similar to feeling happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. Right T. Swift?

Leave her alone–after all, she’s just being Miley.


On Staying Friends

“Let’s stay friends.” “You’re my best friend, and I don’t want to lose that.” “I miss having him as my friend.”

There is clearly a reason why someone put the “friend” in “boyfriend.”

In other languages, there is a single word for “male significant other.” In Spanish, it is novio. In Hebrew, it is chaver. But in English, it’s a compound word. Boy-friend. Girl-friend. English often seems to fail with its inability to be phonetic and its reputation as one of the most difficult languages to learn as a non-native speaker. Other languages have simple, direct words for phrases, human habits, and other occurrences that English does not. My favorite example of this is the Norwegian word forelsket, which explains the euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

Typically, English is more complicated than it needs to be. But then again, so are our relationships. When it comes to the words we use to explain the one we’re with, I think we are spot on. Boy-friend. Girl-friend.

In life, you will date many people. You will love a few. And if you are lucky, one of these relationships will last forever. Most of them will not. The possibilities of the ways that your relationships will end are endless and infinite. I’m not so old myself, yet I’ve already heard what seems to be 1,000 ways to break up. Even though we all have our own stories and secrets of how our once-lived fairytales came to a close, I believe in that in reality, there are only two ways things can end: badly, or well.

If it ends badly, then it’s obviously difficult to stay friends. If things end well–or just not so badly–then you should be able to stay friends. And unless a hellish, unforgiving act was taken by either person in the relationship, friendship (or at least mutualism, a term I learned in AP Biology but often apply to real life) should eventually occur. If you liked each other once, it seems silly that you wouldn’t like each other again. Because, in their lifetimes, humans date so many people, most relationships do not end horrifically, although I totally ruin that statistic. It would make sense that most of us should be able to stay friends. If you like someone as a human, that does not mean you would necessarily like them romantically. But if you like someone romantically, then you really should like them as a human. If not… then I don’t really know what to tell you. Maybe you’re doing it wrong.

So then why the hell is it so effing difficult to stay friends?

I’m just going to come right out and say it–the main difference between your relationship with someone when you are dating and when you are not is all the stuff with the birds and the bees, which I don’t have to delve deeply into because 1) you all know what I mean and 2) my mom reads my blog. So you take the kissin’ and the lovin’ out of your relationship, and suddenly, you stop talking. Not only do you stop talking, but you really don’t like each other. When I put it like that, doesn’t it sound kinda horrible?

If you love someone for who they are and not for what you do behind closed doors, it doesn’t seem like it should be so hard to look past whatever obstacles you faced in your relationship–given, a few weeks of personal space and separation have been taken–and enjoy each other’s presence and company as friends. And if you can’t even speak to someone after years and years of dating and months and months of silence, and the only real difference in who each of you is that you aren’t sleeping together anymore, isn’t there a huge flaw in that?

It’s a shame that recently, we’re taking the “friend” out of boyfriend. That word is in there for a reason. Isn’t it?


Flavor of the Week: Bandeaux

Yes, the plural of “bandeau” is “bandeaux,” and no, I do not have dyslexia nor think that I’m French.

Bandeaux were a brilliant invention until some sorority girls decided to wear them as shirts. Then, they became [somewhat] acceptable as crop tops, and essentially all hell broke loose. The sanctity in the ingenious purpose a bandeau was originally supposed to serve became tainted by fifty shades of neon and a hundred shades of “my high wasted shorts compensate for the fact that I’m literally wearing a bra to a social event, right?”

My freshman year of high school, I wrote a letter to myself with the intention of opening it my senior year. In it, I said, “You are wearing a colorful, beaded Free People dress, no bra (just a bandeaux).” Clearly my spelling was a little off back in the day, but my sense of sensible style was right on point.

Bandeaux are excellent for use when you are wearing a low-cut shirt (except for the fact that the newest trend after the peak of the bandeau was to wear ridiculously cut shirts with your bra just hangin’ out there to give the whole world a big hello) or, for my personal favorite purpose, when you just don’t feel like wearing a bra. You all know you love it, for comfort and for style–while everyone likes the look of “Bra!!!!!!!” no one likes the look of “Bra Straps!!!!!!”.

Bandeaux are excuses to wear a bra as a shirt or to not wear a bra at all. So if you love bras or hate bras, it’s all very win-win.


On The Six Degrees Of Separation

There is, most certainly, a recipe for a standard Jewish child:

HYFR

3 years at synagogue or JCC preschool

7-10 summers spent at overnight camp in the Poconos, the Berkshires, or Maine (number of years is flexible)

1 or more additional siblings

Born and raised in a northeastern suburb

Bar or Bat Mitzvah, obviously

Rarely tall or above-average in stature

There are more stereotypes that I could add to the mix, but I figured I should stop before I offend or exclude anyone. I highly considered writing “dark, curly, thick hair,” but I didn’t want to make the few blondes in the tribe feel any less JAPpy or legitimate than the rest of us.

The truth of the matter is that the Jewish culture, as well as other communities and groups of people sharing a common nationality or religion, comes with a lot of tradition. We lead similar lifestyles, and while some of us lean more towards Jack Rogers and others towards Doc Martens (cough cough, me), we still manage to have a lot in common.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to notice this more and more. When we’re younger, we make friends through the connections that our parents have. Now that we’re fully functioning young adults with control not only over our bladders, but also our studies, our social lives, and our luxury cars, the connections we make are truly our own. It is impossible for me to go anywhere–whether it be a party, lunch in town, a charity event, or even a spin class–without speaking to someone that I know at least one person in common with.

This phenomenon is known as the “Six Degrees of Separation.” According to Wikipedia, the most reliable source that feeds the minds of millennials, “Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.” As a nice Jewish girl, this theory has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. But still, to this day, it blows my mind.

Is John Mayer Jewish?

My parents met on Halloween in college when a friend in common introduced them on a street corner. It would come as no surprise to me if you told me that your parents were seated next to each other at a wedding, were set up on a blind date, or had at least one mutual friend.

For a while now, I’ve had a theory of my own. What if, to find our husbands or wives, we used the six degrees of separation to figure out who of the opposite sex (or of the same sex 😉 #DOMA) we statistically knew the most amount of people in common with? Then, what would happen?

Well, you would certainly have a lot to speak about, and that’s the obvious answer. But once you’re done discussing how that girl (who went to Hebrew school with both of you) shouldn’t have gotten into “x” college or how that guy (who also went to your pediatrician) needs to realize that no one cares he was a camp Olympics general, how much more would you have to discuss? Would my theory work? Or would we just have more people to gossip about?

To a certain extent, you are who you surround yourself with. If a boy and a girl know a lot of the same people, it could therefore mean that they are similar people themselves. But it could also mean that their paths crossed multiple times amongst the over-the-top Bar Mitzvah parties, the eight summers at camp, the four years at a rah-rah school, the three years in law school, the summer internship at JP Morgan… shall I dare continue?

Is there a difference between what is bashert and what, statistically, is a balanced recipe for a Jewish couple?

When we are done gossiping about the 2,000 people we know in common (2,000 is not an understatement) and we start to let our guards down about who we really are on the inside, will it be a perfect match?


Flavor of the Week: The Hamptons

…to the Hamptons.

Just the name brings back pings of luxury and memories of the endless struggle of keeping your hair as tame as possible when going out at night.  What once was a place of family fun and average-income couples who drink beer on their motel porches until 2 a.m. has now become a harboring for hipsters and young, wealthy 20-somethings alike. I’m out here for a week, but if I see a table of guys wearing cuffed jeans and tight yellow cutoffs while I’m eating my egg white omelet one more time, I might have to leave. And you know me—it is a rare occasion when I let an egg white omelet go unfinished.

The Hamptons are really dreamy, and I say that in all seriousness. You drive out of the city along this thin strip of highway for a couple of hours until you get to a totally isolated but glamorous beach community full of the young, the beautiful, and the wealthy.

So basically, it’s a Lana Del Rey song.

There is a certain stigma about going “to the Hamptons.” Like:

“I’m going to be in the Hamptons next week.”

You’re going to be in the Hamptons?! Same! Let’s totally get together for lunch one day.”

This is all fab, except a) these two people are blind to the fact that one of them is probably going to Quogue or Westhampton, both of which are 100,000 miles from every other Hampton (put it this way—Cady Heron is to Westhampton as Regina George is to East Hampton) hence the fact that “getting lunch” would actually be way more convenient at home in Westchester, and b) this conversation was 60% actual interest in making plans and 40% an ego boost so that each person could say out loud that she is going to the Hamptons. Scratch that—make it 50/50.

The Hamptons are respected by all, including the rich and famous, and especially by Kanye West. He gives a pretty nice shout out in Yeezus’ “New Slaves”…

They prolly all in the Hamptons
Bragging ’bout what they made
F— you and your Hampton house
I’ll f— your Hampton spouse
Came on her Hampton blouse
And in her Hampton mouth

…so that’s all really appropriate, censored, and lovely. As you can tell from Yeezus himself, the Hamptons are all about good ol’ fashioned family fun. Good stuff.

 

 


On Techno

Before you read, let me set the tone for this week’s post with a personal Vine of my own.

One of my father’s unique qualities is his taste in music. That is, he loves every type of music out there. You can get into his car and at any given time find yourself listening to the Grateful Dead, 90’s grunge. He could also be caught singing along to every word of the song “High” by Big Sean (I kid you not). Luckily, some of his appreciation for the sung word rubbed off on me. I am not nearly as talented as my dad, with his perfect pitch and his ability to hear any song once and perform it flawlessly on one of his seven (maybe eight, I lost count) beautiful guitars. However, I do have a small piece of the “music gene” in me… or at least I like to think so.

Nevertheless, there is one genre out there that neither my father nor myself have been able to take a firm grasp of. And this genre, of course, is “techno.”

The rave scene and the music that comes with it (house, dubstep, electronic, etc.) has literally become a cult movement in our generation. While I know a hundred kids that will tell me that techno is not only a legitimate form of music, but is a way of life, I am still wildly intrigued by its true influence and what makes it so damn good.

This is not to say that I don’t often enjoy electronic music. It’s obviously fun, it’s obviously fun to dance to, it obviously gets anyone pumped up for a big night out, and it obviously makes me feel like Miley Cyrus while she’s “tryna get a line in the bathroom.” Who would complain about any of those evoked emotions? Hence, ravers of the world, do not get offended by my opinion. PLUR–I come in peace. If I could use the deuces emoji, I would right now. I’m sending you all mad love from the neon embers of the world wide web. My question is, however, why now?

My first guess is that technology is evolving at an overwhelming pace. We’ve reached the point where technology is no longer only a means through which we can learn and advance. It’s now used in a way to connect people all around the world with a five-minute song that speaks in a language of its own. Techno music is the adaptation of modern technology to culture. In an interesting way, its ability to break barriers is uncanny.

ooooohhh, aaahhhhh

There is something about electronic music that stems father than this; there must be another reason why a movement can turn the entire music industry around almost as much as the birth of rock n’ roll did in the 1950’s. I think it has to do with “the feeling.”

“The feeling” is an imaginary term that I made up in my mind that explains the way one’s body reacts when listening to techno. Even if you don’t like this type of music–no matter how much of a blasphemy you claim that it is because you think that you and your thick-rimmed fake glasses gotta stick it to the indie scene–you have got to admit that you get “the feeling.” “The feeling” is totally physical, similarly to how I feel about Justin Bieber. Just kidding–I would never like a guy for just his body. Who would do that?!???!!

“The feeling” has to do with the psychological effects of techno music and the way your brain receives these unexpected sounds… like a drop in a song, for example. Then, your brain sends out groovy frequencies to your heart and your belly and then you feel kinda like there’s an earthquake inside of you and you could potentially vomit but in a good way.

We are bored. We spend way too much time on Facebook and way too much time watching TV illegally watching Breaking Bad on our computers. So, we listen to techno, we get “the feeling,” and we feel alive. Literally, your body is shaken out of whatever funk it was in and you want to dance. The excessive need to work makes life boring on the daily. The norm has become unacceptable, so now we have techno to shoot static sounds across our nerves. And remember, you’re hearing this from someone who has a soft side for Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow, so it must have some value.

What’s next when our bodies become comfortably numb to techno? I should ask my dad. He’ll probs know.


Flavor of the Week: Angelica Pickles

Angelica Pickles is the younger, Jewish version of Paris Hilton. Wikipedia refers to her as a “spoiled brat,” verbatim. Wiki also says that she’s “vain, conceited, self-centered, irritating, bossy, selfish, self-righteous, arrogant, and obnoxious yet beautiful.” Since Wikipedia is the most reliable source of all time, and there is clearly no way that the article on Angelica was written by a thirteen-year-old Rugrats enthusiast with the vocabulary and grammar skills of a sloth, we must take in these vindictive personality analyses with the utmost sincerity.

In other words, Angelica’s a bitch and we love it.

Angelica is best known in film for her roles in Rugrats, All Grown Up, The Rugrats Movie, and in print for her appearance in the Pulitzer Prize-winning children’s book (which I also consider to be a personal favorite) Let My Babies Go! A Passover Story.

Here are some of Angelica’s greater moments:

“Chanukah is that special time of year between Christmas and Misgiving when all the bestest holiday shows are on TV.”

“So you see, Tommy, cookies made me who I am.”

“When life gives you lemons, make apple sauce.”

“A bacation is when you can do ezzactly what you want all the time.”

(After sorting through all of these quotes, I realized how likely it was that Angelica C. Pickles herself wrote her own Wikipedia article. I mean, the vernacular is almost identical. Typical Ang.)

Lastly, let us not forget Cynthia, who is almost as disturbing as Courage the Cowardly Dog. Let’s take a look at some of her better days:

Cynthia being mildly strangled.

Cynthia hangin’ out in the sewer.

Cynthia on the cover of Vogue.

Cynthia getting “shaken baby syndrome.” So basically nbd.

I’d love to sit down and break some matza with Angie one day and ask her how a girl so Jewish could get away with being blonde and having minimal arm/body hair. I’m sure she’d be a doll.