How I Met Your Final Season – Episode 1

We here at Animal Style Hurricane have spent countless hours watching How I Met Your Mother – increasing our high fives, legendary moments, parktaking in Slapsgivings, and enjoying the ride of five friends in New York City. For the final season of HIMYM, we’ve decided to go with a different approach. We’ll be giving you a run down of what each character is up to, a “What’s with that?” section where we discuss the show, and our list of things we need tied up before Ted comes across the yellow umbrella.

Lily started out in a very annoying car ride with Ted out to Long Island, but had him drop her off at the train station because she couldn’t stand his ass anymore. Stressed out over the negative messages her mother-in-law was sending, Lily finds comfort in the Mother. She shares her cookies, gives Lily a shoulder to cry on, and lends her full support to this stranger she just met. Lily arrives at the location and, since Marshall is delayed, proceeds to drink with a gusto we’re kinda proud of.
thank you linus

Barney and Robin:
On their way to the location of the wedding, Barney and Robin go over their invited wedding guests, realizing that they have way too many wild cards. Turns out one of the wild cards just might be a cousin they are both related to. Nope, just a weird false alarm and an awkward portion of the episode.
Later on, we find out that his brother, James, is getting a divorce. Robin is afraid that the news of the divorce will hurt Barney. Barney learns the news from an intoxicated Lily and turns out, he’s fine. But Robin’s panic seems to indicate that perhaps she’s not.
limo throw up
Marshall still has not told Lily that he has accepted the judge position in NY. His mom posts a picture online announcing that he’s about to become a judge, which he immediately calls her to tell her to take it down. The writers have apparently made Marshall stupid for this season, and because he didn’t get off the phone, got him and the woman sitting next to him kicked off the flight. (You would think as a newly appointed judge, Marshall would be extra careful to say not get on a government watch list?) They end up at the same rental car place, where he trusts this woman to go buy a baby seat and come back for him and Baby Marvin, which she does. It’s an 18 hour drive to New York from the St. Paul Minnesota Airport. Let’s hope this storyline doesn’t get old as fast I expect it to.
Ted intentionally annoys Lily so that he can get to the wedding location first and give Robin a gift. Lily thinks it’s the locket Robin wanted, but it turns out it’s a photo of the gang (from the credits). Turns out the locket is in LA with Stella, and Lily makes him promise not to go looking for it. Everyone makes a big deal that Ted is the single guy at the wedding. We get a glimpse of Future Ted with the Mother, but we also see Ted buying a plane ticket to LA, with the implied intention of going to find the locket.

Douche move, Ted. You don’t get a gif.

What’s with that?

What’s with Robin being scared of Barney finding out his brother is getting divorced?

Sydney: Robin needs to get some confidence in her man. I can understand some of her hesitations and reservations because of the Barney we have known for the past 8 years (who is not this same Barney that we’re seeing now), but that is going to get real old, real quick.

Jen: Yeah, but consider her entire relationship with Barney especially leading up to their proposal. I mean look at their proposal it was a play out of his playbook! (I still haven’t forgiven him for choosing Ted’s big day to propose. That’s just a really shitty friend move.) Besides, it’s not like Barney hasn’t done the “changed man” act with not one, but two women directly before her. (Nora and Quinn) I do agree that if they keep playing it the way they currently are it will get old quickly, but at the same time girl’s got a point.

What’s with Marshall suddenly trusting everyone in the world?

She gets it from her husband.

Jen: We’ve seen Marshall’s midwestern values shine through for so long that wouldn’t it be more interesting for a hint of New Yorker to come through and startle everyone (especially him)? Also, I find it hard to believe that Barney would not have been able to arrange something to get him out of there. Which makes me think the better way to play out that storyline without making Marhsall look stupid (and with making Barney look awesome) would have been to have Barney organize Marshall’s car so that when Marshall got to the car rental place it seemed like there were no more cars, but he has a car waiting (because Barney set it up). That would have opened it up for him to chose to be nice to the extremely annoying lady thereby keeping his Midwestern values in tack without making him look like a dumbass.

Sydney: That’s would’ve been a great way to play up both of the characters strengths without dumbing down the characters themselves. It got to a point of ridunkulous when Marshall got kicked off the plane for not getting off the phone with his mom. I understand the frustration in not letting that be the way Lily finds out, but to the point of refusing to hang up while everyone is yelling at you?

What’s with Ted going to LA?

No, Ted, control your douchiness!

Jen: Wouldn’t it have been just the most amazing thing ever had they decided to drop the Ted still has a thing for Robin storyline in this episode? “Oh the locket is in LA, oh that would be crazy for me to go get it. What am I doing?” Done. They really should have dropped it.

Sydney: SCREW YOU TED. I know the writers are probably going to make it all better once he gets out to LA and realizes he’s being stupid, but the mere fact that he’s going to LA (implying that he’s going to find the locket) makes him a stupid face. What the hell is that going to achieve, Ted?!?! Going out of your way to get the locket for a girl who is marrying another guy is a shitty thing to do. You are not being a good friend. You are being an asshole to Barney and Robin and their marriage.

Jen: I like Ted, I sympathize with Ted, but this storyline has made me feel awkward since the beginning. I’m not a Robney/Barnin(?)(I looked it up it’s Swarkles which I love) fan by any means. In fact, I really don’t like them together, but saddling Ted with this storyline (especially so close to the end!) is really just hurting the show. Move on!

I want to like them together…I just don’t.

What’s with the fact that we may already know the ending of the Marshall/Lily storyline?

Jen: Well we know for a fact that Marshall does indeed become a judge so does that mean they’re going to be apart for a year? Does that mean that Marvin isn’t getting a brother or sister anytime soon? (Or possibly ever?!)

Sydney: Marshall and Lily are definitely having more kids, that I’m not worried about. It’s the resolution to the problem of who gets to fulfill their dreams and at what cost. Remember how Lily called off their first wedding and ran away to San Fran because she wanted to follow her dreams for once? I hope the writers don’t just patch it up with sappy emotions (aka The Barney Treatment), but with the real life upset it would cause. I might need the Kennedy Treatment myself to get through that.

What’s with James cheating on his husband?

Jen: I get it. He’s a Stinson, but not cool dude. You’ve got a kid!

Sydney: Screw you too, James. I’m not a big fan of cheating. Even in a story line. It’s a cop out.

James, we think you have a problem.

What’s with Robin possibly not telling Barney that she can’t have/doesn’t want kids?

Yeah there’s no “even if”, buddy.

Jen: In the limo he seemed to think it was still a possibility.  Has she not told him about her infertility issues?  Also she’s broken up with two guys because of the no kids thing.  Shouldn’t this have come up before the car ride to their wedding?

Sydney: I think the writers are constantly trying to prove Robin wrong about Barney and completely alter his reactions to every problem that arises. Eventually she’ll either have to come clean with her infertility issues or accept that Barney wants kids. Robin has a lot more problems than anyone is paying attention to.

What we need for closure:

  • The future of Barney and Robin’s marriage – Does it work out? Do they break up?
  • How many kids Lily and Marshall have.
  • Ted’s proposal.
  • Ted on his wedding day.
  • Ted on the day his kids are born.
  • A flash forward to the front porch (with the Mother).
  • A resolution to the Marshall/Lily conundrum.
  • Marvin holding one of Ted’s kids (how freaking cute would that be?).
  • The final slap.

Face Off – Episode 7 Recap – Boobs Boobs Boobs

Foundation Challenge:
Elvira stops by (because it’s Halloween time and she’s got nothing else going on) to help judge the Foundation Challenge – to reinvent an iconic make-up. Roy wins this one with a bat themed Elvira (hm, no surprise there.)

Spotlight Challenge:
Contestants each pick a genre of art and must create a living representation of that style of art. Here’s a list of the artists and styles;
Alana- Constructionalism.
Eddie- Impressionism
Laney- Pop Art.
Miranda- Cubism.
Laura- Cubism
Scott- Surrealism.
Roy- Expressionism.
Frank- Constructionalism.
Tate- surrealism.
At some point, Tate drops his mold on his finger and needs it sewn back on. Alana has no idea what constructionalism is (neither do I), but Michael Westmore comes along and offers some of his magical wisdom. The shoe seems to be on the other foot this week when Roy decides to go small and concentrate on the details while Tate goes for a gigantic lady/nature/castle monster. It’s as awkward as that description.
Miranda whines some more. I’m going to start a drinking game where you have to take a drink every time she whines that she doesn’t like her make-up. I’d be shit-faced well before Last Looks.
Scott draws inspiration from his dad, who had a “volcanic temper”, hence his character’s volcano face.
Everyone is rushing to paint during Last Looks as if they were Wayne(some of you will get that joke.)
Alana has a break down at the end of last looks, although she shouldn’t worry because some of those other pieces don’t look so hot. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Volcano face.)

Top Look: Laura’s Cubism Man
Her sculpture and paint skills shine in her use of squares as a 3D make-up. Also, GO TEAM LAURA!!!

Bottom Looks: Scott’s Volcano Dad
It was just strange and made me uncomfortable just looking at it.

Judge’s Choice: Laura’s Cubism Man
She totally deserved it. The overall silhouette and contrasting colors drew your eye immediately. Plus, she’s just overall awesome.

Eliminated: Scott and his Volcano Dad.
I agree. It was poorly put together and had way too many elements incorporated. And he had an ugly Volcano face.Random Thoughts:
This is one boob-tastic episode.
I wonder where they keep Elvira for the other 11 months out of the year that are not October. She has to be frozen somewhere. That’s an area of Universal Studios Backlot I’d like a tour of – Elvira’s “Sleeping” Chamber.

Oops, that's Johnny Depp's chamber.

Oops, that’s Johnny Depp’s chamber.

Miranda vs. Laura at Cubism? Bring it on.
break you
I’m going to lose my shit if Miranda keeps complaining about how much she does not like her make-up.
shut the f up
WTF is with Tate’s Surreal Tree lady thing?!?!
I’m now determined to find out who Miranda is banging to get top looks every week. I bet it’s Neville.
neville page
Seriously, lots of boobs everywhere.
slightly overwhelmed
Volcano Dad looks like he got paper cuts on his face. It’s yuck.
Anime Girl’s Pop art person looks good…from the neck down. More pretty colors, less political messages.
Alana, you stress over nothing. Get a grip, girlfriend!
get your shit together

5 Things Nerd Block Could Do To Get My Money

nerd block logo
If you are a girl, or know a girl, there is a high probability that she is receiving a monthly box. No, not her period. An actual box filled with various goodies according to which subscription she has – maybe it’s gluten free snack, make up samples or even pet products for that rat she calls her dog (if it fits in your purse, it’s a rat.) Now one company has decided to jump on this monthly subscription train with Nerd Block – a box full of nerdy goodies that comes monthly. Nerds are big right now – between Heroes of Cosplay, San Diego Comic Con and Fangasm – why not tap into that market? Au contrair, my friend. It is not so easy to sway the nerd crowd into purchasing your box of mysteries. Being a nerd myself, I understand the lure of this untapped monthly subscription mass. However, I will not be forking over my hard earned nerd cash for one of these tubs o’ fun. Why?

1. There are WAY too many fandoms

The list of things people nerd out about is endless – Avengers, Battlestar Galactica, Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Continuum, Disney, Doctor Who, Firefly, Fringe, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, The Walking Dead…the list goes on. Some Star Wars fans also love The Game of Thrones. Some don’t. Some nerds only love three of those things, and don’t care for anything else. It’s very hard to make broad statements about nerds.

Except that they are socially awkward.  That's absolutely true.

Except that they are socially awkward. That’s absolutely true.

Even attempting to place “things that nerds like” in a box is quite a task. My brother is a Lord of the Rings nerd.  I am a Disney, Doctor Who and Breaking Bad nerd. Any type, shape or form of those categories would be welcome into my home with glee and delight. Anything outside of those realms, I could not give two shits about.

Sorry Fringe.

Sorry Fringe.

The point is that many nerds would feel angry and jipped if “their” fandom was not included in their monthly box. Why would I pay money for a box full of Star Trek themed crap when my nerd heart only beats for Star Wars?  How dare they try to group me with those lame-os! Simple solution – allow the nerds to pick their categories of what they’d like to receive. I may be a nerd, but mama knows what she likes.

2. Let me know what’s in the box…kind of.

Here’s another fact about nerds – we don’t like to be surprised. Especially when it comes to things we nerd out about.  I mean, character deaths and plot twists are one thing.  What would Doctor Who be if all of the companions didn’t meet some type of horrible, but acceptable end?  Would Firefly nerds have the same passion if the show wasn’t canceled so early? Nerds, while they may throw a fit, can handle surprises within their respective fandom realms. But nerds are careful about who, what and how they collect.


I’m not saying “Tell us exactly what’s inside!”  I mean, give me an outline of what to expect.  Will a t-shirt be included in every box?  Is it going to just be figurines?  Are there any comics in there?  Give me an outline – each box contains 1 figurine, 1 t-shirt, 1 specialty item and 1 surprise.  That’s not so hard!  If the box is going to be 6 figures from the Big Bang Theory, and that’s it, I feel like Nerd Box just gave me and my fandom a giant middle finger.



3. Don’t put as much crap in the box.

This goes along with point #1 – don’t try to overwhelm me with goodies with something from multiple fandoms.  There are way too many TV Shows, movies and comic book characters to try and pick from a few.  Just because it fits in the box doesn’t mean the nerd crowd wants it.  The company seems to be going in the direction of trying to please every nerd, which is both impossible and kinda sad.

Oh look, you're trying.

Oh look, you’re trying.

In the words of Ron Swanson, “don’t half-ass two things, whole ass one thing.”  Don’t cheapen the box by putting in a shit ton of collectable cards and cheap mini plastic figures.  Go for quality, not quantity.  Nerds will know the difference in the details of shit you wouldn’t think of.

Psh, obviously the phasers are set to stun.

Psh, obviously the phasers are set to stun.

4. Focus the box into themes

I love Disney. The only thing I love more than Disney is Disney themed for a holiday. Halloween, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Saint Patrick’s Day, you name it, I probably have the matching refillable mug from Disneyland. It’s a chance for my favorite characters to play dress up. And because Disney is a money making machine, they have tons of merch to go with it.

I told you so.

I told you so.

Nerd Block should take note – theme their boxes for the major holidays, premiers and events. Gearing up for Halloween? New Avengers movie releasing? Doctor Who 50th Anniversary coming up? They have numerous themes to pick from that can step up the box’s quality. It gives the box direction and focus, showing the care and love they are attempting to package.

5. Get better shit.

Plain and simple. Don’t give me a comic book that’s only 3 pages. Don’t try to pass off some hideous SWAG as a special prize in the box. Nerds are collectors, and if you give us some grade A collectable thing that actually has some value, we will love you forever. Try to trick us with cheap items and flashy stickers, we will hunt you down and make you hurt.

Hurt you the only way we know how.

Hurt you the only way we know how.

Considering the average inventory at your local comic book store, there is a variety of items to pick from. And with the popularity of Comic Conventions on the rise, more and more people are making their own merchandise that features their favorite characters in unique ways. Simply combing through Etsy brings up numerous stores featuring custom screen printed shirts, tote bags, hair bows, shoes, socks and even dinnerware tailor made to feed the nerdy need to have Doctor Who wine glasses.

Which I totally want.

Which I totally want.

Nerd Block is a great opportunity to provide those with their own stores a chance to reach a massive crowd. If Nerd Block is truly for the nerds, they should include some underground merchandise as well as the commercial stuff. It’s a great way to market to a new audience…without having to talk to people.

Face Off – Episode 6 Recap – Halloween Comes a Month Early

Foundation Challenge:

The designers have a single item in a box that is supposed to inspire a character.  Valli O’Reilly, who did make-up for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events, is the judge and says that she doesn’t want cartoon-y.

Yes, I can see her aversion to cartoon-y.

In the box are different types of teeth.  They have two hours to create their character.  The top looks are Tate’s Don Quixote-esque hobo with nicotine stained teeth, Roy’s tumor covered reptile boy and Miranda’s kidnapped salve with wired teeth.  The winner is Roy and I can’t say that I disagree.  He created a complete character in the given time and used a cool technique to come up with his concept.

Spotlight Challenge:

The artists walk into a fog-covered studio, where Mackenzie announces that they will be doing a Halloween inspired challenge.  They must take a classic costume – vampire, clown, scarecrow, skeleton and devil – and bring it to life as a creature of the night.

Miranda keeps saying she hopes she doesn’t get the skeleton, but is the last one to choose.  So of course she gets the skeleton and the bitterness is palpable.  I laughed a little.

To spice it up a bit they are also required to add a trick element to the character.

Roy as always decides to go big, but at least he has immunity so he can do whatever without working about being eliminated.

Miranda complains some more about having the skeleton, because you can’t get away from the human anatomy.  For example, skeletons don’t have noses, but you can’t cut off a model’s nose. That is an actual complaint that she has.

Finally coming upon an idea for a concept, she awkwardly asks Lyma about Dios de los Muertos.  It’s as embarrassing as it sounds.

Rick struggles with his mold and ends up with a huge crack.  His cowl is then torn in several places and it’s application day.  He has no other choice, but to hope for the best.

Anime Girl is making a clown that can pull out its own intestines.  It is highly assuming to hear her talk about this in her typical deadpan way. She makes the decision to use actual cotton candy for hair, but, as Roy points out, she clearly hasn’t thought it through since cotton candy melts at high temperatures.

Bottom Look for Me:

So many to choose from this week!

Definitely my bottom three are: Anime Girl’s melted clown, Lyma’s terrible vampire and Alana’s cat/rabbit thing.

But in the end there must only be one and I think it has to be Lyma.

Top Look for Me:

Tate’s skeleton with the beating heart.  It was very creepy and had the best effect out of the group.

Judge’s Choice – Tate and I wholeheartedly agree!

Eliminated – Lyma and, again, I wholeheartedly agree.  She was nice, but definitely not as talented as the other artists.

Other Thoughts:

  • Tate calls Miranda a prodigy and I sprained an eye muscle rolling my eyes.

  •  Boo?  Oh Neville you’re so silly.
  • Frank’s scarecrow looked good until the eyes turned on.

  • I don’t really understand Laura’s vampire concept, but it was well done and I love her.

  • None of the effects were very big, except maybe Roy’s wings, but I don’t really consider wings an effect.

  • They need new presentation music.

  • Miranda’s skeleton was a mess.  But with as much of a critical darling as she is, I was half expecting her to win.

  • Anime Girl is in the top?!  I’m so confused.

MmmBop – Hanson at the New Orleans House of Blues

Last Thursday, my wife and I headed out to House of Blues with our friend Natalie to fulfill the deepest desire of my 11-year-old self and see Hanson live in concert.  Here are a few things I learned along the way.

1. Hanson is legit and my love for them is justified.

Before attending the concert, I joked that the 11-year-old version of me was super excited, but my 27-year-old self was meh.  This was probably true until the first song.  Immediately, 27-year-old me was super stoked to sing along at the top of my lungs, haters be damned.

I distinctly remember watching VH1’s I Love the 90’s and seeing Anthrax’s Scott Ian refuse to make fun of Hanson, because they played their own instruments and wrote their own songs.  It’s true; Hanson is legit.  Middle of Nowhere was their THIRD studio album and they haven’t really slowed down since then releasing eight more albums (including their Christmas album).  You can say Middle of Nowhere sounds like it was written by young teenagers, but the fact is it was.  And sure some of the lyrics are corny, but the music is just as catchy as it was 16 years ago.  Their stuff has matured a bit since then, but there was nothing like the energy when they sang those original songs.

2. Their hair has gotten better.

Probably their most defining feature in the 90’s was their long blonde hair.  They looked a bit like girls, but we loved them anyway.

Except for when Zac got braids. No one loved that.

All are now mature men (with multiple children each) and have nicely styled haircuts.  However, the best hair on stage is not a Hanson brother at all, but the unrelated bass player.  He had a huge amount of hair that looked like the love child of River Song and Bozo the Clown.  It’s amazing.

Can’t remember his name or find a picture of him so here’s one of River Song’s luxurious locks.

3. They switch instruments!

At one point they came back from a break and Taylor got on the drums, while Zac sat down at the keyboard.  I thought they were just messing around, but much to my surprise they were actually just as talented as on their original instruments.  Sadly, Isaac didn’t get in on the fun, preferring to stick to the guitar.

4. They dress like hipsters.

I was astounded by the sheer number of vests on the stage.  They most definitely now dress like hipsters, which is much better than some of their 90’s outfits.  Also, Taylor got super sweaty probably because of his 17 layers. At one point he flipped his hair and there was an intense spray of sweat.  Disgusting.

I mean pretty much anything is better than that suit, Taylor.

5. Opening acts should be limited to 30 minutes.

This probably ties into the next two entries, but the bottom line is opening acts should be limited to 30 minutes.  Paul MacDonald opened for Hanson and I only know his name because I just looked it up.  We referred to him as Old McDonald while he was singing and after, because we didn’t know who the heck he was.  In my personal opinion, he should have sung some covers mixed with his original stuff. People on a whole are not there to see the opening act, I don’t think anyone knew a Paul MacDonald song much less his “old classics”.  At almost an hour his set was way too long and I think he could feel that he had lost the audience.

Apparently he came in 8th on Season 107 of American Idol.

6. I’m old.

I fully admit that number 5 may have been influenced by this one, as are a couple below, but turns out I’m old.  I was super disappointed the concert was starting at 9:15 (actual start around 9:30).  I thought for sure that the show was at 7:00.  Turns out that’s when they open the doors.  Don’t they know I have work in the morning?!  It’s a Thursday.

7. I should have paid double for the seated tickets.

This sort of goes hand in hand with the above, but we got there around 6:30 and stood until the end of the concert around 11:30.  While I was fine, I probably should have paid the extra money to relax a bit more.  Luckily, I was able to go right to bed when I got home.

8. General Admission is best for people with no concept of personal space.

Being a GA concert in New Orleans, we were surrounded by a lot of drunk people.  Most people were there around 7:00, the bar was easily accessible and the drinks were cheap.  In our immediate vicinity there were three particularly annoying people.  First, there was Hair, a tall skinny 20-year-old in a tank top with incredibly long straight hair that she likely hadn’t washed in at least three days.  What made her annoying was her insistence on flipping it on first me then my wife.  Firstly, it’s a concert, it’s hot, wear your hair in a ponytail.  Secondly, if you decide not to wear your hair in a ponytail then at least be aware of your surroundings so that you aren’t constantly touching people with your nasty-ass hair.  Thirdly, she had a tattoo on her shoulder blade that read, “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”

Next, there was Jesus Girl.  She was in front of us in line and I knew from the get go that she was going to be a problem.  As we were waiting to go in, she downed two hand grenades and then giggled to her friend that she was so drunk.  Well, of course you are little Jesus Girl, you just downed two of New Orleans’ strongest drinks.  Despite the fact that she had seen Hanson in several venues across the country, she failed to pick up her ticket at Will Call, holding up the line as she argued with the ticket taker about not having a ticket.  Luckily for her, her friend did have a ticket and was able to go in and find them a spot while she went to pick hers up  Unfortunately for us, that spot was right behind us.  As we were waiting for Hanson to come on she kept talking loudly about how she had been to see Hanson several times, but had never really seen them because she was so short.  All the while making awkward eye contact with me.  The band came on and she immediately began freaking out – crying and throwing her hand in the air as if praising the Lord.  Obviously, she was so into praising Hanson with her gospel hand that she didn’t notice the fact that she was continually hitting us in the head.  About three songs in, I came up with the genius idea to invite her to get in front of us directly behind Hair.  For the four songs that she stayed there, it was glorious.  At one point she actually put her hand on Hair’s head and just left it there.  I’ve never seen a person so blissfully entranced that she could actually leave her hand on a stranger’s head for half a song without realizing it.  Sadly, my plan’s tragic flaw was her devotion to the friend she came with.  She kept turning around and reaching for her friend, who you may remember was behind us.  Her friend was taller than my wife and, though I certainly respect and value friendship, I sure as hell wasn’t going to let my wife’s view be blocked simply so Jesus Girl could experience the concert with her friend.  During a break, she returned to her friend behind us and we fell back into where we were originally standing thus blocking her from returning.

Then there was Pixie Cut.  Pixie Cut showed up late to the party with a large group, who promptly pushed their way forward.  That was slightly annoying, but whatever. If you have the balls to do it, I can’t really fault you.  I’m not an aggressive person and you’re going to win every time.  Where she really crossed the line for me was similar to my problem with Jesus Girl.  She was a bit more ball-sy then her other friends, pushing forward and in front of us.  She then proceeded to constantly reach back for her friends. If you want to be with your friends, just STAY BACK WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

9.  You can’t do three ballads in a row.

During the concert, each of the boys got a solo moment seemingly ordered in terms of popularity (Isaac, Zac, Taylor). Unfortunately, each chose to sing a ballad.  And by Taylor, no matter how popular he is, the audience was lost.  Come on now boys, read your audience!  These people have been drinking for at least two hours at this point.  Don’t put them to sleep!

10. Popularity with lesbians.

Looking around at the audience, there were quite a large number of lesbians.  I think this might have to do with how girl-ish the boys looked in their youth, especially Taylor.  For lesbians of a certain age, Hanson rose to popularity right around the time they were first starting to become attracted to people.  Taylor Hanson was the perfect crush beard.  They were likely actually sort of attracted to him, because let’s face it – he was pretty, but he was the right gender as not to arouse suspicion!  It was the perfect situation and, in my opinion, probably the reason Hanson is beloved by quite a few millennial lesbians.

Look at those rosy cheeks. You’re so pretty, Taylor.

11. They need to re-record all of Middle of Nowhere with their post pubescent voices.

Sadly, Hurricane Katrina ate my original Middle of Nowhere cd, but after the concert I immediately bought some of their classic songs from a random live album from 2005.  But what I really wanted was a studio re-do of all of Middle of Nowhere. I would buy the shit out of that.

Food Review – DCA’s Wine Country Trattoria

wine country trattoria

The Place: Disney California Adventure’s Wine Country Trattoria World of Color Lunch Package

Overall impression: For being able to drink in a Disney park, this is the classiest place to do it. Sure, Pacific Wharf may have margaritas served out of one of those 7-11 slushy dispensers. But if you’re an adult, probably without young children, Wine Country is the place for you. The restaurant is slightly raised, allowing you to sip wine while watching parents push their 9 year old child in a stroller that they are way too old for. You’re also transported to Napa Valley, complete with actual growing grape vines and Spanish style tiles. Hell, if it wasn’t for that kids screaming about needing a flashing Mickey Mouse wand, you’d think you were in Central California. And if you drink enough of that wine, you just might believe it.

Drinks: Beer? Check. Sangria? Yup. Wine? Dear God, I hope so. It’s in the name. They also serve a specialty dessert flight – a Godiva Liqueur flight topped with chocolate infused stawberries.

Food: They serve you an ungodly amount of food. You will not be left wanting more food. We made the mistake of getting fast passes to the Tower of Terror to ride directly after we finished lunch. Let’s just say I had a panic attack right before we dropped, and faced my own personal terror of vomiting all over Jen.
Back to the food, the lunch package was a three course meal that included a rather large salad or cup of soup, an entree, and a shared dessert tray. The food was filling and delicious, they certainly did not skip on the portions. For being promoted as a package deal, I believe we got more than our money’s worth.

eating pants

Service: Service was awesome. Even though we were early for our reservation, the hostess seated us without any “you’re supposed to come at the time you reserved” judginess. Our server was extremely nice, and explained what was included in our World of Color package. We didn’t feel pressured to buy anything outside of the package, and honestly, we didn’t need to. We did feel the need to get our drink on, and I immediately regretted that decision after buckling into the Tower of Terror.

4 Wipes
4 out of 5 wipes. The bathroom is located next to the bar, a bit far from the actual restaurant. It was very clean and well kept, you can tell not too many kids go into this one, which is a plus. I gave it 4 wipes mainly because there were only 3 stalls. And come on, once you break the seal, you’re going to need to go every 10 minutes.

Face Off Episode 5 Recap – Mother Nature Is Pregnant With Bunnies

Foundation Challenge:
None. Apparently we’re too good for that this week.

Spotlight Challenge:

Original Mother Nature Goddess that includes a feature of their own mother. Everyone has very emotional connections and inspirational, except for RJ, whose only inspiration from his mother is her 60’s hairdo. Frank is actually having the toughest time with this challenge, having to deal with his dad’s recent death and his mom’s current fading health.

RJ looks around and sees that he’s making a cartoon – nothing close to the other realistic Mother Natures around. Anime Girl is nearly unrecognizable without the 3 tons of make up on her face. Tate accidentally/”accidentally” rips off the head of her mannequin while helping her pull out her mold.

Anime Girl’s model decides that she is getting sick and leaves home girl in the dust, not letting her finish up her make up. The model does make it on stage, and I kinda wish she would’ve barfed on the judges feet just to prove that she was getting sick.

Top look for me: Laura’s Orchid and Trumpet Flower
Nice use of shading and texture, with appropriate fabrications. Her color palette is also extremely beautiful. TEAM LAURA!

Bottom look for me: Eddie’s Mother Warrior Goddess
Eddie’s make up looks like it wants to rape me in the tree trunk.

Judges choice:
LAURA!!!! Simply the best.

You have chosen...wisely.

You have chosen…wisely.

Eliminated: RJ’s 60’s Mother Nature.
I totally agree. His attitude toward the challenge was “I’ve done this before, I don’t have to do it again.” Bitch, you thought wrong.

Random Thoughts:

Why is Alana suddenly the voice for everyone?

Why is Lyma still here????
why are you still here

WTF is with the bunny in the pregnant belly. W. T. F.

Why does Alana sound like she’s coming from deeper and deeper within the Bronx? I feel like she’s going to suddenly show up in an interview segment in a track suit, 300 pounds heavier, and a man.

Glen looks like the Goblin King’s ugly forgotten brother. Magic does not dance for him.
dance magic still

Glen, you remind me of the babe…

Restaurant Review – Old Hickory Steakhouse (DC)

Every year in the last week of July, my work has sent me off to a conference in the DC area.  The actual particulars of the conference I won’t bore you with since, while sort of interesting to someone in my field, it would likely bore the average internet reader who stumbled on this blog.  The conference itself isn’t bad.  It’s informative and, at times, inspirational.  However, the experience is just a little weird.  Firstly, the timing is always horrible.  July is hot and muggy in DC (not that it’s any better in Louisiana) and this year it bumped right into the end of my actual vacation (aka Come Along Bestie 2013).  Secondly, there seem to never be decently priced direct flights to DC, so there is always a (lengthy) layover, usually in Atlanta.  It’s not that I really have anything against the Atlanta airport, I just don’t want to spend four hours there. Also, like any born and bred New Orleans girl I have a healthy general disdain for all things Atlanta.


But what’s worse than a layover in Atlanta is being delayed at Regan in DC.  The AirTran/Southwest/JetBlue terminal is what I would imagine the gates of hell would look like – smelly, weirdly cold and full of off brand eateries whose best offer is a sandwich in a plastic box.  Thirdly, the conference isn’t actually in DC, it’s on this creepy little island called National Harbor.  Basically, the entire island is made of upscale chain restaurants and the huge Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.  Probably the most significant feature of the hotel is the 19-story atrium with indoor gardens, a quaint Colonial-style village and a water show.  While it is a generically beautiful hotel, I can’t help but feel like I’m vacationing on one of the outer planets and they are simulating Earth’s atmosphere.

Wow the Earth projections outside these windows are incredibly life-like today.

However, the one highlight every year is the Old Hickory Steakhouse.  Situated on the Lobby Level of the Gaylord, the restaurant never fails to impress.  We always start with the six-cheese sampler.  A cheese monger (for lack of a better term) comes around with a wide variety of small-batched artisanal cheeses from around the world and explains each in detail.  Based on her description and your own palette you get to craft your own cheese plate.  We then move on to salads, generally either the Wedge or the Caesar.  Both choices are fantastic, but I’d recommend the Wedge if you are a fan of bacon as it is covered in thick delicious chunks.  One of my co-workers and I always share the Rib-eye topped with Crab and Asparagus Béarnaise.

Full Disclosure this is not my steak, but an image of exactly what I ordered that I found online. However, in real life it actually looks more delicious.

At 20 oz sharing is almost a necessity for the steak, but, honestly, if I got it on my own I’d likely finish it and wish I had more.  It’s just that amazing.  Sides are ordered for the table and we tend to over order.  My favorites are the rich creamy mashed potatoes and the perfectly crisp Brussels sprouts.  You likely won’t have room for dessert, but I’m sure they have a fine selection.  The prices are not for the faint of heart, but if you ever find yourself stuck on a fake moonbase on a weird little island outside of DC, I think it’s worth the treat.

Bathrooms: 3 out of 5 wipes.  Nice, but generic.  Nothing to write home about, however, this year it did smell kind of weird.

3 Wipes

Face Off – Episode 4 Recap – In the Dark No One Can See

Foundation Challenge:

There is no Foundation Challenge this week; instead we are subjected to Laura sadly feeding goldfish in a coy pond.  Oh Laura, don’t be so sad!

Spotlight Challenge:

The first individual challenge!  Create a subterranean creature inspired by some underground tunnel.  They venture into the tunnel which has plenty of creepy rooms to hopefully stimulate their creative brains.  These rooms include a tentacle and ink room and a chain and electricity room.

Back at the Design Studio, Miranda complains that other people had the same unoriginal idea that she did, and I continue to hate her.

Despite the fact that Laura is one of those people with the same (or at least a similar) idea to Miranda’s, she devotes herself to trying to make hers distinct and original rather than complaining about it.

Roy goes too big and ends up having to scrap his idea.  He describes his design at final looks as a mess and says he knows he’s on bottom.  Both of those things are true.

Bottom Look for Me: A Tie!

Adolfo – His looks looks like a Freddy Krueger mask that he bought from the Halloween store and then badly repainted.

Lyma – It looks like a skinless cat dressed like a Native American.

Top Look for Me: No one.

Once again I didn’t absolutely love any of them.  I liked Frank’s make-up, but not his styling.  I didn’t think it was really a complete make up.  I liked Laura’s, but again thought her styling was completely off base. Despite my hatred of Miranda, I did like her nipples on her mole rat.  Same with Anime girl and the cockroaches in the wounds of her creature.

Judge’s Choice – Miranda…again. I hate her so much.  I can’t even handle it.

Eliminated – Adolfo.  Rightfully so, but I will miss his little Puerto Rican face.

Other Thoughts:

  • Oh shut up Miranda you probably didn’t even know who that chubby gay man was before they explained it to you.

  • Roy wore a hardhat instead of his cowboy hat and was almost unrecognizable.

  • Of course creepy anime girl wants to get Alana out of her shirt.

  • Oh hey curly haired Eddie.  I forgot you existed.  You look like someone I once dated.  I’m glad you’ll probably be going away pretty soon.

  • Alana has straight hair, what?!

  • Dear Face Off, stop trying to push the whole hashtag thing.


  • Laura looked so sad when Miranda was announced as the winner…

  • I think I may hate Miranda more than creepy anime girl.

  • If Miranda wins again I just…I can’t.