Archive | March, 2011

A Terrible Revelation: Saved by the Gel

22 Mar

As I followed my usual morning routine of getting ready for work while watching the ever-corny Saved by the Bell, Jessie’s unwarranted verbal attacks on Slater reminded me of something I had recently watched. But what? What other television show highlights a dysfunctional relationship where fighting is the foundation and name-calling masquerades as a display of affection? Ah, yes. That modern-day classic: the Jersey Shore.

Then, I had an epiphany. A total OMGWTF?! moment. The Jersey Shore is just a guido-modified version of Saved by the Bell. Allow me to demonstrate the parallels between Seaside and Bayside:

Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, a.k.a. The Sweetest Bitch You’ll Ever Meet, is Jessie Spano. Let’s be honest, if Jessie had a nickname, it would be the same as Sammi’s. Both take crazy pills, one on-screen, one off-screen. Both are in incredibly unhealthy and sometimes abusive relationships with juiceheads. And both are wildly irrational. C’mon Jessie, using Cut Day to protest styrofoam? Which reminds me, Graham and Arvin are one and the same: relationship- and life-ruiners.

Ronnie Magro-Ortiz, a.k.a. Ronnie, is A.C. Slater. Both are gorillas, both are in relationships that neither will ever understand, both have scary dads who make appearances on the shows. And try as they might, both have dorky names. Ronald and Albert Clifford? [Insert clever line about McDonald’s and British people.]

Paul DelVecchio, a.k.a. DJ Pauly D, is Zack, or should I say, DJ Mark-Pauly G. (MPG, you can thank me later.) Both are comical protagonists and fresh-to-death playboys of their respective shows, and believe it or not, both have superpowers. For instance, Zack can stop time and freeze people into one position, and Pauly can stop gravity and freeze his hair into one position. Zack has been saved by the bell, and Pauly has been saved by the grenade whistle. Boom! Got ‘em!

Jenni, a.k.a. JWOWW, is Kelly. Like Kelly, JWOWW is the most attractive, most popular, and coolest female on the show. And Tom is the total equivalent of Johnny Dakota. Dirtbags.

Nicole Polizzi, a.k.a. Snooki/Shnooks/Snickers, is Lisa. Like Lisa, Snooki thinks she looks stylish, spends carelessly ($300 for THOSE sunglasses?!), drinks too much alcohol and has to face the consequences, and is the high school cheerleader that nobody paid attention to. Lisa’s last name is Turtle, Snooki loves her Crocadilly. There are also physical similarities, you know, with their skin color. DISCLAIMER: I am not racist.

Mike Sorrentino, a.k.a. The Situation, is Jeff, with one glaring difference: Jeff is good looking. Both are WAY too old to be smushing with their younger girls, and both are major sleazeballs. Karma is just an updated version of The Attic.  Also, I’m sure if Jeff did a Comedy Central Roast, he would be booed off-stage, too. Yikes.

Vinny Guadagnino, a.k.a. Vinny, is Screech. Kind of awkward, endearing, and… that’s all I’ve got. There were just no characters left. Unless I’m forgetting that Vinny also built a robot named Kevin?

Angelina Pivarnick, a.k.a. Jolie (what?), is Tori. Both are aggressive outcasts, and neither really had a place being on their shows. Thankfully, they only had brief stints in their overall series before packing their garbage bags and heading home. In Season 1 of The Jersey Shore, Angelina’s explanation for not showing up to work? “Honestly, like, I’m sick. When you’re sick, like, honestly, like.” And Tori’s explanation for not showing up to class on the day of her big presentation with Zack?  She “overslept.” Good one, guys.

Gratuitous Rod Belding Photo

Danny, the store owner, has the looks of Rod Belding and the managerial skills of Mr. Richard Belding. The guy gets no respect but has to try to put the gang into place anyway. Sad. (Aside: Mr. Belding is the most inept principal I’ve ever seen. He’s also wildly inappropriate. Why is he hanging out in Zack’s bedroom eating pizza with three teen dudes talking about girl problems?)

We also have our fair share of juicehead gorillas (Ox, Moose, and Brandon Tartikoff), grenades (Wendy and Margo), landmines (Violet and Louise), hyenas (Rhonda and that oily duck, Becky), and DTF bids (Stacey, Ginger, and Robin). And who doesn’t love a good sangwich and glass of Ron Ron Juice at the Max?


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Life’s Little Pleasures: #2

9 Mar

Stepping on a really crunchy leaf.


Life’s Little Pleasures: #1

9 Mar

Completing a “very hard” Sudoku puzzle.

Favorite commercials ever.

8 Mar

It’s rare that I laugh audibly while watching the tube, but these Panda Cheese commercials have got me LOLing:

How Connected is Too Connected?

7 Mar

Last night marked the beginning of Boston Restaurant Week, which lasts not for one, but for two, glorious weeks. The boyfriend and I dined at The Capital Grille, and while the food was fabulous, this particular post is about what happened at the table next to us during dinner. It was an appalling commentary of where we as a society have come.

Three gentlemen were enjoying their clam chowder appetizers, each of them focused on their handheld smart phones throughout the course. I found this odd. Why go to dinner with others if you are not going to communicate with them? But, I thought, it can’t possibly last throughout the entire meal…

What a fool this mortal be. Their antisocial behavior continued throughout the main course; each man’s eyes were glued to his phone as he robotically and methodically brought fork to mouth, probably not even enjoying the silky goodness of the 14 oz. bone-in Kona-crusted dry aged sirloin with caramelized shallot butter, creamed spinach, and mashed tatoes!!! (Clearly, I, on the other hand, did enjoy.)

The boyfriend commented that maybe they were businessmen taking care of important business, though regardless of circumstances, this circus was reaching an absurd point. However, one of the three men was dressed like a total schlub, and I thus refute the idea that they were businessmen taking care of important business.

Halfway through the entrée, one of the men managed to put his phone away. What a relief! A human being was restored to this table of cyborgs! Sadly for our friend, his compadres were still carrying out their love affairs with their devices, and so he was left staring blankly at a wall decorated with a moose head. The moose was probably better company anyway.

Wired.

Dessert came. A second man snapped back to life! A real, live conversation using human mouths was taking place! Incredulously, the third man did not put his phone away. He did not speak a word the whole night. He did not put his device down or look up once. After the meal was over, he rose from his seat and walked to the door – STILL entranced by his paramour.

Can you imagine being at a table with these people? While I have never dined with someone so blatantly rude, I have experienced meals with those who begin laughing for no reason – only to realize that they are laughing at something their digital friend just said. What has happened to etiquette? Manners? Normal social human interaction? Don’t get me wrong. Technology obviously has its myriad benefits. Websites like Facebook have revolutionized the way we connect with others, and to be sure, there are perks to that. But it would be asinine to aver that there are no negative consequences to this new way of life. When does being connected become too connected?

Where is that fine line between maintaining meaningful and personal relationships and establishing shallow “relationships” online, for example, in the Twitterverse? I have seen people texting while crossing the street, nearly getting hit by cars, and not even realizing it. I have been subject to conversations that revolve around nothing other than how great a certain device is. There is nothing more boring to me than debating the merits of a Blackberry versus an iPhone. Is this really what people have to talk about now? I am so grateful for my dinky little “feature phone” – a phone without all that glitz and glamour – because my life is not being controlled by a thing. I don’t have to constantly update everyone with every minute detail of my life. I am not trying to display my wit, humor, or trivial information in 140 characters for the joy (or displeasure) of a bunch of followers. I am living my life in the moment instead of interrupting an experience to post about it online as it’s happening.

It’s very Fahrenheit 451ish, if you ask me.

At the rate we’re going, I fear that soon all social interactions will resemble those of the three droids seated next to me during dinner, a future where we have become so “connected” that we can’t turn off. And it seems that sometimes disconnecting is the only way we can savor the real relationships right in front of us and truly connect.