Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things We Did to Occupy Ourselves Offline

That was a close one, guys! A big apology to our legions of loyal followers. If you follow us on the Twitter, you know that we’ve spent the last week, which is also the first week in our new apartment in the exciting New City, sans Internet. Trust us when we say there were dark days, especially for Paul, who was both in charge of acquiring Internet access and relying upon it for his ongoing job hunt. After quickly unpacking and settling in, we experienced the “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” phenomenon (we’re sure we’ll also experience this with home at some point, probably when our $20/week food budget has taken us past “goal weight” and left us stranded at “meth head”) as we fired up our computers and realized we didn’t have a whole to do on them.

Anya was abruptly cut off from her pretty dedicated Buffy watching regimen, Paul had to stop playing his silly internet games and had nothing to keep him going through those long and lonely night hours that he usually spends staying awake for NO REASON, and we don’t even have a budget that allows drowning our sorrow in Oreos or sightseeing! The horror. So, we did as we always do, and we whined a lot. And then lived like Victorians who time traveled to the 21st century and were trying their best to preserve their way of life. we shit you not, we spent a lot of time cross stitching and reading silently in the living room together, along with the following:

Watch Homeland

The first question, of course, was ‘For the love of God does anyone have anything downloaded on their computer that can occupy our empty hours?!’. Luckily, Paul came to the rescue with the first two seasons of Homeland. We got hooked on the political and personal intrigue, Claire Danes’ cryface, and Anya’s repeated attempts to prove her screenwriting “skills” by guessing upcoming character lines. We’re almost done with the first season, but have so far failed to come up with any fully-fleshed blog articles for it (Top 5 Moments We Identified with Carrie Mathison? Top 6 Weird Homeland Hookups Between Unstable Fucks?). We’ll see.

Costco samples

Ah, the delights of a warehouse/bulk grocer. Coming from an area that did not have a Costco, we were familiar with the theory, but not the execution. Since this is the only grocery store within actual walking distance of our new apartment, we quickly bought a membership and hoped we’d end up doing more than breaking even. Honestly, we’re getting there on free samples alone. Paul and Anya went to Costco two days in a row for “lunch” and to “get groceries”. Who knew they didn’t supply bags at the checkout? Not us! So our afternoon of sightseeing in the confines of a cheesecake and mahi burger smorgesbord was stretched even further into a walk from hell, involving a cast off cardboard box that we found near the entrance and some serious muscle development hauling two gallons of milk homeward.

Creep on neighborhood dogs

One major upside to our apartment is the abundance of windows, and therefore natural light. Added bonus? We’re on the fourth floor, so no one can see us walking around without pants at all hours. Yay! Unfortunately for them, our neighbors in the cute little houses across the street don’t have that advantage, so we spent our time without internet developing an active fantasy life surrounding Henry, the English Sheepdog, and his owner who is an avid runner even on the swampiest of days.
Likes: Car rides, playing ball, people who come to visit, the porch.
Dislikes: The weird third floor tenant, the stand-offish greyhounds from around the corner, flip-flops.

Invent sad meals

We would have been doing this regardless (see above food budget), but when you remove the handy Internet function of being able to search for recipes based on the ingredients you have… it gets pretty fucking dismal.
“What if we cut up the bagel and kind of made it like garlic bread?”
“That could work… if we had garlic or butter.”
“Hmm… Well, what if we cooked it in the leftover olive oil from the vegetable (read: mushrooms) stir fry at the bottom of the wok? Maybe some of the vegetable (still just mushrooms) flavors will soak into it while it toasts?”
“You think this will go with our can of baked chickpeas?”
“Which one’s the main dish?”
Repressing, but edible. So far we’ve avoided the horrifying concoctions created by Swiss Miss that featured jaunty names like Hot Dog Surprise.

Clean the apartment

This is something that Anya does only when pushed to her limits by one of the following: boredom, disgust, impending visit by outsiders. Luckily for Paul and the Libertarian, she was insanely bored and now her parents are coming for a visit, so the place is getting the kind of vacuuming attention it will likely only be able to dream of in the coming months.

Sleep at reasonable hours

And it was over as quickly as it started.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Overheard in the Office: Moving Edition

As you may have heard (if you’ve read any of our entries from the past three weeks), we’re getting ready to move away from our childhood homes, the little “city” where we were born and have spent our entire lives. “Finally!”, you might say. “Congratulations, Anya and Paul! What an exciting time for two young people such as yourselves. Making your way in the Big City, moving forward in your careers (hopefully), paying your own bills, learning to use public transportation like pros, beginning the phase of your life where you can scoff at tourists instead of being one. Hooray!”

Look at how much fun I’m having in the great new city! What could possibly go wrong?

Those would be the things you might say if you were a functional person who learned of good news concerning someone you generally like. Other acceptable questions or comments include:
-Are you more excited or more nervous?
-That’s so exciting! Where are you going to be living?
(note: this does not include follow up questions or comments such as “with who” “how much are you paying for that” or “oooh that’s not supposed to be a very safe area”)
-This the best time of your life to do something like that, I’m sure you’ll love it!
-You’ll be fine!
-Everything will be fine.

This is all we want.

Unfortunately, while lots of people are still savvy enough to obey social niceties despite their misgivings on our behalf, and several even seem genuinely happy for us and enthused about the direction our lives are taking, quite a few others missed the boat. As you may have guessed from our ‘Overheard in the Office’ feature, our co-workers are among the top offenders, having missed the decency memo, and instead we have received a motley collection of passive aggressive comments, pointed questions, and what could be called advice if you were stretching the meaning of the word to its utmost.

Enjoy the following transcription of actual things people have actually said to us:

“How will you be able to afford to eat meat?!”

“’s good to be nervous...if you weren’t...I’d have to think you weren’t....all that bright?”

“I don’t want to pay like $6 a load for laundry as soon as I get there when I can just wash it all here for free!”
“Don’t be so cheap!”

“Are you going to be living in a high-rise?”
“Cardboard boxes are only one floor.”
“Hey now, maybe it’s a refrigerator box!”

“Oh...that’s like one of the most expensive cities in the world, isn’t it? Like how much are you paying for your apartment? So the two of you are living together then? Just the two of you? Oh, how many bedrooms?”

“So...what are you going to do?”

“Oh I lived there many years ago, back when it was safe.”

“Just make sure you know where you’re going. You can turn a corner and suddenly be somewhere you didn’t want to be!” (this one is actually legit, just a little terrifying)

“Ok who wants to serve cake and who wants to serve ice cream? It’ll be good practice for when you have to resort to working in a restaurant! Haha!”

“Well, you’re going to hate it for the first six weeks, and after that it could go either way.”

Here’s hoping it goes the right way?

Wish us luck! And looking forward to an upcoming article “Our Guide to Gracefully Handling Surprise Parties”, followed by “Our Guide to Accepting Compliments (Even the Back Handed Ones) Without Sounding Like an Asshole”. We’re a fount of excellent advice!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dealing with Dream People

Admittedly, we can occasionally be a smidge unreasonable. We generally feel that because we’re aware of our flaws, we’re a little bit ahead in the game (and we are so very aware of our flaws, both real and imagined). This blog serves many purposes, one of which being a medium for us to discharge some of our shit into the ether. We do not expect this to incite any change within ourselves, nor for anyone to identify with our bizarre “problems.” We are literally just throwing it out there, hoping that someone can at least be entertained by the weird crap we have to (choose to?) live and deal with.

Today, we are delving into the depths of our subconscious minds. Yes, dear reader, we are once again entering the realm of dreams (this time sans prophecy). We have never really mastered the art of lucid dreaming, and the dreams that we remember, more often than not, seem to take us down a rather unpleasant path. We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve come into work in the morning, shared the fucked up fragments of our upsetting dreams and mused over why nobody has invented some kind of magic pill to stop you from remembering your dreams (something more sustainable than getting super drunk every night).

Forget-Me-Nows are also not a great long-term option.

Even when we have good dreams, we’re left feeling cheated that we’re not actually on a beachy vacation with Matthew Crawley. No matter which way you spin it, at the end of the day, dreaming is a bitch. If not always, too often to be worth it.

These guys know what we’re talking about.

Now, we’re not going to rant about our nightmarish visions of swimming with sharks or chewing on tinfoil. These are things we can deal with, feeling safe in the knowledge that neither of them will ever actually happen with us. The dreams that actually cause us the most strife are the ones inhabited by terrible (sometimes terribly realistic) versions of people we know IRL, our family members, exes, friends, significant others, and random acquaintances. You know the kind, where you wake up crying because you’ve upset your mother or your girlfriend cheated on you...right? Just us? Great.

The thing is, we have this bad habit of carrying those feelings with us for the rest of the day. If Anya dreams that The Libertarian left her alone in a scary room full of alligators because he had to save his dog, she’s a little grumpy with his real life counterpart until he apologizes for his dream self’s actions. Totally rational. If Paul dreams that he was on an island full of people from high school and they cannibalized Anya for the sake of survival, she’s grumpy about that too. At least in these cases we can debrief in the morning, pour out our dream angst (often revealing deep seated fears) and go about our day.

Whatever gets you through the day.

We’re going to feel really, really alone if this has never happened to anyone else, but we’ve both had those dreams where we see someone we once knew, someone who fucked up big time and is now blacklisted, comes back to either haunt us or apologize. Somehow, it’s equally terrible either way. You wake up either half in love with some asshole who ripped your life apart and left you stress puking for months, or freshly wounded and pissed as hell. GOOD MORNING! TIME TO GO TO WORK!

For example, the other week Anya had a dream that literally combined every lifelong fear she has with her worst recurring dreams into a nightmare smorgasbord that couldn’t have been worse if it was concocted by her own self-hating alter ego. It was truly creative mixture of banal anxieties and deep seated fear rooted in life choices, involving the Cheating Bastard, an unwanted pregnancy (there’s no other kind ‘round these parts), and trouble navigating the subway. How are you supposed to recover from that shit when you can’t even roll over and say “Babe, I dreamed you were an asshole, fix it please?”

Reason number 153829 we need this shit.

Spending hours or even days in a funk born of an unfortunate nocturnal encounter with a ghost from the past is just not even fair. We’re trying to move on with our lives, deal with our shit, etc. and our goddamn subconscious just can’t let it go. Feeling a little guilty over x, y or z? Here, have a dream about how all of those things are ruining the lives of people you love. Maybe all of these shitty dreams are actually good for us, allowing our minds to work through some of our emotional baggage or current life challenges, but last time we checked, dream science wasn’t exactly a concrete field, so, for the time being, keep it.

Tell us we are or are not crazy?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Guide to Running into People You Unfriended on Facebook in Public

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that our Facebook friend lists are similar to our real life friend lists, in that they are both smaller and hopefully more meaningful than those kept by many of our peers. We are more than simply not impressed by your 1500+ “friend” list, we are in full-on “Really!?” mode. This is just another way that you’re doing it wrong (“it” being Facebook, but also probably life). Are you maintaining any sort of meaningful relationships with all of these people? Do you think that you could answer, “Who’s [NAME]?” to every single single entry if we went through your list?

We could go on and on, but we’re not here to rant or lecture today, we’re here to help. If you’re anything like us, you semi-annually have a Facebook purge (which should never be annoyingly advertised with a “If you’re still reading this, then I didn’t delete you!” post). To stay on our Facebook friend list, a person must be someone who:
A. Hasn’t completely fucked us over/broken our hearts
B. We would actually call a friend
C. We have seen in the past year and will likely see in the next year (mutual friends, co-workers, classmates, etc.)
D. We cannot delete because of obligations/guilt (childhood friends, weird family members, references, etc.)
E. Provides us with some form of entertainment (funny cat pictures, links to thought-provoking articles, general ineptitude, etc.)

Rarely is the deletion a malicious act. Time goes by. We change schools, jobs, locations, and group affiliations, and we cannot keep up all of the relationships we begin during all these different periods of our lives. Life goes on and we gotta clean that shit up. However, it’s inevitable that you will, at some point in your life, run into an ex-Facebook friend. This can be a difficult situation for both parties, the unfriender and the unfriendee, especially when each of them almost always knows who did what.

Oh God, I wish this wasn’t happening

Last weekend, Anya went out with the Libertarian to the local breakfast joint/drug den and was OF COURSE seated next to a booth full of people we went to high school with, the makeup of which ranged from ex-lover to vague enemy. After the typical “how long can I go pretending that I haven’t noticed you sitting there?” she and Paul’s ex-lover feigned surprise and greeting at the same time. Now, obviously the dynamics here are many and varied, but the real fuckup here was that Anya mentioned to one girl at the table how much she enjoys seeing her dog pictures on Facebook (this was genuine, but also a good indicator of how swimmingly that conversation was going).

Fine, the dog is not quite this adorable.

Having unfriended at least two other people at the table in the name of Why Should I Give You A Window Into My Life You Creepass, this probably wasn’t the best thing she could have said. Learn from her mistakes, and adopt one of the following techniques to deal with the icy silence or hurt confrontations from those you thought you had left behind.

Option A: Lie, lie, lie some more
Coming in very low on the maturity scale is our first option, just lie about it. This works especially well for people who are technologically incompetent and/or prone to believing things like “if babies are born underwater they have gills”. When confronted about your sudden disappearance from their Newsfeed feel free to say anything ranging from “Oh my gosh, it’s so weird, I think Facebook just deleted a bunch of my friends for no reason!” to “Yeah, I’ve been trying to rebuild my friend list since my Facebook was hacked.” (Also can be used to explain your Spotify boy band fetish) You’ll both feel pretty bad afterwards, but it’s better than admitting “I don’t wish ill upon you, I just literally couldn’t care less about your crappy job/sad engagement/Tumblr reposts/life.”

Option B: Completely awkward and inappropriate avoidance
Anya opted for this, the middle of the road on the maturity scale. This maneuver is only good for encounters that you know for a fact will be brief and situations where you have an obvious and readily available escape route. It’s very simple: avoid eye contact, talk about very generic topics with anyone in the group that’s not them (the weather! your pancakes! that unfortunate looking baby your mutual ex friend just had!), and then flee as quickly as possible. If you’re good at this sort of thing, definitely do the all encompassing smile greet so they can’t say you completely ignored them, because you were addressing the whole group with your concerns about the state of the five year class reunion plans (namely, that it’s happening). Hit it and quit it, rip it off like a band-aid, etc.

Option C: Be an adult and pretend like it never happened (ideal)
This is how we deal with the people in our lives who have fallen out of favor or are on the shit list: we suck it up and have a civil conversation with them. In order to apply Option C, we need to believe that the person we’ve unfortunately encountered has the good sense to join us in ignoring the fact that we don’t care for each other and just focus on getting all of our humblebrags in before we are able to go our separate ways in the elevator/on the street corner/down the hallway. In this case, you will need to rush in and get busy catching up before they have time to bring up the fact that you must not care that much about what they’re doing since you UNFRIENDED THEM like six months ago.

Hannah’s “friend” on her recently published memoir: “It just really poured out of me!”

Good luck!

Friday, August 9, 2013

He Said/She Said: Our Weekend Away (Again)

You may remember that some time ago, Paul and Anya both ended up on taking weekend trips to the exact same Resort Town on the same days...but not together. Lo and behold, lightning strikes twice. Last weekend, in grim anticipation of our impending move, our families dragged drove us to a small town in our state known for its boutique shopping and waterfront dining for some quality family time. Hooray!

While Anya’s family spent Sunday looking at overpriced jewelry, eating a delicious lunch, and seeking out gluten free ice cream cones, followed by antiquing and a farmer’s market, Paul’s family mostly focused on taking a lovely waterfront walk and craft beers. We all know who got the better end of that deal. Nevertheless, enjoy the rundown!

Actual thing Anya found antiquing. Why are they priced separately!?

My weekend started with a delightful trip down memory lane in the form of a going away party thrown for a good friend from high school. Love her, excited for her, life is great. Life is less great when that party includes a lot of people that would have gone to the high school reunion that I’m purposely skipping because I don’t want to see anyone. That with our family day trip?’ll see.

THE OLD FRIEND: Are you still dating that...I don’t know how to say this. That Jew?
ANYA: Um, no. No? It’s fine. I mean he was Jewish.

THE SISTER IN LAW: Have you seriously not seen Magic Mike? It’s so great. And when I saw it, I was like literally before now I did not even know the human body was capable of that. Like I did not know that the male body could possibly do the things his body did. I couldn’t believe it. It was like, amazing. We can watch it right now, I have it on DVR. We can watch it RIGHT NOW if you want, just say the word. I have it on the tv, I can fast forward to that part. We don’t have to watch the whole thing.

Add “Magic Mike dick flopping gif” to our list of poor work Google choices.

NEVER GONNA HAPPEN: So you’ve been watching Buffy?
ANYA: Oh, yeah.
NEVER GONNA HAPPEN: Oh yeah that’s a great show. Who’s your favorite character?
ANYA: I mean I love Angel, he’s great. I like Giles a ton.
NEVER GONNA HAPPEN: What about Xander?
ANYA: Ugh, no I hate him. He’s so sad and boring and pathetic.
NEVER GONNA HAPPEN *literally backhands her arm*: No! He’s great! He’s the best!
ANYA: Jesus Heist, I should have seen that coming.

THE SISTER: I always say, if you don’t want to hold on to allllll this, you can get out! Big girls need love too! (She probably weighs 100 lbs)

ANYA: Oh my god, this tub is amazing! Take a picture of me in it for Paul!
THE MOTHER: I’m not sending nudies to your friends.
ANYA: Jesus Heist, I’m not getting naked in the yard of this antique shop!

It was truly a thing of beauty, even without me in it.

THE FATHER: Quoted the hit WE show, Marriage Boot Camp for the *entire* weekend, and has not stopped at the time of this writing.

It’s good to be us!

I spent a few nights in Artsy Summer Town with my parents and younger brother, spending most of Sunday with my godfather and his family at their cottage. The weekend was filled with fatty foods and the above-mentioned microbrews. Here’s the thing, I’m all for having a good time, but getting blackout drunk with my family was not something I ever needed to experience. And unlike when one (read: I) has hazy memories of an evening out with friends, whom you can ask and (hopefully) laugh with about the blank pages, these are chapters I have no access to. My mother is having a rough enough time with the upcoming move without adding “My son is an alcoholic,” to the mix. I spent Monday morning pretending like I remembered events after 8:00pm, deciphering texts sent to Anya, and secretly puking while showering.

THE GODFATHER: You definitely wanna have Chris Christie come to your Fourth of July party! Who the fuck would have wanted Romney at their goddamn anything!? Ah well, I’m probably going to vote for Clinton.

Never gets old.

THE FATHER: We're shopping for things to put in our summer house, which is currently still our winter house.

THE GODFATHER’S WIFE: Okay, this is going sound a little weird, but have you ever felt your grandfather’s spirit in your house?

PAUL (after ordering whitefish pâté): You guys have seen Heathers, right?
PAUL: What are your lives!?

“Great pâté, but I gotta motor if I want to be ready for that funeral.”

THE GODFATHER: Get my godson another drink! (repeated line)

PAUL: Can you please be a little nicer to our waitress? Can’t you see that she’s been crying?
THE FATHER: Oh, I thought that was just her funny makeup. (which, in his defense, was red and yellow)

THE MOTHER: I was really afraid you were going to throw up in my car last night.
PAUL: Ha. Ha. Ha. I was fine, why would you think that?
THE MOTHER: Well, you weren’t exactly vertical.
PAUL: I was just really tired!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Overheard in the Office VI

It is time to once again visit the sticky wicket that is our workplace. We are counting down the days, fielding the rude and bizarre questions, and grimacing through the heaps of unwelcome “advice.” We’re pretty sure that we can make to our last day without completely losing our shit on an unsuspecting co-worker, but our pool of patience is rapidly draining. Luckily for you, our pool of office oddities knows no bounds.

Luckily for us, nobody at the office has ever been able to see through our fake smiles.

“They actually do make over-the-counter vertigo medicine. Would you like me to go grab mine?”
    -Frazzled Feminist

“My sister and I went hooking last weekend, we’re first time hookers!”
    -No Boundaries

If you only knew how many times we’ve heard some version of this REALLY FUNNY joke.

“You know, my husband used to live in New City when he was in the army and (whispered) he was the only white person on the street, but they were all nice to him, it was fine! They all like him.”
    -Spacey Secretary

“I have a funny girls story, want to hear it?”
    -That Guy

“And that was the first time I showed him my christmas tree.”
    -Edge of Retirement

“It looks a lot worse than it actually is, I just only keep giant bandages at home because that’s what I usually need.”
    -Overzealous Hire

“Oh wow, that haircut looks really good on you! It kind of reminds me of my brother’s from the ‘70s and he used to be quite the looker!”
    -Faded Hippie

“You’re not going to hire that girl who brought her mom along for her interview, are you?”
“Well, we’ll see if anybody else passes their drug tests.”
    -Spent Supervisor

At least we’ll be gone before the inevitable psychological breakdown.

“I’m just gonna check out some of the kids out here if that’s ok.”
    -Random Creeper
“Oh, sorry, my daughter’s here?”
    -Random Creeper

“And then the they sent me the Mormon bible, with gold leaf pages and my name embossed on the cover, and you know, I felt spiritually raped!”
    -No Boundaries

They can’t all come in the form of Emma Thompson.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Top 5 Episodes of Buffy Season 3

Anya has powered through another season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so here we are to once again rank our favorite episodes. It’s impossible to read any list of “best” Buffy episodes without thinking, “I can’t believe s/he included/left out [Episode]!” Hopefully you can find some of your favorite moments below, and that we can at least all be in agreement that Buffy is an all-around great show.

Season Three is an all-around great season. Unlike the rough and intense ride of the darker and more emotionally taxing Season Two, this season is much steadier trip, slowly building up to its cathartic ending. This season will probably be the only time where our list of favorites actually follows the sequential order in which they aired. This season may not reach the intensity of Season Two, but in terms of overall watchability, this season has fewer episodes that you might be tempted to skip on a rewatch (perhaps the fewest out of all the seasons). As usual, spoilers throughout for the entire show through this season.

5. “Band Candy”

“Whoa, Summers, you drive like a spaz!”

We begin with “Band Candy.” Buffy, resenting her mother and Giles for denying her the freedom and privileges of adulthood, spends a day in their shoes, when all the adults in Sunnydale are turned into obnoxious teenagers from eating Ethan Rayne’s tainted candy bars. We finally get a taste of the days Giles spent as “Ripper” and we also get a hint that Joyce liked to have a lot of fun in her youth. We love Willow seeing her shirtless, stage-diving doctor at the Bronze and we love the eventual payoff to Giles and Joyce’s cop car sex with Buffy’s temporarily telepathy in “Earshot.”

This episode is the only time on the series that Principal Snyder is ever likeable, and even then, it’s only from the knowledge that was such a clueless boob in high school. Pretty much everything that he says is gold, but highlights include:
“Oh! There’s some foxy ladies here tonight!”
(to Oz) “You’ve got great hair.”
“Let’s go do doughnuts on the football field.”
“I can do that too, I took Taekwondo at the Y!”

4. “Lovers Walk”

“You’re a very bad man.”

After being spurned by Drusilla, Spike returns to Sunnydale to give the pot a rather generous stirring. The drunk and depressed Spike enlists (read: extorts) the help of Willow to win Drusilla back with a love spell, kidnapping her and Xander and storing them in his old factory lair (“He’s probably just got ‘em locked up in the factory.” “...How thick do you think I am?”). During his time in Sunnydale, he has a wonderful reunion with Joyce (“Well, Spike, sometimes, even when two people seem right for each other, their lives just take different paths. When Buffy’s father and I started having trouble-” “But this is different, our love was eternal, literally! You got any of those little marshmallows?” “Let me look.”) and calls out Buffy and Angel on their bullshit “friendship.”

Willow and Xander allow their sexual tension to culminate at the worst possible time, celebrating life (and its probable end) with a heated kiss, just as Oz and Cordelia come to the rescue. After a stairway collapses, Cordelia is impaled and the scene fades to funeral, causing the audience to spend a (retrospectively) humorous 30 seconds thinking she’s dead, before the camera pans to Buffy and Willow walking outside of the cemetery talking about how she’s okay. Classic.

3. “The Zeppo”

“Did I mention that I’m having a very strange night?”

This is one of Paul’s all-time favorite episodes. Ordinary Xander Harris finally gets to shine on the center stage, experiencing a wild night of raising the dead, losing his virginity, and saving the school, only his friends are too busy preventing another apocalypse to notice. The usual meat of the show (Buffy’s relationship drama, Big Bad/Monster of the Week) is pushed to the side of the plate, allowing Xander’s plotline to be main focus of the episode. The audience thus only gets to see snippets of the action happening with the show’s de facto major players. We hilariously barely get to see the Hellmouth monster (“My god, it’s grown.”), and we never get to see any part of Angel’s brush with death or what Giles did that Buffy called “the bravest thing” she had even seen.

The show makes fun of its, at times, over-the-top action and drama, also featuring a delicious scene where Xander interrupts a soap-level of camp exchange between Buffy and Angel. Xander is forced to get through the night with his own special set of skills, receiving no aid from his supernatural friends. This gives him a boost in confidence and maturity, allowing him to end the petty war waging between Cordelia and himself.

2. “Prom”

“We’re not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t noticed you.”

“Prom” is a no brainer for this list, and the only episode so far that has really eked tears of our Anya. Although she flatly refuses to buy this whole Angel comes all the way back from the dead but still has the same deal going with his soul curse and they can never be together thing, we see the breakup coming from a mile away. Once the Mayor got in Angel’s head it was so. over. We have all that that high school moment where Buffy lays her sad little Slayer head on Willow’s lap and says “I feel like I’m dying”. (Fun Wikipedia fact: Sarah Michelle actually did cry for like half an hour after their onscreen breakup, and they had to close the set for her to recover.)

Paul warns Anya that the end of Prom is the happiest moment that will ever happen on Buffy: the Class Protector Award, and Angel coming through in the end for a last dance. We know Buffy’s sacrifices and hard work are rarely recognized, and that shiny little umbrella really hit Anya where it hurts. That and Angel in his goddamn tux prompting a “I knew he’d come through for me! Uh, her. Yeah, come through for her” text. The whole episode is an emotional rollercoaster, even engendering sympathy for Cordelia when her poverty (and sad, sad “relationship” with Wesley) is revealed.

1. “Graduation Day”

“Guys, take a moment to deal with this: We survived.”
“It was a hell of a battle.”
“Not that battle, high school.”

Graduation: a perfect finale for Buffy’s time in high school, and some of the most tense moments of the season, especially for a first time viewer. The Mayor is Paul’s favorite Buffy villain EVER, and we both enjoy his chipper attitude and sunny tone mixed with his completely fucked everything else. His affection for Faith highlighted how pathetic and love starved they both were, and they fact that Buffy lured him with her knife, of all things, was the final cherry on that twisted sundae.

Paul is a big fan of “Poor old Faith”, which Anya can’t get behind. Despite her hatred of Buffy’s foil, she did enjoy watching her arc play out on screen. Is this what Buffy could have been without her support system? It’s a tragic arc, from start to finish. The stabbing, the spiteful jump to avoid helping Angel, the final visit to Buffy to help her win in the’s all Faith through and through.

Speaking of arcs, we can see that this episode/finale is the end of an era. High school is over, and some of our characters are heading their separate ways. Anya was forced to admit that Angel won’t be back for real this time, Cordelia is off to be vapid elsewhere, and Xander isn’t quite making it to actual college for the time being. We liked that this really felt like an ending, though only a couple episodes into season four, Buffy herself says “it’s basically just like high school.” Too true, Buffs.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Best Moments from Orange Is the New Black

Like everyone else in the internet universe (well, everyone who is anyone), we’ve gotten sucked into the new Netflix phenomena, Orange Is the New Black. Anya started watching in a fit of my-boyfriend-moved-away-and-now-I’m-SO-BORED, and Paul wasn’t long behind her, being a gentleman of distinction who never lets himself fall behind when it comes to popular culture. We haven’t finished unpacking our own thoughts on the show, instead becoming caught up in a morning-long argument about which fucked up person is the worst character on the show. So today we’re just running out a list of favorite moments from our weekend long binge watch. Please remind us of all the ones we’re missing!

Our Favorite Moments:

Miss Claudette’s Crime

After all the of rumors swirling around this lady’s crime and the glimpses we got of her back story, we weren’t convinced that she was as hardened a criminal as they made her out to be. Maybe her cleaning company just got caught up in some wonky tax evasion! Right? But when we saw her at the door of this dude’s apartment, we knew it was o.v.e.r. for him. Ice cold, Miss Claudette. Fantastic.

WASPs in Prison

Carol Chapman is the same ‘well-meaning’, passive aggressive, and impossible wealthy white mother who just can’t understand her daughter’s choices that we’ve seen in a million places. Except visiting a prison! OF COURSE she is scolding Piper about her waning fertility when she has fifteen months to sit in Litchfield. One thing this show does so excellently is place familiar characters, conversations, and dynamics in a place most of us can’t/never want to access. Yes, your mother will still be needling you about her imaginary grandchildren when you’re serving time. Some things never change.

Tastee BBQ

We really can’t add anything to the perfection that is this scene, except to say that we LOVE Tastee and are so glad she can’t handle life on the outside. Sorry, girl!

Alex in Dryer Purgatory

Despite the fact that it was under false pretenses, we kind of enjoyed watching Piper and Alex working together and getting their old dynamic back. Though we don’t generally support infidelity, Larry sucks and prison is boring and sad with no flirting, so go for it ladies! Another thing that makes this show gripping to watch is the fact that any genuine and poignant moments are still happening in a setting that seems absurd to us. Can we identify with being imprisoned for our drug running past? No. Can we identify with poor Alex, trapped and saying desperately “Don’t leave me!”? Fuck yes.

Red’s Withdrawal Remedies

We’ve seen fierce loyalty to Red from many of the girl since the first episode. They’re all perfectly willing to starve Piper out, and she rules the kitchen with an Iron Curtain (oops, we meant fist). We like that in this scene, we see part of why that is. Nicky puts up quite a front with everyone, from issues with her mom to her breakup with Morello, but we finally get to see why she is unquestionably devoted to Red, as well as the softer side of the sassy and hardass cook.

Boy Meets Troubled Girl

The flashbacks to Piper’s old life had shown us a lot of her relationship with Alex, and a lot of the “uptight” juice cleansing, prison survival guide reading, soap making hipster she became with Larry. We loved this scene because it showed us that she really did try on different lifestyles with her different relationships, and that safe Larry who orders Chinese (remember the scene with Polly before her wedding?) is a refuge from crazy Alex, whose life got to be way too much for Piper to live with, rather than some kind of natural soulmate connection.

Pageant Perfection

I mean, come on. What a fun beginning to an episode we knew couldn’t end well. Loved the different takes on Christmas, and the semi secret talents of the inmates coming to light (Hair’s Annie Golden singing for the win!). Nicky’s retelling of Red’s terrible joke was the highlight for us, and another reminder that Red is the mother she never had a functional relationship with.

Yoga Jones Confesses

We were big fans of Yoga Jones and her gravelly voice from episode one. When she punched Watson in the face we were both like “oh shit!” but also “oh...shit, what DID she do?” When she finally confessed and that poor earnest prison guard came in to try on her Tough New Attitude, it was the blend that this show does so well of hilarious and irreverent and heart wrenchingly sad.

And our new favorite quote to defend our...strong opinions? “I used to have a temper. Now I have a passion for justice.”