Moxie’s Resolutions for Everyone Else: The 2017 Edition

What a crazy clusterf**k of a year it’s been. I’m ready for 2017, but there are a few things I’d like y’all to do better, okay? Hence my annual resolutions for everyone else. On with the show.

Stop using “Ch-Ch-Changes” as an editorial or article title (editors and journalists). If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen this popular David Bowie song used as a title for an op-ed, editor’s note or even an article, I would not need a day job. Now that Bowie is no longer with us, how about honoring his memory by NOT using this song as an article title anymore?

Participate in the 2018 California State Fair by having an exhibit in the exhibition hall (California counties). 

Create a buddy movie or sitcom starring Gwendoline Christie and Miranda Hart (British film/TV industry). If you’ve watched “Game of Thrones”, you’ve likely seen actress Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, the tall, powerful female knight who has sworn to serve the House of Stark. She’s fabulous.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones.” Strong, powerful, flawed character and one of the reasons I keep watching.

 

Gwendoline Christie, actress, British actress, Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

Gwendoline Christie all dolled up for awards show.

Just as fabulous is the statuesque actress and comedian Miranda Hart, who had her own sitcom on BBC and has been in several films, as well as on PBS’s series “Call the Midwife” as Chummy.

Miranda Hart, British actress, British comedian

Miranda Hart, British actress and comedian.

Why not put these two tall, lovely British ladies in a buddy movie or sitcom? Rumor is that “Miranda” is returning – how about a guest spot for Gwendoline, hmm, Miranda? Maybe Miranda dresses up as Brienne for a fancy dress party and ends up in some wacky situation where she is mistaken for Gwendoline?

Make US Postal Service-compliant stationery and cards (stationers and greeting card makers). 

Declare a moratorium on remakes of movies that are less than 50 years old (Hollywood). I feel like I’ve made this resolution before but once again in my life, I am freakin’ Cassandra yelling at the Trojans to not let that damn horse through the gates. Reading this round-up at Den of Geek got me extra annoyed. I get that there’s an assumption on the part of film producers and major studios that a remake has much better luck at doing well at the box office, but come up with some new material, okay? Or just make another sequel or prequel to an existing property, since you’re doing that already.

Accept that email is not a secure form of communication (federal government, Democratic National Committee, and, really, everyone). If we learned anything in 2016, it’s that email servers can be easily hacked. Honestly, I think there’s a lot of ignorance on the part of politicians and others about email security. Unless you work for the NSA, CIA or FBI, or you’re intentionally using email encryption software or services, assume that none of your emails are safe from prying eyes, and act accordingly.

Create/produce a TV drama about Baltimore that’s positive & uplifting (Josh Charles).

Kill Flash Player already (Adobe). I feel like this has been a resolution in years past and yet this stupid thing continues to exist and slow down everything on my computer. Please, for the love of Steve, just kill Flash already.

Get a smartphone already (Pops). He’s had an iPad for a few years now, and the iPhone is not that much different, yet Pops refuses to get a smartphone. He says “my phone is smart enough to work,” and I appreciate that, but the moments when you are dealing with crappy traffic because your Garmin doesn’t tell you about road closures are moments you can avoid with a smartphone that’s equipped with Google Maps and Waze.

Restore Jerry’s Subs & Pizza to its former glory (DC, MD and VA sub-loving citizens).

What are YOUR resolutions for everyone else?

Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 3: The Good – Plus Netflix Revival Wishes and Predictions

ICYMI: Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

And now, the things I really liked about Gilmore Girls – including how a scene in the final episode allowed me to forgive many of the show’s missteps over its seven-season run – and what I hope we’ll see in the Netflix reboot, which will be four seasonally themed episodes of 90 minutes each.

Secondary Characters

These are the characters I loved watching. They took the clever dialogue and ran with it, making the character their own.

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). Photo courtesy Fanpop.com

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy) – She steals every scene she is in, from her banter with Lorelei to her kitchen mishaps. The courtship of Sookie and Jackson is fun to watch, as they are both so inept and clueless at dating, which I can relate to more than I’d like to admit.

 

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn). Photo courtesy BuddyTV.com

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn) – Kirk’s deadpan delivery and full on commitment to everything he gets involved with, whether it’s Taylor’s latest scheme to improve life in Stars Hollow or an entrepreneurial venture, won me over. In some ways he’s a small town Cosmo Kramer on sedatives.

Taylor Doose (Michael Winters). Photo courtesy theodysseyonline.com

Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) – While Taylor was often annoying, his commitment to Stars Hollow and his ongoing battles with Luke and other townspeople about the most ridiculous things was truly amusing.

Gil, Gilmore Girls, Hep Alien, Sebastian Bach, Keiko Agena, Lane Kim, rock and roll, drama, comedy, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino

Gil (Sebastian Bach) with Lane Kim (Keiko Agena).

 

Gil (Sebastian Bach) – Who would have thought that the lead singer of Skid Row would make such an awesome character on GG? As soon as he showed up to audition for Hep Alien and brought the band sandwiches, I knew he was a keeper.

Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann) – Richard was a stuffed shirt with a soft underbelly, as could be seen in his interactions with granddaughter Rory. He was erudite without apology and witty beyond measure. I can’t imagine anyone else having played this role so well.

Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) – Emily’s ongoing battles with her maids and her commitment to keeping up appearances often had me laughing. I also appreciate characters who love a good martini. The chemistry and banter between her and Richard (Edward Herrmann) was fantastic.

Edward Herrmann, Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls, Richard Gilmore, Emily Gilmore, Amy Sherman-Palladino, television, comedy, drama

Richard and Emily Gilmore in a classic scene. Photo courtesy Buzzfeed.com

A special shout out to GG for explaining the significance of owning a Birkin bag. Regular readers of GWM know how upset I got over Mindy Kaling’s use of Birkins on her show, so when I got to the episode in which Logan gives Rory a Birkin, and Emily’s reaction to hearing that Rory got a Birkin, I was very pleased.

As an aficionado of pop culture, I enjoyed all the clever pop culture references. There were many I missed or didn’t understand, but they added a lot of brevity to the show. According to a December 2015 article on Vulture.com, there were 284 references to movies, 339 references to books Rory has read or is reading, and 396 songs heard on the show. Amy Sherman-Palladino has said that she wanted the show to be something everyone could enjoy, and I think the references added a little something extra to students of pop culture, without alienating those who aren’t.

What got me to forgive all the show’s missteps with plots and characters? The final episode, which demonstrated what GG was really about: the relationships between the townspeople. The Gilmore Girls may have been the focus and the pitch, but the true star of the show was the town of Stars Hollow. This collection of quirky characters was a true community, loving and fighting and coming together to support each other when it was really important. It was a scene in the final episode, “Bon Voyage,” when Babette, Miss Patty, and several other characters were gathered under the tent, looking at Rory with love and pride, that got me all choked up and saying, in true Gilmore referential fashion, “That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.”

Still from the “Bon Voyage” episode, the series finale. Photo courtesy lovelace-media.imgix.net

The Netflix Reboot: My Wish List

The four-part reboot of Gilmore Girls is currently in production. According to TV.com, each 90-minute segment focuses on a different season of the year, and the first segment will be “Winter.” While the roll call for casting is pretty well known at this point, the plot lines are sketchy at best. Here’s a few plot lines/scenes on my wish list:

Kirk is married with kids and one of his kids is just like him. This has the potential to be very funny and charming, with the right child actor in the role. 

Lane & Zach are managing a Christian rock band with their twins as members. Maybe one of Kirk’s kids keeps trying to convince them to let him/her into the band. 

A Mr. Kim appearance, even if it’s a visit to his grave (in the same cemetery as Richard Gilmore, perhaps). GG viewers never saw Mr. Kim, and nothing was ever said to indicate if he was alive, dead, or if he had left the family. We want to know! 

Luke has completed the boat. After all that fussing over the damn boat for so long, let’s see it out on the water, Luke at the helm, with Lorelai pretending she’s Rose from Titanic on the boat’s bow and falling overboard.

Jess and Rory reconnect as lovers. He’s matured enough by now to be a good partner to Rory, even if just for a short time, and after all this time away, she may need someone who knows her back story as well as her passion for good music and books to show her some affection.

The Final 4 Words: My Fearless Prediction

There’s been a lot of talk about the four final words Amy Sherman-Palladino had in mind for the end of the series. Lauren Graham revealed in a recent interview that it’s actually an exchange between characters. In light of this revelation, here’s my prediction on what the script looks like for those final four words:

INT. LUKE’S DINER – NIGHT

LUKE is behind the counter, wiping down equipment. The diner is deserted except for LORELAI sitting at the counter.

LUKE

More coffee?

He holds the carafe above LORELAI’s mug, waiting for her answer. She looks up at him, waits a beat. Their eyes are locked on each other.

LORELAI

Yes, please.

She lifts the mug with her left hand. An engagement ring is on her finger. Luke pours the coffee into her mug and smiles coyly at her. Lorelai smiles coyly in return. The camera pulls back to show the couple talking and laughing through the window of the diner.

FADE OUT


Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 2: The Ugly – and a Bonus Look at Rory’s Boyfriends

If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here.

Now let’s move on to the ugly stuff of Gilmore Girls: the plot points, characters and situations that added nothing of value to the show, were a complete departure from how the writers had originally depicted the character(s), or general commentary on stuff that wasn’t working for me. Plus, a bonus look at Rory’s boyfriends!

The Ugly

April Nardini, Luke’s long-lost daughter. April makes her first appearance in S6:Ep 9, when she approaches him for a DNA sample for a science project. (We’ll ignore the question of why any junior high science teacher, fictional or real, would allow a kid to go all Maury Povich for a science fair project.) If there ever was a cousin Oliver character that should have been eliminated, it was April. Her presence relegated Luke to becoming a caricature of himself. If the showrunners didn’t want him and Lorelai together, they could have found a better way.

Jackson Belleville and the Case of the Invisible Vasectomy

There are so many problems with this subplot that kicked off in S5, Ep 21. First off, where is this magical universe in which a tired wife and mother is allowed to schedule a vasectomy for her husband without his knowledge and consent? Cause I know a lot of women who would like to live there. Secondly, dedicated viewers of GG know about Jackson’s “four in four” wish/demand (meaning four kids in 4 years), and the non-conversation he and Sookie had about children. Why didn’t the writers address this as a point of contention early on? I’ve read that Sookie’s surprise third pregnancy was more about accommodating Melissa McCarthy’s real-life pregnancy, but surely the producers and writers would have known about this early enough to create more of a real-world plot in which the couple realizes how different they are when it comes to family size, child rearing, etc., they briefly separate, come back together (with at least one scene involving Lorelai and Sookie talking intimately about her marriage, of course), and decide to have baby #3.

Luke’s sister Liz, her husband T.J., and new baby were pointless and annoying. Were they supposed to be comic relief? An annoyance to distract from the craptastic plot lines going on? I think I just answered my own question. You win, showrunners.

Send ’em back to the Renaissance Fair circuit, please.

Lane’s wedding and subsequent pregnancy with twins. Huh? This seems like the most unfair of all the subplots, because it flies in the face of Lane’s rebellious streak. C’mon, Helen Pai, I’m sure you knew plenty of Adventist girls who secretly went on the pill and had premarital sex. I know I did. If she’d had premarital sex with Zach, I bet she would not have married that idiot.

Lane Kim, Lane and Zach get married on Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, The WB, Keiko Agena

Lane and Zach’s wedding. Photo courtesy foreveryoungadult.com

 

Plot issues starting in S5 through S7. Before I began watching GG, I read a lot about how awful S7 was, and how many fans feel they are owed a do-over because S7 was so awful. Now that I’ve binged on the series and done some research, here’s my hypothesis: the plot lines, especially related to secondary characters, were the problem beginning with S5. Amy Sherman-Palladino is pretty outspoken when it comes to the issues she had with network brass about her future with GG during S6. I suspect her relationship with the network started going bad during S5. I can’t prove that she and her husband, co-producer Daniel Palladino, ruled with an iron fist when it came to secondary character arcs, but considering how cohesive the show was up until the whole Jackson vasectomy incident suggests to me that they were distracted by dealing with the suits to be paying much attention to the little details. When I looked at S7 writers on IMDB, there was at least one long-time GG writer, Rebecca Rand Kirschner, who continued writing episodes, and Sherman-Palladino said it herself:

We left it in the hands of our writers. We had smart and strong writers who had trained with us, so we felt like if we can’t be there, it’s at least in the hands of people that we know are going to honor the spirit of the world that we set up. – Amy Sherman-Palladino, ET Online

With all of this in mind, I suggest that the shark was jumped starting with S5, Ep 21, thanks to the Sookie/Jackson vasectomy subplot. Some may suggest that any shark-jumping started with S4, Ep 22, when Rory lost her virginity to an unhappily married Dean, and while that was pretty awful, Rory often put herself in the role of “bad girlfriend” with him, so it only fits that she would do it again by being the other woman.

Lastly, I’m just gonna say it: Alexis Bledel is not a good actor. She is beautiful to look at, but she cannot act.

The Many Loves of Rory Gilmore

Gilmore Girls, The WB, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Jared Padalecki, Milo Ventimiglia, Matt Czuchry, Dean Forester, Jess Mariano, Logan Huntzberger, Rory Gilmore, Rory's boyfriends, boyfriends

Dean (Jared Padalecki), Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), Logan (Matt Czuchry). Photo courtesy MelissaTagg.com

I can’t write a blog post about Gilmore Girls without weighing in on Rory’s boyfriends. That would be sacrilege.

Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki)

Dean was a sweet guy, and the ideal first boyfriend for Rory in many ways, but a hot mess in the end. For Dean to be Rory’s first sexual experience while he was still married was perhaps inevitable, as Rory always seemed to see herself as being unworthy of him and his devotion when they were dating. As the sad sack of a young husband working too hard, Dean’s finally at a level where Rory doesn’t feel “less than” (she is a Yale undergrad, after all).

Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia)

Jess was a hot mess all around, but a good match for Rory in that he pushed her to try harder, do better. Smart girls like bad boys, and if they are reasonably well read and know about obscure pop culture stuff? OH YEAH. Do not ask me how I know this.

If Rory had lost her virginity to Jess, GG would have been a completely different show – but would it have been better for it? Maybe. I think it would have actually grounded Rory in the reality of relationships in a way that being with Dean and Logan never did, and that her mother could never get across. But because having Jess as her first lover would have added a level of gravitas that GG was not about to embrace – it’s a dramedy that wants to stay lighthearted and fun, after all – it could never happen.

Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry)

Ahh, Logan: he’s charming, cute, yet a hot mess. He’s Rory’s match in that he understands the “poor little rich kid” scene in a way that Dean and Jess never could. Logan reflects the worst of Lorelai and Christopher in his own reluctance to grow up, and while he makes some strides by not exactly following in father Mitch Huntzberger’s footsteps, he’s still tied up in family money, because that’s all he knows.

Next week, Part 3: the Good, including the scene that made me appreciate GG despite all its flaws, and what I hope to see in the Netflix revival.


Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 1: The Bad

Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

Photo courtesy vulture.com

Back in the early ’00s, I saw a few episodes of Gilmore Girls, the dramedy that launched the careers of Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel with their depiction of an overcaffeinated, fast-food-eating, wisecracking mother-daughter team. For whatever reason, however, I didn’t fully commit to the show. In late 2015, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about and I binged on seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. I use the term “binge” a little loosely here, because I’d watch up to six episodes in a stretch, then I needed the pop culture equivalent of a Valium, such as a slow foreign film with atmospheric music and long segments of silent melancholy. Sweet cheese on a cracker, those Gilmore women are exhausting.

As I got closer to the end of the series, I decided to write a review/critique post of GG: the good, the bad, the ugly, and what I hope will be part of the revival coming to Netflix. If you’re a huge fan of GG and believe nothing bad should ever be said about the show or its characters, I suggest you move along, because some of what I’m going to say may piss you off. Go ahead, it’s okay. Same holds true if you’re weird about spoilers for shows that have been off the air for years. I’m going to start with the things I didn’t like or that didn’t work for me, aka the bad.

Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Photo courtesy elitedaily.com

Gilmore Girls‘ premise, for those who are unaware, is this: a mother and daughter who are friends. According to my research, that’s how show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino pitched the show to network executives. If we dig a little deeper, the show is about mother-daughter best friends who are only 16 years apart in age and live in Stars Hollow, a quirky little fictional town in Connecticut that’s about 30 minutes from Hartford, where the wealthy Gilmore grandparents reside.

Let’s get two things straight from the start.

  1. Gilmore Girls is a show about rich white people problems. The back story: Lorelai Gilmore is a rich white teenage girl who gets knocked up by Christopher, her high school boyfriend who’s also rich and white, and she runs away of sorts (30 freakin’ minutes away from home) to have her baby and raise the child away from her rich white parents. The issues Lorelai Gilmore faces as a single mom of a teenage girl – in the snippets viewers see on the show – are never life-or-death situations. The first episode is about Lorelai deciding to re-establish a relationship with her parents because she wants their money help in sending her daughter, Rory, to Chilton, a private prep school. Even the references to raising baby Rory in the potting shed at the Independence Inn smack of Marie Antoinette escaping from court life in the Petit Trianon: with just a word, Lorelai can return to the family home, or even live in better quarters at the inn, thanks to her compassionate boss, Mia. But she’s a stubborn, spoiled, rich white girl, and this fact colors every decision Lorelai makes throughout the course of the series. (One example: in S7, Ep 19, her Jeep dies and she doesn’t like any of the newer cars she test drives or looks at, so ex-fiancée/diner owner Luke finds the same model and says he will fix her car using parts from the other Jeep.) Same holds true for the problems Rory Gilmore, Lorelai’s daughter, faces. She may not have grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth like her mother, but she certainly didn’t suffer from hunger, not having a safe place to sleep at night, or lack of clothing and other creature comforts.
  2. Stars Hollow is the West Coast person’s fantasy of life in New England. Sherman-Palladino is from Van Nuys, California, essentially the heart of the San Fernando Valley. She makes no secret of the fact that she based Stars Hollow on a small Connecticut town she vacationed at with her husband. But as we all know, being a tourist in a small town is very different than living there. I grew up on the east coast and spent many a summer in New England, from Massachusetts to Connecticut to Maine. I went to summer camp in a small town in Massachusetts two years in a row. Many of my friends from camp, not to mention my friends from college, were from small New England towns, and they were all relatively normal in their quirks and weirdness. So I feel pretty confident in saying that not every little town in New England is full of the nosy, weird folks that populate Stars Hollow. There are actually normal people living in normal towns with normal civic issues. (That said, I’m a huge John Irving fan and he writes many books set in New England, with plenty of quirky characters. But he’s FROM New England, so he’s allowed to do this, just as I’m allowed to be contradictory.)

I point out these two things, because for me, it helped a little in suspending my disbelief about some of the situations that Lorelai and Rory get themselves into (especially point #1). In my opinion, Lorelai has never really grown up, even though the viewer is supposed to believe she had to grow up too soon, since she was a teen mom. Running away from home – and again, I want to point out she didn’t run that far – put her in state of arrested development. Let us count the ways:

  • she is rarely, if ever, shown cooking a meal at home for herself or Rory, completing a household chore, or dealing with any sort of adult task without lots of whining and pouting
  • she is committed to eating junk food, including pizza, candy, ice cream, Chinese food, and burgers, and often complains about having to eat anything resembling a vegetable

    Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

    This graphic pretty much sums it up. Courtesy Buzzfeed.com

  • she runs back to her high school boyfriend/Rory’s father, Christopher, when she a) breaks up with someone else or b) is avoiding some larger truth about herself

Do I hate Lorelai? No. She’s just a hot mess, which is okay. Flawed characters make for popular TV shows, especially in sitcoms or dramedys. But Lorelai is high maintenance, and for that reason, I needed to take extended breaks during my Netflix binges.

The Bad

These are my nit-picky continuity issues, including a look at how Seventh Day Adventists (SDAs) are depicted in the show. As someone who was raised SDA and attended SDA schools and churches until I was 18 (and I still have many friends and family members who are practicing Adventists), I think I can speak to this topic with some authority. But first, a few random items:

  • I counted at least two instances where Rory says “could care less” – she would not have done that, she’s too smart & well read. I also noted one instance where Doyle says “could care less” – again, he’s way too smart to do that.
  • Hep Alien tour – As the band is in the van heading out on their tour of churches, one of them refers to “the 95” – NOPE! East Coasters don’t preface highway/interstate numbers with “the.”

And now, on to the SDA related mistakes and continuity issues. Based on my research, Helen Pai, producer and BFF to Amy Sherman-Palladino, was raised Adventist. More meticulous GG watchers are welcome to correct me on this point, but I don’t remember a specific instance in which Lane or Mrs. Kim said definitively that they were Adventist. That said, there’s plenty of allusions to SDAs that could have been tweaked for more accuracy and still would have been funny.

SDA References that Worked for Me

  1. Lane’s cache of music, clothing and makeup. I knew a few kids who had to hide any secular music from their super-conservative parents, and at least a few girls who put on makeup once they got to school and wiped it off before they went home. At many SDA schools, colored nail polish was not allowed. Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, Lane Kim, Hep Alien
  2. Lane’s secretive nature about boys. One of my closest friends at SDA school never told her parents when she had a boyfriend because they would have flipped out. I remember how her dad raged when she had co-ed parties in the basement rec room. I think this was partly a cultural thing (she was East Indian) more so than Adventist, but it could have been both.Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lane Kim, Keiko Agena, Hep Alien
  3. Vegetarianism. The references to the meals Mrs. Kim served and her scorn of anything with meat are pretty on point. While I do know a number of SDAs who eat meat, many Adventists strictly follow the vegetarianism that’s a SDA identifier. There was one Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house where my young vegetarian cousins yelled DEAD MEAT DEAD MEAT when Grandma brought out the turkey. Good times. The salad water, though, is an Asian thing.

    Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Lane Kim, Mrs. Kim, Keiko Agena, Hep Alien, vegetarian food, Tofurkey

    Tofurkey is actually kinda tasty, but then my palate was refined by many years of eating meat analog, as Pops calls meat substitutes.

  4. Nonfunctional jewelry. For a very long time, any item of jewelry that wasn’t a timepiece or a medical alert was considered nonfunctional and therefore verboten. Many married couples didn’t wear wedding bands for this reason, and you knew a woman was engaged if she was wearing a really nice watch. It wasn’t until 1986 that the North American Division of the church modified their stance to say that wedding bands were okay. With that in mind, Lane’s line in S4, Ep 3 about getting busted wearing a bracelet at her SDA college had me cracking up:

I wore a bracelet to school today. My parents were called, there was a special service in chapel, and I’ve been ordered to a soul-searching seminar next week. I’ll be sitting between the nail-polish-wearing girl and the spicy-condiment user.

SDA References that Didn’t Work for Me
  1. Lane’s availability on Friday nights, Saturdays before sunset, and a throwaway reference to church services. For those who don’t know, a key component of Seventh-Day Adventism is observing the Sabbath, which for them is Saturday. SDAs observe the Sabbath in the same way as the Jews do, which is that Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. A truly devout SDA parent wouldn’t let their kid run amok with their non-SDA friends on a Saturday before sunset, and yet looking at timelines of a few early episodes, that seems to be the case with Lane. I also remember a conversation between Rory and Lane about Lane being available to hang out after church on Sunday. Uh, if she’s really Adventist, Sunday is fun day. (I don’t have specific episodes to cite here, so you GG devotees can school me on this point.)
  2. SDA pastors don’t wear clerical collars. In one episode, the Stars Hollow church in town cycles through a Jewish service and an Adventist one. They showed the SDA minister wearing a black and white clerical collar. Adventist ministers in the U.S. wear suits & ties, or a blazer or jacket with dress pants. Never a clerical collar.
  3. Rock music in SDA church community rooms. I remember a time in the ’70s and ’80s when the progressive, more liberal-minded SDA church I attended was resistant to featuring any music that involved electric guitars or, heaven forbid, drums, during the main service. By the late ’80s, we had a couple Christian rock bands in the youth room, which got all of us secret (and not-so-secret) rock music fans excited. The more conservative churches in our area were slow to get on that bandwagon (no pun intended). Considering Mrs. Kim’s conservatism, I’m assuming she would have sent Hep Alien to perform at more conservative churches (she set up the Hep Alien tour in S5, Ep 22), so I question whether this could have happened. (If any readers went to a conservative SDA church in the early 2000s and had a Christian rock band perform in the community room, let me know.)
  4. Alcohol. Devout, conservative Adventists don’t drink alcohol. Period. That said, the most egregious error comes in S6, Ep 11. Lane is living at home again after a bad breakup with Zach and is pretty much impossible to deal with because she’s so upset over the breakup. Near the end of the episode, Mrs. Kim has Lane sit down at the kitchen table while she closes the blinds and gets out a hidden bottle of alcohol, pouring herself and Lane each a shot. While this is a nice moment of bonding between Mrs. Kim and Lane, a super conservative Adventist, like Mrs. Kim is depicted to be, would not have alcohol anywhere in their home.
Next week: Moxie’s Review of Gilmore Girls, Part 2: The Ugly


Throwback Thursday: Pepperidge Farm Remembers

Recently my social media friend Starmama posted a factoid about the history of German chocolate cake. Turns out there’s no real connection to Germany; it was simply a cake made using German’s chocolate.

German's chocolate, baking chocolate, baking, cakes, chocolate

German comes from the inventor of the sweetened chocolate, Samuel German. What started out as a cake recipe titled “German’s chocolate cake” ended up being called German chocolate cake. I kinda want to start calling it by that original name again, but I suspect I would be alone in doing so, and all these people would correct me, then I’d get mad and go all Cliff Clavin on them, which no one likes.

This revelation reminded me of all the times Momcat bought Pepperidge Farm German chocolate cake in the frozen desserts section of the store. It was the go-to cake for several years in the late ’70s and early ’80s for my family, whether it was a birthday celebration or other special occasion. As a kid I liked the coconut-pecan frosting; it was decadently sweet but also had texture. Eventually we reached critical mass and became sick of the cake and its cloying sweetness. (We moved on to Sara Lee chocolate mousse, another decadent frozen dessert which changed recipes long ago. We loved our sweets.)

Pepperidge Farm, cake, frozen cakes, frozen desserts, dessert, German chocolate cake, chocolate cake

 

Remembering all those German chocolate cakes got me remembering those Pepperidge Farm ads from the ’70s and ’80s with the “Pepperidge Farm remembers” tagline. I can still hear the New England-esque accent of the actor in the ad…and now you can, too!

What favorite treats do you remember from childhood?

Mindy, We Are So Over

Turns out most of my blog traffic lately has been due to my post on Mindy Kaling and the Hermès Birkin bag sighting on her show. I find it rather amusing, but also interesting that people are trying to find out more about the bag.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my rants about the second Birkin bag Mindy was carting around. (I’ve posted the tweets below, since it’s been a while.)

 

The second Birkin was a lovely shade of geranium pink (not a true red, as it were) and it goes for 16,999 here.

Then there were three.

The third Hermès Birkin bag, according to the folks over at Createurs de Luxe, is valued at over $22,750.

Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum

It was after this third bag that I decided to stop watching this show. I couldn’t even make it to the season finale this past week, which according to a couple TV pundits & bloggers was quite good.

But I have tapped out. All because of three expensive handbags.

Now, to be clear, I don’t have a problem with Hermès, or the Birkin bag. I think they are gorgeous and lovely, and if I had the income that allowed me to purchase one without having to live in my car for a year three years, I would totally do it. My problem is with the production team for “The Mindy Project” and Mindy herself for having this character lug around $56,748 (according to my math) in purses. It requires a major suspension of disbelief that I’m unwilling to do.

If you watched “Sex and the City” you may remember the Season 4 episode “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) uses client Lucy Liu’s name as a way to get herself bumped up on the waiting list at Hermès for a Birkin. That was believable. And I’m willing to give Mindy the luxury of one Birkin bag – the initial Bleu Jean Leather Birkin, to be exact. I can find it believable that a female OB-GYN in Manhattan would have one mega-expensive handbag in her accessory repertoire. But for a character to lug around three different Birkin bags in the course of one season, without any other female character making a comment or wisecrack about the purses, is highly suspect to me.

What’s interesting is that the folks over at Hermès Purse Forum don’t know if the bags belong to Mindy or if they are on loan from a production company. Not sure if the company would tell them, or anyone else for that matter, if the bags belong to Mindy. And if they do belong to Ms. Kaling, it’s time to keep the bags off the show and on her arm in tabloid photos, where they belong. From what I’ve read, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, her character on the show, is supposedly going to Haiti, where, for the cost of just one Birkin bag, you could feed the entire country for a month.

So that’s it for us, Mindy. We’re over. Maybe, in time, we’ll look back on this period in our lives and laugh about how silly it was for me to get hung up on some expensive purse. But for now, it’s best we part. And when I sell my novel and can buy a Birkin of my very own, I promise to consult you first.

 

Office Etiquette, Courtesy of Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins

Back when we were still heavily reliant on phones for communication, did you ever have those moments when you were on the phone with someone in the office next door and you could hear their voice not only over the phone, but also through the wall?

I hadn’t had one of those situations for a long time until today. It reminded me of the office sketches on “The Carol Burnett Show” where Mr. Tudball (Tim Conway) would attempt to get his secretary, Mrs. Wiggins (Carol Burnett) to be more savvy about proper office behavior and telephone usage.

Sure enough, those kids on YouTube posted several clips, so here’s a classic. Enjoy!

The Moxie Herald: This Week’s Headlines

It’s very late – or very early, depending on how you view 2:45 a.m. Rather than go to bed on a full stomach (Joe & I had a late-night feast at Denny’s), I decided to post a few quick updates.

Moxie Feeds the Masses

I thought my Feedburner link was set up properly, but apparently I was wrong. You can now sign up for a feed using the happy orange Feedburner link on the right, under “Ooh, Look, Shiny Flashy Button Thingys!”

Moxie on TV?

On Monday morning I headed to Hollywood and auditioned for a game show, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.” I passed their lyrics test, filled out the application, and interviewed with a casting director. He said I will hear from them in 2 weeks, which in Hollywood-speak means “don’t call us every freakin’ day to find out if you made it, we will let you know if we think you’re cool enough to be on TV.” I will keep you posted. In the meantime, put some good vibes out there that I get picked and that I go on to win a ton of money on the show.

Natural Cures Shown to Ease Sinus Infection Symptoms

Earlier this month I wrote about having a sinus infection, my second one in 2 months – an incredibly rare occurrence for me. I don’t have health insurance right now, and I hate taking any medications, especially antibiotics as I have a nasty reaction to them (hives, yeast infections, and other ickiness). So this time around, I searched the Internet for some homeopathic/natural remedies to help me heal more quickly. I found some good information on this site about using apple cider vinegar diluted in water to help thin out the mucus. (After the mucus has thinned out, you’re supposed to use a cure like oregano oil or grapefruit seed extract to get rid of the infection – I still haven’t done that part, mainly because I am feeling anxious about money.) If you’re a fan of dill pickles, you’ll be able to do a shot of vinegar followed by a chaser of water, because this concoction tastes like what amounts to pickle juice. It does seem to help with clearing out the gunk, though. And from what I read, apple cider vinegar is good for a lot of other things as well.

The best part of the above site, though, was the recipe for tomato tea, which was said to help sinus congestion. The site calls it “tea”, but it’s actually more like a spicy tomato soup with bits of garlic. This stuff was so tasty that I highly recommend making it even if you don’t have a sinus problem. Heck, I will probably use it as a base for vegetable soup when the weather turns cooler.

The recipe that I used was as follows:

  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • dash of no-salt seasoning

Heat in microwave or on stove. Drink or sip while hot.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Jesus Seeks Man, Comes up Empty-Handed

On Saturday night Joe & I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple items. On our way in, a guy stopped Joe and handed him a piece of paper. He said, “Hey man, Jesus has been looking for you.” As we walked into the store, I said, “Jesus has been looking for you? Why, do you owe him some money?”

“Mad Men” Worth Watching

There’s a new television series, “Mad Men”, on American Movie Classics (AMC) that is really good and well worth your attention. The drama is set in New York circa 1960 and follows the exploits of Don Draper, an advertising executive with a family, a mistress, and a burning need to create the next great marketing gimmick. “Mad Men” was created by a writer from “The Sopranos” so the characters are well drawn and the plots are cohesive. “Mad Men” airs on AMC on Thursday nights; check your local listings for air times.

Grilling Tips and Tricks Requested

Two weeks ago, Joe and I finally bought a charcoal grill. I am thrilled because this means I don’t have to be in a hot kitchen this summer. However, I’m not very familiar with grilling techniques, marinades, guidelines on grill times, etc. If anyone has any good resources or suggestions, please post them in the comments. Thank you!

Poll: Comments Feedback

I have noticed that several of my favorite bloggers respond to all the comments they receive within the comments section. Other blogs do not necessarily respond to comments unless a specific question is asked within the comments. I read all of the comments I receive but I very rarely respond to them. So I pose this question to you, dear Girl with Moxie readers: what is your preference? You’ll find a poll on the right – please add your response. Thanks!

Probably the Best Movie Tie-in Ever

Several 7-Elevens around the United States have been converted into Kwik-E-Marts to promote the July 27 premiere of The Simpsons, the full-length animated feature film based on the hit television series. The stores’ exteriors have been temporarily altered to look like the Kwik-E-Mart that is featured on the cartoon, and snacks from the show, such as Squishees, Buzz Cola, and KrustyO’s cereal, can be purchased inside. You can read the full AP news story here.

Now this is brilliant marketing. Hello, Mr. Jack in the Box, are you listening?