December Cliffnotes

So while I’ve been peppering my holiday season with dinner parties, ugly sweaters, midwest-winter-proof boots, and Michigan Ave Christmas shopping terror, my RSS feed has been racking up the posts. And of course I can’t skim the 800+ list of pop culture newsflashes so I have too many posts itching to be shared and not enough time to write-up the thorough overview that they each deserve. I’m going to try a quick list and cut my commentary down to a sentence or two (ha). Now, if your conscience can handle it, you can skim the headlines.

– Since working at my study abroad internship, I’ve developed an itch to travel (naturally). This translator strips down all the fuss of learning unnecessary terms like “Hi” and” Where are the restrooms” to the only phrase one really needs while abroad: “One beer, please!”

– I want to see Sherlock Holmes mostly for the love of Robert Downey Jr kicking ass in a top hat. But I read enough Sherlock Holmes in middle school to know that most true Holmes fans would not respect this new side of Holmes. Robert Davis at Paste breaks it down.

– And now I have found my excuse to travel Europe next summer. Eddie Vedder. I want to go to there.

– I read this blip five times and still don’t understand it. But I like it. Tom from Parks and Rec teaming up with TV on the Radio‘s Dave for a mixtape? My thoughts exactly.

– My feminist heart flutters when I see what awesome things silent storm Mindy Kaling is doing in the comedy ring. Can’t wait for more info on the movie she’s writing. I have high hopes that a female-written RomCom could actually give the female leads a stronger role.

– It is about time Arcade Fire created a new gives-me-chills album!

– As promised, the remixes on Norah Jones’ The Fall are slowly leaking onto the net. You have to track them down. Chordstrike can be your guide.

– JayeL Audio gives us an early Christmas present with a two part mixtape for the holidays. Also, he wouldn’t be a good music blogger if he didn’t give us his rundown of the top albums of the decade.

– It’s getting hard to open myself up to new comedy shows seeing as I am very close-minded to the idea that there could be anything better on TV than the Thursday night comedy lineup (Community, Parks & Rec, The Office, 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). But somehow Drama Queen ABC premiered a wholesome yet smart sitcom for the new American Dream, Modern Family. Austin Ray at Paste explains.

– Apple breaks into the streaming audio industry after buying LaLa. I hope some excellent streaming playlists come out of this (ahead-of-their-time engineers and emerging markets aside)

– If you are dedicated to Megabus like I am and sing its praises for cheap and non-sketchy rides to and from Chicago and Detroit like so many of my Second City transplants are, check out this deal: 100,000 free rides from January to March!

– I missed this ABC Family special of TWENTY Pixar shorts, which I usually think are more hilarious than the full-length movies (which is really saying something). Lucky for us, its airing again Dec 18th. Setting the DVR right now.

– It makes me crazy that cell phones are only built to last the duration of your 2 year plan. Perhaps this Japanese self-repairing paint that makes scratches disappear is the key to a longer life. But that would just throw off the whole scheme that cell phones companies have perfected now wouldn’t it?

– Imagine the trouble Hansel and Gretel would get into at this Godiva Tokyo building.

– For reasons that I cannot explain (but probably have a lot to do with social media-pushing in my classes) I’m really trying to get more involved in Twitter. I see it more as another news outlet and less of a way to connect with my friends, of which none are on Twitter. I’ve said before that I think corporations got to Twitter before the people did. The media convinced us everyone was on Twitter, when really none of us were. But maybe this Mashable list of Top 10 funniest twitterers (tweeters? twitts?) will help me getting into the spirit of the 140 character phenom. And Bill Cosby tweets!

– I’m not one of those English geeks who love talking about punctuation but I do love listening to English geeks who love talking about punctuation. especially the obscure one. Such as the interrobang.

– So maybe there are some cool things on Twitter. Like this guy, Neil Gaiman, who is working on a crowd-sourced written novel via Twitter (too many New Media terms for one Christmas-break-enjoying grad student to comprehend!)

– I have a second-rate-Liz-Lemon relationship with Nellie McKay since I’ve discovered her. Adorable, funny, doesn’t take herself seriously, and she can sing! Check out her new album, which is a tribute to Doris Day, Normal as Blueberry Pie.

This one is for Andrew. Artwork in sidewalk cracks goes hand-in-hand with castles in bricks.

– In Regina Spektor news: Jay-Z is sampling her on a new track and she’s working on the score for a new Broadway Musical. I think my head is going to explode with female-singer-song-writer love. Now if only Neko Case could guest star on 30 Rock and make my fantasy world come true…

And I will leave you with this:

– Ben Folds and Nick Hornby write a song for Levi Johnston. There’s really nothing more I can say about that. Just listen.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!


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