10. Snuggies, Slankets, and Nuddles... Oh My
You know when you're sitting on the couch, huddled under a fleece blanket, enjoying that Jon & Kate Plus 8 marathon when all of sudden, it's 2 a.m. and Alexis and Aaden Gosselin are replaced by Property Latter? You're not about to watch yet another show on house flipping, particularly if its host isn't struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder, but the remote is aaaallll the way on the opposite side of that cuddly covering, as is your hand and the thought of moving your arm from under that afghan is just too much to bear. Fear not, incredibly lazy individual who has some sort of desire to look like a survivor of the Heaven's Gate mass suicide because this year, the infomercial market abounded with an answer to your problems-- blankets with sleeves.
The tampon-esque list of things the Snuggie (and its replicas, the Slanket and Nuddle) allows you to do is probably my favorite part-- if can only imagine if I entered my dorm room and my college roommate was wearing one of these friar frocks or if my family members showed up at a sporting event fresh from the parish. I recommend you all invest. Sure, we're all trying to cut back during these tough financial times, but for a mere $27.90, you can use your hands again.
9. The Best of Both of Miley Cyrus' Worlds: Chillin' Out, Take It Ho
You would think with the extremely high level of overexposure newly 16-year-old Miley Cyrus reached over the past 365 days, she would be cautious after someone hacked into her Sidekick and exposed some PG-rated pictures of her and her friend (sadly, not BFF Leslie) at a sleepover at the end of last year. But the Nashville native clearly could care less about her thousands of elementary school-aged fans since it seemed like every week, we saw a "leaked" picture of Miley pursing her lips together, lifting up her shirt, and exposing her midriff in a mirror Myspace style self-portrait. Vanessa Hudgens may have been the first to break Disney's squeaky clean seal, but Miley tore it open with the same teeth she used to lift up her top.... again and again. So where was Billy Ray's achy breaky heart during all of this photo leakage? I'd guess directing.
8. NKOTB's Still Got It (The Right Stuff)
Having not had an older sibling, I kind of missed the New Kids on the Block boat a bit. Yes, I know the lyrics to "Step By Step," "Hangin' Tough," and "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and sure, I had a Joey Mac doll and continue to hope he always stays the same, but I was a bit young to appreciate them during their time. Thus, when they made their big move back with The Block, I could appreciate the excitement of those five years my senior, but it wasn't a must-see show for me. Still, when I was invited by my friend Chris and his sister, Bridgette to attend, I was not about to turn down the experience of seeing NKOTB fans past their prime. Between the text messages sent to stage-side screens about their desire to be Donnie's "cover girl" or others looking for some "face time" with Joey (all inside New Kids jokes I eventually caught onto), Jordan Knight's solo performance augmented by a wind machine and an open button-down shirt, new lyrics with timely pop culture references ("gotta know if you're made at me before Grey's Anatomy" being my undeniable favorite), and choreographed microphone-incorporated dance moves,I was absolutely not disappointed. The first time was indeed a great time.
7. Vivienne & Knox Jolie-Pitt: Don't Look Directly At Them
In case it hasn't been made apparent by this point, in my humble opinion, these are hands down the most beautiful human specimens on the planet. Whether they made them or chose them from a third world country that's soon to be on a hot list of places from which to adopt, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have created a family that really shouldn't be stared at for too long out of fear of severe retinal burning. Never did I ever think I'd side with the cheater and his mistress, but when the two of you are that attractive and Jennifer Aniston is that annoying, exceptions can be made.
6. Scene & Heard, Thanks to Metro Station
Whip out one of your pre-school cartoon tees, preferably featuring robotz and dinasawrz, pull on your denim miniskirt (or brightly colored skinny jeans), tease the crown of your hair, slide on a series of illogically combined bracelets, practice your MySpace self-portrait pout, pierce an odd portion of your face that really doesn't have enough skin or logic to be studded (i.e. upper lip), clip on a baby barrette, cake on the black eye make-up, get a really deep tattoo (preferably in Edwardian Script font) and you can likely call yourself a Scene Kid-- or at least, a Scene "poser," thus illustrating the likely unintentional misspellings that are super popular amongst these kids.
Despite my former job [un]fortunately allowing me access to the awful speech patterns, seemingly inability to bathe, and faux retro fashion of this newest clique categorization, I must say, I've come to love the king and queen of this movement-- Metro Station's Trace Cyrus (yes, as in Miley's half brother) and his girlfriend Hanna Beth. Trace's face is even more horselike than our favorite at number nine and he has the same tendency to remove the opposite area of his clothing and photographing it:
The extreme Cyrus exhibitionism (note: I await the day Billy Ray exposes the lumpy cranium below his ever-changing mullet) combined with Trace's bands' immensely catchy "Shake It" and "Seventeen Forever" (which, if you watch the cameos carefully, is quite the family affair) and the fact that these guys take themselves as seriously as cancer in space full of carnies, only makes me love all things scene that much more.
5. Lindsay Lohan Made the World A Little Bit More Comfortable With Lesbianism
It's a relationship as illicit as it is explicit. The public fights, the co-deejaying gigs, the sapphic chain-smoking breaks, and the not-so-secret MySpace blogging messages that have made up this year-long romance have given us the hope that a) The L Word is more realistic than previously imagined and b) perhaps we're closer to accepting same-sex relationships than the disappointing passing of Prop 8 this year would allude. I mean, sure, Lindsay and Samantha (not Sam) are no Mrs. and Mrs. DeGenerossi, but seeing a gay couple on the celebrity relationship pages of Us Weekly and Seventeen alike (not that I don't still flip through the holy grail of all things traumarama, which may or may not still be addressed to me at my parent's house) does show that some sort of shift in the right direction is being made.
Plus, despite the fact that Linds literally didn't release one movie in the past year, she managed to maintain a level of A-list tabloid fame solely due to this forbidden female love affair. Though the always-thoughtful fatherly figure Michael Lohan might think Samantha is ridding on Lindsay's coattails, we all know who's guiltiest of that offense:
4. kanYe West HAS BLOG RAGE !!!!!!!!!!11!!!!1
We all know that mixing liquor and technology is quite dangerous. But some people really need to stay away from the keyboard when they're angry as well. Enter Kanye West, also known as the self-proclaimed greatest human ever to take a step on this planet. This year we learned many things about Kanye via his blog, the first being, he knows who's on the up and up. Exhibit A) Under his regular "Fresh Kid" feature, Kanye brought us this budding comedienne-- Ellen DeGeneres. I don't know if any of you have ever heard of her or anything, but if Mr. West has taken her under his wing I'm sure we'll see more from her soon, like maybe on NBC for an hour long five-year running talk show, for example. Exhibit B) This ANGELINA JOLIE entry. The looks vaguely familiar, but I'm not quite sure I've seen any of her work before. So I took some time (thanks to Kanye's reposting of her incredibly trustworthy Wikipedia page, as he did with Ms. DeGeneres') to read up. I suggest you do the same. I think she'll reappear at some point.
The second thing I learned from my time at Kanye Universe City is that ScarJo is the white girl he'd leave yo ass fo. It's still hard to say how'd she stand up against the black female community, but this is quite the feat for Scarlett. Next to producing the year's most boring music video, I'd say this is her greatest achievement of 2008.
And the final lesson Mr. West schooled me in this year is that if you cross him, he will bust a serious CAPS LOCK on your ass. When the World Wide Web took to its pages to bash Kanye's delayed performance at Bonaroo Music Festival this summer, even grafitti-ing port-a-potties to say "Fuck Kanye", Mr. West had enough. In his UNTITLED blog entry, we found out that his anger manifests itself in a tendency to replace the word "to" with the number 2, excessive punctuation, overused capitalization, product placement, f bombs, and marine name-calling. Basically, it's like an angsty teen's entry about her ex boyfriend she dated for three weeks. For example, "I'm typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!" I'm not sure if this is desperate attempt for Kanye to assert his manhood by claiming his fingers are strong enough to destroy a five-pound computer, but that statement definitely struck fear in the hearts of many. Kanye Went on to say, "I HAVE A FUCKING LIGHT SHOW DUMB ASS, IT'S NOT CALLED GLOW IN THE DARK FOR NO REASON SQUID BRAINS!" So "Glow in the Dark" is not ironic? That's a shame-- I'd given him more literary credit than he deserves apparently. Also, Squid Brains? Them's fighting words. I'm quite familiar with this insult, but I'd imagine it's somewhere in between Doodie Head and Fraidy Cat. Given the fact that Kanye is obviously full of these damaging insults and has the strength in 10 fingers to destroy the world's lightest laptop, I think it's safe to say no one will deface him on a public portable lavatory ever again.
3. Mashups Make Me Wanna Make Love In This Club
Though I previously thought of this combined form of online media as a creepy form of fandom in which people edit pieces of movies or TV shows together to make it look like there were sparks between two platonic characters thanks to some well-timed soft rock, this year, I learned how enjoyable mashups can be.
I'm not sure how people are able to coordinate an anthropomorphic rat and his bandmates' movements and mouths with Usher's "Love In This Club" or Bert and Ernie's puppet lips with gangsta rap or Barney crankin' that with small Asian children, but I appreciate their efforts and I thank them for forever tarnishing my love of Munch's Make Believe Band and making me want to hop on over to the nearest Chuck E. Cheese's to see if perhaps they've switched from country time jamboree jams to the sounds of sensual R & B.
2. Tina Fey Proves I Can See Genius from My Living Room
It's easy to look like former Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin-- poof up the crown of your hair (preferably using Bump Its, for the Amy Winehouse in all of us), put on a pair of thin-frame glasses, and step into the skirt suit your mom wore to your Bat Mitzvah luncheon and, as a plethora of Halloween costume goers could attest to this past October, you're good to go. But the former SNL head writer and current head genius behind 30 Rock, Tina Fey really outdid herself. Words cannot adequately describe my immense love of the woman who has yet to let me down with a Thursday night episode (including bringing on two of my least favorite people in the universe-- Jennifer Aniston and Oprah-- on for guest stints) and seeing her back on Saturday nights for a month straight was almost too much for my heart to handle. Although some might view it as abuse of her celebri-tay, I think it's safe to say we (being the United States of America under Obama) owe Tina for making sure the MILF-cum-GILF stayed in the land where the largest number of teens get knocked up and turkey slaughtering isn't cause for concern. Needless to say, it's a good think that the Alaskan governor's chances in D.C. were licked. Right, Piper?
1. Britney... 'Nuff Said
For those of you who have known me since a 16-year-old Britney Spears first emerged on the scene amongst her male-dominated pop music peers like Ricky Martin, *NSYNC, and Will Smith in 1998 with this gem, you know how smitten I was from the start. Needless to stay, the last few years (otherwise known as the Catastrophic Post K. Fed Era) I've been worried. Admittedly, my faith and devotion both began to dwindle as Britney simultaneously began to lose her children, blond tresses, sanity, and underwear; but deep down, I knew a true comeback (Note: can't we just pretend the '08 VMA's never happened?) was on the horizon. And when "Womanizer" premiered in late September, I received the greatest birthday gift I could have wished for. It was indeed Britney, bitch... and she was back. Sure, the song has fewer lyrics than her previous tracks (likely because she's unable to remember more than 10 words at a time) and video is essentially "Toxic" redux (with added sauna scene for his pleasure), but I'm just glad she's put down the green umbrella and clippers long enough to get her shit back together. Yes, this year's VMA's may or may not have been staged in Britney's favor and she was obviously treated like a slow kid on the short bus who was given a bit of a head start in a game of hide & seek, if all it takes is a couple moon men (and a less busted weave) to put her back on track, it's well worth it.
Expect more on Brit's comeback when I complete my Northeastern stalking session of The Circus tour in March.
So happy belated 2009 to all! Here's to an even better last year of the first decade of the 21st century, with a lot less of this:
And a whole lot more of this: