Posts filed under ‘Pop Culture’

Excerpt from “Who Wants to Marry a Savant?”

Nicole Mitchell was her name. All of the girls at our high school called her “Nicole Bitchell” because, as I often overheard, she was a “heinous bitch on wheels.” I didn’t know Nicole well enough to confirm the accuracy of all the rumors that surrounded her, and I didn’t care. All I know is that she had an exceptional voice.

I was a freshman. She was a senior. We had dress rehearsal the night before the opening of the spring pop show, and all the choirs were practicing together for the first time. The freshman show choir had just finished our final song, and we sat on the risers instead of leaving the stage. We cleared a path in the middle for Nicole, who planned to begin her performance of “River Deep, Mountain High” right after our number ended. Our choir director told us to pretend we were at a concert with Nicole as the main attraction.

Nicole entered the stage at the top center of the risers as the fog machine began to gently huff. She wore a white, strapless dress that was so tight you could practically see the outline of her ovaries and so short you could . . . Her curves spilled out of both sides of the dress, and her tangerine stilettos added nearly half a foot to her petite stature. The background music began to play as Nicole slowly strutted down the risers. I gazed upward at her, as instructed by our director, as she drew the microphone to her plump lips.

When I was a little girl
I had a rag doll
The only doll I ever owned
Now I love you just the way
I loved that rag doll
But only now my love has grown  

Nicole paused on the last step. She tilted her neck back.

And it gets STRONGER in every way
And it gets DEEPER let me say
And it gets HIGHER day by day

Nicole arrived at the front center of the stage just before she began singing the chorus. Her chestnut hair cascaded down her back, ending at the top of her ample backside.

And do I love you, my oh my?
River deep, mountain high, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH
If I lost you, would I cry?
Oh how I love you, baby, BABY, BABY, BABY!

When she began the next verse, I felt a sensation—foreign yet familiar. I don’t remember the rest of the performance. I just remember feeling giddily nauseated by her white-hot aura.

March 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

I was so busy—and so  distracted—I almost didn’t find time to read Google’s newest updates to its privacy policy. The changes would be enacted on March 15, and the symbolism was not lost on me. With less than an hour before the consummate adjustment, a friend dropped off a hard copy of the policy updates. She had altered the text so that a video camera couldn’t easily pick it up.

The apprehension festered in the pit of my stomach. I read down the page to the important part:

Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes.

A rigid lump welled up in the back of my throat. The broad scope of the language made me dizzy. I scanned the rest of the document. The policy was concise, so I quickly memorized it. Of course, I could have summed it all up in one sentence. But let’s not go there yet.

As I drove toward The Dalles, the following language kept playing in the back of my mind:

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Lolly’s Top 5 Hip Hop Hits of 2010

See also Lolly’s Top 5 Hip Hop Hits of 2008 and 2009. Coming very soon: Lolly’s Top 5 Hip Hop Hits of 2011!

I have no life. Law school is my controlling, jealous, guilt-tripping mistress/mister. I have been meaning to finish this post since December of 2010! The one thing I always have time for is listening to the radio on my commute to and from school. While top 40 stations leave a lot to be desired, they always have a steady supply of upbeat hip hot hits.

2010 was an incredible year for hip hop!! Eminem solidified his professional and personal comeback with his June 21 release of Recovery. “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” (featuring Rihanna) topped the charts, and his other singles and collaborations also enjoyed much success. Rihanna and Beyoncé continued to excel popularly and critically. Kanye West graduated with a PhD from Hip Hop University, and Runaway was his dissertation (Runaway transcends categorization and ranking, so it is not included in the Top 5). Hip hop dominated top 40 charts, and many of the hits were memorable. Below are my five favorite hits from 2010:

Runner-ups: “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars, “Bottoms Up” by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj, “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj, “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green, “Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)” by Pitbull featuring T-Pain

#5 Young Money featuring Lloyd − “Bedrock”

#4 Far*East Movement featuring Cataracs and Dev − “Like a G6”

#3 Kid Cudi featuring MGMT − “Pursuit of Happiness”

#2 Nicki Minaj − “Your Love”

#1 Chris Brown featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall — “Deuces”

January 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

Even if you think you have nothing to hide, it always makes sense to cover your e-tracks. When it used to matter, I had three browsers I’d use for different purposes. Google Chrome was for email, LinkedIn, casual browsing, and other activities I generally didn’t need to purge from my record. Firefox . . . I forget. And then there was Internet Explorer.

At one point, I had two YouTube accounts—one I’d open with Google Chrome, and the other I’d open with Internet Explorer. But then they made you link your YouTube account to your Google account. So I linked my “legit” account to my Google account and dropped the other one, the Internet Explorer one. So there were some videos I just didn’t get to see after that. Which was a shame. It wasn’t like they were illegal or immoral or wrong or anything. I just felt paranoid about looking at anything restricted through my Google account.

I liked at least to pretend I was anonymous. That’s what I’d use Internet Explorer for—all of my anonymous activities. I had some silly username like gemini84 (I’m a Sagittarius and wasn’t born in ’84), and I’d change my password regularly (It would always be something nonsensical like &%$#fraDujlKja9899i9W23). None of that ultimately mattered, but at least I felt I had a sense of autonomy and privacy in a world of virtual spotlights and actual predators.

Turns out I was wise to drop that YouTube account, never to enjoy those restricted videos. Somewhere out there, they really do have more records than the KGB.

December 5, 2011 at 12:28 am 2 comments

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

Professor Heart Attack (not to be confused with Professor Heartache) used to always tell me that the future—and the now (then)—was all about information sharing and social networks. He had a bit of an obsession with Mark Zuckerberg (and, incidentally, with me). He used to tell me things like, “If I were Mark’s father, I’d tell him to marry you.”

It just so happened that I was a freshman at Princeton when Mark Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard. (No, I don’t know him personally. I know a handful of people who went to Exeter with him, but whatever. It doesn’t matter.) When I joined Facebook my sophomore (or was it junior?) year in college, back when it was called “The Facebook,” I had no idea what a key role it would play in my undoing.

I used to resent that Professor Heart Attack, more than 30 years my senior and (last time I heard) without a cell phone or personal email account, was so ahead of my time. He was seemingly compassionate, extremely intelligent, not at all attractive, cosmopolitan, wealthy, and—it turns out—deeply insecure and duplicitous. It seemed cruelly ironic that he—of all people—appeared to escape the disaster when most of us had our worlds ripped out from under us.

Of course, he hadn’t anticipated the ultimate irony. Neither had I.

October 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm 6 comments

PG-Rated Homoerotica

Stay tuned for “PG-13 Homoerotica.”

Boys just want to have fun!! In one of many great scenes from The Rules of Attraction, Paul (Ian Somerhalder) and Dick (Russell Sams) enjoy a little friskiness on a hotel bed before heading down to dinner with their pill-popping moms. George Michael provides the soundtrack. Enjoy!

July 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm 3 comments

John Boehner’s Doppelgänger

Is it the tangerine hue of his skin? Or the antagonistic look in his green eyes? Our beloved Speaker of the House sure does resemble Scar, the villain from The Lion King.

April 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm 1 comment

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