Rachel Dolezal and the Problem of Colorism

Like many people, I’ve been fascinated (in horror) watching the Rachel Dolezal “passing” story unfold. I’m not going to rehash the various layers of how what she did was so very wrong or why “transracial,” as it has been used with respect to this story, is not a thing and should not be compared to Caitlyn Jenner or any other transgendered person. Those issues have all been artfully discussed and dissected ad nauseum, and there is little more I could add to them that hasn’t been said before. One thing I have seen very little discussion on, however, is how the discussion regarding Rachel Dolezal’s deception relates to colorism.

“Colorism,” for those who don’t know, is an intraracial form of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, or supremacy based on the lightness or darkness of skin tone. Colorism does not really exist within the white community as an intraracial issue (as there is not as wide a range of skin tones among whites as there are in other races and ethnicities), though whites may exercise some bit of colorism against other groups, where they prefer the lighter-skinned of those groups to the darker [however, I would still classify that as just “racism,” rather than “colorism”]. Although the roots of colorism in the black community can be traced back to the benefits and status afforded blacks during slavery and Jim Crow, colorism continues to persist to this day. And it is a two-way street.

In 2013, OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) ran a documentary called “Dark Girls,” in which dark-skinned black women discussed the ways their skin color has affected the way they have been treated and perceived, largely hurtful. This documentary was followed this January by “Light Girls,” which shared the stories of hurt and rejection experienced by light-skinned black women by questioning the belief that light skin makes for an easier life. Both documentaries have their fair share of acclaim and criticism, both of which is beyond the scope here. My issue is the idea of questioning someone’s “blackness” based on his/her appearance.

Let me make it crystal clear from the outset that I am in no way arguing that Rachel Dolezal can consider herself black. As I have previously stated, self-identification is important, but that self-identification must be rooted in reality. Unless Rachel Dolezal presents a 23andMe or Ancestry.com DNA report verifying some African ancestry [doubtful], there is no reality in which she can be considered a black woman in this country. I am only discussing those people who self identify as black or part-black whose reality and ancestry would support that claim.

Moving on…

One of the things that has disturbed me the most as this story unfolds is watching the amount of colorism spewing forth. From the black men who make comments insinuating Rachel Dolezal “can stay” because she’s hotter than most black women to the comments that people “should have known that she wasn’t black,” because she doesn’t look the part, this story has brought forth my uncomfortable feelings with colorism.

The latter charge feels like an assault on the claims of blackness by those who don’t pass a color check. During slavery and Jim Crow, lighter blacks exercised colorism against darker blacks by way of the “paper bag test” (those whose skin was darker than a paper bag were not allowed to enter) and the “comb test” (you “pass” if a fine-tooth comb can go through your hair without stopping). I don’t know where the color line is allegedly drawn by those asserting Rachel Dolezal doesn’t look black by any reasonable standards of blackness, but it appears that some combination of beige skin + light eyes + fine-ish hair + European features = you fail the Blackness Test. It is not 100% clear to me if, say, Rashida Jones fails because she’s more olive than tan or she passes because her dad is Quincy Jones. Or if she is over the color line, do we get to welcome Catherine Zeta-Jones to the tribe, too? Pete Wentz, yay or nay? How about Mariah Carey? What are black people going to do if we lose Mariah Carey? Does her 20+ year career now become cultural appropriation? And does Amber Rose retain membership to the black community based on that fantastic ass alone?


You see where I’m going with this. The possibilities are endless, numerous, and utterly ridiculous. It’s also hurtful. How dare someone else decide that your black isn’t “black enough.” If someone (rightfully) self-identifies as black or part-black, how messed up is it to say that they just don’t look the part enough to be who they were raised to be? And how ironic is it that the same people who would deny membership in Club Black because someone’s hair or nose is too straight or eyes are too light usually flock to those articles and blog posts about “people you didn’t know are black.” I guess now some of us are ready to kick them all out until we can further investigate their claims of blackness. Oh… We are…

Look, I’m not denying that someone who appears white to most white people is enjoying a great deal of white privilege that darker people of color will never share; but that doesn’t mean we throw away someone’s ancestry, their culture, their life experience, or their identity, simply because they have those privileges. Does it mean there are certain discussions to which they can’t relate because they have never and will never have those experiences? Of course. Does that make them any less black? No.

I guess the only solution here is we’re just going to have to start issuing Black Cards. If your children, siblings, or other loved ones are too light to pass the Black Test, make sure they know to carry their cards at all times when they are not with you until we can get this whole thing sorted out.


Never leave home without it

Or, you know, we can stop telling other black people that they are too white-looking to sit with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1G9TMzd

Spoiler Alert! There are Spoilers on Social Media

All morning, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with people upset that they saw spoilers on Facebook and Twitter about last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Everywhere I look today there are a lot of “Thanks a lot!”s and “You guys suck”s and “Whatever happened to warning ‘SPOILER ALERT!!!’ first???”s. Sorry, my beloved friends and family members. I can’t believe I still have to explain this to adults in 2015, but…

There are spoilers on social media. This is especially true on Must-See-TV nights. And this is most certainly especially true on nights of shows where the network and the show’s creator have not only foreshadowed the “shocking ending” for weeks, but they have repeatedly run ads on television and social media warning you that something huge was going to happen and just how big it was going to be. Heck, it’s not even that hard to figure out from the promos what was going to happen.
Source: Grey’s Anatomy Facebook Page

But you didn’t know anything was going to happen last night, right?

Not to mention, anyone who’s paid attention to media reports already knew that a certain someone committed a cardinal sin in Shondaland—the kind of thing that almost always gets you booted off a Shonda Rhimes show. Apparently, this person didn’t learn any lessons from Isaiah Washington (who at least managed to get himself not killed and was invited to guest on a subsequent episode), Katherine Heigel (don’t let the door hit, you Izzy!), and Columbus Short (RIP, Harrison!). Anyone who is a fan of Shonda Rhimes’s shows know that she does not suffer fools lightly.
But, apart from this one incident in particular, how—seriously, how—do people not know in 2015 that the last place you need to hangout, if you’re the type of person who hates spoiler alerts, is on social media??? Complaining about seeing spoilers on social media when you voluntarily have looked at your newsfeed on an immensely popular television night—particularly one that has been advertised as “changing everything”—is like bitching about getting your hair wet because you left the house without an umbrella when you knew the forecast showed a 90% chance of rain. I repeat:
Sorry, but this one isn’t on your Facebook friend and Twitter follows. If your enjoyment of one of your favorite shows was ruined because you looked at your newsfeed before you watched the episode, to quote Raven Symone, “That’s your fault, boo-boo.”
One of my friends (probably the only one with a potentially palatable excuse) runs her business off Facebook and explained to me this morning that as much as she tries to avoid social media on nights where spoilers are heavy, it’s hard to do that and run a business. I get that, I do. But (as I explained to her) you can use Facebook and Twitter without looking at your newsfeed. Maybe this is conceited of me, but I’ve had entire weeks where I’ve been active on Facebook and haven’t seen my newsfeed once. I go straight to my own profile page, my groups, or the pages of people I feel like seeing that day. Same with Twitter. You can search for hashtags or certain Tweeters or simply just post your own updates and never look at anyone else’s. You can answer Facebook messages without ever looking at a newsfeed, and, in fact, if you are using Facebook Mobile, you don’t even have a choice in this matter, because Facebook now forces you to use the Facebook App and Facebook Messenger separately. There is absolutely no excuse in this day and age for being outraged by spoilers on social media when you have voluntarily put yourself in a situation where spoilers abound.
Some of the comments I saw this morning had people claiming they saw 12 (you heard me, 12) spoilers on their newsfeed last night. Assuming this number is true and not an exaggeration, that person went trolling for spoilers on her newsfeed. In fact, anyone who saw more than three spoilers went trolling for them. With the way Facebook is setup these days, it is impossible to see more than three alerts on your newsfeed at a time (yes, even without pictures). One person even claimed she clicked a link to an article about the episode and was “so upset” that the headline after she clicked spoiled the episode. SERIOUSLY??? Look, if you don’t like spoilers, then avert your eyes when it becomes apparent you’re in dangerous territory. Continuing to scroll through your newsfeed just hoping and praying the next post won’t be a spoiler or, goddess forbid, clicking on news articles about episodes you haven’t watched yet, isn’t the smartest way to avoid something you allegedly hate.
This is social media, folks. Social. Media. The entire idea is for people to interact and engage about their interests, and, yes, sometimes that means they are going to be reactionary about what they are watching on television as they are watching it. If you don’t want to engage, then, until you’re prepared to have that discussion with the rest of the world, maybe you need to unplug?

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1das6Uc

Dear Reality TV and Other Camera-Whoring Celebs—Cut the Bullshit

Earlier this afternoon. Bruce Jenner was in a car accident that proved fatal for at least one person. While causes of the accident are still under investigation, there has been some speculation that the accident occurred when Bruce was trying to get away from paparazzi. If this is the case… Are you fucking kidding me???

I’m sorry, but you don’t get that right. Sure, any other oerson walking down the street, even kids of celebrities or celebrities who (other than red carpet or multi-celebrity events and parties) generally seem to avoid the limelight—we all get that right for a life free of paparazzi intrusion. But reality TV “celebrities” and other stars who constantly pimp their mug for camera time? Nope, not you.
I mean, we are talking about someone who has voluntarily spent several seasons having cameras follow him and his entire awful family around, a man who is currently whoring himself on camera through one of the most difficult life experiences a person can have (and who all but called a national press conference to announce he was doing so). Now someone in the Kardashian/Jenner clan wants to hide from cameras? 
Hmm… Not hiding here…

No. Not this time, buddy. 
You already thrust yourself upon us, practically ramming the life of the Kardashian/Jenners down our collective throats. You wanted fame and 24-hour, around-the-clock cameras? You got ’em! And now you need to take your celebrity (as we say in the legal field) cum onere. You can’t have all the benefits and ignore the burdens. No cherrypicking! You get the entirety of this in-your-face star status you so desperately wanted. You don’t get to run from the paparazzi, no matter how despicable they are.
You signed up for this. You weren’t a royal who was forced to deal with the media. You aren’t the child of a celebrity who didn’t ask for any of this. You aren’t even one of those celebrities who basically stays as far away as you can from cameras until it is time to promote your next movie or album. And you definitely aren’t the other people who were just on the street, minding their own business. And now, because you were (possibly) outrunning those few cameras who were going to sell your picture without the profits coming back to you, someone has lost a life.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
So to the Kardashian/Jenners, the Real Housewives of Wherever USA, and every other actual real celebrity out there who likes to throw his or her face (boobs, abs, and whatever else) in front of the camera at every turn [say, for example, a Justin Bieber-type], you don’t have the right to endanger the lives of civilians simply because a camera who actually didn’t call (this time) was thrust in your face.

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1zuv9yd

Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk (AKA How I Spent My Winter Vacation)

I know it’s been a slow year on this blog, so for those of you who have stuck around, let me first thank you. Whether you’re old or new here, welcome (welcome back) and Happy New Year to all!

Honestly, it’s been hard to write more than rants on Facebook walls or quick blurbs on Twitter. My heart has been really heavy. There have been times where I have just been at my breaking point. I’m fearful of the world we are leaving our children. I truly am. And though I’ve kept on a brave face for my girls and even still found time to find some levity in the world [moment of silence for Joe Manganiello’s singlehood] and have kept myself busy with craft project after craft project, whenever there was silence I couldn’t fill, one thought always came back: we are fucked.
So I could just keep being afraid of the silence, or I could do something.
Pop Culture Dad is from St. Louis. [Yeah, I know]. Between the events in Ferguson and some other things, the likelihood of us making it to our annual Christmas trip this year was low like a girl in a Flo Rida song. But… it’s family, you know? And we only get to see them twice a year. But PCD and I decided that if we were going to go into the belly of the best, some good was going to have to come of it.
I had been following the action on Twitter and Facebook since the very beginning, but realized as Christmas was approaching that I didn’t actually know where to find information on how to get involved. I asked around and got several references for groups looking for lawyers to help out. I got in touch with those groups, and they all said they would get back to me… Then we got to St. Louis and… I just waited. No calls. I called again. I was told they would get back to me. My plan to be part of a solution was being thwarted. And, quite honestly, I felt a little depressed about it. In my head, our entire week in St. Louis was going to be filled with one rally or jail visit after another with us shouting to the family, “Come along or we’ll just have to catch you later!” In reality, it was basically like any other trip to the city: family, food, movie, Magic House. Then finally the morning before we went home to Texas, my phone rang with a text alert:

TODAY (SATURDAY), 2PM: STL’s United We Stand Silent March. Meet at Union Station downtown (18th and Market).

Finally! I informed Pop Culture Dad that, despite all the things we needed to do that day and all the promises we made to family, we were going. He was totally game, but we were also unprepared. On the way there, we ran into Michaels and grabbed posters and markers. The Pop Culture Girls decided they wanted to do their own posters. They did not, however, know how to spell “Black Lives Matter” on their own. So I wrote it out for them and told them they could follow it. Little Diva (being six and all) did a pretty great job. Super Girl got all of the letters, buuuuut, well, they weren’t exactly in any particular order. So she allowed me to make her a new sign, and she decorated it.

Super Girl and Pop Culture Dad
Little Diva made her own sign (“MY LIFE MATTERS”). Mommy probably should have told her yellow on pink doesn’t really show from far away.

This is the adorable sweatshirt hiding under those huge coats. It was far too cold to show them off.
Despite our rushing, we made it to the meeting place in time and ready to go. It was cold (particularly for us Southern folk), and it was rainy. However, this group of a little over 100 people was not deterred. We walked arm-in-arm, silently (except for the children…), with our mouths covered with the names of a victim or victims of police and para-police violence, down Market Street toward the St. Louis Arch. As you can see in my pictures, this isn’t just a group of black people. This is truly St. Louis UNITED. There were people of various races and ethnicities. The ages ranged from 0 to somewhere in the septuagenarian range. There were people of various physicalities and physical disabilities.
You notice how that microphone says “5” (as in “News 5”)? The same reporter during those interviews later stated during the 5 p.m. Channel 5 newscast that he could not confirm that there were protesters in the area. Apparently the fact that he was with us from beginning to end was not enough to confirm our presence. See, people? This is why you need to have a healthy skepticism and distrust of mainstream media.
Now here’s where trolls on Twitter and people within the Arch who have unrecognized and unresolved race bias issues differ from what people outside the Arch will tell you. Trolls on Twitter who were never there have been arguing that the group was violent, raging, and vandalized the Arch (seriously). Anyone with half a brain knows that isn’t true. In fact, you can witness it for yourself. I videoed various parts of the protest, and if you look on Twitter for #STLunited, you will see several people who live-blogged or later videostreamed parts of the protest. In addition to what you can see for yourself, here’s what I can tell you: three of the protesters actually went inside the Arch to use the restroom. Once inside, security had noticed there were protesters, and those women were locked inside. When you hear us chanting “Open the gates!” it started because people were asking for security to let those women out. By the way, the Arch is a free, federal landmark open to the public. Can they restrict entry and exit for security concerns? Of course. Is prohibiting a group from exercising their First Amendment rights in a nonviolent manner in a way that doesn’t otherwise violate laws something that can be done at a federal landmark? Honestly, I don’t know [I haven’t done the research on that yet]. It’s a non-issue anyway. Because I think there is reasonable disagreement as to whether there would have been a security risk (probably something as little as a fire hazard) from allowing a marching, chanting group of 100+ people inside. I’m not saying I agree that there was a risk; I just agree that I see both arguments, and so we don’t even really get to the First Amendment issue. 
What I can tell you, however, is that this protest was most certainly non-violent. As I mentioned, this was a varied group, which included a lot of families. We had a woman in a wheelchair, a man on crutches, etc. This group marched in total silence [again, minus the children, who don’t really get that whole “silent” part of the silent protest] for nearly two hours before we reached the Arch. Yes, there were guys in Anonymous masks. And, honestly, the most annoying thing they did the entire time was smoke in close proximity to children and senior citizens. There was only one person in this entire group who raised my antennae, and I was side-eyeing and closely watching that guy the entire time. And, yes, this guy was the one who, after chants I wasn’t too uncomfortable having my children hear, decided to lead a much smaller group in a round of “Fuck the Police.” That’s one guy, out of over 100. There’s always one. And that one person is not the group. He was not representative of the group at all. In fact, he didn’t even march in close proximity to the rest of us (and I have the picture to prove that too).
The police, who kept a safe distance from the group (because no crimes were broken, HELLO) stay close to the guy I was side-eyeing.
The Arch was not vandalized. We created a “memorial” using the pieces of colored tape that had previously been on our mouths. Easily removable. Does not destroy property. It is no different from when people leave signs, flowers, and other memorabilia on public property. Anyone who calls that vandalism is a moron (and probably also an overreaching racist, but I digress…). As I mentioned on the Pop Culture Mom Facebook page, I’m a government attorney. Do you really think I would participate in or encourage any sort of activity that would violate federal law? Of course not. Any suggestion otherwise is preposterous.
tape bearing the names of victims of police violence
Correction of some of the falsities I’ve heard aside, this was a beautiful moment. I actually cannot find adequate words to express how moved I was by the entire experience. Seeing all of these different people come together was amazing. People who didn’t even know each other and hadn’t even learned each other’s names, were linking their arms and hands to stand united. People were helping each other (picking up the wheelchair together, offering food, holding things to allow someone to tend to children, checking on the children and talking to them, etc.). This total group of mostly strangers came together for one common reason—wanting to make sure that law enforcement and the general citizenry realize that black lives matter too—and it was amazing
Super Girl has the best seat in the house
Arms linked marching toward the Arch

 

Strangers united for a common good

Even more than the experience itself, I was so glad to have shared it with the Pop Culture Girls. Due to all of the craziness going on and the unavoidable conversations in our house that Little Diva is entirely too smart (and too nosey) to miss. I had to have “the talk” with her earlier than anticipated. We had the talk over Thanksgiving. More on that later. But suffice to say, even at six, she understands the gross unfairness in treating people differently because of their skin color, and she can’t believe that there are adults who think it is perfectly fine to support a broken system that systematically treats “the other” unfairly. So, despite the fact that she was not exactly down for all that walking (and none of us were down for the cold and the hail), Little Diva was glad she did the protest. One of the gentlemen who had been gathering everyone together when we initially arrived asked Little Diva at the end what she thought of everything, and she answered “Pretty good. Pretty good for my first protest.”
“Pretty good for my first protest.”
I’m proud of my kids for sticking with the elements and trudging along. I’m proud of my oldest daughter for understanding these issues that are so much bigger than anyone should have to understand at six years old [and, sadly, it turns out she “gets it” a lot better than many adults I’ve seen online]. I’m proud of my husband (and his entire family, amazingly) for recognizing and trying to fight against his white privilege to make a better world for, not just our children, but every child in this country. I’m proud of everyone who was there. 
Every time I get overwhelmed with despair, I look at the pictures from this march and I realize that there are people out there fighting to make a difference. I’m not sure if their work will change everything, but they’re bound to change some minds. Every little bit counts!

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1vHdPR9

It’s a Hard-Knock Life for Us!

Is anyone else as excited about the new Annie movie as I am we are? The Pop Culture Fam won’t be able to see the movie on opening night, but we are going to see it Christmas week.

To get ready, I made the Pop Culture Girls dresses inspired by both the traditional Annie dress and the new one!

Old Annie in the front 

New Annie in the back 

For the pattern, I used look C on New Look A6335. I used sateen polyester fabric (“new Annie” shine) with the red and white combination of the traditional Annie dress. Instead of the recommended leather belt, I made a ribbon sash out of same white sateen. To reflect the new Annie dress style, I made a large bow out of the same sateen material [if you look closely, you can see that the inside of the bow is white—a “traditional Annie” throwback], but put it on the back instead of the front. 
Construction wise, the dress is pretty awesome. My favorite thing about this pattern is that it is fully lined (not something you often see with girls’ casual dress patterns!) and has netting to give the A-line skirt that adorable poof. The pattern includes sleeveless options, too. 


The girls are excited about their Annie dresses, and I can’t wait for them to wear them to the movie!

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1zEI67b

The State of Missouri Got What It Wanted. All I Got Was a Case of the Sadz.

It took three and a half million minutes last night for the DA to slip in the words “no bill” somewhere. I’m still not even 100% sure where. He bullshit through a plethora of explanations of why this is a purely rational result, even though a no bill, particularly where there is so much conflicting evidence, happens less than .001% of the time. The State backfired into the decision it wanted all along. And they forced us to eat it. I, as a black woman in this country with brothers and cousins and friends and sons of friends—all of whom were just given proof that their lives don’t matter—am just depressed and scared. And angry. I’m so very angry about how this was conducted.

The State called a state of emergency two weeks prior, loaded up the army gear, and then announced at 2 pm they weren’t giving the results until 9 pm. They WANTED riots. They wanted to be able to say, “See? Black people are just animals who cannot be reasoned with. We gave them 45 minutes of explanation.”

And all the while they will ignore that the city basically poked and prodded to get this result. They will ignore people’s frustrations, because the very reasons he gave for the no bill (all that conflicting evidence) is the same reason MOST grand juries decide there needs to be a trial. They will ignore the fact that in a town that is more than 60% black, this grand jury was somehow magically 75% white and that the number of white people on the grand jury just *happened* to be the same number you needed to get a no bill. They will ignore the fact that the grand jury listened to Darren Wilson for *hours* (an unprecedented move) including his testimony that “it [Mike Brown] looked like the devil—you read that correctly, “it.” They will ignore the fact that the looters are not *in any way* associated with the protesters and that the protestors have been holding classes and seminars and handing out flyers for *weeks* on how to peacefully assemble. But, most importantly, they will ignore the fact that this is *so* much bigger than Michael Brown. This is about the pain and anger we feel that time and time again, black people, black men especially, are being hunted down like dogs because we merely look scary to white people who can’t process their own internal prejudices and white privilege and refuse to (because they assert it’s *our* fault for “making everything about race”). This is about the fact that every black mother around this country is holding her son so very tight right now, knowing that even her five or six year old could be shot at any moment, with no repercussions for his killer. Because, you know, a water gun in the hand of a black kid “could be real,” but a water gun in the hand of a white kid is so obviously fake, because kids (white kids) wouldn’t dare shoot anyone. 
And meanwhile, I have to deal with white people, even some in my own family, telling me that I need to be more empathetic to how they feel, because they live in St. Louis and might have to keep their kids home… on Thanksgiving week, when the schools were closed anyway. Gee, sorry if I can’t process sadness over your few days on inconvenience when my entire life as a black woman in the his country with black men in my life I love dearly, is one big goddamn inconvenience. No feels given. 

I’m just truly done. 

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1ra0DYV

Nice Try, Target and Campbell’s (Frozen-Themed Soup)

These days, everyone is trying to capitalize on Disney’s Frozen. I mean, I get it. It is the highest grossing animated film of all time. It has been nearly a year, and Frozen mania is still going strong. But at what point does capitalization become just fraud?
Recently, Campbell’s put out a “Target exclusive” Frozen-themed chicken noodle soup to join Campbell’s line of other Disney/Pixar-themed soups. Personally, I think the shaped noodles taste like crap, even by overly-processed-and-likely-to-kill-you-slowly food standards [which reminds me, let me cut the Pure Foods Brigade off at the pass. Yes, yes, I know none of this stuff is good for you. Spare me the sanctimommy]; but the kids like it, so… whatever. 
However, there is absolutely nothing different about this soup from the regular Disney Princess soup. Observe,
Normal Disney Princess soup can:

Frozen soup can:

It is exactly the same. They didn’t even try to pretend to change the contents (other than the misleading front label). They couldn’t even pretend that Arial shape was Elsa? What does a carriage or slipper have to do with Frozen? Campbell’s can figure out how to shape an egg white like  a castle, but a snowflake is beyond their design capabilities?? 
C’mon now!

Maybe I’m exaggerating, but this one is straddling the line between fraud and laziness. These “enchanted shapes” are no different from the “cool shapes”—not even a little bit. 
Am I the only one who thinks they barely phoned this one in?

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1tXBoIf

A Frozen Over Halloween in Texas??

The Pop Culture house is slowly being Frozen over for the coolest Halloween/joint birthday party in the Lone Star State. 

Stay tuned for pictures after the party, but for now, here’s a little taste of Halloween, Arendelle style!

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://www.popculturemom.com/2014/10/a-frozen-over-halloween-in-texas.html

I am SO not the Early Adopter Type (Anymore)

I used to be the ultimate techno geek. If I didn’t buy a product first, I darn sure knew about it before anyone in my circle. And then… life happened (I got one, I guess?). Kids happened. And then iPhone happened. 


I was told very early in my Apple indoctrination induction to never buy the first generation of Apple anything; always give it a couple of months for them to fix the bugs. Every iPhone and iOS release has proven why this rule exists. Apple gets a little twitchy with the releases. Things slip through the cracks—major things (Apple Maps, anyone??). 

And iPhones are expensive, yo. When you have two kids and a whole grownup existence to support, $400 every year [which, really, is a conservative estimate, because if you’re buying a new phone every year, you’re paying full price, so it’s more like $800 every year] for a phone seems a little crazy unless you just have money to burn. 

So once I switched from a non-Apple existence, I never again felt the need to be the first to have something new. Good thing, too, because I’m not the type to camp out for anything, let alone a phone.

I held on to my 3S until the iOS upgrades became unsupportable. Even then, I didn’t switch to a 4 until I switched cell phone providers and didn’t have a choice (3S wasn’t an option). I didn’t switch to a 4S until my trust old 4 flew out of my hands on an escalator and landed two stories below me, face down. That also wasn’t my choice. Some 17-year old “Genius” forced me into it after he sarcastically informed me that they didn’t even carry refurbished 4s anymore, so I was going to have to take a 4S. I skipped the 5, the 5S, and the 5C. 

In fact, the main reason I decided to buy a 6 is because my trusty old 4S wasn’t so trusty anymore. Somewhere around iOS 7.0.whatever, it decided that it would be fun to freeze crash every hour or so. And then that hour became 30 minutes. Then 10. This should have turned me off Apple completely. Instead, it made me crave a new phone. 

Indoctrination. Complete. 

Even with my constantly crashing phone, I didn’t camp out or pre-order an iPhone 6. I (semi-)patiently waited a couple of weeks until Verizon gave me those magic words, “Eligible for an Upgrade.” I waited another week or so for the phone to come off backorder and ship (two weeks earlier than projected). 

And now I have my phone. And I love it. But I also remember another reason I don’t like iPhones within the first couple of months of release. 

Cases

This baby needs protecting. And, so far, the contenders aren’t cutting it.
If that “phone flying off an escalator” reference wasn’t a hint to you, I’m kind of a klutz. Yes, I may be only on my fourth or fifth model of an iPhone, but this is easily my 20th iPhone. I’m not really sure how long my record is for keeping an iPhone without submerging it, breaking it, or having my screen shatter to bits; but I know that record is held by my last phone, which was lovingly protected by a Lifeproof case [suggested by the “Genius” who was no doubt looking at my replacement history when he made the suggestion]. My other phones weren’t case-less; their cases simply failed them. Miserably. 

And here I am with a brand new phone, and Lifeproof can’t even give me an estimate of when is making me wait another month before I can breathe a sigh of relief. There’s not even a waiting list; just a “leave your email address here if you want us to notify you when we are close to maybe someday in the near future releasing a case.” Sigh. 

I have had my new phone for one week, and I have tried out three cases. Three. All bought after hours and hours of wasting time I don’t have research. 

I hate them all. And I hate every stupid blog, article, or Amazon reviewer that led me to them.

There isn’t a single one of these cases that gives me the confidence that if I drop my phone while exiting the car, my phone will survive the concrete. I have already dropped my phone four times (FOUR) and consider myself lucky that each drop has been on laminate rather than tile or pavement. 

I’m a nervous wreck. I’m on edge. Even Pop Culture Dad has said, while staring down Case #1, “That thing will be broken by end of the month.” And he’s probably right. 

There is no room for error here. If this phone breaks, I’m looking at the end of a wait list to get a replacement. And then there’s *gulp* the money. 

Hmm… Maybe I should just get a Jitterbug?

Case #3: Pretty and pretty pointless. No screen protection whatsoever. And it doubled the weight of my phone. Doubled. Yeah… That’s not going to make me drop it faster. 


Case #2: I don’t even know WTF this is. It’s practically paper. 


Case #2: Sadly, I probably never should have abandoned my first “love” [okay, not really. Not fan-girling this one either]. It also lacks screen protection, but at least it was solid, leather, and weighs nothing.

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1vi3z6e

‘Thanks for Sharing’ May Have Ruined My Favorite Animated Musical

So Pop Culture Dad and I were watching Thanks for Sharing, which is a movie about sex addicts, and there’s this one character who’s just royally messed up (yes, even more than the other addicts). He’s also a food addict. Without spoiling the movie, let’s just say he’s (initially, anyway) disgusting and an ass.

I remembered the actor was in this show on NBC where he was the president’s son, who was a complete screw up; but couldn’t remember what else. An hour into it, Pop Culture Dad exclaims, “Holy shit, I just remembered! That’s Olaf!” That’s right. Josh Gad. We watched most of the movie and couldn’t remember the name/previous characters of Book of Mormon‘s Josh Gad. We’ve seen Frozen half a million times but hadn’t placed the voice. Maybe it’s because I cannot even begin to think of Olaf doing the things Josh Gad did in this movie.

After Pop Culture Dad made his revelation, it killed every scene with Josh Gad. Everything he said or did, I just pictured Olaf. Frozen is never going to be the same again.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Originally posted on Blogger (http:/www.popculturemom.com) http://ift.tt/1pyTteF