Author Archives: nrmurph

2013 in Review

With only 2 days left of 2013, now is an opportune time to look back at the days gone by and reminisce about some of the year’s most memorable moments:

The government shut down

We had to say goodbye to Walter White and his Heisenberg ways

Lorde arrived on the airways. Thank the Lord!

Miley Cyrus twerked her way into everyone’s mind whether they wanted it or notMiley

Paula Deen traded in pounds of butter for racial slurs.

There’s a new Pope. And new iPad Air, iPhone 5C/S, Google Glass, and Xbox One.

Kim Kardashian gave birth to her first child, North West, who will grow up to be the most egotistical person in the world.

George Zimmerman got acquitted.

Chris Brown is still a terrible human being.

But Sheryl Sandberg is awesome.

Beyonce blacked out the Super Dome after her half time show in February and then left people feeling like they had blacked out when she dropped a secret album in December. #BowDownBitches

What did the fox say?.. no really, what did the fox say?

And the most important thing to take into 2014…

Justin Bieber is retiring!

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Cory Monteith: Gone Too Soon

When I woke up yesterday to the news that Cory Monteith had died, I was in a state of shock. Initially, I couldn’t process the words I was reading- it just had to be a joke, a dream, or a really bad plot in a show I was watching. Cory couldn’t be dead, he was only 31!

coryExcept unfortunately he is, and while we don’t yet know the cause of death, chances are that it was alcohol and drug related. Cory never shied away from his troubled past, which came into light even more so lately when his relapse sent him back to rehab in April. To know what obstacles he overcame- dropping out of high school and being an addict at 19- and then turning his life around and becoming the adorable boy on a hit TV show and ultimately dating his beautiful costar, shows a journey that was cut far too short. It’s just a shame that these demons most likely got the best of him in the end and that he wasn’t able to persevere.

This hurts on an even deeper level for me because of my personal feelings for him. I met Cory once and while it was just a press event and I surely didn’t make an impact on his life, his goofy grin and bedroom eyes will forever be etched in my mind just like a scene on Glee that I still manage to know inside and out. Anyone who knows me knows of my love of Glee, mostly the cast more so than the show at this point. If you didn’t know that, all you had to do is look above at the banner of this blog to see the faces of Dianna Agron, Lea Michele, and Cory staring back at you. Except now I can’t even look at a picture of Cory without filling with sadness because I know that these pictures will never happen again in the future.

The future of Glee also seems bleak. Even though Finn didn’t have as large of a role in the fourth season, he was still an integral part of the show. Even without him, how can we all sing along without feeling sad? How can we watch without thinking that he’s gone? How will Lea Michele go to work every day knowing that her boyfriend is dead? I personally would not be able to function.

I feel like Cory was a part of my extended family, and that may sound deranged, but Glee was a major part of my life for reasons that not everyone will understand. Glee had the power to bring a friend and I even closer, and yes, we may have become borderline obsessive with our feelings but Glee was something that just made sense to us. In our own alternate reality, Cory/Finn Hudson would be the man she married and the friend I turned to in times of need. And now all we have left is the fantasy, that truly cannot come true now.

None of this feels real. And maybe it’s best to continue pretending that it’s not because I want to look back at Glee and remember happier times. Times when the fantasy was alive; inspired that there was hope for better days on the horizon. It may all sound crazy but it’s something that I will always hold near and dear to my heart, just like Cory.

 R.I.P
Cory Monteith
May 11 1982 – July 13, 2013

Forever yours, faithfully

 

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Brave, Bold, Beautiful

When I was 13, I developed a fascination with Angelina Jolie. Her beauty, talent, intelligence, and sometimes even peculiar behavior made her intriguing and I was hooked.

ImageI’ve been a fan through Lara Croft, the Billy Bob days, the adoptions, the Brangelina “scandal”, the flop of Alexander, and all humanitarian actions overseas. I’ve bought countless magazines she was on the cover of, read her book numerous times, and own 99% of her movies. I’ve passionately defended her name to anyone who bashed her in my presence and longed for the day when we would be friends. Yes, I know that last part is a little crazy.

I’ve seen her in person three times and actually met her twice. To meet someone I idolized and feel her aura and warmth in person is something I will never forget. While those encounters were unmemorable to her, they were life-changing for me.

Through all of the confusion of my adolescent days, Angelina Jolie was figuratively there to remind me that it’s okay to follow your own path; to be who feels right to you. In some ways, I’ve always admired her like a mother, which is not meant to be an insult to my own mother. Angelina just spoke to me and helped me become the person I am today. Some people may not understand why or how that’s possible, but it’s true and the most important thing that she’s taught me is that I don’t have to explain. I can just be me.

That’s why reading her editorial in the New York Times today shook me to my core – it felt so real, like an extended part of my family just went through something traumatic and all I want to do is offer hugs in support. Except she’s not a victim by any means – she’s a hero. Her willingness to have a preventative double mastectomy to protect not only herself, but her children, is so courageous and inspiring. To then reveal it to the world as a way to tell women that they have options is even more incredible:

I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.

Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.

I’m sure there will still be hateful critics who will take this opportunity to continue to bash her and call her names. To them I have one thing to ask: how brave are you? Are you brave enough to undergo this kind of procedure? Would you do something so invasive on the chance of prolonging your time with your family? Would you do this when working in such a vain and shallow industry? Would you even consider it? I highly doubt it.Image

Her bravery has touched my soul and brought me to tears on a crowded train during rush hour. As a woman I salute her. As a fan, I support her even more. My admiration and love for her has now lasted for 13 years and today, I am so proud to say that I am a fan. Even if I wasn’t, today would have changed that because only a heartless person could deny her bravery.

Thank you for everything, Angelina. Just thank you.

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We Are Never Ever Becoming Friends

Taylor Swift and I will never be friends.

This isn’t because the chances of us meeting is out of the realm of possibility. She surely dates enough people to eventually know someone who knows someone who I know.

Nor will our lack of friendship be because of my distaste of her music. I hate to admit it but I am still obsessed with “I Knew You Were Trouble” and do shamefully like songs like “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me.” Yeah, I said it. This would probably put us in friend territory, or at least acquaintances.

But the real reason we will never be friends is because she doesn’t know how to take a joke and proceeded to bash Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. No one takes a stab at them and gets away with it!

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Swift addresses the joke that was made by Fey during the Golden Globes that she should stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son. If she didn’t want her dating life to be public fodder then maybe she should learn how to keep all her boyfriends a secret and not buy houses near them, or write songs about them.

For Swift to go ahead and make a comment like this is just plain rude:

“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.'”

ImageIt’s ironic that Katie Couric was able to enlighten Swift with this quote by Madeleine Albright. Couric was really doing a great job of helping a fellow woman when she inadvertently contributed to the downfall of Sarah Palin on national television by not sensing the duress Palin was under at thinking of a newspaper she read. (Note: I do not support Sarah Palin in any way, shape, or form other than pure entertainment value which resulted in a great Halloween costume in 2008).

I think that Swift is just in a constant quest to play the victim- that’s why she writes songs about unrequited love, heartbreak, and wanting to appear like the bigger person. Naturally she would want to try to bring down Fey and Poehler like every other person she has let her in life briefly because she uses this all as a muse.

If she ever writes a song about mean girls, I will certainly not find myself singing along to it or watching remix videos of goats and motion activated paper towel dispensers with it because at the end of the day, Fey and Poehler are the best. And if they’re going to hell, I can’t wait to see them there.

 

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Girl on Fire

Lena Dunham is on fire. Not only does she have a hit TV show that is a perfect portrayal of the confusion of post-collegiate life and have a book on the way, but she keeps winning awards. First there were her Golden Globe wins for Best Actress and Best Comedy. Then last night came her Writer’s Guild win for Best New Series. Between those two events, her boyfriend won some Grammy’s but that’s irrelevant. Did I mention she’s on the cover of this LenaRollingweek’s Rolling Stone?

Every week, Girls just seems to get better and better. I find myself desperately wanting to talk to friends about what happened, about how I can relate, and how for a second, it makes me feel like I’m not alone in my confusion. But then I remember that this is fiction and I’m not really Marnie because Marnie is actually Allison Williams who has a famous dad and famous friends. But for those 30 minutes, I am every one of those girls.

I would love to sit down and ask Lena just how she does it. How does she know how much life can suck when everything is going so fantastic for her? Because really now: Marnie and Jessa are messes, Hannah is drifting along, and Shoshanna is an innocent flower that’s most likely about to be ripped from the ground and float into the abyss. That’s all a true testament of Lena’s writing skills- she’s always able to churn out crap for her characters yet be walking on sunshine in real life.

I keep hoping that one night I’m going to casually run into Lena in Williamsburg where I will stand out for not being hipster enough and she’ll be like, “You’re a fish out of water, I’m going to make you a character on Girls.” And then I will proceed to squeal like a flamingo and she will walk away. Yeah, that’s exactly what would happen. At least then I’d have a story to tell.

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Grammy’s For Your Granny

Maybe music the past year just wasn’t as stellar as previous years. Maybe the artists chosen to perform just weren’t engaging enough. Or maybe, the Grammy’s were just boring.

There was more hoopla leading up to the show than the actual show itself. First, there was the talk about how the Grammy’s were inviting artists like Justin Timberlake, who was not nominated, to perform in order to create excitement and draw more viewers. Justin got to perform two songs while the nominated Frank Ocean, The Black Keys, and even Taylor Swift only got to perform one.

Then there was the “memo” that guests should dress appropriately in order to have a PG show. I guess CBS really isn’t over the Super Bowl Nipplegate of 2004. (Holy crap, Batman! That was 9 years ago. Where does the time go?)

grammysJ-Lo and Katy Perry did a good job of defying those rules though. Part of J-Lo’s dress must have got caught up on the block and Katy just really wanted to keep John Mayer’s wandering eye on her California Girls. She really needs better taste in men. Sure, it was sweet that she brought Allison Williams with her as her date but that playboy boyfriend of hers was still there, probably cursing CBS for making the ladies cover up their assets.

If the fashion can’t be exciting, at least let the show be so! Last year Adele swept the boards and the show still had momentum! This year it was boring. So boring that at 9:00 I switched over to watch Girls only to tune back in to see Lena Dunham with fun. boyfriend Jack Antonoff. It was unfortunate that fun. won Best New Artist. “We Are Young” is a decent song, but as an album, Some Nights pales in comparison to Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. It would have been nice to see Frank win more than just Best Urban Contemporary Album and Collaboration on “No Church In the Wild.” Maybe one day the Grammy’s will stop being so narrow-minded.

And speaking of disappointments, let’s not forget Rihanna. Four years ago before the Grammy’s, Chris Brown beat her. Last night, she cuddled up next to him acting like a couple “in love.” It’s unfortunate that my natural ChrisRiRifeeling is to slap some sense into her, because violence is wrong, but seriously RiRi- what are you thinking!?  Clearly you don’t aspire to be a role model with songs like “S&M” but you are an embarrassment to women everywhere. Shame on you forever.

Maybe next year I just won’t watch the Grammy’s, then I won’t be bored or disappointed. Unless Beyonce or Gaga are performing. Then you know the show will be worth watching.

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Thursday Just Ain’t The Same

There was something weird about TV last night. And no, it wasn’t that I actually watched Glee and semi-enjoyed the ending (Santana in Brooklyn? Say what!). No, the strange part was that something was missing; something that’s been there every Thursday night for the past 7 years.

It was the first Thursday without 30 Rock.

30rockNo witty Liz Lemon. No savvy Jack Dononaghy. No ridiculous Tracy Jordan or Jenna Maroney. No naive Kenneth Parcell. No misfit writers.

It made me realize one thing: life without Tina Fey is just no fun. I know I will see Tina again, and not just in my daydreams where we are BFF’s sharing bottles of wine and laughs with Amy Poehler. Tina is starring in Admission alongside Paul Rudd, opening in theatres on March 22. (Yes, that’s a shameless plug for you to go support her). Entertainment Weekly told me that she’s also locked in a contract with Universal that will bring her back to TV sets everywhere around 2014. But what are we supposed to do until then?

Aside from watching Parks & Recreation and enjoying Poehler’s humor, we must wait. Except waiting is boring. So let’s take a moment to reflect on Liz Lemon & company’s finest moments as a way of saying thank you to Tina and NBC for creating quality comedy in a time of terrible television.

 

 

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Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Are Golden

That squealing sound you heard in the distance? That wasn’t a cat in heat, or a child throwing a hissy fit because they lost the shoe to their Barbie/Lego man. No, that was me shrieking in joy because NBC just announced that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are co-hosting the Golden Globes in January. *Cue more squealing*

Yes, that’s right. Tina Flawless Fey and Amy Freaking Poehler, the funniest and wittiest ladies in the business are co-hosting the award show that should be giving them numerous awards (hopefully). Not only is this a much needed diversion from the former controversial host, Ricky Gervais, this is another step in the right direction in having females take the leading roles.

And it’s about time they hosted a show because these ladies are hilarious! From their days at Chicago’s Second City to Saturday Night Live, to films like Mean Girls, Baby Mama, and their hit shows  30 Rock and Parks & Recreation, can anyone name better ladies to host the Globes than these two? Nope, they are the cream of the crop.

January is still 3 months away so until then I will just keep on laughing with Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope and continue to read “Bossypants” like it’s my Bible.

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Oops… They Did It Again

Let’s set the record straight: I love Britney Spears. I’ve been mildly obsessed for the past 14 years since “Baby One More Time” came out. I’ve seen her in concert 6 times, I own physical copies of every album, and at one point in my life, had pictures of her and Justin Timberlake all over my room. Yeah, I admit it.

That being said, I have a big problem with the twisted tales being published that Britney and her camp are outraged over last week’s Britney meltdown Glee episode. The reason I have a problem with it isn’t because I disagree- sure it was a little offensive to go after a touchy subject but it showed Brittany rise as a phoenix just like the real Britney did- I have a problem because there is just no way her camp “didn’t know.”

Britney is now FOX property. FOX pays her $14 million X-Factor paycheck. FOX is also the parent company of Glee. So you want to tell me that FOX allowed Glee to air that episode without running it by her majesty? No. Way.

I think this is a perfect example of carefully orchestrated PR. Glee has had relatively solid ratings in its new time slot after X-Factor, but what’s the best way to make sure it stays that way even though the show is progressively getting worse each week? Stir up some drama. Naturally people are going to be intrigued and tune in to X-Factor to see if Britney addresses it and then most likely continue to keep FOX on to see what Glee is up to now.

IF Britney honestly had no idea and was blindsided, then shame on FOX. I’d say shame on Glee but they already have enough things to be shameful for this season. Except for the absence of Finn Hudson. I greatly enjoy that. No matter what the true story is, she is on top of the world again because after all, it’s Britney, bitch!

 

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Don’t Call Me – Maybe Listen to This Instead

Did you know that “Call Me Maybe” is the #1 Billboard track? Did you know that it has been #1 for five consecutive weeks? No? Me either.

I honestly thought this was just one of those dumb popular songs that sorority girls or silly drunk people sing with their friends in a car or at a bar, respectively. I would fear for my life if a drunk girl was driving and singing this song. They wouldn’t  be calling anyone. Except maybe 911.

I guess I’m a bit out of touch with pop-reality since I don’t listen to the radio, except for when my morning alarm goes off and I’m awakened to the sounds of a commercial trying to sell me some skin-care product that I will never purchase. I guess since I also try to distance myself from anyone who would ever enjoy this song, I had no clue that it is THAT popular. And man, that is a scary thought!

I’d like to take this time to introduce some much better new music to anyone reading who may unfortunately enjoy this song or Carly Rae Jepsen, who, no offense to her, seems like a one “hit” wonder, and doesn’t deserve such acclimation when she doesn’t even have an album out. Just saying; there are much more talented people out there. Like these fabulous folk:

 

1. Metric. Synthetica”- released June 12

Metric is one of my all time favorite bands. Every song is jam-packed with emotion and delivered by the incredibly talented and sultry Emily Haines. Synthetica is their 5th album, and picking a favorite track is really difficult when they’re all so good. Listen to their first single “Youth Without Youth” to get an idea of just how fed up they are with society too. I wonder what Emily thinks about “Call Me Maybe?”

2. Friends. “Manifest!”- released June 7

Indie Brooklyn-based band Friends haven’t broken into the mainstream yet, although their songs are played on Sirius XMU & Alt Nation. They’re a fun band to watch grow and after seeing them live in the back of a bar in Williamsburg several months ago and hearing their full album, I’m sure they’re going to go on and do great things. “Friend Crush” is the first song of theirs I heard and still love.

 3. Fiona Apple. “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do” – released June 19

The “Criminal” songstress is back after 7 years! It’s a true breath of fresh air to hear her again. While the title of her album is lengthy, you can certainly tell it’s got a lot of depth to it. “Every Single Night” is a song that has been stuck in my head every single day since I’ve heard it. Welcome back Fiona, don’t go away for that long ever again.

 

4. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. “The Lion The Beast The Beat” – released June 12

 I’ve only recently gotten into this band and I’m sad that I missed out on so much good music in the past! I love female fronted rock bands; they truly stand out from the rest. They’re a little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll, which is a nice combo that I’m certainly enjoying listening to. “Paris (Oh La La)” is my current jam but it’s from their 2010 self entitled album.

5. Frank Ocean. “Channel Orange” – to be released July 17

I usually don’t listen to hip-hop/rap artists, with the exception of some Jay-Z, but Frank Ocean is just so smooth and generally less vulgar (“Novocaine” aside). I’m eager to hear his full album when it’s released on Tuesday. I think he has a lot of potential to be a huge influence in the hip-hop/rap community and maybe show the others that you don’t have to curse in every single line to be tough.

 

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