Archive for the ‘Misc. Awesomeness’ Category

Aiight kiddos, day 2 of the countdown. Day one went to Jewel – I mean, it had to, out of courtesy – and now day 2, perhaps predictably, goes to ma girls Power and Pony. Here’s my favorite of the recent batch (though if you feel like another when you’re done with this guy, their latest installment with special guest Rachel Zevita is a little bit mind-blowingly awesome):

I THINK IF ONE OF THEM WINS PLATINUM HIT MY HEAD WILL EXPLODE. Just sayin.

shwa-bay-um.

Okay people. Here we are, finally on the threshold of breaking into the double digits, and it’s time to get excited, because I’m about to crank it up to a whole new level of awesome. For this monumental post, I’m going to take you on a whirlwind journey…

To the past.

It was an uncommonly warm fall day in October 2010 – score one for global warming! – and I found myself immersed in the great time-sucking wonder that is YouTube. Flipping through my subscriptions I saw a new video posted by one of my favorite channels. I watched it 3 or 4 times, marveling at how simultaneously funny, adorable, silly, sweet and downright awesome it was, then went back for the 400th time and rewatched all of their other videos. While doing so I found myself thinking: DAMN, this is TOTALLY AWESOME. I wish I had a forum in which to express how TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME this is. If only I had a space in which to publicly geek out about this and all the other TOTALLY AWESOME things I come across on a daily basis…

And thus, a blog was born. And it was totally awesome.

That channel belonged to a fabulous duo of ladies who go by Powerfox and Ponymane, also known as Jackie Tohn (Powerfox) and Jes Hudak (Ponymane). Yes, Jes Hudak of the best albums of 2010, this phenomenal video, and my constant yammering about how totally awesome she is. Anyway, Powerfox and Ponymane are two hilarious, gorgeous and extraordinarily talented singer-songwriters, both of whom have – as Ron Swanson would say – stared into the eye of Satan’s butthole, and taken on the tempest of woe that is American Idol.

I suppose that this is the point at which I admit that while I generally only watch scripted television as a rule, I do make one major exception, and that is American Idol. Why? Because despite what haters who want to hate might say, it is totally awesome. Granted, sometimes on Idol TPTB and/or the American public make frustratingly bad decisions. For instance, Jes Hudak made it past the auditions and was cut in the group rounds in Hollywood back in season 5, though she was never shown (I would know, I watched that season particularly closely – yeeeah POREH). Jackie Tohn made it all the way through to the voting rounds in season 8 but fell victim to the uberdumb Top 36 format and never really got a proper chance. But it’s just as well because if they had made it, we wouldn’t have Powerfox and Ponymane!

I first came across Powerfox and Ponymane last winter when they began to create weekly videos during the final Idol rounds in which they mirrored the themes of the week with their own fabulous renditions of pop songs. In doing so they ended up putting the actual Idol contestants to shame because – with the exception of the endlessly awesome Siobhan Magnus – Power and Pony were more entertaining and better singers than any of them. Yep, I said it. Judge for yourself:

American Idol Season 9 Winner Lee DeWyze, Inspirational Songs:

Powerfox and Ponymane, Inspirational Songs:

No, okay, sorry, I’m not going to hate, this blog is a hater-free zone! Instead let’s focus on PnP and some of their other standouts from the Idol weeks, like Elvis Week:

Sinatra Week:

Shania Twain Week: (or not)

Judges’ Choice Week:

and they already kicked off the new season last week with a fabtastic tribute to the new judges:

Some of their best stuff has been outside of Idol though, like these:

Raise your hand if you’re in wuv! Oh look, my hand is in the air!

So there she is, the big 1-0, and I am SO beyond psyched to finally, officially shout to the world that

POWERFOX AND PONYMANE ARE TOTALLY AWESOME

ShwaBAAAAM!

#5: Nerdy Girls

Posted: December 10, 2010 in Misc. Awesomeness, TV

Warning: I’m about to get a lil bit serious up in herr.

I was just reading this article about a 7-year old girl from Evanston, IL – just a couple towns over from my own hometown – who was being picked on for liking Star Wars, then her mother blogged about it and nerds everywhere responded in force, sending her nerdy gifts and letters encouraging her to be proud of who she is. The whole thing made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and so, from the very depths of this nerdy girl’s heart, I want to give an official Things that are Totally Awesome shout-out to all those who responded and to all the nerdy girls out there who endure all sorts of social pressure and emotional and physical harassment on a regular basis and still find the strength to be their TOTALLY AWESOME nerdy girl selves.

In honor of all the nerdy girls out there, I’ve compiled this list of some of the greatest nerdy girls I know. And by know I mean watched on television back in my own nerdy girlhood. So without further ado I present:

Things that are Totally Awesome’s Top 5 TV Girl Nerds!

5. Cindy “Mac” Makenzie – Veronica Mars (played by Tina Majorino)

“Look, I’m happy to be the “Q” to your Bond, but crime pays. Technologically assisted mystery solving costs. If you wanna play “Find the Crappy Radio Broadcast,” Mama’s gonna need a few things from Radio Shack.”

Nerd cred: If this were a list of the greatest big screen nerdettes, Tina Majorino would be number one with an astrisk for her genius portrayal of Deb in Napolean Dynamite. Here she doesn’t quite make it that high, but still no question top 5. Those who have seen V Mars know that Veronica herself is a pretty big nerd, so when they brought in Mac in the middle of the first season to be her even nerdier sidekick it seemed almost too good to be true. But it wasn’t; Mac was everything we wanted her to be and more. In a show where every character was a suspect at some point or another, Mac’s sarcastic, self deprecating computer wiz was not merely a source of information and tech support; she was a welcome breath of fresh air.

4. Chloe Sullivan – Smallville (played by Allison Mack)

“It was just internet interception… that ended up having a vicious ninja lady attached to it who chased me on to the roof and then almost beheaded me and went rappelling over the side of the building. Which I’ve got to admit, was really smoking cool. “

Nerd cred: Chloe is the only one on this list whose story is still going, and in fact, hers is the longest running nerdy girl story I know of. When we first met Chloe, she was Clark Kent’s best friend, the editor of the school paper who constantly makes obscure references to smart things no one else understands and gets a lot of crap from the rest of the kids at school for her geeky obsession with “the strange and unexplained.” Today, nearly 10 years later, she is Watchtower; queen of the superheroes. The evolution of her character from adolescence to full-fledged adulthood has sometimes been empowering and sometimes heartbreaking but always really compelling. Here’s hoping the writers don’t do something stupid like kill her off before we get to the end!

3. Daria Morgendorffer – Daria (voiced by Tracy Grandstaff)

“So Cinderella skipped the ball and asked her fairy Godmother to make her the first woman president. Realizing that the monarchy was becoming obsolete, the prince opened a video store.”

Nerd cred: Oh, Daria. The really great thing about Daria is that it actually shows the world through the eyes of the nerdy girl. Who among us has not known, to some extent, what it feels like to be Daria? To everyone around her – her parents, her sister, her sister’s friends, the kids at school, the teachers at school – she is this total weirdo, yet we know better. We can see that it really is everyone else in the world who are idiots and Daria is the sane one. When no one else got her wonderfully witty humor, not even Jane, we did. And it was totally awesome.

2. Millie Kentner – Freaks and Geeks (played by Sarah Hagan)

“I know what high people look like. I went to a Seals and Crofts concert last summer.”

Nerd cred: Lindsay Weir may not have given a damn about her bad reputation, but her former bestie Millie certainly cared enough for the both of them. Millie was the greatest, because even when her best friend dropped her to go hang out with the cool kids and then joined in with the rest of the kids in giving her a hard time for being a straight-edge mathlete who eats Lik-M-Aid at 7:30 in the morning to make her spit taste like fruit juice, she didn’t let it get her down. Not only did she refuse to stop being her dorky self, she refused to give up on Lindsay, continuing to be a good friend to her throughout the series no matter what crazy shenanigans she got into.

1. Willow Rosenberg – Buffy (played by Alyson Hannigan)

“We can come by between classes. Usually I use that time to copy over my class notes with a system of different colored pens. But it’s been pointed out to me that that’s, you know, insane.”

Nerd cred: 1997 was a banner year for the nerdy girl. Within a matter of months we got two of the greatest nerdy girl sidekicks of all time; Hermione Granger and Willow Rosenberg. Willow was perhaps the first truly multidimensional nerd girl to be introduced to the television canon, not to mention the most lovable. When she’s happy you can’t help being happy with her, when she’s sad it’s like the saddest thing ever, and when she’s in danger… oh lord is it terrifying. But most importantly, she gave hope to nerdy girls everywhere that we too could be the best friends of bad-ass vampire slayers, date genius werewolf rock stars, and eventually grow into lesbian witches with the power to destroy the world.

Bottom line: nerdy girls are the best. And here’s a little secret for all you nerdy girls out there: All the most amazing women in the world were once nerdy girls like you. So keep truckin’ and keep being nerdy because

NERDY = TOTALLY AWESOME!

Shwabam.

#4: The Keytar

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Misc. Awesomeness

Well hello again! Sorry for the brief hiatus, you know how it is, Thanksgiving, family, blah, blah, blah. Actually, I really have been hard at work looking for new and awesome things to share with y’all, I just keep coming up short. If my computer were a desk it would be strewn with crumpled up virtual pieces of paper. I even did something I’ve been avoiding for years and finally watched the original 1992 movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – inspired by the troubling recent announcement of the new, Whedon-less remake in production – but I couldn’t in good conscience put it on the list. It’s real cute, don’t get me wrong, especially if you’re into super-campy 80’s movies, and probably even more so if you aren’t a superfan of the series, but totally awesome it is not. SMG could kick Kristy Swanson’s ass any day of the week. I’m just saying.

But anyway…

In honor of Hanukkah (which, if I know my demographics as well as I think I do, the vast majority of you know starts tonight) I present to you:

Things that are Totally Awesome: The TOTALLY AWESOME HANUKKAH PRESENT EDITION!! WEE!!

Tonight we’re talking about the gift that every little girl dreams of… yes, I’m talking about those three little words:

A keytar. Duh.

Nope? Just me? Okay then.

If you don’t already know (and didn’t watch the totally awesome Garfunkel and Oates video for Running with Chicken – see entry #2) the keytar is a magical instrument which combines the sound of an electric keyboard with the portability and general awesome-lookingness of a guitar.

How, you ask, did such a totally awesome thing come to be? Well, back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth – also known as the 1970s – some keyboardists discovered that by simply strapping their keyboards over their shoulders like guitars, they could automatically increase their coolness factor. One of the most notable of these noble pioneers is Sir Edgar Winter; who in addition to being a strap-on keyboard genius is also a natural albino (fo realsies) and writer of the timeless classic, Frankenstein:

Eventually, instrument manufacturers caught on and created the keytar, which quickly became a staple in the delicious 80’s pop music we all pretend to hate but actually love a lot, ie:

Unfortunately, when the dust settled and the crazy acid trip that was the 80’s came to an end, the keytar seemingly went the way of stirrup pants and shoulder pads. HOWEVER, as the great Albus Dumbledore said in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: “you will find that the keytar will only truly have left the music scene when none here are loyal to it.” and with the recent revival of synthpop has come a new hope for the noble keytar. Just last year the grand dutchess of totally awesome herself – Lady Gaga, obvs – performed a monster keytar solo during an SNL performance of Paparazzi. (I wanted to embed it but all of the videos of it on the internet are crap, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.)

Still unconvinced of how totally awesome the keytar is? I submit the following:

1)Snoop Dogg’s video for Sensual Seduction (aka the censored version of Sexual Eruption, off his 2007 album Ego Trippin’)

Was that song nominated for a Grammy you ask? Yes, yes it was.

2) This picture of a dog playing a miniature keytar:

3) Brett Domino (for more totally awesome videos, including more keytar covers and some great original material – I particularly recommend the song: What Would You Do (If A Shark Started Eating You) – cick here)

4) Belinda Bedeković. Oh my god, Belinda Bedeković.

5) Lights. No okay, seriously now, the keytar is a pretty silly instrument, but this chick is actually legitimately bad-ass. Her acoustic stuff is cool too, but I mean, girlfriend looks pretty awesome holding a keytar, no?

So in conclusion, if you were wondering what to get me for Hanukkah this year… But really though, what’s more totally awesome than the keytar? That’s what I thought. Oh, and don’t forget:

SHWABAMSKI!!