The Best Part of Waking Up

I, like any nerd child growing up in the early 90s, loved Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. I mean, a game show for kids based on GEOGRAPHY? You have to find a crook using knowledge of states and countries and, to track down Carmen herself, identify countries on a giant map in a certain amount of time?  SIGN ME UP.  For all the non athletic kids out there, this was the best alternative to Nickelodeon Guts. I did not “have it” as required by Guts (“it” being a single athletic bone in my body), but I did have a certain penchants for maps and atlases. Carmen Sandiego was the game for me.

Any fan of Carmen Sandiego knows that probably the greatest part of the show, besides the absolute global geek out, was obviously its house band Rockapella. This five-piece a capella group performed the classic theme song “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” and intermittently sang little ditties  throughout the show.

They specialized in parodies!  Oh, you’re so silly, Rockapella.

As I got older, I had forgotten (or rather, stopped thinking about) this show and Rockapella.  That is, until the late 90s rolled around and this amazing Folger’s commercial started airing in our homes:

At the time this started airing (1998), the boy band movement was just about to hit a fever pitch.  Even me, a still pretty nerdy but now teenaged girl, was not immune.  Along with my all time favorite bands of R.E.M., Better than Ezra and Fountains of Wayne now stood groups that relied heavily on strong harmonies and dance moves to attract an audience.   Of all the so called boy bands of the time, I aligned myself with *N Sync, because they were the best singers with the most incredible harmonies.  Plus, they were cuter than Backstreet Boys. (By the way, my favorite was, and still is, JC Chasez. He has the best voice in the group and, besides that, LOOK AT HIM.)

When I first heard the Folgers commercial, I was freaking out over the sounds.  I’ve always been a sucker for excellent harmonies (when Hanson came on the scene a year earlier in 1997,  13 year old Jenny could hardly deal with the trifecta of musicians, excellent harmonies, AND BROTHERS).  Rockapella was blowing my mind.  This jingle was catchy as hell, and they didn’t even use or need instruments.

It didn’t make me go out and buy Folgers, but it did lead me in the years since then to buy a few Rockapella albums (their Christmas ones are DELIGHTFUL) and see them live a couple of times.  In recent years, a capella music has turned cool and mainstream, and Rockapella continues to play shows and make albums.

Every so often, I’ll search out the Folgers commercial on YouTube and reminisce about being a nerdy college student, seeing Rockapella live at a park in Pittsburgh.  Or about being a nerdy teenage girl, rocking out to a capella jams in her computer room.  Or about being a nerdy pre-adolescent watching Carmen Sandiego in her grandparents’ living room and shouting out answers to the TV.  And then smile over realizing that, even though I’m nearly 30 now, I haven’t really changed all that much.

Oh, and I drink coffee now.  I don’t think Rockapella had anything to do with it, but it’s worth noting.  Not really a Folgers girl but, now that it’s on my mind, maybe I’ll give it a try.

iPad

The iPad is awesome. But it is completely inconvenient for some things. Like…

1. Trying to watch TV
Missed an episode of Amazing Race? No worries! I’ll just head on over to CBS.com and stream it. Oh, you want me to download your app? No thanks, just the show. Oh, I can only watch clips and not the latest full episode? Okay, I guess I’ll try your app. Even though half the time I downloaded a TV app I still can’t watch the show because it will only provide streaming through certain cable providers EVEN THOUGH I can go to your website on a computer and stream from there WITHOUT said cable provider (I’m looking at you Fox).

2. Taking a picture
See: this.

3. Multitasking
It took me twenty minutes to search for the above link and paste it because I had to open and close apps and double click to select all and paste and BLAH. Before that, I was trying copy job links into emails so I can apply later and having to click back and forth between Safari and my email was infuriating!!!

4. Typing in forms
This mainly stems from the keyboard taking up half the screen when turned sideways.

5. Typing in general
Even with larger letters than an iPhone and tinier than normal fingers (I’m a mutant), it is easy to typo like crazy. Hence why this entry is now complete.

Athlete

A few years ago, I had a pretty terrible blog that I would occasionally post amazingly brilliant entries to.  While I will not link to the blog (too embarrassing!), I will post the original content for your reading enjoyment.

Originally written: June 8, 2011

Yesterday, Shanna and I proved to be at true athletes by taking a bike ride with a giant group of bicyclists.  In order to prepare for and recover from such athletic endeavors, I have a few tips.

1. Make sure your equipment is in tip top shape.
For reference, here is a photo of my sweet ride:

It is a Huffy three-speed from the 70s that I bought off some dude on Craigslist. It currently will not shift back into first. So I am forced to power through on second.

2. Make sure your body is in tip top shape.
To do this, you should participate in good eating habits. Earlier in the day, I housed down a delicious meal of chicken nuggets and waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A with a Gatorade as my beverage. To restore my electrolytes of course. You should also practice regular stretching by sprawling out on your couch for at least two hours every night.

3. Wear the right outfit.
You want everyone to know you’re burning up a sweat, so wear a shirt that will show it. A t-shirt in a light enough color should be good. Make sure it’s fitted enough to really soak up that perspiration. Jorts are also encouraged. Because they look cool.

4. Don’t plan ahead.
What started out as a casual bike ride to grab a few drinks and sit outside turned into a bike cruise when we ran into a couple of people we know. There was no time to be psyched out, allowing your body to just react without having to think too much. Also, you don’t have enough time to come up with a good excuse when someone is in front of your face.

5. Hydrate before hand.
After being roped into this bike ride, it was important that we get our insides perfectly hydrated. Obviously this meant quickly slamming a Miller High Life immediately before embarking.

6. Know your place.
As amateurs to the scene, we knew we should probably hang to the back and pace ourselves. That way, we could pant encouraging words to one another without having to shout and exert ourselves even more. Also, no one could see us struggling. Or looking really cool. It’s one of those two things.

7. Know when to quit.
We totally kicked ass at bike riding, until a gigantic hill proved to be too steep. We ditched the group and walked our bikes to the top of the hill, legs trembling. By then everyone was long gone, and we could breathe through our mouths without fear of looking like assholes.

8. Hydrate post athletic conquest.
Your body will be depleted post exercise, so it is important to stop at a bar on the way home. We indulged in waters and Modelo Especials to replenish ourselves and cool down.

9. Never stop talking about your athleticism
As you’re coming down from your exercise high, you should never stop talking about how you just rode your bike for 20 minutes and are sweating like a pig and are a total and complete athlete now. This will keep your endorphins up and help you burn just a little bit more. It will also remind everyone around you that they are inferior because they did not just participate in feats of athleticism like you did.

Shanna and I did this by posting this picture of me on Facebook to let everyone know that we had participated in sport and are awesome for it:

10. Take a few days off
You don’t want to over do it, so make sure you take a few days off after your quest to let your body bounce back. I will probably not take a bike ride until tomorrow, when I plan on going to Recovery Room to get wasted off of Gray Goose and pineapple juice and play naked lady Mega Touch.

Being an athlete is hard work, but it’s awesome. With these tips, you can live this amazing lifestyle. Good luck.