Nov 5, 2014

Hook Your Audience With a Pretentious Lead in 4 Steps (or Let's Have Some Tea and Talk About Snarky Things)

Step One: Choose one of the myriad obnoxious sentences available to you when you live in Europe: I recently discovered a little gem of a corner bakery near my kid's school.

Step Two: Review your opening sentence, and raise it one flaunty detail: I rode past it on my bike one glorious Amsterdam morning.

Step Three: Just keep that pretentious ball rolling: And, in this adorable bakery (where I'm sitting right now), next to the adorable rustic counter, is this adorable little sign:

Step Four: Post a picture with a trendy vintage filter.

Congrats-- your audience is hooked.  So let's talk about happy things, and be adorable!

Step Four, part b: Pull the old bait and switch: Except surprise! I'm just not that blogger. Nothing against happy and adorable things here, so long as they're also slightly mockable. But, do go make yourself some tea, and let's talk about snarky things.

Back to this little corner bakery-- it's actually called The Corner Bakery. Which is not at all surprising in a city where the two most important historic churches are called The Old Church, and The New Church. If there was a tradition of naming houses here, like in England, I guarantee you every single house would be named The Brick House.

Speaking of traditions, so it was just Halloween, and you know what that means in The Netherlands? For one thing, it means that we bought our candy at full price, and that this is the extent of the Halloween section at the biggest toy store chain:

It also means that my daughter is blissfully unaware of sexy Ebola Nurse costumes, and that's fine by me. Oh Halloween, you're my favorite holiday, but sometimes you are the worst.

I bought a toy lightsaber for Nate's Darth Vader costume, and it wasn't even 2 hours before that decision became the biggest regret of my life. Even more than my thespian phase in high school.

Oh regret, you demon you. (Dibs for next year's costume, no copying. You can be the Ogre of Guilt.)

In our Amsterdam neighborhood, we do get to trick-or-treat, but only if you find out about the secret registration time-slots, and pay to participate. It's a blast, but my kids got mostly lollies and Haribo gummies. What the cuss! I was only barely tempted to raid their stash. Barely. But I still did.

Speaking of first-world problems, my 11 year-old is starting to get some serious B.O. When she didn't believe me, I tucked her nose in her armpit for a sensory learning experience. She came up gagging, "what is that?!" Oh sweetie, it's the stench of pubescent mutiny beginning to rage in your body. Wait til you start bleeding out of your vagina for days at a time! 

Let's file that under things I need to delete before my kids start reading this blog. Note: the Dutch word for adolescent is puber. Because of course it is.

Speaking of things that smell bad: GamerGate. Why can I not look away? I'm not even a gamer, but I suppose as a feminist and a mom of mini-nerds, who are therefore potential future gamers, there is no way for me to not be fascinated/appalled by the whole thing.

Oh Gam3rz.
Oh commentz on the Internetz.
Oh Gam3rz blaming Internet Trollz and Feministz for distracting everyone from the real enemy: Journalistz!
Oh Train Wr3ckz.

But what's really bothering me is a little more insidious. I was so interested in this that I fell down a GamerGate Internet Rabbit Hole where the stench of Red Pill websites and rotten Reddit threads was so vile it made my 11 year-old's armpits smell like Mrs. Field's kitchen exploded in a lavender field at Christmastime. I won't post any links, in case you happen to enjoy being able to sleep at night.

I think it's time to take my kids and go live in a cave with no wifi.

Maybe I do need to talk about happy things instead. Like this picture of my son rocking his Darth Vader velvet body suit. That's pure happiness right there:

Bonus Step: End with a question, or four: Speaking of other disturbing things I'm obsessed with, have you been listening to the new podcast Serial? Why is Jay not a suspect? And how do feel about Adnan? And are you also alarmed that the entire thing exists because a girl was murdered, and she's barely even talked about??


Aimee said...

My damn phone keeps deleting my comments. Let's try again!

What about the mall boyfriend?! Why doesn't she push harder to find him? And Jay! Come on! He has got to be covering for someone. Why the tip off call to the cops?! Every Thursday morning I wake in anticipation. Nodding my head and scratching my head for 45 minutes all while enjoying her side commentary. Then I get sad that I have to wait a whole week to hear more. Such great producing!

Aimee said...

Also I want Adnan to be innocent. I want it so bad.

Bardsleyland said...

I know, Aimee! I know.
About to listen to the new episode now...

Julia said...

I think Adnan, Jay, and that one girl-friend--what's her name? the one Jay initially told everything to--are all in it together.

Anonymous said...

I'm hooked...on your blog...not on Serial.