Pop Culture Awareness: Pulp Fiction


I’m glad I went into this movie with an open mind, instead of expecting to “enjoy” it or something along those lines. While I can’t say I actually “enjoyed” it, I did sort of like it. The content of the story was tough. It’s not the typical storyline that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and if you saw my current DVD collection (When Harry Met SallyShrekAnchormanThe Notebook, etc.) you would know I usually go for that sort of thing: funny and sweet. Despite the rough and tough shell of a powerful drug mogul and his flunkies, the movie reveals a delightful center of straight-up funny dialogue and incredibly normal characters.

One thing I did enjoy about the movie is that it’s different and breaks the mold of linear storytelling; it gives us a snapshot of a point in time and then tells a story in a circle so you end up completing the puzzle at the end. It goes against everything I was taught in my scriptwriting class in college. It doesn’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. It doesn’t have a pinch. The characters don’t really grow or develop within themselves. But somehow, it works.

Another pro to the movie is the positive female/male relationships. There is a great deal of love among the pairs. I especially loved the French girl and Butch. They were sweet together, with just enough dysfunction (ok, a lot of dysfunction) to be realistic. Jules and Vincent’s relationship is another great aspect to the movie. I loved their conversations about miracles, Quarter Pounders, and filthy animals. That type of conversation is the kind you could catch me in with any of my friends.

I knew I had grasped the point of the movie when I laughed out loud as Vincent exclaimed, “Aww man! I just shot Marvin in the face!” I had made it past the harsh, gross aspects to comprehend what was under the surface.

So, there you go. Now I’ll get the joke whenever someone mentions how tasty that Kahuna burger is, and I’ll laugh if someone says, “Stay out of trouble, you crazy kids.”

Pulp Fiction: check.  Next up: Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Pop Culture Awareness: The Rolling Stones, etc.

Since starting my journey to acquaint myself with my own pop culture, I started with some music. Thanks to Pandora and a job where listening to music all day is an option, I tuned in to my coworker’s The Black Keys station and received a crash course into classic rock. I’ll give you my first impression on some bands that stand out as pretty exceptional.

rolling stones tickets

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones’ foot-tapping playfulness is thinly-veiled by a few hard times and just enough eccentricity to make it interesting. This music feels true to life: there is a roughness to it that makes me feel accepted, but also cheerful melodies and good tempos to make me believe everything will be ok. The Rolling Stones are the friends I’d like to take with me to the beach on a sunny day, playing hooky, in a top-down convertible with the wind blowing through my hair.

Led Zeppelin

Listening to Led Zeppelin gives me a healthy dose of anger, determination, and soulful creativity. It’s mostly cool and collected, but you can feel the angst under the surface.

Jimi Hendrix

I listen to this guy and can’t help thinking, “Damn Jimi, you were stoned when you performed this, but damn, Jimi, you’re awesome.” Seriously. His quirky lyrics and singing guitar make me imagine riding a unicorn in Pleasuretown. And it makes me want to eat pizza.

Any other suggestions?

Pop Culture Awareness: The Goonies


The advice I got going into this movie was to imagine watching it at 10 years old. So, I channeled my 10-year-old self: the skinny, happy girl who carried her pink Barbie suitcase to sleepovers, played Skip It on the driveway, and rode a white Doodles bike with flowers painted on it.

You know what I think of it? It’s terrifying! The freezer scene and the creepy Fratellis would’ve scared me silly as a 10-year-old. Jeez, at 26 I was squirming and squealing at times.

Past the terror, the movie was delightful. It’s magical, whimsical, and downright funny. I also can’t be the only one who thinks this would be an awesome theme park ride. Wait, they don’t have one, do they?!

Lastly, if I were to have a “fantasy,” it might include being in a watery cave, a strand of pearls around my neck, and embraced in a passionate kiss. C’mon, you know you were thinking that, too.

The Goonies: check. Next up: Pulp Fiction.

Pop Culture Awareness: 101

Most of the people who know me really well know I grew up in a pretty sheltered house. I went to private Christian school until high school, and my parents were strict on movies and TV I could watch, etc. My parents weren’t as strict as some kids’ I know, but still. Nowadays, I grow more and more aware of the gap between me and my peers when it comes to common knowledge. Simple things like who sings “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and famous lines from the Karate Kid fly over my head, sometimes without my notice. In fact, since people have started pointing out how little I know of the 80s and 90s and even millenium pop culture, I feel anxiety when band names are mentioned or movie lines are quoted, and I stay silent on the subject, hoping not to end up on the wrong end of the joke. I think the last straw was when someone said, “You were homeschooled, right?” That was a low blow to my awkwardness. I knew at that moment something needed to change.

So, I’ve decided to remedy this situation by immersing myself in the culture I missed out on. I would love your input. I was born in 1986. What movies are must sees? What music would it be a shame for me to never have heard? What TV shows should I watch? Help, people.

Here are a few starters I have come up with:

  • Karate Kid
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Jimmy Buffet and
  • The Goonies (to the guy I pinky-promised in the hotel lobby at 4 a.m. that one night, this one’s for you!).

Go ahead, give me your list. As I go through them, I will share my thoughts and reactions.

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