Category Archives: Culture

This Is How We Do What, Katy Perry?

Jim, my husband, had been talking about some article he happened to read in a magazine that included a segment on not only Lady Gaga, but Katy Perry as well. He was at a loss. What songs do these women sing? Who are these people? Should I know more about them?

This is how we do what, Katy Perry?
Lady Gaga and Katy Perry look-a-likes and wanna-be’s.

Being the second rate pop culture enthusiast that I am, I explained that Lady Gaga was the meat dress lady, but no I could not sing or name a single song she sang. Then I went on to talk about Katy Perry, except there wasn’t any talking. It was mostly crickets. Because I am old. I followed her on Twitter for a while  a few years ago. Some of my funny blogging friends followed her and so I thought maybe she was the comedic type, but a year later I unfollowed her because she never said anything funny at all, or if she did, I  didn’t see it or read it or retweet it or anything. The only thing I knew about Katy Perry was that she once had blue hair and that she may have been a Christian singer at one time. Possibly. Or maybe she sang in the church choir. I wasn’t really sure. I just knew she was all the rage in certain circles. Circles I was obviously not a part of.

Anyway, a few days later we happened to be staying in a hotel and VH1 was on when I turned on the TV. A video was playing. It was Katy Perry! I yelled to Jim, “Come over here! It’s Katy Perry. We’ll finally know one of her songs!” I was so excited. I was moving from living under a rock to living under a smaller rock…one I might even be able to push off my mommy brained, inadequate, non-pop-culture referencing self. There was hope. I was on the road to cultural awareness and pop relevance once again. It was liberating. I may have even been standing in front of the TV waving my hands over my head like a middle-aged cheerleader.

Katy Perry Look alike stick figure
Sing it sister.

Playing on VH1 was a song with the title “This Is How We Do” which sounded like a sentence that was missing the second half of itself. Possibly it’s better half. Then Katy Perry started talk-singing while girls in bright dresses walked around and then there was a kitchen, pancakes, ping pong ball, purses, and Katy Perry in a bathtub. Jim and I looked at each other. Then Katy Perry started saying, in her best smokers voice, “It’s no big deal. It’s no big deal. This is no big deal.”

Our daughter ran into the room. She is 4. She was mesmerized. All three of us were. We sat on the end of the  hotel bed staring at the TV as if we were passing the most gruesome accident on the highway. We could not look away.

Finally the video ended and I was dumbfounded. Jim said, “Well, that’s Katy Perry. She’s no big deal.”

I just stared ahead. Then I asked, “What was that? I mean, what was it about? I’m so confused.”

Then Jim just laughed and said, “It’s not about anything. It’s pop. It’s just noise.”

Later that day our daughter was running around singing, “It’s no big deal! It’s no big deal!” The song clearly resonated with her. She seemed to get the message Katie Perry was trying to convey. That’s when I realized I was too old for VH1, which was supposed to be for old people to begin with, and I wondered if I would ever feel cool again.

Get Off That Electronic Device, Young Lady!

The other day when I was at the VA clinic waiting for Jim to have his hand examined (six days later the x-rays showed it was not broken) I was sitting in the waiting room with several people. Most of them were at least 30 years older than me. I made some small talk with the lady sitting next to me. As the people picked up their magazines and started reading I took out my cell phone and started working.

I was supposed to be home writing, painting, or keeping up with my social media accounts, but I wasn’t. I was sitting in a health clinic. My work time was ticking by. I am on a tight schedule because I am also a stay-at-home-mom. If things don’t get done then I just add them to the to-do list for tomorrow. My daily lists are growing…to miles long. I was sitting there feeling grateful for the Internet and cell phones. I mean, I can get some of my work done anywhere. It’s amazing, right?

Coneflowers In Alcohol Ink
Pink Coneflowers Day 14 of #30in30 paintings. Alcohol inks on Yupo paper, 9×12.

As I got to work I heard a male voice growl, “Get off that electronic device, Young Lady. That thing is going to boggle your mind.” I looked up to see a man standing with his walker looking straight at me. He’d just come out of an exam room. I smiled at him. He was funny. Plus, I pretty much adore anyone that refers to me as a “young lady” so there was that. Then I went back to what I was working on.

After a minute or so I heard some snickering. I looked up and there was the man again making some weird hand gestures at me and smiling at the woman next to me. She was actually leaning into my lap to look at my phone screen. It was bizarre. I smiled again and turned away from the woman next to me a little and went back to working. I figured they weren’t hurting me and they were laughing…whatever. I was stuck there and I just wanted to get some work done. That’s when the man said, “Don’t worry. I’m just making fun of you.”

I replied, “That’s OK. Make fun of me all you want to. I have an online business and I am working on it here since I can’t work on it at home right now.”

The man then walked toward the door, but turned back and in a mocking tone of voice said, “Oh, you’re one of those online entrpreneurs trying to get rich quick, huh?’ He obviously felt a lot of disdain for “my kind” and instead of getting mad or feeling ashamed I laughed. I told him, “No, I am not trying to get rich quick. I wish it were that easy. I have to work really hard to make this work.” Then the man rolled his eyes at me and walked out the door.

Garden by the seashore mixed media collage art by Lillian Connelly.
Day 15 of #30in30 paintings. “Garden by the Seashore” mixed media on canvas, 8×10.

I sat their for a moment. It was a weird experience. I just got mocked by senior citizens. They thought I was a joke or lazy or both. Then a feeling crept over me. I got a big smile on my face. I was proud of the way I handled that interaction. Just a few years ago I would have made a bunch of excuses about my choices. I’d be defending why I was a stay-at-home-mom or trying to explain why I was pursuing my dream of becoming an artist. I’d watch people scoff at my ambitions and I’d feel less than. I’d feel like I was making the wrong choice. I should have a traditional job. I should put my daughter in daycare. I should not be working at all and devoting every moment to my daughter. I should get off the Internet because it’s not the “real” world. I should be this…I should be that…I shouldn’t be me.

This time I didn’t have any of those thoughts or feelings. This time I felt completely confident and actually found the entire interaction humorous. I am an online entrepreneur and I am proud of what I have accomplished.

That is a good feeling and I don’t really care if people are laughing at me for it.


Toyota, What Are You Trying To Sell Us Exactly?

Toyota makes some pretty good vehicles. Jim has a truck that just won’t die. It really looks like it should kick the bucket any moment and that it might be held together by chewing gum and dirt that’s been stuck on for decades, but it just keeps purring like a very old kitten with sleep apnea. I have no idea how many miles that poor truck has on it, but it just keeps going and going as if it were powered by the Energizer Bunny. It’s kind of amazing. It’s probably the best investment Jim ever made, not counting marrying me, of course.

Anyway, I keep seeing this Toyota commercial for a RAV4. Have you seen it?

I have no idea what features the car has or if it is even a car at all because every time the commercial comes on Tiny-Small starts screaming, “I want a flying unicorn! I want a flying unicorn! I want a flying unicorn!” Then we watch the family drive down the street with a flying unicorn on it’s roof and I silently debate when to tell Tiny-Small that flying unicorns are called Pegasuses (don’t try to say that three times fast) and that unicorns are in fact not real. She keeps asking me for a flying horse and I am sad that they don’t exist so I just keep saying, “Maybe Santa will bring you one.”

Toyota, what are you trying to sell us exactly?
Can I put a wing on it?

Toyota, you haven’t sold us a car, but you have certainly sold one of us a giant, pink, flying unicorn. It’s pretty much all Tiny-Small can think about when she hears the word Toyota. I’m not sure if this is some sneaky way to secure sales with future generations, but you have certainly captured my 4 year olds attention…and her heart. You’ve also captured my attention because now I lie awake at night wondering where I can buy a giant, pink, flying unicorn and whether or not I will also need to buy a RAV4 just to be able to get it home.

Well played, Toyota, well played.


 P.S. This is not a Sponsored post. It’s just a story about my life and a commercial that’s caught our attention.