An older Millennial trying to embrace what makes her generation special.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Why I Was a Vampire from 1993-1997

This is a story post with no pictures as my mom wasn't too keen on developing film once I was older than 7, and digital cameras didn't exist then.

And I started my blog in October, which is unfortunate, because I love Halloween and I would have done so many more posts if I hadn't been establishing a blog. Next year. Next year will be so much more Halloween-y.

But this year, I'm going to tell you the story of how I ended up stuck with the same costume every Halloween from the time I was 10 until I was 14.

I was a tall 10-year-old. I'm a short adult, because I stopped growing at 11. But at 10 years old, I was 4'11" - that's the average height of a 12 year old girl, and Halloween costumes for kids weren't necessarily made with pre-teens in mind. So I did find the costume I wanted - the pink Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. It was 1993, and it was the hottest commodity of the time, and there was one left. It fit perfectly. I wanted it.

But my mom said no, because it fit perfectly. I couldn't wear my jacket underneath it. I swore Halloween wouldn't be cold - a brave claim since we had had snow flurries the Halloween before. My mother said no, and I was heartbroken and devastated, so I didn't want to be anything for Halloween.

My parents even took me to two stores, but if I couldn't be the pink Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, I didn't want to be anything. My parents just finally bought me a vampire cape and vampire teeth because they knew I liked vampires. They even promised I could wear my hair down - something I always wanted to do but wasn't allowed to because I didn't know how to tame my curls.

Also, it turned out that Halloween wasn't cold, so my mother apologized and admitted I could have been the pink Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. A small victory.

But since my costume was just a cape and vampire teeth, it fit the next year. And the next. And the next. I was forced to reuse it, which I was fine with - again, they didn't really make a lot of costumes that fit pre-teens, as it was assumed they'd be done trick-or-treating. And I loved Halloween.

In 1998, my aunt wanted to make her son a costume, and she wanted my mother to make costumes with her. So my mom made me a Raggedy Ann costume that I asked her to make some basic changes to - I wanted to be a Raggedy Witch. I don't know why she agreed, but she did. And since I'd stopped growing a couple years before, I also wore that costume for four Halloweens.

A broken heart was why I was a vampire for four years in a row, but after that first year, I loved the tradition of it. I love vampires, and I look back on those Halloweens fondly. Things tend to work out the way they should, sometimes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Difference Between 80s and 90s Millennials: Cold War Millennials

Xennials are not a real thing. That is the mission statement of this blog. I was born in 1983, and I know how I identify. Millennials, or the Blockbuster Generation as I like to nickname us, are identified by the rapid change of technology that shaped their childhoods. The end cut-off year was chosen because Millennials also remember a pre-9/11 world.

And that's when it hit me. The real difference between the older Millennials that claim to be Xennials and the younger Millennials. The cut-off date chosen for this "Xennial" group makes it so these Millennials can remember at least some part of the 80s.

They can remember the Cold War.

I'm an anxious person, and as a child I wasn't less anxious. I was six years old when the Berlin Wall came down, which means I very much remember the tensions of the Cold War. Families separated from each other, and a threat of nuclear war ever looming. This is not something younger Millennials ever felt. Until 9/11, they lived in a world of tension-less peace.

I feel like that alone is the only reason older Millennials feel like they don't belong with the younger Millennials, and it makes sense. We don't belong with Generation X, though. We grew up with video game consoles and an ability to time shift our TV shows. That's ours.

Which leads me to another theory. We are wrong about what years Millennials cover - but in the wrong direction. It should start in 1977.

I know what I said about the Blockbuster Generation in my mission statement, but you can't deny someone born in 1977 would have also grown up with Blockbuster Video. They also grew up with video game consoles and an ability to time shift their TV shows - Atari 2400 and VHS machines both came out in 1977. But how I really came to the conclusion that those born between 1977 and 1997 are Millennials are my favorite Internetainers.

I thought about the oldest YouTubers I could think of who definitely aren't Boomers or Silent Generation age. That left me with Rhett and Link, who were born in 1977 and 1978, respectively, and Buck Hollywood, who was born in 1975. So, why did I decide Rhett and Link might be Millennials but Michael Buckley wasn't?

Because Michael Buckley started his show on public access. Rhett and Link didn't. I felt like that was a clear enough divide in the use of technology.

I also thought about the fact that Millennial children, Generation Alpha, were defined by the release of the iPad and Instagram. So why couldn't Millennials be defined by the release of Atari and VHS players? It makes the most sense.

I feel like it solves the whole Xennial problem. We know and embrace older Millennials and younger Millennials will always be separated by the Cold War, but the reason younger members of Gen X felt like they didn't belong with their generation is because they don't. They were Millennials then entire time.

What do you think? Should Millennials be defined by the release of the Atari and VHS? Or is there really a microgeneration defined by the end of the Cold War? Let me know.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Blogging Advice: Using a Content Planner

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I love blogging. I've been doing it since 2002 when I had a LiveJournal. So that means that I've occasionally found myself reading blogs about blogging when I want to step up my game or learn to do something else I've seen other blogs doing. And one piece of advice I came across that I really loved was having a content planner.

It almost seems obvious, but it's not one of those things people really think of. I think most planners would do, but I use The Happy Planner.

Here's a sneak peak of my November.
I think Google Calendar is a great option for those who like technology that can sync everywhere. That is even beneficial over the handwritten calendars - and I do use Google Calendar for my appointments. I also use it to manage the schedule of every single coworker I have in my office - I don't exactly want to use it for something I'm doing for fun. And I think The Happy Planner is so much fun.

I have complaints. While they have blank calendar pages you can add to expand your planner, they don't sell regular calendar pages so you can reuse the same planner year after year, even though it's totally designed so that you could do that if you had the pages.

But it does come with expansion packs, which is a thing you usually associate with video games. For my 2019 planner, I decided I also wanted a productivtiy pack.

Stickers, sticky notes, and cardstock - oh my!
What I like about these planners, as well, is that it has the whole calendar laid out for the month with pretty big squares to write events in. It also has separate sections for you to keep birthdays, goals, etc so that you only have to use the calendar to keep track of your content. And then, there's the laid out week pages.

A week from my 2019 calendar.

There is so much space to write down what you want to plan each day! In fact, for my 10 80s Movies Every Millennial Should See post, I had written the entire list in the planner on the day I had planned on releasing it.

But that's what works for me. Maybe that won't work for you. Any planner that works for you should be the one you use, whether it's a digital calendar, pages you printed off the Internet, or a spreadsheet you made. The important thing is that you can use it to plan your content.

So, why do you need a content planner? I'm over here getting hot and heavy over about content planners and I'm not even explaining why they're so wonderful.

Do you really want to pull content out of your ass every time you post? This blog is young, so yeah, I've totally done it. I bet you can even tell which entries I did. But then I do have ideas, so I write them down in the planner where I think it would make sense to post it. For example, I decided that I wanted to compare Sabrinas to commemorate The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina coming out on Netflix - and I wrote down when I wanted it to come out, and when I should watch the original Sabrina so the episode would be fresh in my mind when I watched the new one.

I decided that I want to showcase different Millennials who are popular with the media as a way to remind people we don't all suck, so I've been writing down their birthdays so I can plan entries around that. I'm also writing down the release dates of reboots for the same reason. It helps keep me on track, and I don't feel so flustered or rushed to come up with ideas.

Do you blog, and do you use a content planner? What's your favorite planner? Or do you prefer to wing it? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

10 80s Movies All Millennials Must See

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Later this week, I'm going to discuss some subtle differences between older Millennials and younger Millennials, but one very obvious difference is the ones that try to call themselves Xennials have memories from the 80s. And you know what? The 80s were great - and the cinema was better.

In thinking of this list of ten movies, I decided early on that I was ruling out all and any sequels. Otherwise, half the list could be Ghostbusters and Back to the Future. Which, spoilers, those movies are definitely on the list. Then I decided to include movies that I enjoyed as a child and as an adult - which means I had to rule out The Breakfast Club because I didn't see it until I was 24.

Without further ado, here are ten movies that all Millennials must see.

10. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

We had a thing for time travel in the 80s, didn't we? Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is fun romp where the sole motivation is getting two San Dimas teens to pass their history class. I love seeing these two airheads try to understand how time travel works to help themselves - and it turns out, the future of the world. Wyld Stallyns rule!

9. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller is the ultimate cool. I only skipped school once in my life, and my ride to the mall got arrested - I certainly didn't get to be in a parade! But serial skipper Ferris Bueller sure knew how to make the most out of life, and he was only 17 years old. Plus, there's a cameo by 80s Charlie Sheen, and I'm never mad at that.

8. The Little Mermaid

I really related to Ariel as a child, sure I didn't fit in where I was and believing there was something more for me out there in the world. Of course, The Little Mermaid taught me a few lessons. First of all, I learned that if someone evil tells you they're not evil, it's okay to not trust that. I also learned that family usually has your best interest at heart, even if it doesn't seem like it. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney films of all time.

7. All Dogs Go To Heaven

All Dogs Go To Heaven utterly destroys me. I don't watch it as often as I should because I hate crying, but it would be very disappointing if a movie with Heaven in the title wasn't a movie about redemption, and it definitely delivers on that. It's a movie for the whole family to enjoy together.

6. Little Shop of Horrors

I am obsessed with Little Shop of Horrors. It is one of my favorite musicals of all time. It's boy meets girl, girl has evil boyfriend, boy meets plant, and plant murders world - that classic story. This particular version of LSoH loses the morality tale of it all, but it has Steve Martin as a sadistic dentist and Bill Murray as a masochistic patient and that's amazing.

5. Heathers

From here on out, my obsession with the movies only intensifies. Heathers is a fun, quotable dark comedy with a ton of homicide. We all know that high school is the worst, but at least it wasn't as bad as it was for Veronica Sawyer. It's not fun being an accomplice to murder because your boyfriend is a psychopath.

4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

This is one movie where I'm glad it's nothing like the source material, even though I did enjoy the book. The book just wasn't a 1940s detective movie where the true villain was right under your nose the whole time. Plus, there weren't as many well known 1940s cartoon icons in the book! Fun fact: Between 1989 and 2009, I only watched Roger Rabbit while I was sick and high off of cough syrup, and the movie is totally different when you're not exactly sober.

3. Back to the Future

I know John Mulaney has a whole bit about how weird Back to the Future is, but it is actually one of the most perfect movies of all time. I learned this when I rewatched the movie while I was in a screenwriting class. The movie is textbook, without being so formulaic and predictable that it's boring.  It's just a shame that DeLoreans had to wait 20 years for the movie's most devoted audience to be old enough to actually purchase one. Also, Marty's mom is kind of creepy.

2. Beetlejuice

My mom tells people I had a crush on Beetlejuice when I was a little kid, and I can't say that she was wrong. I did build many a blanket fort where I pretended to hang out with the ghost with the most. I also am really, really mad that Lydia reneged on her promise. I watch Beetlejuice at least 20 times a year, and it only gets better every time I see it. Fun fact: I was really pissed it was super obvious that Alec Baldwin and Michael Keaton did not actually share a single scene in the 100th episode of "30 Rock."

1. Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters isn't just my favorite movie - it's my favorite franchise. Everyone has a favorite Ghostbuster, and while most people's are Venkman, I've always had a soft spot for Egon. Egon made the tech - they couldn't bust ghosts if it wasn't for him. I also just really like that it's an inspiring story about three friends who lose their job and risk everything to into business for themselves.

Even as I made the list, I knew there were movies I was leaving out. Where's The Land Before Time? What other movies should I have included on this list? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Millennials Love Nostalgia: Comparing Sabrinas

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I didn't choose to have Sabrina the Teenage Witch in my life; it chose me.

The year was 1989 and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were on a mall tour. The important thing to know is that in 1989, Archie Comics had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic.

Why is that important, you may ask?

In 1989, things were still very much gendered. Attendees of the mall tour each got a comic book, so even the little girls who were there to meet Raphael because he was best turtle ended up with a Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic, instead of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book the boys got. Who knows what course life may have taken if they'd had Josie and the Pussycats that day, but my avid comic collecting started that day in 1989 when I was given a Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic.

The point is, Sabrina is very near and dear to my heart. I kind of hedged on reading The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, because of my love of the original comic I had, but I was excited to see the new TV series.

I'm going to show my obsession with Sabrina Spellman. I own the complete series of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" on DVD. When the TV show was out, I had a Sabrina doll and the Sabrina magic crystal ball. I also chose to ignore the TV pilot move Sabrina the Teenage Witch which only starred Melissa Joan Hart and Michelle Beaudoin from the TV series - and Michelle Beaudoin played a character named Marnie instead of Jenny, like she played in the series.

In honor of "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," I decided I wanted to compare the first episode of each. I actually watched the first three episodes of each because I was on a roll, but I'm only comparing the ways in which we were introduced to Sabrina.

In 1996, Sabrina's powers came to her as a complete surprise. Daughter of warlock Edward and mortal Diana, Sabrina was entrusted to the care of her aunts Hilda and Zelda to help her learn to use her powers. An inept Sabrina accidentally turns mean girl Libby Chessler into a pineapple, and when her aunts help her change Libby back into a human, Libby threatens to tell the whole school. Sabrina pleads her case to the Witch's Council and with a little extra behind the scenes persuasion from Hilda, the day resets and Sabrina gets a second chance to find a way to balance her witch and mortal lives.

In 2018, Sabrina knows she's a witch, and on her 16th birthday, she will have to sign her name in the Book of the Beast. Daughter of warlock Edward and mortal Diana, Sabrina was raised by her aunts Hilda and Zelda after her parents died in an accident. Three witches known as the Weird Sisters taunt and curse Sabrina, as they do not want her half-mortalness at their school. The closer it gets to Sabrina's birthday, however, the more she starts to question her dark baptism, as she does not want to leave behind the mortals she loves so dearly.

Besides the tonal differences, and the episode length difference - the first episode of "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" is 61 minutes long, nearly three times the length of the first episode of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," there are some character differences. Salem is silent, which I'm okay with because they kind of have Ambrose to fill that role. Zelda, the older, sterner sister was wise and kind in the original series and is a homicidal bitch in the new one. Hilda, the younger, funner sister was ditzy but well meaning - and well, she still is. But she's also very smart and sympathetic. Sabrina is still Sabrina, but the way in which she must balance her mortal and witch lives has changed quite a bit.

So far, I'm obsessed with "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" and can't wait to keep watching it, but I need a break. Three hours is a pretty long binge - that's nearly 9 episodes of the 90s series. All I know is if you were on the fence about watching the new series, you should still give it a try. I've been a Sabrina fan since 1989. That's nearly 30 years. If anybody could be disappointed, it would certainly be me and I'm far from it.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Millennials Can Actually Save Something? Post Office Edition

For at least a decade, we've been hearing about how Millennials are killing everything. They can never put a positive spin on things.

So imagine my delight when I learned we could actually save something. We could save the post office.

But before I get into all of that, I just want to point out how obvious it is that nobody knows what a Millennial is. They use the age group 18 to 34 to represent Gen X in 2001, and Millennials in 2017. As someone born in 1983, the hinky-ness of that age group stood out to me immediately - I was 18 in 2001 and 34 in 2017. I'm somehow in two generations. The last year that Gen X included 18 year olds was in 1998. The more you know.

Can Millennials save the post office? The article states that Millennials love getting mail because it makes them feel special, but don't like sending it because it's effort. I will point out that I don't mind the effort if it makes me feel like I'm making someone else feel special, and I actually found a fun way to do that thanks to a YouTube binge gone weird.

Sealing wax.

Sealing wax is fun, especially when you allow yourself to experiment. And trust me, I have sent letters to international countries, too, so it will go through the mail, if you keep it thin enough to go through the machines. If it gets too thick, they're going to charge you extra postage and you have to have your mail hand canceled.

But making someone feel special and playing with fire may not be enough to save the post office, and that's not on Millennials - that's on the post office.

First of all, I don't imagine how anyone could trust the mail in Wisconsin after it was first discovered postal workers were stealing money from the mail, but then the mail in two communities just completely vanished on September 4.

And it's not just Wisconsin. A postal worker who quit dumped a lot of mail in New Jersey. There's a story that happened a while ago that I can't remember all the details to now, but there was one postal worker in New York that got so flustered with trying to deliver the mail on time, they just stashed it and never delivered it. The post office has a huge mess on its hands.

And with 75% of these news stories about the news being so fresh, the post office proposed raising stamp prices a whopping 5 cents for a one ounce letter, bringing the price up from $0.50 to $0.55. So the post office wants to charge you more for the gamble you take when you put something in the mail.

I love sending mail, and I think if craftier Millennials saw how fun creating mail pieces can be, they would love sending it more, too. But knowing that mail could be lost and that it's becoming more and more expensive to send it, it makes me wonder why anyone would want to get on board if they weren't already.

The post office needs to work out its own issues, but when it does - maybe Millennials could help make mail fun again.

And if not us, maybe our kids.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Early Blog Days Ramblings

Eventually, my update schedule will be non-existent, the reason behind which will be revealed very soon. But in the early days, I want my blog to have entries so if people stumble upon it, they'll have things to read. I mean, yes, most of my blog entries should probably stick to the central theme of embracing ones Millennialness and exploring what that means, but I want to talk about my last failed blog.

I've been trying to make blogs happen since I got an invite to LiveJournal in 2002. Okay, I guess this can still be about how I'm a proud Millennial, just in a different way. Blogging was a lot easier in 2002. MySpace wasn't a thing yet, and Facebook was even further off. Friends talked to friends through their blog entries on LiveJournal. I also used to make a lot of fansites on Geocities back when fanbases were kind of small. It was so easy to felt heard back then.

But then social media happened, the Internet got bigger, and I felt invisible. But I really have always enjoyed blogging - it's writing, and I love to write. I wrote for my school newspaper in middle school, and I wrote for the student run television news program we had in high school, so even without the Internet, I would want to be heard. But my last failed blog failed because I had completely lost my voice.

I wanted to be heard so badly that I had decided to cultivate a lifestyle around lazy. I dropped it because I forgot to hit publish on one of my entries and then I didn't want to have to explain anything so I just walked away. But then I went back to the same blog to try to bring it back, only to make the same mistake a second time.

But I wasn't really invested in that blog. Yes, I would love to cultivate a lifestyle, and yes, I'm pretty efficient at being lazy. But I was trying to force a thing to happen and I lost track of who I was. The reason it was so hard to keep the blog up after a silly mistake is because I lost the momentum of lying to myself. I last updated my LiveJournal in 2013. I'm not afraid to commit to things long past their prime. But the difference there is that my LiveJournal was all about who I really was as a person.

This entry has no pictures and I feel like I'm taking a pretty long time to wrap things up, so let's throw in some They Might Be Giants to take us home:

Before I started this blog, I sat down to figure out what I wanted, what I hoped to accomplish, and what reality might look like.

I know nobody is reading this, but would be so happy if somebody was. What I want is an outlet to express myself, as long as myself is really me. I do want to cultivate a lifestyle, but one generally has a life when they do that. I'm working on it. What I hope to accomplish is getting those who were so quick to embrace being a Xennial to realize why their own generation is great and they should be proud to be a part of it. And reality is, I might not update all the time. That's okay. As long as I'm having fun and being true to myself, I don't really care about what the algorithm likes or if people actually manage to find this blog ever. Again, I would be happy if they did and I will mostly write entries as if you're already here. But it's very hard to find success, no matter what your definition of success is, if you hate what you're doing.

I just want to follow my bliss.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Generation Alpha: Millennial Babies

Millennials aren't the teenagers the media believes us to be, and we're starting to have babies - Generation Alpha, the first generation born entirely in the 21st century. Alpha's generation started in 2010, chosen because of the release of Instagram and the iPad, but is expected to go through 2025.

So why am I talking about our generation's precious children? Because the eight year olds already have us by the wallets. 65% of Millennials say their children influences their purchases. 27% even go as far as ask their kids' opinions before making a purchase.

Like, I get it. Boomers made for strict parents. If you watch comedian John Mulaney talk about his parents, you can relate because we all had parents like that - even if they weren't lawyers. They sure as heck didn't ask our opinion on what we wanted if it wasn't our birthday or Christmas. But we are seriously letting 8 year olds be involved in the purchase of some big ticket items - like televisions. When I was 8, I told my parents I wanted a television with picture in picture, and they were like, "we have a Panasonic, we never have to upgrade." And we didn't until the thing caught fire the same year it turned 20.

Alphas are expected to be the wealthiest generation, however, so maybe we should let the kids have a little bit of power now - they might remember it when we're older. And for a generation that really felt the struggle, it'll be nice to know our kids won't.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

If I Had $1.6 Billion Dollars

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Ever since I was a little girl, I loved imagining what one could do with cash prizes. I used to tell my parents what house we would buy once we got Boardwalk and Park Place in McDonald's Monopoly. I don't even care about winning, really, because I've accepted that I won't - but until it's confirmed, the most fun I could have is just picturing what I would do with all that money.

But let's add some mood music to this post:

So, if I had $1,600,000,000, I would buy:

1. A House With a Lazy River

If I can't spend all day lazing around in a raft in my backyard, then I'm not living luxuriously enough. I want to float on a raft, maybe reading a book and definitely drinking wine.

2. Nintendo Switch

I'm aware this one seems lame by most standards, but I don't buy new consoles with any regularity. I am currently rocking a Super Nintendo. I'm a casual gamer, so I don't think I need the newest XBox or Playstation, but it would be fun to have something from this decade and century.

3. A Movie Studio

I would love to produce movies, and nearly $2 billion could finance a lot of movies. There's also a book series that I love that I would find out if I could option, and if not, I would buy my way onto the production team. It's a dream of mine that I would love to make come true.

4. An Apartment Complex

This is another little passion project. I want to create housing for low- and no-income individual and families. I want to offer programs to help the people living in the apartment learn skills to become employable in in-demand fields (and it would be a requirement for anyone getting free rent). It would be my charitable endeavor that I believe all billionaires need to undertake.

5. I would buy LiveJournal back from Russia

It's not that I even care that much that LiveJournal is Russian now, except for all the Russian porn ads when I'm reading "30 Rock" fanfic, but the very first blog I ever had as a teenager was on LiveJournal. I reconnected with my childhood best friend because we both had LiveJournals. LiveJournal is an important part of my Millennial identity and I want to own it.

What about you? What are some things that you would do if you had $1.6 billion? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Millennial Murder Files: Food

We previously explored the idea that Millennials may have brutally murdered American Cheese, but what if wasn't just a cheese product? What if Millennials have just killed food altogether?

In a very poignant article with a tone deaf headline, Saveur explores just that.

Just the headline and the subhead alone made me roll my eyes so hard that they fell out of my eye sockets. You've probably seen it around the Internet.

"Do Millennials Even Eat Food? Contradictory studies claim they're shopping for fewer groceries... but also dining out less."

The thing is, the article is not as snotty as the headline. It acknowledges the financial and emotional stress that Millennials face. It also acknowledges that Millennials are often blamed for trends that other generations also contribute to. It even suggests that the use of food delivery apps is why there could be a decline in both grocery shopping and dining out.

But why did they have to use that headline? It just seems so mocking when the article is so factual. So, while even this particular article admits Millennials did not kill food, here are some other suggestions for getting readers to click:

"Are Millennials Okay? Studies show that Millennials are grocery shopping less and eating out less - do they need help?"

"Gen X Murdered Grocery Shopping? Studies show the age group is eating out more."

"Baby Boomers Eat Out More to Save Restaurants from Murdering Millennials."

"Why Do Millennials Hate Food? Studies suggest that they've stopped eating it."

"Starving Is the Latest Millennial Trend."

So, have Millennials murdered food?

Of course not. They just rely on the ever changing technology that have shaped their lives to leave their house less. And that's just fine.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

You Might Be a Millennial If...

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So, interesting tidbit about me that one might not pick up on if they just saw me walking down the street, but mostly because of the way people choose to judge people.

I flipping love Jeff Foxworthy. I grew up outside of Atlanta in a trailer park and had a cousin on "Cops," so redneck jokes were #relatable. I have memorized The 12 Days of Redneck Christmas and I sing it every year. I watched "The Jeff Foxworthy Show." We had a Redneck Joke a Day calendar for a good chunk of the 90s.

When one loves an observation comic, one learns to make observations. I'm going to make some now, based on life as an older Millennial. They're probably not funny as being a Millennial is at times tragic, and some of these probably only happened to California Millennials (I've lived in five states, so don't worry about my contradicting statements about where I have lived), but they're still observation's I've made.

You might be a Millennial if...

Your college scholarship got canceled because the sponsor fell victim to the dot com bubble, you might be a Millennial.

If you had strong opinions about Michelle not being on "Fuller House," you could be a Millennial.

You wanted to be a journalist in middle school just to have that career become endangered before your 25th birthday, you might be a Millennial.

If Cory and Topanga are goals, you might be a Millennial.

You learned to use a card catalog in 5th grade just to have libraries to be computerized by 8th grade, you are definitely an older Millennial.

If you know every line to Clueless and Mean Girls, you are a Millennial.

If you spent the majority of your 20s able to watch funny videos on YouTube, you might be a Millennial.

Okay, I know that this entry was totally lame, but I've been itching to write it since I actually said the first one to a co-worker the other day. It's probably not going to be a recurring segment, but it was kind of fun to do it once.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Nostalgia Generation

There's a generation that's so nostalgic that they brought back their own childhood once they got old enough to be in charge of the world.

Oh, no, I'm not at all talking about Millennials. Those of us who remember being called Gen Y also remember that we looked up to Gen X and their slacker culture, but there's also one more thing they did that we emulated.

They brought their childhood back.

So, back in the 90s, some of my favorite movies were The Brady Bunch Movie, The Addams Family, The Flintstones, Dennis the Menace, and Beverly Hillbillies - all reboots. Not all of them good, but I was ten so what did I care?

But even back in the 80s, they revived "The Jetsons" with new episodes and "The Munsters" with a follow up series "The Munsters Today."

So where am I going with all of this? Pointing out that reboots are nothing new, and in fact are something that Millennials grew up with?

No. We need to stop. There is about to be a fourth "Twilight Zone" reboot. See, there was the original series, but then there was a movie in the 80s, a TV show in the 80s, and TV show in the 00s, and now there's about to be another TV show.

I love reboots. I like getting to visit characters I like again in the future. We tried to make a third Munsters. I mean, it was a pretty good pilot, but maybe NBC saw the future I'm seeing and tried to save us.

I can't think of more than 5 original shows for Gen Z, and most of them are canceled now. A lot of the shows they're growing up with are our shows. I'm pretty excited at the thought that there may one day be an updated Little Shop of Horrors, which was a reboot itself, but how many times am I expected to watch "He-Man"?

We're getting to the reboot singularity. Literally everything on TV and in the movies will be something that an older generation grew up with. Either in reboot form, or because you can't cancel "The Simpsons" or "South Park." Or "Family Guy" more than three times.

This was kind of a rant, but I need it known that I do love reboots, but there are limits.

Thank goodness "The Secret World of Alex Mack" dated itself so hard it would be very difficult to remake without Alex being caught by the bad guys mid-pilot.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Millennial Murder Files: American Cheese

Millennials get a bad rep for a lot of things. We got participation trophies. We are obsessed with avocado toast. But the one thing Millennials are most associated with are killing things. Is that reputation deserved?

Well, the newest buzz on the Internet is that Millennials killed American cheese. The initial reaction may be, "how dare Millennials senselessly murder anything that has the word 'American' in it? They're all a bunch of communists!" Hopefully the next reaction is calm down, because there's some stuff to process here.

Like American cheese. It's not even cheese. It's a processed cheese product, according to It cannot be legally classified as a cheese, and it's high in fat and sodium. It's barely not Velveeta.

And how do we know it's being killed? Fast food restaurants are replacing American cheese in their offerings. That actually sounds like fast food restaurants are killing American cheese, but the claim is that Millennials prefer real cheese. First of all, restaurants don't know what Millennials like - that's why we're allegedly killing restaurants, but that's another thing to explore on another day.  Secondly, who doesn't prefer actual cheese to something that can't legally be called cheese? Name one person whose favorite kind of cheese is American. According to extensive Googling, the most popular cheese is Mozzarella, which makes sense - it's what we put on pizza. But going down the list of popular cheeses, American doesn't even come close to the top.

American cheese is cheap, which certainly gave it an advantage as a household staple, but in a foodie-dominated world, it doesn't really have a place in a restaurant setting.

So, did Millennials kill American cheese?

I am literally using a picture to hold your suspense.
I'm going with no.

See, foodies are not Millennials. They're younger Boomers and older Gen X'ers. Foodies first came on the scene in the 1980s, when some of us Millennials were barely being born and most of us were not even thought of. They became such a part of the popular culture, they invented Food Network for them. They invented magazines and specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma for them - which, by the way, is my Boomer mom's favorite store. So when your parents are eating well, you learn to eat well - American cheese was always going to be a casualty of this. We might be finishing the job our parents started, but the timer on American cheese started counting down 30 years ago.

So if anybody killed American cheese, Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers can take a shared claim in that feat, but let's face it - American cheese has to go.

What do you think? Did Millennials murder American cheese? Or is this a job their parents started? Did you know foodies existed in the 1980s? Let me know!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Dear Amanda 1998

My birthday is on October 16. This year, I had a mostly wonderful birthday with just two little hiccups - Amazon lost my order, and YouTube went down for an hour. But then I thought about my birthday 20 years ago, where I was so pumped to get my first ever CD, and I thought past me would be amused by what is considered a problem these days.

I decided to try to use terms that I would have understood in 1998. I didn't know YouTube or Twitter - they didn't exist yet. But I knew what videos were, and what the Internet was, and that people complained online sometimes.

And I'm not wrong about how fast it all changes - in 1998, nobody knew Google yet, and by 2006 they own everything. In fact, my own predicament of not even owning a computer would change in the next 18 months.

Anyway, the letter:

Actual handwritten letter
17 Oct 2018

Dear Amanda 1998,

You just had a pretty bomb 15th birthday. You asked your parents for the NSYNC self-titled cassette and they surprised you with a personal CD player and the NSYNC CD.

20 years from now, you'll complain because a famous internet video site was down for an hour. To be fair, it was because it prevented you from watching The Brady Bunch Movie, which is something I know you can understand.

You handled it like the mature adult that you are - you complained online. Some people called the police.

But you, who right now just received your first CD player and can only dream of owning a computer one day have no idea how fast it's all about to change. You might be the lucky one and little brother just punched you. He grows out of that.

Enjoy the next 20 years.


Amanda 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mission Statement

Millennials have some variance in definition, but the one I most readily accept is that we were born between 1981 and 1997. Here's why.

Blockbuster Video, bless their corporate soul, operated from 1985 until 2014 - not counting the few rogues that held out and continue to hold out for as long as they can. That means the older millennials were not yet school age when they opened their doors, and the younger millennials were almost out of high school by the time they closed for good. We are the only generation to literally grow up with Blockbuster Video. Millennials are categorized by the rapidly changing technology and the rise and fall of Blockbuster really fits into that definition.

We've had some other names. Gen Y - that's because we didn't have a name yet. That's right, kiddos - Gen X was such a flash in the pants generation, they never got named. Some older millennials try to claim their Xennials - that's not a thing. It's just not. It's younger members of Gen X wanting to be special enough to have a name and older Millennials being a victim to self-loathing.

Millennials are special. We have reverence towards older technology because that was our childhood, but we're also quick to adapt to what comes next. We get blamed for everything by the generation that raised us. We decided we all needed a trophy? We were seven. How?

I am an older millennial, born in 1983. I am absolutely not a Xennial. I am here to embrace everything that makes millennials great, including the fact that we really don't care if you blame us for things other generations did and how much technology has changed in our lifetimes. When I was 10 years old, my parents gave me a black and white hand-me-down ten inch television with a coat hanger and aluminum foil antenna as a sign of my maturity. Now I watch live television on my cell phone. It's weird but awesome all at once.

Hopefully, if you are an older millennial, you can embrace your greatness. If you're a younger member of Gen X, we still love you but you also need to embrace your own specialness - just because you're the Jan Brady of generations doesn't mean nothing makes you unique. Jan Brady was a prank queen. And if you're a Boomer, maybe you can learn that we're pushing 40 now and maybe stop confusing us with teenagers. And if you're Gen Z, just know Millennials see your struggle and sorry you're kind of living in our shadow.

Millennials are great and Xennials don't exist. End of statement.