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It’s Cool To Like Harry Styles, Okay?

For years I’ve badly kept a secret under a snobby “I listen to the Shins” facade. I play it “cool” when talking music. If you ask, I’ll recommend eclectic Tame Impala, soothing Jenny Lewis, and mention how I just got into Andrew Bird and wish I saw him at a house show in the city before he got big. If you hand me the aux cord I’ll put on Fleetwood Mac’s stomp-y “Tusk,” pretend I liked Lorde from the start, or select Jack White’s “Lazaretto,” not before mentioning it’s unfortunate that he’s an asshole in real life. I’ll mention that I saw the ever so angsty Simple Plan in concert when I was 15, and how I once fainted during a Modest Mouse set.

If you met me now, you probably wouldn’t guess that at one point in my life I knew the whereabouts of Harry Styles at any given time and day, but that’s the goddamn truth.

One Direction was more than just an obsession; it was a ride. I was there since 2011 when they auditioned on X Factor. I knew everything past the basic information everybody knew like his birthday, hometown, his tattoos. Just from scrolling through my Twitter feed I knew where he was, who he was with, why he was with them, I mean everything. My parents gifted a cardboard cutout Harry to me as a reward for being inducted into my school’s National Honor Society. I was mortified, embarrassed, and only a few, trusted, friends ever saw it. I had 1D books, their DVD, cut out pictures of them. I even had a favorite picture of Harry. This was it. I don’t know, okay?

Photo Credit:
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I’ll try to write this to the best of my ability as if I did not own a cardboard cutout of Harry Styles in 2012. You see, it was “embarrassing” to proudly stan One Direction in my day. It was shameful to bop to “trivial” hits like “Live While We’re Young,” “Up All Night,” and the one that started it all, “What Makes You Beautiful.” It was basic. Society deemed 1D as soft, childish, and because it was beloved by hormonal teen girls: dismissible.

Here’s the truth about that: assuming something is shit because teen girls like it is inherently sexist, elitist, and frankly, a waste of both yours and my time. Nothing is worse at a party than having to listen to a mediocre dude mansplain Weezer, Coldplay, or Radiohead to you while vaping. I once had a man-bun donning Uber driver in Los Angeles ask me, “Jack White, ever heard of him?” and I rolled my eyes so hard I resembled an eightball.

Mr. Styles himself is aware of the sexism that surrounds his fame and actually addressed it in a recent Rolling Stone interview:

“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls liked the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.”

Forced into hiding during One Direction’s peak, I began to share my “cooler” musical interests more often. It wasn’t necessarily a lie, because I did and do listen to Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, and Jenny Lewis frequently. In childhood journals, I wrote that Stevie Nicks was my role model and mentioned how “Tusk” and “The Chain” were the best songs ever created. (Though 21-year-old me contests now that Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” may tie).

 

I went into complete stalkerish-fangirl-retirement around the time of One Direction’s third album. I had just dropped off, lost interest in the drama, and I was done. I heard the last album post-Zayn and I liked it, but didn’t obsess over it like I had previously. I truly did just naturally stop listening to their music. Things were smooth sailing for a couple of years; my headphones only blasted some good ol’ Norah Jones, Rilo Kiley, Fleetwood Mac, Father John Misty, and y-know, indie folk stuff.

That’s why when Harry Styles went solo, with a newer, folk-y rock sound I knew I was in trouble. At first I avoided the album, I knew that once I listened I would be too far gone. I heard peers compare his “Sign Of The Times” to Bowie and call him a baby Mick Jagger. Shit, I thought. The album came out, I avoided it, but my mind had already started to get on board. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t get back into my 1D conspiracy lifestyle, but when I saw headlines “Harry Styles’ New Girlfriend: Tess Ward” and I immediately doubted it because it was announced so close to the album release date. Oh no, here we go again, I thought. Then there was SNL, which I regularly watch anyway, and there he was, in a goddamn plaid suit, singing “Sign Of The Times”, and then, “Ever Since New York” (rumored to be about Taylor Swift – see! I’m doing it again! Ugh!). Upon hearing his soothing voice sliding out of his goddamn smirked mouth it was game over, I had to listen, and I did. And now, just like Sum41’s classic 2000’s angst anthem, I am “In Too Deep.”

“Sign Of The Times” does slightly evoke the late David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” It’s dramatic, soothing, and written about the current political state. “Just stop your crying, it’s a sign on the times. We got to get away from from here. We got to get away from here. Stop your crying, baby, we’ll be alright. They told me that the end is near we got to get away from here.” I mean true though. Styles admitted to long-time best friend James Corden in his recent Carpool Karaoke segment that he cries sometimes performing this song, but in a “cool, emotional way.”

By the way, Harry’s Carpool Karaoke, at the time of publishing, is just three days old and has already accumulated 12 million views on Youtube. It’s also a gem. Harry and James reenact romantic comedy scenes and sing “Hey Ya!” (which I have mentioned a million times is the best song of my generation!).

The other tracks on the album won me over just as easily. “Meet Me In The Hallway” sounds like a Mac Demarco or Tame Impala track, with drawn-out dream-like sentences. It’s desperate, entrancing, and perfect for those who select certain songs to induce them into sleep whilst picking their own brain. “Carolina” is 60s-ish. The repetitive “La La La’s” really make me think of rose colored glasses, neon flowers, and high-waisted bell bottoms.

A favorite, “Two Ghosts,” murdered my soul. It is slower, calmer folk about the ebb and flow of a dead relationship. “We’re not who we used to be, we are just two ghosts swimming in a glass half empty, trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.” Ouch. This one is negative, but not unrelatable. The next track, “Sweet Creature,” is well, sweet. A lot of fans seem to think this was written about his older sister, Gemma. It is also his mom’s favorite song on the album. The background vocals are really eclectic, I think. In fact, the thought of Styles recording just the high-pitched background vocals “Oooooooh-woop! Oooooh-wooop! Oooooh!”s makes me laugh.

“Only Angel” is that classic rock sound many were waiting for. It’s sexy, catchy, and about goddamn time. In the foreseeable future Harry Styles will probably jump around stage to this and possibly swing an electric guitar over a plaid-suited shoulder of his. The not-so-retired fangirl in me wants to guess this song is about Kendall Jenner, but I won’t talk about that. (Though wouldn’t it be amazing if he became a reoccurring character on KUWTK?)

My absolute favorite song on this album is “Kiwi.” It’s the most honest, loud, and rock and roll sound we have heard from Styles yet. It mentions the lifestyle that you’d expect to hear from a 23-year-old celebrity living in LA — cocaine, hard liquor, prostitutes, a crazy impulsive party scene, and baby-makin’. The chorus screams the lyrics “I am having your baby! Its none of your business!” and I quite literally have felt that way toward Harry Styles for years, so thank you, for that, for affirming what I have been thinking this whole time.

“Ever Since New York,” is a slower ballad similar to “Two Ghosts.” Oh, tell me something that I don’t already know. Truthfully, eh. There’s got to be one on the album that just isn’t a favorite. For me, this is it.

“Woman” is moody and confrontational, with some long guitar riffs and orchestrated duck sounds. Well, it’s actually Styles’ voice with an effect over it and it’s not supposed to sound like a duck, more of like an “UHH” but it totally sounds like a quack.

Lastly, is “From The Dining Room Table,” which sounds like the kind of song in an opening scene in Judd Apatow movie starring Michael Cera as the shrimpy male lead. It sounds how unshakeable uncertainty that comes with the twenties feels. It progresses into almost a heavenly sounding chorus for a brief second. My favorite lines are “Fell back to sleep, I got drunk by noon. I’ve never felt less cool.” and “Comfortable silence is so overrated.” For me, this taps into the nature of impulsive decisions a lost twentysomething sometimes makes. It reminds me of almost every time I have drank alone. It’s about longing, missing someone, and in a way, missing yourself. I dig “From The Dining Room Table” and relate, hard.

To make matters worse, I truly think Harry Styles is trying to personally kill me. On Sat. May 20th, he performed a “secret show” at The Troubadour with a special guest. It was Stevie Nicks. They sang “Landslide” together. He cried. I cried. Goddamnit.

So here we are in 2017, Harry Styles’ self-titled rock album has debuted at number one on Billboard’s top 200 chart. One Direction critics will act as if they’ve been won over. That mediocre guy from that party earlier will state the obvious, “This is Harry Styles? It doesn’t sound like One Direction.” A new era of fangirls will mix in with the old. People like me don’t have to hide anymore under elitist “well actually, I listen to-” tones. Harry Styles is cool, has been cool, and if you thought he was lame before just because teen girls liked him, then you were probably being a little sexist. Now if you excuse me, I have an old cardboard cutout to dig out…

Comedy 👑 Amanda Bynes

Most people recognize the queens of comedy as Ball, Rivers, and modern Fey/Poehler types — but there’s a certain throne in my heart reserved for the woman whose jokes raised my wit — Bynes.

We need to talk about Amanda Bynes. Amanda Bynes was an early 2000s queen, the nonsensical teen on my TV with all that, and my first introduction to women in sketch comedy.

The lengths of which she entertained a generation are enormously spread. I dreamt of being as funny as her, being as cool as her, being able to pull off a midriff like her.

Everyday when I got home from school I would grab a granola bar, plop myself down on the ugly dark green carpet in my childhood bedroom and glue my eyes to the low-def glowing television screen that sang, “AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA SHOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!”

In recent years, the media has done her real dirty. The Hollywood Reporter declared the end of her career. People Magazine chronicled her “fall from grace” in just 5 pictures. They also wrote that she is “impossible to help” at this point. In grocery store mags she’s the “hot mess” and “Lohan 2.0.” Harvey Leven and Perez Hilton pretend to be nice now with reports like “Amanda Bynes Is RECOVERING and we’re so proud!” when the truth of the matter is that they were on the frontlines of a spiral for years exploiting addiction, abuse, and sensationalizing mental illness for profit. Frankly, it’s disgusting how profitable tragedy has become to these sick f*cks.

As I type this I feel similarly to how Chris Crocker felt defending Britney.

Yesterday was Amanda Bynes’ 31st birthday and I want to celebrate her and all she has done to shape my young mind. Her plethora of characters still make me laugh and her wit never falters. Millennials truly do need to celebrate what she has done for us.

She was Ashley, a rude tiny-person with a help hotline in All That.

She was Judge Trudy, a no-nonsense nonsense judge who called in the dancing lobsters in The Amanda Show.

She worked at Blockblister, an off brand Blockbuster – god, how old of a sentence?

She taught us what to do when Hula girls attack.

She took us into The Girl’s Room and introduced us to Debbie, her friend who liked eggs.

She was Candy, girlfriend of Tony Pajamas, one of the Al Dente brothers. (“What’s that for?” “For being an idiot!” “Okay!”)

She marketed commercials with consumers like us in mind.

She would tell physically painful knock knock jokes during a hillbilly moment.

She introduced us to her friend Kyle. (Sorry for this one’s video quality but I HAD to include this iconic moment, you know the one).

Lastly, I saved the best for last, she gifted us with the most important melodramatic short series of all time: Moody’s Point. (I could write a whole other blog post about Moody’s Point alone – in fact, I think doing a react and recap for each episode would be pretty cool? Would anyone want to read that? Me rewatching probably my favorite parody drama series for the first time since the early 2000s? Let me know if this would interest you and I might do it?)

Basically, I owe Amanda Bynes my childhood and a large percentage of my sense of humor. In a world where women are constantly told they aren’t funny, I am glad that as a little girl I had Amanda Bynes to prove critics wrong. I continue to wish her all the happiness and laughs, just as she’s given me for all these years. We should all bow down to comedy queen Ms. Amanda Bynes.

A Los Angeles Feminist Treasure: Mira Joleigh

In feminist circles on Twitter, she’s known as that fearless bald chick, but Los Angeles boss babe, life coach and makeup artist Mira Joleigh is so much more than that.

Not many people can say they’ve walked across 30 feet of hot coals, gone skydiving the same day they proposed to their wife and left their corporate desk job to become an exotic dancer. Then, go on to become a successful business owner, life coach and makeup artist. For Mira Joleigh, these facts are just a part of her journey. If Beyoncé was right when she sang that a diva is a female version of a hustla’ then there’s something to be said about Joleigh as a diva. Joleigh is the founder of digital lady squad #Ambitionista, a popular online platform for women in their 20s and 30’s to connect and lift each other up. 

Each Monday, Mira hosts #Ambitionista Twitter chats, an hour-long online group hang where women offer advice, network, and take time out of their week to mentally unwind with like-minded ladies. Following the Twitter chats, participants are encouraged and invited to join the movement in a closed Facebook group called #Ambitionista Success Club. Here women help each other, network and share advice. If there is such thing as a femme-positive lady mafia, I think I may have found it here. 


“I’ve learned that people we admire the most are usually the people we see ourselves in,” says Joleigh. “I tweeted this out earlier today; in an alternate universe I was the love-child of RuPaul and Annie Lennox, but in this universe I am just going to have to be a fangirl.”

In 2014, inspired by fierce femmes such as Amber Rose and Demi Moore, Mira shaved her head, felt liberated, and began posting to social media that #BaldIsBeautiful. Her close friend and former client Alexandra Muller attests to this being one of the most defining Mira moments within her friendship. “It was like this milestone in her life that symbolized her stepping into her own skin and bones. After that, I watched her flourish and grow in career opportunities and in her personal life. It was like she was finally fully herself and began attracting all the right opportunities in life. If that doesn’t scream “INSPIRING!” I don’t know what does. Seriously, how many long haired people have the ovaries to shave their heads? I don’t,” Muller enthused. 

Mira exudes new-wave Beyoncé era feminism and intersectionality that previous models of feminism rejected. “Our generation is starting to define what feminism means to us, and how it’s differentiated from the previous waves,” Joleigh explains, and goes on to insist that feminism means “recognizing that gender is on spectrum, that people who are labeled female at birth tend to be treated differently than people who were labeled male at birth, and that masculine qualities are valued in ways that feminine qualities aren’t. It’s not feminism unless it’s intersectional, so that takes into account all identities including race, sexuality, culture, ability, etc.”


Vulnerability is largely a part of her identity, and as a life coach Mira accepts this and uses it to her advantage. “I don’t have it all figured out – no one does,” says Joleigh, in regards to a common life coach misconception that their lives must be perfect in order to coach others. “This keeps me on my toes, I’m always growing because I want to be the best guide and mentor that I can for my clients.” 

Joleigh prides herself on conquering fear-inducing challenges. She came out of the closet as a lesbian at age 17 in small town Georgia and describes that as a scary time that changed her forever. When asked about this time, she swallowed hard, sighed and reflected, “My own happiness was more important than what other people thought, and once I really got this, I could apply it to so many other aspects of my life.” In regards to her other fear-induced challenges she’s proud of: she’s shaved her head, held a tarantula, gone cage diving with great white sharks, climbed to the top of Machu Picchu and danced naked in front of thousands of strangers. After listing her triumphs, Joleigh states, “I’ve learned that fear is mostly in your head and nothing is ever as scary as we make it out to be.”

When living in Georgia began to feel oppressive and stagnant for Mira, she decided to up and move across the country to Portland, Oregon. As a child of a military family, she was accustomed to moving around a lot and became conditioned to feel as though places and people were temporary. This mindset challenged her ability to bond socially and clouded her view of sisterhood. 

It wasn’t until she was working weekends in a strip club dressing room in Portland where she first felt the bonds of sisterhood, working alongside other empowered dancers. Having always admired strong sexy women, she found working at the strip club to be personally empowering. “The way I see it; I’m going to be ogled at by disrespectful men in public anyway, I might as well be in control of the situation and profit from it,” says Joleigh, whose first introduction to the adult industry was when she discovered an alternative modeling website, Suicide Girls. 

As a dancer, profit is exactly what she did. It started as a fun way for Mira to make extra money on the weekends, but the pace convinced her to leave her desk job behind and plan to use her new funds to start her own life coaching business. A few months later, she learned that most of her coworkers at her old job were laid off in the recession. Mira felt fortunate to be dancing in a seemingly recession-proof source of income. Her love of dancing and comfort with her own body took control of a male-gaze oriented tradition and turned it on it’s head. 

Fast forward seven years… now, as a life coach and beauty ambassador for LimeLight by Alcone, Joleigh headed into 2017 with the knowledge this is her year to hit the six figure mark as a business owner. Mira’s life-coaching business combined with her social media presence has given her perfect positioning to combine her passion for helping people with her passion for beauty. Mira now uses Facebook Live to broadcast motivational webinars as well as makeup tutorials where she applies all of the products she promotes. 

Former coaching client of hers, Alexandra Muller reiterated, “Mira is one of the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever encountered in my life. She’s one of the very few people on this planet that makes everybody feel safe to just be who they are and really inspires people to be the best version of themselves.” 

From a corporate desk job, to exotic dancing, to coaching millennial women through life, to makeup artistry, Mira Joleigh is headed nowhere but up, supported by the strength of all the empowered ladies she has left in her wake. 

Lena Dunham Out, Sharks In

Women are powerful. Sharks are powerful. Women sharks are very powerful. I think it’s time we paid homage to the female shark community and see them for what they truly are – feminist heroines.

I know you’re reading this thinking, “She’s lost her mind.” Correct. I lost my mind a long time ago and she’s not coming back any time soon. You know what’s also correct? I can name 3 female sharks in the past week that have inspired me. Let’s do this.

#1. This female shark in Seoul that isn’t putting up with any bullshark bullshit.

She was just a happy 8-year-old-tiger shark, swimming along when this 5-year-old male shark started bumping into her in the tank. So she ate him. Then proceeded to parade around with his lifeless body in her mouth for the next 21 hours.

Why I respect her: She doesn’t put up with toxic males in her life. She takes control of the situation and shuts it down. This fool was probably some frat dude that was bumping all up on her and she’s giving him that side shark eye like back off. Of course he didn’t listen and keeps bothering her, probably going to brag to his alpha acai trenta epsilon bros that he was able to touch some fin – but NO, she won’t allow it. She eats him and shuts his shit down. Good for her.

#2 Leonie, the Australian zebra shark that doesn’t need a man.


After being separated from her mate 2 years ago in 2014, Leonie the zebra shark has lived a lonely life. Well it was lonely…up until recently when she gave birth to three pups asexually. She shocked scientists by possibly being the first shark ever to make the switch from sexual to asexual reproduction. When they checked the DNA of her babies, they had expected to find she had been saving sperm. N O P E. All three babies only had Leonie’s DNA, and it was clear that she was miraculously the sole parent. No custody battles here.

Why I respect her: Nothing is impossible for Leonie. She decided that she wasn’t done having kids even though there was no man in her life. She was too good for men. Nothing could get in the way of her motherhood. Now, she has three new babies to love. What a good mom.

#3 Deep Blue, the biggest and baddest mommy in the ocean.

Her name is Deep Blue and she is the biggest Great White shark ever captured on film. I first saw a video of her on Tumblr with all these positive comments like, “Who’s a big pretty girl?” Someone else commented this picture of her high-fiving a diver. They added, “Not only is Deep Blue big, but she’s super pregnant too.”

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Why I respect her: Deep Blue is thicc, confident, and killing it. She is a big pretty girl. She’s the ocean’s top predator and still has time to high-five the peasants along her way. Deep Blue is slaying the ocean game, literally, rip to all those seals she must now eat for two. She is the ocean baddie we all need to see.

I don’t think there is a predator that’s a feminist icon yet. Are there animal/mammal feminist mascots already out there? I’m not sure. I do know that feminine animals in TV and film are depicted as cute and small. Female animals are often characterized as mice, does, bunny rabbits – basically small woodland creatures that bat fake eyelashes and help princesses get dressed in the morning. I think it’s time to reconsider. Females are more than capable of carnage. All of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World are female. Sharks could be the new symbol of female power. There is more than enough evidence to support this claim. Take it from someone who admires sharks when they eat toxic males, reproduce asexually despite the odds, and flaunt their way through the ocean.

Accidentally volunteering at a red carpet event

Why has The Funyun gone dark? Less posts in a week? The honest answer is that the author has gone dark. Is that too real? Does that take away the artiface image of an empowered young feminist happily tapping away some satirical commentary into existance? That image girl exists, but she caught a flight out of Los Angeles a week ago and left behind nothing more than a shell of a person. I am that shell. As I’ve been getting ready to become a person again and leave Los Angeles this Saturday morning, memories of the semester’s highs and lows pour in. Because I’ve already started off this post pretty dark, let’s ignore those lows for another time and focus on one of the weirdest days of my life: October 14th. 


At 7:30ish in the morning I arrived to the Beverly Hills Wilshire’s ballroom wearing a black bodycon dress that cost $12.99 at H&M, a $10 clunky silver necklace from Target, and a pair of black nylons that would tear later in the day and lead many women to point it out to me. 

I was volunteering at Variety’s Power of Women honoree luncheon event for community service hours, and that was all the information I was given. I had no idea that later that same day I would be directing Scarlett Johannson to the bathroom, earning a ‘sup’ nod from Miley Cyrus, and conversing with Laverne Cox’s mother about her daughter’s busy schedule. #Relatable. 

Upon arrival I was given tasks that you would expect as a volunteer: setting up, stripping boxes, and oh, lightly placing Marc Jacobs gift bags onto the seats in the function hall. Then it was hours of standing by. As we were setting up I could hear the program directors on stage reading the prompter cues in rehearsal. It was then I learned that my favorite actress Rachel Bloom was the host of this event. Shit just got real. 

Once set up was finished – I’d love to say how I reveled in how glamorous the Wilshire was – but to be honest with you, it was a lot of standing around for a while, and I was convinced that there was no longer any job for me to do the rest of the day volunteering. I was bored until we got assigned jobs a few hours later. That’s when it got real good.

My job, I shit you not, was VIP check in at the entrance of the red carpet, which at first I didn’t even realize existed. I was given a headset, a walkie, and was positioned at the bottom of an ornate staircase that led directly upstairs to the flashing lights. I was given a piece of paper with pictures of the celebrities I was to welcome and discreetly identify into the walkie as to say “______ is headed up to the carpet now.” In this room it was me, one other person, and just the passing celebrities with their handlers and that was it. The only time my voice cracked when speaking into the walkie was after I cleared my throat really hard and said, “Um, H-Helen Mirren is headed upstairs to the carpet n-now.” She was lovely, by the way. 

I identified and greeted every celebrity that walked the carpet that day. Some of were amazing. Some completely ignored me. I think they could tell my interior is made of of 98% anxiety. My favorite encounter was Victoria Justice. I love her. ICYMI Victoria was only one of the most iconic Nickolodeon queens in shows Zoey 101 and Victorious, and she recently starred  as Janet alongside Laverne Cox in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show. Victoria was the sweetest and nicest to me. I shyly said hi to her and she excitedly said hi back and asked how I was doing. 


She smiled really hard and wore a dark lipstick with really good winged eye-liner. As she talked to me she really made it seem like for even just a second that the situation we were in was completely normal when it was anything but. Later I would speak to her again as I handed her a celebrity gift bag. Out of all of them there she seemed to be the most genuine and real (unlike some other cough cough Ashley Tisdale). Jamie Brewer from American Horror Story was so kind and beautiful. She arrived early with her mother and I told her she looked amazing and she smiled. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth ascended together, he seemed shy the entire event while Miley was anything but, laughing, smiling, and overall having a good time. It was as if Liam Hemsworth was dragged into a Sephora, except this Sephora was giving an award to his fiancée. Laverne Cox is a straight up goddess and commands any room’s attention – partly because she is so tall and partly because her beauty is blinding. 

Scarlett Johannson is a tiny little thing. She was the last to arrive at the red carpet and asked me if she had time to pee before going up. I of course was not going to say no. “Should I pee? I should pee.” would be a great title of  my next romantic novel about Scarlett and I’s relationship. I did not interact with my fave Rachel Bloom because she was the host of the event so she didn’t do the carpet when everyone else did because she was rehearsing. I tweeted her about being in the same room as her though and she tweeted back at me “Awww!” “Awww!” is the title of my next next romantic novel about my online relationship with Rachel Bloom.

After all the VIPs were checked in I got to watch the event for a little bit. Miley Cyrus, Ava Duvernay, Scarlett Johannson, Helen Mirren and Laverne Cox were all honored as powerful women with powerful charities. It was really inspiring hearing Scarlett talk about Planned Parenthood and to just be in a room full of such inspiring women.

Later on the other volunteers and I distributed gift bags to the guests. It was crazy. The bags were practically 20 pounds of free expensive shit. Why do celebrities need so many free things when they can afford literally everything in that bag? I am going to stop complaining here though, because I totally got a gift bag. It was awesome. I got that glow kit I had been eyeing at Sephora for months but couldn’t convince myself to splurge on. I got a copy of the female ghostbusters which I am inlove with. I got a luxury  $40 candle, because why not? Leaving the event in shock, toting a heavy gift bag, my roommate and I pass Helen Mirren, just chilling on the sidewalk waiting for her car, alone. Lily and I exchanged a glance and stared for a few seconds before moving on, but yeah that happened. 

This day was the craziest day of my semester, and I think the fact I had no idea I was walking into any of it made it all the better. So in summary,  I accidentally volunteered at a red carpet event, I have no regrets, and I am a shell of a human being.

RiFF RAFF killed my Twitter notifications indefinitely

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In the past 28 days, the account I have been running for this blog reached 179K people organically and that’s no small feat. As much as I’d love to take credit for this impressive outreach and use it as an example of my training in social media – I have to admit, it’s success has had a lot to do with luck.

The reason The Funyun has seen so much Twitter success is because it was followed, liked, and retweeted by questionable human possible alien, RiFF RAFF, a.k.a (@JODYHiGHROLLER). For those who don’t know, RiFF RAFF is the aesthetically neon and outrageous rapper behind viral hit Tip Toe Wing in My Jawwdinz.

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RiFF RAFF’s music is one thing, but his persona is another. I was drawn to RiFF RAFF because his vines were an alarming glimpse into what happens when you give a manchild a shitton of money. He frequently vined his outrageous yet childlike life – showing us that gummy bears like to swim in codeine, proving he’s a “real boy” with his $30,000 Pinocchio diamond arcade-prize-looking ring, and sporting sharpened shark-teeth grills, for whatever reason. While he was sharing his wealth and weirdness, he also shared his love for his huskies and made references, that dare I say it, made him relatable. His vine account was something I couldn’t look away from no matter how hard I tried.

Here’s when he dyed his dog Jody Husky blue:

So when vine announced a few weeks ago that it was shutting down, I immediately starting mourning RiFF RAFF’s account. I tweeted BY ACCIDENT on The Funyun’s account, through a Tweetdeck error, that I would miss his vines the most. I attached my favorite vine of his. “Some people like to wake up and go to work. I like to smoke weed and play basketball. To each is own.”

Hours went by and the tweet had gotten a few favorites, the usual, and I moved on. The next thing I know RiFF RAFF follows me. So I’m thinking, okay that’s cool maybe he saw my tweet. I thought it was interesting he checks his mentions still or searches his name, but again, would not be surprised. Then a few minutes later, he likes the tweet and I just smile because he is outrageous. Then he retweeted it to his 1 million followers and within minutes my mentions were more dead than Vine. I had to shut off my notifications for the next two days. It still gets at least one retweet every single day since then.

If you had told me months ago that I’d be owing Twitter traffic success to RiFF RAFF I would lose my mind at how ridiculous that sounds. But it happened, and it’s hilarious. My biggest regret is that I did not tweet it on my personal account.

The longest, most stable relationship I have ever had is with my Twitter. Our relationship started in 2011 as an outlet for me to tweet shadily about my hometown. I was 15, shy, and had a lot to say to no one who really wanted to listen. Twitter was my confidant, my community beyond my community, and soon it became an impulse.

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Five years later, Twitter is not only my outlet, but my job. Over the past year, I’ve worked in the social media department at a major TV network and at one of the leading entertainment agencies in Hollywood. I’ve tweeted for some of my favorite shows, networks, and people. I’ve hosted Twitter chats, weekly social media standup meetings, and live-tweeted event coverage. I’ve met some amazing people, and had to deal with some not so amazing people.

While I did use some social media skills, I have to admit this feat was mostly luck. There were a few factors on my side that got it noticed, though. It was a timely tweet that directly mentioned the subject with praise, making it more retweetable than an unfavorable critique. It directly mentioned him, so it straight into his mentions, which he apparently checks. Lastly, it contained media on a loop, which gave him a reason to retweet it.

If I have learned anything from working professionally on Twitter in the past year is that while you can strategize, plan, and anticipate – the best engagements often come from a combination of reaction and a bit of luck.

While some of us aren’t lucky in nature, it’s still 100% possible to reach these Twitter gains with strategy. Here’s my social media intern wisdom bestowed:
Most networks recognize 12pm – 3pm on Twitter as the best time to post, but the peak time for clicks and reach is actually 5pm. Know that most brands schedule content around 3pm and use that to your advantage.
-Know your audience – During work and school hours Twitter users are 119% more likely to browse and tweet.
-Directly @ users mentioned in your tweet. There’s a chance they don’t check their mentions, but they might. From doing this I’ve gotten some funny, random favorites from people like Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, JoJo, Madison Pettis, Irin Carmon, and obviously RiFF RAFF.
-If you want to gain traffic and a following, you have to tweet multiple times a day. Daunting, I know.
-Participate in Twitter chats to gain like-minded friends online and advice on how to grow. Here’s a directory of them.
-Don’t tweet crap. Inside jokes on Twitter should have died back in 2012. Don’t tweet about how excited you are to eat a sandwich, Unless that sandwich is hilarious. Mindfully tweet for an audience.

BAD TWEET: Why? It’s a subtweet from 2012. That’s where subtweets that aren’t creative should stay: in 2012. I cannot stress enough how my old tweets make me CRINGE because I was obsessed with myself and only tweeting about myself. I blame friends and family for feeding my ego.

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GOOD TWEETS: Why? Topical, creative & less about an individual.

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My personal tricks for Twitter are about timing, tagging, and sarcasm. Who knows, with these tips, maybe you too could be graced with a follow from an outrageous man like RiFF RAFF. I know that’s probably on all of your bucket lists right? Right. Until next time – I’ll be here tweeting nonsense if you’re interested.

Women Deserve Respect Right Now & Always

Women who are deeply saddened by the results of the election aren’t overreacting, they are under attack.

The next President of the United States responded to his dozens of allegations for sexual assault by implying he’d never assault his accusers, not because assault is wrong, but because they were too ugly – “Believe me, she would not be my first choice,”

At age 59, Trump said into a hot microphone, “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,”He continued, “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Trump and VP Mike Pence have vowed to overturn landmark case Roe v. Wade, removing a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body regarding abortion, even if the outcome is life-threatening.

Trump also supports defunding Planned Parenthood, a women’s health organization that provides the following services: STI/STD Testing & Treatment, Contraception, Cancer Screening and Prevention, Pregnancy and Prenatal Services, Abortion Services, Adoption Referrals. Abortions, which Trump has spread fear-mongering false claims about – “You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day.” – account for a whopping 3% of Planned Parenthood’s utilized services.

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The overturn of Roe v. Wade and the absence of Planned Parenthood will ultimately end in deaths of women and children. Women without basic access to cancer screenings and treatment will die. Women without basic access to STI/STD testing and treatment will die. Women without access to abortion will have to carry to term life-threatening pregnancies. Women without access to legal abortion will seek illegal abortion, which is historically unsafe. Children raised by women who are either mentally and financially unwanting of motherhood will die of neglect.

For those of you reading and thinking, “You’re being too drastic, there are checks and balances, you dumb millennial!” Trump is backed by both a Republican House and Senate, and is pushing to elect a conservative judge to the Supreme Court. With the GOP behind him on all fronts, it is very possible that he passes these anti-women initiatives. Take your ‘checks and balances’ blanket statement elsewhere.

Women on Twitter have been expressing their disdain all morning. Last night when Donald Trump was a elected a message was sent to young girls everywhere.

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I don’t have happy ending to this post. There’s no playful joke. Women and minorities are scared. I am passionate about gender equality and the support of women, but I have lost hope. I am scared for a dark period ahead for women and minorities.

I’m not sad because the woman lost, I am sad because all women lost. I hope we can heal and come back stronger. Women right now are mourning, their perspectives are valid, and you need to respect that.

Lizzo Is ‘Good As Hell’

The time in between Beyoncé albums is grueling and unpredictable. We never quite know when she’ll announce an album release on Instagram or drop Lemonade. Fear not. I have found a solution to Beyoncé-less eras: a feminist lyrical powerhouse that goes by the name Lizzo.

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The 28-year-old alternative hip hop artist performed a few songs from her latest EP Coconut Oil this past weekend at Entertainment Weekly’s Pop Culture festival and that’s when it all clicked. For optimal viewing of this post, click the video below and listen to the audio as you read.

Lizzo’s onstage energy is a magnetic force-field of confidence. She’s a woman, she’s thick, she’s black, and she’s proud. During her performance, Lizzo and her entourage wore fierce single-ladies-esque black unitards for best booty-shakin’ conditions. Her confidence was a breath of fresh air, and her pipes were the wind to carry that air. She sang about loving herself, her fellow ladies, and about being turnt. That’s the trifecta of a perfect feminist anthem and I’m %100 here for it.

Lizzo main hit right now is called Good As Hell and that is a perfect way to describe her. Good As Hell came out this past March and has over 3,000,000 plays on Spotify.

She may have only had this one viral hit so far, but I believe there is much more coming from Lizzo. Now is the time to get on board with her before she blows up and is soon the name on everyone’s lips – because isn’t it cool to know about things before your friends do? You’re welcome.

Watsky’s X Infinity – touched my heart and anxiety

This past weekend a few of my best friends from home went and saw Watsky perform in Boston. I watched their snapchats with envy and nostalgia. After all, his older song Sloppy Seconds once seemed to be the summer anthem that kept our friend group glued together. His words, “I don’t care where you’ve you been, how many miles, I still love you.” sting even more now that I’m in Los Angeles, California while my best friends are mostly in Boston, Massachusetts.

George Watsky, spoken-word poet, rapper, and Emerson College alumn, tends to have that stinging effect on young twenty somethings who haven’t quite found their way yet. His latest album, X Infinity, came out this past August and I was all over it. I listening to it for days on repeat. I couldn’t get enough of the introspective, honest, and raw insights. Each song seemed to mean something more to me than the last.

For no reason at all I wrote down my thoughts about each track when I listened to the album in full for the first time in my iPhone notes. Here is that journey. Warning: following language is explicit and nonsensical.

Before even hitting play:

!!!!!!!!! Yes bitch !!!!!!!!!! I’m so ready

Track – Pink Lemonade 

– I love the line “You want to run a country? That makes me shiver. Bitch, I don’t trust you to run with adult scissors.”
– This song is strong on it’s own. It’s very obviously a song about current political climate/how ridiculous America is right now. True.
– “I vote Yeezus, DeezNuts 20/20.”

Track – Tiny Glowing Screens Pt.3
– No words. Take everything ever and we are that, times infinity.

Bonus Track – Exquisite Corpse 

– Holy shit. So much commentary. This song has so many people featured on this song.
– “Bill the science guy told us the end is nye.” Ugh, a pun so good it makes me groan.
– A song about a potential Apocalypse and how to survive.
– “Atlanta is lost, Justin Bieber is dead.”
– Most powerful part is Chinaka Hodge’s verse: “Nothing’s all that different, been the same for black women, when apocalyptic breakfast follows revelation dinners. The lights been out, the water smelling of Flint. Exquisite corpses laying where the bodies had been. No bombs over Baghdad, just drones with grenades. When life gives us citrus we learn to drop Lemonade.”

Track – Knots 

– A song about failing to succeed.
–  Beautiful piano composure on this one.
– This is how I feel about making content when I’ve run out of ideas x 1000.
– Sounds like a very dramatic musical monologue in a weird adaption of The Catcher Of The Rye. Holden Caulfield vibes.

Track – Chemical Angels 

– A song I would put on if I hosted a house party.
– “Comfort I crave.” Same.
– “My brain has a mind of it’s own.” Same.
– Pretty sure it’s about drug/alcohol use, and not wanting to change.

Track – Going Down 

– A song about ‘going down,’ literally.
– Sexuality is celebrated.
– Comments how masculinity is fragile in a hilarious way.
– This is a jam. It’s my friend’s favorite song on the whole album.

Track – Conversations 

– I love this.
– Conversations with parents.
– Uncertainty about what comes next. Same.
– Parent: “How did I raise this emo f***** 9-year-old?”
– Children have ton of answers that adults cannot offer them.

Track – Don’t Be Nice 

– Yas, Queen. I’m calling Watsky “Queen” because I hate when people call artists “Daddy.” He kills it in this, though.

Track – Brave New World 

– The voice of guest Chaos Chaos is so soothing.
– Again, another one with a lot of commentary about the political state.
– “Every minute, deeper in it, another fantasy is brought to life.”

Track – Love Letters 

– “If you love someone, then you tell them.”

Track – Talking To Myself 

– This is my favorite song on the whole album, I can already tell.
– It’s about being your own best friend.
– I relate to this so much because I constantly battle anxiety and that can be alienating.
– Sounds worse than it feels, but this song puts into words how I often feel.
– “Have you felt a little off today? Had a lot to say? But wound up talking to yourself?”

Track – Midnight Heart 

– I want to send this song to every dumb guy that has ever tried to manipulate me, or mansplained to me, or just disrespected me in general.
– It’s the Don’t Hurt Yourself (Beyoncé’s Lemonade) of this album.
– “Sorry buddy, it’s time you knew. Nothing you ever said was funny; the punchline is you.”
– “I can’t bend over for someone I don’t respect.”

Track – Roses

– This song sounds so soothing and sweet.
– It’s about having the strength to move on.
– It’s goes off on needing attention and fueling ambition.
– It this reflects how he’s feeling, I’m glad Watsky is seemingly at peace with himself and content. He must be protected at all costs.

Track – Yes Britannia

– I love this.
– About saying goodbye and finding resolutions.
– “See you never, I guess.”
– Reminds me of those relationships that quickly and suddenly unravel.
– Flashbacks to watching someone losing interest in me, haaaaa.
– “The world is one mean, motherf*****” Well said.

Track – Stick To Your Guns

– A metaphor about school shootings and the need for gun control in the U.S.
– This song makes me uncomfortable, but I think it’s supposed to.
– Talks about glorification of shooters and the monetization of tragedy.

Track – Little Slice

– This is another song I would put on if I hosted a house party.
– Reminds me of my college friends (same college as Watsky, actually).
– “There’s so many people I love right here, but it hasn’t been a good night, until the sh** gets kind of weird.”
– I also just want a little slice of paradise. Where can I get this?

Track – Springtime In New York

– The only song I do not like.
– The screeching subway and New York City background sounds give me anxiety.
– I had to shut it off.

Overall album thoughts:

10/10 would recommend. This is Watsky’s best album. I crave his meta anxious experimental commentary.

From Sloppy Seconds’ summertime homely bliss to Talking To Myself’s frustration, Watsky knows how to strike just the right heart string for it to work.

X Infinity is so good that I worry it’s a departure album. His grand ‘going out with a bang.” I hope this isn’t the case, but until then I’ll be trying to grab a slice of paradise – I don’t need the whole pie, just got to have my little slice.

EW’s Popfest Lineup: Rated E For Everyone

What does Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, family-fart-joke sitcom Bob’s Burgers, and 2000’s angst anthem queen JoJo all have in common? Entertainment Weekly’s two-day-event pop culture festival in downtown Los Angeles.

This upcoming weekend the place to be for all media-lovers is The Reef, in downtown LA. This event is truly rated “E for Everyone” because it highlights all areas of interest in film, music, television, podcasts, literature, social media influencers and more.

Here’s a quick guide to what might pique your interest at EW’s Popfest this year.

For film freaks:

What: A chat with Academy award frontrunners: Damien Chazelle (La La Land, previously Whiplash), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Pablo Lorrain (Jackie), David Mackenzie (Hell Or High Water) and Mike Mills (20th Century Women).
When & Where: Saturday, October 29th, 1:30 PM, Theater

What: A first look screening of The Mick, a TV movie starring It’s Always Sunny star Kaitlin Olson, followed by a discussion with It’s Always Sunny producers Dave and John Chernin.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 4:00 PM, Studio

What: A Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them sneak peek screening with Academy award winner Eddie Redmayne and co-star Katherine Waterson.
When & Where: Sunday, October 30th, 12:30 PM, Main Stage

What: A sneak peek of holiday-comedy Office Christmas Party with the cast and directors – Jennifer Aniston (Friends), Courtney B. Vance (The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story), T.J Miller (Silicon Valley), Olivia Munn (X Men: Apocalypse) and directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon (The Switch).
When & Where: Sunday, October 30th, 5:15 PM, Studio

What: A Wes Craven tribute & screening of 20th century Scream with creator Kevin Williamson and special guests from the 1996 film that launched the horror franchise.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 5:30 PM, Main Stage.

For music mavens:

What: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast Performance – join the cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend while they perform a song from the newest season of The CW’s show right in front of you – for those who want to see Josh Chan’s (Vincent Rodriquez III) and Rebecca Bunch’s (real life princess Rachel Bloom) love offscreen.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 2:30 PM, Theater

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What: Tyler Glenn Performance – see the lead vocalist and keyboardist of rock pop band Neon Trees (Everybody Talks, Animals, Sleeping With A Friend) – in case you want to re-live the summer of 2012.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 3:45 PM, Main Stage

What: Jake Miller Performance – a rising rapper who formerly opened for Fifth Harmony, Mac Miller, and performed beside Flo Rida, Sean Kingston, and Asher Roth – if you’re into that kind of thing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 4:30 PM, Main Stage

What: Cardiknox Perfomance – dance along to the electro-pop duo’s hooky synth sounds. -for ladies and gents who want to dance at a festival and wear flower crowns.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 5:15 PM Main Stage

What: DJ Michelle Pesce, Lizzo, Janelle Monae, and the real life version of my posters from childhood, Nick Jonas. The first of EWPopfest@Night two-night event – for those who want to ogle at the real life version of the poster in their childhood bedroom, Nick Jonas and for those who want to booty-shake to Janelle Monae.
When & Where: Saturday, October 29th, 6:00 PM, Main Stage

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What: JoJo Perfomance – be graced with 2000’s angst-anthem Queen Jojo’s return from a 10 year music hiatus. -for those who love nostalgia and want to hear JoJo swear in her new song F*** Apologies* *me me me me me I want this so bad!
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 3:15 PM, Main Stage

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What: Tove Lo Performace – get day-drunk-into-the-night and talk body with 80’s idiosyncratic edm pop sounding artist Tove Lo. -for people who love to dance and have a good time, she might even flash the audience* *she has been known to do this.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 4:15 PM, Main Stage

What: R!ot Performance – an LA based electro-group known for collaborating with up and coming pop star Daya.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 4:45 PM, Main Stage

For TV-addicts:

What: Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles look back 11 seasons, and ahead into season 12 in a fan Q&A panel. – for fans Winchester fans.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 12:30 PM, Main Stage

What: The CW Superheroes: Stephen Amell (Arrow), Grant Gustin (The Flash), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl), Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow) with their producer Greg Berlanti in an epic DC comic superhero to talk superhero TV with fans.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 1:15 PM, Main Stage

What: Survivor, interactive activity with Jeff Probst and cast all-stars. A weirdly intriguing survival challenge against former contestants for a grand prize: an iconic survivor buff (which would be exciting, if I didn’t already own one! fake fans step to left, I got one for my birthday when I was 10.)
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 2:15 PM, Main Stage

What: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast Performance – join the cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend while they perform a song from the newest season of The CW’s show right in front of you – for those who want to see Josh Chan’s (Vincent Rodriquez III) and Rebecca Bunch’s (real life princess Rachel Bloom) love offscreen.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 2:30 PM, Theater

What: Good Behavior screening – catch a glimpse of Michelle Dockery’s (Downton Abbey) newest character Letty Raines in a new con-artist drama on TNT. Followed by a Q&A with co-creators Chad Hodge and Blake Crouch.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 2:30 PM, Studio

What: Gilmore Girls first footage with Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino – grab some coffee, create a list of snarky quips, and mentally return to Stars Hollow with this discussion and exclusive sneak peek into the Gilmore Girls revival four-part series, set to air November 25th on Netflix.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 3:45 PM, Theater

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What: Happy Endings reunion and Live Table Read – Join Casey Wilson, Damon Wayans Jr. and other cast members for a live table read of a brand new episode.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 5:00 PM, Theater

What: Nickelodeon Animation Podcast with Rocko’s Modern Life creator Joe Murray – for 90’s kids who don’t want to let go of their Saturday cartoons.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 12:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: The cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf in a panel discussion with a fan Q&A sesh.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 1:15 PM, Main Stage

What: Trivia with the cast of This Is Us – If you want to see Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls, Heroes) and co-star Mandy Moore (Tangled, A Walk To Remember) play pop culture trivia.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 2:15 PM, Main Stage

What: Three Rounds (of drinks) with the cast of Grey’s Anatomy: Jessica Capshaw, Camilla Luddington, Sarah Drew, Kelly McCreary, Jason George, and Jerrika Hinton.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 12:15 PM, Theater

What: Ryan Murphy, Lea Michele, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Cuba Gooding Jr. – a Scream Queens, American Horror Story, and People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story discussion and panel. Spooked and delighted to attend this shizz.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 2:15 PM, Theater

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What: Bob’s Burgers Live, join the Belcher’s for a live table read. Weirdly adjust yourself to seeing the faces behind the voices (Not really a spoiler: Tina is voiced by a man).
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 4:15 PM, Theater

What: James Corden – an intimate discussion and Q&A with The Late Late Show Host. I may or may not ask why we haven’t seen a Beyoncé carpool karaoke yet. Also, does Harry Styles smell like rich mahogany and wildflowers in real life just like I have imagined all this whole time? We, the people, deserve answers.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 5:15 PM, Theater

For Podcast Pros:

What: Gilmore Guys a countdown podcast to the Gilmore Girls revival with Kevin T. Porter and Vine star Demi Adejuyigbe that will look back at some of Stars Hollow’s finest Kirk moments.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 12:15 PM, Studio

What: The Writers Panel with Blindspot creator Martin Grero and host Ben Blacker, a talk about the business and process of writing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 12:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Ladies Who Lunch, Youtubers Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes talk sex, social phobias, and more taboo table talk.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 1:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Too $hort’s Boombox, rapper Too $hort is making his podcast debut at Popfest to discuss music, social media, and influence.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 2:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Bitch Sesh, Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider will talk about their non-fake love for Real Housewives on Bravo and drink wine.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 3:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Allegedly, Comedian Theo Von and journalist Matthew Cole Weiss compete with each other to be the better interviewer in a three round game with one celebrity guest judge.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 4:30 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: The Lady Gang with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin discuss womanhood and Hollywood and try to answer burning questions from female listeners about coming of age in the spotlight.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 5:30 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Nickelodeon Animation Podcast with Rocko’s Modern Life creator Joe Murray – for 90’s kids who don’t want to let go of their Saturday cartoons.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 12:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin’s Fat Man On Batman, a discussion on comics, fandom, and the caped crusader in black.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 1:15 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: Anna Faris Is UnQualified with Seth Rogen, an expectedly funny living room style-chat with Anna Faris and Seth Rogen. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 1:30 PM

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What: Missi and Zach Might Bang! – Missi Pyle (The Artist, Gone Girl, Galaxy Quest) and Zach Selwyn (TBS, The History Channel, ESPN) host celebrities to offer advice to peeps breaking into the entertainment industry.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 2:30 PM, Podcast Lounge

What: My Favorite Murderer, crime fans Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark will talk favorite tales of murder with fans and friends, a day before Halloween. Spooky.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 4:30 PM Podcast Lounge

What: Throwing Shade – hosts Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi will throw shade and discuss topics such as feminism, gay rights, and of course, pop culture.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 5:30 PM Podcast Lounge

For Book Bitches:

What: Victoria Aveyard, author of best selling series Red Queen, book signing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 12:20. PM Book Cafe

What: Joey Graceffa, Youtuber and author of Children of Eden, Q&A + book signing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 1:00 PM, Book Cafe

What: Authors Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs, husband and wife YA authors of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, and Shatter Me series, discussion.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 1:15 PM Studio

What: Terry McMillan, best-selling author of How Stella Got her Groove Back, and latest novel, I Almost Forgot About You, book signing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 1:30 PM Book Cafe

What: Tahereh and Ransom Riggs, husband and wife YA authors of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, and Shatter Me series, book signing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 2:30 PM, Book Cafe

What: Ed Brubaker, comic book veteran (Captain America: Winter Soldier), signing.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 3:00 PM, Book Cafe

What: Anne Rice, vampire author, meet & greet, exclusive book release and signing sesh.
When & Where: Saturday October 29th, 4:30 PM, Book Cafe

What: Author Diana Gabaldon, romance author of nine part novel series Outlander, which inspired the Starz show; a discussion.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 1:15 PM, Theater

What: Rick Remender, prolific comic book writer (Uncanny Avengers, Uncanny X-Force) will sign copies of his works Tokyo Ghost, and Deadly Class.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 1:30 PM, Book Cafe

What: Diana Gabaldon, romance author of nine part novel series Outlander, which inspired the Starz show; book signing.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 2:00 PM, Book Cafe

What: Sophia Amoruso, founder of NastyGal.com and author of #GirlBoss will read from newest book, Nasty Galaxy in a discussion/book signing.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 2:30 PM, Book Cafe

What: Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. The World, meet and great, reading, and signing sesh.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 4:15 PM Book Cafe

What: Chris Colfer, glee-star and author of Land Of Stories series, discussion & signing.
When & Where: Sunday October 30th, 4:15 PM, Studio

Aaaaaand there’s more! Up until the festival starts the schedule is ever-changing, new artists are being announced and added to the lineup.

Some pre-Popfest thoughts:

The Gilmore Girls revival is all I will be able to think about once I’ve seen the exclusive footage.

JoJo will be unapologetic – as we know she is the queen of ‘being done’ from 2004’s Leave (Get Out) to 2016’s F*** Apologies.

The Bob’s Burgers table read will make me feel warm and happy inside. The Belchers have an inappropriate, extremely calming family bond that warms my soul despite the show’s silly antics.

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I’m guessing I won’t be a fan of Fantastic Beasts personally – sorry! I just have a hunch that it will not live up to the Harry Potter nostalgia hype!

THE CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND CAST PERFORMANCE WILL BE MY FAVORITE THING BECAUSE RACHEL BLOOM IS MY PERSONAL HERO. Plus, that whole cast was basically plucked from Broadway, so.

Hearing Seth Rogen’s laugh in person is going to be somethin’ else.

I’m very excited to attend. All day I’ll be running around like a maniac trying to catch every glimpse of my media heroes. On Twitter, I will be using #EWPopFest so make sure to follow along for some crazy coverage, live tweets and after-thought blog posts from this year’s EW’s Popfest.

I’m ready for this Saturday and Sunday – are you?
More information available here.