kim kardashian

Doing Dallas: X is for eXtreme

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. Whoo hoo—it’s finals week!! As a college student, that means my life is just so stress-free right now. In case you didn’t catch the sarcasm of that last sentence, allow me to provide this illustration as a means of helping you understand that, in reality, the struggle is real:

paper

People always say exercise is a great stress reliever,* so I decided to try out one of SMU’s “group-X” fitness classes this week and stretch my sorrows away. In preparation for my foray into the world of group fitness, I consulted the gym schedule and found a weekly workout class called “RED WARRIOR.” Obviously I was in, because anything with the name “warrior” in it would surely slay my study anxiety. Also, red is a fantastic color, so why not?!

Kick in the Face

Reading its description, I saw that the class would focus on “mixed martial arts, set to music.” HOW GREAT DOES THAT SOUND?!? I could finally fulfill my life-long goal of synchronized karate-chopping to “Timber.” It truly was shaping up to be a magical experience.

scott-does-karate

Full of young hope and expectation, I arrived at the gym early and ready to WORK. I’ll admit, some of my enthusiasm came from the fact that I was procrastinating the 30 pages of term paper I had to write for Monday—but regardless. As the minutes ticked by and no one else arrived, I started getting nervous. At one point, a guy in a full-blown karate outfit walked by…but he kept walking and went into the bathroom. He never returned. After 15-minutes of waiting with baited breath, I gave up on all hope of RED WARRIOR, and laid my synchronized karate dreams to rest.

*Don’t these people know that binge-watching 30 Rock provides the same amount of stress-relief as 30 minutes of cardio? [I am sure there is a study somewhere that corroborates this.]

Second Chances

I’d made the trek all the way out to the gym (okay, it’s not that far away from my house, but it required the effort of getting out of my pajamas and putting on real clothing, so it was a lot to handle) and was not going to give up my workout plans so easily. Frantically, I checked the “group-X” schedule and saw there was one other class being offered at the same time. Not caring to check what this class even was, I booked it over to Studio 3.

“Welcome to…Booty Blast! Go grab some dumbbells and get ready to WORK. THAT. BOOTY!” The instructor called out to me as I walked through the doors. Kim Kardashian would approve of this class.

Wait…WHAT? Oh my gosh, I had to get out of there, and fast. If I wasn’t going to do karate, I’d wanted to do something casual—gentle stretches, maybe a V-sit if I was feeling crazy. These people were doing squat burpees, candlestick jumps, and waving weights around like baby batons. I tried to back out of the doors, but it was too late. Someone in the class had recognized me and motioned me over, and the instructor was watching me like a hawk. My fate sealed, in I went.

For the next hour, we exerted a lot of physical energy. As one who does not like to workout that often (please recall my comment about binge-watching) I was struggling—hard. At one point, I gave up and just laid on my mat, prone and unmoving.

PUP

It was an educational experience, however, because the entire class was supplemented by a soundtrack of songs all featuring the word “booty.” I’m proud to say my music repertoire has now increased substantially.

The Consequences

It’s been two days since this experience, and I am still struggling: struggling to stand-up, struggling to walk—struggling to move. Sometimes my legs just buckle at random moments. It’s weird. Today, I accidently dropped a dollar on the ground and just left it there, because squatting down to get it just wasn’t worth it.

I think people suggest that you workout during finals because they know you won’t be able to move afterwards. With all that lactic acid, you’ll have no choice but to sit and write your papers, because the alternative—moving—is even worse than writing.

I guess in the long run, then, this class was effective. It forced me to sit still and write, and after the class I didn’t feel any more stress! Granted, my numb body couldn’t feel anything at all, but I’d like to think that booty blast really helped me to shake it off.

Chelsea is a Level 5 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!

#Ashtag Week #10: Week #10!

To commemorate our tenth week together, here is a picture of some tinfoil hats. This is the tenth week of #ashtag!! Ten weeks!! Ten! Ten is a solid number. Many lists are made up of top tens. There are 10 commandments. Time is chunked up into 10-year decades. Tenth anniversary gifts involve tin. Tenth birthdays are usually pretty cool. The metric system.

Let's just start with the Internet trends of this week. Gwen Stefani is the top search on Google. She and Pharrell Williams are the new judges on The Voice, which follows the pattern of blonde female pop star and black male pop star set by former judge sets, Christina Aguilera & Cee-Lo and Shakira & Usher. These sets always accompany the same white-male constants, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, who have stayed on every season while the diversity duo changes up. Carson Daly has also remained a white-male constant by hosting all seven seasons.

The show Gotham is also a top search this week. TIME magazine has a pretty useful summation of this new show and its characters. Please allow me to sum up this summation. The show is the origin story of Batman's hometown buddy, Commissioner Gordon. It revolves around the death of Bruce Wayne's parents and the investigation of their murder by Gordon, who is ranked just a rookie detective on the show. The lead villain is played by John Doman, who played the resident butthole, Major Rawls, on The Wire. I may give this show sometime on the air before I start watching it. I prefer to binge on shows at least a few episodes at a time.

One of the top viewed videos on YouTube this week is titled "KTVA reporter quits on-air, reveals herself as owner of Alaska Cannabis Club." As the title suggests, the reporter says she is pro-marijuana and fairness. The reporter then says "f**k it" on-air, which seems unnecessary and counter-productive to the pro-pot movement. My favorite part of this 34-second video is the last 10 seconds when the anchor scrambles to apologize for what just happened, nervously says, "We'll be right back," and then awkwardly jumps into the news instead.

Another top viewed YouTube vid is "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Miss America Pageant (HBO)." I'd like to note that while this video has over a million views, the Miss America Pageant itself did not break the Top 25 Google searches this week or last. I didn't even know it happened, but I'm not an accurate gauge of cultural relevancy. No one seems to care about Miss America anymore, and John Oliver spends this clip pointing out the pageant's outdatedness. In the early years of Miss America, they assigned points based on body make-up, e.g. "five points for the construction of the head."

CMT: my go-to source for hip-hop videos.

I dive into the top music videos of the week in an effort to keep afloat with what's popular and cool. Every week, the top songs instead make me feel older, grumpier, and more disconnected than I did before I listened/watched the "music." This week is no different. The  No. 1 viewed music video according to MTV is Big Hookz "Keep Talkin feat Styles P." I went over to Google because I couldn't think of the word that would describe the style of this song—is his voice chopped? Screwed? I wasn't sure. I Googled the song and the third search result was CMT's link to the music video. Country Music Television's link to the video was the third search result. I clicked on the link. CMT's logo and tagline, "Get Country" were prominently displayed across the top of the site, while the video played down below. The video with bare butts twerking and a dude rapping with bottles of champagne played beneath the Country Music Television banner. I understand nothing.

I did not create a top 10 list of my own to celebrate our 10th week of #ashtag. I apologize. To make it up to you, let me tell you how I've been doing in the Kardashian game. Not well. I've been doing not well. I start jobs and forget about the game. I go days without playing. It's like letting your Tamagotchi live in a poop pile before it dies. Except this neglect comes with the disappointment of Kim Kardashian. #maybeiwilldobetterthisweekormaybeiwont

Ashley Bright is a writer/performer at Dallas Comedy House. She’s a graduate of the DCH Improv Training Program and is currently a level 3 sketch writing student. You can see her perform every weekend at Dallas Comedy House.

#Ashtag Week 6: I Still Know Nothing

This week I'm continuing my foray into the world of today's popular culture. MTV aired their annual video music awards, the VMAs, over the weekend. I do not have cable, so I didn't watch them. Even in my teen years (my peak submersion into pop culture) I rarely watched the VMAs. Although, I did always tune in for the MTV Movie Awards. Who new MoonMans were still a thing?

I probably should have invaded the home of one of my cable-having friends so that I could have watched the awards show and did this piece some justice. Instead, we'll let the Internet fill me in on what happened. As it stands, most of the top searches relate to the VMAs. Blue Ivy, the toddler daughter of Jay-Z and Beyonce, apparently stole the show. Katy Perry tweeted, “OMG BLUE IVY JUST PERSONALLY WAVED AT ME. MY LIFE IS OVER.” The three-piece family hugged and smooched on stage. The audience cooed.

Miley Cyrus won for "Wrecking Ball" and sent a homeless teenager up to accept on her behalf in an effort to raise awareness of youth homelessness, a la Marlon Brando sending the Apache woman up to accept his Oscar for the Godfather. By the by, I'm part Apache and the lady that accepted for Brando kind of looked like my mom in her youth. I just like telling people that I'm part Apache. It makes me feel cool. Alright, I'm moving on. Geronimo.

In reading up on the VMAs, I came across several names that I was not familiar with like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Jessie J. I watched their videos and it turns out that I had heard the songs before. My next sentence is going to get me some dirty looks from folks, but it's the truth. When I had heard the Ed Sheeran song in passing, I thought it was a Justin Timberlake song. My bad.

The number of presenters and performers' names that I had never heard of outnumbered the names that I did recognize. There's a girl band out there named Fifth Harmony winning awards. Who knew? I made it 40 seconds through their video, "BO$$," before I turned it off. The lyrics "Michelle Obama, purse so heavy" were on a screechy repeat. I can only take so much, folks.

I do know of Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, who were both heavily featured on the show. I read a recap describing Minaj's wardrobe malfunction as "dangerously close to revealing her upper and lower front." I'm not exactly sure why the term, "upper and lower front" made me giggle, but it did. Neither front was exposed because Nicki Minaj held her dress closed, while she sang... Rapped? I don't know.

This is actually way more clothing than we've come to expect from MTV. It's like they are Amish or something.

I haven't been able to find an actual video of it, but the reviews of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels' appearance all say it was incredibly awkward. The two were there to promote the upcoming sequel, "Dumb and Dumber To." Carrey fell off the stage doing a dance cracking a joke involving ebola. I hope we've all learned what happens when you make fun of ebola. You fall down. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

I've spent this entire week's #Ashtag recapping the VMAs, and I'm okay with it. In looking at pictures of the red carpet, presenters, and performers, I learned that I still know very close to nothing about today's youth and what they're digging. Honestly, there are entire television shows, music genres, and celebrities that I have absolutely never heard of. So, let's meet back here next week, so I can keep getting a little less ignorant. Or a little more, depending on your perspective.

As a special note because I know you care: I made it to the A-list and I bought that house in Miami I had my eye on. #kardashian:hollywood

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the Improv Training Program at DCH and a level 3 sketch writing student. She performs every weekend at DCH. 

#Ashtag Week 5: Science and Simplicity

By Ashley Bright Welcome back to another week of #Ashtag, where I educate myself of all things trending online. This week, the Internet has been filled with some serious matters and actual news events. Let's not worry about such things here.

Not when there's a video titled "Tortoise vs Truck" topping the YouTube searches. This video contains 34 seconds of a small tortoise chasing a remote controlled truck. The little tortoise appears to be giving it its all in the chase; it really wants that truck. Sometimes life is just that simple. The tortoise just wants to catch the truck.

Another top video this week is titled "Jellyfish Stinging In MICROSCOPIC SLOW MOTION - Smarter Every Day 120." I'm leaving the capitalized words in the title because I am a purist. This video is not as simple as the tortoise vid because it contains words like, "nematocyst." I've never been stung by a jellyfish, but this video did interest me. Maybe the replica of a jellyfish made from a balloon did it for me. Or maybe it's because I feel relatively certain that I have the luck to get stung by a jellyfish, and that's it's just my lack of time in the sea that has kept it from happening so far. The video ends with a call-to-action from James Cook University looking for undergrad and grad students interested in helping to solve the mystery of the box jelly's cardiotoxin venom. Maybe some of the many scientists at DCH will heed that call? Actually, no, please don't move to Australia. I love you guys.

The number one video on YouTube this week is titled, "It's a Shoo-In for Bright Dike." I don't like this title. Mostly because my last name is Bright. But also because the title is wasted opportunity for a pun. The video contains a soccer player kicking his shoe off and into the goal instead of kicking the ball into the goal. Shoe-in, folks, not shoo-in. Also, sports. (This is where I blow a raspberry sound for my own amusement.)

The #ALSIcebucketchallenge has also ruled the Internet this week. I was aware of this because of Facebook. The challenge consists of celebrities dumping water on their head and challenging other celebs and rich folks to do the same in an effort to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And now you and I both know what ALS stands for. If you knew before this, well good for you. Again, please don't move to Australia.

Compared to all those "prison challenges" she once faced, this Ice Bucket Challenge is probably a breeze for Lady Martha.

Another top hashtag this week is #vote5sos. This is related to the MTV's Hottest that I wrote about last week. Last week, One Direction was topping the list. I knew that One Direction was a musical group. I had even discovered last week that I have heard some of One Direction's music. Until I saw #vote5sos and Googled its definition, I had never heard of 5sos. It's short for the boy band, 5 Seconds of Summer. Again, never heard of them. Based on the photos on their website, they are four teen boys with fairly emo haircuts who are big fans of doing the duck face. According to Wikipedia, they are Australian teens who gained popularity by covering songs and posting the videos to YouTube. They hit it big when One Direction invited them to join their tour. One Direction. Australia. Everything is related. Time is a flat circle.

Speaking of flat circles, I have yet to gain more than 10 K-stars in the Kardashian game. But I did make it to the B-list and I am quickly approaching the A-list. Color yourselves impressed, folks.

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the DCH improv training program and a level 2 sketch writing student. She's also an intern for the DCH blog. You can see Ashley and the rest of her sketch writing class perform their sketch show this Thursday at 8PM at DCH.

#Ashtag Week 4: We've All Eaten Bugs

Let's jump right into what you've been waiting all week for: I have been playing Kim Kardashian:Hollywood on my phone. It's terrible. Honestly. But I cannot stop. I am at war with this game. First of all, I refuse to spend any actual money on it. Have I watched video ads to earn money and/or energy in the game? Yes. Have I downloaded other apps and/or games to earn money and/or energy in the game? Yes. Have I spent any real life, real world money? No. Kim Kardashian, you may take my time, but you cannot have my money. Okay, look, I'm a fairly dudely chick in most aspects of my life. Most people that know me will attest that to be true. But I enjoy make-up and hair and all of that razzamatazz. I'll admit it: I enjoy buying clothes and dressing my stupid avatar up in this game. I do not enjoy that whatever hair color choice you make is also assigned to the brows. Blonde hair must be accompanied by yellow brows. So my avatar is brunette. The game consists of doing appearances and photo shoots to earn points, stars, and money to make your way up from the E-list of celebritydom. You must have energy to earn. I was recently given a tip by a real-life pal who had ascended all the way to the A-list, without spending real life-money. And with his tip, I've made it to the C-list. Now that I've written this paragraph, I feel like I'm free to stop playing. But I'm not gonna. I'm gonna keep on playing; for I almost have enough money to buy my second home in Miami. Gotta level up so I can buy a new purse!

One of this week's top viewed videos on YouTube is titled "Teens React to Saved By The Bell (25th Anniversary)," and just like last week's videos, the title spells out exactly what happens here. This video includes guest teen, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya on Game of Thrones. She made a sad faced reaction to the infamous "I'm so excited, I'm so scared" Jesse Spano clip. She also chose Zack Morris over A.C. Slater. Arya picking Zack Morris is a sweet victory for child me. This was a hotly contested debate between my little sister and me back in 1994. She was always a fan of A.C. Slater, and she was always wrong. Arya Stark says so.

A battle that will never be truly settled…A.C. Slater vs Zach Morris.

The top hashtag this week comes from the UK: #mtvhottest, which is a voting system to determine this summer's hottest star. One Direction is currently in the lead with Demi Lovato and Lady Gaga duking it out to be the top lady. I know of some Lady Gaga tunes. I even know some lyrics. And I've heard of Demi Lovato. While I've heard of One Direction, I could not identify a song for you. I'm certain that I've heard one, just as I'm sure that I've accidentally eaten a lot of bugs in my life.

I just went over to YouTube to search for One Direction's top song, and then watched "What Makes You Beautiful." For the first thirty seconds, I did not recognize it. I cheerily thought to myself, "maybe this means I haven't eaten bugs after all." Then the chorus chimed in and I knew the tune. I guess we all know what that means: bugs.

To end on a somber note, Robin Williams is unfortunately a top search due to his untimely passing. The man had such an incredible impact on so many of our lives. Even at his most silly and hyperactive, he exposed such a vulnerable side of himself. I recently watched Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King starring Williams and Jeff Bridges. It made me cry, but it also left me pretty happy and hopeful. It's streaming on Netflix and I recommend it, if you're watching Robin Williams' flicks this week to memorialize him. Though, maybe the best way to honor him is to remember that everyone struggles; no matter how brave a face they put on for the rest of the world. Be kind and remember that you're not alone.

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the improv program at the DCH Training Center and a level 2 sketch writing student. She's an intern for the DCH blog and can be seen performing at DCH every weekend.

Ashtag Week #3: Fifty Shades of Kardashian Royals

By Ashley Bright During last weekend's Ladytown show (which was spectacular), the Kardashian phone game was mentioned. Since I vowed to addict myself to a phone game in the last edition of #ashtag, I have decided that this will be my game. I have downloaded Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, but I have not yet put any playing time into it. So, consider this paragraph the amuse-bouche to next week's Kardashian meal.

Let's move onto this week's meal. One of the top searches is "Fifty Shades of Grey." The trailer for the movie has been released. I have not and will not read this book, but I have just subjected myself to the trailer for this article. Soft-spoken girl gets caught up in a whirlwind BDSM romance with a handsome, rich man. We get it. I cannot imagine the movie contains much more than the two-minute trailer, but I'll never find out.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" was originally written as fan-fiction of "Twilight." I am now going to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince you to watch "Twilight." It is one of the funniest movies of the past decade. I have seen this movie quite a few times because I have forced it on a large number of friends. I do give them the courtesy of fast-forwarding through the unfunny parts. The original "Twilight" has a fairly low budget, which adds to a lot of the comedy. When RPatz first meets whats-her-face, he gags. I mean he covers his mouth and gags. At another point in the movie, he gives her a very speedy piggyback ride up a mountain. The low budget effects really add to the hilarity of this scene. In a very dramatic scene where he is going to reveal how the sun makes him a "monster," he slowly turns around to reveal the monstrous effect: skin with golden sparkles. He is covered in golden glitter. There is also a fiercely choreographed baseball scene in a thunderstorm. I could go on, but I feel like I've overdone it with the "Twilight." If you don't believe me or want my chaperoning for fast-forwarding, please let me know. I haven't seen it in a couple of years and I'm due a good laugh.

TWILIGHT: An All-American Comedy Classic

Onto the top hashtags of the last week. We've got #ratchetmonday as our #1. I have figured out that ratchet refers to a busted, unattractive woman. I cannot figure out what happens on Monday. The hashtag seems to be used mostly to say, "hey, it's #ratchetmonday" or "hey, get ready for #ratchetmonday." I cannot find evidence to prove this hashtag is used like a #tbt (throwback Thursday), which just accompanies a picture, but I am going to assume that is #ratchetmonday's purpose. Although, I thought that Monday was for #mcm (man-crush Monday).

This dude has WAY more YouTube views than I'll ever have.

One of the top YouTube videos of last week is titled "Serenading the cattle with my trombone." It is four minutes of a man sitting in a lawn chair on a pasture, wearing a cowboy hat, and playing "Royals" by Lorde on a trombone. The cows appear to really dig the music. They come up over a hill like moths to a flame. They all gather up near the seated man with their tails swinging around, in what I imagine is delight. Another top video this week is "Sneaking Lion Cub Gives Dog Fright." That's two popular videos with titles that spell out exactly what we see. This sneaking lion video is only twenty seconds long. I didn't find it that funny, but perhaps I just found the dog's reaction to be appropriate and not too surprising.

As I said at the top, come back next week so I can tell you all about my immersion into the Kardashian game, along with my discoveries of anything else Internet trendy.

Ashley Bright is a graduate of the DCH Improv Training program and a level 2 sketch writing student. She interns for the DCH blog. You can see her performing every weekend at Dallas Comedy House.