the way we were...

Best Lyricist

Music Associate Editor David Walters may have a career in the ad industry waiting for him. His take on Super Bowl commercials summed up Britney Spears in one long word: "Jiggling through generations past while singing that annoying Pepsi ditty, Spears proves she's OBAH-buh-BAH-buh-baaad' in any decade."

Faran Krentcil's Fabulous Advice

Trends Editor Faran Krentcil may have been kidding when she offered the following words of wisdom to spring breakers, but hell, if she hasn't found a new use for Sharpies: "...Here's my latest discovery, useful when you're sick of all your clothes or don't have the euros to get something new. Pop over to a convenience store and buy a permanent marker. Find some old bikini bottoms. Write OWish You Were Here' across the front. Works every time."

Most Unexpected Fashion Trend

Rising film editor Tom Roller caught it first in his scathing review of Queen of the Damned: "This is a movie about vampires--vampires that wear purple velvet, 18th century lace and very open v-neck sweaters. Think Banana Republic from Hell, think Calvin Klein selling his soul to the devil--it's the Ambiguously Gay Vampires."

Best Extortion of Recess Dollars

Arts Associate Editor Victoria Kaplan would like to thank Recess for sponsoring her museum and theater-going jaunt in New York City. If only she had offered to write a review of Le Cirque!

Honorable Mention: Vision Editor Beth Iams and Arts Editor Cary Hughes had a dandy time at the North Carolina State Fair on Chronicle coin. Mullets, live birth and fried candy bars--who could ask for anything more?

Most Memorable Sandbox Experience

Greg Bloom, Cary Hughes, Meg Lawson and Beth Iams ventured where no self-respecting college media journalists would go--to Britney Spears' feature-film debut, Crossroads. Cary confirmed what we'd all suspected: "I knew the movie was for 12-year-old girls, but apparently it was also written by 12-year-old girls."

Most Random Artist Inspiration

Duke grad student and Little Miss Messy vocalist Carlotta Valdez has got "These Dreams" on her mind, but what about love? "Personally, I was heavily influenced by ['80s she-rockers] Heart--my vocals are definitely influenced by Nancy Wilson's."

Most Informative Theory

When Martin Barna and Beth Iams interviewed chef Maggie Radzwiller for a profile on the "new" Oak Room, the two editors theorized on her short-lived tenure at the storied restaurant. Martin said it best: "When McDonald's opened on this campus, there was hoopla. When the Radzwiller Oak Room opened, there wasn't even Ola.'" We love you, Maggie.

Saddest Interview Revelation

Music Editor Kelly McVicker chatted with a lot of rockers this year, but Rusted Root's Jenn Wertz proved the most insightful. The Peter Pan of Animal House antics admitted, "It's been 12 years since we started, and there's been a lot of maturing since then. I mean, people are parents and homeowners, you know, and everybody's grown up. Except for me--I've gone backwards into the whole college drinking phase."

Worst Titles

The art of crafting story headlines is a delicate one. Only the best writers inherit the necessary creative genius--and none of them work for Recess. Some of our fine work:

"Watermelon, Chicken, & Hitz" for Nappy Roots' album, Watermelon, Chicken, and Gritz.

"Symphony Knows How to Opera-te" for the Duke University Symphony Orchestra's production of Don Giovanni.

"FCUK Til You Drop" for Faran Krentcil's British fashion roundup.

"John Q-uality" for the film John Q.

"I Am Sap, Sap I Am" for the film I Am Sam.

"Loud and Queer" for Le Tigre's album Feminist Sweepstakes.

"Bitchin' and Rappin" for Bitch and Animal's album Eternally Hard.

"Our State Fair Is a Great State Fair" for the North Carolina State Fair.

"Now, as Then, Size Shouldn't Matter" for the film Apocalypse Now Redux.

Dissing on Durham

Arts Editor Cary Hughes doesn't mean Tobacco Town (err, "City of Medicine") any harm, but dammit, this ain't New York City! Choice quotes:

"Finding a gift for an artistically minded friend, lover or family member could be difficult in Durham."

"In need of renaissance, the city is struggling to find some sort of new identity, which the municipal government can't provide."

"After spending a few weeks in Durham, most girls realize that the shopping just isn't so hot and leave their fashion to fall break, catalogs and long trips to Raleigh."

Most Confusing Introduction

Insider references are a hallmark of Recess Music, but Kelly McVicker's review of Dan Nakamura's Lovage album takes the cake: "Remember that guy from Faith No More, the one in the video who stomps around in the rain all pissed off, headbanging and punching at the camera? Did you ever picture that guy making the kind of music you'd throw on hi-fi to set the mood for some serious sex? Yeah, neither did I. And that, my friend, is why you and I do not get invited over to Damon Albarn's loft to play video games." Huh? Kelly, you're too cool for our own good.

Most Random Metaphor

Who knew Panic Room had anything to do with the Parker Brothers? Perhaps Tom Roller should pass the proverbial bong and lay off the intellectual ganja. "[Panic Room] should be a game of Candyland--from square one to the Kandy Kastle. However, someone tries to play with monopoly rules. The result? Plumpy Plum eats the gingerbread man and chokes.... Panic Room burns down the peppermint forest and sinks into the molasses swamp." Kinda makes you hungry, doesn't it?

Bottom-Dwelling Pop Culture

Vision Editor Beth Iams provided a veritable wealth of commentary on the entertainment industry's worst product, and--surprise--most of it related to MTV. You can take down the Carson posters, Beth. On The Real World: "Why are people so hungry to have their personal struggles exploited and edited to the latest Verve Pipe song?" On Music Television: "Yes, MTV has always been generous in doling out pop-culture crap"--so much that Beth mentioned MTV or Total Request Live in seven of her articles.

Meg Lawson's Drunken Courage

Taste Editor Meg Lawson was a trooper when it came to downing shots and getting loopy for her Alka Seltzer "morning after pill" story: "Even the Red Bull-level high turned out to be a downer--I crashed after about three hours and was even more listless than before." Tell that to Betty Ford.

Lucky Sevens

Grab your abacus, kids. In describing Wendell Theatre Group's spring performance ensemble, Arts Associate Editor Victoria Kaplan painted by numbers. "Seven plays inspired by seven Shakespearean sonnets, written by seven eminent playwrights, directed by seven student directors, and performed by seven-times-two (that's 14) student actors."

Greg Bloom's Vocabulary Lessons

Managing Editor Greg Bloom has a gift with words--either that or a sick obsession with Roget's Thesaurus. Take a gander at these fifty-centers and cut this out for your LSAT prep notes: contemporaneity, detritus, nubile, bathos, fame sluts.

The F Bomb

Every year, Recess hands failing grades to a handful of pop-culture losers. This year, they're all films. Look closely, kids--they don't print this letter on transcripts anymore: Resident Evil, Dragonfly, Rollerball, Glitter (F-), The Glass House.

Celebrities We Hate

Watch your back, Jack Black. You gets no love: Tara Reid, Kevin Spacey, John Mayer and Britney Spears.

Approximate Number of Times Sex and the City, "Carrie Bradshaw" or Sarah Jessica Parker Appeared with Reference to Trends Editor Faran Krentcil: 432.


Share and discuss “the way we were...” on social media.