BSB Music Video Drinking Game: 2018 Version – Part 1

Hello friends! I promised an update of everyone’s favorite drinking game & I’m the kind of girl who keeps her promises. I will actually be playing the whole thing in real time (not with actual alcohol obvs) tonight with a recent BSB convert of mine. Tomorrow is actually the first anniversary of my dad’s death. I need something to look forward to & binge watching BSB videos pretending I’m drinking actual alcohol seems like a good idea. The rules really haven’t changed, though there have been a few additions (like new music! Yippee!) & some deletions. This will still be split into 2 entries as it’s just too damn long to cram into one. Ready or not, here we go.

Zee rules:

  • Set outside. This is including, but not limited to; fields, basketball courts, beaches, & parks. Two shots if a rain machine is involved.
  • Every initial shot of Kevin brooding OR he dumps water / a sports drink / some other liquid on himself like he’s Magic Mike.
  • Every time Nick points at the camera, but only with 1 hand. Two hands is a no go.
  • Every “vomit tease” What is a “vomit tease”, you ask? Grabbing one’s stomach & leaning over OR grabbing one’s stomach & leaning on a wall for support. This can also include leaning over bridges or balconies. Two shots if it’s Brian.
  • Every time Howie has his shirt off or open. Two shots if he takes it off during the video.
  • Every time AJ makes the prayer gesture OR he’s wearing a midriff bearing / fishnet / sheer shirt.
  • Miming the lyrics (maximum of 3 shots. You’ll thank me later.)
  • As always, I am free to add shots whenever I feel like it because there’s some stupid shit that goes down over the course of 21 years (I’m only using their US career).

“Get Down”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (1 Nick point, Miming the lyrics (x2))

Commentary: Don’t ask me how I missed this one on the first round. Maybe YouTube was hiding it from me. I don’t know. Regardless, this one had fewer shots than I thought it would for their early work. Of course, they were also dancing on a CGI disco ball wearing pants that all of them could fit into. Welcome to the early 90s. Nick never fails me with his pointing, though. Gotta love a reliable man (boy).

“We’ve Got It Goin’ On”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (2 Nick points, Kevin dumping water on himself)

Commentary: I’m not gonna lie, I’m secondhand embarrassed for them on this one. The intro, the outfits, the whole shebang. It’s kind of like finding pictures of yourself from middle school (unless you were actually cute in middle school in which case I hate you).  I got to see them live in Vegas in March 2017 & they performed this song. They cheated the hell out of the choreography. Of course, 40 year old knees don’t perform nearly as well as 20 year old knees, amirite?

“Anywhere For You”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Set outdoors, 2 Nick points, Howie with his shirt off, Nick vomit tease, Brian vomit tease (x2) – 4 shots total)

Commentary: This is where things start to get ugly. I know they’re from Florida (3 out of 5 ain’t bad). I know there are beaches. I do not know why you would wear three layers on the beach in the middle of the day. Beyond that, one of those layers is velour. I do miss the days when they all had some serious bling in their ears. What’s really slaying me though is the 90s fashion. DID WE NOT ONLY THINK THIS WAS OKAY BUT ACTUALLY ATTRACTIVE? Mon Dieu…

“Quit Playing Games”

Final Shot Tally: 8 (Set outdoors, rain machine, Howie with his shirt off & takes it off (3 shots total), Nick point, Brian vomit tease (2 shots))

Commentary: Not only was this their first video to appear widely in the US, but it was also their highest peaking single ever (#2. How it beat “Everybody” is beyond me). As Kevin described it, they “looked like a bunch of beefcake”. No sweetie. Beefcake implies way more meat on your bones. Howie might have a shot, but the rest of y’all need to have a couple more cheeseburgers before you can earn the title of “beefcake”. However, “appealing to the budding sexual appetites of 13 year old girls” makes them sound like pedophiles. As you were.

At this point, it’s worth noting that we’re halfway through the bastard lovechild of their European / US album. We’ve still got 4 more to go. I know I’m excited.

“All I Have To Give”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics, Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: They also performed this one in Vegas & went out into the audience to do so. AJ was in our section & was 12 rows away from me. 12 year old Emily would’ve fainted & 32 year old Emily was definitely getting the vapors. I admit to getting choked up talking about that show because the tickets were the last birthday / Christmas gift my parents gave me before my dad died. They knew how much I love my Boys & paid for the tickets. Mark was kind enough to take videos the entire show for me so I could actually enjoy it. So I guess I don’t have much to say about this video other than it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to my first love & that show was a gift I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. Sorry y’all. Didn’t mean to kill the mood. Next!

“I’ll Never Break Your Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Kevin looking broody, AJ’s shirt, Howie with his shirt open, Miming the lyrics (x3), 3 Nick points)

Commentary: This is another one I’m secondhand embarrassed for them. Mostly for Kevin because he had to do that ridiculous spoken intro. The bad grammar is another thing. I want to smack their songwriter because apparently he slept through 4th grade. Also now that I’ve gained the Marriage 30, my cleavage can actually keep up with Howie’s. Go team. The very end doesn’t leave me feeling super confident with Nick & Kevin looking like they’re about ready to punch your lights out. I won’t break your heart, but I will break your face.


Final Shot Tally: 0

Commentary: You’re Welcome.

“As Long As You Love Me”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (Miming the lyrics, Nick point, Kevin looking broody, Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: I could’ve sworn there was a Nick point in here, but it was with 2 hands. Nick, you failed me. YOU FAILED ME. This also the video where Brian met his wife which is the one piece of trivia even casual fans know. Now that Instagram is a thing & I follow all 5 of them, Leighanne looks like hell. She’s had so much plastic surgery done that I don’t even know where to start. She was cute in the video. There was nothing wrong. Now she looks 10 years older than (I assume) she is. Girl, why? Why? Just let nature take its course. Wear sunscreen, don’t smoke, & you’re set. It’s just sad. At least this dance routine is one that’s held up over the years because it doesn’t require floorwork. It had to happen eventually.

Total shots for the album(ish): 39

We’ve made it! We’ve made it to 1999! Who wants to party? (God rest Prince’s soul). We officially move on to Millennium which I believe sold something crazy like 1 million copies in the first week. I’ll google it later.

“I Want It That Way”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (Miming the lyrics, Nick point, Kevin looking broody, Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: I let the outdoor rule slide because it was only partially outside. This is easily my mom’s favorite of theirs. I know it’s one of their most popular, but it’s probably middle of the pack for me. This should be evident based on the fact I never particularly bothered myself with what “it” is. It also took me 16 years to figure out that the lyrics are reflexive. I was sitting in traffic when I figured that one out. I still like the version I heard all of once where the lyrics went “I love it when I hear you say I want it that way”.  The alluded recently to a rejected version of the song which I strongly suspect was that one. I guess I was outvoted.

“Larger Than Life”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Howie with his shirt off & AJ’s fishnet shirt thingy)

Commentary: I have a theory. The bigger the budget, the fewer the shots. Why? They can afford to do all kinds of crazy shit that doesn’t require outdoor locales, rain machines, or otherwise too much work on the Boys’ part. This video is actually in the top 50 for most expensive music videos EVER made. I don’t think I need to give a lengthy explanation as to why. Throw in a big dance number & you’ve got yourself a music video. Rain machines need not apply.

“Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Brian vomit tease (2 shots))

Commentary: When the intro starts with a dedication to “everyone who has lost a loved one”, I wish I could hit up the wine. It is what it is, it’s part of the game, & it’s only 4:20. [Insert weed reference here]

“The One”

Final Shot Tally: 0

Commentary: This is entirely concert footage, so there’s really nothing to keep track of. The Georgia Dome that held the record for the largest indoor concert in the world no longer exists, but the stadium that stands in its place is itching to take over the title. My mom questioned the structural integrity of the building then & it turned out she wasn’t entirely wrong because it didn’t take that much to implode it. They may not be able to sell out the University of Michigan football stadium anymore (capacity 107,601 and the largest in the country. For scale Philips Arena where the Hawks play has a capacity of 21,000.), but you can bet your ass I’ll be one of the screaming fans on the next tour.

Final Tally for the Album: 8 (enjoy the break while it lasts. The budget is about to go down again.)

Previously, I’d been unable to properly put “Drowning” in the chronology. As it turns out, it was a track added to the Greatest Hits album in 2001. YouTube has blessed us with not one, but TWO versions. A “dry” version & a “wet” version. Yes, the latter is as awful as it sounds.

“Drowning” (Dry Version)

Final Shot Tally: 13 (Set outside, Broody Kevin, AJ prayer gesture, miming the lyrics (x3), 5 Nick points, 1 Nick vomit tease, 1 AJ vomit tease).

Commentary: This one turned into a monster real damn fast. I dunno what I was (or wasn’t) looking at when I did it the first time. My original tally was 8, but upon a rewatch it shot up to 13. I mistook one prayer gesture for AJ when it was actually Brian because they’re wearing the same color jacket. I don’t even know what the hell is going on with Nick, but he set a record at 5 (!!!) points. He may have been making up for ALAYLM. I’m only officially counting 1 Nick vomit tease, but in reality you could start pouring shots at the beginning & just keep going because he clings onto that damn column like his life depends on it through the whole thing. This has now officially tied “Incomplete” for highest shot count. Yikes.

“Drowning” (Wet Version)

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Set outside (it’s CGI, but I’m counting it), rain machine (see previous point), AJ’s shirt, Broody Kevin, miming the lyrics (x3), 2 Nick points)

Commentary: This. Was. Awful. That’s literally all I can say about this hot mess on toast that landed face down on a cat turd. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.

Final Shot Tally for Both Versions: 22

We’ve made it! If you had been playing this with actual alcohol, you would’ve consumed 69oz so far which translates to roughly 2.75 bottles of your liquor of choice or a standard sized bottle of wine. Unless you’re a degenerate alcoholic, you’d probably be dead right now. This is why I don’t advocate playing with actual booze. I’m playing with Gatorade & my sidekick is playing with orange juice (sans champagne).

In Round 2 we’ll tackle Black & Blue, Never Gone, the Dark Years (i.e. those without Kevin), the 2013 reunion, & their new single. Go pee.



Of Boyband Music Videos and Shot Glasses: Mark 2 or The Dark Years & Welcome Back Kevin!

A quick refresher on the rules:

The rules:

  • A shot for every video which is set outdoors. This includes, but is not limited to; fields, basketball courts, beaches, and parks. Two shots if there’s a rain machine involved.
  • A shot for every helicopter shot. (The Kevin rule will be reinstated later)
  • A shot for every time Nick points at the camera. Two hands doesn’t count.
  • A shot for every vomit tease. Two shots if it’s Brian. But what defines a “vomit tease”? Grabbing your stomach and leaning over at the same time or grabbing your stomach and using a wall for support. This could also include leaning over balconies or bridges leading with your head.
  • A shot for every time Howie has his shirt open or off. Two shots if he takes it off during the video.
  • A shot for every time AJ looks like he stole his shirt from a drag queen. Also, every time he makes the prayer gesture.
  • A shot any time they mime the lyrics (up to three shots).

For those of you still standing and / or not in the hospital for alcohol poisoning, time for the second round! For some reason, Kevin decided he needed some street cred and peaced out for a little while. I refer to the two albums during that period as the “Dark Years”. The chronology is easier for these two because there aren’t that many options and Google is my friend (and I can’t use Kevin’s hair any more *pouty face*). But just because there are fewer options doesn’t mean there are fewer shots.

And go!


Final Shot Tally: 11 (set outside, 1 Nick point, 2 Brian vomit tease (x2), 1 AJ vomit tease, 2 Howie vomit tease, 2 Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: Is there something about solar eclipses that causes nausea? Seriously guys. While Nick *does* look like a frat boy, let’s not look like the morning after from a frat party, eh? Also, you can tell they made it look dark in post. I guess filming at night & then editing it later was too pricey? As I go through these, my love of Howie is increasing. I think it’s the haircut. Still not defecting, though. I guess I’ve always loved me some bad boy. Or maybe just guys with tattoos. Cases in point – Butch Walker and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls (also contemporaries to BSB, I’d like to note). My parents shouldn’t have been surprised by my own body art. I digress.

“Helpless When She Smiles”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (shot outside, helicopter shot, AJ praying, 2 Nick points, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2), 2 miming the lyrics)

Commentary: Jesus Christ, Brian! A vomit tease while miming the lyrics? I had to pause the damn thing just to get all those shots in. Are you trying to kill us? Also, that giggling at the end? Not cool! This is not a game! Wait…shit. Also, random chick playing the cello in the middle of a field. Because I always play my cello in the middle of the field. Where else would you do it? I didn’t count a rain machine because only the chick was wet (get your minds out of gutter, readers) and there was no actual rain it appeared. I couldn’t tell who was winning when they ran up the hill, but my bet is Howie. His lung capacity has to be better than Nick and AJ. Smoking lots of things tends to have an adverse effect on one’s cardiovascular endurance.

Final Shot Tally for the Album: 20

Apparently the budget only stretched to two videos for this album. They made it count, though. Oy.

Next up we have the gem from 2009 in the form of “This is Us”.


Final Shot Tally: 4 (set outside, 1 Nick point, miming the lyrics (x2))

Commentary: So they’re filming a song entitled “Bigger” in Japan. Please, please tell me this was supposed to be ironic. Then I will be vindicated that boy bands can, in fact, do something ironic. This was another case of the video not having a damn thing to do with the song. Moral of the song? “I’m a royal douche, but you’re staying with me because…um…not sure”. That said, it was a good laugh. I particularly enjoyed the part where Nick fell off the bench. I would like to believe there was more than tea in those cups. Really, I wanted sake bombs. C’mon guys, your target audience is now above drinking age. It’s okay to have a drink or two. Getting hammered would be funnier, but I’ll take what I can get. My money is on Nick winning that competition, by the way. I’m convinced if you put this next to “As Long As You Love Me”, they would annihilate. Poof!

“Straight Through My Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (miming the lyrics (x2), rain machine)

Commentary: So they’re all singing, all dancing vampires. I sympathize with the “day walker” title. I hate the sun. It gives me cancer. I appreciate the return of the “all dancing” component. Dance, vampire, dance! And Nick. Oh Nick. Why did you have to cut the hair? You just threw away your best asset! Why? When Howie and Brian have the best hair, something is very, very wrong with the universe. I guess the ceiling had some king of structural integrity issue because it started raining indoors. Might want to get that checked out.


Final Shot Tally: 4 (one for each of them)

Commentary: They didn’t make an official video for this one, but I had to include it. The sound check is actually way more fun than the live performances. I loathe live recordings because it’s entirely based on the viewer’s preference (Team Brian, looking at you). Of course, anyone who has actually worked on a live production knows the sound checks can provide the most fun. Listen carefully for references to public sex, a hand job, and Nick’s creative interpretation of some of the lyrics. Oh and Brian’s personal censoring because “booty” is just too much for him to handle. Oh and Howie’s “stop touching me!” when Nick comes over for a little love.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 11

Drumroll please!

Kevin’s back! This is our last gasp, readers. We’ve made it to 2013, a whole 16 years after where we started. Don’t you feel accomplished? Or just cirrhotic? Here are the final two! I know you can do it!

*raises glass*

“In a World Like This”

Final Shot Tally: 10 (set outside, helicopter shot, miming the lyrics (x3),2  AJ praying, 1 Nick point, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2))

Commentary: I swear that’s the same damn field they used before. Was it something along the lines of “Hey! That field was pretty cool! We’re going to dump your asses right back out there!”? Nick got his hair back (thank God) & AJ looks like someone didn’t read the tag before they got the shirt and made him wear it anyway. Overall, it’s a nice cheery number and about as much fun as one can have while singing in a field.

“Show ‘Em”

Final Shot Tally: 10 (Kevin looking broody, miming the lyrics (x3), 4 Nick points, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2))

Commentary: o.0 Um, when did Brian get abs? Also, his wedding ring keeps getting progressively larger. With those abs, I can see why she may want to clearly mark her territory. I would defect to Team Brian, but he loves Jesus too much. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of that. Howie kept his shirt on! Go you, HD! And since you asked so nicely, yes, I will show you a tomato.

Final Shot Tally for The Album: 20

Way to finish strong, boys!

And that concludes our binge drinking for the rest of everyone’s lives. I hope you enjoyed playing along as much as I enjoyed accepting the challenge. If nothing else, I hope I perked things up a bit.


Of Boyband Music Videos and Shot Glasses: Mark 1

Fair readers! I have an amusing post for you!

Just for fun, I came up with a Backstreet Boys music video drinking game. After explaining it to a dear friend of mine, she challenged me to try it myself and see how quickly someone would die of alcohol poisoning. Challenge accepted.

The rules:

  • A shot for every video which is set outdoors. This includes, but is not limited to; fields, basketball courts, beaches, and parks. Two shots if there’s a rain machine involved.
  • A shot for every initial shot of Kevin brooding.
  • A shot for every time Nick points at the camera. Two hands doesn’t count.
  • A shot for every vomit tease. Two shots if it’s Brian. But what defines a “vomit tease”? Grabbing your stomach and leaning over at the same time or grabbing your stomach and using a wall for support. This could also include leaning over balconies or bridges.
  • A shot for every time Howie has his shirt open or off. Two shots if he takes it off during the video.
  • A shot for every time AJ looks like he stole his shirt from a drag queen. Also, every time he makes the prayer gesture.
  • A shot any time they mime the lyrics (up to three shots).

Starting arsenal:

  • One 32oz (1000ml) Nalgene bottle
  • One 1oz (30ml) shot glass.

And go! (Caveat: I’ve tried to put them roughly in chronological order. I’m using Kevin’s hair as a benchmark.)

“We’ve Got It Goin’ On”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (2 Nick points & 1 for Brian’s asinine introduction). It was only partially shot outside, so the first rule can be ignored.

Commentary: Apparently I did not become Team AJ until later in their career. He also, apparently, hustles pool at the ripe old age of 19. The wardrobe master clearly hated Nick because that hat should not have ever seen the light of day. Of course Howie gets all the chicks. It must be the Puerto Rican in him. Or a little Puerto Rican in you. I’ll stop now. And Kevin looks like an ad for the Chippendales. Put the water down and back away slowly. I approve of the dance routine. This was back in the day where that was a staple in their videos. This is the part where Emily becomes a BSB hipster. Oy.

“Anywhere For You”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Set outdoors, 2 Nick points, 1 Howie with his shirt off, 1 Nick vomit tease, 2 Brian vomit teases (x2).)

Commentary: The fuck? Why are they wearing sweaters on the beach? AJ really needs to 86 the glasses. They’re just wrong. The wardrobe master must have hated all of them in this one. There was also a shot where it kind of looked like they were all jerking off in a line. Whatever works. I did appreciate Howie sexing up the camera. Well done.

“Quit Playing Games With My Heart”

Final shot tally: 8 (Set outdoors, rain machine, Howie with his shirt off & removed it (x2), 1 Nick point, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2).)

Commentary: Can someone please tell me who does Nick’s hair? Because I want to know where that shine and bounce comes from. Alternatively, AJ can’t really pull off the “sexy run your hand through your hair” because that requires actual hair. Nick did not have to go to the vet because his pythons were not yet sick (or be admitted to the gun show. Pick your poison). The hair had to carry him for this particular event. Work with what you have, kiddo.

It’s at this juncture I would like to point out that we’re still on the 1997 release of their bastard lovechild European & US album. There’s still four more to go before we even hit Millennium!

“All I Have To Give”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics, 1 Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: AJ has disappointed so far. I guess your liver had to get a break somewhere. Also, Kevin hasn’t started brooding yet. His hair is shorter, so I’m clearly on the right track. It also had a dance routine I forgot about. With hats! Because hats make everything better. Duh.

“I’ll Never Break Your Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 7 (Initial shot of Kevin brooding, AJ’s shirt, Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics (x2), 2 Nick points)

Commentary: Where do I start? AJ finally put out. ‘Bout damn time. I would also like to point out that they were ethnically conscious with their choices of women. Howie and the Asian would have beautiful babies. The spoken intro gets me every. single. time. Also, Nick’s hair again! I want my hair to look that good. I’d be scary as a blonde, however. Howie has more cleavage than I could hope for. Though the final shot where Nick & Kevin are looking down at the camera like “you wanna fight about it?” might win. I won’t break your heart, but I will break your face.


Final Shot Tally: 0

Commentary: You’re welcome.

“As Long As You Love Me”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics (Brian))

Commentary: And here we meet the future Mrs. Littrell. Because that’s not the piece of trivia the EVERYONE EVER knows. I also finally figured out where my love of AJ sprouted. He’s easily the best dancer. I swore there was a Nick point in this one, but it was with 2 hands. Overall, this had fewer than I thought it would.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 32

We have now completed all the videos available on YouTube for the bastard lovechild album. Go pee, throw up, or call an ambulance. I’ll wait.

You still with me? Excellent!

“I Want It That Way”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (miming the lyrics, 1 Nick point, Kevin looking broody, 1 Nick vomit tease)  I cut everyone a break on the airplane hangar. Wandering through the airport was sufficient to negate the “outdoor” rule. I also counted all the lyric miming as one. Otherwise, there would be 27 shots.

Commentary: Now I figured out why they always put Kevin in the back in the dance numbers. It has nothing to do with the fact he’s the tallest, but rather he’s an awkward dancer. Sorry, dude. Guess that triple threat Broadway career was only a double. I loved at the end where AJ pointed at his crotch while saying “I”. The mysteries of the world are solved in a single gesture.

“Larger Than Life”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Howie with this shirt off, AJ stealing a drag queen’s shirt)

Commentary: I would have killed to have been in the creative meeting from whence this sprung. “Let’s put them in space! And use as much CGI as we can afford!”. Say wha?

“Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (1 Brian vomit tease (x2)

Commentary: …I think I’m going to go draw a warm bath & slit my wrists now. [KIDDING!!!]

“The One”

Final Shot Tally: 0 due to the fact it’s a tribute video with actual concert footage.

Commentary: Speaking of actual concert footage, I was one of the 100,000+ people who broke the record for the largest indoor concert ever. So I’m probably screaming at some point in there. If you listen closely, you can hear me. 😉

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 8

The Millennium is over!! For those of you who haven’t already fallen over or died, time for Black & Blue (on a personal note – one of their lesser efforts and that’s including the ‘dark years’ i.e. those without Kevin).

“The Call”

Final Shot Tally: 0 (Enjoy the liver break while it lasts. Again, I let the outdoor rule slide.)

Commentary: I’m not sure what the really bizarre background track is about. It doesn’t sound that way on the album at all. And now Howie is the one with the great hair. Seriously?! I want their stylist’s number! And Kevin’s hair grew out again, so I’m tricked into thinking I’ve gone back in time. Though the lady does look like her outfit came from a sex shop. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though probably sweaty. Pleather doesn’t breathe very well. Yes, I know this from experience.

“Shape Of My Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (AJ making the prayer gesture, miming the lyrics)

Commentary: I love how they don’t seem to mind this couple getting it on under the table. “Bitch, that’s my shoe!”. I also see what they did with the grey scale so it turned out looking blue. Thank you for beating us over the head with it, producers.

“More Than That”

Final Shot Tally: 6 (Set outside, miming the lyrics, 1 AJ vomit tease, 2 Nick Points, 1 Nick vomit tease.)

Commentary: I won’t even attempt to make some crass joke about riding and Kevin in the cowboy hat. He’s either too cool to ride in the front or he lost rock, paper, scissors, to Howie for shotgun. Nick’s default dance move is to jump in a circle while flailing. Ah, white boys left to their own devices.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 8

Didn’t I tell you to enjoy the break while it lasted? Welcome to their last effort as a quintet in the form of “Never Gone”. Things will only go downhill from here. Trust me.


Final Shot Tally: 13 (Set outside, 2 AJ making the prayer gesture, Kevin looking broody, 2 Brian vomit tease (x2), miming the lyrics, 2 AJ vomit teases, Nick vomit tease, rain machine)

Commentary: This one was a doozy, kiddos. I admit, the song is one of my favorites. The video? Well… We will assume Nick lit the car on fire. That’s a whole new level of crazy. I’m not sure I’d want to get back together with a dude who decided setting fire to a motor vehicle FILLED WITH GASOLINE is a good idea. AJ did not light his car on fire. Thank heaven for small favors. Brian probably got hypothermia from being stuck in the ocean. Hazards of the job. Kevin, well, was Kevin. At least Howie got a snappy hat out of the deal. Did I or did I not tell you things would be going downhill?

“Just Want You To Know”

Final Shot Tally: 5 (one for each of them because I just can’t…)

Commentary: What. The. Fuck. I legitimately have no clue what’s going on. And since when is LMFAO white? So they’re in the hair band, but they’re watching the hair band? Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some hair bands. My best guess is they were tired of pretending to vomit in random outdoor locations? *hums “Shotz”*


Final Shot Tally: 8 (set outside, 2 AJ praying, miming the lyrics, 2 Nick points, 1 vomit tease (they were backlit, but I think it was Nick), 1 Nick vomit tease (for sure))

Commentary: I’m putting this one here because it’s not attached to any album (as far as I can tell) and it involves all 5 of them. Though based on Kevin’s hair, it’s earlier than this album. Speaking of hair, I guess their stylist took the day off. They’re all looking a wee bit greasy. Ew. The title was deceptive. No rain machine! Sneaky, sneaky bastards.

“I Still…” 

Final Shot Tally: 8 (set outside,1 Nick vomit tease, broody Kevin, Howie looking like he has a raging hangover, rain machine, drinking in solidarity with Kevin, 1 Brian vomit tease (x2))

Commentary: The way this one was shot made it a little difficult. It kept speeding up and slowing down, so it was hard to tell who was doing what to whom and when. I suppose Brian had a death wish as he fell to his knees in the middle of what I assume is New York City traffic. Like they’re going to stop. He would have been run down like a possum. Kevin was legitimately drinking in a bar, then throwing shit, so one must drink along with him. I liked AJ’s parkour (or however the hell you spell that) at the beginning. That’s totally some shit I would try and then faceplant.

Final Shot Tally For the Album: 34

After finishing this round, some things you’ll be grateful I didn’t add:

  • Nick looking like he’s going to rip his shirt off.
  • Erroneous grammar.
  • Crane cams

    Stay tuned for Mark 2


Of Backstreet Boys and crippling insecurity

Confession Time: I’ve been binge listening to the Backstreet Boys’ entire body of work. For those keeping score at home that’s 18+ years since their first album was released in the US. Not that I’m a BSB hipster or anything *looks around all shifty like*. I do owe them a debt of gratitude. “Everybody” is what got me into dance in the first place. I had a VHS (yes, I’m that old) of a behind the scenes of the production of “Everybody” and “As Long As You Love Me”. Each section, of course, culminated with the video itself. I literally stood in front of the TV with the remote in my hand for days and taught myself the choreography for “Everybody”. After driving my mother nuts, she put me in dance classes. The rest was history.

In the process of going through the songs, it hit me how wildly unhealthy most of them are. It’s not 50 Shades of Grey unhealthy, but sets up ridiculous expectations of what relationships should be. When you’re thirteen, it doesn’t really sink in. “As Long As You Love Me” immediately leaps to mind. Moral of the story? I don’t care if you’re a felon wanted by state and federal authorities, it’s no big as long as you’re head over heels for me. *facepalm* Other messages include “I dumped you like a year ago, but I want you back now so I’m going to stalk you either by phone or in person” or “You dumped me, but that’s cool. I’ll still stalk you in person or over the phone”. There’s the handful of “I’m a total douche, but you keep me around anyway” or “I cheated on you, but I’m totally sorry and you’ll totally take me back. Right?”. It’s not a case of I wouldn’t let my daughter listen to their music because ultimately it’s what sells and I’ll take that over pimping hoes and capping homies. Just sayin’.

It is, however, a little insidious. I found myself starting to think some of it was okay. That’s romantic, right? No, Emily, it’s not. Tell your thirteen year old self to get her shit together. Their music spoke to a thirteen year old girl who had very little common ground with her peers. Being into one of the biggest pop groups in the world was something that bridged the gap just a tiny bit. Other girls liked them, so I wasn’t *that* weird. I did, however, steadfastly hide my Butch Walker and Goo Goo Dolls albums. That negated the normal that my BSB habit brought me. They also did put on epic concerts. I believe their show at the Georgia Dome during the Millennium tour still holds the record for largest indoor concert ever. I was there and witnessed all the pomp and circumstance. For the longest time on Facebook under my dad’s interests he had “Whatever my daughter are into”. Thanks Dad. 😀

It took me a long time to learn to let my freak flag fly. I wish I could tell my thirteen year old self that it’s okay. It’s okay to be weird and different. It’s the weird and different people who make a real impression in life. Be into something because you like it, not simply to fit in. Even if it’s “over” and you still like it, own it. If it’s “in” and you actually are into it, go for it. If it’s something that causes people to give you the side eye, fuck ’em. Of course, she wouldn’t believe me, but it might have stuck with her a little bit. There are still days that my thirty year old self just wants to fit in. Then I remember that normal people scare me. I know I’ve said it a thousand times before, but it bears repeating. I stand out regardless of what I’m wearing or how many tattoos I have. I’m the kind of person who walks into a room and the record screeches to a halt. People I haven’t spoken to in years remember me. Sooner or later, when you know you literally can’t disappear into the crowd, you learn how to embrace it rather than fight it. Thirteen year old Emily didn’t quite have it figured out yet, but she got there, Backstreet Boys or no Backstreet Boys.


P.S. If AJ showed up at my door and asked me to have sex with him, I’d do it. No more risk of statutory rape!

P.P. S. If you’re into N*SYNC we can’t be friends any more. Ever. You’re dead to me.

Of deep fried Twinkies and the anniversary of the end of my beautiful scars

In honor of AJ McLean’s 36th birthday today, I dug up Backstreet Boys greatest hits album thanks to Google All Access (seriously, this program is crack like and makes Pandora look like the 90 lbs weakling. Anyway…). It was vastly entertaining to take a little trip back in time to my 14 year old self and what she was crazy about. In my head, I was having a dance party. You know, the trademark Jackson 5, boyband back step that’s recognizable out of the corner of your eye. Their music is the aural equivalent of a deep friend Twinkie. No nutritional value whatsoever, but tastes really damn good. Piggybacking off Carrie’s post, that was half a lifetime ago. Well before I knew much more than pop music, high school, new friends, and living in the dance studio. I had my first boyfriend and my first kiss that year. The worst pain I’d felt up to that point was moving away from the city I grew up in and all the friends who came with it. I would be dumped for the first time with the most ridiculous reason ever, but I didn’t see that at the time. It’s easy to look back at her and smile. If someone had told her where she would be almost 15 years later, she probably wouldn’t have believed them.

This month is the 3 year anniversary of when I finished my final tattoo. I had my first sitting in September 2010. With large pieces, it’s not uncommon to sit for multiple sessions. It’s a phoenix which I thought was fitting symbolism. Three years ago I gave up hurting myself. Quit it cold turkey along with sleeping around. I haven’t had a drink in almost 10 months, the longest I’ve gone since I started drinking regularly. It just took the right motivation that AA lacked. Maybe I just don’t notice it any more, but I get fewer and fewer comments about my tattoos. Maybe because it’s the winter and everything is covered. I don’t get defensive or angry when people ask. The silly questions still make me roll my eyes, but I don’t get angry like I used to. “Did they hurt?”, “Yes, there were needles involved”. “What do they mean?”, “They’re my self injury scars”. That usually backs people off fairly quickly. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’ve entertained the idea of having some of them removed. Ultimately I decided to keep them. They’re part of my story for better or worse. Some days I hate them and want to scratch them off. Other days, I hardly notice them like I would hardly notice a mole or a birth mark.

The funny thing about the final sitting was how much it hurt. Up to that point, tattooing had been more annoying than painful. I could sit for hours without so much as a peep. Artists were always impressed with how long and how well I could sit. Up to that point, I’d only ever had a hard time sitting once while getting a tattoo. It was at a convention, they’d worked on me for almost 6 hours without a break, and my quads were about ready to die. It took a total of 8 hours and spanned the entire front of my right thigh. While finishing up the phoenix, I could barely hold still. I spent most of the 3 hour sitting trying to wiggle away. I’d had my ditch (the place where your elbow bends inward) tattooed on the other arm with no problem. Not so on this round. It occurred to me much later that it was a sign of healing. To an outsider, it seems strange that cutting or tattooing would provoke an emotional release. It’s all too true. Once I’d begun to heal the broken bits, the ability to withstand pain went away. I was, quite literally, able to feel again. And goddamn did it hurt. I walked out of the shop and never looked back.