Who knew M&Ms could wrap?

While in Toulouse, FroMan invited me to join him and his friends for supper. I had a great time. Somehow, while discussing Ramadan, multiculturalism and the pros/cons of accommodating vs assimilating vs integrating minorities into society, CAD vs Southern French weather, Trump, kizomba, sleep patterns, work, hair styling, annoying neighbors, I found myself on a rant about how Eminem is the greatest rapper of all time. Yes, Kendrick Lamar is an artiste, but Eminem! Eminem is just in a different class. True, he does not speak to the struggle and plight of a specific demographic; rather, he owns the individuality of his emotions, which can broaden his audience because emotions are universal and do not depend on specific circumstances. His lyrics are a form of vulnerability, and while he can be ugly, shocking, so angry and violent, his honesty is refreshing and is what allows his auditors to relate so strongly to him. His musicality is not lesser than Kendrick’s and… and somewhere after the 5th minute of my monologue, I noticed a blank look around the table.

Tentatively, I asked… y’all DO know Eminem, right? Oui, bien sûr. M&Ms. No. Eminem, bro, the rapper. You guys know who he is, in France, right?! Oui, we call him M&Ms here. M&Ms… as in the candy? Oui.

FroMan continued, “He’s the dude that sang, I’m Slim Shady yes I’m the real Shady all you other Slim Shadies are just imitating…” No. NON. Arrête. STOP IT. THAT is what you associate with Eminem? Not Rap God, where he raps 1560 words within 6:04 minutes, averaging 4.28 words per second? Not “mom’s spaghetti”, the lyric that spawned some of the most ludicrous memes ever, and is the reason why he won an Oscar? Not Love the Way You Lie, a song so powerful that even though radios overplayed it more than Despacito, it never got ruined and was a catalyst in lessening the taboo around domestic abuse, bringing that important topic out into the open?  Not any of his early underground freestyle rapping? Not that he is the only person in the world that can rhyme “orange” with “porridge”? Like seriously, watch this:

Y’all. Eminem is a wordsmith. A modern day poet. A genius.

FroMan listened to my outraged exclamations in silence for several seconds. Possibly a full minute.

Tu réalises qu’il rap en anglais, oui? On ne comprend pas ce qu’il dit.

You do realize he raps in English, yes? We don’t understand what he’s saying.

So, I asked, how do you distinguish good music from bad? You guys are French! The epitome of good taste! If you don’t understand the lyrics, what do you do? Just listen to the beat, the groove and the melody? WAIT, YOU GUYS DON’T THINK JUSTIN BIEBER IS GOOD MUSIC, DO YOU?! “En fait, il n’est vraiment pas si pire, le petit Bieber. Son album est très propre./ Actually, he really isn’t that bad, that little Bieberito. His album is quite on point.”



I cannot live in a world where Eminem is less appreciated than Bieber.

It occurred to me to suggest FroMan use Google Translate, much like I did to understand how ridiculously over-the-top kizomba lyrics can be (for a prime example,  check out this music video of one of my favourite songs, Vai by Calema. Stirring music, heartbreak, but whyyyyyyyy must he flop about like a goldfish in a puddle of mud? That won’t make her come back to you, bro, and significantly decreases your odds of landing yourself a rebound chick.) But Google’s habit of mildly inaccurate translations (“Pinch me now, yes/ Good afternoon, no/ You are very crazy/ Kiss me in the mouth“) can’t do justice to Eminem’s wordplay. The site Genius is the way to go… but even so, Eminem’s greatness is rather dependent on one’s fluency in English.

How sad. How very sad. FroMan’s life, and that of most of the world’s population, is incomplete.



#andthisiswhytravelisimportant #myhorizonsjustgotexpandedAF



A pointless story about coping mechanisms, boys in drag and Eminem

So yeah. Lately, I’ve been having a bit of a rough time adulting. One of the main symptoms of this is a pervasive anxiety about my appearance (discussed here). Just because I know that my brain is using this insecurity to funnel a lot of my more generalized anxiety does not make it any less overwhelming. I’m long past the point where compliments help counteract the negative voices in my head. I went out 2 weeks ago in a fabulous dress with tasteful side-boob, and despite unanimous enthusiastic positive feedback from girls and guys, I remain convinced that I looked like a muscular boy in drag.

Then I dyed my hair blonde. It’s been quite the adjustment. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Most people love it. But of course, since I am insecure about the change, all I remember are Beaut’s horror and Coach’s gentle mockery. That’s all I needed to convince myself that I repulsive. Ugly. A muscular boy in drag with a bad taste in hairstyles.

This morning I showed up to work 45 minutes late. Traffic? Nope. Doctor’s appointment? Nope. Overslept? Nope. I had a wardrobe meltdown. 6 different outfits, 2 different bras, 3 different panties, 13 minutes sobbing in front of the mirror, 5 minutes of internal debate as to whether looking ugly was a good reason for not going to work. Afterall, when I have the flu, I should avoid inflicting the icky on my coworkers, right? Same thing. I should avoid inflicting the ugly. Charity, really. A prime example of teamwork.

Anyhow, I made it to work. I suppose I should congratulate myself that my rational brain is still approximately functional. But I was in a FOUL mood, that even 67 cups of coffee did nothing to fix. And before anyone points out that 67 cups of coffee MIGHT contribute to my anxiety, don’t. COFFEE IS MY BAE.

After 3 hours at work, one thing was clear: I hate people. I am aware that I work at one of the best companies in the world, and that really, the teamwork, efficiency and goodwill of my coworkers is unparalleled. But still. WHY MUST EVERYTHING BE SO DIFFICULT AND ANNOYING? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

I resorted to my tried and true coping mechanism for desperate times. Listening to Eminem’s song “So Much Better”.

This song never fails to cheer me up. Possibly because the refrain is perfect:

My life will be so much better if you just dropped dead
I was laying in bed last night thinking
And this thought just popped in my head
and I thought
Wouldn’t shit just be a lot easier if you dropped dead
I would feel soooooooooooo much better

Eminem. The Shakespeare of our times.

I LOVE this song. I think it is so funny, and perfect. So much happy hatred, the contrast of the vindictive silly possibly violent dislike with the up-beat melody. And let’s be honest: we’ve all thought this about someone at least ONCE in our lives, right? RIGHT?!?! It makes sense that my doppelganger would put a smile back on my face. I suppose if I’m destined to look like a boy in drag, I could do worse than Eminem – maybe I’ll simultaneously develop a similar skill to his wizardry as a wordsmith. #theblogcomesfirst

Bet y’all didn’t realize accountants could be so thug, right? #ratchetcalculator