August 26, 2014

10 Reasons You Should Follow TSA on Instagram

If you're a frequent traveler, odds are TSA is synonymous with "I have room for my shaving cream or my liquid foundation, but not both." You know the struggle of the 3-1-1 rule. You know not to pack large scissors in your carry-on or to bring the water bottle you brought from home through security, but overall, TSA rules are not that hard. If you're like me, you've probably seen the detailed prohibited items list at some point and laughed to yourself thinking "why would anyone try to pack an ax anyway?", and you've probably rolled your eyes at the guy ahead of you in line that didn't take off his shoes and tried to bring a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi in his carry-on bag. Amateur.

But for every Pepsi-carrying travel newbie, there's some guy that thought it was okay to pack that ax, or a bag full of fireworks, or some medieval torture device you didn't even know existed, and TSA has seen it all. Here are 10 reasons you should follow them on Instagram.

1. The bomb and drug dogs are super cute when you're not the one they're chasing.

2. Batarangs. Who actually knew these were called "batarangs?"

3. Man, I don't have room for my knife AND my gun. What should I do?

4.This not-so-smart phone.

5. Lipstick tazer.

6. Lipstick knife. Don't mix these up with your real lipstick.

7. I'm not even mad; I'm impressed.

8. Ruh-roh.

9. "I just needed a haircut, I swear!"

10. And my personal favorite, the crazy cat-lady weapon of choice: Cat Knuckles.

Thanks, TSA, for keeping me safe, keeping me entertained, and keeping me suspicious of the human race and everyday objects.

August 5, 2014

Seven Things I'd Like to See at a Future Hanson Day Event

Every year, Hanson adds something new to their Hanson Day event schedule. There has already been a block party, after party, listening party, beer festival, art gallery, bowling, movie screenings, dinners, lectures, group photos, acoustic shows, electric shows, and so much more. It’s hard to imagine what they might think of next, but they’re always asking for feedback and thinking up new things to try.  I’m full of opinions (wanted or unwanted, but hey! I have a blog), so sticking to the topic of fun ideas and not veering into logistical changes, here are some events I’d love to see at a future Hanson Day celebration.

1. A museum-style gallery.

This is the number one thing I want to see that hasn’t been done yet. I loved seeing the piano from the "Lost Without Each Other" video the first year we went inside 3CG for the I Heart Hanson store.  Hanson must have some pretty cool artifacts from the last two decades stored away, and I’d love to see any they’re willing to show.  Awards, music video props, Zac’s first drumkit, etc. We’re all collectors of something, and I think showing the collectors Hanson’s own collection would be total nerd fun. This could work in conjunction with the art gallery to add extra content or be completely separate.

2. Laser Tag.

I don’t participate in the bowling, but I would be all over a “sport” that doesn’t require used shoes and lets me run around and shoot people for fun.

3. New material during the movie screening.

Whether it’s a brand new documentary or a bonus 10-minute behind the scenes clip made exclusively for fan club members at the event, showing me something I’ve never seen before is the key to squeezing ten extra dollars out of me. Bonus tip: Gag reels are the way to my heart.

4. A photo gallery based around past tours and events.

Crowd shots. Walk shots. Action shots during shows.  Hi, we’re vain. We like to find ourselves in pictures and see pictures from shows we were at. You don’t have to sell them to us, but many of us would buy them too if given the opportunity.

5. More lectures behind the scenes of songs.

 Show us earlier versions of songs with different arrangements like Isaac’s “Underneath: Naked” lecture this year.  Tell us about lyrics that changed before the final version, like “tragic symphony,” which was ultimately a genius lyrical fluke, or the cat-killing joke that turned into “Misery.” It will never happen, but my inner English teacher would love a lyrical analysis lecture where we find out the meaning of songs.  Take a vague song or two, put the lyrics up on a screen, and line by line tell me what they mean and how they came to be. Lyrical Analysis 101, please! (Or give Taylor a lecture called “Behind the Veil of Vague.”)

6. A “Stories Will Be Told” lecture.

Dig into the Hanson vault of infinite recorded footage we’ll never see. Pull out 5-10 memorable moments that were captured on camera, and do a Buzzfeed-style countdown where you show them to us and tell us about them. On-stage pranks, great collaborations with guest performers, inspiring moments on walks, etc. I’ve seen some amazing things happen at Hanson shows; I’ve seen professional cameras around, and I’m sure there’s plenty more that I haven’t seen. Or turn it into a “Hanson Does Stupid Stuff on Video,” America’s Funniest Home Videos style compilation. (I realize this entire bullet is asking for a LOT of extra editing work and falls into the category of things that will never happen but are fun to think about).

7. A cheesy photo-op backdrop at the afterparty.

 If the afterparty is going to feel like prom, can we have a cheap cheesy backdrop where we can take pictures with our friends? I don't mean prom-style photos with Hanson or supplying us with a professional photographer to take the photos, but just some silly little designated space where fans can take group pictures with friends. The awkward prom pose opportunities are endless.

And I won’t say I want to see it, but I’m afraid the Zac equivalent of Taylor’s photo lecture would be projecting a video game onto a massive screen and having fans come up and play against him.

What events and lecture topics would you like to see happen at a future Hanson Day celebration?