Archive | March, 2014

Fleetwood Mac Reunites And My Life Rejoices

28 Mar

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Yesterday was just an overall, pinch myself, “stop smiling” “I can’t” sort of 24 hours, and the best part was it all happened the same day Fleetwood Mac decided to reunite for the first time in 15 years!

We all knew the day Fleetwood Mac finally got it together would be a turning point in the solar system, but I didn’t know how great it would be for me personally.

So Stevie, this one’s for you.

My beautiful, Nicks-fueled day started in TA class when my teacher announced we were studying Sylvia Plath.  “Sylvia Plath is my jam!” I said.  And I kept saying jam all day, but I think Sylvia would be OK with it because our connection has got to be two-sided I’m not completely delusional.

Deep breaths.

I told my professor what a difference Sylvia has made in my life and how when I read The Bell Jar for the first time I felt understood in a way I had never before.  I said I believe The Bell Jar is to young women what Catcher in the Rye is to young men, that coming-of-age novel that helps life make sense, that puts to words all of our confusion and angst and turmoil.

And then, lo and behold she repeated that in lecture.

A Poetry PhD liked my Sylvia Plath/Holden Caulfield connection!

My inner nerd just about fainted on the spot.

I just about fainted on the spot.

Then it was off to Malibu Country Mart for lunch with Hilary where a cute boy (I should start saying man, cute man) liked my Great Gatsby sweater and I wore my heart sunglasses just because, and we spent a half hour looking and failing to find lavender hot chocolate, but it’s about the journey, you know?

And then we saw Zeek Braverman!

With his grandpa sandals!

This is the journey dreams are made of!

I tweeted about my love of Zeek’s grandpa sandals not too long ago, so you can rest assured I’m not making all this good stuff up.

Life was just heaping on the love with an ice cream scoop yesterday.

Back at the ranch (Pepperdine) I made Hilary listen to Sylvia’s recitation of The Applicant and we spent the afternoon training our voices to say, “MARRY IT, MARRY IT, MARRY IT” in that same, angry Sylvia way, and I had this moment where I realized that sad, angry women make me happy and energized.

Which is odd to someone like Hilary, but when I actually verbalized it made a lot of sense to me.

This week I got Joni Mitchell Blue on vinyl and I sent Hilary a picture along with my Rice Krispies and Nutella and said “Life is good.”  Hilary asked how something as sad as Joni Mitchell “I wish I had a river I could skate away on” could mean life was good and I realized that Joni (and Sylvia) (and Fiona) make me happy because they make me feel understood and they put words to things I cannot.  That’s all I’m looking for, really.

So sadness makes me happy.

Yay!

Other bonus, crazily cheery things:

1. I found a half melted Kinder Bueno in my purse in the middle of a four hour class.

2. I got a whole lot of positive writing feedback including the ultimate “your words sparkle on the page” compliment.

3. A friend brought me a back issue of the UK Country Life, and I decided that when I have a million pounds and own a thatched roof footage in the English countryside I will greet my visitors in a floor-length sequined dress and Hunter boots.

4. I looked into subscriptions to Country Life. (It’s the only way forward.)

5. I discovered this Jude Law monologue after watching this Jude Law funny faces video, and I’m sorry, I know in real life he has his issues, but in the words of Naomi Watts, “He’s the most beautiful man who ever walked the earth—an absolutely perfect oil painting.”

6. My night class ended up being an hour of me yelling out things like “Tina Fey addressed the Raymond Chandler sexy baby thing!” because I got to let out my most wild feminist self and Wild Feminist Jill is one of the very best Jills.

7. My friends and I plotted out our LA Times Festival of Books Schedule (!!!!)

8. I came home and my favorite chick lit author’s newest novel was waiting for me and my heart.

9. Fleetwood Mac.  People, FLEETWOOD MAC REUNITED.  We can hear Songbird for real, in person this time, there is no topping this news!

Whew, I’m kind of all jazzed up right now and don’t know where to go from here.

Thank you, Lindsey.

Thank you, Stevie.

(That’s how the live version of Landslide ends.)

(Once Hilary used the “Thank you, Stevie” line in a game to get me to guess Landslide.)

Life is really, really good.

Yesterday I Wore A Tutu

26 Mar

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Yesterday I wore a tutu.

I’ve had this blog post swirling around in my head for two months and I could never come up with a beginning until yesterday.

Because yesterday I wore a tutu.

I wore a tutu and got nachos with Hilary and Rob and went purple lipstick shopping and ate gelato and ordered extra ice diet coke with lemon (because my McDonald’s orders are quickly turning into orders only appropriate for five-star restaurants) and I shoved my big, blue tutu into my silver Corolla and felt slightly like a bride with all the tulle puffing up around me.

Yesterday I wore a tutu and Hilary said, “Jill, you look and sound so much better today.  I actually know what to say to you.”

Yesterday I wore a tutu.

Let’s rewind a bit.

About a month ago I had a day that was quite possibly the worst day of my life.  In Looking for Alaska, John Green’s hyper-intelligent, hyper-verbal teens sit around drinking and smoking and talking about the worst days of their lives. This fictional conversation got me thinking about my own, real worst days, because as you know by now, that’s what books do for me.  Turn me inside.

And last month I had what was quite possibly the worst day of my life.

I say it was “quite possibly” the worst day of my life because it’s hard to know, really.  There have been other bad days, but I don’t remember them as well.  The pain isn’t as fresh.  And last month’s bad day is still very much on my mind and very much in my tear ducts.

I have found that I have an unlimited supply of two things in my life: obsessiveness and tears.  It doesn’t matter how much I’ve cried over one particular thing, the well never seems to dry up.

And that’s kind of a scary thought.

This Worst Day fell smack dab in the middle of one of the worst months of my life, which turned into one of the worst two months of my life.  I was texting a friend about this and the text autocorrected to “one of the worst months of my lives” and we laughed and said it was probably appropriate.  Because if I had past lives, my goodness they are still talking about the last two months.

I was at lunch with a friend the other day and we were talking about our ages, and the ages we act like/feel like.  This particular friend was born a middle-aged man with all the desire for comfort and stability that comes with it.  I was born a 17-year-old girl filled to the brim with emotion.

As I told him this he said, “Jill, if you’re 17 you’re a 17-year-old former beauty pageant queen.  You’re too cynical for 17.”

And he was right in some ways.  The last two months have been so awful, in part, because when I was actually 17 I was much looser with my heart and life than I am now.  I’m still dealing with the consequences of decisions I made when I was 17.

I’ve found as I get older and things go wrong, I don’t necessarily cope better than I used to.  In some ways I cope worse, because I’ve had so much time to build up poor coping mechanisms.  The London period, in particular, introduced me to a slew of bad habits, things that flooded back to me in no time these past two months.

It’s disheartening how quickly I can slip into former, worst versions of myself.  Like these selves are there the whole time, just waiting for a bad moment to pop out and taunt me.  Just waiting to remind me all my efforts to eradicate these ugly parts are only temporary.

But this blog post isn’t about that.  It’s about healing, and, of course, tutus.

The turning point in this haze of overwhelming was last weekend when my old roommate Harry came in town.

We spent a simple day together, certainly not one for the record books.  We ate samples at Trader Joe’s, Harry gulping down the entire tray without thought.  We watched March Madness, or rather Harry and his friend watched March Madness and I did everything I could to distract them from March Madness.

We discussed Dickens.  And Austen.  And if Hamlet is the peak of human creation.

We visited a chapel where Harry casually suggested we get married and honeymoon in Europe and I casually said yes, as friends do in beautiful churches.

We ate shabu shabu, and even though we could barely move we were so full, we ended up at a fro yo place and Harry had his green apple/key lime pie monstrosity and I had my whipped cream/cake batter monstrosity and we laughed.  Real, honest laughs.  And I was happy.

I watched the sun set in a Red Sox hoodie and had an epiphany about the types of places I love most in the world, towns where everything closes down at 6:00PM.  Towns with cottages and good local food.  Rich towns.  Sleepy towns.  Cape Cod.  Palos Verdes Estates. Malibu.

And then I went home and something was different.

I cooked.  I bought fresh produce.  I went on a walk.

I wore a tutu.

I know people always say love comes “when you’re not looking” or “when you least expect it” which seems like bullshit to me.  If that were true I would have found love a long time ago.  Then again, I think most definitive statements on love are bullshit.  Love is just too complicated.

But maybe the “when you least expect it” thing is true for happiness?

On Wednesday last week I made an emergency road trip to Vegas to see Celine Dion/boost my spirits.  If any day was going to turn my mood around it was my dramatic Road Trip Celine Dion Find Myself day, I was sure.

And Celine Day was a good day.  But it wasn’t the turning point.

The turning point was a simple day that I gave no thought to beforehand.

Also, yesterday I wore a tutu.

Did I mention that?

Well I wore a tutu.

And today I’m wearing it again.

I Survived My First LA Earthquake (I Think)

24 Mar

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A couple weekends ago around 8:00pm I was doing the normal things 20-something girls do in LA.  I was in bed watching Frasier by peony candlelight.

I was going to start the next sentence with “in my defense,” but I am not ashamed of this and no defense is necessary.  I was on Season 7 of Frasier and if Daphne and Niles didn’t get together soon my brain was about to explode and to save myself and my hypothalamus, I curled up in The Marshmallow and forged ahead like a brave little toaster.

Two things you should know: The Marshmallow is the name of my bed, thus given because of its color and overall smooshability.  This picture doesn’t quite do it justice, so just imagine what you see is a pit of whipped cream all sugary and light and then multiply the fluffiness by like 300%.

Did that make you hungry, too?

Also, let’s talk about that pillow!  In my recent terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week (that turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month) I went on a bit of a shopping spree, which is what I tend to do, and I ended up with this pillow and I regret nothing.

Malibu is so big in some respects, (27 miles of coast!) and then so tiny in others (no good pizza!)  This pillow captures all of the Malibu highlights I’ve come to love and love with notable exceptions being the Chipotle and CVS.  But honestly, any pillow that showcased Neptune’s and Paradise Cove really was always going to steal my heart.

So overall, good job Team Pillow!

(I don’t know.)

I do know that one of my goals before I leave Malibu is to visit every place on the pillow and the pillow is taking on all sorts of metaphorical meanings and I can’t stop this train.

And now let’s bring it back to Frasier.   Recently my writing group assigned ourselves Frasier characters because, from what I understand, writing groups mainly exist to support each other’s mental health and discussing Frasier characters fits that bill completely.  Also because the first rule of Writing Group is you do all you can to avoid actually writing.

The second rule of Writing Group is you do all you can to avoid actually writing.

After almost no deliberation, my group decided that Katie is a Frasier (the intelligence) and Hilary is a Martin (the dog) and I am a Niles (the drama).

I can’t tell you how happy this made my soul.  No matter what else happens to me in life I can always cling to this:

I’M A NILES.

(There have to be t-shirts for us out there, right?)

I actually quoted Niles to my mother the other day when she said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and I retorted, “Yes, but some people don’t make it out of the first category!”

But you came here for the earthquake not for the drama.

Back to that.

The earthquake situation thingy was all very quick and by even writing this post I’ve made it much more theatrical than it ever was. (You came here for the drama, admit it.)

One second I was throwing pillows at the TV and saying, “HURRY THIS UP ALREADY. I CARE NOTHING ABOUT DONNY AND NEITHER DID YOU AS A WRITER, OBVIOUSLY” and the next second there was this big thud.  Like if I weren’t on the top floor of my building I would have thought a large marble bust had fallen upstairs or something.

(Marble bust? I’ve been reading a lot of Victorian literature lately for school, you’ll have to excuse me.)

I quickly googled, “earthquake” to see if that’s what it was and nothing came up so I assumed I was probably being murdered and someone had broken into my apartment and dropped their marble bust, giving themselves away.  (Slight exaggeration only.)

I blew out my candle, sent some good vibes to the universe, and then got on Twitter where updated information told me that I did, indeed, survive an earthquake.

A 3.2 magnitude earthquake in Marina Del Rey, to be specific.

That’s right, I made it through my first LA earthquake and I didn’t even know it!

I guess this makes me a true Angeleno now.

It only took me a year and a half and seven seasons of Frasier.

I’m Alive! Let’s Celebrate With This Post!

21 Mar

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Alternate title: Just another taking stock post for the history books.

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Making: eyes at McDreamy.  (I still watch Grey’s and am watching it currently and I don’t want to hear about it.)

Cooking: Taco Bell nachos (…)

Drinking: a cold can of diet coke.  It’s sitting on my dresser next to four other cans of DC, three cans of diet DP and a Fresca reminding me I need to a) gain control of my life b) recycle

Reading:
 Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and having a lot of thoughts about reclaiming the name Zelda for the general populace and also a lot of thoughts about reclaiming a boy name I can’t even tell you because what if you steal it for your baby boy before I go on a good date/have a baby?

Wanting: 
to write Laurence Olivier/Vivien Leigh fan fiction

Looking: 
at all the Birkenstocks

Playing:
 Joni Mitchell Blue on repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat

Following:
 up every Joni Mitchell “My Old Man” listen with a super sigh… “He’s my sunshine in the morning.  He’s my fireworks at the end of the day.”

Wasting:
 time? My life? This question? I just wasted a question.

Sewing:
 no

Wishing:
 Celine had sung the last verse of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” at her concert

Hoping:
 I don’t let the fact that Celine didn’t sing the last verse of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” at her concert ruin my life, but realizing it probably will

*There were those empty threats and hollow lies…when alone at last we’d count up all the chances that were lost to us forever…*

Enjoying:
 Grom gelato with a heap of clotted cream and its reminder of Devon and my eventual need to return to the English countryside

Waiting: for my new swimsuit.  Is online swimsuit shopping the worst idea ever?  Most likely.

Liking:
 this Rory Gilmore reading list and wondering how much of my life is really modeled after a Gilmore girl after all

Loving: pink lipstick.  Brunettes!  Pink lipstick! Who knew?

Needing:
 a full time job stat.  (Stat? Am I a doctor now??  What has Grey’s done???)

Smelling:
 like Helen of Troy must have smelled aka Vanilla Savage De Madagascar

Wearing:
 a killer Sylvia Plath/Fleetwood Mac necklace combo

Noticing:
 my DVR never picks up Parenthood or Scandal and feeling like this is a conspiracy against my happiness

Knowing:
 my Celine Dion concert Celfie is probably the coolest my life will ever get

Thinking:
 a lot about horcruxes (not the violent kind) (but also not the kind I’m ready to blog about quite yet)

Bookmarking:
 Sylvia Plath The Collected Poems

Opening: 
packages of avocado eye cream that I ordered on an impulse

Marvelling:
 at the fact that every one of my beauty products is food based

Wondering:
 when this happened to me. (Last week.  Impulse shopping.)

Hoping: I don’t start eating my beauty products.

Giggling:
 at the fact that in a burst of manic energy I GAVE MY NUMBER TO A CELEBRITY

Feeling: very tired.   Tired right down to my bones in an I-can’t-even-blog way, but hey, look at this, I did it!  Maybe things are on the up and up!

9 Word Stories Of My Life, Part 1

17 Mar

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We weren’t so wrong, really.  We were almost right.

College life was supposed to be fun, wasn’t it?

Maybe the third dinner would help, but probably not.

I wore sweatpants all year.  I didn’t even notice.

“Some things are obvious” was his “I love you.”

Jillian Denning, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of Utah.

“I’m getting divorced,” he said.  ”You are?” I said.

It wasn’t everything I dreamed, but what ever was?

“Does everyone have so many bad habits?” I wondered.

The curling iron was never on. I still checked.

I didn’t have to stay there. I could leave.

“How many master’s degrees are you going to get?”

I choose with every damn time.  I choose with.

Wikipedia: The Not So Glamorous World Of Celebrity Pictures

12 Mar

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I cannot be the only one to have noticed that some celebrity Wikipedia pictures are downright alarming.

I guess this comes with the internet territory. When anyone and everyone can contribute to something, mistakes will be made, information will be questionable, and pictures will be taken from awkward mid-sneeze moments.

It’s just weird to me — celebrities have thousands of stunning red carpet photos out there and yet somehow, someone said, “Yes. That one. Let’s take the photo where he looks constipated and put it on the first site everyone goes to for information. That’s a great idea.”

I don’t understand.

Here are 16 utterly beautiful celebrities who have utterly odd Wikipedia pictures. Let’s not understand together.

 Read the rest of my article for Portable here.

And now my latest for SheKnows…

Shower designs so modern they look sci-fi (I have very nerdy brothers who taught me in the ways of Klingon so I manage quite a few Star Trek references in this one.)

And now I’m out.

(How am I supposed to end these blog posts?  Any ideas?)

Dream Careers And Tangents

11 Mar

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All right, so.

As we all know by now, I’m currently finishing up my last semester of school and I’ve entered that paralyzing time where I’m wondering if everything I’ve done has been for naught, and if I will be even slightly employable in the next few months, and why this adulthood thing is so dang scary.

You know the time.

And so, as I reach this crossroads between school and real life and adulthood and more adulthood I am doing what I’ve always done at important times in my life—I’m turning to books to guide me.

In High Fidelity, one of my favorite novels by one of my favorite authors (yo, Nick Hornby, look me up!), the protagonist, Rob, is asked by his girlfriend what his dream careers are.  He’s given no stipulations.  These careers can be in any time period, can require skills he doesn’t have etc.  He just needs five.

And now for a tangent.  Recently my friends and I got around to discussing who our favorite living author is.  The “living” part really narrows this question down, and probably in a good way.  Who am I to decide between Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott?  Who am I to admit my #1 isn’t Shakespeare?  It’s like, my heart isn’t quite ready for that and neither is the internet.

The internet is ready to hear that my #1 living author of the moment is Helen Fielding, though, it’s decided.  Also that Nick Hornby in the clear #2 position.

So internet, now you know and now it’s back to High Fidelity.

In High Fidelity Rob comes up with five dream jobs, all of which are completely impossible/impractical.  For instance, one of his jobs is: Producer, Atlantic Records 1964-1971. (The book is set mid-1990s.)

These dream jobs make me think, hmm, fictional Rob, maybe you are the man for me.

Well, maybe you are the man for me if you up the impractical just another level.

Tangent round 2: my high school friends and I used to assign ourselves to everything–Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants characters, Kelly Clarkson songs, Nora Ephron protagonists, you name it.  A lot of our assigning came back to some basic qualities– who the “smart one” of the group was or the “nice one” or the “fun one.”

I think we did these assignments not because we weren’t nuanced individuals who were many things all at once (I am woman hear me roar!), but because on some level it’s nice to assign things.  It’s why the Buzzfeed quizzes are all over the place right now.

And, look, I get it, you’re too cool for school and too cool for Buzzfeed quizzes, but I find them quite fun.  I like knowing I’m PJ Harvey in the angry 90s girl lineup, all right? (That was actually a bad example since Fiona Apple wasn’t on the quiz so the results of that particular one are skewed and I am actually Fiona, but still.)

I like assigning things.

In high school my other friends seemed to fit more clearly into one identifiable role and I never quite did.  I was then given half labels and half characters, told I was “the dramatic one” or “the one that brings us all together” and while true, these statements were always a little bit off and I never quite knew my “thing” was.

Until recently.  I was actually taking a Buzzfeed quiz  (wow, Buzzfeed is really leading to some thoughts here and I apologize now because that’s just embarrassing) and one of the questions listed a whole bunch of adjectives that I had to choose from to describe myself.  I didn’t even have to think twice about it.  I knew I was “the dreamer.”

I was and am a dreamer.

Why didn’t I know that then?

I suppose that’s why Annie on Sleepless in Seattle is my Nora Ephron character, because you better believe I would hop on a plane right now and fly across the country for some crazy love possibility situation.  You better believe I want to be in love in a movie and that I dream in big ways and that it skews with my reality.

I am a dreamer.

So I guess Rob in High Fidelity calls to me in some ways.  He struggles being a grown up because I think sometimes it’s hard to be a grown up and a dreamer and I don’t really know the balance of it all yet.

And thus concludes tangent number two.

I’ve been reflecting on High Fidelity and my attraction for fictional Rob and all of that lately, and it has made me wonder what my own dream careers are.  If I could do anything in this world come May, what would I do?

If time/money/talents were not an issue, what would my (five) dream(s) be?

1. Full-time novelist

This is the dream, dream.  The Big Kahuna.  The if-I-could-do-anything-ever-ever-ever dream job.  I don’t have a specific time period for this dream.  I’m fine writing alongside Dorothy Parker or Louisa May Alcott.  I’m fine writing now.  I’m even fine if I’m not JK Rowling level, but just some random person you may have vaguely heard of.  As long as I can support myself, I dream of writing novels full time and I don’t think this dream will ever die.

In my spare time I imagine dedication pages to these novels.

I’m there in my mind already.

I’m so, so there.

2. Writer for Dawson’s Creek

I’ve always known it was my calling in life to write for a teen soap, but deciding which soap was mine was a toughie.  In the end I feel like my angsty teen voice would do best as a writer on Dawson’s Creek as opposed to say, The OC, or the original 90210.  This meant that I had to give up the dream of marrying Josh Schwartz (wooing him on the set of The OC, of course), but sacrifices must be made for the good of Joey and Pacey everywhere, people!  And maybe if I had been on Dawson’s, we could have recast Andie immediately and saved ourselves that heartache.

3. Owner of small-time bookstore a la Kathleen Kelly

I legitimately told a third grade girl recently that she must read Little Women immediately and she must read it with a box of tissues.  I’ve taken my wannabe Kathleen Kelly thing to a new level, and I’m only liking it, folks.  I’m only liking it.

4. Local librarian (in approximately 1960)

It’s very important in this scenario that I live in a teeny tiny town that has a lot of traditions and charm and that I wear big glasses and muumuus and recommend books no one in the town has heard of.  (This is feeling very Music Man and I don’t know if I should apologize or not.)  Also, this dream job feels very reminiscent of dream job #3, small bookstore owner, but I’m nothing if not single-minded.  And I’m nothing if not romantic.

5. Stevie Nicks

(Obviously.)

Annnnnnnd there you go.

Now it’s your turn.  What are your five dream careers?

I would so love to hear.

The Eyebrows Are The Window To The Soul

10 Mar

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Let’s talk about eyebrows for a minute or 14 then.

I have a thing with eyebrows.  As in I notice, care, and generally ruminate on the state of my/the world’s eyebrows far more than is really prudent.  My best friend and I regularly have eyebrow texting sessions where we discuss the state of our eyebrows, the state of AnnaSophia Robb’s eyebrows, and important philosophical questions about eyebrows in general.  Said best friend sent an email before our last Christmas party that I like to think about every once in a while when I’m low:

I feel I need to apologize for my eyebrows now. Please know that I am aware of their appearance. I am letting them grow in, so I can have a do-over. I realize I should have chosen to do this when I wouldn’t be seeing people. But I didn’t. So, I suppose this is just a warning. See you tonight.

It’s no wonder I am who I am with these peoples in my life.

I think my whole eyebrow thing stems back to when I was 16 years old  getting my hair done by my fabulous stylist, Alberto. Alberto made an offhand comment about how my eyebrows looked professionally done, and as a teenager armed only with tweezers, this compliment filled my very soul.  Compliments and/or insults at this time of life tend to stay with us, don’t they?

Ever since then I’ve considered myself a moderate eyebrow expert.  Like if this were baseball I’d be the step below the Salt Lake Bees, whatever we call that. (High school?) So I’m pretty low on the scale but I’m also on the scale!

I’m fighting to be on the scale!

More important information about me: Alberto has been my hair stylist now for a decade (!) and I love him more than I love practically anyone else in my life.  He sees my mop of hair with its inability to grow and its different lengths and dreadlocking tendencies and he says, “We can make you Farrah anyway.” And I love him for it.

Also, Alberto knew me during the time when my email address was “jillieebeans” so we’re bonded in that way.

Recently I sent Michael to Alberto and Michael left with several hundred dollars of products and a new lease on life.  Michael then went to St. George for the weekend, and alarmed he had forgotten his products, overnighted them to himself.

I repeat: It’s no wonder I am who I am with these peoples in my life.

All right, then.

More brow discussion.

I recently compiled all of my Hollywood brow crushes into one article for Portable that you can read here.  I think if I could have an eyebrow transplant I would choose Lily Collins’s arches, but this is really up for debate.  Also, as I say in my article, it’s likely even if I had Lily’s brows I would still have problems and my life wouldn’t be complete in every way.

Or would my life be complete?

It feels like it would be complete.

Today I bought MAC eyebrow gel and I already feel like people are responding to me differently and my world has taken a sudden turn for the better.  The winds are a changin’ over here, people, I can feel it in my bones and my eyebrows.

Last week was a tremendously terrible week.  Terrible in ways I cannot write about here or maybe anywhere because I’ll be overcome with fits of tears and I’ll buy more Sylvia Plath necklaces and my friends FaceTimed me last week with an intervention and told me “No more Sylvia Plath for you right now, Jill!” and I must listen to them.

But today is a new day and this week is a new week and I have MAC eyebrow gel and Lily Collins is out there somewhere and her eyebrows may be passed on to her future children and all is well.

My eyebrows are looking up.

And eyebrows are the window to the soul, you know.

In Defense Of Scarlett O’Hara

5 Mar

Hollywood's Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939

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(Is this or is this not the most dramatic Scarlett O’Hara picture of all time?  Agreed.)

Recently a friend told me she didn’t like Scarlett O’Hara because Scarlett is selfish.

I was completely taken aback by this.

Sure, Scarlett is selfish.

She’s also determined, driven, whip smart. She has a strong sense of home.  She’s insecure and bold, often at the same time.  She will go to any lengths to get what she wants.  She’s passionate.  She’s intense.

And, yes, she can be selfish.

Scarlett O’Hara is real, and that’s why I love her.

In fact, when you look at any of my favorite protagonists, they are severely flawed individuals.

Bridget Jones is a bit shallow.  She spends too much time concerned with her weight and what men think of her.  She’s disorganized.  She’s messy.

Yet she is hilarious.  She’s loyal.  She picks herself up when she spectacularly falls down.  I adore, adore, adore Bridget Jones.

The fact that she’s a bit of mess only adds to my love.

I could go on and talk about Anne Shirley’s flakiness or Jo March’s stubbornness or why all my favorite protagonists are females I overrelate to, but I won’t.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is we’re all a lot of things.  To assume one characteristic defines us is to miss all of our other characteristics.

The brilliant Meg Fee tweeted an article after Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death along with this, “It’s such a fallacy isn’t it–to think that we are who we are at our worst? That’s only part of us–certainly not the best part, or richest.”

I’ve been thinking about that ever since.

To think my moodiness or my lack of balance defines me is to miss all of the other, wonderful qualities I possess.

On a lesser, fictional scale to think Scarlett O’Hara’s selfishness defines her is to miss so many other, richer parts of her.

(I’m really taking this relating to a fictional character thing to a new level, aren’t I?)

Let’s move along.

Recently I had to come up with “five words that describe me” for an assignment.

These assignments always stress me out because I feel, particularly as a writer, some sort of pressure to come up with not only five words, but five magical words that convey my life, personality and hopes and dreams while making everyone in the room go, “Wow.  She’s something else, isn’t she?

It’s a set up for failure.

And so fail I do.

I ended up using, “drama queen with good intentions” as my words, but I asked a few other friends in the process what my five words might be.

An old friend who knows every inch of my tar black soul (so to speak) came up with these words for me:

Impetuous

Sensitive

Caring

Emotional

Obsessive

“Yes,”I thought.  ”All of the above.”

And then I shared these words with some other friends and was surprised by their reactions.  They told me the words were harsh.

“Harsh?” I thought.

Spot on.

I am emotional and obsessive.  (My freaking goodness I am obsessive, let’s not go into that right now.)  I’m also caring and sensitive.  I’m a million things, and most (all?) of them are double-edged swords.

I’m not defined by a single one of these words, but as a whole they make me who I am.

The caring, impetuous, sensitive, emotional, obsessive, thoughtful, loyal, selfish girl I am.

Yes, sometimes I’m selfish.

Perhaps it all comes back to that.  

Perhaps this whole blog post comes back to that.

Sometimes I am selfish.

But that is not all I am.

Celebrity Couples That Fate Wants To Get Back Together

4 Mar

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There are certain celebrity couples that are simply fated to be together. It doesn’t matter if they broke up 40 years ago or if they’ve moved on to other long-term loves, every second they’re apart these people are thwarting destiny.

Here are 11 such couples. It’s time for them all to stop pretending and get back together already.

Read the rest of my article for Portable here.  Know that I include Stevie and Lindsey as well as Joey and Pacey.  I am nothing if not consistent in my obsessiveness.

Also! From the SheKnows corner of the internet– 20 Reasons You Need A Garden Gnome.

(Many people in my life have abnormally strong feelings about garden gnomes so it only seemed fitting for me to put this together.)

Oh hey, Happy Mardi Gras!  Let the good times roll or something.