Archive | May, 2017

My Celebrity Encounters

29 May

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This week I ran into Meredith Monroe, better known as Andie from Dawson’s Creek.

It was like coming home. Like seeing family after a long absence.

I keep a note in my phone of all the celebrities I’ve randomly encountered in LA. Each has a unique story, sometimes woefully boring (Chipotle…), only one of them including a picture. My biggest interaction, actually, was when Daryl Hannah came up to Rob and asked what dish he ordered at our favorite Thai place.

Exciting times at Ridgemont High!!

(OK this is a lie. Remember when I gave my number to a C (B?) list celebrity? Over three years later I finally feel comfortable telling you it was James Wolk and he never called me and it is still probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done.)

(Update. It appears one year after our encounter he got married, so I’m assuming he was already deep in the middle of the romance of his life when we met which is why he never called me.)

(But also, does his now wife know he smiled at me???)

Today I am sharing my celebrity encounter list with you. For fun? For documentation? Just because?

If you’re interested in any specific person, leave a comment and I’ll tell you how/where I saw them. It could be as exciting as Chipotle!

Alyson Hannigan

Andrew Garfield

Edward Norton

Pamela Anderson

Josh Malina

Patrick Dempsey

Owen Wilson

Craig T. Nelson

Daryl Hannah

Mel Gibson

Chris Harrison

Gigi Hadid

James Wolk

Rory Kennedy

Colin Hanks

Dreama Walker

Orlando Bloom

Brody Jenner (and girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter)

Jenna Boyd

Sofia Vergara

Shannon Doherty

Cheryl Hines

Dick Van Dyke

Kaskade

Robin Thicke

Rick Rubin

Brandon and Leah Jenner

William Russ

Pierce Brosnan

Meredith Monroe

Caitlyn Jenner

Kylie Jenner

The Lauren Graham Kitchen Timer Writing Method

25 May

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This is taken directly from Lauren Graham’s book Talking as Fast as I Can. My schedule has changed and I’m BACK, baby. I’m back working on my big writing projects. I need this as a reminder and a guide, always. Perhaps you do too.

The Kitchen Timer Writing Method

The principle of Kitchen Timer is that every writer deserves a definite and doable way of being and feeling successful every day.

To do this, we learn to judge ourselves on behavior rather than content. We set up a goal for ourselves as writers that is easy, measurable, free of anxiety, and above all, fall-proof, because everyone can sit, and an hour will always pass.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

1. Buy a kitchen timer, one that goes to 60 minutes. Or use a timer app. Or tell Siri to start a timer for 60 minutes.

2. We decide on Monday how many hours of writing we will do Tuesday. When in doubt or under pressure or self-attack, we choose fewer hours rather than more. A good, strong beginning is one hour a day, but a half hour is also good, or twenty minutes. Some of us make appointments in our calendar for these hours, as if they are lunch meetings or business calls.

3. The Kitchen Timer hour:

No phones. No texts. We silence ringers; we turn our phones facedown. It is our life; we are entitled to one hour without interruption, particularly from loved ones. We ask for their support. “I was on an hour” is something they learn to understand. But they won’t respect it unless we do first.

No music with words, unless it’s a language we don’t understand. Headphones with a white noise app can be helpful.

No internet, absolutely. We turn off our computer’s Wi-Fi.

No reading.

No pencil sharpening, desk tidying, organizing.

4. Immediately upon beginning the hour, we open two documents: our journal, and the project we are working on. If we don’t have a project we’re actively working on, we just open our journal.

5. An hour consists of TIME SPENT KEEPING OUR WRITING APPOINTMENT. That’s it. We don’t have to write at all, if we are happy to stare at the screen or the page. Nor do we have to write a single word on our current project; we may spend the entire hour writing in our journal. Anything we write in our journal is fine; ideas for future projects, complaints about loved ones, what we ate for dinner, even “i hate writing” typed four hundred times.

When we wish or if we wish, we pop over to the current project document and write for as long as we like. When we get tired or want a break, we pop back to the journal.

The point is, when disgust or fatigue with the current project arises, we don’t take a break by getting up from our desk. We take a break by returning to the comforting arms of our journal, until that in turn bores us. Then we are ready to write on our project again, and so on. We use our boredom in this way.

IT IS ALWAYS OKAY TO WRITE EXCLUSIVELY IN OUR JOURNAL. In practice it may rarely happen that we spend the full hour in our journal, but it’s fine, good, and right if it does. It is just as good a writing day as one spent entirely on our current project.

6. It is infinitely better to write fewer hours every day than many hours one day and none the next. If we have a crowded weekend, we choose a half or quarter hour as our time, put in that time, and go on with our day. We are always trying to minimize our resistance, and beginning an hour on Monday after two days off is a challenge.

7. When the hour is up, we stop, even if we’re in the middle of a sentence. If we have scheduled another hour, we give ourselves a break before beginning again–to read, eat, go on errands. We are not trying to create a cocoon we must stay in between hours (the old “i’sorry, I can’t see anyone or leave my hours–I’m on a deadline method). Rather, inside the hour is the inviolate time.

8. If we fail to make our hours for the day, we have scheduled too many. Four hours a day is an enormous amount of time spent in this manner, for example. If on Wednesday we planned to write two hours and didn’t make it, we schedule a shorter appointment for the next day. We don’t add an our to “make up” or “catch up.” we let the past go and move on.

9. When we have fulfilled our commitment, we make sure we credit ourselves for doings. We have satisfied our obligation to ourselves, and the rest of the day is ours to do with as we wish.

10. A word about content: This may seem to be all about form, but the knowledge that we have satisfied our commitment to ourselves, the freedom from anxiety and resistance, the stilling of that hectoring voice inside us that used to yell at us that we weren’t writing enough–all this opens us up creatively.

Me As A Bachelor Contestant

17 May

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See the bios for Rachel’s guys here

Age: 29

Occupation: Librarian

Height: 5’9”

Tattoos: No. The thought of getting one gives me the chills. I can’t make up my mind on a Taco Bell order let alone something permanent ON MY BODY I AM VAIN. I know I would regret a tattoo immediately after. Further, where would I get one? If it was on my arm would I have to wear long sleeves at work always? What about my ankle? Is that overdone? IS THERE A GOOD PLACE?

Chills. Again.

(I see I’m setting the tone here to be a really fun contestant.)

Do you have any phobias that would prohibit your participation in certain activities? Animals.

(The producers would then force me in a cage at a petting zoo so I could cry and tell the Bachelor about the time I was attacked by goats at the Las Vegas Zoo which is a true story.)

What is the best trip you have ever been on and why?

My 2008 friend trip to Europe. It was my first time out of the country and I felt the world expand around me.

What is your ideal mate’s personality like?

Obsessed with me. Hates Donald Trump. Funny. Smart. Neurotic. Above all, kind. Doesn’t care about gender roles.

What’s the closest you have ever come to being married?

I am engaged right now what sort of question is this.

If you could watch any movie right now what would it be and why?

About Time.

I love their wedding—her in her thrifted red dress and him in his stately childhood home and so many toasts. As I think about my wedding I want to create that cozy sort of feeling. The feeling of vintage frocks and going with the flow and no regrets even with the rain.

(I go with the flow! See the tattoo answer!)

Tell us a fun story about a one-night stand: Nope

What is your greatest achievement to date?

My Instagram account

(This would show I have a sense of humor, but then some people would believe me and I would already have haters trolling me and this is why I couldn’t do The Bachelor. I am so wildly, incredibly sensitive.)

If you could be someone else for just one day, who would it be and why?

This feels like a lot of pressure.

What is your favorite television show and why?

Gilmore Girls. Because I grew up with it and it made me a grownup.

The Good Things Post 5/15/17

15 May

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At the end of last year I did the thing on Twitter where for every like a Tweet received I shared something good about my 2016.

It was one of the brief respites from the whole nightmare of that time and it helped me. It helped to articulate the good.

I thought with everything still so often dark and nightmarish I would start Mondays off with some good things. The Good Things Post.

May it help you. May it help me.

May we all help each other.

Good Things 5/15/17

1. A couple I do not know, have never met, and likely will never meet got engaged!

Ashley and Kelly are one of my favorite couples despite all of the above. Ashley is a writer who has beautifully put to words  her feelings on Kelly many, many times in the past and I love seeing relationships unfold that are healthy, respectful and empowering. You should be following their love story too.

2. Anne Lamott strikes again!

“Mothering has been the richest experience of my life, but I am still opposed to Mother’s Day. It perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents. (Meanwhile, we know the worst, skeeviest, most evil people in the world are CEOs and politicians who are proud parents.)”

Goes along with Mari Andrew’s beautiful Mother’s Day drawing

3. Everyone’s Instagram Mother’s Day posts!

I imagine many of us hold both #2 and #3 as truths inside of us. That Mother’s Day can be quite difficult and is a complicated holiday and should it be celebrated? And also we are incredibly grateful for the humans who have nurtured and loved us in our lives, mothers are not.

I personally love a day online where people are giving tributes to those who helped raise them.

I love seeing 90s hair and old wedding photos and babe moms and hearing the things that you picked up from the people in your life who loved you, traditional mothers or not. It’s one of my favorite days on all of social media. A day of professing love.

4. Marco Polo

My family is using Marco Polo and I’ve been seeing my niece and nephews more and sharing more of my drama and that’s all I want in life, really.

5. Gilmore Girls Legos

Yep yep

(Vote vote)

 6. Sunscreen!

I recently realized that I wear sunscreen every day. I don’t know when that change happened, but somewhere along the line it went from a distant goal of the type of person I’d like to be to a reality. (I use this one. My dermatologist recommended it and it is not sponsored because I’ve never done an ad on here, remember?)

 7. The Hyperbalist’s Instagram account

In a world where it seems so many draw upon the same Instagram Dictionary (“this guy” “obsessed” etc) Alina is HERSELF. It’s a true talent to show your voice through captions and pictures and snippets but she has it and it’s fun to follow along.

 8. I read a whole book this morning

(This one.) Just sat in bed and read. It was the perfect antidote to a yesterday so intense I told people I was losing my mind and I meant it.

Real question: When we lose part of our mind do we ever get it back?

9. Rupi Kaur’s poetry

In case you’re not one of the 1.2 million already following along.

 10. JFK stamps

Going on our wedding invitations because when you’re doing a Cape Cod wedding this can be justified. Also a good conversation starter with your local post office worker!

 

xoxo my friends

May you find good things in your life this week

Garlic Knot of a Human

11 May

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I’d been tense all day.

It started with the news, as it always does in this, the year 2017. I read the news and I’m boiling, raging mad. I’m venting and picking fights, discouraged and mourning.

More than slightly nauseous.

I went about my day, gathering grievances like cat hair to black leggings. By the time I got home from work at 9:30 I was a twisted spiral garlic knot of a human.

I put on a meditation. Ten minutes. I could do ten minutes.

My thoughts wandered. To the news. (To the news!) To the relationship I’m struggling with. (To the struggle!) To this blog post I started in my head and the to-do list I was composing. Could I accomplish 53 things before bed? What time was it now? 9:32?

I made it out the other side of the meditation.

If I was a 9 before maybe I’m an 8.

8.5?

I’ll take it.

There are a few things my therapist says that I think about regularly.

One is to do it even if you don’t think you have the energy.

Do the things you know will make you feel better even if you’d rather lie in bed and mourn your life. Go to the yoga class. Put on the running (walking) shoes. Drink the water.

Meditate for 10 minutes.

The other thing is radical self-acceptance.

I truly don’t know how this works, but the idea is that I say, OK, you know what? Maybe I do x, or am x. That’s OK.

Maybe I trend towards this or that, these things, traits, characteristics I’ve assigned as bad or good. But they aren’t bad or good. They are things about me.

And I can work on me, I do work on me, but I also need to accept myself.

This goes against everything inside of me. Inside me I hear that I can work my way to perfection. That I can earn it, somehow. That I have to give my best and somehow my best is different than everyone else’s best. Somehow my best is the theoretical best ever. Perfect.

If I practice radical self-acceptance aren’t I saying I’m OK the mess I am now?

Won’t I stop improving?

When I read ebooks I check every single page to see what percentage I’m at. Sometimes I haven’t even moved up 1% but I still check. A tic. I can succeed, I can accomplish even in my leisure activities!

I don’t like ebooks very much.

The point of this all, I suppose, is that I am not a person who will stop improving. It’s not in me. I need to let go of the notion if I accept myself then I’ll never try again.

My therapist remarks how she’s never seen someone attack their therapy homework like me and yet I’ll come in and apologize I haven’t done more.

I’ll tell my friend I have no energy and they’ll say you just sent me 60 texts about x topic.

I don’t have an accurate gauge on myself or my best self.

And so radical acceptance, I think, is something like saying, you know what?

Enough. Enough!

I’m OK. I’m ever so much more than I realize.

As is.

Today.

Garlic knot and all.

Literary Love #7: Gilbert Blythe – Anne of Green Gables

9 May

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Gilbert Blythe

(Anne of Green Gables)

I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls,

I just want you.

Gilbert and Anne were my first fictional model of love and as such I tried to force future interactions with men down the path they took. Spunky, dreamer girl–check! Handsome rival–check! Hate each other at first, only to realize they’ve always been in love!

It’s a model we’ve seen again and again and it seemed like The One to me. Once, I dramatically ripped up a school paper of a boy I liked, my early 2000s answer to smashing a chalkboard on his head. I then felt so guilty after I apologized again and again profusely.

Alas, I was not Anne.

I am not Anne.

I see her in me, though, in the way I see my dearest and oldest friends in me. The girls who shaped view of the world, my politics, my personality. The girls I grew up with. Anne is one of them.

I just wasn’t to have her exact love story.

From the book:

For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.

(Anne of Avonlea)

PS: Love #1#2#3, #4#5, #6

 

Literary Love #6: Prince Jonathan – The Lioness Quartet

6 May

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(There is truly not enough fan art about this series)

Prince Jonathan IV of Conté

(The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce)

If you have anything in common with a prince

you make it work

This is surely my most dramatic fan love of all time. I was so distraught that Jonathan and Alanna did not end up marrying each other that a friend and I printed off divorce papers online. Using a quill, we filled them out citing irreconcilable differences, “I was always in love with another man,” we wrote, as Alanna.

Middle school was such a fun time to be me.

The thing was this. Prince Jonathan was Alanna’s best friend during her time where she was pretending to be a boy. He then became her first love. They understood each other, they called each other out, they were equals. And then suddenly, oh wait, she’s in love with the King of Thieves? What?

Tamora Pierce herself ADMITS SHE WROTE IT SO ALANNA AND JON ENDED UP TOGETHER ORIGINALLY.

In the original manuscript (the quartet started out as a single adult novel), Alanna did marry Jon. The problem was that the whole final third of the book then felt awkward and so not-right. When I broke it up into four books for kids, I realized the problem. Alanna did not want to marry Jon. If I wasn’t going to let her have her way, she was going to make the writing a misery. You may have noticed that with Alanna, you do things her way or not at all.

Yes, yes, whatever. You are writing the series, lady. You can’t write four books with us falling in love with them as a pair and then go oh, oops nevermind.

It’s like when JK Rowling just dropped “Hey yeah Hermione and Harry should have been together.” Um, that’s really, really not fair. You wrote seven books proving otherwise, for seven books you made us fall for Hermione and Ron and NOW you want to pull that?

Nope.

I’m not having it.

And I didn’t have it the first time I read The Lioness Quartet, or today, or any day.

Prince Jonathan celebrated Alanna’s originality. He was fun, beautiful, her best friend.

He was her guy. Don’t write 3.5 books telling us he was her guy and then pull that crap.

I’m fine!

Totally fine!

From the book:

“You’re fighting what has to be,” Jonathan said, “and you know it as well as I do.”

“I–I know no such thing,” Alanna stammered. “I promised myself once that I’d never love a man! Maybe I almost broke that promise just now because of moonlight and silliness–”

“Stop it,” he told her sternly. He made her look up at him. “We belong to each other. Is that silliness?”

PS: Love #1#2#3, #4, #5

Literary Love #5: Ender Wiggin

5 May

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Ender Wiggin

(Ender’s Game)

Born to save the world and lose his own soul

 

Ender is different than any other person on this list. For one, he is quite young. I was quite young when I fell for him, but his youth is important. This is no grown Rhett Butler. This is a vulnerable kid who was bred for a military task which ultimately destroyed him and nearly destroyed an entire race. It is a space opera minus the melodramatics and romance. The stakes are life or death. Ender, a smart, compassionate, scared young kid is manipulated by the adults around him.

There are no proposals or great love soliloquies in this one. Ender is not the love interest. There is no real love interest. This is science fiction, a military book. And yet, as a child reading it I fell deeply for Ender. He immediately shot to the top of my Tortured Soul List, a list cradled close to my heart. I and I alone could reach these messed up human beings. I could show them how to love again, or for the first time. I could clean their wounds, day in and day out until they learned to trust humans again. I and I alone could heal their broken selves.

This got me into a lot of trouble years later when I started dating real life men.

From the book:

“I killed them all, didn’t I?” Ender asked.

“All who?” asked Graff. “The buggers? That was the idea…”

“I didn’t want to kill them all. I didn’t want to kill anybody! I’m not a killer! You didn’t want me, you bastards, you wanted Peter, but you made me do it, you tricked me into it!”

“Of course we tricked you into it. That’s the whole point. It had to be a trick or you couldn’t have done it. It’s the bind we were in. We had to have a commander with so much empathy that he would think like the buggers, understand them and anticipate them. So much compassion that he could win the love of his underlings and work with them like a perfect machine, as perfect as the buggers. But somebody with that much compassion could never be the killer we needed. Could never go into battle willing to win at all costs. If you knew, you couldn’t do it. If you were the kind of person who would do it even if you knew, you could never have understood the buggers well enough.”

 

PS: Love #1, #2, #3, #4

Literary Love #4: Laurie – Little Women

4 May

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Laurie

(Little Women)

He ended up with the wrong March sister

He ended up with the wrong March sister

He ended up with the wrong March sister

 

From the book:

I think I have cried more over Laurie than any fictional character. Every time I reread the book I would wander around the house in a haze, tears streaming down my face. It was all wrong. Jo and the professor were all wrong. He and Amy were all wrong. Full body sobs, uncontrollable emotion.

“Laurie was a young lover, but he was in earnest, and meant to ‘have it out’, if he died in the attempt so he plunged into the subject with characteristic impetuosity, saying in a voice that would get choky now and then, in spite of manful efforts to keep it steady…’I've loved you ever since I’ve known you, Jo, couldn’t help it, you’ve been so good to me. I’ve tried to show it, but you wouldn’t let me. Now I’m going to make you hear, and give me an answer, for I can’t go on any longer.”

The movie does it well when they add this:

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I mean, come on! I’m posting a collage here! That’s how strongly I still feel!

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Excuse me while I go sob.

 

Love #1, #2 and #3

 

 

Literary Love #3: Rhett Butler – Gone with the Wind

2 May

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Rhett Butler

(Gone with the Wind)

152 times I pined for Rhett Butler

152 times I missed the underlying masculinity complex

 

 

From the book:

Rhett’s proposal to Scarlett is 8 beautiful pages of romance! and drama! I would type out all eight pages, but, I’ll let you read them. I have done a dramatic reading of these pages to most of my close friends at one time or another and wonder if I should go to an open mic and take this show on the road?

Anyway, here’s part of his proposal:

“I always intended having you, Scarlett, since that first day I saw you at Twelve Oaks where you threw that vase and swore and proved that you weren’t a lady. I always intended having you one way or another, but as you and Frank have made a little money, I know you’ll never be driven to me again with any interesting propositions of loans and collateral. So I see I’ll have to marry you.”

“Rhett Butler, is this one of your vile jokes?”

“I bare my soul and you are suspicious! No, Scarlett, this is a bona fide honorable declaration. I admit that it’s not in the best of taste, coming at this time, but i have a very good excuse for my lack of breeding. I’m going away tomorrow for a long time and I fear that if I wait till I return you’ll have married someone else with a little money. So I thought, why not me and my money? Really Scarlett, I can’t go all my life, waiting to catch you between husbands.”

“Come Scarlett, you are no child, no schoolgirl to put me off with foolish excuses about decency and so forth. Say you’ll marry me when I come back or, before God, I won’t go. I’ll stay around here and lay guitar under your window every night and sing t the top of my voice and compromise you, so you’ll have to marry me to save your reputation.”

(Scarlett) “I am fond of you.”

“Fond of me?”

“Well, if I said I was madly in love with you, I’d be lying and what’s more, you know it.”

(Rhett) “No, my dear, I’m not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I’d ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You’d break his heart, my darling, cruel destructive little cat who is so careless and confident she doesn’t even trouble to sheathe her claws.”

OOH also when Rhett asks Scarlett to dance when she’s a mourning widow because he knows she wants to be center of attention. One of my favorite chapters in all of literature.

 

PS: Love #1 and Love #2