Archive | May, 2013

Fleetwood Mac

31 May

If you look really closely you can see the one and only Stevie Nicks rocking a tambourine.

Yesterday I went to the Fleetwood Mac concert. I was high in the nosebleeds, sitting in an awkward corner seat between two very-in-love couples.

It was unbelievable.

Stevie took the stage all golden hair and stilettos. At various points she would work a tambourine or run her hands through the beads attached to her microphone. She seemed to just wander off and on stage at will, coming back with a new flowy scarf to add to the mix.

Sometimes she would just twirl, in that little girl, put-your-hands-over-your-head-and-feel-the-sunlight way.

It was magical. She was magical. The night was magical.

Don’t even get me started on the love and healing and faith that was required to get Lindsey and Stevie on stage together singing songs about each other, to each other. Seriously, don’t. Or do and let’s talk about it for the next month.

There’s a reason all 11 songs on the Rumours album are on my “Top 25 Most Played” playlist. Fleetwood Mac, you slay me.

Pencil #9.

All I Want To Listen To Ever Again

30 May

Every time “How Will I Know” comes up on my ipod I involuntarily morph into Penny Hartz.

You’re welcome, people of Arizona.

Kristen Wiig’s Best Moments As A Young Lucille Bluth (Nailed It!)

29 May

kristen wiig

Kristen Wiig Daniel-Day-Lewised the part of young Lucille Bluth on Season 4 of Arrested Development. Somebody get that woman an Oscar, because my mind is blown.

Kristen not only managed to avoid the usual fate of a flashback character (“Get off my screen you cheap knock-off!”), but she actually became Lucille. The pursed lips. The bug eyes. The coolly delivered one-liners. Jessica Walter herself even sung Wiig’s praises, “She’s just wonderful. She must have studied tapes from the old days.”

Studied the tapes? Oh no. Kristen wrote the tapes. KRISTEN IS THE TAPES.

Here’s an overly in-depth look at Kristen Wiig’s role as young Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development as shown in pursed lips, bug eyes, and coolly delivered-one liners…

Read the rest of my article for Portable here.

Can you tell I’m really into this return of Arrested Development thing?

Moving: Fantasy v. Reality

28 May


You know the scene in 500 Days of Summer where the screen splits and we see JGL’s fantasy version of his night with Zooey played out next to the reality version of the same night?

My life is a continuous split screen of fantasy/reality.

Blessing, curse. Potato, potahto.

Mainly curse.

One of my biggest fantasy/reality dichotomies occurs when I move. Logically, I know, and have moved enough to realize, that a new place doesn’t fundamentally alter my personality or problems.

But I have always had very little patience for logic.

Every time I move I figure this time is different!  All I needed was a fresh start, a little free time, and a reevluation of priorities to really become the person I was always meant to be!

And then reality hits…

Moving: Fantasy v. Reality

FANTASY: In this new place I will unleash my (deeply) hidden morning person and arise every day at dawn to read Shakespeare and ponder the mysteries of life.

REALITY: Holy %$#@ was that my alarm?


FANTASY: I’ll probably become a gourmet cook, too, because now I’ll have time for that sort of thing.



FANTASY: When I least expect it I will run into a dreamlover boy who will tell me, “You never have to be out there again” fulfilling my ultimate When-Harry-Met-Sally/Mariah Carey wish.

REALITY: Two words: Lindsay Bluth.


FANTASY: I’ll just really explore the local scene, you know?  Live like a tourist in my own home.  Not waste a moment.

REALITY: Hmm, I can go to the Grand Canyon any time, but what I can’t always do is sleep, am I right or am I right?


FANTASY: I’ll also suddenly become a clean freak, because that is my destiny.  And I bet Oprah’s a clean freak.

REALITY: I’m no Oprah.


FANTASY: Within no time I’ll have found a group of eccentric friends to hang out at at coffee shops and group-sing “Smelly Cat” with.



FANTASY: I will surf every day, or at the very least twice a day five times a week.



FANTASY: My new life will be so busy with galas, Unagi and dreamlovers that I won’t even have time to think about being homesick.

REALITY: Homesickness is the great curse of adulthood.  Or at least homesickness is the great curse of my adulthood.

27 May

“I wish I had the courage not to fight and doubt everything… I wish, just once, I could say, ‘This. This is good enough. Just because I choose it.’”

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

via Caitlin


I Am Lindsay Bluth

25 May


Naturally, I’ve assigned every member of my immediate family a character from Arrested Development complete with side-by-side photos and personality analyses.

Yes, this is what I do with my time, thank you for asking.

The other day I was talking to my brother Jeff about our assignments, specifically why I am the Lindsay Bluth Funke of the family:

Jill: What are the ways I’m like Lindsay?

Jeff: This feels like a trap.

I assured Jeff that this was not a trap and he should feel free to speak his mind.  Moments later I received a barrage of texts outlining the (eerily accurate and not-always-flattering) ways I am similar to Lindsay Bluth.

It’s like he didn’t even have to reach for these comparisons.

Don’t worry Jeff, I won’t hold it against you. In a decade or so, I’ll probably only remember the hurtful/truthful things you said to me like twice an hour.  I expect the sobbing will have stopped by then as well.  And under no circumstances will I tell anyone you are the BUSTER of the family.


With that over with, here are Jeff’s reasons I Am the Lindsay of the Denning family:

1. We both…struggle…in the kitchen

Watch Lindsay’s face as she says, “Hot ham water!” It’s the same expression I get when I tell everyone, “I just googled how to slice tomatoes!”

2. We enjoy the finer things in life

For more on my expensive tastes, read this post.

3. We have the same sleep habits


I’ll give him this one.

4. We date the same men

Jeff specifically mentioned Lindsay’s date with Uncle Jack as a parallel to my romantic life.  Sadly, I couldn’t argue.

5. We both wear our dead sister-in-law’s engagement ring as a toe ring

Wait, what??


As an added twist, because there are not enough members of our family to cover every character some people had to fulfill two roles.

I am also called upon to be the family’s Tobias because I was once a therapist and quit the profession to write for actors.

So I am actually a Lindsay/Tobias combo.

Heaven help me.

Heaven help us all.

Which Arrested Development character are you?


22 May


When I was just a young girl, my mother used to say that the quickest way to find the most expensive item in any store was to let me loose with the instruction, “Pick out the thing you like the most.”

I’ve always had expensive tastes.

No one knows where this comes from.

I once proposed Martha’s Vineyard as my family’s next vacation destination and was met with a round of blank stares and an, “All right, does anyone other than Jill have a suggestion?”

Double sigh.

This summer I am working in Scottsdale, Arizona and feel quite at home amongst the palm trees and Range Rovers. When I told my mother where I would be interning she just smiled and said, “London, Malibu, Scottsdale…it makes sense.”

It appears the quickest way to locate the most expensive cities in the world is to let me loose with the instruction, “Pick out the place you want to live/work the most.”

I guess some things never change.

Andie Anderson

20 May


Today I started my internship at SheKnows!  That’s right, I up and moved to Arizona, where for the next two months I will be working and writing for

It’s all very Andie Anderson.  Minus the Matthew Matthew McConaughey issues.  Plus the Arizona sun in the dead of summer.

(I’m already penning a series of angsty heat-related poems under the working title, “The Girl Who Melted.”  I’m thinking Emma Watson for the movie version because, hello, The Bling Ring.)

Inevitably, before I start something new, I try to prep for the experience in irrational and extreme ways.  When I took my job in London I decided I was only going to listen to Cheryl Cole and Marina & The Diamonds.  I also manically reread Bridget Jones’s Diary and took to screaming, “I will not get upset over men, but instead be poised and cool ice-queen!”

Basically, what I’m saying is I was fully prepared for that transatlantic move.

In order to prep for my foray into writing for a women’s website I, of course, watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and listened to “You’re So Vain” on repeat.

This is how everyone handles change, yes?

The Best Ever TV Theme Songs

17 May

Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams and James Van Der Beek

A TV show’s theme song is a make or break thing. With the right song choice, it becomes iconic, is unable to be separated from the series itself, and brings warm fuzzy memories of our favorite characters rushing back to us with just the opening notes. With the wrong song choice we’re stuck with three long seasons of Hilary Duff (I’m talking to you, Laguna Beach).

Unfortunately the trend seems to be moving away from choosing big, bold songs to open a show in favor of a couple of musical notes, or no theme song at all (gasp!). This is a shame, because what would Friends be without The Rembrandts? Would I even recognize Cheers minus Gary Portnoy?

Before I give away any more of my choices, here is my very biased list of the best TV theme songs of all time…

Read the rest of my article for Portable here.

Note: These are theme songs containing lyrics because, I mean, I had to narrow it down somehow.

The Denning Twins

16 May


And now for a post you will most likely only enjoy if your name is Laurie Denning.

A few years ago, a friend I had known for quite some time, a friend who had rapped Will Smith with me and been to MY FAMILY HOME, casually mentioned my twin.

“My twin?”

“Your twin brother, Jeff.”

“Oh! THAT twin…Wait!  I’m not a twin!”

My older brother Jeff and I are 22 months apart, and the twin thing has haunted us since…forever.  Even, apparently, to the point where close acquaintances are confused.

Memorably, when we were teenagers, someone cracked, “Put a wig on Jeff and it’s Jill.”

I still don’t know how to take this.

Was 2003 a really bad year for me?

This week as I was looking through some family photo albums for Mother’s Day I came across The Denning Twins, The Early Years.  These pictures helped me realize how maybe, sort of, possibly under the right circumstances people might have once thought Jeff and I were, you know…related. (Did I use enough qualifiers in that sentence?  I did my best.)

There are a few obvious reasons for this.

1. Our mother had a penchant for dressing us in homemade outfits like this:


2. And this:


3. We wore matching hats:


4. And had matching poses:


5. We were always holding hands:


6. We had the same haircut:


7. And never went anywhere without the other:


7. We liked to show off our huge smiles:


8. And then mainly, most of all, THIS:


You’d better believe those Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes will be recreated as soon as I have my own children.  Thank you for that, mother.

And a happy very late Mother’s Day to the best of the best.