Archive | May, 2013

Once Again To Zelda

15 May


My favorite page in all of The Great Gatsby is the dedication:

Once Again To Zelda

That sentence just shatters me.

Fitzgerald said of Zelda:

I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self respect.  And it’s these things I’d believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all that she should be…I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.


May Books:

1. A Confederacy of Dunces: John Kennedy Toole

2. Peace Like a River: Leif Anger

3. Madame Bovary: Gustave Flaubert (Thanks, Mindy)

What are you reading this month?

The Princeliest Of Princes

14 May


Jill: PRINCE HARRY IS IN DC.  You know what to do.

Bre: What?! I feel my spy-sneaking in places skills are woefully inadequate, but I’ll do my best.

Jill: I believe in you.

We’ve all had some version of this conversation with our friends/family who live anywhere near a stop on Prince Harry’s May 2013 Grand American Tour, right?


What a great week for the internet.

Mindy Lahiri’s Love Interests

13 May


Mindy Lahiri has dated more men in season one of The Mindy Project than some leads date in a 10-year series run. Week after week, we, as the viewer, have been privileged to watch Mindy use her comedic chops to interact with/date some of the quirkiest guest stars on television. The fact that Mindy herself is casting these men (along with producing, writing and starring in the show) just adds to the ever-growing “Reasons Why Mindy Kaling is a Goddess” list.

In honor of the season finale of The Mindy Project tomorrow, and to celebrate Mindy Kaling’s awesomeness in casting and comedy, here’s a guide to the season one love interests on The Mindy Project.

Read the rest of my article for Portable here.  Because you know you love Mindy Kaling. And Mindy Lahiri.

The Great Gatsby

9 May

I’m seeing The Great Gatsby this weekend along with everyone else in the world.

People have been warning me for some time now.  “The reviews are mixed.”  “It could go either way.” “I guess you’ll have to see.”

It could go either way? I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO SEE? No, no.  I don’t have to see.  What are you talking about?  Do you know me at all?

If you want to get into this, let’s get into this.

Here are 7 reasons why I will love The Great Gatsby (almost) no matter what:

1. I am one of 10 people in the world who saw Australia and truly, deeply loved it.

2. When I watch Moulin Rouge I don’t think “over-the-top” I think, “What a tastefully-understated gem of a movie. Baz could have even amped it up a notch.”

3. I refuse to entertain the idea that Jay-Z is overrated.  Heatrbreaker.  Mariah Carey.  End of discussion.

4. Carey Mulligan’s haircut!  Every day I regret not including it in this article.


5. Florence.  Lana.  Jack.   If this soundtrack doesn’t win a Grammy, expect to see me protesting outside The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  Wherever that is.

6. “I wish I had done everything on earth with you.”

7. Leo.  The only man on earth who can pull off a swan picture.


If you dislike perfect pixie haircuts and over-the-top directing and Leonardo Dicaprio (gasp!) well…

Aunt Jill

8 May

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I spent Monday afternoon running around trying to catch this little guy on camera.

Actually maybe I should rephrase that.

I spent Monday afternoon sprinting-at-full-speed-in-impractical-shoes trying to catch this little guy on camera.

There, that’s more accurate.

I imagined taking Liam’s picture would be as simple as me saying, “Oh Liam! Look over at Aunt Jill!” He would quickly oblige, of course, so happy I was in his life and spending time with him. I would snap wonderful, candid photographs that would reflect our close relationship. We would spend the afternoon laughing, swinging, and singing a duet to “A Spoonful of Sugar” together.  Maybe while I taught him his times tables.  Maybe not.  We’d just see how it went.

I really do think like this.

Someone save me from myself.

An hour into The Great Liam Picture-Taking Adventure I collapsed on the couch, exhausted. My whimsical-photographer outfit was a mess, my knee was bruised, my muscles were sore. I vowed to recommit myself to the gym and to take a good, hard look at my expectations in life.

I also vowed to spend as much time as possible with little ones. There is nothing in this world cuter than a 2-year-old who calls you Aunt Jill.

There just isn’t.

You better believe next time I’m wearing running shoes, though.  And maybe knee pads.  Would buying a helmet for this venture be going too far?

That’s what I thought.

The Last Movie That Made Me Cry

5 May


Recently I was asked to fill out one of those surveys. You know the ones.

“What is the most played song on your iPod?” Joey Ramone, What a Wonderful World.

“Who would you kill/make out/marry?” Pitt, Depp, Gosling.

“What was the last movie that made you cry?” The Way We Were.

I said The Way We Were was the last movie that made me cry more out of habit than anything. In actuality, the last movie that made me cry was Jerry Maguire, but this is not the time nor the place to discuss why spontaneous proposals slay me.

Back to Hubbell.

Wait, first, “You complete me.” “You had me at hello.” “You want my soul or something.” “Why not? I deserve it!”

Now back to Hubbell.

The reason I put The Way We Were on this survey and the reason it will always and forever will win the “what was the last movie that made you cry” question is because I didn’t just CRY when watching The Way We Were. No, the first time I saw this movie I curled up in a ball and sobbed.

We’re talking tears.

Body shakes.

Loss of faith in humanity.

Should I be admitting this on a public forum?

For those of you who haven’t seen The Way We Were, go ahead and feel out this quote and see how you handle it. If you’re inconsolable by the end, probably don’t watch the movie. Trust me.

Katie: I don’t have the right style for you do I?
Hubbell: No you don’t have the right style.
Katie: I’ll change.
Hubbell: No, don’t change. You’re your own girl, you have your own style.
Katie: But then I won’t have you. Why can’t I have you?
Hubbell: Because you push too hard, every damn minute. There’s no time to ever relax and enjoy living. Everything is too serious to be so serious.
Katie: If I push too hard it’s because I want things to be better, I want us to be better, I want you to be better. Sure I make waves, I mean you have to. And I’ll keep making them till your everything you should be and will be. You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or to love you as much.
Hubbell: I know that.
Katie: Well then why?
Hubbell: Do you think if I come back its going to be okay by magic? What’s going to change? What’s going to be different? We’ll both be wrong, we’ll both lose.
Katie: Couldn’t we both win?

And now I ask you the very serious question, what was the movie that made you cry the most and why?

If you don’t want to get into the why I completely understand.

PS: I’ve changed my mind. MARRY DEPP. MARRY DEPP.

PPS: “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell.” Sorry, it just felt weird to have a post about The Way We Were and not say that.

PPPS: MARRY GOSLING. MARRY GOSLING. Ugh. This is too much pressure.


3 May


I’ve been thinking a lot about hometowns and nostalgia and what makes a place meaningful.

I’m from the suburb-of-all-suburbs, South Jordan, Utah.  Our claims to fame include a completely average mini golf course, a Coldstone, and a bug-infested trail along “The Jordan River.”  That’s the type of suburb we are.  Everything is named after something else.

I love it.

This week I gave the official SoJo tour to a friend who had heard a lot about this little corner of the Salt Lake Valley.  A friend who kind of nodded when he heard me gush like, “All right, Jill. This is another one of your things.”  A friend I was determined to show just how great a suburb can be.

When I sat down to plan out our SoJo route I quickly realized that this tour was going to live or die on my energy levels.  Like if I am showing off two Harmon’s grocery stores I’m going to have to do it while singing or something, because, frankly, it’s not all that exciting.

This did not bode well.   Live or die on my energy levels means DIE. DEATH.  PERISH.

As I sat and stared at my blank “SoJo Tour” paper wondering how I could get out of the whole thing, I realized something that I already knew, but needed to remind myself.

South Jordan, for me, is not about the chain stores or the Town Square or even The Greatest Movie Theater I’ve Ever Been To.  The restaurants aren’t the reason I got homesick in London.   The local attractions aren’t what made me rush back home on my spring break.  South Jordan is about the memories and the people. And can you really take someone on that tour?

I thought about it.

I could show him Ashley’s house where I woke up on my 18th birthday to my surrogate family, a “Happy Birthday” banner, and pile of presents.

I could show him my high school where I so wonderfully naively thought I had figured everything out.

I could show him the place I came when I realized I didn’t.

I could show him the porch where my family took our last round of matching pictures.  (May coordinated outfits rest in peace.)

I could show him where I had my first kiss.  And the place where I first heard someone say they loved me and I realized “we were in love.”

I could show him my library, the place where I would move in if they would let me.

I could show him Breanne’s basement where my teenage friends and I sat down to predict where our lives would be at 25.  The place I listened to my friends state exactly what they wanted out of life and realized that I had no idea.  The place where I got emotional and said, “I just want to be happy.  When I’m 25, I hope I’m happy.”

I could show him my home, where I came back after a year in Malibu and realized, guess what–I’m 25. My life is nothing like what I thought it would be.  I’m still figuring things out.  And I’m happy.

I ended up just taking my friend to Café Rio.  Because that’s what you do in South Jordan.

And that other tour?  That’s for me.

On Screen Hairstyles That Have Made Me Want To Cut My Hair (Excluding The Rachel)

2 May


Every single bad haircut in my life has started out the same way. “Um, yes. I would like you to make my hair look like this.” My hairdresser looks at the picture of a celebrity I am showing him. He looks back at my hair. I insist, “It will be great. It will revolutionize my life.”

And then it takes years to recover.

We’re all susceptible to the perfect on-screen hairstyle. It’s why half the world walked around with “The Rachel” for so long. We think we can do the impossible and pull off a hairstyle clearly not suited for us (or maybe anyone) just because we think it looks so great on screen. After a bad bout with red hair last year I’ve vowed not to base my hairstyle changes on the latest and greatest on-screen hair. Here are some on-screen hairstyles that make me want to break that promise and drastically alter my hair…

If you’re interested in all of my bad hair decisions in one place, read the rest of my article for Portable here.  I even found a way to mention the royal family.

Theme Park Jill

1 May


The many stages of Jill at a theme park:  (Rob and Caitlin, you know you love me.)

1. Pumped Up Jill

This is fun Jill!  Let’s sing more Katy Perry Jill!  I’m ready to rock this theme park Jill!

Pumped Up Jill is fun unless you find air punching annoying.  Then she’s annoying…but surprisingly decent at air punching.

2. Motion Sick Jill

Motion Sick Jill wanders around the park aimlessly clutching her head and saying things like, “Can we go home now?”  “I am so old.”  “When did I turn into my mother?”  “I WANT TO DIE.”

Motion Sick Jill is drama spelled with a capital H-E-A-D-A-C-H-E.

3. “Stop Talking To Me” Jill

Stop Talking To Me Jill is a product of motion sickness, heat, and dehydration.  She is tired, she is fading fast, and she wonders why she left her bed this morning in the first place.

It’s best to avoid Stop Talking To Me Jill altogether because no matter what you say she will look at you with dead eyes and respond, “Stop talking to me.”  Ask Rob.

4. Chili Cheese Fries Jill

Chili Cheese Fries Jill is a little frightening.  She sees the nearest food stand and quickly orders everything on the menu.  “Umm, yes, your largest burger.  Do you have a bigger drink than that?  Yeah throw in those fries too, why not?  Cait, you’ve got the onion rings and turkey leg?  Do we think this is enough food?”

Chili Cheese Fries Jill thinks nothing with satisfy her current hunger.  You know when Hannah Horvath says, “I’m more scared than most people are when they say they’re scared.  I’m like the most scared person that’s alive”?

Chili Cheese Fries Jill feels like she is the hungriest person that’s alive.

5. Rejuvenated Via Diet Coke Jill

Pumped up Jill is back!  Yeah, baby!  This park is the best!  What’s next?!  Have you been wearing that shirt all day?  It looks awesome!

People around Pumped Up Jill exchange looks like, “Let’s keep that diet coke coming, shall we?”

6. Screaming Jill

Screaming Jill emerges on every rollercoaster.  She practiced screaming as a child for fun so it’s pretty powerful.

7. Tired Jill

Tired Jill slinks into the car, turns on John Mayer, takes a possible-blackmail photo of Cait sleeping, and reverts to a less harsh version of Stop Talking To Me Jill.

For those of you now dying to go to a theme park with me–I’m game.

PS: What stages do you go through at a theme park?