Archive | February, 2014

Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak’s Social Media Love Affair, Or Why They Should Be Together

28 Feb



Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak are the stuff of fan fiction. Once a real life couple (and real life TV couple), the two of them are now very public besties who like to tease their fans with the depth of their soulmate-ship all while claiming they’re just friends.

It’s the type of plotline Mindy would write into her show. And she did. (Remember BJ playing the guy who was really in love with his best friend on The Mindy Project?)

Obviously Mindy and BJ know what they’re doing. They’re smart. They’re sexy. They realize the whole world is rooting for their rom-com and they let it play out via social media so we can all shriek, “STOP DENYING FATE ALREADY!”

BJ once even told Entertainment Weekly, “The main reason I’m reluctant to get married to Mindy is that every single person in our lives and Twitter feeds would say, ‘I knew it.’ I just couldn’t f–ing deal with that. But we know. We know what’s there.”

Ugh, BJ. Not a good enough reason, man. Not a good enough reason.

Let’s take a look at some of Mindy and BJ’s flirtiest social media interactions. Prepare your shrieking.

Read the rest of my article for Portable here.  Spoiler: I say things like, “Mindy’s first Instagram of all time, a subtle hint to her strongest attachment of all time” and I mean it.

Also, in researching this article I discovered a Tweet where Mindy confirmed what we’ve known all along–Danny Castellano is very, very similar to BJ aka she’s writing their love story.

Super sigh.  Get together already.


Prep your bar for Mardi Gras

(I have a Mardi Gras picture I’ve been planning for several months now.  This is important to tell you because this is my blog.  I don’t know.)

I don’t know, people, but I do know it’s Friday and my Spring Break is ending.

(We need a punctuation mark that’s the opposition of an exclamation mark.)

When Your Ex-Boyfriend Almost Becomes A Tumblr Celebrity

27 Feb

Yesterday there was a brief moment where Katie and I wondered if my ex-boyfriend (devastating ex-boyfriend) (very devastating ex-boyfriend) was now a Tumblr celebrity.

Let me tell you, it was an intense three minutes.

Katie: OK Jill, I have to do this.  Please tell me this isn’t Frank.


Katie: Cause “hot (FRANK’S PROFESSION)” is all over Tumblr and Ross and I have been comparing the photo for like 20 minutes and Hil is asleep and I feel like if it is this is code red and I need to be Joan Cusack to your Julia Roberts at the beginning of Runaway Bride.

Jill: OMG


Jill: It’s not.  I don’t think it is.  It’s just a man who looks a wholeeeee lot like him.

Katie: Yeah, I did some serious like comparative analysis. My blood went cold and I was like…no…

Jill: OMG OMG.  It’s like he’s next though.  Once they find him.

Katie: But realistically, how many hot FRANK’S PROFESSIONS can be out there? Are you okay? *holds out hands to make sure you’re steady*

Jill: Am I ever okay?

Katie: You are always okay.  I’ve got your back from here til forever.

Jill: You are the best.

Katie: Aww, you hang up first.

Let It Be

26 Feb


The other night,  Katie, Hilary and I allowed our considerable imaginations to run away from us and discussed our future as writers.

Taco Bell was involved, naturally.

Hilary started it off, “You know, Jill we were just talking about that, actually.  What a writing panel with the three of us would look like.”  She glanced over at Katie.  “Am I allowed to tell her?”

“Tellmetellmetellmetellmetellmetellme,” I said.  “Tell me or I won’t stop speaking like this. Tell meeeeeeeee.”

Hilary smiled, “Well Katie will show up with bright red hair and increasingly dark but moral stories.” I nodded.  Obviously.  This is Katie’s fate.

If only I all knew my own so well.

(PS KATIE GOT HERSELF A KICKASS LITERARY AGENT. I REPEAT Katie got herself a kickass literary agent. This is not a drill.)

Hilary continued, “And I’ll be there in overalls, straight from the farm,” she said.

Katie jumped in, “She’ll be covered in tattoos.  And her kids and husband will be on the front row, also in overalls.”

“Perfect.” I said.

Hilary continued, “And then you will show up, 15 minutes late wearing a crazy huge fur coat and big sunglasses and declare something tragical has happened to you on the way in and we’ll never believe it but it’s the worst thing ever.”

“YES!” I said. I punched the air.  “PERFECT.  Let it be. And please tell me my fashion is this side of crazy.”

“Of course” they chorused.

And then we laughed and ate extra Taco Bell and laughed some more and talked about all of our writing hopes and dreams and I thought about it again and again.


Let it be.

Let it beeeeeeeeee or I won’t stop talking like this.

Let it be.

The Mirror That Means Home

25 Feb


This may sound crazy, but I think the thing I miss most about my childhood home is this bathroom mirror.

OK, I know it sounds crazy.

I have my reasons.

They aren’t good, but they’re there.

This mirror (that I hadn’t named before right now but have just decided needs a name) is called Rhiannon.

Sorry laptop.  You can be named PJ.

(My laptop was previously named Rhiannon after the Stevie Nicks song.  Are you following?)

(My laptop is now named PJ after PJ Harvey.  Are you still following?  Have you stopped following my blog altogether?)

Rhiannon is a great mirror.  Rhiannon is the mirror I sat in front of as a teenager and learned to pluck my eyebrows with.  It’s the mirror I used when I went through that bad over-plucking stage when I was 17, and the mirror I’ve been using to recover from that nightmare ever since.

It’s the mirror that means home.

I’ve never found a mirror I’ve liked so much, or a mirror and lighting combination that has worked so well for me.  Seriously, every time I get into town and go into the bathroom, Rhiannon reveals secrets about me and my eyebrows that my other, lesser mirrors never told me.

I got into Utah Monday morning at 3:30AM and as soon as I saw Rhiannon it was decided sleep wasn’t that important.  Eyebrows were.

And so I found myself sitting on the ground in the middle of the night, tweezers in hand, feeling perpetually 17.

I’m perpetually 17 when I’m at home.  It’s the sleigh bed and the museum to my past selves.  It’s the people who knew me at 17.  It’s the fact that I’m always a bit 17 and maybe always will be.  That might just be my age.

I have a friend who’s always a bit of a 13-year-old and I mean that in the loveliest of ways.

I am always a bit 17.

I debated coming home for Spring Break this year.  I think there reaches a point where your new life and new home sound better to you than your old one.  Where it’s easier to stay where you are.  You don’t want to mess up your routine.  You like your routine.

You like where you are.

I’m at that point with LA.

Honestly, the past few weeks have been a total haze of crazy.  I have several super angsty blog posts in my Drafts that will never see the light of day, but which outline the increasingly downward spiral of my mind in the past month.

One such post is titled “Sylvia Plath Mode” and details why I think Sylvia understands me like no one else in the world ever has.

For real.

I read it to Hilary and even she commented on the drama.  And Hilary is Miss 200% Supportive.

The post also talked about how I once named a fictional feminist girl band The Sylvia Plaths, and I really wanted to get that one into a post so here you go.

I once named a fictional feminist girl band The Sylvia Plaths.

Let’s just say it’s been a crazy month.

As I was finishing up some of the things that were making me crazy last week, I wondered if it was really the right time to go home.  I have a lot to do.  I haven’t been in any sort of a routine.  Maybe 20 hours in a car in one week was a bad idea.

And then Sunday afternoon I thought, “Nope.  Best idea I’ve ever had.  See you soon, Utah” and yadda yadda yadda here I am on my high school sleigh bed in Utah typing this at 2:00AM.

Also, I’m going skiing in a few short hours.

I wonder if I’ll ever have a routine.

Perhaps not.

I’m not really sure where this blog post is headed at this point, so before it spirals off somewhere weird(er), I have to say, I’m so glad I came home.

I’m so glad I’m spending this week with Rhiannon and friends and family.  I already feel rejuvenated.  I already feel like more myself.

Rob once asked me why I don’t blog more in Sylvia Plath mode and I think there are a few reasons for this, but the main one is when I’m in Sylvia Plath mode I feel very helpless and words escape me when I’m so out of control.

My words are coming back to me already.

I can feel it.

It’s good to be home.

Rory and Lorelai v. Amber and Sarah

21 Feb



Until recently I was one of those lame people who claimed to be a die-hard Lauren Graham fan, yet had never watched an episode of Parenthood.

I had some vague reasoning behind this, and seven well-worn seasons of Gilmore Girls to throw in the face of anyone who wanted to challenge my Lauren devotion, but the truth of the matter is I was being stupid and so are you if you aren’t watching Parenthood right now.

Lauren’s character on Parenthood (Sarah Braverman) is a quirky single mother who overlaps with Lorelai Gilmore about 70% of the time. This begs the question — how much of Sarah/Lorelai is simply Lauren? Like, how cool is Lauren Graham when she’s just sitting at home eating Mallomars? (Really cool, I’m assuming.)

The highlight of Lauren’s character on both shows is her relationship with her teenage-to-adulthood daughter — on Gilmore Girls this is Rory, and on Parenthood it’s Amber. With so many similarities between the two Laurens and the two relationships, we can’t help but ask ourselves: which Lauren Graham mother/daughter pairing is best?

Who wins in the epic mother/daughter battle of Rory and Lorelai vs. Sarah and Amber?

Super-scientific analysis of it all begins… NOW!

(Read the rest of my article for Portable here)

And now for SheKnows:

The hipster home decor essentials

Mardi Gras decorating ideas

Happiest of Fridays! I’ll be locked away writing all weekend. Things are about to get very Hannah Horvath end of season 2 around here.

The Dennings Do LA

20 Feb

Last week some of my big, curly-haired family came to visit me in LA.


See that?  Wild hair is genetic!  Frizzy Dennings unite! All you needs is curl! Etc.

I tend to write stories about families with a million siblings and more curly hair than one home knows what to do with, and it’s such an obvious, “Wow, Jill, drawing from real life?” thing that it’s almost embarrassing.  But I don’t stop.

Write what you know.

And I know crazy, curly, overalled families.

Other things I know:

1. Teenage angst (and adult angst)

2. Female friendships

3. Feminist girl bands

5. Girls who want to be Stevie Nicks

Also, let’s talk about the whole “write what you know” thing.  I think most of the time, for me, at least, it’s “write what you wish you knew.”  It’s write Ryan Gosling.  It’s write a British boarding school where the lead (who looks and acts suspiciously like I do) falls for a boy named Elvis, the son of a rock star.

Elvis, for Elvis Costello.


But back to my familia.

What I really do know.

Years ago it was decided that I would be the Chief of All Vacation Activities And Other Assorted Tourist Plans in the Denning household, and I have to say, it’s quite a fun role to have.  My mother once said that people come to her and my dad for practical things.  If you need someone to help you move, they are exactly who you’re looking for.

No one has ever called me specifically to help them move.  I’m an adequate mover (I assume), it’s just that it isn’t quite in my range of specialties if you know what I mean.

My parents are pros are day-to-day life.

I’m a pro at being on vacation.

Last week my family ended up at the wax museum in Hollywood (one of my life goals–NO JOKE) and so much happiness ensued.  I will only share one highlight per Denning because, really, you don’t love us that much.

Also some things are special.  Like me and Thor.  That is special and that is secret and that just got weird.

Do you know what else is weird? Me and David Beckham. Gosh, that’s an awkward photo.

And now to pictures allowed on the internet!


Leo.  Leo my love.  Leo, do my burning eyes display my burning passion for your burning soul?  Leo I’ll never let go if you jump I jump Leoooooooooo.

(Fun fact.  My AZ roomie Harry contacted me after I put this picture on Instagram and asked who my new boyfriend was.  I was like, “Do you think I’m dating Leonardo Dicaprio? I love you!” And he was like, “Oh.  I didn’t recognize him.”

Could that fact get any more fun?)


My mother.


Joel was ridiculously on fire this day in a way he’s never been on fire in front of the camera, well, ever. (I’ve been there for 20+ years of family photos with the boy, trust me.)  He then was initiated into the Instagram world.   I don’t think he quite got it, but I also don’t think we’ll be seeing pale pink borders on his pictures anymore so we’ll count that as a win.


Jessica making Hitchock/me proud.

Bonus picture just because I’m a Pink Lady and if you can’t post these pictures on your blog why are you in the blogging game in the first place?


Goodness gracious I love this family of mine, curly hair and all.

I think I’ll keep writing about them.

Curly hair and all.


I’m Juicing

18 Feb


A few weeks ago after a long day on campus and a long night in class I got in my car, turned on Fleetwood Mac and drove straight home.

Not a bite of McDonald’s.

Now, to you people out there who eat your fruits and juice your vegetables like the good citizens of the future, this probably sounds like a normal night.  To me, who quotes Her and refuses to stop, this was the height of oddity.

10PM = Malibu McDonald’s.

It’s the only routine I can even trust in this crazy thing called life.

But wait!  There’s more.

Not only did I skip the McDonald’s (and the Taco Bell. And the other McDonald’s) on this night-from-another-person’s-life, I skipped the McD/TB/McD and then I went home and juiced.

That’s J-U-I-C-E-D, for those of you who don’t live in LA and are not yet under its spell.

I put kale and lemon and beets in a J-U-I-C-E-R and ground it all up and then drank it.

It was T-A-S-T-Y.

(Don’t tell the spicy McChicken.)

I don’t want to go too far here, but after juicing I decided that I was an entirely new person and needed to change my name to commemorate this new identity.

Please call me Zelda The Juicer from now on.

If you mention the video game I will personally see to it that Caitlin hurts you.  I’m trying to reclaim the name Zelda and we can all be part of this, folks.

Now that that’s out of the way.

I’m juicing!  That whole intro was just to tell you that these days you can call me Zelda The Juicer, because I don’t even recognize myself and I’ve made all sorts of healthy changes in my life.

(I will accept congratulations in the form of McDonadl’s gift cards.)

(They are a thing.)

(I got one for Christmas.)

(Thanks Jenna and Andrew.)

I credit these positive steps in my life to two things 1. A lingering Utah cold that made me sound like a baritone with a cough 2. The New Year.

Every year as January 1st rolls around I make a massive list of all I want to do in the next 12 months.  I wouldn’t call these things “resolutions” per say, more like a running document of all I would like to accomplish in the new year.  Some of them are fun things (Ellen, your lottery system can’t outwit me for much longer!) and some of them are rolling things (I will I will I will take a self defense class one day, oh yes I will), but all of them are things.

Things without numbers.

I’m really, really terrible at goals like “Do 74 push ups five times a week taking 30 second breaks between push-ups 40 and 41 and 63 and 64,” but I’m very much for trying something new and learning to take better care of myself.

In 2014 this means experimenting with juicing, I suppose.

And rollerblading.


Oh people you should see me rollerblade, or actually you probably shouldn’t because it’s kind of absurd.  I demonstrated to Caitlin as I left her apartment and she just rolled her eyes at me and said, “That’s a visual I won’t soon forget.” This may have been because I was reenacting it with a 7-foot surfboard and mini dress, WHO KNOWS, but whatever the case when I rollerblade I sashay my hips and it’s a visual people don’t forget.

Also, I can’t stop.

Not as in “can’t stop won’t stop,” just simply “can’t stop will hopefully learn to stop before I topple down a mountain on rollerblades.”

I have to say, maybe it’s the kale speaking, or maybe it’s the endrophines from the rollerblading injuries (those give endorphins, right?), but so far 2014 has been the greatest.


(For those of you who don’t live in LA.)

Dating!!! Also, Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb


A few days ago I got a text from my friend, let’s refer to him as Seth.  Seth said, “Call me, I have just been through a horrific ordeal.”

Seth can be a bit of a drama king (as all of my favorite people are) so I was expecting something along the lines of “Pepsi products have overtaken my favorite restaurant and I’ll never recover.” I was instead treated to an absolutely, positively awful dating experience.

Now, I’ve been on terrible dates.  In fact, I once went on a double blind date where by the time I walked to the car, my friend who was with me gripped my hand and whispered, “Are you okay?”  In the 30 seconds I had known my date I had already experienced trauma and she could feel it.

I get bad dates on a visceral level.

Don’t worry though, Seth’s story takes the cake.

Seth’s was a Tinder first date, which is really where I could begin and end this story, but I’ll continue, just for your sake and for my posterity’s sake, because I want my great grandchildren reading this.

Early on problem #1 came up: Seth’s date, Floyd, announced he was going to court in a few days on robbery charges.


You read that right.

Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for what’s next.

Problem #2 came in the form of Floyd asking Seth to take him to the mall where Floyd then proceeded to participate in what may or may not have been a drug deal.



Seth doesn’t know anything about drug deals.  Seth isn’t equipped to handle these things!

I’m not equipped to handle these things!

More terribleness.  More fake phone calls to get out of the date. Where are we?


Problem #3: On Seth’s way to drop off this terrible date/criminal, Floyd forced Seth to go into a gas station and buy him cigarettes claiming a lost wallet.  As Seth feared for his life/sanity at this point he BOUGHT THE CIGARETTES AND DROVE THE MAN HOME.

Holy cow.

Now, I may not be great at a lot of things, but one thing I am completely amazing at is being an audience for dating stories.  I gasp at just the right points and I get REALLY REALLY loud and I shriek with glee and I shriek with pain and by the time someone has told me a story, we’ve both relived it, except this time it was better because there was more screaming involved.

While we were in the process of analyzing whether or not Floyd had planted drugs in Seth’s car/screaming, I said, “I’m never dating again.”

“What?” Seth said.

I repeated myself, “I know this is about you right now, but I’m making it about me and I’m never dating again.”

“Oh, OK,” Seth said.  “Me neither.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks.


February In Photos, Or Something

12 Feb

Recently my brother said that it seemed like my life was pretty good right now, and I said, well, yes.  Yes, it is.


MySpace angles courtesy of Caitlin.  Do we look 14? I felt 14 walking around in our cutoffs and graphic tees and messy hair.


Pizza on the beach, or the magic of Newport. (Can you spot Cait’s foot?  Very Where’s Waldo)


Perfect clouds because it’s Malibu.


A terrible shot of the Pepperdine deer as seen through Hilary’s car.  I went back to try to capture a perfect picture of the moment, and it had already passed.    There’s a life lesson there somewhere.


Writers group selfies at a gloomy Getty Villa plus the beginning of my feminist sketch comedy career.


The Sweethearts I almost bought myself for Valentine’s day. Still regretting I didn’t.


The Yeti + John Lennon sunglasses. (I was recently told my celebrity lookalike is John Lennon, so you know I’m doing something right.)


The view from the best bagels in the world, let us not argue over this point.


Snapchats from Jordan that I screenshot and put on my blog (hehe)


The Price is Right + Gilmore Girls (And that NASA shirt!  The show said we could not wear any brand/logo/etc. and we thought Star Wars might fall under that and so we went with NASA and it was all a mistake.  ALL A MISTAKE.)


Pepperdine going all beautiful on us.


This is

LACMA, yo.


Palm trees. Always palm trees on my phone.

Annnnd one more Malibu photo just for good luck.


February, you’ve been good to me.  Let’s keep this up.

10 Characters We’d Be Happy To See Leave A Show

11 Feb



There are two types of weak links in television shows. Number 1: The character so undeveloped that if they quietly slipped away into the night never to be seen again, no one would even notice/protest (hereafter, this type will be referred to as PASSIVE). And Number 2: The character actively (and sometimes aggressively) hurting a show with their performance (we’re calling this type ACTIVE). Both are bad. Both are common.

Here are 10 current TV weak links of the Passive and Active variety. May we never see them again. (Actually I love all these actors, just maybe not in these roles!)

*People, I had to add that parentheses because I am weird and feel really bad writing anything remotely mean about anyone even if I’m talking about fictional characters.*


Read the rest of my article for Portable here

Also SheKnows!

(You know how this works by now)

25 Poetic tweets from die-hard romantics These are beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because my name is on the article.

Twitter fails: 16 Tweets that were meant to be romantic These make me gravely concerned about the state of romance, so you know they’re great.

10 Valentine’s Gifts he won’t be getting you In which I allow the bitter woman in me to come out just a smidge, but all for a good cause!  My writing career!

11 Places your man won’t be taking you for Valentine’s Day And more slightly bitter writing! Good cause! Etc!


And we’re done.

Except for this.  Did you see this?  Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding’s Valentine’s Day single girl playlist.

Now we’re done.