Search results: festival

My Fictional Dream Town

14 Dec

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I want to live in a small town.  Population 3,000 or less, please.

I want it by the ocean, too.

Oh and it needs to be charming.  That’s a given, really.  I want there to be all sorts of weird, kooky small town things so ridiculous and so specific that you can’t keep up.

I want to try anyway.

Like the breakfast burrito place?  It serves soup, but only on Tuesday and only if you know the owner.

And that bead festival?  It’s a real, important thing and yes you should actually dress up.

My Fictional Dream Town also has a thriving arts scene.

It’s liberal, of course, with a protest corner, preferably.

It has a strong sense of community and no need for addresses and a rich history of artists and poets and creative people who live there.

There’s a school, naturally.

The school’s mascot is something absurd and historical and story inducing, even more naturally.

There’s a French bakery on the corner, run by two Parisians who fled the city for a quieter life.  People drive for hours just for their chocolate croissants and the owners are good personal friends.  Perhaps neighbors.

Yep, now they’re neighbors.

The movie theater is drive-in only, obviously.  There’s also a local theater scene, one surprisingly robust, and unsurprisingly wacky.

There’s a flea market and antique shops and other things Gilmore Girls-esque.

The mayor is Clint Eastwood or Doris Day or other things Carmel-by-the-Sea-esque.

Oh!  And it should have a stupidly cute name.

Like Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Or Capeside.

A name that would make a writing professor shake their head and say, “That’s too on the nose, that name is.”

I run the book club.

My husband runs a local business.

Or maybe he doesn’t.

Maybe we both are creative types doomed to a life of unsteady paychecks.

We definitely watch the sunset every day, in either case.

And there’s definitely a library in the thatched roof cottage I buy with the money I earn from the books I write from the stories I tell–

In this fantasy, dream life of mine.

The Many (Many) (Many) Faces of John Mayer

3 Sep

Last weekend in a fit of madness I decided to venture to the Made in America music festival.

It was for a good cause, Caitlin’s birthday, and I’m nothing if not a fanatic for birthday celebrations. (Hey Lucas, 27 more days til birthday month!)

But whew.

Introverts and music festivals.  They really do not mix.

Really, really, really.

I derive no energy from being in large groups of people.  I feel anxious and upset and a little bit like I’m fading away into nothingness and maybe would like to fade away into nothingness if it means I can avoid another person in an American flag swimsuit.

And so it was at this festival.

I was a melty blob in a Kate Moss sequined dress willing myself to fade into nothingness and regretting every life decision I’ve ever made.

And then John Mayer happened.

Ohhhhh John The Freaking King Of The World Mayer happened and I might have gotten pregnant from hearing his voice, and I hope I got pregnant from hearing his voice because then he will live on forever in my heart and in my home.

I am not ashamed of your judgment right now.

To prove this point I will share with you approximately 45 trillion pictures that look just like this.

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And this.

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And this.

But really can we focus on the harmonica?

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Or how about that guitar pick?  Really working it John.  Really, really, really.

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And the shirt.  Let me see if I have a close-up of it.

(I kid.  I wanted to sound less intense so I pretended I didn’t know if I took a close-up of his shirt.)

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I think a lot of my sudden spike in attraction to this man had to do with his eyebrows.

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Are you seeing what I’m meaning?

There were a lot of feelings in the eyebrows.

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And the glasses.

Watch out Lucas, for my birthday month you’re getting new glasses!  Happy Birthday to me!  Happy Birthday to John!

John, Happy Birthday!

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 OK, and now we have a series called John The Freaking King Of The World Shreds His Guitar.

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Yes?

(Is this what shredding is?  It sounded right.)

And more.

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And more.

This is starting to sound sexual.

I did possibly get pregnant from his voice, so I suppose that’s only natural.

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More John!  More!

OK, too far.

Back to the brows.

Back to the basics.

Back to John.

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John, I love you.

I’ll never let go, John.

You’re the freaking king of the world John Freaking Mayer and I don’t remember you looking any better and who says we can’t get married tomorrow?

Who says?

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Whatever

2 Jul

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When I was in high school, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie came out, and wouldn’t you know it, my best friends and I decided to assign ourselves Sisterhood characters.

The process was rather easy.  I was clearly Tibby, the hippie activist who went to socialist day camp and overthought the meaning of life on a consistent basis.

Turmoil!

My friends quickly fell into their own categories and girls–the free spirit, the Type-A, the one who cares a bit too much–and soon these Sisterhood assignments of ours became one of the hallmarks of our friendship.

We signed off our notes and emails as “Tibby,” “Lena,” “Carmen,” and “Bridget.” We started our own Sisterhood of sorts, and we even went as far as creating a traveling email with tailor-made rules.

Please note rules #3, #14 and #20 of our Sisterhood, the Sisterhood of the Chi Pi sorority:

3. Do not text big news.

14. Tweezing is not a reasonable response to duress or relief of stress. A Chi Pi does not tweeze under pressure.

20. Never buy a lotion that boasts of a yogurt base.

Every so often I get really excited about a new book idea of mine, “I’m going to write about a group of girl friends in high school and how they stick together no matter what.  Ooh, you know what would be fun?  If they had a token of their friendship or something that they swap every few weeks over the summer as they come of age!”

…and then I realize that Ann Brashares got there first.

I just really love the Sisterhood.

I really, really do.

In The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway says everybody suspects himself of having at least one of the cardinal virtues, and while I know it’s not technically a cardinal virtue, if I suspect myself of being good at anything good it’s friendship.

I believe in the power of female friendship.

Amen.

This summer I got the chance to see Ann Brashares speak at the LA Times Festival of Books and it was entirely thrilling.

Ann is exactly what you’d expect her to be.  She’s gorgeous and thoughtful and one of those people who seems to live and speak and act purposefully.

I never live purposefully.  I’m too impulsive and manic and moody for all of that.  And so when I’m around someone who seems so thoughtful I become even more manic, “What’s your secret!  Tell me everything!  I WILL BE PURPOSEFUL TIMES A MILLION NACHOS RIGHT NOW.”

Also,

I want to say by watching Ann that she’s a Lena who thinks she’s a Carmen.

But I would need more time to really know.

In the panel, Ann was promoting her new book, but when the audience got to ask questions, all anyone wanted to talk about was the Sisterhood.

Ann said that she never really wanted to say goodbye to the girls so gave herself a deadline and told herself if she was still thinking about the Sisterhood at that point she could write one final novel.

When the deadline came she still couldn’t forget about the girls, and so she wrote Sisterhood Everlasting.

Yesterday I picked it up.

It’s funny, in this book, the girls are 29, which is a bit older than my friends and I are, but we’re still going through a lot of the same things.  That just adulthood.  Those big decisions.

Trying to maintain our important friendships while in different cities, with different lives, with a different everything.

It hit close to home.

And so I did what I’ve always done when it comes to these fictional girls and my life.

I sent my own Sisterhood an email.

I started it off with–

In shocking news, Tibby (I) dies (die) 10 years into the Sisterhood franchise. 

I then outlined what each character ends up doing in the book, how it relates to our own accomplishments and failures, and what Ann Brashares knew about my life before I did.

(Spoiler: Tibby went to film school.

She then moved to Australia because that’s what we Tibbys want to do.

Also

She ended up with the nerdy, neurotic boy who loved her to the ends of the earth.

It’s like,

Why wasn’t I listening to Ann sooner?

How much time and heartbreak could I have saved myself?

How many unnecessary degrees could I have avoided?)

I signed my email “Tibs” and then went back to work, knowing full well it may be days before I get a response.

After all,

We’re trying to maintain our important friendships while in different cities, with different lives, with a different everything.

We’re a grown-up sisterhood now.

Smuged Strawberries and Tri-Tip Sandwiches

22 May

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Let’s skip to the most important stuff here.  Last weekend I went to the California Strawberry Festival and stood in line amongst the childrens to get this glitter face paint.  Soon after, I left the claustrophobic, bad corn dogged festival and traveled quite a distance away.

I wore the face paint all day, in about 20 different stores, amongst hundreds of people, in several Danish bakeries, and no one so much as mentioned it.

No double takes.

No secret I-want-to-bring-it-up-but-might-offend looks.

No, “Oh hey what’s that strawberry doing on your cheek?” conversations.

Nothing.

Zilch.

Nada.

Not even Nada Surf.

I’ve been trying to figure out what this means ever since. Did no one notice it? Did the strawberry just fit me so well that people didn’t feel the need to comment on it just as they didn’t comment on the fact that I had mascara-d eyelashes or painted fingernails?

Were eyelashes and fingernails the right choice for this comparison?

I’m not going to lie, the idea of becoming a casual face paint sort of person just thrills me down to my toes.  Imagine the possibilities here!  Next time I throw on my gray t-shirt dress I can just add a few colorful stars to my cheek and call it a day.

Whenever that pink sundress comes out I can draw a subtle red heart next to my eye and conquer the world.  Maybe I turn this into a business, an Instagram account, a whole new, wildly profitable blog.

Maybe casual face paint is the way of the future.

Or at least my future.

OK.

Second things second.

The remains of that deliciousness you see on my plate?  That’s the Cold Spring Tavern tri-tip sandwich also known as the best thing Cat Cora ever ate, and let me tell you, she was not exaggerating, oh no she wasn’t.

The tri-tip sandwich at Cold Spring Tavern is a whole blog post in and of itself if I had the energy or patience for the gushing-about-food-for-1000-words thing.  The tavern is in the middle of nowherseville in the Santa Barbara mountains and there’s a live band outside and a chili recipe on the wall and the sandwich comes with three of the most delicious sauces the world has ever seen.

Like the tri-tip?  It was good.

But these sauces.

I want to say inappropriate things about these sauces.  I want to use the words lick and heaven and I want that spicy salsa to know that nothing compares.

Nothing compares 2U.

OK.

So about this picture.

I have a bunch of photos from this perfect day of mine, actually, sitting on my phone, soon to be uploaded to my computer and forgotten about for all of time, but this was the shot I liked most.  This was the one at the end of the day, when my body was tired and my strawberry was faded from the sun and heat and, well, kisses, if you must know.

This was the picture that showed off my $3 gold heart bracelets purchased at a kitschy little store in Solvang, found amongst the wind chimes and the Buddha candles.

This was the one taken right before we raced the sunset to the Santa Barbara beach only to discover the sun sets away from the water. (What?)

I’m drowsy in this shot, tired from a day of driving and eating and wandering, and I’m happy.

My boyfriend said something the other day.  Shall we call this boyfriend of mine Luke for now?  I don’t know how these blog relationship things work, and look, if I were married I would share his name right quick, but I’m not.  And I don’t do cute nicknames.  And dating is so hard and so fleeting I just don’t want to go there quite yet.

So we’ll call him Luke, yes?

Anyway, Luke said the other day that my happiness is so fragile.

And I feel like that’s a good way to describe it.

My happiness, like much of me, is so fragile.

Some parts of me are so solid and strong and rooted in years of practice.  But this happiness-in-a-relationship bit I’m just getting used to and it startles me sometimes.

I’m happy in this picture.

I did this trip once before alone, the Santa Barbara/Solvang adventure trip.  And the thing is I really like to travel alone.  I believe solo travel is one of the great luxuries in life.  I love to do exactly what I want when I want, thank you very much.

Pizza at 10:00AM? Done.

12 minutes in a museum before I’m bored?  Don’t have to mention it to anyone.

Sleeping 16 hours a day?  Perfect.

And I guess I got so used to traveling alone, having mini solo adventures, that I dismissed the possibility that traveling with someone else could be even more fun.

That watching the mellow light bounce over the rolling hills and reading Nick Hornby is actually better when someone else can admire the sun and laugh at the quotes and share your love of California.

That, maybe, with the right type of person, life and love and mini road trips don’t have to be so endlessly hard all of the time.

Sheesh, who am I?

What has this blog become?

Mumus (again)

5 May

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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I have this bad habit of buying clothing that needs obvious professional sewing help and thinking, “No big deal!  I will fix this up right quick with my nonexistent sewing skills and soon this article of clothing will revolutionize my closet and southern California!”

Rob says it’s because I have a big imagination.

I think it’s because I’m impulsive and have unrealistic expectations about everything including shapeless clothing, but let’s go with imagination and let’s talk about this mumu.

I found this gem in a teeny tiny vintage store in Fairfax.  How I got to Fairfax on a day when I was supposed to be exploring San Francisco and deciding if I could see myself in the city is a whole story that probably can be summed up with three words: “impulsive” and “Gilmore Girls.”

Fairfax is all charm, all the time.  It’s the only place in America with a Green Peace majority in the town council (!) and it feels like a tourist haven simply because it’s so amazingly cute.  At one point I was 85% certain Anne Lamott was next to me at the coffee shop and I nearly choked on my moon pie.

It wasn’t her.

But dangggggg where can I find a local place that makes homemade moon pies?

Side tangent: is the coffee shop now the interview place of choice?  In my two days in San Francisco I observed AT LEAST seven coffee shop interviews and they were all exceedingly awkward and I kind of wondered why I’ve never been interviewed in a coffee shop before and what needs to happen to make my awkward interview dreams come true.

Side tangent 2: I realized, when I thought I was looking at Anne Lamott, just how few authors are recognizable by sight.  Like I saw Daniel Handler at the Festival of Books, and he is crazy, uber unbelievably successful  and talented and yet I bet he gets stopped at the grocery store almost never.

Heidi Montag probably gets approached in the produce section all the time.

(Was Heidi Montag the best comparison choice there?  Open to suggestions.)

The point is, even uber famous authors can live normal lives and that’s pretty cool.  Also, this is what Anne Lamott looks like.

I spent my afternoon in Fairfax counting all of the “organic” references, taking dressing room selfies of me in various tie-dye clothing, and eating a beef and chicken burrito BOTH MEATS PLEASE.  It was a beautiful little reminder of the fun I have on my solo adventures, wandering and eating and leisuring.  Solo adventures are the greatest when they are by choice and not by loneliness, this I learned from London.

Somewhere along the Fairfax adventure way I happened upon this glorious mumu of sunshine and giggles.

It was quickly decided it had to be mine, despite the obvious length problems and the fact that it was wide open between buttons.  (Does this mean it was once a cover-up?  There were no tags to be seen either, so I’m feeling like I could have purchased a homemade sexy cover-up.)

I proudly brought my mumu home and showed all of my friends my latest project.  Most of them responded with some variation of, “That’s very Jill” which I called them out on.  “That’s very Jill means that’s very weird.”  “No, that’s very Jill means that’s very Jill.”

It’s an endless circle, that conversation.

I proved all of my friends all right/wrong, though, because just a few days after coming home I altered that mumu with my nonexistent sewing skills, and despite my inexpert hands, and despite a lot of things, it turned out!

It’s so Jill!

I’m crediting my mumu success to the overall crazy nature of the dress that makes it seem like it’s supposed to be a bit haphazard and also to the person who first created this homemade sexy cover-up of mine.

I very much love it.

I also very much love Fairfax.

There are urban people, suburban people, and “live in a cottage and wear mumus in Fairfax” people.

I think we know which sort of person I am.

Katie, Hilary and Milkmaid Braids

17 Apr

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All right.  So.  This braid then.

I’ve been jonesing for a good milkmaid braid for a while now, but I’m one of those people who simultaneously likes pretty things and refuses to learn how to make pretty things on principle because I’m not crafty and I’m not domestic and DON’T EVEN TRY TO MAKE ME CHANGE, PINTEREST.

This post is feeling a lot more vehement than I thought it would, seeing as how the topic is milkmaid braids.

All right.  So.  This braid round two.

I don’t braid on principle, but luckily, I have myself a Hilary and Hilary loves to braid.  Hilary lives to braid.

When Hilary braids she adopts a “braiding voice” something along the lines of a mix between your second grade teacher talking about cookies and your mother showering you with kisses.  “Do you have a sensitive head, Jilly?”  “Now don’t you go and move, not one single drop.” “Oh my, your hair is just going to be so pretty today, all the other little girls will be jealous.”

Exaggeration: 2%.

Last weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books and I felt like such a momentous occasion called for braids. All of my friends really went all out—Katie theme dressing as herself/a YA dystopian heroine.  Hilary rocking the slightly-batty-second-grade-teacher look.  Me and the braids.

I had a realization recently about how often in friendships you become more like each other, but somehow in my friendship/writing groupship with Katie and Hilary we’ve become more fiercely like ourselves.

I kind of, sort of, really love that.

I’m now going to admit something that’s going to make me sound silly, so just know I am a self-aware silly person.

Over the weekend, my friends and I each had one twinkling moment that filled our souls with joy and redefined our life goals.

Katie’s was meeting Laurie Hals Anderson, who was just sitting under a tree during a panel, knitting all fabulous-like.  We pushed Katie to talk to Laurie and Laurie was simply the greatest—calling Katie “baby” and giving her writing advice and generally taking over the world, with knitting needles in hand, no less.

Hilary’s moment came with a tearful introduction to Jennifer Holm, which she obviously wrote about with her usual Hilary charm.

My life moment came when a random man asked to take a picture of my hair because he loved it so much.

Hilary was like, “I didn’t know things like this happened” and I was like, “Me neither” and then I vowed to wear milkmaid braids until the day I die and told Hilary she should go into the professional braiding field.

And, look, I’m aware.  Their life moments were with award-winning authors and mine was with my hair.

I’m aware.

That’s why I prefaced this whole thing.

But, here’s the thing with my hair.  Practically my entire adult life I’ve been messing around with it, trying to figure out what was really me.

I’ve tried blonde and black.  Bronze and red.  Straight.  Curly.  Bangs.  No bangs.

I’ve tried it all and then tried it again.

And then had my heart broken and tried everything one more time, just in case.

But it wasn’t until this weekend, with a flower child braid wrapped around my head, that my hair really felt 100% me.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that life moments happen with hair, too?  In fleeting instances where what you feel like matches what you look like?  When you’ve found something that makes you feel so you even other people can tell?

Or maybe it’s late and it’s finals week and I’m reading too much into the milkmaid braids.

I’ll let you know what I decide.

I plan on wearing them from now until the day I die.

I should have lots of data.

Inspiration is for Amateurs And Other Advice I Should Take

12 Apr

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Once every month or so I have this crazy burst of writing energy and stay up all night thinking and creating and FEELING ALIVE and the next day I let everyone know about it.

“Oh my gosh, last night the writing muse came.  Life is good!  Love is everywhere!  I’m a champion, my friend!  I’ll keep on fighting til the end!  Joshua Jackson!”

What follows is approximately 30 days of nothing.  Blah.  Writing to reach deadlines.  Writing because I’ve signed up for some crazy blogging challenge that I knew I could never meet.  Writing because this is the life I chose.  This is the life I choose.

“Oh my gosh, I’m the worst writer in the world.  Can one thing go right in my life please?  I give up. I’ll never write again. James Van Der Beek.”

(Seemed only appropriate to contrast Dawson and Pacey there, as always.)

Someone recently commented that it seems there’s always a lot of emotion at stake in my life.  Every second of every day, emotion is at stake.  I feel the ups and the downs and the in betweens times and I feel them big and I think writing only amplifies this.

Writing adds emotional stakes to my life.

Last week, Janet Scott Batchler came to Pepperdine for one of our lovely little panels and talked about her career as a writer.  I always get all starry-eyed when I meet successful female writers (my class with Robin Swicord  goes down as possibly the most inspirational hour of my life) and Janet was no exception.  She’s no-nonsense.  Talented.  Aware of her capabilities and unapologetic in her greatness.

I loved her.

Janet had a lot of things to say, and I could have listened to her all night, but the number one thing that stuck out to me was when someone asked about her writing routine.

You have to understand that at these writing panels, the question “What’s your writing routine?” comes up every. single. time.

I get it.  I do.  I think it’s fascinating that JK Rowling wrote in coffee shops. I love to hear Stephen King’s strong theories on writing spaces.  And when Ransom Riggs told the LA Times Book Festival Panel today that he writes on a bench with his wife, overlooking their yard and drinking tea I super sighed a bit.

I get it.

But I’ll be honest, sometimes these questions and answers get a little bland.

Enter Janet.

 

When asked about her writing routine, Janet just said, matter-of-factly, “Writing is my career. I don’t wait for a muse.  I get up every morning and I write.  Inspiration is for amateurs.”

I think I gasped a little when she said that. (I don’t know, really, I had a possible inspiration black out.) (Wait can I say that?) (I can say that.  I’m an amateur.  Inspiration is for me.)  I do know that I wrote that phrase down in my phone and then talked to her about it after the panel.

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Inspiration is for amateurs!

(OK, I’m done being inspired.)

Janet went on to say that a Starbucks barista doesn’t wake up in the morning and go, “Did the coffee gods speak to me?  Am I sufficiently spiritually prepared for making this cappuccino?” They get up, put on their apron and go to work because that’s what they do.

Janet wakes up and puts words on paper because she’s a writer and that’s what she does.

My friend Koseli recently said something along the same lines. She wrote a beautiful piece on leaving New York and when I complimented her she said, “It’s something.  Better to write something than nothing right?  Abiding by that rule now.”

Of course something is better than nothing.  Of course we can’t be inspired every single day as writers.

Of course, of course, of course.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist (perfectionist perhaps being a euphemism for a bigger problem here) and this concept is hard for me.  Oh goodness this month of trying to blog all the time has been hard for me.

I like to plan my posts.  I like to really think about every word.  Edit.  Drop a post if I’m not feeling it.  Edit again.

And to blog this much and still go to school and go to work and be a person and a friend and a daughter…I feel like these April word posts are getting maybe 50% of what they should and I hate that.

This is the first time in my life I did not give 110% on the job and I hate that feeling!

(Name that movie.)

(Fun fact, I once watched that movie so often, Ashley’s mother took it away from the two of us because we no longer left the house, just sat in a daze watching and rewatching Hugh.)

But.

After listening to Janet and swirling with these thoughts for awhile, I’ve decided that perhaps this month of blogging is a good exercise for me, after all.  That my anxiety over the posts I don’t love is maybe even helping me.

I’m writing.  I’m writing whether or not the muse comes.  I’m writing every day, sometimes very crappy posts I will never want to look at again.

But at least I am writing.

It’s better to write something than nothing.

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Inspiration is for freaking amateurs.

B is for Bad Call

2 Apr

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I believe there are two main groups of people in the world: those who think about/utilize/enjoy fart jokes and those who do not.

I fall into the latter category.

Like in a major way.

A boy once texted me a fart joke and I stopped speaking to him.  In a smart move, he tried to apologize with nachos and I said “not enough.  I’m still not over the fart joke” and I continued to ignore him.

It took us some time recover.

We may still be recovering, I don’t know.

This is not to say I don’t love and appreciate people who fall into the first category.  Hilary, for instance, is a big poop joker.  Her essay for our Fall Literary Arts Festival was entitled “Everybody Farts” and when she applies for jobs she throws a good poop joke or two into her cover letter just to be well rounded.

Hilary is also the type of person who texts her mother this for April Fools’ Day:

Love you! (not an April Fools)

You’re not my favorite person (an April Fools)

So this is what we’re dealing with.  I have to be her friend, no matter her stance on bodily functions, because she’s just that sweet FOR REAL.

Anyway.

I’m telling you all this not because I have to blog 26 times this month and I’ve already resorted to fart jokes, but simply because I have to blog 26 times this month and have already resorted to fart jokes AND I need to illustrate my point.

Which is this:

There are fart jokers and then there are no non-fart jokers.

There are April Foolers and there are non April Foolers.

And these tend to line up.  When I told Hilary I’m not an April Fools’ person she said, “Obviously.  April Fools’ is for us poop joke people.”

I don’t do April Fools’.

In fact, yesterday after I published my Cinderella celebrity post and a few people thought it was an April Fools’ joke I had to check the calendar.  I started the blogging challenge with that post even though the encounter was three weeks ago because it’s a dang good story and I’ve been saving up.

It’s also true.

I have a witness named Miss Hilary Frances Marie Miller and she didn’t calm down for several hours after it happened.

Also I don’t like fart jokes.

I mean, what else do you need to believe me?

Other things that I’ve recently done that could be construed as April Fools’ jokes but are not:

1. I bought, altered, and wore a panda flannel nightgown in public.

2. I called this nightgown a “panda muumuu” to feel better about myself.

3. I purchased 22 $1.99 rings from Urban Outfitters and have taken to wearing at least 9 at once. (I counted.  These are actual numbers.)

4. I bought an impromptu Celine Dion ticket to Vegas, drove all day to see her, and cried during “My Heart Will Go On.”

5. I made a “drove all day” Celine Dion pun.

6. I took a selfie with Michael at Celine Dion and called it a “Celfie.”

9. I made two Celine Dion puns in one blog post.

10. I theme-dressed for a game of laser tag in a Heisenberg shirt and purple lipstick and was rewarded with the laser tag host saying, “Watch out for that one.”

11. I then sat out the second laser tag game because I’m old and lame and no one needs to watch out for me.

12. I almost took solo photobooth shots while the rest of my friends played laser tag.

13. I got a KFC meal, walked to McDonald’s for Coke products, decided I needed an ice cream cone and fries from McD’s, and then had a sudden urge for baked beans and walked BACK to KFC.

14. I sent an email to my one-hour drama class announcing I had cast the male leads in the British teen soap I’m writing as Brooklyn Beckham and Rafferty Law and told them to “stay tuned” for which boy wins the heart of our young protagonist.

15. I titled this blog post “bad call” in reference to the bad call of mine to post a slightly unbelievable story on April Fools’ Day and then forgot to say “bad call” in the whole blog post.

OK so posting the celebrity story on April Fools’ Day was a bad call.

But the story is true.

Also I don’t like fart jokes.

There we go.

Day 2, you have been conquered!

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.

Take Me To Prince William!

5 Dec

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Last night I read a little essay about my royal family obsession for Pepperdine’s Fall Literary Arts Festival.  I wore my replica royal engagement ring, and spoke through my Kate Middleton mask, and overall I think people only lost 80% respect for me.

I thought I would share it here, because this is mah blag or whatever.

I don’t know.  I’m tired.

***

When I was a young girl, my mother used to take my family to the Las Vegas library.  It was a new library, at the time, one of those that the city had really gone all out with. It had two stories and oodles of books and a great big yellow slide into the children’s section that made everything seem so much more magical and fun.

It’s funny how a yellow slide can do that.

On family library days, my siblings and I were given free reign.  We could read and do whatever we liked for several hours as long as we weren’t causing any trouble.  For some of my siblings, these library days were painful, long events that consisted mainly of the big yellow slide over and over again.

For me, these library days were Prince William.

My super-practical mother surely wouldn’t have approved if she had had known that as soon as I was alone, I would sneak into the teen section and grab every book on the royal family I could get my 8-year-old hands on.  Giddy, I would curl up in a corner, and read the memoirs of Diana’s personal assistant to my romantic heart’s content.

My infatuation with Prince William soon became one of my best-known personality traits.  I spent time in middle school drawing the country of England.  I memorized the royal family tree.  My heart was broken when William started dating Kate, restored again when they split, and broken further, and perhaps beyond repair when they got back together for good.

The day William and Kate’s royal engagement was announced, people I hadn’t seen or heard from in years reached out via text, Facebook, and personal phone calls to see how I holding up.

I assured everyone I would live, and then silently transferred my deep and abiding love to Prince Harry, because to this day I believe the royal family needs a slightly manic brunette with a penchant for Taco Bell nacho cheese in their lives.

By the time I got to high school, my royal obsession was pretty well known.  In Political Science when we studied the British government, every time the royal family was mentioned I would giggle and squeal “Prince William” and the girls in my class would follow suit.  This became such a regular thing that any time England was mentioned, all of the boys in class let out audible groans.  Their complaining only fueled our estrogen fire though, because this was high school, and in high school when you want to get the attention of the dreamboat in Political Science you squeal about Prince William.

I’ve always been such a delightful girl.

Perhaps the most telling bit of my royal obsession came when I was asked to my senior prom.  The boy who asked me drew me a large sketchbook, that ended with a blank page that said, “Now draw me a prom date.”  This sketchbook started with a drawing of me, then included a drawing of me with a dragon, and culminated in a picture of me riding the dragon with my fist in the air while I said, “Take me to Prince William!”

I’ll let that soak in for a minute.

When I was 23 years old, my royal obsession reached the only place it could go.  I boarded a plane to London with a working  visa in hand, ready to face my destiny and ready to pretend that Prince Harry was always my first choice, even back in his awkward teenage years, when the entire world was team William The Abercrombie Model.

My year in Great Britain was a lot of things, but sadly, it was not a lot of royal things.  I did see Kate and William a few times, out and about on royal duties, and I did stand in the crowd at Buckingham Palace the day of The Great Wedding, but, alas, there was no dragon and, alas, no one took me to Prince William.

The 8-year-old girl in me is still a little bit sad about this.

And so, in case you weren’t convinced I’m an absolute nut job, and in case you want a further reason to stop our friendship, I will now put on my replica Diana engagement ring, don my Kate Middleton mask, and with only 20% embarrassment, present to you, 25 signs you are obsessed with the royal family.

Prince Harry, be still my beating heart.

25 Signs You Are Obsessed With The Royal Family.