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Jillian Denning: By the Book

21 Aug


Based on the recent interview with Amy Schumer

What books are currently on your nightstand?

According to the LA County Library app I currently have 21 books out of the library with 6 on hold. Of those, I’m curious about the poetry and essays of So Sad Today, by the Twitter vixen Melissa Broder.  My friend who never gets it wrong recommended Truth and Beauty and Girl Meets God. And then there’s Valley of the Dolls. I have a feeling now is the right time for me and Valley of the Dolls since it seems like the type of book I would have read and fell into a melancholia/feminist rage at just years ago and can now approach as a rational human being.

I expect to pull myself out of the melancholia/feminist rage in three months minimum.


Which writers—novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets—working today do you admire most?

Nick Hornby, obviously. Warsan Shire. (When Lemonade came out and suddenly everyone was about Warsan I was childishly like BUT ME FIRST, PLEASE PROVE YOUR CREDENTIALS I HAVE SEVERAL.) Elena Ferrante is also on there, mainly due to the mystique and I really need someone to talk to about her hello is it you.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

In the last two years I’ve become a way bigger nonfiction/memoir person. I credit Anne Lamott with that, but in general I’m a fiction girl, usually adult, sometimes young adult. I avoid: dystopian YA with the same female lead I’ve read 40 billion times who has exactly one personality trait, anything that begins with a sentence like “Elascador bowed before his king, the sword of Roandresibe by his side” and 50 Shades of Grey.


What’s your favorite self-help book?

The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up hello it’s me.



I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet.


How and when do you read/ electronic or paper/ bath or bed?

For a brief period in London I used a Kindle as it was easier than carrying a book with me everywhere, but I really hated it. I read All the Light We Cannot See on a Kindle and I think it ruined the experience for me because I just didn’t love it as much as everyone else and there was a weird page turning/date thing.

I do not have a bathtub but I fancy myself a bath reader.

Truly I just read in bed like I do everything in my life.

It’s a comfortable bed, though.


How do you organize your books?

I used to organize them using the “shove in communal bookshelves wherever they fit” method but now that I have my own place I’m thinking about this seriously. Color is trendy, pretty and impractical–many things I enjoy.

Maybe I’ll figure out the Dewey Decimal system for fun on a long Wednesday evening and then explain it to you all in depth.

Most likely I’ll do author all boring like.


What do you like to read on the plane?

I just bring whatever book I’m reading at the moment. I want to be into magazines, but I truly only buy them if Stevie Nicks is on the cover.

I will Google articles if Bachelor stars are involved.

Would you like to hear more about my article reading habits yes or no?


What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Three copies of The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. One because I’ve never read it and two because Franzen is the ultimate douche writer whom my entire Twitter feed hates, though is apparently great?


What’s your favorite book by a comedian?

It’s got to be a Nora. Maybe I Feel Bad about My Neck?

What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud?

I just read Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the first time and there were lots of laughs there and not just because Rob looks a bit like the lead on the cover. Oh! And The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian! Read it now!! If I only do one thing for your life!


What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?

A blog reader turned friend Bailey told me to read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott and that really kickstarted a huge era of my life that now leads to me liking and sharing each individual Instagram post Anne deigns to give us unworthy mortals.

Tell us your favorite TV, film, or theater adaptation of a book.

Bridget Jones was a wonderful film and I think that book is truly perfect do not change a word perfect so this is a big statement.

Lord of the Rings surely surpassed the books as I’ve never finished them.


What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I was a voracious reader. I would max out my library card and sit with a stack of books next to me on a Sunday afternoon. I played librarian.  I was grounded from books at several points.

Once, in a fit of mania, I printed off a divorce decree and used a quill pen to fill it out for Alana of Trebond after she chose the wrong man in the Lioness Quartet. “I married the wrong man, I was always in love with someone else,” I wrote, in my earnest handwriting.

Narnia, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Ender’s Game were all wildly influential to my childhood and my current self.

Scarlett O’Hara made me the selfish, determined drama queen I am today.

I lived for Sweet Valley.


If you could be friends with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Nora Ephron. I want her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and her dinner parties and her wisdom and her food and wait what.


Disappointed, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I finally read Ballet Shoes, of You’ve Got Mail fame and it was only OK for me.

I was devastated by this. I mean, clearly it meant something to Nora. Clearly I should have named my future daughter Posy.

I wonder if this is an age thing, like those people who go to Disneyland for the first time as adults and then find it only OK?

I started a book about Rosaline following Romeo and Juliet, recommended by a Twitter librarian I’m all about and had to return it to the library before I finished. It was a bit of a relief.


Whom would you want to write your life story?

Myself obviously.  If that were impossible, I would like Hilary and Rob to collaborate with notes from the following:


Mariah Carey lyrics


My wannabe Sylvia Plath poetry

I’m In Love With Chip Gaines And I Don’t Care Who Knows It

13 May




Today I found myself on a Reddit thread about Chip Gaines, one half of HGTV’s golden couple on Fixer Upper.  One woman on the thread declared, “If I was Joanna, he could get it.  If I’m me?  Still no.  I respect Joanna that much.  I feel the same way about Obama.  I can understand his appeal but I also respect Michelle entirely too much to think about him in a sexual manner.”

This is the place I’m at in my life.

I fell in love with Chip the way John Green tells us we fall in love–slowly and then all at once.

He’s not my usual type, so I wasn’t expecting it.  Chip is a redhead cowboy with a Texas accent and a goofy heart.  He wears tool belts and acts like a child and my type tends to be more of the frighteningly thin boys with skinny jeans, a library card and neuroses.

But Chip.

Well, I guess this is why they say you should be careful who you spend your time with.  You spend enough time with someone and you fall in love them.

My marriage to Chip Gaines is evidence of this.

I referred to my love for Chip as a marriage when I was first writing notes for this post.  “In the process of watching HGTV shows I’ve gotten married and aged 20 years.  Not for Chip–I would never change for a man.”

I read this snippet to a friend on Sunday night and we laughed and laughed and then got serious.

I’m in deep.  I’m in “I respect Joanna too much” deep except I don’t.   I love Chip.  In some universe I live in Waco, TX and we are married and it’s OK because in this universe Joanna is somewhere else with someone else and the world has spun a little bit off its axis.

I think it’s something to do with the tool belt.  Chip is just so…handy.  Does that seem sexual?  Now it’s seeming sexual.

It is what it is.

Chip can tear out an entire bathroom. He can lay tile and fix foundations and rewire the plumbing on a house.  Chip could take the condemned sea green beach home that I’ve had my eye on and make it a masterpiece.

Chip is a masterpiece.

He loves Joanna.  He worships Joanna.  He knows, full well, exactly how lucky a man he is to be with freaking Joanna Stevens Gaines.

He made her Joanna Stevens Gaines with some charm and some smiles and some fireworks shows.

Chip is that hands-on, wonderful dad that puts all sitcom dads to shame.  He chops wood and adopts pets and suddenly I think I could want to adopt pets.

To have wood in my home.

Chip is changing things.

I am changing.

My descent into the HGTV home shows was also like falling in love.  A House Hunters episode here.  A Love it or List it there.

Suddenly I’m on Reddit threads.

Suddenly I’m talking marriage.

The truth is I don’t want Chip Gaines.  Well I do want Chip Gaines.  It’s confusing.

The appeal of Chip lies in how much he loves the people he loves and how he isn’t afraid to show that.  It lies in his devotion to his wife and family and work.  It lies in his tool belt.

OK, I can’t get away from the sexual.

I don’t know if I want to.

Tonight I’ll watch another episode of Fixer Upper.

Or two.

There’s no telling.

I’ll await a picture my friend is sending me of a Ken doll she found who looks just like Chip.

I’ll pen my Chip and Joanna fan fiction.

I’ve never written fan fiction before, but this seems as good a starting point as any.

Chip Carter Gaines loved wood paneling and pheasant decorations and tearing up kitchens.

I will make sure to include at some point, my own rendering of the Reddit thread.

If I was Joanna he could get it.

If I’m me– 


It’s complicated.

I Really Shouldn’t Bring My Phone Into The Bathroom With Me

8 Mar


I really shouldn’t bring my phone into the bathroom with me

It might do that tricky audio recording thing and send my flushing out to the universe

Or worse


The before flushing thing…


Oh gosh

Oh gosh

Oh gosh


Now my mind is going to the top 10 people I don’t want my before flushing audio recording going to.

Come to think of it, do I have 10 relationships that could recover from that?


Bringing it back, bringing it back.



That’s why I shouldn’t bring my phone with me.

Phones are already loaded with germs and this is certainly not helping the matter.

Speaking of, I should wash my phone.

The case too.

And my pillows.

Did you know you should dry clean your pillows?

Not just your pillowcases, your actual pillows.

I’ve never done this in my life.

What illnesses do I now have?

Why didn’t anyone tell me?


I’m gross.

I can’t do anything now, I’m so gross.

I’ll just go lay in bed.

But not on any pillow.


That’s fun.



I don’t have Cheetos.

Maybe I can get someone to deliver them to me?

Puffy Cheetos, I mean.

There’s that one Malibu delivery service, what was it called?

Merry Maids Malibu?

That doesn’t sound right

Is that the topless maid service?



It’s all OK.

I’ll just look it up the delivery service name on my phone.


The FOOD delivery service, you nasty.


Wait! But my phone is infected with bathroom and life germs!

Probably pillow germs, too.

We KNOW pillowcase germs.


BuDelivery!  That was it.


I’ll just email a friend and have her use her phone to have BuDelivery bring me some Cheetos.


Do you think they deliver pillows too?


But maybe my friend as well.


OK, first cleaning the laptop keyboard, though.


Oh gosh

Oh gosh

Oh gosh



Inspired by this inspired post

Give Yourself Time

27 May


I recently had dinner with a friend who is in the midst of heartbreak.

She’s at that point where tears might come at any moment, where nothing seems like it will be OK ever again.  Where you make bold, dramatic statements about your life and the relationship and where you see your life without the relationship.

“I’m always going to want him,” she told me.  “I will always, always regret that it ended like this.”

I paused for a moment.  Those words are familiar to me, I’ve spoken them.  I’ve taken them further than she did.

“You say that now,” I tell her.  “You say that now and you feel that now, but that is not your final feeling.  No feeling is final.  Give yourself time.”

Give yourself time.

That’s my only breakup advice.

I feel like I should have more, that when people come to me shattered and manic, I should have something profound to say on the topic.

All I have is give yourself time.

A lot of time.

Maybe years and years of time.

Also, be kind to yourself for what you did when you were heartbroken.

There’s a part in Grey’s Anatomy where Meredith looks McDreamy in the eyes and says I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke.

I’ve had a similar conversation with myself.

I will learn from how I tried to fix what was broken.  But I don’t apologize for it. I don’t think I could have done better than I did when I did it.

Heartbreak is so hard.

There are no easy answers.  There is only time.

And eventually confidence.

Heartbreak does that to you, I suppose.

Total heartbreak turns you inside out.  It makes you about as insecure as you can be–in yourself, your life, your choices.  And then, once you’re on the other side, when you’ve finally, finally made it to the place you were sure didn’t exist–you love yourself a lot more.

There should be a better way to put that, a less cheesy way, maybe, but that’s all I keep thinking of.

I love myself a whole lot more now.

“Would you go back?” she asked me.

“No,” I said.  “My life is so much better now.”

“Wow,” she said.

“I can’t imagine,” she said.

Time does that.  It heals wounds, just like everyone always claimed it did.

Suddenly the person who was everything, the person who you needed to tell the details of your life to, who was your sun, moon, stars and every single grain of sand–suddenly it’s different.  And not so suddenly, actually.

Over time.  You build your new life.

That’s what you do post breakup.

You build a world in which they do not exist, except as a reminder of what kind of love to accept or the type of person you will be.

And one day they are not the first person on your list to call.

One day they are not the second.

One day they don’t make the list.

And you fill your life with new people, with new happiness.

You find yourself, build yourself, make yourself a new life.

That takes time.

Give yourself time.

That’s my heartbreak advice.

Give yourself time.

I’ve Found My Dream Home (And It Happens To Be Owned By Miranda Kerr)

21 Apr






Photos via Zillow

I am house hungry.

So, so house hungry.

I feel it somewhere deep inside of me, I think it’s the same place my heart once broke.  It’s buried and twisted in that hole, that me space, unable to be separated from my being.  It throbs.




I’ve heard of people being baby hungry–Googling images of diaper bags and going sappy over tiny shoes.  I’ve heard of people being dog hungry–trekking to the pet store and cuddling up to furry creatures.

I am house hungry.

I will sacrifice babies and dogs and my life’s blood just get me a house.




This feeling has been building, of course.  One does not simply wake up and decide, “Today I’ll spend six hours on Zillow scrolling through every listing in Malibu.  Today I’ll talk to my mother about the ins and outs of loans I’m nowhere near getting.”

It creeps up on you.

You don’t realize you’re in this deep.  You tell yourself it’s not so bad, it’s just a hobby, you can stop any time you want.




My current dream home happens to belong to Miranda Kerr.

Or Orlando Bloom.

I’m not really sure.

I do know that Miranda purchased the home, and that Orlando and Miranda are no longer together.  However, I also know that Orlando still lives in Malibu so I’m doing all sorts of guessing here.

I saw Orlando the other day.  I was on Malibu Pier waiting for a friend for brunch.  He walked towards me and it was the first time my life has ever gone in slow motion.  He tousled his long, curly hair in the sea breeze.  He casually held his neon yellow motorcycle helmet.  His leather pants crinkled with each step.


He got to me, looked me in the eye and half smiled.

I’ve spent every moment since recovering from/reliving the experience.




Orlando’s home is a white cottage overlooking the water.  It’s in my favorite Malibu area, one with a great neighborhood feel, but close enough to shops/yoga/burritos to feel like a small town.  There’s a porch for outdoor dinner parties.  A pool because I’ve realized all I really need life is my own patch of water.  There’s a fabulous living room with fabulous beams and all the fabulous white.  There’s a pool house for my one day Ryan Atwood.

There’s even a little detached gym.

That will be my library.  I will fill it with wall-to-wall bookshelves and find myself a rolling ladder.  I’ll store my fuzzy Dodger blanket and unattractive but highly comfortable pillows there.  I’ll write there.  I’ll read there.

There will be my favorite space.










My Fictional Dream Town

14 Dec


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.

How To Listen To Taylor Swift’s 1989

2 Nov


I was really worried about the new Taylor Swift album.

Well, really worried might be overstating it.

I was concerned about the new Taylor Swift album in that nebulous way someone who is a fan but not a crying, screaming Fan is concerned.  I was concerned because Shake It Off didn’t do all that much for me.

Don’t get me wrong!  Shake It Off is quite catchy.  I enjoy that section in the music video where regular people dance all regularly.  And I’m all about Taylor’s new haircut.

But the song?  It feels like anyone could be singing it.  It’s a bit generic, the words don’t move me.  And, well, that’s just not Taylor Swift.

Taylor’s biggest strength, is, of course, her lyrics.  Her ability to make you feel in on a slumber party secret, to relate by being specifically personal.  Taylor Swift is in the details. And I didn’t feel that from Shake it Off.

I was also a bit concerned about the direction of the album.  The Taylor I adore doesn’t shake shake shake it off.  She uses her immeasurable talent to write pointedly personal (better than revenge?) songs.  She owns her experiences and her stories and she takes the terrible, the John Mayer, and turns it into gold like the badass kitten lover she is.

And so when I got 1989 and I did a cursory listen, I was disappointed.

There were some poppy jingles, but where was the story?  Where was the range of emotions, the beginning, middle and end all in three minutes?

Where had T. Swift gone?

And then I saw the album notes.

Please review the album notes with me for a minute:

Welcome to New York We begin our story in New York
Blank Space There once was a girl known by every one and no one
Style Her heart belonged to someone who couldn’t stay
Out of the Woods They loved each other recklessly
All You Had To Do was Stay They paid the price
Shake It Off She danced to forget him
I Wish You Would He drove past her street each night
Bad Blood She made friends and enemies
Wildest Dreams He only saw her in his dreams
How To Get The Girl Then one day he came back
This Love Timing is a funny thing
I Know Places And everyone was watching
Clean She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything

When I read these notes, something shifted in me.  Suddenly the album was a single, cohesive story, a continuation of an experience.

An extended version of We Are Never Getting Back Together.

One girl.

One Harry Styles.

One story about growing up.

Suddenly the line in Style:

I say I heard that you been out and about with some other girl

He says, what you’ve heard it’s true but I

Can’t stop thinking about you and I

I said I’ve been there too a few times

is about Conor Kennedy in the same way

 Drop his name 

Push it in and twist the knife again 

Watch my face

As I pretend to feel no pain

In John Mayer’s Heartbreak Warfare is about Brad Pitt.

It’s a puzzle, it’s hints at a whole, it’s utterly fascinating.  And to take one song from this album is like taking one line from a poem.  You miss the whole.

1989 is the only Taylor Swift album you’ve ever needed to listen to in order, beginning to end.

It’s her most cohesive album to date.

And my favorite.  There I’m saying it.

Holy crap I love this album.

Taylor has talked a lot about how 1989 is her “growing up” and “finding herself” album, and how she’s a new girl.  A girl who lives in New York with short hair and is happy in a world where she isn’t in love.  You can feel this in the album, the growing self awareness, the growing cynicism.

(Ugh I love the cynicism.)

(Though I wouldn’t mind  few songs about these intense female friendships she says she’s been focusing on.)

(Perhaps the next album?)

Taylor’s self-awareness is most apparent in (by far her best song) Blank Space.  This is Taylor Freaking Swift at her Taylor Freaking Best.  She mocks her public perception, the intense scrutiny on her personal life, and she does it with a whole lot of cheek.

Darling I’m a nightmare dressed as a daydream.

Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane 

Love’s a game, want to play?

Taylor is freaking rewriting her own narrative, no longer the underdog or victim or anything but a feminist queen, and every single bit of me loves this to death.

To death, I tell you!

It’s easy to listen to 1989 and imagine myself as Taylor, going through this tumultous relationship, wanting nothing more than for it to work out and being burned again and again.  It’s easy because I’ve been there, it’s easy because it’s a human emotion, it’s easy because Taylor makes it look effortless, that relatable thing.

Which is why I am infinitely grateful for I Know Places.

With Shake it Off it appeared Taylor was going for the classic Swift, the You Belong With Me Outsider Thing that has worked so well for her in the past.  I’m just like you!  I’m a dork who listens to Spice Girls and can’t dance!

And perhaps Taylor is and does all of those things, but the reality is she’s also the most successful pop musician in the world and her life, while similar to mine on some levels, is dramatically different.

And I’m glad she addressed this.

I’m glad this wasn’t The Hills where we pretended the girls weren’t celebrities, that cameras didn’t follow every lunch date, that that whole side of their lives wasn’t real.

I’m glad Taylor sang about feeling hunted by the paparazzi, the public, the world.  I’m glad I could feel the urgency, the fear that the flame of a relationship was going to burn out because of who she is.  Who he is.

I’m glad we got a glimpse into the Taylor of now.  No longer idealistic and black and white about love and relationships and life.

Taylor Now is edgier.  She’s in control of her own story.  She’s fierce.

There’s a lot to say about Taylor’s vocals.  How the first time I listened to Wildest Dreams I thought I had stumbled on a Lana Del Rey song, how Taylor experiments with sounds and beats and pop music in general and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.


That doesn’t even really matter to me, honestly.

This album a story.

A story I get excited listening to.

A story I relate to, a story I want to know more about, a story about a girl.

And those are my favorite sorts of stories, you know.

Mariah, Ethel, And McRibs

30 Jul


The Kennedy Compound was, for lack of a better word, a letdown.

For some reason I had it in my mind that the Kennedys owned themselves a secluded strip of land, far from the reaches of common folk and civilization and chain stores and such.

I imagined a hillside community full of yachts and wildflowers and white picket fences, a place where Miss Jacqueline Lee Bouvier could wander without fear of intrusion, a silk scarf on her head, terrible tragedy in her heart.

What I found were a ritzy few houses in, what can only be described as a Cape Cod metropolis.

Given, nowhere in Cape Cod is that metropolisy, but I was staying in a town without a center to its name, so Hynnais, by comparison, was practically the big city.

Knowing that Ethel could walk across the street and pick up a few McRibs if she so chose…well, it really changes things, you know?

Other recent disappointments in my life:

The musical Once.

What’s the deal with this, people?  Who votes on the Tony Awards, anyway?  Are they just a vehicle for Neal Patrick Harris to shine?

I took Luke to Once last weekend, his very first musical.  I was so excited, having believed the hype and the NPH.  I mean, it won all the Tonys!  It’s traveling the nation!  It’s the new thing.




It’s not the new thing.

On a scale of new thing to Sound of Music it forget to try to be on the scale.

I think it’s such a cheat to have a musical about a struggling musician.  Every song was a throw-away, unconnected to the plot.  I often had no idea what they were singing, and worse, it didn’t even matter.

You could cut the songs out of the musical and it wouldn’t even matter as they had nothing to do with anything.

I’m getting minor rageys thinking about it.

(Falling Slowly is a nice stand-alone song, however.  Let’s get that out there.)

When the whole thing was over and I was thoroughly amped up, we drove through the busy streets of Hollywood and I decided to right the night’s wrongs.  I pulled out my iPod, put my diva hand up, and engaged my full soul for a heart-wrenching rendition of  Defying Gravity.

I practically set 10 men on fire with my disdain as I screamed, “Too long I’ve been afraid of losing love, I guess I’ve lost! Well if that’s love it comes at much too high a cost!”

When I finished Luke looked over at me and said, “That’s the best song I’ve heard all night.”

And he meant it too, I’m sure.

That statement had nothing to do with his feelings for me.

Ooh!  Final music moment of the day.  You know the Mariah song “Without You”?  This one?

Yes, well, up until THIS WEEK I was under the impression the song started out, “No, I can’t forget the semen…”

I was so sure of these scandalous lyrics, when I played the song for Luke I said, “This is Mariah’s most sexual song of all time.  It starts out talking about semen!”

Luke didn’t believe me.  “No way,” he said.  “Not a pop song.”

I laughed.

Oh simple, simple, non-Mariah simple fan.

I found the clip, turned up the volume and wouldn’t you believe it!


Look!  Semen!

Listen again!


Luke then pulled up the lyrics online, and after only slight (non-dramatic) denial, I learned the horrible truth.

Those aren’t the lyrics.

My entire life has been a lie.

In my defense, it appears others have made this mistake as well.  In fact, I’m going to go so far to call this Mariah’s “Hold Me Close Young Tony Danza” lyric, and I’m not going to feel bad about my error, nope, I’m going to blog about it.

That will show everyone.

OK, OK, one more music moment but just because I want to give the Kennedys their due time on my blog word cloud.

T-Swift wrote a song about her summer on the Cape with the Kennedys.  It was called Starlight.  Do you remember it?


Well,  I looked the song up after my Kennedy letdown moment, just to try to figure out all of my complicated emotions, and there was one lyric that made me laugh.

Can’t remember what song he was playing when we walked in

The night we snuck into a yacht club party

Pretending to be a duchess and a prince


Does that throw anyone else off?  Do Taylor and Conor have to sneak anywhere?

Can they sneak anywhere?

Who are the Kennedys anyway that they’re sneaking into yacht parties now?

Do they really live in a shack by the sea and eat McRibs and listen to the Once soundtrack all day?

So Much Love

31 Jan

photo 2-2 photo 1

These pictures are blurry and pixelated and scream, “selfie with a flipped iPhone camera,” but I can’t help it, they deserved their own post.

So much love in two photos.

I want to remember this night, standing in line for UCB amongst the smoking hipsters with their ironic Stanford sweatshirts.  I want to remember the celebrity Scientology building across the street and the oddly pulsating light from the top room.  (How alarmed, exactly, should we have been?)

I want to remember Caitlin’s “you can’t sit with us” shirt and my floral mini dress and Caitlin saying, “Of course they’ll hire you, they’ll take one look at you and DONE” and how I laughed and sashayed my dress .

I want to remember The Yeti.

I always remember The Yeti, never mind.

Caitlin and I were a set up friendship, as weird as that sounds.  I’ve never had another one, and kind of hope I never do.  Kit Kat was enough, thank you very much.

(Just as I am Mary in About Time, Caitlin is so very Kit Kat, in all the best, barefoot partying ways.)

My friend Mindy knew Cait from college and when I announced I was going to Pepperdine Mindy did the, “Hey I have a friend going there” thing and then a FB friendship was started that turned to a texting friendship that turned to a roommate BFFship.   From the get-go I realized that this girl was interesting, and I adore interesting.

Friendship stories, why don’t we tell them more often?

Why do we only tell romantic relationship stories?

In the past two years, Cait has been so many things to me.  She’s been my Sunday drive companion, an equal in Adele duets.  She’s been the Cosette to my Eponine.  The Javert to my Valjean.  The Kanye to my Jay-Z.

She’s hugged me while I sobbed and told me, “Listen, I can’t do this anymore.  If you want to continue this relationship with him, you will have to stop telling me about it.  I can’t watch you do this to yourself.”

I am grateful for that.

And then she’s listened to me anyway when I made the same mistake again and again.

I am even more grateful for that.

I’ve learned a great many things from Caitlin, as you do with those so different from yourself. Sometimes people who spend time with both of us comment on how similar we are, and I kind of look at them funny.  We have a rhythm as friends that Cait likes to call “double dutch jump roping,” but we are so very, very different.

In one, very odd, very sleep-medicine fueled Google Hangout, I ended up post midnight chatting with Caitlin and a boy she had once dated.  We talked about the things we liked best in each other and this boy, whom I still don’t know very well said, “You have Caitlin’s back.  Just talking to you, I can tell you are in her corner.”

He was right.

She has mine, too.

There is something so very valuable about a true friendship.  I know my family loves me and I love them dearly, but it’s different.  I was born and therefore they love.  Friends who choose to love me when they most certainly do not have to?  What a privilege.

What a beautiful privilege.

Caitlin has taught me that the best remedy for life is to dance more.  She’s taught me that pants are never necessary, and compression hugs heal most wounds.  She’s woken me up singing “I’m going to find another you” and left class to get In-N-Out with me in emotional emergency, and offered me her pillow when my anxiety was so great I wasn’t sleeping.  When I text her “I’m moody as hell” she just says, “Good, you’re back to normal.”

I don’t know if these things can be conveyed in a single picture, or in two pictures, or in a lifetime of photos, but these blurry, pixelated selfies with a flipped iPhone camera come about as close as I’ve seen.

So much love in two photos.

So much love.


Happy One Year Blogiversary To Me!

13 Jan


OK, OK I get it, “blogiversary” is a weird word.  A lot of things about blogging are odd, we just don’t think about them too much or none of us would keep going.


One year ago today I took this little baby of mine and released it into the interwebs.  I wasn’t quite sure if it would last or if I would die of embarrassment and put “tried to blog” on my tombstone next to “I had good intentions and now I have nachos,” and “Married her best friend, Prince Harry,” but you know what?

I love it.

I love to blog.


In honor of this momentous occasion, I present to you some of my favorite searches that have driven traffic to this site in the last year.  These things are forever associated with my name, people.  We all have victories, we all have failures, these are mine.  (Victories and failures.  And other things that I don’t have words for.):


What happens when you watch too much TV


Mindy Kaling as Diane Chambers

Living in a Hipster’s Paradise

Side Effects of Hot Water Bottles

When all you need is Pacey Witter

Is there a name for someone obsessed with the royal family

Liz Lemon blue dress

Signs you are royal

Veronica Mars macaroni and cheese processed

Where is Marissa Cooper’s lifeguard station?

Stevie Nicks a witch

JLo bags pic

Spice Girls 1998 (yes!)

Diva hulu

Pencil bouquets

Beach goddess

Be like Marissa Cooper

Seth Cohen skate

Who is Chris Harrison married to?


Prince Harry heart

Mark Sloan

Contact Stevie Nicks public relations

Amy Poehler deserves awards!

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

2013 songs female anger

Seth Cohen instagram

Mindy Kaling scars

12 year old girlfriend

Quarter life crisis Van Gogh


And, my favorite:

Jillian sexy

OK, wait, this one is my favorite:


Or maybe this:

Dawson Leery psychological disorders

No, you know what?  They are all my favorite.  You are all my favorite.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

I think I’ll spend the day posing like Marissa Cooper.

Or setting up a Seth Cohen Instagram account for the world to see and love.

Yes, that one.