We Own The Finish Line

Monday, April 15th, 2013: A day that will be remembered as one of the most tragic in the city of Boston.

Monday, April 21st, 2014: A day that will be remembered as a testament of courage, strength, and perseverance by the people of Boston.

Boston Red Sox Victory Parade

Before writing this post, I sat at my computer staring at a blank page for almost an hour, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say about the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. I knew I wanted to talk about it in some fashion, but I was at a loss. We try to keep things lighthearted on our blog, but the events last year didn’t stop us from writing about it (x,x).

As I look back at how devastating that day was, I remembered how I couldn’t stop watching the news play out like a movie as police put the city on lockdown and searched for the college-kid bomber, and how I had a weird unsettling feeling in the weeks after, and how my mind kept going back to one thing: how incredibly proud I was to see the people of Boston, a city I used to (and still do) call home, come together as one resilient unit.

We all know that immediately after the bombs went off, there were people who ran towards the site to help injured victims, as opposed to running in the opposite direction. First responders, police officers, marathon volunteers, even those who were running the race stopped to take care of strangers. This was just the first of many examples of courage and kindness to come out of a horrible event.

In the hours, days and weeks that followed, stories of heroism and love came to light, like cowboy-hat wearing Carlos Arredondo, whose instinct to run towards survivor Jeff Bauman and stay with him until he received help after losing two legs -and that image became one of the most memorable moments captured from that day; editors at Boston Magazine created a simple yet powerful image of running shoes from those who participated in the marathon and gave them a chance to share their own personal stories from that day; and even this makeshift memorial that was created right after it happened. A usually bustling Boylston Street (where it all went down) was still closed off, but people still came by to show their respects.

Nearly a month after that fateful day, I returned to Boston to attend my friends’ wedding – one of whom had been running the marathon but finished well before the bombs went off. This memorial was moved a few blocks down to an area just a stone’s throw away from the finish line, and also happened to be an area where I used to walk across every day to get to work. The familiar setting paired with an unsettling yet powerful tribute was like a feeling I’ve never had before. Of sadness and grief, but also pride for what this city has done to show their support.

Prior to living in Boston, I had no idea that A) the Boston Marathon was such a huge deal B) Patriots’ Day, the day of the Marathon, is a state holiday in which there’s no school, and usually no work for the adults. People flock to the course to watch people run by. The marathon has always been unique in that the course goes through a ton of residential areas, where people will sit on the sidelines and cheer people on – whether they know them or not. And I can’t help but think this year, the sidewalks will be filled with more people than ever before. It is that kind of support that is so overwhelming it brings tears to my eyes. So often we get caught up in being negative and frustrated with people who make us mad every single day, but in the end, we have to remember that we’re all in this together. That’s all we can do – stand together. Every single person who was there to physically help at the finish line, every doctor, nurse, every person who donated money to the One Fund, proved that the city of Boston isn’t just made of individuals, it’s a city that can come together even in the darkest of times and still find a way to take charge and go into the light.

Boston proved that the only way to combat this hateful crime wasn’t with waging war – it was by showing that a trying time only brings them together, forces them to be stronger, more resilient than ever before.

Celeste Corcoran became a double amputee after the bombings. She’s spent the past year learning how to walk again and determined to stay strong on her own two feet in the face of something so tragic. Through the Dear World project, Celeste, along with her daughter Sydney who severed a femoral artery in the blast, were able to return to the finish line a few weeks ago, stronger than ever before.

She said, “I had never been back, and this was about reclaiming it. That finish line has been a negative space since the marathon. This was about reclaiming that space in a positive way. I chose to be there. I took back control.”

And that’s exactly what the people of Boston and thousands more will do on Patriots’ Day – take back control. Boston isn’t a city to easily back down. I think that reputation precedes them. After the bombings, it’s hard to imagine anything that will rattle Boston and its people. It’s a city that is so incredibly loved by the residents and exudes so much pride that it’s contagious the moment you enter the city limits. It’s a character of its own and that character will never concede, never show signs of defeat, never waver in the face of adversity. I mean this is a town where the Boston Red Sox, seemingly the soul of the city, had to endure an 86 year wait for a World Series championship. And season after season, the fans said, ‘we’ll get ‘em next year’. It’s about staying strong, Boston Strong.

During a tribute held last week, hundreds of survivors and first responders gathered to pay tribute to the lives lost and the ones who made it out with heads held high. Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech that pretty much summed up the whole spirit of the city, that will be carried on this Patriots’ Day and every one from now on:

“We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome … and we own the finish line.”

ICYMI: Back to Black

GUYS GUYS GUYS DID YOU WATCH ORPHAN BLACK LAST NIGHT?!!?

No? Don’t watch it or never heard of it before? Well, we’re here to change you mind. This week, we professed our love for the show’s star, Tatiana Maslany.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

There are only days left before Season Two of Orphan Black premieres! When we identified Orphan Black as a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, the ONLY reason we felt we needed to give to watch it was Tatiana Maslany. So naturally, she was a logical candidate for our Wednesday woman crush. Here’s why:

She Is Such A Good Actress That I’m Still Not Sure How She’s One Person

In Orphan Black, Maslany plays over ten clones. The amazing thing is that these are fully realized characters – each one has a different accent, world-view, and way of moving through space. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t watched the show, but you completely forget that these characters are all played by the same person. It sounds like it would be confusing having the same person play multiple characters, but each one is so different that you never mix them up.

Now for the real next-level acting: at times, Maslany plays one clone pretending to be another. And even when she’s doing THAT, there is no question for the viewer who she is and what the character is doing.

Smart Lady

Again, this may not surprise you if you watch Orphan Black, but Tatiana speaks a bunch of languages, so she’s probably pretty darn bright. I especially respect that instead of just plugging her show in interviews, she uses the time to drop some knowledge. It’s one thing to acknowledge how important media representation is from behind the internet, and another to bring it up when you are  criticizing the industry that employs you.

Or this:

And these:

“As a kid, I wanted to be a boy because I equated that with strength. There’s a problem with that. It’s only growing into my own womanhood that I realize how warped that is that I was attributing strength to male qualities.”
“I didn’t see people like me on screen, or just as a kid, I wasn’t any of those girls. I identified much more with like, Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I did with any human woman on-screen, so that’s saying something.

Everyone, let me just remind you that even if you don’t have a big platform to discuss representation, tuning in to shows like Orphan Black tells networks and execs that this is what people have been waiting to see. That’s Saturday on BBC America, friends.


In the event you missed the season two premiere of Orphan Black on Saturday because you’ve never seen it or know what it is, let us acquaint you with one of the best new(er) programs on TV.


Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orphan Black

Orphan Black is a series on BBC America that ended its first season run at the beginning of June. Despite the fact it wasn’t the best rated program, it’s been slowing gaining a lot of attenion, and garnering a lot of critical acclaim just in time for Emmy voting season. Not to mention the lead actress, Tatiana Maslany, just won a Critics’ Choice Television award for Best Drama Actress (beating out the likes of Claire Danes & Juliana Margulies)!

Quick plot summary: A woman named Sarah witnesses another woman, Beth, jump into train tracks to commit suicide. Sarah decides to steal her purse only to find out she looks exactly like Beth. In order to escape her messed up life, Sarah assumes Beth’s identity… except she soon finds out there are other women out there who look just like them. Clones if you will. Needless to say, there’s a sci-fi element to it. For the record, I’m not that into sci-fi shows, I mean I really liked Heroes, but this show is more drama than sci-fi, if that’s any help to you.

Number one reason you need to watch this show:

Tatiana Maslany!

It’s true what all the critics are saying about her. She is amazing. Because this show is about clones, she plays every single one – 9 in all I believe? – flawlessly. So much so that in my head they’re all different actresses. She posted a pic of one clone’s love interest, and I was like ‘how is she even with her, she doesn’t have scenes with that character?’ No, I’m an idiot, she’s really good at her job, and she plays all the clones and acts with all the other actors.

Every character is so fleshed out. From the costumes, to the little personality traits to the accents (oh yeah, she switches between accents too), everything flows so seamlessly. There are multiple scenes throughout the show where she has to play a clone pretending to be another clone. It sounds confusing, but she makes it so believable. On top of that, she’s a really good actress. In the approx 5 minutes Beth is shown before she kills herself, Tatiana shows her entire character in just one look. It’s mesmerizing.

For example:

This is Sarah. Punk-rock chick.

This is Beth. Detective about to commit suicide.

This is Tatiana Maslany playing Sarah pretending to be Beth.

One of the great things I read in an interview with Tatiana is that she has an extensive background in improv, which she uses to solidify each character. Her intuition of the ‘yes, and’ process helps lead the character in the natural direction she would go in. If you’ve ever seen (good) improv-ers, you know that they can make anything into a like 15-30 minutes – or more – sketch (Name a profession and a place! A pimp in Transylvania! So much story to tell already!). With Tatiana, she’s using that same skill and creating an arc for all 9 characters from episode to episode, building on the excellent backstory and script provided for her. Plus her mom is a French/English translator, so she is super good with languages. She learned German before she learned how to speak English! She’s legit perfect for this role. Roles. All the roles.

In fact, to all you Emmy voters out there, please please please give this girl a nomination at least. And then give her an Emmy. I feel so strongly about this I’m inclined to start a grassroots campaign – which I’m sure has already been started by some fangirl in Canada (fun fact: the series was shot and based in Canada. In fact, Tatiana and most of the cast are Canadian! Eh!).

There was a recent article on Buzzfeed in which comedian Patton Oswalt legit explains why she deserves all the awards. I’m not the only one who believes in this girl, y’all!

I would list other reasons why you should watch this show, like I guess the other excellent actors, the outstanding writing, the show’s ability to make you have no idea what’s going to happen next and possibly yell and throw objects at the TV, the hilarious jokes that are thrown in, or the loyal, gay best friend:

or this smokeshow (Paul, Beth’s boyfriend):

But I’m going to stick with Tatiana Maslany.

PS: Orphan Black is currently available On Demand (for Time Warner Cable, at least), but here’s a handy guide to find a provider near you!

Saturday Spotlight: Holy Saturday, Batman!

Today is Holy Saturday. If you remember your Sunday School (or went to a billion years of Catholic school like us), you’ll know that this is the weakest day in the Easter Triduum. If you aren’t familiar, here’s the crash course:

  • Holy Friday: Jesus dies.
  • Easter Sunday: Jesus is risen.
  • Holy Saturday: ???

Take it from the girl who got in trouble for asking how Sunday morning is possibly three days after Friday night: this is the boring part of Easter week. That’s why, to spice it up, I just say the name of the day like I’m talking to Batman: Holy Saturday! If you’re just waiting around, coloring eggs and counting the hours until it’s somewhat acceptable to eat a bunch of jelly beans, here’s some light reading. Hopefully you’ll be enthusiastically proclaiming “Holy Saturday, Batman!” by the end.


 

Generic Country Song Of The Summer

I like country music. I do. But gone are the days of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones. The new cliche country song isn’t about tears in your beer. It’s a list of about 20 of the same things that are supposed to evoke the small-town life of a lower-middle-class white man who’s a casual misogynist (and sometimes accidental racist).

It’s time for the “songs of the summer” to start rolling out, and the country song of the summer practically writes itself – as in, this is a two-minute stream of consciousness. Grab a ball cap, park your old pickup by a body of water, and get ready for some old-fashioned objectifyin’: here is your Generic Country Song Of The Summer:

a0cbe698-b11f-4690-9485-ffa9d457b371_zps413a4b16

I like Jesus on a Sunday
Girls on a Saturday
American trucks and football in the fall
I like baseball on a Friday
Workin’ hard on Tuesdays
Crackin’ open an ol’ beer can after it all

I’m not ashamed to pray in school
Not too hip for Levi’s
I don’t need earrings to be cool
Just a little ol’ girl in my passenger seat
With a plaid shirt tied low and shorts cut high

Who doesn’t know she’s beautiful…

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there


Old School Loves

Connie Britton + Nathan Fillion, 1997

I couldn’t exactly find evidence these two dated, but they did attend the 1997 Emmy Awards together, as seen from this pic. They were in Spin City together, but did romance happen offscreen too? We’ll probably never know, y’all.

Linda Blair + Rick James, 1982

First of all, how disturbing is this picture??? Rick wrote his song Cold Blooded about his lady love, but his drug abuse problems were too much for Linda to handle, so she broke it off.

River Phoenix + Martha Plimpton, 1989

I guess their relationship was high-profile at the time, but I no idea they were a thing, seeing as how I was like 8 when they dated. They starred in two movies, including the Oscar nominated film, Running On Empty, together, and attend the Academy Awards hand in hand that year. Their relationship ended because she objected his drug use, and he died from an overdose in 1993.


 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

There are only days left before Season Two of Orphan Black premieres! When we identified Orphan Black as a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, the ONLY reason we felt we needed to give to watch it was Tatiana Maslany. So naturally, she was a logical candidate for our Wednesday woman crush. Here’s why:

She Is Such A Good Actress That I’m Still Not Sure How She’s One Person

In Orphan Black, Maslany plays over ten clones. The amazing thing is that these are fully realized characters – each one has a different accent, world-view, and way of moving through space. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t watched the show, but you completely forget that these characters are all played by the same person. It sounds like it would be confusing having the same person play multiple characters, but each one is so different that you never mix them up.

Now for the real next-level acting: at times, Maslany plays one clone pretending to be another. And even when she’s doing THAT, there is no question for the viewer who she is and what the character is doing.


 

Band at Coachella or Stefon’s Favorite Club?

The first weekend of Coachella 2014 has come and gone, but there’s still one more weekend of music and hipsters and alcohol and drugs and questionable fashion in the desert. In LA, these two weekends in April basically means a mass exodus of folks heading out to Indio, and in certain neighborhoods (read: hipster neighborhoods), it’s eerily quiet.

And while Coachella is a music and arts festival, I feel like it’s become less about the music and more about the event itself, which celebrities you can spot, and how many artistic Instagram photos you can post. Lest we forget about all the indie rock bands and dance/rappers we’ve never heard of before? That’s what Coachella is all about. When you look at the lineup and go, ‘IS THAT EVEN A REAL BAND??’

People who are real Coachella fans get off on knowing bands before everyone else knows who they are, no matter how ridiculous the name of their band sounds. So in the spirit of putting the music back put on your flower headbands and try your hand at guessing whether the following words are real legit bands that are playing at Coachella this year, or the name of a fake club by SNL’s former city correspondent, Stefon. Good Luck! (highlight the text between the two arrows for the answer!)

Scuba

COACHELLA ⇐

Scuba, real name Paul Rose, is an EDM DJ from London.

Blitzen

⇒ STEFON ⇐

New York’s hottest holiday club is Blitzen, and right now they’re having their 12 Days of Christmas dance party. It has everything: (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas) 12 jacked albinos, 11 Little Richards, 10 piercer babies, 9 Asian Balkis, 8 gay Aladdins, 7 psychos swearing, 6 Puerto Screechers, 5 homeless Elmos. 4 coked up frogs, 3 French hens, Taylor Negron, and a human parking cone… It’s that thing were two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them.


Tonight I’m Cleanin’ Out My Closet: Adventures In Wardrobe Reduction

Sizes

Fashion tip: If you look like a kid from those awful “vaguely old-fashioned children playing dress-up” posters from the early 90s, you’re wearing the wrong size.

Even those of us who aren’t taunted by “skinny clothes” probably own some things in the wrong size. I have pieces I bought on sale even though they were a few sizes too big, ‘longs’ even though I’m 5’2 (ha!), and clothes from college, when every late-night pizza was accompanied by late-night garlic knots.

Grab a full-length mirror and some shoes of varying heights and get to work. Can’t zipper something? You don’t need that negativity in your closet. Those pants are JERKS. Have to hitch up your pants so they don’t fall off – AND cut an extra notch in the belt? Ditch ‘em, skinny. If you must keep your wrong-sized clothes, at least stash them out of the way. You get a pass if you are pregnant or had a baby recently.

For those gray area clothes, ask yourself if it actually looks good on you. Not if it’s a nice piece of clothing, but if it looks good on you. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. It’s not you, it’s the clothes.
If you truly love something, and it can fit with a minor alteration, then either do it or take it to the tailor. But set a timeline – a week or two – and if you haven’t done it by then, show it the door.

Seasons

Most of us do this already, but please store your off-season clothes out of the way. If you don’t have room for that, then at least put them in the back or sides of your closet and in one dresser drawer. You shouldn’t have to rake through shorts and mini-dresses in February. Like jeans that won’t zipper, they are JERKS and they’re bringing you down.

While you’re at it, make sure your clothes are suited to seasons you actually deal with. This is where super-minimalist wardrobes fail me. I deal with four distinct seasons, from “was this winter a promotional tie-in for Disney’s Frozen?” to “I didn’t even know that could sweat.” If you live where it’s 70 degrees all year, you don’t need too many sweaters. And if even your summers only reach a drizzly 60 degrees, you don’t need tons of flimsy sleeveless dresses.

Generic Country Song Of The Summer

I like country music. I do. But gone are the days of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones. The new cliche country song isn’t about tears in your beer. It’s a list of about 20 of the same things that are supposed to evoke the small-town life of a lower-middle-class white man who’s a casual misogynist (and sometimes accidental racist).

It’s time for the “songs of the summer” to start rolling out, and the country song of the summer practically writes itself – as in, this is a two-minute stream of consciousness. Grab a ball cap, park your old pickup by a body of water, and get ready for some old-fashioned objectifyin’: here is your Generic Country Song Of The Summer:

a0cbe698-b11f-4690-9485-ffa9d457b371_zps413a4b16

I was sittin’ in my pickup
Riverside
Ice-cold beer that I drink from a can
A little beat-up old Chevy
Riding with the top down
I like wearin’ ball caps because I am a man

We were layin’ by the fishin’ dock
Blue jeans
Sweet tea like my mama made, I like that
A little beat-up old hometown
Parked out in the hayfield
Sometimes girls wear cutoff shorts, I also like that

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there

I like Jesus on a Sunday
Girls on a Saturday
American trucks and football in the fall
I like baseball on a Friday
Workin’ hard on Tuesdays
Crackin’ open an ol’ beer can after it all

I’m not ashamed to pray in school
Not too hip for Levi’s
I don’t need earrings to be cool
Just a little ol’ girl in my passenger seat
With a plaid shirt tied low and shorts cut high

Who doesn’t know she’s beautiful…

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road (I own a gun)
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air (Girlll)
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there (I own a gun, I own a gun)

Did we do it? I count:

  • referring to things as “little,” “old,” or both
  • Beer (in cans – bonus! Bottles are for city folk)
  • A sort of gentle creepiness (like cute stalking?)
  • Anticipating and refuting criticism for being Christian/ traditional/ into denim
  • Jeans
  • Ball caps
  • Reference to working
  • Attractive women who are somehow unaware that they’re attractive
  • Jesus
  • Screen doors, for some reason
  • Song structure that … isn’t
  • Spending time in a parked car, preferably near bodies of water
  • Sports, but not like soccer or lacrosse or anything like that
  • Fields
  • Stuff that doesn’t make sense but you don’t realize it at first ( truck with the top down, e.g.)
  • Crickets
  • A narrator who sometimes seems like he’s 15 and sometimes like he’s my dad
  • Droppin’ the g’s in gerunds
  • Mama
  • Dammit. We forgot the dog.

Old School Loves

Lena Dunham recently did an interview with Grantland in which she talks about one of her favorite Tumblrs, called Old Loves. The site contains photos of celebrities who used to date – most of whom are couples that most of us forgot about (Or just really amazing pictures of couples that used to be. RIP Brit +JT). This is what happened when she recently perused

“The craziest thing that ever happened to me, was like, Old Loves is my passion, I check it like once a week. It’s how I kick back on like a Friday night … And I was going through it and I saw my boyfriend and his girlfriend from high school. I know I shouldn’t spill that in a public forum, but you can Google it… She’s beautiful, he’s beautiful, but it was just so surreal to be looking through this blog that gives me so much pleasure and then there’s my boyfriend. And I was like, ‘My mind is going to explode.’”

So this is the picture Lena came across featuring her fun. BF Jack Antonoff…

Yup. That’s a young Scarlett Johansson. They both went to the Professional Children’s School in New York City and apparently dated from 2001 until 2002. And then she got super famous and he wrote a song called Better Love, accusing her of letting the fame get to her head. Woof.

I explored the site for myself and found some gems that are on the same level (or better) of “WTF, THEY DATED?!” as Scarlett + Jack. Are there any on this list that blew your mind as much as it did mine??

David Arquette + Drew Barrymore, 1991

These two were teenagers when they first hooked up and dated in 1991, and eight years later, he played brother Rob to her Josie Geller in Never Been Kissed. You know who has been kissed? Those fake siblings. Josie Grossie indeed.

Charlie Sheen + Kelly Preston, 1989

Long before Charlie Sheen was WINNING Charlie Sheen, he was engaged to a young Kelly Preston pre-Travolta. Allegedly there was a rumor going around that he accidentally shot her in the arm (sidenote: holy crap I never knew this story!). Charlie tells this story that basically this revolver he used to carry in his pants pocket accidentally went off when she picked up his jeans, and the shrapnel hit her arm, thus causing her to bleed. What. TIGER BLOOD, Y’ALL.

Alyssa Milano + Scott Wolf, 1995

Alyssa and Scott met on the set of their 1993 movie Double Dragon, and they immediately knew they’d get married to each other. Scott literally said “People get all oogily around us.” Gag me with a spoon. But he also said, “You can interview us 25 years from now – and we’ll prove we’re not just another couple who met on a movie set.” Ok guys, 2018 – make sure someone from People contacts them for a follow-up interview.

Heath Graham + James Woods, 1992

Heather and James first met while she was studying at UCLA, and then later went on to film the movie Diggstown together, but according to James, they spent “every day together for a year”. But the start to an end was when he basically admitted he was only dating her because she was blonde and had big boobs. What a skeeze. Oh and if you can’t tell from this picture, there is a 23 year age different between them.

Connie Britton + Nathan Fillion, 1997

I couldn’t exactly find evidence these two dated, but they did attend the 1997 Emmy Awards together, as seen from this pic. They were in Spin City together, but did romance happen offscreen too? We’ll probably never know, y’all.

Geri Halliwell + Jerry O’Connell, 2003

Jerry spiced up his life with a blonde Ginger, but this romance didn’t last long…

Guliana Rancic + Jerry O’Connell, 2003

Because he quickly moved on to dating E! News host Giuliana Rancic (nee, DePandi at the time). In fact she was dating Jerry when she first met her hubs Bill Rancic, and Jerry kind of had a weird prophecy about their romance. Bill said, “I was at NBC up fronts promoting The Apprentice. O’Connell was on an NBC show, and he jokingly said, ‘I’d introduce you to my girlfriend but I’m afraid the two of you would run off together.’ ” And they lived happily ever after

 

Linda Blair + Rick James, 1982

First of all, how disturbing is this picture??? Rick wrote his song Cold Blooded about his lady love, but his drug abuse problems were too much for Linda to handle, so she broke it off.

Brad Pitt + Christina Applegate, 1989

Christina met Brad when she was 16, as they had the same group of friends. This pic was taken when she brought him as her date to the MTV Movie Awards – except she ended up ditching Brad that night to leave with another guy!!! Poor choices.

Sofia Coppola + Keanu Reeves, 1992

Keaunu met Sofia when her father, Frances Ford Coppola directed him in the film Dracula. Hm. Good thing he already had the part before they started dating.

 Molly Ringwald + Adam Horovitz, 1987

No one really knows exactly how long the 80s starlet and 80s rapper dated, but per interviews in which he talked about her, their romance lasted about a year. This couple seems unlikely, but the more I think about it, the more it reminds me of a Claire/Bender relationship a la Breakfast Club. Opposites attract?

Matt Damon + Skylar Satenstein

Okay, so the woman holding Matt Damon’s hand is Skylar Satenstein, who isn’t a celebrity on her own, but definitely has been linked to some high profile names. Matt and Skylar dated while he was at Harvard, and she was an emergency medical physician. In fact she was the inspiration for Minnie Driver’s character appropriately named Skylar in Good Will Hunting. Skyler went on to date OJ Simpson (totally getting a Nicole Brown Simpson vibe from her, no?) and went on to marry -then divorce Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.

River Phoenix + Martha Plimpton, 1989

I guess their relationship was high-profile at the time, but I no idea they were a thing, seeing as how I was like 8 when they dated. They starred in two movies, including the Oscar nominated film, Running On Empty, together, and attend the Academy Awards hand in hand that year. Their relationship ended because she objected his drug use, and he died from an overdose in 1993.

Fred Armisen + Martha Plimpton, 2006

Martha Plimpton got around, huh? This was pre-Elisabeth Moss shitshow, and while I appreciate Fred as a comedian, between these two headstrong ladies, I can’t help but think he’s common denominator in the breakups. But what do I know?

Tracy Chapman + Alice Walker

alice tracy

Tracy Chapman and Alice Walker were in a relationship in the mid 1990s. They kept it quiet in the public eye, but apparently it was common knowledge among the people in their circles. In 2006, Alice told The Guardian, “My life is not to be somebody else’s impact – you know what I mean? And it was delicious and lovely and wonderful and I totally enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her but it was not anybody’s business but ours.” I think the most important thing to take out of this is ALICE WALKER IS A LESBIAN??? (I’ve never read her stuff, does she talk about it?? Apologies for my ignorance if this is the case)

Heather Graham + Heath Ledger

I like to think that Heath only ever dated Michelle Williams, so this pairing is odd to me. Heather and Heath dated in 2000 after meeting in a club in Prague (because, Hollywood). He even called her his muse at one point. She was also 10 years his senior, but clearly, age ain’t nothin but a number to Heather, right James Woods?

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

There are only days left before Season Two of Orphan Black premieres! When we identified Orphan Black as a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, the ONLY reason we felt we needed to give to watch it was Tatiana Maslany. So naturally, she was a logical candidate for our Wednesday woman crush. Here’s why:

She Is Such A Good Actress That I’m Still Not Sure How She’s One Person

In Orphan Black, Maslany plays over ten clones. The amazing thing is that these are fully realized characters – each one has a different accent, world-view, and way of moving through space. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t watched the show, but you completely forget that these characters are all played by the same person. It sounds like it would be confusing having the same person play multiple characters, but each one is so different that you never mix them up.

Now for the real next-level acting: at times, Maslany plays one clone pretending to be another. And even when she’s doing THAT, there is no question for the viewer who she is and what the character is doing.

Tatiana Maslany Probably Makes Awesome Playlists

If you’re the kind of person who’s always looking for the man behind the curtain, you’re probably wondering HOW the heck one person plays multiple characters on the same show and keeps them straight. The surprisingly fun answer: music and dancing. Tatiana says: ” I had an amazing coach who I’ve worked with for a few years and she talks about the internal rhythm of somebody and how if you change the song that’s inside of you that changes maybe how you walk or how you express yourself how you speak even your dialect changes… If I’ve got like… Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio going on internally… which I always do…”

The tracks that Maslany lists as inspiration for her characters make me think that she’d be the friend you’d want to put in charge of your road trip playlists.

If you actually watch the show, these selections make so much sense (and let’s talk about how great these artists are, too):

  • Helena: Antony And The Johnsons, Tom Waits
  • Sarah: The Clash, Dizzee Rascal, The Prodigy
  • Cosima: Grimes, Diplo
  • Alison: Showtunes! (and guys [SPOILER!], rumor has it Alison joins a theatre troupe this year![/SPOILER])
  • Rachel: 90s slow jamz

Yes, And…

We love comedy, so naturally Maslany’s improv background pushes her even further into Imaginary BFF territory. She’s actually a certified teacher and was on a professional improv team for years. If you’ve scrolled through Tumblr or watched any interviews, this probably doesn’t surprise you much.

Flamenco?!

It makes sense that someone who is able to physically move in different ways for different characters would have a dance background. But one article said that Maslany’s background is in flamenco. Could that be true? I took flamenco when I studied in Spain and it is just one of the coolest dance forms there is – but it’s definitely underrated and not a lot of kids in North America take lessons in it. If this info is legit, it’s nice to have someone out there repping for dance forms other than ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop.

Smart Lady

Again, this may not surprise you if you watch Orphan Black, but Tatiana speaks a bunch of languages, so she’s probably pretty darn bright. I especially respect that instead of just plugging her show in interviews, she uses the time to drop some knowledge. It’s one thing to acknowledge how important media representation is from behind the internet, and another to bring it up when you are  criticizing the industry that employs you.

Or this:

And these:

“As a kid, I wanted to be a boy because I equated that with strength. There’s a problem with that. It’s only growing into my own womanhood that I realize how warped that is that I was attributing strength to male qualities.”
“I didn’t see people like me on screen, or just as a kid, I wasn’t any of those girls. I identified much more with like, Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I did with any human woman on-screen, so that’s saying something.

Everyone, let me just remind you that even if you don’t have a big platform to discuss representation, tuning in to shows like Orphan Black tells networks and execs that this is what people have been waiting to see. That’s Saturday on BBC America, friends.

But You Don’t Have To Take Our Word For It…

As we mentioned when we discussed Amy Poehler, the best way to know how someone really is can be listening to what people have to say about them. It’s pretty easy to differentiate faint press-tour praise from real admiration.

 

“She is so positive, she is so happy, she is so nice, so down to earth. She didn’t blow up and get a big head, you know. She came back for season 2 and she somehow is even more humble. It’s awesome. And she is so much fun to work with.”  – Kristin Bruun
“She’s a total natural, a working prodigy.” – Graeme Manson
“Everyone wants to do their best work because she’s working harder than everyone here, and everyone knows she’s doing something special.” – John Fawcett
“I absolutely adore her, she’s fantastic. She’s just jaw-droppingly good. She’s absolutely brilliant. It’s not an easy thing to do well, you know? It really isn’t easy to be different people at the same time… I think it’s just an enormous testament to her that she pulls it off. I think the whole show hangs on it and if she wasn’t as good as she is it wouldn’t have worked. It’s only getting the recognition and success because she’s that good, I think. It’s brilliant, and it’s fantastic to watch. ” – Maria Doyle Kennedy

Have we convinced you? Then tune in to BBC America on Saturday, April 19 for Season 2 of Orphan Black!

Band at Coachella or Stefon’s Favorite Club?

The first weekend of Coachella 2014 has come and gone, but there’s still one more weekend of music and hipsters and alcohol and drugs and questionable fashion in the desert. In LA, these two weekends in April basically means a mass exodus of folks heading out to Indio, and in certain neighborhoods (read: hipster neighborhoods), it’s eerily quiet.

And while Coachella is a music and arts festival, I feel like it’s become less about the music and more about the event itself, which celebrities you can spot, and how many artistic Instagram photos you can post. Lest we forget about all the indie rock bands and dance/rappers we’ve never heard of before? That’s what Coachella is all about. When you look at the lineup and go, ‘IS THAT EVEN A REAL BAND??’

People who are real Coachella fans get off on knowing bands before everyone else knows who they are, no matter how ridiculous the name of their band sounds. So in the spirit of putting the music back put on your flower headbands and try your hand at guessing whether the following words are real legit bands that are playing at Coachella this year, or the name of a fake club by SNL’s former city correspondent, Stefon. Good Luck! (highlight the text between the two arrows for the answer!)

Scuba

COACHELLA ⇐

Scuba, real name Paul Rose, is an EDM DJ from London.

Blitzen

⇒ STEFON ⇐

New York’s hottest holiday club is Blitzen, and right now they’re having their 12 Days of Christmas dance party. It has everything: (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas) 12 jacked albinos, 11 Little Richards, 10 piercer babies, 9 Asian Balkis, 8 gay Aladdins, 7 psychos swearing, 6 Puerto Screechers, 5 homeless Elmos. 4 coked up frogs, 3 French hens, Taylor Negron, and a human parking cone… It’s that thing were two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them.

Jelly Bones

⇒ STEFON ⇐

Located on the Lower Upper Side, this random home invasion is the creation of legally drunk clothing designer Nick Nolte and Gabana. As you walk in, you’ll be handed a glass of champagne – or is it piss? This place has everything: Slurpies, mushmouths, litterbugs. But Don’t worry about security, because it’s guarded by an army of hobo-cops. Homeless Robocops.

Holy Ghost!

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Holy Ghost! is an American synthpop duo from Brooklyn.

Thank You!

⇒ STEFON ⇐

New York’s hottest club is Thank You! Located inside a crashing blimp, this euro trash utopia is a creation of beatnik doctor, Soulpatch Adams. And this place has everything: ziplines, fish food, that fat Hawaiian guy that no one invited, an old Pakistani woman that looks like a California raisin. And this weekend they’re having a tournament of everyones favorite trivia game: Shaun White or Bonnie Raitt. Look closely, the answer may surprise you.

Graveyard

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Graveyard is a hard rock band from Sweden with members whose real names are Axel Sjöberg, and Truls Mörck, clearly taking a page out of the Mike Schur book of fake names.

Drowners

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Drowners is a “post-punk” band from New York City. Whatever “post-punk” means.

Scampi

⇒ STEFON ⇐

Illegally parked behind the Statue of Liberty, this hate-speech haven is a creation of frat boy guru D-Bag Chopra. This place has everything: Zip drives, gozers, Ke$ha.  Is it Ryan Seacrest? No –  it’s a drowned albino who looks like Axl Rose. For the kids, there’s a special workshop where you can build a bear… but not the kind you think. There’s a VIP section filled with Furtlenecks - it’s that thing of when like, fat guys have a beard, but only on their chin roll. And they have a pack of roaming draggers. Roaming draggers? It’s that thing of when an old dog has short legs but a long penis.

Slice

⇒ STEFON ⇐

If you want fun, then listen to this: New York’s hottest club is Slice. Club promoter Gay Liotta is back, and this time he’s gone crazy. Jump in and join a dance party where you’ll see twinks, gypsies, grown men in wedding dresses, a cat from a bodega, puppets in disguise… It’s that thing like when Alf wore a trench coat, so he could go out into public.

Daughter

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Daughter is a British indie rock band, whose songs have been used on Grey’s Anatomy, Teen Wolf, and Arrow.

Poolside

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Poolside is a Los Angeles-based duo who classify themselves as “Daytime disco”. Honestly, in addition to making up band names, can these bands just make up their own genres too?

Bicep

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

British Dance DJ who has the least appealing name ever.

Push

⇒ STEFON ⇐

This place has everything: Ghosts, banjos, Carl Paladino, a stuck-up kitten who won’t sign autographs, furkels.
Furkels? Fat Urkels. After you’ve been with one of those guys, you’ll ask yourself “Did I do thaaaat?’

Tonight I’m Cleanin’ Out My Closet: Adventures In Wardrobe Reduction

I’ve reached that magical age when you start reading Real Simple (instead of Cosmo or Highlights For Children or whatever kids read these days), and stop aspiring to have the latest ‘it bag’ — but a streamlined, tidy closet.

I never thought I had a lot of clothes, yet in order to close my dresser I had to do that maneuver where you push down your clothes while simultaneously shoving the drawer shut. How did that happen? My life was NOT Real Simple. Magazines lie!

Googling ways to purge my wardrobe only made me feel worse. Everyone has “capsule wardrobes” – 33 items they wear all season long. That includes dress pants, jeans, shirts, dresses, skirts, shoes and outerwear. That’s awesome if you can work it, but this winter was so cold that I wore more than 33 pieces at any one time.

I’m proud to say that I culled over 80 items from my wardrobe: three trash bags to donate, and 20-ish hangers to take to the consignment shop, face withering rejection, and ultimately add to the donation bags. The austere, minimalist (masochistic?) wardrobe-reducing rules didn’t work for me. Instead, I asked some basic questions:

  • Do I like this?
  • Do I look good in it?
  • Do I wear it?
  • Does it fill a necessary place in my wardrobe?

I also considered what I like to call the seven S’s:

Sizes

Fashion tip: If you look like a kid from those awful “vaguely old-fashioned children playing dress-up” posters from the early 90s, you’re wearing the wrong size.

Even those of us who aren’t taunted by “skinny clothes” probably own some things in the wrong size. I have pieces I bought on sale even though they were a few sizes too big, ‘longs’ even though I’m 5’2 (ha!), and clothes from college, when every late-night pizza was accompanied by late-night garlic knots.

Grab a full-length mirror and some shoes of varying heights and get to work. Can’t zipper something? You don’t need that negativity in your closet. Those pants are JERKS. Have to hitch up your pants so they don’t fall off – AND cut an extra notch in the belt? Ditch ‘em, skinny. If you must keep your wrong-sized clothes, at least stash them out of the way. You get a pass if you are pregnant or had a baby recently.

For those gray area clothes, ask yourself if it actually looks good on you. Not if it’s a nice piece of clothing, but if it looks good on you. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. It’s not you, it’s the clothes.
If you truly love something, and it can fit with a minor alteration, then either do it or take it to the tailor. But set a timeline – a week or two – and if you haven’t done it by then, show it the door.

Seasons

Most of us do this already, but please store your off-season clothes out of the way. If you don’t have room for that, then at least put them in the back or sides of your closet and in one dresser drawer. You shouldn’t have to rake through shorts and mini-dresses in February. Like jeans that won’t zipper, they are JERKS and they’re bringing you down.

While you’re at it, make sure your clothes are suited to seasons you actually deal with. This is where super-minimalist wardrobes fail me. I deal with four distinct seasons, from “was this winter a promotional tie-in for Disney’s Frozen?” to “I didn’t even know that could sweat.” If you live where it’s 70 degrees all year, you don’t need too many sweaters. And if even your summers only reach a drizzly 60 degrees, you don’t need tons of flimsy sleeveless dresses.

Samesies!

Of course, if you DO have duplicates you could also share with a friend!

This tip comes courtesy of my friend Emily. If you have duplicate pieces, keep one and get rid of the rest. I had three coral pullover sweaters. I don’t know how, or why, but I did. Of course, it’s okay to have multiples of some things. If you wear jeans every day, two pairs of dark-wash skinny jeans isn’t crazy. Two white t-shirts isn’t the worst thing ever. Don’t make your categories too broad. It’s fine to have more than two pairs of dress pants, but more than two fitted black dress pants is probably excessive.

Sentiment

Feelings are the WORST. Clothes are not memories – but tangible things evoke memories in such a real way because they draw in the senses. It’s the difference between remembering your favorite childhood toy and finding it in your parents’ attic.

So, here’s what I do. Anything that has real, sentimental value – but I don’t wear – gets stored away from my working wardrobe. If you actually wear anything you’ve kept for sentimental reasons – but you always think “ugh, I should not still be rocking this” – store it in an under-bed tote. You’ll feel so much better.

Let’s talk about gifts – not gifts with sentimental value, just those regular pieces you feel guilty about getting rid of because somebody spent money on it. Okay: if you wore the item for a while then you did get use out of it, even if it’s not completely worn down. If you never wore it, you’ll just feel guilty every time you look at it. Whoever gave it to you wanted you to have something you’d like – not a wardrobe cluttered with stuff you don’t wear. So, consign or donate without guilt, and next time you receive clothing you’re not into, return it while you still can.

Ignore your feelings when it comes to money you’ve spent. Are you keeping a dress because you got an amazing deal on it? Or a top because it was expensive? Look at it dispassionately: do I like this, do I look good in it, do I wear it, does it fill a necessary place in my wardrobe? If the answer is no, it doesn’t matter that you got the best deal at Saks. Donate it and someone else gets the best deal at Goodwill.

Style

I don’t care whether you want to develop a “signature style” or have all of your items tell a “color story” or dress like a different historical figure every day. Some people pick a particular vibe then making all of their clothing fit with it, but that’s not for everyone.

You do not have to be a cartoon character; you don’t have to have a theme or a “trademark look” like the protagonist of a movie. You just have to look at all of your clothes and say “do I like how this looks?”. If you don’t, it goes.

There’s no rule that you have to stop wearing something because it’s not trendy anymore. However, if you never wear some pieces because they look like 2007 to you, lose them.

Shape

What sort of shape is your clothing in? Anything stained, pilled, ripped, or with grody stepped-on hems like an ‘alternative’ teen’s baggy jeans in 2001 has got to go. If something can be mended, either do it or take it to a tailor. If it’s not important enough to you to get it fixed in a week (or two, whatever – just set a time frame and stick to it) – then toss it. If you’re keeping a ratty painting t-shirt to wear to sleep, but you have other pajama shirts (WHO would do something like that?) it gets the axe.

Situations

What situations do you dress for? Make a list: work, lounging, errands, friends, dancing … I don’t know what you do. Make sure you have clothes for those situations, and eliminate what doesn’t fit with your life right now.

  • Do you have a drawer full of “going out tops” but haven’t hit a club since undergrad?
  • Do you have 10 different hoodies but you’ve reached a stage where, even when running to the store, you wear a cute top and a light cardigan?
  • Do you have racks of button-ups and pencil skirts when you quit your office job ages ago?

The situation thing – like seasons – is why the super-tiny wardrobe doesn’t work for me. I wear business-y clothes at work, most of which don’t fit in my weekend life. If you can wear jeans and casual tops at work, you can probably make your wardrobe a bit tinier. Whatever your day-to-day situations are, make sure that your wardrobe covers them – and get rid of anything that just doesn’t go.
I do advocate holding onto special occasion dresses if you still like them and will wear them. You may only have a few weddings or nice parties a year, but if you don’t mind repeating yourself there’s no reason to buy a new dress for every one.

Everyone says it, but it’s true: when you pare down your wardrobe, it feels like you have MORE clothes. It’s spring, so get cleaning!

ICYMI: Children’s Books Heroines – A How To

Our C+S book club continued this week with one of our favorites from back in the day, Harriet the Spy.

Life Lessons From Harriet The Spy: C+S Book Club

Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet The Spy feels so current – controversial, even – that it’s hard to believe it turns 50 this year. Whether you were a nosy kid, an aspiring writer, or just fascinated by the world around you, Harriet The Spy spoke to a lot of us. Like all the best children’s books, Harriet The Spy was banned by adults couldn’t deal with how awesome it was, probably because it contained real talk contains real talk that adults don’t think 9-year-olds are ready for. In the case of Harriet The Spy, the lessons were lifelong.

Sometimes The Whole Truth Isn’t The Kindest Thing

This lesson is the hardest thing for Harriet – and it’s one that I’m still working on when I write. The sixth-grade jerks find some awful things about themselves when they read Harriet’s notebook (never have I been so indignant on a character’s behalf!). Harriet just wrote what she saw, but the unflinching honesty was a little unkind.

I discovered censorship in first grade. I was writing a story about two siblings fighting, and had the sister scream “I hate you!” at her brother during the argument. My teacher changed it to “I dislike you!”  I was furious – who, in a fit of childhood rage, has ever screamed “I dislike you!” at their sibling? I still believe that good writing requires honesty and authenticity. But when talking about real people, sometimes you have to soften your “I hate yous” into “I dislike yous” for the sake of real feelings.

Fitzhugh said it best: “Little lies that make people feel better are not bad, like thanking someone for a meal they made even if you hated it, or telling a sick person they look better when they don’t, or someone with a hideous new hat that it’s lovely. But to yourself you must tell the truth.” Observe honestly, think honestly – but smooth out the truth with little lies when you need to.

“There Is As Many Ways To Live As There Are People On The Earth”

One thing that huffy moms didn’t like about Harriet The Spy was the cast of wacky characters that Harriet spies on – people who resemble the weirdos and quirks that bona fide children run across all the time. There was the cat man, the family who owns the Chinese grocery, the grand Agatha K. Plummer.  Even your most mundane-looking families are all different from each other if you just watch them. Maybe it’s not so much these characters that set parents ill-at-ease, but rather Harriet’s assessment of them:

“Ole Golly says there is as many ways to live as there are people on the earth and I shouldn’t go round with blinders but should see every way I can. Then I’ll know what way I want to live and not just live like my family.”

The City Is Your Friend

Harriet The Spy is a distinctly New York City book, but it describes life that’s familiar to any city child. When you grow up in an urban neighborhood, all you have to do is walk out your front door to find all kinds of life to observe. The city itself – the sidewalks, corner stores, and most of all the people – is a character in Harriet’s life.

More broadly, Fitzhugh speaks to finding the fascinating things wherever you are. I thought my city childhood was compelling, and like Harriet I found that the most ordinary-seeming neighbors were extraordinary if I looked closer.  Wherever you live as a child or an adult – a big city or a small town or the suburbs in between – there are a million things to notice if you just open your eyes, close your mouth and grab a notebook.


And while Harriet taught us a lot about life and ourselves, Louisa May Alcott taught us that some characters can be bitches in disguise. Enter Amy March.


Amy March Was A Total Bitch

Growing up in the 1990s, it was sort of normal for a girl to be into the 1800s. The American Girl catalog was in your mailbox, the Little House books were in your Scholastic orders, and everyone had a mom or grandma who was really into Dr. Quinn. The 1994 film adaptation of Little Women was right in the zeitgeist. When I saw that it was on tv around Christmas, nostalgia got the better of me. I had to watch. And, umm… something jumped out at me that didn’t when I was a kid. So, I decided to re-read the book on my bus rides to and from work, and it was confirmed.

Amy March was a huge freaking bitch.

I accepted early on that Amy was my March counterpart. While I loved writing and piano, I was neither a free-spirited lesbian like Jo nor a gentle, shy dead girl like Beth. And Meg — seriously, did anyone ever want to be Meg? Leave a comment if you did. No, I was an Amy. I’m also the youngest of four, and I – like many youngest children – am kind of hammy and want everyone to love me. Like the youngest March sister,  I’m even the only one of my siblings to miss out on getting a nickname. Alcott never mentioned it, but I just know that Amy felt like she got the shaft there.

So,while it does pain me to say this, let me repeat: Amy March was a total bitch. Let’s discuss:

Nobody Cares About Your Nose, Amy.

Amy hates her nose, which is described as a small, flat snub nose. Oh, so an adorable nose? A nose that is too cute? What a trial that must be – like those girls who complain about being “too pretty.”

Amy wants a “Roman Nose,” which according to Wikipedia, is “a human nose with a prominent bridge, giving it the appearance of being curved or slightly bent.” Wow, March. Have you ever got shit taste in noses. That’s probably what my nose looks like, and you know how I got it? Not by sleeping with a clothespin on it – no, I  broke it. Twice.

Oh, You’re Too Good for Hand-Me-Downs? Can it, Amy.amy-little-women-helen-page

The hardest thing in Beth’s life was dying of scarlet fever and the hardest thing in Jo’s life was having a dumb-bitch little sister who stole her manuscript, Eurotrip, and Laurie, but Amy — the hardest thing in her life was having a tiny, cute nose and having to wear hand-me-downs.

Alcott writes: “Amy was in a fair way to be spoiled, for everyone petted her, and her small vanities and selfishness were growing nicely. One thing, however, rather quenched the vanities. She had to wear her cousin’s clothes. Now Florence’s mama hadn’t a particle of taste, and Amy suffered deeply at having to wear a red instead of a blue bonnet, unbecoming gowns, and fussy aprons that did not fit. Everything was good, well made, and little worn, but Amy’s artistic eyes were much afflicted, especially this winter, when her school dress was a dull purple with yellow dots and no trimming.”

Look, I had a cousin who was an only child, and her mom shopped at the good stores. The day I’d get the big black trash bag of her hand-me-downs was like a freaking holiday. Oh, Florence’s mama sent you a red bonnet? Well my cousin’s mama sent me skorts and shortalls, and I was happy to have them.

Amy. Limes Are Stupid.

Poor thing. Always thwarted in her search for citrus fruits.

Pickled limes were the fashion at Amy’s school, because apparently she was educated with a bunch of other little dummies. So, Meg gave Amy the rag money to buy some limes, and I’m not even completely clear on what “rag money” is, but I’m pretty sure that if your family is poor enough to rely on something called rag money to supplement your income, safe to say you’re pretty hard up and shouldn’t be wasting your money on preserved citrus fruits.

Limes were outlawed in Amy’s classroom, but obviously all of the kids still brought them in, kind of like tamagochis in my school, circa 1998. [Sidenote: the spell-check suggestion for tamagochis is "masochists," which is pretty apropos. What were we doing to ourselves? At least when limes are the 6th-grade trend, you don't have to sneak off to feed it every 3 hours.] But, Amy wouldn’t give this girl Jenny a lime because Jenny was being a total bitch, so Dumb Bitch Jenny told the teacher that Amy had limes. He made Amy throw the limes into the snow and Amy had a fit even though a citrus fruit will do just fine in the snow. As a matter of fact, Amy couldn’t have known this, but in like 70 years they’ll invent this magical box that keeps food cold all of the time and – will wonders never cease – the food lasts longer. Also Amy’s limes are PICKLED, which admittedly is gross, but it means they can stay outside for a minute. [However, the limes do get stolen. We'll go there later.]

Oh, and then the teacher hit Amy’s hand, which was majorly not cool. Our biggest bitches in this story are really the teacher and Dumb Bitch Jenny. Still, Amy’s a bit at fault for squandering the family’s rag money on some stupid limes.

Amy March Hates Irish People. This Irish Person Says Amy March Can Suck It.

The Republic of Ireland has retaliated by naming its least-appealing souvenir porcelain doll after Amy March.

When Amy’s limes got thrown into the snow, she wasn’t upset because she lost her limes – she was upset because the limes were “exulted over by the little Irish children, who were their sworn foes.” Yep, Amy March’s sworn foes were anonymous Irish street urchins. You bet your sweet bippy that one didn’t make the Winona Ryder movie. It wasn’t losing the limes that made Amy cry like – forgive me – a little bitch, it was the Irish kids getting the limes.

Amy. You live in Boston. Concord, whatever. You know those little Irish street children? They’re going to run your city. In 100 years, the descendants of one of those lime-eating Boston Street Micks is going to be our nation’s president. Your city’s basketball team is literally going to be called the Celtics. Don’t worry about what basketball is. If your grandchildren ever get arrested, you know who’s going to do it? An Irish cop. But you don’t even have to wait 100 years. Even in the 1860s, every one of those Irish kids has a pack of 14 siblings to back them up in a fight. And those kids are scary. They have been working in silk mills since they were 5. You know how my great-great-great grandmother survived the Potato Famine? By eating GRASS. Honestly, poor Irish children from Boston in the 1860s are probably the worst “sworn foes” you could make.

So, on behalf of Irish and part-Irish Americans, let me just tell Amy March that she can suck it. Know what she can’t suck, though? A lime – because the Irish kids got them. Booyah, March.

Ruining the ONE THING Your Sister Loves? Pretty Bitchy.

Remember when Amy was a little piss who burned her sister’s manuscript because Jo dared to have fun without her? God. What is your beef with Jo, Amy? Tell me. Because it’s sort of a recurring theme throughout the book.

On the plus side, I’d like to thank Amy March for the world’s first lesson that you should always, always back up your work.

You’re Using It Wrong, Ames.

I just cannot with this basic girl and her five-cent vocabulary. Honestly, though, Amy is 12 when the book starts, and that’s an 1860s 12. In 1860s Massachusetts, you could be a six-year veteran of the mills at 12. You could be betrothed at 12. But no, Marmee sent Amy to the ol’ schoolhouse instead, probably because of the child’s demonstrated inability to speak the English language. Look, Amy wasn’t spending her time watching tv or instagramming. The only thing to do was read books and learn how to use words properly, yet she was somehow incapable of doing it. For instance: “label” for “libel” (when she actually meant slander) and “vocabilary” for “vocabulary.” You just know this bitch says “liberry” and “pisgetti.”

I’m not saying I’m glad her teacher beat her at school, because I’m not, I’m just saying that if any of the March sisters deserved a formal education, it wasn’t Amy. All I know is, if Amy March lived today, she’d be that little cousin of yours whose tweets and Facebook posts are so incomprehensible that you basically have to do an English-to-English translation every time you read them.

She’s not even that good at art so maybe she should just shut up about it.

Amy March isn’t a real person, but she was somewhat based on Louisa May Alcott’s sister Abigail May. May probably had a lot of gifts and talents, but art wasn’t one of them. Here are some of her drawings:

Compare the scale of the sister on the right with Marmee(?) in the chair. It’s like a Barbie next to a Cabbage Patch Kid.

My favorite part is the floating table.

May died young, and that’s sad, but you know what else is sad? These sketches.

I Ain’t Sayin’ She’s A Gold Digger (Yes, I am. Yes, she is.)

So, first Amy gold-digs her way into Fred Vaughn’s heart. Then, she sees the opportunity to get with Laurie, who in addition to being wealthy, also provides her with the opportunity to ruin Jo’s life. So, she does that instead. Either way, she’s a gold-digger.

Steals Jo’s Trip

Eyes on the prize, Li’l Amy. Eyes on the prize.

Jo put up with Aunt March’s Crappy Plumfield Storytime every day, with the understanding that at some point she’d get a Eurotrip out of the deal. Look, for a 20-year-old girl in the 1800s, it wasn’t as easy as just finding a college with a good study abroad program.

Then, Amy – freaking Amy – swoops in, befriends Aunt March, and gets the trip. As an indirect result, Jo had to move to a boarding house and marry an old German man.

Steals Jo’s Man

Jo and Laurie were endgame. I refuse to hear differently. Sure, Jo shot down Laurie’s proposal, but I think it was just the wrong time — she was coming back for him later, and that’s all there is to it.

So, when Laurie proposed to Amy — because she was the next-closest thing to Jo — Amy should have had the decency to know that Laurie was Jo’s one true love.

Instead, Amy was a total bitch, so she married him.

Conclusion

After all that, here’s the truth: now that I’m an adult, Amy is my favorite. Beth does nothing, gets scarlet fever, then dies. [Also, please don't stone me, but did anyone else think Beth wasn't exactly playing with a full deck?] Meg does nothing, twists her ankle, then gets married. Jo ruins her chance at true love, and acts so obtuse about how to behave in human society that I think she’s just doing it to get on her sisters’ nerves. She’s like that one girl in college who tried to be unconventional just for the sake of it, and you were always like “you know what? You’re not Amelie. Stop trying to be Amelie.”

Whether or not you think Amy is a huge freaking bitch (and don’t get me wrong, she is), that girl knew how to go after what she wanted. Somehow, she was ridiculously well-liked, but at the same time, you sure as hell didn’t walk all over Amy March. But, if I ever ended up with an Amy March of my own, I would need to make like Marmee and send her to live with a great-aunt for her teenage years – because honestly, what a little bitch.

Saturday Spotlight: Alternate Universe Blogging

What if Jennifer Love Hewitt had played Robin on How I Met Your Mother? Or if Taylor Swift, dancing at awards shows, had a mental soundtrack of cheesy 80s love songs? What if the MTV movie awards got better? What if your parents had let you get rubella? We examined these alternate universes this week:

Actors Just Say ‘No’: A Story Of What Could Have Been

Jennifer Love Hewitt as Robin Scherbatsky (How I Met Your Mother)

f_robin-sparkles_edit

Finale controversies aside, just think about Robin Scherbatsky played by anyone else but the talented Cobie Smulders. She’s gorgeous but still has that ‘hang with the guys’/tomboy attitude in her that was obviously instilled at a young age. Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas did a Reddit AMA back in February and they revealed that Jennifer Love Fefferman Hewitt was originally offered the role (which would have also made the whole cast extremely 90s throwback TV), but she decided to do The Ghost Whisperer instead. Thank GOD she declined the offer, because can you imagine if Robin Scherbatsky wasn’t Canadian?!

Katie Holmes as Buffy Summer (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

f_buffy_edit

To be honest, I’ve never watched a single episode of Buffy (I know, I know), but as avid readers of this blog, you might be familiar with my recent viewings of Dawson’s Creek, which is why it’s fascinating to me that Katie Holmes was almost chosen to be a kick-ass heroine. Katie turned the role down to go to high school, which was for the best. Besides getting a solid education, I bet it helped her to prepare to play a moody, annoying teen on TV.


Celebs Who Are ‘Bouts To Give Your Baby Old-Fashioned Diseases

Jenny McCarthy Is ‘Bouts To Give Your Baby Measles

Guys, in today’s New York City, everything old is new again! Grunge-style flannels are all over the streets of Brooklyn, a revival of Cabaret is in previews — and in a retro, Mad Men-era disease throwback, there’s a measles outbreak in NYC hospitals!  If your kid is too young to be immunized you have to trust that the rest of the community is measles-free — which, like assuming that nobody is bringing an elaborate Jell-o mold to a potluck or wearing crinolines to the office, is just something we all do because it isn’t 1957 anymore.

McCarthy opposes the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine because she believes that it causes autism, and she wrote a book about it. If you want to look into the MMR thing, you can read the latest studies by scientists and physicians. Or, hey, you could listen to the woman from Singled Out.


 

Taylor Swift Dancing To Cheesy Love Songs At Awards Shows

Click on any one of these tunes and scroll through this collection of GIFs:

Up Where We Belong by Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker  ♥  If You Don’t Know Me By Now by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes ♥ Endless Love by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie ♥ True by Spandau Ballet Careless Whisper by George Michael ♥ Tonight I Celebrate My Love by Peabo Bryson & Roberta FlackAll By Myself  by Celine Dion

Or check out the playlist here and view the GIFs super slowly.

*Sidenote: IDK if I am going crazy or sleep deprived or all of the above, but i LIT’RALLY was crying laughing to myself while putting this together. Get a freaking grip.


Life Lessons From Harriet The Spy: C+S Book Club

Sometimes The Whole Truth Isn’t The Kindest Thing

This lesson is the hardest thing for Harriet – and it’s one that I’m still working on when I write. The sixth-grade jerks find some awful things about themselves when they read Harriet’s notebook (never have I been so indignant on a character’s behalf!). Harriet just wrote what she saw, but the unflinching honesty was a little unkind.

I discovered censorship in first grade. I was writing a story about two siblings fighting, and had the sister scream “I hate you!” at her brother during the argument. My teacher changed it to “I dislike you!”  I was furious – who, in a fit of childhood rage, has ever screamed “I dislike you!” at their sibling? I still believe that good writing requires honesty and authenticity. But when talking about real people, sometimes you have to soften your “I hate yous” into “I dislike yous” for the sake of real feelings.

Fitzhugh said it best: “Little lies that make people feel better are not bad, like thanking someone for a meal they made even if you hated it, or telling a sick person they look better when they don’t, or someone with a hideous new hat that it’s lovely. But to yourself you must tell the truth.” Observe honestly, think honestly – but smooth out the truth with little lies when you need to.


 

Categories That Should Be Added To The MTV Movie Awards

 Best Red Carpet Style

Lupita Nyong’o

I think it’s pretty clear that no one else deserves this more than our girl crush, Lupita. After this awards season, she proved to be the one person that everyone was anticipating to come down the red carpet. From her epic Ralph Lauren red cape dress to her Oscar-winning Prada gown, no one else even came close to her fierceness this year. We all need to bow down to Queen Lupita.

Best Onscreen Couple That Is Actually An Offscreen Couple Too

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not even a big fan of superhero movies, and have only seen a handful, but I strangely ship these two? Maybe I even saw the first Spider-Man because of them as a couple? Ugh whatevs. It’s clear they have off the charts chemistry on screen, and in interviews it’s clear to see that their personalities click so well too, despite the fact they never want to talk about their relationship. But I mean come on. How cute are they?