Saturday Spotlight: Thanksgiving Is The Best Ever

A whole holiday based on time with family and friends, food, and focusing on how darn good your life is? AND there are built-in tv experiences, like the Macy’s parade or Thanksgiving episode marathons? It goes without saying that Thanksgiving is the best ever, which is why we wrote about it all week long:

Thanksgiving Foods That Say ‘Screw it’ So You Don’t Have To

Can-Shaped Cranberry Sauce

If you’re supposed to bring the cranberry sauce, and you serve a can-shaped loaf of congealed cran-slop, it better be a joke. Like, maybe your friend group thinks it’s funny when food takes the shape of its packaging, or maybe your family always made fun of  your grandma’s canned cranberry sauce – which presumably she brought because she was drunk or hated all of you. Okay. Fine.

But really, if you have been trusted with cranberry sauce, don’t turn it into a joke dish unless you know everyone’s on board — because seriously, can-shaped cran-sauce is the gag gift of Thanksgiving. If everyone’s bringing silly dishes, go for it! It’ll be like a jokey Yankee Swap but with foods instead of dollar-store items. Think hard, though: do you really want the person in charge of meat to bring Spam? Because that’s where things are headed when you serve canned cran.

These Are My Thanksgiving Pants

The Oversized Sweater
T Gives Sweaters

I feel like Thanksgiving and sweaters go hand in hand. It’s the perfect time to wear it, as you’re in the middle of fall and on the cusp of the holiday season, which always remind me of cozy sweaters. I’m sure none of you reading this show up in Champion sweatshirts to dinner, so it goes without saying that a nice, semi-dressy sweater is the best way to look good while feeling good after you eat all the foods

Booze Before Chews: A Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Drinking Game

One Sip/ One Set* of Jumping Jacks if you see…
  •  Matt Lauer, and he has an obvious disdain for his cohost
  • Marching band from the midwest
  • Balloon or float featuring a cartoon character you’ve never heard of
  • Reality star from a show you actually watch
  • Country singer wearing a cowboy hat
  • Muppets!
  • … and you get choked up seeing Muppets for some reason. Really what IS that?
  • A float or balloon for one of your childhood favorites that’s been gone so long that it’s cool again (example: My Little Pony; Carebears)

Underdog, Beef Trifle and Box Livin’: A Definitive List of Friends’ Best Thanksgiving Episodes

 Good television fans know that certain series have the market on lock when it comes to holiday-themed episodes. For example, The Office had superb Christmas episodes every year. Community goes above and beyond with its Halloween shows. And of course, you could always count on Friends for a solid Thanksgiving episode.

friends t gives

Over the past few years, I’ve started my own tradition (like the Geller Cup, if you will) of watching every Thanksgiving episode from all 10 seasons, just to get me in the mood for the holiday.

So in honor of today, here’s a definitive list (read: based solely on my own personal opinion, my mind will probably change tomorrow) of the episodes from worst to best.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving!

Blaque Friday, Orphan Black Friday, and Beyond: Alternatives to Shopping

Shirley Temple Black Friday

Pour yourself a Shirley Temple (that’s ginger ale and grenadine) then add a splash of any kind of liquor. Any kind at all. Bam! Now it’s a Shirley Temple Black. Round out your Shirley Temple Black Friday with a selection of Shirley Temple films. Come on, I can’t be the only former community theater child around these parts! Get your inner ham on as you sing along to On The Good Ship Lollipop or Animal Crackers In My Soup. Have a Shirley Temple impression-off with your friends and family – especially fun if you’ve already knocked back a few Shirley Temple Blacks.  Sick of Thanksgiving leftovers already? Order some international food, because in her adult life Shirley Temple Black served as an ambassador to Ghana and the former Czechoslovakia.

Baby Got Back Friday

Sometimes it seems like everyone has the opening rap and chorus of this song memorized, but they have no love for the rest of it. Well, today is your day! Sit down with the lyrics and iconic music video until you have this down. Sure, other people are out buying gifts today. I’d argue that having this song in your repertoire is a gift to the world.

Advertisements

Blaque Friday, Orphan Black Friday and Beyond: Alternatives To Shopping

It’s Black Friday, and the crowds are hitting the malls and big-box stores. But whether you’re not into consumer culture, already bought your Christmas gifts (show-off!), or are more of an online shopper, you don’t have to brave the masses today. If you have the day off and are looking to celebrate a different kind of Black Friday, read on for suggestions.

Blaque Friday

Remember Blaque? Kind of? The main thing I remember about Blaque, the late 90s girl group, is that they were not TLC or Destiny’s Child but probably wanted to be. But get this: Blaque actually stands for something. No kidding. It’s an acronym for Believing, Life, Achieving, Quest, Unity, Everything. What does that mean? Everything. And nothing. Mostly, absolutely nothing. Still, it makes for a good game if you’re lounging around with friends and relatives. Put a bunch of words in a hat. Everybody has to make up an acronym for the word that they pull. Misspelling the word is fine. So, say you pull Milk. Your Blaque-ronym is Mylk: Miracles, Youth, Love, Knowledge. Or MILKE: Mourning Idaho, Loving Kansas Evermore. The person whose Blaque-ronym makes you laugh the hardest is the winner.

It goes without saying, the soundtrack to this game is either tunes by Blaque, or the feature film Bring It On which features the Blaque members as high school cheerleaders.

Shirley Temple Black Friday

Pour yourself a Shirley Temple (that’s ginger ale and grenadine) then add a splash of any kind of liquor. Any kind at all. Bam! Now it’s a Shirley Temple Black. Round out your Shirley Temple Black Friday with a selection of Shirley Temple films. Come on, I can’t be the only former community theater child around these parts! Get your inner ham on as you sing along to On The Good Ship Lollipop or Animal Crackers In My Soup. Have a Shirley Temple impression-off with your friends and family – especially fun if you’ve already knocked back a few Shirley Temple Blacks.  Sick of Thanksgiving leftovers already? Order some international food, because in her adult life Shirley Temple Black served as an ambassador to Ghana and the former Czechoslovakia.

Orphan Black Friday

Haven’t seen Orphan Black yet? Have access to BBC America On Demand? Today’s your lucky day! You can easily watch all 10 episodes in one fit of glorious laziness. While everyone is evading human stampedes and knife battles at Wal-Mart, you’ll be immersed in a world of mystery and intrigue.

Already seen Orphan Black? If you aren’t up for a re-watch, get your butt to a crowded mall. They say that everyone has a twin, or in the Orphan Black world, possibly at least 8 clones. Play a human matching game! Single out someone distinctive – odd walk, crazy hair, wonky features – then keep your eye out for their closest human match. Takes people watching to a whole new level.

Sirius Black Friday

The Harry Potter movies always feel like Christmas to me. That’s probably because ABC Family aired them as part of their 25 Days Of Christmas for so long that I finally acquiesced. Fine, ABC Family, you win. It’s a Christmas movie. Spoiler if you haven’t read/seen all of the Harry Potterses: Sirius Black seems super shady, but is actually in Harry’s corner the whole time. So today, do something nice for that person you absolutely can’t stand, on the chance they aren’t so bad after all. Or just say screw it and have a Hogwarts-themed feast. There are recipes for Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, and more online.

Orange Is The New Black Friday

Much like Orphan Black, this is an excellent series that you can watch in one sitting. If you’re off of work and in a food coma, this might be the right time to see what the buzz is about.

Maybe you already have seen it, though. And maybe OITNB gave you greater empathy for the incarcerated (We all make bad choices. It’s just, some of us got different bad choices to make). Well, you can use some of those Black Friday bargains for good, then. There are several organizations that accept new and gently used books for prisoners – for instance, the Prison Book Program. Either grab some discount reads after the crowds have died down, or use your time off to sort through your bookshelves. Literacy, especially critical literacy, is instrumental in helping individuals become fully participating members of society, after all. Okay.  I’ll stash my soapbox, now.

Paint It Black Friday

Rolling Stones tune strictly optional. If you’re decorating for Christmas this week, grab some ceramic ornaments and acrylic paints and have yourself an ornament painting party. It’s fun and you’ll have decorations when it’s done! If you have more than enough Christmas decor, spread the cheer by dropping off some ornaments with someone who could use a little holiday magic. You can have great ornament painting contests, too — best, worst, weirdest, whatever.

Wiggida Wiggida Wiggida Wack Friday

It’s as true today as it was in the early 90s: Kris Kross will make you jump, jump. But what really makes me jump, jump is this Kris Kross remix. The day after Thanksgiving is all about recombining your leftovers into something that feels new and interesting. It’s also a good day to do the same thing with music. Put on some mashups of your old-school favs and get your dance on — I still like the Girl Talk mixes for this. We can all use a little exercise now anyway.

Baby Got Back Friday

Sometimes it seems like everyone has the opening rap and chorus of this song memorized, but they have no love for the rest of it. Well, today is your day! Sit down with the lyrics and iconic music video until you have this down. Sure, other people are out buying gifts today. I’d argue that having this song in your repertoire is a gift to the world.

Underdog, Beef Trifle and Box Livin’: A Definitive List of Friends’ Best Thanksgiving Episodes

Good television fans know that certain series have the market on lock when it comes to holiday-themed episodes. For example, The Office had superb Christmas episodes every year. Community goes above and beyond with its Halloween shows. And of course, you could always count on Friends for a solid Thanksgiving episode.

friends t gives

Over the past few years, I’ve started my own tradition (like the Geller Cup, if you will) of watching every Thanksgiving episode from all 10 seasons, just to get me in the mood for the holiday.

So in honor of today, here’s a definitive list (read: based solely on my own personal opinion, my mind will probably change tomorrow) of the episodes from worst to best.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving!

Number Ten

Season 2: The One with the List

Ross must choose between Rachel and Julie and enlists Joey and Chandler’s help in making a list of the pros and cons of each. He chooses Rachel, but she finds the list and gets angry with Ross. Meanwhile, Monica gets a job making food with a synthetic chocolate substitute called Mockolate.

This was the only episode in the show’s 10 year run that was not an official “Thanksgiving episode”. It served as such when it aired in 1995, but there was not real T-Giving banter until the following season. That being said, I still think this is a great episode, not only because everyone’s still on a high from Ross and Rachel’s first kiss, but because Chandler’s laptop is like a life-changing instrument where you can both type semi-offensive documents about your friends but also play Doom. Could it BE anymore 90s?

Number Nine

Season 7: The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs

Phoebe sneaks a puppy into the apartment; Chandler reveals why he hates dogs. Ross becomes obsessed with naming all 50 states in order to earn his Thanksgiving dinner. Phoebe names celery.

Because of Ross, millions of people were left dumbfounded and extremely annoyed that they couldn’t list all 50 states. Unless you’re one of those people who learned the States song when you were younger. In which case you can’t participate in the game or Thanksgiving.

Number Eight

Season 10: The One with the Late Thanksgiving

Monica and Chandler grudgingly agree to host Thanksgiving. They get angry when their friends show up late, when Ross and Joey having gone to a game and Rachel and Phoebe having taken Emma to a baby beauty pageant, because why not. But their mood changes when they get good news from the adoption agency.

The best scenes in this mediocre episode are with the four latecomers who are brainstorming to come up with a way to get on the Bings’ good graces and come to dinner. Not to mention the creepiest door scene in all of Friends history.

Number Seven

Season 9: The One with Rachel’s Other Sister

Amy, Rachel’s spoiled sister played by Christina Applegate, shows up for Thanksgiving. The gang argues over who gets custody of Emma if Ross and Rachel die. 

Props to the person who cast both Christina Applegate and Reese Witherspoon as Rachel’s sisters. Christina was even nominated twice for her role and won in 2003 for this very episode! And it was totally well deserved because her spaciness and inability to understand that Phoebe’s name is, in fact, Phoebe and not Emma, makes her the sole reason why this episode needs more credit than it deserves.

Number Six

Season 1: The One Where Underdog Gets Away

The gang gets locked out of the apartment in order to see the Underdog balloon fly away from the Macy’s Day Parade. Monica’s first Thanksgiving dinner gets burned, Rachel misses a ski trip with her family, and Joey becomes a poster boy for VD.

The first season is a magical season for many reasons, but most importantly because if you’re watching it in current day, you can tell there’s still an innocence among the cast members and within the actual show – these people have no idea how big the show’s going to be or how much of an impact it will have on television history in general. The first ever Thanksgiving episode is no different. It set a precedent for future T-giving episodes, and the rest of the series in general.

Number Five

Season 3: The One with the Football

The gang plays a game of touch football on Thanksgiving as Ross and Monica argue over winning in a case of sibling rivalry over the coveted Geller Cup. Meanwhile, Joey and Chandler argue over who gets to date a model from Holland and Rachel is still clueless on the game. 

Family, Friends, Food and Football. Pretty much Thanksgiving summed up in alliteration. The Friends writers knew they had to incorporate one of America’s most beloved past times, and this was the perfect way to do it.

Number Four

Season 4: The One with Chandler in a Box

After Joey finds out that Chandler kissed his girlfriend Kathy, he forces Chan to spend Thanksgiving in a huge wooden box so he can think about what he did. What’s even weirder than Chandler in a box? Monica inviting her ex-boyfriend’s son over for Thanksgiving and she hits on him.

The reason for this episode being one of the greatest is threefold: 1) Monica with an eye patch. 2) Chandler/Matthew Perry being in a box the entire episode. 3) One of the greatest and unforgettable lines ever in Friends, as seen in the clip above. Judge all you want.

Number Three

Season 5: The One with All the Thanksgivings

The gang’s past Thanksgivings are revealed flashback style. We get to see when Chandler and Monica first meet, how he changed her life, Joey’s head up a turkey’s butt, and Pheebs in the 1600s. 

I appreciate that Friends has done only a few clip shows in its 10 year run, since it can feel like the writers haven’t come up with any new ideas and are just being lazy. But one thing that Friends did, that I think How I Met Your Mother really perfected, is having flashback scenes that are brand new to both the cast and the viewers. This episode takes the cake, as we get to see the Friends in different eras, different stages of their life and how they all came together as one unit. Plus who doesn’t love a good turkey head?

Number Two

Season 8: The One with the Rumor

Monica invites a high school friend, Will, played by Brad Pitt, to her Thanksgiving dinner. He and Ross were pals back in the day and had an I Hate Rachel Green club, which she finds out in the episode. Meanwhile, Joey tries to eat an entire turkey and Chandler and Phoebe attempt to avoid helping Monica with the dinner.

Oh boy. It’s like pouring salt in the wound thinking about this, but remember when Brad and Jennifer were still married and happy in love? But then they played enemies in this episode? Brad hardly makes any TV appearances, but obviously he made an exception with this, and I think he played the perfect roll. This could also be because my obsession with him started around this time, but whatever. Despite Will and Ross’ “hatred” for Rachel, it turns out to be a sweet moment at the end between the show’s iconic couple, leaving you with the warm and fuzzies. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Number One

Season 6: The One Where Ross Got High

Ross and Monica’s parents come to dinner, and Ross is forced to tell Chandler why Jack and Judy don’t like him, since they still don’t know Monica and Chandler are living together. Things get more stressful for Ross as he and Joey are trying to speed up Thanksgiving to hang out with Janine, played by Elle MacPherson, and her dancer friends. Rachel *tries* to make dessert for the first time. 

The Friends’ Thanksgiving episodes are usually bottle episodes, which means the action primarily takes place in one setting, with the same characters. In this case, it’s the six Friends in Monica’s apartment, seemingly like an act of a play. In saying that, the 22 minute episode goes by so quickly because the writing, acting, and comedic timing by all is just that good. So many things are happening with all of the characters, and it converges together in one of the most hilarious scenes on TV. From Phoebe’s infatuation with a French aqualegend to Rachel’s feet-tasting trifle, this episode is the perfect mix of disaster, family time and sentimentality that Thanksgiving is all about.

Booze Before Chews: A Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Drinking Game

Thanksgiving is our day. Our blog is named after a snack and an alcoholic beverage, need I say more?  However, everyone who’s had to correlate the cook times and temperatures of 10 different dishes, and schedule dinner around football games and children’s naps, knows that as much as Thanksgiving is about food, it’s also about multi-tasking. Oh, and gratitude.

So, why not multitask during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by getting your drink on? Responsibly, of course – feel free to use water instead and stop when you should stop.

I’m also including a parallel Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Exercise Game (Lose Before Chews?). Use that option if you are saving your stomach space for food (that’s me!), want to work off dinner in advance, or aren’t much of a day drinker.

* This list is from 2013, so we’ve added a few 2014-specific additions as well!

One Sip/ One Set* of Jumping Jacks if you see…

  •  Matt Lauer, and he has an obvious disdain for his cohost
  • Marching band from the midwest
  • Balloon or float featuring a cartoon character you’ve never heard of
  • Reality star from a show you actually watch
  • Nick Jonas, and you have to deal with weird grown-up feelings (he’s of age, it’s fine)
  • Country singer wearing a cowboy hat
  • Muppets!
  • … and you get choked up seeing Muppets for some reason. Really, what IS that?
  • One of the members of KISS sticking his tongue out
  • A float or balloon of one of your childhood favorites that’s been gone so long that it’s cool again (example: My Little Pony; Carebears)

Two Sips/ One Set of Burpees if you see…

  •  Matt Lauer, and the cohost has an obvious disdain for him
  • One of the flag girls having an obvious screw-up
  • One of the hosts or performers wearing an impractical but lovely white coat, a la Olivia Pope
  • Carrie Underwood singing something from The Sound of Music (shameless plug: we’ll be liveblogging the performance on December 5! (of 2013 – oh, what a night it was!))
  • Anyone from the cast of Peter Pan performing (yes, we’ll be liveblogging that too, and yes, you can upgrade a Sound Of Music performance to a “chug” scenario, because that already happened.)
  • Sandra Lee making something that’s technically gross but seems sort of delicious
  • A celebrity with his or her bored-looking teenager or tween
  • Mo’ne Davis, and you cry a little bit (she’s inspirational! it’s okay!)
  • The hosts refer to bad parade weather in the distant past (>25 years ago)
  • Pilgrims in buckle hats
  • ALL of the members of KISS sticking their tongues out

One Gulp/ 30-second plank if you see…

  • A Broadway performance featuring enthusiastic child actors
  • A clearly tangled or deflated balloon
  • A performance by an irrelevant musician (peak fame greater than or equal to four years ago)
  • A circus
  • and you find it really boring
  • A British star even though they don’t even do Thanksgiving JEEZ.
  • A Canadian star even though they already had Thanksgiving JEEZ.

Two gulps/ One Set of Pushups if…

  •  You get interrupted by someone saying “hey, can you come in here and help with…”
  • You have to explain to a child or teenager what KISS/ Gene Simmons is all about (actually, if you’re doing the exercise version you can skip the pushups- you’ve already had a mental workout!)
  • You spot very obviously out-of-sync lip-synching
  • All three Jonas Brothers appear together (they had a bit of a breakup)
  • You accidentally fall in love with Taylor Swift during her performance
  • A celebrity is on a float to which they have absolutely no connection (example: The cast of Law and Order: SVU on a Mott’s applesauce float)
  • The Duck Dynasty guys make a reference to shooting turkeys
  • Jimmy Fallon is there, and he delivers a thank-you note
  • Jimmy Fallon is there, and he brings Baby Winnie
  • Savannah Guthrie is there, and she brings Baby Vale
  • A youth choir sings something inspirational (example: Imagine, Somewhere Over The Rainbow)
  • There is a touching moment between Allison Williams and Brian Williams
  • The hosts deliver a half-accurate history lesson about the first Thanksgiving

Chug**/ Run in place until the next commercial break if…

  • There’s a runaway balloon
  • You accidentally call new Annie, Quvenzhané Wallis, “the cutest kid in the world” in front of children you’re actually related to. Oops!
  • One of the lip-synchers doesn’t even try at all
  • A Cirque du Soleil performer falls
  • At the end of the parade, you realize you missed the one thing that actually sounded like it would be interesting

* A set is however many you say is a set. We’re not Crossfit, here. Again, we’re named after a snack and an alcoholic beverage.

** Don’t really chug. Puking would really screw up your dinner plans.

These Are My Thanksgiving Pants

Can you believe Thanksgiving is just a few days away? How did this happen? Are you even prepared? I’m assuming if you’re cooking, you already have your recipes at the ready, so outfits for the big day are usually the last thing on your list. No worries, we’re here to help.

The one rule: Be COMFORTABLE – while still looking fab.

Follow Joey’s lead:

 

If you can’t get a hold of Thanksgiving/maternity pants, here are some other options to make sure your food baby is in check while you’re taking endless family/friend photos.

 

The Oversized Sweater

T Gives Sweaters

I feel like Thanksgiving and sweaters go hand in hand. It’s the perfect time to wear it, as you’re in the middle of fall and on the cusp of the holiday season, which always remind me of cozy sweaters. I’m sure none of you reading this show up in Champion sweatshirts to dinner, so it goes without saying that a nice, semi-dressy sweater is the best way to look good while feeling good after you eat all the foods.

The Leggings

T Gives Leggings

Remember when girls first started wearing leggings and everyone was like WTF is that and now it’s like the most common thing? I for one, am a fan of leggings, and feel like it’s an easy excuse to go outside without ‘pants’. Recently, I’ve gotten into jeggings, and before you roll your eyes, hear me out – they’re comfortable and if you buy the right pair – don’t look stupid.

The Roomy Dress

T Gives Dresses

I personally like to get dressed up for Thanksgiving, because otherwise I would feel like it’s just another day with a pot luck of sorts. Plus I know there are going to be a ton of pix taken, so that’s the vein side of me coming out.

The Skirt

T Gives Skirts

A comfortable skirt is a great way to go, especially if you’re living in a place with mild weather like LA. If you go with a shorter skirt, pair it with nice tights, or go for a maxi that will flow in the wind when you’re going for that post-dinner stroll.

The Comfy Shoes

T Gives Shoes
Let’s not forget about footwear, ladies. If you’re going to look good, do it from head to toe. Moccasins are great but is it semi-offensive on Thanksgiving? Idk, but they’re comfy.

Thanksgiving Foods That Say “Screw It” So You Don’t Have To

Every Thanksgiving has one: the participant who just doesn’t care. If you’re thinking “I don’t know, I haven’t really cared enough to notice who that would be,” then it’s you, buddy. It’s you. It’s hard to have a dismissive attitude toward a holiday that’s based around gratitude and food, but these folks manage.  Asked to bring a dish to pass, they’ll bring, at worst, a literal empty dish, and at best, one of the following items.

Obviously if you’re bringing one of these because you were asked to, because it’s your tradition, or because of financial or dietary reasons, I’d never judge you. But if that isn’t the case, please realize that nobody is picturing you traipsing through the supermarket squealing “Oh, goody! I’ll bring the canned cranberry sauce – what a treat!” We picture you tossing the jar into a basket on the way to dinner, with a shrug and a resigned “Eh, screw it.” And if you don’t literally say “eh, screw it,” these foods will do it for you:

Can-Shaped Cranberry Sauce

If you’re supposed to bring the cranberry sauce, and you serve a can-shaped loaf of congealed cran-slop, it better be a joke. Like, maybe your friend group thinks it’s funny when food takes the shape of its packaging, or maybe your family always made fun of  your grandma’s canned cranberry sauce – which presumably she brought because she was drunk or hated all of you. Okay. Fine.

But really, if you have been trusted with cranberry sauce, don’t turn it into a joke dish unless you know everyone’s on board — because seriously, can-shaped cran-sauce is the gag gift of Thanksgiving. If everyone’s bringing silly dishes, go for it! It’ll be like a jokey Yankee Swap but with foods instead of dollar-store items. Think hard, though: do you really want the person in charge of meat to bring Spam? Because that’s where things are headed when you serve canned cran.

Instant Mashed Potatoes

In college, the dining hall publicly posted comments and complaints. Despite our youthful desire to send in some sort of filthy comment, my friend ended up writing a wholly serious question: “What with the instants?”

Again, I ask to you: what with the instants? At their most basic, mashed potatoes are as easy as it gets: boil, add some kind of dairy or dairy-equivalent, mash. There’s really no need for instants, which by the way look like soap flakes. I think they probably taste like soap flakes too – but I can’t be sure, because I don’t know any little boys from the 1920s who got soap in their mouths because they sassed their parents.

Burned Canned Crescent Rolls

If Thanksgiving Dinner is high school, the turkey is the homecoming queen or head jock, the stuffing is the cool indie kid who knows all the good music but doesn’t play the popularity game, and the rolls are that kid who you see in the yearbook Senior year and say “wait… does he go here?” It’s no surprise that a lot of us don’t bother with homemade rolls, or even ones from a good bakery.

Rolls are clearly a low-tier Thanksgiving food, and usually Pillsbury’s will do just fine. But if your job was to handle the rolls, and all you can produce is burned crescent rolls, you really didn’t try hard. I think that about 3/5 of food-related arguments on Thanksgiving include the phrase “ALL you had to do was the ROLLS.” Another 1/5 will contain the related complaint: “We gave you ONE thing. ONE.” The other 1/5 are usually weird family stuff that you should probably deal with.

Spaghetti

No no no no. There was I guess a “campaign” a while ago to make spaghetti carbonara the official Thanksgiving food. Yeah. That’s about as much of a campaign as when the Yippies ran a pig for presidential office in the 60s. Not gonna happen. I think pasta is fine on Thanksgiving – as a vegetarian, it gives me a nice main dish. But you know, don’t we have enough carbs? As long as some dumb-dumb didn’t burn the rolls?

What it comes down to is, if there’s going to be pasta it should at least require a reasonable amount of effort. My grandma used to make lasagna every year. Lasagna is fine. Stuffed shells are fine. Spaghetti is NOT fine unless someone brought a toddler who’s going through a spaghetti-only phase or something.

Frozen Corn, Defrosted

A lot of people feel like you’re supposed to serve some kind of a “vegetable” on Thanksgiving. Me, I like my dinner to be a food version of trash fiction: 50 Shades Of Brown. Even these vegetable folks usually pay lip service to the whole well-rounded diet thing by defrosting a pack of  frozen corn. I suppose defrosting the corn yourself isn’t quite as bad as handing your host a bag of frozen corn and asking them to do it, so there’s that. To make it more like the first Thanksgiving, you can call the corn “maize” and steal it from your neighbors.

Green Been Casserole

Let’s be clear. This dish says “screw it” to complicated recipes. It says “screw it” to health. It says “screw it” to pretension. However, it says a resounding “hell yes!” to deliciousness. Yeah, we all know you didn’t have to slave over the green been casserole – but we all love you for your lack of effort. Of course, I’m talking about the kind made of frozen beans, canned soup, and freeze-dried “onions” (“astronaut onions,” if you will). By far the best – and dare I say, an essential – lazy Thanksgiving dish. This dish is why someday I’ll finally get that “sodium 4ever” tattoo, or maybe a salt shaker inside of a heart, and just hope that I’m never in a situation where I want to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. I’d forego that for this dish.

ICYMI: Slick Willy and the D.C. Hooligans

November is chock full of political fun, so we decided to dedicate this month’s playlist to some of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) politicians.

Playlist of the Month: Songs for Politicians

Generally, November is a big month for politics, with Election Day and all. But this year our November was filled with the stuff late night talk show hosts dream of. From Chris Christie to cracktown’s Mayor Rob Ford, there was no shortage of politicians to take aim at. Keeping up with the spirit of democracy, here is a list of songs we think would fit American politicians – whether they be disgraced or not.

Click here for the whole playlist on Spotify!

~~~

If you just can’t get enough of Rico Suave, here’s more Bill Clinton – celebrity edition.

~~~

Bill Clinton Converses with Celebrities

Yesterday was the 42nd President’s 66th birthday, and it’s not just because I like the guy, but I always remember his birthday because he shares it with my dad. So I mean, you could consider me as the Asian Chelsea Clinton. We have a lot of similarities.

Anyways, Billy C has had a storied life, bringing him all over the world and meeting hundreds of thousands of people of every walk of life. I recently came across this pic of a young William Jefferson Clinton meeting then President John F. Kennedy at The White House in 1963.

bill clinton jfk

He was just a teen in this iconic pic but can you even imagine their conversation?! ‘Oh hey Mr. President. I’m going to be the President one day and have an affair with an intern and my wife’s gonna forgive me and so will America and people will still like me. How’s Marilyn?’ (not verbatim)

Throughout the years of his Presidency, Billy has met a plethora of famous people, and if only we could hear what they were saying …

Billy C: Hey, that goatee looks great on you. I should grow one out too, don’t you think?
Brad Pitt: … No offense sir, but I was sexiest man alive 1995. I can pull anything off. You? Not so much.

Billy C: Great job tonight son. Nice hair.
Justin Bieber: Thanks man. Who are you again?

Billy C: Hilary and I listen to your slow jamz all the time. If you know what I mean *wink*
Usher: Yeah, I got you, sir. No need to wink.

Billy C: Y’all want to start a supergroup?!
Bono & Jon Bon Jovi: … No.

Billy C: Kobe, you and I have a lot in common.
Kobe: Don’t I know it, sir!
Kobe’s Wife: *flashes diamond ring*

Mick Jagger: Let’s go team-m, let’s go!
Billy C: You’re clapping off beat.

Betty White: Oh! Mr. President!!
Billy C: This is the most action I’ve gotten in 2 years. Let this happen.

Billy C: Jennifer, thanks so much for my award. Such a pleasure to meet you!
Jennifer Lawrence: HAHAHA I’m such a big fan I loved you in the White House I mean as the President not like ‘IN the White House’ like I’m a fan of you when you were the leader of the free world not like I was stalking you in the White House… you’re from Arkansas and I’m from Kentucky, we’re both from the south, isn’t that great?! *falls flat on her face*

Billy C: Charlize! Have you met Matt Bomer? He’s convinced me to do Magic Mike 2!
Matt: It’s true! I didn’t convince him to wear that fedora though…
Charlize: Are you sure you’re gay??

Bill Cosby: Now sir…. have you heard the joke about the penguin and the spaghetti…
Jerry Seinfeld: What’s the deal with the spaghetti?
Billy C: I honestly have no idea what either of you are saying right now.

Billy C: Hey Mikey, how’s that monkey of yours doing?
Michael Jackson: Not here, Mr. President. Not here.

Michael Jordan: I love you man, thanks so much for coming out to play golf with me.
Billy C: This picture is going to be framed and hung up in my Harlem office.

Billy C: Bruuuce! Can I bring out my saxophone now?
Bruce Springsteen: Alright man, but only on Born to Run.

Lyle Lovett: *mumbles*
Willie Nelson: Hey Pres, I got some realllly nice pot backstage if you wanna take a few hits before we go back out there.
Billy C: I don’t trust your pot, Willie… Let’s use mine.
Whoopi Goldberg: Child, this is NOT The View that I signed up for.
Eric Clapton: WTF am I doing here, I’m not even American.

Billy C: I can’t believe I’m hugging THE Meryl Streep!
Meryl Streep: Someone take this peasant off of me.

Tom Cruise: So now that you’re not the President anymore, how are your stress levels? Can I interest you in a free test? All the celebrities are doing it…
Billy C: Nice try, Tommy.

Billy C: *thumbs up*

Saturday Spotlight: What’s My Age Again?

Between the fond memories of the 1860s, the crotchety playlist about politicians, and the tween movie fandoms, you’d be hard pressed to figure out our age. Are we really mature 14 year olds? Or ageless vampires who have been around at least 150 years? Or just (rapidly aging) 20-somethings? Based on this week’s posts, it’s anyone’s guess:

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Spice World

Meatloaf

Things Meatloaf would do for love: act as the tour bus driver to the Spice Girls in a critically panned movie.

Alan Cumming

You may know him from Broadway or on The Good Wife, but he also was an annoying documentary filmmaker chasing the SG around London.

Happy 150th Anniversary, Gettysburg Address!

Today marks the 150th anniversary of The Gettysburg Address – that’s seven score and ten years ago, for you Lincolnophiles. I know: it feels like we celebrated the last Gettysburg Address anniversary days ago – but bam!, it’s November 19th again. We’d love to give an iconic oration wearing a top hat in commemoration of the anniversary, but we can’t – we don’t have a top hat. However, we can offer you the following ten tidbits about the speech, from videos to historical facts to personal anecdotes.

  • There are only two photographs of Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address.

Nobody can agree on which black and white blob he is, though.

This one is definitely Abe.

One of these guys is Lincoln. I have the same reaction to this as I do to ultrasound pictures and Magic Eye books – just pretending I see it so we can all move on. Smithsonian.com has a fun interactive feature so you can decide for yourself.

Playlist of the Month: Songs for Politicians

Generally, November is a big month for politics, with Election Day and all. But this year our November was filled with the stuff late night talk show hosts dream of. From Chris Christie to cracktown’s Mayor Rob Ford, there was no shortage of politicians to take aim at. Keeping up with the spirit of democracy, here is a list of songs we think would fit American politicians – whether they be disgraced or not.

Click here for the whole playlist on Spotify!

YA Book-To-Film Adaptations: 2013-2014 Edition

It’s no secret that we like a good Young Adult novel. Whatever –  we’re functioning, erudite adults who like books written for the 12-17 year old age bracket. It looks like we’re not the only ones, because there are a whole bunch of YA books being made into movies this year.

Here are a few of the films we’re most excited about. We’re including the release date – so you know how long you have to read the book. We’re also letting you know whether you should make an effort to read the book first, or if you if  can just skip it or pencil it in at your leisure. Our final category is the  Predicted Potter effect. See, most Harry Potter fans agree that the books by JK Rowling are the One True Harry Potter Series – but I love the movies, too. The filmmakers included just enough of the plot and captured the visuals of the books so well that the movies – by themselves, not in comparison to the book – are excellent. So, the Predicted Potter Effect is, on a 1-10 scale, how well the movie will work as a stand-alone piece.

The Jennifer Lawrence Victory Tour

London // November 11

Dress: Christian Dior Couture (basically that’s all she wore/wears, which makes sense since she is their muse)

When the cast turned into dinosaurs.

The Jennifer Lawrence Victory Tour

It’s not like I need to tell you, but today is the day, Hunger Games fans!!! We’ve waited long enough for the second installment of  THG film series and it’s finally here. One of the things I love about movies coming out is all the press the stars do before the movie comes out (albeit it’s probably horrible for the actors themselves), especially if I have a fond admiration for them. This is especially true with Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the Hunger Games cast.

Of course, we all want J Law as our BFF, and when it comes to interviews, you never know what she’s going to say. Not to mention, she always looks flawless doing so. In honor of Catching Fire and the amazing human being that is Jennifer Lawrence, here are some of her standout moments from the (exhausting) 7-city global tour, which will undoubtedly make you love her even more.

London // November 11

Dress: Christian Dior Couture (basically that’s all she wore/wears, which makes sense since she is their muse)

When the cast turned into dinosaurs

But then loved each other because they’re cute

It’s like finding money in your rented Dior coat, but better.

and then you throw them at your bff

JLaw being a perfect angel by approaching a Make-A-Wish kid at the premiere.

Berlin // November 12

Making practical look cool in Paris since ’87 (Dior)

Madrid// November 13

Photo Call: the perfect time to wear something other than Dior. One of my faves from this promo tour – Alexander McQueen

En la noche – mas Dior.

Rome // November 14

Love this Proenza Schouler dress from the Rome photo call!

breaking shippers hearts

Dior’s dresses come complete with a silver medallion placed randomly on the bottom!

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.

A fan but a book on a rope and lowered it down to Jen for her to sign. Brilliant, really.

Paris // November 15

Dare I say this goth-like Dior look was perhaps my favorite??

annndddd side boob

Los Angeles // November 18

I was a little surprised when Jennifer came out of her car with this number. If you may recall from the Emmys, Julianne Hough wore a semi-similar dress, which I proceeded to put on my worst dressed list. HOWEVER, J Law is pulling this look off, and design wise, it’s just wayyyy better than the Jenny Packham one Julianne wore. Still not my personal fave, but she looks great.

JLaw was sick this night and didn’t do any interviews, but still had time to meet the fans – while they cheered her on.

Not reallly JLaw related, but can you even with Josh and Liam??

New York // November 20

The final Dior look!

Best photobomb ever.


Jennifer yelling like the photographers

Clearly there’s a story to this. Click here.

Highlights from her 4 million interviews


Perhaps my favorite interview from them all – I’ve legit watched this like 5 times already. It’s a problem.

Second favorite interview – more games with the cast! AND it’s a two parter! Check it on Yahoo!


If you’re not familiar with Unscripted, get ready to waste hours of your life catching up.

Cuddling up in a blanket with David Letterman, natch. Watch the interview here!

“Would you rather switch roles with Sam Claflin or Jena Malone?”
“Sam.”
Interview with MTV News

No go forth and enjoy Catching Fire, fellow Tributes!!

Eating that bomb Arclight caramel corn

YA Book-To-Film Adaptations: 2013-2014 Edition

It’s no secret that we like a good Young Adult novel. Whatever –  we’re functioning, erudite adults who like books written for the 12-17 year old age bracket. It looks like we’re not the only ones, because there are a whole bunch of YA books being made into movies this year.

Here are a few of the films we’re most excited about. We’re including the release date – so you know how long you have to read the book. We’re also letting you know whether you should make an effort to read the book first, or if you if  can just skip it or pencil it in at your leisure. Our final category is the  Predicted Potter effect. See, most Harry Potter fans agree that the books by JK Rowling are the One True Harry Potter Series – but I love the movies, too. The filmmakers included just enough of the plot and captured the visuals of the books so well that the movies – by themselves, not in comparison to the book – are excellent. So, the Predicted Potter Effect is, on a 1-10 scale, how well the movie will work as a stand-alone piece.

Catching Fire

Release Date: November 22, 2013

Should I read the book first? Maybe. If you saw the first Hunger Games movie but didn’t read the book, then I wouldn’t skip the first book and jump into the second. Just go to the movie and catch up on the books later. If you have already read the first book and somehow didn’t finish the whole series within the course of a week, then you’ll probably want to read the second before seeing the movie.

Predicted Potter Effect: 8. I know people who saw the first movie without reading the book and they still enjoyed it, so I suppose this can hold up by itself. But, I also heard stupid confused comments in the movie theater from people who clearly hadn’t read the book — so, I think some of the narrative is a little clearer if you’ve read the book.

The Book Thief

Release Date: November 22, 2013

Should I read the book first? Probably – although, maybe this is one where the movie is better if you aren’t comparing it to the book, meaning that you could save the book for later. Either way, it’s worth reading.  I’m not sure how the narrative device will work in film — the book is narrated by death. The story follows Liesel, a foster child living in the outskirts of Munich during World War II. This is one of those books that’s for whatever reason labelled as Young Adult, but I can think of plenty of novels that are categorized as regular adult fiction with a young protagonist and straightforward narration. It’s a respectable grown-up read, too.

Predicted Potter Effect: 7. From what I’ve seen of the trailers, I expect the tone of the book to come across, although I am interested in seeing how the narration will work. The plot is so full that it will make a great stand-alone movie, but it will probably suffer a little in comparison to the book. This may just be me, but I find that books that have a large scope – lasting several years – feel a lot more compressed on film.

Divergent

Release Date: April 21, 2014

Should I read the book first? Probably – meaning, I probably should read it too. It’s been on my to-read-list but I’ve sort of had Teen Dystopian Universe fatigue.

Predicted Potter Effect: 7. Judging by the synopsis, a lot of the story rests on Tris’s inner life — her knowledge that she’s Divergent and decision about which faction to join. Obviously, that’s not so easy to convey on film. But, this sounds like a solid sci-fi/action film, so if you’re into those genres you might be okay without so much emphasis on the character’s feelings. Also, Shailene Woodley is such a solid actress that I think she’ll be able to show-not-tell the character’s conflict (I didn’t like The Descendants (sorry!), but she was great in it). Also also, Kate Winslet.

The Fault In Our Stars

Release Date: June 6, 2014

Should I read the book first? You should read the book – but whether you read it before or after the movie is probably immaterial. That is, I don’t think there will be any plot difficulties that you’ll have trouble understanding if you haven’t read the book. Still, my advice is to read it first because (1) it’s good, and (2) you have time. Author John Green has been involved in the film-making process, and has said that everyone from the actors to the set designers has done an awesome job in bringing his book to life in the way he imagined it. It will be fun to pick up on the little details from the book on-screen.

Predicted Potter Effect: 9. I have high hopes for this movie. In many ways, it’s easier to translate a book like this to the screen because it’s set in our everyday world. There’s a lot of variation in how you can envision Panem or Divergent-ville (I’m going to read it! I promise!), but I think we all have a handle on Indianapolis. So, there’s less of a chance that you’ll have to have read this book to fill in the holes of the plot and setting, making it easier to create a stand-alone film experience.

The Giver

Release Date: August 15, 2014

Should I read the book first? I’m assuming that most of our readers were already in fourth grade once, so I’m going to go ahead and guess that you already have.

Predicted Potter Effect: 5. I just don’t know how much I’ll be able to let myself slip into a different world while watching Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes. Also, apparently the guy playing Jonas is 24 – so, twice the age of Jonas in the book. All this makes me think it’s okay if you go into it already having loved the book, but might feel a little … weird as a movie. I don’t know. I just feel like most of the plot depends on Jonas and the other kids being put into their roles as soon as they’re hitting the teen years. If you are watching this because you loved the book you will like it, but if you don’t already have positive associations with the story you may feel a little skeeved out.