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.

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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.

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

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!

Traci’s Picks

Barack Obama – Can’t Get Enough of Your Love by Barry White

I feel like the President gets all kinds of Barry White on Michelle behind White House doors, and I realize this may seem awkward and weird, but let’s be honest, we’ve all thought about it. So I’m just putting it out there. Just picture him mouthing the words along with B White in the beginning…

Larry Craig – I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges

We talked about this Idaho Senator last week and we’re going to keep on talking about him, even though it’s been six years since he was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and soliciting an undercover cop for sex. Again, I’m not saying he’s gay… but… I will say that there’s a reason I picked this *disco* song that may or may not be a staple at various clubs where people of the same sex hookup… Definitely not saying that.

Joe Biden – All Eyez on Me by 2Pac

Our Vice President gets a lot of flack, but there’s a reason why Leslie Knope has such a huge infatuation with him – he’s got swag. Lots of it.

Eliot Spitzer – Still Not a Player by Big Pun

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer reportedly had at least seven sexy meetups with prostitutes from a hooker agency (it actually has a name) over the period of six months, paying more than $15,000 for their services. And that was just during the time he was under surveillence. He allegedly had been doing it for years, splurging up to $80,000 for prostitutes, first as attorney general and later as the governor. 

He resigned from his post in 2008, only to be followed by everyone’s favorite legally blind politician, David Paterson.

Wendy Davis – Who Run the World (Girls)

If I have to explain this to you, you should probably just leave this blog right now. Or if you’re from somewhere outside the U.S. and don’t keep up with American politics, just know this woman is a fierce politician who must have legs of steel.

Molly’s Picks

Rob Ford – Sorry by Nerf Herder

As Ford becomes a walking Chris Farley character, his mistakes get bigger and weirder. Running through city hall drunk? Using coke in a “drunken stupor?” Knocking over a city councilwoman like an excited Great Dane? It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Ford doing everything in this song – then issuing one of his daily apologies. What can I do? It’s over it’s over it’s over it’s over.

Bill Clinton – Rico Suave by Gerardo Mejia

Listen, you don’t earn a nickname like Slicky Willy without being really, almost cartoonishly smooth – just like Rico Suave. Clinton’s not a big ol’ cad like the guy in this song, but some of the lyrics work pretty well for a suave, swoon-worthy politician (What? I know it’s not just me.) Seguro que han oido que yo soy educado…

Mitt Romney – Rockin’ The Suburbs by Ben Folds

Mitt Romney is squeaky-clean in that well-off suburban Mormon way. He wasn’t pictured grabbing a beer with constituents on the campaign trail, but he sure did enjoy a good ice cream cone. When he lost in 2012, SNL showed him drowning his sorrows in milk. I think a lot of Romney’s supporters were clean-living suburbanites, too. But of course, a politician has to show that he understands the problems of the common man. Or, as Ben Folds wrote “y’all don’t know what it’s like being male, middle class and white.” You keep on rocking those suburbs, Mr. Romney.

Al Gore – Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows feat. Vanessa Carlton

Gore’s points about environmentalism and global warming are well-taken. It’s just that his delivery – both with his environmental politics and his presidential run – is not very compelling. So, he’s pretty much the human version of a mild-mannered 2000s cover of a mild-mannered 1960s Save the Earth song.

Sarah Palin – Stupid Girls by Pink

In 2012, CNN played this song to introduce a Sarah Palin segment and a minor kerfuffle ensued. However, it does kind of … work. Pink wasn’t singing about people with low IQs, she was talking about  ladies who put on a dumb persona because they think people will like them more. I think Palin did the same thing — I doubt she’s an actual dummy judging by her credentials, but I think she thinks the stupid act is endearing. Dumb isn’t cute.

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.
  • The Gettysburg Address and I go way back.

Nerd Confession: I took it upon myself to memorize the Gettysburg Address when I was seven. In all honesty, it was less because I’m a nerd, and more because I’m an idiot. In my elementary school, the primary grades stood in lines inside the foyer in the morning before the bell rang. Picture a big, drafty Edwardian brick school – very A Little Princess. A bronze plaque displaying the Gettysburg Address hung outside of a set of double doors. One day, one of the sassier nuns joked that in third grade we would all be tested on the Address.  I had a serious Hermione Granger streak, and was also just stupidly gullible. “Better get started now!,” I thought. So, I memorized it, like a nerdy little idiot.

  • In a video for an upcoming Ken Burns project, celebs and former presidents recite the address.

This is probably the classiest video mashup ever. There’s more at Burns’ website, Learn the Address.  I know I’ve mentioned my feelings about Ken Burns around these parts before, but let’s just file it under “weird crush” for now. Except in my mind’s eye he looks like Richard Attenborough, which come to think of it is also weird.

  • The Address was met with mixed reviews:

The Chicago Sun Times : “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly flat and dishwattery remarks of the man who has to be pointed out as the President of the United States. … Is Mr. Lincoln less refined than a savage? … It was a perversion of history so flagrant that the most extended charity cannot view it as otherwise than willful.”

The London Times: “The ceremony was rendered ludicrous by some of the sallies of that poor President Lincoln. Anything more dull and commonplace it would not be easy to produce.”

There were plenty of glowing reviews as well, of course. It just goes to show — next time you give a presentation and get a lukewarm reception, you should tell everyone to give it a good hundred, hundred and fifty years to sink in.

Don’t forget the Kentucky accent, either! Not exactly the booming, dignified delivery I’ve always imagined. Lincoln died 12 years before Edison invented audio playback (thanks for nothing, John Wilkes Booth!), but historical reports show that it took listeners a good ten minutes to adjust to how freaking weird his voice was.

  • Lincoln didn’t write the speech on the train from Washington, D.C. to Gettysburg

…despite what your fifth-grade teacher told you. This does make you feel a little better that you spent your last train ride watching Netflix and playing Candy Crush instead of writing one of the most celebrated speeches in history, at least.

  • The place that Lincoln gave the Address is probably now the middle of a graveyard.

By one recent analysis, the speech was given right here:

It almost definitely wasn’t given at the location of the Lincoln Address Memorial at Gettysburg, even though your tour guide probably told you that when you were eight years old and too young to know that your family took lame vacations (source: my past).

  • While it’s too bad we’ll never hear Lincoln’s shrill little Southern baby-voice deliver the Address

… some folks have been listening to it for the past 150 years. I’m talking about ghosts. If you’re into that sort of thing, Gettysburg is supposed to be one of the most haunted locations in the United States. Word has it that the undead are a little bit sick of hearing the whole fourscore spiel every November.

  • Lincoln got about as good a night’s sleep before the Gettysburg Address as you did on Spring Break in Panama Beach.

According to contemporary accounts, there was a party atmosphere in Gettysburg the night before the dedication. Bands played all night, and drunk revelers shouted. Groupies serenaded Lincoln until he came out of his room, and then they begged him to speak. If iPhones had been invented, you know they would have been taking selfies with him. The crowds were more or less the 19th century version of those kids on your college break singing Golddigger til 4 am.

  • The Gettysburg Address fits almost perfectly to the tune of Firework by Katy Perry

There are several videos on Youtube, mostly for school projects. Should I tell them that that nun was lying and you don’t really need to learn it?

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Spice World

At the height of Spice Girls mania, the fivesome from England made a huge risk by venturing onto the big screen with a film about their lives. It made $77 million worldwide, and while it was monetarily successful, it didn’t translate into positive reviews. Imagine my astonishment when I found out it only got a 3.0 RATING on iMDb!!! Alright, maybe not THAT surprising, but for what it was, it was actually not that bad. I’m not saying it was on Beatles level with A Hard Day’s Night, but it certainly wasn’t From Justin to Kelly.

Ask any fan of the Spice Girls/pop music what they think of the movie today, and if their answer isn’t ‘best movie ever made in the history of movies’ then immediately stop talking to that person, smack them in the face, and cut them out of your life immediately. But really, it’s better than you think. I mean why else would all these celebs sign up to do it (besides you know, the money, general exposure, etc.). Here are some folks who popped up in Spice World that you may have forgotten about – so after reading this, you might as well just watch it all over again.

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.

Elvis Costello

He may be British, but honestly, Elvis Costello is the last person I ever would have guessed to be in this movie.

Stephen Fry

The actor/writer/comedian played an old-timey judge, because the producers basically just felt the need to include every possible British celebrity they could get.

Bob Geldof

The musician/producer of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmastime’ was forced to do his hair exactly like Scary Spice – and you can thank his daughters for that. Apparently they were big fans and the sole reason he decided to take on the role. So, thanks Peaches.

Elton John

Honestly, Elton being in this for 2 seconds mad more sense to me than Elvis Costello. Still not over that.

Hugh Laurie

Before he was diagnosing non-Lupus on House and talking to Rachel Green about Ross’ wedding and ‘Pheebs’ on Friends, Hugh showed up in Spice World

Roger Moore

James motherfreaking Bond. 007 acted in the same movie as the SPICE GIRLS, Y’ALL.

Jennifer Saunders

In Spice World and still staying Ab Fab, darling.

George Wendt

Norm was forced to leave Cheers, so without a bar to go to, he decided to become a film producer instead.

Dominic West

Jimmy McNulty from The Wire is barely recognizable in this super short scene, but needless to say, it’s one of my faves from the entire movie.

The girls (and the special effects engineers) thank you for your time.

Stand By Your (Shady Politician) Man: A Photo-Essay

Let’s talk about the worst job in politics. It’s not not working as a Congressional page – from what I hear, that’s summer camp for upwardly mobile cool nerds. It’s not clerking for the Supreme Court – you can go anywhere after that, you just have to put up with Scalia’s long-winded dissents for a year.

Give up? The worst job in politics is being married to a politician who got embroiled in a prostitution ring, went on coke binges, or  was engaged in heavy sexting under a pseudonym that sounds like it was created by a 12-year-old in study hall (Carlos Danger?!) — and having to stand behind him at a press conference looking simultaneously supportive, repentant, and just disgusted enough to be relatable.

But don’t take our word for it – let the photos do the talking:

Silda Wall Spitzer and Eliot Spitzer

It looks like Eliot Spitzer’s face is trying to eat his mouth. I mean, he looks like a contrite Cabbage Patch doll. Silda Wall looks like she’s weighing whether it’s worse to have a husband who (a) is involved in a prostitution scandal or (b) looks like a child’s drawing of a sad person — only to realize that she’s married to secret option (c): all of the above.

Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner

Here is what it looks like when you are a rising public figure in your own right, a newlywed expecting your first child, and your politician husband’s skeezy sexts are released to the media. You skip the press conference and go on the world’s gloomiest ice cream date instead.

This is how you look the second time that happens. Note that Abedin can’t even look, and Weiner has co-opted the  patented Eliot Spitzer “Sorry Stick Figure” face. Weiner looks like a kid who got caught in a lie in a Family Circus comic.

Renata Ford and Rob Ford

Things have really headed south for Rob Ford since the last time we wrote about him – although if Ford’s to be believed, he’s been heading south a lot anyway. If you’ve missed it, when asked about an affair with a staffer, Ford replied: “I never said I wanted to eat her p***y. I’m happily married, I have more than enough to eat at home.” I’m sorry for editing the swears but that was bound to do some weird things to our search results. Well, looks like somebody’s going to be going to bed hungry — or not, I really really don’t ever want to know or think about how the Fords work things out.

Oh, and he said it during a press conference with his wife standing right behind him. Huma? Silda? You can go home now – we’ve found our winner. Poor Renata is standing there, reflecting on the time her husband explained away his crack use as just part of a regular ol’ drinking binge – and thinking of that as the good old days when he was way less embarrassing. Renata Ford literally looks like she is trying to throw up her own brain so she doesn’t need to think about this nonsense any more.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton

Flawless Queen Hillary has this down. You might not be able to control what your face does during a press conference, but a photo, from behind, showing that you’re still a united family, but probably communicating strictly through your daughter and maybe some aides for a while, and you have a cute dog also — that’s some Olivia Pope-level scandal cleanup. The photo that says “I’m handling this with dignity because I might want to be president someday.”

Suzanne Craig and Larry Craig

Standing beside your husband, a U.S. Senator from Idaho, as he explains that yes, he was charged with lewd conduct in a men’s bathroom and no, that doesn’t make him gay or anything — that’s a rough gig. It’s a bit of delicious schadenfreude for many of us, as Sen. Craig has worked to thwart gay equality — but man, I can’t feel too happy about it because I feel awful for his wife.  Suzanne Craig does about as well as one could with it. She has the blocking down: beside your husband, and about two steps back. Matching colors. Heart necklace, showing that your husband loves and cherishes you although sometimes he gets down in the men’s lavatory. Sunglasses, so nobody can see your shame and tears.

Gloria Cain and Herman Cain

Herman Cain was running for President, and kept his campaign going for a while even though he was accused of cheating … kind of a lot, and sexual harassment … kind of a lot. Why does Gloria Cain look the most joyful out of all of these sad politicians’ wives? Because in this photo, Herman was announcing the suspension of his campaign.

Carolyn Berry and Rep. Gary Condit

This is about as sad as political scandals get. Rep. Condit’s affair came to light when the woman he was having the affair with went missing, and later was found murdered. Imagine finding out your husband had an affair, finding out the young lady in question is dead — and knowing that he is the main suspect, at least in the court of public opinion. If you truly intend to stand by your shady politician, this is where you pull out the big guns to get middle America on your side — People Magazine. Berry’s face says it all: “Just because I’m pretty sure my husband isn’t a murderer, doesn’t mean I’m happy about any of this.” If you take a look at the date stamp on this magazine, you’ll notice that in about a week a much bigger news story took over, and we didn’t hear much about the Condits until Gary’s name was cleared the next year.