Dawson’s Creek Is So Old That…

How old is Dawson’s Creek?
At 20 years old this month, Dawson’s Creek is so old that (in my subjective memory)…

I started watching Dawson’s Creek on Episode 4 … so I had to wait until summer reruns to see episodes 1, 2 and 3. No DVR, On Demand or Hulu!

But not to worry, because people online actually transcribed the episodes and posted them on angelfire/ geocities. (So Many Old Sites still exist! It’s like time travel.)

… And I got in trouble for tying up the phone line reading those websites.

If I missed an episode, I would read the recap on Dawson’s Wrap, the pre-pre-precursor to the long defunct Television Without Pity.

TV soundtracks were a big thing, and the WB would announce the songs featured in the episode, along with the albums they appeared on, at the end of the episode.

Speaking of which, the Dawson’s Creek Soundtrack was THE must-own album in 7th grade and I bought it at a mall in an actual CD STORE. And I didn’t know each jewel case had a different picture inside, so I was bummed to get the Joey one instead of the Pacey one.

Today, an actress the same age as youngest main cast member Michelle Williams would have been born in the year 2000.

Oldest main cast member James Van Der Beek is now 40 years old. If you’re keeping track, that’s only about two years younger than John Wesley Shipp was when he played James’s Dad.

(It’s also only about 18 years younger than Grams, but to be fair Mary Beth Peil was not really old in 1998, they just wrote her like she was 90.)

Dawson’s Creek was the anchor of the teen block on the WB, which hasn’t even existed for the past 12 years … aka, since today’s teens were babies.

There was a guide to the Dawson’s Creek stars – with full color pages! – in the paper Scholastic book order.

Two of the main characters – Dawson and Pacey, but you already knew – worked in a video store, which truly seemed like a cool job to have.

Dawson didn’t shoot on film because he was a hipster. He shot on film because it was the only way.

Also, the kids didn’t dress ‘normcore’ because they were hipsters. They dressed normcore because the show was literally sponsored by J. Crew at that point. Remember when Gap’s big campaign convinced middle school and high schoolers that frumpy khakis were cool? It was right around then.

Do yourself a favor and click on this to go to Buzzfeed’s post about the D.C. J. Crew catalog

Katie Holmes was so young then that she delayed her audition because she was in her high school play in Ohio.

It had only been two years since Joshua Jackson appeared in D3: The Mighty Ducks, and only 6 years since he was a tiny scamp in the original The Mighty Ducks.

The hot new musical of the year was …. Ragtime.

Teletubbies, a children’s show from a very long time ago, wouldn’t even premiere for another few months.

The furby hadn’t been introduced yet, but Beanie Babies were still a hot item.

 

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Whole30 Week 3: We’ve Got Tiger Blood in Our Veins

It’s week three of Whole30 – halfway to cheese! Are we still surviving? Read on to find out.

:Week 1:

:Week 2:

Day 15

Molly: After my through-the-roof grocery bills at the start, I’m in a comfortable place now because some meals stretched longer than I thought, and others didn’t use up all of their ingredients. Since last week’s made-up frittata was a dud, I was glad to use some leftovers in a breakfast that I’m actually enjoying: sweet potatoes with baked eggs, with a side of sauteed kale, tomatoes, red onions and orange pepper. Hello, color!

These harissa portobello mushroom tacos are a hard recommend. If I make them again, I might go for the extra credit and make cashew cream to go on top.

Yes, that’s romaine, and yes, I spent a few hours crossing my fingers that I didn’t get e.coli (I didn’t).

This weekend somebody asked me if eating on the Whole30 is boring, and it’s a mixed bag. I’ve had so much fresh, delicious food that I couldn’t call that part boring. However, constantly thinking about what I have to make, and spending hours on meal prep, IS a bit of a drag.

Traci: I didn’t have to work today, so I’ve put off cooking until now. By cooking, I mean it’s a light day since I only made hard boiled eggs, made some breakfast sausages, cut up items for salad, and cooked the other Blue Apron meal of Togarashi chicken lettuce cups. So. Much. Meal. Prep.

And like Molly, I too spent an arm and leg on groceries the first week, and now I just have food/meals that are lasting a while. Including the kale avocado salad I made with the Blue Apron box, which apparently will last me a month.

Day 16

T: Also worth noting that I made mini fritattas too, and still eating those for breakfast. Also for breakfast – taking a whiff of my co-worker’s cinnamon sugar donut like it’s crack.

I also risked everything and watched “Somebody Feed Phil”, a new Netflix docuseries featuring Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal. I loved his first show, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”, and the premise is similar for both – Phil goes to different places all around the world and eats their local cuisine. Most of which I can’t have on W30. But let’s be honest, it’s also barely plausible that I will be getting pad thai from a vendor at Bangkok’s floating market anytime soon. Point is that I watched it. Well, most of it. And didn’t crave non-compliant food! Little victories.

Molly and Tori were talking about the reintroduction phase once day 31 hits. I didn’t read the book. Am I not supposed to shove my face with cheese?

M: I put off reading about the reintroduction phase until this week and I’m a little scared I’m going to say screw it and eat all the cheese. What they DON’T tell you is the Whole30 is really a Whole40, with like one non-compliant thing every few days for the last 10 days. I don’t love it.

Somebody Feed Phil sounds amazing – food travel is one of my favorites! –  but I’m not sure if I can handle it as well as Traci did.  Just seeing Call Me By Your Name last week (and smelling everyone’s popcorn) had me missing living with a European family when I was young, in Spain, and allowed to eat grains, sugar and dairy.

Day 17

T: I finally ate the last of the kale avocado salad. With balsamic chicken I’ve had since last week. Honestly I have an overabundance of food. And 80% of it I’m only half interested in eating.

I will say that I feel like not eating all the things that aren’t compliant is becoming second nature to me. Dare I say, easy?

M: This week I ran across the phrase “tiger blood” and couldn’t stop laughing. TIGER BLOOD. These people are serious about the phrase “tiger blood.” That sounds like a disease you’d get in the jungle if you don’t get the right vaccines before you go.

Anyway, “tiger blood” hits around this phase of W30, when you’re feeling fresh, energetic, and like it’s – dare I, too? – easy. I think we’re both there! I’m used to what I can and cannot have, I’m more or less in a rhythm with cooking, and I’m not buying all the groceries in the world.  I’m really enjoying all of the stuff I’m making. It’s starting to feel like I can more or less eat this way when I’m done, bu, t with the addition of bread, pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, cheese and the occasional sweet. So, nothing like this and exactly like I ate before. Never mind.

Day 18

M: We’re well past the halfway point (!) and one thing we haven’t brought up is alcohol. In fact, when people ask what the Whole30 rules are I always forget to mention it. I don’t know, both of us will have a drink or two socially but have definitely gone a month without alcohol without meaning to. And at 31, our social lives don’t revolve around going to bars like they did 10 years ago. Plus we don’t, like, Olivia Pope it with a tumbler of wine after work. Anyway, if you’re wondering why we haven’t brought it up, it’s just because it’s really a nonissue. Now, if I had to give up coffee and tea instead we’d have some Real Problems.

T: I’ve had to explain W30 multiple times to people over the past few weeks and every time, I forget alcohol. It’s an afterthought, and TBH it’s only been a problem when I realize I can’t have it when it’s an ingredient in certain dishes, NOT because I want a giant vat of sauvignon blanc.

Today’s self-debate: which of the things I’m not supposed to have will be the first thing i reintroduce into my diet? It’s like Sophie’s Choice. Dairy is winning by the way.

Day 19

M: I’m late to the game with this one, but I went to Chipotle and it was great for Whole30! I ended up with a salad with raw fajita veggies, probably 2-3 kinds of salsa, and a solid cup of guacamole. When I go to peoples’ houses I’ve taken to just bringing a container of leftovers and hoping I don’t seem crazy. This probably only works with family and close friends.

T: Look, we both said it’s getting “Easy” and #TigerBlood and all, but here’s another difficult thing that I faced today: i am starting to get sick of the food I’m eating.

Because I’m starting to get over cooking, it’s led me to only cooking dinners on Sundays, which means breakfast is basically hard boiled eggs, avocado and a breakfast meat of choice. And again, because I’m a rebel, I don’t lunch but rather snack, and there’s only so many roasted plantain chips (i’m not supposed to have) to be eating.

I JUST WANT THE OPTION TO EAT AN ENTIRE LOAF OF BREAD WITH BUTTER. I’M NOT ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT. BUT I WANT THE OPTION.

M: I’m getting testy because I’m realizing that this is not that different from how I eat regularly, except with the ENTIRE LACK OF OPTIONS for “sometimes foods.” It’s important to note that neither of us like feeling bossed around, and I am feeling VERY BOSSED INDEED.

Day 20

T: Today I ate out TWICE! First, I had lunch after the Women’s March, but had to do extensive research for places that had W30 options in downtown LA. We ended up at a generic European place that opened one day before the Women’s March last year. The owner was our server and kept giving us free items like a jelly candy, charcuterie plate and tiny macaroons. I had two slices of the ham and ordered poke on greens without soy sauce. All very delicious.

Then I went out to dinner before seeing Disney’s Aladdin (the musical, not the movie, obvs). We usually eat at a place near the Pantages, Greenleaf, which is a lot of salads and the like. I did a build your own salad (with this great almond-crusted chicken) and my friend and I split an order of baked sweet potato fries and an avocado pesto dip (which we had to obnoxiously ask for an itemized list of ingredients).

Both of us (she is also on W30) were on our way back home and were still hungry. How. Anyways, it’s possible to eat out, just not as many choices.

M: I’m finding it really hard to eat out on the vegetarian version and I’m largely disinterested in the options available to me, like Some Broccoli or A Sad Bare Salad. Maybe that’s what W30Couple wants (I get that it’s Melissa and Dallas but I’ve taken to thinking of them as Melissa and Doug, of wholesome wooden children’s toy fame).

Day 21

T: Second round of Blue Apron cooking today, and it included a seared salmon & harissa vegetables with roasted red onion vinaigrette and then crispy chicken and italian tomato sauce with potatoes and collard greens.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The fact that I have to cook two meals in the middle of my Sunday is annoying to me. But this is what I signed up for. The Whole40.

M: OK, so not only is it a for-real Whole40, but I somehow deluded myself into thinking of it as 4 weeks instead of 30 days. As in, over the weekend I thought to myself “okay, heading into week 4! almost there!”  I was celebrating my last shopping trip of Whole30, then remembered that I’m not done until next Wednesday (plus 10 after that…). Staying positive here, friends.

Whole30 Week 2: “It’s My Whole30”

We made it another week! What did we learn now that we’re seasoned experts? Read on to find out!

: See Week 1 here:

Day 8

Molly: I should probably mention that I’m doing the vegetarian version of the Whole30. I haven’t eaten meat since some time in high school, which was so long ago that there are now period films about it (Lady Bird, I’m pulling for that Oscar nomination). The W30 description of the vegetarian diet sounds like it was written by Regina George. It’s basically, “you’re a nonsense person who has chosen a garbage lifestyle, but here’s a way you could ruin your diet less I GUESS.” The difference is mainly that I don’t eat meat (obviously) but can eat some legumes. Whole milk organic pasteurized plain yogurt is OK but I’m not going to do it. I mean there were 4 modifiers before I even got to “yogurt.” This is actually the first day I’ve had any legumes – for the most part, I’m doing the regular W30 but with an almost obscene amount of eggs – but I realized my protein intake was a bit low so I made lentil soup and a roasted beet salad with edamame.

Peeling roasted beets is pretty gnarly, huh?

Traci: RX Bars – what is the consensus on these? I had one that contained egg whites, dates, almonds, blueberries, other items and it was super dense. I couldn’t even finish it.

Since I’m on my regular meat-eating diet, for dinner, I had pork chops with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute that you can put on pretty much anything and it will taste like you actually put an effort into cooking. I had that with roasted broccoli and cauliflower rice, and it felt the most like a regular dinner since start this a week ago!

M: I’m not buying RX bars or Lara Bars. I make my granola bars in real life (real life being when I’m not doing W30 I guess?) and switching to premade ones would probably feel like dessert. #Sexpants. [Update: toward the end of the week I had a Lara bar in a pinch. It was OK but not great. I’d treat it as a backup food but not a regular thing.]

Day 9

M: Here’s something I’ve noticed: getting hungry makes me feel way more panicky than normal.  I was at the hardware store tonight and felt famished as I looked at the junk food by the register – and buying snacks on the go isn’t even something I do! But I couldn’t have it, was the difference.

They announced a snow storm for Friday into Saturday and I immediately knew I’d push my weekly shopping trip up to Thursday even though I avoid grocery stores the night before a storm. The idea of being trapped in my house with just a bag of frozen spinach and a dwindling egg supply was terrifying.

T: Do you guys know how hard it is to find a breakfast meat that doesn’t include sugar? 99% of all bacon (not a real stat) includes some kind of sugar, specifically brown sugar. Our friend Tori, who is also doing W30, suggested Pederson’s brand for all my breakfast meat needs. I went to Whole Foods since it’s the only local place that carries it – and a pack of uncooked no sugar hickory smoked bacon is $7.99!!! Gonna have to ration this shit out.

A lot of people at my work are sick, and since I’m paranoid, I felt like I needed to act before those germs could strike on me. But my usual plan of attack is to down Vitamin C and gulp a lot of orange juice. But can’t do that this time around. I’ve been eating a lot of oranges, but it doesn’t seem enough to me. Which is why I went to Whole Foods in the first place. They carry these wellness shots by Kor that are supposed to help the immune system. My friend also told me about these Elderberry & Zinc lozenges that I also purchase because this bitch isn’t getting sick. Especially not on W30.

My friend invited me to an impromptu W30 dinner, since 4 of my friends are also doing it, and 2 others just went along for the ride. They made baked waffle fries and this slow cooker chili (but added sweet potato and sliced carrots and used low sodium chicken stock, not beef). It was so freaking good and again, didn’t felt like it was a typical “W30” meal.

Day 10

T: You know what you shouldn’t do? Take the Kor wellness shot while you’re driving. I knew it had cayenne pepper in it but a greatly underestimated how it was going to effect me. It’s straight up ginger, cayenne, lemon juice, coconut juice, and tiny tiny little shivs made into particles that go down your throat. I had to get rid of the burn by grabbing some cashews originally rationed for lunch. But am I sick? No. Worth it? I guess.

Today I got halfway from the parking garage to my office and realized I forgot my lunch bag in my car. I couldn’t just leave it because it had my breakfast and all my W30 approved snacks for the day! I couldn’t survive off the things from craft services and the commissary – which I obviously would have to spend money on. I walked all the way back. Extra exercise, I guess?

Relatedly, besides all the cooking, my other complaint about this is how much money you spend. Between organic foods and items like coconut oil or ghee, it’s a lot of stuff I don’t usually buy that costs nearly twice as much as my regular groceries. Here are some super helpful tips on how to save money on W30 from 40 Aprons (home of the delish crockpot carnitas from last week) if you can relate.

I also just want to give a shout out to Simply Organic Dijon Mustard – it is giving me life through W30. It’s surprisingly delish and I’m maybe putting it on everything moving forward.

M: I donated blood today because there’s a shortage, I’m 0- (universal donor), and someone in HR specifically emailed me telling me there were cancellations and she noticed I had donated before. Hello, guilt trip. I have a super-low resting heart rate and tend to get woozy after donating, which is admittedly like … two times because I used to be ineligible. I was worried that I’d feel even worse being on the W30, but it was fine! I did have raisins and apple juice (no added sugar or weird stuff in either) right after because I know how I get.

Day 11

M: My Whole30 Mantra, because I have a Whole30 mantra, is “it’s my Whole30.” I use it when I read Whole30 commentary about the ideal way to do things, like not snacking and going full-egg if you’re a vegetarian. I’m doing this to reset my dietary preferences and habits. I know I’m not sensitive to legumes so I’m not stressing about doing the version that allows them. I’m also not trying to lose weight so – Whole30 controversy alert! – I’m still weighing myself since I know I won’t quit if I’m not losing. I don’t know what I’d do if I gained – back off the fruit?  No. “Back off the fruit” is the diet plan of a crazy person.

I really want, like, a single square of chocolate at night, but I am also deep enough into W30 to appreciate the total restriction approach. Until February. Then gimme me that 80% cacao.

T: I totally agree that “It’s My Whole30” should be everyone’s motto. It’s probably against everything the founder talked about in her book we didn’t read, but I still stand by it.

Here’s a good snack I’ve enjoyed at work: carrots and an individual cup of Wholly Guacamole. It feels like guac shouldn’t be compliant, but thank god it is.

Day 12

T: I was 3/4 of the way through eating my hard boiled eggs, avocado, and chicken sausage breakfast topped with Trader Joe’s Chili Pepper hot sauce when I thought to myself, “Hmm this hot sauce tastes a little sweet”. Then I looked at the ingredients. Right there, listed second, was SUGAR. Lit’rally an hour before, I was texting Molly and our friend Tori, and said “I decided if sugar sneaks in i’m going to pretend it didn’t happen.”

WELL IT DID, TRACI. IT DID. How much sugar is in it, exactly? 1 gram. OK FINE. IT’S BARELY ANYTHING, BUT STILL. This is how sugar just comes out of nowhere. We eat too much sugar as a society, y’all.

Anyways, I’m pretending it didn’t happen and moving forward with my life. Because I’ve been super careful up until then.

I’d also like to point out the dessert I just whipped up like a contestant on Chopped. If the contestant was given a basket of non-weird food items that go together.

M: While I’m avoiding anything dessert-y (including nut butters), that looks amaaaazing. I made a cereal that was the first sweet food I’ve had other than plain fruit (food processed walnuts, coconut, chia and raisins) and it was just like Traci with the RX bars – I  couldn’t even get through a serving because it was so dense, like fruitcake cereal.  I only made the damn fruitcake cereal because I have been powering through this frittata I don’t like for about 3 days and I need a break. I spend so long cooking that I can’t bear to waste perfectly ‘good’ food.

Update: 3 hours later my mouth still feels sugary and gross from the ‘cereal.’ There’s a reason the serving size of raisins is one box that fits perfectly in a dollhouse pantry. They’re TOO SWEET. Back to eggs and veggies for breakfast.

Day 13

T: I went to go see Call Me By Your Name and the smell of popcorn was wafting in the air as i watched my new favorite couple fall in love on screen. I just sat there and drank my smuggled in bottle of water.

I also received my first Blue Apron box! they’ve paired up with W30 to provide compliant meals and i thought what a better time than any to finally try it out! i got some kind of deal where i got $50 off (split between boxes) so it works out to be about $10/meal, which provides 2 servings. First up was Mexican spiced barramundi with kale, roasted sweet potatoes and avocado salad. there’s a step by step guide that times everything perfectly, so it’s basically cool proof. It wasn’t too laborious and tbh i wasn’t even sure if it was going to taste good. especially bc i’m so picky with kale. But let me tell you – it was DELISH. Like i was surprised at how good it was. And the kale salad? I went back for another heap of it bc it was that good.

The thing that’s always attracted me to Blue Apron (and similar boxes) is there you’re provided w the exact amount of ingredients and nothing more. EG a bag of Mexican spices. a sachet of pepitas. so much better than having to buy a full container of cumin that i’m never going to use again.

M: The Blue Apron W30 box is non-veg, but based on my friends’ reviews I am signing up for it once I’m done with W30. Most of the expense of this has been buying pricey ingredients that are bigger than I need. Like, why do fresh herbs come in bunches the size of my head?

T: Additionally, I went to a party/movie night where there was cheese, brownies, s’mores, and even tempted my then offer of an ice cream sundae to my face but i said no sir. again what’s super helpful about this is that four of my other friends there are also on W30 so it’s not as bad when other people are eating bell peppers and disregarding the moist brownies on the table.

M: The hardest thing about W30 for me is the fear of seeming rude or bratty for refusing things. It goes back to the vegetarian thing: I feel so sorry for how it inconveniences hosts that I will eat literally anything else somebody is serving. That’s harder to do on W30 – at restaurants too! – because vegetarian options usually contain grains or cheese. I was at a baby shower this weekend where fortunately there were some vegetables, nuts (thank you, charcuterie boards!) and a fruit salad, and I loaded my plate with those so you couldn’t tell I was skipping the assorted brunch foods. I had visions of being that annoying girl listing off all the things she doesn’t eat while everybody internally rolls their eyes. All I wanted was for people to not notice.

It was also my goddaughter’s birthday, and fortunately she chose Friendly’s as her dinner of choice. Their lunch/dinner menu is so bad (so, uh… we’re not getting that Friendly’s endorsement, huh?) that sitting there sipping a tea was fine.

The easier part for me: I couldn’t care less about skipping cake, ice cream, pizza and snacks, and when they talk about ‘trigger foods’ you can’t stop eating, it doesn’t compute. I don’t even keep snacks in my house in ‘real life’ (non-W30) except fruit and plain popcorn, and I’ve never related to not being able to pass up dessert.  Sometimes it feels like the W30 is written with this assumption that we all eat things like cookies regularly.

Here’s a legit vice of mine, though: in real life I drink diet soda even though I know it’s poison water pushing me into an early grave or whatever. I just think a cold fizzy drink tastes more refreshing than a cold-non-fizzy drink. Luckily I enjoy club soda and La Croix just as much, I just don’t usually buy them (to be fair, I wouldn’t usually have diet soda at home, but I’d order them out and sometimes pick one up as a treat when I’m grocery shopping … or to push through a mid-workday energy slump). Now I really wish it was easier to buy club soda/sparkling water on the go because I’d like to keep choosing these post-W30.

Day 14

T: Not to dwell on Blue Apron again (but I am for the rest of the W30, so deal with it), but I went to TJ’s today and barely had to buy anything. It was fantastic. Most of the stuff I was buying for dinner, but I pretty much have that covered thanks to Blue Apron. I’m their spokesperson now, it’s fine.

M: You could copy/paste Traci’s paragraph about Call Me By Your Name here. All of it. Just like last week, I don’t ever get movie snacks but when I can’t have them all I can notice is how everybody else is enjoying popcorn and what I can only assume is cold, delicious diet soda. I never said I had a refined palate, y’all.

That said, here are some recipe recommendations! This curried cauliflower rice kale soup was delicious and ACTUALLY spicy, unlike the disappointingly bland lentil soup I made earlier. I ended up doubling the broth and milk to cover all of the kale, but I think I used a bit more kale than it strictly called for. If you don’t want to use almond milk, I think you could substitute broth and add some more cauliflower, then puree some of the broth/cauliflower mixture and add it back in.

I’d also recommend this cauliflower tabouleh. It loses some of its ‘crunch’ after the first day, but on day 1 I found the cauliflower a little crispy for my tastes. If you want a softer cauliflower to mimic couscous or bulgar, you could roast and rice it like in the soup recipe. I’d also add some chopped olives – green or black – next time.

Fake Hygge Things That Sound Plausible

If you read design blogs – and as a young single homeowner, I can assure you I do – you must have heard of hygge. Hygge is the Danish concept of – to quote The New Yorker –  a “quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”

Over the past few years, hundreds of books, articles and blog pieces have suggested ways to introduce some hygge into your life. Especially in the winter, there are suggestions for cheerful game nights, mulled cider in front of the fire, soft cashmere throws and the glow of candlelight.

There are also some very specific and strange suggestions, like the all-day Star Wars marathon at home with 5 kids that one blogger suggested.

The following are some totally made-up hygge things that I would somehow not be surprised to find during my design blog reading:

Go to YouTube and search for songs from your favorite musicals + “figure skating.” Make a playlist. Watch them all.

The other day I thought “you know, I bet you could search YouTube for ANY song from a musical plus the term “figure skating” and get a result.” THEN I thought “that legitimately sounds like something a blog would suggest as a hygge activity.” Then this whole thing happened.

As a treat, put on an extra pair of socks

Solve a decades-old murder using information readily available on Google

Nothings cozier than sitting in your favorite chair and finally getting down to business on what happened to JonBenet … only to see that three hours passed in an instant and you still DON’T KNOW.

Watch a birdfeeder from a window while you wear a big sweater

Have your boss over for a Dutch Blitz party. Serve those windmill cookies. You know the ones.

Since I wrote this draft, Dutch Blitz has shown up in my Amazon suggestions. I guess Amazon’s hygge activity this winter is tracking my every step on the internet. Hey guys! Loved Mrs. Maisel.

Play Hot Potato with an actual hot potato

Replace the harsh overhead lighting in your office with a bunch of candelabras

Skip the nightly news and have each member of your family read articles from the day’s newspaper out loud

It’s just how people had their existential crises in the 1800s!

Invite all of the stray cats from the neighborhood in and invite your pet-lover friends over for Hygge Cat Night

Go caroling, except with non-Christmas wintery songs

Your neighbors will feel very hygge when you sing them It’s A Marshmallow World In The Winter on a Tuesday in February, and you know what? So will you.

Sit around the fire and everybody has to say what they would name a baby right now.

Go to a small hunting cabin and have a soup contest.

This isn’t so much a fake hygge thing, as much as a real upstate NY thing my parents do with their friends.

Have a Friends marathon, but with reading the scripts out loud instead of watching the show.

And THIS isn’t so much a fake hygge thing, as much as a real thing we did on our school trip to Spain in high school.

Spin a globe and wherever your finger stops, you have to pretend you’re in that place for the night.

Put all of your blankets on the floor, one on top of the other. Now all your blankets are wearing blankets.

It’s hygge but for blankets.

Speaking of blankets: blanket fort.

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Gone With The Wind

It only took my nearly 80 years to watch, but I finally dug into Gone With the Wind.

My knowledge of Gone with the Wind: Set during the Civil War(?). Clark Gable hits up Scarlett O’Hara. Hattie McDaniel made history by winning an Oscar. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” V LONG MOVIE.
Netflix description: Director Victor Fleming’s 1939 epic adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name stars Vivien Leigh as self-absorbed, headstrong Scarlett O’Hara, a Southern Belle who meets her match in Rhett Butler just as the Civil War breaks out.

Maybe I’m just having a brain fart, but could’ve sworn the actress’ name was Scarlett O’Hara and Vivien Leigh was just another actress. Oops.

I’ve gathered my snacks, I’m hunkering down. Here we go.

There’s an Overture! And I’m skipping it! If there’s any bit where I can cut down on this 4 hour movie, I will.

In the credits (because it’s 1939 and the credits are at the beginning of the movie, you folks who run out to leave the parking lot early), there are men under the category of “Scarlett’s Beaux” and that’s an IMDb credit I’d gladly take.

Update: Her Beaux are ginger gentleman callers who look like the Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman meets Alexander Hamilton

And Scarlett is refusing to listen to her maid/Hattie McDaniel. This is going to be a problem.

Do you ever watch old movies like this and think, “All these people are probably dead, right?” No? Just me? Cool cool cool.

“Has been trifling with you?” Scarlett’s Pa asks her.

Scar and her Pa were just walking outside near a lake and now they’re in front of a green screen and it is hilarious. God bless the early days of film.

Ok Mammy is mumbling to herself after giving orders to the other staff members and she’s officially my favorite.

Wait Scarlett’s parents are calling each other “Mr. O’Hara and Mrs. O’Hara”… was this a thing?

“You can’t show your bosom before 3:00!” Mammy telling spoiled bitch Scarlett about picking an appropriate dress

I don’t have a subtitles option with the way I’m watching this, so I legit had to pull up the script. Vivien is speaking real fast, and oddly, it’s harder to read Mammy’s lines than hearing her say it.

“He looks as if, as if he knows what I looked like He looks as if, as if he knows what I looked like  without my shimmy.” Scarlett on Rhett seeing her for the first time

Scarlett’s Beaux should actually be changed to “Scarlett’s Bitches”. They’re fawning all over her like she’s The Bachelorette.

But this Bachelorette is into a dude named Ashley, who’s into another chick, so it’s not looking good for Scar. She confronts him and he’s all, “Get a grip, I can’t marry you,” and she reacts very maturely:

The women get to take a nap in the middle of a party??? This is a custom I can get on board with.

Everyone is celebrating after hearing that President Lincoln called on soldiers to kick off the war. Legit hugging and whooping as if their team just won the Super Bowl.

Charles Hamilton goes and proposes to Scarlett because he’s all hopped up on the war excitement, and because she’s still reeling from that library slap, she accepts. In the course of about 5 minutes, they get married, he goes to war, and she gets a letter saying that he didn’t die “a hero” in battle, but rather got a bout of pneumonia followed by measles. Yikes.

A widowed Scarlett runs into Rhett at some Confederate party/fundraiser. First bad sign: a solider is going around asking women for their jewelry to fund the war. Then an auction is held for men to bid money to dance with a woman of their choice. Rhett offers up $150 in gold to dance with Scarlett, still in her black dress of mourning. This is the most foreign thing I’ve ever watching.

Rhett continues to be headstrong against a needy Scarlett, and the result is this famous scene, that I’ve actually heard of before!

The Battle of Gettysburg happens and the list of everyone who’s been injured or killed is released in the South. And naturally, a band plays some upbeat music like the string quartet on the Titanic.

Should’ve Cut For Time: A slave follows a chicken with an axe, and in the next scene, a dead, cooked,chicken is on the table for Christmas dinner. 

Ashley’s back from the war and Scarlett professes her love for him again and kisses him – despite the fact He’s Just Not Into You AND she’s BFFs with his wife now. Ugh.

Scarlett is helping out in the infirmary, which is surprising seeing as how the only prevalent characteristic she’s shown is selfishness.

This Miss Pitty lady needs to get a handle on herself.

“… Even though it isn’t much of an animal, I did have a even though it isn’t much of an animal, I did have a  lot of trouble stealing it.” LOL Rhett gives no fucks

The war is still happening, Scarlett and one of the slaves are left at the house, she delivered Mellie’s baby, and Rhett continues to be Scar’s saving grace.

Annddd then he tells her he’s going off to join the rest of the men to fight in the war. But not before telling her he’s in love with her, saying, “Because we’re alike. Bad lots, both of us. Because we’re alike. Bad lots, both of us.  Selfish and shrewd.” Yeah. Duh.

Scarlett, her slave, the baby, and the horse go back to Scarlett’s parents’ home and turns out her mom died from typhoid, and her dad is in shambles.

“As God as my witness….as God as my witness they’re As God as my witness….as God as my witness they’re  not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this  and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.  No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal,  cheat, or kill, as God as my witness, I’ll never be  hungry again.” A dramatic monologue by Scarlett in a bloodied field.

::Intermission + Entr’Acte::

LOL at the ladies bitching about having to pick cotton.

WELL, Scarlett just shot a soldier attempting to steal from their house straight in the face. As Chris Hardwick likes to say, “POINTS!” This is ridiculous, now it’s turned into Sunshine Clearners and Scar and her sister need to dispose of this body without anyone noticing.

The war is over, and there’s a montage of everyone reacting to the news. Scarlett? She’s still pining for Ashley, saying, “Ashely will be coming home. We’ll plant more Ashely will be coming home. We’ll plant more  cotton. Cotton ought to go sky-high next year.” *dislike*

Scar legit told Ashley that Melanie can’t have any more children in an attempt for him to leave her for him. What is wrong with you?? Oh and then he kisses her? Everyone needs to check themselves.

Scarlett’s dad dies so now she needs money to keep the plantation running. Natch, she goes to Rhett???

Scarlett’s dress is the inspo for Carol Burnett’s curtain rod dress, right?

Scarlett continues to be the worst by tricking her younger sister’s fiance Frank (who just happens to be rich) into marrying her. Frank and Ashley start a business together, ??

Rhett comes home with a v drunk Ashley and no Frank in sight – because he tells Scar Frank’s out on some road shot dead in the head. Hello? That’s how you tell her? Also she didn’t ask where her husband’s whereabouts were, because ugh Scarlett.

“Don’t drink alone, Scarlett. People always find out. Don’t drink alone, Scarlett. People always find out.  And it ruins reputation.” Rhett, what do you know, man?!

It’s basically Frank’s funeral, and Rhett casually proposes to Scarlett, who says yes. Here’s the thing – I’m finding Rhett’s conceit endearing, but Scarlett’s selfishness annoying. This is what the patriarchy wants you to think. I’m annoyed with myself, TBH.

RHETT: “What are you thinking about, Scarlett?”

SCARLETT: “I’m thinking about how rich we are.” About sums it up.

Ok so all of a sudden Scarlett gives birth to a baby girl… the time jumps are questionable, yet this movie is still 11 hours long??

Scarlett tells Rhett she doesn’t want any more children (half because she still loves Ashley, half because she doesn’t want to lose her figure). He gets mad and busts open the bedroom door with his swift kick. Maybe a little too agrressive, but OK.

Bonnie has a stroller with a fake horse in the front and reins to make it look like she’s –

Scarlett and Ashley have a lingering hug and Melanie’s sister sees their intimate moment, and because she never liked Scarlett, spreads the nasty rumor around town. Rhett later forces Scarlett to go to Ashley’s surprise birthday party but then at the door leaves her to go in alone. What a dick move. I care for no one in this film. Except for Mammy. I like Mammy.

“I’ve always thought a good lashing with a buggy I’ve always thought a good lashing with a buggy whip would benefit you immensely.” Rhett, WHAT?

“Well, cheer up. Maybe you’ll have an accident. Well, cheer up. Maybe you’ll have an accident.” RHETT, WHAT??? SCARLETT TELLS HIM SHE’S PREGNANT, ADMITS THEY BOTH DON’T WANT IT, HE SAYS THAT LINE THEN THROWS HER DOWN THE STAIRS?!?! WHAT IS THIS MOVIE

(also, it’s horrible, but I immediately thought of this Melissa McCarthy SNL sketch)

GUYS BONNIE JUST DIED BC SHE DISOBEYED HER PARENTS BY ATTEMPTING TO JUMP A FENCE WITH HER PONY (which Rhett shot and killed).

While visiting Bonnie at her … wake (? Rhett locked himself in her room), Melanie faints and while she’s dying, Scarlett finally realizes that Ashley only really loved Melanie, and not her. Bitch, come on now. It took for Melanie to die for her to get that rolls eyes forever

Well Scarlett isn’t having the best luck right now. She had a miscarriage, her daughter died, her BFF died, the man she’d been in love with for years is broken because his wife died, and Rhett ups and leaves with the iconic line 

Crying at the steps of her empty mansion, an audio montage of the important people in her life reminding her about the Tara Plantation where she grew up, and she has an epiphany that she’ll not give up on life and instead go back home, because “tomorrow is another day”.

Well, I really didn’t think it would end with the two main characters together and in love. I thought this was a true ride into the sunset situation, but the 2018 feminist in me is kinda glad it didn’t? Maybe this is just the beginning of her new life as a non-selfish human now that she’s lost pretty much everything in her life.

Except for her plantation, of course.

 

Boiled Eggs, Food Nightmares and Sexpants: Whole30 Week 1

Because we care about our health, are susceptible to peer pressure and want to look as radiant as Busy Phillips does in her Insta stories, we both embarked on the Whole30 for the month of January. The program in a nutshell*: for 30 days you do not eat any grains, added or artificial sugar, dairy, legumes, soy or alcohol. After you’re done you reintroduce foods to see if you feel better or worse when you eat them. Ideally, by the end you will have reset your dietary habits and preferences, and okay, it’s not ABOUT weight loss but I wouldn’t cry if I lost 5 pounds in the process. [Actually, I just want that thing where people do the Whole30 and say that suddenly they’re energetic and vibrant and their skin is glowing like a Renaissance painting of an angel at the nativity.] We’ve been friends for over half of our lives, so we’re pretty sure we can withstand a month as accountability partners – but just in case, we’re pulling in all of you. Here’s how our Week 1 went:

* nutshells: probably OK to eat, if you’re about that.

Day Negative One

Molly: It is back-to-work eve and I super resent having to do all of this prep. Both of us are cleaning our pantries like it’s Passover (source: Mama in All-Of-A-Kind Family) and I just housed an Aero bar that I didn’t even want because I know I will want it bad at some point before February.

The thing with boiling eggs is that it never makes sense and is always super confusing and everyone has a different method but you always end up with the same thing.

Traci: I am traveling back to Los Angeles after spending two weeks at home eating too much and not exercising enough (read: at all). I attempt to ease my body into the Whole 30 but my mom made me scrambled eggs with cheese without asking if I wanted them – what am I supposed to do as a 31-year-old adult? Say no thanks? Strike One: Dairy.

I skip the complimentary pretzels on the flight and at the Chicago airport, I grab a sensible salad with balsamic vinaigrette, then realize later the dressing probably has sugar. I also grab iced coffee and toasted coconut chips and again, am an idiot because I miss the bit where it says “cane sugar”. I eat it anyways. Strike Two: Sugar.

By the time I arrive, I’m starving and have no will to cook. I decide to screw it and have a last supper – a combo of pizza, dumplings, and chocolate, because I’m a fucking ADULT.

Day One

T: I spend about an hour too long at the grocery store looking for items in areas of Ralph’s I never even been in and spend a lot of money. Like both Molly and I spent over $100 each – and we’re only feeding ourselves. But also I’m not going to buy coconut oil and tahini every single week, so hopefully next week is less expensive?

I also spend like 3 hours in the kitchen prepping for the week and it is tiring. Honestly, what might take me down is not reading ingredients properly and lack of energy to cook.

M: I haven’t seen this many boiled eggs since The Shape Of Water.

My day 1 corresponds with my first day back at work. It’s also zero degrees out, which makes standing over a warm stove making sweet potato hash, zucchini ‘pasta’ and curried vegetable soup a little appealing.

My efforts aren’t for nothing, though, because anybody who comes to my house for the next nine years will be able to smell that I did, in fact, cook curry.

Day Two

T: Anndd my day 2 corresponds with my first day back at work. During my night of cooking, I made apple cinnamon hot cereal (recipe here), and in the morning, I heated it up and threw some almond butter on it. Recommend. Easy to make and had a good combo of sweet and salty.

It’s worth noting I’m a weirdo when it comes to lunch – I usually eat a few snacks throughout the afternoon instead of eating like, a sandwich or salad (that’s reserved for Fridays, because it’s a Special Treat). I know snacking is kind of frowned upon in W30, but I’m not going to change my routine drastically just to eat more. But the snacks I eat are barely filling. Sugar snap peas with tahini, Bare baked cinnamon apple chips, a Lara bar, and a banana. I am STARVING.

Luckily, I have slow cooker carnitas (recipe here) waiting for me at home. I threw a handful in a pan, poured some of the leftover juices on it, and made lettuce wraps with guac and hot sauce. SO GOOD.

Also, I think my head hurts a little but I’m not sure. Oh! And IDK if it’s bc it was the first day back to work, but it only took like 2 snoozes to get me out of bed this morning. Usually it’s all 6.

M: I’ve also had an easier time getting out of bed, but I can’t rule out a burst of Early January Motivation either. I’m surprised because my sleep schedule went way off-kilter over vacation.

My usual work lunch is like 2-3 pieces of fruit, some carrots, a bit of cheese, yogurt and almonds. I swap out the dairy products for two hard-boiled eggs that I will never finish unless I’m starving because that is TOO MANY EGGS. Like Traci, I split those into two mini-meals in the afternoon. Sorry, Whole 30: I’ve had 31 years of trial-and-error and I know that eating a big meal every 6 hours isn’t ideal for me.

Day Three

T: I’ll tell you this much – I thought I spent a lot of time thinking about food before, but this is insane. If I’m not eating, I think about what I will be eating in the near future. If I am eating, I’m thinking about how amazing eating is. And when I’m around food, I think about how much I can’t have it. Today there was lit’rally a box of chocolates on the table in the middle of our office. Like a tin box with hershey kisses look alikes and a spoon. A SPOON.

Unlike Molly, two hard boiled eggs is the perfect amount for me, and I had those with half an avocado, and threw some hot sauce on there too. Mango, almonds and Bare Cinnamon Banana chips made up my “lunch”, but the real travesty was that the RX Bar I purchased had CHOCOLATE in it. I unwrapped it and was about to put it in my mouth when I was like, “I should check the ingredients again”. GOOD THING I DID. I’m a dummy. This is how I’m gonna mess up. Accidentally eating something I’m not supposed to.

M: I’ve already decided that I’m not starting over if I mess up. Sorry for not ‘working the steps’ or whatever.

Fortunately I haven’t thought about food much at all, not because I’m good at this but because I have been eating those things I cooked on day 1 for … umm… three days.

Today I walked on the wild side and juiced some lettuce and maybe half an apple to add to club soda. The Whole30Couple calls cheats that are technically within the rules “having sex with your pants on,” I think, (hereinafter: sexpants) but I don’t think this was sexpants because it tasted like fizzy lettuce (which I liked). For the record: my mom got me a juicer for Christmas and I didn’t want to wait until February to tell her that I liked it. So when you really think about it, both of us are amazing daughters. Wait, what were we talking about? Diet stuff?

Day Four

M: On one hand, I’m nuts and already make my own bread, yogurt and granola bars (now verboten) and grow my own vegetables, and save pre-made foods for a Special Treat (TM Traci), so maybe this should be easy?

On the other hand, last night I had a nightmare that I ate a zucchini muffin.

[The only pre-made food I’ve used so far was some hot sauce that claims not to have sugar, but was worryingly sriracha-like. It’s fine. I’m fine. Totally relaxed and cool.]

T: I had a pre-breakfast before actual breakfast. One hard boiled egg and half an avocado. Think of it has a breakfast appetizer. Had that with the apple cinnamon hot cereal which I’ll continue having for another two days because there’s so much of it and I’m only one person.

Today my co-worker told me I looked skinnier which is HILARIOUS because I’ve only been on this for four days. Part of W30 is that you’re not supposed to weigh yourself, which is fine by me, because who likes doing that anyways?

Day Five

T: At work I had a meeting with lunch – Italian lunch with pasta and bread – with people I don’t work directly with. I had to be the girl who was like, “Erm, sorry. I’m on a weird diet so I can’t eat anything. So I brought my own salad.” Then I had to explain to these people what it was (it was like 4 other folks). The follow up question is always, “so what CAN you eat??” Meat. Vegetables. Things that don’t fall into of the unacceptable categories.

Oh and then later that day, my co-worker (who knows of my W30 status) threw a Werther’s Original at me and said, “CATCH!” and I legit hit it mid-air and swatted it away, and yelled, “NO!”

Later that night, I went out to dinner for the very first time! It was a Argentinian restaurant so I ordered the grilled steak and smothered chimichurri on top, and had salad as a side. I asked for no dressing on it and someone didn’t get the memo, because it arrived with the dressing all mixed in. I had to be that girl AGAIN my sending back the order until it was correct.

M: Nothing makes me feel more like an a-hole than explaining the Whole30 to people.

Speaking of which: I don’t know or care what the Whole30Couple looks like, but I picture them like a cross between the Two A-Holes from SNL and a beefy version of Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Day Six

T: I finally get to make my breakfast instead of having it on the go! V excited about making some sunny side up eggs with avocado, potato and chicken sausage. That night, I went to my friends’ house for dinner, and the great this is that they’re also doing W30 this month too! We had baked waffle fries, chicken sausage, and sugar snap peas. It was delish. I had too many waffle fries.

M: This weekend included Little Christmas, when I took a bunch of nieces and nephews to Coco and they all ate wonderful snacks that I paid for then stared at, and the first Bills playoff game since I was 13. I went to my parents’ house for the game and remembered that it is full of incredible, delicious food that I can’t eat. W30 is definitely easier if you live alone (me!) or with only other people who are doing this.

I made roasted red pepper dip and deviled eggs for the game.  I was so excited to find a W30 deviled eggs recipe that I forgot I’ve never cared about deviled eggs.

Day Seven

T: Did I mention I’m not liking the cooking portion of this? It’s probably the most annoying thing out of all this hullabaloo. I can deal with not eating the wheat, sugar, dairy, etc. but someone just fucking make all these meals for me. And the thing is that I don’t even really hate to cook in general. It’s that I have to spend 4 hours of my Sunday to cook dinner and breakfast for the rest of the week. Ughhhh.

M: I also cook a lot usually but this is ridiculous.

On the plus side, my grocery bill was only like $55 and a good $15 was cat food. I used InstaCart for the first time and my shopper couldn’t find Russet potatoes, which sounds a lot like bullshit to me. Those are the most regular potatoes. They look like if you asked a small child to draw a potato.

Golden Globes 2018 – Best Dressed

The 2018 Golden Globes were a little different, and so is our Best Dressed list. Actors used the night as a platform to say something about sexual abuse, harassment and structural inequality, so we’re going to highlight their opinions and accomplishments along with their gorgeous black ensembles. In her New York Times op-ed, Amber Tamblyn wrote:

We actresses are not just modeling clothing when we walk a red carpet on award show night. We are modeling a kind of behavior. We are speaking in a coded language to other women — even young girls — that says: The way I look and what I wear and how I wear it is the standard for women. What is being worn is not an exception. It is the rule. You must dress a certain way and look a certain way if you want to be valued as a woman, no matter what you do for a living or who you are. We never intend for this to be the message we are sending with what we wear, but often it is the perceived one, whether we like it or not.

Last night clothes were part of the message – but just one part. Here are a few of our favorites:

Tracee Ellis Ross

Serving this headwrap fiercness is Tracee Ellis Ross, an actress best known for her work in Girlfriends and Black-ish. She’s won six NAACP Image awards for acting and been nominated for Emmys twice. Her 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series marked the first time an African-American woman had won in that category in 30 years. Last year, she won the Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – making history as the first black woman in 34 years to win in the category. Tracee is wearing Marc Jacobs.

Michelle Williams

You probably know who Michelle Williams is. Dawson’s Creek kicked off her career, but since then, she’s become the most credited actor and has the accolades to prove it. Four Oscar nominations and one actual Golden Globe, Michelle simply transforms on screen. Her plus one at the Golden Globes last night was Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement back in 2006.

“I thought I would have to raise my daughter to learn how to protect herself in a dangerous world, but I think the work that Tarana has done and the work that I’m learning how to do — we actually have the opportunity to hand our children a different world,” she said at the Globes. “I am honored beyond measure to be standing next to this woman. I have tears in my eyes and smile on my face.”

Susan Kelechi Watson

Susan is best known for her roles on Louie, NCIS, The Blacklist and of course, This Is Us. She has a BFA from Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from NYU’s Tisch School graduate acting program. She also may or may not be Blue Ivy in the future. Susan is also the director of non-profit Drama Club, an organization that provides theatre programming to incarcerated and court-involved young people in New York City. She’s wearing Monsoori.

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore is the multi-talented star who may hold different titles depending on your generation. If you were alive during the TRL era, you still don’t know who Mandy’s missing like Candy. If you were born during the TRL era, you either know her voice from Tangled or watch the hit NBC program This Is Us. Mandy has been active with philanthropy over the years, including Five & Alive, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She recently was a spokesperson for Dove’s self-esteem movement, aimed at introducing girls to real, admirable women to look up to. Mandy is wearing Rosie Assoulin.

 

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel is an actress whose first big gig was in 7th Heaven as the oldest sister, Mary Camden. She was just a teen when she started in Hollywood, and went on to appear in films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Summer Catch, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Lately, she’s been producing more of her own projects, including The Sinner, which earned her her first Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film. She also spends a lot of time giving back to her local and global community – In 2010, Jessica teamed up with the UN Foundation to raise awareness of the global water crisis, and climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Jessica is in Dior.

Nicole Kidman 

Nicole Kidman is an actress and founder of the production company Blossom Films. She is an Academy Award winner and a five-time Golden Globe winner, and has found that producing films has “allowed me to shape my career in terms of being able to find things that I may not get offered, that I wouldn’t get the opportunity for.” Kidman is also a founding member of the powerhouse coalition, Times Up. In her acceptance speech for Best Actress In A Mini-Series Or TV Movie in Big Little Lies last night, Nicole said: “My mom was an advocate for the women’s movement growing up, and standing here, my achievements are her achievements. This character I played represents something at the center of our conversation right now: abuse. I hope we can elicit change . . . let’s keep the conversation alive.” Nicole is wearing Givenchy (fun fact: Givenchy was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn; both Hepburn and Kidman served as UN Goodwill Ambassadors).

Alison Brie

Alison Brie was nominated for a Golden Globe for work role in Glow, and currently appears in two nominated films: The Post and The Disaster Artist. She is also familiar to TV audiences for her role on Community. Alison did all of her own stunts for Glow, a series about female wrestlers in the 1980s. wrestling-based series. In 2017, Brie threw her support behind Planned Parenthood, saying “it’s a vital resource for women in this country. Women need and deserve the right to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health.” Alison is wearing Vassilis Zoulias.

Claire Foy

Nominated for her role in The Crown last night, Claire Foy is a university-trained actress who is also known for another royal turn – Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. While filming her acclaimed role of Queen Elizabeth, Foy was also caring for her infant daughter. Of her hopes for her child, Claire said: “I wish there was a way of saying to girls: ‘You don’t have to be polite and pretty in order to survive and have people love you.’ The idea that you should be like everybody else genuinely breaks my heart. And I’m going to have to do something about it.” Claire is in Stella McCartney.

Viola Davis

One of the most-nominated actresses alive today, Viola Davis is the only black actress to have one an Oscar, an Emmy AND a Tony. The Juilliard-trained actress has, in fact, received so many nominations and awards that Wikipedia lists them separately from her main page. Davis is an ambassador for Hunger Is, an organization that combats child hunger; the organization has raised over $20 million for the cause. Last night Davis addressed victims of sexual assault and rape – actually saying the words – saying “it’s not their fault, and they’re not dirty. That’s my message tonight.” Viola is wearing Brandon Maxwell.

Natalie Portman

Harvard-educated actress Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Director last night, which she noted contained “all male nominees,” despite, for instance, Greta Gerwig’s direction of Best Picture – Musical or Comedy winner Lady Bird. Portman promotes anti-poverty causes and works as an ambassador for FINCA, an organization that provides micro-loans to women-owned businesses in developing countries. She also lead the Power Of A Girl campaign for Free The Children, challenging North American girls to raise money for a girls’ school in Kenya. Natalie is a founding member of Time’s Up, and attended the Golden Globes with fellow founder, actress and activist America Ferrera. Portman wore Dior Haute Couture.

 

Donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund on their GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up here.

Best ___ Of 2017: Some Really Specific Superlatives

We thought 2016 was bad. Guess what? We were all freaking wrong. 2017 was a dumpster fire of its own. The nightmare administration, disgusting politicians attempting to pass horrific laws, KKK rallies, multiple earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and The Mindy Project coming to an end – it was all very, very bad. Which is why we’re here to celebrate the best things to come out of 2017. It’s time for our annual list of superlatives, and hopefully we’ll all gain perspective from this list about the past year.

 

Best Candid Group Celebrity Photo: Moonlight Mixup

Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us. So much to look at in this photo, which will forever live in Hollywood infamy. Fun fact: Busy Philipps’ husband got her a large framed version of this for Christmas. She obvs had to give one to her BFF Michelle, too.

Best New Life Motto From a Politician: “Reclaiming My Time”

Finding inspiration from California Representative Maxine Waters, the two of us decided that our official motto of 2018 is “Reclaiming My Time”. From life, from work, from politics, from everything. Let this not be a year where you sit back and let folks mansplain to you.

Best Shady Company Twitter Account: Merriam-Webster

Never thought I’d be praising a dictionary’s internet account, but here we are. Give this social media person a raise. It’s the perfect way to call out the administration without actually straight out calling out the administration.

Best New Show That’s Actually Been a Hit For Years But I Joined So Late To The Party: The Great British Bake-Off

I binged all of GBBO this summer and it did NOT disappoint. I realized y’all (including Molly) had been singing its praises for a while, but when you’re unemployed and find baking mesmerizing and soothing to watch, it’s inevitable you’ll fall in love with this bunch. And also pretend you’re a baker too.

Best Pregnancy Announcement Featuring Florals: Beyonce

No explanation needed.

Best Celebrity Insta Story: Busy Philipps

Ready.

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

You know her from Freaks and Geeks, or White Chicks, or Dawson’s Creek, or even Cougartown, but you should know Busy Philipps from her Instagram stories that are entertaining beyond entertaining. She’s a mom of 2 girls, a fitness fan (#lekfit), and an actress who might not be an actress anymore. She’s *relatable* and funny and guyyysss, you just have to check it out for yourself.

Best TV Revival We Didn’t Need But Was Actually Pretty Good: Will & Grace

I will be the first to tell you that a Will & Grace revival was not necessary. I was a fan of the show when it was on, but there was really no legit reason for it to return besides the fact nostalgia makes companies money these days. And the series finale canon. THE CANON WAS BROKEN AND THROWN OUT THE WINDOW. I do not enjoy when shows/movies do not follow canon. After a shaky first episode back, they found their footing in the second episode and it’s been fantastic ever since. The creators, writers, and actors seem like they never took a nearly decade-long break, and the tone is exactly the same as it used to be. In a world where everything seems to suck, this show is a welcome relief.

Best Display of Arts & Crafts in Honor of The Resistance : The Women’s March

So. Many. Good. Signs.

Best Author To Happen To Streaming TV: Margaret Atwood

If there’s one good thing I can say about 2017 it’s that the coolest woman in television was a 78-year-old Canadian author. With the one-two punch of Alias Grace on Netflix and The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, we had Margaret’s interpretation of one society long before ours and another slightly after … and both looked a lot like our own. They watch really well as companion pieces, by the way.  Keep up the good work, Mags. Cat’s Eye on Amazon Prime 2020, perhaps?

Best Real-Life Hallmark Movie: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Engagement

Some might say that it’s silly to care about foreign figureheads using taxpayer money to throw an enormous wedding, but 2017 was a steaming cesspool of a year and I’d like to have this one thing, please. We wrote about this already, but a biracial American actress with middle-class roots getting engaged to a prince – while he cooked for her! – and they’ll live in a cottage! – is the stuff low-budget romcoms are made of and I am HERE. FOR. IT.

Best Celebrity Vacation: Obama’s Post-Presidential Blast

In January 2017, we were all kind of cold and sad and Obama was, like, kite-sailing on billionaire islands with a smile that could light up the whole White House and looking like that person who really *thrives* after a breakup.

Best Viral Revolution: #MeToo

Fall 2017: when our favorite hobby was watching dirtbag producers, news anchors and celebrities get ripped to pieces. This one calls for a Michael Jackson popcorn gif:

But before Hollywood’s reckoning, thousands of normal folks were using #MeToo to give voice to the stuff we all knew was going on.

Best Wedding Dress I Could Never Pull Off : Serena Williams

I don’t necessarily want to see celebrity wedding dresses that I’d totally wear; instead, I love when they wear gorgeous creations that I could absolutely never pull off. Cue Serena Williams’ giant cloud by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. You know you look good when your bridesmaid is Venus Williams in a stunning ivory gown and you aren’t even worried about it.

Best Unexpected Gay Icon: The Babadook

Babadook-ook-ook. We watched the movie and discussed it here.

Best Physical Comedy (Political Division): Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer

Songs From 2017 That Should Stay In 2017

2017 was a shitshow of a year. A lot of things happened that we’d rather not extend into the new year (or just forget it all happened in the first place). And that goes for music too. Like we do every year, we’ve compiled a list of songs that we’re totally over and for the sanity of all citizens of the world, maybe not be played as much – or at all – in 2018.

Traci’s Picks

Bad and Boujee by Migos and Lil Uzi Vert

This song made me realize that there was another way of spelling “bougie” and it really was one of the most “A-Ha” moments I’ve had in realizing my old age. Other than that, I can’t stand the repetitiveness of the chorus – we get it. You’re bad AND you’re boujee. Congrats. Now play some Carly Rae Jepsen.

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is problematic, we know this. Here’s just one of the reasons she really gets my goat – this song makes it seem like she’s blaming the other person (Kanye?) for her own actions. It feels very pointing fingers, and I don’t like it. Also, while I’ve only heard the other single, Ready For It, once, I’m not into this new sound of hers. Give me 1989 and Taylor in audio only and we’re good.

Issues by Julia Michaels

This song isn’t even that bad. I just don’t need this kind of downer song playing 24/7 in my 2018 life.

I Feel It Coming by The Weeknd ft/ Daft Punk

I think the real problem is that The Weekend releases 5 singles at a time and everyone plays them all in rotation constantly. No thank you.

Rockstar by Post Malone ft. 21 Savage

“Post Malone featuring 21 Savage” is a phrase that yet again makes me feel old. Are these people? New phrases like “It’s Lit”? Or stores at the local Westfield Mall? Either way, I don’t like this song and it can go bye bye.

Molly’s Picks

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber

This is a great song. Really catchy. Awesome to see a song in Spanish climb to the top of the charts. That said, this summer my parents watched 5 of my nieces and nephews every day, so I helped out whenever I could. During the peak of this song’s popularity the kids kept DESPACITO-ING constantly. CONSTANTLY. No more than 30 seconds would pass without a kid singing “Despacito.” The song Despacito, you ask? Nah. Just that part. Just the word despacito. Imagine hearing children singing JUST THE WORD DESPACITO twice a minute for hours on end. I feel like a modern-day Poe character and Luis Fonsi et al. are … some kind of a bird that says despacito all the time.

Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

There haven’t been lyrics that bugged me this much since “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.” Strike one: Books of old. Nobody says that unless they’re trying to rhyme with “gold” or “sold.” See also: strife, only used to rhyme with life. Strike two: the entire rest of it. The whole premise is that an adult man feels inadequate because he reads old books about Spiderman, Superman and Batman and then his girlfriend has to talk him down. A.) Is the narrator a 7 year old boy? B.) Too many do do do dos.

Why by Sabrina Carpenter

Sampling of actual lyrics: “You like New York City in the daytime, I like New York City in the nighttime. You say you like sleeping with the air off. I don’t, I need it on.” Despite all that, young love will overcome.

Shape of You by Ed Sheeran

Ed’s great, I just need a break from this song after hearing it every time I turned on the radio this summer. After a while my only joy in it was intentionally mishearing “magnet do” as magnadoodle.

Believer by Imagine Dragons

Everything by Imagine Dragons sounds like an original song recorded to play in an indoor roller coaster.

 

Things I’m Willing To Believe About 2017

2017 is over, and not a day too soon. None of these things actually happened in 2017, but we are entirely willing top believe that they could have:

[See Things I’m Willing To Believe About 2016 :here: and Things I’m Willing to Believe About 2015 :here:]

Omarosa signed a book deal to write a tell-all titled, “The Whitest House: An African-American Woman’s Inside Look At The Trump Administration”

Number one search on Google was “Who is Bitcoin?”

ABC announces the reboot of ALF, but this time with ALF’s long-lost son, Stuart.

3 Doors Down named “National Band of the United States” following their performance at the inauguration.

Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard reveal they’ve secretly been dating IRL for the past 4 months.

Dennis Rodman is appointed U.S. Ambassador to North Korea.

President chastises Jordan Peele in an angry tweet, declaring Get Out one of the “worst, unpatriotic, unrealistic movies” he’s seen in years.

According to Fox News, 87% of Americans believe 78% of Americans are illegal Americans.

Britney Spears was among the celebrities who spoke in support of the resistance during the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

We are all Dreamers ✨ Tell Congress to pass the #DreamAct

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

Apple introduces new iOS feature that uses blood recognition to unlock the phone. Think of it like a diabetes test just to access Venmo.

That little kid who ran into her dad’s interview with the BBC now has her own YouTube channel, specializing in unboxing new toys.

Someone named Diana Prince filed to run for senate in Ohio under the “Wonder Woman” party.

Maxine Waters’ “reclaiming my time” viral video was remixed and that guy now has his own reality show.

A short-lived cabinet member bore a striking resemblance to a mafia cat from the 1980s cartoon Oliver And Company. Memes for days.

After an envelope mix-up at the Independent Spirit Awards, the ceremony devolved into a full Yankee Swap. Moonlight ended up with Best Musical Or Comedy.

A week after the Prince Harry/ Meghan Markle engagement announcement, Hallmark and Lifetime aired hastily-made TV movies about the couple on the same night. The Hallmark one included Meghan’s lifelong obsession with Christmas, and ended as she helped Harry save his family’s small-town gingerbread shop. [It was actually the week’s scheduled Hallmark Hall of Fame production with new names dubbed in.]

Senate voted to approve a bill that would ban any school nurse funding from covering playground accidents; Dalton McMeyers (R-MS) explained that “those kids know what happens when you play.”

A full 2/3 of the people you know announced their pregnancy on either Valentine’s Day or July 4th by posting a picture of adult shoes next to tiny baby shoes. An Aunt in the comments did not understand what was happening.

A 22-year-old YouTube sensation, Huntyr Lee, earned viral fame for his Eclipse FAIL!! video. His retinas are entirely ruined.

In response to credible sexual abuse allegations against antique sitcom stars, Me TV has pulled 60% of its lineup. All that’s left is Honeymooners and spinoffs of All In The Family and I Love Lucy.

The hardest-hitting political journalism came from Disney Adventures and American Girl Magazine.

A 13-year-old girl in India invented a working time machine. A 44-year-old man in the U.S. used it to screw up the space-time continuum and caused… all of this. All of 2017.

The fattest and oldest guy on your favorite NFL, MLB or NBA team scored the game-winning points and it was awesome.

In a year with too much bad news, one of the top internet stars was the “gentle dog guy,” a guy gently reading to elderly dogs at a shelter. He’s like Mister Rogers for worried grownups.

The newest hot neighborhood in Manhattan is UnPaWaFro, which comes from Under-Pavement Water Front. The sewer. It’s the sewer. You can’t afford it.

A hip eatery in Norfolk, VA introduced Unicorn Lasagna: pastel-colored layers of pasta, cheese and meat.