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.


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.

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.


Things I’m Willing To Believe About The New Ken Dolls

Barbie’s boyfriend Ken is getting a makeover. Mattel’s classic dolls, which all look completely different but are all somehow still Ken, now represent a range of heights, skin tones, fashion mistakes and hairstyles — most notably, a man bun. [Sidebar: A few weeks ago I saw a child wearing a man bun at my suburban nephew’s fourth grade band concert. I surmised that this meant the trend had descended into, to quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, the pits of fashion; Ken’s new ‘do confirms it.] In this edition of Things I’m Willing to Believe About – where we provide baseless conjecture about heartthrobs, politicians, and apparently toys – we’re going to look at Barbie’s toy boy-toy, New Ken.


According to their Twitter bios, six of the Kens’ actual job is “influencer.”

These Kens were all in the same frat, and they really are all named Ken. And they all go by Kenny.

The Ken on the far left is actually a rejected Rachel Maddow Barbie prototype.

Actually, Maddow, the one with the black skinny tie, the one with the opaque sunglasses and Malibu 01 are all from a failed line of Lesbian Hipster Barbies. Optional add-ons included a rescue pit bull, a Subaru and hummus.

The Kens have a boys’ cottage weekend every summer and planning the rental is always DRAMA.

Man Bun Ken in the blue shirt got his hair cut before Man Bun Ken in the cactus shirt. He says it’s cool but it’s, you know, not.

When you tell Blue Checkered Ken you’re a fan of the Mets, he says “okay, name their best infield lineup.”

Pink California Shirt Ken tells you how to use the machine you’re already using at the gym.

Polka Dot Ken got his blouse at Zara and he insists on pronouncing it with a Spanish ‘z.’

It’s not even that Tropical Pineapple Shirt Ken likes Coachella so much, it’s that he says shit like “taking my soul up to Coachella for the weekend.”

Yellow Plaid Maddow Ken wrote a blog post about why the praise for Wonder Woman was overblown and unwarranted. Wrote a follow-up post on the women’s only screening. Wrote a follow-follow-up post after he actually saw the movie. Charitably confided that he’s “still do Robin Wright.”

Red Plaid Ken is your friend’s boyfriend who will help you change your tire or put in your air-conditioners, but he’s not hitting on you or anything, that’s just how his mom raised him.

Bernie Sanders.

Opaque Sunglasses Ken’s favorite rapper is Macklemore.

9 out of 11 Kens prefer vinyl. 4 out of 11 Kens actually own a record player. 3 out of 11 will make you come over and listen to a new record on a second date.

You made out with blue-shirted Man Bun Ken at church camp when he had a floppy skater haircut, and he acts like he doesn’t remember you when you run into him at a bar but you know he does.

That reminds me. In ninth grade all of The Kens had floppy skater haircuts.

When you get your hair cut and leave with a fresh blow-out, The Kens will be sure to tell you that it looks so much prettier naturally curly.

The Kens’ favorite book is Catcher In The Rye.

Cactus Ken wrote his senior thesis on Ginsberg’s Howl.

The Kens are surface-friendly, but they go hard on anybody who deigns to wear cargo shorts.

Malibu 01 Ken is on an office kickball team that he takes rather seriously.

A few of The Kens have girlfriends, all of whom refer to themselves as a “girl boss” and frequently post about how they “hustle;” the girlfriends have coffee mugs emblazoned with some kind of slogan about working hard.

When A Ken proposes marriage, he will do it on a mountaintop and Instagram it.

A handful of The Kens have instagrammed Airstreams but no Ken actually owns an Airstream.

It’s funny, Cactus Ken actually does have a lot of succulents.

If you want to meet The Kens, they will be at your nearest Farmers’ Market this Saturday, early but not early-early.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Logan Everett, The Boy American Girl Doll

There’s something different about the newest American Girl doll. It’s a boy. Which is a fine thing to be, if you’re a human, but I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction was more like:

As if white boys couldn’t already be EVERYTHING, now they’re an American Girl doll? Ugh. What would Felicity think? (Trick question, she’d just note whether they wore the same britches size in case she had to steal another pair under cover of darkness.) Okay, also the boy looks like this:

Of course he does.

Anyway, the Boy American Girl is named Logan Everett.

Of course he is.

Logan is apparently the drummer for the doll version of 2008-era Taylor Swift. As the latest addition to our series Things I’m Willing To Believe About, here are some things I am willing to believe about Logan Everett, Boy American Girl:

His working name was Logan Bruno because he was 100% based on Logan Bruno, boy associate member of the Baby-Sitters Club. He’s even Southern.

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Logan would like to invite you to a fun laser tag outing with his youth group.

His dad is in the worship band. Logan’s first performance was Lord I Lift Your Name On High.


The original plan was for Boy American Girl Doll Logan Everett to be a historical character from 1994. He would have had the requisite Cute Boy In The 90s Haircut (see: Rider Strong), a plaid flannel with a heather gray hood, and you could buy him a scaled-down, working Talkboy for $19.99.

Like this.

Like this.

In a frozen pioneer cemetery in Minnesota, Logan’s great-great-great-great grandmormor Kirsten is rolling over in her grave due to his coddled and simple lifestyle.

He calls his dog a rescue dog but it’s just a regular dog.

Logan rarely looks up from his Nintendo DS when he is forced to visit his great-grandma Molly. To be fair, all of her “harrowing war stories” are, like, “one time I curled my hair when it was wet and I got a cold” and “I ate turnips, once.”

Get a grip, Molls.

Get a grip, Molls.

I’m not saying Logan smirks mockingly at people, I’m just saying that doll is smirking mockingly at me, right? 

That face where you dropped something on your shirt and he's not gonna laugh, he's just gonna stare at you.

That face where you dropped something on your shirt and he’s not gonna laugh, he’s just gonna stare at you condescendingly.

His parents buy Lunchables.

And Sunny D.

And maybe Cheez Wiz?

Logan’s instagram is all skating pictures he stole off of other people’s instagrams (he doesn’t skate) and quotes.

Just really wants to bring hacky sack back.

Is the main character’s older brother who the best friend has a crush on on a Disney show.

If his name wasn’t Logan, it would have been Hunter. Or Kyler.

Was the first kid in his class whose parents didn’t care if he watched PG 13 movies.

Was in a commercial for a local amusement park 2 years ago and finds way more ways to bring it up than you’d think.

Boy band role: the one moms are OK with

Logan “thinks you look prettier without makeup,” but also thinks “no makeup” looks like concealer, light, well-blended foundation and bronzer, neutral eye shadow, lightly smudged dark brown liner, full mascara and lip gloss

Also “Tthinks you look prettier when you don’t do you hair;” hot rollers and highlights.

I understand this is supposed to be a country musician but I still kind of feel like on Myspace c. 2005 his favorite music would have been “anything but country lol.”


Always has to show you this hilarious video he found on YouTube.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About 2016

WOW. That was bad. 2016 was a really incredibly awful year. And it’s not over, either. Here are some totally fake – yet plausible- facts we’re willing to believe about 2016, along with a reminder that we still have over a week left in this dumpster fire of a year so any one of these might come true. See ya later, 2016. You’ve been terrible. We are now willing to believe the following:

9 out of 10 times a person has been taken to a bleak, dismal future Christmas by a Christmas Eve Ghost, it has been to 2016.

A new Texas regulation provides that you must throw annual birthday parties for your aborted fetus until it would have been 18 years old, complete with tiny party hats.*

Taylor Swift attempted to bring the three children from This Is Us into her squad but Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia shot that idea down real quick (TSwift then secretly tried to hit on Milo but to no avail).

Someone you know who really didn’t deserve to see Hamilton saw it before you.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in a hottest politicians who are also boxers calendar (for charity). He’s Mr. October.

Most popular Spotify playlist of 2016: Songs For When You Realize Every Human Is Pure Trash But Ran Out Of Alcohol And It’s 11pm And Can’t Get Tequila Delivered

Cool Pope Francis announced an initiative to upgrade all Catholic churches to stadium seating by 2025. This move gained acclaim from short Catholics who just want to see the damn pageant. Vatican spokesperson Monsignor Vincent Deeney clarified, “we’re still weird about, you know, gay stuff and women stuff.”

Olympic figure skater and eternal meme Ashley Wagner helped Team North America win the gold medal at the inaugural 2016 KOSÉ Team Challenge Cup, but hit headlines with teammate Gracie Gold after they partied a little too hard after all-night partying in Spokane, Washington. They made a pit stop at a local Taco Bell, where they claimed they were harassed by a group of teenage girls who were eager to pick a fight with them in the parking lot. Ashley immediately took to Snapchat to tell her followers what happened, but many fans noted she looked very inebriated when ranting and threatening to press charges over the girls’ alleged actions. The story made its way to mainstream media, and she had to clarify to the press the next day that she made the entire story up and was so drunk she didn’t even remember posting to Snapchat. Or going to Taco Bell (where there was video surveillance of her and Gracie doing their routine in the parking lot and talking to a wall). Ashley later competed in Worst Cook In America: Celebrity Edition.*

When asked how to explain rising sea levels and melting polar ice caps if not by global climate change, oil chaplain Pastor Eddie Vaughn replied “easy, y’all are making God cry.”

Little known fact: the person who started the creepy clown trend is the grandson on Bozo the Clown.

Banking on the success of Fuller House, Amazon Prime has ordered a full season of Family Matterings. It features an adult Laura, her husband Keith Mattering, and their children dealing with the nerdy kid next door whose dad is – you guessed it – Stefan Urquell (who never managed to change back to Steve Urkel). Test audience reactions included feedback like “not technically good,” “I can’t stop watching even though I want to,” and “needs more winking into the camera.”

Nationwide, iris recognition identification has been failing at alarming rates. Biometric engineer Freidrich Martens has determined that the algorithm doesn’t account for the “gleam of sadness,” “overall loss of hope” or “diminishing light” in many Americans’ eyes.

The mom from the Waltons died on Easter.* , *

With Thanksgiving occurring only weeks after the most contentious election in recent memory, hospitals faced a 90% spike in injuries from “aggressive wishbone pulls.” Dr. Jake Richmond of the Cleveland Clinic reflected, “it’s almost like these fights weren’t really about the wishbone at all.”

According to a recent poll, 87% of Trump voters believe that Hillary Clinton’s house has a dungeon where crisis actors live preparing to stage 5-10 mass shootings a year.*, *

The number of 2016 celebrity deaths is so high that Academy Awards and Grammy producers are considering putting the In Memorium in a separate broadcast so the show doesn’t run over.

Internet OTP Zalfie aka Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes aka Zoella and Pointless Blog optioned the rights to their YouTube channels to the Pop Network, and now they’re working on a pilot for a scripted series about two vloggers who fall in love. TBD on if they’re also starring in it.

One of your college friends who never cared a ton about Prince or David Bowie wrote a long, navel-gazing reflection on the death of Prince or David Bowie.

Dove Cameron accidentally revealed the identity of her new boyfriend on her Insta story after taking a selfie in the mirror, where she had a photobooth pic up of her kissing her new man.

A reboot of one of your favorite shows completely excised the soul of the show. It was a shell of its former self. (Does not apply to Gilmore Girls. At least we had that.)

A young journalist from Northern Virginia has earned upwards of a quarter-million dollars in YouLogy, a database where celebrities can access, vet and fact-check the pre-written obituaries major news outlets have on file for them. The company expects to go public by the end of 2017.

The Onion has completely given up on its entire M.O. after the high percentage rate of its fake headlines started becoming real. Now they’re more hard hitting than The New York Times.

“Julie Andrews alive please” and “Bill Murray not dead RIGHT” were both trending autocomplete searches.

After the election, someone told you one of the following statements:

  • The sun will still rise tomorrow.
  • We’ve been through worse than this.
  • I don’t understand why people are protesting.
  • We need to wait and see what happens before we get upset.
  • Everybody is overreacting.

… and he was a white, straight Christian man.

16% of Trump supporters only voted for him because they’re really big The Apprentice fans. *

Speaking of which, DT announced he’s recruited George Ross, one of his two boardroom advisors on The Apprentice, as the ambassador to Genovia.

A group of magicians in Walla Walla, Washington decided to do their respective tricks when filming the mannequin challenge, but it went awry when someone’s fire caught on to the extra-long handkerchief chain hanging from the sleeve of the illusionist next to him. He luckily only walked away with burnt pride, but it was all caught on camera.

The cast of the OG Scream movie celebrated its 20th anniversary by holding a “house party at Stu’s” for die hard fans of the film. There was even a photo booth where you could fake your death in a garage door.

Trump just found out he’s been in cahoots with a robot Vladimir Putin like on Westworld for all these years.

In August, the Prep School Pussy-Grabber made headlines when he went to trial for kidnapping housecats across his  Connecticut neighborhood; at least 36 cats have yet to be recovered, but it doesn’t look great for them. Judge Wallace Wenthill released the Ivy League-bound teen without punishment because “those cats should have stayed indoors” and also “he was an Ivy League-bound teen.”

The bad news is your company went to a mega-high deductible health insurance plan; the good news is you met it because you had a bunch of weird health stuff.

World Book Encyclopedia, which still exists, is locked in a heated debate regarding the featured image for its article on the year 2016. Top contenders are the Arthur fist meme, a dumpster fire, and a rat eating a cockroach as a predatory pigeon swoops down on the both of them.

White House photographers caught a picture of Donald Trump’s list of ideal cabinet picks when he visited President Obama. Items included “Ivanka in a wig, nobody will know” and “an immigrant who hates himself.”


Things I’m Willing To Believe About Rosie O’Donnell

It’s Day 2 of Everything’s Coming Up Rosie Week, and we’re bringing back a recurring series, Things I’m Willing To Believe About ___, where we compile fake facts that seem… sort of plausible. Today we are spotlighting the Queen of Nice, Rosie O’Donnell. We are willing to believe that Rosie:

  • Had an early showbiz dream to appear as either the newest Brady Bunch kid or newest Partridge Family member.
  • Secretly sells art on Society6 under the pseudonym Katie Morosky
  • Hasn’t been able to let go of all the cassette tapes of Ryan’s Hope she recorded from the ’80s (she didn’t have a VCR back then so she recorded the audio, duh).
  • Has a permanent reserved seat at Hamilton, like how people in the 1800s used to have reserved pews at church. The only reason she hasn’t been MORE times is that she keeps giving the tickets away.

  • Is a generally peace-loving person, except that she can hear a North Shore vs South Shore argument from seemingly blocks away and will jump in.
  • Has not one but TWO dedicated craft/art studios in her home
  • Once had a house decorated with 100% decoupaged furniture. Made a concerted effort to scale back. Occasional pieces still surface at the Commack Volunteers of America Thrift Store.
  • Has had so many millennials come up to her telling her that her show “practically raised me” that she has had to stop agreeing to be listed as their emergency contact, after two such millennials were injured in trust falls on the same day.
  • Didn’t actually sign this autographed headshot that still sits in a frame on my childhood bed headboard

true story: i made my mom take a photo of this and send it to me. she doesn’t know how to take a pic on her phone and text it, but DOES not how to take a pic on her ipad and email it. hence the reflection. WOOF.

  • Auditioned to play the lead of Polly in Crazy For You on Broadway but lost out to Jodi Benson (aka Ariel of The Little Mermaid fame)
  • Her deepest secret: “not really a cat person.”
  • Steven Pasquale would be her modern day/Broadway Tom Cruise-esque crush if she still had her talk show
  • Turns out to be A.D. in the series finale on Pretty Little Liars as a favor to Marlene King (who wrote Now and Then)
  • Knows that Now and Then is an American classic, she just doesn’t want to make a big deal about it.
  • Despite the movie being questionable, Rosie secretly took home her Exit to Eden costume “just in case”

  • Lobbied extensively during the filming of Harriet The Spy to have Harriet’s beloved tomato sandwich swapped for something “less disgusting.”
  • Owns Donald Tr*mp voodoo doll
  • Super tempted to pull a Michael Jordan and take back her talk show from Caroline Rhea after six months
  • Caroline Rhea was her second choice for a replacement. Kristin Chenoweth was first.
  • Geena Davis taught her archery on the set of A League of Their Own
  • Still texts/emails/calls A League of Their Own & Sleepless In Seattle homeboy Tom Hanks for advice

  • Asked British boy band BBMak if they wanted to do a duet with her on her Another Rosie Christmas album, but they respectfully declined citing an “effort to protect their brand”
  • Kangol sent Ro hundreds of free hats that she couldn’t possibly wear herself, so that’s why anyone who shopped at Goodwill or Salvation Army in the Greater New York City area between 1996 and 1999 are owners of said accessory
  • Had Mormon missionaries visit her house weekly for YEARS in an attempt to capitalize on her love for Donny Osmond. It didn’t take.
  • Goes without saying, her Tom Cruise obsession caused similar problems. She does not want a free personality test, thank you very much.
  • Secretly made the Internet with Al Gore and sneakily popularized it with her show

  • Is still really good friends with Madonna, and is (secretly) the only person allowed to shorten her name to “Maddie.”
  • Tom Cruise is on her Christmas card list, but every year she worries it could be some sort of Scientologist faux pas.
  • Forced John McDaniel to spill all the juicy details on working closely with Patti LuPone, and wouldn’t give him the job of musical director on her talk show until he caved
  • Still keeps in touch with Kathy Del Bel Baluz (sp?) from Toronto, Canada and they exchange notes about wall stenciling.

  • Once prank called Elisabeth Hasselbeck and asked if her refrigerator was running
  • Gets free bus rides from the MTA ever since Riding the Bus with my Sister aired
  • On the days she misses being a talk show host, she makes her kids be her guests, and acts it all out in the replica of her Rosie show set in her home
  • Yes, it IS cute when they change “Tommy Can You Hear Me” to “Mommy Can You Hear Me,” thank you very much.
  • Sent Jimmy Fallon a care basket and heartfelt (yet funny) note after his ring finger accident, since a staph infection nearly cost her her own finger too
  • Since childhood, Rosie has maintained a complex, multi-factor ranking of supermarket snack cakes – and has a curious aversion to the Swiss Cake Roll.
  • Single-handedly revived Pepto Bismol’s brand by constantly singing “plop plop fizz fizz” on her show
  • Found  Oprah’s secret poop bathroom while filming The Rosie Show at the Queen’s studios in chicago
  • Secretly hated Tickle Me Elmo and all that he stood for

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Pokemon Go

My social media platforms took a weird turn this weekend. One minute, it was all racism, gun violence and Hamilton, and seemingly out of nowhere it became SQUIRTLE! MEWTOO! GOTTA CATCH EM ALL! Was there some kind of a 1998 time warp? I can’t have been the only person who didn’t have advance notice of Pokemon Go and has been struggling to put it all together piece by piece.

Let’s be clear: I think Pokemon Go is great! It gets people outside, smiling and walking and talking to friends and strangers. Dogs get exercise. Neighborhoods are explored. Everyone’s talking about the same thing (which is one of my favorite things about social media phenomena, generally). I also have no clue what’s going on. And since I’ve been getting messages that my iPhone storage is almost full for the past two weeks, I won’t find out until I get all of my photos on a cloud and cull my iTunes library.

Usually we reserve Things I’m Willing To Believe About posts for dreamy leading men (see: Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lin-Manuel Miranda), or else one-time DNC candidates (hey, Lincoln Chafee). But since we know so few actual facts about Pokemon Go, it seemed like fictional facts are the way to go. Here are some things we’re willing to believe about it:

Pokemon Go was developed as a secret initiative of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program. 

THANKS OBAMA. (No, really – thanks!)

“Rare” Pokemons are in really dangerous spots. Or, like, in a cemetery at night.
Dozens of Pokemon Go! players broke into an abandoned subway bed for a “PokeRave.”

Over 10 players were hospitalized with overdose symptoms but curiously, no evidence of drug use was found.

Developers are currently working on Benevolent Mode

Time for you to go to sleep? A coveted Pokemon appears in your bed. When you have to get up, there’s one by your coffee machine. A trail of Pokemon will appear, like moving targets, until you have completed your step goal for the day. You can even set Pokemon to appear at your nana’s nursing home – so you visit more – or at a local farmer’s market if you’re trying to eat more greens. A new Pokemon will appear around the corner from your workplace or home after you’ve finished a work assignment or homework. Have some iffy moles? There’s a Scyther at your dermatologist’s office.

Pokemon Go works better if you walk really slowly and stop dead in the middle of crowded sidewalks.


I don’t know, I’m just basing this on youths I’ve been stuck behind on my way to and from work.

The creators are so proud of Rattata

So, so proud that they put them EVERYWHERE. It’s like when god made rats: clearly pretty pleased with himself, since those jerks will survive anywhere.

Pokemon Go has been used in a successful sting to round up criminals with outstanding warrants

“Hey Kevin, there’s a Zapdos at the precinct, let’s go!”

Don’t do it, Kevin. There’s a 6-month prison term at the precinct.

There’s a Bulbasaur onstage during the duel in Hamilton.

Audiences feel that, if anything, it enhances the experience.

The “Churches are Pokegyms” thing was meant to be social commentary.

I don’t know, something about how we worship physical fitness, or a protest against churches’ tax-free status, probably.

Or one of these guys is really into church and is trying to get people into it. Not sure.

Pokemon Go Urban Legends already exist.

The Charizard was flying from INSIDE THE HOUSE.

When she got out of the car, Ash’s fingernails were scraping against the roof of the car.

He turned around to the backseat, and the Pikachu he had picked up had vanished. He went up to the nearest door. “Oh, Pikachu? He died in 1999,” the old woman said.

Pokemon Go has an internal conscience

Why else would it have caught so many people cheating, according to headlines I saw but didn’t click on? Also it has all of your secrets, so don’t piss it off.

You still have to look both ways

If you’re crossing the street, you still have to look both ways. If you’re driving, you still can’t play a game at the same time. Like I said, I haven’t played the game yet, but I’ve seen it blamed for injuries on the news and I’m almost positive you can’t walk out into traffic when you’re playing.


Things I’m Willing To Believe About Lin-Manuel Miranda

On January 11th, one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, celebrated what would’ve been his 259th or 261st birthday – no one actually knows the exact year of his birth. On January 16th, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Puerto Rican-American writer/composer/lyricist/actor/rapper/gaming enthusiast/dad/husband all-around “genius” will be celebrating his 36th birthday – we’re relying on Wikipedia for this fact. And today, we celebrate Lin’s life a day early, honoring a man who is leading his own revolution in New York as the creator and star of Hamilton.

Since Hamilton debuted at The Public Theater in New York last February, the show has earned rave review after rave review, and garnered a huge fanbase that includes theatre nerds to hip-hop stars to the young and the old to the AOL users to the #HamiltonTrash on Tumblr. The show that started in Lin’s brain has affected not only the entire nation, but the world as a whole, with people from every corner of the globe sharing a mutual love for AL-EX-AN-D-ER (we are, meant to be), a founding father that most of us know only from the $10 bill and how he got shot by that dude that one time. Lin has made an American icon into a current American pop star of sorts, and it’s thanks to his brilliant music, lyrics, and overall vision for the show.

Lin has described Hamilton in many interviews as a “story about America then, told by America now,” and this alone cements him not only in theatre history, but history as a whole. His passion to tell a centuries-old story for contemporary audiences is a daring Hamilton-esque feat in itself, but through his talent, he’s managed to do it and managed to do it with great success. Lin is the ultimate multi-hyphenate that has changed many lives through his work, but there’s more to him than just ‘The guy from Hamilton’. And just as Lin had to dig deep into the Hamilton archives to create a historical musical about a real-life man, new Lin fans eager to learn about his background and persona will have to do their fair share of research to become a certified #HamiltonTrash member. Do some research and read his Wikipedia page – because the following fictional facts we’re willing to believe about Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t be more made up.

  • The first album he bought with his own money was Tupac’s 2Pacalypse Now in 1991.
  • Attempted to recreate Busta Rhymes’ Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See music video with neon paint and leopard print sheets hanging from the hallway walls.
  • Dressed up as one of the Punk Frogs from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Halloween one year

  • At least once every couple weeks he wakes up with a start in the middle of the night. By now, his wife just mutters “yes, you remembered to say goodnight to Twitter” and tells him to go back to sleep.

  • Very aware Jonathan Groff would be his type if he were gay

To be fair: He’s pretty much EVERYONE’S type if they are ANYTHING.

  • His teachers would always scold him for having his headphones on and listening to his cassette tapes/CDs before class started
  • You may know about Hamilton’s bowling team, HamilPins. But did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda founded In The Heights’ intramural bowling league (No Me Liga) AND speed-dating night (Alza La Soltera)?
  • Was the runner-up for Most Likely To Succeed, and the winner of Most Earnest, in his senior yearbook.
  • Will be the Dad who knows about the trendy new social media before his kids, and will embarrass them because he’s better at it than they are.
  • Early uncredited gig: writing a “punched-up” version of the ZOOM theme song for PBS. Yeah. Bet you all still remember that ZIP code, too.
  • Lets his wife always figure out the tip at restaurants because she’s the mathematician of the family.
  • His friends no longer let him be the driver during road trips because even though he picks the best music, he also makes them pull over at every one of those historical marker signs.
  • Has a note in his phone of drafts of tweets he’s thought about posting, but ultimately decided against it.
  • His wife had to request that he stop writing raps to “help” her study for the bar exam (States unchecked can get a little messy/ All rise, Marshall court in Hunter’s Lessee/ State powers subject to diminution/ Cohens. Virginia. You ratified the constitution. / Put the steamboat on the river – okay, New York, it’s Interstate. Gibbons. Ogden. Congress gonna regulate. /And legislate -plus stipulate/ that no militia’s solely state/ When sought, they fought. Martin. Mott.  ) (…may or may not be an excerpt from my Marshall Court review rap for Con Law, c. 2009.)
  • Used a recording of himself saying “pew! pew! pew!” as the gunshots during Hamilton’s workshops for longer than was strictly necessary.
  • Also uses those”pew! pew! pew!” soundswhen he shoots a gun at paintball or lazer tag
  • Had the choice of being in Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff when he was sorted, proudly sports a yellow and black scarf on the regs.
  • Owns a “But first, café” sign
  • Yeah, Lin can do really crazy-good crown braids now that his hair is long, but he’s waiting for the Hamilton cast recording to go platinum before he releases a tutorial.

    NBD but he doesn’t even need keratin treatments.

  • Secretly named his son after Lil’ Sebastian
  • Has more novelty/pop culture-themed t-shirts than dress shirts
  • Wrote at least 2 songs for each of his ex-girlfriends, has an entire two-volume album dedicated to his wife Vanessa in his head
  • He’s also composed a verse or two for his favorite delivery guy and bodega lady. Not to get free stuff out of it. Just because he cares.
  • Those ex-girlfriends can testify that he’s had that comma game in his arsenal since long before playing our dearest, Hamilton.
  • Scribbled Wrote ‘Wait for It’ on a fan’s forearm at the stage door so they could get a tattoo of it later.
  • Really (secretly) prolific on tumblr. Runs your favorite blog.
  • Wrote a passionate What You Own-esque duet for him and Steven Pasquale on the medical drama Do No Harm in the event there would be a musical episode in the future. The show was cancelled after 2 episodes (that last part is true).

    how was this show cancelled

  • During his first grade Christmas pageant, left Mary and Joseph waiting at stage right for a full 5 minutes as he performed his (unsanctioned) solo as Shepherd #3. Upon leaving, audiences were heard to say that they “never really realized how important that shepherd was to our history.”
  • First celebrity crush: Patti LuPone
  • Is in talks with I Love New York to use the “let’s go upstate” hook in a series of ads promoting summer tourism in the Adirondacks.
  • Of course he has a bucket list. Of course “have Beyonce be proud of my walk” is on it. Someday.

  • Hasn’t joined Instagram because “Instagramrico” doesn’t have as a good a ring to it as “Twitterico”
  • Was a competitor in one of those quiz bowl public access-type shows featuring kids from different schools in NYC. His team won.
  • Has that a cappella app where you harmonize with yourself. Mostly made up of Ingrid Michaelson, Mario Kart songs, and early drafts of Hamilton tracks.
  • Attended a LARP-ing summer camp when he was 13
  • Would have seriously auditioned for High School Musical if he was the right age (no, but have y’all SEEN this??).

Best of 2015: Things I’m Willing To Believe About One Direction


Here’s what I knew about One Direction last week:

  • They are a British boy band, except one of them is Irish.
  • They sing that song I hate (What Makes You Beautiful. Still don’t like it.)
  • Also, I knew Drag Me Down but thought it was by Maroon 5? I don’t know, you guys.
  • I thought it was beautifully shady how the chorus of Perfect sounded a lot like Style.
  • And I knew who the two cute ones are.
  • Don’t play. You know exactly who I’m talking about.

What with their new album and a new press-generated controversy every day, One Direction was the perfect candidate for the Things I’m Willing To Believe About series – except, with my scant background knowledge,  I had to hit the books. Yeah. I took that hit for you, internet. My research included:

  • Watching like 4-5 interviews on YouTube.
  • Googling photos of the members both now and in 2010.
  • Listening to the new album. It’s a really good, solid pop album to be honest.
  • Tumblr. Enough said.

The result? I either just became a Directioner – and a Larry? Is that how you do it? – or went through puberty again. Anyway, based on admittedly not that much info, here are some totally not-true “facts” I’m willing to believe about my new favorite British-except-one-Irish-guy boy band:




  • The Irish One?
  • Once hand wrote his favorite poem for a girl he is into.
  • The poem was by Shel Silverstein.
  • Most likely to be subject of a Paul Is Dead-style rumor that he died in 2011 and was replaced by a sort-of lookalike.
  • Because  you don’t just grow a kidney like that. Or change faces like this:

  • Decided to try out online dating. Didn’t believe the other boys when they told him that a fake mustache wasn’t an awesome, foolproof disguise.
  • Favorite literary character: Gallant of the Goofus and Gallant series:

  • After a show, he makes the boys watch tape to improve next time.
  • His favorite t.v. show is the Tim Allen classic Home Improvement.
  • Instituted a chore wheel on tour. Said it would be fun. Believed it.
  • But the chore Liam doesn’t know about? Taking away his twitter after he’s said something dumb. The others trade whose turn it is to change his password.
  • They also hid his hair straightener a few years ago. It was for his own good.
  • Liam has invested in gold bars.
  • He loves knock knock jokes.
  • And “why did the chicken cross the road” jokes.
  • An old lady once hit Liam in the face with her purse. He had been chasing her for half a block to give her back a single coin that she dropped.
  • Liam snips apart those six-pack rings so they don’t get caught around birds’ heads.
  • His MSN name: NotLiamPayne
  • Has flown a kite for fun.
  • Owns one of those sticks to pick up litter on the street. Uses it frequently.
  • Liam once sealed the windows on a tour jet with shrink wrap when he read about the high costs of heating. Oh, bless.
  • Has a binder full of handwritten translations and phonetic pronunciations of foreign words to use when traveling. Includes a British English to American English section.
  • Flosses twice a day.
  • Loves team-building exercises.
  • Called Niall “Neil” for the first two weeks.
  • Has a Homer Simpson-style collage, with the letters covered up by photos of Simon Cowell and 1D fans:




  • No, the Irish one.
  • Style inspiration: a my buddy doll.


  • Is a cross between a dad and a beagle.
  • Has clear braces.
  • Is the kind of guy who would do pranks that involve shaving cream.
  • Is contractually obligated to be “the blonde one.” Can’t wait to change management and finally be free of bleach burns.
  • Was always the star of the feis with his 3-hand reel.
  • But his hornpipe is CRAP.
  • Has kind of a lot of tin whistles.
  • Owns one of those sweaters your grandma would always buy you when she went to the Aran islands.

Irish-Americans, you know what I’m talking about.


  • But he kind of, sort of really does believe that legend that if he wears his family’s pattern they’ll be able to identify him in a shipwreck.
  • Has repurposed Irish oatmeal cans in his home.

You know what? Handy, frugal, and functional.

  • Is named after Niall of the Nine Hostages.
  • He lifts because he wants to be “built like Flatley.”
  • Says his first crush was: the girls in the Corrs.
  • Actual first crush was: that skanky Molly Malone statue in Dublin.



  • Suggested the band name because it sounded like it was about frisky Hogwarts students.
  • Life goal was to be “bigger than Jedward.”
  • His first paid gig was modeling those gloves that are also sharks in a department store ad as a child.


  • Acts chill if you pronounce it “Lewis,” but seethes for hours after.
  • Hogwarts affiliation: Hot Slytherin.
  • He says his personal style is “sophisticated rocker-casual.”
  • But really, it is: small French girl with a secret.

  • Has definitely been hunting with foxhounds.
  • But just played with the dogs the whole time.
  • On a yearly basis, his management has had to turn down offers for him to play a smarmy Edwardian man on Downton Abbey.
  • His great-grandfather was the artist’s model for the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.

  • No, that was a joke. Actually he is the Peter Pan statue from Kensington Gardens, cursed by an old witch to assume human form.
  • Falls on the “cake” side of the Jaffa Cake debate.

Even though they are biscuits.

  • Has a Youtube playlist of cheek and jawline toning exercises. They work.
  • One time, a makeup artist applied light highlighter and contouring to his cheekbones. They literally could cut a man. It was proclaimed “too much.”
  • Like Phoebe Buffay, insists that he receives 23 points instead of 3 in basketball “because I’m dainty.”
  • When he calls Harry, the image that pops up representing Louis is a Google image result for “haughty cat”:


  • Was forced to play Baby Jesus in four successive nativity plays because everyone agreed that you just sort of want to wrap him in a blanket and keep him safe from harm.


  • When he has children, it’s because he will find a baby in a Moses basket in a woodland
  • Was found in a Moses basket in a woodland himself, maybe?
  • All I’m saying is that I’m willing to believe that he is a changeling:

File under: people who should be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lulled to sleep.

  • Is a cross between a glam rocker, the most charismatic student at a 1920s boys’ boarding school, and an English Springer Spaniel.


  • Hogwarts affiliation: Gryffindor, but “culturally Hufflepuff.”
  • Has a climate-controlled room in his house for his nice blouses.
  • Smells how you would expect Irish Spring soap to smell based on those commercials where wholesome yet sprightly men gallivant near a waterfall (not how the soap actually smells, which is like “clean uncle” if anything).

Oh. The spring is THERE, thanks.


  • Whenever they’re in a new city, everyone ends up looking around asking “where’s Harry?” Inevitably, he has gone off to befriend an old lady or a small child.

  • Has tree fort.
  • Has secret password to get into tree fort.
  • There is an elaborate secret handshakes as well.
  • Harry is working with a publishing company to create an adult coloring book based on his tattoos.
  • His house is scented with specially formulated candles that smell like exactly like autumn leaves and sunsets.
  • Can knit.
  • Over the course of a single ride to a venue, knit a pair of fingerless gloves for a tour driver whose handshake seemed a little cold.
  • When his boots need repair, he just leaves them outside his door and it is taken care of:


  • Has been described as a “little scamp” before, albeit less frequently than Louis.
  • Opposes the term “man bun” because “nobody should tell it what kind of bun it should be.”
  • Yeah, he has long hair, but you know what? Harry Styles cleans it out of the drain. Every time.
  • Has a dog-eared copy of Indian In The Cupboard next to his bed.
  • According to legend, a blind man and a deaf man used to walk together and help each other understand the world. They passed Harry Styles in the park. The blind man turned to the deaf, and solemnly said and signed “he prances.” “I know, I heard,” the deaf man replied.


  • No. We are not doing this.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About 2015

Almost everything that is going to happen in 2015 has already happened. That means we’ve reached the point where you can sit back and reflect on the year that was … not. None of the following things actually happened in 2015, but the way the past year was, I’m willing to believe all of them.

  • The fastest-rising baby names were Temerity (girl) and Elfin (boy), springing from the trends toward word names for girls and names ending in “n” for boys.


  • Middle schoolers across the nation frightened their parents by “kale-ing” – snorting dried kale chips to enjoy the chill buzz of toxins leaving their systems.



  • The most-downloaded Youtube video in the U.S. was “oops-shite,” in which a British preschooler drops an ice cream cone then shouts “oops! SHITE.” YouTube Grand Master Martin Fillburgh called it a “perfect storm” of a child swearing combined with a non-American accent.


  • A Today show segment about a popular pair of sweat-wicking socks caused demand to skyrocket; they were selling for up to $15 a pair on eBay by Christmastime.


  • The most popular Google search was “how to hide political posts from Facebook.” The most popular Yahoo search was “how computer work.” The most popular Yahoo Answers search was “if I am pregnett with baby can baby get pregnett too yes or no.”


  • A detailed forensic analysis proved that at least two of Shakespeare’s worst sonnets as well as Timon of Athons were, in fact, written by his cousin, Trevor Shakespeare.


  • The least-attended panel in Comic-Con history was the reunion of Wild West C.O.W.-boys of Moo Mesa, an early 90s cartoon about a community of mutant old-west cows that formed after the prairie was hit by a comet, which I know existed because I watched it every week. Con planners are said to have “seriously misjudged” the pull of 90s nostalgia.


  • An entire chain of spin studios had to close when a serious strain of ringworm infected up to 70% of the patrons, many of whom didn’t really mind because at least that meant people could tell that they work out.


  • When pressed for a description of Minecraft, the creator explained “there’s like… these blocks, right? And you make a farm, sort of? But maybe like there are… wars… at times?” He then pulled a nine-year-old child from the audience to explain it better.


  • Archaeologists at Colonial Williamsburg believed that they had uncovered a 250-year-old time capsule. They scheduled a public opening, where it quickly became clear that it was actually a box of stuff a Colonial man didn’t want his wife to find.


  • At least seven flights were grounded when the combined GPS signals of the passengers’ Fitbit devices overpowered the plane’s navigation system.


  • People younger than you started a massive dance craze based on a 1970s Chilean novelty song.


  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, began selling amazingly ineffective cashmere towels for $475 a piece.


  • Your favorite show ended.


  • Somewhere in the United States, a teenager told a friend that they were singing a “song from an old musical” for an audition; it was from Rent.

America, at the end of the millennium.


  • The National Institute Of Health released a report entitled Everyone Is Fat And We’re All Going To Die: An American Epidemic.


  • Emily Patton, a 22-year-old recent NYU grad, launched #Married, a business that creates custom wedding hashtags for couples; each hashtag comes with a guarantee that the tag will not be used for any photos not associated with the wedding for up to 6 months after the event.


  • For the first time ever, 100% of the models in New York Fashion Week were born after 1990; over 10% were born in this millennium.


  • Someone you went to college with got a pug. And I bet it’s really cute, too.


  • Ariana Grande placed a drive-through Dunkin Donuts order that she had to repeat 13 times, as the girl CANNOT ENUNCIATE.
  • The latest hit social network: Mrow, described as “like Vine but for cats, on more of a Twitter interface.”


  • The fastest-growing subscription box company of the year was Flounce. Once a month subscribers get a box to fill with clothing they already own; it is mailed back to them with minor embellishments like lace ruffles, embroidery, or a bow.


  • A three-day convention called Handsome, Clever And Rich celebrated the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s novel Emma along with the 20-year anniversary of Clueless. Festivities were held in Surrey and Beverly Hills. Events included speed dating and makeovers; it was described by attendees as well-intentioned but a little shallow.


  • A Go Fund Me account has raised over $500 for Pizza Rat and his or her children.