Kyle Mooney: My New Celebrity Crush

This one reminds me of myself when I tried to record a new podcast last night. I kept saying it was funny and Rob was like, "No. I can't do this. It's so bad."

SNL Made this video for their 40th Anniversary Special but never aired it:

I still think my roommates are the worst. I say we keep 'em.


NYC Taught Me the Podcast: Episode One, Rob and I Declare Our Love For Each Other Sort-Of

Last Friday I came up with the idea to start a podcast with Rob. And we did it! It's short, 15 minutes. Hope it makes you smile while doing an otherwise boring job like loading the dishwasher. We had fun making it and exposing our unconventional love for each other. We plan on publishing one every Tuesday. Click play below. Links to some of the things we mention in the podcast below.
1. If it sounds like I was disappointed with Valentine's Day, I was. Because, I expected "an amazing, thoughtful, nearly flawless experience, one that is simultaneously fun and romantic, and a night I will remember for the rest of my life." There's no winning.
2. Rob nailed the clothes he got for me though. Here's the awesome cardigan and floppy hat he got me.
3. The article on Cup of Jo about Finnish people enjoying a quiet lunch. Sigh.
4. The microphone I bought Rob for Valentines day.
5. Open Table and Yelp because Rob thinks he discovered them.

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Just One Good Picture

On a hike with my family last week, I announced the time has come. I want one good picture of myself. It's been long enough. I'd estimate it's been a good solid 6 months of awful pictures. If I took a good picture, I'd stare at it and marvel. This is the best one I got from the hike. Still on my losing streak. It's so bad. What gives me hope is when I see average people on the cover of magazines looking amazing. I want what Lena's having. And Tina and Amy.
The worst? THE WORST is when beautiful people make ugly faces in photos to be relatable or something and still look amazing. Ok. We get it. You're pretty even when you try not to be. You're not afraid to be ugly. Cool. Thanks for mocking us.

I fear I'll have to go to a Glamour Shots Studio to solve this problem, but I really don't want to. I want the photo to be taken by accident. After a team of stylist and photographers and graphic designers take care of it. Start snapping.


Career Update: Grad School Applications are IN!!!!!

On New Years Eve, my family and I told each other our biggest fears of 2015. Mine was that I wasn't going to fill out my social work grad school applications. I was worried the deadlines would pass and I would shrug my shoulders and tell everyone, "Maybe next year." But I don't have to because I've submitted my applications on time! Now I just have to wait for the results. They should come in around March. I'll be devastated if I don't get accepted, but at least I tried. If I get in, 2015 will be marked as one of my favorite years ever.


Frances McDormand: Adding to the list of people I want to meet on the street of NYC

Somedays, when I'm feeling low, I think to myself: You know what I need right now? A celebrity sighting because that'll perk me up. Rarely does this happen. Actually, it's never happened when I needed it most.

Celebrity sightings usually happen when I'm with Rob. He can spot one from miles away. He'll be like, "Oh, there's Jerry Seinfield." And there's Jerry crossing 81st St. wearing ill fitting jeans and a stupid baseball cap. Or Rob will whisper, "You're standing next to Tina Fey." And there she'll be, dressed in the frumpiest cream sweater you ever saw and I look down at my hand and what am I holding? A butcher knife my friend just gave me after she realized she accidentally packed it in her suitcase. Act cool.

I always get jealous when people see celebrities that are on my list. I just went to breakfast with a friend who saw both Louis CK AND freakin Mark Ruffalo. I about flipped out of my chair when she told me she saw them because I HAVE SPEECHES IN MY HEAD FOR WHEN I MEET THESE TWO.

Another person told me she went to a private school interview and guess who was there with his daughter for an interview? Woody Allen. Now I know. I know. Woody Allen :(. But still. Annie Hall changed my life at age 20 and I would at least like the see the man who was apart of that.

I'm geeking out and writing my list of people I want to see on the street. Here it is:
2. Mark Ruffalo.
3. Keri Russell (I haven't even seen all the episodes of Felicity and I have no idea who she ends up with, but when I was in high school, I would imagine at my prettiest, I looked just like her. I never did. My face instead erred more to the other curly haired celebrity at the time: Chelsea Clinton. Which is fine, whatever, but seeing Keri Russell on the streets would make all my high school dreams come true. I loved her so much and my sister knew it and made fun of me like crazy for it. Which, looking back on, I totally deserved. :)

4. Tina Fey (check)
5. Lena Dunham (check, I wrote about it of course.)
6. Katy Perry (I'm stretching here. I want to beef this list up but I can't think of anymore. Katy, you're on.)
7. NEWEST: Frances McDormand
I knew it was bad when I was walking home from school today and started thinking about what I would tell her. Something like, "Wow. Frances McDormand. I love your work." Totally unoriginal shiz, I know. Nothing flashy, just something quick. I have to rehearse my speech so when it happens, I don't blurt out, "Wow. Hello Frances Mcdormand. I've never watched Fargo!" And then start mumbling about how it's on my list of things to do this week and I don't know how I've gone this long without watching it and I don't even know what it's about, only that she wins best actress for it. Then go on to tell her only reason I know that is because I went down a severe Frances Mcdormand internet worm hole yesterday, which eventually led me to view her SAG acceptance speech. It's awesome. Posting it again. Totally impressed how she self promotes her work.

Notice at the end of the speech, she mentions she's performing in the Early Shaker Spirituals and tells everyone to see it? I googled it and found out it's coming to NYC. Yay. Why wait to have a Frances McDormand celebrity sighting when I can pay to have one instead? So I bought tickets to see her perform. I can't wait. There's still a bunch of $25 tickets available. Go. I don't know what it's about, only that I can't get enough of this woman. Before I see her, I hope to watch all the movies she's be in--everything from Fargo to Madeline to rewatching Olive Kitteridge with Rob. Where has this woman been all my life? I'm so glad I found her.

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And What's Your Vegetable?: Frances Mcdormand

Over Christmas break, I stayed up until 3am watching all four episodes of Olive Kitteridge. Frances Mcdormand plays Olive, one of my favorite female characters ever portrayed on film. I was captivated the entire time with her honesty, whit, and sadness.

In the first episode there's a scene when Olive marches into her neighbors Rachel's house and wakes her up. Rachel is clinically depressed and won't get off the couch. Olive ends the conversation by telling her to get up and asks her about dinner. Rachel starts sitting up and mumbles, "I guess I can make some chops." Olive goes further, "And what's your vegetable?" Rachel sighs. She looks at Olive as if she must be kidding. She's not. Rachel finally picks peas and this satisfies Olive. She starts leaving Rachel's house and says, "I gotta go. I've got my own dinner to make. By the way. Your son got a 98 on his math test. You could praise him for that." Olive walks out.

The directness that Olive talks to Rachel is so refreshing. What Olive lacks in warmth, she gains in her overwhelming love for Rachel's life.

Out of all the scenes from the series, this is the one I think about most often. While I don't suffer from depression, I do find myself getting overwhelmed with motherhood, especially at the end of the day. Dinner is too much to handle sometimes. But if I can narrow it down to a simple ingredient, I'm ok. What vegetable will I be serving? There needs to be one. Pick it. I hear Mcdormand's voice saying, "Get up! Got to start thinking about dinner. You set for something? Come on. What's your vegetable?" It's just the motivation I need.

Today I chose green beans. Tomorrow is still pending. And that's ok.

"I'm waiting for the dog to die so I can shoot myself." Her delivery is so funny. Bill Murray's reaction seems genuine. Makes me giggle every time I hear it too.

UPDATE: If you don't have HBO, you can buy Olive Kitteridge DVD on February 10th. Yay. Valentine's gift idea.

And More Frances Mcdormand:

On women on film. LOVE THIS TOO
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NYC Tourist Trap I Approve: Jekyll and Hyde Club

Today my kids and I stumbled upon the Jekyll and Hyde Club, a haunted restaurant in Times Square with live entertainment and special effects. There's all this weird stuff on the outside that lured my boys in: skeletons, creepy lettering, and an old phone booth. Ella was a bit reserved, thinking it was an actual social club for mad scientists. Then I spotted 3 middle-aged women walking out with doggie bags, and she knew it was going to be ok. It was.

We walked up the stairs and were greeted by a waitress named Crystal. Salt of the earth. So kind and welcoming. With her southern accent she asked what brought us to NY. She was shocked that we were locals. I suspect tourists supply most of the action at this place. Even though we had no intentions of eating anything, she smiled and told us to take a look around.

It was around 2pm and the restaurant was practically empty. Only three other parties were in the massive space. My kids walked from booth to booth checking out all the displays: siamese twin girls with curly hair sitting on a fancy chair, a statue of Zeus spinning circles, and a scuba diver getting eaten by a shark. It felt like the haunted mansion at Disney World, until one of the statues came alive. It was a doll holding a knife with a creepy voice that said, "Ossscaar, is that you? I've been waiting for you!" He totally freaked. The doll continued using information she gathered unbeknown to us. The doll ended by saying she was going to hide under their beds tonight. "See you at 12am!" Then her head spun around to show a gory face and she turned off. My kids giggled with delight. We needed to order food to have an excuse to stay longer.    

I knew right away this wasn't going to be the type of restaurant you go to for the food. The menu has typical American fare. Which is fine and expected for this part of town. We played it safe and ordered a chicken Caesar salad and a cheese burger with fries. I'm baffled when I read the Yelp reviews of this place and people complain about the food. Really? I wish people reviewing could know the difference between a place you go for the food and a place you go for the experience. It seems so obvious to me. That said, my cheese burger was good. The fries were good. The salad was fine. But it didn't matter! This place had so much more going for it than the food.

You know the doll who personally talked to my kids? It didn't end there. They got personal conversations with a shrunken head, a giant elephant, a mad scientist, an explorer guy, and just about everything else in the restaurant. I lost count after awhile. We were in the presence of people passionate about their jobs. They committed 100% to their characters. I wanted to speak to the managers and praise them in their hiring efforts. I don't know where they found these people, but I was blown away. There was really no reason for them to be giving us so much attention. Not just us, they kept everyone in the restaurant smiling and laughing. With so few costumers, you would think the actors wouldn't care. But they worked that restaurant as if it was filled to capacity. There was even a Frankenstein inspired stage production!

It was such a fun and unexpected afternoon in the city. The blood and guts, the spiders, the secret bathrooms. It was all kitschy and great. And while my kids are probably having nightmares as I write this, I go to bed with my heart filled. My love for humanity grew a little more after an afternoon at the Jekyll and Hyde Club.

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