star-brother wars

You know that thing I did a couple of times where I related a favorite movie to a favorite person?  Oh, you don’t have my blog memorized?  How dare you.

 

Well, I wanted to relate a movie to a person, but I almost feel bad connecting this movie to this particular person. However, this person used to put his finger in front of my eyes and repeatedly tell me, “I’m not touching you,” so I don’t feel too bad.

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Star Wars Episode !: The Phantom Menace.  For a long time I was completely behind this movie.  I mean, up until my most recent viewing in July, I was completely behind it.  I now will concede that it could have been better.  However, to Hil at 8, this movie was… epic.

 

This was the first midnight premiere the Millers went to, but Mom determined I was too young to go to it on a school night. Mom wisdom strikes again!  I was upset, like really upset.  I remember being at Thad’s baseball game when Mom told me I couldn’t go and thinking about how sometimes life isn’t fair.  I think this says something about how I was as a child; I didn’t get rude that I couldn’t go to the Star Wars midnight showing, I got introspective and philosophical.  I was a joy to be around.

Enter Rhett.

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Rhett is my older brother (the oldest of the two). (Also, it was his birthday on Saturday– Happy Belated, bro!) Rhett said he would take me to the movie the next day.  Granted, at this point, Rhett still thought this film was going to blow his mind.  After the midnight showing, the fam was a bit disappointed, particularly the older half who were less impressed with Queen Amidala’s wigs.

 

Rhett didn’t think it was good either, but he still took me.  I think this says a lot about the person my brother is.  He’s the person who sat through Episode One twice in theaters just so I could see it.  He’s the person who played Wheatus’s Teenage Dirtbag on full volume just so he could use his whiny voice to make me smile.  He’s the person who helped take care of me when I stayed home sick (including the clean up of the most projectile of all projectile vomits).  He’s the person who would do anything for the people he loves, who is a great uncle, who literally makes everyone’s day better, and who will make a fantastic husband and father someday.

 

Gear switch. Once, when we were watching The Polar Express, I asked Mom what the four of us siblings would do if the train stopped at our house.  Would we stay? Would we hop on? She went through everyone until she got to me and said that I would do whatever Rhett did.  I can only hope this is true in real life.  I’d love to be anything like the guy I’m so lucky to have as a brother and so proud to have as a friend.

Did I mention he watched Star Wars Episode One twice in theaters?

I’m not touching you!

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catching fire, feel the flame

That’s an epic title, am I right?

This Thursday evening I had the profound pleasure of seeing Catching Fire, but this wasn’t just any Catching Fire experience.  This. Was. SO COOL.

I got out of class at 10.  Night class, am I right?

We get to the Chinese Theatre at 11.  We transform into mega-Hunger Games fans at approximately 11:05.  Right around here.

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Let the ridiculousness begin!  The ridiculousness was spectacular. The movie was spectacular.  Jennifer Lawrence was spectacular.

I mean, the Chinese Theatre, am I right? Okay, I’ll stop.

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The last time I went to the Chinese Theatre I saw Gravity, or in the words of Jill: “We WERE Gravity.”

This time was just as magical.  Also, seeing movies with good friends, like my Italian Rachel is magical, am I right? Last one, I swear.  Check out Rach’s silly face and Jill’s neck below. Oh, and Peeta.  That’s all.

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roast beef is a conversation starter

Today I had to make a very, very difficult decision.  Think Divergent: “One choice can transform you.”

What was the decision?  Turkey or roast beef.  Let me explain.

This December- Oh, gosh. December is too close to say “this.”  Start again.

Next month, I’m going to a writer’s conference.  It’s in Big Sur.  It will be full of rainy, gorgeous scenery, writing all-nighters, and a billion requests for queries.  Right?  Okay, okay.  At the very least, it will be full of a nice drive to and from the conference, writing afternoons, and at least one awkward conversation with a literary agent.

This conference has brought some beautiful things into my life, the best being my writing group, First Authors Club (FAC).  FAC is made up of Jill and Katie and me.  Jill is a fabulous dresser and fantastic, feminist writer of teen female friendships.  I tried to jam as many “f’s” into that description as possible because Jill stands for “fun.”  Fun real stories, fun fictional stories, fun Farrah Fawcett hair, fun, fun, fun.  Katie is a fantasy queen, but her letter is “g” for great.  Great writing, great mom (to her baby, not to me – that would be weird), great friend, great conservative mind, great, great, great.

Playtime with these ladies, aka story notes time, is the highlight of my week.

Back to decisions. The conference has made small decisions (like what to do with my hair) take on a large weight.  Today, it got more than a little ridiculous.  We were emailed asking what kind of meat we would like on our sandwiches at the retreat.  My first inclination was turkey.  I mean, turkey is the safe choice.  Turkey is “doctor,” if you pick a husband by occupation.

But there’s a side of you that wants to pick “rock star” for your spouse’s job, right?  The rock star of deli meats? Roast beef.  All of the sudden, you think it’s so much more interesting to pick roast beef, the unusual, off-beat choice.  Here’s the danger: your rock star husband could be a big party dude who leaves you all alone with the screaming twins; in deli meat terms: it’s limp and fatty.  Now the fate of my future career seemed to rest on this one decision.  Everyone will pick turkey.  Turkey is the obvious choice.  Roast beef, though, roast beef is a conversation starter.

Scenario #1:  “Oh, is that roast beef?” an agent will ask. “I love roast beef. I thought I was the only one here. What’s your manuscript about? I want to represent you, you fellow beefer!”

Scenario #2: “That’s roast beef!” someone will shout. “All the best writers who aren’t vegetarians choose roast beef. I shall read your book, now.”

Scenario #3: “Oh, you’re eating roast beef,” another one will say. “That’s so interesting. I find you so interesting because of your deli meat choice. Let’s talk.”

So there was the choice.  Turkey or roast beef?  The doctor or rock star?  Lab coat or leather jacket?

It was at this point that I realized I had been riding the crazy train for a few minutes, maybe for a few years.  I got off at the next stop and emailed my choice.

Turkey.  Plain, safe turkey.  Although, if we’re talking husbands, I’d go for a pediatrician who plays for a terrible garage band on Sunday afternoons.  What is that in deli meat?

things i like (that no one else does)

Okay. I know everyone feels like this at some point in their lives, or for their entire lives.  You fall in like with something. You can’t get enough of it.  You share it with your best friend, your mom, your dog, and no one is as interested as you are.  This is pretty common in my life, and I’d like to share some of my favorite things (that no one else likes) with you.

KATHERINE HEIGL// People really don’t like Izzie Stevens. Oh, what’s that?  You LOVED Izzie, but you HATE Katherine? Nope. Sorry. They’re a package deal.  Katherine Heigl rescues dogs, has two beautiful children, and is still married to her husband.  Her mom is her manager (still), and she makes cute movies.  27 Dresses wasn’t trying to be The Black Swan, folks.  I encourage everyone to catch either the 1996 Disney Channel classic, Wish Upon A Star, or the 2003 Hallmark finest, Love Comes Softly, in hopes that their opinions would be altered.

SEATTLE’S BEST COFFEE// Everyone is on The Starbucks Train or The Coffee Bean Train or The Peet’s Train (which I also love), and poor Seattle’s Best is stuck at the caboose.  I understand that Starbucks and Seattle’s Best are owned by the same company.  Let me say that again: People who like to say Starbucks is better, they are owned by the same company. Get it?  My main reason for loving Seattle’s Best is their gingerbread latte (another thing that a lot of people hate).  They put a little gingerbread man on top of the whipped cream.  Adorable!

ONCE UPON A TIME// Admittedly, I have a friend with me on this.  A SINGLE FRIEND.  I don’t understand!  Every week is a fairytale on this show! It’s good vs. evil.  It’s a tale as old as time.  Literally, Belle is on the show.  Why aren’t people (my friends) watching?  Remember how people went ga-ga over Lost? Well, it’s the same creators! Ahhh, I don’t know.  I love it.  I love Mary Margaret’s pixie cut and Rumpelstiltskin’s odd romance with Belle.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on Hook. Hello, hunk! You should check it out, but you probably won’t and that’s okay.  Fyi, I recap this show for Lydia Mag.

CROCS// I’ve had my fair share of Crocs in my life.  I even had a couple of Mickey charms that went in the little holes on the top.  People out there hate crocs. Why?! They’re like flip flops with more support.  They feel like slippers.  I’m behind them 100%.

THIS MEANS WAR// The movie.  Everyone hated this movie. I really liked it.  It was funny and cute and had action.  Plus, Chelsea Handler and Tom Hardy in the same movie? Sign me up. I get that it has issues, but let’s not all pretend that we didn’t go around quoting Congo before it suddenly became uncool. “Amy, good mother.”  “Stop eating my sesame cake!”

BOARD GAMES// Okay, people like these, but usually not enough people like them to be able to play one.  Whyyyyyyyy?!  Scattergories, I miss you! I will say that if I sound depressed on the phone, my mom will play online scrabble with me.  I’ve gotten really good at fake tears.  I mean…

But really, people. Let’s play board games. Mmkay?

Happy Monday! Make it great!

12 days of Christmas films

I know it’s early, but I couldn’t resist.  Plus, I used “films” instead of “movies” in the title, so this is a fancy post, not a silly one. Okay, okay, it’s a silly one.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s not much to me that isn’t silly and crazy and weird.  I’m just going to do a list.  Kind of lazy, right?  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s not much to me that isn’t lazy and silly and crazy and weird.  What else can I add to that list?  Oh, that’s a post for another time.  Anywho, here are my 12 favorite Christmas films.

 

It’s a Wonderful Life (Zuzu’s petals!)

A Christmas Story (Scut Farcus is the worst villain the world has ever known)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Santa Clause (only the first one makes this list)

Elf

White Christmas

Prancer (Prancer! Prancer!)

Hallmark’s A Princess For Christmas (a classic!!)

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Scrooged

Christmas With The Kranks (“Haha, she must be kidding!” Oh, shut up.  It’s funny)

Miracle On 34th Street (a twofer. Both original and remake are a-okay!)

 

Merry Christmas to yooooooooou!  It’s not even Thanksgiving…

pixie disasters

Here’s the thing about short hair, about having a pixie cut: there are times when you cannot pull it off. There are times when you lack the self-confidence, the hair gel, or the time it takes to shower, to properly rock the pixie.

In those most desperate of times, you don’t even like yourself anymore.  No, you are a caricature, a man, a smelly mother of twins, or sometimes all three.  It is a sad day, and unfortunately it occurs at least once a week (for me, anyway).  There are unique manifestations to each pixie failure.  Here are the horrendous looks that no pixie wearer can escape.

 

The Paul Dano in Ruby Sparks

This occurs when the androgynous look goes horribly, horribly wrong.  Imagine you let your hair air dry without any product.  You want the sort of sleek, touchable look.  You’ll wear extra makeup and collared shirt. It will be edgy, but you’ll totally pull it off, like this lady. 17-pixiehair01-073

But then you run out of time to do your makeup, and realize you threw away your contacts and don’t have new ones.  You stick on your glasses, and figure you can at least put on the collared shirt.  Uh-oh, you now look Paul Dano in Ruby Sparks and the cashier says, “Here’s your change, sir.” This is not a good day.

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The Hillary Clinton

No one wants this. Hillary Clinton doesn’t even want this.  The look is the result of too much styling.  You decide to put hairspray in, on top of the paste you already gooped into your mop, and then it all becomes a bit too much, resulting in a look worthy of a news anchor.  I did this on purpose for Halloween and several times not on purpose.

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The Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men

This gem is usually a result of growing the pixie out, which is its own terrible, terrible battle.  You wait and wait and wait, and then I think, “Yes. I’ve done it. I can finally make this thing a bob.”  You trim the back, part it on the side, and… now you have an alarmingly strong jaw. Congratulations, you’ve got the Bardem.

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The Brother

There’s no escaping this comparison.  It will happen as soon as you cut your hair and your family sees you right after a shower. “I never realized how much you looked like your brother.” This shall be the quote on everyone’s lips.  You are now a twin, an identical twin, and you are a boy.

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The Edward Cullen

Most likely this is the most accidental of all the bad hair days. On this day, you really go for it.  You decide you’re going to look like Natalie Portman, circa SNL rap.  You fluff your hair up, total punk style, and then halfway through the day things are looking a little less like Queen Amidala and slightly more like a certain vampire. It’s most depressing. Probably the most depressing of all these horrendous pixie hair days.

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universal studios

I’m still alive.  That was important to assert. In fact, you could say that the reason I haven’t blogged in 13 days (goodness sakes) is because I’ve been living life to the fullest, i.e. grading and presenting and dressing up for Halloween – the important stuff.

A big part of living life to the fullest is a good theme park day. Yes, for me, theme park and carpe diem are synonymous.  Theme parks are full of laughter and magic and (on good days) short lines. This weekend I went to Universal Studios, the self-proclaimed “Entertainment Capital of LA,” with Thad and Meg and Rachel, and I had a blast.  I want everyday to be a blast.  It can be, right?  I’m going to try.  I really am.

Thad and Meg were Wayne and Garth, which was just about the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.  I was a puppy/human hybrid (last minute much?).  Rach was the goddess of song, Adele.

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Have a blast of a day!