Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Every year I do a COUNTDOWN of my take on the POP CULTURE thangs from the year. It was in interesting year. We saw a lot happen and yet it was hard for me to pin down....

2013 - where you at!?

In 2012, brussel sprouts made a Mickey Rourke sized comeback. We doused them in oil and bacon and called them king of the veggies. 2013 is a whole new legume game. Rourke and brussel sprouts took a back seat to the most aryan looking veggie there is.....the cauliflower. We made it into pizza crusts, we curried it, we roasted it, we souped it. We gave it a makeover and set it free on the culinary runway and it shed it's pasty white tree trunks for all to enjoy. Mazel, Cauli.

You can't have a year end pop culture countdown without mentioning the queen of the scene Ms. Miley Cyrus. I think on some level she served as both a cautionary tale for youngins and their sexuality by creating a benchmark for grossdom, but for me she was also an inspiring catastrophe. I'm pleasantly surprised that I can still be shocked and I love it. I may not want to emulate her as a 31 year old married old bittie but I'm going to hold her up in a cultural trust fall while she blasts her brand of crazy cause I believe in pushing the needle on the norm.


Are we in stage three of the downfall of facebook? So many ads, so many links. I miss the old days of inappropriately shared feelings and photos. I miss the good old days of tagging photos without a forced hand. Stalking exes is only sporadically fun now, only little nuggets of the true potential of facebook eek through. I had to give up twitter for a few months but I can see a migration in my future. Currently, Insta is my pleasure and I feel the most comfortable and myself there.

Is anyone just like super into this pope? Gay rights tweeting, selfies. I Get it, Francie!

In one year we saw the magic man kill it on Breaking Bad's final season and get his own spin-off, front the sketch comedy show The Birthday Boys on IFC, and then take a dramatic turn in both The Spectacular Now and Nebraska. Can we give this man a key to our city yet or what? He owns me. I will follow him, follow him wherever heeee may gooooo.

So.....we've come pretty far I think. The hottest most trafficked articles being shoved around the internet this year are from a website called waitbutwhy doing some really relatable things like telling us the social science behind naming, proving why millennial have happiness issues. I think it's great to share a common conversation on the internet that isn't always about stupid shit (arguably started by me).


Name me ONE above average prime time network OR cable comedy sitcom from 2013. Parks and Rec is the only borderline still sometimes funny comedy sitcom. If you answer Modern Family I don't trust your taste. You are settling. You only like it out of obligation on your DVR. I promise you haven't laughed out loud in years. Mindy is awesome but not consistent. New Girl is meh. How I Met Your Mother feels like a web series with no funding. Everyone in CBS is a mess.  Brooklyn Nine Nine is eeeeeking out something but I'm not sure if it will last. In my time of crisis and need I turn to the classics...let's go on a Season 1 bender of Happy Endings.

Never has the bro-mance been so alive and appealing. Here's a few I picked up along the way and even may have coined myself - keep em coming, kids!

Welcoem to the BRO-deo (okay that was bad)
RainBRO Coalition

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Let me preface by saying I use the term "gamer" lightly. Having worked in the video game industry for almost 6 years, I can't claim to be on same level as my colleagues. I don't own a headset and to me "MMO" sounds like a genetically modified beef cut. I dabbled in console gaming with my PS3 but my heart belongs to IOS games. It started with Angry Birds, plateaued with Draw Something, reinvigorated with Cut The Rope and solidified with Rayman Jungle Run. (Throw in some Minion Rush for flavoring). As someone who hadn't played a game since the PC gem "You Don't Know Jack", it was a slow but complete conversion to video game lover.

I have learned some incredible life lessons over the past few years and sometimes it's shocking that it came from an unexpected place: video games. They have changed me.......emotionally. SAY WHAT? But video games are for killing war criminals and stabbing robots! Don't put your touchy feely emotional awareness on this! But here are some of the lessons I gleaned from my cube.

Until now, I thought of life as a linear experience. Time moves forward, we make mistakes but you cant go back and change the past. You can only move forward. But with video games you CAN start over. Sometimes I get a few seconds into my mission and decide I don't like where this is going and I start over. Easily. Bing bang, we're back at the beginning with a clean slate but to an extent I know what to expect so I am confident in going back to the front and foraging forward. I cant go back to the first day of  high school but I can make a decision to end something in the middle and start over. For instance, if I am making dinner and this pork isn't rendering the way it did on the Youtube video, I can scrap it and start again. At work, if I am writing a script and it's sucking, I can start over. We don't ALWAYS have to muddle through a situation we've created for ourselves and be a martyr. Start over! Rayman does it all the time.

ACHIEVE NOTHING LESS THAN PERFECTIONDid you know that video games are the perfect breeding ground for Type A overachievers? In school you get straight A's but after college, everything is relative. There is very little opportunity for undeniable perfection in life other than while playing video games.  No one in your job or your relationships can honestly say you are the BEST at what you are doing but on Cut The Rope you KNOW if you ate all the stars and finished with all the points, you won. It's black and white. There is no point in just playing a game if it's not for a perfect score if you ask me and THAT my friends is the source of all my woe in reality. Play to win. And no one can make you feel like a horrible greedy success monger in a game.

Most of my life I give into the reality that I live in a man's world. Men get the promotions, men get the better salaries and men have the last say. In video games, I am genderless.  I am a bird or a blob or a brain or a gun. I am not the girl who sometimes cries at work, or has PMS or is an incredibly greedy friend. I just need to cut that rope and feed that frog OR ELSE HE WILL DIE. Is that what it feels like to be a man? Sign me up in another life, please! We should all aim to be more like pacman eating dots.

I could be writing, reading, changing the world, volunteering, sewing, cooking, calling my parents, paying my bills, cleaning my apartment, making small talk with neighbors, hiking, exercising, working, writing my will, traveling, seeing comedy, listening to podcasts, dancing, catching up with my grandparents, finally making my wedding album, learning spanish or painting my nails but for this 10 minutes before I do all those things, give me a break. It's my life. I'll suck time if I want! I learned that I can eat cake for breakfast or play this game instead of washing my car and everything will be okay.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Huffpo started it, Buzzfeed perfected it, Yahoo emulates it  - it's the as old as time (literally) but the newest trend since kale - it's a list! We all make lists whether it's a TO DO, a grocery, or a "reasons to date Rachel Green". But why does the internet love lists? Find out why we're coo coo for LISTAMANIA.

Am I supposed to read an article not knowing how long it is? I mean come on what is this? A book with 500 pages? If it's the difference between committing to an article on the "10 Best Colleges for Taxidermy" and "Get Your Degree in Taxidermy" I know going in that I am comitting to 10 topline clicks, nothing more. It's a fleeting advertisement for the attention span impaired. Look! This article has the confidence to tell you JUST how many points it's going to half halfheartedly make (with no facts).

There are 100 reasons to travel?! I mean I only need 3 at the most but I guess if the internet says there are a 100 --- shit is real. Validation for the mundane. Of course, I want to read all 100 reasons! Can I relate to any of the reasons? The excitement is palpable. Oh wait, I only made it to 15 - look - there's another article! "200 Ways To Change A Light bulb With 3 Polish People".

Okay, that may be a stretch.  Not since Letterman and my pun loving 10th grade algebra teacher has counting been so wild and carefree. It also gives you the freedom to list as many funny things as you can think of! You can range from 3 things to infinity things. Let's face it , Letterman's Top 10 set the bar high for lists of funny things and we're just getting to the counting renaissance, people! The internet is just trying to keep us entertained with endless amounts of things. More things, please!

Clocking in around 30m.


REASON 1: EGO TRIP: AM I ON THIS LIST?And for the best reason to DO ANYTHING.....*drum roll* ---- you may be in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why else do you look at people's pictures on the internet - you could be in them. TOP 10 COLLEGES YOU WENT TO? Sold. 4 TOWNS THAT ARE GOING BANKRUPT? MINE! THE ULTIMATE LIST OF EX BOYFRIENDS.....all mine. TOP 11 VEGAN FOODS THAT ARE ACTUALLY CARROTS?! I'VE EATEN THEM! Keep these lists coming and we'll keep sharing as long as they relate to us.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Here we are again! It's pilot season. Every year, like the early stages of dating, I give everyone a chance. Very few make it to second base. In the past, I've gained Homeland and New Girl but also saw actors I love so much just flail in a miscast role.

Unlike last year where I was instantly evangelizing Nashville and completely taken with Girls, there's only a few I am DYING to DVR....

Here is my rundown of this year's pilot season:

Super Fun Night (ABC)  = Rebel without a cause.Rebel Wilson is without a doubt a revolution in comedy. She has been a relentless presence in the past 3 years. She has given us all the charming and surprising moments of all our favorite comedies like Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids. Even hosting the MTV somethingerother.  What kills me is  -how is it that she gets cast in such a predictable comedy? We've seen this story before a thousand times: bigger girl has an awesome personality underneath her conformist personality and did you know she can prove everyone wrong? Meh. I'd rather see her in a comedy where she's the larger than life boss, girlfriend, doctor that you say undeniably - she's shining. We are just watching her through the glass of our tv and she's muffled.


HOSTAGES (CBS) =  Amazing.... for a CBS show.
Whyyyyyy oh wwhyyyyy do you have to be on CBS!? I begrudgingly dip my toes for How I Met Your Mother and now I am destined to watch infuriating 2 Broke Girls promos and watch as Amber Tamblyn kills her "marrying David Cross street cred" on Two and Half Men. I digress. I love a good suspense kidnapping kill the president hour drama and I have a real love of Dylan McDermott, Toni Collette and Tate Donovan (ask me about my Tate Donovan story another day) --- and this one hit me in the right spot. I want to know how this ends but I also want it to end. I can already tell,  I want this to be a one season show that takes its premise to the ends of the plot and never looks back. What I don't want is this Season 3 of Homeland where we are wondering how it all went so wrong?


HELLO LADIES (HBO) = Merchant has potential. 
Back when I lived in London circa 2002 I felt like I discovered something so completely different with The Office (by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant). It felt like nothing I'd ever seen before, felt before. laughed before or even been written before (for my eyes, at least). That being said, I'd probably follow them to the ends of comedy for giving me David Brent. Separately,  would Merchant and Gervais satisfy?  Would I be so....consumed? I am 50/50 on HELLO LADIES. I think my assessment,  which I would contend is also my issue with EPISODES is that British humor is so self sabotaging it just doesn't sit right in an American plot line. I liked the relationship and deadpan commentary on dating life in Hollywood. I'll dvr the second ep, though.

Masters Of Sex (SHOWTIME) = Can I get a hell yes!
Period dramas like Mad Men and Downton Abbey show us just how far we've come not only with technology (electricity!) and with social issues (women can work!) but Masters Of Sex shows us just how much we still don't know about sexuality. Even though it was a medical necessity to have to watch people *ahem* do it, I would contend it would still be very weird today. We're an open society in 2013, but people today would still cringe thinking about that. What I liked about the pilot was just how un-piloty it was. It had the confidence not to have to tell you everything. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Finally, a dramatic role worthy of Lizzy Caplan's talents! Sheen aint so bad either. She's a comedic darling but i could always tell her flair for the dramatics were being underutilized.

MARVEL Agents Of S.h.i.e.l.d (ABC) = There's too much to fix.
As a non comic book fanatic I adored The Avengers, therefore, I figured I would be able to get into this show. Same cast, same ideas. I have a soft spot for Joss Whedon that most people call obsession, mine is just a soft spot. However, I couldn't and cant move past the casting of Chloe Bennett as Skye. No not in the way that us nerds get mad over Ben Afflek as Batman, more in the way that is seemed completely unrealistic and dully entertaining. She's just a dud. Too pretty for me to take seriously, honestly. I think this will go 2 seasons then Whedon will get tied to a passion project or another major blockbuster.
HONORABLE MENTION: Clark Gregg is ever so dazzling, still. 

Brooklyn Nine Nine​ (FOX) = On the fence.I have so many reasons to like this show. One: Andy Samberg is perfectly cast. Two: Chelsea Peretti gets to be Chelsea Peretti. Three: Joe Truglio rounds out the successes of The State cast. However, the reasons I don't want to see this show fail are the exact reasons for me, it falls short. Samberg is cast perfectly but the tone of the show doesnt support talents. Chelsea it turns out is an Aubrey Plaza clone and Trulio does better as an absurdist character like on Burning Love or Wanderlust. Lastly, there are just too many cast members who look alike. Maybe I just miss the HAPPY ENDINGS days....I have heard it turns a corner in the 3rd episode so I will gladly take 30m to find out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

In Defense Of The Rom Com

Romantic Comedies get a bad wrap, man. People think they are vapid and poorly written. I'm not going to argue with that, I mean any movie with Ashton Kutcher as a romantic lead I assume was written by a clueless estrogren replacement robot held captive, operating on only 2007 twitter retweets and Dude Where's My Car fan fiction.  Another major complaint is that life just isn't like that. The general population argues that that the idea of a prince charming and the bumbling heroine sets unrealistic expectations for real life relationships. I have never met a kid who saw a unicorn in movie and thought, wow, what a farce. Looks like I'll be needing some therapy courtesy of major movie studios.

As a woman who firmly stands behind her love of romcoms this is my defense of the genre:


How dare you make movies that put us on pedestals and give us way more credit than we're worth!? For every loser who would rather contribute to our low expectations so every date is a pleasant surprise there's the guy who sees this as an opportunity to inspire. You are out there, I have proof.  Sure, love isn't all about pretending to secretly date your cold but beautiful boss but then falling wildly in love with her despite all odds. Embrace this genre of Romantic Comedy, men - or I am sure the next genre will be Men Are Cheap. Those movies will only be only 7 minutes long so at least it wont be a big time commitment.

Do I want to date the Prime Minister of England?  Do I want to find love with a die hard Boston Red Sox fan who would bleed for the Green Monster? Or do I want a free spirit who teaches me everything I know about nature? My god so many to choose from. Had I not grown up knowing my options were so wide I may have settled for Jon Hamm in Bridesmaids. Or Hugh grant in Bridget Jones. Or Kanye. 

If it weren't for ROM COMS how would I relive my treasured and rambunctious 20s? (While also remembering my epic courting by Shawn) --- I mean this shit keeps us all young! First kisses, first dates, bad dates, good dates, one night stands.....these movies are all some of us married old biddies have! It helps me retroactively capture the youthful spirit of love while I get fat, stop caring and pathetically go to bed at 9:50 because it's ALMOST like 10 (which is a more respectable bedtime for an adult).

Okay, if  men cant live up to our expectations - fine. But for those women who say that these movies are the opposite of the feminist movement and set our sex back to the dark ages where we couldn't vote are clearly not watching ROM COMS. They are wrong. The overall message in most of these movies is BE YOURSELF, BE FUCKING SMART and use what you were born with to better yourself and even the lives of others.If you are dumb, stop fucking acting dumb. Have you ever seen a movie where the message is - hey! get dumber, look uglier, and we promise being a slob will get you everything you want.

Anyway - I love em. I'll always love em. They could be horribly written but I dont care.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Clemency Lies In The Death Of A Charge.

The greatest excuse that ever was: Sorry, my phone died.  Whether you are avoiding committing to weeknight dinner plans or being aloof about work after hours, the best thing for you to say to get out of any responsibility is: I left my charger at home. Granted most people will assume you don't have your shit together and it doesn't shed you in a responsible light but they cant prove a thing! Try calling someone out for failure to keep their electronics at above a 20% battery.

MAJOR EXCEPTION: Job interview follow ups. Just like don't even.

He Who Spoilith For The West Coast Hath No Soul.

Just remember when you are opening that app, be it Twitter or Facebook, you are considering your friends 3 hours behind you. We are like the slow fatties at the marathon - it's not our fault we simply CANT keep up! Stop yourself from Breaking Bad and Mad Men commentary so the rest of us dont have to live on a media blackout for live events.

I even consider quality exclamations spoilers. The minute you say BEST. TRUE BLOOD. EVER. my expectations are shattered. Do it for HBO. Close that app until you clear 11pm on the east coast.

O.P.B: (Other People's Babies) Instagram Over Facebook.

I am not a parent but I have noticed in the last year that parents are more and more hesitant to post their kids pictures on social media. It seems the one exception, flying under the radar is Instagram.

If you are having a ball meeting little Northwest and want to tell the world, the only acceptable channel is a locked IG. Or permission from the mom, I suppose.

Accept Gluten As The Modern Devil (Or At Least Pretend To).

Stop asking me what gluten even is. It's not attractive to be anti-informed. Just effing google it and get with the rest of the planet. It used to be in the early 2000s that we as a mass population weren't accountable for other people's diet restrictions but guess what? now we are. When planning a night out or cooking at home be aware there may be a celiac (or someone pretending to be a celiac just to be cool) and be a responsible restaurant chooser.

Don't accommodate vegans, though. We are still about 1 1/2 years from accepting dairy and meat free citizens as not annoying. Don't worry your time will come. Maybe at the same time gay marriage goes federal.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Things On My Mind

Summer is for BBC. 

Call The Midwife.
Orphan Black.

Anglophiles unite! When fall TV resumes I will definitely miss teatimes, stiff upper lips and amazingly detailed period dramas.


Why is there a grapefruit but also a grape that is a fruit?
If science asked me my opinion I'd change Grapes = Pre-Wine and Grapefruit = Diet Tart Orange.

Who would play me in a movie?
I have thought about this many times. I havewanted to have an answer ready for that late night drunken conversation.Without thought I would say Mindy Kaling although I know that's overselling myself and one big flaw is that I am not Indian. I assume Indian and Jewish mothers are the same though so that casting would be perfect. If someone else got to her in conversation before me Id' give first refusal rights to Casey Wilson. Maybe even Casey Wilson AS Penny Hearts AS Kate Kugler (Schmieding). SETTLED. No more sleepless nights.

How do stewardesses dump full cups of liquid into the trash bags?
It gives me an insane amount of anxiety when I haven't finished my 2 fingers of diet sprite and they collect my half drank cup right into the trash bag! How!!!? Are they made with space plastic?!

The VMAs caused so much controversy but it gave me one positive: Drake is my new Canadian Jewish Hottie Crush.

I am super into We Transfer for sending files. 
Clearly, this is some important grown up shit.

Monday, July 8, 2013

22 VERSUS 32*

*technically, I'm only 31.

For a few weeks now I've been going on full rock out tour to Taylor Swift's song 22.. Set the scene: my windows are down despite the foggy sf weather, my free Just Dance 4 sunglasses are on, and my organic medium roast coffee is JUST kicking in. The music so loud I assume most people think I have a carpool full of teenagers. Nope, just a sad old person trying to recapture my youth. It's bittersweet nostalgia to sing about a time in my life that I look back so incredibly fondly on and know - it's never going to be that way again. It's also shocking to realize there is a 22 year old without ANY perspective on that time in life because she's so deep in it.... but just gets it. It truly was magical and miserable at the same time. It got me thinking about 22 VERSUS 32 and which age wins? It's simple mathematics. See the breakdown below: 

TIE: "It's always a perfect night to dress up like Hipsters".
(Should the H in hipster be capitalized? Seems like a proper prop noun? Whoa I am showing my age card way too soon. Only a 32 year old would care about that, I guess). I remember debating dating a hipster at 22 and it made me gasp out loud upon realizing - HIPSTERS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR 10 YEARS, GUYS. 10 YEARS. 22 year olds who are hipsters now were 12 when the term started getting traction. That means they were born to be hip. It didn't just happen. Skinny jeans and monocles are always funny to make fun of at any age!

22 WINS: "It feels like one of those nights we wont be sleeping". 

When I was 22 I would play kickball ON A MONDAY and go to the bar until 2am, then get up for work at 8 and be totally fine after a concoction of 1 coffee, 1 diet coke, 2 aleve and 6 text messages to my roommates asking if they could EVEN believe what happened last night? Nowadays, if I even utter the phrase I wont be sleeping it's because I had 2 drinks and got a rude awakening from the BOOZE ROOSTER and woke up at 5am. Just for fun. (If you are a parent the 22 certainly wins because you aren't sleeping because your kid is coocoo for breastcrack).

TIE: "It feels like the perfect night for breakfast at midnight".  Enjoyable at any age, really. Bacon tastes best from the hours of 11pm-11am both on your way to HANGover all the way to HUNGover. It also tastes great sober. Win win for both ages. Although, if I am eating past 10pm I'm probably cranky. Thats a bummer for 32.

32 WINS: "Tonight's the night when we forget about the heartbreak".
Heartbreak at any age can be upsetting but particularly at 22 love letdowns are DEVASTATING. At 22 none of your friends have enough experience to console you so it's basically a huge emotional wreck for everyone involved. At least at 32 you've lived and learned and had your heart broken many times before. It's old hat. Instead of chain smoking then going on a whiskey binge and having multiple one night stands - you look at what went wrong, pick up a self help book, go yoga crazy and finally sign up for match.com - the paid account, this time. Not the cheap-o 22 kind.

32 WINS: "We're happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time". 
While I typically feel confused at all times about the future, I dont feel confused about the present. As humans we inherently are always questioning what's next? Am I enough? However, the paralyzing aspect of WHAT WILL I BE WHEN I GROW UP? when you're actually YOUNG.....I dont miss at all. It's for the birds. I enjoy at least knowing how to fake confidence at 32. The path to success isn't linear and my expectation of what success even means is relative now. As opposed to 22 when I thought success was literal. It could be defined by what other people had. I wouldn't wish the self esteem issues of a 22 year old on anyone, especially someone at 32.

So what's the verdict? You tell me. 

Friday, July 5, 2013


Yet another 4th of July in bay area. This time we narrowly avoided the typical foggy, malaise weather for the bright, sunny, crisp patriotic beams of vitamin D most of the country is accustomed to on this fine American holiday. I was inspired recently to create a deviled egg bar and give the people some creations both expected and unexpected. Particularly, I fell in love with the Roasted Carrot & Garlic Deviled Egg that seemed the most out of the box. The others were Wasabi Nori and Bloody Mary Egg.

I made this one up so there will be no reference on the interwebs associated.

I roasted 2 carrots (made 6 hard boiled eggs, 12 halved) with garlic infused olive oil, a dash of salt, a smidgen of pepper, a teaspoon of sugar and a little Paris seasoning from Penzeys. I roasted for 30m on 400 and then pureed the carrots while still hot. I mixed it up with a little mayo as per usual and topped with chives. Success! Serve cold because warm eggs are barftastic.

Other things in popular culture I am into right now:

Lady Boner Of The Month: PILF (Presidents I'd Like To....): Scandalized by Scandal

I am particularly fond of the romance genre despite it's effects on the female psyche and the unreal expectations it creates, call me an old fashioned feminist. But combine the unrequited love of a woman and her commander in chief with a touch of House Of Cards ? You had me at the pilot. With my new Ipad Mini I was able to breeze through 2 seasons so rapidly that I was left devastated when I realized I had to wait until the fall to get my fix of  the 3 DC turn ons: power lust and deceit. If you like early Grey's Anatomy and House Of Lies on Showtime this show is for you. The challenge is watching it with your legs closed.

I thought everything had been invented at this point. It turns out we have fun culinary creations ahead of us we cant even imagine.! I assume this tastes like if Willy Wonka was a pretentious Frenchman who got all his inspiration from buzzfeed.

The Slow Burn Long Con: Top Of The Lake To Ya!
If you have issues with: attention spans, understanding New Zealand accents or suffer from lineage confusion I'd take a pass on this one. However, if you are partial to missing children mysteries, Elizabeth Moss or Jane Campion - this will make for a great mini-series by the fire in the fall. It's slow and nuanced and creepy and twisted. It was born in the wrong era, though. It belongs on PBS in the 90's. Holly Hunter portrays a freakish shaman for broken woman that you simply cant get enough of and when you try and wrap your brain around her, poof she's gone. I wont say much more but I I definitely never saw the plot twist coming!