USC Football Status: Shut UP, Lane.

I went to my first Lakers game recently, which was also my first professional basketball game. And while it was definitely a fun experience, it confirmed to me that I’m just not a basketball person. I like to keep up on sports news in general, but basketball and baseball just aren’t my thing, man. Where are the sustained drives? The journeys? The strategy that changes from play to play, furiously scribbled down in playbooks that have tried to anticipate any of a million different outcomes?

So yes, I’m a football fan, and I already miss it even though it’s been less than a month since the Super Bowl and I was sick of bowl season by Jan 2. And I’m not just any sort of football fan: as an alumna, I’m a major USC backer, even taking into account the potential shenanigans, the sanctions, the 7-6 season. I’d really like to also say I’m a backer of Coach Lane Kiffin too…

BUT HE MAKES IT SO HARD WHEN HE WON’T SHUT HIS TRAP. (video autoplay on that page, ew)

Lane, SC fans don’t underappreciate Matt Barkley. I was at the Colorado game this season where he broke a crap-ton of records, and guess what? I am incredibly proud of him, as I am of all Trojans who find exemplary success in their chosen paths. You are basically being a stage mom here, and you are expressly NOT helping him; no NFL team is going to sign Matt based on your words, which, btw, are also a direct teardown of your own father’s defense. And if you’re not helping him, you’re pretty much hurting him. So please, I’m begging you: since every time you talk, you sound like a chump, JUST STOP. Maybe focus instead on doing your job, which is still — apparently — coaching my team.

PS I’m not sure Matt feels the same dedication to you.

(Top photo by me, bottom photo courtesy of WhoSay)

Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar winner

I’m hardly alone here; everyone who hears anything about Jennifer Lawrence and her snappy, down-to-earth, bawdy hilariousness loves her. And if you don’t, move right along, I don’t serve your type here.

But what’s so easy to forget in her pro attitude and incredible actressing is that she’s still only 22, and while that may mean she’s been damn close to indefatigable (even with pneumonia!) during what must be an incredibly draining awards season publicity blitz, it also means that for her health and sanity, I’m delighted to say: it’s all over, J.Law! You won, now go home and sleep for a month or two. And delight in the following:

We certainly do!

PS for those who haven’t experienced her unique brand of awesome quite yet, here is Vulture’s recurring series, This Week in Jennifer Lawrence Quotes; her amazing post-Oscars mid-interview meeting with Jack Nicholson (warning: autoplay on that video, ew); and the phenomenal, GIF-laden Best Jennifer Lawrence Quotes of 2012 from Buzzfeed.

PPS That lady in the row behind J.Law is cracking my shit up. I adore a well-placed eyeroll!

(Photo courtesy of E! Online)

Two Heros and a Crush

It’s Friday — let’s swoon over some admirable folks!

  1. HERO: Sonia Sotomayor. I won’t shut up about her right now, because I am (still! Trying to savor it!) reading her memoir and realizing that she’s the insanely-accomplished woman-of-color mentor I never knew I needed. Not to the detriment of the strong women in my own life, starting with my own incredible mom, but I don’t think I realized in 2009 just how meaningful it was to see a daughter of immigrants (sorta — her parents were Puerto Rican, and so technically US citizens, but the cultural divide is the same) become a member of the highest, most powerful court in the nation. Also, how often do you hear a judge interviewed and immediately feel their warmth come through just as much as their sharp mind? From earlier this month, Justice Sotomayor on Colbert:

  2. HERO: Maya Rudolph. Mazel tov to Maya and her husband P.T. Anderson, who are expecting their fourth baby. My kudos could not be any more abundant. To celebrate Maya, one of my favorite SNL sketches ever, where she is Maya Angelou, hilariously pranking her respected compatriots:

    “I am the one who put a pie under the butt of Morgan Freeman.” I’m DYING!

  3. CRUSH: Mark Duplass (and Mindy, obviously!). Landslide, baby. Landslide.

Tubing with Toddlers

This past weekend, Evan, Zoe, and I trekked a few hours outside of LA with our dear friends’ families for a snowy weekend getaway! Or so it was supposed to be — there actually wasn’t much snow on the ground and it didn’t start snowing anew until the day after we came back — but we had fun anyway.

We had FOUR children with us, aged 3 years, 19 months, 15 months, and 2 months. If that sounds pretty damned insane to you… well, you wouldn’t be wrong. But while it did seem sometimes like we were in the path of three colliding tornadoes (the 2-month-old doesn’t move much yet, thank Zeus), it was also incredibly fun to see the older three girls have a bunch of new experiences amidst what was basically a weekend-long sleepover party.

One thing we really wanted to do was take the girls sledding, especially since it’s not likely that any of our little Angelenas will have the opportunity to regularly go sledding down their neighbor’s front lawn or the local park after a snowstorm. Given the lack of naturally-occurring snow though, we realized we’d have to go somewhere where they make snow happen, which is how we found ourselves at Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park. I had never gone tubing before, since everyone I know in Cleveland just has a variety of beat-up sleds in their garages, and when I first saw it, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to work with our passel of wriggly toddlers.

Turns out: the girls loved it… for about 20 minutes. It was the first time I saw so clearly the emotional roller coaster that kids this age ride, and it was kinda breathtaking. It was still a great experience overall, even if the girls were over it well before the adults were. And having six adults around was also great for taking turns watching them while the rest of us pretended to be eight-year-olds again, hurtling down a hill and hoping that the thrill never ever ends.






















(All photos courtesy of Ashley Stoner and Cece Chikhale)

Tom Haverford’s Food Slang

In honor of Galentine’s Day, here’s one of my favorite Parks and Recreation moments, courtesy of Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari).

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OhJJR8nBl4%5D

It’s so amazing that it’s inspired its own website, Tom Haverfoods! Refresh for constant laughter!

And if it seems out of place for me to celebrate a (fictional) dude on Galentine’s Day, think again: as Tom’s apartment shows, he’s clearly a gal at heart.

(Photo courtesy of Tom Haverfoods)

Eat24

I’ve never been a cook. I almost said that I’ve never been much of a cook, but that’d just be a lie: I don’t cook. I can prepare food, as I proved to myself when I lived alone abroad a couple of times, both times too unwilling to spend my scant cash on eating out regularly. But actual cooking? I simply have no interest.

I have my own suspicions as to why this is SUCH a point of interest for people, and they primarily center around the fact that I’m a woman. In particular, I’m a woman who likes being a married home-owning mother, and also enjoys being creative and crafty. But the thing that always seems to trip people up, that has them saying to me over and over again, “do you maybe just not know how to?” and “I bet you really would enjoy it if you tried” is the fact that I love food. Effing LOOOOOOOOVE eating, including both restaurant meals and home-cooked goodness. I love food so much that I went to a 90-minute lecture once on the current state of Mexican food in Los Angeles even though no food was served at the lecture because even the topic of food is so exciting to me.

But, you guys, I love experiencing lots of things (the whole point of this blog), and that doesn’t mean I have more than a passing interest in creating them. I mean, sure, sometimes I think about how AMAZING it would be to be Mindy Kaling, who gets the opportunity to create in a pure, comprehensive way an environment that’s engaging, relatable, and totally from her vision (oh, and where cute guys are always saying sexy-ass things). But in general, I can separate my enjoyment of the product from any desire to create it.

So one of the points at which people told me that I would start wanting (or, I guess, needing) to cook was when we had Zoe. I can see why: we spend almost every evening after 7:30pm at home these days — if we want to go out to eat, either only one of us goes or we have to call our babysitter. And while we love our babysitter, our current once-a-week routine is quite enough for our bank account! Hence, we don’t eat out every night any more like we used to, just as folks had predicted. So who’s going to save me or Evan from cooking? (I didn’t mention it before, but Evan’s not an avid cook either — though, predictably, he rarely gets the incredulity that I do)

Enter Eat24! Eat24 is a delivery and takeout aggregate site that allows you to easily order online. But these days, there’s a ton of great places to get the same service. What sets Eat24 apart?

First off, they are hilarious. This shouldn’t matter, just like I shouldn’t love my realtor any more for her amazing English accent. Too bad though: both totally matter to me. Eat24 has a GENIUS marketing and communications department, and I’m saying that as a Master of Communication, which is a title that both the University of Washington and I have given to me, so I know of what I speak. Their voice is funny, conversational, helpful, enthusiastic, and sadly, completely unique in their industry.

I get lots of instances to “hear” that voice, because they email me every week… with a coupon! That’s right, the other amazing thing about Eat24 is how they always make you feel like you’re saving a little money, and in such a way that you feel smart and in-the-know, not like the cat-hair covered lady who brings a fistful of cut coupons to the local grocery (sorry, that woman!). Between those emailed coupons and the discount codes they’re constantly passing out to whoever asks on their Facebook or Twitter page, I haven’t ordered from them in the last six months or so without getting a sweet $2 or $3 off my total!

And the last thing that pushes it over the edge for me: they’re constantly adding new features. The most recent one that I use alllllllll the time now is the like/dislike and notes that people can leave on individual menu items. I’m not under any illusion that everything is good at my favorite restaurants (and ps, if the server tells you that, they’re pulling your leg), so I love easily seeing what people really like, especially if the notes they leave have helpful tips, like “get this with beef” or “their medium is REALLY hot.” You can also make your notes private, if you want to just remind yourself next time that the garlic rice may sound good, but remember, they put bamboo slivers in it, grossgrossgross.

So if you’re as cooking-averse and housebound as I am every evening, you need someone in your corner! Eat24 is it — hurry hurry, and don’t forget to let me know how it was!

(Photo courtesy of Someecards)