Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 107

The weekly roundup of internet finds:

  1. I went 12 for 12, obviously: Can You Guess Famous Mean Girls Lines From Just a Freeze Frame?
  2. A pretty solid mashup: Hollywood Movie Dance Tribute.
  3. I mean…she’s the best, basically: Oscar Winner Helen Mirren’s Twerking Talents.
  4. Because why not: Downton Tabby.
  5. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you no doubt heard the news this week that J.K. Rowling regrets pairing off Ron and Hermione. This sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly: An Open Letter to J.K. Rowling.
  6. I’ve read a lot of articles about Philip Seymour Hoffman this past week, but this one is the most powerful: One of Ours: The New York Legacy of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Would have loved to see him play Willy Loman.
  7. Being overseas, I didn’t actually watch any of the Super Bowl (or the halftime show or 95% of the commercials), but I can still enjoy Super Bowl-related things nonetheless. Exhibit A: Aziz Ansari’s Imaginary Friday Night Light’s Super Bowl Was Better Than the Actual Super Bowl.
  8. The Full House guys reunited on Jimmy Fallon, and it was everything this ’90s child could have ever wanted.
  9. I’m pretty sure I remember a lot of these: 28 Valentine’s Day Cards You Haven’t Seen Since the ’90s.
  10. Pretty much sums up 99% of why I love the Winter Olympics: Entertainment Weekly’s Ice Skating Supercut.

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 103

Start your 2014 off right by wasting your time on the internet, courtesy of this week’s link roundup:

  1. As an Instagram-obsessed individual (and undergrad history major), I love this website that combines History and Instagrams: Histagrams.
  2. Here is my most recent internet rabbit hole: I stumbled upon this lovely quotation from Johnny Cash. Then I did some digging and realized it was said in response to Vanity Fair‘s Proust Questionnaire. Then I remembered that the Proust Questionnaire is easily the best part of any given issue of Vanity Fair and found a whole archive of responses to it. And then I cried and realized I had just wasted two hours of time that I should have been studying for finals.
  3. As a big fan of the Red Wings during their mid to late ’90s heyday (along with pretty much everyone else in Michigan, to be honest), these pictures from the Red Wings Alumni Practice and from the Alumni Game make me smile. So many old favorites!
  4. On the off chance you didn’t realize Benedict Cumberbatch was awesome: 37 Times in 2013 Benedict Cumberbatch Proved He Was King of the Internet.
  5. My sister told me about this and it instantly shot to the top of my list of most amazing things ever: Josh Hutcherson Showed up to a Basketball Game and the Crowd Gave Him the Mockingjay Salute.
  6. Agree completely: I’m Still Not Over…How Ginny Was Mangled in the Harry Potter Films.
  7. Kind of asshole-ish, but still funny: The Perfect Solution to Obnoxiously Loud Public Cellphone Conversations.
  8. If you have 23 minutes of your life to waste: I Can’t Stop Watching the Best Vines of 2013.
  9. I really, really, really wish I could’ve seen Spring Awakening on Broadway with the original cast (I saw it in Chicago, but that’s just not the same). In the alternative, I’ll settle for watching this cast reunion video.
  10. I love French snarkiness: French Cafe Starts Charging Extra to Rude Customers.

(Image via Buzzfeed)

Shows That Will Make You Laugh: Book of Mormon and Potted Potter

If you’re looking for a night at the theater in NYC, there’s no shortage of options for you to try. Each time I visited the city in the past, I tried to see a play or musical, and this summer has been no exception. In addition to seeing Once for the second time (seeing Once twice, if you will), I recently saw two very funny shows at very different ends of the price spectrum.

book of mormon

First up, Book of Mormon, which has long been atop my list of musicals to see (and which was on my 27 for 27 list for that very reason). My first piece of advice about seeing Book of Mormon – albeit quite obvious advice – is to buy your tickets early. I bought tickets for a July performance way back in February, and even at five months out, options were quite slim. My second piece of advice: be prepared to shell out some dough. In my opinion, the show is worth the price of admission, but it definitely falls in the “splurge” category of entertainment.

As for the musical itself? Freaking hilarious. If you like irreverent humor, this is absolutely the show for you. If, however, you feel uncomfortable at the thought of people doing a jaunty dance number while repeatedly singing, “f*&$ you, God!,” then this is absolutely not the show for you. Luckily, I fall in the former category, so I thought the show was genius.

In fact, I loved everything about the experience, from the clever jokes to the super-catchy tunes to the cast. While it would have been cool to see the original leads perform the show, the guys who play the lead roles now (Matt Doyle and Cody Jamison Strand) were absolutely amazing. As you can tell, I can’t recommend this one enough.

potted potter

Also highly recommended? Potted Potter, a hilarious theater experience that will do much less damage to your wallet (my best friend and I were able to score a good price through a Living Social deal, but buying tickets through the regular box office is also relatively cheap). So what exactly is Potted Potter? In a nutshell, it’s a two man production that tells the story of all seven Harry Potter books in just 70 minutes.

The set is sparse (which the actors poke fun at); there are a few random, cheap props, and the fun is seeing the two guys tell the story with what little stuff they have. If you’re a fan of the books, you will love this show – there are lots of in-jokes that all true HP fans will be well aware of. The show also includes quite a bit of audience participation (like a game of Quidditch!), which is really fun – I was impressed with how well the actors improvised in reaction to the audience.

My takeaway after seeing both shows? Whatever your budget, there are always options for you if you want to have a good laugh during a night out in New York City.

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 80

april ludgateApologies for it being a day later than usual, but here’s this week’s list of things that are awesome:

  1. Oh holy cute: 22 Things Poncho the Pug Is Better at Than You.
  2. Also really cute: Dog Takes Puppy on Journey in Shopping Cart.
  3. Recently, every movie I’ve seen has had amazing trailers before it. For example: The Way Way Back, Stuck in Love, About Time (just DYING to see this), Tiger Eyes, The Wolf of Wall Street (please note Leo dancing at the 1:34 mark), and The Spectacular Now.
  4. Here’s a pretty solid parody of Taylor Swift’s 22. Sidenote: I just realized I’m exactly halfway between 22 and 32, and I’m not sure which version I identify more with. Wait, no, that’s a lie - clearly 32.
  5. This is why April Ludgate is my spirit animal: The 20 Most Relatable April Ludgate Quotes.
  6. It was a big week to be a legal nerd, so it seems appropriate to link to Court Artist now. I find that blog so, so fascinating.
  7. In addition to all the SCOTUS happenings last week, Wendy Davis proved to be pretty awesome herself. You can’t truly comprehend how awesome until you’ve seen this: The Taiwanese Rendering of Last Night’s Filibuster is Perfectly Insane.
  8. I’m reluctantly getting on board with emoji, so…The 10 Best Emojis You Aren’t Using and Should Be.
  9. Harry is rated way too low, and I’m not sure how a freaking dementor made the list, but still: Ranking the 50 Hottest Dudes of the Harry Potter Movies.
  10. Stephen Colbert’s tribute to his late mother is just beautiful.

(Image via Buzzfeed)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Last week, I went on vacation to Orlando with some of my very favorite friends from college. I had an amazing time, and over the next few days, I’m planning a couple posts recapping the things we did. First up? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. I mean, why wouldn’t four 25 to 26 year-olds make this a priority while on vacation? It might make me nerdy, but I will proudly admit that I thought it was a pretty amazing re-creation of Harry Potter’s world. Here are some highlights.

The adventure begins:

All aboard the Hogwart’s Express:

Around the village of Hogsmeade – I loved all the snow-covered rooftops. So beautiful.

I like to think I’d be in Gryffindor:

The castle. Doesn’t this look amazing? They did such a good job on this.

Drinking butterbeer. A must.

Hermione’s dress in a shop window:

The Hogwart’s choir performing:

Inside Honeyduke’s sweet shop. This was also very, very cool – so colorful and imaginative.

And, lastly, exploring Zonko’s joke shop. Again, such wonderful creativity and amazing details:

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to re-read the entire Harry Potter series…yet again. Some things just don’t get old.

30 Day Book Challenge in One Day (I’m That Good)

I saw this 30 day book challenge floating around the interwebs and thought it sounded like fun. However, dragging it out for over 30 days (and finding enough substance for each prompt to fill 30 posts) did not sound so fun. So, I condensed it a bit. Or, a lot. Whatever. Voila!

Day 01 – Best book you read last year:

Does it make me sound like a crazy teenager to say the Hunger Games trilogy? I hope not, because that’s definitely my answer.

Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times:

When I like a book, I tend to re-read it frequently, so there are many of these – all the Harry Potter books, A Year in Provence, Summer Sisters, and many more.

Day 03 – Your favorite series:

Harry Potter. Obvi. Next question.

Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series:

Close call, but probably Goblet of Fire. I think it’s because this seems to be the book where they all start growing up, and the stakes get raised a TON with the resurrection of Voldemort. Also, I think the Triwizard Tournament and the Yule Ball are so fun.

Day 05 – A book that makes you happy:

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. It’s easy to read, and all his stories are so delightful. Definitely the ultimate travel fantasy.

Day 06 – A book that makes you sad:

There are many. For one, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – so chilling. Also, Cold Mountain. Man, that ending is crushing. Whyyyy, after all that time, did that have to happen? And, this will sound silly, but…The Polar Express. It always makes me sad when he loses that damn bell (stupid hole in his pocket!). And, I remember as a child being disturbed that the boy was the only one in his family who was a true believer.

Day 07 – Most underrated book:

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. And, please, do not watch the movie version of this before you read the book. In fact, do not watch it ever. Nicholas Cage + terrible Italian accent + attempts at emoting = disastrous.

Day 08 – Most overrated book:

I don’t know if this is technically overrated since I think many people would probably agree that it’s terrible writing, but the Da Vinci Code. That damn book was everywhere for awhile, and it annoyed me so much. Also, Beloved. Is it sacrilegious to say that I just. don’t. get. this. book.? Also, part 2, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Also, part 3, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Too pretentious.

Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving:

To me, Russian literature does not exactly scream “fun,” but I loved both Eugene Onegin and Crime and Punishment. In fact, taking a Russian lit class and reading those two novels is what really made me a fan of Russian authors circa the 19th century (which also sounds pretentious, but I’m owning it).

Day 10 – Favorite classic book:

Obvious choices, but either Pride and Prejudice or Little Women. Both so, so good.

Day 11 – A book you hated:

Twilight, Twilight, Twilight. I felt offended that I spent money buying this book (lesson learned: patronize your local library). I actually laughed out loud on several occasions while reading it, and let me tell you – it’s not because Stephanie Meyer is a brilliant humorist (sidenote: do you remember when Stephen King said she couldn’t write worth a damn? My hero.)

Okay, Twilight was obvious. Other books that really disappointed me? A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – both of the protagonists were so unlikable that I couldn’t have cared less when Catherine Barkley died at the end. Also, as previously mentioned, Beloved by Toni Morrison. Ugh, ugh, ugh. It’s really gross to try to write a coherent paper about a book that you just cannot stand, as I had to do with Beloved during high school. And finally, Saturday by Ian McEwan. I think McEwan is a fantastic writer generally (see: Atonement. Stunning book.), but I really hated this one. And the protagonist is such a creeper.

Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. The night before my junior year of high school started, I stayed up until like 3 am reading it. I thought it would end up being an all-time favorite, but I’ve never read it again. And, the more I think about it, the more it creeps me out. You know what scene I’m talking about, right?

Day 13 – Your favorite writer:

Oh so many, but you know who I’m going with? David Sedaris. He never fails to make me laugh, and sometimes you just need to laugh.

Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer:

Me Talk Pretty One Day. I love all this books, but I think this is Sedaris at his best. I love when he talks about learning French and his life in Paris.

Day 15 – Favorite male character:

Seems like an obvious answer, but I have to go with Mr. Darcy. Hot damn.

Day 16 – Favorite female character:

Hermione. Elizabeth Bennet. Abilene from the Help. All strong, smart women.

Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book

Not sure this is my favorite book, but one of my favorite quotations ever is from Corelli’s Mandolin: “Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love,” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”

Day 18 – A book that disappointed you:

This also feels sacrilegious, but The Great Gatsby. I liked it, but I had built it up in my head so much that it was bound to disappoint. I just didn’t love it the way I thought I would.

Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie:

In general, Hollywood always gets it wrong. But two times it got it right? Pride and Prejudice (both the BBC version and the newer one with Keira Knightley). And, I really love Under the Tuscan Sun. It is NOTHING like the book (other than the fact that it happens to take place in Tuscany), but it’s a delightful movie.

Day 20 – Favorite romance book:

One Day. This is also a good segue from question 19, as I’m still weeping over the way Hollywood butchered this story. Anne Hathaway’s “British” accent continues to haunt my nightmares.

Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood:

Any American Girl Book, but especially the Molly stories.

Day 22 – Favorite book you own:

Probably the entire Harry Potter series. This whole post is basically an ode to my enduring love for Harry Potter.

Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t:

Yikes, there are so many. But, to name a few? War and Peace, Lolita, and Master and Margarita have been high on my list for awhile now.

Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read:

On Beauty by Zadie Smith. White Teeth was the one that got all the critical acclaim, but I enjoyed On Beauty much more. It’s a hidden gem.

Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most:

Bridget Jones, in the sense that I feel like I need to get my shit together. Sloane Crosley (who’s not a character, I know), also in the sense that I feel like I need to get my shit together. Beth from Little Women, in that I’m always the quiet one (though hopefully I don’t die from scarlet fever). Hermione, in that sometimes I might be a know-it-all (although, of course, I am ultimately lovable and brave). Now where’s my Ron?

Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something

I don’t know if it changed my opinion about one specific thing, but a book that changed how I looked at life in general was Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick. The basic gist of the book is examining how we’re trying to do everything in our lives faster nowadays, but asking: to what effect? Where is it getting us? Now, I think about this idea often as I go through normal things in my daily life. There are two examples that Gleick gives that I always think about: pushing the “door close” button on an elevator (which apparently doesn’t make the door close any faster, but which people – including myself – do anyway) and microwaving something for 33 seconds rather than 30 because it’s quicker to punch “3″ twice rather than punching “3″ and then “0″ (this is something I never did but, ironically, started doing after I read the book).

Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending:

My Sister’s Keeper. It comes out of nowhere and just guts you. Also, you can add this book to the list of ones that Hollywood butchered by COMPLETELY changing the ending from the book. And also, by casting Cameron Diaz.

Day 28 – Favorite title:

100 Years of Solitude. So evocative. And man, I love that book.

Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked:

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. This got a lot of bad reviews, but I actually found it pretty good. I didn’t really enjoy all the musings on her own relationship (a little too self-involved, but that seems to be a hallmark of her writing). However, I loved her research on what marriage means in other cultures and how it has evolved over time. So fascinating.

Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time:

I honestly don’t know if I have an all time favorite; I think different books are good for different moods. It might be the entire Harry Potter series. It might be Little Women, or Pride and Prejudice, or Corelli’s Mandolin, or A Year in Provence, or 100 Years of Solitude, or Me Talk Pretty One Day. All excellent.

If I Picked the Oscar Nominees

The Oscar nominations are announced bright and early tomorrow morning. As a movie lover who saw a ton of movies over Christmas break, I have lots of ideas about who should be nominated. I’m still waiting for Hollywood to ask for my opinion, but for now, here’s my take on who I’d like to see nominated (Note: these are not predictions – I realize some are long-shots or no-shots-at-all).

Best Picture

(Since the new rules dictate that there will be between five and ten Best Picture nominees, I decided to list movies until I was somewhere within that range and ran out of movies to list – and I wound up with nine I liked enough to include.)

  1. The Artist: Based on its reviews, I figured I’d think this was a good movie, but I had no idea how much I’d adore it. I can’t remember the last time a movie made me smile so much and just feel flat-out joy at watching it. Magical.
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The Harry Potter films have grown from faithful recreations of a beloved novel to legitimately outstanding movies in and of themselves. Please, please, please, Academy – finally recognize this fact.
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The more I think about this movie, the more I appreciate it. You could call it a mere thriller, but it’s so suspenseful and stylish that it’s elevated beyond that.
  4. The Help: One of the rare instances where Hollywood did not butcher a book I had loved. There are so many great performances in this film (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, and on and on and on), and that’s what makes it really shine.
  5. War Horse: I wrote in my review that this was classic Oscar bait but that I didn’t care – and I still feel that way. Beautifully done.
  6. The Descendants: This feels like a “small” movie compared to some of the others on this list, but it’s also kinda brilliant in a quiet way.
  7. Bridesmaids: One of my tests of a movie’s greatness is how often I want to re-watch it, and this movie is one I can (and do) watch over and over again. Yeah, you know about all the hilarious scenes, but I love that it packs a nice emotional punch too (seriously, Kristen Wiig’s character is sad, y’all). Plus, it features Wiig and Maya Rudolph silly dancing to Wilson Phillips. Good times.
  8. Young Adult: I wish this movie had more buzz surrounding it, because I really liked it – from Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt’s performances to all the details of small-town suburbia, it gets everything right.
  9. Crazy Stupid Love: Yes, it’s a romantic comedy, and not the type of movie that ever gets nominated for Best Picture, but I still love this film – from the performance of Steve Carell to the humor to the depiction of modern relationships to the ultimate hopefulness about love.

Best Actor

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar): I cannot believe DiCaprio hasn’t won an Oscar yet. I don’t think he deserves the win this year (Jean Dujardin does), but what does he have to do to get some Oscar love? I was ambivalent about the movie as a whole, but DiCaprio is spot-on in his portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover.
  2. George Clooney (The Descendants): The Academy loves to recognize women who turn ugly for roles (see: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, etc.), so why not recognize George Clooney for becoming kinda schlubby? (Which, by the way, is not a word I ever imagined using to describe George Clooney). And if that’s not enough for you, he’s fantastic in this role as a beleaguered father trying to deal with the death of his wife, amongst other things.
  3. Jean Dujardin (The Artist): This is maybe the most charismatic performance I have ever seen – watching him put a gigantic smile on my face. I adore him, and would love to see him win it all come Oscar night. And then mime his acceptance speech.
  4. Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March): This movie doesn’t have much Oscar buzz, but I think Gosling’s great in it, starting out idealistic and principled and slowly descending into another ruthless player in the political game. And, of course, looking super tasty while doing so.
  5. Steve Carell (Crazy Stupid Love): This is one of those “not a chance in hell” picks I was talking about, but I just love Carell in this role. He’s known for comedy, but he nails this more serious part as well. He makes his character sad but incredibly lovable, and you can’t help but root for him to come out on top.

Best Actress

  1. Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo): From her physical transformation to the quiet ruthlessness she brought to the part, Mara was fantastic as Lisbeth Salander. If only the silly Academy would pay attention to the movie…
  2. Viola Davis (The Help): Please, please, for the love of all that is good, don’t let Meryl Streep beat Viola Davis at the Oscars. Meryl Streep is an acting genius, but I really think this is the best performance of 2011. Strong, dignified, and heartbreaking.
  3. Charlize Theron (Young Adult): I give Theron major props for fearlessly playing one of the most unlikeable protagonists in recent memory. Mavis is desperate, pathetic, and far past her prime, and Theron nails every single detail of it.
  4. Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids): Melissa McCarthy seems to be getting most of the Bridesmaids love (and that’s understandable), but Wiig is so great in this movie. From the funny stuff (the airplane scene) to the sad stuff (all her little emotional breakdowns), she nails a whole range of emotions. And her hair looks really pretty the entire time. Important, I know.
  5. Felicity Jones (Like Crazy): I was somewhat “meh” on the movie as a whole, but Jones was excellent, perfectly encapsulating the agony of experiencing a long-distance romance.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Niels Arestrup (War Horse): Another for the “no way in hell” pile, but I adored Arestrup’s performance in War Horse. The segment of the movie on the French farm was my favorite, and it was largely because of his performance (as well as that of the girl who played his granddaughter). Quiet and powerful.
  2. Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady): It seems mildly slanderous to type this, but I actually enjoyed Broadbent’s performance far more than I did Streep’s in the Iron Lady. What can I say – he’s funny, lovable, and incredibly endearing.
  3. Armie Hammer (J. Edgar): As Broadbent is to Streep, so too Hammer almost is to DiCaprio – he turned in a great performance, and I may have just enjoyed his work even more than Leo’s. His portrayal made me completely feel for his character.
  4. Patton Oswalt (Young Adult): He and Theron complemented each other perfectly in this movie. I loved how his character was the comedic voice of reason, but Oswalt also conveyed what a sad, sad man he was underneath.
  5. Tom Hardy (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy): I’m almost certain Michael Fassbender is going to be nominated for Best Actor, and if Hardy were to get nominated for Supporting (he won’t), that would mean my two biggest Hollywood crushes would be in the same room. Too much to handle. What’s that you say? You don’t care about who my biggest Hollywood crushes are? Well, in that case, Hardy’s performance in this movie was also fantastic. I loved how, in a movie filled with stuffy British men in trench coats, he seemed to be the only one with a heart and soul.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Shailene Woodley (The Descendants): Part of my amazement at her performance comes from the fact that she currently stars on (what I can only imagine is) a very cheesy show on ABC Family. I mean, going from that to this? Pretty amazing. But that fact notwithstanding, she’s great in this movie as a slightly out-of-control teenager struggling to cope with the impending loss of her mother.
  2. Jessica Chastain (The Help): Jessica Chastain was in approximately 75% of all films made in 2011, but not without good reason – she’s a fantastic actress. Celia was one of my favorite characters in the novel because she’s simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking – and Chastain gets both those aspects just right.
  3. Berenice Bejo (The Artist): A close second to her costar (the aforementioned Jean Dujardin) in the charisma department. I found Bejo’s performance delightful and fun. And she is unfairly beautiful.
  4. Judy Greer (The Descendants): I know this is a small part, and that it’s not a showy performance. But Greer’s wonderful, and it’s about damn time she got some recognition. She’s awesome in just about everything.
  5. Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids): If McCarthy’s name were read tomorrow morning, I’d get such a kick out of it. Her performance is utterly brilliant, and to have such over-the-top comedic gold recognized at the stuffy Oscars would be amazing.

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 12

(image via GQ)

This week’s most awesome finds:

  1. Odds Are, You Probably Don’t Exist. A fascinating idea to consider.
  2. I’ve pretty much given up on Glee; I quit watching after the first episode of this season because it’s gotten downright awful at times. However, I saw this clip floating around the internet and I have to say it’s an amazing mash-up. You can’t go wrong with Adele.
  3. Those Who Stay Will Redeem Themselves – probably my favorite article about last weekend’s victory over Ohio State.
  4. Okay, these vintage ads are decidedly not awesome, but they did make me laugh at how ridiculous they are. They are all offensive, but my personal vote for the worst would be: Most men ask, “is she pretty?,” not, “is she clever?”
  5. I love this so much – Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake are two of GQ’s Men of the Year, and their interview and pictures together make me so happy. Adorable.
  6. This video, where Diane von Furstenberg talks about her travel philosophy, is great. First, I love DvF (one of the all-time most stylish women). Second, the illustrations are so charming.
  7. This sounds like the best trip ever. Aziz Ansari AND David Chang in Tokyo, drinking Zima? Hilarity ensues.
  8. Nostalgia Fact-Check: a series of blog posts on New York Magazine’s website, re-examining old movies/TV shows/music. This is such a fun idea (and perhaps one I might steal for my own blog?). I especially love the posts on Dawson’s Creek and Ace of Base – two things that, I’ll admit, I loved way back in the day, but that don’t hold up quite so well now.
  9. I found this compilation of analogies, and some of them are hilarious (some hilariously good, others hilariously bad). I have no idea why, but I think I liked this one the best: “The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.”
  10. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before. Damn right, that’s hurting my scar. I’ll never be able to hear “Milkshake” the same way again.

Check it: The Awesome Archives

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 6

The (semi-)weekly roundup of all that is awesome on the interwebs:

  1. Ben + Jerry’s has had some amazing special flavors over the years, but this one has to be the all-time best. Hilarious. And again, I cannot wait for the AD movie.
  2. Every now and then, I stumble upon a David Foster Wallace article and remember again how brilliant he was. Some of my favorites? Roger Federer as a Religious Experience, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (hilarious), and his 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College.
  3. Feminist Ryan Gosling. So random and oddly brilliant. Hey girl!
  4. Kyle Hilton’s Ron Swanson paper doll. LOVE.
  5. This video makes me so happy. Bieber dance!
  6. I love this guerrilla marketing idea. And I love Cougar Town. Why don’t more people watch??
  7. This documentary looks excellent.
  8. Treat Yo Self! So much love for Parks and Rec, as ever.
  9. Titanic’s Final Facebook Posts. I’ll never let go.
  10. A documentary about the making of the final Harry Potter films – When Harry Left Hogwarts. This looks so, so good.

Need some more awesome? Look no further.

Pop Culture Confessions: Books

Here’s the last of my pop culture confessions (after movies, TV, and music). Some of my reading secrets:

  1. The night before my junior year of high school, I stayed up until like 3am reading the Lovely Bones. I just couldn’t put it down. Oddly, I haven’t read the book since then.
  2. I have read and re-read these books over and over again: the Harry Potter series, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series, and Summer Sisters. I think the Hunger Games trilogy will soon be added to that list.
  3. I could barely make it through book 1 of the Twilight series (and never even bothered with any of the others). I found the writing so terrible that I actually laughed out loud at a few points. Please, please don’t ever be the kind of person who compares Twilight to Harry Potter. There is no comparison.
  4. My mom and dad used to take turns reading to me at night. I especially remember reading the Goosebumps series, the American Girl books, and the Boxcar Children series.
  5. When I was forced to read Bridge to Terabithia in the 5th grade, I hated it. When I read it a few years later on my own, I loved it, and I cried.
  6. I once read the entirety of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and completed a lengthy project on it in one night. Yes, I am the ultimate procrastinator.
  7. On the AP English exam, almost none of the prompts referenced any of the books I’d read (and I read a lot of them for AP English). I ended up writing about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (which I absolutely hated), but it must have worked because I got a 5 on the exam.
  8. The two books I cannot for the life of me finish are Great Expectations and War and Peace. I have started reading these books on multiple occasions, and have yet to make it through either. I took a Russian Lit class in college, and our professor printed off certificates and gave us Russian cookies to celebrate our “accomplishment” of reading War and Peace. Ooops.
  9. Despite my War and Peace mental block, I really love Russian literature (though I always feel pretentious saying so). One of my very favorites is Eugene Onegin.
  10. Everyone loved “An Infinite Work of Staggering Genius,” but I thought it was really pretentious. Two thumbs down.