Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 87

ballet dancer

The weekly roundup of internet awesomeness:

  1. One of this week’s Google Doodles paid tribute to Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and it was just beautiful. I went through a period in college where I literally listened to Clair de Lune on repeat, and that melody still gets me.
  2. I marathon re-watched The West Wing this summer on Netflix, and I can’t adequately explain how much I love this: The West Wing Cast Just Caught Up Over Twitter, And It Was the Best. Also, that article links to one of my favorite WW clips ever: CJ Cregg Does The Jackal.
  3. As I read these two posts, a wave of undergrad/Ann Arbor nostalgia washed over me: Dear Freshmen at the University of Michigan and An Open Letter to Michigan Freshmen.
  4. This post was Freshly Pressed recently, so you may have already seen it, but I find it fascinating: 20 History Black and White Photos Colorized.
  5. I was a loyal subscriber to the Delia’s catalog for quite some time in my younger years and therefore this post is everything to me: 31 Things You Desperately Needed from the Delia’s Summer ’96 Catalog. Also: remember platform flip flops?!?
  6. So cool: Ballet Dancers in Random Situations.
  7. Oh, Ryan Gosling: 49 Reasons Why The Notebook Is the Worst, Most Frustrating Movie Ever Created.
  8. So precious: Four Year Old’s Bucket List.
  9. 34 Things That Will Make ’90s Girls Feel Old. #29 terrifies me – I remember that issue! And I subscribed to Teen People, obviously.
  10. Fascinating: 4 Sisters Photographed Every Year for 36 Years.

(Image via

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 73

there's always money in the banana stand

The weekly rundown of internet gems:

  1. I’m planning on seeing The Great Gatsby this weekend, but regardless of whether the film is good or bad, I know one thing: its soundtrack is amazing. Seriously, listening to this on repeat got me through the last half of finals.
  2. So cringe-worthy: The 21 Most Awkward Moments in Handshake History. The Ryan Seacrest one is still one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.
  3. This video is very cute, but at the same time, every time I watch it, I’m super anxious and scared for the puppies. Is that normal? Puppies vs. Stairs: The Ultimate Supercut. Also, the pug hopping up the stairs at the end kills me.
  4. Is it too much for me to ask that this happens at Michigan’s Bell Tower? Game of Thrones Theme Played from University Bell Tower.
  5. Laughing at Ryan Lochte never gets old for me.
  6. 38 Maps You Never Knew You Needed. It’s true.
  7. Post-Oscar season, there had been a distinct shortage of awesome Jennifer Lawrence moments in my life. This week brought the remedy to that: Jennifer Lawrence Wins the Met Ball.
  8. This week, in Arrested Development news: Bluth’s Banana Stand From Arrested Development Is Now Real and Maybe Headed Your Way. If this is in New York when I’m there, I’m clearly going.
  9. Politics aside, I find the Bush family oddly endearing. Exhibit A: love letters between George and Barbara.
  10. Things like this are why we all love the internet: Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal.

(Image via New York Magazine)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 68

game of thrones mad men

The weekly roundup of internet finds:

  1. The next time you feel sad, just remember the joy exuded by the Happiest Penguin Ever.
  2. Yes, I am well aware this is a week late, but: 21 Vintage Easter Cards That Will Totally Creep You Out.
  3. I mean this in the non-stalker-iest way possible, but…who wants to come stalk Ryan Gosling’s film set with me? Anyone?
  4. I laughed so hard at this that I probably scared my neighbors: Family Feud Fails.
  5. This guy is ridiculously talented, and this video is spot-on: Disney After Ever After.
  6. I have literally been reading Roger Ebert’s movie reviews since I was a little girl (I used to read them every Friday in our local paper), so I was sad to hear of his death. I thought about linking to one of the many tribute articles that have sprung up for him, but in the end, I think his own words are the most poignant: I Do Not Fear Death.
  7. Yep, yep, yep: Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life. (Okay, full disclosure, I agree with everything this article says, but I will never stop Instagramming).
  8. A new Gatsby trailer, this time with a little Beyonce and Florence & the Machine thrown in for good measure. There is absolutely no way that this movie is going to live up to my insanely high expectations, but…doesn’t it look incredible?
  9. Brilliant illustrations: See Game of Thrones Reimagined As Mad Men, Seinfeld, and Arrested Development.
  10. Too cute: little Kirsten Dunst and “Joey” Gordon-Levitt on Celebrity Jeopardy. Aww!

(Image via Vulture)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 61

arrested development

The weekly roundup of all I deem awesome on the interwebs:

  1. I’m not a hipster but I do take pictures of my food, so I find this hilarious: Pictures of Hipsters Taking Pictures of Food.
  2. I thought the whole Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” thing was played out, but then I saw “Hey Girl, Detroit” and figured it might have some life left in it still.
  3. These Arrested Development Valentines, created by Marisa Seguin, are making my life right now. So fantastic!
  4. The Alumni Association made this cool video of a snowy day on campus. Man, I love this place.
  5. These book sculptures are so cool. Sometimes the creativity of other people makes me feel bad about myself.
  6. This is my new favorite Etsy shop. If anyone wants to buy me the Chandler Bing notebook…
  7. I had no clue who Aaron Tveit was before seeing Les Mis, but I sure do now – he was so damn good in that movie. Thus, I wholeheartedly endorse his nomination as Crush of the Week.
  8. The Disney Prince Hotness Ranking. But we all know Number 2 should really be Number 1, am I right?!?
  9. This is so cute I can’t even handle it: Japanese Boy and His French Bulldog Are the World’s Cutest Friends Ever.
  10. The Jeopardy! Teen Tournament Just. Got. Real. I wish I had watched this. Leonard!

(Image via Marisa Seguin)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 40 (Olympic Edition!)

My weekly roundup of awesome internet finds, this week with an emphasis on Olympic-level awesomeness:

  1. This is disturbing yet hilarious: Awkward Figure Skating Faces vs. Awkward Diving Faces.
  2. McKayla Maroney’s Vault Was So Good, It Literally Dropped a Judge’s Jaw. While the judges may have been impressed by Maroney, McKayla is not impressed with the judges…or anyone else for that matter. See this tumblr for more details.
  3. Ryan Lochte is a ridiculously talented swimmer but…he’s kind of a tool. Case in point: 10 Reasons Why Ryan Lochte is America’s Sexiest Douchebag. And for a little more Lochte: a comparison of Ryan Lochte and Ryan Gosling. Spoiler alert: Gosling comes out on top, by a mile.
  4. Decoding the dance moves of the Independent Olympic Athletes. It all makes sense now!
  5. Nathan Adrian is the Olympic Crush America Needs. Agreed. Also, I give you: Exhibit B.
  6. Check out these photos of US athletes with their medals. Everyone’s pictures are cute, but Danell Leyva’s is perhaps the best.
  7. This Olympics, more so than in previous incarnations, I noticed the shortcomings in NBC’s coverage. This article, contrasting NBC’s and the BBC’s approaches, is interesting (and makes me wish I had access to BBC’s 24 channels of Olympic coverage).
  8. The 10 Most Unusual Rules of the Olympic Games. Very interesting – especially number 2. That story should have made more news.
  9. This is just incredible: The US Women’s Gymnastics Team As “Mean Girls.” I can’t even.
  10. I love this article on the US Women’s soccer team, Perfectly Captivating Amid All Their Imperfections. Great article, and great game against Canada – one of those classics that I’ll always remember where I was and who I was watching with.

And in case you missed it: The Things That Are Awesome archives

(Image via McKayla Is Not Impressed)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 37

The weekly roundup of internet fabulousity and ridicularity (both legit words; trust me):

  1. 10 Pantone-Themed Products. Someone buy me the coffee mugs?
  2. There are no words to express how mesmerized I am by this video: young Ryan Gosling, singing and dancing at a Mormon talent show. I mean…come on!
  3. I found this article, The “Busy” Trap, quite thought-provoking. It’s one of my pet peeves when people say they’re “busy” but are clearly kinda bragging about being busy (even though I’ve been guilty of doing this too).
  4. Yes, I Instagram food photos all the time (as evidenced by this blog). However, this article is still hilarious.
  5. Banana Republic is launching a line inspired by Anna Karenina. Pretty sure I’m going to want to buy all of it.
  6. We watched this video on Monday at work and it basically made my day. Maybe even my week. Pandas! On slides!
  7. When Andy Murray made it to the Wimbledon final, I was rooting for him hard. And when he lost, I was bummed. If you can watch his speech after the match and not get teary eyed, then…I don’t even know what to say.
  8. Love this article: “How to Spot a Misogynist.” Right on.
  9. This is hilarious: “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.” Give the font some respect, people.
  10. I thought I was tired of “Call Me Maybe” parodies, but then Cookie Monster went and changed my mind.

Looking for past bits of awesomeness? The Awesome Archives to the rescue!

(Image via Some E-Cards)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 36

(Image via Huffington Post)

The weekly roundup of all that I deem awesome:

  1. A compilation of recycled Aaron Sorkin dialogue. Amazing how many phrases and anecdotes he repeats, almost word for word, in different projects.
  2. When I Was Growing Up, Girls Just Didn’t Run in Public” – a Nike ad in celebration of Title IX’s 40th anniversary. Love this so much.
  3. If I lived in L.A., I guarantee I would visit this Arrested Development-inspired art exhibit. Too good.
  4. And if I lived in NYC, I would totally go to this: a play, the premise of which is the Babysitters Club reuniting in Stonybrook for Mary Anne and Logan’s wedding.
  5. Ryan Gosling was glad the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, too.
  6. Nickelodeon buried a time capsule in 1992. Looking at what was inside, my ’90s nostalgia is running rampant.
  7. Also making my 90s nostalgia run rampant? 14 First World Problems from the 90s. Funny how things have changed (and, for the record, I always found number 8 particularly upsetting).
  8. Stately Sandwiches – a fun project where the author is creating a sandwich to represent each state. I’m trying to figure out what the Michigan sandwich should be…
  9. This article made me smile: How American Girl Is Saving the World, One Doll at a Time. As a lifelong American Girl fan (I had Molly when I was little), I would agree that the brand is pretty wonderful.
  10. Crazy nerdy, but this made me laugh: Write Like the Wind, a song encouraging George R.R. Martin to write his books faster.

Didn’t get enough awesome? Head to the Awesome Archives.

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. 16

(photo from here)

Your weekly dose of awesome:

  1. I feel like I say this every time I post one of these lists, but this video is my new favorite, ever. Zooey Deschanel + Joseph Gordon Levitt = adorable overload. And Joseph Gordon Levitt’s voice is so good! Who knew?
  2. I know this happened a few weeks back, but Jimmy Fallon hosting SNL = one of the best things to happen in awhile. Also, the Jimmy Fallon/Tina Fey/Seth Meyers/Amy Poehler joke-off is pure brilliance. These guys should be together in everything, always.
  3. I’m pretty sure Ryan Gosling is overexposed at this point (and no, I’m not talking about all those shirtless scenes in Crazy Stupid Love, ba dum bum), but I still love this. Also, I get all the jokes, which makes me feel like a silly law school nerd. Also, he’s tasty. (That last sentence was unnecessary, I know.)
  4. Wisconsin has been pulling some shenanigans lately, but we all know that Michigan is the only mitten state.
  5. A speculative list of Jay-Z’s 99 problems. Too good.
  6. SNL’s Taran Killam recreates Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend. I love this song, and I give him major props for basically having the video memorized. And for doing it in a super-confined space. And for wearing a fluffy cropped shirt.
  7. Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review. This video is so well-done (and I love the song – Sooner or Later, by Mat Kearney).
  8. The trailer for the Dark Knight Rises looks intense and awesome.
  9. Tennis players as children. Too cute. I think baby Andre is the most fun. And one more tennis thing – If you don’t watch tennis, then this is probably not very funny. But if you do watch it (perhaps obsessively), then it’s downright hilarious.
  10. A seal crying. Awwwwww. Is this not the most heartbreaking thing you’ve ever seen?

And in case you missed it: the Awesome Archives

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 8

This week’s awesome:

  1. Parks and Rec quote of the week: “Most people would say the deets. I say the tails. Just one example of innovation.” (Tom Haverford. Always.)
  2. And even more – seven minutes of Tom Haverford hitting on women. Love Aziz Ansari.
  3. Ryan Gosling vs. puppies? It’s pretty much a toss-up.
  4. I often get excited about an upcoming movie from its trailer, but I’m almost certain I’ve never decided I had to see a movie based on the poster alone. But this one convinced me.
  5. If I had had a blog back when the Royal Wedding aired, I definitely would have blogged about how obsessed with it I was (answer: very). To make up for that, these are the best Halloween costumes the Today show has ever done.
  6. This weekly list is fast becoming a list of things that made me cry. Case in point: A eulogy for Steve Jobs, written by his sister.
  7. Seven Decades of TV Catchphrases. I found this collection pretty amusing. My favorites? “We were on a break!,” “Do it rockapella!,” “Come on!,” “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,” “Moving target penny can!,” and (of course) “I’m Chuck Bass.”
  8. I never thought that I would use “Salman Rushdie” and “Kim Kardashian” in the same sentence, but then this happened. And it was awesome.
  9. I found this video of bloopers from Friends – love it! The best parts are Lisa Kudrow’s laugh and David Schwimmer yelling, “PIVOT!” After watching it, I fell down a rabbit hole of Friends videos on You Tube and ended up watching this and this and this too. I miss Friends.
  10. Awkward Family Pet Photos. I especially love the one where two of the daughters are holding cats and the third (possibly the unloved black sheep of the family) is holding a plant.

In need of more awesome? Look no further.