Archive | March, 2012

Today on HelloGiggles!

31 Mar

Lois Duncan is still scary, you guys.

Lady Jam: Know Me, Frankie Rose

30 Mar

Sirius XMU’s been playing the hell out of this, and I’m okay with that because I love it.

Her voice is so lovely! Is she coming to your city? Please go see her and report back to me.

Celebrity Crush: Young Jack Nicholson

29 Mar

Is there anyone on this earth more attractive than young Jack Nicholson? I think not. For a period of time, the man could do no wrong.

In one of my all-time favorite movies, Five Easy Pieces, he managed to look hot whether he was slumming it or classing it up in that black turtleneck.

He looked hot when he was in a mental institution.

He looked hot when hanging out with Antonioni.

He looked hot with a broken nose in a movie about water.

He looked hot in what is possible the most depressing (and definitely most misogynistic) movie I’ve ever seen, Carnal Knowledge. “Everyone is terrible”- the tagline for that movie.

He looked hot when he was in love with Angelica Huston.

Unfortunately, only one of those two aged well. Under no circumstances should you Google image search Jack Nicholson now, because you are just going to find a picture of a man on a boat eating a sandwich and you’re going to wish you could unsee it. Then you’re going to feel really weird about all these feelings you just had.

Lady Inspiration: Dolly Parton

28 Mar

My desire to do things & know what’s out there has always been greater than my fear. I was more scared of staying home than of leaving it. – Dolly Parton, who has a Twitter. Of course she does, and of course it’s great.

Key Lime Pie: Dairy-Free and Easy-Peasy

27 Mar

For as long as I’ve known my boyfriend, he’s been lactose intolerant. To be honest, I hadn’t known all that many lactose intolerant people before I met him. Yes, there was that one friend’s mom who always ordered her pizzas without cheese, and I thought that was unspeakably weird. But for the most part, my family members have stomachs of steel and don’t deal with food allergies (aside from Chase’s instant gag reflex if he ever so much as looks at a hot dog).

Back when I met H. those 6 years ago, he could eat what he described as “a little cheese.” And then he would just get “a little sick.” For years, I encouraged him to try Lactaid, a pill that helps your body digest lactose (I swear this isn’t an ad for Lactaid). He resisted, because (begin stereotype) men don’t like to admit when women are right (end stereotype).

As soon as he finally tried Lactaid, I’m telling you, he was a new man. All of a sudden it was pizza this and cheeseburgers that and once he even got ice cream at Jeni’s. But soon his Lactaid use started to worry me, and not just because the Lactaid packets look like little, tiny condoms and that’s a weird thing to whip out at the dinner table. I worried because he would take 3, 4, 5 or more Lactaid tablets with one meal. This seemed bad, perhaps even unhealthy. It also seemed like he was spending a lot of money on Lactaid.

So when he recently told me he was swearing off dairy, I was happy. I made the mistake of referring to this as a “dairy-free phase.”

“This isn’t a phase,” he corrected me. “This is a lifestyle.”

Okay, then! If you’re livin’ that dairy-free lifestyle, here’s a key lime pie for you and yours. Does it taste exactly like a “regular” key lime pie? No. It tastes like a pudding in a pie shell, because that’s exactly what it is. Also, I think you should know that as soon as I typed the words “pudding in a pie shell,” I sang “Turtle Power!” in my head. But anyway, pudding is never a bad thing!

You might be thinking to yourself, “Those look like regular limes, not key limes.” Well, you know what? Stop being so nitpicky.

Key Lime Pie
adapted from here

For the filling:

1/4 c. key lime juice
2 1/2 c. soy milk
1 c. sugar
5 Tbs. cornstarch
2 tsp. lime zest

adapted from Southern Food
6 tbsp butter, melted
24 graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.
Place about 24 graham crackers in a plastic bag. Roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Or use a food processor.
Measure 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs into a bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg to the graham crackers.
Add the melted butter.
Stir or blend together with your hands.
Press into the pie plate or other pan.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F. oven. Under no circumstances should you spill pie crust crumbs all over your kitchen floor. That is NOT a step. I certainly didn’t do it.

Whisk lime juice, sugar, soymilk, lime zest, and cornstarch together in a saucepan, then turn on medium heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thick and creamy. Allow to cool slightly then pour into the pie crust and chill until firm.

Notes: This was really sweet, which maybe you will like. But it was too sweet for me, so I will probably cut down on the sugar next time.

Not-Even-A-Lady Jam: Heart, Oberhofer

26 Mar

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really keep up with what the kids are listening to. I used to have a radio show in college (I know, what? I have a face for radio, but I also have a voice for print), so at least then I had some sort of an idea about what was going on. Now that I’m an adult, sometimes Alex will tell me about things or occasionally I’ll see something on a blog, but for the most part I just listen to Dr. Dog, St. Vincent, and New Order on repeat. So I have no idea if this Oberhofer song is really popular, but what I do know is that it made me cry when I heard it yesterday in my car! Is that too much to share with you guys? Probably, but you already know I operate on a highly emotional level at all times. I only have Sirius for another week, so then I’ll go back to really knowing nothing about music.

Do you love this as much as I do? I hope so! I’ve already listened to it about ten times. The album’s out on Tuesday, and you can see them on tour right now! I want to go when they come to town, but I will probably cry in public. Whatever. Won’t be the first time, won’t be the last.

In Defense of Self Help: The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick

26 Mar

People can get really down on self-help books. Ours is a culture that sees asking for help as a sign of weakness, and reading a book about helping yourself is seen as ridiculously passive by some. In reality, self-help should be empowering; you’re taking control, literally helping yourself. I think burying your problems and refusing to acknowledge them because you’re afraid to even deal with them is a far, far weaker thing to do. But a lot of people don’t see it that way. To some, self-help books are silly, unhelpful, and inherantly feminine (which is inherantly bad, obviously). Clearly, I don’t agree. I love talking about feelings. I don’t think there should be any stigma surrounding self-help books, therapy, rehab, or what have you. I enjoy having deep conversations with my friends were I make them uncomfortable by putting my hand on their arm and saying, “I just want you to be happy,” very seriously. This is fun for me. So naturally I know how to get down with a self-help book now and again.

I can’t remember where I read the best description of anti-depressants (it may have been Sarah Silverman’s book, The Bedwetter), but here it is: Anti-depressants don’t “fix” your depression. Instead, they put you in the correct frame of mind so that you can deal with your problems.
I feel the same way about self-help books. If you’re expecting to read a book and have your life magically changed, you’ll be disappointed. But self-help books can drastically affect your attitude, which can put you in a place where you’re ready to make necessary changes. I know that’s definitely true for me; I can directly credit specific books with helping me to start writing again, encouraging me to start submitting my writing, convincing me to move to a new place, helping me reassess relationships and attitudes, and just generally helping me get out of a negative funk and into a place where I’m in control. So by popular demand (i.e., one person asked), I’ll be talking about some of my favorite self-help books. First up is The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick.

The Nerdist Way is, hands down, the best self-help book I’ve ever read, and that’s entirely because of Chris Hardwick’s personality. This book is funny. Laugh-out-loud, quote the lines to my boyfriend funny. This is really rare for self-help books, which tend to take themselves a bit too seriously. But even more importantly than the funnies, Chris Hardwick seems like he really wants to help people. He shares his mistakes and lessons in with an honesty that doesn’t seem desperate for attention; he just seems like a friend who wants to help.

The book’s divided into 3 sections: Mind, Body, and Time. The Body section is interesting because Chris Hardwick has the best attitude about fitness I’ve ever encountered. To be fair, I’ve also read the book Skinny Bitch, so I’m used to people telling me the size of my ass is inversely proportional to how much I deserve happiness. Chris Hardwick shares this revolutionary sentiment with us: Exercise should make you feel good. I know…whaaaat?!?!

The section about Time gives a lot of practical advice, like how to set up your email or how to effectively file your paperwork. But the best section, in my opinion, is Mind. I don’t know about you guys, but I can play some serious head games with myself. It’s so easy to self-sabotage and talk yourself out of succeeding or ever even attempting something, whether you’re doing it because of fear, anxiety, or some misguided belief system. Chris Hardwick gets this, and he lays out all the excuses so clearly it shocked me. How did he get in my head?

Chris Hardwick is pro-self-help, pro-positive thinking, and anti-laziness. Good attitude, good work ethic, and funny? This book not only changed my thinking, it made me develop a weird, student-mentor crush on Chris Hardwick. Whatever, I don’t judge you and your issues. Just let me have this.

I haven’t even mentioned something that most people would find important: the book uses Dungeons and Dragons as a framework. The thing is, though, that I know basically nothing about D&D (not entirely true. I can’t hang out with my boyfriend on Monday nights because that’s his gamin’ time) and that didn’t affect my understanding of the book in the least. Nerds, in this context, are people who are enthusiastic and focused about their interests. If you’re reading this, you probably identify.

Seriously, guys, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re feeling blocked or stuck, if you have some big dreams you’re going after, if you’re a creative-type, if you have problems with time management, or if you just want to improve…this is your book!

Also, my self-help recommendations are going to get decidedly more “hippie bullshit” from here on out, so be warned.

Today on HelloGiggles!

24 Mar

Today’s post is super-exciting because you can WIN A PRIZE! That’s right. Who doesn’t love prizes? I don’t know anyone who is like, “Oh,a free thing? No thanks. I don’t want that.” All you have to do is leave a comment (on the HelloGiggles post. Not here. Don’t leave a comment here because I have absolutely nothing to offer you) and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Chopsticks and a $25 gift card to iTunes!
It’s an extraordinarily lovely book. Big thanks to Penguin for the prizes!

Red Band Trailer with Mindy Kaling

23 Mar

Lovely Lauren e-mailed me this interview with the caption, “To heal the pain of Mindy’s WTF interview.”

I love Diablo Cody and Mindy Kaling both so much, so this is the perfect interview. You guys, Mindy Kaling is single. Get on it, dudes. Also, I love that she talks about how the guys she’s attracted to now are different, because I have noticed the exact same thing (although I have a boyfriend, so I’m talking about my movie crushes). I came to the same conclusion they did…it’s my stupid biological clock ruining my life again.

Natural Air Freshener? Natural Air Freshener!

22 Mar

This one is definitely for the ladies. I know a lot of cool dudes, but I can’t imagine any of them making their own baking soda air freshener. Somewhere around here, I have some lavender oil (of course I do). Weekend project!

Found via Craft blog.