The Problem With Choosing A Gummy Bear As Your Spirit Animal

I should start this off by saying that back in 2012, I declared my spirit animal to be a gummy bear. Which is just about as serious a commitment I’ve made to anyone ever. Maybe even more serious than my impending nuptials, if I’m being honest.

animalHowever, after closer inspection of the term “Spirit Animal” on Urban Dictionary dot com, I’m beginning to wonder if I committed too quickly to this gummy bear animal.
SpiritAnimal

Gummy Bear:

Small in size, vibrant in color, boxy in stature, with a rounded abdomen that could be described as “squishy.” Skills include soaking up vodka, sitting in bowls, and singing and performing in music videos. When faced with being an ice cream topping, they turn into chewy, almost painfully hard rocks, and they’ve also been known to lie about their real flavor. (The green ones are strawberry flavored. Yes, green = strawberry, according to gummy bears.)

I’m not saying I don’t embody a significant number of these things. Because I’m only 5’2, just a few inches shy of being the legal height of a little person, I am a bit boxy. My red hair is arguably a ‘vibrant’ hue and, on more than one occasion, I’ve soaked up a significant amount of vodka.

But turning to stone around ice cream? I’m just not OK with that. Had I given this more than a passing thought, I would’ve picked a more sensible animal to embody my spirit, like a sloth, or Wild Turkey. #regrets

Pro Tips For Attending a Chippendales Show, From Someone Who Survived It

When you Google “Chippendales gif,” this is essentially what comes up:
Chippendales
Which is fairly misleading, because at the Chippendales show I saw last night there was no blood-red backdrop, and no men who looked anything like Chris Farley. (RIP, and god bless this sketch, it was hilarious.)

For those who aren’t in the Chippendales-know — because perhaps you live under a rock — it’s a male review show with its mecca at the Rio in Las Vegas, as well as some traveling shows. (I know this because I went to a Chippendales show in Boston when I was in college, as well as when I was 21 and in Las Vegas for the first time. You could say I’m a bit of a Chips connoisseur.)

As such, I’ve got some pro tips for any first timers visiting Las Vegas. Or just anyone who wants to up their viewing pleasure the next time they catch a performance.

  • Arrive to the show at least 30 minutes early. You can take photos with the performers and there’s a bar to grab a pre-show drink. Often times there will be some dancers hanging out that you can chat up at the bar too. We spotted James Davis, for example, and talked to him a bit before we got to see him dance onstage. It was fun! Like seeing a beautiful lion out of its cage and getting to pet it in the wild, so to speak.
  • THINK BEFORE YOU DRESS. If you want to be pulled onstage, consider that you might have to sit on a chair, or bend, or be used as a prop, and if you’re in a dress and wearing a thong, well… things of yours will be seen that cannot be unseen. Otherwise, dress in clothes that allow for hooting and hollering and intense flailing of the arms. Trust me on this.
  • If you’re celebrating a birthday or bachelorette party, make sure the lucky lady is decked out in garb that alerts the dancers to that fact. This is an amazing venue for a celebration, and when the dancers can see that you’re celebrating, they’ll make extra effort to give that person the attention they deserve.
  • Do your research before you attend and pick a favorite Chippendale. The website has stats on all the dancers, and really fun images. This isn’t going to actually help you, but it is a pretty fantastic way to pass the time. Here’s mine (“He can peel a mango with his bare hands.” !!!) :

Chippendales

  • If you want to be brought onstage, the best way to do that is to shout and get excited when they’re combing through the audience. I noticed that the girls who popped right out of their seat during routines were often chosen to go onstage.
  • BUT, there are exceptions to this too. I saw a lot of shy girls get pulled onstage by the guys. They want everyone to be having a good time, and if it looks like you’re not fully in the moment, they just might make you part of the moment. So fear not, shy folks, there’s hope for you!
  • Stick around after the show ends and get a photo taken with the dancers. It’s all part of the fun, and then you get to see them up close and personal. Much like this adorable family portrait below:
  • There are no bad seats at a Chippendales show because the dancers wander around the audience. So spend the extra dough on the seats next to the stage, or pay what you can and sit in the back. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by dancers and have great views of the stage.
  • And in general, I’d vote in favor of going into a Chippendales show being prepared to totally lose your voice from screaming. I can barely talk today, and I couldn’t be happier. My friend got pulled onstage and I screamed my face off. Priceless.

52 Times My Best Friend Was The Best Friend

I can’t believe my best friend is getting married next year. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world with a smile that could melt your pants off, so I’m not ACTUALLY surprised that a very intelligent man proposed to her. But I can’t believe she’s getting married because I’ve known her since we were in the second grade, and it doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we would just get excited if a guy looked at us without blinking… Let alone marry us.

And this weekend is the bachelorette party. It’s in Vegas. So, yes, we’ll be having a very Chippendale’s, drinking by the pool, wonderfully tacky Las Vegas bachelorette, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Here’s a photo of the last time Elisa and I took a trip to explicitly drink together, circa 2012 in Napa. Clearly being together and drinking agrees with us:
MyBFF

This upcoming trip got me thinking about a lot of things. A lot of friendship things. In particular, what an amazing BFF Elisa has been to me throughout the years. And I wanted to write down all of the ways Elisa has been the light of my life before we go away this weekend to drink our dang faces off.

  1. When we discovered we have the same birthday. We were in our second grade classroom, and the teacher assigned us the “homework” of figuring out who was born first. I was born in the morning, and you slept in. This is not a surprise. I’m glad you let me be the morning person. I love mornings.
  2. In sixth grade, when I locked our math teacher out of the classroom. She was mean, and deserved it. But she said whoever did it had to fess up, or everyone would get a detention. When I fessed up, you wrote me a note saying that I was a “brave” person. I still have that note.
  3. When we’d have sleepovers at your house, and you’d help me put sheets on the rollaway bed. That meant a lot.
  4. When we spent our weekends at the movie theater by your house.
  5. And when we bought a box of those really terrible but really great sugar cookies with frosting before each movie, and ate it together in the parking lot.
  6. When we went to your house to choreograph a dance to Mya’s “Take Me There” for a gym presentation. (Seriously, what was our school, even?)
  7. During every single cheerleading practice in middle school. Because being a cheerleader wasn’t cool at our school, but we had fun, so whatever.
  8. Whenever we passed notes to each other in class about Hanson. And would sign them, “Mrs. Tay.”
  9. And when we briefly moved on from Hanson with NSYNC, and your love for Lance was almost as strong as my love for JC Chasez.
  10. How excited you were when I interviewed Lance years and years later, and he signed a piece of paper for you. That was magical.
  11. When you’d come to my house in the summers and we’d talk for hours while doggy paddling in the pool.
  12. And how you never judged me for having to wear all the sunscreen and t-shirts over my bathing suit. Even though you’ve always tanned an enviable golden brown.
  13. When we left middle school, and went to different high schools that were so far away. But we still stayed close and called each other almost every day.
  14. When you came to each and every one of my high school dances as my date.
  15. And years later, when I had my high school reunion, you were invited too, because we hung out so much that people actually thought you went to our high school. LOL.
  16. When we got an unlimited pass to Busch Gardens in Tampa, and we spent one summer there, basically. Your dad would drop us off in the morning, and we’d ride the sky tram or the train and eat chicken fingers. You hate roller coasters, so we’d just cruise around, doing nothing, and it was fantastic.
  17. When you went on a family trip with me to Mexico.
  18. And when we almost missed the cruise ship back, because we had too much to drink and I tried to steal a T-shirt from a gift shop.
  19. OK, I did steal a T-shirt from a gift shop. I thought it would fit me. It was for a toddler. But you laughed instead of making me feel like a total idiot. Which I was.
  20. When it came time to look at colleges, and we both wanted to go to FSU together and be roommates.
  21. So we went to tour the campus. And you got in trouble for not telling your mom that we were going there by ourselves. And I got in trouble for not telling my mom that your mom didn’t know. It was complicated.
  22. When we both walked by the frat houses at FSU, trying to look cool, but you tripped and I burst out laughing.
  23. Sorry I did that. You forgave me. That was cool of you.
  24. When I had to tell you that I wasn’t going to go to FSU, but wanted to go to an out of state school in Boston. And we were both really upset and scared, but you made me feel OK about it.
  25. When I would call you crying from Boston, because I was homesick and made a huge mistake not going to FSU.
  26. When I finally got over being homesick, and we were able to still keep calling each other and still be best friends, even though we were far away.
  27. When I would come to visit FSU every year during winter break and get to hang out with you there.
  28. Every time our birthday, January 7th, has rolled around, and you’ve been the first person I want to talk to and wish a happy birthday.
  29. The brief year we lived in the same city — New York — and I’d meet you after work in the Financial District, and we’d go get dinner and drink and whine about how bad the dating scene was.
  30. When I told you I wanted to leave New York, and you let me.
  31. Sorry I keep leaving places when we’re in the same place. I love you. I love that you never make me feel bad for too long.
  32. When you came to visit me in Los Angeles, and I remembered what it was like to have you in the same city as me, and my heart broke but also filled with happiness. We have to be in the same city again at some point, right?!
  33. How crazy wonderful you were while my mom was going through her cancer diagnosis. You let me cry and you reassured me that everything would be OK, and it has been. I always felt better after a phone call with you.
  34. When I had an early twentysomething crisis and imploded my life by quitting my job and breaking up with my then-boyfriend. I immediately flew to New York to be with you.
  35. Which is when I met Jason for the first time. And saw how happy he made you. And how happy you made him. And I was equally happy for this.
  36. And now that we’re older and have money of our own, we’ve decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Bern’s for our birthday every year.
  37. And that first year at Bern’s, when I had never been, and we ate so much food and were so delirious from it that we proposed marriage to each other. I would still marry the shit out of you, girl. Just saying!
  38. When we started taking yearly friendship trips. First to Napa, then to Arizona, and it’s something I look forward to every year.
  39. When we went to Napa, rented bikes, and I immediately fell off mine and skinned my elbow really badly. (Karma for you falling at the FSU tour?!) But you were cool with it and helped me bandage it up in that fancy Napa gas station.
  40. Whenever you’ve talked me through any and all major life issues.
  41. Because you know how crazy wound up I can get, and you always know how to cut through the bullshit and tell me like it is. Thank you for that.
  42. When we were in Phoenix and I was asking you so many questions about how you’d want to be proposed to and what kind of ring you’d like. Because Jason told me he was planning to propose. And I wanted to tell you so badly, but didn’t.
  43. When you got engaged, and called me on the phone to tell me, and I started crying from happiness.
  44. When you tried to FaceTime me into your wedding dress shopping. Fuck FaceTime for failing.
  45. When I got proposed to, and I initially only called my parents and you. You were so happy, and hearing your voice made me even happier than I already was.
  46. When you sent E and I a really lovely engagement gift to celebrate — it sits by our bed. Thank you!
  47. Being able to talk to you about your wedding, and the bachelorette, and the shower, and getting so excited to be able to celebrate you in so many ways.
  48. The fact that we’re both engaged at the same time, and that we’ve joked about getting pregnant together. Except it’s not a joke at all.
  49. Our mutual love of Broad City, and how I jokingly say I’ll peg you someday. Except this also is not a joke at all.
  50. For every time you’ve made me laugh uncontrollably, even when I’ve wanted to cry or was already crying.
  51. For knowing my family so well, and being able to talk me through difficult situations.
  52. And for being able to communicate with each other through a look. Or at least I think we communicate with just looks. I’ve been giving you lots of looks, I hope you know.

635699993877551404295503924_tumblr_mvzd4sAEu51si5x45o1_

I love you so much. I cannot wait to celebrate your bachelorette. And I hope you know that I will probably peg you in Vegas.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

Happy Caturday: Proof That Cat People Are Crazy

I’m not saying that a painting of our cat as the pope is at all a sane thing to ask for. But we did ask for it, and we received.

A friend of E’s does paintings like this for fun — cats, dogs, whatever animal you have he can then turn them into a superhero, your favorite celebrity, or the pope, for example. So when E heard this, he asked for one of Fish.

At this point, we’re planning to make some dedicated wall space for paintings of Fish. Because we already have a beautiful likeness of her, painted by E’s mom (see below), and I don’t expect the paintings to stop anytime soon. Fish is quite the muse, after all.  

Sorry, just got lost in my own reflection. #livingthatmuselife #catsofinstagram #catart #imsohot

A photo posted by Fish (@acatcalledfish) on

Words Everyone Should Live By

You never know where the hell you’ll find inspiration. For me it was this past week when I went to get a new haircut.

My hairdresser had this Nelson Mandela quote at her station. She’d written it down on a notecard, and stuck it in the frame of her mirror. I have no idea what it means to her, but I know what it meant to me when I first read it.

Nelson MandelaWhen I saw this, it made me think back on all of the choices I’ve made in my life that felt like a leap of faith — convincing my parents that studying writing in college could lead to an actual paying job, quitting my coveted job as an assistant on a TV show (The Secret Circle, RIP) to start my career writing online, moving from New York to Los Angeles without a job lined up (or an apartment, for that matter).

I can also distinctly remember dating in my early twenties, and how many shitty relationships I stayed in for way too long because I was afraid of being alone.

I guess the major difference is when I remember the choices I made out of fear, I always regret them. I can’t think of any decisions I made based on hope that I now regret.

What choices changed your life for the better? I want to know! Inspire me!

9 Things My Cat and I Currently Disagree On

Fish is stubborn. Which can be an amazing quality, and also a terribly misguided one. She’s basically on that, “I am right, you’re totally wrong, and you’re lucky to breathe the same air as me” grind.

For example…

1. Fish is under the impression that instead of simply using her litter box, (the way a human would, for example, use a toilet each time they needed a bathroom), that she also has free rein to use the rug in our bedroom as a de facto litter box. She is simply wrong about this, as our rug is A RUG, and not meant to be soiled on.

2. Fish believes that when she brings one of her cat toys into the bed at 3 a.m., that I will happily wake up, play with her for a solid 30 minutes, and easily doze back to sleep. In fact, that’s not the case at all. I’m not sure where or how she came by this misinformation.

3. When I eventually DO wake up in the morning, Fish will follow behind and meow loudly on a loop, because she thinks that if she takes a breath and stops meowing EVEN FOR A SECOND, that I will no longer offer her food. In some ways, her meows do indeed make me move faster, but I would perhaps provide even more food if she stopped yelling at me.

4. Fish is convinced that outside of our apartment door lies a portal to another dimension where there is endless belly rubs, fresh tuna, and trees that undoubtedly (IF CLIMBED) offer a stairway to cat paradise. She likes to attempt escapes every time I come home from work, and will often succeed. What she fails to remember, is that outside of our door there are no rugs to poop on.

5. Fish thinks my hands, nose, ankles, calves, and jewelry are all OK to bite, because they are in fact her toys. These are actually my body parts/toys, and she couldn’t be more wrong.

6. I attempted to eat some Oreos while watching TV, and upon seeing these, she became convinced that they were delicious, and hers, and MUST have them. While Oreos are vegan, they are not for cats.

7. Fish has long believed that by standing on at least one of my boobs while I try and fall asleep, that I will, in turn, want to pet her. She doesn’t seem to connect me pushing her off the bed to this belief.

8. Fish is certain that the shower is an evil monster, and that by standing outside of it and pacing, I will be released. This is half correct, and also half baked.

9. Perhaps the theory that Fish is most confused by is her hypothesis that when she stares out the window at the street below, that she’s also wearing an invisibility cloak and no one can see her. E and I disproved this theory the other night as we came home from dinner and saw her silhouette, watching, waiting, and most likely laughing at us.

Happy Caturday: Earthquake Cat Kit Edition

Earthquake Cat Kit

You know you’re a crazy cat lady if… you buy your cat an earthquake kit. And I did. I really did.

Let me explain: While E was out of town filming his pilot, I had the unfortunate luck of experiencing not one but two earthquakes while I was alone in our apartment. The first happened one morning around 6 a.m., and it shook out bedroom and bed hard enough that I woke up to being rattled around. Fish, being the clever girl that she is, darted from the room and took cover somewhere.

The second earthquake happened one Friday night while I was enjoying some Pho soup and a sad double feature of August: Osage County and Philomena with the exquisite Dame Judi Dench. I was on the couch when once again the room started to rattle, and Fish leaped for cover.

I’m from Florida, where we have hurricane parties every time the weather forecast predicts a big one, so I’m really NOT the type to panic. But something in me snapped with that second one (my sanity, perhaps?), and I immediately found earthquake kits online.

Open Earthquake Kit

At first, I just bought a kit for E and I. It’s a big bucket filled with preserved food, boxed water, and all manner of safety equipment. (And it also has a toilet lid, so you can use it to poop in. I really hope I never have to use that lid.)

But then I thought, what about Fish? What do cats do when an earthquake hits? Would she eat the preserved food we had or simply turn on us and eat us in our sleep? I google cat kits, just for fun, and was quite surprised to find many animal earthquake kits.

Fish

The one I ordered was a “deluxe” kit, and came in a bucket (no toilet lid), with dried cat food, a cat toy, water boxes, a pet first aid kit, a rope (?!?), and a pop-up water and food bowl.

The most curious item inside was a metal dog leash. I have no idea how this would help. I don’t know how it got inside the cat kit. But now we have a dog leash, just in case we meet a dog friend in the earthquake apocalypse.
Earthquake Supplies

There were also some glow sticks, in case we lose power, and a rather sensible bejeweled cat collar. (Perhaps the dog leash attaches to this collar? And perhaps she’d actually allow us to walk her on it? Doubtful, but still.)

Earthquake Kit Supplies

 

Fish inspected the lot herself. After all, in an emergency she will be depending on it. In the end, though, I think she was rather unimpressed.
FishyDoes getting a cat earthquake kit make me a touch insane? Yes, just a bit. But it does give me that placebo calming effect, which is really what these kits are intended to do. My biggest issue with the kit was really lack of a portable litter box. Though I suppose she could always use our toilet seat bucket…

This Chocolate Cross Wants To Wish You A Happy Sunday

I don’t remember seeing chocolate crosses around Easter before, because, ya know, it’s a little weird to eat something that someone was nailed to. But I was walking through CVS and saw this little gem…

Hungry, anyone?

5 Things That Have Made My Life So Much Happier (And Pampered)

The-Raven-Spa

Few things in life make me happier than feeling pampered. This year has definitely been one where I’ve come to a point in my life and career where I can afford to spoil myself a bit more. (#blessed) And since the start of 2014, I’ve been making an effort to do just that. I’m going to share some of the things I’ve been doing that I absolutely love:

  • My new facialist, Kristen, at Lula Mini Spa in Atwater village has totally changed my skin for the better.

I’ve always had problematic skin, (my face is dry, but my eyes are oily, and I break out constantly) and because of that, I’ve been getting facials on and off since I was 16. The problem has been that since I’ve moved a lot in the past (from Florida to Boston to New York to Los Angeles), it’s not always easy to keep up with a consistent routine at the same place. And now that I’m living in Los Feliz, I wanted to find someone close by.

Kristen is like some kind of skin angel sent down from heaven to make me feel better about my life choices. The location itself is kind of funky and small. It’s just one long room, no reception area, and you get seen right away. But because of that, your skin gets so much personal attention. Kristen explains every product she’s using and why it will help, and while a mask sets, she massages your arms and feet as an added bonus. I have been getting a microderm facial, and Kristen changes up the products and routine each time depending on how my skin is behaving. It’s just amazing.

I got the Fizzini as a Christmas gift, and I now almost exclusively drink seltzer water. It’s so refreshing, especially now that it’s in the 80s in Los Angeles. Plus the whole thing is super compact and takes up minimal counter space.

My friend Lizzy has been singing this place’s praises for the past year, but it wasn’t until I moved close to a location in Eagle Rock that I’ve actually gone to it. The prepackaged meals for 1-2 people are so yummy, and FRESH, as the store’s name implies. It’s been saving me so much time to just heat one up. My favorite so far was a spinach risotto meal. So fresh, so easy. (OK, I’ll stop.)

  • The unbelievably relaxing massages at The Raven Spa in Silverlake.

Again, been getting facials since high school, which means I’m a bit of a spa junkie. So I was ecstatic when I found a massage place that blew me away. This is another cozy retreat, with lots of Trader Joe’s snacks to nibble on while you wait, but once you’re in the room you never want to leave. I think it’s entirely based on the masseuses they have, all of which are amazing. But my favorite is an older Asian woman who looks, from first glance, like a typical grandmother, but whose hands suggest that she might be a goddess.

  • Bar Method in Silverlake kicks my butt in the best way possible.

Kristina is the best instructor I’ve had so far. She basically does this thing where she tricks you into doing a workout that’s extremely challenging and will make you want to die a little, but does it in a way where you want to do it FOR HER. Like, I want to work harder because she told me I should. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but thank you Kristina, for making my booty better.