What Parks and Rec Taught Me About Life

1. Never let someone dull your sparkle.

The right humans for you will never tell you to be something other than yourself, whether that be your sig other or your bff or your co-worker. They like you for who you are, and tell you to go for your crazy plans when everyone else doubts you.

2. Always put friends first.

LK always put her friends first, and she reaped the benefits of a beautiful life full of love because of her loyalty. (Even if she leaned Saracen #teamriggins)

3. Be nice, and I mean like “ANN, YOU BEAUTIFUL, NAIVE, SOPHISTICATED NEWBORN BABY!” compliment nice.

There is no reason to be mean. You can be passionately angry and lose your temper from time to time, but you should never let anger sit in your skeleton. No one who let anger overcome them on P&R ever got anything done. Their kind circle got things done because of the goodness they expected from each other and everyone else.

4. Embrace your inner Leslie. Or Ben. Or April. Or Ron. Or…

In my case, I am Leslie AND Ben, with April’s cynicism. I like that I’m crazy-passionate, hard-working, anxious, nerdy, and sarcastic. There was a time when I didn’t see this reflection of myself represented in the media, but I think thanks to this show, we can all see a little of ourselves, whether we’re Toms or Donnas or Andys!

5. Who you work with IS as important as what you do.

I have long maintained that co-workers make or break your working world; P&R proves that your life and your workspace will be so. much. better. if you’re a community of people who respect each other.

6. Being happy in what you do is the ONLY way to make a living.

No matter what path the characters took, they always followed their hearts career-wise. If it didn’t make them happy, they moved on. You have to be fulfilled; you can’t sell something you hate or do something that makes you sick. You have got to be happy in the thing you’re doing 8-12 hours a day, 5-7 days a week. What that is is different for everyone, and you should never hold someone back from trying to find that workplace happiness.

7. Never grow up…

You must always remember your inner Burt Macklin and release him often. No good can come from taking yourself too seriously and never having fun. I will always buy Marvel t-shirts, for example. NEVER SORRY!!!!!!!!

8. … but always work hard.

That being said, you can have fun and do the things you love, so long as you’re working on bettering who you are, what you do, and enriching the world and the lives of the people in it. That means working hard, and there’s nothing wrong with a good day’s work!

9. Always lend a helping hand.

It’s really easy to shake people off, but when someone needs you, just help them. Even if you can’t help in the way they need, bring them coffee and hold them until someone else can. We need each other.

10. Breakfast food is the best and solves everything.

WAFFLES. BACON. EGGS. THEY ARE EVERYTHING! Sad? Eat b. foods. Celebrating? Have a brinner. “There was never a problem that couldn’t be solved by breakfast foods.”



What IS FOoTW? “Fangirl Object of the Week” is a bloggy creation of mine, dedicated to releasing my (not-so)inner fangirl. Here’s a pretty accurate description of what a “fangirl” is, courtesy of the always reliable Urban Dictionary:

A rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy. … Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obsessions.

This is, like, borderline “Single White Female,” without the murder, sprinkled with a lot of innocence and respect. Every once in a while, I’ll publicly gush over one of these objects of my over-affection because sometimes, you just need to let it out, honey.

Let the love commence.


Tom, Tom, Tom. Where do I begin?

It wasn’t that long ago when I didn’t know much about you. Heather talked of your appearance in “Thor” a lot, but I had yet to check it out myself. I saw you on the occasional Tumblr post and knew there was a sort of religious following in the vein of Hiddles, but I couldn’t be bothered to research. I was an unemployed 20-something with lots of Internet to cover, okay!?

But one day, my boyfriend suggested we watch “Thor,” and I came away with a new appreciation for the lanky Brit in green and black. The ship started innocently enough… I suggested we dress our dog as Loki for Halloween. That was merely the tip of the iceberg, though.

It was a slow process, starting with Loki research, then some Avengers research, then some HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT ALL OF THESE PHOTOS OF TOM IN DELICIOUS SUITS research. I finally watched “The Avengers,” and all bets were motherfucking off; I shot directly from generic fan into career-Hiddles worship.

I started seeking out more Tommy flicks to watch after that, even if that just meant rewatching the same YouTube clip from The Hollow Crown because damn boy, you sexy.

Then I realized that not only were you a master looker, you were also a master of fun, and if there’s anything on this planet I love most, it’s a jokester. And Tom, Tom, Tom… you are the funniest of the funny with your pranks, your impressions, and those masterful EHEHEHEHE’s. See for yourself, future fangirls.

Now you’re who I rent otherwise shitty movies for. You’re who I drag my boyfriend to the movie theater for on opening night. In fact, you’re the one my boyfriend hates most ’cause I have permission to break the confines of monogamy with you. (Don’t worry… if Marisa Tomei ever shows up, he’ll nab the same privilege.) Not to say you’re a piece of meat or an object as the title of this post suggests; in fact, you are the true opposite–an entirely unique and amazing human being–and that’s why I love you and your face so damn much.

So Tom, thank you for your glorious waves of ever-changing hair. Thank you for looking debonaire in a suit. Thank you for THOSE EYES. Thank you for being a kind dude, especially to batshit fans like myself. Thank you for being romantic as hell in a world where it’s dwindling, and sweet angel, thank you for that CHOCOLATELY smooth voice. Perhaps most of all, thanks for introducing the Internet to a thing called “getting Loki’d.” Where would Tumblr be without you, Tom? THE ANSWER IS NO WHERE.

Tom, you lanky, saucy minx, thank you for saving the Internet world from never believing in love again.

Oh, and as for your proposal of marriage, I shall send you my reply with all of my love within a fortnight. Xoxo, babe.

Geek Love

There’s no such thing as a fake nerd, or geek, or even just a fan. You know why? Because you can’t fake love.
There are few photos in my archive I love more than this one. It’s not because I think I look great or because it was taken by one of my favorite photographers; it’s because these kids were so excited to merely be in my presence. And instead of instantly seeing the 20 extra pounds and adult acne of days past, I see the joy in their eyes and remember how enthusiastic they were to meet a complete stranger who simply wanted to dress like someone both she and they admired.
I was Lara Croft that day. The costume wasn’t anything special, just a simple riff off Angie’s movie stills. I knew some of the hardcore VG fans would glare a hole right through me, but I didn’t care. I was there to have fun with my friend for her birthday and to get a chance to wander around as a pretend badass all day.
As I suspected, there was a group of “real nerds” who scoffed at my get-up, but there were always many more accommodating folks to jump into a group photo with or give a knowing glance toward. These welcoming people are the ones I call my own, the geeks and nerds and oddballs who just want to have fun doing what they do and loving what they love. I was mostly content, enjoying the frenzy of energy around me.
So as I passed by a delightful version of VG Lara and smiled at her, I was pretty caught off guard when she made what I imagine is her “vomiting violently into a dirty toilet” face before turning her eyes elsewhere. I was about 10 seconds away from getting angry, cursing this small but pointed group of people for ruining my day! For ruining a fun time, for ruining so many others’ day, for RUINING EVERYTHING! …
… When the cutest little boys (they’re probably 30 – I have no age-o-meter) I’ve ever seen came barreling towards me, their eyes filled with a fire I can still recall three years later. The first to reach me squealed a little and sputtered out “CAN I HUG YOU?!”
I laughed.
“Of course!”
He gingerly put his arms around me before going full nerd-hug and squeezing ‘til his con sweat had thoroughly drenched me. His friends all asked the same question before also asking if they could have photos taken with me. I tried to pose in character, but it was impossible to wipe the smile from my face. They were so undeniably happy, and I had brought them that joy in way no one else could. That feeling is one I haven’t had often since, but one I’ve never forgotten.
What I felt that day is what I’ve come to realize is what I want my life to be all the time. I want to be among my people, whoever they are, and give them that feeling again. I want to make a living making other people happy, arriving in a room, and just hugging them until they feel like they’re okay to let go again. And I don’t want those precious people or myself or anyone I’ve yet to meet feel alienation ever again from a group they thought they were safe with.
I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I do know I’m gonna… and I’m gonna soon.
(All photos by the fabulous Dawen Huang)


Daenerys Targaryen is a Bad. Ass. Bitch.
1. Just look at her. Look at her. LOOK AT HER!

2. After her psychotic, idiotic brother sold her into marriage, she decided to become a true member of the people to which she was now queen Khaleesi.

4. She ate the heart of a god damn horse.

5. She is a firm, but gentle leader. Like, she’ll save your life from rapists, but if you use black magic to kill her husband, she’ll like… burn you alive.

6. She WALKED INTO A FIRE AND DIDN’T DIE OR EVEN GET BURNED. Oh, and she emerged with a few DRAGONS.

7. She led the people she inherited from her husband through desolate wasteland instead of abandoning them for her own sake.

8. She took on a bunch of really weird, obviously wine-addicted warlocks to save her dragons children.

9. She locked a bunch of traitorous assholes inside an empty vault to die, then stole all their money because they sucked.


Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, you are my hero now and forever. No one will institutionalize me if I start acting with even half this badassery and power, will they? Alright, good. Now that that’s settled, I’m off to take back the Iron Throne…

Or go to sleep. Same thing, right?

An Open Letter to J.J. Abrams


Dude. Dude. Seriously, dude. DUDE! You’re directing the next movie in the Star Wars saga!!!! YOU, one of about only three auteurs I can imagine doing justice to this saga, are the chosen one. You will bring balance to the film force…. or something equally punny like that.

I’m gonna be honest: The (rather large) section of my brain dedicated to this epic story has been all kinds of imbalanced since the most shocking transfer of hands occurred. But when I heard word that the directing baton had been passed to you, I finally stopped holding my breath and even did a little bit of a leap-scream kind of thing.

circa 2010, bangs no longer included

See, not only do I love you thanks to an endless list of things, including but not limited to Lost and your most epic revival of Star Trek, but I adore the O.G. Star Wars trilogy. This marriage is a perfect one, at least for this J.J./SW fangirl.

That being said, hear me out: hire me. I mean, really… hire the shit out of me. I’ve been trying to write you this ridiculous open letter for almost two weeks, scrambling to come up with the most dazzling of traits I behold, but I am too flustered to even begin to illustrate my encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture or my penchant for hamming it up.

Look, bro. You seem like a man who can take a lady at her word. In the essence of saving us time, and sparing you having to listen to some cookie-cutter song and dance about my “acting experience” and my “writing abilities,” let’s just work on making Episode VII the masterpiece we both know it can be. I’m contract ready.

Don’t worry about having something for me to do. I’m up for whatever task, even flying the (hopefully not defunct at this point in the storyline) Millenium Falcon for twelve parsecs. I’m also willing to take a google or a gaggle of acting classes, whichever you deem most suitable for me. I’ll hold a boom or 50. Hell, I’ll even bring every last cast and crew member coffee or blue milk. JUST DON’T LEAVE A JEDI KNIGHT BEHIND, BROTHER! Together, we can bring balance to the force.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll let you take a little peek at my Star Wars themed screenplay in process. But hey, we’ll get to that.

With all my love and Jedi mind tricks,

Happy Birthday, Baby!

John Clayton Mayer, love of my life, you are the ripe age of 35 today. Well, yesterday, but I wrote this in my brain well before the clock struck midnight.

Not only are you a fox, like a “I’d let my head hit the bed withOUT your hand behind it” fox, but you have gotten me through every break-up in my entire 25 years. Without fail, you have released an album that exactly coincides with the particular brand of heartbreak I’m sipping at that precise moment. You saved me from a lot of dark nights.

A lot of people don’t appreciate you, but you know I always will, baby. You’re not too poppy like a lot of folks tend to say, despite that really fucking weird “Say” song you put out, but we all make mistakes. You’re not the bad guy people make you out to be, because if anyone actually listened to songs like “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You),” “My Stupid Mouth,” or hell, even “Daughters,” they would say “Oh, yeah, maybe that guy has some issues like we all do, but at least he’s honest about them.” Th’fuck’s wrong with honesty?


So thanks. Thanks for the mean pickin’, the soulful singing. Thanks for “Room for Squares,” then “Where the Light Is,” then “Battle Studies,” now “Born & Raised,” and all the others in between. They all did, and still do, get me through the worst and the best moments of my life.

Oh, and how could I ever wish you the happiest of 35ths without mentioning the fateful night I climbed my way to your platform as you were playing “Why, Georgia?” I somehow eluded security and used the heads of two strange men as my stabilizers. I probably made sure the girls were lookin’ mighty fine, and then I looked up, right into your eyes, BEGGING you to look at me. You scanned the crowd, looked into my eyes, kept moving, MY HEART WAS BROKEN, but then… then you did a damn DOUBLE-TAKE and stared at me as you sang “Everybody is just a stranger, but that’s the danger in going my own way.” And then you held that gaze until some floozy threw her bra at you, and we all laughed, me out of psychotic anger that my MOMENT, my time with you was gone.

That bitch. Still love you anyway, boo. THANKS FOR THE MUSIC!

Unapologetic Fangirl

“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I believe you should be able to like what you like. If you a like a fucking Ke$ha song, listen to fucking Ke$ha.” — Dave Grohl

As I grow older, I find it harder to hide the things I love. I also find it harder to justify those things to other people. Yes, I like to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians when no one’s around. Why, of course I read Tori Spelling’s books and weep over them. Yeah, I probably do have an unhealthy obsession and identification with Girls. WHAT’S IT TO YOU, WHOREBISCUIT?
Yesterday I probably would have said, “Well, it’s really just a guilty pleasure and I know it’s bad and blah, blah, fucking BLAH.” Today I say, to hell with that. I am who I am, and that’s a fangirl who fangirls about a lot of shit. Like shit that doesn’t even make sense for one entity to be equally obsessive over.
This brings on this whole other level of justification. “I mean yeah, I do love Star Wars, but I also really love crafting, and I mean I totally enjoy fashion, but I am like crazy in lust with outdoor adventuring!!!!~*”
I’m throwing that bi-polar rationalization out the window, too. I don’t have to explain why I like what I like, and I certainly don’t have to explain the complexities of the human mind, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, that’s why I like things that are on completely different ends of the Kinsey scale of fandom. I’m just tired of that judgmental, bulgy side-eye thing. Don’t judge me for what I like, bro, at least not enough to make you a dick. Be polite judge-y Southern about it.
You don’t have to love what I love. God knows I don’t love everything in your trunk o’ stuff n’ things. Let me listen to my Carly Rae Jepsen in peace while I drink warm tea out of my Simon Pegg mug.
Fandom collage anyone? No? Too late

m just a Simon Pegg lovin’, Angie worshipping, comedy slave who loves fashion, the South, Star Wars, New York City, decorating, crafting, a little reality TV, and drinking my mimosas heavy on the champagne side.

It’s okay that I am a clusterfuck of different compulsions… you are too.
What are your biggest fandoms? I haven’t even scratched the surface of mine!
P.S. My fonts are really awesome now. If you’re getting a weird combo like Curlz and Times New Roman, I haven’t lost my mind. Your browser just needs a life upgrade.

Happy Star Wars Day!

“There was an old man in a cloak carrying a glowing blue sword, a man dressed entirely in black with a helmet like a dog’s face and a glowing red sword, a young blond boy in pyjamas, a cool-looking guy in a waistcoat firing a big pistol, a similarly armed girl in a white dress, a gorilla, a dustbin with legs, and a gold homosexual.”
– Simon Pegg, on first seeing Star Wars at age 7
From that sexy scoundrel to the moment I KNEW Darth would finally come around, Star Wars has been a huge part of my life. I’ve already admitted my love for Han, started a Yoda blog, and boasted my picture with Chewy, so I don’t think I need to say how often SW runs through my mind. These pieces of art and photos can declare my love more brilliantly than words every could.
May the Fourth be with you… always.
(R2D2 in Helvetica – David Benoliel)


(Behind the Scenes still)

( A note from George Lucas to James Cameron when
Titanic dethroned Star Wars at the box office. )

And the grand finale…

(AT-AT Day Afternoon – Patrick Boivin)

The Coquette

I’m so happy to live in an age full of these amazingly gifted writers and thinkers who have access to a platform because of blogging. When I first signed up for my beloved Tumblr, I stumbled across Coke Talk. Her sharpness and blunt advice immediately caught my attention. After reading (and laughing) for quite some time, I also grew to love her wisdom, her rationality, her intelligence, and her penchant for forgiveness.

I watched as she added features and changed her name, all things she did with grace and perfect timing. I even ordered a “Cunt” necklace from her Boutique and got a shout-out from the anonymous lady herself, a moment of true Tumblr glory and geekery that I will forever cherish.

The real reason I wax poetic about Coquette is because she is such a good source of truth in a world full of bullshit. She wants her readers to question everything, even her. She wants us to grow up, let go, and find peace. And even when she cracks that whip of a tongue at one of her advisees, she does it with the best of intentions. Some may say she’s a bitch, but I don’t see that. I see an unrelentingly kind and evolved soul.

Nine times out of ten, I agree with Coquette. The other 10 percent of me that dissents her opinions still respects the shit out of them. In fact, I even marinate on what’s rubbed me the wrong way, sometimes for days, wondering if she was actually right. She makes me a better advocate for myself and for the issues I believe in.

So here they are, some of the columns and random snippets that have meant the most to me from Our Lady Coquette. Thanks for helping one girl on the opposite coast come to terms with life and its myriad of intricacies.