Category: TV

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It’s giveaway time, y’all!

You know what this means… It means it’s time to talk Favorite Things.

Are you ready?!

Let’s ūüéĶ

Play ūüéĶ

Oprah! ūüéĶ

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I like to make each work a staccato so you can really feel my vibrato, there. Is it working? Are you silently singing in your best Oprah voice too? Sweet. Now let’s get down to¬†business.

I’m so utterly, completely, gleefully obsessed with all three things that I’m about to share with you, that I’m physically thisclose to losing my mind Kristin-Wiig-Surprise-Party-Sketch-Style.

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So before I go jumping through a plate-glass¬†window, I’ll just tell you all about my things instead.

1: Schitt’s Creek:

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You know how Oprah always had those lists of all her “favorite things” that she’d share with America, and then at the end of the show she’d surprise her audience members with all the things by telling them to look under their seats?

Well guys, I don’t want you to get too excited or anything, but¬†I made you a list of my own “favorite things”.

At the end of this post, I would love to tell you all in a singsong voice to look under your seats because “everyone gets humpback whaaaaa-ales! YOU get a humpback whale! And YOU get a humpback whale!”

But let’s all be real here: this is problematic for a number of reasons.¬†Namely, because I’m not¬†Oprah.¬†Secondly, because “humpback whale” is fun to say in a singsong voice, but ironically enough, is not actually on my list of favorite things.

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But I digress. Back to the list. I don’t know about you guys, but I fully plan on indulging myself this summer.

“In what,” you might ask?

Well, all the things.

All the television. All the books. All the food. All the music. All the podcasts.

It might be a little over-ambitious to cram so much delight into two and a half short months, but I can’t help it. I tend to subscribe to the Liz Lemon philosophy in life:

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So without further ado, here is my list of Favorite Things at the moment:

T.V. Shows

  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:¬†Because the one-liners are pure gold. They’re always saying things like, “Teeth are the boobs of the mouth!” Or “If I find a job in the classifieds, am I allowed to tell anyone?” They weave the jokes in so seamlessly, you have to pay close attention or you’ll miss at least a third of them.
  • Barely Famous: Because it’s like a new Curb Your Enthusiasm, but with sisters. One is a writer and one is an actress, but they’re both beautiful, funny, whip-smart women who have zero sense of self-preservation in their pursuit of sharp comedy. They poke fun at themselves and it’s brilliant, not just because they’re in on the joke, but because they’re telling the joke.
  • Scrubs re-runs: Because these characters stole my heart and I actually miss them. This is one of those shows that definitely started off wonky but got better and better with time. My all time favorite episodes were when JD dates a girl he really likes, but ultimately dumps her because he can’t stand that she always says “That’s funny” instead of actually just laughing, and when JD confesses he is a poo-fainter. As in, he faints every time he takes a #2.
  • 30 Rock re-runs: Because Liz Lemon is my spirit animal.
  • Outlander: Because I’ve adored the book series for years, and because Jaime and Claire are one of the realest made-up love stories of all time. Don’t even get me started. I could talk about Outlander for days.
  • Fixer Upper re-runs: Because Chip & Jo are everything. Also because Husband and I began flipping houses this year, and even though we’ve seen every episode, we still can’t seem to get enough shiplap inspiration.

Music

You should know that I used to be very cool and hip. (Operative word there, being “used” to, as evidenced by the fact that I just said “hip”, which everyone knows isn’t cool at all.) I used to go to shows at the Troubadour and other hidden little back-door venues in L.A. I used to pride myself on knowing about cool bands before they were cool.

That was a long time ago and while I do still care about music, now it’s more about how fun it is to car-dance to, than how edgy, age appropriate, or popular it is.¬†So basically, yah- I’m a 34 year old woman who “bee-bops” in the carpool lane to that Amy Grant/ Tori Kelly remix of “Baby, Baby” and I don’t care who knows it. Apparently my inner 90’s-church-geek has a strong sense of nostalgia that won’t be denied.

Don’t get me wrong, my playlist is awesome, even though I just spent two whole paragraphs telling you how my taste is music is slipping. Just know that it’s random and fun and maybe even a bit surprising. If you’re looking for some kickass summer jams, I’ve got you covered, with everything from Ice Cube, to The Cure, to Death Cab for Cutie.

So if you’re curious, this is the soundtrack to my life right now. Whether I’m writing, driving, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner, I pretty much always have this playlist on shuffle.

 

Podcasts

  • Rose Buddies with Rachel and Griffin McElroy:¬†Okay, these two are quickly becoming my new favorite humans. This podcast is a husband and wife duo, who not only watch all episodes of The Bachelor franchise TOGETHER (how cute is that?), but they break it down for us each week in a way that’s arguably more entertaining than watching the show itself.¬†Laura has been telling me how funny it is for months, and I wish I would have listened sooner because now¬†I am obsessed. I listen to it as a distraction when I do cardio at the gym and I always wind up cackling like a fool the whole time. People around me are beginning to wonder what’s so hilarious about the treadmill.
  • Hope*Writers¬†with Emily Freeman, Myquillin Smith, Brian Dixon, and Gary Morland.¬†It’s no secret that Hope*Writers has been a huge source of inspiration to me, and the podcasts are by far my favorite element. They’re informative and funny, and for some reason hearing their voices has a calming effect on my frazzled writer’s-nerves. I feel like the angsty kid-sister who’s cooler, wiser siblings are going, “Shh. There, there. It’s going to be okay. Here’s what you do…” Somehow just listening to them makes me feel a thousand times smarter and braver.
  • This Good Word with Steve Wiens: I love this podcast for the diversity. Each episode Steve chooses one word to discuss and it could be anything from Fear, to Sweat, to Creativity. He speaks with all different kinds of people about all different kinds of things, but I can always expect an interesting, thought provoking conversation. I was honored to be a guest on this podcast a few weeks ago. The word we discussed was “Courage”, but we also managed to include faith and fear, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, writing and dreaming, and how to correctly order Taco Bell. So yah, there’s not much we didn’t cover. I made a few confessions and over-shared as usual, but we laughed a whole lot. You can listen by clicking here: Episode 43: COURAGE, with Amber Salhus.

Books

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Okay, this is just embarrassing. My summer reading list needs to calm down already. For months I’ve been ordering and stashing books away for the perfect lazy summer day at the beach, but now it’s just gotten completely out of control. I didn’t realize exactly how many books I intended to read until I pulled them all out yesterday.¬†I’m going to need to separate them into little piles around the house before Husband starts asking questions about how much money we’ve been spending on Amazon Prime.

A lot of these are classics and I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t finished a single one of them yet. But that’s all about to change! Because the whole point of the Summer of Fun is to fill up the tank and enjoy life. For me, one of the best ways to recharge and get inspired is by reading a good book.

Or 20.

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The Summer of Fun is already off to a strong start, if for no other reason than the fact that I’ve at least made lists.

I do love lists.

Almost as much as school supplies.

I’d love to hear what you’re listening to/ reading/ watching! Leave it in the comments!

Love you guys.

 

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There isn’t a time in my life that I can’t recall identifying as one half of “The Ambers”. My best friend and I share the same name and have been best friends for 30 years now. Maybe it’s kitschy to share a name but I’ve got to say, it’s also proved to be rather convenient over the years considering we have often come as a package deal.¬†

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Look at us. Just a couple of regular, wholesome Ambers.

We hope we are raising the bar with our name because I’m not sure you’ve ever noticed but there is a definite THING with Ambers. Literally every Amber in the history of film or television has been either ill-mannered, ill-fated, or both. Like a mean-spirited stripper or the dim-witted cheerleader in a horror film who’s always the first one to get killed because she runs up the stairs to her bedroom instead of running out the door front door. It’s tragic, really.

If you’ll humor me, I’d like to share some hard-hitting evidence

Exhibit A:

Amber from Clueless (or “Ambular” if you prefer) who was a total snob, a “valley girl”, and basically the 90’s version of someone who “literally can’t even”.

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Exhibit B:

This one happens to be my personal favorite and is a classic case of an Amber both ill-fated and ill-mannered. Amy Poehler’s recurring role as “Amber” on SNL was overly confident, one-legged, flatulent, and proud of it. She was always going on VHI dating shows and saying things like “Yah, I farted. Jealous?” and “Here’s why I’m the bomb: I’m super fine, I’m round-the-clock-horny, and I got one leg. JEALOUS?”

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Whatever this Amber lacked in appendages she made up for in sass and poor taste.

Next up we’ve got two Ambers who had a rough start but against all odds, are trying to make a better name for themselves…

Exhibits C + D:

Amber from Sofia the First. If you can’t tell from disdainful arch in her eyebrow, this Amber is both bratty and entitled. She’s mean, shallow, and divisive but it’s Disney so they’re trying to give her an arc. You know, have her learn a few life lessons and become a better person.

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And then we’ve got the actual person, Amber Rose, who started out as an exotic dancer/adult film star but seems to have made a better name for herself. This is also a personal favorite because it just so happens that my-best-friend-Amber’s middle name is Rose. I mean, you just can’t make this stuff up.

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Then we’ve got the same story, but in reverse with an Amber who started off well but then lost her way.

Exhibit E: Amanda Bynes as Amber.

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Next up is a whole group of Ambers in film that you’ll miss if you’re not paying close attention. We’ll call this Exhibit F:

The first in this group is an Amber that I cannot actually show you because she was a stripper with a neck brace in the movie That’s My Boy and well…I couldn’t find any decent pictures of her. It was that bad.

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Even in the recent Spy movie starring Melissa McCarthy, which touted some “kick-ass women”,

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there is a scene in which Susan and Nancy are discussing what their spy names should be and Nancy says her name will be Amber Valentine, to which Susan replies, “Why? Is she a porn star?”

You know how labrador retrievers are always named Bo? Well, exotic dancers are always named Amber. It’s the same thing. This carries over from movies to television too. Remember last season on Modern Family when Phil and Claire’s trashy neighbors caused all that trouble? That was classic work of an Amber. (Interesting side-note: Steve Zahn is my husband’s doppelg√§nger, so maybe I was just destined to be an Amber.)

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Finally, I give you the Amber that is the epitome of this unfortunate stigma:

Amber from the movie The Other Woman.

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She is not the wife of the leading man, not even the mistress, she is the third wench in the equation. She’s always a little slow on the uptake and she’s definitely not the brains of the operation. Her job is to be bubbly, take selfies, run on the beach,

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and do things like play paper-rock-scissors to see who has to sleep with the guy.

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Now don’t get me wrong. This Amber is bangin’. I have no problem being associated with the likes of Kate Upton every now and again. She’s hot and that’s cool and everything, but what’s the deal? Seriously. Can someone write a part for an Amber who happens to be a fun loving librarian? Or a small-town veterinarian looking for love? Or a witty engineer who moonlights as a stand up comedian? Or a doctor?¬†

Just sayin.

 

image* This is Day 20 of a 31 Day series on Keeping It Real. You can find all of the posts in this series here.  I hope you follow along and join the conversation! *

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I’m in the middle of reading Mindy Kaling’s new book, Why Not Me, and can I just say that I am so in love with everything about it.

Here’s what I love about Mindy- she’s the perfect mix of confidence and self-deprecation. She laughs at herself. She laughs at the industry and it’s ridiculous standards. But she has gumption. She unapologetically believes in herself, her talents, and her general awesomness without taking it all too seriously. I dig that.

She’s also completely open about being a socially anxious elitist. And who isn’t, really? Everyone wants to be on the inside of some kind of club, and admittedly, Mindy herself is not exempt from such suffering. In both of her books, she essentially invites us to be in her club. It’s like she gave us the secret password and handshake, and for a few hours we get to sneak in through the back door and hang out at the party. We may be the fringe people of the club, but she invited us in and I love that about her.

Like any good friend would, she tells us secrets- like how she really feels about being “the funny one” of the sorority (no one wants to be the court jester), and how sometimes being equally grateful and ambitious in her career is like walking a tightrope (read: it’s a literal booby trap).

She tells us how basically everyone, everywhere in Hollywood wears fake hair. THANK YOU. I knew it! I knew it in my knower! Thank you for blowing the horn on that one Mindy. Me and my seven strands of hair don’t feel so bad about ourselves now. All of us girls with thin, lame hair are pumping our fist in the air, because we are liberated now. It’s not our fault. We are not weird. No one’s hair is actually that amazing on it’s own. Thank you.

In the last year I’ve read a few other books by some other funny ladies- Bossypants by Tina Fey, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham…Not surprisingly they all seem to know each other and be friends, furthering my belief that there is an actual Funny Girl’s Club that exists, and all I know is I WANT IN. Read More…

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Season 5 of Scandal just started last week and I’m literally dying over here, because how did I only discover this show a few weeks ago? What is wrong with me? How am I even functioning as an adult human? You guys. This show is everything.

Husband went out of town for a few days at the beginning of September and being the benevolent wife that I am, I decided not to watch any of our favorite shows without him. For a few years I’d heard all the fuss over Scandal so I finally decided it was the perfect time to check it out. In my naivety I thought, “Maybe I’ll watch one or two episodes before turning in early and catching up on sleep.” If you’ve seen the show you know it’s laughable that I was this casual I was about it.

You guys. I had no idea.

I completely underestimated the power of Netflix and good writing, because it pretty much goes without saying that I plowed through Season 1 in an embarrassing amount of time. ¬†In my defense, the first season was only eight episodes long, so two days is a completely acceptable time frame in which to watch 8 hours of television. Oh, it’s not? Well whatever. I don’t even care.

IT’S SO FREAKING GOOD. Read More…