Thursday, September 27, 2007

Summer 2007 Cute Awards

Lots of cuteness happening this summer. If you missed my live telecast of the Summer 2007 Cute Awards last week on Bloomberg Television, you can see my summary below.

I'll admit it. If you had asked me a few months ago what I thought the Summer 2007 anthem was going to be, I'd have looked at you like you were an idiot and said: "Umbrella, of course. It's the "Crazy In Love" of Summer 2007."

It has it all. A smokin' hot new look for young Rihanna,

a cameo by paternal mogul megastar Jay-z, and a droning, kick-ass, almost-unpleasantly catchy chorus.

Then I walked by writer Jen Celotta's office and heard a beautiful new song. "Jennifer," I said, "What is this wistful little ditty?"

It was "West Coast" by Coconut Records. By week's end, you couldn't walk by a single writer's office without hearing it playing. A sad, pretty song about bi-coastal relationships with Jason Schwartzman as lead (and I believe playing all back up instruments). As someone who has suffered through the misery of living 3 hours behind or ahead a boyfriend, I especially enjoy this catchy, sad, gorgeous little song.
Best lyric: "You said, we both go together if one falls down. I talk out loud like you're still around." So Jason makes my list, without even taking into consideration that he is also Max Fuckin' Fischer. So, yeah. Good work.
1. Jason Schwartzman.

About a year ago, Carolinehope, Jen and I were drinking coffee and discussing "Sherrybaby" at Buzz Coffee. We were super depressed. That is a depressing-ass movie. (Alas, it had been my choice. I don't know why I didn't make us see "The Holiday" or something...I think I was trying to flex artsy). Anyway, we were really down in the dumps when Jonah Hill ambled over. In a few short minutes he had cheered us up with his winning smile, his A+ personality and his pretty eyes. He's so funny and great. Also, he was kinda the best thing in three of the biggest summer comedies this year (Evan Almighty, Superbad and Knocked Up). What a fucking cute motherfucker. With German-engineering type comic timing.

2. Jonah Hill

I almost want to say mean things about Justin Timberlake, his reign as Prime Minister of Cool has been too unsullied. I get that a guy can sing in perfect falsetto, hip-hop dance and play the piano at the same time. But he does it in a fucking three piece suit. I'm worried a little about Justin though. What if he gets assassinated? He's got to be the plummest target to al-Qaeda type terrorists. Certain people, like Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Simon, Oprah, JT...these are national treasures. Anyway, I hope he lives to be on the Summer Cute Awards 2008.

3. Justin Timberlake

Imagine being a baby water buffalo. Most of your day is your nose pressed against the furry leathery bottom of your mother, or aunt buffalo. Then suddenly one day you are wading around and a pack of lions FUCKING CHOMP ON YOUR HEAD. Not used to pain, you squirm around. Then their fucking friends START CHOMPING ON YOU TOO. When you finally get away, scared out of your mind, a CROCODILE GRABS YOU BY THE ASS and starts GOING TO TOWN on your legs and butt. Then your family pulls it together and is able to save your life.

When Greg made us watch this Youtube video at lunch, I was like, "Wow, there is a God." Or at the very least "God did good when making buffalo's hides so goddamned tough." Way to go God, or Mother Nature, or whatever. Way to go.

4. Baby Water Buffalo, Battle at Kruger National park

These are my Summer 2007 Cute Award winners. Congratulations to all.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Arcade Fire at the Hollywood Bowl

Once in a while I do something I know people are going to think is really cool. Like when I started running outside instead of on a treadmill. Or when I translate Latin for people off of monuments or coins or something. Going to The Arcade Fire at the Hollywood Bowl was one of these things.

Let me disclaim for a second. I'm not changing, you guys. I'm still same old mainstream Mindy with really bad, top 40 taste in music. Wait, not EVEN top 40. I'm like top 15. So don't be worried I'm going to sell out and start wearing like, white skinny jeans and high tops or whatever.

But let's also give props where props are deserved. How fucking cool am I for going to this concert? First of all, every single acquaintance, friend, co-worker, foe, or guy I've ever dated or had a crush on was at this concert. Gene, who was also there, aptly said "I have never seen so many white people in one place at one time". It would add that the audience could also have passed as the International Urban Outfitters Salespeople Convention.

The Arcade Fire is fucking amazing. I first heard them about a year ago. I liked their music, but the songs seemed too fairy-like and faraway, and I couldn't understand what the lyrics meant. (I'm not into lyrical lyrics. I dig more straightforward lyrics. Take for example, Beyonce's lyrics to "Irreplaceable"). Also, people were like SO into them, I was like, give me a break, it's just a band, not a fucking religion, you dork.

But then when Silver Lake-Spaceland-Black Coffee-Vintage Tshirt Ben and I were in Joshua Tree, we only had "Funeral" to listen to and it was fucking transporting. Listening to "In the Backseat" as the sun is setting over the desert was, like moving. (That might be the douchebaggiest thing I have ever written in my life).

So, we all thought it would be fun double date to go to the concert at the Bowl. Enter Danny. Danny got four seats to the dopest garden box seats a the Bowl. That is the kind of inexplicable awesome thing Danny has weird underground hook-ups for. Danny's girlfriend Amelia, Danny, Jocelyn and I feasted on Joan's on Third picnic food (prosciutto sandwiches, chinese chicken salad, cupcakes were a highlight). Amelia brilliantly mulled wine beforehand, so we could guzzle warm sweet boozy wonderfulness as we listened to LCD Soundsystem. (I took Jocelyn because Ben is in New York visiting his Goomah (sometimes pronounced "goomar").

LCD Soundsystem was kind of the best opening band ever. Like, too good, in a way. I think I have a crush on James Murphy, the sexy voiced lead singer.

He dressed in what looked like a Polo button down and dockers, and looked the Republicanniest of any person at the show, but his voice is like liquid male sex or something. I love him. I extra love him because he's not trying hard.

One caveat: the Bowl gets c-c-c-cold. Also, there were some really drunk and stoned twenty-somethings who invited ten of their friends into the box next to us and they kicked Jocelyn in the face and then didn't really apologize or anything. But if you bring a sweater and don't mind cowardly ratting out rambunctious kids to the Bowl staff, you'll have a great experience. I did! Next up on outdoor venue adventure to-do list: The Greek? Ahhh! Too nervous! Maybe next year.

Price: $100 (each ticket), and for a picnic for 4, about $100 at

Good for: people who like music and whimsical outdoor date experiences in equal measure.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Emmys, you guys

So, I totally went to the Emmys. This is what I looked like:

It was a silver Badgley Mischka gown with a kind of pewter-colored filigree around the neck. I fucking love it. The Emmys are fun for celeb-watching but in all honesty, compared to SAG or the Golden Globes, the star wattage is kinda non-existent. I mean, this is a world where Kelsey Grammar is the reigning king, you know? At least at the WGA awards, you can be like, "oh my god, there's Terrence Winter! or Wes Anderson!" or some cool writer you've always wanted to see in person.

I know it's kind of lame to be posting glammy photos of me. So to offset how sizzling I look in my Emmy gown, I will also post a picture of me taken several days earlier looking like a total dork.

I was getting a free manicure at an HBO event, and the photographer wanted me to show off the "goods". See? Glamour off-set. (For the record, I look especially dorky because I was nervous - a few feet off camera is writer Matt Weiner, who wrote some of my favorite episodes of "The Sopranos" and is the creator of the fucking awesome new drama "Mad Men", whom I had just met and wasn't sure if he thought if I was lame or cool or what.)

But basically, the Emmys were a boring starvation fest. Boring because, from where we sat, we saw nothing, except the back of Tony Bennett's crooning head. It was okay though, because Ben Silverman and his hot girlfriend were sitting near me looking glamorous and thin and he was like the handsome mayor of the auditorium, shaking hands and wheeling and dealing and stuff.

Highlights of Emmys weekend included running into Kristen Bell several times, who is delightful and funny and should be cast as Cool Tinkerbell in some new movie.

I don't remember how the food at the Governor's Ball tasted, because I ate it so fast. Honestly, the Emmys this year was like "Rescue Dawn". One great thing at the dinner is that Dove chocolates gives you each a commemorative "book" filled with little milk chocolates. Ben and I ate about half of them and now I have one for breakfast each morning.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Skeet Shooting

I went to Montana and shot a gun with a local former Army guy and another guy who had done it before, and I would say I more than held my own.

I don't intend to make a habit of sharing my accomplishments in a public forum. In "Broadcast News," William Hurt asks Albert Brooks, "What do you do when life exceeds your wildest dreams?" The answer: "Keep it to yourself." Under normal circumstances, that would be right. But sometimes you owe it to the world to share a moment that inspires others to push themselves.

One of the guests at this vacation ranch I went to with Mindy was this guy Jeff, who was from Indiana and who kept telling me we had to go shooting together. Initially reluctant, I showed up at our designated meeting place at 8 am and it was misty and I was wearing a slightly MisShapes-y black cardigan Mindy got me and he was like, 'Shooting, Ben?' and my head sort of nodded by itself.

But really? The shooting instructor, Heath, loaded the gun for us, so it was exactly like playing Nintendo with the gun. Pretty soon, I was making clay pigeons not just split in two but fucking explode.

"He powdered that thing," said Jeff to Heath, after one fucking exploded.

Then I stripped off the cardigan because it got hot, revealing an Army t-shirt, and Heath was like, good man, because he thought I had been in the army, and I had to say I hadn't been. Then I asked him if he was in Vietnam because I honestly thought maybe that was the appropriate conversation shifter and he said yes and there was an awkward silence.

All in all, highly recommended. They called me "Duck Hunt" because of the Nintendo thing, which I mentioned.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The J.Crew button-up

This winter and spring I wore all sorts of amazing frocks. I was so into "the New Volume". Airy patterned dresses with a cool shapeless shape that girls loved and guys were like "Why the fuck are you wearing that pillowcase?".

Particular faves were this Diane Von Furstenburg Arora dress, which I wore on Valentine's Day and looks basically like (a very expensive) hospital nightgown.

Let me just say, in defense of fashion frocks, it really makes you feel like you're an older sexier version of Wendy Darling, when Peter Pan came through her window and stole her away in her night gown.

Although, to be fair, even Wendy's night gown is a lot less shapeless than my DVF frock. Oh well.

Anyway, my figure was so lost in billowing material that my boss Greg actually asked me: "What's the deal with these frocks? What happened to East Village Mindy?", which is, for the record, totally innapropriate. But since my per day innapropriate comment number far exceeds nearly the entire staff, I said nothing. I have never lived in the East Village, and neither has Greg, but I suppose what he meant was that at one time I used to dress in versions of this:

Kind of cool, right? But much more so for a 24 year old staff writer. I don't wear that kind of thing anymore. I don't know. I feel a little too old for it.

Lately though, I've ditched frocks and made a triumphant return to tight-dark-jeans-and-top look. I love it. I think others are appreciating knowing where the circumference of my figure roughly lies. And the key, you ask? The J.Crew button-up shirt.

Check it:

Couple reasons why these rule:

1. J.Crew sizing is amazing, making you feel skinny as hell. I can wear an x-small, yo. Fucking awesome.
2. They are fitted and sexy shirts. Looks great with that $58 push-up bra you got from Victoria's Secret and never wear because it's not that comfortable.
3. Machine washable. And I never even iron mine. If you lay it straight, it will unwrinkle itself magically.
4. Guys love this look. I don't know EXACTLY the reason, but I think it has something to do with the fact that you don't look like you're trying that hard but you're also wearing something super fitted and tomboy-ish. Maybe guys picture what you would look like wearing THEIR button-downs, but with no pants or underwear? Hmm.
5. Affordable. Guys, these shirts are like $40-$88, and like everything else from J.Crew, goes on crazy sales about six weeks after they drop. Fancy labels churn these button-downs out, but they a) cost way, way more and b) are usually dry clean only. While J.Crew is introducing rad bright yellows and pinks and richly saturated hues, just get these and save that cash for some fly, tight, awesome dark rinse jeans.