To Whom It May Concern: Or A Dating Application for Your Consideration

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me--application

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Elizabeth and I am very interested in the position of being your girlfriend. Just to let you know a little about myself, I am a Taurus, a middle child, and I do a mean Julie Andrews impression (Literally. She is always really mean in my impressions). I think I would make a great girlfriend and hope you will consider my application.

Throughout the years, I’ve been privileged to have some amazing dating experiences. Like the time the guy who’d just asked me on a date created a facebook event called “There’s A Party In My Pants and You’re Invited” and invited me to it. Or the guy who followed me home from the bus stop at midnight after I begrudgingly admitted I didn’t have a boyfriend and tried to follow me home again when I ran into him later at the grocery store. Or the time I went on a date with a guy the week before Christmas break and we made plans to do something when we got back but then he got engaged during the two-week interval of the holidays. So many memories. Best time of my life!

However, just on the off chance that there might be something to this whole “finding the one” thing, I’ve decided to take dating to the next step. As requested, I’ve uploaded my resume and three letters of recommendation.* Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth

(*I came up with this idea entirely on my own. Or, some friends were discussing it over dinner and I stole it and put it on my blog. One or the other.)

ELIZABETH

123 Love Dr. Love City USA

Cell Number: Buy Me Dinner First, You Beast!

Email: sexyfootballninja@hotmail.com

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OBJECTIVE: I am a moderately clean, somewhat funny, marginally attractive female seeking a boyfriend to kill spiders and move furniture. Excellent dish washer and Chinese food orderer. Will shower up to three times a week (negotiable).

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SPECIAL SKILLS:

  • Quoting the Simpsons
  • Figuring out who the murderer is before the end of the movie and yelling it out in a way that doesn’t ruin the experience but actually makes it better
  • Making peanut butter Oreos
  • Organizing your book/DVD shelf
  • Laughing at your jokes (if they’re funny)
  • Hogging the blankets, but in an adorable way
  • Pretending to care about stuff you like (if it’s interesting)
  • Tap dancing
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EXPERIENCE:

Position: Stalker                                                                                                                                  (2000-2014)

Organization: Freelance

Supervisor: Hugh Jackman

Duties: Sending emails, making phone calls, pinning photographs and articles to my special Hugh-Tastic Board, searching his interviews for secret codes that prove he loves me, staking out his house, digging through trash.

Position: Snuggler                                                                                                                                (1994-present)

Organization: My Bed

Supervisor: Mr. Bear

Duties: Snuggling, cuddling, whispering secrets, hosting tea parties. Arranging stuffed animals in a comfortable position in case Toy Story is real and they come to life whenever I’m not in the room. (It could happen!!)

Position: Hot Girl                                                                                                                                 (1985-present)

Organization: Life

Supervisor: Your Eyes

Duties: Being hot, brushing my hair, glowing like a sunrise, giggling, taking selfies where I’m smiling with my mouth half-open, suppressing my personality.

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SPECIAL DISTINCTIONS:

 

  • A stranger once sniffed the back of my head at a bus stop. So either my hair smells really good or the back of my hair is pretty dang hot. You tell me.
  • The following pickup lines have been used on me:

                  “You’re so hot you make me want to turn to the dark side of the force.”

                    “I wish I could tell you how much I love how much you weigh.”

                    “Hey, white girl!”

  • Not one but two people have mistaken me for an Olympic athlete.
  • My parents think I’m really pretty.

References Included Below

 

 

 

 

 

  

stalker 

 

Reference 1:

February 2, 2014

To Ms. Gilliland,

This email is informing you that your recent request for a letter of reference from Hugh Jackman is in violation of your restraining order. Your next court hearing has been scheduled for February 14, 2014.** Any further contact will be used in evidence against you at that time.

Sincerely,

Joe Habernacky

Attorney at Law

(**Aww, Valentine’s Day!!)

parents

Reference 2:

To Whom It May Concern,

We are Elizabeth’s parents and we think she would make a very good girlfriend. She is a pretty good daughter, aside from her tendency to blame her farts on other people even though it was clearly her.

As mentioned in her resume, we both think Elizabeth is very pretty. Well, she added the ‘very.’ I think our exact words were “You’re kind of pretty in that one picture we took that time, where your face is half-blocked by your sister.” That’s probably the best picture she’s ever taken.

Having been Elizabeth’s parents ever since she was born, we can safely say that she cries a lot less than she used to but has become much more verbally abusive. Good luck with that. We think she’s pretty great.

Sincerely,

Mom and Dad

george glass

Reference 3:

Dear Future Boyfriend,

I’m George, a former classmate who has been in love with Elizabeth since high school. Since those days, I have gone on to travel the world, become a pilot, learn six and a half languages, have a guest role in Game of Thrones, and hang out with Bono and Tina Fey. I am also a real person. Just in case there was any question of that.

I first noticed Elizabeth because she is the coolest and the prettiest and the smartest and how could you not notice her? I mean, seriously. Despite what her siblings say, she is also really nice and not at all the evilest member of her family. After seeing her breakout role as the girl holding the cat puppet in “Witch of Blackbird Pond,” my feelings soon developed into something as real as I am. Because I am not fake, at all.

I expressed my undying love to Elizabeth, but unfortunately our love was not to be. In the end, she was just too much woman for me. I have continued to hold a torch for her all these years, even during the happy times, like playing water polo with William and Harry. They were both interested in her, too, but were intimidated by her good looks, even though she’s way too modest and demure to ever believe such a thing could be true.

In short, if you get to be her boo, you’re the luckiest man in the world. Know that if you ever harm her, I will come and use my very real black belt on you. For real.

Sincerely,

George Glass

 

Winter is Coming: Or How To Survive the Icy Patches In Life

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Y’all, it’s been a rough year.

I won’t go into details because it’s personal, tedious, and frankly because there’s little more annoying than a person who has shelter and food and supportive family and friends going on and on about how terrible life is. In the grand scheme of things, I’m fine, life is great. But all the same, it’s been one of the bumpier times.

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To cap it all off, this morning I woke up and there was snow on the ground. Just a little, and it melted pretty fast, and the sun even came out a bit in the afternoon, but all the telltale signs are here. Cold weather is on its way. Winter is coming.

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Those of you who grew up with four seasons might not understand my dismay at this, but I am an Arizona girl through and through. I’ve lived in a handful of cold, snowy places, sure, but to my 110+-degree-fried brain, winter means that when you drive around on Christmas Eve with the windows down, you have to bring along a blanket because it’s a bit brisk. You buy boots because they’re cute, but you wear them with shorts or a skirt because otherwise it gets too warm. You build a fire in the fireplace because it looks cozy but have to crank up the AC so you don’t melt. That’s winter.

What a harsh reality it was to realize that not only is snow real, not only is it burn-your-skin-off-cold, but that people actually function in it. They shovel their walkways. They drive to work. They speed around 5-mile-an-hour-granny-driving Arizonans like me and sometimes spin out of control and crash into the median, but then they just keep driving. It may be freezing outside, they may want to spend all their time curled up under an electric blanket, but life goes on. It just does.

This has been running through my mind a bit as I’ve been sludging through the year from hell, and being the liberal arts graduate that I am, I can’t help but draw some parallels here. Pretty much everyone in life is guaranteed to hit some crappy patches along the way. Maybe it’s a light shower. Maybe it’s a blizzard. Maybe it’s locusts and brimstone and the plague wrapped up in an extra-hot burrito of suck. The point is, life can’t always be sunshine and popsicles and puppies. It’s just one of the facts of nature: it can’t be warm sunny spring all year long. Winter is always going to come eventually, no matter what.

Moving to Salt Lake City, I knew that I was going to have to deal with snow again. For a few months now, I’ve been trying to gather together a list of all the great things about ice and cold and snow so that I’d go into it with a really open mind and meet winter head on. Not only was I going to beat winter at its own game, but I was going to become winter’s best friend. I was going to kill winter with kindness and enthusiasm. Muwahaha. Take that, winter. You can’t get the best of this girl.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT-KEL7Uwlk

Some of the other things in life that have come up recently I haven’t been quite as prepared for. Some have pushed me off my feet. Some have knocked the wind out of me. Some have pantsed me in front of the entire school when my crush was sitting in the second row and totally saw the whole thing AND I was wearing those really embarrassing Little Mermaid underpants because I forgot to do laundry.

Yep. It’s been that kind of year.

But…and go with me here, I’m a left-brain…the principles are the same. There is always a bright side. The part of me that just wants to hibernate until all my problems go away kind of wants to punch myself for writing something so downright Pollyana, but it’s true. I can either hide inside all day drowning my sorrows in apple cider (tempting), or I can open my eyes and notice how beautiful freshly fallen snow looks (from inside a well-heated house, of course. Let’s not get crazy).

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So without further ado, here are some of the ways that I intend to enjoy life, no matter how cold it gets outside (literally and figuratively).

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1. Hot chocolate.  Is there anything better in life than hot chocolate? I’m talking the quality stuff here, not the watered-down crap that’s more sugar than cocoa. There’s nothing in life cozier than a steaming cuppa… except for maybe—

2. Warm blankets. I feel sorry for whoever I marry because I’m pretty sure my Beatles throw blanket will always be my first love. Burrowing up in a warm cocoon of a bed when there’s frost creeping up the windows outside = heaven.

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3. Books. I know you can read any time of the year, but there’s something about a crackling fire combined with previously mentioned hot chocolate and blanket that just beg for you to get lost on a magical journey.

4. Boots and jackets and scarves, oh my! Winter clothes are the best. Not only can you pretty much get away with walking around in material that feels like flannel pajamas and Grandma’s hand-patched quilts, but they are sooo much more flattering for your figure after all of the inevitable winter weight gain. All because of…

winteriscoming13

5. Holidays. Come on, we all know it. Winter has the best holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, whether you love Valentine’s Day or prefer to celebrate Single’s Awareness, it’s all about food and family and fun. Plus, the parades and the cheesy holiday specials and the FOOD! It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Take that, Arbor Day!

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6. Pants. Look, I love a cute pair of shorts or a billowy summer skirt as much as the next gal, but… jeans. Jeans!! That means no one’s going to be seeing my legs for at least the next five months. Hallelujah! I’m packing away my disposable razors until Easter.

winteriscoming15

7. Scenery. Okay, so maybe driving in the snow through a twisting, windy canyon is the most terrifying thing I can possibly imagine… but even on the occasion when I’ve hit a patch of black ice and have found myself skidding toward the edge of a cliff, I couldn’t help but think to myself—My gosh, what a beautiful view!

winteriscoming16

8. Scenery, Part 2. Jon Snow is from Winterfell. So is Robb Stark. Their house motto is Winter Is Coming. Now, my deductive skills might be a little rusty, but… if winter is here and Jon Snow and Robb Stark are the guardians of winter then…

…better pull out those razors after all, eh?

winteriscoming18

Bring it, winter. I’m ready for ya.

Leave Kiera Alone!!!: Or How to Save Kiera Knightley From Herself

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Hey… remember how I have a blog? It’s been like six months since the last time I wrote in this thing. Crazy how time flies—especially when you’re being lazy!

Doubtless I should probably write something that details my experiences in starting a new job or moving to a new place…or I could just write about Kiera Knightley.

Yeah. I’m gonna write about Kiera Knightley.

kiera1

She’s an interesting one, this girl. Mention her name and you’ll get some very strong reactions. People either love her—or, let’s be honest, mostly hate her.

I think the progression of this can pretty much be traced thus: When Bend It Like Beckham came out, the five people who saw it thought she was really great. But then almost overnight with a little indie film named Pirates of the Caribbean, she suddenly became a household name.

kiera2

Then Pride and Prejudice happened. And those who might have still been on the fence were pushed into either ardently adoring—or passionately loathing—the Kier-ster. Some without ever having actually watched the film. Opinions seemed to be divided thus:

**“Theirs know way she can capture the complexety of Elizabeth Bennet! Shes so ugly!!! I h8 her!”

(youtube user SparklyCarniverousButterflies6)

**“Hottest. Chick. Ever. …. What’s this movie about, anyway? Is someone proud or something?”

(youtube user KieraKnightely=HotHotHot)

**“Hey, this might sound crazy, but I think that girl’s a dragon!”

(youtube user MongolCheryl)

lynch-mob-21

From that point on, public opinion seems to have gone even further downhill concerning Miss Knightley. She’s too thin. She only does period drama films. She makes the same facial expression over and over again. She’s boring. She hunts puppies for sport. She must be stopped!

Kiera, I feel you. I, too, have been unjustly persecuted by those who were jealous of me (see previous blog post). It is the curse that we fabulously attractive and talented must bear. I’d be willing to bet that Hugh Jackman gets t.p.’d every night, and that Chris Hemsworth gets called a poo-poo head by his friends behind his back. That’s our lot, I’m afraid.

But because on top of being unjustly persecuted for my fabulousness, I also have managed to be wildly popular amongst my peers (up to six hits on my last blog post, folks!), let me bestow some wisdom  upon the fair Miss Knightley on how she can make herself more appealing to the masses. (You’re welcome in advance, Kiera.)

skinny bitches

Criticism # 1: She’s too thin.

I could see how this might be a genuine complaint since Hollywood is known for its ample, plus-sized women and Kiera Knightley frankly sticks out like a sore thumb. She also really doesn’t help herself by explaining that she just has a really high metabolism and that her body naturally looks that way. Kiera, Kiera, Kiera. If there’s anything the world hates more than a thin woman, it’s a thin woman who doesn’t have to work for it.

The answer is simple: Hire a paparazzi photographer to capture you at “candid” moments that showcase your battle with food: e.g. eating a piece of celery as a single tear rolls down your face; rubbing your stomach and dramatically exclaiming, ‘Me so hung-ee!’ (something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A__pdx4ZjCo) ; longingly touching a bakery shop window as yet another lone tear rolls down your cheek. Then the conversation stops being ‘Kiera is so thin, who does she think she is???’ and starts to evolve into ‘who is keeping Kiera so hungry?’

villain

The next step is to create a melodramatic villainous figure who hovers about the periphery of your red carpet premiers and public appearances, rubbing his hands together and narrowing his eyebrows menacingly. It won’t take long for people to put two and two together, and soon public outrage will demand that he be put away for his crimes. Next will come your heart-to-heart with Oprah about how hard it was to force this dastardly fellow out of your life and that you hope he gets the help he needs. Then a few years later, he can have a heart-to-heart with Oprah about what he’s learned about respecting women. Lone tears will abound. Everyone will win!

Criticism #2: She only does period drama films.

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Well…that isn’t really true. Just a brief IMDB search shows that she’s done plenty of current-day films and even some theater, but no one goes to see that stuff. We only rush out to the cinema when she’s in a corset. In a way, it’s our fault, really—she’s a monster of our own creation.

The obvious answer to this is to do something really modern and mainstream. I’m just brainstorming here, but think about this… Kiera and Melissa McCarthy, twins who were separated at birth by a tsunami. One of them is a pop star, the other is a reformed vampire wanted for murder. It’s a romantic comedy, obviously. Channing Tatum is the private detective hired to bring them together, but things get complicated when he starts to fall in love—with both of them. (Love triangles! Those are really hot right now!) Halfway through the film you realize it’s actually a dream. Vin Diesel wakes up, covered in sweat; it’s all been a prequel for Fast and the Furious 7—until he’s killed by Batman. Boom. 5 gagillion dollars. You’re welcome.

channing

Criticism # 3: She makes the same facial expression over and over again

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I think we’re all forgetting that Kiera was the one to invent the duck face. Love it or hate it, she spawned an entire selfie movement the likes of which the world has never seen. So let’s at least give her some credit for that.

But I guess it might be time to move on and try a few new things, so I’m going to give you a little homework, Kier-Kier. Here are some facial moves you want to might want to try out for your next period drama book-to-film adaptation (I’m thinking Wuthering Heights? Something Dickens-y?)

spaced

Or this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ6MVMiQG5U

Or this:

will scream

Heathcliff’ll never know what hit ‘im!

Critcism # 4: She’s boring.

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Kiera, Kiera, Kiera. You’re so alarmingly well-adjusted. Reports from your coworkers always seem to be that you’re “lovely to work with” and “a wonderful human being.” You show up on time and work really hard and are nice to the cast and crew alike.  You’ve never been arrested for a DUI or been caught making a racist remark. All your hair is still fully intact on your head and you’ve never damaged public property or punched a cameraman in the face. In fact, you never really seem to show up in the gossip magazines at all. What do you do with your time—work then go home and lead a normal life? Ugh. The worst! Hate her! Deserves to be lynched!

Look, Kiera, I’m gonna level with you. You’re gonna have to get a little crazy here. Unfortunately other people have already gone the route of baseball bats, publicly lambasting their exes, and going on misogynist rants, so those are taken. My advice? Do something really out of the box…like, puppets.

puppet

Think about it. You show up at your next red carpet premier…and there’s a puppet on your hand. You don’t draw attention to it. You don’t laugh or joke about it. This is just how things are. Kiera Knightley now comes with puppet. He’s there during your interviews, in the middle of your love scenes, in every paparazzi photo. He has different outfits depending on the occasion. Sometimes he likes to wear paislee, other days he’s more of a sweatpants kind of guy. His name is Susan, and he wants you to respect his life choices (Name that reference!!).

Peoples’ minds will be blown. Are you messing with them? Making some kind of political statement? Full-out crazy? They’ll have no idea…but your twitter followers will double overnight, guaranteed.

Critcism # 5: She hunts puppies for sport.

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I’m gonna stick by Kiera with this one. Have you seen the way they run?? Hilarious! (Kidding! And for legal reasons, I must make clear that Kiera Knightley never has, and never will, hunt any kind of dog. Only dragons.)

Criticism # 6: She must be stopped.

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Despite all of this really good advice, at the end of the day, there are always just going to be people who don’t like you. As my grandmother always says, haters gonna hate. So I guess my best advice to Kiera would be…just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling. Remember who you are. I am Spartacus.

And if I haven’t managed to convince you yet, here are just a few tidbits about Kiera that might make you warm to her a little more:

  • Kiera shares the same last name as one of the most beloved fictional characters of all time—Mr. Knightley’s brother, John Knightley! That guy is so great.
  • Kiera as Lizzie Bennet reacting to seeing Pemberley for the first time is one of the best things ever. Couldn’t find the clip on youtube, but here is a tiny, tiny picture.

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  • Did you think it was weird that Elizabeth Swann and Captain Jack randomly started making out in the second Pirates movie when they seemed to have no romantic inclination toward each other in the first? Rumor has it that Kiera had it written into her contract that she got to mack on Johnny Depp. Written. Into. Her. Contract. She is my hero.

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Picky Readers: Or the Art of Tricking People Into Liking Books

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I have an awkward confession to make: I am something of a book pimp. Or, to put it in a way that won’t make my father furrow his brow and shake his head,  I am a book matchmaker, adept in the art of finding just the right book for just the right person.

…This title being entirely self-appointed, of course, in that people rarely actually ask me to do this for them, and on the random occasions they do are inevitably frightened off by my over-zealousness. Friends, beware. If you make an offhanded comment that you’d like to read more, I will start carrying around five or six books in my purse for the next time we meet and give you short essays on why these particular pieces of writing will change your life. You have been warned.

you have been warned

But to be fair, no one is safe from my meddling, whether you express a desire for books or not. Even telling me you aren’t a reader won’t be an adequate deterrent to keep me from pushing you my particular drug of choice. You are merely throwing the gauntlet, my friend, issuing me a challenge. I will find you the perfect book, or I will die trying. And by ‘die trying’, I mean max out my credit card at Barnes & Noble. But oh, what a way to go.

In the course of becoming a (self-proclaimed) connoisseur of this particular art form, I’ve come across a few tricks of the trade that I will now impart to those amateurs beginning your book-peddling journey. I must warn you, though, that this is a thankless job, one that might result in doors slamming shut in your face, calls being avoided, party invitations getting “lost in the mail.” But, wait, who are we kidding? That was going to happen anyway. And at least the social pariah-ness allows us to spend more time with our “real” friends—a.k.a., book characters, the greatest friends of all (Lizzie Bennet’s never forgotten my birthday, y’all. Just sayin’).

lizzie bennet

 

But, I digress. Without further ado, here are some tips on how to get people high on reading:

 

 

gateway books

Start with Gateway Books. Much like gateway drugs (of which I am something of an expert, having attended Agua Fria High School), gateway books are tools which can be used to start your reluctant reader off with something that seems light and harmless but slowly builds up an unshakable dependency over time. My suggestion would be a book that’s been adapted into a movie your would-be reader has seen and liked—something like The Hunger Games or The Help. That way, your reader won’t have to worry about getting lost on the plot details or characters, already know they like the story, and will therefore be more inclined to crack open those covers. You can even be extra sneaky and have similar books lined up as follow-up gifts. “So you liked The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants at Christmas, eh? Well, here’s I Capture the Castle for your birthday…” etc. etc. Suckers! They’ll never see it coming.

 

 

think thin

Think Thin. Yes, we all know that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a delightful, witty, wonderful book (wait, was that a not-so-subtle promo? Consider yourself BookPIMP’D!) but if you plop down all 800+ pages in front of someone who still (foolishly!) thinks reading is a chore, you’re gonna scare that poor soul away from that sundae before they can even pick up the spoon. Start out with something a little less intimidating, which generally means smaller page count, bigger font. Which leads to…

 

go young adult

Go Young (Adult!). Yes, I am fully aware that young adult novels can be great literature, that they can be deep and mind-twisty, that they can uplift the soul and tear it apart and paste it back together again. But, generally speaking, themes from young adult novels tend to be simpler and therefore much more universal, which translates to much more readable for any age group. And the best way to get people hooked on Phonics? Is to find them a book they just can’t put down.

 

Offer them sexy bookmarks as incentives.

sexy bookmarks

Need I say more on the subject?

 

judge a book by its cover

Judge a Book By Its Cover. Yes, we compulsive readers know that sometimes the most atrocious cover can house the most wonderful book. However, there are times when a book’s cover REALLY doesn’t do it any favors. For example, I think one of the greatest marketing strategies for the song of Ice and Fire series was to change from their old cartoony-fantasy covers to sleek, simple covers (that, and to turn it into a really popular TV show). ‘Cause even as someone who likes fantasy, I always feel like a huge dork lugging around covers featuring a woman with plunging cleavage or a dude with antlers growing out of his head. Imagine how much worse that must be for someone who’s already looking for excuses not to read! So if you have the option between a glossy mysterious awesome cover or one that features potentially off-putting cover art, be superficial. For the love of books, people! It’s a noble cause!

 

gender matters

Gender Matters. I’ll probably get some flack on this one, but I maintain that gender plays an important part of what people like to read. And yes, we all know there are exceptions to the rules (that girl who loves Tom Clancy novels or that guy who couldn’t put down Twilight), but chances are if you hand a reluctant male reader a copy of Little Women and expect him to become a lover of books and all things Louisa May Alcott, you’re going to be disappointed.

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I could (and might) write an entirely separate post about tricking people into liking “boy”/”girl” books, but remember, this is about baby steps. We’re weaning people off mashed peas (youtube videos about getting hit in the groin) and trying to get them to digest solids (the great American novel). GENERALLY SPEAKING, guys will be more interested reading about a male protagonist and gals about a female protagonist, at least to start out with. Again, baby steps. But don’t worry, we’ll get him to fall in love with those March sisters someday.

 

think outside the box

Think Outside the Box. Starting to get the hang of it? Good. Now, disregard everything I’ve said up until this point. ‘Cause sometimes (usually) people will surprise you with what they end up loving. For years, I tried to tempt my brothers with things like Neil Gaiman, Marcus Zusak, William Goldman, etc., only to learn that one actually prefers angsty YA and the other humorous memoirs. ?! Who knew. Not this girl. And I suppose it doesn’t really matter, in the end, that I didn’t personally help them discover their book “types”. I choose to believe that everything I did was prep work into helping them enjoy reading. Because everything is about me, obviously.

 

And if all else fails… Everybody likes Harry Potter. And if they don’t, you should probably stop being friends with them since they most likely don’t have a soul.

harry frickin' potter

 

To sum up, when in doubt, just keep in mind my personal life mantra: Whenever someone says they don’t like to read, what they’re really saying is, “I haven’t found the right book . . . yet.”

book pimp

The Perks of No Longer Apologizing: Or Why I’m Sorry For Being Sorry

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I’m an apologizer. I’m not sure what I’ve done in my life to make me feel like I should be in a constant state of seeking forgiveness, but I do. Even in situations that don’t warrant it—heck, ESPECIALLY in situations that don’t warrant it. I’ll apologize for the weather, or for my hard-to-pronounce last name, or if I run into an inanimate object. I even cried when I gave away my stuffed animals–because I was afraid I might hurt their feelings. I should probably also note that was during my senior year of high school, so probably much too old for that kind of behavior. Yep. I’m that girl.

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. . . Sorry.

Usually I would chalk this up to being more of a character quirk than a character flaw, but the problem comes when that apologetic nature starts to bleed into other aspects of my life. Sure, if I pour pig blood on your prom dress, I should probably at least send you a quick text to say ‘my bad, *frown-y emoticon*’; but why do I feel this perpetual need to apologize for the things that I like? Or hate? Or the successes that I have in my life? Or the amount of time that I spend talking about Mr. Darcy as if he’s a real person?

Recent life experience has opened my eyes to the fact that the only time I should really be sorry for anything is if I’m hurting somebody or if I’m doing something wrong. And being myself? Doesn’t actually fall into either one of those categories. Turns out, there’s something really liberating about not only being okay with who I am, but being okay with letting other people know who I am, too.

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So in the spirit of learning not to apologize for myself as a human being, here are a list of things that from this day forward, I will refuse to be sorry for:

I’m not sorry for hating football. It’s SOO boring. Watching it makes me want to bash my face through a wall. Hearing people talk about it makes me want to bash their face through a wall. And it doesn’t benefit you in any way if I watch it, so stop trying to convince me that I should. I’d rather do just about ANYTHING else, thank you very much.

I’m not sorry for refusing to eat mayonnaise. It’s pretty much just a glob of pure fat. And it’s gross. And I hate it. So if at a restaurant I specifically ask you not to put it on my sandwich and you do it anyway, I will no longer end up apologizing to you and trying to scrape it off with a fork. You’re gonna have to make me another sandwich.

I’m not sorry for being a nerd. A lot of you probably don’t know that I went to Comic Con last year, because I kept it a secret.  For most of you who DID know about it, I probably told you I went for the networking opportunities and whatnot. Which is kind of true, but mostly I really just wanted to be in the same room as Nathan Fillion, and shove people out of my way so I could sit in the third row for Joss Whedon’s panel, and wear my homemade ‘the Lannisters Ate My Baby’ t-shirt (which George R.R. Martin totally told me that he liked, thus transforming me into an incoherent, jabbering fool. Seriously, it wasn’t pretty).

Also, as long as we’re confessing things? I went to the Doctor Who Museum in Cardiff. As in, Wales. By myself. And was literally the only customer there, which meant I had to track down the teenager working at the cash register to take a picture of me with the TARDIS. And it was so totally worth it.

TARDIS

For some reason we’ve been made to feel that it’s embarrassing to be passionate about things—except, it isn’t. I’d be more embarrassed to be someone whose favorite show was some stupid procedural cop drama or low-brow laugh-track sitcom. Who didn’t tear up when Desmond’s phone call made it through to Penny on Christmas Day. Who thought The Avengers was “okay”. Those are the real weirdos of the world.

I’m not sorry for being single. Being in a relationship is in no way proof of being a superior human being. After all, Hitler had a girlfriend.

I’m not sorry for loving stuff just because it’s cliché or popular. I love chocolate. And Jane Austen. And Disneyland. And penguins. And for the record, claiming that the Beatles weren’t very good doesn’t make you deep or profound, it makes you pretentious. Or possibly tone deaf. The Beatles rule, man. YOU’RE overly simplistic (this may or may not be a sore point with me. Hard to say).

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And as long as we’re sort of in that ballpark…

I’m not sorry for liking Twilight. I mean, it’s not the world’s greatest masterpiece, but it’s wildly entertaining, and you all know it. I may or may not have spent one late night in New York City, pounding on the windows of Barnes & Noble when they arbitrarily decided to cancel their midnight release of Breaking Dawn and demanding, along with a posse of 13-year-old girls, that they let us in or suffer Edward’s wrath.

Whatever. I got my book.

I’m not sorry for being bad at sports. I was not born with what some people call ‘hand-eye coordination’ or ‘grace’ or ‘the ability to walk in a straight line,’ but I have other skill sets. And just because you athletic folk happen to have immediately recognizable talents doesn’t mean that yours are better than mine, or that it’s any less jerk-y for you to throw a temper tantrum every time I can’t catch a ball than if I plugged my ears and moaned every time you sang a note off-key, or if I pointed at you and laughed when you used a semi-colon incorrectly. So just tone down the theatrics, okay? It’s a ball, not your child’s kidney.

I’m not sorry for having dreams. You know who has dreams? Awesome people, like Nebuchadnezzar and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the girl from Mamma Mia. Yet for some reason I’ve always been too afraid to admit what I want out of life, when really? Most people are super supportive and lovely, and there’s nothing they want more than to encourage you in your journey.

So with that being said, I’m no longer ashamed to admit that my dream of all dreams is. . . to marry Joseph Morgan!

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Kidding! (Kind of… ) My actual dream is to write really awesome books and movies and tv shows and plays. And to have my own personal library someday. And get a PhD. And have Joss Whedon quoted as saying, “Elizabeth Gilliland is one of the greatest living talents, possibly of all time.” You know. Stuff like that.

As for those of you who aren’t all that lovely and supportive and like to ask people about their dreams so that you can make condescending faces and remark on how nice it is to have a “hobby”—and you know who you are—I can’t help but feel at times that you’re using my life much like I use Honey Boo Boo’s: to watch on in judgment so that you can feel better about yourself. But I’m done feeling bad that I don’t meet your approval. So all I gotta say to you is this:

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Time to go live an unapologetically wonderful life.

Dear Anne Hathaway (Or A Long Overdue Apology)

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Dear Annie,

 

I’ll be the first to admit it. When I found out that you were starring in two of the most highly anticipated films of the year (aside from The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, that is), some pretty harsh words were thrown around. Things like “poo-poo head” and “silly billy.” I may or may not have even implied that you were ruining my life— because, yes, I am exactly the sort of person whose life would be ruined by a subpar Catwoman performance (just to give a little background, I have two younger brothers and watched a lot of “boy” shows growing up, so pretty much the only thing more potentially disappointing for me would be if you’d been cast as the Pink Ranger). Things got a little dramatic in the Gilliland household this year, and a lot of that was at your expense.

 

 

In my defense, may I present some evidence of why I was so wary. Exhibit A) The 2011 Oscars. Not your best moment, Annie. Not your best moment. Exhibit B) One Day, which was such a lovely, charming book, and such a stinker of a movie (though to be fair, that wasn’t entirely your fault. You tried your best, even I could see that, but they should’ve cast a Northern girl whose performance didn’t revolve around trying to get the accent right). Exhibit C) Bride Wars. Do I really need to go into further detail on this? Exhibit D) See above Poo-Poo head comment. I think I rest my case.

 

 

But when I’m wrong, I can admit I’m wrong. White really shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day (as some very unflattering vacation photos would testify). Harry and Hermione didn’t actually end up together, despite the many, MANY theoretical essays I wrote about J.K. Rowling’s romantic endgame (yep, still single, folks). And the only thing better than your femme fatale performance as Selina Kyle? Was the way you flat-out rocked Fantine.

 

 

So on behalf of all the fans who doubted and all the haters who hated, I would like to issue my formal and heartfelt apology. I’m sorry. I was wrong. You dreamed a dream, and it paid off big-time. Good luck at the 2012 Academy Awards—I’ll be rooting for you.  And in closing, to quote what I used to say to my college roommate before we went to bed every night, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”

 

Yours Truly,

Elizabeth

XOXO

 

P.S. Now that we’re besties, can you introduce me to Hugh? For some reason he still won’t return my phone calls…

 

 

Say what? Who’s that hiding in my closet…?

 

 

 

Some Unsolicited Dating Advice From a Concerned Citizen: Or The One Question You Should Never, Ever, Ever Ask a Woman. Like, EVER.

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Dear Males of the World,

 

You probably think you know where I’m going with this.  RomComs and Sitcoms and just plain common sense offer plenty of classic inquiries that you should just never ask a woman. I.e. How old she is, how much she weighs, and if she’s pregnant (coincidentally, I was once asked two out of three of these questions by a co-worker attempting to take me on a date. True—and unfortunate—story). And yes, asking the above questions will more likely than not end in tears and recriminations and a few missing teeth—if you’re very lucky. But I’m going to assert that there’s actually another question that is a real contender for this list:

 

Where’s your sister? (or best friend or co-worker or roommate, as the case may be)

 

On the surface, this may seem like an innocent enough question. You are merely expressing an interest in the well-being of my beloved sister/bff/roomie/co-worker; what’s the harm in that? The simple answer is this: you may think you’re being subtle, but you’re a man, so you’re not; and you may think that I don’t know what you’re getting at, but I’m a woman, and I do.

 

This is you when it comes to subtle.

 

I suppose there are a few exceptions to this rule, and they are as follows:

  • If you are my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker’s boyfriend. Because to me, you already have the sex appeal of a fire hydrant, and I am already well aware that it goes both ways.
  • The event we’re at is a surprise party for said sister/bff/roomie/co-worker, and she is three hours late.
  • You have been injected with a fatal poison, and only my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker has the antidote (but again, ask me how my day is first. It’s common courtesy, people).
  • I am happily married with a super-hot husband and lots of babies, and my one true joy in life is finding a soulmate for my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker (The exception to this being if you are my ex, in which case it doesn’t matter if I have ten children and am married to Hugh Jackman, you must still NEVER attempt to date my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker without fear of certain death and dismemberment).
  • You are sort of adorably awkward and I have openly supported and encouraged you in pursuing my sort of adorably awkward sister/bff/roomie/co-worker. I.e. If you are Charles Bingley and my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker is Jane. If you aren’t Charles Bingley, don’t ask. Just don’t.

 

Charles Bingley from one of my favorite P&P adaptations.

Charles Bingley from one of my favorite P&P adaptations.

 

The reason this question is so offensive is because the real subtext  is that you think that my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker is much hotter than me and that you wish she’d come in lieu of myself to whatever social gathering has placed us in each other’s path. You’ve made this abundantly clear by barely bothering to speak two words to me before jumping straight into this incredibly rude query. Couldn’t even warm a gal up, could ya? Couldn’t even pretend to be interested in my job or my interests or my life before finding a natural way to insert this blunder into the conversation? It’s fine, really, because chances are I’ve already determined that you’re a tool who isn’t worth my time, and I’m only talking to you to be polite (or to win a bet). But there are many reasons why asking me this question is counterintuitive to your dating happiness, and so as a concerned citizen, I feel it is my duty to set you straight.

 

Trust me, you want me on your side. Remember my hot sister/bff/roomie/co-worker? Well, that works both ways, my friend; just as she is my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker, I’m also her sister/bff/roomie/co-worker, which means that you really want me on your team. I’m the person who can put in a good word for you, who can explain away the weird hair or the teddy bear collection and convince her that underneath it all, you’re actually a really great guy. My services to you are invaluable– but they come at a price, and it’s this: You need to learn the art of actually talking to a girl, even if you’re not trying to hook up with her. Actually getting to know her as a person. Seeing her value as a human being. I know, it’s a bizarre concept, but trust me, this will get you places. The girl network is a very real, living, breathing thing, and you do not want to be blacklisted. Help me help you, my friend.

 

One of the coolest guys around.

 

Learn to play it cool, man. You know how part of what attracts you to my super-hot sister/bff/roomie/co-worker is that she isn’t super desperate and throwing herself at you all the time? Well, that’s what she’s looking for, too. I know we women can be a fickle bunch and that sometimes it’s hard to know what we want. I admit, sometimes it’s a very fine line. We want you to be manly, but sensitive. We want you to inspire us to be better, but also love us for who we are. And we want you to pursue us, but pursue us with confidence. Take some pride in yourself, dude. A little boy pulls pigtails and writes notes and goes around a playground asking a girl’s friends about her instead of talking to her himself. A man doesn’t need to play those games. And what virtually every woman has in common? We want a man, pure and simple. Because until you become one of those…

 

She’s Just Not That Into You. Did you ever stop to think that there’s a reason why my sister/bff/roomie/co-worker isn’t at this social function that you’ve been lurking around, waiting for her to show up at? Because she’s seen what you’re selling and she’s not buying. She’s out with her musician/fireman boyfriend from Spain named Raul who loves Pablo Neruda’s poems and who volunteers at animal shelters on the weekends. Aside from some of the obvious glaring differences, do you know what Raul has over you? He took the time to get to know her as a human being, not just someone’s sister/bff/roomie/co-worker. Also, he can cook. Just sayin’.

 

Raul, the musician/fireman/animal lover

 

So next time you find this question forming at the tip of your lips, stop and think. I know, I novel concept, but one that I am confident will take you far. Doubtless there will be other glaring blunders that you make along the way, but at least you will have learned to treat women—even the un-hot ones— like human beings. And who knows, eventually you may just become one, yourself.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

A Concerned Citizen