Tuesday, February 24, 2015

5 Things You Should Never Do When Writing a Novel

I am writing a novel. I can't say much more about it right now other than that it is not a blog post, or a TV pilot or a screenplay or a sex story or anything else I at least have a small amount of experience writing. It is also not due next year, which feels like the only appropriate amount of time one should have to write a novel - a full year, or two. And yet now that I am officially 100 pages into this novel, I have the world's best unsolicited advice. Here it is:

  • You should not determine how many pages you can write per day and set a schedule based on that number before you have written the amount of pages you can actually write per day for at least seven days. Because you'll go in thinking the number is 15 and realize after five seconds that it's 3, and that will really blow your timeline.
  • You should not read another novel or really another book of any kind while you are writing your novel. Articles are probably risky too. You know what, just stick with tweets and Instagram comments which, let's be honest, was all you were reading anyway. 
  • Don't buy new clothes unless they're leggings or tent dresses. You do not yet know if you will lose 20 lbs because you're too stressed to eat or gain 20 lbs because you're so stressed, all you can do it eat. And "my novel wardrobe" has yet to achieve the legitimacy of "my maternity wardrobe." Yet.
  • Don't make any plans that start before 7:00pm on any given night. Because try and try and try as you might, you will not get up, take a shower and do you hair on any given day, which means you'll have to do it before you go out, which means you'll have to back those plans up by an hour because your hair require serious dry-shampoo-and-a-hot-rod action, which means you'll do all that, decide it still looks shitty and finally get your ass in the shower, meaning you should really start at 5:00pm - and it's scienficially impossible to write 3-15 pages of anything by 5:00pm.
  • You should not tell anyone you're writing a novel. Because then they will kindly and sincerely check in on your progress on that novel. And you'll have to either hear yourself lie about how well it's going every time they ask or hear yourself tell the truth about how hard it is every time they ask. You should instead pretend that you've been asked to participate in a three-month, Top Secret project by the CIA. You definitely can't talk about where you'll be or what you'll be doing, but if you look like you just got a facial then it's because the CIA requires them. And no, I don't know what you're supposed to do when the novel comes out and people are like, "why didn't you tell me you were writing a novel." That's a different blog post...that I'll write after I finish my next novel...that you won't know I'm writing until it's done.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How To Survive a Snow Day...As a 31-Year-Old

Hello from my parents' house in New Jersey where there is 8 inches of snow on the ground and everyone is home from school! I'm here for an extra day because my flight back to L.A. after my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette festivities was cancelled, and I intend to make the most of this day behind the drifts with my second little sister and my mom. Here are my recommended survival tips:

  • Have your sister make you pancakes using this genius Bisquick invention where all you have to add is water.
  • Drink seven cups of coffee from your Mom's Keurig because it's right there and it makes the coffee in ten seconds, and it's 9 degrees outside so why not? 
  • Go to watch a movie on HBO On Demand. Realize you don't have HBO On Demand. Contemplate going to the Stop n' Shop to get a Red Box movie. Decide against that. Watch You've Got Mail. 
  • Go on an undercover mission in 8" of snow with your sister to discover where the cat that spends its days on the cushion on your parents' porch actually lives. Find out he lives UNDER YOUR HOUSE. Passionately debate inviting him to live in your house even though it's not your house anyway. Lose. Let it go. 
  • Contemplate making snow angels, but the snow is just so wet... Contemplate shoveling, but the show is just so heavy... Contemplate taking lots of pictures outside in the snow, but everyone already has better ones on the 'Gram...
  • Make fresh pasta from the ball of pasta dough you stole from your sister's bachelorette cooking class! 
  • Facetime with your husband and puppy in L.A. where it is 80 degrees and sunny. 
  • Secretly be happier that you got to stomp in the snow with your sister for the first time in years
  • Celebrate by drinking hot chocolate made with soy milk while wearing seven layers of clothing and crying at You've Got Mail because you're a lactose intolerant 31-year-old emotional basket case.   
HAPPY SNOW DAY EAST COAST. Thanks for having me!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Your Super Last-Minute Valentine's Gift Guide

Why plan your Valentine's Day shopping in advance when you can rely on a fool proof guide from me three days before the 14th?

Here are some of my favorite last-minute items for guys and girls. I tried to keep them reasonably priced and reasonably easy to get. I also tried to remember that this is a Hallmark holiday and a thoughtful card and fun dinner out should really do. Or you could just get your lover a new dop kit and chocolate because nothing says I love you like your-dop-kit-is-old-and-gross-so-here-are-some-chocolates-to-make-this-gift-less-boring!

For your girlfriend: jewelry version - They're all the rage, they come in a million styles, and you can find one at many a price point. The House of Harlow 1960 Reflector Stack and Tahari Spike Cuff are two favorites.

For your girlfriend: chocolate version - Compartes - Find out who sells this chocolate near you, drive as far as you must to get some, and buy as much as you can possibly afford.  

For your best friend - Tony Moly Lip Balm - There is nothing cuter than this pot of lip gloss and why not spread the love to the ladies who support you through ever love woe 

 For your Mom - Butterfly Bush Seeds - My mom's favorite plant in the yard is her butterfly bush because it keeps the pretty-winged little guys flying around our backyard all summer long. Grab some seeds at your local nursery or a small bush if you live in a warm weather client.

For Him

For your boyfriend: foodie - bar cart creation - This one takes some good listening skills. Step one: remember the last time he said, "this is an awesome drink." Step two: call the restaurant and get the cocktail recipe. Step three: grab all the ingredients at your local liquor store as a gift. Step four: make it for him as a pre-dinner cocktail or post-dinner drink.  


For your boyfriend: kinky - a gift certificate that keeps on giving - Get him a gift card to your classiest (or not...) local sex toys shop to be redeemed together at a later date (or that night...).

 For your Dad - Darth & Son (or Daughter) - Dad's need Valentines too. This is my favorite thing on the market. I understand it doesn't make sense if your dad doesn't love Star Wars, but it's never too late to start loving Star Wars, so I say get it anyway. (They make a Princess Leia too).

And if this is a year sans a lover I recommend a bottle of wine, slipper socks, Seamless web, a brand new Voluspa candle (they sell them everywhere) and at least one full season of whatever you've been dying to watch on Netflix. God that sounds good...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5 Ways That Storytelling Helped My Writing

me after the first performance of my life. photo credit jenny anderson

On Sunday we had a wildly successful Sunday Night Sex Talks (no-boys-allowed edition) at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood. Tonight we'll have what I'm sure is going to be a killer Co-Ed Sunday Night Sex Talks (boys-finally-allowed edition) at UCB Sunset (yes, more shameless promotion, so I'll go all the way and say tonight's show is sold out but you're likely to get in off the wait list if you come early. Please do!).

All this telling and hearing of stories got me thinking about what this writing form has done for the rest of my writing forms over the years. I only became a storyteller after I started my storytelling show. In fact, I didn't originally intend to perform my own stories there, but when I started telling people about the concept behind Sunday Night Sex Talks 9 out of 10 said, "performing will be great for your writing." They were right. Here are 5 reasons why:

  • Every piece of writing you create should have a beginning, a middle and an end. It can be a loose beginning, feature a few peaks and valleys in the middle and wrap up without a perfect little bow, but it should progress like all great writing progresses - beginning, middle, end. You need that structure most when you're trying to keep the attention of a live audience. Storytelling helped me focus on those beats in every other facet of my work. 
  • You don't know where the moments (that includes jokes or emotional beats) in your own writing really fall until you tell them live. Many times I've thought the joke was in one part of the sentence only to hear laughs at a totally different section. Now I have a better sense of what style choices inside my writing will garner a response, and if the crowd is laughing then the big executive in the corner office is laughing too.
  • I struggle with brevity but now that I have to write a ten minute story every single month, I struggle slightly less with brevity. Now I know that if I can't get my point across in a clear-cut sentence or brief paragraph, I don't have a point. 
  • I always write out and rehearse my stories before I perform, but there are inevitably off-the-cuff moments that come to me as I'm telling the tale. In these moments I get an even better sense of my voice. I'm not over-thinking, I'm not word-smithing; it's me at my most natural. When people laugh or really, deeply listen in those moment I get an even better sense of what works in my content. 
  • Confidence. There is nothing more reassuring than having people tell you that they enjoyed something you wrote, and it's even better when they tell you with their laughter. I spent 75% of my time sitting alone in a room hoping to god people are going to like what I'm writing. Feedback is terrifying, but the littlest bit of positive reinforcement goes a very long way. 
If you or someone you know would like to bring storytelling into their life check out some of the great classes offered by my friends at Writing Pad (especially by my friend Cole Kazdin) or fantastic options at the UCB Theater (specifically by my friend Margot Leitman). And then when you're ready, e-mail me at 20Nothings@gmail.com to tell a tale at one of my shows!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Do Me/Yourself a Favor and Figure Out Where Your Stress Sits In Your Body

I'll get to why as soon as I have permission to talk about it, but for now I'll say that I recently started working on a very big project on top of a few existing big projects, and I as a result am STRESSED. Like forgetting to breathe stressed. Like go to the fridge every five minutes to eat one slice of the cheese stressed. Like yesterday I got a wax and the aesthetician was like, "could you please try to stop your leg from shaking Miss Rosen?"

This morning I did an exercise to try and work through some of that stress. Ironically the exercise involved finding the physical place where the angst sits and sitting in that angst until it's as uncomfortable as possible. It was the equivalent of watching The Breakup after a break up because you need a good cry, I guess.

But the results were so, so helpful. I experience stress in lots of ways, but right now it seems to be sitting in this high part of my stomach. I only figured that out after I sat in the yucky, annoying, uncomfortable feeling for five minutes without cheese-slice-eating it away. What helps? Apparently lots of deep breaths, sitting in a way that isn't so tightly wound and walking (that took some trial and error too). That's not rocket science, but if you asked me where I was stressed yesterday morning I would have said EVERYWHERE. And if you asked me if I had an ideas about how to release that stress I would have said NONE. GO AWAY!

Now that I know my stress is in my stomach, I have a few ways to try and break it up.

What my stress is really about in the bigger sense, how I'm going to make it go away versus find ways to lessen it and what to do about this cheese-obsession are for another day. For today, my tummy hurts when I'm overwhelmed and deep breaths plus a walk around the block help. As far as I'm concerned, that's a win.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#HumpDayHappy: A Major Blog Re-Design is On the Way!

Yesterday afternoon I met with Stephanie Todaro - the fantastic web master/designer extraordinaire who will be taking this blog into the 21st century (even though it was technically founded in the 21st century). It's time for a new lay-out, new functionality, new organizational elements and new branding all around.

So far we've discussed blog template and creative direction. Next I'm putting together a Pinterest board with imagery and design inspiration to help inform the creative direction of the branding. Oh I also answered this really interesting creative survey to help give Stephanie and her team direction on the creative. The most fascinating slash difficult question: what words best describe you and your brand? 

My answers: 
--> Honest, blunt, fresh, colorful, feminine but with an edge, organized, topical, sincere

Think that's accurate? We'll find out when Stephanie + team develop the first creative mocks. But if meeting #1 is any indication, this is going to be the best thing to happen to 20-Nothings since 20-Nothings happened. Stay-tuned!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The First Co-Ed Sunday Night Sex Talks (And While I'll Never Stop Doing the No-Boys-Allowed Show)

One week from today I'll be hosting the very first boys-allowed version of Sunday Night Sex Talks, the NO boys allowed storytelling show that I started three years ago in the back room of Bar Lubitsch on Santa Monica Blvd.

If you're in L.A. I can't imagine why you'd miss it. We have a dream line-up, the new UCB Sunset is or venue, tickets are five bucks and the theme is NAKED. (Yes, this blog post is one part conversation, five parts promotion. Is it working? CLICK FOR TICKETS!)

So why a girl/boy event after three years of championing the merits of the all-female edition? Because I'm proud of the brand we've created and excited to see what happens when both genders are challenged to be as open and honest about sex as possible...in a ten minute story about being naked.

But why is there no way in hell I'm replacing our long-standing ladies nights with these joint events? Because we're the only storytelling show in L.A. (and NY when we can make it work there) that doesn't allow men in the audience, and that's too unique a thing to give up. Sexist? Maybe. Feminist? Definitely. The end of the world? No.

This February 8th we'll hold our usual first-Sunday-of-every-month event at Bar Lubitsch (sans men i the crowd). It too features a dream line-up and titillating theme, LOVE FOOL. (Yes, this blog post is now a double promotion, so CLICK FOR TICKETS TO THAT SHOW TOO!).

How will the two shows differ? I'm not sure.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How and Where and When I Write

my writing chair looks like my writing style feels!
I currently have the honor of teaching a class called SO YOU WANNA BE A WRITER through the awesome Writing Pad school here in L.A. Last Saturday was my very first class and, as I explained to my students, I wanted it to be as much about how to be a writer as it is about how to write. To that end I gave them a bizarre non-writing, writing assignment as homework. I asked them to spend some time over the week figuring out how, where, when (and in what outfit, duh) they like to write.

Here, in solidarity, are my answers:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#HumpDayHappy: This hysterical "What Girls Say" Aussie commercial

I can't believe that my little bit of mid-week happy is a commercial, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. My dad is an "Ad Man", I spent the first five years of my career working in branded content development and my single favorite line of copy is, "every kiss begins with Kay."

Below is a commercial for Aussie haircare products featuring the hysterical GRAYDON SHEPPARD, co-creator of Shit Girls Say (which single video-dly started the Shit _____ Say revolution). It is just as on point as the original video, and just as funny.

I am not being paid by Aussie to say this. I don't even currently use Aussie products. But after this gem, I just might. Kudos to the ad agency behind the spot for using real comedy talent in a clever way instead of just paying some celebrity to shake her shiny hair around. 

My favorite line is the very first: "I wish I could just, like, get out of bed and have my hair be done."

What's yours?


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What It Feels Like to be a Writer That is "Sponsored by my Husband"

My whole body turned itself into a fist when I saw Ann Bauer's Salon.com article pop up on my news feed yesterday afternoon:

“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from

I felt like that article was giving me the side-eye. It's not just that I recently found myself in this exact situation - it's that I've been trying to write about it for weeks and failing. Reading Ann's article finally forced my issue. I need to talk about what it feels like to have your writing career sponsored by your husband, and I think you need to hear it. 

Let's talk about Ann's piece first. She covers this issue from the standpoint of wealthy or connected writers who do not disclose their privilege when approached with the oh-so-awkward cocktail party conversation: "how do you support yourself" or "to what do you attribute your success?" Her premise: writers who hide their trust fund stories and the fact that their parents were stars of the literary world do the rest of us a disservice. If they shared the truth we might all feel a little better about the struggle that is this career

Ann goes on to explain that she has never been happier, healthier or more productive in her writing than she is now that she is "sponsored" by her husband. Her husband is supportive. The balance of their relationship works beautifully, financially speaking. She is not ashamed.  

Well Ann, you are my hero. But also, I think you're missing one giant point about this whole financial-plight-of-the-writer thing. 

Flattery first.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why I Had My Natal Chart Read, And You Should Too

I have always been two things that don't compliment each other very well: a cynic and a searcher. I'm dying to know things about myself, the universe, and where the two meet, if in fact they do. Yet my need for certainty - the black and white way I can see the world - always gets in the way. I don't believe in things easily - everything from the value of therapy (which I've thankfully gotten over) to the existence of a higher power (which I'm still working on). 

So you can imagine how I felt when I was introduced to an astrologer at a recent Sunday Night Sex Talks show. I was fascinated. I was dying to ask her 10,000 questions. I wanted to tell her right then and there that someone once figured out that I'm a Leo whose rising sign is also Leo (the only two things I know about astrology), and that I know that means something but I don't know what!!! And then the skepticism started to filter in...

This time, though, I pushed through. I reached out to Rose, my new and first astrologer friend, to see if she would be willing to do a reading so that I could better understand the practice. I forced the searcher to shut up the cynic, and I'm glad that I did.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#HumpDayHappy: Downton's Mr. Mosley is back and Mosley-er Than Ever!

I'm about four weeks late to this post, but I just started the latest season of Downton Abbey, so it's news to me.

Guys - there's no one better than Mosley. Not sad Lady Edith who is amazing because it's like how much more are they going to do to this poor girl?? Not the delightfully stodgy Mr. Carson who never met a rule he didn't guard with his life until Lord Grantham said, cool it. Not even the Oscar and Felix combo that is the Dowager Countess and Isobel Crawley who totally deserve a Golden Girls-style spin-off series. It's like Mosley is acting in his own, completely different show - a slap stick comedy about a loveable, slightly slow valet who can't seem to get a win! You'd call it Mosley's Law! I'm guessing Julian Fellows pitched that show first and just couldn't get the BBC on board. Now every week they get to see the error of their ways when Mosley slays every scene.

Somebody better give this guy the Better Call Saul treatment when Downton is said and done (or maybe if...). Until then I will contemplate setting up my own Twitter feed for the Mose. @NotAFootman @MosleySideEye @NotYouMosley? I'm open to suggestions.

Until then please enjoy this incredible, two minute retrospective on the man, the myth, the legend that is Mosley:

Mr. Mosley and Mrs. Patmore are responsible for more combined Downton laughs than the Dowager Cou... in 20 Nothings Polls on LockerDome

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

20-Nothings Travels: Reviews and Recommendations for the SLS Las Vegas

Sunday night R and I had a somewhat impromptu stay at the new-ish SLS Las Vegas Hotel + Casino. It was somewhat impromptu because we planned to go to Vegas to visit my Dad who was there on business, but only decided on the SLS after we discovered their INSANE DEAL on a room ($53 base price on account of a promotion). I love hotels, and considering we live five blocks from the L.A. version of this Sin City expansion, I thought we should check this one out. Also it was $53 dollars. It wasn't until we booked the room that R stumbled upon the awful Yelp reviews. It wasn't until Monday morning that we understood why you can get a room for $53.

I do very little negative reviewing on this site, but as a travel and hotel lover, I thought this was worth mentioning. Below is WHY I would give the SLS TWO STARS on Yelp (if I Yelped) and below that is what I might do to fix it (if this writing thing doesn't work out and I end up an International hotelier).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The #1 Thing That Inspires Me, In Honor of My Friend's Genius Birthday Request

My friend Kelly is one of those people who is always finding ways to incorporate her friends into her life, and as a quick peruse of her Instagram feed proves, she has a lot of them. So I was totally honored to get the below e-mail from her in advance of her upcoming birthday (shortened here for blog post sake):

"I want 2015 to trump 2014 (which was already a pretty spectacular year!) and I feel like the best way for me to do that is to ask the people who inspire me and who I respect and admire most, to share something with me that inspires/motivates/moves them. This can truly be anything.  Your favorite book, movie, musician, album, song, or piece of art.  A favorite restaurant, museum, place to find quiet, city to visit, or place to dance into the wee hours of the night.  A hobby or skill or favorite class. A quote, a cocktail, a recipe, a theater production. Truly--absolutely anything at all.

My goal will be to fit that something into my year in some way.  Whether I read or watch it.  Visit it.  Try it out myself.  I'd like to expand my experiences and I trust that you all will lead me to some pretty incredible things or places or meals or moments.  And hell, if you're up for joining me for that cocktail, class or museum--bonus points to you!" 

I'm posting that and my response with her permission, of course. 

It took me awhile to figure out how to respond. My first instinct was to say, "anything Nora Ephron has ever written." I read something from her collection The Most of Nora Ephron when I'm down, when I'm confused, when I have writer's block or when I'm feeling like I can't remember the kind of woman I'm trying to become. I just love the way she lived her life, and I always try to incorporate her world view into my own. But that didn't feel quite right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#HumpDayHappy: Booya Fitness is Every Single Fitness Class You've Ever Been To, Online

Confession: I have a gym membership to LA Fitness that I use approximately one every two weeks. I have no real excuses for that fact. The day gets busy or the machines are busy when I have time or all the classes are full...or I just would prefer to be inside my apartment than outside of it, in stretch pants.

So I was intrigued by an e-mail from the team over at BOOYAH FITNESS - a hysterically named new web portal that claims to have every fitness class you can imagine, on the Internet. You know where the Internet is? Inside your apartment! And to make matters more exciting, they're right about the every single class thing. Of course these are work-outs you can handle in the home (aka the best kind) and you'll need a few piece of equipment (that you've bought every single January 1st for the past decade).

Unlike like the thousand "bride arms" workouts you'll find on YouTube, I've noticed that all the Booyah offerings are really professional looking and very well organized. Also there are a lot of ethnic dance classes, which is my favorite form of exercise.

Check it out when you get the chance. They offer a free month-long trial, which is how I gave it a shot. And you technically have 17.5 more days until January is over, and with it your chance at keeping a 2015 resolution.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Can You Fall in Love with ANYONE Thanks to 36 Questions and 4 Magic Minutes?

This weekend my friend Ally sent along one of the most fascinating reads that I've read in a very long time: a Modern Love piece titled To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This. The simple premise: that there's a formula to falling in love, and that one scientist cracked it.

That formula: 36 very specific questions and four minutes of staring deeply into the eyes of the potential lover.

Yes, that's seriously it.

The psychologist behind this insanity is Dr. Arthur Aron, and his hypothesis is incredibly simple. To paraphrase it to death: interpersonal closeness can be derived by creating an environment that allows us to rapidly incorporate another person into our sense of self. His questions are all geared toward that goal, and they're meant to be answered with as much vulnerability as possible. I'm unclear on whether or not you're supposed to answer them in one session or use as much time as it takes, but once the answers are completed, the final step is to stare deeply into the eyes of the other person without breaking for four straight minutes. I did that once on a retreat in college, and it is legitimately, incredibly powerful. That said, I'm not married to that guy.

I recommend reading more about Dr. Aron and his theory, but let's be honest, all you really want to see are the mysterious 36 question.

To me, these are the five most fascinating:

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ... “

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

So - does it work?

If you finish the Modern Love piece you'll know one woman's answer. Mine is, why not? Or rather, why not try? At the very least, you'll end up getting a lot of huge thoughts and feelings out of your head and body. At the very most, you'll end up with the love of your life. That seems worth 36 questions and four awkward minutes, no?

Keep me posted. In the meantime I'm going to find an evening to do the 36 questions with the person I've already fallen in love with. Let's hope it sticks! Maybe I should wait until the end of my Dry January...

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year's Resolution Update: I can quit alcohol, not cheese

Just a little update on how my month of restraint is going...because maybe if I publish the cold, hard facts on the Internet, I'll finally stop eating cheese.

Dry January: check!

I have encountered seven occasions in which I was the only one not drinking since writing my resolution post. In fairness to my friends who are not, in fact, alcoholics, the Golden Globes were this weekend, a friend was in from out of town and I had three "drinks" sessions throughout the week. Every single time I said, "Ugh I'm not drinking because I'm doing Dry January." Four out of the seven times someone at the table said, "Yeah, I was doing that too..." Do I miss a delicious glass of wine? Yes. Have I needed that glass of wine? Not at all. Am I super sick of green tea? Hell yes.

Shopping Ban: check!

I technically replaced clothes shopping with shopping for a new couch, but that is well within my rules for the month. I am also proud to say that I got rid of several never-wear-it things and re-organized my closet to remind myself, yet again, that I have way more clothes than I will ever need.

Dairy Freeze (you're welcome): fail...

I can't even count the amount of times I've had cheese, guys. It's like I erased the plan to not have it from my mind the minute I made it. During the Golden Globes watch I went to I was the only person eating the cheese plate. Think that might have reminded me? No. I'm going to say that I will work very hard on this moving forward (as I literally rub my hurty belly), but I truly fear it is an impossibility. Stay-tuned.

What's your resolution-keeping status? Anyone else successfully suffering through the Dry Jan move? If so, what's your not-wine of choice?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

20-Nothings Travels: A Taco Crawl of Cabo San Lucas!

I have many loves but cities, food and incredibly well-organized ranking systems are definitely among the top three.

Halfway through our recent belated Mexico-moon to Cabo San Lucas, I combined those affections into an afternoon aventura to taste as many of Baja Sur's famous Baja-style tacos as possible. Using a combination of Internet research (thank you Yelp, Serious Eats, and Conde Nast Traveler), a city map and the ten words in Spanish R and I have mastered ("Puedes hacer un taco? Si, solamente uno. Si, pero estomas en un gran aventura de los taco! Todo la dia! ...Ok, dos tacos.), we conquered this street cuisine. Here are our six stops in four hours and our reviews:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#HumpDayHappy: Sophia Grace Drops a Single

I literally screamed at the computer when I saw that Sophia Grace finally released her first single. If you don't know who Sophia Grace is then you've never been on the Internet, so welcome, and my apologies because you're about to spend the next five hours of your life watching every single YouTube clip of this little pistol from London who burst onto the scene with an Ellen show appearance after her Nicki Minaj-singing clip went viral. I love every about her from her sweet dimples to her confident attitude. Here's hope that doesn't change on account of her sky-rocketing to fame. Is this a perfect song: no. Is is a damn-catchy diddy that I've been singing since I hear it: yes.

The only thing that puts a damper on this #humpdayhappy is that Sophia's fly-girl and cousin Rosie somehow didn't make the cut. So Dreamgirls... Here's hoping Rosie goes all Jennifer Hudson on Sophia's ass twenty years from now. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Super Aggressive 2015 New Year's Resolutions (That Only Cover January...)

Hello and Happy New Year after a very long blogging break. I got caught wrapping up 2014 work and prepping for a big adventure to Mexico for the turn into 2015 (#20NothingsTravels recap to come), but I'm back to talk resolutions, as is my obligation as a blogger.

Last year I made a list of some really lovely resolutions for 30-Nothings. It included things like "Print your photos!" and "Buy one niece piece of furniture" and "Learn what "The Cloud" is and start using it to back-up/store your music/documents/photos/etc." They were really great ideas, and when I look back on them now I'm really surprised by how helpful they might have been had I actually followed any! 

And so this year I'm foregoing the deep stuff and focusing on the same old crap that every single person resolves to do throughout every single new year (except only for a month): I will complete a Dry January, I will not eat dairy for the entire month, and I will not buy a single new item of clothing for until February 1st. 

Why Dry January? Because I've never done a dry month, and I think it's an important test of willpower. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with alcohol and I believe a glass of red wine has more health benefits than detriments. Also, I only drink socially and even then it's more for indulgence and group following than actual desire to feel drunk. But I do not need alcohol for a month. And yet every time I've tried to do a "Dry Jan" I've quit on account of some dumb glass of wine that I had to have because the wine bar was way too sultry-looking to just drink tea. Enough. I'm a grown woman. If I can't do this, then we've got bigger problems.

Why No Dairy? Because it hurts my belly but I love it too much to pay attention to that fact. After six days in Mexico enjoying queso con every single meal, I now know that my "slight allergy to cheese" is an actual allergy to cheese. I'm looking forward to finding out what it's like to not feel like my stomach is going to explode after I eat.

Why No Clothing? I'm what some might call famous for self-imposed shopping bans. Last year I went three months on a dare from R. I learned lots about myself, my shopping habits, and the amount of clothing I already own. I subsequently forgot all of that and now own 1K things that I don't need, again. Let's see if I can't finally learn my lesson with another break from the $30 rack at Shopaholics Sample Sale (my favorite store in L.A., hands down).

Yes, I will also try to read more and Facetime more often with friends, and volunteer once a month and lead my life with less fear, and all those other things on everyone other list, but I've decided that 2015 should be the year of not taking my own bullshit. Let's see if I can't start with a one-month ban on some of my most unnecessary vices.

Considering I bought a ridiculous serape, ate a cheese-stuffed pepper and downed three margaritas on January 4th, I'll be taking this challenge all the way to February 4th. Wish me luck.