Mar 18 2014

You actually can help find #370

NYMagazine ran an article this morning about how Courtney Love has joined the search for Malaysian Flight #370. When I saw the headline I rolled my eyes. Then when I saw this picture she posted, I laughed:





After reading the article I realized her heart is not only in the right place, but there’s an actual website set up where you can sign in and be assigned a search area (via satellite).

There’s something wonderful about learning a lesson in humanity from Courtney Love. It’s a good morning!

– Jen

Mar 12 2014

An alternative to banning BOSSY

Beyonce, Sheryl Sandberg, and the Girl Scouts have joined together to ban the word “bossy” because of the theory that it keeps women from becoming leaders.

I was born bossy, I’ve lived bossy and I’m hear to tell you “bossy girls get shit done.” I’m paraphrasing self-described BossyPants Tina Fey, who once said in response to Hilary Clinton being called a bitch:


I think this campaign has its heart in the right place. But banning words doesn’t generally work. I wish instead that we would simply encourage it. I’m incredibly lucky that I never felt put down or diminished because of my natural leadership skills. I liked being in charge and I was good at it.

Instead of banning bossy, why not help your little bossypants be the best she can be?

Teach her the rules to being bossy:

*Try to make things fair for everyone involved (Aaron shouldn’t have had to be the groom in every single wedding I planned under our pear tree)

*Take responsibility, not just authority; it’s your job to make sure everyone is having fun, not just you (If Naomi didn’t want to be the typhoid sufferer who gets thrown off the boat, aka the guest bed, I shouldn’t have made her)

*Look for opportunities to collaborate; let someone else be in charge now and then, you might enjoy the ride (I literally can’t think of an example from childhood where I did this and I fear I may have refused to let some other kid in my neighborhood stretch their own bossy wings…)

Anytime a kid’s natural qualities get squashed by the adults in their life, it breaks my heart. If you decide to ban bossy, that’s up to you. But most importantly, if you have a daughter with leadership inclination, I hope you celebrate it, because you’ve got yourself a future woman who gets stuff done!

– Jen

Mar 10 2014

The tale of my Twitter

I just used to find out my Twitter feed stats (@tbtljen)

After inputting all of my tweets, the website gave me this rating:

Very clever indeed, and probably smug about it too. (I guess even algorithms are judgey)

Here are the words I use most often:

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 8.56.59 AM

Immediate thoughts:

*It looks like my husband barely beat out Mr. Bates, but Harry is the man I mention most (which is probably a combination of Prince Harry and Harry Potter)

*Also, how much was I tweeting about those Chilean miners? Clearly more than I remember!

*Obviously I need to spend the day learning new adjectives that aren’t Adorable or Awesome.

I think this is actually a pretty good tool and it feels pretty representative of who I am and how excited I get about the things I love.

– Jen

Mar 3 2014

The Oscars were not good to me

I correctly picked 8 out of 24 on my ballot. I just thought there would be more surprises…but it went according to schedule and that hurt me.

So I had to find my fun in other places:

*Darlene Love grabbing her moment to sing for half a billion people while being recognized for 20 feet from Stardom was audacious (in a good way). And it reminded me that if life were fair she would have been one of our great divas.

*Jared Leto being friendly and happy and completely the opposite of “broody” was a complete delight. (His shout out to Ukraine and Venezuela was a bit clumsy, but it seemed heartfelt.)

*Lupita, Meryl and Amy dancing with Pharrell…I love people who are willing to play along and not worry if they look cool. All three of these ladies earned HUGE points with me.


*I thought Ellen started really strong, I didn’t even miss the usual opening musical number. But throughout the night with teleprompter issues and the pizza and selfie bits (which I thought went on a bit too long), she seemed to lose steam. Although I would have killed for a slice of that pizza!

*The Frozen writers delivered the speech of the night. I LOVE that they clearly rehearsed it and NAILED it.

*After initially thinking The Moon Song was boring, I was completely turned around by Karen O’s beautiful performance. (I think it was her shoes sitting next to her on the stage…it immediately evoked one of those perfect nights that even blisters can’t ruin!)

All of the winners were gracious and seemed to be having a great time (with the exception of 12 Years a Slave writer, John Ridley…he seemed a little pissed off, but he doesn’t owe me a giddy speech, so I’m not too worried about it) and overall it was a fun night that didn’t take itself too seriously.

– Jen


Feb 27 2014

Much needed levity found at the vet

There is nothing worse than sitting in the exam room waiting for test results on your dog while he paces around driving you crazy which makes you feel guilty because at the same time you are desperately hoping for good news.

I am truly grateful for this poster on the wall which gave me much-needed laughter:



The WTF? look on the cat’s face had me and Jason in hysterics trying to figure out the backstory on whatever test these two just got results on.

(Also, the blood tests on Knightly came back all good.)

– Jen

Feb 24 2014

This movie gets my highest rating

Over the weekend I saw In A World, the 2013 film starring Lake Bell (who also wrote and directed)

It’s funny and heartwarming and has a clear point of view that feels utterly original and really smart. Also, it costars many of my favorite people in the world:

Ron effing Swanson (aka Nick Offerman)

Demetri Martin

Tig Notaro

Rob Corddry (for once playing a really likeable guy)

and Ron Donald himself (aka Ken Marino)

It will be hard to beat this as my favorite movie of the year and Lake Bell just became a voice I really want to hear.

(Jason also loved it, by the way. Don’t make the mistake of marginalizing the movie because it has a woman at the helm, this one is good for all people, not just lady people)

– Jen


Feb 22 2014

A joyful way to spend an hour

Much like the seasons changing, when it comes time for The Olympics to end…I’m pretty ready. So I needed a break last night and ended up watching this long form interview with Lena Dunham and Bill Simmons.

I promise you that it’s impossible to watch without a huge grin on your face.

His delight in her, her delight in everything from Curly Sue to the late great My So Called Life and not to mention her thoughtful way with topics like Jezebel’s horrible treatment of her will make you like her even more.

– Jen

Feb 17 2014

Earworm (Olympics Edition)

I’ve been singing this for the last week:

I like the way you work it

Ted Ligety

Want to bag it up


Since I can’t stop, I thought maybe I’d just get it stuck in your head too.

Blackstreet making a real comeback at my house.

– Jen

Feb 17 2014

Olympics reporters and announcers need to get right

My main complaint at this Olympics (outside of Putin/Darth Vader showing up at everything, much like when your dad comes downstairs during your slumber party at the exact moment there’s nudity in Sixteen Candles) is really the NBC announcers and reporters.

They say things like, “It all comes down to Lindsey Jacobellis.” NO IT DOESN’T. She is an American and she has fallen in short in two previous Olympics. So, I can see that it’s a compelling story. But I’m pretty sure to everyone else at the starting line, it does not all come down to her.

But Christin Cooper should feel the greatest shame of all (and her producer too.) What she did last night to Bode Miller was not only obnoxious, it lacked basic human decency. To continue to ask questions about his dead brother, trying to force an emotional breakdown, which she achieved, and then to have cameras follow him as he tries to move away and gather himself was one of the cruelest things I’ve seen a reporter do. He just won an Olympic medal, he didn’t commit a war crime. Why do you feel you have the right to “break” him on national television during what should have been a joyful moment?

You have broken my cardinal rule, Christin Cooper.  You were a dick last night and I hope you are decent enough to feel bad about it.

Also, putting a mic on Miller’s wife, Morgan, was a mistake and I hope they stop doing stunts like that. Just let the Olympics happen, you don’t need to try and produce big moments, they happen in spite of NBC…I promise.



– Jen

Feb 17 2014

The Olympic Spirit making a comeback

I have been feeling like this Olympics was missing something. I’m sure the Germans have a word to sum it up, but I can only describe it as:





But things have started to turn around with this awesome lady:



and this awesome lady:



Mary Carillo is adorable and great at her job, tonight Meryl and Charlie could win gold, and the snowboarders continue to be awesome; reminding us that when you get to make your living being a snowboarder, there is nothing to complain about. I’m so grateful we added their sport to the Winter Olympics…they fill me with the Olympic spirit, which I’ve tried to define in italics above!

– Jen