Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Yah, how do I get back to New York?

(click through from RSS to see trailers)
I tend to be in the dark about most movies because they're advertised to the, um, general public, and not me. (Douchebag alert.) Like they have a million commercials, but I fast forward all my commercials, or they're on the radio, but I listen to MuggleCast all the time. So it's only when movie enters into the very limited sphere of my Google Reader that I realize it's time to oooh and ahhhh and hunt down the trailer.

Do you guys watch trailers at Apple Trailers? That's where I go after I've seen a trailer at the movies and want to watch again. I used to just google for them but the internet morphed in the past few years so there are now millions of phantom web pages trying to take advantage of lazy googlers. This is why we can't have anything nice.

When I get to Apple Trailers, I'm suddenly overwhelmed by alllllll the mooooooovies I want to seeeeee. Let's dwelve in, shall we? (Sadly, Apple Trailers doesn't do embed, which means I have to do the googling ANYWAY. SIGH. ALL FOR YOU GUYS.)

Love and Other Drugs
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway share the big screen again, this time without all the closet-angst.

Wow. That's an entirely different trailer than the one at Apple. Now I feel as though I've seen the entire movie. And I still want to go pay to see it. I mean, they're so cute, right? And we get a little bit of history and background on the pharmaceutical industry. Plus, this is actually realistic: reps do really look like Jake. Coming to you November 24.

The Social Network
Guys! It's a movie about Facebook! JT! Rashida Jones! Mark Zuckerberg! "Your best friend is suing you!" DRAMA! Coming to you October 1.

The Romantics
The movie I'm most anticipating this fall!

I just... this cast, this concept. I want to love it so much. In limited release September 10.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

heather I'm excited about a lot of movies for fall, but all of them COWER before the EPICNESS that is part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

And here it is literal-ed. You're welcome.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Jennie This is a scary thing for me to admit but I'm not really excited for any upcoming fall shows. I know. I KNOW. This is completely unlike me. I used to LOSE MY SHIT if my Entertainment Weekly had Mulder and/or Scully on the cover. I'd lose it times ten if they were on the cover together. I'd count down the days between The X-Files season finale and the next season's premiere. Especially if Mulder had died in the finale. Those summers were the WORST. And when (pre-Doggett) The X-Files went away, I replaced it with Alias. And when Alias went away, I replaced it with Lost. There might have been some overlap there, I don't remember, but whatever ANYWAY. I used to practically hyperventilate before Lost season premieres and when they were over, I'd shout, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" And maybe even, "WAAAAAAAAALT."

But Lost is over. And I have nothing to replace it. NOTHING. Unless you count watching reruns of Lost, which is a viable option, actually. I guess I'm supposed to replace it with The Event. I refuse to get my hopes up after the FlashForward debacle, but I'll probably check it out.

There are must see shows coming back of course. Shows like Chuck and Modern Family and 30 Rock. And there are shows that used to be must see for me that I'll probably still watch if I remember, like How I Met Your Mother and The Office. I know. I KNOW. I just put The Office in a non-must-see-TV category. WHO AM I? But aside from the JAM wedding/baby episodes, I don't remember all that much of last season. Maybe the upcoming season will be better since it'll be Steve Carell's send-off season. I don't know.

So, yeah, I'm not really excited about anything at the moment. Unless you count It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, but we're a season behind, so I'm talking about the season five DVDs, not even the new season. THAT'S CHEATING.

Maybe I'm forgetting something and you should tell me. Or maybe someone (ASHLEY) should just tell me what shows I'm not watching that I should be watching and I'll work on getting caught up on them.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Show me that smile again.

I love television. LOVE IT. And there are 46 inches in my living room to prove it. TV is my life, suckers, so having to choose which fall show I am looking forward to most is like asking my mother to choose which of her children is her most favoritest bestest in the whole wide world (answer: the dog). But part of the deal with becoming an adult is making the tough choices, and since I am the biggest adult in the whole wide world I’m ready. YOU GUYS, I can’t wait for Private Practice to start again!!!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!!!11!!!11


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Way to go, Chuck. That's awesome.

AbsSo, yeah, maybe I do want to talk about Chuck. Maybe that’s all I ever want to do. And yeah, maybe it is the one show I’m looking forward to among all others. (Others being Bones, and... well.. Bones.) I was recently marveling at sports fans: at their ability to know stats of entire line ups, of the reaching history back years and years of wins and losses, coaches and MVPs. Such dedication, I marveled. Such commitment to memory.

And then I realized I’m the same.

I read TVbytheNumbers.com on a regular basis. I study the overnights and the shares. I know how important 18-49 is. And NBC knows how important it is.

Which is why I feel sooo nervous about the new NBC line up. There are some good-looking shows coming through: The Event. Chase. Undercovers. That’s something Lost-y, U.S. Marshals, and CIA spies. Yes, Chuck competes with the other shows on Monday nights (Dancing with the Stars, House, How I Met Your Mother), but what it really competes with is the NBC’s other programming. If any two of those shows are hits and Chuck remains at the ratings it’s currently at (fair to bad) then Chuck gets cut. SAD FACE.

I can’t let that happen. And so as sexy as sexpionage looks in Undercovers or as mysterious as The Event looks, I can’t watch them. And that’s fine. Because Chuck is all I need TV to be. It is action and it is all heart.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Why are you letting Sam Kinison and an Indian lesbian wreck your wedding?


There was a time not too terribly long ago when I was threatening to set people's houses on fire if they didn't start watching Chuck. Which: fine, arson is bad, whatever, I get it. But what's worse is that Chuck has been on the bubble from the word "Vicky Vale," and I would rather eat Dickensian gruel in prison ("NO TOUCHING!") for arson than be forced to watch the best show on television get replaced by an hour of reality programming where a washed-up comedian dispenses marriage advice to couples in the manner of a screechy Dr. Phil.

(You people who don't watch scripted TV are the problem with the world; you know that, right?)

This week we're writing about what television show we're most excited about for fall, and there's a very real chance that Abigail is going to write about Chuck tomorrow too, and so I considered being selfless and choosing the show I'm second most excited about (Parks and Recreation), but even if Abigail does write about Chuck, I figure she's coming at it from a whole different angle than me. What I'm saying is you might get to read about Chuck two whole days this week — three if Ashley takes the torch and weaves some word magic — and for that you are welcome.

So, look, here's the thing about television: not a whole lot of shows just tell good stories anymore. It's kind of like Congress, actually: as soon as you get elected, you start campaigning for reelection; you never really govern. And so television is about selling ad space and generating social media buzz and creating a thousand Kidz Bob! singles that people will buy and listen to while reading the show's companion novel and licking on a Puck-shaped popsicle. (It's like I can't not clown on Glee.)

But Chuck is different. Maybe because it's almost always getting canceled. Maybe because it's a show written by nerds for nerds. Maybe because it's a Josh Scwartz machine. Maybe because it's a perfect storm of all those things. I don't know. All I know is that Chuck tells some damn good stories. Chuck's writers are not afraid to do things in a fresh way, to blend absurdity and angst and action, to laugh at their characters, to laugh at you. They're not afraid to scoff at the Moonlighting curse, or to change relationship dynamics, or explore character motivations that will alter the entire trajectory of the show. There's no tiptoeing around cancellation in Chuck-verse; the show always runs full throttle at a cliff and leaps.

The result of that kind of recklessly awesome storytelling is fun and sweet and clever, and it's like nothing you've ever seen before. Sometimes it makes me shout in the TV in a good way and sometimes it makes me shout at my TV in an angry way and sometimes it makes me jump out of my chair and practice my ninja moves.

I write about a lot of TV. I recap a lot of TV. But I just absolutely refuse to get paid to write about Chuck, because for one hour every week on Monday nights, I remember why I fell in love with TV in the first place — back before my inbox was flooded with press releases and my calendar was full of actor interviews and the only people who cared what I thought about plot lines were Amy and Abigail. It makes me feel like when I was 14, chewing on my fingers in front of a twelve-inch screen swooning over Lois and Clark.

Chuck is everything that's right with TV.

And Jeffster is everything that's right with the world.

(If you don't think Sarah Walker knife-fighting and Bryce Larkin making a slow-mo entrance are the sexiest things in this life, I don't think we can be friends anymore.)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Take car. Go to Mum's. Kill Phil, grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.

Jennie I don't want to brag, but I can kick any To Do list's ass in the most efficient way possible. Which is odd, considering I'm also really good at wasting time. I am EXCEPTIONALLY good at wasting time. I will waste the shit out of all of your time, just give it here. GIVE IT. I can waste an hour of time in half an hour, that's how good I am. I don't know what that means.

But, really, I think the reason I have so much time to waste is because I'm so good at planning and tackling To Do lists. This is not to say that I spend all of my time making lists, crossing off items, and being productive. Of course not. What kind of life would that be? I'd be all, "Fun? DOES NOT COMPUTE," and then I'd pick up my notepad and get to crossing without even stopping for a robot smoothie (battery acid + milk = robot smoothie).

No, what I mean is, if I have a lists of NECESSARY tasks to complete, I can complete it in the most efficient way. Even if the list isn't written down. Because I plan everything. EVERYTHING. From big trips to what order to do the things I need to do when I get home from work.

It might seem silly to plan the little things, but it's how I have so much time to waste. Like, OK. Say I have to go to the grocery, make dinner, go running, do laundry, and pack my lunch all in the same evening. I could go home first and run, and then maybe laze about making dinner and MAYBE go to the grocery and do laundry if there's time.

NO. This is unacceptable. The correct answer is: go to the grocery, go home, put groceries away, start load of laundry, work out, put laundry in dryer, start dinner, pack lunch while dinner is cooking, eat dinner, LAZE ABOUT THE REST OF THE EVENING.

This "gift" is not always a good thing. I have my morning routine down to a science. Get up, brush teeth, shower, start getting dressed, blow dry hair, turn on flat iron, put on make up, flat iron hair, go to kitchen, start coffee, start toasting english muffin, finish getting dressed, jamify english muffin, pack lunch, get coffee ready, hug Joe, leave for work.

This leaves no time for extras, like if Joe gets up on only the third snooze alarm instead of, like, the seventh and wants an extra hug. THERE'S NO TIME FOR EXTRA HUGS, JOE.

You guys, I am an asshole. But I'm awesome at it, so at least there's that.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Things at which I am awesome.

Not a whole lot, actually. I mean, I can obviously do a lot of stuff, and competently at that, but I’m not exactly awesome at any of them. I mean, just look at all the stuff I mess up:

mission aborted

left arm


(Those are Brussels sprouts. Very, very, very, very, very burnt Brussels sprouts.)

I am, as “they” say, a Jack-of-all-trades but a master of none.

Except maybe one.

I am a very good lawyer. Like, SO GOOD. In fact, I am such a good lawyer that I have been awarded THREE MEDALS for lawyering. Here’s one of them:

In fact, I am such a good lawyer that a few weeks ago a judge told me I was the BEST LAWYER in my office. Look, my boss agrees:

Multimedia message

In fact, I am such a good lawyer that... that’s all I got. But my office is remarkable tidy! Plus I’m CPR and AED certified!

Multimedia message

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The few things At Which I Am Awesome


1. Lying.
2. Booking plane tickets at the exact right time.
3. Farming. (Well, virtual farming.)
4. Intersecting thoughts and feelings.
5. Operating the internet.
6. Telling people what to do.
7. Holding my liquor. Even enough to blog. (Or at least publish this earlier-written-post.)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Tripe, Sybill?


This week's Collective topic is: Things at which I am awesome. My day to post is Monday. You will notice that it is Tuesday. Tuesday at 11:00am. And I still haven't posted. You know why? Because the thing at which I am most awesome in this whole entire world is psyching myself out of being awesome when it comes to writing words. I've spent the last ten years of my life trying to learn how to write words while secretly dreaming that someone would one day pay me money to write words. You know, for a living. And wonky fluke of universe tilting! It happened! It totally happened!

And so I wrote, wrote, wrote. And never, ever slept. And every time -- every single fucking time -- someone would say, "This is good!" Or "You are great!" Or "Here, have some more money because you are actually kind of talented!" I would cower in the corner and rock back and forth and sob, "Doooom! Doooom! Dooooom!" into my shirtsleeves.

Last week, my favorite showrunner/writer of my favorite TV show called me an "oasis in a sea of wankers." He invited me up to Toronto to come play on the set of his show. He asked my advice about his characters. He thinks we're, like, colleagues or something. I got two emails from two BBC news presenters -- a Welsh one and a regular English one -- telling me they think I'm an artist, that I "challenge political opinions and cultural totems," that I embody "love, creativity, kindness, invention, learning." Then I got a whole other email from a whole other showrunner and writer who tracked me down from Twitter because we share the same initials. He said "The way I distinguish between us [on fan forums]: They hate me. They love you." Then I interviewed someone who said, "Everyone on set reads and loves your recaps!" And then! Someone sent me a photo of words I'd written. She'd had them tattooed ONTO HER BODY. FOREVER. It's the SECOND TIME that has happened.

And what do I do with that, you guys? Do I say, "Hey there, look at me! Making my dreams come true! How lucky am I! How stupidly awesome is it that I got this stupid chance to write my stupid words for the whole wide world?"

No. I do not. I sit and stare at a blank Google Doc and when I can't handle that anymore, I pick up a Sharpie and draw boxes and write the word "Block!" "Block!" "Block!" over and over and over again.

I don't know why it happens. I don't understand it. When people think I am an awesome writer, and they want me to write more words in the same vein of that perceived awesomeness, I choke. I just motherfucking choke and it's like Sybill Fucking Trelawney over here, looking at a cup of regular tea and howling about The Grim.

You say: That's a really lovely sentence you wrote there, Heather Anne.

I hear: The giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards! My dear Heather Anne, it is an omen – the worst omen – of death!


Hey, today is Abigail!'s birthday! Let's focus on that!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Phone It In Friday: Who needs sleep?

Happy Friday! Did you know? Friday is the best day of all the (week)days. It's true, I read it on the internet.

So. You guys. What keeps you up at night? OR. What do you need in order to fall asleep?

PS: If you guys have any suggestions for topics or anything you'd like to see around here, please let us know.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

We're gonna live like kings! Damn hell ass kings!

Jennie I go through periods where I sleep like total ass. And sleeping like ass is like, totally bad sleep, you guys, I swear. If you think about it, your ass really never sleeps, because you're always sitting on it or using it to move, or suffocating it by putting pants on it. Did you know asses hate pants? They do. Especially when it's hot outside. That's why you should wear a dress in the summer. Yes, even those of you with boy parts.

What was I talking about? Oh, right. Not sleeping. There are nights where I don't sleep at all, I think. I'll try to sleep. I'll close my eyes. I'll think sleepy thoughts. But I won't sleep.

Even in the best of times, I'm a touchy sleeper. I wake up if someone looks at me. I wake up if someone is scratching their bug bites in the middle of the night (JOE). I wake up if a small animal starts climbing on my pillow (PHOEBE). When Heidi and I lived together, I'd wake up to her alarm even thought it was a room, a hallway, and two closed doors away. My alarm clock is set on the radio-alarm and I wake up to the soft click it makes as the radio turns on, not the actual radio. I suck at sleeping.

I suck at falling asleep, too. I have been known to lie in bed for hours, wishing to just SLEEP DAMMIT SLEEP. Usually it's something stupid keeping me awake, like the moon is too bright (what?) or I have to get up earlier than usual in the morning or I can't put my damn book down because it's too damn good to stop reading, dammit.

I sort of hate sleep. I mean, I like the ACT of sleeping but I resent having to sleep every night, because I think of all the stuff I could get done if I didn't have to sleep. Like, OK, there was this episode of The X-Files called Sleepless. I don't remember much about it, other than Krycek is in it (with both arms) and Mulder wears a tiny, red Speedo. And these Vietnam vets had their sleep-brains removed (that's scientifically accurate, I'm pretty sure), I think to make them better soldiers because why would soldiers need to be well-rested? Anyway, the soldiers all go nutso-bananas because DUH sleep is like, important. You need to sleep so you don't start hallucinating that baby aliens are coming to steal your spaghettios because BABY ALIENS LOVE SPAGHETTIOS.

But what if you didn't need to sleep? That would be awesome. Except I like dreaming. Whatever, my point is, maybe it would be worth going a little crazy if you had an extra 6-8 hours to do stuff every day. I don't remember how that episode ended, but it was The X-Files, so I'm sure a bunch of people died or got abducted by aliens or had their livers ripped out, which is almost as bad as not being able to sleep. THE END.

Monday, 9 August 2010

You're all done with the run of the race ... for today


Scout Portard came to us like a banshee in the night, howling to beat the band. She collapsed in my bathroom floor after a bath, slept through the whole night. Running from the Devil is hard work, I guess. We looked for her home the next day. We looked for a home the day after that. We couldn't keep her. We were set in our ways. We had a dog and a cat who were set in their ways. And so on her fifth day, we took her to an animal shelter. I held her in my lap while Amy filled out the paperwork, and somewhere between phone number and address, Scout started to shiver. And shiver. And shiver. And I started to cry giant, sopping crocodile tears. When Amy looked over and saw the pair of us, she ripped up the papers and said, "We'll keep her."

And we did.

Two-and-a-half years later I cannot sleep without a pair of beagle paws in my face.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

"do the shit out of [blank]" sounds a lot dirtier than I intended

Jennie I love How To websites. I like to read about how to do things, and know that if I bought the ingredients/supplies/whatever, I could actually do most of these things. Although, I hardly ever actually do them. I think, "Wow, that would be super cool, I should do that!" and then I star whatever it is in my Greader, thinking I'll come back to it later and totally DO THE SHIT OUT OF IT. Then I find it a few months later and forget why I starred it. And I do not ever, in fact, do the shit out of it.

That said, I would like someone to write a book called How To Get Off Your Lazy Ass and Do Stuff, Jennie. That might not be relevant to that many people, although, there ARE a lot of Jennies in the world. They'd probably sell more copies if it was called How To Get Off Your Lazy Ass and Do Stuff, Jennifer. That would cover all Jennifers, Jennies, Jennys, Jens, Jenns, and Fers. If they called it that, though, then I would think I was in trouble because the only time I'm ever called Jennifer is if A) I'm in big big trouble (even more trouble if the Jennifer is followed by Lynn) or B) the person doesn't know me AT ALL. Anyway, MAYBE just How To Get Off Your Lazy Ass and Do Stuff would be the best title of all, especially if they wanted to sell like, all the copies. So sure, let's go with that.

I would also like this person to write follow-ups to How To Get Off Your Lazy Ass and Do Stuff, preferably these:

How to Find Time To Do Stuff After You Get Off Your Lazy Ass
How to Get Up Early to Exercise, You Lazy A-Hole
How to Quit Your Job and Write Stupid Stories All Day Instead. For Monies.

And then, you know, I'd probably need this person to follow me around, make sure I read the books, and then DO THE SHIT OUT out of whatever the books told me to do.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

How to Reward Oneself after a Hard Week of Lawyering

I sure wish someone would write a book about how AWESOME this weekend is about to be, but I wouldn't want to make you all jealous.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Everyone I knew was waiting on a queue

There's only one book I want to read and I would trade all other future books (maybe even the Harry Potter Encyclopedia) for this.

Heather Anne Hogan needs to write a book and I will not rest until it's in our hands.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

How to be Little Heather Anne Hogan, by Future Heather Anne Hogan


Are we still fierce, or what?

Hello, little Heather Anne Hogan. Greetings from older you. Yes, that's right: Your attempts to make people call you "Heather Anne" have paid off in the future! Some people will even write it like this: Heather! Anne! It looks as awesome in the future as I'm sure it looks in the past. Exclamation marks are a way of life here. (!!!)

Listen, the reason I am sending this letter is because when you are 31, someone will ask you what one book you wish someone would write. And the one book older you wishes someone would write is called "How to be Little Heather Anne Hogan." (No, I don't mean you're physically little. You're very tall for your age. You get taller. Apparently you will be locked-on about height for the rest of your life.) I can't explain why someone's asking about the book thing or where your answer will be published because the only thing you know about computers right now is how to play the DOS version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Just the concept of 2010 computers will blow your tiny mind. (Sadly, still no flying cars in 2010. Or Hoverboards.)

Anyway, instead of telling you about the book, I'm going to actually write it. And it's not really a book; it's more like a pamphlet. I know you hate to read (oh, little you!), and I also don't want to deprive you of the pleasure of discovery. I know how you thrive on it.

So here's your book, kiddo. It's just ten things Future You wants Little You to know.

1) You know that feeling you have nearly all the time, that there's something different about you? Not different good, but different weird? And you're scared that someone's going to find out about your weird thing at any moment and tell the whole world about it even though you don't even know what the weird thing is? Even though you're too terrified to even think about what makes you different? OK, here's the thing: You are different. Not different from everyone. And not different in a bad way. Just different from a lot of your friends. Because you like girls. I mean, you like them, like them. You don't have a language for that yet. And the first time you hear the words to describe it, they will be dripping with such hate and disdain that you'll convince yourself for years and years that there's no way they can apply to you. But they do. And that's OK. It's more than OK. It's awesome. It doesn't define your future, just like it doesn't define your now. But it is a wonderful part of who you are. So don't be afraid of it, sweet lamb. It's how God made you.

2) In third grade, you are going to move to Florida for a little while where you will meet up with a teacher named Mrs. Hare. There is no magic in her. She will try to tell you something horrible and untrue about Santa Claus. When she does, kick her in the shins and run away.

3) Jennifer is going to grow up to be your dearest companion. (I know: that seems even more impossible than flying cars.) Be nicer to your baby sister. When you're older, she will save your life many times over.

4) You know how everyone keeps telling you to stop doing stupid things on your bike because every time you crash you get another scar, and scares aren't pretty? That's bullshit. (You grow up to swear a lot, P.S.). Scars are awesome. They tell your whole story. You'll still be wrecking your bike when you're 31. And you'll still be loving it. (People are also going to tell you that watching TV is a waste of your time. Guess what? They're wrong about that too.)

5) Just write this down somewhere and save it until 1991: In Koopa Navy #1 in world 8 of Super Mario Bros. 3, you can swim under all the ships. Seriously. When you drop into the board, immediately walk left and jump into the water. When the ships start moving, drop below the water and just before it feels like you're going to drown, start swimming as fast as you can. It's a sweet spot; you'll feel it. You will save yourself SO MANY HOURS MONTHS of heartache if you know that trick. (Also, save a P-Wing for Koopa Airforce #1 or you'll be fucked.)

6) You're going to want to spend a lot of your life trying to fit in. Read books instead.

7) Books: In 1997, a book will be published called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Get it. Read it. You have to trust me. Do it as soon as you can.

8) You are not responsible for other people's decisions. Listen to me, Heather Anne: You are not responsible for other people's decisions. You are not responsible for other people's decisions. You are not responsible for other people's decisions. Congratulations, I just saved you five grand in therapy bills.

9) When you're in sixth grade, your dad is going to say, "You don't really want these Batman sheets and pillowcases, do you? You're in middle school. Get some more grown-up sheets and pillowcases." Don't. When you're 31, you're still going to wish you'd gotten the Batman ones. (You still have your cape and cowl too! See the photo on the first page of this book!)

10) October 10th, 1992. A girl is going to transfer from your rival middle school's basketball team to play on your basketball team. You will hate her immediately because she is more athletic (but not taller) than you. Spoiler Alert: That girl is sitting beside me right now, humming the harmony to my melody with every song that comes on my iPod. (It's like a tiny machine that holds a zillion mix-tapes.) In all your life, you're never going to love (or be loved by) someone more. You should maybe not hit her in the face with your elbow the first day you meet her. She'll never let you live it down.