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Friday Five: I Love a Woman with a Sense of Humor

16 Mar

The new age of women comedians is here. Instead of women being a sideshow to funny men, women are making people laugh and people are taking notice. So here, in no particular order, are the five biggest names in funny women in TV and movies today, in my humble opinion:

Tina Fey

tina fey in bust magazine, 2004

The genius behind Mean Girls, 30 Rock, and Bossypants. This chick made glasses look hot and made America think Sarah Palin really said, “I can see Russia from my house!” She was the first female head writer on SNL, and paved the way for a legion of funny women to start on SNL and jump into mainstream media. I can’t explain how much I love this woman. In fact, the first thing I asked A when I came home with my new glasses was, “Are they Tina Fey or Lisa Loeb?”

Amy Poehler

amy poehler in bust magazine

She was brilliant in SNL, amazing in Mean Girls, and though it wasn’t critically acclaimed, I thought she rocked Baby Mama. She’s been in the best women’s magazine ever, Bust Magazine, like, a million times.Parks and Recreation is a weekly watch for me, and she constantly blows me away with her witty, sharp humor. Plus, she married Will Arnett. They’re, like, the funniest couple of all time.

Maya Rudolph

maya rudolph in bust magazine. apparently all my funny-girl heroines have been in bust magazine.

This woman is the whole package. Smart, funny, gorgeous, and she can sing. She’s the only reason I watch Up All Night, and, in my world, a comic genius. Here’s her performing The Star Spangled Banner as the winner of a small town American Idol-esque competition at a Haiti benefit. (Her intro starts at 1:50)

Kristen Wigg

image courtesy of

This lady cracks me up. She’s the main reason I still try to catch SNL when I can. Loved her in Rollerball. She’s the queen of the drawn-out awkward moment and the crazy characters that make you want to dress up like them for an in-the-know Halloween costume.

Sophía Vergara

image courtesy of

Lest you think all the funny women I love are SNL alums, Sophía Vergara is a comedic force to be reckoned with. I have a lot of respect for this woman. First off, she’s a freaking goddess. It would be so easy for a woman with her assets to be pigeon-holed into a dumb eye-candy role. But I would argue that she’s one of the funniest parts ofModern Family. She’s turned her looks into a punchline, landing her tons of endorsement deals, including a Cover Girl ad that cracks me up. Well done, Sophía, well done.

Anyoen you’d care to add to the list of funny ladies?

Friday Five: Gratitude

9 Mar

image from askorbinka on pinterest

Given that A landed in the hospital this week and came home with a fistful of prescriptions, I feel it’s a fitting time to list what and who I am grateful for this week. I’m so grateful, in fact, that I’m cheating and listing more than one thing as my number three. Because it’s my blog, and I do what I want. Boo yah.

1. Texting
I left the house Tuesday morning with A saying he didn’t feel well and was going to stay home. He was running a slight fever (99.2°) and was going to call our doctor when they opened. He called me at 8:45 to tell me he had a doctor’s appointment at 11:30. At 12:30 I got out of class because I’d gotten no less than four texts from A and people from church telling me he’d been sent to the hospital with a 104.4° fever, severe dehydration, dizziness, and severe mystery abdominal pain. I was an hour away, without traffic, and since there are ten school campuses I could be at on any given day, A had no idea how to contact me except by cell. If it weren’t for texting, I’d never have known until way later, as I can’t check voicemail in class.

2. Shane
One of the texts was from Shane, our new Young Adult minister who A has become quite close to in the short time he’s been at our church. There were two men A thought to call when he couldn’t get in touch with me and didn’t want to be alone, and Shane was closest to the hospital. A told me later that Shane arrived at the hospital ten minutes after he’d called him. Shane sent me texts letting me know he was with A through triage, through his first doctor’s examination, and to tell me that A was in good spirits and joking. I didn’t tell Shane that his words were little comfort to me, as A would have done that even if he was dying just to make Shane feel more comfortable, but it was a huge comfort to me knowing that he was there. That A had a friend he was close enough to reach out to, and that he showed up.

3.1 Elaine
Another text I got at 12:30 was from my friend Elaine. She works with Shane, and not only was the second one to tell me A was on his way to the hospital, she let me know she was praying. Then she let me know others were praying, and checked in periodically to get updates on how my love was doing. In short, she made me feel very loved, and much less stressed and alone while we waited for the results from his CT scan.
3.2 Molly
I had plans with Molly on Tuesday. Not only was she completely understanding and concerned for us both, (A loves her like a little sister, after all) but she texted me that day to see how things were going and for two days after to see if we needed anything and if she could help. Even though I told her A was ok, and she’s got more than enough worry on her plate to last her the rest of the year, she kept reaching out. Again, I felt very loved and not alone.
3.3 Cara
I’ve never even met Cara in person, but she’s a kindred spirit I’ve been blessed to meet through my blog. She wrote a comment in response to my Mondays post that I didn’t see until I was sitting with A in the hospital. It was so sweet, so endearing, so heartfelt that it made me tear up. I emailed her back that night after A was home and safe and just poured it all out. She’s been going thorough her own stuff lately and we’ve been holding each other up in prayer. But when she got my email she sent back such a heartfelt response, I felt her prayers and love through her words. Again, one more person I’ve been blessed with who made me feel loved in a time of need.

4. Mom
My mother gets up at four in the morning almost every day. She’s usually in bed by seven. I called her because she was the first person I thought of who might be willing to take me back to the hospital to pick up my car after I’d taken A home in his. She picked me up after six, completely disrupting her schedule and sleep, without hesitation. She’s a great mother, and I’m glad I’m hers.

5. Aaron coming home
More than anything, I can’t express how grateful I am that A came home within a few hours, with nothing more serious (although still very, very painful) than good prescription drugs could cure. When the ER doc ordered a CT scan, every episode of Grey’s Anatomy came rushing back to me, and all I could do is watch and pray as I saw his insides scanned, hoping I wouldn’t see an abnormal growth or something that would require emergency surgery. (Because I SO would have been able to tell.) Especially considering how much crap I gave him that morning because I didn’t think he was serious enough about going to see the doctor. I was so scared and worried, and I am so glad that he is home, almost healthy, and on the mend. Thank you Lord.

What are you grateful for this week?

Friday Five: Books That Keep Me Up All Night

2 Mar

There’s been a lot of sleepless nights lately at casa de BiRL. For once it’s not just because of insomnia, I’ve been reading some really excellent books lately. Unfortunately they all seem to get good right before bed. So here they are, the top five titles that have kept me up lately, from most to least recent:

The Paris Wife

Since I just reviewed this awesome book, I’ll spare you, except to say read it! But not before bed. I saw the sun rise thanks to this little gem.


Again, recently reviewed. This one comes with a serious Do Not Start Before Bed warning. Or, if you do, stop once Loius gets to Hawaii. After that there’s no turning back until the war’s over.

The Night Circus

Oh! I so called it! I picked up this book shortly after it came out (that was pre-Bigger in Real Life, and I’ve been meaning to write the review for a while) and as soon as I was done I said to A, “I bet they’re going to make this into a movie. It would make a really good one.” And I was right! (I’d put money on Unbroken being made into a movie too, by the way.) I totally see this visually taking on a Baz Luhrmann à la Moulin Rouge feel. Here’s hoping! Check out Cinema Blend for the full story. Anyhow, self-congratulations aside, this book is lovely. Luminous yet dark with pulsating, palpable descriptions, The Night Circus is a haunting novel that feeds into my love of gothic-esque fiction. It’s a longer read, so didn’t read all of it in one night, but I definitely stayed up way past the point of comfort because I couldn’t ever fathom what would come next.

Another Piece of My Heart

Jane Green’s been a favorite of mine for years. Yes, she writes what would be classified as “chick lit,” but I like to think that it’s the thinking girl’s chick lit. I snagged this book as a pre-publication promo, and it’s another book I’ve been meaning to review. Jane Green still needs to get an American to proof-read her books for accuracy sake, but I think this is her most raw, moving book to date. She takes an already hard situation–making a blended family work when the mom is an alcoholic, the dad is raising his two girls, the oldest of which becomes unmanageable when he marries another woman, around whom most of the story is based–and ups the ante by throwing in infertility issues and a prodigal daughter. All this has the potential to stray across the line of believability in the hands of a less talented writer, but Jane Green always writes incredibly believable characters that have you feeling every hurt and triumph right along with them. Though a longer novel for a girly-book, it’s still a fast, yet satisfying read. I read this in one night mostly because I thought I could. And I did.

Garden Spells

I own every book Sarah Addison Allen has written, thanks to how utterly and completely I fell in love with Garden Spells. Her other books are wonderful, but nothing compares to this first one. I picked it up before a long weekend in a mountain cabin, not knowing what to expect. After reading for a half-hour next to an increasingly sleep-deprived A, I got up and padded into the living room because I knew I was in it for the long haul. I fell head-over heels into the world of Claire and Sydney Waverly, their lives, their loves, their tenuous trip towards accepting each other as sisters and making a life together. One part Practical Magic, one part Like Water for Chocolate, this book made me hungry for new experiences and for home-grown, handcrafted food. I’ve read it at least four times since its publication, and it never disappoints. It’s one of my best books on my shelf.

Friday Five – Snark Fest

24 Feb

I have a secret. I love snarkey websites that make fun of things. I know it’s sophmoric and celebrates a very base sort of humor, totally pandering to the lowest common denomenator, but I can’t halp it. They make me laugh. So here are my top five satyre websites (minus The Onion, becasue come on. Who doesn’t love The Onion?) in descending order:

#5: Awkward Family Photos

This website is largely supported by user content. They take the best of the worst photos and make fun of them. Like so:

Window Display

June 3rd, 2010

 Anything for the shot.

#4: Regretsy

I’m a die-hard etsy fan. A has gotten me some of my best jewlery from there, and have I told you the story of how I found the artist featured on my headers? Etsy! However. Sometimes you come across crap that is so bad you question the very nature of humanity to have produced someone who not only came up with the idea to make a beer cozy out of a squirrel carcass, but thought people would pay money for it. Enter Regretsy:


Posted on January 22, 2010 by Helen Killer Filed in Housewares

Oh she’s going to love it!  She can drink melted butter from it every morning.


#3: Anthroparodie

Ya’ll know I love me some Anthropologie, it’s my favorite place to go for inspiration for things I can make myself. But I think we can all agree that their prices are rediculous. Anthroparodie’s tagline is “Bohemia just got a lot more expensive.” Exactly:

February 17, 2012 

our grand masters of illusion
have concocted a perplexing enigma of unrelenting genius
see, it looks invisible
but then, what are those handles attached to?
are they just . . . floating . . . in space?
be this the handiwork of the devil?

#2: STFU Parents

This is my newest snark find, and I could not be more in love with a website. STFU Parents gives voice to every annoying thought I’ve ever had about parents. Who won’t. Shut up. About. Their. Kids. The parent’s whose kids are the biggest angles and can’t understand why eeveryone isn’t as in love with their screaming devil-child as they are. The parents who talk about their kids bowel movements, and share photos publically that will land their kids in therapy years later. STFU Parents, I’m so glad you exist:

MommyJacking: The Old One-Two Punch Edition

I wonder if Stacey’s ever heard the expression “quit while you’re ahead”? I’m guessing she hasn’t. I think she may have actually posted her second comment because she realized the first one sounded a little too “me me me”, but somehow she manages to come off as a bigger asshole than before. Whoops!

Also, what’s with the frowny face and the “I don’t blame you for being super excited!” line? Did I miss something by only paying 14 percent attention during Sunday School? Is “excitement” some kind of sin or vice for which we should be blamed or feel guilty? Of course Piper is super excited for her wedding. Being married is the greatest thing next to having children!!! And having children is the greatest thing next to having a friend like Stacey!!!

#1: Stuff Christians Like

i couldn't copy the header, so i settled for the book

This one is hands down my favorite poke-fun website, but it’s very different from all the sites I’ve mentioned above. SCL really like to poke fun at the Christian experience, but the point of it is to foster unity and edification insted of making fun at someone’s expense. I’ve had some seriously convicting moments while reading posts from this site, as well as laughingly recognising myself in many of the things they say Christians do. SCL, may you live on for a good long time.

#1141. Sonic Happy Hour or “The Christian Happy Hour.”

January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized with 159 Comments

Dear Sonic,

I think I’ve been pretty clear about my love of all things Chick-fil-A. The food is delicious. The service is impeccable. And as every Christian knows, eating there is a like tithing. I’ve showered love on the Hamburger Chick-fil-A as well. (You might know it as In-n-Out.) But you, I’ve ignored you. Like Johnny Gill in New Edition or Chris Kirkpatrick in NSYNC, you’ve never really gotten the attention you deserve.

Especially when I look into your ice.

I don’t know what shape that ice technically is. Balls? Diamonds? BB’s? What the industry term is I know not. I call it, “Frozen heaven.” So round, so perfect, so readily available from someone wearing roller-skates. It’s your ice that made me like you, but it’s your happy hour that made me love you. Half price drinks from 2-4? What a gift! What a beverage blessing. What a delightful two-hour window of liquid enjoyment. I drive up and order like a boss. Drink upon drink upon drink. And my bill? $2.98. Even better, the reason I ultimately broke my long silence about you, Sonic, is the nickname my friends have given that 120 minutes. They call it “The Christian Happy Hour.” If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that phrase belonged on SCL, I could buy Powerade slush for the residents of an entire small hamlet.

Why do we call it “The Christian Happy Hour?” It’s complicated.

For a long time, Christians judged you if you had an alcoholic drink. They’d argue that when Jesus turned water into wine that was not really wine. It was like “super grape juice,” completely different than say Yellow Tail. Then, things kind of flip flopped. So many Christians started drinking wine and microbrews that people started judging you for not drinking. My friends would say, “Oh, you don’t drink? You must be small-minded and judgmental.” We started judging people for being judgmental. Isn’t that rich? Oh me! It’s all very confusing and the more I write about it. The more I realize something. I need a drink. A beverage of some sorts that will wash away these perplexing times. Small grains of ice that will pulverize these perplexities.

It’s time for me to head to the Christian Happy Hour.

Yours in slush,


Friday Five – Color Cures the Winter Blues

17 Feb

I love nail polish. I mean, I LOVE nail polish! You know that statistic that says in times of crisis lipstick sales go up because women want a little bit on inexpensive luxury? Well, I nix the lipstick and head to the nail isle instead. Just so’s you know how much love I’m talking about, here’s a peek into my nail polish drawer:

obsessed much? why yes, yes i am.

There’s something that’s so refreshing about painting my nails. I match the color to my mood – if I need a pick me up I go bright. If I’m feeling saucy and mysterious I go dark. If I’m feeling clean and pure, polished, I go with a neutral, either shimmer or gloss. A laughs at me because I’ll go for months without painting my nails, then I’ll go through a spurt where I change the color daily. I try my best to stick to non-toxic brands, for A’s sinuses’ sake, but boy do I love me some OPI.

I thought I’d share the colors that make me swoon right now. Some I own, some I covet, all give me a fresh shot of happy, which I really need this time of year.

I’m always on the hunt for that elusive, perfect neutral. I think Scotch Naturals may have a winner. It’s described as a tawny beige-cream, but I think it has just enough pink in it to be perfect.

heather blush by scotch naturals

Dark colors make be feel sophisticated and sexy. I love colors that are one shade off of black, and I fell in love with Honk If You Love OPI when I got my post-marathon pedicure last year. So dark, so plum-perfect, I love it.

honk if you love opi by opi

Every gray day needs a little sparkle. A good platinum never goes out of style, and this one you can layer until you get your desired level of glitz. It’s neutral enough to not raise eyebrows at work, but I wouldn’t hesitate to throw this on for a glittery cocktail party. Cheers everyone! better! by opi

Speaking of glitter, this is my new favorite find. Coming from may favorite au natural line Zoya, this is on my toes right now and I absolutely love it. In the bottle it looks very violet, but when it’s on you get this strong coppery shimmer, backed by a lovely rosy-lavender hue. I think this will be a go-to for awhile.

faye by zoya

I’m cheating a bit with this last one, as it’s not just one color, but a collection. But I love Every. Single. One. And I couldn’t choose!

smoke collection by zoya

It’s got lavender neutrals, two unique purples (I’ll admit it, most of my nail polish collection is shades of purple. I can’t get enough!) super-hot-right-now colors of dark teal and olive. Plus, you know how I said I love dark colors? I’ve been looking for a perfect bitter-sweet chocolate brown color for years. So many nail lines have nice browns, but they’reeither too light, or have too much red, or have glitter, or something that makes them not what I’m looking for. Not anymore! The Smoke Collection includes my new nail obsession, Codie.

codie by zoya

Zoya  describes it as a blackened espresso brown creme with subtle olive undertones. Great for when you want something dark and dramatic but not black. Um, hello, yes please?!? A, my darling, my love, if you’re reading this, any of the above colors would make a great gift. I’m just sayin’.

Do you love nail polish as much as I do? What are your favorite shades right now?

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