Mindy Kaling’s Flick Chicks

Thank you for this gem Mindy Kaling:

“It makes sense, then, that in the romantic-comedy world there are many specimens of women who—like Vulcans or Mothra—do not exist in real life. Here are some examples:

The Klutz

When a beautiful actress is cast in a movie, executives rack their brains to find some kind of flaw in the character she plays that will still allow her to be palatable. She can’t be overweight or not perfect-looking, because who would pay to see that? A female who is not one hundred per cent perfect-looking in every way? You might as well film a dead squid decaying on a beach somewhere for two hours.

So they make her a Klutz.

The hundred-per-cent-perfect-looking female is perfect in every way except that she constantly bonks her head on things. She trips and falls and spills soup on her affable date (Josh Lucas. Is that his name? I know it’s two first names. Josh George? Brad Mike? Fred Tom? Yes, it’s Fred Tom). The Klutz clangs into stop signs while riding her bike and knocks over giant displays of fine china in department stores. Despite being five feet nine and weighing a hundred and ten pounds, she is basically like a drunk buffalo who has never been a part of human society. But Fred Tom loves her anyway.

The Ethereal Weirdo

The smart and funny writer Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl to describe this archetype after seeing Kirsten Dunst in the movie “Elizabethtown.” This girl can’t be pinned down and may or may not show up when you make concrete plans with her. She wears gauzy blouses and braids. She likes to dance in the rain and she weeps uncontrollably if she sees a sign for a missing dog or cat. She might spin a globe, place her finger on a random spot, and decide to move there. The Ethereal Weirdo appears a lot in movies, but nowhere else. If she were from real life, people would think she was a homeless woman and would cross the street to avoid her. But she is essential to the male fantasy that even if a guy is boring he deserves a woman who will find him fascinating and perk up his dreary life by forcing him to go skinny-dipping in a stranger’s pool.

The Woman Who Is Obsessed with Her Career and Is No Fun at All

I regularly work sixteen hours a day. Yet, like most people I know who are similarly busy, I’m a pleasant, pretty normal person. But that’s not how working women are depicted in movies. I’m not always barking orders into my hands-free phone device and yelling, “I have no time for this!” Often, a script calls for this uptight career woman to “relearn” how to seduce a man, and she has to do all sorts of crazy degrading crap, like eat a hot dog in a sexy way or something. And since when does holding a job necessitate that a woman pull her hair back in a severe, tight bun? Do screenwriters think that loose hair makes it hard to concentrate?

The Forty-two-Year-Old Mother of the Thirty-Year-Old Male Lead

If you think about the backstory of a typical mother character in a romantic comedy, you realize this: when “Mom” was an adolescent, the very week she started to menstruate she was impregnated with a baby who would grow up to be the movie’s likable brown-haired leading man. I am fascinated by Mom’s sordid early life. I would rather see this movie than the one I bought a ticket for.

I am so brainwashed by the young-mom phenomenon that when I saw the poster for “The Proposal” I wondered for a second if the proposal in the movie was Ryan Reynolds’ suggesting that he send his mother, Sandra Bullock, to an old-age home.

The Sassy Best Friend

You know that really hilarious and horny best friend who is always asking about your relationship and has nothing really going on in her own life? She always wants to meet you in coffee shops or wants to go to Bloomingdale’s to sample perfumes? She runs a chic dildo store in the West Village? Nope? O.K., that’s this person.

The Skinny Woman Who Is Beautiful and Toned but Also Gluttonous and Disgusting

Again, I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief for good set decoration alone. One pristine kitchen from a Nancy Meyers movie like “It’s Complicated” compensates for five scenes of Diane Keaton being caught half naked in a topiary. But I can’t suspend disbelief enough, for instance, if the gorgeous and skinny heroine is also a ravenous pig when it comes to food. And everyone in the movie—her parents, her friends, her boss—are all complicit in this huge lie. They constantly tell her to stop eating. And this actress, this poor skinny actress who obviously lost weight to play the likable lead character, has to say things like “Shut up, you guys! I love cheesecake! If I want to eat an entire cheesecake, I will!” If you look closely, you can see this woman’s ribs through the dress she’s wearing—that’s how skinny she is, this cheesecake-loving cow.

The Woman Who Works in an Art Gallery

How many freakin’ art galleries are out there? Are people buying visual art on a daily basis? This posh/smart/classy profession is a favorite in movies. It’s in the same realm as kindergarten teacher or children’s-book illustrator in terms of accessibility: guys don’t really get it, but it is likable and nonthreatening.

Art Gallery Woman: “Dust off the Warhol. You know, that Campbell’s Soup one in the crazy color! We have an important buyer coming into town, and this is a really big deal for my career. I have no time for this!”

The Gallery Worker character is the rare female movie archetype that has a male counterpart. Whenever you meet a handsome, charming, successful man in a romantic comedy, the heroine’s friend always says the same thing: “He’s really successful. He’s”—say it with me—“an architect!”

There are, like, nine people in the entire world who are architects, and one of them is my dad. None of them look like Patrick Dempsey.”

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Up to my eyeballs in work…

…but if you fancy a laugh look no further than this: honest slogans.

Also, as someone who planned a wedding then scrapped it, this made me laugh.

Have a good day!

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Five year anniversary

Five years ago today (19 August 2009 when we had no idea that all this [below] was yet to come) was the first time I met my husband. We met in the library while writing – or rather not writing! – our Master’s dissertations and so today is our library anniversary. Congratulations to us! I can safely say that these last five years have been the best of my life. That is a whole paw full of years together. 

Here’s hoping for many, many more paws!

rodin

NYC

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Weekend: 9-10 August

Not a bad weekend overall. Spent most of Saturday with mutti; we bought a bundt tin. Pretty wet on Sunday so we watched four films! Here are some photos from this weekend and last week:

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Saturday links. Crazy, right?!

How young Americans spend their money. Check out that annual coffee spend, yo’!

I think I can safely say that I want one of everything from here.

The husbear and I are trying out Pact Coffee at the moment. So far, a thumbs up! Check them out. There is a discount code here [LONDONER] that you can use to get your first bag for £1. Have a go!

Check out this recipe for making your own Shake Shack burger. It. Looks. Delish.  Her full recipe index here.

I love reading about this road trip series. I’d like to go (back) to the Pacific Northwest.

Making mayo in a jar :: this always looks really flare.

Really beautiful ceramics collection on Koromiko.

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What British people say…

… and what they actually mean. I realise that there are quite a few of these lists circulating t’interwebs, but, oimoi as the (Ancient) Greeks say, this really made me laugh. I have literally (yes, I know how to use that word) said and meant a lot of the things on this list.

For instance:

Capture

 

 

Have a great weekend!

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The Single pancake: not as sad as it sounds!

Joy The Baker has blogged this recipe for a single pancake. And that woman is ON. THE. MONEY.

Breakfast dessert? Yes. That is totally a thing. I thought it was just us who did this. So this is some excellent validation. 

Here is the recipe. I cannot wait to try this. Preferably after some egg-y/hash-y goodness. I think some Greek yoghurt or some crème fraîche would go ever so well. I’ll report back after the weekend! 

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (a multi-purpose gluten-free flour also works well)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted melted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • handful of fresh blueberries
  • smaller handful of dark chocolate chips
  • a bit of vegetable oil and butter for coating the griddle
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter, vanilla extract and buttermilk.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir to combine.  The mixture will be thick.  Fold in the fresh blueberries and  chocolate chips.
In a small non-stick frying pan or a griddle heat a teaspoon of oil and a dab of butter over medium heat.  Pour in the pancake batter and spread some with the back of a spoon.  Cook over medium heat until blueberries begin to bubble and the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.
Flip.  It’s ok if it doesn’t flip perfectly.
Cook until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from pan and onto a plate.  Top with maple syrup and powdered sugar. Enjoy immediately.
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Weekend round-up and how to look forward to Mondays

2-3 August: we had a doing weekend. We crossed off a lot of jobs from our list and that was hugely satisfying. Garden and house bits and pieces that we’ve been wanting to do for a while. Massive props to m husbear who fixed our garden path and de-weeded the front and back garden.

Sunday morning we headed out to Branca for brunch with mutti. They both had eggs Benedict but I opted for the full vegetarian: two scrambled organic eggs, tomato, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns and granary toast. Amazing! The real boon is all the jams you get with the toast.

Mondays:

“Life is too short to hate 1/7th of the week”. True say! Thanks to this article about improving Mondays. Some of the more personally applicable ones here:

  • Schedule a lunch date at a fantastic spot with your significant other or best friend (those Monday morning meetings will fly by in anticipation.) Make sure there’s enough time to share a dessert.
  • Take a full hour-long lunch break, shut off your computer, and leave your desk — dive into a great book while you eat or just sit at a sidewalk café and people-watch.
  • Do something creative after work: paint, write, tackle a challenging recipe for dinner… whatever speaks to your individual soul, make time for it on Monday.
  • Meet a great friend (not the gossipy one, but the one who always leaves you feeling better) for happy hour. Yep, on a Monday.
  • Have a couple girl friends over to drink wine and cook dinner. Make it a potluck — everyone brings the ingredients for one item. Take your time and enjoy the cooking process together.
  • My husband and I usually plan to watch one of our favorite shows on Monday night and make an extra good dinner… kind of makes it feel like the weekend is carrying over.
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Friday links

Morning all!

Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend Lizzie who turns 27 today! Woop woop.

This week hasn’t been so bad – it has gone quite quickly to be fair. This was helped by some good food that I’ve cooked this week and a great night out last night in Reading with some friends. Also, we’ve got a few jobs done this week: sorted car insurance, tax disc, MOT, bought new curtains and replaced our knackered hoover with a fancy Dyson. Alas, our car now has a flat tyre so the list goes on but we’re getting there! 

No major plans this weekend. Just dinner with mutti this evening and we’ll go from there. I’m looking forward to some lie-ins.

The usual suspects:

Concrete dome homes: Julius Caesar meets the Jetsons.

Avoiding food waste. Some excellent advice!

Summer’s must-NOT-haves.

Please go and listen to this: Beat A Maxx Old Skool RnB Hypermix. Amazing, it is my youth. 65 tracks in that one song. Also, if you enjoyed that then check out Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals. Also, a-mazing.

So, I’m not going to lie, it’s a mission but please PLEASE read this book. It is <shouty voice> SO WELL WRITTEN.

Looking forward to getting my hands on this top. Bargain!

Here are some of the recipes I have made this week. Exhibits: 1, 2, 3, 4

This woman has great taste in entry ways and bed/bath accessories

I know my husbear would love these bad boys.

I want all these burgers!

Finally, some rockin’ street style.

Only 36 days to go!

Only 36 days to go!

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Weekend 26-27 July

Wow, last weekend feels a long way away now. Not a bad thing as that means it is Friday tomorrow and therefore another weekend approaches!

We went to a polterabend last weekend. Yep, that was a new one on me too. “Polterabend is the term for a German wedding custom in which on the night before the wedding the guests break porcelain to bring luck to the couple’s marriage.” Also, it’s pronounced polter-abend, rather than poltera-bend as I thought. Every day is a school day.

Anyway, we don’t have any pictures, alas, but it was great fun. Those Germans do love a good party game! Plate-smashing, log-sawing, leg-feeling – good wholesome family fun :)

Earlier on Saturday we went to see the house that my mum has bought and… it certainly needs a lot of work but she is happy with it and convinced that she can make it beautiful so thumbs up. After that we went for some food at giraffe and I was really, pleasantly surprised. It was tasty and relaxed and had a good ambiance. Plus, free coffee refills!

Sunday didn’t really happen. Well, it did, but it involved chopping huge amounts of melon and watching a sh*t load of films. Not all bad.

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