As you probably know by now, the cicadas are coming. Thirty billion cicadas, to be exact, are poised to swarm the northeastern United States pretty much any day now after spending the past 17 years underground. Many of my east coast friends have already vowed to stay inside for four to six weeks while the cicadas dutifully buzz, breed, and die; others are dreading the inevitable clean-up of the billions of crunchy post-coital cicada corpses. But one person I know is really excited about the cicada invasion: my dad. For as long as I can remember, cicada breeding seasons have been like extended Christmases for my family. I’d often find my dad out in the yard listening to the cicadas’ deafening buzz with his eyes closed, as if it were the most beautiful symphony he’d ever heard. On the exciting occasion that he would catch one of the massive insects, he’d pass it around to my brothers and me, instructing us to gently close our hands around it and feel the vibrations emitted by its trademark buzzing. Even a passionate bug hater like me had to admit it was pretty cool.
How could anyone love these much-loathed insects? Why are they so damn loud? Can cicadas hurt people? What advice does he have for people who are scared of this year’s “Swarmageddon”? Read on to get the scoop on cicadas from their biggest fan, my dad… Keep reading »
Looking over Julia Stiles’ IMDB page is a reminder she’s more than just the woman we know and love from “10 Things I Hate About You.” Yeah, that movie was my everything during high school and college. But she’s had a looooong career doing different movies and TV. Whether you fell for her in “Dexter,” “Silver Linings Playbook” or “Save The Last Dance,” you have to agree Julia is a solid actress.
In her latest dark comedy, “It’s A Disaster,” Julia stars as Tracy, a woman who goes on her third date with Glen (played by David Cross) to brunch with all her coupled friends. More specifically, friends who are couples who are fighting. If that’s not an awkward enough premise for newcomer Glen, very quickly into the film there comes news that a national disaster is afoot. The phone lines go out, the windowframes all get taped up, and it’s time to start heavily drinking and/or air old grievances. It is a disaster in more ways than one … but it’s very funny.
I talked with Julia about the end of the world and the hazards of brunch and along the way learned she has a secret love of Spanish language television, including the Spanish version of “Judge Judy.” Who knew?!
Our Q&A, after the jump!
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Full disclosure: I am more than a little obsessed with Kelly Oxford. The Canadian blogger turned Twitter celeb turned screenwriter just released her first book, the memoir Everything Is Perfect When You’re A Liar, and it’s seriously one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. I have to stop myself from retweeting every single one of her deadpan missives on Twitter. Her husband James looks like bearded Jon Hamm and her three children — Salinger, 11; Henry, 8; and Bea, 4 — are adorable. She owns the Isabel Marant wedge sneakers that I want but can’t afford. So when I got the opportunity to talk to Kelly about her book and her other upcoming projects, naturally I kept her on the phone for as long as possible. After the jump, Kelly talks about the process of writing all of the essays in Everything Is Perfect When You’re A Liar; the differences between Canadians and Americans; what it’s like to have switched roles with her husband so she’s now the “breadwinner” after 10 years of being a stay-at-home mom; what pal David Copperfield — yes, the magician — has hidden on his private island; and which celeb she totally could have dated at 17. Keep reading »
So, huge news: my boyfriend Nick and I are moving from Portland to Nashville, Tennessee! Remember when we visited last year and were totally smitten with the city? Well, our lease is up at the end of this month, and we’ve decided it’s the right time to give southern living a try. Neither of us has ever done a major move like this. We are incredibly excited. We are totally terrified. And we are full of questions about everything from packing logistics to saying goodbye to our dear friends, which is why I enlisted my lovely and wise coworker Ami, who is something of a moving expert–to give us some guidance. Read on for our moving Q&A, and please feel free to add your own tips and suggestions in the comments (we’ll take any help we can get!).
Alright, take it away, Ami…
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Move over, Beatles, because I think I found my new favorite band. Their name is My Dick. Their album? My Dick’s Double Full-Length Release: 23 spot-on covers of some of the greatest hits of the ‘70s–‘90s, with one twist: key words in the lyrics are replaced with “dick.” I spoke to the two artists behind this opus. Read on.
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So, yesterday was basically one of the most exciting days I’ve ever had. As you know, Julie is headed to the Olympics in London in August, but I got the chance to attend the gymnastics Olympic trials this week in San Jose on behalf of P&G Beauty. For three hours, I had the opportunity to watch, up close, the country’s best gymnasts practice for competition. It was, quite simply, awe-inspiring. I’ll be posting photos and videos in the next week.
But equally as exciting was sitting down to talk with an incredible athlete who is not competing this year – Shawn Johnson, who won the gold medal on balance beam, and the silver all-around individual medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Earlier this month, despite prior intentions to compete for a slot on the 2012 Olympic team, Johnson announced her retirement due to recurring problems with her knee following an injury. Instead, her new role at the Olympic Games will be as a P&G correspondent, interviewing athletes and cheering them on from the stands. After the jump, read my interview with Shawn, who talks about what she learned from being surrounded by so many other women, how she feels about being a role model, and what question she’s dying to ask the Olympic athletes in London. Oh yeah, and we also obviously talked about gross beauty tips, Ryan Gosling, tall guys, and “Magic Mike.” Because duh. Keep reading »
Sometimes dreams do come true, like the time that I wrote about Ernie “The Turtleman” Brown Jr. and he came to our office and hung out and visited with us all day. The Turtleman, if you’re unfamiliar, is the host and star of “Call of the Wildman,” an awesome show on Animal Planet. In it, The Turtleman traps all manner of wild animals and safely removes them from people’s yards, houses and swamps (some people have swamps). His catchphrase is “Live action!” which he will shout at you with a joy and exuberance most of us reserve for our favorite bands or gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. Not Turtleman. He lives every day like this, and watching him catch possums, or remove snakes, is totally entertaining!
We talked to The Turtleman about turtles, life in his native Kentucky, and asked him for dating and relationship advice. Because, we figured, chasing turtles all those years is bound to teach you a thing or two. See what he had to say, after the jump!
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I’m definitely one of those people who enjoys the vast majority of movies I see in some way. But I’m rarely blown away by a film to the point where I’ll want to see it twice in a short period of time. One such film that did have that spirit-moving effect on me was “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” based on the book of the same name by Lionel Shriver. The film is told from the perspective of a mother (played by Tilda Swinton) who is looking back on her experience raising a boy named Kevin, who eventually massacres teachers and classmates in a school shooting. Swinton’s character Eva is shown both in the present as she faces what’s left of her life following Kevin’s crime, and in flashbacks to his upbringing. The film is deeply moving and frightening, a truly successful adaptation of a great, complicated book. Swinton, as you can always expect from the great actress, is fantastic, but I was equally as impressed by Ezra Miller, who portrayed Kevin as the teenager who eventually commits these atrocious acts.
I was lucky enough to interview Miller, 19, about “We Need To Talk About Kevin” (which is in theaters nationwide now), the ways in which he actually related to the character, how society views motherhood, and acting in general. I was very impressed by his intelligence and found that his thoughts heightened by impressions of the film to the degree that I actually want to see it a third time. Check out our Q&A after the jump! Keep reading »