I’m back, and so is The Bachelor

Hello hello hello, fellow Rose Lovers! After nearly a 4 month break, the first episode of the new season of The Bachelor will air on January 6th of the year 2020, starring some guy named Peter who flies planes and apparently has some seriously impressive physical stamina in a windmill. That’s it. That’s his personality. Flying sex man. He literally looks like Nick Viall and Ben Higgins had a baby and came out with the least interesting combination of DNA possible. I’ll hold out hope that he proves himself to be fun, or funny, or alive, but it’s probably safer to hope the ladies are bringing the drama this season.

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Speaking of the ladies, THE LADIES ARE HERE! ABC has officially released the bios of all 30 gentlewomen* about to descend on the Bachelor mansion and Peter in hopes of finding lasting love/a spot on Paradise/an Instagram sponsorship with gummy buddy hair grow friends.

*A note on the word “gentlewomen”: I wanted to find a synonym for “ladies” that was neither sexist nor rude, which was much more difficult than you might think. Among the immediate rejects were broads, bitches, dames, dolls, mamas, and my personal favorite, bags. I wasn’t entirely sold on “gentlewomen,” but then I discovered a super cool British magazine called The Gentlewoman that has had the likes of Beyoncé, Saoirse Ronan and Margaret Atwood on the cover, and my decision was quickly made. Plus now I have a new magazine subscription to make my husband shake his head when he goes to get the mail and the only thing that falls out is the entire print industry with my name and address on it. You’re welcome, magazine writers!

So! I combed through all of the bios carefully (i.e. judged based on picture, age and profession) and chose a few obvious (random) standouts (females with names and ages and professions) that I’m hoping will make it past the first all nighter, or at least not show up dressed as an airplane asking Peter to “take a ride” in her. So without further adieu, to you and you and you, I give you: Patti’s Picks for Peter’s Pen- hahahahaha you totally thought I was gonna go there, and to be honest, I almost did. ANYWAY:

1_8wjo-2d0bG7rDuzs9DdwXAMeet Avonlea! She’s a 27 year old cattle rancher who grew up on the ranch, but now lives in the big bad city of Fort Worth, where they still have daily cattle drives right down the center of town. What a city slicker! Her bio states that she “has traveled to almost all 50 states in an RV,” so I’m assuming she’s still waiting to check Hawaii off her list. No red flags from Avonlea, so she’ll either get kicked off immediately or take the whole herd home.

1_wpYaFnwr-r1sZ_U9DHfwBQHeeeere’s Courtney! At the ripe old age of 26, Courtney is done wasting her time with boys and is ready for a man. Courtney, I have news for you: There’s no such thing as men. They’re all boys. I’m sorry to break this harsh news, but it’s better than you searching for something you’ll never find, like a unicorn or a perfect system of government. Courtney is also extremely claustrophobic, so I’m looking forward to the Isn’t It Fun Being Buried Alive date the producers will inevitably send her on.

1_gRM1uUuQSuOLEyGx6QMyGgHi, Jasmine! I have some mixed feelings about Jasmine. She seems smart, passionate, and like she knows what she wants and won’t settle for less. She wants to travel to Vietnam to see her homeland, and she has a golden retriever named Gnarles Barkley, which gives her a billion points in my book. But she also wants a guy who can find her Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday, which doesn’t exactly go along with my general “love is love is love” values. But then again, I find it difficult to keep track of what corporations I’m supposed to put my money towards and which ones to boycott, so I’m going to assume she’s confused and reserve judgement on Jasmine until I’m forced to care about her one way or another.

1_b-i-X-0Ymp88HQ2rZ-wo5AJenna, you are my new favorite, at least through the letter J in this seemingly never ending list of gentlewomen. Jenna’s idea of great nightlife in Chicago is playing darts and trivia. Jenna went to Africa on a life changing medical mission, and is now a nursing student. Jenna loves Chrissy Teigen. Jenna’s best friend is her goldfish, George. Jenna, I will marry you if Peter does not.

1_9raUKZac4RmiFg8aaB3nMgThis is Katrina! Katrina is yet another gentlewoman hailing from Chicago who is looking to settle down with the man of her dreams. Last Halloween Katrina dressed up as her hairless cat, Jasmine, and Jasmine dressed up as Katrina. This terrifies me, mainly when picturing what Katrina’s costume actually entailed. Katrina doesn’t like not being in control, which makes her the perfect contestant for this absolutely insane television show. I have a feeling Katrina might be a breakout star on Bachelor in Paradise.

1_18-jqaks8ma0Ua0OjISTigEnter Kiarra: Kiarra likes talking, social media, and fashion. Kiarra hates sports. Kiarra and I would never get along, as I love sports and my idea of fashion is my pair of “fancy” heather green sweatpants. Plus we would literally talk each other to death, so I’ll just wish her the best and move on to….

1_4mMP8-B0V9BaQD-Ra6ZFBwMadison! Madison is a 23 year old Foster Parent Coordinator living in Alabama. I get the feeling that Madison is very connected to her religion, mainly because of phrases like, “prioritize faith and family,” “same religious values,” “missionary work,” and “If Madison was stranded on an island and could only bring one book, it would be The Bible” that pepper her bio. I’m a big fan of the whole Bachelor/ette franchise actually highlighting people’s religious beliefs in recent seasons, as it is quite a massive part of people’s lives and can seriously impact their decisions when it comes to romantic relationships. I mean, I can’t even remember to brush my teeth twice a day, so I have enormous respect for anyone who has the focus and energy for religion as part of their everyday lives. Don’t settle, Madison!

1_mnZzYKyubbZmtNwbSybXwwAnd here we have Natasha, who holds this season’s crown for Oldest Gentlewoman On the Television Show. She’s reeeeaaalllly pushing it at the ripe old age of 31, and if she doesn’t find a husband in the next 6 weeks, she’s fated to die alone, broken and unloved. All of the previous statements are 1000% completely sarcastic, and Natasha actually seems like a super cool woman who most likely knows a ton more than, say, the 22 year olds who swear they’re mature and ready to settle down for the rest of their lives with Flying Sex Man. Natasha, I’m rooting for you. Plus I’m a big fan of your Bachelor bio photo face. Natasha ain’t taking no shit.

1_o1qT5djrqW5U7EookH44TwNext is Savannah, and I’d simply like to quote her bio: “She was in an on-and-off relationship for six years, but he couldn’t show love or be romantic with her, which was a big problem. Also, during one of the ‘off’ times, he slept with one of her friends, which ended things for good.” Soooo….it literally can’t get any worse than that for poor Savannah. Unless…

1_GorI5uQo4jzhal1s3pR5RA…you’re Shiann! Her bio state: “Falling in love has been difficult in the past for Shiann because every guy she’s dated either ended up ghosting her, having a wife and kids, or liking her friends over her.” Wowzers. Needless to say, I will be watching Savannah and Shiann very carefully throughout this competition.

 

And finally, we have Eunice/Jade/Megan: Would this even be a complete season without not one, not two, but THREE flight attendant contestants for Pilot Pete??? These ladies are 23/26/26 years old, hailing from Chicago/Arizona/San Francisco. They love Christmas/line dancing/facemasks, and are looking for a man with a quality heart/who isn’t her ex-husband/who loves his career as much as she loves hers. Be on guard for the most amount of airplane/air travel/Mile High Club puns from these three gentlewomen.

And there we have it. There are so many more fascinating gentlewomen to judge prematurely admire, but I only have so much time and Pilot Pete is going to get rid of a billion of them on night one anyway. It’s not like I’ll learn their actual names until Hometowns. So tell me, who starts your jet engine? Any thoughts on who’s bringing the most baggage on this trip? Which gentlewoman will be the first to reach Peter’s cockpit? 

And with that, I leave you with a photo of the Peter I still wish was gracing our screens this season. See you on January 6th!

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“The Bachelor” is Almost Here and I’m Judging It Already

ARIE LUYENDYK JR.

Arie Lundkswhatever

Much to my dismay, Arie Lundyehaksndu (spelling is dubious) was named the 2018 Bachelor over my absolute favorite of all time (FOAT?), Peter Kraus. Arie was the runner-up on Emily Maynard’s season approximately 42 years ago, aka before many of you reading this were even born. Arie is a race car driver, though I’ve never been sure if he is actually good at his job, and I can’t be bothered to do any research on that since most of my free time is spent petting my dogs and Googling pictures of Peter Kraus.

This week People magazine released the very first look at the ladies who will vie for Arie’s heart (assuming he has one), and I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold Saturday in Chicago than giving out my Very Early and Super Surface First Impression Superlatives. Please keep in mind that the only information I have to go off of is their name, occupation, age and one headshot and one full body shot (http://people.com/tv/arie-luyendyk-jr-bachelor-season-22-cast/kendall-26/). So let’s cut to the chase (I didn’t even mean to say that, it’s becoming clear how many driving puns we are in for this season) and meet some of the women who were hoping it would be Peter but hung on anyway in hopes of being the next Bachelorette.

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First of all, there are 4 Laurens this year. FOUR. Lauren B, Lauren J, Lauren G and Lauren S. At least they found 4 Laurens with last names starting with different letters. Of these 4 Laurens (what do you call a pack of Laurens? A flock? A gaggle? A party?), I’m going to predict that Lauren J. and Lauren G. survive the longest. Lauren J. is one of the older (HA HA) ladies, coming in at 33 years old, and Lauren G. is 31 and just looks like she has a good head on her shoulders. Lauren B. is a technology salesperson and I fear the lack of specificity in her job title alludes to a lack of specificity in her personality. I bet she comes and goes without making a blip on the radar.

Adding to the name drama and confusion, there are women named Brittnay, Brittane, Briana, Bibiana and Bekah. God forbid anyone’s nickname is simply “B.” I’m not immediately taken by any of these women, which leaves an excellent window for the 5 of them to get eliminated early and form a girl band named “Britianakah.”

REBEKAH

Bekah

Also let’s talk about Bekah for a second. She is the one woman who declined to give her age. 90% of me is like, hell yeah, you go girl, age is just a number, don’t let them judge you on what year you were born. The other 10% is super curious about WHY she doesn’t want us to know how old she is, and also knowing that I will be making secret bets with myself all season about whether she is 21 or 45. In conclusion, YOU GO GIRL I bet she’s 29.

“Most Likely To Have a Great Sense of Humor” goes to Tia. When you come from a town called Weiner, you have to grow up with some jokes in your back pocket. I think Tia will go far, for this reason and also because she’s Raven’s best friend and I’m sure she got some really good tips before joining the race (gross).

Judging by the limited facts we have available to us, I’m going to name Jacqueline “Most Likely To Be the Crazy One,” and this is solely based on the fact that someone didn’t like

JACQUELINE

Jacqueline

her and refused to PhotoShop the flyaway hairs in her headshot. Olivia and Maquel are runners-up for this very same reason. SOMEONE in the photo editing room has a vendetta against them. The proof is there, plain as day.

Here to make friends? Krystal and Jennifer. Not here to make friends? Maquel and Alison. Here for the wrong reasons? Jessica, just because she’s the only one with a career in the entertainment industry. She’s a television host, but she really wants to be a fashion blogger or have her own makeup line. And last, who is going to get wasted on the first night and either fall into the pool or be sent home before the Rose Ceremony? Me. I’m going with me.

D'NYSHA

D’nysha

D’nysha was definitely nominated by her friends and is there against her will. Just look at the expression on her face. Will she ultimately give in to the process? Remains to be seen, but I’m gonna say probably not and hope she’s the one with all the great one liners this season.

I really want Marikh to be normal because she’s super lovely and looks calm in her pictures. Can you tell this is a scientifically based study?

MARIKH

Marikh

 

 

 

At this time, I don’t actually care who wins, since Arie is at the top of my list of least interesting humans ever, but the biggest question going into the season is: WHO WILL BE OUR NEXT BACHELORETTE? Seinne, Marikh, Lauren G, Lauren J and Kendall give me “runner up” vibes, meaning amazing women who deserve to choose their own boyfriend/husband/fiancee and will make America fall in love with them during this season but ultimately Arie will choose the boring/lame/crazy/obvious one and it won’t be any of them.

So there it is. My incredibly early first impressions of a group of humans based purely on a photograph and a dream. I’m excited about this season, because as disappointed as I am in the person giving out the roses, it seems like we have an interesting group of women to watch. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to harassing the producers of this show to put me on the Bachelor Winter Games (do you hear me Robert and Elan???). Can’t wait until Janu-Peter! download

Dear Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I Like Wine

Dear Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

I know open letters are cliche and outdated, but since the op-ed you just wrote for “The Hollywood Reporter” regarding the glamorizing of binge drinking by women in TV and movies is cliche and outdated, this format feels like an appropriate response (read it here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kareem-abdul-jabbar-why-is-hollywood-glamorizing-binge-drinking-women-1019844).

As a woman over the age of 30, I took serious offense to your claim that female characters in movies and on television are being portrayed as “incapable of dealing with life’s challenges as rational adults” without the help of alcohol. I also took serious offense to your one-sided research, and most importantly, your command to your audience to “relax.” This one word should have made me laugh to myself and instantly disregard your entire article, as it essentially proves that you don’t know much about how women (and readers, and human beings) like to be treated and spoken to, but instead it made me even angrier. You just became the printed word equivalent of a construction worker on 44th Street telling me to “smile” as I walk past. To make matter worse, you then claimed that you were not about to booze-shame us, and proceeded to booze-shame us. So not only are you being condescending and misogynistic, you’re tricking everyone into reading the rest of what you wrote.

The main problem I see with your column? This is about how YOU, personally, prefer to see women portrayed in these mediums. You are obviously uncomfortable with watching women bonding with other women by taking shots, chugging beer, and making poor, yet usually entertaining decisions after they are under the influence of alcohol. I just Googled “bachelorette party murder,” and the only thing to come up is a murder mystery party game. I’m failing to find any substantial proof that women are taking these fictional movies and television shows to heart, and then replicating the behavior that they are, in your own words, “glamorizing.” This, coming from a man who just made a guest appearance on “The Bachelorette,” a show where every single season, at least one man gets so wasted on the first night of competition that he gets sent home because he isn’t able to function? I see this as incredible hypocrisy.

You can copy down all the real scientific statistics you want, but to gather and publish them without also publishing the male counterpart to those statistics is unfair and, frankly, misleading. I don’t recall seeing an opinion from you when “The Hangover” came out and everyone got to laugh at 4 men blacking out drunk and trying to reconstruct their wild evening when they woke up the next day. That doesn’t seem like healthy behavior to me, and in fact, over 75% of humans who die from binge drinking are men. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/01/06/alcohol-binge-death-cdc/21331661/). But now that women are doing it, it’s not okay?

So, mainly to make myself a little less fiery on the inside today, I would like to share a few of my own personal, woman-brain-generated thoughts in response to your insulting mansplanation regarding MY gender, MY freedoms, and MY right to decide for MYself.

1. “The Washington Post reported on the proliferation of alcohol-related ads targeting women: “Harried mothers chugging wine to cope with everyday stress. Women embracing quart-sized bottles of whiskey and bellying up to bars to knock back vodka shots.”

Is she holding the bottle of whiskey, or chugging the entire thing in one 30 second commercial? Are multiple women taking one shot each, or is one singular woman shown taking shot after shot after shot? These are massive differences. And in my opinion, alcohol-related ads are targeting women because finally, FINALLY, advertising agencies and alcoholic brands have opened their eyes to the fact that women do not just drink wine coolers and crappy jugs of bottom shelf wine. We like the brown liquor. And we are fully capable of liking it and drinking it responsibly, JUST LIKE THE BOYS. I’ll give you a minute to recover from the absolute shock of that last statement.

2. “Watch any TV series or movie featuring women over 30, and their default response to stress or boredom often is hitting the bottle.”

Interesting theory: I wonder if you also noticed that many of these storylines stem from the fact that the female characters in these movies are stressed out, overworked, and exhausted, much of the time due to the partners in their lives not picking up their share of the workload in the relationship. This opens up a whole different can of worms, but still. Write a column on that, please.

3. “…women are more consistently being portrayed as insecure and needy.”

As opposed to the centuries of women being portrayed as insecure and needy, but with men as their ultimate salve and solution, as opposed to alcohol and their female friends? Romantic comedies and classic epic tales have a tendency to feature strong females, but also to fall into the trap that everything is fine as long as they get their man in the end. Nothing says “insecure and needy” in a film as well as a woman crying on her bed because some shmuck in a Brooks Brother three piece suit rejected her. So, to be fair, I think most women would consider it a step forward for the womankind of fiction to be crying over anything BUT a man.

4. “…the women vs. shark film 47 Meters…”

This bugs me mainly because the film is actually called “47 Meters Down,” demonstrating the lack of actual fact in this entire article. That’s just bad reporting. Also, the women are not drunk when they go diving with sharks. Just because their story began in a bar, at night, while drinking, it does not support your claim. If anything, this is a cautionary tale AGAINST getting drunk and meeting strangers at a bar, because then you might get eaten by sharks.

5. “…production on Bachelor in Paradise was briefly halted over an alcohol-fueled incident.”

This scandal involved a woman AND a man, both drinking heavily. To spin it otherwise to support your point is irresponsible and dishonest.

6. “One of the more insidious aspects of Hollywood’s portrayal of the alcohol-fueled woman is that she acts crazy and does something colossally foolish — from accidentally killing someone (Rough Night) to having sex with a stranger — but that it all works out in the end for the better.”

I give you: The Hangover. The Hangover 2. The Hangover 3. And almost the entire history of men in motion pictures.Everyone knows how James Bond likes his cocktails, but that’s okay because it’s dangerous and sexy, right? Oh yes, and because he’s a man.

7. “Sales of Bandit boxed wine — aka “binge in a box” — jumped 22 percent after Schumer drank it in Trainwreck.”

Bandit is an excellent boxed wine, and I would like to personally thank Amy Schumer for introducing it to me.Thanks, Amy Schumer!

In conclusion, I am a woman who likes wine. I like it a lot. And I’m sick of having to defend myself for that, usually to men. I want to thank you for listening to me, but if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to watch an episode of “GLOW” with some yummy wine in my hand.

Sincerely,

Patti Murin

P.S. I still think you’re a great basketball player.

 

My Weekly Goals Project

Hi friends!

Okay, let’s get real for a minute: things are a bit of a mess right now. Whatever side of the political/social wall you are on (see what I did there?), I think we can all agree that the general climate in the United States has been a bit topsy-turvy for the past few months, and doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon. Deep rifts have ruptured in some of the closest of families. The Unfriend button on Facebook has seen more action than all of the Spiderman reboots combined. And my general mentality has been, “Well, we’re all gonna die, so I might as well finish the bottle/eat the whole bag/adopt all the puppies.”

With all of this, I’ve had a bit of a hard time writing lately. At first I was angry and sad, and I wasn’t inspired to put any of my negative feelings or thoughts down on paper (internet?). Then when I started to collect myself and things began to settle a bit, I tried to write a blog about all of the things we still have that make humans happy, but after puppies and Beyoncé I ran out of ideas. Blergh.

So I turned inward, and I began to actively seek out new ways to better myself, educate myself, and basically live life a little more mindfully. My #Today2017 project has been really incredible for that (read up on it here https://pattimurin.blog/2016/12/31/please-make-it-2017-already/), and between that calendar and coffee, waking up each morning is borderline joyous.

When January 1st came around, New Year’s resolutions were on my mind. But since they’re borderline impossible to keep for an entire 365 days (seriously if you’ve kept one, you are literally a superhero), I decided to go about it a different way.

Each Sunday evening, I sit down with my planner (yes, I still use a paper agenda, thank you), and I write a list of Weekly Goals, with a very simple set of guidelines.

It can be as short or as long as I want.
I write this list with the intention and idea that there is absolutely no pressure or punishment if I don’t achieve all of them. There will be no self loathing involved in Weekly Goals.
The list can change weekly, or stay the same.
And at the end of each week, I reflect back on what came up that wasn’t included in my goals, and I make sure that I commend myself for those things as well.

What is a Weekly Goal, you ask? Well for example, this week’s list is:
Exercise 5 times
Publish a blog (check!)
Finish half of a non-fiction book
Finish 2 fiction books (I read A LOT)
Eat well!
Try a new class
Don’t flake on any plans

And that’s that! It’s all about simple health and happiness at the core. Previous and future weeks have and will include Goals such as: volunteer, disconnect for 24 hours from all technology, donate to Goodwill, make chili, etc. Make sense?

The reason that I’ve found it so easy to keep this up, week after week, is because once I decide what I want to do and write it down on the Weekly Goals list, I become responsible for myself. The only person I’m hurting by not doing these things is myself. But on the flipside, the more Goals I complete, the more people I will be helping. If I don’t publish this blog, fine. But if I do? The chance that I could inspire even one other human being makes it worth it. As soon as I physically write down “exercise 5 times,” I become my own guide. I become my own teacher. And I become my own biggest cheerleader.

As I said, if I get to the end of the week and I’ve only worked out two or three times instead of four or five, IT IS OKAY. Things happen, roadblocks come up, and we have to be flexible and forgiving with ourselves. But by writing it down on my Weekly Goals list, the probability that I will complete these things raises exponentially.

Singling out each week, one chunk of the year at a time, has made it much easier to live in the present, and to take life day by day. I find myself worrying less, my anxiety level has dropped from a 9 to about a 3, and every single day I have the ability to feel accomplished, should I so choose. I’m happier, healthier, and my self worth has grown. This is better than any New Years’ resolution I’ve ever made.

So give it a shot if you want! Do exactly what I do, or tweak the concept as much as you would like. Your Weekly Goals, your decision. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work out.

PLEASE MAKE IT 2017 ALREADY

Hello, friends.

This year has been rough. For me, it started with an offer for a Broadway show on January 1st, which seemingly promised excellent fortune in the months ahead, only to have said Broadway show cancelled 3 weeks into rehearsal. And that looked like peanuts with what followed in 2016. This year is ending in an incredibly volatile political and social climate not only in the United States, but in the world. We are either approaching crisis mode, or are already in crisis mode and will only be able to tell when we look back and say, “Oh, how good we had it back then when we were in crisis mode and didn’t know it!”

 

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We lost David Bowie, Prince, Florence Henderson, Edward Albee, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and the one that pierces my heart most of all, Alan Thicke. There are humans using social media to beg for help and say their last goodbyes to the world, as what is left of their cities are being savagely bombed, and they are watching their friends and family be slaughtered right in front of their eyes, all in the name of power.

 

 

And for the cherry on top of my own personal pity pie, I might have mono. Yes, the virus that most of us got out of the way our freshman year of college when we kissed 87 people in the same night with no thought of germs, much less maybe raising our standards a little bit.

So, with 17 long days left to go (please be a happy day, Christmas), I’m going to look ahead to 2017 with a new plan.

While shopping at a local small business craft fair here in Chicago this past weekend, I came across a page-a-day calendar. Not the kind I know you’re picturing, with the crappy plastic stand that doesn’t actually stand even though its literal name is “STAND,” and the row of glue that hangs over the pages further and further as the year goes on and is impossible to rip off without the whole thing coming apart. No, this one was special.

For one thing, almost every product on the table it was displayed on bore the phrase “you are beautiful,” and being a human with an ego, I like when inanimate objects give me compliments. But I loved the beautiful, simply artistic and classic vibe it was giving me, and I also really like Post-It cubes, so it really spoke to me with its vertical shape.

But it was the name most of all. The name of the calendar is “Today.” And as we launch desperately out of this mess of a 2016 and emerge with renewed hope in 2017, I’m resolving to take it day by day. I’ve said this a lot in the past, but I mean it this time. And this calendar is going to help.daily_calendar_matthew_hoffman_5_60dde3bd-4a4a-4436-b8b4-af953eac448a_1024x1024

Many of you have been following along with my #PartyWithPatti initiative this whole year, where I celebrated as many “National Holidays” as I could manage. It was hard, and required a lot of planning, and a lot of the joy of celebrating was lost because I was constantly feeling bad for missing celebrations, or being forced to celebrate things I hated, like vegetables and healthy things and vegetables. When people asked if I was going to do that again, my immediate reaction was, “Hell, no!” I had a fantastic time and actually made some great new friends out of it, but it was a lot. So this year, I’m trying something new with “Today.”

Each day of the calendar has a new thought, just a few words long, that can mean absolutely nothing or a crap ton, depending on what you make of it. So each morning, I’m going to look at the phrase of the day, take a picture of it, share it, and see how it informs the next 24 hours. No cheating, no looking or planning ahead, just a lovely thing to look forward to every morning to make the day a little more fun, more challenging, more exciting, or just whatever. There is no pressure to “do,” though I know I will be inspired to.

And yes, I know that January 1st is just the day after December 31st, and the universe doesn’t actually reset itself, but guess what? I don’t really care. 2017 will be better, because I am going to make better things of it. And “Today” is going to guide the way.

So here we go! Let’s all hold virtual hands and get through the remainder of this sh*t pile of a year together. The only way out is love. And jokes. Lots and lots of jokes.

(To buy the calendar for yourself: https://you-are-beautiful.com/collections/art/products/today-daily-calendar)

(Also I literally do not know this man, so I’m not getting any sort of kickback or free stuff or anything. He legit doesn’t know I exist.)

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Here’s a picture of my dogs, just for fun.

An Open Letter in Response to an Open Letter

First, read this:

http://www.littlethings.com/dog-owners-are-not-parents/

Now, read this:

Dear Angry Mom of Human Children,

Thank you for sharing your stance on this very, very important issue we are being faced with. In a world where our President could very well be an orange-hued racist pathological liar in just a few months, and where people get gunned down senselessly almost every single day, this is most definitely a worthwhile topic to spend your energy on.

You are angry about LochteGate when you should be angry about Syria.

But I admit, not every single thing I write about is full of world-changing opinions or information. So I’ll bite.

As the proud parent (yes, I said PARENT) of two dogs, I wholeheartedly disagree with your blog post. And no, it’s not because I think that my life as a dog mom is just as difficult and trying as your life with a daughter. It’s because what you have done here is instructed me where I am allowed to direct my love, and that does not sit well with me.

I have a lot of love to give. I am a loving person. I love people, I love dogs, I love spiders that aren’t too big or hairy, I love every baby animal that has ever existed, I love getting mail, I love those adorable POP Funko things, I love wearing ball gowns, I love feeling pretty, I love wine, I love very hot showers. Bottom line, I LOVE.

So when someone takes time out of their day to publish an entire diatribe about why my love is wrong and theirs is right, I get mad. I do not love that. I actually take great offense to it.

Love is the most important survival tool we have right now. It is free. It is everywhere, if you are willing to look. You can literally create it yourself. As long as you don’t love war or hurting things or pollution or Justin Bieber, you basically can’t go wrong with love. So perhaps instead of telling me that I am wrong because I love my adorable, loyal, innocent fur babies too much, you should look at dog owners such as myself, smile, shake your head, and think, “Look at all of that love she has to give. As silly as I think she is, thank goodness that love exists in this world right now.” And then hold your daughter a little closer because, as history has proven over and over again, love begets love. Love breeds love.

Also, please don’t define my family for me. If I decide that my family is my husband and our 87 dogs (Colin, I have something to tell you), then that is my decision and my prerogative. If I decide that having human babies is not for me, or worse, if I am unable to have my own human babies, I am allowed to choose dogs instead. You don’t have to agree with me, but please don’t judge me.CYtdZDUWcAA9Q71

I won’t even go into great detail about your bullet point list of why raising a child is different than owning a dog. I can sum it up for you in one sentence: One is a human being, and one is an animal. That’s akin to making a list detailing why Star Wars is not the same as Mean Girls. You literally just wasted your time explaining the difference between people and dogs to an entire Internet full of people who knows the difference between people and dogs. You say that parenting your child takes a lot of work and energy and dedication, so perhaps writing this list was a misuse of your time.

Okay, I’ll go into a little detail. Your list is also full of misinformation and incredibly overarching blanket statements. We fix our dogs because there is a severe national problem with overcrowding in shelters, and the less dogs that are in shelters, the less dogs have to be euthanized for space reasons. So we fix our dogs to do our small part in solving this massive issue. Also, the vast majority of us don’t breed our dogs and sell them “for a mint.” And finally, I was a babysitter for years. So I know for a fact that you can, in fact, drop your child off somewhere and pay to have someone bathe her. I know because I have been paid to bathe many children. It’s called childcare. CotPnuZWIAAfBih

As I write this, one of my two dogs is sitting at my feet, violently shaking because of an air show that is currently happening. The fighter jets petrify him, and he is helpless. He hides, he cowers, he accidentally pees himself. And my love for him grows exponentially by the minute. This is a living being experiencing crippling fear. It is my responsibility as an educated human to take care of him. Just because he is a dog and not a child doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve affection and safety and affection. So yes, I will give up my whole afternoon so I can cover him in a blanket and hold him as close as I possibly can. Because he is my baby, and I love the ever loving shit out of him.

With Love,

Patti, Petey & Milo

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Sometimes an Actor Writes a Blog Post After A Long Drought

Sometimes an actor hasn’t written a real blog post in months, and she feels guilty about it. And then she sits down to write and a lot of stuff comes out that she’s pretty sure many people can relate to. And sometimes she realizes she’s talking about herself in the third person and wants you to just read it, already. For all of the family, friends, colleagues, Muggles, aliens, actors, artists and humans who stumble across this, thanks for being here.

Sometimes auditioning takes forever. Anytime you’re told that you’ll have some news by the end of the week, they don’t necessarily mean THE PARTICULAR WEEK YOU ARE IN. It just means the end of whatever week they decide to give you the news in.

Sometimes the most nerve-wracking auditions are not the ones for people you’ve never worked with before, but the ones where you’re in front of all of your friends and the people you respect not just as artists and creatives, but as humans. The ones you’ve probably had a glass of wine (or 4) too many with, or who let you cry on their shoulder when you got divorced. Personal example: Andrew Lloyd Webber? Easy as pie! Alex Timbers? I can’t handle thinking about potentially disappointing him. I would have to quit the business and become a sherpa.

Sometimes you go to an audition feeling incredibly proud of yourself for not conforming to the “audition uniform” of a dress and heels, and then the casting director tells you that while you were the most talented person there, you didn’t get it because you looked like you were going out to the club. And that you need highlights. And to learn how to use makeup. And she’s completely right.

Sometimes they make you audition for roles you’ve literally created, and played for 6 months. And sometimes they give your role to someone else. And sometimes you have to look at press photos on Twitter of the person who got it, who is wearing your old costumes. And sometimes that’s a really terrible feeling.

Sometimes very important people eat entire bags of chips during your audition ballad. Very, very loudly. Like, I’m talking crunching so loudly that the piano is drowned out and you mess up because you’re having a debate inside your head about whether or not you should stop in the middle of your song and say something, but how could you do that because this guy is basically in charge of whether you get this job or not, and now the song is over and you’ve completely blown it. But at least his blood sugar has been maintained.

Sometimes you have to say no to auditions, jobs, concerts, etc. Sometimes your life is more important and you’re not willing to be away from your new husband to do a show for 3 months in Connecticut. Sometimes you love your life more than your career, and that’s okay.

Sometimes everything is going exactly the way you’ve always dreamed of, but you can’t help feeling unfulfilled.

Sometimes the thrill of walking in your stage door every single day is much more satisfying and emotional than a billion Opening Nights combined.

Sometimes you get really bored waiting to work one day a week on a TV show. And even though it’s very well paid boredom, it can still make you feel useless as a human.

Sometimes when people call you a “Broadway actor/actress,” you can’t help feeling like a fraud, as it’s been years since you’ve actually set foot on a Broadway stage.

Sometimes you audition for a workshop of a new musical, and you book said workshop, and you love it and meet one of the best directors you’ve ever had the privilege to work with. And then said new musical is announced to move to Broadway, and you’re going with it, and you have to drop out of a project that would have taken you out of town for 3 months. And then said new Broadway musical is cancelled just two weeks into rehearsals, and you are devastated. But then you audition for the most exciting project in your career, and you book it, and if you had been out of town for 3 months you would not have been able to audition. So sometimes, in the bizarre cosmic strings of this universe, Cancelled Broadway Musical = Most Exciting Moment in Career Ever.

Sometimes you read the paragraph above and realize just how confusing it is. Bottom line: Sometimes bad things make way for good things.

Sometimes, “But it’s work” is not a good reason to accept a job or an audition. If you do not want to understudy, you do not have to. If you want to dance joyously in the ensemble for the rest of your life, you do not have to pretend to want anything different. If you pass on 37 auditions because you only want to play leading roles, that is okay.

Sometimes, “But it’s work” is absolutely a good reason to accept a job or an audition. We are humans with bills to pay and other humans to take care of. Who says actors aren’t allowed to be unhappy at work sometimes? Just because we’re living the dream doesn’t mean the dream isn’t difficult at times.

Sometimes, the girlfriend of the guy you’re playing opposite in a show hates you, and you get into a drunken screaming match in the lobby of a hotel in Atlanta. And then 4 years later she becomes one of your best friends, and one of the strongest, most honest women in your life. And the story goes down in the books as a win for all of you.

Sometimes you and your husband both go out of town on different tours to play dream roles, and in exchange for that dream coming true, you end up getting divorced. And sometimes, that’s okay.

Sometimes, your ex-husband marries the girl he played opposite while on said tour. And that is also okay.

And finally, sometimes, the random guy you’ve known for 8 years who once got your mom and dad house seats for his Broadway show asks you to marry him. And you finally have clarity on your perspective as an actress, as a woman, and as a partner. And even though happily ever after is not instantaneous or constant, you realize that it’s a state of mind rather than a state of being. And sometimes, you find the strength to keep on going.