Stunted Adults

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Stunted Adults Birth Control: Holiday Edition

Have you ever sat back and daydreamed about your perfect holiday?

Maybe you want to be surrounded by loved ones, watch old movies and spend hours reminiscing about the holidays of yore.

Awwww. Family!

Awwww. Family!

Or maybe you dream of a well-attended holiday party with friends in neighbors in your perfectly appointed holiday home decorated with Martha Stewart-like perfection.


Fancy! But please step away from Pinterest.

Or a warm ski cabin with only your partner and a roaring fire, isolated away from the holiday craziness.

Seriously cozy.

Seriously cozy. You are totally going to get some tonight.

Or something else entirely.

Happy Holidays?

Happy Holidays? Not really.

We’re here to help you identify and achieve your goals. Consider it a holiday gift from SA. We’re giving and thoughtful like that.

Please answer the following questions, and we will reveal your ideal holiday style.

1) Would you rather:
a) Get a leisurely, quiet start to your day complete with an uninterrupted piping hot cup of coffee or
b) Wake up before the sun to the dulcet tones of a small child yelling “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA” at the top of his lungs

2) Does your ideal holiday meal include:
a) Succulent treats that are straight from the cover of Food and Wine or
b) Dodging remarkably well-thrown projectiles made of unwanted vegetable sides

3) For some active holiday fun you would like to go:
a) Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh or
b) Dashing through an in-law’s non-childproofed house trying to head off severe and/or debilitating injury

4) Your holiday tradition consists of:
a) Bloody Marys and Eggs Benedict while watching the Christmas Story marathon
b) Bloody noses from fighting over the same scrap of apparently amazing wrapping paper (aka, trash) while the same Christmas episode of Barney plays on repeat

5) You would cap off a day of holiday fun by:
a) Drinking delicious cocktails in front of a roaring fire, recapping all of your adventures from the day
b) Sobbing softly into your pillow, covered in a unindentifable slobbery substance, wishing that the holidays would just end already

If you answered (a) to all of the above, I don’t blame you. Good choices – all of them. You have excellent and fun holiday style. Well done! But you are going to have to put off any babymaking for the foreseeable future. You’re welcome.

If you answered (b) to any of the above, you need professional help. Your style revolves around hating the holidays and anyone who gets to have fun during them. But, you are ready for kids – congratulations!(?)

Happy holidays to all. God bless us, every one. Especially the parents of toddler twin boys, may the force be with you this holiday season.



Babies, Roast Raccoon, and Chakras: A Rural Yuletide Tale

Back in 2006, after more than four years together and just after the time period for an annulment on our marriage had expired, Country Boy decided to take me to his maternal grandparents’ farm in Northern Indiana for the first time for Christmas dinner.

The farm is a three-hour drive from Country Boy’s parent’s house, and, at his parents’ insistence and for reasons that are still unknown, we took only two of the available four cars to travel to the farm despite needing to transport nine adults and one toddler in a car seat.   Nothing says family bonding like wedging yourself  into a two-door Saturn with four big guys.  I bet you can guess who was riding bitch between Country Boy’s 6’1″ and 6’7″ tall teenaged brothers.  That was the moment that I truly understood the many meanings of the word “cozy.”

clown car

It looked a lot like this except that, instead of clowns, the car was filled with corn-fed giants and one very overwhelmed PinotNinja.

Once we arrived, unfolded ourselves from the back seat, and regained feeling in our limbs, I was ushered into the farmhouse to say hello to Country Boy’s family.  As  I walked in the door, I realized that I had missed the memo that the official holiday outfit on the farm was Wranglers, a plaid shirt, and cowboy boots.  Contrary to what I had learned growing up in Connecticut, a cardigan and pearls is not always appropriate.

It also became apparent at that moment that I was the only woman in the house between the ages of 18 and 25 without at least one baby on my hip.  This fun little fact was repeatedly pointed out to me as I was asked eight (EIGHT!) times over the course of less than an hour why I had not had a baby yet.  One relation actually asked “Where’s your young’un?” before asking “What’s your name?”

Not to be outdone, Country Boy’s 10-year-old cousin approached me and very shyly asked “PinotNinja, are you going to die?”

Way to bring the heavy little girl.

As I pondered how to explain to this sweet child that, one day, we will all move on, she decided to throw me a follow-up bone as I was obviously struggling, saying “I meant soon.  Are you going to die soon because you must be really sick since you haven’t had a baby yet?”


I asked her where she heard that, and she said that her mom and Country Boy’s grandmother had told her that I had to be dying because I didn’t have any babies.  SERIOUSLY.  Because I didn’t have a kid at the ripe old age of 26, it was assumed that I must be terminally ill.

I have never needed a drink so badly as I did at that moment.

But, there was no drink to be had because Country Boy’s grandmother considers alcohol to be “the devil’s elixir.”

Apparently, news of the 21st Amendment has yet to reach rural Indiana.

Apparently, news of the 21st Amendment has yet to reach rural Indiana.

Yes, you read that right.  This was a completely dry Christmas dinner with my in-laws.  There was no alcohol ANYWHERE.  There wasn’t even any cough syrup in the many medicine cabinets that I checked.

After negotiating myself through that sober procreation minefield, I was ushered into the kitchen to sit down for dinner.

What was for dinner you ask?



How nice of you to join us at Christmas.

Yes, Christmas dinner was mother f*cking raccoon in a mother f*cking crockpot.


Raccoon.  The kind with a mask and paws.  The kind that eats your garbage.  The kind that has never been featured on the menu of any restaurant anywhere ever.

There was no way that was going in my mouth, especially sober.

But, before I could run away, Country Boy’s grandmother pushed a steaming plate of vermin fricassee into my hot little hands in front of Country Boy’s extended family.  I knew that a simple “no thank you” was not going to cut it.  You see, I was on very thin ice with Country Boy’s grandmother. I knew that she didn’t come to our wedding because we served “the devil’s elixir” (wine) and played “the devil’s music” (rock and roll).  I knew that she referred to me as the Big City Hussy behind my back and believed that I had corrupted her sweet grandson.  I knew now that she believed that the only acceptable reason for my not breeding in my early 20s was that I suffered from a terminal illness.

But, I also knew that there was no way in hell that I was eating that raccoon.

My options were very limited, so I had no choice but to take a gigantic gamble.  I was going big because I couldn’t go home.

Despite the fact that the night before I had eaten bacon-wrapped filet mignon in front of Country Boy’s younger brothers and sister who were sitting right next to Country Boy’s grandmother and the fact that every item on the table involved an animal product, I told her that I could not eat her roast raccoon because I was a vegetarian.  Starvation tastes better than road kill.

I then shot a glare at my young siblings-in-law that sent a visible shiver up their spines.   They all got the hint and kept their little traps shut about the fact that I had only become a vegetarian in the past 30 seconds.

PinotNinja — lying and threatening children on Jesus’s birthday since 2006.

After my delicious Christmas dinner of air, Country Boy’s fringed leather jacket wearing uncle cornered me.  I had never really talked to him before, and the horrified look on Country Boy’s face when he saw his uncle pull me aside tipped me off that this was not going to be an ordinary conversation.

fringed jacket 2

Never trust a man wearing one of these. Just don’t.

Country Boy’s uncle me if I believed in the higher power.  Since it had already been a day, I threw caution to the wind and decided to hop on that train and see where it went.

I told Country Boy’s uncle “sure, I believe in the higher power.”  And, with that, we pulled out of the station and hurtled towards crazy town at top speed.

Country Boy’s uncle proceeded to tell me that, through the higher power, he would be able to cure that pesky terminal illness that was keeping me from popping out babies.  He told me that he would speak about me to his prayer circle and that they would call on the higher power to move to energy of the universe to realign my chakras.  With my chakras realigned, all of my illnesses would be cured without the need for those “pesky know-it-all doctors.”


Who knew that a Boston album could solve the nation's health care crisis?

Who knew that a 1970s power rock band could solve the nation’s health care crisis?

I navigated away from the uncle and took a moment to gather what was left of my sanity.  I turned to see Country Boy putting on his coat, and, feeling a wave of relief wash over me, I asked “Are we heading home?” by which I obviously meant “Are we headed to the nearest market where you will buy me all of the wine to make this evening disappear immediately?”

His response, however, was “Not yet.  I’m just going outside to shoot my uncle’s AK-47.”  Because you know who needs a semi-automatic weapon with a night scope?  That guy.


While Country Boy was outside firing a machine gun into the darkness, his uncle came back for another round.  He approached me, fringe swishing, and emphatically pronounced “You are a red with hints of purple.”  I had no idea what that gem meant, but i just nodded and acted like I did because I was not about to ask a question that I didn’t want to know the answer to.

Luckily, before that conversation could turn back to babies, roast raccoon, or chakras, Country Boy swooped in, grabbed me by the arm, and told me that it was time to climb back into my cozy spot in the Saturn.

That was the best Christmas gift that I have ever received.


The Day That Danny Castellano Stole My Heart

Mindy Kaling and I had been an item for nearly a decade.

She won me over as soon as Kelly Kapoor made her grand entrance on The Office, which, as we’ve discussed, was a, if not THE, defining television show of my lifetime.

With Kelly, there was finally a television character to whom I could relate, because, obviously, I had this exact same conversation, as well as many variations on this theme, while at work:

We were soul mates.

When Mindy lived out my fantasy to star in a low-budget pop music video with a rap breakdown, I thought I could not love her any more:

But then Mindy taught me that I had even more love to give when she created and embodied Mindy Lahiri, the heart and soul of the hilarious The Mindy Project.

Mindy Lahiri does things that I have done:

The 24 Most Relatable Mindy Lahiri Quotes From "The Mindy Project"

She has done things that I totally could do:

And she has done things that I really want to do:

The 24 Most Relatable Mindy Lahiri Quotes From "The Mindy Project"

With Mindy as my comedy beacon, no day was too dark or indiscretion too embarrassing.

My love for all things Mindy Kaling was ridiculous not only for its depth but also because, by all rational accounts, I should hate her.

That bitch stole my life.


Mindy and I are roughly the same age, we grew up in roughly the same quaint New England town, we went to roughly the same college, we both moved into roughly the same tiny and overcrowded apartment in roughly the same Brooklyn neighborhood after graduation to chase our dreams, and we are both roughly obsessed with writing about the same things (pop culture, lip gloss, and methods for smuggling booze in our undergarments*).  But, yet, despite Mindy and I being roughly one and the same, she’s the star of her own comedy empire and I’m not even the star of my own living room.

WTF universe. WHAT.  THE.  F*CK.

But, for some reason, I loved Mindy despite her wronging me so hard.  Instead of wanting to cut her, I wanted to trade thoughts with her on the enigma that is the latest Kardashian holiday card.  I really thought that together we could unlock the secret to their power and stumble our way into the Illuminati.

Because I only had eyes for Mindy, I didn’t pay attention to the supporting characters on The Mindy Project (except for James Franco for the obvious reason).  Sure they were entertaining and had great comedic timing, but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if any of them, like receptionist Shauna, were unceremoniously written off of the show.

But then, last week, everything changed.

Mindy and I are over.

Because this happened:

Your eyes are not deceiving you.  That was a perfect rendition of the PRECISE choreography from Aaliyah’s Try Again, which is, of course, one of the all-time greatest music videos EVER.

Screw diamonds, a recreation of a classic early 2000s music video is what a girl really wants.

I will never be the same again.

Dr. Danny Castellano has stolen my heart.



* Also, why is this not a real thing?  I need it and I need it now.


The Man Is Crushing My (Marshmallow) Dreams

Now that The Great S’mores Hostage Crisis of 2013 is behind us, I spent this evening restocking my S’mores Kit with all of the requisite accoutrements.


Yes, I have a tupperware container with marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers in my cabinet. Who doesn’t?

Just as I was about to place the last item into the kit, and, obviously, reward myself with a delicious S’more for all of my hard work, something on caught my eye.

There was something different about my marshmallows.

Something was off.

After a few moments of the highest level of investigative journalism — and by that I mean utilizing the skills I picked up during all of those hours doing the hidden pictures page in Highlights magazine while at the doctor’s office as a child — I cracked the mystery.

It was this:

What is this world coming to?  Is there no joy left in it?

What is this world coming to? Is there no joy left in it?

That’s right, my marshmallows now come with an ominous warning label.


In what universe are marshmallows only supposed to be eaten one at a time while you are seated and supervised?  Certainly not the universe that I live in.

Are there really people out there trying to outlaw the double-stuffed S’more?  Don’t they know that the best marshmallow of the day is the one that you eat when you are home alone and standing in front of the microwave watching your urban S’more cook?

Who were these heathens?  Who were they to tell me how to eat my marshmallows?

I was filled with rage at the injustice of this oppressive exercise of authority.

Because, as I mentioned before, I fancy myself an investigative journalist of the highest caliber, I decided to launch an inquiry into what could have prompted the advent of this ridiculous bout of paternalism.

Move over Woodward and Bernstein, PinotNinja is on the scene now

Move over Woodward and Bernstein, PinotNinja is on the scene now

After about 3 minutes of emphatic typing and shouting at the Google to hurry up, I found my answer.  Turns out, in 1999, a 12-year-old died after choking while playing an intense game Chubby Bunny with marshmallows.


That is absolutely horrible.

Most likely based upon that very unfortunate event, the purveyors of the marshmallows are trying to curtail the playing of Chubby Bunny to prevent child deaths.  That’s not the worst idea ever.

But, if the whole point of this initiative is to prevent millions of kids from playing a fun childhood game (which is often played with the way more nefarious and warning-less grape), then I think their label could use some work.

Why not warn the public that “Jamming your mouth full of one more marshmallow than it can comfortably hold and then attempting to speak is a bad idea.  You shouldn’t do it.  And, if you do it and something bad happens, we totally told you so”?  Or “Friends Don’t Let Friends Play Chubby Bunny”?  Or “You can choke on anything, even heavenly marshmallows”?  Or the simple yet always apropos “Make good decisions”?

The marshmallow makers could even have a celebrity do a PSA with a catchy pop tune to drive home the dangers of Chubby Bunny.  I alone have definitely spent enough money on their delightful goods to fund a celebrity endorsement.  Katy Perry would totally be all over this.

Just lose the coal buttons and throw on a jaunty graham cracker hat and she's ready to go.

Just lose the coal buttons and throw on a jaunty graham cracker hat and she’s ready to go.

Mr. Marshmallow Eating Authority Figure, you know you want to eat two marshmallows at once while dancing unsupervised to a Katy Perry pop confection!  So how about you stop stealing the joy from marshmallow eating with this over-broad draconian warning label and tone things down a notch?

Just a little warning will go a long way, I promise.


12 People, 8 Lobsters, 1 Mission: A Holiday Travel Saga

As we stare down the busiest travel day of the year and a major storm in the Northeast, I am brought back to Christmas 2004.

This was the first holiday season that Country Boy and I were engaged, and we decided to split Christmas between our families.  We drove from our apartment in Boston to Connecticut to spend December 23rd and the first half of Christmas Eve with my family before heading back to Boston to catch a flight to Indiana to make it to Christmas Eve dinner with Country Boy’s family.

As our gift for Country Boy’s family, we were bringing them a traditional New England Christmas Eve dinner to go with their new New England family member.  So, after we cleared security at Logan International Airport, we headed to an in-airport seafood outpost to pick up our pre-ordered and pre-packed 8 live lobsters.

Everyone was tucked in tight on Christmas Eve night.

Twas the night before Christmas, and the lobsters were nestled all snug in their dry ice beds.

The lobsters, Country Boy and I arrived at the gate and  patiently waited.  We watched our plane pull up to the gate and we got ready to board.  We thought that we would be in the air and on our way in a matter of moments.

That did not happen.

Instead, over an hour later, US Airways cancelled our flight on account of “weather” and re-booked all of us on a 6 am flight the next morning.  While in the re-booking line, we met a band of 10 kids in their mid-20s who were also trying to make it home for the holidays.  They, strangers until that afternoon, had started out in New York City with tickets on a direct flight to Indianapolis, but, after having that flight cancelled, they flew to Boston in the hopes of catching our later flight to Indianapolis.

With our rebooked tickets in hand, Country Boy and I bid adieu to our new friends and hopped the subway back to our apartment.

We all reconvened at 5 am at Logan.  Country Boy and I had eaten absolutely horrific take out and stayed up all night keeping our lobsters alive.  Our NYC-based friends had stumbled upon a disco-themed Jewish singles mixer and were still covered in glitter.  We were all in kind of a weird place, but it was Christmas morning and we were going home.  Everything was going to be all right.

The gate for our flight was crawling with exhausted people.  The time for boarding passed, yet there was no US Airways agent at the gate.  We could see our plane.  Were we just supposed to seat ourselves?  The tension in the air was palpable.

It looked a lot like this.

It looked a lot like this.

Finally, a lone agent approached the gate.  She grabbed the microphone and said “Your flight has been cancelled.  There are no more available flights today.  No one will be rerouted.  Please go home.”  And then she dropped the mic, literally, and ran away, again literally.

The gate erupted into pandemonium.

Through the chaos Country Boy, the lobsters, and I pushed our way to our NYC-based compadres.  The 12 of us huddled together and instantly unionized.  The Indy Bound Crew was born.


One dude, who had no luggage, sprinted for the empty desk at a nearby gate and picked up the magical red telephone.  The rest of us spread around the periphery and kept watch while he worked the phone.  He quickly convinced someone at US Airways that he was a gate agent who needed to rebook passengers, and we then passed the phone around and rebooked ourselves on an American Airlines flight that was leaving for Chicago.  From there, we would hop on another American Airlines flight to Indianapolis.  As this was going down, an actual US Airways gate agent approached our stronghold.  We locked eyes.  I stared.  He turned and ran.


I was the Khaleesi of that gate.

We had 30 minutes to make our new flight.

All 12 of us ran across the airport towards the American Airlines terminal, with the lobsters and luggage in tow.  We set pick and rolls.  We hurdled luggage and small children. No one was left behind.

We had 25 minutes.

We came sliding up to the American Airlines ticket counter to retrieve our new boarding passes.  It was mobbed with angry and exhausted travelers.  The line was easily 350 people deep.


We stood at the side of the ticket counter, scouting for an open representative.  As soon as someone came available, the luggage-less dude sprinted to the counter.  Before she could point out the line, we swarmed her.  We told her what happened.  She told us that, before she could process us, we had to get a vouchers for boarding passes from US Airways.


But, we would not be stopped because WE WERE GETTING OUT.

We had 22 minutes.

We took off sprinting back across the entire airport, with the lobsters and luggage in tow.

We had 17 minutes.

We came skidding up to the US Airways ticket counter.  The line there was at least 475 angry and exhausted people deep.  We cut them all without looking back.  We swarmed, scared the hell out of the ticket agent, and managed to procure 12 vouchers for flights to Indianapolis on American Airlines.

We raced back across the airport for a third time in less than 15 minutes, with the lobsters and luggage in tow.

We had 13 minutes.

We yet again cut the entire line at the American Airlines ticket counter and procured our boarding passes.  We were on our way!

We had 11 minutes.

We hit the security line.  It was wall of people.


We made like the Mighty Ducks, got into a V, and pushed our way up the side lane for flight crews to the front of the security line.

quack, quack, Quack, QUACK!

quack, quack, quack, QUACK!

After sending the luggage-less dude first to hold the plane, we all scrambled through security before the mob behind us could find their pitchforks and torches.

We had 6 minutes.

We took off in a full sprint towards the gate.  I yelled at the slower members of our team as if I was Bobby Knight pre-anger management treatment.  There was no option but to hustle.



We had 2 minutes.

We raced up to the gate to find luggage-less dude in a full-scale filibuster.  He was standing in the plane door, singing Christmas carols, and refusing to move until every last one of us was present and accounted for.

We took roll call, we high fived, and we boarded our plane.


We taxied out from the gate.  And then we sat.  And we sat.  AND WE SAT.

We watched the clock tick away our 40-minute layover in Chicago.  This couldn’t be.  THIS COULD NOT BE.

All of this to just end up stranded in Chicago on Christmas morning?

Finally, we took off.  As we approached Chicago, we realized that we would have less than 10 minutes to make our flight to Indianapolis.

We came up with a plan.  Luggage-less dude would hold the next plane.  To make sure he was the first person off of our current plane, the rest of us would use our luggage to block anyone else from getting into the aisle.  Once he cleared the gauntlet, then we would take off running behind him.

We landed and put the plan into action.

After the luggage-less dude cleared the jetway, we had 6 minutes to make our connecting flight.

We sprinted across Chicago O’Hare airport, with the lobsters and luggage in tow.

We had 2 minutes.

We raced up to the plane and, yet again, luggage-less dude was staging a filibuster for the ages.

We had 1 minute.

We took roll call, we high fived, and we boarded our plane to Indianapolis.  Upon take off, we erupted into cheers and tears while the flight attendant passed us free mimosas.

After 18 hours, the Indy Bound Crew was finally on its way home, 12 people and 8 live lobsters strong.



Move Over Will and Kate, This Is the Wedding of the Decade

Blair Waldorf is marrying Seth Cohen.

I repeat.


Best idea ever.

Best idea ever.

THIS IS THE BIGGEST NEWS EVER, because the it means that the worlds of The O.C. and Gossip Girl, two of the most seminal television shoes of my generation, are finally colliding.  I can officially die happy.

For those of you living under a rock for the last decade, Seth and Blair are the king and queen of the Josh Schwartz teen drama universe.

Seth, albeit on first appearance the geeky second fiddle to Ryan Atwood’s leather cuff wearing brooding protagonist, was the driving force behind the wit, humor, and emo-laden indie music soundtrack that made The O.C. a tour de force in the mid-2000s.  Seth is the guy whose best friend was a plastic horse named Captain Oats (I swear it was much more charming than it sounds), who coined the term Chrismakkuh, who perfectly summarized the insanity that was the Cohen-Atwood-Roberts-Cooper family tree when he said “It’s a tale as old as time. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy finds out girl is surrogate mom’s illegitimate step-mother,” who provided his girlfriend with a “Seth Cohen Starter Park” that included The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Goonies and who might just be a stunning satire of Canada.  In short, Seth totally stole the show and is awesome.

Just a boy and his horse.

Just a boy and his horse listening to some Death Cab for Cutie.

Blair, albeit on first appearance the constant runner-up to Serena Van Der Woodsen’s cleavage-blessed protagonist, was similarly the driving force behind the wit, humor, and preppy-based fashion that made Gossip Girl a tour de force in the early 2010s.  This is the girl who is responsible for the power headband fashion trend, deporting Georgina Sparks to Russia,  making the Met steps a status symbol, turning Chuck Bass into a good person, and stating the obvious truth that “it’s so hard finding obedient minions.”  In short, Blair is everything that I want to be and is awesome.

As do I Blair, as do I.

As do I Blair, as do I.

With the union of Blair and Seth and their mutual love of Thanksgiving, everything is FINALLY  right in the world.  I’ve been waiting for this moment since Blair said, with respect to Serena, “I’m sick of always looking like Darth Vader next to sunshine Barbie.”  If that Star Wars reference wasn’t a mating call specifically meant for Seth Cohen, then I don’t know what is.

Of course, this blessed event leaves me with SO many questions. Will Dorota be the maid of honor?  Will Ryan Atwood be the best man?  Will Captain Oats be present?  Will he bring Princess Sparkles as his date to the wedding or will she refuse to attend out of loyalty to Summer Roberts, who was, after all, Seth’s first wife?  Will the ghosts of Bart Bass and Marissa Cooper haunt their blessed union?  Will Little J finally realize that the model who destroyed her fashion line was actually Kaitlyn Cooper? Will Blair walk down the aisle while Rufus Humphreys plays an acoustic cover of a song by The Shins on the mandolin?

Just imagine the dorky law and Judaism conversations that Blair’s stepfather Cyrus and Seth’s dad Sandy will have at the reception!  Kirsten Cohen and Lily Van Der Woodsen will drink the place out of Chardonnay in under an hour!  Taylor Townsend and Neli Yuki will finally be united, which means that they will assuredly plot to take over the universe together, because they went to the Sorbonne and Yale and were smarter than all of the rest of those kids and its about time someone noticed!

I, for one, could not be happier that Blair finally heard those “three words, eight letters” that she was always waiting for and that it was from Seth Cohen.

Mazel Tov!

* Okay, fine, perhaps technically it is Leighton Meester and Adam Brody who are engaged, but whatever.

Yes, fine, you are both very nice real people who just want to get coffee, wear comfy clothes, and be in love.  I understand that you are not actually Seth Cohen and Blair Waldorf.  But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I’m sure that you are both very nice real people who just want to get coffee, wear comfy clothes, and be in love. I understand that you are not actually Seth Cohen and Blair Waldorf, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.


To Twerk or Not to Twerk (I Cannot Believe that Was My Question)

A few weeks ago, I was invited to something called a Twerkshop.  Yes.  That is correct.  I was invited to a portmanteau of twerk and workshop.


This was all the doing of my dancer/fitness professional friend who was teaching said Twerkshop.

This friend is one of the most amazingly nice people on Earth and, over the past couple of years, her classes have completely transformed my body.  Because of this woman, I can finally, after about two decades of failed attempts, do push-ups like a boss.  I definitely owe her a solid and always want to do my part to support her.

But, twerking fitness?  Really?  REALLY?!

This was pushing it.

I went back and forth endlessly on whether to attend the Twerkshop.

To twerk or not to twerk was my constant question.

My freshman year English teacher was right, Shakespeare is always relevant.

My freshman year English teacher was right, Shakespeare is always relevant.

On the one hand, it would be a great workout, I would be supporting my friend, and I can always use some new moves.  Also, as anyone who has ever attended a wedding, party, or afternoon cocktails with me can attest, I LOVE to dance and have no qualms about doing it in public, especially after a wine or two.

On the other hand, twerking.  It is the ill-fated dance of Miley Cyrus.  I just couldn’t image me — 33 year old, home owning, desk job having, ballet flat wearing me — getting nasty on the dance floor on a weeknight while ostensibly sober.

Something about that just seemed wrong.  Very wrong.

But, as we all know, there is nothing I find more attractive than a bad decision.

If it's for Beyonce, it's for me.

If it’s for Beyonce, it’s for me.

So, last night, at the late hour of 8 pm, I slapped on my least tattered leggings, a neon pink v-neck t-shirt, and my running shoes, which was the closest thing I owned to the suggested “funky hip hop attire” (clue number 87 that this was a bad decision — I didn’t understand the dress code much less owned any appropriate items).  I slammed back a shot of whiskey for luck.  And then I took off for the gym.

While en route, I calmed my nerves by reminding myself that I was just going to the gym.  It was a place that I went almost every day.  It was my safe space.  This was going to be no big deal.

No big deal.

But then I arrived.

Where my gym had once stood was now a dark room with pulsing club lights and a DJ spinning in the corner.  My friend came bounding up to me — as welcoming and smiling as ever — but she was rocking pink hot pants, a black bra top, sneaker wedges (which apparently are a thing?!), and some serious hair.

This was decidedly not my safe space.

I was gripped with straight-up fear about what was about to occur.  But, I had just paid $20 for this class and, as y’all know, I’m cheap.  Plus, if I walked out now, I would definitely hurt my friend’s feelings.  So, I had no choice but to take a deep breath, frantically text Snarkoleptic for moral support, and stick it out.

And, stick it out I did.

For a solid 60 minutes, I strutted, I rolled, I did hairography (note to self, I need some hair extensions stat), and then I got down to business and started moving my hips all over the damn place.  My ass did things that I’m pretty sure are illegal in most parts of the world and that should never, ever be done in public again.  But, I was so sweaty and out of breath that I had no opportunity to laugh, to be self-conscious, or to even comprehend what I was actually doing.  It was all I could do to keep up.

That Twerkshop was hands down one of the hardest workouts I have ever done.  I woke up this morning and my abs and thighs were so sore that I could barely get out of bed.

Also, I learned that, while what Miley did does fall within the twerkosphere, you can twerk like a lady.


Here’s how.  First, stand with your legs apart, turn your toes out on at least a 45 degree angle, and bend your knees trying to get your thighs as close to parallel with the floor as possible.  This is also known as second position plie in ballet.  See, this IS legit classy, not classy lite.

Twerking and ballet are kind of the same thing.

Twerking and ballet are kind of the same thing.

After you take a moment to feel like an elegant ballerina,  put your hands on your hips and use them to push your hips forward and then backward a few times to get a feel for the movement.  Once you have that down, then its time to crank up the beats and channel your inner Beyonce.  Take your hands off your hips, move your hips forward and back to the beat, and throw out some serious attitude.  Within seconds every muscle in your body will be burning and you’ll be out of breath.

It’s twerk repeats every day from now on.


Miley Cyrus Crushed My Yoga Dreams

In what may come as a total and complete surprise, television and Country Boy are not the only loves in my life.

I’m also having a torrid love affair with both running and yoga.

I know.  I KNOW.  I am one of THOSE people who rearranges her entire schedule to fit in a workout and who actually looks forward to it.

My idea of a good time.

My idea of a good time.

Please don’t hate me.  I still eat cake.  Lots and lots of cake.

And by cake, I mean cake with wine.  Obviously.

And by cake, I mean cake with wine. Obviously.

About two months ago, I started training for a marathon.  I’ve never run that far before since I’m more of a 5K hit-em-and-quit-em kind of girl, but I decided it was about time I gave a long-term relationship a shot.

Up until a week ago, my training had been going really well.  I had worked up to running over 30 miles per week, I was still excited to go out and run almost every night, and I was remarkably injury free.

But, last Monday, I found myself with a gnarly blood blister on the bottom of my right big toe.  It was so mortifying and disgusting that I started referring to it as Miley Cyrus.

I woke up to find something of this caliber on my foot.

I woke up to find something of this caliber on my foot.

The next day, Miley and I decided to go to a yoga class.

I realize that is an obviously bad decision.  I knew that I should rest my blister so that it would heal quickly.  But, I’ve never been one to make good decisions, and I really needed to feed my yoga addiction.  So, off Miley and I went to the gym — a place where bad things often happen to me involving live television — with me swearing that I was going to take it easy and just focus on getting a good stretch.

By the time I walked into the studio, the room was bursting full of yogis and the only open spot was, of course, front and center.  I sighed, reminded myself to take it easy even though everyone would be looking at me, and took the dreaded center spot


At least being center square would bring me one step closer to Whoopi Goldberg. Pretty soon we’ll be living the dream singing Sister Act duets together.

For the first half of class, I stayed on message.  I modified whenever necessary so that I wouldn’t put too much weight on my toe, I kept my eyes on my own mat, and I almost forgot that I had a lot of people behind me while I was wearing very tight pants.

But then Jay-Z came on over the stereo.  My breath locked in with Hov and we were grooving together.

I couldn’t suppress my inner Beyonce any longer.

The teacher called out crow pose and, with Jay on my side, I popped right up into the arm balance.  I was feeling awesome!  I was flying!  And I was doing it in front of all the other yogis!

I was Sasha Fiercing the hell out of that yoga class.

The next directive was to move into a chatarunga, which is a low tricep push-up.

Instead of carefully coming out of the arm balance and stepping back to a push-up to keep my toe safe, I decided to jump back because that’s what Beyonce would do.


The move goes a little like this, although when I do it it’s high on speed and low on grace.

I did it!  I flew through the air!  I didn’t smash my face of the floor!  Maybe the class would give me a slow clap?  For sure someone would come up to me afterwards and give me a knowing namaste.  I’ve always wanted to be in the inner knowing namaste circle!

But that giant smile on my face disappeared the instant my right foot hit the ground.

There was a large pop.  I felt a searing pain as the right side of my body collapsed onto my mat.  And then I heard a gasp next to me.

Oh Miley, what have you done now?  WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

Miley had exploded upon impact, and she went EVERYWHERE.

There was blood on my mat, on the studio floor, and on my neighbor’s mat.  All that was missing was some bright yellow police tape and David Caruso.

I tried to play it cool and just casually slide my towel around on the floor to wipe up the blood spatter, but I wasn’t fooling anyone.  There was nothing cool and casual about what I was doing, and, because it was a veritable crime scene, EVERYONE was transfixed and could not look away.

After what felt like an eternity, the class finally ended.  At that moment, everyone in the room fled from me like the pariah that I am.  No one made eye contact and no one said a word.  The way these yogis were acting, you would have thought that I had just twerked all over their stash of kale and quinoa.

So much for my dreams of a knowing namaste.

Thanks, Miley.  You really know how to win friends and impress people.


That Night I Got Drunk With The Pastor

This past weekend I was lucky enough to watch two of my absolutely dearest friends marry each other.  It was truly amazing.

But, before that perfect moment, I got drunk with their pastor.


That’s right.

I pretty much got hammered with God on Friday night.


It all started out innocently enough.  You see, the pastor didn’t look like a pastor.  He was my age.  He was wearing hipster glasses.  He had carefully mussed shaggy hair.  When I met him at the rehearsal and he told me that he was the pastor, I sarcastically said “nice to meet you father” and moved on to the next person.  I honestly thought that he was just one of the groom’s fraternity brothers messing with me.

It was totally something that this guy would do.

It was totally something that this guy would do.

But then he stood up in front of everyone and started telling us how the ceremony was going to go down.  He was totally the pastor.

I pretty much told God that he was a liar.


When I saw the pastor afterwards at the rehearsal dinner, I invited him to sit next to myself and a couple of the bride’s close friends.  I was going to make amends, because, you know, he was probably pretty tight with the big JC.

The pastor, most likely against his better judgment, pulled up a chair with us.  After I apologized for our rough introduction, he kindly explained to me that “pastors are just normal people who happen to be interested in God.”

That was a valuable life lesson, but one that I perhaps took a little too much to heart.

Since we were just a bunch of normal people hanging out, the pastor, my two friends, and I grabbed some drinks and started telling stories.  Turns out JC is down with celebrating the gloriousness that is beer.

in the words of my new pastor friend, "I'm drinking Merry Monk, so its all good."

In the words of my new pastor friend, “I’m drinking Merry Monk, so its all good.”

After about two minutes of warm-up material, my friends and I got right down to brass tacks.  We started interrogating the pastor about his love life and began figuring out which of our single friends that he should meet.  You can’t let a nice, single, well-educated man like that go to waste!

During that conversation, I might have invited him to come visit me because I knew lots of single girls and could “guarantee him a good time, if you know what I mean.”

I pretty much told God that I could get him laid.


Just call me the dirty Yenta.

Just call me the dirty Yenta.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, then we started making cracks about how the pastor didn’t have to worry about driving home after our many rounds of drinks because he could just ask Jesus to take the wheel.  Yes, we quoted Carrie Underwood as gospel to the pastor.

I pretty much told God that it was cool to drive drunk because Carrie Underwood said so.


Carrie Underwood

She might just be God.  At the very least they are homies, because the only way you get hair that good is if you have a direct line to the big guy.

Here’s the thing about a pastor, you just can’t not tell him stuff.

After I shared with him that I knew some easy women and that I get most of my spiritual guidance from a former-American-Idol-constestant-turned-country-music-superstar, I then, along with my friends, told him all about the bride’s bachelorette party last month.  You know, the one with the bidet.


That’s right.

We told the pastor about what happened to the bidet and explained to him that our motto for the weekend was to be classy lite because we recognized that we were not actually capable of being classy for any extended period of time.


Guess what he’ll be picturing when he sees our motley crew parade down the aisle.

So, for those of you keeping score at home, before dessert had hit the table, I had insinuated that the pastor was a liar and had told him that I lived a life full of debauchery, idolatry, and errant excrement.

Well done, PinotNinja, well done.

But, of course, I had to outdo myself.

My dignity really took this to heart on Friday night

My dignity really took this to heart on Friday night.

At the end of the night and multiple bottles of wine, my friends and I dared the pastor to include some key phrases from our conversations in his sermon.  That’s right, I decided to turn someone else’s sacred moment into an opportunity for my own personal entertainment.

The afternoon leading up to the ceremony was fairly hectic, which caused me to temporarily forget about the drunken dare we had made the night before to that nice man of the cloth.

The ceremony began and everything was full-on classy.  We all looked gorgeous.  The outdoor farm setting was stunning.  Tasteful orchestral music played.  We all made it down the aisle, even the two dogs and five small children, without a hitch.

It could not have been more perfect and elegant.

But then, as always, the wheels started coming off the train.

During his sermon, the pastor mentioned the rehearsal dinner.  Suddenly, I remembered everything that we had said the night before.  I was overcome with a sense of panic.

The pastor mentioned how lovely the couple’s friends and family were.  He mentioned how warm and open we all were.  I relaxed, thinking that maybe we were in the clear.

But then he said, “the thing about the couple is that they really now how to keep it classy or at least classy lite.”

The dude did it.

He took our dare head-on and he knocked it out of the park!

Before I could fully process what had occurred, everyone from the bachelorette party lost their damn minds.  There was actual hollering, ear-piercing laughter, and above-head clapping.  The bride fell into a fit of giggles.  One of the dogs started barking in response to all of the chaos.  The groom just looked at all of us with a mix of amusement and exasperation.

And, with that, we had turned the event into a classy lite affair.


Our work at that wedding was done. PinotNinja and friends out.

At least we always keep it real?


Good Friends Living Large In Texas Forever

Although its been years since it went off the air, I still cannot get over just how damn good Friday Night Lights is.

So damn good.

Good lord do I miss y'all.

Good lord do I miss y’all.

There are so many things that made that show amazing — the whisper yell, Coach Taylor’s pep talks, Landry’s surprising comedic flair, Tami Taylor’s hair — but one thing stands out.  The characters.  Friday Night Lights wasn’t a show about football.  It was a show about complicated people living in a seemingly simple place.

Indeed, these characters were so good, so damn good, that they did not disappear when network executives put an untimely end to their story.

Instead, much like the cast of the similarly phenomenal yet underrated Freaks and Geeks, the Friday Night Lights team has found a way to keep the story of their characters and the essence of Dillon, Texas alive despite having their show was taken away.

As Riggins predicted, they would all be “good friends living large in Texas forever.”


This kid always suits up and takes the field no matter what physical or mental illness he’s quietly battling.

For example, when we left Dillon, Luke Cafferty was on his way to the military.  When we pick up with him again he’s on Parenthood, which as you all know I love, as Sergeant Ryan York.  Luke/Ryan has completed two tours in Afghanistan with the United States Army.  We see how Luke/Ryan copes with the difficult aftermath of returning from war and how he has grown up to be a stronger and more confident person.  But, he’s still the same guy — seemingly simple on the surface but deeply complicated — and his love affair with Amber and mentor relationship with Zeek Braverman bring back his very best moments with his high school love Becky and with Coach Taylor. He’s still just a man desperately searching for his home.


Did you learn nothing from Riggins? Of course sleeping with Crosby is going to ruin everything!

When we last saw Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights, she had finally found a way to move on from Riggins and left for a bright future at Vanderbilt University.  She certainly put that educational opportunity to good use, because she came to Parenthood as Gaby Moss, a top-notch child behavioral therapist who worked with autistic children.  Lyla/Gabby is still sweet as can be, and you can tell she’s trying really hard to make the right choices.  But, she hasn’t been able to kick her bad habit of throwing all consequences to the wind after a few drinks and ending up in bed with the long-haired misunderstood bad boy.


One of these days, you’ll finally be able to move on from your past.

Post-high school Vince Howard is still wrestling with his demons.  Vince also came back to us on Parenthood where he’s Alex, a teenager with no family, a criminal record, and a battle with alcoholism.  Vince/Alex is still a great person at heart and he is still really, truly fighting to be better and make everyone proud.  But, he just can’t shake his penchant for self-destruction that remains both infuriating and endearing.  Just as with Jess on Friday Night Lights, Vince/Alex finds himself smart enough to fall for Haddie Braverman, a woman who is intelligent, ambitious, and fantastic, but he’s not smart enough to stop from sabotaging the entire relationship with a moment of sheer stupidity.  All you can do with Vince/Alex is keep rooting that next time around he’ll finally get it right, because he’s a kid who deserves to get it right.


Can we just elect Jess Merriweather as president already?

On the current season of Parenthood, we finally get to see what happened to Jess Merriweather.  Of course the girl who fought to be a football coach and not just a cheerleader watching from the sidelines turned out to be a bad ass fast talking campaign manager named Heather who got Obama elected and then swooped in to save Kristina Braverman’s mayoral campaign.  Jess/Heather’s domination of Vince Howard and Coach Taylor were just her warm-up for her future ability to use pure grit and ambition to get whatever she set her sights on.  No one puts Jess/Heather in the corner.

Beyond the Parenthood universe, two of my absolute Friday Night Lights favorites have also found a way to visit me every week.

New sunglasses, same exasperated look.

New sunglasses, same exasperated look.

Nashville has shown what Tami Taylor would do if she wasn’t a football coach’s wife who revolutionized education in small town Texas.  She would be Rayna James Country Music Superstar, obviously.  Have you seen that woman’s hair?  Have you seen her spunky attitude?  Have you seen that look she gets on her face when she’s been wronged and she is damn well going to do something about it?  Tami/Rayna was made to belt out songs about heartbreak and taking charge while strutting around in stilettos.  And, of course, she still makes time amongst all her taking names and kicking asses to help out any wayward girls who cross her path.  Juliette Barnes is totally her new Tyra Collette, right down to the troubled family, bad decisions about men, and surprising raw talent.


Every thought that Jason Street and George Tucker has is deep and meaningful.

One of my current CW guilty pleasures, Hart of Dixie, allows me to catch up with Jason Street, who now goes by George Tucker, but is the same old good guy who just wants to do right and make his small town better.  Street/Tucker is still prone to getting his heart broken by the small town’s Queen B with the important daddy and the perfect ponytail who inevitably cheats on him with his best friend.  Lemon Breeland is 2013’s Lila Garrity.  He also has not learned his lesson about the perils of befriending his small town’s local drunken and brooding loner who can’t get out of his own way.  Wade Kinsella is what happens when you make Tim Riggins tween-friendly.

I absolutely love that I know how all of these characters have evolved.  I love knowing that, when I turn off their latest television appearance, I’m not saying goodbye to them.  I know that they will always be back, and I can’t wait to see them again.

I’ve spent hours pondering how the Friday Night Lights characters have had such staying power.  Is it because Friday Night Lights and Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims hired actors who are actually, in real life, the very residents that he imagined inhabiting Dillon, Texas?  Or is it because those characters were just so damn good and complex that the actors and Katims are unwilling to let them go?

Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether its one or the other, or some magical combo platter of both.  All that matters is that this all exists.

Texas Forever.