Why Father’s Day Makes Me Happy

I’ve been a member of a lot of clubs in my life. In elementary school, I started a Disney Villains club where kids would essentially just run around the playground pretending to be Disney Villains. Pretty self-explanatory. There weren’t a lot of rules, red tape, or dues. It was a simpler time.

Then came Brownies, Girl Scouts, Show Choir (which was more of a class than a club and more of a cult than a class…), Albion College Players and now, SAG. I’m sure eventually I’ll join AARP and then death and then my days of joining clubs will be over. Unless Tupac and Audrey Hepburn ask me to join their book club in Heaven, in which case, YOU CAN COUNT ME IN, I’LL BRING THE CHIPS AND DIP, LET’S DO THIS.

One club that I’m not super psyched to be a member of is the DDC. It stands for Dead Dads Club. It may sound crass to say that but it is what it is. My friend, Mark, and I started calling it that when we realized we were both members and high-fived. It made our other friends supremely uncomfortable which, in turn, made Mark and I laugh, so it stuck. I didn’t start this club and it definitely won’t end with me, but I’ve been a card carrying member since 2004. And let’s be honest, it sucks. I’d rather be a member of about a million other clubs. Can I exchange this membership for a Cheese of the Month Club or something? 

Some other members of the DDC:  

news_photo_39919_1372719295 harry  

 got-game-of-thrones-32460376-500-699 Cinderella 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I see it, there are two ways I can handle a day like Father’s Day: get really sad, draw the shades in my room, listen to Eric Clapton, drink a lot of wine, and pity myself. OR! I can think about all of the good stuff in life; the happiness that came from being lucky enough to have had 15 years with my Dad, the fact that I have many other family members who stepped in as “dad” and how great they are and THEN I can drink a lot of wine. The wine part is non-negotiable. Happening either way.

It wouldn’t be a Hollis blog if I didn’t relate this all back to Harry Potter somehow. There’s a quote from The Prisoner of Azkaban that I always tend to go back to when I think about my Dad: 

“You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?” 

And it’s true. My Dad really isn’t gone. I get to see him every day.

I see him in my brother, Eddie. 

eddie Sacramento’s Most Eligible Bachelor, Ladies and Gentlemen! 

Whenever people that knew my Dad (a sportscaster) hear that Eddie works in sports they, without fail, say “Oh! Like father like son! He must have gotten that from Mark! Boys love sports!” etc. I won’t deny that that’s true. Eddie and my Dad shared a love of all sports. My Dad was the loudest guy at every baseball, soccer, and hockey game that Eddie played. And then (much to my chagrin) they would spend the entire car ride home talking about the game we JUST attended and who played how and where the team could play better and so and so and his injury and oh my god, I’m getting boredom flashbacks just thinking about it…ARE WE DONE!? CAN WE LISTEN TO ACE OF BASE IN PEACE NOW?!

 18943_1185986250280_3113270_n Sports! 

I’m sure Eddie wouldn’t be as passionate about baseball or hockey as he is today if it wasn’t for my Dad. But that’s not the part of my Dad that I see in Eddie.

When I look at Eddie, I see my Dad’s compassion. I see a boy who was forced to become a man much sooner than most, and who shouldered that responsibility wonderfully. I see a big brother who took his little sister on all of the rides in Disney World and held her hand when she was scared. I see a big brother who, IN THE MIDDLE OF LOS ANGELES TRAFFIC, fixed his little sister’s pedal extensions when they fell off because she could “totally put them on herself”. I see a big brother who has encouraged his little sister to be strong and speak her mind no matter what. And to me, there’s no doubt where all of that came from. Pure Dad. 197178_1003733894347_4281_n 

And, being honest, I see a lot of my dad in myself.

Superficially, I see it in my love for television, and movies and fictional characters. When I was a kid, we never had one of those absurd “the kids can only watch one half hour of educational television a week” rules. No way. Not with Mark Andrews around. We. Loved. TV.

Some of my happiest memories with my dad involve the two of us sitting in the basement watching I Love Lucy and Cheers reruns. It tickled him to no end that I loved the shows he loved. He loved that I could argue about why Rebecca will always be superior than Diane or which Darrin was better on Bewitched. I’ll never forget how excited he was to show me the Cheers series finale that he had recorded on VHS.

 TedKirstie How can you not love them?! 

Or when we were waiting in line for the drive-thru ATM. It was probably 1998ish and we had just come from the library where I rented 3 books: two about Lucille Ball and Strider by Beverly Cleary. For the rest of my life, I will never forget how seriously my dad took the following conversation:

“Dad, it says Lucille Ball died in 1989.”

“Yeah, I remember that. A few months after you were born.”

“So I was born…and then she died.”

“Yep.”

“Do you think maybe…” I paused because I knew how strange what I was about to say was. Even for an nine-year old. “Do you think when she died, I…you know…maybe like took over? I know she had red hair and I don’t, I don’t mean like that. I mean like one funny actress died and another was born.”

My Dad smiled and I couldn’t tell if I should feel stupid or not. Was he laughing at me? God, why did I say that?! 

“Hol, I think you could be right. There is no doubt in my mind that you were put on this earth to make people laugh.”

                                                                         lucy c

When my Dad was a kid, he wanted to be a professional basketball player. You know, a typical profession for little person who would never grow to be taller than 4’8″. He had an elementary school teacher who realized that this dream may never come true for him, so, she instead encouraged him to become a sports journalist. She told him then he could get into all the games for free and he was SOLD.

He went to school for broadcasting and became a sportscaster. Not only did he do radio, but he also worked in television as a sports anchor. Now, this was all PD (Pre-Dinklage) when it wasn’t necessarily commonplace to see a little person being taken seriously on television, let alone conducting interviews with 6’9″ athletes. But he fought and persevered and according to him, he never truly worked a day in his life because he was doing what he loved.

When I look at myself, not only do I see my Dad’s love for television and pop culture, but I see my Dad’s spirit and sense of humor, and above all, his optimism. His belief that you can “be as big as you want to be”. He always called himself our “Number One Cheerleader”. No matter what we wanted to do, no matter how absurd our dreams, he wanted my brother and I to know that he supported us.

So, as I, a member of the DDC, sit here in my apartment in Los Angeles, where I’m trying to follow that dream of making people laugh, I can’t help but be happy on Father’s Day. Because man, I was lucky enough to have had one hell of a Father.

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The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant. -Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who

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Things That Make Me Stupid Happy

Recently, I’ve been going through kind of a hard time. Without getting into it too much, I’ll just say there has been a proverbial black cloud hanging over my head the past few months. And as anyone who has gone through this type of thing knows, the black cloud likes to stick around. He likes to whisper in my ear when I’m happy, yell in my face when I’m sad or really just keep me company through any emotion. It’s not that much fun and no offense, black cloud, but…you’re kind of an asshole. The issue with my black cloud is that he is always hungry. He mainly subsists on a diet of stress, bills, car insurance, panic, insecurity and self-doubt. The more I feed him, the hungrier he gets and then I have to feed him even more and I can’t stop. So he keeps eating and eating and that makes him bigger and bigger and the whole thing is just an ugly cycle.

SlimerIf you need a visual for my black cloud, just imagine Slimer from Ghostbusters but black and he follows you around all the time. Ugh.

It’s no secret to the people closest to me know that my black cloud has been hanging around lately. When someone is close to you, truly close to you, you usually can’t hide. James (roommate and best friend) knows this possibly better than anyone.

And the thing about James is…he is magic. It’s hard to describe but, he is. So, he gave me an assignment. Not matter how small the list, no matter how menial…make a list of things that make you happy. The things that you can’t help but smile when you think about, the things that make the black cloud cower in fear and shrink just the tiniest bit.

So, I tried this a few days ago. My first list had 3 things: my mom, my friends, and something private I’m not going to put on a public blog.

That’s it. That was all I could think of. Of all of the hundreds of people, songs, emotions, colors, animals, and movies that make me happy…I could only think of 3 things.

But today, I’m feeling a little better and I’d like to try that list again.

So here it is…A List of Things that Make Me Stupid Happy.

1. Coffee

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Oh man. Where would I be without you, you sweet, sweet nectar of the Gods? No matter what I’m feeling, or how big my cloud is, coffee gives me a reason to leave my bed in the morning. That first sip…nothing quite like it. If you don’t like coffee, well, good for you but know that I think of you as a lesser human being and I WISH I WAS KIDDING. If I could replace my blood with coffee I would. And then I would probably smell like coffee which is just an added bonus. So coffee….thank you. Thank you for always being there for me. There’s no one I’d rather wake up with.

2. The Gone Girl Trailer

OH MAN! I am SO excited for this movie. I watch this at least 5 times a week. David Fincher is my favorite director and a genius so I was so curious about how this was going to turn out. Well, the first trailer came out and I LOST MY DAMN MIND. It looks great! And Affleck has never looked better. After my first viewing of the trailer, I picked up the book by Gillian Flynn and stayed up all night reading it. I highly recommend going to your nearest book store or iPad or Kindle or Nook and getting it immediately. You know what, go, read it, then watch the trailer, THEN come back and finish reading this blog. I’ll wait. Then we could even talk about it if you want! How do you feel about the ending?? I loved it! Let’s chat!

 

3. Snapchatting with my Cousins, Brittany and Shane

Pictures of cats with inappropriate human anatomy drawn on (Shane), videos provided by alcohol (both), the ugliest selfies (Britt), inside jokes from 20 years ago (both). This is the type of gold I am sent by these two humans on a daily basis and nothing brings a bigger smile to my face in those 10 second increments. Pictures not available because these are precious gems that I wouldn’t even think of screencapping. So here’s a picture of Brittany and I as cute kids:

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4. This Gif of Red Pandas Getting Scared

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I MEAN, COME ON.

5. Van Gogh

34. 1889 Self-Portrait oil on canvas 65 x 54 cm Saint-Rémy September 1889 © Musée d'Orsay, dist.RMN - Patrice Schmidt

A few years ago, my aunt asked who my favorite artist was and I couldn’t answer right away and that really bothered me. I always like a lot of things, but I pride myself on always being able to pick a favorite of something. I can name my favorite book, movie, song without flinching. And I can say them with absolute faith that they are my favorite. So not having a favorite artist bothered me. I actually took a week and just looked at art book upon art book. I was a sponge. And then it hit me. Van Gogh. It actually happened when I was looking at one of his self-portraits from 1889, the year before he died. He just had such a sadness behind his eyes and my heart ached. I’m actually going to take the next month to visit every Museum in LA that houses a work by Van Gogh and see them and I can say it is truly something I am looking forward to. The black cloud is not invited.

6. Hamburgers

I don’t think I could find anything simpler that can make me happy. Just one of the greatest works of mankind ever created.

in-n-out-miami-florida

7. Fall Out Boy 

This one has stuck with me since 2005. Some of my best memories are just driving around in my mom’s mini-van with Kerri, TCBY or Starbucks in hand, and singing along to Fall Out Boy at the top of our lungs. It was the epitome high school angst music. I mean, they came up with the perfect lyrics for a 16 year-old girl to add to her AIM profile: “I keep my jealousy close cause it’s all mine and if you say this makes you happy then I’m not the only one lying“. SUCH ANGST.

Their newest album “Save Rock and Roll” came out last year and I’m still adding songs from it to my “Currently Listening To” playlist on Spotify. Also, Patrick Stump has turned into quiet the little hottie, so. There’s another bonus.

Patrick-Stump

 

Speaking of hotties…

8. The 11th Doctor

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If you and I talk in real life for more than 15 minutes, I’m probably going to bring up Doctor Who. Just let it happen. It’s unavoidable.

I love the entire series, but man, do I care for the 11th Doctor and his relationship with Amy Pond. I’m actually going to stop writing about how happy this makes me because if I keep going, I will end up abandoning this entire post just to watch Amy’s Choice, Vincent and the Doctor, The Eleventh Hour. But just know, that even when my black cloud is at his stormiest and blackest, the mere thought of this show can still make me smile.

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9. Carys

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My little sister. The best person I know. The past eleven years of my life have been made brighter and better by her mere presence. When I was thirteen and found out my mom was pregnant, I was angry. I thought this baby would ruin my life, steal all of the attention I had always had (being the youngest), and just generally be a nuisance. I was an immature child.

The first time I saw her, laying there, covered in a blanket, probably only 5 minutes old, I started weeping. I couldn’t help myself, the tears just kept coming and coming. I didn’t even know what was happening. I could not understand it. I wasn’t upset. My mom thought I was crying tears of anger or sadness. She kept asking what was wrong and I kept saying “Nothing! Nothing!” and then it finally clicked. They were tears of happiness. I’d never cried like that before or felt that kind of immediate love for something or someone.

And ever since that moment, my life has been changed for the better. She is smart and funny and kind and I am in awe of the person she is becoming.

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10. My Friends

I could write a novel about these people who have come into my life and I don’t think I could even come close to capturing the love and happiness that they give me.

I saw a quote from the movie Blue is the Warmest Color the other day and it had the phrase “infinite tenderness” in it. And it just clicked in my head. That is what I have and will always have for my friends. Infinite tenderness. Your friends know who you are, every crack, every crevice, every good thing, and every black cloud. And they love you for it. Not in spite of these things, but because of them. I don’t think it gets better than that.

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So…being honest, this post actually really helped.

So, if you ever find yourself with your own black cloud, ya know, go to wordpress.com, start your own blog, write a post about things that make you stupid happy, get distracted googling the images to go with your blog, cry because certain images make you really happy, listen to Fall Out Boy on Spotify during this whole ordeal, debate what to eat for dinner, proofread your blog (albeit probably not very well), and VOILA! Your black cloud won’t be as black!

James really is magic!

 

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The Things You Keep

The things you keep after a break up are not physical. They’re not the teddy bear he gave you when he went to that amusement park with his friends. They’re not the earrings you got for your 4th anniversary or the mix CD you that you tried really hard to not read into.

These are not the things that you keep. The things that you keep are a love for Bob Dylan. You keep that feeling you get when you hear the song he sang in your ear before you fell asleep. You’ll find yourself picking up a book of Bukowski poems in a bookstore and never wanting to let them go. You keep the idea that you matter. You keep the part of you that screams “I am worthy.”

The things you lose after a break up are not physical. You lose things like the desire to watch Vietnam-era war movies. Platoon will come on the television and you’ll lose the need to watch it for the eighth time. You lose the immediate impulse to put yourself second. You lose that feeling you got after the fight that was almost the end. You lose the idea that you weren’t worthy or good enough to keep it going. You lose that person you were with him; a girl you would not recognize.

The thing you keep after a breakup is not physical. The thing you keep after a breakup is yourself.

 

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On Being a Little Person

Buckle in.

To begin, let me say the following opinions are mine and mine alone. I am not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking, nor am I using this post to condone anyone’s lifestyle or choices. I am also going to refrain from calling out individual people by name. It’s tacky, unnecessary and as the great Destiny’s Child put it, “You know I’m not gonna diss you on the internet…cause my momma taught me better than that.”

I recently have come under a lot of heat for a comment I made on a friend’s Facebook status about Miley Cyrus’ SNL appearance. Essentially, my LP friend said that little people actors should take note of how our other little person friend played his guitar for her performance, rather than dance behind her in say…a plant or food costume. A lot of the LP community commented on the status and a debate began on LP performers and the types of “gigs” we are hired to perform for. Long story short (pun absolutely intended), I decided to comment with the following:

So I apologize in advance if this stirs the pot more but I was reading the comments and really wanted to weigh in. [Person who originally posted], you basically said everything I’ve been wanting to say for a long time but have been too chicken shit to say because I didn’t want to offend anyone.
Most of the time, getting a job purely because you’re a little person (in my opinion) is not a good thing. It is further fulfilling society’s idea that we are something to laugh at; that our value is simply to shock. We can all agree that right now all Miley Cyrus wants to do is make society’s jaw drop. So what’s more “weird” or “freaky” than having little people parading around in your show?
As someone who is trying to make it as a serious actress in this industry, not just trying to “be famous” or make money, there is nothing more frustrating than this stigma. The longer little people agree to be used as shock value, the longer it is going to take for us to be taken seriously.
I was a bear in Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and it was my first time doing anything like that…anything where I was being used because of my height, not because of my talent. And I will be the first one to tell you that standing on that stage, in that costume was one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do. I realize not everyone shares my opinion and I might just be young and naive, but I feel like the acceptance of this kind of treatment has got to stop.

I have been attempting to be a professional actress for the past 3 years and my mom will probably tell you I have been attempting to be a professional actress my entire life. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not want to be on a stage or in front of a camera. I have been performing in plays and musicals since I could speak. I attended a small Liberal Arts school in Michigan where I earned a degree in Theatre. I was in plays and musicals while in school and I earned none of my roles by simply being small and not one show I was in even made mention of it. I have lived in Los Angeles for almost two years and let me be one of the millions to tell you…it is not easy. Not only am I attempting to break into an impossible industry, but I am trying to do it with what some may consider a huge disadvantage. For decades, little people have not been taken seriously and we still continue to not be. As an actress, I am presented with maybe 2% of the “real” auditions that my average height actress friends are presented with.

However, I have been presented with many other opportunities. I was in Miley Cyrus’ 2013 VMA performance as one of the background bears. I had never done anything in a costume with a mask like that before. I mean, I dressed up as a Pink Power Ranger when I was in Kindergarten and I had a mask on but, I digress… I had never been in a performance where I was purely meant to be gawked or laughed at. I will never forget that performance because it is what forced me to draw my personal line in the sand. After our first dress rehearsal in the costumes with the crew, publicists, performers etc watching us, I walked out of the Barclay Center shaking and crying. Thankfully, my best friends, Kelly and Kerri, happened to be NYC to visit me. They were waiting for me and I walked up to them and broke down. I love being the center of attention, but that was something different. I was being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop…as something less than human.

Now, I have never been terribly bullied for being little person. I was extremely fortunate to grow up with a wonderful family and amazing friends. I view these people as a my personal shield. If anyone ever laughed at me on the playground as a child, I wasn’t even given a chance to defend myself because my friends or my cousin, Britt, would step forward and serve these people back some playground realness (mostly they would call them stupid or tell them to shut up…realness). In college, an online message board was started about me. People anonymously wrote in and said I looked “bug-eyed” and that I “creeped” them out and that they “felt sorry for my family that I even existed and I should just go die”. It wasn’t great. I felt the lowest I thought I could feel, but the minute I set foot outside my dorm room, I had sorority sisters, friends, and professors expressing their disgust at the board and it was eventually taken down. More recently, I was at a bar with my friends, Chris, Mark and James, and a man made some comment about my height and went to touch my hair. Before I even knew what was happening or what was said, the boys had stepped between the man and I, and had physically shielded him from even coming near me. My friends are amazing and I bring these examples up to show that, I have been fortunate to know that for every asshole out there calling me a “bug-eyed midget” I have a lot of other people who love me and treat me with respect.

So, while all of those other situations weren’t fun, they never made me feel less than human. When I did the VMAs, I did feel like that. For the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person. We were being used simply because we were little. It felt like society still saw us as a joke, despite the fact there is literally nothing different about me other than the fact I am small. You would never make someone with Down Syndrome to come to your party as an “angry retard”. (I have been asked to go to a party as an “angry elf”). So when they asked me to audition for Miley’s tour, I was incredibly hesitant. The money was great and I would have gotten a free trip to Las Vegas. My computer had recently broken and my car needed (and still needs) multiple repairs. I could have fixed a lot of that with the Miley money. So, I sent in my audition tape. I found out I was chosen and was going to have to begin rehearsals the next day. In this whole process, I was never quite told what I would be dancing to or as with Miley. I began to get a horrible gut feeling. All of the VMA feelings came rushing back. I called my mom, Kelly, and Kerri and we all debated for hours about the situation. Eventually they did that annoying thing everyone does where they said “Ultimately, it is your decision.” I wondered if I could do it again…if it my computer and car were worth it. If it was worth that one day, when my future (possibly little person) child YouTubed Miley Cyrus and found me dancing onstage in a costume like that and said something like “But Mom, you don’t let me do things like that” and I had to explain that Momma did it to pay the bills. I wondered if it was worth feeling less than human again.

And frankly, it wasn’t.

I also had a job and dog here in LA that I didn’t want to leave. Too many negative thoughts and considerations went into it. I decided not to join in on the Miley party.

I am not “hating on” the people who are currently doing this, or the little people who decide to do performances in a similar vein. That’s what is so lovely about our world. You are free to do whatever the hell you want to do. “Oh hey, Jesse Pinkman! You’re going to make and sell meth? Cool! I don’t want to do meth, nor do I want to sell it. I don’t think you should do it because I think you’re better than that, but hey! Who am I to tell you what to do?!”

I am simply explaining why I do not do this kind of performance or behavior. If the little person community continues to do performances like this, it is my belief that we will continue to only receive maybe 2% of the auditions and opportunities of our average sized friends. Society will think we’re OK with being laughed at because we still continue to do things that allow them to laugh at us or look at us as props.

So, there it is. Just one girl’s opinion. Let’s all go to Panda Express and get along now, eh?

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How The Boy Who Lived Brought Me Back to Life

I have been doing a lot of thinking about Harry Potter recently. And by “recently”, I mean I’ve been in a permanent state of thinking about Harry Potter since 1998. I can remember the exact moment that my mom gave me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My elementary school had just had a book fair and I was sitting in the back-seat of our car sorting through my treasures when this book with a boy on the cover fell out of my bag…

Can I just get real for a moment? Book fairs were the absolute shit. A company like Scholastic or something, I don’t know the specifics, comes to your school, takes over your gym, and LET’S YOU JUST GO SHOPPING FOR 5 HOURS! FOR BOOKS! WITHOUT YOUR PARENTS! You get to just write down whatever you want! No one judges you! You want a book about a bunny that turns into a vampire? Why don’t you check out Bunnicula! And some of the books even came with little trinkets! Like The Magic Charm books. They came with a necklace with a horse or ballet shoe charm or something like that. You were reading a story about a girl who has difficulty learning ballet who gets a ballet charm from her grandma or something and then WHAT?! You get the charm too, so you can match her?! THE BEST. So at a book fair, not only are you getting books, but sometimes you get trinkets too! Then your parents come and look at your list and if they were my mom, they would sometimes buy what you wanted and stock up for Christmas or birthdays. However, my mom also liked to go rogue. She’d get me random books that I didn’t ask for. That’s not to say I wasn’t grateful, but mostly they were educational books and ain’t nobody got time for that. I had bunny vampires and girls who sucked at ballet to read about!!

But that one year, Mom struck gold. A golden snitch, if you will. So this book with a boy and broom on the cover tumbles out of my bag…

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“It’s a book about a boy who is a wizard. It’s supposed to be very good. I thought it might be something you’d like.”

My mom acted like that was going to sell me. This book had a boy on the cover. What use did I have for books with a boy on the cover? Gross. And don’t even act like that unicorn was going to sell me either. I never got unicorns as a kid. It’s a horse with a horn. Everyone calm the hell down.

But alas, I cracked open that book with a boy on the cover that night, and I was sold.

I love Harry Potter. Love even feels like an understatement. Those 7 books have influenced me more than I could write in words on a silly blog. In my darkest and twistiest times, those books have been a light for me.

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My pops, Mark Andrews.

In February of 2004, my dad died of cancer. When my he passed away, I basically wanted to shut off from the world. I felt abandoned, alone, and devastated, as anyone probably does when they suffer that kind of loss. Death has always fascinated me, even when I was a child, but I had never had to experience it so closely.

I pulled away from my family. I wouldn’t call my grandparents or other relatives because it was too difficult. It was a constant reminder that these people knew my dad. They were a constant reminder that at one point he existed and thus, a constant reminder that he no longer did.

I threw myself into my group of friends, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it necessarily wasn’t the healthiest thing. My friends didn’t force me to talk about my feelings. I went to a private school for middle school and public school for high school. I made a lot of new friends when I went to high school, however, none of them really got a chance to meet or know my dad. He was already ill with cancer and frankly, there just wasn’t a lot of time.

This encouraged my pulling away. I surrounded myself with people who didn’t talk about my dad or force me to, because they couldn’t. I experimented with alcohol and cigarettes (sorry, Mom) and even self-harm. I wasn’t headed in the best direction, but luckily for me, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was published in the United States on June 21, 2003. My dad passed away on February 21, 2004. Also luckily for me, I have a tendency to re-read the entire Harry Potter series at least once, and sometimes even twice, a year.

I began re-reading Order of the Phoenix that year and something struck a chord. Harry had just witnessed the murder of Cedric Diggory, no one believed him about Voldemort’s return, his friends were being secretive, and Dumbledore wouldn’t even look him in the eye. Harry was also feeling abandoned, alone, and devastated.

I began not to feel so alone. Here was a boy who had lost more than I could even fathom, and yet, he soldiered on. Death and loss no longer seemed so insurmountable.

And then above all, Harry loses Sirius. His godfather, his father-figure. It was almost too much for me. Nothing had hit so close to home in the months after my dad died.

Harry meets with Dumbledore in his office after the fight at the Ministry of Magic, after Sirius has been murdered. Harry begins to lash out in anger and destroy Dumbledore’s office:

“I DON’T CARE!” Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH, I’VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!”
“You do care,” said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.”

There’s a great quote from the movie, The History Boys, that can explain the way I felt much more eloquently:

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”

I began to not feel so alone. I began to let myself feel the pain of my dad’s loss because feeling pain is what makes us human. Feeling any kind of emotion, really.

It has taken me years to come to terms with the loss of my dad, and frankly, I still haven’t. You never get over it, you simply get used to it. Fortunately, I have an amazing support system; my family, those friends I had in high school, and all the friends I have made since, were and are some pretty amazing people.

But, I will forever be grateful to The Boy Who Lived for helping me not to feel so alone during the dark times.

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5 Guys I Would Eat Chives For

Happy Friday!

So, I was originally going to title this post “5 Guys I Would Let Make Me Breakfast”, but let’s get real, why would I EVER stop anyone from making me breakfast? I’m not a psychopath. If you want to make me breakfast, then good god, get moving!

Since it’s Friday and for most of you, that means it’s the weekend, I have decided to post something kind of fluffy and fun. I don’t think anyone wants to kick off their weekend by readings posts about euthanasia or The Holocaust. Not that I think I will ever write posts about euthanasia or The Holocaust, I’m just saying it’s not happening today.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of guys with nice faces and it’s also no secret that I am not a fan of chives. Chives are disgusting. They are a terrible garnish and they need to get the hell off of my baked potato. The only place a chive belongs is in the trashcan, do I make myself clear?!?

However, there are certain guys that have such nice faces, I would be willing to pile those green bastards on top of everything I ate if it meant that I could eat with said men.

So here they are: The 5 Guys I Would Eat Chives For.

5. Adam Levine

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When I Fell in Love: Saw Maroon 5 in concert in 2003 and about lost my damn mind. Also, my middle name is “Jane” so I used to like to pretend believe that the album “Songs About Jane” was Adam’s subtle way of writing about me. It’s fine.

Boyfriend can rock that sleeve of tattoos. Don’t know what it is lately, but tattoo sleeves are really doing it for me. And listen, if Adam had regular sleeves on, that would be fine too. It’s chilly out, I understand you need to cover up those arms and stay warm.

Food I Would Put Chives On So I Could Eat With Him: Eggs. He seems like kind of a player, so I’m not going to full on commit and put the chives on something I truly enjoy. A girl has some priorities after all…

4. Leonardo DiCaprio

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When I Fell in Love: I’ve been a fan since his Growing Pains days, but the true love did not really come until that moment in Romeo + Juliet when he sinks to the ground, shirt open, crying and screams out “I defy you stars!” Like…come on…

Not to mention, boyfriend has aged WELL. Cute kid, hot teenager, handsome man. Leo has been hitting all the right notes. Look at that face! I will say though, his twitter…super boring. Don’t care. Still following. Good face.

Food I Would Put Chives On So I Could Eat With Him: Panda Express’s Orange Chicken. One of my favorite guilty pleasures and the chives would probably make it taste like something you’d find next to a dumpster in New York City in the summer. But, I’d take the hit if it meant Leo and I got to sit in that booth. He’d probably cry into my shoulder about having never won an Oscar, and most of the time when men cry, I get super uncomfortable, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN I WON’T WIPE THOSE TEARS RIGHT AWAY FOR YOU, LEO. YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST GOTTEN A NOM FOR DJANGO!

3. Chris Hemsworth

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When I Fell in Love: Thor.

Look at that Australian bastard walking around like he owns the place. Get out of here, you doting father and husband! No one wants to hear your adorable accent or look at your nice face! Ugh!

Food I Would Put Chives On So I Could Eat With Him: Bacon. I’d put chives on my bacon. The perfect food ruined by the most heinous food on this green earth. All for that idiot with the “so-so” body. Pft.

2. Matt Smith

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When I Fell in Love: Doctor Who, Series 5, in the episode “Vincent and the Doctor”. First episode of Doctor Who I have ever seen and I was a goner.

Frankly, I don’t even get this one. He is basically just a giraffe with a rectangle for a face with hair on top. But man, if he isn’t one sexy giraffe with a rectangle for a face with hair on top.

His portrayal of the Doctor is brilliant and I think that’s part of my willingness to eat the chives. He’s an insanely talented actor who dresses like a homeless hipster. I think if I had a type, it would be the type of guy who dresses like a homeless hipster.

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why, Hollis….why….

Food I Would Put Chives On So I Could Eat With Him: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m pretty sure Reese’s Cups come straight from heaven, so the idea tarnishing them with chives makes me want to absolutely vomit. But I would do it for you, giraffe-man.

ANNNNNND THE #1 GUY I WOULD EAT CHIVES FOR IS…..

1. BRADLEY COOPER

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When I Fell in Love: I don’t know if I can remember a time when I didn’t love this man, but if we have to put a title on it, I’ll say: The Hangover. I thought he was nice to look at before, but his long hair WAS. A. GAME. CHANGER. I just want to run my hands through it. Augh!

Oh, Bradley. When are we going to stop this cat and mouse game and finally make it official?? And by cat and mouse game, I mean the game we play where I love Bradley unconditionally and he doesn’t acknowledge my existence.

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Those are the ugliest sunglasses in the world and he still makes them work!

Food I Would Put Chives On So I Could Eat With Him: Chives. I would eat chives upon chives upon chives. I would live in a house made of chives and wear chive t-shirts and make chive soup every day. I’d sleep in a bed made of chives and brush my teeth with a chivebrush. Chives for everyone provided by Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Cooper!!!

So I hope you enjoyed this post. It wasn’t super fascinating but it WAS an excuse for me to complain about chives and google image search a bunch of dudes that I find attractive. Happy Friday indeed!!

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Joining SAG and other ramblings

Hello!

I feel like I always need to use a greeting at the beginning of these entries. I mean, I guess it’s not a complete necessity, but it feels rude not to. It’s probably the same reason I used to start a lot of my diary entries in elementary school by saying “Hi Diary! It’s Hollis. Sorry I haven’t written to you in a while…” My 9-year-old brain also believed that I needed to tell my diary exactly who I was, list off every member of my family (including pets), explain that my parents were divorced and end by explaining who my favorite Backstreet Boy was (Brian, duh). I don’t know if I thought maybe some day I might suffer from amnesia and my diary would be the key to retrieving my memory or that it would be an “Anne Frank” situation and future generations would need to know all about my hamster named Squeaky, but I thought every diary needed to know exactly who I was.

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This is the human who wrote in that diary. The girl who believed she was the future Anne Frank.

Anyway.

I joined SAG yesterday, or The Screen Actors Guild if you want to get fancy about it. Not going to lie, it’s a pretty big deal. If I pay my dues and what not, I’m in this thing for life. I’ve been trying my hand at this “professional acting” thing for a little while now and I feel like I have started getting somewhere. OZ: The Great and Powerful finally came out and it was pretty amazing to finally see the movie that changed my entire life. Before I got OZ, I was working at a heating and cooling company in customer service. And don’t get me wrong, I was so grateful to even have a job out of college, but it just wasn’t for me. First of all, most of the customers didn’t even laugh at my jokes and second, I’ve just never really felt a strong passion for the heating and cooling game. I mean some passion, just not a strong passion. I majored in Creative Writing and Theatre in college and so I was a bit out of place.

Then on a whim, my Grandma and I decided to go to the open call for OZ. Actually the only reason I went was because my mom used the whole “I think it would be really nice if you did this for your grandmother…who knows how much longer she’ll be around…” line. I did not even know that they were looking for little people. Long story short (pun intended, short joke, zing!) I ended up working on the movie for two months and made some amazing connections and even more important, some amazing friends. But what the movie really did was provide clarity. It showed me that I would never truly be happy doing anything that wasn’t acting. I think deep down I’ve always known that. But, OZ convinced me and here I am. I’ve found a modicum of “success” (making money) doing what I love and it’s pretty great.

Granted, that could all change tomorrow and I could be on Sunset and Gower begging you for change or for your Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles leftovers. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the fact that I can actually call myself a professional actress.

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