On the “M Word”

For whatever reason lately, the word “midget” has been cropping up all over the place. I feel like we had a good year where I didn’t hear it as often (once SNL’s “Stefon” skit was off the air) and I thought we were finally making some progress. Nope.

Every time the word comes up, little people (and average height advocates) like to say “Oh, it’s like the N word for little people”. First of all, let me start off by saying No. It is absolutely not. The N word has a violent, horrible history. The mere fact that I can write “midget” and not write the N word should prove that. (A point that will be reiterated further down). But I understand the desire to equate the “M word” with something. People need a way to explain what that word means to us and why it’s so hurtful to use.

I have a 27 year history with “the M word” and I am here to tell you that I have never once heard the word used in a positive light.

Whispers from children when I would run errands with my parents. “Oh look, it’s a whole family of midgets.” “Oh look at her, she’s a midget.”

When I was in elementary school, kids would taunt my friends and family with it. My cousin, Brittany, probably got the brunt of it or at least, she’s the only one who would tell me about it. “Oh, your cousin is a midget!” they’d say to her on the playground. This was always met with righteous anger from Brittany. “No, they’re dwarfs!! Don’t call them that!”

In Middle School, we read a poem in my sixth grade English class. It was about a carnival. I can’t tell you who wrote it or what the title was but I will never forget that the author used the word “midget”. My cheeks flushed red as everyone turned to me when the line was read out loud to see how I’d react. The teacher called me to her desk after class to see if I was okay. I remember quickly dismissing it and saying “I’m fine, no really, it’s okay.” But wondering to myself “If she knew that line was in the poem, why did she make us read it? Why did we have to read it out loud?”

In high school, when I would watch stand-up comedy specials with friends, I would always brace for the inevitable. There was always a chance that a comedian would make a little person joke and nine times out of ten, they would never use the word “little person”. Once again, I was back in sixth grade as my cheeks flushed and everyone looked at me. But I got faster; more resilient. I would feign extreme anger, pretend to flip a table, and walk out of the room.

As my love for musical theatre grew, I accepted The Last Five Years as a new favorite. There’s a line in “Summer in Ohio” where Cathy sings about performing with a “gay midget named Carl”. It is still to this day, in my top 5 favorite musicals, but I have to choose to love it in spite of the fact that it uses that word. Two years ago, a movie came out of the musical. I went to the theatre hoping that maybe, just maybe, they had changed the word since the movie would obviously be getting a much larger release. Nope.

John Mulaney is my favorite stand-up comedian but he has an entire bit in his special “The Top Part” about little people, using “the M word” and how it’s not as bad as the “N word”. Here’s the transcript:

“I was writing for an awards show once and I got into some trouble. I wrote a joke for this awards show that had the word “midget” in it. And someone from the network came down to our offices and he said to me ‘hey, you can’t put the word midget on TV’ and I said ‘I sure would like to’. And he said “No, midget is as bad as ‘The N Word’.’ First off, no. No it’s not. ‘Do you know how I know it’s not?’ I said to him, ‘because we’re saying the word ‘midget’ and we’re not even saying what ‘the N word’ is. If you’re comparing the badness of two words and you won’t even say one of them? That’s the worse word.” Also I don’t mean to gloss over what little people have been through in this country but you cannot compare the plight of midgets to African Americans. That is outrageous. Midgets were never enslaved unless you count the Wonka factory. So we get into this argument and we’re going back and forth and he says ‘you can’t put the M word on TV’ and I say ‘but I want to!” and he says ‘if you put that word on TV, there could be a protest of midgets on this building’ and I said ‘promise?'”

In college, an anonymous chat board was started about me. Saying how ugly I was and how all “the M words” needed to be purged and killed. They mocked my boyfriend at the time, saying that he must have some kind of fetish. People saying they were scared of me and didn’t like seeing me with my “bug eyes” at parties.

On Orange is the New Black this season, Morello (I believe) used “the M word” when talking about the munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. Instead of using it as a teaching moment, they simply let her use that word and move on. It should be noted that later in the season, a character uses the word “retard” and is told that that word is verboten.

I was crossing the street mere months ago, when a bicyclist rode by. “Look out, midget!” he yelled at me. Friends tell me stories all the time about people they meet using “the M word” and the fights they get into about it. They’ll try to correct someone’s behavior and the user of the word will argue with them about it. “Oh no, they like to be called that.” “It doesn’t matter what they want to be called, I was told it was ‘the M word'”.

Most recently, Rob Lowe used the “M word” when speaking at a function. I don’t have all the details, but apparently, someone tried to correct him and he didn’t listen. He continued on to say “hey, there’s always a place for you in Hollywood!” Mr. Lowe also had Ann Coulter speak at his Comedy Central Roast, so obviously, his judgement is flawed to say the least.

So cue up the Natalie Imbruglia, because I am TORN. These shows and people that I love continue to use a word I hate. These people I admire and look up to seem to only see me as a punchline. Do I continue to support them or do I protest them for their ignorance? I feel like once I start protesting, I’ll have nothing left to watch.

I ask you, can you look at all the ways that word has been used and still tell me that it’s not offensive? It’s used to demean. It’s used to separate us and treat us as oddities or objects….as freaks. And maybe I sound like a broken record, but I beg you, insert any other minority in my place. Would any of the above be considered even remotely acceptable? Little people are one of the last acceptable minority groups to be mocked. Oh, isn’t it just so hilarious that we’re not tall?

And whenever this debate comes up, people love to say things like “you are the one giving the word the power.””Take it back and own it so it can no longer hurt you”. I discussed this point with my friend, Bridget, yesterday. She said “Yes, but do the people who say things like that realize that words are the very foundation on which our society is built? No one other than you gets to decide when they can or cannot hurt.” My other friend, Nick, brought up a similar point when I discussed this with him. He said “Yes, okay, in an ideal world, that would happen. But we’re not there yet. The verboten words like “the N word” and “The [gay] F word” can be taken back by the groups that own them because we (as a society) have been taught of the damage that those words can do. We’re not there yet with “the M word” because people are still saying it so casually. We’re years behind being able to “take it back”.”

How do we combat this? How do we force a world that is hellbent on demeaning us to accept us as humans? In our actions. Cast little people in TV shows and in movies. NOT ONLY IN REALITY SHOWS. We are not your inspiration porn. Give us a narrative. Let comedians know that someone’s disability is not a punchline. Stop supporting places that are determined to keep us down like “Beachers Mad House”.

If someone uses “the M word” around you, try and have a dialogue with them. Be patient. I’ll be the first one to tell you that the patience part is the most difficult. If anyone ever uses a slur to demean a friend of mine, I get filled with a white hot rage that only tells me to kill them. So yes, the patience is hard, but possible. And if they still try to argue with you after you’ve corrected them, give me a call and put me on the phone with them. I’ll do the yelling.

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Why Hamilton Gives Me Hope for My Future

Ask anyone who has spoken to me the last five months about what I’ve been up to and the first thing out of their mouths is liable to be “Hamilton”. The second thing will probably be “I don’t know, eating? Ask her yourself”. Between the soundtrack dropping, starting a Hamilton centered Twitter account, and seeing the show, I have been ALL ABOUT the ten dollar founding father.  

Hamilton stage door my first day in New York.


In case you haven’t spoken to me in the last few months, allow me to give a brief summary: Hamilton is a new Broadway show about the life of the founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Written and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), the show blends hip-hop and show tunes seamlessly while actually providing a pretty good history class. The show is groundbreaking for a number of reasons. The sheer density of lyrics and information it spits at you in almost three hours is dizzying. The show is an INSANE success with movie stars, Obama, and yours truly flocking to see it.

Daveed Diggs (Thomas Jefferson) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton)

But what has stuck with me the most since learning of the show is the fact that Lin (I call him by his first name because we’re OBVIOUSLY BEST FRIENDS) chose to cast all people of color with King George being the only character played by a white guy.

“Miranda said that the portrayal of Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other caucasian historical figures by black and Hispanic actors should not require any substantial suspension of disbelief by audience members. “Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional,” he said. “It’s a way of pulling you into the story and allowing you to leave whatever cultural baggage you have about the founding fathers at the door.” He noted “We’re telling the story of old, dead white men but we’re using actors of color, and that makes the story more immediate and more accessible to a contemporary audience.””

The leading men of Hamilton: Leslie Odom Jr., Javier Muñoz, Anthony Ramos, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Oak Onaodowan, Daveed Diggs, and Chris Jackson

This show is a perfect example of why diversity matters. Why representation matters. And why things like race, sexual orientation, gender, height, etc. SHOULDN’T matter.


The Schuyler Sisters: Phillipa Soo (Eliza), Reneé Elise Goldsberry (Angelica), and Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy)


Hamilton has proven that fact with every single cast member. Daveed Diggs, a phenomenal black actor, singer, and rapper, plays Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. And he absolutely murders the part. When he comes onstage, you never for one second think “oh, that’s so weird Jefferson is black” you think “HOLY SHIT, where has this guy been?! I like when he smiles! HOLD UP, is he rapping in a French accent?!” When Reneé Elise Goldsberry sings “and when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’mma compel him to include women in the sequel” it carries more weight. Because even if, historically, Angelica Schuyler Church was white, those words carry more weight coming from a powerful woman of color. In a recent Ham4Ham show, the ladies of Hamilton performed “My Shot”, proving that it wasn’t only men who could could kill these parts.  

Daveed as Thomas Jefferson


Reneé as Angelica Schuyler


Since Hamilton hit, I’ve had so many people come up to me and say “wait, so it’s about the founding fathers but everyone is black?” And then I take a second and think to myself “oh, here we go, I’m going to have to defend this to an undercover racist”. But, people surprise me. I explain Lin’s reasoning for the casting and why it works. And 98% of the people I talk to have an overwhelmingly positive response about it. “Oh, that sounds so awesome! Makes sense!” And then the race element of the show is forgotten about. (Usually because I get way too excited and start yelling in their face. “I HAVE IT HERE ON MY PHONE DO YOU WANNA LISTEN TO IT?! MY FAVORITE SONGS ARE SATISFIED, TAKE A BREAK, WAIT FOR IT, WHAT’D I MISS. AND CAN I TALK TO YOU ABOUT ANTHONY RAMOS?! I CAN SING THE WHOLE THING FOR YOU IF YOU WANT, WHY ARE YOU WALKING AWAY?!!!”)

Hamilton has given me so much. It’s given me 17.8k Twitter followers (@hamiltonssquad NBD). It’s given me hours of joy and entertainment. It’s given me a chance to meet and thank the cast personally. 


Lin said I was “the funniest motherfucker on the internet” and my soul left my body for a few minutes.


I’m a very lucky girl. Special shoutout to Oak for getting me backstage after the show.


But you know what Hamilton has given me more than anything else?
Hope. It has given me hope. It proves to me that the tides are turning. It shows me that people are willing to accept casting choices that they may not have initially expected. They’re willing to get onboard with a George Washington who doesn’t look like the old man on our money. But, to be fair, I’d much prefer to look at Chris Jackson for three hours.


The reason I care so much about what people are willing to accept is because I’ve been told all my life that I may be one of those things people won’t accept on their screens or onstage. I’m a little person. I’m 4’2″ with achondroplasia dwarfism. I currently live in LA where I’m pursuing acting. Most recently, I was Frieda Ovitz in the off-Broadway production of The Lilliput Troupe in New York City. Again, no big deal, STOP ASKING ME FOR AUTOGRAPHS.

I am very poised and natural and sexy.




I’ve been told all my life that I couldn’t play certain parts because of my height. When I wanted to audition for West Side Story, I knew immediately that I had a much better chance of playing Anybodys than I did Anita or Maria. I wanted Anita but knew that it would be “funnier” if I was the sidekick. When I was in high-school, I was told that I couldn’t compete with my show choir because “it would look weird to have a little person dancing up there”. And for a long time, I believed all of it. It seems silly but I had nothing to prove these people or thoughts wrong. There were no little people on TV or on Broadway who were playing anything but a punchline. Peter Dinklage has managed to break through, but he’s the first to be taken seriously. And he’s only one man. 



So you can see why this show is so important to me. Because it proves what I’ve always known. We don’t have to stick to the status quo. America is different now; it’s changing. People are willing to accept a female Jedi, a black Hermione, and a deaf production of Spring Awakening. They’ll accept a Latino Alexander Hamilton and a black Stormtrooper. They just have to be given the chance to accept it. Or we have a responsibility to shove change and progress down their throats. Either way, it’s happening.

So, I have faith that the time will come when America will accept a female little person playing the lead on a sitcom or Mrs. Lovett on Broadway. That time will come and ya know what? I am not throwing away my shot.


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A Letter to 2012 Hollis

Hi kid!

So you’re moving to LA today!! Are you scared? Obviously, I already know the answer to that but, I feel that it’s polite to ask. How’s Mom doing?

imageI’m writing you from 2015. I know that doesn’t seem very far away and it may seem a little didactic but I feel like I have a few things I want you to remember over the next 3 years. Now, the whole “butterfly effect” thing terrifies me, so I’m not going to be too specific. Plus, ya know, spoilers. I’ve had some experiences that I would rather chop off my left wrist than lose, so try not to change too much. These 3 years are going to go by so fast. It’s really important to try and remember the following. Hopefully these will make you feel a little better about what’s to come.

Remember why you’re leaving

The Golden Globes were like a week ago for you, right?? And Peter Dinklage just won Best Supporting Actor? Remember how you were packing when you watched it and immediately started crying when they announced his name? Remember that feeling. Remember why you love acting. Remember that every dream anyone has ever had is a pipe dream until it’s executed. In about 6 months, some days are going to come where you will think you would be okay with leaving LA and pursuing something else. You would not be. In fact, you will fight tooth and nail to stay there. You will require help from everyone and they will give it to you. Appreciate it.

Let It Go

A movie is going to come out in a few years and you’ll get that reference. Download that album immediately. But more importantly, you have to learn to let some things go. I look at you in that picture and I can already see all of the things you won’t let go. That necklace, those earrings, even that cup. They’re just objects to everyone else, but you and I see something else; we see the person who gave them to you. You’re going to have to let them all go. You’ll decide when you’re ready. There will be days you will think you can’t and that you never will and the tears will come and you won’t be able to get out of bed. I see that girl and all I want to do is give her a hug. But so many better things and experiences are on their way, I promise.

Invest in bitcoin.

Just…trust me on this.

Eat with Mia whenever you can but maybe, avoid Ernie’s your second night there.


You know Mia. You’ve known her since 2nd grade. Sure, you guys grew apart in high school and college, but then you were on Oz together and that can’t be a coincidence, right? She will become like another limb to you. She understands you and is patient with you and calls you out on your bullshit. Some of your happiest memories will be sitting in bed with her, eating and doing nothing. George had Jerry and Rachel had Monica. No one can last very long alone in a big city. But back to the Ernie’s thing…just because a restaurant has a good happy hour deal, that doesn’t mean that they won’t give you food poisoning. I don’t think it’ll butterfly effect too much if you don’t spend the night vomiting.


You’re going to cry in public and you’re going to cry in public often. 

Your car will break down multiple times. You won’t be able to afford a lot of repairs. You will cry on the phone with your mom on Ventura Boulevard when you realize this. Boys will hurt your heart and you’ll cry. You’ll cry in the drive thru line at Jack in the Box. You’ll cry when you call Kerri at 3 AM because of said boys. You’ll cry in your car on Hollywood and Highland to the Les Mis soundtrack and a group of Asian tourists will wave to you. It’s better to just let it out whenever you need to. Plus it will help you learn to not care what people think as much! Win/win!

Be patient

I know we like to Veruca Salt “I want it now!” a lot of situations. But, baby girl, you have got to learn to be patient. I like to think LA traffic will help you develop this, but it’s doubtful. Things you want right now are coming to you but not in the way you always think. Just hold on.

Write that blog

I know you’re going to write it no matter what because you don’t like it when people are assholes and tell you you’re wrong and dammit, people need to hear what you think! But days will come when you might regret it. You’ll wonder if things would be easier if you had just kept your mouth shut. I can’t tell you that. But I can tell you that nothing is wrong with standing up for yourself and standing up for what you believe in. Sorry that last sentence was so cheesey.

Start watching Doctor Who now.


Listen to Chris


You know how you were crying really hard, like embarrassingly hard, exactly a month ago when Oz wrapped and Chris left to go back to LA and you thought you would never see him again? And he told you that you were being ridiculous? He was right. He’ll be right about more. And he won’t let you forget it. It’s a pain. But after you get through all that, one day you will look up and realize he’s one of your best friends. He’ll teach you a lot and take care of you. Be grateful every day that you have him in your life and he doesn’t get too annoyed when you sing Fall Out Boy or musical theatre. Also, no matter how hard you try, he will never watch Parks and Rec. Sorry.

Go to the bar when Chris invites you your second night there


It’s the same night you get food poisoning, but that won’t set in until you get home. GOOD GOD, IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, GO TO THIS. You’ll meet James that night. He’s important to you. Remember that night. And a few weeks after that, at that same bar, you’ll meet Mark and Gil. At the risk of butterfly effecting again, just know that those 4 boys will become your family. The girl in the picture comes in a little later. Her name is Claudia. You’ll like her.

Don’t go to the hospital your first anniversary there

Listen. You and I both know how clumsy we are. It happens. On your first anniversary of living in LA, you’re going to fall off a barstool and bust open your chin…..even though you’re sober. Since I’ve told you this, you may want to avoid it, but don’t. You’ll be there with Chris and Mark. You’ll bleed everywhere and get a concussion. The boys will try and take you to the hospital, but your concussed brain prevents it. Because of that, you’re going to end up with a big scar on your chin. You’ll hate that it shows up in pictures and on camera but, also a part of you will love it. You’ll love it because you know no matter what happens, for the rest of your life, you’ll have that scar and it will remind you of your boys and LA and that you made it here at least a year.


So you’re probably really annoyed at how long this is, but we’ve never been brief, have we 2012 Hollis? Good luck, today. I promise not all of LA looks like the bad parts of Koreatown you see when you follow Mia home tonight.

I love you and you’re going to be great. You’ve made it this far.


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My Insane Christmas List

Every year since I can remember, I have always known what I’ve wanted for Christmas. One year it was a puppy (check), then American Girl Dolls (specifically Molly, c’mon, don’t waste my time) (check), then Bath and Body Works roll-on glitter and lip gloss (check and check), then a cell phone (check, KRZR, bitches) and so on and so forth. I’ve never been one of those people who has trouble coming up with things they need or want. Selfish? Sure. Greedy? Maybe. But come on!! It’s not a crime for a girl to know what she wants in life! As the years go on though, I have found my Christmas list has become less and less about material goods. This year, I actually had a hard time thinking of things when family asked me what I wanted. “Um, a sweater from Urban Outfitters and Guardians of the Galaxy on DVD, I guess?” is what I believe I actually said. Things like being able to fly home for Christmas to see family and friends has taken precedence over roll-on glitter. Who knew this day would come?!

So I began to think. What if Santa was real? In movies and TV shows, they seem to make Santa this omniscient being who has unlimited power and abilities. Seriously. Watch any tv show where they flirt with the idea that Santa might be real. They let him pull off the most insane presents and gestures. I’m looking at you, Rugrats Christmas Special and The Santa Clause. Well, alright then, fat man! If you are listening, I have some requests. Settle in, this may take a minute.

Separate idea for a blog post: Was I weirdly attracted to or repulsed by Bernard the Elf in The Santa Clause?

5. Definitively know my Hogwarts house and Patronus

It’s no secret how much I love the world of Harry Potter. Santa, you should know this by now because one year, you gave me Harry, Ron, and Hermione action figures as well as a package of Bertie Bott’s every flavor jelly beans. So this year, I would like you to definitively, 100%, no questions asked, figure out what house I would be in if I had gone to Hogwarts.

I wore this to my real life, actual job the day the final Harry Potter movie came out in 2011. WHAT A LOSER….SAID NO ONE, I AM AWESOME.

I’ve always believed I would be a Gryffindor for a number of reasons and not just because “it’s the one Harry was in”. First of all, any chump would know that I would want to be in whatever house Ron Weasley was in and secondly, I don’t belong anywhere else. I’m witty, but I don’t value it enough to be placed in Ravenclaw. I can be manipulative if I want to be, but I’m not ambition hungry enough to be in Slytherin. And I’d be too busy making fun of Hufflepuffs to actually be sorted there, so, we’re obviously left with Gryffindor. I took the Pottermore quiz the minute it was available for beta testing and was placed in Gryffindor, but that’s an internet quiz. Not that I don’t place value on it, I just want a real answer.



While we’re on it, I would also really like to know what my Patronus would be. To fully understand what a Patronus is, we look to the Harry Potter wiki:

“This ancient and mysterious charm conjures a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings. The Patronus Charm is difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to produce a full, corporeal Patronus, a guardian which generally takes the shape of the animal with whom they share the deepest affinity. You may suspect, but you will never truly know what form your Patronus will take until you succeed in conjuring it.

So. There’s the rub, Santa. I can’t really know what my Patronus would be until I conjure it (or until JK Rowling decides). I have a theory that it would be a small dog who barks a lot for it’s size and believes itself to be much bigger than it actually is. But, alas, that is only a theory.

4. A Rap Duet (Collab?) with Childish Gambino

Aside from Fall Out Boy and musical theater, rap and hip/hop music is truly “my jam”. I believe I officially got on the train in 6th grade when for my birthday, I asked Eddie to burn me a Snoop Dogg mix CD. Why Snoop Dogg? I have no idea. I thought he seemed clever. You would think living so close to Detroit that my first real experience with rap would have come from Eminem but nope! Not this weirdo! Eddie burned me the CD and I just went from there. I (and probably millions of other people) have always thought the coolest part of rap is when the artist can layer the lyrics so perfectly together and go a completely different direction than you thought they would. In the last few years, no one has done this better than Childish Gambino aka the actor from Community, Donald Glover.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of his lyrics to really see how clever he is, shall we? I would copy and paste whole songs of his here if I could, but I don’t know if any of you punk-ass bitches could handle his dope rhymes! (Also my mom would probably yell at me because of all the swear words). From the first song of his that I ever heard of his, Freaks and Geeks:

“This beat is a disaster, 9/11 this track
Rappers wanna battle me, I have to mail their heads back
And my clique make that dinero, so it’s time to meet the f*ckers
I am runnin’ this bitch, you are just a dog walker”

I realize it’s not Shakespeare, but it’s pretty freakin’ great. For as long as I have loved rap, I have taken it on myself to do my best to learn every single detail of every word in each song I like. I don’t know what I’m expecting. Maybe that someday, someone will see me on the street and say “Hi there! You really look like someone who knows every word to the Lil Wayne/Eminem song ‘Drop the World’. May I hear you rap it for me???” Then I drop whatever I’m doing and FLAWLESSLY rap the entire song. Then the stranger says “Wow, that was amazing! Would you like to meet Drake??? He’s a close, personal friend of mine and he was telling me the other day that he would like to meet a beautiful little person girl and marry her!” And then Drake and I live happily ever after! THAT’S WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE, PEOPLE.


This could be Drake and I on our honeymoon. He’s obvi obsessed with me.

But, I digress. For my next wish, Santa, I would like to perform on a rap track with Childish Gambino. I already know how you can make this happen. Pretty much every time I go out to karaoke with friends, I rap. I love singing but I just feel more confident expressing myself through a fast-talking male perspective. So here’s how we do it: I go out with friends and somehow end up rapping Childish Gambino’s Sweatpants onstage. Someone in audience knows Donald/Childish. They record me, they show it to him, he’s CRAZY impressed, demands to meet me, we hit it off, bada-bing-bada-boom, I’m on his next album. Simple.

3. To Never Have the Bottoms of My Pants Get Wet in the Rain.

 Santa, this one is on you. I have no idea how to accomplish this. I won’t wear shorts all the time and this has got to stop. I guess just get me 7 different pairs of boots that never let water in but aren’t rain boots?

2. To See Matt Smith Live in American Psycho

It is again no secret, Santa, that I love Doctor Who and Matt Smith. I’ve written about him a lot and you even had your proxy (my secret Santa and best friend, Mia) give me a Doctor Who necklace for Christmas this year.

He’s just the best!!

As you may or may not know, after Matt finished his run on Doctor Who, he went on to star as Patrick Bateman in the musical version of American Psycho in London. So one of my favorite actors playing the lead character from one of my favorite movies IN A MUSICAL?! YES PLEASE.

And the yuppie serial killer could not be a more different first role since leaving Doctor Who.

 Matt was only in the production from December 13-January 25 of 2013-2014 and NO ONE has uploaded a quality bootleg of his performance to YouTube yet! The music was done by Duncan Sheik who also did the music for another one of my favorite musicals, Spring Awakening. Really, Santa, this whole thing has my name written all over it. Obviously, I was unable to make it to London to see this at the time, so I would like you to figure out a way to revive the entire production including Matt, for at least one night, so I can see it. Thanks in advance!

The production runs at London's Ameida Theatre until January 25.

1. The Magical O-House

And finally, we arrive at the magical O-House. I’ll explain since no one except Kelly, Kerri, and Nick really know what the magical O-House is. Senior year of college, Kelly, Kerri, myself and 5 other girls lived in one of the Albion sanctioned houses called “The O-House”. It was a big, beautiful, white house with four bedrooms, a kitchen, dining and family room all on the second floor. They had all of that stuff on the first floor too, but we lived on the second so that’s what I’m familiar with. It was cramped for 8 girls.

This isn’t at the o-House, but look at those people! So cozy and lovely!

One day when I was quite homesick for Detroit, Kelly and I conjured up the idea of the magical O-House. It would basically be the exact house we lived in, but only Nick, Kelly, Kerri and I would live there. Sound magical yet? No? Just wait. Instead of having functioning closets in each room, our closet doors would actually lead to other cities in the world of our choosing. So my closet door would go to Los Angeles, Kelly’s would go to New York, Kerri’s would go to Boston, and Nick’s would go to wherever he decided. My vote is for Disney World or London. The actual house would live somewhere in Michigan. So, we could all live together and see each other all the time and then still continue our lives in the cities of our choosing. Kerri could still teach and Boston and I could still work, act, and bug my friends in LA. It is far and away the best idea we have ever had. Since Kerri got married, we decided that she and Mike can live on the first floor of the magical O-House. We know they’ll want their privacy and taking over the first floor means we get more closets to more cities. ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES!!

What follows are fun pictures of us in the real O-House (not magical):

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Santa, I don’t know how you’re going to pull off the magical O-House but I need it to happen STAT. Just leave the keys to it in my stocking and I’ll put extra chocolate chips in the cookies this year. Seems like a fair trade.

Merry Christmas, Santa! I’d say see you soon, but I know the rules. I’ll be sleeping when you get here. Say what up to Prancer for me.

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The 7 Friends You Need to Survive in This Life

My little sister, Carys, started sixth grade this year. “WHAT?! BUT SHE’S STILL A BABY!! I STILL DON’T BELIEVE SHE CAN ACTUALLY TALK! NOW SEND HER BACK TO HER CRIB AND TURN ON THE WIGGLES!” you may be saying (if you’re me). I know, growing up, just the worst. We’re all still trying to adjust. It’s a tough one.

And with 6th grade comes that lovely time when you’re forced to meet new people and make new friends. Again, just the worst. Carys is having a bit of a hard go at this. “How did Hollis do it?! She has friends! I don’t understand!” is actually she something she said to my mom after her first 6th Grade dance. Passing by the fact Carys doesn’t understand how I managed to make friends, I began to think about what she said and the friends I have. I thought about they are all individuals and what each of them have done for me and how much I love them. I thought about how not only am I lucky enough to have 1 best friend, I HAVE SEVEN. That’s a lot!! Think of it this way, it’s like 6 best friends PLUS ONE MORE! Or 4 best friends PLUS 3 MORE! I’ll let you do the rest of the math. I know I’ve waxed about my friends on my blog before but never have I truly WAXED POETIC about these people and how great they are.

So I’ve decided that in order to have a full group of best friends, you gotta reach the magical number 7 and they must all fit into one or more of the below categories. Sorry. Just the way it is.

The Brothers or The Ones Who Will Always Have Your Back

Now, I have an actual brother who fulfills all brotherly requirements and then some. He’s amazing and maybe someday, he’ll get his own separate blog post, but this is about my friends, dammit!


Ok, now, I consider myself a feminist and like to really try, like try so, so hard to be independent but sometimes I just can’t. Enter Mark and Gil. There are some things that I’ll never be able to do. Change a flat tire. Haggle with car people about car stuff. Intimidate men who hit on my friends inappropriately. Ok, maybe I can attempt to do that last part, but not very well. I consider all of my best friends family and I truly consider Mark and Gil brothers. I could tell you the story about how my car had a flat tire yesterday and the boys came over and helped me and followed me to the tire place and stayed with me until everything was taken care of…but that’s boring. INSTEAD! Let me tell you the story about when a random guy thought I was a hooker in Vegas and we almost got kicked out of the Bellagio the night before Mark’s wedding!

So I’m standing with Chris, we’re minding our biz, when out of nowhere this dude walks up to Chris:

Dude: How much for her?

Chris: I’m sorry?

Dude: How much for the girl? How much did you pay? I have $6,000. I can pay for her.

Chris takes a beat.

Chris: You could have approached this so much better, man and now you really need to walk away. She’s not a hooker. You need to leave.

Dude keeps insisting. At this moment, I decide to walk away cause you know what, I’m good. I don’t need to hear anymore. Mark and Gil see me walking away from the situation shaking my head. I fill them in and then next thing I know, they’re walking up to Dude and Chris. Mark puts his arm around the guy and says the following:

Mark: Hey, we don’t want to start anything but there’s a bunch of guys back there who will kick your ass. So I’m going to count to three and you need to walk away. One.

Dude: I swear I’ll pay for her.

Mark: Two.

Dude: I just want to [expletive] the midget.

Now, I don’t witness my friends go black in the eyes very often. James will get hot about things every once in a while, Chris has Zeus-like road rage, But at that moment, there was a flash and then it was just black in all of their eyes. Mark cocks his arm back to knock this guy in the face THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS WEDDING and I’m just sitting going “oh no, oh god, oh no” but before any of us can stop him, Gil comes out of nowhere! Gil throws Mark out of the way to punch the guy himself but Claudia (the bride THE NIGHT BEFORE HER WEDDING) grabs Gil and yanks him back. Chris harshly escorts the guy away and then we have to explain to security why my friends were trying to fight this sleazeball the size of Nevada. They understood.


As I’ve mentioned, I’m a feminist. I think I’m truly capable of handling myself with Beyonce-like dignity. But sometimes, as a girl alone in a big city, it feels really nice to know that you have boys who will have your back no matter what. Even if it’s the night before their wedding.

The Uplifter or The One Who Doesn’t Let You Get Away With Anything

If you’re like me (ya know, human) you’ve had times in your life when you look in the mirror and you just loathe what you see. Not necessairily physically what you see but just the person that you are. You think you’re worthless, a piece of human garbage, unworthy of love or all of the above. It sucks.


I’m here to tell you that if you have ever had thoughts like that, it’s MANDATORY for you to have a James in your life. James won’t let you think those things. In fact, he will scream at you if you have those thoughts. When I say scream, you’re probably thinking “Ha Ha Ha, he probably just passionately talks to her and she’s exaggerating.” I. Am. Not. Let me paint a picture for you:


Anyway, one day, James and I decided to go on a hike. I left a bunch of stuff like keys and my wallet in the car and went on my way with Jimothy. Little did we know, while we were hiking, a lovely human was breaking James’s car window and stealing stuff. We got back to the car, get appropriately frustrated and angry, and got into the car to go home. I had to sit in the backseat cause the frontseat was covered in shards of glass from the broken window which was kind of my fault. While sitting back there, I thought about how if I hadn’t have left my things the car, he maybe wouldn’t have broken in and how this was pretty much all my fault. I began to think about how it felt like my life was forming a pattern of making me feel safe and happy and then just shitting all over me.

“I feel like every time I’m happy, something bad happens. I beginning to think that I maybe don’t deserve happiness and that’s just my lot in life.” I said to James with tears in my eyes.



You don’t think he’d scream at you BUT HE WILL!

It was terrifying and kind and one of the nicest things anyone has ever screamed at me. I’m being serious when I say find someone who will scream at you about how worthy you are. it makes a big difference in your self esteem.

The Partner or The One Who Doesn’t Judge Anything You Do

When you’re 25, odds are you are going to make a lot of questionable choices. You might have that 3rd glass of wine or go and meet your friends at 11 pm when you know that you have to work at 8 am. Me? I’ve been making questionable choices since I was allowed to make choices. Pretty much every choice I’ve ever made is questionable. So, if you’re like me, you need someone who is going to be your partner in crime. Someone who will encourage some of your questionable choices (the safe, smart ones, obviously).

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Nick is that for me. There is nothing I’m afraid to tell him and vice versa. Every horrible thought, every jealous pain, every murder plot I’ve ever formed, Nick has been there for, listened to, and (mostly) agreed with. He’s agreed with pretty much everything, but I don’t want to implicate him should any of my murder plots every come to fruition, so let’s just say he mostly agrees with everything.

Nick is my partner in so many ways. In song, in dance, and life. You need a partner because you need to feel supported. You need to feel like someone is always going to have your back despite the outcome. It’s rare to find someone who can love and listen the way that Nick loves and listens. You need someone who is going to listen to your depravity and laugh. (Ok, my depravity is mostly just an extra glass of wine or beer but STILL!). If I never meet the “love of my life”, I know I’ll be totally fine because I’ll have Nick. And his husband. So. Prepare the guest room, boys! Ol’ Hollis is coming in! Uncork the wine and turn on the Gypsy soundtrack!

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The Backbone or The One Who Will Drop Everything For You

If you don’t have a Backbone friend (a phrase I just coined), then I truly pity you. I may even shed a tear for your loss and I’m not kidding. For me, my Backbone friend is Kelly. A Backbone friend is someone who you can call with tears in your eyes and a quiver in your voice and say “Do you have a second?” and they will not hesitate to drop whatever they are doing and listen. They could be at their grandmother’s funeral and would still drop everything to listen to you. (Although, why am I calling during their grandma’s funeral? I’m likely there. Am I calling because I’m lost on the way to the funeral? But, I digress.)

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Anyway, for 6 years, Kelly has been a Backbone for me. She has heard me sobbing incoherently and squeaking with happiness (probably also incoherently). She has rubbed my back and held my hair when I was literally so devastated about something I was throwing up. She has been the first one I’ve called when something amazing or good has happened. A little over a year ago, something happened while I was home in Michigan and I absolutely lost it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotionally torn to shreds. I immediately called Kelly. The following was our conversation (to the best of my memory):

H: I just discovered [reason I was devastated]. What are you doing? I don’t know what to do. I want to scream. Kelly, I can’t do this.

K: Ok. I’m at Target by my house. Do you want me to come over?

H: No, you’re busy it’s OK. Just call me when you can.

K: Let me put my stuff down, I can be there in 20 minutes. Are you OK until then? Do you want to stay on the phone?

H: No, it’s OK finish shopping. We can talk later.

K: I’m already getting in my car. See you in 20 minutes.

And next thing I knew, Kelly was in my driveway, holding me as I pretty much collapsed in her arms. Not to mention, she brought me a scarf from Target! Emotional support and presents! Just the best.

I should also mention, that a Backbone friend will also be on your side about pretty much anything. Doesn’t matter the legitimacy. That person who makes ME go UGGGHH? We go UGGGHH about them together, even if the other has never met them. That guy we hated last week but now we kind of like again? We KIND OF LIKE HIM AGAIN together. Or wait, I hate him again? We HATE HIM now!


I just find this picture hilarious. Kelly hard at work…Hollis hardly working, am I right!?!

So, do your very, very best to find yourself a Backbone friend. You won’t regret it. And maybe they’ll buy you scarves.

The Protector/Henry Higgins or The One Who Can Always Make You Laugh

When I first decided to move to LA, I didn’t know a single person in the city. I don’t know what in the world I thought I was going to do when I got here. But luckily, the universe knew I couldn’t handle this alone and had a better plan. A few months before I moved, I worked on OZ and met the person who would soon become one of my favorite people. Ever.

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Chris and I became friends when I made a joke about me hitting on Zach Braff and he hasn’t been able to shake me since. It’s wildly appropriate that our friendship started with a joke. It’s been three years since we met and we haven’t stopped laughing. And I can’t stress enough how important that is. But more on that later.  Since that Braff joke, Chris has always looked out for me. My second day out here, he introduced me to the wonderful group of people who would soon become my friends. He has helped me find apartments and helped me move 4 different times. He has answered my 8 million questions about LA; 4 million of which I could probably just google and already know. He has looked out for me and made sure I always have a roof over my head. He always knows to order a large popcorn when we go to the movies because even if I say I won’t have any, 15 minutes into that movie, I’m grabbing some o’ dat corn. I’m not kidding when I say I would have moved out of LA a long time ago if it wasn’t for him. He has this ability to know the right decision for me and when I’m making a mistake. And 80% of the time I don’t listen cause I’m a stubborn girl who likes to think I know the answer to everything and he doesn’t rub it too harshly in my face when I’m wrong.

I had a hard time pinning down what Chris’s title would be because he’s so many things to me, as all of my friends are, really. He’s also the Henry Higgins to my Eliza Doolittle. Not that he wants to fix me up into a proper English lady, but he has taught me so much. He’s like Henry Higgins if Henry Higgins was really into punk music, sci-fi television shows and Jack in the Box. He’s been educating me about music a lot lately and it’s great! Do you guys know why The Dead Kennedys broke up?? Cause I do! I’ll tell you later! And in that same vein, I like to think I’ve taught him things too. Things like an appreciation for Childish Gambino, Les Mis, Doctor Who and my Taco Bell order.

But, if I had to really boil it down and tell you why you need to find your Chris, it would be because you’re always going to want to laugh. You need to find someone who can make you laugh until you think you’re going to collapse.

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Seriously. Almost too much laughter.

Life is going to throw a lot of things at you that make it hard to laugh, so you gotta find someone who’s going to get those laughs out no matter what. You’re going to want to find a friend who you can just say one phrase to ($100,000 dollars?!?!!) and you giggle like idiots in the middle of a 7-11. But let me warn you, that same friend will probably lecture you for holding up the line in that 7-11. EVEN THOUGH the whole reason you’re holding up the line is because he made you laugh! It’s a vicious circle. I find the best course of action is to just slide your peanut M&M’s in with whatever he’s buying because 95% of the time, he’ll just buy them for you and then you can laugh freely without fear of holding up the line. Ha-ha!

The Lifer or The One Who Has Been Around Forever and Will Continue to Be

I can’t remember when I first met Mia. It was sometime in 2nd grade and I’m sure we bonded because we’re both obsessed with the same things (boys and ourselves…kidding…kind of). It was so long ago and happened when we were so young; she’s just always been around. And man, am I grateful for that.


Mia and I through the years. From 2nd grade on…

You need to find your Mia because you’re going to need a friend who already knows everything about you because she’s witnessed it. You need a friend who knows when you’re mad cause you’re doing that one thing with your eyes that you’ve been doing since you were a kid. You need a friend who will call you out on your lies. You literally cannot lie to her because she already knows everything! You’ll try, believe me, you’ll try. “I don’t like him anymore, I think I’m really getting over it” or “Like, it’s totally not a big deal, I don’t care that she said that.” Your Mia will know you still like him and will know that you care that that girl said that. She makes it so not only can you not lie to her, you can’t lie to yourself. You need a friend who will have the same conversation over and over again with you about that guy or that situation. Literally the same conversation. You should have this conversation so many times that you could switch roles without missing a beat. You need a friend who you can yell at for no reason. Not because your actually angry or anything, but because she won’t go to Yogurtland with you AND YOU’RE MAD ABOUT IT SO YOU’RE GOING TO YELL AT HER.


You need a Mia because she will support you 100%. She will make you feel like you are a Beyonce/Meryl Streep hybrid who can walk on water. She will remind you that you are are beautiful and funny and smart. And you need to remind her of the same things because she is all of those things and MORE. In fact, you guys will be so good at supporting each other that you may just want to give up on other people completely and start a commune with only each other and your two gay friends. You’ll want to live out the movie The Birdcage and forget the rest of the world. And having a friend like Mia means knowing that while you’d miss out on a lot, that version of reality sounds pretty perfect.

The Soulmate

I wish I could tell you how to find your soulmate friend. I wish I could send you on your way with 100% confidence you’ll find her and be just as happy in friendship as we are.


But I can’t. Because I don’t know how you find your soulmate best friend. All I can come up with is that the Universe, God, Allah, Buddha, Albus Dumbledore, Zeus, Odin, Beyonce and whoever else you worship come together, work some magic, and bring you two together. It literally takes all of those gods and entities. That’s how powerful this whole thing is.

I met Kerri at a time in my life when I truly needed a miracle. My Dad had died a few months before and I was just lost. As I’ve mentioned before, I make some questionable decisions. Left to my own devices, I tend to live rather recklessly with little to no regard for consequences. In high school, this meant ignoring homework, skipping classes, and just generally being a little shit. While Kerri and I are incredibly similar in most ways, we are 100% opposites when it comes to school and responsibilities. While I skipped classes to purely go pick up lunch for us, Kerri would have her parents call her out on senior skip day. Kerri would spend weeks writing and meticulously preparing a large paper and I would start mine midnight the night before it was due, only after I had finished watching 3 hours of television.


Kerri saved me. She came into my life and centered me. I found someone who I could talk to for hours and then some. People will say “Oh, I have this friend and we never run out of things to talk about!” but, those people don’t know what they’re saying. They probably mean they can go to lunch with a friend and there aren’t many silences. Kerri and I have gone on 8 hour plane rides and week long vacations and have never stopped talking. I moved to LA almost 3 years ago and Kerri and I talk almost every day still for an hour or more. I could brag more, but I’ll spare you.


Kerri is my soulmate friend because she makes me want to be a better person. She doesn’t just make me feel like a good person; she makes me want to be the best person and she has me truly believe that I could the best version of myself. Kerri is the kindest person I’ve ever met. As I get older, I realize how much kindness matters more than anything else.

So I hope you’re lucky enough to find your Kerri someday. I hope the Universe comes together and gives you the best gift you’ve ever received. I’m lucky enough that mine came when I was only 14 years old and now I get to have this present for the rest of my life.



So good luck everyone! I hope someday you can find your own Brothers, Partners, Backbones, Uplifters, Protectors/Henry Higgins(s), Lifers, and Soulmates. Even if you can only find one of them, I guarantee your life will be exponentially better for it.

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They’re all pretty great.

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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?!

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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.”


“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.


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


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:


4. This Gif of Red Pandas Getting Scared




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.


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.



Speaking of hotties…

8. The 11th Doctor


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


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.



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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