Reference Library: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

I’ve always enjoyed watching The Office, but even more so after Kelly Kapoor waxed poetic on the subject of smack talk versus trash talk: “I don’t talk trash. I talk smack. They’re totally different. Trash talk is all hypothetical like ‘Your mama’s so fat she could eat the internet.’ But smack talk is happening, like, right now.  Like ‘You’re ugly and I know it for a fact ’cause I got the evidence right there.'”  Around that time, I started reading actress/writer Mindy Kaling’s old blog, Things I Bought That I Love, and found that I really enjoyed her writing style.

She recently came out with a new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). As someone who has, admittedly, worried on occasion that I was missing out on all the fun, I could not wait to read this book! So when I found out that Mindy would be in town for a book signing a while back, I convinced Mike and Robyn to go with me to check it out.  I have to say that the most interesting moment came when an older woman in the crowd, maybe in her late 60’s, stood up — topless — and publicized some sort of performance art group.  So, yeah. Only in New York! Back to the book signing, Mindy was nice enough to sign our books, and also take photos. As you’d imagine, she seemed down to earth and friendly.

The book itself is hilarious. My favorite part might be the chapter titled “Don’t Peak In High School,” in which she advises “Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete.  Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older,  if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some sort of babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life.”  I thought the pictures she included added a humorous touch as well. My sister cracked up over the back cover, and pointed out the resemblence between us. I’ll let you decide…

Apparently boy-ish haircuts and furry hand puppets were popular with the South Asians in 1985!

Green Beans & Tomatoes

The other day, Jenni and I were talking about how we need to incorporate more vegetables into our diet. Left to my own devices, I have been known to settle for a dinner of Campbell’s tomato soup and a rice cake, or a PBJ sandwich and cookies. Unfortunately, those aren’t the most nutritionally sound meals. The funny thing is that I actually enjoy cooking. It’s just that I’m usually running out the door in a hurry and don’t have the time (or patience) to cook a full meal. In the spirit of living more healthfully, my goal in the upcoming weeks is to cook more often, and to avoid processed foods. I started by making my go-to side dish of green beans and tomatoes. I came across this recipe as I was flipping through TV and caught an episode of Extra Virgin. I’m a huge fan of dishes that don’t require specific measurements. Fresh, simple, and literally takes minutes. Give it a try!

Recipe adapted from Extra Virgin:
Rinse 1lb of green beans; trim edges and cut in half. Rinse a pint of grape tomatoes, and slice in half. Heat a few tbsps of olive oil and 1tbsp of minced garlic in a saute pan. Mix in the tomatoes, cover, and simmer for several minutes. The tomato juice will begin to incorporate into the olive oil, making a delicious sauce. Add the green beans, salt, pepper, and oregano. I added a few tbsps of water as well, to help the beans steam. Cover, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring in between. And voila! While the beans were steaming, I made Mediterranean flavored couscous, and served both dishes alongside some salmon curry.

What’s your go-to veggie side dish?

OMG I love this song! She & Him, “The Christmas Waltz”

She & Him is an Indie band featuring  Zooey Deschanel on vocals and M.Ward on guitar.  Deschanel is an actress, currently starring in the TV show New Girl, and Ward is known for his singer/ song-writer work. The duo has just released their third album, A Very She & Him Christmas, unique covers of well-known classics. The vocals and quirky instrumentation (there’s a ukelele in there!) give it an old-timey, laid-back island vibe.

Songs to check out are “The Christmas Waltz” (shown above… how cute is her dress?), “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The perfect gift for your favorite hipster, the album is versatile enough to listen to while decking out your apartment for the holidays or celebrating Christmas on a tropical island!

What’s your favorite holiday song?

Fab photo of the day

Wafels & Dinges… Yum!