Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: Entertainment

My completely fake and imaginary celebrity dinner party

A few weeks ago, I sent a tweet to Domenick Lombardozzi (who was on The Wire and Breakout Kings, both of which I recommend, and Boardwalk Empire, which I have not watched yet but plan to) where I mentioned that I’d like to sit down and have a beer with him. He just seems like the kind of celebrity you can do that with and I’d definitely like to do that.

But that tweet got me thinking that maybe I’d also like to have beer with a few more celebrities. In fact, I’d like to have a whole dinner party filled with celebrities. I think it would be a) a fun experience; b) a reason to get all fancy dressed because I’d totally make it that kind of party; and c) it’d give me a quiet, brief moment of fame even though I have absolutely no desire to be famous. 

While I have no idea what the menu would look like for my extravagant dinner party (and by extravagant, I mean in my backyard and with my husband barbecuing because that’s probably all we can afford and a black tie barbecue just smacks of class even though in reality, I’d not have it black tie and just make it backyard casual since I barely like putting on pants, let alone a fancy dress), I think I know who would be on the guest list. 

dinner party

Let me pause here and say I struggled with this list so, so much. I had about 6 iterations before I narrowed it down to this one and when I went back over it, I realized that there are a number of celebrities I want to meet because not only are they smart and entertaining, but they write. Apparently I’d like to surround myself with successful writers. Which makes total sense since, you know, that’s my dream and all. In fact, I thought about separating this list into two groups but the thought of even fictionally throwing two celebrity dinner parties makes me anxious so we’re just going to stick with one.

One notable absence–Matt Damon. I have had a thing for Matt Damon since I saw School Ties in the movie theater when I was in 10th grade and I have no desire to meet him because I’m 99% certain I’d act like an absolute asshole and be all self-conscious and ruin the whole party. So he has to stay away.

Okay, so now that we know Matt Damon won’t be there, let’s go through the rest of the guest list (for this party, I had one caveat: all the guests had to be alive. I could play the “if you could pick any celebrity, living or dead, to have at a party” game and I’d have people like Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin on the guest list)

  • Judd Apatow 
  • Jason Segel
  • Wentworth Miller
  • John Krasinski
  • Chris Pratt
  • John Green
  • Jimmy Fallon
  • Kyle Chandler
  • James Spader
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Kurt Sutter
  • Aubrey Plaza
  • Kat Dennings
  • Amy Poehler
  • Mindy Kaling
  • Gillian Flynn
  • Dolly Parton
  • Queen Latifah
  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Anna Gunn
  • Drew Barrymore

The first thing I noticed, besides the whole writer thing, is that I have a good portion of the cast of Parks and Rec on my list so maybe I should just say I won’t invite any of them and just pretend I have talent or a desire to be on TV and be an extra on the show instead. That would free up 3 spaces on the list. If I did that, I’d fill in Tina Fey, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Garner (who I didn’t really like until I saw Juno and then I found out how hard she campaigned to protect her kids from the paparazzi and now I have major respect for her).

The second thing I noticed is that everyone on the list has, in one way or another, made me laugh. Or cry. Or been in, or has written something, or done something off camera, that has made me feel all the feels. They’re people I want to sit down and talk to also, have you ever observed really smart and talented people talking to each other? I have and it is amazing. I feel like I could become so much better just from being at the party and watching what goes on.

And I’d have a really amazing photo wall when it’s over.

Would you guys host a celebrity dinner party? Who would you invite?


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P.S. For the record, I’d totally take tons of pictures and Instagram the shit out of this kind of party which means that my face might be in a lot of places but I’d be okay with that since I’d be covered by lots of people better looking than me and probably just blend into the background. 

I have no problem with that.

P.P.S. I’m totally starting a Pinterest board for this. I saw someone else do it and I think it’s a great idea. And you know I’m not above stealing copying a good idea.

Friday Favorites, volume 24

Admittedly, it’s hard to top last week’s favorites because my husband is something else and definitely brings a certain something to the table and he’s very grateful for all the birthday wishes and the great responses to his quasi-guest post (although you might change your mind when you read my upcoming “shit my family says” post). Perhaps that’s why I’ve decided to give the categories a makeover. I tried to keep with the same themes but slightly altered them a bit. I hope you enjoy the new versions!

Favorite 90s song

Although I’ve been using 90s songs for the past few weeks, making it an official category feels like a lot of unnecessary pressure. I really want to get it right and there are so many good choices. Too many good choices. But, after careful consideration of all the candidates, I’m picking Beck’s “Loser”. This is the best song about nonsense (with a hidden meaning buried in the lyrics, I’m sure) that ever was.
Loser by Beck on Grooveshark

Favorite frugal find

I was going to say it’s all the amazing sales that Bath and Body Works has on their soaps (did you know there are pumpkin scented foaming hand soaps? Thanks to Megan, I do now. Also, I’m secure enough in my basicness to admit that I want pumpkin soap) but then Target went ahead and announced free shipping on all purchases made through December 20. All. Purchases. 

Favorite blogging tip

Writer’s block is inevitable (actually, did you guys know I was a contributing author in a book on how to combat writer’s block? I was and you can buy it here if you want. I get no money from your purchase but it’d make me feel good if you bought it. And it’s $.99 so if you hate it, you’re out less money than the cost of a soda) but one of my go-to sources for all things blogging, Melissa from Blog Clarity, came up with the idea of a swipe file. 

A swipe file is essentially a collection of posts and ideas that you can use for inspiration and brainstorming when you get stuck. It’s not posts you can copy; rather, they’re posts to use to help you overcome your block. She explains it better than I do so check out what she has to say about creating one.

Favorite book/TV/movie news

It’s hard to find something to come up with in each of these categories each week so going forward, I’m going to share what I found to be the most interesting. This week, it’s the fact that Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, has been on The Blacklist this season. He’s fucking creepy on it, too. I always struggle when I see someone who I pigeonhole in a role playing something totally different. And it really doesn’t get much different than this.

Favorite Internet reads

So many links to choose from since I missed sharing last week. I did narrow it down to my favorite four because four seems like a reasonable number and it’s a multiplier of my favorite number (16) and also it’s about the number of minutes per day I’ve been productive lately. Speaking of that, Lifehacker had a very helpful post on turning laziness into efficiency, which, coupled with Michael Hyatt’s post on why you should nap every day, means I’ll be a model of creativity and productivity, starting next week (I still haven’t worked out the procrastination part yet).

I’m not sure how to segway to this next link smoothly so I’ll do it awkwardly instead. Earlier I said that I’m secure in my basicness. And I am. And this Buzzfeed post explains why the word “basic” is really another word for class anxiety. And it is a great read which you should follow up with reading how this guy went a year with a distraction free iPhone (if anyone is interested in trying this challenge, let me know because I think it’ll be something I do very soon, although I’ll probably start with a week or a month).

Favorite funnies

Really, I could do worse.

Books are liars.








Shame on you, Little Bunny Foo Foo.










This is true fear. And not that I know from experience, but should you clog the toilet of someone who doesn’t own a plunger, a pot of boiling water poured into the toilet will do the trick.
Thanks to everyone who agreed to participate in my meet the reader series. There’s still plenty of room for more so let me know if you’re interested! This is open to bloggers and nonbloggers; we’re equal opportunity here at Jana Says. And I might be turning this series into a podcast down the road. I’ll keep you updated on that. (Question: if I had a podcast interviewing my blogger friends, and maybe some nonblogger friends, would you listen to it?)

That’s all she wrote for this week. Coming up on Monday (most likely, unless something else strikes me when I sit down to write on Sunday): my celebrity dinner party guest list.

Have a great weekend!

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Linking up with Amanda

Friday Favorites

Thinking out loud Thursday

It’s Thursday! Time for another brain dump! Let’s get right to it.

  • My post ideas are out of control. I’ve been trying to use a blog planner to keep them all organized and plan them all out but trying to stick to that plan is virtually impossible. I think I need to have a writing day, get them all out in draft form, and then go back and hit publish on various days. Especially when the inevitable writer’s block sets in.
    • I needed a subset for this one. I keep going back and forth between completely self-centered posts and posts that others might find helpful and/or useful. I don’t know which ones to publish. So, quick reader poll: What do you guys prefer to read? One or the other? A mix of both? Let me know!
  • The stack of books on my nightstand and on my Kindle app is ridiculous. And more books are coming in every day. I need, in addition to a writing day, a reading retreat where I sit and just read books for a week. Preferably at a quiet beach house, with only my dogs keeping me company.
  • My daughter’s Halloween costume still isn’t done. She wants to go as Laura Ingalls and while it seemed like a good idea, putting this costume together is way more difficult than I thought it would be. This costume is why I wish I could sew more than a button or a seam.
  • If anyone has motivation to exercise, can you please hurl some extra my way? It’s been a week since my last workout and the “I don’t give a shits” have set it. My fat ass will not keep losing weight if I can’t find my will to sweat anymore.


  • I have finally started liking podcasts! I have two that I listen to with regularity and they’re actually interesting. Well done, on topics I enjoy, and not too long. The last time I listened to a regular podcast was when LOST was on TV. I’m glad I finally found something!
  • Buzzfeed might be known for it’s annoying list posts, stupid life quizzes (did you know that anyone can make one now? I’m debating whether or not to do it), and random collections of pictures but lately, I’ve found a few longform essays that are killing it. I’ll share a couple of them in tomorrow’s Friday Favorites. 
  • I don’t know what to binge watch next. I’ve finished The Wire, I’m caught up on The Following and The Blacklist, I’m watching Deadwood but I can’t handle more than a couple of episodes at a time. I’m looking for a show I can sit and watch for hours when I’m avoiding doing anything worthwhile. Candidates are Drop Dead Diva, Shameless, and Parenthood. Thoughts?
  • Confession: I have been sucking ass at the choose your own adventure challenge this month. I’ve definitely had less diet soda than I usually do but I have had some. More than I should, which is zero. Remember how I said I chose that one because it wouldn’t be setting myself up to fail? So much for that.
  • I’m starting a new feature, and I’d like to start it next month: Meet The Reader. If you read, and want to do a short, fun interview with me that will be published on the blog, please email me. This is for bloggers and nonbloggers so don’t feel like you can’t participate if you don’t blog.  
  • I’ve been in a mood lately and sometimes, the only thing that makes me feel better are pictures of cute animals. Like this one:

horse dog

Coming up tomorrow: Friday Favorites with revised categories. Hope you’re as excited as I am!

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Linking up for Stuff and Things 

Kristin's Knook

Stuff and things, things and stuff

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a brain dump like this and I figured with all the serious posts this week, it might be a good idea to lighten the mood around here. Let’s do that with examining what’s been going on inside my head lately.

  1. Why do crime/thriller shows always portray the murderers and criminal masterminds as (usually) good looking, intelligent, cultured, wealthy people? I mean, I get that they can be psychopaths, too, but these shows are seriously increasing my paranoia quotient regarding the upper class. 
  2. Speaking of my paranoia, a new cat has decided our backyard is its kingdom, terrifying our existing cat. They sort of got into it on Sunday and now I’m petrified my cat will get into a violent bloody fight with squatter cat and my cat will bleed to death (never mind the fact that my cat is inside 80% of the time).
  3. Having a cold is pretty much the worst thing ever. It makes you feel like shit but there’s absolutely nothing you can take to make yourself feel better, unless it’s NyQuil and I really don’t have time to spend in a NyQuil coma. Also, the sneezing part just sucks.
  4. I was a mystery reader in my daughter’s class this week. I read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day because I think even kids should read the book before they see the movie.
  5. Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo next month? I am because clearly I have issues and like to pressure myself for no apparent reason other than maybe I think it’s fun.
  6. Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I have not bought him a gift, a card, or even thought about getting or baking a cake or any sort of dessert because he is the worst person to shop for and he drops no subtle hints or clues and if he does, I’m clearly too dumb to pick up on them. We are going out to dinner and he is guest posting tomorrow so at this point, that’ll have to do.
  7. Did you guys see the news that Rainbow Brite is getting the reboot treatment a la My Little Pony and The Care Bears? Did you see that Molly Ringwald is going to be one of the voices? The child that grew up in the 80s is rejoicing but my adult self knows it’ll probably be shit and ruin yet another sacred childhood memory.
  8. My 20th high school reunion is in May. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to go. High school was a fucking nightmare and I can’t justify paying to spend money to see people who won’t remember me anyway. But I am curious. 
  9. I’ve been trying to participate in a 21 day intentional blogging challenge, hosted by Jeff Goins. It’s not going well. I think I’m 4 days behind and I can’t find the most current task, let alone the ones I’m missing. I think maybe this was a terrible mistake.
  10. I finally jumped on the blog button bandwagon and designed one. I need to put it on my sidebar so anyone who likes me can grab it and put on their site (hint, hint). I’m pretty sure that’ll take me about 4 more months to do. #lazyass But here it is in case you want it now:
Jana Says

So now that you’ve had a peek inside my head, tell me. What’s going on in your life lately? Are you as scatterbrained as I am? Would you go to your high school reunion? 

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Linking up with Kristin


Friday favorites, volume 21

I’m not really sure what to say about this week. My motivation to do anything except read books or watch The Wire is nonexistent, I’m running on almost no sleep because my dog thinks it’s fun to jump on and off the 465104 per night and he’s too stupid to figure out how to get back on (it is at this point I ask for recommendations for places to buy doggie steps. I have officially become that person), and the child’s first cheer competition is on Sunday, meaning we have to leave at the crack of dawn to get there on time or be subjected to cheer wrath. I want no part of that.  

On the plus side, I have a great stack of books to read and if my husband drives home from the competition, I’ll get to take a nap. I’ve also started using a blog planner and it seems to be working to keep me organized in one part of my life, and I finally have a good, consolidated place to keep all my ideas. Because while I love all my pieces of paper, as well as the occasional napkin, it’s nice to not lose my ideas. Now if I could just move this newfound organization to other areas of my life, I’d be all set. 

Favorite song

I’m going 90s on this one. I have been longing for my 90s music lately. It’s not that new music is bad, per se, it’s that I’ve been, for some reason, swept up in nostalgia for my high school and college days. Let’s be clear: high school was a fucking nightmare. I have no interest in reliving that. However, we had some great music. I miss that.

 Long Way Down by The Goo Goo Dolls on Grooveshark

Favorite frugal find

Since I’m participating in Steph’s October Wallet Watch, I have not been spending money. Or even thinking about spending money. Okay, fine, I’ve been thinking about it but I haven’t been doing it. But I did have to buy the child new cheer sneakers for her competitions and thanks to the Omni Cheer website, I was able to find her new shoes for 60% off. Cheerleading is so damn expensive, I was thrilled to find something that saves me money.

Favorite book/TV thing

One of my boyfriends, Wentworth Miller, will be on TV this month and not in a Law and Order: SVU rerun (which I confess I compulsively check to see if the one episode he was on is airing). It’s for the CW’s version of The Flash and while watching Gotham fulfills my obligation to all things superhero, I’ll make an exception and watch The Flash. Because this:

wentworth miller


As far as books go, I don’t necessarily have a favorite this week but I do have a huge stack of books that I cannot wait to get through. I finished Fangirl yesterday and started Accidents of Marriage. Also on tap: The Rosie Project, Me Before You, 3 business/blogging type books, and Greil Marcus’s A New Literary History of America. That’s in addition to a bunch of eBooks and since I’m now obsessed with him, Rick Springfield’s fiction book, Magnificent Vibration, which I recently placed on hold at the library.

Favorite internet reads

If you’re like me and hate taking pictures, this post on how to look better in photos based on your body type is super helpful (I still opt for the “completely avoid the camera” pose but this stuff might work, too). Rolling Stone has long been my favorite magazine, and Sons of Anarchy (are you watching? Is this season amazing or what?) is definitely one of my all-time favorite shows, and the profile on creator Kurt Sutter is basically everything. This post on successful people posed as societal stereotypes was quite eye opening (and props to my girl Athena for sharing it on Facebook). And, finally, this Buzzfeed post on sorority rush on Instagram vs. rush in real life. It all so true, and I loved the last picture more than all of the rest because maybe that’s my sorority (not my chapter, but my sorority).

Favorite quote

weird relative


Favorite funnies

Much more practical than the academic Master’s I have

Me, every day lately










True story








I want to know who spied on me long enough to draw this

working out 
























I hope you all have a good weekend! See you on Monday with a post on how to be a shitty neighbor (or, how my neighbors do everything wrong and it makes me hate them). Oh, and if you want to see what life looks like from the sidelines of an outdoor cheerleading competition, make sure to follow me on Instagram. Pictures served with a side of snarky comments. 

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Linking up with Amanda as always 

Friday Favorites