Sixteen Candles

Jen Lancaster's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

There's a reason why the fabulous Jen Lancaster has a bazillon-million Facebook fans.  She. Rocks!  And we're as giddy as little schoolgirls at a Justin Bieber concert about the fact that she's sharing her Do's and a Do-Over today here at CLIND! Jen's bestselling memoirs are freakin' hilarious.  Now, with If You Were Here, she makes her fiction debut and we couldn't be happier about it.  In fact, when we discovered that If You Were Herehad more John Hughes's references than a VH1 special-we were SOLD.  Because nothing makes us happier than waxing nostalgic over the movies we grew up with.  And we gotta love anyone that, like us, drooled over Jake and that damn Porsche in the movie Sixteen Candles.  Too bad our "Jake Complex" led us to make some very unfortunate dating choices growing up!  But hey, we don't know about you, but there's still a spot for him and his Porsche on our short list. *wink wink*

And we loved If You Were Here-it's a fun read that will have you LOLing in every chapter!  A perfect pick-me-up after a long week!

If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John Hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations.

Sounds fun, right?  We have FIVE copies to give away!  Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  Doesn't get much easier than that, people.  We'll choose the winners on Friday May 6th after 6pm PST.  Good Luck!



5 DO'S

1. Be prepared. No one will fight harder for what you want than you.  Doing your homework gives you the confidence to fight.  Take job hunting, for example.  When people are asked to come interview, most applicants read the employer’s website and can parrot back the company’s mission statement if asked.  But if you want this job, dig deeper.  Work harder than your competition.  Research the organization in-depth.  Read trade journals.  Gain some perspective on how this employer has the competitive advantage, or what they might need to improve it.  Become well-versed in how legislation/lobbyists are changing the corporate landscape.  Take inventory of your personal strengths and practice explaining how these skills dovetail into the organization’s very specific needs.  Yes, it’s a lot of extra effort.  But if you’re properly prepared, the employer will snap you up if for no reason other than to keep their competitors from hiring you.

2.  Be charming. The above only works if you can do it all with a genuine smile on your face.  Life is a lot like one of my favorite reality shows - Survivor.  Yeah, it’s important to excel at challenges and carry your own weight around camp, but ultimately positive social interactions win the game.  Boston Rob always goes far because he’s smart and he’s strong, but being funny and cute has been of equal importance.  (Maybe he hasn’t won the million yet, but his charm is what keeps CBS asking him back.)

3.  Embrace failure. Despite your best efforts to be both prepared and charming, bad things still happen.  Learn that failure doesn’t define you; recovering from failure does.  When I was laid off from my executive job, I thought my life was over.  Yet during my jobless tenure, I discovered that I didn’t actually like working a boring corporate desk job.  If I hadn’t failed at being an executive, I’d never have had the opportunity to pursue a more creative line of work.  To pass the long, empty days home alone, I wrote scathing blog posts about being unemployed, only to discover that the act of writing fueled me.  Documenting the story of my failure turned into writing Bitter Is the New Black and the rest is history.

4.  More Ferris, Less Cameron.  Ferris Bueller said it best – sometimes you need to take the day off.  Life does move pretty fast sometimes, and if you don’t, say, steal your dad’s vintage Ferrari to cruise around the city on occasion, you might miss it.  Goof off once in a while.  Spend a long, leisurely afternoon with Real Housewives on the TiVo and some Ben & Jerry’s.  You might be surprised at how productive you’ll be if you allow yourself a minute to recharge your batteries.

5.  Charlie Sheen is not #winning.  Ever. Despite Sheen’s deplorable behavior, there are still women out there – clever, confident, capable women – who honestly believe they can change him.  And yet his string of unhappy ex-wives and girlfriends begs to differ.  Sure, it’s always exhilarating to date the Charlies of the world, but ultimately the stress of loving a bad boy is going to break your heart and make you wrinkle prematurely.  A nice guy will give you a happily ever after whereas a bad boy will make a few unhappy months feel like an eternity.  Choose wisely – there’s only so much Botox can fix.


Do not do it yourself. You know how your hairdresser makes a simple bang-trim look effortless?  Like, so easy that anyone could do it?  Including yourself?  And so you tried?  And had to wear a hat for a month?  You see, your stylist is a trained professional and she cuts bangs all day, every day, for fifty-plus weeks a year.  You cannot replicate this.  Do not try.  A while ago, my husband and I took this lesson to heart, only instead of cutting our own hair, we wanted to rehab a house after watching HGTV.  We rationalized, “Hey!  That’s not so hard!  We could rehab a house!  And I could write a memoir about it!”  And then I remembered the last time I cut my own bangs and those were the longest eight weeks of my life, so we didn’t buy the fixer-upper.  Instead, I let my character Mia give home renovations a whirl in my novel If You Were Here.  And when the first toilet came crashing through the ceiling in her office, I bet Mia wished she’d heeded my advice.  Leave it to the professionals.  You’ll thank me later.

To read more about the hilarious Jen Lancaster, head on over to her website or find her on Twitter and Facebook!

Thanks Jen!  xoxo, Liz & Lisa

Some kind of (80's) Wonderful By Liz & Lisa

ferris-bueller-p011"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

We were so sad to hear about the tragic death of Writer/Producer/Director John Hughes last week. And we can honestly say that his teen movies had more influence on us than we care to admit. As children of the 80's, we pined over Jake Ryan (would still do him!) considered taking up the drums (go Watts!) and debated endlessly whether Duckie's creepers were cool or not. (Liz was for, Lisa was against.) No other filmmaker captured teen turmoil like John Hughes. And in our humble opinion, there's been no one quite like him since... (Who else could make us want to dye our hair red and wear mens' blazers like Molly Ringwald?)

And it's almost scary to think how influential these fictional teens were in our angst ridden, dramatic, very real teenage lives! (Sorry Moms--yet again!) From Pretty in Pink (Liz's fav) to Sixteen Candles (Lisa's fav) to The Breakfast Club (isn't it everyone's fav!?) here's what we learned from watching our VHS tapes of these movies over and over again and what we continue to learn as we watch them on TBS over and over again.



* You should never, ever, under any circumstances (not even when you take pity on a nerd) give your underwear away. But if you do give in and give your panties to the prepubescent geek, make sure he charges his friends more than a dollar a pop. We say at least $5 for boy shorts and $10 for a Hanky Panky thong!

* Just say N-O to that weird new guy in town who keeps screaming, "Hey Sexy Giiirrrlllfriend". And whatever you do, DON'T climb on that exercise bike with him... even if you're sporting horrible headgear and think he's the best you can get!

* On that note, think twice before taking a foreign exchange student into your home. Long Duck Dong would be fun for about five, maybe ten minutes!

* DON'T let your friends cut your hair when they're hammered, even if it is caught in a door. Someone will open it eventually!

* It IS possible get the Jake Ryan's of the world to notice you! (Note: this particular lesson led to ten years of dating assholes. Thanks John!)



* There can be major benefits to paying attention in your computer science class, ladies. Mastery of MS DOS+Barbie Doll= Hot older boyfriend with special powers! (We're thinking a George Clooney robot could be hot!)

* Never underestimate the power of a Cougar! Kelly LaBrock had it going on and paved the way for the rest of us!



* If you live on the wrong side of the tracks and insist on dating outside your pre-determined social circle, beware of the asshole with the feathered hair and "super cool" Mustang convertible!

* You CAN rock a super-short boyish do' and a leather jacket and still get a guy to fall in love with you...AND buy you some diamond earrings! (A lesson Lisa put to the test in the late 90's!)



* When your choices are to date either "Steff", "Blaine" or "Duckie", you're basically f*cked!

* If you hate wearing pink (like we do) you're basically f*cked!


* When you ditch class and need a mode of transportation to get you in to the city, don't take a Ferrari. Take the shittiest car you can find. No one is checking the odometer on your mom's 85' Taurus!

* Never underestimate the power of a memorable movie line. Even *cough* twenty years later, Lisa can still be caught saying, "Bueller...Bueller...anyone, anyone?"



* Detention can play tricks on your mind. If you're kept locked up long enough, you can start thinking Judd Nelson is cute.

* Always wash your hair. Even if you can land the jock with your greasy locks, is it really worth it to forgo shampoo?

* No matter how many movies Anthony Michael Hall starred in, we still never found him cute! :(

xoxo, Liz & Lisa

Shoulders pads and skorts by Liz

A couple of weeks ago  I was flipping through the millions of channels on my TV and almost squealed out loud when I saw that the movie Clueless was on! It's one  of my all-time favorites and as watched it, I found myself once again caught up in Cher's world.  I was laughing my ass off as she and Dionne attemped to make over Tai and had tears in my eyes when she finally came to her senses and hooked up with Josh.  And btw,  I've been in love with Paul Rudd ever since the first time I saw him in this movie.  I was happy to see he hasn't aged a day!

But what really struck me as I watched Clueless was how the movie made me feel.  I was instantly transported to 1994 and was almost expecting my college roommates  to roll in any minute wearing polo shirts and penny loafers  to sit down and watch with me!  I also winced at the memory of people always saying I looked like Tai, but I always told myself that they were referring to the post makeover version.

That night, I started thinking about all the other movies that pinpoint a certain period in my life. Movies that instantly conjure up a vivid memory(good or bad or even really horrible) and transport you there, almost like a time machine!

So after careful consideration, here are my top "time machine" movies:

1. Sixteen Candles/Pretty in Pink/Some Kind of Wonderful/Breakfast Club (1984-1987)

I'm lumping all the John Hughes films together because they all represent the same era.  I clearly remember being dropped off by my Mom at the movies in eighth grade to watch Pretty in Pink with all the cool girls and hoped that they wouldn't notice how badly I wanted to fit in.

And I totally developed my "Prince Charming" complex from Jake.  I spent most of the 90's waiting for my night in shining armor to pull up in his 911 Porche and sweep me off my feet.

And when "If You Were Here" by the Thompson Twins (btw,whatever happened to them?) plays at the end as Samantha blows out her candles, I think we all heaved a sigh of relief that the geeky girl got the guy.  It gave us all hope that we could have a Jake of our own someday.

2. Heathers(1988)

Those were the days of shoulder pads and skorts!  And looking back, who the hell thought it would be a good idea  for women look like linebackers?  I can only speak for myself, but adding any kind of volume to my clothes at that time was a very bad idea!

I'm embarrassed to admit that Lisa and I used to quote this movie incessantly in high school, our favorite one being "What's your damage, Heather?"  We even went as far as to decide which Heather we were.  I was pleased to be crowned the yellow Heather and our friend LaSundra never walked taller than the day we bestowed the Red Heather label to her.

This movie always reminds me of the special friendships I had in high school.  And I'm proud to say that those same girls are still a part of my life!  But unlike the characters in Heathers, we were able to make it through senior year without trying to murder each other and blow up the school.  But just barely!

3. Two Moon Junction(1988)

Okay, so let's first all admit that we've seen this naughty movie about a hot girl who runs off and has an affair with some drifter guy. Lisa would rent the tape and sneak it in so we could try to figure what the big deal was about that sex thing everyone was always talking about.   Because we certainly weren't watching this movie for the plot!  In fact, I couldn't remember a damn thing  until I googled it for this blog.  And I've never been able to look  at Sherilyn Finn without thinking about what a bad girl she was in this movie!

It reminds me of being a curious and insecure girl just trying to figure it all out.  And now that I have a daughter of my own, it horrifies me think that one day she might use a movie like Two Moon Junction as Sex Ed 101!

4. Wayne's World(1992)

Wayne's World came out my freshman year of college and it always reminds me of how exciting it was to be away from home for the first time.  In fact, I remember grabbing a six pack of  Zimas (of course I had a fake ID! Thank you Valerie Saylor!) and sneaking them into the theater to watch this movie for the third time and see if it would be funnier if we were drunk.  In case you were wondering, it was!

5. The Bodyguard (1992)

Wow, did Lisa and I love this movie!  We were living together in college and we must have watched it fifty times and regularly rocked out to the soundtrack in our living room, using anything we could find as microphones for our concert.

I loved Whitney(Damn you Bobby Brown for ruining her!) and Kevin Costner's brooding bodyguard character was so yummy!  This movie always reminds me of that silly side of myself that I never want to lose.

6. The Fugitive (1993)

The Fugitive was the first movie I went to see by myself. Earlier in the day, I had gotten in a huge fight with my roommates (I can't remember what about, maybe I accused them of stealing my scrunchie?) and stormed out.  After making a dramatic phone call to them from a pay phone, I hid out at the movies for a couple of hours before heading back, my tail between my legs.

7. She's All That (1999)

This movie came out the week after my long-term boyfriend and I  broke up and I can never hear the song "Kiss Me" or see this movie without thinking about it. I can still vividly remember feeling heartbroken, terrified and hopeful all at the same time.

8. Pulp Fiction (1994)

I don't like this movie.  At all.  But my husband loves it and he screened it for me on our third date.  And even though I hated every minute of it, I acted liked I loved it every single time we watched it. And I even laughed every time he quoted that stupid Quarter Pounder with Cheese line from the movie.  Pulp Fiction lovers know which one I'm talking about.  Don't make me repeat it!

The thing is, I didn't pretend to like it because I wanted him to like me, I pretended to like it because that's when I realized that I loved him.  I've since admitted that I hate Pulp Fiction(much to his disappointment) but it always reminds me of that exciting feeling when you realize you've found someone you can love for the rest of your life!

So there you have it people!  These are the movies that have defined my life thus far.  What are yours?