Is It Wednesday Already?

Hello, good readers of Medium Happy! If you stopped by here earlier today, you saw something different than what is here now–before, it was all dull text and no pictures and  now, it’s dull text with pictures added! How fun. Here’s the loophole: I was told Wednesdays, but I wasn’t told how many times on Wednesday. You see? I’m exploiting the lack of fine print, and it feels good.

I still haven’t figured out how to make the fonts bigger or bolder or anything, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Even if it had been, it probably didn’t have a blog.

1. The Emmys*

Go the pull down window that reads “Paragraph,” Katie, hold down cursor, and then go down to ‘Heading 2″ and press… I’m giving away all me’ secrets!

Ahh, the Emmys…that time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love… That’s not right. Is it? No. I don’t know. All I know is, we’re still talking about the Emmys, two days late and a dollar short. Plus John pretty much covered everything already. Also I completely agree with everything Susie B. says in her comment on John’s post, except for the part about Matthew McConaughey looking unattractive. I love the new, scrawny Matthew. I don’t know why—I certainly don’t like the way zero body fat looks on Juliana Margulies, who is so, so pretty but she’s starting to actually look see-through.

Julie Bowen and I love to not go out to eat together!

Julie Bowen and I love to not go out to eat together!


I thought Seth Meyers was a good host. Gentle, non-offensive humor, very Ellen-esque, which works for me on a Monday night–which he poked fun of in his monologue—a Monday night in August? Yeah, it was weird. A weird bookend to a day that started with me sending my children off to school. Huh?? Summer vacay is supposed to last another week.

Don’t you hate when people say ‘vacay’?

Back when I was a kid, my family’s tradition was to have blueberry coffee cake (should that be capitalized?) on the first day of school, one of two days of the year my mom made it—the other was the day we had to get the sailboat out of the lake, usually mid-October when it was freezing, and the mast always found its way to the bottom of the lake and my dad would curse under his breath and one year my brother Joey whipped a spoon at my head from across the kitchen like he was competing in the million-dollar arm competition and it left a mark… and the only good thing about that day was the coffee cake, m’friends. Wheww.

One year, my brother Andy requested it for his birthday dessert instead of real cake (calm down, coffe-cake enthusiasts! I know it’s ‘real cake’—and you know exactly what I was talking about, so don’t act like you don’t)  but Andy was always doing stuff like that. One year he asked for Nut Goodies, for crying out loud. That Andy.

Anyway, I have continued the first-day-of-school coffee cake tradition with my own children.

The G** D*** mast is at the bottom of the G** D*** lake again

The G** D*** mast is at the bottom of the G** D*** lake again, G** D*****

There is something very wrong with baking a blueberry coffee cake on a sweltering summer night. Why, why are my kids going back to school when its 90 degrees outside?

Someone is getting kicked out of office for this.

Ha! Just kidding. I mean they might be, but not on my account, because I don’t vote. The reason is simple: I know my vote doesn’t count. If it did, you can bet your sweet ass that Breaking Bad would not have won Best Drama again.

Boom! There it is; that’s the thing I’m going to say that will make you all turn against me.

We were never with you.


Breaking Bad was a fine show. A good show, even. But I was bored kind of a lot, like way more than would seem appropriate while watching a show widely touted as the greatest television drama of all time. If my Emmy vote counted, Gilmore Girls would win every year until the end of time.

(That last paragraph times 100–JW)

Hmmm, what else? I can hardly remember all the way back to Monday. Oh, Matthew McConaughey again –I think it would’ve been fun if he’d won for True Detective, what with his Oscar win in January and all. According to red carpet host Billy Bush, that would’ve made him the first actor to win an Academy Award and an Emmy in the same year since George C. Scott in 1865. That’s not the correct year, but I forgot what year it actually was and I’m too lazy to Google it.


you’ll never top me, McConaughey! Never.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the most beautiful woman of the night, yes, even more beautiful that Julia Roberts was with her new blonde hair and legs-for-days dress.

But Julia #1 has what, almost ten years on Julia #2? Plus she’s just so damn funny, and I swear it looks like she doesn’t even have any botox. Speaking of botox, I was very relieved to see that Billy Crystal has calmed down and allowed his face to push the reset button. He looked good and his tribute to Robin Williams was seriously lovely.

Other than that, I was very pleased that Sherlock, the actual greatest thing to ever grace a television, won three awards. Disappointed that Martin Freeman and Benjawhoo Cumberbindle weren’t there to accept their awards, but the fact that they won almost felt like a personal victory, so much do me and mine love that show.


This is how excited we get to watch Sherlock

That was by far the shortest and dullest post-award-show wrap-up I have ever written, but what can I say? It was on a Monday, and it was six months ago.

I’m sorry, kids, I’m very tired and not yet used to getting five hours less sleep because I have to get up and get my kids to school in the morning, plus I’m a little out of sorts for two reasons:

A)   My new phone ( Windows! Weird!) auto-corrects everything I text into Spanish, and

B)   The painting I’m working on isn’t going well.

After working on it for many hours yesterday, what was supposed to be a portrait of a beautiful young woman instead looks like a portrait of a horrible scary witch.

Moving on.


2. Charlize Theron is the Wisest Woman I’ve Ever Known

She says that getting old is great because with age comes wisdom. Think about that, you guys. I think she might be on to something.

Plus the way she said it: “It’s ironic that we’ve built the beauty world around 20-year-olds, when they have no f—kin’ concept about wisdom, what life is about, having a few relationships below [their] belt and feeling hardships, to grow into [their] skin and feel confident within [themselves] and to feel the value of who [they] are, not because of a man or because of something like that.” 

I read that and I was like “Did Oscar Wilde come back from the dead?”

Why say in ten words what you could say in 127?

Why say in ten pithy words what you could say in 127 confusing ones?

Just kidding, I didn’t really think that. For starters, I doubt Oscar Wilde would’ve touched Sean Penn with seven-foot salad tongs. Sorry Charlize, I’m giving you a hard time. In another few years, you’ll understand why.

3. This is Where I Leave You

I’m very excited about this movie, opening September 19. First of all, I loved the book and have loved all of Jonathan Tropper’s books. He’s one of my favorite writers.

Secondly, it stars Jason Bateman, always a good sign, and the rest of the cast looks A+, too. Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Jane Fonda…I am now going to mention Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda in all of my posts for the next two months, otherwise I might not win the world series. And that is a perfect segue to…

4. Something About Sports

I have to play in a kickball game tonight. Jaysus. The last time I tried to play kickball, I nearly broke my foot.


Me, later on tonight

Thank you for reading, my dearies! I am sorry there is no number five, but I have to get back into my studio and resume my battle with that scary witch painting. Siiigh. I hate it when the painting wins.



Nothing’s Really Happening

People often ask me, “Katie, how come when you guest write at Medium Happy, you don’t follow the “Starting Five” format? And by people, I mean no one, and by often, I mean never. But the answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Truthfully, whenever I write here, I usually have to spend the next couple of days avoiding angry phone calls from John, wanting to know “how I knew the password” or some such nonsense.

Everyone knows the password, John. Everyone.

Carrying on…oh, and I should tell you–there are no pictures or large fonts or anything fun like that today, because I don’t know how to make those things happen. My apologies, for that and, well, all of it really.

Starting Five

1.  Jane Fonda Looks Amazing

Which is literally the only good thing I can say about the movie Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, which I just watched on Netflix. I’ve been trying to live more frugally this week since school is starting soon and the children need pencils, so instead of blowing 1.29 at the Red Box, I’ve been sticking to the already-paid-for Netflix streaming offerings, which are not great (not counting the documentaries—they are all great).

Anyway, Jane plays this old hippie grandma who never shuts up about how great Woodstock was, Catherine Keener is her uptight daughter who wears utilitarian dresses and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, best known as the dead husband from Weeds, plays the love interest. Now, some of you may be crying foul, that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is actually best known as the dead boyfriend from Grey’s Anatomy or the dead guy from Supernatural, and you might be right. The point is, he had the good sense to die on all of those shows. No such luck here—instead of dying he sleeps with Catherine Keener, and then we find out he also slept with Jane Fonda, and then we puke out all our popcorn. And then everyone realizes that we’re all just human and love is all you need. I would argue a good script also comes in handy.

The night before last, I watched Safe Haven, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. That was also terrible, but I have to admit I kind of liked it and if I come across it on cable this January, I’ll watch it again. She plays a girl on the run, he plays a widower, they meet and fall in love and there are cute kids and beach montages and rustic houses and adorable vintage bicycles and Julianne and Josh are both spectacularly attractive, and the scenery was nice. Heck, let’s call it like it is—three more viewings and it’ll probably be my favorite movie.

And finally, three nights ago I watched the Spectacular Now, starring Shailene Woodley and some kid who reminded me of a young, doughy Vince Vaughn. Or I guess I could just say a young Vince Vaughn. It was very after-school-specially-lots of teen alcoholism and growing and learning. Bleh.

2)   I Don’t Care That Robin Williams Died

OMIGOD NOT REALLY! I’m not the devil. I just wanted to see if anyone was actually reading. Plus I wanted to take some of the heat off John for hating on the ice-bucket challenge. Now I see it was a terrible mistake. (You: I’ll tell you what was a terrible mistake! You writing for Medium Happy!) Please send all hate mail to John.

3)   Something About Sports

By and large I believe this is considered a sports blog, so here goes: umm….OK, apparently someone called Bubba Watson is sorry for behaving badly at the PGA Golf tournament a few weeks ago. I guess he refused to participate in the long drive contest, swore a bunch and treated his caddy like the dirt on his cleat. Here’s what Bubba had to say by way of apology:

“If you look at the bigger picture, not competing in the Long Drive Contest was the first mistake. When you look at just me as an individual, that was the selfish part, because I didn’t agree with it but there’s a lot of things that I don’t agree with that I do.”

Uh, what?

He goes on to say he’s not so bad, because after all he did give his umbrella to someone who needed it.

Can I stop pretending I follow sports now?

4)   Governor Rick Perry Turns Himself In

Just kidding! Number four is really Jason Bateman. Last week I watched two back-to-back Bateman offerings and loved them both: The Longest Week and Bad Words.

The Longest Week was an unexpected delight- it felt like a mash-up of Woody Allen, Whit Stillman and Wes Anderson (something the director winks at in a moment toward the end) -smart, quirky and chock full of dry, hilarious dialogue and narration, not to mention it looked completely awesome. I swear I could watch it again with the sound off and enjoy it just as much.

Jason Bateman plays the heir to a hotel fortune who has never had a real job. He gets cut off when his parents get divorced and neither one wants to pay for his upkeep. He moves in with his best friend, played by Billy Crudup, who is aging very well and is extremely funny. Billy Crudup is in love with Olivia Wilde, and he stupidly introduces Jason Bateman to her. Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde fall in love, Billy Crudup gets mad, Olivia Wilde finds out Jason Bateman is actually a jobless, clueless nitwit and she dumps him. In the span of one week. That’s pretty much the whole story—but it’s told so well! And everyone and everything is so beautiful! Watch it.

In Bad Words, which Jason Bateman also directs, he plays a mean man who exploits a loophole so he can compete in the national spelling bee circuit. Everyone hates him, but not half as much as he hates them. The stuff that comes out of his mouth–well, let me just say you shouldn’t drink hot tea while you watch it. It’s funny, kids, really funny—and then it becomes touching, and then everything makes sense and we realize he’s not mean, he’s just on a mission and the mission makes sense.

5)   This Ad I Just Found On Craigslist:

50 Shades of Fun

compensation: Varies

Interviewing today for an office assistant position. After staring at the stack of resumes, an interesting thought popped into my head. What if there was a woman out there who can do this job and a little more for her boss? 😉 If this is something you might be interested in please send your resume and a picture in your reply. Like I said, interviews are taking place today and if your open to the idea this will guarantee you an interview today! Hope to hear from you soon!

My reply:

Dear Sir,

 I appreciate someone who is human enough to admit he gets bored at work and lets his mind wander off. I myself often have odd thoughts when faced with mundane tasks, like sometimes when I’m supposed to be filing invoices, I wonder what it would be like to watch a man slowly die of arsenic poisoning or what a brick to the temple really sounds like. Ha ha! Perhaps great minds think alike? Please let me know what time we can set up that interview. I couldn’t attach a picture, because I am wanted in Montana.

 Best Regards,

 Katie McCollow



This is Why I Rarely Leave My House

By Katie McCollow

I haven’t gone to a lot of movies this summer, just three. A movie has to look pretty spectacular for me to leave the comfort of my couch, put on non-stretchy clothes, drive to a theater and plop down a small fortune for the privilege of sitting next to some kid playing with his phone and chewing on rocks while I’m trying to watch the G-damn show. But I was very excited for Jersey Boys.

UGGGGHHH. Whose stupid idea was it to let Clint Eastwood direct this movie? Seriously, what??

Take the most fun, energetic show Broadway has put out in the last 20 years and hand it over to the guy whose idea of a good time is Hilary Swank breaking her neck on a stool, and guess what you get?

A BIG FAT EFFING DRAG IS WHAT YOU GET. I wonder how that meeting went down?

Cue swirling, Wizard-of-Oz-esque visual effects to connote a fantasy sequence is about to take place:

Studio exec, to Clint Eastwood: “This group wrote and recorded some of the catchiest tunes in American pop music history.  We’ve cast John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli—that’s right, the same guy who led this show all the way to multiple Tony awards on Broadway in 2006, including Best Actor and Best Musical. That show has so many heart-stopping, chill-inducing moments, everyone who has ever seen it leaves the theater with scrambled eggs for brains, ear-to-ear smiles and freshly purchased soundtracks tucked in their pockets, which they listen to for the next two years until it wears out and then they buy another one. What’s your vision for the movie?”

Mr. Eastwood (talking to empty chair):  “OK: First, those songs, at least the few we actually let into the movie, are all going to be chopped up and relegated to background music in scene after scene of people screeching at each other. I’m not here to sell soundtracks. There’s a gritty story here, full of sad sacks, bad marriages and gambling addictions. I’m OK with the fellas we’ve cast, but instead of showcasing their amazing singing and dancing chops, I’m going to let them tell the story through talking. And screeching. No heart-stopping, chill inducing moments, either. I am OK with the abrupt use of dime-store stage makeup to convey the passage of time, however.”

Studio exec: “Genius. You’re hired. I loved you in The Ten Commandments.” He leaves room. 

Gofer who loves movies and is thrilled to have her job of fetching coffee and fellating her boss, but simply cannot sit by and watch this happen because she saw the show on stage twice and has worn through several copies of the soundtrack even though she was born in 1994: “Um…Mr. Eastwood? What about that bit where suddenly the audience is taken backstage and the lights come up and it just blows your mind? Will that be in there?”

Clint Eastwood: “No.”

Gofer: “How about that awesome part where Bob Guadio, er, ‘becomes a man’, and then breaks into crowd-pleaser December 1963?”

Clint: “We can show the grit and humanity of his first time in indelicate congress with a prostitute, but no singing.”

Gofer: “What about the part where they sing Who Loves You? That was so great…”

 Clint: “Maybe that can play in the background while Frankie and Bob talk about death. I know what I’m doing. I’m Clint Eastwood.”

Gofer (getting desperate): “But wait! Wait Mr. Eastwood…what about the amazing medley of hits Stay? Let’s Hang On? Bye Bye Baby?”

Clint: “It will play quietly in the background for a few seconds.”

Gofer: “C’mon Marianne? Ragdoll? Beggin’?”

Clint: “Listen, punk. I don’t have time for all that. I need to dedicate at least a half hour to Frankie’s drug-addicted daughter, a character I’m going to assume the audience knows and cares about.”

Gofer: “Ohh…that song Fallen Angel makes me cry…”

Clint: “No song. Just a funeral.”

Gofer: “The incredible comeback? The Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame?”

Clint Eastwood (getting angry–now yelling at the chair): “Of course! But it’ll be done my way, in a depressing supper-club with a lot of incredibly cheesy close-ups. I see a parade of Captain Kangaroo wigs, walrus mustaches and corpse-like Halloween makeup. This film will be lousy with tense drama and colorless cinematography, like all my movies…incredible music and a crazily talented cast, please. No one cares about that! I AM CLINT EASTWOOD AND I AM THE STAR OF ALL MY MOVIES!”

Adding insult to injury, the closing credits were a complete sucker-punch. The tone completely switched gears and suddenly I was watching the movie I’d wanted all along, a colorful, joyous romp filled with off-leash singing and dancing by people who know how to do it. Thanks Clint! That was an awesome 30 seconds.

I wonder if that chair has started talking back to him yet.

The news gets worse, kids. I also saw Tammy, which makes Jersey Boys look like Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane and Raiders of the Lost Ark had an orgy and made a movie baby.*

Melissa McCarthy plays Tammy, an angry, clueless loser who is mad at the world for stuff we don’t know. She’s stupid, coarse and mean, and wonders why everyone is against her. I guess the audience is supposed to be rooting for her, but in the scene when she comes home to find her husband cheating, all I could think was, “Someone married her?”

Allison Janney, who looks to be the same age as Melissa McCarthy, plays her mom. She seems like a nice enough sort, leaving me to wonder how she’d raised such an unlikable daughter. Ha! Irony, I get it–my own mother is a saint and I am…me, but Tammy presumably wasn’t also raised by the fists and verbal poundings of 8 siblings.**

Tammy takes off with her grandma, played by a slightly older Susan Sarandon, who wears fake ankles and a wig apparently borrowed from the set of Jersey Boys. She is awful. A bunch of stuff happens—they wreck the car, they rob a burger joint, they have sex with Gary Cole and get arrested and I go to the concession stand and spend way too long choosing candy, because I actually don’t want to return to the theater. When I do, it turns out that grandma is a drunk, lesbians are happy, rich and wise and Tammy is not actually loathsome and disgusting but irresistible. Kiss! From a boy, not a lesbian. The end. Sounds short, felt sooo long. Every scene plays like 20 minutes of bad improv.

Can we all agree that Melissa McCarthy is beloved? She is. And usually, when a beloved star makes a dog, I am quick to forgive, since no one can hit it out of the park every time. But Tammy is so bad, I will actually not jump to see another movie with her name above the title. She’s gotta earn my trust back. There’s no way she saw the dailies and didn’t know what she was doing.

Chef restored my faith. Fantastic. Jon Favreau plays a temperamental chef who quits his soul-crushing restaurant job and buys a food truck, then drives it all over the country and makes mouth-watering delights in it while the camera lingers. In the process he bonds with his son and finds love. A perfect movie! My only advice is, make sure you’ve got something really awesome on the stove when you get home. After that kind of serious food-porn, dried-out chicken drummies aren’t going to cut it. Trust me.

*Don’t bother asking who the father is. No one knows.

**Yes you did, you guys.