It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me in real life or has listened to my podcast that I am a huge fan of the Fox show Bob's Burgers. While every single episode has its merits, I particularly love the holiday episodes, and I find myself rewatching every year to celebrate.
Of course I have *opinions*, so please enjoy my personal ranking of all the Bob's Burgers Valentine's Day episodes!
7: bed, bob, and beyond (s9e13)
I love the episodes where the kids get to each tell their own stories, and this one is super fun. Bob and Linda are fighting on Valentine's Day, but the kids need them to be in a good mood so they can break the news that they broke Gene's bed jumping on it. So the kids take turns describing the plot of this ridiculous movie, a combination of love story tropes, to lift their spirits.
This one isn't my favorite because the plot is super all over the place (lol kids amirite). The tone is also not incredibly romantic with the fighting and the guilt about the bed. However, it's hilarious as all episodes are. I love when the kids team up together for something like this. It's definitely worth a watch, and try to catch the Notting Hill, Speed, and Titanic nods.
6: romancing the beef (s11ep11)
In another not-very-romantic Valentine's Day episode, Louise convinces Bob to capitalize on the holiday by hiking up prices and taking walk-ins for those sorry couples who failed to make dinner reservations. The B plot follows Tina attending Tammy's Anti-Valentine's Day party, then panicking as it quickly devolves into a make-out party.
This episode is fun entirely because of the kids. The eighth graders (particularly Tammy and Jocelyn) are fucking hilarious always, and Tammy's flimsy excuse for a make-out party is so classic her. Meanwhile, Louise and Gene are giving their all at the restaurant. The highlight of this episode is Gene creeping up on couples, wearing only a diaper and wings to portray Cupid, and singing "It's okay; we're just children watching you."
5: the gene and courtney show (s6e7)
In classic Bob's Burgers Valentine's Day fashion, this episode is a shit-show. Gene and Courtney take over the morning announcements because they're hilarious together--until they rekindle their romance and lose their touch. Meanwhile, Tina is (for some fucking reason) in charge of the carnations program at her school, and she tears all the valentines apart desperately trying to see if someone has sent her one.
I'll admit, it's nice to see Tina stress about fucking up for once! She's always doing dumb shit like this and never seems to care, really. Louise and Linda come to her aid in her moment of need, which is a group of characters we don't often see in this series. Girl power! Gene and Courtney are so fun to watch, not because they're actually funny, but because they're actually pretty good together. This one is super fun to watch for the kids' take on Valentine's Day.
4: Bob actually (S7e9)
This episode follows every single romantic subplot it could possibly find in the world of Bob's Burgers! So if there's one plot line you're not into (*ahem* Keira Knightley's plot in Love Actually) it's no big deal, because you can just wait for a better plot line to roll around (the prime minister and his employee, anyone?). The two main story threads involve Bob learning to dance to impress Linda and Tina having diarrhea all day while Jimmy Jr. is trying to get romantic with her at long last.
While I don't love the gross plot lines (this isn't the only episode centered around diarrhea lol), this episode still has a ton to offer. I mean, who wouldn't want to see Bob do a dance routine for Linda? Plus, you'll get to see lots of minor characters getting short moments to shine. Definitely don't miss this one!
3: v for valentine-detta (S8E8)
Jimmy Jr. has asked another girl out on a date, and put her photo in the picture frame Tina made him! (The audacity of men, right?) So Linda forfeits her "romantic" date (in a hot pink Hummer limo) with Bob to take her daughters out for a night of forgetting all about boys! The B plot literally only features Bob and Gene getting stuck in a ridiculous situation together (about 20 feet up in the air) and then bonding over it.
Of course we all love this episode, because . . . NAT! Everyone loves Nat Kinkle, the legendary limo driver etc., the "yes" gal, the only person Louise has ever truly respected. The night goes absolutely sideways at her egging on, and I love this episode for that. Plus, we almost never get to see Bob and Gene truly bonding, so that's nice as well. In the end, this episode is a great homage to all the non-romantic relationships in life that don't get their own special day.
2: can't buy me math (s5e11)
Who doesn't love a fake dating gone wrong trope? Tina and Darryl pretend to date so they can catch the attention of their actual crushes. Of course, Tina loses sight of the endgame and tricks herself into thinking she's into Darryl--when in fact, of course, she's only really into the concept of having a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Linda has planned several full days of Valentine's Day activities for her and Bob to take the pressure off the big day. And none of those activities are particularly . . . good, or fun, or romantic.
Y'all know by now I love the eighth graders, and this episode is no exception. The ridiculousness of Aziz Ansari's Darryl comes out in full force in this episode, and the kids are all over their charade. Watching two nerds fall in love gives all the rest of us hope. Besides that, it's fun to see Bob and Linda sort of fail to get in the Valentine's Day mood, just like every other year. Their activities end with a bang! (Not that kind of bang!) You simply gotta watch this gem of an episode.
1: My fuzzy valentine (s3e13)
This episode is particularly absurd, as the kids manage to convince Bob to let them skip school to help him track down Linda the perfect Valentine's Day present--a "love test-o-meter" that he remembers from their first date. The B plot in this episode is funnier than the A plot, as Linda is left alone in the restaurant all day and decides to host speed dating. Police Chief Bosco crashes the whole thing and turns it into a grim affair in which the participants confess terrible things about themselves to find someone who can stomach the worst of them. In classic Linda fashion, she doesn't let go of being in charge easily, and it ends with her stealing a cop's gun. Because, you know, she's just passionate.
There are a ton of reasons My Fuzzy Valentine makes the top of my list. It's the first Valentine's Day episode the show ever aired, so it has that really charming early-Bob's quality. I honestly think the earlier episodes are more absurd as well, which makes for excellent storytelling. Absolutely ridiculous, hilarious, and classic, this is by far my favorite Valentine's Day episode.
I absolutely adore the Bob's Burgers holiday specials, and the Valentine's Day ones are no exception. I plan to also compile a list of my favorite non-V-Day romantic episodes to help you get in the mood! (What mood? I certainly couldn't tell you.)
Which episode is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! And
Facts from Rosina Lippi-Green (in bold); embellishment by me.
All spoken language changes over time.
Language is constantly changing in so many ways. Slang comes and goes; industry jargon has to be expanded to accommodate new industry. Society is always shifting, and language must change with it. Can you imagine trying to have a conversation about your computer issues in Latin? You'd be hard pressed to convey the problem clearly and directly. Don't resist this change; instead, celebrate and embrace it!
All spoken languages are equal in linguistic terms.
From your perspective, you speak "normally" or maybe even "correctly." But from someone else's perspective in another location or culture, they are speaking "normally." Far in the northern United States, people speak differently from how they speak down south. Beyond that, certain age, gender, interest, ethnic (etc.) groups speak differently. Some individuals even speak differently in different situations (codeswitching). All of these different methods of speaking--these different dialects--are equally valid in linguistic terms. They all have grammatical systems (even if those systems don't match what you were taught in school), and they are all shared among a community. It's wrong to judge someone based on how they speak because it's wrong to consider one dialect as subordinate to another.
Grammatical and communicative effectiveness are distinct and separate issues.
In school, you (hopefully) learn some grammar to hone your writing skills. What you may not have learned is that the grammar of how you speak is completely different, and oftentimes spoken grammar is more creative with greater opportunity for variation. A great example of this is a classic from some African-American Vernacular English varieties: "Let me aks you a question." You may have learned the correct spelling "ask" for this word. It's important in writing to have this coded system of spelling to avoid large-scale miscommunications in industry, etc. But if someone were to say this sentence to you, you'd understand what they meant. That's all you need for "communicative effectiveness"-- to be understood.
TL;DR: It's not cool to be pedantic about how people speak if you understand them.
Written language and spoken language are historically, structurally, and functionally fundamentally different creatures.
Language is a biological imperative; all humans seek it, and if they're not provided it, they make it up. Writing is a learned skill. Why does this matter? While the brain is hardwired for language (like it's hardwired for eating), it is not hardwired for writing (like how it's not hardwired for algebra). Some people will be naturally skilled at writing and pick it up easily, but some other people might struggle with it their entire lives. Some people may even have a learning, physical, or other disability that prevents them from writing in some way or another. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or anyone else about your writing skills. Furthermore, don't apply the same rules you've learned for writing to the spoken word. They're not the same at all! If you listen closely, there are a ton of tiny differences and some pretty major differences between the two.
Variation is intrinsic to all spoken language at every level.
Variation in language is the norm, not the exception. When a language stops changing, it dies. Remember Latin. Remember its fate, now relegated to high school classrooms as reluctant children prepare for their SATs. Celebrate language's change around you, and be part of its journey!
Why does the dark gentle warmth of bed
give me the only true calm I’ve ever known?
Is it that bed is day’s open and close?
the revelatory jolt of awakening
the blissful surrender to sleep
Is it that bed resembles life’s open and close?
the one true safe space of my mother’s womb
the calm embrace of the grave
Is bed simply a peek into the future
into the blissful emptiness that awaits us all?
Why do I go to bed when
I’m sick of myself?
when I wish to no longer be a person?
Is it simply that bed
asks nothing of me?
Is it simply that bed
is the only thing in life that ever gives freely
What is the nature of the overwhelming
pull I feel to that liminal space?
Is it merely human’s innate desire for entropy
that makes me fall headfirst into your covers’ folds
and smash my face upon your downy pillows
and dig my feet into your springy surface
and lay there
until tomorrow’s bittersweet dawn?
Is bed’s appeal merely the swift entropy of falling
or is it what comes after--
Is it that bed would be there for me all day?
if I asked it to
if I needed it
if I felt I had no choice
Or is it simply that I am forced to live this life
that bed always seems sweeter than wherever I am?
Is it that bed is the only thing
that forgives me for being human
and lets me pretend I am otherwise?
Whenever I’d rather not exist
my bed is there to grant my wish.
YO Happy Legalization Day to all my Virginia friends! I still can't believe this is actually happening.
Learning about weed and realizing how much good it did for my mind and body was one of my first steps in realizing that I had been taught a lot of wrong things as a kid. For those who don't know, here is an article that outlines exactly how and why marijuana got the reputation it did in America almost a century ago. Heads up: This is not the only thing you've been lied to about by the government.
When I was in college, I got chronic terrible migraines, the kind that made any aspect of living impossible. I had medication that made me sick in other ways: one medication made me puke, another gave me a solid 4-5 hours of dizziness and mindfog before the migraine would eventually hopefully go away. Even sleeping through the migraine was a hard ask. The only relief I could get was weed; the only way I could endure my very strong medication was weed. When I awoke with a migraine, I would take my medication, smoke a bowl, and be able to go back to sleep until I would hopefully awake feeling better. On days when I couldn't just go back to bed, weed is what took the edge off enough that I could rise, dress, and get where I needed to go.
I've always had problems with my emotional processing (Cancer sign baby!). Throughout my life, the presence of my feelings has gotten in the way of me resolving interpersonal issues. You know -- I'd be ready to make nice, but my heart would still be burning with anger, embarrassment, etc. I have a really hard time getting rid of feelings once they're there, even if my mind is sensibly asking me to calm down. This emotional fire prevents me from being able to just let resolution happen. But weed helps me calm down and take a step back so I can approach conflict resolution in a way that's healthy and productive. When I feel the fire rising inside me, a bit of the other kind of fire helps me cool off.
I've met nearly all of my friends through weed, even those who no longer blaze. Weed is an inherently communal substance. It's better with friends. It lends itself to sharing. It's not expensive, it's not dangerous, it's not coveted, and so when there's some, it gets shared. Having weed in common is more than enough to start a new relationship even when you have nothing else in common. I appreciate and value all of the wonderful people that weed has brought into my life, not only in college (though particularly in college), but since then as well.
For over a decade, weed has been a pillar of my life. It's been part of my daily routine. It's helped me wind down after work, get over hangovers, sit through terrible movies, endure a year of self-isolation. I understand that some people don't like smoking weed, and some others are better off not smoking it. But I've been able to be an extremely high-functioning stoner for over a decade, and this is just who I am now.
For over a decade, one of the pillars of my life has been illegal. Buying weed illegally was infantilizing, humiliating, frustrating, time-consuming, and at times dangerous. It felt bad to be put in a position where I had to break the law to imbibe something natural, helpful, healthful -- and there's plenty of science behind that. It never made sense that I could legally black out from vodka shots but I couldn't legally medicate my migraines or vibe out on the couch with my friends. Furthermore, weed being illegal for so long has put me in the same room as a lot of people I would rather have never met -- you know, the kind of people who are super willing to traffic illegal substances.
When I went to my first dispensary in Denver, I cried. To be treated like a regular ass person making a legitimate purchase -- like blazing was a normal, everyday thing -- like I was an adult making informed and sensible decisions -- it totally changed my perspective. This isn't about a weed takeover. It's not about everyone being stoned off their asses all the time. It's about respect: respect for adults to make their own choices, and respect for the Earth and all the natural wonders provides for us.
I know I still have friends and family who have yet to unlearn all the anti-weed propaganda that's been plaguing our country for almost a century. I hope the legalization of this wonderful, multi-faceted herb helps to open people's eyes to all it can do for others, even if they personally don't like it.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.
I won’t mince words here:
BACKING UP YOUR WORK IS RIDICULOUSLY IMPORTANT.
In reality, there are no excuses for not backing your stuff up. It’s incredibly easy to do, and the pain of losing any amount of work is not worth the laziness.
When I worked on The Last Ginger, I was not good about saving. Last year my old laptop died with the entirety of my novel trapped on it, no recognizable draft in existence elsewhere. That was downright moronic of me.
Luckily I was able to grab the good old hard drive and all was well. But here I am a year later, and I accidentally saved my shiz in some funky format because I AM TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED. This time I lost a month’s worth of the painstaking, miniscule edits that are a part of the finalization process. (Shoot me in the face plz.)
Lesson learned, finally.
I don’t care how new your device is or how much technological prowess you have. If you value your craft and the words that flow from your fingers, you will protect what you create. Back the stuff up.
Here are ways to back up your files:
On an external hard drive. I have one Frankensteined from my old laptop ( ❤ RIP) that holds a billion everythings. As much as a computer holds.
On a flash drive. These are like two bucks man. They’re easily lost (which is my issue) but also easy to manage and have on you all the time. Get one. Or seven. They’re only two bucks man.
Google Drive or some other cloud-based service. The cloud is free, man. (I always feel like I’m trying too hard when I use the term “the cloud.”) Every single night before you rest your precious little head to rest, upload your stuff to your Google account. Even if you haven’t written that day. Just to stay in the habit.
On another device. I don’t know anything about any devices other than the ones I’ve already talked about!
Now go back up your damn files. Do you have a lost work horror story? Tell me in the comments!
I began reading this book having been told it was like Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. Even with those impossibly high comparisons, Dune blew my mind.
It’s the story of Paul, a duke’s son, whose family is sent to rule the desert planet of Arrakis. Arrakis has no water, no large civilizations — nothing but sand and spice, everyone’s favorite drug. When the duke is overthrown and replaced by his enemies, Paul hides out in the deep desert with the local Fremen and learns that the arid planet nicknamed Dune has many layers of meaning.
The people of Arrakis worship water, living their daily lives in suits designed to recycle their bodily moisture and rendering down their dead, because “The flesh belongs to the man; the water belongs to the tribe.” They live with a sort of desert mysticism, a science-cum-faith that indicates at a strong and ancient culture.
Paul himself is involved in a different sort of pseudo-magic. Trained by his mother since birth in the ways of the Bene Gesserit, a sisterhood whose ultimate purpose is mysteriously “to serve," Paul is skilled in extraordinary observation and manipulation. He is destined to be the Muad’Dib, the Lisan al-Gaib, the Kwisatz Haderach. He fulfills prophetic roles in more than one faith and develops the ability to see the future — although chaotically.
This is the basic story, but it’s as intricate as fantasy series powerhouses like A Song of Ice and Fire or Lord of the Rings. There’s so much I didn’t mention: the sandworms, the emperor, the Fremen, and all of the incredibly dynamic and unique characters. Only so much can be conveyed in a blog post.
The book was definitely as confusing as Lord of the Rings, where most of the time you know what’s going on and sometimes you just have to go along with the confusing stuff, and then when you’re almost at the end you realize there’s many appendices you could have been using the whole time. At times I had to reread passages or pages to make sure I understood or to confirm that I didn’t understand their meaning. However, very little of the story itself was lost to me on these little hiccups. And using the glossary definitely helps.
It’s hard to say what this book is like, because it’s unlike any other book I’ve read before. The Star Wars/Lord of the Rings comparison is good because aesthetically it definitely reminded me of Star Wars — the faded, clunky technology and peculiar landscapes and creatures. The story itself is more Lord of the Rings, inasmuch as it narrates the regaining of a lost throne, involves great journeys, and is so saturated in subtle mystics and complex fantasy cultures that the reader is sure the author has written much on the subjects that he hasn’t published.
All in all, read this book. If you like science fiction or fantasy, read this, as it certainly appeals to both categories. A story that will latch itself onto your heart; characters you love and mourn; layers of faith and feeling that will change how you see the world; an adventure unlike any other.
You sleep all day,
you sleep all night.
You sleep right through
the morning light.
You sleep right here;
you sleep over there,
You sleep all day
without a care.
You sleep on purses
And on laptops
You sleep on my
clean pants and tops.
You might try to awake
for a moment or two,
but soon you realize
you’re too sleepy to.
You sleep like a baby,
or rather, like a cat,
and the cat nap will become
a short baby nap.
You sleep on your back
Or tucked in a ball.
To all cats, a good sleep
and a good sleep to all.