How to Write a Michael Crichton Novel

NY Daily News Obit Image

  1. Have a great idea.
  2. Do tons of research.
  3. Write the story in serviceable prose.
  4. Include just enough xenophobia to ruin it.
  5. Hit bestseller lists; sell movie rights; make millions.
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…and Repeat It

ShopRuche joins the fray:

90s jacket

My mom had this jacket in 1993. I believe if you put your hands in the pockets, you will find candy wrappers, Cheerios crumbs, crumpled receipts, and in the hole down into the lining, her lost driver’s license.

Nope nope nope. Though if history does repeat itself in full–I do remember in 5th grade declaring I would *never* wear pants that weren’t tapered (a declaration prompted by our teacher telling us that bell bottoms would be coming back in style). A few years later, I too was rocking the flares.

(PS–this model looks like Lizzy Caplan)

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Doomed to Repeat It

wth, ModCloth:

90s pants

Seinfeld and Frasier are on Netlix now. Watch and learn: the early 90’s were not kind to women’s fashion. Except for Daphne. Daphne always rocked the bodysuits. That is one item I’d welcome back (although my husband told me he didn’t want or need to know if I was wearing one of those “onesie thingies”).

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Life Hack, no. 2

If you have ever wished you could drink crushed-up Smarties, try the Berry flavor of La Croix sparkling water.

I have never wished this myself, but to each their own. In 7th grade, I watched as my classmates took turns snorting crushed-up Smarties during downtime in gym. So this is for them, to recall their glory days.

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The Myth of the Ballet Body (aka Dancer’s Body)

Many workout routines claim that by following their prescribed regimen of exercises, you can achieve the long, lean limbs, slender torso, minimal hips, and small, lifted buns of a professional dancer. Some of these routines are in fact excellent workouts. They promote good posture and will strengthen and shape (to their natural tendency) your muscles–for example, Ballet Body and The Bar Method. Some of these routines are unhealthy–they may cause injury, and the recommended diets are unrealistic (coughTracyAndersoncough). All of these methods have one thing in common, though:

Ballet Body series by Leah Sarago

they are lying. The Ballet/Dancer’s Body is a fabrication of the ballet world. There is the body that the ballet world has aggressively selected for. And there are the natural body types of anyone who has danced, disciplined, for years. Those are two different entities.

There was a wonderful documentary on Tanaquil LeClercq last year on PBS. I think they stated that it was her body type that started the trend towards its current aesthetic.

Tanaquil LeClercq

If you are happy with your body type and not easily swayed, this argument will not be news to you. But I think most women with a pear shape aren’t happy with it, and promises to change our entire shape into long and lean is like the sweet tune of a Pied Piper striking us directly in the spot in our brain that has the stamina of jello. But if you weren’t born with a long, lean shape and minimal hips, I’m afraid the “dancer’s body” will never be yours.

The Pennsylvania Ballet

If you have watched figure skating, this isn’t news: Miki Ando and Sasha Cohen weren’t training in drastically different conditions, yet their bodies, if confined to this myth, would have you believe that Miki was doing 200 pound leg presses and Sasha was doing dainty tondues.

Similarly, if you’re a fan of So You Think You Can Dance, perhaps you recall the Season 5 penultimate episode. The top 2 girls were Kayla Radomski and Jeanine Mason. Both were contemporary dancers (with training in other styles). Yet Kayla has the classical slim “Dancer’s Body” while Jeanine has a pear shape. This is no criticism of Jeanine–she won (although my favorite was Janette Manrara).

As frustrating as Nigel & Co can be, at least they don’t choose only those body types that conform to the stereotype. In fact, I am continually surprised that they defy another stereotype and routinely choose some shorter men.

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Life Hacks, no. 1

Wear ankle weights all day. When you remove them in the evening, you will feel so light and lithe you will hardly believe it******.

Sproing new outfit

*This photo is from 6 years previous and does not reflect actual physical ability after removing ankle weights.

**No studies, reports, or doctors were consulted in the making of these claims.

***Do not try if you have weak ankles, weak legs, or really anything at all, I have no credibility and this is mostly a joke but I do have a sample size of one.

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