Some Long-Distance Love

Galentine's Day

Courtesy of the official Parks and Rec Twitter account.

Happy Galentine’s Day, all you poetic noble land mermaids!

Leslie Knope was right (as always), Galentine’s Day should be a national holiday. It’s a day to celebrate female friendship in all its forms—from the sisterhoods we established in school to the best friends we found in fandom and all the love we’ve chosen and nurtured along the way.

And if ever there was a year when we needed Galentine’s Day—a day designed to remind us that friendship is a valid and essential kind of love, a day to reach out to the women in our lives to tell them we’re thinking of them and that they matter to us—it’s this year.

We’re all a little more isolated this year.

Last year, we found ways to connect—we had Zoom happy hours and FaceTime dates and coffees shared on porches or in parks. But this year, we’re all a little more tired, a little more burned out. So many of us have faced struggles even beyond the universally traumatic experience of living through a global pandemic for two years, and we bear the scars of it.

Connection is hard when you’re just trying to keep your head above water, when all you can think about is surviving from one day to the next or how you’re going to find the energy and strength to get out of bed in the morning.

Even on the Internet, the place where we should be connecting with more depth and enthusiasm than ever before, things have changed. Social media has become even more of a void we all just shout into, an increasingly negative space that so many of us have had to take breaks from for our own sanity.

Things are hard right now.

Loneliness and loss of connection is hard.

But there’s a difference between acknowledging that and staying in it. And today I refuse to stay in it.

So consider this my hand, reaching across the void to pat you on the shoulder or hold yours or offer you a hug or a cup of tea or a mimosa (fair warning: I make them strong).

I see you—whoever you are.

And I’ve got you.

Today, on this day to celebrate the power of women and the bonds we form with each other, I’ve got you. I’m here to remind you that your struggles are valid—no matter what they are. I’m here to celebrate your victories—no matter how small they may seem to you. And I’m here to remind you that even when things feel lonely and weird and hard, you are loved.

You are so loved.

Yes, this is obviously a love post (see the bottom of this post for how to play if you’ve never been around NGN for one!), but I know that’s not everyone’s favorite kind of content. So if you don’t want me to shower you personally with love today, please consider this a general blanket of comfort for all of us to snuggle under until things feel better.

I love all of you. NGN wouldn’t be what it is without all of you. I wouldn’t be who I am without all of you.

And no amount of time, distance, or global pandemics can change that.

I love you on the days you feel like a badass and the days you don’t want to get out of bed. I love you not for what you give to me and to everyone else, but for who you are. Because if you’re reading this post, chances are we’ve interacted in some way, and if we have, then I love you.

That’s just how my heart works.

So if you ever have days when you don’t feel loved, Bookmark this post, even if you choose not to leave a comment on it to get some specific love. Read it and remember that even if we don’t talk often or we’ve never met or we live thousands of miles apart, I love you. I see your struggles and your strengths, and I feel honored to call you part of this family. Because even one visit to NGN—if you come with an open heart—makes you part of the family.

Join the love today if you’d like, but if you’d rather just lurk and enjoy from afar, I hope you still know that today is a day I’m celebrating you. Because you deserve to be celebrated.

You deserve to be and feel loved.

That’s what today is all about.

Ladies celebrating ladies.

What a day to be alive.

**For anyone new to a Love Post, here’s how it works: Make a comment on this post with your username (and things like your Twitter or your Tumblr URL if you feel like people might know you better by those identifiers). Then, sit back and let others reply, telling you how much and why they love you. Finally, if you want to, you can share the love! Reply to your friends’ comments on this post and tell them how awesome you think they are.

Even if you’ve never posted at NGN before or think no one will know or remember you, leave a comment. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

Fangirl Thursday: NGN’s Holiday Love Post 2016!

There’s no denying that 2016 has been a hard year. There are plenty of valid reasons to want to stay in bed and just wait out these last few weeks, hoping for the best (but probably expecting the worst) for 2017. But if there was ever a time of year to try to salvage what’s left of 2016, it’s the holiday season—the time when we’re reminded that joy and hope can be found in even the smallest acts of kindness and love.

With that in mind, I wanted to bring back a little exercise in spreading joy that I started last year and really want to turin into a holiday tradition around these parts. That’s right, friends; it’s time for a LOVE POST!

I love you Winston

What’s a love post? Here are the basic instructions as I remember them from my old LiveJournal days: Make a comment on this post with your username (and things like your Twitter or your Tumblr URL if you feel like people might know you better by those identifiers). Then, sit back and let others reply, telling you how much and why they love you. Finally, share the love! Reply to your friends’ comments on this post and tell them how awesome you think they are, or finally tell that one commenter you really respect how insightful you think their thoughts are.

Will a love post magically fix everything that’s gone wrong this year? Of course not. But it can help all of us find and share a little happiness as we get ready to end this year and start a new one. And if this post can brighten even one person’s day, then my mission will be accomplished.

I’ll kick off the comments to show you how to get things started, and I hope this post is filled with love and happiness by the end of the day. Because, as the Fraggles taught me:

When you’re giving love away
Love will come again to stay
What you give is what you gain
When you pass it on


Fangirl Thursday: Let’s Have a Love Post!

I can’t be the only one who feels like things have felt a little bleaker than normal in our little corners of fandom this TV season. Even some of the shows we turn to for escape, fun, and happiness have taken very dark turns. For a while, I was really letting the overwhelmingly sad tone of the media I’ve been consuming take its toll on me. But then I realized that just because the things I’m watching feel dark; it doesn’t mean I have to let it darken my outlook on everything. It’s even more of a reason to shine whatever light I have more brightly.

As such, I’ve decided it’s time to spread a little love and joy at the start of the holiday season. And what better way to do that than an old-fashioned LOVE POST!

If any of you are or were active on LiveJournal at some point in your fandom history, you might know what love posts are all about. If not, here’s a quick rundown of the very basic rules of the game: Make a comment on this post with your username (and things like your Twitter or your Tumblr URL if you feel like people might know you better by those identifiers). Then, sit back and let others reply, telling you how much and why they love you. Finally, share the love! Reply to your friends’ comments on this post and tell them how awesome you think they are, or finally tell that one commenter you really respect how insightful you think their thoughts are.

Love posts are a great way to make new friends and strengthen existing fandom friendships (I think I owe LJ love posts a lot for allowing Heather and I to grow as close as we are today).

I’ll kick off the comments to show you how to get things started, and I hope this post is filled with love and happiness by the end of the day. Let’s have some fun today making the world a brighter place—one virtual hug at a time.

I love you Winston

Fangirl Thursday: A Thankful Heart

I know Thanksgiving isn’t until next week for those of us living in the U.S., but posting on the holiday itself is never very convenient—even if it does always fall on a Fangirl Thursday. Besides, you shouldn’t have to limit your expressions of gratitude to one turkey-stuffed day each year. And I have far more than a week’s worth of things to be thankful for anyway.

I write the words “thank you” a lot. I write them so much that—to some—they might seem like meaningless filler or something I just say to say something. But I hope you know those words have never lost their weight for me—no matter how many times I write them. I write them so much because hardly a day goes by (and sometimes hardly a minutes goes by) without me experiencing a rush of gratitude. I mean those words with all my heart every single time I write them. Thank you.

I’ve always said that running NGN is a labor of love, and I’m thankful for both the labor and the love. I’m thankful that it is challenging and scary and exhausting sometimes to run this site. Because that’s when I know it matters—when it’s more than just some writing I do for fun. And it’s those moments that remind me to always look for the love, to look for the reasons I started NGN in the first place. And I always find those reasons. I always find that love. And I am so grateful that something I love so much and care so deeply about has become something other people love and care about, too. My writing goal is always to make people feel less alone in their intense love for the things they care about. And it turns out that’s exactly what all of you who visit NGN are doing for me.

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Fangirl Thursday: What’s a Must-Watch For Your Halloween?

With Halloween right around the corner, it seemed fitting to have this week’s Fangirl Thursday post be an ode to all the spooky or silly (or maybe both?) movies or TV shows that you simply can’t miss during this time of year.

I will freely admit that I am not a horror movie fan. I’m the world’s biggest chicken when it comes to scary movies, so my tastes lean much closer to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown than The Exorcist. I think this is also the time to fess up to the fact that I still have yet to see Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas, two Halloween classics. (Someone please tell me where I go to turn in my nerdy girl card after admitting that.)

While I’m not one for most traditional Halloween media, I do love some staples of the season: the aforementioned It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a favorite of mine, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have been known to enjoy The Rocky Horror Picture Show at this time of year (especially when I was in college).

However, most of my Halloween favorites come from the world of television. I’m a sucker for any and all of the Halloweentown movies from The Disney Channel, and I’m sure one of those will be on in my house at some point this weekend. But I’m also a huge fan of Halloween episodes of TV shows—from the ones that are completely themed to the holiday (Castle’s “Demons”) to the ones that have Halloween as merely a backdrop to some of my favorite moments in TV history. (I’m looking at you, “Halloween Surprise” from Parks and Recreation.)

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It Feels Like Christmas!

On this Christmas Eve, I would like to wish all of you and your loved ones a truly Merry Christmas. May your holiday season be filled with family, friends, good food, and enough laughter to burn all the calories from that good food. My wish for you isn’t just that Santa fills your stockings with good gifts; it’s that the warmth of this time of year fills your heart with hope and happiness. And it’s my hope that the spirit of love that Christmas is truly all about stays with you for the whole year.

From our NGN Family to yours, may the joy, peace, and childlike wonder of Christmas be with you today and always.


TV Time: The Mindy Project 3.11



Title Christmas

Two-Sentence Summary When Mindy is offered the chance at a Stanford teaching fellowship, both she and Danny are faced with difficult choices. Meanwhile, office Christmas party shenanigans abound, including a case of mistaken identity for Morgan.

Favorite Line “Doctors tend to think of compassion as a liability, not an asset, which is what makes Dr. Mindy Lahiri so truly exceptional among her peers. Her passion to help is a constant reminder of why we all first wanted to practice medicine. Of all her skills, her most impressive is her single-minded devotion to those in her care. Her only flaw that I can think of is that sometimes she doesn’t realize what a great doctor she really is.” (Danny’s letter of recommendation)

My Thoughts Don’t you just love it when shows can still surprise you? No show zigs when I think it’s going to zag like The Mindy Project, and I love that about it. I went into “Christmas” with a lot of reservations about what could happen in this episode, especially with so many previous episodes hinting at this as a make-or-break moment for a proposal. Never in a million years could I have guessed that my reservations would have been addressed as well as they were in this episode, with a romantic gesture far more satisfying than a rushed proposal and a Christmas gift perhaps even better than the one Danny got for Mindy last year. (Although I’m still not sure anything could ever really top that.)

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The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (11/30 – 12/7)

This week in television featured a lot of shows gearing up for their winter finales, as well as plenty of holiday fun. On Sunday, Once Upon a Time gave us an hour filled with emotional reunions and even more emotional farewells, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine gave all of us Jake/Amy shippers a new sense of hope. Monday’s Castle had a fun action-move A-plot, but it will be remembered for its B-plot, which saw Beckett say goodbye to the apartment where she rebuilt her life. Tuesday’s New Girl gave us some more insight into Jess and Cece’s friendship, and The Mindy Project gave us some real character growth for Mindy. Wednesday’s Nashville Christmas episode was the relative calm before what looks to be a stormy midseason finale, and Friday brought out my generation’s nostalgic side with Girl Meets World‘s Christmas special.

There were a plethora of great moments to choose from this week when picking my favorite: Anna saying her wedding vows to Kristoff thinking they were about to die on Once Upon a Time, Mindy’s assertion that she would be fine without Danny if he didn’t want her as much as she wanted him on The Mindy Project, Juliette and Avery finally flirting again on Nashville

The moment that made me the happiest this week, though, came from an unexpected place: The Disney Channel. Girl Meets World‘s Christmas episode was a wonderful little dose of joyful nostalgia at a time of year when we all want to feel like kids again. Seeing Mr. and Mrs. Matthews and Shawn join Cory and Topanga for Christmas celebrations was enough to keep me smiling from ear to ear for 30 minutes. The episode told some pretty honest truths about growing up and becoming adults, but it did it in the charming way that Boy Meets World always approached its life lessons. And if you grew up watching Boy Meets World, there was no way you could watch Shawn and Cory reunite and not be swept up in the pure joy of lifelong friendship all over again.

What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?

Fangirl Thursday: An Underrated Christmas Classic


We all have a favorite holiday movie that we love with all our hearts, despite it being seemingly unknown by most people. It makes watching that movie even more special, like you have a holiday tradition few others could appreciate, a little hidden gem of Christmas joy.

My hidden gem of holiday joy is A Muppet Family Christmas. No, it’s not the same as A Muppet Christmas Carol—although I love that movie, too. A Muppet Family Christmas is a TV movie first aired in 1987 that features all of the classic Muppets, Sesame Street gang, and Fraggles visiting Fozzie Bear’s mom for Christmas during a snowstorm.

Most people don’t know this made-for-TV special exists, but those who do cherish it for the gift it is. My sister and I have to watch it at least once every Christmas season, but we can be heard quoting it and referencing it all year (especially telling people to “Look out for the icy patch!’). From interactions between Big Bird and the Swedish Chef to small talk between Ernie, Bert, and Doc, this is a mash-up of some of the most beloved characters of not just my generation but ones before and after me, too.

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Fangirl Thursday: Feeling Thankful

On this day set aside for giving thanks, I wanted to take a moment to once again count my fangirl blessings. I have so much to be grateful for as the creator of this website, a website that continues to fill me with joy, pride, and excitement every day. After over two years captaining the good ship NGN, I am grateful for the fact that this little labor of love has grown so much and yet still feels as deeply personal as it did the day I started it.

When I take a step back and look at NGN, more than anything I am grateful for the people who have made this website a place that I am so proud to call mine. Because, for as much as I say NGN is mine; it’s really yours, too. All of you who comment here and so generously share your thoughts and feelings have created a space that feels like a home and a family for so many fellow fans who haven’t felt that in a long time—if ever—myself included.

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