Story time! A few years ago, on a very important milestone type birthday (we’ll say it was my 21st) (it wasn’t), my lovely mother decided that she was going to send me and a friend on a trip together to celebrate. Since Anastasia Beaverhausen and I have the same birthday (mid-July is where it’s at for birthdays), I asked her to accompany me to Los Angeles and San Diego. I’d been to L.A. once for about a day on the way to San Franscisco, and AB had never been to California at all, so we were very excited.
In preparation for this trip, we did much research on important topics like taking a studio tour, locations where we could drive and feel like we were rich for a little while, and food. You know, the crucial stuff. The most important part, however, was the map and detailed instruction that got us from our hotel in Beverly Hills (!!) to Van Nuys, to the small tucked away studio where they film The Office. Because what we wanted out of this trip, right up there with dipping our toes in the Pacific Ocean, was to take a picture in front of Dunder Mifflin and possible spy some of the cast.
Sadly, we did not get to see Dunder Mifflin. It turns out that the studio is in a part of town where I was fairly certain we were going to get shot, and there was a guard posted at the beginning of the street. He was a perfectly nice guard, and he might have let us drive back there based on the sheer fact that we didn’t look like we were packing heat, but I got so flustered by the locale and the unexpected guard that I blurted out, “Oh, we just need to turn around! We were… looking for something. And this isn’t it. Sorry!” Thus ended our stalking of the cast (for that day, at least), but I have never ceased to love them. I love the show The Office, but even more, I love the cast. They seem like such funny, smart, down to earth people who are dorkily smitten with their show, and my secret dream is to be friends with all of them.
That’s probably why I loved Mindy Kaling’s book so much – reading it felt meeting a new friend who shares all their big stories, little stories, and day to day quirks with you. Of course, Mindy’s big stories are things like how she moved to New York to become a comedy writer and how she eventually became a writer/producer/actor/director on The Office. But the charm of Mindy Kaling is that she’s so funny and real that she makes her totally awesome life accessible to the rest of us – like even though she’s got a killer job in L.A., she’d still dish with those of us who aren’t walking the red carpet. Because most of the time, she isn’t either. As a person whose favorite part of any celeb magazine is the page where movie stars are shown at the grocery store with no makeup and their hair in a messy bun, this book was obviously right up my alley.
If you’re an Office fan, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy, because she devotes an entire chapter to the show and many of her stories feature her nemesis, Rainn Wilson. But even if you aren’t a fan of the show, I think most anyone would enjoy this lighthearted look at Mindy’s life. A few highlights that I personally loved:
- A collection of self portraits from her Blackberry, because… come on. We all have these.
- Each and every story she told about her childhood. Trust me, you’ll love it.
- A list of things every guy should wear. YES.
- The whole Office chapter, but in particular all of the stuff about the writer’s room shenanigans. Also the picture of her with my TV boyfriend, John Krasinski*, cracking up in the middle of a take.
- That one part where she says she prefers to write while looking like she’s recovering from tuberculosis. I think I snorted Coke out of my nose at that one and the accompanying picture.
- The cupcake story. Oh Mindy, we’ve all been there.
This isn’t heavy duty reading, but it’s fun and well written and you’ll put it down with a smile on your face. And sometimes, that’s all I really need out of a book.
*Dear Emily Blunt, I’m sorry. He was my TV boyfriend long before he was your husband. I promise not to go crazy stalker on him or anything, but I’m not ready to give him up as TV boyfriend just yet (though every time John hangs out with George Clooney, Zachary Levi does edge closer to that top spot). I hope you understand. P.S. We have an index of searches on this site, so if I see “people who want to marry my husband John Krasinski” pop up, I’ll know this message was received.