Last week, I took a whirlwind 36-hour trip to Oklahoma to film a video for BlogHer at the Pioneer Woman's ranch. I wasn't sure what to expect: of Oklahoma, of the Pioneer Woman, of her ranch, or even of Karen, with whom I was going to be shooting the video and---way more awkwardly---sharing a two-hour car journey from the airport. But guess what? I was totally worrying for nothing! No surprise there: ninety percent of the time I usually am.
Let's start with Karen. I kind of want to move in with Karen, if her husband and daughter don't mind. She was so funny that within three minutes of us being on the road together---we were given an SUV into which I could have fit my entire San Francisco apartment and probably two or three of my neighbor's rooms as well---we were cackling with laughter and I was silently plotting how I could secretly get us to wear those BFF necklaces where each person takes half of the heart (she could have BE FRIE and I would have ST NDS. Could I sneak it into her cereal in the morning?)
Arriving at the ranch after a couple of hours on the road, we met up with Jenny, who welcomed us to Oklahoma. "Oooh," I said, looking around. "Ree's house is lovely!"
"This isn't Ree's house," said Jenny. "This is the guest house. Welcome to The Lodge."
Well, then I kind of wanted to give The Lodge a BE FRIE / ST ENDS necklace too.
Look at this place! Don't you want to give it all up and run away and live there?
Man, best idea ever: I should totally just have posted these pictures last week after we closed and been all "Surprise! This is our new house!"
Anyway, this was the porch at The Lodge:
And this was the view:
And this---be still my heart!---was the pantry:
Ladder! Ladder in the pantry! IS THIS HEAVEN?
The next day, we started shooting our video:
As you can see, I talked with my hands a lot. Who knew I talked so much with my hands?
Or maybe I was just throwing gang signs? West side!
My favorite part of the whole shoot---which started about 8am with hair and makeup and ended around noon after we'd chatted ourselves silly---was how you'd just be sitting there on the couch, upholding your end of a serious discussion and trying not to talk too much with your hands, and someone would come over quickly and smooth your hair or touch up your face with powder or give you a quick spritz of hairspray. It was the most surreal thing ever. I had a brief and fleeting insight into how it must feel to be Oprah.
Observe how I gaze adoringly at Karen while trying to plot how to move in with her. Note how Ree is having her hair brushed between takes by Beth, one half of our fantastic hair and makeup team. (The other half was Donna, who flashed her boob at Karen while doing her makeup. I never got the complete story why, but I went afterwards and she didn't flash it at me.)
Our video goes live next week and I can't wait to show it to you. We had so much fun making it and Ree was a wonderful hostess with a really dry sense of humor that I really hadn't expected. She also fed us this salad that totally changed my life. I mean, I came home and spent eight bucks on sesame oil so I could make it myself that weekend, and I'm pretty sure there's not another grocery store item on which I've ever spent eight whole bucks. And no, whatever, wine doesn't count.
More photos from Oklahoma and the ranch right here. I promise to stop talking so much with my hands.