I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.
- “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
- Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
- Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
- “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.
The fun part about being in meetings for five to seven hours of the workday means it flies by, often without even realizing how late in the day it is. Yeah, that’s the fun part.
- Coconut Oil: I feel a little bit like the dad from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” here when I champion how coconut oil is kind of a miracle cure. I’ve used it in the past to oil pull for whiter teeth, and a friend recently recommended it to heal a crispy sunburn. And with a nominal cost for a huge tub, I literally can’t get enough!
- Refinery 29 Money Diaries: To say I’m obsessed is an understatement. These peeks into anonymous women’s weekly spending is fascinating — they span all over the country (and some international locales), ranges of salaries, couples versus singletons, parents versus not, and so much more. Be warned, though: You will get hooked.
- “Crazy Rich Asians” – Kevin Kwan: With money on my mind, it’s no wonder I’ve fallen quickly in love with this fast read. The bestselling book will be released as a movie in August, so you have plenty of time to read it — and the subsequent two novels — before then. Enjoy!
- “Sorry Not Sorry” – Demi Lovato: This power anthem is yet another one for the breakup playlist, guys. I may not be turning into Demi anytime soon, but it’s a great reminder after heartbreak or even a friendship ending that you can stay true to yourself while still being strong.
Even though I read all day long as part of my job, I find myself grasping for more content to consume during my downtime. Whether it’s a rainy bus ride or relaxing before bed, I’ve been voraciously reading more long-form articles and novels than usual. For example…
- “Who Does She Think She Is?”: Acclaimed author Laurie Penny wrote this essay and I hope you’ll take the time to read it. Spoiler alert for my favorite passage: “…any woman … must find a way to dress which is neither too conservative nor too revealing, not too frumpy nor too frivolous, a way of speaking which is neither ‘aggressive’ nor simpering … It’s almost as if the problem weren’t the behavior or the voice or the clothes but the woman wearing them.” DAMN.
- “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma”: You’ve likely seen this essay from renowned author Junot Diaz shared among your social networks already, so I’m not breaking any ground here by reminding you to again, take the time to read it. The detail and decades of masked pain are heartbreaking and infuriating and excruciating all at once.
- “Keep Your Head Up”: Some co-workers were discussing addiction to technology via smartphones and other devices, when one mentioned this article from NYT contributor Adam Popescu. Granted, you have to read it on a device, but the irony was not lost on us. As much as I love the ability to FaceTime family and stay connected to loved ones, it’s also eye-opening to see what physical damage we’re causing on a daily basis.
- Mark Zuckerberg on SNL: When you need a break from all that weight of the world, this Weekend Update bit from SNL is sure to win. My work husband used it against me in a meeting today and I full on had a giggle fit in front of 20 people. So yeah, you could say it’s a good one. POKE!
Yesterday’s shooting at YouTube HQ hit close to home, as you can imagine. I’m grateful to report my handful of friends who work there are all safe, but it’s yet another example of this complex issue and our system’s failure to address it. I’m not one to stand on a soapbox but I also feel like we just continue to shout into the void. Distractions are sometimes necessary, and here’s what’s keeping my mind occupied otherwise:
- Rediscovering Volleyball: After many months of discussion with a few girlfriends, we’ve finally gotten a volleyball team together and had our first practice last night. It’s been at least eight years since I bumped, set or spiked — and my forearms are feeling it — but I’m pumped for the next 10 weeks of play. Game on!
- SF Walk to Work Day: Inspired by last night’s sweat sesh, I reignited my walking commute today. Perfect timing, as tomorrow is SF’s Walk to Work Day. Assuming the Pineapple Express storm of the century holds off, I’ll be sure to stop by the nearest freebie hub to celebrate. Hills be damned, who wouldn’t prefer a scenic walk over a crowded bus ride with strangers’ armpits in your face?
- “RuPaul’s Drag Race”: 10 seasons of Drag Race? You’re a winner, baby. It’s been interesting to see the evolution of this series, including the All-Stars spin-offs, and this season has no shortage of drama. The contestants, the challenges, the judges — I’m living for it all. Catch new episodes on Thursdays at 8pm ET, only on VH1.
- “Bad at Love” – Halsey: The enigmatic songstress was recently a judge on Drag Race, promptly reminding me to consume her discography. This current chart-topper is no stranger to being a fan favorite, and I’d bet that nearly every millennial has felt “bad at love” at some point in modern dating. Enjoy!
The past two weeks were a whirlwind between four flights, four cities and 5,000+ miles. To say I’m tired is an understatement, but it’s a first-world problem I’m grateful to have. Here’s what else I’m thankful for:
- “The Emperor’s Children”: A friend loaned me this 2007 bestseller recently, assuring me I’d enjoy the New York backdrop. She hit the nail on the head, as I quickly pieced together the story’s undercurrent and dreamed of fonder times in NYC. While it was slow to start (for me), I’d still recommend it to anyone in search of an emotionally charged novel.
- “Little Fires Everywhere”: Can you tell I’ve been on planes a lot lately? I devoured this new bestseller in two sittings, and only a little bit because it’s on tonight’s Book Club agenda. The characters are deeply flawed and perfectly human; the analogies are consistent; and the storylines are fascinating. I can’t wait to see what my girls thought of it, too.
- “Riverdale”: Not to worry; I’m not all books and brains over here. It took me forever to get on board with this sinister take of the classic comic books I so adored. But now that I’ve started, I’ve had a hard time stopping. The soundtrack, costuming and cinematography are just a few of the reasons I think you’ll enjoy it too.
- “Wolves” – Selena Gomez f. Marshmello: I wish I had a better reason for surfacing this song besides the fact that I like it. While I still get Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato confused, there’s no mistaking how much fun this bumping, sultry sound is. It’s perfect for a poolside playlist or weekend workout. And yes, all that alliteration was necessary to prove a point 😉
It’s been nearly seven years of these weekly lists, which all adds up to this being WO #THREE-FREAKING-FIFTY. While not every week’s post has been Pulitzer Prize-worthy, I hope you’ve each found one thing (or many) to obsess over yourself.
Whether it’s zen motivation or a song you’re playing on repeat, these four finds inspire me to keep writing, in some way, each and every week. Even when I’m sick or traveling or going through a tragedy, you all are the reason I keep this going every Wednesday.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading and commenting and making this little witty world possible.
Better late than never, right? I’m nothing if not great on a deadline, so let’s get right to it.
- Dad’s Birthday: I’ve learned in the last 4.5 years without my dad that the milestones and anniversaries don’t get any easier. Instead, they become this new normal you adjust to, and you find ways to get some semblance of peace among the pain. I raised a few glasses to Slick Rick last night, on what would have been his 68th birthday. Cheers and 143 always, Dad.
- St. Paddy’s Day: In true Irish form, we mourn a loss the same way we celebrate. This year, I’ll be at a wedding, but I have no doubt it’ll be a holiday to remember. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still love spending St. Paddy’s with good friends, good music and good beer. Slainte!
- Minneapolis: The wedding I’m attending is in the fair metropolis of Minneapolis, which I’m excited to explore for the very first time. The weather forecast isn’t ideal, but there are tons of breweries and local (inside!) hot spots to hit. If nothing else, this giant cherry and spoon sculpture is bound to give me some fascinating photos.
- “Meet Me in the Middle” – Zedd, Maren Morris + Grey: This earworm has been in my head nonstop for a few weeks now. If you recognize it from the Target commercials, you can blame them instead of me. (Fun fact: Target’s HQ is in Minneapolis!) Maren Morris’s voice is killer, and the hook gets me every damn time. I’m losing my mind just a little… if that doesn’t sum it all up, I don’t know what does.