OK, people: I don’t know what it is with my immune system, but I’m (once again) fighting a head cold and idk, maybe I’m allergic to San Francisco?
It’s very possible, since I find myself sneezing and coughing more than ever here — and that’s counting rainy Florida seasons and winters in New York.
Maybe it’s age? Maybe it’s allergies? Maybe she’s born with it?
You can see my loopiness setting in already.
And since Pete + Ariana are over, Halloween is still A WEEK away and I already binged all of “Making a Murderer” Part 2, here’s a compilation you’ll have to use in place of my regularly entertaining, witty commentary:
Prepare to be overly stimulated this week. Don’t say I didn’t warn you:
- Hurricane Michael Relief: In case you haven’t heard, this deadly storm raged across Florida last week and was the most powerful storm to hit the continental US in 50 years. Thousands are without power, many without supplies or even a home to go back to now. I donated directly to a friend organizing a drive (@JessicaLauther on Venmo), but you can also support via United Way Worldwide and more. Every bit helps these people in need.
- Boss’s Day: Without sounding like a totally insensitive douche canoe during this transition, I have to acknowledge my incredible team for their Boss’s Day wishes yesterday. I was showered with appreciation from my small-but-mighty team of 10, and have already put their thoughtful gift to good use. I’m grateful every day to be surrounded by such talented and creative people, and this was yet another reminder of how caring they are, too. Thanks, team!
- “A Simple Favor”: I’m often behind the trend on new movies because I don’t like crowds and am super snobby about picking my seat at the theatre. ← See what I mean? I just saw this twisted, darkly humorous take on the Darcey Bell novel and I was floored. Kendrick and Lively make for quite the pair, with outstanding supporting performances by Golding, Rannells and Smart(!). Do yourself a favor and see it.
- “Shallow” – Lady Gaga + Bradley Cooper: You can’t have gone anywhere the past month without hearing about “A Star Is Born,” Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Bradley Cooper’s dog or this heart-wrenching song. While I have yet to see the movie (remember, I don’t like crowds), I dare you to listen and not get goosebumps. I feel fortunate to have seen Lady Gaga perform when she was in SF last year, and I would pay every damn penny over again to hear her live another time. Uh-may-zing.
If you’re a word nerd like me, there’s no doubt you’ll love these finds:
- “Turtles All the Way Down” – John Green: As you can imagine, I had plenty of reading material to get through during 11+ hours of flights last week. Bestselling author John Green does it again with this intriguing and unabashed introspection of mental health, adolescence and family bonds.
- “Money Diaries” – Lindsey Stanberry: You already know I love Refinery29’s Money Diaries so it’s no wonder I was full-on pumped for this compilation of firsthand stories and financial advice. From paying off loans to buying a home, it’s a must-have for making cents of complicated topics. You’re welcome.
- “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life” – Samantha Irby: The always hilarious Irby does it again with this array of personal essays. It’s completely normal to burst out laughing in the middle of an airport, right? Nothing to see here, just pure enjoyment and entertainment from these ridiculous real-life stories.
- “2002” – Anne-Marie: If you listened to the radio 16 years ago, I can guarantee you’ll love this ode to throwback tunes. From Nelly to *NSYNC and everything in between, Anne-Marie has you covered.
Are you ready for a wild ride? Don’t say I didn’t warn you:
- “Girls’ Trip”: It’s no surprise to see a star-studded cast of Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish straight-up slay the female buddy comedy genre. I finally watched this last weekend and laughed, cringed and guffawed the whole way through. I won’t be that girl (Kate Walsh’s character) but seriously, you must see it.
- “The Last Black Unicorn” – Tiffany Haddish: Inspired by Miss Haddish’s performance (and unforgettable SNL episode), I borrowed a copy of her bestselling memoir. Again, I laughed, I cringed, I was gobsmacked. She writes so honestly and from the heart, and you can’t help but read it in her signature style. Do yourself a favor and get a copy ASAP.
- “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” – Michelle McNamara: By now, you’ve likely heard about the infamous Golden State Killer and his capture, thanks to a national DNA database and unrelenting detectives. One such person was Michelle McNamara, who compiled decades of evidence and information to inspire others to theorize and piece clues together. Her book was published posthumously, just a few months before the killer was named. Seriously, this is one you won’t want to miss.
- “Making a Murderer” Returns: Hold onto your hats and get ready for the next season of this binge-worthy true crime series. The gripping, thrilling documentary sheds a harrowing light on the criminal justice system, its faults and failings. I’m setting my calendar now for the season to come back October 19.
It’s nothing short of a miracle for me to post this before midnight on my coast. A comedy of errors and issues got me here, but I’m keeping my promises:
- Phantom of the Opera: I’d never had the pleasure of seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning show until this past weekend. $40 rush tickets were certainly motivating, but I was in awe of the spectacular special effects, costuming, set design and, of course, talented cast. It’s a must-see before it leaves SF on the 30th.
- “The Heart Is a Shifting Sea” – Elizabeth Flock: After my last breakup, a good friend recommended I read this true tale of three couples in Mumbai, India. The relationships are complex and fascinating, with cultural and religious considerations, countless characters, and the root of love growing in various ways.
- “Mindhunter”: I’m not the last person on earth to binge this Netflix series, but I might be close. After the umpteenth friend urged me to watch, I finally got hooked on this look at the early days of FBI investigators interviewing serial killers — such early days they called them “sequence killers.” It’s chilling, gripping and fascinating all at once.
- Copy Me That: While I’m no Top Chef myself, I do enjoy browsing other’s recipes for quick and easy, yet flavorful meals. My sister-in-law introduced me to this handy app, which combs through the (lovely, but lengthy) personal novels and gets right to the ingredients. It can even create shopping lists from the stored recipes and find new ones based on the ingredients you’re getting. BAM!
There are approximately 1,913 running through my head right now, but nothing could stop me from posting tonight. At the top of the list is one main thing: National Suicide Prevention Week.
It shouldn’t take high-profile deaths to shine a light on the deep problem affecting millions each year. But I’m relieved to see more information and conversation happening around mental health, depression and measures to prevent suicide rates from rising.