Before we jump into this week’s four finds I have to take a moment and celebrate: Today’s post marks the FOUR-HUNDREDTH WO!! That’s right, you get a double exclamation celebration! It’s hard to believe this concept and ultimately, this blog, has been around so long, but it wouldn’t be possible without your support. Cheers to that!
- “Bodega Bathroom”: Not an actual bodega bathroom, no. But the hilariously oddball and perfectly fantastic sketch from last week’s SNL. John Mulaney’s past hit of “Lobster Diner” meets its match with this all-out musical marathon. Words won’t do it justice. Just watch.
- Luke Perry: On a much more serious note, actor Luke Perry died Monday after suffering a massive stroke just days before. He was 52. And while I’ve certainly enjoyed his resurgence with his role on “Riverdale,” I could never forget how instrumental he was for all us “90210” and “What I Like About You” fans. I can’t imagine how the Perry family feels with such a devastating shock.
- Lent: There’s no easy segue to the next topic on my mind, as the Lenten season is upon us. I’m holding out for tonight’s 7:30 mass and looking forward to one of my all-time favorite choral songs, “Ashes.” No matter what you sacrifice or start doing (or if you don’t celebrate at all), I’m wishing you peace, love and joy over the next 40 days.
- “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” – Thomas Rhett f. Little Big Town: You know when you hear a song that speaks to you on just about every level? This does that for me. Partially because it mentions Wednesdays, partially because there’s a shout-out to my hometown (DAYTONA!), partially because Thomas Rhett is a national treasure. He debuted this and another song on SNL, giving my fave show yet another leg up.
Re: Ariana and Pete’s engagement, I’m still processing this information and have so many questions about two people I’ve never met. Don’t @ me.
As I try to unpack that, I think it’s only fitting you take a trip down memory lane with these longtime (2 years?) friends and newfound lovers.
…That was the only sketch I could find. So here’s some other Ariana-only highlights:
I’m gonna tell you straight: I had a 9-hour safety training today, so pls excuse any typos. Now wouldn’t that be a great email signature “sent from my iPhone”?
- Remembering Kate Spade: The tragic news of Kate Spade’s apparent suicide sent shock waves in my circles yesterday. How could someone who seemingly had it all take their own life? As of this writing, I don’t know exactly what mental health or other struggles Spade endured. I do know, though, her legacy won’t soon be forgotten. For more, read one author’s take on what she meant for women. As always, if you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources available. Including me ❤
- “Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-Loop, Zig-Zagging Journey to Adulthood” – Mari Andrew: You may have followed author and artist Mari Andrew’s doodles for years on Instagram; or you may have just learned of her work with her annual, viral Mother’s Day illustration (or you may be just hearing of her now). In any case, her debut book illuminates more of Andrews’s personal life, coupled with those oh-so-relatable drawings and doodles.
- Mari Andrew in SF: After I myself became familiar with her work in 2016 with this Identifying the Problem post, I knew I just had to learn more about this Mari Andrew woman. The day has finally come and I’m super pumped for her event tonight at the JCC in SF. I may secretly check the Warriors/Cavs score but am otherwise thrilled to have the chance to hear her speak about #HowToAdult.
- “No Tears Left to Cry” – Ariana Grande”: I’m still on the fence about her new relationship with Pete Davidson (don’t even get me started on ScarJo-CoJo’s), but it’s impossible to escape this bop so here we are. The always intriguing, incredibly talented Grande puts out an earworm like no other and this latest offering is no exception.
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!
OK, party people: I know we’re all feeling like 2017 is never going to freaking end, and the 25 days until Jan. 1 are going to take forever.
Lest we forget how eager we were for this year, though? “It has to be better,” we said. Ha! How foolish. In this 24-hour news cycle and constant need to publish our opinions about such news, there is no escaping it. I do my best to keep off a soapbox, particularly when it comes to social media. I’ve found the fine folks at SNL can often turn my clusterf— of floating thoughts into easily consumable content.
And since I’m driving the bitter bus from Taggart and Leavitt going to FSU; Trump and the RNC choosing party over public safety; and the late-night, last-minute tax deal I’ll just urge you all to take a little journey.
Even if you’ve seen it before, I suggest you pack your bags for a revisit:
The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I couldn’t be happier today. Confession: That’s all a lie but if I keep telling myself it’s true, then it’ll all be OK, right? Right.
- Reformer Pilates: I had my first-ever turn at reformer pilates last weekend, thanks to a new friend, who happens to be a super fit instructor. The machines helped me stretch beyond my wildest dreams, and I felt lengthened and strengthened — while also relaxed. I’ll definitely be returning for another class soon. Pro tip: Don’t try this the day after an abs boot camp 😉
- Sweetbitter: This novel kept popping up on Goodreads, but I bought it late last year without ever committing. The good news: It’s a very quick read, with lots of characters and a peek into the (fictional) NYC restaurant world. The bad: I didn’t find the main character particularly likeable, and all of the food talk made me so, so hungry! Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
- Aziz Ansari Hosts SNL: This may be premature praise, but Aziz Ansari will host this week’s SNL and I couldn’t be more excited. Modern Romance was one of the best books I’ve read in recent years, and I thoroughly enjoyed his Treat Yo’self bourgie boy Tom Haverford on “Parks & Recreation,” plus his brainchild on Netflix, “Master of None.” Don’t disappoint me, Aziz. Pleeease.
- “Starboy” – The Weeknd: It’s pretty rare that I like a song based on beat alone, without even bothering to hear or understand the lyrics. Well, The Weeknd has me hooked — despite my initial resistance after a fellow Halloween reveler insisted it be played on repeat. I’ve come around and now find myself bopping along mindlessly.
Unrelated, but I’ve recently made my personal Twitter account public, so I’ll be deleting the blog’s Twitter account. No sense managing two, right? Follow wittyburg before I delete wittyburgblog on Feb. 1!
After five packed days back in NYC, it’s safe to say it’s a good thing I no longer live there. My skin, liver, wallet and waistline desperately needed a break from the city that never sleeps. Side note: I, too, apparently never sleep while there. Good thing I’ve got an SNL-laden tribute this week to keep spirits high in my disoriented state.
- Trump’s Halloween “Apprentice” Promo: OK, so this is obviously a throwback to when Darrell Hammond was the king of impersonating Donald Trump, and not Alec Baldwin. It’s kind of eerie to watch it back now, as Trump is now one of our candidates for President, and the impression is dead-on. I recall giggling endlessly at his attempt at an evil laugh, so I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
- Ashlee Simpson’s Lip-sync Hoedown: In that very same episode, Ashlee Simpson gave us a dance to remember forever. She delivered hit single “Pieces of Me” just fine in the first performance, but in her second shot at the stage, that same song — with vocals — began playing. What would I do in that situation? God only knows. But her awkward jig is burned into our brains, so I hope I would have come up with something a little less memorable.
- Melaniade: Of particular relevance with the impending election was last week’s pre-filmed short, featuring the women in Donald Trump’s life taking him down (and taking him back) à la Beyoncé. If this doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. It also might make you cringe, but hey, that’s kind of what SNL does best.
- Bruno Mars Is “24K Magic”: I was disappointed to see Emily Blunt hosting last week — not because she married John Krasinski and I loathe her for it — but because I’ve always enjoyed Bruno Mars as a host/musical guest, and he was just singing this time. The thing is, though, he’s never just singing. He’s a performer through and through, and his dynamic dancers put on quite the show.