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.
Hurricane Matthew seems to have its sights set on the east coast of Florida. As my family and friends batten down the hatches, I’m using these distractions to weather the storm updates. Stay safe out there — lifelong Floridians are great at ignoring dramatic predictions, but this one looks like it could actually be a doozy.
- Lisa Frank on FB: What better return to childhood nostalgia than your favorite rainbow and animal enthusiast sharing Facebook updates? From recipes to products to memes and more, the posts always bring a smile to my face. Absolutely fabulous!
- Grape Stomping: One of my work teams had our quarterly outing yesterday, this time with grape stomping at Grgich Hills Estate. We tasted wines elsewhere, too, but this was easily the highlight of the day. Stomping away in barrels (while accidentally dressed as twins) was the perfect activity for a team-building Tuesday.
- “The Help”: I recently found this bestseller in a thrift store for just $1, so I promptly brought it home to enjoy. It took about four nights of voracious reading — it’s that well-written — to devour this story of black maids in 1960s Mississippi. Bonus: Comcast had the movie showing for free, so I indulged in that after the final chapter. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend… especially with today’s racial landscape. It’s eerily scary to the
- SNL Is Back: With its biggest premiere audience in eight years, it’s clear America loves Donald Trump. Or at least, loves Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. The highly anticipated debate parody was just the beginning and — although I feel like real life is sadly funnier — I’m excited to see what else they’ll come up with the circus, I mean, election.
As I’ve been reminded on my first day back to work in nearly a week, today is Wednesday. Please bear with me as I attempt to form coherent and complete sentences.
- Domaine Chandon: My friends hosted this weekend’s wedding guests with a Jolly Trolley of Love through a few Napa wineries, and our first stop — at Chandon — was my fave. The staff was superb, the bubbles were flowing and I refrained from any references to SNL’s Moët Chandon girls (language NSFW).
- Gott’s Roadside: After a day of wine tasting, we were in dire need of lunch (and more alcohol). This iconic restaurant in St. Helena accommodated our orders in advance, allowing our precious party planner a faster feat of feeding 19 people. The burgers were bomb, as were the shakes and sips.
- S’well: After this weekend’s shenanigans, I’m in full detox mode. Well, except for the three happy hours and one rave (that’s right) I have this week. During the day, at least, I stay happily hydrated with my fancy S’well bottle. I thought the price point was steep, but I consistently get at least 100oz of ice-cold water daily thanks to this little lifesaver. And, proceeds from every sale help give drinking water to children in need. Ahhh.
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake: It could be the fact that *NSYNC just reunited for JC Chasez’s FORTIETH birthday or that JT’s voice always gets the people going, but no matter the reason, I’m really feeling this summer song. Bonus: It’s apparently on the soundtrack for the upcoming “Trolls” movie — so look out for that.
I’m low on sleep but high on energy to bring you all this week’s finds. Here’s hoping I don’t crash before I finish…
- La Croix Cocktails: I previously mentioned my love for La Croix flavored sparkling water. Well, I’m hopelessly addicted now that I have an endless supply at work. Good thing a writer at Gizmodo curated nine cocktail recipes to make with La Croix! Happy hour just got a little happier.
- RunKeeper: With my newfound Run Club at work, I wanted to try this wildly popular app to map my route and pace. The welcome series of emails was a little aggressive, but I’m otherwise pleased with the experience so far. Bonus: It’s on sale for just $20/year — get it while you can!
- Firefly: I recently celebrated three months with my company by joining my referring co-worker and our mutual friend at this spot in Noe Valley. It’s largely veg-focused, but I can attest that the fried chicken and biscuit were also stellar. It was a nice departure from my usual menu, especially with the tart and vibrant fried green tomatoes. Yum!
- Jay Pharaoh: SNL’s king of impressions has done it again — this time, mimicking various rappers. Best of all, host and musical guest Drake had something to say about it. Despite the crap quality (thanks for hoarding your videos, SNL), you won’t be disappointed, fam.*
*Am I using that correctly? I’m too old and white to be cool.