It's no secret that I am a huge McSweeney's fan (and have been for over a decade). I really like how every so often the editors of the website just add to a list of things that they recommend. It's how I discovered Kishi Bashi and The Fault in Our Stars, and how to correctly eat a cupcake. So here, in no particular order, are a few things that I recommend.
Juanita's Tortilla Chips
You can only get these chips in the northwest, and I crave them often. Greasy, salty, and oh-so-crispy. Like eating deep-fried dreams.
Going to Disneyland without your Toddler
Trust me. You will watch everyone else trying to placate their over-tired, overwhelmed 3 year old, standing hours in line in order to meet some princess/fairy/anthropomorphic mouse, and you will pity those who spent $70 for one long tantrum. You will leave your child with her ecstatic grandparents, drink a mint julep, ride space mountain as many times as you want, and have an altogether magical day. You will expect to feel guilty, and you will not.
Being an Aunt
It is the best.
100% Wool Socks
The only thing that will get you successfully through a polar vortex. If you live in the MidWest, I suggest you put these on in September and not take them off until May. (PS: somebody gave us a giant BAG of these this week and I literally cried. Wool socks are like gold).
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
This movie will make you feel rested, and hopeful, and like you might want to go out and buy a fisherman's sweater and go longboard around Iceland. Which means it was a really good movie.
Revisiting Music That you Listened To In Your Youth, and Discovering that Some of It Still Holds Up Well.
I just remembered that the Appleseed Cast existed. I went back and listened to their albums (specifically Peregrine) and it is just as amazing as I remember. I love it when that happens.
Taking a Twitter Break
After a couple of days away, you might start to giggle at how much emotional energy you were investing in the arguments of strangers on social media.
Vanilla Bean Macchiatos
The Coffee Bean Tea and Leaf makes these. It tastes like vanilla beans, espresso, and cream. It is so good I wish I had never tried it. Because now I want it all the time.
Throwing Awkward Parties
The wider your social circle, the more awkward the gatherings. Make it the the opposite of Kinfolk, very un-photographable, no alcohol or fancy food, stretching for commonalities, committing to the uncomfortableness for the sake of community. If everyone is getting along too well, that means you didn't invite enough people.
Reading your own Library
Leah Kramer has this brilliant challenge, and I might just take her up on it.
I'm going to be honest. Blogs have lost their sheen for me. I rarely read any besides those of close friends/family (and The Millions, naturally). But the one blog I find myself vigorously nodding my head along to belongs to Heather King. A catholic writer, King has written several books, contributes to NPR, and has a column on forgotten saints. I just love her. Everything is about Christ, but in language that is fresh and very very old. Also, I have always had a thing for sober alcoholics.
Rereading Bossypants on an Airplane
You will laugh so hard you will snort. People will be concerned. It will not matter, because you are in Tina Fey's world, and that world is amazing, and filled with lumpy, hard-working, smart and creative people.
Voxer is an app that enables you to leave voice text-messages, walkie-talkie style. I am notoriously bad at communication, but this one has stuck with me. People leave me messages, which I can listen to at my leisure. At the end of the day, when I am washing dishes, it's like a have a little podcast of all my friends to listen to. I have a writer's groups and Voxer has taken us to the next level. We discuss books, the writing process, what's going on in our lives--it's like the cheapest form of therapy I have found.
Eating Snack Foods on Super Bowl Sunday Whilst Actively Not Watching Football
All the dip without any nonsensical "sports" or "Bruno Mars".
So that's it for now. What are your recommendations?