Let's all wish Staci a fast recovery and lots of love!
Let's all wish Staci a fast recovery and lots of love!
Welp, against any semblance of common sense or good judgment, I did it. I ran the Chicago Marathon. Two days later, I can still feel every single muscle in my body...muscles I didn't even know were there.
At first, it was great. About 15 miles in, I was saying to myself, "Yeah, I'd totally do this again." After 18, when everything started to hurt, I was like "Ehhh..." And after 20 or 21? "PLEASE GOD LET THIS BE OVER." Truly one of the biggest things that pulled me through was a sign that said
"CHICAGO MARATHON TODAY, NETFLIX MARATHON TOMORROW." Even though I knew I'd be flying home, I envisioned myself parked on the couch, remote in hand, and told myself that the sooner I reached the finish line, the sooner I got to Netflix and chill.
I don't have a ton of photos, largely because the day before the race, I was quite literally sick to my stomach with nerves and didn't have it in me to do too much exploring. And then Monday before my flight I had some time to kill, but I wasn't exactly walking around like a normal person, so hoofing it in order to take photos just wasn't happening, so I've thrown in a few photos from previous trips to Chitown.
But the expo was insanely cool, and I really can't imagine a city showing more pride and excitement for a race than Chicago did. Spectators were lined up the WHOLE way to cheer, give high fives, feed you candy, and share Vaseline (which I used gratuitously on my chafed chest). At one point, I even saw someone dressed as a panda with a sign that said "FREE HUGS." I seriously considered it, as this was some time after Mile 20, and to be honest, I really could have used a hug, even if it came from a creeper in a panda costume. But I figured if I stopped, I might not get started again, and if someone gave me a hug, I might completely lose it and sob the rest of the way to the finish.
And so I kept trucking, and when I involuntarily groaned getting into my Uber the next day, I didn't mind so much when my driver told me I wasn't alone, 45,000 other people were in the same boat, but I also wasn't "too smart."
So thank you Chicago, for a weekend I'll never forget.
Just over a month ago, my wife Carly and her actual husband Joe welcomed their baby girl, Fiona Wren, into the world. Not wanting her to get a late start in the ways of feminism and misandry (JK, JK...about misandry, not feminism), I booked a trip to Ann Arbor, where Carly and Joe live while Joe finishes his PhD at the University of Michigan.
It's pretty cool Carly brought a human into the world. Meanwhile, I broke a LifeProof iPhone case inside of two days, but that's neither here nor there. Ann Arbor was lovely. Carly, Joe, Fiona, and their dog, Myrtle Joan Rivers Ornstein, welcomed me with open arms and a case of LaCroix. I felt like it was a very 'Merican place to spend Fourth of July weekend. With massive University of Michigan buildings sprawling throughout Ann Arbor, the residential areas are filled with lush, green streets all lined with quaint little houses. And everyone is so nice in that unabashed enthusiastic Midwestern way that honestly creeps me out, but I'll give them a pass because it's also a foodie town.
Downtown Ann Arbor is home to Zingerman's Delicatessen, which is like your typical Jewish deli but on steroids. It was also featured in "The Five-Year Engagement," which is a movie I recommend you not waste your time seeing. Anyway, it's like the Disney World of meat (and cheese...and potato salad...and pickles...and knishes...and baked goods...). We had a lunch there that put me straight into a food coma. We also had another great lunch at the Pretzel Bell, a UM mainstay that closed and was revived by some UM alumni. French fries in peanut sauce...pretzel rolls...mmm, need I say more?
Outside of the food, Ann Arbor is adorable. It's what I imagine a town would look like if Anthropologie bought and managed it. One-off artisan shops on every corner (including one dedicated entirely to Michigan cherries), multiple farmer's markets, many, MANY ice cream spots, people riding their bikes everywhere. I also appreciate that it's walkable and blissfully lacking humidity this time of the year. Carly also took me to a junky clothing store/consignment shop that had some of the best cat t-shirts I've seen anywhere. I came very, very close to getting the one with sushi and cat faces, and had they had it in my size, I definitely was going to get the "Fries Before Guys" one.
Maybe on my next visit to A2.
It had been some time since I was legit hooked on a podcast. In fact, it had been since the first season of "Serial" ended. I ended up not making a Thanksgiving trip that year and instead had to look for excuses to carve out time to listen to "Serial."
I've dilly-dallied here and there with some of Jen's suggestions, both old and new (and even newer), and the second season of "Serial" didn't quite hook me like the Bmore story did. I hadn't been truly hooked until early March, when I found "Call Your Girlfriend."
And I binge-listened the SHIT out of it. And when I was caught up and had to wait another week for an episode, I was sad. So sad. The way you're sad when you're finished all the really good french fries but know it's not socially acceptable (or particularly healthy) to order more.
I've got some weekend trips ahead of me this summer before Jen and I go to Canadee, so beginning with "CYG," here's what I'll be listening to and think you should too.
Jen's written about "CYG" before, but to recap, it's basically two long-distance besties (not unlike your Jetlag Hags) catching up every other week. Ann Friedman is a writer I've long admired, and Aminatou Sow is a badass tech lady. On in-between weeks, they interview other boss ladies, because #shinetheory. They're unbelievably smart and funny as hell, and the best part about the show in my opinion is how well they mix high and low. They manage to have really smart political chat (without being preachy but with loads of feminist talk, which you know I love) but also talk about pop culture crap. In fact, I give zero fucks about the Kardashians. Honestly, I've never watched a minute of any of their shows. But my favorite "CYG" episode is "Twitter Ninja" in which Amina recaps the Kardashian-fueled Twitter feud and subsequent shots heard 'round the world when Amber Rose responded to Kanye with #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch. I was lol'ing til the end of time. Another favorite episode -- "My Neck, My Back, My Netflix, and My Snacks" -- I mean...
Jen turned me onto "Switched on Pop" in her second post on podcasts we should all be listening to. If you care about music (which I do...), and you want to dig a little deeper into how it gets made and WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, then this is a hella entertaining place to start. One host is a musicologist and one host is a song writer, and they're super funny music nerds who break down pop music. My two favorite episodes are "Hotline Hello: Drake and Adele" and "Justin Bieber's Existential Suite" (especially considering I had my own existential crisis when I liked the Bieb's new music). Trust me on this. (Bonus! "Switched on Pop" is how I found "Call Your Girlfriend.")
Another one I found through Jen who found it through Mike, which is just great on many a level. "2 Dope Queens" is like the full-blown comedy show version of "Call Your Girlfriend." Jessica Williams (of "The Daily Show" fame) and comedy writer Phoebe Robinson host the standup comedy podcast weekly. Each episode features standup from three different comedians, but IMHO, Jessica and Phoebe's banter in between is easily the best part of the show. I'd give you a favorite episode, but all 10 so far have been hilarious. When I'm a shit mood, these ladies give me life. Plus, Phoebe favorited one of my angry tweets last week and I died happy.
To be honest, I can't remember how I found "The Moth," but I'm mid-binge right now, and it's great because the episodes are 16 minutes tops, which means I can listen to a LOT all at once. If you haven't heard of the "The Moth," it's a regular live event in which people attend to tell their personal life stories in accordance with whatever the theme of the evening is. Some are touching, some are funny, some are sad, and somehow damn near all of them are just really, really good. You probably won't be surprised to hear that my three favorites are all funny ones. They are "Empathetic Subway Screaming," "Cat-Cow-Meow," and "California Gothic." I have actually listened to "California Gothic" three times now because it makes me laugh so hard.
I believe I came upon "The Broad Experience" through "CYG," and it's a more serious in-depth look at the issues facing women in the workplace. It's really smart and interesting, and the episodes are all around 20 minutes long, so it's not a huge commitment to get into one. Plus, the host, Ashley Milne-Tyte, has the best British accent ever, which you know I'm all ::heart eyes emoji:: over. It's like getting my "Downton" fix now that it's over but with less dramz and more educational value. BRB, power posing.
Right, so we all know by how that TED Talks are kind of the best. Even if they're on a topic you seem to care nothing about, they somehow end up being interesting AF, and you learn a lot without, like, trying. However, there's a ton of them, and they're pretty hard to wade through. Which is where the podcast comes in handy. Host Guy Raz (speaking of heart eyes emoji, can you say journo crush?) has a theme for each episode and distills clips from TED talks and interviews with TED speakers to go with the theme. So good.
So...what did I miss?
P.S. We should do a podcast, amirite?
In honor of our second anniversary this week, I'm rounding up my favorite posts from Year 2, ICYMI. Typically, if it's a favorite of mine, it means I find it (myself) funny and/or you find it disastrous enough that we got a lot of hits. Damn I love me some analytics.
Here are my favs in no particular order:
June 11, 2015
A recap of my
lovelife shitshow in NYC. Spoiler alert: None of the "real boyfriends" are boyfriends at all, but I do have some good stories like the time I dunked a Halloween cat tail in a Brooklyn toilet and the time I got sunburned on half my face.
I also really like this one because Jen made a gif of me rolling my eyes.
July 21, 2015
OK seriously though, what's the point of having your own blog if you don't get to be snarky and salty on it sometimes? Truth be told, I think I'm at my best when I'm discussing the worst...you know, like Sochi and Dundalk. I really enjoyed trashing shitty places, some of which I've never even been to because snap judgments are what's up.
AND I will never not LOL loudly at Bob Costas's Sochi eye.
October 27, 2015
Really, who can forget the time Jen and I were served onion sandwiches aboard United Airlines? This one is a true classic in my book. Right down to the angriest flight attendant I've ever seen and the cops that came on board in New Jersey because a lady put her feet on the tray table.
I shit you not. Our most absurd flight home to date.
November 3, 2015
"4. Shut the fuck up unless you're the driver. And if you're Uncle Jamie, you can shut the fuck up too."
I'm a ray of sunshine sometimes, aren't I? A real treat. Headline is self-explanatory. How not to be a dick when you're on a travel excursion with a group of strangers. Especially when said group of strangers includes me and Jen.
December 7, 2015
Second only to the anniversary videos are the "Learning Languages" videos, in my opinion. If you're not familiar with these, basically Jen and I get drunk and try to speak the language of the country we are visiting. Or we start using accents for no real reason. Jen does a great cockney.
She cannot, however, remember how to say "caipirinha" (even though we drank quite a few of those in Lisbon).
February 9, 2016
Any day I get to shit on Florida, Donald Trump, AND Washington, D.C. in one post is a good day. It's true I want to travel the whole world. Except the places listed in "Worst Of" and this one, "Worst Of, Part 2."
And ugggggh, LaGuardia.
May 3, 2016
This is a fairly recent one, but annotating ridiculous e-mails is oddly satisfying to me. Happily Jen was not abducted by Mexican pirates, nor was she brainwashed by bigots who love Comic Sans and probably Donald Trump.
Plus the promo video is so, so good.
So tell me, what were your favorites this past year?
Yours in lolz,