Kool Things IV

Another week for the books! It literally snowed yesterday, because April Fool’s Day is real. I needed my escape, and I found it in memoirs and comedy, by which no one is surprised. These are the things that got me through the hail/sleet/snow hellscape that was this week.

This Show

crashing01.jpg

Crashing, Pete Holmes

I cannot even believe that I haven’t written about Crashing yet! Crashing, the semi-autobiographical brainchild of brilliant comedian and beautiful human being, Pete Holmes, is HBO’s newest Sunday night series. It tells the (dramatized) story of Pete’s divorce and entry into the New York City stand-up scene. Guest stars have (thus far) included comedy powerhouses like Sarah Silverman, Artie Lang, and TJ Miller, as well as one of my personal favorites, Aparna Nancherla.

f5f41fedcb3eb8ce85eff4548baf7283.jpg

If you don’t yet know the delightful Pete Holmes, well, you should. He briefly hosted his own talk show that aired weeknights after Conan, The Pete Holmes Show, hosts an interview podcast called You Made It Weird that never fails to get spiritual, and landed an HBO special called Faces and Sounds that dropped in December. He’s a hometown hero, hailing, like myself, from Metro Boston (I think Somerville or thereabouts). Pete Holmes truly has one of the most unique voices in comedy—his relentless optimism and winning smile make jokes like calling himself “Lesbian Val Kilmer” all the more powerful. Crashing chronicles Pete’s days as a fresh-faced comedy newbie; now, though, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

*Crashing airs Sunday nights at 10:30 on HBO.

This Book

sara_benincasa-620x412.jpg

Real Artists Have Day Jobs, Sara Benincasa

This week I’ve been devouring this amazing book of essays by comedian and author Sara Benincasa, and it’s been an emotional journey. I finished it on my lunch break today and it took everything I had not to publicly sob. I hesitate to call this book “self-help,” but if you read it, you will help yo’ self. For real. The words of wisdom in this book range from “brush your damn teeth” to “treat your vagina like the magical temple that it is.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get it. Benincasa gets very frank about her own struggles with mental illness but never fails to be disarmingly hilarious. As someone who aspires to a reasonable facsimile of this incredible woman’s career, it is inspiring beyond belief to read of someone rising from the ashes of her own self-destruction and kicking major ass purely through hard work and talent. 10/10, read this f***ing book.

I’ve already ordered one of her other books, Agorafabulous!, which I can’t wait to start reading!

Check out her short film, The Focus Group, on Vimeo.

*The kindle version of Real Artists Have Day Jobs is only $1.99 right now, my dudes! Go forth and read!

This Special

HbuXOKOl.jpg

Pizza Mind, Sasheer Zamata

SNL cast member and jumpsuit messiah Sasheer Zamata just dropped her very first stand-up special on the incredible comedy streaming service, Seeso. The stunning and brilliant Ms. Zamata tackles race, feminism, and being named after Star Trek like a gotdamn professional. Topics of discussion include “resting bitch face,” her brief employment at Disney world, and the (very f***ing true) fact that white girls are constantly shedding hair all over the place. The special is hilarious, but it’s also a thoughtful, educational experience. Sasheer Zamata does not care if her material on race makes you uncomfortable. That’s on you.

Pizza Mind is must-see TV. If you have a spare hour, give it a watch. You will be rewarded with a magical cartoon adventure and a show-stopping finale number #nospoilers.

sasheer-interview-header.jpg
DID I GODDAMN MENTION THE JUMPSUIT, THOUGH? My ladies who art in comedy are KILLING it in the wardrobe game lately.

Watch her bit about her tricky-to-pronounce first name here.

Watch her in “Black Jeopardy”, one of SNL’s finest skits. Here she is with Drake, Tom Hanks, Louis CK, and Elizabeth Banks.

*Pizza Mind is now streaming on SeeSo!

Dis Phone

$_86

I upgraded early and got an iPhone 7 this week! I almost went Plus, but I tried out my husband’s 6+ for a little while, and the damn thing’s just too big! I like being able to rock the one-handed text. But don’t text and drive! Do as I say, not as I do! The transition from iPhone 6 to 7 has been like night and day! It’s faster, there are two speakers, and it’s PINK. I know I’m predictable and basic, but the more pink I can get in my life, the better! I also got the 128G model (4 times the storage of my last phone!) so that I could combine the functions of iPhone and iPod (I’ve been using my iPhone 4 from many years ago as an iPod—the thing was begging to be sent to a farm upstate, it was dead and buried). Despite the foolish amount of music I’ve put on it, I still only seem to listen to Hamilton…

The-Casery-Collection.jpg

We got a shipment of phone cases from The Casery to my work, so I also treated myself to this amazing case. Kendrick Lamar fans, unite! This isn’t a sales pitch for my work or anything, since y’all don’t know where I work, nor is it an ad for The Casery, but seriously, you guys, these cases are the absolute best. The designs are the cutest I’ve ever seen (donuts! sushi! cacti!) and the cases are super well made. I’m obsessed…I might need to get this one next, in honor of the little cat that started it all—Della!

This Game

stump.78105725_std.png

Stump! Trivia

I’ve been playing Stump! Trivia for ten whole years, since way before it was appropriate for me to be hanging out at a bar on a weeknight. I’m not actually sure it’s even appropriate now. But alas, such is my addiction to trivia and other brain puzzles—every Wednesday night for the past year (and many Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in years past), my father and I have ordered a round of drinks and a basket of french fries and challenged ourselves to a battle of wits in the quest for a restaurant gift card.

Stump! is arguably the best trivia game in the Boston area (it was started in Marshfield), but it’s now a nationwide company that offers fun, challenging trivia and Questionnairey (a Family Feud-style game) at bars and private events. Long story short, I am a huge, huge fangirl, and a frequent player. So, the other night, after a particularly exciting win at our local pub, I applied to be a host.

I had applied years and years ago, but was likely much too young to be considered. Doesn’t super make sense to hire an underage girl to work in a bar—I don’t hold the lack of response against them. But this time, I heard back via email almost immediately and set up an audition!

I wasn’t looking for a second job, and the extra few bucks a week won’t make a huge difference to me financially, but the public speaking experience is priceless! The whole gig is essentially an improv performance—something I’ve been anxious about for years! I recently admitted to myself that my dream is actually to be Conan O’Brien (or a reasonable lady approximation)—writer, performer, icon. Okay, I’m joking about the icon part, but in order to achieve even a tiny sliver of my dream, I’m going to need to get better in front of a crowd.

If you’re in the Boston/South Shore area, come support me here!

***

Thanks for letting me blab about my obsessions for a month straight! What are you obsessed with lately?

—DellaBites

*as usual, all of the images via google or the sites linked in each description!

 

Kool Things III

Damn, Chelsea! Back at it again with the white Vans!

(but seriously, I did just get white Vans, and they are [insert fire emoji])

Welcome back to another installment of Kool Things, a series in which I blab about the handful of things that brought sparkle and shine to my life this week. Let’s dive in!

This Comedy Special

AmySchumer_netflix.jpg
(image source)

Remember how, in the first installment of this series, I said, “Get you a Netflix special that can do both”? Well, here’s another one, coming at you. Amy Schumer serves up some realness on her latest, The Leather Special, which has, like all specials released by women, been ratings-trolled by the same MRA garbage piles that do things like, I assume, picket Planned Parenthood and still bring up Bernie Sanders all the time.

Amy’s stand-up is not my absolute fave (we all know I’m a Jen Kirkman stan), but her show, Inside Amy Schumer, has done some really important work, tackling topics like gun violence, online harassment, and sexual assault in the military, among others. The show was even given a Peabody! The special was no different—it’s mostly her trademark “blue” comedy, but she devotes a portion of the hour to discussing the insane gun loopholes that allow the severely mentally ill, domestic abusers, and suspected terrorists to legally purchase guns in the U.S. At a 2015 screening of her film, Trainwreck, two young women, Mayci and Jillian, were fatally shot, inspiring Schumer’s dedication to sensible gun law advocacy. The special, and a portion of Amy’s bookThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, are dedicated to the memory of the two women.

It’s the particular burden of comics and artists, at least in my opinion, to simultaneously distract and delight us in the ever-darkening political landscape and to raise awareness about social and legislative issues in a way that politicians are failing to do. It is clear from The Leather Special and Inside Amy Schumer that Amy takes the responsibility of her platform seriously and is using her voice to spark positive change. So, if you live outside of the glorious liberal havens known as “blue states”, call your Congressperson and demand gun regulation! Amy Schumer even prints a list of the Congresspeople who receive NRA money in her book—what a handy guide!

And yes, I heard about the Beyoncé controversy, and no, I cannot.

THIS Comedy Special

jerrod-carmichael-8.jpeg
image via google

Two-fer this week! Jerrod Carmichael’s latest special, 8, is currently streaming on HBO and it is wild! I watched it today, on the heels of badass news about his returning NBC sitcom, and I’m glad I did. I’ve really enjoyed his sets on late night shows, so I was super pumped to check out the special, which was directed by my fave, local hero Bo Burnham.

170130-jerrod-carmichael-8-1920.jpg
image via google

Carmichael’s performance was atypical of what we expect from such a high-profile special. HBO! He appeared to be performing in the center of the room, as opposed to from a giant theatre stage, and his delivery was slow and deliberate. The material itself was, as expected, controversial, but the takes were refreshing and unexpected. I can’t believe a comic got me to laugh at the fact that he doesn’t care about global warming! I plan to watch this special again with my husband—maybe I’ll devote a whole post to it then!

A note: post-watching the special, I read a bit of the press on the special and was really surprised to hear some of the criticism. For example, he got called out on doing divisive rape material, but the material itself seemed (at least to me) to be drawing attention to the issue of consent, and how the culture surrounding sex in this country discourages an open dialogue surrounding consent. So, I guess I’m gonna throw a trigger warning on my recommendation to watch this? I encourage everyone to feel their own feelings about the material. 

Relatable pull quote: “I’ve got a lot of fears…I’m afraid of going bald before I fuck Rihanna.”

This Movie

eu_batb_flex-hero_header_r_430eac8d
all beauty and the beast images via google

The live action Beauty and the Beast is out! I went to see it yesterday with my dad (cuz we cute), and it was a visually spectacular delight!

Obviously, as a feminist, I have a lot of issues with the content of this and other fairy tales. Narratives like Beauty and the Beast can have really damaging consequences on malleable young minds, and if I have children, I plan to allow them to watch these films with a side dish of discussion on consent, agency, and whack societal norms. I went into this film prepared to love it, but willing to be critical. Also, just FYI, I 100% agree with Dana Schwartz’s brilliant Observer piece, “Why Belle Should Have Chosen Gaston”.

Also, while it was super important for Disney to announce that it would include an out, gay character (Le Fou, played by Josh Gad), the “exclusively gay moment” amounted to little more than cheeky innuendo. The portrayal of Le Fou, and the “Musketeer” that he eventually dances with at the end of the film, leaned very heavily on outdated gay stereotypes, like the assumption that all gay men harbor a secret desire to dress in drag. Drag is a magical, beautiful art form, but not all gay men are drag queens and not every drag queen is gay. I shouldn’t have to explain this to filmmakers in the year of our Lord 2017. To clarify, I’m happy that Disney is finally taking baby steps towards inclusivity, I was just deeply underwhelmed.

All of that being said, I loved this movie. I started tearing up during the opening musical number, “Belle”. Beauty and the Beast and all of the (now) classic animated Disney films, like Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, came out right around the time I was born. I must have worn holes in my VHS tapes watching them. I was shocked at how much emotion hearing those songs again brought back. The whole film is visually stunning (I’m sure it will be up for an Oscar next year for costume design or visual effects), Emma Watson holds her own with the singing, and hot British men abound.

Beautyandthebeast_5134.jpg
my reaction to not being able to find a decent  picture of dan stevens post-transformation with the long hair. just imagine this cartoon as a human man. 

Dan Stevens, who I loved on Downton Abbey and still haven’t forgiven for leaving the show, looks exactly like the cartoon prince/Beast in the animated film. It is uncanny! And Luke Evans as Gaston—dear God, that is one beautiful Welsh man. The cast for this film is insane—you spend the whole film internally screaming, “I KNOW THAT VOICE!” whenever you hear Cogsworth, Lumière, and Mrs. Potts speak, and lo and behold, it’s Ian McKellan, Ewan McGregor, and Emma Thompson! Audra McDonald and Stanley Tucci as the wardrobe and the maestro was simply inspired casting. We were also graced with the presence of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who is so beautiful that, upon her transformation from feather duster to human, I nearly had a stroke. I hereby demand that all movies be remade with her as the lead!

tumblr_nqx2awZ6tP1t96b19o1_1280.jpg
gaze upon her! she was a cgi feather duster for the entire film. #wastedopportunites

The new songs were, well, underwhelming, as they always are in these circumstances (“Paris of My Childhood” is never taking off), but the old songs hold up beautifully and were nearly shot-for-shot the same as the animated film. Notable exceptions are the line, “Marie! The baguettes!” which is the best moment in the original film, and “every last inch of me’s covered with hair” during “Gaston”. Did we not, as audience, deserve to see Luke Evans shirtless, Disney?

Run, don’t walk, to go see this lovely film. I will fully be buying it on Blu-ray as soon as it comes out!

Watch Ariana Grade & John Legend sing the theme song here. Listen to Queen Céline’s new BatB ballad here.

This Tote Bag

I have been to the mountaintop, y’all. The JCrew All-Day Tote in Aqua Haze is where. it. is. at. I’ve been dying to get one of J.Crew’s gorgeous leather bags for ages, and I finally took the plunge this week. Why the hesitation, you ask? Well, price point for one. I have a lot of designer bags (ugh, you rich bitch) that I’ve gotten during sales or at similar price points, but those have the added bonus of resale value/demand, so they’ve been (somewhat) justified purchases. But you’ll have to pry this one out of my cold, dead hands. No resale, just love. *very Stefon voice* This bag has everything: pebbled leather, interior slip pockets, an exterior slip pocket that would fit a novella, a sweet little exterior buttoned pocket the size of a credit card, and a cute little hang-tag. It’s the perfect bag for school or work—it easily fits my MacBook!

Basically, I’m obsessed. I recently read this amazing article on Racked about the surprising inclusivity of handbags, so lately I’ve been super appreciating my growing collection.

Right now this bag is on sale in three colors, with an extra 30% off with code “HAPPYSPRING”! Happy shopping!

This Drank

Wow, really, Chels? Following up a call for sensible gun law reform and a Disney movie with a beverage referenced in a System of a Down song? #priorities

8957f280-eb60-0131-6d5e-0aa0f90d87b4
(image source)

But who cares—I love kombucha! Every time I bring up the ‘buch, I feel like that scene in Annie Hall where Alvy orders the alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast in L.A. However, I’ve recently started drinking kombucha on the regs and I really love it! The American diet is appallingly lacking in probiotics, so ‘buch is a fun and delicious way to up your daily dose. I haven’t tried making my own yet, but I plan to get a kit soon.

My local Wegman’s (shout of to Wegman’s, the best grocery store ever) has an entire cold case devoted to the stuff, and after weeks of lusting after it, I decided to grab a few to try. KeVita has a bunch of amazing flavors that make the idea of drinking fermented mushroom tea a little bit more palatable. GT’s sells them by the case—I highly recommend “Trilogy”.

I am officially a kombucha convert—come join my club!

This Soup Recipe

Sex-y Corn Chowdah by DellaBites

img_2819

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m pimping my own recipe from earlier this week. But this series is about my favorite things, damn it, and corn chowder is the best! Haters, make the Beyoncé song and exit to the left. This soup is vegan, contains six different vegetables, and tastes like summer cookouts in a bowl. I’m so into it, I might make it twice this week!

Thanks for listening! Check out some of my other weekly faves here and here!

—DellaBites

Kool Things II

This week was brutal. Here in vacation destination Boston it’s been in the teens weather-wise, which is enough to crush even the most ardent winter-lover’s soul. I just looked at trusty iPhone for an update—snow expected 3 days this week! I guess spring is cancelled this year.

Also, Daylight Savings was this week. Nothing like being forced to adjust your circadian clock in order to make it to work on time!

I definitely needed some literal and figurative sunshine this week, so let’s dive in!

Lana Del Rey

In honor of Lana’s new song, “Love”, I’ve been revisiting the back catalog. I truly forgot how much I love her music! Despite the fact that she’s really blown up in popularity over the past five years, which is typically the death knell of anything cool, she continues to do whatever the fuck she wants—if anything, her albums get progressively more esoteric and less radio-friendly as the years go by. I’m anticipating the forthcoming album, but in the meantime, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy:

photo.jpeg

Get Born To Die, Paradise, Ultraviolence, and Honeymoon!

Baron Vaughn

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 10.54.52 AM.png

I couldn’t help but give a shout-out to actor and comedian, Baron Vaughn. I originally discovered him through the Netflix series, Grace & Frankie (which stars the legendary Lily Tomlin & Jane Fonda), and have since gone on to devour his back catalog. He’s an absolute genius, and he’s blowing up right now.

He’s appeared on all your favorite podcasts, like 2 Dope Queens and Put Your Hands Together, he’s on 2 Netflix shows right now (the other being Mystery Science Theatre 3000), and his 90’s Disney cartoon theme-songs bit from SXSW nearly put my husband and me into comedy comas. He even replied to me on Twitter once! #braggingrights

Plus, I mean, look at him. He’s fine as hell. Go forth and discover your new favorite comedian!

Buy his album Blaxistential Crisis here.

Watch him do stand-up on Conan here.

Listen to his old podcast here.

Listen to him guest host 2 Dope Queens here.

Listen to him on Sooo Many White Guys here.

Listen to him on The Hilarious World of Depression here.

These ASOS Dresses

I know, I know. I said I was going to cool it with fast fashion. And I have! For the most part! But I had a crappy week and I just wanted to treat myself to something adorable, and they were having a 20% off sale on pretty, flouncy dresses! I’m a human woman! After reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees (more on that here), I’m leaning hard into “uniforms”, and short dresses are my #1. How cute is that blue dress going to be on Easter?

(left: Fashion Union Frill Front Shift Dress, right: PrettyLittleThing Gingham Frill Bardot Dress)

Juice Mill, Bridgewater, MA

IMG_8790.JPG

This one is very local, but all the same it brought me endless joy and vitamins this week. A new juicery opened in the town where I went to college (and hope to go to grad school!) *very Stefon voice* This place has everything—raw juice, smoothies, acai bowls, wheatgrass shots! So nice to have healthy options! I really could have used this place in undergrad, when I was living off of iced coffee and bagels with hummus, but better late than never. I’m hoping that this new addition to the center is an omen that I’ll get accepted into my program!

*A note about the prices: raw juice is not cheap! And once you’ve done it at home and seen the sheer volume of produce required to make a decent amount of it, you see why. Plus, if you’ve ever cleaned out a juicer, it’s like a sticky jigsaw puzzle but less fun. I like to compare juice to wine—when you’re out at a bar, you don’t bat an eye at paying $7-$9 a glass. Think of it like that, an indulgence—similar price, similar calorie situation (I assume), way more health benes.

This Vegan Queso Recipe

To preface this, I take zero credit! This one comes to you from Wilder Wellness, a health coaching group that I joined last month. The recipes that come along with the membership have been incredible, but this one is SO beyond that I keep a jar of it in my fridge at all times.

Vegan Queso adapted from Wilder Wellness/Wildernessa

  • 1 lb of organic carrots (1 bag of baby carrots, or 2 large carrots chopped)
  • 1 medium sweet potato or an equal amount of chopped butternut squash
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of organic salsa
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Steam the sweet potato/squash and carrots until fork-tender. Once cooked, combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Thin to desired consistency with more coconut milk. Serve on everything, from tortilla chips to scrambled eggs! I actually used it as a sauce on red lentil penne last night, because I am a goddamned innovator.

I hope these things brighten your week as much as they have mine!

Cheers,

DellaBites

Kool Things

I wanted to call this post The I’ds of March, but a. that is so stupid, and b. then I couldn’t turn it into a series. Unless it was an annual series? Anyway, I called it Kool Things because that title is at once descriptive and a reference to my favorite Sonic Youth song. Win/win.

Kool Things is a (hopefully) weekly series highlighting dope shit that made my week brighter. We’re kind of in the darkest timeline right now, at least in the U.S., so it’s become super important to find joy where you can.

Anyway, here are the things that made my first-week-of-March:

Cristela Alonzo, Lower Classy

rtdvz20yip

Cristela, who you might know from her short-lived ABC sitcom of the same name, is a comedy angel, and her new special freaking delivered. The jokes were all brilliantly written and expertly delivered, plus, I actually cried at the end. I was moved to tears by the story she tells about her mother. Get you a stand-up special that can do both!

Cristela nails the first-generation American experience, eviscerates Latinx stereotypes, and roasts Whole Foods for their bonkers prices with aplomb. Her voice is a shining light in the white dude-dominated comedy scene, and I’m so glad that she has the amazing platform of Netflix to tell her story.

Watch Cristela’s newest special, Lower Classy, on Netflix now! 5/5

One Part Plant: The Cookbook!

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 10.52.44 AM.png

I first heard of Jessica Murnane, plant-based guru and cooking genius, on Karsyn DuPree’s Wilder Podcast. I am a self-professed “cooking dork”, so of course I pre-ordered Jessica’s amazing plant-based cookbook. One Part Plant functions as an educational tool as much as it offers recipes: Murnane, who suffers (suffered?) from endometriosis, found an unlikely cure in plant-based eating, and she talks about the disease at length in the book’s intro. And Lena Dunham, who also famously suffers from endo, penned a letter to open the book. Beyond the discussion of endo, the cookbook gives a realistic overview of everything your kitchen needs, from whisks & sieves to tahini & tamari.

Something notable about this cookbook is that is has a full dessert and snack section. I’m not a huge dessert person, but I love that this book is so well-rounded!

Recipe highlights: Creamy Grits with Avocado & Hot Sauce, Roasted Potato, Corn, & Leek Chowder, Grilled Cinnamon & Banana Sandwich (I mean, WHAT?!)

HARP. designs

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 10.51.30 AM.png

What’s better than modern, chic gold & brass jewelry? Women. Entrepreneurs. The rad lady of HARP. designs also happens to by my cousin, Shelly, an amazingly talented Bay Area jewelry designer and maker. She’s a talent angel with an incredible aesthetic. Madewell wishes their accessories were made this well. Since today we’re participating in A Day Without A Woman (right? RIGHT?), ditch your shitty ASOS bling and come thru for HARP.

I recently treated myself to these amazing slogan pins, because when they go low

Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming Tour

My soul-loves, Eisley, just released a new record on February 17th! It’s called I’m Only Dreaming, and it’s the first album released with the band’s new line-up (sans Chauntelle, Weston, & Stacy). I saw them on tour last week at Brighton Music Hall and it was absolutely sensational! It was the first time I’d ever been to a show alone, and I’ve gotta tell you: highly recommend! No one to judge you for scream-singing along to every word!

Get I’m Only Dreaming on Amazon or MerchNow!

Set List (Eisley @ Brighton Music Hall, 2.28.17):

  1. Louder Than A Lion (I’m Only Dreaming)
  2. Smarter (The Valley)
  3. Sad (The Valley)
  4. Millstone (Currents)*
  5. Memories (Room Noises)*
  6. Drink The Water (Currents)*
  7. I Could Be There For You (Combinations)*
  8. Shelter (Currents)*
  9. Song for the Birds (I’m Only Dreaming)
  10. Many Funerals (Combinations)
  11. You Are Mine (I’m Only Dreaming)
  12. Lost At Sea (Room Noises)
  13. Defeatist (I’m Only Dreaming)
  14. I Wasn’t Prepared (Room Noises)
  15. The Night Comes (Currents)
  16. Invasion (Combinations)
  17. I Was Wondering (Combinations)
  18. Ambulance (The Valley)*

*songs with Stacy or Chauntelle originally on lead vox!

American Apparel (RIP)

Is this basic? I’m not sure I care. American Apparel has been at the center of tons of legal & ethical drama over the years, but at its core—American-made, unisex-leaning clothes? Fine by me. They’re bankrupt or going out of business or something, and everything on their site is 40% off. EVERYTHING. AA’s price points were always a deterrent to me, so this added discount piqued my interest.

Pro-tips for shoppers: their size charts are accurate. Measure thyself. Don’t rely on what size you *think* you are, because your acid-wash shorts will function like a whale-bone corset.

The lesson here? Always pester stylish girls you see about where they got their high-waisted jeans. You will be rewarded.

And last but certainly not least…

A Day Without A Woman

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 10.53.29 AM.png

Today’s the day! Organized by the same group that executed the massively successful post-inauguration Women’s March on Washington, A Day Without A Woman is a campaign seeks to illustrate the impact that women (51% of the population, yo) have on daily life and the economy. Today we wear red, avoid paid or unpaid labor, and withhold our money from businesses not owned and operated by women. Most women can’t just peace out of work on a Wednesday (I’m lucky enough to have today off), but there are so many little ways we can all participate in the Resistance! To cop a slogan from Portlandia, Women and Women First!

I hope to see you all out in the streets rocking red!

—DellaBites

*all images via google or the linked sites

Pod-Party Part Trois!

It’s becoming deeply apparent that all I care about is podcasts. Free entertainment constantly at my fingertips? I’m a comedy junkie/nerd, so podcasts are an amazing way to get my fix without parking myself in front of the TV. I feel like I’m never not learning!

2 Dope Queens

2dq_1400x1400_nownycstudios_22 Dope Queens is tied with I Seem Fun for my absolute favorite podcast currently in existence. Hosted by Phoebe Robinson & Jessica Williams (of Daily Show fame), 2 Dope Queens is a stand-up showcase framed by Pheebs and Jessica’s banter. This podcast makes me laugh out loud while I’m alone. I’m sure other drivers on the road think I’m demented. I admire Phoebe & Jessica so much for the amazing successes they’ve had in their careers at such young ages (Jessica isn’t even 30 yet, y’all!) They are hilarious, badass women and they drink rosé out of champagne flutes that say “White Male Tears”. #stayhydrated 

I wish them many more seasons of success! I’ve discovered some of my new favorite comedians on 2DQ, like Jo Firestone and Jordan Carlos, and gotten to bask in the glory of some that I’ve long loved, like Gabe Liedman and Jen Kirkman.

Sooo Many White Guys

somanywhiteguys_1400x1400_final_nownyc

SMWG is Phoebe Robinson’s other podcast, which wrapped its first season this summer. The mission statement, I assume, was for Phoebe to host an interview podcast that *gasp* only had non-white-guy guests! Notable guests include Gina Rodriguez (the queen of my heart), Roxane Gay (my fucking idol), Constance Wu, and Ilana Glazer. Each episode runs between 30 & 40 minutes, so it’s a perfect commuter pod. The women are hilarious AF but don’t shy away from getting into deep discussions about race & gender. The last ep of the season featured Mike Birbiglia, amazing human and token white guy! This is a must-binge pod.

Savage Lovecastsavagelovecast_1400

I’ve been reading the Savage Love column since, well, since I was way too young to be reading the Savage Love column. It’s printed in a *free* local Boston Arts paper, The Dig, which I always grabbed to read on the T in my younger days when I actually spent time in the city. Dan Savage has been a better resource on sex than my high school sex ed class, my parents, Tumblr, and actual field experience combined. What makes the podcast deeply compelling, aside from his thoughtful advice, are the top-of-show political rants and his amazing guests, many of whom are sex workers or porn performers. Without the Savage Lovecast, I wouldn’t have even known about California’s Prop 60 (vote no, y’all!)

The Lovecast comes in 2 sizes, Micro (with ads) and Magnum (ad-free, with more content). I’ve been slumming it with the Micro, but I may be upgrading because I can’t get enough!

Follow Dan on social media @fakedansavage.

Slate’s Dear Prudence

3000x3000_panoply_dearprudence_2016_r01-crop-cq5dam_web_1280_1280_jpeg

Dear Prudence is a podcast hosted by my most favorite internet person, Mallory Ortberg. Mallory and Nicole Cliffe ran The Toast for several years, and have cemented their places in an esoteric feminist niche that wholly appeals to me. Even though The Toast shuttered in July, it’s worth perusing their archives. Some of the best #content on the internet.

The PrudiePod gives me the weekly dose of Mallory that I’ve so sorely missed. Amazing guest hosts include her mother and sister, as well as the ever-amazing Carvell Wallace. Mallory’s top and bottom-of-the-show rants sustain me.

Follow Mallory on social media @mallelis, and buy her hysterical book Texts from Jane Eyre here.

The Nerdist

torgerson_nerdist_fb

The Nerdist podcast is an interview show, hosted by Chris Hardwick (@midnight, The Talking Dead). Apparently he’s been doing it for 6 years! There are literally hundreds of episodes, so I obviously haven’t listened to all of them, but I have (predictably) listened to Jen Kirkman, Emily V. Gordon, and Samantha Bee’s episodes.

I didn’t listen to this podcast at first because, frankly, the whole “Nerdist” culture never appealed to me. I also find it ridiculous that The Walking Dead has a companion show. It’s not a good show. I don’t watch it because I don’t need to watch gratuitous violence, but my husband has seen every episode, and at this point he’s hate-watching. Can’t wait until zombies fade out like vampires did two years ago.

BUT, rant aside, Hardwick is a great interviewer and solid comedian. His most recent special, Funcomfortable, was a joy from start to finish (and you guys know that I don’t even care about white male comics, so that’s high praise). I look forward to many more car-rides with this awesome pod!

The Wilder Podcast

download

The Wilder Podcast is a brand-new podcast hosted by Karsyn Dupree of Wildernessa (formerly Blissbranch). I discovered Karsyn a few years ago via the Instagrams of the Dupree sisters (of Eisley fame). Her personal story (unrelated to all things Eisley) and unconventional life path are so inspiring! I’m really digging the music she and her husband, Collin, have been putting out, so I was excited when she announced that she was doing a podcast! With the exception of Sherri Dupree-Bemis, I hadn’t actually heard of any of her guests, but they’ve been super engaging. They range from health coaches, to motivational speakers, to podcasters and authors. I love tuning in every week to hear badass ladies doin’ for themselves!

Follow Karsyn on social media @wldrnessa & @karsynkdupree.

You Made It Weird

download-1

You Made It Weird is another Nerdist podcast hosted by one of the best guys in the universe, Pete Holmes. Pete, affectionately referred to in my house as Petey, is one of my favorite comedians and all-around thinkers. I genuinely feel that he’s a modern-day philosopher. He is brilliant. We were robbed of his TBS late-night show after only one season, because the world is a dark and unjust cavern of misery.

YMIW is super-duper long, like 2+ hours long, so it’s definitely a plane-ride pod. Amazing guests include Reggie Watts (literally the messiah in my household), Bo Burnham, Aparna Nancherla, and John Mulaney.

Gilmore Guys

66319.jpg

To be fair, I haven’t listened to every episode of Gilmore Guys. There are a LOT of them. In fact, they just recorded the very last one, for s7e22 of the show. But Gilmore Girls is my favorite show, so anything devoted to it deserves at least a listen. The premise is that Kevin is a long-time fan and Demi has never seen an episode in his life. They’ve been watching an episode a week for the past 2 years and recording a show devoted to each episode. They’ve had tons of cast members (Liza Weil! Scott Patterson! Sean Gunn!) on the pod, and they’ve gained quite a following. They even guested on an ep of my favorite educational podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You. I can’t wait to go deep on this podcast on my next flight or long commute!

With Her

with-her-podcast-hed-2016

And of course, I couldn’t NOT mention that Hillary Clinton has a podcast! Okay, it’s not hosted by Hillary (she ain’t got time for that!), but it’s about her and the campaign. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to every episode, but the Bill Clinton one was marvelous. Bill could narrate the process of making toast and I’d listen. I such a rabid fan of Hillary Clinton, her policies, and her message. Voting for her with FERVOR tomorrow, and I suggest you all do the same. #yourprotestvoteisboring 

BONUS CONTENT (Can’t Get Enough)

I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast is currently semi-weekly! She has graced us with an additional half-hour of #content, called This Week Seemed Fun! It’s all the news stories that matter to Jen, and since I sometimes deeply feel like her millenial avatar, which I’m sure would horrify her, it’s all the news stories that matter to me. She’s been reading political articles at the end of her regular Tuesday show, so this is, to some degree, a continuation of that, except with aliens! Can’t wait for her Netflix special, Just Keep Livin’?, to premiere in early 2017!

So, what are you guys even doing with yourselves if you’re not listening to podcasts? Until next post, have fun!

**all images via the linked websites for each podcast

 

@DOPEQUEENPHEEBS

615RviXAHEL.jpg
image via Amazon

I almost don’t want to write anything about this incredible book, because how could my words do it justice? Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain) is required reading (foreword by Jessica Williams, heyyy). My new life goal is to convince as many white guys as I possibly can to read it. I honestly think that, unless they are some woke-ass dudes that campaign for Hillary and listen to 2 Dope Queens in their spare time, there are lessons in this book that they most definitely need to learn.

You Can’t Touch My Hair, Pheebs’ ode to the experiences of black women, opens the door to what she calls “Black People Secrets” in order to present herself, and all black women, as the multi-faceted people that they truly are when unbound by harmful stereotypes such as the “Angry Black Woman Myth.” The book playfully and humorously exposes the ways in which women of color fight discrimination on multiple fronts. I mean, shoot, she gets attitude about her favorite band being U2, but no one questions my devotion to Kendrick Lamar? Ra ci sm. All joking aside, Phoebe tackles this unsavory topic with such finesse that by the end of the book, you’re cry-laughing and toppling the patriarchy simultaneously.

This book could not have arrived at a more appropriate time. Just a month out from the 2016 Presidential Election, the rhetoric surrounding race, gender, and sexual violence are as nasty and divisive as they have ever been (thanks, Twitter). I have seen Facebook comment sections that literally have comments reading, “UGH there is no such fucking thing as white male privilege.” LI TER AL LY this was a thing I actually read. I have to believe (for my sanity) that these comments are the products of sheer ignorance and not malice. I understand that, to a poorly educated (and by “poorly educated” I don’t necessarily mean not-having-attended-college so shush) white man existing in a situation that doesn’t exude privilege (i.e. financial not-so-good times, temporary layoffs, scratchin’ and survivin’) it can seem like he lacks the mystical pot-o-gold called “white male privilege.” But privilege is not the same as fortune. It is a privilege to drive a car in this country (not a right), but no one hands you a Tesla along with your renewed ID. (Men like cars, right? This is a thing?)

When faced with the realities of the disproportionate incarceration of people of color, the many recent fatal police shootings, and the appalling lack of representation of people (especially women) of color in positions of authority and in the government, the above understanding of privilege becomes even more crucial. If white men (and women, let’s be fair) can use this knowledge critically, they will learn that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hearing and valuing the stories of people of color.

This post was supposed to be about Phoebe’s book and not my #feels, but as they say the personal is political. Phoebe (loosely) frames the book’s narrative around hair, and throughout, hair becomes a beautiful metaphor. Hair is other. Hair is unique. Hair is something seemingly universal (almost everybody grows it, right?) that can impede or empower. Hair is heavily racially coded. Maybe if we can understand the implications of that, we can look at the bigger picture and move forward as a nation. Maybe this just reads like a feminist Twitter thread. Who knows?

Anyway, tl;dr, Phoebe’s book is a modern masterpiece and you should purchase it with money and then build an altar around it. Love you, mean it.

—DellaBites

Read an actual review of this book here. Order Pheebs’ book on Amazon here, listen to 2 Dope Queens here, listen to Sooo Many White Guys here, and follow her on all the social media @dopequeenpheebs.

Pod-Party Part 2!

Podcasts have become basically the most important part of my life, you guys. I hunger for more! But the two that I’ve fallen for in a big, big way since I wrote about this last are SMNTY & WTF. Acronyms!

maxresdefault

SMNTY stands for Stuff Mom Never Told You. It’s run by two dope queens (but not those 2 Dope Queens…), Cristen and Caroline. So far I’ve listened to the episodes on A Practical Wedding, A Feminist Marriage, Lady Libido Liberation, and the trope Lesbian Bed Death. This show is like having a conversation with your best friend (if you happen to be a woke-ass lady with woke-ass friends). It’s so refreshing to hear this sort of talk outside of the classroom. I try my damnedest to approach everything in life through an intersectional feminist lens, so hearing the voices of like-minded individuals is reaffirming. They recently did a series on rom-coms that I can’t wait to listen to!

WTFPod

WTF stands, of course, for exactly what you think it stands for. Hosted by Marc Maron, who is one of my favorite comedians, WTF has some of the best guests in the game. Joanna NewsomAbbi & Ilana. Natasha Leggero. Ali Wong. It’s ENDLESS. Maron the show is based on his experiences doing the pod, and believe me, there’s enough material. WTF goes deep. I especially appreciate that Maron talks about his experiences as a man with an eating disorder, because that’s a large subset of the population that gets NO attention. As someone who has experienced disordered eating and still struggles, the episode with Nikki Glaser really spoke to me. I listened to it today, and it struck a damn chord. I was never in real physical danger (thankfully), but the mental state that accompanies eating disorders and food issues is intense, and it can manifest dangerously in a lot of other ways—reckless behavior, drinking, drugs, etc.

Oh gosh, look at me. Tryna talk about podcasts and delving into the darkness of eating disorders. For another day and another post.

Podcasts, man. As I’ve described them to my dad, it’s like NPR all day but 100% interesting all the time. But alas, my dad still doesn’t know what podcasts are. I’m not even sure he truly understands what an mp3 is. Either way, I’m so glad I discovered this *free* form of entertainment, finally!

Seriously, though: what pods should I be listening to??

—DellaBites