Like Emily, I'm not the biggest fan of resolutions. A "successful completion of orbit around sun," as this hilarious Onion article called it feels laughably arbitrary, especially when reframed into those terms! That being said, I do love fresh starts and our two-week long holiday break served as a total reset that helped give me a fresh perspective on some of my daily habits.
This year, I'm resolving to reshape my routine by simplifying and reprioritizing my schedule. If 2017 was an amazing blur of social outings and travel, 2018 is about finding a little more balance in-between. Think: Making fewer after-work plans so that my alarm clock for 6 a.m. workouts doesn't feel like a bus to the face, reserving Sunday mornings for brunch with a book at my favorite new neighborhood spot, committing to Tuesday night trivia and cooking delicious dinners at home with my boyfriend other weeknights. I'm prioritizing things that foster inspiration, and provide time for rest and downtime. That isn't to say things will be perfect—last week, after swearing I'd head straight home after work each night, I did exactly the opposite—which is why I'm treating my goal as a rough guiding map. To that end, I'm reviving my weekly List earlier in the week to give you ample time to plan and prioritize your own. Feel free to use, skip, read, respond to, and dive into this list however it best applies to you—and share your own finds in the comments! Cheers to a happy 2018 full of more reading and less scrolling, satisfying and healthy meals, downtime in-between time with friends, and (just maybe) some balance! Here's what I'm loving this week:
If you're looking for concerts... I've lost track of how many times I've written about Lauren Ruth Ward on this list, one of my favorite singers and the creator of my group of girlfriends' anthem, Make Love to Myself. This month, she has a residency at the Echo and is performing a free show every Monday! I'll be there tonight (like I said, balance is a work in progress...)—RSVP here for tickets.
If you're a fan of comedy... One of the episodes I quote most-often from This American Life (and I quote TAL a lot) is Mike Birbiglia's retelling of the time he sleep-walked out of a window at a La Quinta Inn in Walla Walla, Washington. If you haven't heard it, I highly recommend you listen to it—the first time I heard it, I was driving and starting laughing so hard I had to pull over! He's performing at The Largo next Tuesday, one of my favorite venues in L.A.. You can purchase tickets here!
P.S., Last July, I wrote about Iñárritu's exhibit at LACMA, Carne y Arena, a VR experience of crossing the US / Mexico border. This weekend, I finally attended it (tickets are tough to come by, but I recommend signing up for LACMA's newsletter since they become available in batches) and it was one of the most incredible pieces of art I've ever seen. I wasn't sure what exactly to expect, but the technology truly immersed me in the experience. It was terrifying, and moved me to tears. You can find more information here.
After watching Fed Up at the end of last year and coming across more and more articles like this one, the evidence continues to support sugar's possible correlation between health issues as benign as cavities and energy crashes, and as serious as organ failures and mood swings. As a result, I'm making a conscious effort to cut out as much added sugar as possible in my diet. One of the areas I find most challenging is breakfast—often, I drink a smoothie as soon as I work out, then have oatmeal or yogurt with maple syrup and coffee with sugar as soon as I'm at the office (it's the sneaky sugar that gets me!). I think I finally cracked the code, though! For the past week, I've been keeping ingredients at the office to make healthy variations on smørrebrød.
To make it, I use Trader Joe's European Style Whole Grain Bread, then top that with vegan mayonnaise (a Gwyneth Paltrow tip I love), lox, avocado if it's in season or a sliced hard-boiled egg (which I buy already cooked and peeled at Trader Joe's), and furikake! Combined with a healthy smoothie and coffee with almond milk or Bulletproof coffee, the high-fat ingredients and hearty bread keep me full until lunch, even after a tough work out! P.S., If you're also trying to cut out sugar, I'd love to hear your tips! I just purchased this cookbook and will be posting more about it here once I've had a chance to test recipes.
Louise Erdrich's post-dystopian novel, Future Home of the Living God has a slow build—it's written as letters to the narrator's fetus in a post-dystopian world where we understand society has unraveled, but aren't entirely sure why. And then, about one-hundred pages in, there's a literary equivalent of a mic drop as all hell breaks loose. Without giving too much away, evolution has reversed and animals, humans included, are giving birth to their genetic predecessors. The result is a page-turning read, not to mention jarring metaphor for the backwards-facing, anti-progress state of politics in 2017.
Confession: I only watched the trailer for Columbus because I saw Haley Lu Richardson in the thumbnail preview. After loving her as the best friend in Edge of Seventeen (an adorable teen comedy from 2016), I had a hunch I'd feel the same way about Columbus, but had no idea how much I'd love it. The film, which has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, is about a renowned architect who's stuck in Indiana to care for his father who's fallen into a coma when he meets a young architecture student who feels stuck in the city for entirely different reasons—but sees the beauty in it. You can watch the entire thing on Hulu or on Amazon.
On a side note: Here's even more evidence that Oprah is the hero we all need.
It could have something to do with the drive south through Big Sur last weekend, but I have been on a major Michael Kiwanuka kick lately (you may recognize his song "Cold Little Heart" from the Big Little Lies theme song!). My obsession only grew when I listened to the Song Exploder episode on his song "Black Man in a White World," which I highly recommend. His haunting, beautiful songs that aren't quite background music (they're far too interesting), but are the perfect thing to put on shuffle when I get home from work, while cooking dinner.