eight fun things

It’s Friday! So far today I’ve edited video, gone running, made phone calls, baked sourdough and potatoes, mixed up a batch of multigrain sourdough, showered, and made a cheese. Now I’m settled on the couch, my belly full of salad, chocolate, and coffee, ready to focus on some writing.

I love that it’s Friday, but I can’t fully kick back since I have a middle of the night bake shift coming up tonight — well, tomorrow morning, really. Cranking out an insane amount of goodies will be fun once I’m in the night kitchen with the rest of the team, but right now all I’m doing is dreading the early morning wake-up and then the loooong day of tiredness that will follow. But I’m a tough cookie [she tells herself], and it’s gonna be just fine.

ANYWAY. How about a few fun things to kick off the holiday weekend?


I picked these up at Costco on a whim. Minty, crunchy, and chocolatey, they go down reeeal easy. 

I call them “angel poop” because they taste of heaven and look like little poo pellets. 


My husband and I plowed through the new TV series Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Actually, he started it without me and when I found out I hit the roof because fact: starting a new series without first checking with one’s partner is criminal.

So then he stopped and gamely rewatched the first few episodes with me. Turns out, the fact that he’d already watched them was kinda nice because he was able to tell me when all the scary things were about to happen so I could cover my eyes, and because he’d already seen it, he didn’t get nearly as irritated with me when I kept asking him what was happening.


One of my coworkers introduced me to Strands, the newest NY Times word puzzle. It’s way harder than Wordle, I think, and it often takes my husband and me working together a good 10-15 minutes to solve. We don’t do it every day, but weekends when we have more down time, we’ll do our games: first Strands, and then Wordle. There’s something so satisfying about focusing really hard on a puzzle and then solving it and ticking it off our list, like a little mental workout. Play it here!


I finally got my first pair of bluetooth earbuds!

These little pieces of tech magic fit over the ear but don’t go in it. I love this for two reasons. First, if I have ear buds in my ears for an extended time, my ears start to get a little sore, and second, I can still hear what’s going on around me. (If I were the sort of person who wore earbuds while running, these are exactly the kind I’d want so I could listen to my podcast while still being alert to passing vehicles.)

I was hoping to use these earbuds for video editing, but even though I’ve paired them with my computer, there’s still a split-second lag that messes with all the cutting and splicing. Which is a bummer, but — and this is the best part — now I can listen to podcasts while sheeting out pastry!

And I love that I can enrich myself while my hands are busy. Which leads to. . .


Two podcasts!

A. One of my girlfriends recommended Rob Lowe’s podcast Literally!. The first episode I listened to — an interview between him and Hillary Swank — was fun but nothing special. But then I listened to his interview with Nando Parrado, one of the rugby players that was in the plane that crashed in the Andes back in 1972. The story, which I’d never heard, was harrowing and incredible, but what fascinated me most was Nando himself: his world view, his perspectives, his attitude. That interview was phenomenal — a real gift. I can’t recommend it enough. (A new movie about the crash just came out last year. It’s on my to-watch list. . . once I can muster up the courage. It’s gonna be intense!)

Update 3/31/34: We watched it last night for our family night movie. WOW. Harrowing story laced with profound beauty. Incredible production, excellent acting.

B. I’m sure you’re all aware of Moth Radio Hour (and if you’re not, GET ON IT). I love the little glimpses into other people’s lives — their insights and humor and struggles. But this week I listened to the most devastating story: about a young mother who was wrongfully sentenced to death along with her husband. The losses Sunny Jacobs suffered are incomprehensible, and yet she spoke with such gentleness about both grief and grace, heartbreak and love, anguish and forgiveness that it was staggering. (Elements of her story reminded me of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book A Little Princess, my favorite favorite book when I was a child.)

Do you have a favorite podcast? Do share!


Have you guys met Bruce yet? 

Our whole family is kinda in love.


I discovered a new favorite ice cream: Turkey Hill’s Peanut Butter Ripple. I’m a huge fan of the chocolate peanut butter, so when my daughter brought home the vanilla version, I was miffed. The ice cream looked so generic and bland and stupid. But then I tasted it and the metaphorical lightbulb that forever dangles above my head lit right up. 

This ice cream is — wait for it — the exact same as the chocolate peanut butter swirl but without the chocolate! Crazy, right? And it turns out that vanilla and peanut butter pair wonderfully, like a PB&J with a glass of ice-cold milk. I think I’ll have her pick me up another box today.


A few nights ago, my husband and I watched Mean Girls.

I’d never seen it (can you believe it?), and it was quite lovely — funny, warm, snappy. Like, a mashup of Napoleon Dynamite, Bottoms, and Clueless (which I’ve not seen). And now I get it when my kids say things like, “Stop saying fetch, Gretchen.”


P.S. Feedly is no longer working for my blog, so if you want to be notified of posts, sign up to get them via email.

This same time, years previous: redbud, celebrating seventy, the quotidian (3.29.21), milk bread, now that she’s back, for-real serious, teff pancakes with blueberries, absorbing the words, seven-minute egg, on being together: it’s different here somehow, the boy and the dishes.


  • suburbancorrespondent

    I still love A Little Princess; listening to it in the car with my little girls was an awesome experience! I like Wait, Wait; This American Life; and Hit Parade (from Slate). That last one seems weird, because I don’t really care about how music does on the charts, etc., but the host has an oddly lulling voice and he throws in all sorts of fun facts about the songs and the artists and pop music history plus snippets of the music, so it makes for fun light listening!

  • Eldon Miller

    Podcasts I enjoy:
    Ear Hustle – This one goes right to the top of the playlist the instant a new episode comes out, it is SO good! Made in San Quentin Prison, its a look into the life of incarcerated people in a way that humanizes them. It is not about their crimes or the things they’ve done, its about their life, and its unlike anything else Ive come across. Fantastic show.

    99% Invisible – all about design in every way. The title of the show references how 99% of design is invisible, but it has so much impact on everything around us. You will find yourself noticing things that you took for granted your whole life and thinking about them in new ways.

    In The Dark – This is Serial’s twin sister who is less famous but arguably smarter and better.

    No Such Thing as a Fish – British nerd humor. This is your four favorite geeks who you DEFINITELY want on your pub trivia team, talking about ridiculous facts and making jokes.

    Over The Road – That voice!! …come for the host’s gravelly, rich, incredible voice, stay for the rich tapestry of stories told from the perspective of a long haul trucker.

    Rumble Strip – A humble small town Vermont reporter talking to real people who have real lives doing real things. Its not flashy, but it always feels like a glimpse into something true. Start with her episode titled Finn and the Bell.

    Atlas Obscura – A dose of “the world’s strange, incredible and wondrous places.” 4 days a week take a quick 10-15 minute trip to somewhere fascinating.

    Wooden Overcoats – A comedy set in a funeral home on a fictional island, where the strange brother/sister duo try to stay one step ahead of their new, mysterious, perfect competition. Just enough absurdity played by a cast of incredible actors who put their all into the show every episode.

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