‘Who? Weekly’ and ‘The Read’
I like my low-stakes celebrity and pop culture news explained to me with jokes and spicy opinions, and these two brilliant podcasts never let me down. I trust the hosts implicitly. I have never missed an episode! My stepkids are 15 and 17, and you know teenagers, nothing exists outside their body or their phone, so they don’t keep me hip. It’s nice to have my pop culture delivered into my ears by people who are funny and know more than I do.
The first time I read “Gone Girl,” it knocked me out of my socks. It’s such a good book — so clever and so funny and detailed. I read it once a year. It’s my comfort book, which probably means I’m a sicko, but I don’t care! (BTW where is Gillian Flynn’s next book? No pressure but also: PRESSURE. Girl, we miss you!)
I don’t even have to go anywhere, I am perfectly happy being cocooned in a warm car with a heated seat and a book (by “a book” I mean “my phone”). I don’t even like my current car that much, but I still would rather be sitting in it listening to the thoughts bouncing off the walls of my brain than almost any place else. You know how you burrito-wrap a baby and the baby stops crying? That’s me in a car. I put the seatbelt on and the tears are gone. My wife knows that if I say I’m going to make a phone call in the car, it’s definitely to talk about her.
At-Home Hair Clippers
I first shaved my head when I was 16, the day before I started my senior year of high school, and I haven’t stopped cutting my own hair since. I’ve had many barbers and I’ve loved them all. I appreciate a crisp (unnecessary) lineup, but it’s not like I’m in the N.B.A.; literally no one cares if I don’t have an expertly crafted hairline.
As a kid, I was always making mixtapes for people. Now you can make a playlist on whatever music platform you use, and it’s much faster and less labor-intensive than in the olden days when you had to go buy a pack of 60-minute tapes and devote an entire afternoon to compiling the best songs that say, “Hey, I like you, but also there’s plausible deniability if you are repulsed by me.” I very intentionally make playlists with themes and post them on Instagram or put a link in my newsletter. I like to make hyper-specific playlists for myself (“7 Songs to Run Errands To”), but I also enjoy making them for my friends (“A Collection of Music That Will Trick You Into Thinking I’m Cool”).
We got a new mattress a couple years ago and the salesman threw in two fancy gel pillows as a bonus. Now I’ll never not have one. They don’t get too hot, but the best feature is that if you, like I, are a side sleeper who prefers to kind of crunch your pillow into a makeshift bulging tube, you can do it. It’ll stay crunched, and in the morning rather than crying because you broke your pillow, you can instead just mash it back to its original shape and not be sad. Genius technology! I am never going back.
Dina Gachman is the author of “So Sorry for Your Loss,” a book of essays about grief.