Back-to-School Commercials Are Bumming Me Out: An End of Summer Update

There's this commercial that came on a lot during the Olympics (related: I miss the Olympics. Dear god, I miss the Olympics so much). Given how frequently it ran during that time, I should probably know what company the commercial was advertising, but alas, I do not. Walmart maybe? Old Navy?

Anyway, whatever, that's not the point. The point is, this ad features some really hip kids -- I mean, REALLY hip, cooler than I could ever dream to be -- dancing in backpacks on the first day of school. We're talking popping, locking, the worm maybe. It's the kind of energetic dancing that makes you feel slightly guilty for just sitting there on your couch with a lap full of prosciutto. 

While it's an impressive sight to behold, I have to admit, I kind of get annoyed whenever this commercial comes on. It's not the kids. They're amazing. It's just that I have been conditioned to hate back-to-school advertisements since the days of my youth. As a kid, seeing sales on three-ring binders and highlighter specials pop up on my TV used to turn my stomach into knots. It's not that I hated the return of school, but man I hated the end of summer. And even though I am no longer in grade school anymore, these ads continue to serve as a reminder of the thing that I never want to accept: summer is coming to a close. 

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3 Things That Are Making Me Giddy Today

I just want you to see what I'm looking at right now...

I woke up this morning to this view from my bedroom window: Brooklyn all snowy and dreamy and not too miserably cold. That church you see there has been playing exclusively Christmas music on the bells for the past three months, and while it's definitely bizarre to still hear "O Holy Night" most mornings, I don't know, today it just seemed to fit. 

As I'm sure you can already guess, I'm in a bit of a rose-colored glasses kind of mood today. This, by the way, is not my instinct. Like, not at all. I'm naturally a what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-everything-is-meaningless-plus-I'm-hungry-why-isn't-there-any-food-in-my-fridge kind of girl. I have to work hard at the whole gratitude concept. Is that so shameful to admit?

But then there are days like today where the Disneyland switch gets flipped in my brain, and I can't see anything but magic and possibilities. So if you need an extra dose of positivity today, here are three things that are just making me glad as all get out today:

The Joni Mitchell Pandora station

Am I still the only nerd listening to Pandora? I know Spotify is what the cool kids are into, but I love Pandora because I can just plug in an artist and then I don't have to think about it. When I base a station off of Joni Mitchell (who I adore because she's amazing and also I'm sixty-five-years-old at heart), I also get James Taylor, Carole King, The Beatles, and Simon & Garfunkle. These are all artists you need to turn your day around. Trust me.


Last night, I finished reading Station Eleven, a post-apocalyptic science fiction wonder-novel written by Emily St. John Mandel, and man, it was just so damn engrossing. Major stamp of approval over here. Usually when I finish a book, I go into a mild depression because I never adequately prepare for what I'm going to read next. But not this time! I've already got two books, both wildly different from each other, cued up and ready to go.

The first is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. This last year, I read his collection of short, fictional stories, so I'm excited to read this famous true-crime account (especially coming off of the excitement of Making A Murder and Serial and all of this true-crime madness our culture is presently obsessed with). The second book I'll be reading is Katie Heaney's Never Have I Ever. I've been following Heaney's writing for a while now on The Hairpin, and she's a gem. Plus, I'm a lover of all things memoir, so this should be good. I'll keep you posted.

Some mega dope candles

My husband surprised me the other day with these candles from Urban Outfitters that he saw on a Buzzfeed list that made him think of me (gyaaaaw). Again, I'm a dignified sixty-five-year-old lady on the inside, so candles and Joni Mitchell are the key to my heart, and these candles in particular are BOMB. They smell so crazy good and lighting them just brightens up my day in a way that few things can. Also, I'm not sure why, but in the O'Shoney house, we refer to candles as "canders" and I have no idea why, but it makes us laugh.

So go turn on that Joni Mitchell Pandora station, turn the pages of a true-crime novel, and light some dope ass candles this weekend. Or, you know, do whatever it is that sparks joy in your brain. You deserve it.

What has been putting a pep in your step lately?