If you weren’t around in the late ’90s, congrats! You missed out on a lot of iconic pop culture moments, including the ups and downs of grunge king and beach queen Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. But what exactly happened there?
The two have inspired the mini-series Pam & Tommy which begins streaming this week on Hulu. Anderson was at the height of her Baywatch career, while Lee was the drummer of Motley Crue. The duo met on New Year’s Eve 1994, getting engaged just four days later, then had a beach wedding on February 19th. Anderson’s own mother didn’t know the two had gotten married until she found out in People.
Despite their short-lived romance (the duo were divorced by 1998) they had a famously chaotic marriage, which included their honeymoon notorious sex tape, which was considered to be one of the first major sex tape scandals in Hollywood. Lee also allegedly assaulted Anderson, and spent nearly 6 months in jail. Despite the turmoil, the two still have multiple children together, so there’s one happy ending there.
Clearly, there is enough here for a while 8-episode arch of the Anderson-Lee marriage, which is exactly why is headed to Hulu on February 3rd. The series will chronicle their whirlwind romance, featuring Lily James as Anderson and Sebastian Stan as Lee. Other stars include Nick Offerman, Seth Rogan, Taylor Schilling, and Jason Mantzoukas, who has famously been cast as Tommy’s penis
Has this ever happened to you? You create a fun word game for you and your partner to play. It becomes a social media phenomenon and you wind up selling it to a major newspaper to the tune of seven figures. It’s an all-too-common story and now it’s happened to Josh Wardle, inventor of the game sensation that almost bears his name, Wordle.
As per The New York Times, the Gray Lady itself has scooped up the game, which Wardle initially created for his partner. After it proved popular with friends and relatives as well, he made it public in October of last year. It only took a couple months to take the internet by storm. By the beginning of 2022, it was all over Twitter, thanks to a function that allows players to share how they fared, representing by an array of green, yellow, and gray blocks that may look indecipherable and alien to non-players.
The game play is simple: Players have six chances to guess a five-letter word. The game tells you which letters you got correct: yellow if it’s one of the letters but in the right space, green if it’s the right letter and in the right space. (It’s nothing but gray letters if all five are wrong.)
Wordle’s sale adds to NYT’s ever-growing database of word games, some of which are collected on its crossword app, which also features the also popular game Spelling Bee, where players try to make words out of seven letters (one of which must be in every word). The paper is hoping to amass some 10 million subscribers by 2025.
Will Wordle remain free? For now it will, meaning it won’t go behind the publication’s massive paywall, which also protects its crossword and other word games. Since Wardle made Wordle public, it went from 90 daily users to 300,000 in mid-November to millions nowadays. It’s not even four months old and already it’s inspired scores of copycats.
Because Wordle stats sharing has become a staple of social media — some may call it a scourge — it was inevitable that news of its sale earned some strong reactions on Twitter.
Travel is one of the greatest joys you can experience. It provides new opportunities to learn, discover new places, immerse oneself in diverse cultures, and have a downright good time. Sometimes, however, the incredible perks of traveling the world go hand-in-hand with immense stress. Between delayed flights, lost or stolen items, and under-researched destinations, embarking on journies to destinations near and far isn’t always as glamorous as it appears on Instagram.
While it’s the job of travel influencers to curate creative, colorful feeds that make you want to book a flight with every new post, they also know first-hand the highs and lows that come with travel. To help ensure your next vacation runs smoothly, we spoke with 14 influencers about their worst travel mistakes and what they learned from them.
From forgotten passports and airport breakdowns to overplanning and under preparing, they’re sharing their biggest travel flubs below — so you don’t make them, too.
EDITOR’S PICK: STEVE BRAMUCCI (@steve_bramucci) — PUT TOO MUCH FAITH IN THE “FRIEND DEAL”
Buying a car when traveling through East Africa is the best thing I’ve ever done as a traveler. Full stop. It gave me the freedom to pull over wherever I wanted — to buy fruit along the side of the road, camp in National Parks, pick up hitchhikers, and to really study animals while on safari (rather than racing past them just to check boxes on a generic form, like package tours do). Having a car as I roamed from Uganda down to Mozambique was the difference between being a “traveler” and a “tourist.”
I ate at the guide canteen in National Parks and gave rides to Masai warriors traveling across Kenya. I was the master of my domain — and had to make some pretty tough calls (like fording a rising, croc-filled river in my Nissan Patrol). It was, in a word, awesome.
So that’s the upside. 10/10 — would recommend people get their own vehicle for a big East African adventure.
Now here’s the f*ck up in all this: I bought that car from a man who my sister was pals with and recommended. But this man didn’t really know me and the car he sold me was less a “friend deal” than I was led to believe. I certainly could have gotten a similar, if not better car for less cash by just shopping for myself. Worse yet, after my sister refuted his dating advances while I was traveling, he promised to buy the car back. And because I thought he was a friend, I trusted him to pay me.
Big mistake. He took the car and the cash.
In the end, I got scammed out of roughly six grand. It also meant I was driving a car that was in bad shape, which led to me popping 22 tires in the span of three months. (That’s a lot, even for the corrugated roads of East Africa.) Some of the car troubles I had actually led to really cool experiences — like spending the night with a family of Masai, who fed me and helped me rethread the car’s drive shaft with a simple file. Others exposed me to real danger, like when I was knocked out cold in the middle of the Masai Mara by a faulty jack while changing yet another blown tire.
So would I change it? Looking back now, I’m glad it all happened the way it did. But for a 25-year-old travel writer who still had 8 months on the road ahead of me — yeah, I wanted that six grand back. To the point where I pondered flying back to Uganda just to chase it down.
Lesson: Keep your critical thinking intact while traveling. I don’t mean “be skeptical,” though some would argue that you should be. I actually think that assuming the best of people is one of the joys of travel. I just mean don’t shut your brain down completely, simply because you think you’re getting the “friend rate.”
The biggest travel mistake I ever made was the first time I ever tried to travel solo. I was going to meet some of my friends in Marbella. I think I was 17, and I was really excited. I had booked this flight last minute to go meet them, and everyone was so excited to see me. Actually, a guy that I really liked at the time was there with my friends and had gone there in secret to surprise me.
I bought this ticket with Easy Jet, and I got to the terminal in Gatwick and I got in the queue. The queue was quite long, as this was a few years back when the airport was just bumpin’ and busy. I was in the queue for a solid 20 minutes and never realized that I was on the north side of the terminal, but my flight was going out of the south side of the terminal. So I got to the front of the line and said, “here’s my ticket.” They looked at my luggage and said, “no, you’re on the wrong side of the terminal. It’s going to take at least 15 minutes to get there even if you run. You need to have checked in by now.”
They wouldn’t call ahead to the other team, so I literally ran there. When I got there, I was on death’s door. I was gasping for air. I finally got to the desk, and they said to me, “no, you cannot check-in for your flight.” I was absolutely devastated and didn’t know what to do. I was begging them to let me on and burst into tears. They were being strict on check-in times and wouldn’t budge. I was absolutely bawling my eyes out. My crush got to the destination and got ears that I wasn’t there. We never ended up together in the end, and I completely missed my flight and never went to Marbella.
Ever since then, I have gotten to the airport about three and a half hours early just because I never ever want to risk that again.
My biggest travel mistake of all time would be trying to see it all. Each destination has so much to offer that it is tempting to visit as many sights as possible. However, creating content and gathering information for various platforms take time, and it is simply not feasible to overfill the itinerary.
During my recent trip to Agra, I wanted to see the Taj Mahal from various viewpoints and explore a few off-beat landmarks in the city. I ended up having such a big list of places that it meant my friend and I couldn’t stay for long in any of them. Because of this, I realized that it is better to be at one location to your heart’s desire than try to see everything and not enjoy any. There will always be more places to check out!
This isn’t necessarily a single mistake, but it is something I regret doing. I had always heard from fellow traveler friends about how convenient TSA PreCheck is, but I procrastinated applying for it simply because of not knowing exactly where to start. I know, I know — all it really takes is a simple Google search.
I finally signed up for TSA PreCheck last year because of all the 2021 travel experiences I had lined up. Let me tell you, it is life-changing. There are no lines, no scrambling with your luggage to quickly remove your electronics, and no need to take your shoes off. The best part is that it only costs $85 and lasts five full years. That’s only $17 per year to skip the security lines (AKA, airport hell) and get to every flight with plenty of time to spare.
It’s made all the difference for me when it comes to traveling.
NATHAN FLUELLEN (@worldwidenate) — SKIPPING HIS RESEARCH ABOUT PANAMA TRAVEL
My biggest travel mistake or fail would be going to Panama without doing enough research to realize that there isn’t a lot of tourism infrastructure in place and that there aren’t desirable tourist spots near Panama City. It’s so industrial because of the Panama Canal, so the ideal thing is to fly into Panama and maybe do a day or two in Panama City. Then, book a flight to the outskirts.
Even for those flights, you have to transfer to another airport. So preparation is cucial.
Lesson: Traveling to Panama isn’t just a quick trip of flying to Central America in two to three hours and you’re in paradise where you can just go off and explore. You have to plan to travel to Panama City, take time to connect for a layover in Panama City, or plan to purchase an additional flight to go off to the more remote, picturesque places that have the white sand beaches and the little islands. Going to Panama takes time, and it may take you a full day to get to your final destination.
Not knowing that and spending too much time in the industrial areas was definitely one of my biggest mistakes.
From missed flights and visa issues to horrible accommodation, stolen wallets, and passports left in cabs, I’ve definitely made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to travel. Speaking of left passports — a few years ago I was backpacking solo through Southeast Asia when suddenly I realized I left my passport in the back of a cab I took to the train station earlier that morning to travel from South Vietnam to North Vietnam.
In an obvious panic, I decided to reach out to the hostel I had been staying at and who originally called the cab for me earlier that day. They were luckily able to get ahold of the nice cab driver! He was so sweet and even shipped my passport across Vietnam to my next accommodation. Call it good luck, good karma, or just amazing people- my lesson was definitely learned. Always treat people with kindness wherever you go, you never know when you might need some kindness in your life! Oh, and you should definitely travel to Vietnam!
My biggest travel mistake, I think was when I booked my flight back on the wrong date. I booked to Lisbon and back to Germany. It was in January. I wanted to stay there only for a couple of days and was driving to the airport for my flight back to Germany. On the check-in, I realized that I booked back the wrong date.
The flight on my ticket was for one month later and not the date that day. So I needed to book a new flight ticket for the next day. I learned from it to make sure now every time to double-check when I book something.
I forgot to check the visa requirements! This happened a few years ago when I was supposed to visit Brazil. I was all packed and ready to go. Arrived at the airport to check-in for my flight and when the agent asked for my visa, I swore I turned blue. My stomach was wrenched in knots and I felt like throwing up. How could I forget to apply for a visa?!? Biggggg mistake!
Needless to say, I never got on the flight. So now before I travel, I make sure to research visa requirements for that specific country because I will never make that mistake again.
A mistake I’ve made and continue to make is trying to bring my pepper spray to the airport or to the events I’ve gone to on my trips. I swear I’ve bought five-plus pepper spray bottles this past year because I keep forgetting to take them out of my bag! Hoping in 2022 I won’t need to buy more than one or will remember to use other self-defense options to keep myself safe while traveling. It is SO important for women, especially those traveling solo, to be aware of their surroundings and take measures to protect themselves.
As an alternative to pepper spray, the Birdie Personal Safety Alarm is great since it’s not a dangerous item and you can take it on the plane. A great keychain set for somebody who wants to try out different things is this Safety Keychain. For packing in checked luggage, pepper spray and stun guns are allowed. You just can’t take them in a carry-on.
In the last few years, I’ve visited 55 of the 63 Major US National Parks solo, and have truly learned so much. I feel so capable and confident and dare I say — an expert — in so many aspects of this type of travel. But there is still one mistake that I just can’t help but make — I assume things will be easy.
Now, this sounds like a really fun and positive mistake to make – and it is – sometimes. I generally assume that I will figure everything out when or before I need to, and that everything will just be… intuitive.
Of course, this is real life, and the reality is that things aren’t always intuitive – especially when it comes to huge swaths of somewhat unobstructed outdoor space. I honestly generally don’t plan as much as I should, just assuming that there will be sign, right? A map? Some random pocket of cell service?
And often none of these things are true. I wonder to myself again, why do I always think this will be intuitive? Promise myself I will do things differently next time. But inevitably, the cycle starts again.
My biggest travel mistake has become my biggest travel tip. In the past when I would travel, I would forget to plan enough time for me to enjoy my hotel. I always love booking beautiful hotels. I love a luxe hotel. I love something with a lot of amenities. I love something that feels special. I love something boutique and unique.
For example, one of my favorite hotels in Manhattan is The Ludlow in the Lower East Side because I love bathtubs. They have this room that has a balcony, so I feel very Parisian when I’m in it, and then there’s this gorgeous soaking bathtub in a window. You’re basically looking over Manhattan in this insane, breathtaking bathtub.
So back in the past, I would book a hotel then overschedule my trip and only come into the room to pass out. I’d miss out on something like a bathtub. So my biggest mistake was not spending enough time in my hotel rooms. Now, I plan more time or book an extra day for myself just to enjoy my room. I have a whole dedicate to enjoying my hotel for myself…I spent time researching and finding the best place to stay, so I want to enjoy it.
So I feel like one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the past is not making time to enjoy the luxurious places that I booked and not spending enough time enjoying the amenities of these spaces. However, the biggest mistake that I think often people make is forgetting to say, “thank you.” Say thank you to those who are caring for us, to everyone who’s cleaning the room, checking you in, carrying the bags, opening the elevator, or serving food. Just saying thank you is one of the things that has led me to have amazing stays and feeling like I was connected to people who were helping me have an amazing experience.
Not saying thank you is the biggest mistake someone can make.
In July 2021, my friend and I did an unforgettable vacation on Staniel Cay, which is an island within the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas. We automatically assumed that we would just fly into Exuma International Airport on Great Exuma Island and booked a Basic Economy flight without doing the research beforehand.
Since we had to get from Great Exuma Island to our resort on Staniel Cay, we needed to figure out a way to get from one island to the other. It wasn’t until the staff at our resort told us that there wasn’t a simple ferry that took visitors from island to island in the Exumas that we realized we didn’t do our research beforehand.
The number one way to get to Staniel Cay is by taking a flight straight to Fort Lauderdale in South Florida and then taking Maker’s Air to Staniel Cay. Since my friend and I booked Basic Economy to Great Exuma Island, we couldn’t change our flights due to our plane ticket status, so we still had to figure out a way to get over to Staniel Cay.
What we ended up doing was hopping on a boat tour that took us from Great Exuma Island to Staniel Cay Marina at the Yacht Club. The same company also took us back! It ended up working out for us and we enjoyed a fun experience out of it, even though it did take away some time from us in Staniel Cay, which was the highlight of the trip. This is a reminder that no matter what trip you decide to take, always do your research beforehand.
Last summer I was basking in my post-vaccination glow and was eager to hit the road and do some domestic travel after over a year in isolation. This gave me way too much time to think, so when the opportunity to visit Oceanside, California with my girlfriend came my way (probably the only coastal city in California I hadn’t visited) I jumped at the chance and set about learning everything I could about the town.
The history, the food spots most beloved by locals, the bars, the vibrant surf scene — I had a full and strict itinerary planned with a checklist of activities including photoshoots using expensive analog film from a camera I had no real working knowledge of using (but I sure read a lot about it!).
When I arrived in Oceanside everything fell apart. The clouds were constant, the must-visit bars were closed, I missed my surfing lesson and as the day went on the checklist was looking more like a series of boxes than a list of checks. So I made the best decision I could make. I threw the itinerary away and stopped trying to make my plans work.
It’s smart to approach your travels with a plan, but ultimately flexibility is your greatest asset on the road, you need to be willing and ready to throw that itinerary away and just go with the flow. Once I stopped trying to make the perfect vacation happen, I started having fun. Sometimes the pressure of making your vacation ideal turns your vacation into work and that’s the last thing you want. Allow yourself to escape into your surroundings and you’ll always have a better and more memorable trip.
ZACH JOHNSTON (@ztpwhiskey) — SEEKING OUT DANGER FOR “COOL POINTS”
Let me clarify “danger” here. I’m not talking about parasailing or bungee jumping off a tower or camping out in bear country (well, maybe that last one a little). I’m talking about pursuing warzone travel. I went through a phase where my travel addiction (a very real thing) pushed me to tempt death. I was Jim Morrison daring the universe to kill me because I was so deep in my addiction and so arrogant that I thought I was invincible. I went deep into Northwest Pakistan and hung out with the Taliban. I jauntily strolled the Smuggler’s Bazaar in Peshawar. I took long walks through Kabul at night. I trekked all the way into Badakhshan in the extremely remote northeast corner of Afghanistan, bribing armed-to-the-teeth checkpoint guards the whole way with fresh $100 bills. Then there was Eastern Congo, where my hubris actually landed me in a secret police jail cell for half a day. Luckily, I had enough crisp $100s on me to bribe my way out of that one too.
Getting shot at was a thrill. Hell, having to carry a weapon while traveling was one too. Hanging out and getting high on opium at the front in Afghanistan as American bombs dropped nearby was something that gave me this false sense of “cool.” It wasn’t. I was just being an asshole. And the only reason I’m here now is that I got incredibly lucky (a lot of times).
To be clear, traveling to Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Congo (and others) wasn’t a mistake. What I did there was a mistake. I pushed boundaries for no other reason than to have a story no one else on earth would have when — if — I got home. I put myself and others in danger so I can tell a story now. That is my greatest travel and life regret because I don’t tell those stories. They’re too embarrassing and shameful looking back on them now.
Remember 2017? It was one of those glorious pre-pandemic years, where you’d never heard of wearing a mask and time still passed in a normal way. It was also a year when Ed Sheeran scored a No. 1 hit, as he’s wont to do, writing the song “Perfect” about his then-girlfriend, now wife and mother of his child, Cherry Seaborn. Now, Ed’s been married for almost three years and his daughter, Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran, is going to be turning two this year. Life comes at you fast, huh? “Perfect” was such a big song that even Beyonce got involved with it, when Sheeran re-released the tune as a duet featuring her. Later, one of the best Italian opera singers in the world, Andrea Bocelli, also got involved and recorded his own version. the song was… literally perfect. And it was written by only one person — Sheeran himself.
Now, since that song went to the No. 1 spot back in 2017, no other song that was written by only one person has hit the same high-water mark since. Until today. Today, Encanto‘s inescapable hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” claimed the top of the chart. It became songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first No. 1 hit, and unseated Ed Sheeran in the process. Although, fun fact, though it might’ve only been written by one person, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” actually broke another record, too, and this one was for the most performers credited on a song on the Hot 100. That’s because, though Lin wrote it on his own, the song is performed ensembler as part of the Disney film it belongs in. Life is all about balance, you know? Check out the song above if you haven’t heard it yet.
Anybody who thought the vinyl resurgence was just a fad was mistaken: The industry has experienced a legitimate revival. As a result, music fans are interested in physical media in ways they may not have if the decades-old medium hasn’t made a comeback. That doesn’t mean everybody is listening to just their parents’ old music, though. That’s part of it, sure, thanks to rereleases that present classic albums in new ways. A vital part of the renewed vinyl wave, though, is new projects being released as records, of which there are plenty.
Whatever you might be into, each month brings a new slew of vinyl releases that has something for everybody. Some stand out above the rest, naturally, so check out some of our favorite vinyl releases of January below.
Jonny Greenwood — The Power Of The Dog
When Jonny Greenwood isn’t fulfilling his Radiohead duties, he’s become prominent in the scoring world. He provided the music for the Netflix film The Power Of The Dog, for example, and now his score is getting a vinyl release, which features a printed disc sleeve and the album pressed on high-fidelity black vinyl.
Burial kicked off 2022 with the Antidawn EP, which really veers into full-blown album territory with its 43-minute runtime. The vinyl edition is available on Bandcamp, which means that aside from the physical LP, you’ll get a digital download of the album to enjoy when you’re away from your turntable.
Toy, a previously unreleased David Bowie album, is legendary among fans, and now it’s finally widely available, as it got an official release earlier this month. It arrives as part of the Toy:Box set, the vinyl edition of which is pressed on six 10-inch vinyl records, which include the album, B-sides, and more extras.
As Grimes readies her Book 1 project, now isn’t a bad time to look back at what got Grimes to this point with a new Vinyl Me, Please reissue of Visions, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. VMP even got Grimes to write new liner notes for this exclusive edition. For example, she wrote of “Infinite Love Without Fulfillment,” “Wow, i can hear myself learning how to make music in this song. I remember doing the vocal over the drums and then randomly trying that baseline and being like whoa! And kinda spiralling into this experiment.”
Bonobo has established himself as one of this century’s most beloved electronic artists, and now he has returned with his esteemed seventh album, Fragments. If you want an uncommon edition of the LP to highlight your record shelf, Vinyl Me, Please has an exclusive version that’s pressed on gorgeous orange and red swirled vinyl.
PJ Harvey — Let England Shake (Reissue) and Let England Shake – Demos
For a good while now, PJ Harvey has been going through her back catalog to give her albums fresh vinyl reissues, accompanied by companion albums that feature demos and other goodies. Now, Let England Shake, her revered 2011 album, has gotten the same treatment. While some releases (like the Bonobo one you just read about) come with vinyl pressed in fancy colors, the standard black LP is actually the perfect visual accompaniment to the monochrome album art here.
Get Let England Shakehere. Get Let England Shake – Demoshere.
The Weeknd — Dawn FM
The Weeknd has one of the year’s biggest albums so far with Dawn FM, and now fans can secure their own uncommon piece of it: The album has gotten an exclusive vinyl edition that’s only available at Target and features alternative artwork and silver translucent vinyl.
Cat Power — Covers (Indie Exclusive Colored Vinyl)
Cat Power is one of the best cover artists we have, and she has nailed it once again on her latest collection of other folks’ songs, aptly and simply titled Covers. This edition of the album is pressed on gold vinyl, which looks lovely when paired with the denim-clad cover art.
The Zimbabwean-Australian singer wrapped up her storied Last Year Was Weird EP trilogy this month with the final installment, and if you were hoping to get a nice pressing of that for your collection, here we go. This is a real meat-and-potatoes edition, which comes pressed on classic black vinyl housed in a full-color printed inner sleeve.
The Death Of Speedy Ortiz & Cop Kicker… Forever is a great collection for longtime Speedy Ortiz fans, as it compiles the band’s first album and EP (the ones mentioned in the release’s title) and some other goodies. As for what those goodies include, nobody can explain it better than Sadie Dupuis herself, and thankfully, she made an unboxing video that you can check out above.
Any parent knows that kids can be surprisingly astute little philosophers at the most unexpected times. One minute your child is throwing a tantrum because you sliced their sandwich wrong, and the next they are blowing you away with their deep preschool thoughts. It’s enough to give you whiplash, but it’s also one of the most fun things about being around kids. You never know what they’re going to say and sometimes what they say is just awesome.
Case in point: This 5-year-old who gave his mom some sage advice about handling her nerves.
Twitter user @Eprecipice (StressieBessie) shared the story in a tweet thread. She wrote:
“When talking about our agendas for the day, I told my 5yo I was a little nervous about a meeting I have today. He said, ‘Mama, I am nervous all the time. I know what to do.’ So friends, here is all the advice he could fit into the drive to school:”
When talking about our agendas for the day, I told my 5yo I was a little nervous about a meeting I have today. He said, u201cMama, I am nervous all the time. I know what to do.u201d So friends, here is all the advice he could fit into the drive to school:
1. “You gotta say your affirmations in your mouth and your heart. You say, ‘I am brave of this meeting!’ , ‘I am loved!’, ‘I smell good!’ And you can say five or three or ten until you know it.”
Okay, first of all, the fact that this kiddo knows what affirmations are is awesome. Some people have questioned whether this advice really came from a 5-year-old because of the vocabulary, but kids are sponges and affirmations aren’t rocket science. It’s become quite common for preschools and kindergartens to teach kids things like this, so it’s not actually surprising to hear him talk about affirmations. It’s just adorable to hear the ones he suggests.
2. u201cYou gotta walk big. You gotta mean it. Like Dolly on a dinosaur. Because you got it.u201d
2. “You gotta walk big. You gotta mean it. Like Dolly on a dinosaur. Because you got it.”
Okay, so this actually is sound advice. Researcher Amy Cuddy gave a whole TED Talk about how our minds respond to our own body language, and how using confident body language can actually release chemicals in our brains that make us feel more powerful and self-assured. So “walk big” like you mean it is legit.
4. u201cThink about the donuts of your day! Even if you cry a little, you can think about potato chips!u201d
No idea what this means, but it’s definitely solid wisdom.
4. “Think about the donuts of your day! Even if you cry a little, you can think about potato chips!”
I’m genuinely not sure if this is referencing real donuts or not, which is part of what makes it delightful advice. Metaphorically, “the donuts of your day” could be the positive things that happened, and focusing on those instead of the negative is basic positive thinking. Then again, if you cry and think about potato chips, perhaps he’s just referencing comfort with food. Either way, totally feeling it.
6. u201cEven if itu2019s a yucky day, you can get a hug.u201d
5. “You gotta take a deep breath and you gotta do it again.”
Pretty much every therapist from every psychological school of thought will tell you that breathing exercises are one of the quickest ways to calm your body and mind. Simple, but seriously sound advice.
6. “Even if it’s a yucky day, you can get a hug.”
Even though that sounds like a pretty typical thought for a kid, it’s also good well-being advice. According to The Conversation, the chemicals released when we hug can help us manage stress, reduce anxiety and manage our emotions.
He added one more piece of advice for good measure as well for those of us who tend toward distraction.
Extra addition from this afternoon: u201cDonu2019t get distracted and your feet will stay on the sidewalk and not too full of snow.u201d
Seriously, if you ever want to hear some of the most oddly profound things you’ll ever hear in your life, spend some time interviewing a 4- or 5-year-old. They really do say the darnedest things. And if you’re nervous about something, just keep telling yourself you’re “brave of” it. If nothing else, it’ll bring a smile to your face remembering this delightful thread.
After creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone cranked out two pandemic specials to tide over fans, South Park is officially returning for its 25th season this week. The new season kicks off Wednesday night on Comedy Central, and ahead of the first all-new episode since 2019, the show dropped a short promo for the season premiere. No doubt piggybacking off the contentious, ripped from the headlines issue of how teachers are being treated during the pandemic, the promo shows the kids losing their Pajama Day privileges after being their usual selves to Mr. Garrison.
Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny do not get to wear their pajamas to school on the most important day of the year in the season 25 premiere of “South Park,” appropriately titled “Pajama Day,” airing on Wednesday, February 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. After failing to show respect for their teacher, PC Principal revokes Pajama Day privileges for the entire 4th grade class. Cartman is distraught. The kids aren’t going to stand for it but PC Principal refuses to back down.
As for where to watch the new season… oh boy.
While Parker and Stone have announced a slew of new South Park movies will be coming to Paramount+, you can only watch the new South Park episodes as they air on Comedy Central, or on the Comedy Central app and SouthPark.com after they air. As part of Parker and Stone’s deal with HBO Max, the 25th season will be available on that streaming platform at a later date. Got all that?
South Park Season 25 premieres Wednesday, February 2 at 8 PM ET/PT on Comedy Central.
There truly is no limit to the amount of creative brilliance in the world. And sometimes seeing the works of talented humans is all you need to have your faith restored, or at least to brighten your day a bit.
Los Angeles based artist Bridget McCarty creates incredibly lifelike, yet nonetheless tiny rooms with remarkable craftsmanship.
Her Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are chock-full of these intricate, elaborate mini-masterpieces, and even some amazing how-to videos that can help get your own creative juices flowing.
Taking a look at these creations, it’s easy to forget that these models are in fact only inches tall.
The Haunted Mansion fans were baffled by McCarty’s Haunted Ballroom, complete with ghostly pipe organ and glowing chandelier. Actually, according to her website, McCarty is a huge Disney aficionado and even supplies art to Disney Parks galleries.
Winter has always been a bit of a struggle for me. A long slog that must be endured. As soon as October comes around, my mental health takes a dip. I get a rebound in December with its cozy holiday vibes, but once the calendar flips to January, my mental health takes a major hit. I find myself counting down the days until March, wishing time away.
But lately, I’ve realized just how problematic this is for me. Not only does my mental health suffer, but as a result of my winter ‘blahs,’ my relationships also suffer. I’m shorter with my family. My motivation wanes, which in turn leads to feelings of shame and guilt, which decreases motivation even more. Rinse and repeat.
For the past few years, I’ve been making more of a concerted effort to tend to my mental health during these seasonal changes. An introvert at heart, hygge is my jam. Snuggling under a blanket with a hot cuppa something? Yes, please.
What has really transformed my outlook on winter and helped my mental health in the process, however, has been the concept of wintering. Popularized by Katherine May in her book by the same name –Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times – wintering has not only changed the way I look at this season on the calendar, but also similar seasons of life.
Central to May’s book and the concept of wintering is adjusting our perspective of winter – whether the literal or metaphorical variety – from one of bleakness to one of renewal. Winters, after all, are essential to regrowth.
“Wintering brings about some of the most profound and insightful moments of our human experience, and wisdom resides in those who have wintered,” May writes.
Just reading these words last year – in the depths of a pandemic winter in the Upper Midwest, where cold isn’t just cold but downright frigid – brought comfort in this otherwise painful season. Instead of something to endure and wish away, winter started to feel almost honorable. And my newfound acceptance of it started to feel radical and rebellious. Instead of feeling like there was something wrong with me for feeling a bit sluggish, anxiety-ridden, and despairing, I felt an almost giddy ease, like I was in on a secret that these feelings were not only okay, but necessary.
At its core, wintering – to me, at least – is about changing my perspective and paying attention. “When you start tuning in to winter, you realize that we live through a thousand winters in our lives – some big, some small,” May writes. While this might seem like a pessimistic approach, there is comfort in knowing that we’ve made it through lean, hard, lonely times before, and we can do it again.
These winters of our life don’t need to be feared or avoided, but held with care and compassion. The past couple of years have felt like a never-ending winter for many of us, I suspect. Even when things seem reasonably “fine,” there’s a subliminal heaviness to my psyche. I feel stuck and confused, lethargic and antsy all at the same time. I want to heal.
Don’t get me wrong, wintering didn’t magically “fix” anything, but it did cause a subtle shift in me that snowballed (pardon the winter pun) into something more comfortable. Or at least less brutal.
So what does wintering look like for me, and how does it help my mental health?
Well, here are a few things I’ve tried to incorporate into my life during winter – whether they come in the months of December through February or some other time of the year:
Trust my intuition, and feel the feels. Once I accepted winters as a necessary, and perhaps even helpful part of life, I was able to accept them more easily. If I’m feeling sad or lonely, I let myself feel sad and lonely. Same thing with joy and comfort. We don’t need to ignore our sadness, or pretend it isn’t there; nor do we need to tamper our joy and contentment. We only need to trust ourselves. “Wintering,” May writes, “ is a moment of intuition, our true needs felt keenly as a knife.”
Give myself permission to rest – like, really, rest. Lying on the couch while my mind races with all the things I “should” be doing isn’t really resting. Nor is it resting if I feel guilty about how or when you rest. Wintering gives us permission to rest when and how we need. No questions asked. That means more sleep too. With darkness enveloping our home earlier, we might feel an almost circadian urge to sleep more. This is normal and good.
Get physical with wintering. In her book, May tells the story of cold water swimming (and by cold, I mean 37 degrees Fahrenheit cold). I was nearly shivering just reading about it, but there was something exhilarating about it too.
“Immersion in cold water has been shown to increase levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, by 250 percent,” May notes in the book. “A recent study found that regular winter swimming significantly decreased tension and fatigue, as well as negative states associated with memory and mood, and improved swimmers’ sense of general wellbeing.”
I’m not going to start swimming in Lake Michigan in the middle of January, but this concept has changed my perspective. I’m more likely to blast the cold water at the end of a shower, and I was more eager to walk out into a cold mountain lake on vacation this summer, instead of sitting on the rocky shore as I would have done in the past. I feel energized and peaceful all at the same time, while also sensing a clarity that I can’t quite pinpoint. Bottom line: it feels good even if it feels uncomfortable.
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed of the dark and difficult times. As May writes, “Everybody winters at one time or another; some winter over and over again.” In our glossy and edited social media culture, it can be easy to think that we are alone in our struggles, mental health challenges, and difficult times. But that just isn’t true.
Our inability to accept, hold space for, and even nurture our pain doesn’t come from a personality flaw or weakness, but simply because we weren’t given the tools to do otherwise. As May writes, “We’re not raised to recognize wintering or to acknowledge its inevitability. Instead, we tend to see it as a humiliation, something that should be hidden from view lest we shock the world too greatly.”
I’ve been open about my mental health challenges, but the concept of wintering has helped me be more open about these challenges in real time. I’m far more likely to say, “I am struggling” or “I’m dealing with a touch of depression right now,” than waiting until I “feel better.” And this distinction has been critical in getting the help and support so that I can actually feel better.
Wintering isn’t just cozy socks, glowing candles, and knitting while tucked under a quilt. Though it can certainly be those things too. Mostly it’s about seeing winter, and any hard or dark times in our life, for what they are – essential. Wintering is about shutting off the constant busyness and go-go-going of our lives that we sometimes use to mask our pain or anxiety or sadness so that we can recover, heal, and grow.
Last year, Machine Gun Kelly was so sure that he was naming his new album Born With Horns that he and collaborator Travis Barker got the title tattooed on themselves. Now, though, MGK has had a change of heart and given the album a different name. So, in a hilarious TikTok video, he had to break the news to Barker that the album is now called Mainstream Sellout.
In the clip, Barker and Kelly sit side-by-side as Kelly starts, “OK, we’re friends no matter what, right?” After getting confirmation from Barker, he continued, “Remember when, um… remember when we got the album name, the new album name, tattooed on our arms?” As Barker realizes what’s happening, he laughs and says something to the effect of, “You’re changing it.” Kelly laughs and confirms before Barker asks, “OK, what’s the new album name?” At that point, the video cuts to the album logo for Mainstream Sellout, a title that seems thematically connected to its preceding album, Tickets To My Downfall.
Back when the album was called Born With Horns, Kelly said of it, “It feels more guitar-heavy for sure, lyrically it definitely goes deeper – but I never like to do anything the same. Every album is a juxtaposition of the last album. So I went and studied ‘Tickets [To My Downfall]’, and I heard the bright sound that I had, and for this album I just turned the lights off.”
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