I don't have to make a meme to express just how insane 2016 was. "Favorite things" stopped being operative and "things that keep me sane" was a more accurate description of my relationship to art and objects. Below, five of the reasons I haven't moved to a trailer deep in the desert and nailed boards across my window (don't worry, I would have taken my children with me).
1. Helen's Wines/DomaineLA
You know how people in the Middle Ages thought beer was actually hydrating and consumed it in lieu of water? Maybe they were onto something. These two LA-based female-run wine shops are my havens. Helen's Wines (nestled in the back of the delicious Jon and Vinny's) makes you feel good about being a wino, because it's run by Helen Johannesen, a kick-ass female sommelier whose taste and style are feminine and playful but still, well, boozy. How can you not love a wine rec that starts "Try this wine, it's dope as fuck!"? And equally dope is DomaineLA, run by Jill Bernheimer. Domaine is an attitude-free wine haven with an Insta that is filled with rescue dogs and employees scoring baskets in the tiny b-ball hoop set up in the parking lot. So both my favorite wine stores are run by women. Coincidence?
We are all inundated with true crime these days, but this podcast is especially riveting, well-researched, and, with short conclusive episodes, perfect for your morning commute (if you like murder and stuff, that is). The host reminds me of a young Terry Gross, if Terry Gross were into getting to the bottom of money-laundering scandals and stuff.
3. Women continuing to make noisy noise about equal pay
It's been over a year since J. Law laid it down on the subject of equal pay in Lenny Letter, but we are still seeing the effects as women say no to the stigma of demanding more. Just this week, Emmy Rossum announced she wanted a salary that made up for the many years she was paid less than her male co-lead on Shameless. Um, yeah dude.
4. Heather Taylor Home
After the election, I didn't want to do anything except rage, eat, and watch my programs, so the idea of cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 25 grieving Democrats was not high on my list of things to do. But my friend Heather Taylor, a designer of gorgeous table linens, came over and brought literal cheer in the form of pink and golden embroidered napkins that made getting out of sweatpants seem actually appealing. She saved the holiday! Damn, I love knowing talented, entrepreneurial women.
5. Judd Apatow trolling his trolls
If you know Judd, you know he doesn't drop the joke until he's good and ready. He also doesn't let trolls go unchecked, and he responds to them on Twitter in a way that makes them feel as insane as this election made us feel. Judd trolling the trolls is yet another reason he's one of the best of the white men. I hope he never stops, if only for my pleasure.
2016 was a wild and woolly mix of total wackness and utter beauty. For every broken elbow, there was a chance to speak at the DNC about the country I want to live in. For every painful and friendship-altering moment of honesty, there was an equally healing one. For every Donald Trump, there were beautiful adoptable poodles and the triumph of the feminine spirit. For every grandma death, there was a collection of people to hold me upright and make me giggle. I learned just how naive and lucky I was, but also just how much I could withstand and STILL stand. And then of course, you, our always blessed Lennys. But let's get material for a second — here are five things that made 2016 both cozy and transformative, and only one isn't completely selfish.