171 Comments
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I’m on a mission to flirt with every single person I come across, any gender, any place. I think we so badly need connecting again after acting like little islands for two years. This island is building bridges!

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I know this does not sound fun but lately I have been noticing and leaning into the fact that I get deep pleasure from mending things I love and from keeping things I care about clean! (This is a big sea change I credit the pandemic for. I've always thought of myself as too crazy-busy and disdainful for such mundane tasks.) So this week I actually washed my beloved Nissan Altima sports coupe by hand, for the first time ever, and I mended some socks and a hoodie I love, and I felt this delicious satisfaction and sensuality and, yes, FUN. You can knock me over with a feather now.

Expand full comment
author

I'm making these gruyere popovers for a big family meal tonight, so I'm adding them because they're definitely fun. I tend to triple the cheese (I know yikes) and augment the gruyere with cheaper sharp cheeses because it's around $10 a block at the moment. Once you get the basic idea with these you can make them in about 10 minutes.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/popovers-with-gruyere-230617

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Last year, my friend’s husband made a silly 2021 calendar comprised of close-up photos of my friend’s face and sent the calendar out to people as a kind of jokey gift. So, I decided in January that I would make a gift in return, and I would pose each month with the calendar and make a sort of meta version of the 2021 calendar for 2022. And I really did this all year long — in January, I stood in the middle of a snowstorm with the calendar open to January; posed with rose bushes in June; placed the calendar, open to November, at our Thanksgiving table and took a pic of myself with my arm slung around it, like a pal; etc. I just got the final product back today and I find it weirdly extremely satisfying to look through it. This past year has been pretty wretched on my end, and among dozens of other tragedies and traumas, I’ve lost touch with my creative power. I’m a writer, it’s what I’ve always been, and all I’ve ever wanted to be. But I’m so stuck right now. I’ve been too discouraged to create anything in months. If I weren’t so depressed, I’d be alarmed by this. It’s not so much that I lost my sparkle as I am doubting that I ever had any sparkle at all. This silly-ass calendar project gave me something playful, whimsical, and just plain ol’ fun to focus on.

Anyway, it’s truly the dumbest thing, but I recommend making funny calendars for all of your loved ones.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I am 46 years old and I put my car through a car wash for the first time ever this morning. It was very fun to experience something in real life that I’d only ever seen on screen. I’m going to seek out more banal but exhilarating firsts?

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Buying and wearing new pjs. They’re not fancy or expensive, but they’re matching and festive and make me feel less defeated when I put them on at the end of the day. And puttering around in the morning in them, instead of my usual ratty tshirt and shorts, sets a different and better tone for the day. Highly recommend if you can!

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I bought my dog a toy mid-pandemic that’s a fabric volcano with five small, squeaky dinosaurs inside. I don’t understand the volcano/dino connection at all, but it remains an absolute joy to find tiny dinosaurs all over my apartment.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Right before the pandemic started, a friend introduced me to the music of French electro duo Polo & Pan. Since then, whenever I want to feel euphoric, or energetic, or sexy, or all of that at the same time...or just want to have FUN...I listen to them. And finally, I got to see them live...last weekend! I danced so much, and it was so, so, so much fun. So much so that I was considering flying to San Francisco in February just to see them again. Now making travel plans is (again) unreliable at best, so I'll refrain...but in the meantime, thank god for Spotify and Soundcloud and my kitchen (my favorite place to dance at home).

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I have gone hog wild with Christmas cards this year, every address I've ever saved gets a card with dumb but fun stuff in it. Recipes! Music and book recommendations! Stickers! Horrible jokes! Heartfelt sentiment where needed! I'm having a blast.

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

In between editing a book and getting regular flu shot and making 48 pigs in blankets I’m creating five little shrines in wooden boxes for dearest pals. They have rhinestones and decoupaged Chagall paintings and little fake candles and a shit tonne of glitter and Tara and they are both sacred and profane. They put the cococo in rococo!

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Today is my kids’ last day of school before the winter break, and we had such a party this morning. First we slept in because school is having a pyjama day, so they didn’t need to get dressed, and I woke them up with a squirt from a can of whipped cream directly in their mouths as they woke up, and then we made hot apple cider with extra whipped cream, and got doughnuts on the way to school. They couldn’t believe how much fun a Friday morning at 6am could be, and it was honestly the highlight of my month so far. Just little food treats are so much fun! Tonight I’m going to make a split pea-miso soup (because I’m ✨sensible✨ sometimes) and then I’ll make banana splits with the ice cream I made the other night and I’m so excited about it.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I have been finding fun in organizing and Getting Things Done, especially tedious things...because at 37 years old I just began Adderall, my very first stimulant for ADHD. It's taken me years to convince someone to prescribe it (there's wariness alongside other mental disorders) not to mention my decades of struggling before I was diagnosed, so just being able to accomplish tasks I've set my mind to is basically a miracle. I've been on it for a month and I'm already seeing a huge change across different areas of my life so for the first time it's actually fun to attack to-do lists or tackle big goals with small steps.

Expand full comment

My 9yo & I have been participating in the free Friday Night comics workshops that The Believer started in spring 2020 & The Sequential Artists Workshop is continuing, and though I can’t really draw, I really do enjoy these workshops because I’m reclaiming a part of myself that I thought was long lost (my pleasure in drawing and coloring) and also because my 9yo is so very, very dedicated to his comics and gets a kick out of his mom participating in his favorite thing with him.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Feats of strength! Doing exercises for curiosity's sake not weight loss! Being amazed at 6 months of progress! Endorphins!

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

CHINESE DRAMAS--my favorites do far are The Untamed, Sleuth of the Ming Dynasty, and Long Ballad. And I just watched Leo Wu's Upcoming Summer movie. In Chinese media culture, men are allowed to openly express their emotions, it's amazing!!! I just love watching boys cry on tv, what can I say.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I saw a new hairstylist for the first time, and coincidentally she was an expert at working with curly hair! She suggested that my hair might be secretly curly but too thick and heavy to really spring around, so we did a big cut and lo and behold... I'm a curly girl. I'm thrilled.

Expand full comment

Kicking the crap out of the NYT Spelling Bee, planting flowers from seeds, shopping for tonight's desserts only dinner to celebrate my daughter's completion of her first semester of college after overcoming incredible odds to get there

Expand full comment

Thank you for this! My current source of fun: My flatmate and I started a huge 2,000 piece puzzle with dolphins on it yesterday and we just sat for hours in silence puzzling together.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Every now and then, I like to write a random and kind of cute/obnoxious appreciation message to a friend on FB Messenger. Today, I wrote to a friend who recently had a baby that she's one hot Oreo eatin' momma (she told me yesterday that she eats Oreos for breakfast now...Oreos, yum!). The other day I wrote to another guy friend that I reread the birthday presentation we made for him last year, and that he really is one magical human being.

Basically, I have tons of fun annoying my friends with random, ferocious, loving word outbursts.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I've been reading a silly chapter book to my 6 year old that my 3rd grade teacher read to me when I was young and my kid is INTO IT and that just tickles me so much.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I've been unusually into Christmas this year-- not like, the movies or music or red and green cheer-- but into gifts and wrapping them and making them pretty and finding the perfect things. No one is more surprised than me! (My theory abt the excitement is that it's the 1st time I'm doing this completely independently, and a hidden love language of gifts has been delightfully Activated.) To save money/get things on time/be friendly to our poor baby the earth, I put a lot of effort into finding secondhand and local small shop gifts! No Amazon! So many thrifted book treasures! I'm pleased! Now I'm getting into pretty ways of wrapping the paper and making my own gift tags, which is actually so easy, and.... sigh... my inner child is so happy to have her scissors back.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I'm taking an improv class after a 5-year long break, which is incredibly fun. I've also been reading Evie Dunmore's books which are really enjoyable.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

i put on pop/hip hop (latto, dua lipa, wet leg) and dork dance my heart out or hula hoop (recently discovered my "talent") because it's effectively impossible to stay in a doom state while doing either.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I did karaoke for the first time ever at a holiday party in front of people i don’t know and it was ridiculously fun. This morning my friend showed me a video of it and it’s so BAD! I cannot believe i did that but i also can’t believe how much fun it was and i never thought I’d be the type of person who would be able to sing off key and dance in front of random people but somehow i am and i love it so much.

Expand full comment

my friend sent me this highly entertaining website where you can move your mouse over specific emotions to hear what they sound like. it reminds me of the vast, audible spectrum of the human experience at a moment where WFH has me a little more isolated, and also it's just fucking funny to listen to: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/vocs/map.html#

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I took my youngest to a street where all of the houses have over-the-top Christmas light displays and it was so fun seeing him loose his mind over it all!

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

This will probably sound like the opposite of fun but I finally created a memorial area for friends and family I've lost. It consists of photos and mementos. Mostly it allows me to have a lovely area to remember them and to tie them into my life now instead of feeling like life and death have a giant black line between them. I always wanted to do this and now I have...

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I've been joining my 5-year old's silly dance parties in our living room after school and moving to whatever K-pop or Disney song he's obsessed with that day. He has all of the joy and none of the self-consciousness and it's just delightful to see.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

This is exactly what I need today. I'm also doomscrolling until I realize I've stopped breathing and forgotten to do my work. I'm looking forward to decorating a small Christmas tree tonight and making my boyfriend watch Love Actually with me.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I went skiing last weekend in New Hampshire, in the rain. Two runs and it was great! Fresh air, no masks. Then I went back to the ski club and hung out will all my vaccinated friends, no masks. Too early in the season for the shot-ski, but that will come.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Yes please! Terrible year here, so we made albums (on IG) of all the good things, made homemade pizza and took the day off with whipped peppermint cream in our coffees. Maybe it’s not so bad.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Thank you sweet Polly for this Friday reminder!!

Do you (or anyone in this comment thread) have some reading to recommend? Something that’ll help transport me elsewhere or think deeply about some aspect of the human condition that isn’t responding to a global pandemic? I’m about to have some time off and could use some escapism!

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Last night my mom and I hopped in the car with my dog and took him to his favorite annual drive-through Christmas light display. It is very obviously designed for children, but it is also for my dog - he is enthralled and loves every minute. Best $30 I've spent in weeks.

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…”

Blasting Prince and dancing around in a frenzy is the prescription for pretty much everything—it always works!

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I went through my closet, and blanket cabinet and found lots of warm stuff I never wear, including a perfectly hand knit old lady sweater made by my Grandma when she was very old and I’ve been holding on to it knowing I’d never wear it—so I boxed this stuff up and drove it over to the Salvation Army. It felt so good to do this in a timely manner, not to procrastinate and bring sweaters or coats to them in June! Now I am resting in bed with one of my three cats and enjoying her purrs and fickleness.

Yesterday I had a great time with the leaf blower.

I’m reading Little Constructions by Anna Burns. It is crazy and disjointed and funny and disturbing—all at once.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Playing costume with my own make up and clothes. Reading with candled instead of electric light. Sending ridiculous selfies to my girlfriend. Watching videos of babies laughing

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Rearranging the weird rocks and crystals on my weird-rocks-and-crystals shelf. Smiling when it's sunny. Putting on the super-fuzzy fleece and feeling extremely cozy. Drinking a special tea that I make exactly how I like it. (Lately chai with honey and cream.)

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I’m dancing. Not going out to dance. Just… dancing around the house. All by myself, to the music in my head.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

If you have kids under the age of like, 8 ish, I highly recommend buying a Nugget couch. They’re a couch, but also, a fort, a slide, a tumbling gym, a castle, a mountain…anything. We got one this past month for our toddler and we play with it daily, he finds it hilarious, we find it hilarious. It lets you be so creative! I would’ve killed for this toy as a kid. In fact even adults on their own could probably buy one and it would still be fun. Then you can disguise it as a couch and your friends don’t have to know you slept in a castle fort last night. My daily source of giggles as a VERY tired and Covid-anxious mama

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

A friend had two mid century chairs for twenty years sitting in her storage all that time and wanted to rid of them. She wanted them to have a good home and thought of me and my love for chairs, so, she'd brought them over and I instantly fell in love with them. I actually fell in love with them before seeing and had rearranged my entire pad just for these chairs without even knowing what they would look like. I even asked her to send me a picture of them, but she didn't. I am kinda glad she didn't because we probably wouldn't have had the most fun of celebrating, drinking wine and dancing around these if she'd had.

When the chairs arrived, you would have thought the stork was dropping off the newborn baby or something. I mean, I literally welcomed these new but old vintage chairs in my home like I had done win the lottery and my friends joined in on the fun, too. It was a memorable moment for sure.

Hashtag: get you some friends that celebrate having new old furniture in your house that make you dance all night.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

This went viral before the pandemic and is bringing me new life today. And yes, I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufDIPMs3gOc

Expand full comment

I visit my little nieces and nephews, and spoil them often. Guaranteed to make my day.

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

In between thinking about considering cancelling all (but very few, like two) my holiday gatherings and reading about inept democraaaats; I have been harvesting Italian Cypress seeds. Three years ago I bought 4 Italian Cypress trees from fastgrowingtrees.com and even though they can barely grow this far north and I planted them too close to the house so they have grown up into the eaves; one of them is baring cones this year. After gathering a bowlful of them I pulled them apart and now have a bunch of seeds. These are the trees from the Italian venue on Succession, tall skinny green (unlike me), I'm going to market them as "Succession Trees" and I'll be too rich to get Omicron and I'll become a repwad. Solutions!

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I like doing DJ mixes to help stay sane and cheer myself up. Just did a quick Christmas-themed one this morning to ward off the dread: https://soundcloud.com/ourladyofdisgrace/hard-candy-christmas

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Amy's frozen organic chili macccccc. It's happening right now.

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I started coloring mandalas a couple of years ago when I was recovering from surgery. Now I do even just a little every day as a fun ritual. I think I have like 250 of them by now. It's so much fun, really calming. I particularly like the coloring books by Jade Summer. I bought a set of like 100 markers and have gone through most of them. Love it.

Expand full comment
Dec 18, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I just made cookies and spent a couple hours elaborately decorating them. Not to show up the other moms, or to impress my neighbors at a cookie swap, but just for my family and me. We polished them off in a couple days and they were extra delicious because they were also pretty

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

I love my little group chats. Something about sending a delightfully obscure meme to my best friends and knowing they'll get it is so good. They're just snarky and funny and observant and it's like a little present every time i see a notification from them. RAAAARGH ITS SO FUN

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

pannetone, Christmas carols on loud, dancing to Aretha Franklin loud (agree with Brooke below about dork-dancing your heart out and it's impossible to stay gloomy), playing my five pieces of vinyl on my new record player, putting up new Christmas lights, watching the new Beatles docu Get Back and cheering whenever John has washed his hair.

Expand full comment
Dec 17, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Read Harold and the Purple Crayon

Expand full comment