Random Hit List: 10 Great Things to Try


It’s time to face facts: Oprah is not coming back. Sure, she’s out there, somewhere on something called “The O Network,” which at first I thought was a FIOS competitor. Then I thought it was some fictitious, President Obama-supporting cabal that conservatives claimed was ruining the world — perhaps working in tandem with the “Gay Mafia” and “The Black Crusaders”. However, it turns out Donald Trump is wrong again and The O Network is a television channel. Despite the correction and my new understanding of The O Network, by the time I actually find that channel television sets will have been replaced by breadmakers, which stream programs directly into your mind-brain via scents while also baking you delicious bread.

In short, we need a new recommender. Do I have any true credentials to recommend anything to the general public? No. However, like a Road Rules Contestant, Food Network Star, or woman on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, I won’t let my general lack of marketable skills, industry legitimacy, or knowledge interfere with my plans. Also, these bona fide recommendations will speak for themselves. Like Ron Swanson, my recommendation is essentially a guarantee and my middle name is “fucking”. However, like Oprah, I have a boatload of faaaavorite thiiings! I’m hoping to unite these elements and turn this balanced combination into a recurring list that will entertain and delight. Remember before we controlled music and you could discover a new song you liked on a movie soundtrack? Maybe this will be like that, or if not maybe you’ll just have fun imagining Oprah doing this stuff. Feel free to leave me recommendations in the comments.

1. A standing desk.

Try to create this situation in your school or office. You will feel weird at first, for standing if others are seated. This weirdness will soon be replaced by an awesome feeling because your back is not twisted into a trefoil knot by the end of the day. The statistics about how bad prolonged habitual sitting is for you are so scary that if I included them you’d think I’d made them up. You don’t need to buy a fancy desk online. There are plenty of DIY standing desk solutions. My desktop computer is in a cabinet with a hole drilled into the bottom for wires. You could also use a stack of boxes on your current desk or work from a laptop on a counter. Even if none of this is possible right now, at the very least you can incorporate more standing breaks into your day.

2. Dunk pretzel logs into peanut butter and then squirt them with honey.

A good friend changed my life with this recommendation, and now I am passing it on to you. That is, unless, you already knew about it. If you did, why the hell didn’t you tell me?

3. Angels in America.

I forgot how good this is until I watched the HBO version of this play on Saturday in honor of World AIDs day. Sure, it’s one of those things that you know are acclaimed, but that fact gets watered down in your mind by all the thousands of other acclaimed works. Then you rewatch it and are blown away all over again. This is not currently available on HBOGo, iTunes, Netflix instant, Hulu, or Amazon streaming. If you don’t want to buy the DVDs, take them out from the library, or see the play live wherever you can because it is totally worth it. For the thieves out there, I don’t recommend stealing it from the internet, but I’m sure it is possible. “Do you want to be nice or do you want to be effective?!”

4. Ask your hairdresser.

When you get a haircut ask your hairdresser how they got into the profession. Even the quiet or serious ones have great stories. I have never been disappointed by the answer to this question.

5. A chocolate shake from Big Gay Ice Cream store.

Many, many people know about their magical ice cream. It’s time even more people knew about their shakes. Forget Kelis, yards are literally filled with boys due to this milkshake. Bonus: take it home and pour a shot of bourbon in it. For those of you not in New York City, I’m sorry. But c’mon this is America, I’m sure you have a place to get a decent chocolate shake. If not, make one at home. If you want to spice it up, I recommend Fox’s U-bet syrup over Hershey’s. Also, please use a straw. Recommendation 5a.) Stock up on some thick-ass straws, which make any drink come alive. Recommendation 5b.) Stock up on bourbon which will make anything come alive.

6. Solange.

I recommend Solange, big time. I recommend Solange so much I only pronounce her name in a French accent. Specifically, I recommend her new EP, “True”. Come for “Losing You” and stay for “Lovers in the Parking Lot”. I have been listening to this album nonstop. In fact, as I have previously stated, from now on, the best way to communicate with me will probably be to write it down and have Solange Knowles record it on a track.

7. The word “cicatrix”.

It is pronounced SIK-ah-triks. It is a scar left by the formation of new connective tissue (or fibrous tissue depending on your dictionary) over a healing wound. It is also used in botany to describe the spot on the stem after a leaf or other part has become detached. It’s great for poems, mental images, and Words with Friends.

8. Lincoln.

9. If you have something nice to say, say it.

It’s the inverse of “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” That’s usually a pretty good piece of advice but too often people focus on things they shouldn’t say. Don’t hesitate to compliment, for real.

10. Basket-weave your bacon.

When I worked as a craft service assistant, an amazing Scottish woman showed me how to take a well-honed method of injecting flavor into roasts and put it on some bread. (She also once fended off a hungry film crew by using an entire bottle of Coke to glaze a ham). When you make sandwiches that contain bacon, crosshatch the bacon (or veggie bacon). Even Ron Swanson would approve of this technique because it combines two things he loves: craftsmanship and bacon. He would also scoff externally and rage internally over the mere mention veggie bacon. TC Mark

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