Jess Witkins has this endearing clumsiness to her.
And I do mean endearing. One of my favorite posts on The Happiness Project is about her busting her face at Circus World. It’s so pathetic it’s adorable. The whole world loves a the girl to whom physical comedy is a gift.
Jess wrote once of a serendipitous meeting with a favorite actor. Read it here because I don’t want to spoil it. You must read this.
She’s brought her show to the CD today to talk about the three songs, three books and three CDs she’d gift to the world. Jess has had, as have many of us, a whirlwind, topsy-turvy kind of holiday season so far.
I’m grateful she took the time to guest post here today. You’ll be, too.
Be sure to check out the Happiness Project when you’re done here.
My name is Jess Witkins and I write a humor blog over at Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project. Much thanks to Eli for bravely letting me commandeer his cyberspace to share a few of my favorite things with you all. (Things have been known to get weird at my blog. I’ll try to be on my best behavior.)
If there’s anyone who understands holiday stress, it’s me. I spent six years in retail working my way up a ladder I realized I didn’t want to climb. In my past career life, I’ve spent eight straight hours wrapping presents for other people, inventorying each and every piece of jewelry you see on those counter-top spinners, I’ve sprained my wrist from carrying too many winter coats over my arm, trained and on-boarded six new hires on their first day how to handle a shoe stockroom on Black Friday, and chased bats around a mall department store with nothing but a butterfly net and badminton racket. Don’t ask.
Anyway, my point is that holidays can be stressful. I don’t know about your household, but mine has been getting some heavy hits lately. My job is once more transitioning which means training someone else and learning a new job myself, because of re-budgeting my hours and pay are getting cut, my sister just found out she most likely has cancer (again), there have been several sudden deaths in and around my family, and if that’s not enough to deal with…my pants ripped while I was giving a talk at a middle school.
Needless to say, I could use a pick me up.
Eli asked me to share three songs, three books, and three quotes that would inspire the world. No small task! I don’t know about the world, but here are a few things that make my day brighter, and I hope they do the same for you.
I’m excited to talk music with you because I’m currently working on TWO musical projects. My hubs and I are recording a cd for our family of some of our favorite tunes, and I’m making my annual Phenomenal Women Mix for my mom and sis. It’s basically a mix tape and don’t make fun of me because I was that kid that sat by the radio and pressed record on CASSETTE TAPES when her favorite song came on. Now, I put them on CDs and you can win a copy by leaving me music suggestions on my blog!
1) Stompa by Serena Ryder
Serena Ryder might be my favorite musician of all time! (Well, and my husband – they’re tied). The song lyrics are all about slowing down and giving yourself some space and time to just DANCE! I dare you to listen and not bob your head or start tapping your feet.
2) Stay Gold by First Aid Kit
Another favorite band of mine, First Aid Kit’s Stay Gold has a similar storyline as Stompa, but is more bittersweet in its sound. Grab a warm cup of your favorite winter beverage and sit by the window and listen. Tell me what you think about. It always makes me nostalgic.
3) True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
Ok, let’s just bask in the gloriousness that is Cyndi Lauper’s hair in this video. No really, let it sink in. Or stand straight up? It’s part of what makes this such a gem. More importantly though, the lyrics. This is a song about friendship, and we all know some…times in our lives…we all have pain…we all have sorrow. Hmmm, sensing another tie. Adding in Bill Withers’ Lean On Me!
Let’s just say you don’t have to twist this bibliophile’s arm to talk about books. Half my christmas list is bookish and writerly. (And I’m completely allowed to make up those words because I AM bookish and writerly.)
1) The 10 Letters Project by Jen Lee and Tim Manley
I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Jen Lee in person, and I hang out on twitter with Tim Manley sometimes. They are two of the most down to earth, kindred spirits you could meet. They met each other while telling stories. I didn’t explain that well, they’re storytellers. That makes more sense. Anyway, they got tired of listening to podcasts where creative people talked about their past and just kind of glossed over the gritty work. So they started writing to one another about the creative process – making things, editing them, sharing them with the public, gearing up for a show, reflecting on how it went. What came of that is a beautiful, intimate archive of two people living in the moment with their work.
Fun Fact: I get to recreate this project for my town’s local arts and culture magazine. I’ve been writing to another author every other month and our letters are published in the magazine. That’s been pretty cool.
2) Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
If you haven’t read Jenny Lawson before, you’re missing out. In her second book, Furiously Happy, Lawson writes about feelings. Lots and lots of deep, dark, sad, crazy feelings. But then she infuses them with taxidermied raccoons and sneaking up behind her husband while he’s on a business call and talking in funny voices with hand puppets! It’s everything you’ve felt and dreamed of doing and didn’t know how badly you wanted.
3) I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
You can’t go wrong with Nora. She just gets people. And, she is anti-egg-white-only omelettes. I think more of us should live that way. Pro-yolk!
Everyone has a story to tell. 🙂
Amelie is my favorite feel good movie and this quote gets its own scene!
Well that’s my 3 songs, 3 books, and 3 quotes, everyone!
What are some of YOUR favorites that help you deal with stressful times?
Jess Witkins claims the title Perseverance Expert. From party crashing as an Oops Baby to paving her way through pop culture, Jess explores it all. Her special skills include: pretending to be an orphan, severe allergic reactions to the sun, hanging out in coffee shops, and quoting movie lines from the Oscar winning film, Spaceballs.