I know I've been saying this a lot but February was a roller coaster for me. From the weather, to my hip bursitis, to work opportunities, there were highs and lows; even the Oscars was all over the place. When I first tried to write this post, I wasn't sure where to start. I wasn't such a fan of this past February, or really much of 2017 (I'm looking squarely at you hip). This has led me to a new "project," I use the term loosely right now because it's still in formation but stay tuned... Despite all of my "woe is me" and having more chemicals inside me than my poor little body knew what to do with, I still had some really great moments this past month and, as I'll reveal when the "project" takes shape, it's so important to acknowledge the good. [I've decided to nix the "Five Favs" aspect of my monthly favorites. I want it to be about things I genuinely loved rather than omit a few or stretch to include things that were only so-so. As you were...]
Theater: Dear Evan Hansen & In Transit
I feel like Dear Evan Hansen is quickly catching up to Hamilton as most-talked-about musical, at least in NYC. As luck would have it, my parents had a last minute extra ticket and I got to go (it's still an impossible ticket). If you ask my dad, the show is "emo pop." He's not completely wrong and his idea of where it should have ended is also not totally off base. Despite my dad's irritation at the Tracy Flick/Patty Simcox-ness (that would be a super perky, over-achiever for those not in the know) of one of the characters, there is so much heart and soul in this show. The message that you're not alone comes through with kindness and a comforting hug. Maybe it is the current political and societal climate or the fact that I saw this while still very much in physical pain, but I was near tears, and I know others who have cried. I wasn't a huge fan of the scenery, the panels where social platforms and digital communication were projected felt a little dated and forced, but the three main "boys" (they're all adults but playing high schoolers) were incredible, then again, I love Pitch Perfect's Benji Applebaum aka Ben Platt and he plays Evan Hansen.
It wasn't until I learned my parents (again!) had an extra ticket to In Transit (seriously, I majorly luck out that a member of their theater group often has last minute conflicts), that I knew what the show was about. After turning to Google, I knew all I needed to: Acapella, NYC Subway, arrangements by Deke Sharon (arranger for Pitch Perfect -- apparently there's a theme here -- and coach on "The Sing-Off," yes, acapella reality shows are a thing and I watch them), and that Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Academy Award winner for Frozen) was part of the team that wrote the book, music and lyrics. Sold times a million. From those snipets, you know basically all you need to but I'll leave you with this, if you're looking for something heavy and deep, this isn't it. If you're not from NYC and don't know the typical complaints about the MTA or who Pizza Rat is, you might not get a lot of the jokes. But, if you want an ensemble rom-com a la Gary Marshall's Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve that will leaving you laughing and happy, GO! Except, since it's the weekend there are going to be at least three subway lines running with altered service and one will surely be suspended in both directions for "system upgrades." See what I did there. 😉
Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers
February 15th saw me seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers at MSG. I've been very lucky to see RHCP a few times and, as always, they didn't disappoint. What I love about the Chili Peppers, is that they are unabashedly themselves. There are no gimmicks, no pressure to change with the times, it's just them, doing their thing, playing their songs, and rocking out (is "rocking out" still a cool thing to say?). Unlike some artists who have a song that's been out for decades, their is no sense of "ugh this again" or walking through the motions. They genuinely enjoy their music and each other. This show also featured a really cool light display which captured my attention multiple times, it's possible I also was next to Lenny Kravitz on my way into the Friends and Family Suite, nbd slash clearly a very bd.
Getting Back on a Bike
I'm still not better but hopefully that day is coming soon; I begin PT on Monday so *fingers crossed.* Still, I am able to ride, albeit in modified form. Holding back when I want to push or because I feel like those around me must think I'm pathetic; wanting to come out of the saddle when my hip is getting angry; and constantly monitoring my pain level and figure out the difference between the bad pain, soreness and ache from using muscles that have had a little break, while also staying present, is not easy or how I would like to be riding but I am riding and that's all that matters. The first time I was able to get back in the stadium and let my body move and do what it loves in a place where I feel safe, left me high on life (or, you know, endorphins). Each day I get a little bit stronger and I know that before long, I'll be back to where I was.
Food: Green & Black's Chocolate
When it comes to sweets, I'm a baked goods girl. Brownies are my ultimate; cookies, other bar-type desserts, and cake also get top marks. Candy is not really my thing, although this summer I became oddly obsessed with Mars Bars while in Croatia. While I was in major recovery mode, everything from my sleep patterns to food preferences changed and I found myself craving chocolate bars. I came across Green & Black's mini bars (they're really not so mini, it's more what I'd call "single serving"). Usually a dark chocolate person, I prefer the milk chocolate, the dark has a somewhat minty taste even though it's not mint chocolate. Green & Black's chocolate is organic and the company is committed to ethical and sustainable sourcing so basically buying them is helping the world, right?
Fashion/Beauty: Mascara, Wedding Dress, Oscar Gowns
I don't wear much makeup but nearly everyday will find me with mascara on. I wasn't blessed with thick, long lashes, but recently my lashes game has been pretty strong. The source? I'm not 100% sure, but I think LashFood's Eyelash Enhancer, which I need to be more consistent in applying, has played a big role. What I AM sure of, is that my mascara is A+ status. Despite every claim for maximum volume and no clumping, I had yet to actually experience these benefits, until I picked up CoverGirl's Clump Crusher. This stuff really works, at least for me.
Over President's Day Weekend, one of my dearest friends got married. I'm lucky enough to also know the groom who I adore, and to celebrate two people I love, while also seeing one of my other dearest friends who was in town for the wedding was exactly what the doctor ordered. Except not because I wasn't supposed to be in heels and dancing was also a no-no. I may have ignored both of these orders. #oops Going to a wedding, or any event, as a single isn't super fun and to compensate, I decided to re-rent Slate & Willow's "Fifi Dress" which I had worn to a wedding in September. It fits like a dream, can go dressy or more casual, and just makes me feel good. I should probably look into buying this dress. This rental was my fourth time using Rent the Runway and I still have yet to be let down. If you're on the fence as I used to be *push* (but gentle, I don't want you to get hurt).
Lastly, we all know what happened at the Oscars, but I want to talk about what happened before the show started, namely the fashion. RIP Joan Rivers, I will always love you. Apologies if it's sexist but suits just aren't terribly exciting to me so I'm only highlighting the ladies. My top looks: Halle Berry, Felicity Jones, Taraji P. Henson, Charlize Theron, and Scarlett Johansson. (All images from Getty Images.)
What were your February favorites? Which Oscars gown(s) did you like best?