APP | I get my drinks confused, especially after a long rendezvous with the barstool. UNTAPPD — a social drinking app for both iPhone and Android — keeps me in check. The app catalogs (with sometimes embarrassing photographic clarity) when I've had one too many pissy American lagers or just the right amount of chocolate stout to sing karaoke. I can even earn badges like a good little Girl Scout for drinking specific beers. The app will provide recommendations based upon my drinking history, find nearby bars and share results with my pretentious friends who only drink "whatever is on nitro."
BOOK | I will follow Amanda Palmer to the ends of the Earth and back. What started as a crush on her punk cabaret band the Dresden Dolls has since turned into a full-blown obsession with her book THE ART OF ASKING: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LET PEOPLE HELP. Palmer's TED talk and subsequent book pulls back the curtain on what it means to be an artist and to ask for something to eat, a couch to sleep on and a piano to play. Non-artist folks such as myself will learn to find strength in being vulnerable, to value intimate, day-to-day encounters with strangers and to live without shame.
TV | The TWILIGHT ZONE combines my love of all things macabre and clothing from the 1950s and early '60s. The groundbreaking science fiction/horror television series originally aired from 1959-64, but is now streaming — 156 episodes in all — for free on Hulu. The show questions human nature and gets at the heart of subjects like war, class, race and government. It's dated, sure, but remains eerie and perplexing. My favorite episode, "Mirror Image," portrays a woman who seemingly can't escape the train station. Spoiler alert: A doppelgänger is revealed (from another dimension!) and the woman is taken to an insane asylum.♦