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MamaPop Recommends: Amanda's Picks for September

Mprecs_2Recommended Book or Publication: I've been too busy to devote any time to an actual book, so I've been particularly enjoying my New Yorker subscription this month. Everyone probably already knows how great this magazine is, but it's just a terrific general interest magazine (great for commuters, great in the, uh, bathroom), and my only complaint is that I can't read one week's issue before the following week's arrives. I always go straight for the TV show, movie, and/or book reviews in the back of the issue and then work my way forward.

Recommended Song or Album: John Coltrane's My Favorite Things is a great album for the fall. I know a lot of jazz snobs enthusiasts will roll their eyes at this recommendation because chances are, if you've set foot in a Starbucks* or similar coffee house in the past, oh, decade, you've probably heard a good chunk of this album. And they're right: the coffee houses love them some Coltrane. But here's what I recommend you do: get this album and listen to it in the car while driving around an area with a great fall foliage display. Your soul will thank you.

Oh, and another album to watch the leaves change to?


Recommended TV Show: How Clean Is Your House? on BBC America has become an obsession of mine lately. Two very nice British women come to the rescue of (seemingly normal) people who are living in out-and-out squalor. They come in, assess the situation, shame the people a bit (as they should---we're talking about filth on a scale you simply cannot imagine if you've never seen this show), and then with a small team of assistants, they clean AND SHOW THE HOMEOWNERS HOW TO CLEAN up some of the grossest stuff you've ever seen. One of the women swabs around the kitchen and grows cultures and typically reveals later in the show that the homeowners are lucky not to have contracted gangrene from, like, their toaster or something---it's really vile stuff. And I challenge you to watch an entire episode without getting up to vacuum the living room during a commercial break. Nothing prompts me to tidy up quite like this show. (And even if, like me, you don't keep a *spotless* house, unless you're living in conditions similar to those on the show, you'll feel INFINITELY better about your own housekeeping routine. Trust me.)

Recommended Other Random Thing: Brach's candy corn. Accept no imitations.

*Oh, and Starbucks? A little tip for your baristas: If I don't specifically ask for whipped cream, DO NOT put it on my drink, mkay? It makes no damn sense to order a skim or lite ANYTHING and then have the sumbitch coated in full-fat whipped cream. And when I say "no whip" when ordering, PAY ATTENTION. The next time I very clearly say "no whip" and it ends up on my drink anyway? I'm not going to politely scoop the whip off in the nearest trashcan like I normally do---I'm gonna scoop it off on your cash register. I'm serious. Do not mess with the skim, decaf coffee drinks of the surly and pregnant. You've been warned.

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Thank you for your Starbucks warning. I love you for that, and I am nowhere near pregnant.

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