Illustration by Isha Khanzode.

Illustration by Isha Khanzode.

Podcast: Oh Boy

I look forward to every second Tuesday—that’s when new episodes of Oh Boy, a podcast hosted by Jay Buim of Man Repeller, are released. Each installment features a cool gal with an equally cool job (and the occasional cool dude, including Silas Howard, the first trans director to work on the show Transparent).

Jay has interviewed CEOs, writers, directors, artists, and activists, just to name a few guests. He follows the journey they took to get to where they are, and asks them to muse on their lives and work. Although every episode is a gem in its own right, some of my favorite interviewees from the series are trans model and actress Hari Nef, beauty entrepreneur Alicia Yoon, stylist Shiona Turini, and Jordana Kier, co-creator of a company that produces 100 percent natural tampons. I love how intimate and casual the conversations are, and I learn a ton about smart, powerful individuals who are making major waves in their fields every time I listen in. —Victoria Chiu

App: Shine

I recently came across Shine, an app that sends daily motivational/inspirational text messages. After reading some of the praise it’s gotten, I immediately signed up. Every morning since, I’ve woken up to an encouraging notification. Texts from Shine have helped me focus on what’s important to me and set goals for myself. Shine also sends reminders throughout the day, aiming to give you a little boost when you need it. Here’s one of my favorite recent messages: “When we waste time thinking about people who belittle our ambitions, we lose valuable time that could be spent building our tribe of supporters. Today, weed out the folks that steal your shine, Lauren.” So cute—and helpful! I love that Shine addresses each text with my name. It’s super personal and makes me feel special. A lot of times motivational quotes can be cheesy and transparent; Shine speaks to me as though I’m a friend. —Lauren Tepfer

Movie: Mr. Nobody (2009)

Mr. Nobody is a mind-boggling labyrinth of a film. I watched it for Jared Leto, but it left a real mark on my perspective. Nemo Nobody, the last living mortal, tries to recall memories starting from his colorful ’70s childhood in England. As he traces his past to the present—he’s now 33—he finds that the story of his life is inconsistent, and that the threads don’t have a common ending. Nemo sees how his fate changes depending on how he approached different dilemmas—like whom to marry, which parent to live with, or even what to say in a given moment. The recurring theme is choices: Because time only goes forward, they can’t be undone. I had never been a philosophical person, but this idea taught me to be careful about my decisions, and to also allow myself to keep moving ahead. —Lola Nova

Video: PWR BTTM’s Tiny Desk Concert

Listening to PWR BTTM is like joining a club of queer people who are all heartbroken together but having a very sparkly party full of bad jokes to feel better. In this NPR Tiny Desk Concert, Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce alternate instruments and provide banter that makes me laugh as much as their performance does. Ben wears their signature look, which could be described as Mabel Pines meets Snapchat filter. They play impressive and mesmerizing guitar arpeggios on “Ugly Cherries,” and Liv rocks a more low-key look as they sing about the ever-relatable longing to get over someone on “C U Around.”

Besides being one of the most FUN bands (sorry fun.), PWR BTTM are also “like really important,” as a random guy told me after their show when I saw them earlier this year. On tour, they ask the venues they play at to provide gender-neutral bathrooms for fans. At the show I went to, they played a mini concert for some cool teens who could not get into the 18+ venue, which was so sweet and heartwarming. At the beginning of the show, Ben made an announcement about it being a safe space and vowed to personally ensure that that was not threatened. This video is a good representation of them as a band; it makes me feel all my emotions thoroughly, but ultimately leaves me with a really dorky smile. —Madeline Keyes-Levine ♦