Brandon Weatherbee

Host of live talk show You, Me, Them, Everybody, is really into:

James Fritz and Battlestations

One of the best parts about doing the talk show in other cities is exposing people to Chicago comics and bands. I’ve yet to not preach the gospel of James Fritz to every stand-up I meet. After the first track of “Deflated,” they’re usually on my side. His anger, despair, and genius is evident early on. It’s also my litmus test for judging talent. If you don’t find his anger justifiable, you’re insane. If you’re not laughing your ass off at his anger, you’re insane.

The album that’s making me excited to still own a record player is The Unicorn by Battlestations. These guys are using every track on the board they can to make some weird, futuristic yet familiar version of garage rock. I recommend picking up the white vinyl. The packaging is gorgeous.

Mia Park

Actor in Family Devotions (closing this week) and yogi, couldn’t put down:

The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom by Rod Stryker

My newest dig is a book my yoga teacher recently wrote, The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom. My teacher is Rod Stryker and in this book he makes ancient yogic techniques on how to fulfill the purpose of your life accessible to modern minds. It’s powerful mojo and not new age flightiness. The message of this book is that every one of us can truly be vibrantly happy. Everyone desires to be happy. I don’t believe it when people from the “misery corps” claim to love basking in their woe. I used to self-indulge in my internal strife and now realize that there’s nothing bad about being joyful. I’m doing the exercises in the book and it’s life-changing work. This isn’t an easy process, but everything worthwhile requires dedication and work. I’m worth the work and so is everyone else.

Leela Punyaratabandhu

Food blogger at SheSimmers, goes out for:

The Forest Preserve District

Credit: Mary Anne Enriquez

Having lived in big cities all my life, there has always been a certain level of awkwardness whenever I find myself in nature. And though I still can’t tell a heron from a pelican or a hickory tree from an oak tree half the time, I’m getting better at it. One place in the Chicagoland area that has been my go-to place to learn about birds and native plants (and even elk watch) is Busse Woods, which is under the management of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

The eight-mile trail is perfect for biking and running. The approximately 590 acres of water in this area are also great for kayaking and canoeing. There are many activities in which you can participate throughout the year. For those not keen on anything too physical, a leisurely walk admiring the pretty scenery and fall foliage alone is worth the trip.