Completely Honest ‘Sunday Routine’ Activities

Congratulations, Vanessa Bayer. In addition to having the best damn Rachel from Friends impression I’ve ever heard, you’re the only honest person in the New York Times’ Sunday Routine feature. Vanessa orders in food, catches up on her DVR, naps meditates, and earned her very own New York times headline calling her ‘very lazy.’

If this sounds unexceptional to you, you probably aren’t a dedicated hate-reader of The Sunday Routine. For the past several years, famous, accomplished, or upwardly mobile New Yorkers have chronicled their unrealistically busy Sundays in this feature. I think that by now, it has overtaken the Vows section as the most infuriating – yet perversely entertaining – part of the Times.

Here’s a typical Sunday Routine. It’ll be about, let’s say, Marika and Joel. She’s a costume historian and he’s the C.O.O. of an artisan paper startup. Marika gets up at 5 for sunrise yoga: “as I move through my asanas, the sun warms my heart chakra until I, too, radiate light.”  (Ed. note: she does not.) Meanwhile, Joel goes for a long jog through a neighborhood where people are doing a blue-collar job. He says something supportive but kind of condescending about them. Then Marika and Joel pick up the paper and go back home to read it in bed with some French press coffee that Joel grabbed from the roasters on the way back from his jog. By about 7, the kids start waking up and pile into their bed and they just all hang out together as a family. “This is secretly my favorite time of the whole week,” Marika says. (Ed. note: who was watching the kids during the run and yoga? Trick question. Marika and Joel don’t really do any of this every Sunday. It’s a collection of things they HAVE done before, compiled into one upwardly mobile day.) The whole family enjoys a big crepe breakfast that Joel makes every week. Meanwhile, Marika runs around the corner to pick up a few cartons of cold-pressed juice. By 8:00, it’s time to go to the park, where their two less-smart kids ride European-looking bicycles and their smart kid plays chess with a wise old man who teaches him about life. This is when Marika likes to set up on the grass and practice her watercolors. Before they know it, it’s 9:15 and time to head to the practice of an underprivileged youth jazz ensemble that Joel mentors. Sometimes Marika comes along – she arranges most of the pieces – but other times, she takes the kids to their favorite Japanese movie house. We’re not even at 10 AM yet. It continues like that until Marika and Joel do some “journaling” and collapse into a deep slumber at 11:30PM.

I like my Sundays to be a little productive, plus I’m terrible at sitting still for more than 20 minutes, but I’ve never shoehorned so much into my Sunday routine. But if you told me you did any of the following Sunday activities on the regular, I’d believe you:

  • Cleaning. Because even though we all know we’re supposed to do one or two tasks every day so we never have to do a dedicated cleaning session, that never happens and all of a sudden my living room is coated in a thick blanket of dog hair (poor thing, I don’t know how she isn’t bald) and cat hair (total jerk, pretty sure she’s figured out how to shed on purpose).
  • One household task that ends up taking all day. For instance, this week I went to the public market and bought flowers. Then there was an antique vendor there with the perfect bed for my guest room/office. So I dropped the plants off at home and went back for the bed. THEN I needed potting soil, which took me to the garden store. Then my nieces and nephews were over and my niece got so covered in dirt and seeds that, with enough light and water, she will be a twenty pound walking bean farm within 8-10 days. Anyway. That took my whole damn day. It isn’t always flowers. Sometimes it’s putting a shelf together, or going through your closet, or tidying the basement. Same result.
  • Catch Up On DVR. I can’t be the only one who treats catching up on TV as an actual task on my to-do list? Plus Sunday’s a good day for it, so you don’t end up two weeks behind on anything.
  • Have a terrible time grocery shopping. Everyone shops on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s what I tell myself, grumbling, every week when I do my grocery shopping on the weekend, as though I’m not part of the problem myself. The good thing is that Saturdays and Sundays are usually the free sample days. Yes, I am willing to put on a performance of being interested in whatever they’re selling long enough to get a sample. I think this is one of those “there are two kinds of people in this world” thingies, and I will never be that person who can just casually grab a paper cup off the sample cart and keep walking. Sometimes I even buy things I don’t want because I’ve engaged for too long. I’m eating some PopCorners right now thanks to the lady at the sample cart. What are PopCorners? Not sure exactly! They’re like if you made chips out of crushed popcorn from a movie theater floor, kind of. They’re not very good!
  • Feel guilty while hanging out with my dog. Sometimes on a Sunday I walk my dog, or play catch, and feel guilty because I know Monday is coming but she doesn’t. If you have children, feel free to substitute ‘feel guilty while hanging out with my kid.’
  • Read a book on my porch. But really, watch the neighbors across the street. Their Sunday routine involves getting very dressed up for church, the mom yelling at the kids a lot until they’re in the car, coming back hours later, then playing sports outdoors.
  • Some weird existential stuff. What am I doing with my life? Does it even matter – the universe is so large and time is so vast? Best case scenario, I have lived 1/3 of my life already. Getting to live the amount I have two times again doesn’t feel like enough. Maybe people will be living a really long time when I’m old and I won’t have to worry about it. Do I like my job? What would it be like if I didn’t have to work? – These are things that don’t plague me at all, except for like 5 minutes on a Sunday. That’s why they have church on Sundays. Because that’s when everyone has their weird existential stuff. Yet somehow ‘weird existential stuff’ never shows up in the Sunday routine.

All Hail The Queen: Famous People On Amy Poehler

Happy Amy Poehler Day! In celebration of the birthday of our favorite comedienne/life guru/producer/queen, we offer a collection of things other celebrities have said about Amy. After all, the best way to know that a person is awesome is if everyone who knows them says so (but let’s be real, those opinions hold a lot more weight coming from a famous person. No offense to your non-famous friends; sure they’re great). In case you’re wondering, the second-best way is for the person to just straight-up tell everyone that they’re awesome. Or, I guess just to consistently be fantastic and see if people catch on. poehler

Let’s take this September 16 to remind ourselves to live in such a way that this is how people talk about us behind our backs:

Aziz Ansari

I have found that she is as kind and caring a person as she is hilarious. Simply put, Amy Poehler is my hero.

Vanessa Bayer (describing her first night on SNL):

Yeah, I was so emotional. I started tearing up. It was so surreal. I actually stayed on stage because I wanted to hug Amy Poehler. She was the host that week, and I wanted to thank her because she was such a wonderful person to work with. So I gave her a hug, and I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I said something like, ‘It was amazing to do my first show with you,’ and she held my hand and walked offstage with me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. She was so kind and generous.

Matt Besser:

These days you don’t think of Amy as a female comedian, you just think of her as a comedian, and I think that’s a plus. And she didn’t go for that whole notion that women are not treated fairly. She was just like “I’m just going to do my best and not give a shit,” and it worked. She didn’t care about being pretty and dainty on stage, or charming, or all those things you might say about a successful sitcom actress, a prototypical one. She could be weird or nasty or ugly or whatever. Those are things that guys more typically do. But really it’s what a comedian should do and that’s why she is.

Rachel Dratch (when asked about the “inordinate” amount of page space devoted to Amy Poehler in her book, Girl Walks Into A Bar):

I guess she just has a good aura. People gravitate to it. She’s very supportive and she’s got a good combo of being cool enough that she’s one of the guys, but she’s also sensitive and wise.

Tina Fey (in Bossypants, a book that was a decoy answer on Million Second Quiz this week. If you’re reading this more than 2 months in the future, maybe Google what that was. Jimmy Fallon objected to a gross bit Amy was doing and she totally shut him down):

With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it. I was so happy. Weirdly, I remember thinking, ‘My friend is here! My friend is here!’ Even though things had been going great for me at the show, with Amy there, I felt less alone.

Kathryn Hahn

It all starts with [Amy] Poehler. She’s such an incredible number one to have on a contact sheet, on a cast list. Cream just rises. She’s such a stud and such a nice person. She’s a goddess. I worshipped her before, and I worship her even more after seeing how she behaves on a set

Mamrie Hart:

I love women with balls, and Amy’s got the biggest sack swinging in Hollywood at the moment. She really doesn’t give a shit if people don’t agree with her on a subject.

Rashida Jones:

I would go gay for her. It doesn’t seem fair that I get to work with her. I love her unconditionally.

Mindy Kaling (describing the time during her brief, not-awesome guest writing gig on SNL when Amy made her come out with the other writers and actors):

But when this popular, pretty genius made this kind gesture to me? That’s the moment I started adoring Amy Poehler. She knew I was going to be a coward, and she was going to have to gently facilitate me into being social… When I said something even a little bit funny, Amy cackled warmly. (This sounds weird, but that’s the best way I know to describe Amy Poehler’s laugh: a warm, intoxicating cackle.)

Seth Meyers:

  • We started together on the same day and we just hit it off right away. On our fourth show, we did this scene called “Little Sleuths”—they were like Encyclopedia Brown solving real murders—and we thought it was going to be this big franchise and were already seeing the Little Sleuths action figures in the NBC Experience Store. It got cut from dress, like, five times and it never aired again. We always said that the one case the Little Sleuths couldn’t solve is what the fuck happened to the Little Sleuths.
  • She’s this incredible combination of warm, silly, and smart, which I think makes her such an engaging performer… There’s just no meanness to anything Poehler does. Her outlook and attitude about how to work, and how to be funny, are contagious.

Nick Offerman (referencing multiple FNL characters in a transparent and successful attempt to make me fall in love with him):

I met Amy in the early 90′s and she is like a superhero mixed with both Coach and Tammie Taylor from FNL, as well as Tim Riggins and a little Landry.

Jim O’Heir (while campaigning for Amy as Best Lead Actress In A Comedy Series):

Amy’s awesome. Yeah. You know, I guess when you get the most lines on the show, you get nominated for awards. Put another one on her shelf… How about someone saying Hey Jim, How’s it been for you, Jim? Amy’s awesome. And I’m rooting for her to get that Emmy. I hope you win… you son of a bitch.

Aubrey Plaza:

She’s already kind of my girlfriend, and I’m not saying that in a jokey way. We had a moment last year, late at night, when we decided we were gonna end up together. For now, we have to let boys come and go, but we’re kind of in love.

 Bill Poehler (Amy’s dad):

She would just jump in and succeed or fail—it wouldn’t matter. Once, in the fourth grade, the principal was on stage and he had the mike up high. Then little Amy walks across, goes up to the mike, grabs the little knob, twists it, pulls it down, and I said to myself, Oh my God, she has no stage fright whatsoever.

 Eileen Poehler (Amy’s mom):

We recently went to “Parks and Rec,” and our biggest thrill is hearing how much the crew, from the girl who cleans the trailer to the driver to the director, like working with Amy. How good she is to everyone. She’s the same girl. We’re really proud of that.

Chris Pratt:

I disagree that talented people are nice to be around. No. I’m serious. Especially when they’re number one on the call sheet. It’s the truth. Most of time when someone is really talented and they’re the top dog actor, the first name that comes up on the screen, basically, Amy’s position on this, they’re not always nice. And the fact that you are, and the fact that you made everybody feel good, and you always laugh at jokes, I’ve never seen you in a bad mood, it all rolls down hill. This whole family vibe and everyone getting along well, it comes from you. It has always come from you.

Maya Rudolph:

If you go to eat with Amy, it’s like, “Alright, let’s order. Does everybody know what they are going to get?” She’s in charge, she’s the leader, she’s like, “We’re not wasting any time, let’s do this.” And in the most loving way, I can say, she’s incredibly bossy. And I fucking love that about her. And I love the combination of the fact that she is a teeny tiny person and she’s really tough.


Well, Mike Schur is the boss, but we call Amy our fearless leader. I think whoever the lead of the show is dictates what the set is like. Amy is always planning nights out for us. She’s just so cool, she’s not a diva. English directors when they come in want to do tons and tons of takes. And I can tell she wants to wrap it up but she just says “sure” because she wants them to be comfortable.

Andy Samberg:

Amy is beloved by all. That’s her secret move. No one doesn’t like her… I came in when Amy was kind of in the middle of her run. I would say her and Seth, maybe more than anyone, really looked out for me and took me under their wing and made sure I was doing OK.

Michael Schur:

There is exactly one thing in the entire range of acting that Amy Poehler does not do well: impressions. So we make her do them constantly.

Adam Scott

It was intimidating at first, but she’s so cool and down to earth, that it immediately went away. Still, when I’m working with her, I’m, you know, taken aback by how good she is and how hilarious she is and quick and all of that. It sounds kind of lame to say, but I do learn from her a lot, you know, when we’re working together. She would think that’s lame, but it is true that I’m kind of in awe of how great she is.

Mike Scully

Amy Poehler is the funniest person on TV, period. The fact that she’s the nicest is a bonus.

Emily Spivey

Amy’s a hero. I cannot think of anyone who’s done more, in my opinion, in front of the camera and behind the scenes for ladies than Amy. If I could make a lady comedy flag, it would have Amy Poehler’s face on it. She’s just amazing. She’s a little blond girl, but she’s gonna fucking get this done. And everyone’s in love with Amy. She has a way just making everyone- boys and girls- feel so comfortable and confident in not only what she’s doing but what they’re doing.

Taylor Swift (on Poehler’s shortcomings as a human being in general):

There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.

Casey Wilson:

Amy Poehler’s like a cheerleader—kind of like a mama bear. She wanted the other women to succeed and that’s trickled down to Kristen, and then trickled down to me. I think people want there to be some sort of feud or tension, but it’s like “Why can only one of us do well?” One time I remember we were doing a “Mad Men” sketch, and I was playing the redhead. And I had a funny bit where basically I came in and dropped off some papers, but I didn’t have a line. It wasn’t even Amy’s sketch, but she piped up and said to the writers, “Let’s give Casey a funny line when she comes in.” She didn’t have to do that.