Notes from a Clamshell Path | No. 10
My dog, Stephen, regularly lifts his head up from a deep nap to stare at me when I am writing. If I ignore him, he climbs on my lap and kisses my face. I'm guessing there is some sort of biological change in me when I get in the writing flow that he senses and DOES NOT LIKE. I've had to endure many face kisses to write this post -- a sacrifice I willingly take to bring you interesting tidbits!
Dare I say it? Optimism. Friends, I'm wondering if you all felt a shift in the world when 45 announced he was pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement (or is it an Accord?) ? Or maybe the shift was really in the following moments when humanity condemned him and those who had the ability, pledged their money and their resources to ignoring him and moving on with what the rest of us need to do. For me, that was THUNDEROUS. The moment when I realized: he does not matter. It was so freeing! Confused about what happened? Me, too. Until I read this. But I take GREAT comfort in that last line: “It’s when the whale spouts that he gets harpooned.” And, you better believe I am making Comey testimony snacks and drinks this morning. The albatross around our American neck may soon be nevermore. (Hashtag literary bird allusions.)
The bombing in Manchester. I'm experiencing such a strong reaction to this. Those of us who lived in Boston in 2013 know exactly what that city is going through right now. While the world moves on, it's just starting for them. The feeling of your safe space being violated, a strong urge to reclaim it, and the realization that it will never be the same. There will never be a Manchester for them without that bomb.
The Provincetown Fire Department. Just before we crossed the bridge on our way back from my niece's dance recital Memorial Day Weekend, I started getting photo texts from our friends -- each one scarier than the last. A fire broke out at a restaurant in the center of our town and quickly spread to three others. Ptown is mostly made up of wooden buildings and are as close as they can possibly be to each other. And our fire department is entirely volunteer. They managed to keep the fire from spreading any further, but in the end those four businesses were destroyed. Our town rallies around its own, and with the help of our community, most people have found jobs elsewhere and money is being raised to help all those affected.
First of all, why is all the good stuff being released at the same time?? And just as summer is starting?? I'm dipping in and out of so many shows right now but I did manage to finish the new season of House of Cards. It's no longer shocking, given, well you know, but it is still seriously good drama!
All the President's Men. I've watched this film several times but somehow it never sunk in just how much time it took to unravel the Watergate details and just how many people didn't believe there was any there there. Worth a re-watch!
National Bird. This doc about the US drone program and the impact it has on the pilots who fly them (and who also drop the bombs on the people they see from the sky) is pretty intense. One woman in the film stated, "I lost part of my humanity since working in the US Drone program." It's a tough one to watch.
King Charles III. Based on the Broadway play, this adaptation imagines what will happen if/when Prince Charles finally takes the throne. It's BRUTAL. And the actor who plays Prince Williams looks a lot like Jared Kushner.
This Eurovision gem from 2007. I can't stop watching these Eurovision videos on Youtube! This one is SPECTACULAR!
An update on my disco ball necklaces. I've been so slow in getting these off the ground. I did find a source for the perfect size disco balls and am learning how to make my own beads. My goal is to get a few up on Etsy to sell by the end of the month.
"Meet the Woman Who Made Anthony Bourdain a TV Star." We should all send a thank you note to Lydia Tenaglia! Also, did you hear? Tony has a new girlfriend!
"Albania's Bunker Problem." My first thought when I read this: perfect place to hide during the zombie apocalypse! It's amazing what they've done with them -- hospitals, barns, museums, bars!
"Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness." This really made me sad. (Also, how about that HuffPo's Highline? Great longform stories. Subscribe at the end of the article or here.)
The "Lea in Trumpland" episodes on the Strangers podcast. While I am kinda tired about all the focus on the Trump voters, I've been mesmerized by the first two episodes. Lea is fearless, swears when necessary, but she listens and is straight about her own opinions. It's everything you want those Facebook discussions to be, BEFORE they devolve into but-her-emails/he's-an-asshole barb trading.
Al Franken's new (audio) book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. He crushes Ted Cruz. CRUSHES.
All the music in the second season of Master of None. I'm purposefully working my way through this season because it is SO GOOD. That dating episode? Genius! And the music is spot on.
Eating + Drinking:
Salads and Spritzs. I just started taking a medication with a lengthy list of possible side effects including weight GAIN. I mean, can I get a break here, please? So it's salads and spritzs for me this summer. I'm thinking this might be my Summer 2017 drink, the spritz liscio: "Simply add a splash of homemade syrup or fruit liqueur to a base of white wine and soda, and garnish with abandon." Also this grapefruit spritz sounds yummy. And I recently bought Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists (based on the blog) and consulted the NYT Cooking complete guide on "How To Make a Salad" for inspiration. The Mr. discovered this delicious salad dressing, Panera's Asian Sesame Vinaigrette Dressing, which I am practically chugging straight from the bottle.
New words. -manufactory = noun. a factory (Oh, ok. Why not just use "factory"?) -vitrine = noun. a glass display case
About California Prop 65 warnings. So maybe I'm the last one to the party again, given the passage of the bill in 1986, but I am now learning to look for these warnings on food and things like shampoo that I buy online. Amazon shares this: "California's Proposition 65 entitles California consumers to special warnings for products that contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm if those products expose consumers to such chemicals above certain threshold levels."
New sandals. So you know how I've had to switch out my sandal collection because of my pain issues? I thought I'd share some of my finds with you in case you also need more supportive footwear options that aren't ugly: Ugg Kari Sandals (in black), Clarks Tri Alba Sandals (in tan leather), FitFlop Supercomff, (note: I bought a pair of the microwobbleboard FitFlops and they caused me further pain but the Supercomff's are super comfy), Vionic Beach Noosa Toe Post Sandal, New Balance Jojo Thong, and Birkenstock Madrids.
First day at the pool. It's been ridiculously rainy and cold here for a few months now so we were THRILLED to finally have a sunny warm Saturday to go sit poolside with a few piña coladas!
Kishu charcoal water purifier. This is the water bottle fix I've been looking for for years! We drink a lot of water in this house, but we buy water in (gasp!) plastic jugs. Even though we recycle like a boss, I feel so guilty about all those plastic bottles. But NOW I just pop one of these into a pitcher and fill it with tap water. They last for four months (if you boil them once a month) and come in four different sizes, including ones for your pet's water dish and your water bottle. And after four months, you can reuse it to absorb odors in your frig or break it apart and put it in your garden!
Jet Set Sarah. Let me give you several reason why she's one of my favorites on The Gram! 1) She travels all over the Caribbean to resorts FOR A LIVING. 2) She wears the coolest brightly colored clothes! 3) She's letting her hair gray naturally, too. We're twinsies. Check her out!
Cucia Earth lava pumice stone. Again, I'm trying to keep my pedicures to a minimum. This pumice stone is the best I've found!
The brown stuff on our baking sheets. For sometime now, we've used the quarter-size pans from Williams-Sonoma. Perfect for our just-the-two-of-us needs and you can fit two side by side in the oven. But that brown stuff is so hard to remove. So I tried this. And it works!!
eBates. Are you guys using this yet?? My theory is that companies are already tracking your browsing and buying activity on their site so you might as well get paid for it. If you are really savvy, you can get cash back on hotel rooms, all your holiday gifts, and extra cash if you wait for double savings. I've received about $100 since December. And what is even better, if you use this link, we both get money!
Our salsa garden. The Mr. and I planted tomatoes and peppers in the garden beds in the back of our home. We went with a variety of different types since we have no idea how well they will do here. Our soil is pretty sandy, as you can imagine. I'm also in the process of junglefying our deck for the summer. I'm pretty psyched with how it is going!
Planning + Organizing:
SUPER SILVER SUMMER REDUX (or #silversummer2)! Summer planning as an adult is an art. If you live in a northern climate, it's really hard to squeeze in all the fun things you can only do when it's warm, yet somehow leave enough space for completely unstructured time. If you've followed this space for awhile, you know I used to do extensive lists and have never, ever completed a single summer list. That won't keep me from trying! Here's this year's in visual form.
Critical Reading/Listening. "Can Trump Pardon Himself?" The answer should be no. But it might not be. "Trump Wasn't Always So Linguistically Challenged. What Could Explain the Change?" You probably already caught this one, but in case you haven't, be prepared to freak the F out. "Donald Trump's Base is Shrinking." The data seems to support what any sane person hopes to be true. "Everywhere Trump Traveled Before Air Force One." Not much travel to the "fly-over" states before he was a candidate, apparently.
Action. "You Must Understand Why You Believe What You Believe." I'm challenging myself to examine one belief a week. I started with the death penalty, where I've moved from decidedly "anti" for most of my life to strongly "pro" after the Boston Marathon bombing to "only under certain circumstances." Even if you share your views with no one other than yourself, this is a worthy endeavor. Sign up for WaPo's new Lily Lines newsletter. "The Lily is almost here. Never heard of it? That's because it's brand new. The Washington Post is launching an experimental, visually-driven project for women, and we want to invite you along for the ride." Sure!
"The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820." For those of you in the Boston area this summer, go see this cool Harry Potter-ish exhibit at the Harvard Art Museums. And I just noticed the curator, Ethan, looks so very much like Eddie Redmayne. There are interesting online tools for those of us unable to visit in person. (There's also a cool show, "All The World is Here: Harvard's Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology," over at the Peabody. You can make a day of it!)
"This Storm in Mexico is Probably What the End of the World Would Look Like." Ummm ... RUN!!!
Thanks so much for reading! See you back here in a few weeks!