Weekend Links

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
― Augustine of Hippo

We’re back from Prague and what a joy it was to have a break from the news…but what a week it was. Between threatening the NATO alliance, praising the NATO alliance, trashing the British Prime Minister in an exclusive interview to a tabloid, being unwilling to answer questions about that interview when he visited the PM’s house the next day and walking back his statements, and messing up protocol when visiting the Queen….President Trump…honestly, he met my expectations. All of this bullshit and nonsense is absolutely par for the course. Can you image Prime Minister May touching down in the US and criticizing the President’s trade war with China from a podium in the Rose Garden, while opining that Speaker Ryan (or for the sake of argument, Secretary Clinton) really would have been a preferable president? No, because that would be INSANE.

The curve this man is graded on continues to astound me. I take refuge in the protests to confirm that not everyone is letting him get away with it.

Meanwhile we have a Supreme Court nomination who cut his teeth in the Ken Starr investigations and has some interesting ideas about how presidents can or cannot be held legally accountable while in office, former FBI agent Peter Strzok gave the most full throated rebuttal of the Deep State conspiracy theorist trash of anyone actually in or formerly in the government (which is sad and which I think is part of the reason that the oversight committee has not, at least at time of writing, asked the other party in the Sexting Scandal Lisa Page to testify publicly), and the Mueller investigation just handed down more indictments and have now formally laid out specifically how the Russian government took action to attempt to affect the 2016 elections (the documents are worth reading). And finally, the president once again used racist and enthno-nationalist dog whistles throughout.

And England lost their World Cup match. UGH.

Happy weekend!

So, it’s going well, then?

Going super well!

Sometimes I ponder how much power Senator McConnell has wielded and to what ends, and I want to punch something. Then I donate to a cause a I care about and encourage people to register to vote and feel a tiny little bit better.

A bit of statistical analysis on the president’s statements over the past two years, given his recent running off at the mouth.

Sali Hughes and Caitlin Moran talk life, writing, beauty products, and the need for a wide range of girls’ story being told in fiction in Sali’s brilliant In the Bathroom series. Part 1. Part 2.

If you know anything about the relationship between American Evangelical and Mormon communities, this is incredibly funny.

Oh Henry Cavill, I want to root for you and then you shoot off at the mouth like this

Ooh, poisonous books?!

This unexpected benefit of Britain’s heat wave delights me!

Whatever you opinion on the actual subject, Brexit arrangements are a trainwreck in slow motion.

Later the same day, holy shit. This is a bloodbath as politicians scramble to not be holding the hot potato when it hits, to mix my metaphors.

As a military brat with three generations of military service in my family, this enrages me and should enrage more of us.

More diversity in romance novels, thanks!

I appreciate the gesture, but there are also a lot of much more recent killings of black men and women who deserve additional resources and attention. This murder was a landmark event in American society and is one of the sparks of the organized Civil Rights movement and deserves an ending…but so do many more ordinary men and women. Black Lives Matter turns five this week, by the way.

Oh Roger Stone…always saying the quiet parts loudly.

A nice archaeology story to break things up a bit.

Maddening. Maddening and bad.

Were we asking for this, friends? I’m unsure.

Yes, I definitely struggle with this concept more than I should or want to.

“The erosion of the division between public and private has been coming for a while now.” If you’ve been following the gross “Planebae” story and it’s aftermath, this piece is required reading about the scary new reality where everyone, everywhere is a public figure now, and what the consequences of that may be.

To say that I’m crushing on Alex Ohanian and Gareth Southgate of late would be colossal understatements. Positive masculinity role models for all!

And finally, 50,000 people were expected to protest Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. According to the Evening Standard, 250,000 showed up.

Let’s end with a good news story:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Empties!

“There are no ugly women, only lazy ones” 
― Helena Rubinstein

My nosy love of these kinds of posts and videos continues unabated and so, in the interest of science, I’ve been hoarding items since November (just after I posted my last bathroom shelf tell all) to see what I kept using and coming back to. And also because I’m keeping track of the beauty items I use up in a calendar year because I am a ridiculous woman who loves nothing more than keeping lists. Leave me my weird pleasures without judgement.

I keep all my empties in a couple of bags under a bathroom sink so I had no idea how much stuff we were dealing with until I upended them on the coffee table for the purposes of documentation.

Here’s the grand total. Good lord.

Let’s break this down into more helpful batches, shall we?

I’m absolutely positive that I’m missing bottles of this category but say hello to the bath and body care we’ve made it through in the past few months. I love baths but it’s been sweltering hot for weeks now and I haven’t had a hot soak since about April. Otherwise, in spite of evidence to the contrary, we don’t have brand loyalties in this category and almost always buy body wash when it’s on sale.

Next up: hair care. The continued bane of my existence. My trusty T Gel continues to keep my scalp at bay and most other items in this category are also the result of sales at Boots. I made it through another bottle of Living Proof dry shampoo as well as a travel size Klorane and a similarly petite can of Elnett. I’m not sure how my Oskia cleanser made it into this batch, reorganize that in your head to the skincare category…which is still coming up and which is a doozy.

I have made it through a pathetically small amount of cosmetics during this time, at least as far as fully panning them is concerned. I’m not counting single eyeshadows or other items yet and will tally those up later in the year after I’ve hopefully racked up a few more empties to show off. Makeup takes forever to use up and this, if nothing else should be the reasoning that helps me stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to my shopping goals for the year…but as you know I’ve succumbed to another highlighter like the weak-willed fool I am.

Ah well! I’ve used up a brow pencil, a brow gel, a mascara, some sample sized primers and a satisfying amount of perfume in the past six months, including a full bottle of Glossier You which I really, really like. And which I’m forbidden from repurchasing until I use up yet more perfume lying around my house because there is still an obscene amount on my bathroom shelves. I also used up a full lipstick which qualifies me for some kind of beauty hoarder Olympics I think, but which is not shown here because in the process of holding on to the tube to lovingly add it to my empties stash, it ended up in a bag that was absolutely soaked in olive oil after a tragic farmers market incident. And if that isn’t the silliest sentence I’ve typed in a long time, I don’t know what is.

Holy mackerel. Okay, let’s talk about skincare, the category of products that takes most of my money and where I definitely have brand loyalties to speak of. I’ve made it through multiple Glossier cleansers, serums, and moisturizer tubes, as well as several bottles of The Ordinary’s Hyluronic Acid. The Ordinary features in a few other products which I finished and linked but will not be repurchasing for the time being. Trusty stand bys in the form of Clinique, Bioderma, and Kiehls are tucked in here, as are a few South Korean skincare items. The SoKo women know their SPF and serums, and if you have not yet tried either, do yourself a favor. I discovered the Thank You Farmer SPF several months ago and went through it in record time; in fact I ended up on a ridiculous waitlist to replace it when it was gone and did the rare thing (for me) of back ups against the day that I ran out again.

Good lord.

What I’ve Bought: Summer Update

“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.” 
― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman

Kittens, I feel like it’s time to confess my purchases for the summer! For a recap and a bit of a sense of how I’m tracking items, here is my first update on this project. In the past couple of months I have been shopping, but I’ve also been continuing to edit out old or unused items in my house and closet. I’ve had a couple of, ah, shopping indiscretions but at the end of the day, I’m doing pretty well.

As you read this I should be in Prague (unless something annoying has happened with our travel plans), so expect future posts on that next week. In the meantime, here’s what’s cause me to put down my credit card in the last three months:

  1. A pair of shorts
  2. A summer weight shirt from Gap
  3. A pair of work trousers which were unanticipated but necessary when I discovered that my other lightweight trousers, ah, didn’t fit anymore. At all. This was a humbling purchase. I maximized the opportunity, though, by finding a pair from LK Bennett on ridiculous discount and are wide legged, so as to channel Katherine Hepburn
  4. A leopard print dress
  5. A pink cotton shirt, because I’ve decided I’m exploring my WASP heritage this summer (sartorially speaking)
  6. A linen shirt, because we don’t live in a nation with air conditioning!

Confession: I broke my makeup no buy challenge. I don’t want to dwell on it but let’s just summarize by saying there was a night out, G&Ts were involved, I happened to be in the vicinity of a NARS store just after their new highlighter formula launched….and well, we’re very happy together.

I also snagged a blush by & Other Stories…because Into The Gloss made me do it… Shut up. It was on sale.

Oops.

Taco Joint

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” 
― Orson Welles

Hey, you know what we haven’t had in a minute? A good old fashioned food joint post! Come with me to one of London’s most popular markets and we’ll rectify this…

It is rare to find good tacos in London, at least if one is a snobbish American who demands authentic Mexican food who turns up her nose at the pathetic offerings found in most British pubs? Do not smother stale chips in sour cream and canned “salsa” and call them nachos, we are going to fight.

Thankfully, Jeff and I discovered a remedy. Welcome to El Pastor, overlooking one of the more iconic entrances to Borough Market.

Oh look, several of my favorite things!

I am pleased to report that the guacamole is delicious and the tortillas authentic. Jeff nearly wept when the carnitas passed muster!

El Pastor is walk in only, which means that you need to be a bit mindful of your timing since Borough Market is inevitably crowded. But the food is worth the wait, if a bit pricey. If you are feeling particularly flush, there is a robust drinks menu and an entire menu dedicated only to Mezcal. This is precisely the kind of place you want to visit for a summer date night when you don’t want to break the bank, but still want to have an above-the-ordinary-takeaway kind of meal. Eat outside if you can and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the market.

Two words, of immense value to any American in London: salsa verde.

Borough Market is a great spot, even if the vast majority tourists show up to graze on free samples and then leave. There is an excellent brewpub called The Rake around the corner, a whole lane dedicated to street food, and every kind of food under the sun available to you, from boutique bakers to leading dairies. And of course, Southwark Cathedral hovers over the whole thing, boasting the area’s history which stretches back through Shakespeare and Chaucer.

All in all, if you’ve never been to the area, or simply haven’t been back in a while, come on by for a visit. Start with the tacos, but then just wander around a bit. I guarantee you won’t get bored.

Weekend Links

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

What another week of news, and once again I can’t keep up–but we’ll do our best to recap along the way. We are past the Fourth of July and therefore officially into summer. I have switched to my “summer” sunglasses (aviators), purchased a linen shirt (which I duly report back on in my next shopping update), and all my drinks are iced. Consider me ready for the season.

I’ve put together a list of (mostly) poppy and fun links for your reading pleasure and I’m going to try and get a few additional posts together because I am officially on holiday! Jeff and I are going off to explore a new city neither one of us have been too, and I am going to do my best to try and unplug from work. Historically, I am TERRIBLE at this. (It doesn’t help that there’s an awful lot going on, a new contract to move into, and annual budget season to contend with…and shut up, C., you’re not helping yourself!)

Filing this under things I didn’t realize weren’t already federal crimes.

Anyone got a few cool million to spare?

Crissle returns to Drunk History!

Our country is broken.

Broken.

I accept this to be true.

Oprah for queen. Oprah for everything.

Noted and worthy beauty blog Temptalia breaks down the recent launch of the latest “big” brand and one, for a change, I have no interest in at all.

Good riddance, it’s a miracle he lasted as long as he did with that much scandal and bad behavior just…out there.

Jog on, indeed!

No duh.

I love writing on writing.

Long live the battle queens of the internet.

This piece from Slate hit me so hard this week that it actually took a full day to process. This passage deserves a block quote:

I am sad, above all, because the damage being done now no longer feels like it can be stemmed—let alone reversed—with a single election. This will last decades. The downturns my generation has already weathered—the 2008 crisis that hinged on obscure derivatives traded by a privileged few, robbing wealth from millions—were only the beginning. Education is now a luxury. Pensions barely exist. Health care is under threat. Retirement is, to those my age, a cruel joke. We’ve been waiting. For recovery, for relief, for some semblance of an American dream we can access.

It is clear, now, that there was nothing to wait for. In the time we’ve been waiting, the rich have only gotten richer and angrier and whiter, but it will never be enough for them. The good-faith ideological battle some thought right and left were waging turned out to be no such thing: Modern conservativism was never about small government. Or personal liberty—for women and people of color, anyway. It wasn’t about fiscal responsibility: The GOP passed a tax plan that has blown up our national debt, which is projected to reach 78 percent of America’s GDP by the end of this year, the highest it’s been since 1950. And Republicans are still not happy. They will pretend that this crisis they created will require “sacrifices,” gutting services poor Americans desperately need, like health care. The poor and disadvantaged will die.

Meanwhile, those in power will celebrate how much they deserve their wealth and how little anyone else deserves.

Finally, there are still children separated from their parents. You can donate to RAICES, KIND, and the ACLU to help.

Five Things I Loved in June

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”
– Russel Baker

London is currently experiencing the first of a series of projected heatwaves and it’s blazing hot outside. In other words, it’s a perfect time to talk about the things that kept me feeling and looking good in the month of June! Roll on summer!

Clinique Take the Day Off Balm Cleanser
As the weather warms up and I layer more products on my face (multiple layers of SPF throughout the day, makeup, waterproof mascara, and goodness knows sweat), I need to take a lot more off when I get home in the evening. This is a fantastic cleanser that I used for a long time, and then just never got around to replacing it as I was trying to use up other items in my bathroom cabinet. I only got around to repurchasing it at the start of the month and have been using it practically every day to take my face off. It’s a lovely cleanser that melts makeup and other products

 

Queer Eye Season Two
Everything I loved about season one, double it. Supportive, lovely, encouraging friendships are often portrayed along gender lines–women experiencing the “sisterhood” of emotional support while men are portrayed bucking one another up with toughness and stiff upper lips. Of course the spectrum of lived experience is vast, but in media and culture I think that while it has become more acceptable and even attractive for women to take on certain “masculine” traits and roles, it still isn’t nearly common enough to see men take on more traditionally “feminine” aspects (such as being nurturing and gentle). I unabashedly love the portrayal of male emotional support and friendships on this show for this reason. If more men and boys got the hype squad treatment that I experience with my female friends, we’d have a lot fewer problems in the world.

 

Radiolab presents: Gonads
Radiolab is one of the great pioneers of radio and podcasting and each episode is worth a check in. However, I really love when they dive into topics for extended projects which they have done recently on the topic of human reproduction. What are gonads? How did they evolve? What is fertility, infertility, and how are people using science to have children? What are the ethics of all these questions? It’s good scientific fun!

Nars Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Square
This long standing favorite lip pencil has done service in the wars this month and is deserving of a shoutout. Look how much of this sucker I have used up! The goal is to finish it entirely and eventually replace it once I have also used up some similar but inferior items in my makeup stash.

 

That guy I’m married to
Jeff has been absolutely working his tail off recently and still managed to give me a gorgeous birthday dinner, help plan a much needed upcoming holiday, rant with me about the troubles we see in the world, watch comedy specials with me to make ourselves feel better, and generally be a good guy all around. Happy 9 year anniversary today, love. I’m still rather fond of you.