Weekend Links

Greetings from soggy London, my doves. Storm Dennis is swirling overhead and dumping all over the country, and we are hunkered down at home refusing to leave the apartment. Jeff is recovering from the first major project of accountancy “busy season” and I’m just being lazy after an unexpectedly hectic work week. Books and tea for me, NBA for him, planning an upcoming trip to Paris to meet up with X for both of us! 2020 is the year we finally get our holidays sorted.

Happy weekend, kittens. I hope my Brits are staying dry and safe.

Jordan Peterson is a deeply strange and problematic man, and has been for years, but I will no ill on him. That being said, every word of this story baffles me. I have a million follow up questions.

What a ridiculous story. All of it: the initial photo, the fact it was deleted, the black and white second attempt, and finally the post-truth silliness of the attempts to turn it into a scandal. All this could have been avoided if he learned to blend his products. I have a long list of beauty writers and vloggers I can recommend.

In Mormon news…I have a lot of thoughts about this continuing story and almost all of them are unflattering.

Be care not to conflate the fantasy with reality. Evergreen advice, really.

This is important political reporting, but three years in I think it should be obvious to most observers that his supporters don’t actually care about this issues – at least not as a macro collective. These topics have been ciphers for other priorities and concerns for years. Those who do want the traditional conservative talking point policies are not representative of the party they claim.


It all adds up.

One of my favorite romance authors took on sex and romance during Valentines Day week. Rock on.

All I’m going to post about the shenanigans with the US Department of Justice.

He Did It, part 1,043 out of infinite.

Roxanne Gay’s piece on Kobe Bryant is really worth a read.

Lost history is always prime Small Dog Nation catnip!

Britain’s tabloid culture is killing women, or contributing to their misery, and has for years. Stop reading and buying the trash.

Weekend Links

Well hi, kittens.

What a couple of weeks. I’m angry about Brexit, and angry at the naked transparency of my own elected officials in tying themselves to our home grown demagogue and throwing out every “principled” talking point they’ve shouted about my whole politically aware life. The overall general mood of the Demos seems to be a bitter determination to go down with their various ships and I simply do not understand this perspective. The cynicism and sense of isolation/persecution that seems to be required to wish the dissolution of alliance or to uphold the power such an unworthy person floors me. I’m not linking to any of that news, I’m too angry.

On the flip side, my family dog is NOT dead as believed but instead had been KIDNAPPED. So that emotional rollercoaster happened as well.

Enjoy your weekend, ducklings, I’m curling up with another murder mystery to make myself feel better. I’m not saying I’m emotionally healthy, I’m saying I’m self-aware.

RIP to a complicated but important figure.

We’re governed by toddlers

Yes, I will be mourning and celebrating The Good Place for a long while. The Atlantic actually did two pieces on it this week, one on aesthetics and the other on – you know – the existential questions of existence – and both are worth a read.

Sorry, yet another Atlantic piece, but fan as I am of Amanda Mull’s writing, I couldn’t not share this piece that resonates in my soul. My Christmas present was a KitchenAid – something I have not had since we moved to the UK and which I have missed dearly. Obviously, the KitchenAid is also a metaphor. “Young Americans are sometimes described as unwilling or unable to grow up; it might be more accurate to say they’re growing up differently. The traditional markers of adult achievement have yet to click into place for many people in their 20s and 30s, which has required them to reimagine what stability in America might now look like.”


Another power-behind-the-politician profile that I enjoyed this week. Let’s not talk about the Iowa Caucuses. I can’t.

Prime Small Dog National archaeology porn content.

Deeply necessary addition to our universal symbolic language, which shall be all that’s left to explain us when aliens finally find the rubble of our civilization. Good luck deciphering our weirdness!

Thank goodness. To deny oneself (to say nothing of us jackals who consume this content) of beauty and style because of some strict rules of how men should dress is silly. More velvet! S&M inspiration! Gowns, they’re great!

Damn, sorry. Another piece from The Atlantic this week, from perennial fave McKay Coppins: we’re not ready for this election

See also.

YESSSS…. (please don’t ruin it)

This man deserves recognition. Secrecy is impossible in our age and it will only delay our ability to respond to the when (not if) of pandemics. We’re astonishingly lucky that as a macro collective, it’s been a century since our last one, and it’s not reasonable to assume this luck will continue indefinitely.

We’re screwed, guys. I mean, we’ll survive for a few centuries, but everything is going to get harder and countless people are going to suffer.

Important wintertime tips.

Year of Back to Basics: January

The monthly updates return!

As this goes to press, I’m on a train to Scotland for a work event which I’m both nervous and excited about. Once again I’m going to be a bit of a fish out of water when it comes to demographics with the other attendees (my best work pal and closest peer is off on maternity leave) but I’m trying to buck up my confidence – armed with my Barbour, a backlog of podcasts and books, and a black dress.

In case you’re relatively new around here, internet veteran CGP Grey explains why themes are better than resolutions. and provides a much better perspective on why structuring your life this way is probably something you should try.

Happy new year, if we’re still allowed to say that.


I want to say I bought NO personal items this month but I actually had to some thinking about this. Categories of items like health and beauty replacements or toiletries I don’t count if they are strictly replacements for items that I have used up, however I did pick up a cream blush from Glossier when I was replacing a moisturizer…and I managed to do it without even thinking! Bad start to the year, C.. However, I’ve added it to the shopping list tracker in the spirit of honesty and fairness. Historically I have treated personal care and beauty items as different from clothing, housewares, and other goods, but I think that differentiation was given me an “out” in my head and I’m not going to make a distinction this year. If I want to buy makeup of any kind, on this list it goes! I’ll continue to make an exception for skincare, however, so long as it follows the replacement rule.

Otherwise? This was a baller month for money! I prioritized home cooking significantly (which had the added bonus of helping me work towards completing some of my food related 101/1001 goals) and unsurprisingly, this had a noticeable effect on my walking-around money. We also continued to prioritize credit card debt and bent over backwards to avoid putting purchases on it. This allowed us to throw another sizable chunk of money at our total debt, which feels so bloody satisfying. Next month we’ll pay off another credit card in full and possibly two. Meaning that if we keep this pace up, we can easily eliminate all our credit card debt by the middle of the year, which means we can focus on loan debt and building savings. Each month I feel lighter and lighter about money, it’s a fantastic feeling.



This month I focused on communication, which is something therapy is helping me with especially. It’s resulted in lovely chats, text chains, letters, and emails with all kinds of friends and loved ones, as well as clarity in conversations at work. Most importantly, I’m trying to listen more deeply and learn when others voices are more important. Have I recommended therapy lately?


Basic Bitch

Weight loss – made some progress simply through home cooking and ensuring that everything I made was really healthy. On the flip side, and somewhat at odds, I also started baking once a week. Jeff got the majority of the spoils. Definitely not continuing this approach indefinitely–I don’t believe in long term ridiculous self-denial–but I am going to continue cutting back significantly on carbs and sugar and ensure that what I do consume is home made and not bought. Nothing effects my weight more than food, and more than those categories in particular.



This was a fantastic month for books, I read over a dozen (which puts me WELL on the way to reading 100 in a year), including several Agatha Christie novels (advancing my goal to read all her works), and three topical books on the human body and health as part of my armchair-expert-via-literary-osmosis goal.

My focus on cooking also progress my goals to try 25 new-to-me recipes.

Kicked off my cold weather capsule wardrobe project.

Started listening to a new album every week. Fiction and music help keep the badness of the news in check.


February Moodboard

Happy Leap Year, my doves! This month I’m building on last’s culinary and literary triumphs, and doing my best to keep things as uncomplicated as I can. I’m sticking with a capsule wardrobe, continuing to work with doctors on long-standing health problems, and avoiding drama and mess wherever possible. At work I’m focused on stabilizing projects that I’ve been able to set up and ensure they are successful instead of rushing into the next challenge, and trying to be a support to a bunch of new joiners whose voices and perspectives I think are important.

What are you focusing on this extra long month?

Five Things I Loved In January

2020 is off to an exhausting start and now, looking down the barrel of Brexit and other world issues, just reading the news requires bracing oneself. As I type my country is dealing with a constitutional crisis, while my other country is about to pitch itself out of a 70 year alliance, and the whole world is eyeing a pandemic. It’s STILL only January. Buckle up, kids!

As always, please send me your recommendations in the comments, I rely on your estimable good taste, ducklings!

MAC Russian Red

If ever there was a month that required lipstick as armor, it’s been this January. I’ve been wearing MAC’s Russian Red almost every day for an extra boost of bravery and, as ever…it works. My only blu-ish red shade of warpaint, it makes me feel like a badass on days when I feel anything but. Much ink has been spilled on the power of a red lip, but as a totem, it’s pretty darn reliable.


Full Metal Alchemist

My introduction to anime continued this month and I’m enjoying it so much more than I thought I would. I credit this significantly to the Manga exhibition we saw at the British Museum over the summer, which helped me understand the art form as a total novice and gave me a lot of important context to appreciate anime more generally. Cultural heritage institutions are amazing, people, support them with your money!


Educated, by Tara Westover

I’m ridiculously late to this memoir that had everyone talking for years, but I’m so glad I finally got here. While my Mormonism is in no way similar to the doomsday extremist version that she was raised with, I recognize the rhythms of her language and phrases ones I share. Though on a small scale, it makes me understand what individuals and communities mean by representation – reading her work, even though our lives are disparate, I understand the emotions she describes and the experiences she references in a deep and visceral way. Her journey from a girl without a birthday or birth certificate to PhD is inspiring on its face, but the power of this book is in how well she describes her inward journey from ignorance to the beautiful and awful expanse of knowledge. It’s amazing. It’s also lonely and painful and comes at tremendous cost. Academic accolades aside, the narrative is not about what she achieves so much as how she learns to be a complex human being with agency. I think a male version of this story would be more heroic in its depiction, more triumphant in its closure. Grappling with herself as a woman, an individual, a person, allows her to tell a very different kind of hero’s journey than the rags to riches, ignorance to financial success tales that are more common.


Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed For Men

From the sublime to the ridiculous…I can’t remember the last time a book made me so angry. It’s reported nonfiction and its subject is how the male body, male mind, male psyche and so on is still the template on how much of our world is designed. From scissors too large for most women’s hands, to seatbelts not designed for breasts or differently shaped pelvises in preventing injuries, it details how much of the world is Not For Us.

The Good Place

What a joy this show has been, and how sorry I am to see it go. Clever premise, joke-packed writing, deep concepts, perfect aesthetic, delightful cast. Would that all series had two of any of the above much less all of them. If you have not yet indulged, do yourself a favor this weekend: grab a pal, a bottle of booze, get cozy and enjoy a romp through the afterlife while discussing the nature of ethics. Seems dull? Hardly!

Weekend Links

My family dog died this week. My wonky leg is acting up. My mental health continues up and down. This year is off to a bumpy start, my doves. I’ll be keeping my knee elevated this weekend, continuing to read up a storm, and avoiding household chores. Here’s a nice little bundle of weekend reading if, like me, you want to procrastinate anything. There’s nothing impeachment related, because the whole situation makes me so furious I could spit. Register to vote if you haven’t.

British crisp flavors are notoriously wacky.

A fantastic essay on how the, for lack of a better term, ideology of Silicon Valley infiltrates us.

What a trainwreck this story has been, start to finish. What on earth is the point of an archive otherwise?!

Why we’re mad, part 107,893.

It’s the corruption, stupid.


No, I’m not over him and am still obsessed.

So, no one is safe. Cool cool cool. (Story continues.)

Sorry, this isn’t brave or groundbreaking in anyway. These are two very different candidates and platforms, endorsing them both makes no sense. It doesn’t take a stand, it avoids doing so.

Oh dear!

The investigation we all wanted.

Also, the content we DEFINITELY all wanted. (I’ve been pulling for Cavill years and want good things for him, mostly for my own aesthetic gratification.)

Weekend Links

Hola, beloveds! This ended up being a rather grueling week, including a day and a half flat out sick and bed ridden, but the upside is that that I’m reading up a storm to start the year. It’s not all bad. Work continues to trend in the right way and in spite of feeling under the weather, I still was able to have a rather interesting PR day with a politician who, while I disagree with many of their positions, pleasantly surprised me by being a nice conversationalist and thoughtful speaker. Here’s to humanizing more of the talking heads we see on TV.

I’m having another weekend of moderate relaxing, but might hit up a food market and try to spend some time outdoors. It’s an unseasonably warm winter thus far (hi, scary climate trends!) so I’m getting much more sunlight that usual for this time of year, a welcome boon to my ongoing fight against depressive dips and anxiety attacks. Meds are a godsend, by way of your regular reminder.

The political world remains a dumpster fire, with ambassadors being stalked, criminals trying to flip, TV lawyers doing their absolute worst, impending price hikes for trade with the EU, tempests in teapots for the endless-ly infighting left, and general madness. In response, here’s a short but punchy burst of nice things for you to leaven the news with. Stay engaged and limber, kittens, we’ve got 11.5 months to get through. Humor will be our aid!

I’m adding basically all of these to my list of recipes to try.

God yes, more of this.


This story is awful and incredibly hard to read, but represents a lot of dedicated reporting in a community that is difficult to access. These stories need to be told. Systemic abuse isn’t broken otherwise.

Timely advice now that 2020 is upon us.

Why no, I’m not tired of good reporting on the property market and the disparity between the ultra rich and the most marginalized.

We stan a Cheese King.

I’m making Roberto next.

Whyever would they want a different life? Whomst can say?

This was included in a previous round up but the story evolved and got even weirder since I watched the initial Twitter meltdown via several authors and agents I follow.

If someone could buy me this, that’d be great, thanks.