Weekend Links

When we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December, how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? 
– William Shakespeare

Another week, another round of resignations by dude outed as absolute creeps, another round of Brexit talks…the news continues to be a bit grim. Remember how we all were sick of 2016 and looking forward to 2017? LOLZ, as the kids say.

But hey! It wasn’t all bad! I did some Christmas shopping and shipping this week, I had our first ever proper Christmas tree delivered, and I have grand ambitions for holiday-style cooking this weekend. We’re also trying a new grocery delivery service (I know, very decadent times in the Small Dog residence), so I’m interested in sourcing opinions of minions who have tried similar services. Let me know how you source your holiday food in the comments, along with anything else on the internet worth sharing!

Helena Fitzgerald knocks it out of the park again.

Living the actual dream.

The Meghan Effect has commenced and honestly, I’m not mad. She seems to have lovely taste.

The New York Times released their list of the best books of 2017, and for a change I’ve read only one of them! Can anyone report back from any of the picks?

Mother McGrath shares her manifesto, and I’m ready for it!

I don’t see what the problem is here

The murder of Heather Heyer by white supremacists was a preventable one. I mean, no kidding, but nice to have it confirmed anyway.

How to worry better. Seriously.

The trifecta: teaching girls to defend themselves, boys to be allies, and everyone what health consent is.

I love this: cinematic archaeology!

The Atlantic asks, will Mr. Pence and the religious right be (divinely?) rewarded for backing Mr. Trump?

There’s a lot to be mad about. Here’s something else: according to Moms Demand Action, this is the 57th school shooting in the US this year.

The Weinstein story got WORSE this week, if you can believe it.

What the hell is this?! I mean, boy bye, but we are officially in the Upside Down.

Luckily there was a tiny bit of redemption that the #MeToo movement and the “Silence Breakers” were awarded “Person of the Year.”

Anyone want to buy me this for Christmas?

2018’s color of the year is

Album of the week last week (which I forgot to add): Rest by Charlotte Gainsbourg

Album of the week: Everyday is Christmas, by Sia 

The Hidden Drawer

“But have a care! It is a bitter blade, and steel serves only those that can wield it. It will cut your hand as willingly as aught else.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

We have lived in our apartment for over a year and have only just made an embarrassing discovery. We have a cutlery drawer.

How could you just have discovered this, you ask?

Part of the reason we decided to move into this apartment was the fact that it had recently been renovated and a brand spanking new kitchen had been put in. It’s so shiny, guys, we nearly cried the first time we saw it. It’s not my Platonic Ideal of a kitchen but coming from the one room flat we lived in for three years that had one small cupboard stuck on a wall and about two feet of counter space, it’s downright Nirvana. The whole thing is designed for maximum storage and it’s nice to actually be able to put things away in an orderly fashion and cook with new appliances.

One of those appliances is a flat topped stove with built in ventilation and other systems that I’m sure I don’t properly understand. It appeared as if some of the design of this stove was also built beneath the surface of the counter because it because there was some bulky hardware when I opened the drawers situated a bit further down. Turns out I should have tugged on the nooks and crannies of this a bit more because I found a random tab on it the other day and put some elbow grease into it…and this popped out.

Jeff was in the other room and I had to call him over to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind. He too did a double take and demanded where this totally new drawer had sprang from.

After shaking our head at ourselves a bit, we resigned ourselves to our stupidity and stocked the drawer.

This is actually our first proper cutlery drawer of our married life. We begin to feel quite grown up.

ETA, the album of the week is Say Less, by Roy Woods

 

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Five Things I Loved In November

“LONDON. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather.”
– Charles Dickens, Bleak House

November was kind of an awful month in a pretty awful year, news-wise and the first couple of days of December don’t make me feel much better or safer. But there were still good things to celebrate which should be celebrated so here is my monthly round of up what I loved last month both petty and profound. Share what you loved in November in the comments, with links if you can! Let’s spread some of the good things around.

 

Glossier You
My fangirling for this brand is a matter of public record, but their new perfume is truly gorgeous. It’s by no means the longest lasting fragrance I’ve ever tried or owned, but I have gotten compliments every single time I’ve worn it. The concept is that it’s based on traditional basenotes so that all the scents adhere to the wearer’s skin; there are topnotes but they are a nice break from all the floral and sweet stuff out there.

 

Alias Grace, on Netflix
This show is aggressively female and doesn’t flinch away from the fact. Unreliable narrator or no (and boy is the main character unreliable), it is fascinating to watch men in the story interact with her. They dismiss her, analyse her, abuse her, sexualize her, medicalize her, mistrust her, believe her…but are they really listening to her, or do they all just hear what they want to? The narrative is shown through her conversations with a doctor in the early days of psychology trying to figure out if the main character is guilty of the murder for which she’s been convicted or just a very good liar. No one in this story comes off a hero and you’re never sure who you are supposed to being rooting for.

 

Pat McGrath Lust 004 Lip Kit in Venom
This is old hat and was a limited edition purchase from a year ago, but I’ve been using the darker Venom matte lipstick from Pat McGrath almost daily this past month. There’s something about the weather turning cold that calls for gold eyeshadow and devil-dark lips to me. PmG has launched a permanent makeup line since that I enjoy looking at from afar (the Sublime palette in particular) but genuinely cringe at when I consider the prices. I’ll stick with a dangerous looking lipstick for now!

 

Best Friends
I have two BFFs, both of whom I’ve known for nearly 20 years. They are very different woman, but both entirely necessary to my happiness and I’m privileged to have them in my life. One of them is basically my adopted older sister and we have been watching out for one another for two decades now with no signs of stopping. She was able to come visit for Thanksgiving this year with her boyfriend and it was one of the highlights of my year. A lot of bad news went down while she was visiting but, much as it was when we were 13 years old, just being around each other made it a bit easier to bear and it was good knowing someone was in our respective corners.

 

Thanksgiving
I love this holiday. I love the food, I love the spirit of gratitude it’s meant to engender and celebrate, I love the notion of gathering with friends and family…and again, I love the food. It was wonderful to have friends in town to celebrate it with this year. We did our usual thing of heading to The Mayflower pub for dinner before a night out on the town and stay up until the wee hours talking about life, the universe, and everything.

Weekend Links: What a Week

“Nothing burns like the cold.” 
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

This week the president offended first nation peoples (while generally being a dick with his usual nickname schtick), retweeted racist British nationalistic and Islamphobic propaganda (quite literally creating and perpetuating fake news), and vilified a news organisations (resulting in their international significant reporting on slavery being undermined). ALL BY WEDNESDAY.

Meanwhile a troll tried to plant a rape story, a war criminal literally drank poison and died at his trial, the Secretary of State might be getting fired, and yet another Dude On Television was fired for sexual assault allegations. ALL BY THURSDAY. The poison story was barely a blip.

And on FRIDAY, this news broke, all while the conservative faction is trying to rush through a tax vote because after all, that’s why they’ve tolerated this administration and its garbage. I’m publishing this post now because one more news cycle will officially make this links post about a mile long. Good god, I even forgot the launch of another missile by North Korea…

I loved this article on when “vintage shopping” really kicked off in the 20th century and why it was so radical. Though I wept to see the photography. Jeans for $2.5o… (Sidenote, I’ve read The Cut for years, but it really is knocking it out of the park recently with its redesign and reporting.)

A short documentary on the history and development of Japanese horror cinema. The YouTube channel it comes from is also nicely interesting (and not all quite as, er, horrific).

Here, have a read of a MUCH better profile on a Nazi. Their satire is pretty good too.

Oops. Idiot. The latest stunt by O’Keefe, who has a history of shooting himself in his wannabe-sting-operator food, would be a hilarious self-own…if not for the hideousness of his plan. To wit: pay someone to pretend she was raped, in order to undermine and discredit actual sex crimes victims for the explicit purpose of getting an accused sex offender elected to the highest representative body in the nation.

Hm. Are we excited, guys? I think I’m excited, but this is an enormous cast and I wonder how they are going to keep the story together.

He is a national embarrassment, and embarrasses me as a citizen abroad every day...

Cotton? COTTON?!

Let us please remember that as so many of these men are brought to the account they deserve, there is collateral damage for other people.

The whole debutante tradition is strange to me, is there a place for it in 2017?

“That the legacy of the first black president could be erased by a birther, that the woman who could have been the first female president was foiled by a man who confessed to sexual assault on tape—these were not drawbacks to Trump’s candidacy, but central to understanding how he would wield power, and on whose behalf.” Read the whole thing. Every last, awful word.

Fire him. And yes, Coyner too.

What I’d like is a redo, a retroactive version of the past two years and all the coverage leading up to Trump’s election — the past 20 years, really — where the seemingly nonpartisan, bias-free men who shaped our national news culture weren’t also men who sexually harassed and assaulted women.”

Mariah has a lesson for all of us.

THANK GOD FOR SOME HAPPY NEWS THIS WEEK.

Here. Have one more heartwarming thing. God knows we need it.

Weekend Links

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, American kittens. This past week was amazing, my best friend X came into town with her boyfriend to celebrate Friendsgiving with us, and we had a blast! We brunched, we shopped, we stayed up late talking about life–pretty much our MO for the last twenty years. Most importantly, we watched the news together. She’s a woman in media and is one of many dealing personally with the ripple effects of the various sexual harassment revelations and exposes which kept rolling this week. I’m very glad she was here this week.

I’m also very glad it is now socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music! The holiday season is in full swing and I am ready for a bit of good tidings and joy right about now. We could use ’em. Here are your links let me know what you’re up to this weekend in the comments.

 

On the one hand, there are already too many sequels. On the other, EDNA!

Lest you thought I was alone in my obsession, the New York Times delves into the mutual love between millennials and makeup.

Hey, it’s not just millennials! Whales need good skincare too!

Filing this under Things That Don’t Help My Puppy Lust.

This limited series podcast about the US Civil War is interesting, but this episode on how the narrative came to be framed as a fight for states’ rights against an encroaching power hungry government (only true if you concede that the war was about the right of states to have and spread slavery) is required listening.

This is a men problem, worldwide.

Does anyone want to lend me an obscene amount of money? I need a thing.

Heartbreaking news from Egypt…if anyone has any news about donation opportunities or relief funds, please share in the comment.

Roxane Gay is in all ways, literal goals.

Craig Ferguson’s latest project with Gant is a video series with his wife, and I particularly enjoyed this episode on astrophysics, space travel, and the nature of the cosmos.

Men are cancelled.

Think a profile of a translator of ancient Greek wouldn’t be interesting to read? You’d be wrong!

I find this argument both terrifying and compelling “While other factors also led to Trump’s victory…had racism been toxic to the American electorate, Trump’s candidacy would not have been viable… That the legacy of the first black president could be erased by a birther, that the woman who could have been the first female president was foiled by a man who confessed to sexual assault on tape—these were not drawbacks to Trump’s candidacy, but central to understanding how he would wield power, and on whose behalf.”

Album of the week: BLUE LIPS (lady wood phase II), by Tove Lo

Weekend Links

“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?”
– Lizzo

This week the sexual assault conversation leaped from the realm of entertainment to the political, and liberal men are getting dragged along side conservative ones. Because OF COURSE THEY ARE.

Sexual assault and rape culture is not a partisan issue. If you insist on punishing abusers in other tribes, you must insist on punishing them in your own, otherwise, you’re just another trader in women’s bodies.  And I remain convinced the solution for abuses of men in power is to reduce their monopoly on power. In Hollywood that means more female (and other gendered!) professionals from crew members up to producers. In politics, that means we need to elect more women to office.

Of course, as thrilled as I am that these conversations and confrontations are happening, I fear a backlash. I fear that tribalism will prove more powerful and that in the current state of culture and the body politic, people will grit their teeth and embrace what should be smacked down because a guy happens to be their monster rather than the other side’s. Every single one of us loses in that instance.

And with that happy thought, I’m off to enjoy the rest of this gray and rainy Saturday. I have friends coming into town this weekend for Thanksgiving and there is much to do to prepare!

This thread ranking foxes is hilarious.

Sorry men, you’re going to have to be uncomfortable for a bit.

RadioWest was my favorite local radio program when we lived in Utah, and I still listen to the podcast in the UK. They have always dabbled in video but have been doing more and more of it lately. This short film about an unusual love story is a sucker punch to the gut.

Has anyone else watched Alias Grace yet? Anyone?! I need a pal to discuss this show with!

Another awful shooting this week, multiple in fact.

As with many of the good things in my life, X alerted me to this hilarious new YouTuber. You need her in your life, and you need to listen to her contouring tips and advice for getting a man. “If the men find out we can shape shift, they are going to tell the church!”

Yay, Australia!

The myth of the male bumbler.

It’s holiday party season, kittens, go get you some glitter!

Hey, it wasn’t all bad.

Do you need a deep dive into cinematic capes? You do, kittens! You were born to comment on this!

Why Trumpism will probably outlast Trump (it certainly predated him before he tacked his name on it the way he does so many skyscrapers), and why the next person elected under its banner may be even worse.

Album of the week: Rest, by Charlotte Gainsbourg

Weekend Links

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” 
― Edward R. Murrow

Happy weekend, ducklings! It’s a gray weekend and I had to bring some work home with me, so the intro is short but the links list is extra long this week to make up for it. Tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments.

Let’s check in on the news, shall we?

There is an old an abiding stigma against female anger and a pressure to swallow it down and stay silent. In the current cultural moment, for whatever reasons you want to attribute to, it feels like women are getting angry again, in a way that I haven’t yet seen in my own lifetime but I imagine many of you might remember from past decades. We’re angry. Out loud. In public. And it is glorious. 

“Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.”

The Paradise Papers story summarized thus far. I’ve seen the world of the ultra-wealthy from my work in property, but where that money ends up and how it moves is still endlessly fascinating to me.

Have you been following the news out of Saudi Arabia? It’s complicated. The Atlantic had a later piece that analyzes what might be happening and what the risks are for a regime ostensibly trying to modernize through might.

Greeeaaatttt.

There was another mass shooting this week and to all those sending “thoughts and prayers,” these victims were In. A. Church. Save the platitudes, send sensible and consistent policies. Because the president calling this shooting the product of mental unwellness, months after signing a bill that lifts restrictions on those with dangerous mental health backgrounds from buying guys while simultaneous trying rolling back health coverage for mental conditions seems the height of hideousness.

For the record this has been by far the most deadly and violent months in years.

I am beyond excited for the Black Panther movie. It’s going to look gorgeous.

This was a strange and disturbing read about how algorithms and content creation are intermeshing in weird ways.

Public broadcasting is doing the important work.

A number of allegations came out against Roy Moore this week. Some people then came to his defense. This is by far the worst version of that. Any justification of sexual conduct between an adult and a child is hideous and I am disgusted to see how many people are doing mental gymnastics to justify their political preferences. If you would rather vote for an alleged child abuser over a person of a different political party (as if there isn’t a VAST spectrum of options between the two), you never get to call yourself a “values voter” again.

Speaking of, here is an interesting take on religion and politics from a talk given at my alma mater that I think religious people and secularists alike should read.

Editor’s note: I would be remiss not to say that a single accusation brought down Kevin Spacey but there are at least four accounts in this case. Spare me the hand wringing and take women at their word.

The Baroness was always kind of a badass to me. This make me spit-take with laughter.

We had a fascinating discussion in the Small Dog house this week where my (feminist, ally and decently woke husband) demanded of me, “Men randomly masturbating or whipping their dick out in front of women–is this a thing?!” And I had the dubious honor of counting the number of incidents I can remember.

Abuse and sexual coercion is NOT NEW.

Album of the week: Weightless EP, by Adam French