Category: Humor

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

Weekend Links – Remember, Remember

“November–with uncanny witchery in its changed trees.”
– L.M. Montgomery 

Howdy pumpkins, it’s November! This whole year truly has gone by in a blur, before you know it Christmas will be here. Yikes!

This weekend I’ve had to bring a few pieces of work home with me, but a rainy Saturday morning is making want to stay indoors for now anyway so I don’t resent it too much. It’s been a busy few months with this contract of mine but very rewarding ones.

It began this week.

Well, Kevin Spacey finally decided to come out…in response to allegations of sexual assault of a then-minor. Tom and Lorenzo were not having this, and I’m firmly on team TLo for this one.

Some of my favorite puppets sum up what’s going on in the world of YouTube and how that may affect creators.

The great and good Christine of Temptalia–the venerated beauty review site that’s more than extensive enough for its writer to qualify as a beauty editor in my eyes–has written a comprehensive post on how to reduce your beauty consumption with a “no buy” or “low buy” challenge. Inspiration for the intelligent beauty consumer, particularly as we move into the season of holiday releases and bombardment style marketing.

I’m not convinced we need a reboot, but I’m living for the casting anyway.

Mackenzie Horan and founder of the challenge has launched her third 101/1001 list! I’m a bit behind on my own goals, so this is a perfectly timed kick to get me back on track.

The kids aren’t just alright, they are goddamn awesome.

It was Halloween this week, so this article on the popularity of death masks seems apropos.

So…the void. Kind creepy.

The Pyramids hold yet more secrets, I’m delighted to say!

An exiting Twitter employee decided to deactivate the President’s twitter account and we had 11 minutes of questions as a result. I’m not giving this story too much attention. I find it a source of near-constant anxiety that in any normal presidency, if a tape of a conversation was leaked about a president sicking the FYI or DOJ on their enemies it would be a constitutional-crisis provoking scandal. Somehow this man is allowed to tweet it publicly and this is somehow fine.

This guy can exit, pursued by a bear.

Unless of course, this guy’s whack-ass theory proves true and saves us from the previously linked monster. (Spoiler, it won’t.)

These ladies, though, restore my faith in humanity.

US Kittens, there was a minor media scandal here in the UK this week!

I for one would like to salute Mashable for the heavy hitting journalism and dedication showed in putting together this very important post. #femalegaze

This oral history of the Brandi and Whitney Houston’s Cinderella is wonderful. And the story of Whoopi Goldberg refusing to wear fake jewelry is a life lesson for all of us.

A (hopeful) gender and sexuality story from the Weimar Republic. It’s nice to remember that history is a pendulum and swings towards good as well as bad.

ETA! Album of week: Stillness in Wonderland, by Little Simz

Editing

“Be a good editor. The Universe needs more good editors, God knows.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Letters

I don’t always do a good job of remembering resolutions, but I have to say, picking a “theme” for this year has been a remarkable success. My mindset around a lot of life elements has taken a turn for the healthier and I’m in a more balanced place than I’ve been in years. I really believe that this has come from some purposeful editing of my life. I’ve gotten much better at saying no, worked hard to remove or improve things that contributed to my stress and anxiety problems, and become a lot more intentional about my money and consumption choices. It’s been a very successful project, and I’m already thinking towards how I want to frame 2018.

“Less but better” doesn’t have a uniform definition for me. For instance, we are currently living in our largest and most expensive home to date, but on the other hand, after 10 years of marriage and most of those spent in cheap digs, the decision to rent a nice apartment was a considered one. We are also furnishing it ourselves, meaning we are spending money, but we are taking that process slowly and very judiciously. Our home is still far less furnished than I would like…but we have chosen every piece in it together because we loved it, and not because it was the cheapest option on Craigslist. I love the idea of editing a home, carefully selecting what I put in it and not rushing to fill empty space just because I have it.

Stress levels: all time low. This time last year my nails were chewed to the quick.

Meanwhile, on the work front, I’m actually working more but in a better way. Going back to freelance and contracting has been a great decision. I have not only opened a lot of doors and opportunities, but I have finally discovered a balance between work and identity: what I do vs. who I am. This has not always been the case with me, as I tend to throw myself into things like causes, projects, and roles wholeheartedly, allowing the lines between them and myself to blur. Surprisingly, given the nature of freelance and contract work and how it can divide your attention, I’ve found that because I’ve been able to choose my work, I’ve therefore been able to choose (i.e. edit) how I direct my energy. This has also helped me train my brain to better separate work from my personal life and I’m more aggressive about holidays and an overall work/life balance. In other words, I may be working more, but my stress levels are lower than they’ve been in years.

Let’s talk stuff, generally. I had a whole month long blog project dedicated to my closet and bathroom shelf this year, and I continue to be really happy with where it’s at. I’ve actually shopped and bought less this year than I have probably since my early 20s. Granted what I have bought has tended to be more expensive, but I’ve been fascinated to physically feel the urgency and desire to buy things fade as the year has gone on. There’s plenty of reporting out there to suggest that brain chemistry can be affected by purchasing, and I wonder if I’ve been able to ween myself off an internal drug I didn’t realize I was on. I’ve been slowly editing my closet down and I now think I own less clothing than I did when we first moved to London on an item-for-item basis. What I do own, I wear more and I love more. The same goes with beauty; I’ve been focused on using what I already own instead of craving new makeup and skincare items. I’m actually in the midst of a shopping freeze (my second this year) in an effort to actually use up cosmetics and potions before I allow myself even to replace beloved items. I’ve done a few edits of my shelf throughout the year and donated or gifted a few items that I didn’t use enough to justify keeping. Maybe it’s a welcome byproduct of getting older and more self-confident, but I’ve never been more pleased with the woman in the mirror.

When it comes to food and overall health, I haven’t done as well as I would have wished. We are eating out less (yay, us!) but ordering in more (kind of defeats the purpose, C….). We have periods of focus on health, but other periods of intense laziness. One thing I’ve realized is how much I require a routine in order to stay committed to food, exercise, and wellbeing goals. I am not a natural health bunny, I do no default to healthiness–I default to deep friend potatoes and Netflix and am self-aware enough to acknowledge this. It turns out that once I’m in a routine, I am pretty good at maintaining it but if something knocks me off course (two straight weeks of houseguests for instance, or a particularly uneven month at work), I fall well and truly off the wagon and it takes herculean effort to climb back aboard. I haven’t figured out quite how to overcome this yet, but I suspect the solution will lie in editing out things that I use as excuses or distractions.

This has been a much better year than 2016 for me, and I’m feeling pretty positive about 2018 at the moment. It’s a good place to be.

Use It Up Challenge Check In

“I believe it’s perfectly normal to love both lipstick and literature, to be a woman who paints her nails while shouting at Question Time.” 
― Sali Hughes, Pretty Honest

I had given myself permission to purchase from the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder collection, but after lack luster reviews, I spent my fun money on a couple vintage clothing items instead and kept my wallet closed tight against all things beauty. In fact, I kicked off my next no-buy self-challenge a couple of months early! Since discovering that Makeup Rehab subreddit I mentioned last month, I’ve been enjoying a lot of self-challenges to use up what I own more than looking to buy new stuff. I’ve nowhere near given up buying beauty products long term (I mean, do you know me at all?) but I’m focusing a lot more on skincare than makeup, and my pores are thanking me.

So, how did I do with my self challenge? Not only did I make some serious headway on my actual goals, but I also destashed quite a few bits and bobs to my little sister. I went away to university when she was very young, so I feel like I missed out on a lot of the fun parts of being an older sister like sharing beauty stuff. And so, sending presents, clothes, and makeup that she will love more than me is something I enjoy doing and she gets to benefit from my experience (ie, age) and pick up some goodies that she probably wouldn’t buy for herself due to price point. Spoiled.

I feel pretty! Oh so pretty!

Hit pan on at least one color in my Viseart neutral eyeshadow palette (BAM)

Use up my Bite Beauty lipstick in Pepper

Finish my Nars Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Square

Use up my Replica by Maison Margiela perfume in Jazz Club (got down to the dregs of the rollerball and finally chucked it)

Use just one blush – Tonga by Cargo – with aim of putting a proper dent in it (I hit pan on it!)

Use up one of my (many) sunscreens (going on holiday helped!)

Finish my Aesop Parsley Seed Mask

Finish my Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask

Finish my Kiehl’s mud mask

Use up one of my hand lotion samples already! (Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Hand Treatment)

Finish one of my (many) pots of lip salve

Finish my current bottle of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Hit pan on my Glossier Stretch Concealer

Five Things I Loved in October

“October proved a riot a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween.”
― Keith Donohue

It’s Halloween tomorrow, kittens! But before we go off to frolic (or indeed go home early like the responsible adults we are, blast it) let’s quickly discuss some of the things we loved this month. The weather may be growing chilly and the news may continue to vex, but pop culture and seasonal cuisine will get us through! Here are the things I loved this month, tell me what caught your eye or tickled your fancy in the comments.

Mindhunter, by Netflix
There are no two ways about it, this series is dark. It is loosely based in fact and tells the story of an FBI agent who spearheads a change in the bureau’s investigative tactics and mission. At a time when psychology is considered wishy washy by most agents, the main character has an idea: what if they interview serial killers (the worst of the worst) to build a profile of this “new” kind of criminal. And his research subject may be starting to rub off on him… The subject matter is rough–really rough–and this definitely isn’t for everyone, but I downed the series in a single sitting.

 

Mac matte lipstick in Chili
The weather is chilly and the sweaters are cozy. And I, dear reader? I am breaking out the matte lipstick in rich and darker shades. This lipstick shade is an oldie but a goodie and is honestly the kind of warm toned red that could look good on all skin tones–in a non bullshit kind of way. I heartily recommend if you’re looking with something with pigment payoff in an autumnal shade of rouge!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
I loved this debut novel by Gale Honeyman, set in Edinbugh and featuring the eponymous Eleanor Oliphant: a deeply socially awkward woman who lives a solitary life, for what turns out to be very understandable reasons. This character was so skillfully written. She is abrasive, odd, a bit self destructive, and pathologically out of step with her fellow men, and yet your sympathy and understanding remains firmly with her throughout the book. As more and more of her story is revealed and the full picture comes into focus, we follow her as she slowly begins to engage more “normally” with the world, and yet she remains solidly herself in a way that is refreshingly unapologetic and atypical. I didn’t love the final “twist” of the book, I have to say, but I enjoyed every other aspect of this book so tremendously that I could overlook a bit of a hiccup.

 

Barbour Jacket
British based kittens, high thee to CountryAttire.com! Jeff and I finally snagged our much desired Barbour jackets at a lovely price. Mine was this two toned beauty which I’ve worn pretty much every day since finding, but their overall selection is very, very good. If you’re looking to get in touch with your inner country gent or grande dame, go forth and frolic through the offerings.

 

Soup Season 
It had been an age since I made a proper pot of soup, but I’ve made both butternut squash and coconut soup, and good old fashioned leek and potato in the same week and it’s been so damn satisfying. When fall comes around, there is little better than soup with toasted bread and cheese for a meal. Here’s a pin board of my favorite recipes for your enjoyment, but I’m always looking for recommendations. Hit me up in the comments!