Somewhere between two days and two months ago (time has basically ceased to have meaning or proper flow these days, amirite?), I had the privilege of enjoying a conversation between Samantha Irby and Jia Tolentino. My Jia fangirl status was cemented a while ago (as exhibited here and here), so it was extra fun to hear her interview an author live. And someone as hilarious as Samantha Irby? Thank you, Free Library of Philadelphia! Razor-sharp wit combined with the intimacy of a chat between friends made for a delightful listen. I hit “purchase” on Irby’s most recent book before the chat was even finished.
Wow, No Thank You is one of those books that manages to deal with racism, classism, sexism, sexual orientation, body issues, and and number of other -isms with such a deft and humorous touch that you don’t even realize it isn’t pure brain candy until after you’ve put it down for a bit. Irby is hilariously blunt, occasionally raunchy, and always painfully, amazingly observant. Why do we women feel pressured to buy cream specifically for our necks? If your family never had the privilege of owning a house, does gutter maintenance magically find it’s way into your conscience when you sign a mortgage? Are Hot Pockets and self-care really mutually exclusive? Why waste energy on that person who hates you, when they realistically would add nothing of value to your life even if they did like you? Can anyone utter the phrase, “are you familiar with my work?” without feeling painfully awkward about it? Questions and answers to laugh at and ponder and nod along with abound in this collection of laugh-out-loud essays. Irby also provides an excellent annotated playlist, for those of you hungry for late 1900s nostalgia mixed with a heretofore unmatched level of hilarity.
In a nutshell, Samantha Irby is one funny lady, and you should buy her book immediately. “Because we live in a fiery hellscape,” to quote her directly, and we need all the clever hilarity we can get. And this hilarity even comes with a dose or three of contemporary awareness, so you can feel virtuous while you indulge. You’re welcome, and enjoy.
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As the days continue to blur into each other, I thought I would share some things that have stood out to me amidst all the sameness of sheltering in place. It is such a strange clump of feelings we are experiencing — gratitude to be working from home, concern over friends and loved ones, guilt over never being “productive enough,” tiny joys found in a daily homemade latte or a dog nuzzle midday, and a foreboding sense of anxiety suffusing everything (mostly) under the surface. It’s a relief to turn all that off even for a little while, so please enjoy!
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc all around us, I was reminded of this thoughtful article from The Atlantic from 2018. It rings just as true as it did then. If you are a young child, be comforted by looking for the helpers. If you have the autonomy and ability to, be a helper.
Clare V. is having an excellent promo for Mother’s Day. Now through 4/26 spend $200, and get a freewebbing strap with code FREESTRAP. Even better, 10% of all proceeds go to Every Mother Counts in support of safe pregnancy and childbirth for every mother, everywhere. I have been eyeing her adorable Midi Sac for ages and finally took the plunge, along with this excellent Masculin Féminin strap for a nice graphic punch.
I’m still “nesting” now that we are home so much more, and currently I am focused on small tweaks to make our kitchen feel more pulled together. This retro little microwave couldn’t be cuter.
Speaking of home decor, I am crushing hard on Nicole’s sweet pink Stardew Valley-inspired kitchen. I’ve been playing quite a bit more of late, and I think I might be ready to dive into some modding for this game — especially if I can create a kitchen even half this cute!
And for a tiny dose of levity, here’s a video explaining the pandemic to one’s past self. Ah, to remember the good old days… four months ago.
Take good care of yourselves, and (at least try to) have a relaxing weekend!
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I had a personal triumph on Friday and just had to share. Yes, that’s right… I successfully navigated, in fact NEEDED, to transition from day to night! Now, I know what you are thinking: is that really a thing? I hear you! I didn’t think so either. Margaret Lyons and I have clearly been on the same page thus far. But Friday night I had a concert performance, and of course I had work during the day. Behold! A day-to-night opportunity was born.
For my orchestra concerts I need to wear all black, but at the office I prefer not to look like I am going to a funeral. Also I prefer not to wear evening wear to the office (for obvious reasons). My outfit for the evening consisted of a silky black top with a dramatic tie-waist, slim cigarette pants, a trim black blazer, and black heels. To day-ify it, I swapped the blazer for a medium wash denim jacket, and wore leopard loafers instead of the heels. My same pair of filigree earrings went from slightly bohemian to elegant with just a jacket change.
Yes, Virginia Margaret, there is a Santa Claus need for day-to-night outfits. I am living proof — AND I lived to tell the tale.
If you’d like a little chuckle on this sunny Wednesday, allow me to take you on a hilarious harrowing journey involving suspense, confusion, ceramics, and ultimately, defeat.
A couple months ago, Anthropologie released their spring catalog of home goods. It was a visual delight after all the red/evergreen/gold of the holidays — pinks and whites and fresh greenery abounding in sun-drenched abodes. My eye landed on a particular pink ceramic footed bowl, and I instantly coveted it. Once it arrived in stores, I’d make it mine. Of course, thanks to the magic of advertising, I had thoroughly bought into the whole scene: sweet clementines in the bowl promising citrus-y sunny afternoons, books galore to savor — I wanted the whole package.
My feelings as I walked through the British Museum encapsulated in the most hilarious way. No, we didn’t steal this! “Chain of continuous possession being impossible to establish, the ownership of the object has reverted firmly and decisively to the museum.”
On the list of things I never thought I would be excited about, coasters were near the top of the list. Actually, they were never really even on the list, they were so incredibly far off of my radar. Coasters. Those unattractive things that people sort of politely and awkwardly feel the need to use if they are a guest in someone else’s home, and only if they catch a glimpse of them before setting down a glass, but otherwise never think about. And yet, here I am. Excited. About coasters.
–cue the collective gasps–
It all began with our new refrigerator. For the first time ever we had a fridge with a water and ice dispenser in the door, and a water line that was actually hooked up. (I know I am incredibly late to the game on this.) We had an easy and unlimited supply of ice for every beverage need. It was magical! Convenient! And soon, an annoyance I never could have seen coming. Dun dun dunnn…
In general I don’t add ice to my drinks at home — the chill from the fridge is more than enough for me. My dear sweet husband, however, was over the moon with our newly available ice supply, and filled his water glass with ice repeatedly and with great satisfaction. Enter… the puddles. All of a sudden, there were puddles of water on almost every horizontal surface in our house. I could not put down anything without a very high likelihood of it getting wet. Mail. An Amazon return label. My purse when I got home. A receipt. You name it. I had purchased some pretty marble coasters years ago out of an obligation to have something for when a guest looked around guiltily holding a glass aloft, but on the rare occasion they were used, puddles formed on them, too! And then eventually they dripped to create new puddles on the surface below.
Enter… the sale email from Bloomingdale’s. They had a clearance sale going on, and I spied some cute pink and grey mosaic tile-looking things that turned out to be Thirstystone coasters. They were adorable! They were only $9 for a set! They absorb the condensation instead of creating puddles! I am now the overly-excited-but-also-very-satisfied owner of a new set of coasters. They are solving a problem I never knew I would have, and they are doing so very prettily. And so, coasters of all things? They have now moved solidly onto to list of things I take a weird satisfaction from. If you, too, have an odd desire for excellently functional coasters, you can find them here. And while you order those, I will be setting my mail down without fear.