Stuff You Should #3

SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
KNOW ABOUT ME

After a few months of minimal travel, I bopped around a bit in November: a jaunt to Florida for my mama's birthday and a big family Thanksgiving celebration in Nashville. On these trips I got a Harry Potter tribute tattoo (12-year-old me would be thrilled), took consistent naps (12-year-old me would be appalled), "ran"/jogged a 4-mile race (my first!), ate a few exceptionally satisfying meals, and made progress in two good books. Other things I accomplished last month include an epic overhaul of my wardrobe and the purchase of a new pillow for my fragile neck. Congratulations, me!

Nightfall in NYC from my holiday flight outta there.

Nightfall in NYC from my holiday flight outta there.


SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
READ ONLINE

Framed: A Mystery in Six Parts - A well-liked PTA mom in Irvine, California finds herself the target of a revenge scheme plotted by a wealthy but frankly inept married couple. Christopher Goffard's excellent LA Times piece reads at times like a subpar episode of Law & Order until you remember that it actually happened.

Children Don't Always Live - Jayson Greene's daughter died at just 2 years old. Afterward, he and his wife decided to become parents again. A beautifully written meditation on an incredible choice and an unfathomable loss. 

How I Became a Hoarder of Discontinued Makeup [2015] - Maureen O'Connor writes about those who react with gumshoe-detective grit and religious obsession to news that their favorite beauty products have been retired. To quote one commenter: "Perfect-for-you products and shades are serious business."

"You Girls Having Fun?" - Sara Benincasa's lovely story of a first date, a rich creep, and a bar's heroic staff. "Don't let the pleasantries of your service encounter fool you: Your average waiter at a high-class New York City fine dining establishment is a fighter." 


When two persons in search of a Pokemon clash at the corner of Sunset and San Vincente is there violence? Is there murder?
— Werner Herzog, reacting to the premise of Pokemon Go in the Herzog-iest way possible

SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
EXPERIENCE

Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection - Tucked in the Frick's airy Portico Gallery, this exhibit features porcelain pieces from the collection of the legendary Royal Meissen manufactory mixed with Shechet's own work. Go in the early afternoon, when the slanting sunlight through the garden windows seems to highlight the pieces' nature/botanical themes. It'll soothe you, promise. Runs through April 2, 2017 at the Frick Collection, New York.

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors - I went crazy over this installation by Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson, a multichannel video recording of a collaborative performance by musicians stationed in different rooms in a Hudson River Valley townhouse. Seeing the concepts of repetition, boredom, isolation, and collaboration explored in such a physical way felt like a cold splash of water on my face. Runs through February 12, 2017 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN.

"Porcelain, No Simple Matter" at the Frick in NYC.

"Porcelain, No Simple Matter" at the Frick in NYC.

"The Visitors" at Nashville's Frist Center.

"The Visitors" at Nashville's Frist Center.


SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
WATCH/STREAM

Fleabag (streaming on Amazon Prime) - I devoured this darkly funny six-episode series in one dizzy afternoon. Writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays the title character - a desperate, hyper-sexual cynic surrounded by bills, bad vibes, and traumas (self-inflicted and otherwise) that just keep piling up - with a cheeky nudge-wink vibe that made me immediately want to rob a bank or overthrow a government with her. Even if you think you're tired of antiheroines and self-loathing, watch this. (Vulture did a (spoiler-y) interview with Waller-Bridge that makes for good post-watch reading.)

Speechless (ABC) and The Good Place (NBC) [both streaming on Hulu] - I mostly ignored the start of the new TV season this year because [vague hand-waving], but Hulu's autoplay video feature/bug accidentally turned me on to two new sitcoms that I didn't even realize I was binging until I'd finished and realized I'd have to wait for new episodes. Speechless stars Minnie Driver as the fierce mama bear of a family of five with a special needs teen; The Good Place follows a dead woman (Kristen Bell) when she's accidentally routed to heaven instead of hell, where she really belongs; both are unexpectedly clever, thoroughly charming, and a little bit weird. Just my style.


Beauty is not required. Beauty is accuracy’s distraction.
— Elizabeth Gilbert, "The Signature of All Things"


SOME STUFF YOU SHOULD
LISTEN TO

Radiolab, "Alpha Gal" - Since she was a kid, Amy loved meat: steaks, hot dogs, burgers, you name it. Then one day her body rebelled. Every meaty meal she ate was followed by what appeared to be an allergic reaction. But adults don't become allergic to foods overnight, right? Especially foods they've eaten for their entire lives with no issue. Right?? I've re-told this wild tale of love, loss, and lamb chops to so many people lately.

My November mixtape - My 10 most-played jams last month, from Phantogram, Saro, Lang Lang, Nickel Creek, Bellows, and more. Stream it on 8tracks here.


Outside Acme in Nashville, TN.

Outside Acme in Nashville, TN.

Forecast for December:

Indulging in Sagittarius season with some of my favorite things: year-end top-10 lists, outdoor holiday market shopping, hot teas, family time in Ohio, my birthday (ahem), and whining about early Oscars race punditry.

Until then,

xo Laura