Stuff You Should #6

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PALS, I have been all over the place, literally, since last we spoke: I saw a beloved cousin get married in Ohio; hopped from London to Dublin to Edinburgh as part of a long overdue but rejuvenating vacation; popped out to LA for a concentrated dose of Disneyland, loads of panels and seminars at VidCon 2017, and a too-brief reunion with my best friend. When not traveling, I've put up a real fight about leaving my apartment, as I am FAR too delicate for the NYC summer's oppressive humidity and potent eau du garbage. I'm sure you understand.

Your girl. (With apologies to the city of Dublin, Ireland.)

Your girl. (With apologies to the city of Dublin, Ireland.)


Day One | Day Three

Day FourDay Five | Day Six

Day Eight | Day Nine | Day Ten | Day Eleven



Why Is Everyone Always Criticizing Me? - The answer may surprise you. I'd bet actual money that you know someone (or ARE someone, tbh) who could stand to read this entry from The Cut's great "What Your Therapist REALLY Thinks" column.

"There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it" - In May, New Orleans' [white] mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a cogent, incisive address explaining why his city would finish dismantling its many Confederate monuments.
Maybe We Can Make A Circle - A quietly gutting nonfiction read. 

Goop Made Me Sick & Dating in 6 Different U.S Cities - Two fascinating and very funny first-person narratives, one recounting a visit to Gwyneth Paltrow's triple-dollar-sign "wellness" conference, the other describing an epic cross-country experiment in modern dating.

How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business - As a still-recovering local-ice-cream-place employee, I'm very interested in stories of seasonality in food/drink trends; as a human who must work to live, I'm very interested in cold brew coffee. This piece scratched many of my itches.

The Pivot to Video - Every news org is either in the midst of a "pivot to video" or not-so-secretly wants to be. Zach Shonfeld explains why - and why we should all be wary.

Weddings of the .01 Percent - Who makes million-dollar luxury nuptial ceremonies happen?           

"The Muses' Garden" by Lionel-Noel Royer (1852-1926). Feel those golden vibes.

"The Muses' Garden" by Lionel-Noel Royer (1852-1926). Feel those golden vibes.

(..) psychologists say that
shame ruins your capacity for reverie by making cracks
in the mind where it is dangerous for thought to wander.
— Anne Carson, "Shame Stack" (from "Float")


Prettiest sunset on London's South Bank during an interval at  Angels in America  in May.

Prettiest sunset on London's South Bank during an interval at Angels in America in May.

GLOW - Alison Brie helms this chronicle of the creation of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling organization in 1980s Los Angeles. It's the kind of series I struggle to be objective about because it hits every single one of my buttons: commitment to aesthetic, a multiethnic and almost entirely female cast, an undercurrent of scrappy Mickey-and-Judy "Let's put on a show!" gusto, and a bangin' soundtrack. Season 1 is streaming on Netflix now.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine I waited four years to give this goofy cop sitcom a proper shot, for some reason?? But when I did, I was DELIGHTFULLY shocked by the consistency of its heart, humor, and characterization across four seasons' worth of episodes (so far - it's back for another round on NBC in September). Recommended both for binging and for casual background viewing. Seasons 1 through 4 are streaming on Hulu now.

Casting JonBenet (2017) - Describing director Kitty Green's 80-minute true crime doc in too much detail would, I think, spoil the effectiveness of its gimmick - as well as the hypnotic way it builds to a finale so bizarre and beautiful and uncomfortable that I had dreams about it for weeks after. It's certainly not for everyone but I liked this a lot. Streaming on Netflix now.

Catastrophe - Here's another one I wrongly ignored for too long, about an American ad exec and an Irish teacher who decide to go all-in on a real relationship after their transatlantic hookup results in a surprise pregnancy. Bitingly funny, sweetly n realistically romantic, impeccably written by co-stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney. Also stars the late, great Carrie Fisher. Seasons 1 through 3 are streaming on Amazon now.            


The Last Ship (2014 Original Broadway Cast Recording) - Sting (yep) wrote a musical (yep!) about the decline of the shipbuilding industry in northeast England (mhmmm) that came and went with little fanfare during the '14-'15 Broadway season; it wasn't a favorite of mine by any stretch, but I've found myself returning with some frequency to its cast recording, which is full of melodic character-driven tunes and lovely Celtic-influenced orchestrations. It can be tough to root for pop-/rockstars moonlighting with writing for the theater (ughgh Gary Barlow whyyyy) but Sting acquitted himself very well here and you should absolutely give the resulting album a listen. Streaming on Spotify now.

You Must Remember This: Dead Blondes - I've recommended Karina Longworth's Old Hollywood podcast before, but the show's recent multi-episode foray into the lives and untimely deaths of 13 iconic blonde actresses is a feat of research and storytelling. Longworth interrogates the myths surrounding these women and their complicated legacies with fierce, fair-minded empathy. Streaming on the pod's website and wherever you get your podcasts.            

Although I miss the childhood experience of being engulfed by a story, I would not willingly surrender my adult ability to recognize when a writer is taking me someplace I don’t want to go.
— Laura Miller, "The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia"


Forecast for summer:

Air conditioning, kitty cuddles, a loaded Kindle, way too much cold brew, and maybe a trip to a favorite spot on a lake? Hmm...

Until next time,

xo Laura

Signed, sealed, hiding in this mailbox to escape the political news cycle, xoxo

Signed, sealed, hiding in this mailbox to escape the political news cycle, xoxo