Stuff You Should #11

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Where is SPRI- oh I guess it's here now

Where is SPRI- oh I guess it's here now

At the tail end of March I started a new job as a writer and social strategist for a startup called Policygenius and hoo boy, adapting to a new workplace is wild! Especially one that's the polar opposite of my old gig in every way. So many people to meet and things to learn - I haven't socialized this much since like. High school, probably. But the change in environment plus the lengthening (and slooooowly warming) spring days has put me in a flat-out Good Mood for multiple days in a row and I'll tell u what: It's pretty nice. Anyway here are a few recommendations for other nice things.


What About "The Breakfast Club"? - Molly Ringwald unpacks the messages about teen sexuality coded in the movies that defined her life - and shaped an entire generation.

Compulsion: Where Object Meets Anxiety [2009] - A designer reflects on the increasingly isolating severity of her brother's obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It’s A Theyby! - I really liked this piece about parents choosing to raise their kids without an assigned gender from birth. If you're new to the dialogue around children and gender normativity, it's a thoughtful primer of the myriad perspectives on the topic; if you've read it all before, this one is refreshingly judgment-free, a portrait of well-meaning moms and dads who seem to recognize the communal lift required to give their babies this specific freedom.

How to Poach an Egg and Leave a Marriage - When a sudden urge to make one thing coincides unexpectedly with an urge to destroy something else.

What Makes a Greeting Card Black? - The editorial director behind Mahogany, the year-round Hallmark imprint dedicated to cards for the African-American community, explains the ethos behind their creative decisions.

"Three Donuts" by Wayne Thiebaud, 1994. Oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in.

"Three Donuts" by Wayne Thiebaud, 1994. Oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in.

How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose? What if we are in the unusual position of having helped create it? Erasing history is a dangerous road when it comes to art—change is essential, but so, too, is remembering the past, in all of its transgression and barbarism, so that we may properly gauge how far we have come, and also how far we still need to go.
— Molly Ringwald, "What About 'The Breakfast Club'?"


"Lives of Girls and Women" by Alice Munro - My nana has always raved about Alice Munro's short story collections, so when I was in Portland last month I grabbed a copy of this one at Powell's - only to realize it's actually Munro's only novel. Tomato tomahto, though. Her sentences make me envious and appreciative and mad that I don't have a highlighter permanently attached to me.

@BlairBraverman's Twitter feed - Blair Braverman is a dogsled racer trying to qualify for the Iditarod who tweets long, fascinating threads documenting her adventures as she crosses icy tundras with her pack of sweet-faced pups (including one named Blowhole. BLOWHOLE!!) A peek into a remote, specific world.

The #vibe in Portland


You Can't Do That #5, "Enthusiastic Licking Consent" - Sorry/not sorry to plug my podcast again but this is probably my favorite episode yet, in part because the girls play a game in which they try to tell the difference between professional sports commentary and descriptions of adult films. IT'S SO FUNNY PLEASE LISTEN

"Tell Me You Love Me" (Spanish Version) by Demi Lovato - I have a lot of Opinions about Demi Lovato's vocal efforts and I'm gonna spare u from most of them EXCEPT to say that the Spanish version of her latest single "Tell Me You Love Me" is a grade-A, face-melting banger. JUST the Spanish version, though.

HeavyweightOn this podcast - which I ignored for ages, only to consume in one gulp over the course of a very long day - host Jonathan Goldstein "goes back to the moment everything changed." To do what? To make amends. To answer questions. To try again. An offbeat, engrossing listen straight through, but my one-off episode recs are #2 Gregor, about a stack of rare CDs and a famous rockstar; and #11 Christina, about mothers and daughters - and basketball.

The practice of assertiveness means acting. Act as if you are already the healthiest person you can be. Do not wait until you feel better about yourself or until you believe you have what it takes. Act as if you are self-actualised and your beliefs will follow suit. Act while you fear rather than waiting until you feel unafraid. “Acting as if” is a form of playfulness. Play successfully combines contrasts and opposites. When we act as if we are already more advanced than we imagine ourselves to be, we are creatively playing with an old, habitual self-image and welcoming a new self that wants to emerge. This new self is encouraged into existence by the image we are displaying when we “act as if.”
— David Richo, "How To Be An Adult"

Shadow stuff

Shadow stuff

Forecast for the month:

I'm drafting a plan to spring-clean every single drawer and cupboard in my home. I will report back on my findings. 

Until next time,

xo Laura