It was important for me to launch my blog on the first day of autumn (if you continue to follow my blog in the future you will find out why.)
I have been thinking about starting a blog for sometime. People are often telling me I should write a book, but I’m not sure I actually have enough of a “story” to do that (or frankly, the discipline.) I have several social media accounts and I use them to discuss a variety of topics, but all of them seem too limiting. Because, the truth is, I’m a talker. If I had a nickel for the number of people who have told me to “try to be succinct” or “keep it brief” or “don’t be so wordy”, well, I’d be a super rich person.
To be honest, it was James Corden’s response to Bill Maher’s fat shaming segment that finally motivated me to get my rear in gear. I was incredibly frustrated that I didn’t have a real platform to discuss that specific issue. I also recently stumbled across a massive amount of information related to menopause and/or weight and I feel the need to share all of it as much as possible.
It was for these reasons that I knew it was time to finally create something where maybe, just maybe I could not only help other women who are going through menopause or starting menopause or wondering about menopause or are scared shitless about the prospect of menopause, but that perhaps I could also help people in general understand about women’s health, weight loss/gain, body issues, fat shaming and the mental health concerns that go along with all of these things.
I am not a medical professional, I am going to say that straight out, but I do hope to get opinions in the future from individuals in that industry. I also will be citing articles, studies, and books that contain legitimate scientific research.
So, there’s my first post. It’s not much, just an introduction really, but I think it might be one of the more difficult posts I will have to make. Because it was tough figuring out exactly why I wanted to do this and what I wanted to accomplish. Let’s see what happens. Are you with me?
Sorry to have been absent for awhile but there was good reason. I migrated the website to a new host – YAY! Unfortunately it took WAY longer than expected. The data finally finished transferring last Monday, so now I should be able to do a lot more with the site. It’ll just be a matter of figuring out how to do it.
I’m starting an online course this week so expect some big changes in the near future (fingers crossed – I have a vision of what I want in my head, let’s see if I can actually pull it off!)
I’ve been saving things to post and have a lot to choose from so let’s get to it!
1. This New Show on Hulu called ‘Only Murders in the Building‘ – I’m OBSESSED with this new series! And I’m not the only one, it’s getting rave reviews.
Steve Martin came up with the idea for ‘Only Murders…’ and co-wrote it with John Hoffman. He stars alongside Martin Short and Selena Gomez. Anyone who is a fan of Steve Martin & Marty Short know they work very well together. The addition of Selena Gomez though seems way out in left field. But it works, so well. She’s an excellent straight person to the zaniness of two of comedies great legends.
Here’s the premise – it’s about three people who live in an old but still rather posh apartment building in NYC. They are all pretty much alone, each having issues in their personal relationships. Martin & Short’s characters, being in their 70s, are also dealing with their feeling of obsolescence and/or fading stardom.
There is one thing that connects the three of them – their love of murder mystery podcasts. And one night, as they discover their common interest, they find out that a person in their building has died by suicide. But the trio isn’t satisfied with how the police have closed the case so the they decide to start their own podcast (named “Only Murders in the Building” because they are only going to solve murders that occur in their building) and they vow to solve the mystery.
To pair up with the show there is, obviously, a PODCAST to listen to.
The episodes drop once a week, on Tuesdays, on Hulu. They’ve already done four episodes and there will be a total of ten episodes in the season.
(Although a second season hasn’t been officially announced, there is a good chance there will be one. The writers/actors involved seem to be onboard to continue and the viewership has been great. Although streaming services don’t release actual numbers (why is that?), Hulu did say that ‘Only Murders…’ was the most-watched comedy premiere in its history. That comes with a one big caveat though. Either way, people are excited about it and watching. If you aren’t watching yet do it now – we want to get a SECOND SEASON!
2. This Tweet of a video of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in slo-mo. Are they both married to other people that they adore, yes. Did they put this on for the cameras to promote their new movie, yes. Is it swoonworthy, HELL YES.
3. These Gowns from the Met Gala, 2021 – this year’s theme is “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Of course there was no Gala in 2020 but the themes for the last five balls were:
2019 – Camp: Notes on Fashion (and by camp they meant to camp it up, be campy) 2018 – Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (my favorite theme so far) 2017 – Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between 2016 – Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology 2015 – Through the Looking Glass
I personally find this year’s theme a little boring compared to the previous ones but nevertheless, the clothes did not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorites:
Natalia Bryant (Kobe’s daughter) wearing an exhibit dress by Conner Ives chosen by Anna Wintour. I think it’s beautiful – the color, the sparkle, and the fact that it de-emphasizes a woman’s figure to me is a wonderful statement on body image and body positivity. Gorgeous!
Billie Eilish – I personally love this dress because it’s (a) Oscar de la Renta, (b) pink, (c) a classic design and (d) totally out of character for Eilish! Plus, the girl actually has gorgeous boobs! Who knew!
Alexandria Ocacia-Cortez with the designer of her dress, Aurora James. Message is loud and clear AOC! (It says “Tax the Rich.”)
Jennifer Hudson, wearing AZ Factory – the woman is a goddess.
Rep. Carolyn Mahoney (NY-D) – I’m a sucker for positive political statements if you haven’t figured that out.
4. Russian Caviar Sofas – I’m not sure who thought of making these or why but honestly, I absolutely ADORE them!
5. This Tweet of a Video of Steve from Blue’s Clues! – Menopausal Broads are a little too old to have grown up actually watching Blue’s Clues, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t get to experience it. Either we had our own kids who enjoyed the show, or our siblings had kids who were fans, or maybe some of us were even children’s librarians, who worked with kids, for well over a decade, during the time Steve was on the show, and who always made sure that Blue’s Clues books and videos were always on the shelves.
SO lovely to see him again. All those warm & fuzzy feelings!
6. This Patch You Can Order on Etsy – TOO PERFECT! Unfortunately the shop owner is currently away, but you can ask to be notified by email when they open back up.
7. This Response by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the Governor of Texas’s LOATHSOME & OUTRAGEOUS claim that he was going to “eliminate rape” when he was asked about the new Texas abortion law not having an exemption for rape & incest – AOC is excellent at explaining things clearly and in a way everyone can understand. It’s why she is such a threat to Republican politicians and why they have done everything they can to demonize her to their base.
Word of the Week
Quote of the Week
(And to be clear, there are pros and cons to both.)
Before I get started I wanted to remind everyone that today is an important national holiday. It’s National Coloring Book Day! So be sure to pause and do some coloring at some point (well, tomorrow I suppose, but better than never, right?) And if you don’t have any coloring sheets handy, you can print out a mini-coloring book here courtesy of Dover, one of the oldest purveyors of coloring books and stickers and other fun little artsy publications. OR if you are looking for some unique, irreverent and sassy coloring books, look no further than this list. (Though don’t order them from Amazon, be sure to get them from your local bookseller or Bookshop.org.)
But more film makers are starting to take comfort into consideration when creating costumes and I suspect that has a lot to do with the fact that more women are involved in the costume making.
For example, here’s a post by Sophia Di Martino who plays Sylvie in the show Loki (which has been my favorite Marvel shows/movies to date.) Sophia is showing how her costume was altered to make it easier for her to be able to breastfeed while working. Kind of pathetic that this is newsworthy/a big deal in freaking 2021 though. Sophia’s costume also covers her body completely (not the way she’s wearing it below obviously, she has it zipped open to show you how she can pump!) It’s much more practical for climbing, jumping, running and fighting off the bad guys.
2. This Video by Olympic Medal Winner Tom Daley – I mean, if there wasn’t already enough to love about this guy – did you know he knits? Could he be any more adorable????
[Found via the Guardian which was sent to me by my friend Kathy – thanks KK!]
3. These Olympics Commercials from Toyota – Honestly, watching the commercials during the Olympics is almost as good as during the Superbowl. (The first one is visually amazing!)
4. This Guest Host on Jeopardy – A LOT of people want Levar to be the permanent host and I’m in that camp!
5. This Bird Installation – Sadly it came down yesterday, and I didn’t get to see it in person, but how cool is this?!?! I love all the art going up around Milwaukee.
Special thanks to my friend Ami Bedi who took the first photo.
6. This Photo Recreation by Tracee Ellis Ross – Fabulous! (For those who aren’t aware, Tracee Ellis Ross is the daughter of singer Diana Ross and music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein.) I think this is a wonderful tribute for a daughter to do for her mom, even if her mom isn’t Diana Ross.
Here’s the original from a ’70s editorial in W Magazine (which Tracee Ellis Ross labeled “No. 1: MAMA”) –
Here’s the recreation (which Tracee Ellis Ross labeled “No. 2: ME”) –
7. This Instastory of Florence Pugh Cooking – I love her to pieces! She’s so down-to-earth and FUNNY. And I always learn at least one thing every time I watch one of her videos.
Here’s possibly my favorite video of hers, which was a fancy-schmancy one done by Vogue, where Florence tries 11 different English Foods. Wonderful!
1. This Restaurant Logo – It’s brilliant! Sadly, it seems the restaurant never opened. This website says, “Sadly due to unforeseen circumstances this projectnever made it through to launch.” I wasn’t sure if that was because the restaurant didn’t opened or if they chose to go with a different logo (which would have been a huge mistake.) I couldn’t find a restaurant by this name, except in reference to this logo, so I’m thinking the restaurant didn’t get their funding or something like that. What a waste.
2. These Gelato Bars – I found these at my local grocer and man, am I hooked. Admittedly they are a bit pricey (they’re $4 each at Sendiks) BUT if I went out to a gelateria I would easily pay that much. More importantly, they are keeping me from eating an entire pint of the stuff! Here’s the best part though, my favorite bar (the Chocolate light) only has 90 calories and my second favorite, Coconut Breeze, has 170 calories (still not bad.) I think the highest one is Pistachio chocotella at 210 but most of them are between 80 and 170 calories.
3. This Music Video with Bjork – I LOVE, love, love this song! It makes me smile when I hear it. You may think I am crazy or that you’ve got the wrong video when you first start watching but you’ll see what I mean very quickly. “It’s Oh So Quiet” was originally sung by Betty Hutton in 1951. It’s actually the English cover of a German song written by Hans Lang. I can’t decide whether I like Bjork or Hutton’s version better. I think I like Hutton’s version better but Bjork’s video is so fun and she’s so damned cute…
4. This Tweet from Randy Rainbow (a goddess) about Bezos Going to Space – Randy always knows the right thing to say.
5. This Children’s Show – I just found out about this show. How have I not heard of it before?!? (Admittedly, I stopped being a Children’s Librarian in 2007.) It’s been on the air since 2012. The opening was warm your heart – the Neighborhood of Make-Believe!
6. These Photos of John Singer Sargent Painting Gretchen & Rachel Warren – It’s not often you get to see photos from this era of people actually having fun or smiling.
“Five very informal snapshots of John Singer Sargent painting ‘Mrs. Fiske Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and Her Daughter Rachel’ in the Gothic Room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1903. Sargent was staying with Mrs. Gardner during a several weeks’ visit to Boston and his hostess allowed him to use the Gothic Room as his studio. In 2018 the Museum borrowed the portrait from the MFA and made it the centerpiece of a small-scale but fascinating exhibit about the painting. For the duration of the show the portrait was set up on an easel on the very spot in the room at which it was painted! There was even a brief catalogue available.” [Found via the Facebook Group the Gilded Age Society]
7. This Suns Fan Who Donated to a Milwaukee Food Bank – Adam Richardson traveled to Milwaukee from Virginia for Game 3 of the championships. An avid Suns fan, he didn’t let his loyalty to his team prevent him from noticing how welcoming and friendly Milwaukeeans are! To thank the residents of the Bucks’ home city, Richardson sent a check to a local food bank.
The comment by the food bank’s VP speaks volumes as to why this is so meaningful.
“We get checks in the mail all the time, but this one was different,” said Scott Marshall, the food bank’s vice president of development and communications. “It’s wonderful that so many people locally want to work with the food bank, but when someone from a different community has a one- or two-day experience in the city and says, ‘I want to give back to the city,’ it means so much.”
I have to admit, I didn’t know that this was a thing. I mean, I’ve heard of people doing it but didn’t know it had become so rampant that it had actually been given a name. And it’s not just being used for pranking/revenge but for extortion too. A man recently died because of a swatting incident because two people were trying to get his twitter handle. His TWITTER HANDLE.
1. This Reaction to a Young Fan’s Gift – If you’re not a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo already (or if you haven’t heard of him), you will be after watching this. THIS is the kind of athlete we want kids to have posters of on their bedroom walls and who they should hope to be like someday and try to emulate.
Here’s more… when asked by a reporter, who taught him about keeping his ego in check, this was Antetokounmpo’s answer:
“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego: ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’ When I focus on the future, it’s my pride: ‘Yeah, next game, Game 5, I do this and this and this. I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here.
“I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s not setting no expectation. That’s going out there, enjoying the game, competing at a high level. I think I’ve had people throughout my life that helped me with that. But that is a skill that I’ve tried to, like, kind of — how do you say it, perfect it, master it. And it’s been working so far. So I’m not going to stop.”
By the way, I love Giannis full name – it’s Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo. How gorgeous is that?!?!
[Found the second tweet via CBSSports.com – you should read the full story, the guy who wrote it is very good]
2. This Auction of Sylvia Plath’s Recipe Cards and Rolling Pin at Sotheby’s – Sadly, when someone’s life ends so tragically, one tends to make assumptions about what their life must have been like or how they lived. Myself, being someone who lives with depression (albeit moderate depression), I think that if a person is so depressed that they are driven to take their own life they must be miserable all the time. I don’t know why I think that. It’s certainly not that way for me. But then, I’m not suicidal.
When I get depressed all I want to do is build a cocoon around myself and not let anyone in. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to do much of anything. I just want to pass the time with things that will distract and take very little mental effort. For me that generally means watching mystery television series from the 80s, 90s or 2000s and doing puzzles.
But I know other people who have depression and their way of dealing with it is much different. Some like to throw themselves into their work. Some like to surround themselves with friends and family. Some like to clean their house or do gardening or repairs they’ve put off. No one deals with depression exactly the same way. Everyone is unique.
My point is, there is a lot more to Sylvia Plath’s life than her being depressed and having committed suicide but unfortunately, that is mostly what people learn about and remember. But it’s really lovely to see these recipe cards with Plath’s handwritten notes and the names/ nicknames included in the recipes titles, which for me always is indicative of affection and sentimentality.
3. This Movie (This Beautiful Fantastic), Which is Currently Available to Stream FOR FREE on YouTube – A friend of mine suggested this movie to me a while back and I was lucky enough to catch it while it was streaming (can’t remember where) but shortly after I watched it, it was removed. For months it hasn’t been available anywhere. Now it looks like in addition to being available on YouTube it’s available on Amazon Prime. But I’m never sure when I see something that says it’s available on Prime (for free) whether it’s because I have the Masterpiece & PBS memberships or if it just is generally free.
Either way, whether you try watching it at the link below or watch it via Prime, I highly recommend this movie. It stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey, Charlotte Wells in Harlots and Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) as Bella, Andrew Scott (John Parry in His Dark Materials, The Priest in Fleabag, and Moriarty in Sherlock) as Vernon, and Tom Wilkinson (Author in Grand Budapest Hotel, Graham Dashwood in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Gerard in The Full Monty) as Alfie Stephenson.
The premise of the story is that Bella lives alone in a small house which she rents. She’s a unique person, a bit compulsive, who likes to keep to herself. Now I’ll tell you, she works in a library, but that is only one of several reasons why I love this film so much. Many reviews call it a modern fairytale and it truly is.
Bella has a small garden behind her house and part of the rental agreement was that she needed to tend to the garden but she has let it go. She meets her neighbor, who is an ornery SOB, and not long after that happens, a representative for the owner of the house comes by for an inspection an discovers she has not kept her side of the deal. He tells her he’s going to have to evict her but she persuades him to let her have a month to fix the garden up.
I don’t want to tell you anything more but the characters are wonderful, the film is visually beautiful, and it has a magical quality to it.
4. This HISTORIC News from Chile – I mean, it’s actually rather pathetic that the first time a constitution is being written by an equal number of men and women is in 2021 but, well, it’s still commendable. (And there are negative nellies out there.)
5. These New Emojis – Turns out it was “World Emoji Day” on Saturday. I am excited about the disco ball! Though does it seem like these are a little male-heavy to anyone else? It could just be my mental state right now. These are awaiting approving and will become available in September.
6. This Airship of the Future – The airline industry is responsible for about 5% of global warming and these ships will “operate with 75% fewer emissions than a conventional airplane.” It may take longer (but look at how comfortable it will be.) Yes please!
7. This Incredible Pencil Shop in Tehran – There are a lot of bazaars in Tehran. I don’t think that this is in the Grand Bazaar. The video below says it is in the “Traditional Market” which I believe is also called Tajrish Bazaar. One person describes it as being “located in a corner of the bazaar between the two mosques in Tehran.” I can hear the call to prayer.
And here’s a video (pre-pandemic). You don’t need to speak arabic to be impressed or to find the owner, Mr. Rafieh, completely darling. Anyone so passionate and knowledgeable, how can you not love them?
1. These Japanese Pastries – Nobody makes more delicious looking pastries than the Japanese. These are from a patisserie in Iwakura, Japan. Aren’t they incredible? For more photos visit this Instagram.
2. This New Book by Architectural Writer John Ota – A friend of mine recommended this book and I must say, it wasn’t what I expected. It far exceeded my expectations!
Ota and his wife wanted to create the perfect kitchen so he decided to travel across North America visiting kitchens from various eras found in a baker’s dozen of renowned homes, several belonging to some rather famous people including Thomas Jefferson, Georgia O’Keefe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Child and Louis Armstrong.
Each chapter begins with a simple, hand-drawn sketch of a kitchen as well as a floor plan. Not surprisingly, Ota discusses the aesthetics, features, and functionality of the kitchens but he also covers the history and culture of the person, place and/or time associated with the room. He ends the chapters with a short letter to his wife Fanny, sharing with her what he learned and what he felt they could incorporate into their own space.
3. This Video of Alan Rickman Making Tea – as the title says, it’s epic. (It’s been around for a while but Alan was trending a week or so ago and whenever I think of him I think of this, among the dozens of other fantastic roles he’s done.)
4. These Bulldog Puppies – If you don’t want to rub those little bellies you aren’t human. (And those piggies!)
5. This Art Jeweler, Sarella Suarez – I bought the piece below (in silver) at an art festival this weekend. I LOVE IT so much! It’s about 30 inches long so it can be doubled and worn as two necklaces or worn as one long necklace. During festival season many artists have few pieces listed on their websites so at the moment Sarella only has a couple things in her online shop – you may want to check back again around October.
6. This Hydrangea Bush – I love hydrangeas but I had never seen this color, isn’t it gorgeous??? A friend of mine and I went to the Whitefish Bay Art Fest on Saturday and we parked on one of the side streets. As we were making our way toward the main road we saw these. It wowed us.
7. This Trailer for Season Two of Ted Lasso – There are a lot of shows I’m watching but this one brings me the greatest joy. Ted Lasso is Mr. Rogers for adults. If you haven’t watched it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. (Season two begins streaming on July 23rd!)
1. This Announcement that Pinterest Has Banned Weight-loss Ads – Pinterest is the first (and only) “major” social media network to ban weight-loss ads. Why is this a big deal? Not only does it end the constant promotion of the messed up theory that people (women primarily) can only be attractive if they are “thin.” But for people with eating disorders, it is removing a significant trigger that has lead them to have body dysmorphia. More social media networks need to follow suit.
In fact, the entire dieting industry should be investigated. Samantha Bee did a two-part story on her show a few weeks ago about how the weight lost industry is in overdrive now that the pandemic is being deemed “over,” focusing their ads on how people need to lose the weight gained over the past year and a half. As Samantha points out, we just survived a pandemic, that was STRESSFUL. If you happened to put on a few pounds and don’t look like you did in 2019 – so the fuck what?!?!
In part two she talks with a doctor who even says that dieting has been shown to do the opposite – it can cause people to put ON weight. I can attest to that. After a lifetime of chronic dieting all I’ve done is put on much more weight than I’ve lost. (If you haven’t heard about the ‘Set Point Theory‘ you should read about it.)
2. The New Statue Honoring Princess Diana – I think it’s lovely. But it’s being ripped to shreds by art critics and people who reported on Diana and basically, anyone who has a strong feeling and/or opinion about Diana.
I like what this woman tweeted…
3. This Woman, Kataluna Enriquez, Who is the First Openly Trans Miss USA Contestant – clearly she’s beautiful.
4. This Video Showing that the Problem at the USPS is NOT the Employees – I’ve always known this. Though I will say in MY neighborhood, it is the USPS delivery person who is also part of the problem. But that is a fluke.
5. This Early 19th Century Painting by Marie-Denise Villers – Originally thought to have been painted by David, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has rejected that attribution and determined it was painted by Villers. It looks like Marie, the model, is doing some sketching – I imagine she’s looking out the window. Do you think she’s drawing the couple across the way?
6. This Camera Man – Not only did he outrun all the sprinters but he did it carrying an 8-1/2 pound camera and dressed in street clothing. Here’s a video.
7. This SNL Skit – A friend of mine reminded me about this a few weeks ago (thanks Jeanne!) I laugh every time I watch it. And not just the ha ha kind of laughing but the belly laugh kind with a few snorts tossed in for good measure.
2. This New Show on HBOMax,Starstruck – It’s a good indicator when I binge-watch an entire series in a single evening that a show is good. When I keep thinking about it for days after and talk about it with multiple people, well, that’s a sign that it’s excellent and this series definitely falls into the “excellent” category!
Not only that, it could have been written especially for me – London, Indian leading man, sassy, hilarious, normal sized leading lady (though I’m sure they will refer to her as being “plus-sized” when they write about the show), did I mention LONDON!!! Swoon, swoon, and swoon!
3. This Podcast, ‘You’re Wrong About’ – The podcast has been around since May of 2018 so I’m a little late to the party (it was named one of the ten best podcasts by Time Magazine in 2019) but the topics they discuss are varied and most are historic (albeit more current history). Two journalists, Michael Hobbes, who writes for the Huffington Post, and Sarah Marshall, who is currently working on a book and whose work has appeared in Buzzfeed, The Believer, and The New Republic, review a specific media event and try to explain how the public was misled or came to misunderstand what really was happening/happened. For each podcast they bring in experts to include in their discussion on the topic.
A few episodes I’ve listened to so far – the Anti-vaccine movement, the Electoral College, O.J. Simpson, Tuskegee Syphilis Study and all five episodes they did on Princess Diana.
4. This Artist’s Work – Anna Hoyle‘s work makes me happy. I was drawn to her work for obvious reasons, the faux book covers and piles of books are fantastic. Not surprisingly, Hoyle is Australian. People from Australasia (Australia, New Zealand and some of the surrounding islands) seem to have the greatest sense of humor! The details are what make it so marvelous.
5. This Street Art – I was in my hometown of Dubuque last weekend. Over the past five years there has been a surge of street murals popping up in the downtown. As you can see, they are quite remarkable.
6. This New Collaboration Between Diverse Dining and CityTins– For my fellow Menopause Broads and anyone else following me who lives in the Milwaukee area…
I have been a fan of CityTins for years. The female-owned company was co-founded by Christin Cilento and Tara Laatsch in 2009. They had the brilliant idea of using those wonderful bar coasters as a way to promote local restaurants. The way it works is you buy a tin full of at least 20 different coasters. Each coaster is worth $10 off from the place that the coaster advertises. Tins are worth minimally $200 but once you’ve used three coasters you’ve paid off the cost of the tin.
The benefit to the restaurants is that it gets people in the door and maybe even gets new customers. I know that when I buy a tin I tend to try all the places (admittedly, I go to my favorites or places I’ve been first.)
I hadn’t heard of Diverse Dining. It “creates a space for people of different backgrounds and cultures to come together to remove barriers, engage in meaningful conversation, and foster togetherness through food, fun, and friendship.” I can’t think of a better program for a time when we, as a country, need to work harder on diversity and anti-racism.
There are different themed tins for you to choose from. I’m definitely getting a Diversitin and a Milwaukee Tin. There are restaurant tins for Madison, Lake Country, and Fox Cities. There is also a special “Staycation” tin for Cedarburg. They make fabulous gifts!
7. This Toaster Museum – TOAST! People that know me will understand my excitement at finding out there is a toaster museum. You know how Tom Hanks is obsessed with typewriters? I think that is fairly common knowledge, right? Well, I’m about that obsessed over toast and toasters. (Though admittedly I don’t have the money or space to have dozens of antique toasters in my home.) Still, looking at this takes my breath away.
1. This Happy Baby Penguin – though I disagree with what the person wrote on the post. I don’t believe that a baby penguin can ever be too excited for cuddles!
2. This Impersonator – Mary Elizabeth Kelly’s expertise is as a “mouth impersonator.” When you watch the video you’ll see what she means by that. Visit her Instagram – she has so many videos and each one is more amazing and/or hilarious than the next.
3. This Tweet for Pride Month – Genius!
4. This Little Guy – He is going to be famous someday!
5. This Video on How ‘I Spy’ Books Are Made – I’m too old to have enjoyed ‘I Spy’ books as a kid (obviously) but having been a children’s librarian for 12 years I was able to live a second childhood and appreciate many things that most people my age only know about if they had kids (which I suppose most do.)
I’m sure, like me, those familiar with Walter Wick’s work have never given a single thought as to what goes into making one of his books. I had NO IDEA – just wow!
6. This Beaded Art Installation by Liza Lou titled “Kitchen” – “The 168-square-foot installation, a monument to unrecognized women’s labor, started off as a riff on Pop Art, as seen in the razzle-dazzle brand-name cereal boxes and cleaning products scattered throughout the scene. But over the years of making the work, Lou became increasingly activated around feminism and started to see beads as a metaphor for the female experience: ‘small, pretty, diminutive, decorative — those sorts of things that are kind of pejorative that we have around femininity, around women,’ she said.”
It took her five years to complete it. Absolutely gorgeous!
7. The Statue of Liberty’s “Little Sister” – France is sending us a gift again, a second Statue of Liberty! This one is 1/16th the size of the original, weighs almost half-a-ton, and will stand on Ellis Island opposite her “Big Sister.”
“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers – In English: National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts). “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”
1. This Hand-painted Art on Trucks in India – There’s art everywhere you look in India. You can be in the most isolated, rural village and find wonderful sculptures at the side of the road or in front of a hut; ornate carving on archways, doors and pillars; incredible paintings on walls; or beautiful saris hanging out to dry.
Indians see a blank canvas in places most of us wouldn’t – trucks (and taxis) are two canvases they use with extraordinary creativity and skillfulness.
Here are more photos I took on my trip last February (returned just two weeks before the “lockdown”)…
2. This Flower Installation – done by my sister-in-law in Camas, WA. She and my brother own an amazing place called Acorn & The Oak. It’s a restaurant (inspired by Midwest supper clubs) paired with a flower shop. If you are ever in that area I highly recommend you stop there. Or if you know people who live in Washington State/the Portland area (it’s only about 30 minutes from Portland) be sure to tell them about it!
Happy Pride Month!
3. This Stand-up Act by Bob Newhart – I’ve been a fan of Bob Newhart’s standup for decades. Sadly much of it didn’t age well (though I personally still enjoy it) like his bit on Sir Walter Raleigh and “To-bac-co”. Well, now that I think of it, in essence, pretty much none of it ages well because people don’t talk on the phone anymore and they certainly don’t use landlines but regardless…
This one still works and he’s just so damned cute.
4. This Photo of Anthony Fauci and Joan Baez – Joan Baez was recently one of the honorees at the Kennedy Center (along with Garth Brooks, Dick Van Dyke, violinist Midori and choreographer Debbie Allen) and she took Anthony Fauci as one of her plus ones! How cool is THAT!?!
I guess they met after Dr. Fauci saw a portrait that Baez painted of him and they ended up talking on the phone. When Baez called him to ask if he’d be her guest to the Kennedy Center event he said well, it depends, there could be a problem. So Baez responded, “Tony, you’re not going to tell me the sexiest man in the world doesn’t have a tuxedo, are you?”
Fauci replied that he did indeed have a tux but that he needed to know what the COVID safety protocols were. He’s the real deal!
In case you’d like to see the painting Baez did of “Tony,” it’s here.
5. This Diffuser from Thymes – It smells like I imagine heaven smells like. With the weather being so warm I’ve been trapped inside with air conditioning (I do not do well in weather over about 78 degrees.) I feel like I need to have a few diffusers around the house to freshen things up. I think I may have included this in a previous ‘Seven Things’ post but this is on sale right now. (If you buy it I recommend also getting a refill and a packet of reeds too. Besides the fact that the refill is on sale as well, the three things combined will get you over the $50 minimum to get free shipping.) Click on the picture below to go directly to the product page.
6. This Incredible Necklace Entitled “Sheer Elegance” – I actually have TWO extremely talented and artistic sisters-in-law. Here’s another wow-inducing item from one of my Illinois sisters-in-law. This one makes all her jewelry from these tiny little seed beads. This piece is truly a work of art. If you click on the image below it will take you to the product page or you can click her to go to here ETSY Shop.
7. This Really IS the Funniest Flight Attendant Ever – There’s a reason why Southwest Airlines has a reputation for having entertaining flight attendants and I’ve seen several videos of safety speeches that were hilarious but this one is by far the best.
1. This Design by Stephen Burrows – If you haven’t watched Halston yet on Netflix, DO! They rather thoroughly cover “The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show” which occurred on November 28, 1973. Publicly it was advertised as an event to fund raise to revamp the Versailles, which was in dire need of restoration, but it also was an opportunity for American designers to show that they could hold their own against the French.
Many of the designers who were involved in the ‘Battle of Versailles’ have either retired or passed away but Stephen Burrows is not only still around but he’s on Instagram!
2. This Parody of the famous Queen Song called ‘Menopause Rhapsody’ – I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t love the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,” even when it’s used for satirical purposes? This is kinda genius.
3. This Painting – ‘The Merchant’s Wife at Tea’ by Boris Kustodiev, painted in 1918, oil on canvas; at the State Russian Museum.
4. This Fascinating Short Film about the Last Matriarchy in Europe – Kihnu is a small island off Estonia’s western coast. There are men on the island but they work as fishermen and leave for long periods of time. So the women are left alone and have learned to do everything for themselves. It’s an incredible microcosm and it would be tragic if it was lost. In fact, the Kihnu culture is on Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage of humanity list. But the younger members have been leaving to go to larger cities, where they can make more money and have more options.
Of course this is happening everywhere in the world. It used to be that people grew up and tended to live in the community where they were born. I know if you look at my family, both my parents had three siblings and five of them live within a 50 mile radius. Then if you look at their kids, even just on my mother’s side of the 14 grandkids only TWO live within a 50 mile radius.
Still, I think there are young people who would like to live this lifestyle. All those millennials into cottagecore.
Still, trying to find them might be difficult and of course they all would want wifi. And the current residents of Kihnu may not welcome newcomers.
5. These Gorgeous, Biological Illustrations by Ernst Haeckel – “Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel was a German zoologist, naturalist, eugenicist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including ecology, phylum, phylogeny, and Protista.” [Found on MessyNessyChic]
6. This Poemby Alison Luterman – thanks to my friend LeAnn for posting it.
7. This New Series on PeacockTV – To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have watched this (I can’t start a new series!) but then I saw the cast – Sara Bareilles (Jesus Christ Superstar and who doesn’t love her song ‘Brave‘?), Busy Philipps (been in a bazillion things and I just adore her), Paula Pell (most famous as an SNL writer but also recently did a hilarious Quibi series called the ‘Mapleworth Murders’), and Renée Elise Goldsberry (one of the original Schuyler sisters!) The premise of the show actually seems made for me (the only thing I would have changed is making them an 80s band instead of a 90s band – obviously.)
Girls5eva used to be a popular girls band back in the 90s when these women were only teenagers. The name plays on the number of band members. Unfortunately things happened and the band separates and loses touch.
One day Dawn (Bareilles) hears a popular rapper doing a cover of one of Girls5eva’s songs on the radio. It occurs to her she’s owed some royalty money so she checks in with her old agent. She finds out he’s been sitting on the royalty checks for almost three months and the checks will be void with a day so because she doesn’t want her former bandmates to lose out on the cash she decides to deliver them and reconnects. I don’t want to get into any more of the storyline but here’s my thoughts:
I had no idea that Sara Bareilles was just a good actor (yes another one of those people who is multi-talented
Sara Bareilles wrote the songs used in the show, so of course they are amazing
I really wanted to like Renée Elise Goldsberry’s character (Wickie) better but I feel like they haven’t developed her character enough/told enough backstory – I pray they do a second season!
Was kinda bummed that they had all the women except Paula Pell play themselves as teenagers because she’s the only one who isn’t “thin.” I think they should have gotten teenagers that looked like the three other girls too.
I think anyone who considers themself a Menopausal Broad can use a “second chances” story.
Word of the Day
Quote of the Day
One last thing that I have to close with, a video from ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.’ He wasn’t on the air but he did gift us with one of his delightful web exclusive videos. As usual, John Oliver nails it.