This articlethat comparespeople who refuse to wear masks to men who refuse to wear condoms. It’s freaking brilliant. Here’s the beginning of the article:
Am I the only woman who finds a suspicious similarity between the excuses made by people who refuse to wear masks in public and men who refuse to put on a condom in the bedroom?
“I don’t like the way it feels!”
“I don’t like the way it looks.”
“I’m safe — trust me!”
Uh — no.
You’re not safe, dude. You’re just selfish.
2. ADRIAN MONK (and friends) is back! And I couldn’t be happier. Absolute perfection.
3. The Wes Anderson Guide to Surviving a Global Pandemic – the woman who put this together needs to be hired immediately by Mr. Anderson. (I wish there wasn’t the microphone issue – still, you can obviously overlook that one thing.)
4. ZOOM, and I don’t mean the video conferencing …. All my fellow GenXers will appreciate this fabulous New Yorker article about the best kid’s show from the 70s. If you’re like me every time you hear someone refer to a Zoom call you say to yourself “Come on and Zoom-Zoom-Zoom-a-Zoom…” And I am happy they did the reboot (1999 to 2005) but sadly it never captured the magic of the original show.
5. #ReadALetter campaign – Last month Benedict Cumberbatch announced the details of the campaign, asking for videos of people* reading letters, either ones they have written themselves or written by someone else. Below are two of my favorites so far.
*He clarified that if you’re camera shy, you may point your phone at something else while you read: the letter itself, the view from your window, your adorable dog.
I plan on giving this a try myself. I have a letter in mind that I would like to read.
A friend of mine gave me this Barbie a few years ago for my birthday. I recently moved her so she is sitting next to me in the living room, where I am spending the majority of my time. Seeing her every day is bringing me much joy so I thought I’d share her with you all today. This morning she’s reminding us to stay hydrated while isolating!
1. A friend of mine shared this Coronavirus version of Bohemian Rhapsody on my Facebook page. It’s fantastic! Right after I graduated from college I lived in the most wonderful apartment on the east side of town. 17th floor, overlooking Lake Michigan. I could only able to do this because I had an awesome roommate who made it possible (he footed more than his fair share of the rent.) Anyway, we had a LOT of parties in that place, I mean, how could we not? On special occasions the two of us would do an air guitar rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In fact, it became our thang. Those were the days…. The friend who shared this link with me was a witness, I mean he attended those parties…
Not only are the lyrics clever but this guy’s voice is incredible! I hope Brian May has seen this and I believe Freddie Mercury would have loved it.
2. French Girl Fleur de Rose Facial Polish – I actually can’t take credit for having discovered this stuff. I read some time ago this was one of Emma Watson’s favorite products. There are only a few movie stars that I respect enough to care what they think, and she is definitely on that list. This facial polish makes my skin feel like it’s 25 years old again. I wouldn’t be without it, even made sure to take it with me to India. I’ve been buying it for a few years. In fact, when I first starting buying from French Girl she only had an Etsy shop.
3. The Great Realisation – this is absolutely brilliant. Why hindsight is 2020…
5. Stream These – I watched a ton of new shows/movies this past weekend. So many excellent ones –
This Beautiful Fantastic (Amazon Prime) – a modern-day fairy tale and exactly what we all need right now. If you are a librarian it’s a must watch film, if you are a gardener, same thing.
The Half of it (Netflix) – the cast is exceptional, a teen rom-com with a LGBTQ and a multi-cultural twist. I already was a fan of Leah Lewis who plays the lead, Ellie Chu. Leah is George is the modern Nancy Drew series.
Never Have I Ever (Netflix) – this is the new Mindy Kaling series about a teenage Indo-American girl getting through high school and dealing with all the typical things that a modern, 21st century teenage American girls deals with, who also happens to have a mother who is a devoutly religious Hindu and very traditionally Indian and whose father has died prematurely from a heart attack.
Upload (Amazon Prime) – a lot of people/reviewers are comparing this show to ‘The Good Place’ and I can see how that could happen. It is, after all, about life after death. The big difference of course is that this is about an artificially created afterlife. I couldn’t stop watching, it’s not as funny as ‘The Good Place’ but I really liked the characters, particularly the main two people. You can see that like the people in ‘The Good Place’ these individuals are going to grow as the show goes along.
6. The Tart Adage from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – I’m a HUGE fan of Alice in Wonderland. I’ve been looking forward to seeing the V&A exhibition – Curious & Curiouser for nearly a year. Sadly I may not get to see it now. But in the mean time I found this video clip!!!
“According to a news release, The Carol Burnett Show will be available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.”
1. Stanley Tuccimaking a Negroni – if you haven’t seen this video yet, you have to watch it. It’s true, I could watch Stanley Tucci reading a phone book (there’s a handful of actors that I can say this about and he’s one of them,) but this is entrancing.
2. The Film Short made while isolating by one of my favorite history buff/film makers. I love her sense of humor.
3. Children’s Book Emoji Pictionary – how many can you figure out? I managed to get 15 out of 15 (yes I’m bragging, but full disclosure I was a Children’s Librarian for 12 years before becoming a library director so I have a bit of an advantage.) I’ll put the answers at the bottom of the post.
4. Gabe Kaplan beating the pants off of Robert Conrad in a race from the Battle of the Network Stars. Raise your hand if you remember this show! I do, I do!!!
5. This video of Mr. Rogers & Julia Child cooking together. I would have given anything to meet Mr. Rogers but I can say I got to meet Julia Child back when I worked at Schwartz Bookshop in Milwaukee during her ‘The Way to Cook’ book tour. She’s as fabulous as you would hope she’d be and so wonderfully tall. As a tall person myself I was overjoyed about that.
6. This article on ‘5 Reasons to Bake Pretzels with Walter the Baker‘ – yesterday was National Pretzel Day and when I think of pretzels I can’t help but think of the book Walter the Baker. For those of you who haven’t read the book, here is a lovely video story time. Walter the Baker is one of my favorite Eric Carle books. It may be because it’s about pretzels. It may be because it has a Duke & Duchess in the story, (good or bad I’m partial to stories that include royalty.) It may be because I love all Carle’s books.
Anyway, being in isolation, pretzels are the perfect thing to make at home, assuming you have flour – I hear it can be difficult to find in some areas. How yummy!
7. Last but definitely not least, these Coloring Sheets inspired by WES ANDERSONS & HAYAO MIYAZAKI films. O……M…..G, I’m in heaven!!!
And the answers to the Children’s Book Emoji Pictionary are:
Next, the City of Lakes, sometimes also called the White City (because of all the white marble palaces.)
I have always wanted to go to Udaipur for YEARS because there are many, MANY movies and miniseries which have been filmed here. I’m planning on making a list of my favorite films shot/about in India when I get home, but for now a few are Heat and Dust (1983), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011.
Our guide, Rohit, lives in Udaipur so we had a special treat. He had been invited to a wedding on the first evening we arrived and arranged for us to attend with him. My first Indian wedding – so exciting!
And it turns out, as I mentioned previously, February is a very popular month to get married, and the 10th, the day we arrived, was an extremely auspicious date apparently (we think because it was a full moon) because we saw a LOT of wedding activity and at least two other weddings that we counted in addition to the one that we were attending.
Then we had to stop for a bit on a bridge because there was a wedding party passing. I shot a video as best as I could. Fabulous!
We arrived at our hotel when it was dark. Still, you could see how gorgeous it was. I took a ton of photos but I won’t post all of them. Even the key was a work of art.
This photo (the one right above) is the view out my WINDOW! If you look at the photo before that you can see the benches in front of the window – this is the view they look out onto. The only bad thing is that the windows were a bit low for me. If I had sat on that bench I would have needed a fork lift to get back up. And I am also a tallish person, so I had to hunch over a bit to look out. Still, at night I pulled the chair over from the desk and gazed out for a bit before drawing the curtains.
The only other thing that was not great about the room is that I had to go up three steps to get to the bathroom, and as usual there was no railing. Thankfully I didn’t have to make any middle of the night dash to the loo (I was worried I might break my neck!)
The wedding was S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R! It was everything you would expect. So colorful, lots of food. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming.
I’ve been trying to stick to water and masala chai on this trip since Indian food already has so many spices that are anti-inflammatory. For a person who is on blood thinners you want to make sure you don’t come over here and eat a bunch of Indian food AND drink a bunch of alcohol. Or, if you are going to do that, eat a lot of cooked spinach.
We stayed later than originally planned. We had thought we would only stay an hour but stayed well over two. I think we left around 11:00? And the Bride & Groom hadn’t even arrived yet! Rohit stayed until right before midnight and I think either they had just arrived or they were just about to arrive. Those Indians really know how to party!
The next day I stayed at the hotel for a few hours in the morning with Regine (our American guide) while the rest of the group went to tour the Fort. There have been a few places along the way where I have stayed behind because Regine felt it would be too difficult for me either because it had tons of stairs or might be too cramped or narrow, that sort of thing. Since I am here for three-and-a-half weeks I certainly don’t want to overdo it, so I am okay with staying back.
Regine and I took a TukTuk to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch. We dined at the Royal Repast.
The Royal Repast is a lovely restaurant which has been by the Bedla family, in their ancestral home, for over 85 years. They have had the honor of serving many famous people there including Queen Elizabeth, Jacqueline Kennedy, the Shah of Iran, Indira Gandhi, and Jawarlal Nehru.
After lunch we took another TukTuk to the City Palace where we were able to take a boat tour of the lake. If I understood Rohit correctly, there used to be tours from all over – in fact our hotel had a dock, but now there are only two places (I think it was only two) where people are allowed to launch boats. It’s a bummer, because it would have been so convenient to go from our hotel, but I’m sure that it must have been madness to have boats going from everywhere.
We didn’t have a dinner planned with the group so I scheduled a massage and an oil-drip for when I returned to the hotel. They had an authentic Ayurvedic spa and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
I chose a one-hour massage and a one-hour oil drip. I really didn’t know what to expect.
I have weekly massages back home, have been having them for years, decades really, but the truth is, I have never had a massage from a man. And I didn’t actually think that my first one would be in India of all places.
I had brought a robe with me because I’ve been in enough spas in my lifetime where they haven’t had a robe that fit me. Turns out I didn’t need one because guess what, they don’t use them. Oh no, they don’t, just a towel. And a standard sized towel. NO SHEET! So not only was I worrying about side boob, but I was worrying about side thigh and side stomach and side everything!
If you’ve never had an Ayurvedic massage, they are a little more intense than a normal massage. I certainly wouldn’t want to have them on a regular basis but I just kept telling myself – this is good for me. As I heard my masseuse becoming quite winded while he kneaded away – this is good for you, this is good for you, this is good for you.
When he reached under the towel and started doing my stomach I realized I was truly in a different world and my anxiety level shot through the ceiling. I’m not sure how people are supposed to relax when getting a massage like this – maybe they aren’t supposed to.
I think there may actually have been a shift change about three-quarters of the way through my massage because all of a sudden the man said he had to go and the owner came in and finished. He was very nice, told me I needed to stop using Stevia (he warned me, even if it says it is pure Stevia, it isn’t.) There was a woman who kept coming in to check on me and every time she would see me she’d say in the most lovely, sing-songy voice, “Good morning!” (Even though it was after 7 in the evening.) She was very sweet.
After I finished with my massage they covered me up with a bunch of towels (where were these towels earlier?!?) and they removed a part of the top section of the massage table. There was a hole cut into the table where a bowl could be placed. And then there was a hole cut into the bottom of the bowl. That is where the oil ran out into a container on the floor. I placed my head over the bowl and then they set up this contraption over my head where they could pour a bunch of oil into a device that allowed them to release the oil in various streams. The oil was warm and it felt good but it was a very long hour. I thought it was going to be more steady and not so much at one time.
When I left they told me not to shower that night so the oil could soak in. I had several Indian friends in college, women with long, beautiful, thick hair. I know that they put oil on it at night so I thought I should try it. They also told me to only take a hot shower the next day and not to use soap. I followed that advice.
Next time I would not do the oil drip. It took me about three days of showering to get my hair to look normal again. I would definitely get another Ayurvedic massage but would want it done by a woman.
So this week, life happened, and I didn’t get this done on Monday as I had planned.
1. Perimenopausal Bingo by Beth Kanter (definitely can be used by menopausal and postmenopausal broads) from McSweeney’s:
2. Mockumentaries – plural of mockumentary [ mok-yuh–men-tuh-ree, ‐tree ] noun 1. a motion picture or television program that takes the form of a serious documentary in order to satirize its subject.
I’ve loved mockumentaries ever since I saw my first Christopher Guest mockumentary “Waiting for Guffman.” Guest is the king of the genre, having five under his belt (in order of preference):
Best in Show – the “truth” about competitive dog shows
Mascots – the competitive world of professional sports-team mascots
Waiting for Guffman – small town theater people with big aspirations
A Mighty Wind – behind the scenes of American folk music
For Your Consideration – what goes into getting those award nominations
One of the thing I love about Guest’s mockumentaries is that he has created essentially an old-school acting troupe and a lot of the same people star in most of his films.
There are mockumentaries by other directors:
Rob Reiner’s ‘This is Spinal Tap’ is probably the most famous. Christopher Guest starred in the film along with Harry Shearer and Michael McKean. McKean became one of Guest’s acting ‘troupe.’
Drop Dead Gorgeous is one of my all time favorites –
What we do in the Shadows (again everything Taika Waititi does is golden!)
Both Woody Allen (Zelig) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) have done mockumentaries. I’m not a fan of either of them so their movies won’t appear on my list but if you enjoy their work you may want to watch those as well.
3. Kitchen Ruler and Oven Rack Push-Puller. Where has this been all my (adult) life??? No more scorched arms. Wunderbar! Picked this up for less than $3 at Mod Gen: a Modern General Store (in Milwaukee.) I also see they are available for a wee bit more at Sur La Table. Or there is a silicon one (also a tad more) available at Amazon (it doesn’t have the ruler but would be able to be tossed in the dishwasher if you accidentally spilled something on it).
4. AJ and the Queen – got hooked on this last night and finished it in two days. There damn well better be a season two. RuPaul is, not surprisingly, FAB-U-LOUS.
5 Last, and most definitely not least, the amazing and brave and valiant efforts being made in Australia to save not only people but rare floral & fauna.
There are so many!
This 6-year old boy, who raised nearly $100K for the effort by selling clay koalas he made by hand
If you can handle it (get a box of kleenex) this will really show you how many people (and other animals too!) have gone to great lengths to save the koalas and kangaroos and other animals at risk in Australia. Incredible, heart-breaking, but also it will lift your spirits knowing that people are so selfless.
(Side note, apparently it’s gone viral that wombats are helping to save animals by inviting them into their burrows. As wonderful as this sounds, it is not true.) Not sure why people make shit like this up.
I was going to end up on a relatively happy note which is that the fire actually succeeded in getting the original members of the Wiggles to reunite for a fund-raising concert. That is AMAZING! Unfortunately though, Greg Page, collapsed toward the end of the concert and was rushed to the hospital. The most recent report is that he is receiving treatment. Let’s pray he is okay. The last thing Australia needs right now is to lose one of their National heroes.
Happy New Year! I’m afraid I’m posting this one day late!
1. I will find a way to see this EPIC Alice In Wonderland exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, come hell or high water (or war or Brexit or the Queen of Tart’s army…)
2. This McSweeney’s article on a Jane Austen’s Heroine’s New Year’s Resolutions (I best begin sorting through my smelling salts, forthwith!)
3. This movie – have you seen “Lars and the Real Girl?” (I re-watched it on New Year’s day.)
4. This organization – Clean the World is super cool! I’ve always wondered about this… Now you know, if you stay at one of these hotels, you don’t have to feel so guilty about leaving behind partially used soap/toiletry products. And, don’t be a Ross!
5. This article from Smithsonian on the history of Tootsie Rolls (one of my favorite candies, because, besides being delicious, they remind me of my Gramps.)