Monday Memos // 57

Listening:

Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word. A favorite episode: Episode #2: I’ve Made a Huge Mistake

Natch Beaut podcast. Comedian and self-proclaimed "Beauty Passionista" Jackie Johnson attempts to take the seriousness, mysteries, and intimidation out of makeup and skincare as she gabs with fellow artists about what beauty and self-care means to them. A favorite episode: Episode 16: Beauty Fails with Georgia Hardstark.

How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black. An in-depth interview show, hosted by comedian, author and actor Michael Ian Black.  Black sits down with some of today’s most provocative writers, entertainers, artists, innovative thinkers and politicians for humorous, thought-provoking conversations that dive into the creative process and the intricate minds of some of the most influential voices of our time. A favorite episode: Episode 38: Tim Gunn.

Reading:

One of the few reasons I am already looking forward to summer: Lauren Groff's new book "Florida." When Lauren signed my copy of "Fates and Furies" she wrote: "The next one's for you." I believe it!

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida -- its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind -- becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury -- the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

 Read "Fates and Furies" now if you haven't already.

Read "Fates and Furies" now if you haven't already.

Craving:

I have eaten three different household versions of Thanksgiving feasts. Three different versions of pumpkin pie. (Plus an assortment of treats including cherry pie and chocolate cream pie and pumpkin roll and crescent roll cheesecake squares and berry cobbler... Hello sugar rush!)

I always see these inventive ways of using leftovers and they have me keeping the stuffing and turkey in mind. Like: turkey and mushroom dumpling soup, leftover sweet potato casserole grilled cheese, leftover cranberry sauce greek yogurt coffee cake, breakfast hash with mashed potato pancakes, and stuffing waffles.

Wearing:

  • Flannel (tis the season).
  • Wool socks (my pair of Smartwool socks have stood the test of time).
  • Boots (thanks to my mom for passing on an incredibly comfortable pair of Kork-Ease boots to me).

Watching:

Finally saw "The Big Sick" and enjoyed it. Heavy on the comedy, not overly romantic, plus a much-needed dose of Holly Hunter.

I have fallen fast for "Search Party." A single-camera dark comedy about four self-absorbed twenty-somethings who become entangled in an ominous mystery when a former college acquaintance suddenly disappears. All the characters and cameos are brilliant. If you find yourself adoring Elliott, go check out all of John Early's other stuff. 

I need to start watching "At Home with Amy Sedaris." Her and her brother are some of my heroes.

 Looks like Florida. (image by KC Bailey)

Looks like Florida. (image by KC Bailey)

Treasuring:

Driving. I don't necessarily love driving, but sometimes it's therapeutic to just set out on the road and drive for several hours. This past week I make a new trek on the Pennsylvania turnpike (plus a tiny bit of Ohio's). The rolling hills and snow-covered patches were beautiful. I listened to so many wonderful podcasts, too.

Celebrating. Birthdays, holidays, togetherness. Giving gifts, giving thanks, giving hugs.

 (hand drawn type by  maddy nye  for designlovefest)

(hand drawn type by maddy nye for designlovefest)