Monday Memos // 77

Listening:

"Burnin' Up" by Sonny Smith featuring Angel Olsen.

"L.A." by Amen Dunes.

Reading:

How Mathilde Freund, Vintage Dealer, Spends Her Sundays — "I use a cane now when I go outside. Five years ago I slipped in the apartment and broke my femur. It was on my birthday. I call him my boyfriend. I put him in the corner and he never answers me."

Ideal Travel Tricks — Our Highly Subjective But Very Smart Guide to Traveling

Watching ‘Wild, Wild Country’? Then You Need to See The Rajneesh Cookbook — it's called Zorba the Buddha, my friend's grandpa used to all me Zorba the Greek.

The Grub Street Diet — Author Jonathan Ames Adds Chocolate to His Vitamins When He’s Feeling Decadent — My favorite part: I should shop more frequently, but my problem is that I put it off, even if I’m starving. I once had a character in one of my TV shows say something like: “I don’t procrastinate! I just like to do things later.”

“As for what I eat, I would describe it as a ‘carb-free, somewhat tormented Paleo, bourgeois bachelor,  Grey Gardens ’ diet.” (photo by Yuri Hasegawa via nymag)

“As for what I eat, I would describe it as a ‘carb-free, somewhat tormented Paleo, bourgeois bachelor, Grey Gardens’ diet.” (photo by Yuri Hasegawa via nymag)

Craving:

In the name of health, I've been craving and consuming a number of smoothies and juices. I'm also newly enamored with Tangerine La Croix and cashew butter. Dates, rice cakes, spirulina powder, sweet potato hummus... my inner bohemian is showing.

I refrained from too much work grazing this week, but there also weren't many feasts up for grabs. I am jealous I didn't get to try this carrot cake that was raved about. I'll have to make it soon.

It's beautiful! (PHOTO BY ALEX LAU, FOOD STYLING BY CHRIS MOROCCO, PROP STYLING BY EMILY EISEN

It's beautiful! (PHOTO BY ALEX LAU, FOOD STYLING BY CHRIS MOROCCO, PROP STYLING BY EMILY EISEN

Wearing:

Weekend with my parents means a "shopping trip" to my storage unit. I've almost acquired all of my clothes and about two-thirds of my shoes. Exciting! Inspired by the few days in the 90s, I gathered a watermelon jumpsuit, various summery sundresses, sandals, trusty Keds, linen shirts, and eyelet-covered tops. I'm not really ready for the full-on heat wave, but I my wardrobe is. 

Wearing these loafers a lot.

Wearing these loafers a lot.

Watching:

I watched the entirety of the comedy tv series Alone Together. I wouldn't say it's brilliant, but it's an easy viewing experience with lots of actors and comedians I enjoy (Kate Berlant, Amy Landecker, Nikki Glaser, Chelsea Peretti) and subjects I relate to. Two millennials from differing backgrounds strike up a platonic male-female friendship as they seek to navigate the streets of L.A. These two best friends, Esther and Benji, try to navigate the vanity of the city while watching each other's backs but also calling each other out for nonsense. I like Ester's podcast too.

Want to see: Duck Butter (Alia Shawkat, Laia Costa, Mae Whitman. "Two women, who are dissatisfied with the dishonesty they see in dating and relationships, decide to make a pact to spend 24 hours together hoping to find a new way to create intimacy.") Madeline's Madeline (Helena Howard, Molly Parker, Miranda July. "A theater director's latest project takes on a life of its own when her young star takes her performance too seriously.")

"a low-budget improv vérité psychodrama" (PHOTO COURTESY OF TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL)

"a low-budget improv vérité psychodrama" (PHOTO COURTESY OF TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL)

Treasuring:

Snuggles: Weekend visits to my parents also mean squeezing in the most snuggles with my cat. As much as possible, I'd wedge my body up against his and rub his velvety little snout. 

Stranger conversations: I chatted up a friendly older woman in line for the bus. I told her my seating strategy (bottom level, aisle seat, left side). She appreciated my tips so we sat together. She told me a place to eat the best dumplings in Flushing, Queens and about her father's time at war. My favorite moment was when she was on the phone with her brother, who was picking her up in D.C. "I see a sign. I see a car. I see trees. Mile marker 92. Does any of this mean anything to you? I don't know where I am? Do you?"

BFF

BFF

Monday Memos // 74

Listening:

"For You" by Elephant Parade.

"Sleep Till They Die" by La Luz.

(Courtesy deejay DQ)

Reading:

Shameless self promotion — This Cinnamon Raisin Bread Did More for My Love Life Than Tinder.

That tousled hair really does make one feel a certain way — Timothée Chalamet Made Me Do It.

Comfort Foods for Discomfiting Times — Chicken Pot Pie "Make one the size of a baby elephant, crawl inside, and shelter in place until science makes a comeback."

By  Olivia de Recat  via the New Yorker

By Olivia de Recat via the New Yorker

I love this image. I ate several slices post photo shoot. (photo by Alex Lau and styling by Emily Eisen)

I love this image. I ate several slices post photo shoot. (photo by Alex Lau and styling by Emily Eisen)

Craving:

This week was a serious carbohydrate extravaganza. I ate so many of the most delicious things. 

On Wednesday, there was a catered work lunch by Gordon Savory and The Good Batch bakery. I ate half of a roasted chicken caesar sandwich (roasted chicken, caesar dressing, parmesan, bread crumbs, aioli, seeded polenta bread), half of a warm burrata sandwich (burrata, roasted winter squash, parmesan, basil, pickled chili, toasted sourdough focaccia), some sweet and sour Brussel sprouts, and some seasonal farro salad. Wow. It was all delightful. Plus, I sampled the Chocolate Impossible Cookie (almond flour, gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, loaded with dark chocolate chips and chunks), the Sophisticate Cookie (oats, currants, pistachios and dark chocolate), and an oat strudel jam bar. I stopped myself from sampling the array of cookie ice cream sandwiches, but I know I'll have to go visit both shops in the future. 

I also got to experience the sheer joy and option overload of Café Altro Paradiso’s second-annual Bake Sale to Benefit Planned Parenthood. From what I can recall from the pastry blackout: a savory ricotta onion scone from Reynard Restaurant, an apple galette from Poppy's, one of Alison Roman's salty chocolate chunk shortbread cookies, a fudgy coconut brownie from the Smile, a walnut raisin sourdough loaf from Sullivan Street Bakery, a fig and smoked white chocolate oatmeal cookie from Otway, a peanut butter and jelly and a chocolate chip cardamon cookie from I don't remember, a sweet potato sourdough roll from Hemlock, a corn cookie from City House Nashville, and wow wow wow. Are you disturbed or jealous or both?

The decor of Cafe Altro Paradiso is lovely and I want to go back for a meal. I saw Dorie Greenspan there. It was baker foodie heaven. (image via Nick Solares)

The decor of Cafe Altro Paradiso is lovely and I want to go back for a meal. I saw Dorie Greenspan there. It was baker foodie heaven. (image via Nick Solares)

Wearing:

My favorite things I wore this week: a cropped paisley button up, tan Sven clogs, red ankle boots with gold studs, sparkle socks, a denim jacket and my X and O earrings. Golden sparkles is a good theme.

I now want all the Carhartt Work In Progress clothes, particularly the teal and rose and dusty blue jackets and pants.

Watching:

Movies: A Quiet Place. Terrifying, endearing, and captivating. John Krasinski should feel proud. "a nerve-shredder. It’s a movie designed to make you an active participant in a game of tension, not just a passive observer in an unfolding horror." — R.E.

Also watched 6 Balloons. "Over the course of one night, a woman drives across Los Angeles with her brother, who is addicted to heroin, in search of a detox center." It had so many people I admire and enjoy on screen (Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Jane Kaczmarek), but I didn't love it. It felt like it was missing something.

TV: Watched Barry. Satisfied and entertained, though not the same anticipatory nature as other HBO hits like Westworld or Insecure

Saw two more episodes of The Characters on Netflix starring John Early and Kate Berlant. Riveting and emotional and embarrassing aka HIGHLY recommend. It's fun to see how various comedians take the open-ended constraint of 30 minutes to do and play whatever they want. 

“Vicky With A V.” Also, fact: John Early officiated Amy Schumer’s wedding as Vicky. (image via Netflix)

“Vicky With A V.” Also, fact: John Early officiated Amy Schumer’s wedding as Vicky. (image via Netflix)

Treasuring:

Writing words: I felt so excited to put out some personal words for Bon Appetit's Healthyish aside from simply writing about sales and gadgets. My coworkers had really nice things to say. I feel like I am inching toward getting good at this. Now I just need to get back to more journaling too — though I think that is roughly what this has become. 

My continual thought: WWDSD?   David Sedaris in his Raleigh, North Carolina apartment in 1980. (Photo by Jeffrey Jenkins via the New Yorker)

My continual thought: WWDSD? David Sedaris in his Raleigh, North Carolina apartment in 1980. (Photo by Jeffrey Jenkins via the New Yorker)

Monday Memos // 71

Listening:

"Only With You" by Angel Olsen.

"You and I" by Wilco featuring Feist.

This song was in the latest season of Love on Netflix — bringing me back to my family Wilco days.

"Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens.

I waited forever and a half to see Call Me By Your Name. I think I needed some emotional stability so I wouldn't sob the entire movie. This song paired with the scene, it gave me an enormous swell of feelings. I love Sufjan.

"I Was Born A Unicorn" by The Unicorns.

This song was also in the latest season of Love and instantly transported me to 15 years old. (Roz, remember when we went with them to prom?)

Reading:

I Hid Who I Was for So Long. Until I Became a Cook. By Andy Baraghani. This is a wonderful piece. I feel very inspired by my coworkers.

If you're curious how the Talenti Taste Test I participated in went down, this is Joe's full report. I'm still more of a chocolate and peanut butter varietal fan.  

That's my arm on the left. (image by Caleb Adams)

Craving:

This week is brought to you by almonds. I'm in love with this almond-based dip/spread called Bitchin' Sauce — all the flavors are delicious.

I participated in an almond butter taste test (grocery store brands are top ranking: TJs. Whole Foods 365, Costco, etc.).

I devoured a variety of "cocoa-dusted" almonds that were sitting next to my desk (in espresso, maple, and mayan) — I didn't adore them, but they were there.

I also cannot stop eating dates. 

I got to try these  Salted Chocolate–Tahini Bliss Balls  and I want to make more for myself. (photo by Alex Lau)

I got to try these Salted Chocolate–Tahini Bliss Balls and I want to make more for myself. (photo by Alex Lau)

Wearing:

Last Monday I was walking to work and thought, I should revive my fashion game now that I go to a big fancy building for work. A couple hours later, I was pushing a cart full of toasters down an empty hallway, wearing jeans, my It's-It sweatshirt, and my decade-old purple vans, and guess who walks right by me? Anna Wintour! In the flesh, full-on sparkling tweed skirt suit. She definitely didn't look me in the eye. At least I do really love that sweatshirt.

Just Anna and the Queen. (image via  hello magazine )

Just Anna and the Queen. (image via hello magazine)

Watching:

Live: I went to this show last Friday: LAS CULTURISTAS LIVE: I DON'T THINK SO, HONEY! Wow! Dozens upon dozens of comedians and performers take one minute each to go off on culture. My face hurt from laughing so much. My hands hurt from clapping so much. Now I am in a deep dive of the Las Culturistas podcast and thoroughly in love with the hosts and concept. 

On Netflix: I consumed season three of Love in a couple of days. I think I enjoyed it more toward the end of the season, and maybe not as much as the first, but still a fan.

Shorts: If you want short segments of brilliance, watch 555 on Vimeo. "A motley cast of characters, played entirely by comedians Kate Berlant and John Early. Director Andrew DeYoung rounds out the trio of creators who put their minds together to birth this hilariously cutting new miniseries (and freshest Vimeo Original). In five short films, they show us the struggle of trying to achieve big tinseltown dreams, in a town built on power." — Vimeo Blog

HBO: Week after week, High Maintenance is my favorite in television. The latest episode was bursting with weirdness and beauty and more than I could put into words.

Poster and logo for  555  produced by  Abso Lutely.

Poster and logo for 555 produced by Abso Lutely.

Treasuring:

Dogs: I saw an excitable husky in a window the other night and I keep passing the same apartment on a daily basis hoping to see it again. There are always so many great dogs in the city from Dalmatian puppies to scrappy mutts in sweaters to the sweetest looking Corgi in a backpack. I am a fan of them all. It is year of the dog after all. 

Scene from Maira Kalman's  Max  series — I've got a tattoo of Max, in the brown hat and coat. Her dog depictions are superb.

Scene from Maira Kalman's Max series — I've got a tattoo of Max, in the brown hat and coat. Her dog depictions are superb.

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)