Love List – July 2019

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I don’t blog as often as I used to. That seems true for most bloggers out here on the internets. Blogging has given way to podcasts and Instagram stories and snaps and God knows what else. Blogs have aged out of the online conversation, but I’m too stubborn to give mine up entirely. But you never know — blogs could have a strong second act. What’s old is almost always decidedly new and hip again. Imagine how much my blog could be worth on eBay “mint in box” some day. Ha!

It’s also been a year since I’ve written one of my “love lists,” where I post about books and movies and food and songs and hats and socks and people and anything else that I’m diggin’ and groovin’ on and falling in love with a little bit. I had high hopes of posting “love lists” here each month, but life and technology and the previous election cycle have all gotten in the way of my productivity.

Yet I’m trying my hand at another love list this month. It’s always good to think about what you love, and have gratitude for joy and bliss and glee and passion and whatever else that’s yummy and soul-warming and utterly delightful in your life, even if it alights for only a few minutes and then flutters away. Love is indeed all around, dear Mary Tyler Moore. You just need to stop and breathe and see, really see. Love is around us, and it’s within us. Love is for us, all of the damn time.


With that in mind, here’s my little ol’ love list for July:

Here is New York / E. B. White  — The beloved author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little also wrote a paean to New York City in 1948. It’s a quick, gorgeous, and masterful read — and astoundingly, it portends New York’s current 2019 mood. Perhaps that’s because New York’s current mood is what it’s always been: in flux and ever changing, morphing and shifting and rendering its streets familiar and unrecognizable, all at once. I read the book in one hour on a Sunday morning in bed, and I loved it. If you’re a native like me or if you’re one of Manhattan’s many jilted lovers, you’ll like it, too.


Everything Is Alive podcast — Ian Chillag, a former producer for NPR’s Fresh Air, has constructed this hilarious and touching interview show with inanimate objects, as voiced by a host of human narrators. My favorite episode so far features Tara Clancy, Queens-born MOTH host, as a sliver of Lever 2000 soap. The show is witty and thought-provoking, and utterly human in its non-humanness. Check out the podcast here.


Fleabag — I was late to the binge-watching party for this show. My apologies. Oh, my God — that hot priest. I’m obsessed. I want a confessional for Christmas, Santy Claus. I’m not kidding. WHAT DO YOU MEAN ANDREW SCOTT PLAYS MORIARTY IN SHERLOCK SOMEBODY GET ME SIGNED INTO NETFLIX NOW NOW NOW. God, it’s so lovely to harbor harmless crushes, isn’t it? Especially on hot summer days

when you’re wearing a sundress. Commando. What?


Oklahoma! — I’ve never been a fan of the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1943 musical. Like, ever. I was in Oklahoma! in the nineteen-shushties in high school (I played human scenery while wearing an ill-fitting prairie skirt) and I just hated the show. Yes, yes, I know that Rodgers and Hammerstein were geniuses. It just didn’t move me. It was tired and Southern and kind of massively weird at the end. Cheering about Jud’s death? Nah.  Enter the most recent revival of Oklahoma! now playing on Broadway at Circle in the Square. DEAR GOD — I WAS TRANSFIXED. So I’m going to see it again. I’m not kidding. My husband works in the area. (If you’re under 45 you won’t get that joke.) The cast, director and musicians have turned the well-known story on its head, and forced its audiences to rethink what we know about this quintessentially American story, as well as ourselves. I’m also harboring a harmless crush on Will Brill — who plays Ali Hakim, the show’s Persian peddler.  (Will also plays Midge’s brother Noah in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and he had me at Bell Labs last season.) He’s really, really funny and he’s a perfect foil to Ridgewood’s own Ali Stroker as Ado Annie. I have a crush on her, too. Who wouldn’t? At this point, crushes are a summer Glamour do, aren’t they? Fine. Glamour’s defunct. They at least warrant a Refinery 29 shout-out on IG, right? Yes, I’m well aware that I’m about to be 49. I MET PIERA GELARDI ONCE SO FIGHT ME.


The Idles — I happened upon this British band after seeing their NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert video a few weeks ago. They’re not the type of music that perimenopausal women like myself are supposed to be fond of. But fuck that. They’re edgy and loud and sweaty. They write songs about toxic masculinity, and about the assholes they once were and no longer want to be. What a gorgeous juxtaposition of anger and vulnerability. What a statement for our times. They’re fun and red-faced and naughty, and they hold themselves accountable for a lot of masculine bullshit in their lyrics. Also: the guitarist in stars and stripes leggings — Mark Bowen — is my new harmless facial hair crush. IT’S SUMMER, PEOPLE. LET ME LIVE A LITTLE.


Our bedroom –  Last year, we rearranged the furniture in our bedroom. We moved the bed to face the window. We repainted the room and replaced the unruly clearance sale dressers that we’d begrudgingly owned for the past 20 years — and battled with on humid days to unstick so we could put away our clean underwear. We added built-in bookshelves so we could store all of the books we love to read, even though I still have stacks of books near my nightstand — and always will. We installed reading lights on either side of our bed. We bought new pillows. We decided to treat ourselves well, and put ourselves first. We have Happy Hive Design, a local interior design firm, to thank for their help. The difference has been remarkable. It’s just so cozy and nice and calm in there now. It’s a really lovely thing to have happened to us. My husband makes all these happy sighs and hmmms when he gets into bed now, and I haven’t even touched him yet. I swear. What?


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