Week Links [9 August]

I broke 100 followers on this damn blog. I have ZERO CLUE how that happened but I appreciate you all so much! For reference, I have 91 followers on Twitter… I don’t do any promo for these posts, so I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for indulging my nonsense.

I was listening to Nikki Glaser on Whitney Cummings’ podcast, and Whitney mentioned something about how naming your fear takes away its power. So, I’m trying to name my fear, or rather, my terrifying dream—I want to write! I pathologically don’t take my writing ability seriously—I don’t do revisions or editing. I just jettison my thoughts out into the world as they form. It feels so vulnerable to me to admit that I want something; it feels like standing in front of a crowd naked. What if I’m not good enough?? But then I remember that I have a literal Master of motherfucking Arts degree in Literature. Thoughtful analysis and communication are the only things I’m good at. Even if it’s just my alma mater’s graduate journal, I’ve been published. There is no reason I can’t write something meaningful about Bunheads. So, sorry to be like, Stevie-Nicks-draped-in-turquoise-charging-crystals-in-the-moonlight, but I’m manifesting. Hold me to account!

Apart from the above, this week was dreadfully uneventful, so, on with it!

Whitney Houston Was Too Perfect To Stay - MTV
image source mtv
  1. I desperately need ethical/sustainable fashion brand recommendations. I’m in a fashion rut. I feel really uninspired by my closet (which may have something to do with the damn pandemic, and the fact that I’m in pajamas half the day). Hit me up with your favorite brands, extra points if they’re BIPOC-owned. I’m looking into a lot of the brands on this list. I need to stop shopping at J.Crew, basically.
  2. I got myself a lil’ birthday present. I’ve been lusting over this bag for AGES, and this gorgeous yellow color was on sale. Meant to be! Also, I have a referral link for 10% off if you’re interested! (If you’re wondering, my birthday present from my husband is these earrings in both metals.) And fuck it: in the spirit of manifesting, my Venmo is @highwaytochel if you want to buy me a drink or pay off my student loans.
  3. I upgraded my home office because I’ve been craning my neck for months and I’d like to not end up with arthritis or osteoporosis or whatever terrible posture does to your body. I got these adjustable monitor stands (one for my monitor, the other for my work laptop), and this cute AF keyboard (with an actual number pad, praise be!) I’m in my office 8-10 hours a day, so I really should be taking care of my body! Also, I should be exercising…at all, but that’s definitely a story for a different day.
  4. I just finished Meaty by Samantha Irby, completing my reverse trilogy binge of her work. Hands down my favorite essayist.
  5. I went on a book-buying SPREE. I know Amazon is the devil and Bezos deserves the guillotine, but those daily Kindle deals! My plan is to be totally Amazon-free by age 30. Just like how restaurants say that they’ll use all recyclable materials by 2022 or whatever. I got: The Year of Magical Thinking,  The Collected Stories of Eudora WeltyBird by Bird, If They Come in the Morning…: Voices of ResistanceSick in the Head: Conversations about Life and ComedyFreedom is a Constant StruggleYou Deserve Each OtherThemes and VariationsTomboylandCleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, The White Boy Shuffle, and What Girls are Made ofA mix of rom-coms and radical politics—sounds right.
  6. My queens have honored us with new music. Listen to “WAP” by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, and watch the video here. And let me know if you think “wet and gushy” is…way, way worse than the actual lyric.
  7. I’m rewatching This Way Up on Hulu right now and it’s just an absolute gem of a show. Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan are a dream team. I also watched Military Wives, Sharon’s recent film (also on Hulu), and despite the fact that it’s sympathetic toward military things (boooo), it shattered my heart because I am a sap! Oh, and not on Hulu or related to either of these at all, but Coupling is on HBO Max!
  8. Just discovered that there’s a Haitian-American vegan catering company in the next town over that has been doing a special menu during COVID for delivery…my body is ready to receive it!
  9. This Twitter thread broke my heart. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
  10. In honor of Christina Schneider following me on Twitter, please listen to “Hot Wife” immediately! Personalia is a gift to this earth.
  11. Happy birthday to the *wickedly* talented, one and only, Whitney Houston. In the iconic words of Aretha Franklin, “Whitney was a talent. Definitely a talent. She had a gift. And Cissy’s baby.” We will always love you.

Week Links [12 July]

Good afternoon! It’s 400 degrees out and I honestly don’t have the energy for an intro.

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  1. Did you know that when your Pyrex lids get all cracked and shitty from years of use/the dishwasher, you can replace JUST THE LIDS? I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me in the past decade to do this, but I finally did and let me tell you—it’s a gamechanger. Full disclosure, I did buy them on Amazon because there was a better selection and the option for multi-packs, but c’mon. Can we briefly discuss this muted aqua color? If, perchance, you are reading this and not already a ride-or-die Pyrex stan, you must immediately make peace with your god and join us. Pyrex glassware lasts a lifetime, is microwave-safe, and will never get the inevitable tomato-sauce stain that plastic containers do. This beginner set, at least, is essential. I have easily three of these. This set is so sleek, so elegant. I am truly such a psycho that I bring a Pyrex container or two with me pretty much everywhere I go so that I can avoid plastic takeout containers at all costs.
  2. Right now I’m reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and it’s checking all of the boxes. It’s fun, it’s provocative, it’s a mystery–I recommend it highly, especially for people who, like me, knew virtually nothing about the Sikh religion.
  3. I guess I’m using quarantine to develop a new personality, because I just got a bunch of fun eyeliners and eyeshadows from Glossier? I got the Colorslide in “Stable Relationship,” “Early Girl,” and “Hardcore Velvet,” and the Skywash in “Pool” and “Lawn.” I’ve basically been wearing the exact same makeup look, if you can even call it that, for my entire twenties (just winged black liquid eyeliner and a matte lipstick in the red/pink/mauve family). I cannot endorse these products enough–I usually hate eyeshadow and think I look terrible in it, but I’m a convert now.
  4. It’s my birthday in roughly 40 days, so please get me these earrings, they’re all I want. In both metals, to match all of my looks.
  5. The most important song on earth to me right now is “Bummer Days” by Liza Anne. Who can relate?
  6. The way that this article came for my neck…
  7. Padma Lakshmi’s new Hulu show, Taste the Nation, is really good so far. Spoiler, but when Madhur Jaffrey showed up, I fell off my chair.
  8. This is the best tweet ever written. We can all quit Twitter now.
  9. MIEL HAS DONE IT AGAIN. Stream “I’ll Be Holding” on Spotify.
  10. Can’t wait to watch Palm Springs on Hulu. I love Cristin Milioti, but I am a Samberg stangirl for life.
  11. Bonus content: watch this video of my husband playing “Charade” by Henry Mancini.

Until next time,

c

The Best Things I’ve Spent Money on This Year

Okay, so by this year, I mean 1/1/19 to present. As I may have previously mentioned, I took a really prolonged break from spending money so that I could (successfully!) pay off ALL of my credit card debt. I also refinanced my student loans and got a lower interest rate on my car loan, so despite the fact that I absolutely was not making a living wage, I managed to kick some serious financial ass. I would not have been able to do any of this without my amazing husband and my in-laws—they’re so supportive and generous.

The crazy thing is, I went through and tallied up what I spent on everything on this list, and it’s roughly equivalent to what I spent on copays and medication for the year. Not trying to be controversh, but I shouldn’t be able to get an enormous tattoo, furniture, and an iPhone for less money than basic healthcare. In the spirit of that sentiment, please join DSA and consider volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign /end rant.

It’s also worth mentioning that a couple of the things mentioned below are from truly evil corporations that I, as a feminist socialist, do not want to continue supporting. Disengaging with major retailers is hard work, and participating in capitalism at all means that we all have the “damn’d spot*” on our hands. Next year, I hope this list is all small businesses and sustainable retailers, but all I can do is try my best. So without further ado, here are the purchases I made last year that were absolutely worth every penny:

iPhone 11

Owning this device has kind of ruined my life, to be honest. I was already pretty addicted to my phone, but the size of this screen and sleekness of the device have me hooked. The best feature, by far, is the fact that I can more easily do the New York Times crossword on this screen, which is truly the only thing I care about in this life. And I have to admit, I love the facial recognition. I know Apple is probably conspiring with the government and stealing my identity or whatever, but the level of convenience of opening things with Face ID is…almost worth it? Saying this really feels like the Chrissy Teigen tweet about Airpods, don’t cancel me.

Casetify Phone Case

This thing is indestructible, and comes in about a billion designs. I, of course, went with the sunflower pattern. I got a discount code from a podcast for 20% off, but I’d absolutely pay full price for another one.

AirPods

I finally did it. I caved and bought AirPods. I was going to buy them through Apple, but I found the same ones on Amazon for considerably cheaper (I bought this silicone protective case too). I…love them. I can’t believe I didn’t buy them sooner.

Magnetic Car Mount

A lot of phone shit, I know. but I’ve tried every type of car mount on the market, and this is by a mile the best. The magnet is super strong, and you can just stick it inside your case so you don’t have a big ugly sticker on the back. The best part is, for only $6, it’s a 2-pack, so you can give one to your significant other. My husband is still rocking an iPhone 6+, but the gear’s ready for him whenever he decides to upgrade.

The Comfiest Cardigan

Target has really been coming thruuuu with cute clothes and décor lately. This cardigan, from their A New Day line, is legitimately the coziest garment I own. I love it so much, I went back for another one.

The Best Earrings in the Game

Okay, so I’m wildly biased, because creator and entrepreneur Shelly Harper is my cousin, but damned if I don’t love her work. She is a fucking artist. Harp Designs is a woman-owned, woman-made brand out of Oakland, CA, and it makes the jewelry at retailers like Madewell look like an absolute lil’ bitch. Everything she makes is outstanding, but these earrings are so fun that I had to have them in gold and silver.

A Kitchen Table

The pub table in my kitchen had been rickety for a while, but for the ~$100 I paid for it, it certainly served its purpose. Helping my mother shop for her new home, I stumbled across this beauty, basically a dupe of my old table, except cuter, and I simply had to have it. It could be a little sturdier, but to its credit, I built it, so…

Savage Lovecast Magnum Edition

IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME, OKAY! I’m done with podcast ads, they’ve been my undoing! This podcast is my must-listen of my week, and I respect Dan so much for evolving and growing and doing everything in his power to get progressive ideas into the mainstream dialogue. Nobody’s perfect, but I’ve never not enjoyed an episode of this show. I also subscribed to Slate Plus for Dear Prudence and Stitcher Premium for Groceries, and I have zero regrets (except for the fact that Stitcher is quite possibly the ugliest, least user-friendly app on the planet). The Stitcher subscription won’t last, but ad-free podcasts were absolutely the highlight of 2019 for me.

Netflix & Hulu (no commercials!) Subscriptions

To be fair, I’ve had these for a lot longer than a year, but when you’re trying to live that homebody life and save money, these services are indispensable! We got rid of cable about a year ago, so this is the only way I can keep up with my programmes. For the combined total of $20.98/month, I get more TV than I could ever find the time to consume. Beautiful.

Monthly Charitable Donations

I’ve been donating $5/month to the ACLU & Planned Parenthood since the day after the 2016 election. It’s not much, but the number of donors to these organizations is often as important a metric as the amount donated. Planned Parenthood is an organization which is particularly near and dear to my heart, and from whose services I have personally benefitted. I also give to WERS, which is the local radio station out of Emerson College, because independent radio is important, and for my money, it’s the only radio station in the Greater Boston Area that plays anything I’d ever want to listen to.

A Tattoo

Hell yeah. So, here’s the story from A to Z—when I was 21, and towards the end of my last pre-husband relationship, I impulsively got a matching tattoo of (gag) Minnie Mouse on my ribs with my ex-boyfriend. That was in July…we broke up in November. So, for nearly 7 years, I’ve been living with this incredibly stupid-looking reminder of the guy I started dating when I was 18. No shade to him—I truly hope he’s living his best life, he’s a great guy—but it also seems psycho to have this permanently etched on my body. So, I put out some feelers on Facebook (I know…) and my friend Lauren hipped me to her shop. After perusing the various portfolios of the recommended shops, Famous Tattoos in Dartmouth won out. It’s clean, not too far away, and the work speaks for itself. Cut to a few months later—it was the best body art experience of my life. Ryan Vidinha is incredibly talented and so skillful with the tattoo needles. I sat for a cumulative 6 hours between two sessions, and he made it an absolute pleasure. And SO REASONABLY PRICED for what he was able to accomplish. My shop 4 life. Having a beautiful piece of art in place of what used to be an embarrassing blemish is so freeing. Best money I’ve ever spent.

Oh, and I got another tattoo, whilst I was on vacation in Florida. Gaze upon it. Apparently I wore the exact same outfit to both.

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Laser Tattoo Removal

I know, I just got an enormous cover-up tattoo. Why wouldn’t I just do the same in this case? Look, I tried. Because of the placement of my wrist tattoo, and how heavily the line-work was done, it’d be nearly impossible to do a cover-up that wasn’t giant and blobby to cover the black. Luckily, I discovered Disappearing Inc. Utter pros. Tattoo removal is a long, expensive process, and I’m so lucky to have Jenna as my technician. The tattoo is 3 stars (from the corner of the pages of Harry Potter, I truly was an absolute dumb bitch as a youth) and they’re so poorly done. They never healed correctly. I’ve cringed looking at them for years, and I’m so excited to see them slowly fade away. Read up on how tattoo removal works—it’s nuts and fascinating!

So it’s been a wrap-wrap-wrap up, a 12-month wrap-up. Thanks for tuning in!

*You know a bitch got out her 1973 edition of the Riverside Shakespeare to make sure she typed that correctly. Act V, scene i of MacBeth, my fave play 4 life.

Shout Out Sunday 9.1.19

I’ve been the worst at putting these up lately, so this week’s is going to be AWESOME. JAM-PACKED with goodies. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

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cue mitski’s “me and my husband”
  1. Lana Del Rey’s new album is out and it’s called Norman Fucking Rockwell!!! I can’t even handle that. I’ve been on the Lana Del Train since the very beginning so I’m sure this will be on repeat aaaallll week. P.S. She covered Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.”
  2. Sucré put out a new video for “Truth or Dare” !!!!!
  3. Have you ever heard of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria? My therapist told me about it earlier this week, and it was like a punch in the gut how much it spoke to me and what I’ve been going through these godforsaken 28 years.
  4. I have these in gold and I just ordered them in silver because they are the greatest earrings ever made. Try the code SUMMERBLUES for 20% off (not sure how long it’s good for so go go go!)
  5. I’m reading Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion (on my Kindle via Libby, obvi) and really enjoying it thus far! Don’t trust anyone who says you can’t judge a book by its super-cool looking cover.
  6. Have you been listening to Throwing Shade Presents: GROCERIES?! That’s right! A podcast about grocery stores! It’s on Stitcher Premium and they’re having a subscription sale with the code LABORDAY right now, so you know what to do.
  7. I read Little Fires Everywhere and loved it, so as the Celeste Ng completist I am, I’m reading Everything I Never Told You next.
  8. Justin Baldoni did a TED talk about redefining masculinity and it’s incredible.
  9. Did I mention that I’m trying out these reusable makeup-remover pads? The ones I got are sold out but the adorable grapefruit ones are still available. My goal is to use these for makeup removal only, and to snag some reusable rounds for toner/micellar water.
  10. I’m trying to be a little bit better about doing laundry…it’s my least favorite chore. But especially as I’m transitioning towards more sustainable clothing purchases (hello, Everlane!), I want my things to last me years. Jolie Kerr, of Ask A Clean Person fame, recommends mesh laundry bags—who am I to question an expert?
  11. Also, I bought these. Please don’t judge me.

 

Kool Things

I wanted to call this post The I’ds of March, but a. that is so stupid, and b. then I couldn’t turn it into a series. Unless it was an annual series? Anyway, I called it Kool Things because that title is at once descriptive and a reference to my favorite Sonic Youth song. Win/win.

Kool Things is a (hopefully) weekly series highlighting dope shit that made my week brighter. We’re kind of in the darkest timeline right now, at least in the U.S., so it’s become super important to find joy where you can.

Anyway, here are the things that made my first-week-of-March:

Cristela Alonzo, Lower Classy

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Cristela, who you might know from her short-lived ABC sitcom of the same name, is a comedy angel, and her new special freaking delivered. The jokes were all brilliantly written and expertly delivered, plus, I actually cried at the end. I was moved to tears by the story she tells about her mother. Get you a stand-up special that can do both!

Cristela nails the first-generation American experience, eviscerates Latinx stereotypes, and roasts Whole Foods for their bonkers prices with aplomb. Her voice is a shining light in the white dude-dominated comedy scene, and I’m so glad that she has the amazing platform of Netflix to tell her story.

Watch Cristela’s newest special, Lower Classy, on Netflix now! 5/5

One Part Plant: The Cookbook!

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I first heard of Jessica Murnane, plant-based guru and cooking genius, on Karsyn DuPree’s Wilder Podcast. I am a self-professed “cooking dork”, so of course I pre-ordered Jessica’s amazing plant-based cookbook. One Part Plant functions as an educational tool as much as it offers recipes: Murnane, who suffers (suffered?) from endometriosis, found an unlikely cure in plant-based eating, and she talks about the disease at length in the book’s intro. And Lena Dunham, who also famously suffers from endo, penned a letter to open the book. Beyond the discussion of endo, the cookbook gives a realistic overview of everything your kitchen needs, from whisks & sieves to tahini & tamari.

Something notable about this cookbook is that is has a full dessert and snack section. I’m not a huge dessert person, but I love that this book is so well-rounded!

Recipe highlights: Creamy Grits with Avocado & Hot Sauce, Roasted Potato, Corn, & Leek Chowder, Grilled Cinnamon & Banana Sandwich (I mean, WHAT?!)

HARP. designs

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What’s better than modern, chic gold & brass jewelry? Women. Entrepreneurs. The rad lady of HARP. designs also happens to by my cousin, Shelly, an amazingly talented Bay Area jewelry designer and maker. She’s a talent angel with an incredible aesthetic. Madewell wishes their accessories were made this well. Since today we’re participating in A Day Without A Woman (right? RIGHT?), ditch your shitty ASOS bling and come thru for HARP.

I recently treated myself to these amazing slogan pins, because when they go low

Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming Tour

My soul-loves, Eisley, just released a new record on February 17th! It’s called I’m Only Dreaming, and it’s the first album released with the band’s new line-up (sans Chauntelle, Weston, & Stacy). I saw them on tour last week at Brighton Music Hall and it was absolutely sensational! It was the first time I’d ever been to a show alone, and I’ve gotta tell you: highly recommend! No one to judge you for scream-singing along to every word!

Get I’m Only Dreaming on Amazon or MerchNow!

Set List (Eisley @ Brighton Music Hall, 2.28.17):

  1. Louder Than A Lion (I’m Only Dreaming)
  2. Smarter (The Valley)
  3. Sad (The Valley)
  4. Millstone (Currents)*
  5. Memories (Room Noises)*
  6. Drink The Water (Currents)*
  7. I Could Be There For You (Combinations)*
  8. Shelter (Currents)*
  9. Song for the Birds (I’m Only Dreaming)
  10. Many Funerals (Combinations)
  11. You Are Mine (I’m Only Dreaming)
  12. Lost At Sea (Room Noises)
  13. Defeatist (I’m Only Dreaming)
  14. I Wasn’t Prepared (Room Noises)
  15. The Night Comes (Currents)
  16. Invasion (Combinations)
  17. I Was Wondering (Combinations)
  18. Ambulance (The Valley)*

*songs with Stacy or Chauntelle originally on lead vox!

American Apparel (RIP)

Is this basic? I’m not sure I care. American Apparel has been at the center of tons of legal & ethical drama over the years, but at its core—American-made, unisex-leaning clothes? Fine by me. They’re bankrupt or going out of business or something, and everything on their site is 40% off. EVERYTHING. AA’s price points were always a deterrent to me, so this added discount piqued my interest.

Pro-tips for shoppers: their size charts are accurate. Measure thyself. Don’t rely on what size you *think* you are, because your acid-wash shorts will function like a whale-bone corset.

The lesson here? Always pester stylish girls you see about where they got their high-waisted jeans. You will be rewarded.

And last but certainly not least…

A Day Without A Woman

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Today’s the day! Organized by the same group that executed the massively successful post-inauguration Women’s March on Washington, A Day Without A Woman is a campaign seeks to illustrate the impact that women (51% of the population, yo) have on daily life and the economy. Today we wear red, avoid paid or unpaid labor, and withhold our money from businesses not owned and operated by women. Most women can’t just peace out of work on a Wednesday (I’m lucky enough to have today off), but there are so many little ways we can all participate in the Resistance! To cop a slogan from Portlandia, Women and Women First!

I hope to see you all out in the streets rocking red!

—DellaBites

*all images via google or the linked sites

Leaving On a Jet Plane

We’re California bound in 4 days! I’m so excited! I haven’t been to the Bay Area since 1999, so I hardly remember it. I’ve already packed my clothes. I actually had a bit of a stress nightmare about the airport and the flight. I’m not a great traveler, and I’m an even worse sleeper.

I haven’t even begun to plan all of our activities. My main priorities are jumping into the Pacific Ocean, eating at In N Out (my few-times-a-decade exception to vegetarianism), and going to the Amoeba Records in San Fran & Berkeley, but we have a whole 8 or 9 days to fill! I definitely want to hit up some art museums, but unfortunately the SFMOMA is closed for expansion right now! This is the second time I’ll have been deprived of a MOMA on a trip…not cool.

I’m going to start compiling a list of coffee/donut shops in the Bay Area since we are sorely lacking them in our little corner of the country. Of course, we’ll be spending a ton of time with family. My cousin Shelly is the owner/designer of the Oakland-based jewelry company Harp Designs, so we’ll have to visit with her and (maybe??) talk about having her design our wedding bands. She was actually just profiled on another blog—a must-read!

In other news, this happened:

He liked it, so he put a ring on it!
glasses/Warby Parker, ring/refurbished vintage (my mother’s), dress/American Apparel

I finally got my engagement ring after 2.5 weeks of being engaged. It sounds like nothing, but when people frantically reach for your left hand to check your bling multiple times per day, it’s so disappointing to have to say, “Oh, I don’t have my ring yet,” or to explain that the one I was wearing was a big ol’ fake. I’m getting married, and now I have proof! What is life?

Sherri Dupree Bemis of one of my favorite bands, Eisley, recently recorded a cover of the John Denver/Peter, Paul, and Mary song “Leaving On A Jet Plane”. It’s sweet, lovely, and available for free download on Soundcloud. In honor of our trip (which I’m dubbing our engagement trip even though the two are unrelated), I’ve posted it below for your listening pleasure.