20 Things Getting Us Through January
It takes a lot.
A running list of things getting us through a January of very little childcare and intermittent schooling.
Ice skating play dates at Lakeside Rink.
Putting hot tea with honey / hot chocolate in these Camelback insulated water bottles and going out to the park, which Ada describes as “a great and weird feeling in my body.”
Gravity Falls, the 2015-16 Hulu show about twins (voiced by Jason Ritter and Kristin Schaal) who visit their uncle in Oregon and confront assorted small town paranormal activity and mysteries. Quirky and culturally referential and apparently inspiring somewhat of a cult following, the kids are obsessed and have watched both seasons multiple times.
The second Sato the Rabbit book, Sato the Rabbit: The Moon, a collection of surreal vignettes about a young boy dressed as a rabbit. (See also: Sato the Rabbit and Sato the Rabbit, a Sea of Tea (preorder))
The grown-ups (me):
This Alex Ohlin collection of short stories, We Want What We Want, which I randomly plucked off the shelf at the library and can’t put down.
The Boulevardier, which is like a winter negroni.
This probably controversial NYT opinion piece by Jay Caspian Kang, “Do I Have to Read My Child Antiracist Books, Even When They’re Bad?,” which sums up a lot of my feelings about what I view as very heavy-handed takes on subjects with clumsy conceptual language actually geared at assuaging the guilt of parents buying the books, rather than actually being books for kids. I prefer stories that immerse kids in diverse and transportive worlds; the quality of the story is critical and feels much more resonant.
“Why I Steal,” an episode of the Death, Sex & Money podcast, where Anna Sale interviews a woman who chronically shoplifts. Fascinating and entire college courses on morality and ethics could be taught around this one episode alone.
Covers, the new album of covers by Cat Power of Frank Ocean, Lana del Ray, Billie Holiday and more.
The illustrations of Vicki Ling.
Summer of Gold, which I’ve recommended before, but talks about the domination of women at the ‘96 Olympics. The episode about gymnastics takes me straight back to my adoration of Dominique Moceanu, who, it turns out, had a sister, Jennifer, who was born without legs, and given up for adoption by her parents (which she never knew about). Jennifer independently ends up becoming an aerialist/acrobat and performing on tour with Britney Spears. What! [None of this is in the podcast, just my own internet rabbit hole].
“LulaRich,” the four-part Amazon doc about the MLM scheme built around cheap print-all-over leggings and maxi dresses. Add Mormons, nepotism, and housewives and you get yourself a jewel of a story.
This Apple Crumble Cake, which is like apple crumble + coffee cake, but half the sugar, add turmeric / cinnamon / nutmeg / allspice to the batter, and sub in a cup of almond flour for the all-purpose.
Om Som spice packs, though I wish the servings were bigger.
Realizing that you can request that Netflix send you all your user activity and get a comprehensive data output of every movie you’ve watched, trailer you’ve viewed, and thumbnail you’ve scrolled (for better or worse).
Somebody Somewhere, the new HBO series starring comedian Bridget Everett about a Kansas woman finding her way among misfits after she’s returned home.
Hanging up a full wall of Elfa shelves in our living room. There’s more stuff out but somehow it all seems less messy?
These Piecework Puzzles are so pretty. Should I get into puzzles?
What’s helping you get through January? See you next week!