Entries Tagged as 'On the Table'

On the table: Things little black girls love

September 20, 2014

Misty Copeland photographed by Pari Dukovic via The New Yorker

Pari Dukovic, The New Yorker

Happy weekend, folks! Here’s what I’m reading/discussing/thinking about this morning…

Clair Huxtable. So, yesterday the New York Times had an epic fail with Alessandra Stanley’s racist article about Shonda Rhimes. It was just. So. Bad. Among Stanley’s errors was when she wrote that Shonda Rhimes’ leading black ladies are “certainly are not as benign and reassuring as Clair Huxtable, the serene, elegant wife, mother and dedicated lawyer on ‘The Cosby Show.’” But as Kara Brown pointed out in her (excellent) response piece:

“Clair Huxtable is an incredible character because she gets angry. She gets angry and frustrated at times that are angering and frustrating. She is a successful lawyer and a caring mother and devoted wife. She is sweet and measured but is also quick to put you in your place if you say or do something stupid. (And she could even do it in Spanish.) Clair Huxtable accepts foolishness from absolutely nobody, but she also picks her battles.”

After watching the embedded clip of a scene in which Phylicia Rashad plays Clair Huxtable as perfectly angry, I ended up going down the Huxtable rabbit hole. And it was lovely (if unsurprising) to read about the huge impact the character had on young girls, particularly young black girls. I know I watched “The Cosby Show” as a little girl, but in all honesty, I don’t have a ton of memories of it. In the past couple years, it has crossed my mind from time to time that I should just watch the entire show. Last night I discovered that the show is turning 30 today, so it seemed like the perfect time to start re-watching. So after finishing this article about all the ways Clair was a badass, I started with the pilot episode of “The Cosby Show” on Hulu Plus. I got through the first three episodes and I was literally laughing out loud alone in my room and texting Eric (who was traveling) like, “OMG, I just discovered the best new show!” If you want to re-watch, TV Land is airing a Cosby marathon today. And ABC news rounded up 30 interesting facts about the show, but you know I’m mostly interested in the sweaters.

Ballerinas. This morning I read Rivka Galchen’s profile on Misty Copeland in The New Yorker. I feel like the word “inspiring” gets tossed around a lot, but I truly find her story inspiring.

“Her memoir, Life in Motion, written with Charisse Jones, portrays her childhood as having been in some ways idyllic: swimming at the beach, a circle of loving and talented siblings, a charismatic and beautiful mother, and a gift for responsibility and leadership. But another version of Copeland’s childhood, which also comes through in her memoir, is the hardship tale: not knowing her real father, a succession of differently difficult stepfathers, and uncertainty about whether there would be dinner on any given night.”

When I was a little girl, doing my interpretive dance to the soundtrack from “The Little Mermaid” in our apartment, I know I would have just loved her. As an adult, I still think she’s really great. I don’t need any new workout clothes, but I kind of want to buy something new from Under Armour just to show my support.

Project Runway. I don’t follow this show, but this week there was an American Girl challenge. Like, OLD-SCHOOL ACTUAL AMERICAN GIRL NOT THIS MODERN BULLSHIT. I’m looking forward to watching that today and further re-living my childhood.

Handsome princes. This morning, I saw that Price Harry “rescued” a little girl who couldn’t see at a concert this week, putting her on his shoulders so she could get a better view. The only thing that’s been harder on my ovaries this week (well, along with Ovaries Week over on The Cut) was discovering the DILFs of Disneyland Instagram account.

On the table: Things we should probably just leave be

July 22, 2014

leave britney alone

The theme of my day has been Leave Britney alone, where “Britney” = the following…

1. The Affordable Care Act.

2. Black parents.

So, this morning Eric and I had a little debate about a segment we saw on “The Today Show.” It focused on a new curfew that will go into effect in Baltimore next month; children under 14 will have to be inside by 9 p.m. and 14- to 17-year-olds will have to be in by 10 on school nights and 11 on weekends. Kids who are out after that time will be picked up by the cops and taken to a detention center. Parents will then have to pay a $500 fine (though it could be less) or take a family education class. (No word on whether you can take the class if it happens more than once.)

The curfew sounds mostly fine in theory (cue the “Why does a kid that young need to be out that late alone?” chorus where everyone forgets what it was like to be a teenager), and “The Today Show” poll had 97 percent of people saying they thought it was a good idea. Eric was surprised the number was so high; I responded, “Well, 97 percent of the Today Show’s audience is white.” And then he gave me this look of, “How did you get a racial issue out of that?”

Well, because I had noticed that pretty much all of the parents and children shown in the segment (even just in the B-roll) were black. And my first thought was, This sounds like a stop and frisk law for teens and tweens. Maybe some people are comfortable with cops being responsible for black kids and teenagers, but I’m sure as hell not. Eric didn’t believe me that it was only black people shown, but thanks to the magic of DVR, I was able to show him that that was the case. Still, he seemed skeptical. I said that the $500 fine just seemed like a way to punish poor and/or minority parents…which led us to discussing the recent story about Debra Harrell, the single mother who left her 9-year-old daughter in the park while she worked all day at McDonald’s. (She could not afford childcare.) A “concerned parent” called the police and Harrell was arrested for child endangerment. Oh, and Think Progress reported today that Harrell has since been fired from McDonald’s. So, great. Great job getting involved, everybody! 

3. Preserve. Unless you want to read some, um, intense prose about ice cream sundaes, skip the new lifestyle website. 

On the table: All the tears

February 28, 2014

roses

This week really had its ups and downs! As we say good-bye to Mercury in Retrograde, here are some of the things that were on the table around here this week:

Pink roses. 

Vintage recipes. I read this post on BuzzFeed last month and have been meaning to post it here. I was reminded of it this week when Lindy West went to a disgusting vintage recipe party and lived to tell the tale. Weirdly, her experience made me want to go through my vintage cookbooks and look not for disgusting recipes that feature gelatin, but for hidden gems. For some reason, the non-alcoholic drink/punch recipes really caught my eye (maybe because fancy non-alcoholic drinks just aren’t really a thing anymore?) and I’m excited to try out the first one this weekend.  

Redefining Realness. I read Janet Mock’s book this week and it’s really good; I definitely recommend checking it out (and following her on Twitter)! It definitely made me cry in some parts, but overall it’s interesting and educational and just a really worthwhile read. (Also: oh, books, how I’ve missed you!) 

Two funny articles: Special Delivery Instructions in The New Yorker and A Woman Debates Getting Naked in the Fitness Center Locker Room on McSweeney’s.

Law & Order: SVU‘s rape joke episode…which was so ridiculous, it actually made last night’s episode of Scandal seem totally believable. 

More tears. This time shed over a BuzzFeed article. I’m ashamed.

#3 in this post, which made Eric and me laugh until we cried because it’s so beyond inappropriate.  

Lots of home cooking! This was our first normal week with no wedding stuff to worry about, and it felt really good to have a clean house, clean fridge, and to eat healthy meals at home all week. I found myself really enjoying the cooking, which is probably why I was so into flipping through my cookbooks. 

Late Night With Seth Meyers, which I’ve been DVRing and then watching in the morning, pretending it’s a daytime talk show. Which is where Kanye (of all people) had the most fitting quote of the week: “I mean, you laugh to keep from crying.”

Our wedding photos! We got the photo booth pictures on Monday and the full set of photos from our photographer today; I can’t wait to go through them with Eric tonight. Just looking through them quickly left me pretty misty, so I’m expecting All the Tears tonight. 

On the table: The REWM

January 1, 2014

january

I had originally planned to change my blog’s design and URL after I got married, but I decided to do it on New Year’s Day for a variety of personal and professional reasons. REWM will be my initials as of next month, but I’ve already begun using them professionally. (This whole name change thing is messy.) I also like that REWM is related to “the house” but is a hell of a lot shorter and easier to remember. The changeover isn’t complete—you will definitely find broken images and broken links here and there, and the new theme still needs a designer’s touch—but I was determined to make it live today and start fresh in the new year. I’m so excited to finally write a blog that feels in line with where I am in my career and that helps me achieve my goals as a writer.

A few things you’ll notice going forward:

– More links to interesting articles I’m reading.

– More links to what I’m writing for hire.

– No more comments. This was something I put a lot of thought into, and I ultimately felt like it was time to turn them off. While I like interacting with people in the comments, there are a lot of things I don’t like about blog comments as a whole, and I don’t think comments are the currency of the Web in general anymore. (I tend to get more comments on Facebook and Twitter these days anyway.)

So…basically a Tumblr, but for grown-ass adults.

December so far

December 16, 2013

holiday party

As I mentioned earlier this month, I’ve been working on December Daily this month. Over the weekend, I had a bunch of photos printed and I caught up on Project Life through Halloween. (A little behind, I know, but I’m planning to work on November tonight!) Meanwhile, I’ve been using the Day One app to jot down notes from each day; it’s a paid app but I decided to trust the reviews/awards and am happy that I did.

Here are some of the everyday highlights from December so far…

biscuits and gravy

Biscuits and gravy.

miley ornament

My favorite ornament this year.

chuck

Chuck’s original favorite place to sleep…

chuck

Chuck’s new favorite place to sleep…the only way we can get our dogs to sleep in a dog bed is if we put it in or on some other piece of furniture. (Also note his bone in that picture.)

chuck

He loves to get all cozy in there.

candle

Holiday party decor.

row

Me, before the most insane ass-whooping in recent memory at Row Studios.

Indiana

It’s been a crafty couple of weeks around here as we worked on how to address our wedding invitation envelopes. Once Eric had his pen and ink out, he decided to draw Indiana with it.

diy decor

I’m loving how restful and quiet this season has felt; it doesn’t really feel like Christmastime (I just got around to ordering some gifts online today) but things have been very cozy and cheerful. Work is really good, I’ve been working on new stuff for APW, and I just feel very calm and happy overall. I don’t quite know what to make of 2013 yet but this year feels like it’s ending on a lovely note.

On the agenda for this week: work on PL, work out, make Christmas treats, buy a few more gifts, figure out our freaking wedding registry, research new blog styles, and get the new Beyonce album/form some opinions on it (since everyone else on the Internet already has).

Oh, deer!

December 3, 2013

deer ornament

Last night I started decorating our Christmas tree. I was feeling somewhat motivated when we got home from Wichita on Sunday night, so I put the tree up but didn’t decorate it. I tend to think of decorating a Christmas tree as sort of an event…something you do while wearing a cute sweater with Christmas music on in the background. It’s not something you do in pieces on a weeknight like any other chore. But last night, after doing another atypical weeknight activity (cleaning my bathroom, the motivation for which I can only attribute to the new holiday mint-scented cleaning spray from Target’s method brand — it’s great!), I decided to start decorating the Christmas tree. I didn’t feel like doing the whole thing, but I did put up the new deer ornament, which I came across at JC Penney on Saturday morning. Reindeer have been my favorite holiday decor motif for a while, so I couldn’t resist this ornament. I’m also really into these sort of puffy glass ornaments this year; I’ve never cared that much for them before, but this year, I’m all about them! See also the 12 days of Christmas ornaments I picked up at one of the antique stores we visited on Friday.

ornaments

Other things that were on the table last night:

This post from Vulture about all the times Peeta messes up in Catching Fire. I didn’t expect it to be so funny but I was actually in tears I was laughing so hard.

December Daily. I’m thinking of doing this this year, after reading about it on A Beautiful Mess. I’m planning to catch up on my Project Life album this month (one of my main plans for the week between Christmas and New Year’s) and I was thinking I could step up my game for the month of December. I probably won’t do any photo printing or scrapbooking until then, but I think aiming to take a lot of pictures in December would be great. I also downloaded the free My Wonderful Days app last night so I could take better notes on what we do each day, and thus have more to include in my Project Life album. On the other hand, the next few weeks actually might be pretty chill on weeknights, so who knows? Maybe I’ll set up all my Project Life stuff and get to writing out physical notes on what I did each day more regularly!

A third little pre-lit Christmas tree that I had no idea I had! Finding it was a lovely little surprise!

On the table: Thanksgiving 2013

December 2, 2013

So, the month of November totally got away from me and I didn’t do much writing or blogging at all. But I’m back for December with regularly scheduled programming…i.e. the daily “on the table” posts I started doing in October! Just like October, I’ll always be a day behind, which means today I’m sharing snippets from the holiday weekend.

The Donut Whole

As I have for the past few years, I spent Thanksgiving in Wichita with Eric’s family. Here are some of the things that were on the table during our trip…

stiff audiobook

The Stiff audiobook. This is the book that really put Mary Roach on the map; I can’t believe it’s ten years old! I hadn’t realized how long it has been since I read it; most of it feels new to me now. Also, it’s way more ghastly than I remembered it. Eric and I had to take a little break after a couple particularly gruesome chapters. (Plane crashes and head transplants.) But it’s laugh-out-loud funny and I’m looking forward to reading (or listening to) Gulp soon, which is the only book of hers I haven’t read yet.

Catching Fire in the Director’s Suite at the Warren in Old Town. This mini theater only holds 20 people and each person gets his or her own personal recliner with a tray (which is handy because you can order a full meal). The setup was legit and I loved the movie. (Much better than the first one, right?!) I also loved this NPR story on Peeta as Katniss’s “movie girlfriend.”

cranberry jello shots

Cranberry Jell-O shots. Make these, you guys! They were so delicious!

Thanksgiving 2013

Long walks with our dogs. In newly-purchased sweaters because it was cold as hell there.

Thanksgiving 2013

Shopping at antique stores on Black Friday. OK, I’m convinced this is the ideal way to do Black Friday shopping. You get out of the house and get to look at cool things and maybe even buy some gifts at a discount, but you don’t have to deal with crowds, totally picked-over stores, or people trying to stab you. We went to a bunch of huge antique stores and spent hours browsing and hunting. It was so fun and I got a bunch of vintage Christmas ornaments!

Thanksgiving 2013

The daily crossword puzzle. Eric’s parents still get the newspaper, and that meant a just-challenging-enough crossword puzzle to do each morning! We also worked on the clues for a customized crossword puzzle on our drive home; we’re having it made for us via an Etsy seller as non-dancing wedding entertainment.

The Donut Whole

MORE DELICIOUS DONUTS! Continuing with our donut dates, Eric took me to The Donut Whole in Wichita at 6 AM on Saturday morning. It smelled so delicious (I love the smell of freshly-baked donuts!) and there were so many options to choose from. We ultimately went with buttermilk glazed, s’more, maple bacon (!!!), Girl Scout cookie, Fruity Pebbles (also awesome), and the Homer J. When we got back to his parents’ house, we cut them into sixths and then each of us had a sixth from each one, sort of like we were doing a beer tasting. Then we each had a bit more from our favorite ones (the maple bacon was the clear winner), and we finished off the leftovers before our drive home yesterday.

So basically, this trip was me saying to Eric, “Take me to wherever the Wichita hipsters go!”

How was your Thanksgiving? What are you looking forward to in December? 

Hat trick (or treat)

October 29, 2013

nutcracker hat

On the table for this week? A lot of work and bits and pieces of Halloween costume supplies. Halloween week is always crazy for me, and this year is no exception! I’m just trying to stay on top of work, fit in my planned workouts, and not eat All the Candy. That has left little time for things worth sharing (or time to share it), though I have had these three playlists on rotation and I wanted to pass them along:

Colorlines + Jay Smooth Autumn Mixtape

A Haunting Halloween Playlist from Design Sponge

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Also, it recently dawned on me that my ideal Halloween costume involves being an inanimate object with some sort of over-the-top hat or headgear. With that in mind, I went with the original costume idea I had several months ago: a nutcracker!

Chili, chili, mindin' my business

October 24, 2013

pumpkin chili

Yesterday was fairly uneventful around these parts…I really was just kinda minding my business! Here’s what was on the table:

The War of Rape, an in-depth article on the case of Jamie Lee Jones, a woman who claimed she was gang raped while working as a contractor in Iraq. I say “claimed” because her criminal case was dropped and she actually lost her civil case. This article takes a look at why and…it’s pretty damning for her. I was familiar with the case both from the documentary Hot Coffee and the Law & Order: SVU episode that was based on it, so it was fascinating to learn what ultimately happened when she had her day in court. This piece is more media crit than anything else, and it’s really worth a read. Also, Slate makes a good point in their follow-up about why mental illness shouldn’t be used against her in this case.

This Story of the ‘Blonde Angel’ Living with Roma Parents Just Sucks, wherein Lindy West perfectly sums up everything I feel about this case.

This New York Times article on selfies. As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge taker of selfies, but I did find on the piece pretty interesting, and I totally identified with the author’s feelings about enjoying seeing them (for the most part) but feeling weird taking them.

This week’s episode of The Mindy Project, which I found pretty meh. On the other hand, I really hope Morgan and Tamra are television’s new Jim and Pam.

Leftover naked pumpkin chili. With a little salt-n-pepa, of course.

Fighting shape

October 23, 2013

walk

Yesterday, after being glued to my desk for way longer than I usually am (seriously, did I just forget to move??), Eric and I took a quick walk around the neighborhood so I could shake off the day, During our walk, we talked about what I call being in “fighting shape” — when you feel really motivated and good about working out, when you’ll push yourself to do it on vacation or when you’re busy or on weekends, and when you’re willing to try new classes or take a longer walk home because you know your body can handle it. It’s when you can read a fitness magazine or health article and feel confident that you’re already doing most of the things they recommend you do to be healthy. (Like, “What’s that you say, Dr. Nancy Snyderman? Adults need to work out for 30-60 minutes most days of the week to help avoid getting sick this winter? DONE!!”)

Eric got it, and he is totally there — he has been really kicking ass with his workouts lately. For my part, I think I’ve been feeling kind of mentally tapped out each day, plus I stay semi-active doing stuff around the house, and that, combined with Eric often being physically tired from his workouts, has somehow left me thinking I worked out too? Like, I’m fit by association?

But the reality is, my workout motivation has been low lately, for a pretty simple reason: I’ve been really bored. While I love doing yoga podcasts at home, I’ve also been doing the same yoga podcast a lot for the past few months. I’ve tried adding more variety to the podcasts, but I really love my favorite podcast way more than any of the others. For a while, I got by by adding in 10-20 minutes of additional poses, but lately, I’ve been doing it less and less. First I went down to twice a week. Then for a couple weeks, it was just once a week. And last week, after I got home from NYC…I didn’t do any yoga at all. And while I don’t really feel that different, I have had the nagging feeling that this is not good for my health, and that if I keep going down this road, it’s going to catch up to me. I’d been thinking about throwing some new workouts in the mix for a few weeks, but I was getting kind of stuck on the logistics of it (“I only want to work out for 30-45 minutes each day” “I still want to do some yoga” “I…actually don’t want to do anything at all”) and just needed to talk through it.

So once we got home from our walk, I did the thing I had been thinking about/putting off doing for a few weeks: signed up for YogaVibes so I could start doing the live recorded CoreFusion classes again. I wanted a quick total-body workout that would whip me into fighting shape. I was really hoping to only spend 30-45 minutes working out (something about the full hour gives me an inexplicable mental block!) so I told myself I could cut things short or skip around if necessary. Considering it’s been a while since I did any mountain climbers and CoreFusion Cardio is full of them, I also gave myself the out in case I just couldn’t keep. The good news is that  I could keep up better than I anticipated nd I didn’t get so terribly over it at 45:01 that I had to quit. (Though, unsurprisingly, I found the last 15 minutes were pretty boring and I definitely thought about quitting.) The really good news is that I can actually walk and lift my arms today!

My goal for the next month-ish (through the end of November) is to do two CoreFusion Cardio classes from YogaVibes each week, plus one additional workout (either yoga or another CF class), which I think will have me back in fighting shape pretty quickly. Actually, these CF Cardio classes are such a good total-body workout that I kind of feel that way after just one workout. Which means the idea that I have to do it again tomorrow is a little heartbreaking.

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