Link love coming to you a day early this week! We've been working on a post for our trip to Lake Como but it's taking longer than usual because we have so many photos to include. We're swapping the post order this week and hope you will forgive us. It's been one year since we've been in our new house and, as if on schedule, every minor thing is breaking, so this week has been dominated by a string of scheduled workmen who may or may not show up on time (or at all!) and may or may not actually fix anything. Upsides and downsides, I suppose. Otherwise, we've had a pretty productive and happy slide in 2018 and hope you have as well. As we approach this two-week mark, have you given up on any resolutions already? Our friend Kim has immersed herself in weekly meal prepping and loving it, but Andy's plans on documenting his weekly rides has been sidelined while we get a camera repaired, so some wins and some losses. Balance, right?
We're approaching the 10 Year Anniversary of the debut of "Gossip Girl" and I've been thinking about rewatching it (as soon as I finish "Gilmore Girls") and this long read from Vanity Fair with the creators and cast certainly reminded me how integral the show was to my life. It started when I was living in my very first adult apartment in Philadelphia and producing a cooking competition show, continued through my transition into visual effects and on beyond my relocation to Los Angeles, where it was the cornerstone of weekly get-togethers with the girls who became my closest friends. It cemented my love for sequins, my propensity to ask hair stylists for the "Serena" when I need an updo, and helped me find several of my favorite bands. Should I be embarrassed about any of this? Because I'm not.
In other news, Barry Jenkins (the director of "Moonlight") got boozed on a flight last week while watching "Notting Hill" over his seat mate's shoulder with no audio, live tweeted the experience and it's the greatest thing the internet has ever produced. Read it immediately, thank me after and get to work on your #englishcatgame.
Roxane Gay writes an epic advice column on whether or not it's "too late" to write your novel, change your career, live your dreams, etc. Read it and feel re-inspired. Roxane forever.
The Kitchn with 8 Surprising Household Uses for Aluminum Foil. If I ever ironed anything, I'd be all over this.
I read "Hope in the Dark" the week before the Trump election, and finished Solnit's series recently when I polished off "The Mother of All Questions." Read this piece from The Nation on Rebecca Solnit because the "voice of the resistance" and then read some of her books because she's as much a modern philosopher as you're ever going to find.
When we flew home for Christmas this year, I got stuck on a long flight with no entertainment. My seatback did not have a monitor and I had failed to download the airline iPhone app prior to take off. I was bummed. Apparently this is a thing I better get used to as airlines get rid of all our in-flight entertainment. Not a fan.
Are you dusting all your hot beverages with medicinal mushroom powders? I am not yet because they are way expensive but the internet has already convinced me that I'm one magic powder away from health and happiness. Maybe that's OK, because ashwaghanda tastes disgusting.
Arbitrary deadlines are the enemy of creativity, according to this study, although even within the article itself things get more complex because sometimes some deadlines are helpful. Why is everything so hard?
Some humor from The New Yorker this week: a few examples of what "toxic femininity" in the workplace might look like if we were able to rid ourselves of all the "toxic masculinity."
Once, an audio guy on the set of my short film used the phrase "French Exit" and we all laughed amongst ourselves at how stupid he was because everyone knows the phrase is actually "Irish Goodbye". Turns out we are just jerks and not only are both phrases acceptable, but almost all cultures have an example of how some other country is a big jerk about not saying goodbye at parties.
And finally, if any of your New Year's plans involved minimalism, greater environmental responsibility, financial clarity, cleaning out your closets, or navigating to a capsule wardrobe, read this quick piece on how to build an ethical wardrobe. Easiest step: take better care of what you already own.