10 Thing Friday

1. I can’t hear DMX’s version of “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” without smiling. It’s so oddly cheerful. Bless him for this. Mariah Carey better watch out, her Christmas Crown is in DANGER.

He should put out a Reindeer Ryder’s Anthem.

2. The 2017 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog is out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Price: $16.95

Copy: “Vibrant mix of cherry, pomegranate, and citrus.”

Drew says: Excuse me, I was told NO COUNTRY SHIT in my catalog. This is strictly WASP territory, Trisha. You’re out of your element. Go peddle your Christmas in cup back in Arkansas or whatever. Vibrant mix, my ass. A real hillbilly Christmas in a cup is just a roasted squirrel, a packet of raw grits, and a copy of the Duck Dynasty Christmas album (which really exists and is literally titled Duck The Halls) all whizzed up in a blender.

3. Reading Salma Hayek’s article in The New York Times, “Harvey Weinstein is My Monster Too” made me ill. What a nightmare he is.

4. In that same vein: “This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex. It’s Really About Work.”

5. Brunch recipes to feed a large crowd of inconvenient relatives!

6. I ordered this wool coat in “Darkest Forest” and it is SO PRETTY. I’m really surprised by the quality of it since J.Crew Factory can be really hit and miss (J.Crew period is really hit and miss with quality these days). I’ve been looking for a new professional looking coat to wear to work for a few years, and I am so pleased with the fit and shape of this one. It also has a comfortable amount of room in the shoulders and upper arms which I don’t always find with J. Crew coats and jackets. Additionally, it’s lined which is hugely important to me as wool tends to make me itchy. I got it at 60% off which puts it under $100. If you’re looking for a gorgeous green coat, then watch for the next sale and get yours while you can!

7. Go Fug Yourself FINALLY has their recaps of The Crown posted. Bless.

From the recap of episode 3: “Is there anything more terrifying than a Lascelles smile? It’s almost worse than his frown. And I love it. He’s wrong-headed and condescending, but there is something so HOT! RHETORICAL! FIREWORKS! about watching him dismember someone. He might be my soulmate.”

My future aesthetic is 100% T.L. and his unamused hounds.

8. The New YorkerCat Person” story is something else. I truly thought it would end with murder. The fear was palpable. Also, as a 33 year old, I cannot even imagine being romantically interested in someone who is 20. No thank you. I can’t even count the number of nasty names I’ve been called by men who I politely told that I was no longer interested in seeing them. I’m not a bitch because I don’t want to spend my precious free time on you and your complaints about your ex-wife. I CAN SEE WHY SHE LEFT.

9. Additionally interesting is how nine men have reacted to “seeing themselves” in that story.

There was this moment of absolute sickness when I felt how Margot had essentially withdrawn her consent to move forward in her mind, but went ahead anyways, because of this pressure she felt from Robert and the concern for what he would think if she stopped short. It was illuminating and absolutely sickening to me. I hate Robert and deeply hope that I’m not him, but I think we — men — all are. —
Zachary, 30, product manager

 

10. Finally, a Happy Hanukkah [Chanukah] to those of you celebrating. I wish you peace, joy, and delicious foods fried in oil.

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Words for Nerds

First off, my friend Gretchen shared this wonderful video about how you can help people in need using Amazon Now. Socks, underwear, backpacks, and toiletries are so easy to buy, and Amazon can deliver them for you. This is such a wonderful idea and an easy way to help people.

The Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch

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Knowing my love of Russia, my friend Heather recommended this to me and I could not get enough of it. Janet Fitch is also the author of White Oleander which I was deeply obsessed with in high school and through my mid-twenties. The Revolution of Marina M. is 816 pages of mostly greatness.

St. Petersburg, New Year’s Eve, 1916. Marina Makarova is a young woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life, a life about to be violently upended by the vast forces of history. Swept up on these tides, Marina will join the marches for workers’ rights, fall in love with a radical young poet, and betray everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn.

As her country goes through almost unimaginable upheaval, Marina’s own coming-of-age unfolds, marked by deep passion and devastating loss, and the private heroism of an ordinary woman living through extraordinary times. This is the epic, mesmerizing story of one indomitable woman’s journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century.

Obviously, I am totally biased because I pretty much love anything having to do with the Russian Revolution, but I have not read a lot from the other end of the situation (the pro-revolution side – it is too dreary, and there is a serious lack of JEWELS.). Marina is 16 when the novel begins and she’s a bit of a pretentious pill. Her life quickly changes as the Revolution sweeps across Russia, and she gets herself into numerous messes, but they are realistic to her age and experience (mostly extreme naïveté as a member of the bourgeoisie class). There were plenty of moments when I wanted to shake her, but her problems made sense for her age and point of maturation. Despite the fact that she often makes completely frustrating choices, she remains a likable character. She’s strong, and she pushes through several truly terrible experiences.

I liked that the novel explored a lot of the day to day minutia of her life, and a life in a city going through a revolution and extraordinary cultural and social change. The story never felt slow, and I didn’t feel like it was too long. It wasn’t linear storytelling and a lot of pieces never seem to come together, but I don’t see how a story of revolution could ever be a linear thing anyway. I absolutely loved it and it is perfect for a winter day spent  inside reading! I wasn’t crazy about the final section of the book and the way the story ended abruptly. Luckily, it says “End of Book I,” and this article seems to think a second part is coming!!

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret

If you love stories of royalty, and in particular bitch royal battle axes, then this is the book for you! Princess Margaret had a LIFE and it was filled with drama. And a lot of unhappiness. A large part of me feels for her despite the fact that the was a total pill. After Elizabeth became queen, she clearly never felt like she had a meaningful role in the royal family. I think this sense of uselessness contributed to her often rude, snobbish, and demanding demeanor, but she sure made a lot of sassy lemonade out of some sour ass lemons. I was really shocked at how little education she and Elizabeth received (which is touched on briefly in The Crown).

The book is a collection of 99 stories about the Princess. Many highlighting small and insignificant, yet hilarious encounters. Others explore more bizarre parts of her life such as Pablo Picasso’s gross (to me) obsession with her. A lot of men had a gross obsession with her. She was teeny tiny and totally gorgeous, but calm your tits, guys.

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Also, some of the tidbits (like her daily schedule) are incredible. That sounds like a truly lovely four hour start to the day.

The only negative is that the book is currently only available in hardback, and I have only found it online. Anyway, I loved it and it’s full of interesting facts and gossip which is a total joy to a nosy witch like me.

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I was REALLY hoping for the above scene in this season of The Crown since the photograph was taken in 1962 (you can see Lord Snowden in the reflection of the mirror). Here’s to hoping for the scene behind this one. I wonder how much emphasis they will have on their 16 year break up.

Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year by Tavis Smiley

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I wrote a review for this book before the news broke that PBS has suspended Smiley for sexual misconduct last night, but now that doesn’t matter. Why, man, why???? Reading that someone’s job depended on their sexual relationship with a powerful man makes me want to scream. What is wrong with you???

I wanted to recommend this book to you because I learned a lot, but I will not because he doesn’t deserve the money. Asshole.

He must have been speaking from experience in his commentary about Cosby, “But I also believe that some of us is not the sum of us; we are not our worst acts.” When your actions consistently harm people and threaten their livelihood, then I disagree with that sentiment. This wasn’t a single bad decision or tragic mistake.

Limetown Podcast

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Limetown is a fictional story told as a series of investigative reports by Lia Haddock (played by Annie-Sage Whitehurst), a journalist for American Public Radio (APR), detailing the disappearance of over 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee.

Michelle recommended this podcast and I listened to most of it on my way back from Yosemite. I don’t think I have listened to any serialized stories like this via podcast, so it was a new experience. I had no idea what it was about when I started it, so every twist and turn was a total surprise. I thought it was really well done and was quite interesting, and I am excited for a second season. I do have to warn you against listening while driving on narrow winding roads because there were several times that I completely jumped out of my seat because of creepy sounds.

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A soft-hearted prison minister was found killed in her Kentucky apartment, and Newport police zeroed in on an ex-convict she’d counseled. Thirty years later, the conviction is overturned and the case is once again unsolved. The Cincinnati Enquirer investigates: Was William Virgil wrongly convicted for murder?

This was a terribly sad case to listen to. I was sad for the woman who was murdered, I was sad for her family, and I was sad for the man who appears to have been wrongly convicted. What a mess. I particularly liked Chapter seven which detailed the work of the Kentucky Innocence Project and their review of the police work. So many ruined lives and still no answers.

WTF Wednesday

Woohoo Alabama! You may not be thrilled to have a Democrat in the seat, but your state deserves far better than Roy Moore representing you.

This man shouldn’t have even been running for office, much less in a tight race for it. We have to do better, fellow white people. You can review the full exit poll results here.

I am having so much spiteful joy that one of the men who was denied a marriage license by County Clerk Kim Davis is now running against her for her job.

Kim Davis Re-Election

I understand that there are people who are sincerely morally opposed to a lot of things, but you cannot accept an elected position to serve the public if you refuse to serve the entire public. You can continue to be personally opposed to gay marriage, but you have to give people their marriage licenses. I don’t see how that is any different than denying an interracial couple a license. I originally wrote this last night: “And if you don’t see the similarities, then I am happy to introduce you to plenty of folks I know who believe that relationships between people of different races are a moral abomination.” But, then, this story popped up this morning which perfectly illustrates how AWFUL AND HATEFUL PEOPLE ARE.

I wouldn’t typically cite the Daily Mail as a source, but they have the examples of the comments they received. I really hate people sometimes.

I had a student try to blackmail me last week by telling me if I didn’t do what she wanted she would go to the media.

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I get this threat pretty frequently, but it’s always interesting to me that students think I will suddenly panic and do whatever they want. Frankly, I would love a story to be published about all of the people who presented 425,864 ways to try and help you find a solution to the problem that you created yourself. You, sweet child, are your problem. You chose not to go to your class. Just because you now believe that you had to teach yourself (since you decided not to go to class to actually learn from the qualified person we hired TO TEACH YOU) doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a refund.

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Our graduation ceremonies are this week, and we have four ceremonies starting on Friday morning and lasting through the day on Saturday. I received a call from an angry parent that our Saturday ceremony is “too early” and she’s not sure that she will be able to come. I thought at first that she may live several hours away and is not able to afford a hotel for Friday night (which is a completely reasonable problem), but no. She lives here in town and may not come because it’s “very annoying” to wake up that early on a weekend. The ceremony starts at 8 a.m., not at some truly awful time like five in the morning.

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I sincerely feel for guests who have people graduating on Friday because you either have to take off work or miss the ceremony because you have the kind of crap job that doesn’t give vacation or fires you if you’re not there. I truly feel for those folks, but I have zero empathy for someone who can’t be bothered to wake up a little early on a Saturday to watch her only kid graduate from college.

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Outlander Finale!!

SPOILERS AHEAD

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This season has felt like a hot mess, and the finale was no different. I cannot believe they mushed all of that into a single episode after we spent how many episodes crossing the ocean and watching Claire be moody in Boston??? I am glad that Geillis was in this season because I like the actress, but it still doesn’t make much sense on the whole. As usual, it’s super convenient that Claire has to dig out the pictures of the conveniently 200 year old baby to prove her point to Geillis who can now conveniently use said pics for DARK MAGICAL PLOTS.

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I also don’t understand Claire’s statement that she was essentially drawn through the stones by an individual. Who drew her through that first time?? Anywho, the resolution of the plot with Geillis felt extremely rushed (like the entire season except all of those long ass days on the boat), and I wish she wouldn’t have been so easily defeated. There is no central bad guy for us to focus on this season. Geillis is barely in it and Captain Leonard is a nothingburger. No suspense!

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And just when you think they are headed back to the safety of Scotland, HURRICANE. I knew it was coming but I think Sari rolled her eyes so hard they almost fell out of her head. TOO MUCH. IT IS TOO MUCH PLOT. I’m going to keep watching of course, but I retain my right to complain. At least they’ve landed in the colonies just in time to get properly tangled in another revolution. I wish they had broken this book into two seasons. So much happened and very few plotlines had room to actually breathe and develop.

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I know I use that GIF all the time, but it really is perfect.

Royal Feelings

On Friday night we had our annual holiday party for our donors and some community members. Since I now supervise the office that plans all of our events (HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME), I had to get there super early to make sure everything was okay. I hate event planning. I hate it so much. I don’t care at all about linens. Anyway, the point of this is that I ended up standing for five hours in heels. I found these a month or so ago and waited until Cyber Monday to buy them on super sale. They are just like a pair I had in 8th grade (which had a much lower heel of course), and I LOVE THEM.

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I don’t often have shoes that I love enough to share, but YAY for these. I also don’t know if it’s okay or shameful that I am so excited for something I owned in middle school, but here I am doing it. Along that same vein, I got myself a velvet (technically velour) dress to wear from Old Navy that was only $12.36. Unfortunately it’s sold out now, but that thing feels like pajamas!

Also, I guess I look like a bridge troll most days at work because people were AMAZED by my velour dress. My hair and makeup was exactly the same as it had been that day at work (and every day damn), but the fact that I was in a dress seemed to be a truly shocking experience for some of my colleagues. I don’t get it. Yes, I wear pants 90% of the time, but I do own dresses and skirts that I wear on occasion. It got to the point where I felt embarrassed because people kept walking up to me and saying nice things. It was very uncomfortable because compliments are THE WORST. I obviously wore the dress because I wanted to look nice, but I don’t want to hear about it!

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Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed a weeeeee bit of champagne and multiple trips to the macaroni and cheese bar. And I’m wearing pants next year.

I went to bed right when I got home, then woke up bright and early (at 9 am) to watch The Crown. I did nothing else all day and it was GLORIOUS.

FEELINGS AND SPOILERS AHEAD (except everything in this show happened almost 60 years ago so THERE IS NOTHING TO ACTUALLY SPOIL)

First, does Matt Smith have eyebrows?

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UGH. F*cking Prince Philip. The whole “Prince Philip having man feelings about marrying exactly who he knew he was marrying” is not the show I signed up for. I don’t need another tale about a fragile man whose life isn’t meeting his expectations of frivolity and freedom. If I did want a movie about moody men, then I would just watch The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Part III, or any of the Toy Story films BECAUSE THESE MOVIES ALREADY EXIST. If you wanted to lead a life of Navy adventures on the high seas with your bros, then you should have stayed in the Navy with said bros and not married a woman who was absolutely about to be queen [insert a coughing King George VI].

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Philip had an interesting life, he’s an interesting man, and he had an even more interesting family. I LOVED all of that. His background and struggles in school are important when it comes to how he raises Charles (and who Charles becomes as a man). I also thought the funeral for his sister, Cecilie, and her husband, Georg Donatus, was one of the most beautiful scenes of the entire show. Yes, there were Nazis, but it was still eerily gorgeous. This is the photograph from the actual funeral and you can see Philip in the long dark coat on the second from the right in the first line of men.

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Georg’s brother, Prince Louis, was the lead mourner (not Philip as shown in The Crown). Georg, Cecilie, and their family were on their way to the Prince Louis’ wedding when their plane crashed. Nazis are terrible, but that scene was beautiful.

Of additional relevance, Georg and Louis’s father was the brother of Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine (also granddaughter of Queen Vicky) who later went on to marry Tsar Nicholas II. Of additionally additional relevance, Philip and Cecilie’s (Georg’s wife) grandmother was was Georg aunt. So Georg and Ceclili were first cousins once removed. And Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Vicky. DOUBLE COUSINS. If any of this intrigues and confuses you in a fun way, then please let me recommend Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria and Victoria’s Daughters to you. ‘Tis a tangled web of incest they weave.

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Back to the story. I was extremely confused by Philip’s father him blaming him for Cecilie’s plane crash. They were flying to a wedding, not to see Philip. All I can think is that his father was so terrible (as a human) and was in such deep mourning that he needed someone to blame. Philip had a hard childhood – that is not in dispute- but I don’t care about endless island hopping (unless it’s Elizabeth in a great pair of sunnies). I don’t know why we needed so much time learning about how wretched and selfish he was. I know it’s not easy to be in that role, but it’s nothing compared to being THE QUEEN OF IT ALL. I also thought they didn’t do a great job explaining what the deal was with the Profumo Affair and why it was such a scandalous mess. They barely mentioned the Russian or Keeler’s lousy spy skills (alleged).

My favorite parts of the show are the family dynamics and struggles between Margaret and Elizabeth. I know there is distance between them this season (as part of the disastrous aftermath of Group Captaingate), but I wish they had more scenes together. I love Vanessa Kirby as Margaret, and I hate that she had so little screen time this season. And there was not nearly enough Matthew Goode. THE OUTRAGE. I swear I heard angels singing the first time his face was on screen.

Finally, the DUKE OF WINDSOR. You Nazi-loving piece of garbage!! He gives me so much rage. He absolutely colluded with the Nazis to regain power. Thank GOD he was such a selfish twit and had to abdicate. I highly recommend Princes at War if you want further details on his entanglements with the scourge of the earth. I am so glad they dedicated significant screen time to that because they almost made him a sympathetic character in the first season. He is a delusional, entitled, brat.

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It is going to feel so weird having an entirely new cast, and Claire Foy has been incredible. She’s the perfect mixture of strength, fragility, resolve, and human insecurity.

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Also, I screamed when the Kokoshnik Tiara came on the screen.You can read about its history here.

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In case you haven’t purchased a Christmas present for me yet, the Kokoshnik is my favorite tiara style. JUST SO YOU KNOW.

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