An Incomplete List of Dad’s Interests

Disclosure: It is complete coincidence that this is being posted the day after Mother’s Day. No slight is intended against my Mom, who is one of the most wonderful human beings that the world has to offer with one hand tied behind her back.

With that out of the way, lets talk about Dad.

  • Rock climbing and ice climbing
  • Piloting small aircraft
  • Fencing
  • Astronomy
  • Building sundials
  • Canning and preserving
  • Home improvement projects and construction
  • Cultivating bees
  • Gardening
  • Learning languages
  • Sailing
  • Emulating the style of bald men with beards and scarves
  • Biking
  • Indoor rowing
  • Glass blowing
  • Francophilia
  • Conducting experiments on himself
  • Veganism and making the perfect seitan/vegan cheese/whatever from scratch
  • Sourdough culture
  • Growing mushrooms
  • Foraging for mushrooms
  • Math
  • Being a connoisseur of wine
  • The Middle East
  • Travel
  • Telling the best stories
  • Being a liberal/ human rights
  • Being a lapsed Quaker
  • City planning
  • Being one of the nicest and most supportive people around
  • Crying at absolute nonsense

 

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Friday Links 5/11

boop.jpgHappy Friday and Happy Mother’s Day weekend!
Do you have any plans?
In a few hours we (my parents and I) will be going up to Belfast, Maine to spend the weekend with my Aunt Susan and Bill, whose mother owns an alpaca farm.  There will be alpaca shearing, vegan food, and tactful discussions about Infinity War without mentioning to movie fan Bill (it’s so nice to be around other movie fans) that I never plan to see it.

I’ve been reading a lot, falling behind on the films I have checked out from the library, gardening for hours a day, and enjoying the springly weather. I also cooked some interesting pancakes yesterday so that  have foods when I return next week. I will report back.

What’s happening on the worldwide web?

  • Speaking of movie people, this film looks like it could be amazing. Also really excited for The Seagull, an adaptation of one of the few Chekhov pieces I’e actually read.
  • A beautiful essay that I’m at a loss as to how to describe.
  • The Duchess of Northumberland sounds like a fun lady- she created the garden at Alnwick Castle, possible the deadliest garden in the world.
  • How does Deadpool always win the promotion game? This is genius.
  • One of the greatest things about being back in America is the access to SNL’s youtube uploads. I know the main story (DESERVEDLY) is the release of This is America by Donald Glover- but let’s not forget about the Barbie skit.
  • #MeToo and Junot Diaz: Cycles of victimization and victimizing, sexual harassment, celebrity and race.
  • When two celebrity ladies (internet fashion personae?) give birth in close succession and get together to share their experiences with the early days of motherhood.
  • I love this Public Place Meditation Guide– it’s very closely related to some wisdom my mother shared with me years ago: practice seeing the divinity in everyone around you.
  • A mathematical model may explain how two brains agree on the experiential profile of smells.
  • Possibly the most charming interview I’ve ever seen. I think I may have just fallen in love with all three of these men.
  • Have you liked any pages created by Russian bots?Ask Facebook.
  • A complex algorithm predicts the likelihood of final season Game of Thrones deaths. Bye, Daenerys.
  • An amazing photograph. I love whales.

Links Friday: Not So Much

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Again a pretty light Friday but at least it’s actually a Friday this time!
The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow and I went to the beach twice this week, as it’s the only reasonable place to be when the weather is over 80 degrees.  And I finished Middlemarch this morning.  Very exciting.

And say to my new beluga desktop background.

My Book Wishlist on Amazon

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It was a long time ago that my default Amazon wish list was renamed ‘Book Wish List’ and colonized by- you guessed it- books.
But not just any books- the books that my library doesn’t carry.  I’m aware that I pretty frequently sings the praises of the Boston Public Library conglomerate/system, which allows you to check out any book in the Greater Boston area and have it shipped to your local library.  But that doesn’t mean they have every book I have ever wanted to read. Almost, but not quite.

I don’t usually buy books. I also don’t usually shop on Amazon anymore (given that they still advertise on Breitbart and I find it problematic). But Mom (who originated this politically-minded ethic) recently told me that we have a fair number of Amazon points. So maybe I’ll make an exception for some new used books around my birthday time…

And that inspired a visit to my list, and then, as per my usual compulsions, some much needed pruning.  The oldest book had been added to the list two years ago.  Which isn’t too bad, but still almost 1/10th of my life.  So some stuff was eliminated and some had been acquired by the library (!).

Here’s what remains:

  • Mad About the House: A Decorating Handbook
    It hasn’t been published yet, so finding it used on Amazon is not an option, as of now.
  • Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide
    I recently started following this illustrator on Instagram and am always on the lookout for Paris recs.
  • Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home
  • Parisian Chic Lookbook: What Should I Wear Today?
    I enjoyed the original Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange. I’ve heard that this one isn’t nearly as good, but I’m still interested.
  • My Little Paris
    I subscribe to the My Little Paris newsletter via email. They share lots of fun news about the city and favorite locations.
  • Une Femme Francaise: The Seductive Style of French Women
    Clearly books about Paris, style, and the intersection of the two are one of my pets.
  • Don’t Be a Tourist in Paris: the Messy Nessy Chic Guide
  • The New Paris
  • Impressions of Paris: An Artist’s Sketchbook
  • Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood
    Mari Andrew, whose illustrations I sometimes share in links posts, published a book!
  • Yours Always: Letters of Longing
  • The Book Lovers’ Miscellany
  • The Milk of Dreams
    Children’s stories by an excellent surrealist author.
  • How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life
  • The She-Devils
    So hard finding this one in English (Les Diaboliques in French).
  • Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman
    Stefan Zweig.
  • The Story Cure: An A-Z of Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise
    I liked The Novel Cure, and as a big fan of children’s literature I feel like this one seems pretty promising.
  • How to Live Like Your Cat
  • What Flowers say: And Other Stories
    George Sand short stories.
  • Book of My Mother
  • A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile’s Compendium
  • The Book of Forgotten Authors
  • The Joy of the Snow
    Elizabeth Goudge, noted children’s author.
  • Gio_Graphy: Fun in the World of Fashion
  • The Place to Be
    The best destinations for different moods, according to Lonely Planet.
  • Dress Scandinavian
  • I’d Rather be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
  • The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy
    The original KonMari method.
  • Siddhartha’s Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment
    Buddhism and neuroscience- pretty up my alley.
  • Tryst
    A mid-20th century ghost story like The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  hard to find.
  • Ladurée Savoir Vivre: The Art of Fine Living
  • Quiet Houses
    Intertwining yet distinct ghost stories.
  • A Child Again
    Robert Coover cynically and nostalgically retells childhood fables and tales.
  • The Name Therapist: How Growing Up with My Odd Name Taught Me Everything You Need to Know about Yours
  • The Diary of Lady Murasaki
  • The Library
    Zoran Zivkovic is an excellent name.
  • The Blood of the Vampire
    Like Dracula, one of the original Gothic vampire novels. Also check out Sheridan’s Carmella.
  • Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances

It’s kind of funny because the books tend to fall on one of two extremes.  the library doesn’t carry them because they’re more obscure, but half are more light/frivolous obscure while the others are foreign/old/scholarly.

Links and Things

After a short hiatus that coincided with finals period and stress and projects, I am back in the US of A and home in Boston where there are cats and vegan food and gardens that need working it.

And a smallish backlog of links.

Top Disney Lullabies

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I’ll admit that I’m on a bit of a Disney kick lately, but this idea didn’t sprout from some subconscious desire to make up for the pain of the other day’s Disney bracket.
Actually, it was inspired by my inability to fall asleep last night.

So here it is, a count down of the top Disney lullabies, and one honorable mention.

#6: Baby Mine, Dumbo
If this helps you fall asleep there is undoubtedly something wrong with you.  Sure it sounds soft and gentle, but if you pair the actual lyrics with the context of the film it’s absolutely heart wrenching and sob-inducing. I still can’t hear it without tearing up WITHIN THE FIRST FEW BARS. And I still can’t watch Dumbo.
Not soothing, 0/5

#5: So This Is Love, Cinderella
I wouldn’t have included this but apparently my cousin, when she was little, liked for my aunt to sing it to her at bedtime.
Because I love Megan and respect her choices, 1/5

#4: Love, Robin Hood
Robin Hood is one of the lesser known Disney films but I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s under appreciated.  Truly in my opinion there isn’t much to appreciate besides this song, which is lovely and poignant.  But… a lot of musical interludes and somewhat repetitive/oddly spaced lyrics.
Life is brief, but when it’s gone, love goes on and on, 2/5

Notice: We’re now getting into what I consider to be the ~real stuff~

#3: When You Wish Upon a Star, Pinocchio
You don’t need to have the voice of Louis Armstrong for this to sound beautiful (I mean, Gepetto pulled it off pretty well, right?).  Also, it’s pretty hard to argue with this as a classic.  Points docked, however, for a disagreeable message.
Some requests are too extreme kids- life’s not fair, 3/5

#2 is a TIE!

#2: Second Star to the Right, Peter Pan
I have to admit that this is one of my all time favorite Disney songs and I also have to admit that it probably sounds better if you have The Disney Chorus on hand.  But one voice could also do this pretty beautifully, with the exception of that very high pitched interlude, the main cause of docked points. You’ll have to work your way around that one.
Upshot: Dreams, stars, Neverland, mention of ‘twinkle, twinkle’, but still not basic. 4/5

#2: Bella Notte, Lady and the Tramp
As sung by the Disney chorus as opposed to the offensively stereotypical yet still lovable Italian pasta chefs. Seriously, can I just rent out the Disney Chorus when I give birth? Maybe not, they must be pretty old now.  Some charming and profound lyrics like “This is the night, it’s a beautiful night, and they call it ‘beautiful night’, but in Italian”. It may not turn your baby into Einstein like some Mozart arguably might, but it sure is soothing.  And at east chances are your baby will learn at least two words of Italian along the way.  I feel bad being so sardonic because I truly do love this song (its another of my favorites) and the rest of the lyrics are, to borrow a word from the song ‘enchanting’.  Short but sweet.
Can be repeated as necessary, 4/5

The BEST Disney Lullaby of ALL TIME
#1: La La Lu, Lady and the Tramp
*whispers* little star sweeper
My Mom sang this one, 5/5

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Honorable Mention: That’s My Lullaby, The Lion King 2
Parents, don’t try this at home

Friday Links: 4/1

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I’m weirdly exhausted by life/final exams/the sporadically broken heating system in this  house. But I have a backlog of links and they’re all exciting so there’s no putting them off any longer.

And because it’s a new month, the picture above is my new desktop background. Set to tile, as per usual. People swimming in a sea of stars.

What else? 19 days. So close yet so far.

  • Reviews of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. I’m still pumped because I like Wes Anderson (and dogs), but it sounds like there are some pretty ishy us vs them components.  Won’t be seeing it in the theater. Here’s a review from MovieBob and here is a deeper plunge into the problematic nature of the Japanese setting, the estrangement from the Japanese human characters created by the language barrier,  cultural tourism, and the white savior complex.
  • The movies that influenced Call Me By Your Name. Be right back, adding ALL OF THEM to my list. (Except A Room With A View- I honestly didn’t love that).
  • Other things I’m adding to my film list? These twisted fairy tales (from female directors).
  • A trailer for The House With a Clock in it’s Walls– speaking of twisted fairy tales. Cate Blanchett! Luscious steam-punk-y visuals! Jack Black doing his character actor thing! Creepy! Childlike! I’m kind of tentatively intrigued. Post-Jumanji, is Jack Black due for a resurgence?
  • A discussion of Saoirse Ronan’s costumes for the film Brooklyn, and the deeper meaning behind them. So interesting (and a great film, if you haven’t yet seen it).

Let’s talk about perfume:

  • Five fabulous orange blossom scents, courtesy of Angela at Now Smell This. Of these, the Serge Lutens is my favorite, but I would add Rubj by Vero Profumo to the list if I could. (And on the more gourmand side, Hansa Yellow by DSH and Unknown Pleasures by Kerosene).
  • Carlos Benaim (love) and Frederic Malle on their new lavender-focused fragrance, Music For a While.
  • Hermes releases a new cologne. Unfortunately I missed the Saut Hermes (a jumping tournament at the Grand Palais), but here’s a photo.
  • If you’re feeling science-y (I always am) here’s a study that shows evidence of significant interactions between perfumes and individual body odor.  The takeaway: “The odor mixture of an individual’s body odor and their preferred perfume was perceived as more pleasant than a blend of the same body odor with a randomly-allocated perfume, even when there was no difference in pleasantness between the perfumes. This indicates […] that people choose perfumes that interact well with their own odor. Our results provide an explanation for the highly individual nature of perfume choice.” So cool.

Fashion and celebrity people:

  • Lena Waithe is amazing and I love her style and attitude.
  • Bill Cunningham’s secret memoir. When can I read it?
  • I know I’m late, but in honor of spring (and Easter) some floral looks from Moschino’s S/S 2018 RTW collection: and 2.

Relationships?

  • The maternal grandparent advantage. Rings true for my family (although that also has something to do with geographic proximity). And congratulations Mom and Dad, you are likely to be more involved with my future children than my future parents in law!
  • Your friendship Myers-Briggs. As an INFJ, apparently I’m a bandaid and I’ll take it.
  • For work relationships. I’m living vicariously through the drama of this twitter thread.
  • In old age, shoplifting to find community. Heartbreaking.

Books and other tidbits

  • I saw this adorable kid’s maze book at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. It reminds me of an immense Sesame Street board book I once had. But rather more portable.
  • Mari Andrew’s book is out! Love her illustrations and down to earth wisdom.
  • Another reason to go home for the summer? Archery tag.
  • A French waiter in Canada says firing for rudeness is discrimination against his culture. He’s not wrong.
  • If you’re not a fan of the lack of privacy re: data and personal info online, console yourself with the fact that if you ever disappear in a national park, amateurs can keep looking for you for decades. But it’s actually a very interesting, well-written article.

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