Daily Drips highlight what I'm up to + into on any given day.
Listening to: “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” by PinkPantheress & Ice Spice. I already loved the original version of this song. It hits hardest when I’m running and need something sparkly and pink to break up the Rezz, Nine Inch Nails, Maxo Kream, etc. Throw Ice Spice on and I’m levitating because I. LOVE. HER. I don’t know why Ice Spice gets so much hate!? Do not slander my deadpan ginger queen.
Just Read: This 2020 essay for Elle UK by the inimitable Jane Birkin, chronicling her relationship with beauty. It’s endearing to hear how this total icon, whose effortless look has long been a blueprint for French glamour (despite her being English), grew up feeling physically outcast. How she hid in the shadow of her raven-haired Venus mother. How Serge Gainsbourg’s attention helped her understand the appeal of her own natural, “half boy” beauty. It’s all so charming, right down to the last sentence that succinctly captures the way looks fade peacefully into the background of age: “To have a good sense of humour and to be really curious about something, that’s fine for me now.”
Upon reading, I wondered if Jane Birkin had anything to do with the inception of the phrase “plain Jane” since she had a kind of pared down beauty for the time. Turns out it’s just a cute, vaguely rootless rhyme from the early 1900s used to describe “drab” women. I like a plain Jane myself. I’m not one, but I like one because they’ll always surprise you. That doesn’t keep me from staring at them in meetings, though, dying to tease their hair into messy buns and dress them in like, orange cargo pants. (I’m actively working on quieting the belief that everyone should let me dress them sometimes.)
Just Watched: Did any of you catch the infinite AI-generated Seinfeld stream, “Nothing, Forever” on Twitch? My friend Joe sent it to me and for a solid hour, I didn’t know how to be normal. It was an Ambien-acid cocktail of hallucinatory sedation, my sleep paralysis demons bobbing to the computerized bass line. But of course, nothing gold can stay. An AI moderation failure led to transphobic jokes seeping into Larry Feinberg’s (their Jerry Seinfeld character) stand-up set, and now the program is temporarily banned from Twitch. Tech media seems sympathetic to their sincerely embarrassed team, but it obviously demonstrates the risks of Bot World.
“Nothing, Forever” primed my brain for more absurdity. So I did what anyone would do and YouTubed the opening to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and forced my fiancé to watch it (very much against his will and I’m not sure he’s forgiven me). Name something more haunting than this grown man sliding down a fireman’s pole to have his breakfast made by a crude physics experiment—an egg rolls down a plastic tube, cracked by a drinking bird toy; a plastic dinosaur drops bread in the toaster; a life-size Abe Lincoln figurine flips his pancakes onto the ceiling. Meanwhile, Pee-Wee brushes his teeth with a giant toothbrush in a creepy, nautical themed bathroom and Scotch tapes his face for no reason other than unadulterated mania.
I’ve always gravitated toward this particular brand of weird. I think everyone has their own spectrum of weird and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was an early indication of my own.
Eating: So Andrew has been making these killer oatmeal bakes on Sundays for us to have all week for breakfast. Aside from being incredibly thoughtful and convenient for my situation—aka scrambling into the office Tues-Thurs, surviving on coffee until lunch—they’re so good that I close my eyes at night and smile knowing what I’m waking up to. Cozy spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Blueberries galore. Good maple syrup. I’m perched on our kitchen island, imagining myself in a Vermont cabin during a snowstorm with each bite. My love and I are waiting out the winter from an idyllic mountain village. He’s chopping firewood shirtless. I’m writing my novel. It’s Hygge-porn.
While we’re on the subject of food, we’re trying something new in our house. I’m always frazzled deciding what to cook for dinner during the work week, so I’ve set a little M-F structure: one night will be a sandwich + side, one night a pasta, two nights some meat/veggies/starch combo (last night was salmon, pearl cous cous, and broccoli), and one night a wild card (can be a repeat category, or could be something else like a salad, tacos, or soup). Of course, this is subject to change considering I live my life by mood and mood alone. Not to mention some weeks are so abysmal, they call for five nights of pasta. Just kidding. No I’m not.
Drinking: Black coffee. With caffeine. Goddamnit, friends, I’m back on the juice. Some of you may recall that I quit caffeine for a year and a half back in June 2021. I’m talking not a SIP. Suffice to say I recently relapsed. How do I feel about it? Not good. But not bad, either. Mostly just fast. Life is absolutely zooming!
Thinking: I wanted to share with you some key learnings from my existential therapy journey thus far:
Hanlon’s Razor - This philosophical rule of thumb states, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Stupidity is harsh and really, it means neglect or ignorance or something equally gentle, but you get the point. My new year’s resolution last year was to stop taking things so personally. While I made solid progress, there’s no denying that we’re all fucking edgy with each other. I even noticed myself feeling hurt yesterday on Instagram. I was semi-jokingly sharing wedding dress inspiration, and I received countless DMs suggesting I wear them as “outfit changes,” or for “the rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, or bridal shower.” I’ve been vocal about my commitment to a courthouse ceremony and a small gathering at a restaurant afterward. There will be no rehearsal dinner, no bach party, no shower. No outfit change. And I think I felt embarrassed telling people that, like they would judge me and my wedding was somehow rendered invalid. But Hanlon’s Razor reminds me that people are, in fact, just being sweet and encouraging because they love seeing others plan their special day. I think the more we can assume the best intentions of others, the easier life becomes. And for the record, I thank you all for your fabulous wedding visions.
Soren Kierkegaard’s Leap of Faith - The Danish philosopher’s concept is similar to how we interpret “leaps of faith” in contemporary self-help or religious culture. The idea that one must vault the chasm of the unknown, disregarding logic, reason, and rationality. For Kierkegaard, this was namely applicable to faith in God. But my therapist framed it something like, “to get through anxiety, you have to put yourself in more anxiety-inducing situations,” i.e., do things that scare you. I think I’d gotten complacent with that in the last year and have been burying some of the things that scare me *the most,* so I’m going to explore that further.
Loving: This Twitter account of some gorgeous couple enjoying beautiful meals and a generally romantic life. Also love the Salinger nod handle.
Excited for: 1.) I have enlisted a running coach on my quest to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He’s a 2:14 marathoner and a college coach with a no bullshit approach to helping people reach their goals. And he already seems sort of faithful in my ability to hit 3:30, which is more than I can say for myself.
This is big for me for reasons beyond running. I’m not a stubborn person. And I welcome considerate, substantiated criticism. Yet I’ve always been resistant to mentorship. Not because I don’t think it’d serve me immensely, because I do. But because I hate feeling like a burden to people. Even people I’d pay for their guidance! Like my aforementioned therapist! It’s wild. I’d really love to find a writing mentor this year, too—someone who’s gone through the literary agent thing, or has done an MFA and can help me decide whether it’s worth it, or who is simply a master of the craft and can review my work. Idk. I want to get better at existing within the communities of my passions, which definitely includes seeking + accepting help.
2.) Remember how I read at the Poet’s Row reading in December? I’ve been asked to *host* the next one on February 15th! Check their Instagram for details if you’re interested in attending. It should be stacked with readers and the setting is, IMHO, the coolest in the city.
Watching: Nashville. Honestly, I was listening to so much country music to write that last advice column (you can’t say I don’t commit to a role) that it reminded me I’ve wanted to start this show for like, 10 years. Connie Britton is sublime as Rayna Jaymes—an aging country star fighting for relevance amid a changing musical landscape and her husband’s shady mayoral campaign. Hayden Panettiere does rough-around-the-edges diva to a t. And the music just takes me back.
Side note: it’s funny how the cowperson aesthetic infiltrated internet fashion culture. Like, how many shag-haired, bleached eyebrow hotties have cowboy boot tattoos at this point?! The yeehaw persuasion has become both mainstream *and* fringe and I, for one, adore it. We are bound by lassos, forever riding at dawn to the big ranch in the sky.
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