Weekend Reads #147

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Welcome back, after my first Weekend Reads off since starting this series back in 2018. Taking off for Spring Break last week with my kid wasn't really a vacation, but it was so helpful in getting my mind straight.

I was chatting with a fellow self-employed friend this week and we discussed how we have not been able to have a moment off this past year. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow? Politics, pandemic, pop culture… tomorrow something could happen that will rock your business to its core or be its undoing.

We've been keeping up with business trends, following our peers, watching the news, creating Plan B and Plan C and Plan D. We can't let up on engagement, on social, on marketing, on content, on whatever we craft because the past year has not only had us overwhelmed with change and pain, but it has also had us spend so much time on devices that we have zero attention span and have found thousands of new distractions.

But that kind of 24/7 panic isn't sustainable, and it's not healthy. Taking a week not off but down (less than two hours of work a day) was just what I needed. I got a bit more sleep, I got more family time, I got more exercise time, and I found that when I had down moments I was able to let them happen.

It made me realize that for the past year I am trying to eek something out of every minute. I scroll through email on the toilet, scan social media when in line at the bank, edit photos in the passenger seat while driving home from a shoot. I wake up early to work before the family is up, I go to sleep thinking about what I didn't accomplish, and feel guilty every time I close the laptop or turn off the phone to enjoy something fully (or do nothing at all).

Mini breaks help recalibrate the mind. I am taking another starting tomorrow.

I rented a cabin a couple of hours away. And I am not taking my family, though I invited my sister to join me. I took a break from work, and now I think I need a little break from being a 24/7 wife and mom in a relatively small home that none of us leave for several days at a time.

I'll have content (and will work a bit each day and likely will Instagram Story parts of the getaway), but I am excited for Phase 2 of this recalibration. While the best shower of my life has kept me from unraveling this past year, these breaks are keeping me from breaking myself.

I know I am not the only one feeling this way, and I hope all of you get little opportunities to recalibrate in a way that makes sense for you.

Photo by Rachel C on Unsplash

Weekend Reads

Brood X or Gen X? (McSweeney's)

Convenience is destroying us. (Intelligencer)

What if the pain never ends? I will still have to face it with dignity. (New York Times)

Hannah Gadsby decided to drastically minimize her wardrobe “because my sense of self is not defined by how the world sees me, it is defined by how I feel in the world.” (Vanity Fair)

What's happening in our nervous systems? (On Being)

A little funny about being in the present moment. (New Yorker)

The pandemic didn't kill the bra. (Vox)

A prayer for reentering the world in a bigger body. (Jewish Women's Archive)

How mushrooms took over food, wellness, and (of course) drugs. (Vox)

What is going on with China, cotton and all of these clothing brands? (New York Times)

I always find it important to see what younger generations are into, and this article goes into the fashion brands that GenZ is gravitating towards. (CNBC)

The pandemic has scrambled the admissions process. But will it make selective schools more diverse? (Washington Post)

America ruined my name for me. (New Yorker)

Collaborating with devoted colleagues, Dr. Kati Kariko laid the groundwork for the mRNA vaccines turning the tide of the pandemic. (New York Times)

Whatever happened to TOMS Shoes? (Bloomberg)

One of the wackiest interviews I've read this week: An interview with the man who keeps uploading my feet to WikiFeet. (The Cut)

It's so rare to see a popular brand or website recognize that some athletes get periods, I just had to share: How to optimize your training based on your menstrual cycle. (Peloton Blog)

Prabal Gurung: Anti-Asian sentiment runs deeper than you think. (CNN)

Georgia’s new voting law has to be understood in its own peculiar historical context. (New York Times)

Victorian era-inspired Momfluencers are taking over Instagram. (InStyle)

If you're curious about the new Universal Standard denim but would like to see it on someone else; I recommend Authentically Emmie who shares her thoughts with photos of two of the curve styles of their new denim.

Justine Bateman wants you to stop worrying about your face. (W Magazine)

The pandemic threw us into chaos. Time-specific meme accounts on Twitter helped me find a constant. (Insider)

The power of napping. (Elle)

So… there are so many talented, stylish, visionary, creative, inclusive, and inspiring plus-size women out there with huge audiences and great things to say, a desire to empower the plus community, with personal style aesthetics and life decisions that many would want to emulate… and 11Honoré chose to do a capsule collection with Lena Dunham. (New York Times)

For those who are aware of the rant Rachel Hollis did on Instagram comparing herself to Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai, you may enjoy this article: Never minimize domestic work. (Scary Mommy)


beastie boys story review

There is a Beastie Boys documentary on Apple TV called Beastie Boys Story. It came out last year, but we just got around to seeing it. It is a filming of a performance at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre where Mike Diamond and Adam Horowitz retell portions of their 2018 book. If you have read the book or seen any specials about the brand, there is nothing new you will learn watching this. And honestly, it may be a bit sad seeing Mike D and Ad-Rock looking like dads lost in the supplements aisle at Whole Foods and being there without MCA.

beastie boys doc

But as people who grew up on the Beastie Boys, who saw them in concert more than once (best show: 1994, Radio Music Hall, which is now the 9:30 Club), we still enjoyed it. We loved seeing the old video, reminiscing about how those albums defined parts of our lives, and it inspired us to listen to Paul's Boutique again as well as other Beastie albums.

lost boys movie

The Lost Boys was one of my absolute favorite movies growing up. Both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz being so incredibly iconic, Jason Patric being utterly gorgeous (except as a vampire), and hello Keifer and Alex and all the beautiful vampires and Dianne Wiest being so fab. My kid is into a bit of scariness – more Stranger Things than The Shining, so we thought we'd watch it as a family.

lost boys coreys

Still holds up. Okay, Gertz's character for my teen self was hashtag goals and now I find her whiny and weak and her character one-dimensional (but still with great hair), and middle-aged me sees Keifer and the vampires as so young and vulnerable but the movie is still enjoyable and our tween LOVED IT. Definitely a fun blast from the past.

worn stories

What's funny is the next day, we binged a few episodes of Worn Stories, a series on Netflix about clothing and the people who wear it, and in one of the episodes was this guy, Tim Cappello, and he's sharing how Tina Turner bought him this codpiece in Amsterdam and I'm like… is he the saxophonist in The Lost Boys? And sure enough, he then shares how he was famous for like 15 seconds in that movie.

worn stories review

Worn Stories is delightful. Based on a book of the same name by Emily Spivack, each episode has a general theme and follows the stories of several individuals and how what they wear affects their lives and defines them. Each episode also has some cool animation – claymation, puppets, cartoons, and more of these individuals, tying them together. You can't help but fall in love with some of the folks featured, and knowing their relationship to clothes (or lack thereof) adds depth and beauty to them.

After a year of not really focusing on what I wore, Worn Stories reminded me that fashion isn't for others, it's for ourselves. And using it to define ourselves is not superficial, it's a form of self-care.

For Your Entertainment

audrey nuna

I like checking out new music on YouTube; it's a completely different algorithm from Spotify and while I often get a lot of super weird suggestions, sometimes I get some great ones. And this week I got a great one when YouTube suggested this latest video from Audrey Nuna:

Give yourself a minute. At first, I was thinking, okay another GenZ bored kid with good hair in interesting rented locales kind of music video. But then she was in the blue room and said she needed space and I was transfixed and couldn't stop repeating the refrain. This is not what I was expecting, and I wanted to hear more.

YouTube feels you, and knows when you want more. Oh you want more Audrey Nuna? Well let's blow your mind Alison. Did you know she did a song with Jack Harlow, that white kid rapper from Louisville that you joke that you look like? Yeah, it was back in 2019 which feels like last week to you but for these youngin's it was a lifetime ago.

Wait, that was the same singer? Okay, so I start researching Audrey Nuna and find articles stating her song, “damn Right” is critically acclaimed. So I check out “damn Right”:

Eh, it's good, but it's not surprising me (though I read it took 12 hours to film and was written 15 minutes after she ate her first mole taco). But then YouTube knows I am feeling meh and says, well before you go, we'd love you to check out “Time,” which came out the same year as that song with your doppelganger Jack Harlow.

Okay, I am officially intrigued.

Audrey Chu is a 21-year-old Korean American singer-songwriter from Manalapan, New Jersey who is better known by her stage name Audrey Nuna.

Singing since 2nd grade, making music videos with iMovie in 5th grade, and writing lyrics in high school, Nuna was discovered at the age of 16 by Roc Nation producer Anwar Sawyer and signed with Arista Records in 2019. “Comic Sans” was only the second rap she ever recorded.

Nuna headed to NYU's Clive Davis Institute after high school but took a gap year to focus on her music, promising her father she'd still eventually earn a degree and her mom that she wouldn't “be nude” for her career.

Nuna can sing, and she can rap, but those cool visuals for her videos? That's also Nuna. Audrey Nuna has been quoted as saying she often sees the visuals for a song while she's crafting the lyrics, the two are so intertwined.

Nuna is so new she doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, and most of her interviews are on self-important e-magazines that focus more on her astrological sign and artsy rooftop photos than facts about this artist that I think is going to blow up in the next year or so.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I finally cancelled Prime this week! I’d been edging away from Amazon for awhile now, it’s not at all in line with my ethics plus the counterfeits have been OOC, but the convenience has been a HARD habit to break. For me it was a silver lining of the pandemic. I didn’t order anything from them at all for the first 3-4 months and that’s what it took to break the spell. The lockdowns especially pushed me to buy directly from manufacturers / makers, who needed every dollar of my money while Amazon sure doesn’t. Not to say I’ll never buy anything from them. I’m sure I will because some things are just hard to find! But I can get by with less and what I do need I can be more patient for.

  2. The other day, when I was driving home from a doctor’s appointment in a city about 90 minutes away with my kids, they asked if they could take over the tunes on the car stereo. The stuff they played was pretty eye-opening. It’s hard for me to describe, but it is was this mix of Japanese pop songs, anime and video game themes, and a ton of female singers that I’ve never heard of before. One of their all-time faves is a singer from Wales called Marina. As I said, I have never heard of her before, but this song called Man’s World has definitely stuck in my head, and the video is pretty interesting too.


    Mostly, I am kind of in awe of how much they are growing up. They are 12 years old. When I was 12, I was into Rick Springfield (who was my first concert and who I love still, don’t get me wrong). I certainly wasn’t an artist like Marina who sings songs like Man’s World. This new generation of kids is so interesting.

  3. Thanks for so many great articles for us to read! I’m going through them, off & on, throughout this weekend & just getting so much out of them. The article from Scary Mommy—thank you so much for that. More thoughts, but I will just rant about the influencer called out, so I’ll move on. Toms shoes—would you believe I’m still a fan? I’ve not purchased the original shoe in years but have found cute sandals & even white, low profile tennis shoes from Toms. My prediction is that they’re going to make it as they retool a bit.

    I hope you enjoy your time away!

  4. So glad you’re taking some down time, Alison. Best wishes! Thank you for posting the info about Justine Bateman’s new book “Face”; I read the intro on my Kindle and have now ordered it from my fave local store. She is saying exactly what I’ve been thinking lately and haven’t been able to express it very well. I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

  5. Oh the Gen X article was spot on! My giggles turned into guffaws and a great trip down memory lane! Now off to talk to the hubs about recreating the Anie DeFranco make out session…different guy, but hopefully the same fun…..thanks Alison for taking time to curate these articles. Have fun during your self rediscovery trip.

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