Weekend Reads #149

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malaysian science centre
Inside the Pusat Sains Negara (National Science Centre) in Malaysia

This week I got my second Pfizer shot. My mom is vaccinated, my sister and husband have one more shot to go, and hopefully they will open it up soon to those 2+ so our kid can also get it.

It has me thinking about the summer. And that has me feeling all kinds of feels.

Back in January, we booked a few days in June by the water. We purposely picked somewhere we knew would be fine, even if we couldn't do much more than be in the house and on the beach. But now it's like… we could dine outside. We could go to the grocery store. We could have some masked friendly banter on a street corner with a stranger.

It's like you don't even realize how rough it's been until you see a light at the end of the tunnel. This week, I felt so incredibly weary. Yes, I know a lot was due to the second shot (I took a nap, slept for 12 hours straight, and took another nap the following day), but it's also mental. Emotional. This has been hard.

Thursday, my kid felt it. The school year is ending in just a few weeks, summer is still a question mark, she'll be back in the classroom next fall but at a new school that she has never before entered, with unusual new friendships created completely online and IRL friendships that haven't been easy to maintain with the online switch.

The idea of being able to think of a tangible, touchable future was the straw and she broke over how hard things have been. I know, I know. I held her until she fell asleep.

Be gentle with yourself, and with those around you. None of us are acting rationally, none of us are the same as we were a year ago. All of us are trying to figure this present and future out; know with all the virtual experience I've gained this year, I am sending you a digital hug and letting you know you're not alone in these feelings. And together we'll move forward.

Weekend Reads

Look Ma, I am on PureWow discussing Pari Passu leggings! (PureWow)

Liz Phair talks about getting older, reaching into the past for her new record, and her hometown of Chicago. (New Yorker)

I am a member of, and big fan of the one in my community: ‘Buy Nothing’ groups: A place to share goods, services — and gratitude. (Washington Post)

Nécessaire, the sustainable body care line that uses facial skincare-grade ingredients, is offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 10% off everything through May 2nd with promo code WARDROBE_OXYGEN. I love everything I've tried from Nécessaire except their deodorant (gotta be honest with you); their body wash is a great choice to have the best shower ever.

Nova Twins: “Being black women doing punk music is political”. (NME)

As someone who receives dozens of merch press emails each week on products for this genre, I have the same question. Marijuana-related products are proliferating and expensive. Do weed smokers even want all this? (Vox)

What happens when diet culture co-opts intuitive eating language. Well+Good

There’s a name for the blah you’re feeling: it’s called languishing. (New York Times)

Woah, Nellie could I relate to this piece. I've tried both TalkSpace and BetterHelp during the past year and would not recommend either. This piece goes into why it may be better than no therapy, but why it has been problematic for both customers and therapists. (The Cut)

Care has always been infrastructure. (Jezebel)

As renewed rumors of a Black Superman movie swirl, here is the complicated history of reimagining the most iconic comic hero as a Black man. (New York Times)

Whoopi Goldberg on ‘Ghost’ and the 30th anniversary of her Oscar triumph. (Variety)

This piece brought up a fun discussion in the Wardrobe Oxygen Community: Really though, what jeans are in style now? (Slate)

Yesterday I shared that Equilibria, the woman-owned organic full-spectrum CBD company had 30% off subscriptions… well they opened it up to 30% off everything. On top of that, if you're a new customer use WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout and get an additional 15% off your order. This sale ends May 9th. If you're like what the heck Alison are you talking about, here is my initial (unsponsored and skeptical) Equilibria review.

Sigh… oh Morrissey, sometimes it's better to just stay quiet and move on. (Consequence of Sound)

Mazie Hirono is okay with a little confrontation: A long talk about anger with the gloriously foul-mouthed senator from Hawaii. (The Cut)

Inside the fiercely private, celebrity-filled world of Lisa Frank and her son Forrest Green. (Bustle)

No one told me being middle class meant wearing my retainer forever. (Anne Helen Petersen)

Gen-X women are caught in a generational tug-of-war. (The Atlantic)


netflix the circle

I think we all consumed some fluff over 2020. TV shows we may not wish to admit we watched, series to keep up with the pop culture references, movies we've already watched a dozen times before. For my family, it was The Circle, a reality show on Netflix.

The show has a handful of folks communicate only through text on a social platform of sorts while all staying in separate apartments in the same building. They can play themselves, they can “catfish” with a created persona or a hybrid of the two.

the circle season 2 cast

It was surprisingly wholesome, while also teaching a tween who is suddenly thrown into a completely virtual world, how easy it is for people to lie on the internet and scam you but how being yourself and making true friendships is how you can succeed in life or a game. All three of us got sucked in. And Season 2 of The Circle is now playing on Netflix.

the circle

We binged the four available episodes last weekend and waited with bated breath for new episodes this past Wednesday. And this season is also fun, though so far it's a bit more… strategic which isn't as fun and wholesome, but it seems like the drama is seeing the door and it will continue to be fun.

For Your Entertainment

Grace VanderWaal came to fame at age 12 singing an original song and playing her ukulele on America's Got Talent. With a music-loving youngster in the house, we got to know this artist quite well. When VanderWaal came out with her first full album, Just the Beginning, it was on repeat in the house and all of us became fans.

ACS 0323
Back in 2019 after we saw Grace VanderWaal at the 9:30 Club

We even went to see Grace VanderWaal in concert in 2019; it was our kid's first all-ages show at the 9:30 Club, where I too saw my first show.

VanderWaal, now 17, released a new single, and the video is mod, cool, and a major flashback to Delia's catalogs, but in a good way. The song is also pretty catchy. I can't wait to hear more.

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. It’s truly shocking to me that some schools are still virtual. I work on the field of education, and while I am now double vaccinated , was back in classrooms prior to that. We wore masks, we washed hands, kids know to keep their distance. The fear of having to miss school keeps them following the mitigations. the elementary kids I work with are better at mask wearing than many adults I know. It’s been…. more than fine – it’s been fantastic. It absolutely can be done, there is truly no need for school districts to continue to not follow the science. Every day he children I work with express gratitude to be there. I cry thinking of the children still at home on zoom school. School has been shown to be safe and for so many children is the one place they can go for warm meals and stability. Not every kid has a safe cozy home to zoom pajama school in blessings to all. Take care.

  2. Oh Allison, I wish we could all hold each other while we cry our eyes out over this year. Of course, it’s a relief to have a competent government again, but damn. It’s been a hard one. Sending loving thoughts your way.

    I loved the Slate article on jeans. Echoed my thoughts exactly. For now, any “new” jeans I buy will be used. Bought a straight legged light wash, and wider legged pair both on resale sites and will keep an eye out. In the meantime, I agree with the author: we all get to spend a year wearing our 2019/2020 purchases without censure!

    Tell your daughter to hang in there! Imagine the stories she can tell her children when they complain about going to school! 😉

  3. My mom and I were talking last night about Whoopi Goldberg and her incredible range of talent. My bottom teeth are very crowded and I needed braces but my parents couldn’t afford it. Flash forward to my 40s and while I can definitely afford it, a lifetime of watching my husband and peers try valiantly to manage their constantly shifting smiles has convinced me not to.

    “Normal” is so close and so far away and while I am not as messed up as I was last April when there seemed to be no hope, I’m messed up in a different way. I was hoping we’d be back to “new normal” by summer, but a lot of our outdoor events (town festivals, for example) are cancelling because they don’t want to draw big crowds. Seeing the finish line being pushed further and further away is difficult.

  4. Oh, Alison, your opening made me cry a little too. Just thinking of your daughter & other kids & adults & how this pandemic has effected all. It’s a lot. Sometimes, a good cry is exactly what’s needed. I hope her start in her new school goes smoothly in the fall.

    Loved the Whoopie Goldberg article! She’s incredibly talented & her career is just so interesting, as she’s been involved with multiple creative types of projects. I’m working my way through the other articles you’ve shared; they are such a treat! The “languishing” article was how I felt from March to June of 2020. I was working from home then & just felt out-of-sorts. I had to return to in-person work in August, and that certainly brought on a new set of feelings—mainly fear & anxiety because I certainly didn’t feel that my state was handling Covid well. Thank goodness for masks, social distancing when possible, & lots of hand washing! And Grace VanderWaal—wow, she’s growing up! How exciting that you & your daughter were able to see her in concert.

  5. I was interested in getting the Daily Softgels you mentioned (to KEEP me asleep)–but the discount doesn’t seem to be working. They are $58 -so 30% off would be $17.40. I am only getting $8.70 (15%) at checkout and it says that “Only 1 coupon per order is allowed” – so when I apply the WARDROBEOXYGEN code I still have the same $8.70 discount. Maybe they have not put the new info in..but i thought you would like to know.

    1. In case it helps, having looked at their site I think the 30% is only off boxes – not individual items (tried it with the daily treatment oil and no go). When I first clicked through from this site it didn’t realize I was a subscriber w/ an account and it seemed to stack the 30% and the wardrobe oxygen discount for buying boxes, but once I logged in to go to shipping it said that the WO code wasn’t available.

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