Weekend Reads #201

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mel chin
Mel Chin, Cross for the Unforgiven, 2012 (see more at Chin's website)

This past weekend, I filled out forms to have my daughter transfer from homeschool to middle school next year. We homeschooled her this year because we were concerned about covid. We didn't even think about guns, even though she did regular active shooter drills in elementary school.

I have nothing poignant to say after that. I am overwhelmed, I am numb, I am angry, I am sad, I am tired, but I keep trying to keep myself driven, have my anger and sadness stay fired up, and not let it exhaust me.

script to call senators gun control
A script inspired by Jamie Golden. For my fellow Marylanders, Senator Ben Cardin's office is (202) 224-4524 (you can send an email at this link) and Senator Chris Van Hollen's office is (202) 224-4654 (you can send an email at this link).

Calling my senators helped, knowing at least I put my name and voice out there. I donated to Everytown and set up a fundraiser on my Instagram account. I donated to GoFundMes for the families of the dear ones that lost their lives this week (this link is to the hub of verified fundraisers for the Robb Elementary tragedy).

Screen Shot 2022 05 27 at 5.33.27 AM
March for Our Lives is returning June 11th to Washington DC. To learn more or to find a march happening closer to you, click this link.

I discussed with my daughter the massacre, and how it's not about mental illness or bullying but about guns. How this was an example of good people with guns and a single bad person with guns and the good guns couldn't stop the bad guns but no guns would have prevented the entire tragedy. How there is mental illness and bullying and difficult family situations in every country on this planet but the reason such things turn to massacres in the United States is because of guns.

This country wants to control women's bodies to protect unborn fetuses, yet once born they have no formula to feed them and no measures to protect them from being killed while at school. How selfish, how money-and power-driven we are. I am disgusted, I have been disgusted, and I am devastated.

Weekend Reads

Old Navy's move to sell clothes for every body left a big gap in the middle, a report says. (Business Insider; thanks to reader Jamilla who first sent this my way)

‘Grandfluencers’ are sharing a new vision of old age. (New York Times)

The COVID testing company that missed 96% of cases. (ProPublica)

Are you “hopping on a trend” or are you plagiarizing? (Vox)

For decades, short hair and motherhood have been synonymous for various reasons—ease, propriety, Kate Gosselin—but as women have children later and our visual identity is often one we're already comfortable with, the meaning of mom hair is starting to shift. (Glamour)

This is the Southern Baptist apocalypse. (Christianity Today)

I always struggled with my weight. Losing it didn't mean winning. (New York Times)

What Kate McKinnon gave to Saturday Night Live. (The Atlantic)

Sad to hear of the passing of Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy Fletcher. (Variety)

The long game of white-power activists isn’t just about violence. (New York Times)

Years ago I had this amazing floral maxi dress that had an off the shoulder ruffle. I wore it to the rewardStyle conference, the TCF Style Expo conference, and so many special events. This dress from Eliza J reminds me of it and would be great for weddings, cruises, cocktail parties, and more.

If you think free speech is defined by your ability to be an asshole without consequence, you don't understand free speech (but you remain an asshole). (TechDirt)

Even women who study aging are surprised by their own aging. (Crow's Feet for Medium)

Is Messy Hot Aunt the New Coastal Grandmother? (Glamour)

Hugs help women face stress, study says. Men, you are out of luck. (CNN)

The unlikely ascent of New York’s compost champion. (New York Times)

Holiday Weekend Sales

printfresh pajamas review
Last weekend wearing the Printfresh Good Dog pattern robe and cami cropped pants set; use promo code WARDROBE_OXYGEN for 15% off. I am wearing the robe in L/XL and the pajamas in XL but could have been fine with L.

I usually dedicate a Friday Shop to the sales and good deals of the weekend but this week… I think many can relate with how hard it was to focus on certain things this week with the news. But I had to share some of the best ones because if it can save you coin on what you already need or were planning on getting…

M.M.LaFleur is a brand many of you have been intrigued by since my capsule wardrobe and recent Instagram Reels showing me in the clothing. You asked when they are having a sale and they are this weekend!!! Buy two pieces and save 20% with promo code HELLOAGAIN; buy three or more pieces and save 25% off with promo code BACKTOIT. This sale is on through the 31st at 10am ET. For full details, click this link.

Equilibria CBD is having an end of May sale where the entire site is 25% off. This is for everyone, new customers and folks who have been using Equilibria and those who may have in the past but not now but may want to try again. Plus, my code WARDROBEOXYGEN is available to all, not just new customers, during this sale to give you an extra 15% off. You can shop at this link, and if you're like WTF are you talking about Alison, what is Equilibria, this article I wrote over a year ago is super helpful.

Cozy Earth, the brand that makes high quality breathable bed linens and accessories (I just got their linen bamboo sheets and I'm obsessed, stay tuned for a review), they are having 30% off sitewide through the 30th.

Printfresh, my favorite destination for cute but also sustainable and also size-inclusive organic cotton sleepwear has a sale this weekend. Use this link and promo code SUMMER for an additional 20% off sale merch, which makes most of the pieces half off. And as always, use promo code WARDROBE_OXYGEN for 15% off full-priced merch at Printfresh. Click here to read my original Printfresh review!



Hacks is back on HBO Max and it continues to be one of the best written shows I've seen in a very long while. The relationship between Deborah (played by Jean Smart) and Ava (played by Hannah Einbinder) is phenomenal, the entire cast is so awesome, I love this show so much even though this season is hella cringey.

ice age footprints

Taking a break from our usual series, my husband and I caught Ice Age Footprints on NOVA and were totally blown away. Footprints in White Sands National Park show that humans were here in the U.S. up to 23,000 years ago. And these footprints give detail into what that part of our country looked like then, the animals that were also around at that time, our lives and the tools we used way back then. It was some awesome perspective.

under the banner of heaven

We're watching Under the Banner of Heaven, the series on FX/Hulu starring Andrew Garfield and Gil Birmingham that is based on John Krakauer's book of the same name about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FDLS, which was started by folks excommunicated by the Mormon church).

meeting the family
Brenda (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones) meeting the lafferty family for the first time

I read Krakauer's book around when it came out and remember passing it on to my husband so we could discuss it thoroughly. The book sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole about cults, Scientology, and such. Funny how 2004 can feel like yesterday but that period of my life researching these extremist religions and cults feels like a lifetime ago. And while Under the Banner of Heaven left a major imprint on me… watching this show isn't bringing back memories.

im shot
I'm injured, cover for me and help us save these souls!

In fact, the whole show feels like a parody. Garfield and Birmingham, two talented actors, perform as though they are on Days of Our Lives. While the concept for telling this story is creative (Garfield's character is fictional, it's a good vehicle for telling the story of the double murder and the history of the Mormon religion), it feels so darn hokey. I just keep watching because I want to see how it pans out, but I am not binging. One episode a day is the max I can take.

Garfield, the perfect husband and father

I remember I came home from a business trip and my husband was watching a show on TV; he said it was so weird but really fascinating. It was already on when he turned on the TV, he decided to stick with it knowing nothing about it. I looked for a moment, it appeared to be one of those History Channel-esque shows that have actors portray moments in history. I sat down, watched, listened, and thought something seemed off. Grabbed my phone and began to Google.

joseph smith
This is not a scene from The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek. An example of some of the historical reenactments in Under the Banner of Heaven.

The show he was watching was actually the Civil War mockumentary, The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek and we cracked up over the fact that he thought it was a legit show about the Civil War. Well Under the Banner of Heaven feels less like a tragic story about murder and more like The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek. If you're curious about FDLS, I recommend you read the book instead of watching the series.

For Your Entertainment

If you want an example of true American music, I think this is it. Christian Parrish Takes the Gun, known professionally as Supaman is an Apsáalooke rapper and ghost/thunder dancer who has been merging Native American history and spirituality with Hip Hop for over two decades. You may recognize Supaman from Taboo's video for “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL.” I really enjoyed getting to know this artist better in this NPR article from 2011. Enjoy Supaman's latest song, and a video that takes the Back to the Future DeLorean back to 1491.

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. Everytown has triple matching through 5/31 to amplify donations to end gun violence. I just donated.

  2. Another great round up. We all should be devastated, angry and motivated about the recent shootings. Taking the actions you recommended are a great start. I am happy to see major sports figures making comments. Reaches a different audience.

    I kinda hated the “mom hair” article. First, I’ve almost always had some version of short hair and I don’t think it’s hampered my sexual attractiveness at all. Second, I hate that putting “mom” in front of anything instantly makes it uncool. I think it’s misogynistic and sexist. And, stay with me here, probably contributed to global warming. Why? Because all the sudden sedans and mini-vans weren’t cool. Every mom had to get an SUV. As if it totally hid the fact you were a mom! Hello, the car seats are kind of a giveaway! 🙂 LOL.

    As always interesting mix of stories and it was fun to see you rowing over on Instagram! I’ve always wanted to try it. My son was a rower in high school and college.

    You go!!!

  3. About the Mormon show, I can recommend looking up @thefreshkingbenjamin on TikTok to hear his reactions to the episodes. He grew up Mormon polygamist and then was a member of FLDS before leaving mormonism completely some years ago.

  4. Re the Old Navy article: solution, order more of the clothes in the middle & fewer of the smaller sizes in the future. It takes a rocket scientist to figure this out?

    1. Yeah. I’m thinking that their analytics failed them. They had been selling larger sizes online, but not in every item. My guess is that they took the zip codes of their online plus sales and made a guess about what those customers would buy if more items were available.
      It would have been a tricky time to do that because of CVOID and the pace of the return to in-person shopping probably wasn’t consistent across the nation.
      LIkely they pulled back on their mid-range sizes a bit b/c they had more inventory with the expanded sizes and inventory costs money. The mid-sized shoppers showed up and bought out the inventory, but the new-range shoppers didn’t show up as expected.
      With a years’ worth of sales data they can probably get that situation tuned better in the future.
      I wouldn’t read anything about wisdom of expanding their size range into it. It’s more a business planning thing. Inclusiveness is a plus, they just need to get their demand forecasts working better.

    2. Lue2500–right. It’s so obvious what they need to do. If only. Sorry, but maybe you don’t realize that many, if not most, apparel retailers, especially in these times, work in 12 month lead times. So by the time you realize and can correct the problem, your looking at multiple seasons of issues, and then you have a profit and a perception issue.

    3. I’m so mad at them trying to blame the larger sizes for their own mistakes! Some articles were quoting people saying it was too hard to find their size, as if they can’t search through the hangers which have the size on each and every one of them, instead of taking responsibility for not ordering correctly. If they back down from plus sizes (AGAIN–they did this in the aughts, too, with their “exclusively” online bs, like I’m supposed to feel special for being excluded), I will never buy anything from them again, and I’ve liked what I purchased in the store, and it was my only in person shopping since Covid.

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