Weekend Reads #215

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Nestor Toro, Cracks and Blinding Lights, 2019

This is a bit shorter of Weekend Reads because my family and I were recovering from covid. While I had it far worse last week with muscle and joint pain and extreme fatigue, I didn't get it bad until Wednesday so I had some content at least partially ready. This week… I rested and my brain wasn't functioning to the best of its ability until Thursday. Reading articles online didn't mesh with covid brain fog, but know we'll be back to normal next Saturday!

Weekend Reads

Every feminist must stand with Iranian women. (Jill Filipovic)

Trump’s ‘big lie’ fueled a new generation of social media influencers. (Washington Post – gift article)

Björk: mother, daughter, force of nature. (Pitchfork)

How to figure out what you want out of life. (Vox)

Not sure when to get your next booster? Have covid vaxx questions? This article is for you. (Washington Post – gift article)

Emerson, my daughter who is a Girl Scout Cadette, has her fall fundraiser happening for her troop. This fundraiser offers nut and chocolate treats, some personalized products, and magazine subscriptions. Please note, girl delivered is only for those we know and live in our zip code. If by chance you're looking to support your favorite print publication, I have found magazine subscriptions through this fundraiser to be cheaper than elsewhere. We thank you in advance for your support!

Perfectionism and the performance of organizing. (Burnt Toast)

Alo Yoga became a behemoth by claiming to be something it's not. (Back Row)

J. Crew Factory has an extra 20% off your purchase through September 28th. I find a lot of factory clothes bunk, but J. Crew Factory, while not as high quality as J. Crew, offers some really great basics in good quality for the price. They're a go-to for sweater blazers, chinos, tissue turtlenecks, and wallet-friendly suiting up to size 24/3X.


Farewell to Outlook, and nearly 70 years of essays, arguments and criticism. (Washington Post)

Throwback to when I was on the front page of Outlook in 2018 when it was still printed

She’s 86. She’s 28. They love their hang time as the wallpaper queens of Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

I've written before about Flyte.70, an age-positive, vegan, cruelty-free sustainable beauty brand I am obsessed with. The products are so smart, and made specifically for us grown women by grown women (two GenX besties who are veterans in the beauty industry). Well, Flyte.70 is offering 15% to Wardrobe Oxygen readers with promo code WOXYGEN15! I haven't tried a product yet that I don't like but my personal favorites:

  • GlowBack.Global Prep is a primer, a highlighter, a bare face improver, and I like mixing it with foundation to thin it and give it more of a glow. And this is grown women glow – no sparkle, no holographic, no wet look. Just healthy skin. I use it almost daily either alone to make my skin look better but still bare, or with makeup.
  • GlowBack.Lucent Light is the first highlighter I've ever used that doesn't LOOK like I'm using a highlighter. Very subtle, and created specifically for grown women, it makes skin look hydrated, happy, and glowy and most of all… natural. Though I have layered it to have more of an effect when going out in the evening. But a little C-shaped swipe from edge of brow to cheekbone, and then the remainder on the brow bone, along the nose, and in the cupid's bow will make skin look like it just experienced a facial. Just Like Heaven is the right color for me whether or not I have a bit of a summer tan.
  • HazyCheek.Crème is the first cream blush I've found to be easy. Tap my finger in the pot, tap it high on my cheekbones near the outer edge of my eye, and blend. I have all three colors; Tenderness is very subtle and good “your skin but better” if you're fair to medium, Heartbreaker is a beautiful shade I love wearing with just mascara, brows, and a red lip and I think would be a beautiful look on darker skintones too. And Look of Love is a sleeper hit that even got rave reviews from my sister (AKA my beauty guru) who said it was a perfect blush/bronze on me.
  • Chiseled.Lip is the lip pencil that grown women didn't realize they need in their life. Foolproof, it comes in natural lip colors that help you even your lips, make them look fuller, prevent feathering, work as a primer under lipsticks, and I adore the refillable stylus!

YouTube’s ‘dislike’ button doesn’t do what you think. (Wired)

Luxury companies continue to pare back in enduring blanding trend. (The Fashion Law)

The right to not be pregnant. (Harper's Magazine)

Would Joan Didion have liked her memorial service much? (Intelligencer)

Bucket lists are so last year; make yourself a F**k-It list instead. (Jumble & Flow)

Universal Standard is having 25% off your entire purchase through September 25, no code is needed. I thank you in advance for using my affiliate link if you choose to shop Universal Standard because of me. Sales and even clicks with this link show Universal Standard that I am not just another cute body in their jeans on Instagram but a true influencer and true fan of the clothing brand.


top gun maverick poster

Top Gun: Maverick is now available for rent on OnDemand so we forked over the $5.99 to see this movie everyone is claiming is SOOOOOO GOOOOOODDDDDD. I found the first half of this film beautifully shot (everything happens during Golden Hour), starring beautiful people (not gonna lie, Tom Cruise looks good, and Jennifer Connelly is breathtakingly stunning) but incredibly cliche and boring. It felt like a high school reunion.

miles teller

I asked my daughter if she knew the song, “Great Balls of Fire,” which is being sung in this scene and she did. Okay so we can assume GenZ through the Silent Generation know Jerry Lee Lewis' song but… can you imagine a bar full of GenZ and Millenials knowing all the lyrics? Do YOU know all the lyrics? Because I sure as hell don't. But hey, Goose sang it in the first movie, and since this is one beautifully lit cliche…

top gun

But the second half, it was good. I mean it was still predictable and cliche and any time they weren't in a plane it was Golden Hour with great lighting on everyone's beautiful faces. But the filming of the action scenes was spectacular. I was on the edge of my seat, my pulse quickened, my breathing advanced, and it wasn't just covid.

top gun porsche

It was worth $5.99, and if I had seen it in a theater on a big screen with surround sound and recently seen the original, possibly with a bit of a beer buzz for both occasions, I may have been one of them saying Top Gun: Maverick is SOOOOO GOOOOOOODDDDD but as a sober person on her living room couch, I'd say it was fun.

monarch fox

I love Beth Ditto and have for years. When I heard she was going to be on a new show that also starred Susan Sarandon that was about the Country music industry and was compared to Empire (a guilty pleasure of mine when it was on), I was in. The show is Monarch, and it's on Fox.

sarandon monarch

Yeah, we have Sarandon, a progressive, and Trace Atkins, a known Trump supporter, playing a married couple with queer icon Beth Ditto playing their lesbian daughter, and it's on FOX. This made me more interested in seeing this show and how it would play out.

monarch fashion

I have watched only the first episode and I am already bored and disappointed. Spoiler alert, Sarandon's character dies in the first episode (not really a spoiler, it's a big part of the plot). My husband said Sarandon was killed off in the first episode because the Monarch budget wasn't big enough to pay her for more.

beth ditto monarch

The script is half-ass, the filming is really corny (my daughter walked in and asked if we were watching an “old show” as it just wasn't feeling modern or beautiful, something Empire did well). The acting feels stilted, the fashion is boring and looks cheap (another thing I enjoyed about Empire), and I can already see the storyline and how it will pan out. I looked for reviews online and this one from The Daily Beast is a work of art and I feel sums up the issues with Monarch.

For Your Entertainment


Björk is back and this week she shared the third single from her latest album. This video for “Ancestress” depicts a ritual funeral and is one of two songs on the album about her mother. Of the song Björk said on Instagram, “This song is a letter to my mother, her story seen from my point of view. It is written in chronological order, the first verse is my childhood and so on. Only recently did I discover that this song is probably somehow inspired by an Icelandic song “grafskrift” which is somehow a very direct and patriarchial account of someone's life. I probably wanted to approach this in a more feminine way; her biological and emotional story, not her professions, partners, or dates of birth and death.”

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 haven’t been able to watch any Susan Sarandon movies/content (except for Little Women) since 2016, when she told voters it’d be less bad to vote for Trump than Clinton. It still makes me angry. And I was a big fan of her acting for a long time (like back to Bull Durham, which is sadly one of my most favorite movies ever). I find her brand of progressivism irritatingly privileged.
    I see other names in the show that I like — Anna Friel, Joshua Sasse (so great in Sir Galavant and the charming No Tomorrow), and highly respect Beth Ditto’s music.
    While I appreciate Tom Cruise as a movie star entertainer, he’s not a particularly great actor. However, his performance in TGM really moved me. Went to see it in the theater (worthwhile), and then watched it again with my kid on tv and it was still really compelling. Love Glen Powell who stole the movie (and was great in Netflix’ rom-com, Set It Up, with Zooey Deutsch (lea Thompson’s daughter), Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs.

    1. Every time I see that pic of Liam Neeson with Vanessa Redgrave at Didion’s memorial service, I really wonder what they’re talking about. He looks really intense. Also lovely to see that they are still close after Natascha Richardson’s death.

      1. Last comment — I loved Jennifer Connelly in TGM (have always loved her since Labyrinth/Rocketeer). Her scenes with Cruise — motorcycle riding, sailing, leaning up against Porsche, getting into Cruise’s P-51 Mustang plane at the end, almost all filmed in golden sunlight (the golden hour of life, get it?) — were like glorious long Ralph Lauren ads/short films. Made sense as Connelly’s outfits were classic, crisp American sportswear at its finest.

  2. So sorry to hear that you caught covid but glad you are recovering. I confess I’m very impatient with epidemiologist types (Paul Offit comes to mind) who say we need to move on. It’s hard to keep up protective measures but it’s still spreading very widely and getting trickier trickier at avoiding immune systems… and you can only say it’s not a big deal if you have the immense privilege to take off two weeks work with no notice. And health care, and money to pay for treatment (and/or time off). And rest is key to recuperation! Keep resting we will live without links and content for a bit.

  3. So glad y’all are recovering from Covid & starting to feel better. The fatigue is hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t had it yet; it really knocks you on your butt. You are wise to rest & not push yourself. Loved seeing you in the article from 2018– you look fabulous in those wide leg jeans & your words about wearing what makes us feel our best is spot on! Maverick—I must comment…didn’t plan to see it but decided to go with my husband because we could purchase our seats ahead of time, see it in a not-packed theater, & I kind of just wanted to go see a real movie again (still wore my mask!). I intended to hate it, but, I didn’t. I enjoyed it. You’re so right about the beauty of the cinematography. And, yep, plenty of cheesy moments. But, the nostalgia totally pulled me in & I just let myself enjoy it. Kind of surprised myself! Take care & enjoy your weekend.

  4. Naps! That’s what helps you recover! Crash whenever you can if possible. I hope your health continues to improve and give yourself as much grace as you need. Take care.

  5. Ali, glad you’re ok and your family is as well. Take care of yourself and recover in your own time. Take time to process any potential feelings of failure that might try and rise out of successfully dodging this for two years. It can be a tough thing. You did all the right things. Be kind to yourself.

  6. Glad you all are feeling better. Ugh…Covid. We’re still in the Unicorn Club, but I keep thinking it’s a matter of time.

    We saw Maverick in the theater after watching the 1986 original at home. The 1986 movie seemed really cheesy and outdated, but I recognized many of my husband’s favorite sayings, so there is that. Ha! The new Maverick was just as you say. Beautiful photography, amazing flight scenes, and a great way to forget the world for a couple hours and just be entertained.

  7. I am so glad you are “back” and that you and your family are well! I read you for many reasons [especially your take on feminism] and always appreciate your honesty. Stay well!!

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