Weekend Reads #235

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Weekend Reads

How (and why) to stop holding a grudge. (Vox)

Pickleball’s latest court? The prison yard. (Washington Post – gift article)

In praise of lived-in homes. (Gloria)

5th person confirmed to be cured of HIV. (ABC News)

Poor, busy Millennials are doing the midlife crisis differently. (Bloomberg)

When I shared three ways to style skinny jeans for 2023, reader Diane emailed me to share this gauze big shirt is a plus-size perfect piece to achieve Coastal Chic. She owns it in white and Paradise Blue and her sister has it in black and pine.

The “privilege” discourse has stalled out without getting to: What makes a good life? (Slate)

The battle of the soul of Buy Nothing. (Wired)

Have you seen the movie Midnight Alley? It's a dark but well-done film from 2021 starring Bradley Cooper and Rooney Mara. Cooper is a mentalist, he uses cues from his assistant (Mara) to appear to be reading minds. When I read everything from GhatGPT I feel it's an AI version of a mentalist. AI is taking cues that we provide (either for a task or from previous tasks/content on the internet) and “reads minds” by crafting written content.

Is ChatGPT the future of cheating or the future of teaching? (Grid)

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College had its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office respond to MSU shooting with email written using ChatGPT. (The Vanderbilt Hustler)

The environmental disaster in East Palestine, Ohio has everything to do with our dependence on fossil fuels. (Heated)

Social media used to be free. Not anymore. (Vox)

A Guide to All of the Infected ‘Zombies' on The Last of Us. (Bazaar)

Day drinking at the dive bar Sophie's on Valentine's Day. (Grub Street)

Jimmy Carter’s real legacy: Saving millions of lives from a debilitating disease. (Grid)

Companies can’t ask you to shut up to receive severance, NLRB rules. (Vice)

D.C. to start offering ‘We Demand Statehood’ license plates this year. (DCist)

I've lately been feeling my brow furrowing and I am not doing deep thinking, squinting to read, or having a furrow-worthy thought. It just slowly happens like going from a smile to RBF. I catch myself massaging between my brows to relax the muscles, and this week pulled my box of Frownies out from the back of the medicine cabinet. I hate the Frownies, I hate the smell and the feel and looking like I passed out while packing up returns. It's so not cute, and I've always been one who won't sacrifice her life or comfort for beauty. I wondered, maybe I should just get Botox just right in that one single spot on my face.

I did Botox once, it was not good. When I tell folks this they are so quick to share the name of their medpsa or dermatologist or Botox guru of whatever sort that makes it super duper natural so great so perfect or what they have injected instead of Botox that is so natural and great and life-changingly awesome. That my experience was unusual, it won't happen again, it was a fluke. Do it do it do it.

But I see that bad experience as a good thing. It got it out of my system, like vomiting a night of Tanqueray and tonics after a fraternity formal. I don't care how fancy the cocktail or the gin, I will smell it and immediately be transported back. Sometimes bad experiences are the roadblocks you need to get onto a different path.

As I massage between my brows reading the articles I emailed myself for Weekend Reads I came across this piece from the Substack, “Italics Mine” and it's like the universe is giving me a whiff of gin. Never say never, but I think I'll keep massaging my “thinkle” for now.


pamela a love story 010923 c8c352c29732422c83965d2da6791f2e

You don't need to be a fan of Pamela Anderson to appreciate her new documentary on Netflix. Pamela, a love story tells Anderson's story from her side, completely unfiltered. No glam squad (no makeup at all), no fancy home (she lives with her mom in the house she grew up in), Anderson is a breath of fresh air in a world full of filters and hopes to go viral.

pamela anderson august 1993 playboy

If you are around my age, you can't help but know not only who Pamela Anderson is, but know a lot about her. You've likely seen her on Baywatch, and possibly seen her in Playboy or on a pirated copy of her honeymoon tape with Tommy Lee. You know about her plastic surgery, her marriages, her PETA campaigns, but you likely don't know much about who she actually is. This documentary is on her terms, and it made me a fan.

pam anderson jay leno

Watching Pamela, a love story reminds you of how incredibly cruel and sexist our society was in the '90s. The clips from Anderson on Jay Leno and Letterman are horrifying, the way she was treated after the video leak, and how it damaged her relationship, her career, and hurt her family, which included her two sons.

pamela anderson with her sons
Anderson with her sons Brandon and Dylan

Anderson and I lived drastically different lives, but I found her so incredibly relatable in this doc. Being in a career where being vulnerable can be a risk but being someone who struggles to be strategic and guarded, it felt freeing to see how she has come through the fire and while not on top financially or in her career, is on top when it comes to what matters. She has a close relationship with her children and her parents, she uses her fame for a cause she cares about, she still is vulnerable and soft and open and hopeful.

pamela anderson chicago
Anderson as Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of ‘Chicago

Regardless of what your impression is of Pamela Anderson, if you are around my age especially, I encourage you to see Pamela, a love story. It's an example of how success doesn't have to be career- or money-driven and vulnerability can be an extremely powerful tool for healing, and for continuing to grow.

For Your Entertainment

image of the singer-songwriter Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis is the stage name for Karly-Marina Loaiza, a local yokel (she grew up during the school year in Alexandria, Virginia with her summers in Colombia) and Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter. Getting her stage name from the nickname her father had for her, Kali Uchis released her first mixtape soon after graduating from high school and has been moving up in the music world in the decade since.

Collaborating with artists like Tyler the Creator, Gorillaz, Kaytrananda, Snoop Dogg, and Diplo, her 2020 solo album peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums Chart and her latest album is to drop at the beginning of next month. ‘I Wish You Roses' is a single from this album and highlights her creativity and beautiful voice.

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. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the Weekend Reads! Love ’em!

    Italics Mine references the work of Jessica Defina. I just saw an interview with her and it blew my mind! Looking forward to reading more of her work. Defina writes on Substack as well.

    Here the interview in case you’re curious: https://youtu.be/CxC0tSXUqc8

  2. Thanks for the story about Jimmy Carter & his work to eradicate the Guinea worm. My Dad actually told me about this years ago but I’ve never seen much about it. I just have so much respect & admiration for President Carter & the incredibly decent & kind human he is. We need more people like him, who aren’t looking for fame & attention, but are just doing good works.

    The Thinkle—never heard that term before but I love it. I’ve had a thinkle since at least college—ha, ha! Botox & other cosmetic procedures are not for me. Now covering my gray hairs—that’s a different story.

  3. I’ve thought about getting Botox, or whatever treatment helps with a double chin, but every time I have been pulled back by the thought that something could go wrong, and if I did something just for vanity and paralyzed a nerve, I just couldn’t live with myself. I am keeping it natural except for the hair—can’t quite bring myself to go gray yet.

  4. YES. YES. OMG, so much YES to “Italics Mine”. She says exactly how I feel.

    “I consider a minimally invasive treatment like Botox (and, I guess, fillers) more harmful to culture and women because it’s practically invisible, and the more we see unlined faces, the more they’re regarded as typical. A wrinkled face becomes the exception, the anomaly, the malady, the disease, the moral failing.

    And there’s this: Have you ever stopped to consider why some wrinkles on a woman’s face are more acceptable than others? Anyone who does a touch of Botox gets rid of their Thinkle. But they often leave their crow’s feet untouched.

    Let that sink in: We’re allowed to have wrinkles that come from smiling, but not the wrinkles that come from thinking.“

    I am proudly sporting my face and body and gray hair as. it. is. This is me. Society can eff off if they see me as ugly or useless, or the worst it thinks I can be: OLD. Whatever! My Thinkle is always most prominent when I’m listening hard to a loved one or friend or researching or writing or reading challenging material. No way I’m hiding that.

  5. Celebrity Book Club Podcast just did an issue on Pamela Anderson’s memoir and also talked about the documentary. Give it a listen! (If you don’t know this podcast, it celebrates the memoirs of female celebrities with humor, empathy, warmth and joy. Highly recommended!)

  6. I really appreciated the article on the recent NLRB ruling on employee severance and non-disparagement clauses. Several of my coworkers were RIF’d a few years back, and as part of their severance package, were required to sign nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements in order to get their money. I thought it was outrageous then, and am pleased to see it’s illegal now.

  7. Great roundup as usual! The gauze top you linked to at Amazon is sold out in many sizes, BUT it’s available on the Woman Within website. Woman Within has insane shipping fees, but I found a coupon code for free shipping. The top is on sale for $34.99, so slightly cheaper. The code may make check out a bit wonky; I ended up using PayPal, and it worked. The code is Wwcsu35.

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