Weekend Reads #272

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Shani Rhys James, Cutting My Hair, 2017
Shani Rhys James, Cutting My Hair, 2017

As a blogger and influencer, I try to do one thing per quarter to improve my business. Some are ways to work smarter, some are to increase revenue, some are to increase community, and some are just to make things look better. And this quarter, I am going to be giving this site a glow-up.

For those who know about the backend of blogs, especially WordPress, I am changing not only my theme (AKA the decor and look of this site) but the framework (think moving from an apartment in a building that is a bit older and not as regularly updated to a newer building with more amenities). After a decade on the Genesis framework, I am moving to Kadence. And with that, a new Kadance-supported theme.

Asking fellow bloggers in a mastermind group I am a part of and folks in some of my Facebook groups for bloggers; I decided to go with a Kadence theme from the highly recommended Restored 316. Just like hiring an interior designer, I will be taking this theme and making it feel more me, and make sense for this community and content. And just like renovating a home, there may be a bit of a mess until the dust settles.

However, I believe the end result will be a faster site, an easier to search and navigate site, a site that functions better on mobile devices, and a site that will have more features that fit a blog of 2024 and a lot of my goals for the next three quarters. So this is a heads' up things may be a touch wonky but the end result I think will be great!

This work hasn't yet started, but I am slow with publishing content for fear it will happen in the middle of the “renovation.” As always, I will keep you posted. I also look forward to your feedback on what you like, what you wish Wardrobe Oxygen had, and what you think once the site is updated!

Weekend Reads

At 93, he’s as fit as a 40-year-old. His body offers lessons on aging. (Washington Post – gift article)

A first-of-its-kind Kinsey Institute survey examines older women's fantasies, masturbation habits, libido, and more. (Cosmopolitan)

She wrote a bestseller on women's sex lives. Then hers fell apart. (New York Times – gift article)

Relating to my piece, “Leave the Sephora tweens alone,” I wanted to share this piece: Inside the Tween Obsession With Drunk Elephant Skin Care. (Glamour)

Kierkegaard’s Three Ways to Live More Fully. (The Atlantic – gift article)

The right kind of busy. (Culture Study)

Very belated share from reader Sacha (thank you)… The Web Renaissance Takes Off. (Anil Dash)

A ‘Fluid’ fashion vision from the designer who put Harry Styles in a dress. (Washington Post – gift article)

Are you an Australian reader who, after reading my Thigh Society review, wishes you could buy your own pair? Well, Thigh Society is now available in Australia! Just visit the Thigh Society site, and in the top right corner, click the U.S. flag/USD button, and you can switch it to AUD. I swear by these slip shorts to stay cool, comfortable and chafe-free all summer long (I even wore a pair recently with a sweater skirt, tall boots, and wool knee socks as it's winter here in the U.S.).

How old is too old? (Robert Reich)

Pitchfork Is Being Folded Into GQ, as Condé Nast Seeks ‘Best Path Forward’ for Music Publication. (Variety)

Pitchfork’s absorption into GQ is a travesty for music media – and musicians. (The Guardian)

E. Jean Carroll used to be somebody. (Washington Post – gift article)

The most interesting thing shared with me this week was this episode from The Ezra Klein Show podcast on how to discover your own taste. (Apple) If you aren't a big podcast person, the New York Times has a portion of the transcript on their site. (New York Times – gift article)

See/Hear/Read

Netflix series The Brothers Sun marketing poster

We started watching The Brothers Sun on Netflix, and I am a fan. Starring the incomparable Michelle Yeoh (best known for the film Everything Everywhere All At Once), the award-winning actress plays the resumed matriarch of a crime family. Yeoh’s character, Eileen/Mama Sun, moved from Taipei to L.A. with her youngest son, Bruce, while her older son, Charles, stayed in Taipei with his head honcho father. Charles comes to L.A. to find his mother and brother, and hijinks (as well as a lot of death and violent fights) ensue.

A scene from the Netflix series, The Brothers Sun where Mama Sun, Charles, Bruce, and KT are sitting around the dinner table eating and talking.

One could call The Brothers Sun a comedy, just with a healthy heaping of violence and action. Youngest Sun Bruce was raised on video games and fast food. He's going to college to become a doctor but dreams of a career in improv. On the other hand, Charles was raised as the second in command of a powerful crime family and is known across the globe for his fighting skills (his nickname is “Chairleg” for his ability to kill with the leg of a chair).

Scene from the Netflix series The Brothers Sun. Actress Michelle Yeoh is sitting on a kitchen floor holding a drill in one hand, a chainsaw in the other. She is wearing an apron and a scarf over her hair and a dead body is on the floor in front of her. She has a face of serenity.

But as you watch this series, you realize the true star, the true badass, is Yeoh's character. Her charm, talent, and serenity through ridiculous moments are awesome, and I love seeing her go from an American helicopter mom to a Taiwanese criminal mastermind in an instant. I, of course, noticed the fashion of the characters and found this article about the show's Costume Designer, Vera Chow, quite interesting. (WWD) And in case you were wondering, Michelle Yeoh is 61.

The Holdovers 2023 movie poster

The Holdovers (available on Peacock) is a film about a curmudgeonly history teacher at a New England boys' prep school who has to essentially babysit the students who stay on campus during the winter break. Taking place in 1970, and filmed to look as though the movie was made then (along with the opening credits), The Holdovers stars Paul Giamatti as Paul Hunham, the teacher, Dominic Sessa as Angus Tully, a student, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Mary Lamb, the school cook whose son attended the school but recently died in the Vietnam War.

Scene from the movie The Holdovers showing actress Da'Vine Joy Randolph in a bedroom, holding a baby shoe in her hands, looking down at the shoe with a sad look on her face

Honestly, I wasn't pressed to see The Holdovers until Randolph won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. I realized how often I had seen her in films and TV (Only Murders in the Building, Dolemite is My Name, Rustin, This Is Us, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, 2020's High Fidelity) but never a part so large or so powerful she would be nominated for such an award.

scene from the movie The Holdovers where Paul Giamatti is sitting at a table with several student from the prep school

I enjoyed this movie. I found it to be quite powerful and an example of how just a few days can transform a life and that unexpected bonds can happen, especially over shared trauma. It was also a clear example of how money offers privilege but doesn't necessarily offer happiness. Randolph was fantastic. She said so much with a single expression and played a grieving mom with all its nuances so beautifully. Actually, every actor was fabulous.

scene from the movie The Holdovers where the character of Mary is offering her hand to the student Tully

My husband found this movie to be very meh. He was bored, and didn't like the ending. I think it's because he got a text in the middle he had to attend to and never got fully back into the film. This isn't a movie you watch while knitting or scrolling social media because like the characters in the film, you need to listen and be involved to experience the power.

For Your Entertainment

cover of the Gossip band album for Real Power shows the three members of Gossip in front of a blue background

I love me some Beth Ditto. I have seen her solo or with Gossip multiple times and I am so glad to see the band's back together. I can't wait for the full album to drop in March. I was finishing up Weekend Reads last night and saw that this video just dropped 13 hours prior. It reminds me of when I saw Beth Ditto at the Rock & Roll Cafe in D.C. (R.I.P.) and the air conditioning in the place was broken.

We were in this hot, windowless basement with a single industrial-sized fan in the middle of the room working overtime, but it didn't ruin the vibes. In fact, the opposite. I went into the bathroom, tucked a cold bottle of water into my bra between my breasts, another tucked into my jeans in the small of my back, and switched out of my cute top into a Beth Ditto t-shirt I purchased at the merch table. Beth Ditto, the music, the heat, the crowd… it was amazing and I danced my ass off. I hope you get some vibes like that from “Real Power.”


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2 Comments

  1. Alison, thanks for the heads up about changes coming to the blog. I noticed today that I got 2 emails from WO—one was the link to just Weekend Reads & then another came that was from Grow (& I knew it was legit since you’d already mentioned that to us). This email had pics/links of several posts from this week. I actually like both formats that I got. I find the one with the pics/links to multiple posts helpful because I can see if I’ve missed something or want to read again. My long way of saying, I like what I’m seeing! Now I’m off to read the links here. Have a good weekend!

  2. Alison, I am going to take the weekend and read every single thing in your weekend post. I really appreciate your open and curious intellect, and the chance to hear about so many interesting topics.
    Keep it coming, and I’m excited to see how the blog evolves with your new frarmework.
    Just a brief note, I did like your piece about tweens and Sephora. It is so easy to forget what it’s like to navigate life and younger ages.

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