Weekend Reads #280

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
LaToya M. Hobbs. Flourish, 2023
LaToya M. Hobbs. Flourish, 2023

I have been neck-deep in Girl Scouts, and my mom's estate, and taxes, and administrative things with this site but I wanted to remind you about my trip this coming October to New Mexico! The trip will only allow a max of 20 attendees, keeping it small so we can make real connections. We'll be staying in Santa Fe but have a day trip to Taos, and the whole trip will be benefitted by a guide who is from the area.

After discussion in the Facebook group of those who live in the area, I likely will have a lunch that I will host where those who live in the area can also attend so there will be a chance to connect with additional people in the Wardrobe Oxygen community.

Once the trip is confirmed (meaning we have the minimum number of attendees registered), I will be reaching out to those attending to join a private Facebook group or another preferred platform so we can get to know one another before the trip, discuss transportation, packing and more. And I have already started reaching out to brand partners as each attendee will receive a “swag bag” of goodies upon arrival!

I am really excited about this New Mexico TrovaTrip and hope a few of you can join me and those who have already signed up. It's going to be a fun experience for grown-ass women looking to get away, connect with like-minded folks, and hopefully make friends and find travel companions for future trips.

To get all the details, you can visit my initial post, where I discussed my New Mexico TrovaTrip. And if you have any questions, ask in the comments, and I will be sure to answer honestly and as soon as possible!

Weekend Reads

The moral case for letting trans kids change their bodies. (Intelligencer)

What the hell is a stylist? (Articles of Interest)

What's going on with Oprah? (Burnt Toast)

Why prices of the world’s most expensive handbags keep rising. (Wall Street Journal – gift article)

How designer clothes make it to your wardrobe. (Washington Post – gift article)

The gender refugees. (Elle)

I love Tiny Desk Concert, and to have 311 on 3/11 and have them sounding and looking so great, it was enjoyable nostalgic trip to 1995, living in a sketch apartment with my childhood friend, blasting this album in our friend's Jeep with the roof and doors off, blasting it while cleaning for one of our epic parties, blasting it while getting ready for a night out.

‘They play nice’: Inside the tensions and tumult at ‘Queer Eye’. (Rolling Stone)

Can stylists all just shut up about “defining a waist”? And is Queer Eye fatphobic? (Un Flattering)

A simple blood test can detect colorectal cancer early, study finds. (NPR)

‘I’d rather die hot than live ugly’: Tanning mania returns. (Washington Post – gift article)

What’s the price of a childhood turned into content? (Cosmopolitan)

Critically ill 10-year-old boy’s dream of his own Metrobus ride comes true. (WTOP)

CBS developing the first Black daytime soap opera in 35 years. (The Hollywood Reporter)

And in local yokel/feeling my age news… A DC indie-rock musician is now the CEO of Amtrak. (Washingtonian)

And a question for you… which online news sources offer gift links to subscribers? I would like to offer gift links to you, and am willing to buy subscriptions to make that happen. I already subscribe to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Atlantic, and this week, I realized The Wall Street Journal offers gift links, so I subscribed there as well. I know The New Yorker doesn't (boooo) nor Rolling Stone (they don't even offer online access to print subscribers without paying additional). But if I am missing one, let me know so I can ensure my content can be accessed by all!


spaceman movie poster

Who the hell decided to cast Adam Sandler as a Czech astronaut in the Netflix film Spaceman? The terrible casting is right up there with Michael Beck in Xanadu in having a single actor utterly destroy any chance of the film being halfway decent or entertaining.

Yes, I referenced Xanadu, which would have been a ridiculous yet entertaining piece of camp if it weren't for this half-ass yet sober squint-your-eyes dupe for Andy Gibb. IYKYK. But back to Spaceman.

Adam Sandler wielding his space urinal. No really, he is in a yellow t-shirt and knit cap floating in a spaceship holding a urinal with a tube looking confused.
Is this fear? Confusion? Exhaustion? Who knows, it's essentially the face Sandler had for the entire film. And yes, that is a urinal he is holding.

So Sandler, a 57-year-old actor known for his relaxed “dad bod” and penchant for basketball shorts and oversized t-shirts, plays an astronaut, a job that requires strength, fit, and resilience. And this astronaut, no surprise, has a penchant for basketball shorts. And when he runs on his treadmill to keep up his strength and resilience, the camera angle is from below so all you see are Sandler's shoulders and head. But this isn't the biggest issue with this film.

Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan looking at one another, ready to kiss
Same face, even when ready to kiss his wife.

57-year-old Sandler plays the husband of 38-year-old Carey Mulligan. Mulligan's character is pregnant, and her husband who is 20 years her senior, is off in space. And because I thought this film was terrible, I am going to share spoilers and care warning (miscarriage):

Adam Sandler as Jakub in Spaceman with the alien spider
Adam and a spider, sitting in a tree… I mean space…

Mulligan's character miscarried previously. So we have a woman who would be considered a “geriatric patient” by many OB/GYNs, who has a history of miscarriage, married to a man 20 years her age though they met at a costume party, alone on earth while hubby gets a psych eval from a gigantic spider. Yes, a gigantic spider. Who… get this… calls Sandler's character “skinny human.”

Adam Sandler moving through his spacecraft in the 2024 film Spaceman
Is he scared? Concerned? Shocked? Confused? Horrified? Who knows…

Now, Spaceman is based on the novel The Spaceman of Bohemia by Czech author Jaroslav Kalfař, which explains Sandler's character being the first independent Czech cosmonaut and there being a massive alien spider. But the film edits out all the parts of The Spaceman of Bohemia that add context and humor and introspection, and you are left wondering, who the hell decided to cast Adam Sandler?

Carey Mulligan and Adam Sandler in the 2024 film Spaceman

I could rant all day about how Hollywood continues to cast women with much older men. Sandler is not only too old to be a cosmonaut; he is too old to meet Mulligan at what looked like a college costume party. It makes absolutely no sense that the protagonist is played by 57-year-old man. It made me think of another Mulligan film, The Dig, based on a true story, where she was cast to play a woman who was in her 70s. But I digress.

Adam Sandler in a cosmonaut suit in the 2024 film The Spaceman

Spaceman is not campy, or funny, or weird yet introspective in a way that you can sit over drinks or nachos with friends and discuss for an hour. It's even worse than Xanadu, but if they had cast a man 15 years younger, say Jamie Dornan, it would have been a dramatically different film.

the tourist season 2 marketing poster

Speaking of Jamie Dornan, we're slogging through the second season of The Tourist, and we keep wondering why we are doing so. The first season I really enjoyed, but this second season, I find Dornan annoying AF. He is lost and frustrated and befuddled and quick to act and then think and it just made me feel like he'd be a good Jakub in Spaceman. But he's not doing The Tourist any favors.

Jamie Dornan sits at a dining table in the second season of the tourist on netflix
Dornan looks so confused throughout this season, he may wish to invest in some Frownies

Currently available on Netflix but previously available on Max and BBC, The Tourist dropped its second season at the end of February. It still stars Jamie Dornan and Danielle Macdonald; this time, Macdonald is the tourist as it takes place in Ireland. Dornan's character receives a letter from a childhood friend and heads to his homeland to learn about his past (he still has amnesia).

The character Elliott and his mother, Niamh in season 2 of The Tourist. They are standing outside a house, Niamh leaning against a Jeep.
So far, Niamh (right) is the best part of season 2

If you watched season 1 of this show and was shocked by how complicated and horrible Dornan's character's life was, you're going to find Season 2 pretty unbelievable. Again I need to share actor ages: Dornan is 41. And his character has lived a helluva lot of lives for his four decades. And I am not sure if I really care how it all comes together. The shine has worn off of The Tourist; maybe it would improve if Adam Sandler played the character!

For Your Entertainment

Musical artist Griff in a navy and black sweater, photographed by Bella Howard for NME
Photo by Bella Howard for NME

This is not the first time I have featured British artist Griff. Back in 2021, she was the “song for your Saturday” for a September Weekend Reads. This April she is releasing her next EP, “Vertigo Vol. 2” and recently released the first video single from the album. Love the choreography and a lovely voice and song. Enjoy “Miss Me Too”:

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

Did you like what you just read?

Consider tapping here to buy me a coffee in thanks. The best gift you can give a content creator is the gift of sharing. Consider sharing this article on Facebook or Pinterest. Thank you so much for your support!

Similar Posts


  1. Before I read summaries of the movie, I assumed it was some sort of time travel astronaut placed in stasis sci-fi because of the two lead actors. Then I learned that nope, she’s not in flashbacks or a different timeline, it’s just the usual late-middle-aged man with a two-decades-younger woman. Pass.

  2. Thank you so much for including two articles on transgender issues. I’m the mother of a trans son and also a volunteer crisis counselor for LGBTQ+ youth. Recent research shows that hate crimes against LGBTQ youth increase 4X (four times!) in states that have passed anti-LGBTQ legislations and the number of bills introduced this year already (it’s only mid-March) is astounding! I hope people who may not have too much awareness of transgender people but love and support you will read these articles and learn something. Learn the struggles trans youth and their families face. And open their minds and hearts to we can help all young people to grow up and live their authentic lives. Thank you!

  3. I really appreciate the articles addressing different topics and experiences about gender identity. We are moving out of DC to Maryland this year, in large part because Republicans are making loud noises about revoking Home Rule if they gain both houses. Based on current trends in red states, gender-affirming care and similar rights will be one of the first things to go. It’s a privilege to be able to move and we continue to fight for everyone who cannot.

  4. Thank you for including two articles about trans-ness! As a trans-non-binary teacher in Canada, the anti-trans rhetoric is terrifying. There were rallies across the country this year in favour of “parents’ rights”.

    Did you know that the USA is the *only country in the world* that did not ratify the UN Rights of the Child? In Canada and everywhere else in the world, governments are therefore bound by law to grant human rights to children under 18. In practice at school, that means that children have the right to determine their name and pronoun without informing their parents/guardians. Schools must legally support this – and it’s a lifesaver. Many children are still unsafe when they come out to family, but school at least can be a safe place.

    As I always tell people who object: If you demonstrate to your kid that you value trans and gay lives then they will come out to you. If you demonstrate that you are a bigot, then you don’t deserve their trust.


  5. I wore something “unflattering” today and spent way too much energy thinking about it. I’m still thinking about it. That bothers me! It’s meant to be a loose item (though tbh I would have sized down if I could and may have it altered) and I love the overall effect of it as well as the unusual pattern and details. It felt fabulous and comfortable on, the extra room is freeing and breezy. It’s so so hard to break this belief that I have to look as small as possible — a feeling that grows stronger as I get bigger.

  6. For some reason I found the article “Can Stylists Just All Shut Up About Defining a Waist…” disturbing. I am all for body positivity and realize that we women have been too defined by how our bodies appear. I want to be remembered for what I have accomplished, who I have cared for, my mind, rather than my body. Yet, we humans seem to be programmed by mother nature to be visual creatures.
    We do size up others’ appearance in an instant. I am not immune to judging others’ appearance and I am very well aware that others are judging mine. Until our biology changes this is not going to cease.

    I do not think it is wrong to want to wear clothing that is more rather than less flattering. I am now 69 years young and have gained some weight in the last couple of years due to intense stress. The weight has landed around my middle. I would rather not show it off. I will choose clothing that skims over my belly rather than hugging it. I will not wear crop tops that expose my belly. I have a 34DDD bust and will choose to wear V necks rather than high crew necks because I think they look more flattering. I will confess that I, of course, am not immune to the message that fluff around one’s middle is not cool. I try to love my body as it is right now, but I will still dress to highlight my best bits and disguise the bits I don’t like as well. I do not think there is anything wrong with that. Since you are writing a fashion blog, I guess you do not find anything wrong with the concept either. I know you have written about how some clothing flatters you and some does not work.

    What is “in fashion” changes. I recall from a long ago art history course in college that there was a time when it was fashionable for women to wear false pregnancy bellies because that was considered beautiful. In the 20th and 21st centuries a flat belly, which indicated enough leisure time to go to the gym to be physically fit, has been fashionable.
    I have a daughter who is plus size. She’s 5’8″ and probably weighs around 270. She has an apple shape. Most of her weight is in her belly. She has a knit shirt with a ballet neckline that hugs her figure directly under her bust and then flares out. I wish I could clone the top. It is perfect in every way. The color, pattern, and fit all flatter my daughter. She also has several tie-dye tee shirts that have no shape. They all have high crew necks and make her torso look like a block. She chooses to wear the tie-dye shirts around the house and to the grocery store. The flared knit top can be worn to work. It is flattering and the blocky tee shirts simply aren’t. It is a matter of proportion.

    I do not think that all stylists are trying to tell women that if they aren’t a size 2 and an hourglass shape that they are “wrong”. But, no matter what our size some clothing is going to look better than others.

    I won’t speak about “Queer eye” since I have not watched its latest iteration. However, I think I watched every episode of “What Not To Wear.” Some of what the article’s author said about the show I agree with. It is not a wonderful feeling to be ambushed and told that someone close to you thinks your style stinks. Of course, those ambushes were done for the entertainment value for us viewers. Participants’ feelings were kind of tossed aside. But, if we recall, no one was forced to participate in the show. Those who chose to participate were usually given some solid fashion advice. I certainly picked up some good advice from the show. However, I did not always agree with everything Stacy and Clinton counselled. I remember one young woman who was petite, heavy, and whose legs were rather short and stocky. She was put in a pair of heels that had thick ankle straps. Those shoes were very trendy at the time. If someone wants to participate in a trend, I say go for it. However, if Stacy and Clinton had wanted to flatter the client’s legs as much as possible, they would not have chosen a shoe with a thick ankle strap. The strap visually cuts the leg.

    There is a channel currently on YouTube featuring Melissa Murrell. She calls herself a stylist for the “everyday woman”. She does consider the hourglass shape to be the ideal and works to create an hourglass illusion with every woman she styles. I find her work to be very impressive. I do think her clients look “better” after she works with them and they all seem to be happy. I think that is the key. We should wear what we like and feel good in. For most of us that means choosing pieces that create some visual magic. I am all for that.

    1. Yes, it’s okay to want to wear flattering clothing. Most of us do.

      I’d like to get better at rejecting the idea because it’s gross that flattering is a command. And two aspects of that are particularly problematic: First, that flattering is about achieving a specific and singular definition, a smaller waist and smaller overall. Other shapes could be attractive, but we really only recognize and validate one. Second, that flattering is the sole objective. There should be room for other choices — maybe I want to wear something whimsical, colorful, interesting or just plain comfortable because it makes me smile regardless if it’s whittling my body . Maybe I want to wear it simply because it’s tie-dyed and the colors are pretty! Sure, let’s look for a tie-dyed peplum, but missing out on things that bring you joy just because they don’t create a specific shape seems like a bad deal to me.

  7. For what it’s worth I read The New Yorker for free using the Libby app and my library card.

    I don’t know if you’ve recommended it yet but wow I loved Deadloch on Amazon Prime. A feminist small town murder cop humorous show, from Australia.

    My mom just went into hospice, I am having all the feels about mortality and generations and loss and making sure to surround yourself with love and be the surrounding love for others. I am so sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing it.

  8. Hello, I am interested in this trip, but can you elaborate on what you mean by “like minded folks”? Thank you.

  9. That tanning article just made me feel sick. One of the marketing/influencing women interviewed for the article summed it up nicely: ““If I didn’t have social media, I really wouldn’t care.” Can we be any more shallow??

  10. Alison, I’ve got a question about gift links. I am a subscriber to The Washington Post & NY Times—so when I click those links of yours, am I going to “my” subscription or yours? And does it even matter, meaning, I hope I’m not taking away the opportunity for another reader to access those links if I click on them. This may be a dumb question but I don’t really get how that works!

    The Tourist—I started season 2 last weekend and agree that it’s pretty convoluted! But, I do like all of the actors, not to mention the beautiful scenery of Ireland.

    And, I finally ordered the Harlowe pants from Madewell & they are sadly not for me. Loved the fabric so much, loved the washed navy color, & loved the fit in the waist & upper torso but the legs were way too long (I’m 5’4”) & much wider than I realized. While I’m wearing wider leg pants, these were just more than I felt I’d actually wear. Very sad they didn’t work out, but I appreciate all the times you’ve answered my questions about them! I did also get in a pair of the Anthropologie Colette pants & they are impressive! That stretchy fabric feels great. Even though they are cropped, they are a wee bit long on me but I’m going to get them hemmed just a tad. All this to say, if any others are looking for a not-so-wide leg pant, I’d recommend these!

    1. And the Colette pants made me feel like a LEGO character! Such proof that while we may be similar we are never the same!

      Nope, click gift articles without worry. They work whether they are clicked one time or a hundred times and do not affect your personal subscription or how many links I have left to offer. For example, with the Washington Post it provides me 10 gift links a month but only tracks that, not of or how often those ten links have been clicked and read.

      1. Thank you for explaining about the gift links! Glad to know it works like that. And, your comment about the Colette pants made me chuckle because when I tried on the Harlowe’s, I immediately thought of how great you look in yours & how they made me look like I was playing dress up in an NBA player’s clothes! Yes, our bodies can be so very different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *