Pandemic Shopping

Recently Sol has discovered the verb “need” but he doesn’t know the verb “want.” This has led to lots of plaintive requests such as “I neeeeed a water” but also some confusing requests such as “I neeeeed a squirrel.” What will you do with this squirrel, child?  But “I need a squirrel” is very much my mood. The first month of quarantine I was all like “I am over consumer objects” “I’ll never shop again.” Now I’m all “I neeeeeeed a potato masher.

Here’s some other stuff that I’m buying:

  1. Chaat Masala

This is a spice that I became intrigued by as part of my Indian-ish revolution. And since I was having it shipped I went all in on obscure spices from this wonderful Asheville, NC spice store.

You just sprinkle it on toast and potatoes and it makes it incredible. I had it on toast with goat cheese for breakfast.


2. Joggers 

I am trying to stop wearing my pajamas all day. These are sort of like pants.

3. More Birkenstocks

To be clear I already own Birkenstocks. But I neeeeeed an inside pair. My feet have been killing me and I suspect it is because I’m walking around barefoot all day. Birkenstocks are helping!

4. Fancy but unscented body products

I’ve become a Cerave diehard for all my face/body lotions and face/body wash needs. It’s as good as Paula’s Choice but I can just buy it at the CVS. Buuuut, in these trying times I want to feel fancy. So I bought a set from Le Necessaire.

5. Booze

I’ve been drinking too much so I’ve bought a lot of mezcal, scotch, and fancy wine from our local wine store. I’m supporting a local business #Notallheroeswearcapes. But, in recognition of that fact that I’m drinking too much I’m switching to a pre-dinner low-alcohol aperitif with a lot of ice and a bit of lemon peel.





Who am I in this story?

This blog will just be just for Little Women feelings I guess.

Greta Gerwig made me realize that I definitely don’t empathize with Jo, I have new found respect for Amy, and I guess I’m a Marmee now. But really I’m Laurie! I’m the outsider hungrily trying to leach the sisters’ tribal love.

Oh Timmy, do I want to be you? Mother you? Tuck you in my pocket?

First of all, I would like to thank pre-child having Dana for engaging in so much time-sucking activity (blogging, long walks, reading the internet in bed for hours on a Saturday morning). Good job me. I’m glad I wasted all that time. I can’t promise I will ever be so regular on here again, but here’s the things I liked in 2019.

  1. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women: Gerwig has taken Alcott seriously. As a work of sentimental fiction Little Women was always about redemption (with a special emphasis on women’s role as caretakers and the innocence of childhood). Instead of “updating” the story, or simply retelling it again in the same beats, Gerwig lingers on Alcott’s distinctive moral framework which emphasizes the inevitability of being a little wicked and the absolute necessity of discerning one’s own wicked tendencies.
  2. Indian-ish. This cookbook has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I now own asafetida and always have the holy trinity of  Indian cuisine (onion-ginger-chilis) in my fridge.
  3. Carina Chocano’s incredible profile of the Poo-Pourie magnate.
  4. Caron Callahan. I want to only wear her expensive nun-like clothes. I know I’ve been all about sacks for a long time. But now I’m all about long feminine dresses that show no skin but say “this person is definitely a lady.” fullsizeoutput_72b

Also, how cool is this Amtrak bathroom mirror?!

I hope to return here soon to give you a review of The Class, a fitness class where everyone wears white and does primal screaming.

xo D

Rom Coms You Haven’t Seen Yet

They don’t make them much anymore, so our supply has really dwindled. Fortunately the endangered species has been popping up in some unlikely places. Like Obvious Child and the Big Sick, these new variations have exciting twists on the genre (abortion! old people! bi-lingual).

  1. My Name is Doris
  2. Everybody Loves Somebody
  1. Love is All You Need
  2. Mr. Right
  3. The Meddler
  4. Sleeping with Other People


Habitus Jeans

I can’t in good conscience recommend these jeans to you.

  1. They cost $200.
  2. I could not sit or walk in them for the first month.
  3. You are not supposed to wash them

But . . . I think this is the best I’ve ever looked in a pair of pants.



Marc Maron has a whole essay on these pants. And I understand why. When I bought them I had to lay down on the floor of the dressing room to get them on, which really made me face my darkest self.

But every time I wear them I feel an ascetic pleasure in the pain of “wearing them in.” Every second of pain will be rewarded with another quarter inch of give. Or who knows, maybe they are slowly reshaping me.


Julie and I went to Barre3 to produce some content for you

We started out with a butternut squash smoothie. IMG_1398

The St. Louis suburbs are pretty good at being suburbs. They have barre3 after all. But they’re not the best suburbs. We had to get our pre-workout smoothies at a Schnucks, which is no Whole Foods.

I’m very excited to introduce the blog to barre3, which is my honest to god plan b if my current career doesn’t work out. As a franchise they know what they’re doing. Good body mechanics, child care, and most importantly, excellent branding. It feels like you are working out in a soothing Creamsicle.


Also they anticipated our desire to take photos of ourselves bonding and working out! We were taking rookie photos with bad lighting when the instructor came over and said “would you like me take your photo? Also would you like some props?” This wall is actually lit for this purpose!

Apparently it was a challenging workout for Julie, because she declared “I need a martini” afterwards. Fortunately in the suburbs, they anticipate these needs.


Why do mall restaurants cost as much as fancy Brooklyn restaurants? Well the good thing about this really expensive chain restaurant is that you can eat there in your sweaty workout gear.


We went to Nordstrom afterwards to buy shoes, but we forgot to produce content for you there.


Beauty in the Era of Trump

I recently asked my students to show me the Youtube videos they love, and . . . wow. We are living in a dark age of terrible observational comedy, pranks, and not very well thought out identity politics. But, glass houses. I’m not not proud of my Youtube consumption either. Recently, however, beauty Youtube for old ladies has made a turn towards the political. It happened because of Trump. Something feels particularly icky about “hauls” and sponsored videos when we have a snake-oil salesman in the White House.

Our beloved Anna and our strange friend Mercedes have been inspired to stop pushing products at us. And they are inspired by a genuinely delightful Youtuber: Kimberly Clark. Her videos are funny and genuinely woke.

Kimberly Clark is not radical because she is a drag queen. In fact her new videos have thrown into relief the key role drag queens, and appropriations of drag queen makeup, have played in the explosive growth of the beauty industry. She is radical because she wants to buy everything (so I can relate to her), but she is doing the valuable work of talking us and herself down from actually buying all the products.

Another valuable resource in this radical anti-buying stuff turn is Dr. Dray on Youtube. She is a dermatologist who, for reasons that are unclear to me, is giving away her expertise for free. She is willing to answer basically all questions in the comments. Her wisdom is timely: put your sunscreen on, use retinoids for heavy duty wrinkle/acne work, stop irritating your skin with serums, oils, and masks, and see a dermatologist for genuine skin problems. Amen.


Let Us All Bend and Snap


Full Disclosure: I now spend eighty percent of my Youtube time on the millennium dance complex videos. There are about five different choreographer-specific Youtube channels that make videos at this dance studio. Mostly it is really accomplished LA dance video dancers. But they also teach classes to wannabees. Increasingly I love the videos of the not so great dancers. The first video is full of Big Deal dancers (Jade for instance is a genuine wholebrity for thirteen year old dance competition girls, and many of the other  dancers in this video tour with Beyonce, etc.). The second video is the not famous people. And, as they say on So You Think You Can Dance, they are dancing for their lives.

Happy Friday! I’ll be practicing my floor work all weekend.


Julie and I went to lunch to produce some content for you



. . . also the pants have arrived!


and, I don’t know, I think they look great.


(oh also, the pants, t-shirt, and shoes are Everlane. Why aren’t these people paying me?)

More Light in the Darkness

So many good things to share:

1. The Good Fight–the bad news: there is no way to watch this without getting a bullshit CBS all access account, which after the one week free trial is $7 a month. This is extortion because the show is so good that I’m forced to download this dumb app and pay. The good news: this show feels like the people who made the Good Wife held a conference for educated fans and critics and used all the input. No terrible Alicia wigs, no ignoring excellent characters. All your favorite characters, formerly stuck in B plots, now have A plots. And Cush Jumbo (Luca) seems to have taken all the money wasted on Alicia’s bad wigs and invested in a new wardrobe of embossed prints.


3. Big Little Lies on HBO, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern is everything you ever wanted from a TV show about rich beautiful people fighting about parenting.

2. Did you enjoy that video of dancing I posted two weeks ago? Are you thinking a lot about how queer people are unsafe? Then I suggest the documentary Paris is Burning, now streaming on Netflix. Drag Balls in 1980s New York are fascinating, the dancing is exquisite, and it’s a useful reminder that making bathrooms (or marriage) the central issue of queer politics is a little odd. Let’s think bigger people!

3. I am a broken record: Who Weekly is the podcast-tonic for our times. But the interview with Spencer Pratt that aired last week is next level. Spencer Pratt should be awarded an honorary degree at the Cultural Studies Association for his visionary work and insightful analysis.




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