Juniper Disco || no. 8
Chewbacchus, gloomy shoo-wops, and the Cirque du Soleil Uprising of Winter 2020
|Melissa Mooney||Feb 12|| 2|
Well then. I am in a mood. The last couple of weeks knocked the wind out of me. I am agitated, angry, defeated, and ridiculously unfocused and unproductive. I cocooned. I sniped. Dishes piled up. I didn’t finish this newsletter on time.
Stephen and I shuffled up and down the hallway all week, alternately sighing loudly and asking Alexa to “please play ‘In the Still of the Night’ one more time.” Those gloomy shoo-wops from The Irishman are the perfect earworm to support our low-energy Jeb state of mind.
I blame Iowa. And 52 Senate Republicans, one deranged so-called president of the United States, and anyone named Bill Barr.
First, thank you for your kind words about my very personal Magenta Chicken from last time.
I hate the term “self-care,” but clearly it’s time to talk about it. Once those shuffles down the hall turned into choreographed dance routines with jazz hand accents, it was time to gather myself and get on with it. A few tips:
Sleep as much as you can, whenever you can. Dreams wash your brain.
Don’t share things with others that you haven’t checked to see if they are true.
Declare your home a safe space from All That. Turn off the news. Protect yourself. I have a huge hunk of black tourmaline in front of the TV to absorb all that poison. Mute him. Mute his supporters. Fashion your own velcro holster so you can move quickly with that remote.
Double-down on your social media edit. Long ago I unfollowed almost all of my Facebook friends. The result? A streamlined feed that I never even look at or scroll through. I now just go in and look at specific groups, like the fan group of the resort we’re headed to in a month (so many monkey photos!). I created a Dogs + Culture list in Twitter that almost completely eliminates the political commentary. Do what you need to do.
Purge anything that makes you feel bad. I am proud to say I unsubscribed from the Goop newsletter and will not be watching Goop Lab.
Buy self tanner. I cannot stress this enough.
“The producer behind Cheer’s wild music explains it all.” “The soundtrack to Cheer is a series of thuds, cracks, cries, and sharp intakes of breath; unsurprisingly for a sport in which ‘flyers’ are hurled 25 feet in the air before being caught by ‘tumblers,’ cheerleading is unforgiving and broken bones quickly pile up.”
“Yale’s Art History Department to scrap survey course.” “Yale will stop teaching a storied introductory survey course in art history, citing the impossibility of adequately covering the entire field — and its varied cultural backgrounds — in one course.”
“An Interview With the Woman Who Wrote the Viral 1,000-Word Job Listing for a ‘Household Manager/Cook/Nanny.” “The ad, posted by a CEO and mother of 10-year-old twins in Menlo Park, California, seeks an ideal candidate who can ‘conduct research into domestic and global vacation options,’ and is a ‘great, consistent’ cook who can ‘correctly quantify how much fish to purchase for five people’ and accommodate the family’s complex food allergies (chicken eggs are out—duck eggs are OK). The right candidate can swim in the ocean, bodysurf, and ‘likes river swimming.’
“What’s Going on with My Dark Vanessa and Excavation?” “ … when she heard about My Dark Vanessa, it ‘sounded so much like Excavation I thought I was going to pass out … As much as I would like to avoid a book that fictionalizes an experience I lived, it will be difficult to — the publishing machine will make sure as many people know about it as possible.’”
“All Nerddoms Welcome: The Intergalactic Krewe Of Chewbacchus Parades In New Orleans.” "Chewbacchus is the Sacred Drunken Wookie who we worship," said Overlord Strangelover, Richard Riggs. "He is our godhead."
(The Rainbow Mandalorian Chris Garnett is a captain of Queer Eye for the Sci-fi, a sub-krewe of LGBTQ cosplayers and their allies. —L. Kasimu Harris for NPR)
72 Seasons app. A year of nature, food, and tradition based on the ancient Japanese calendar, in which the year is divided into 72 separate seasons. February 4-8 is known as FIRST SPRING. I can totally get behind that.
One of the conversations I often have with my friends (most of whom are gay men) is about the disconnect younger people have with the horror of the AIDS crisis. Watch this:
Are you watching/reading/listening to …? The Good Place finale. We went through several rounds of heaving sobs in our house by the time it was over. // The Stranger (Netflix). Another gripping adaptation of Harlan Coben’s books. // Parasite. STILL thinking about it. // Brittany Runs a Marathon (Amazon). Based on the true story of a woman who changes her life training for a marathon. Inspiring, yet … there is a skinny-equals-happy message here, maybe unintended, but come on! //
“The Whale Detective” episode of Nature (PBS). A wildlife photographer who had a whale breach ON TOP OF HIM while he was kayaking gets obsessed with why that happened. // Dancing with the Birds (Netflix). I loved everything about this documentary — the opening credits, the lively music, Sir David Attenborough’s cheeky narration, and of course, the most amazing birds — that MacGregor’s bower bird has skills! // MATANGA/MAYA/M.I.A. (Kanopy). Incredibly personal documentary about M.I.A., the controversial singer who has been the never-ending champion of immigrants. She has a new Patreon (Also, if you have a library card, chances are you can get Kanopy for free.) //
The “Welcome To The Slow Flower Movement With Florist Elena Seegers of Le Fleuriste” episode of the Our Nature podcast. Did you know Valentine’s Day is the WORST time to buy flowers? Bottom line: buy your flowers at the farmers market. // “The Island No One Owns” episode of the Planet Money podcast. Fascinating change proposed in Barbuda after the hurricane. //
Anjunadeep 11. You know exactly what I am going to say: I still love Anjunadeep 02 best. But this one makes an excellent poolside mix. //
TOKiMONSTA has a new album, Oasis Nocturno, coming out in March. Here’s a teaser. (I’m not totally on board with this new sound.) //
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
TODAY!! February 12 is the deadline to register to vote for the Presidential Primary in Massachusetts. And, EVERYONE, double-check to see if you are registered HERE.
February 12. Premieres of Where’d You Go Bernadette? (Hulu), The Farewell (Amazon), and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before PS: I Still Love You (Netflix.) // February 21. Hunters (Amazon). Jordan Peele. Al Pacino. Nazi hunters.
February 13. The Plant Workshop in Orleans is having a Flower Bar all day where you can make your own bouquet.
Mercury goes retrograde on February 18!
Stephen woke up grumbling, “stupid New Hampshire” this morning. He’s all in for Bailey Warren and he is just as mopey as I am. While we slowly trudge around the neighborhood, he’s humming “shoo wop shoo wa” under his breath and giving snarky side eye to the local squirrels.
I broke my commitment to not buy any new books this year when I pre-ordered Dan Pfeiffer’s Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again. You can listen to an excerpt, “Unsolicited Advice for the Nominee,” here.
Elizabeth Warren on race (and here’s her “A Working Agenda for Black America”):
After The Super Mr. read this tweet about Amy Klobuchar aloud to me, he said, “She’s you.” He’s not wrong.
“Where The 2020 Democrats Stand on Climate Change” episode of the Short Wave podcast.
Listen to this interview with Mitt Romney from just BEFORE his ballsy vote.
Sorry for the late newsletter this week. I can’t promise it won’t happen again.