Friday five

May 18, 2018

ONE || 50 Years after their Mug Shots, Portraits of Mississippi’s Freedom Riders

It’s hard to believe that it was only 50 years ago that segregation was a normal part of people’s lives. Journalist and photographer, Eric Etheridge provides side-by-side photographs of the Freedom Riders’ mugshots and a current portrait. It’s moving and inspiring, and I think it’s something you need in your day.

TWO || 100% Pure

I have not tried any of these products yet, but it’s just a matter of time. 100% Pure creates make-up, skincare, and hair/body body products completely free of synthetic substances. Certain chemicals penetrate our skin and others are absorbed into our bloodstream, so it stands to reason we should choose products wisely.

Read more about how much our skin actually absorbs.

THREE || First Reformed

This is just a trailer for an upcoming movie starring Ethan Hawke, and oh my gosh, guys! I’m blown away. It hit theaters today, but it’s a limited release, so most of us won’t be able to see it for a few more weeks. I can barely wait.

Amanda Seyfried is in it, too.

FOUR || A Long Weekend in Napa Valley Itinerary

If you’re looking for a not-exactly-wine-centered-but-still-some-wine itinerary for Napa Valley covering Napa, Yountville and St. Helena, and Calistoga, then this is for you!

FIVE || School Shootings in 2018

You need reminding. You need triggering. School shootings in America have killed hundreds of people in recent years, and 2018 has seen dozens of deaths. In fact, “More young Americans have died in school shootings in 2018 than in all the nation’s combat operations all over the world.” (source)

This is not okay.

Friday five

May 11, 2018

ONE || Mothers’ Day Gift Guide

Brit + Co. has a comprehensive guide for any budget and every mom! If you need to order something, it might not make it in time for Mothers’ Day, but a belated gift is better than nothing.

TWO || Avengers: Infinity War

You’ve probably already seen it, so this is old hat for you. For what it’s worth, this wasn’t my favorite Marvel movie. It felt like a really long setup for the next movie, which won’t even be released until 2019! Ugh.

I’m just ready for Deadpool 2.

THREE || Old School

A book recommended to me, Old School took me by surprise. It was a well-written story, and I enjoyed reading it. Short and sentimental, you could knock this out in a lazy weekend.

FOUR || Golden Hour | Kacey Musgraves

Country queen, Kacey Musgraves, has recently released her third album (well, fourth if you count her Christmas album), and it has been on repeat. Always a great lyricist, Kacey’s sound has grown up a little.

If you’re into country at all, Golden Hour should be added to your playlist.

FIVE || A Victim of Revenge Porn Tells Their Story

This 5-minute video made me tear up. Leah, founder of March Against Revenge Porn, tells her story.

I won’t ruin it for because it’s worth experiencing for yourself sans mediator.

Friday five

May 4, 2018

ONE || Isle of Dogs

Simply delightful. Everything about Wes Anderson’s new movie is sweet, charming, and quirky.

I was worried when it started because there was a gaggle of college girls belching comments and giggles from a couple of rows behind me. Then a mysterious hero in the audience demanded over his shoulder, “You gonna talk through the whole movie.”

It wasn’t a question, so I didn’t use a question mark.

The rest of the movie was uninterrupted magic.

TWO || “First Burn”

The latest #Hamildrop by Lin-Manuel Miranda is an AMAZEBALLS video. The song itself is a new take on the song “Burn,” which is usually a solo performance on stage. BUT this number has Arianna Afsar, Julia Harriman, Lexi Lawson, Rachelle Ann Go, and Shoba Narayan joining forces and voices for a goosebump-inducing rendition.

There are some new lyrics that’ll make you fall off your chair, vocals that’ll make you run out and sign up for voice lessons (aka adding this song to your playlist and belting it out in the privacy of your car), and a vibe that’ll set your heart on fire.

You need “First Burn” in your eye and ear holes immediately.

THREE || Pep-Start Eye Cream

My 30s are right around the corner, and to be honest, I can see the stress around my eyes. My personal battle is the dreaded under-eye circles.

This eye cream from Clinque is bomb. At $27, it might not be in everyone’s budget, but I’m going to make room in mine. I can see a world of difference. Every morning I roll the cream under my eyes, and by the time I get to work, I look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (this one might have something to do with me forgetting to brush my hair).

FOUR || The Myth of the Starving Artist

This piece written by Jeff Goins is almost a year old, but it keeps getting better with time. It’s chock-full of wisdom for all creatives and serves as a much-needed enlightenment on so many facets of art and compensation.

What I think we all fear is not discovery of or compensation for our work. But I think that we creatives are afraid that in caring too much about marketing or business, we will somehow lose the purity of our art.

So writers, designers, musicians, and craftsmen, fear not. Go forth and create. Tally ho!

FIVE || Mean Tweets – Avengers Edition

I haven’t seen the new Avengers yet. No spoilers, guys. To tide me over, though, I watched the latest edition of Jimmy Kimmel’s Celebrities Read Mean Tweets. It’s the best of the snark on our favorite Avengers. If you need a chuckle, this might be what’ll get you through the day.

To Whom it May Concern

May 2, 2018

From the desk of: Angelina Squarejaw, Fashion Expert and Fitness Guru 

Dear Pear-Shaped Women,

Your hips and thighs are juicy. They demand attention; unfortunately, despite a recent explosive acceptance of all body types, yours is still the worst.

don’t think that, of course, but let’s take a moment for you to employ some self-awareness. You are disproportionate. Large hips and thighs (the least attractive of body parts when amplified) and small breasts and shoulders. That’s disconcerting for the seeing public. To be a member of society, it’s important that you think of the rest of us. You don’t want your body to offend the public do you?

How can you fix your offensive body? We’re so glad you asked! It’s a relief to us all that you’re hearing our comments on your body and are willing to make some changes. It’s not a criticism of you as a person. Don’t get me wrong. No! You are so special. It’s just your body that needs some, let’s call it, charitable rearchitecting.

Here’s our suggestion: bootcut jeans.

Think of it as urban camouflage. We don’t want to be visually accosted by your fat-bottomed spite; it’s impolite. No one will notice your thick, juicy thighs and round ass if your jeans have some ankle flair.

You hate bootcut jeans? Well, while I do question your motivations and communal spirit, I think there might be some other viable options. All is not lost. If you absolutely cannot stomach the idea of bootcut jeans, consider breast implants, maybe? For balance, of course. Anorexia? Your body will eat away at itself eventually because honestly, your ass is a feast, a metabolic smorgasbord. More cardio? That might work, but a few of these suggestions are long-term solutions, and we’re definitely more interested in an immediate fix. Whatever you do, please, for the love of Jesus, hourglass-shaped Mary, and Joseph, don’t do squats. That’ll just exacerbate the issue. Surgery might be a helpful option, actually. Just remove everything below your adult playground. In fact, take that, too; we can’t have you propagating more generations of pear-shaped women. That’s just irresponsible.

Still the quickest, most economical answer is a dark-wash bootcut jean, preferably with some stretch and a mid-rise (to avoid the spillage of your soft hips and derriere). It’s rude to force us to see your body shape, so have some manners. Buy bootcut jeans. Wear them every day of the year, more than one pair at a time. Wear them on your head. As a scarf. Tie the legs around your waist or shoulders like a tennis-loving housewife (her slim body is perfectly rectangular; much easier on the eyes). We trust your creativity, so you can trust this helpful advice. Repeat after me: bootcut jeans.

Again, it’s not you. It’s your body; you’re a pear-shaped problem.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Sincerest regards,

Your Humble, Small-Hipped Savior

Please Stop Using This Emily Brontë Quote as if it’s Romantic (It’s Not)

May 1, 2018

This is a Brontë PSA.

People in love — on behalf of English majors and book lovers everywhere — please stop using Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights quote to describe the depth of your passion and romance:

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

Here are four reasons this quote, along with Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship, is NOT romantic:

One // Incest

Heathcliff and Catherine are very likely half siblings.

Even if you don’t believe/agree with the — albeit small — evidence that they are biologically related, they were raised together as brother and sister.

In the 1800s, laws prohibited adopted children, foster children, or any children raised together from marrying one another, and Brontë’s 19th century readers would know that. Through the eyes of the law, Heathcliff and Catherine were siblings.

Either way — biological or societal — it’s pretty incestuous.

Two // Co-dependent

Color Heathcliff and Catherine co-dependent.

They both want to be each other. Catherine says, “He’s more myself than I am.” At one point, she says she is Heathcliff. After Catherine’s death, Heathcliff literally and desperately wants his body to be joined with hers, so they can decompose together. That is not romantic, it is not sweet, and more importantly, it is not sexual. It is, however, a blinking neon sign that blasts CO-DEPENDENT.

If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.

See: co-dependency.

Three // Toxic

Not only was their relationship co-dependent, it was violent, toxic, and obsessive. In some respects, they even idolize one another.

Catherine threatens to haunt Heathcliff and drive him to their shared doom. Determined to exact revenge on what he perceives as a lifetime’s worth of injustice, Heathcliff ruins everyone’s life around him (including Catherine’s own daughter).

Spurned by jealousy and fits of rage, these two have a classically and dangerously toxic connection. They don’t want each other, but they don’t want anyone else to have them either. Maybe it’s born out of their isolation, loneliness, and/or social ambition, but whatever the reason, theirs is a destructive relationship.

Four // Platonic

Despite their damaging toxicity, Catherine and Heathcliff are soul mates. They belong together but not as lovers. It’s an idolized, obsessive connection. As this Bustle article explains:

They [Heathcliff and Catherine] strive to transcend the boundaries of human subjectivity and physicality — to become something that is other and only them. Their relationship in the novel is strange and fascinating, but it’s not love.

There is zero indication that Catherine or Heathcliff have romantic, sexual chemistry. They aren’t physically attracted to one another like Catherine is to Edgar Linton (the man she marries), and since she is pregnant and dies after giving birth, we, as readers, know Catherine has had sex.

In fact, if you analyze this story from a historical lens (which is important since mores, morals, and day-to-day living was different), a modern audience might better understand that Victorian-era audiences considered the “opposites attract” rule to be the epitome of romantic love.

… Because he’s [Heathcliff’s] more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and [Edgar’s] is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.

Heathcliff and Catherine are the same; therefore, theirs is a platonic love, while Catherine and Linton are opposites and therefore more symbolic of Victorian-era romantic love.

Catherine says:

I am Heathcliff. He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

And that, straight from the horse’s mouth, carries the weight of the point: this is not a romance. Catherine and Heathcliff, though linked by their souls, have an eerily incestuous, deeply codependent, dangerously toxic, and (at times) hostilely platonic relationship.

The only reason we consider Wuthering Heights a romance is because of moody film adaptations and bad high school English teachers. So, I plead with you all, the betrothed, married, and stupid-in-love couples of the world, please stop using this quote to describe your relationship.

It doesn’t mean what you think it means.