T LOunge for December 14, 2020

Posted on December 14, 2020

Blue Room Cocktail Bar and Lounge – Los Angeles, USA


Let’s all head somewhere dark and cushy today – and then spend all day there doing the bare minimum required of us. Is that a plan or what?

Today is MONDAY. Which does tend to put a pall of suck over everything.

We are dealing with grocery drama as if it were late March/early April all over again. Can’t get a delivery scheduled before Thursday and not only are we likely to run out of food by then, but we’re likely to have a snow storm the day before, which could disrupt any further food delivery. So now we have a much more expensive smaller delivery coming from Whole Foods later today, just to ensure that we have some essentials before the flakes fall. Gotta say, food procurement drama has been one of our least favorite side effects of this whole fakakta year.

Ironically, all of our Christmas shopping is not only complete, but every gift is wrapped and we’re sending out our holiday cards today, which is so ridiculously early for us that it feels like a new world record.

So how are things with you? Please feel free to ignore the question and instead sample from our Buffet of Distractions:

Leading By Example: How Naomi Osaka Became the People’s Champion
After Osaka became the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win her first and second Grand Slam tournaments back-to-back, her play took a dip in the spring of 2019. She made early exits at the following four Grand Slams; her ranking slid from world number one to number 10; and she descended into a funk. “Every young person has a fearlessness, and once you sort of settle in, and you feel like you have all these expectations on you, you start to overthink a lot of things,” she says. “Honestly, I didn’t cope well.” Her agent felt that she could use a mentor, and so he introduced her to Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. Osaka is a huge basketball fan (she met her boyfriend at a Clippers game), and a perspective from outside tennis felt necessary. Bryant died in a helicopter accident in January 2020, but Osaka cherishes their brief friendship. “He was someone who experienced the ups and downs. He taught me that even though it’s tough in the moment, if you keep going, you’ll get the result—or you might not get the result but you’ll get an opportunity to get the result.”


Why FKA Twigs’s Statement on Domestic Violence Is More Urgent Than Ever
The importance of Twigs’s statement lies in both its timeliness and its urgency. With the restrictions of the pandemic forcing many around the world to remain within their homes for extended periods of time, domestic abuse hotlines have experienced a worrying uptick in calls. Meanwhile, shelters have had to deal with the logistical complexities of incoming and outgoing patients while still ensuring their practices remain Covid-safe—a further deterrent to women who may already feel conflicted about whether or not to seek help or refuge to escape the cycle of abuse.


Our Plastic Problem Has Reached a Tipping Point—Here’s Why We’re Still Hopeful
“Our recycling infrastructure was really at risk before the pandemic,” Dune Ives, the CEO of ocean conservancy foundation Lonely Whale, explains. “Facilities were already starting to shut down because there weren’t enough end users for their [recycled] materials. A plastic water bottle will usually [sell], but the type of plastic Starbucks uses on those adult sippy cups? There is no buyer for that material. So we send it to places like Vietnam and the Philippines where there isn’t recycling infrastructure, so they have to landfill it or burn it,” she continues. “This year has just exacerbated all of these issues, but the silver lining is that it’s also shining a really bright spotlight on what needs to be done to solve this pollution crisis.”


Anya Taylor-Joy to Reunite with Queen’s Gambit Creator on Nabokov Adaptation
Scott Frank, the co-creator of Netflix’s hit chess drama, revealed that he and Taylor-Joy are working to adapt the novel Laughter in the Dark.
The author’s 1932 novel, set in Berlin’s 1930s film scene, centers on middle-aged art critic Albert Albinus, who becomes entranced with 17-year-old aspiring actress Margot Peters. After Albinus’s wife learns of the affair and leaves him, Peters enlists her ex Axel Rex to help ruin Albinus, both financially and mentally.


How to Make Candy Magic at Home
The F&W guide to transforming sugar into this season’s most crackly, chewy, creamy, and covetable treats.

Candymaking is chemistry at its absolute coolest. In the span of just 60 degrees on a candy thermometer, sugar syrup can turn from wispy strands to gelatinous balls to brittle shards, yielding sweets that range from rock candy and fudge to gummies and lollipops in the process. Here, classic candies get the gourmet treatment—no artificial dyes or unpronounceable stabilizers—just good old-fashioned sugar, water, and some knockout flavor combinations to take your candy crush to a sweet new level.


That’s ‘Dr.’ Jill Biden to You, Sir. You Got a Problem With That?
On Saturday, a professor named Joseph Epstein, who apparently has gotten his knickers in a twist over the fact that Jill Biden uses the title ‘Dr.’ before her name (and for good measure has @drbiden as her Twitter handle), was given a column in The Wall Street Journal to offer some unsolicited advice to the new first lady: Scrap that honorific.


How to find fitness motivation after this train wreck of a year
The key to working out at home is to think of it less like exercise and results, and more like a mental health benefit.

I posed these questions to Charlie Meredith, a senior curriculum mentor at Barry’s. Meredith has been teaching Barry’s classes outdoors and through Zoom via the company’s online classes for the last nine or so months, and on top of that has been working out, too. Here’s what he had to say about exercising and tips and tricks to stay motivated even though we may not want to.


Wolfwalkers is animated storytelling at its finest
The gorgeously animated new film from the makers of The Secret of Kells warns against those who reject magic for authoritarian rule.

It’s never said outright, but given Irish history, it’s clear that the Lord Protector is Oliver Cromwell, who laid siege to Kilkenny, forced it to its knees, and took over as its ruler in 1650. Cromwell, a Puritan, was famously tolerant of various religious groups — as long as they were Protestant sects. The Irish were Catholic, and that strain of Christianity, combined with Ireland’s rich heritage of magic and ancient culture, presented a threat to the English social order.
Wolfwalkers plays with that history, while telling a story that transcends it. Directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, it’s the tale of Robyn Goodfellowe (voiced by Honor Kneafsey), a young English girl who has come to Kilkenny with her father Bill (Sean Bean), a wolfhunter. The Lord Protector (Simon McBurney) is adamant that the wolves who live in the woods near the city’s walls must be hunted down and destroyed, so that the forest can be cleared to prepare it for farming by the townspeople.


A Few Things That Actually Went Right in 2020
From Parasite to the DNC roll call, a compendium of some net gains for the world, arriving at the moment we needed them most.

It is gauche to look for a personal silver lining in this year’s pandemic, as no amount of sourdough bread, at-home fitness accomplishments, or Zoom party games can make up for COVID-19’s massive toll. And yet, coronavirus was not the only story of 2020. Whether spurred by pandemic protocols or the inexorable forward march of culture and science, there were new discoveries and moments of joy to be had amid the grinding terror—a few things to celebrate, no matter the context in which they arrived.


The Women Behind Édouard Manet’s Seasons
Curators delve into the identities of the models who posed for a famous pair of Manet’s portrait

Manet is such a dominant figure in the story of modern art that the women he relied upon as models and who actively collaborated in his art-making have been overshadowed by his enormous reputation.
Who were these women who worked with Manet on his series? What place did they have in his social circle, and what impact did they have on his art during his final years?


What’s Fauci Reading? We Take Another Look at Celebrity Bookshelves
This year is finally coming to an end, so here is one last peek at the books behind Chris Rock, Jeff Bezos, Jemele Hill, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more.

As 2020 winds down and we look back at our pandemic year, it’s possible, through the murk of loneliness and illness, to see the few bright spots that existed for people who love books. We had the chance to peruse a lot of strangers’ bookshelves — nearly every time we turned on the television or began a video call.






[Photo Credit: martynwhite.london]

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