T LOunge for December 4, 2020

Posted on December 04, 2020

Saoke Restaurant, Bar and Lounge – Muravandhoo island, Maldives

Kittens, how on earth is it FRIDAY? Not that we’re complaining, mind you, but it always catches us off-guard each year when we remember that the earth’s rotation speeds up on December 1st, making each day pass by in a matter of a couple of hours. Or maybe it just feels that way.

We are currently beating back the darkness by putting together household gift baskets for friends and family; an alternative to our normal gift-giving opportunities that’s actually turning out to be a bit more fun. No gifts for any single person; just a box or basket full of fun for households of people we love. Baked goods, chocolates, cheese and alcohol, with an ornament or candle or two, plus whatever funny little things we pick up along the way. If ever there was a “from our hours to yours” kind of Christmas, then the one where we all literally have to stay in our houses would be it.

What different sorts of plans are you making for your winter holidays this year? And listen, if your answer is “Ignoring them completely,” good for you! We love to get our jingle-jangle on each year but we are completely supportive of folks not opting into the madness if it’s not for them or has bad associations for them. No one in the T LOunge should ever feel bad or sheepish about their Bah-Humbugging. In which case, you should definitely skip the holiday talk and sample freely from today’s Buffet of Distractions:


The Royal Family Decorated Windsor Castle for Christmas, and It Looks Stunning
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have revealed their plans to celebrate the holidays at Windsor this year, due to the pandemic.

Christmas Day for the royal family is going to look a bit different this year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there won’t be an annual walk to services at St. Mary Magdalene church, and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip won’t be spending the holidays at Sandringham estate—breaking a decades-long royal tradition. Instead, the couple plans to celebrate “quietly” at Windsor Castle.
But even if the Queen and Prince Philip are having a low-key Christmas, it’ll still be plenty festive. Windsor Castle has been decorated to the nines this year with Christmas trees, twinkle lights, and festive garlands.


Cameron Diaz Knows It’s Always Time for Sparkling Wine
The new bubbly is the latest varietal from Diaz’s wine venture with Katherine Power, Avaline.

Avaline’s new sparkling wine embodies the brand’s no-nonsense approach toward crafting clean, crowd-pleasing wines. Made transparently with a blend of organic Xarel·lo, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes, it comes from the multigenerational Raventós i Blanc winery from Penedès, Spain. The Raventos family, who specialize in sparkling wines, have been crafting wine since 1497 and work to promote the importance of biodiversity and sustainability through their winemaking.


Britney Spears Is “Ready to Take More Control” of Her Life Come 2021
Spears is reportedly disappointed with the setbacks of her conservatorship, but hopeful for the year ahead.

“Britney has had a rough year when it comes to her conservatorship. While she appreciates what her father has done for her in the past, she feels she’s ready to take more control of her finances and healthcare, and it’s been an endless struggle. She is excited about turning 39, and she thinks this year will be a healing year for her.”


Prince Charles and Princess Anne’s Brother-Sister Relationship in Photos
From sledding in Germany to safaris in Kenya, these royal siblings have stayed close through it all.

Growing up in the royal family, it’s safe to say that Princess Anne and Prince Charles didn’t have a normal childhood. Their close-knit relationship is chronicled in the hit show, The Crown, but read on to see what it looks like in real life.


Everything You Need to Know About Cookies
Cookies are a treat that can be as fancy or as simple as you want. Here’s everything you need to make your next batch.
No matter which cookies you favor, now’s the time to get baking. Crucially for 2020, cookies are portable and easy to share while maintaining a social distance, and endlessly adaptable to suit various tastes and dietary restrictions. You can also wrap them up and put them in the mail, and (carefully) deliver them to friends and neighbors less messily than a pie or cake. If your household is small, you can freeze them to ensure holiday baked-goods abundance will stretch into the new year.


An Investigation of Black Figures in Classical Greek Art
Ancient Greece’s visual heritage included representations of black people that nimbly provoked and cut across hierarchies

Museum and academic scholars are key players in the fight for contextualized and equitable perspectives of black people in antiquity; they curate exhibits and write books that greatly influence vast audiences. Preconceived notions of Black people are seared into our country’s collective consciousness; without an overhaul of the “black=slaves in perpetuity” trope, damaging stereotypes become ossified as facts for future generations. This brief examination has revealed ancient Greek art to be an expansive landscape. Ancient Greece’s visual heritage included representations of black people that nimbly provoked and cut across hierarchies. Objects like the sixth-century BCE head-shaped pitcher and water jar discussed above were not part of any chromatic hierarchy because such categories had yet to be codified. Instead, they existed within their own historical and artistic context.


Imagining the Culinary Past in France: Recipes for a Medieval Feast
In the French Middle Ages, as today, banquets were opportunities for the well-heeled to entertain guests in style

The set-up was simple: boards placed on trestles topped with white cloths, wine diluted with water in clay vessels, meats on five-day-old slabs of bread serving as rustic plates. Forks were absent. Meals began and ended with hand-washing and a prayer.
Food and entertainment, however, were lavish. Peacock, heron, and swan were frequently on the aristocrat’s menu. Spices from exotic lands, such as saffron, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon, reflected hosts’ wealth and their ties to far-off realms. Dancing, singing, short plays, and readings from lavish manuscripts full of romantic intrigue and knightly derring-do—such as those featured in the exhibition Imagining the Past in France, 1250–1500—accompanied entremets, or tidbits between courses.


Warner Bros. Smashes Box Office Windows, Will Send Entire 2021 Slate to HBO Max and Theaters
In an unprecedented announcement, the studio will send 17 films — including ‘The Matrix 4,’ ‘The Suicide Squad’ and ‘Dune’ to its streaming service for 31 days the same day they hit theaters.
Warner Bros. is plotting a sweeping response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered movie theaters around the country. After announcing that Wonder Woman 1984 will go to HBO Max as well as theaters Dec. 25, the studio has laid out a similar path for its 2021 slate amid uncertainty about when moviegoing will get back to normal.


ViacomCBS Prepping Drama Series About Fashion Icon Cristobal Balenciaga
The scripted series about the life of the famed Spanish designer will be directed by James Kent.
Famed Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga is getting the biopic treatment, with ViacomCBS International Studios, a division of ViacomCBS Networks International, now developing a scripted series.
“There are few artists who have affected our world’s material reality – its texture, color, shape and form – in the way Balenciaga has. His creations changed the face of fashion, and his story, until now, has only been told through his fashion designs. I am thrilled to have the challenge of pulling from this visual, aesthetic space, and Balenciaga’s intense life, to share this glamorous story with the world.”


How Dating During a Pandemic Is Like Being in a Jane Austen Novel
Clever planning is involved, and courtship includes many brisk walks. You regularly inquire about the health of each other’s family members. Gossip helps edify listeners by determining what is and isn’t\n acceptable, and who has violated social conventions and decorum.


How Nail Artist Rayah Naji Turns Modern Manicures Into ‘70s-Style Ads
Using her keen eye for vintage typography, the graphic design student and nail artist creates gorgeous imagery that’s caught the eyes of beauty fans on Instagram.

There are some decades that evoke nostalgia so potent that you can’t escape their influence. The ’70s is one of those time periods. The decade gave us voluminous, bouncy blowouts, the ultra-glamourous disco era, and bold, graphic liner trends that we are still salivating over today. This time around, we’re seeing its influence in artist Rayah Naji’s work, in which she combines her beautiful nail art and graphic design skills to create stunning “advertisements” that look like they came straight from a ’70s magazine.


Getting Creative for the 2020 Office Holiday Party
Because yet another Google hangout is not going to cut it.

To put it mildly, this been a tough year for corporate America: furloughs, layoffs, pay cuts; juggling parenting or elder care with work (or picking up other people’s slack). Now throw seasonal affective disorder into the mix. “I have been giving mental health talks for large employers and they’re coming to me saying employee morale is lower than ever,” said Dr. Nina Vasan, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. Taking a moment to recognize efforts and having fun as a team can help to elevate low spirits, and therefore many employers are adamant about plowing ahead with a holiday celebration. But throwing a party in late 2020 isn’t remotely easy, even for professional event planners and producers.



[Photo Credit: joali.com]

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