T LOunge for June 9th, 2021

Posted on June 09, 2021

Koma Bar and Restaurant – Marina Bay Sands, Singapore


We’ve made it to Hump Day, kittens! Let’s celebrate in a cool, swanky, exotic LOunge where sunlight never lands. Yesterday was a slightly overwhelming day for a whole bunch of backstage reasons (book promotion, a magazine pitch, an upcoming speaking engagement and a few other bloggy/writey/podcasty tasks) and we’re still kind of reeling from it. On the one hand, we couldn’t be more pleased to be this busy and sought-after 15 years into our careers (independent blogging means constantly thinking it will all go away at any second) with so many platforms and areas to expand. On the other hand, it’s quite the culture shock after 15 months of pandemic lockdown and struggling to provide content. But no complaints! Not really! Love to be busy, love to have a bunch of things going on at once. If anything, being overwhelmed is our preferred state. When we launched our first company 20 years ago, that period was defined solely by long stretches of silence as we begged the phone to ring with work for us. Ever since those dark days, we’ve always made it a point to pause and show some appreciation when we find ourselves swamped with tasks and projects. Maybe this is soft-brained capitalist-fueled thinking, but having too much to do will always be preferable to having nothing to do in our minds.

And on that note, we’re off once again to do too much. Keep your eyes peeled for a newsletter later today. Until then, talk amongst yourselves, dolls!


The Incredible True Adventure of Five Gay Activists in Search of the Black Panther Party
In 1970, five gay activists took a road trip to meet with the Black Panther Party. Here, historian Hugh Ryan collects their memories of communes, free love, coming out, getting arrested, consciousness-raising rap sessions, gun shooting, acid dropping, and trying to be macrobiotic at McDonald’s.

In the fall of 1970, as the Vietnam War raged, five guys from the New York City Gay Liberation Front took a meandering road trip through the South in a maroon-and-white Volkswagen Bus. Their mission? To inspire gay people to attend the second Black Panther–organized Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in Washington, D.C., where they would join other liberationists from all around the country in writing a new American constitution.
Together, they spent six weeks on the road—Diana Ross and Mick Jagger on the radio, freedom and fear in the air. Joel was the radical; Richard, the lover; Giles, the organizer; Jimmy, the enfant terrible; and Doug, the cipher.


Jean Smart Is A Stand-Up Star In ‘Hacks’: “I’m Prejudiced Against People Who Don’t Have A Sense Of Humor”
“Someone asked me recently, ‘How do you switch from comedy to drama sometimes in the same character in the same show?’” she says. “And I guess my answer was basically that that’s what life is… I’m prejudiced against people who don’t have a sense of humor. There are some people that just seem devoid of that. And I am not proud of the fact that I just don’t like them, or at least I’m prejudiced against them. The most classic example being our most recent president. I mean, it was almost to the point of being fascinating, his complete lack of humor. It’s such a joyous part of life, you know, laughing and making people laugh. It’s like sex.”


Ann Dowd Digs Into Aunt Lydia’s Crisis Of Faith On The Handmaid’s Tale
“I do think Lydia is questioning, though she’s a long way from admitting it.”

There’s no shortage of tyrannical—yet nuanced—villains in The Handmaid’s Tale, from Bradley Whitford’s Commander Joseph Lawrence to Yvonne Strahovski’s Serena Joy. But Ann Dowd’s Aunt Lydia, whose ironclad grip on power in Gilead seems to be weakening this season, is perhaps the most unsettling character to watch. She’s capable of horrific and unspeakable levels of cruelty, has devoted herself wholeheartedly to enforcing the systematic rape of hundreds of women, and has no qualms about mutilating and torturing those who cross her. But she’s also capable of genuine affection, and seems to truly love at least a few of her Handmaids—none more so than Janine (Madeline Brewer).


Gymnast MyKayla Skinner Wants To Prove You Wrong
In 2016, gymnast MyKayla Skinner placed fourth in the all-around at the Olympic trials, the highest finisher not named to that year’s Olympic team. She was one of three alternates at the Rio Games, where she cheered on her teammates Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Laurie Hernandez from the sidelines. “I had come so close to living out my lifelong dream of winning gold,” Skinner says, “and in that moment I realized I couldn’t give up just yet.”
Now, at age 24, Skinner is fighting one final time for a spot on the Olympic team. If she makes it, she will become the oldest female U.S. Olympic gymnast since 2004. Ahead of trials on June 24, the master vaulter opens up about her long journey to Tokyo (including overcoming a foot injury and a positive COVID test)—and how she keeps her “head in the game.”


The Sacred Boom
With the demand for mystical services on the rise, a growing number of women are channeling their spiritual gifts into full-blown careers.

The fascination with mysticism during the pandemic isn’t surprising. In fact, the recent reliance on spiritual practices correlates with past eras of political upheaval. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, an associate professor of history at the New School in New York City, draws a parallel between the counterculture movement and alternative medicine in the 1960s and ’70s and the renewed interest in all things new age that we are seeing now. “I think women in particular have been drawn to these practices because they have not been treated well by the medical establishment,” she says. “There’s a history of women’s health being disregarded.” Fifty years ago, women embraced natural childbirth, Eastern medicine, and yoga; today, we’re leaning into healing crystals, sound baths, and moon circles. The impulse originates from the same desire: “These kinds of activities help people feel in control of their own lives and health.”


Inside the Making of Frank Sinatra’s Star-Studded Comeback Album
An excerpt from the new book Sinatra and Me explains how Old Blue Eyes’s megahit Duets almost didn’t happen.

After the 1984 release of the album LA Is My Lady, with Quincy Jones, Frank took a break from recording. A long break. He continued to travel and perform in concerts, but for the greater part of a decade, he wasn’t sure he wanted to go back into a studio. During those years off from recording, he liked to watch the late-night talk shows. Talk-show hosts like Johnny Carson or Dave Letterman were always asking performers, “Who was influential in your career? Who did you listen to?”


Ka’ak and Ma’amoul Are the Sweets That Connect My Family Through Joy and Sorrow
The ritual of making, eating, and distributing ka’ak and ma’amoul are symbols of continuity and community across a wide swath of the Middle East. In my mixed Christian and Muslim family, it’s an oasis of comfort, no matter what else is happening.

Every Eid, the women in my family gathered around low wooden tables in assembly line formation: one rolled date paste into balls, another portioned out dough, one stuffed a nut mixture into the mahlab-infused semolina dough, and another stuffed date paste into an aniseed- and nigella seed-flavored one. At the end of the assembly line sat the artists, the women and little girls with jagged-edged tweezers who made pretty patterns in the cakes before baking. It was a creative and meditative process to prepare the traditional ka’ak and ma’amoul. Even as we gossiped and teased, even as snarky remarks were tossed around as casually as the orange blossom water had been tossed into the pistachio stuffing, the amity of companionship was palpable.


Hard Seltzer and Other Ready-to-Drink Beverages Will Surpass Wine
Sales of ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages are surging while wine consumption is stagnant; a sea change was inevitable.

Hard seltzers and canned cocktails have been two of the biggest beverage trends over the past few years, with seltzers especially exploding into a full-on phenomenon embraced by industry leaders like Bud Light and Corona. Typically, these ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic beverages get compared to beer. Beyond similarities in packaging, hard seltzers-which make up over half of the RTD category-tend to be produced by breweries and clock in with similar ABVs.


Carey Mulligan Will Take Down Harvey Weinstein In A Drama About The Female-Led New York Times Exposé
Carey Mulligan refuses to quit until the patriarchy is overthrown. Following her Oscar-nominated turn in Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, the 36-year-old has traded in her bubblegum costumes for a role in She Said – an adaptation of the memoir of the same name by the New York Times reporters who brought Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment and abuse to light. Zoe Kazan – who’s perhaps best known for her emotional turn in 2017’s The Big Sick – will co-star, while Unorthodox auteur Maria Schrader will direct from a script penned by Oscar-winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz.


Nicola Coughlan On Rebellious Beauty, ‘Bridgerton’ And Being More Bimini
‘For me, make-up has become less about self-protection and more about self-expression.’

Whether she’s working a hairband and bangs as the frantically sanctimonious Clare in Derry Girls, piled high with pre-Raphaelite copper curls as Penelope Featherington (and Lady Whistledown) in Bridgerton, or dressed for the gods in full blown drag make-up in her spare time as Kylie Gender, Nicola Coughlan is a master of make-up transformation. Don’t even get us started on her haute couture-worthy beauty looks that break Instagram every time she rocks them on the red carpet. That neon pink eyeshadow? Iconic.


How radical gardeners took back New York City
Seed bombs, the “tree lady of Brooklyn,” and the roots of urban gardening.

In the 1960s and 1970s, New York City faced a sharp economic decline and white flight. Buildings were abandoned or burned down, particularly in the city’s lower-income neighborhoods. Communities faced mass disinvestment — and what was left was urban decay.
It was around this time that Hattie Carthan, a 64-year-old woman living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, began a grassroots effort to transform that urban decay into green space. What started with four newly planted trees in her neighborhood turned into 1,500.


The death of the girlboss
Girlbosses convinced us they would change capitalism. We weren’t wrong in hoping they would.

The girlboss is one of the cruelest tricks capitalism ever perpetrated. Born in the mid-2010s, she was simultaneously a power fantasy and a utopian promise. As a female business leader — be she a CEO, an aspiring CEO, or an independent MLM superseller — the girlboss was going to unapologetically will empires from the rubble of rejection and underestimation she faced all her life. As companies grew in her image, so did her mythos; her legacy would be grand and fair, because equality was coming to work. Everyone was supposed to win when girlbosses won. Hard work would finally pay off.


Unloved by Generations of Soldiers, the M.R.E. Finds a Fan Base
The rations often derided as ‘Meals, Rarely Edible’ have gotten (somewhat) better and become objects of fascination for millions of civilians.

Kathleen Ehl had always thought of her business as a niche affair — an online store called North Georgia Outdoors Supply that she and her husband run out of their home in Gainesville, selling Meals, Ready-to-Eat.
M.R.E.s, as they are widely known, are thick pouches of shelf-stable rations created for the United States military. They’re not particularly fancy or appetizing, and they’re technically not allowed to be sold commercially if they are made under a government contract, as most are. Ms. Ehl and her husband, Oliver Walker, scour online auctions and salvage stores for the meals, and sell most of them to collectors and survivalists.


Live in the former £2.5 million townhouse of Alexander McQueen
Nestled in Highbury is a beautiful Victorian townhouse with sleek – and surprisingly minimalist – interiors that once belonged to the legendary fashion designer

A grand townhouse on Highbury’s Aberdeen Road that once belonged to the legendary fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, has hit the market with an asking price of £2.5 million. The designer whose eponymous fashion house created the Duchess of Cambridge’s spectacular wedding dress and was crowned with the esteemed award, British Designer of the Year, on four occasions (1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003) lived at the four-bedroom residence at the heights of his fashion powers, between 2001 and 2005.


The Queen’s top chocolatier reveals Her Majesty’s favourite flavours
The Queen has a penchant for these particular chocolate varieties

It’s widely known that the Queen has a sweet tooth – her former chef Darren McGrady once revealed in an interview: ‘She loves chocolate. That was her favourite, and it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better.’ And now, one of her go-to chocolate brands has revealed the flavours that are most popular with the monarch.
According to Adam Lee, Charbonnel et Walker’s chief chocolatier, the Queen has ‘very floral tastes’ and has a list of her all-time favourite selections with the brand. Charbonnel et Walker was founded in London’s Bond Street in 1875 when King Edward VII asked his favourite chocolate maker Madame Charbonnel to move from Paris to London. Today, it’s one of the few chocolatiers to hold a Royal Warrant to the Queen.






[Photo Credit: taogroup.com]

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