Welcome to Issue 39.5 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
Well, I’ve certainly been waiting for today since about Monday afternoon. Here we are.
Some good news—Biden seems to have finally made one good cabinet pick. Deb Haaland will be the first Native person to head the Department of Interior, which manages a lot of land, including reservations, ‘public’ lands, and a lot of land that’s currently being used for fossil fuel extraction. Her leadership means good things for this land.
Some other news, take it as you will—the Digestable team will be having ourselves a winter break. Next Wednesday will be our last issue of 2020, this wild year that evades adjectives.
Is there something you want to hear about before we go? A burning question, a new topic, an update? Reply to this email today or over the weekend with your thoughts, and I’ll do my best to work it in before we hibernate for a few days.
Here are Jupiter and Saturn, which are getting cozy this week.
Caro's Advice Corner
I am staying home this holiday season because I can’t safely get home to my family. I know this is the reality of many at this moment. Any suggestions for making my time away from my family a little special so I don’t feel so far and alone?
Alone for the holidays
Dear alone for the holidays,
This holiday season is one we might never forget. Many of us are spending this time away from our families for the first time in years...for some of us maybe this is the first time we have ever spent a holiday away from our families. While it is easy to get caught up in the sadness and loneliness this might evoke, I am here to tell you otherwise! Think of this time as a sort of retreat from the normalcy that was leaving us humans, and our planet unstable before all of this happened.
I think this is a time for self reflection and gratitude, especially after the year we have had. Whether you are totally by yourself, or with your roommates for the next couple of weeks, plan yourself a healthy and hearty meal to nourish your mind and body as we enter the new year. I am planning to cook myself a special meal to celebrate the winter solstice this year, and I am simultaneously using this time to remind myself of the love I have for my physical body.
Another way I am celebrating this solstice/holiday season is by building an altar to celebrate my ancestors. This is a wonderful, very personal, and very private way to practice gratitude and honor where we came from. What better year than the apocalyptic mess that was 2020 to thank our ancestors for giving us the strength and guidance to make it through!? (New to building an altar? No worries, I gotchuuuu -- check out this YouTube video to learn more). I am planning on doing some mediating and journaling with this altar, in order to connect myself back to center as we transition into a new year. Another suggestion I have is just going all in on a self care ritual, take a bath, light some candles and incense, pop on that face mask. Truly no better way to honor yourself than to give yourself the spa day your physical and mental body deserve.
Alone for the holidays, there are so many ways you can make this time special for yourself. If being by yourself isn’t all you want to do, gather some folks on Zoom! (I know, Zoom fatigue is real, but stick with me here). Whether it’s having a video call with your family, or maybe it’s your friends, connecting with loved ones is another way we recharge and feel more centered. Play Zoom games, sing karaoke, honestly, the virtual world is your oyster!
I hope you find this helpful Alone for the holidays. I hope you have a very special time closing out this hard year. If we start practicing even a little more kindness towards ourselves now, we might have better hope for the year to come.
DJ M0RO’s low-key Music Show
Oh how I’ve been enjoying the soulful, uplifting vibes of Holly Holden Y Su Banda, whose debut album Green Guava is moving and adventurous (and ten years in the making). Each song is a love letter for a different story in Holden’s life, some about searching and others celebrating. It’s danceable, it’s euphoric, it’s melancholic. All the feels. Not to mention crowdfunded with lots of good details on the process if that’s your thing.
And in a time that mirrors the creation of the album, it feels an appropriate addition to the weekend - having been written in foggy grey London where the singer lives, but about the many years she spent exploring the sounds and streets of Latin America. “A piece of tropical escapism,” you might say.
**featured pod** After being so comforted by the podcast staff’s quarantine check-ins last Spring (which actually helped inform some of my own team management/morale at work), I’m excited Heavyweight is back with new stories. The most recent episode is about siblings Rachel and Jon, confronted with the truth about their childhood in this really touching and unusual story. And while you’re there *please* go hang out with the show’s sound engineer and resident musician Bobby Lord while he takes listeners on one of the wildest pod-rides I’ve ever been on (I laughed, I cried, I wanted to throw things, then I laughed again). If you want to know “what the hell those fast food execs are thinking” when they make those dumb commercial jingles, THIS IS THE EPISODE FOR YOU.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
There was a stretch of time this year, during my self-imposed lockdown, where I really got into the Real Housewives of New York. My roommate and I would watch two or three episodes a night and just marvel at how utterly vapid and stupid and truly awful these women are. But it was something to pass the time with and admittedly, there were some great moments on the show that I still laugh at when I think about them.
One of the things I've learned upon my three season run of RHONY is that these women are constantly drunk and constantly eating out at restaurants. Some of them pretend to have careers that they busy themselves with but really, their lifeblood is going to fancy clubs or bars or eateries, drinking as much alcohol as they can, and getting into very public fights and disagreements. That's the whole premise of the show pretty much... which, with this pandemic still ongoing and worsening in the U.S., must put a real damper to the daily activities of these Housewives.
And so unsurprisingly Ramona Singer, Leah McSweeney, and Luann de Lesseps decided to speak out against Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to shut down indoor dining again to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Leah actually joined a small protest in Times Square but Ramona and Luann are too good to schlep it so they decided to post photos from the rally as a sign of support. The three of course talked about how the Governor's decision will lead to restaurant closures and tons of people losing their jobs but somehow I don't completely buy that Ramona is kept awake at night by the thought of working class people falling further into poverty. Homegirl has a net worth of $18 million and reportedly makes $500,000 per RHONY season -- she's just bored. And without her publicly drunken antics being televised live to people like me, how will she have storylines for the show with which to fill her days?
I mean, I really don't need to say that these ladies are vapid and not very bright. But they've managed to parlay those qualities into money-making activities that I actively follow so who's the real dummy here?
Have a great weekend everybody and I'll be back next week with more ~*Hot Goss*~ to fill your days!