Welcome to Issue 50.3 of Digestable, your thrice-weekly mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
Today’s news, fermented:
In honor of the weekend, I offer you We Were Meant to be Kissed in the Dark, a striking ode to makin out in the club.
Speaking of the club, here’s another ambiguous situation with an interesting outcome. Happy Friday, friends.
Caro's Advice Corner
At this point, a year into this panera bread, life has gotten really monotonous. Sometimes it feels like I’ve lived the same day over and over. It doesn’t help that I live somewhere that is cold basically November through May and have been rendered indoors most of this winter. How can I bring a little life back into routine/existence at this point?
When will it end
Dear When will it end,
I hear you. What’s that movie where they live out the same day over and over…..? Groundhog Day? I don’t know, I’ve never actually seen it, BUT I know it’s about reliving the same day over and over and over. When will it end, so many of us feel like we are also stuck in this endless loop of getting up just to have the same day we had yesterday. And a year in, it has not gotten any better.
So how do you attempt to bring some spice back into your life? Be spontaneous and do things you normally would not do in your routine. I have been breaking up my days with a walk, but I’ll add some fun elements to keep me engaged, such as bringing my camera and challenging myself to take at least 10 pictures while I’m out and about. Or break up your day with a mini dance party for yourself, learn some new moves, a new way to dance. I personally am a fan of a good salsa break in the middle of the day. It really gets my energy levels up and I am able to let go of some of the pent up stress from the day.
If you have access to green spaces, utilize that connection more! Something I started doing that brought a lot of joy into something seemingly very small, is I started looking up the history of the parks in my neighborhood. It was cool to be able to envision some of these places just 100 years ago. I’ve found some really cool old photos on historical society websites, and it gives going to the park a fun new meaning.
Start having movie nights or just giving yourself some treat to look forward to either at the end of your day or the end of the week. For a good while, my roommates and I had a movie that really brought joy into our weeks. Each week we would submit and vote for a movie, it was such a treat and we always looked forward to finding out who had won in a given week.
When will it end, I really don’t have a definitive answer for you. This is coming from the person who rearranged their room about 6 times this past year...trust me, you will find the activities or scenery changes you need to in order to disrupt your current routine and existence. There are so many ways you can begin to switching up your days so it doesn’t feel like you are reliving the same one. The nicer weather is coming and therefore more new activities you can incorporate into your daily routine. Pick up a new hobby, start getting into movie critiquing, become a park historian, the world is your oyster! I trust you will find a way to break the monotonous cycle.
DJ M0RO’s low-key Music Show
It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to share new music musings with you, and I’m happy to be back as we come up on a year (to the day) when I found out my students wouldn’t be returning to learn about farming with me anymore. Gone were the days of teaching 20 first-graders how to milk a goat (this was hard) and hearing them name the chickens McNuggets (this was much harder). I miss the farm and the kids, but having this lil creative outlet to appreciate all the beautiful things still being made in the world gives me feels.
On that note, how about a little animated conversation about the value of art and identity with legendary jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and Equal Justice Intiative’s Bryan Stevenson?
Now I try not to recommend too many *Tiny Desk Concerts,* but the stripped-down at-home sets have largely been fantastic, and still Melanie Faye’s late summer session stands out to me as truly special. Her Hendrix dedication in the opening and guitar sKiLlZ give me goosebumps. I love hearing her original lyrics and can’t stop watching her joyful and resonant guitar experiments on her insta. Support a cool artist making rad music!
And, one doesn’t write a weekly DJ column without at least mentioning the new Bruno Mars + Anderson .Paak collaboration. A quarantine dream! My fav youtube comment on this new release has to be: “When the two smartest kids in class get paired up on the group project:” Happy sigh.
**featured pod** this weekend it’s UNDISTRACTED with Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and specifically this International Women’s Day tribute episode with Padma Lakshmi, of Top Chef fame (? idk sorry I don’t watch the show) but I *loved* hearing her perspective on advocacy, food politics, home cooking, and eating together. I don’t really care what she would cook for Kamala Harris but one time I cooked lunch for Mark Bittman and he was kind of a douche so I hope the VP would at least be a good dinner guest.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
It has been a full year since I started writing ~*Hot Goss*~ for Digestable and what better way to celebrate the occasion than by having not one, but two pieces of completely unrelated juicy goss to consume?
The first is, of course, the continuing fallout from the Sussexes two-hour tell-all with Oprah Winfrey, which aired this past Sunday to one of the highest television viewerships of all time. The update there is that Queen Elizabeth plans to speak to senior royals about their racism in a closed door setting at some point, although Prince Wiliiamemphatically denies that the Windsors are a racist family. Will, I hate to break it to you, but that's exactly what a racist would say. Sorry, I don't make the rules! Merely communicating them to you so you can rethink this PR strategy...
Second, the highly anticipated Armie Hammer exposé is finally here! And it was dense. There weren't a lot of new things revealed about Armie's kinky side or the abuse allegations, but it does explore in lengthy detail how five generations of the Hammer family have long been embroiled in scandals involving copious amounts of drugs, sex, "dysfunction, and betrayal" (read: murder; there were murderers in this family, yes). The Cliffs notes version:
Dr. Julius Hammer, Armie's great-great-grandfather, served time in Sing Sing for accidentally killing the wife of a Russian diplomat after he attempted to perform an illegal abortion on her.
Armand Hammer, Armie's great-grandfather, became a wealthy oil tycoon who ran in very high-profile circles and may have financed Soviet espionage and the Watergate cover up, in addition to being a generally assholish kind of dude and a notorious philanderer.
Julian Hammer, Armie's grandfather, murdered a man over a gambling debt in the 80s but the family fortune was helpful in making the charges disappear. He was allegedly also sexually abusive towards his daughters and was left out of inheriting the family's oil empire.
Michael Hammer, Armie's father, married Dru, a devout Christian and moved his entire family to the Grand Caymans after Armand's death led to hundreds of lawsuits and claims against the estate. They returned to the U.S. ten years later, after which Michael became embroiled in legal troubles over a fake painting conspiracy and for using the company as a personal piggy bank. He also divorced Dru and lived in a warehouse with a "sex throne" for years.
I can't tell if I'd rather have Dostoyevsky come back to life and write a 900-page family saga from all of this material or if I want HBO to translate it into a new, trashy tv show that will sweep the Emmys in a year or two. In any case, there are apparently still rumors that a bigger, more damaging article on Armie will come out at some point. I can see that happening. This Vanity Fair piece was more a family history of the Hammers than it was an exposé and it did end with a comparison of Armie to notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. Is this foreshadowing, perhaps?! One can only hope. And should we see if Oprah's available to do the Armie Hammer interview next?! I would DIE.