The dogs came home from boarding with kennel cough (they’re fine), we’ve been snowed in for days because the Pacific Northwest doesn’t know what to do with more than an inch of snow, an old pipe did something weird and now we have a huge hole in our wall (it’s fine, everything’s fine), Covid and snow cancelled a trip to a much-anticipated New Year’s Eve black tie wedding, my new dental crown hurts and cost too much money because we teeth are luxury bones, but you know what? I haven’t written anything in two weeks. I haven’t been on Twitter. My head feels clear. I didn’t read any books — my brain, for whatever reasons, said no — but I did do a really good puzzle, and made the best chicken and dumplings of my life.
I hope you find some clarity today, too, whatever that might look like. And if you want to be distracted from this day, here’s a few things that delighted or engaged me in some form over the last two weeks.
I have a houseplant habit and usually buy from my very good local nursery, but this site has RARE BUDDIES, reasonably priced, and most importantly, they all arrived well-wrapped and healthy
Oh are you still looking for a beautiful new wall calendar???
A clear-eyed look at three people who found themselves at the January 6th insurrection
The airlines can go fuck themselves
Incredible privilege to be able to drop out of life to hike for months on end but also I am a sucker for trail stories
One of the best pieces I’ve read on the various secessionist movements here in the Pacific Northwest and the purpose they actually serve
Just thinking about luxury bones and this piece on why good dental hygiene isn’t enough for some people
One of my favorite New Year’s Day traditions = browsing seed catalogs and thinking about the plantings of the year to come. Here’s my favorite. (I really do recommend requested the actual physical catalog, it’s a delight)
The Minnesota student teacher who created Oregon Trail
“For the First Time, Every Single Costume Was Designed by a Black Woman.”
I haven’t stopped thinking about this piece — ostensibly about the end of “owning” gadgets, but also pretty much everything else — since I read it last week
My latest cookbook obsession
If you’re a subscriber, you know about what Mutual Aid has done within this community. Being a part of Mutual Aid has helped transform my thinking about giving. Here’s Tressie McMillan Cottom articulating the how and the why.
This week’s just trust me
If you read this newsletter every week and value the labor that goes into it, consider subscribing.
Subscribing is how you’ll receive the weekly recommendations/links, which look a lot like this post. You’ll also be able to comment on posts, and participate in the heart of the Culture Study Community: in the weirdly fun/interesting/generative weekly discussion threads, plus the Culture Study Discord, where there’s dedicated space for the discussion of this piece, and equally excellent threads for discussion of Job Searching, You Used to Be a Christian, Brooklyn & Bailey Hive, Spinsters, Fat Space, K-Pop, Non-Toxic Childfree, Doing the Work of Building Community, WTF is Crypto, So Your Parents Are Aging, HIGH PEOPLE ONLY, and a lot more.
If you’ve never been part of a Discord: I promise it’s much easier and less intimidating than you imagine. Finally, you’ll also receive free access to audio version of the newsletter via Curio.
As always, if you are a contingent worker or un- or under-employed, just email and I’ll give you a free subscription, no questions asked. If you’d like to underwrite one of those subscriptions, you can donate one here.