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Step Inside My Parlour

All my viewing, reading, exploring, eating, and

drinking finds that are fit to share.

Come sit down, stay awhile.

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Enrichments

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I found Rick Rubin's The Creative Act: A Way of Being incredibly insightful, encouraging, and comforting. It's written in digestible short themed chapters, which makes it the perfect commute read. I'm also obsessed with Rick's new podcast Tetragrammaton—my favorite episodes so far are with Trent Reznor (obviously), Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Will Smith.

 

T. Kingfisher's novella What Moves the Dead hooked me from the first page. It’s a sharp reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher that manages to be both cozy and foreboding, includes delightful mycology horror, and even throws in a Beatrix Potter nod for good measure. I bought two more of Kingfisher’s books before I even finished this one—she has such a confident, approachable voice and engaging writing style.

 

I always anxiously await a new Catriona Ward novel, and I think her latest release, Looking Glass Sound, is my favorite yet. It's a spooky, atmospheric seaside-set narrative about trauma and writing and perspective that grapples with who gets to tell—and own—their story, and what becomes trapped in its pages.

Becky Chambers' novella duo A Psalm for the Wild-Built and A Prayer for the Crown-Shy are so very lovely. I'm generally not a SFF fan, but Chambers creates a cozy, gentle, hopeful science fiction world that is a true balm for the soul. These books are essentially about a tea monk and a robot discussing humanity and nature, but they are so very deep and optimistic and I looove them.

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Diversions

I, along with most of America, have seen Barbie and she is indeed iconic. Without being too hyperbolic, it feels like a watershed for capturing the precise climate of a moment in a big-budget blockbuster. It's campy and hella feminist and subversive (think Romy & Michele meets a classic Hollywood musical on literal steroids). Many, many men will find it uncomfortable (I'm starting to think of the movie as the ultimate litmus test for misogyny). It's also deeply existential and entertaining and it hits the perfect mark for the common denominator. Give Greta Gerwig the world! 

On a more understated note, Past Lives is incredibly beautiful (and beautifully made!) It scratches the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight itch a bit, for my fellow Linklater fans. It also has a sort of layered Eternal Sunshine reference, which I loved of course. Quiet and deep and bittersweet, my favorite kind of film. 

I've been mainlining Boygenius' The Record, a stunning follow-up to their glorious 2018 self-titled EP (check out their Kristen Stewart-directed music video, which debuted the same day The Record was released). I've also been getting into classic metal—I introduced myself to Black Sabbath (absolute legends) and have fallen into a rabbit hole of the many bands they influenced (right now it's Soundgarden). 

As far as TV goes, The Bear is one of the best things out there—everyone in front of and behind the camera is firing on all cylinders. It's so good it kinda makes me mad. Season two is the exact opposite of a sophomore slump—it beautifully deepens our relationship with every character through the course of the season before raising the stakes at the very end. Just brilliantly, brilliantly done and so affecting.

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Enrichment
Diversions
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Refreshments

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I have an insatiable sweet tooth, which I'm desperately trying to get a handle on. I've found the recipes in model and wellness influencer Abigail O'Neill's book Model Chocolate to be the most satisfying, mood-boosting option for curbing my cravings. The breakfasts, baked goods, and confections are sweetened with maple syrup, honey, agave, or coconut sugar, and they all feature one perfect uniting ingredient: chocolate.

 

My current favorite is this Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, which I top with whatever I have on hand (pictured here: fresh raspberries, shredded coconut, and pistachio kernels—I always need crunch on anything with a custard-like consistency). I usually whip up a double or triple batch so I have enough for weekday mornings. Stocking my freezer with these goodies is meditative—I love to put on music, melt cocoa butter over a double boiler, and measure and stir in varying ingredients. Some of my favorites are Abigail's dark chocolate bar (featuring any add-in's that strike my fancy), Tangerine Almond Pralines, Pecan Brownies, and Lemon Sour Cherry Thins.

Refreshments
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