THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #190

LOVE:

IKEA Coffee:

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There is literally nothing I dislike about IKEA. For me, it’s filled with all the magic and wonder of an amusement park. I would rather have a trip to IKEA than Disneyland Paris, reader, and this is the gospel truth. I really have a passionate distaste for that theme park. It’s overpriced, they’re always sold out of brownie ice cream, and it’s such a jaunt from Paris. And they have no options for vegetarians. I’d much rather spend the day walking around the Marais. This isn’t about Paris, unfortunately. I won’t see that beautiful city until summer of next year at the earliest. Le sigh… Anyway, earlier this summer I went to the IKEA in Kansas City. I told you about this already, I lovingly described all the wondrous things I bought. I’m obsessed with my tea strainer, my phone charger, and my millennial pink plates give me LIFE. Another thing I randomly tossed into my basket was a bag of coffee. I had no expectations for it to be anything special, but I really should have known better. Everything they sell is perfection. On the weekends, I like to make a pot of French press. If you don’t have one of these brewing devices, I highly recommend it. Makes the best cup of coffee. This weekend, I finally dug my coffee out of the coffee drawer — do you have one of those, reader? I couldn’t live without it. — and made a pot. It smelled delicious, it looked good, and reader, I about lost my mind when I guzzled the entire pot before making another one. It is absolutely marvelous and I will try to never run out. This is one of the things I will stock up on whenever I go to IKEA. I will grab a dozen bags of coffee and then dozens of containers of ziplock containers. IKEA is such a blessing. I wonder what it’s like working there? I bet the employees live every day in a lingonberry infused dream. I hope the IKEA monkey is doing well; I miss him.

Tea from a Mexico City Witch:

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That bag up top is what we’re discussing today.

One of the stranger places that I visited in Mexico City — a magical destination with innumerable odd sites — was the Mercado de Sonora. This is a popular market that sells the usual trinkets, some foods, the most precious kittens and puppies, and then a great number of items related to witchcraft. This is why I went, obviously. What could be more fun? Once you get past the entrance, you will intuitively wander into the area selling occult objects. I was utterly delighted. This is the kind of stuff that really intrigues me. It was all the better because everybody told me not to meddle with this kind of material. There were innumerable icons of Santa Muerte, the saint of those who have lost their way and was not approved of by the Vatican. I’m told she is a continuation of the Aztec goddess, Mictecacihuatl, who guarded the dead. We’ll get more into this during my travel blogs. Anyway, people offer her food and cigarettes and whatever they can in the hopes that this skeletal saint will protect and heal and help them. I of course bought several. A particularly lovely one is currently guarding my wifi router. Near this area was an actual witch selling herbs and spices for potion making. I was, I believe, squealing with glee at this point. She offered a number of readymade concoctions to brew as tea, so I had to get myself something. One of the blends was intended to reduce inflammation in the body. I have multiple sclerosis, as well you know, which is s condition that frequently involves inflammation of the nervous system. I was feeling fine and dandy in Mexico City, but I’m not one to turn down something beneficial, so I ordered twenty pesos worth. There was enough tea to last me months for a little over a dollar. I was thrilled. And I of course procrastinated using it. I was a bit wary of what was actually in the blend, and I’m still not sure. Finally, about a month later, I made my first pot of it at work. To my complete shock, the tea is a gorgeous pink color with a decent taste. I can’t figure out why it’s pink. It’s bothering me, but it’s my signature color, so I love sipping it. After I finished the pot of tea, I was alarmed at how energetic I felt. Caffeine does literally nothing to me, so this is unexpected. It’s not a fluke, either, as I have had this fabulous response every time I drink it. I can’t wait to drink my next witch potion. When I run out, I will just have yet another reason to return to that perfect city south of the border.

Will & Grace Revival:

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Reader, I am so TURNT for tonight. It’s Thursday, and something magical and unexpected is happening. Will & Grace is back. I was in high school when the finale aired, which I didn’t care for, so I’ve always had this sad sense of incompleteness. The finale made no sense, it didn’t feel right. Will and Grace would never have drifted from each other, even if they were still friends. It didn’t feel authentic. So I ignored that it ever happened. I was ecstatic when it was announced that the show was coming back. It was almost inconceivable, and it feels so urgently important. We live in such a hazy part of history. I am quite certain that people have always felt like they were living in dark times, and many have, but we have a particularly unpleasant road ahead of us. Nuclear warheads are at the ready, natural disasters are striking repeatedly, the president of our nation is the definition of a fool, the political right is making worrying advances in Europe, and personal rights and guarantees are being stripped away faster than I ever imagined possible. I’m so glad that Will & Grace will be back to distract us from the bleakness of reality. That’s what they did so well the first time around, they were comedic superheroes in times of incomprehensible war. We needed them, and we need them again. And so tonight, when Karen and Jack and Will and Grace return to my screen, I will be deliriously happy. I will probably cry a bit at the wonderful things that are still possible in the darkness. I will be utterly chuffed to laugh. Laughter is the most important thing in the world. To me, anyway. I feel so lucky and truly so blessed to be here for this unexpected return. Even if it turns out to be crap, I’ll watch every episode with the dedication of the biggest fan, which I certainly am and have been for decades. I’d better go out and get martini ingredients. UPDATE: I just watched the first episode and it was wonderful! Even though the show’s plot revolves around the idiot who inspired its renaissance, it felt right and timely. I cackled at the Oval Office pillow fight. And I have missed Karen so much. She is me. And when Jack books a trip in fifteen seconds, I have never related to a moment more.

Harry Styles Tour:

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After many months of breathless anticipation, Jessica and I finally made our way to Chicago to see Harry Styles. We both love him. We love his music and his style. See what I did there? There is nobody who has influenced my personal fashion more than Harry. I’ve had his hair, knockoff versions of his many Saint Laurent outfits, and the Chelsea boots that I wear nearly every day are all because of him.

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I have been stocking up on boots since getting tickets. And let me tell you, reader, getting tickets was not at all something I expected. They were some of the hardest tickets of the year to get, and I detailed the process to you earlier in the year. But let me reiterate for first time readers. I signed up to possibly be lucky enough to maybe get a code that would potentially allow me to purchase a ticket. This alone had no guarantees. But I was lucky and got a code. The next day when the time to buy tickets came around, I held my breath, put in my code, and…nothing. The tickets were sold out in seconds. I was devastated and Jessica was going to get so angry. Terrified, I kept refreshing the website and by some act of divine providence, I managed to get two in the balcony. I bought them immediately. It was insane good luck. So the day came to get turnt with Harry and Jessica and I made our way to the Windy City. Along the way, I managed to hit a tire that came from the middle of nowhere and dent the bumper of my car, but aside from that and spending far too much money, nothing inopportune occurred. We checked into the haunted Congress Plaza Hotel (which was spooky but hardly creepy enough) and made our way to the venue. That evening, we were in a line of nearly four thousand people, and I was particularly pleased not to be wearing a floral. Never thought I’d make that comment! Everybody was wearing floral. I was wearing gold boots. Nobody else was wearing gold boots. I was a knockout. After getting to our seats and deciding that the people near us were dull, we had a fantastic evening. I screamed and shouted until my voice was hoarse. I danced with Harry. I swooned with Harry. Harry was divine in a custom suit made of fabric that was glittery turquoise and pink. It was fabulous. And he said “fabulous,” and he danced with a gay pride flag, and he ran a poll on the best pizza in town. He was an adorable idiot, and I loved him all them more than I already did. And now, I’m not one to ever presume anybody’s sexuality or their gender, but it baffles me that so many people wholeheartedly believe that Harry is a straight. I’ve never seen somebody who was more clearly a homosexual, and I’ve seen myself in mirrors, reader. That is a gay man.

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He is my one true queen. The concert was sensational, reader. Harry has the most beautiful voice, and the songs were even better live than they are on his divine album. I NEED A LIVE RECORDING. Had the time of my life. Would love to be a groupie and go to every show. Go if you can. Support Harry.

“Gaga: Five Foot Two” Documentary:

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I adore Lady Gaga. I’ve loved her since her career began and she was talking about disco sticks. I was there for Artpop even though everybody else had written her off. I sing her jazz album regularly to my cats, who adore it. I think they do anyway. They don’t have much choice in the matter. Her latest album, Joanne, is a masterpiece, and the cats love that one too. It’s a good thing they can’t speak English… Anyway, Gaga is a musical genius and I tend to enjoy all of her artistry, so I couldn’t wait to see Gaga: Five Foot 2, the documentary surrounding the recording of her latest album and preparations for her Super Bowl performance. I didn’t know what to expect except for singing, but I hardly imagined to weep like an infant. I related tremendously to Gaga. I can’t sing. I have no illusions of that, but her obsessions reminded me so much of myself. Joanne was a family member that passed away from complications of lupus, and so she was fascinated with this woman she never knew. She would read her writing, listen to stories about her, and she had developed this whole concept of who Joanne was. I understand this completely because I do the exact same thing with my Grandma Betty. I research her life with the passion of a scholar. I have this version of her that I’ve developed because of the stories she told me before she died, the people that I met who knew her, the experiences I’ve had because her. She is a powerful enigma that made me the man that I am in ways that I’m still understanding. Gaga feels much the same way about Joanne, so I get her passion completely. When she went to her own grandmother’s home to discuss Joanne, I was sobbing. And then, on top of this, Gaga goes into detail about her chronic illness, fibromyalgia. I don’t know much about it, but people who don’t suffer certain illness rarely research them. Gaga looks fine and she seems fine, but she isn’t. I get this. With multiple sclerosis, I have a number of symptoms that are invisible. I’m routinely told that I don’t suffer. Nobody knows the truth of how I feel, and it’s really rather presumptuous of them to analyze what they can’t see. Some days I have fatigue that no amount of sleep will conquer, others will introduce unexpected pain that won’t go away, and others fill me with dread. This doesn’t happen every day, and I’m lucky that it doesn’t…but these things do happen. Gaga lives her life in fear of her fibromyalgia acting up. It’s debilitating, but it’s something we have to deal with. She’s such a brave, talented, and fascinating woman. I loved this documentary. See it.

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