Set of Cooper Cookware:


Remember back to Christmas when I talked about that copper skillet that I bought as a joke and fell madly in love with? I’m still kind of ashamed of how much I like it. Literally nothing will stick to it; it’s miraculous! And so I grew obsessed with different cookware sets that were made of copper. My obsession grew a bit unruly, and when my mother sent me a clipping from an ad showing a beautiful set for sale at Fleet & Farm, I jumped into my car and scurried to town. When I was there, I found a ten-piece set that was ten dollars more and a hundred times more gorgeous than the one in the ad. They were all square and the interiors were that wondrous copper lining. The outside were done in a nice matte grey, so they look much more professional than the others. I squealed with pleasure as I grabbed it and hurried to the checkout. I could not wait to start cooking. But first I had to make it home. I stopped at Applebee’s to try their dollar of the month drink — which I totally do not recommend — and some mozzarella sticks — which I absolutely do recommend. And then a blizzard hit or something. There was nothing but snow falling from the heavens, the highways were gone, cars were flung into the ditches, and my little Mitsubishi Mirage handled it all quite well, better than I expected. It does enjoy getting stuck, though, when the snow is deep. But I’m not writing about my adorable car, I’m telling you about my gorgeous cookware. A few days later — look, I procrastinate everything and I’m too busy for my own health — I finally got them all out and squealed at how shiny and new they were. Compared to the nice Pampered Chef set I’ve used since I was in high school, these were stunning and gorgeous and I was madly in love. I used as many pots as I could to put my Hello Fresh meal together, and I was in a rhapsody. I felt like I should have been on the television hosting my own show. The food slid right out of the gorgeous pans, and I squeaked in pleasure later when I pulled them out of the dishwasher and they still looked pristine. Truly, and unexpectedly, this copper cookware trend is the future. Go get yourself some today, but splurge a little. A few more dollars gets you an aesthetically pleasing set that has better heft to it. I am so happy. 

La Reina del Sur:


Okay, reader, I should be in bed. Well I am in bed. But I should be asleep. I should have slept hours ago, but I can’t stop watching La Reina del Sur, which is available for streaming on Netflix. It’s an addicting telenovela about a woman named Theresa Mendoza who falls in love with a drug trafficker and suffers the worst luck of anybody on the planet. I’m only twelve episodes in and she’s already fled Sinaloa, hijacked a plane, flew to San Diego, been confronted by United States intelligence, flown to Spain, taken a ferry to North Africa, fallen in love with an absurdly handsome man named Santiago who should never wear a shirt, befriended a prostitute, been in numerous scrapes, escaped a corrupt policeman, kidnapped a child out of a Moroccan orphanage, and was electrocuted by jumper cables. The show is insane, but the weirdest thing is that this all makes sense when you watch. View this horrible trailer:

After I finished watching Ingobernable, I felt a deep pain. I missed Kate del Castillo. She’s a queen. And when I found out that her iconic role as the Queen of the South was on Netflix, I gave it a go. Clearly I’m obsessed. I can’t wait for next week when my classes finish so I can spend all day in bed with my eyes glued to the television. The show has everything I want. And they speak Arabic sometimes! And everybody is beautiful. And the stories are wonderfully convoluted. And the acting is over the top. And the actors frequently flip their hair and turn dramatically. And it is everything I could have ever dreamed of. I’m not doing the show enough justice, I know, but I don’t know how. You simply have to start at the very beginning and let yourself be swept up in the wild history of Theresa Mendoza. It’s wild. And there is no reason that it’s as good as it is. When I write this it sounds cheesy, and it is, but when it’s on I feel like somebody’s habuela and I’m in Mexico City and life is glorious. 

Queer Eye:


I never watched much of the original Queer Eye when it came it in the early 2000s or late 1990s or whenever that was. Still haven’t watched much of it, but I absolutely adore Carson Kressley. In fact, I credit him with the renaissance of my fashion. I bought a used copy of his book, Off the Cuff, and it changed the game for me. He wrote about all the things that a stylish man should have in his wardrobe, and I didn’t have any of it. So I started filling my closet with pink chambray shirts and denim jackets and aviator sunglasses and wingtip shoes. It was a delight to look good, and I have never looked back. Not to toot my own horn, or anything, but I don’t ever want to look like a schlep. Isn’t that a fun word? Anyway, the other night when I was coming home from class, I listened to an episode of RuPaul’s podcast that talked a lot about the new Netflix version of Queer Eye, and I was very intrigued. So I finally started watching, and I’ve only seen the first episode, but reader, it was amazing. The five guys went to a gorgeous town in Georgia and changed the life of a guy who didn’t take any care of himself. They redecorated his apartment, trimmed his beard, gave him some product for a skin condition, took him shopping, and taught him how to make guacamole. And they were all so kind, and the gentleman was so sweet, and the whole things was just tremendously touching. I highly and heartily recommend you watch as soon as you possibly can, it’s quality television. 

3-Day Weekends:


If I’ve said it once, then I’ve said it a million times, and I know that I posted this in the past maybe ten times, but three day weekends are perfection. I truly don’t mind my job and I’m currently taking university courses so that I can make it a viable career, but reader, I think we all need three day weekends. Three days gives the body and soul time to catch up. When you cram the work you didn’t have time to do during the week into the two days you have off, it’s just work in a new location. On a three day weekend though, oh reader, it’s grand, you can truly relax for a day. Work for another. And on the third day you can finally feel content because you’ve really made a dent in what you need to do for yourself. I’m just coming off of one and I feel honestly healthier than I have in months. I feel revitalized and relaxed and even though my to do list still has items that are haunting me, I’ve been able to cross off some of the little things that are taking all my time away from the larger tasks. I would happily work a ten hour day for four days in order to make this dream come true. Public education probably won’t work that way in the places I want to work — California where the only days off will come from fires not snow or Mexico but I haven’t even started researching the licensing issues surrounding that question. Anyway, I’m off topic as always. Three day weekends should be made mandatory and a constitutional right. When you elect me as the governor of Iowa, I will do all I can to make this a reality for all of you. And when you nominate me and elect me as president of these great United States, I will bring this revolutionary idea to Congress and we can all relax a bit more. I think that it would save us huge amounts of money, the environment would have one day less a week to be pumped full of pollutants, and the American people can live the rich and full lives that they so deserve. Unless they support the sale of AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifles to civilians, and if so I’ll see them in Hell and they can work all week. But for the rest of you, the Phillips governorship and presidency will be a gilded halcyon age. Get your ballots ready. 

Maya Special on National Geographic:

Empire 2

Am I wasting my life by not pursuing archaeology whilst I’m at my physical peak? I dunno. Probably never will. We never get a chance to do life over again, which I hate. I’d love to live forever and do everything I’ve ever wanted. But I can’t. And my life is roughly a third finished and time goes so much faster than I realized. This is a melancholy way to say that I watched the most stunning documentary on National Geographic about Mayan archaeology — a relatively new academic interest of mine. I’ve always been focused on Egyptian archaeology, but you’re all well aware of that if you’ve been here any amount of time. Using LIDAR, a brilliant technology that shoots lasers out of a plane or a drone and maps the earth’s surface — archaeologists found a city of the Maya that had been lost to time and the rapid lushness of the rainforest. Anyway, in front of a huge wall of television screens, the specialists showed the footage of the jungle, just a bunch of trees in the canopy. Then they revealed the LIDAR image that the scan found and I literally dramatically whispered, “Oh my god.” It was stunning. I had to stop and pause and gasp for a while and think about the possibilities of this new technology. How could I apply it to Egyptology? Could there be some kind of modification to peer behind stone or sand? And then this chain of thought launched the earlier existentialist crisis about wasting my life and leading me here to say to you, I think I am fooling myself. I’ve always been an Egyptologist. I know I’ll do that. Might take me until that last third of my life, but do it I shall. Back to the show.

“I am the first person in, yes, 1400 years to touch this.” And here we meet again, reader, with me entering a fresh wave of dread. How glorious it must be to work on an archaeological dig discovering boring things and great things! I long to shovel sand and brush dust and daintily coax broken ostracon from where they’d been long forgotten. Oh these scientists live my dream. Back to the show. Ugh now they’re talking about translating Mayan texts and I can handle it. This show was divine and wonderfully inspiring. I cannot stop thinking of it. Do tune in, reader, it was so fabulous. 

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