This week we lost my aunt Margie. She was the oldest of my mom’s eight siblings and that explains a lot of the nurturer she was. I’ll always remember her walking into our apartment with big bags of groceries the morning after we found out my dad died. We didn’t have any money then, maybe she knew that, but I knew she didn’t either, so it meant something for her to spend whatever she had on us. There she was in the kitchen, loading up the fridge, making us something to eat, showing us how to put one foot in front of the other, not trying to heal us and yet gently healing us anyway. And that’s who she was. Caring and generous and unassuming. Warm and dependable. I’ll miss her enthusiasm. She expressed the most energetic gratitude of anyone I’ve ever met, and for the smallest, simplest things, too, like a nice meal or a day warm enough to swim at my uncle John’s pool. It was infectious. I’ll take that with me.
“Once you’ve truly settled into the anesthetizing effects of boredom, you find yourself en route to discovery. With monotony, small differences begin to emerge, between those trees, those sweaters. This is why so many useful ideas occur in the shower, when you’re held captive to a mundane activity. You let your mind wander and follow it where it goes.
Of course, it’s not really the boredom itself that’s important; it’s what we do with it. When you reach your breaking point, boredom teaches you to respond constructively, to make something happen for yourself. But unless we are faced with a steady diet of stultifying boredom, we never learn how.”
“People think we have no emotion, which is absolutely not true. We just feel them way turned down. If most people feel an emotion between seven and eight on a dial of ten, I feel it between zero and two. Negative emotions are background noise. We can’t tune into that frequency because our brains just don’t process enough information for them to ever be loud enough to feel or direct behavior. We enjoy things, get excited about things, like adrenaline — that’s great. I laugh with people, I enjoy intellectual discussions. A lower functioning psychopath probably wouldn’t enjoy intellectual conversation. They’d rather go and rob a liquor store. But that’s why they spend most of their lives in prison.”
I have to imagine that 3,000 other people have already recommended that you listen to Dr. Death, but here goes attempt 3,001. The story of surgeon Christopher Duntsch (don’t google him before you listen if you want to avoid spoilers) is shocking, disturbing, and if it weren’t a true story, you’d find it a little over-the-top in the drama department. Worth a listen.
We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications. And all they had to protect them was a system ill equipped to stop the madness.
Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery
Everyone remembers Casey Anthony. She was all over the news for years after she was suspected of murdering her daughter, Caylee. She was America’s Most Hated Woman. I recall the trial and the uproar after the trial, but either missed or forgot many of the startling pieces of evidence against her, making this case about as baffling as OJ’s.
This 3-part special (it’s on Hulu, too) looks inside the controversial murder case, with interviews with Casey’s parents, the lead prosecutor, a juror…even the judge who presided over the case.
cb2 Ledge Dinnerware
I ordered these dishes online at the beginning of January to use for food photography and while I certainly love them (I mean I bought ‘em after all), I can’t even tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten on them. They’re chic and modern, made of porcelain, with a thick base and a ¾-inch rim (or ledge) around the perimeter. And bonus: they’re dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven-safe.
Ledge dinner plate
Ledge salad plate
Rain‑X Original Glass Water Repellent
Don’t ask Daniel which has impacted his life more positively—me or Rain-X—because it’s the Rain-X OK?!! Both of us agree that the older we get, the harder it is to see while driving in the rain. Rain-X is a protective spray you apply to your windshield that, as the name says, repels water by forcing it to bead and roll off your windshield, therefore dramatically improving your visibility in rain, sleet, and snow. Absolutely worth buying. (Wash and dry your windshield before applying it.)
Baked Chicken Thighs with Asian Glaze
Farro Salad with Kale, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Chickpeas
Panera Vegetable Soup
Quick Chicken Sausage Stew with Kale and White Beans
Pink Velvet Cupcakes
Lighter Kung Pao Shrimp