The rules do not apply

31.May.2024

reading

Will be thinking about this one for a long time. I saved so many passages worth quoting, but maybe this is the one that beautifully encapsulates both the main themes in this memoir:

I have an excruciating wish that she would age backward, into a baby, so that I could raise her now. So I could forgive her everything, anything, and love her with all the violence in my heart, and none of the need.


The rules do not apply by Ariel Levy

The Tortured Poets Department

01.May.2024

listening

Can intense melancholia flood your system with dopamine? If you said those two things are mutually exclusive, you'd be wrong! If 31 songs are too much for you, here's my condensed version. This album isn't “fast food”: it took me 3 days to “get it”, and I'm glad it got me, because it's sublime. One of my favourite lyrics:

For a moment I knew cosmic love
Now I'm down bad crying at the gym


TTPD on Spotify

What Are You Going Through

15.April.2024

reading

After reading this interview with Sigrid Nunez on the Paris Review I decided to pick up one of her books at random, because well, if you read the interview, you will be curious, too. This book has two threads: the end of the world through climate change and how we are doomed because too stupid to take action, and the end of the narrator's friend's life with terminal cancer. But don't be put off! It is funny and neurotic and full of deep questions and absurd observations, all without any hint of affectation.

Youth burdened with full knowledge of just how sad and painful aging is I would not call youth at all.


What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez

American Fiction

07.April.2024

watching

Life isn't just tragic, or just absurd, or just ridiculous, so when a movie defies genre by being more than one thing, and does it successfully, it's more real and more interesting. The comedic parts of this movie are sharp and clever. The tragic parts are subtle, understated, and more real for it. The cast is wonderful. Five stars from me. The book must be brilliant, which I will put on my TBR and link on here.


Erasure on Wikipedia

Wifedom

01.February.2024

reading

Shortly before getting my hands on this fascinating, enraging, important book, I heard the unsurprising statistic that the happiest people are single women and married men.  

Part of the deadening effect of domesticity is that a man must earn money, the ‘logic’ goes, to keep a wife. But outside of marriage the services she provides – sex, mothering, cleaning, cooking, editing, psychology, management – would be unaffordable, not to mention hard to arrange. […] a wife to create the conditions necessary for his productivity. Without that, he can’t work.

 

Highly recommend. If only to understand how history treats men and women differently.


Wifedom on Penguin

Body Politic, Antony Gormley

28.January.2024

meandering

Caught this wonderful exhibition on its last day. I was low-key amused, until I got to the end of the corridor where the short film was showing, of Gormley talking about his work – its meaning and its production process – and then I was low-key mind-blown. The video can be watched at the link below.

It is only through accepting our condition of embodied time that we can be truly free. 


White Cube

Poor things

15.January.2024

watching

This steampunk masterpiece had my brain firing in all directions. Yorgos Lanthimos has yet to disappoint, and this is maybe one of the best things I've ever seen. I will need to watch it again, but at home where I can pause it and reflect in peace at every turn. Besides being beautifully produced, designed and performed, it's deep and deeply funny. I got my hands on the book and it's next on my list.


Poor Things on Rotten Toms

Colin from Accounts

22.October.2023

watching

This show has everything: a cute dog, scatological jokes, well written female characters (narcissistic mothers, bad-ass friends, self-caricatures of hurt and lonely middle-aged women, etc), cringey moments without any of the tired contrivances of more mainstream shows, and so much heart.


Colin from Accounts trailer on YT

The Worst Person in the World

22.October.2023

watching

This film tells the story of a woman mainly from the perspective of her romantic / sexual relationships. It attempts to illustrate character development exclusively through one aspect of a person's life – and it makes me wonder, since the director is a dude, if that's how men think about women, not their intellectual, professional, political, etc. worlds, but just in terms of who they fancy, who they fuck?  I still enjoyed it, but left me with a funny feeling and I finally pinned it down.


The Worst Person in the World on IMDB

FISK

21.October.2023

watching

It had been a while since I loved a TV show like this. Maybe because the neurodiverse, hyper-neurotic main character is the most normal person in the lineup? My friend Stephen recommended it and told me I'm just like her, and after seeing two seasons, I think it's the highest praise I've ever received. If this show doesn't make you laugh, we can't be friends.


Fisk on abc Australia

Past Lives

01.October.2023

watching

There is a different you for everyone who knows you, and each of them is real. You grow comfortable with those versions and inhabit them, for better or for worse, for a minute or for years. This extraordinary film is about the inevitable mourning of the ‘yous’ you leave behind. Five stars.


Past Lives on A24

The National 2023 tour

27.September.2023

listening

So brilliant. No words. Just sad it was over too soon. (2+ hours not enough)


London 26 September - Set list

My Name is Alice B. Toklas

14.August.2023

watching

Maria Kalman turns everything she touches into sheer magic. If you need proof, watch the delightful short film she created to promote her illustrated edition of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein.


My Name is Alice B. Toklas on YouTube

The Cost of Living

08.August.2023

reading

This book is, as a physical object designed and printed with such care and love by Erik Spiekermann simply precious. As a text it is razor-sharp, brutal in its honesty and acceptance of what means to start fresh in spite of all the ghosts, or maybe because of them. 

The phantom of femininity is an illusion, a delusion, a societal hallucination. She is a very tricky character to play and it is a role (sacrifice, endurance, cheerful suffering) that has made some women go mad. 


The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy

Barbie

21.July.2023

watching

I love Greta Gerwig since I saw her in Frances Ha, and more since Ladybird. I think if this movie had been made by anybody else I wouldn't have been remotely interested. 

They hyped it so much that I started getting antsy. What if it's a dud? Well, it's no dud! It's cringey, deep, funny, surprising and if it has one fault, is that it is an American Movie™ – you know what I mean? where everything is spelled out and subtlety is a foreign concept. 


Barbie on IMDB

The Visitors

16.July.2023

watching, listening, travelling

The first time I saw The Visitors was about 7 years ago and I was absolutely mesmerised and sorry that I would probably never be able to see it again. I had already spent about 4 hours at Ragnar Kjartansson’s exhibition at the Barbican (watching half of A whole lot of sorrow) and I had a train to catch. Otherwise I'd have stayed there all day, easy peasy. 
I can't explain my delight when I saw it was showing at SFMOMA during my work trip to San Francisco, except that it reinforced my faith in second chances. It's such a beautiful piece.


The Visitors at SFMOMA

Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

08.July.2023

listening

There isn't enough time in a day to listen to all the things I want. 
Listening to a TS song is like reading a very good novel in 3 minutes and 13 seconds. This album is the embodiment of that: nothing else stands a chance for a good while. Oh and: I have tickets for the Eras Tour so next year there will be that on here.


Speak Now (Taylor's version) on Spotify

Axolotl

03.July.2023

reading, learning

I got an axolotl sticker for my laptop in Japan, and couldn't not see the obvious similarities between me and this creature:

Indisputably cute: check
Mexican: check
Weird: check

But a bit more research made me aspire to be even more like it:

the axolotl does not heal by scarring and is capable of the regeneration of entire lost appendages in a period of months, and, in certain cases, more vital structures, such as tail, limb, central nervous system, and tissues of the eye and heart.They can even restore less vital parts of their brains.


Love this: don't let yourself be scarred. Just grow your hurt parts anew and start over.


Axolotl on Wikipedia

The White Lotus

11.June.2023

watching

By the time the evening rolls around my ADHD meds have run their course so it's nigh impossible for me to sit down to watch anything at all. (thankfully I can still read books, as long as I've gotten myself hooked before said meds evaporation). 
Despite the beautiful typography in the opening credits, this show was doubly hard to watch: an assemblage of truly horrible people and their very bad decisions, so masterfully performed that I had to remind myself like Bert and Ernie: “it's only a movie it's only a movie”. 


The White Lotus official page

North of the Sun

10.June.2023

watching

I will be raving about this short documentary/film for a long time: adventure, resourcefulness, wonder, hope, friendship but in a perfectly understated, Scandinavian way.


North of the Sun on Vimeo

Vision Plus XIX Conference

26.May.2023

learning, travelling

This year's edition of the International Insistute for Information Design's conference centres around Info Design for healthcare, and although that is very far from my own chosen flavour of Info Design, it's been valuable to expand my horizons and meet old colleagues and friends. And Vienna is always a good idea.


VPXIX Conference page

The Sad Dads of the National

20.May.2023

reading, listening

The best feeling is when my friends see something and they think of me. My friend Tom sent me this article that I had somehow missed. As mentioned previously, I'm kind of obsessed with The National, but I'm also not a Sad Dad. Leave it to Phoebe Bridgers (another legend) to explain why:

Something middle-aged men and teen-age girls have in common is the act of finding yourself, and being kind of self-conscious. Maybe some beliefs that you’ve held on to for a long time are finally being shed. The teen-age girl in me is obsessed with the National, and feels very spoken to and seen by them, maybe for the exact same reasons that they speak to middle-aged men.

 

I am a teenage girl at heart.


The National on The New Yorker

True Love Experiment

19.May.2023

reading

During lockdown I became an avid romance reader. I discovered that knowing how the story will end is a major stress reliever for me. The patriarchy makes us dismiss the genre as stupid/shallow/dumb or worse: "not proper literature" (???) but I loved what the hero tells the heroine in this book, where the plot is a bit meta around romance books:

Seems it’s pretty hard to write a compelling book when the reader already knows how it ends.

 

This isn't one of my favourites but it's good, and the author duo is an insta-buy for me.


The True Love Experiment

Air

14.May.2023

watching

Some meetings should've been emails, some books should've been twitter [RIP] threads, some movies –like this one – should've been shorts. Viola Davis is fantastic. Ben Affleck is a terrible actor. Matt Damon is the king of hamming it up. 


Air on IMDB

Emotional Intelligence for Managers

04.May.2023

learning

In this one-hour workshop Matthew Rechs expounds on the qualities that make a good manager, one that ultimately brings out the best in people and fosters a good company culture. As a new entry to the corporate world, this was insanely eye-opening.

My favourite take-away:

Be intentional and sophisticated in the ways that you deal with other people. Do not accept without challenge those social cues against being vulnerable and transparent.


EQ for Managers Workshop

What I loved

01.May.2023

reading

Two pages into this book and I'm hooked. I love a male character written by a woman. And Hustvedt's writing is so intimate and precise that I feel that she's talking to me and that I have to listen.

My father died in 1947, when he was only forty-three years old, but my mother lived on. I was their only child, and after my father was gone, my mother and I shared his ghost. […] For twenty-six years she lived in the same apartment on Eighty-fourth Street between Broadway and Riverside with my father's missing future.


What I loved by Siri Hustvedt

Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru

01.May.2023

listening

I came across this Ethiopian composer by accident and well, there are no accidents. She was a nun, and died last month aged 99. Her music is happy and melancholy at the same time, joyful and dreamy but there's something raw about it. 
I'm no music writer.


Emahoy on Spotify

First Two Pages of Frankenstein

28.April.2023

listening

Two of the things that bring me most joy in life were gifts from my friend Rachel. My dog, who she convinced me to – and helped me – get; and The National, who she introduced me to back in 2010. I woke up early today just to play this and it's wrecking me, in a good way.


FTPF on Spotify

Letter to your younger self

26.April.2023

reading

I once said that if I could write a letter to my younger self I wouldn't. That bitch has to figure out stuff on her own, just like I did. But this one brought me to tears. Read it in full, like:

Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.


Cheryl Strayed's Dear Sugar Newsletter

typespecimens

25.April.2023

scrolling

Mark Boulton curated a collection of typeface micro-sites for about ten years. I hope he continues because these are great.


typespecimens

Scarlett

25.April.2023

listening

The first time I thought my kid was ADHD like me was when I noticed that he would listen to the same song on repeat for weeks, or watch the same films over and over and over (I later realised that he's more on the spectrum and this hyper-fixation is one of those shared traits with ADHD). Anyway, I've been extracting all the possible dopamine out of this song for weeks and it doesn't seem to run out.


Scarlett by Holly Humberstone on Spotify

Dense Discovery

25.April.2023

reading

I receive about 50 newsletters per week, I open them randomly and choose to take whatever I read as a sign. It's like Tarot. There is one, however, that I always open because it's consistently great: Dense Discovery by Kai Brach is a condensed magazine with no fillers, the topics range from climate change, politics, anthropology, late stage capitalism and more, and every word in it is intentional and important. I always get the feeling that none of my time reading it has been wasted.


Dense Discovery

Mel Bonis

24.April.2023

reading, listening

My friend / client Christopher gave me this book. It's in French, which I speak poorly but read quite ok. It's the biography of a composer who happened to be a woman and had an incredible life. Think: the illegitimate child you're forced to give away as an infant falls in love with their half-sibling 20 years later.


Mel Bonis on Spotify

Friend to Friend poncho

23.April.2023

knitting

Bought this pattern on Ravelry and will cast on soon: need to decide first if I should frog the red jumper I've not managed to finish (more than three years since first cast-on), or use new yarn.


Pattern on Ravelry

The Eras Tour

23.April.2023

watching, scrolling

I wish my “media diet” included the Eras Tour. Maybe when she comes to Europe? In the meantime, hours scrolling hashtag taylorswift on instagram will have to suffice.


Eras Tour on insta

Feminist City

23.April.2023

reading


Feminist City on Amazon
This is the description field in the photo. How can I use it?

Testing Expression Engine

23.April.2023

making, learning

This is the first post of my Media Diet website. I will keep it because after all, making this website meant that I had to consume a lot of media: tutorials, mostly. I made this with Expression Engine, which is really logical and has been relatively easy to learn. I love that I can take any template, for example any from HTML5UP and make it dynamic.


My other site

What's this

This is where I keep track of the things that I read, watch, listen to and make. It's kind of my blog-pinterest-twitter and bookmark folder all in one. I keep it mainly for myself, because I have a bad memory, but it's public because I'm generous like that.