Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies (and other weekend reads)

After a quiet weekend, I was surprised to realize I had tons of interesting things to share! While I didn’t get up to much, I did find quite a few things on the internet that piqued my interest. While I’d normally post these to social media, I’ve decided to take a less spam-y approach and wrap them up into a weekend roundup. Looking for some Sunday night stimulus? Read on!

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast comes out in Paris on Wednesday! Are you excited?! I’m excited. I can’t wait to see my favorite animated Disney film come to life! Belle—champion of books and big ideas—has always been a favorite. While I don’t think Emma Watson will replace animated Belle in my heart, I’m excited to see what director Bill Condon has in store. The trailer looks pretty majestic. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the live action remake has already made a box office killing on its first weekend.

Layoff Musings

Since my layoff in December, I’ve been thinking about Up in the Air—remember that movie? It came out in 2009, and centers on a corporate employee who flies around the company firing people. Sounds really uplifting, non? When I first saw the film, I was mainly struck by the cool cinematography, but now it holds more weight. After rewatching this downer, I needed a pick-me-up. I couldn’t help but click on How a Layoff in my Mid-Twenties Gave Me the Jump-Start I Needed. While I didn’t receive any profound wisdom, it was great to see my own feelings on my layoff reflected in Stephanie Taylor’s article, particularly her spot-on comparison to academic grading: “At first, I felt so much shame about losing my job. I told friends that I felt like I had gotten all As in adulthood, but then suddenly was handed a D.” While it can be difficult not to take a layoff personally, in some ways I’ve been granted a gift! I’m free to pursue writing full time, and look for jobs in publishing.

Gucci Memes

Yep. Gucci is making memes. The Italian luxury brand tapped some of Instagram’s rising stars, such as Amanda Charchian (@textsfromyourexistentialist), to whip up their take on Gucci’s new line of zoological-inspired watches and tag them with the hashtag #TFWGucci. I’m 100% not going to buy a watch, but I’m digging their creative advertising approach, and the contrast between the eclectic watches designs and the irreverent voice of these memes. Yes.

How to Curse in French

There’s a really depressing statistic about sexual harassment in Paris that you should know about: the High Council of Equality Between Men and Women (HCEfh) found that 100% of women have been sexually harassed on the métro. France24 believes this to be an overblown statistic, however I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been harassed. And it’s not just the métro. On Thursday, I was sitting alongside Canal St. Martin with my gal Celina enjoying escargots aux pralines from Du Pain et Des Idées, when a man stopped to talk to us. Miming that he’d like a lighter, I politely told him that I didn’t smoke. Apparently this was an opening for him to ask me where I lived in Paris, whether I spoke French, tell me what he thought about my language skills (ça va, en fait), and ask “Tu es quelle origine?” For starters, I loathe that question. There are some seriously screwed up, racist intentions swirling under the surface of that question, which is normally not posed to blonde caucasian women. Secondly, no sir, asking for a lighter does not entitle you to keep talking to me and shooting me that flirty grin. So here we go—a comprehensive guide on How to Curse in French, because knowing how to tell creeps to fuck off in authoritative French is a must.

Katherine Hepburn’s Brownie Recipe

I love Katherine Hepburn and I love brownies. I stumbled upon this exciting gem on the New York Times. I can’t wait to try these out! Outspoken, opinionated, and confident, Katherine Hepburn is both an excellent actress (check out The Philadelphia Story, Bringing Up Baby, Woman of The Year, and Adam’s Rib) and a style icon. A cursory google on Katherine Hepburn’s sense of style will tell you she was unwilling to conform to Hollywood’s beauty standards. She didn’t like caking her face with makeup, and she rocked glamorous trousers whether the studio liked it or not.

The Financial Realities of Writer Life

I was listening to Cheryl Strayed’s interview on CNTRL, ALT, DELETE, an excellent podcast by British Journalist Emma Gannon. Among other things, they discussed the financial realities of being a writer. It’s pretty crazy to think that you can be a bestselling author, and still be deep in debt! Obviously, everyone’s personal choices in regards to their financial situation are different, and deeply personal, but it was really interesting to hear more about this oft-avoided fact about being a writer: this job isn’t necessarily going to be lucrative.

Strange Heart Beating

I’m almost done reading the advance proof of Eli Goldstone‘s Strange Heart Beating. Life can be cruel. Seb’s wife Leda has been killed by a swan. We follow Seb as he attempts to cope with his grief, discovers a sealed packet of letters from a cousin Leda never mentioned, and sets off for her home country of Latvia to get to the bottom of her past. So far, so good! It’s due to come out May 4th in the UK, and I’m penning a review on Goldstone’s debut for the LARB blog, so stay tuned!

and last but not least…

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Nah, not the Julia Roberts movie. My very real best friend’s wedding! I received Hannah and Daniel’s gorgeous Save the Date card today, and I couldn’t wait to put it on my mantle! I think it looks pretty snazzy up there. There are watercolor foxes.

What have you been reading this weekend?

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