Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sessions: End of Summer Edition


Blue Bottle Cappuccino

I know it’s been a minute since the last Sunday Session—and this isn’t even Sunday—but I’ve kept all of these links around just so I could share them with you. I’ll be back next week with a more considerate post, but for now…


I wish for a world where we never have to have The Talk.

Meet the women inmates who fight alongside civilian firefighters.

Enjoy this moving piece of fiction. Then read this far less serious—but more accurate—piece of fiction.

Women only co-working spaces are becoming a thing, and I can’t even lie: I am so here for it.

Lately I’m finding inspiration in what others find inspiring.

Read this article.

Is this friendship in the digital age?

All of you with progeny, I beg of you this one thing: teach girls how to fix things.

Longer Reads

I finished the 800-page A Little Life, and now I’m on to Theft by Finding and Queen of the Tearling. After that, I’m tapping into my incredibly well-read friend Sameer’s lists for new books to read this fall.

To Watch and Listen

I listened to any number of podcasts this week, but haven’t been able to get the hauntingly honest Meat out of my head.

Take This Waltz is on Netflix. It remains one of my favorite indies.

It took awhile to grow on me, but I’m loving Issa Rae’s Insecure.

None of us will ever be as beautiful as 45-year old Jane Fonda in this movie. Sorry.


So…I made some pies this summer.

I’m all about those cheap eats.

Currently cooling in my fridge.


And finally, happy birthday to this person, who is actually, in fact, a most epic dancer. 

Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sessions

I did not read Madeline L’Engle as a kid, but honestly, this trailer for A Wrinkle in Time (directed by Ava DuVernay!) is something to behold. It’s especially exciting because it looks like we’ll mostly be seeing reboots from Disney for the foreseeable future.

To Watch

I feel lucky to have come into my professional career during the Obama years. During his administration, President Obama invited the American people to be part of the conversation, sought to bring greater transparency to government, and was eager to experiment with the application of technology and design. Under President Trump, is appears these initiatives—along with facts on topics like climate change—are slowly dying.

To Read

May every day begin with a #donuttestimony.

Why literature needs more angry female heroes. (Electric Literature)

P.S.: Are you on Good Reads? Let’s be friends so I can stalk your book recommendations.

To Listen

The Nancy podcast is one of my favorites. Episodes #2 and #14 are great places to dive in.

I took a train ride to Delaware this week and listened to much of Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty. Besides some pretty terrific sound design, it’s also a story for our times.

A fascinating episode of Planet Money on how the U.S. government honors destroyed currency.

Check out these 20 podcasts for kiddos. (Common Sense Media)

To Eat


The 13th Doctor on Doctor Who will be a woman. I don’t even watch this show, but the revelation gave me goosebumps. Now, if only…

And finally, this. Have a great week, friends.

Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sessions

Plums and plums

My thoughts this weekend have extended about as deeply as this tweet.


How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It) (New York Times)

The Lifelong Learning of Lifelong Inmates (The Atlantic)

A fascinatingly academic look at the evolution of intercourse (Code and Culture)

Helping Boomers Find Millennial Roommates (CityLab)

4:44 is no Lemonade. Come at me. (The Atlantic)

A wonderfully nerdy look at why Jane Austen endures (New York Times)

Stop. Putting. White. Men. On. Pedestals. (Washington Post)

Also, this. (Teen Vogue)


Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment (Revisionist History)

Jazz Vibes Playlist (Spotify)


One Life: Sylvia Plath (National Portrait Gallery)


So, I’ve been doing this thing with pies

Sunday Sessions

Let It Be Sunday

For some reason, it feels like the next few weeks could be the start of everything. Right?


The Symptoms of Dying (The New York Times)

Sherman Alexis on Not Being “The Kind of Indian That’s Expected” (Buzzfeed)

Every single day of my life with David, illustrated (Canta Comics, Imgur)

Audrey Tautou’s Very Private Self-Portraiture (T magazine)

A Number of Reasons I’ve Been Depressed Lately (The Paris Review)

The Faces of the People Who Will Lose Their Healthcare (New York Times)

The Best of City And Regional Magazines: A Reading List (Longreads)

How to Raise a Reader (New York Times)

Wonder Woman Was Not the Feminist Utopia I Expected (Facebook)

Thoughts like this and this keep me awake at night. I’m working on it—maybe you should too? (Twitter)


A few words on distraction-free listening (Bello Collective)

What if Willy Wonka Was Your Dad? (The Sporkful)

Counting Crows’ August and Everything After (The Sound and the Story)

Ear Hustle (Radiotopia)


17 Take-to-Work Breakfasts (Food 52)

Everyday Apricot Tart (Martha Stewart)


GLOW (Netflix)

Progress on Summer Projects

  1. Make a homemade pie: Despite the hours already spent on this project, I still haven’t arrived at a final product yet. This weekend I began working on two different pies, but got waylaid by my first disastrous crust. Here’s hoping I can check this one off the list by the end of the weekend.
  2. Run a 5k: Running has never been my thing. If there is a zombie apocalypse, I will be that slacker at the end of the crowd who is caught and quickly consumed into the realm of the undead. So I have no idea why I decided this would be my summer to accomplish a 5k. Last week I ran a mile on the treadmill four days in the road. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t enjoy it. But it’s getting done.
  3. Record a podcast segment: I’m working on this one slowly, but it’s going to take some time—maybe even more than the summer. Stay tuned.

Today’s title is an homage to Joy the Baker, whose Let it Be Sunday posts are part of my own weekend routine.

Sunday Sessions

An Early Summer Sunday

Summer 2017

I’m grateful for the sunshine this week. I’ve spent hours outside, enjoying the tiny trickles of sweat running down my neck (graciously so, after what felt like an unbearable winter). Last weekend, Jack and I set up shop in the grassy area across the street and, while be barked at anyone who happened to be ambling by, I read pages and pages uninterrupted.

I’m working on setting a few goals for the summer. More walks. My first homemade pies crust. I’d like to be able to run 3 miles without stopping. I have an idea for a podcast segment; I want to record and then pitch it to one of my favorite shows.

Luckily, the summer is just getting started.

Short Reads

Why Wonder Woman is a Masterpiece of Subversive Feminism (The Guardian)

10 Tips from One Week as a Professional Baker (Food 52)

A Look at the Oral History of Reading Rainbow (Mental Floss)

How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business (New York Times)

Long Reads

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Moonglow by Michael Chabon


If You Have to Be a Floor (Memory Palace)

All the Time in the World (Criminal)

The Best Episodes of the Past 15 Years (RadioLab)


Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Easy Weeknight Summer Recipes (Bon Appetit)

Niçoise Salad (Serious Eats)

Apricot Couronne (Great British Bake Off)

21st Century Woman, Sunday Sessions

Sunday Routines: How Ashley Lusk, sometimes writer, spends her Sundays

BRIGHT AND EARLY We’re early birds so I’m usually up around seven on the weekends. David is almost always up before me, immersed in his “digital meditation,” which is usually a video game, or time spent scrolling through Twitter on his phone. Meanwhile, I stumble into the kitchen and start the electric kettle.

COFFEE SNOB I’m thoughtful about coffee, and prefer to use a French press at home. I’ve spent this year rotating between different local bean purveyors. Right now I’m into Blanchard’s Columbia El Obreje, a roaster in nearby Richmond, Virginia.

READ AND RELAX Our Sunday routine is seasonal. We’re in late winter right now, so we’ll probably stay close to home. He may go to Starbucks for an hour or so to read the digital edition of the New York Times or catch up on more Twitter. I’ll stay home wrapped in blankets reading the Washington Post and scrolling through recipe blogs. My favorites are Joy the Baker, Smitten Kitchen, and Naturally Ella.

A SEASONAL MENU Brunch is probably our favorite meal of the week. Lately we’ll drive over to Ted’s Bulletin, which shows old movies and has a fun 40s diner vibe. They recently dropped several of my favorite brunch items, so we may have to reevaluate our “regular” status. If it was summer, we’d be first in line at the wood-fired oven pizza stand at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market begging them for a tomato, basil and mozzarella piadini. After picking up our produce for the week, we might stop by Kramer’s Books and browse.

WELL-PACKED BAGS Next we’ll walk a few blocks over to The Wydown and I’ll pick up a cappuccino. We’ll then go next door to the Trader Joe’s and fight our way through the crowds to do our grocery shopping for the week. I love watching the TJ’s staff pack the bags. My dad was a grocer, so I appreciate when it’s done without crushing the soft or delicate items.

CAT NAP We’ll head home, unpack the groceries, and then take a half hour nap. Sometimes it’s my best sleep all week. By mid-afternoon, we’ll head to the gym for an hour or so. David will hop on a bike or an elliptical. I’ll do some light free weights and then take a turn on the elliptical. Sometimes we’ll skip the gym and I’ll bake something instead.

WRITING TIME David’s incredibly disciplined—towards early evening, he’ll get his clothes and his work bag ready for the week. For me there is mostly the panic of realizing I should have worked all day instead of relaxing. If I’m especially avoiding a project, I might sit down and write a blog post for my site, or maybe a letter to a friend.

QUIET EVENING AT HOME I used to watch a lot of TV, but I’m trying to pull back on that a bit. On Sunday nights, we’ll probably have a simple dinner and listen to 60 Minutes or a favorite podcast while we prepare it. We mostly keep the TV off for the rest of the evening, unless there is a new PBS series or Game of Thrones. The more likely scenario is that we’re both in bed by 10.

Sunday Sessions

Promenadin, as one does

The Italian Garden at Maymont

In the words of David, “Promenadin’, as one does.”

This weekend we packed an overnight bag and headed to Richmond for a quiet getaway. We walked the grounds of Maymont, had a surprisingly delightful dinner at Julep’s (the only place I’ve been to where a meal can include both pimento cheese and a chocolate torte), and then spread allllll the way out in a king-size bed, indulging our house envy with HGTV.

I plowed through Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence because early 20th century drama is about all I can tolerate right now, then I picked up J. Ryan Stradal’s utterly forgettable The Great Kitchens of the Midwest, thanks to a tempting $1.99 deal on Book Riot.

Tried one episode each of Santa Clarita Diet and Greenleaf, then vowed to spend less time watching TV.

Gave the Pregnant Pause podcast a listen (spoiler: one episode in and I can tell you they’re def. having kids). Started the 3-part series, “Seeing White” from Scene on Radio—highly recommend. Found Radiolab’s Shot’s Fired difficult but necessary. I’ve been listening, but generally share mixed feelings about Missing Richard Simmons.

Finished my last cup of Reanimator’s Foundation blend and dug into Blanchard’s Colombia El Obraje—discovered if you list “caramel” in the tasting notes I’ll probably like it (although I don’t like caramel IRL). David’s heading back to Atlanta soon and that means I’ll re-up on Batdorf and Bronson and more of its beautiful, oily beans.

On the blog I mapped out my favorite D.C. based coffee spots. Compass Coffee doesn’t make the cut. Come at me. 

And finally, a word to the wise: Don’t let anyone ever try to convince you cauliflower rice will ever be anything but a bunch of cauliflower diced into smaller pieces. I know because I made this and it was disgusting.