Sunday Sessions

The Big 5-0

I went into this week knowing it would a lot, so I decided to be laser-focused on the bright spots. A near-perfect cup of coffee. A co-worker’s laugh. A letter sent to a friend. Finding a yoga studio that feels like home. A chat with my grandma. Becoming lost in a book. Watching a colleague pivot beautifully, gracefully, into a solution. An afternoon planning session with my building’s garden club. A morning text message exchange with a friend I miss dearly.

And by putting the focus there, on the bright spots, it sustained me. Through the long work week. Through the constant shit storm of American politics. Through the hours until David was back at home.

Here’s hoping there are bright spots ahead for you this week.

PS: Although I’ve taken a few weeks—and sometimes a few seasons—off, this marks 50 editions of our Sunday Sessions together. Thanks for continuing to read along.

To Read

Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood

Hint: It’s fiber. I don’t think about fiber the same way I think about, say, carbs, but a few years ago I started adding a couple of dried prunes to my diet each day and noticed a difference pretty immediately.

Like This or Die: The fate of the book review in the age of the algorithm

Yikes, who knew the world of book criticism was so cut-throat?

Stacey Abrams for ….

Keep your Beto and Buttigeig, I am endlessly fascinated by Stacey Abrams.

The Makeover Scene Gets a Makeover

I haven’t seen Shrill, but like most people with a beating human heart, I love Queer Eye. And yet I can acknowledge how little the show does to actually evolve a person physically or emotionally—I mean, I literally skip through Karamo’s pandering bromides about self-care, confidence, grief. As Soraya Roberts writes here, the suggestion that “internal metamorphoses” can happen overnight is a dangerous one.

Does Femtech Give Users Control of Their Health or Take It Away?

Fuuuuuuuuuck.

From Birding in the Bronx to Birding on Your Screens, It’s Been a Journey

I’ve discovered New York (and surprisingly, my office) has a vibrant birding community. Bronx native and bird-lover Jason Ward has a new series about the birds of New York, and in the first episode he visits Central Park.

5-Minute Therapy Technique to Manage Your Anxiety

If you don’t have anxiety in this economy, what the heck is wrong with you?

The particular sheen of America by Amtrak

I didn’t love my time as an Amtrak employee, but I still think trains—and train travel—are endlessly fascinating. After taking a cross-country train trip alone in 2017, I felt more at home in America than I had in a long time.

Longer Reads

I finished Another Brooklyn this weekend, and am closing in on the back half of Circe as well. Couldn’t put ’em down. Add them both to your reading list today.

PS: No more Amazon links here—I’ll be linking you to some of my favorite independent bookstores.

To Listen

The (Indoor) Garden State

Meat and Three is the kind of podcast I usually put on in the background, but this week’s episode—about New Jersey, no less—had my full attention during a segment on the ways one school is building food into their curriculum.

The Weatherman

A haunting episode about a weatherman looking for answers.

Envisioning AIDS

Compassion. Fear. Release. A facilitator from the Shanti Project leads an intimate visualization through the process of dying from AIDS. A really stunning piece of audio.

To Eat

I keep buying fennel and then forgetting what I intended to make with it. Turns out this simple fennel and arugula salad is a very solid standby whenever you find yourself with a spare bulb. I’m guessing this kale salad would do quite nicely as well.

You know that cute scene in rom-coms where she doesn’t like carrots, and he doesn’t like pickles, and they spoon their carrots and pickles on to each others plates? Yeah, friends, that’s me and David IRL. But lately I’d been feeling that, as a grown up, I should really give carrots a second chance, and the only way that was going to happen was if they were slathered in sauce. These tahini and mustard roasted carrots might do the trick.

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