Hi, I’m Mary! And those are my dogs Bear and Pancho 😇. I’m the editor of Little Old Lady and I want to say thank you for joining our Patreon or, since you’re reading this for free on the site, for thinking of joining our Patreon! We’ve been running this site for four years for free, which is probably really stupid and we’d like to make a little money to keep it going, plus we really want to start paying the contributors who work so hard and write such funny things, so we’d appreciate your patronage. What if this is just 1,500 words of me begging you to you join our Patreon lol (it kind of is!). I figure if you like the humor writing I choose to publish enough to subscribe to our Patreon (which you may or may not do!), then you’d probably like other things that I like, so here are some things I’ve been liking very much lately! And if you like this little newsletter, you’re in luck because it’s going to be a monthly feature here at our Patreon (and this is the only time you’ll ever be able to read it for free on this site YOU HEAR ME? IF YOU WANT MORE YOU BETTER JOIN THE Patreon! Please?), your reward (punishment?) for being a patron!
Things I Read Recently That I Like
Um yeah…I read. 😎
Here are some recent humor pieces from other publications that made me LOL: “When A Cyclist Says, ‘On Your Left’” by Jiji Lee, “A Typical Friday In Oregon, As Imagined By My East Coast Friends” by Gracie Beaver-Kairis, “You Asked For It! The High School Class That Only Teaches Taxes!” by Troy Doetch and Adam Dietz, “You Don’t Want To Miss Our Biggest Blowout Sale Of The Season!! Fine Print” by Rebecca Landman, “Beware Of Humans At The Dog Park” by Raj Tawney, “I Traded In My Standing Desk For A Careening-Around-A-Corner Desk And My Productivity Has Soared!” by Sarah Totton, “Moshe, The Jewish Elf” by Laura Berlinksy-Schine.
And some other things I read on the internet in the last few weeks and loved: “The Most Awkward Part Of Living With Your Parents As An Adult” by our very own co-founder Ginny Hogan, “Pepper” by Molly Devane, “First Two Weeks With Georgia” by Edith Zimmerman and a throwback to when the internet was good, “Negroni Season” by Evelyn Everlady.
I just finished Uncanny Valley by Anna Weiner, a book that I saw displayed in every bookstore I entered last year but my disinterest in tech (ugh) outweighed my interest in female-authored memoirs (my favorite genre!) so I didn’t pick it up until I found a used copy at the Strand last month and…oh boy am I glad I did! It’s so funny and insightful, both personal and observational. Weiner’s descriptions of the aesthetics of tech culture will make you laugh out loud on an airplane. A must read for anyone who’s ever worked in a toxic corporate environment!
More book recommendations: Second Place by Rachel Cusk, a novella about what happens when a woman with creative yearnings has no creative outlet that reads like a horror novel. What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez, another of Nunez’s meditations on friendship, life and death. Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a funny and engrossing novel about divorce amongst the upper Manhattan elite. Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta, an exploration of female friendship and the creative process (are you sensing a trend?). Spiotta is one of my very favorite writers and I feel like she doesn’t get the attention she deserves! I can’t wait to read her new novel Wayward, but I’m waiting until it comes out in paperback or I find a used copy because I can’t afford to buy new hardcover books (honestly—who can!?). And finally, I read these books earlier this year but now they’re appearing on all the best of 2021 lists and they were, indeed, among the best books I read this year and the best memoirs I’ve ever read: Tove Ditlevsen’s The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood, Youth, Dependency. Read them but beware, while the first volume near magically captures the innocence of childhood, the last is a dizzying account of addiction that will drag you down into the depths right alongside the author.
Things I Listened To Recently That I Like
OK so basically music and podcasts, right?
I’ve had the new Snail Mail album Valentine on repeat since it came out, and since this happens to be the end of the year I’ll also share that Japanese Breakfast’s Jubilee was probably the album I listened to most this year and Lael Neale’s Acquainted with Night got me through a weird spring that transitioned into a strange summer. I think the pop/R&B artist Tinashe is way underrated and her new(ish) album 333is good! “Bouncin” is a bop and “The Chase” is a great pop song. I’m also grooving to this Thundercat song from the Insecure soundtrack (lol) and if you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a new FKA twigs song and video!
As for podcasts, I never miss an episode of Who? Weekly, Ask Ronna or The Endless Honeymoon Podcast. My sister also got me into Watch What Crappens (first she got me into Summer House, then Winter House, and I AM NOT ASHAMED!). Side note: I don’t even listen to podcasts on Spotify but it feels like the easiest way to link to them! Second side note: Some people listen to educational or news podcasts but I…do not!!!!!!!
Things I Watched Recently That I Like
I started with reading for a reason: so you’d think I seemed smart and continue to respect me and (hopefully!) even stop reading right after my book recommendations because this is where I reveal myself. I’m not pretentious enough to be ashamed that I like trash TV, I’m just afraid to be truly known, to be seen by you, dear readers, as I really am.
Pre-pandemic, I watched The Real Housewives of New York City. Post pandemic, I watch four different Real Housewives shows (five if you count Ultimate Girls Trip!) and, well, they’re my four favorite shows. In fact, I think The Real Housewives of Potomac may be my favorite show in the history of television (team green-eyed bandits!). Sure, I’m watching Succession, Insecure and Curb and am making my way through The Shrink Next Door and Girls5eva and other lauded/prestige TV but do I enjoy it? Yes, but not as much as I enjoy watching The Challenge. This is how the pandemic has (ever so slightly) changed me: when it comes to TV, I now only want to watch the dumbest shows that require the last amount of thought. While I once looked to NBC’s primetime lineup for tearjerker dramas, I now turn to The Challenge: All Stars, on which one 40-something woman recently helped another 40-something woman complete an elimination challenge after she’d already defeated her and the other cast members, including most of the men, watched and wept. Women supporting women!
Though my patience for serious television dissolved within the first month of quarantine, I still like “good” movies. I just watched King Richard, which is exactly what you’d expect from a biopic in which Will Smith plays the father of Venus and Serena Williams…and I loved it! I laughed! I cried! Men supporting women! I also recently saw (in theaters!) a film that is the exact polar opposite of King Richard: Titane, a French body horror film from the director of Raw about a female serial killer who’s impregnated by a car. I laughed! I didn’t cry! But I loved it! Women killing men (and women)! And finally, Dune was good but like, what more is there to say about it that hasn’t already been said?
As for stand-up, very few specials have been released in the last year (HM I WONDER WHY) and the ones that have been released have been kind of underwhelming (AGAIN WONDER WHY). Nate Bargatze’s The Greatest Average American and Brian Regan’s On The Rocks, both on Netflix, are very good considering they were filmed during the height of the pandemic. Michael Che has a new special but I’m not a fan, and I tried to watch Chappelle’s latest even though I found the conversation around it exhausting and well, what do you know, I found the special itself exhausting and bailed after about 15 minutes. Roy Wood Jr. has a new special that I’m sure is excellent but I no longer have any idea how to watch Comedy Central—he’s worth figuring it out though so reminder to self, figure it out! Since that’s it for the new stuff, I’ll recommend some slightly older stuff: Michelle Buteau filmed a special right before the pandemic called Welcome to Buteaupia, and it’s an absolute blast. Maria Bamford released a special called Weakness Is The Brand just as the pandemic was starting so, unsurprisingly, no one really talked about it but, unsurprisingly, it’s incredible. And these are years old by now but both of Deon Cole’s specials are perfect: Deon Cole: Cole Hearted and Deon Cole: Cole Blooded Seminar.
Things I Cooked Recently That I Like
Um yeah…she cooks. 😏
‘Tis the season for comfort food, and my ultimate comfort food is chicken and rice, in various forms. This Chicken and Rice With Scallion-Ginger Sauce is so simple but so flavorful and yes, comforting. It’s the perfect thing to eat when you’re feeling drained and queasy after your booster shot. I followed one commenter’s instruction to heat the oil for the sauce in a pan, then when it starts bubbling, turn the heat off and throw in the scallions and ginger and, well, it was perfect. This Coconut Chicken Curry has become a staple in my home since it’s easy to make relies mostly on pantry staples, plus it’s delicious. Another of my very favorite things to make is Maangchi’s Cheese Buldak. This recipe says the rice cakes are optional but I say they’re the best part of the dish! This One-Pot Japanese Curry Chicken and Rice is another delicious and easy meal. I like it because I love Japanese curry but can’t order it at a restaurant because it’s normally made with flour and I’m, gulp, gluten-intolerant (please don’t look at me differently), so this recipe is a way to get all the same flavors without any of the flour. If you’re looking for vegetarian fare, I made this Vegan Chili a few weeks ago with Impossible meat and it was excellent. My only complaint is that it felt like a lot of labor for a small serving and the whole point of chili, in my opinion, is having lots of leftovers so next time, I’m going to double it.
Can you tell I like NYT cooking? If you don’t have a subscription, fret not! I’ll include all the above recipes at the bottom of the Patreon post, which is something I’m probably not supposed to do but you can’t copyright recipes so I’M DOING IT.
Things I Bought Recently That I Like
Recommendations from an anti-consumerist who…loves to consume. 😩
I’ve never shopped in person on Black Friday (OK, once I went to a Verizon store in a strip mall, does that count?) but girl, you know I love those sales! Last year, I took advantage of my favorite swimwear line Toast’s sale and bought a bikini, and this year I did the same thing! (Though I bought a different bikini, obviously.) Buying a swimsuit in November feels both totally pointless and blindly hopeful, but either way it’s when you’re going to get the best deal. I also bought my favorite t-shirt in 2 different colors, plus boring stuff like underwear and sweatpants. I’ve been trying to buy this bra from Cuup (did you know red bras are almost invisible under white clothes?) but the first round of sizes I ordered didn’t fit (did you know bra sizes aren’t standardized? And when I took their fit quiz they said I was a D-cup which…um k lololol you obviously don’t know me, Cuup!) and the second round was lost in the mail! Maybe one day I’ll find the right size…and it will find me!
OK well, I think that’s it. If you’ve made it this far, congrats and thanks again for donating, or thinking about donating! I’m thinking of also sharing monthly dog training tips (dog training is one of my eight jobs lol)—would that be of interest to anyone? If you join the Patreon, you’ll be able to see the full recipes, plus you’ll get this newsletter every month, but the best part is that you’ll be supporting this little community we’ve built over the last four years!