Month: June 2017

The Glow of A Warrior Woman

The sun is a glowing ball of fire in the sky and every pore of my body is sweating. I’m on mile three of the morning run, jogging along manicured lawns in an upscale neighborhood outside of Bangkok. The smell of the morning air is a mix of dampness, jasmine, car exhaust and tropical decay. The Thai sunrise looks different to me, seeing it from the other side of the world from my home. That ball of fire in the sky glows a different orange-pink, not a typical yellow, which I learn later might be air pollution. A few weeks after the US election last year I decided I didn’t need to keep delaying my craziest dreams. Reality was upside down, so why keep waiting to see the world? I booked a ticket to go with my Muay Thai boxing gym for a two-week fight camp in Thailand. I’ve traveled internationally maybe four times. I came to martial arts two years ago, after recovering from some chronic health issues. I wanted to celebrate beating the …

The Best Voice in the World Is… Need You Ask?

For the most part, I don’t trust most people’s taste in music. To debate a musical topic or question with someone is to know for sure that you and your opponent have a shared music-listening lineage and appreciation or, at the very least, the two of you share a mutual understanding and interest for the music that one of you likes that the other person doesn’t. For me, someone with a baseline understanding of many musical genres, the mutual understanding thing is tricky, especially when the mutuality is to be established with: 1. A non-black person — especially a non-black person who hasn’t spent much time around black people. 2. A black person who hasn’t spent much time around non-black people 3. A much-younger person — any race, doesn’t matter. 3a. Case in point: my much-younger white coworker who didn’t know Bananarama’s “Venus” outside of the razor commercial (which until writing this piece and being schooled by our beloved EIC Margit I didn’t know was originally sung by the Dutch garage band Shocking Blue) 3b. …

It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Sweaty Signifier of Age

I was at the kind of music festival that draws packs of “festies,” young people who travel from concert to concert in the summertime wearing Indian-print skirts and bikini tops, their skin pierced and tattooed, wafting a fragrance that commingles pot and patchouli, with a base note of humid sleeping bag. An afternoon spent among them was making me feel my age, 48 at the time. They were groovy goddesses of their own anointing, with crazy-curly-cool hair highlighted in green and purple, bare feet kicking up dirt as they danced. They looked like beautiful children with their exposed tummies — flat or rounded, it did not seem to matter which — playful and unselfconscious. I was sitting under a dusty sycamore, wondering how weird I’d look if I starting reading my library book, when it struck me: a bolt of searing heat, a sudden scrambling of the brain. A hot flash is a bit like a menstrual cramp or migraine. Even if you’ve never had one, you know it when you feel it. And perhaps …

Am I Allowed to Be Happy Even If My Kids Are Not?

I was raised to believe that happiness and motherhood were inherently incompatible, if not irreconcilable. I learned from my mother’s example. Mothers did not live to be happy. Mothers lived to be useful. Mothers lived to be productive. I don’t remember my mother ever talking about being happy. I do remember her always working, laboring, being useful to others. My mother’s hands seemed like they never stopped moving. If she wasn’t pulling strings off string beans or picking worms off tomatoes in her garden, she was peeling apples for a pie or peaches for a cobbler. Or, she was sewing us or herself a new outfit, or turning our old outgrown clothes into quilts. Over time, arthritis made sewing too difficult, but she kept cooking and gardening until the day she took her last breath. As infants, my children were born pushy, in that way that is socially acceptable only for babies and cats. My daughter came out stubborn, demanding and unapologetic. My son, on the other hand, used his fat cheeks, bright eyes and …

A Luminous Photograph with a Story to Tell

It’s a photograph no one else but me could have taken. My mother didn’t take it, that’s for sure. She was great in front of the camera, her rightful place, and pretended — feminine wiles, how quaint — not to understand how to depress the shutter button on a point-and-shoot. My ex-husband was a distracted photographer with an artsy eye that didn’t translate to family photos. Twenty-five years later, no, Philip, I don’t remember whose earlobe that is. But Philip didn’t take it. I’ll describe the image. My daughter, Sophia, is three. Her hair is summer blonde and flows. She is wearing a yellow dress that is now packed in a bin marked “Girls,” in the basement of my building. My father, Tom, is 67. He is tanned and grey and rugged, with a big dad head, square and block-sturdy, the kind of dad head you don’t see much anymore, who knows why, something to do with the internet? Craniums diminish to accommodate next level evolution? I don’t know. Anyway, my father with his big …

tuenight drugs finslippy edibles

Baked Goods and Bad Trips

Last June was our 16th anniversary, so Scott and I spent a weekend at this funky hotel in the Catskills. Every room is themed at this place. I chose a space-themed room. It was appropriately far out. Before we left, Scott mentioned that one of his coworkers, a fellow video editor, had gifted us an edible. A pot cookie, in other words. (I feel like I’m a million years old when I say “pot cookie” but I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to say “edible.”) He apparently was a frequent user (and baker, I guess) of such things, and thought we’d have fun with it. Sure, I said! Pot’s fun! Couple of important details: First, I smoked pot plenty in my twenties, but not really since. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s … changed a little, in the past twenty-odd years. I learned this a couple of years ago, when I shared a one-hitter with a friend and spent the next few hours paranoid and hyper, my face in a jumbo bag of Cheetos. Number …

June Issue: You Glow, Girl

Hey you! We’re back with a new issue and it’s a hot and spicy scorcher. Our theme this week is Glow — as in “Glow little glow worm glimmer, glimmer.” As in fiery pink and orange lights blazing across a June night. Embers in a summertime campfire. The afterglow from some afternoon delight. Al fresco dinner by candlelight, feeling flushed with some red, red wine. Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.) power slams, then and now. The dazzling rainbow of Pride. Fireflies. The light in a child’s beaming face. Our own ambition, our own happiness, our own dynamic glow. When we hit that midlife mark we think we lose a certain glow — a rosy, just-pinched freshness. We sallow. We fade. That’s oh so much bullshit. I turned 50 last week, and have never felt a more intense inner and outer glow. Maybe it was resurfacing a year after a scary health crisis, maybe it was singing karaoke and then getting an unwanted lap dance (don’t ask), or maybe it was that final shot of Fish …

TueNight 10: Kim France

As the founding editor of Lucky magazine and part of the trailblazing editorial team of Sassy (all hail),  Kim France lived the “glamorous” magazine life. Her piece last year on the Condé Nast holiday lunch is one for the ages. These days we follow her/ shop her on her smart, addictive blog Girls of a Certain Age, all about style for women in their 40s and beyond. Kim is also working on a memoir for Algonquin Books, tentatively titled Typical Me, due out in the fall of 2019. We are SUPER excited that Kim will be reading a spicy excerpt from her memoir at TueNight Live: GLOW on June 27th (buy those tix!), and thrilled that she is sharing her TueNight 10 with us: 1. On the nightstand: The Rules Do Not Apply, by Ariel Levy 2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Doing yoga at Sky Ting studio in Chinatown. Finally, I have cultivated a healthy addiction. 3. Jam of the minute: “Cannonball” by the Breeders is a classic and always gets me going. 4. Thing I miss: The 90s. (see above) 5. 80’s crush: Jeff Bridges, Kris Kristofferson 6. Current …

TueNight 10: Sarah Dunn

Sarah Dunn is the creator and executive producer of the ABC sitcom American Housewife.  Her new novel, The Arrangement, is about a happily married couple who decide to embark on an open marriage – six months, clear rules, no questions asked. Fun fact: Back in the ‘90s Sarah wrote the humor column “Dunnwandering” for the Philadelphia City Paperand Margit was her occasional editor (here’s a piece she wrote for TueNight about trying to turn her newspaper nuttiness into a sitcom). These days Sarah’s in the middle of moving her husband and two small children from the Hudson Valley to a tiny house in Studio City. She notes, “It has a pool.” 1. On the nightstand: Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith, Avocado and Peppermint balm from Captain Blankenship, and a stack of 3×5 cards.  But often, no pen. 2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Watching Survivor. 34 seasons, people, and I’ve watched them all. 3. Jam of the minute: “Something Just Like This”, Coldplay and The Chainsmokers 4. Thing I miss: Not owning a cell phone.  I would get rid of mine if I could get away with …

TueNight 10: Ann Shoket

Ann Shoket might be the Millennial whisperer, but it turns out the advice in her book, The Big Life, works for us #olds too: “The same skills that help you navigate your 20s and 30s are what you need for your 40s and 50s,” she says. “Embrace the mess, work your side hustle, rely on your squad, and stay young hungry and ambitious.” Ann was Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen from 2007 to 2014, and was part of the launch team of CosmoGIRL in 1999. We were honored to have her guest-edit TueNight’s “25” issue in January 2016 — and stoked to have her share her TueNight 10 this week: 1. On the nightstand: Jo Piazza’s How To Be Married — Jo is such a badass! And Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things — Cheryl helps illuminate all the dark corners of life. 2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Checking Instagram 3. Jam of the minute: The Janet Jackson Station on Pandora: I got hooked when Janet’s “Nasty” got a boost from Trump last year and the whole station is such a great mix of 90s R&B (EnVogue! SWV!) 4. Thing I miss: Brown Lipstick — …