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Cruel Compendium #55 👠
Girl dinners, a goth's guide to summer, and the United States of Barbie
Hello from the HOT HOT HEAT of Texas summer. 🔥
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how this newsletter introduced me to most of my good friends in Austin—even though I started it two years before I even knew I’d move here.
Have I shared my work for Austin culture mag Tribeza? Last week, I wrote about the launch of Soho Home, Soho House’s bohemian chic design studio. I also wrote about the launch of OFC Creative Gallery, dedicated to BIPOC artists; The Go-Go’s Kathy Valentine performing in the musical Head Over Heels for the first time in her hometown of Austin in August; and delicious Egyptian barbecue at food truck KG BBQ.
On to the links!
What I’m reading
In this Sunday’s New York Times Styles I read about a familiar concept: girl dinner, which is a TikTok trend where girls show off their beautifully plated, no-cook dinners of meat, cheese, crackers, and other grab-and-plate goodies. I know all about girl dinners, except I lovingly call them trash plates, and I do not take the time to plate them in an aesthetically pleasing way. (I prefer to gobble them up, ghoul-style.)
My trash plates consist of things I already have on hand and usually skew Mediterranean—Sunday night’s consisted of salad topped with green goddess dressing, tomatoes, cheese, salami, pita crackers, tzatziki sauce, and hummus. The dips and sauces are crucial to the trash plate’s quality. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with tinned fish, egg salad, fresh peppers, feta, eggplant spread, potatoes, grapes—the limit does not exist! What matters is it takes about three minutes to create and then immediately enjoy while watching reality television. (Trash plates pair perfectly with trash TV, as a rule.)
I shared my trash plate on Instagram and got plenty of responses from people enjoying their own variety of this summer-friendly grazing dish.
Turns out people call these plates Frankendinner, Bachelor Chow, Hodgepodge Night, and even Daddy Fun Plates. Fun indeed!
The goth’s guide to pristine sun protection, according to goths. By Stephen Johnson. “Sunscreen is a must. SPF 666.”
Will millennials be left behind? by Jill Filipovic. So many interesting facts (and great points to present to older generations) about the financial challenges millennials uniquely face, including: “Millennials and Gen Zers have 75 cents of wealth for every $1 that Gen Xers had at the same age. And Gen Xers and Millennials have 85 cents for every $1 Baby Boomers had. The numbers are far worse for Black families, who have 25 cents of wealth for every $1 held by White families. For Hispanic families, it’s worse still: 24 cents of wealth for every $1 White families have.”
Author Tiffany Philippou, who I interviewed on my podcast last year, is going through a breakup after her boyfriend cheated on her. She is bravely documenting her grief and the post-breakup steps that few are open and honest about, including the shame of wishing you were as over the breakup as the rest of the world seems to be, and the many winding, painful thoughts you have when you’re working overtime just to get through each day. Her writing reminds me of the early days of CSBC, and how important it is to remind people they are not alone when they are deeply hurting.
Kara Cutruzulla offers a simple choice for this season of abundance: Commit, or don’t!
I’m listening to:
The Daily’s episode on why college-educated workers are fleeing big cities. I saw a lot of myself in this story.
Questionable self-care advice
Seven questions to ask yourself when you don’t know what you want. (Spoiler alert: you do know what you want.)
I love the dreamy works by artist Thomas Jackson, and you can go see this one IRL in Tiburon, CA through tomorrow, July 12.
📫 How to get NO MAIL. NONE.
📁 What to do when you got alotta tabs. (Did I take this advice? No!)
🎂 Dive deep into the world of retail birthday freebies
📗 I must have this sticker
👙 Swimsuit recs for adult women from Gloria
🍃 Some things you can do if you’re sick of social media, aka go touch grass
🐱 A comforting guided meditation
🌊 A visual reminder of how deep the sea is. (FYI, the ocean is only seven miles deep!)
🌱 Watch me grow arugula (RIP bleach blonde hair)