DEVOUR {things to do, watch, see & have}

DEVOUR {things to do, watch, see & have}

. 32 min read

In our weekly DEVOUR column we share the things we think you should eat up, from podcasts, to Master Classes, books, sex toys and more.  Here is a slice of what we've feasted on.  To get all of DEVOUR recommendations,  you have to subscribe.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. Want all of the Dish's recommendations on the regular?

Watch. Sex and Love Around the World (2018). CNN journalist Christine Amanpour's 6-episode documentary on how love and sex are perceived and practiced in Berlin, Tokyo, Accra, Shanghai, Dehli, and Beirut. Eye-opening and provocative and Amanpour ask HARD questions. Presently streaming on several platforms, including HBO Max and Amazon Prime. It’s difficult to choose a favorite episode, but if it’s the bondage you fancy, check out Berlin! Watch here.

Watch. The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix 2020) 7 episode miniseries. If for some reason you missed this heady dramatization of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel about fictional teenage chess protege Beth Harmon when it debuted last year, hunker down as the days grow shorter and tune in. Actress Anya Taylor-Joy made chess so sexy that Goliath Games reported the late 2020 release of the show led to a 1,048% increase in chess sales over 2019. Raised in a Christian orphanage where she discovers her talent for the game (along with her taste for tranquilizers) Harmon grows into a brilliant, young woman struggling with her addictions in the male-dominated world of the 1950/60s chess circuit. Roger Ebert calls it “a triumph”. Watch here.

Watch. Together (U.S. premiere August 27, 2021). Ever wonder what all the other couples were doing during lock-down? This made-for-U.K. television film peers into the London home of one couple’s stressed marriage over 15 months of pandemic life. The ten-day production schedule shot in a single location gives this dark comedy a stage play feel. Released in U.S. theatres in August, it’s well-written by Dennis Kelly, directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours and Billy Elliot), and stars James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan as the couple, with Samuel Logan as their young son. Britain’s The Guardian calls it “an absolute wonder”, and The Wall Street Journal echoes, “Together succeeds on several counts -- the fluency of the language, the topicality of the premise, and the energy brought to it by the writer and director.” "Savagely funny" and "completely devastating", is a grave subject matter to which we can all relate. Watch here. Here is an interview with the cast as well.

Watch. Pasta Grannies (YouTube). Nothing says “amore” like Italy and pasta, and this is the real deal. The YouTube phenomenon was created by its host, Vicky Bennison, who travels throughout Italy (and surrounding islands) to document women who still practice the tradition of making pasta by hand. Bennison narrates in English but the guests speak Italian (there are English subtitles). Great opportunity to see the different regions of Italy and hear the different dialects. Authentic, handed-down recipes from women with fabulous names like Giggina,
Enrichetta, Pina, Grazia, and Concettina! Also recipes for some non-pasta dishes as well as the occasional dessert. With a new video every week, you can subscribe here and never miss an episode. If you’re ambitious enough to handcraft your own pasta, pick up Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook, released in October 2019. In the meantime, take a peek at 86-year-old Antonia making bucatini with sardines here.  91-year-old Maria making lasagne here, and 101-year-old Concettina making raschiatelli (aka “fusilli”). Be sure to listen carefully to the story of her husband’s “leg” here.

Listen. Playing On Air Podcast. Love theater? Love radio? Then you’ll love these brilliantly crafted plays written for public radio. Well-known playwrights and screenwriters have their work performed by some of the most respected actors of our day. Founded in 2021 by producing artistic director Claudia Catania to “share the quality theater with the public”, Catania arouses our imagination with the lost art of listening. One of our favorite episodes is “Banshee” written by John Patrick Shanley (winner of the 1988 Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the film Moonstruck), with a cast of Geraldine Hughes and Aiden Quinn. Listen here

Listen. Where Should We Begin? Podcast. Step inside relationship and sex expert Esther Perel’s office and listen in on a session between Perel and an anonymous couple as she counsels them on various issues. Perel interstitches live session recordings with her re-cap and assessment. The New York Times writes: "it feels more like an unraveling mystery story than a relationship advice show." In this episode, a long-time married couple who have been exploring consensual non-monogamy comes into a crisis when the woman falls in love with another woman. Perel delves deep into the couple’s past to allow them to understand how they relate to each other in the present. Says Perel, “The power of the relationship was less about the autonomy and more about somebody who, for the first time, you felt you can let go in their arms and they’ll keep you from falling. And when you have that experience for the first time, it’s irresistible.” Listen here. Other favorites:
Season 1, Episode 6 “There’s You There’s Me and There’s Us”
Season 3, Episode 6 “Happily Divorced”
Season 4, episode 6 “When I’m Manic I Cheat”

Listen. George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (50th Anniversary edition re-released August 6th). Considered Harrison’s “masterpiece”, the triple album was originally released in October 1970 as the musician’s first solo flight after the disbanding of The Beatles earlier that year. Digitally enhanced and lovingly constructed by Harrison’s son, Dhani, the collection now includes multiple outtakes and jams not found on the original. Listen here

Listen. Champian Fulton Trio I’ll See You In My Dreams (released August 25th). This LP marks the 13th release from this young jazz pianist/vocalist. With trumpeter Stephen Fulton as her dad, Champian grew up around jazz greats such as Clark Terry and other fine artists of the day, and their influences are evident in Champian’s vocal phrasing and instrumental style. Featuring Hans Backenroth on bass and Kristian Leth on drums, this record was recorded over two days in Denmark when Fulton learned the pandemic had canceled her Scandinavian tour. Lucky for us! Listen here

Read. The Reading List (Published June 8, 2021). Described as “a love letter to some of our most cherished novels,” Sara Nisha Adams debut work examines loneliness, despair, and hope. Following the death of his wife, a West London man has difficulty resuming life. As he sits alone watching nature documentaries, his granddaughter, Priya, secludes in her room, reading. In an attempt to connect with her, he visits the local library to get her some books and meets a young library employee who discovers a list of novels in the back of To Kill A Mockingbird. When she shares the list with the gentlemen, they find a connection with each other, their home life, and their community. Read here

Follow. - Amy Sedaris on Instagram. Just for a giggle! Each morning, actress/writer/comedian Amy Sedaris posts something unique, hilarious, or stunning. It’s a genuine feel-good moment.

Watch. The Movie That Humorously Dissects the End of A Quintessentially NYC Marriage: before/during/after.  A middle-aged theater actress discovers that her under-employed husband has been having an affair.  Witty, humorous, and very, very real, I approached this movie with some reservations.  The friend who told me about it actually texted me as she started it, saying "I don't know why I'm watching this, but you may be interested" and I quickly started it, and then by the end, she sent me a text saying she "loved, loved, loved it."  I did too.  There is an entertaining series of therapist-caricatures that the main character interviews that add smart levity.  It is very much like a smart update to the 1978 movie An Unmarried Woman starring Jill Clayburgh, with the same themes of heartbreak, betrayal, resilience, and transformation, all with a great deal of New York humor.  (Hat tip to kt.) Trailer here.

Watch.  On the Verge: Four Midlife Women Living & Friending in L.A. On the Verge, the confection of French actress Julie Delpy, loosely depicts the lives of four female friends of a certain age living in L.A.  Its stars are a recognizable list of talented actresses:  Delpy as a French-American chef/restauranteur, Elisabeth Shue as a clothing designer, Sarah Jones as an anxious empty nester, and Alexia Landeau as an unemployed flake.  Is there a word for female friendship comedy?  A “sistermance”?  A “femme-com”? That’s what this is.  It is a glance at the lives of four women dealing with the barrage of midlife shit we all face; serious topics are taken up (empty marriages, empty nests, empty bank accounts, etc., etc.) but all with a touch of a pastry chef who folds in a sense of humor.  It is a series of easy (if not often ridiculous) 30-minute bite-sized episodes, and despite a "really?" muttered here and there, I have found myself partaking in one a night as a way to brush off the day. (Netflix) Trailer here.

Watch. The Fall TV Line-up.  I don't watch anything over the summer, so I'm particularly excited for this Fall's series line-up. I was trying to keep track of airing dates myself so I thought I'd pull this together for you.  I know that I'll be bingeing for days & nights & days ... I'd love to hear what you'll be watching, so please consider taking the poll at the bottom of this Letter. Thanks!

Billions Season 5 (Part 2) Just dropped.  Trailer here.

The Morning Show Season 2 Apple TV - Airs Sept 12.  Trailer here.

Scenes from a Marriage HBO - Airs Sept. 12.  When this miniseries directed by Ingmar Bergman first aired in 1973 it was considered a very frank look at how love, marriage and sex unfolds for one couple over a 10 year period.  This HBO remake stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac and is directed by Hagai Leve, a co-creator of The Affair and In Treatment, so we know that he does this kind of emotional terrain very well.  Trailer here.

Sex Education Season 3.  Netflix - Airs Sept 17.  Trailer here.

Seinfeld The entire library.  Netflix - Starting October 1. Trailer here

Succession Season 3.  HBO Airs - we have to wait for October.  Trailer here.

Listen.  Sports Podcast Three-Point Range.  Hosted by three old friends from University of North Carolina – San Diego Padres baseball scout Kimball Crossley, Chicago Sun-Times and Forbes.com writer Mike Beradino and UNC journalism professor Tim Crothers – this sports podcast offers both deep-in-the-weeds coverage of current events and quirky, philosophical and values-driven takes on the meaning of sports.  Their discussions often sit at the nexus of where athletic accomplishment, character and heart meet capitalism.  Go for the sports talk, stay to witness the great camaraderie, respect and friendship these guys share from years of friendship.  I love these guys, and witnessing the gentle rubbing they give each other when they disagree, which they often do.

In the latest, Crossley, who refers to himself tongue-and-cheek as a "thinking man's sports fan" offers his own lyrical derision of the NFL's announcement of a 17-game regular season to the tune of Janis Ian's "Seventeen."  Appropriate apologies to Ian are included (and required).  Adding to the fun, at least one, if not both, of the other two are not familiar with Ian's classic.  {Sigh.}  (NB: Ian says that she wrote the song at a time when she was "really weird looking" which is reason enough to love it.  Here's a good live version.)

Best lines:  "Remember those who win the game / Still end up living lives with pain / With team doctors of poor quality / Who misdiagnose encephalopathy"

Three-Point Range
Three old college friends -- San Diego Padres baseball scout Kimball Crossley, Chicago Sun-Times and Forbes.com freelance writer Mike Berardino and UNC journalism professor Tim Crothers -- share their unique viewpoints on sports issues both contemporary and timeless. Hilarity ensues. Follow them on …

Watch.  Adriana Trigiani's Rollercoaster Interviews with Other Authors.  There is never a dull moment in this two-hour rollercoaster where best-selling author Trigiani interviews other authors about their new works.  Watch one of the smartest and funniest minds you'll meet get inside the minds and hearts of the likes of Matthew McConaughy, Julianna Margulies, Tia Williams, Bill Persky, Craig Ferguson, Peter Duchin, Lorenzo Carcaterra and Rosella Rago – and marvel at her uncanny ability to bring out original, fun and revealing shares.  I'm telling you, most cocktail parties are not as fun as Trigiani's live show.

The only place to see Trigiani's full interviews is on her LIVE stream on facebook (where multiple hundreds of thousands of followers regularly tune in).  Her facebook page is here.  

You can see edited, shorter versions on Trigiani's youtube channel here (but for the full party, try to tune into the live version!).  On youtube, start by checking out a favorte – this pandemic interview with the fabulous and hilarious actor, vocalist and stand-up comedian Mario Cantone (also known as the interior decorator in SEX IN THE CITY): watch Season 3, Episode 17 here.  (You have to be a subscriber.)

And here's Trigiani's website:

Adriana Trigiani | Intro
Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of 18 books in fiction and nonfiction. She has been published in 38 countries around the world.

Listen. The Secret Room Podcast.  Voyeurism at its finest. Host Ben Hamm hears first-time confessions that will have you on the edge of your fainting couch.  From the law school drop-out who faked speaking German to become an international flight attendant, to the housewife secretly selling photos of her feet, it’ll make you wonder whether you truly know even your closest loved ones.

Start with our favorite episodes: #76 "Celebrity Chicken Caper," #128 "Fetish," #117 "The Takedown," and #60 "My Secret Career.'

And (in case it's helpful) if I had it to do over, I'd pass on #146 "Reckless," and #137 "TORCH"

‎The Secret Room | True Stories on Apple Podcasts
‎Society & Culture · 2021

Read.  A Short Erotic Story Aloud To Yourself (Or Someone Else) from "Coming Soon: Women's Orgasm Erotica".  I am making my way through this recently published, latest compilation of erotica edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.  Bussel has edited over 60 erotica anthologies over the last 20 years, including six volumes of "Best Women's Erotica of the Year."  (Most of which I am going to admit were read aloud to me by an ex over a few years. Sometimes I actually miss him.)  Coming Soon has a range of stories from tame to more kinky, bondage to scifi to love in a retirement home. My early favorite is I'm Her by Henry Corrigan, which hits my personal sweet spot for erotica:  short, suspenseful, slightly quirky and straightforward sexy.

Coming Soon: Women’s Orgasm Erotica
Multiple orgasms? Oh, yes! What does it feel like to climax? Coming Soon: Women’s Orgasm Erotica offers wild and thrilling tales of female sexual pleasure that explore that question in a variety of wondrous ways. From a fetish that will appeal to any book lover and a waitress who’s seduced by her v…

Watch.  Pretend It’s a City (Netflix 2021).  These seven episodes, produced, moderated, and directed by Martin Scorsese, had me laughing out loud during a time when there was nothing to laugh about. Scorsese follows deliciously prickly author Fran Leibowitz as she recounts her decades living through the good, the bad, and the ugly of magnificent New York City.  If you haven’t caught it yet, it’s not too late.  If the pull of New York speaks to you, know that this work will no doubt be archived among the best of classic New York documentaries.

Listen.  NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli on Triest.  I may not be all Italian, but ALL of me craves ALL things Italian ALL the time. In this piece, NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli uncovers the wonder of Trieste. Best line: “Being a Triestina today means being an open-minded and unbiased person because you are raised in a city in which you see people from all the different parts of the world that speak different languages, and you appreciate the diversity around you.”  Listen here.

Read.  Joe Pinsker Interviewing Oliver Burkeman on Why We Really Want to Manage Our Time Better.  I am tiring of efficiency advice because I've noticed that becoming more efficient has inevitably resulted in me doing more shit (not less). More shit because I "created" time with the increased efficiency that I ended up using to do yet more things I didn't really want to do.  (Oh, I probably have just enough time fit in a wax ...) But in this interview in The Atlantic, Burkeman, the author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, shifts the horizon.  "The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short."  Burkeman calls us out on the lies we tell ourselves about how we spend the time we have.  The truth?  That "we will die not having done a tremendous number of things we care about; that every commitment we make to a person, place, or line of work rules out countless others that may fulfill us ..." says Burkeman.  We need to consider efficiency in light of the deeper understanding of what it is for:  to focus our lives on the people and things most meaningful to us.  That's advice I need to adopt as a mantra.

The Best Time-Management Advice Is Depressing But Liberating
You can make time for things that matter, or you can make time for more email.

Listen.  The Podcast "Solo" On The Power of Seeking No Power.  "Power? No thanks, I'm Good."  Solo is the thoughtful podcast series hosted by Peter McGraw on "the single person's guide to a remarkable life."  In this episode McGraw speaks wth Timothy Krieder, a writer and cartoonist, who explains why the freedom to say what he thinks and to command his own time is all the power he needs.  This episode raises the stakes on defining what power is - and argues that giving up opportunities to pursue power in order to gain freedom is a power in and of itself.

The Power Of No Power
Tim Kreider talks about working in solitude and dedicating more time to his artistic endeavors, fueling his creative and imaginative side even further.

Listen.  The Podcast Series Good Sex.  Is about much more than just sex - good or bad.  Because sex is much more than just sex.  It is ultimately about a lot of really important qualities and experiences, like empathy.  Good Sex episodes offer a series of half hour opportunities to rummage around in somebody else's most intimate desires, conquests, linergie drawer (whatever).  In one of my favorites, the comedian Luis Galilei shares the ups and downs on the sex expectations on Latin Lovers.

‎Good Sex: Luis 👐🏼 — “Do you like how I touch you here?” on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Good Sex, Ep Luis 👐🏼 — “Do you like how I touch you here?” - Jul 27, 2021

Listen.  Everything Is Fine podcast on How to Have A Happy Marriage.  You may or may not know that Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue have been married over 40 years.  And that they host a podcast called Double Date where they "drop in" on famous couples who have had long marriages, Sting & Trudie Styler, Ray & Ann Romano, John McEnroe & Patty Smyth, to name a few.  You can pick something up from every episode.  

But what I may love just as much is this Everything Is Fine podcast where hosts Kim France and Jenn Romolini interview Marlo Thomas to get the broad view on what makes a happy marriage.  Some recurring themes to longstanding, happy marriages:  understanding that sometimes, with some issues, you have to choose to be happy rather than right; dropping the petty things that bug you; both people have to really want to be in it for the long haul and willing to do the work; and lots of sex.  For me the best quote from the episode is Marlo Thomas talking about why she waited until the age of 42 and meeting Phil Donahue before getting married:  "I thought that marriage was not a roomy enough place for two whole people. That marrige was a place for 1 and 1/2 persons was my theory. The 1 person (either male or female) was the one who had the dream and was following the dream, and the other person {eg, the "half} was their manager, the quiet spouse."

To skip the enjoyable banter between friends France and Rommolini and get right to the married/Marlo piece start at around 10:30.

‎Everything is Fine: It’s Marlo Thomas! on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Everything is Fine, Ep It’s Marlo Thomas! - Jul 12, 2021

Everything Is Fine is a series for women on life over 40, hosted by Kim France and Jennifer Rommolini.  It is the best at what it does, which is offer up an honest, interesting, explicit look at everything in life that their sophisticated and urbane over 40 audience might be interested in.  Follow them and their podcast on insta @eifpodcast @kimfrancenyc @jennromolini.

Read This.  Before Spicing Up Your Romantic Life, Married Couples. (And everyone else.) Don't ask me how, but I had come across this article in Married Christian Sex promoting the idea of adding a sense of danger to your sex life by having public sex. To, you know, keep married sex exciting and married couples together. It is from 2014, and is really quite a practical (and detailed) list, if not hysterical. For instance "If your wife is shy [I guess the site presumes that is the husband trying to spice things up], try starting your public adventures slowly with a blow job. She won't need to undress at all. Assuming she swallows, clean-up will be easy." (There's a mouthful to swallow there, starting with why a shy wife would be more relaxed giving a public blow job than, say, receiving a much more potentially subtle stimulation up her skirt, but anyway, that's not what I want to focus on.) I don't even want to focus on the many other nuggets in this list, or on the site altogether - which I got a lot out of. What I do want to make Christian Married Couples (and everyone else) aware of is this disturbing list recently published by Tyler Cowen in Marginal Revolution:  Some Major Cities Ranked By Surveillance Cameras per km. They are not what he (or probably anyone) expected. Boston, NYC and Baltimore CRUSH Readers, beware before you bare.

Read. The 100 Greatest Rock Stars Since That Was A Thing in SPIN. This is a highly subjective (and entertaining) list of the greatest "Rock Stars" from somebody with the taste and life-experience to know – Bob Guccione Jr, the publisher of SPIN.  You might fairly quibble with where certain rock stars notch on the list. I do – Ozzy Osbourne #72 over Jerry Garcia #87, for instance. (Really? Did Ben & Jerry's name an ice cream after Ozzy?). But the top ten all belong in the top ten, to my estimation. And Guccione inarguably gets #1 right. Take your shot at his list here.

And if you like Bob Guccione Jr's "Rock Star" list you may enjoy his list of the 5 Things That Turn Him On from Letter No 11, or his personal essay on Hefner we published in Letter No 15.

Read. Harper's Bazaar on How Patti Smeed Started An Electric Hairstlye Trend. She is a retired nurse from Tennessee, and she's obviously cool as all get out.

The Tweet That Launched a Thousand Dye Jobs
A reminder that color doesn’t fade with age.

Check Out. First Photos from Sex and the City Reboot. We here at PrimeCrush are not overwhelmingly fans of the Sex and the City reboot - see the story And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need a SATC Reboot? from Letter No 9, not to mention the results of our Reader poll here on who would be watching the Reboot (2/3 of us voted "I'm sorry I can't. Don't hate me."). But still. I had to peek at these photos ... and "just like that" I'm being pulled back in by (of all things) Miranda's updated and very (dare I say) "man repeller" inspired look. Into it.

‘And Just Like That…’: First photos from ‘Sex and the City’ revival series
The “Sex and the City” reboot series is now shooting in New York City — and just like that, HBO Max has released first-look images for fans. A series of photos dropped Friday featuring …

Read.  NYT's 50 Reasons to Love Joni Mitchell's "Blue."  Blue, released in 1971 when she was only 27, was Mitchell's fourth studio album, written and produced entirely by her.  Among many other accolades, it was named third in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  Blue is a poetic untangling of the nature of passionate relationships.  There are lots of hints at juicy details in the NYT article (and then you kind of had to piece things together). It was written during a heated love affair with James Taylor (who was very much addicted to heroin at the time and played guitar on four songs on the album), which love affair took place on the heels of her break up of her long love affair with Graham Nash - and on the heels of her having fled to Greece, she has said, to escape the pain of that unwinding, as well as the limelight that had just begun to envelope her, a woman who had lived "in a box of paints."  (Where she had yet another love affair.) Blue has some of the most poetic lines in rock. "You're in my blood like holy wine." "only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings and fly away" "I want to talk to you / I want to shampoo you / I want to renew you again and again." "crown and anchor me / or let me sail away" and "He loved me so naughty left me weak in the knees."  (That last one Nash, who Mitchell ended things with by note from Greece (where she had picked up with another lover), humorously gloats was written about him. (Who wouldn't.) )

In the NYT article 25 musicians, including former lovers James Taylor, Graham Nash and David Crosby, share personal revelations about Blue, its making and how she and the album changed their lives. For instance, Crosby admits that the first time he heard Blue "I felt like quitting the business and becoming a gardener." He goes on to argue that "The music is where she's just vastly superior to Bob [Dylan] ... They're both brilliant poets, but she's 10 times the musician and singer that he was." (So is her old lover implying she deserves the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Dylan?)

Song of the Week. "You're in my blood like holy wine." In the video linked to below, Mitchell is singing Case of You from Wembley Arena in 1983 at the age of 40 with a deeper voice and (what seems to me) a more zen energy than earlier live versions. This performance is over a decade after Blue was released. There seems to be, over a decade later, some form of acceptance of the intensity of her great love affairs with Nash and Taylor (and more) - love, loss and of the limelight. In other words, time has done some healing from a life lived very much outside the paint box.  (Of course, I might be reading a lot into it.)

There have been some moving covers of this exquisite love song, like this live one by Brandi Carlile at Madison Square Garden that she dedicates to her wife. But my favorite cover was sent to me by my friend kt, a music impresario, and it is by Prince here. If he were alive he no doubt would have been interviewed in the NYT article celebrating Blue's 50th anniversary. (Such a loss.)

To watch the video below on youtube go here.

(To link to this fabulous video on youtube see the link above.)

Read. Who's Your Zaddy? In Brooke Hammerling's Pop Culture Mondays. Wondering what a "zaddy" is? Hammerling explains it in detail in her weekly pop culture takedown (which I've been reading since day 1 of publication because I love a well-curated and opinionated pop culture exposition. No more going to get a weekly manicure just so that I can read People.) In short, from the URBAN DICTIONARY a "zaddy" is:

"A fine handsome and sexy ass intelligent man that makes you smile and drip every time you see him. He knows how to handle business in and out of the bedroom. You low key want to have his baby! He makes all parts of you excited including your mind."

In order to fully understand the zaddy thing, read Hammerling in full because she goes into the origins of the term and names names of men that many consider zaddies. President Obama, Don Draper, Idris Elba are a few. And it would appear that Law & Order star Christopher Meloni is a major zaddy. As Hammerling makes clear, "zaddy" status is in the eye of the beholder, but it is some obvious combination of fashion, swagger along with some measure of gravitas/take-seriousness.  

I'd like to throw in a couple for consideration:

Scottie Pippen, just featured in this GQ article about his new bourbon, whose new look I dig and who I love seeing more of after having binged The Last Dance last year.

Scottie Pippen Has Something to Say: On Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and More
The six-time NBA champion has a new bourbon. And a memoir coming soon. And some candid thoughts about great players past and present.

Also this guy. Franco Mazzetti, whose every post on instagram demands my ardent attention.

There are so many, really. Keith Richards, Pharrell, Daniel Levy, of course (here he is in GQ). So, who's your zaddy?

Read. The Crush Summer Reading List. Passionate CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore in the Hudson Valley, NY, really knows how to pick them. From masterpieces to modern, we believe we have published the Summer Reading List of all summer reading lists. Check it out.

CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore.
PrimeCrush Summer Reading ListCrush Summer Reading List!Passionate Crush Reader & Indie Bookshop Owner Sharon Weinberg, owner of the Chatham Bookstore in Hudson Valley, NY has created a summer reading list especially for Crush Readers. It’s a list in two parts: Everything Love and Erotic Lit: La…

Listen. Comfort Eating with Grace Dent. I can not get enough of this British podcast and the host Grace Dent and her very comforting and not so posh British accent. To give you a sense, she starts this first episode of the series by eating toast covered in "fish paste" which she thrillingly (somehow) inhales even though she admits it smells like cat food. The gist of the show is that Dent, a restaurant critic, asks famous people to admit to what they eat "behind closed doors."  She gets nosy. We all know that what you fix for yourself when nobody is watching reveals more about you than what you order "in public."  This will make you feel okay with your own weird shit.

S1 E1: Russell T Davies, screenwriter - podcast
Grace Dent and Russell T Davies discuss love at first sight, recent loss, and how Woolworth’s pork and egg pie is a metaphor for life itself

Read. Kelly James in Next Tribe on Why She's Not Remarrying. In the "been there, done that" ledger, I loved this well-written piece by Kelly James in NextTribe on why marrying the man she loves is not for her.

I Love Him But Not Enough to Get Married Again
Kelly James has been there, done that. Now after divorce, she’s happy to have a good man in her life, but not enough for remarriage.

Read. GLAAD's Media Reference Guide &  Glossary of Terms. GLAAD is a nonprofit that works in and with media to shape the narrative to promote LGBTQ acceptance. Their media reference guide includes a glossary of terms, among other things, that has helped me find the right words in conversations with loved ones.

Listen. An unreleased Prince song just came out. Born 2 Die has a lush and jazzy instrumental background – and a back story. Read about it in Pitchfork here.

Read. Background for reading Bob Guccione, Jr's Reflections on Hefner. I found this background, published in Time in 1969, on the difference between Playboy and Penthouse equal parts humorous, informative, quaint and relevant, especially this quote from the founder of Penthouse, Bob Guccione: "Playboy treats women like a child treats a doll. The basic difference between Hefner and me is that I genuinely like women." As a result, the piece continues, nudes in Penthouse are more lifelike. "They have moles and appendicitis scars, and sometimes their breasts even sag a little." Well nobody ends up with appendicitis scars anymore, what with the miracle of microscopic surgery, but the point was greatly appreciated.

In his essay, Bob Guccione, Jr mentions Gloria Steinem's brilliant expose on working as a playboy bunny. Here she discusses it decades later.

To read Steinem's original essay A Bunny's Tale (published in two parts), you can get Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  In A Bunny Tale Steinem takes on the conditions for women working on Playboy, but not the need for a sexual revolution itself. Of course she argued that women should define the contours of the sexual revolution, broadly speaking, and certainly for themselves. It feels like a powerful harbinger of #metoo and every conversation we've been part of on consent.

Nicolaus Mills argued in 2013 in The Guardian that A Bunny Tale remained relevant 50 years later.

Gloria Steinem’s ‘a bunny’s tale’ – 50 years later
Nicolaus Mills: Steinem’s groundbreaking article exposing the 1960s world of Playboy Bunny clubs is as fresh and relevant as ever

Follow/Watch. Art for Introverts on Instagram. Eccentric in the most fascinating way, Art for Introverts disects both popular and classic art and culture from a scientific/psychological perspective. From the psychology and pervasiveness of scapegoats as demonstrated in the television series House, to why The Office is so spot on, to why we worship Paris, Art for Introvers breaks down popular illustrations of mental models and psychological principles making you much smarter. Sometimes analyzing the apparently unexplainable, it even made sense of the mind-boggling 2006 movie by Darren Aronofsky The Fountain. (An ex chose it. We were both perplexed.)

Read. Christian Pan reviews the classic erotic novel Vox on Christian Pan Erotica. Christian Pan Erotica "produces original and bespoke erotic fiction for people who enjoy having sex on the brain, who get aroused by language, and who seek quality fiction to turn them on."  Tucked into their "Dirty Words" tab are also reviews – of Nicholas Baker's classic Vox and Jane Boon's recent Edge Play.

Gateway Porn
Vox By Nicholson Baker 1992 (Random House) I don´t recall reading Nicholson Baker´s novella Vox when it first appeared in the early ´90s. I think it was a few years later, in 1998, during the impeachment of Bill Clinton, that it first appeared on my radar: when Special Prosecutor Ken Starr had subpo…

Be Inspired. Or unnerved. But Emma Thompson has this to say about her panties. I just finished Cruella, and I'm still processing the British actress's underwear revelations. In The Cut here.

Listen. Everything is Fine Podcast: Why Don't You Just F*ck Someone on Tinder?" I have been reading Kim France's blog Girls of A Certain Age for many years. France had a long career in magazines (including as the Founder of Lucky Magazine) and writes about how "to look chic and distinctive and sexy." She and her new cohost Jennifer Romolini also put out a terrific podcast: Everything Is Fine. On their most recent episode they speak with Nancy Jo Sales, author of Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno. It's a sobering look at dating for women over 40, but (like all the Everything Is Fine episodes) it's also the enjoyable experience of sitting in on a conversation with some very smart, sophisticated women who have a great sense of humor and an even greater understanding of whatever cultural moment we are living through.

‎Everything is Fine: “Why Don’t You Just F*ck Someone on Tinder?” on Apple Podcasts
Award-winning journalist Nancy Jo Sales is our guest today. Nancy Jo has a new book, “Nothing Personal,” which investigates and explores the world of online dating and, specifically, her experience navigating life in the “dating app inferno” at the age of 49. Don’t forget: We have a Patreon! Sign…

Watch It. Mel Robbins. The Simple Secret to Having More Friends. Mel Robbins has shared a great series of short, deep takes on the nature, qualities and evolution of friendship, but I love this one (that she posted this week) because it backs it up to the beginning: how to attract more friends in the first instance. It seems to me that this is a legit starting point to understanding the structure of friendships, and that grasping this basic principle is a first order principle in all relationships.  (Most people are in their relationship with you - regardless of whether it is romantic, friendship, familial - in order to have their own needs met. If you are not meeting their needs (and vice versa), they'll leave. Somehow.)

Look It Up. Dame Products Intimacy Glossary. Dame Products, the sex toy company that gave us AER (the suction vibrator we wrote about in The Crush Letter No 1 ("like getting oral from a cloud")) also publishes a damn good Intimacy Glossary on their blog SWELL. A polyamorous friend recently used the term "compersion," for instance, and where'd I look it up? On Swell's Intimacy Glossary. ("The feeling of joy someone vicariously experiences when their romantic partner experiences pleasure with someone else. Basically the antonym of jealousy, compersion is most common among polyamorous and/or open relationships.") Among the other useful definitions, I found this on. (Oh and DAMN. I think I am in a situationship.)

Oh, and "NSA" (according to SWELL): "A 'no-strings-attached relationship' is similar to a "friends with benefits" relationship, but might be even more casual ... Still, there should be an expectation of kindness and respect in even the most emotioanlly hygienic arrangements." Here's SWELL's Guide to Respectful, No-Strings-Attached Sex.

Listen. WSJ's Anne Tergesen on Getting Thru Relationship Conflicts Over How to Invest for Retirement. As we all know, financial matters can be a major stresser in many relationships. I like how this episode of WSJ's Your Money Briefing focuses on the respective risk tolerances of the two people in a partnership, touches on how their respective personal histories might contribute to that and offers ways to manage through those differences. I also like the underlying implication here, which is the importance of both partners being involved in the decision-making around financial matters that are critical to security.

How Couples Can Work Through Retirement-Planning Disagreements - Your Money Briefing - WSJ Podcasts
Market volatility can cause tension within couples who have different approaches to investing their retirement funds. Retirement reporter Anne Tergesen joins host J.R. Whalen to discuss some ways couples can find solutions to disagreements and preserve their savings.

Listen. This Life Explains It All Podcast on Happiness & Mindset. Stefania Romeo and Katherine Griffiths are the enchanting and informative hosts of the podcast series This Life Explains It All, as well as the Founders of VirraLife, a modern wellness community . They just re-released their Science of Happiness podcast episode featuring Dr. Catherine A. Sanderson, Chair of the Psychology Department at Amherst College and author The Postive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health and Longetivity. In this conversation Dr. Sanderson shares relatable, actionable insight and tips on how to be happier. She answers questions like: How much of your happiness is in your control? How much of it is predetermined? And how do shift your mindset when you are not predisposed towards looking at the bright side? How do you reframe anxiety? The power of placebo and mindset on health. There's been a lot out there about how to be happier, but this episode makes it stick. Listen to the Science of Happiness episode here.

Also Be First To Hear About The Next Know Thyself Series. VirraLife runs a self-care workshop series where a practitioner focused on a different wellness modality – using your subconscious mind, energy healing, the somatic nervous system, traditional Chinese medicine, etc. – shares tools in an intimate group setting that allows for questions and exercises. It offers a unique and personal introduction to a range of wellness approaches. You need to be a subscriber to their newsletter in order to be first to get the sign-up information for this highly sought-after series. Subscribe here.

‎This Life Explains It All on Apple Podcasts
This Life Explains It All is hosted by Stefania Romeo and Katherine Griffiths, founders of Virra, the support system for the modern woman. On this podcast, we’re sharing discoveries and resources in the world of holistic health and wellness and inspirational journeys. We are talking about everything…

Go! Or Dream About. The Wonderlust 100 is Wonderlust's Annual List of the 100 Most Exciting Places and Experiences on the Planet. A list as inventive and exciting to ponder as it would be to work your way through, Wonderlust has got everything covered from Miss Wong's Cocktail Bar in Cambodia to Skrova Fishing Center in Norway.

THE WONDERLUST 100: 80-75 | WONDERLUST
The Wonderlust 100: The Ultimate Travel Guide. Our Annual List of the 100 Most Exciting Places and Experiences on the Planet

Listen. Mike Troiano Makes A Racket About Nigella Lawson's Guilty Pleasures. CRUSH Reader @miketrap, who gave us his recipe for Bad Girl Pasta, posted a powerful piece on the new audio social app called Racket. An ardent admirer of domestic goddess Nigella Lawson (I am too.), Mike has been partaking in her latest book Cook, Eat, Repeat. (I am too.) In his brief Racket rant, he takes issue with a question she gets often about her guilty pleasures. And he also reads my favorite lines from her book: "No one should feel guilty about what they eat. Or the pleasure they get from eating it. The only thing to feel guilty about, and even then I don't recommend it, is the failure to be grateful for that privilege. I am very aware that the joy I celebrate in food is a privilege." Worth the 2 mins.

Stop asking Nigella about her “guilty pleasures” | Racket
Stop asking Nigella about her “guilty pleasures” by @miketrap

Read. Elena Bowes Blog. Elena Bowes writes a blog that she says is "part travel (wanderings), part thoughts (ponderings) and part things that excite me in my everyday dual existence (lovings). I am always looking for the meaning of life. My eternally glass half-full NY dentist Dr Iott, my wiseman London therapist Shomit Mitter, novelist wise woman Elizabeth Gilbert, and Jane Fonda are just a few of my trusted sources." She is interesting and thoughtful and self-abasingly honest and a beautiful writer who is philosophical on the big questions, funny on the daily slog and an explorer alongside whom you want to explore. She recently explored her upcoming marriage to her partner in this piece Is Stretch My LeBron? (Hat tip to Steven)

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from Dish Stanley curating articles & intelligence on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?



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