The Crush Letter No 122: DEVOUR

. 14 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about life, love, and culture for those 50+. Because midlife and beyond is so much hotter than they said it would be.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Happy Summer Saturday Morning, dearest Crushes.

Contributing Editor Lisa Ellex and I bring you our monthly DEVOUR Letter this morning, where we share what we think you’ll want to watch, read, see and do. We have received a few great CRUSH Reader recommendations (thank you!) to share, so we’ve got a lot of good stuff for you to DEVOUR today.

We need some help from you on our PrimeCrush Sex Toy Project. We have discovered a sex toy that vibrates that couples have enjoyed together, as well as a toy that men have said they were surprised to enjoy alone, which we will be sharing soon. But we’ve sent out a couple of top-rated vibrators to our reviewers (all CRUSH Readers) and what we are hearing back has ranged from “are you kidding me? No way” to “meh.” So I want to throw it out to all of you — if you have a favorite vibrator could you please, please, please ANONYMOUSLY tell us what it is below? (Alternatively, you could email me at Thank you.

We should all be so lucky. "He's always after my body," this 89-year-old woman says of her husband of forever in this short, wonderful and funny video. This couple in their late 80’s, who met when they were 10 years old, talk about sex and their relationship: “He’s always after my body. I’m 89 years old and it’s ‘you turn me on,’” she says. “I am as horny as ever,” he replies. They also talk about how they got started “we took it slow and easy” and “we’ve always held hands” and share how they talk things out … #RelationshipGoals.

Watch here. @mallyroncal (via Instagram)

I'm going in behind you. Because it's summer and I love skinny dipping in inviting pools in beautiful spots (particularly, ummm, following an apparition such as this), shall we pause a moment to appreciate this shot? {Deep breath.} Thanks @georgehahn

If you're new here (welcome!), I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies. For more about me and why we're here go here.

In This Letter.      +DEVOUR What to do, read, watch, listen to & know about this week.     +Social Media I Loved This Week By Dish Stanley    +Our Song of the Week  

DEVOUR {things to watch, read & listen to}

In our monthly DEVOUR column we share all the things we think you should eat up.

Let’s try a new thing where we add reader recommendations at the top. What do you think? Let me know at (I don’t get replies to this email.)
From Steve: Listen.
Broken Record.

“Rick Rubin’s podcast. I am a big-time fan of his. He does fantastic interviews with fantastic musical artists. Rubin is not just a brilliant artist himself, he is also a huge genuine fan of other artists, which makes him a uniquely talented, thoughtful interviewer.”

From Kathy: Listen. An Owner’s Manual for Your Body | Juliet and Kelly Starrett.

“This episode from the podcast Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris (June 19, 2023) is an interview with the authors of the book Built to Move. Frankly, it is a bite-sized, doable manual on tiny, everyday steps you can do to stay mobile, sturdy and healthy for those who love a Peter Attia approach (Outlive). For instance, the tip I have incorporated is that I brush my teeth standing on one leg. This is not taking any additional time out of my day, but it helps my balance, strengthens my core … The podcast is a great introduction to the concepts in the book.”

#611. An Owner’s Manual for Your Body | Juliet and Kelly Starrett — Ten Percent Happier
From balance and breathing to nutrition and sleep, these are the best hacks for staying mobile and durable–without actually exercising. This is Episode 3 in our new 6-part series, Get Fit Sanely.

From Nina: Read. The Rules of Inheritance.

“If you’re still working through losing a parent before you were fully an adult.”

From Mike: Watch. Quantum Love (Prime Video)

"With the qualifier that I could watch Sophie Marceau read the phone book, check out Quantum Love. Great."

Write me with you recommendations for our next DEVOUR at Thank you!

Watch. Oppenheimer

As long-time readers of The Crush Letter know, I grew up in a military family - my Father was a career officer in the Air Force and retired to teach geopolitics at a local college, my brother was a green beret in the Army and my uncle was awarded a Purple Heart for his fighting at Iwo Jima. I also love the study of genuis, and U.S. history. So rushing out to see Oppenheimer with a new guy I'm hanging with (also a U.S. history buff) was a no-brainer. The film is a very thoughtful and well-executed treatment of a monumental historical event, so it was hard to unpack it all over dinner afterward.

Simply put, the film depicts and illuminates the larger-than-life men responsible for the most pivotol event in human history. I have a lot of quibbles with certain aspects of the film – most specifically, the elements of the story that the director Christopher Nolan chose to focus on at the sake of others – but it intelligently and thoughtfully engages us in an important cultural conversation on all the important aspects of this moment in history: the people, the context, the decision, its aftermath and the morality.

"Los Alamos from Below" a lecture by Richard Feynman. After watching Oppenheimer, if you are interested in learning more about the inner-workings of the scientific team at Los Alamos, then you'll appreciate listening to Nobel-prize winning scientist John Feynman, famous for his wit, humor and imagination, talk thirty years later about what it was like to be a junior scientist on a team made up of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world. Not only is Feynman a scientific genuis, his comedic timing is sublime. His closing comments, in which he shares how it feels to him thirty years after the bombs were dropped, are pure gold.

Watch. The Bear Season 2

The Bear (FX/hulu) follows a James Beard-winning chef who leaves the haute restaurant scene of New York City to return to working class Chicago to run his late brother's sandwich shop. In Season 2 we begin to fully understand the source of the demons that the lead character Carmy is battling. There is a tour-de-force episode titled Fishes in which a family Christmas Eve dinner plays out in flashback, but what I appreciated most about this follow-up season was the change-up in pacing – there was room to breathe here, allowing the arc of key characters to develop with nuance and depth. Each and every one was as compelling as an individual, and helps us to appreciate the dynamics of the ensemble as a whole.

Inside The Delightful Dad Rock Soundtrack Of ’The Bear’
A conversation with two of the creative minds behind the breakout hit TV show, covering Wilco, Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, and other tunes.

Watch. SMARTLESS On the Road (Max)

Now a documentary about the friendship between three famous guys that started a podcast, Smartless is both an ode to their friendship and pure entertainment. Hosted by friends (and actors) Jason Batemen, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett the documentary "goes behind" their road trip doing live versions of their show in major cities. I don't think we have ever had such an intimate look at how three midlife male friends relate and bond. It is an intense look at the very nature of male friendship. It helps, of course, that they are wickedly funny, charming, in-the-know, good-humored, good men with confidence and even moments of vulnerability, but what I really appreciate here is that they are not trying to make the show edifying or political or take on serious issues. They are having a great time together and bringing us along. They have great chemistry and it’s the equivalent of grabbing your drink of choice and hanging out. It’s a good hang.

Here's the podcast that sparked the journey:

‎SmartLess on Apple Podcasts
‎Comedy · 2023

Watch. Wynonna Judd: Between Hell and Hallelujah (Paramount+)

Producing 14 number one singles, 5 Grammy Awards and 20 million albums sold, the mother-daughter country music duo, The Judds, is the number one female country duo of all time. After Naomi Judd and daughter Wynonna disbanded in 1991, Wynonna developed a successful solo career and the duo would periodically reunite for audiences as they did for their final performance together at the 2022 CMT Music Awards in April of 2022.  19 days later – and scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame – Naomi Judd ended her life after a long struggle with her mental health.

This moving documentary is a front row seat to Wynonna’s personal and professional relationship with her mother, their Kentucky beginnings, their journey from welfare family to Nashville millionaires, and Wynonna’s difficult decision to go ahead with their previously scheduled tour. Whether or not you’re a fan of this beloved duo, it’s a great recap of their many hits, a fascinating look at the inside workings of touring, and a glimpse into the recovery process of those effected by a loved one’s suicide. Supported by her band, her family, and joined by a star-studded list of female country music singers, including Brandi Carlisle, Martina McBride, Ashley McBryde, Kelsea Ballerini, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Wynonna produced the tour with tremendous success.

Watch. Beyond Wasabi.  Morimoto's Sushi Master (Roku)

The latest in chef competition reality shows, Morimoto’s Sushi Master is a 6-part original Roku series centered on the art of sushi making with 8 sushi chefs vying for a $25,000 prize and the title of “Morimoto’s Sushi Master.” Each episode is a lesson in what is called the most difficult cuisine in the world, and is hosted by Iron Chef and sushi master Masaharu Morimoto who is joined by other celebrity judges. Though Morimoto is tough, he graciously ends each episode offering the loser a relevant Japanese proverb. But just who will be saying “sayonara” and who will continue?  Tune in to the Roku Channel to find out.

Watch. Working: What We Do All Day (Netflix)

Drop what you’re doing, and watch this series.  If you can get a young person to join you, all the better.  Inspired by the 1974 book, Working, by the brilliant journalist and oral historian Studs Terkel, this 21st century series version produced by President Barack Obama (yes, that Barack Obama) is a look inside today’s workforce.  As Obama explains, “Sometime in college, I came across this book called Working by Studs Terkel which was a chronicle of people from every walk of life and what it was like for them to work.   It was the first time anyone had really bothered to ask ordinary people directly what work was like for them. This is right about the time where I became interested in trying to figure out what kind of work I was going to do.”

50 years later, director Caroline Suh brings us intimate portraits of employees inside the fields of homecare, tech, and hospitality, and how they are dealing with AI, remote work, and spiraling inequality. Beginning with “Service Jobs” and moving up through “The Middle,” the “Dream Jobs,” and “The Boss,” each episode examines just how our work is connected to all aspects of our lives. On Netflix now.

Where the series all started…

Read. Stud Terkel’s Working.

In his 1974 masterpiece called “one of the most important works of oral history ever published,” journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Studs Terkel interviews over 100 employees about the jobs they do. From gravediggers to studio heads, Terkel’s subjects share their true feelings about their work and how their jobs fit into the fabric of our American life.

Read. Please Unsubscribe Thanks!: How to Take Back Our Time, Attention and Purpose in a World Designed to Bury Us in Bullshit. By Julio Vincent Gambuto

Just last week, I attempted to explain to a twenty-something relative what it was like to grow up in a pre-electronic age.  My heart began to hurt.  No, not because I’m old but because I realized that she will never truly understand the carefree existence that came with the pre-cell phone, pre-internet era.

For many, the pandemic brought about the realization that until we “paused” we were a part of an overworked, overthinking, and overindulging society. But just why are so many Americans still exhausted, lonely, and unhappy? Why is mental illness skyrocketing? How did we get here?  Author Julio Vincent Gambuto says, “Before we’ve had our morning coffee, we’ve already felt rage…in order to change we have to unsubscribe…from emails and automated subscriptions to reevaluating the presence of people and ideas and habits that no longer serve us or make us happy.” If, like me, you’re with Julio then pre-order this important how-to book for its August 8 pub date.  It’s what should be under every Christmas tree this year!

Listen. Keep Your Courage, Natalie Merchant

From the first note she sings on Keep Your Courage, her first record of new material since 2014, I instantly recalled the honesty and soulfulness of Merchant’s voice and wondered why I haven’t had her music in my rotation.  Recorded in a small setting in Vermont during the main wave of Covid, she is joined on the first and second cuts by Abena Koomson-Davis, performer and musical director for the Resistance Revival Chorus. Merchant’s 9th studio album is referred to as a “song cycle” of courage influenced by a series of events in Merchant’s life: raising a child alone, health issues, the isolation we all experienced during pandemic, directing a documentary on domestic violence, curating her 10-disc box collection, and – as always – love.  On several songs, Merchant “speaks to” some mythical characters (“Come on, Aphrodite” and “Narcissus”) but her ode to “Guardian Angel” is perfectly mystical. Of her 9 year absence in the recording studio Merchant says, “My days are so full that it…got to the point where I forgot that I was a songwriter, or that I could write songs.” Thankfully for us, she remembered.

Listen. Natalie Merchant’s interview with WBGO’s Doug Doyle, here:

Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant brings her emotional songs to NJPAC in Newark as part of North To Shore Festival
Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant brings her emotional and powerful songs to NJPAC in Newark June 25 as part of the North To Shore Festival

Don’t Stop The Cycle.

Read. Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement by Nadya Okamoto

Author Nadya Okamoto addresses – and finds solutions to – the imposed taboos that have stigmatized, disempowered, and ultimately silenced menstruating women for centuries. The Harvard grad is also the founder of the non-profit,, a movement she created with Vincent Fornand while still in high school.  In addition to distributing millions of menstrual products at no cost to anyone in need, the organization works to end the menstrual cycle stigma and educate society about menstrual health and “period poverty” through advocacy, education, and service.

Okamoto also hosts the podcast, Tigress, that focuses on all forms of health as well as current social issues.

Listen here:

‎Tigress by Nadya Okamoto on Apple Podcasts
‎Health & Fitness · 2023

Social Media I Loved This Week



Song Of The Week

Nothing Compares 2 USong by Sinéad O'Connor

The sad and shocking news this week about Sinead O'Connor's death requires a moment.

Live at Top of the Pops in 1990. Listen Here

Have a wonderful week. And:

Dish Stanley XO,

Dear Dish ...
Dear Dish: Just wanted to let you know that your newsletter continues to be my spirit guide for dating, aging, and sex. I loved your article about why can’t women be hot after 50. I’ve always known I was one of those women who would get better looking
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DEVOUR {things to watch, read, and listen to}
In our monthly DEVOUR column we share all the things we think you should eat up. Read. An midlife memoir to encourage you to write your own story. You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith is an uplifting midlife memoir that chronicles her emotional recovery following the dissolution

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