The Crush Letter No 37: DEVOUR

. 8 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love and sex in midlife. Because honestly I'm hotter than ever, and so are you.  Unless you don't have a sense of humor.  That's tough on everyone.  And it's not hot.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

It's that time of month again – when we share our list of things we think Crush Readers might want to do, read, see and have.  It is a joy to pull this list together monthly with Guest Editor Lisa Ellex, and this week we have a couple of gorgeous arts contributions from CRUSH Readers Steve Kane and Steph.  Steph and Steve, you've got PrimeCrush coasters headed your way. Thank you!

Got some recommendations on things our Crush Readers would want to know about?  You can get some coasters, too.  Send me recommendations to me at  (Hint, our readership is national so we shy away from purely "local programming.")

We've got lots of silky things for you to bite into, including a Song of the Week and "Not to be dramatic but I wanna die."

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

Listen.  An Evening with Silk Sonic.  Lots of heavy breathing here in Dish-pad over the hotly anticipated debut album by Silk Sonic, the collaboration between Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, which dropped last night.  An Evening is smooth and slick, a motown, soul, funk mix-up.  The only complaint I have is that at nine songs, it is too short. The album is foreplay-length.  What are you thinking, guys, leaving me after getting me all lubed up?  I feel a new Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck coming on.  Beyond the highly talented musicality, another thing that is so enjoyable about the album is how much humor they dropped into the lyrics.  This from Leave the Door Open:  "I won't bite. Unless you want me to."  From Smokin' Out the Window: "Not to be dramatic but I wanna die."  From Fly As Me: "You deserve to be seen with someone as fly as me. Somebody this fly."  Download here.  I bet you can guess which album we got our Song of the Week from.

PS: Our last Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck is here, compliments of CRUSH Reader Sarah Vesperman.  (Thanks Sarah!)

Give. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. As if we needed another reason to love Dolly Parton. Launched in 1995 by one of the most prolific songwriters of our day (25 number-one hit singles on the country music charts- a record for any female artist), Dolly has made this free-to-all children’s reading program accessible to millions. Register any child (living in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Republic of Ireland, or Australia) and they will receive free books from birth to age 5. Sign up for a little one you love and you’ll be contributing to our next generation of great minds (and PrimeCrush readers!). Subscribe here

Listen. NPR. Life Kit. “What Can We Learn From Our Jealousy”. It’s no fun when the green monster rears its head. Even in polyamorous relationships, jealousy can be an issue. Listen here to NPR’s Andee Tagle and a panel of relationship aficionados as they discuss the complexity of romantic jealousy and understand exactly where it comes from. Listen here

Appreciate.  Ruth Asawa's Art "All Is Possible."  Asawa, the California-born daughter whose family of Japanese immigrants was torn apart by the internment of Japanese-Americans, is having a well-deserved moment.  A day after Crush Reader Steph submitted an Art Forum piece on Asawa for the DEVOUR column, I noticed Jeanne Bosse's instagram post on Asawa's exhibit "All Is Possible," currently at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City.  Bosse writes "Asawa was inspired by her studies of all art forms ... and became a passionate advocate of arts education ... [her] work, especially the hanging wire sculptures truly makes me believe all is possible." {Thank you Steph - and Jeanne!}

Photo Jeanne Bosse's Insta Feed

Cook. SOUPified Is The Cookbook To Get You Past Daylight Savings Darkness. Oh, the weather outside will soon be frightful, but this cookbook of soups inspired by your favorite dishes is so delightful! From Eggplant Parm soup, Crab Cake Soup, Bacon Cheeseburger soup, Philly Cheesesteak soup, Chinese Egg Roll soup, and even Guacamole soup, you’ll be “bowled” over by these 31 clever creations by author and chef Michele Di Pietro. Yum. I recommend the Butternut Squash Soup recipe. I make just two changes to this recipe: First, I substitute nut milk for the cream. Second, I put it in my Nutribullet soup apparatus and it emulsifies it to a creami(er) consistency. Purchase here

Read. Letters of Note, An Online Museum of Correspondence. Founder Shaun Usher describes his website as “an online museum of correspondence which has been celebrating the humble letter since 2009.” With a marvelous assortment of pieces usually penned in the original hand of a notable sender, these little gems reflect a moment of thoughts, wishes, dreams, rage, yearning, undying love, wit, or whatever moved the sender at the moment.

2013 saw the first Letters of Note book and it soon became an international bestseller. Volume two followed in 2015. 2020 brought the first of a series of themed Letters of Note books (all accompanied by audiobooks) and six titles followed in 2021.

Letters Live, an ongoing series of live shows in which selected letters are brought to life in venues worldwide launched in 2013.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

A college-immersed Martin Luther King’s 1948 letter to his parents. Read here

Helen Keller’s 1932 response to Dr. John Finley about what she “saw” at the top of the Empire State Building. Read here

Dorothy Parker’s letter to her publisher/lover, written from her hospital bed. Read here

Watch. Red Table Talk with Jada Pickett Smith on Facebook. Host Jada Pinkett Smith moderates these candid round table talks with her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones. This forum of three generations of women ignites no-holds-barred discussions on love, sex, mental health, self-esteem, blended families, and oh, so much more. In the episode, “Gweneth Paltrow Talks Sex”, the actress points out, “You can’t talk about women’s wellness without talking about sexual wellness.” She introduces sexual wellness coach and certified erotic educator, Jaiya who joins the table to discuss the “five erotic blueprint types” and demonstrates the “clitoral puppet” to promote being “cliterate literate”

I needed a nap after this episode.

Willow Smith’s polyamorous journey, watch here

Partake. Helmut Newton's Book Work.  Published in 2000, Work serves as the catalogue for the exhibition celebrating the 80th birthday of one of the most influential 20th century photographers.  Crush Reader Steve Kane sent in the recommendation for DEVOUR "to remind us all to stop being so goddam over-sensitive. Also because Newton is a genius."  I have work on my coffee table, and I look through it relentlessly for just those reasons.  {Thank you, Steve}

Here are some of the pages I flip to most often:

Listen. The Rainbow Lullaby. Though this album of lullabies is sure to soothe any sleepy little someone, it was made with LBGTQ families in mind. Released October 28, 2021, it’s the world’s first LGBTQ lullaby album, just in time for holiday gifting for a little one’s first gift of music. Listen here

See. Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. Coming and Gogh-ing to a venue near you! I’ll be honest, I was apprehensive about mixing mediums, but once inside the art – and I mean inside the art -- I was quickly caught up in the beauty and poignancy of this multimedia experience. This 75-minute glimpse inside the artist's life is a feast of the senses, housed in “a 20,000 square foot light and sound spectacular featuring two-story projections of the artist’s most compelling works.” The grand finale is worth the price of admission. Check out where you can see it near you.

Read. Little Pieces of Hope, A Book to Lift Your Spirits. This debut work by Todd Doughty was inspired by the overwhelming response to his Instagram post -- a list of “happy-making things in a difficult world” -- on the day the WHO declared the pandemic. Little Pieces of Hope, a book of everything from essays and recipes to summer reading and playlists, is a compilation of three thousand individual items that is sure to make you smile. Dowdy believes we all “carry an invisible bag of rocks” and he hopes this book serves to lighten our load. The perfect holiday gift for these crazy, hazy times. Purchase here

Song of the Week.

Not to be dramatic but I wanna die.  The silky R&B duo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak dropped another smooth video last week.  Smokin' Out the Window is the third video Silk Sonic released this year, after Leave the Door Open (March) and Skate (July) (I want to roll, I want to ride.  Skate to me, baby.)  All three videos are sublime masterpieces of a modernized motown sound and style.   (All three are on their debut album.)  Watch Smokin' on youtube here.  

The silky R&B duo Bruno Mars & Anderson Paak drop another smooth one. Watch Smokin' on youtube here.

I hope that we have hooked you up with some things to bite into this week end.  Have a great one, everyone!  

Dish Stanley XO,

We Don't Want You To Miss A Thing.  Links to Previous Favorites (in case you were on a sailboat in the middle of the Mediterranean and had no wifi).

+Mi Amas Miajn Amikojn By Dean Christopher.  A lifelong friendship sparked by a shared love of intellectual pursuits.

+Movie Magic By Amy Ferris.  They met on the set of Mr. Wonderful, and after a few hours and a couple of beers, he said three magic words.

+5 Things That Turn Me On: Elisabeth C. Lamotte. In this recurring feature CRUSH Readers let us in.

+Amplify.  Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue talk with Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka about enduring marriages.  We give you their best lines.

+"I Just Turned 60, but I Still Feel 22."  Why I think you may want to read this personal essay from this week's NYT.


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