The Crush Letter No 60: DEVOUR

. 12 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love and sex in midlife.  Because midlife is so much hotter than they said it would be.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Happy Saturday! In last month's DEVOUR Letter I wrote about Jason Diamond's recent piece in GQ How Francis Ford Coppola Taught Me to Dress Like a Big Guy. "From Biggie Smalls to James Gandolfini, large men can pull off looks with swagger."  I had also admitted that I have a soft spot for guys who are bon vivants–-especially if it means they can cook. I got some great reactions along the lines of "feed the Dish, f*ck the Dish?" (You may remember that I got the name Dish from an ex who was a great cook. "What dish does my Dish want tonight?"). Anyway, one of the notes I loved was from CRUSH Reader Thomas. He does all the family cooking.

He wrote that before taking off for a 10-day trip he had left his 18-year-old son David with detailed recipes for his wife's favorite dishes (eg David's Mother). (How sweet is that?) Thomas admitted it was a flyer given that David's culinary talents had been "extremely well-hidden" up to that point.

But David stepped up to the plate, so to speak. "Totally on fire" was how Thomas described David's cooking for Mom. With only some occasional coaching over FaceTime, David was putting out fabulous three-course dinners for his Mother each night. Thomas, who was loved by many (many) women before settling down over 20 years ago, couldn't be more pleased. "Cooking skills are crucial," he says, "both for survival and seduction."

Right on, say I. That's one lucky wife and Mother. What could be more wonderful than someone cooking up some love for you? Carry on, David. Your future flames await.  

And we hope you are cooking up something special for your Mom tomorrow.


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.  Our monthly Letter on what to do, read, watch, listen to & know about. From Contributing Editor Lisa Ellex and Dish.   +Hook Ups: Meet Sara Gold, Founder + CEO of Beloved Intimacy Serum & Personal Moisturizer for Women I help women be ladies in the streets and freaks in the sheets.   +Our Song of the Week "Well you know I love her biscuits, and you know I love her buns."


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

Listen. “Hard.” Real-life Stories from Viagra Users from the Death, Sex & Money Podcast. Anna Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex & Money shares real-life stories from Viagra users and the people in their lives.  From a 24-year-old gay man with erectile dysfunction to a woman’s experience with her Viagra-using husband living with prostate cancer, the series explores how Viagra came to be and how it impacts the lives of those living with erectile dysfunction and their partners.

Hard: Erectile Disappointment | Death, Sex & Money | WNYC Studios
In the first episode of a three part series, we hear stories about when bodies don’t do what we want or expect during sex—and how that impacts our relationships.

Read. Letters of Note: Martin Scorcese's Letter to the Editor of the New York Times on Why Foreign Films Are Critical. From Who’s That Knocking At My Door? To The Irishman, Martin Scorcese has directed 25 feature films, and 16 feature documentaries, and produced 200 films. Cited among some of the greatest filmmakers ever made, he is a film historian with a passion for and dedication to factual storytelling. His next release, Killers of The Flower Moon, his first film in the Western genre, is set in 1921 Osage County, Oklahoma– a long way from Mean Streets. This timeless Letter to the Editor written by Scorcese was published in 2017 and is featured in the series Letters of Note.

Diversity guarantees our cultural survival
Martin Scorsese on the importance of foreign film

Listen. Bonnie Raitt Just Released Her 18th Album & It's Quintessential Raitt. She takes up themes of mature love, heartbreak, longing, loss, and regret with many of her usual music crew. If you are a Raitt fan, it is quintessential, peak Bonnie Raitt. I first read about the album in the WSJ article (below), whose Mark Richardson called the title track Just Like That a masterpiece. I agree. A masterpiece. Touching, deep, tender, and sentimental, it is nothing short of a trip around the heart. I cried the first time I listened to it. Raitt is a gift that keeps on giving; I’m so grateful. Her upcoming tour dates are here.

‘Just Like That . . .’ by Bonnie Raitt Review: Still Vital
The singer’s new record—her 18th—features her stunning voice on a variety of new compositions and covers.

Listen.  January 2020 TED’s How to Be a Better Human series. If you’re lonely in your partnership or marriage, you are not alone. Marriage researcher Carol Bruess, Ph.D. explores how it’s possible (and oh, so common) to be together in a loving relationship yet still feel unconnected to your partner.

Are you lonely in your partnership or marriage?
Most relationships in which loneliness has taken up residence can be shifted to a better reality, says marriage researcher Carol Bruess. All it takes some patience and effort.

See. Milton Avery's First Retrospective in Thirty Years. I once owned a print by American modernist painter Milton Avery that was lost in a flood. I think about it to this day and so I was delighted to see this international tour of the artist’s work happening now through June 5, 2022. On loan from private collections and the Milton Avery Trust, these rarely seen paintings are the first retrospective to be seen in thirty years. The exhibition will tour internationally as well as on a mobile tour. Get your tickets here

Need more Milton? Get the tour companion book!

Watch. Slow Horses Is A British MI5 Spy Series of a Different Sort. (Apple TV+)  Gary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, a cynical, washed-up former master spy who manages a team of MI5 flunkies in this jaded twist on the Brtish spy thriller. Based on a series of books by British novelist Mick Herron (called by many the finest spy writer since le Carre), it focuses on the underbelly and inner workings (or non-workings as the case may be) of MI5 and--most speicfically--on the betrayals within the agency as they perform their singular versions of the power grabs we associate more with corporate politics. Oldman's performance as a failed spy is all the richer for having decades earlier played Smiley in the movie adaptation of le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The cast also includes many other outstanding performances, including Kristin Scott Thomas as MI5's head of operations (gunning for the top job). Pro tips: two things you absolutely must do: (i) put subtitles on (some of the accents are indecipherable), and (ii) get to the end of the second episode before making a thumbs up/down call. The first 1 1/2 episodes start slowly (after an initial thrilling chase scene), but boy, I was hooked by the third episode.

Watch the Trailer Here

Listen. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Say the Most Exquisite Things in This Interview & They're Going On Tour. I stumbled onto this lovely interview with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss while channel flipping through my car radio.

Led Zeppelin's frontman Plant and bluegrass legend Krauss surprised us all by harmonizing for for their hit album Raising Sand in 2007. They followed that (finally) in 2021 with Raise the Roof, which has (to my mind) one of the most exquisite, tender and haunting harmonies, Quattro. Beyond the enjoyment of hearing their happy banter during this conversation, they each drop some lyrical wisdom. (Plant about Krauss): "There's a sort of beautiful, muted serenity about her [Krauss] when she's singing and performing. There's a sparkle in her voice and a sparkle in her eyes. It's good to stand alongside a woman with such a gift." (Krauss on singing with Plant): "When we sang together it was so different from any other combination. Through the years I've done a lot of harmony singing--bluegrass is based around that. We're so different and it makes something really romantic, the sound of us singing together. Such different places we come from. It's something really new." Surprising facts I learned: Krauss has more Grammy's than any other female musician (27) other than Beyonce. She is going to be harmonizing on a Deff Leopard album coming out soon.

This conversation was just a joy to listen to. Says Plant about their upcoming tour: "Despite the gathering years we might be able to kick it up and create a little bit of a storm." Dates are here.

Listen here; the interview starts at 11:35.

Follow. Designer Carla Rockmore (@carla.rockmore) Dubbed “the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw,” Carla Rockmore is a Dallas-based fashion designer who started making videos from her closet (it’s bigger than my house) after CoVid halted the debut of her jewelry line.  Rockmore’s videos are a blast to watch as she often pairs couture with a cotton tee and then tops it off with a cherry from her personal jewelry collection (also bigger than my house).  Though she believes that women should not dress the same at 54 as they did at 24, her fashion sense is youthful and relevant. One of my favorite ensembles, watch here

Rockmore is also blessed with a gift for interior design.  Here’s a peek into her “foyer”

Read more about Carla in the NYT The Rise of the Over-50 Fashion Mentors.

And here’s a preview of her soon-to-launch fashion partnership with Amazon

Play. “The Game of Life: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Edition.” Don’t know what to do with yourself until The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns for Season 5 on Amazon Prime? Then play “The Game of Life: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Edition.” With all the components of the original, The Game of Life – including a numbered spinner, cars, and those cute little pegs – this version is set in late 1950s New York City and features locations seen on the show. Think you’ve got what it takes to make it as a stand-up? Take this board game for a spin! Buy it here

Listen. The 100th Anniversary Edition of The Velveteen Rabbit & Why It's Never Been Out of Print. Little children can have big questions.  For that matter, so can adults. In 1922, author Margery Williams Bianco posed the question, “What does it mean to be real?” in her now-classic The Velveteen Rabbit.  The book has never gone out of print, and here NPR’s Elizabeth Blair examines why the story has endured.

Listen here

Follow. These Two Roman Gods Are Living La Bella Vita. If you like Rome or Italian food or having fun or well-dressed men, but especially if you like watching well-dressed enjoying any or all of the foregoing, then you'll want to follow the insta feeds of @walter0810 and @valeriotailor. I love it all, and especially love it when Walter and Valerio team up together to double the good views :-). These gentlemen have developed quite the following. These gentlemen from Rome have developed quite the following, and beyond their sexy Italian looks and style, they give some great neighborhood glimpses of Rome. They are worth checking out.  (Hat tip: CRUSH Reader Mike T.)

Read. The Good Left Undone. Feature and documentary film director, producer, television writer, playwright, and New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani releases her newest novel, The Good Left Undone, this month. Set in the Italian coastal town of Viareggio during the brink of World War II, The Washington Post calls it “a lush, immersive novel about a hardworking family of Tuscan artisans with long-held secrets.” Scandalosa! Read more here

Another Follow That Will Convince You How Fire It Is To Be Over 45

Who: Rosanne Cash @rosannecash
What: Singer, Songwriter, Author, Activist
Why: Because she so gracefully does it all.

Content: Musical moments, friend and family photos, concert dates
Three-time Grammy winner and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Rosanne Cash, is a published author of memoirs, essays, short stories, a children’s book, an outspoken advocate of gun control, and a mother of five. Her 1981 release “Seven Year Ache” was her first of eleven number one hits to reach the U.S. country charts.

A dedicated supporter of artists' rights in the digital age, Cash is an active board
member of the Content Creators Coalition. She was instrumental in a winning victory for recording artists when in 2014 she testified before The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on intellectual property rights and Internet music licensing.

To honor and preserve the home of her father – the late, great Johnny Cash – she
works with Arkansas State University on the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home project,
which has restored her father’s childhood home by raising funds through annual music festivals. Here is a recent Boone, NC concert with her husband, guitarist John Leventhal, she performs her father’s song, “Long Black Veil.” Follow Here

Hook Ups:  Meet Sara Gold, Founder + CEO of Beloved Intimacy Serum & Personal Moisturizer for Women

“Hook Ups” is an ongoing feature introducing our readers to some of our favorite entrepreneurs.

Humorously explain your job.

I help women be ladies in the streets and freaks in the sheets with Beloved, a natural, luxurious intimacy serum, and personal moisturizer.

For how many years?

Almost one with Beloved, but I’ve been an entrepreneur for 30+ years.

Who is your product for?

Women of a certain age who use $100 skincare on their face and don’t want to be putting $10 lube on their sensitive lady parts.

What’s your personal story of how you started—where did you get the idea?

My own hormones were out of whack because of perimenopause—which caused some dryness. I searched for a product that would help, but I found nothing that was made from clean ingredients, felt natural, packaged in a bottle that didn’t scream “SEX LUBE” and wouldn’t stain my 1,000-thread-count sheets. So, I created it.

Continue reading here

Song of the Week

Love Means Never Having to Say Your Hungry by Charlie Robison

All that food = love savoring reminded me of this song by Charlie Robison. It is a little raunchy, but don't let that stop you from taking a bite.

Love Means Never Having to Say Your Hungry by Charlie Robison Listen here

Hope you have a fabulous Spring weekend. Throw some love out to the Mothers in your life--and if you're a Mother I hope you feel all loved up--tomorrow (and every day)!

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

You Won't Want to Miss A Thing. Here Are Links to Some Favorites.

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

+Hook Ups: Founders We Think You Should Know

+PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth A Re-Watch

+Book Review: A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers

+Book Review: Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Review by Evie Arnaude.

+Book Review: The Lover. By Marguerite Duras.



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