CYOO #33: Hesitating to share on the internet

Hello again & happy autumn 🍂

It’s been a year since I started this newsletter! 🎉 Thanks for sticking with me and joining along. What began as weekly updates from following The Artist’s Way has morphed into an irregularly shared hodgepodge of thoughts.

As the pandemic continues, I’ve found myself growing more hesitant to share things online. Part of it is social media anxiety, another part is not wanting to needlessly give away my personal data (TLDR The Social Dilemma documentary). But my biggest reason is that I feel that I must project modesty on the internet. It feels insensitive to openly share joyous moments, especially those cherished outdoor hangs with friends, when there are so many who cannot have the same opportunity. Maybe this self-censoring voice is louder from witnessing the frequent lashings that celebrities get for the inane things (and from having a mother who is hyperaware of this internet culture).

Because of these reasons I haven’t been writing for this newsletter as often as I’d like (I haven’t been writing much at all, really). But I greatly miss the ritual of writing these, both as a letter to you and record for myself, so I’ll be trying out a pared down format that I can consistently stick to. Let me know what you think!

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I’ve been consuming…

Succession 📺. I am late boarding the Succession train, but I get the hype! This show about a dysfunctional richer than rich family (inspired by the Murdochs) is so funny and wicked. There’s ironic relief in not being able to root for anyone because everyone’s a little (or a lot) depraved. E and I are obsessed with Kendall’s catchphrase “I’m good” when really, he’s anything but.

Emily in Paris 📺. There’s something oddly comforting and nostalgic about a white girl’s romantic fantasy of moving to Paris and having French men fall at her feet, while ignoring the realities of not being able to speak a lick of French. It’s like rewatching Gossip Girl or Sex and the City packaged up in a new pastel box of macarons. But really, chef Gabriel!!!

Hardboiled & Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto 📚. I’m a big fan of Banana Yoshimoto’s work (please read Kitchen if you haven’t!) I picked up Hardboiled & Hard Luck during my first visit to the Strand post-lockdown, and was pleased to read more of Banana’s meditative, heartfelt words tinged with sadness. The two stories deal with death and loss while paving a hopeful way forward.

“Sister” by TSHA 🎶. This song is a euphoric gem. It’s a lying down in a field of golden flowers and watching the clouds pass by and tearing at the beauty of life kind of tune. TSHA wrote the song during lockdown upon finding out she had an older half-sister and getting close with her—an incredible backstory for a gorgeous song.

Obituaries 📰. I don’t regularly read obits, but I’ve found they’re a great way to get to know the person behind a frequented place. In August I found out the founder of BCD Tofu House Hee Sook Lee passed away, and through her obituary discovered that BCD was inspired by the family’s frequent trips to Koreatown’s Beverly Soon Tofu (which also closed its single location this year 😔). Carol Paumgarten, the co-founder and artistic director of Steps on Broadway, also passed away this year. I made the trek to Upper West Side every week to go to Steps pre-pandemic, and reading Carol’s obituary was an homage to the studio’s creaky elevators, worn floors, and above all the variety of dancers, where one could see “the greatest ballerina in the world dancing next to [one’s] mailman.”

I’ve been making…

Postcards for friends. For my birthday I asked friends to send me letters and cards for a mail exchange. It’s been a highlight of my day to see the correspondence trickle in! I’ve been making quick abstract postcards to send back to friends, thanks to these watercolor postcards that my friend Nicole got me (sign up for her wonderful biweekly newsletter). I inevitably feel like I messed up on each of them, but I tell myself the stakes are low and there are no rules. Breaking free of rules is the point.

A dining table go from black to oak wood. Last month I fell into a redecorating rabbit hole and ticked off a lot of mini home projects that have been on the back burner. After ordering new dining chairs that came in a walnut finish, E suggested we repaint the black wooden base of our glass dining table. We found this liquid wood product which removes the need for sanding or stripping, so we started the painting project this weekend! I’ll share updates on how successful it was next time.

Thanks as always for reading through 🧡 I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to and what’s on your mind this fall. Stay warm and drink all the cozy beverages and soups!