Proust's pinks, my 2023 bookshelf, beigeification, swimming as anti-thought, and more
Seven links to worthwhile thin(g/k)s
Hello dear reader,
Here are this week’s seven links to bits of the world I have been exploring, shared with the hope that you will find them to be an inspiring springboard for deeper thinking.
My updated 2023 bookshelf of finished books, currently reading books, and to-be-read books.
Proust’s Pinks: “his use of pink, how its tone shifts from innocence to themes of sexual need, before finally fading out to grey at the novel’s close”
On that color note, the beigeification of wealth: “A Beige Baby becomes a Vanilla Girl becomes a Coastal Grandmother”
On being blasé, The Metropolis and Mental Life: A beautiful 1903 essay from German sociologist Georg Simmel on the contradictions of city life, where individuality reigns free, as do the protective barriers we create in it to survive.
“Man is a creature whose existence is dependent on differences, i.e., his mind is stimulated by the difference between present impressions and those which have preceded. Lasting impressions, the slightness in their differences, the habituated regularity of their course and contrasts between them, consume, so to speak, less mental energy than the rapid 2 telescoping of changing images, pronounced differences within what is grasped at a single glance, and the unexpectedness of violent stimuli. To the extent that the metropolis creates these psychological conditions—with every crossing of the street, with the tempo and multiplicity of economic, occupational and social life—it creates in the sensory foundations of mental life, and in the degree of awareness necessitated by our organization as creatures dependent on differences, a deep contrast with the slower, more habitual, more smoothly flowing rhythm of the sensory-mental phase of small town and rural existence.”
Sauerkraut on my mind. I’ve been making batches of sauerkraut, and my oh my, the process has quickly become therapeutic for me. Super basic, and pretty much super in all ways. It comes with the knowledge that fermented foods are good for our bodies (hello prebiotic goodness), and with the hope that making my own turns into a cost-saving, time-honored tradition. It has even prompted me to start keeping a recipe book for tested and true recipe favorites I’ve managed to dig up from the interwebs or those passed down to me from my grandma’s own recipe book. I have vivid memories of her tiny red leather-bound book filled with what to me was a world’s delight of savory and sweet, and of my mom’s own—hers is a forest green color—that would keep me entertained in 1990’s post-Soviet Moscow during my naps, when everyone incorrectly thought I was fast asleep in the afternoon, and little did they know I would be squirreling my way through all kinds of books. Here is the sauerkraut recipe I’ve enjoyed thus far. And here’s one of my favorite food people talking about it. A note: Joshua advices a 2% equation for salting — cabbage weight (g) x 0.02 = salt weight (g) — and I haven’t used this yet, and so far have used 10 g of salt for every 450 g of cabbage with success.
One way of choosing a book to read.
watching: You. Liking the literary references sprinkled in nearly every other sentence, and the witty banter.
listening: Lana del Rey’s A&W, in anticipation of her new album being released later this month.
eating: bone broth has been my morning go-to recently, and this one in particular has been reminding me of childhood soups thanks to the addition of mint. If I’m not holding a cup from Bonafide, I’m usually heating up my own broth, putting it in my small cup thermos, and taking it with me on my walks to work.
using: my sis and I had tea in Larchmont Village recently, and after our sit-down chat we went on our walking tradition (we tend to pair our sit-down meetings with a walk for nearby exploration). From there we treated ourselves to this little product which has become a favorite cleanser/exfoliator/nightly ritual.
affiliate links: sometimes, I include links to my Amazon storefront (often for books or other recommendations around the home/self I’ve found useful and hope you will, too). This means I make a few pennies whenever someone makes a purchase using the link. It doesn’t detract from my recommendations coming from a place of a genuine desire to share with you. It just helps provide a few tangible tokens for my effort.
support: I love writing these newsletters and creating deeper threads of connection to you in this absurd world of ours, but in any case, it is a time-consuming endeavor. If you are enjoying my journey, and if able, please consider supporting it by way of interaction (follow along on Instagram, YouTube, or leave a comment/like here!) or by buying me a coffee here! It is hugely appreciated, and my gratitude is with you.
Until next week, friends.