the mini-bitch: the day after

enter for election escapism

I write this on November 3rd as the election results roll in, knowing that if there’s anything worse than drudging through Election Day, it’s drudging through the day after. So here is my small cabernet-fueled gift to you: a whopping like, 3 minutes of politics-free reading. Emphasis on small. Because, you know, the cabernet.

escapism streaming:

Look, I’m not saying this is Schitt’s Creek caliber comedy, but it did leave me laughing out loud by myself on a Friday night. It is an excellent “I need to check out of real life for 22 minutes” show that follows a functionally dysfunctional family. Not the most original premise, but the plots are delightfully unpredictable and inconsequential. The best part, of course, is that it stars the actress who brought this iconic New Girl character to life:

I am here to announce that I have finally binged two certified White Girl Staples:

If you’re looking for truly lighthearted content, go with Sex and the City (you know, if you haven’t already watched it in the last 22 years since it premiered……) If you’re looking to feel better about yourself by comparing your life to the lives of four absolute train wrecks, go with Girls (yes I know it premiered in 2012, must I explicitly point out every time I’m almost a decade late to the party?) Honestly though, I can’t believe Girls was ever enjoyed by anyone, ever. I hate-watched for the chaotic self-sabotaging plot line and envy-watched for Allison Williams’ jawline.

a wholesome barbara jean saga:

I had a cheese plate on my coffee table a few weeks ago. As I was getting ready for bed, I heard my dog, a 13-year-old Shih Tzu named Barbara Jean, whimpering like she was in serious pain. I flew out of the bathroom to see what was wrong, and she comes out of my bedroom lookin like THIS:

This bish was panicking because she could not figure out how to eat the massive hunk of cheese, or where to hide it. I seized her stolen goods and went about my night, only to return to the living room and find her like THIS:

I quickly cleaned up the cheese board and put it on my kitchen counter. The next morning I returned from my walk and found that little Miss BJ discovered that she could use the temporary extra couch in my living room to hop up and do THIS:

I wish I could say this was the end of the story. That afternoon I went to take a shower, and almost immediately my phone stopped playing my podcast and showed that I had connected to AirPods. I realized that I had left them out of the case on the counter…and she must have bumped them while trying to forage for more cracker dust. IF ONLY THAT WAS THE CASE, BUT NO, I FOUND HER LIKE THIS:

Eventually the couch was moved to a new loving home, and I thought Babs’ counter escapades were over.

So naive.

I was out one night and got an alert from SimpliSafe that my security camera had detected motion. It only alerts me when my door is unlocked or my alarm is going off, so I quickly started to panic. I opened the app to watch what the security camera was recording…lo and behold, it was THIS:

Though the couch was gone, Barb saw an opportunity to snack on a takeout container by way of my kitchen stools:

Thankfully she did not make the leap, but my security system alerted me that she did attempt it again 20 minutes later. The things we put up with from our elderly animals!!!!!!

it’s officially dry skin szn:

What, did you think I would stop talking about skincare just because the UV index fell below 5? I’m not talking trendy skincare—face masks that clog your pores, overpriced creams that smell like heaven, Bioré strips that literally do nothing to actually help your blackhead situation, etc. etc. I’m talking ESSENTIALS:

  1. Get a humidifier. You might not think that a little flow of mist can change your skin, but trust me on this. Bonus points if you get one with a really big tank…much easier to maintain throughout winter if you don’t have to re-fill twice a day.

  2. Keep your house’s heat as low as you can handle it — saving money AND keeping your skin moisturized, a certified GMB win-win!

  3. Drink water, then drink some more water

  4. Make an overnight skincare routine and stick to it. Many of my friends have told me that they use the same products in the morning that they do at night…..woof @ all y’all. Going to bed is the perfect excuse to slather on a thick cream that will restore moisture that cold outside air and hot inside air has robbed from your precious skin. Here is a list of great overnight creams—and the top pick is only 15 bucks.

  5. Ease up on the booze (lol okay, Lily)

a surprisingly good $7 wine

Get it at Trader Joe’s. What else is there to say? It’s 7 dollars and not terrible!!

this week on (non-election) twitter:

God it was hard to find these but here you go

Speaking of which… you deserve to listen to this today:

I told you this would be short

I am not a big fan of the “no matter what happens on election day, choose kindness” messaging because kindness isn’t going to reunite 545 immigrant children held at the border with their parents, so instead I’m going to leave you with this:

Until we meet again….

xo,

Lily

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the mini-bitch: "Parachutes" edition

TW: rape, sexual assault

It has been several months since I sent you all an email. While I thought the stay at home order would force me to stay-at-home-and-write-a-lot…it didn’t. But as I finished an audiobook with tears streaming down my face this morning, I knew I needed to package all of these emotions into a mini-bitch and shout this recommendation at the world ASAP.

I first heard about “Parachutes” when author Kelly Yang’s tweet went viral in May about her sexual assault at Harvard Law:

The thread gutted me. Not only did Harvard Law cross examine her about her rape in front of her attacker and erroneously decide he was innocent, they then proceeded to launch an investigation against her for “malicious prosecution.” 

Though it would be on-brand for me to leave you with a thread of tweets, that’s not what I’m here to do. I put “Parachutes” on my Audible waiting list, and finally listened to it over the weekend. I’m sure in the archives of this newsletter you can find me saying that YA is not my thing. Even when I was 13, YA novels were often huge disappointments filled with weird tropes about teenagers that felt antiquated and entirely out of touch. But from the very first chapter, “Parachutes” gripped my attention. It tells the stories of two completely different high school juniors: Claire is a wealthy Chinese foreign exchange student (or a “parachute”), and Dani is a scholarship student whose mom becomes Claire’s host family. 

Their individual journeys throughout the school year twist and turn around each other, intersecting in ways the other only sometimes knows about. The narrative is expertly crafted and beautifully written. It outlines class, racial, and sexual abuses that young women face in a way that doesn’t make you say “there’s no way this is actually happening”—but rather, “how the hell are we letting this happen?”

A New York Times review by Karen Valby from June is one step ahead of critics:

Know this, weary readers: “Parachutes” is not a book about sexual violence or broken girls or the polluting forces of shame and isolation. It is about the radical possibility of young women finding and detonating their voices.

The book begins with a trigger warning for rape, but I was not braced for another storyline that flew me back to my own high school experience. Dani is a star debater, and her talent and vulnerability catches the extra attention of her debate coach. She feels special when he gives her encouragement and nicknames. He offers her private coaching. He asks her questions about her personal life and she confides in him details that she’s never told anyone else. Then he goes a step too far.

If you went to high school with me, you know the tragic story that immediately came to mind. If you didn’t, here’s a briefing

While my school’s leadership acted as if our coach and teacher, Ed Klemm’s, arrest was a surprise, those of us on the speech team quickly pieced together that this was undeniably on their radar. Our principal at the time knew that he had been acting inappropriately with his accuser—so inappropriately, in fact, that they had fired him from the speech team the year prior. But he was allowed to keep his job as a teacher, giving him an 8-hour daily outlet to spew lies to students about how his life and legacy had been ruined by a jealous “slut”, literally spitting out her name in disgust and calling her racist, derogatory slurs while she walked the hallways among us. 

Klemm had many victims, but it was the one who was most hurt and most brave that finally put him in jail and put an end to years of predatory behavior. But not everyone hailed her as the hero she was. She was bullied, harassed, and targeted by his blind supporters until the day she died far, far too young. 

I cannot stress how important books like “Parachutes” are for young girls to read. If I had read this book when I was 15, it might not have taken me until his arrest to see how I was his victim, too. I might have realized how freakishly abnormal our interactions were. The way he took a keen interest in knowing the details of my first relationship, the way he quoted Blazing Saddles to call me “Lili, Lili, Lili legs”, the way he begged me to babysit his daughter at his home, the way he gossiped to me about his wife, the way he told my mom that I, a 16-year-old girl, was “his rock”. 

While the experiences of Kelly Yang and Klemm’s accuser are of much more traumatizing magnitude, these smaller experiences—the #MeToo moments of your own that you might not think “count”— boil up and create years of self-doubt and distrust. They matter. It all matters. And it needs to be written about, spoken about, and screamed about so that it can be litigated, prosecuted, and shut the fuck down. 

Read “Parachutes”. Send it to everyone you know, especially the young people you know. Let the fictional stories of Dani De La Cruz and Claire Wang—and the very real story of Kelly Yang—be heard. And when you hear these stories from your friends, your classmates, your colleagues…believe them.

Until next time, 

xo, 

Lily


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good morning bitches, meet patrick

lily takes the week off and y'all learn about classical music

This is like when you get a campaign email from Elizabeth Warren and you open it up to see it was written by some random ass campaign aide. You probably weren’t going to read the email in the first place, but the thought of reading the words of the the Woman Herself gave you a glimmer of hope in your mundane life.

Well folks, buckle up, because Lily is out for the week. Probably on an extended Zoom Call with people who cosplay as Frasier Characters…god only knows…

Welcome to the first (and possibly, after Lily reads this, last) Guest Written Good Morning Bitches. I’m Patrick. Who I am is truly unimportant. If you already know me, a description isn’t going to change anything. If you don’t know me, I’d prefer to keep things shrouded in mystery. Like Lemony Snicket, but with worse skin. (Editor’s note: I linked his Twitter because he’s very funny and you shouldn’t believe his self-deprecation! - Lily) The TLDR version: I’m a KC Native, Mizzou grad, and I’m finishing a masters in Vocal Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, which basically means my entire livelihood exists in the industry that was first to get the axe during this Coronavirus Lockdown. So I am currently completing the final two months of my masters degree via Zoom from my childhood bedroom in sunny Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Here’s a picture of me on a Zoom call, presumably unshowered, with Ratatouille in the background. This picture is like the opposite of a Rembrandt, in that it somehow gets worse every time you look at it. Life imitates art.

Now to the main event, recommendations…

I told Lily the other day, “If there’s one thing that describes 90s children, it’s that we all think what we’re currently watching/reading/listening to is the most important piece of culture in existence.” In that vein, I present to you…

Patrick’s Lockdown Survival Guide

Or, How I Avoided Making Progress In My Professional Life for An Indefinite Period of Time.

I’m a musician, so let’s talk music. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a classical musician who only listens to classical music. That would be like Doris Kearns Goodwin only ever reading biographies of American Presidents (actually, she probably does that…bad example). I think people who create art should be consuming as much art from as many genres as possible. That being said, the bulk of this newsletter is going to be devoted to my classical music recommendations. Kind of a haphazard “Beginners Guide to Listening to Classical Music,” if you will. I would also include my non-musical recs, but since I’ve spent 7+ years of my life studying every motherfucking aspect of fine art music, I figure I should put some of that knowledge to use.

For a general point of clarification: music can be academically categorized into three major groups: folk music, fine art/classical music, and popular music. So, when I say classical music, I mean music that is created for the purpose of fine art. Obviously that’s your Beethoven and Brahms and Bach, but it’s also stuff that’s being composed right now. Popular music, in my world, is everything from Stephen Foster’s banger “Beautiful Dreamer” to that weird remix of Cardi B’s “Coronavirus!” video. (Do you really expect me to know what it’s called, I just know my sister keeps playing it from different rooms of the house). So when I say “pop music,” just know that I could be referring to The Beatles or I could be referring to something that might be played at 12:30AM on the dance floor of Roxy’s (non-Mizzou people, look it up).

Every single recommendation in this newsletter has been compiled into one MASSIVE playlist, whose link is inserted above. So, if you don’t have time to read this novel that I’ve written, check out the playlist and maybe come back later and read about some of the things you’re listening to…

Classical Greatest Hits

These are my “desert island” classical recordings, so to speak. The fun thing about classical music is that the great canonical works have been recorded dozens, sometimes hundreds, of times. So not only is there the joy of finding a piece of music you like, there is also the fun of finding a specific recording you prefer.

  1. Bach: The Goldberg Variations, Glenn Gould (piano), 1951

    I could make an argument that this is the greatest recording of classical music of all time. Glenn Gould is this nobody pianist from Canada when Columbia releases this album. Furthermore, no one was recording a lot of Bach at the time and they DEFINITELY weren’t recording his solo piano music. It was generally considered to be academic – you learned Bach piano pieces to improve your pianistic abilities, but you didn’t program them on a concert, let alone make an entire recording. Gould plays the Goldberg variations on a modern piano (not a harpsichord, which is what Bach would have composed on) and he takes some absolutely insane tempos. Also, one of my favorite quirks about Gould, he hums along to his own playing. It drove the recording technicians crazy – no matter where they placed the microphones, they could not avoid picking up Gould’s vocalizations. I love it because it is something that can only happen on a recording and it’s something that makes Gould’s playing and this particular recording so special.

  2. Schubert: Winterreise, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) and Jörg Demus (piano), 1966

    There is so much classical music in the world, and usually the first thing people think of when they hear “classical” is a giant symphony orchestra playing some huge piece by Beethoven. But those major works represent only a piece of the classical canon. A large chunk, especially starting in the late 18th century, is music for solo voice and piano. The true masters of this “art song” genre are Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms in the German tradition; Gabriel Faurè, Claude Debussy, and Francis Poulenc in the French tradition; Ralph Vaughn Williams, Samuel Barber, and Benjamin Britten in the English tradition. Franz Schubert is important because he does something really revolutionary around the turn of the 18th century. Rather than writing individual songs, he starts writing song cycles. These are large works where the songs are all on texts of a single poet. The progression of the song cycle tells a single story. His two most famous, and the two still considered the seminal works in the song cycle literature, are Die Schöne Müllerin (The Lovely Miller’s Daughter) and Winterreise (Winter Journey). These are both just absolutely stunning works and there are countless good recordings. But when it comes to German Art song, the DADDY is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Not only is he just a world class singer, he absolutely mastered the art of singing for a recording studio. He knows how to use every color and timbre of his voice in the most elegant and nuanced way to reveal certain parts of the text or story. His 1962 recording with pianist Jörg Demus is also important in that it is an equal collaboration between voice and piano. Schubert was also revolutionary because he made the piano part not just accompaniment, but an equal player in the narrative. Demus’s knowledge of the text is evident as he creates a sound world through the piano that perfectly complement Fischer-Dieskau.

  3. Elgar: Cello Concerto & Sea Pictures, Jacqueline du Pré (cello) and Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano) with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, 1965

    This isn't a recording of works that would be classified by any musicologist as “greatest works of all time.” But damnit if I don’t just love this album! This was one of the first albums I bought on vinyl when I started collecting a few years ago (another white dude who collects vinyl, I know…). It’s so brilliant because side A is the QUEEN Jacqueline du Pré, the legendary French cellist, playing the Edward Elgar Cello Concerto (we all know Elgar because he composed that music that was played ad nauseam while you processed into your high school auditorium for graduation…~Pomp and Circumstance~). Side B is the GODDESS Dame Janet Baker, the absolutely iconic British mezzo-soprano, singing the stunning Elgar Orchestrated Song Cycle, Sea Pictures (remember song cycles? 100 years later, we’re now writing them for voice and ~orchestra~). It’s just a killer recording all around. John Barbirolli conducts the LSO with so much flare and nuance. I love it so fucking much.

    Honorable mentions

    Here’s what I will say about Classical Music…it can be pretty fucking intimidating. And dated. And very white/male. And oftentimes, the pieces are so long that any attempt to listen just becomes ambient listening where you put on some Mozart string quartets while you study and have no idea what’s happening. I get all of that. But if you are able to find a door into the world of classical music, I guarantee you won’t be sorry. It is VAST and there is something for everyone. Here’s my suggestion: find a composer that you like. Or even a performer you like (a singer, a pianist, a cellist, a conductor). Ask yourself what you like about them. Listen with a critical ear. Then do your research: what genres do they typically write in or are they known for? (i.e. Mahler is known for his symphonies, Chopin is known for his solo piano music, Bach is known for his keyboard/organ works and his oratorios) What era are they from and who are other famous composers from that era? (If you like Debussy, you might like Maurice Ravel. If you like Franz Schubert, you might like Robert Schumann. If you like J.S. Bach, try G.F. Handel) Listening to classical music is like a scavenger hunt. You find something you like and use critical listening skills to discover something similar. My music history professor in college used to say “You cannot hate what you don’t know.” None of us will ever listen to every piece of music ever composed, but give yourself permission to try something new.

FUN NEW CLASSICAL RECOMMENDATIONS!!!

Because the most important thing to know about classical music is that it is STILL HAPPENING. Composers are still writing symphonies and art songs and cello concertos, but they’re also doing a lot of exciting, weird, and invigorating new things. I gave myself a requirement to only recommend classical works that have been composed in my lifetime. I also challenged myself to find composers and/or performers who are folks of color or non-male. The reason so many of our “greatest composers of all time” are white, Germanic, men is two-fold: First off, those were the types of people who had access to instruction in music and who could pursue music professionally. Women might have learned how to play piano, but very few had the agency to compose professionally (there are some who did! And they’re awesome and radical!! Barbara Strozzi!! Clara Schumann!! Fanny Mendelssohn!! Amy Beach!!) Second, white men were the ones whose music was valued by music historians and critics. Composing music is one thing. It’s a whole other ballgame to get your music taken seriously by the “academy.” A woman might have composed, but if the powers-that-be didn't value her music, it never saw the light of day. It wasn’t taught to the next generation, and therefore it was essentially forgotten. Now that we live in era of fourth-wave intersectional feminism, there is some amazing work being done to discover, publish, and perform music of historically underrepresented composer. My friend Ben Worley recently published his research on the works of Harry Lawerence Freeman, a black American who wrote the first successfully produced opera by a black composer. We also live in an era where symphonies, arts organizations, record labels, etc. are finally starting to value the music of underrepresented people. We are far from perfect – our big music organizations still program a lot of dead white males. But when the Metropolitan Opera includes even one work by a living composer in their season, it’s a win for all of us. Progress is slow, but it’s happening! Here are some recordings of amazing new works in the classical canon that you should 100% check out. I’m going to nix my description this time. I want to challenge you to listen to the recording once with no background knowledge (or at least a few tracks from the recording). Then go do your research. Look up the composer and the performers. Think of it as a fun exercise in critical listening.

  1. Caroline Shaw: Partita for Eight Voices, Roomful of Teeth

  2. The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile (Remember when I described three “categories” of music?! This album kind of exists in all three!!! It has elements of folk, classical, and pop music in it!!! Music is intersectional!!!!)

  3. Bach Reworks, Víkingur Ólafsson (piano)

  4. Wynton Marsalis: The Abyssinian Mass, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Chorale Le Chateau conducted by Damien Sneed

  5. Saariaho X Koh, Jennifer Koh (violin) performs works of Kaija Saariaho

  6. Crazy Girl Crazy, Barbara Hannigan (soprano & conductor) with Ludwig Orchestra (The Alban Berg Suite on this album was not composed during my lifetime…sue me.)

A brief intermission for some quality meme content…

Opinions From People Who Aren’t Me

We finally get to my personal favorite part of this special GMB. I have asked a bunch of my friends who are in the classical music world for their Lockdown Listening Recommendations. However, if you remember, I consider classical musicians who only listen to classical music to be milquetoast humans. So I told my friends to give me two listening recs: one classical and one non-classical. This whole thing is inspired by this article that Gramaphone put out where they asked a bunch of the artists on their label to give their classical music listening recommendation. Here are my friends’ recs, presented with a brief description of the world class human who provided the recommendation. Just for kicks, I’ve included the pop album I’ve been vibing on during this quarantine: Talking Heads ‘77 by Talking Heads.

  1. Leyly Bagherof, my brilliant friend from Eastman. Leyly is a Mezzo-Soprano and is completing her Masters this spring before staying at Eastman to begin work on her Doctorate. She’s the REAL DEAL! Leyly’s friendship has literally kept me sane during my Masters. Also Leyly’s dog is Instagram famous. Follow @moose__tracks for the best fucking dachshund content of your life.

  2. Ryan Layton, my ride or die/BFF/greatest human alive. Ryan is a passionate music educator doing the LORD’S WORK teaching high school choir in Mid-MO. Also he’s just a gentle and kind spirit. I love him.

  3. Ian Silverman, also a friend from Eastman who is about to finish his masters in Opera Stage Directing. Eastman only admits one Stage Directing student at a time, so Ian is a BIG FUCKING DEAL. Ian has also seen more Broadway shows than any human being I know.

  4. Martha Allen, my precious friend from Mizzou who is working on her Masters in voice at the Manhattan School of Music. Of all the musicians in my life, Martha is the one who is the most excited about life and most excited to learn. I love that about her.

  5. Aaron Mencher, my friend from Mizzou who is not only an amazing clarinet player, but an unreal good composer. Aaron is currently working on his Masters in composition at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Aaron knows New Music.

  6. Ernest Harrison is someone you all probably know because of that viral video of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angelas singing to Laura Dern at the Spirit Awards (if you haven’t seen it, watch it NOW). EJ is the artistic director of GMCLA and truly one of the most wonderful, authentic, and passionate humans I know.

  7. Katarina Galagaza, my dear dear friend who I sang with last summer at Seagle Music Colony. Kat is a stunning mezzo-soprano who finished her Masters at Boston Conservatory and is going to start an Artist Diploma at UMKC this fall. Kat and I have considered entering into a domestic partnership.

  8. Hans Bridger Heruth, the friend who I give more shit than any human alive and yet still keeps me around. Hans is a quadruple threat: a brilliant composer in addition to being an amazing singer, violinist, pianist, and conductor.

  9. Maeve Berry, who is quite literally one of the most talented and sensitive pianists I’ve ever met. Maeve could easily pursue a successful career in solo piano, but she loves collaborating with singers and instrumentalists so much and is SO DAMN GOOD AT IT that she’s working on her Masters in collaborative piano. Also Maeve listens to more music than anyone I know.

  10. Veronica Siebert, the person whose career I am most excited to follow. Veronica is only a sophomore at Eastman and already has the most stunning voice of any singer I’ve ever known. Also she’s smart, which is surprisingly rare in my industry. Also she’s maybe a witch, and I think witchy vibes are always good in the arts.

  11. Adrienne Hyde, who is maybe the best cellist I’ve ever met. Adrienne specializes in Baroque Cello and Viol de Gamba (the cello’s predecessor). She just got accepted to Juilliard for her Masters. Adrienne knows Baroque and Early Music better than most people our age.

That’s all she wrote, folks. If you stuck around until the end…kudos to you. I probably would’ve ditched this 500 words ago for mindless Instagram scrolling. Here’s the link to the Mega-Playlist again:

Also, just for the hell of it, I’m including a playlist I’ve been putting together over the past few years. Inspired by an NPR article where music critics listed what they considered the “greatest recordings of all time,” this playlist features those recordings in addition to a bunch that I consider can’t-miss-albums. They’re all classical and they’re all by old/dead white men. But still a lot of good music.

Happy listening. Tell your mom to get a colonoscopy.

PG

the mini-bitch: zoom edition

Me trying to get this newsletter out last night, then today before noon, then before five o’clock, then finally now:

Good morning bitches, and welcome to this tribute/roast/celebration of everyone’s new forced BFF: Zoom.

There were two distinct moments that together caused me to write an entire edition about a video conferencing app. First, I joined a niche facebook group (are you surprised?) entitled “Zoom Memes for Self-Quaranteens”.

The group is now no secret—it boasts 520k+ members and is the subject of multiple New York Times articles by Taylor Lorenz. But alas, I would be remiss if I did not write about what has already cemented itself as a quarantine icon.

The second moment came while reading a Cosmo article that delivers a bevy of virtual backgrounds you can use during meetings to mask your childhood bedroom, collection of liquor bottles, or extremely disorganized spare bedroom/office/home gym. (That last one is a personal attack on myself.)

My background of choice to mask this multipurpose room horror:

(Zoom thought good morning bitch Madison Silvey’s childhood bedroom was an actual green screen, for the record.)

Here are some of my favorite backgrounds from that Cosmo article:

Anyway, I could share all of the long-form articles about this app, the security concerns, and the effect of virtual learning on the quality of education (and believe me, I want to!) but I’m gonna give the people what they want instead: some meme-based levity.

But first!

The cast of Hamilton performed for a little girl last night on John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” show and I…am….emotional. When you hit play it should be cued up to the right spot, but if not—go to 11:21 and prepare to cry!!!

Literally me the entire time watching:

Alright, Good Tweets™ time:

(I honestly can’t tell if the goat video is a joke or not but either way, 10/10 effort)

^^^ SO GOOD

When you really miss cancelling plans you committed to the day before, knowing you would back out:

A small token of appreciation for the much less acclaimed Microsoft Teams:

Speaking of competitors, here is Skype feebly peeking its head into the pandemic:

Alright, it’s basically Tuesday at this point and I’m tryna get this off my todo list—so I will leave you with this goldmine of a Twitter thread. Happy Zooming! Don’t get your personal, educational, or business security violated by a videoconferencing app!

xo,

Lily

good morning quarantined bitches

Good morning bitches, let’s get straight to the point: I’m bored. You’re bored. Let’s have some fun.

GMB has always essentially been one big list of suggestions, whether it’s TV shows or podcasts or sunscreens or niche cat facebook groups. So I come to you bearing the bare minimum I can offer in these trying times: a list of things to distract you from our society swiftly falling apart at the seams.

DISCLOSURE: I have not yet watched the apparent official quarantine binge, Tiger King, but have a feeling I will need to devote an entire future edition to it.

For the full good morning bitches experience, click that title up there to view in your browser.

Podcasts

The Old Faithfuls (previous recommendations):

  • Do You Need a Ride?

  • Last Podcast on the Left (true crime + comedy, new episodes only on Spotify)

  • Eric in the Morning with Melissa and Whip (the 101.9FM Chicago morning show condensed down into a 35 min podcast. One of the few morning radio shows that are actually hysterical.)

  • My Dad Wrote a Porno

  • Sordid Details

New Discoveries:

Comedian Bridger Winegar invites friends onto his podcast named I Said No Gifts! but requires that they bring him a gift. Lolz. They discuss the gift and gift-related topics and somehow it ends up being laughing-out-loud-on-a-social-distancing-walk funny.

Music

New Discoveries:

Old-school style country that will have you dreaming of summer/at least getting out of our damn houses. I’m gonna be honest, a couple of their songs sound the same (like literally the same chord progressions…) but they’re still a solid group. I personally like their live album, which you can listen to here. You’ve prooobably heard their song “Drinkin’ Problem”, but my personal fav is “Burn Out”. Another reason to listen to the live album? The sound of a crowd cheering is just… *chef’s kiss* :

Your Smith is brimming with chill vibes that will brighten this impossibly grey weekend. My favorite is “Bad Habit”, with relatable lyrics like:

 “I’ve got a bad habit, of living rich on minimum wage” 

and

“You said ‘don’t you ever ever ever ever change, as long as you live’ // you were always good at sayin things like that, without much to give.”

HAVE WE NOT ALL DATED THIS MAN??? 

Her other single, “The Spot”, is like Carole King meets “Love Shack” and I’m HERE for it. 

Alright this next one requires a bit of dark humor, and if that’s not your jam then I suggest you do not open good morning bitch Britt Frazier’s playlist:

With now-timely tunes such as “SICKO MODE”, “Dancing On My Own”, “No More Parties In LA”, “Love Lockdown”, and “Go Back Home”, this is the perfect playlist to give you a chuckle and introduce you to some really solid bangers. You wouldn’t expect a playlist that is compiled solely based on track titles to actually sound good, but I’ll chalk this up as a very happy accident.

Fitness

Old Faithfuls:

  • Nike Running Club App (guided runs from bae of all baes, Nike Running Global Head Coach, Coach Bennett. I have put it on the record MANY times that his voice is sexy, which makes the runs fly by. Plus he is very encouraging of new runners and reminds you constantly that it’s okay to go slow. Love a jog-positive sweetie!)

New Discoveries:

I started and stopped using Fitbod last year, but would still highly recommend it to literally anyone. You set up your goals & what equipment you have access to, then it pumps out a fully cohesive fitness plan for you. I believe it’s $10/month.)

This app is called Future, and it’s…not for the faint of heart. Number one, it’s extremely expensive ($150/month) but it has been a huge game changer in my health. You take a quiz when you sign up that matches you with a real life personal trainer who has legitimate professional experience. For example, my beloved trainer, Nick, was a coach at Purdue. He sets up a plan for me every week, taking into account my schedule and access to gyms. He also sends me messages bugging me to workout, and look, he’s adorable which motivates me, ok????

Having an actual person holding you accountable is a wonderful (and horrible) thing, and I can confidently say that I have worked out at least twice as much in the last three months than I would have without it. Plus we have great banter:

Apps/companies giving you free ish during the quarantine:

  • Nike Training App - free access to premium workouts

  • Peloton - free 90 day trial (more than just cycling workouts, no bike required. I think.)

  • OrangeTheory - free workouts online, no crazy equipment required

  • Barry’s Bootcamp - free online workouts

TELEVISION, BABY!!!

Old Faithfuls:

  • Schitt’s Creek (If you haven’t watched yet, might I suggest a global pandemic be the perfect time to binge this literally flawless show???? The final season is wrapping up right now and I’m going to be very emo when it is all over.)

  • Frasier (just fucking watch it already and I’ll stop talking about it) (no I won’t)

  • Ozark (season 3 just dropped out of nowhere and I am trying to write this quickly so I can go watch it)

  • Catastrophe

  • One Mississippi (get to episode three to get hooked, I promise)

New Discoveries:

I’m going to choose to find it endearing that I plug shows that were released more than two decades ago. I’ve been told to watch West Wing for years, and finally got around to it. I’m not going to tell you why you need to watch something that is regarded as one of the best television shows ever created, but I will give you four words that might push you in the right direction: young. hot. Rob. Lowe.

Trust me, I feel as uncomfortable putting that photo in my newsletter as you feel looking at it. But Dave on Hulu is…perfect. It’s incredibly vulgar and at times horrifyingly sexually graphic, but holy SHIT it is hilarious. For those of you who don’t recognize that man coming out of the pair of floral boxers, it’s Lil Dicky. The show is (I guess?) semi-autobiographical, and follows aspiring satirical rapper Dave aka Lil Dicky as he tries to build a legitimate rap career. The show is stacked with cameos by famous rappers, and is sprinkled with really heartwarming plot lines about modern romance and mental health. Weirdly, a show about a rapper’s genitalia ends up being really beautiful.

Hey, it took me less than a year to watch this one and that is a SUCCESS in Lily Zacharias terms!! If the tagline of Euphoria is “feel something” like this photo implies, then that is a VAST understatement. If you’re already pretty bummed out about life, I wouldn’t suggest watching—the first episode is so jarring that my roommate had to leave the room. But if you can stomach watching high schoolers do drugs and make incredibly questionable decisions, you will be instantly hooked. It kind of reminds me of Skins now that I think about it, but with absolutely stunning cinematography and scoring. This is the kind of show that will surely go down in television history, and one that we will protect our children from watching at all costs.

Not watching Love is Blind during a global pandemic is like not watching West Wing until 2020. Don’t make the same mistake I did, bitches.

Documentaries

Old Faithfuls:

  • Dear Zachary (I don’t know if I have actually put this in a GMB before because I watched it in college, but I have watched it three times and it never fails to bring out every human emotion. It’s truly a devastating story, but I would put it on my top 10 list of any show/movie/documentary ever produced. I love it.)

New Discoveries:

Yes, it’s from 1991. Leave me alone! If you watch any form of Drag Race or have ever used words or phrases including: “shade”, “serving __ realness”, “___ queen”, or have ever used this gif…

…then Paris is Burning is required watching. It documents the underground ball culture in late-80s Harlem, and illuminates the struggles of queer and trans women of culture. (You’ll find that a lot of the things they talk about are still issues today.) It’s heartbreaking, delightful, fascinating, and mind blowing. All the hallmarks of a great doc, baby!

Crip Camp combines archival footage from the 70s with modern interviews with the subjects of the original film and it. is. stellar. It starts as a slice of life of a summer camp for youths with disabilities, but ultimately paints a portrait of the fight for disability rights in America. The film shows a side of history that was not taught in schools and will undoubtedly challenge your thinking on disabilities.

This Quarantine on Twitter:

Alright, that’s all for now, bitches. I have many more things to plug but am almost near my draft limit. I guess niche facebook groups about Zoom calls will have to wait for next time! Keep an eye out for some special editions of GMB coming up—including guest writing spots by beloved loyal bitches.

Stay safe, stay distanced, stay in touch with your friends (and me!!) Speaking of which, you can now leave comments! Let me know what’s been keeping you busy during quarantine, or just general thoughts about life in semi-isolation.

Until next time,

xo

Lily

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