Apologies to anyone who thought I wasn’t going to spend 40% of this post talking about The Bear. Listen, here’s what you need to know about me, I love a bandwagon. My love language is hype. It’s the same reason I watch Love Island UK every year.
Unrelated to my terrible taste in television, I’m thinking about expanding my pet family from 1 cat to 2 cats. Please leave me advice in the comments. I have no idea what I’m doing. Also, if you watch Love Island, holler at me. So far it’s just me and Joy.
Yours in questionable taste and potentially more cats,
• You know how sometimes you need to look to someone for permission — permission to be yourself, permission to be fat, permission to be loud? Here’s a piece about the joy of watching Lizzo’s show Watch Out for the Big Grrrls while reckoning with a very different competition show that did a lot of harm. Oh, and surprise, it’s written by me. (Nashville Scene)
• First of all, Helen Rosner is one of my favorite writers. Anytime you have the opportunity to read one of her pieces for The New Yorker, you will not regret it. Helen, who grew up on the south side of Chicago, wrote about The Bear and it’s everything I wanted someone to write.
• Speaking of The Bear, if you’ve watched it then you know, but this piece in Bon Appetit by Genevieve Yam about how many chefs can’t watch the show because of the trauma they’ve faced in professional kitchens should give us all pause.
• I’ve been recommending this book to everyone talking about The Bear. It’s a few years old, so you can grab it in paperback. One of my friends has already finished it and is now recommending it to all of her friends. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson is an insightful, and a smidge less traumatic, look at what goes into becoming one of the world’s top chefs. (Bookshop)
• I’m so inspired by Julia Turshen – her cookbooks, her Sunday cooking classes, her newsletter, and her podcast. Recently she had Virginia Sole-Smith on and Julia said something at the end of the episode that really stuck with me. They’re talking about appetites and Julia brings up the appetite for ambition and what that looks like for her right now. I won’t spoil it, but I really needed to hear this and you may too. Listen here. (Apple Podcasts)
• I’m closer to 50 than I am to 40, but a lot of my friends are turning 40 this year and I’m sending them all this great piece by Mira Jacob in Harper’s Bazaar. Send this to every elder millennial in your life who’s starting to feel invisible.
• Last week a friend of mine was voluntarily sterilized (outside of pregnancy) and she wrote about it for one of my favorite newsletters, Leave it to Leonor. If you’re curious about tubal ligation, or what Nicole ended up having, bilateral salpingectomy, this newsletter is a generous sharing of knowledge. P.S. If you have any questions, ask them below and Nicole will be more than happy to answer them. (TinyLetter)
• Don’t tell anyone I’m linking to something a man wrote, but this piece by Issac Fitzgerald for Esquire about how he chose not to have children so that he can be a literal and figurative uncle to all the great kids in his life is so tender and powerful. Related, Isaac’s memoir came out last week and you can pick it up here. (Bookshop)
• This weekend Joy is doing a little jewelry collab promotion for this cherry necklace. It’s 15% off with code cherryjoy15 this weekend only (sale end Sunday at midnight!) and $10 of every purchase goes to Second Harvest New Orleans. It feels good to give back and gift oneself at the same time, you know? (Delicacies Jewelry)
• Am I going to mention The Bear one more time? And will it be in a TikTok? Yes, chef.
See you in the comments!
I loved “Yes, Chef,” having stumbled upon it as an optional read students who were interested in culinary stuff in the h.s. English class I teach. Having worked in kitchens in my earlier life, I found “The Bear” waaaaaaay too tense to watch! Thanks for sharing those excellent reviews. AND I want to watch Lizzo’s show–just haven’t gotten around to it–and your article was great. Thanks for it all!
As someone who works at an Animal hospital, be sure to keep both cats safe and healthy by keeping them indoors. Enjoy both of them.
Good tip, MaryAnn. Thanks for weighing in. Our current cat is an indoors only cat and the new cat is a stray now, but will be an indoors only cat once we wrangle him inside.
I think the too close to home nature of a show about any industry can have the effect of being hard to watch for the people who have lived it. I was recently watching an episode of Silent Witness which took place in a prison. As a former prison guard I was tense, freaked and terrified watching the first part and had to wait about one week to watch the second part and purposely watched it in the afternoon (there was enough darkness in the material to watch in the surround of night) and yet with all that I had to leave the room for the riot and ensuing damage in the fall out. I could not take it.
On the new cat front. We had two indoor cats Chanter McBagpipe and Tater O’Gravy that we got from a farm when they were not yet eight weeks. At some point we acquired an outdoor cat. (Long story). At age 10 Tater died. We could not get the outdoor cat (ODCBC) to come live inside. When ODCBC died Chanter just became super needy. After entertaining the thought of a cat companion we went to the cat rescue. There was a cat that needed to be re-homed and two kittens that were brothers. After leaving and having a hot beverage we decided the two brothers were the way to go. Alas while we were gone a family selected one of the boys. We brought home Sir Marsh Mellow. We did as directed by the folks at the cat rescue. Sir in a cat carrier. Put it in the middle of the living room and supervise. If nothing happens release Sir to explore. No issues whatsoever. The reasoning is that separating leads to problems around territory. They were curled up together on a chair in no time. Sir and his litter mates were semi feral and had a great deal of fostering before we met him which made him over three months old. Days later the person who actually rescued Sir and the rest of the litter called us to let us know Sir had a sister who was coming up for adoption. We were smitten and using the same technique put the carrier carrying Lady Ophelia Opus in the same spot in the living room. Chanter gave one half hearted hiss and Sir was so chilled out and stayed close and looked at her face to face through the door of the crate. 30 minutes later she was exploring the place. The two kept each other entertained and Chanter stopped being needy and made sure she was Queen Boss. Never a problem. Chanter made it to 18 years of age.
That got long. Hopefully there is some nugget in all those words which helps inform your trek to a second cat in the house.
Hi SMM! First of all, I don’t know if there’s a prize for best cat names, but if there is, I hope you won. This is so good to know! The only thing I’ve thought about is sequestering the new cat in an upstairs room for awhile and then slowly letting him out into the rest of the house. You’re giving me a lot to think about. Thank you!
Thanks for listing so many “the bear” references! Just finished the series last night and immediately googled if it was renewed for another season. (I was restricting myself to only 2 episodes a day to enjoy it for longer). As someone who worked for several years, in restaurants, on the line between front of house and back of house, this series rings so true to me and I basically want to talk to everyone about it. Good to know others are obsessed as well!
Hi Rachel! Welcome to your new Bear friend group – hahaha! Wasn’t it so good? I did the same thing – I finished it and immediately started googling. Viva la season two!
I didn’t even read this whole thing, I just immediately came to comment about love Island UK. This is such a fun show. I truly love when the “girls” huddle up and talk about what they’re looking for. It’s like “good teeth, fit, tall… And oh yeah personality too of course!” It makes me laugh every time. And that they are all “here for love” but when the next hottie walks in they jump ship from their current partner so fast! Lol The narrator and the making fun of the show inherent in the show is just so good. Summer bucket list TV show for sure!
Jackie! Welcome to the Love Island UK club! I love it, too. When they huddle on the terrace every morning – so funny. The whole show cracks me up.
The piece you wrote about Lizzo’s new show is amazing. Very well done! I don’t cry when I dance, but it does spark an unspeakable joy, which I think is the emotion you feel but it comes it your eyes. ?? I hope I can catch her show! She’s amazing and we don’t deserve her.
Hi Jacklyn, thank you! It means so much that you read my Lizzo piece. And I think you’re on to something about why so many of us cry when we dance – joy. Thanks for putting this in perspective!
Two cats are the way to go! There is a lot of information on Pet Life Radio (just google search). There also a lot of tips on PLR on how to introduce a new kitten to your older cat. In my case, it took a bit of patience. Cats are territorial.
As someone previously mentioned, it may help if you can adopt a younger cat.
Oooh, thank you RW! I didn’t know about Pet Life Radio. Googling now!
The Jillian Michaels Screaming Show!!!!
I enjoyed your article, Kim, and this list. Happy Sunday! :)
Angela – thank you! It means a lot that you clicked through and read it. I appreciate it.
Introducing a kitten to an adult cat is the way to go.
I once brought together an approximately 9mo cat to my ‘established’ cat. It was a process! They eventually learned to live together, but were never friends.
When I brought a kitten into the mix, the other 2 accepted her without an issue.
Good luck ?
Hi Dawn! Ooh, this is good to know. I’m hoping this works. Either way, I’ll let everyone know. Fingers crossed!
Loved your article about ‘Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’ Kim. I cried quite a lot watching it as well- with my 14 year old daughter- as it feels IMMENSELY important as it pertains to representation of body shapes and abilities. I became a fitness coach a bit before Jillian started screaming at humans on tv, and I don’t think it can be understated the effect it had on personal trainers as well. The industry itself is full of disordered advice wrapped up as ‘health tips’ (and trainers who are fully engaged in disordered relationships with both food and exercise)- and the large platform that show got only added fuel to the fire…and it keeps burning.
Oh wow, Gretchen. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you for reading my essay. I’m glad it resonated. I have a few friends in the fitness/personal trainer industry and I know how hard they have to work to undue all the harm. And you’re right, it’s still burning.
Hi Kim, I’ve found that rubbing Kitty A’s mooch with your hands (to gather their scent)and then rubbing that on Kitty B’s mooch before they meet helps them acclimate to each other. Also, it seems to help if they aren’t both male. Good luck and I hope you find a good match!
Hi Robin! Thank you for this. Both cats are male, so like you said, this may not work, but it’s still good to know! I’ll definitely let everyone know if I end up pulling this off.
My Kitty A (Kosmo) was age three when Kittty B (Tippi) arrived. They are both male, neutered. We did the scent thing and soon Kosmo was bathing Tippi; they slept together and marauded together at night. When Tippi reached adolescence, Kosmo began lording and alpha-ing which broke Tippi’s heart.
Actually 2 males together are the best pairing, as long as they’re both neutered of course.
Ahhh, good to know! Thanks, Sarah!
So much delicious writing to savor here, Kim! I went down a rabbit hole of Vodka Yonic alone. Thank you for all of it.
Linda! Thank you so much. That means a lot.
I would suggest getting a kitten or young cat as they usually mesh better with an existing cat. It’s good that yours is only 4 and not a grumpy old cat because he should take to an addition better. Good luck :)
Oh, that’s good to hear! I’m really hoping it works. I’ll let everyone know next month. Thanks, Emily!
I love Love Island!! I have never watched Love Island UK, but I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 seasons of Love Island Australia, and the US ones (which don’t seem to be on Hulu anymore.)
As for the cats, I only have one cat and she doesn’t get along well with others.
Hi Kristen! It’s funny, I’ve only watched the UK version of Love Island. Honestly, for no real reason. It’s just the one I started with and I’ve stuck with it. This may be my inspiration to branch out to other versions. To be continued!