One habit that’s improved my new year is pumping early Mariah Carey to evoke the vibe I felt when I first discovered her music. Mariah Carey early on was of an ambiguous race, donning a denim bottom and a black top, the female effect landing somewhere between inner city first grade teacher and Disney princess. No prismatic cultural opuses like Madonna or Janet dance sequences necessary, just a set of pipes and some hand gestures orbiting around a velveted neckline.
The ’89–’94 pleasure in hearing a singer soar was parallel to the figure skater mania of the time; it was watching a mouth form a word and do aural gymnastics with it from behind. When Mariah got into the whistle tones—into registers only a dog could hear—there was a sort of 4H quality to the experience. Athletic vocals like these had an uplifting element that could transport an accounts payable clerk from the earthly limits of a Wednesday.
This is the energy I want to take into the new year. Below are some other items that are helping the cause and I hope you have a lovely weekend!
• I love hearing stories about people breaking out of their corporate jobs and making time for their art. It’s not the norm, but it keeps hope alive in my mind that corporate jobs are not the future. (Slate)
• Last month, I spent five days in Miami, where I subsided on a steady diet of coffee and guava cheese pastries. Highly recommended. (Zak the Baker)
• Rob Walker’s list of meta resolutions are especially handy this time of year. (Substack)
• With soup season upon us, I loaded my cart with all the ingredients for Joy’s white bean kale and sausage soup. The leftovers for lunch will be a present to my future self. (Joy the Baker)
• Can’t wait to get my mitts on the new Rabbi Brous book. It’s so necessary right now. (Bookshop)
• You’ll want to make time this weekend to read Kim Gordon’s moving tribute to her brother, Keller. (LARB)
• Also, reading about the life of a professional astrologer is fascinating. (Gloria)
• Let’s hear it for dress season, I mean awards season. (Instagram)
• The post “Is this a Fox or Coyote?” elicited 135 responses in my local Nextdoor group, which I can’t figure out how to link to but must shout out because nothing else on the Internet brings me greater joy. The general consensus btw is that it was a coyote in a fox suit. (Nextdoor)
• A PSA for my fellow 40s: I’ve sampled every unscented hand cream on the market, including a few fussy brands, and still found this one to be the most reliable. (CVS)
• Willem Defoe’s accusation is extremely accurate for my viewing habits—heed his words and see Poor Things in theaters. Today. (Variety)
• I could not hit ‘subscribe’ fast enough for book critic Tembe Denton-Hurst’s new reading-centric newsletter. (Substack)
• Here’s another strong argument for Team No Botox. (New York Times)
• Winter. Time to eat fat / and watch hockey. (Poetry Foundation)