Spend time… Looking out for one another

Desert art, date cakes, paper houses, sensual mushrooms and more

Spend time helping and supporting Asian-Americans

The last few days have been extremely rough. A white supremacist in Atlanta murdered 8 people with a gun he bought in the same morning, continuing a heart-wrenching spree of anti-Asian-American violence across the U.S. It feels crazy to me that this keeps happening and I feel so horribly for the Asian-American community right now. As someone who’s part of the queer community I can empathize with the fear and anger boiling over and the frustration that not enough is being done to put a stop to it.

A co-worker sent me a link to StopAsianHate.Info which provides resources to learn about the situations happening, places you can donate your money or time to help, as well as places to report hate crimes and resources for the Asian-American community. Please do your part in looking out for these folks, especially if you have the privilege of being, white, straight, male, or any combination of the above.

Spend time experiencing fine art in the desert

One of the most exciting art exhibits in the world, Desert X, is now up and happening in the Coachella Valley here in Southern California. This years exhibit explores “the desert as both a place and idea, acknowledging the realities of people who reside here and the political, social, and cultural contexts that shape their stories.”

We’ve been able to experience this a few times and it’s always remarkable. You usually have to drive to some far off, remote location and then suddenly you see some incredible structure. It’s such a treat to experience not only the art but also how the art changes the place, which based on the statement, is clearly what’s important this year.

Spend time baking a perfectly moist and savory date cake

Kyle and I are doing a staycation in Venice this weekend and one of my very favorite places to visit (when there isn’t a current pandemic) is Gjelina, one of the most delicious restaurants in Los Angeles. One of the very best things they serve is their Date Cake which comes with a delicious whiskey sauce, and fun story, you can make it at home. I’ve made this cake many a time, and not only is straightforward to make, it’s one of the most decadent cakes I’ve ever had.

Spend time learning how to make ceramics with Florian Gadsby

Back in the day when I had an Instagram I used to follow Florian Gadsby, a ceramicist based in London who’s rigorous and well-documented approach to making ceramics was a joy to follow along with. Now it seems that he’s branching out with a new series of videos on YouTube that walks us through his process. Not only are his pots and mugs and bowls beautifully done it’s entrancing to watch him work. It’s also fun that he includes both a narrated and ASMR versions of his videos so you can pick which fits your mood at the time. He seems to be updating about weekly so it’s a smart time to follow along.

Spend time getting inspiration from the attendees of Tokyo Fashion Week

Every morning I spend time getting ready and pick out a really amazing outfit… to walk my two dogs, Olly and Scooter. I’ve found that this really helps set the tone for my day and will often make multiple outfit changes throughout the day. So when I saw this post on Vogue about the top looks from Tokyo Fashion Week I knew I’d need to share. Talk about inspiring, these kids are on another level with their looks. If I can be a quarter as cool as some of them I’d be super stoked. There are 101 looks btw so there’s gotta be SOMETHING that makes you excited.

Spend time making small, paper craft houses designed by worldly architects

I thought it was quite cute for T Magazine to create a small series of DIY paper houses that had been designed by some very prominent architects. Their goal was to create what they a house would should look like post-pandemic, you know, shrunk down to the size of a piece of paper, which you can print and fold for yourself. I have to say I would love to live in Toshiko Mori’s house, that sweeping, cantilevered roof is an absolute dream.

Spend time listening to the wise words of Jessica Helfand

I am one of those rare humans who doesn’t listen to podcasts. For me, if I have time to listen to something, it’s going to be music. I’m tired of opinions and hot takes and I want my brain free of other people’s thought energy (lol). I recently found an exception listening to Jessica Helfand on the most recent episode of In Pursuit of Luxury.

In a moment of honesty she succinctly sums up a lot of how I’ve been feeling about design in recent years. I’m paraphrasing here, however, she speaks to design as it relates to commerce, what design has become when it’s used to sell unhealthy junk food without any thought to the moral responsibility, and that she sincerely feels design is in crisis and at a crossroads. I sat listening wide-eyed to all of this nodding in agreement as she went on. Capitalism and commerce and design are on a very uncertain path, one that I haven’t felt comfortable with for quite a while.

Spend time growing your own mushrooms

I hadn’t thought of growing my own mushrooms until I came across this piece in The Guardian highlighting the boom of growers over the past year. I love the story of the couple who turned their laundry room into a “shroom shack” and began to use the mushrooms to barter with others in the neighborhood for eggs or bread. Mushrooms are so delicious but this still seems like it would be challenging to do in an apartment setting.