WTGAR #1- March 14, 2022
Welcome to the Longhouse
A brief statement of purpose:
We are going to do something like this.
Follow us on Twitter, email us classified ad requests (it’s literally free), follow the Washington Review of Books on Twitter and subscribe to their newsletter, eat a nice snack, and tell us what we’re supposed to put in our N.B. section or what an N.B. section even is (more on that later).
BAP on the breakdown of the modern family. [Too hysterical even for me! –Sarah]
Chris (Book Brah) on us, maybe?
Jane just tweeted out our entire strategy.
Tom Brady returns for another season (aided by Gisele, who may-or-may-not be a magic practitioner.)
Clare has been cooking weekly dinners for a faith group at her church. She is going to try her hand at shakshuka and potato leek soup. She has also been dreaming up a nice watermelon salad that relies heavily on—wait for it—za’atar. She doesn’t know. It came to her as if in a dream. She thinks it’ll probably be pretty good. She will report back.
Amy wants to make acai bowls with chia pudding on top. She likes to get them at the seashore sometimes but was thinking of making them herself.
Sarah has an “Italian Seafood Blend” from a local Italian market that she is going to cook for her family on Wednesday (her b*rthd*y!) She thinks she will serve it with tomatoes, basil, and parmesan but really does need to read up on how to do this sort of thing properly. She also made these blackberry cheesecake bars this weekend, and while they were pretty good she is wondering if she could have avoided straining out the blackberry seeds.
Gaby warmed a home with frozen spanakopita and a half-thawed shrimp cocktail ring. She is on a chia seed pudding and green smoothie kick courtesy of Costco’s economically-sized products. Thanks to a 25 lb bag of flour, she may be “procrasti-baking” soon. Watch This Space. [You understand my flour anxiety. —Clare]
Zoe loves cooking, but the semester dictates that she have little time for it. She did, however, make some very avant-garde ramen the other day, including but not limited to scallions, ginger, a dash of every spice known to man, soft boiled egg, and a small can of even smaller shrimp (imagine the size of those attachable erasers one buys for pencils).
N.B. does not stand for “nonbinary,” which answers some questions (and raises others) about the Men of the Washington Review of Books.
Abbreviations, emojis, misspellings:
The Girls have found a new emoji that sums up certain moods quite nicely. It’s unicode name is “Large Yellow Circle” but we know better than that. Reader, we present to you the blank stare: 🟡
OADN (on a different note) we’d like this one to enter the mainstream texting lexicon.
Clare had been really obsessed for a while with what she read as the “sunken coast” fallacy, but of course she was reading it wrong, and it is actually the sunken cost**** fallacy. She wishes it were coast. She had been picturing, like, ohhhh our city is being submerged as the shoreline gradually approaches, but we won’t move anywhere else. It’s more poetic that way. Who can she talk to to try and change it? [Atlantis?? - Sarah]
Zoe’s name has been changed to Joey, and Amy’s to Any.
What we’re reading:
Amy is reading endless pages of indeed dot com. She doesn’t like or recommend it. Other than that she has been enjoying reading some C. S. Lewis on her Kindle. She likes her kindle because it fits inside the purses she buys on TheRealReal.
Gaby recklessly charged through all 1167 pages (during a work week!) of the Wax & Wayne series by Brandon Sanderson. The weird western features lovable Allomancers, plucky nobles, and action-filled fights. She is also listening to The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage, by Jonathan Cohn. So far, it is fascinating. Stay tuned as Gaby attempts to read Rhythm of War (1232 pages!) next week.
Zoe has been trying desperately to read through the whole of Calvin’s Institutes this year, using a handy booklet from church designating how much one should read each day in order to make it through the entire book in a year. She is currently six weeks behind, but figures the shame-fuelled summer reading period will help her catch up in time to accomplish her goal. In addition to the theological monstrosity, she’s been reading C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy for the second time, enjoying the author’s own unique approach to sci-fi & fantasy, and also the fact that the protagonist of the story is a philologist. She’s also been reading through Samuel Miller’s Presbyterianism, a short book about the Presbyterian church’s history, doctrine, government, and worship. Her favorite part so far is Miller’s simple explanation of covenant theology as it relates to the Calvinistic system of doctrine - it’s helpful & relevant to some of her ongoing projects. Additionally, she is also binge listening to the New Discourses podcast - sometimes it’s nice to pretend like you know a thing or two about epistemology.
Lexie found a gem of theology book about prayer in Half Price books, The Spirit Helps Us Pray: A Biblical Theology of Prayer. It’s dense, but she is enjoying brushing up on some etymology of some Greek/Hebrew words :) she is also checking out some old photography books and plans to purchase more for aesthetic coffee table purposes.
Clare found a collection of Robert Creeley’s poems in a secondhand bookstore last week. She’s been reading a poem or two a day from it. It’s inspired. Mostly, though, she’s back to basics, and reading the Book. Yes, the Bible. Last week she reread the story of Joseph, and was moved by what he says to his brothers when their father Jacob dies. The brothers fear that Joseph will seek revenge for their previous mistreatment of him, but he says instead, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” It occurred to her just today that part of the beauty of this moment is the generosity of Joseph’s logic—because it extends to his brothers, too: even the evils they committed when they were young were ultimately deeded to their prospering, reconciled with their brother and with God Himself. And that means that it applies to me, and to you.
Sarah is working her way through The Gifts of the Child Christ, a compilation of the stories of George MacDonald edited by Glenn Edward Sadler. She savoredThe Gray Wolf (it is about a werewolf girl), but wearies as she reads the fourth (fourth!) story that she hoped would end in marriage and instead ends in a noble death (cool) or lifetime of regret (not cool.) . She recommends The Light Princess and The Cruel Painter, and begrudgingly admits she did skip one of the stories, the story about giants that try to eat children.
She also listened to Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, which made her cry a lot, but you should take that with a grain of salt because it was just one of those weeks. Vance’s story is beautiful and moving, and he explicates the paradoxes of his community well. Light on the prescriptive, Hillbilly Elegy invites a sequel, but it seems eager readers will need to content themselves with a Vance senate bid. In spite of her hearty recommendation Sarah does have one gripe with Vance: his handling of the Obama birther movement. Vance asserts that the working class questioned whether Obama was born in the United States because they resented his ability to transcend his impoverished birth, but this seems a little dismissive. After all, why did it take the president three years to produce a birth certificate, and why was it in pdf format?
One of Sarah’s friends bought a Kindle Fire and used it to read Cole and Sav Labrant’s memoir. Which is okay but why would a person do that.
“The Girl Who Lost Things” by George MacDonald
There was a girl that lost things—
Nor only from her hand;
She lost, indeed—why, most things,
As if they had been sand!
She said, "But I must use them,
And can't look after all!
Indeed I did not lose them,
I only let them fall!"
That's how she lost her thimble,
It fell upon the floor:
Her eyes were very nimble
But she never saw it more.
And then she lost her dolly,
Her very doll of all!
That loss was far from jolly,
But worse things did befall.
She lost a ring of pearls
With a ruby in them set;
But the dearest girl of girls
Cried only, did not fret.
And then she lost her robin;
Ah, that was sorrow dire!
He hopped along, and—bob in—
Hopped bob into the fire!
And once she lost a kiss
As she came down the stair;
But that she did not miss,
For sure it was somewhere!
Just then she lost her heart too,
But did so well without it
She took that in good part too,
And said—not much about it.
But when she lost her health
She did feel rather poor,
Till in came loads of wealth
By quite another door!
And soon she lost a dimple
That was upon her cheek,
But that was very simple—
She was so thin and weak!
And then she lost her mother,
And thought that she was dead;
Sure there was not another
On whom to lay her head!
And then she lost her self—
But that she threw away;
And God upon his shelf
It carefully did lay.
And then she lost her sight,
And lost all hope to find it;
But a fountain-well of light
Came flashing up behind it.
At last she lost the world:
In a black and stormy wind
Away from her it whirled—
But the loss how could she mind?
For with it she lost her losses,
Her aching and her weeping,
Her pains and griefs and crosses,
And all things not worth keeping;
It left her with the lost things
Her heart had still been craving;
'Mong them she found—why, most things,
And all things worth the saving.
She found her precious mother,
Who not the least had died;
And then she found that other
Whose heart had hers inside.
And next she found the kiss
She lost upon the stair;
'Twas sweeter far, I guess,
For ripening in that air.
She found her self, all mended,
New-drest, and strong, and white;
She found her health, new-blended
With a radiant delight.
She found her little robin:
He made his wings go flap,
Came fluttering, and went bob in,
Went bob into her lap.
So, girls that cannot keep things,
Be patient till to-morrow;
And mind you don't beweep things
That are not worth such sorrow;
For the Father great of fathers,
Of mothers, girls, and boys,
In his arms his children gathers,
And sees to all their toys.
from The Gifts of the Child Christ
Amy saw Sarah make a cool decoration using dried-out flowers so now she is considering trying her hand at it. She will report back next time if anything comes of this idea.
Sarah made this. Mid.
Lexie is working on hand painting some glasses for her mom’s upcoming pop up shop. She imagines these glasses in a sweet bar cart of someone with exquisite taste. (Hopefully they’ll pour the superior Patron in them with some salt and lime.) She additionally, not necessarily a craft but is ruthlessly cutting out of style and fast fashion pieces in her closet. She will be reinventing her aesthetic and honing her personal Br&(brand.)
Gaby is craftily running old memes into the ground (see Exhortations).
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Old zoomer in need of spring shoe recommendations, for those days that are too warm for boots and too cold for sandals. She wants something not even vaguely reminiscent of a ballet flat. [Email WTGAR with subject: “Post Feet”]
Backwards baseball cap bro past his prime seeks girl at most two thirds of his age for dates, but nothing serious. Must permit adults wearing flip flops. [Email WTGAR with subject: “Flip Flopping Friends”]
Part-time writer, full-time artist seeks muse to adore. Medium includes sculpture, sketches, paintings, and performance art. Ingenue preferred, femme fatale acceptable. Cabaret, theater, or ballet experience + classical proportions are a must. Women with children need not apply. [Email WTGAR with subject: “High-Class Hussy”]
Local man seeks woman to carry and bear his heir
Nice Christian girl seeks nice Christian boy who is more liberal than her religious friends, and more religious than her liberal friends. [Email WTGAR with subject: Nice 🙂]
Buy pasta and flour! The War in Europe will impact food prices. With the fertilizer supply disrupted (Ukraine and Russia are major producers), American agriculture will jack up prices. The Girls are aware that the disruption of the Ukrainian wheat exports will impact the Middle East too.
Fill up your car with gasoline.
You need to be reading signs. You need to be praying for dreams. You need to be listening to vibes, gut feelings, premonitions. These people believe in coincidences. They don’t want you to recognize patterns.
Get a dog. (Puppy preferred. Cats acceptable.)
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