In the age of Marie Kondo’s imperative to declutter, downsizing is starting to look a lot more glamorous. Some of us content ourselves with throwing out old socks that no longer “spark joy” within us. For the more ambitious, the desire to live minimally goes beyond belongings. For some, it’s not just about cleaning your house, but about getting rid of your house, too.
Enter the tiny house, pint-sized dwellings that vary in size and design, but tend to take up less than 500 square feet of space. They’re typically built on a wheeled trailer, as if the love child of a mobile home and an RV dressed up in the trappings of a high-end Brooklyn coffee shop. They have a minimal carbon footprint, requiring fewer raw materials to build and less energy to power and heat, and compared to a mortgage for a traditional house, they're a bargain. They're mobile, ideal for people who suffer from wanderlust but still want to own a home. They're easy to customize, and plenty of people who don't have construction experience find themselves capable of building one on their own.
You know what would have been a great TV show? “Homeland” if it ended after the first season. Just: fade to black, never find out if Brody detonated or not, the end! It would have been a nice echo of the last episode of “The Sopranos,” which is probably the last show that should have been allowed to have many seasons. Instead, we have a dead Brody, Carrie has a baby, and did you know that Homeland is still on television? Yeah, we’re about to hit Season 6 and renewal for 7 and 8 is around the corner.
“True Detective” should never have made a second season. This is an indisputable fact. “UnREAL” could have stopped after Season 1 just fine, and then we wouldn’t have had to be worried about how crazy Season 2 got. (Also, I know it’s a podcast but there’s no way Serial is ever going to live up to the hot mess that is the Hae Min Lee murder: a perfect crime for a true crime series because it happened in the ’90s when we knew a lot but still not enough. You used to be able to get away with murder, you know, and that was the inflection point, I’m convinced. Another post for another day.)
I thought quite a lot about what normal is and isn’t as I was reading “The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood,” Belle Boggs’s thoughtful meditation on childlessness, childbearing, and — for some — the stretch of liminal agony in between. Her book is a corrective and a tonic, a primer and a dispeller of myths. It is likely to become a go-to guide for the many couples who discover that having children is not the no-assembly-required experience they were expecting. They will come away enlightened, reassured and comforted by her debunker mentality.
Hot chicken was a dish created for the express purpose of bringing a man to his knees. Its origin myth wasn’t the result of a mistake, like chocolate chip cookies, Coca-Cola, or the French dip sandwich. Hot chicken was premeditated; to this day, every bite of Nashville hot chicken is touched by the spectral presence of a betrayed lover.
The story remains such a foundational part of hot chicken’s allure that it bears repeating (and, frankly, it never gets old): Back in the 1930s, there was a man named Thornton Prince, who had a reputation around town as a serial philanderer. His girlfriend at the time, sick of his shit and spending her nights alone, decided to do something about it. After a long night out, Prince came home to breakfast. His girlfriend made fried chicken, his favorite. But before serving it, she caked on the most volatile spices she had in the pantry — presumably cayenne pepper and mustard seed, among other things. If it didn’t kill him, at least he would reevaluate his life choices. He didn’t do either — Prince fell harder for the over-spiced piece of chicken than he did for any woman he’d ever courted. Prince implored her to make it for his family and friends — they all loved it, too.
Goodbye, summer. Goodbye, multiple showers we’ve taken due to midnight walks in a month-long heat wave, when there’s no sun to heat the concrete beneath our flip-flops with toe posts forever popping out of place, our walks long and sweaty-palmed, melding our hands into one another’s, the stifling night forging something new and dangerous when you’d stop me mid-sentence, mid-step, to kiss, slightly unable to breathe, breathless.