Friday Inspiration 432

If you’re of a certain age, or just remember the movie Swingers, here’s a fun mini-documentary about how Jon Favreau wrote and produced it (on a $250,000 budget!), and why it looks the way it does (video)

thumbnail from when an actor got dumped ... and decided to conquer hollywood


I referenced the Italian term “umarell” in the video I made about the shed I converted into an office for Hilary in 2022, since our neighbor Pat is essentially head umarell of our neighborhood. So when I read about the World Umarelling Championships announced by Scope of Work, I chuckled. But then I read the text of the announcement, and I think I have to agree: “The term might be used as light-hearted mockery, but I think more people ought to umarell. To umarell is to take an interest in the built environment – the environment that our species creates, and in which most of us spend most of our time.”

Many of these charts and illustrations are hilarious but I especially enjoyed the “My Creative Process” one because … it’s me, too.

Do you subscribe to this newsletter for chocolate chip cookie recipes? Probably not, but please allow me to share this one, using up one of my 10 gift links to New York Times articles for this month. I have eaten around 25 of these cookies in the past four months and I believe … I believe in these cookies. Literally everyone who has eaten one has said something along the lines of “Whoa, these ARE good.”

For reasons that will become obvious if you read the prologue to my new book that comes out next week, I loved this Eater piece on people who are unapologetic superfans of specific chain restaurants. Also, thanks to this story, I am now aware of the Whataburger Museum of Art, which is just a virtual museum, but is still pretty wonderful.

I think I missed this the first time Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell published it, but I had time to read it last week when it landed in my inbox, and it’s a really fun cartoon story about getting mail from her mom. One of my favorite quotes, which I have to agree with, having recently celebrated last week’s delivery of a postcard I mailed to our house from South Africa on November 30, 2023: “It’s a miracle any mail gets anywhere.”

This is kind of a long read, but kind of a fascinating exploration of fandom and taste, as well as an explanation of how Creed went from being a mega-successful post-grunge band, to experiencing a huge backlash to their success, to somehow gaining a new, younger audience of people who sometimes became fans despite feeling like they weren’t supposed to like Creed. For example, this quote: “I hated Creed. I thought they were terrible,” says Mike Hobey, who, at 28, is the oldest of the posse and therefore the one who possesses the clearest recollection of Creed’s long, strange journey toward absolution. “But then I started listening to them ironically. And I was like, Oh, shit, I like them now.” [Note: This is not a personal endorsement of Creed, a band I am unable to ever have any relationship with, as a result of an incident in 2000-ish in which a couple friends and I went to happy hour at a bar that we forgot had karaoke on Saturday evenings, and we were subjected to three different renditions of “With Arms Wide Open” in less than 60 minutes. No offense to anyone who likes Creed.]

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