Excellent sci-fi, a rap masterpiece, Thai krapow, and more.
Digest #28 - May 30th 2021
Hello wonderful readers,
(I wrote the below this morning - turns out it’s very hard to properly format this on my phone 😂 Had to get back to Atlanta and send from my laptop. Sorry for the delay, love y’all!)
As I prepare to hit send on this digest, I’m sipping coffee in Salem, Massachusetts (yes, that Salem with the ‘witch trials’). It’s the end of our ten-day family trip, and we are catching a flight back home to Atlanta from Boston in two hours.
We’ve driven up and the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, stopping in cute towns and eating lots of seafood. We were blessed with mostly sunshine, and had a lot of great hikes.
We also had some cringe-worthy travel moments that will make good memories later. Like accidentally stumbling into a literal “tick habitat” (as bad as it sounds), and getting turned away from our prepaid room at an inn because they don’t accept kids under seven…. despite that being written nowhere.
But overall it’s been a lot of fun. We learned a lot about travel with a little person, and about navigating the US in this late-COVID early-vaccinated transitional state.
If you’ve got any tips for toddler travel or other ideas for semi-COVID-safe getaways, or want any of mine, hit reply!
This book was so enthralling that I read the entire thing in a single sitting. It’s a brilliant kind of science fiction book that has a compelling plot and well-developed characters, but also crucially the science is on point. In simple terms without ruining much of anything, it’s about the many-worlds theory and explores inter-dimensional travel in a totally pared back and approachable way. If you nerd out on quantum physics, you won’t need to suspend your disbelief to enjoy this novel, it’s solid. If you don’t, you won’t get confused because the momentum carries the story extremely well. As far as novels go, this is a cinematic mental experience, tightly edited and each scene beautifully woven into the next. Pick up a copy if you see it! Only a matter of time before this is adapted as a film or a series.
I cannot get over this video. British-Nigerian rapper Little Simz deserves so much more attention and respect than she currently receives. Everything about this masterpiece of a music video exemplifies why. The visuals, the fire lyrics, the instrumentals… it is a masterclass in powerful modern hip-hop. Her new album is coming out on September 3rd and I am already way too excited. Even if this isn’t your genre, watch this clip and see if it convinces you just a little. This is special.
Pepper Teigen’s Krapow
I’m a fan of Chrissy Teigen (because why wouldn’t anyone be?) and that love has extended to her mum, Pepper, for years too. Her delicious Thai recipes have made their way into Chrissy’s wonderful cookbooks, but I still always find the intricate ingredient sourcing and prep process intimidating. When I saw that Omsom had released a krapow starter by Pepper, I leapt for joy! This is so yummy, and makes such a quick and easy dish when fried up with some ground meat (or veg), and served with rice. I’m going to buy a few more boxes incase they sell out.
The New Mutants
So this film got terrible reviews. Like, terrible. And I don’t get it at all. Compared to your typical X-Men/Marvel franchise output I love how pared back this film is. There are action scenes of course, but for the most part this film is about character development and plot, in a slow-building and elegant way. I became invested in all of the characters and genuinely cared about what was coming next. I love that it was all shot in one location with a fixed number of characters too. It was so refreshing for this genre, one that admittedly I love a whole lot, and I look forward to seeing what other films come out of this next generation of superhero films.
I really try to balance out these digests thematically, but I’ve been on holiday for ten days and instead of watching things we want to, we’ve watched a Netflix movie called Pets United that Leo loves literally about 40 times. So, I’m sharing another excellent sci-fi piece, a German Netflix original series I recently watched called Dark. It is one of the best written time travel narratives I’ve consumed, and I’m someone who picks apart plots for inconsistencies and any tiny elements that don’t make sense. There’s so much going on between characters and time periods, plus it jumps all over the place. But once you get into it, you will realize how well thought out the entire world is. The show is also incredibly well cast for past, present and future versions of the same characters. I loved it.
I am utterly distressed and disgusted by the discovery of 215 indigenous children’s bodies in a mass grave in Canada. Being Australian, first nations kids being ripped from their families, mistreated and killed is a horrific reality of the nation I’m from as well. It seems to come from the white settler-colonist playbook. Frankly, Justin Trudeau’s comment about this being “history” was also far beyond disappointing; it was enraging. The last residential school closed in 1996, but they want to act like that’s some bygone era? Right. Fellow settler-colonial nationals hear this: we all need to do so much better, right now. This TikTok video (shared as Instagram reel because I don’t use that app) articulates these views and more really clearly… please share.
I’ve been on vacation so my meme consumption is lower than usual… but this silly video of a dancing dog made me light up in a big beamy smile today. Maybe it will make you smile too.