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Cigarette Grandma Summer Links and Recs

I’m heading out for a summer vacation with my fam and wanted to leave you with a few of my favorite links and recommendations while I’m offline. If your mind needs a break from work, have no fear, nothing on this list is animal-related!


To Watch:

The Bear

The family dinner episode in Season Two is one of the best hours of TV I’ve ever watched. And if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant (or maybe even if you haven’t), you’ll get a lil’ bump of adrenaline as you watch the crew work the line. 



Because Idris Elba. 


Reservation Dogs

Because Dallas Goldtooth. 


To Read: 

Fiction: Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

I read this novella in one sitting. Every page of this short book moved me deeply and the ending was so satisfying. I keep trying to sum it up for you, but I can’t so here’s the blurb:

“It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery that forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.”

I know that doesn’t exactly sound like a compelling read. Still, the experience of being in Bill’s mind as he navigates a difficult decision while simultaneously savoring the small things of his family life was a joy. 


Non-fiction: Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Public Health Threat by Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, and Julian Walker

I listened to this book and was slackjawed for hours at a time. If you’re curious about how yoga teachers became QAnon converts during the pandemic and you aren’t afraid to find out just how many Americans believe that space lizards have hijacked our planet, then this one is for you. Your jaw will be on the floor too (I hope?). 


To Wear:

The Carley Wide-Leg Pant in Softdrape

I’ve been living in these Madewell pants for the past few (very humid) weeks. I tried on a dozen pairs of wide-leg pull-on pants this summer; these were the only ones that truly fit my body (extra short and curvy). 


To Listen: 

The French Whisperer

If you need a little help falling asleep at night AND you like learning about mushrooms, mythology, and history at the same time, check out these ASMR stories. I’m not a fan of ASMR - generally, those sound triggers make my skin crawl - but this guy’s voice hits the right spot in my brain to help me drift off to sleep. You can listen anywhere, but here’s a link to one of my favorite nighttime playlists.


To Drink:

Culture Pop Soda: Watermelon & Lime

I stumbled on this ridiculously expensive soda one hot day this summer and now I grab a can whenever I see it. It’s like drinking a watermelon jolly rancher, only it won’t get stuck in your teeth and it’s good for your gut. 


A Few Links:

  • Sometimes when my brain needs a break from how complicated life is, I just zone out on Go Fug Yourself and check out actors on the picket line. Don’t ask me why I like it, but there’s just something about the labor movement and celebrity gossip intersecting that makes my tired brain happy. Perhaps you too will enjoy seeing Jack Black striking in a cosmic kitten t-shirt!
  • I’m just living my life, trying to squeeze in a little Cigarette Grandma Summer before September gets here.
  • Cranky Patti tells it like it is and we all need to listen: Do feel free to have an unexpressed thought.
  • You would be happier living closer to your friends (and why that can be hard to do) from Anne Helen Peterson. I rarely go near a comments section, but these are worth reading.
  • Sworn to fun, loyal to none: Did you know that gangs used to have business cards? In the early 90s, my 14-year-old friends and I also had business cards. Our stated occupations? Jokers, smokers, and midnight tokers. Natch. 
  • Just trust me.



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