This & That: April 17, 2020

Apr 17, 2020

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Oodles of television series to watch, discover and enjoy; a book on philosophy tailored for you, the individual critical thinker; an older, but most-wortwhile film starring Annette Bening; a new art exhibit that is open now to everyone around the globe; impressive clothing sales and much, much more.

Art Exhibits

—Degas at the Opéra at the Washington D.C. National Art Gallery, virtual tour

A long anticipated exhibit was set to open in Washington D.C. showcasing Impressionist and Realist French painter Edgar Degas’s fascination with the Opéra, and with only two weeks for the public to see it, the gallery was forced to close its doors temporarily as we make our way through the current situation. So what to do? Bring it to the people via a virtual tour. And that is exactly what they did.

The Musée d’Orsay first hosted this temporary exhibit last fall through this past January, organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, and now everyone around the world can enjoy a virtual tour through the rooms and view the paintings and get to know the artist. Click the link above to begin.


On Being Me: A Personal Invitation to Philosophy by J. David Velleman

Having read The Daily Stoic, my attention was immediately captured with the recent release of On Being Me: A Personal Invitation to Philosophy. Illustrated by the New Yorker contributing artist Emily Bernstein, J. David Velleman, a moral philosopher, shares his new book which “presents a concise, accessible, and intimate exploration into subjects that we care deeply about, offering compelling insights into what it means to be human”.

Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing and Underliving by Celeste Headlee

The release of award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee new book is serendipitious to say the least, and I cannot wait to read it. Highly recommended by Elizabeth Gilbert and Adam Grant, successful writers in their own rights, Headlee “illuminates a new path ahead, seeking to institute a global shift in our thinking so we can stop sabotaging our well-being, put work aside, and start living instead of doing. As it turns out, we’re searching for external solutions to an internal problem. We won’t find what we’re searching for in punishing diets, productivity apps, or the latest self-improvement schemes. Yet all is not lost—we just need to learn how to take time for ourselves, without agenda or profit, and redefine what is truly worthwhile”.

The Second Chance Supper Club by Nicole Meier

Released last September, The Second Chance Supper Club involves two estranged sisters, a secret supper club in Arizona and a possible reunion. Hmmm, sounds most entertaining.

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell

If you enjoy history and learning about what was not written in the pages of your classroom history textbook, you may want to pick up A Woman of No Importance. In 1942, Virginia Hall was so threatening as her role being an Allied spy, the Gestapo wanted her captured and killed. “A Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill’s ‘Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.’ She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and–despite her prosthetic leg–helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.”


Footed Terra-Cotta Planters

Classic, timeless, simple and beautiful.


Being Julia (an old film, but a good one you may have missed)

One of my favorite follows on Instagram is @yolorenzo, and upon his recommendation of the film Being Julia starring Annette Bening, alongside Jeremy Irons and Endeavor star Shaun Evans, I took a look. Released nearly 20 years ago, I never saw it then, but sure do not know why. It looks delightful. Have a look at the trailer below, and watch it on Amazon Prime or HBO.


Vintage French Stoneware

New to Food52 are these beautiful vintage French stoneware pieces of varying styles, sizes and functions. Peruse and find exactly what you are looking for.


Equipment, 40% off site-wide sale

The sales continue as the spring stock needs to be purchased and brick-and-mortar stores are closed. Equipment is one of my affordable mid-range luxury go-to brands for cashmere sweaters and silk blouses. Use promo code SAVEMORE40 to do just that – save 40% site-wide.

Joie, 40% off sale

Similarly, Joie is also offering a sale too. Use promo code SAVEMORE40.

Thakoon Hooded Trench Coat, Khaki

A classic trench, plus a hood. Perfection! No umbrella needed and one can always remain dry in total.


All Rise

I have waited far too long to share with you a drama series that I have enjoyed since it premiered in September. I did share my interest in a monthly Saturday Ponderings post, but it deserves as well to be included in a weekly This & That post. Simone Missick stars as Lola Carmichael, the leading role and newly appointed district judge in Los Angeles. Each episode strives and succeeds in offering empathy and a broader perspective on the people behind the bench as well as those whose lives unwantingly appear before the bench to face trial. Have a look at the trailer below and look for a few more new episodes this season, even one virtually produced to bring the show to viewers as we all stay at home. I do hope this show is renewed for next season.

Mrs. America, on Hulu

Okay, a constroversial conservative figure in American history, let alone Women’s History here in the states, Phyllis Stewart Schlafly effectively killed the federal ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) Amendment in its tracks in the 1970s. Admitting in a recent interview without hesitation that the only thing the two may have in common is their ability to be multi-dimensional, Blanchette’s performance is receiving acclaimed applause. But the nine part limited series on Hulu is not just a bio-pic on Schlafly, it also stars Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem who struggles to play politics at the DNC and shies away from the “poster girl” they want her to be solely for her looks, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm who makes a historic run for president only to be told to hold the party line and not cause too much disruption, Elizabeth Banks as Jill Ruckelshaus, Ari Graynor as Brenda Feigen-Fasteau, and Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan.

I was curious to see how this history of America would be told, but after listening to NPR’s review, it appears it will be insightful look into the power of . . . well, I’ll let you make up your own mind about a series that Time raved, “is 2020’s Best Show to Date“. Have a look at the trailer below and start streaming episodes now (the series began on April 15th).


Another new television series I am regrettably tardy to share with you, but have been thoroughly enjoying since its premiere in early February is Tommy. Starring Edie Falco as Los Angeles’ new Chief of Police, Falco brings two underrepresented groups to the highest police authority position in the city – being female and gay. The storylines don’t end in blood and gore but rather speak to the humanity of a city’s citizens offering peaceful diplomatic resolution and difficult decision-making that often renders positive results. I appreciate immensely the shift in story-telling when it comes to dramas, and you might as well. New episodes are still airing each Thursday night on CBS. Have a look at the original trailer below.

~recipe for Coconut and Lime Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Caramel~

A week of bringing change to the yard, a week of meeting my neighbors for a light-hearted chat and get-to-know-each-other and a week of just reveling in Mother Nature as it goes about its business of blooming and growing into the spring season.

As you may have guessed, I am finding great comfort in toodling about in my yard. While I will check in on the news now only once a day, it is powerful on my mood, but as soon as I begin transplanting my seeds, watering the plants, digging up weeds or sitting down to plan what plants I would like to welcome into the yard, my mood lifts. No matter how much of a yard or whether you have one at all and choose to welcome a few pots for your window sill, seeing growth can only help but boost our spirits.

I never suspected I would enjoy being a cultivator in the dirt as much as I have, but with Monty Don’s inspiration each time I watch a new-to-me episode of Gardener’s World I am taught something new as well am reminded that our gardens have a lot to teach us about living well.

Below is a handful and more of articles you might enjoy reading in the days ahead. I so appreciate your taking the time to stop by TSLL today and wish you a lovely weekend. Until Monday, bonne journée.

~How to Get a Life and Live it To the Fullest [Lifehack]

~Gardeners – The English Garden magazine is sharing their 30 Day Garden Challenge amongst which you will learn detailed skills such as how to take cuttings and much more.

~10 Essential Cookbooks to Get You Through Sheltering in Place [Eater]

~Good news was announced with week as the annual British Chelsea Flower Show will still be able to be enjoyed – virtually!

~The Case for Idleness [Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper newsletter]

~A simple tutorial – How to Make Your Own Mask without Having to Sew Anything

~When Jacques Pépin Made All the World an Omelette [Taste]

~Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Fractured Fairy Tale [The New Yorker]

~More British royalty reading . . . Princess Anne’s Opens Up About Her Lifetime as a Royal [Vanity Fair]

~Travel Podcasts to Enjoy [The New York Times]

~If you have been having Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting, you might appreciate this video tutorial – How to Look Your Best on Zoom, Skype, Facetime, etc. [Hot and Flashy]

~In Praise of Quarantine Clapping [The New York Times]

~Filmmaker Nancy Meyers shared with Vogue 8 Feel-Good Movies You Need to Watch Right Now (I absolutely love #7, along with many of the others)

~Bréne Brown recently shared the difference between vulnerability and over-sharing on 60 Minutes

17 thoughts on “This & That: April 17, 2020

  1. Fantastic round-up this week, Shannon! I’m really enjoying “Tommy” as well – Falco does a terrific job with the role. In fact everyone in the cast adds all sorts of nuance to their individual characters, even the baddies. My tolerance for American cop dramas is pretty low — we just don’t have the same love affair with guns & violence here in Canada — but Tommy is a pleasant change. Another one you might enjoy is “The Rookie”, starring (Canadian, from Edmonton) actor Nathan Fillion. Again, there’s a lot of nuance & depth to the characters, which elevates it above the usual. Now, back to your post & all that linky goodness . . . .

    1. Janet, thank you for sharing what you have been enjoying about the series. I too have a low tolerance, so was skeptical about a traditional prime time tv channel doing anything different, but was pleasantly surprised. And you are right, each character offers unique, diverse nuances which is greatly welcome. Thank you for the additional recommendation. I had heard about this show, but shied away for the reasons we are discussing. I may give it a try now. Thanks again.

  2. I had the pleasure of seeing Degas at the Opera twice before the museum closed, and it was a wonder. Seconding the online tour!

    1. Meg, Thank you for sharing! So happy to hear you were able to experience it in person. I know I will be enjoying my “tour” this weekend. Perhaps with a glass of wine. 😉

  3. I am so glad you recognized both All Rise and Tommy. They are both extraordinary and I feel in love with both at first view. I have to get away from the news right now as it makes me ill to think we are reopening the country with so little science to back it up, especially as a life long New Yorker living now in florida.. So keep those recommendations coming as Im going to be spending more time at home, until I have some science based assurance that it is safe to go back out. I loved, loved your virtual walks with Norman. They were a balm to my soul. I don’t know how you do it, teach, and do such a fabulous blog. It is the highlight of my week!!

  4. I have thought if you several times over the last couple if weeks. I have truly missed your podcast during your scheduled spring break and hope you and your students are surviving and working through the current challenges. I’m sure everyone will do amazing with their AP testing. I hope you are doing well and wanted to let you know that you are missed.

    1. Thank you for your understanding of this scheduled break. We are doing our best, and I am thankful they are still giving the students the opportunity to earn credit for their year of hard work. One month the go and the show will be back with a brand new episode!

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