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Summertime With A $99 Water Bottle [#120]
It was a gift! But dang, I love it. The brand can convince some folks to turn over EVEN MORE money for a "self-cleaning" cap.
Hi from Phoenix,
I’m spending week four of the 11-city #FlawlessTheBook tour on the surface of the sun. Jk jk, Arizona is not THAT hot right now. I’ve just been busily eating my way through these cities and celebrating mini-reunions with surprise guests at the book events. People like my onetime therapist, my high school prom date, and even my tax accountant(!) who I’d never met in person.
“Hydration is happiness,” as a ballet dancer/server at the Seattle restaurant Marjorie once told me, and to prevent mid-afternoon headaches I have to drink a lot of water. So the MVProduct of this tour has been a crazily priced Larq water bottle, a gift to attendees of TED this spring. Meanwhile, the MVPeople of the tour are Rob (I couldn’t ask for a more good-natured human by my side) and my mom — who didn’t get to attend a single book talk. She’s been at home in LA helping the girls get through the final weeks of school and all their prep for recitals, presentations and final sports matches as I’ve gallivanted around the country.
How African immigrants are changing Texas barbecue for the better. The night before publication day, we ate at a dosa place that advertises itself as “the #1 Indian Vegetarian” restaurant in New York, and it turns out there’s a fascinating fratricidal history to the place (ht Friend Pamela). The Unabomber (who died in prison over the weekend) is enjoying cultlike support for his old ideas. The beautiful chaos of the Notes app. (I prefer SimpleNote, so just putting in a plug while we’re on the topic.) Plastic bottles harm human life at every stage of their life cycle, which ties into the epic waste of plastic-bottled beauty products, too. “Ozempic isn’t a wonder drug. Its popularity is a manifestation of a dangerous and pervasive message.” (h/t)
Werk Werk Werk
It turns out after you write a book you can write more on the topic covered by the book! Here’s a selection: For Slate, on the way South Korea made “medical tourism” a project of the state. For WIRED, an excerpt on how digital technology is flattening beauty standards into an impossible global norm. For The Atlantic, on how I’m parenting in this pervasive beauty culture. Interviews with podcasts and press that I enjoyed are in the Flawless insider newsletter, if you want to check it out.
Given all the meals with friends, I am thinking about doing a Flawless Book Tour “food guide” that lists the yummy places and dishes I ate when I was briefly in various cities. Featuring the dosa place in New York, the best pork chop in Austin, an affordable pasta place in Seattle, and the incredible Long Beach Japanese caterer. Would that be of interest?
Watching and/or Listening
Film: Past Lives. HOLY COW this packs an emotional wallop. Please go see it if it is in a city near you. So worth it. Can’t wait for you to see it so we can talk about it.
Audiobook: I Have Some Questions For You, written by Rebecca Makkai, narrated by Julia Whelan. It took me a bit to get into this since it was yet another book centering a relatively wealthy white lady in New Hampshire (my second one this year) but now I’m IN IT.
I’m now out of TV to watch because Succession is over and so is Ted Lasso (which I stuck with despite a languorous third season). Leave your recommendations in the comments or send me a note.
OK, onward with the final four cities of the tour. Talk again soon!
PS. THANK Y’ALL SO MUCH for reading, subscribing and just being a friend for a while. If you haven’t gotten your copy of my book yet, there are about 20 signed copies left at LA’s Skylight Books, which ships anywhere. Get yourself one and support an independent bookseller :).