Design

Four Fun Things

Killing Eve Season One

Have you seen Killing Eve? Sandra Oh plays a spy chasing an international assassin. It has twisty plots, plenty of action and cliffhangers galore. Best of all, both the lead and the villain are women — fascinating, flawed and likable as can be. The series was created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, of Fleabag fame. “There was a [casting] meeting at one point where someone actually said, ‘We can’t have too many women,’ meaning it will look unbelievable,” says Waller-Bridge. “I was like, ‘What the f— are you talking about?’ Not if it’s written well and shot well.” (Disclaimer: The first episode is a little slow while they set the stage, but once you get into it, it really picks up.)

The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky

My current read, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky, feels slightly reminiscent of a young Lorrie Moore (which, to me, is the highest possible praise). The book follows Leda, whom we meet as a college student in Boston, as she chases her dream of being a writer, dates inappropriate people, and ultimately, becomes a wife and mother. Over multiple decades, Leda grapples with friendship, dating, heartbreak, parenthood and loss, and her observations are consistently funny and sharp.

How to Be Calm

Here’s a tip from perennial genius Brené Brown: “Calm people are breathers. They breathe and ask questions.” She then demonstrates how, upon hearing news, she trained herself to stop and inhale. Then, she listens to all the information and asks follow-up questions to determine whether the situation is actually worth freaking out over. Noted.

Chrysocolla

So, lately, I’ve taken to carrying around this bluish-greenish stone. It’s a Chrysocolla, and if you believe in meanings behind crystals, it’s revered as a healing stone, used for clearing negative thought patterns. Apparently, it’s also a motivator to turn your ambitions into reality. I KNOW HOW THIS SOUNDS, BUT BEAR WITH ME. Who among us couldn’t use a reminder to follow our truth? Who couldn’t use some gentle encouragement… even if it’s coming from a rock? I leave you with this: the placebo effect is real. And sometimes, having a reminder is just as good as magic.

P.S. The best new podcast of 2018, and five words that changed everything.

(Fox photo by Roeselien Raimond.)

  1. Sarah Castonguay says...

    I love Killing Eve but I think it’s because the show allows Jodie and Sandra to create characters we have not seen before. I love the complexity and can’t wait for Season 2.
    Caroline – Do you watch the Bold Type? It is a guilty summer pleasure and one that I think you would enjoy.

  2. Jeannie says...

    Ever since I was a girl, I’ve LOVED stones, too! But I recently have been learning about the highly unethical and dangerous mining practices used for most crystals and stones around the globe, harming the local environmental AND the workers :-( I urge Cup of Jo staff to spread the word about buying responsibly sourced stones (I know, it’s easier said than done, but necessary)!

  3. Amy H says...

    I was casually scrolling through my favorite blog when I caught the rock comment and had to pop back up to the top to check the byline bc I immediately knew it was a Caroline post. Just wanted to let you know how much I love your voice back on the blog!! Woot!!

  4. Cora says...

    I need that rock in my life right now.

  5. Katie H. says...

    Really enjoyed Killing Eve! I’m surprised more people haven’t seen it. Only 8 episodes. It’s a really easy one to binge.

  6. melissa says...

    stone carrier here! recently had my toddler hold a rose quartz stone for a moment and literally two minutes later he stood up by himself for the first time. when i hold stones i feel the energy and healing power. maybe i’m crazy but i love it.

  7. I’m curious what “I know how this sounds” means? I use crystals fully for healing, love, protection, etc. and it’s lovely. Are people judged for using crystals and stones?
    My son has some, I gift them to relatives and co-workers. I have them all around my home.

    How does that sound? (just curious.)

  8. JP says...

    Caroline, never leave (again).

  9. I luuuuv Killing Eve, this is such a fun show to watch ! I have always been a big fan of Sandra Oh, both actresses are absolutely amazing.
    And I am really into crystals so I will definitely try this one :) Since you mentioned the placebo effect, have you read the book Cure by Jo Marchant ? This is an fascinating study of the power of the mind over the body. Mind-blowing !

  10. alice says...

    I really want to and will see Killing Eve: it looks brilliant, good friends love it, and I adore Sandra Oh BUT am I the only one here who is not mad on Fleabag? I only got half way through season 1. I also saw it staged at the Edinburgh festival last year, and that didn’t grab me either. Though PWB was there at the theatre and had such a powerful, stunning, presence. And I
    love that quote about women on screen though.

    On rocks – my 4 year old has a couple in every coat pocket. You know he likes a place when he reaches down, chooses a rock, and slides it into his pocket to add to his collection later. My house is full of them!

    Caroline, love seeing you here often, again. Please stay, you brighten and enrich our days :)

    • Madelaine says...

      This made me laugh, because my almost-four-year-old collects rocks wherever she goes, too. I have to limit her to one per place :)

  11. Kristy says...

    I’ve wanted to get into crystals, even for the placebo effect. But the problem is the promises all seem too general and every single rock seems to apply. Doesn’t everyone always want love and luck and courage success and and to be rid of toxic energy?

  12. Micaela says...

    All great things. I especially love the fourth mention, and appreciate your effort in putting it out there. Sometimes we need a rock or stone to ground us in our true selves with our truest desires, a paper weight for people.

    The message behind it also reminded me a bit of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, in terms of having the courage to live our truth, or, at the very least, to wish for it until it is revealed. I’ve been going through this book lately (but in very cheat fashion, skipping morning pages and reading the chapters/doing the tasks at my own pace) and find that there is something quite real about the effect of sitting down and imagining alternate realities as a way to stimulate the possibility of becoming unstuck, and of stepping into the skin of my ‘true’ self, whatever she looks like. I hope I come to know the reality of my own ambitions, either with a rock in hand, or a book read cover to cover.

    Also – re Brene Brown – I seriously recommend a listen to her audio on Men, Women and Worthiness.

    Thanks!

  13. Erin says...

    Your bit about the crystal reminded me of a line at the end of Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society when Isola says something like, “Sure, if you like being goaded by a piece of rock.”

    • Anne Pigula says...

      One of my favorite books!! So lovely and sweet

  14. Julie says...

    Not at all a “woo woo” person for the most part, but a friend was talking about lapis lazuli as protection from envy and bad energy. On a whim, because I have some high-stakes life steps coming up, I bought a pair of small lapis stud earrings and you know what? I’ve really enjoyed having them there, hanging out quietly on either side of my head, day in and day out, for a month now. Placebo effect or whatever, it definitely reminds me to shake off negativity. I touch them several times a day.

  15. Anna says...

    love it all. the breath and question resonated with me in this season of my life. Rock on Caroline! I also have to say I have found smudging with sage to be very helpful…my daughter and husband totally get down with it too ;)

  16. Esther says...

    I AM ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH KILLING EVE! I haven’t watched a TV show in so long, and this one has me obsessed. I gasped when I saw you mentioning it. Sandra Oh is exquisite in every possible way breathing so much life into her characters – I have missed seeing her performances so. Jodie Comer is excellent! The show is amazing, and I cannot recommend it enough.

  17. Claire says...

    Rock on, stone lady! If it works, it works.
    :)

  18. Louise says...

    For anyone looking to learn how to breathe (who knew one needed to learn how to breathe???) I highly recommend the Art of Living Foundation’s Happiness Program. Totally changed the game for me. I can happily say that I’m a breather now. :)

  19. Olivia says...

    That fox is adorable. I love it.

  20. Abbie says...

    Caroline, you are a delight.

  21. Elis says...

    I am having such an awful day and my best friend won’t pick up the phone, so I decided to reach out to my second best friend (that is how I call a Cup of Jo when talking to my husband)… I wish I had that stone, or at least knew how to breath properly before loosing it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, elis!!!! sending you the biggest hug!!! i’m sorry you’re having such a terrible day, that’s the worst. even just five slow, deep breaths in a row sometimes help a little bit. xoxoxoxo

    • sasha says...

      Hugs Elis.

    • Claire says...

      So sorry to read this. Hope things ease up soon. Kind of a low day here too. I am coping by baking a cake.

  22. KSM says...

    Calm people are Breathers……oh YES to this…a thousand yeses!!! As a high anxiety and hyper person, I learned the art of breathing over past 4 years..practicing it every time I open my mouth to talk to my husband (coz someone wisely said, change starts at home :)).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, breathing makes a remarkable difference for such a simple thing! when my boys are getting worked up/meltdown-y, sometimes i’ll say, let’s take 5 yoga breaths, and we do these slow super deep breaths together and i feel us all mellow out (at least for a moment!). :)

    • Kara says...

      I do this with my son, too, though when I started about half the time it resulted in “NO, no deep breaths, mama!!!” ? Lately however, half the time he starts his deep breaths before I can mention it. This parenting thing works sometimes, eh?

    • Gen says...

      A friend is a school counselor and she has what she calls a “breathing ball” – one of those rainbow plastic sphere things that folds up really small and expands (https://goo.gl/images/kAsqnf). She has a kid hold it, and as they breathe in and out, they expand and contract the ball. Having something to represent breath with their external body (vs. just lungs) is perhaps unsurprisingly really useful with the littles. We don’t have one of those balls but just the kinds having seen it helps them put their hands around an imaginary one when we need to breathe together to calm down.

  23. Rose says...

    Another book recommendation: Fresh Water by Akwaeke Emezi. Amazing story that hit so many right spots!

    • nadine says...

      Oh i just came home from the bookstore and was about to buy it. I’ll need to go back, thanks for the recommandation!

  24. Jen says...

    Killing Eve and everything PWB does is fantastic. I’m as much obsessed with PWB as Villanelle is with Eve (and vice versa. ha!). I’ve already watched Fleabag 3 times through and can’t wait for season 2 to arrive sometime in 2019.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m watching fleabag for the second time right now, and i’m in LOVE with PWB.

  25. ximena says...

    oh I want to know more about crystals!

  26. I’ll one up you on the woo woo factor… I recently went for an Akashic Records reading and the lady who did it (who side note seemed so cool and fun and chill and awesome and I wanna be friends with her but she lives in Oakland, CA) recommended a few crystals that I should get and one of them was chrysocolla. At first I was like, “Wait what, Chris Cola? Do I drink that?” And I actually haven’t gotten around to getting one, but now that I’m reading about it here I’m taking it as a reminder from the universe.

  27. Ro says...

    Yess, I love carrying around rocks even though they probably don’t do anything ;) I keep a pretty chunk of amethyst in my coat pocket. Apparently it helps get rid of negative energy and anxiety, so I’m all about it.

  28. aga says...

    I’m with you, Caroline. I carry a little Tiger’s Eye stone with me to channel Durga.
    Even though I (almost) always do really well, I get REALLY nervous and anxious for days ahead of presentations and meetings, so I like to have it in my pocket. The reminder is indeed magic.

    Thanks for introducing me to Killing Eve! I love Sandra Oh! I just finished Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) and it was AMAZING! The best thing I’ve seen on netflix i think. Highly recommended!

  29. Caroline — did you buy your Chrysocolla on Amazon? Yours is SO BEAUTIFUL but I would be worried about ordering from Amazon and getting something sort of lackluster looking, or not the real thing… Any thoughts or suggestions for other resources would be lovely. :)

    On that note, I’m honestly not a believer in the “healing power” of crystals, but I *am* a believer in the healing power of good ol’ healthy reminders. My thought patterns have not been the best recently, and I’m on a mission to establish simple, tangible nudges towards bettering my relationship to myself.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      This particular crystal came from Namaste Bookshop on 14th Street in Manhattan. There’s also a pretty wide selection on Etsy.

      That said, I have ordered a crystal from Amazon before, but it was a selenite sphere, where the shape and color left little doubt about what it would look like in person. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence, but here we are. :)

    • Do you just carry it around in your pocket/purse?

  30. Rue says...

    Ohh, I love anything that can be compared to Lorrie Moore! Adding this book to the list!

    I’m a geologist and I don’t find any of the crystal healing stuff personally meaningful. At the same time, I think anything that gets people interested in minerals, with a chance to really examine them up close, is a good thing. Minerals have lots of personal meaning for me because I spend so much time researching them. It makes me happy if other people find meaning in them, too. My favorites are garnet and kyanite, for anyone who’s curious :)

    • francine says...

      A very interesting book about how gemstones work energetically is,
      The Wisdom of the Gemstone Guardians, by Michael Katz. It is out there and probably unrelatable for a scientist but it will give you a basic understanding of the principles.

  31. Leah says...

    Jo, I love how open and positive you are to life, been looking to your blog for many years for the beauty, funny, commonsense, and poignent, and always with a humble vibe. You bring a good community together, which is what we so need these days.

  32. Eloise says...

    You had me at “reminiscent of a young Lorrie Moore!”

  33. Heather says...

    I like your voice Caroline. You are fun to read.

    • Nicole W. says...

      I concur hardheartedly! Caroline – your love for literature, language, and LIFE come through beautifully in your words and images. I feel lucky to get to “know” you through A Cup of Jo!

  34. Chrysocolla is also wise women stone! It’s mean to empower your feminine energies and connect you the Goddess! Something also to note about crystals in general is they can carry energy, so don’t forget to cleanse them from time to time. I prefer cleansing them in the full moon (you just leave them out over night) but here are some you can wash or cleanse with other stone. Welcome to the witchy world Caroline!

    More info on Chrysocolla: https://dreaminggoddess.com/chrysocolla/

  35. Lauren E. says...

    I was on the fence about Killing Eve but I had NO IDEA it was created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge! I am 100% in. I’m obsessed with her and everything she does (if you haven’t already watched Crashing on Netflix – her weird and hilarious British dramedy – watch it right now).

    • MA says...

      100% agree! Want to check out Killing Eve now.
      I had little interest in seeing Solo but then heard PWB is the voice of Lando’s (Donald Glover) drone and now I have to see it. Loved Crashing. Also Fleabag.

    • Jessica says...

      Ah! I watched Fleabag based on a recommendation from COJ, I believe – and it was the best thing I think I’ve ever seen. Will check this out!

    • MA says...

      I meant DROID, not drone. hee hee! This just goes to show how much I really know about Star Wars.

  36. Emily says...

    *feverishly googles “Chrysocolla Canada”*

  37. Amanda says...

    I’ve been enjoying Killing Eve this month with a glass (or let’s be real, a bottle) of vinho verde and that soy sauce-butter hippie popcorn you posted about a while back from Food52. If that’s not self-care, I don’t know what is. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is BAE. #PhoeBAE

    • Gabrielle says...

      Wow. I couldn’t love and respect your self care plan more. #PhoeBAE forever.

    • KM says...

      Where can I stream Killing Eve?

    • Claire says...

      Looks like you can stream it on Amazon ($20 for the season), or stream it through BBC America, if you sign in with your cable provider. We don’t have cable at our house so hoping maybe it will be available through Netflix at some point.

  38. Emily says...

    I love Killing Eve! I hope the future of entertainment looks more like this. More complex, funny, terrifying female characters, please.

  39. Autumn says...

    I thought that crystal/stone was a crazy colored frog :)

  40. Kate says...

    Killing Eve has been my favorite thing on TV this year (aside from The Americans) and I will never, ever get enough of Jodie Comer’s facial expressions and accents and amazing wardrobe and highly entertaining ways of assassinating people. Can’t. Get. Enough. Sandra Oh is incredible, too. Gaahhh, this show!!

  41. Christine says...

    I am obsessed with Killing Eve! The finale just aired, and I felt sad finishing it. It’s exciting to watch – there are levels of complexity that I firmly believe are the result of womanly energy. What I want from women in media now is to feel less alone by seeing them be less polished. Sandra Oh comes across as a mess sometimes – awkwardly holding a coat, trying to quietly eat a croissant in one of those crinkly bags, needing to get a hotel razor because she forgot one and is wearing a sleeveless dress… it feels so validating and makes me root for her more. This show nails it, while still being an exhilarating spy drama. It’s absolutely worth watching and I’m certain that in a few months I’ll watch the whole thing again, feeling just as engaged as the first time.