Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

spring in Brooklyn by Latonya Yvette

What are you up to this weekend? This is the start of Toby’s birthday month, which he has planned with great fanfare. We are kicking it off with a piñata this weekend! Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

I am LOVING this funny, honest audiobook.

How yummy does this sandwich look?

Is it a vaccine side effect or have you just been alive for 40 years? Hahaha.

Brilliant.

A sexy springtime pick-me-up.

Can you see this optical illusion?

Shortbread, oh, how I love thee.

A great everyday shirt.

“I’m not languishing, I’m dormant.”

Why is perimenopause still a mystery? (New York Times)

Ted Lasso awakened lots of things in me.”

Plus two reader comments:

Says Jill on three women share their later-in-life accomplishments: “In 12 days I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree at the age of 54! That first sip of champagne that I take while watching my virtual graduation will be so so so sweet and delightful! I am so damn proud of myself! I DID IT!!”

Says Johanna on three women share their later-in-life accomplishments: “So many of the role models and stories I grew up carried an implicit message that ‘happily-ever-after’ should be achieved by around 28 (typically with marriage and a baby). It’s so limiting and a bit depressing! It’s inspiring to see examples of people continuing to lead rich, multi-layered lives full of growth and exploration. May we all be neither late bloomers nor early bloomers, but perennials.”

(Photo by LaTonya Yvette.)

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  1. Erin says...

    I just finished a fantastic book on perimenopause and menopause called Hormone Repair Manual by Lara Briden. She does such a good job of explaining the phases of perimenopause (who knew there were distinct phases?), what to potentially expect, and helpful interventions (supplements, diet, bioidentical hormone replacement). She also discusses ways we can keep our brains healthy and prevent heart disease, post-menopause.

    I’ve seriously felt like I was starting to go a little crazy over the past couple of years because I developed acute, free floating anxiety. I’ve talked to a number of friends my age and so many of them have the same anxiety. The book explains how, as we lose progesterone production, we make less of a neurosteroid hormone called allopregnanolone from it, which normally calms our brain. Cue: anxiety for no reason.

    My cycles have also gotten shorter and my periods, heavier, and my skin is newly reactive and picky. Now I know that all of this is just low progesterone coupled with rollercoasting estrogen (Lara calls it the “second puberty”).

    Lara would be a great expert to interview on perimenopause!

  2. Leigh says...

    Thank you for the perimenopause article.

  3. MJ says...

    I’ll be finishing up my Master’s next year at 39. My mom completed hers at 50. It’s never too late.

  4. Jessica says...

    Seriously, Ted Lasso is so good. (Especially the non-sitcom-formulaic Rebecca/Keeley friendship — love it.) The article made me want to re-watch Season 1 for the third time. Can’t wait for season 2!

  5. anonymous says...

    I’m a pretty loyal CoJ reader for the last ten years or so (!). One thing I’ve always loved about the site is its inclusion to people of all races, cultures, religions, etc. The last little while (two years or so maybe?) I’ve noticed the site fairly consistently promoting material that has either a covert or overt bias against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). The book linked here (“So Help Me Gosh”), for example, or Elna Baker a few weeks ago. Both are excellent writers and fun to listen to–but both also have an obvious bias against that church, its belief system, and its culture. I think some ability to laugh at oneself and the oddities of ones faith system is really important. But it remains that for those who are members of that church (myself included), our faith is a really important part of our worldview and cultural heritage. It seems incongruent with CoJ’s general paradigm to be so regularly posting stuff that which makes people of our faith feel marginalized and misunderstood. It would be very obviously inappropriate to post things of this nature about people who had left other faiths (for example, non practicing Muslims or Jews critiquing their former faiths). I guess my point here is just to say that people of all faiths and persuasions read this site–and usually love it!–but may perhaps feel marginalized or misunderstood here (as I sometimes do) and would appreciate a more fair or nuanced approach.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you so much for this note. I hear you. I definitely want to support people’s faiths as well as people who move away from faiths. We hope to do both. Maybe we will plan a post about religion coming up soon. I’d love to hear more about people’s belief systems and the important parts of their worldviews. Thank you so much. xo

    • Stella says...

      So ex-mos talking about their experience in the church is anti-LDS? They were members, it’s their personal experience and personal grievances with the church! You can’t deny that the church has hurt people, and them sharing their stories isn’t inherently anti-LDS.

  6. I have had three female gynecologists in NYC tell me that perimenopause is not a thing. It’s infuriating.

  7. Paige says...

    I love Toby’s enthusiasm and zest for life! We all should celebrate the whole birthday month :)

  8. Laurel says...

    Ted Lasso had a profound impact on me as well. Everyday I am choosing now to be curious, not judgemental. There are so many gems in the show about how to show kindness in the most unlikely situations, but also not being a doormat. It is the breath of fresh air we are all so desperate for. Brene Brown also loves it and interviewed Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt about writing the show on her podcast.
    I love TV. It’s my nightly wind down time so I don’t say this lightly: it’s my favourite show.

  9. Chelsea says...

    The Ted Lasso piece was SO good. I was so pleasantly surprised by the show. I loved what she wrote:

    “It is so much easier to be funny while being cynical. Everyone knows life sucks, it’s easy to get them onside by accessing that universal experience. To sneer and punch down and stand back from the world wrapped up in a sense of coolness that comes at the expense of everyone else and call that edgy. It is so much harder to stay funny while you’re being kind. In a show for adults. For cynical adults who are having a thoroughly rubbish time of it—and that was everyone in 2020. “

  10. JZ says...

    I cannot stop reading the vaccine side effects! It’s so nice to feel seen. Thank you for the laughs when so much on the internet makes me want to cry.

  11. What other audio books are you recommending? Looking for a list for our next long drive.

  12. Suzette says...

    “The start of Toby’s birthday month…” I love this. Happy early birthday Toby!!! I agree… have a full-on month of it, indeed! And perhaps when you get to my age (55), you’ll start from the month before too, piñata included. Makes absolute wonderful sense. Enjoy every second of it! xx

  13. Court says...

    Perennials!

  14. Nadine says...

    Note to self: don’t sit down next to The Kid Mero & try to draw! At least he’d be kind, tho. And I don’t remember if I knew about perimenopause brain before, but I’m gonna go with it ’cause it probably hasn’t been a year yet since my last period.

  15. Charlie says...

    100% on this last comment.
    While I would love to find myself the right partner and have children (and will) I don’t think people need to get married and have kids to be happy. I know so many strong, single women who have fun, go on adventures, and have lives full of love and family and laughter without either. They aren’t lacking. I think the myth of happily ever after being tied to mairraige and kids actually results in a lot of women experiencing the opposite: a rush into a partnership, sometimes with the wrong person, before they’ve had a chance to experience the world and grow into themselves. (Ourselves!) I know… I almost made this mistake. And I can now say, at 31, I am so glad I hit pause and gave time back to myself. My future is brighter for it. :)

    • H says...

      YES! Thank you for echoing the last comment, Charlie. We don’t hear enough empowering stories and comments like this.

    • AN says...

      @charlie, three super-interesting write-ups recently about various kinds of VERY committed relationships–NYT article yesterday about platonic friends recognizing their bond via marriage (From Best Friends to Platonic Spouses–my fave line: ‘I mean, isn’t the point to marry your best friend? So why can’t it be your literal best friend?’), two women writing a book about their bond (Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close), and a recent long article in the NewYorker called The Shape of Love–all point to an evolving definition of family and what the benefits and privileges afforded to such unions are, as well as the inverse. Cup of Jo, it’d be so interesting to shed some light on all the different ways “families” are made in our world these days, soliciting stories from readers on what “family” means to them!

  16. Lucy W says...

    “May we all be neither late bloomers nor early bloomers, but perennials.” Writing that one down!

    • Erin says...

      Yes, I want it on a t-shirt!

  17. K says...

    That sandwich does look delicious!

    And lol the vaccine or 40 article vaguely reminds me of when people talk about pregnancy cravings like, is baby really craving that or is cake just really yummy?

  18. B says...

    You can also just hover your mouse over any of the links and it shows what the url/site is on the bottom of the screen before opening it. If you’re unsure, don’t click it.

    • B says...

      Shoot. I hit reply to a specific comment and I am not sure why it didn’t apply. This was in response to the people who are mad about the NSFW link!

    • Amy says...

      It used to work on my computer, but that stopped a while back (I assumed intentionally but maybe not).

    • Brittany Olivieri Johnson says...

      I never knew this. Great tip! Thanks B!

  19. Celeste says...

    Shortbread and pickle sandwiches? To each their own! Ted Lasso’s on our watch list.

  20. Libbynan says...

    The most amazing woman I have ever known retired from a journalism career at 62 and promptly enrolled in law school. She practiced law until she was 94 and died a year later. It is, literally, NEVER too late.

    • Ursi says...

      That is very inspiring and makes me feel a lot more hopeful about my life in older age! We need to hear a lot more about these kinds of life stories.

    • AM says...

      Love this. Studying for the LSAT at 31 and honestly been having moments of feeling like it’s too late. But it’s clearly not :,)

  21. Dawn says...

    People leaving unfriendly comments because they were surprised by the Dame link: Maybe don’t read blogs at work :)

    • Erin says...

      My boss doesn’t care if I spend a few minutes during a lunch break reading recipes or fashion content on my work laptop, but we have a company-wide policy about absolutely no explicit content on work computers. It’s not unreasonable to ask that this stuff be labeled.

    • rme says...

      Lol my thoughts exactly. Also it has the word sexy in the caption!

    • Rosalie says...

      I’m always surprised that people are able to do leisure activities at work. Maybe because I’ve always worked in K-12 education, and we’re constantly hustling all day, but I feel like — what kind of jobs do people have that they’re able to read blogs for fun during their work time?

    • NJ says...

      Hmm.. I would say it’s extremely reasonable to ask for a little warning. I thought it was a dress!

    • Christina says...

      @RME It hadn’t got that caption initially.

    • katie says...

      How is a vibrator explicit content? The website isn’t demonstrating people using it. It’s not a big, fat dildo. To someone walking by your desk, it looks like it could be a small appliance. It’s no worse than seeing swimsuits or bras or underwear.

      And if you’re not problematic to begin with, or working for a security firm or one that deals with highly sensitive information, I doubt IT is monitoring every link you look at. If you do work for a firm that is super restrictive, you probably shouldn’t click on any links TBH.

    • Calla says...

      @Rosalie I think pretty much any job where you’re not having to perform or be presenting all day (the way I imagine teaching to be). Most jobs I have had are structured in such a way that I have certain tasks to accomplish and am mostly doing them on my own with occasional meetings throughout the day. So while I’m working on my own, no one really cares if I take a break to do a leisure activity, as long as the task gets done on time

    • Angela says...

      Data analyst here, working for a Fortune 50 healthcare company. No one gives a hoot what I do as long as my work is done. I’m on the computer all day long and I’ve gotta plenty of time for browsing. Could you read the newspaper or a magazine at your desk? I could never work for a place that micromanages my time. I look at everything I read as developing this big, beautiful brain I’m being paid for. Also sexual health and pleasure isn’t shameful unless you’re teaching at a Catholic school, I guess? Dame doesn’t exactly scream DILDOS either, so no need for pearl clutching.

  22. l says...

    i loved ted lasso! and also went on a hunt afterwards to find a shortbread recipe. the nyt one is good too :)

  23. -Heather says...

    Ted Lasso: lessons on how we can all be better humans to ourselves and each other. (Gotta say, it’s got the same ‘vibe’ as Sex Education.)

    My 15 year old walked out of Ted Lasso in the first ten minutes, recognizing how vulnerable the TL character was and didn’t want to see him taken down by stereotypical mean spirited characters and trite writing. I’m trying to get him to give it a second chance, since I know how amazing it is with each episode.
    And anyone else hoping they release the biscuit recipe?

  24. Lena says...

    When asking my mom how she felt after the vaccine in our family groupchat (right after and a day after) she just wrote :full of joy both times so I wrote back after the second time: attention, side effects of the corona vaccine may include long lasting feelings of joy!
    (Also, the children of the vaccinated Person may feel some symptoms like relief and joy as well)

    • Agnès says...

      I love your comment Lena! Next time I hear someone complain about the side effects, I will remember that!

    • Emilie says...

      I love this :) :) you are not wrong, Lena! Back in November my partner and I both tested positive after helping my 65+ parents move. We could not sleep or concentrate as we waited to learn whether they too were positive, and the worst possibility, that one of us had passed it to them. Praise the universe, they remained negative and were fine. I nevertheless cried a big, heaving cry when they got vaccinated. Joy, relief, renewed lease on life. Side effects I will happily accept!
      xoxo

    • NH observer says...

      Completely agree. I had my second dose two weeks ago, so I’m now fully vaccinated, and even though I had an INTENSE reaction to Moderna that lasted much longer than most people I know, I could only feel thankful for it. Not so thankful that I couldn’t take the time off from work to recover properly, but that’s hardly the fault of the vaccine. Having your life back — even just for a temporary period as we all contemplate the impact of the new variants and the necessity for boosters in the imminent future — is priceless and those of us who have access are so very privileged.

  25. isavoyage says...

    Hi! Articles about perimenopause and menopause would be great reads. Such an important subject. Loved your “Three Women Share Their Later-in-Life Accomplishments” piece!

  26. Colleen S says...

    That optical illusion just made my vision worse.

  27. R says...

    Wow, loved that Ted Lasso article, could not agree more, is it SO SO good!!!

    • Lauren says...

      Jennifer, that’s precisely what I did today with a friend I haven’t hugged in a year! The early afternoon was so moody and gusty, we were just pelted with sunshowers, wind, grit, cherry blossoms – and getting to squint and grin along with my dear and all of those strangers was just so good. I hope your weekend fortifies you like that.

    • Emma says...

      Lauren, I love your comment! (Are you the same Lauren whose “vibe calms geese”!?) You have a beautiful writing style :-)

    • Lauren says...

      That’s so kind of you to say, Emma! Yup, that’s me.

  28. NN says...

    Hey COJ! Can you put a NSFW tag on content like vibrators? I’m not sure I want to open them at my work laptop.
    Thanks,
    NN

    • E says...

      Oh my God I literally just did that. DELETE BROWSER HISTORY.

    • SB says...

      100 percent agree!!! I just clicked on that link on my work laptop, so not very happy about that.

    • L says...

      omg me too. oops :/

    • E says...

      Well, she did refer to it as a sexy spring pick me up! Haha.

    • Sara P says...

      Right! Cant wait for the school district office to see that I opened a vibrator link! Well, happy Friday guys in the tech department!

    • Becky says...

      Everyone has a personal cellphone that is connected to the internet. Make it a practice to open non work related links on your cell. I would never dream of browsing the web for me on my works computer. Takes 30secs to bring out your own phone.

  29. Calla says...

    Ok I don’t know why, but I as I was skimming these I somehow read the third to last one as “I’m not languishing, I’m a doormat” which really piqued my interest. The actual article was good too, but I feel a little let down.

    • Monica says...

      Hahahaha, Calla. I also thought the same and clicked into it and was also let down.

    • MJ says...

      I read doormat as well. Ugh, maybe that is more true, ha

    • Krista Cone says...

      ME TOO!

  30. Monica says...

    I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve watched Ted Lasso 30+x. It’s always on in the background these days. It came into my life when I needed it most and it cheered me up in a way I didn’t think anything/anyone could. It’s 100% my favorite show and I cannot wait for Season 2. Another great show on Apple+ is Mythic Quest. Trying is also charming. But really, I pay $5 a month to be able to watch Ted Lasso again and again and AGAIN.

  31. Laura M. says...

    I LOVE everything that Deb Perelman does, BUT … the absolute best shortbread recipe ever is the Rosh Hashana honey-cookie recipe from my own coop preschool’s cookbook (thank you 1979 parents of Beth-El!). My mother made these throughout my childhood, and I now get to make them with my son, at least once a season. When I was single and on my own, they were my go-to, whip-them-up-in-a-second treat. They are equally good on their own, cut into any shape you like, dipped in dark chocolate, or covered in sprinkles and icing as preferred by my 4-year-old. When he was little, I convinced my cousin that they were the “crunchy-munchy-honey-cakes” of Wiggles lore.
    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup honey
    2 1/2 cups flour
    Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes, depending on how you cut/shape them.

    You’re welcome. :)

    • Jill says...

      Hahaha! Laura, really one of the best comments I’ve read in a long while!
      I’m making your version….. But only because you are so dam confident in yourself, ……… and in them! They’re going to be fun to make thinking of you, and I don’t even know you. Hahaha!
      Have a beautiful day!

    • Jen says...

      I’m so glad you shared the recipe! Thank you!

    • Laura M. says...

      Jill.. they really are that good. I was just thinking that they’d be awesome with brown sugar instead if white? Now I’m going to have to try that this weekend. I hope you like them as much as I do!

    • Kelly says...

      Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Some of the old-school recipes from my childhood definitely need to be made because they were just so simple and amazing!

    • Marie says...

      Hi Laura! Should they be shaped like individual cookies or pressed into a pan like shortbread?

    • Jeanne says...

      I just made the SM shortbread and I was just thinking….very good but needs a lil sumthin. Thank you for your recipe. I’m going to make that next!

    • Laura M. says...

      Marie — I generally roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into cookies (usually into circles with whatever water glass I have around). I’ve never tried them in one big pan, but I have, on a couple of occasions made a giant cookie .. like 8 inches across or so. I can’t remember, but i probably baked that at a slightly lower temp for a bit longer.
      You really can do all sorts of things with this. I know when I was a kid, we used food coloring a couple of times to color the dough. Instead of icing, I’ve “painted” them with water color paint made with food coloring and water, and my son has mushed sprinkles into the dough before baking.

  32. Meg says...

    I also have a May birthday – it’s the perfect month for really spreading the celebration out. Mine always fell during college finals so the day of, I’d have a little dinner and cake with friends between studying, once finals were over we’d have a rager, then I’d drive home for summer and celebrate with my family and then again with my childhood friends. The best. Now I usually get back-to-back weekends all about me with Mother’s Day. Enjoy, Toby!

  33. Danielle Empson says...

    I was not ready for the pick-me-up when I opened the tab at work. Please label more accurately.

  34. LN says...

    A last minute plug… this art show / garden party got postponed to tonight and I am going it alone but think other COJ readers in Brooklyn may enjoy too! (Impromptu meet up?) https://www.artsgowanus.org/