weekly link roundup, july 29.

A link roundup for learning and healing: the past few days have been heavy and gruesome. This week I kept saying to myself “this is the best thing I’ve read in weeks” and then days or hours later thinking the same thing all over again.

I have a very strong sense of there being troves of critical insight and compassion and nuance for me to learn from many of the people these articles are written by and about. There is also some very charming and funny stuff here.

On Thursday I picked up Annie Baker’s The Vermont Plays, the first of several works by contemporary playwrights that I have convinced the St. Louis Public Library to purchase for their collection. I was very excited.

Image description: a selfie showing me holding up a book of Annie Baker’s plays near my face. I have on aviator glasses, have philtrum and septum piercings, have a light blonde buzzcut, and my mouth is open. The book has a white cover featuring a multicolored line drawing of a snowflake.

Lord Byron’s “Fare Thee Well,” or “I Just Think It’s Funny How” by Mallory Ortberg, The Toast.

The Toast was back for a single day. It is still lovely. The Tosties are still the best people in the world. Mallory is still hilarious. Water is still wet.

The Fallout by Lacy M. Johnson, Guernica.

Living in St. Louis feels like living in a haunted house sometimes. The Weldon Springs nuclear site is literally just across the street from the psychiatric hospital where I spent 41 days last spring. My sense of the haunted-ness of the city certainly pales in comparison to the pain and wisdom of the people who have spent lifetimes and generations with these ghosts, or the people who wrestled with them before they were ever spoken about by people outside their family or neighborhood. The people in this article are regular people – not professional scientists or social service agencies or publicly funded projects – doing work that should be the responsibility of state and federal governments, who have consistently failed to act, to care for and protect their families and neighbors. We have a lot to learn from them.

I Don’t Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction by Roxane Gay, The New York Times.

I don’t think anything I can say about this would add anything to it; it is that good. Roxane Gay is a genius and her work constantly challenges and excites me, but you already know that.

If you missed it, on Tuesday I highlighted the St. Louis theatre I am most excited about seeing over the coming months.

Continue reading “weekly link roundup, july 29.”

weekly link roundup, july 22.

Following the grand tradition of The Hairpin, Autostraddle, and The Toast, I bring you the Rad Cat Lady weekly link roundup, volume one. Every weekend I’ll be posting links to and (this time, extremely limited) thoughts about what I’m reading, watching, and texting to my best friend.

Ahead: xenophobia in famously international south St. Louis, a gay video game (gayme?) that might make me hate the format a little less, manspreading at the theatre, and more.

Content warning: the last link on this list includes non-graphic descriptions of a young girl receiving unwanted sexual pictures and messages from a classmate.

Trip to Puerto Rico! by Karalyn Grimes, Envirofemme.

This is the most recent post on an also-recently-revived blog by my fellow former precocious Unitarian Universalist teen/current cool young adult getting it together, Karalyn. They are consistently very thoughtful and smart, and write compellingly about environmental justice, a topic I can easily understand on an intellectual but have trouble getting fired up about wholeheartedly. This post takes a look at their recent vacation in Puerto Rico both on a personal and political level.

Sign at South Grand eatery suggests bigotry from city inspector, but dispute is resolved by Joe Holleman,  St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

For an incredibly busy and hot week, I drove by this sign in the window of Sheesh, a Turkish restaurant on South Grand Blvd in St. Louis city, without ever catching the stoplight at the right time to slow down and read it, so by the time it was taken down I had still only caught “go back to our country” and “we need help.” From the Dispatch’s reporting, it sounds like all parties involved are hesitant to say much more than the sign did, but I’m seriously curious to see how this plays out. This part of the city is actively gentrifying and also lauded for its dense and diverse international presence.

‘Look at this gay boat’: Creationist’s use of ‘God’s rainbow’ colors for Ark park lighting gets hilariously mocked by David Ferguson, Raw Story.

Really, just look at this gay boat.

Continue reading “weekly link roundup, july 22.”

the best restaurant meals i’ve eaten since moving to st. louis.

I grew up incredibly bored with the food options in my hometown, so moving to a real city in January was a delight. I’ve alway been an adventurous eater – my parents had me eating spicy Indian curry when I was not yet 2 years old, and I loved it – so the monotonous selection of fast food chains, bland and poorly run local joints, and Chinese and Mexican restaurants with menus designed to appeal to the palettes of the many Jefferson City residents who had never left Missouri were disappointing.

Now I live near St. Louis’ South Grand strip, known for its array of ethnic food options, offering everything from sushi to Somali meals. But I quickly discovered that St. Louis’ food scene runs far deeper and wider than the bounds of the neighborhood that I fell in love with.

I’ve had some excellent meals since living here, some walking distance from my apartment and some out by the city’s airport. I’m maintaining a list, currently with over 15 restaurants, of places to check out. I’m an avid Yelper (I know, I disgust myself too) and have been #grateful for the St. Louis food blogs I’ve found like Whiskey and Soba and Off the Eaten Path.

So far, these four joints have been my favorites.

Continue reading “the best restaurant meals i’ve eaten since moving to st. louis.”

a night at the muny – buddy: the buddy holly story.

So last night was one of three times I can remember that my mom and I have left a show at intermission. I can’t say I had high hopes for Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story – the only jukebox musical I’ve ever liked is Beautiful – but with how great the Muny has been in recent years I was so disappointed. The show just didn’t go anywhere, but we still had a great day visiting St. Louis.

First we hit up Lone Elk Park, the county park meets wildlife reserve in St. Louis County near Webster Groves. We saw the cutest family of raccoons, deer, a turkey, and finally the bison and elk the park is known for. We were almost at the park’s exit (you drive through a loop of one way road that takes you through the park and wildlife area) thinking that we weren’t going to see any elk or bison when suddenly all the cars in front of us were stopped and there they were.


After our wilderness adventure we headed back to civilization and went to Seoul Taco on the Delmar Loop for dinner. We’ve been to Seoul Taco before, and I am obsessed with their awesome bulgogi burritos. The wrap holds salad greens, kimchi rice, shredded carrot, bulgogi, sour cream, cheese, and some kind of secret sauce that pulls everything together. My mom had bulgogi tacos which she enjoyed just as much.

Then, finally, we made our way to The Muny. Maybe we would have had a better time had it not been 97 degrees out all day, but I was just so disappointed since The Muny has such a great track record. One thing I can say about this show is that the set was pretty cool for an unchanging scene throughout the whole first act, and I loved how they turned the onstage turntable floor in to a giant vinyl record.

I am looking so forward to Into the Woods next week, which I know will be awesome. I have only seen the movie, never a stage production, so I am excited to see The Muny and the awesome cast of broadway actors they have brought in work their magic on this show.

a night at the muny – holiday inn.

My mom and I are season subscribers for The Muny. Every weekend this summer we head to the theatre in Forrest Park to fan ourselves with those cardboard squares stuck to popsicle sticks and take in some of the best theatre we can get in Missouri. Yesterday we saw Holiday Inn by Irving Berlin, directed by book writer Gordon Greenberg.

Before we made it to the theatre we had some extra time in St. Louis, so we hit up The Royale, an awesomely divey and chill bar/restaurant near Tower Grove Park. I had a Dark n Stormy and a burger, and my mom got their grilled cheese which is supposed to be the best in St. Louis. IMG_0875

The food and drinks were delicious and we both appreciated the laid back environment while we had our drinks and meal. We’ll definitely be back here, and are excited to sit out on their back patio when it isn’t so damn hot out.

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This was only the second production of the musical, adapted from the film from the 40s. I couldn’t really get invested in the plot, but I loved the tap dance numbers and the gorgeous costumes, as well as the great performances by the whole cast. I spent years of my childhood and early teens tapping pretty seriously and planning on a dance career, and while that didn’t pan out due to a serious Achilles tendon injury, I still love seeing good dance and especially good tap onstage.

I was also excited to see Patti Murin perform again after being obsessed with Fly By Night, the off Broadway musical she starred in last summer. Now that the cast album has been released I listen to it almost every day and wish there was another production I could see. Her performance was great, and I always love seeing actors I like perform and supporting their new projects.IMG_0894