Footloose and Fancy Free!

We're moving right along. Dames Nation!
On the road again! Your Dames are traveling this week (regrettably, not together) and are taking next week off, so we’re keeping things short & sweet here. We will be back with a full spread on July 10. Stay cool (or warm, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere), lovelies!

Dames Abroad!

(Neither of us, tragically, is in New Orleans.)

Dame Margaret's travels this week took her to Washington D.C. (it's paradise to me!) and wise readers will guess what that means-- a guest appearance on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour! She joined them this week to discuss Judy Blume's new novel, In the Unlikely Event, about the imagined effect three real commercial airplane crashes had on the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, over a span of a few months in 1951 and 1952. Dame M. is using this as a flimsy excuse to share this neat collection of mid-century airline advertisements, from which this section's header image was nabbed. In addition, we spoke about the new lifetime series, UnREAL, which Dame Margaret is thoroughly enjoying. If our conversation piques your interest, you can (1) find the first four episodes of the show for free on iTunes, Amazon Prime, your cable provider's OnDemand service, or the Lifetime website and (2) read this very smart take on the specific, potent appeal of UnREAL's setting by Friend of the Dames/Noted Television Genius Kathryn

Dame Sophie’s Top 5

  • RIP, Don Featherstone, the designer of the iconic mid-20th century pink flamingo lawn ornament. I grew up in a haute-WASPy town, with parents who refused lawn care in favor of a boatload of ivy, in which were nestled three exuberant lawn flamingos. I think they were definitely a bit of a cheeky nose-thumb at some of our neighbors, but they were also definitely an expression of my mostly-unironically kitsch-loving parents’ aesthetic, so I’m not sure I’m buying the entire argument of What Pink Lawn Flamingos Say About Class in America. There’s certainly a touch of that Simpsons episode where John Waters was a guest star going on, but I think the pink flamingo has rounded Kitsch Corner to enjoy a well-earned sojourn on Venerable Nostalgia Court. Longtime readers know how much we ponder design’s place in the cultural imagination, so what say you? Are we at a point with the flamingo where we can just appreciate its good design, or is it still a little outre to you? Share your flamingo hypotheses with us on Twitter!

  • The DOPE Soundtrack!!! (AKA a great collection of old-school hip-hop to get your weekend started right.)

  • Take a minute to browse the highly useful #Charlestonsyllabus, a crowd-sourced collection of readings (conceived by Dr. Chad Williams) that educators can use to initiate conversations and provide context for last week's horrific attack. Because you can take Dame Sophie out of the school library, but you cannot take the school librarian out of her. 

  • A Laurie Colwin-themed summertime dinner party: easy, tasty perfection. I have made all the desserts featured here and can vouch for their deliciousness & ease of preparation. (If you haven’t read Laurie Colwin, please give yourself the gift of enjoying her work. She is the most influential writer in my personal canon, as she’s an all-rounder for me in voice, thematic concerns, and approach to cooking & baking. Between her two cookbooks, I give a slight edge to More Home Cooking and my favorites of her novels are her debut, Happy All The Time, and her final work, A Big Storm Knocked It Over. [Ed. Note: Okay, sheesh, Dame Sophie. I'll get on it <3 XOXO Dame M.])

  • If you remember but ONE thing about your Dames, it’s that puns are our jam(mmmm, jam). If they make you say “for fox sake!”, we can only respond, “OH WHALE!” Don’t sweat it, though, that’s coo. ‘Cause we SNAILED IT.

  • Did you know that, in the silent film era, many films were not just colored, but vibrantly so? It's true! The resulting images are surreal and beautiful.  

  • Bonus Track: The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea gives you an easy, economical way to make delicious & truly refreshing iced tea. I usually drink a lot of hot tea in the fall & winter and switch to cold-brewed coffee concentrate in the summer (I looooove the Toddy Method), but I’ll definitely give this a whirl.

Margaret’s Top 5

Could YOU resist this? ARE YOU MADE OF STONE????


Due to TRAVEL MADNESS, this email very nearly didn't happen. But thanks to the following people and institutions, it's not only coming out, but it's coming outhours earlier than usual:

  1. Liz Burns, who comforted Dame Sophie when her luggage for ALA (where the power cord for her laptop was packed!!) was inexplicably delayed. Dames Nation, please pray for Sophie and her luggage to be joyously reunited as soon as possible.

  2. Nico Piro and Jeremiah Cushman, who both introduced Dame Margaret to the genius of Guido Anchovy and the rest of the Samurai Pizza Cats and dropped her off at the airport at 8:30 AM this morning. 

  3. The Ronald Reagan Airport of Washington D.C. and its comprehensive complimentary wifi!