Kardashianing through the snow....

Hey everyone! LOOK OUT!

In this gif, Margaret is the one with the floppy ear on the right and Sophie is the one on the right, with a sense of purpose bright in her adorable little eyes. At least that's Margaret's headcanon. She decided to open with something cheery because, subsequently, we have some BUSINESS to GET DOWN TO and it's not defeating the Huns. It's compensating for the dire lack of SUNS.
Let's Talk About Gloomvember
(A visual representation of what it's been like in your Dames' hearts lately.)
 Last week was the first full week back on Standard Time and here in the Northeast, where both your Dames live, it was Officially Way Too Gloomy. Rainy, overcast, dark at 4:30 pm, just...totally unacceptable. So we came up with a plan: The Gloomvember Remediation Act, and although neither of us is presently active in any legislative body governing any sovereign land, we hope that some enterprising legislator will take it up, because something clearly needs to be done.

Basically, in states experiencing Gloomvember weather conditions, as described above, residents may be permitted to stay in bed, or on the couch, futon or other lounging furniture of their choice, wearing the loungewear of their choice, under as many blankets as necessary, reading whatever they want and/or live-tweeting the latest episodes of Miss Fisher's Mysteries or other similar, mutually agreed-upon-with-their-pals activities. Absences from school and/or work will be excused due to Gloomvember, and states in the Sunshine Belt will be levied an extra Gloomvember Remediation Tax (only during peak Gloomtime months from November to March) to pay for it all. This is the time for our brothers and sisters in High Sunshine Index areas of the country to join in support of their fellow citizens in states where they have already had 6+ inches of snow and full-blown SAD during the first week of November.

Can Brookover & Willison count on your support for this important initiative? We are open to friendly amendments, but attempts at filibustering will not be tolerated.  Come on, people. Solidarity and twinkle lights for all!
 A Whole Meaty Heap of Gendered Thoughts! 
Margaret has been slowly, steadily building up a cache of super interesting articles on various gender identities which she is now going to unleash upon you in a torrent. First off, do take a look through this cache of vintage photos from Casa Susanna, a 1950s cross-dressing retreat in upstate New York. Next, cock your ear and give a listen to graphic novelist A.K. Summers talk about what it's like to be simultaneously high butch and high pregnant. While you have your listening ears on, you might also want to check out this fascinating All Things Considered piece about the world of gendered speech coaching, where ladies go to sound like bosses and transgender people go to learn how to sound like themselves. In cahoots with Medium, investigate what some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs think women want from paid male companions (SPOILER: it's male models pretending to be your valet and ABSOLUTELY NO SEX obvi!!!!) and, aided by Aeon, learn what women in Australia actually  want from paid male companionship (SPOILER: It's a male model named Christian [AS IN GREY winkwinknudgenudge] who has a "bat belt" of sex toys and has already worn out at least one pair of handcuffs). AND FINALLY, take a minute to visit with Kelsey Beckham, an 18-year-old who's part of the growing community of people who identify non-binary or agender-- neither male nor female, but something androgynous in between. And also visit with her mom, who doesn't get it, but is trying her best in a way that makes Margaret a little teary.
 Twee as Hell
Pastry chef Amber Spiegel's mesmerizing series of cookie decorating videos prove, beyond a doubt, that watching someone ice something is deeply, deeply calming. If you've ever said, "ugh, that fairisle sweater looks good enough to EAT!", check out her Christmas cookie video. For some high zen magic, Margaret looooves her bacon and eggs cookie video.Meanwhile, somewhere in Japan, a very determined oversized puffball of a rabbit insists on tagging along with his forebearing feline friends.USPS is selling stamps from the classic Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special. Get 'em now, before all the other nostalgia-addled hipsters buy them out!Vintage trailer birdhouses (in your soul). We cannot even. 

Instagram Crushes of the Week!

  • Boswell's of Oxford bills itself as Oxford, England's favorite family department store, and their nonstop stream of straight-up retail lusciousness (including adventures about town featuring a Playmobil couple) makes it hard for us to disagree!

  • Lady, The Magazine: this is a luxury niche publication, and make no mistake. We're not even 100% sure what it's about, and at $40 per issue, we may never find out, but their eye for gorgeous vintage photography is FREE.

  • Ari Shapiro, everyone's favorite NPR London-based correspondent & sometime-singer for Pink Martini, is kind of an obvious choice, but he is also a really good photographer, documenting small, large & humorous moments in his international adventures. 

  • And! In case you missed it, Rihanna is back on Instagram, doing her thing, giving zero fucks what anyone thinks about it, and generally being a master of the form. Welcome back, Riri! We missed you! 

Unrelated to Anything Else Herein, But Delightful to Us, And Maybe to You, Too

For those who enjoy imbibing,Palm Beach Illustrated has some Gilded Age Cocktailsfor you to sip on, and the names of these elixirs are almost as intoxicating as their ingredients: Satan's Whiskers! Jupiter! Seventh Heaven! 

You all know of our devotion toLizzie Skurnick Books, an imprint that brings back into print lost classics of middle grade and YA fiction, including the belovedAll-of-a-Kind Familyseries by Sydney Taylor. Last week, Lizzie teamed up with The Tenement Museum for a series of brief scholarly talks about the books, Sydney Taylor herself, and life on the Lower East Side in the early 1900s. If, like us, you couldn't make it to New York to participate, you canenjoy the video stream at your leisure

Avidly'sDeep Springs College Syllabustickled a very particular,Looking Beyond The Ivy League-reading spot on Sophie's funny bone. It's gratifying to know that other Internet Ladies are as fascinated by thetiny, all-male collegein California as she is, and this piece is a bone-dry, lovingly skewering comic tour de force worthy of The Toast. 

BothKim Kardashian's interview with PAPER Magazine andDanielle Henderson & Lauren Hoffman's spot-on dissection of what's going on with the internet's response to the deeply NSFW images that accompany said intervieware fascinating reads. To wit, these incisive observations fromDanielle, which caused Margaret to nod so fervently that she nearly snapped her neck cleanly in two:

I really never used to think about Kim at all and now I feel very defensive about her, and part of that comes from my pure exhaustion with the way we just rip women apart all the time. You can disagree with how she became famous or think it's weird, but you cannot deny this woman. You can't deny her power, her business acumen, or how agile she is about being so completely tuned in to and way, way ahead of pop cultural moments. Remember how Gaga released that album about pop art, and was ramming it down everyone's throats? 'I'M AN ARTIST, I DO ART, THIS IS ART'? Kim is so much subtler in how she presents her life as a work of art. It's weird and remarkable, but her awareness of cultivating a life in the public eye is not offensive to me.

On the other hand, Sophie, who usually has a bit of a soft spot for all things Kardashian, has some deep misgivings about the racist history of that cover (which Margaret and Danielle and Lauren all totally get), neatly summarized by Blue Telusma over at The Griot, and about Kim K generally right now, thanks also to her recent heinous Instagram picture with her sisters (which, no links, because see above re: HEINOUS) (Which is something Margaret will be googling like...now) As Sophie just said in DM: "I like Kim K a lot, but she's like sooooo clueless about race. Her cluelessness mirrors a lot of Americans' cluelessness, though, which actually makes her even more compelling/good to watch. As goes KK's awareness, so goes the nation's?" To which Margaret adds: "WE HOPE BOTH IMRPOVE!" 

Both Margaret and Sophie will looking at, reading about, and listening to the Kardsashian-Wests for time to come. But she needed to give FULL CONTEXT because that's what Dames do.