Hello again friends! I feel like we’ve all lived 17 lives since we last spoke two weeks ago. Elections. Fires. Shootings (there was literally another one as I typed this). I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around everything, the good and the bad. But that’s what we’re here for @ Staunchly: to try and grapple with the nerve-melting unreality of our time.
Speaking of: yesterday was the two-year anniversary of your girl Staunchly. To say I’m proud of this scrappy newsletter and the community we’ve built is a wild, wild underestimate. I’m so honored that any of you want to read my writing, and that you let me share a slice of my vanilla bean soul with you every week. I’m aglow with love and gratitude. Thank you thank you thank you.
P.S. Here are some of the ways you can help the victims of the California fires.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve read enough sizzling Hot Takes about the election to last a lifetime, and I don’t want to add to that noise. Despite some tough losses, it was a groundbreaking night for women, candidates of color, and other voices that don’t often get a say in the mayonnaise halls of Congress. And in terms of 2020, the lesson for Democrats seems (blessedly) to be: save your moderation and give us something we can actually use.
Now to something urgent: Families Belong Together is on the ground with the migrant caravan at the US-Mexico border in Tijuana. Despite Trump’s fear-mongering, the caravan does not consist of a marauding band of gang members and rapists, but rather thousands of Central American refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries to seek legal asylum in the US.
If you can, donate now to help Families Belong Together deliver critical resources and services to the refugees at the border.
1. Your Cool New Congresswomen Are Already Hanging Out by Opheli Garcia Lawler (The Cut)
When I worked in the Senate, I’d often walk to the Dirksen cafeteria for lunch, where I’d see men as old as pterodactyls purchasing milk to drink with their lunch. MILK. White male senators, older than wheels, drinking 2% in the middle of the day. That may seem like a small point but I’m sorry, I can’t relate to anybody who drinks milk from a cow’s utter with lunch. Those men do not represent me or my interests. Those are not my people.
I thought immediately of Laitgate when I saw this picture of newly-elected Congresswomen lhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in DC last week. These are my people.
I know we don’t really say squad anymore (except AOC, she can say whatever she wants), but this is a mf squad. These are four women who, if they do drink dairy glue with a meal, it’s for a cool reason, not because their bones are crumbling and it reminds them of good times at the farm as a little boy in ’38.
I stare at that picture and something clicks. Finally, I think. Now that is what a government is supposed to look like.
2. The Watergate Blueprint for Impeaching Donald Trump by Elizabeth Holtzman (The Intercept)
I’m not afraid. As a junior congresswoman, the youngest ever elected at that time, I served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach President Richard Nixon for the high crimes and misdemeanors he committed in connection with the Watergate cover-up and other matters.
A breakdown of Trump’s impeachable offenses placed in historical context by a woman who helped bring down Nixon. Yes, please.
Also, while we’re at it, this seems as good a time as any to remind everyone that Nixon was a horrifying domestic abuser and that men who don’t respect women don’t respect shit.
3. “Who Gets to Live in Victimville?”: Why I Participated in a New Docuseries on The Clinton Affair by Monica Lewinsky (Vanity Fair)
Throughout history, women have been traduced and silenced. Now, it’s our time to tell our own stories in our own words. Muriel Rukeyser famously wrote: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open."
Monica Lewinsky is writing some of the most thoughtful essays of the #MeToo era and that feels like a bit of cosmic justice.
4. So, Do Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism? by Kristen R. Ghodsee (Lit Hub)
Tbh this is the only question that matters in a debate over our governing ideologies.
(also the answer, even before the Beto sex tweet, is yes.)
5. Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers? by Sapna Maheshwari (NY Times)
No, but actually how do I became a nanoinfluencer?? I’m ready! Put me in coach!
I’ve spent some time during the past two weeks decompressing. I took myself to Ojai on the eve of my 29th birthday so I could wake up near the orange groves—foretelling, I hope, a sweet and juicy year. I drove through the Topatopas with my windows down, soaked in the hot springs, swam in a creek, and foraged for sun-bleached treasures in the open-air aisles at Bart’s Books. It was a nice way to steady myself before what is usually a tough couple of weeks for me in the fall.
(Retweet if your dysfunctional family is more August: Osage County than A Family Stone).
I’m currently reading Fay Weldon’s The Life and Loves of a She-Devil. It’s campy and ridiculous and I love it so far. Viva La She-Devil!
This Vogue piece by Bridget Read about the stars of Vanderpump Rules is just delicious, and the motivation I needed to catch up before the new season starts in December. The photos by Daniel Arnold are especially worth a scroll.
I’m hoarding all my favorite things for the upcoming, highly-anticipated third annual Staunchly Holiday Gift Guide (check out the first and the second editions for evergreen gifting inspo) but I went to the best store yesterday and I must tell you about it immediately.
The shop is Daiso: the Japanese dollar* store. There’s a good chance you already know about it. I appear to be the only one of my friends who didn’t (there are several locations across Los Angeles and thousands across the world, so it is highly visible).
It’s an emporium of fun, practical, and insanely cute things for your home and your hobbies (think: imported snack foods, craft supplies, dog outfits, heart-shaped cake pans, off-brand Barbie accessories, soap). It’s pure delight. I shopped with reckless abandon like a Real Housewife on a trip to the UAE and only left $32 poorer. Could not recommend this store more.
(* a slight misnomer—everything is $1.50 unless otherwise marked)
I’m not much of a party planner but when I do it, I do it. For my birthday, I threw an intimate yet festive soirée at Color Me Mine in the valley (one of two locations on Ventura Boulevard, which confused my guests). I called it Carey’s Blaze and Glaze 2018. While weed could not be provided because of strict CMM rules, guests were encouraged to interpret the theme however they wished.
I ordered custom balloons from Party City with the party logo (a basketball powered by fire like a rocket), as if this were some sort of regional sales convention in Scottsdale. Food was that perfect thin pizza from Mulberry and two cakes from Hansen’s (chocolate and vanilla, representing my light and shadow selves), with pink sparkling wine and a cooler of assorted La Croix.
Table scatter consisted of hunks of rose quartz from my apartment and party favors were ring pops and collagen sheet masks from my favorite beauty store in Koreatown. My mom and I went to the downtown flower mart the day before and created custom arrangements of peonies, ranunculi, amaranthus, anthuriums, banksia, celosia, and purple clover, which we placed inside crystal and cranberry and opaline glass vases.
All in all, a pretty solid party with a strong aesthetic vision, if I do say so myself.
Thank you again to everyone who made my birthday week(s) so special. I promise I’ll stop talking about my birthday now!