TV – Other than seeing Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin reunited on screen, I had few hopes for “Grace and Frankie”, a new Netflix series on 70-year-old women left by their homosexual husbands who, having been in love for 20 years, finally decide to marry. It’s a 30 minutes fairly straightforward sitcom but one worth watching for so many reasons beside the fine acting (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston play the husbands): it’s funny; it hurls so many truths about aging while keeping these women (and men) still very engaged with life and it shows an aging homosexual couple outside of the usual stereotypes, and within an intimacy rarely seen on tv. Needless to say, I have been bingeing and am now on the last episode. Hope they renew.
Art – The Los Angeles County Museum is a brilliant place to visit but a hodgepodge of graceless buildings (until it finally gets a makeover in the next two years). To anchor the buildings and create a visual center, years ago the Museum green-lit an installation of lampposts, a forest of them, that has become one of LA’s more recognized vistas. The artist responsible for the installation was Chris Burden, a performance artist known in the 70s for many physically gruelling pieces – for this project, Chris collected 19th century lampposts from all over Los Angeles and neighboring cities, painstakingly restored himself and brought them back to life. If you happen to visit, notice how no two are perfectly alike. Chris Burden passed away last week in Topanga.
Books – Somehow, I have been reading a lot about Nell Zink this week, mostly because she has a second novel out. Her first, “The Wallcreeper”, is still on my to read list. Apparently it is intensely funny and its topics cover marriage, homosexuality, free love, ecoterrorism and bird watching. I came across this quote that did make me laugh out loud. When the protagonist’s husband asks his wife for a baby, she retorts: “Sounds tempting. If I could lay eggs and you agreed to sit on them, I might even do it.”
Shopping – Could there be such a thing as too much retail therapy? If you are a Saudi Princess, there might very well be. This short piece in Vanity Fair on the Saudi Princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmadal al-Saudi who “terrorized” stores across Europe, leaving behind a trail of unpaid purchases (in the $20 million region) leaves all judgement at the door. It goes to show that being a wealthy princess is not all that is cracket out to be.
Photoshop – When we look at magazines, we expects all photos to be retouched, to a certain extent. But what is this extent? Enter Elizabeth Moss, a professional retoucher who has condensed hours of retouching into 90 seconds videos. Be prepared to pick up your jaw and, when you are done, walk to the mirror and express eternal appreciation for the way you look. Nobody, not even the most celebrated women on earth, can look that perfect (nor are they blemish free). You can see more of Elizabeth Moss videos here.