Friendmendations 4.5.21

won't you take me to friendmendationstown?

Friendmendations 4.5.21

Hey, all. Guess what! I’m getting my first vaccine shot this morning! Last week, on my 30th birthday, the state of New York announced that everyone 30 and older can get the vaccine, and here I am, one week later, scheduled to get jabbed! I might be getting those good good antibodies as you read this, depending on when you read this!

Wow! Also here are some recs!

VERY GOOD writing

This week, I was introduced to Beth Nguyen’s writing with her beautiful essay “America Ruined My Name For Me.” Read it right now!

When you’re done, you can read her essay on the Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai, which “ties nostalgia to whiteness.” I haven’t seen the new show and have only seen The Karate Kid once, but I still couldn’t stop reading Nguyen’s analysis.

Oh no
This is a stock photo that symbolizes give your phone back to nature forever

VICE’s new series The Future of Fame is the Fan is filled with interesting stories, but only one is straight-up terrifying. The unassuming title is “Why This Teen Walked Away From Millions of TikTok Followers,” but the answer is “because an adult man became obsessed with her and threatened to kill her family.” It’s terrifying and I’m glad to see reporting on the scary side of internet fame.

An aggressively 90s brand, updated for the meme era

Last year I lived with a delightful friend who happened to be 22. It was easy to forget that fact because of how well we got along, but every once in a while something shocking would illuminate the difference between us. “It’s funny that Kenan used to be a child star,” I once said while watching an SNL skit with my roommate, and she responded with surprise, “He was? What did he do?” Another time, I noticed her wearing an incredible shirt she’d gotten from a thrift shop and yelped “Is that a Big Dog™️ shirt?” It was a yellow button-up covered with chili peppers and the signature Big Dog mascot, but she was not familiar with the brand and replied in confusion, “It has… big… dogs on it….”

Anyway, Tess, if you’re reading this: I miss you and I’m sorry to put you on blast for being younger than me. Everyone else: you should read this fascinating look at how the Big Dog brand has evolved, from hip to unbearably middlebrow to douchey to woke to… radio silence. (I also learned a lot from this piece, linked therein, about 90s novelty shirts for douchebags, though be warned it has some casual fatphobia toward the end.)

Cook from a book

Erin Gleeson’s The Forest Feast: Gatherings has everything I want in a cookbook: it’s vegetarian, the recipes are easy, and the photos are gorgeous and make me feel like I’m living in a cabin in the woods. Each chapter contains a menu for hosting a gathering of 6-8 people, each with a theme like “holiday cocktail party” or “wine & cheese party” or “picnic.” When I had my bubble over for my birthday, I simply opened to the “spring feast” menu and adapted as necessary. The radish butter crostini (made with unsalted Kerrygold butter) was the addictive MVP, and everyone also loved the crunchy Parmesan snap peas — recipe below!

  1. Toss in a bowl: 4 cups snap peas (ends trimmed), 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. Lay the mixture out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch each of salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder.
  3. Bake at 425°F (220°C) 15-20 min. Enjoy warm or at room temp. The mixture can be prepped several hours ahead but it’s best baked within an hour of serving.
The song I keep having stuck in my head, when I don’t have Lil Nas X in my head

On repeat and added to the official Friendmendations playlist.

Okay, that’s it. I’ll talk to you again when I’m half-vaxxed. Until then, a tweet that will be burned into my brain forever, probably.