Tabs I Can't Close 56: Social Isolation, Bourdain, Patterns, Art

Friday, February 17, 2017



“In America, you almost need an excuse for knocking on a neighbor’s door,” Social isolation is killing us. ("Almost"? You definitely need an excuse to knock on a neighbor's door in the US.)

It's almost the end of February, so time for some actually good new year's resolutions from Anthony Bourdain. (For the love of all that is holy, skip the leather blazer.)

And also, also! My sister just launched Sarah Kirsten, a pattern/tutorial company with clothing designs women like me want to make and wear.

Kurimanzutto, Mexico City

Listening to: Junie Morrison

Reading: Agonies of Exile






How To Be Alone

Tuesday, February 14, 2017




  1. Being alone works best if you are first with a lot of people, for a long period of time, with a lot of responsibility for these people
  2. Start to be alone by leaving all of these people behind
  3. Quit your job
  4. Kiss your niece and nephews goodbye
  5. Hug your siblings, your parents
  6. Break up with your man, if you have one
  7. Ideally you will be alone for a little while on a motorcycle
  8. After a while you will want to be with people 
  9. In a kind of anonymous capacity
  10. Find this in Mexico City, where you are in one of the most populous cities on earth
  11. Realize how wonderful this is after a side trip south, when you arrive back in the city after the oppressive emptiness of the open landscape and find a peace and comfort in the dense but remarkably uncrowded Mexico City 
  12. Feel lonely, at times aching with loneliness
  13. Abated here and there by conversation and afternoons, evenings spent in the company of other travelers
  14. Feel lonely still, at times aching with loneliness
  15. Think about this rationally
  16. Think about loneliness as lack of responsibility 
  17. Think of loneliness as no one requiring anything from you
  18. Think of aloneness as some kind of good and terrible gift, and flip your attention to the goodness of this gift
  19. Notice couples, kissing, everywhere, and think about this: you may not be drawing strength from an other, but you are also not required to give strength to an other
  20. Cherish this
  21. Because it will not last forever
  22. Notice parents with small children
  23. Notice the screaming children
  24. Notice your lack of screaming children
  25. Feel alone and wonderful and that incredible peace that comes with the lack of screaming children
  26. Be alone 



Tabs I Can't Close 55: Boxing, Lecuona, A Luggage Goal

Friday, December 23, 2016



"What do you dislike most about your appearance? 'I like it all. Self-hatred is for younger, prettier women.'" Zadie Smith's Proust Questionnaire.

"In a glowing underpass in Central Park one night last month, a man and woman danced through a boxing routine. They skipped rope and sparred. He swung and she ducked. Echoing through the space, playing on a cellphone, was a piano composition by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona." The Trails of a Boxing Romantic

Ernesto Lecuona

Best line from this movie: "Thirty-eight dollars and a toothbrush." Ultimate luggage goal.



Tabs I Can't Close 54: Movement, Another Way of Being in the World, Massive Baking Projects

Friday, December 2, 2016



A friend has been posting gorgeous pics of frost flowers on Instagram.

"Keep loving them."

"I believe sublimating existential stress in massive baking projects that provide deafening distractions is the happiest way to proceed." Apple strudel

Red wine hot chocolate.

"Let's go on an overseas expedition by ourselves." Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb Everest (she completed a master's at 61).

"The question is: Is there another way of being in the world that doesn't involve this constant act of satire?" A conversation with Zadie Smith.

"Before travel memoirs became a phenomenon, before the Elizabeth Gilberts and Cheryl Strayeds of bestselling contemporary travel writing, there were Black women writers trailblazing in this ever-shifting genre." Travel memoirs by Black women writers.

Anne LaBastille.
© The Attic at Anderwood Maira Gall.