Monday, July 15, 2019

Link List: The Farewell

This past weekend, K and I watched The Farewell, the new film from director Lulu Wang, starring Awkwafina. I hadn't realized that it was only released in four theaters nationwide last weekend, so I guess we were very lucky to be able to see it! The movie is really good, all the actors and actresses are excellent, especially Awkwafina. Although the subject matter is quite sad, with clear parallels to things that have happened in my own family, there are also surprising moments of levity. 

1. // I couldn't imagine creating a piece of art that's so personal, it must be incredibly nerve-wracking to see how audiences will react. This article in The Atlantic about Lulu Wang and the movie is great. One particular quote from the director was especially poignant, I thought, and really captured something I think about whenever I recommend something that speaks to facets of the Asian-American experience I find familiar and that resonate deeply with me: 
“I was just really hoping people didn’t hate it, because it is so personal, and it is my family. If they hated it, then they hate us, in a way, you know?”
That's even a sentiment I've expressed, though it was only buried deep in the footnotes of a post focused on something else

Whenever I recommend Kathy's novel Family Trust (affiliate link), I always do so with some trepidation because it's about people so much like me, my parents, and the community I grew up in. It's not exactly the same (there are some substantial differences, including in socioeconomic class), but before I read her novel, I would never have dreamed of seeing something so much like my lived experience depicted in a creative work, one that was receiving a fair amount of positive buzz and attention. To the extent that anyone out there found the characters in the novel absolutely loathsome or completely irredeemable, I would take it a bit personally. Such a strong negative reaction would suggest to me that the reader might not be inclined to show empathy to people a lot like like my parents and I, and that would make me sad. 

2. // Because I so recently wrote about my past notebook-hoarding habits (which did not go hand-in-hand with actually using said notebooks), I was a bit tickled when I saw that Vox's The Goods recently published an article about that exact phenomenon, of how difficult it often is for people to use up their notebooks and journals:
“A new, unused, good-looking notebook represents pure potential. The words we inscribe into this beautiful notebook will be words of pure genius, we tell ourselves,” Korkki says. “A used notebook is sullied — it shows how we attempted to achieve something impressive and fell short. [] I hate to continue writing in a journal I have previously abandoned months or even years before because that journal represents the ‘old’ me. A new journal represents the new me, who will always be disciplined and inspired.” 
But what about actually finishing the notebook once you’ve started? 
Korkki believes that “people lose steam because the idea of perfect writing in their heads never matches what they end up putting on the page, and they become discouraged.” 
I can certainly relate to all that! It's only now that I've accepted that notebooks have the most utility to me when I'm not too "precious" about them, and when I prioritize using them frequently over needing the words I put in them to be particularly high quality (or to be done in especially neat handwriting), that I actually can use them up. With my writing and journaling style, anything I handwrite tends to be in a very stream-of-consciousness style, and I never really go back to read over it. Once I've written out whatever I was thinking, the words are no longer as meaningful to me. 

3. // I was glad to see that one of my favorite bloggers, previously at To Universe, with Love, is back and newly blogging at Of a Certain Vintage. Recently, Luxe did a good entry about the importance of knowing one's values when making money-related decisions. In some ways, at least to me (a major homebody and also a fairly shy introvert), it was also an entry about introversion, about choosing not to do (or spend money on) certain kinds of social outings. 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links that could result in a commission, typically a few cents, for me if you click. Thank you for your support!

4. // There are a few small items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that I have bought in the past, and that I think could be a good deal: I got these Nordstrom-branded cubic zircona stud earrings last year, on Kathy's recommendation. They're a solid choice, and more importantly for their being a good value, Nordstrom does not seem to discount them at any other time of year. 

A lot of the more interesting items in the sale are from the beauty section: I recently bought one of those Slip silk pillowcases to see if it would help reduce the tangles and split ends my hair's been prone to. (It helps noticeably, but it definitely isn't a miracle product either. I'm satisfied with my purchase, but I won't really be able to compare it to any other silk pillowcase because I don't plan to buy any others to try.) Nordstrom is offering sets of two Slip pillowcases at a substantial discount, in white or beige

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