Matthew Gifford

Weekend notes: 2/20/17


Early Saturday afternoon, my 7-year-old son, August, and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few of the necessities of life: coffee beans, breakfast sausage, and hot sauce. While I deliberated about which hot sauce best fit my mood, August inspected the different labels on the bottles. “Some people at my school said you shouldn’t use Tabasco.” Wait. What? First, Tabasco is tasty, so those people clearly don’t know what they’re talking about. Second, why are people at school talking to him about hot sauce? He doesn’t even like the stuff. Third, who do these people think they are to tell my son what food he should and shouldn’t eat?

I asked him who told him this. “Some grown-ups.” Which grown-ups? He became agitated and teary-eyed. He does this when he doesn’t know how to answer a question and would rather you just stop talking about it. But I couldn’t let it go. I asked him again, which only made him more uncomfortable. Did they work at the school? “No.” He added that it was hard to explain.

Then it clicked. Grown-ups he didn’t know came to the school to tell the kids something. “Did they tell you not to use tobacco?” I could see the embarrassment on his face. He had no idea what those grown-ups were talking about. I gave my anxious little guy a hug.

When we got out to the car, I explained it all to him.

If you are serious about being creative, either in your work or play, you should watch Chef’s Table on Netflix. Season 3 came out a few days ago. I’ve only had time to watch the first episode. It’s amazing, as usual.

Once you’re done with that, they have a similar new series called Abstract, which is about design.

Ever pay too much for a couch that looks well-designed but turns out to be a piece of junk? That’s how we feel about our current couch. This story about West Elm’s Peggy sofa is satisfyingly enraging.

Buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright were often plagued by leaks. As the owner of a currently-leaking mid-century ranch, I enjoyed 99% Invisible’s recent episodes about Wright’s Usonian homes, which were the precursors to the mid-century ranch.

February 20, 2017

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