As we laze through the final weeks of summer, I want to introduce you to the world’s least assuming cocktail: Ranch Water. It’s got three ingredients: Tequila, lime and Topo Chico.
If you’re feeling a little extra, you could use an infused tequila, like the pineapple version they use at Lulu’s Winegarden in Washington, D.C. If you want a little zing, squeeze your limes and muddle the juice with jalapeño seeds. (More seeds, more heat.) Or go for simplicity and just toss a few jalapeño rings in your drink.
Whatever you do, keep Ranch Water in your back pocket for Labor Day weekend. It is the perfect cocktail for long holiday weekends when the day drinking starts early but you don’t want beer or those too-sweet hard seltzers. Nobody has to know your ratio of Topo Chico to tequila, so you can stay cool and sober into the evening.
In another part of my life, I run the Shady Ladies Literary Society, which brings emerging women authors to Detroit and pairs them with local chefs and bartenders for evenings of unforgettable conversation. Because of the pandemic, we’ve been on hiatus. But friends still text and email me regularly for book recommendations.
This week, someone asked me for a short story collection, it gave me an excuse to reread this debut set in the United States and Nigeria. I’m reminded of exactly how good — and timely — it is. Here’s how The Atlantic talks about the title story:
But it’s not a downer of a book. I promise! Rather, it illuminates the human spirit and our faith and tenacity. It shows us what it means to belong to this world and to each other.
I’ve never seen an episode of The Bachelor — or any dating show, for that matter. But I was down to spend some time on FBoy Island. (For those of you just joining us (*cough cough* Mom), an FBoy is a F*ck Boy, someone who lies and manipulates just to get to … you get the picture.)
The premise of the show is three women are looking for love on a desert island and their suitors are 12 Nice Guys and 12 FBoys. But nobody knows who is who, and there’s $100,000 at stake.
But how do you even spot an FBoy? Here’s what contestant CJ Franco, self-proclaimed FBoy tamer, told Maxim:
And there’s this:
If he’s bought a girl fake boobs or veneers, that’s also a sign. But no spoilers here; you’ll just have to spend a day on FBoy Island to find out why. It’s a delightful escape from reality.
P.S. The show’s creators say they want to include LGBTQ+ contestants in upcoming seasons. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
How indeed, science? How, indeed?
Apparently ice worms have super high energy levels even when freezing their I-don’t-know-whats off. This is the opposite of every other warm blooded creature in the world, so scientists are looking for answers before the ice melts.
I would just like to point science to the Arctic noir Fortitude and what it taught us about things that live in the ice and what happens when it melts. Bad things. Very bad things.
Fortitude is one of my favorite TV shows. I should hate it because I hate anything scary or gory. But the series is enough of a character drama that I can overlook the building sensation that some sh*t is about to go down. Plus it has Stanley Tucci. (2)
Back to the point: I fear the ice worms. And now you know about them, too. (3)
— Gen Z icon JoJo Siwa and her girlfriend Kylie are absolutely precious. We must protect these babies! At! All! Costs! (4)
— Second resident of Nebraska’s one-person town is just a figment of the Census Bureau’s imagination.
— Bonus: His Name Was Emmett Till. The 14-year-old was beaten and murdered 66 years ago this week for whistling at a white woman in Money, Mississippi. The brutality and the jury’s acquittal — after being told by the defense to do their “Anglo Saxon” duty — ignited the Civil Rights Movement.
In this month’s Atlantic, Mississippian Wright Thompson looks at the story and how much of it has been lost to history. Court files missing. The gun in a private citizen’s safety deposit box. The barn where it happened is just an everyday citizen’s home.
Plus Thompson looks at the concerted effort by White people to not know this history, to look the other way, to redirect blame at a lower caste. Powerful White Mississippians blamed Till’s killing on, essentially, poor white trash while simultaneously having created the systems, such as segregation academies, that allowed it to happen.
But we cannot look away. The threads of what happened then still show in today’s cloth. Forgetting is not possible.
This time last year our great friend Jason Vogel passed away.
Lovey and I met Jason at a rib-off competition on our very first weekend living in Michigan. This bear of a man became our first friend here, and he immediately folded us into his life. Jason made us feel tethered when we felt alone and adrift in a new place. We spent nights drinking and listening to music on his deck, or at the Detroit dive bars that Jason once performed in. We went to Tigers games and built a quiet, stable friendship.
We didn’t see him all the time, but I couldn’t imagine a life here without Jason at the edge of the scene.
Early in our friendship Jason was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. So even when he told us that it was really serious this time, I think I still thought it would be like every other scare. But it wasn’t, and he knew that. In classic Jason style, he orchestrated everything about his own passing right down to the playlist.
One September morning, Lovey and I got a call from a friend who warned us to prepare ourselves. He told us to play Bruce Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., because Jason wanted all of his loved ones listening, wherever we were, as a way to remember him and stay connected. A musician and a poet until the end.
And so one year later Lovey and I have Welcome to Asbury Park, N.J. on repeat, telling each other Jason stories and reminiscing.
We lost you too soon, brother.
That’s all for this week, friends. See you next Friday for Cocktail Hour. Until then, hug your people.
And Now For the Side Notes:
Yes, I'm serious about this.
You think it will be all right because, Stanley Tucci. But really f*cking bad things will happen. And yet, like my friend Suma, you will keep watching. She called me about three episodes in and asked what in the hell I'd gotten her into while also confessing she couldn't stop.
Sure, sure: This might have just been an excuse to write about Fortitude. But also, science.
This is from editor Caitlin. I had to Google them, too. 🤷♀️