The List: What to Do This Week

The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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I have a habit of "making plans to not make plans" then doing exactly the opposite. Take this past weekend when I essentially talked my boyfriend into making a pact with me that, after going to The Broad Museum on Saturday (we've had tickets for months!), we would indulge and do nothing, something we're not terribly good at. But as soon as visions of takeout and binge-watching started to take form, I got a text from a friend and immediately dropped the fantasy in favor of joining her. The next afternoon, after spending the morning at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, I finally made good on my deal. I locked my phone in my car 'til Monday (desperate times call for desperate measures) and spent the rest of the day baking and reading. And guess what? It was glorious. Here's what else I'm up to this week:

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Colgate Frozen Dinners? Apple's Message Pad? Lego Fiber Optics sets? Chances are you've never heard of these products since the one thing they have in common is that they're all failures—and they're all on display at the Museum of Failure for one more week in L.A.! The exhibit celebrates failures from the 17th century to today—you can purchase tickets here!

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A few weeks ago, I decided to cut added sugar from my diet, with two main exceptions: I allow myself one cocktail per week (I love a Negroni), and the rare dessert—as long as it's thoughtfully made and consumed. Yes, that's pretty much as subjective as it gets, but when my kumquat tree had twice as much as the year before and I had Sunday afternoon free, it felt like the perfect opportunity to cash in on my first "thoughtfully made and consumed dessert." Enter: kumquat pie! Like another favorite pie, Four and Twenty Blackbird's Grapefruit Custard, it's slightly bitter with a tart brightness that comes from the cooked citrus. It takes forever to slice thin rounds of kumquats, but like the reviewer of the recipe, I "drank my coffee and slipped into a Zen-like slicing meditation." I ate a slice with a glass of milk (my sugar-conscious version of a la mode) while reading the newspaper. Is there any sweeter way to spend a Sunday?

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At this point, most of us are aware of the little ways tech companies make us dependent on their products—autoplay, rewards, notifications—but this article, written by a "Google Design Ethicist" breaks things down even further and made me recognize the hundreds of little actions our phones and other technology program us to do everyday. Because—here's a fun fact the article shares—the average person checks their phone 150 times per day (hence why I locked my phone in my car). As he puts it, "When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite." It's a must-read for anyone who's ever looked at a screen (so ya, everyone). Read the full piece here.

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Last week, I finally had a chance to see Call Me By Your Name with friends and it fully exceeded all of our already high expectations. The next day, we spent the day texting each other to check in, "You doing okay or still an emotional wreck?" In it, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet spend six weeks at an Italian villa, where they're drawn to each other over the course of the summer. It's truly one of the most beautiful, wrenching love stories I can ever remember watching—I loved every moment of it, and already can't wait to see it again (good thing there are rumors for a sequel!). If you've already seen it, check out director Luca Guadagnino's "Anatomy of a Scene" here and the story behind their first rehearsal here!

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Hosted by self-described "wellness addicts," Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir's podcast Forever 35 is like a lifestyle blog in podcast form. What I love most about it is that they have the charisma of MFM's Karen and Georgia, but instead of talking about Albert Fish, they're discussing face masks, work outs, and juice cleanses with a totally addicting and charming sense of humor. In their world, medical marijuana tincture is a "serum you can eat," the torque board at Fly Wheel is terrifying, "Tata Harper" is a name that's fun to say, and having drugstore products in your shower is noble. And of course it's already introduced me to a million products I love. Listen here!