Oh boy

Man Repeller feels like home. I’m actually annoyed that I’ve been under a rock and therefore without it until recently, but ever since stumbling on it a few months ago I’ve quickly become a groupie. I mean that seriously: it’s not enough for me to simply read their posts. I watch the Youtube videos, the Youtube profiles on Leandra and Amelia, and most recently, I’ve been hooked (by my ‘ZARA WOMAN‘ coat label, and rather comfortably) on its ‘Oh Boy’ podcast.

The whole series is a dream. Admittedly I’m still working through all the episodes (quite quickly, I might add). But listening to the ambitious, funny, talented, smart and generally very likeable guests talk to the host, Jay Buim, about their upbringing and other random (but relevant) musings, is like tucking in to an aural comfort blanket. Jay starts each episode (that I’ve listened to) stating how much he enjoyed talking to such and such in his kitchen. You’d be tempted to employ a thick layer of skepticism to your thinking here, but it’s not merited. The conversation really is that enjoyable. 

And even though he asks the same questions each time, the format of the podcast does not get tired – each interviewee has an interesting story to tell, even if it sounds pretty ordinary. Plus, he’s a great conversationalist – easy going and flows with the tide of his interviewees responses, while adding anecdotes of his own experiences.

My favourite episode so far? It’s difficult to choose between Emily Weiss, Founder of Into The Gloss and Glossier, Leandra Medine, OG Man Repeller, and MR Deputy Editor, Amelia Diamond. But I think the conversation flows best between Buim and Diamond – she sounds so pleasant and has a great rapport with him. I imagine she would be exactly the same in person (…as opposed to in voice). But each story is so inspiring to me especially at this juncture in my life – because they are so relatable. Like when Diamond talks about an interview mishap in which she messed up due to her ‘cockiness’, or when she likens her assisting on the set of a Grace Coddington shoot to something from my favourite film, the Devil Wears Prada (“WE NEED MORE CHAINS!!”).

I also love listening to their ‘connect the dots’ tales of how they reached their current position. Hearing about the mustard seed beginnings of the enviably slick beauty brand Glossier, is like super greens for my ambitious streak. 

10/10, would recommend. Great stuff.

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Thanks, Joan (and Tavi…and Youtube)

On those evenings when I wind deeeper and deeeper into the annals of 2013-14 YouTube videos, I am rarely rewarded. Today, I was pleasantly surprised. After watching one Tavi Gevinson video (my quest started from Casey Neistat’s channel…??), I’d worked my way through quite a few until clicking on this one, in which she mentions Joan Didion’s essay entitled: ‘On Keeping A Notebook’. Naturally, I google this because I love keepin’ me a good ol’ notebook.

Joan Didion

I read through and then reach the bottom of the second-to-last page, and stop, trace my eyes back up a few lines, and re-read. Didion writes:

“I have lost touch with a couple of people I used to be; one of them, a seventeen-year-old, presents little threat, although it would be of some interest to me to know again what it feels like to sit on a river levee drinking vodka-and-orange-juice and listening to Les Paul and Mary Ford and their echoes sing “How High the Moon” on the car radio…

…The other one, a twenty-three-year-old, bothers me more. She was always a good deal of trouble, and I suspect she will reappear when I least want to see her, skirts too long, shy to the point of aggravation, always the injured party, full of recriminations and little hurts and stories I do not want to hear again, at once saddening me and angering me with her vulnerability and ignorance, an apparition all the more insistent for being so long banished.”

This struck me because lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my sixteen-year-old self. About how, even with my feet (almost) to the ground, I lived in my head. I thought deeply and boundlessly. The songs I listened to then, the films I loved, the blogs I followed were like another home. I occasionally throw myself back and listen to, watch and read those things, six years later (mostly because I’m ridiculously sentimental). Yet, like Didion, I sometimes feel that I’ve lost touch with ‘that person I used to be’. But I’m working on reconnecting. In a similar way, she continues:

“It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you.”

I’m pleased with the fact that I still keep a notebook; its details are not so distant that when I read through it, things don’t seem too out of context or tricky to follow. But I don’t want to  get to a place where I can’t remember what the heck I was writing about when I was eighteen. I’ll continue to grow and change, but I don’t want to lose touch with my formative thoughts.

I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend 🙂