Another day, another check-in


Hello ladies, and how are you all? I’m pretty decent, everything considered, and am hoping you are too.  I’ve been doing a lot of cooking around here—if one good thing comes from this awful time for me, it is that I’ve stopped ordering takeout daily and started making my own food again, which is nice, as I’m actually not bad at it. And, because the mask my mom gave me before things got really bad is pretty trashed by now, I’ve been skulking around outside (on the rare occasions that I do go outside) in this robber bandana getup. Please let me know how you and yours are faring in the comments, and have a peaceful weekend. I present the following to you for your amusement, education, or both:

  • I’ve been listening to a ton of Brazilian music—it’s just the thing for preventing one of my darker moods—and have especially been enjoying songs by a guy called Seu Jorge. Here is his awesome cover of Starman by David Bowie.
  • The third season of Ozark has arrived, and you can watch it on Netflix. It’s a freaking dark show, and the occasional violence can be a bit much, but if you haven’t watched it—and you loved, say, Breaking Bad—you will likely enjoy this too. Laura Linney is genius as a housewife who’s gone rogue, and I love Jason Bateman in anything.
  • I made this soup, and it is as delicious as it is easy.
  • Several of you have asked for suggestions regarding where to give money during this time to support those who’ve been financially affected by this crisis. Today I donated here  to a fund set up to support out-of-work domestic workers.
  • Horribly, Adam Schlesinger, of the band Fountains of Wayne, and who also wrote songs for the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend died this week of Coronavirus complications. Here’s a very pretty song of his called “All Kinds of Time.”
  • Several of you have asked about where to find handmade masks; I purchased a few from this Etsy store.
  • The Getty Museum in L.A. asked people to recreate classic paintings with stuff they had lying around the house, and the results are awesome.

Special guest post: Great podcasts for right now


Today’s post is brought to you by Tally Abecassis, my partner in podcasting and good friend in life. I’ll let her take it from here.

  • Nothing brings me more joy than prattling on about podcasts, so I am delighted to give some recommendations! One of my favorite shows is Reply All. It’s ostensibly a show about the internet, but the internet is the everything these days. The hosts PJ and Alex feel like my funny bickering brothers telling me about weird pockets of the web I would never visit. They sometimes go out into the real world too and those are often the best ones. Must-listen episodes: #79 Boy in Photo, #158 The Case of the Missing Hit
  • In these crazy times, the podcast that is keeping me most sane is Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Obviously Conan is a funny guy, but the looseness of this show lets him riff in the moment in a way he can’t on tightly-scripted TV. The guests who can do improv are the best, I find. Must-listen episodes: Will Arnett, Keegan-Michael Key.
  • On the other side of the spectrum, this is a great time to dig into a classic, On Being with Krista Tippett, a show about spirituality and what it means to be a human being in this world. I don’t normally need a show like this as much as I do now. Must-listen episode: Rebecca Solnit
  • If you like The Cut, their sadly-canceled podcast The Cut on Tuesday was just as smart. Their back catalog is still up and has 10 episodes of deep dives and solid interviews. Must-listen episode: AAHH IT’S THE ANXIETY EPISODE AHHHH (seems about right for now, eh?)
  • I never would have believed you could bring a microphone into couples therapy sessions, record them, and release them into the world as a podcast, yet here we are. Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel is the best possible version of that because Perel has a deep understanding of intimacy in relationships. Must-listen episode: Go with your interests, they’re all good.
  • If you are a creative, Longform is a solid pick, interviews with journalists and non-fiction writers on their careers, craft and the stories behind their stories. Must-listen episodes: Episode 303: Rukmini Callimachi, episode 350: Taffy Brodesser-Akner
  • Going Through It was a show put out by MailChimp, but don’t let that deter you—it doesn’t feel like sponcon at all. Ann Friedman interviews women on pivotal times in their careers, often moments of failure, and how they turned the ship around. Must-listen episodes: S1 E6 Samin Nosrat, S1 E14: Kathleen Hanna, S1 E2 Ellen Pao (See? So interesting and
  • I started listening to Chosen Family because my friend produces it, but I keep listening because hosts Thomas and Tranna now also feel like my friends. They are pop culture mavens who are sassy and thoughtful, and disagree on the importance of Celine Dion in the canon. Must-listen episode: S2 E17 Super Soul Sexuality with Lisa Grushcow
  • You’re Wrong About is a curious show where the hosts try to take an event you think you know and re-educate you on it. Hosted by HuffPo reporter Michael Hobbes and writer Sarah Marshall, both razor- sharp and full of wit. And the research! I don’t even know how they do it. Some of the later episodes are true-crimey if that’s your bag, but earlier ones have more thematic variety. Must-listen episodes: Tonya Harding (I was obsessed with this story when it was happening)
  • Personal Best is a show where host Rob Norman and producer Andrew Norton try to solve people’s low-stakes problems with McGyver-style solutions (if you get that TV reference, you are my people). A woman who wants to stop hitting the snooze button, another who wants help with text messaging, and another who wants to deliver a baby cow, as you do. Must-listen episode: One Time Snooze
  • Framed by medical mysteries, Bodies uncovers the subtle ways the medical system shushes women about their own bodies. Host Allison Behringer’s story in the inaugural episode completely drew me in. It’s feminist, well-told, and they just released a new season. Must-listen episode: S1 E1 Sex Hurts
  • This is a great time to lock in on a chat show and go through their whole catalog. If you’ve already binged on all the episodes of Everything is Fine (heh heh), A Thing or Two with Claire and Erica is a great pick. Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo are best friends IRL and you can feel it in their easy rapport. Plus they have impeccable taste. They bring on guests who talk about the best Korean facemasks or what newsletters you should subscribe to right now. Must-listen episode: Jason Polan’s Legacy as an Artist and Incredibly Kind Human.
  • Heavyweight is one of the best shows ever (ed note: I heartily concur) and so might as well end here. Host Jonathan Goldstein helps people navigate a moment from their past that they wish they had done differently. The show is funny and poignant and heartfelt and gives me all the feels. Must-listen episodes: Jimmy and Mark, Skye, Rob.

Is it time for another week of requests?


I usually do the week of requests every six months or so, and it’s still a few weeks shy of that. But I thought that given our current circumstances, you might be interested in slightly different things from me, so I’m putting out the call. Please share your queries in the comments.



Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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