my favorite things

Remember the episode of 30 Rock where Liz takes Comanaprasil on a plane and hallucinates meeting Oprah, who tells her that her current Favorite Things include ponchos and calypso music? Obviously you do but I’m putting this photo here so that, our mutual fond memories of 30 Rock can do the work of being funny for me.

This morning I was thinking, I wish I had a platform where I can share my current calypso and ponchos-level random-ass favorite things. Then I remembered that I do! I also wish I had the ability to put one of each of these things UNDER YOUR SEAT!!!! but alas no. Maybe someday.

  1. Cocofloss

    This is $8 luxury dental floss that you can buy online or at Sephora. Depending on your personality and ideology you are either rolling your eyes or already clicking the link. Either way, you should know that this floss is INSANELY EFFECTIVE yet somehow MUCH GENTLER THAN REGULAR FLOSS. I use an electric toothbrush to brush thoroughly and then floss with it nightly and the stuff that comes out shocks me. Like, that stuff was just chilling in between my teeth. Presumably before I started using this floss that stuff was in between my teeth (by extension: your teeth) all the time. It makes flossing as satisfying as popping a giant, ripe, easily-slides-out blackhead. Hope you’re still reading this! I am not being paid by the cocofloss corporation but if they’d like to sponsor this newsletter, they should write to me at emilgou AT gmail. Btw if you, non cocofloss corp. reader, want to write to me you should also use that address. If you reply to this email the emails have to go through Substack via a mechanism they haven’t quite figured out yet.

  2. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

    Please overcome your bias against buying a new hardcover this slim (I have one too obviously) and just give an independent bookstore your $ already, or get this from the library. It’s the most purely pleasurable yet also thought-provoking reading experience I’ve had in … a WHILE. Other things that might be preventing you from buying this universally lauded book by one of our most accomplished and fascinating authors:

    • not being a “dog person”

    • not wanting to read a book about the exquisite pain of being a writer

    • not wanting to be bummed out (“does something bad happen to the dog?” the narrator imagines “a certain kind of reader” asking about 1/4 of the way through)

    I see your points; I also stalled for these same reasons. It’s hard to explain how a book about something so depressing — adopting a friend’s not-young dog after that friend’s suicide, and watching as the dog’s grief mirrors and augments your own — could be so, well, uplifting. I think the sheer beauty of its prose is one reason; even as the narrator (a stymied writer) wonders about the pointlessness of her vocation, every sentence is a justification of that vocation’s existence. If you’ve already read and loved this book, I highly recommend Sempre Susan, Nunez’s memoir of being mentored by Susan Sontag. It gets at something so profound about the way that relationships shape and warp our lives. Also that romances aren’t always sexual. Sigrid Nunez’s perspective is necessary and timely in the same way that Rachel Cusk’s and Elena Ferrante’s are. If this hard sell hasn’t convinced you, read an excerpt.


    til next time,