This Weekend: This Is How You Lounge in Style
By Joshua Eferighe
Around the House
Jinbei. You’ve probably already made the kimono a staple, but this is the next logical step, a two-piece set traditionally worn by men and children but now considered apropos for everyone. It’s used in Japan as sleepwear, but also as a casual outdoor outfit suitable for going to a music festival … aw, remember music festivals? The top is kimono-esque, though a bit more Western-influenced, and the whole vibe is light and airy.
Nap Dress. You can sleep in the Nap Dress, but it’s not exactly a nightgown (you might even pull off this look in formal settings, if you have enough attitude). Instead it’s the dramatic 2020 lockdown version of a house dress, made to make you look like — as designer Nell Diamond, who’s popularized the Nap Dress on Instagram, describes it — a “Victorian ghost.”
Work From Home Hacks
Forest. Even before 2020 sent our brains into panic mode, our attention spans were waning — and now it’s even harder to stay focused. This productivity app offers a double-dose fix: It discourages you from wasting time while making you feel like you’re contributing in a small way to helping save the planet. Make a list of the sites that most distract you, set a target length of time you want to stay off them, then use the app to plant a virtual seed. If you visit any of these sites, your tree withers. If you make it through the time, you get a tree — and the app offers a service that allows you to grow real trees when you plant in the app.
Noisli. Call it white noise for work hours. Sometimes all you need is to feel like you’re working among others again. Noisli helps you by recreating background noises such as coffee shop and office sounds that will make things feel a bit more familiar to you.
Focusmate. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to work alone — even if you don’t typically have co-workers. Pick a time and date and Focusmate assigns you a random virtual accountability buddy. When you log in, tell the person what you’re working on and for how long, and they’ll do the same. Then you two just … quietly get to work and share your progress when the session ends.
ErgoErgo. Sitting on an exercise ball at your desk is very Dwight Schrute — and will remind you how long it’s been since you did Pilates — but this active stool provides similar benefits while making you feel like an overgrown, bouncy kid. Winner of multiple design awards, the ErgoErgo was created to keep you active, even if only via micromotions, throughout the day.
Books on Existential Crisis
The Stranger. Published in 1942, Albert Camus’ classic The Stranger is the story of a man who loses his mother and spends the rest of the book questioning everything. The humor is dark (and French), but if you’re struggling to connect in 2020 this may be the book that helps you feel seen.
The Book Thief. When a book is narrated by Death, you know it’s gonna get dark. This 2005 bestseller is the story of a foster kid growing up on the outskirts of Munich in the late 1930s who turns to stealing books as a way of dealing with losing her parents and the whole world being gradually and horribly turned upside down.
The Phantom Tollbooth. This kids’ classic from 1961 is the story of bored and anhedonic Milo, who goes on an adventure after receiving a mysterious tollbooth as a present. The journey through a magical and illogical land to rescue two princesses is sort of a 20th-century Pilgrim’s Progress — and may help you find your purpose too.
Can’t Even. Feeling burned out? Former BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen went viral last year with an essay about millennial burned out, which she’s turned into a full-length book, Can’t Even. Petersen digs deep into how unchecked capitalism, lack of a safety net and performance pressure have made millennials a generation in crisis.
Yakitori. Although fall and winter are around the corner, there still isn’t a better pairing than the weekend, sports and barbecue — the holy trinity of relaxation. If you are firing up a grill this weekend, try Japan’s yakitori, chicken on a stick doused in a sweet sauce. It’s a form of yakimono, a subset of Japanese cuisine whose origins are sometimes traced to soldiers who skewered meat on their swords and cooked it over an open fire.
Asado Steak. If there is anyone who knows how to barbecue it’s Argentines. Asado, which means lit or roast, is a South American grilling tradition that embodies not just the meal, but also the family and friends you share it with. For a real traditional flavor, you need to use a parilla grill. You can find grilled dishes like chorizo sausages and steak, topped with traditional chimichurri sauce.
Mongolian Khorkhog. If you really want to take your barbecuing to a new level, it’s time to break out the hot stones. Heat rocks in your barbecue, then throw them in a metal container with meat and vegetables and heat them all up together. You’ll need a couple of hours, but it’s a great way to prepare lamb or goat (and have time to stir up a conversation while you wait).