Zelda’s Favorites: 0% Political Reading from Around the Internet

Many moons ago (ok, not that many), we used to close out our months here on Z&S with a round-up of our favorite things. This included music and movies, things we were eating or drinking or listening to. And it included things we’d read — sometimes books, but mostly articles from around the internet that struck our fancy. I’d keep a running list all month whenever I stumbled across something particularly funny or moving or cool. It was our way of starting a conversation, and, personally, a good way to keep track of some of the best things the Internet had to offer during the past 30 days.

I do not regret our decision to do away with the round-ups; Scout and I are busy, busy ladies, and we’d rather focus our time and efforts on quality versus quantity of posts. But I miss the practice of noting when I read something that struck a chord and sharing it with y’all, our internet kin. And especially these days, when our democracy seems to be in tatters and kids are getting blown up at pop concerts and world leaders are trying out their best Saruman impressions, it’s important to be reminded that not everything is doom and gloom. This can be a particular challenge for me, since my job requires me to spend my days (or rather, nights) inundated by all things news, most of which is far from sunny. So in an effort to salvage my own humanity, and to hopefully bring a little apolitical relief to yours, here are ten of my favorite things I’ve read on the internet of late.


Drag Queen Story Hour Puts the Rainbow in Reading by Una LaMarche (The New York Times)

Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card! And when it comes to building empathy and celebrating the beauty of difference, it’s always best to start ’em young.

“Children love dressing up and being imaginative in what they wear,” Ms. Aimee said. “They see drag queens as people who are doing the same thing, expressing themselves creatively and having fun with it. Also, kids have a much more fluid understanding of gender than most adults do.”


Ginned Up: Canada Recalls Bottles Of Bombay Sapphire For Being Extra-Boozy by Camila Domonoske (NPR)

Nope, this is not the Onion. Apparently your gin and tonic really can be too strong.

A single “unsatisfied customer” tipped them off, returning a bottle because it did not “meet expectations,” Canada’s National Post reports.


Horses Competing in This Year’s Kentucky Derby by Jonny Auping (The New Yorker)

We may be 347 days away from the next Derby, but this still tickles me.

Single-Payer Plan

Cultural Appropriation

A Tom Wolfe Book About the Subculture of Gentlemen’s Duels to Determine Once and for All the Proper Way to Mix a Mint Julep Titled “The Smoking Bourbon”

Ghostface Killah


Hillbillies Who Code: The Former Miners Out to Put Kentucky on the Tech Map by Cassady Rosenblum (The Guardian)

Speaking of Kentucky, I love this stereotype-busting look at these former coal miners who are looking to turn their fortunes, and those of their fellow Appalachians, around by transforming an economically devastated region into “Silicon Holler.”

The guys at Bitsource also view being a hillbilly is something positive. “A hillbilly is someone who is hard-working, thoughtful, and loyal,” Couch says. “And rugged,” he adds. “Because we’ve seen some tough times.”…“In Pikeville we already moved the mountain,” Justice says. “Nothing really much scares us.”


Think Baseball is Boring? Maybe a Cat Will Help by Daniel Victor (The New York Times)

Dear Scout, See baseball can be fun and exciting! Love, Zelda

“Look at this cat,” Rich Waltz, a Marlins announcer, beamed on the team’s broadcast. “Terrific stuff by the cat. Outstanding!”

The cat settled itself away from the dirty hands of humans on a gaudy sculpture that lights up, sprays water and does other gaudy things on the occasion of each Marlins home run. It lay down on a portion of the sculpture painted to look like water, but found no tuna or minnows.


Why the 1980s Anne of Green Gables Is Such a Hard Act to Follow by Joanna Robinson (Vanity Fair)

As Kathleen Kelly tells us, when you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way no other reading in your whole life does. Anne Shirley, with her sass and her love of books and her absolutely voracious imagination, is an indelible part of mine.

I didn’t read Anne (with an “e” of course) of Green Gables. I devoured Anne of Green Gables. At the time, I didn’t understand why Anne’s commitment to her own intelligence, kindness, and disruptive “red hair” meant so much to me. Why watching Anne sit on a bench and stare toward her beloved best friend Diana Barry’s house, crying “henceforth we must be strangers living side by side,” made my heart soar. Now I realize that she was my first heroine.


Stephen Sondheim and Meryl Streep Side by Side at the Pen Gala by D.T. Max (The New Yorker)

Why does this story exist? I do not know. But it’s a fanciful romp, and I’m delighted to be along for the ride. Also it wins the prize for favorite sentence I’ve read this month (see below).

Out of the gloaming, Streep appeared.


That’s What She Said: #Professional by Anne T. Donahue (newsletter)

I do not know why I was not subscribed to Donahue’s newsletter until this month — she is consistently one of my favorite people on Twitter, and on the internet in general — but this brassy breakdown of how to be a lady boss who writes shit and gets it published is what hooked me. (Speaking of newsletters, are you subscribed to Bim’s? You should be subscribed to Bim’s.)

So first, let’s squash the myth that you need to know a writer to be a writer. I knew zero people who were writers when I started writing. I was in university, it was the summer, I’d had a fight with my Dad (which pushed me over the edge and made me decide to show him ONCE AND FOR ALL), and I worked at American Eagle. So, upset and frustrated with my life, I went to Craigslist and looked up writing jobs and CORRECT: that was a terrible mistake. But my point is, your career beginning does not need to look like somebody else’s career beginnings. There is no right or wrong way to begin writing as a professional person.

Except maybe by working for $2/piece via Craigslist. But I survived! So we did it, everyone. NEXT.


Digging in the Trash by David Joy (Bitter Southerner)

Bitter Southerner is basically who Scout and I want to be when we grow up. Their content is consistently well-written, beautifully produced, and humming with empathy. They never met a stereotype they didn’t try to dispel, nary a bubble they didn’t burst with wit and insight and truth. This is no exception.

We drove there on birthdays and holidays. Past farm ponds colored chocolate milk. Past yellow fields of oat grass that waved and flickered in sunlight like heads of windblown hair. Gravel crunched under tires as we eased along a dirt road just a few minutes from where we lived to the trailer where my grandfather survived.


My Family’s Slave by Alex Tizon (The Atlantic)

Last but not least, this is not a happy story, but it is an important one that will challenge your assumptions about family and love and our responsibility to our fellow human beings.

Her name was Eudocia Tomas Pulido. We called her Lola. She was 4 foot 11, with mocha-brown skin and almond eyes that I can still see looking into mine—my first memory. She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been.


See Ya Later, 2016; We Probably Won’t Miss You.

It’s been quite a year. And, if we’re honest, we’re glad it’s coming to an end. But even so, we have had some fun this year, somehow. So we’ll leave you with our 12 favorite pieces from this year — one from each month. And we’ll see you in 2017.

FullSizeRender (4)

January: Scout’s Must See NYC Artworks – Scout gave you the low down on New York’s must see artworks.

February: Playlist: Love, Love, Love – Our Valentine’s Day-themed playlist of love songs.

March: Eat This, Drink That: Benedictine & Bee’s Knees – A spring drink and spring snack.


April: Look Up – Zelda waxed poetic about the wonders of being up on the roof.

May: Once You’ve Loved Somebody – Our love letter to the Dixie Chicks, and the songs that made us.

June: Summer Character Inspiration – Scout took a look at our favorite fictional Southern ladies and wondered where they would be if they’d moved up to the big city with us.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 5.42.38 PM

July: Just Folks: Andi Morrow – Just Folks returned with this Tennessee lady.

August: Year Three – As we moved into our third year, we shook things up, and thanked y’all for sticking with us.

September: Required Reading: Volume Nine – Zelda delved into a new genre: cookbooks.



October: Not Unhappy – Scout discussed her experiences with depression and handling it.

November: 20 Hours In America: Why We’re With Her – Despite the outcome of the election. We remain with her.

December: Thankful – Zelda looked at the good things in this dumpster fire of a year.

New Resolve

Hey y’all. It’s been a rough week. We’re both still reeling from an election that didn’t go the way we hoped. We’re scared for friends and neighbors, and we’re trying to recover from the result and turn to proactive choices. We’re donating to places we think will help. We’re having conversations — at work, with friends — about what to do next, how we can use our privilege in the most effective way.

But mostly we’re sad and tired, and honestly we didn’t think we could do a real post this week proper justice. So instead, here are some things that make us happy. They bring a smile to our faces and distract us for a little while. They allow us to heal, to recharge, and to renew our resolve. As Leslie Knope instructed us last week, it’s time to find your team and get to work.

“Sunday Candy,” Chance the Rapper with Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment.  

Anything with Richard Ayoade, but especially TravelMan, wherein Ayaode reluctantly spends 48 hours in various locals around the globe with other comedians.

Kristen Bell is another favorite of ours. Scout just finished catching up on her new show The Good Place (Zelda’s been a big fan since the pilot), but if you’re short on time, her love of sloths always makes us feel good about the world.

Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has been a source of much inspiration and solace this election season. Last week he struck again, and cemented his family’s status as Most Adorable of All Time, with a Sound of Music-inspired home movie.  

Carpool Karaoke is basically what we look like any time we drive anywhere together, and seeing our fave James Corden go as hard as we do when it comes to singing behind the wheel is a source of comfort. Our two favorites:

We’re not giving up, and neither should you. Take the time you need to find your resolve, and start now. Be proactive, but keep yourself and your friends safe. In the words of Justin McElroy, “I’m gonna wake up tomorrow and and keep trying to do good and so are you, and nobody gets to vote on that.”

July Round Up

It’s summertime in the city, and the living in our parts is decidedly sweaty. The heat has seeped in everywhere, even in places that should remain blessedly cool (see: Scout’s workplace, Zelda’s apartment). Zelda spent much of this month drowning in politics (#newsroomlyfe), while Scout was besieged by hordes of summer campers (#museumlyfe). But we did manage to have some fun. The banner headline goes to our trip home for Forecastle, the music festival by now much-discussed in the Z&S sphere. We danced and sang along and drank good beer and ate fresh pork rinds. We came home minus several hours of sleep but plus several freckles and a healthy dose of sun. It does a body good to spend an evening in a grassy field with one’s friends, swaying along to a melody, while a Kentucky sunset paints the sky cotton candy shades of pink. So thanks, July. We needed that.


What We’re Doing: This month was definitely on trend, with summer posts ranging from the culinary to the literary and beyond. Scout talked music festival tips and breakfast. Zelda shared a Fourth of July recipe and some great Southern summer reads. We prepped for Forecastle with a playlist, made chocolate chess pie and strawberry gin smashes, and pulled together some Tuesday inspiration fit for a summer storm. But the post we’re most excited about is the return of Just Folks! This month we talked to Andi Morrow, Tennessee native and New York actress, filmmaker, etc. about dogs and community and Patti Smith and being “Southern as shit.”


What We’re Listening To: This month was pretty much all about Forecastle for us, musically at least. While we looked forward to seeing old favorites like The Avett Brothers and Andrew McMahon, we spent the first half of the month prepping with this playlist of potential, soon-to-be favorites. The leaders of the pack after the festival were Sarah Jarosz and The Seratones. Sarah’s melancholy, mountain-tinged melodies shot straight to our hearts, and The Seratones rock kicked off our festival with a little dash of Louisiana, which is never a bad thing in our minds. But the real winner? Brandi Carlile closed us out on a warm Sunday night, under a brilliant sunset and the light of a rising moon. She was everything we wanted from Forecastle. Her cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” was the soundtrack to our exit, and will forever be linked to the whole experience in our memory.

We also love: We’re always happy to hear new music from blog favorite The Secret Sisters, so this cover of Hank Cochran’s “Make the World Go Away” made us happy, however sad the song may actually be.  And another blog favorite, Watsky, announced a new album and a new tour, and even released a couple of tracks. You can bet we’ve pre-ordered our copies and gotten our tickets. He also dropped the track list last week, and while a new Watsky album always has us excited, we are especially stoked for appearances by Julia Nunes, Dumbfounded, Chinaka Hodge, Rafael Casal, and Tony-winner Daveed Diggs.


What We’re Watching: The long-awaited remake of Ghostbusters hit theaters this month, and you can bet our butts were in those seats (which is saying something, because and it takes a lot to get us to a theater in New York City — $15+ is a lot for a movie, y’all). And Scout would probably sell her soul (or at least donate it for cool science purposes) to Jillian Holtzmann, (played impeccably by Kate McKinnon), who was the highlight of the film for her. It was funny, irreverent, with a good number of nods to the original, and packed with girl power. Go see it. Women are funny: It’s time for the haters to deal with it.

We Also Love: Maybe you’re living under a rock, or maybe you just don’t care, but if you haven’t heard, Gilmore Girls is coming back for an encore this fall. Netflix recently dropped the release date (Thanksgiving Weekend plans, made) and this teaser, and got us all aquiver with excitement to revisit Stars Hollow. Over on YouTube, Scout continued her McElroy Brothers kick with gut-busting viewings of Monster Factory, their show where they use video games to build crazy looking characters and hilarity ensues. And our favorites over at Shipwrecked Comedy dropped the trailer for the upcoming “Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner” (#PoeParty) starring some of our internet favorites: Ashley Clements, Mary Kate Wiles, Lauren Lopez, Sean Persaud, etc. We are totally pumped.


What We’re Reading: This fascinating look at how American dining has changed over the last 30 years (Bon Appétit), along with this compilation of the most popular foods and/or cocktails for every year from 1970 to 2016 (Fondue! Kiwis! Cool Ranch Doritos!) (Good Housekeeping). This story about the infamous quiz every applicant to the Strand bookstore must take, which goes a long way to explain why the store is so freaking great (The New York Times). Play along at home and see if you make the cut! This (maybe a bit too real) guide to surviving an air conditioning-less summer in the wilds of Brooklyn (Bushwick Daily). This scathing peek behind the curtain of our nation’s Cheeto-hued would-be leader, told by the man who actually wrote The Art of the Deal (which, were he to write it today, he would more aptly title The Sociopath) (The New Yorker). Speaking of politics, we generally refrain from discussing them too deeply on this here blog, but this spoof of every outfit-analyzing, intellect-minimizing analysis of a candidate’s spouse is really delightful (Quartz), and this essay by Ghazala Khan, the mother of slain Muslim soldier Humayan Khan, to explain why she appeared silent behind her husband, Khizr, while he reminded watchers of the Democratic convention what makes us American and why this election matters so much, is a must-read (Washington Post). In other news from the department of “reading that makes us better, more thoughtful humans,” check out this reminder of why representation in the media matters (don’t be fooled by the listicle format — this sucker will hit you right in the feels) (BuzzFeed), as is this discussion of the politics of the AWESOME new “Ghostbusters” movie (The New York Times). And finally, to end on a charming note, as a former constructor of her own fairy huts, Zelda was particularly enchanted by this profile of the woman who filled the forests of New Jersey’s Rahway Trail with houses fit for Thumbeline (The New York Times).


What We’re Eating: Scout cooked up a chocolate chess pie for our monthly dose of Eat This, Drink That. It’s a classic Southern treat but with a chocolate twist, because chocolate makes everything better. While it didn’t quite live up to our Homemade Pie Kitchen expectations (but we really can’t expect Scout’s creations to live up to that — she’s pleased when they’re mostly edible), it was pretty tasty, and we enjoyed it both for dessert and for breakfast the next morning.

We Also Love: Our trip home wouldn’t have been complete without a few trips to our favorite hometown eating establishments. We brunched at The Silver Dollar, because we always have room for their chilaquiles. We swung by Wild Eggs for an everything muffin. And we even managed a slice of Mellow Mushroom while still on the festival grounds. 

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

What We’re Drinking: Zelda stirred up some strawberry gin smashes for Eat This, Drink That, and they were tasty as hell. This summery spin on a classic straight out of the Roaring Twenties was totally refreshing in the July heat. Honestly, we are always down for any drink that incorporates strawberries and/or smashing, and we highly recommend the pitcher version of this recipe for easier smashing and more strawberry flavor.

We Also Love: In the midst of our Forecastle adventures, we left the festival grounds for dinner at hometown (and internationally acclaimed) brewery, Against the Grain. We had exemplary food, exemplary service, and above all exemplary beer. Speaking of exemplary beer, our trip home wouldn’t have been complete without stops at the Louisville Beer Store and The Holy Grale. Louisville, we love you, and you clearly love good beer as much as we do.


What’s On Our Wishlist: Despite our pre-orders, our copies of the newest addition to the Harry Potter universe have yet to arrive. Dearest Amazon, please dispatch the Cursed Child to us by the next owl, lest we be forced to send you a howler expressing our impatience and displeasure! We also wouldn’t complain if you threw in a popsicle maker, the better (i.e. colder) to convey deliciousness, boozy or otherwise, into our mouths.

Want a monthly dose of Z&S delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter here! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest to make sure you don’t miss out on a single bit of Southern-fried, Brooklyn-based goodness.


June Round Up

June busted out all over the place this year and flew by in such a whirlwind that we can’t quite believe it’s almost gone. We’ve been busy bees this month: We both went home for the weekend (on separate occasions), we both saw the Dixie Chicks (once together, Zelda twice), we saw some great theatre (Waitress for Scout and A Long Day’s Journey Into Night for Zelda), and we somehow managed to fit in work, laundry, food, sleep, blogging, and a social life in between. The whole city seems to hum with a new energy when the days get longer and the air gets balmier, everyone rushing outside to soak up as much sunshine as possible before the inevitable winter returns. It’s fun, and it’s exciting, but it’s often thoroughly exhausting as well. We’re doing our best to balance it all: work and play, friends and fun, adventures in this great, wide city and time to recharge in our cozy beds. June gave us ice cream and laughter and freckles on our shoulders. We can’t wait to see what July has in store.


What We’re Doing: We’ve clearly had summer on the brain this month. Zelda made a list of essentials for one of her favorite warm-weather activities: the picnic. Scout did a little daydreaming about how some of our favorite iconic Southern ladies might take on this, the summer of 2016, in New York City, and she shared some tips for de-stressing and de-compressing when the social whirlwind that seems to accompany the longer daylight hours gets you down. It was also a musical month, from our Tony’s Study Guide playlist to Zelda’s essay about going home, physically and emotionally, for a Dixie Chicks concert on the banks of the Ohio River. And we topped it all off with some Hot Fudge Bourbon Milkshakes (which we both ate and drank), and a little inspiration to soothe our souls after this month of heartbreak and loss on so many fronts around the world.


What We’re Listening To: We started off this month with a guide to this year’s HamilTony Awards. There were a bunch of great shows and great performers treading the Broadway boards this season, so make sure you give our sampler a listen! And if you’re in the area, catch some of these limited-run productions before they’re gone (sadly, for some, it may already be too late)! And just get in line with Zelda for Hamilton tickets. It’s gonna run for a good long time, don’t you worry.

We also love: Thanks to great friends of the blog Jason and Sarah, Scout has been on a McElroy Brothers kick. She’s spent most of this month listening to their family of podcasts, especially MBMBaM (for comedy and dubious advice), Sawbones (on the past misguided medicine of the human race), and Schmanners (for all your etiquette needs). Zelda meanwhile has been jamming out to new albums/singles/EPs  from some of her all-time favorite bands: The Avett Brothers, The Head and the Heart, and Mumford and Sons.


What We’re Watching: Zelda has officially been indoctrinated into the cult of Australian lady detective Miss Phryne Fisher, with a full-on binge of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Essie Davis stars as the titular character who does not let her adventurous lifestyle get in the way of her fashion or feminism. Seriously though, we love a strong independent lady in 1920’s clothing. This show is a fun Australian vacation from a lot of the intensity of American crime shows, a throw-back to good old-fashioned Agatha Christie-style murder mysteries.

We also love: This look at The Avett Brother’s song-writing process. This NPR Tiny Desk concert by Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop. And this video of Grace Helbig doing one of her classic red carpet fashion reviews, Tony’s style (why yes that was a pun, thank you for noticing!).


What We’re Reading: This inside look at how The New York Times tackled the late-night passing of our own hometown hero, Muhammad Ali (and a pretty good look at Zelda’s average worknight, although they aren’t always quite this crazy). This in-depth exploration of one of the great questions of our time: What does one eat while climbing Mount Everest? (Bon Appetit) This delicious little piece, in which Jason Adam Katzenstein renames famous novels as if they were Friends episodes (The New Yorker). This article about content creation, the online space, and why the mainstream media should stop discounting Team Internet (Variety). This beautiful essay about the heady romance of pure, passionate friendships forged at the age of 22, which may not last but are no less important for it (BuzzFeed). And this poignant ode to “Latin night at the queer club,” a safe haven for so many souls, written in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando (Washington Post).


What We’re Eating: Dearly beloved, we suffered a great loss this month. A guiding post in our lives, witness to so many important moments and milestones, has fallen from our midst, disappearing into the ether of hotspots gone by. We’re talking, of course, about Fritzl’s Lunch Box — beloved Bushwick watering hole and long-time staple of our lives. This place has fed our stomachs and our souls, filling us with burgers and fried chicken and johnny cakes and playing host to surprise visits from old friends, celebrations of new employment, and many a Z&S brainstorming session. We journeyed there together last Saturday for one final brunch, a wake of a meal in which we toasted all the happy times we spent within its walls (or in its backyard). RIP, Fritzl’s. You will be missed.


What We’re Drinking: This month, we cooked up some incredibly tasty bourbon milkshakes with homemade whipped cream and hot fudge, the perfect drink for a hot day on the roof. We celebrated friend-of-the-blog Casey’s last week at our favorite watering hold, The Sampler, with many drinks and copious arepas from nearby Guacuco. And Scout went on a bar crawl in Park Slope, and discovered that there one can find a Kentucky bar called Commonwealth, which we will have to spend more time at!


What’s On Our Wishlist: We’re both trying to get tickets to the Broadway shows closing in the next month (sadly, there are many). At the top of our list? Shuffle Along: Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. Scout’s looking to pick up this tote from her favorite poet/rapper/Nightvale-weather Dessa; also, with summer upon us, she’s looking to update her Chacos, since the one’s she got for camp twelve years ago have officially seen better days. And Zelda has her eye on some summer additions to her kitchen arsenal: popsicle molds, an ice cream maker, and this gorgeous copper (swoon!) french press, the better to make iced coffee in.

Want a monthly dose of Z&S delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter here! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest to make sure you don’t miss out on a single bit of Southern-fried, Brooklyn-based goodness.


May Round Up

Hot damn, guys, it is officially summer in the city! And with barely a handful of true springtime days to call our own. The sticky heat has descended on the boroughs with a vengeance, prompting us to invest in some seasonal picnic blankets, new sandals, and industrial-strength window fans. Where did this past month go, we ask, and how did we find ourselves sweltering in the June heat? It was a whirlwind, y’all: Derby, weddings, graduations, poetry readings, karaoke nights, rooftop drinks, and oh so many cups of iced coffee. So many festivities packed into so little time, and without much of a respite on the horizon. It’s all good fun though, soaked in sunshine and friendship and rosé. Cheers to summer, y’all. It’s going to be a great one.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.46.56 PM

What We’re Doing: This month started off with a bourbon-soaked bang as we celebrated Derby, educating all of y’all (on the internet) and our New York friends (in person) on how to properly get one’s Kentucky on. Scout offered a special something for our gentlemen readers: a dapper style guide for the well-accoutred racetrack-going gentleman. All that partying kicked our asses though — or, more accurately, our immune systems. Luckily, Zelda was ready with some tips for how to make the most of your New York sick day, or at least how to make it not the worst. With June just around the bend, Scout checked in on her 2016 resolutions. And while we neither Ate This nor Drank That, we did go to a wedding, and rounded out the month with a different kind of playlist and some New York inspiration.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.46.31 PM

What We’re Listening To: This month had us going back, back to our childhood, our adolescence, and the three chicks that got us through it all: Natalie Maines, Emily Robinson, and Martie Maguire, also known as the Dixie Chicks. The tunes of these three Texan ladies helped us through a lot of times, both bad and good, so we paid homage to them in this month’s playlist. And the Dixie Chicks fun isn’t over: We are beyond excited to see them at Madison Square Garden in two weeks (lucky Zelda is seeing them twice!). Also, in a truly momentous landmark in our musical lives, we  finally debuted our version of Monty Python’s “Philosophers’ Drinking Song” at Nerdeoke this past holiday weekend. 

We also love: Revisiting old playlists made for this summery weather! Our recent jaunt to the park had us flashing back to June 2015 (Songs to Lounge in Parks By, how apropos), August 2014 (our very first playlist, for nostalgia’s sake), and August 2015 (a playlist for new beginnings to mark the change in the seasons). 


What We’re Watching:  Zelda finally got around to sinking her teeth into two of Scout’s absolute favorites this month. First, the incomparable Orphan Black: She now joins the ranks of those of us who believe that Tatiana Maslany must be magic, and we should give her ALL THE AWARDS (seriously, why doesn’t she have an Emmy, someone give her an Emmy). And second, You’re the Worst, the best show on TV that you’re not watching. You should follow her example and catch up on Season’s 1 and 2 before Season 3 comes back around this fall! Scout dove head first into BBC’s The Musketeers — a re-imagining of Alexandre Dumas’s classic. If you like sword fights and period costumes, the entire series just went up on Hulu this month.

We also love: This cover of Beyoncé ’s “Daddy Lessons” by the aforementioned Dixie Chicks. John Green delivering the 2016 Commencement speech at his alma mater, Kenyon College. Speaking of Commencement speeches, our fave Pulitzer-Tony-Grammy-Emmy-MacArthur-winning genius, Lin-Manuel Miranda dropping some wisdom bombs on the graduates at the University of Pennsylvania. And Scout watched all the Star Wars prequels, for the first time, in one sitting. It got ugly


What We’re Reading: This oral history of the musical that was so formative in theatre education of every lost and mixed up child of the 90s, ourselves included — the 20-year old Rent (Vulture) — and this lovely tribute from one of the folks Jonathan Larson’s music indelibly shaped, Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda himself (New York Times). This peek inside the oh-so-glamorous Met Ball, through the intensely human eyes of “Humans of New York” photographer Brandon Stanton (Vogue). This chat with Nashville gal and unabashedly proud Southerner Reese Witherspoon about what makes the region so great (New York Times). This fascinating portrait of the girl everybody’s going to be talking about once the Rio Olympics take off, gymnastics powerhouse Simone Biles (New Yorker). This important examination of Asian-American actors and their fight for visibility on screens large and small (New York Times). This interview with Linda Woolverton, the first woman to write an animated feature for Disney and the brain behind such cornerstones of our childhood as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King (Vanity Fair).  This look at Zelda’s new dream job: professional pie consultant (Bon Appetit). And this gem of a throwback to April, from the tragically soon-to-be-closed Toast: “Sondheim As I Understand Him, From a Woman Who Has Seen About One Cumulative Hour of Sondheim’s Work and Almost Certainly Misunderstood It.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.55.57 PM

What We’re Eating: Summer weather in New York brings with it sweaty thighs and unpleasant smells and fragrant armpits uncomfortably close to our faces on the subway. But it also opens up a whole wide realm of outdoor dining possibilities! Our fav George Watsky held a poetry reading meet-up in Central Park last weekend (in anticipation of his leaving New York and of the release of his new essay collection How to Ruin Everything, which you should all check out come June 14th!). We decided to celebrate beforehand with the official opening of our 2016 Picnicking Season. Friend-of-the-blog Katie joined in the fun; chips, brownies, fruit, sandwiches (from Bushwick stalwart and host of many a Z&S writing session, Little Skips), and possibly some illegal beverages were consumed; and a jolly good time was had by all. Here’s to summer, here’s to friendship, here’s to eating outside more!

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.42.19 PM

What We’re Drinking: We are all about the Stillwater Classique this month, in honor of Brooklyn’s Inaugural Classique Classic — a Louisville tradition that made its way here all on its own (okay…Scout may have helped…a little bit, but only a little). Scout, as tradition dictates, was out in the first round (Zelda, tragically, had to work, but would have faced a similar fate, she’s sure), but a good time was had by all. Hopefully this is the first of many Classique Classics: It’s the drinking sensation that’s sweeping the nation.

We Also Love: The Freigeist Geisterzug Rhubarb Gose from Shelton Brothers. We partook of this refreshing concoction during our park picnic, and we want more. Good thing it comes in Quince as well.


What’s On Our Wishlist: With the stage adaptation of Waitress making a big splash here in New York, Zelda has her eye on this pie print from Roaring Softly on Etsy — an homage to the story in its original, cinematic form. We both clicked pre-order faster than you can say “pie crust” on the cast album, coming to earbuds near you June 10th. And since summer has finally hit Brooklyn, Scout is lusting after all the tank tops and summer blouses. All of them.

Want a monthly dose of Z&S delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter here! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest to make sure you don’t miss out on a single bit of Southern-fried, Brooklyn-based goodness.


April Round Up

Spring has officially, finally, gloriously sprung here in New York, and we’ve been soaking up all the sunshine and ice cream and cherry blossoms we can get. All this warm weather has lured us up and out of our cozy dens — to the roof, to the theatre, to concerts, to brunch, to Philadelphia, to other boroughs, to all kinds of adventures. Zelda saw our beloved Houndmouth (sadly sans Katie Toupin, but still a rocking good time), Scout continued her Shakespeare binge (Are you following @saucyandoverbold? You should be following @saucyandoverbold.), and we both jammed out to the Avett Brothers, celebrated new pads and happy trails for various friends, and drank lots of cocktails with our squad. And now, with Thunder just behind us and our second annual Brooklyn Derby party a couple weeks ahead, we’re passing on over (eh? eh?) into full-blown Kentucky mania and raising a glass (preferably containing an ice cold julep) to the adventures still to come.


What We’re Doing: What a doozy of a month, y’all. Zelda made a list of New York books to read and did some musing on her rooftop and this city she now finds herself calling home. Scout got all warm and fuzzy about her self-made family of New York friends and reviewed our new and improved hometown museum, the Speed. We made bourbon ball cupcakes and Kentucky Lillies, got pumped up to go out, and drew inspiration from the Bluegrass State. Looking back, it seems home was the theme of our April this year: both the one we left behind (but will never forget, and continue to claim) back by the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs, and the one we have made for ourselves here, in the shadow of the Chrysler Building.


What We’re Listening To: The warm weather has New York emerging from hibernation, putting on real pants, and venturing out to paint the town. As we all know, a great night starts with a great pump-up jam, and so for this month’s playlist we brought together some of our favorite fun, kickass, sexy getting ready songs. From Watsky to Mika to Rihanna to Yelle (and some two-named artists in between), these tracks have us dancing around kitchens, hairbrush microphone in hand, and then heading out on the town…or straight to our couch. Cause hey, you do you. Sometimes all you need is a party of one.

We also love: Bless your heart, April, you brought us so many delights for our eardrums to feast on! We can hardly believe the musical bounty of the past few weeks: The LumineersCleopatra, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop’s Love Letter for Fire, Tegan and Sara’s Love You to Death (well, at least two singles’ worth), Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes’s new podcast “Ladies Who Lunch,” plus a brand-new track from those brothers named Avett, a preview of awesome things to come on True Sadness this June. And then, of course, there’s Lemonade.


What We’re Watching: Unbreakable, we’re alive, damnit! Kimmy Schmidt is back, and we are very excited (though we were a bit disappointed about the lack of a Pinot Noir redux). Kimmy makes us feel better about our lives, her positivity radiating through several new New York City adventures: Everyone needs therapy, Titus finds love, Lillian fights gentrification, Jacqueline becomes a sort of okay person! Scout also binged all of Amazon’s Catastrophe, which was fantastic. Her take away: basically You’re the Worst if Gretchen and Jimmy had met 10 years later. Also, Rob Delaney is really tall — like, giant.

We also love: This video of Gavin Creel and Aaron Tveit at Miscast, doing their take on “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent (also these Broadway babies slaying Hamilton’s  “The Schuyler Sisters”). After a lackluster beginning to the season, Scout’s favorite show, The 100, is finally back to where it should be, and she can’t wait for the last few episodes. Zelda’s over the moon that The Mindy Project finally returned to her life. And we got gripping finales for iZombie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (don’t even get us started on how big an idiot Greg is).


What We’re Reading: This profile of the Queen of Soul herself, Ms. Aretha Franklin (The New Yorker). This peak behind the scenes of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History archives (BuzzFeed). This trend piece (yes, eugh, we know, but this one actually speaks to our souls) on how staying out just may be the new going in (T Magazine). This tribute to the Bard, ole Billy Shakes, dead 400 years this month (The New York Times). This portrait of the 93-year-old queen of Creole cuisine, Leah Chase (The New Yorker). This defense of the matzah meal pancake (Lucky Peach). This look at the so-far-seemingly-awesome new Doctor Who companion, and why she’s such good news (Vanity Fair). This guide to throwing the perfect, perfectly French dinner party (AFAR). And in books, Scout finally read (and loved) Stiff, Mary Roach’s hilarious and engrossing look at history and misadventures of human cadavers, while Zelda is still reeling from the enchanting saga that is Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News (book hangovers are real, y’all).

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

What We’re Eating: This month, we tested out theory that everything that can be put into cupcake form, should be — Derby style! Our bourbon pecan cupcakes tasted like Kentucky and Derby and home, and will definitely be making the menu at our annual shindig next month. With the weather finally warming up, we’re visiting all our favorite outdoor spots, because nothing says spring in Brooklyn like eating outside. Scout’s new favorite? The new taco truck that opened across the street from her apartment building, which is probably dangerous. And the end of this month has been less about what we are eating and more about what we are not, as it’s Passover, Scout’s favorite Jewish holiday, despite having to avoid her favorite food: bread.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

What We’re Drinking: In honor of early May festivities (we’ve said it enough, you know what we’re talking about now, right?), Zelda shook up her version of the Oaks Lilly — the mint julep alternative for those that don’t like dark liquor (bless their hearts). After a trying trip to gather all the ingredients (three different stores!?!), this easy, tasty drink was perfect, and for once we had the correct glasses for serving. Still, we’re stocking Zelda’s kitchen with Bulleit and Old Forester to make ample amounts of our favorite minty stand-by come Derby Day. In other beverage news, Scout made it to The Sampler’s April bottle share. Her favorite find? Always fantastic brewery Hill Farmstead’s saison, Edith. Also: ICED COFFEE SEASON IS HERE! Time to channel our inner Nancy Botwin. Preferably on a rooftop.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.25.27 PM

What’s On Our Wishlist: This month’s wishlist is mostly for Derby gear. We need this, to make crushed ice and have the perfect juleps. Also this, this, and this to properly adorn our heads for the big day. And we wouldn’t say no to these geographically-themed tees from ShopLocal KY, or to this 4/20 spin on Kentucky for Kentucky’s classic Y’all shirt, made of Kentucky hemp.

Want a monthly dose of Z&S delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter here! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest to make sure you don’t miss out on a single bit of Southern-fried, Brooklyn-based goodness.