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An Almanac For The 21st Century

Welcome to This you Need. Allow me to help you find that one perfect thing that will solve a problem or simply bring you joy. 

Wear, Watch, Want #42: The Versatile Dog Romance Edition

Wear, Watch, Want #42: The Versatile Dog Romance Edition

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Wear: GapFit Breathe V-Neck Tee

I can honestly say that I wear a one of these tees almost every day. Depending on the week, three to four days out of the week would be a very safe bet. They're incredibly comfortable, they wash up like a dream, and when the sales are right I've bought these tees for as low as $8 each. I have about six of them at this point. I wear one to every pilates class, every time I'm at the dog park, and countless other occasions. You've seen me in one before, in fact:

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You can't see most of it, but I'm wearing a Gap Breathe V-Neck Tee in photos from my post about this mascara with a crazy brush. (I probably had on some old leggings and Ugg slippers too. Blogging secrets revealed!)

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Here I am in a Gap Breathe Tee while working in bed with an "assistant." They don't wrinkle - I've tested them thoroughly.

Here I am wearing one on a roller coaster! Go ahead and wear your Gap Breathe Tee on a water ride - they dry super quickly!

One odd aspect of the Gap Breathe V-Neck Tee is that they're listed in two separate sections on the GapFit site. So if you wan to browse the shirts in colors, you have to look under one listing, and if you want to look at black, white, and grey, you need to look at another one. Sometimes when you're checking to see what's on sale or throwing a lot in a shopping bag it can get hinky if you don't know that trick. Otherwise, just follow the one rule of shopping at Gap: There will always be a sale, so never pay full price. These shirts are listed at $30 each which is downright comical. Like I said, I've paid $8 each. Normally they get down to about $18 each, which I think is fair. Only pay sale prices at Gap. Duh.

Watch: Love Between the Covers

I sat down to watch this documentary about romance novels not expecting much. I was thinking it would be about readers and authors of romances and be kind of superficial, but Love Between the Covers kept my attention, and within a few days of seeing it I had recommended it to numerous people and gone down many a Wikipedia k-hole.

Not only does Love Between the Covers examine the popularity of romance novels, it explores the process of writing a romance novel, publishing one, and how authors interact with their readers. There are interviews with many authors, from the Nora Roberts to an aspiring novelist who decides to self-publish.

My personal favorite part of the film was the interviews with Beverly Jenkins, who writes African American romance, and takes her readers on yearly historic tours of the American South. As one reader explained, she always wanted to go on a trip like this, and learn about her ancestral history, but it was just so heavy, and so she put it off. But with a group that was so supportive, and in a way, through the lens of romance novels, she was able to go on a tour of Charleston, SC and view plantations and places that have such a heavy, traumatic history. There's also a scene where Beverly Jenkins's group of Black women is sitting on one side of the street (Jenkins is casually smoking a cigarette) and across the street there passes a regimented group of white tourists led by a guide dressed in full period regalia, complete with a tricorn hat. It's one of my favorite scenes in a film full of great scenes.

And then Len Barot, who writes under the pen name Radclyffe, has the most amazing life story. To be honest, every women in this documentary could easily have a two hour film made about her life and it would have my undivided attention. Barot was a surgeon who started writing in her free time, then eventually became a full-time author and is now one of the most famous lesbian romance authors around. She now lives on a ranch that also serves as a publishing house - that's right - she's a former surgeon that became a famous author and a publisher. She created a place for LGBTQ authors to publish their work and for readers to find books that catered to them.

Those are just two women profiled in this fantastic documentary. There are so many more! Don't you want to watch it right now?! Love Between the Covers is streaming on Netflix, it couldn't be easier.

Want: Dog Accessories

Little Hero DeNiro wants for naught. Today he went to the dog park and chased tennis balls and wrestled with a little fluffy pup for almost two hours. He gets fed high quality food and I let him sleep anywhere (see above photo). But I have to look at his stuff, and I notice when things are getting grimy. His collar, for instance, has seen better days. He still wears it, though, because it still does it's job, which is to keep his tags on his neck and connect him to his leash to me. His bowls, too, could use an upgrade. There are parts that are missing, but I mean, they still hold food and water, so it's fine. But they look shoddy. He recently got new dog beds that were on my list to replace for months (they were so beat up I couldn't wash them anymore for fear of them disintegrating), and having some new dog stuff in the house made me realize how freakin' nice it is, and now I'm eyeing the other doggie items that need a sprucing. Dog collars aren't even expensive. And apparently you can get ones that have reflective thread woven into them. Oooooh.

Baby-Sitters Club 4EVA! Or: My Read Harder Challenge Progress

Baby-Sitters Club 4EVA! Or: My Read Harder Challenge Progress

Just a Few Bucks and a Target Run Will Help Jumpstart Your Spring

Just a Few Bucks and a Target Run Will Help Jumpstart Your Spring