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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 #48: The Hypermobile Aromatherapy Queen Edition

Wear, Watch, Want #48: The Hypermobile Aromatherapy Queen Edition

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Wear: Tennis Elbow Braces

This week I was diagnosed with tennis elbow in both elbows. The last time I played tennis was easily 15 years ago. I do, however, have hypermobility in practically all of my joints, and I hyperextended my elbows for too long and now I have tennis elbow(s). Why on earth would I hyperextend my elbows for too long? Because I did it while I was asleep. When I'm sleeping I have to be careful to keep my knees and elbows bent so that I don't hyperextend them for hours, but sometimes you do things in your sleep that are unintentional and, well, unhealthy. I stretched out my arm, which for me and my body full of ailments is a real problem. So, to summarize, I got tennis elbow in my sleep and now I have to wear a brace (or braces, as the case is currently) and (and!) go to hand therapy.

Watch: Queen Sugar

If you don't keep up with what's airing on the OWN Network you may have missed the wonderful Queen Sugar this past fall. In case you are one of these unfortunate people, dry your tears, because the first season has just been added to Hulu, so you can catch up with all things Bordelon before season two premieres June 20th.

Queen Sugar follows the three Bordelon siblings, who inherit their father's failing sugarcane farm. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), the youngest sibling and only son, has been learning about the farm from his father, but he's only recently been released from prison and is struggling to raise his young son and deal with his absentee, drug-addict ex, Darla (Bianca Lawson). Quick shoutout to the truly ageless Bianca Lawson, who has been playing high school students for literally 20 years and at 38 is playing the love interest of a guy 15 years her junior. They don't mention Ralph Angel or Darla's ages, but it's made to seem like they're around the same age. Bianca Lawson is Beyonce's stepsister, but that's nothing compared to her age-defying witchcraft skills.

Nova Bordelon is the eldest Bordelon sibling. She is an investigative journalist and activist who lives in New Orleans. She grows and sells weed, is an unapologetic bisexual, and is a Black Lives Matter activist in a long term secret relationship with a married white cop. If Rutina Wesley doesn't get the recognition for this performance come awards season I will be completely flabbergasted. She is extraordinary. The show feels very much like an ensemble, particularly when you look back on it as a whole, but according to Wikipedia Nova is the lead.

Dawn-Lyen Gardner plays Charley, the middle child and as I only just now found out from Wikipedia, the half sibling of Ralph Angel and Nova. I vaguely remember this being mentioned? Maybe I'm creating false memories. I also would have guessed that Charley was the eldest. Her character is very take-charge. Charley married a basketball star, Davis West, and now lives in LA with her husband and teenage son Micah. When Charley's husband is involved in a sex scandal and eventually accused of rape, Charley decides to leave her husband and stay on the farm and help run it with her siblings. Using her business savvy (and millions of dollars) gained from years as her husband's manager she becomes a force many in rural Louisiana aren't prepared for - particularly in the form of a powerful woman.

This is just a little snippet about the three main characters - there is a LOT to the story of Queen Sugar - but I didn't want to spoil the whole thing. I posted the extended trailer above which I will tell you contains scenes from the entire series, not just the first few episodes, and all without context, so it's kind of like a bunch of spoiler-free spoilers. A few notes about the production of Queen Sugar though! All the episodes are directed by women, and I'm not sure if this is on Hulu, but when I watched the show on demand, after each episode there was a segment with Ava Duvernay where she talked about the episode and the director and her (the director's) work. It was really awesome. Also, the show is shot beautifully. Every episode is like a 45 minute feature film. I'd never think to compare FX and OWN, in terms of, well, anything, but the only other shows I can think of on cable that have these kinds of production values are Legion and Fargo. Seriously, it's at that level. So if you weren't aware of Queen Sugar before, now you are. Catch up before season 2 (June 20! And 21! It's a two-night EVENT) and thank me later.

Want: Essential Oil Diffuser

Lately I've been interested in an essential oil diffuser (The one pictured is here). I've read about how aromatherapy is good for reducing stress, and stress causes flare ups, and I've been directed by my rheumatologist to do whatever I can do reduce flare ups, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to help me in that endeavor. I think part of what attracts me to an essential oil diffuser, if I'm honest, is that I can have a collection of little vials and I can put drops of oils in my vapor cauldron and pretend I'm a witch. But hey, if being a witch helps reduce my stress levels then bring it on.

Frozen Bananas: A Love Story

Frozen Bananas: A Love Story

Kurt Seyit and Sura, A Turkish Television Delight

Kurt Seyit and Sura, A Turkish Television Delight