Weekend Shut-In Worksheet: Read Tampa, Watch “Cosmos” & Make Moroccan Stew

Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a handy list of awesome things to do this weekend!


  • Needless to say, the cover of Tampa by Alissa Nutting caught my attention. It’s so … provocative. As is the novel’s subject matter — it’s told from the first person perspective of a 26-year-old junior high school teacher having an affair with a 14-year-old student. Between the cover, the description and the fantastic reviews, I cannot wait to crack this one open. – Amelia
  • This article called “The Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Following You On Twitter,” is so obvious, yet so genius. If you’re tweeting up a storm but can’t figure out for the life of you why you only have 18 followersl, check this out. You may be doing something wrong that’s a simple fix. – Katie
  • I just got a review copy of Ariel Gore’s new memoir The End Of Eve about the end of her her mentally ill mother’s life and how she cared for her mom. As someone with, shall we say, a rather colorful family myself, I know I’m going to relate to this. I genuinely can’t wait to read it. – Jessica
  • I highly recommend reading this article on The Atlantic by a former political journalist named Joseph Williams who lost his job and had to take a retail gig at a sporting goods store to make ends meet. He explores why the minimum wage is untenable and draws attention to common labor abuses in retail, such as unpaid overtime. – Jessica
  • A new(ish) David Sedaris essay is always cause for celebration. This one’s about … mood lighting? – Winona
  • “Rejection Letters To Famous People That Prove You Should Never Give Up” — I love stuff like this. – Winona
  • I can’t stop flipping through Jemima Kirke’s “Life In Pictures” and fantasizing about living in her apartment. – Ami


  • There’s a new Lifetime Movie debuting this weekend called “The Grimm Sleeper,” so obviously I will be working off my St.Patrick’s Day bar crawl hangover by watching it. It’s about a serial killer who resurfaces after many years, and the reporter in charge of the case starts helping to solve the crime. Who’s watching with me? – Katie
  • Last week, I started watching “Orphan Black,” this weekend I’m finishing it. YOU GUYS, it is SO GOOD. I’m going to write something longer about the show, but if you like slightly sci-fi conspiracies with cool female characters, you must watch “Orphan Black.” Tatiana Maslany plays, uh, lemme count … five (so far) completely different characters, all clones, so fantastically well, it’s almost scary. She deserves all the awards. Okay, anyway, watch it, before the new season starts April 19. – Amelia
  • I’ve been kind of obsessed with actress Brit Marling ever since I saw her play a cult-ish leader in “Sound of My Voice,” so this weekend I’m planning on finally seeing “Another Earth,” an indie sci-fi about, uh, another Earth. My brother said it was good and I tend to trust my brother’s opinion on movies. – Amelia
  • Clearly I’m in a sci-fi mood, because I really, really need to make time to finally watch “Cosmos,” Neil deGrasse Tyson’s followup to a 1980 documentary miniseries of the same name. I expect to love it as much as this youngster. – Amelia
  • Embarrassingly, I’ve gotten behind on season six of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” so I’ll be catching up on that. – Ami
  • My Netflix documentary watching list includes “Cutie and the Boxer” and “Tabloid.” — Ami


  • Thursday night I saw Ellie Goulding in concert (!!!!) and her opening act was this singer called Conway. She’s got really amazing stage presence and energy! I really like her song “Big Talk.” – Jessica


  • My birthday present from my family as a new Singer sewing machine! I’m really excited to start sewing my own clothes and my guidebook for all things DIY and cute is going to be The Burda Style Sewing Handbook. I’m also soliciting suggestions of good places to buy fabric and thread in New York City. (Mood, the store that’s always on “Project Runway,” seems too intimidating.) – Jessica
  • There are tons of vintage crates at all the antique stores in Tennessee. I always want to buy them but am never sure what to do with them — I looove this idea for using them for shoe storage. – Winona


  • It’s almost Spring, which means bathing suits are coming, which means I’m trying to eat healthier so I don’t look like a marshmallow fluff. These Quinoa Quiche Muffins are healthy, crustless, and look delicious. I’ll let you know how they turn out! – Katie
  • Nick and I have been making all kinds of crazy versions of Moroccan stew lately, served over buttery couscous. Uuuunnngh, so good. Here’s a basic recipe to try. – Winona