ACT I, SCENE I
(Mom (early-60s) and Daughter (mid-30s) walking in a parking lot towards a suburban New Jersey farmer’s market on a hot day. Mom is wearing casual summer clothes, sandals. Daughter is wearing UNH hat, running clothes, dirty.)
Mom: So what were you up to this week?
Daughter: I finished that 12-part Charles Manson podcast.
Mom: Ew. Why would you listen to that? (shifts empty bags from one hand to the other)
Daughter: Runs hand down her braid. Um, well, I knew about Charles Manson, but not about Charles Manson. I got the Sharon Tate stuff and the Beach Boys stuff, but I didn’t know how many people they killed. Or the Beatles thing.
Mom: Yeah, that was something. Helter Skelter.
Daughter: I had no idea. Mom, that was f*cked up.
Mom: Yes it was.
Hey, it’s the end of the summer. I think we’re all a little loopy from all that heat and sun AND knowing a short work week is coming up, so I started this newsletter a bit…different. But that is about the conversation I had on Saturday morning with my mom as we walked to the Collingswood Farmer’s Market. I’ve referred to the podcast: You Must Remember This, which wrapped up its “Charles Manson’s Hollywood” series earlier this summer (thanks Two Bossy Dames for the recommendation). As I said to my mom: that was f*cked up. My reaction through most of it was Jeeeeeeeeeeus Christ.
Of course I knew of Charles Manson, but I don’t think everyone of my generation knows what happened, not in same the way as someone who lives through those times, like my mom. Now I get why people bought into the Mad Men Megan Draper/Sharon Tate conspiracy theory. Yeah, there were enough correlations to make that creepy. (Also a shout out to my man Danger Guerrero for calling the end of Mad Men in a post he wrote while eating soup – obviously spoiler alert in that link).
That’s not the most uplifting kick off the newsletter (hence the beach photo up top), but if you need a podcast to take you through a long drive, marathon training, or other exercise, and aren’t too squeamish, you may want to check it out. I’m prone to nightmares, but I was okay with this one, even after I googled the house of the Sharon Tate murder and stumbled upon crime scene photos. Don’t do that.
Most of my week was tied up with work and running (no surprises there). I also finalized my changes/comments on the copyedited manuscript of my book, and when that was over, snuck down the shore for a very important Friday morning business meeting. Just kidding, I went to sit on the beach and swim in the ocean and not think about the work I could be doing. We all have those days. Friday was mine.
To the clips!
“The Mentalist Marathon appears on ‘America’s Got Talent‘” for Runner’s World (and he made it to the next round!)
“Running this mile wasn’t even minutes in heaven” for The Philadelphia Inquirer (my editor writes the best headlines)
“What happens when your favorite running shirt is discontinued?” for Zelle
What I’m Reading
I’m racing through Elisabeth Egan’s excellent A Window Opens. So good. I’d have finished it last night if I hadn’t had a track workout early this morning. Egan is the book editor at Glamour, but previously worked at Amazon Publishing. The novel is about a mom of three leaving a part time job at a women’s magazine to work for Scroll, which has a lot of Amazonian overtones (which she’s said in interviews is on purpose). Some things that popped up in this New York Times story about working at Amazon are in A Window Opens too. It’s a good read.
What I’m Watching
I finished Dancing on the Edge, which was a wonderful six-part series that should have been five parts. If you’ve seen it, you know how that last episode feels tacked on. I’m currently watching two things. The first is Vexed, a BBC detective drama – but a light one. It has the same flavor as Psych. In typical BBC fashion, each season is short: three episodes each. One of the detectives is Lucy Punch, who played BJ on the short-lived Ben and Kate, which I liked. At my friends’ insistence, I also started The Birthday Boys, which is very bizarre and silly sketch comedy show.
Short work week? Short work week. I will peck out some emails on Friday, but I expect almost everyone will be gone (mentally if not physically), and I’ll end up by the town pool on Friday afternoon. Next week’s newsletter will be late since I’m taking Monday and Tuesday off.
Two guesses as to where I’ll be. First one doesn’t count.