Hello again from continuing to be very sunny Florida – except this morning when I walked the dog in a downpour that I thought couldn't be more intense…and then become more intense. My shoes are out drying on the porch.
Tomorrow, Annie and I are headed to that big blue castle near Orlando: Walt Disney World. Well, we're checking into our hotel tomorrow. I'll then spend way too much money at Disney Springs, and my friend will meet me in the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday. I am listening to a Disney station on Spotify as I write this (which I didn't know existed). I am, obviously, quite excited. On right now is "When You Wish Upon a Star" and I cannot stop smiling.
My family did the big family trip to Disney in 2015, and I went by myself last year when I came to Florida after my first dog Emily died. I had a breakfast meeting with the Run Disney folks on my last day here, and they said "you're going to go to the park of course." I said no, that was a weird thing to do by myself. But then as I walked around the lobby of the Grand Floridian, I said ah screw it and went, and had a great time. I, like a lot of people, have problems with the big Disney multi conglomerate, but I still get a lot of joy out of the whole thing. I am ready to go right now! (And yes I think there's something to write about that here, but as I've learned in trying to write about the Disney races – everyone wants to write about Disney and everyone has written about Disney so those pieces are hard to sell. I yet hold out hope)
But before I go douse myself in pixie dust (you can follow me on Instagram if you want to see that adventure), here's an update on what I've been doing.
"Goodbye, Contributor Network. And thanks for nothing" for Poynter
"Will you insure your race?" for The New York Times
"How are your running resolutions going?" for The New York Times
"5 ways big data will shake up supply chain systems" for CIO
What I'm Reading
I just finished a big story about romance novels so my reading has been along those lines:
- Publishing Romance: The History of an Industry, 1940s to the Present by John Market. Holy cats I've been waiting for a book like this for years! It is a definitive history of the romance novel industry, and included tidbits I didn't know, like that Playboy used to publish romance novels (and quite successfully).
- Rookie K-9 Unit Christmas by Valerie Hansen and Lenora Worth. I read a lot of historical romances, so I went to a used bookstore here to see if I could pick up examples of stuff I don't usually read. This is one example, and yes I bought it because of the cover. It's not, sadly, about two dogs who fall in love, but two novellas about their handlers. It's also the first Christian romance I've ever read. Market's book discusses how Harlequin Christian romances are less Jesus-y than those published by Christian publishers. I can see how he's right.
- The Right Stuff by Lori Wilde. And then I went right into a Harlequin Blaze book, which was their attempt to produce much more explicit books. It didn't quite work out (the line was discontinued in June 2017). I didn't like this very much, but since the line no longer exists…I guess that's that.
- Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley by Kathryn S. Olmsted. Definitely not a romance novel. It's a weird story (and true). So far so good.
- Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. I need to watch more standup, especially more standup by not white guys. This was a good place to start.
- Creed. I'm not a big Rocky person, but I listened to an interview with the director and screenwriter on this incredible podcast, which convinced me to give it a go. And oh wow I'm glad I did. I'm a bit homesick, so the conversation about "jawn" made me smile even if it's not a word I use. Plus it's just a fantastic sports movie.
- The Toys that Made Us. The episodes out now are Star Wars, He-Man, Barbie and G.I. Joe. The next four will be LEGO, Transformers, Hello Kitty and Star Trek. The first four were pretty good, but some of the interviews for G.I. Joe made me cringe because of the sexist stuff people interviewed said. And I'm disappointed only two of the eight toys covered were created specifically for girls. What, no My Little Pony? Cabbage Patch Kids? I'm sure they're hoping for a season two, and these may be on a future list, but they could have maybe made a better effort towards a 50/50 split.
- Grace & Frankie. This show keeps getting better. Hang in there if you're at the start.
- One Day at a Time. The second season just dropped. The fifth episode is probably it's best. I laughed so hard I had to stop eating lunch (but, per usual, it dealt with serious topics that I haven't seen on a lot of current TV shows).