It's is *yet another* snowy day here in the Philadelphia area (I say that instead of N.J. because I am currently at my dad's in Pa. and will be heading further west shortly). I came back from Fla. about three weeks ago, and in that time have witnessed four nor'easters and passed one kidney stone. Do not recommend any of the things in the previous sentence.
I found out some very disappointing news last week (in a really terrible way) and was filled with white hot rage that also lead to me dropping my dinner inside the oven. Then I realized that my phone was no longer charging right before I walked into the movies where I'd hoped to be embraced by Oprah in A Wrinkle in Time. Instead, I cried in an Apple store hoping someone would take pity on me and fix my phone even though I didn't have an appointment so that I could leave on a trip on time. Someone did take pity on me, thank goodness, so at least there' that (they just replaced the phone for free thank you Apple but that's also what you should do because it was 10 months old when it borked).
Anyway: the week sucked. The lesson I learned is: it's it's OK to feel your anger – and express it too. I've had a recent string of being treated like shit by decision makers in media. I've tried to temper my responses because that's what you're supposed to do (both as a writer who relies on others for assignments and, let's face it, as a woman). The damn broke last week, and I told the source of my disappointing news, in a politer way than this, that they treated me wrong and to fuck off forever.
It felt damn good.
People who think I'm disposable aren't worth my respect, or time, so peace out with all that.
I'm off again – this time to check out a place where I may want to live. So let's get on with it.
"2018: A Tough Year for First-Time Home Buyers" for The New York Times
"To Cut Sugar, Make Your Own Fuel" for The New York Times
"How to plan a successful DIY book tour" for The Writer
"Catch as Catch Can" for Funworld
"Think romance novels are trash? That's a stereotype – one that's not necessarily true" for Upworthy. This is a reprint of a piece I wrote for The Washington Post. It's an excellent example of why I fight so hard to keep the rights to my work: sometimes I'll be paid for it all over again.
What I'm Reading
I finished The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. I learned a lot of the stuff about how the sugar industry took shaky research to blame fat for obesity in Nina Teicholz's The Big Fat Surprise, but I'm not mad I read about it again. It's a reminder of how much sugar is jammed into foods that big companies make for us. It's depressing, but better to know than not.
I also finally (finally!) finished A More Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation by Catherine Allgor. I had 45 minutes left on the audiobook, which I downloaded through my library, when it expired. Then I had to go back into line to wait to download it again, and yahtzee! I am now through. I don't know if I'd have read this, but it was a perfect book for driving, and a reminder of how while men make the history books, women are usually doing a lot of the work behind them. Dolley Madison is best remembered for throwing parties, but she played a key role in how the new country was formed. These stories need to still be drug out into the spotlight, and I'm happy to read them (or listen to them).
And now I'm onto Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon. It's one of those road trip books everyone says I should read. I just started it, and already I'm circling parts that say "man" to add "and woman." I know it's of a different era (it was first published in 1982) but so many of these road trip classic are by and about men. Maybe I should change that.
What I'm Watching
Quick hit review time:
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Not the first time I've seen it, and probably not the last. A fun viewing of an absolute classic.
- Saving Mr. Banks. This could have been better – but it also could have been way worse. I could not get past that being Tom Hanks to see him as Walt Disney. The second half of the movie was better than the first, and I appreciate (per IMDB trivia) that Hanks made sure that they at least acknowledged Disney was a heavy smoker.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I completely forgot the whole introductory sequence about Indy as a kid. Memory is a fickle thing.
- Logan Lucky. Dirtball Channing Tatum may be my favorite Channing Tatum. I don't think this'll get the sequel they set up it for, but who knows – it was done largely outside the studio system and is being discovered by more people now that it's streaming (I paid $5.99 to rent it). It's a brave new world.