I wish I could say I'm writing from a great place, but I'm not. That's because about two weeks ago, a drunk driver hit my brother, who was on his bike. I can't say more because: lawyers. But I *can* say the following:
- Don't drive drunk.
- Morning does not make you sober.
- When you bike, wear your helmet.
- If you do any sort of outdoor activity, make sure you have emergency contact information on you. I'd been lax about this. Not anymore. I now wear a bracelet right next to my watch.
I thought I'd reached my breaking point before this happened. But then add this? Jeez. I did what I could to help my brother from afar (because of COVID, no one was allowed to see him), then just…shut down. I told my editors what was going on, and almost all of them were kind and re-worked deadlines and offered whatever help they could. I say almost all because one editor brushed it off. She and her publication are no longer a client.
I know I've written about firing clients before, but I'll say it again: if an editor/publication does not view you as a human being going through a trauma, and their actions actively compound whatever it is you're going through, they are not worth your time and/or labor. I'm mad that I had to fire this client. I'd written for the publication for a long time, but I refuse to work for someone who just flicks off "my brother is in the hospital and we don't know if he'll be OK" as if it was a bug on her shoulder.
Anyway: he is home now. And because of that, I'm off to the Catskills for a few days of hiking and rest.
I'll skip the heels though. But two fun facts about the Catskills portion of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (as featured in this gif): through a vintage clothing broker, the costume department of the show asked me if I had any vintage summer dresses from this time period. They didn't buy anything, but I was flattered that they asked. And second, the resort is for sale. It's still open and operating too. I thought about staying there, but it's not close to what I want to do.
Anyway, on with the show.
"How to Prepare Your Dog to be Left at Home (Again)" for The New York Times
"Pros and Cons of Smart Speakers in Hospital Rooms" for HealthTech
"5 Ways Adults Can Cut Back on Too Much Screen Time" for ShareCare
"The Pandemic is Stressing Your Body in New Ways" for The New York Times
"A Conversation With Ultrarunner Yassine Diboun" for The New York Times
"How to Simplify Print Supplies for Essential Services and the Home Office" for HealthTech
What I'm Reading
- The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. Pretty good! I do enjoy a good romance every once and a while.
- Florida by Lauren Groff. When I bought this, the bookseller (who knows me well) was surprised I'd never read it before. I do, after all, love Florida. This was very good. Fun fact: Groff's sister is professional triathlete Sarah True. Des Linden (Olympian, winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon) told me (#humbelbrag) she loves Groff's writing, in part because the running sequences are so realistic. I concur.
- The Night Fire by Michael Connelly. I felt…odd reading this around the time of protests about police brutality. Kathryn VanArendonk at Vulture wrote a great piece about how police are portrayed on American television that I hope you'll read. I never got the feeling Connelly liked the institution of policing very much but still: weird. VanArendock also compiled a list of procedural shows that are not about police. I suggested The Heart Guy (see below). I would also argue that the new DuckTales could be on this list, but that's because I really liked it (and it's a procedural because they might solve a mystery, or rewrite history in every episode!)
- In Praise of Walking by Shane O'Mara. I'm writing about this book, so I won't say more here.
- Here For It by R. Eric Thomas. There are a lot of great lists about anti-racists books going around, which is not a bad thing! But also, we (and by we I mean white people) should also be reading books about Black life that isn't about slavery or struggle or racism. While Thomas touches on these topics, it's also an often funny memoir by a Black gay man that I enjoyed very much. I listened to the audiobook version (but also: I had to rewind when he said that, after two raises, he was being paid $200 per piece for Elle.com. WHAT? That's a horrible rate! R. Eric! I know you're famous and all now and probably get much more than that but they did you wrong!)
What I'm Watching
- How to Train Your Dragon. It seemed…fine? It put it on in the background while I worked.
- Captain America: Winter Soldier. I ALSO put this on in the background while I worked, but because I've seen it a zillion times before. I know some people rank this as their favorite Marvel movie. Fair! But I still think Captain America: The First Avenger is better.
- The Heart Guy. Hey I finished all four seasons! I probably shouldn't have taken in all four seasons at once, but I'll live. Also I just found out that the show is called Doctor Doctor in Australia. Fun! I still hold that buying myself AcornTV was one of the best COVID-19 related decisions I've made this year.
- Troop Zero. This was very cute! I watched it while I did my nails last week. I don't know why that seems relevant, but I try to watch one movie a week, and it's often while doing my nails (Jacqueline by Zoya, if you must know the color)
- Circus of Books. This is a documentary about "a nice Jewish couple," as Netflix says, who ran a gay porn shop in Los Angeles for 30 years. It's fantastic. I found myself crying at the end.
- A is for Acid. As a Martin Clunes stan, I had no choice but to watch this. I'm just surprised it took me this long to get to it (if you don't know Clunes, he plays the title character on Doc Martin, which I have streamed but also shows up on PBS. My dad and I watched an episode two weekends ago. We also watched a woodworking show whose name I don't remember. Dads!)
Until Next Time,
Jen A. Miller