May 15, 2015

She's a smoothie operator

This week:

Hey, have you heard New York City isn't so bad? I wrote about it with the tone of condescending wonderment that the The New York Times adopts when describing other places, particularly Los Angeles. And I discussed it on the radio. How manicures became "the one luxury that's really a necessity." Let's talk about periods!

I'm reading:

Politicians don't say "middle class" anymore. Why Hillary should ditch Bill. A heartbreaking divide between Instagram and life. On motherhood, lost conveniences, and the end of the drive-thru bank teller. Throwing shadeA Snapchat dick pic tsunami. Marie Antoinette, fashion victim. Millennial households have the same old problems. Why a 43-year-old professor loves One Direction. Living female music critic Jessica Hopper womansplains it all. Cosmo Kramer is the original hipster, and Oprah is a neoliberal capitalist icon. Going Korean. “Uh, it’s when you’re brown on the outside, but white on the inside. See? Like a coconut.” No privilege but the present. When your dream gets canceled. The "accidental" death of Natasha McKenna. How a job hunt became a custody battle. Michelle Obama has stopped holding back. The cops who let a whole block burn, and the immigrants who cleaned up after 9/11. What it means to be white in the 21st century. A geriatric starlet. The pain of no comments.


Inspiring period quotes from made-up women. The prom of the future. An unreleased movie soundtrack by Dev Hynes. A bird who laughs like a super-villain. Go 'Head Mama, a fab new podcast on motherhood. The new Jim O'Rourke album. Yoko at MOMA.


When it's a rainy day in L.A.** and you find yourself singing, "She's a smoothie operator. Smoooothie operaaaator" while you drop the cherries and nectarines into the Vitamix.

I endorse:

Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts. I usually don't like reading a book when all of my friends are reading it. (Therefore I don't do book clubs, and I will probably never get around to The Goldfinch.) But I made an exception in this case, and I'm so glad I did. It's a memoir about motherhood and queerness and binaries and words being a woman. It's personal essay, it's theory, it's emotional, it's intellectual, it's everything. Only 143 pages, but oh so hefty. See also: This 2012 interview with Nelson by my pal Ali Liebegott.


"I just wanted to know how much I am enjoying your newsletter. And I usually hate everything (especially newsletters)." -Susan Orlean!!!!!! (Emphasis mine.) RIP, me. I am such a fan.

"And then @annfriedman’s latest tinyletter shows up and I start to have a panic attack about how little I read. Wooooo" -Max Martin. Think of this newsletter as a link buffet. You never eat every item on the buffet, do you? (If you do, I can't help you.) 
Just pick a few things that seem appealing.

"i've been sitting in my car for twenty minutes reading the @annfriedman newsletter. in metered parking. with the door open." -Kelly Dawson. This is the most L.A. scene.

"I want to hug @annfriedman for her newsletter (Trina! Renata Adler--who taught me at BU! Loneliness!) this & every week. Subscribe already!" -Terry Mtz. I'm surprised no one has created a "virtual hug" app. I would accept your request.

There is also a nice shout-out in this roundup of great newsletters.

This newsletter just rediscovered your hometown, and it's not so bad!
Roll your eyes and forward it to a fellow longtime resident.

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** In the time it took me to write this newsletter, the sun came out.