March 24, 2017

"And when spring comes to the City people notice one another in the road.”

Modern Adventuress

24 MARCH 2017

Hello letter friends,

It’s lovely and warm here in Chicago and I have to go out and frolic around, so let’s move along. Quick note: I am taking a break from Notes in the Margins for a bit. What and how I’m writing is going through a growth spurt, so I’m giving it some room. I have for you instead lots o’ links.


How D.C.'s disappearing girls highlight the nation's Black and missing problem.

Gardening, sex, and trolling: Who's in AOL chatrooms in 2017. (Hat tip to Rosalie.)

Work is my self-care. I have written a fair amount about self-care, trying to explain the discomfort I have with the binary we currently define the term as. This piece does a great job of illuminating some of the nuances in the topic.

Chuck Berry taught me how to be American.

On Chuck Berry’s complicated legacy for women.

Why do so many male journalists think female stars are flirting with them?

What happened to one of Hollywood’s first female executes, Virginia van Upp?

How Pam Grier blazed the trail for women action heroes. And: "She’s also written screenplays she wants to direct.” Can that happen immediately, please.

A bit on the music of Lizzo. I’ve been listening to her a lot recently and I have no idea why she is not already an universally acknowledged superstar.

An interview with Mallory Ortberg of Dear Prudence. Her Dear Prudence podcast is a very particular favorite of mine.

It’s happening …. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 11 trailer. As one of the Kickstarter backers, I got to see the first episode last month and it’s really good. I expected to like it merely as a MST3K thing, but it’s even better than I expected. It has the same MST3K feel. I’m really looking forward to the whole season.

Fran Lebowitz in NYT’s By the Book. The entire thing is delightful, but the end is especially well done.

Visiting Lower Manhattan’s Fountain Pen Hospital.

Two-Inch Brush, a database of Bob Ross’s paintings.

"To ‘hack' is to cut, to gash, to break. It proceeds from the belief that nothing is worth saving, that everything needs fixing. But is that really the case? Are we fixing the right things? Are we breaking the wrong ones? Is it necessary to start from scratch every time?

"I’d never stopped to think about the degree to which weather shaped my consciousness until I moved somewhere without much of it.” The winter when it rained.

"I’ve never met a terrible human being who was happy. Maybe they exist, but I think you just have to trust that people who torture others also torture themselves. When your heart is two sizes too small, you can’t golf or tweet the pain away.” Ask Polly.


Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Susanna Clarke

A long while back I recommended the recent television adaptation of this book, with the sheepish acknowledgment that I hadn’t read the book first. I am generally very strict with my book-before-movie policy, but for some reason the book had never crossed my path. I recently corrected that, and found this is a perfectly delightful book. I still enjoy the miniseries, but the book is superior.


"Summer taught me about stillness in the course of cycles, and when I forgot about summer, I forgot about stillness."

This week’s essay look back is to on summer.

Action Squad

I updated the projects in our DonorsChoose campaign recently. Two more were recently funded, but there are two active there now, both focused on basic supplies for students (backpacks and food). Our stats so far: $452 raised, 8 projects funded, 1,024 students helped. So that’s pretty rad. Thanks, action squad.

That’s all for today. Thank you for reading.

Full speed ahead.



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Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

Today’s subject line quote from Toni Morrison.