It’s still winter in the Midwest but we are experiencing a slight warm snap this weekend. It’s in the low 50s and Chuck took my bike out for a long ride today after I left for Athens. I have roller derby practice on Sunday nights now, and I find if I leave my house HOURS before practice to work from a coffee shop near-ish the roller rink, I’m a lot less likely to turn my Sundays over to my couch instead. Only an asshole would drive an hour away to write and then just GO BACK HOME instead of to practice, and we gotta have great attendance to get rostered (our first game is April 18!).
It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote to you, and I feel like I’ve barely stopped moving since 2020 started. Last week I was in Florida for work and I managed to get sunburned?? Despite only being outside for like 30 minutes for lunch? It felt so nice to be somewhere warm, even though this winter really hasn’t been terrible. I was reminded that I am not a beach person. I forgot just how TAXING it is to walk through sand and my calves got a better workout from working a beach party than it does at practice. Chuck went with me, which was awesome because between me, his son and his work, he almost never has time to himself to do NOTHING. His version of “doing nothing” still infuriatingly involved running at the fancy hotel gym but at least he slept in.
When we got back, it was Valentines Day, but we were exhausted so we didn’t celebrate until Saturday. Last year, our first Valentines Day together, we went out for a pre-fix dinner at a brewery where everyone was a little bit miserable because the food took too long and couples around us seemed fraught with tension and/or the pressure of a holiday that asks you to perform how much you like someone with an overcooked filet and out-of-season roses. This year, we spent most of the day apart: Chuck took Dax to a family birthday party in Columbus and I cleaned our entire house and tackled a mountain of laundry. Once I was done, I went out and bought us everything we needed to make a steak dinner when he got home -- plus, way too much discount Valentines Day candy, since it was already the 15th. Would recommend!
But enough about that – Let’s move on to the matter at hand:
What I’ve Been Making for the Internet
Despite vowing to take 2020 off from freelancing, I wrote this roundup of Valentines Day events for Clutch MOV, a local lifestyle site about the Mid Ohio Valley. Obviously this is out of date now, but it was fun to work with the editor there.
What I’ve Been Reading
Both BoJack Horseman and The Good Place, two of my very favorite shows, concluded their runs in the same weekend last month. I will not risk spoilers for either, but I felt like both series finales were powerful. I’ve been thinking about them both a lot. Here is a piece in the Atlantic about The Good Place finale, an article that brought up some interesting points I hadn’t thought about. And, for BoJack Horseman, here is what Buzzfeed said about the final season and how it portrayed a different story of the #MeToo movement than what we typically see.
Last month I read Sally Rooney’s “Normal People,” and just in time, too, because I saw a Hulu series based on the book is coming soon. It was a simple story about two young people and a quick read but beautifully written!
Some humor pieces I dug in recent weeks include Sam Irby’s Shouts & Murmurs piece, “Hello, 911?” and this collaborative piece in McSweeney’s about jokes I’ve told that my male colleagues didn’t like (in response to Mike Bloomberg’s half-assed defense of why there are multiple women connected to his company tied to NDAs he made them sign).
This month, I am listening to “The Wedding Party” by Jasmine Guillory, author of “The Wedding Date” and “The Proposal,” two other books I loved in 2019. Her books make me feel so good and light, but also hungry, because Guillory describes tacos and desserts like no other.
What I Loved This Week
Demi Adejuyigbe designed these amazing Oscars 2020 posters in the artistic and comedic style of BoJack Horseman. I want them all, but especially “Wives Out”!
I still haven’t seen Birds of Prey, but I read that the founder of Moxi skates played one of Margot Robbie’s body doubles for the roller derby sequence!
I watched Shrill season 2 in one night. Episode 3 was very much my shit because it featured a birthday party roller skating party at Oaks in Portland *and* a Jenny Lewis song in the ending credits!
Chuck sent me this video of a dog and it’s old but it’s new to me and I love it.
Ummm, Stefanie was profiled in the Boston Globe, GO READ IT. So proud of her!!
The 2020 List of Twitter Calls for Pitches/Submissions Google Doc is up to date!
Follow Bizzy Coy on Twitter. Just trust me.
Okay, that’s all for this installment! Hit reply if you like this newsletter and I’ll write you back. Or, hit forward if you’ve got a buddy you think would be into it. Later, folks!
About me: I wrote a collection of essays about love, loss, and roller derby. Buy a mini version of it for less than five bucks. I’m currently based in the Mid Ohio Valley after having lived in Chicago and Portland for a few years. Follow me on Instagram (@merylkwilliams) and Twitter (@MerylWilliams) for social media posts about the best $20 I ever spent being for a dog bed I put behind my home office desk, making THIS dog my phone background image, and the joy of showing a six-year-old how a Polaroid camera works.
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