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A Podcast That Feels Like Being with Your Best Friends and a Poetry-Filled Novella

Plus, two shows about therapy.
August Sage Vase, flowers from Sunblossom Farms

August Sage Vase, flowers from Sunblossom Farms

Reporting live from 30,000 feet! This weekend, Jonah and I went on a three-day trip to Santa Fe to visit a small host of friends who recently moved there. Even though it was my first visit to the small city, it felt so familiar, filled with the high desert beauty I love from my own hometown in Nevada. The weekend was filled with gorgeous hikes, excellent meals, and many, many long catchups, so that I'm flying home feeling full but wanting just a little bit more. Already plotting my return trip... Here's what else I loved this week:

1

Caleb Azumah Nelson's novella, Open Water, reads like poetry. Partially autobiographical, it follows the relationship between two Black artists in London. Their backgrounds are so similar that their meeting feels like fate (at times it reminded me of the tension in Normal People), but their relationship continually ebbs and flows against the backdrop of police aggression, personal history, and music. It's told in second person narrative ("you"), which may have turned me off of it if Jonah hadn't recommended it so highly to me. I loved this paragraph, which comes close to the beginning:

It is the wrong season to have a crush. Meeting someone on a summer’s evening is like giving a dead flame new life. You are more likely to wander outside with this person for a reprieve from whatever sweatbox you are being housed in. You might find yourself accepting the offer of a cigarette, your eyes narrowing as the nicotine trickles your brain and you exhale into the stiff heat of a London night.

2

When Joanna Goddard wrote, "This podcast episode was amazing and hilarious; I was laughing while walking down the street," I immediately downloaded the episode of "Girls Gotta Eat." Cut to me giggling to myself at the dog park. The episode is from a conversation with the incredibly smart/funny/all-around mega babe Katie Sturino, but I quickly fell in love with the hosts Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine. The duo candidly, hilariously talk about masturbation, dating, and SIR. They carried a fairly awkward interview with Chelsea Handler incredibly gracefully, and I'm now fully invested in Ashley's Australian motorcycle man. It's as close as a podcast can get to getting drinks with your best girlfriends.

3

Fact: I love shows about therapy (remember that time I was the only person to like "Gypsy"?). The combination of my noisiness, watching people bravely do the work, and rare glimpses into a therapist's psyche is a recipe for excellent TV, as far as I'm concerned. Fortunately for me, two excellent seasons on therapy were released recently: "In Treatment" a fictional series on HBO, starring Uzo Aduba, and the real deal, "Couples Therapy" which features Dr. Orna Guralnik's sessions with her actual clients. Both offer an intimate peek into the lives and struggles of people navigating love and life. While "Couples Therapy" is a bit juicier, "In Treatment" builds slowly, with many of the sessions happening in real-time.

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1. I loved In the Heights, but it's important to acknowledge the lack of Afro-Latinx representation as Felice León did in her piece for "The Root."

2. Tips for maintaining new sobriety. (Not to be replaced with therapy and in-person support and sponsors.)

3. We're that much closer to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday with the House approving the measure! [V IMPORTANT CORRECTION: JUNETEENTH IS NOW A NATIONAL HOLIDAY!]

4. COVID is far from over. I strongly recommend reading every word of David Wallace-Wells' piece on the "invisible dead" for New York Magazine.

5. I somehow still haven't read Crying in H Mart, but I've been listening to a lot of "Japanese Breakfast," the author Michelle Zauner's band.

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