Recommendations for June

yer a wizard, Arry!

If you have to wake up and then go back to sleep multiple times a night for whatever reason, you might be interested in my latest discovery! Instead of spending 3:30- 4:55 A.M. listening to your own brain harangue you about your past failures, current to-do lists, and the futility of it all in the face of inevitable global climate catastrophe, you can listen to AUDIOBOOKS and be out cold in 5-15 minutes. Specifically, you can listen to the Harry Potter books, though I’m sure there are others which would work for this purpose. My hat is off to renowned British thespian Jim Dale, who does voices and accents for all the characters and somehow simultaneously is engaging enough to distract me from my ruminations about the apocalypse/the emails I never responded to AND ALSO soothing enough that I never get to hear enough of the book to understand what’s going on. Quidditch, usually, or getting told off by Professor McGonagall. It doesn’t matter. Zzzzz. Download one today, thank me later. I’m sorry that this recommendation requires you to put money in the pocket of global megacorporations Amazon and J.K. Rowling, but you can also probably figure out how to take them out of the library if you’re operating on more sleep than I am.

Another recommendation: The Evil Witches newsletter. Somehow Claire Zulkey knows exactly what I am going through parenting-wise and has some wisdom and humor and other people’s experiences and expertise to offer.

As you are probably assuming, there’s been a lot to Can’t Complain about lately. I’m a little bit bored of my own complaining; I’m in that place where I can’t respond normally to a “so what’s new?” from a semi-stranger. The amount of effort and skill required to say “Fine, like … busy! What’s new with you?” requires acting ability I don’t have. Everyone is alive and healthy and nothing is permanently fucked but for the past few weeks nothing has been baseline normal in any realm of my life. Every family member has acted up in some disruptive way — well, not Swizzle, but one of the items on my to-do list is to schedule an overdue vet visit so that asshole can get his prescription for Prozac refilled. All I can recommend to you, the reader who turns to me for recommendations (?!) is that you perhaps consider NOT moving apartments —for the first time in 8 years, with two little kids — and then, a month later, temporarily relocating the whole shebang for the summer for your spouse’s work. If there’s a way for you to avoid that, you probably should.

Some bright spots in the maelstrom: I got a cover for Perfect Tunes, which makes it feel a lot more real, and will show it off asap. Trisha’s book publicity is kicking into gear, and the book release is soon. My children … when they aren’t terrible … are good, and I like them. The baby has learned how to crawl and does an adorable shoulder shimmy when he hears music or singing. Raffi believes himself to be able to spell and will say a random combination of letters and announce, like, “‘R … Q … O … L,’ that spells ‘Emily!’” I read a book, Say Say Say, in part on the Amtrak train between New York and DC as both children slept. It’s a smooth and assured portrait of a character’s interior world as well as a meditation on our assumptions about care work and heterosexual relationships. Erykah Badu covered Squeeze. In general, and I hope for you too, things can only improve.