I wish I had a good excuse for why I have been writing less frequently, but I don’t. I do hope you appreciate the honesty. Nevertheless, let me excuse myself. Over the last couple of months, I have…
Worked a part-time gig at a newspaper.
Quit said gig at the newspaper.
Worked non-stop on The Unspeakeasy.
Got intimately involved in the Gwyneth Paltrow trial. (It’s a long story, but suffice it to say I know more about her vagina than I ever wanted to in the first place, and I will never watch the 1997 “Emma” ever again 😭).
Got a miserable cold.
Roadtripped up to Seattle with my mom (who subsequently flew back after she spent time with my nephews) for an Unspeakeasy Retreat.
Got sick again.
Roadtripped back from Seattle sick, alone and in AN ABSOLUTE STATE.
I’m back, and I have good news.
Over the last few months, I realized if I wanted to have the time to work on more freelance projects, and particularly this project, I needed cut some things loose. So here I am again with the Weekly Rondo and, more importantly, some exciting updates. (Skip to the “What’s next” section for this.)
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The Weekly Rondo
What I’ve been up to
💻 What I’ve been working on: Over the last few months, I have been busy working on marketing and strategy for The Unspeakeasy. If you are a (problematic) woman who is sick of boring political conversations that seem to be going nowhere, you should join.
📘 What I’ve been reading: I’ve been reading Louise Perry’s “The Case Against The Sexual Revolution.” It is a fascinating and refreshing read yet I’ve also enjoyed some of the criticisms I’ve heard discussed in The Unspeakeasy. I’ve also been listening to her podcast, “Maiden, Mother, Matriarch.”
📺 What I’ve been watching: I’ve been rewatching “Ted Lasso,” so I can get caught up for the third season. I also rewatched “Derry Girls” — one of the most hilarious shows ever written.
✍️ What I’ve been writing: First off, I promise I will finish my series on Marat. Secondly, I have another one cued up after that about Sergei Rachmaninoff and his journey from Imperial Russia, to the USSR, to the USA.
💞 ICYMI: A while ago, I wrote one of the more vulnerable things I’ve written in a long time. Enjoy it here.
What’s next 🥳
I’ve been talking about starting some kind of book/movie/podcast/TV show club for a while. Instead of fretting about it, I decided I need to set it up and we can work out the bugs as we go. If and until I come up with a better name, it is henceforth called Culture Club.
What it is:
This is for PAID subscribers who want to discuss books, podcasts, culture etc.
Every month, I will set a theme and choose a book, podcast and movie or TV series (most likely a limited series)
I will set up at least one zoom meeting per month for each piece of media we discuss. (The book discussion, podcast discussion, etc.)
I will also set up a private Slack account so we can discuss it throughout the month. Feel free to ALSO recommend and discuss your favorite podcasts, books, etc.
What we’re reading, listening and watching next month…
Since I’m gearing up my series on Sergei Rachmaninoff, I think it would be interesting to explore the politics, history and impact of Russia — especially as it turned from being Imperial Russia to the USSR.
📚 The Book: ”A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. It’s a bit long, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. If you love audio books, I recommend getting Audible Plus or Premium. You get credits for free books and they have many classics for free.
🎙️ The Pod: American History Tellers, Season 1, “The Cold War.” Lindsay Graham (not the senator) is one of my favorite podcasters. His series on the Cold War throughout the 20th century was fascinating.
🎞️ The Film: “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” (1979 or 2012 or both) Yes, it is also a book, but the point is that it has been on my list for ages. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.
📺 The TV Show: “Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley.” I love Lucy Worsley, and I thought this BBC docuseries did a great job at giving an overview of the Russian Revolution.
Some of these articles are quite old, but I’m catching up on my reading. Here’s what I enjoyed:
🤖 Yours Robotically: I’m sick of hearing about AI literally everywhere I go, but I really enjoyed this piece by Letters of Note. Particularly since I never know how to sign off an email.
🔪 He Just Doesn’t Want to Murder You: Somehow I reached the maturity level in my life that I have stopped hating men — or at least enough to know that it’s extremely unlikely I’ll end up chained up in some dude’s basement at the end of the night. This piece by Suzy Weiss was as hilarious as it was achingly honest.
💖 The Real Roxie Hart Was Too Beautiful to Execute: I forgot what a good movie “Chicago” was so I rented it and watched it back-to-back twice. (I totally forgot how good the dance scenes were.) Naturally, I was on the internet the whole time researching the musical’s background and found out the “real” Roxie Hart was a real piece of work.
🩰 The Real Story Behind the Musical 'Chicago': I also discovered the Hungarian ballerina (in the movie version) was also based on a real person. This article goes into the incredible injustice done to Sabella Nitti — who could not speak English, was unattractive and easy prey for prosecutors who just wanted a win. The article is an introduction to the book “Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago.”
👯♀️ Polyamorous Relationships Don’t Make Sense on a Moral, Fulfillment, or Species Level: I don’t really find myself reading many articles on polyamory (because why?), but I did like Nicolás Forero’s article on this.
🔥 The Most Deserved Deaths in Opera, Ranked: Listen — no one was sad when Pollione died.
🎻 Beauty in the Limits: A couple of years ago, I worked with Adam Woodward when he was still getting his BFA. Now he’s a hot-shot violinist being interviewed in VAN Magazine. I’m not surprised.
It must be something in the air.
Recently I ventured into the dangerous turf of discussing some downdsides of the sexual revolution on my page and in discussions elsewhere.
I've had a few women give positive feedback, and more than a few telling me to mind my own business. Very few men have the courage to enter these discussions. I try to keep it on the clinical side. As always I promote nature as the boss and our attempts to subvert the laws of nature as hazardous and usually harmful in the Long term.
No one ever discusses the side effects of birth control. I went there and I am glad I did.
One of my more controvercial points is that if there were no birth control, women and men would be much more selective when choosing a mate.
Even more outlandish is the idea that if women were more often pregnant they (and their mates) would get a break from the estrus cycle, including the dreaded PMS. Surprisingly some women liked that comment!
On the financial front, my CPA says that having both partners working is not good tax strategy. Accounting is not my strong suit so I cannot argue the position, but I do trust him.
Anyway, great to hear from you again!