Postcard: Summer, 2015

Hello friend:

Summer is perhaps, maybe, sadly…ending. As I write this, we are both returning from adventures that took us far away from home, with new appreciation for our beds, personal space and the English language.

I missed you—which is weird, because we don’t actually live in the same place. We are always apart. But summertime is different. I was out of the country, with limited Wi-Fi. You were in a Californian land of magical thinking, surrounded by lovely loonies who jammed the Golden Gate Park airwaves with Instagrams and Snaps.

dancing guyWe were unplugged.

I’ve been taking long, mulit-phase flights since I was very young, and I believe that there is something perfect and sacred about intercontinental travel. I’m not nearly so high-powered that I must be ever-available by email, and hovering thousands of miles above Earth strikes me as the best possible excuse for staying offline. Airline Internet isn’t strong enough to stream my shows anyway. (I did manage to watch the first three episodes of Playing House, season two on the tarmac.)

This summer vacation—though frustratingly truncated due to grown-up work schedules—I let go of my absolute compulsion to catch up and keep up with everything and everyone. But also, time away made me realize what I miss when it’s gone. Like always having you one text away. Here are all the things I wanted to share in real-time over the past few weeks:

I finally read Erik Larsen’s Dead Wake from cover to cover, and rediscovered a debilitating fear of the open sea. A recurring drowning-while-trapped-underwater nightmare that started when I first saw Titanic came back with full force, and I was like, this is what you get for reading gripping nonfiction about events that precipitated U.S. entry into the first World War, you raging nerd. That guy who plays the captain of the Titanic (and also the creepy possessed king in The Lord of the Rings movies) was there.

I JUST REALIZED that Anna Chlumsky of Veep is grown-up Vada from My Girl!!!!


I listened to season one of Mystery Show while we drove around the countryside, and I’m pretty sure Starlee Kine is the greatest. I would happily make her voice my ringtone. How does podcast-funding work? Who is paying for Starlee’s gold-star, all-access meet-and-greet ticket to see Britney Spears? Should I just keep texting Starlee and Ira Glass five and ten dollars when they tell me to? Or maybe listen to Startup? I am intrigued by this business model.

I brought corn on the plane. Customs officials were not amused.

Finally watched Page One: Inside The New York Times on the train. Maybe I should read The New York Times more. Maybe I should get my own digital subscription. Maybe my office pays for that, actually…

Did you listen to the “Siblings” episode of Death, Sex and Money? My dad told me stories today about hiking the Himalayas with his brothers. Getting into fights, and then—hours later—peeing into bottles while storms howled outside their tent, and sharing a single sleeping bag for warmth. Sort of similar to rooming with Karoline in San Francisco, yes? Everyone should call their sisters and brothers right now and tell them that they’re the worst, but you love them anyway. [Karoline, return my texts.] There is something incredibly romantic and soothing about Anna Sale’s voice.

jane the virgin

Stop that, Gina Rodriguez. You deserve all the Emmys. I realize I’m 2.5 years behind you on this—Jane The Virgin is popcorn candy delicious funny. The CW: this is the best thing you have done since Veronica Mars.

DON’T WORRY. I traveled thousands of miles to a foreign country, and immediately found a hipster coffee shop that sells homemade granola, chocolate bars with 100% cacao and an adorable barista that I’ll call Fernando. He personally toured me around their chocolate-making operation. I’ve obviously returned every morning since.

Go Set A Watchman–what Roxane Gay said.

So, listen. I promise to be in touch now that I’m back. I’m working, easing back into my routine and waiting for autumn. Fall is actually my favorite season—a sentiment shared by everyone who has ever lived in (and loved) Chicago. September and October is gorgeous in Chicago. I hope that DC reflects some of that beauty.

Tell me about your summer soon, okay? You’re my fave.