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This week
I have eaten cake for breakfast. I have tried to read more books lately but honestly not done a great job of it. Mostly, I have squinted to read the faces of people in tiny grainy boxes on a screen. I have had to pay such close attention to figure out when to pause and when to speak up. I have done day six of a 30-day home yoga video series and it was abs day and of course abs day was the day before I started my period. I have emailed the governor, the mayor, my county supervisor. I have felt my hand cramp while writing letters to friends. I have bickered over what used to be small, everyday decisions, because few decisions feel truly small these days. I have been on the phone so much it's always dying on me. I have not read the news after 8pm. Ok, after 9pm. Ok, honestly, I have snuck a few late-night peeks. I have regretted it.

(I wrote this in gratitude tense, which I learned about today in Laura Olin's Social Social Distance Club email.)

I'm reading
That discomfort you're feeling is griefThis article, by a woman caring for her husband with COVID-19, has haunted me. Disabled people are rightfully worried about rationed health careICE detainees are on hunger strike for soap, package delivery employees are going to work sick, low-income parents can't feed their kids, and anti-abortion activists are exploiting this moment to push for bans. Drag queens are going digital. The worst friend-date Sam Irby ever had. A story about a love of food and the end of a marriage. The umami theory of value and the end of the "experience economy." Against productivity in a pandemic. Maybe daydream about your happy place instead?

Pie chart
The Buffering Connection Pie
Thanks to all my paying members, who make pie-for-all possible! You can join them for just $5/year. I'd love your support.

I’m looking & listening
Jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango, who died this week. Album covers redesigned with social distancing in mind. Some very detailed grocery-cleanliness advice for avoiding coronavirus exposure.

That was me last week, social distancing. This is me this week, sheltering at home:

I endorse
Care Buddies are pairs of people who check in with one another.

And Wendy MacNaughton's Draw Together, a half-hour of guided drawing for kids and adults, too. It's on Instagram Live at 10am PT every Monday through Friday.

An audio experiment
For a long time, I've thought about trying to translate this newsletter to some kind of podcast. It felt like the right time for an experiment. And so I have for you: Annotation.

I'm almost done with a first episode, which is all about the recent profile of Fiona Apple. Read it, and you'll be ready to listen in a few days when I finish this thing! Fair warning: I am doing it all myself, so it's not going to sound as pretty or polished as most things you're accustomed to hearing. I'm also not committing to doing this on a regular schedule, because goddess knows I already have enough weekly commitments.

You can subscribe on Spotify (other apps coming soon—they're just slower). I'll also share direct links here in the coming weeks. 

The Classifieds

There's a reason over 1.9 million people start their day with Morning Brew — the free daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Stay informed and entertained, for free. Check it out.
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Want to hang out with two BFFs as we chat about writing, productivity, & the content we're consuming? Check out the Pencil Me In podcast!

Observer Club is a private community for curious and action-oriented professionals. Interested in thought experiments, socratic discussions, and actionable philosophy? Join us!

Expert video therapy for scary times, no travel necessary. Feminist sensibility. I specialize in women's development and empowerment, anchoring digital nomads, expats, and folks who want to grow from the comfort of their own space. Let's talk and see if we are a fit.

The recipient of this week's classified ad revenue is Black and Pink, a prison abolition organization.

"Prisons and jails are already extremely dangerous to the health of the people they imprison, and contagious diseases spread rapidly inside. Currently, many incarcerated people are being denied information about their facility’s protocol and response to the pandemic, and are being denied access to basic hygienic resources such as hand sanitizer (because they are not allowed to have products containing alcohol). B&P is raising emergency funds to provide access to resources for folks on the inside such as hygienic supplies, food, medical supplies, and phone and video calls with loved ones; as well as providing support to folks on the outside who need access to emergency housing, food, and supplies." - subscriber Chelsea Meacham, who volunteers with the New York chapter.

I'm donating my classified ad revenue to a different organization or individual every Friday from now until June, with a focus on helping people whose lives and livelihoods have been hurt by this pandemic. If you know of an organization or an individual who could use a financial boost, click here to tell me about them. NOTE: It doesn't have to be an official 501c3 nonprofit. I'm happy to Venmo or PayPal a person directly.
To join me in donating to Black and Pink this week, click here.

To purchase a classified ad—aka give to a worthy cause while also boosting your own business—click here.

This newsletter is tense but grateful.
Forward it to someone who's feeling that way, too.

Ann Friedman

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