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This week
You may have missed it tucked away at the bottom of this newsletter, but I've been playing around with a new, undefined audio project. It's called Annotation (I'm truly blessed to have a name that puns so well). The episodes are sort of... audio essays? They are short and released sporadically. You can listen online, or on Spotify or Google Podcasts—other platforms soon. There's a new episode about doves. 

You can also hear me on Between the Worlds talking about when to walk away from things, and on Who Shot Ya talking about the incredible new film Never Rarely Sometimes Always (and other cinematic things). Big Friendship is one of Elle's most anticipated books of summer 2020! And on the CYG, our guest is the delightful Fran Tirado, who has lots of streaming recs.

I'm reading
This is not the apocalypse we were expecting, so prepare for the ultimate gaslighting. A pandemic is not a war. Maybe we're all so anxious because "emotional contagion" is a thing. Try looking for meaning, not happiness. Hong Kong after SARS. The New York City of "those who stayed." Life right now for a hospital chaplain, a cancer patient, a pregnant person. Stories of women living alone in this moment. Kids discuss what it's like to learn from home. A poem made from the first lines of emails received in quarantine. What do you do when you make your living as an influencer, but spon is pretty crass during a pandemic? How is it possible to both dread and look forward to making dinner every night? Who gets paid when art is free? The case for listening to new music. The plants are probably listening, too.

Pie chart
The Total Authority Pie

Pie is temporarily free for all! Deep thanks to my paying members. If you're not already a paying member, I'd love your support. Join for just $5/year.

I’m looking & listening
Home Cooking, a new podcast from Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway, has been my companion while I make dinner lately. It is so soothing to listen to them talk about beans. Less soothing is this 3-D simulation about social distancing. A 150-foot-long swirling siphonophore. "Circles," by They/Live. Absolutely essential viewing: Kathryn Hahn and her daughter perform an excerpt from Glengarry Glen Ross using American Girl dolls.


Mask moodboard featuring Annique DelphineJuno Calypso, and Valentina.

I endorse
The U.S. Postal Service. This week I boxed up some care packages, calculated postage on the USPS website, printed package labels (shout out to Click n Ship!), and had them picked up from my front porch by a postal worker (shout out to my postal worker!). No contact at all. I've been sending a lot of letters and postcards lately, too.

Like everything and everyone, the Postal Service is suffering right now. I really want it to continue to exist. The post office is one of those things that is essential but also seems too good to be true in the U.S.—like public libraries. I mean, our country doesn't even want to provide basic health care to all. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to try to establish these institutions now. "Oh, you want the government to make sure all people can send and receive correspondence, even in rural areas and Native communities? YEAH RIGHT. Oh, you think all people should be able to access books and music and movies for free? HAHAHA, dream on." These public services are minor miracles, and we have to protect them.

If you're in the U.S., you can send a quick email to your member of Congress to ask for more Post Office funding.

A related endorsement: I am newly grateful for the Libby app and the audio and e-books it's allowing me to access while stuck at home.

The Classifieds

Listen to How to Do the Pot podcast. Women share personal stories about cannabis + sleep, migraines, endometriosis, pregnancy and more!
Scrunchies by womxn + non-binary artists, with 15% of the profits donated to a cause of the artist’s choice. Welcome to The Scrunchie Club!
Looking for smart writing to pass the time? Original essays and correspondence now online with issue 3 of Majuscule.

TheWorkout.Today is a free bodyweight workout in your inbox, plus a thought, idea, or challenge. A daily boost for your body and mind.

How to Be a Conscious Eater is a radically practical guide to making smart food choices, written by an expert on food and the environment.

Understanding your Natal Chart is a profound gift to give yourself. Mallory is a trauma-informed intuitive Astrologer who aims to help clients both harness their unique gifts & overcome challenges in this lifetime. Read more about Mal’s Astrology, Tarot, & Reiki sessions here.

I donated all of today's ad revenue to Family Tree Clinic, a nonprofit healthcare provider that is critical to the trans and queer community of the upper Midwest. I'm thrilled to say that this donation will cover the cost of telehealth appointments for more than 5 patients, or one month of hormone treatments for 14 patients. Join me in giving!
Every Friday from now til June, 100% of this ad revenue is going to a different organization or individual, with a focus on helping people whose lives and livelihoods have been hurt by this pandemic. If you know someone who could use a financial boost, click here to tell me about them

You can also support this charitable effort by purchasing an ad.
Click here for ad rates and info.

Plus! You can now give a classified ad as a gift.

"I am so grateful for you and your newsletter. I’ve always been too shy to say that but what the fuck, right?" -Jennifer. It's a great moment for mail of all kinds, including fanmail.

This newsletter is its own kind of care package.
Forward it to someone who deserves a treat in their mailbox.

Here's your weekly reminder that my book, Big Friendship, is available to pre-order! It makes a great gift for a physically distant friend.

Ann Friedman

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