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This is sort of how video chat feels: Delightful in its own right, but also a shadow of the real thing.   

This week
Last Friday was the 7-year anniversary of this newsletter. Seven years! There were more important things to acknowledge last week, so I let it go. But today, I am taking a moment to recognize this project—which you are very much a part of—as the longest-running engagement of my professional life. I've skipped only four Fridays in that entire time, and not one since 2015. 

A few weeks ago (or was that last week? what is time anymore??) I chatted with Edith Zimmerman, who published my pie charts a lifetime ago, back when she was editor of The Hairpin. She drew this comic about our conversation for her own newsletter, which is excellent. We talked about how social media is a rather unsatisfying substitute for the communities that once existed in blogs' comments sections. And I found myself saying that this is one thing I love about the newsletter: It feels cozier and more contained than the wind-whipped plains of social media.

In 2013, I could not have imagined that, seven years later, I would still be writing this every Friday. I could not have imagined that we would all be hunkered in our respective homes to wait out a pandemic, and that I would have to figure out something to say about that. I could not have imagined how good it would make me feel that, no matter what words I put in this space—even if they were the wrong ones, wholly inadequate to the task—someone would be reading. And, often, replying with some kind words in turn.

I have never had a rigid journaling practice, never done The Artist's Way, never managed to stick to any exercise or meditation routine. But I show up for this newsletter every week, no matter what. And I am really so grateful that you show up for it, too.

I'm reading
Resist the urge to interpret this virus as a metaphor. A pessimist philosopher realizes she needs optimists in this moment. The coronavirus customer-service crisis. What it's like to be pregnant in a pandemic. Remembering Lupe Hernandez, who invented hand sanitizer. Four theories of why people are still out partying and insisting on going into the office. I support the homeless and housing-insecure families who are seizing vacant homesAIDS activism in the "after" years. Our clothes tell our story, so what happens when the narrative is just pajamas and sweats? How the story of Arizona's former governor is the story of the state's turbulent evolution on immigration. The women who are celebrating their 40th birthdays like weddings. The Wing's uneasy marriage of capitalism and feminism. What it's really like to be on a show like Naked and Afraid. On "relationships I had and didn’t, or endeavors with men that were almost something." Jenna Wortham reckons with TikTok. On the proliferation of all things "premiocre," aka supposedly premium but quite meh. Reiki can't possibly work—so why does it? The creators of Whoopee cushions and Silly Putty tell all. A profile of Fiona Apple. The divine revival of Beverly Glenn-Copeland, whose soothing music is perfect for these troubled times. "The conclusion is exactly this: that we are not the same person for the whole of our life."

Members only
I'm offering you some pie this week (and probably for several weeks to come) because it only seems right to share in times like these. Enjoy!

If you feel compelled to become a paying member, you can do so here.

I’m looking & listening
CYG is all about interior spaces this week, with special guest Mercedes Kraus, executive editor of Curbed. Morgan Bassichis's quarantunes are bringing me so much joy. Google's National Parks virtual tours. Laura Olin has a list of online art and cultural experiences. My friend Channing is reading stories for preschoolers. A comic about what we lose when we stop touching each other. And! For today only, Bandcamp is waiving its share of the revenue—which means that everything you spend on records or digital downloads goes straight to the artist. [Though the site appears to be down right now.]


I endorse
If you just want to relax: The Great Pottery Throw Down. There are many more meaningful things I could endorse this week, but honestly, this show is visual xanax. You haven't lived until you've watched people support each other through the difficult process of making a toilet out of clay. Once I make my way through all three series, I'm moving on to the Great British Sewing Bee.

If you want structure: The 100 Day Project is group accountability for a creative project of your choosing. I also keep picking up Lynda Barry's Making Comics, which is a step-by-step guide to her process. She taught me to think of a notebook not as a thing I create, but a place I can go and hang out for awhile.

And a reminder that if you're in the U.S., please fill out your Census info!

The Classifieds

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I'll be 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. Every week, I'll invite you to give with me. Collective action is powerful.
I donated 100% of today's revenue to No Kid Hungry. To join me in helping to feed kids during school closures, click here. (If you are affiliated with a school or community org that's in a position to provide meals, you can apply for a grant from them here.)
I have three asks:

1. If you know of an organization or an individual who could use a financial boost, click here to tell me about them. I would love to support people who are readers of this newsletter, or groups/efforts that you are personally connected to. NOTE: It doesn't have to be an official 501c3 nonprofit. I'm happy to Venmo or PayPal a person directly.

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

3. And again, to join me in supporting No Kid Hungry, click here.

"If anyone needs to erase the president's bungling speech from their mind, @annfriedman's newsletter from today is the antidote." -E. Ryan Ellis. I think we should all aspire to being an antidote to this president.

This newsletter is not feeling the 7-year itch.
Forward it to someone you see frequently on the internet.

Ann Friedman

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