(Marge Simpson voice) "We Never Had a Wedding For the Dog and Cat"

they've been living in sin!

How are we all doing? On a scale of 1-10? I’m going to say a 6, because a lower number would suggest greater privations than I personally am suffering, despite being FIRMLY NOT ENJOYING EXPOSURE QUARANTINE (our exposure person is recovering, we are all okay so far.) Go ahead and say a lower number. It’s fine. If I get one more email from, like, a yoga studio I took a single class at in 2007 in Hoboken about their response to the virus, I’m going to say 5.5. Steve got an email somehow from a place he got scuba certified at in the 1990s. What’s your worst brand update?

A heroic health care provider and their best friend:

Rufus Wainwright, a great Canadian, has been doing lovely Quarantunes, including yesterday’s classic “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” edition.

The Top Shelf, having read the room, has turned to The Bottom Shelf for affordable drugstore products that get the job done:

Plenty of Coppertone Sport

This is the best stuff for any outdoor scenario in which you’ll be sweating. Like, uh, running? Maybe chopping wood, tossing tires, or constructing a giant palace made of fresh corn. If you need me to think of any more scenarios, well, I can’t.

Carrie, a devoted reader, sent me this Derry Girls TikTok.

Like Fiona Apple, I always want to know how Sinead is doing:

In 2015, doctors in Ireland performed a radical hysterectomy to relieve O’Connor’s chronic endometriosis. But the procedure pushed her into premature menopause, which went undiagnosed and unmedicated, she says, and made her go “completely mental.” She moved to Chicago, where she had friends, then moved to nearby Waukegan, lived in a motel and volunteered at a veteran’s hospital. As her depression deepened, she headed to San Francisco and checked into a well-respected treatment center. She eventually landed in a New Jersey Travelodge, where, in August 2017, O’Connor posted a 12-minute plea on Facebook referencing suicide attempts and intense loneliness. That led to an ill-advised appearance on “Dr. Phil.”

John Reynolds, her first husband and longtime producer, flew to the States and brought O’Connor home to Ireland. And with that, one of contemporary music’s greatest and most original artists seemed to vanish.

But last month, O’Connor, 53, quietly traveled to the West Coast for the opening leg of a mini tour, eight club shows spread over 12 days. They were a first step to reclaiming a career virtually abandoned during the years of turmoil, familial conflict and canceled gigs. All seemed forgiven. Crowds were spellbound as O’Connor, in bare feet and a hijab — she converted to Islam in 2018 — mesmerized them with a 17-song set that stretched across her career.

I am trying not to be furious that Danny has only watched the last half-season of The Americans but it’s hard. However, this completely uninformed and context-less summary of his experiences cracked me up, and then made me cry, later on:

  • The girl is soft and craves further softness – she is not worthy of The Woman.

  • The girl does not know what she thinks she is saying yes to! She invites herself into liability – teach her the usefulness of rejection!

  • The dying woman understands The Woman. Good. Her final gift is acceptable. May her death be swift and unremarkable as she slides into quiet.

  • Oh, Max Medina is on this show? That’s so fun!


  • (“See how mercy is so often mere self-indulgence?” I said to Grace at this point. “Do you want to watch this show, or are you doing a bit?” she asked. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You’re getting really intense about Keri Russell,” she said, “and we just had to have that whole conversation about Tony Soprano and I think this is kind of the same thing,” she said.

Absolutely not, why are you emailing me:

SOLIDARITY WITH FAT FRED, an absolute unit (the Spanish-language post-it took me all the way out):

If you have not read Jazmine Hughes’ EXQUISITE piece on learning to swim, I assure you, it takes you places you did not anticipate and the whole thing gathers together in a way only a truly great writer can pull off:

Three of my four younger sisters at some point took a summer swim class, but none of them ever really learned anything. I was worried that we were reinforcing an ugly stereotype: that black people, because of racism or urban flight or an inherited avoidance, don’t know how to swim. Desperate, I asked my mother if anyone in our family knew how. “Girl,” she said indignantly. “I know how to swim.”

According to her, everyone who grew up in the 1970s knew how to swim. “We didn’t have all these distractions,” she said. “If there was water, you just went into it.” She learned when she was 7, at the Y.W.C.A. in New Haven, Conn., where I grew up. She described herself as “fearless” in the water — “city kids weren’t scared of nothin.” — but not enough to open her eyes when she was submerged. She pulled her mouth away from the phone and asked her husband, who grew up in the South, where he learned how to swim, to further her point. He learned around the same age, also at his local Y. Later, she texted me my great-great-grandfather’s 1917 military census, where he self-identifies as a good swimmer. “I just don’t know where you went wrong,” she said.

Don’t tell them a damn thing:

5. Do I have to say no to a job offer because I’m newly pregnant?

I have been working at the same firm for the past several years. I have been intermittently job searching for the last two years after my boss has repeatedly not followed through on promises regarding bonuses, raises, etc. It’s even become a running joke with him that he promises me one thing and does another (not very funny!).

For the past three months, I’ve been in a hiring process with a great new firm. It would be a huge step up in terms of responsibilities and how excited I am to go to work every day. I really want the job and it seems like I could possibly expect an offer shortly … even amidst this horrible time of uncertainty.

Here’s my problem – I just found out I am three weeks pregnant with my first child. Do I have to say no to a possible job offer because of this? I don’t want to start a new working relationship on a lie but due to my family history of miscarriages, I really don’t want to tell anyone until I am farther along. I really want this job but I don’t want to put my integrity at risk.


No ramblin’. Absolutely no ramblin’, please.

Do not go down south to make any kind of peace with your daddy’s mistress:

Two of my fav Patty Griffin songs (she’s the best, that’s it):

This one is my all-timer:

I so enjoyed our lil Chicago moment the other day, I thought we’d hear from John C. Reilly:


if you are with people you cannot stand, this is for you:


I strongly encourage Rocket Man, and this scene is great (Dad, I’m sorry, I know you have no love for Sir Elton whatsoever, and also you are not homophobic in any way, you just hate popular things):

I also loved the Crocodile Rock part (I like a lil magical realism in my biopics):

RIP, Gord Downie. Always loved you. Was at your last show. Never gonna forget it:

Wyclef notwithstanding, again, please do not go down south right now:

If you are sheltering in place I hope you are into the person you are sheltering with:

Okay, one more, because this is…maybe peak?

Now, let’s let Patti remind us she’s Rainbow High:

I also enjoy the Madonna movie, I contain multitudes:

I know this is a little on the nose, but also it’s the best:

If things ever get so bad I don’t laugh at “Wishin’ Boot”, I’m done for:

Peter Allen, take us away (try to forget Drop Dead Gorgeous for a minute or you’ll laugh too hard and interrupt him):

Your skin looks great. Being a recluse agrees with you. I’ve been doing it for years, and you’re already surpassing me! You are keeping your boat steady and you’re trying to be patient with the people around you. You’re creative and smart and funny. You have wonderful taste. One day, people will yell your name delightedly when you enter a room, like Norm on Cheers. You may think you’re not waving, but drowning, but I assure you, you are waving. I’m waving back. I love you.