Dispatch | 11.17.19

Raise your hand if you’re tired. That seems to be the current collective, universal state of things. Tiredness knows no creed, no political party, no religion. Tiredness is in the water, it runs to our marrow. And it shows no signs of abating.

As the world turns increasingly dark — from here in the U.S. to abroad (see Turkey, Hong Kong, Bolivia etc. etc. et al) — it’s hard to find relief from the news cycle. The impeachment hearings are must-see TV and social media is constantly alight; who even knows where we stand on Brexit? Hilarious memes and astrology posts bidding us to look into ourselves and the stars are barely a balm, but there’s so much tiredness to overcome.

And then there’s the domestic front! The dishes pile up, a mountain of laundry is never quite tackled, and my research/writing/pitching to-do lists get longer. I know it’s something of a cliche, but “adulting” is so much.

The reality is, there are some days I can’t bring myself out of bed, but please allow me a humble brag moment: When it comes to waking up, that particular morning act was made even harder when Ian splurged on great sheets, transforming our bed into a true refuge. And! The best gift we gave to ourselves this year was a robot vacuum — at least we never have to worry about our floors. I know, I know, capitalism. But! Good sheets, automated vacuuming, these things have been a boon for my mental clarity.

Also, the things below. Take care of yourselves out there.


I devoured Pablo Neruda’s The Book of Questions in a day. I was dumbstruck by the magical thinking, the childlike wonder of each microscopic poem.

“Why is it so hard, the sweetness of the heart of the cherry?
Is it because it must die or because it must carry on?”

Pablo Neruda


I’ve been listening to Wild Words, by Nicole Gulotta, author of Eat This Poem, which has helped me a bit in terms of figuring out my writing headspace.


Ever since the finale episode of this season’s Great British Baking Show, I’ve been wanting to bake a chocolate cake. Well, I finally got around to it, baking Nigella Lawson’s chocolate raspberry pudding cake, from her cookbook How to Eat, which I found years ago on a stoop and never cooked out of. Not my first Nigella recipe, but frankly, it took me too long to flip through this book. Ian, on the other hand, has been cooking from another Brit’s tome, Nigel Slater’s Eat, which is a dream for any casual cook. We’ve had the book for a couple of years, too, and have rediscovered its simple charms. Also in our rotation, Cook’s Illustrated The Complete Cooking for Two we’ve saved so much on food waste, alone.

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