I promised I’d give you an update on my work as a substitute teacher so, let me tell you, elementary school classrooms are a whole production. And I’m just the understudy dropping in during the third act, scrambling to learn my scenes. It makes me feel like the dude from Quantum Leap. My first order of business is always finding the one girl—yes, it’s always a girl—who’ll help me through the day. She’s the goody-goody who makes it her job to tell on her classmates if they pull any stunts and won’t hesitate to tell me what I’m doing wrong. Thank you for your service, babe. Anyway, below are some rays of light for your springy Sunday. I’m gonna google around to see what Scott Bakula is up to these days…
• Since you could probably always use an extra dose of beauty, Natasha Nyanin is a New York-based, Ghanaian writer whose travel posts make me want to lose my ever-loving mind. Stunning. (Instagram)
• My new trick is sending friends surprise donuts. It’s an easy way to cultivate charm in someone else’s day. Of course, there are all kinds of fancy food delivery services out there. But I’ve just been punching my friends’ addresses into UberEats and picking a shop close to their house. (Life tip)
• I caught Waxahatchee at the Ryman last weekend and was instantly smitten with lead singer Katie Crutchfield and her boyfriend, Kevin Morby. Here’s some shaky video coverage of them covering Dolly to tide you over until she makes it to your town. (YouTube)
• Reckless women make the best subjects, don’t you agree? Chelsea Bieker’s new short story collection, Heartbroke, is full of ‘em. If you’re around this evening, one of my dear Internet friends, Michelle, is hosting a book club conversation with Chelsea at 7PM ET. Wave to me! (Zoom)
• Here’s an ode I wrote to Pamela Adlon, an edgy icon whose series, Better Things, is one of the best shows on TV. I am bereft that her show is ending but excited to see what she does next. (Kveller)
• Confession: When I’m looking for new recipes, I just type ‘easy’ into Joy’s search bar. My latest find is this Avocado and Edamame Salad, which I’ll be making this week. Also, rest assured, 2011 Joy had just as much sass as 2022 Joy. (Joy the Baker)
• I haven’t watched the second season of Russian Doll yet. For those who have, is it as good as the first? I have, however, been reading all Natasha Lyonne’s press—because, hello, she’s fascinating—and this interview is the best of the bunch. (New Yorker)
• “I Lived the #VanLife. It Wasn’t Pretty.” Let’s take her word for it. (New York Times)
• As much as I love gossip, I also carry friends’ secrets to my grave, which makes me a weak gossiping companion. Enter the Normal Gossip podcast. A variety of guests come on to share morsels of gossip from the real world, which essentially boils down to really good story telling. (Apple)
• Did you know when a pomelo + a grapefruit have a baby it’s called a Melogold? A friend introduced me to this happy mashup via Costco and I’ve never met a fruit hybrid I didn’t love. (Eat Like No One Else)
• This excerpt from an interview with Jamaica Kincaid is so expertly done, even the questions are poetry: “Homesickness—this kind of interrupted love—is a big element in your work.” (Paris Review)
• HouseInHabit has been one of my favorite follows for years and Jess’s recent turn as a celeb reporter is endlessly entertaining. Her newsletter is worth subscribing to if you like your celebrity drama with a side of low-stakes conspiracy theory. (Substack)
• OK, technically this isn’t news but, rather, a PSA: Speed holds up exceptionally well and is the perfect movie to watch no matter what mood you’re in. (HBO)
• Which one do you love more: the actual picture or the fact that she named her dog after a type of pasta? It’s a toss-up, honestly. (Twitter)
As I recent recipient of a surprise Toby donut delivery, I highly recommend this suggestion. I also love Normal Gossip. Maybe also a result of being super tight lipped with my friends secrets? Xoxo
Ahahah love u Chelsea xx
The second season of Russian Doll is NOT as good as the first, sad to say. I do love how she’s mixed her family’s story into the show though. Just read her Wiki entry. Holy crap.
Yeah, we started it last night and I’m not feeling it. I just don’t have the energy for this right now…think I’d rather watch an old movie!
I have to co-sign the Normal Gossip podcast! It was surprisingly recommended by my husband of all people (not really a podcast guy, for starters). I jumped in with the Josh Gondelman episode to start, loved it, and am now going through the others. Great storytelling indeed!
And you are 100% right about “Speed”! Such great plotting (and cast).
Oooh thanks, Ellen, I’m kinda late TK the game and haven’t gotten to that episode yet but I’m pumped.
Thanks for sharing these interesting and entertaining articles. Just today my husband and I were discussing classroom dynamics (I am a retired teacher) and the topic of the teachers “star” student/helper. I know in my very early days of teaching, I relied on them (yes, they were always girls) especially when I was being evaluated. Gradually, you realize that the majority of the students, particularly the young ones, simply adore their teacher and work really hard to please them. Teaching truly is an art, it’s not for most people, but it is the most rewarding of professions. Good luck.
Thank you so much, Stella, for the sweet comment. I love that sentiment so much! Not sure if teaching full-time is my calling but I’m happy to help in spurts :)
As a former teacher, thank you. Loved the description of being an understudy in the third act. And, yes, it is always a girl. We need substitute teachers as much as we need teachers.
Yes!! Tho I’m sure I’ll find a big helper eventually…they’re all such sweethearts for the most part
Teacher here chiming in to thank anyone who signs up to sub. Thank you, thank you!
Thank you SO much for subbing. We have zero in our district right now (small k-12 school on a reservation in MT) so things either get cancelled or a teacher on prep covers. Know that you are such a godsend to those teachers. We need more people like you to step up and see what really happens in a day in elementary school!
Thank YOU for all that you do. I always participate in my kids’ “Teacher Appreciation Week” at the end of the year but I never fully realized how hard they’re working.
Thank you for all that you do, Marissa!! It’s certainly not easy.
You’re subbing? In Nashville? I could hug you! You probably know this, but we need about 3,000 of you. Tell all your friends!
Whatever school you’re subbing in is so lucky to have you – I am a non-classroom teacher in a metro elementary school and I get pulled to cover classes on the reg, and it. is. not. easy. Thank you for your service (and for these links – great post :)
Yes! I kept seeing all these articles about the sub shortage so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m just going one day a week but am happy to help :)
You are truly doing God’s work!! May He bless you in all you do!!
Just had a 10 minute conversation with my husband about how we have no argument about Speed. Toby, I believe you are correct.
That’s a perfect use of 10 minutes! I had totally forgotten that Jeff Daniels was in the movie!