A year into the pandemic, I realized I didn’t know shit

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Herschelian reflecting telescope built by Amasa Holcomb

Last year at this time I knew something was coming but I didn’t know what. My boyfriend and I had a party scheduled for March 7, but we cancelled it the day before. I started wearing a mask to the grocery store, but I wasn’t super freaked out, because I had no idea what was going on. I had no idea what was going on not because the information wasn’t available, but because I wasn’t paying attention. And I was able to not pay attention precisely because I thought of myself as a person who pays attention.

On March 10…

Movies We’ve Never Seen

Also, we don’t want anyone touching us with their clay hands, not even Patrick Swayze

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Photo: Paramount/Getty Images

Welcome to the second installment of “Movies Keith and Sarah Have Never Seen. (Until Now).” Keith Harris lives in Minneapolis and was, until very recently, the music editor for Minneapolis’ City Pages (RIP.) Sarah Miller is a writer and lives in Northern California.

Sarah: Ghost is so bad. It was so bad it almost felt like science fiction — not because science fiction is bad — I mean, I generally don’t love science fiction but I support its existence for those who do. My lack of interest in the genre doesn’t relate to my stunned horror watching Ghost.

What I…

Very Specific Interviews™

Going on a date after a long pandemic year is a lot to handle

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dead plant, windowsill

For my second Very Specific Interview™ I talked to a friend of mine about going on her first date in a year, and how weird it was to have someone actually stare at her after so many months of no one even looking at her.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Let’s just say I’m an American who lives in another country in her 30s.

When was the last time you got laid?

Like, literally today, last year.

Ok, and have you been completely alone during the pandemic? …

I’m just a girl standing in front of a dog looking at its face

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Drawing from a larger drawing in The Small Bow by Edith Zimmerman, a goddess

Look at this dog
Look at its face
Look at its tiny face
Look at its nose
Look at its ears
Look at its tiny face

Look at this dog
See how it runs
See how it has so much fun
See how it runs
See how it plays
See how it makes all my days

(children hum melody)

I know there are those who just don’t believe That a dog’s face can bring so much relief But they have never laid eyes on my babydog I know that life can be cruel and unfair But it doesn’t matter when…

In the end I have to say that we love to hate Twitter but we also hate to love it

The Small Bow is a newsletter written by A.J. Daulerio and illustrated by Edith Zimmerman. It comes out every Tuesday and sometimes Fridays and it’s always a pleasure to see it in my inbox. I met A.J. about two years ago and have known Edith for a while, and I like them both a lot. They are both entertaining but not overly cheerful. They have what I would like to call “good enough” attitudes, which is my favorite kind of attitude.

So in this interview with A.J., illustrated by Edith, I answered some questions about Twitter and the internet and…

Very Specific Interviews

“Sawyer swims in jeans the most. And it’s not even always in an emergency.”

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This is the first in a new series I am starting called Very Specific Interviews™ where I will ask people about a very specific thing. Today I am talking to Toronto writer Sarah Hagi about Saywer from the show Lost, which ran on ABC from 2004 to 2010.

Sarah, thank you so much for being the first interview in Very Specific Interviews,™ First off, I’d like to congratulate you for deciding to watch Lost during the pandemic. You have made such a wonderful choice. It is so trusting and naive and hope-filled. That said, it is also nihilistic enough to…

No vast improvements in general well-being here

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photo by Jeff Myers/creative commons

I woke up in a fine enough mood and a few minutes later discovered that someone I like and trust really likes someone I don’t like or trust. It activated some switch in my brain. I felt angry and also I instantly wondered if I should trust this friend who obviously has such poor discernment.

The feeling would have maybe gone away but a few hours later I got fairly crushing news. Typical writer stuff, still, what had happened was entirely someone else’s fault and yet who would be left holding the bag, me, the person with the least power…

What can I say, I love plots

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“The Sister” on Hulu is very typical in a lot of ways. It takes place in England and there’s murder and a lot of rain and weird pubs and a creepy English guy with lank hair and bad teeth and an old Peugeot and another sort of sad English guy who has a long-face and wears giant dumpy parkas. It is atypical in the sense that despite its many tropes I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I don’t want to say anything more than that because I want you to know nothing, as I did when I started watching.

I saw a friend, now everything is just re-boring

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It’s raining here today and my memory is very poor. I am so angry that everyone around the world is not getting the vaccine that my brain has no room. I was leaving a voice note for a friend of mine and all I could summon up from the formerly vast stock of facts in my head was “Joe Alwyn.” Here are some things I remember: obviously, Taylor Swift/Joe Alwyn, only men and my mother like sweet pickles, the podcast Appearances made me sob in great heaving gulps.

This past weekend I went to Oakland for 18 hours; it was…

The repetition is the point

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photo by Ajari used with general persmission but no endorsement

Children Need to Be Back in School Tomorrow

Children need to be back in school tomorrow.
I am concerned about the most vulnerable.
I am concerned about disadvantaged students.
I am worried about their future.
The irony — it is the teachers who misbehave.
From a circular window in my home office, I see the economy

Looming like a cloud, shining like the sun, the economy
Would never quit these great kids. Today, tomorrow,
It does its duty to instruct, to punish those who misbehave.
Who refuse to share its singular regard for the vulnerable.
It understands that the future
Is embodied in our students.

I too have…

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is a writer living in Northern California.

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