7 Great Real-Life Dates in Cleveland, for All You Skeptical "Bachelor" Viewers

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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Monday's episode of The Bachelor hit the road, with Pilot Pete & his crew of young, whiny, thus-far-universally-terrible women making their way from sunny Los Angeles to not-quite-as-sunny Cleveland, Ohio. The reactions were... as expected, I guess, & thus infuriating.

I am surprised, honestly, that after all this time, the rest of the country is still so happily shitting on this great city, which is not only inexpensive & easily accessible to the East Coast, but is also actually full of really fun things to do. And we're Midwestern, so you know we're friendly, unlike some cities. (Lookin' at you, coastal elites.)

Also, need I remind you that recent seasons of Bachelor shows visited Virginia & Rhode Island, for crying out loud? Don't talk to me about "exciting," please.
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What I'm Watching: Early 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

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I always say that I don't watch a lot of TV, but it's possible that I watch a lot of TV? It's weird because I'm always doing something else; I never just stop & sit & focus on what I'm watching. I'm always multi-tasking, always doing two or three things at once, & so, as a result, I can really only watch shows that don't require a ton of attention... which means I watch a lot of bad TV. Or at least extremely basic TV.

But you know what? One of my new year's resolutions was not to be ashamed anymore of my guilty pleasures or to feel pressured to like the pop culture phenomenons that everyone else seems to love - which includes "deep" TV shows. Here are the very not-deep shows I've been watching lately, each of them as entertaining as the last.
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When You Have to Cancel Everything To Take Care of Yourself

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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People talk a lot about self-care. Heck, I talk a lot about self-care. Everybody loves a bath bomb & lavender essential oils & a solo movie night.

And I've talked, too, about the kind of self-care that comes with true mental health issues - the times when you need to talk a day off work & sleep for hours, or when you need to force yourself to shower, or when all you can do is zone out in front of the TV & at least make sure you eat & drink.

And then there are times when self-care is just about self-maintenance. About not letting yourself drown. About keeping your head above water until a rescue dinghy comes out to grab you & you can breathe easy again. Sometimes your legs hurt & your lungs are burning while you tread water, & self-care is just making sure you don't let the waves take you under.

And that's where I am right now.
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I'm Being Published In a Book... & You Can Pre-Order It Now!

Friday, January 10, 2020

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I couldn't be more excited to share that you can now pre-order Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy, a YA anthology of essays, artwork, poetry and other ephemera, to be published on August 18, 2020. Along with pieces from bestselling YA authors like Nic Stone (Dear Martin) & Julie Murphy (Dumplin'), this book will also include an essay by yours truly - all about starting sixth grade in a back brace.

The book's cover isn't yet available, so in its absence I leave you with. a photo of me, taken the summer between sixth & seventh grade, with a back brace not-so-hidden beneath my baggy ensemble. On a billion-degree day. At Disney World. I couldn't be more excited to share this essay with you, & I hope you'll consider ordering a copy. Pre-order the book now.

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In 2020, I Will...

Monday, January 6, 2020

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I did a pretty good job of my 2019 goals, but I ended the year feeling pretty overwhelmed. I'm setting some loose & ambiguous but extremely important goals for the new year. Here's what's on deck.

Look for & hopefully buy a house
Slowly but surely, Mike & I have begun the house hunt, & though I, for one, would be happy to stay in our Tremont apartment for  half a decade more, I'm still enthusiastic about the prospect of finding a forever home. We're focusing on a few areas on the west side (best side!) of Cleveland, & we're looking at a bunch of different options, timing-wise, so we could end the year in our apartment or be out by early spring. We'll see!
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The Best Things I Ate in Cleveland in 2019

Friday, January 3, 2020

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Since I started writing dining reviews for Cleveland Magazine in the spring, I've been lucky enough to eat some of Cleveland's best & most delicious foods. Add that to Mike's & my existing penchant for exploring the city's food scene, & you've got... well, a lot of really damn good meals.

It's a nearly impossible task to think, in retrospect, about what I liked best (I'll start keeping an ongoing list in 2020!), but to the best of my memory, here are the dishes that stand out most.

Yes, it's a long list. Just trust me, OK?
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The Best Books I Read in 2019

Thursday, January 2, 2020

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Whew, what a year. I set a goal of reading 80 books, but in the end, I only ("only"!) hit 64. As I looked back through what I read in 2019, though, I was surprised to find that there weren't a lot of books on my list that I really loved.

How disappointing is that?! I mean, I re-read the Harry Potter, & I certainly love all of those - but I can't count them on a list like this! In the end, I've pulled five books (two fiction & three nonfiction) that were the best of the year. Don't get me wrong, these five were really great - but I hope I hit the mark a bit more often than this in 2020.

Without further ado, my best reads of 2019 - & I'd love to hear what you read & loved this year so that I can add it to my to-read list in the year to come.
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What I Read in December

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

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OK, OK, so it wasn't exactly the grand reading finale I'd hoped for, but I finished 64 books this year, & I feel pretty good about it. Sure, I was aiming for 80 - but hey, 64 feels pretty darn good. The average person reads, like, four books a year, right? So I'm doin' all right.

Here are the five books that rounded out my 2019. How about you?
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