Letter 6

January 31, 2019

Notes from Jillian: I moved into a new apartment!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am very happy about this. I am also very, very tired. Moving is exhausting and my whole body hurts from carrying furniture. Also I accidentally ordered shot glasses from IKEA because I thought they were going to be bigger. There are pros and cons to this.

Notes from Summer: I started my last semester of undergrad! It is stressful! I am sad! In other news, I might be making a zine for writers who cannot drive. Stay tuned.

We recommend…

🎮 Breath of the Wild

A million things have been said about how incredible this game is, how it’s the best of the Zelda franchise, how it’s revolutionary for Nintendo—and it is! The open world is amazing, but what really pulls me in (not surprisingly) is…the writing? The story? It’s like, video games are just another medium in which we can tell stories??? Amazing! This I have always known, but what’s really fucking cool about Breath of the Wild is the levels of investment it allows you. Gathering the memories is not required by any means—I googled “reward for finding memories?” and all of the message boards said “the plot lol”—which is good enough for me. It’s this really cool way to feel close to the character you’re embodying, to feel close to the world you’re fighting for. I’ve never really found cut-scenes a bother, but I know others have; here, you build your own awareness of what the point of everything is. It’s weird and beautiful and I am probably at 100+ hours played and still haven’t beaten the game. Please borrow a Switch today.


📱 Streaks

As you may remember from past letters, I set a bunch of goals at the beginning of this year (drink more water, do more yoga, eat more salads, etc etc etc). I don’t know about you, but I am definitely the kind of person who needs help setting and meeting goals, and my favorite way to trick myself into doing things is to use apps. I’ve tried a bunch, but I always return to Streaks. It straddles the line between being v. customizable and being v. easy to use extremely well, and it nags me exactly the right amount. My streak of eating a salad every week has lasted…exactly one week! So it’s going well.


📖 The poetry of Jess Rizkallah

I am in my last semester of college and almost every night since December 15 has been full of spirals. I have been going through an intense catalogue of all of the pieces of media that have gone into making me me, in all of the good or bad ways. Poetry is the biggest on my radar right now and Twitter has allowed me access I never thought I could have this early on. When I first started getting into spoken word, I searched “arab slam poet” on YouTube and found one of Jess’s videos, and I was like, WOW, I cannot wait to be like her. And now she is my FRIEND. And her being my friend does not stop me from being constantly in awe of how AMAZING SHE IS at the unraveling of images straight into the deep feeling in your gut that you’re working toward explicating every time a poem hits you. I am always sitting mouth-open, almost always in tears, covered all over in goosebumps when I read her work. You can buy her book here and check out her other work here.


💬 That Jenny Slate interview

Have you read it yet? This one. I cherish every Jenny Slate interview because, as she says, “When people interview me, it’s like I’m talking to a therapist.” She is honest and funny and kind and gentle, and everything she says makes me happy-cry. My favorite moment (of many) from this interview from Sundance is when she answers the question What do you think changed for you? “I think I stopped asking for other people to fill in the ridges of loneliness that I have inside of me.”