Letters to Summer

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Letter 48

Letters to Summer is a newsletter written by two best friends living on opposite sides of the country. Every other Friday, we share the things we're reading, watching, listening to, and enjoying. We hope you like it.

On process

We’ve talked about routines before in this newsletter, about the comfort of having them and noticing them. I think about my own routines a lot—the big ones, like the things I do every morning to get ready for the day or every evening to get ready for bed; and the small ones, like the way I approach certain tasks at work or the way I write this newsletter every week. Starting to quarantine and work from home this year shook a lot of those processes up, and I struggled for months to feel even somewhat stable again. I had a hard time figuring out how to change my daily habits to fit a different environment. I think now, after two seasons have come and gone, I’m starting to feel like I’m on solid ground again. And I think a lot of that is because of those repetitive tasks that I find so much comfort in, like making a cup of tea every morning.


I’m trying to write again. This newsletter has been my main creative outlet for over a year; basically, since I finished college, I’ve been struggling with working on anything at all. There have been small projects here and there, but these past few weeks I’ve finally remembered what creative energy feels like, despite struggling with some other Life things. I’m trying to re-learn a writing process; how much time do I spend with my references, how much time do I spend editing, how much time do I spend thinking? I want to get comfortable with my approaches and have a true method for getting work done and doing what I want to do. I’m not good at routines or habits or any personal organizational things at all, but I think process is within my grasp.


We recommend

🍽️ Xiao Mei Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bars

My roommate was buying boxes of these for a good few weeks and god, they’re just the most amazing ice cream I’ve ever had. The texture was ridiculous—the creamiest ice cream but with little boba bits in it for the loveliest chew. The caramelization on the sugar is perfect. They made me feel like shit and I didn’t even care! You’ll probably have to go to Chinatown or an Asian grocery store to get them, but if it’s out of your way, I promise it’s worth it.


📱 Duolingo

I’m working on replacing some of my social media usage with other, less doomscroll-y apps, and Duolingo is my recent favorite. I’ve been on and off Duolingo for years to practice my extremely mediocre French, but this time I decided to try learning a new language entirely from scratch, just for fun. (Turns out it is, in fact, a lot of fun.) So I’m learning Mandarin now! I think Duolingo is a good way to get started with learning a language whether you want to be fluent or you just want to pick up a few phrases, but it’s definitely a good way to do the latter. It’s also, in my case, a really productive way to stay off Twitter.


📺 High Fidelity on Hulu

Sorry to recommend a show that’s been cancelled, but I just sped through the first and only season of High Fidelity and whew! It was so good! I had tried it a few weeks ago and couldn’t get through the first five minutes but after giving it another chance, oh my god. Zoe Kravitz is really fun to watch, but the side characters are even better—the record store setting works really well, and what may be another show’s entire premise only serves as a hint of a formula for one story (revisiting exes), giving space for a lot of fun with format within the fourth-wall-breaking moments. Maybe someone else will give us the S2 we deserve.


📱 Computecuter

@sailorhg put together this really nice website full of recommendations for cute text editor themes, monospaced fonts, and mechanical keyboard parts. All the stuff you need to make your computer cute! I love this and the little community of people online dedicated to making tech spaces cuter—we need even more of it, imo.