My 2016 Summer Obsessions

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction
Dude. I am not a comic person, but this. THIS. The premise alone has my bread buttered with jealousy. Here’s the pitch: Suzie has a deep dark secret—she can freeze time with her orgasms. One evening, she meets Jon and discovers he too shares this “super power.” They quickly fall into muskrat love before cooking up a plan to rob a bank in order to save Suzie’s library from foreclosure. If that’s not a solid recipe for fun, I don’t know what is. Now given the content, this graphic novel is indeed graphic. I wouldn’t bust it out at your son’s next playdate. But I would definitely recommend giving it a look-see next time you’re in a bookstore. If anything, just for the delightful reminder that modern-day comic books are no child’s play—they are straight up adult and fabulous! Or perhaps . . . MARVELous?!? . . . no? ok.

Normally the sun isn’t my bag, but Houston isn’t “normally” under water. This rain is banana-boat crazy. So setting aside the attractive fact that my front lawn looks like Versailles on steroids, I’m boycotting this weather. Hand me the sunblock and point me to the nearest clear sky—mama wants her sunlight. I might even go so far as getting a tan this summer. Might. MIGHT. OK, I’m not. Which brings me to my next obsession—

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 30
I am terrified of aging. In no way am I proud of this. Frankly, I blame my generation; carelessly going along with society’s force-feeding of “younger is better.” Sexier. Edgier. More fresh. (F U, American media. Older is better and we all know it, so can we please wise up to the fact that the real stars in this show are the women who have been through the ringer and seen it all? Thanks.) Still, doesn’t take away my mental problem, my ever-growing phobia of mirrors. So because of this, I take control in the only way I know how: proactivity. This sunscreen is a staple in my life—my medication, if you will. And just like Xanax, it can always be found buried in a sea of receipts at the bottom of my purse. Just kidding . . . sort of.

Emily Books (Co-Founded by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry)
Allow me to preface this online bookstore obsession with a wee little story: Before this year, I only knew of Emily Gould. I remember seeing Friendship on shelves. I remember her being a constant target for Twitter attacks. I even vaguely remember something about a feud with Lena Dunham. But what is so ironic in all of this is—through all that time—I never knew about Emily Books. Never heard of it. And I’m a transgressive fiction reader! I eat that shit up! Well one day I decided to reread Paula Bomer’s Inside Madeleine (a wonderfully odd favorite of mine). After finishing, I combed the internet for similar reads. This brought me to And what-the-what?!?! How did I not know this site existed?! Every book featured was right up my alley! I subscribed immediately and have been hooked ever since. Again, I can’t stress enough how bummed I am that I’m only now discovering Emily Books. So! If you’re like me and you’re into dark twisted fiction written by kick-ass females, this online indie bookstore is for you.

Goodbye Home Office, Hello Communal Workroom
Adios, desk! Mama’s ditching your tired ass and going for something more modern. More practical. More . . . pretentious! We have officially revamped my in-home office into an open-concept workroom, fashioned with a large wooden table and six mid-century modern rolling chairs. No more “my space/your space” attitude. I figure if all my family members are going to have their noses constantly attached to tech devices, we might as well zombie-it-up together. Plus I like the idea of a borrowed space—a place in the home that can be used to work, eat, entertain, or just plain hang out without the temptation of a television. In-home communal workrooms—give it a try!

Writing Poetry
I’ve gotta be honest, fellas. I don’t know how comfortable I am with this new fascination. Don’t get me wrong! I’ve always loved poetry, but actually writing it feels . . . dirty. Like I’m crashing a party I wasn’t invited to and I’m actively trying to convince myself that I belong—that I’m worthy of an invitation. For me, poetry is intimidating, but . . . I dunno! I find myself diggin’ the challenge! I just started an Inprint Houston poetry workshop and I’m really excited about it. If anything, I’m hoping this workshop will shake things up. Get the juices flowin’. I’m in the middle of editing novel #2, so any inspiration—in whatever form it may come—is much appreciated.

Honorable Mention
Laundromat carts, The Witch, vintage string holders, celery salt, religious shrines, Riley Keough, White chocolate Kit-Kats, LEMONADE,, libertarians, Radiohead, and not giving a flabby fuck about what my thighs look like in a bathing suit.