Pandemic Diary—Learning, Zombie Day, Favs

Happy zombie day! In addition to eating chocolate or whatever sinfully sensuous dessert you love to wrap your tongue and lips around, I urge you to commit some good ole fashioned Christian blasphemy as well as watch (or read) an erotic thriller (How Feminism, Blockbusters Like ‘Jaws’ and ‘Star Wars,’ and the Ratings System Killed the Erotic Studio Film—IndieWire), and perhaps some porn for women if you’re so inclined. I implore you to buy and read a banned print book in public in front of a Christian church, flaunt your sexuality and lots of skin, curse like a nasty girl, and wear leggings. Also, write smutty fanfic. Here’s a fantastic and favorite erotic historical romance novella by Joanna Shupe with a prominent age-gap romance that made me all kinds of hot (reminded me of Charloe—the only fanfic I’ve ever written).  

In lessons I’ve learned this week—Dr. Tressie explains the difference between shame, shunned, and stigmatization, which I wrote about here. Note and learn from my errors. 

This article in the Washington Post about book banning is a must-read. I implore you to read and take action. (The link is a gift link to the article behind a paywall). Here’s a good Twitter thread breakdown too. 

“For a lot of students, studying the humanities means giving themselves over to their passion for reading, writing, and discussion, while constantly being asked by themselves and others to defend these acts as worthwhile.” Lucas Mann, Slate

I recommend Jessica Valenti’s feminist substack newsletter. Also, historian Heather Cox Richardson in discussing daily historic events. 

I get annoyed when people assume that lovers of romance (in any form) have a desperate need to be coupled off into domesticity. No, not really. Not even close. Perhaps some. Not all.

I’m pretty sure that Pinterest is removing LGBTQ+ pics and calling it ‘explicit content’. My board Passion had always been a melange of all, including hetero and now only a few LGBTQ+ pics remain. BTW, I won a prize for my Boudoir board when I put it together about a decade ago. Here are all my boards. Gads, I miss photography, especially boudoir, beauty, and fashion—anything creative and provocative. 

I’ve started adding ginger spice (not to be confused with Geri) to my peanut butter cinnamon gluten-free oatmeal and it’s fantastic. 

My favorite skincare products are Drunk Elephant and Clinique. My favorite body lotions and body cleansers are Aveeno and Cerave. Favorite Nail polish: Orly. Favorite nail polish remover: ELLA+MILA Soy Nail Polish Remover Unscented

Five random favorite songs: I’ll Stand By You by Pretenders, No Excuses by Alice in Chains, Free by Graffiti6, Waiting for the Day by George Michael, and Rosanna by Toto. An extra one? Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) by Elton John

Firsts! First LP: Toto IV; First Cassette: Michael Jackson Thriller; First CD: Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here and Nirvana Nevermind; First concert: Elvis in Charleston, WV (1976).

What books am I reading? Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry, and I’m always reading a historical romance. 

Any favorite series lately? My latest favorite series reads were the Westcott’s by Mary Balogh and  Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James—excellent!

What am I eating this weekend? Picnic food. I got tired of eating healthy so I’m on my quarterly fun food splurge of burgers, dogs, bacon-cheese fries, Rotisserie chicken, potato salad, and corn on the cob. 

What do I drink? I stopped drinking alcohol in 2016 when my perimenopause went into overdrive. Mostly I drink lemon water, hot decaf green tea mixed with some other tea like peppermint, citrus, vanilla, or cardamon, and a quarter cup of dark roasted coffee with caramel or vanilla almond creamer in the morning. 

What am I watching? The Gilded Age on HBOMax—it needs some melodrama, sex, and mischief, but otherwise, it’s okay. I started watching Moon Knight before I realized they hadn’t dropped the entire season. I love it but Ima wait till it’s finished before I start on it again. 

What essays am I reading? I’m trying to catch up on all the Literary Hub and Aeon philosophy essays I Pocketed. 

What would I tell my 18yo self? Eat lots of fiber and stay away from fast food, moisturize moisturize moisturize, sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen, walk/run/hike more, drink lotsa water, focus all on self and art, study Buddhism and set up some boundaries earlier than later, get on Zoloft, and stay the fuck away from men. Oh and for fuck’s sake, read bell hooks as soon as she’s published.

Am I close to publishing my next fiction chapter? Closer than I was last week.

Later, y’all. 😘

© 2022 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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