A wise bestselling author friend, one Ms. Gayle Forman, informed me that “checking one’s Amazon rank” is to “author” as “reading the comments” is to “journalist.” Gayle is right about everything except raisins in cookies, so please do not talk to me about my Amazon ranking or sales.Â (But feel free toÂ tell me I am #1 in “Women Who Have Slavishly Copied Susan Sontag’s Hairstyle,” which I already knew.)
Also, before Gayle made me stop looking a few days ago, I noticed that Mamaleh was #225 in “Judaism.” I sent my mom a note saying SUCK IT VIKTOR FRANKL, COMING FOR YOU and she wrote back “Yeah but you haven’t got concentration camp on your CV” which I frankly found very hurtful. The book dropped to #585 the next day. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is.
ANYHOO. What have I been up to? Here is a piece on about how Jewish camps are welcoming LGBTQ kids, and how they’re not. I contacted maybe 60 camps; 12 were willing to speak on the record. (FWIW, I wrote like a serious person for that, not the way I write on this blog.) Also I did a quick storyÂ on the Jewish history of cupping (there’s a Yiddish saying,Â â€œEs vetÂ helfn vi a toytnÂ bankes” — “that’s as helpful as cupping a corpse”), informed by my own history as the spa columnist (shut up, it was too a job) at Fit Magazine back in the day. I did it all: Tui na, shirodhara, sawdust bath, blasted with a hose like a refugee from a Â ladies’ prison porno, color/light/aura therapy, manuka tapping, Reiki, lomi lomi, watsu, lymphatic drainage, salt cave, Endermologie, iridology, jamu, qigong, Tibetan singing bowls. And I really liked cupping, for what it’s worth. Dunno whether it works, or why. ButÂ as I said in the Tablet piece, do not dismiss the efficacy of the placebo effect. (ThisÂ paragraph really gave spellcheck a workout, btw.)
I have been SorryWatching like a fiend: From most recent to most vintage, we’ve got a superlativeÂ apology for taco-related shenanigans from Autostraddle; a very good apology from Riley who chased Ciara with a booger;Â a crappy apology from The Daily BeastÂ after it ran a homophobic, dangerous story;Â a too-right, bonza, grouseÂ apology (I googled “Australian slang for excellent”) from an Australian Today Show presenterÂ who’d said something transphobic on air;Â and an evolving apology story over at the DNC, post-hack.
FINALLY:Â I was interviewedÂ for Kveller about Mamaleh Knows Best by the delightful Carla Naumberg, Ph.D., and if you click that link be forewarned that you will be greeted by a GIANT HONKING CLOSEUP OF MY FACE, which is NOT AT ALL JARRING IN ANY WAY. #blessed