Laughter is the Best Medicine
But you'll still need the other prescriptions in your pillbox. A link roundup...
I tend to read, watch, and listen to an awful lot of Oldsterish content. Now and then I’ll pass some of it along to you in a link roundup like this one.
“When you turn eighty, what new creative pursuit will you passionately throw yourself into? Knitting? Bocce? Taking naps? For Natalie K. Levant and George Saltz, the rather awe-inspiring answer was standup comedy.” Do not miss Still Standing, Elizabeth Zephyrine McDonough’s moving 26-minute documentary about two octogenarians who turned to stand-up comedy later in life. Watch from The New Yorker’s website.
In the wonderful Toonstack newsletter, a collection of cartoons about aging from various cartoonists.
“…just as the work of becoming yourself never ends, the balancing act of satisfaction never ends, either…” In her amazing Ask Polly newsletter, Oldster Questionnaire taker Heather Havrilesky responds to a 60-year-old advice seeker who worries that she’s wasted her whole life.
“I want to talk about what fun it is, as a reader in my sixties, to encounter a woman in her sixties in a novel, and in particular, encounter her as someone who will matter in the plot, as someone to whom things will happen, as someone who will make things happen.” - Writer/physician Perri Klass’s new essay, “The Sixties Heroine: ‘A mature and adult female of her species at last’ in The Hudson Review.
So sad to learn that Melissa Bank, author of the much beloved 1999 story collection The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, has passed at just 61. Via Vulture.
“The average age for perimenopause is whatever age you happen to be when you google any of the following: What age perimenopause? Skipped period start of menopause? Why do I have free floating rage?” A little perimenopause humor from Kathryn Baecht in McSweeny’s.
“Though representation has improved, pop culture still has a problem with middle-aged women…” Lisa Whittington-Hill at Catapult, writing about the media’s ageist portrayals of middle-aged women.
“It’s not just about learning an instrument but expanding my feelings about myself, about what I’m about.” There’s something touching about legally blind 68-year-old former New York Governor David A. Patterson taking guitar lessons from now 51-year-old Dan Smith of those “Dan Smith With Teach You Guitar” fliers, ubiquitous in New York City for decades. By Collier Meyerson in the New York Times.
In 1983, “Betty Ann had borrowed twenty-nine thousand dollars in federal loans. Today, she owes $329,309.69 in student debt. She is ninety-one years old.” In The New Yorker, Eleni Schirmer writes about “The Aging Student Debtors of America.”
“Finally, I decided it was time for me to do for my mom what she once did for me: arrange some playdates.” In The Cut, Monica Corcoran Harel writes about helping her 80-year-old mom make friends after she moved to be near her daughter.
The news from Kansas has me fired up and ready to get more voters registered for the most crucial mid-terms of our lives. I’m looking at volunteering opportunities with Vote Save America and Field Team 6…
If you’re in NYC, this Monday, August 8th at 7pm, I’ll be taking part in the quarterly “Memoir Monday” reading series hosted by Negative Space author Lilly Dancyger at Powerhouse Arena. I’ll be reading in a stellar lineup that also includes: Tajja Isen, Chloe Cooper Jones, Maud Newton and Edgar Gomez.
On Tuesday, August 16th at 7pm, you’ll find me at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan, representing the 50s in the Generation Women reading series hosted by Georgia Clark. Also reading: Kyla Sylvers, Questionnaire-taker Chloe Caldwell, Ivy Woolf Turk, and Jackie Margolis.
And mark your calendars for August 18th at 7pm EDT for a virtual conversation between Liz Prato, author of Kids in America: A Gen X Reckoning, and Sari Botton (er, that would be me again, with the same headshot…bear with me as I continue to promote my book for a little while), author of And You May Find Yourself: Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen X Weirdo. They’ll discuss their books and their generation. Free, over Zoom. Only 35 spots left. Sign up!
Oldster Magazine will turn 1 on August 31! I’ll be raising subscription prices so that I can continue to bring you diverse perspectives on getting older at every phase of life, and keep paying contributors. If you haven’t yet become a paid subscriber, now is a great time to get in on the low rates of $40/year or $6/month.
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