14 August 2020

“The only things you learn are the things you tame.”

This Week

Every few months, I consider stopping the newsletter. Not because I dislike it or because it feels like a chore (I don’t and it doesn’t), but because it seems like a good idea to pause periodically and think about what I’m making rather than producing from unreflective habit. There’s always the chance that at one point I’ll stop and think about it and conclude that I don’t want to keep the newsletter up anymore. But that time hasn’t come yet.

This weekend marks six years since I began this newsletter. As I’ve said, I still enjoy writing it. It’s a natural extension of my desire to share what’s on my mind. Those compelled to expression will most likely do it whether or not there’s an audience for it. Audiences of kindred spirits, however, are not unwelcome.

Sometimes I feel like my newsletters are messages in bottles I cast upon the waves. I send them because I want to, not because I’m guaranteed to get something out of it. In fact, there’s a good chance it will come to nothing at all. Maybe my words get lost in some vast digital ocean or pile up like refuse in inboxes. Why do I keep making messages and tossing them out? I don’t know. Some of us just do, I suppose.

So, six years later, I am writing another message and bottling up everything I’m thinking and considering and feeling and creating in this particular moment. If you’re reading this, then you took the time to look for the bottle, collect and read what was inside, and added it to your own moment. Though I would probably send it even if you didn’t do this, never imagine I don’t appreciate you doing so. There’s a sort of desperate hope involved in writing messages in bottles, and it seems like a deeply human victory whenever this sort of hope is redeemed.

Thank you for reading, however long you’ve been here, and I hope I’m able to reach you into the future.

If you’re so inclined, here’s a reminder that I keep a free archive of the first four years’ worth of essays at modernadventuress.com.


How will history museums remember this moment? What local institutions and archivists are doing to immortalize a disorienting time in Chicago.

We have to stop thinking of being ‘healthy’ as being morally better.

The history of “mind-numbing” chit-chat. I’m a fan of chit-chat. It helps humans connect with boundaries, which is the basis for healthy relationships. We should better appreciate the pleasantries we exchange as foundational, not as the alpha and omega of communication.

How Dolly Parton runs her empire during a pandemic.

This is a take on women making horror movies that won’t reveal much to those already in the know, but serves as a good primer for others and provides a good review of recent woman-made horror.

The Raymond Chandler Project: A collection of stories and songs based on Raymond Chandler's unused titles.

Over 100 photos from Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair Columbian Exposition.


  • There’s a new documentary on Disney+ that’s not just for the Disney fans: Howard, a lovely, moving tribute to lyricist Howard Ashman, who was instrumental in the late 80s/early 90s Disney renaissance but died before his time from complications from HIV/AIDS. If you are a Disney fan, I recommend pairing this with Waking Sleeping Beauty, an earlier documentary by the same filmmaker that takes a more comprehensive look at said renaissance.

So six years, huh?

Thanks for hanging out and in with me.




Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

Today’s quote is from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.