On Lil Nas X, Kris Jenner, and Your Chance to Win a Free Puzzle

This week's edition of Simon Says.

This is Simon Says, Rachel Simon’s weekly newsletter that’s part life updates, part pop culture recs, and part whatever else is going on in her brain at the moment. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more, and subscribe here to get this in your inbox every Sunday night.

Hello from Raleigh, where it’s 80 degrees and sunny despite there the loudest, longest thunderstorm I’ve heard in *years* occurring overnight! It was so intense that both Ellie and Mim Mim jumped into bed with us, which happens very rarely and was as adorable as you’d expect.

Storms aside, here’s this week’s newsletter:

What I’m writing

I wrote a story for Vulture about why the Albert Brooks-Meryl Streep rom-com Defending Your Life, which turns 30 this month, is the best afterlife-set movie ever made. It was a really fun story to write, especially because I got to take over Vulture’s Twitter on Friday night and live-tweet the movie! ICMI, you can stream the movie on HBO Max and follow along with the thread here.

For HelloGiggles, I reviewed my new white sneakers from Atoms, which are seriously the comfiest sneakers I’ve ever owned. Let me know if you check them out for yourself!

Oh, and that other freelance story I’m super excited about sharing? It’ll be out on Wednesday! Keep an eye out for the link.

Book-wise, I got another 1000-ish words in this week, but I focused more on re-outlining some parts to strengthen the narrative. Plotting is not my strong suit (I’m all about characters), so it’s hard, y’all, but I’m working on it!

What I’m reading

I finished Christie Tate’s Group, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes super honest, funny memoirs, especially if you’ve ever been in therapy. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a read, and really compelling.

Yesterday, I started Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay collection Thick! I’m only a few pages in so no review yet, but it’s gotten such strong reviews that I’m really looking forward to diving in further.

What I’m watching

Last night, Kurt and I watched Another Round, a Danish movie starring Mads Mikkelsen that’s up for two Oscars and a bunch more awards. I totally get the hype—it’s a smart, interesting, and super original movie that also features my favorite on-screen dance scene in forever. Stream it on Hulu!

Also, my Felicity watch is going great, thank you for asking. I am going to be so sad when she cuts that hair.

What I’m listening to

More new/old Taylor is here, with “You All Over Me”! Man, I can’t wait for the Fearless re-release.

Also, if you haven’t yet seen the video for Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, wyd? The only word to describe it is epic. I really like this dude, especially for this lovely note he wrote to his younger self about the song’s release.

A post shared by @lilnasx

Closing thoughts

Lexie is coming back to Grey’s Anatomy next week, and I am verklempt.

This Vulture list of the best character actors ever is definitely worth a read.

As is this Wall Street Journal profile of Kris Jenner, which reminded me that she gets up at like 4:30 am every morning in order to start her daily routine of world domination.

Rest in peace Beverly Cleary, whose Ramona Quimby books were, and still are, truly iconic.

Lastly, I’m holding a contest on YourCrossword where you can win a *free* custom crossword puzzle! It ends tonight, so comment on the post if you want to enter.


That’s all for now. Have a great week, everyone!

-Rachel