On Vaccinated Life and '00s Love Songs

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.

Man, it is good to be vaccinated. This week, I got to see some friends and family I hadn’t seen in forever, ate inside, and even (gasp!) went shopping in-person for the first time in ages. The experience was slightly dulled by the fact that a group of intimidatingly cool teens were doing their own shopping right next to me, making the decision of which jean shorts to buy highly stressful, but I managed to get through it. The little victories, y’all.

Here’s what else has been going on:

What I’m writing

I have a few freelance pieces in the works that I’m super excited about—more details soon! Otherwise, I’ve been working steadily at the book in short but efficient spurts, and I plan to do a lot more this coming week. We’ll see!

What I’m reading

I just read and really, really liked The Glass Hotel, the latest novel from Station Eleven author Emily St. John Mandel. It’s gorgeous and vivid and mysterious. The perfect trio!

Now, I’m onto Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, a book I’ve heard excellent things about. So far, so good.

What I’m watching

We watched the first episode of Mare of Easttown the other night, and it was… okay. I know people are really into this show and I do love Kate Winslet, so I’m prob gonna give it another chance, but it just didn’t hook me! I f you’ve seen it and have thoughts, one way or another, let me know.

What I’m listening to

This is by no means a recommendation, but I’ve had the song “Trouble” by Never Shout Never! (remember them?) stuck in my head for like, three days, and it turns out that I still know every single word?? I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised considering that there was a good four-week period in 2009 where it was all my camp friends and I listened to, but still. Why is this still taking up space in my brain?


If you need a reminder (I’m sorry in advance):

Closing thoughts

My custom crossword puzzles are now on Etsy! You can order one there or through my regular website, whatever floats your boat.

April came back to Grey’s Anatomy! This season has been a weird one, but her return was nothing but pleasant. I updated my Grey’s character-return ranking for Vulture to reflect the news, if you’re so interested.

Blake Lively is producing and starring in a movie written by Diablo Cody about a ‘50s housewife who’s secretly an assassin and I am SO in.

This big New York Times feature on the changes in the way elite gymnasts are coached is a fascinating, moving must-read.

Lastly, happy Mother’s Day to any moms out there! And sending lots of love to anyone grieving a mom this year.


Talk soon,

Rachel