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Newsletter: The Summer of Unplug

I don’t know about you—but I’m sick of screens. As much as they held us together during the plague—they’ve also driven us apart. Somewhere during the Trump years and the election madness and fighting about masks, we forgot how to be humans IRL.

So this summer, I’m unplugging. You should too.

Turn off cable news (all 50,000 of you who still watch it). Get offline and plant your feet firmly in real life. I recognize there is a certain amount of time we all need to spend online — but for me it’s the pointless scrolling that I find the most wasteful (and shameful). During the pandemic I could justify it. “What else am I going to do? Bake another loaf of bread?” But now scrolling is not only robbing me of happiness and peace of mind—it’s robbing me of time. Time I’ll never get back. Time I was always aware that I was squandering but now somehow, as the pandemic recedes into the rearview mirror, it seems all the more insane for me to be wasting it online.

The pandemic highlighted exactly what makes life precious. Our freedoms. Our health. Our families and community. Human connection. All the simple things we take for granted—going to the beach, taking in an exhibit at a museum, visiting family—are precious. Dancing. Live music. Eating out. Here in California, that was all shut down. Even our beaches were (insanely and stupidly) off limits for months.

So for the next 10 weeks, I’m going to spend as much time away from screens as I can and as much time recovering what it’s like to live with a sense of awe and wonder, instead of a perpetual sense of doom and gloom.

Not everyone has the luxury of logging out for work. Lord knows I certainly don’t. I’ll still have to use the internet to promote my content. But as much as I can, I’m engaging with the world and I’m putting myself in my own version of Adult Summer Camp.

Here are 10 things I’m committing to doing in the coming weeks:

1. Plant something
2. Read as many books as possible
3. Go to museums, movies, concerts, gardens
4. Build something—even if it’s putting together a piece of furniture
5. Learn to identify at least 10 different plants in my neighborhood
6. Volunteer
7. Go to the beach as much as possible—go kayaking at least once
8. Travel
9. Eat out
10. Paint something

In order to hold myself accountable I’ll be sharing my adventure, my book recommendations, my experiences, my paintings and some of the things I’ve learned with you in each week’s newsletter. I’d love to hear your suggestions or plans for your own Adult Summer Camp. And I hope you’ll join me in throwing off the yokes of our tech overlords, even if only for the summer.

With love,
Bridget & Hope

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Live Streamed on March 9, 2023 11:07 PM ET
Late Night Check In

I've been crazy busy and just want to check in with the Pham

February 07, 2023
Factory Settings: MONEY!

This week on #FactorySettings @justjeren and I talk about the elephant in the room. MONEY! We talk about when we first became aware of it, how it affected our parents' divorces, how much we spent on our addiction, being dependent, financial insecurity and so much more!

Walk-Ins Welcome w/Thomas de Zengotita

I continue my series with Thomas de Zengotita as we go through his book Mediated chapter by chapter. This week the topic is identity politics and we cover a lot of ground. #WalkInsWelcome

February 09, 2022
Unedited Check-In 167

Maybe we should just focus on TV show reviews.

Unedited Check-In #167
December 07, 2021
Unedited Check-In 158

Grandpa's letter home after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Unedited Check-In #158
September 01, 2021
Unedited Check-In 144

Maggie is back! Also: The "No Complaining" challenge.

Unedited Check-In 144

Hello new followers, I hope I don’t disappoint you. I want this place to feel like home, where we can escape the Thunderdome and process the world. Where we can post dog pics and recipes and book recommendations. Where we support each other as we get sober, lose weight, embark on new business opportunities, creative endeavors, relationships and travels. I want this to be your oasis of sanity and laughter in an increasingly mad world. A creative outlet where you can share your spirit with us.

We might not have any control over the news cycle—but we can control our habits and attitude. It all starts with us. And hopefully a little piece of that will start here.

Hey hey! Just catching up with you lovely people and your posts. My life has been effing CRAZY. Still smoking cannabis, unfortunately. But otherwise it's all good. So good. I hope you're all well. I'll be snarking up your comment sections more regularly again. 💜

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March 24 - Bizarro World
What struck me as strange was the realization that my audience or fans (I’m not comfortable with that term) or you the person reading this post—know more about me than my good “friends.”

Describe a bizarre experience you had recently.

Two times this week I had the bizarre experience of getting in touch with an old friend and sending them a picture of my daughter and having them respond with, “Who is that?” To which I responded, “She is my daughter!”

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March 23 - Local Flavor
And the floats, oh the floats! There were floats? Apparently there were and you won't believe your eyes when you see the creative and colorful displays in your photos the next day.

Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

If you're looking for a grand St. Paddy's Day parade experience, look no further than Newport, Rhode Island.

Now, let me tell you, Newport knows how to celebrate like the Irish. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. and if you want the truly local experience, you’ll already be on your way to blacking out by the time the streets are lined with green-clad revelers ready to paint the town green (with vomit.)

Image taken from the Marshall Slocum Inn website.

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March 22 - Stranded
There are rivers to sit by in Prague—or lakes in Chicago—or beaches to go visit in Barcelona.

You’re stranded in a foreign city for a day with no money and no friends. Where do you go; what do you do?

Oh I’ve been here before—this isn’t even theoretical. First of all, it depends on the city but the absolute best way to get to know any city is to start walking. So if I was in a city with no money or friends, I would just start exploring. You can easily look up a walking tour of any city online if you’re someone who needs more structure and wants to take in some architecture and history.

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