Space flight, fresh vinyl and my very first trailer

Closing out the month with a splash (and a new podcast)!

It’s Monday, and I’m in love.

What, you ask, is so great about this particular Monday, you ask?

A couple of things. First, my friend Robin’s husband, Manuel Beltrán, put out a new album last week called “The Reconstruction of Pre” that we’ve been spinning — old school style — on the record player. Beltrán has a beautiful story of healing and learning to love and trust and make a family in this album, and he’s a local artist who I think should be on your radar. So, if you’re into hip hop and/or want to support an Austin musician doing cool things, check him out!

I also just finished a couple of books that I really enjoyed: “Queenie” and “The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World,” two totally different reads. One about a Black woman in London who finally decides to see a therapist; the second, a novel about the phone booth in Japan where people who have lost loved ones can “call” their deceased relatives.

But the real literary gem this summer is “Wonders All Around,” a biography from Austinite Bruce McCandless III, whose dad, Bruce II, is the guy in a spacesuit who might have graced your bedroom wall in the 1980s and 1990s.

McCandless II made history as the first person to “walk” in space without a tether to the spacecraft.

But he was so much more.

In this week’s Feminist Kitchen column, I wrote about this new book that totally captivated me earlier this summer. I cried more than a few times reading Bruce’s retelling of his dad’s experience as an overlooked astronaut who waited 18 years for his first space flight. Not because the historic moment was so special; it was the way the author wrote about his family and, eventually, losing his parents and finding his identity outside his father.

That’s what made that book so special.

And lastly, I’m having a great Monday because my f*#%@#$ podcast is almost ready to launch.

(Forgive the cursing. It’s been a steep learning curve to get here!)

Class Reunion: The Podcast” is launching next week, and I finally have a trailer to give you a sample of what you’ll get to hear when the first episodes are live.

Stay tuned for updates about the show next month!

Thanks for all your support with all these new ventures from me. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer getting here.

Your notes of encouragement have meant so much, and any time you share one of my projects with someone else (or sign up as a subscriber), you’re helping me help a number of organizations.

For each episode of the podcast, I’m donating to a nonprofit picked by the classmate featured in the show. And this month’s Substack donation is going to the Parasol Patrol, which adds visibility and support for LGBTQIA+ families are Pride events.

You can upgrade at or become a Patron for the podcast at

I hope this newsletter finds you well! Mondays are gonna Monday, so let’s make the most of them.

All the best,