A Month in Obsession: February 2017

We’re deep in winter and yet I feel all warm and gooey inside. Quite possibly because climate change made springtime out of February. Or it could be because my February was full of too many things to love. Read on to find out what I’ve been up to and my top picks of the month:

Book: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.


When I first learned about the underground railroad as a child, I truly thought it was a series of railways that extended throughout the United States to help slaves escape. Turns out the writer Colson Whitehead had the exact same idea and decided to write a magnificent novel about a woman named Cora, who tries to find her freedom via the secret passageway. As Cora travels from state to state, she encounters different embodiments of what America could be and the way racism perverts each and every one of them.

Movie: OJ: Made in  America

Calling this 3-part documentary series a movie may be a bit of a stretch, but the Oscars seemed to be ok with it. For those who lived through it, revisiting the OJ Simpson case might be feel like an unnecesary 90s throwback. I, however, was living in Peru at the time of the scandal and news of it were practically nonexistent. But more than give viewers the salacious detail of the court case and the awful murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, the documentary uses OJ’s rise and demise as a concentrated expression of bow the justice system fails everyone when institutional racism is still at play.

TV: Brown Girls

What’s not to love about a webseries set in Chicago that showcases the loving friendship of two POC women? This is a city I recognize: multicultural, artsy, and fun as hell.

You can watch all seven episodes here.

Podcast: Missing Richard Simmons

Thought not a die-hard fan, I always found Simmons presence comforting. He was that ubiquitous pop culture figure that I did not understand, had no idea what he had done, but was simply there. That’s not the case any longer. Simmons has been hiding from private life for several years now. Documentarian Dan Taberski, one of Simmons friends, has decided to create this podcast in the hopes that he’ll find a reason as to why this very extroverted figured has decided to cut ties with everyone he loves.

Intrigued? You still have time to catch up. Listen to all released episodes here.

Tweet I Was Particularly Proud Of:

Charlie Pic of the Month:

I'm a slim fit. #alternativefacts

A post shared by Ines Bellina (@ines.bellina) on

My Tiny List of Small Victories:

  • Remember that pitch I mentioned last month? I did not jinx it, it got published and everything. I wrote about the cost of immigrating to the US on The Billfold. My biggest fear was that it would attract all the trolls in the universe but the response has been quite positive.
  • I’ve been super prolific over on Book Riot, where I wrote about the Latin American Dictator novels to read in these dark times and my book recommendations for fans of the Netflix show Juana Inés. My favorite post this month, and one that went semi-viral, was on my need to read during lunch as an act of political self care.
  • Over on XX Will Travel, Kathy and I have been busy as bees. This month’s episodes are some of our strongest, seeing as they included a whole hour devoted to women’s health while traveling and an interview with filmmaker Samantha Bailey on her trip to Ghana. We’re currently looking for questions, tips and stories on traveling with parents for an upcoming episode. If you have any thoughts on the subject, here is how to send them our way!
  • Talking about travel, I’m happy to announce I’ll be volunteering at Wanderful’s Women in Travel Summit in April! Stop by and say hi.
  • This month’s performance was at This One Woman. I love this variety show because it always revolves around one historical female figured and I almost lost my shit when I heard February was going to be about L.M. Montgomery. I wrote about an experienced Montgomery and I shared: being duped into thinking the end of the world was actually happening.
  • Things I want to accomplish next month? Dear lordy, there are at least three submission deadlines I want to make yet I keep getting distracted by dumb stuff! Like baking lemon cake and taking my office’s fitness challenge seriously. Here’s to finding some sort of focus in March.