Something Good

1. Why Did the World Fall in Love With Elyse Myers? Great Question, I’d Love to Tell You on Vanity Fair. “The comedian has conquered social media with her honest and hilarious tales of mental health and awkward encounters, and she’s coming for the podcast world.” If you know, you already love her.

2. 10 ways to have a better conversationfrom TEDx. “When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. ‘Go out, talk to people, listen to people,’ she says. ‘And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.'” In what seems like related news from Seth Godin, Naysayers (and the grifters).

3. Wisdom from David Whyte“We often hate ourselves for our procrastination, when it is often only the deeply disguised need to rest deeply enough to reconstitute and reimagine our approach.” In related news, wisdom from Traci Skuce, “Procrastination is not laziness. It’s often your nervous system’s reaction to OVERWHELM.”

4. A Tall Glass of Anxiety on Instagram. “Stuffed Animal/Puppet Restoration, Mending Fabric and Hearts.” This video is how I first found her work.

5. Fostering Dogs Saves Lives (and Makes Your Heart Hurt).

6. StoryCorps: Five Years Later, Two Ferguson Protestors Reflect on the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photo that Captured their Anguish — and Connection. “There needs to be more than swords and shields; you need blankets and hugs too.”

7. Melissa & Doug co-founder opens up about her secret struggle on CBS Sunday Morning. “Despite the trappings of success, Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of the iconic toy company, Melissa & Doug, still experienced a lifelong depression. Now she’s created a mental health hub LifeLines to help others.”

8. Recipes I want to try: Choriqueso with Homemade Flour Tortillas, and
blackberry cheesecake galette, and Overnight, Refrigerator Focaccia. I also tried this recipe this week: Easy Zucchini Slice. It was so good, even cold, super easy to make, and I can see how you could add all kinds of other veggies and even meat to customize it. It reminds me of this breakfast bake I make but without the extra step of the biscuits.

9. Therapist on TikTok perfectly explains ‘glimmering’ and how it’s vital for our health“Glimmers are anything that sparks a sense of joy, awe, or belongingness. It can be noticing the warmth of the sun, something beautiful around you, or seeing a kind face.”

10. I Just Met a Girl Named Maria (Bamford)an interview with one of my favorite comics.

11. Andrew Bird and Iron & Wine: Tiny Desk Concert(video)

12. Angelina Jordan (13) – All performances – America’s Got Talent: the Champions Season 2(video) She reminds me of Nora Jones a bit, but is also 100% herself.

13. David Sedaris Eats Until He Hates Himself. “Too much lunch puts me in a stupor, but at night, I really take the gloves off.”

14. Olivia Newton-John, Australian Songstress and ‘Grease’ Star, Dies at 73

15. Obsessed: Woodstock ’99’s Fire Fest of White Boys Mad About Stuff“Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 Netflix Documentary Tells The Story of ‘The Day The ’90s Died.'”

16. 13 Diet ‘Truths’ That Are Doing More Harm Than GoodAn older article but still relevant. 

17. Wilderness First Aid: Coloradoa really cool course that I need to take which “includes the live or recorded session, exam, three-year certification, and 40+ hours of wilderness medicine podcasts,” all for only $35!

18. How to Fall Out of Love With Your Lawn on The New York Times. “In this video essay we argue that it’s time to kill your lawn, not just to save the planet, but for your own health and sanity too. And while the idea of euthanizing such a beloved member of the family might seem harsh, we show the alternatives that could make the loss more bearable.”

19. Extra-special: Ryan O’Connell’s ‘Just By Looking At Him.’ “2022 has been a triumphant year for Ryan O’Connell. The gay writer/actor/director/disability advocate is not only one of the stars of Peacock’s reimagining of ‘Queer as Folk,’ but he wrote the best episode of the series, ‘F—Disabled People,’ which featured a disabled sex party orgy or crip rave. Now he’s penned his debut novel, scoring another home run.”

20. Subverting a Preppy Classic on The New York Times. “Customized L.L. Bean tote bags have become blank canvases for a contemporary sense of humor.”

21. People shared the important lessons of the pandemic. Here are 21 of the most cathartic“It changed how we worked, socialized and saw humanity.” Some of these are really good, but #14 is petty af, implying that while parents were home with their kids during the pandemic, they had “time off” with their kids and should have been teaching them all the things so the kids were more “advanced” when they returned. Um, that’s not how it worked, in particular for working parents who were still actively working.

22. Jo Koy on Comedy They Told Him Wouldn’t Work on The New York Times. “The standup’s breakthrough film, ‘Easter Sunday,’ focuses on Filipino family themes dear to him, especially after naysayers said audiences couldn’t relate.” If going to a movie theater were a thing I still did, I’d want to see his new flick.

23. Mark Manson, the Self-Help Guru Who Burned Out on New York Magazine. “Mark Manson sold 12 million copies of his self-help hit, ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.’ Then he started taking his own advice.”

24. Heartstopper Season 2: Everything We Know So Far“Alice Oseman’s cozy queer rom-com is coming back to Netflix.”

25. The Sandman review – Neil Gaiman has created 2022’s single greatest hour of TV drama“This dark, engrossing comic book adaptation is utterly lavish, and features an emotional depth that’s almost unheard of in fantasy epics. It should delight fans and newcomers alike.” 

Remember that time I waited in line for eight hours to meet Neil Gaiman and have him sign my book?

26. 4 Behaviors Are The Most Reliable Predictors Of Divorce.

27. On the Link Between Great Thinking and Obsessive Walking“From Charles Darwin to Toni Morrison, Jeremy DeSilva Looks at Our Need to Move.”

28. Writers and Liars: On Fact, Fiction, and Truth“Leslye Penelope Considers the Line Between ‘Truthy’ and Truth.”

29. Two Years from Anne Helen Petersen on Culture Study. I love how she talks about her work and the community that’s formed around it, and I ADORE this sentiment in particular, “You all help me see the stars as constellations, to continue to seek meaning and narrative amidst that vast, swallowing unknown.” Also from Anne, Inside the Complex “Social Lab” of PE Class: An interview with Sherri Spelic.

30. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön“The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naive misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.”

31. Plufl: The Dog Bed for Humans

32. What is Mutual Aid? “While folks from neighborhoods that have faced social and environmental injustices or climate disasters may already be quite familiar with mutual aid, for some of us, this is a new term.”

33. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: May You Be Safe (“As Barbara Gates struggles to protect her adventurous dog Tony from danger, she contemplates the deep aspiration at the heart of loving-kindness practice—may all beings be safe and protected—and wonders what real safety means in this world”) and All Alone or One With Everything? (“Are we all alone in this world or at one with everything? Nick Walser shines a spotlight on the paradoxical nature of loneliness”).

34. Don’t Show Up To Your Dream Half-Assed: Lessons and Lyrics From a Great Friend & Musician – Chris Pureka from Andrea Gibson.

35. Six Years In the Making, the Elaborate ‘Grand Jardin’ by Lisa Nilsson Pushes the Boundaries of Paper.

36. 54 Best Consumable Gift Ideas: Ultimate List.

37. 8 Cleaning Methods and Traditions From Around the World.

38. The Fascinating Things People Leave Behind in Library Books“An Oakland librarian and a French teacher in Oklahoma City collect ephemera they discover in returned and used books, from photos and recipes to love letters.”

39. Your Guide to Lillördag [“Little Saturday”], the Swedish Word That Makes Every Day Feel Like the Weekend

40. Beauty Finding: it’s an everyday kind of thing from Iridescent Ordinary.

Gratitude

1. Morning walks. I’m enjoying the last few Eric gets to take with us before he heads back to work in earnest and we go back to alternating days, just one of us and the boy. This morning we walked at the CSU Trial Gardens, to get one more walk in on campus before all the students come back. The trial gardens are in full bloom and there were a few spots, beds of plants and trails and fountains and vine covered iron arches, that got added after I left CSU and during COVID that I hadn’t seen yet. The dahlias and sunflowers in particular were gorgeous. 

2. Working on “The Book.” Yes, I am still working on writing this book. Recently I realized I was actually writing two different books and have had to spend some time shuffling things around to their respective containers, and yet that also made the structure and focus of the one I want to finish first so much clearer, a whole lot less confusing and unwieldy. *Spoiler Alert*: the one I want to finish first could be summed up as simply: “Being human is hard; don’t give up.” I am also having fun reading all the books I have collected over the years on writing memoir.

3. Tomatoes from a friend’s garden. We didn’t end up putting in a garden this year, even though typically we have a massive one. We were gone for the true start of the season, thought we’d wait until we got back to plant, but it was so hot while we were gone, with the promise of that being the norm for the rest of the summer, and we have so many grasshoppers and no real way to get rid of them without something toxic, so we decided to skip a year. So when a work friend brought Eric a bag of cherry tomatoes from their garden, we inhaled them! So good…

4. School is about to start and I don’t have to go. I am still so grateful to have been able to leave my job at CSU, to not ever have to grade another paper or be given too much work to be completed in too little time and with too few resources, to not have to be diplomatic or deal with the big egos that tend to collect in the tenure track at universities. I’m happy to stay home with my dog, not wear a bra or pack a lunch or pay $600+ to park a mile from my office or answer to anyone about what I’m working on.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. I am content, so lucky and so grateful.

Bonus joy: Watermelon, peaches, grapes, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, good books, listening to podcasts, watching TV with Eric at night, training with Shelby (who got engaged AND had a birthday this week), sharing more food with Chloe’ and Ralf, seeing Carrie’s addition almost finished, Ringo getting to meet Rex his new next door neighbor (the initial sniffing was fine, but then Ringo had to tell him “don’t mess with me” — Rex is a Goldendoodle easily twice Ringo’s size — so the meet and greet was cut short), the hydromassage chair, the pool, the sauna, going out to lunch with Eric, the full sized pig that apparently lives as a pet with a family down the street and around the corner that got out the other day and wandered down the block (when we drove by and the person was taking it back home, Eric rolled down the window and yelled, “I like your dog!”), yoga nidra, scheduling appointments online instead of having to call, vaccines and masks, my Friday morning Wild Writing sangha that starts back up soon, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.