Monthly Archives: January 2017

Something Good

1. Important stuff from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds: Trust Me, I Don’t Wanna Talk About This Shit Either and This Is A Test Of The Emergency Broadcasting System.

2. 100 Days of Investment in Black Lives, “a series of direct actions to invest in Black lives and the organizations that bring dignity to Black Lives.” A really great project from Now We Rise.

3. 5 Calls. “Turn your passive participation into active resistance. Facebook likes and Twitter retweets don’t create the change you want to see. Spend 5 minutes, make 5 calls. There’s one simple and straightforward way to influence the Government that is supposed to represent you: Call them on the phone. Calling is the most effective way to influence your representative. 5 Calls gives you contacts and scripts so calling is quick and easy. We use your location to give you your local representatives so your calls are more impactful.” And if you are like me, this might also help, How to call your reps when you have social anxiety.

4. An Open Letter to Women Who Voted for Trump.

5. People Are Calling This Song The Anthem Of The Women’s March Movement. In related news, Why I Threw Out My Speech for the Women’s March, and An Unpopular Opinion on the Women’s March on Washington, and Some Inconvenient Truths About The Women’s March On Washington, and You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry., and Woman in Viral Photo From Women’s March to White Female Allies: ‘Listen to a Black Woman’, and Some Thoughts On The Women’s March That Already Feels Like So Long Ago Because These Are The End Times.

6. 75 Books for the Next Four Years, “Writers recommend necessary reading for the inauguration day and beyond.” In related news, Forget Nineteen Eighty-Four. These five dystopias better reflect Trump’s US.

7. Autocracy: Rules for Survival.

8. The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet [Infographic].

9. Unwelcome in my Country, Unwelcome in my Church.

Nonviolent resistance was not a matter of sitting back and forgiving, waiting to see what would happen next. Nonviolent resistance was an active refusal to allow derogatory and damaging physical, legal, and cultural violence to continue to take place behind the scenes. Because of the nonviolent resistance movement, which brought the struggle into the open and into America’s living rooms via the television screen, average white Americans had to confront their complicity in a system built on intolerance and violence. They had to confront the fact that they were a part of the system that incited such violence. That this violence was being enacted in their name. The nonviolent resistance movement forced White America to look at the brutality visited on black bodies. It would not allow people to pretend that they did not know the symbols of power this violence was meant to enforce. The nonviolent resistance movement compelled white Americans to understand their culpability in the slapping of all those cheeks.

10. Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves. I’ve probably already shared this, maybe more than once, but it’s a great resource.

11. Why I’m moving my money to a credit union.

12. Three simple ways to support Muslim women. In related news, Trump’s Immigration Ban Is Illegal.

13. Woman Who Caused Emmett Till’s Death Admits to Lying.

14. The U.S. Government Turned Away Thousands of Jewish Refugees, Fearing That They Were Nazi Spies.

15. Week One. “It’s been one week since President Trump took office, here’s a list of everything he has done so far.”

16. The 19 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

17. Creating Your Personal Action Plan, an online workshop. “These times call for creative action and resistance. What’s yours to do?”

18. Alternative Facts and Fake News – Verifiability in the Information Society. In related news, Finding Good News.

19. How the Media Should Cover Donald Trump, a video from GQ.

20. A moving speech by Mahershala Ali, one of the actors from Moonlight.

21. ‘Unprecedented’: Trump Adds Bannon to National Security Council, Kicks Out Intelligence Officials. In related news, How Steve Bannon Took Charge Of The Trump Administration, and Trial Balloon for a Coup?, and West Wing leaker goes dark after pulling back the curtain: Trump “irrational”, staff “demoralized.” Something to do about it from Wall of Us, action 3: stop the loose bannon.

22. The Secret Language of Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths: How Abusers Manipulate and Traumatize Their Victims.

23. Each word, image, and video we share online has a ripple effect.

24. This Simple Comic Perfectly Explains Privilege, And Everyone Must Read It.

25. We Are Very Angry from Lisa Congdon about how she’s using her social media platform and her creative expression to contribute to activism.

26. Stop everything: the nation’s zoos are in a vicious, wonderful #CuteAnimalTweetOff.

27. “Sometimes we are so confused and sad that all we can do is glue one thing to another.”

28. How Donald Trump Answers A Question from Nerdwriter, “a weekly video essay series that puts ideas to work.”

29. Approaching Life with Beginner’s Mind from Zen Habits.

30. Former President Barack Obama Issues Statement on Anti-Trump Protests.

Day of Rest: #terriblesandwich

sundaymorningbluepracticeI subbed a yoga class this morning. I talked about how the full expression of a pose in yoga isn’t about getting into an exact particular shape, but rather finding a balance between effort and ease, practicing in a way that’s not too loose and not too tight. As is often true with any kind of teaching, you teach what you most need to learn, and finding this balance between effort and ease in my life off the mat is something I’ve been trying to figure out.

It will come as no surprise to you, kind and gentle reader, that I struggle with figuring out how much to serve and how much to take care of myself. This equation has turned into some terrible sort of space alien algebra since the election, with every day since being a dizzying barrage of awfulness. I can’t look away and yet it’s just too much. It’s burning my eyes, breaking my heart, and no matter what I do, it never feels like I’m doing enough. But the reality is, it couldn’t ever possibly be enough to balance the horrors of history mixed with the particular nastiness of now. There’s no way I can fix what is wrong, but I also can’t give up — so where does that leave me?

Danielle Ate the Sandwich at her recent album release party

Danielle Ate the Sandwich at her recent album release party

Last night I went to Danielle Ate the Sandwich‘s album release party. We were right in front, really great seats, and it was such a good show. She was amazing, as usual — an amazing musician, singer and songwriter, as well as a super funny and vulnerable human in all the best ways. She started on stage alone, singing her song “Peace to You Brother,” and I barely could keep from crying.

Listening to her sing, interact with her band and the audience, reminded me that there are still good things, people doing good work. It reminded me of what I keep hearing lately about how important art is in “a time like this.” In John Pavlovitz’s recent post 10 Acts of Resistance on Inauguration Day and Beyond he lists “Create” as one of the ten, saying “Remind yourself that even though there is real ugliness grabbing the spotlight and the headlines, that things of great beauty are being born too. Let your art be your defiant resistance.” And Paul Jarvis published an article he titled, Art is a powerful tool for change in which he says “Art and creativity — they’re easily dismissed as just ‘something pretty’. But art is a powerful tool. It has a knack for humanizing emotions and vocalizing injustice in powerful ways.”

The hashtag Danielle used for her show, for people to tag videos and pictures so she could find them later, was #terriblesandwich. It’s a mashup of her new album title, The Terrible Dinner Guest, and Danielle Ate the Sandwich, but it seems like such a good way to categorize the current state of things: a terrible sandwich. Which reminds me of the part in Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear where she says that, “if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.”


I eat the shit sandwich that comes with all my regular practices — Writing, yoga, meditation, and dog. Writing is hard, trying to get to the truth and then maybe even create something that would be interesting to anyone other than myself, working my way through all the layers of what’s difficult and scary and boring. Yoga is hard when my body isn’t “perfect” or even entirely healthy, and when I can’t seem to let go of expectations, my own agenda. Meditation, and by extension Buddhism, is hard because it asks so much of me, specifically that I get over myself, show up with an open heart, stay with whatever might arise. Dog is hard when they need so much and I don’t have it to give them, or when they need something but I can’t figure out what and they can’t tell me, when they get sick or hurt, when I love them so damn much and they die.

Add to that the current state of things, and it starts to feel like what the military refers to as a “cluster fuck.” I have a hard time  iguring out how to practice, to be, in a way that balances my effort with ease, not too loose and not too tight, soft and supported, sustainable and workable, wise and compassionate, requiring both doing and not doing.

There’s work that needs to be done, but there’s also the laundry. There was a post recently on Facebook that was a list starting with, “If you’re busy dismantling the patriarchy, you don’t need to know how to fold a fitted sheet.” Its intention was to say that if you are doing important work, that other stuff doesn’t need to be perfect, and yet — that other shit has to get done eventually. We want to be a part of the resistance, but we also need to go to work and it would be nice to do so in a pair of clean underwear. We are constantly negotiating how to balance our effort with ease.

Gratitude Friday


1. Good books. Just one way I’m keeping sane these days. One that is not in this pile because it’s on my Kindle is “Difficult Women,” also by Roxane Gay. It is SO good.

?2. The cup my brother and nieces gave me. It’s perfect for soup. And, it’s covered with dogs!

funhome3. Fun Home, the musical. I know I already mentioned it in my Something Good list this week, but y’all it was SO good, and this week I found the soundtrack on Amazon Prime so I’ve been listening to it constantly.

4. My three boys. I haven’t been able to go on walks this week, and have been working a lot, so I’m really missing them. Hopefully we can hang out a bit more this weekend.


Sam doesn’t really like getting his picture taken, so always turns his head


5. Sam’s new harness. We got Ringo one a while back (see above picture) and it’s worked so well for him, we got Sam one too.

6. Obi. Yesterday would have been his 15th birthday. He was our first. He taught us how to have a dog, and he taught us how to let go. I won’t ever stop missing him.


Bonus joy: getting good feedback (appreciation, kudos, acknowledgement) about the work I do for CSU, doing some work for CSU that I don’t need anybody to tell me is good because I just know, Voxing with Justine, my knee getting just a bit better, getting enough sleep, clementines, tomato gratin, garlic bread, tart cherry juice, working from home, how poor Sam hides from the washing machine but the spot he chooses to hide and where he feels the safest is under my writing desk, the way Ringo wants me to give him handfuls of water while I wait for it to warm up so I can take a shower and sometimes he stands next to me with one of his feet right on top of one of mine and I love him so much I want to stay right there with him forever and ever, laughing with Eric which is the one thing that can save me when nothing else can even reach me.

Three Truths and One Wish


1. Truth: The past five days have been overwhelming. I shared a list on Facebook today that compiled what had happened just during the first four days of DT’s presidency, things he’d done and things he threatened to do. There were 36 things on the list, and they would have been too much if they’d taken the whole four years. People are resisting, but people are also so exhausted and overwrought that they are getting sick. Some are sticking their heads in the sand, running away, asking the rest of us to keep it down, and others are spending way too much time on social media, fighting or screaming until their throats are raw. And of course, there’s the crying. It’s a mess.

2. Truth: There are things I just can’t wrap my head around. One is that for a large number of marginalized and oppressed people, this is what it has always been like, what it’s always felt like — and I didn’t see them, I wasn’t helping. The other is that there are still people who don’t see what’s happening, and others who see it and just don’t care that other people are suffering. I keep wondering, with so much gone wrong, so much that needs attention, how do you figure out where to put your energy, your effort? I once heard someone suggest that if you want to know who you are here to serve, just notice what breaks your heart and you will find your purpose — but what if all of it breaks your heart?

3. Truth: I’m not giving up. That being said, I certainly need to start taking better care of myself. I need to make better choices, have more discipline and discernment. I have to remember that I don’t need to set myself on fire just to keep someone else warm. I need to figure out the balance between keeping my own shit together and helping. I want to remember what Pema Chödrön says, that “If we want there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility.”

(More than) One wish: May we practice being soft and open, tender with whatever arises. May we stay with ourselves, with reality. With confidence in our fundamental wisdom and compassion, my we stay connected to our inherent power, be of benefit, help, ease suffering in ourselves and in the world. Yes, we will be vulnerable, at risk of being wounded, but we also in this way will know joy, experience love, encounter amazement.

Something Good


1. Why the Women’s March made me think about racism. “And why fighting racism has to be at the heart of any women’s movement in 2017.” This, this, everything about this: “I’m convinced that whether your passion is education, preventing climate change, ending poverty, stopping war and genocide, or sexual violence — racism is at the heart of the challenge you are tackling.”

2. Almost no one from Seth Godin.

3. Art is a powerful tool for change from Paul Jarvis.

4. Trevor Noah: What’s the “Middle” Between White Supremacy and Equality for All? from Son of Baldwin. “When one side wishes to traffic in bigotry, superiority, and the right to rule over and dehumanize others, and the other side merely wishes to live in equity and with basic human dignity, it does the truth, and reconciliation, a great disservice to pretend that these are merely differences in opinions and perspectives holding equally moral weight and validity.”

5. She Will Not Be Quiet, a book of poetry by Julia Fehrenbacher.

6. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “Be fully present. Feel your heart. And engage the next moment without an agenda.”

7. To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation. “Over eight years, through millions of letters, the staff of the White House mailroom read the unfiltered story of a nation.”

8. Body Sovereignty from Rachel Cole. “Through small everyday acts of submission many women give up the power they have as the leader, decision-maker, advocate, and ally for their body. What I want you to know is that your body is yours despite all the forces conspiring from the day you were born to teach, tell, and treat you otherwise.”

9. How America fails people of color with eating disorders.

10. This Professor’s Tweets After No One Showed Up To His Class Are Going Viral.

11. What I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Zen Habits.

12. No One’s Coming to Save Us, So We Have to Save Each Other from Chuck Wendig.

13. We the People: public art for the inauguration and beyond. “Download free art, donate to the campaign, and learn how else you can get involved.” In related news, Please Keep Your American Flags Off My Hijab.

14. 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul.

15. What Ben Carson doesn’t understand about “extra rights”: LGBT people aren’t asking for special privileges, just basic equality.

16. 10 Actions for the first 100 Days.

17. I saw Fun Home the Musical yesterday. It’s my favorite musical e v e r, based on one of my favorite graphic novels, by one of my favorite cartoonists, seen with some of my favorite people.

18. Eula Biss: Let’s Talk About Whiteness from OnBeing. I haven’t listened to this yet, but have heard it’s definitely worth a listen.

19. A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support. In related news, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

20. “Donald Trump Strikes Nationalistic Tone in Inaugural Speech.” We shouldn’t be surprised, as it was written by white supremacists: “Much of the speech was written by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, two of Mr. Trump’s top advisers, a White House official said.”

21. Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston.

22. What do Trump’s cabinet picks have in common? A history of misogyny. In related news, Donald Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in American history.

23. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

24. Broad City, Inauguration. This actually made me laugh, on a day when I wouldn’t have expected it.

25. Don’t Be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks. In related news, Do’s and Don’ts for Bystander Intervention.

26. This Adorable Dog Is Trying to Do A Cart Wheel! I love this video so much.

27. Let the Record Show from John Pavlovitz. “History has been littered with horrible people who did terrible things with power, because too many good people remained silent. And since my fear is that we are surely entering one of those periods in our story, I wanted to make sure that I was recorded for posterity.”

28. Two Dogs Protect Tiny Penguins From Being Killed.

29. North Dakota Bill Would Protect Drivers Who ‘Accidentally’ Hit And Kill Protesters. NO!

30. Wild Writing Teacher Training. This is going to be so good!

31. ‘The saddest, slowest, most acoustic’ record: Aimee Mann announces a new album. *swoon* (I get to go see her when she comes to Boulder!)

32. Black Lives Webinar Series. “The Movement for Black Lives will be hosting a six month educational webinar series based on the different demands in the platform. Each month, starting in February, they will be elevating a different category of the platform, and hosting a webinar about that topic. They will also be updating their website with new policy and organizing resources from across the country. They kick off the webinar series on Wednesday, February 8th at 7pm(est) with a conversation about Political Power. If you have resources relating to the platform that you would like to share please email: with the word “Resources” in the title of the email. Register for the first webinar here:

33. How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind, “Self-Care Lessons for the Resistance.”

34. The Racket of Racism, a really important video.

35. 10 Acts of Resistance on Inauguration Day and Beyond.

36. Donald Glover covering TAMIA’s “I’m So Into You.”

37. The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility.

38. Submit your EIS comment to the Army Corps.

On January 18th, the Department of the Army published the Notice of Intent to require an Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register. This is another small victory in defeating the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

The fight, however, is still not over.

This notice opens the public scoping phase and invites anyone interested to help them to identify potential issues, concerns, and reasonable alternatives that should be considered in an EIS.

While the EIS is exactly what we called for, we must ensure that it fully takes into consideration tribal treaty rights, natural resources, cultural and sacred places, socio-economical concerns, environmental justice, and the health and wellbeing of those downstream who rely on our drinking water.

We need your continued support as this process moves forward.

The Department of the Army’s Civil Works division will be accepting public comment until February 20th, 2017.

39. Here’s the Full Transcript Of Angela Davis’s Women’s March Speech.

Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.

The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.

40. When all else fails, find a dog.

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Day of (Un)Rest

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#womensmarchonwashington #whyimarch #engagedcitizen

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I didn’t march yesterday. There are all kinds of reasons: my bum knee, as an introvert the thought of all those people in one place terrifies me, and I had mixed emotions about the whole thing, mostly because of what I was hearing women of color say about the participation of white women. For example, (go here to see the whole thread):


And this,

And this,

I’m still trying to figure out the right way to show up, and marching yesterday just didn’t feel like it was it for me. Although, I did spend way too much time on Facebook yesterday, looking at pictures, reading posts, watching videos, and sharing what seemed important. I’m so grateful for all of the people of color in my Facebook feed, consistently pulling me out of my privilege bubble so I can see things more clearly. I’m also grateful that so many did march, because I think that the number of humans that showed up makes a statement. And yet, I can’t help but worry now that the “fun” part is over many of those same people will go back to their lives and not continue the effort.

It wasn’t that I didn’t do anything yesterday. I signed up to support the continuing good work of the Obamas through their newly formed Obama Foundation. Then I signed up for the monthly “E-Ally Box” from Safety Pin Box, “a monthly subscription box for white ppl striving to be Black Liberation allies via support for Blk Women & completing measurable tasks.” A quote from their welcome packet nails exactly why I signed up, “Understanding and being willing to dismantle whiteness is the only real cornerstone of white ally work.” This opportunity seemed like a really good continuation of the other classes I’ve been taking, 37 Days of Activism, and Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism, and Healing from Toxic Whiteness.

Another reason everyone needs to keep showing up: the menu on the left is the While House website issues under Obama, the menu on the right is only a half hour after the inaguration

Another reason everyone needs to keep showing up: the menu on the left is the While House website issues under Obama, the menu on the right is the change that happened only a half hour after the inauguration

And like I said on Facebook yesterday when I shared links to the two new things I’d signed up for, I was not posting (there or here) to congratulate myself or to apologize for being late, but rather in case you want to show up too. I know I’m not the only one trying to figure out how to do that. It’s clear that I have spent a lot of my adult life choosing my own comfort over justice, and I am ready to not do that anymore.

It’s important to note what has actually changed: now I’m ready. Sure, some of the fuel is Trump being elected, but more than that I’m now finally strong enough, confident enough, able to show up, willing to be wounded, able to meet the discomfort with sanity and compassion — most of the time. I was raised, not just by family but also by school and church and culture, to be nice and friendly and compliant and quiet and pleasing to look at. This was what it meant to be a “good girl,” this was how I would earn love and be successful. I’ve spent the last ten years slowly unraveling myself from that. It was really clear the damage it had done to me personally, but I’m only now realizing the bigger issue — me being a “good girl” meant I was not showing up for other people who needed me, needed me to be strong, to stand up and help them.

The other thing I’m still working out is how to be so angry, so upset, but also practice compassion and wisdom.


This poster sums it up pretty good. I contemplated it most of the morning, and then I saw this quote from Angel Kyodo Williams, “Anger is capable of pointing us back to love. It arises as a result of an offense to what we love. If we can use anger to reconnect to love, then that anger—the response that we have to injustice, pain, and suffering in the world—can be a generative force rather than a destructive one.”

I still don’t understand how to work with the bullies. I never have, even though it’s been a constant theme in my life. The other day on Facebook, I shared a link, 10 Acts of Resistance on Inauguration Day and Beyond. It’s a list that includes things like help someone, pray, create, rest, and cultivate gratitude. Another friend shared it, and her friend shared it too. Friends of the final person to share skipped past their friend’s post to find my friend’s post, a person who was a stranger to them, and started to bully everyone on the thread, saying protest on that day was childish, a sign of both emotional and mental instability. I posted the definition of an internet troll to be clear what he and his few friends who had followed him where doing — “In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.” My post was met with more harassment, and my friend blocked the people from her page when it became clear they were not at all interested in an actual dialogue.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service "Community Dialogue Guide: Conducting a Discussion on Race"

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service “Community Dialogue Guide: Conducting a Discussion on Race”

Women of color in my Facebook feed keep asking that white women “talk to your people.” The implication is that we can talk to our family and friends and cause some shift, some change. But then I think about people like this man (who is white), and other bullies and racists and such that I’ve known in my lifetime — friends, family, and otherwise — and I don’t see how. I’ve never been able to say a single thing that would change their worldview. A tweet I saw the other day expressed it so perfectly.


So there it is, kind and gentle reader. The things I am figuring out, what I’m doing, and what still confuses me. As always, I’m open to any suggestion you might have, anything you know that I don’t. May our effort ease suffering, in ourselves and in the world. May we continue to show up, not give up.

Gratitude Friday


1. President Barack Obama. He wrote a thank you letter to America in which he said,

I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.

All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.

2. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was good this week to be able to look again to his words and his work for encouragement and guidance.

MLK Celebration at CSU

MLK Celebration at CSU

3. All those who showed up to MLK marches and celebrations. All those who are protesting today and in the days to come. The water protectors still at Standing Rock. It is such a comfort and inspiration to be surrounded by so many others who believe that, “The time is always right to do what is right,” (MLK).

ringosnugglepup4. Three years with Ringo Blue. The other day I told him, as he was standing in the middle of the kitchen while I was cooking, that he either had to go back in the garage with his dad or lie down with Sam in the dining room, “but you can’t stay here.” He did that half sigh, half sneeze thing he does, turned and ran back out into the garage — because he’d understood exactly what I was telling him! It hasn’t always been easy, but it is always worth it.

cleancar5. A clean car. Seriously, it was so filthy. Seeing the difference might even inspire me to clean off my desk today.

Bonus joy: laughing with Eric while watching old episodes of Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home, spooning with Sam, my knee slowly getting better, a good week at work, tomato gratin, cherry juice, clementines, clean sheets, good books (Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women is SO good), comedians, poets, people willing to protest something that isn’t right, people willing to stand up to bullies, those who chose justice over comfort, good movies (saw “Moonlight” last week and it was SO good), TV so good you’ll rewatch it (hello, “Insecure”).