Monthly Archives: August 2020

Something Good

1. The Five Great Fears on Lion’s Roar. “There’s no avoiding it: 2020 has been a year of fear. The threat of illness and death has been omni-present. Many folks have either lost their jobs or fear losing them at any moment. But what is fear? What are we so afraid of? Looking at the ‘Five Great Fears,’ Zen teacher Lewis Richmond asks us to consider fear itself.”

2. 10 Things That Annoy Me as an Introvert.

3. Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful. “Here’s how to pull yourself out of despair and live your life.”

4. Reading lists: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Recommends 10 Books to Read ASAP and The 20 Best Feminist Books to Put on Your Reading List This Year.

5. RIP: Remembering Chadwick Boseman, and Randall Kenan’s “God’s Gonna Trouble the Water” Is About a Disaster That’s All Too Imaginable (the author recently passed, and this is one of the last stories he published), and Breonna Taylor’s Life Was Changing. Then the Police Came to Her Door on The New York Times.

6. Systemic problems from Seth Godin. “When we think about the problems we’ve solved as a community, this is the way it always happens. Making things better, over time, with focus. Persistent commitment doesn’t lower the urgency of the moment, it acknowledges it.”

7. How to Help Hurricane Laura Victims.

8. Writers Against Trump wants to mobilize the literary community in advance of the election.

9. Leaving Facebook? Here’s the best way to take your photos with you. “You may not want all your old posts, but you should grab your photos and videos. Fortunately, they can be shuttled over to Google Photos in a few clicks.”

10. Penzey’s Spices is ‘looting’ its own Kenosha store in a statement about priorities.

10. The Consequences of Your Actions. “You can’t support Trump and also be a decent human being.”

11. NC State University’s ‘Unrelenting’ Spread Of COVID-19 Forces Students To Leave Dorms. In related news, The University of Alabama reports 566 coronavirus cases after just a week of classes.

12. Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2020.

13. Yes, Women Could Vote After The 19th Amendment — But Not All Women. Or Men.

14. How to Spot 5 Core Tactics of Gaslighting.

15. Honoring Emmett Till: 65 years after brutal murder that galvanized civil rights movement, family still seeking justice.

16. RNC Gave Prime Time to Vigilantes. The Next Day a Gunman Shot BLM Protesters. In related news, How to demand justice for Jacob Blake and support Kenosha protesters, and We need a plan to prevent a Trump takeover — and this anti-coup research shows the way, and How ‘good White people’ derail racial progress, and Trump Threatens Intervention After Portland Violence, and Kenosha Mayor Does Not Want President Trump To Visit ‘At This Point In Time’, and Rabbi who works next door to couple who pointed guns at protestors says they’ve been notorious ‘bullies’ for years, and N.Y.C. Tenants Say They Were Tricked Into Appearing in R.N.C. Video on The New York Times, and If You Only Read One Convention Recap, Make It This One, and Media and Law Enforcement Response to White Vigilante Shooter Proves There Are Two Americas.

17. America’s Nice Guy Finally Says ‘Fuck You’ to Trump Supporters on Twitter. In related news, ‘What I’ve learned since I lost my mind’: Jim Gaffigan explains his Trump rant. “So if I believe I won’t sway any voters, why speak out like I did? Honestly, I feel I had no choice at this point. I think Trump is ruining and possibly has already ruined my country.”

18. Guy Catches Neighbor Kid Repeatedly Playing In His Driveway. “What he does next is pretty epic.”

19. We Need Art Right Now. Here’s How To Get Into Poetry.

20. Same-sex penguin parents Electra and Viola hatch a chick together and it’s just adorable.

Gratitude Friday

1. I’m still here. I’ve been noticing more silver in my hair recently. In particular there’s one spot where I part my hair, to one side because I have a cowlick that wants to go how it wants to go and I gave up fighting with it years ago, and that spot is getting a concentrated spot of silver and I frigging love it. I’m grateful for all the wrinkles and spots and soft saggy bits and silver hairs because it means I’ve lived through some shit and I’m still here.

2. Masks. The various masks and mask accessories, such as filters and nose strips, that had just been piled on top of the dryer got their own storage basket, as it’s clear we’ll be needing them for awhile. Today I got another bunch from eShakti. I really like the extra neck strap so you can let your mask hang around your neck when not using it. They were also buy five, get one free, which was a nice bonus. I’m grateful that such a simple thing, such an easy thing, does so much to keep us healthy and safe. 3. Late summer harvest. Peaches, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, and watermelon; some from our garden and others from local farms. I made tomato jam with some of our cherry tomatoes, and it’s so good! We can also now add bunnies to our list of who our garden is feeding.
4. Morning walks. You didn’t think I’d forget, did you? 🙂 I am still so surprised that with the many insects that thrived this summer — miller moths, grasshoppers, dragonflies, blister beetles, etc. — that we had hardly any mosquitoes, and therefore never really had to take more than a week or two away from walking along the river. This week, we came upon one of the heron fishing, and I would have gotten such a good picture, but Ringo was too wiggly and loud, and the heron flew away before I could “capture” it. Things are really turning toward fall, which means starting the walk with a headlamp, it’s much cooler, and everything turning various shades of brown, red, and gold.

The heron was RIGHT there just seconds before Ringo chased it off

5. My tiny family. Ringo got his teeth cleaned on Monday. With all our dogs, we’ve had their teeth cleaned once when they are somewhere between 5-7 years old. None of them ever lived long enough to get it done a second time, (Sam was supposed to get his done for the second time this summer… ). Ringo did really well, was wobbly and whiny for a few hours, but he’s got such pretty teeth now, (we brush them daily too, but it just isn’t enough to keep them completely clean for years and years). His wonky belly finally finally cleared up, and we are pretty sure it was stress induced colitis, which he’s had before, and this time started the day after Sam died, so we are pretty sure that was the stress that caused it — poor puppy. Eric has been hard at work, as classes started this week. It’s been a bit weird for him because it’s the first time he hasn’t taught his own class in 20+ years (he’s a philosophy teacher, specializes in applied ethics), as he was reassigned temporarily to online learning, one of his other specialties and so in demand right now so he’s spending his time as a coach and facilitator, for at least the rest of this academic year.

“I feel weird, Mom.” Ringo, still high on anesthesia.

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Bonus joy: how when this post wasn’t up by one o’clock my mom texted me to say “no Gratitude Friday?”, hanging out and writing with Mikalina, walking in the pool with Janice, texting with Chloe’ and my brother and mom, the cooler weather (it’s 76 today!), the air clearer after two days of rain that hopefully took some of the energy out of the wildfires burning, how when I picked up my groceries and they forgot my refrigerated items on the first trip the woman in charge gave me a free candle because I had to coming back, yoga with Jamie on Sunday mornings, my morning practice (which is close to two hours now because I read a chapter from a dharma book, do some yoga, meditate, and write — but I retired right before a global pandemic, so I’ve got the time and the need), the various kinds of finches using our birdbath, the squirrel who used our patio umbrella like a trampoline, sweet Roxy who passed this week and was such a good dog, kitchen counter love notes, flowers in the bathroom, lavender, good TV (I started watching My Mad Fat Diary on Hulu), good books (I’m into the second part of the three part 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and it’s so good), good podcasts (the recent Working it Out hosted by Mike Birbiglia with guest Roy Wood Jr. was SO good), good music (I was feeling nostalgic this morning so listened to one of my yoga class playlists I’d made when I was teaching), biscuit breakfast bake, how much Ringo likes “helping” water the garden, cooking, black walnut ice cream, how much Ringo likes pancakes with butter, CBD oil, sitting in the infrared sauna with Eric, composting, tacos, a big glass of cold clean water, dog rescue, flu shots, rain, getting all the laundry done and put away, emptying the dishwasher (I know — what is wrong with me?), pay day, all the people making the effort to make the world a better place for everyone not just themselves, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.