Monthly Archives: January 2022

Something Good

1. 40 Year-Old Comedian Who Died From COVID-19 Texted Brother He Wished He Got Vaccinated. “Cabrera’s brother, Jino, told KTLA that the comedian texted him just two days before his death and admitted that he regretted not getting vaccinated. ‘I can’t breathe again,’ Cabrera’s text message to his brother Jino read. ‘I really regret not getting my vaccine, if I can do it all over again I would do it in a heartbeat to save my life. I’m fighting for my life here and I wish I have gotten vaccinated.'” In related news, How Do You Respond When an Anti-Vaxxer Dies of Covid? on The New York Times.

2. What You Don’t Know About Family Estrangement. “14 stories of mourning, beauty, and power.”

3. The Most Valuable Thing I Can Teach My Kid Is How to Be Lazy on The New York Times.

4. Know Your Rights from the ACLU. “Everyone has basic rights under the U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws. Learn more here about what your rights are, how to exercise them, and what to do when your rights are violated.” May you never need this resource, kind and gentle reader.

5. My Young Mind Was Disturbed by a Book. It Changed My Life. on The New York Times. “Books can indeed be dangerous…They are not inert tools of pedagogy. They are mind-changing, world-changing. But those who seek to ban books are wrong no matter how dangerous books can be. Books are inseparable from ideas, and this is really what is at stake: the struggle over what a child, a reader and a society are allowed to think, to know and to question. A book can open doors and show the possibility of new experiences, even new identities and futures.” In related news, School Board in Tennessee Bans Teaching of Holocaust Novel ‘Maus’, also on The New York Times. “The board voted unanimously to remove the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel from classrooms because it contained swear words, according to minutes from the meeting.”

6. Every Great Writer Is a Great Deceiver: Vladimir Nabokov’s Best Writing Advice.

7. Later Bloomer, “a captivating archive of lives well lived,” celebrating the artistic and creative achievements of people over age 40. I find this very inspiring. As long as you are still breathing, it really is NEVER too late.

8. Museums Challenge Folks To Recreate Famous Paintings At Home. “The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California challenged art fans to recreate their favorite paintings using just 3 things lying around their house. The challenge inspired some of the most creative ideas and to be honest, some of these recreations are pretty spot on. Art inspires art, and these folks have a real talent for recreating famous paintings.” The examples here range from beautiful to hilarious.

9. Workers Share The Customer Interactions That ‘Haunt’ Them To This Day. After working 10 years in retail, I had my own to add, along with at least 20 others I didn’t post.

10. River Butcher: A Different Kind of Dude – Full Special (video). “River Butcher offers their thoughts on gender pronouns, people who put rubber testicles on their trucks, outrageously large fires, divorce and much more.” I’ve followed River for a long time, and this is some of their best.

11. Are you free, or are you just meeting expectations?: On fatness and autonomy. From Ijeoma Oluo.

12. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, revisit NPR’s stories from survivors. In related news, A family helped a Holocaust survivor escape death. Then they became his real family.

13. Redwood Forest in California Is Returned to Native Tribes on The New York Times. “Ownership of more than 500 acres of a forest in Mendocino County was returned to 10 sovereign tribes who will serve as guardians to ‘protect and heal’ the land.”

14. 50 years ago, ‘Zoom’ spoke to children about their real lives. I loved this show.

15. What Does It Mean to Be ‘Done With Covid’? on The New York Times. “The desperate desire to get back to normal is understandable. What’s odd is seeing the absence of normality as a political betrayal instead of an epidemiological curveball.” In related news, Experts Call The Pandemic A Collective Trauma. Why Don’t We Talk About It That Way? and Counting Covid-19 Cases Doesn’t Capture the Pandemic’s Impact on The New York Times Magazine, “There’s virtually no aspect of our lives that the pandemic hasn’t changed. We’re just starting to understand some of the data on public health.”

16. Recipe I want to try: Amish Cinnamon Bread.

17. Archeologists Unearth a Roman Glass Bowl Dating Back 2,000 Years in Pristine Condition. I wouldn’t have even thought this would be possible. How?!

18. Readers’ global wishes for 2022: More kindness, more nature … and kitties!

Gratitude

1. The river. I’ve always been lucky enough to live near water — rivers, lakes, the ocean (except for that year I lived in Arizona) — and I’m so happy that where I live now is so close to the river and multiple ponds. With the river in particular, I love to see how it changes through the seasons.

2. Morning walks. This week was colder, so on a few walks we waited until the sun came up to leave the house, missed the sunrise and walked in the full sun. Ringo’s arthritis was acting up, so we didn’t go quite as far and stayed on the paved trails, and one day we walked on the opposite side of the river than we normally do, so we had a whole new view.

3. Practice. Practicing both together (wild writing with my writing sangha, making art with Calyx, meditating with Chelsey, walking with Ringo) and alone. I’m also super grateful to have a therapist who comes from a similar background and understands the intention, the process, the view.

4. Content. Books, TV, movies, podcasts, and music. It would take me multiples lifetimes to consume it all, and sometimes that makes me sad. I suppose it also makes me more selective, more careful about what I choose to engage with. I’m also learning to skim or even quit if I’m not loving something, and choosing first the thing I’m the most excited about when I start anything new, which means I’m always engaged with the best, or at least it feels that way to me.

5. My tiny family, my tiny home, my tiny life. It’s everything I ever wanted.

Bonus joy: clean sheets, a warm shower, the new clocks I got, watercolors, gummies, vaccines, masks, telehealth, that corner of the couch, long hugs with Eric, the hydromassage chair, the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric, my new gym bag, fry sauce, snow tires, snow, a big glass of clean cold water, apple pie oatmeal, raspberries, Ringo’s physical therapy vet and tech (really, all of Red Sage), pain medication, napping with Ringo, listening to podcasts, watching TV, listening to music, Elyse Myers on Instagram (she also has two albums that I really love), Joy Oladokun (so good!), birds at the feeder, squirrels at the compost pile, other people’s dogs and kids, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.