Author Archives: jillsalahub

Something Good

Image by Eric, from their walk

1. 27 Responses to (Never-Ending) Diet Talk. “For fat people and those with eating disorders, diet talk isn’t as benign as it may seem. Here are some ways to respond to it.” In related news, World’s Worst Holiday Diet Tips and If Diet Company Slogans Were Honest, both from Dances with Fat.

2. Successful creatives from Seth Godin, because this, “the most reliably successful people I know are precisely the opposite. They are desperate to see and know what’s making other people tick. They actively engage, and they do it with empathy and generosity.”

3. More reading lists! Twelve feminist books everyone should read, The Award-Winning Novels of 2019, Happy Merry Memoir Reading, and The 50 Greatest Coming-of-Age Novels, and Decolonization and anti-racism: a reading list, 160+ novels by black women, 2000 – 2019, Favorite Books of 2019, and These are the top 20 books of 2019, according to Goodreads users, Award-Winning Novels of 2019, The most anticipated memoirs of 2020, and The Best Queer YA Novels of 2019.

4. Roo’s Story – Pet Cancer Awareness Month from one of our favorite trainers. Roo really was something special, and this story reminds me so much of both our cancer dogs.

5. Black Women Led the Way to Trump’s Impeachment. “We have never been Team Trump, and we never will be.”

6. Grief Becomes You by Maya Stein, “a collection of poems, essays, images, and other narratives of loss, a compilation of work from nearly 60 contributors from the United States and abroad.”

7. New Zealand man sets up ‘stick library’ for dogs.

8. the_happy_broadcast on Instagram, “Anxiety free news, a counter hate & fear project that features positive news from around the world illustrated by @maurogatti & friends.”

9. Fifteen Ways To Survive The Coming Collapse Of Civilization, from 2012 but worth a reread.

10. Your output depends on your input from Austin Kleon.

11. 31 Days of Devotion hosted by Adreanna Limbach, who is joined by “6 teachers for this FREE, online, annual mediation series that was developed to help you get grounded, clear, and intentional in the New Year.”

12. Koala-sniffing detection dog the latest weapon in saving wildlife after devastating bushfires.

13. I’m Not Your Typical Ultramarathoner. Here’s What I Want Everyone To Know About Size And Fitness. “Ultrarunner Mirna Valerio is here to tell you that the trails don’t care what you look like.”

14. Ram Dass, spiritual pioneer, dies at 88. In related news, The Wisdom of Ram Dass Is Now Online: Stream 150 of His Enlightened Spiritual Talks as Free Podcasts.

15. 70-Year-Old Woman Cleans Up 52 Beaches in a Year “For Her Grandchildren.”

16. Reforming My Relationship With Food and Exercise. “I deserve to be nourished and fulfilled. I deserve to be abundant. I needed to stop thinking of exercise as a punishment for the way I look.”

17. Striking Portraits Featuring Powerful Women of Color Painted by Artist Tim Okamura.

18. In Defense of McMindfulness. “Modern mindfulness may not bring about a social revolution, but was that the practice’s original goal?”

19. The Decade in Pictures on The New York Times.

20. 69-Vehicle Pileup on Virginia Highway Injures 51, Police Say on The New York Times.

21. Letter to the Editor: Historians Critique The 1619 Project, and We Respond on The New York Times. “Five historians wrote to us with their reservations. Our editor in chief replies.”

22. ‘The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show’ Revives A Classic Holiday Tradition.

23. UPS Delivery Guy vs. Icy Driveway. (video) “Last week we had an ice storm. My driveway was smooth, wet ice… super slippery. I heard the UPS truck pull up so I opened the garage and told him to just leave the package at the sidewalk and I’d figure out a way to get it, but he insisted on getting it to me. Above and beyond… this guy is awesome.”

24. Vaping Patients May Be Prone to Relapse, C.D.C. Warns on The New York Times. In related news, CDC Confirms A THC Additive, Vitamin E Acetate, Is The Culprit In Most Vaping Deaths, and Researchers still striving to understand cause of vaping-related illnesses, and Young people who vape are basically in denial about the risk of lung damage, says study.

25. Burnout Symptoms and Treatment. This is such an accurate description of what happened to me, what I’m experiencing, it’s almost embarrassing. Apparently, I’m a total cliche.

26. They asked, you answered: Heartsick Richmond animal shelter overwhelmed by locals’ love – and food.

27. The “four right exertions” of Buddhism teach you how to regain control of your own energy.

28. How Do You Even Get Started Writing a Book?

29. The House just voted to impeach Trump. In related news, Trump Wanted to Get Something Off His Chest, and in His Letter to Pelosi He Did on The New York Times, and President Donald Trump has officially been impeached.

30. Recipes I want to try: Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars.

31. 11 memes that captured the decade.

32. A Georgia family found an owl hiding in their Christmas tree.

33. SPLC, allies sue ICE for ignoring medical, mental health and disability needs of detained immigrants. #AbolishICE

34. How Do I Get This Out? Your Guide To Stain Removal.

35. Lynda Barry: A Comic Exercise in Building Character. “Create Your Characters and Build Their World in Less Than an Hour.”

36. 7 Comedy Specials That Transformed Stand-Up in the 2010s.

37. Four Students Wrote A Letter To Neighbor Asking If They Could Walk Her Dog, And “The Dog” Wrote Back.

38. Man Refuses To Pay Babysitter, So She Shares Their Text Convo To Shame Him.

39. Review: ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Makes For An Exciting, Exhaustive, Effortful Ending.

40. So, I’ve Been Breaking Up With Random People Over Text Message Again.

Gratitude Friday

Merry everything, happy always

1. Winter holiday season. This year it’s been especially lovely for me. In years past, I spent the weeks before scrambling to get CSU work finished before heading out for a 4-6 day writing and meditation retreat and scrambling either just before I left or just after I got back to get presents bought, wrapped, and shipped, and even with all that effort, usually because of the dates of the retreat, I’d miss being home for Eric’s birthday. This year NONE of that happened. I wasn’t working, I didn’t go on retreat, and I had all the presents bought, wrapped and shipped by Eric’s birthday, which we celebrated together. Then I found myself with a whole week left to enjoy the anticipation of the big holiday without any of the stress and speed. I could get used to this.

2. Holiday traditions with Eric. We got a tree again this year, only our 3rd or 4th one, and last night we went to a holiday themed show at the Lincoln Center, a venue only 10 minutes away from our house. I was way into Mannheim Steamroller in high school. That said, Eric and I went to their Christmas show last night, and it was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced. Like at one point I leaned over and said to Eric, “if I were high right now, I’d be so freaked out.” It was like a Christmas rave. The light show and supplemental video was bonkers (at one point in the show, a song ended and the entire audience was so distracted by the accompanying video, no one clapped), and even though it was a Christmas themed concert, the arrangements were so fantastic, I didn’t even recognize most of it. Good show, just bonkers. We’ve been watching holiday themed TV at night and listening to Christmas music. We’ll go out for Chinese food at our favorite restaurant on Christmas eve. I went to the grocery store today to get most of what we need for Christmas dinner before things get too busy, and even though I forgot my list at home and Eric was napping so couldn’t text me a picture of it, I got everything but two items.

3. Flowers in the bathroom, holiday themed.

4. Teaching holiday themed yoga. My Tuesday class was one of the last ones most of my regular class would be at, so we had some fun renaming poses (downward dog became “downward reindeer”) and making up some moves (“snow angels” and “dancing reindeer”), listening to Christmas music, and sharing gifts. It was fun.

There’s a container of cheddar biscuits on the counter and they are trying convince me they are “for dogs”

5. My tiny family. They are the best.

This little dude turned 52 this week. This is him in a suit his mom made for him, and it’s one of my favorite pictures.

Bonus joy: hanging out with Mikalina, writing with Carrie, talking to my mom, running into friends I haven’t seen in a while, grocery shopping (I know, I’m weird like that), having all the laundry done even if it’s not quite put away, the twinkle of Christmas lights in the dark, texting with my brother, finding a present the two year old liked, good TV (even if it’s sort of dumb, or maybe especially if it’s sort of dumb because sometimes that’s all you can handle and exactly what you want), good books (I’m finishing The Night Circus), impeachment (even though I don’t actually want him removed because Pence is just as bad just more sneaky about it, and I’m not feeling hopeful he won’t get reelected, but at least there has finally been some shred of consequence for his actions), a good Pilates class, the pool and sauna finally reopening, a massage, a big salad, good bread.

Something Good

From our walk

1. Building a Mindful New Year, a FREE online program with “6 Transcendent Themes / 6 Buddhist Teachers / 6 Meditations to Guide You into 2020.”

2. Eat to Love e-course. “A six-week online program based on the bestselling book Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life. Led by nutrition therapist, meditation instructor, and certified Intuitive Eating counselor, Jenna Hollenstein, the Eat to Love e-course is a supportive and enriching environment to change your relationship with food and your body in a lasting way.”

3. Go, Dog, Go from Jena Schwartz. Because this, “The world will not crumble if you pause. The world will not crumble if I pause. The world will not crumble if the thing you are working on takes much, much longer than you ever could have imagined. But the world might crumble if you ignore what your soul is telling you, if you deny what your body needs, and if you override the deep knowing that never, ever leaves.”

4. Jillian Michaels Is Still Trying to Glamorize Bullying from Dances with Fat. “Fat people being allowed to exist, be happy, do stuff, live our lives, achieve things, be in the spotlight etc. aren’t ‘glamorizing fatness’ we’re just being happy, doing stuff, living our lives, achieving things, and being in the spotlight…There is no way to go ‘too far’ in the direction of people being treated with respect and equality regardless of size.” Also from Ragen, Fat People and Your Tax Dollars.

5. Manifest 2020 with Andrea Scher. “The New Year has always been such a rich time of reflection – a time to acknowledge how you grew this year, how you were brave, what was hard…and declare your year complete. This creates a beautiful space to vision what is to come. What if you could name your dreams and desires for 2020 and create a plan to make them reality?”

6. Read the Articles of Impeachment Against President Trump on The New York Times.

7. Merriam-Webster dictionary just announced the personal pronoun ‘they’ as 2019’s word of the year.

8. You’re Not Going Crazy: 15 Signs You’re a Victim of Gaslighting.

9. The Practice of Using December for Retreat, Reflection & Letting Go.

10. Good things from Susannah Conway: The Unraveled Heart, “a soulful monthly subscription to support you in building a deeper and more nourishing relationship with your self,” Find Your Word, “a FREE 5-day email course to help you figure out your word for the coming year,” and Unravel Your Year, a FREE workbook that helps you reflect and look ahead.

11. How the director of ‘Waves’ constructed one of the year’s most poignant soundtracks.

12. More reading lists! The Ultimate Best Books of 2019 List, and A 2020 reading challenge: 52 books by women of color in 52 weeks, and We read these 29 books in 2019. You should too, and The Best Reviewed Books of 2019: Memoir and Biography, and The Best Poetry Books of 2019.

13. Hey Yoga Teacher, Stop Touching People For No Reason.

14. Greta Asks Media to Focus on Other Young Climate Activists.

15. Fossil fuel companies responsible for more than half of ocean acidification, study says. “It certainly can’t hurt for individuals to try to limit their consumption of fossil fuels and other products that are the result of oil — things like single-use plastics, for instance. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that even with all of the consumption of these products that we are responsible for, the majority of the burden still lies with the companies that have chosen to continue extract, refine and peddle fossil fuels despite being armed with knowledge well in advance that doing so would damage the planet. No harm will come from reducing your own reliance on fossil fuels and related products — but more good will come from holding the real culprits responsible for their actions.”

16. Have you swept your rhino today? (video)

17. Weinstein and His Accusers Reach Tentative $25 Million Deal on The New York Times.

18. This is what an antiracist America would look like. How do we get there? “Opposing racism is not the same as building an antiracist society. Our new series, Antiracism and America, looks at the structures that sustain a racist society – and how we dismantle them.”

19. This app matches marginalized communities to therapists who share their background. “Teletherapy app Ayana matches users to licensed professionals based on their culture, race, and experiences. Can it help close the mental healthcare gap?”

20. We need to learn how to relax, without guilt. “Being busy all the time is part of the way we live. But, whether gardening, reading or spacing out on the sofa, taking time to rest is just as important.”

21. These Students Want to Create a Required K-12 Racial Literacy Curriculum. “The teen authors of Tell Me Who You Are want to change how American students are taught about race.”

22. Gifts For Writers 2019 from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

23. 21 Day Meditation Challenge Winter 2020. “A 21-Day Immersion in Wisdom, Compassion, and Community.”

24. Home: a 30 Day Yoga Journey with Yoga with Adriene.

25. How a denial of tenure at Harvard became a national controversy. “The decision is a blow to ethnic studies departments everywhere.”

26. Judiciary Committee Report Argues Trump ‘Betrayed the Nation’ on The New York Times. “The 658-page report asserts that President Trump should be impeached for abusing his office and obstructing the congressional inquiry into his actions.”

27. 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2019.

28. Hallmark Apologizes, Reverses Decision on Same-Sex Wedding Ad.

29. Most Women You Know Are Angry — and That’s All Right. This article is a few years old, but I feel like some people need reminding.

30. Experience: a burglar made me think I was losing my mind. “Things were going missing, but everybody told me it was probably nothing.” Something similar happened to me, although as far as I know nothing was taken. I’d come home and sometimes the inside of our house smelled like cigarettes, and someone kept tying all my shoes in my closet when I always put them away untied. One time I went home early from work because I was so sure someone had been in our house and I needed to go check. It made me feel crazy. After we moved out, we found out the maintenance man regularly went into people’s apartments when they weren’t there, without permission. He was a smoker.

31. Author Interview: ‘Imagine Pleasant Nonsense’ With ‘Strange Planet’ Creator Nathan Pyle.

32. ‘I Refuse to Listen to White Women Cry.’ “Activist Rachel Cargle has built a brand — and a business — by calling out racial injustices within feminism.”

33. Joe Hammond’s final article: ‘I’ve been saying goodbye to my family for two years.’ “Last year the author wrote about parenting with motor neurone disease. Here, he reflects on the end of life, before his death two weeks ago.”

34. Melania Trump Thinks Greta Thunberg Had POTUS Attack Coming.

35. Cards to Help Fat Patients at the Doctor’s Office – English and French Versions from Dances with Fat.

36. Fresh Air on NPR: What Happens To The Stuff You Donate?

37. For the Holidays, the Gift of Self-Care on The New York Times. “A Buddhist teacher offers five simple steps to quiet your mind and soothe your stress any time of year.”

38. Adorable doggo sneaks into the house next door to join their kids’ bath every night.

Poetry is Weights and Measure

Yesterday I did some wild writing with Mikalina. As my teacher Laurie Wagner describes it, wild writing is a timed writing practice where, “we write as fast as we can, pen never leaving the page. By writing so quickly we are able to push past our inner critic and our ego and all the ways we stay trapped in looking good. This gives us a chance to move into a less self conscious, loose groove where, if we’re lucky we may stumble into the fertile imagination that lingers within us, conjuring up stories and memories that are waiting to be written.”

To start one round of writing yesterday, Mikalina read Maya Stein’s poem, weights and measure. A round of wild writing always starts with the reading of a poem and the suggestion of a few select lines or phrases to use as a starting point, then we write for about 10-12 minutes. When I shared my response, Mikalina told me I should post it to my blog, so here it is.

When I read Maya Stein, I somehow imagine that she writes each poem as quickly as we wild write, that what she writes comes out fast and fully formed. Clearly that’s not possible, not how it happens. Sometimes, I’m sure a line rises to the top like a bubble in the water, a fart in the bathtub, but it doesn’t always work like that.

Writing poetry is about space, about lingering, about circling back to the thought just before this one, or that thing that happened 20 years ago. It’s the smell that triggers a memory. It’s also getting somewhere and realizing you don’t remember the trip at all, you simply woke up and found yourself where you were going.

Poetry is like hunger, like forgetting to eat, like dreaming, like a long walk in the woods where you are surprised by a hummingbird or a bear, where you get lost or you find a particular rock that you just have to put in your pocket, take home and put on your writing shrine, always and forever able to remember where you found it, where it came from.

Poetry is that dream you can’t quite remember. Poetry is the map of an unknown territory that you study so much it’s like you’ve been there before, already. Poetry is like water, like air, like blood, like dirt, like roots, like waves. Poetry is grains of rice you can boil and eat even though before that they were hard and entirely inedible.

Poetry is the white noise that helps you sleep, the music playing in another room your ears strain to recognize. Poetry is citrus. Poetry is when Eric roasts peppers in our tiny kitchen in our tiny house and my eyes burn from the smell. Poetry makes you cry in the same way cutting an onion or a strong wind does. Poetry is your baby blanket, the satin edge of it frayed in one corner from all those nights you rubbed it against your cheek so you could fall asleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks, and the various shades and colors of the Colorado sky. We’ve had to stick to the main roads because there are still patches of ice and snow from our big snow a few weeks ago, and it’s now back to being dark our whole walk, the sun only beginning to rise once we reach home. We haven’t seen much wildlife and it’s been so quiet.

The view from our front porch

2. We got our Christmas tree! We’ve only had one for the past three or four years after years without. The state of the world made us long for more light, more joy during this season and now it’s one of my favorite things all year. It only fell over twice before we finally got it settled.

3. Practice. Keeping me sane for over a decade.

The shrine on my writing desk where I sit and write morning pages every day

4. Celebrating the season with friends. We went to a fun party where, among other things, we decorated gingerbread houses. This coming week I get to teach a Christmas themed yoga class (it’s the last one before Christmas where everyone will be there, so we are celebrating a week early) and give out goodie bags.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorites. Eric is officially on vacation now, Sam had a bit of a setback but he seems to be feeling better, and Ringo continues to be the family jester. The dogs also got a bath this past week. When humans take a shower, it only involves at most a towel or two, a washcloth, maybe a hand towel, and a set of clean clothes. When (my) dogs take a bath, it involves washing not just the dogs, but 29 towels, two bath mats, all the blankets on the living room couches and chairs, as well as blankets on four different beds, and depending on how long since the last bath, maybe collars and harnesses too. It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it.

Post bath handsome

Bonus joy: good books (I just got done reading The Water Dancer), good TV (the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is streaming on Netflix), good movies (I watched Marriage Story, phew…), good podcasts (Mary Lambert and her partner started a new one that’s really good, The Manic Episodes), [seriously, there is WAY too much good content, which is double the trouble when you are a content creator, as in it limits the time you spend creating and is more competition for what you create], trying new classes at the gym and loving them, honoring my own truth when it would be really easy not to, writing with Carrie and Mikalina and Chloe’, knowing I just don’t have to, feeling a bit more energetic and inspired, other people’s honesty when you really need the truth, Strawberry Santa Hats, mixing hot cocoa with marshmallows in my coffee (so far the experiment is working, I am only drinking a cup every other day and that feels workable), reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep next to me, how much more Ringo wants to get on the couch and cuddle with me now that I’m home more often, how I can always depend on Sam to take a shower or nap with me (he keeps me company while I’m in the shower, doesn’t actually get in with me), having all the laundry done and put away, our heavier down blanket on the bed now that it’s colder, clean sheets, cooking new recipes, eating tried and true recipes, my new favorite owl pajama pants, laughing.

Something Good

Sunrise over the river

Sunrise over the river, image by Eric

1. 4 Things We Learned About Stress Relief in 2019 to Take Into the New Year.

2. The Mindful Kitchen: Recipes and Inspiration to Savor Each Moment and Every Bite, a Lion’s Roar special edition.

3. Ethical Conduct Is the Essence of Dharma Practice from Lion’s Roar. “The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron outline three levels of Buddhist ethical codes, how we can follow them, and what it looks like when we miss the mark.”

4. Awakening Fueled by Rage from Lion’s Roar. “As a dharma teacher, says Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, she’s told she shouldn’t feel or express rage. She disagrees and reveals how rage can be ‘life-giving and illuminating’ and help ‘fuel a transformation toward awakening.'”

5. Lydia Davis: Ten of My Recommendations for Good Writing Habits. “Advice for Writers on Editing, Revising, and Taking Notes.”

6. Austin Kleon’s Interview with Crazy Good Turns (podcast).

7. Dealing with Family and Friend Body-Shaming. Also from Dances with Fat, TikTok Thinks That Fatphobia Can Be Solved With More Fatphobia.

8. Review Your Year & Set Intentions for 2020 on Zen Habits.

9. Why We Need Satisfaction to Feel Healthy Around Food. “When you don’t take into account our needs for pleasure and satisfaction in eating, it’s actually a form of deprivation. And we all know what happens when we tell ourselves that we can’t have something.”

10. Lost dog surprises her boy at school and his reaction is priceless. I’m not crying, you’re crying! *sob*

11. Colorado Business Owner Learns How Real Boycotts Are After His Kaepernick Boycott Forces Him To Close Shop. “Perhaps there are more…Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” the businessman said. Maybe we don’t just support Colin Kaepernick, but we agree with his protest: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

12. Kindergartner Invites His Entire Class to His Adoption Hearing on The New York Times. “Nearly two dozen kindergartners gave testimonials in a Michigan courtroom about how much they loved the soon-to-be-adopted boy.”

13. Maybe it’s time to consider that Peloton is trolling us all with its advertising. In related news, Ryan Reynolds Perfectly Trolls the Peloton Holiday Commercial in His New Aviation Gin Ad.

14. ‘I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People’ on The New York Times. “Multiple police officers in Brooklyn say they were told by a commander that white and Asian people should be left alone.”

15. George Zimmerman SUES Trayvon Martin’s family and Florida prosecutors for $100MILLION, claiming they engineered false evidence in his homicide trial for shooting dead the unarmed black teen in 2012. “The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, is also named as a defendant. He is accused of defamation and attempting to ‘deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other legal rights’. Crump responded to the lawsuit on behalf of himself and Martin’s parents in a statement Wednesday. ‘This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions,’ he said. ‘He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims. This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.'” In related news, Trayvon Martin’s Family Responds to George Zimmerman’s $100 Million Lawsuit.

16. Homeowner Leaves Snacks For Amazon Delivery Guy And His Reaction Is Too Pure. His happy dance at the end of the video is one of my favorite things right now.

17. Migrant Teen Lay for Hours in His Cell Before He Was Found Dead on The New York Times. “A video shows the boy in severe distress. He was discovered by his cellmate, not immigration officials, as they originally claimed.”

18. This year’s best Christmas commercial, from Hafod Hardware. (video)

19. How cuts to food stamp program could increase ‘poor outcomes’ for the food insecure.

20. “No Choice But To Act”—Pelosi Calls For Articles Of Impeachment Against Donald Trump.

21. Aidy Bryant Goes on Path to Self-Discovery in ‘Shrill’ Season 2 Trailer.

22. #ExpressiveWriting Prompts to Use If You’ve Been Accused of #WhiteFragility #SpiritualBypass or #WhitePrivilege. I’ve shared this before, but it’s always worth a reshare.

23. 11-Year-Old Who Looks Up To Misty Copeland Is The New York City Ballet’s First-Ever Black Nutcracker Lead.

24. Dementia in Senior Dogs.

25. Support Maggie’s 200 Hour YTT Fundraiser.

26. Launching the Bhumisparsha Sangha fundraiser.

27. Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them.

28. NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019.

29. How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Pursue Actual Health with Ragen Chastain. (podcast)

30. Body Kindness Podcast. “I believe we all have an enormous power to change diet culture – one voice at a time. In this podcast I talk to people from all walks of life about their journey to a better wellbeing. From food to family to sex, you never know what will come up in an episode.”

31. Toward an Applicable Theory of Just Not. “The power that so many of us have to change the deeply fucked systems we’re part of by abstaining from them — a more active and dangerous prospect than the language makes it sound — is immense, and it is terrifying. It is harder to do than is possible to explicate here; it is the most honest work there is.”

32. Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question. on The New York Times. “Was she the reason he was alive today?”

33. My So-Karen Life on The New York Times. “I know Karens are hard. As a member of Gen X, I grew up surrounded by them.”

34. Instagram is broken. It also broke us. “Influencers and regular users are reckoning with what Instagram has done to them. Now Instagram wants us to love it again.”

35. Why White-Collar Workers Spend All Day at the Office. “The web may be our garden of boundless leisure, but it is also a global workplace without limits. And in the open office of the internet, more Americans are not only engaged in overwork but also convinced that it is necessary to love their labor, above all else.”

36. The False Promise of Morning Routines. “Why everyone’s mornings seem more productive than yours.”

37. Home For Christmas | Official Trailer | Netflix. (video) I finished watching this last night, and except for a bit of a letdown in the final moments, it was SO good. It reminded me a bit of Rita and Hjørdis, which you can also stream on Netflix and were also SO good.

38. Writing doesn’t always have to be exciting. Ordinary is good too. fro Melissa Toler.

39. When I Discovered My Town Is Where Immigrant Families Are Separated. “A Texas journalist’s investigation revealed the worst and best of America—including the Angry Tías from the community who are providing help.”

40. The Stunning Astronomical Beadwork of Native Artist Margaret Nazon.

41. Maureen Corrigan’s Favorite Books Of 2019: Here Are 10 Unputdownable Reads.

42. Hiking Wheelchair Opens Up Outdoor Lifestyle To People With Serious Disabilities.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. With the snow and ice, in places these have been pretty risky, and I’ve been rerouting to cleared sidewalks instead of getting to go by the river. Even so, they are still one of my favorite things.

2. Christmas lights. One bonus of being up and out before the sun is we get to really see all the lights. Today there was a yard that has a whole row of pine trees along their back fence that they’d strung full of white twinkle lights. So pretty. We’ll probably get our tree this weekend and I’m looking forward to sitting in the living room with nothing but the lights of the tree.

Our tree from last year. Merry everything, happy always.

3. Writing with friends. Writing is typically solitary, and as an introvert I love that, but it’s nice to have the company sometimes too.

4. I don’t have a job. The holiday season with Eric being on break is making me appreciate it even more. I will work more eventually, but for now it’s nice to have the time, the space, the quiet, the calm.

Ringo likes to lie right next to the vent under the kitchen sink and steal all the heat

5. My tiny family. It was really nice to have Eric home last week. I’m looking forward to having him home even more over winter break, getting to do some more fun stuff together. Ringo has been doing really good with his vet visits he’s had lately, and Sam is as sweet as ever, turns 10 years old this week, (as a rescue, we’ve had to guess at his exact birthday, choose December 10th). I think both dogs are enjoying having me home more, even though most of the time they are just napping.

Bonus joy: clementines, getting most of my Christmas shopping done, getting all the laundry washed and dried and folded and put away in a single day, good TV (I recently watched Westside on Netflix, “A cross between a reality show and large-scale music video, the series follows a group of young musicians trying to hit it big in Hollywood”), good books (I’m finally reading Night Circus), good music (listening to Summer Walker’s Over It this morning), sitting in the sauna (which is going to be closed next week – *sob*), sticking up for myself and getting support, yoga, meditation, writing, sleeping in, clean sheets, a warm shower, sitting under my heating pad, getting my office mostly in order, candy, coffee with hot cocoa (I’ve heard it called “cowboy coffee”), cuddling, taking a nap.