Friday, February 09, 2018

Weekend Reading: Missing a Routine Edition

I'm still settling in at the new job. I've got some real projects now, but can't really see what the rhythm of my work days will be like, and I am still experimenting with which days work best for going to the gym, and what time I'll need to leave to get a workout in and still get to the kids' school in time for pick up. In fact, given the work from home flexibility at this new job, I'm still trying to figure out which day or days I'll use that flexibility. It feels like everything is up in the air!

I wrote about this a bit in this month's Founding Chaos newsletter. Basically, I miss having a routine. I don't mind that there will be occasional deviations from the routine, but having a routine makes it easier for me to get my workouts in, and makes it easier for me to know when I can have chill out time and when I want to be working on one of my projects.

Oh well. I'll settle into a routine eventually.

On to the links.

Benjamin Witte and Jonathan Rauch writing in the Atlantic about the case for boycotting the Republican party was pretty jaw-dropping.

Neither Witte nor Rauch are partisan Democrats. Brian Beutler (who definitely writes from a liberal view point) makes the case that election defeats may not be enough to right the Republican ship.

The problem isn't just Trump, or the Congressional response to him. A lot of people have written about the anti-democratic behavior of some of the state Republican parties. I think Jamelle Bouie's piece covers the main offenders well.

GumRoad founder Sahil Lavingia moved from San Francisco to Provo, Utah. His post about moving from one bubble to another is really good, I think. As a life-long Democrat who grew up among Republicans, I've long thought that the two "sides" don't really see each other accurately.  I've always tried to view the other political side with empathy, and try to see the good motives they are pursuing, even if I disagree with their policy positions. I am struggling to maintain that right now, and I don't know what to do about it, to be honest. I feel like a lot of Trump supporters just don't view me as fully American, and I'm not even sure they actually see me as fully human some days. I don't like feeling this way, but I have to be honest about how I feel. If we get through this period in our politics with our democracy intact, we'll have a lot of healing to do. I don't know how we'll get to the point of being able to do it, though.

In other depressing topics:

Dahlia Lithwick on the Rob Porter case is fire-breathing truth.

And this thread from Rebecca Traister is way more eloquent than I could be, but I agree:

And Kirsten Gillibrand connects that disregard for women as people with the policy situation:

Jose Garcia was brought to America illegally when he was 10. We recently deported him to Mexico. A reporter went to visit him and see how he is adjusting.

If you've heard people going on about kratom and spinning conspiracy theories about why the FDA wants to regulate it, here's a good explanation of the science of the situation written by a drug discovery scientist.

This article about what Facebook has done to the online comedy ecosystem is really interesting.

This book looks really interesting.

In podcasts this week....

I listened to Tommy Vietor's interview with FBI special agent Ali Soufan and I really hate Dick Cheney again.... But aside from that, it is a really thoughtful discussion with someone who spent a large part of his life fighting terrorists about what it takes to actually succeed in that fight.

Krista Tippet's interview with Atul Gawande is just phenomenal. (Can you tell I'm really loving the On Being podcast? But really, this is an excellent interview about what matters in life, right up to the end.)

In tweets:

A good response:

Some truth about Star Wars:


Happy weekend, everyone.

Monday, February 05, 2018

A Miscellany

I miss writing blog posts, but I'm not feeling up to tackling anything "real" in a post. So I'll just ramble a bit.

Obviously, this is a bad flu season. But it has also been a bad cold season, at least in our house, and I am so ready for it to be over. Petunia did not spend ages coughing before falling asleep tonight, so that is perhaps a good sign. For the last few nights, it has taken her an extra hour to fall asleep because of all the coughing, and I've been woken up multiple times in the night. Fingers crossed that the lack of coughing now continues through the night!

I also still have a cough that is surprisingly bad at times, even though I never actually felt like I caught either of the colds she had recently. To be honest, I think I've been coughing since November. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and am hoping she can help me assess what's going on. My guess is "asthma, inflamed by a nasty cold, then allergies, then fighting off a string of viruses brought home by my darling children." At a minimum, I should get a new prescription for Singulair, which I find very helpful for getting my asthma to settle down after something like a cold has gotten it all riled up. I am at the point where I'd even take the dreaded prednisone if my doctor thinks that is what I need to do. (I hate hate hate prednisone.)

I am soooo close to getting the garage cleaned up so I can park my car in it again. I have one more load to take to Goodwill, which I will do tomorrow evening, since there is a Goodwill drop off center in the same shopping center as Petunia's art class. Then I just need to move some small items to the edges, and then wait until we can get the new bathroom shelves installed, and then I will be able to park in the garage and I will call the cleaning project done.

We have new bathroom shelves to install because Petunia pulled one of the old ones off the wall. I'd been wanting to replace it and not getting around to it... and then Petunia made it not an option to put it off any longer. We bought new shelves yesterday (along with a bunch of new towels!) and Mr. Snarky assembled them and started the process of patching the holes from the old shelves and repainting. He says that if all goes well, he'll put them up next weekend. And then I have to reorganize everything to move Petunia's things down lower so that she doesn't pull the new shelves off the wall, too.

Which means I think I am about to arrange it so that her toothbrush and toothpaste can go in a drawer, which I think is super weird, but oh well. I'll get over it.

I am also in the middle of planning our upcoming Disneyland trip. I've got an initial plan sketched out, and I just need to get time to talk to Mr. Snarky and the kids and decide which meals, if any, we want to make reservations for. This needs to happen ASAP, since some of the dining options are already all booked up. Ah, the joys of Disneyland... But my kids say they don't care to do a character dining experience this time, which means we'll be able to book something if we want it, I think. If I do it soon. Then they can take some more time to think about what attractions are their top priorities, and we can tweak our plan based on that.

The drive north on the day we go up to Disneyland is going to be a mess of traffic. I looked into taking the train instead, but the schedules don't really work unless we want to pull the kids out of school early, which I don't really like to do. So I guess we'll drive. Bah.

And that's what I'm up to, other than the work stuff, which I'm not quite ready to write about. Maybe next week....

How are you all doing?

Friday, February 02, 2018

Weekend Reading: Another Post-less Week Edition

I swear I'm going to write real posts again at some point. I've started the new new job, and getting settled into a new routine is keeping me busy. I'm not ready to write a lot about the new new job or the new routine struggles, but I think at least one post on the difficulty of finding a new routine is probably going to happen at some point.

Anyhow, let's get to some links.

In self-promo links:

  • Don't forget that Tattoo is available for pre-order. If you pre-order, save your receipt: we
  • re making some cool temporary tattoos to tie in to the book, and I'm thinking of running a little promo with them for people who pre-order. Details maybe as soon as next week!
  • If you've been on the fence about signing up for Inbox Stories... the February story will be The Lilies of Dawn, by Vanessa Fogg. That makes February a really good month to sign up!

In other links:

I found this Sean Illing interview with Stephen Mansfield about why conservative Christians decided to throw in with Trump very useful.

This Washington Post story about Asheboro, North Carolina, is really good. Really depressing, but really good.

The father of the new Lt. Governor of Virginia traced his family history and... just go read the story.

The story of Nigel the lonely gannet might make you a little teary-eyed.

In podcasts:

The Ezra Klein show interview with Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt about their book How Democracies Die is really good, and really sobering (and not really about Trump).

Klein had an earlier podcast interview with Krista Tippet, which led me to her podcast, On Being. In the interview with Klein, she said that her interview with Irish poet, theologian, and philosopher John O'Donohue was her most popular ever, so I decided to check it out and... wow. It is good.

Next, I listened to Tippet's interview with Rebecca Solnit, and it is outstanding, too. I think I'll be listening to more of her interviews!

A good opening for Black History Month:



Have a great weekend, everyone.


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