Friday, October 27, 2017

Weekend Reading: The Weird, Weird Week Edition

This week has had entirely too much plot. I can't tell you about all of it yet, but if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw the costume in the mail saga (read the full thread for the entire sage, but the costume is here and looks adorable on Pumpkin!)

Then there was the "oh crap, the school scheduled the information session for middle school (which Pumpkin starts next year!) on the same night as my book club... which I was hosting. (Mr. Snarky went and asked almost none of the questions I wish he had asked. But I think I've found the information I want by asking other parents and reading school websites.)

Next came the Hamilton tickets drama. Both my sister and I won the lottery for "verified fan" codes, but then neither of my sister or Mr. Snarky (using my code: I had a meeting at that time) managed to get tickets. Then Mr. Snarky talked me into trying during the general sale and we struck out again... until I randomly tried again 45 minutes after the on sale time and saw tickets! But with potential obstruction. I called Mr. Snarky who somehow managed to snag three tickets that were better than what I had found. And then I spent a lot of time checking back periodically and managed to get 1 more ticket for the same night, not with us, but not terribly far away. That is probably 3 or 4 less than I could easily find homes for just withing my book club, but I decided that I'd had enough and stopped trying. However, I'm going to see Hamilton, so I won't complain!

I also had to take Popsicles in to Petunia's class today, because they do their birthday celebrations on the last Friday of the month. After that, I walked my kids and one friend each home, because the mom coaching Pumpkin's lego league team asked if her daughter and Pumpkin could do some work on their project after school. The little sister of Pumpkin's friend is good friends with Petunia, so she came home, too.

(Did I ever tell you guys that I'm coaching Petunia's junior lego league team? I am. That is an adventure, too. I'll write more about it some other time.)

Anyhow, let's have some links.

In self-promo links: my income from my main contract is going to be a little lower than usual this month, so I decided to try to make up the difference by running a sale on my recorded seminars. Use the promo code octsale to get 20% off any of my seminars, including the 3 hour project management course, which I have finally decided to make available for purchase.

Brit Marling on the economics of consent is really, really good.

Ezra Klein on why it matters that two prominent journalists have now also been accused of harassment is good. Rebecca Traister made a similar argument on Twitter. I encourage us all to stop and think about what it means that so much of the media that shapes how we view the world is made by men who view women as playthings and by white people who harbor biases about people of color. The lack of diversity in our media environment translates into an incomplete and flawed understanding of the world.

This Avivah Wittenberg-Cox article about ambitious women and their partners is worth your time. This is such a fraught thing to negotiate as a couple. I am pretty happy with how Mr. Snarky and I are handling it, but we are neither of us flying as high as the people in the article. I should write more about my evolving thoughts on the trade offs and challenges and opportunities, and also about how I think the real problem is that so many jobs are structured such that people can only achieve their highest potential if they have support taking care of the rest of their life... but today is not the day for that. I'll add it to my "blog posts I should write now that I've finally finished writing about my summer vacation" list!

I am watching in fascination as the Republicans try and apparently succeed in making a scandal of the fact that someone close to the Clinton campaign took over paying for the Steele dossier after Republicans - who initiated this work!- decided to stop paying for it once Trump clinched the nomination. I think Josh Marshall's take on this is correct.

This interview with Charlie Sykes is really interesting. He is clearly grappling with the extent to which "mainstream" Republicanism has enabled the ugly nativism we're seeing now. I think most liberals would say he has not quite gone far enough, but I am genuinely glad to see him and Senators like Flake and Sasse starting to grapple with it.

Speaking of Senator Flake... I wish he'd stayed and fought as a Senator, but I will judge him by what he does next. If he says he needs to not be running for re-election to handle the Trump era with integrity, then I will believe him... if he actually does something to protect our country and democratic ideals from the dangers Trump poses. Corker, Flake, Sasse... they all need to stop just talking and start doing. I don't expect them to vote in ways I agree with on policy decisions, but if they say they see the danger of Trump, they are in a position to do something about it. So they should do something.

And speaking of conservatives who I think get part of the way to reckoning with an error: Meg McArdle on what libertarians got wrong about school vouchers. The bit I wish she'd addressed but does not is what the discovery that parents are choosing schools based on the other kids in the school more than "neutral" measures of quality means for our attempts to build a more fair and less racially stratified society. Also, any halfway honest white upper middle class parent who pays attention when talking to peers about school choice could probably have predicted the result of that study. But that is also something I don't have time to really get into right now.

In CA political news, Gavin Newsom seems to be running for Governor on a "build more housing" platform, which I find encouraging. We need more housing.

This is really powerful art:

If you are at all into early English history, click through and read this thread it is hilarious.

(Full disclosure: My history knowledge is not that strong. I could only follow this because I've been listening to the History of the English Language podcast.) 

Bunnies dressed in cute little outfits!

Bunny eating a long leafy veggie!

I think I am missing some things I meant to share... but I have to go get the kids ready for a Halloween party, so I'll have to leave them for another time. Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. "I think the real problem is that so many jobs are structured such that people can only achieve their highest potential if they have support taking care of the rest of their life"

    I think you might enjoy a book that is about exactly this idea. It's by Australian Journalist Annabel Crabb and is called "The Wife Drought". It's blurb describes it like this... "I need a wife. It's a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it's not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It's a potent economic asset on the work front. And it's an advantage enjoyed - even in our modern society - by vastly more men than women."

  2. Zenmoo3:11 PM

    I'll second The Wife Drought. I laughed so hard when reading some parts.

  3. I'm enjoying your podcast recommendations. And the video of the bunny eating!! I've been watching my Fufu bunny eat for 9 years, and it never gets old.


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.