Tuesday Shorts

  • A Kidnapping Gone Very Wrong. There is so much in here: the bizarreness of the 1970s; Nixon being an ass; a woman trying to do the right thing; a white man who should have been put in jail for years but wasn’t because his race gave him the benefit of the doubt.
  • Why “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” Hits Different in 2021. My child was always a big Taylor Swift fan, while I wasn’t. I found the things she wrote about cliche, and quite frankly, I was a mother and moms have different taste than kids do. But then I was forced to listen to “Red” A LOT. And it’s got some good songs on it. And then I genuinely ended up liking “1989”. I’m still not super-interested in her earlier stuff, probably because of some prejudice still lingering, though I tell myself there’s also just too much media overall to consume (also true). But this article makes me maybe want to revisit my decision to not revisit early Taylor Swift.
  • Would you like a better country or not? There is so much to say, but I’m not sure I have the words for it. Yes, I want everyone to have good schools, yes, I want everyone to be able to afford to live in the Bay Area. I don’t know that I want to start going to city planning meetings, but maybe I need to. Or maybe there’s another way for me to do my work, given how much I hate conflict and how much anxiety talking to people can give me. But still: there is work to be done.
  • What is infrastructure? It’s a gender issue, for starters. I read something somewhere that claimed the original definition of infrastructure was anything that made society better, not just physical things. In that way, yes, child care is infrastructure. It is a crime that child care is so hard to get and the pandemic has shown that American society doesn’t work without it.
  • When COVID hit, I started walking 20,000 steps per day. It’s changed my life. My daily goal is lower – 10,000 – but I’ve been hitting it more often since the pandemonium started. Daily walks are a salvation, and sometimes, I’m even just walking around my house, though outside is better. (It should be said that my child is a teenager so childcare while I’m out an about isn’t an issue.)
  • White women co-opted pandemic yoga. Now, South Asian instructors are taking it back. Yoga is my other go-to exercise, and I’m doing it much more regularly because of the pandemic as well. But it’s been years since I’ve been in a studio – and even though I live in a majority Asian-American part of the country (and Indians are a significant part of the population) I’ve never been to a class that was taught by an Indian? That seems odd. (I was lucky enough to take a regular class from someone who would start with a spiritual reading, but he was white.) There’s something to fix once yoga studios are open again.

Wednesday Shorts

Wednesday Shorts

  • The Americans Who Knitted Their Own Safety Net. I work at a non-profit, and it’s very easy to get caught up in mission statements and process and “professionalism” (a term I despise). I take a lot of inspiration from Mutual Aid Networks that are all about getting what’s needed to who needs it as quickly as possible.
  • Empathy Beyond Therapy. The boundaries between how friends help each other and how a therapist helps a client are blurry as hell, and something I’m always interested in exploring. I don’t know if it’s a difference between the West Coast (where I live) and the Midwest (where I grew up), but the boundary here is different. Is it a location thing? Is it just a different time than when I was young? I don’t know. Who you rely on and how you rely on them is different, and I don’t always understand how.
  • Jessica McClintock passed away last week and her obituary was more eventful than I would have expected.
  • Long Live the Girl Detective. A short story, one that I quite enjoyed.

Monday Shorts

Friday Shorts

  • Writing about love. “Love is the things unseen, the codes that can’t be translated out in public. There are parts of the fairy tale that we don’t see, but there are parts of the ugliness after that we don’t see either, and the breadth of experience even in the most boring version of love is so much larger than a stingy-hearted and cynical movie like Before Midnight imagines. It is easier not to be vulnerable, but cynicism tells a thin and uninteresting story, and often it fails to tell a story at all.”
  • Zola was kind of a zaddy, no? I’ve been enjoying Brandon Taylor’s newsletter because what I know about literary theory could fit on the head of a pin. Today’s lesson: what the hell is a millennial novel?
  • 25 Essential Notes on Craft. I’m not sure how all of these links so far have turned out to be literary criticism and story structure and writing and aesthetics. Happy Friday!