Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Three Thankful Things

1. I am thankful for those who struggle to make this world a better place.  Who get up each day and work hard to change the world, even when it seems that change may not come this year, this decade, or this lifetime.
2. I am thankful for those who work with children, having them, raising them, teaching them, protecting them, and giving them the space and opportunity to shape the world.
3. I am thankful for those who provide entertainment - books, music, and all other media, so that all of us who need a break, an escape, a laugh, a cry, or encouragement can seek and find it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

RIP, Mr. Barry

Marion Barry was the mayor of DC for much of my life. One of the things that's always interesting with any figure both public and not (certainly I have played this game with relatives) is finding the balance in appreciating all the good that they did, and not seeming to ignore the problems.  On balance his struggles with substance abuse end up mattering very little to me, although I am sorry for the ongoing struggles his family has had with that.  The issues of misuse of power and how those often intertwined with attempts to use that power to lure or reward his various mistresses trouble me.  I certainly lived in an area that often got plowed last, since my neighbors often voted for Barry's opponents.  But his work with the SNCC, the summer youth jobs program (I knew a few people who got jobs through that program), and let's face it - does anyone outside of DC much remember it's other six mayors?  (Soon to be seven, yes.) So, the best I have come up with is it's complicated.  He did good, he did bad, but ultimately I think DC benefited from his work, and that seems the thing to remember as is family and loved ones work through this loss.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Three Interesting Things

1. This letter from a performer asked if she wanted to participate in a local stop of a national tour for, um, free brought up some interesting things.
2. Pamela Ribon had some thoughts about the Barbie computer engineer book.  (And if you can't tell from that link title, strong language ahead in that link.)  But a female engineer has refactored the book and made it better.
3. Alan Sepinwall had some thoughts about "Serial" and it's shared roots with "Homicide" and "The Wire" from the city they share and the open ended look at crime.

Monday, November 17, 2014

If we all spoke like press conferencing QBs

Quarterbacks present and former often talk about the balance, that quarterbacks receive a disproportionate amount of attention, and since on winning days that often means accolades, since on paycheck days that means money, that therefore means it's fair (and very politic since you want those nice people in front of you to keep those opposing team members away) to also take a lot of blame when things go wrong, and to share a lot of credit when things go well. 
One of my favorite moments in "Bull Durham" is the five things you will need to handle every press conference ever lesson.  But, I was watching a post-game interview and wondered, what if we all adopted this philosophy.  What if, when things went well at work, we were all quick to spread the kudos around to our supporting team members?  What if, when things went badly we accepted blame and promised to work on working better with our team in the future?  I know, it would never happen.  But, it would be awesome if it did. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Three Interesting Things: The Color Edition

1. I usually only post links to things I agree with, but in this case this article basically shows that color perception thinking is lining up with ideas I've had for a while in regards to context and how color learning is trial and error (and you can still get adults who will throwdown over aqua versus turquoise).
2. And let's continue the color theme with this look at how color coded our lives and language are. 
3. And to finish out, this guide purports to explain the right color for every room by explaining it's color psychology.

Monday, November 10, 2014

7 Reasons I should hate Serial

1. I stumbled onto Serial early because I like "This American Life" and when those people tell me we're doing another podcast, I listen.  I immediately realized this was my kind of jam, but started to hoard the episodes, intentionally staying behind.  (This is a weird mental trick I play.  Like putting down a great book when you have only a smidge left because you want to extend the time you are still in that world.)
2. Because I lack patience people.  I don't read serial books until all the pieces are out.  I realize that many TV shows with arcing dramas do this too, and you know what, I usually end up hoarding those too, watching them in small bursts knowing if something super argh-y happens in one, I already have the next available. 
3. I like knowing how much is left.  Seriously, I have abandoned reading apps and apparatus because it wouldn't tell me how far along it was. I usually know which TV shows have short seasons, how many books are planned for the series.  I totally get that the idea of a long form podcast where the story takes what it takes, but what does it take?  Ack.  Seriously, this is why serial books I end up reading after the whole thing is out, if I wanted to consume something that might be yanked away from me, I'd watch low rated quality TV - oh wait. 
4. I like conclusive endings.  This is why I read romance.  And mystery.  Something will get fixed.  Maybe not everything.  But something.  Serial is quite intentionally not promising a clear ending, particularly this first season where they are looking into a crime.  They may or may not figure out what really happened.  And yes, the process is very fascinating to me.  But, what if they never know?  (This, btw, is reason number 6 why I'm not a cop.  For reals.)
5. I like fictional justice. This is why I read romance.  And mystery.  Maybe the bad folks get away (this time).  Maybe that jerk turned out to be a cheating scumbag, but at least one thing will be resolved. 
6. I like real justice too.   I go to my entertainment for escape.  The real word is messy and complicated and justice can take a ridiculously long amount of time.  Most of my podcasts are about pop culture.  Even things like "Snap Judgement" and "This American Life" are often looking at deep stuff, but this story, this slice of life gets wrapped up within that episode.
7. It does not affect me but oh, either way it's already clear there are things, missteps, misunderstandings, misdirections and possibly minor miscarriages of justice. One of the things I find interesting is the layers of what the police knew, what the lawyers knew, what the jurors were told, and what we may or may not be able to find now.  But, whether they find a clarifying piece of information or not, it is heartbreaking.  A girl died.  The murderer may or may not be in prison. This doesn't really have a happy ending. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Three Interesting Things

1.  While the headline might be the teeniest bit hyperbolic, I do generally agree that this daylight savings madness is dumb, we should pick a time and stick to it.  The end.
2. Mary Robinnette Kowal has the most excellent reminder that if you report harassment, you are not the problem, you are reporting a problem and hopefully helping get it stopped.
3. Author Eileen Dreyer was on "Jeopardy" and has been blogging about the experience.

Monday, November 03, 2014

7 Things: The NaNo Edition

1. Write. 
2. Write early, write often.  Figure out what the best time of day is for you.  It may not be what you think.  It may not be the same time every day.  Experiment.
3. If you're stuck go for a walk. 
4. If writing this much is more than you normally do, some things will slide this month.  Make sure they aren't the things you need to still be functional be it time with friends or family, exercise, food, knitting.  Make time - even a few minutes here or there - for things that keep you whole.
5. Use tips or tricks, but don't get stuck on them.  If having a bar of chocolate helps you write, awesome.  Don't let getting a new bar of chocolate eat up all your writing time that day. 
6. Go to NaNo events.  Seriously, having other people who get the particular brand of crazy you are currently engaged in, is invaluable. 
7. Win, lose, did you write more?  Was it great?  That's what you were after.