Monday, September 28, 2020

Caution Fatigue

I saw the term caution fatigue and it resonated. Being cautious is hard. I had a thing that required an in person meetup on Saturday and everyone I was meeting with was masked and engaging in some social distancing, but it's so easy to forget. I walked over to someone and leaned close to point to the part of the paper that they needed. I realized my error and backed up and of course we were both masked. In travelling to and from the location there were folks wandering the streets unmasked, showing no care for social distancing. Folk carrying their masks in their hands on metro*. Folks, who like me, clearly hadn't ridden a bus in a while so stood near the front to enter and had to be directed to the back. 
We have changed how so many interactions work and it's hard. It's hard to be in a constant state of learning. It's hard to remember all these new rules. 
And of course when you are trying to maintain a new habit, like watch less TV and you forget and flip the TV on, it's so easy to keep it on. Right? You've already failed, might as well enjoy the failure.
After I shared germs with more people than I had planned for the day, I could have also gone grocery shopping, gone to a restaurant, done lots of things and just figured, what the heck. Instead I went home. And I am going to try to be extra cautious for the next two weeks. 
But it's hard. Because I also want pizza or queso or something else that doesn't currently exist in my apartment. 
The thing I was reading suggested exercise will help. (It was a place that offers exercise classes, so grain of salt there.) But the idea that keeping our physical and emotional selves well in whatever manner we choose has some value. We are all learning and doing a lot of things differently. There will be days we do not meet our own standards. And that's okay. But it is worth continuing to try our best. 

*Masks are required to be worn the entire time on metro, as the signs and audio announcements remind you. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Three Interesting Things

1. As a proud owner of several Bailiwick Clothing Company items, I found this quick interview with the owner about the news that DC will be slowly adding an additional area code fascinating. 
2. The NFL has another currently unemployed player - Eric Reid - and it's hard to believe it's related to talent
3. This post about dating tips in the pandemic world was great. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

New Release - Hot Bartender

I have a new story out today, it's Hot Bartender. 
Louise's fast fingers and social media savvy have her spreading the story of a first date gone weird on social media.  But every story needs a good ending.  And Louise just told the world that she's dating the bartender now.
Except Louise doesn't really remember doing that. Oops. But he is nice. And hot.
Zane has been watching Louise have a series of first dates that all end with her chatting with him at the bar. Can he convince her he's just the change of pace she needs? 
-This story operates as a standalone, but Seth, Adriana, Rafe, and Felicia all make appearances (from Aloha to You, and Undercover Bridesmaid respectively.)
-It also includes, not necessarily in order, found friends, a this is of course temporary dating situation (spoiler, they might  be wrong about that), nosy parents, a pushy sister, and quite a bit of food discussion.    
-The opening chapter of this story was loosely inspired by actual events that took place in a bar in DC. The real life dude planned six dates.  I tried to do the math on that and found it odd, so I let truth be even stranger than fiction.  
-Hospitality is a huge industry in DC, and of course in current conditions it is being hammered.  It didn't seem like fantasy to write about a thriving bar scene when I first wrote it, and of course, we'll get back there.  In the interim, shout out to the folks trying to pivot in this new world and keep in contact with their customers.
-I did not intend to put two list making heroines back to back, but well, some people need lists for their jobs, and some people pretend lists make them organized.  Louise is a little more of the latter.    
-I had separately been researching Maryland's history as the Gretna Green of the mid-Atlantic.  I discovered that Maryland has now added a twenty four hour waiting period.  (Although there are still some B&B's on the border that invite you to just make it a special trip.)  And then I discovered the proxy filing process in DC and well, the writer brain was inspired.  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Imperfect But Workable

People say things like don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good and mostly I ignore them. I don't disagree but I have never been much of a perfectionist. I am realizing that sometimes idealism gets you to the same place. So sure, some days the internet glitches and I can't do all the things I want to in the way I want to. And it's easy to be like well, I quit everything or everyone must suffer through my bad connection with me. And sometimes it means I will listen more than I talk (always a good thing to work on, I say as a big talker) and sometimes it means you do have to call it for the day, or move to voice, or use the chat function more.
This can be true of bigger life goals too. I think there are maybe only a handful of folks having the 2020 they had planned, but that doesn't mean no one is doing anything.
Plenty of things are happening and continuing to happen, this year. And yes, plenty of people are having to put a lot of things on hold and that sucks. Some people are sick. Some people are overburdened and unsure when help will arrive. 
But the things that are and can happen still exist and even if it's just a happy hour by video chat, that's still a cool thing. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Newsletter - What to Watch

Over on the newsletter, I'm talking about how I figure out what to watch on TV, and a few things I have been watching new and old.  

Edited to update link

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Three Interesting Things

1. This article from the now former Facebook data scientist about the work they were and were not doing to stop false posts about political events around the world was certainly food for thought. 
2. 730 DC did a survey on quarantine pods and posted a round up of the data
3. Verzuz - which autocorrect tried to fix for me - reached two legends this past weekend.  And while I ended up watching the tail end of an epic tennis game (men's tennis takes too long) I enjoyed watching the twitter reaction and these two posts about the experience.  

Monday, September 14, 2020

It's Not 2020's Fault

I understand that things in many places suck on many levels right now.  I also understand that anthropomorphizing 2020 (or whatever year) to be the doom bringer is something you can do safely and without causing offense or harm to anyone else.  As far as I'm aware, 2020 has no kin who will come tell you to be nicer.  And I really don't want to take away people's outlets.  
But, I have seen folks blame the year for things a lot in the past few years and I think there is a subtle trap inherent within this.  It is not 2020's fault, as an example that there is a global pandemic.  Heck the virus has 19 in it for a reason, because that's when it was discovered.  And the reality is vaccines for viruses take time, and herd immunity relies on vaccines.  I can't speak for all of you, but I live somewhere where testing is still only available to some (I am fine y'all, I am part of the some), where an unusually large portion of our population is considered essential, where the surrounding areas have leapt ahead of us in opening up, and we opened indoor dining before opening schools, and now we're going to watch the results of these combined decisions play out in continued infection rates for some time.  None of this is 2020's fault.  This is prioritizing capitalism over people's lives. It's expensive to keep things closed, but, as we're discovering, businesses can't survive when their staff keep getting sick, and so the businesses close and we have less revenue and it turns out that's just as expensive.  
Many people have been working too hard, carrying multiple jobs and multiple roles both paid and unpaid, and so it turns out having to spend more time figuring out where and when and how to get food is a lot. Worrying about job stability is a lot.  Worrying about kids is a lot. Worrying about chronically ill loved ones is a lot.  
Things are on fire.  Things are flooded.  We miss being able to do a lot of things.  I get it.  This is not a great time. 
But, well, why am I yucking people's yum here.  Because something someone said to me struck me.  They said, well, who would have known that in addition to a pandemic we'd have all this social justice stuff?  And my immediate reaction was, um, well, anyone who had been paying attention for the last decade or so.  
But I think in some ways that encapsulates the problem. The problem isn't the year.  Just about everything we're experiencing right now is something we were warned about and we decided would be fine.  Well sure, things seem to catch on fire more, but it just happens.  Well sure, hurricanes are flooding things, but that's what people get for living near water.  Well sure, asking people to carry three jobs to live is a lot, but that's what they get for choosing those jobs.  Some people really like having three jobs.  Well sure, opening bars and restaurants is risky, but what are we supposed to do, pay people to stay home?  Well sure, we've long known that some police officers kill people, but we have to wait for the whole story. 
So my concern is that focusing on the year, allows us to assume that when the calendar flips once again, things will all be fixed.  And none of these things are getting fixed without work.  
Yes, I am aware that people are so tired.  I am tired.  I get it.  And if all you can do right now is keep the people in your household okay, then you do that.  I mean that sincerely.  Surviving another day is job 1.  Everything else comes after that. 
But please don't blame the year for things not getting fixed.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Three Interesting Things

1. Washingtonian spoke with seven DC area families with a family member killed by police over the last few years.  I assume this was already in the works before Deon Kay's recent killing.   
2. Friend data is not often as applicable as it seems, but I certainly have seen friends move - in with family and such already in this pandemic.  I've had people tell me everyone (everyone is always two friends of mine, right) is leaving cities.  But this was the first piece I saw that looked at the housing disparity, behind some of the numbers so far.  
3. I have been lucky enough to see this mural in Mount Pleasant since it is on my way to places with food, and this peek into the artist's experience of painting it was lovely. 

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Ripped Bodice Bingo - Recap

Because I actually won a prize last year, I was a more passive participant this year.  I posted some suggestions for books I had previously read over here
Here's some books I read this summer that hit on one or more of these categories.  I read more islands and secret identities than I might have expected. 

Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar - Debut novel
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson - Jewelry on cover, debut novel, midsummer ball
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wlsner - Debut novel, jewelry on cover
Nottingham by Anna Burke - Secret identity, accidentally in the wilderness
The AI Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole - Secret Identity, title is a pun
The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron - I am on a boat
Jeremiah by Jayce Ellis - Healthcare professional, debut
Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson- set on an island
Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu - Title is a pun
40-Love by Olivia Dade- I am on a boat, set on an island, title is a pun
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon - ice cream, secret identity
The Queen's Gambit by Jessie Mihalik - The Final Frontier 
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron- Debut novel, Midsummer Ball
A Duke a Lady and a Baby by Vanessa Riley - set on an island, secret identity
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer - secret identity, accidentally in the wilderness
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall- set on an island, meddling matchmakers

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Three Interesting Things

1. This chat with some local theaters was interesting in part because it discussed the front heavy nature of putting on a show and balancing audience concerns.  
2. This chat with a so-called last responder in an area hard hit by corona virus was fascinating. 
3. Tom and Lorenzo collated their posts on Chadwick Boseman's looks.