Thursday, October 28, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. I found this interview with B. Pagels Minor, formerly of Netflix, heartbreaking in part because I have worked somewhere I thought I had vetted well, only to discover that things changed.  
2. This recap of the NFT idea that was and then was not from Pajiba is useful, if like me, you checked Twitter after work to discover something had clearly happened.  Also worth noting, I think we'll see a version of this idea again so understanding what NFTs are is a good start.  
3. E. Alex Jung's interviews are always fascinating to me, and this one with Kumail Nanjani is no exception.  Note: Includes discussion of changing one's body and dealing with public body perception.  

Monday, October 25, 2021

7 Things About Time Travel and the Multiverse

One of my accidental reading trends this year has been time travel and/or multi verses. Now I watched, well, multiple episodes of "The Flash" before deciding that Iris deserved better and also if the theme was going to be: messing with the multiverse is bad, oops, I messed with the multiverse again, then I was out. 
(I am fickle.)
I also find, that as with things like vampires and zombies, that the less time spent on the what, time travel can't be real...OMG, I think time travel is real part, the better. Because while yes, the discovery can tell us something about the character, if the reader already knows it's real, watching them fight it, bogs the story down. 
1.  I'm not saying everyone who time travels should be trusted implicitly. But if someone shows up and says, please be cautious around this person and maybe don't go here, you should consider being cautious. 
2. If someone gives you a letter from the future, read it right away. Do not hang onto it for like three weeks. 
3.  Anyone who you can't tell about time travel cannot solve your time travel conundrums. Do not torture your friends and family with hypothetical that are missing all the pertinent data. 
4.  There are no changes you can make to the trajectory of your life or anyone else's that won't have ripple effects. 
5.  If you die in one spot to try to reawaken in another, it seems worth noting that the people in the one place will think you are dead. It may be worth it for your larger purpose, but let's not pretend this is a consequence free choice. 
6. Telling people how they die is only useful if they can do something to alter it. Telling someone they will die of something there are no tests for yet is kinda mean.
6. I feel like the TL:DR version of this is stop fucking with the multiverse. Except of course I keep reading about people fucking with the multiverse, so at least be interesting when you do it.  

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. Since I'm not a Netflix Subscriber I've been watching but not commenting much on the goings on there, but this piece summarizes the failures in Netflix's response to criticism. (NYT link)
2. This piece by R. Eric Thomas about Billy Porter's memoir is a delight
3. New island dropped (rose?).  

Monday, October 18, 2021

Boundaries and Gatherings

I've got a whole post about why I usually stay home on New Year's Eve that predates the pandemic. Gathering with others has always involved negotiation and boundaries, the pandemic has simply made more clear some of the ones regarding safety and wellness. 
But, I want to talk about a recent gathering. 
I met with a friend who knew that despite us both being vaccinated, my preference was to eat outside. We picked a place that has expanded outdoor seating with a streatery*. 
My friend who likes to plan ahead went to make a reservation and found they only allow reservations for indoors, but were stating that all employees were vaccinated and masked, and that all indoor patrons would require proof of vaccination. 
Now, this isn't the first restaurant I've seen with this or some version of this. I understand that restaurants would like to serve as many patrons as possible and leaving some seating unreserved is useful. I understand that streateries exist due to a change in rules that might someday be rescinded, so restricting who is counting in those sears is wise. 
We arrived on the day and were told that there was no seating outside, without a wait. We could sit indoors, but they had a large party arriving shortly that was going to fill a lot of what currently appeared to be empty tables. Oh and also, no vaccination proof was needed, they believed us.
We opted to wait for a table outside. 
And we got one quickly and the food was great, it was all fine. 
But every time I see a thing about how people are being silly to be scared if they've been vaccinated, I think about the folks pulling off their masks in places with a mask mandate to take a selfie, I think about restaurant staff and retail workers who have limited sick days and limited wages having to deal with folks who want to blame them for a rule made to keep all of us safe. 
All of us are navigating choices, and those of us trying to limit risk are constantly being asked to shift our boundaries. 
So all if this is to say if you are making choices I'm not willing to for my own self yet, that's cool. But the idea that I'm the one being silly for trying to minimize my own exposure to illness is and remains unfair. 

*We have been calling sidewalk and roadside seating streateries, and I find it ridiculous but also am perpetuating it. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

On the Newsletter - Reading Roundup

Third quarter reading round up over on the newsletter.  

Friday, October 15, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. I am interested to see if this cookbook scandal leads to more vetting and a better discussion of what plagiarism and receipt stealing are.  
2. This opinion piece about the things you should do before trying to hire an executive of color was on point.  
3. I appreciated this post about how some shows are presenting deeper versions of the Black Lady Therapist trope.  

Monday, October 11, 2021

You Are Irreplacable but Not Indispenable

There is a thing that happens where you have been doing a thing and you wish to let someone else do the thing, but you fear it will not happen without you and so you keep doing it, and yet, because you don't want to still be doing it, both it and you suffer.  
When I first volunteered for one role, there was a four year cap.  I loved that cap.  It meant I couldn't be stuck forever, I would essentially be forced out.  And then we hit four years and someone decided a four year cap was silly, and removed it, and there were changes afoot so I agreed to stay to provide continuity, and that's how I ended up doing that thing for ten years.  
The things is, I am wonderful.  I am great.  But other people are wonderful and great too.  And while there certainly is something to be said for continuity, there's also something to be said for new people with new ideas.  Especially in cyclical roles, it's easy to start to be like oh yes, very similar to the thing we tried five years ago that didn't work.  Sometimes it's useful to tell folks about the thing that didn't work, and sometimes you are just squashing all the ideas before they can blossom.  Knowing the difference is tough.  
But, you might say, this one thing no one else really will do.  And sometimes that is true too.  I've stepped down from things that never got taken over.  And in the end, I am sad, but that is okay too.  
I have stepped down from things I was sure no one would take over only to have someone do it.  And chances are, they never would have done so unless I stepped down.  And I have stepped into things after watching someone run it badly, so sure, problems are a possibility.  But I think especially as we're all facing various kinds of burnout and overwork due to the still ongoing pandemic, it's important to remember that while you are wonderful and no one else will do things the way you do them, someone else might be just fine if you make space for them to step into. 

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Three Interesting Things

1. In my now normal rotation of reading about things I did not watch, we have these two pieces about "Diana, The Musical" - a review, and a song ranking
2. I've been - shall we say - not focusing on the supposed critical race theory bans, but this one school district basically proved that the folks supposedly behind this just want to make all the books kids read be about white people.  (They say it's just coincidence that books about non-white people are the ones that happen to discuss race existing in this world.)  These students managed to launch a campaign to get the school board to reverse this decision.  But they are aware, it's going to be an ongoing fight. 
3. I discovered a mystery flavored lollipop in a gift bag, and well, that led me to this article about how and why the mystery flavor exists

Monday, October 04, 2021

Let's Talk Teleworking Again

Hi, remember when I did a whole series on teleworking? Fun times. I'm going to try not to repeat any of that. 
But my current position has me talking on the phone a lot. I had to sign a thing that said I had a dedicated space that was quiet and away from pets and kids. I signed it. 
Technically my cat is not cordoned off from my desk, but she generally naps during much of the workday, and even ay her loudest meow is not going to make phone calls impossible. 
But of course, let's talk through the privilege implied in this work request. Having a dedicated space, which sure, could just be a little lap desk, but depending on the size and population of your housing, can be a challenge. 
I can turn off and keep off things like TVs, music, and such that people talking to me me won't be distracted by that noise. 
I cannot control my neighbor's alarm, a delivery truck backing up outside, or any construction that might occur. I have a headset to minimize external noise, but I've tested it, it picks up things like sawing across the way. 
I talked to someone who did the, I'm not mad about you, but some of your coworkers, I can hear kids and TVs. And here's the thing. It is still a pandemic. This project I'm on started in April. Some folks were unemployed before then. They have kids who were schooling from home, or off for the summer. People who had dogs or other pets, may have had them before the pandemic and now their pet wants to know why the human talks to the box and not them. 
There may be other employed adults in their living space taking their own work calls. 
Assuming that amid a pandemic and a not unrelated economic crisis that people have the resources to move or work from a closet for eight hours, it just isn't realistic. 
I'm a big proponent that not every job is for every person, but I'm sorry the news keeps telling you there are jobs for the taking. Some people have to work from home right now due to kids, family members they care for, or being high risk for COVID. So we are all going to have to allow for a little more disruption for a bit.