Thursday, April 28, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. I hope this open letter to the person who emailed to correct this person's grammar was as satisfying to read as it was to write.  (Note: WaPo link.)
2. Continuing my trend of reading about TV that I'm not watching, this chat with costume designers for three shows featuring characters underrepresented in historical dramas. 
3. Montgomery County teens won a CSPAN documentary contest

Monday, April 25, 2022

This Post Will Not Self Destruct....

But in light of recent Twitter news, I'm going to deactivate the account this was pushing Twitter links to. It coincides with me thinking I probably need to be scarce on social media for a bit anyway. I will still be here and on the newsletter. And I'm not sure I'll be able to successfully break, but I'm gonna try.

Project Grief

I've been reading The Grieving Brain, so my thoughts are more focused than usual on the lens of grief. But we were talking in one of my creator groups about that point where you the creator think everything is terrible and really this making things was a bad plan and someone should have stopped you phase. I referenced an old Gaiman post about that:
And similarly Yarn Harlot had a post about the feeling of coming to the end of a yarn project.
And I think in both cases, it's grief. Maybe not explicitly or exclusively. But part of what The Grieving Brain talks about is that part of the work of grief is your brain adjusting to the difference between what was and what is.
And that happens when you make things. The difference isn't necessarily bad, but in the execution things shift and change. 
I do also think some of it is anticipatory decision making. Like once I'm finished what next? And even if the answer is editing or blocking or finding the next project, it requires shifting gears. 
And so while you can trash it. Or stop. Or go write something else. You can also keep going. Partly because it is easier to evaluate a finished project. And this is not to say finish everything no matter what. If the sweater clearly will not fit, then stop. 
But also, some of this feeling bad is an expected part of the process as you realign your expectations with reality. The feelings are still there, and still valid. They just don't always mean stop.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. As someone who has consumed a lot of Amy's Kitchen products, I was saddened by this story about the labor conditions.  I hope the workers are able to get their conditions improved.  
2. These striking strippers have been doing theme nights for their strikes, and one of them was OSHA violations at the club.  It's a combo of pretty and horrifying.
3. This 90 year-old lei maker is showing up once again for the Merrie Monarch craft fair. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Life Lessons

I remember back in the day, as a newly minted adult asking my mom for advice on doing my taxes.  She said, well, you'll get a bunch of things that say tax information, and just use those.  At the time this advice seemed, well, lacking.  
But, as I was trying to solve a missing document housed online, as an experienced tax filing person, I mostly kinda look for all the forms that arrive that say tax information. 
So, thanks, Mom.  
Of course many of the things and trappings of adulthood are bureaucratic and sometimes byzantine, as well as shrouded in secrecy.  
I never had to take a personal finance class in school, but a friend of mine did and she said learning things like budgeting, and just getting used to terms and processes was helpful.  
My parents were firmly of the we are adults and some of the things we do are not your business camp, and so some things, like figuring out how to turn on or off utilities, or file taxes seemed like mysterious processes that I was on my own to figure out.  
Some days it feels like adulthood is the long process of figuring out which of the things your family did were normal, and which wasn't.  And deciding which were weird for good reasons, and which weren't. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. Xochitl Gonzalez wrote about the feeling when it's your neighborhood that gets attacked
2. Sylvia Bell's interview with Serena Williams focused on her finding more comfort as she makes ever more plans. 
3. I found this look at how Ijeoma Olua and her family approached building and filling a house after their rental burned down really lovely.   
Also, if you are or know a teen who could do with electronic access to some Banned Books, Brooklyn Public Library has an offer for that. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Progress Markers

I remember going on a tour at a rug factory, and they showed us to a woman hand weaving a rug, and asked her how long each rug took.  They took between one and two years. Walking away I said something foolish to the effect that, I could never work on something where your progress was so infinitesimal, that you were dedicating over a year to doing one thing.  I know.  I was young.  
Because so many projects unfurl over long stretches of time.  This is why we have all these things like word counters, and task lists, why we get into micro-tasking, and breaking tasks into smaller parts.  
It's true of social justice - where sometimes there are great leaps forward, and often slides back, and the periods in between where many people think nothing is happening, even though people are pushing each day. 
I thought of this as I worked on a knitted on border on a shawl.  For those unfamiliar, knitting on a border, basically means after knitting the shawl, you knit a border on sideways, along the longest edge.  So the rows are shorter than the shawl, but now you have to repeat that over and over, and you start to wonder why you decided to do this, haven't you been doing this forever, or maybe that's just me.  
And so I plunked a bunch of stitch markers along the length, so that I could pause and cheer each time I made it to one.  It's still the same number of stitches and rows, but it helps make my progress a little more concrete.  And sometimes being able to see those markers along the way, help me keep going. 

Friday, April 08, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. This story of systemic gaps that led to a delay in family members being notified after an unhoused person was found dead is the kind of deep local dive that alt-weeklies spend time on.  It coming out the week the Washington City Paper announced an end to paper and a reduction in staff is sort of a sad reminder of the losses when local coverage contracts.
2. I am not a Ward 3 resident, and so have not paid much attention to the various candidates, but this teen running for city council seems to have some great ideas.
3. And now there is BINGOAT, goat bingo

Monday, April 04, 2022

Changing Benefits

I used to have a job that paid for my internet. It's worth noting that I was hired as an in person employee, the company made the decision that the rent on my office was too high, and so made us telecommuters and paid for our internet.
And then a few years later they decided to stop. They argued that everyone had internet anyway. Never mind that our telecommuting policy said that you should not be using said internet for anything other than work during the work day, should have any household member stream movies or other bandwidth hogs on a different internet or on non-work hours. 
The telecommuting policy also required a certain level of speed. 
And yes, I had internet before they paid for it. But I had internet that worked for watching a movie or doing whatever, but not necessarily for being in use for 40-80 hours a week of work. 
And let's note that the pay raises we received that year, were, for me at least, low enough that losing the free internet basically meant a net loss of pay that year. 
I thought of this as I was sent a job posting recently that wanted to hire people for a six week contract. The workers needed to have prior industry experience, pass a grammar and typing test, have their own computer, have their own internet of a certain speed, but they would get to telecommute. And yes, the salary was above minimum wage, but probably not once you include equipment and utility costs.
I talk a lot about telecommuting in part because of things like this. Telecommuting has pros and cons, but one of the biggest cons to my mind is the assumption that my space, that I pay rent on, my internet, that I pay, my desk, that I bought, my computer, that I bought, my accessories, that I bought, are all things I don't deserve to be compensated for when the employer wants me to use them for their convenience. 
That I should not just be grateful to be paid, even though the startup costs are all mine.