Monday, November 28, 2022

Today is

Today is Hawaiian Independence Day.  It's a day that like some other so-called independence days commemorates a particularly odd, if politically important at the time moment in Hawaiian history.  And well, Hawai'i is also not currently independent, so there's that too. 

My very unofficial historical context is that Hawai'i had established itself as a monarchy, but because it was strategically located for all those folks who were sending ships to Asia, there were folks who wanted to be able to guarantee they could stop there and do all the things they wanted (which tended to included let all the sailors off the boat for a sex break, but I digress). Anyhoodle, in the way of people who think land should be owned by the most important person who wants it, some folks had shown up and declared Hawai'i theirs a time of two.  So, King Kamehameha III said, okay folks, how about we sign a document that we all agree that Hawai'i is independent.  And Great Britain and France agreed, and it was signed on November 28th.  The US had said they totes would agree, they just had to like, send the treaty to Congress, and like would absolutely go do that.  Several other countries also agreed to acknowledge that Hawai'i was yep, it's own country, no plans to poach that here. 

It's not really a spoiler to tell you that worked for about fifty years, and then a bunch of pineapple and other businessman decided, it really would better benefit their purpose if Hawai'i was part of the US, so they just overthrew the government, imprisoned the Queen, and called the US, and were like, so we took it for you, you're welcome. 

And the US government hemmed and hawed, because of course they did not just take other countries, not like real ones, that they had like had dinner with.  The US investigated the overthrow, and concluded that is was indeed not nice to take over other people's governments.  The "new" government made a new constitution, and then turned the independence Day into Hawaiian Thanksgiving basically.  (Redoing the holidays does not seem like a high priority in your brand new super legitimate, what no, we did no steal this country government, until you realize that they were very concerned that all the people who had not agreed to this new government, might rally, and use the day to try to take it back.) 

Funnily enough, there was an attempt on January 6th. 

Anyway, the US elected a new President, who apparently cared a little less about how territory got acquired, and so, the "new" government resumed negotiations for annexation, and well, as you know Hawai'i is now part of the US. 

And after that, Hawai'i began celebrating American Thanksgiving, ie a moving target, and the day fell into history. 

Some folks want to bring it back, as a reminder that Hawai'i is part of the stolen land that the entire US is made up of.  There is of course precedent for the US essentially giving territory back, like they did with the Philippines.  The revelation that O'ahu's water is currently being poisoned with military jet fuel has added to that. 

But, like a lot of independence days, it's kind of odd.  It was a treaty signing day.  Hawai'i wasn't really more or less free, though certainly two large political powers agreeing to not encroach seemed likely to buy Hawai'i some time. 

But Hawai'i isn't free now.  And turning the day into a day of drinking and fireworks doesn't really seem like it will bring more visibility to the issue.  Goodness knows, I don't think bringing Cinco de Mayo into wider notice has helped more people understand much more nuance about Mexican international relations.  

So, today is that day.  I am a person who enjoys looking into the histories of holidays, both grave and silly. And so here we are. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. This story of a tow truck driver and what going out to help hurricane damaged cars can look like was interesting. 
2. NPR's Books We Love is here, and contains some great books.  
3. And while I have not yet seen "Wakanda Forever", I am intrigued by this local artist's furniture that is apparently featured in the movie. 

Monday, November 21, 2022


I am trying to focus on the things I have, and not the rest.  I have a pretty good life.  But I was listening to the Nerdette podcast last week, and the health expert was talking about how when she was diagnosed with a chronic illness she kept trying to get back to the life she had before.  And her doctor said, you can't.  You can't go back, you can only create a life where you have a chronic illness.  And she compared this to our pandemic situation.  We can't go back to how life was before.  
Just like I can't go back to a life before the internet.  (I also don't want to overall).  Life as we know it has fundamentally changed.  Ignoring that just makes us unhappy.  And also possibly sick.  
So, I could list things I am happy for, like friends, family, books, cats, food, science, and so on.  But mostly I am grateful to continue to be.  I am grateful to be.  I am grateful to get to face challenges whether it's reply to all email chains, or folks destroying a useful app I enjoyed, or our country's obsession with guns, I am still here, and I get to figure out how to forge a life with the tools I have, and for that I am grateful.  I am grateful that you are here to, wherever and whenever you are reading this.  

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. This delightful (I say having only heard of her, but I still feel certain) human who danced with the Obamas in the White House, and spent years advocating for kids, passed away at 113. What a wonderful legacy.  
2. If you are going to be somewhere in the next week or so that either involves travelling where you can read and/or you needing a good reason to sit and stare at an ereader or phone for a bit, may I recommend the latest HEA for TransKids bundle - it's got Beverly Jenkins, Cat Sebastian, and a bunch of other delights.  
3. And so-called rogue art filling potholes is sort of a fascinating thing, making potholes a bit beautiful.  

Monday, November 14, 2022

One Million Words

I crossed over a million words written during NaNo this past week. Now a few times, especially during Camp in April or July, I was really editing, so they weren't always new words. 
And some of those projects are still sitting on my hard drive where they will stay. And some of them I still have hopes or even solid plans for. 
One million words over quite a few years is sort of an odd milestone. I know folks who write that in a year. And I know folks who do not. Who are still working on that first story idea. 
All methods work if they work for you. And I like writing enough that sometimes getting that story down in draft form and then going, huh, interesting, maybe that will grow up to be a story someday, maybe not is enough. And other times I'm like, yep, that one I know just how to fix. 
Some writers are very good at pre-planning, polishing mid draft, and all that so their first done draft has really been gone over multiple times already.
I've always been a messy first draft, let's just see what happens writer. So sometimes I write a whole story and then think, that might not need to go anywhere that's not my hard drive. 
I'm okay with that, and often there are pieces and nuggets in there that I can steal and use for something else. 
Also, there's a difference between writing and publishing. And sometimes I know that the timing or market isn't right for a story, no matter how much I love it. And I can be patient and wait for those conditions to change. 
But a million words. It's a milestone. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. Rebecca Nagle is always thoughtful about issues affecting native Americans, and her piece on this latest challenge to ICWA is thorough.  
2. Am I always going to share stories about fun food pop-ups in DC even though it only makes some of you hungry?  Yes.  Sorry not sorry.  Also Chinese Street Market shows up at my farmer's market, and yum.  
3.  Also, spoiler, apparently the latest Drink Master is from DC too.  

Monday, November 07, 2022

75 Percent

Not too long ago, an actor said their goal was to give about 75 percent. They later clarified that some of the remaining percent was sleep, family, other things in their life.
But I keep thinking about 75 percent. Because I know I grew up being told that 75 percent was a C, it meant I knew some stuff but not enough, and should work harder. 
And yet in practice, trying to be an A+ human, and A+ friend, an A+ sibling, an A+ employee, it's just not possible. Trying to be good more often than you are not on multiple axes is actually a lot. 
Some had found a quote that was attributed to Idina Menzel where she said she wanted to hit all her notes perfectly each night, but that the best performances came when you focused on the moment, and listened to your fellow cast members and even the audience. And so, hitting most of the notes, like 75 percent, and focusing more on reacting to what was happening made for better performances. 
Look, have I ever reached back out to someone and been like, so actually that was wrong, here's better info? Yes? Did I hate it? Yes. Was I trying to do my best, and acknowledging that I can't always do that? Also yes. 
Life isn't really a test. We have sayings about giving 110% which is not even how percents work. So 75% seems like not enough. But if 3/4 times I reached out to a friend for help and they showed up, that's an amazing friend. That's enough. 

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Three Interesting Things

1. For those of you who twitter, I'm sure it has not gone unnoticed, that despite prior declarations, I have not tweeted much less.  It has become an exercise in fascination, where the minimal protections Twitter offers have noticeably degraded, and drive more folks away, and yet I am still there.  This piece about the ways that social media facilitate and then trap us as they become the primary means of communication was interesting, and offers a solution that doesn't fully exist yet.  
2. I enjoyed this interview with Molly Smith about her tenure at Arena Stage and her one last directing choice.  
3. This piece about a man who tracks digital ghosts was interesting.