Monday, March 27, 2023
Content Note: Discussions alluding to sexual harassment/abuse.
I wrote a while back about how sometimes the people who seem and often are inappropriate but not harmful to you, can turn out to be inappropriate and harmful to others: http://www.talkapedia.com/2018/03/our-inappropriate-friends.html
Well, let's talk about the opposite thing. Sometimes people who have always been delightful to and near you, are not that way with everyone. And are in fact being quite harmful to others.
It can be a huge shock to learn this. It feels like a failure of all your warning systems to discover this about someone.
You are not a failure if you didn't know. No matter how finely calibrated your systems are, some people are going to get past them. It would be lovely if folks who misused their power all came with flashing neon signs, but they do not. In fact abusers and other varieties of jerks, work hard to be delightful to a good number of people, so that you will say, no, that can't be right.
Sure, there are people who set off every alarm bell, but most won't. Some folks are going to turn out to be horrible and it will be a shock. It sucks. Obviously it sucks more for the folks they victimized, but it still sucks.
It is okay to be sad when these discoveries occur. It is okay to feel and to process. It is also important to remember that those directly harmed deserve the most support. Our culture really is steeped in trauma disclosure, and it really likes to ask survivors to describe all the terrible things done in great detail.
Survivors do not owe us this. They may choose to do this, and that is their prerogative.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
1. I confess I hadn't properly thought about the environmental destruction side of war, despite having grown up near a WWI munitions dump. This article about Afghanistan was eye opening.
2. Some historical Hawaiiana will be returned to Hawai'i. (For money, but returned nonetheless.)
3. I found this article on prioritizing your creative self, even when your dayjob is financial writing, really interesting.
Monday, March 20, 2023
So, we have reached the time where a number of folks start marking when we did what in this country we called shutdowns, but mostly meant encouraged people to work and attend school from home.
As humans, we have lots of rituals to mark the passage of time. Honestly, I am constantly amazed that we divided the calendar into quarters and assigned seasons to each one, leading to endless discussion about why the weather has chosen not to play along with our assigned categories.
And it is also that time where people say genuinely well meaning things, like what have you accomplished since the pandemic started. And a lot of people have done amazing things. And those should all be celebrated!
But also, if what you have done since a world changing pandemic, well, changed our world, is survive - then gold star. Because seriously. Pandemic life is harder than pre-pandemic life. Even ignoring the deadly disease, we're watching a lot of systems begin to seriously crack, making so many things we do more difficult and more expensive.
And so learning how to navigate this world has been a lot. And if you didn't also have time to do all the other things you had hoped, getting yourself to a place where you are still here to do those things, is really a lot.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Monday, March 13, 2023
I was chatting with a friend who still gets a physical paper and she mentioned that the paper she gets is lighter than it used to be. Now this is a function of many things, including a change in the way advertisers spend their money but it reminded me of a few things.
If you ever want to get a little mad, stand in front of a line of things in the grocery store like crackers. And then just read the weight in each package. The weights will vary widely, some crackers that appear wildly similar will be in packages of the same size, and yet the weight differs by several ounces.
Now of course using the same size packaging isn't just to fool you that you're getting the same amount. There are reasons of logistics, and shipping, that make sending everything in packages of the same size more economical.
Similarly almost every phone game I've ever played has rolled out updates that do one of two things. I either now need more thingies to advance to each level. Or I have to watch more ads. Or sometimes both. And sometimes I put up with it because the game is fun, and I like finishing things. And sometimes I quit because if it takes a so much longer to refresh, the game is less fun, and I just go in search of a new game or go read a book instead.
But in some ways, it feels like a metaphor. You sign up for or purchase a thing. And then, over time, the thing is less of what it was when you signed up. And you have to evaluate, not just am I getting value, but is this thing slowly morphing into something that I wouldn't have wanted.
Now am I saying you should cancel your newspaper? Absolutely not. Or maybe. But I think instead of viewing things as my local paper sucks now, or crackers are too expensive, look into what are the larger forces behind that. And try and figure out can you support local news and maybe even local crackers in other ways. (The local cracker things sounds like I'm kidding, but I really am lucky enough to be near some very excellent cracker makers.)
Thursday, March 09, 2023
1. Researchers have named a chemical compound Keanumycins due to their deadly effectiveness fighting blight. (Hat Tip to Mark Lewis who tweeted about this.)
2. The Electronic Frontier Foundation put together some digital security tips for folks seeking abortion. It's likely also useful for anyone seeking healthcare that is or may be soon under attack. Worth noting that activity trackers and video doorbells are also things that track movement and the companies that run them often turn over info to police without consulting consumers.
3. I sort of love reading food diaries of people who are very busy and yet really like food. This one from cookbook author Abi Balangit is that.
And in a promo note - Smashwords Read An Ebook Week continues. Most of my stories are on sale, plus tons of other authors are discounted or free through Saturday.
Monday, March 06, 2023
Newsletter folks got the heads up about this first, but this week is Read an Ebook Week over at Smashwords. And so, you can pick up ebooks of mine (and tons of others) at a discount. My books* are 25% off.
Between you, me, and the lamppost - the sale applies to purchases through Smashwords. If your fave etailer rhymes with say Schamazonnne, they do tend to price match, so you do you.
*Just a note, my YA short Bait Girl is not included in the sale.
Thursday, March 02, 2023
What a difference a week makes.
1. Apparently there is some contention that the Roman artifact may really be a drop spindle and not a dildo. (Again, there is a picture.)
2. This Judy Blume interview was wonderful.
3. Having seen both of these actors in local plays, I was thrilled to see they are in the touring cast of "Into the Woods".