Thursday, February 29, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. RO Kwon wrote about the complicated feelings involved in writing to add to the stories about people like you, when you also kind of hope your family won't read it. Note: contains references to panic attacks and statistics about suicidal ideation. 
2. This story about a tech billionaire buying up property in Hawai'i was interesting.
3. Nepalese folks have been repurposing some of the trash mountain climbers leave behind.

Monday, February 26, 2024

7 Things: An Evening with Stephanie Hsu

I had the opportunity to attend an event with Stephanie Hsu. Here are seven things she talked about.
1. Hsu talked about how picking up a job in college working on a permaculture farm taught her a lot about understanding the environment and the context you are working in, rather than just coming in and plopping down the seeds you want.
2. She talked about how an industry person had told her "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was a silly title, that was too long, and it was a niche movie that very few people would see. 
3. She talked about how she really enjoyed working with people who were wonderful, and that being on a set that made things like sustainability part of their ethos has been something she is carrying forward as she produces her own show. 
4. She talked about visiting Copenhagen and being impressed with how the city was designed, and the cultural ethos, and also the practice of regularly jumping into the water. (She was advised that our local waterways were perhaps not the best choice for that.)
5. Hsu talked about working on a movie that was so specific and felt so much like the story she had been dying to tell was wonderful. But that she had not expected how wonderful it was to hear from others about how much it meant to them, and to feel like that was a wonderful feedback loop to be in. 
6. She talked about how she had realized a lot of the things society had told her about Asian Americans was not factual, or based on erroneous assumptions. And so she was working on unlearning and challenging those.
7. She was asked about role models in media she had growing up as a Chinese, American and she said there weren't really many, though she did mention Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh. But she noted there has been change, that she got to be on "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and get a role in a historical that didn't feel embarrassing. She also mentioned an Asian American extra on the show, thanked her, because she was pretty sure Hsu's role led to them considering an Asian American extra for a historical show. And she told some aspiring actors in the audience, and they haven't met you yet, so imagine what can happen. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Quick Note

Hi, all,
WAMU announced today that they are shutting DCist down effective immediately. 
This is sad for me personally, and for the region, as the sign of a trend of local news being trimmed.
But, it also means there are a ton of links, including one I posted yesterday, that are now dead. 
So, tread carefully. If you are a local journalist, I love you, and please save copies of all your work. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. Not to take away from Caitlin Clark's incredible achievement in scoring, but it turns out there are other high scorers, who, due to changes in the divisions and such, who's achievements should also be noted. 
2. I agree with this column on trigger or content warnings and how good ones let you make informed decisions, and how good media will suck you in regardless.
3. Mychal Threet's library videos have popped into my timeline few times, and are they always lovely.  This interview with him was equally so. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Better at Mistakes

I've been sharing some of my knitting oops moments on Bluesky, and was tempted to be like, really, I do know how to complete a knitted object without an error. And then a small internal voice said, but do you? And my initial response was of course I do. I have lots of finished items. 
And then I started being like, well okay, that one, I crossed the cable the wrong way, and that one, I had to reknit the panel twice, and that one I had to tink back two rows. 
Many moons ago, Yarn Harlot said experienced knitters don't make less mistakes, they just make different ones. Except, I joined a cowl as a moebius when I did not mean for it to be a moebius, which felt like a newbie mistake in many ways. What's different is, I knew immediately what I had done wrong and what it would take to correct it. I still let it sit for a day, pondering, just letting it be a moebius. If it was gonna get double wrapped around my neck, who would even know? 
But in the end I fixed it. Because it is silly to have spent this time and money on something, that I could fix easily with minimal effort. 
I think this is often true of other things, like writing. Now that I've written multiple books, my drafts are both better and worse. But if I forget what character C's name is halfway through, I know how to fix that. If no one has hair or clothes, I know how to fix that. So, as much as I whine that I hate editing, I know what things are no big deal to fix later. So that helps. Even if sometimes I write myself an edit note and go, yeah, that's a future me problem. Now I'm going to eat a treat. 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. This conference happened in September, and I am very biased, because one of my knitting friends is in it, to say nothing of all the wonderful authors. But the videos are posted to the Yale website, so you can hang out with these wonderful people, without travel. 
2. This article is originally from a few years ago, but this discussion of how Bob's Red Mill became a leading gluten free provider was reposted, as Bob himself passed away recently. 
3. I loved this story about the gentleman known for rapping on the X2 bus.  Note:  DCist and I currently share an employer.  I am not responsible for any of their content. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Adjustments and Enjoyment

I've had a week where my body has reminded me how connected everything is. How doing a thing here, affects a thing there, and so on. It feels like one of those lessons you learn over and over. 
Lunar New Year was over the weekend, and we switched from one animal to another, and I thought about how switching from a rabbit (or cat) to a dragon signaled a change in movement. In the ways that animal approaches the world, and all of us. 
It can be easy to focus on the cleaning, the desire to have the perfect or best first day. But many of the traditions are about eating favorite foods, gathering with loved ones, and resting. The prep is in service of that. 
I realize there are new year switches that happen - for us on the Northern Hemisphere - late spring, or early fall, or with a wider rotation. 
So whether this past week was a new year, or just mid-February, making time for enjoyment is always a good plan. 

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. Sometimes somewhere on social media, someone will say this thing is cool, and I will open a tab and go back to social media, so by the time I get to the tab, I have totally forgotten who or where this person told me this thing.  Short story "End of Play" by Chelsea Sutton is one such thing.  It's wild, appeals to me as a theater lover, and also a person who enjoys short stories that go deep into a thing. 
2. My time on social media Spoutible was short, but I did still have an account there, when I heard about this data leak, and was concerned that the org itself did nothing to communicate this well to users who were not active on the site.  I have not deleted my account.
3. I hadn't really thought there was that much variation in tennis balls these days, though I certainly had noticed that injured seemed to be taking out a lot of players.  So this article discussing the differences,and how players are hoping for better standardization was interesting. 

Monday, February 05, 2024

A SCUBA tale

A while ago, so like the early aughts, a friend asked me to be her buddy and take SCUBA lessons. It sounded fun. I had been on a trip where I snorkeled a few times, and sometimes us snorkelers were on one side of the thing, an and the SCUBA boat was on the other side, and the SCUBA folks moved faster and got closer to stuff, and did not have to clear their snorkels (or so it seemed). So I was in the right place to be interested even though I had no travel plans to anywhere I wished to SCUBA.
So I did, and I learned there is SCUBA math. I mention this because so many things turn out to have math, and my math teachers had a poster about how math was useful, but I do not recall SCUBA (or knitting) being on there. Maybe it was and I just didn't know yet I would ever care about those things.
So, SCUBA also involves pool lessons. Our first pool lesson was at Holton, and yes, as an alum, I am biased. But I was like cool. I know where it is. I did my lifeguard training in that pool. I'm ready.
But it turned out we were at a semester switch or something.
Worth noting that in SCUBA pool lessons, part of what you practice is sinking to the bottom. So you have all your gear on, and you swim along to the bottom of the pool, looking through your SCUBA mask. And then after the lesson, you kind of want to take a shower and rinse some chlorine off before you trek home.
Anyhoodle, the rest of the lessons were at Georgetown Prep. If that sounds familiar to you, you are either or local or remember the Kavanaugh hearings. Does this have anything to do with my story other than to remind you of my biases? Nope.
Now I also knew where Georgetown Prep was. And again, this was a while ago, I am sure someone has cleaned this all since.
But let's just say, there was not nothing to see on the bottom of that pool. And the lockers were -again, at the time, you are free to tell me they rebuilt it all three years ago.
But, there was a towel in one of the lockers. The lockers were all open face, no doors. The towel was gray. Except a teeny corner on one edge that revealed it had not originally been gray.
I did not put things in the lockers.
But, one of the other students did tell me she liked the Prep pool way better, that the Holton pool had just smelled like chlorine. So see, I'm biased

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. This recap of some of the responses "Sesame Street"s Elmo got when asking on social media how folks were doing was a fascinating glimpse into the ways social media and characters for kids, speak to a lot of us, even adults. 
2. I first saw Chita Rivera in the filmed version of "Pippin".  I listened to her memoir last year and enjoyed it. This remembrance for her captured some of her spirit. 
3. I have read enough British historicals to have heard of posset, but never actually looked into what it was.  Per the wikipedia, it was done a little differently in olden days, but this recipe for a modern lemon version looks wonderful.