This Texas Monthly piece from April has been on my mind. It reminded me of the older women I’ve known who have their hair done for years and years by the same person, or who have their routines and never use the shower or the whirlpool bath or whatever at their own houses. I feel fondness and respect for this lady’s generosity in sharing a small adventure.
(ETA: just reread the scene in Ramona and Her Father about Mrs. Swink and the tin can stilts. Same energy!)
More recently, the Yuletide collection opened! My favorite fic from the kidlit canon so far is this one:
The Queen’s Lover [authors are still anonymous]
Fandom: The President’s Daughter series, by Ellen Emerson White
F/F, General Audiences [I would rate it Teen], Beth Shulman / Meghan Powers, Best Friends, Falling in Love
The tough-as-nails dialogue expressing unshakeable love while remaining extremely cool is spot. on.
I concluded that the alphabet is laminated and staff mark it up… but for awhile I pictured people shelving until all the letters looked weird and they forgot the alphabet and needed a cheat sheet.
Happy Labor Day! Being a little bit active in the AAUP is one of the few things I’ve done that’s felt usefully political in the Trump years—when elected representatives seem unlikely to keep or change their positions in response to my phone calls, and donations seem like a miniscule drop in the political-money ocean. Last week I sat in as an observer during bargaining; the union believes things go better when as many of the people actually affected as possible are in the room, even silently. (Even reading a book or typing away on a laptop. Donuts were also involved.)
We do interest based bargaining, so for the entire hour I was there, they were at step one of seven, framing the problem to be talked about. It’s easy to see why bargaining starts in the summer even though the contract’s not up til the end of November.
Not all chapters of AAUP are negotiating collective bargaining agreements; I enjoyed this account of guerrilla organizing by adjuncts in my hometown.
Unusual that two pieces in one week would make me think anew about dashes—
em dash compared to a semicolon in this one, as in
I thought hanging out would be great—a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.
I thought hanging out would be great; it would be a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.
And here, an en dash for a relation that isn’t numbers or dates or place names, like author–editor relationship or either–or, and how it differs from a hyphenated adjectival construction:
Amir was an Asian–British scholar and something of a polyglot.
Amir was an Asian-British scholar and something of a polyglot.
In the first example, with an EN DASH, Amir’s Asianness and Britishness have equal weighting. In the second, with the HYPHEN, ‘Asian’ is modifying ‘British’ and carries less weight.
Things to keep an eye out for in the wild, anyway.
Yesterday I happened to see an announcement for a Paideia class to be held on the front lawn of the college, about packing with donkeys! I had been planning to take a walk down there anyway, so Sang and I went to see some donkeys. They were wonderful! Vera and Hattie, mother and daughter, did not want to be more than a few yards away from each other. They accepted as much petting and brushing as they could get and let people lead them around. Donkeys, their human Jessica said, are a good “starter equine” because in place of a horse’s instinct to spook and run, their instinct in the face of fear or uncertainty is to brace their legs and stand still until it’s sorted. They’re unlikely to buck or kick or rear, and can carry 80 pounds each pretty easily.
Vera is named after Vera Katz, the Portland mayor who signed the ordinance allowing livestock in city limits. Two donkeys per household is the limit in Portland, and really the minimum non-zero number as well, since a solitary donkey would be sad and lonely. Unfortunately, this climate is a bit wet for them– the lush green grass will give them something like diabetes, and standing on wet ground all the time is hard on their feet. They need dry quarters and hay to eat, here.
I was so glad I went! The rest of the weekend was good too– Bookherd hung around the house with us, and we watched all of season 3 of The Good Place in two days, and ate winter foods like tuna mac and scalloped potatoes.
This morning the ALA Youth Media Awards and American Indian Youth Literature Awards were announced. So many books I haven’t read! But I did know a few:
My Monday Magpie selections, geared toward writing and representation:
morning bike commute notes:
I was cyclist #498 westbound at Tilikum Crossing– usually I’m a half hour earlier and in the 500s. It’s a shame, because it’s a beautiful morning with a touch of frost and more than a touch of sunshine.
today’s theme: people unexpectedly in suits, like, while jogging (not just to the bus stop), or with a backpack.
A Baby-Sitters Club web mini-series (six parts of about five minutes each– oh wait, the last one is a “Super Special” and is 10 minutes, hee!) set ten years after the books ended. My fondness for it is mostly sentimental, but the last 15 seconds did make me laugh out loud.
Interview with Debra Cartwright on her cover illustration for The Hate U Give and the colorism evident in the movie poster version.
Of the articles I have read and stashed over the last several weeks, two still stand out:
A Conversation with Gene Luen Yang about growing up Chinese American Catholic.
I Will Never Forget My First Gay Friends, by Oregon federal judge Michael McShane. An elegy. I wonder what led him to write and publish it now.
Things I’ve liked recently on the internet:
COWEN: Do you feel you’ve underachieved in life?
GAWANDE: That’s a hard question. [laughs] I know objectively that it’s kind of ridiculous that I would think I’ve underachieved, and that I’m proud of all the random things that I’ve been able to be part of. But I bear a kind of chronic dissatisfaction and sense that I’ve got much more to follow through on than I’ve managed to. So yeah, I think “underachieved” is the wrong word, and yet I don’t feel I’ve achieved nearly enough, and that half of what I’ve achieved, I wish I could go back and fix.