read write run resist, Groundhog Day edition


Finished: Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, by Russell and Lillian Hoban. By the time this arrived for me at the library I was a little hazy on why I had put it on hold. I think I wanted to see the TV special, because I’ve only ever seen the video of how they did the one scene over and over and over until the drum rolled out the door just right. But I figured the book came first, so I should read it first. It was perfect, perfect comfort reading! With comfort pictures! I have a friend for whom Jam for Frances is the ultimate comfort book, but Hoban books were background in my childhood. Now I love this one.

In Progress: Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Set in Mexico City, 1988 and 2009. A “protagonist comes back for a parent’s funeral” book. But a lot of it is in 1988 high school; it’s easily a YA crossover. It’s good in a slow way. I’m two thirds in and just now it’s dawning on me, “heeyyyy, are these two characters going to get back together in some way?”

Up Next: I’d like to reread Emma after seeing the mini-series version with Johnny Lee Miller. And I have a paperback copy for which Mary Stolz wrote the intro!

Other TBRs in my possession that I’m excited about:

  • Pointe, a ballet YA;
  • Juana & Lucas, a girl and her dog, plus it just won the Pura Belpre Author Award;
  • The Endless Steppe, which I read way back when but want to revisit after Between Shades of Gray


Writing 500 words a day of something all this month, with FaceBook and NaNo friends. Yay! Yesterday I tried one of the ideas from this article, 5 New Ideas for Outlining Stories. Thinking in TV episodes let me feel okay about bringing in short-term subplots and funny diversions. A good way to fill in some middle, at least for now.


New shoes for my 10-mile long run yesterday, yay! It was too windy to listen to an audiobook, boo! I have decided to grow my mileage from 40 miles a week, but very slowly, one mile at a time. This week, 42 miles. And a long run every other week is feeling right– but going full couch potato on the off weeks is not.

I want to make a little abacus bracelet to count laps at the track. Or perhaps not an abacus but a binary display, six flat beads that are white on one side and black on the other and will stay put when I flip them back and forth on my wrist. I doubt I’ll ever need more than 63 laps on a half-mile track.


It’s been an outgoing week.

  • Last Saturday, Sanguinity and I went to our county’s Town Hall for Oregon’s junior senator, Jeff Merkley.
    • It was beyond standing-room-only at the high school cafeteria, with lots of people in the courtyard outside watching the Senator’s back through the windows. (He asked staff to get one of the speakers aimed out the window for them.) It was a friendly crowd, no bag check, everyone let people through as needed and left slowly at the end as requested.
    • Question-asking was by lottery, with little paper tickets. More fair than hand-raising.
    • Some of the people in seats had made half-sheet “I Agree” and “I Disagree” signs to hold up as appropriate. Seems like a good idea.
    • Senator Merkley asked several times that people use their social networks and professional associations to talk to people in other states. As an example of what we can do on the state level, he mentioned the National Popular Vote Compact. States and local governments can also take a look at good bills introduced federally that aren’t going to pass, and work on state/local versions that will serve as models.
    • One question was about the Washington Post column that advised Democratic senators to withhold consent. I guess a lot of people had read it, because there was a HUGE LONG CHEER. Merkley was like, “I think that was a home run question.” He wouldn’t comment directly on withholding consent, but mentioned filibuster and forcing debate on nominees to the full 30 hours. When, a few days later, he was leading the move to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee who wasn’t Merrick Garland, I felt a tiny thrill of pride, like my county had given him the support to play hardball.
  • Then the immigration executive order happened. Elizabeth and I went to a lunchtime rally on Monday. You can see us from the back at the bottom of this photo, me in orange jacket with ponytail and her in gray jacket and black pants:protest for refugee and immigrant rights at Terry Schrunk Plaza, Portland
    • …and here’s my sign:
  • handmade sign "TOGETHER / NO BAN NO WALL"
    • We were on the edge of the crowd, which isn’t as satisfying as being surrounded but is still useful. The PA should have been louder, but at least when everyone shouts in that particular plaza, the surrounding buildings really ring.
  • Then that evening I went to another Town Hall, this one for my state senator, my state rep, and another state rep. My, what a difference. It was still standing room only (in a smaller room), but didn’t feel like a rally. It felt like a budget meeting, because the state is looking at a shortfall and the legislature is scrabbling for new revenue sources and agonizing over cuts. The spectre of canceled federal funding looms large. I didn’t have a chance to ask about the National Popular Vote (which the House has passed three years in a row, and which seems to have decent support in the Senate but hasn’t gotten to the floor for a vote), so I’ll be writing to my state senator.