August 2, 2019

You ever have a day where your thoughts are racing with ideas, worries, and your to-do list, to the point that you are essentially useless until your brain calms down? Yesterday my strategies (deep breaths, making sure I’ve eaten protein, a quick walk) didn’t work like they usually do. So I tried something we did in college when a train makes you stuck at an intersection: focus on a space in front of you and count the railcars as they cross your vision. I just sat still and counted the individual thoughts that crowded out my ability to function. Eventually the train will pass and the light will turn green, and in the meantime I will crank the air conditioning.

  1. How to read the news without frying your tender circuitry, Courtney E. Martin. “Don’t feel obligated to take in the headlines on a daily basis. I don’t. I still find out the most important things via a sort of strange and very modern osmosis–my friends, the guys shooting the shit outside of the donut shop, my social media feeds, overhearing the radio. But otherwise, I store up all that saved energy and heartache for a deep dive on Sunday with the print edition of The New York Times. It allows me to stay informed, but in a more contextualized way.” I’ve been doing this with the Frederick News-Post and it’s been a helpful practice when I stick to it!
  2. These police dogs are trained to help survivors, Los Angeles Times. (TW: Types of violence and abuse mentioned in passing.) This story will most likely make you cry but not in a bad way. This is the part that got me: “Adam Roulston, a Corona police patrol sergeant and one of Raider’s handlers, said that while it’s up to the trainers to decide where to take their dogs, he’s learned the dogs usually decide which person to approach. When everyone else is focused on the primary victim, Raider often heads in the direction of someone experiencing secondary trauma. “He’ll lay on their feet or sit on them. Then they’ll break down,” said Roulston, who learned of police facility dogs after reading about Scottie.” Dogs are so, so good. And I just learned that Frederick therapy dogs are doing this kind of work too! Read more about that here at the Frederick News-Post.
  3. A Very Low-Key Summer Checklist, A Cup of Jo. I love the ideas Joanna sets up for a fun, meaningful summer with her kids. They’re things that will get you out of patterns, but nothing so ambitious that you feel guilty about not checking them off. I really like the idea of trying an ice cream flavor you’ve never had, and taking breaks to intentionally do nothing at all. What’s on your summer checklist?
  4. The Meaning of All Caps in Texting and in Life, Wired. Ooh I love when someone walks me through a niche part of language. Here McCulloch is talking about the history of talking in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, and it’s a fun read: “Rather, our interpretation seems to flip depending on whether we read the text as formal or informal: HOME in a website’s menu bar is a mere graphic design choice, while HOME in a message like “ugh I want to go HOME” is typographical tone of voice.” Her book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, is next on my list!
  5. Why Do Kids Have Imaginary Friends, the Atlantic.  This article about imaginary friends is so interesting. “Imaginary companions are giving kids a sense of control,” Carlson says. “They get to conjure them up, they get to make up the stories, they’re not being intruded upon by others. It’s something they can own all to themselves. It’s an interesting way to take a little bit of control back. But it can be very frustrating for the parents.” The article talks about an imaginary friend named Salad which reminds me that kids’ creativity is the best kind. I (lol) had an imaginary boyfriend in middle school. There’s a lot of sweet quotes in this piece, you should read it! Did you have an imaginary friend?

Bonus features:

  • House for Booklovers and Cats – This house is adorable. My favorite photo is the one of the cat emerging from a trapdoor in the bedroom.
  • All About Xoloitzcuintl, the Mexican Hairless Dog – I just discovered a new favorite Youtube channel, Dogumentary TV, which has well-produced videos teaching about different breeds (and as far as I’ve seen, doesn’t have any sad dog content, but use your best judgment based on video titles).

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