February 14, 2020


Happy my mom’s birthday! Last night, David and I went to the Y with a pair of friends and moved our bodies and then soothed them in the Y’s steam and sauna rooms (Charlotte: “Would you like to be grilled or steamed?” We said, both). This Valentine’s day, I’m really feeling grateful for community and friendship, for the people who are always rooting for you and who inspire you to be your best self. Love all you good, good friends!

  1. Why is Jeanine Cummins’s ‘American Dirt’ a Thriller?, The Cut. “There’s a reason that most people who go through the kind of traumatic events exploited by American Dirt choose not to write their stories as thrillers. Traumatic events have to be survived in the moment, and for many years after. Writing about past trauma is often a means of self-preservation. Thrillers are at cross-purposes with this: They require oversimplification and demand a source of exhilaration. I have yet to meet someone who finds their own trauma exhilarating.” This is really thoughtful criticism of a controversial book (that also sounds pretty poorly written, though I haven’t read it).
  2. We need to move on from self-care to something that cannot be captured by capitalism, The Guardian. “Wouldn’t it be great if this decade we took the self out of self-care and strived instead for communal care? Self-care is saying “I need to look after me”, while collective self-care is saying “we need to look after each other” …Collective care exists outside the market and can’t be captured by capitalism, turned into a product that we buy back and, by definition of its price, excludes many from participating in it.”
  3. Missouri lawmaker proposes bill criminalizing public libraries’ drag queen story hours, NBC. This is the same proposed bill, the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act, that I talked about a few weeks ago here. It’s written with the intention to limit public library book collections, but also events. If you don’t have little kids or don’t go to public libraries much, you might not realize how hugely popular drag queen story hours are. Kids love the glamour and performance, and they are open to absorbing the messages of diversity, self-love and self-expression that come from these storytimes. The impulse to restrict LGBTQ content and events from the public library, especially with the “think of the children!” premise, really makes me sick.
  4. The Very Real Mental Ramifications of Extremely Long Elections, Vice. “What we do know: “They are telling us they feel tired,” Arceneaux said. “They feel less interested in following along with what’s going on. And we know that, outside of politics, people have a certain emotional reserve to deal with things. After a while, you just run out of emotional wherewithal to respond.” I definitely feel tired! I like this recommendation in the article, to focus on quality coverage of the election and candidates. “Consider how much information, and what kind, they need about each candidate to make a voting decision, and once you reach that threshold, take a step back.” This is absolutely what I do in other areas of life (see: buying my wedding dress, where I tried on precisely three (3) dresses and picked one the same day), so this advice resonates.
  5. 5 Awesome, Immediate Self-Care Resources For When You Feel Like Actual Garbage, Let’s Queer Things Up. Perhaps a companion piece to #2, I like this round-up because it’s accessible and immediate. “If you’re struggling to get through this moment, this won’t magically solve all of your problems. However, it can certainly help you cope.” In particular I like the “You Feel Like Shit: Interactive Self-Care Guide” that is recommended here. Take care of yourselves, friendies, but also reach out to your people, you don’t have to struggle alone.

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