Life & Ramblings

july | 2020

1. what a month

July brought me out of LA and back to northern California, so here I am again and it’s looking like I’ll be here for a while. The days are still blurring together. I’ve been trying to take things day by day in terms of taking care of myself and taking care of the things I want to do, and it’s going – OK? I think? The bad things are still there but there’s also lots of good things, so I think it averages out to OK. The summer classes I’m taking have just started, and I hope to god those provide some positive structure to my days and cool things to think about instead of sending me to an early grave because of this terrifyingly fast 6-week schedule.

2. things i very much enjoyed

Into the Spider-Verse: Jesus, I am late to this one. Glad I got here eventually though lol. This movie got so much hype and it was all so0o0oo deserved. I have literally nothing to say other than incoherent praise/ I did recognize John Mulaney’s voice almost immediately! And that’s sort of exciting? Perhaps concerning? Both? Both. Anyway, the art of this movie makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs so I never see anything else ever again. The story of this movie makes me want to come up with ridiculous hyperboles like that to illustrate my feelings. Gah. I used to be super into superhero movies, maybe 8-10 years ago (fuck, I’m really aging), in the early days of Marvel hatching their master plan to take over the universe. I kind of lost interest for a bit, but Into the Spider-Verse is everything good about superhero movies.

Set It Up: A criminally underrated Netflix rom-com! Two winning leads try to set up their bosses! Hijinks and feelings ensue! Lucy Liu wears so many great dresses! What is not to like. I found Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch really charming. (Glen Powell in particular got super hot to me as the movie progressed. Enough that I’m overlooking his name being ‘Glen Powell’, you know what I mean?) Anyway, I’ll always adore New York City as a setting for rom-coms, and I think the over dick around is a valuable addition to our vocabulary.

Bride & Prejudice: My brother read Pride & Prejudice, so we watched the Keira Knightley movie and this Bollywood adaptation as well. I remember watching this for the first time when I was, like, 8 but I didn’t remember anything else other than good musical numbers. And it was! Such good musical numbers! I also thought all the characterizations and adaptations of the source material were well done, but I’m far from an Austen scholar so take that judgment with a side of salt.

3. things i did not so much enjoy

Trying to figure housing out: Renting is not pleasant. So many roommates, so much disappointment. So many potential subletters, so much uncertainty about if anyone is actually committed. Blergh.

100-degree days: Summer is here in Northern California and 100-degree days are here and it’s the wooooooorst. It’s always the worst and each year I’m still somehow surprised and aghast. It means everyone’s pretty much confined to staying indoors from like 10:30AM-9PM because it’s so fucking hot out.

People forgetting about Covid: Anyone who knows me in real life (if you’re one of these people, what the fuck man, how did you get here, why are you still here) knows that the past couple months of my Instagram have just been me screaming about my frustration on this. My general social circle, meaning friends to acquaintances to friends of friends, are people who believe in science and vaccinations and are fairly left-leaning and posting about Black lives matter. I mean, I’m in college, I’m young, I live in California, I’m pretty vocal about my political beliefs, so that makes sense. SO you would think that all those people would do the social distancing, mask wearing thing! I would think they would do that! To listen to public health advice and the data showing what can slow the spread! But nay. People are out here having dinner parties, actual parties, beach vacations, mimosa brunches, mask-less hangouts. And then people are out here posting about how much they care about marginalized communities! I want to shake everyone and ask how they can preach about helping marginalized communities but not be willing to have a little self-awareness about themselves and their actions. Especially because we’re in LA/California, places with huuuuuge rates.

4. reading list

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This is one of my favorite quotes by Mariame Kaba, art by @melegirma. 💕 . For those of you who are new to the concept of abolishing the police (and prisons), Mariame Kaba is a critical Black leader you should know about. You can read more about her work in the link in my bio and you can follow her at [@]prisonculture on Twitter. . Because I know many people are hearing about the concept of Abolition for the first time or are finally taking a moment to sit and learn more. Folks are questioning, not only police brutality/murder; the white supremacist and anti-black origins/history of the police; the militarization of the police; but also the very existence of police at all. Many are engaging with the question, “what would a world without police look like?” for the first time. . . Link in bio to a list of resources by Mariame. I have also shared a lot of other resources to read in my stories, which you can find in the “abolish police” highlight on my profile. A good place to start is the article “Summer Heat” by Mariame (pictured in the 3rd image, and linked in both). . The second slide is of a shirt made by @youthinbusiness for @restorativebaltimore and there’s also a link in my stories and the give/support highlight for it. . . [1) rp from @melegirma. image of cut out letters that read, “Let this moment radicalize you rather than lead you to despair.” This is a quote from Mariame Kaba. The letters are cut out of paper from a book/newspaper, as it has smaller black text on it. 2) rp from @supportdontdeport. photo of a shirt with the text, “I am actively working towards abolition which means that i am trying to create the necessary conditions to ensure the possibility of a world without prisons. -Mariame Kaba,” written around a drawing of Mariame from the neck up. 3) screen shot of the beginning of the essay, “Summer Heat” by Mariame Kaba, June 8, 2015, “History shows police violence is intractable. What should we do? We must end the police.” There is an image of 2 police and a police dog standing under a tree, all are foregrounded and silhouetted in black against a view of a green park with people in it on a summer day under a blue sky.]

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It’s time to take stock. Four months means that there are behaviors that you’ve adopted that have begun to calcify into new, long-term habits. Some of these habits probably feel good or liberating in some way: I love not doing my hair or makeup, I truly do. I’m not opposed to the way in which my partner and I just never really adopted Daylight Savings Time, and currently eat at 9 pm — when, at least in Montana, we still have another solid hour of daylight. I’m enjoying making new recipes every week, becoming more adept at new cooking techniques, getting better at preserving and not wasting food.

[…]

But some behaviors feel like short-term coping mechanisms that just keep extending themselves. Drinking habits, eating habits, exercise habits, spending habits, working habits, relationship habits, sleeping habits, phone habits, care-giving habits. I don’t think anyone should be hard on themselves about any of these habits adopted in the name of survival during societal and personal crisis. I also don’t think a pandemic is a time for, like, feeling pressure to “work on yourself” — unless that feels right. (Basically, I think whatever anyone is doing to get through that isn’t hurting others is pretty okay, even if it’s not what you, personally, are doing, and that’s a posture we should try and adopt as much as possible). 

With that said: there are probably some behaviors or patterns that you’ve fallen into that make you feel shitty and/or actively make your situation harder. You don’t like them but inertia is a bitch and you’re too exhausted to deal with them. Bt now’s the time to see those things clearly — and figure out if it’s possible to change them before they just become the established backdrop of your life. 

Something from Anne Helen Peterson’s newsletter which was thought-provoking to me in thinking about what habits I have and whether they’re helping me
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Some words of wisdom from my BFF. 💙

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I’ve realized I write with an absolute death grip, so been trying to train myself to stop that! It’s slow going lol, but I read some things that were helpful in conceptualizing what a life of leisurely calm pen-holding would be like:

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I want to thank everyone for your immense outpouring of personal stories and support for one another after last week’s speech on the violence of misogyny and abuse of power in the workplace. I figured I’d share some behind-the-scenes details of what went into that moment. . Many have asked me if my speech was pre-written. The answer is no. But in some ways, yes. Yes because this speech was a recounting of thoughts that so many women and femme people have carried since the time we were children. It flowed because every single one of us has lived this silent script: stay silent (why?), keep your head down (for whom?), suck it up (to whose benefit?). But my chosen words were largely extemporaneous. I got to the House floor about ten minutes before my speech and scribbled down some quick notes after reflecting on what had transpired over the last few days. Pictured here are all the notes I had, and from there I improvised my composition and spoke live. . The evening before my speech, I did not know what I was going to say. I wrestled with this question: what is there to say to a man who isn’t listening? I couldn’t come up with much, because frankly I didn’t want to diminish myself or waste my breath. It was then that I decided if I couldn’t get through to him, perhaps I could speak directly to the culture, people, and institutions responsible for creating and protecting this violence and violent language. . I also reflected on MY role in all of this – to me, this speech was about holding myself accountable as much as anyone else. Because my first instinct was to let it go. It was my second instinct, too. It was only when sisters like @ayannapressley, @rashidatlaib, @repilhan and friends like @repraskin reminded me how unacceptable this all was that I started to think about what I would have done if this abuse happened to any other person BUT me. That is when I found my voice. Why is it okay to swallow our own abuse, yet stand up for others? I needed to learn that by standing up for ourselves, we break the chain of abuse and stand up for every person after us who would have been subject to more of the same with lack of accountability. . So rise.

A post shared by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@aoc) on

I think it’ll surprise exactly 0 people who have known me for longer than a week that I find inordinate joy in finding out what people’s handwriting looks like. So I was over the moon when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted this page of her notebook! I love her G’s and Y’s and M’s, oh my god. I love knowing that she uses a dot grid notebook. It’s a given that I loved the speech, but it felt really special to know the planning that went into it, the bits that were crossed out or inserted in with arrows as she decided how to use her voice.

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ABLEISM. CUT IT OUT. Ableism is the system of oppression that harms disabled people while prioritizing and valuing the lives and experiences of abled people. Per my colleague and friend @crutches_and_spice we’re saying “abled” instead of able-bodied or able-minded. Now look. A lot of people think that fighting systems of oppression must begin with “choosing kindness.” Kindness doesn’t really mean anything if you are being polite while calling the police on your Black neighbors. And fighting one system of oppression like antiBlackness is kind of pointless if you plan on being ableist while you’re doing it. ⁣ Even when you’re criticizing someone you have to be sure you’re not being ableist.⁣ ⁣ I’m writing about this because a lot of people think that the best way of insulting someone who is being racist or hateful is to call them harmful names that imply they are neurodivergent, intellectually or developmentally disabled.⁣ ⁣ This happens a lot when viral videos emerge of a racist doing something that isn’t in line with socially acceptable conduct. I won’t repeat the examples here, but you can imagine for yourself. ⁣ ⁣ Why shouldn’t we do this? ⁣ ⁣ 1. It implies that disabled people are inherently bigoted or incapable of understanding or fighting bigotry. ⁣Being disabled has nothing to do with your ability to participate in systems of oppression. @crutches_and_spice taught me that. ⁣ 2. It shields harmful people (like racists) from having to face their commitment to white supremacy or other forms of bigotry by dismissing it as something “out of their control.”⁣ Bigotry is a choice, mental illness is not. ⁣ So, before you go commenting that the racist of the day is a “crazy person” which uses ableist language just say “This person is so committed to the white entitlement of accessing public space that she is having a tantrum in public and embarrassing herself.”⁣ ⁣ Grab a thesaurus and find a better way to get your point across. It’s a fun exercise and it’s a great way to learn. ⁣& you can learn more about ableism by watching the last #learnwithADW video w/ Imani Barbarin by clicking the IGTV tab or reading the transcript at americadidwhat.com/words.

A post shared by Blair Amadeus Imani (@blairimani) on

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Blue Monday ✨ New Frost opal items available online

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Which link chain in your favorite? ⭐️

A post shared by MIRANDA FRYE (@mirandafrye) on

Caity Weaver, Styles writer for the NYT, annotated a week’s worth of internet searches. (Exactly the kind of thing I Love To See, as someone who wants to know the exact contents of everyone’s bathroom cabinets.)

A Tweet thread from Rachel Syme on Taylor Swift’s song ‘the last great american dynasty’

Nothing Is Off the Table at Dinner With the Cast of Queer Eye by E. Alex Jung for Vulture

The Importance Of Black Doctors on NPR’s Short Wave podcast

A James Hong thread on r/movies, linking to this CNN article on him

5. camera roll


And that’s July! It is the first week of August and I’ve already stress cried twice, so uh, I’ll be back next week to talk about that I suppose. I leave you with a different sign off than usual –

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