Oh yeah, remember when this happened? I wish it would’ve lasted.
This week’s good things are comprised mainly of stuff I found on the internet, but also a couple other things.
This Twitter bot tutorial is really easy to follow. I’ve been thinking about making a Twitter bot for fun. I really like that this particular tutorial links to helpful and fun bots and makes a note of the ethics surrounding bots.
How to Survive the Next Four Years Like a Frenchwoman had me LOLing on the couch. “Don’t splurge on every knickknack that catches your eye! French women have an inborn talent for recognizing quality and buying things that last. Like a copper I.U.D., which will see you through to 2021.” Also, don’t forget to eat enough yogurt. I endorse the eating of all the yogurt.
I’m almost certain that Laura Turner crawled into my brain and wrote this essay: “There is no honesty for me outside of admitting that I am an anxious person, anxious to please and anxious to hole up at home and avoid all expectations, just as I am anxious to exceed them, anxious for you to find me charming and anxious to avoid all the consequences of being imperfect.” Tbh, it made me anxious that I’m not writing, at least in a sustained and significant kind of way. I have so many feelings about writing. Ugh.
I’ve probably seen this before, but I rediscovered The Millions’ Forty for 40: A Literary Reader for Lent this year and I’m hoping to get caught up this week. I’ve been way too steeped in the internet (read: Twitter) in recent years, and I really am happiest and most myself when I’m a little truer to my bookish nature. Few things make me happier than a literary Lent or Advent calendar jawn.
My copy of Hello Web App came in! I’ve been meaning to buy it ever since I met the lovely Tracy Osborn at ElaConf in 2015, but picking up learning Python again hasn’t been immediately relevant to the work I do day to day. But I’m gonna mix it up and go through it with a friend who’s interested in learning web development.
Nothing gets me high on Philly like Ignite. We went in to Philly for Ignite 19, and it was so good to see hang out and catch up a little with some Philly favorites. Also, the talks were on point as usual. You can check out the Technical.ly recap here.
So yeah, it was a pretty good week! What’s good with you?
I’m trying to be better at marking the good things that happen every week. It can be hard, especially with the onslaught of alarming news over the last few weeks (months?), so as an act of self-care, I’ve decided to keep a list of good things that happen each week. Sometimes I’ll share them here.
This one is a slight cheat because it was published last week, but this interview I did with Nate Mell of Felt + Fat for Town Dish was fun. I loved looking through the photos of their custom porcelain tableware that’s all over great restaurants in Philly and elsewhere.
We got take out from The Fridge for VDay, and ate our fancy pizza while watching Westworld. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
These flowers (pictured above) from Lavender Fox Florals. I have very strong feelings about those moody deep plum ranunculus.
I was finally able to snag the new Zadie Smith novel, Swing Time, from the library after a very long stretch of having it on hold. I’m loving it so far, and I’m realizing how long it’s been since I read White Teeth or On Beauty.
Cuddle Magic is playing in Harrisburg tonight! We first heard them years ago at a Lion Versus show at the Rotunda in West Philly. We’ve seen them a few times since, once as an opener for Anais Mitchell, and they are such a delight. Their live show is mesmerizing, and I guarantee that I’ll be questioning my decision to stop playing music after seeing them tonight.
My plant collection (like many of us, tbh) has had a rough year. A bunch of them lived very happy lives on and around my desk at Urban Outfitters’ HQ, in a converted shipyard warehouse-type building, with floor to ceiling windows and a ton of light. The other cohort was pretty happy in our West Philly apartment, which was situated on a corner, so they had two sides of light. We were on the third floor, above most of the buildings around us, so nothing blocked the sun.
It’s been kind of hard to find the right spot for the right plant in the new (actually very old) house. I’ve already lost several, and sadly I think a few more are on their way out. One of my goals for February was to replace some less-than-attractive plastic hanging planters that the previous owners left with something a little more intentional.
I actually already have Magical Thinking Hand-Knotted Hanging Planter, and I really like it. It’s quite sturdy, and looks good. I got it while I was still working at UO, and could take advantage of that sweet, sweet discount!
I could definitely make them myself, but at this point in my life, I have to think about the trade offs of time versus money. Does anyone have a really fast macrame tutorial? Otherwise, I’m gonna buy a couple of these and be done with it.
I skipped small goals in January. The world was all aflutter with everyone’s new plans and lists of things to do in the new year, and it felt like just too much to add on for the month, too.
But I do like the practice of it, and I like how it helps me frame the months. February feels practically over already (“why’s it so short?” she whined), but I’d like to come up with a few things to focus on. I’m having trouble picking, to tell the truth. There’s so much that I could do, and what feels like so little time this month. So I’ll try to keep it simple.
1. Make the plants beautiful. The former owners of this house left some plants here. They’re lovely, and they’ve fared well so far considering my hit-or-miss abilities as a plant mom. But they’re also in plastic hanging baskets like they came straight from the greenhouse, and replacing their pots with something nicer and gifting them each their own macrame hanger will go a long way in making them look less like ragamuffins.
4. Make a plan for Chad’s birthday. I’m feeling like we need to do something or go somewhere for Chad’s upcoming 3-0, since we went to Reykjavik for mine. He may just want to staycation and work on his projects all day while I bring him food, though. Either way, we need to start planning now.
5. Get some frames. We now have quite a few prints we’ve collected that are frameless and in storage. And by “in storage,” I really mean gathering dust in corners of rooms that need to be tidied. I’d love to get them hung so I can look at them again and we can finally show them off.
It’s been a wild few weeks, hasn’t it? [EDIT: Correction. It’s been two weeks. Only two weeks. 👀] I’ve been wanting to write and share here, but I wasn’t sure what to say. I’m sad and angry, but I’m also grateful for the responses in places like Philly and Lancaster. I’m proud of and grateful for the amazing sanctuary city I moved from, and I’m reassured that Lancaster was a great choice for our move.
The internet has not been a comforting or healthy place for me to spend too much time, and I want to acknowledge that, while also noting that it’s been key in connecting with others who are working so hard to improve things (shoutout to Tuesdays with Toomey!).
So for today, I thought I’d compile lists of encouraging things that are happening (mainly around Lancaster and the huge numbers of refugees this little city welcomes and has been welcoming for years), resources for how to keep going, and a few self-care tidbits. This list is just as much for myself as it is for anyone else. Maybe I’ll add to it later.
5Calls.org makes it super easy to call your elected officials
Fax Zero has made it really easy to fax your senators. This is great for those of us whose dear senators have gone totally missing or just taken all their phones off the hook (ahem, looking at you, Pat Toomey)!
I think a lot of us are struggling with what and how much to share online, and I think Sarah von Bargen is doing a great job on Instagram. This post from Lisa Congdon on politics and social media was also really helpful to me.
And finally, tips from me: Take a bath, write, go to the gym, make something with your hands, read fiction or poetry or essays or whatever your mind needs. We’re gonna have to play the long game here, and that means we have to take breaks from the madness so this doesn’t become normal to us. ‘Cause it’s not.