Why, hello there. This post should rightly be more than a “week in the life” because it’s been a solid six weeks since my last post. However, I’m declaring content bankruptcy on the intervening weeks and starting with the present. Anarchy.
Last month I was highly distracted by the Spanish test (the DELE, diploma of Spanish as a foreign language) I’d been planning to take for the last two years. I wasn’t studying nonstop but it was occupying a lot of my mental processing power. Hence, no new blog posts. But last weekend we finally did the the damn thing! I actually got to take the test this time. I think it went well. I felt really confident in the reading and writing portions, okay in the speaking, and a little iffy in the listening. I won’t know how I did for two to three months. I assume because they are transporting the tests on horseback to a port on the east coast, then taking them by boat to Spain to be assessed in the motherland.
I took the test in Seattle and made the most of the trip. I stayed with my friend Kira and her dog Poppy Marie, which was lovely. After the test, I drove to Orcas Island to visit my friend Shannon and her family. I’d never been to Orcas before, but it was beautiful! I would like to move there immediately.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
I managed to read a few books in the last month despite everything.
- Servant Mage by Kate Elliott. I really liked this novella about a world where some people have magic. The story depicts revolutionaries and the moral uncertainty of building power.
- Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley. This book was good but had a creepy factor that I didn’t expect (life is generally creepy enough for me, thanks). Aliens, bad parenting, isolationist groups splitting off from high-tech society, Lovecraftian horror. There’s a lot here.
- Left Behind: The Democrats’ Failed Attempt to Solve Inequality by Lily Geismer. This is an interesting slice of political history chronicling the last 40 years of the Democratic Party and their efforts to help the poor through neoliberal policy. We get a tour of the obsession with microlending (just give people money!), housing vouchers (just make more housing!), charter schools (just fund schools!) and more. It’s weird to read about history I lived through but wasn’t aware of at the time (I was a child in the 1990s).
TV and Music
There is a lot of great TV right now! I’m loving the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars with a cast of all previous winners. I’m also enjoying the new Star Trek series Strange New Worlds, which is set just before the original series. It’s a really fun Star Trek and has a bit of that retro-futurism vibe.
My best purchase recently has been these cat feeder toys. Fritz has been obsessed with food since kittenhood; we have an automatic feeder that releases food throughout the day and he always races for it. He also lurks around hoping for more food throughout the day, then shovels it into his mouth as fast as possible. The food toys have been great for him. He does shake food out of them in the lowest-effort way he can, which I must admire, but he has been way less fixated on the food machine and the toys slow down his eating and give him something to do.
Making Things and Doing Stuff
I do want to point out that there is an election in a week! I am not able to make a voter guide for this primary, but I do plan to make one for the general election in November. If anyone has questions about the ballot, feel free to message me and we can talk through them. This is the primary election, so I encourage you all to vote with your heart for the candidates you like and not just for who you think will win. I hope you vote because it is one tool of many for enacting change. This election in particular has a lot of local stuff like county supervisor and state legislators, and those elections actually affect our lives.
I recognize that talking about voting feels extremely useless in the face of another horrific school shooting. I haven’t commented much on recent shootings on social media because I don’t know what to say and I don’t think adding my voice to the chorus of distress does anything. However, I will say that no one needs to have access to automatic weapons. I don’t know how anyone expects young people to learn when they are living with the threat of school shootings. If I had children, I know I would be struggling with whether to send them to school ever again. We are traumatizing a generation. And for what? So angry young white men can feel briefly powerful? I think students, parents, and teachers should go on strike. Schools are funded based on attendance. I hope students refuse to attend school until the adults in this country can figure out how to make it safe for them. I wish I could to more, but I’m not sure what. If you decide to home school your kid and want me as a guest lecturer, let me know, I suppose.
Knitting and Crafts
In other news, I made these socks! The teacher who runs my jazz and tap classes is moving away so I made her some socks as a parting gift. I was gratified that she didn’t realize at first that I had made the socks. My sock game is strong! The pattern is Red Robin Socks on Ravelry and I used Hedgehog Fibers sock yarn in “artifact” as the main color.
I am still doing vision therapy. We’re 38 weeks in and still going, although I am hoping it won’t be too much longer. My therapist said let’s plan for 44 for now and see how I’m doing in a few weeks. I know I have improved (I didn’t even get motion sick during my travels last weekend!) but I really want to be done. We are currently working on trying to get me to maintain my focus on a point in space without having something to use as a focal point. This is surprisingly difficult. Vision therapy has me continually reflecting on the fact that I’ve been living my life on hard mode up to this point. My eyes don’t look where I want them to look. I can’t believe it took so long for anyone to notice.
I put everything bagel mix on a loaf of bread. Great idea or greatest idea?
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves.