This week was hard. Last weekend’s double mass shooting had me upset, especially given the white supremacist attitudes of the El Paso shooter (I honestly didn’t have the will to read up on the Ohio shooting). I was talking to a teammate last weekend and she told me that she suggested to her mom that they not speak Spanish in public, just in case. That honestly broke my heart. Feeling like you can’t speak your native language without putting yourself at risk for violence is so upsetting to me, both as a human being and as someone who loves languages. I just feel so bad for my friends—and others but if I’m being honest my friends are more real to me than people I don’t know—and I wish I could do more. On facebook I put out an offer of general aid to anyone who wants or needs it. It’s hard not to feel useless in these bullshit times.
The other thing causing me anxiety is global warming. The news about the melting ice in Greenland has been alarming. One article I read said that experts didn’t expect this level of warming until around the year 2070. I have generalized anxiety disorder. The thing about anxiety is that it makes you feel a lot of stress and emotions about things that are unlikely to be a problem, or at least being that much of a problem. This climate anxiety though … it IS a real problem. It’s not just my dysfunctional brain whispering unsavory nothings in my ear. Global warming is fundamentally changing our planet and probably going to change how we live. I was searching for “climate anxiety” to link something relevant and discovered that the American Psychological Association put out a 70-page report in 2017 on Mental Health and Our Changing Climate. I thought the suggestions (pictured) were interesting and they’re sort of things I’ve already been prioritizing, especially maintaining practices that provide meaning and promoting community connections. I’m glad to see I’m not alone in feeling climate anxiety. I’m going to have to be proactive in dealing with it.
Here are some things I read, listened to, or bought this week.
I read a lot of interesting articles this week.
- A glacier is dead. A monument will tell visitors whose fault it was via Washington Post. On the subject of climate change, this article discusses an Icelandic glacier that has melted out of existence. They have put up a plaque at the site of the glacier to commemorate it.
- The Decline of Yelling via The New Yorker. I thought this was interesting because my dad is very much a shouter. I’ve written in the past that I thought yelling louder was the way to win an argument for way too long. The article discusses that younger generations see yelling as “a mortifying and old-fashioned display of toxic masculinity.” I couldn’t agree more.
- This Bread Was Made Using 4,500-Year-Old Egyptian Yeast via Smithsonian Magazine. I started following this tale on twitter, where I found it at the intersection of two things I love: baking and ancient Egypt (fun fact: when I started college, I had intended to go into Egyptology). The loaf is part of a science experiment and its a trial of culturing and using ancient yeast. I’m fascinated.
- Is It Possible to Stop a Mass Shooting Before It Happens? via Cosmopolitan. This article is taking on the question on all of our minds: how (or can) we stop mass shootings? The article profiles a woman who infiltrates groups online and keeps tabs on men who seem likely to commit a mass shooting. She says she feels bad when she misses one. I feel bad that this one woman feels the need to bear the guilt of every mass shooting. There are so many other ways we could stop this. And yet.
I’m currently watching (and listening to) roller derby! Sacramento Roller Derby is at the North American West Cup in Orem, Utah this weekend, so obviously I’m watching. I’m also invested in my friends on Team Announcer and I’m enjoying listening to the broadcast. I’ll be shouting my opinions into the void all weekend on twitter with #NAWestCup. I’m feeling only the mildest FOMO about not applying to announce. I’m not sure I would have the emotional strength to visit Utah, plus I know I’m saving my vacation time for a good cause.
I bought a new cookbook this week, ordered from semi-local bookseller, Bookshop Santa Cruz. It’s called The Modern Cook’s Year and it features plant-based recipes organized by season. I have been working on cooking and eating more vegetables and trying to somewhat reduce the amount of meat I eat (challenging because my tastes are finicky and my body seems to hate a lot of things). So I’m hoping to find some good inspiration here.
Making Things and Doing Stuff
Making things and doing stuff is what’s keeping me grounded in these bullshit times. Although I feel like I did nothing all week. I had to do a lot of work this week (ugh, paying bills and saving for retirement!) and it kept me from some of the things I’d like to do, like study my languages. I also really wanted to ride my bike to the library yesterday, but I discovered one of my tires is totally flat. Patriarchy strikes again.
I didn’t get too wild with cooking this week. Although I did make some pancakes last weekend, which is always enjoyable. Last night I tried a recipe for a grilled corn and gnocchi dish from Simply Recipes. It was good but I think it could be better. It needs a note of acidity and maybe some red pepper flakes. I’m hoping to try something new in the kitchen this weekend, especially since I have no obligations for once.
Related to kitchen things, I wanted to note that I have now tracked my calories for over 100 days, according to my app. I don’t write about weight and its gain or loss much because it feels boring, for one. I also think that it’s the least important aspect of who I am and want to promote being comfortable with my body as it is. However, I have been tracking my calories and trying to lose some weight for health and athletic performance reasons. I like the app I’ve been using—Lose It—a lot more than other apps I’ve tried. It feels easier to use and less judgmental. I’ve decided that, once I’m done losing weight (whatever that may mean), I am going to treat myself to getting a custom suit. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time and it’s something I am using to help me stay focused on this task. Normally I would say that, if you want something, you should do it, don’t wait for some imaginary time when you might be a different size. So I feel a little conflicted about setting up this kind of reward for myself, but I think it’s the right thing to do for me right now, so I’m doing it. On a side note, I don’t really want to talk about weight loss so that’s probably all I’m going to say about it for a while.
This week I made my debut as a derby coach. I decided I want to start coaching our newbie skaters so I am taking that on and stepping down from my job as a WFTDA league representative, in the interest of not doing too much (lol). It was a lot of fun coaching with one of my teammates this week. I’m definitely looking forward to doing more. I really like teaching when people actually want to learn.
Finally, here’s a cat photo for your nerves. Yes, Kirk is feeding Huey ice cream.