I’m glad it’s September because that means summer is almost over. It has still been a bit warm this week, but I sense the days getting shorter and it’s cooling a little more at night. It’s not much, but I’ll take it. The end of August invigorates me—I think I said as much last week. I’m looking forward to colder weather.
Seasons aside, I started playing World of Warcraft in the last week or so. I never played it when it was in its heyday, but Kirk was excited for the release of the “classic” edition of the game so I, being an absolute romantic, agreed to give it a try so we could play together. My character is a night elf druid who I have named Goatmancer. This makes me chuckle whenever I’m being assigned quests and the NPCs (non-player characters) give me serious instructions and say “we need your assistance, Goatmancer.” I’m 13 levels in and it’s still funny. My character also has the ability to turn into a bear. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m entertained by this game, despite my initial suspicions.
Here are some things I read or bought this week.
I’m currently in the middle of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America by Kathleen Belew and House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia by Craig Unger. Both are interesting but fairly heavy. I’m going to have to mix in a novel here soon so I don’t combust with rage.
Here are some of the articles I read this week:
- Relax, Ladies. Don’t be so uptight. You know you want it. via Medium. This piece deals with norms, how they change, and the horrible bullshit many of us were brought up to see as normal and fine. “Look, I get it. I was 20 years old in 1990. After my boyfriend punched me in the eye, he cried too. I held him until he felt better. I told friends I’d stupidly walked into the corner of an open cabinet. Because, like the Washington Post in 1990, I understood it was my job to help men feel better about themselves. “
- New York Times Columnists vs. the Haters via Slate. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this but the author chronicles all the recent New York Times opinion columns that are basically a response to someone being mean to the author on twitter, which … seems deeply unnecessary but that’s 2019 for you.
- Against Cheerfulness via Aeon. The author asserts that American cheerfulness is bordering on psychosis and I must agree. “… but forcing yourself to smile when you don’t feel like it amounts to lying to the people around you. ‘Fake it till you make it’ has brutal consequences when applied to the emotions. When conceived as the attempt to trick others into thinking that you feel cheery, cheerfulness is far from a virtue. It’s a vice. It falls on the deficiency end of the spectrum of trust. Too much trust is called naïveté, and is a vice of excess. But cheerfulness is just as bad. It confesses: I don’t trust you with my darkest feelings; I don’t think you are responsible enough to handle my inner life. Forced cheerfulness is a denial of life.”
One thing I like spending money on is the artists and creators I support on Patreon. I follow a number of authors, journalists, and podcasts. This is one way I can contribute directly to things I like and value. Plus I think it helps keep our media landscape from getting too homogenized (I hope).
I think I have talked about our pending shower remodel in a previous post. This week we finally picked a contractor and we went out to their showroom to choose tile and sort out the details, plus make a deposit on the work. I am looking forward to showering in the master bathroom again, although they’re not scheduled to begin work for almost a month. Getting a contractor for a remodel like this feels like one of the most adult homeownership tasks we’ve done yet. The upside is we’ll have a nice shower and hopefully we’ll never need to do this again.
Making Things and Doing Stuff
I know I say this all the time, but I always feel like I do so little (-anxiety intensifies-) but the business of being alive takes up a lot of time. I spent a lot of time knitting and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer this week, which is, frankly, a very good use of my time. I also did a bit of around-town bike riding, including a ride to the library today, which is my favorite Friday custom.
August has ended which means I start a new page in my notebook. I didn’t do a whole lot but I did start focusing more on watching things and getting input in subjects that interest me. I’m watching a knitting podcast in Spanish and a a cooking show in Icelandic. I’m hoping that getting into language in things that interest me will help build some more groundwork for understanding other things, particularly in Icelandic.
It was a little warm this week but I’m out here pretending it’s fall (yes, I know it’s still summer). I had leftover chicken and homemade broth from earlier in the week so I decided the right thing to do was make a chicken pot pie. It’s not warm weather food, but it was a goodchoice anyway. The recipe I like comes from The Harvest Baker. I also made a loaf of bread today (recipe from the BBC, although it’s a plaited loaf and I’m too lazy to do all that) that’s destined to become garlic bread to accompany spaghetti tonight. Last weekend, I picked the pepporchinis from our garden and bottled them up to be pickled. I’ve never pickled anything before—largely because I don’t like pickles—but Kirk loves them so I thought I’d give it a try. Plus it’s another handy skill for the coming collapse of civilization. (lol … but really). No word yet on how they came out. The pickling takes a week minimum.
Last week I started knitting a cool shawl but got frustrated at the level of attention it required. I switched to knitting this hooded caplet, which I am very excited about. This is my first time knitting cables. I was shocked to find that it’s so easy because it’s one of the handsomest knitting techniques, in my opinion. I’m looking forward to having something fun and foresty to wear once things cool down. Probably after this I’m going to start knitting some holiday gifts so knitting updates may slow down.
Finally, here’s some Huey cat appreciation for your nerves.