The Weekly Round-Up

February 5, 2021 Edition

A friend of mine and I half joke that every time things are falling apart, Mercury must be in retrograde: computer connectivity issues? Mercury’s in retrograde; car won’t start? Mercury’s in retrograde; people are work are incessantly being weird and/or stupid, Mercury’s in retrograde.

You get the idea.

If the tiny, fried planet of Mercury can cause that degree of havoc, then this week must’ve been ruled by one of the gas giants having a retrograde hissy fit because…I nearly didn’t make it through and I even missed a weekly round-up last week, so let’s get dig in because we’ve got plenty to go over.

nobel peace prize nominee of the week: I’m not even going to dignify this with a response because we know full well who it is.

One bad-ass vote mover and one ass-bad son of Slytherin

It’s a tough call here. On one hand you have a brilliant native Georgian who, by sheer force of will and residual anger from literally having her own gubernatorial election win stolen by a man who ran his own election for Governor of Georgia and proclaimed himself the winner, electrifying and moving long-time disenfranchised black voters en masse in her own state to score victories in both the Presidential and Senatorial races that turned the tide for blue and justice in Washington. On the other, you have a little piss-ant slimeball, son of a criminal of epic proportions, nepotized into the West Wing by his criminal father-in-law, EX-president who, under the cover of creating “peace” in the middle east was shoring up funding to save him from federal criminal money laundering charges (how many times can is emphasize criminal here)…I hate it when these decisions are so close.

body part of the week: my old, hobbled back

Gotta give a body part its due: when it can destroy an entire week of promise and light by giving in on one shovelful of snow six days ago…two enthusiastic thumbs up. That’s right, I’m enjoying sitting in this very chair for this first time this whole week. I’ve felt both humbled and deeply annoyed at how central middle-back muscles are to every human physical function.

best prone finds of the week: books!

While I’ve been laying precariously on one side of my back with my shoulders slightly twisted and taking only half breaths, I realized the only thing that really could satisfy me was some seriously good reading. I began re-reading Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life and quickly realized I totally had no clue what was going on the first time I tried reading this. My issue with fiction, especially of the 2010s, is an almost pathological obsessions with screwing around with the timeline. Why not just tell me a good story? I don’t need a less-than-clever device to make things more interesting. That said, this is a new take on that idea and once I gave myself over to it, the story did seem to draw from the device. I’m fascinated.

Samantha Irby’s We are Never Meeting in Real Life found it’s way into my Libby app and I started reading it on my phone, of all places. So much for less screen time. This collection of essays that hangs together as though it’s a narrative is so irreverent, funny, and sometimes unbelievable, that I’m powering through it 2 square inches of real estate at a time. It has made me laugh out loud several times: she writes earnestly about being a woman of color, a woman of size, a woman of sloth…and I’m here for all of it. And if I tell you the name of the cat on the cover could be Helen Keller and it’s not what you think, it should be enough to give you an idea of whether this will be for you. I can’t get enough right now. Meaty is my next venture 100%.

word of the week: succubus.

Brought to me by the aforementioned Samantha Irby. I just like the sound of it. It’s fricative with a little slither at the end. I won’t tell you what it means because it really comes out of left field but I will tell you she used it in reference to Helen Keller the cat, and not the deaf-blind heroine of learning fame.

best wrong thing a YouTuber said this week: Fitness regiment

Adding to the last list of greatest hits, given the new-er year and whatnot, I’ve been hearing a lot about new fitness regiments. I mean, could this be any more precious? As though it’s an army of fitness and not a routine or regimen.

tv show obsession of the week: West Wing.

Yes, I’ve re-contended with Mandy….ugh

Listen, I know. This is an unhealthy obsession but I started from the beginning again with a new purpose: to plow through the entire thing once and for all. Did I need a little optimism about politics? Yes. Did I have a CJ Cregg moment with the emergence of Jen Psaki, my new real West Wing hero? Yes. Yes. Yes. But I need a different end game for it. So I’m making the run now. Here I come crappy seasons 5-7. I’ll look forward to Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits if nothing else. And I can listen to the end of the West Wing Weekly podcast that directly runs though these episodes I’ve never seen which is an added bonus.

best source of joy in an otherwise crappy week: unintentionally misshapen, funny ice cubes

I’m having to dig real deep here this week on the gratitude front. So, let’s just do it: I have silicone ice trays and a freezer crammed full of frozen fruit for a new year’s diet plan full of smoothies that, let’s just say, I’ve reconsidered. The upside, though, is that the bags of fruit squeeze the silicone trays in unexpected ways meaning my ice cubes now come in a variety of nearly impossible shapes that I couldn’t reproduce if I tried. Like icicles in a cubist period, these cubes are both whimsical and at the same time functional which just thrills me to my core.

As I’ve been lying immobile, half-breathing on a couch just trying to keep life moving forward one jagged half-breath at a time, these ice cubes have given me exactly what I’ve needed which is to say, a moment I can spend thinking about something other than my thoracic conundrum of painful proportions.

And just like that, it’s done. The week closes, I’m off to order a pizza and settle in to a wintry evening in the cold-as-iron city of Chicago. Who possibly knows what next week could bring?

I’m trying to maintain cautious optimism while steering clear of snow-clearing implements and wish the same good luck for you.

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