February 26, 2021 Edition
Well, all, I think it says a lot about this past week that I’m publishing my weekly round-up after the fact. Last week, everyone claimed it was the worst work week they’ve had in a long time–I was in that same boat and so the Round-Up took backseat, was second banana, took a powder, needed to sit down. But now that I’ve got some get-up-and-go, I can reflect fondly on last week and not pepper everything with a sense of deep-seated resentment. Thusly, here we go:
best self-soothing activity: shopping at Trader Joe’s
After weeks, I say, weeks of jonesing for Mango Mango gummies and fresh-squeezed Tangerine Juice, I took myself “out on the town” for a no-holds-barred shopping spree of sorts to Trader Joe’s. I got all the things including but not limited to: Unexpected Cheddar shredded cheese, TJ’s pizza dough and sauce, a kingle (which I’ve been solely living off of for the past 3 days), Soy Chorizo (don’t knock it til you try it), mini Stroopwafels…the list goes on and on. When all was said and done, it was a good chunk of my savings but I do. not. care. This was purely a wellness activity, including my own permission to just get what I wanted, cost be damned. I looked at all the deliciousness in my refrigerator all weekend and felt warm and fuzzy. It was the right call. No regrets.
best day of the week: Friday, of course, but also because it was the last Friday of this god-forsaken month.
I’ve already discussed my hate of February elsewhere. Let’s just say good-riddance.
best new find on YouTube: Contrapoints, particularly the episode called J.K. Rowling
Friends recommended this channel long ago and I’ve never gotten around to it because these are some seriously long-form YT videos…and with title cards like “Opulence,” “Canceling,” and “Shame,” it felt like more of a project than I was willing to take on mid-day when I need something frilly and not taxing. However, my curiosity got the best of me with this title and set-up, looking very Harry Potter-esque and I always want to talk about that so I tried it out. Also not sorry here: this video was excellent. 10 out of 10’s include: video quality, narrative quality, intellectual quality, research. I was blown away at how good it is and, shocker, it’s about transphobia and bigotry (and not really Harry Potter) but actually about J.K. Rowling (who she hilariously calls “Joanne” the entire time).
There’s something about this that makes me pause in considering using it in my classroom (maybe the day drinking and swearing, maybe) but this discussion is incredible. I want to know what kind of academic background Natalie comes from because damn…this was an impressive discussion of what could be a very thorny topic when handled by the idiots among us. The research value alone is very impressive but the fact that she discusses a topic so personal with real discipline and rigor without anger is stunning. I don’t know that I could’ve done it.
Well worth your 1 hour and 30 minutes of watch time. I say that with absolutely no sarcasm. It’s truly excellent. Which I’m glad to say about a YouTube gazillion-aire. Because the fact that Tati Westbrook makes a crazy amount of money for teaching people how to put on eye shadow makes me ill. Contrapoints deserves every nickel it gets for it’s 2.7M views of this particular video.
best peace-offering by Mother Nature: My completely clean, drivable car on Friday.
In a kind of winter-weather whiplash (that’s right, I said it), last Sunday my car looked like a mountain of snow outside my front door. I couldn’t see any part of the car and the accumulated road splash had frozen in a 7-8 in pile around all my wheels. Monday, I looked out and couldn’t even begin to think how I’d start digging that thing out.
Then, 41 degrees happened for four consecutive days. Slowly, my car re-emerged, cleaned of existing salt and grime by the run off of the pure white snow encapsulating it. The box of frozen ice and road slush, quietly melted away until: Thursday. I got it my car, turned it on, and drove away (to Trader Joe’s, go figure). No one snow brush or shovel touched these delicate hands of this former damsel in car distress.
Do I acknowledge that both the freakish storms that snowed it in AND the following snap back to somewhat irregular temperatures for February in Chicago is caused by gross human error in polluting the planet and causing climate change: well sure. Does Mother Nature have anything for which to apologize. Nope, no.
Was I delighted to realize my own sloth would eventually allow that car to be completely clean: absolutely yes. Made my whole week.
And this is where I’m going to call this round-up. It’s the best I can do for a 3-days-late review of a week I never really want to remember. So let’s just move on. This week holds much higher potential for interest and joy.