Featured Personal Growth Reflection

The Burden of Dinner and Learning to Say No

I cooked dinner for the first time in a few months today: boxed mac and cheese and sauteed veggies. Even a mostly-boxed meal has been beyond the energy I’m willing to spend making a meal.

Not cooking dinner has been a huge change for me. I used to make a hobby of cooking (although I’ve always prefered baking). I borrowed cookbooks from the library, read cooking blogs, and experimented with new recipes and ingredients from specialty grocers. I’ve spent years learning different cooking techniques, how to season and taste, how to pair ingredients and dishes. I created my own meal planning sheet and meal planning guide. I suspect a lot of people who know me would be shocked to hear that the only thing I’ve cooked lately is scrambled eggs. I still like baking on the weekends, but I just can’t bring myself to care about dinner anymore.



Vaccinated with long COVID – 6/18

Eight months of long COVID – 7/23

Roundup from Lisa Sieverts

Long Covid has more than 200 symptoms, study finds – 6/15

Why are women more prone to long COVID? – 6/13

A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’ – 7/6

Long COVID: Everything we know so far – 8/3

Who’s getting long COVID? – 7/30

Among the many nagging questions is whether vaccinated people remain vulnerable to long Covid; recent findings from the Survivor Corps patient support group and Yale University suggest they are. In a poll of 1949 fully vaccinated adults, 44 reported symptomatic Covid, and of those, 55% developed long Covid.

The rate, obtained from a survey posted on Survivor Corps’ Facebook page, is likely inflated, says Diana Berrent, co-author of a study of the data released Monday that hasn’t yet been reviewed by experts in the field.

The Science Says Everyone Needs a COVID-19 Booster Shot—and Soon – 7/30

The data from vaccinated Israeli medical staff shows that while breakthrough infections aren’t life-threatening, they are also not benign: 19 percent of cases led to so-called “long-haul COVID-19,”

Personal Growth Work

It Doesn’t Count If It’s Not Hard

Chatting with friends about the toxic Protestant work ethic and how insidious it is. Realized I have trouble “giving myself credit” for things that aren’t hard, from exercise to writing to art. Like, blogging is easy for me, and creating texture packs, and my current Sense Memory project. And I shouldn’t treat these things less seriously just because they come easily.

Frustrating to realize I’m making things harder on myself! It’s not cheating just because it’s not hard!

Thought my friend broke that mentality down really well:

Yeah, there’s such a nasty throughline there: to be productive (where productivity=value) I have to work; everyone talks about how hard work is (we also equate hardworking as a value standard) so if it’s work (which is valuable) it must be hard; if something isn’t hard, then it isn’t work and isn’t valuable; ergo, if I’m doing something that isn’t hard for me, it’s not of value (and by extension, I’m not of value)

Also some advice from Twitter (emphasis mine):

Handy tip of the day: if you suffer from intrusive guilt, make a list of your moral values.

Then go through that list and evaluate them for whether they are realistic, whether they treat you as equal to others, and whether they are your values or just things you were taught.

When you feel guilty, look at your list of values- are you violating any of your values? Is it a value that is fair, non-hypocritical, and YOURS? Guilt should be the voice of your conscience, not your anxiety. It’s helpful to be able to tell the difference.

Featured Future Building The Internet

Tools for a Post-Capitalist World

I was thinking earlier, what is a missing tool for helping our society get past our current form of capitalism, to a more connected, less corporate, more local, more human-focused, more sustainable future.

Kickstarter and Patreon and Medium and Substack are all key tools for empowering independent creators to create without corporate sponsorship. Twitch does too. In contrast, YouTube “empowers” creators but is very tied to an advertising platform, and Kindle Unlimited locks creators into Amazon’s system.


Funny Memoir Project

My evil friend, as I was telling a story yesterday, suggested I should write a memoir. I argued that I get too stuck on all the bad stuff, which she said was the point of reading memoir, but another friend suggested the slightly different angle of humorous, self-deprecating episodic memoir in the vein of Jenny Lawson or David Sedaris.

That’s much more up my alley, and I found myself actually thinking about it as I lay in bed last night, despite already having as many projects as I can write in the next ten years already.

Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I thought I’d make notes about some of the possible stories that sprung to mind.

* marks outdoor adventures. ** marks travel stories. Bold are the best stories.

  • The illegal swim**
  • Eat that vein*
  • The Sandblaster and dune buggy rollover*
  • Backpacking in Canada in November*
  • Wanna Dive*
  • Mediterranean cruise on a ship with no sail*
  • Frozen water bottle at Joshua Tree*
  • Weirdo at horse camp*
  • Kansas City road trip**
  • Kahurangi backpacking*
  • Water heater explosion
  • Band camp
  • Egypt**
  • They call me Strings*
  • Camping next to the katana wielding felons*
  • Two a.m. siren in a New Zealand beach town**
  • “We’re so fucking lost” backpacking trip*
  • Inviting ourselves to camp of the howlers*
  • Woman popping out of the river into our campsite*
  • Bear doing the lakeside tour in Yosemite*
  • Photography camp
  • Poetry camp
  • Winning a nerd-off contest
  • One Teva Down*
  • Hiking Mt Tam in a day*
  • North Cascades bear cam*
  • Fiji vacation**
  • 4th of July at type 2 waterfront
  • Olympic National Park in July*
  • 30th bday backpack*
  • Hiking in to Goldmyer*
  • Long weekend in New Zealand*
  • South Island road trip*
  • Northern tip of New Zealand**
  • Kaikoura marae and the dolphin dive**
  • Halloween hotel and the brunch meltdown**

Phases in my life I could probably turn into a story:

  • Band Mom
  • Cats from hell
  • National Park internships*
  • Pen pal competition / “the friend tree”
  • Montana “study abroad”*
  • Roommate opposites: OC and the Jesus battle
  • Living in the crew girls’ attic
  • Cross country and Coach
  • Middle school excursions with Hannah
  • Mud Magnet*

Some possible kind of title themes I could stew on more:

  • Stupid ways I could have died in the woods, and other fun excursions
  • Why do I like backpacking again? And other fun adventures
  • Woman vs Wild: misadventures in the not-so-great outdoors
  • Outdoorsy: a suburban girl with adventurous aspirations
  • Unprepared: tales of mutual suffering in the not-so-great outdoors
Future Building

A Surveillance Free Public

In another angle of how government should work differently than businesses, here’s one that should have occurred to me: government websites should be surveillance free.

I removed analytics from my personal blog a little over a year ago. But it didn’t occur to me that I could do anything about the local government where I work.

As a public servant, I need to try to push my city to think about what is best for our residents. The City is redoing its website right now and I’d bet we’re continuing to use Google Analytics on the new platform. I can plant a seed of thought at the least.

Does the value staff and Council get in knowing how many people visit a page or which pages see the most traffic outweigh the cost to our residents in providing that data to Google? I’d argue no. Analytics do help staff improve the usability of our website but probably not enough to justify the cost of being surveilled on a government website.

Would many people in my tech-sector town (which houses a Google office) bat an eye that their data were being collected on the city website? Probably not, but that doesn’t give us a pass. And those who don’t want to share their data shouldn’t have limited access to government services. We have an opportunity to do better by our residents, to be leaders in protecting our residents’ privacy.