Living in Hollywood Squares

So how many of us are seeing variations on this theme over and over again throughout the day?

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(Honestly, I’m of a generation where my preferred metaphor would be The Hollywood Squares. But I couldn’t find an openly licensed picture from there, so the Bradys will have to suffice.)

Alternately, if you are of my generation, you might have a certain theme song running through your head whenever you log onto a now-ubiquitous teleconferencing software package.

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The COVID Diaries

Yeah, about 10 days ago, I said I was gonna have a lot to say about COVID-19 and then I got quiet instead.

Part of that was my general sense of it being fruitless to post. You see, two Fridays ago, I was feeling super-frustrated. I don’t pretend to be a huge expert or anything, but I know enough about epidemiology that I was already clocked in (right around the start of March) to understand how serious this all was.

But I wasn’t seeing a similar awareness in my surroundings—not at the local, regional, or national level.

So I was feeling increasingly tense and stressed and frustrated at my Cassandra-like status and I was in the mood for a big ol’ superiority rant. I was probably gonna link to  every data scientist’s analysis I’d been reading* and yell and scream to the effect of:

Don’t you people get it!?!? This shit is REAL!

But right after my last post is when things began to sink in: locally, regionally, and federally.** And now here we are.

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First Amendment Protection

Since our extra-successful weekend errand running finished up so quickly, I decided to use some of that time watching movies, as well as the reading I’ve already mentioned enjoying. And, with last holiday weekend signaling the end of May, I decided to start my film selections by taking a quick look at the HBO list to see what movies are about to drop off of rotation, in case I wanted to see any of them before I lose my chance. (You may recall that’s how I started doing film reviews on here in the first place.)

There was only one movie that jumped out at me form the “departing May 31st” list, but it was a film well worth seeing: Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

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Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

This was a slight deviation from my post-pre-diabetes-diagnosis plan to focus on reading only those challenge books that were already in my possession. When I made that course correction, I’d forgotten that right at the start of 2019 I’d put my name on the waiting list for the library’s e-book copy of this title.

So, when my name finally reached the top of the list a couple weeks ago, I decided just to roll with destiny and give myself the pleasure of reading this. (A bird in the hand and all that…)

I’d already had Cooper’s memoir/social analysis on my reading wish list since mid-2018, on the basis of the good press and positive reviews the work was getting. In complete candor, for all that I went into my 2019 planning with the supposed goal of drawing primarily from my own library, this was a title I wanted to shoehorn onto my 2019 list, come hell or high water.

Lucky for me, it wasn’t all that hard to find a place for Cooper’s book. Between the callout to the New York Public Library staff picks and the invocation of celebrity recommendations, I was golden.(1)

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The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

We had one main project for the holiday weekend, but we were able to wrap it up so quickly yesterday that I’ve had some extra-luxurious reading time on my Saturday and Sunday. Which means that after a long dry spell, I’ve finished yet another book—this one, the latest choice from my fat activist/HAES/body love reading list.

Sonya Renee Taylor and her radical self-love/liberationist platform, The Body is Not an Apology, has been on my radar for some years now. I think it was my friend Alice who first brought Sonya into my awareness. Even if I’m misremembering this detail, I am going to stand by this poetic retelling for the rest of my days. There is something so just and sacred and fitting in a poet of Alice’s caliber bringing me to learn about a poet of Sonya’s caliber.

So as soon as Sonya’s book was released last year, I bought myself a copy. And then I let it sit on my bookshelves with all the other body love/goddess power books I’ve been ignoring in my quest to be super smart and fulfill all these reading challenges.

My decision to abandon reading challenge perfection in 2019 to make more room for actively self-nurturing titles put Sonya’s book back on the priority list, and then a guest teacher call with Sonya as part of the Mastery curriculum put this at the very top of that list.

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Cool Rider

It all started innocently enough. They’ve been doing work on the floor above us in our office building, and yesterday’s noise involved stuff bouncing on the floor(1), and bouncing at regular enough intervals, that one of my co-workers posted on our Slack channel:

You’d think our upstairs neighbors would have invited us to the opening of their new bowling alley.

Which then prompted me—as a child of my generation—to ask:

Does anyone here remember Grease 2? “We’re gonna sco-o-ore tonight!”

And just like that, I’d ear-wormed myself.

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