The way we live now

I’m moving back into the bedroom tonight.

Mr. Mezzo has been feeling a bit not-quite-okay since last week. As of Monday morning, the symptoms included a tiny bit of shortness of breath.

Cue the obligatory telehealth appointment and COVID test.

Now, I was cautiously optimistic that he’d turn out to be okay. We’ve been super-careful, what with only going out for essential errands and staying masked all the while. But, we’ve all seen stories about those rare cases here and there, where someone has done all the rights things and stayed masked and still gotten that 1-in-a-million chance infection.

So in the same way we knew that getting tested was the right choice, out of an abundance of caution, we decided to play it extra safe inside the house. Mr. Mezz stayed quarantined in the main bedroom suite, and I set up on our living room couch.

A "sleeping nest" of blankets on a grey couch, with a TV table in the foreground holding a CPAP machine and a basket of bedside essentials (cough drops, meds, eyeshade, etc.)
Not so much a blanket fort as a blanket NEST
Continue reading “The way we live now”

Stringing the lights

I started putting up our Christmas/Solstice village the day after Halloween.*

Close-up of a decorative light-up ceramic building.

And I’m not alone in this. The Boston Globe has reported on this phenomenon all across our region—and, I’d suspect, more widely across the country, too.

So many people started decorating for Christmas on the Sunday after Halloween — before the foam tombstones had been respectfully packed away —that Nov. 1 has rightfully turned into the kick-off to Christmas this year.

And I don’t blame us.

Continue reading “Stringing the lights”

Going back to go forward

In other news, I’m wondering about going back to school.

Assorted art supplies (colored pencils, scissors, brushes, rulers, markers) in stainless steel buckets.
Just an elaborate ruse to feed my addiction to school supplies

Now, I’ve been in the education NPO business for a long darn time, so you could totally say that I don’t need more coursework or another degree to be successful.

And yet, I’ve been feeling more of a pull towards getting an Ed.D. during these last few months. As the policy piece of my work portfolio and my direct involvement in research & TA projects have all increased, I’ve been wondering about whether there’s benefit to me in having a stronger—or at least more organized—level of background knowledge about the education field.

There would certainly be some benefit to me, job-wise. And I wouldn’t have worked in this field so long if I didn’t care about it as much as I do. And I legitimately enjoy learning new things.

But still I wonder: what’s the gain for me here? What are my motivations? Can I trust myself?

Continue reading “Going back to go forward”

What if voter suppression impacts voting trends?

The second third one of my series of election post mortems. Still don’t know how long the series will be, but here’s more links:

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[CW: white supremacy, prison-industrial complex, sexual assault]

I’m still wondering my way through the demographic trends among Presidential voters this year. Tonight, it’s the seeming paradox that more black men voted for Cheeto POTUS this year than in 2016—and this is after 4 years of overt white supremacy from the Oval Office.

It’s the kind of data point that I certainly found unexpected, in my bubble of Caucasian naivete. Taking the time to get myself a little more educated, I’ve found out that fewer Black men have been voting for the Democrats in every presidential election since 2008. The downward stair-steps go like this:

  • Obama 1: 95%
  • Obama 2: 87%
  • H. Clinton: 82%
  • Biden: 80%
Looking down a long concrete and cobblestone staircase between two rows of houses.
Down, down, down we go.

And that got me curious.

Continue reading “What if voter suppression impacts voting trends?”

Let’s call a thing a thing

This is not the second election post I was planning to write: the post focusing on the “second lens of analysis” I had in mind on Sunday is still in process. However, more current events are demanding attention today.

As the post-election post family is built, I’ll put the cross-links here:

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A friend of mine texted me this morning with a brief question:

Can we call it a coup now?

Yes. Yes we can.

I mean the jury is still out about how successful this coup will be, or even how whole-heartedly Cheeto POTUS is really working towards this goal. Nevertheless, the appropriate language to describe the administration’s obstructionist behavior around the presidential transition is to call it—at bare minimum—an attempted coup.

Close-up of a protest sign reading "Error 404: Democracy not found."
Continue reading “Let’s call a thing a thing”

Raindrops on acid

I’m taking a frivolity break tonight: my political posts take an embarrassingly long time to write, so I need to get something quick and low-effort up now so I can use tonight and tomorrow’s writing time crafting something that is more substantial and better researched.

Early in COVID, when everyone was opening up the vaults to various cultural programming in order to lift our collective spirits, I watched part of a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast with Annaleigh Ashford. Now I’ve had a bit of a girl-crush on Ashford since I first noticed her in Masters of Sex. After that, I learned what an incredible musical theater talent she is, from being the absolute best part of that TV remake of Rocky Horror, to Kinky Boots, to her revelatory interpretation of Dot in Sunday in the Park with George.

I didn’t watch the whole concert (episode. whatever-you-call-it.) during the spring. I’d been kicking myself over that carelessness, but preparing this quick post has brought me the happy discovery that the whole thing is still online—and not behind a subscriber paywall!

Celebrate good times!
Continue reading “Raindrops on acid”

White women, do better

[CW: gender binary, racism]

Preface: I’m not sure how many posts I’ll make analyzing the 2020 elections through various lenses. I have at least 2 such lenses rattling around my brain, but it may unfold into a longer series. We’ll see. I’ll just keep cross-linking this little family of posts together as it takes shape. So: watch this space for more.

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Here’s my first, unfiltered, thought upon seeing the demographic breakdown of Presidential votes by race and gender:

Good grief. America does not deserve the goodness that Black women do.

A medium shot of approximately 30 people at a protest. In front and in focus are four Black woman in a variety of clothes, hairstyles and skin tones.
Leading the way. Again.
Continue reading “White women, do better”

Winner winner cheesesteak dinner

So the race has been declared: Joe Biden is our president elect and Kamala Harris is the vice president-elect.

Closeup of a young woman's hands holding a lit sparkler.
Thank Gaia!

Honestly, I’d been cautiously optimistic about this outcome since I first thought through the vote counting trend lines mid-Wednesday. Of course, I had no desire to jinx anything, which is why I didn’t say anything here about that prediction/expectation.

I did, however, share that assessment with a few select friends and co-workers—basically as a way of explaining why I was able to focus on work Wednesday and Thursday and wasn’t feeling undue stress about things.

(Ah the hubris!)

Once the call was finally made late this morning, a friend of mine asked on Facebook,

Did everyone else just unclench muscles they didn’t realize they were tensing?

Yup. #ItMe

Continue reading “Winner winner cheesesteak dinner”