Good weather, bad wildfires. Yesterday smelled like charred leaves and there’s ash everywhere, like a damn volcano went off. It’s the end of February and we’re all looking around wondering when winter is gonna start.
I have a small but growing collection of orchids slowly taking over my available window space, and I feel confident after a few months of keeping them alive to share some photos and what I’ve learned so far.
I taught a library instruction course this week on scholarly vs. popular article sources and it went well. Also, I got to text Mallory Ortberg and she was kind; the experience left me with a lot of residual adrenaline.
What I’ve been reading
- Who killed the Sheridans? on NYT. The ending to this is poignant because they’re right—it’s interesting to read about all the clues in a conveniently summarized, dramatic little digest, but having it happen in real life and be something you can’t just shut off, that I can’t even comprehend.
- This 155-year-old mouse trap in a museum collection that’s still doing its job is an excellent story. I do love when libraries and special collections go viral, but mostly it’s just tempting to accession one of these bad boys into one’s own collection for… reasons.
- I neglected to mention that I spent last Friday utterly enthralled by this Buzzfeed article about a suburban mom who blogs as a low-key prepper. Like, sociological obsession. I was so consumed with reading about this whole subculture that I checked out her book from the library. It’s like Hints from Heloise got mashed together with The Road. There’s a section on how to invest in gold, complete with slick cartoon illustrations of a savvy mom happily stocking up on food and water. It is good to be prepared, yes; it is weird to believe that society is going to collapse from an EMP attack. By the way, the one tip I have managed to glean from all this research is that airplane-size bottles of liquor are good for bartering.
- Did you know that the Parents Television Council still exists? Or that they have thousands of VHS tapes taking up space on this planet so that they can catalog every bad thing that has happened on TV? Or that one of the analysts, a grown man, stuttered over having to say the word “shit” in front of a reporter?
- I am making progress with The Raven Boys for book club. Maggie Stiefvater’s obsession with cars has never been more apparent, and I am including The Scorpio Races, because that takes place in the past and doesn’t seem quite as much like a very subtle series of car product placements.
- I have neither written nor edited a single damn thing lately, for hilarious and yet mysterious and yet tragic reasons I will detail below.
The weather here is beautiful and fitting my mood and need for calm and not-snow these days, so I am pretty pleased with that right now.
What I’ve been reading
- Why a top food poisoning expert won’t eat these foods over at WashPo. I can swear to you I’m not obsessed with food safety, but I do get a big kick out of Bill Marler and his extra-specific brand of legal work, so I am always up for another article featuring him. There is a great story about the army deciding that Odwalla apple juice wasn’t fit for human consumption at the end. AUUUUGGGHHH
- I’m starting a writing-focused, self-paced tarot course in an effort to learn card meanings once and for all. Your beliefs about the tarot may be different; I see them as an option in psychological reflection.
- I spent the week bound tightly with tension and anger that I was being forced to wait to get a new cell phone, so I pretty much did no reading apart from 6-month-old articles about said phone, and I will not force you to read them here.
Have this video of cats in a library wearing glasses: