I’ve struggled with what to say/think in the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting, referring, of course, to the events that unfolded Sunday night in Las Vegas. I’m sure I’m not alone in my growing frustration with the vacuous choruses of “thoughts and prayers” that seem to ripple through social media. While it’s useful on some level to participate in the collective mourning, “thoughts and prayers” really only beget more “thoughts and prayers,” or maybe worse just a crying/angry emoticon. Fortunately I am not the only one to experience this burgeoning awareness; as I was sitting here pecking this out, my phone burped a news alert at me from Slate with the headline “Guns vs. Thoughts and Prayers.”
Five days a week I come to this physical place called work, where I do non-physical work that works out into a paycheck. The environment I work in is a typical office layout, though it is strikingly different from the set-up I was in previously. I have a cubicle, a fairly large space sectioned off with lovely fabric-covered, temporary walls. I have a large desk space which allows me to spread out my belongings, which mostly are comprised of the various containers I use to truck my food here daily. My cubicle is in a small sea of other cubicles, probably 15 in total, in the middle of an office surrounded by actual offices, i.e. spaces delimited by drywall that reaches the ceiling and doors that close. Prior to coming here, I was working in a building that was once a hotel, among other things, and there was no attempt to revamp the space for office culture. My office was fashioned out of a former hotel room, though nothing that would come close to being billed as a “suite.” I shared this space with someone else, and there was a bathroom adjoining our office to the one next door. This was, well, an interesting arrangement to say the least.
Earlier this week, while perusing my usual media feeds, I was treated to a recipe for a healthy version of a chocolate glazed donut. More precisely it was a Paleo version of this very non-Paleo treat. I’m assuming at this point most of use have heard this buzzword. The recipe author excitedly shared that it was so good (and so healthy) that she had eaten one every night for the past two weeks. Don’t worry, the point of this post isn’t to denigrate donuts, in fact I’m setting out to do the opposite. I would very much like to exonerate donuts and all other treats from the need to be healthy, Paleo, “clean” versions of themselves. Bear with me, and at the end of this post let’s split something with sprinkles on it, shall we?
For obvious reasons, this week I vowed to start reading Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt, and it hit me: I know virtually nothing about Roe v. Wade, as in I would have been hard pressed to tell you the specifics of who Roe was/is, the details of her case, etc., etc. So, I’ve spent today pouring through archived news articles and briefs about the case, and am happy to report that I know feel like I know *something* about the whole mess. If you’re like me and really only knew the case in name only, I hope this post serves as a small education about the oh-so-tangled history of abortion’s legality.
Okay, I don’t know if it was a race thing or a lady thing, but I’m mad as hell.
(Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan in the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters)
Well, Patty, I don’t either, though I’d probably say I’m more disappointed than mad after watching the female studded remake of Ghostbusters. I didn’t have high expectations, aside from enjoying a silly remake of one of my favorite childhood movies, though I suppose I thought I’d laugh at the comedic talents of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, as I am prone to do. While I can’t say they weren’t funny, as there were some really good laughable moments in the beginning of the movie, I’d probably have to say they were working really hard with a sub par script that seemed to want to keep the four main characters on the flighty side of comedy. At the end of the movie I said something along the lines of “Well, that was kind of stupid and I’m not even really sure what happened.”
My little corner of the internet has been sitting here untouched for a few months. I have a million reasons, and none at all. I suppose starting and stopping, and restarting, isn’t exactly an atypical progression. Since I wrote this about being stuck, I’ve sort of come in and out of the stuckness, much like stepping on a wad of gum. You think you’ve scraped off all the stickiness until you notice a leaf hopelessly clinging to your shoe.
Disclaimer: I am not seeking to illegitimize anyone’s experience with PMS or menstruation, nor I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I am simply trying to explore my own thoughts and confusions surrounding what I perceive to be PMS.
I’m expecting my period to begin in a few days, which puts me in that window of time darkly forecasted with a slightly distended abdomen, an increased appetite, and everyone’s favorite malady, a unpredictable mood. My behavior yesterday could have been chronicled in some encyclopedic entry on pre-menstruation: “Four days before her period Sarah found herself consumed with a fog of emotion she couldn’t explain, accompanied by a tight abdomen, and a compulsive desire to eat various condiments straight from their jars.” I was pissed off, and I did the thing you usually do when you know your period is coming, I said “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m just PMSing!” This morning I woke up in the same foul mood, allowing myself to wallow in it all the way to work, but when I sat down at my desk I found myself pondering a curious, and scandalous, question: is my PMS real? Can I turn down this fog?
It’s Friday, and I’ve spent much more time pondering this week than writing, but sitting here with my cup of tea this afternoon I figured I’d type at you in the nonsensical way you can get away with when blaming your waning attention span on Friday afternoon and mild exhaustion. Friday is, after all, mostly a state of mind, much more than New York, if I do say so myself.
This is a true story, and I’m outing myself for the greater good. Facebook heard me fart.
I have long suspected that Facebook’s advertising was intrusive, going beyond the usual Internet goings-on of search histories, and products perused. I mean, I’ve long acquiesced to the idea of cookies and re-targeting, but lately I’d started to notice that ads were popping up on my phone for things I had only talked about. I chalked it up to coincidence. Maybe it was just a fluke that I had talked about sore muscles after a run and seen an ad for a foam roller. My Facebook page likes alone would have outed me as a running crazy long ago. But then the ads seemed to get a little too targeted for comfort, until finally the writing was literally on my wall.
Last weekend, Mr. Brain and I went to see The King Lear Project, a “new” world premiere of King Lear presented in its original pronunciation. I managed to make it through reading the first three acts of the play before making it to the performance, vowing to go into it with some basic understanding of its plot just in case the language made it more difficult to follow. As it turns out, the original pronunciation wasn’t so strange sounding. Mostly I felt like I was listening to an Irish production, with a little more oomph than you might want conversationally; I noticed genuine spit sprays coming from actors’ mouths and was happy to be safely nested a few rows back.