Taking Stock: September 2018

I am doing a series of extended list posts à la Pip and Maggie Mason.

Cooking : Not much these days.  The days are long, but the weeks are short.  Tuesdays and Thursdays we have soccer practice, I have games on Wednesday, and we’re doing judo on Mondays and/or Fridays.  But it’s fall, so it feels like I should be on the job with a pot of corn chowder or beef stew in the slow cooker.

Drinking: All the ciders!!  My year of no limited beer is going swell. I have tried close to 50 ciders- from all over the midwest.  Frankly, I was not aware that there were so many ciders.  SO-SO many.  Some pleasant surprises include the Farmhouse Cucumber Cider I had in Ann Arbor (I was a hater before I tried it- I thought: honestly, hipsters… cucumbers in cider?  What IS wrong with you?)  Some others were better on paper- including the Blake’s El Chavo- which includes habanero. Okay- so maybe that was always a bad idea.  But I like that I have been able to try so many!!  It has definitely been a fun experiment.

Reading: I just finished “Where’d You Go Bernadette” and “The Last Black Unicorn”.  “Where Did you go Bernadette?” was okay…  I am a little incredulous with the timeline.  6 weeks after disappearing, the protagonist’s husband and daughter are talking about “closure”.  Bitch- let me tell you this- if I ever go missing, no one gets any closure for at least a year.  AT LEAST A YEAR.  I carried Nico inside of my body for 9 months.  The very least he can do is be emotionally ruined for the same amount of time.


I thought the Last Black Unicorn was going to be all shits and giggles.  Like, Tiffany Haddish is a comedian, this is just going to be funny.


I mean, it was funny.  But there was so heavy heavy heavy stuff in it.  Something I didn’t know was that she got accepted into NYU, but gave up going because she didn’t want to leave her siblings alone with their grandmother- in case anything happened to her grandmother (her parents were out of the picture at that time).  Truly remarkable.

Playing: In the North High Alumni game this year.  Again.  Mixed feelings on it though.  Its on Thanksgiving weekend- which *should* be good for turn out.  But it is so expensive to fly into SW Florida that weekend.  Of course, I am spoiled.  I live in Chicago, a city with two huge airports- how in the hell do I have pay an arm and a leg to fly any where?

But, I guess in the spirit of THANKSGIVING, I should be thankful that I am still healthy enough to play, have the time off of work, etc. But still.

Loving: Chicago Public Library’s “Libby” app- for digital content.  I am running almost concurrently with my audible subscription, so it is nice to get access to audiobooks and e-books that I want.  You can place holds on content from your device- and when its your turn, it just automatically downloads to your phone.  Its amazing.

Pondering: Speaking of reading… I have a problem.  There is an app that you can use to save stories for later.  So, you came across an article that looks interesting and you want to save it for a time when you can actually do the reading.  I have a little button in my browser for Pocket, where I click it and I save to the app.  This allows me to read this story later on my phone or kindle, sitting on a train or putting Nico to bed or whatever. At the end of the year, the app sends you a little data visualization on how much you’ve read:

image1 (1).png

Because you can’t see in real time where you stack up against others, I had to resort to using a third party plug in to see how many stories I had saved.  It was all fun and games, until this summer when I realized that I have over 3,000 stories saved on this app.

It didn’t really start getting out of hand until I changed my google homepage on my computers so it shows recent links (like Twitter, Amazon and Youtube, but also trending stories on Pocket- back in 2016.  When I did so, I was prepping for my trip to Paris.  The graphic I get from this third party app, shows “added stories” in blue and “read stories” in red.  I have a visualization for a month by month breakdown of of what I have added and read, I also have the giant mountain of accumulated readings.

When I open a new tab, I have it set to show content from Pocket.  There are three choices, displayed with a Thumbnail and the source.  Today, it is “Redirecting” at the New York Times, “Russia Made the King of Chess.  The U.S. Dethroned Him” at fivethirtyeight, and “I found Trump’s Biggest Fan” at Politico.  There is even a “more stories” page and “popular topics” page.  Clicking on either will bring you to other pages, with the same layout, which is kind of like a very neat, very appetizing page, that has large thumbnails laid out in columns of 3.  Each has a “save” button on it.

For some reason, this bothers me.  A lot. I guess, maybe I feel like these are things I should read.  And rather than read them, I am getting wrapped up in Instagram and I think of this as some type of moral/intellectual weakness?

All I know is that now I’m up to 3,079 readings saved.  I am literally going in the opposite direction of what I want.  The problem is, that if I make a concerted effort to stay off of Pocket’s homepage for a couple of days, when I finally get on it, I have almost a binge reaction to all the new content I haven’t seen.  And I have to then save ALL of the things.  It is a vicious cycle!

Considering: On a whim last month, I started thinking about the racial, ethnic, and gender representation of the authors that I read.  So, I made a graph and charted these out for the books I had read in 2018.  Surprisingly, I read a lot of white male authors- of the 35 books I have consumed this year, 71% were by white authors and 74% were by male authors.  For someone who describes herself as Progressive and Liberal AF- that can’t be good, right?  So I am re-considering the process I go through on how I decide to read a book.

Buying: I bought an antique type writer because I thought I was a person that would be all like, “Let me type a note to so and so…”  Something I did not adequately consider is how much hand strength you have to have to type on a hand writer.  Also, it is not very forgiving.  You mis-hit a key and it totally jacks the whole word up! But, it’s cool for Nico-because one of his homework things is to type his spelling words.  And this works nice for that- especially since we don’t have a printer.  BOOM!!

Marveling: I just played my first season in a women’s soccer league- which I haven’t done since 2006 or 2007- when Warner Super 6 had a women’s league.  It’s funny because I have been playing at the Fire Pitch for so long, I just assumed that all the women players who could play played in their coed leagues.


There are a shit ton of women playing in this league… I think it total, like 12-16 teams, with two leagues (intermediate and advanced) of just women players.  The soccer is 1000% better than coed.  See,  in coed- there is, despite the fact that it is 2018, a surprising number of guys who have a hard time passing to women and not being dickwads on the field.  Even on teams where the girls can play- it’s rare to see women playing as equals. Often, they are relegated to inconsequential positions up front, where they are not relied on.

It’s sad and gross, but it is a fact.  That’s why, women are the game changers in coed.  Think about… in seven a side, there are usually two women on the field.  If you have a girl gk, that gives you an extra dude on the field.  If your women are not good (or if you play like they aren’t) then you are essentially playing with 5 men.  If you come up against a team with women who can play, who are utilized and are playmakers? You’re essentially playing down 1-2 players.

Buckle up butter cup, you’re about to take a loss.

Smelling: Kate Spade’s New York.  I belong to ScentBird- the online subscription fragrance service.  Honestly- it is kind of genius.  For $15 bucks a month, you get a small vial of perfume It is larger than a sample, but smaller than a full-sized bottle.  I got Kate Spade’s New York last month and have been loving it.  It’s weird because you choose different scents to go in your que- but, you’re choosing them on a computer, with only a pic of the bottle and description of scent.  Like this- a description of a scent I have coming in November: Selva do Brazil is a green citrus-based scent, featuring a watery Paraguayan petitgrain note at the top. You can feel the moisture slowly falling from the high branches overhead as you walk further into the canopy of a fantasy Brazilian forest. Smoky tonka and rich, deep guaiac wood rise like burnt ceremonial offerings sent up on the altar in the village you arrive in at the forest’s edge.  Like, is this a scent or am I in a forest?  Do I need better shoes?

Admiring: The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 tent.  I am part of a group of people on FB who all have seemingly serious gambling problems- and they hold raffles fairly regularly.  Recently, I participated in a raffle.  I purchased two spots at $10 each, and won.  I ended up getting my choice of a Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 or some credits to an outdoor gear retailer.  Little known fact about me: I have serious aspirations to hike all the hikes.  So I ended up with the Big Agnes… its so very lightweight- 2 lbs, 8 ounces! So excited!! Am hoping to hike the Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail in Florida at Christmas- 63 miles running from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic, near Hobe Sound.

Disliking: The absolute dumpsterfireshitshowcircus that is the Kavanaugh hearing.  I try not to be too political on this blog… but honestly, he has such a punchable face.  And he is such a crybaby.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on 27 September 2018 in Washington, D.C.Image: Andrew Harnik – Pool/Getty Images

The thing that just grinds my gears so much about him is that it’s not like he is special.  There is a whole list of judges generated by the a conservative thinktank that most conservatives would love.  Likely men and (maybe) women who are more judicial, have a better temperament, who would probably do a better job on the Supreme Court than this cry baby.  Trump nominating him and Republicans’ willingness to die on the hill of his nomination seems like nothing more than a GIANT FU*K YOU to democrats, progressives, liberals, and women.

Ok fine.  I think most of us aren’t surprised that this is the new normal.  Great.  But honestly…

We can have a conversation about whether or not something that you did as a teenager should disqualify you for the Supreme Court (of course, that conversation would be ironic AF because it is also conservatives and republicans who tend to take hardline stances on minors in the justice system).  This ass-clown should be disqualified from the supreme court because he is an ass-clown.

Snacking: This stuff is so good… It has the slightest, tiniest hint of sweetness.  You can put this on anything.  It is also $13 a jar at Whole Foods.  Can you believe that?  I first discovered it several years ago during a Whole30 challenge at my gym.  I was like, “Evaporated Cane Juice” doesn’t count as sugar.”


That is not how this works.  That is not how any of this works.

But its good.

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