Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The simple things

I don't have time (or, really, the inclination) to do Self-Care if it's a big to do that involves me going somewhere or going to any extra trouble that lasts more than five minutes. But I do enjoy the little things, like using a scrub once a week, or making sure I'm eating organic vegetables. (Maybe that's not self-care, since I consider it genuinely essential for my health. By the same token, I don't count physical therapy exercises or working out, though they do have similar effects.)

But I am definitely counting this vegan, homemade watermelon lassi that I made this morning for breakfast. (Are you in the middle of a heatwave as well? Of course you are.) I suspect I'm going to need more than this to get me through the next few hours, but right now I'm staring at this very pretty color while I take some sips, and I just want to focus on the here and now.

Deb in the City

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

At least I'm getting things done...?

Oh wait, I remember I think that's kind of a hollow thing to brag about. In my defense, what I've been getting done has been the things I want to do...mostly.

A lot has happened since I last posted. My mother is now in assisted living. I got to see my new, extremely adorable niece. And yesterday I had the majority of the junk removed from the house my sister now lives in. That may seem like a short list, but those things required massive amounts of planning and effort, both logistical and emotional, and not a little bit of money (even if it wasn't even mostly mine). Thankfully, some of that money was spent on people who can lift heavy things for me, so there is that.

It's a big deal to get these things done, but I'm very happy to be returning to my old routine, at least in the ways I can. I don't feel good about the time that's been spent away from my children while I'm doing these things, especially because they're going to be leaving on a trip for a few weeks. But, I suppose, these are the problems of success.

I'm still transcribing, and still making some get out the vote phone calls, though not nearly as much/as many as before. But I'm confident I'll reach my clip again.

The only issue I'm having trouble negotiating is my community garden. I'm starting to feel that my continued participation might be a luxury I can no longer afford, which kills me. Fingers crossed that I'm wrong. 

Still in all, small or temporary prices to pay for doing the right things.

Deb in the City

Friday, June 21, 2024


I am posting the pictures below because I am stupidly proud of my progress in my quest to become I have had this on my list of things I've wanted to do for years, but it wasn't until I settled on starting with hand sewing that I felt like I could do this. Cal Patch, who is awesome, has a great tutorial on Creativebug to make a hand-sewn boxy tee. I am not there yet, but by the end of the summer, I think I can.

What I like about hand sewing is that I can correct stitches pretty easily, and I don't have to jump through the hoops of rewinding bobbins (or finding a place to set up the machine and materials). It's something I can easily put down and pick up, and I'm all about things I can fit into my schedule instead of having to schedule to.


In case it's not clear from the photos--why would it be?--I'm working on my French seam technique, and today I felt confident enough to do what I'm going to call a double French seam, which basically means I'm using a French seam to join two pieces that were made with a French seam. (Wow, how many times can I fit one phrase into the same sentence?) If this were on a sewing machine, I would be nervous about the corner where all of them meet, but by hand it was totally fine.

My secret weapons are a pencil and one of those see-through rulers; sadly, I am not at the point where I can eyeball it (maybe someday?). I'm also using basting stitch to help me get rid of pins, which sounds like an extra step, but actually makes my life easier since I don't have to worry about stabbing myself with pins as much.

There's been stuff going on this week, which I hope to update on later. Glad to have a little time today to get back into this meditative project.

Deb in the City

Monday, June 17, 2024

Numbers, and an open letter to Cory Doctorow regarding Noam Chomsky

The good news first. I finished transcribing Evil Hides in Darkness, the tenth (!) installment of my saga. It clocked in at 15981 words, which brings my total to 222,046 words. I began to transcribe installment eleven, The Limits of Magic, this morning, and realized I had the beginning stored in a Google Drive doc (I'm not doctrinaire about my methods, even if I have my preferences). Um...let's just say, as I suspected, this installment is going to be the longest yet. Hmm...

In other news...

As I've mentioned, I enjoy Cory Doctorow's writings, and I've found him to be clarifying and informative. I not only read his blogs, I've read three of his books--and one of them was on the details around "intellectual property"--in the entertainment industry. I genuinely like this guy, and through him I've since been turned on to The American Prospect, which is providing fantastic coverage of issues I care about. 

So please take that into account when you read what I wrote to him below after reading his latest post. I like Doctorow, but I loathe Noam Chomsky, and damn, am I done with staying silent when I see someone like him promoted in any way.

Doctorow sent a polite reply, which he didn't have to do. Hopefully I'm not blocked now.

Deb in the City


Hi Cory,

I'm glad to see that Chomsky managed to trip into a useful opinion. Given his toxic, career-ending sexism (at least according to all of the accounts I've heard of women who studied under him at MIT), as well as his callousness (I recall hearing an interview in which he defended keeping monuments to confederate leaders), his misunderstanding of the position on NATO expansion, plus his advocacy for "peace negotiations" to end the war in Ukraine--not to mention that he was, of course, found to be a friend of Jeffrey Epstein's (I'm sure they spent a good deal of time talking about cutting edge science and culture, not indulging in anything unsavory)--it is truly amazing that he could arrive at a common sense opinion about political activity.

We go to the polls to elect someone who will do the best job out of all of the options to advocate for and legislate to our needs. We're not inviting someone into our family or even over for dinner. This is a relatively simple proposition and doesn't require any posturing around labels.

For the record, I was happy to be considered a progressive-left-liberal Democrat until the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011. I was disgusted by the shocking lack of compassion by almost everyone on my side of the aisle, especially those who were, like me, Gen X/Baby Busters/Slackers who got an education about the Holocaust and genocide and recognized what they were looking at. As horrified as I am by what's happening in Gaza, I keep looking around for those people to care about what's going on--still!--in Syria. I'll also take as vigorous a demonstration of concern for the trafficked children of Ukraine.

All to say that even while I am contacting my state and federal legislators every week--not to mention regularly bugging the city councilors in Boston, staying active in municipal organizations, and marching to help unionize businesses in my area--Chomsky and other "leftists" can keep their seal of approval. Actually, they can all try a little harder to earn mine.

Deb (She/Her/Hers)

Monday, June 10, 2024

My crutch is consistency. And Douglas Adams can screw.

This has turned into one of those mornings. On the way home from getting my sons some ice cream and coffee (as well as some actual groceries), someone ran a red light, which caused us to stop short and for me to spill coffee all over my sweater. Then I had an upsetting call with my mother, whose dementia is spiraling. It didn't end well, and I'm not the only person she contacted (or who's upset).

I wanted to cry, and my sister advised that might be the best course of action. The last thing I wanted to do were those grown up things that, you know, help me achieve my goals...but I did them anyway. I did my PT exercises and noticed that, hey, I'm getting much better at them. I forced myself to transcribe this new installment, and you know what, this new twist doesn't suck. And I really, really, did not want to call Nevada voters first thing in their morning, but after bracing myself to get hung up on ten times, three out of ten were pretty nice. 

None of this makes the issues with my mother go away, nor does it address my other anxieties, both personal and, well, larger. But it's not nothing, and sometimes that's a big win.

Right...I'm also keeping up with my reading (yes, thank you, I will take the medal, parade, and statue), but one book I happily ditched into the library was some edited compilation of Douglas Adams' writings. My husband really liked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...and then came upon some bs Adams wrote about trying to be Jewish--in no small part because of the size of his nose--but, as the title says, he likes bacon.

God damn, I am so glad I never wasted my precious time on anything he ever wrote. Why someone like that repelled me, I can't tell you, but sometimes my instincts aren't wrong (see also: Roald Dahl and Doctor Seuss). Now if only I could get over The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock...

Deb in the City

Thursday, June 6, 2024

9 down, 7 to go

I just finished transcribing the ninth installment of my saga. I am now up to 206,095 words, and I actually do feel a sense of accomplishment, which is rare for me. I have been planning out and seeing the scenes from this installment for decades, and while there are some things I still need to tweak, I got down on paper what's been haunting me. Maybe that means something to me because those themes have been ever more present for me in the last few years. 

Onward. This next installment was also something I replayed over and over, and the balance is just a little more difficult. You know what? I can't wait.

Deb in the City

Monday, June 3, 2024

And now a baby!

My newly married daughter, the oldest of my father's grandchildren, got to bask in the spotlight for exactly one week before she was upstaged by the littlest of her cousins, my youngest sister's brand new baby girl, born to her and her wife yesterday night a little after 10 PM. She's just a little bigger than my smallest twin--born almost twenty years ago (!)--and she looks sooo much like my sister. 

In this brave new world of ours, we were able to follow along with the progress of labor and delivery. That was great when we wanted frequent updates, but frustrating when we wished to be there to support the new parents. Still, it was precious to see the first pictures of my tiny, minutes old niece. 

This is not a normal period of time. Most months, and certainly most weeks, don't features weddings or births, much less both. Last year was pretty rough--enough said. But I'm grateful to the universe right now for the reminder that life really does go on.

Deb in the City