Too Much for Anyone

I keep thinking I can just deal with e-mail in between the rest of my life, but I really can’t. I worked all day Saturday and Sunday, so Monday from noon to bedtime was my ‘day off’ — and I really needed to turn off my brain and lie around for a while, it seemed, because I couldn’t even bring myself to look at e-mail.

(I have now watched many episodes of Midsomer Murders on BritBox — there’s something comforting about a ridiculous spate of murders in a quiet English village, don’t ask me why.)

I used to have a meeting on Tuesday mornings for the SLF, but I’ve shifted it to Thursday afternoons instead, so now, I generally have Tuesdays ‘free’ — which means I can actually use that as a big time block for e-mail / grading (plus a bit of laundry).

I picked up a copy of Getting Things Done recently — I need to actually read it, I think. Want to fine-tune my work systems for more efficiency all around. Undealt with e-mails cause me stress and unhappiness — I really need to aim for Inbox Zero again. Might take a bit push over spring beak or even the summer, as I have so much backlog, but I think worth it for my sanity.

And if I get it down to there again, then maybe Stephanie Bailey will actually be able to manage it for me going forward; it’s just too much for her right now, I think. Too much for anyone!

SEOPCO Candidate Forum for D200

A little more info on tonight’s SEOPCO candidate forum for D200 (OPRF high school board), just so people know what the format will be like:

“Each of the six candidates will provide a two minute introduction, then we will ask you two rounds of questions with a two minute response per question….

After that we will put you in separate zoom rooms and participants will join a room and ask whatever questions they have. While we hope to have a SEOPCO board member in each room, we are asking you to ‘host’ your own room. Just introduce yourself and ask for questions. We will request that everyone rotate around to different candidates after about 10 minutes.

We are giving you one of the forum questions in advance, and the second one will not be revealed until we ask at the forum.

First question: Like the rest of the nation, Oak Park and D200 are grappling with issues of discrimination based on racism, Islamophobia, ableism and LGBTQ rights. What steps are you taking to learn more about these issues and how would you address bias in your service to the high school?

We plan to record both the main session and the breakout rooms. Please let us know if you don’t want your Zoom breakout room recording to be put online.”

“Please sign up in advance using this google form: https://forms.gle/8NEjucgDR3X9GqhG7 — Zoom details will be sent to you before the forum.”

When We Talk About Medicare-for-All…

I want to ask Americans to add up all they paid for healthcare in the last year — doctor’s visits, prescriptions, hospital stays, etc. This includes all the people who supposedly have ‘good’ insurance through their jobs.

Then ask if they’d be willing to pay that same amount in taxes instead, which would ALSO enable ten of their neighbor families to have health care who can’t afford it under our current system.

I haven’t actually done the math on this, so I’m not sure how it pencils out. It might be a hundred families instead. And what most folks would end up paying in taxes (compared to their prior costs) would probably also go down quite a lot.

I just wish we could get past the reflexive:

• ‘people who want to raise taxes want to take our money’…

to the actual case, at least for me as a politician, that

• ‘people who want to raise taxes are usually trying to leave everyone in the community with MORE money in their bank accounts AND better services for more of the community…”

A Wacky Giveaway Idea

GIVEAWAY: I had this wacky idea that I would manage to do 31 days of Feast March festivities to celebrate the one year birthday of my cookbook, esp. since the whole book tour, etc. got cancelled last March due to pandemic (worst timing of a book launch ever? I think yes).

But of course, it’s now something like 8 minutes to midnight, and I haven’t actually had the willpower to put together a graphic or a PLAN or anything, maybe tomorrow, but in the meantime, let’s call this a surprise last-minute giveaway post, and I will have gotten it in on the first day of March just barely. Just barely is more than good enough, I say, especially after a year of pandemic.

If you’d like to be entered for a free hardcover copy of Feast to be shipped to your door (or the door of your choosing), comment below. If you add in your favorite South Asian dish (or tell me that you have never actually tasted South Asian food, the sorrow!), I will enter you twice!

Whenever I wake up tomorrow (probably around 7 a.m. CST), the contest will close, and I will use a randomizer to pick a lucky recipient. So this is for all the night owls out there (and the people in other countries who are just in the middle of their workday, I suppose)….

GIVEAWAY! Comment below to enter. (And if you don’t win this one, keep watching this space — there will be more giveaways in March!)

(Likes and shares also very much appreciated for visibility!)

9:51 a.m. update — giveaway is closed! Stay tuned for the next one!

Unicorn Tea Towels With Literary Quotes. Funfun.

a) “What do men know? Because they have seen no unicorns for a while does not mean that we have all vanished.” — Peter S. Beagle

b) “You see things; you say why? But I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not?” — George Bernard Shaw

c) “Do you know, I always thought unicorns were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive before!” Well, now that we have seen each other,” said the unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.” — Lewis Carroll

Uploading to Spoonflower now. 🙂

An Agent for My Mainstream Work

Benjamin Rosenbaum has convinced me that I probably should do a real agent search for my mainstream work (fiction, memoir, cookbooks). (My sci-fi agent is fine with my doing this, to be clear.) I have three books (one of each) that I expect will be finished by the end of the summer, all of which are far enough along to show agents now.

So all of this is to say, if you have a mainstream / literary fiction agent whom you love, I’d love to hear more about them, please.

Garden Log 3/1/21

So, I may have impulsively bought a pop-up greenhouse when they were on sale last year, and it’s sitting in my basement waiting to be assembled, and I’m realizing I have no idea when one is supposed to start using such a thing.

Locals, do y’all have yours in use already? Are you moving seedlings out there already?

I don’t want to move things in and out of the house daily, so if that’s what it’s being used for, that is probably not for me…

(There is also the question of where the heck I’m going to PUT it, but I think I can squeeze it in somewhere. Maybe.)

A Collaborative Poem

I’m teaching the Surrealists this week (along with High Modernism), and I am tempted to record a video lecture, chop it up into random bits, reassemble it, and then invite my students to make whatever sense out of it they’d like.

I am not actually going to do that, but it would be funny. 🙂 My lecture is actually a poem! A collaborative poem!

I did give them a tiny creative writing assignment, even though it’s a lit. class — they’re asked to either try some free direct discourse, free indirect discourse, or automatic writing. We’ll see what they come up with.

(I just WISH I had a recording of my fabulous high school teacher Luci Fortunato performing the end of Joyce’s _Ulysses_ for them to watch, because she did an amazing job with it, and I will never forget her \ performance. Lisette Bross, you were in that class too, I think…?)

Pictured: Dada-ist poem by Tristan Tzara