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Five in Five

Five in Five: Monday, January 29

1. For the past five years (I think?), I’ve been on the Board of Directors for our local public television station. What I’ve proven really good at so far is people-watching during the meetings. About six months ago, the station hired a new general manager, and she’s great — bringing energy and vision to an institution that has to evolve if it is to survive. One thing she wanted to do in her first months was meet with each member of the Board, to feel us out about our thoughts on and relationships with public television. Because I’m skulky and elusive, it was only today that we finally met. Fortunately, having just laughed out loud last night about the welcome incongruity of seeing Run the Jewels on Austin City Limits, I had a great opener for her about how much I enjoyed hearing the line “I’m a bag of dicks” broadcast by her station. Then, applying restraint, I stopped myself from further talk about foul-mouthed rappers on sedate airwaves — even though I feel certain she would have enjoyed some conversation about Big Mike’s statement necklaces — lest I get carried away and start parsing the RtJ line that goes “Got suspended for bullyin’ a bully/When I go back to class I’ma punch him in his shit again.”

2. I knew our meeting this afternoon was going well when we crept towards the three-hour mark, during which time she had twice declared “I can’t believe I’m telling you all this stuff.” That’s really all I need for a meeting to be successful, really. TELL ME MORE ABOUT HOW HER DOES THAT AND HIM DOESN’T WANT TO.

3. This article makes good points about the inequalities that crop up when real prices are charged for growing and raising non-industrial food: “Clean Food: If You Want to Save the World, Get Over Yourself”. Byron and I both work with populations that struggle with healthy eating due to unaffordable prices. While I have long maintained that it is possible to eat good food on a limited income, a big part of doing that that is education: a bag of lentils might be cheap and able to feed a family of four for a couple nights, but if someone has never eaten lentils and has no idea how to prepare them, then the point is moot. Or “mute,” as a colleague at a previous workplace used to say. I do think there’s a place in our society for a program that shops and cooks with low-income families interested in eating better. 

4. Yesterday, when we were driving to Y, Byron looked out the window, saw something, and then noted, “So I guess the next era we’re moving into will be one where we don’t see plastic bags hanging from trees, blowing in the wind, but rather one where we see reusable tote bags caught in the branches.”

5. Speaking of the awesomeness of Byron, he recently finished a cross-stitch of a favorite game: Boggle. He did a shake of the game board and then stitched it as it landed. Raise your hand if you see a T-W-A-T!

Typing time: 12:40

Editing time: 3:23, a large portion of it spent trying to figure out why WordPress says “unaffordable” is mispelled


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Five in Five

Five in Five: Sunday, January 28

  1. Last night we turned on PBS, and there on Austin City Limits was Run the Jewels, mics in hand. Turning to Byron, I laughed, “Wow. In about thirty seconds, we’re going to hear the words ‘bag of dicks’ for the first time ever on public television. Do not tell the Dowager Countess!” Discreetly, the broadcasters opted to bleep out every third word of the entire concert;

2. There’s a term for small talk! It’s horror vacui (also called kenophobia) — which means the fear of empty spaces, usually in artistic works, but I also want it to apply to things beyond design, like conversations that involve people yammering about the weather, knicknack-ridden living rooms, and the inside of our refrigerator;

3. A few months ago, I bought some amazing leggings from a company called the Girlfriend Collective; I’d read about them online and was interested that all their clothing is made out of recycled bottles — yet it’s so soft and fine. (If you want to know more about how some business people are putting their values into their products, you can read their explanation of recycling in Taiwan and their use of water bottles as the basis for fabric here). Sure, the cost is not insignificant since it reflects the realities of manufacturing and distribution rather than an artificially deflated price, yet I’m so crazy in love with these leggings — How can I be in love with leggings? But I tell you, they are quality stuff — now I really want a pair of their biking shorts, and let’s be honest: a big part of my enthusiasm is that I am in love with the muffin top suppression in their high-rise styles. It’s no fun getting sweaty unless your waistband reaches your bra-line, right? CAN I GET A WITNESS?;

4. The remnants of colonialism live strong, right down to the fact that people with colonialist mindsets still believe those who serve them are happy to do it. Getting real: the person wiping up after you is muttering curses under her breath and, when she’s not peeing into your soup, wishing you a hard fall into a shallow grave;

5. Paco’s been doing fencing for more than a year now, so every Sunday his doting parents get to run around the track and lift weights while watching all sorts of thrusting and parrying. Get this: today’s kids come into fencing classes with poor habits already in place thanks to the influence of cinema; the teachers have to caution youngsters, “Hey, Cody and Orlando, you’re light-sabering again.” Something else I enjoy: a good fencing jacket has a front-zip, not a back-zip, because all Big Boys Like to Dress Themselves.


Quick update from Friday’s post: I have hardly seen Allegra these past few days because she’s always at work, but I did message another girl on the ski team to ask for an update on the hurt skiier, and she replied that she doesn’t know much, other than the girl in question is fine.


Typing time: 8:50

Editing: 4:30

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