How is it already September? A hot second and a hundred years ago it was February. Time has stretched out, slowed down, sped up, and looped around all at once.
And, even though the world is *literally* on fire, we've already had our first snow here in Wyoming. 2020 is all the things all at once all the time.
We're overdue (again) for a quarantine kit. Three essays, three books, three tv shows, three movies, three twitter follows, three recipes, three unsolicited opinions.
Kicking it off with three ways to help those suffering from the impacts of the fires on the West Coast:
The United Way of Northern California, which was already providing cash grants to those whose homes were ravaged by the region’s terrible 2018 fires, is also accepting donations to help provide relief and recovery to those affected by this summer’s fires.
The United Way in Whitman County, Washington, is also accepting donations, and notes that while this is a developing situation, “funding will be prioritized supporting the families and individuals displaced by the fires,” and the organization will “manage this fund and disbursements with zero administrative fees.”
In Oregon, the United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley is accepting cash donations to provide relief and basic necessities to those who have been displaced.
On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic by Jesmyn Ward | Perhaps the most powerful and poignant essay we've read in 2020.
This Woman Surfed the Biggest Wave of the Year (Here's why you probably haven't heard about it) by Maggie Mertens | "It’s a moment we don’t often see in sports: a woman beating a man. But that’s exactly what was announced Thursday, when the World Surf League reported that the Brazilian big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira set a new world record."
Habituation to Horror by Anne Helen Petersen | "This is about completely reconceptualizing the way we think about energy, and waste, and consumption. It will require a complete renovation of our value system. And it’s going to be hard and uncomfortable and different, but you know what else will be hard and uncomfortable and different? The end of the fucking world."
Bonus read: Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful by Tara Haelle
Bonus bonus read: The Twisted Racial Politics of Going Outside by s.e. smith
Every single Nancy Drew book by Carolyn Keene, especially The Hidden Staircase
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
Recollections of My Nonexistence by Rebecca Solnit
Bonus Rebecca Solnit: Call Them by Their True Names (American Crises (And Essays)
The Baby-Sitters Club | This from the author of the series in an interview in the New Yorker a few years back: “I wouldn’t say that I had a feminist agenda, but I certainly had a feminist perspective,” Martin told me. “I think of myself as a feminist. I wanted to portray a very diverse group of characters, not only from different racial backgrounds, but from different kinds of family backgrounds, religions, and perspectives on life. I just really wanted a group of girls who were very different from one another and who became very close friends.”
Grey's Anatomy | Rewatch this epic classic on Netflix. And remember: It is still going 17 seasons later. And they're coming back to pay homage to healthcare workers in the midst of our current healthcare crisis. “To be kind of the biggest medical show and ignore the biggest medical story of the century felt irresponsible to the medical community."
Veep | Lady. VP.
Bonus viewing: Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) | We'll come one of these days (maybe after the election but before the end of the Republic?) with a commentary on why Money Heist is a deeply feminist series.
“To rise up against the system is reckless and idealistic – [it’s] Don Quixote!" So learn some Spanish, sing Bella Ciao, fight the power, and enjoy.
Miss Representation | "The media is selling young people the idea that girls’ and women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in their capacity as leaders. Boys learn that their success is tied to dominance, power, and aggression. We must value people as whole human beings, not gendered stereotypes."
Lady Bird | Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird is, according Richard Brody's review, "full of exquisite dialogue. The experience of watching it for review is the experience of scribbling in the dark as fast as humanly possible, not only to be able to quote it and describe it but, above all, to be able to savor it."
Bonus flick: Greta Gerwig's Frances Ha.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD | I am writing about Vivians & white lady camps & hustling. It makes sense to me.
Dutch baby | In our house, these are known as puffy pancakes. Pretty fun to put a pancake in the oven, watch it puff up, and then drop whatever yummy fruit you have right into the center of that gorgeous poof and sprinkle powdered sugar over the whole entire thing.
Peach cobbler | Smitten Kitchen has you covered once again. Use the last of your summer peaches and make yourself a dessert/breakfast treat right now. (Also good mid-winter if you go ahead and freeze some of those peaches right this minute.)
Egg bake | Five-ish eggs whisked to a froth, dash of milk, S&P, stale bread, leftover veg, whatever other yummy bits you have lying around, cheese. Pour it all together in a ceramic baking dish, cover in the fridge overnight, add more egg and milk in the morning if you need to, cook for ~35 min at 350.
Make a voting plan. Make it right now. Here is some key info to help you think through your options in advance. Why a voting plan? It is much more likely that you'll cast a ballot if you make a plan. What method? What day? What's your back up plan? How will you celebrate? Check out vote.org for more assistance and ideas. And statewide, nonpartisan orgs like Equality State Policy Center will be rolling out voter checklists and voting plan templates to help you out!
Support women running for office. Research from our friends at RepresentWomen shows that donors and PACs give less to female candidates. One of the ways that we can break the cycle and elect more women? Give more dollars to women who are running! Cowgirl Run Fund can help.
"There are, in history, what you could call ‘plastic hours,’” the philosopher Gershom Scholem once said. “Namely, crucial moments when it is possible to act. If you move then, something happens.” This is a plastic hour. Let's move.