Hey, so, yeah. It feels a little like 2022 is punching down. We're already beaten and bloodied and it comes out swinging? No, thank you.
If you're tired, we get it. (We'd recommend, in that case, that you skip down to the fluffier bits of this post and watch some tv and mindless movies.) We're all tired. It is unrelenting.
Nonetheless, the world requires our attention and our care. Our state requires our attention and our care.
Let's dig in.
At the same time that Wyomingites of all stripes, when asked by pollsters, unanimously and vociferously agree that the one thing we all LOATHE is ... wait for it ... new people, the State Central Committee of the Wyoming GOP nominated three people to the vacancy for Superintendent of Public Instruction who weren't born in the state. Two of whom got here, like, a minute ago.
Move to Wyoming. We'll put you in charge of our kids.
Those nominations meant that Wyoming's new Superintendent of Public Instruction was likely to be a newcomer. Spoiler alert: he is. Brian Schroeder is a private school teacher who has only been in the state since 2020.
And, given some of his statements and blog posts, he doesn't really feel the same way about public schooling as the moms we know. And we know a lot of you. And here's what you've been telling us.
You see public education as a public good.
You see our public schools as an essential piece of community infrastructure.
You see educators as professionals who make the lives of your kids better every day.
You see education as a singular opportunity for our children to learn the critical thinking skills they'll need to make the world a little bit better than the world we grew up in.
We agree! And we think that the mission of our public schools is more important than ever.
Which is why your voice is more important than ever. Which is why we would encourage you RIGHT.THIS.MINUTE. to go check your voter registration. Make sure you were not purged from the rolls. Make sure you're registered for the district you're currently living in. Put the primary on your calendar. Start making a plan for how you're going to get to the polls. Sure, yeah, you're right: It's January and the primary is in August. We're still saying: You can't plan far enough ahead for this one.
Girls emerge as leaders of student walkouts over COVID concerns by Nadra Nittle
No, chivalry is not dead – but it’s about time it was by Beatrice Alba
Books | With the proliferation of book banning by school districts and school superintendents around the country, we wanted to feature frequently targeted books by women. The American Library Association keeps a full list of frequently targeted books here.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Unfortunately, the effort to ban books seems to be accelerating.
Book bans are nothing less than an organized political attack that threatens the education of America’s children and works to undermine our collective trust in public institutions. We urge you to speak out and make sure that books are not banned in your community. Here's what some students had to say this week:
We want to remind you that this has already been happening here in Wyoming. Campbell County Library has been the flash point for months now. (Read more here, here, and here.) Please continue to speak out. Because book banning is undemocratic, anti-American, and downright fascist.
It should go without saying that we condemn censorship. Apparently, we live in a time where we need to say that. Loudly and often. WE. CONDEMN. CENSORSHIP.
Abbott Elementary | We cannot emphasize enough that you should drop what you're doing and watch this.
Single Drunk Female | We can, once again, not emphasize enough that you should drop what you're doing and watch this.
Pretend It's a City | Fran Lebowitz is everything (and always was). “People want to challenge themselves. And this is a big thing that people say all the time, ‘I want to challenge myself.’ These challenges are fake. Climbing a mountain is a fake challenge. You know, you don’t have to climb a mountain. Ok, there are many things that people have to do and should do that they don’t do because they’re scared to do or they’re hard to do or they’re bad at it. Those are challenges. A challenge is something you have to do not something you make up.”
Movies | Sometimes your brain needs a break.
Pitch Perfect | That cups song entertains us every time. (Based on the 624M views on YouTube, we're not the only ones.)
Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect 3 | The number of times a certain member of our team has watched this on airplanes is a reminder that a.) sometimes people used to travel on airplanes and b.) certain types of movies are perfect for airplanes. We'd list those criteria as: Does not contain nudity or scenes that might embarrass you in front of the stranger sitting six inches from your face. Is easy to follow even if you fall asleep/have to answer the drink and snack questions/have a chatty seatmate/are near a crying child or someone traveling with a service ferret.
Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake | If you don't have a crowd to feed, you can cut this recipe in half and cook it in an 8x8 baking dish. If you do that, we'd recommend two eggs. We'd also recommend buttering and sugaring the baking dish (instead of parchment) and skipping the inside layer of chocolate + cinnamon and sugar.
8 ounces bucatini pasta
Kosher salt (optional)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pasta
4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small white or yellow onion (about 5 ounces), diced
1 small head cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
Here's how we did it: Take the bite sized florets, toss them in olive oil and S&P. Cook them in at 400 for 15 min, tossing occasionally. Throw some pasta — whatever you've got, we had plain old spaghetti — into boiling water. Roasted veggies and pasta should be done at about the same time. Reserve at least a cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Pour the pasta back into the pot, add the roasted ingredients, some pasta water, cheese, breadcrumbs, and leftover bacon from the morning. Toss together, squeeze lemon over it, add more pasta water if it seems too dry. Serve.
Delete your Spotify account. (Not sure what we're talking about? Read here and here about Neil Young's principled stand against COVID misinformation, here about Joni Mitchell — all-time QUEEN — joining the boycott, here about spotify betting on podcasts not music, and here about spotify losing $4B in market value this week.)
Mixtapes are far superior to playlists anyway.
Bring back the Sony Walkman!
Bonus unsolicited opinion: