Don’t mind me. Just here overhauling the blog one series at a time. 😂 (Seriously, though: I’m into it. Let me know if you have any good series ideas. I’m apparently a child and NEED STRUCTURE.)
“A Few Good Links” (get it?) will be exactly what it sounds like: links to interesting stuff we find around the web. It can be anything! A free-for-all, if you will. The best part is that it’s going to be collaborative… with both Mitch and (hopefully) you!
In the comments below, direct us to anything noteworthy that you recently stumbled upon, and we’ll include some in next week’s post!
- Dear Preschool Homework: This was written in January before the pandemic, but it gave me a good chuckle. (For the record, though, I’m SO grateful to our teachers for developing an engaging online learning system! Total lifesaver.)
- What I Read in May: My friend Carly has a “bookstagram,” which is a new-to-me concept this year, but it’s a reading-focused Instagram account providing reviews and recommendations. Hers is great! She also shares what she read every month on her blog, and I really look forward to those posts. (Definitely reading All Adults Here by Emma Straub this summer.) I love to fantasize about reading several books every month and then reviewing them, but HAHAHAHA. It’s fine. I’ll spare you a post on the third of a book I manage to get through and just direct you over to CAH. 😜
- Quarantine dog haircuts: Different versions of this article have been floating around, but the dog with the bangs kills me. As does the lion dog.
- The Virus Will Win: (Disclaimer: This is depressing.) It’s obvious that the world is ready for the pandemic to end. We’ve been ready since its start. And as summer begins and restrictions are lifted, we’re more over it than we’ve ever been. (Myself included!) But how many lives will “giving up” cost us? The author takes it further and argues that it’s far more complicated than Americans pretending that the virus is retreating to resume a semblance of normalcy; he says that the virus is winning for many, many reasons.
- @somegoodnews: (Disclaimer: Not depressing!) I’ve spoken about this before, but the account was actor John Krasinsky’s effort to share happy, funny and heartwarming bits of news. While it’s since been sold (which got Krasinsky quite a bit of criticism), the account remains a favorite for me. I’m not the best with keeping up social media… and yes, I realize the irony there. 😜 But I find myself looking up the account often because it lifts my spirits! (I also figured that this would be a good link to drop in after “The Virus Will Win.”)
- The Big Story: What It Means to ‘Defund the Police’: Skip to around 4:15 on this. (Not sure why the video doesn’t start until then.) This is an amazing video that explains what “defunding the police” actually means and what it could look like. When we hear “defund the police,” it’s understandable to respond, “No! We do need the police!” And while part of it may mean shrinking the force, it’s largely about effectively reforming and restructuring. The concept behind the slogan is complex, and this is worth a watch or listen before forming an opinion. (I also loved that they brought up Camden’s decision to disband the police, and how this radical move was hugely successful. My brother worked in a Camden, NJ emergency room for a while, so this was at the top of our minds while he was there. In no way am I saying that this is a national solution, but it’s interesting to say the least.)
- 13th: This Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary brought the Black Lives Matter movement into clear focus for me. It’s a masterwork in filmmaking and storytelling, and it sent me off on a mission to learn as much as I can about the subject. It closes with this quote from Bryan Stephenson: “People say all the time, ‘I don’t understand how people could have tolerated slavery, how could they have made peace with that? How could people have gone to a lynching and participated in that? How did people make sense of this segregation, this ‘white’ and ‘colored only’ drinking—that’s so crazy—I just—if I was living at that time, I would have never tolerated anything like that!’ And the truth is, we are living at this time and we are tolerating it.”
- Pursuit as Happiness: Sean Hemmingway recently discovered this unpublished short story written by his grandfather and had it published in The New Yorker. I’m not going to pretend to understand everything Hemmingway shoved into his staccato-style sparse prose, but it’s a thrill to be able to read a new Hemmingway short story. I don’t think it spoils anything to say that it involves a giant fish.
- The Strokes Live at Austin City Limits: Every night after the girls fall asleep, I drag myself to the couch and click around on YouTube for something to watch while I rebuild enough energy to clean up the disastrous mess they left in their wake. This concert popped up in my feed and I watched the whole thing from start to finish. The Strokes are great, of course, but the best part of the show is the first seven minutes when the crowd eagerly anticipates the band taking the stage. It’s a palpable energy that only exists in a huge crowd, and that certainly doesn’t exist under quarantine. I miss that feeling!
- Gardening Makes You Happy: I know it’s ridiculous to hear it from me, a guy who recently filled his backyard with artificial plants and then complained my way through planting two lousy pots of cheap flowers, but this Princeton study confirms what everyone in my family has been telling me for years: Gardening is good for the soul and, even better, vegetable gardening makes you happier than ornamental gardening.
- The Triscuit Story: I haven’t stopped thinking about this Sage Boggs’ Twitter thread since first reading it. It’s the PERFECT internet thing: Several years ago I was at a party (BRAG!), and I spotted a box of Triscuits. I asked everyone, “What does the word ‘Triscuit’ mean? It’s clearly based on the word ‘BISCUIT,’ but what does the ‘TRI’ mean?” (I’m great at parties.) The consensus was that “TRI” means three. Maybe “three layers” or “three ingredients.” No one knew for sure, though, so I Googled it. But here’s the thing: Google didn’t seem to have an official answer, either. Just more guesses.