Thursday, January 21, 2021

January 6, 2021

I keep thinking back to my days as a college intern in Senator Wyden's office waa-yy back in 1997. One of my intern duties was to assist with Capitol tours for constituents. I loved the tours because I didn't really get many opportunities to go to the Capitol building, aside from occasionally delivering papers or messages to the Senator or his aides in that pre-smart phone world. There was a holiness to the building. It definitely was not a sinless place, but sacred, nonetheless.

I also thought about the tour itself, which was mostly comprised of witty stories about the Capitol's history: the British torching the building in 1814, President Jackson's attempted assassination in 1835, the infamous "death-by-caning" on the Senate floor when tensions over slavery were at its peak. These anecdotes were always delivered and received with air of "Can you even imagine that happening nowadays?"
I'm embarrassed to admit I never completely considered the trauma and fear that must have accompanied these events before yesterday. And I'm left to wonder, will there be an intern 100 years from now, giving a tour of the Capitol and describing the Great Insurrection of 2021? I kind of hope so, because that would mean our democracy survived.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

2020 Favorites

NonFiction Books
1. Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X Kendi
2. Untamed, Glennon Doyle
3. Shrill, Lindy West
4. How to be an antiracist, Ibram X Kendi
Fiction Books
1. The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen
2. City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert
3. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
4. Homeland Elegies, Ayad Akhtar (still reading)
MR/YA Books
1. Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan
2. It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel Firoozeh Dumas
3. Hello, Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly
4. New Kid, Jerry Craft (graphic novel)
5. The Stars Beneath our Feet, David Moore
New (to me) Podcasts
1. 1619
2. Nice White Parents
3. The Daily
4. Code Switch
1. Mrs. America
2. Orthodox
3. Queens Gambit
4. Soul
5. The Last Dance
Honorary mention: The Crown, S4

1. Watching Noe's final Unified Basketball game at Grant with a gym packed with supporters, the Pep Band (including Asher), cheerleaders and especially when the Grant students ran down to the court to make a human tunnel for the players during game introductions. (February)
2. Going night kayaking at Wallowa Lake with my sisters and their boys. (July)
3. Our neighborhood's daily 7pm Thank You to Healthworkers (March - June)
4. Biking the trail to Benham Falls with Asher in Bend (October)
5. Waking up to rain at 3am - Ed and I opening up our bedroom windows and laughing and listening and BREATHING fresh air after 2 weeks of wildfire smoke that kept us locked inside. (September)