A hazy day at Kerry Park.

Downtown Seattle and the space needle as viewed from Queen Anne hill. Blue skies and blue hazy skyscrapers with a foreground of green park.

Here I Go, Touching the Hot Stove Again

Hahahahahahaaaaaa….

Out of morbid curiosity, I poked my nose into Twitter for the first time in over two months. I wanted to see if things were any different now that Trump has been banned. Could one overdue banning make an actual difference? Along with him, 70,000+ QAnon bot accounts are gone. As an extra measure, I unfollowed most everyone except for my fellow writers (those I trust) and a few people I know in the real.

I might be smoking crack, but mostly I see a mellow and friendly collection of voices this week. It almost felt like Twitter 2012. There were a lot of memes. Some corny jokes. People talking about how they were feeling, and what they were doing. Most importantly, there was lots of writer-talk, the one thing I can’t get in quantity here on micro.blog.

But hey, if I whine about my blisters next week, feel free to tell me I had it coming. That I should have known better than to touch the hot stove.

I won’t argue with ya. 😉

I’m really looking forward to the noise and bustle of the city coming back to life.

Groundhog’s Day: Reader Edition

The dawning realization that you’re struggling through a book that you already DNF’d two years ago.

I need to keep better records! 😏

Where We Left Off

I woke up this morning and I could see the last four years resting in my hands. It was as if I could take all the experiences from the last four years and roll them up into a ball between my palms like Play-Doh. All the horrid emotions of living through the Trump era were right there, blended in with my life. Some things can’t be unmixed. The colors smush together and you’re left with a slushy gray.

These last four years have chipped away at my idealism, and my easy privilege, and my simplistic way of dividing people into “mostly good” and “a few bad.” Looking back from this vantage point, post-Trump, I can see that I’ve lost friends. Not in a dramatic fashion. But time will bear out what my heart already knows.

He said he cared about disabled people, but his actions proved otherwise.

He shrugged at Trump’s first term and went back for a second helping of cruelty.

She was happy enough to say nothing, to do nothing, to see nothing, when horrors unfolded.

My point isn’t that we can’t move forward. But I choose not to forget. Forgetting feels dangerous. In a world where so many people “go with the flow” the flow can shift so quickly that it leaves you gasping for air. We all thought we were better than the Germans in WWII, turning a blind eye to what was happening. But we’re not. We’ve had a taste of that in America, and it’s a fucked-up thing to go through. To see how corruptible your community is. To sit in mute shock while your government steals babies from the arms of refugees. To hear someone you know infer his daughter was a slut for dating a black athlete.

Holy shit! Where did this come from? Has it been here the whole time?

And our black and brown neighbors say in one voice: Yes. This is what we’ve been trying to tell you.

Last year, in Tennessee, a black friend of mine sat at a coffee shop while a huge confederate parade marched down the street outside. She looked around the coffee shop and saw that no one else even batted an eye. There are places in this country I no longer want to visit. My mind has formed a map, not of red and blue, but of safe and unsafe. And the lines aren’t as obvious as you might expect.

Back in 2017, there was a video circulating of a Nazi in Seattle. This was back before the events of Charlottesville, and the mere sight of someone openly wearing a swastika was shocking. In the video, the Nazi holds up his hands to the guy across from him, a “let’s be reasonable” gesture. The other guy punched him square in the face and knocked him out cold. The Nazi lay there, on the concrete, outside the rail station just a quarter mile from my house. At the time, I remember there being this big debate online, and in my own home, about whether or not it was right to use violence in that way. Is it wrong to attack someone before they’ve been violent?

I guess I’ve changed? I’d rather live in a place where literal Nazis are preemptively punched in the face, versus places where confederate flag parades don’t get so much as a dirty look from the average citizen. My tolerance ends at the line where genocidal ideologies live. I’ve seen where unchecked hate can lead, and you need to rip that shit out at the root. We came so so close to losing everything. Heck, we still could.

Biden wants unity, and I’m on board! But I think it’s important that we get clear on what we’re unifying around. And white supremacy ain’t it. Conspiracy theory ‘patriotism’ isn’t it either. In his speech, I think he made those boundaries clear. Let’s walk the talk, even when it hurts.

Today marks the start of a new era. The post-Trump era. May it shine! And having spent the last four years cycling between denial, bargaining, and anger, I feel like I can finally grieve what we’ve lost. Our innocence and arrogance, I suppose. Not to mention all the lives lost or ruined. Families torn apart. Friendships ended. And maybe after grieving, I can accept where we’ve landed?

Not accept as in “this is fine.” I’m talking about the kind of acceptance that says “We live in an unjust world, filled with selfish and ignorant hearts, including our own.” An acceptance that insists there will always be work to be done to make ourselves better. A “let’s get busy” kind of acceptance.

I am not the same person I was before Trump rose to power. That’s hard, but it’s also good.

Today, I enjoyed menacing my husband with a homemade UFO. (instructions here) 👽

When the cranberry juice skateboard guy shows up in the inaugural parade:

Leo Decaprio points at his television meme

Beautiful poem, Amanda Gorman. Beautiful and true. 🇺🇸

It looks cold in DC! ❄️

Happy Inauguration Eve, my fellow Americans. 🇺🇸

I’ve pre-ordered a rotary cell phone kit and my nerdy little heart is happy.

Liked: Netflix Animation Virtual Speaker Series: Writing Edition

Do you have an interest in writing for animation? We’re hosting a Writers Edition of our Virtual Speaker Series.

You nudged me over the edge, @miraz & @crossingthethreshold 😄 I picked up a Kindle on my lunch break.

A Kindle Paperwhite showing the title page of The Sword of Shannara

Gah. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is a thousand-armed bureaucratic squid monster, and every time I grab a tentacle she whips me around and flings me out to sea. 🐙

I will learn to ride you, you magnificent beast.

We’ve been watching a lot of Deep Space 9, and I have Worf on my brain, so when I sent out an email this morning with broken links (oops!) all I could think was:

I have brought shame upon my house!

The Fundamentals of Caregiving was a sweet movie. 🎥

I ordered myself a shiny new doodad. 🤩

The Circuit Playground Express: a round PCB board with colored LEDS and many programmable components.

I’ll be merging my hermit.fun blog posts into hypertext.monster soon.

It was a fun exercise, but two blogs are plenty. Now that I’ve decoupled my personal and work blogs I don’t need a third. 😏

If you want the hermit.fun domain for a blog or a project shoot me an email.

Liked: The Platform Is The Enemy

Listening to Cool Night by Paul Davis 🎶 and writing ✍️ The Case of the Red Phantom.

Read: Amazon Is Booting Parler Off Of Its Web Hosting Service

If my hair gets any longer I’ll need to don a fantasy gown and ride a white horse along the beach at sunset.

And who has time for that?

A work crew is pulling trash and wood out of the old Lusty Lady building in downtown Seattle.

They’re probably just keeping the rats at bay, but I’d love to see something fun go into that space.

I can’t bring myself to pay for the WSJ; not since they pulled that sexist crap with Dr. Biden, but I’ll read a borrowed copy.

Roku wants to buy Quibi? Weird flex, Roku. I hope it works out for you.

I imagine law enforcement analysts had their hands full cataloging all the evidence posted to social media today.

“Let’s livestream our crimes!”

FBI: “Cool. Cool.” 😆