Hello my dears (as my yoga teacher sometimes says). I feel affectionate of late. As you may know, I'm having a baby. A son, in fact! We learned that part recently.
To be precise, for now I'm just growing the baby. Then in May I will actually have him, inshallah. Currently my husband and I are in the preparatory phase known as nesting. Researching, planning, purchasing, cleaning, tidying, reorganizing. You could say that I'm making a list and checking it twice 😉
During the first trimester — I've since crossed into the second — I was worried about the experience of giving birth. That anxiety may return, but for the moment I can regard the prospect calmly. Labor and delivery are grueling; also, I am strong and resilient. "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer," Revelation instructs, and is not childbirth an apotheosis of mortality?
Getting back into the groove of yoga class has definitely contributed to this come-what-may attitude. I remain astonished that an activity I do twice a week, for a combined total of 2.5 hours, can make such a difference to my overall wellbeing. (Should I exercise more? That would be ideal. Am I going to? No comment.)
- Visakan recruited me to host Threadapalooza this year. My in-progress individual contribution is "100 aspects of the world that I'm excited to share with my child 🤗"
- Projects on deck besides regular happy mail: 1) A zine co-created by attendees of @christineist's experimental art party back in September; 2) recording an album with Lex de Blanca. Frankly I've been frustrated with myself for taking so damn long to push either of these forward, but what else is new.
- A note on the lazy Hollandaise recipe from the last email: My mom was dissatisfied, because the texture doesn't thicken up the way it does in the saucepan. I must admit, the lazy version yields a thinner liquid, less of a proper custard. YMMV on how much this matters.
- Not that you care or would even notice if I didn't point it out, but I decided to abandon the label Ideograph, previously appended to my newsletter subject lines. I coined the name to signify "the shape of ideas," lofty dreamer that I am, but in practice it meant "chatty email with links in it" (as opposed to a full-on essay like the Godpost). I do love brainstorming evocative portmanteaus... my defunct cyberpunk blog Exolymph was named the same way.
- "Strange, Inglorious, Humble Things" by Justin Duerr, h/t Adam Elkus
- "Porn Roulette" by Taylor Stuckey
- "Only time can write a song that's really really real." by Default Friend
- "NO EXIT PLAN, The Lies and Follies of Laura Albert, a.k.a. JT LeRoy" by Nancy Rommelmann
- Venkatesh Rao published two Art of Gig books (affiliate link)
- "I Fought The PayPal And I Won" by Yassine Meskhout
- "Too Much of a Good Thing: What Mania Feels Like" by Liam Rosen
- "effective altruism and its future" by eigenrobot
- "Things I've noticed while visiting the ICU" by Trevor Klee
- "The Story of Robert, A Suboxone Patient Dying of Cancer"
- "You Can't Raise a Baby Online" + "There Is Life After Death. But It Isn't Yours." by Made in Cosmos
- "How Christian Militarism Slowed The Spread Of Christianity" by Razib Khan
- Music: Selected recordings of classical piano by Stuart Evans
- Video: "did instagram kill the it-girl? 📱👀📰" by ModernGurlz
That's all for today. Until we meet again...
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Header art: Frohe Weihnachten! by Moriz Jung, 1907, cropped.