Shut-in and shutdown

This is a massively reduced newsletter, largely because of the chaos that is this time of year — vacations, Christians celebrating and closing everything, slowly pulling together all of the things people need in the new year, etc, etc. For me that means running back to D.C. from beautiful New Mexico and struggling to clean my house in advance of our best friend coming into town. It also means the government is irregularly shut down — shut down vs. shutdown and when to use which has been a favorite game of mine for the past few days — and that my newsroom is regularly shut down and that my favorite cafe down the street will be shut down on the 25th and my yearly panic of where to get overpriced and much-loved espresso will begin. We’ve been reviewing finances, planning our year (our life, now, I guess), baking (baking, baking, I think a lot about anxiety baking), hiking (that’s me, A Hiker), and trudging towards what is bound to be another very long year at the end of which I will be within moments from loathing everyone around me. (2020 talk, what else!)

But until then, here’s a final (small) newsletter before a round-up of some kind of this long-ass year, and if you are celebrating something around this time, I hope it’s great, and if you’re not, I hope you’re eating something delicious and enjoying the company of great people. My Jewish-Muslim household, forever waging the War on Christmas, will be doing the same.

Blues Buzz

This essay, on top surgery, is a must-read. What cafes did for liberalism (and Jews.) A lot of Latin Americans have Jewish ancestry. Hollywood’s version of girl power isn’t ideal. American Socialists have a race problem.

El Paso. © E.A. Crunden

El Paso. © E.A. Crunden

Green Scene

Me: In 2019, Democrats are set to go to war with Trump over the environment. Here’s what a government shutdown means for national parks. Elsewhere: A deal in Katowice. Time is running out for coal miners grappling with black lung disease. A devastating tsunami in Indonesia.

Spoken & Written

“Last year, I publicly admitted to having a body for the first time, an act so embarrassing I have still not fully recovered.” — Daniel Ortberg


The War on Christmas, best achieved through eating challah and potato kugel on 12/25. | Small hikes, man, they’re great!