Now's the time that the light is coming back (or, so they say, it is pretty graybird and snow-globe-y outside right now so it feels like a real reach to talk about the "light").
Now is the time that those who celebrate Christmas believe that the good news has come: “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” Luke 2:19-20
Now is the time that we're a little bit stuck in between holidays.
Now is the time that we're wrapping up a singularly challenging year. (Word to the wise: Don't put all your eggs in the 2021 basket based on an assumption that if you stay up until midnight just to kiss 2020 good riddance, the world will look better in the morning. It might look like a continuation of 2020 here for a while. And, until we get on the other side of that inauguration date, who's to say where we are politically? And, until we get on the other side of that vaccination plan—which, btw, will require vaccinating like 1M+ people A DAY for the better part of A YEAR—who's to say where we are public health-wise? Just sayin'.)
So here we are. On the brink of stepping from 2020 into 2021. It sounds like a bright line. It might not feel quite that way when it comes.
This is the liminal space. The threshold. The in-between.
There's a lot to learn in this limbo once you realize a.) that you're in it and b.) that the borders between things—which seem fixed and rigid from a distance—are actually highly mutable. It is a little like the coastline: from the window of the airplane, the coastline cuts across dividing water from sand. And while the undulations of that line are visible from that great distance, the line is still a line. From the shore, however, it is much harder to tell what’s what. Where the sand ends and the water begins and how much sand is mixed up in the water and vice versa. Porous. Mutable. Fluid.
#19thReads 2020: The best reads on gender, politics and policy | "This year shined a spotlight on the resilience and struggles of women, LGBTQ+ people and all others underrepresented in our democracy—the inequities they face. Here, we take a look back at the stories that most impacted us."
Let's normalize women's leadership by Errin Haines | "If representation matters, so do narratives. Political journalism can shape those narratives—and, in turn, voters’ imaginations about who is electable and who should govern—by reporting on women as politicians."
What I Have Seen Running the FacesofCOVID Twitter Thread by Alex Goldstein | "We have a responsibility to affirm the basic dignity of our dead, proclaiming that their lives had meaning, and that those who loved them are not alone in their grief. ... The answer is to work to make America a place where we have a responsibility to care about the neighbors we’ve never met, a place where what matters isn’t who is the last one standing, but whom we stand beside."
Bonus read: Not everything is a commodity. Not every human interaction has to be a deal. by Charles P. Pierce | "God, I am tired of the transactional. I am exhausted by it. The cynicism and obviousness of it have drained me. The lack of creativity and the dearth of imagination has enervated me, body and mind and soul. I hunger for something that exists only for its own sake, something that cannot be coined or bartered."
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio | Read about the book and the author here from the LATimes.
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris | Here's a solid critique from Hannah Giorgis—written in 2019, it was pre-Harris-as-Presidential-candidate and pre-pre-VP-Elect-Harris—for some "historical" perspective. "The campaign book, of course, is a tricky text: A successful one must employ a nearly impossible mix of authentic backstory, humble retelling of career accomplishments, and accessible, soaring messaging about the nation’s future."
Bridgerton | If you don't already have it, get yourself some Netflix RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. and hunker down for the latest Shonda Rimes. You'll be glad you did. And here's what Patricia A. Matthew had to say about it in the LA Review of Books.
Killing Eve (Season 1) | Review of Season 1 from Lucy Mangan at The Guardian: Killing Eve review – comedy, tragedy and thrills, this spy series has it all.
The Flight Attendant | Review from Caroline Framke at Variety: The 'Flight Attendant' throws Kaley Cuoco into a glossy, twisty, energetic murder mystery.
The Forty Year Old Version | Summary review from Simran Hans at The Guardian: The Forty Yearl Old Version: razor sharp satire.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom | Review from Aisha Harris at NPR: Reclaiming Black Culture in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society | Review from Marissa Martinelli at Slate.com: Netflix’s New Movie Is Perfect Comfort Food for Fans of Downton Abbey or the Brontës.
Soledad O'Brien @soledadobrien | "Working mom."
Bonus follow: Nicolle Wallace @NicolleDWallace | Pulls no punches. Gives no fucks what you think. Really, really gives no fucks what Chris Christie thinks:
Buttermilk Roast Chicken from Samin Nosrat | We've said it before and we'll say it again: Watch Salt Fat Acid Heat. Cook a lot and want some new recipes with amazing illustrations? Buy the cookbook. Never cook at all and kind of maybe want to learn because, at this point, we're probably going to be home a while longer and now's as good a time as any and, besides, why not? This is 100% the cookbook for you. She's a brilliant teacher.
There was discussion about putting a recipe from Gourmet Magazine's December 1958 edition in here (the entire bound set of 1958 editions was a particularly amazing Christmas gift). Since we haven't cooked any of them yet *and* we're discovering that Gourmet c. 1958 was basically essays about food and fine dining written by men (ostensibly for men), we have some fun ethnographic research still to do. But! We already know the ads are *chef's kiss*. Bonus: this one not only plays on class, race, and gender, it also includes a daiquiri recipe!
As a general rule of thumb, don't participate in ill-founded coups. Do participate in cultural revolutions where the objective is to make the place better for *all* the people. Never just some of the people.
Apparently, this column "The state's budget is a moral document demonstrating who we are"—which, we have to say, is pretty benign and, in which, we have to say, Jen pulled her punches—caused quite a kerfuffle amongst some (if not all) of the white men on the Joint Appropriations Committee. There were emails (confirmed). There was a text thread (rumored). As far as we know, there has been no public commentary (you might know otherwise). Which, in a way, is kind of too bad. There's lots to talk about here. Not to mention, lots of WWAN members—and lots of *future* WWAN members—seem to be circulating the column approvingly. The piece was probably (always) going to break across gender lines. But that gender split was even more pronounced than we could have predicted. Figuring out how to bridge Wyoming's gender gap is something that we'll all have to work on in 2021 if we want better policy that lifts up women in Wyoming. When women and girls benefit, everyone benefits.
We don't have a lot, but we have more than enough. And we want to share what we can. If your situation is precarious right now because Wyoming basically failed to circulate funds intended to help people avoid evictions and the current president stopped your relief check in its tracks (Merry Christmas to you!) hit us up. We'll try to help. info@ is the email address or you can find us over on twitter and we reply to DMs. If you're like us and have some to spare, there are tons of people and organizations across Wyoming (and the nation) that need your help. Consider giving a little extra this holiday. Here are just a few:
Wyoming 2-1-1, a small org doing big work connecting people to services in every single Wyoming community. A little gift goes a long way here.
Wyoming Hunger Initiative, spearheaded by Wyoming's First Lady, Jennie Gordon, you can click here to find resources in your county if you need them and places to donate to or volunteer with if you have a little extra.
Community Action of Laramie County, Community Action of Laramie County (CALC) is dedicated to reducing poverty by empowering people to achieve self-sufficiency through education, advocacy, intervention.
Community Action Partnership of Natrona County, CAPNC works with low-income families and individuals in order to meet their immediate needs.
One22, offering direct services and payments to people who are housing and food insecure in and around Teton County.
p.s.—Don't get us wrong: we'll def be up at midnight on the 31st to kiss 2020 goodbye.