We got some nice feedback about the last quarantine kit. Reader, we appreciate it *very much* when you weigh in.
Also, we got some feedback that felt existentially aligned with the anxiety that permeates everything right now about the world (maybe?) opening back up. The anxiety seemed to translate to: "Do we all have to be back out in the world full-time? Really?" Nope. Not yet. The feedback boiled down to: "The last quarantine kit? Really? Are you sure?" Nope. Not sure.
So maybe we'll make them weekly? A little consistency and discipline are nice things anyway.
Though, no promises that we'll be able to stick to a schedule. Between a team member's serious health issues and people WWAN is working with trying their damnedest to make sure that people in Wyoming with health issues and without health care or financial resources have access to Medicaid via expansion, no telling what kind of schedule we'll end up with. (Also, pretty on the nose to be battling against health issues while battling for health insurance. Very little will make you appreciate your health insurance and access to health care more than this. The thing that will make you appreciate it more? Not having health insurance or access to health care.)
Here's to trying. On all the fronts.
Besides, if we stopped writing these, where else would we ask questions like: Is it intolerably disrespectful and unprofessional to be an inveterate liar pushing stories you know to be false that would deny healthcare to tens of thousands of Wyomingites (while claiming to follow the ways of Christ) or to blurt out in a public forum that you're angry that the people who tell those lies *also* have the power to deny other people their basic human rights are "[insert regrettable choice of words here]"?
Because we did one of those two things on twitter this week. (Admittedly, the one that we did was out of character for us, so we deleted the tweet almost immediately and apologized. And are apologizing again, here.)
While you contemplate which sin is the greater one, here are this week's QK recs.
AHP with this gem: No one told me being middle class meant wearing my retainer forever
Sarah Smarsh with the leading entry in the genre: There is no shame like poor teeth in a rich world
And Amanda Mull in The Atlantic about a favorite topic of ours and what is about to happen post-pandemic: America is about to go Botox-wild
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh (Bonus read by Sarah Smarsh, and the book we can't wait to get our hands on. She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs)
Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The extraordinary story of the founding mothers of NPR by Lisa Napoli | From the WaPo review by Connie Schultz: "The founding mothers—Stamberg came up with the moniker—were in the thick of it. Their solidarity was inspiring and sometimes intimidating. One male colleague called their section of the newsroom the Fallopian Jungle."
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Kim's Convenience | New Yorker review by Hua Hsu: Kim's Convenience: The Genial Canadian Sitcom That Feels Like Watching Another Timeline
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend | New Yorker review by Emily Nussbaum: Losing Her Mind: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Ends with Hope
The Flight Attendant | New Yorker review by Doreen St. Felix: A Hot Mess Caught in a Caper in “The Flight Attendant
Pretend It's a City
The Incredible Jessica James
Sarah Smarsh | Journalist, 5th-gen Kansas farm girl. Author HEARTLAND, National Book Award finalist. New—SHE COME BY IT NATURAL: Dolly Parton & the Women Who Lived Her Songs.
Nina Totenberg | NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent
Roxanne Gay | Bonus essay: Q&A with Roxanne Gay about her art collection: Author Roxane Gay, Who Loves Art But Dislikes the Art World, Has Some Advice for Galleries: ‘Stop Being Terrible’
Illness limits cooking options. Intense, chronic pain also makes it almost impossible to eat. Nonetheless, consuming calories is the only way to stay alive, so cook and eat we must. Here are the top three things we made this week.
1. Egg bake | This most Midwestern of hotdishes requires little more than refrigerator leftovers, stale bread, eggs, milk, and a little s&p. We add cheese. A lot of cheese. (Also a Midwestern staple.) Here's how we do it.
Whisk four eggs until they're frothy
Add a splash of milk
Add a handful of cheese
Add whatever you have leftover in the fridge. We had a bunch of roasted veggies. Bacon or sausage might have been nice, if we'd had it on hand.
Put stale bread chunks into a small ceramic baking dish. (We took this a step further as an experiment and tossed the stale bread with olive oil, salt & pepper, and toasted it in a 350 oven for 10 minutes.)
Pour the egg mixture over the bread.
Cover the whole thing and stash it in the fridge overnight.
When you take it out of the fridge in the morning, sometimes it needs one more egg—well-beaten egg with a little milk—to top it off. Don't be afraid to add that.
Bake at 350 for ~25 minutes.
2. Rugelach | This is a repeat, we know. See above for the reasons why we're repeating here. Rugelach is solid comfort food.
3. Meat from Sweet Cheeks Meats or 307 Meat. Homegrown shops with local Wyoming beef. They'll do you right. We also like Haderlie Farms if you're in Lincoln County, Sommers Ranch if you're in Sublette, and Second Street Farm—poultry, but same same: locally-raised animal protein goodness—if you're in Lander. (Tell us who else and we'll happily feature those farms and ranches!)
Lying is bad.
Treating other people's health as if it were a political football is bad.
Christian and Jewish Scripture both make clear that there should be a financial reset built into our lives together. A do-over. A reminder of both impermanence *and* generosity. And an assertion that this should be joyful. Why else would it be called a Jubilee Year? What would it look like if we actually followed this directive? If we acknowledged that we are stewards, not owners? If we understood in deed (more than word) that we cannot possess anything, at least not permanently—and that we aren't meant to? Here's what Scripture says, specifically:
You shall count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years. Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; on the tenth day of the seventh month—on the day of atonement—you shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you: you shall not sow, or reap the after growth, or harvest the unpruned vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. (NRSV Leviticus 25:8-12)
Bonus unsolicited opinion: Words matter.
So our "[insert regrettable choice of words here]" tweet was out of character in part because our team is thoughtful, our team is professional, we don't lose our tempers in public, we don't make ad hominem attacks—even when we've been attacked, even when speaking truth to power is called for, even when other people are telling lies—but even more because words matter. While we're talking Christian Scripture, we do indeed believe in λόγος, Logos, the Word. It makes us believe that everything that is written or said has sacred significance. In the past, we have tried to be careful with our words. In the future, we will be even more careful with our words. In the future, we will make sure that the combination of pain and despair we felt last week does not prompt us to stoop to the level of our opposition.
Because words matter, the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice, and what is good and right and honest will prevail.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NRSV John 1:1)