The French bakery, Tartine (suggestion from Oona). Eating a massive mushroom croque monsieur because they didn’t have many other veggie options. The spicy pickled carrot on the side. I figured: I’m 23 now. I don’t have to have the palate of a four-year-old anymore.
The birthday candles that Casey had secretly bought across the street and stuck into my croque monsieur.
The drizzle at Mission Dolores Park, where we walked up a hill and then back down.
The ceramics and home goods store, Heath, and all its beautiful magazines and design books. We sat in the cafe and read for a while.
Flying home from San Francisco.
The woman at SFO with a graphic pattern dress depicting a face that seemed to be Chairman Mao’s.
The beacon lights on the plane’s wing tips lighting up the rain, showing us how fast we were going.
My controversial decision to poop during the flight, and the prolonged turbulence that started as soon as I sat down.
Lake Michigan as an invisible, black slick.
Mom and Dad surprising me with cake and “Happy Birthday” when I walked in the door at home.
The NYTimes article about woke capitalism: how some brands perform wokeness to distract consumers and workers from demanding more substantial, long-lasting improvements (like higher worker pay). It helped me understand how I could believe conservatives are responsible for corporations run amok and still find validity in the fabled rural American worker’s conviction that liberalism is to blame for all her problems (because woke capitalism is a product of liberalism).
I was at a conference once with a seminar that explicitly called on attendees to incorporate woke capitalism into their businesses. It was pretty well-meaning, but even then the idea struck me as deflective.
The Oatmeal article about backfire effect, the cognitive bias that causes us to reject ideas that conflict with beliefs we already hold (or want to hold), i.e., to minimize the friction between new info and old info. That sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget when we’re thinking about, for example, racism and how people could be so immune to logical arguments against it.
How The Oatmeal and The Pudding are both visual storytelling sites and they’re both named for mushy foods? Coincidence?!
The horrifying Baffler story about student debt by M.H. Miller.
The computer science online college Lambda School’s unique tuition model: they charge you nothing until you start making money, and only then they take a portion out of your income (over two years, capped at $30k, if your salary is at least $50k). If the education is worthwhile, that model makes so much sense to me. The school’s interests are directly aligned with yours. And since everyone wants a high-paying job, there’s little chance of students abusing the system. I hope more colleges consider a model like that (especially those with big endowments to finance it) until we collectively decide to subsidize the fuck out of education.
The Fast Company story from 2017 about those orange scissors that are in every home/office: “The company has an unusual way of determining the quality of each finished product: The quality control team listens to the sound of each pair of scissors as they’re closed.”
How I’ve always been mildly uncomfortable with the lionization/romanticization of curiosity, because it can make it seem like you have to make yourself interested in uninteresting things, collect Fun Fact trivia-isms, or find esoteric hobbies, to have the virtue of curiosity. But it just means to be open to truly interesting things, enthusiastic enough to dig into and find more of them. Curiosity’s not just for nerds. Or else everyone should feel able and free to be a nerd.