101 in 1001 Check In

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” 
― Albert Einstein

Kittens, it’s time for some self accountability! I’m officially one year into my 101/1001 challenge (2.0). I’ve ticked off 23 goals of my list thus far; I was trying to get 24 so I could say I’ve done at least two a month…but alas. I’m still pretty pleased at my progress! The below goals are the long term work-in-progress ones that have been activated but I can’t tick off just yet.

8. Read every Agatha Christie novel
10. See 10 operas, ballets, or classic plays I haven’t yet (5 of 10)
17. Visit the Acropolis in Athens (trip to Greece in the works!)
30. Put $10 in savings for every goal accomplished
33. Pay off the remainder of our student loans
38. Do another 100 books in a year self challenge (I wasn’t doing this originally, but seeing as I’m well over 60 titles in for this year on my Goodreads tracker, while the hell not?!)
44. Go on a shopping hiatus for 3 months once a year (2 of 4)
49. Decorate a new apartment like a real, live grown up
56. Be able to squat my own body weight
58. Become a pseudo expert in a subject I’m interested by reading one book on the subject a month for six months (3 of 6)
66. Listen to one new-to-me music album each week for a year
80. Get credit card balances down to zero
84. Deep clean once a season for duration of 1001 day timeline (4 of 15)
86. Vote in every election in my US state for duration of 1001 day timeline (1 of 3)

All in all, not bad progress for one year. Our big financial goals are still around and some months we do better than others at budgeting, but I’ve discovered some recent ways of handling that which I’ll share in other posts. My writing goals are woefully behind, but I have a fantastic girl gang cheering me. There have been fits and starts with some health goals, but I want to do another month-long blog project around this as a theme.

Have a brag moment in the comments and tell me if you’ve ticked off any goals recently, and what they were!

Girl Gang Good News Minute

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” 
― Toni Morrison

Excuse me while I brag, but one of my best friends in the world has sold her novel and I’m thrilled! The Dead Queens Club is coming your way in 2019! Believe or or not the concept for this came out of one of our (many and varied) email chains, and if that is my only claim to fame ever, I can shuffle off this mortal coil with honors. I will be plugging this left and right over the next couple of years, so it’s only fair to warn you all now.

But seriously, it’s a fantastic book. Get hyped.

Treasure From Paris

“Adornment, what a science!” 
― Coco Chanel

It’s been a minute since our trip to Paris but I came home with a piece of treasure and a shop that needs to be shared.

First some background. I have discovered a deep and abiding love for costume jewelry that I can’t explain. Aesthetically, I love the delicate pieces that have been trending for a while; the barely there chains, discreet studs, airily pretty pieces that Cool Girls wear so effortlessly. And yet, in recent years, everything I have been personally drawn to has been brightly colored, oversized, loud, and just a bit wacky. Somewhere in my psyche is the soul of a supremely and gloriously gives-no-****s senior citizen who decorates her walker with rhinestones, holidays in places that her grandchildren consider “unsuitable,” revels in garish lipstick, and probably has disinherited all her relatives at some point.

It was at the start of this phase that I discovered the jewelry of Lea Stein, a French accessories artist famous for her plastic brooches in what have come to be considered some iconic shapes. My favorite design was her fox-shaped pin and I coveted one, while cursing the high prices that her pieces command for the genuine articles. I follow a number of sellers or traders in the antiques world, Etsy, and elsewhere specifically to keep an eye on what’s coming and going, with an eye to snagging a deal.

So, over the summer while walking down a gorgeous street, my spidey senses pinged unexpectedly. Out of the corner of my eye, some bright colors had flashed and once my brain had caught up, poor Jeff was nearly dragged across the street.

Meet Tiany Chambard on the Rue Jacob, a tiny but absolutely jam packed shop specializing in vintage costume jewelry. What had caught my attention was a display case in the window featuring an abundance of Lea Stein pieces.

I was ridiculous and failed utterly to take photos at the time of the discovery visit, but returned to at least capture the store front and give you a tantalizing hint as to what lies inside.

 

A wealth of goodness!

The shop carries outright kitsch to designer pieces and I could have gleefully spent hours in there–I fully intend to on my next trip to Paris–but on this visit, I was on a mission. Armed with Jeff’s laughing comment that if I found one I loved it could be my anniversary present, the lovely seller unlocked a cabinet filled with Stein goodness and allowed me to turn over each brooch until I found The One.

This was the only thing I bought in Paris this trip, and it’s been a long time since a purchase gave me this much pleasure. Come jacket season, this guy get the place of honor on my beloved 1950’s tweed.

Weekend Link Addendum: The Fall of Cromwell

Rookie mistake, C., posting the links before the end of the day…

Bannon is out. I’m not sorry to see him go, but I’m highly aware that this man still has the ear of and media arm around a large number of angry, empowered, militantly armed people. He’s mobilised them. He rose to prominence and put a president in power by channeling their rage and resentment. I’m worried he may still have influence over them.

I’m equally worried that he doesn’t or soon won’t. I believe that he has incorrectly judged that he could coalesce and control these groups long term to achieve his political ends–that a devil’s bargain was made. They have unleashed forces and brought to the sunlight what had been festering underground, online, on message boards, in chat rooms, but less seldom dared to show its face in public. I’m very aware that the younger generation of white supremacists chose deliberately to wear no face coverings.

This administration rose to power by rousing the rabble, as I once said. It’s roused. I don’t think they can control or check it. And we are all of us less safe, our morals in question, our national security compromised, because of it.

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Weekend Links

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The American political news this week was appalling and, as a citizen abroad, cripplingly humiliating. The history of the American nation is one of a country constantly falling short of its own ideals, and yet striving tirelessly towards them anyway. We’ve backslid, we’ve divided, we’ve pushed for better, we’ve linked arms and moved forward together. I trust that will continue. But the current moment feels really, really dark. There are astonishing moments of light and brightness, yes, but I find myself constantly dismayed at my own naivete in thinking so many of the forces I see ascendant now were–not dead (I’m not that dumb), but were at least on the down and out. I was wrong. I was ignorant. I won’t make the mistake of complacency again.

To put your money where your mouth is in condemning white nationalism (code of white supremacy), BossedUp has put together an excellent list of causes you can support here. I will be donating, I encourage you to do the same.

The whole Charlottesville story is awful so let me be clear: if you are a purpose who purports to stand against people mobilized by dangerous ideology (political and religious) happening “elsewhere,” I damn sure expect you to oppose it on home turf. At time of adding this story, the photos look inches away from an actual Jim Crow South style lynch mob.

Added over the weekend: it got worse. Rest in power, Heather Heyer.

It got even worse. Seth Meyers, of all people, summed up my feelings on the president’s statements on the matter. Which he then tried to walk back with a scripted statement, which he later overturned again to confirm that his first statements that “both sides” were to blame truly reflected his views. I will concede that both sides threw punches; only one was able to show up armed better than the actual police (thanks to decades of paranoia-rousing and the systematic arming of civilians with military grade weaponry, and entrenched racism–I dare anyone to argue that a para-military group of black men armed to the teeth in an identical way would not have been met with swift and deadly force). Only one side is embracing an ideology that necessitates the subjegation or extermination of millions. There is no moral equivalency, and “both sides” arguments will not hold water here.

Seth Meyers nailed it again. I feel out of ways to say that Mr. Trump is unfit for the office he holds. I am not calling for his impeachment because that is a legal process that must be done in the right way for reasons within the boundaries of law…that or our laws are meaningless. But he is morally, intellectually, temperamentally unfit for the role he has been awarded, and I believe he is causing damage to the office and both the functionality and perception of the American government.

Vice produced a compelling, informative, and frightening mini-documentary almost in real time that should be required viewing in this moment.

This thread about the, let’s be frank, false victimhood of the American white male is required reading.

 

I legitimately had to read this article a couple of times and sit with it, because it’s so self-descriptive. I am horrible at taking holidays, and I am trying to take advantage of them (seeing as how I’m legally entitled to them, and all…) but the guilt I often feel for putting in a time off request is corrosive.

I am not the biggest fan of Taylor Swift, but I read this story of her testimony against a man she accuses of assault with great satisfaction. When questioned how she feels about him losing his job due to the incident, the cool response was: “’I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault, because it isn’t,’ she said. Later, she continued: ‘I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions and not mine.’” Amen and amen.

Sir, could you just not?

Wealth is a strange thing.

Disrupt away, ladies!

Faith in humanity ticking back up.

WAY behind the times but worth celebrating.

Oh man. I’ve given myself permission to buy from this collection when it launches, but now I fear it will take ALL of my money…

I might need to arrange to be on Westminster Bridge next Monday.

Pro tip: be a dick in public, get dragged in public. It’s the brave new media world.

Why white people don’t get to say, “This isn’t us.”

This story could have been handled in a tabloid-y and gross way. In McKay Coppins’ capable hands, it’s done very well.

Another tiny bright spot.

This week in Mormon news, another thing to warm your feeds!

What the **** is wrong with people?! (trigger warning on this one, but a number of -isms are on display here and need to be confronted)

And then, on Thursday, there was another terrorist car attack, this time in Barcelona. Waking up this morning, there was more bad news in Spain. My heart hurts.

Album of the week: Silk and Soul, by Nina Simone

Weekend Links: Leave Guam Alone!

“Un nota na tentashion nahoñg rason.”
[Transaltion: A very little temptation is enough.]
– Chamorro proverb, from pre-WWII Guam

My island of birth is caught between a despot and a reality TV star. What could possibly go wrong? Here are your weekend links, dropping on a Friday to help you kick off the weekend. If we all survive to Monday, let’s reconvene.

If my own trajectory is Cool Girl to Bitch to Broad, I will consider my life a success.

Relevant to my interests.

In news that shocks no one, Caitlin Moran continues to be brilliant.

This is just bloody adorable.

This story of this man’s dragging has been satisfying.

Janssen of Everyday Reading, who I’ve known since university days and with whom I’ve had the pleasure of touching base every few years, is starting an exciting new project!

This week in Mormon news, woah. This guy is the head of a pretty significant committee within the church structure responsible for the streamlining and dissemination of teaching tools, policy, and a wide range of official materials. At time of typing it’s a developing story, but it’s been a long time since a person of his rank has been kicked out of the church.

The world has seen this, sir. The guy who helped invent it could only quote, “I am become death,” when he saw what his fire could do.

As of Thursday, this story just keeps getting deeper and weirder.

go on

This thread, lit AF.

Album of the week: Early Grey, by Girl Ray