19 June 2020

"Memory is a tough place. You were there."

This Week

This past week was, for me, the one where lockdown-induced restlessness really set in. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m familiar with the rhythms of a life lived largely at home, so I was able to groove comfortably with that for a long time. This week, however, I really wanted to go out and do something. I pacified the urge by taking a long walk through an adjacent neighborhood I hadn’t explored since moving to my current neighborhood last summer. I discovered a lovely used bookstore, open and empty of any other customers but me, so I was able to pass a distracting, healing time among the stacks. I bought a collection of American Gothic short stories and a brand-new copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. It ended up settling my restlessness nicely. I suppose the moral of the tale is that even if you can’t do what you want to do, you can do something.

On the project front: A few years ago, I created and delivered a series of workshops designed for mothers and daughters to learn about basic web development called Code and Cupcakes. While it wasn’t sustainable for me to continue with them, I always wanted to formally wrap up the project and gift it to anyone else who wanted to use it. So I finally cleaned up the curriculum I used in the workshop, wrote some teaching notes and event guides, and made all the materials freely available. You can get everything directly at the Code and Cupcakes GitHub page. Please share and reach out if there are any suggestions or questions.

Another quick personal note: I’m still open for new jobs. If you or someone you know is looking for a technical/curriculum writer, you know where to find me.


Links

“In this movement, I see signs that parts of society are beginning to look more to the future and less to reclaiming an old way of life. In thinking about the tension between the past, the present, and the future, I have come to believe that the only way to move forward is to grieve the life we once knew, and to shift our mindsets to radical acceptance of our present reality in order to create a new normal that is better than our pre-pandemic life.” There’s no going back to “normal.”

A hugely influential source of information in my ongoing education about prison and police abolition has been Mariame Kaba, so I wholeheartedly recommend her recent piece in the NYT.

How JK Rowling betrayed the world she created.

For your book-buying needs, a comprehensive list of Black-owned bookstores.

Gearing up for Nia DaCosta’s Candyman.

“It begins as a seemingly straightforward police procedural with a curious fixation on body horror and evolves into a psychological nightmare told through the lens of a European art film.” The queer legacy (and future) of Hannibal. I recently started watching Hannibal for the third time but the first in a couple of years and I’m awed all over again by how much I love it.

Happy 30th birthday to Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the best non-cartoon cartoon ever made.

Edward Hopper and American solitude.

Beautiful Japanese fireworks illustrations from the 1800s, recently put online by the Yokohama Library.

“The complicated truth is that the story behind each tattoo’s design means far less to me than my decision to get tattoos in the first place.” Inking against invisibility.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • I didn’t rush out to see Ready or Not when it was in theaters or pay for it as a rental, but now that it’s available on HBO, I found it just the sort of gory, darkly funny summer horror film I wanted to watch. Who doesn’t want a class warfare tale with a happy ending right about now.

  • Moving on from last week’s summer anthem. Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer.


I hope you are finding a bit of ease, wherever and however you can.

Love,

Jen


Connections

Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

This week’s quote is from Claudia Rankine.