Less News Now

My wife and I had a midweek date and I spoiled it with anxiety.

“This cheese plate is good, but what if our son grows up in an apocalyptic hellscape with sunken coastlines and ultraconservative thought-policing?”

Mainlining news all day is making me unproductively anxious. I’m not bettering myself, let alone anyone else, by following every update, every hour.

I’m going to pretend it’s the 20th Century and I have to wait for the newspaper to land on the porch, or the nightly news to bring me up to speed.

I’ll still be on and off Facebook throughout the day, but I’ll be more of a snorkeler than a scuba diver, coming up for air instead of waiting for my helmet to implode from too much pressure.

Because the constant onslaught leaves zero time for decompression and reflection. Taking breaks isn’t the same as tuning out or growing apathetic. I’m not a bad citizen if I don’t feel outraged the instant a new executive order is signed, and I’m not a useful citizen if I allow myself to be dazed by hourly blows to the head.

Next date, I’ll focus on my wife (and the cheese plate).

Punk Cafe

I’m bringing Dead Kennedys’ “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” to a cafe vinyl night this evening. I give it four songs before it stresses people out and they swap the record for something calmer.

Update #1: Ooo! There’s a knitting club meeting in the cafe tonight, too. They’re gonna love it.

Update #2: They played the entire side! Thanks, Donald, for making the Dead Kennedys relevant yet again, I guess?

Update #3: I also won this “attack cat leaping out of a coffee cup” platter felt in the raffle, so pretty big win all-around tonight.

Be Good to Someone You Know

Do Things, Fight Gloom: Idea #1

Boost someone you know, right now, in any way.

It’s important to help people you don’t personally know, but your immediate sphere is important, too. Someone you know – a relative, friend, or coworker – is in desperate emotional need today.

They won’t let you know because it’s terrifying to admit that kind of vulnerability.

Maybe they’re anxious, depressed, or lonely. Maybe their job crushes their identity or they’re dating a lamprey. They might be contemplating suicide against their will.

Or maybe it’s something positive, and they’re right on the lip of a week-changing epiphany, and all they need is one little nudge of human contact.

Right now: Send a text. Invite someone out. Be awesome for a person you know, out of nowhere.

Civil Liberty Coins

We cashed in the coins from the family donation bottle and gave the proceeds to the ACLU because:

  1. Let’s see if you can guess!
  2. A friend told me she had a glass bottle for coins, and once the coins were six inches deep, the bottle broke and there was a big mess of glass and coins on the rug. So we’re going to make smaller donations more frequently and keep the bottle intact.

Pro tip: Coinstar machines take a 10.9% service fee if you exchange coins for cash. But you can get 100% of your coins’ value if you exchange them for a gift card.

I got an Amazon gift card, knowing we’ll buy something there eventually. Our old AM/FM radio died, for example, and we need a new one so our dog Bones has music when we’re out of the house. (He likes Rewind 105.7: “The Best Variety of the 80s, 90s, and More”.) I can use the gift card on a radio and other stuff we’ll need from Amazon in the coming months, instead of using a credit card like usual, and then I can use the regular credit card to donate the coins’ full amount to the ACLU.

Long tip short, it’s a way to bypass the 10.9% service fee.

Now back to refilling that bottle.