DAY 17
​​​​​​​Had a raucous ridiculous online cocktail class with my besties on the internet last night. It was fun--really--but I miss them so much.

Aside from all the things in the world and the fact that we were on in the internet instead of at a commercial establishment, this was an ordinary day.

OOPS. I never hit post So I have to add day 18 to day 17.

DAY 18:

Forced normalcy continues. Got up. Made coffee. Ate some not-yet-perfect-but-wholly-satisfactory geysir bread with cheese. Tidied. Started work on Folkwear 215.

Apparently, I am the only person on the internet who finds the instructions for this dress completely inadequate. A couple say that the bodice shoulder pieces are "fiddly" and should be marked "very carefully front and back" but fitting those pieces together is not my problem. My problem is figuring out how to run the ribbon casing across the front bodice, over the front shoulder, down the back shoulder and across the back bodice. I think I've already screwed it up such that it can't be fixed. 

Ah well, it's just a costume for lounging around the house in. An extra fancy dressing gown, so ¯\(°_o)/¯ 

But it was frustrating, so not relaxing, so left me a little disgruntled with today.


My mother taught me not to have loyalty to institutions or systems. There was no specifiic one moment that she taught me that--no curriculum to advise me against institutions or systems. I don't recall her ever using those words or making such an assertion. But it was certainly there in the beliefs she shared.

Institutions and systems have the same flaws people do. Like people, they do intentional or unintentional harm; they have unexamined biases. Beyond that, institutions do not have a vested, emotional interest in you as a singular individual. Systems can't give and take. Ultimately, they can't or won't adapt easily.

None of that is groundbreaking thinking. But it's interesting personal context I never thought of. I don't have a sports team I always root for. I've never joined an alumnus or affiliate group. I guess I've had some brand loyalties over the years, but those have always ended badly. 

Now, as a middle-aged professional, it's my job to show institutions and systems where they are doing unintended harm, what their unexamined biases might be, what sort of adaptations are overdue. I find that my basic distrust of loyalty to specific institutions--rather than sympathy with their goals or valuing their role--is useful. 

A theme of all my work right now--professional, politcal and volunteer--is how the pandemic is laying bare all the failures of our systems; all the biases and harms built into our institutions. This is such an opportunity to fix things. I wish I had hope we would.


I think--no matter the rules, the metrics, the outcomes--it will take men with guns to remove the fucker from the White House. I fundamentally do not trust men with guns. I do not favor solutions which rely on me with guns. I believe that is where we are.

Among the things that frighten me about this are the people who think there won't be disorder following the election and the people who say "well, the military hates him, so there's nothing to worry about."

In a more generalised sense, it's harder and harder to be okay because of the whiplash. In one minute, you're casually chatting (online) with someone about whether they have a plant stand you can have and in the next you're having a conversation with your friend the bartender who hasn't paid the mortgage since March. You are considering talking a walk in the park with a friend who just paid $250 out of pocket for a COVID test while another friend is removing his brother in law from the ventilator. You haven't seen your parents in 178 days and they're in their late 70s but your neighborhood is full of 30-somethings sitting outside restaurants drinking beer. You get angry at the people planning weekends in lake cabins or posting pictures of their shopping trips with friends they don't live with, but then you invite someone over for a cocktail six feet away in your back yard.

You get up, get dressed, log into work and are supposed to care about long term policy changes while everything around you is smoldering.

Then you find yourself marveling about how lovely the weather is today. And enjoying a cookie. Then you hate yourself for letting go of the despair. 


I wonder how much imposter syndrome is just women, internalizing cultural misogyny. We're not mediocre white men; we must be imposters.

I am still cranky and tired but today I'm more disatisfied with small, personal things than with large systemic cruel and hateful failures. I suppose I have only so much capacity for the latter but since joy is impossible, I shift to the former.

I'm also being very ineffective at work. Which may be why my first thought in the morning is about imposter syndrome.


No less angry today. Much less confident in my own general competence. Just generally exhausted. Hopeless.

But it was a perfectly pleasant day. I suppose that makes it worse.


I took this day off from work. Spouse did not. He got up; made coffee; went to his work desk in the basement. I got up. Ate left-over biscuits and (veggie sausage) gravy, played video games. Watched The Assistant--which was brilliant.

Finished a test-run of Vogue 7759. Looking forward to running it up in the chosen fabric but mostly I was glad I was able finish something in less than 12 times the amount of time it should take. The test is a completely terrible fabric, but the pattern is good and I made the right adjustments to fit it properly. I'm hopeful.

Mostly, I put the sewing room in order. I am supposed to get office furniture from Ikea this weekend, but I've not gotten an actual delivery confirmation, so I'm skeptical. I plan to turn the corner of the room into a work space because I've working in the dressing room, which annoys spouse, because I get grumpy working at the sewing table and I don't want to work in the dining room. 

I should probably work in the dining room. There's lots of room. There's not any more street noise there than there is in the back by the alley. I could even finally do something nice on the front porch and taking meetings out there. I don't know why I'm being stubborn about it. But I am. I think if I got rid of my sister's piano, I'd be more interested in using that corner of the front room, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go there.

It was neither a good day, nor a bad one. We're privileged and our lives have been minimally disrupted, not only by the pandemic, but also by the U.S.'s unchecked slide into tyranny and corruption. I don't know how much longer both will remain true.