The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has long had a special relationship with the incoming Presidential Administration, including providing archival and records management guidance and support to the White House upon request. This relationship continues throughout the Administration, until the Presidential records are transferred into the National Archives for permanent preservation in our President […]
Okay, it’s not Friday, sure. But it’s my Friday, sort of, because my week ends today (after starting on Sunday).
Here in Baltimore Friday is promising to be pretty nice, and T is off as well, so we’ll probably do some delightful homeowner stuff, like yardwork. After some thought we’re taking down some pokeweed growing around the house – the possibility of attracting birds didn’t end up outweighing the possibility of future pets/children getting sick. T has also been meticulously weeding between the paving stones on the front walk, which is exhausting but satisfying.
Saturday, however! Saturday T is working and the weather may be icky, so I will be doing some reading. I’ve been lugging Thomas Piketty’s Capital around for a good while now, so it’s time to make some progress on that. I also managed to get my hands on a copy of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad so I’m looking forward to digging into that.
I’ll be sure to report back!
Go read and consider Michelle Goldberg’s analysis of “The Hillary Haters” at Slate. The nut:
Few people dislike Hillary Clinton for being too moralistic anymore. In trying to understand the seemingly eternal phenomenon of Hillary hatred, I’ve spoken to people all around America who revile her. I’ve interviewed Trump supporters, conventional conservatives, Bernie Sanders fans, and even a few people who reluctantly voted for Clinton in the Democratic primary but who nevertheless say they can’t stand her. Most of them described a venal cynic. Strikingly, the reasons people commonly give for hating Clinton now are almost the exact opposite of the reasons people gave for hating her in the 1990s. Back then, she was a self-righteous ideologue; now she’s a corrupt tool of the establishment. Back then, she was too rigid; now she’s too flexible. Recently, Morning Consultpolled people who don’t like Clinton about the reasons for…
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I’ve been waiting a while to write this post, but I’m finally feeling confident enough to “announce” (to those of you who haven’t already heard me yammer on about it) that T and I have a house!
Although many people manage to do this every day, we found it to be pretty stressful and time-consuming, and we’re both super grateful it’s over. Perseverance paid off and we ended up with a house we think will be great.
I generally hate moving, probably because I own so many books and have very short arms, but I’m almost excited about this move. Since moving out of my parents’ house to go to college in 2001, I’ve almost always had a portion of my stuff in storage, whether in a storage locker over the summer, or left behind when I only took what I could fit in my car to move to Baltimore. I’m sure my mom will appreciate me not emailing her every few months asking if such-and-such thing is around and could she mail it to me. (Usually accompanied by a please, but let’s be real, not always.)
We’ve got movers scheduled for the end of the month. If you need me in the meantime, I will be grill shopping online.
I recently experienced the trauma of replacing my car. After 176,000 miles and 16 years, the time had come for my buddy Canberra to retire.
My parents got the car in the fall of 2000, and it was the first car I ever drove regularly, the car I tested in when I got my driver’s license, the car my mom helped me pack up and drove me to college in Massachusetts. One summer when my parents were traveling, my sister and I “daringly” took it on a little road trip from Chicago to Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin. I got in trouble a few times for keeping the car out after curfew.
I eventually inherited the car, and named (renamed?) her Canberra. Again she was packed full of my belongings, and this time I drove myself to Maryland to start graduate school. She’s driven across Ohio more times than I can count, and survived more than her fair share of road trips, some involving blizzards (ask my mom about that, she has some thoughts).
16 years is a lot of use to get out of a car and I’m lucky she held up so well. Still, nothing lasts forever, so I’m very pleased to introduce you all to Brisbane, my new (and hopefully loyal) automotive sidekick!
One thing to know about me is that I’m perpetually “behind” on my podcast listening. The number of podcasts I find interesting usually far outstrips the amount of time I can dedicate to listening to podcasts, so I’m always juggling what’s fresh in my mind with things I’ve saved from months ago.
All this to say, I just this weekend got to listening to an older Freakonomics podcast, Is It Okay for Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees?, which is pretty much about what it says on the package. There’s some fairly interesting discussion about what kinds of discrimination we “need to be worried about” (definitely the podcast’s words, not mine, and don’t represent my opinion) and the difference between the ethnic makeup of front of the house and kitchen staff at various restaurants.
One issue the podcast doesn’t address is the distinction Americans make, or don’t, between people who look like they could work in a Mexican or Japanese restaurant but are of diverse backgrounds (not many diners could distinguish between Mexican, Colombian, or Dominican, for example, or Japanese, Korean, and Chinese staff). Or, what if you’re Mexican but don’t “look” or “sound” like customers would expect? I think the argument that some of the commentators make about customer expectations really fails to acknowledge that “customers” aren’t a monolithic group and they don’t necessarily need to be pandered to at the cost of ethical considerations.
What really caught my attention and has been on my mind since Friday night, though, is the question that opened the podcast, which included the *delightful* phrase “… the Asians”. The questioner assumed that Asian restaurants were “getting away with” something that wouldn’t fly if “all-white” or “Americanized restaurant[s]” wouldn’t. To which I say, bullshit. Restaurants get away with that pretty regularly. My husband and I don’t eat out frequently, but we do eat out at sit down restaurants, and I eat out a lot when I travel (sometimes fast-casual, sometimes table services). And looking back on the last six months or so, almost every server we’ve had has been white.* Frankly, I didn’t even think about it until this podcast, but I do find it telling that the questioning that prompted the discussion was about the perceived inequity of a primarily Asian waitstaff, and I don’t think that inequity would have been or has been questioned in the cases of primarily white waitstaff.
* Two exceptions come to mind, and these were both fast food restaurants; the Dunkin’ Donuts in my neighborhood and the Jimmy Johns near the convention center in Boston. I do reserve the right to be corrected by my husband or other dining partners who may remember details I’ve forgotten.