Category Archives: Thoughts

Dot Blog

Astute readers might note that I have a new domain: elizabeth.blog. My company, Automattic, has the rights to .blog, so they gave me this very nice one to use here.

How exciting is that! A new year, a new domain. I’m supposed to post at least once per month while using this domain, but I of course have grand plans to post more frequently again. Maybe twice a month! We’ll see how it goes.

Merry Christmas, all!

A Partial List of Fictional Characters I Have Strongly Identified With Since I Began Leading a Team

  • Jon Snow
  • Tony Soprano
  • Liz Lemon
  • Selina Myer
  • Maria von Trapp
  • Ron in Party Down
  • Basil Fawlty

Things I Have Spent a Decent Amount of Mental Energy Comparing to Leadership, Only to Suddenly Realize I Am Doing So and Feel Sheepish About It:

  • Magic the Gathering (in particular, assembling a good deck)

So Long, Thomasina

My little buddy is gone. She lived with me in four states, across three apartments and two houses and six rooms. I made her two salads a day for almost seven years, and I checked in with her every single time I went in or out of any one of my living rooms, and now I’m still checking in with her every time I come in or out, and I’m still talking to her without thinking about it, and I feel like these things are deep down in my muscle memory, and so I wonder how long it will be until I stop doing that.

She had a really wonderful life for a rabbit, and I said goodbye to her at the right time, and none of that makes me feel any better at all.

She was really sort of a pain in the ass most of the time, and I wish that she was still here.

Possible Configurations

I’ve been busy and I’ve also been thinking about being busy, and about jobs and women and parenting and families, and I think that all of the arguing boils down to the fact that, for ordinary people with ordinary energy levels, only the following configurations are possible:

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Three Wishes

After much thought, I think I have arrived on the final set of three wishes I would make should a genie ever present me with the option:

  1. Make me independently wealthy, such that forever after I will have all the money I want to do whatever I feel like doing without ever having to work for it or worry about it.
  2. Make me a white American man who looks exactly like Jon Hamm.
  3. Give me an IQ of 160.

I’m assuming that these wishes would all be in addition to whatever I already have; and not any tricksy nonsense like I get all of that and then also, surprise, I get inoperable cancer that will claim my life in one month or some shit. I would receive these three wishes only and NO OTHER CHANGES. I’d get this clarification first, in writing, and if this wasn’t the deal, I wouldn’t make any wishes at all.

Also, note that these wishes are those that will set me up personally for the maximum success and enjoyment a person could potentially have in the world we find ourselves in today. I would not waste my wishes on a better world, as I’m not convinced this particular one we’re living in will even make it more than a hundred more years into the future. I just want to have a good time with whatever time I have, and if I had the three characteristics above, my life would be BANANAS fun.

“Quitting Your Job To Travel Isn’t Brave. It’s Lucky”

When we start equating privilege with bravery, something even worse occurs: we suddenly view the opposite of those acts as complacent, and even cowardly. That staying at a job you hate is somehow ignoble (spoiler: it’s not. If someone works tirelessly at a job they hate in order to support themselves and/or their family, that is pretty damn admirable). Or that not hating your job means that you’ve just bought into some great American lie. That settling down is somehow settling for less.

Yes, yes, all of this! Geraldine at The Everywhereist is my favorite travel blogger, mostly because she’s hilarious, but also because she writes things like this.

As one of the privileged few myself, I have often been surprised by others in my circle looking down on those who for various reasons weren’t having as much fun as we were having. Let’s all have respect for each other and our choices! If you are good to your people and to the people around you, then you are doing life exactly right. Everything else is just icing.

The Eurello Diaries, Vol. II

Previously.

By my second semester at college, I had somehow managed to make a couple of actual friends. I’d also moved out of my first terrible dorm room situation and into another, slightly less terrible one, and I had finally fully broken up with my voice teacher and the music department. The first half of the year 2000 sees me growing gradually more accustomed to college life. It also — I’m not going to lie — involves my expressing some frankly horrifying opinions in a shameless and unguarded way which so appalled me on the reread that I nearly gave up the idea of doing this as a blog series and instead deleted all of my years of Microsoft Word files.

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So, The Toast has this great feeling where men just seem to be just so quiet, and even the male fans who want to be involved quietly participate and don’t force their way in. How do you think that’s come about, and how do we make the rest of the Internet exactly like that?


 

[laughs] I mean, this is a great question. “How can we make men quieter in general?” is always a worthwhile thing to ask. They have a really hard time with it. They struggle. They are sweethearts, but it doesn’t come naturally. We just make it super clear that men aren’t the point. There’s not going to be a lot of patience for a straight white guy coming in and saying ‘have you thought about my experience?’ because odds are…we’ve heard it, and odds are your experience is actually a little silly and nobody ever told you your experience is a little bit silly, they always told you it was very very serious and important.

I just think in general that straight white men can be great, but they should be told slightly more often that they are being silly. It’s just not something we worry about, or give a lot of thought to, and that’s sort of worked out for us. So I would say: just pat more men on the head, don’t think about them very much, laugh at them instead of answering their questions, but laugh gently and with good humour. I don’t know, give them something to do — hand them a farm or whatever.

— The Great Mallory Ortberg, on how The Toast keeps dudes with Opinions from taking over their comment section