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Tracey

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About Tracey

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    a good friend

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  1. Tracey

    T.U.I.F.

    Happy retirement to your dad, Alayna! My dad retired a few years ago. I felt very stressed in the lead-up to it because I was worried that, in his new boredom, he would drink himself to death. I guess I should have given him way more credit, because instead of reverting to alcoholism (which had been a thing in the past), he took up exercising, reading novels (in Chinese), calligraphy lessons, and now regularly meets up with his friends (a growing number of whom are also retired) for dim sum. He also keeps the family dogs company, which they love. It has seriously been The Best Case Scenario. I have been in Los Angeles this week. Skip is working on a show on the Paramount Pictures lot, so we're staying in a very sparse apartment across the street from it. On Wednesday night we walked past a trailer, and the door was open, and inside was Martin Sheen buttoning up a Hawaiian shirt. His name escaped me in the moment, so I mouthed to Skip, "It's the President from the West Wing!" A few minutes later I thought, "Oh his name is Michael Douglas!" Yeah, it was not Michael Douglas. It was Martin Sheen! I sure am glad it is Friday! I sure don't want to work any more!
  2. Tracey

    T.U.I.F.

    Today is one of the best Fridays because tomorrow I am going to LA for a week to see Skip. He will be living there for the next three or four months because he has a job that requires him to sit in a room with a bunch of writers as they some up with the scripts for a TV show. It sounds really tedious! I am hoping he will find some joy in it (the bureaucracy of it gets him down in a really bad way). We have made plans to do things like hike Runyon Canyon, visit Griffith Park and get Salt & Straw ice-cream (I will bring my Lact-Aid). Ryan, Laura and I will probably make curry tonight. And when you're here @soaplitz we'll probably make curry again, because it's all we know how to make.
  3. Tracey

    the entertainment will be televised

    I like to watch The Great British Baking Show when I really need to chill. It is meant to be a cooking competition but everyone is full of self-doubt and whenever their cakes collapse they're like "Oh well, better luck next time, I suppose!" It's also somewhat education because you learn about all these weird European baked goods that have these long histories and are impossible to make. And everyone is really nice!
  4. Tracey

    politicks

    Holy shit dude, the only thing I remember from Metal Gear Solid is hiding under a cardboard box.
  5. Tracey

    politicks

    I completely agree. I don't think we know the full story of an event until at least 10 years after the fact. I think news is incredibly important, but I also think the people making the decisions about what stories are pursued and are given prominent placement don't always know what they're doing, and they often don't have the time to stop and reflect on the ramifications of their actions. I've been sent out on a handful of occasions to cover events where people have died, and my marching orders have been to find friends and relatives of the people (who just died) to get them to talk about their loved one, and in the hours before the story goes to print it is the most important thing in the world to my editors, and I am sent to hospitals and police stations and we find these people's numbers in the White Pages and cold call again and again until someone answers, and it's really weird and uncomfortable and sad for everyone, and the next day once the story has gone to print and a new disaster has happened, they've moved on and forgotten about yesterday's story. It's like they have horse blinders on. We're not historians. We shout things that we believe to be factual at equal volume: "The sky is blue!" "The Catholic Church systemically covered up child abuse!" "These electric scooters in San Francisco are a trip hazard!" Another book recommendation: "The Unwinding" by George Packer. It was written in 2013, but explains how 2016 happened.
  6. Tracey

    the entertainment will be televised

    I use the Opera browser, which has a built-in VPN that you can toggle on/off. I would offer a review but I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to VPNs.
  7. Tracey

    politicks

    That was a joke. Although I really can't vote (not a citizen). Skip and I share subscriptions to the LA Times, New York Times, and Washington Post. My only news-consuming ritual (that is not work-related), though, is to read the Morning Briefing in the NYT app. It makes me feel informed without overwhelming me (also, it's a nice app!). If you have any interest in foreign policy/America's role in the Middle East and all the shit that's going on there, particularly as it pertains to Iraq/Syria/Jordan, I strongly recommend the book "Black Flags" by Joby Warrick, which tells the definitive history of the rise of ISIS. (It won a Pulitzer for non-fiction and it is a compelling read -- I whooshed through it in a weekend!) While the book isn't a source of news, having read it I feel that I have a better understanding of the ramifications of America's defense/diplomacy decisions, so when a candidate runs for office and expresses a certain foreign policy position, I kinda know what's up.
  8. Tracey

    politicks

    I can't vote because I am a convicted felon.
  9. Tracey

    How It's Made

    I knew I was watching something that was going to be consistently great as soon as he said, "Nice!"
  10. Tracey

    the entertainment will be televised

    I recently watched one episode of "Atlanta," the episode titled "Teddy Perkins." It was a neat little horror thing! I recommend it. It is only 30 minutes long and feels like a short film. I didn't know anything about the show before I watched that particular episode. I can't watch Curb! It stresses me out.
  11. Tracey

    How It's Made

    OK this one was pretty funny/delightful.
  12. Tracey

    How It's Made

    I was eating a wheat cracker just now (the round kind that isn't salty or sweet) and wondered how it was made, so I looked it up and found a "How It's Made" for a different type of cracker, and here it is! Is there a mass-produced anything that doesn't look gross? :-/
  13. Tracey

    T.U.I.F.

    This is exciting! Are you changing jobs/careers, Tombo? Is it difficult to get a visa for Burma? And or travelers permitted to go wherever they want/just hang out? When I went to China a few years ago I had to supply a itinerary and every location in which I was staying (down to the hotel address) and the details of every tour I was joining (I was traveling with my parents and they're into bus tours), and it felt kind of oppressive! Like, I personally prefer to just go to a place and walk around and see what happens, but Chinese immigration is not into that. I am on-call for work this weekend, so this is not the best of Fridays. Hopefully there is no breaking business news, because I sure as heck would like to not work!
  14. Tracey

    T.U.I.F.

    I learned from fitness guru Kayla Itsines that an effective way of cleaning white sneakers is to throw them in the wash with an old light-colored towel. I am not sure of the science behind it (perhaps the friction from the towel helps agitate the crud out of the shoes?), but I will trust her on that one because she sure does have a ton of sparkling white shoes! Do you plan on pursuing any more of the current work you're doing once you move to L.A. (in addition to community college), @soaplitz? Or are you searching for something different? I ask because, of the few people I have told about my plans to go back to a school, nearly all have asked me whether I plan to keep working for the Times, or perhaps try to get a local reporting gig, and I oscillate between feeling indignant ("grad school is itself a full-time occupation thankyouverymuch!!") and deeply misunderstood ("you have no idea how much my current profession depresses me"), and I end up giving a limp response ("nah, I need a change"). I mean, sure, I do need a change. But people don't typically need changes if they're happy.
  15. Tracey

    T.U.I.F.

    I had nothing to actively frustrate me this week, so my mind went looking for trouble and I spent a good amount of time feeling bitter about how many of my stories over the past year have been edited/re-written to be worse than their original versions. My mind can't help but re-litigate it! I keep getting really mad! This is not helpful, of course. I leave in 11 weeks, and I just need to let some things go. Oh, I did do at least one thing this week that made me feel OK. I bought shoe cream and a shoe brush and I buffed up/waterproofed my shoes! These boots were all scuffed up and looking kinda sad (I've had them for two years and never given them a shine). And now they're all shiny-like! Man, I am pretty good at shining shoes. If anyone has leather shoes they would like buffed, bring 'em over. I also have burgundy-colored shoe cream. This weekend I am going to work on a short story so that I can be extra ready when school starts. I will also do a test-run of a chickpea curry so that I can make it for friends at some point.
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