June 19th, 2015

Two swimsuits lost in under a month

T. goes swimming with his class at school on Fridays. In the last month, two different swim suits and towels have failed to arrive home. Incredibly annoying.

I've ordered two more swim suits, but I'm sort of feeling like this is definitely the expensive way to go swimming. It's not like these things are disposable, and with each kid having a 1-on-1 aide, you'd think they could keep track of the gear.

File under: How Did That Happen?

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/can-reading-make-you-happier

"In response to the question “What is preoccupying you at the moment?,” I was surprised by what I wanted to confess: I am worried about having no spiritual resources to shore myself up against the inevitable future grief of losing somebody I love, I wrote. I’m not religious, and I don’t particularly want to be, but I’d like to read more about other people’s reflections on coming to some sort of early, weird form of faith in a “higher being” as an emotional survival tactic. Simply answering the questions made me feel better, lighter."

This is a person who is old enough to be publishing a long piece in the New Yorker and yet has never lost "somebody I love".

Not a pet? Not a grandparent? No friends suicided? Asthma did not take down anyone you knew? No one you cared about dead in an alcohol related automobile accident your senior year in high school? No one in your extended family dead in a weird murder suicide that would never wind up in court? No one jumped out a window from a low number of stories but died anyway? No one went for a morning walk along the interstate and was hit by a (innocent) semi driver, dying a lingering death, airlifted to the city 50 miles south? No one murdered when walking home from work late at night, beaten to death by a gang of roving children, some as young as 12?

Lucky, lucky you. I'm not sure spirituality (of this sort) comes -before- loss. I think maybe spirituality comes -from- loss.

You could start with Zac Brown Band's "Dress Blues" and then work up to Sufjan Stevens' _Carrie & Lowell_, I guess, if you felt like sticking to 2015 music about grief.

This is a really incredibly bizarre article, including gems like this:

"This idea echoes a long-held belief among both writers and readers that books are the best kinds of friends; they give us a chance to rehearse for interactions with others in the world, without doing any lasting damage."

I get the thinking here. But I was really happy when I found friends that didn't require quite that level of inauthenticity to maintain the relationship.

I did find the paragraph about different lists of ailments for different language editions pretty amusing. The Dutch one clearly reflects an aspect of Dutch culture that my Dutch language teacher finds absolutely nuts: "een zes is goed genoeg". It is an admirable idea and one I _thoroughly_ agree with, but because he is a better American than I am, it makes him see red. Where I see a focus on competency, an excellent deprecation of competitiveness, and a choice to devote group resources to bringing up the average rather than pushing elites to ever higher attainments, he sees anti-intellectualism and anti-meritocracy.

And, backwards! "Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers."

People who have enough spare capacity to read have probably already gotten all the rest of it under control (as much as that is possible, at any rate). Everyone I know who doesn't read regularly reads when they go on vacation and they _do_ have spare capacity.

Naked Women Drivers

Ah, google. I love the interwebs. I love the search engines. And I love it when my husband posts a link on FB that is insane and it turns out the obvious search phrase suggests that something that _seems_ unusual is, in fact, occurring with shocking regularity. That is, drunk women driving around and running into shit.

Here is what R. posted:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/4400-homes-lose-power-after-naked-woman-crashes-car-into-pole-308427531.html

This one I think did not hit anything:

http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/naked-and-drunk-woman-driver-runs-cops-leaves-nake/nmBbF/

This one is a new car with temporary tags and the obligatory naked woman driver. At 6:45 in the evening.

http://www.click2houston.com/news/hpd-woman-drives-into-department-store/32476982

This one, from 2013, didn't involve a driver. It was a naked woman lying in the middle of the road:

http://www.shorelineareanews.com/2013/08/crime-in-shoreline-z-naked-woman-lying.html

This one hit a car -- apparently she'd had her daughter in the car with her earlier, but her mother relieved her of granddaughter out of concern:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/indiana-woman-arrested-driving-drunk-naked-child-article-1.2236846

No crash for this one; high speed chase ended with stop sticks and blown tires.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/weird/2015/05/07/mississippi-woman-charged-for-driving-naked/70991424/

ETA:

Possible drugging case, not completely naked (wearing a jacket). Description of the appellate court findings, which don't actually make any sense, because they seem to assume that a person who was either crazy drunk OR drugged and intoxicated could make more or less rational decisions. Duh, not. Unclear what the long term solution to this problem is, altho I feel like if we raised everyone's awareness of the nonconsensual drugging issue, maybe we could move public opinion in the direction of favoring blood testing at traffic stops so we'd have some evidence later on. The idea that a sexual assault victim could get treatment the next day is just exhaustingly wrong, if you want any actual evidence to stand up in court.

http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2015/06/woman_found_driving_nearly_naked_loses_dwi_appeal.html

Want some ambien stories? Here's one:

http://democratherald.com/news/local/woman-acquitted-in-ambien-car-crash/article_74429822-41ea-11e3-b16c-001a4bcf887a.html

Not naked, but in PJs and wearing her niece's shoes. Apparently the evolving strategy is to require the police and/or prosecution _prove_ that a driver is _actually conscious_ before allowing the statements as evidence of state of mind. This is progress, altho, wow. I've known sleep eaters, and I'm just not sure what one would have to do to avoid this, altho I guess sticking the car keys into a box that wouldn't unlock until a certain amount of time had passed springs to mind. Part of the idea behind turning one's keys over to someone else while on the way to getting completely smashed is because once smashed, you will do something stupid. Similar thinking should be applied to drugs like ambien.