I'm Back From London and a Newly-Insufferable Dessert Anglophile, AMA.
|Amy Widdowson||Jul 24, 2019|
Poppets! I have returned from London, having celebrated a marriage (congrats Lydia and Hamza!), spent time with very dear friends from college, added nearly 70 miles and over 155,000 steps to my running shoes, visited so very many museums and historical sites, and decided that afternoon tea must become a thing here / the States must learn a thing or two about desserts and milk-based coffees from the Brits.
Oh, and I was hospitalized with a kidney stone on my third night in the city! Woo! It was an insane twelve hours: from thinking my lower back was hurting from walking, to enduring some of the sharpest and agonizing pain I’ve felt (and remember, I broke my freaking leg in three places five years ago!), to receiving absolutely stellar and kind care from the National Health Service’s St. Thomas’s ER and the Guy’s Hospital Urology clinic, to finding out I may not be able to get on a plane if I didn’t pass the darned thing, and then to passing it. What a helluva (scary, but eventually absolutely fine) adventure in medical tourism.
I owe so very much to friends Greg Taubman for his insistence (despite my typical-Amy protestations on fear of imposing and ruining his vacation) on being in the ER and beyond with me, Kassi Jackson for her indefatigable enthusiasm and humor (aint no party like a Urology office party, because a Urology office party has two classicists making healthcare puns), and Dr. Haley Cochrane for her kind but direct friend/medical counsel via text from across the pond, as well as kidney stone memes because of course those are a thing. Thank you three, I seriously don’t know what I would have done without you in this highly dramatic situation.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I named the kidney stone Elgin. H/T to FotM Schuyler for the best recognition of why I did so:
So yea, I’m back! I did my best to stay from the internet, unless it was to post pictures of cute dogs and old buildings, so this is a bit of a grab bag of stuff I randomly saw while briefly on Twitter. And hey, the internet may have already had a field day with these pieces, so excuse me because I was busy rapaciously reading the British Museum’s surprisingly defensive pamphlet explaining their holding on to the afore-referenced marbles, so (s h r u g e m o t i c o n).
Just as I was leaving the UK, a staffer of an MP quit his social media job in a way that us comms folks only dream (and scheme!) about: by logging in to his boss’s twitter account and posting a BRUTAL resignation letter calling said boss “disgustingly morally bankrupt,” and decrying his “vile, inexcusable contempt for the people who voted (him) in.” The tweets are deleted, but they were up for more than enough time for everyone to screenshot them into history.
Friends, there’s drama in the New Hampshire poetry community, and it involves a governor overriding the poet laureate recommendation from the state’s Poetry Society in favor of “a retired dentist who wrote verse about sex with Condoleezza Rice.”
Hey, you know that baboon magic video everyone’s passing around? Well, Twitter served its ultimate purpose: a primatologist has pointed out that it seems like that baboon is actually really, really angry. DON’T MOCK ANIMALS TO SEE THEIR ANTHROPOMORPHIZED “SMILES,” PEOPLE.
As someone who uses meditation apps and an actual white noise machine when she travels, I’m feeling a wee bit seen/attacked by this NYT piece on relaxation apps: “The whole point of the recording was for me to focus on the voice — not on the meta implications of enlisting my smartphone to spark a parasocial relationship with a stranger whom I now require to fulfill a core human need.” Eeeeeeek, it me.
Just putting this out there as something I do not enjoy: When Non-Jews Wield Anti-Semitism as Political Shield.
And finally, the National Park Service has settled a lawsuit and will once again be allowed to call landmarks in Yosemite the names we’ve all been trying not to say over the last couple of years. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel is dead, Long Live The Ahwahnee!
That’s it for today. I’m happy to be back, and even happier to be in your inbox once more. Be kind to each other, and drink lots of water whilst traveling lest your body attempt to expel a piece of sand, ok?