Emchap's Shit from the Internet 06/10/20 🍠

Though obviously no time is a good time to be dumped, I would have to describe "during the middle of a pandemic/possibly a fundamental change in how our society views violent policing" as, like, on the worse end of the "not good" spectrum. During the entire process, my thoughts were essentially, in order: 1) fucking seriously?, 2) well, I guess I know what the newsletter is about this week, 3) this does at least give me an excuse to put off learning how nginx works for the weekend.

Re: the second yes I know writing this thing has broken my brain on a truly fundamental level.

The specifics of what happened are boring to anyone who doesn't know me personally, and the vast majority of those people have already seen my complaints about the ways in which I feel particularly wronged on Instagram, twitter, in their text messages, or (in some very polite cases) all three. But, it's been a very weird specific time in which to have this happen.

Breakups are all unique in terms of the people and the feelings and the specific circumstances and also basically the same in that they are a profound and sudden grief which feels truly all-encompassing. I've had a few big breakups in my life and each time, of course, there is a visceral pain and anger and sadness and a physical feeling grief that feels like it will never, ever end. You know on an intellectual level that of course it will, that you have been this sad before and will likely be this sad again before you die, but there is a sneaky lizard brain suspicion that no, this is the one breakup in your whole life, in all of human life where you will never stop feeling sad again. You will cry like the Johnny Cash song and then it won't be so bad because you'll be drowned with your own tears and you can't feel sad if you're dead from crying. Checkmate, God.

And then of course you stop feeling sad. You go out with your friends and you get really into some new hobby like squaredancing or whatever the fuck and you get a new haircut and you enjoy the petty, deep pleasures of a deep text analysis with your meanest friends of the specific ways in which the person who has wronged has such a fundamentally warped view of the world that they would not consider you the person they wish to spend the rest of their life with and it's sad, really. And then you go through the cycle of downloading tinder too early and bursting into tears and deleting it and eventually you burst into fewer tears and then you find someone new and you repeat the cycle indefinitely until you get a wedding hashtag and then maybe you start it over again. The world goes on and so do you. You go to heaven and you get your arm and your dog and you get to watch the jailhouse burn down.

But the thing about the right now is that the obvious lies your brain is telling you about how this is the saddest you will ever be and nothing will ever get better and the future is dark are... harder to disprove, right now, in the same way that the spike in my depression that I'm currently experiencing is hard to write off as anything other than a frankly reasonable response to the world as it stands.

When my friends were watching me sob on my porch this weekend and saying soothing things, they had to do so from their own porch six feet away. I can't have rebound anything, I can't hug my friends, I can't do any hobby that doesn't feel like a business meeting held in hell. I have spent the last week hearing police helicopters over my house and being filled with dread because I knew that meant that they were about to do something horrible to protesters who are absolutely in the right. We are on the precipice of possibly a profound reimagining of what the society we're in looks like, and I cannot tell myself that the future will be better because I don't know. There's a real chance that the president will use some fucking white nationalist militia to stay in power in November and that we won't find a vaccine and that staying inside my house this much is going to permanently damage my ability to be around people for the rest of my life without being filled with a profound dread. Everything, every day, feels like it is slightly fake because surely things cannot be this bad right now in so many ways.

I want to find a pithy way to wrap this up but I don't really have one. I'm sad, and I wish I weren't. I would like to still be dating my ex, and I'm not. The world is bad, and I wish it were just. I have been so warmed by how kindly everyone has responded and how loved I am by so many wonderful people, and how no one has said "seriously shut the fuck up" to my face as I've relitigated for the eight millionth time what the 😊 emoji in a text really means (it means cross-platform emoji support for translating ":)" into an image is difficult, probably, who even fucking cares). Things will get better or they won't. This year is truly, truly a tire fire. More men should go to therapy.

Shit to read

Shit to eat

  1. ​​Decide on a Saturday morning, before your life blows up in a way that you were not anticipating, to make biscuits.

  2. The recipe will call for self-rising flour, which you don't have, so step one is to look for a meta recipe for that.

  3. Well step two technically, I guess, if we're going to be pedantic about the list.

  4. Add two heaping half-cups of flour to a bowl.

  5. If you're not using southern milled flour and you want to get real weird with it, take away two tablespoons of what's in the bowl, and add two tablespoons of cornstarch.

  6. Regardless of your choice above, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

  7. Whisk it all up.

  8. Scoop a spoon of crisco in there. Or butter. Whatever. Just a glob.

  9. Pinch it together with your hands until it's all combined like the first part of making pie dough.

  10. Add a half cup of buttermilk or, if you are me, a quarter cup of yogurt and a quarter cup of water. It's fine. It's whatever.

  11. Mix everything together with your hands or a spoon until you have a ball of dough.

  12. Sprinkle it in flour, cover, and leave it alone for 20 minutes.

  13. Dump the dough onto a floured surface, and fold it together a few times until it seems substantial.

  14. Use a rocks glass or whatever you have around to cut out circles. I managed to get six.

  15. Assemble them in a touching 3 x 2 setup on a baking sheet, set your oven to preheat to 475, and leave it alone for 20 more minutes.

  16. In the oven they go for between 10 and 15 minutes.

  17. Eat them with improvised gravy that will not be honored in this newsletter, or eggs, or grits, or jam, or later just a quiet fury at the choices other people have made.

  18. Freeze the remainders flat on the baking sheet until they're frozen through, then toss them in a bag. Future breakfast!

(Recipe cobbled together from King Arthur Flour, this rando pastry flour person, and Amanda Mull's mother)

Shit to listen to

Shit to buy

  • Buy your sad friends flowers. It's a very nice thing to do.