January 15, 2022

I want to run through a case study from a physician who writes about gaslighting herself when it comes to difficult-to-diagnose chronic illness.  I think this example is super important because it illuminates just how powerful is the tendency to dismiss symptoms that aren’t easily assessed and explained. This essay by Pooja Yerramilli ran in October 2020: “I have all the symptoms of a Covid-19 long-hauler — but I’m hesitant to identify myself as one.” It opens: As a physician,… Read more

January 13, 2022

Quick note on today’s SCOTUS decisions on the vaccine mandates . . . The court’s justification for upholding the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers was essentially this: Because the federal government is paying for medical services, it gets to set rules for providers. Regardless of whether you think this particular mandate was wise, consider these words from the dissent: These cases are not about the efficacy or importance of COVID–19 vaccines. They are only about whether CMS has the statutory… Read more

January 7, 2022

The following essay is a detailed discussion of the political implications of the meanings of cuss words.  I’m not the one who made this an international civil rights issue? But the topic is crucially important, and a clean-version is not possible. Can I recommend Happy Catholic* if you’d like something beautiful and good to contemplate today instead? The Wine-Dark Sea is lyrical and thought-provoking, if you’d like to scroll some back issues and be edified.  How about Siris, if philosophy… Read more

January 6, 2022

SuperHusband built us a Corsi-Rosenthal box the other week, which went quite well after I talked him off the ledge of compulsively re-engineering the thing. “But it was designed by guys with PhDs in compulsively-re-engineering exactly this thing,” I said. “It’s too late. It’s already been optimized.” He probably had to make a few tweaks anyway, but it went so fast there couldn’t have been too many improvements, I don’t think. Here’s a thread on how to make a version… Read more

January 4, 2022

What caught the eye of your internet-mom this afternoon was a weird bit of cross-discourse about body image, fat-shaming, and weight loss.  No links, I’m going straight to bullet point answers to the questions and arguments these various voices are circulating: Why yes, our culture is obsessed with body image, and it can’t help but fuel psychological hang-ups about being thin enough (women, generally) or muscular enough (men, generally).  For women, in particular, take this challenge: Keep a tally of… Read more

January 2, 2022

So my initial impression of the breathless coverage of Amy Schneider’s win on Jeopardy! was that it was just a fabricated story to give the NYT a chance to use the word “female” in a headline describing the accomplishments of a male-bodied human being.  I know!  They used not “woman” but full-on “female”, so I’m not sure what word is left in the Times lexicon to describe the existence of a biological fact, regardless of how you feel about gender as a… Read more

December 30, 2021

There are many good things in your life that you may have to walk away from.  Your marriage is not one of them. There are many taboos, and trends, and social pressures that may be chaining you down, and that you may find great freedom and fulfillment in rejecting.  Staying faithful to your wedding vows is not one of them. There are many good uses for literary prose.  Glamorizing the destruction of a family is not one of them. Don’t… Read more

December 25, 2021

Artwork today is the Nativity by Robert Campin.  I didn’t notice until I pasted it here that Baby Jesus is lying on the ground? Okay, so, that actually reminds me of the most amusing moment in all my experience of giving birth, but in this case looks like Mary’s done with that part and just decided to put her naked baby down on the dirt? He doesn’t seem to mind.  Okay Mary, I’m cool with that, it turned out okay… Read more

December 22, 2021

“Fatigue” is like this:  You’re lying on your kitchen floor, which is logical and you have a good reason for it, that’s not up for discussion.  No one’s even surprised by it anymore.  But you’re lying there, and you start thinking, “You know, a nap seems like a good idea after all.” So then you silently hold an argument with yourself about Reasons Not to Nap on the Kitchen Floor.  You come up with two: It would inconvenience the other… Read more

December 20, 2021

Today’s topic is me as your internet mom lecturing: You, personally, are responsible for taking care of the body God has put into your care. (Make that bodies, plural, if others in your family, your workplace, or your community are dependent on the decisions you make on their behalf.  But today I’m mostly talking about the specific body your soul is animating, and then the rest will follow by extension.) Yesterday when I picked back up on the COVID-blogging, I… Read more

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