Works in Progress

Pronouning since before it was trandy!


Can we have a singular gender neutral that’s not just anonymizing?

“The [cashier/bank teller/bus driver] told me what I need to do, but they said I’d have to wait till tomorrow when the office opens.”

Ex. 2.
Person A – “What did that person want who stopped you in the doorway?”
Person B – “Oh, nothing, they just thought my shirt was cool.”

Note Ex. 1 is different from “The bank said my deposit went through. But they said I can’t withdraw till Monday.”
And Ex. 2 can sometimes even be
Person A – “What did that guy want at the doorway?”
Person B – “Oh, they just complimented my shirt.”

Even when people know the person’s gender by presumption, people use “they,” singular but anonymizing. They for a company/entity is technically singular (“the bank”; “my university”), but can be used because it is known to be a collective noun, referring to the institution, and at least functionally, to all the personnel.

They gets used when the gender of the individual does not matter, but it does not matter because the individual is not as relevant in the context as their representation of an institution or their role or their actions. Or–the individual and the situation are hypothetical, general, generic in the subjunctive; see previous sentence!

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UPDATE: Neck Gaiters Found Effective in Latest Study; Jury Still Out Overall

Fortunately, in this more recent study, neck gaiters provide protection like masks against coronavirus droplets and aerosols.

The University of Georgia study offered similar data as a Virginia Tech study conducted shortly prior, and therefore reached similar conclusion.

However, please keep in mind that SARS-CoV2 is still very new and changing, meaning we still have little data overall about efficacy of different types of masks in stopping coronavirus. As always, the data gathered must be widespread and the tests repeatedly showing similar results to make any accurate assessment of performance in general. And when it comes to corona, I for one am not okay with “two out of three ain’t bad” instead of the best protection I can get myself and people I care about–and that I hope everyone is using, for the sake of us all.

Police Wear Neck Gaiters in Philly

Police wear neck gaiters when these have been shown to spread corona worse, more and faster.

This photo by Victor J. Blue for the New York Times Live U.S. 2020 Election Updates, captioned, “

Supporters of President Donald Trump protested the ongoing ballot counting in Philadelphia, amidst rhetoric from the president questioning the legitimacy of the election.

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Secret Federal Police doing physical warfare on and capturing people via war-like/terrorist kidnapping tactic…while there is a Pandemic? Well, those people shouldn’t be out in the streets*! They’re criminals!
–said XXno one everXX *any dictator trying to kill a portion of the population in order to make it easier to take over and control the rest, make examples of the former for the latter, and horde the resources for their own ruling family and associates, and genocide the poor/those they’ve rendered poor/those of a different religion &/or race &/or ethnic group than them.
*fighting for their rights
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In America, there’s a pandemic, the police beat you.

In America, when there’s a pandemic and people are sick and dying, and because of it, you don’t know if you’ll get to keep your job or pay your rent, and for some, are not getting to see family, or if you’re on the frontlines of health work, maybe are living in your car if you have one in order to not get your family sick,
if you speak out about police murdering a man again, a Black man,
or do your job reporting on it,
or bring water to the people are speaking out,
the police beat you.
They beat you with a super dense metal rod. They beat women. They beat the journalists.

And they gas you with chemical warfare weapons.
Even the little children.
They shoot you in the face, so that your face bones break, and your face might be deformed for life.

They shoot you in the eye, and blind you for life.

They surround you and take you prisoner for your beliefs and speech, and do not give you water or food or bathroom for 8-10 hours.
They hide where you’re going, where they’re keeping you, and don’t tell anyone why. Sometimes they don’t decide why they kidnapped you until a long time after, and no one knows what you’re charged with until they find a way to make something up and write it down.

Then, you have to pay them a large codified bribe, but it’s just the first part of how they demand money from you.
If you can’t pay it, they keep you in a jail cell. And sometimes they don’t even let you pay to get out to work on your case. You hardly ever get representation, except for a few minutes beforehand.
And they charge you for keeping you in the jail cell.
#Abolish or #Reform?
Works in Progress

Bloomberg commits blooper: the real prison labor ethics complexity, notes for inquiry

Michael Bloomberg has been using prison labor for people to make his campaign calls.

Is it good that he’s helping to employ prisoners, to provide more opportunity for employment for incarcerated persons, since there isn’t so much? Is it easier/more interesting work than some other prison work, like the firefighters in CA, so therefore more humane? Or, was he just exploiting cheap prison labor? Are there laws stopping paying minimum wage to people who are incarcerated? Stay tuned, or let me know if you know.
And was he exploiting the fact that there’s no way for workers to stand up to bosses when response quotas–standard in push-poll calling–are improbably high and not meeting them send you home for the day or fires you?

I think I got one of these calls. I said I’m not interested because he’s too wealthy & not for the people. answered the candidate of choice question, Bernie Sanders; 2nd, Elizabeth Warren. I’m really glad I thanked the person for doing this work.

I’d also heard, however, that Bloomberg paid very well. So I told the campaign caller that I understood why people would work for Bloomberg, that I’m glad he pays campaign staff well.

If the folks incarcerated could choose a candidate they support–and vote for that person–maybe the ethics of forced proselytizing and the forced support inherent to that could be cleared up.

Are the prisoner-employees glad to get to participate in politics in ways they otherwise cannot, especially in a party primary?

Would volunteers have otherwise done the phone banking, of free will? Could Bloomberg and his campaign not find (enough) supporters to recruit as volunteers?

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Green Roof, Glass Ceiling

Millennials buy houseplants instead of saving for houses, according to Money.

Can conservative Boomers math any longer?  A down payment of $10,000 in a poorer state/neighborhood up to $50,000-$100,000 in LA, plus thousands in fees to a realtor, then and only then the mortgage, albeit probably less than rent, and property taxes yearly, and paying for all your own fix-up, large repairs, and small repairs and maintenance…and only if you managed to have good enough credit by the time you have saved up this hefty down payment, otherwise your homeownership is probably a no-go and at best facing even more in fixer-upper move-in costs, MUCH higher mortgage loan interest percentage, and maybe a really long commute from wherever this house you could manage to get is…
= a lot more than a few thousand dollars.


Both example plant lovers in the article have dream jobs in fashion. Money magazine couldn’t find any bartenders or dog-walker/home health aides or tutor/data entry specialists who buy plants to report on how much they spend on green? Even if other anecdotal hopeful Leafbenders just didn’t make the word count cut, the two featured above the figurative fold should work occupations that differ more.


Also the Earth’s plant cycle and entire ecosystems are getting destroyed, in significant part by us hoomans cementing over it to build housing…? Millennials might even be aware that cultivating plants will skyrocket in value as a skill as the climate crisis grows.

Works in Progress

No Soup for Whom?

One time, I accidentally left (free range!) chicken soup on the counter for 6 hours when I passed out asleep from exhaustion. I express this disappointment to my landlord with whom I live, because now the soup is very risky to eat. Older wealthy straight white man doesn’t understand why. I mention the I thought well-known recommendation of and restriction of not eating meat that’s sat out for over 20 minutes. The man responds, “Boy, you come up with more rules than….”

“Because the chicken soup maybe should not be eaten?”

“You just come up with all kinds of rules….”

Have you ever heard of OSHA? Ohhhh, that’s right, Mr. Land-Owning Parents Then Became Investment Broker **never had to work in a kitchen** for a job. Oh, and additionally, he’s hardly ever seriously cooked (parentis-in-loco in his frat in college; wives after that). But, of course, I couldn’t possibly have any knowledge, or sound ideas…. Can you  smell the aroma that for milennia has floated through kitchens and wafted through households and cafeterias, restaurants and business dinners and front lines, the applied default accusation of “hysterical woman”?

“It’s not my rule.” I explain the basic biological notion behind the 20 minutes that common food bacteria reproduce every 20 minutes, and the amount of or proportion of bacteria in the food will likely be too much for the gut to handle.

Now, ironically, from having spent most of my life through now extremely poor to definitely poor, I have a strong gut from having to eat old food, and from the privilege of my parent having breastfed and cared about her children’s health. I can’t afford to waste the food; I’m already sick, though! I’m already sick, anyway :-/ I will eat the 6-hours-left-out chicken soup. It’s not my gut I’m worried about; it’s consuming such chicken soup for the soul.

Works in Progress


Read this. Five Reasons Fatigue Isn’t Just Like Normal Tiredness Proving Most People Don’t Get It #DoYouGetItYet?

Tired of questioning looks thrown me on good days, interrupting my enjoying them. In fact, it’s a huge yay, a big treat and a relief to be able to get a lot done & even do a big thing for fun or self-improvement, like go running again, or go clubbing, aka perform or promote drag, the necessity, the epitome.

Not only do people not seem to understand the arc or schedule of fatigue, of these kinds of conditions and particular conditions, such as the unique metabolic cycle of hEDS…or the differing lifetime laxity/arthritic pattern from the norm (and) over time, but…
What most don’t realize is that it’s even more of a change for a poor queer*. It’s a flip, a 180. I bicycled for ABOUT 90% OF MY TRANSPORTATION EVERYWHERE AND ANYWHERE, from the time I was 12 to the time I was 33.  If I wasn’t, I was walking and taking the bus, or just walking, which included lots of jogging, while carrying heavy bags of whatever I needed, often a third of my body weight. Groceries, projects to school, moving on the subway. The bicycles almost never fit me correctly and often didn’t work right, so my knees and other joints did the work of the WD40 I couldn’t afford, and pushed through rusty chains, stretching across the ever too-big wrong-proportioned crossbar and downtube**.

I even rode the several miles to work after my seat was stolen, somehow, craftily, avoiding skewering from the direction from underneath. This means I was riding standing on the pedals the entire time. Luckily downhill, that commute, but the slope created more risk sans saddle, and at the end of the shift, an uphill charge.

That job gave me a split shift, so I often made that commute 4x per day. A portion of the job was pretty physical. I made less than $40 per day. And I even worked in TV.
*One who has ambition. I have the privilege of being raised to value education, of hoping to pursue intellect.
**Yes, downtube is a word, classist, ignorant, car-culture polluting Zuck autocorrect.

Articles and Essays, Works in Progress


Proponents of welfare reform in NPR’s “20 Years Since Welfare’s Overhaul, Results Are Mixed” missed some recent history through their nostalgic rose-colored glasses, and so did the reporting itself:
Clinton welfare reform penalized people including my family for not landing and attending 5 job interviews a day. The single parent who could not achieve this impossible feat had their share of welfare and food stamps and medicaid taken away. It was horrible. The caregivers struggling the most were punished for feeding themselves by taking away their food and necessities. No child care was provided when Clinton welfare reform was first put into place, for years. Single parents, mostly single mothers, were forced under threat of being thrown in jail to attend classes in “job training” that consisted of degrading them. These training classes and skills tests and meetings did not take into account the education of the person or the person’s and family’s particular life situation.
There was no welfare-to-work act. The jobs available to even a college-educated welfare recipient single mother at the time paid $4.25 per hour. Especially with no or little help to transition to working, a parent was “better” off on welfare than working; that is, a single mother did the math and made the right choice to feed her kids.
As soon as a person was working, she would lose low-income subsidized housing. So she also made the choice to keep a roof over her family’s head.
She would also lose any community assistance for people on welfare if there was any.
If you didn’t report some income or help received, you’d be legally punished. So trying to relieve the situation even a little was impossible under the threat of jail.
In the early and mid-90s, single mothers raising a family without a husband were still very much looked down upon and actively condescended to culturally and specifically, by shop owners and managers, by police officers, and especially by the social workers and department of human service officials whose job was to work with and “help” their families.
On top of that, DHS investigated a parent whose kids complained of hunger or whose kids were very stressed or whose kids did not have a father because she protected them from witnessing and experiencing (more) domestic abuse. She did this alone often without the support and help of police she might have called in incidents, but rather their blame on her. Then she was criminalized for protecting them and for the failings of welfare reform, police, courts, human services to understand or care what she and the children were forced to deal with; she and children were pro-actively punished and criminalized multi-fold for the agencies’ and programs’ failure to realistically respond or interact with realistic consideration or respectfully in the first place.
On top of that, DHS investigated a parent whose kids complained of hunger or whose kids were very stressed or whose kids did not have a father because she protected them from witnessing and experiencing (more) domestic abuse. She did this alone often without the support and help of police she might have called in incidents, but rather their blame on her. Then she was criminalized for protecting them and for the failings of welfare reform, police, courts, human services to understand or care what she and the children were forced to deal with. These agencies and programs of the law punished her and the family multi-fold in lieu of realistically responding or interacting with realistic consideration or respectfully in the first place.
This is how I grew up. Through this, despite this, my mother raised her family.