#31 i am not prepared

hot off of the presses this Monday morning

Welcome to week 31 of Internet of Literal Things. The weird, wacky, wonderful, and wild of the world wide web seems to be several-too-many “w’s” and a perfect place for me to start. I’m Sara Nason, a fellow person on the internet, who happens to have many hours on hand to read random articles that are tucked into multiple crevices in my phone.

Or at least I feel wholly unprepared for being myself. I am prepared for the work week. I am prepared (ish, I hope?) for this newsletter. I am prepared for grief and trauma and happiness and success that ebb and flow just like life. But I am not prepared to be myself.

I feel like somewhere along the institutionalization of my education, there became a feeling within to hide the extra weird parts of my interests that didn’t go 100% along with the other weird passions of mine (see my high school education for more information about how my senior superlative was most likely to show up for educational events).

This week, among a lot of feelings and emotions and labor, I signed up for guitar lessons after maybe five or six years of ignoring the instrument. The guitar teacher asked me upon meeting me to “play my limit,” and I told him I couldn’t and wasn’t comfortable with that, because I don’t know my limit and that makes me anxious. In some way, it seems like he understood. But then there’s the anxiety of “what if he doesn’t understand, and I’m just saying untranslatable nonsense.”

Subconsciously, I know what I want to do. Where I want to go. How I want to make that happen. But, consciously, there are 30 different neon light signs saying “WARNING!!!” and “STAY ON YOUR CURRENT PATH, ITS SO SAFE!!!!” I’m attempting to give myself the grace of failure and the opportunity to try without looking up or down, only forward. Damn does imposter syndrome have something to say about it.

So, strangers of the internet, here we go. i’m not prepared for the Internet of Literal Things #31.

(While we’re at it, become a paying subscriber for $5 a month to support all of the links that bring this W-focused newsletter your way every Sunday.)


What I’m Reading

Coffee is hard (Still Drinking)

How four dishes with roots in other lands tell a story of immigration and transformation (Washington Post)

Why do Instagram playgrounds keep calling themselves museums? (CityLab)

How video games help people cope with disabilities (Washington Post)

The freelance life (Side Supply)

Why small businesses should start marketing on day one (MailChimp)

Fika: the Swedish coffee break (Trello)

Why the Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys aren’t ready for they/them pronouns (NY Times)

Online, no one knows you’re poor (The Guardian)

Indigenous Americans want to run their own healthcare after disproportionate deaths in hospitals (NY Times)

Bresha Meadows thought you’d understand (HuffPost)

When women don’t want to talk (The Cut)

The original BlackBerry was ahead of its time (OneZero)

How the bicycle changed the world for women (Jalopnik)

‘A way of learning from everything': the rise of the city critic (The Guardian)


What I’m Visually Experiencing

Music theory for musicians and normal people (Toby Rush)

Designing Women (Designing Women)


What I’m Listening To

Songs I want to learn to play on the guitar (Spotify)


🏆 A Photo of An #UglyDogs Related Thing On The Internet 🥇


Subscribe for $5 a month to support the number of links I have to read a week to provide this meta-commentary on my life and Gen Z society. You’ll also get an essay of more meta-commentary every so often from me and will support the creation of my eventual move to podcast.

#30 grief and its stages

Welcome to week 30 of Internet of Literal Things. The weird, wacky, wonderful, and wild of the world wide web seems to be several-too-many “w’s” and a perfect place for me to start. I’m Sara Nason, a fellow person on the internet, who happens to have many hours on hand to read random articles that are tucked into multiple crevices in my phone.

I’m in the midst of processing grief today: we had to put down one of my family’s dogs unexpectedly this afternoon. She’s had seizures for the past few years, and her brain just wasn’t able to take it anymore. And while she’s in a better place, I lost a family member. I believe the universe is sending me a lot of signals today, because I also witnessed a side-impact collision ten feet from my car on my way to dinner and became the official witness on the police report. When picking up dinner, the entire sky turned white from lightning, and I heard the loudest drum-roll of thunder I’ve ever experienced in my life.

This is all to say I’m grieving. Processing emotion is part of life, which is why I don’t have any quips for different ridiculousnesses going on in the world or in my life in this week’s blast. Today was hard. It will get better. Lots of links forthcoming (and if you’re a non-paying subscriber, head back to my site, because I pushed the wrong button last week and you didn’t get a newsletter in your inbox!).

Hug your fur-babies tonight.

So, strangers of the internet, here we go. grief and its stages for the Internet of Literal Things #30.

(While we’re at it, become a paying subscriber for $5 a month to support all of the links that bring this W-focused newsletter your way every Sunday.)


What I’m Reading

I’m convinced we found evidence of life on Mars in the 1970s (Scientific American)

Why consistent writing makes you a better designer (dribbble)

The “sameness” of modern design (Adobe)

The revenge of Anne and Mary (Truly Adventurous)

The not-so-secret life of a TikTok-famous teen (VOX)

Writer versus Influencer (Study Hall)

The most detailed map of auto emissions in the US (NY Times)

Why greenway parks cause greater gentrification (CityLab)

Photographs of jumpers blending into their surroundings for an inventive 1,000-hour knitting project (Creative Boom)

The league of evil designers (UX Collective)

In France, elder care comes with the mail (The New Yorker)

Mapping the world’s growing plastic mountain, one bottle at a time (Reuters)

Why NYC stopped building subways (CityLab)


What I’m Listening To

Paradise by John Prine (Spotify)


🏆 A Photo of An #UglyDogs Related Thing On The Internet 🥇


Subscribe for $5 a month to support the number of links I have to read a week to provide this meta-commentary on my life and Gen Z society. You’ll also get an essay of more meta-commentary every so often from me and will support the creation of my eventual move to podcast.


Send me your thoughts, your emoji suggestions, your comments, your photos of animals (especially if they’re on mass transit), and your links to the weird, wonderful, wacky, and wild.

#29 untitled, re-titled, to-be-titled

a thought or work in progress for...

** Dear non-paying subscribers of IOLT, I hit the wrong button last week! I was wondering why my numbers were so low. You’ll be getting another email from me shortly, as well**

Welcome to week 29 of Internet of Literal Things. The weird, wacky, wonderful, and wild of the world wide web seems to be several-too-many “w’s” and a perfect place for me to start. I’m Sara Nason, a fellow person on the internet, who happens to have many hours on hand to read random articles that are tucked into multiple crevices in my phone.

In thinking about the general length of my to-do list over the past few months — it’s (easily guessable) extended consistently with some of the same items remaining on the top of the list the entire time. Self-care and advocating for space to learn and grow seems to be the most important thing to prioritize… and gets put last on the list every time. Tis the season for re-prioritization and readjustments to make time for the things I want to do and the people I want to be around.

So, strangers of the internet, here we go. untitled, re-titled, to-be-titled for the Internet of Literal Things #29.

(While we’re at it, become a paying subscriber for $5 a month to support all of the links that bring this W-focused newsletter your way every Sunday.)


What I’m Reading

The mannequin queen: how one woman built a business out of retailers’ trash (The Hustle)

The long, strange tale of California’s surf Nazis (NY Times)

Building a mystery: an oral history of the Lilith Fair (Vanity Fair)

The war on sex work (N plus one)

Susan Sontag’s queer life (Buzzfeed News)

The toll of Me Too (The Cut)

Learning how to see (Matthew Ström)

Miracle on 14th Street (Signal Problems)

Squirrels speak bird (CityLab)

The troubling economics of food halls (Heated)

How to recession-proof your creative practice (The Creative Independent)

Cats really do bond with their humans (Gizmodo)

23 of the most influential pictures from music history (Buzzfeed News)

Saving 20 sites that tell the story of American women (CityLab)

Labradoodle “inventor” calls the crossbreed his biggest regret (Mental Floss)

People are typing on their smartphones almost as fast as keyboards now (VICE)

A 900-page pre-pantone guide to color from 1962 (Open Culture)

Business card etiquette around the world (MOO)

A bodega with kale and activism on the menu (NY Times)

Can better parks fight climate change? (Curbed)

Why are cities filled with metal men on horseback? (JSTOR Daily)

Most postal trucks don’t have air conditioning. That’s bad news for birth control (VICE)


What I’m Visually Experiencing

In the Islands (YouTube)


What I’m Listening To

I Won’t Back Down - Judah and The Lion (Spotify)


🏆 A Photo of An #UglyDogs Related Thing On The Internet 🥇


Subscribe for $5 a month to support the number of links I have to read a week to provide this meta-commentary on my life and Gen Z society. You’ll also get an essay of more meta-commentary every so often from me and will support the creation of my eventual move to podcast.


Send me your thoughts, your emoji suggestions, your comments, your photos of animals (especially if they’re on mass transit), and your links to the weird, wonderful, wacky, and wild.

#28 speed typing

AKA finding new out-of-office excuses

Welcome to week 28 of Internet of Literal Things. The weird, wacky, wonderful, and wild of the world wide web seems to be several-too-many “w’s” and a perfect place for me to start. I’m Sara Nason, a fellow person on the internet, who happens to have many hours on hand to read random articles that are tucked into multiple crevices in my phone.

With 13% battery left on my laptop and no will to plug it in to increase it’s capacity to write something to you, I sit on my bed this Sunday evening, with my puppy asleep on my pillow (her first time on the bed), to bring you links upon links (LUL if you will). You could call my typing abilities speedy; however, I still have yet to fix the spacebar issue on my keyboard… I know. So instead of typing speedily away, I have to backspace every few words to make sure you don’t see these obstreperous spaces that drive my Type-A personality bats (short for batsh*t crazy). I’m speed typing for another reason as well. In about six hours, I’m waking up to trek down to the South to participate in another family event. And since I truly don’t want to work at all while driving, I’m killing my computer’s battery, so it will be quite easy to say “I can’t get to that for ten more hours, my computer is dead, I’m hurdling down a back country highway at 80 mph, and getting to my final destination is my highest priority.”

So, strangers of the internet, here we go. speed typing for the Internet of Literal Things #28.

(While we’re at it, become a paying subscriber for $5 a month to support all of the links that bring this W-focused newsletter your way every Sunday.)


What I’m Reading

Articles

How TikTok censors communication China would rather you not hear (The Hustle)

New City of Women map assigns a significant female figure to all 424 subway stations (6sqft)

The problem with switching to electric cars (CityLab)

The “cancel culture” con (The New Republic)

How to register to vote in your state (PAPER)

The fascinating story of why US parks are full of squirrels (Gizmodo)

Four years in startups (The New Yorker)

Parking reform will save the city (CityLab)

The cat with a campus wrapped around his paw (The Atlantic)

Mattel launches new gender neutral dolls (NPR)

WeWork and Counterfeit Capitalism (BIG by Matt Stoller)

Apparently we've been doing logos wrong all this time (Creative Bloq)

Intuition vs. Data (Matthew Ström)

The mayors fighting for a progressive vision of the South (The New Republic)

If you run a small businesss, park in the back of the parking lot (Skyclerk)

Microplastics found in 93% of bottled water tested in global study (CBC)

Why you can’t shop your way to sustainability (DORÉ)

How conference curators select speakers (99U)

Working from home, five miles from the office (Harvest)

We asked 3 companies to recycle Canadian plastic and secretly tracked it. Only 1 company recycled the material (CBC)

You’ll be miserable if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do (Austin Kleon)

Books

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

The Overstory by Richard Powers


What I’m Visually Experiencing

Use less paper (The Guardian)


What I’m Listening To

Aileen Suzara: Preserving culture for the future (Creative Mornings)


🏆 A Photo of An #UglyDogs Related Thing On The Internet 🥇


Subscribe for $5 a month to support the number of links I have to read a week to provide this meta-commentary on my life and Gen Z society. You’ll also get an essay of more meta-commentary every so often from me and will support the creation of my eventual move to podcast.


Send me your thoughts, your emoji suggestions, your comments, your photos of animals (especially if they’re on mass transit), and your links to the weird, wonderful, wacky, and wild.

#27 do what you can with what you have

step 1: start

Welcome to week 27 of Internet of Literal Things. The weird, wacky, wonderful, and wild of the world wide web seems to be several-too-many “w’s” and a perfect place for me to start. I’m Sara Nason, a fellow person on the internet, who happens to have many hours on hand to read random articles that are tucked into multiple crevices in my phone.

This week, across the globe, climate strikes took place in many rural and urban spaces. (Not to mention that indigenous nations and communities have been advocating for and are exponentially affected by the climate crisis — and have been for decades). Hundreds of thousands of people showed up in cities to make a physical acknowledgement of the damage we’ve done to this planet we call home. Many of the pro-green accounts I follow posted something along the lines of being at a strike, of being in solidarity with the strike, or general reminders on how to be low/zero-waste. On one of these posts, someone commented, “We’re too late, we should be preparing for survival in the aftermath of the Earth being destroyed.” Not only is this just an immensely privileged thought, but I wanted to ask the poster: “what have you done to limit your emissions, your waste, your capitalist consciousness?” I am almost certain they hadn’t even taken the first step to reduce, reuse, or recycle. And the poster’s assumption was that they would be one of those who would survive the destruction of Earth. A quote I come back to often is Teddy Roosevelt’s: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” It’s really not too difficult.

This year alone, I began composting my food waste in my village (as the vast majority of our waste is food), limited my new purchases, began to buy more local/organic produce, ate less meat/red meat, made more of my food, only used reusable food items (or recyclable/compostable), purchased far fewer chemicals that could be toxic for the Earth (like switching to shampoo/conditioner/soap bars and non-toxic toothpaste). If I can make these changes, so can you.

Some accounts I follow that you should check out are:

Future Earth (@futureearth)

Take 3 for the Sea (@take3forthesea)

Seeding Sovereignty (@seedingsovereignty)

Treading My Own Path (@treadingmyownpath)

Plastic Free July (@plasticfreejuly)

Zero Waste Memes (@zerowastememes)

Life Without Plastic (@lifewithoutplastic)

Plastic Free Mermaid (@plasticfreemermaid)

Some shops to purchase sustainable items to help your long-term waste reduction:

Zero Waste Store

Package Free Shop

The Wally Shop

Yay for the Earth

Sustain Yo Self

Misfits Market

So, strangers of the internet, here we go. do what you can with what you have for the Internet of Literal Things #27.

(While we’re at it, become a paying subscriber for $5 a month to support all of the links that bring this W-focused newsletter your way every Sunday.)


What I’m Reading

Articles

The internet relies on people working for free (OneZero)

This land is the only land that there is (CityLab)

The truth about RVs (Curbed)

How wi-fi almost didn’t happen (WIRED)

How do buildings contribute to climate change? (Curbed)

Greta Thunburg is right to panic (The Atlantic)

You can build parks without gentrifying (CityLab)

The new spiritual consumerism (NY Times)

Birds are disappearing from North America (The Atlantic)

Taylor Swift: The Rolling Stone article (Rolling Stone)

Tavi Gevinson investigates who she would be without Instagram (The Cut)

The complications of digitizing indigenous languages (Slate)

New hope, new pain, same old divorce (NY Times)

The planet can’t survive on our transportation habits (CityLab)

A map of the changing fall colors of trees (CityLab)

Books

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

The Socialist Manifesto by Bhaskar Sunkara

Inconspicuous Consumption by Tatiana Schlossberg


What I’m Visually Experiencing

My Dear Kyrgyzstan (MailChimp)

This photo series asks refugee children what they want to be when they grow up (Buzzfeed)

The New York City Block Party (NY Times)

How pencils are made (Kottke)

Between Two Ferns (Netflix)

Museum of Youth Culture (Google)


What I’m Listening To

With the autumnal equinox this week, it’s time for a new playlist:

fall19 (Spotify)


🏆 A Photo of An #UglyDogs Related Thing On The Internet 🥇


Subscribe for $5 a month to support the number of links I have to read a week to provide this meta-commentary on my life and Gen Z society. You’ll also get an essay of more meta-commentary every so often from me and will support the creation of my eventual move to podcast.


Send me your thoughts, your emoji suggestions, your comments, your photos of animals (especially if they’re on mass transit), and your links to the weird, wonderful, wacky, and wild.

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