Privilege Blog

So Then What Happened, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:07am

Well hello! I am still the same person I was on December 31st, albeit even more bemused by America’s political shenanigans. You?

Let’s talk about what’s next. Not in politics, I would not even aspire to predict where that’s going, and anyway I don’t plan to do anything different. I’ll just keep on donating, writing voter letters, and reading the newspapers and professorial/professional commentary who know better.

In terms of my own teeny-tiny sandbox, here’s what’s up:


  • Spanish classes resume next week. Our teacher is Argentinian; I am expecting a great discussion of the World Cup victory when next we meet.
  • Grief counseling. I still have not taken on a client, but I am included in bi-weekly group counselor meetings, and it’s adding a true layer of meaning to my days.
  • Fighting termites. No meaning, just a pain in the neck. They are endemic these days.
  • Princeton Class of 1978. Working with a team of classmates on redesigning our website and participating in various initiatives for our 45th Reunion.
  • Health.
    • Eating almost no red meat, almost no cheese, more beans, so many dark green leafies I never thought about before. Found dark chocolate that doesn’t have high levels of lead and cadmium (!)
    • Drinking less and less alcohol; down to 4 glasses/week and currently doing Dry January with much less effort than in 2021 and 2022. Moderation is possible for some of us and I’m very pleased.
    • As for exercise, I’m less diligent about 30-minute brisk walks than I might wish, but, on the other hand, physical therapy progress for various tendons is palpable. Literally. Want to palpate my elbow?
  • Wearing clothes. I do not plan to walk the streets naked, but other than that I have no wardrobe desires at the moment. I am sure that will change, given the self’s need to present over time.


  • New blog design and website. Yikes! I’m planning a “writer’s website,” i.e. one under a different URL with a different home page. The blog will continue, and you should be able to find it the same way, but it will look different and be housed in a new place–if the Internet can be said to have “places.”  I’ll let you know when it happens, and will watch out for bugs/glitches. The big thing is that comments will work again, and display correctly. I thought you all deserved a better clubhouse. Stuffing had begun to escape our virtual sofas.
  • Querying my novel. My upmarket romance, featuring a woman over 50 for a change, is just about ready to shop around to agents. We shall see how that goes. If nothing ensues, I have a Plan B, and then a Plan C, such that you who have been so kind about my writing will eventually be able to read it, if you’d like.
  • Local friends. I am working on making or rekindling friendships in the Bay Area. Real-life humans are a necessity for some of us, and I’ve been sorely lacking in companions with whom to walk and talk.

Also I discovered Acme Bread’s Walnut Levain and it is divine.

How about you? Any new projects ahead? Or is it a year to stay the course?

Have a good weekend. Go forth or stay put.


18 Responses

  1. Cheering for you and your novel! I look forward to reading it. And to new, fully-stuffed sofas — although these are perfectly adequate, as my grandmother would say. :)

    I’ve stopped worrying about New Year’s analysis and resolutions: these days I keep a running list of goals and action steps in the side space of my (paper) planner. Somehow, writing things by hand and re-evaluating them daily makes them seem nearer and more real. Like you, I wish I had more local friends, but keeping in closer touch with dear ones is a top goal. Also discovering some secret of the universe that would allow me to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake feeling like I’ve slept. That’s a lifelong one, but I persist.

    Have a lovely, healthy and hopeful weekend! <3

    1. Jess, thank you for your weekend wish! More than perfectly adequate;). I also have a running list. I so love to cross off the small things, and put checkmarks to recognize progress towards the larger goals.

  2. Thank you for your post. Excited to see your new blog design. Three things:

    Acme Walnut Levain is my longtime favorite bread. I adore it. When I lived in SF, I’d walk to the Ferry Building to pick up a small loaf of the Whole Wheat Walnut Levain. It makes wonderful toast, and it is perfect with soft cheeses, which I think you are trying not to eat.:)

    Just returned from Seattle. While there, I contacted an unmet longtime online friend who is usually in Dorset or Paris, but was in Seattle, to ask if we could meet, we had a wonderful time at a local cafe in Queen Anne, I loved taking with her and felt so comfortable I could have gone on for hours; spent 3-6 January with my nephew and his fiancée in Seattle, and bonded further with them and their two cats; called a friend today to talk real estate and moves and life. All to say, I agree with you that, post-pandemic, making and re-kindling of friendships is central. I was surprised to note how much I withdrew during the pandemic. Part of that was a healthy reassessment of what was working and what was not, part of it was the overwhelm that descended on us all, part of it was getting Covid and then long Covid that affected my mood as well as my ability to exercise. Still coming back from that. Have you been following Jancee Dunn’s (friend of Julie Klam) NYT Well “7-Day Happiness Challenge”? Day 1 is about relationships, and includes the line, “Strong relationships are what make for a happy life.” I agree, and I am dedicating this year to strengthening the connections I have, and seeking out new connections. I’m an introvert, but I thrive on loving exchanges with family and friends. I want to be more connected to give and receive love. Day 3 of the series mentions ‘weak ties’, which is a terrible name for what I consider a vital part of a happy life: “Your loose network of casual acquaintances, and even complete strangers, known collectively as ‘weak ties,’ might not seem important, but it is.” Also in Seattle, I walked the half-mile to the lovely cafe where I was meeting my friend in a light drizzle. A woman with beautiful flat-ironed gray hair—mine I dry over my head for five minutes and call it a day—came over to us to ask about my bangs, which she was considering getting. We discussed bang types. She complimented my hair, which I was feeling self-conscious about because walking in rain had made it poofier/wilder than usual, and when I stopped in a bakery to buy some pastries to bring to my niece and nephew, a young woman behind the counter said, “Oh, I love your hair!” I said thank you so much for saying that because I was feeling a bit self-conscious about it today, and we got into a friendly discussion about hair and styles and how similar ours was, with hers dark brown and mine gray. I left the bakery happier than when I went in, and I was already feeling good, so there you go.

    As to food and drink? Thought about Dry January, but then realized most of my days are already dry. I enjoy a cocktail when I go out, but on a daily basis for me it is sparkling water. Agree about food. I eat little to no meat except occasionally when out, I am trying to up my fruits and vegetables game (breakfast today was oatmeal with truffle olive oil and soft boiled eggs with arugula on the side), and while I try to do everything in moderation, I will continue to have cheeses because cheese is one of my favorite food groups.:)

    Happy New Year to you. xo.

    1. Katherine, I love the idea of the walnut levain with cheese. Perhaps the very small amounts of cheese I eat might be with that. Here’s to connections, large and small. I am definitely a grocery store checkout line chatter, and I take every opportunity for small talk with strangers:). Here’s to your gray hair! It’s beautiful, and I hope it helps attract community to you in your move.

  3. Such a positive approach to a new year, termites and all! I’m excited to hear what comes of your manuscript enquiries — and keen to see your new website, when it happens.

  4. Lisa, Happy New Year! I hope it is awesome.
    I’m sure the book will be a success, congratulations :)
    I’m trying to reconnect with real , live people too. I know it’s necessary, but difficult. The isolation of a pandemic has messed with a lot of us, especially the over 50 crowd.
    Your Saturday blog is something I always look forward to.
    Let us know when the new blog and the redesign is up and running.
    Gwendolyn aka, Miranda

    1. Gwendolyn, necessary but difficult, for sure. One good thing about being 66 is that I now qualify for senior programs in my town. Hence the free Spanish class, and, they do food giveaways and things like that that I am hoping to start participating in.

  5. Smallish goals here. I just got a pottery wheel, so I’d like to get very confident using it. Getting back to entertaining at home – I had one dinner party that went well, so it got me over my trepidation. Continuing more pickle ball as I find that (not unsurprisingly) that I exercise more doing something I really enjoy.

    Excited for your new blog/website. And to hear about book queries.

    Hoping we don’t get some new Covid variant that’s worse……xo

  6. One more goal, already in progress, is a tight tight edit of my wardrobe and accessories. Selling, donating, etc. I find I don’t like a lot of “choices” anymore, I feel burdened by them, and I don’t get tired of repeating my outfit endlessly as long as I like it. Example – I have about 10 pairs of jeans (I wear jeans almost daily) and I keep grabbing for the same 2, while the others sit. So off they go.

    1. KSL, choice is overrated;). Except in tools of art. I hope you and your pottery wheel have a long and beautiful relationship.

  7. It looks like Consumer Reports may have only tested one bar from each brand, which would be unlikely to give a fully representative sample for any brands that source their cacao from a variety of places. (note that some lower-percentage-cacao products had *higher* levels of lead or cadmium than the higher-percentage-cacao products from the same brand – if it were fully brand-based, then there would be a tight higher cacao = higher lead/cadmium correlation)

    That said, the brand did win! And they may only source their cacao from low-cadmium locations, and process it in a way that results in lower levels of lead, which would be good.

    (thank you for calling this to my attention but also UGH another thing to take into consideration while trying to get antioxidants and trace minerals in with a GI system that doesn’t tolerate leafy greens or beans [UGH] at this time.)

    May your year be full of connection and stability and joy!

    1. KC, I agree completely, ugh! Not ANOTHER thing to watch out for. Good point on the limited sample. Connection and stability and joy would be phenomenal…Thank you.

  8. Your mention of grief counseling and friendships in the same post made me wonder if anyone ever seeks grief counseling because of being “ghosted” by a friend. That ghosting can be painful and puzzling. I was ghosted by a long-time and long-distance friend and only after she died did her husband share her multiple health struggles over a period of years. I feel that she wanted to keep those struggles private and not to burden others. Other instances of ghosting may not have an explanation we can figure out which can lead to pain and self doubt.

    1. Carol, What an interesting question. This organization only counsels on grief from loss by death. But certainly divorces are loss, and yes, same with long time friends. How hard to have her stop communicating without an explanation. I am so sorry.

  9. You are keeping active and busy with many great projects. As for me, my current focus is on a master bedroom/bathroom renovation. A full gut is underway. This is going to take a couple months so I’m stuck at home except for weekends. Like you, I’m re-connecting with friends which is lovely. I also volunteer as a friendly visitor to housebound seniors. People need people and it has been eye-opening to see how isolated/lonely some individuals can be.

  10. If I lived in the Bay Area, I’d be seeking out a loose tie coffee chat however it did get me to thinking about our local connections. One thing I have noticed since quitting twitter and joining mastodon is how it feels like twitter did when I joined in 2009 – no journalists, lots of people local to me posting about daily lives. I like it and I am way less on it which is no bad thing.

Comments are closed.