Media Diary (November 2020)

Some stuff Iโ€™ve experienced lately (and not necessarily only new releases):

The Good Lord Bird (TV): Loved the style, loved the subject matter

The Last Picture Show (Movie): Young Randy Quaid blew both of our minds

The Comedy Store (TV): The origin story for so many comics

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Movie): History rhymes

A Teacher (TV): Uncomfortable but compelling

White Noise (Movie): Such dangerous fools ๐Ÿ˜ 

The Mandalorian (TV): This season is unbelievably good

537 Votes (Movie): At the time I was young and clued out about the wild Miami backstory

The Reagans (TV): A really interesting look at their rise to power

Totally Under Control (Movie): Absolutely maddening ๐Ÿฆ 

Moonbase 8 (TV): Pretty funny, can’t go wrong with this cast

Dick Johnson is Dead (Movie): What a great guy for going along with this

His Dark Materials (TV): I never know how to feel about this show, I think this season is a little better? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Hidden Figures (Movie): Finally saw this, math baller alert!

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Lettermanย (TV): Great as always

The Right Stuff (Movie): Had shockingly never seen the original, but now I can’t remember which events were in this version vs. the miniseries

The Real Right Stuff (Movie): As if it wasn’t already clear to me, these guys were unbelievably brave/nuts

Inside Pixar (TV): Really cool to get a look at their process

Tesla (Movie): Not great

Hillbilly Elegy (Movie): Really not great

That ‘Rona Routine

A few months back I wrote about my 2020 “screened-in world” for my newsletter subscribers, and since at some point weโ€™ll transition to a brave new post-COVID reality, I thought for the sake of grim posterity that I’d expand that piece into a full snapshot of my average 2020 weekday. ๐Ÿš€ Buckle up…

6:00am-ish to 7:00am-ish:

I wake up, gather a ridiculous pile of devices and headphones and attempt to sneak out of the bedroom without waking up Sarah. I pour myself a coffee (followed by another), sit in a living room chair and spend some time catching up on personal email, social media and (way too much) news.

Sometimes I’ll eat cereal and take the dog out before the workday starts, sometimes mid-morning. I’m a wildcard, you can’t pigeonhole me. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

A bit before 8:30am:

Sarah wakes up, gets a coffee and makes sure that the boys are up for Zoom school. They are never fans of this reminder. ๐Ÿ˜ 


School starts. I hear Sarah welcoming her first class, along with muted voices from the other rooms. As if on cue, the dog starts barking, instantly infuriating everyone. ๐Ÿ•

9:00am (sometimes earlier):

I join my daily work video standup. Our birds immediately start chirping like crazy, making my feel like the old lady outside the bank in Mary Poppins. ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ

9:30am to Noon-ish:

I click, type, have video meetings, make ridiculous memes and remind nerds about various priorities, all while listening to Sarah walk her students through important literary analysis. Sometimes I also accept grocery deliveries.

Noon-ish to 1:00pm-ish:

I grab something in the house for lunch (sometimes a salad, sometimes a pile of string cheese sticks, it’s really anyone’s guess). One or more of the boys will usually emerge at this point to eat something, while also a) letting me know about new graphics card announcements or b) asking me to buy them something on Amazon.

By this point I’ll also usually have done a 10-minute Calm meditation, read a daily Bible chapter and caught up on Twitter again. ๐Ÿง˜โœ๏ธ๐Ÿฆ

1:00pm-ish to 5:30pm-ish:

More clicking, typing, meeting, meme-ing and reminding, this time usually from our bedroom (if Sarah’s done teaching) for a thrilling change of venue.


Time for a shower! I’ll immerse myself in the decadent “shower headphones” lifestyle for a few minutes, apply various creams and miracle elixirs, then eat dinner (some days Owen will go get something, some days we’ll get something delivered, some days Sarah will make something and some days I’ll follow the directions from a HelloFresh box (which I actually find to be a strangely soothing activity). ๐ŸŽง๐Ÿ’ง

6:00pm-ish to 7:30pm-ish:

I’ll repeat my morning personal email, social media and news routine. This is usually accompanied by one of the boys (typically Wilbur) raging at friends in an online game, Stewart roaming the neighborhood on his scooter, Owen watching episodes of his current TV fixation (a full Doctor Who re-watch right now) and Sarah taking a long walk and/or grading endless papers (while distracting herself by making Instagram stories about grading endless papers). ๐Ÿ“

7:30pm-ish to 8:00pm-ish:

Sarah and I generally move to the bedroom while the boys take over the rest of the house in true Lord of the Flies fashion. Depending on the night, we may watch episodes of a show, attend a midweek session for a new church we’re sitting in on (currently discussing institutional racism), attend a virtual book club discussion (Sarah), write newsletter material (me) or check in to see if any work shenanigans have popped up (spoiler: they have).

10:30pm to 11:00pm-ish:

Once one or both of us is done staring at screens, we call it a night, anxiously awaiting the chance to do it all again tomorrow! ๐ŸŒ 

Long Road Back

I know a good deal of Trump supporters through church connections, my extended family and via social media, and despite how absolutely heartbreaking it has been to watch what’s happened to them over the past several years, I’m not at all opposed to rekindling our relationships in the event that the Biden victory acts as a cold water wake-up from their MAGA fever dream.

I’m not saying that it wouldn’t take a very long time to trust their judgment again (having seen what they’re capable of tacitly endorsing), but I do believe in fast forgiveness followed by slow trust rebuilding if and when someone demonstrates that they’re open to a) learning about different perspectives, b) having challenging conversations and c) spending the time to educate themselves (even minimally) on how to avoid misinformation.

Nobody has all all of the answers (I certainly don’t), and everyone makes mistakes (I certainly do), but moving forward requires contrition, curiosity and a commitment to keep walking the (potentially) long road back.

That’s one option. Or…

…you could follow our fearless current leader right into the abyss with one or all of the following behaviors that I’ve seen emerge over the past few days:

  • Continue to deny the reality that Trump lost this election, and keep spewing deranged conspiracy theories until the heat death of the universe

  • Complain about how mean Biden supporters are being (this is jaw-dropping coming from the “F**k Your Feelings” crowd)

  • Leave mainstream social media for Parler (so you can reinforce the walls of your MAGA information bubble and really stretch those racist legs!)

Time to choose your own adventure!