Sunday, March 19, 2023

Here comes Ostara.

Deposit Photos
As alert hearth/myth readers know, I've been working for the New Mexico legislature as a legal proofreader for the past couple of months. Our state legislature meets over the winter, for 60 days in odd-numbered years and 30 days in even-numbered years. So this was a 60-day session. It started the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January and went for 60 days straight -- no lunch hours, no weekends, no holidays -- and ended yesterday at noon.

So yesterday afternoon, I emerged from the fog of my hardcore working winter into daylight to discover -- well, to be honest, it still looked like winter out there. Folks in other parts of the country, I know, are enjoying blooming things, but here? Not yet. In fact, I awoke Friday to snow covering the fabulous wall o' windows. Drove to the office wearing my winter gear, including boots -- which were superfluous by the time I left work because all the snow had disappeared. Poof, gone! Evaporation is definitely a thing in the arid Southwest.

Regardless, I know it is nearly Ostara because my calendar tells me so. Tomorrow, in fact, is the equinox -- vernal in the Northern Hemisphere, autumnal in the Southern -- at 3:24pm Mountain Daylight Time. (That's 5:24pm EDT. If you live somewhere else, ask Mama Google.) 

Thanks to the paying job, spring kinda sneaked up on me this year. I managed to think ahead last weekend to buy eggs for coloring, but I realized this afternoon that I needed to boil them today so I can dye them tomorrow. That has now been done. (Just as last year, I plan to dye an egg for justice for Ukraine.) I intended to clean the house today -- it is in desperate need of it, as I decided in January that I could let everything slide 'til session was over -- but that red-and-green afghan is still sitting there, waiting for me to finish reknitting it, so that's another priority. I don't want to still be working on it when the summer solstice rolls around.

The next few weeks will be anything but restful. I do have a short vacation planned for this week, and a longer one coming up next month. But it almost feels like Real Life has been waiting with bated breath for me to emerge from hibernation so it could pounce. Bottom line: The next couple of months won't be terribly restful. But at least the days will be longer.


One more thing before I stop: This week's episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+ is all about inflation. Stewart made a connection that I came close to last week, but I didn't connect all the dots: Whenever the economy is threatened, the first solution the powers-that-be always reach for -- always, always, always -- is the one that sticks it to the little guy. When the economy crashed in 2008? The big banks got bailed out, but there was zero relief for people who lost their homes. This year, when we're at full employment, yet inflation continues to climb? Well, that's because the politicians handed regular Americans too much stimulus money -- so now, somewhere between two and ten million regular Americans simply have to lose their jobs. 

That's just the price we have to pay, right? We sure don't want to force corporations to make less money, even though they've been raking in record profits, and lots of them are still using the pandemic and supply-chain problems as justification to raise their prices. (One recent study dubs this "excuseflation".)

Here's a clip from the show of Stewart interviewing former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Highlights for me: Stewart's face (at 1:32) when Summers tries to buddy up with him ("those like you and me, who are very fortunate"), and Summers' frown of incomprehension (at around 2:27) when Stewart suggests that maybe giving bailouts to the bankers in 2009 actually hurt the recovery. And it was at 4:24, when Summers said it's not tenable to suggest that corporations have suddenly become greedy, that I wanted to wipe the smirk off his face. It ain't sudden, Larry.
Daily Kos has a recap of the interview here.

Apple TV+, which airs Stewart's show, classifies it as a comedy. I guess that's on the theory that if you can't laugh about this stuff, you'll cry.

These moments of exhausted blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Blessed Ostara! Happy spring!

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