I saw this gigantic moon the other night. I didn’t know it was a thing, but The Atlantic says apparently it is and posted a bunch of photos of it.
The moon appeared about 10 percent larger than average as it approached its closest point in orbit, about 220,680 miles (356,760 kilometers) from Earth.
I was at home wading through the madness of trying to figure out how to get 2 kids 3 different places at the same time the next day and making lunches and I started to lose it a bit. Then to top it off the dog starts bugging me to go outside.
So I’m out, standing in the middle of my dead quiet backyard and it’s lit up like day because of this 1,000 watt moon and crystal clear sky, and I breathe deep and say to the Universe, ok, I get it now. I’m a nobody. My problems don’t mean shit. Thanks for the reminder. I’m just the luckiest bastard alive for even getting to stand here in the cold and stare up dumbfounded in awe at this massive, beautiful fucking moon.
I didn’t take any pictures of it. Crash and I just bathed in the glow of all that light reflecting off all that snow. Then we went back inside. That was enough.
Interesting article from The Atlantic, “When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online”, about parents who share their kids’ lives and images online – now referred to as ‘sharenting’. Back when I still had social media accounts, I didn’t share much about my kids – or photos of them – more out of fear of the pervs/stalkers out there or their peers potentially trying to mess with them. I’m embarrassed to say it never occurred to me to think how my kids themselves might feel about it. I do have a ton of photos of them on my Flickr account, but they are for the most part limited so only family members can see them and they are not available via search.
“For several months, Cara has been working up the courage to approach her mom about what she saw on Instagram. Not long ago, the 11-year-old—who, like all the other kids in this story, is referred to by a pseudonym—discovered that her mom had been posting photos of her, without prior approval, for much of her life. “I’ve wanted to bring it up. It’s weird seeing myself up there, and sometimes there’s pics I don’t like of myself,” she said.”
“Once kids have that first moment of realization that their lives are public, there’s no going back. Several teens and tweens told me this was the impetus for wanting to get their own social-media profiles, in an effort to take control of their image. But plenty of other kids become overwhelmed and retreat. Ellen said that anytime someone has a phone out around her now, she’s nervous that her photo could be taken and posted somewhere. “Everyone’s always watching, and nothing is ever forgotten. It’s never gone,” she said.”
“…92 percent of toddlers under the age of 2 already have their own unique digital identity. “Parents now shape their children’s digital identity long before these young people open their first email. The disclosures parents make online are sure to follow their children into adulthood,” declares a report by the University of Florida Levin College of Law. “These parents act as both gatekeepers of their children’s personal information and as narrators of their children’s personal stories.”
I feel fortunate now that, rather inadvertently, I’ve managed to leave it up to my kids what eventually makes it online about them, especially considering my own back and forth with social media and the Internet. It took me several years and the wisdom and experience of an adult to finally sort out what sort of ‘presence’ I wanted online – I can only imagine that process being intimidating or incomprehensible to my kids – a feeling that would only be exacerbated if I’d already shared copious information about them.
I recently finished up David Foster Wallace‘s Consider the Lobster – a collection of essays and articles he authored that were originally featured in other publications and then collected here. I found it a very enjoyable read. I’d heard a lot of good things about Wallace and started to read Infinite Jest – but had to return it to the library before I finished it. Apparently it’s not uncommon to start and never finish it, but I still intend to as I very much enjoy Wallace’s style of writing.
Though all a bit dated at this point, my favorite essays in Lobster are probably (in no particular order:)
“Big Red Son” – Wallace’s account of a visit to the 1998 Adult Movie Awards – very entertaining.
“Authority and American Usage” – a review of Bryan A. Garner‘s A Dictionary of Modern American Usage. Something that would seem totally boring, but I found very interesting, which was surprising for a non-SNOOT like me. Reading this article though has shown me that perhaps there’s a SNOOT inside me somewhere and I should embrace my inner SNOOTiness.
“Up, Simba” – a fascinating account for Rolling Stone of time spent on John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign trail. Taught me a few things about McCain and there were some weird parallels (to me anyway) to the campaign and election of Trump. Note: Apparently the version of this published in Rolling Stone was considerably shortened. I found this unedited version a great read, and I’m not sure what you could have cut out without detracting from the essay overall.
Interestingly enough, my library e-book copy didn’t include the article ‘Host’ which originally appeared in The Atlantic in 2005 and is a profile of a conservative radio talk show host in LA as well as discussing other facets of talk radio and how it effects “how Americans talk, think and vote”. I hope to maybe find this article online somewhere as the link from Wikipedia to The Atlantic is broken.
All told, I find I really like Wallace’s writing style, look forward to checking out his other works and find it unfortunate that he didn’t stick around longer to continue to gift us with such excellent work.
Edit: I eventually found a copy of ‘Host’ online at the Atlantic – they’d redone the article with new, interactive tools to feature Wallace’s footnotes and asides – features he was known for. This version can be found here: ‘Host’, by David Foster Wallace on The Atlantic