It's been a lot
deviating from our usual programming, conflicting news, and music from the Milky Way
ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter and podcast that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. Learn more at RockPaperRadio.com.
Hi, misfit crew. I’m writing you on a Friday after I’ve been away from your inbox for a while without a heads up—thanks for sticking with me. I’ve been swimming in big, complicated feelings and figuring out what to write to all of you.
First, the good news: I can’t share specifics yet, but soon, I have some truly wonderful news that’s come my way. This news is not only paving the way for exciting things to come, but it’s made sense of the last baffling nine months since I took leave and then left my job with KUOW. I can’t wait to share—July’s going to be a big month for me, RPR, and Odd One In. Stay with me!
Now, the hard stuff, that I know you already know all about: The Uvalde shooting gutted me, is gutting me still. As a mom. As a former teacher. As a human. And then all the shootings and spin and lack of change that’s come since. I can’t.
And now Roe is overturned, like they told us it would be. Clarence Thomas promises that Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell (but, interestingly, not Loving v. Virginia, which protects interracial marriages like Thomas’) are all next, and I believe him. I am seething. Under his eye, indeed.
There have been other hard things too. Two single moms who I love deeply have been struggling in heartbreaking and enraging ways recently, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. The system so badly needs an overhaul and my cautious but determined optimism that that overhaul is possible is slipping.
vero @thenyjewforced birth in a country with baby formula shortages and mass school shootings weekly you can’t make this up
But then! Remember the good news? And it’s not only that—there have also been snacks by the canal with The Teenager, and dyeing my dog’s tail purple, and hangs with my hilarious nephews, and tofu strawberry cheesecakes, and old lady date nights, and dapper photoshoots with friends, and long sunny bike rides where I’m so glad that I’m wearing a mask and sunglasses because my smile’s so big and my eyes are so wide but I don’t have to worry at all about the bugs flying in.
So. Life is so lovely and so terrible all at once. Like it always is, but maybe especially lately.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
That’s all to say, if you’re looking for a SHOT right now too, how’s this: NASA is making music out of the stars.
The Milky Way, for example, sounds like a new age dream come true. From NASA:
A new project using sonification turns astronomical images from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory and other telescopes into sound. This allows users to "listen" to the center of the Milky Way as observed in X-ray, optical, and infrared light. As the cursor moves across the image, sounds represent the position and brightness of the sources.
The project is called The Universe of Sound, and it’s a nice reminder that the universe is awesome and beautiful, and we’re tiny and curious, and scientists are out here making magic.
So maybe right now isn’t totally hopeless if all of these things can be true at the same time? Hold on to your peeps and your unlikely optimism extra tight right now, friends. And reach out if you’re feeling weird too. I’m always here for our misfit fam, even when my newsletter sending takes a break.
See you next Thursday, for real this time.