Ask the grumpies: Feelings about decluttering

Leah asks:

How do you feel about decluttering? Is it easy or challenging for you?

Is it easy or challenging?  Who knows?  We haven’t tried!  I mean, we’re already hitting where our budget constraint hits our utility curves, so why would we want to mess with that?

More seriously:  I try to not let stuff in the house to begin with.  So when we get gifts we don’t want, they go in our goodwill cabinet (or gift closet for unopened children’s gifts) straight away.  The only actual “decluttering” I do is when DC2 outgrows clothing and I hand them down to a colleague which was something people did before it got called decluttering.  Most of the stuff that leaves our house leaves it because it is broken or worn out or used up or outgrown at the point it is no longer useful.  We don’t systematically clean things out or have any sort of targeted decluttering.

Update:  DC2 recently went through hir room and closet and got rid of a lot of stuff zie had outgrown.  I guess that’s technically decluttering, though the questions were more “have you grown out of this/do you want this” than “does this spark joy.”  When zie did that, the goodwill cabinet (where we put things we don’t want until we decide to deal with them) got full, so we took multiple loads to goodwill, three of my colleagues with younger kids got bags full of clothing and toys, and we have a bag of new with tags stuff (gifts that never got worn) ready to go to a refugee center in the city.  So I guess we declutter but don’t think of it as decluttering.

What about the rest of Grumpy Nation?  Do you declutter?

Ask the grumpies: Favorite apps for fun?

Leah asks:

Do you have any sort of favorite apps you use for fun?

#2 doesn’t have a cell phone.  Like not even a flip phone.

#1 doesn’t use apps for fun because she has major problems with time management and internet addiction.  Still, she does use Yelp a lot.  And she watches Youtube a lot, but doesn’t use an app for it.  I use the Apple Podcast app in the car.

DH and the kids like all sorts of games (DH is currently playing Hyper Light Drifter).  DH uses the Netflix app a lot and Amazon PrimeTime.  He listens to Audible.

What are your favorite apps for fun, Grumpy Nation?

Ask the grumpies: When is the movie better than the book?

Leah asks:

When is the movie better than the book?

Rarely.  Bad books aren’t usually made into movies!

#2 Didn’t like the book version of the Princess Bride as much as the movie, but #1 liked the book version more.

I guess there are several versions of Brewster’s Millions that are better than the original source material.  There’s a lot of Gutenberg material out there that has extremely cringey racial/ethnic stereotypes which don’t make it into the movie versions (or at least not into the movie remakes).

Peter Pan is a much better movie– terrifying book.  Similarly Pinocchio.  Fox and the Hound.  That era of Disney picked some pretty awful source material.  Even Mary Poppins is dramatically different (though one can argue which version is better).

We’ve heard that 50 Shades of Grey was a better movie than book, but we’ve got no desire to watch either one(!)

Grumpy Nation, help Leah out, have you seen movies that were better than their books?

Ask the grumpies: What is your favorite card game?

Leah asks:

What is your favorite card game?

The Great Dalmuti.  Also, three person spades.

I really like the kinds of card games that are fast and allow for lots of revolutions of who is in charge in repeated games.  So everyone wins a bunch.  (Though I also like the person who is winning gets an advantage… until the Revolution, of course.)

My family is really into the Werewolf games.

Ask the grumpies: What do you watch on Netflix?

Leah asks:

Do you watch much Netflix? Any favorite Netflix originals? I really like One Day at a Time, and there’s several Netflix originals kids’ shows we love. Treehouse Detectives is the most popular right now in our house.

#1:  I don’t… um… watch anything on netflix.  DH watches Lucifer and when the next season of The Good Place is up he’ll be watching that.  DC1 doesn’t watch anything except the occasional movie that DH is watching (usually super hero or star wars based).  DC2 has mainly been watching youtube these days.  Zie is a fan of Arthur, Wild Kratts, and Johnny Test, though zie watched them all on Youtube.

What do you all watch on Netflix?

Ask the grumpies: Which is more important: Macro or Micro?

Leah asks:

Which is more important, macro or micro economics?

For most people, microeconomics is more important.  Both, however, are very important for the government, particularly the federal government.

Macroeconomics tells us about whether there should be a Fed, how should we peg the monetary system (if we should), when should the government spend and when should it pay back debt, how can the government lower unemployment and inflation using monetary policy, and so on.

Microeconomics tells us everything else.  How do we best invest in kids?  How to firms set prices?  How do we help marginalized groups?  How much should people save for retirement?  How do we best finance schools?  And on and on and on…

So… both are incredibly important, but there are a lot more microeconomists out there.

Ask the grumpies: Where to find hope

Leah asks:

How do you find hope in the world? In general, I suppose, and also specifically right now.

I am finding hope in the state of Texas, of all places.  Beto didn’t win, but his coattails caused enough of a change in the state legislature that the bathroom bill didn’t get discussed much less voted on (last legislature it almost passed), they didn’t vote on a draconian heartbeat bill punishing women unlike the rest of the south and much of the Midwest, and although an anti-voter bill (SB9) passed the senate it died in calendars in the house.  Activism– all those people campaigning for Beto– caused change.  That gives me hope that the more we do, the more we fight evil, the more terrible policies we will keep from happening.  In places that are already limiting the right to vote, those of us with privilege need to fight with and for those without.

I also find hope in how (relatively) quickly the perception of LGBTQ people is changing for the better, and how there are more and more LGBT rights are being legislated, and are being discussed as obvious.  Matt Baume is a source of joy and inspiration.  What he reports on is not always happy (see:  military bans), but he does a great job of providing historical context and hope for the future… along with a nice dose of humor.  (I am enjoying his book on the road to LGBTQ marriage, Defining Marriage.)

I find hope that the majority of people still believe that women should have the right do control their own bodies and that we should not treat minorities poorly because of the color of their skin of their ancestry.  (In fact, being “pro-life” aka forced birth right now is not something people want to admit in polite company.  They frown at us as we protest, but they don’t say anything.)  We still want to be good people.  We still want to do the right thing.  Even in the face of Bond villains.  And yes, in the short term it’s not been enough, but without the resistance things would have been far worse– they’ve tried to make things much worse and had to back-off.

I find hope and inspiration in Wandering Scientist’s weekly actions.  And in swingleft and indivisible and racies texas and the ACLU.  And the spirit of the resistance.  The ability to slog through even when things seem to be getting worse.

Doctors without borders recently sent me a totebag and a note that I should be finding hope in how much better the developing world is getting in terms of disease, which is true and is something that John Green finds hope in.  I still did not send them money because any nonprofit that wastes money sending me a totebag unasked for is not one I want to encourage. (John Green also finds hope in third tier English soccer, which… me not so much.)

So, although it is trite, I find hope in actions and in the actions of others.  Viva la resistance.  (*French —> Spanish intentional.)

Where do you find hope?