For the first time in a long time, I have a lot of opinions about the Oscars. I’m extremely happy for Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant (I think Can You Ever Forgive Me? is undersung and they’re both brilliant in it), and have been doodling Olivia Colman’s sad face, murmuring “…badger” in all my notebooks. I want The Favourite to win pretty much everything, but would also be happy with Spike Lee getting a Best Picture nod.

Is it possible I’m concentrating on the Academy Awards to distract myself from the political maelstrom, the ongoing injustices, the terrible everything? It is MORE than possible, but I’ve learned that digesting tragedy in real time, all the time, is not necessarily the best or most sustainable option, so I’m doing the best I can.

(That being said it is an absolute miscarriage of justice that volunteers for No Más Muertes—a group that puts out water and supplies for people attempting to cross the border through the desert—were convicted. The fact that people are not processed in a regular or humane fashion in ports of entry, pushing them into the desert, is one problem, but also: humanitarian aid should not be criminalized. I’m furious about this, and if you are too, please donate to NMM.)

This weekend I planted about half the flower seeds I ordered, to see if I can get an early garden going; I also put in some vegetables and herbs, in a very catch-as-catch-can strategy. I’ll see what I get! I’ll see what the birds don’t eat! I’m usually very organized with my gardening, and do a bunch of indoor seedlings around this time, which are easier to protect; we can get weird overnight freezes through February, even though it was 75 on Saturday. That’s the desert for you. But I’m not sure my transplants always do that well, and I think I’ve missed significant parts of the growing season here that way. Sometimes you have to throw things in the ground and hope for the best.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I’ve been writing. I’ve been cooking. So I guess that’s been my strategy at large: put things out there, and hope something grows.