what did I do this week?

a pile of monochrome question marks with WHAT spelled out on top of the pile

can anyone remember?

I read books:

I’ve got 24 books right now in my TBR/working-on pile 1Does not include all the other books that are waiting for me to read them; that number hasn’t been quantified because I don’t need that kind of stress in my life over an activity that I love. . Well, it’s not a pile any more, I made space in one and a half of my cube shelves to hold them. The problem with 24 books is not that there are 24 books. The problem is how do I choose which one to read first? Or next? I have tried over and over to prioritize them, but that was just shuffling them around and ultimately didn’t help whatsoever. I felt that I was playing favorites and hurting books’ feelings and my thought process got stuck there for a while.

It suddenly occurred to me that if I used some kind of random number generator, I could take away the pressure of choice and allow chaos to determine what book to read each day 2“Each day” means “each day that I am up for reading,” which is not necessarily every day. . I have a set of table-top RPG dice that I haven’t used for anything, so I took a D20 and a D4 and each reading day, I roll the D20 first to see what number comes up. If I roll a 20, I can either read the 20th book in the row or I can roll the D4 for a new number.

I have, in fact, read parts of five books this past week, including today. I feel SO ACCOMPLISHED.

The five books are:

  • Earthsea: The First Four Books, by Ursula K. Le Guin. I have read the first one, A Wizard of Earthsea, so I am currently working on the second one: The Tombs of Atuan. I can’t accurately describe what her writing means to me, other than saying that reading the texts she created is akin to reading religious scriptures. I treasure every moment I get with the words she wrote. [this book was number 10]
  • Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari. Back when he was teaching a very long online course at Coursera on this information, I drank it up and actually finished the course — unusual for my neurospicy self — and waited excitedly to buy this book when it came out. It’s a hefty text, so reading it a little at a time is a good idea. It’s not just history; it’s also philosophy, and picking apart why we think the way we do and what choices we’re making as a result. [this book was number 1]
  • trans like me, by c n lester. Oh, this book. I’ve had it for several years and it hasn’t aged badly at all. It is a bittersweet and freeing book that has made me feel a kinship and understanding with the author. I might put this back in the rotation once I finish it, so that I can read it again. [this book was number 19]
  • Ask: Building Consent Culture, an anthology edited by Kitty Stryker. This book is full of short essays by a diverse array of writers, including people of color and queer people. It is always heart-opening to read what’s been written by people like me. I already love this book. [this book was number 20]
  • The Art of Dying Well, by Katy Butler. Having ordered this entirely based on recommendations by fellow deathworkers, and on the basis of its title, I wasn’t prepared for who this book is actually for. It is written to people who will age and then die of old age in a capitalist society with shitty health care, where none of them have chronic illnesses. There are nuggets I can take from it, different perspectives that can inform my thought about how to do trans/non-binary/queer death care, so I will keep reading it. I had expected something aimed toward practitioners, but this book is written for people who want to have an active role in their aging, dying, and eventual death, which is definitely a good thing to engage in. [this book was number 6]

Of these five books, some were soul-nurturing, some were fascinatingly informative, and some will lead me into better praxis. I’m eagerly awaiting which book will roll up tomorrow and next week.

I contributed to:

I was interviewed for an article published by the Chicago Tribune, by a journalist who was conducting interviews and research in order to write a piece focusing on trans and nonbinary people, after a short piece of reporting she had done in which she mistakenly misgendered the person at the center of the piece.

You can read it at the Tribune’s website, and it’s quite good not just because I feel she accurately quoted me, but because I am not the only trans or non-binary person that contributed their knowledge to this piece: Deadnaming, misgendering and more: A trans and nonbinary community grapples with end-of-life complexities.

NOTE: the Chicago Tribune website appears to have chosen to paywall this piece even though it was not behind a paywall when I initially read it about a week ago. If you don’t subscribe but would like to read it, please leave me a comment saying so and I will figure out a workaround.

I wrote:

I’ve written before about my disillusionment with how queer culture exists in this country, specifically through the eyes of people who are not queer or even passingly familiar with what it’s like to be us. Transgender Day of Remembrance was yet another chance for the rest of society to pat themselves on the back if they remembered the day at all, and especially if they are content to ‘be aware’ of things but not do anything about them. I was angry. So I wrote about it.

I did some stuff:

I had a video call with my second youngest on Thanksgiving, because I couldn’t have my usual parenting time due to the motherfucking pandemic. It was a very nice video call and the toddler even showed up in my room during the call to say “hello” except instead of pronouncing the letter l’s, he used a y sound instead. It was very cute.

Last night we had ice cream sundaes for dinner and it was everything you might hope for on a Friday night indoors with family.

I barely turned my desktop computer on this week, and when I had time for playing a game, I turned on my Switch, which is hooked into my television via HDMI. I’ve been playing The Witcher IIIStardew Valley, and Mario Kart when the toddler is hanging out because he likes watching it.

I changed the sheets and blankets on my bed, which is always a sweaty endeavor and also very satisfying once it’s done. Peri-menopause is a fucking bitch.

After last week’s absolute dogshit experience of multiple migraines, this week I had a regular amount of pain. Hahahahahaha that is a ridiculous thing to say. Ahahaha. I’m not crying and I am allergic to onions.

the week isn’t done until I say so!

My calendar weeks start on Mondays, so technically, it is still this week until after I go to bed on Sunday night. This weekend I will have a toddler bedtime shift, a sous-chef shift (helping someone else prepare a meal, what even is this concept), and some laundry to run. On Sunday I will happily have a day off, then near the end of the night I will begin inventing things to be anxious about.

If you actually read this, thank you, because it matters to me that sometimes I am perceived when I would like to be perceived.

featured image is a photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash


  • 1
    Does not include all the other books that are waiting for me to read them; that number hasn’t been quantified because I don’t need that kind of stress in my life over an activity that I love.
  • 2
    “Each day” means “each day that I am up for reading,” which is not necessarily every day.
Nix Kelley
Co-parent to multiple kids. Writer. Death doula. Member of the Order of the Good Death. Seeker on the Path of Light. Queer, non-binary, & trans.


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