Joel Always one syllable, sometimes "@jayroh"

Weeknotes for the week ending Dec.25

26 Dec 2021

We’ll get the obvious point out of the way, which is, of course, it’s Christmas weekend.

As I get older, the more complicated and layered the reality(-ies?) of this holiday are for me, personally. This year has an additional (bonus!) layer of frosting called “the Omicron variant”. It’s not as if we had any plans to speak of that were canceled as a result, but that in a time when we could be taking advantage of a little downtime we are no longer comfortable considering the options. Would we have gone to the movies with G if Omicron wasn’t a thing? Possibly. Would we have liked to take a trip to NYC to see the tree, and take in the general Christmas atmosphere? Yes. Alas, that ain’t happening anytime soon. Then there are the inextricable facts around my familial situation. I grew up with two sisters and my mother. Both of my sisters have passed, and I was not able to make it to see my mother for the holiday. This is the time of year where I feel that empty space most profoundly and acutely. I miss everyone individually, tremendously, but as a whole family unit it’s a different experience to consider.

Needless to say it is 1 week of 52 where I have a lot to chew on, emotionally. All that being said, if you were able to celebrate the holiday with your family (however you define “family”, whether it’s the family you are born into or a family you chose) and have some smiles and laughs and open some presents next to a big bright shiny tree? Count your blessings. Savor your time. “Things” are great, but those experiences are priceless.

… Whew that was on the heavy side! I promise I’ll lighten this up next week.



  • “Kevin Garnett: Anything is Possible” - ⭐⭐
  • “Don’t Look Up” - ⭐
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home” - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ + 😭


  • A very well put together episode on “Death Sex and Money” about how weight and body size has affected romantic relationships. If you know me, you probably know that my “corpus” has been a boulder I have carried with me for most of my life. In general, Anna Sale and the whole DSM podcast do an excellent job, consistently, putting out episodes around the lesser discussed aspects of life (hence: death, sex, money) so I enthusiastically endorse this whole pod.
  • Maintenance Phase. A podcast that was recommended at the tail end of that DSM episode ☝.


  • Walking. I’ve been picking a direction on the map around where we live, pointing my nose that way, and just walking for an hour or so. It’s been wonderfully cathartic and an excellent space to allow myself to think. Important point - so much better than a treadmill.
Brookline reservoir, looking east towards the Back Bay
The western-most side of the Brookline Reservoir, looking east towards the Pru and Hancock Tower.

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