Fading sunlight: Today might be the nicest day of the week. If you’re reading this on your morning commute, you probably think I’m full of shit. We got off to a rainy start this morning, but the rain will slow and the sun will peek out of the clouds at around 10 am until 4 pm. The rest of the week doesn’t look so nice. Checking out the 10-day forecast, it looks like rain every day until next Saturday.

The week ahead: Even though the weather’s all doom and gloom, you can still have fun this week. Our good friends at EverOut compiled a list, as they so often do, of a bunch of fun things to do this week. Out of their 42 suggestions, I’m most interested in the showing of Delicatessen at the Northwest Film Festival tomorrow and Dungeons and Drag Queens at The Crocodile on Friday.  

And the nominees are: The Academy released its nominations in every category for the 96th Oscars. Oppenheimer, Poor Things, and Killer of the Flower Moon earned the most nominations this year at 13, 11, and 10 nods respectively. 

Kenough for an Oscar: While Greta Gerwig’s Barbie also scored big with nine nominations, the internet erupted this morning with outrage that the Academy nominated Ryan Gosling’s rendition of Ken for best supporting actor and not Margot Robbie for best actress for the titular role in a movie with (somewhat unearned) feminist street cred. I hate to break it to you, but for a movie called Barbie, Gosling’s character got a lot of screen time and sympathy! Christ, he got his own musical number. Like, of course he got recognized. Maybe be mad that the supposed woman empowerment movie focused enough on men to get a male nominee in the first place. And besides, America Ferrera got nominated for best supporting, and her character felt soooo forgettable except for that really weird, heavy-handed monologue. Y’all look weird getting mad about powerful, historically discriminatory institutions not giving enough credit to the rich girl bosses from your favorite cash grabs. 

Freeze: In anticipation of the $250 million budget shortfall in 2025, Mayor Bruce Harrell issued a hiring freeze for all City departments—well, almost all of them. The City will continue to hire cops, firefighters, and dual dispatchers because, well, this is Harrell we’re talking about. The move perfectly illustrates how the budget conversations will go later this year. The tax-adverse City Council will expect every department to do more with less. But they’ll do whatever they can to get more cops, even if that means throwing millions at them to recruit the Mayor’s absurd goal of 450 new officers. Let that sink in. The City refuses to pay for a single additional worker to enforce labor standards or renter protections or staff any of the other important departments in the City, but we can apparently afford 450 of some of the highest-paid City workers AND give them bonuses! 

Vacancy: Can we freeze hiring on the City Council? Because the nominee pool is soooo bleak. In a special meeting yesterday, the eight nominees for the vacant seat spent several hours sucking up to the conservative council members. While the meeting made me pull out my own eyelashes, it's sorta irrelevant. It feels more likely than not that the Council will pick their bestie from the campaign trail, failed city council candidate Tanya Woo. I mean, that’s who their big business donors seem to want at least! The council will vote this afternoon, so I can finally think about something else very soon. 

Okay, one more thing: Watching the City Council ask the nominees questions drove me crazy. So many of these newly elected council members refused to give straight answers on the very questions they asked their nominees! For example:

New Hampshire: Today, the good people of New Hampshire will vote in the presidential primary. Florida Gov Ron DeSantis dropped out this weekend after a disappointing performance at the Iowa caucus, leaving a one-on-one contest between former President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. If Haley doesn’t prove herself to be a viable candidate this time, who knows how long she’ll stay in the race.

On the other side of the aisle: While Trump and Haley compete for last-minute votes, President Joe Biden is chilling. He’s not even on the ballot. According to CBS News, Biden’s campaign swore off the New Hampshire primary after the Republican-ruled state refused to cooperate when Biden tried to change the rules to hold the first primary in South Carolina. So, New Hampshire Democrats will have to choose between Marianne Williamson, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, and writing in “Biden” or another candidate’s name. So, next time someone shames you for not voting for Biden in the primary, tell them Biden gave up an entire state. 

Israeli troops: Gaza is back in headlines after Hamas killed 24 Israeli soldiers in a single raid on Monday. I read through a few articles and didn't see if the IDF killed any Palestinians in this attack, but I expect very little from the media right now. As you read the news and the subsequent outrage, remember that this, two dozen dead, counts as Israeli troops' deadliest day after killing more than 25,000 Palestinians and making Gaza uninhabitable. The bloodshed can end on both clearly unequal sides if the US, with its incredible influence, brokers a ceasefire. 

Earthquake: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake shook rural, western China early this morning. According to the AP, the natural disaster killed three people and destroyed dozens of homes. 

For your ears: This song has been stuck in my head for at least four days. No give backs!