Bext Holidays Ever

A typo. Decided it could function as an (sortof, not quite) anagram.

Hang on. I’m gonna ask ChatGPT.

screenshot of the Q&A with the answer being "portmanteau" is the process for blending a new word from two separate words
Q&A with ChatGPT, at

Bext is a portmanteau of next and best. (Not an anagram.) This is the bext christmas that I can remember. It’s perfect for my present circumstances, and is meaningful like some of my other favorite christmasses.

Q&A with ChatGPT, the plural of "christmas" includes a double "s"
Q&A with ChatGPT, at

What’s perfect is how many nibblings are involved. Normally I haven’t called them this in their presence, I call ’em by name or nickname. There aren’t that many but this year there are three different families with children who have grown up with me hanging around in the background and sometimes in person. And each gathering has happened on a different day, so the generous social part of the institutionally-acknowledged holiday season is prolonged in all the best ways!

My uncle doesn't believe AI is real until it can catch a mouse. I asked ChatGPT for a response.
Q&A with ChatGPT, at

Another thing that’s great about this christmas is who I’m texting with: my family (mom’s side), some of my family (dad’s side), local friends, and a few far flung friends (Tennessee, California). Other friends and colleagues are in mind, even though we’re not immediately interacting.

Also I’ve had significant downtime! I told friends today that I’m living in retirement time. At least a temporary, faux version! Covid started it on the Wednesday afternoon prior to the U.S. national holiday called “Thanksgiving.” Took me out for 5 days. Didn’t fully recover for an entire month — which was into the beginning of all the holidays clustered around the northern hemisphere’s Winter Solstice. I’m not working for a full week, bookended by long weekends. Folks – I haven’t had this much time not working since . . . before college? There may have been other interludes of travel or not doing income-generating work, but I’m nearly always “working” on something!

I am actually working on something now, too, but it’s a fifth or sixth of the day, which has included 2-3 hours of socializing, leisure reading, food prep, gift prep, tv-watching, walking, taichi, making sure the plants are misted, putting things away instead of leaving them out to accumulate… yep. This is a humane pace of living 🙂

asked a follow-up question about advising homeowners on how to remove mice from their specific and particular property
Q&A with ChatGPT, at

There’s time for creativity, too!

go the standard answer about 7-9 hrs sleep a night with no details on the division of waking activities throughout the day
Q&A with ChatGPT, at

See, some of ChatGPT’s answers are just boring. I mean, they regurgitate what is relatively established knowledge at a rather general level.

considering only waking hours, an anthropological breakdown of work, education, personal care, household, leisure
Q&A with ChatGPT, at

This is standard anthropological knowledge about human beings for millennia. That’s a solid answer, which doesn’t dig itself into any particular hole based on positionality of class or any other kind of social identity and intersectionality.

I’m convinced that earnest use will generate state-of-the-art answers. (Just because an answer has been around for a long, long time doesn’t mean any ‘newer’ answer is better! In some fields of knowledge, new answers have to resolve a problem or improve upon the old answer. There are also fields of knowledge that are more subjective, meaning it depends on the point-of-view considered (or, often, the p.o.v. selected without thought to what other perspectives are being excluded). These fields of knowledge require more thinking, because new answers might just be adding to the whole rather than replacing or building on a previous answer.

Anyway, as I was saying, bext christmas ever!

Definitely sending the vibes of joy and peace round and round to all ya’all.

As ever, here’s to building more resilience!

3 thoughts on “Bext Holidays Ever”

  1. Happy winter solstice to you old friend. I’d like to talk to you sometime, even if it’s a short convo, I’d like to hear your voice and maybe some of your “new” ideas. Sound good? Take care Steph I’m doing well.

  2. An eraser often has resilience; so does a tennis ball. So do bumper cars. Is it always a good thing?

    I dislike the resilience of my To Do List since it always waves at me from under the table, like dust bunnies do. I have a resilient story that my To Do List is important.

    I should do the things on my To Do List. Yes, I should, but I’m not doing them. Therefore it isn’t true that I should. When I don’t I divert myself to something else, but it’s still there when I wake up at dawn. Before the thought I was peaceful. Afterwards somewhat displeased.

    I should do things, other things that aren’t on My To Do List. That is true. I do that often.

    My To Do List exists in perpetuity. If I lost it, I could lose myself. It defines me.

    I like My To Do List. Goodnight.

  3. Linda, longtime friend – I’m definitely getting in touch with you!

    Aunt Jane, I love that you’re weaving our family text-thread conversation further into this blogpost!

    Skepticism is part of resilience, similar (perhaps?) to the notions of “disconnecting” and connecting among/between family members and other humans. What I see you doing is bringing skepticism to bear on your To Do List. It’s way cool that you ultimately determine that your Individuated To Do List is okay. Maybe you don’t love the nagging pressure of it, but you recognize its value.

    You asked about my To Do List. (Actually, it might have been a different list but I’m going with the To Do List in keeping with the blogpost theme above!)

    Steph’s To Do List is in revision! Retirement time is lovely — not that I can persist in this for very long (5-day countdown) but the Covid Slowdown and holiday off-work downtime has really let me stretch into a more languid pace that is quite lovely. It helps me re-evaluate my priorities, and discover what are the daily mundane tasks that bring my peace, even perhaps a quiet joy, and what are the pragmatic tasks related to the social and temporal conditions of being a live human being now in the midst of the most pervasive (global) shift in the conditions of living as a human being on this tiny miraculous planet.

    Daily To Do (winter, non-income generating days):

    Get up. Pee. Turn up the heat. Turn on the tea water. (Divergence point –> wash dishes or feed the cats (if the dishes are already clean). Rinse and refill the cats’ water bowl. (The day-old water goes into one of the plants.)

    Taichi? Depends if I first check the phone and get drawn into catch-up (texts) or news (email).

    Eat if hungry, wait if not.

    Read academic stuff and/or write.

    Then all kinds of variations: food prep, hot tub, errands… speaking of which — time to go! Perhaps more later 🙂

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