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Are We There Yet? vol. 217 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 217

At the start of my week, I was talking to a colleague, and we were sharing how our weekends had been. His weekend plan had included a birthday celebration for his son in which they had rented a moonbounce for the party, followed by a visit from the local fire department with the fire engine.

The plan took a turn when, because of the rainy weather over the weekend, the moonbounce company had to cancel, and it got even worse when the fire department had to scratch their visit to respond to an actual fire. To make the situation more absurd, the fire department was responding to a fire at the home of the owner of the moonbounce business.

Another colleague had fires in his condo building two days in a row, and now electricity has been cut off for 10 days. He jokingly referred to it as being an apocalyptic scene with flickering lights, smoky hallways, and residents scurrying about with coolers to move out as quickly as possible. Fortunately, no one was injured in either of these instances.

If you hear enough of these types of stories, it could make you wonder why anyone would plan anything at all. Some may mistakenly believe that a plan is a projection of the future, but it is really just a proclamation of a desired path. A plan provides a framework for making better, more informed decisions, not because things won’t change but precisely because we all know things often do change. So, keep planning and occasionally chuckling at the absurdity that life sometimes sends our way.

Take care and stay safe.


The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.

Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.