opus aft agley

December 30, 2016

Somewhere approximately two years ago I decided to build a dollhouse. Despite never having built a dollhouse I was characteristically confident in my ability to turn one out all cute and shiny with a minimum of effort in a dazzlingly short amount of time. Of course I didn’t know when I started that the word dazzlingly belonged in the previous sentence, because as of yet I had no inkling of how god damned hard it is to build a dollhouse, and how many years it would actually take me.

The answer is two, I am being dramatic, it is the very lowest amount of years that can count as a plural, but you do get the idea. Originally I was like it’s August or something, I’ll build a dollhouse to donate this Christmas. And then the years went by.

For awhile there it was touch and go whether I would be finished with it in time for this Christmas, either. Through a finely blended mashup of neighborly assistance and sheer dumb luck, some of its paint still slightly tacky, it left on Christmas morning. Along with three dolls of the respective bed sizes and a pack of chalk, it went to a family who had just that weekend taken in two unexpected foster sisters, and hadn’t really had time to put anything much in the way of gifts for them together. It really worked out perfectly. I suspect some yuletide magic meddled.

And now at long last the house is done and gone. It has damaged me both body and soul on numerous occasions, and much of the time I cursed its existence. However it is also one of the coolest things I have ever done. It was my gateway to a whole new world of tools and skills. It is a monument to what happens when I don’t give up.

Chalkboard Haus*























little darling things I especially love











I got the plans for it here

The kitchen and bathroom furniture were made by Toys by John

The bedding and house plants were made by Nitya Brorson

All the house artwork is by Jacek Yerka

*Haus is the name my sister wrote in sharpie across the front of her playhouse when she was little, because she didn’t know how to spell it and was sounding it out. Everyone was very impressed with her for writing in German, and I was always tickled by intersections in language phonics. For some reason I thought of that haus when I was creating this dollhouse, and it just stuck. Plus the darn thing is a chalkboard on the back. How cool is that?


counting quoth

December 20, 2016

New tics acquired as puppy owner:

Pull into parking lot and see crows eating something.

Look to see what crows are eating; note that it is plastic.

Take plastic away from crows so they don’t choke on it.

still make it rain

December 19, 2016

I grew up in Portland. I grew up poor. Times were good but they were also often tough, and they unfolded in a climate much less harsh than the one in Portland right now. Christmas is always a bittersweet time for poor families. There is the magic to be enjoyed, but there is also this terrible eye stinging stress in hoping to make it as magical as possible, at least as magical as the kid across the street’s. Every so often we would have a Christmas where another family or an organization helped us out. We would get surprise gifts from strangers we never met, and it would be amazing. Things we wouldn’t have thought to ask or wish for were unwrapped, and there was this sense of a broader experience, of touching someone else’s soul in shadowland, adding a special glow of novelty.

It is a flat truth to say that one of these gifts changed my life. If I had not received a book I never would had read if someone hadn’t given it to me, I would not be the person I am today. All my life I had been the wrong shape for any paradigm I had encountered, regardless of my attempts to squeeze into them; suddenly in one trilogy I found the garden gate to the path that brought me here. This path never squeezed me. It stretched the shit out of me, I am as big as the sky when I used to be just as small as an acorn, or a thimble. It also sucked, I often felt like the butter over too much toast, or that one really funny villain on that only Dr Who episode I’ve ever seen, who is basically just some skin stretched in a frame yelling for moisturiser. But from then to now, my life has been different. My mind has been different. All because of a book.

This is why you can never really know the impact of an action, even after it has long since lost its relevance to you. Whoever donated that book to me has no idea how they altered the course of my life for the best, but I imagine to myself that they had an inkling. I imagine to myself that they selected everything they donated carefully, binding up in each item their hopes for joy and for the kind of world they wanted to see.

Every Christmas I try to be like them. I will be happy just as long as someone else gets joy, but I also hope that I could help someone out there the way I was helped by the kindness of others.

This year (and technically last year but hey sometimes apparently I take a really long time to finish things) I have been working (mostly at the last minute) on a dollhouse. One day I just decided that I wanted a dollhouse, I had always wanted a dollhouse, and I wanted to build this dollhouse. In interest of not becoming a crazy lady with a dollhouse hobby (I am not slamming the miniatures hobbyist; but I personally have so many other crazy lady traits layered up like so much fordite that I cannot afford to go slapping other ones on willy nilly) I decided to donate it when I was finished with it. In all its glorious glory.

This is literally all I thought about it, until after MUCH ANGST (where is the glorious glory?! Always at the end of a rainbow at the bottom of another paint can) the end is finally beginning to draw near. This shit is almost done, yo.

I am (naturally) running super close to the wire for still catching Christmas 2016; but I am hoping to be somebody’s little last minute Christmas miracle. I am going to list it on Nextdoor and Rooster. If anyone knows of any other ways to list it locally, let me know!


We’re at a lot of low points in history right now. Like as a country, as a species, as planet dwellers. It’s easy to lose hope in existence and begin planning a life where you just smoke a lot of weed and enjoy a more satisfying flash in the pan on some mmo that lets you have cats and change your hair color.

The thing about the mmo is that it lets you have a pretty great time right now. The cats, the purple hair that transitions effortlessly into white, maybe some really sweet bow staff skills…

The thing about real life on earth is that even those of us that are totally having a pretty great time right now are withering inside every day because we know that many people very much are not, and also that shit tons of important and beautiful things are dying off all over our globe.

And it really does suck, because the spirit’s desire is to fly off the handle and go over the waterfall and show up at the front line with eyes and internal fire ablaze; and because the heart’s burden is to trudge softly through one’s everyday life tending all that is under one’s care. This constant struggle between meeting at the melee out spearhead and trying to hold together the slit belly of one’s own community causes the head to go: pop.

And then the contemplation of the mmo lifestyle.


We all know way too much about evolution now to drop off the face and into the ether for too long. We all know that the way things are is because of the way things have adapted to the way things were. It’s time to consider what drove that adaptation. What caused the cat to meow; what caused the thumb to oppose.


Will has driven every transformation ever except the ones that happened by sheer dumb luck. Will to live, will to create, will to get that fucken human to give you food.

Will is what’s going to drive my movement. What’s going to power my change is the slow roll of metamorphosis that happens when personal evolution and force of conviction refuse to be satisfied with the status quo. I can set my mind and set my teeth and reach out for others to help or be helped, and I can make my will known. At the very least in a Horton Hears a Who sort of way.

And I can kind of just stop expecting that evolution could hurry its damn self up for me so I can have the kind of life I want when I think about how the world should be. The fact that I can envision it is what counts. I may never sit under those trees but what puts them there is my make so. Evolution is not so interested in what I would like right now. Evolution has its own timetable. Evolution is for the future. Evolution is too busy figuring out why humans don’t get a third set of teeth at around forty. Hopefully.

This means my movement is up to me. I’ve got to put the real work into my own life to make sure I’m having the kind of existence that encourages growth in the directions I want. I have to show up whenever I can and be counted for my causes. I’ve got to make sure that nobody gets their human, animal, or plant rights stomped on when I can do anything about it. Like everyone else before me I have to grow my own change.

And I’ve got to put up with everyone who doesn’t see things the same way I do, because this change shit is slow. A belief system is the root of a person. Roots go deep and move at a crawl. You can’t alter their path quickly without killing the tree.

The good thing is that the hopelessness belongs to the now. Hope is always the food of the future. If I can keep my view wide enough I can see that even the worst of what’s going on right now will be just a part of the story of the victory of love that we are all creating together and always have been creating. Even if we all go out in a great ball of fire that is going to be one different ball of fire than when it first spun into existence. The going may be slow and the chunks axed and branches lost may be at times unbearably many, but the love tree is still getting her toes dug in and spreading them out underneath all this unrest.

-the roots are down there riotous


del mar 8

December 7, 2016

I have a blood blister on my thumb and although it bit like a damn bee sting I have been overall pretty blasé about it since its inception 12 or so hours ago. That was before I began work this morning and discovered that it hurts to goddamn type. Woe.


Looking on the bright side of things as usual, our unflappable heroine decided to take a neural wiring day, and is now practicing a form of typing that entirely excludes the left thumb. The index finger of the left hand is working overtime and all the fingers of each hand are forgetting their jobs and getting in each other’s way, but after an hour of practice there is clearly a rhythm to be had.

I love learning how to do an old thing a new way. I think it’s even harder for my brain to handle learning a new path to an old destination than it was to find that destination in the first place. It’s a powerful reminder that habit turns the wheels to make the machine go every moment of every day. My right hand is doing literally nothing different re: the typing today, but because something different is happening with my left hand, both hands are behaving like a dog wearing socks on waxed linoleum.

I love feeling like this, that absence of mastery. I love the springiness of the ground when you’re just getting your feet on it, before you’ve found the pleasantest or most efficient method and worn deep your ruts. I love that windmill feeling of flailing downhill with no brakes.

It sounds like I need to go snowboarding and roller skating again. I never really did learn how not to bail out halfway down a slope, or how to stop all eight wheels in a satisfactory manner. Current manner for stopping all eight wheels demonstrated here.

one poor correspondent

December 5, 2016













I am


those who wait

December 2, 2016


Here’s the thing. If there’s no life after death, most signs pointing that direction, then I don’t want my last thought to be ‘welp this has been nice.’ I want my last thought to be ‘I wonder what happens next?’ I mean why not? It’s just the safer hypothesis, as last thoughts go, since there is also this part of me that is unable to accept that there isn’t more to life than meets the microscope. Maybe it’s because I was raised deep in the lap of religion. Maybe it’s because I really am a damn hippy. Maybe it’s just more interesting that way. More scope for the imagination as it were. Welp this has been nice is sort of a final thought. It falls in the pond with a thud. I wonder what happens next is a gateway thought. You start wondering if there will be candy, and if you’ll like the trees. There is no part of me that would not be pleased to go out while speculating on unknown tree types.

So nice.