I’m taking a sociology of aging class right now, and an assignment this week was to think of a social norm that puts an upper age limit on some sort of behavior, like driving, and argue in favor of or against the restriction. My thought was that society needs to quit shaming old people for dressing cool and sexy, stop trying to beige the world, Helen, we have enough of that from the everlong condo popup book this city’s turning into. This is clearly a topic I have a lot of emotion about, so I wrote a fire-and-brimstone sort of piece and was well pleased with myself.

The crap thing about online classes is that to foster a false sense of group and collaboration, you have to read at least two other peoples’ assignments and write up a ‘thoughtful’ response. This week some idiot human that I assume is nineteen wrote that they think there should be an upper age limit at bars and clubs with dancing, because old people should have grown out of that by now and it’s creepy when they’re there. Why don’t they get their lives together. AND THEN THEY SAID THAT THE UPPER AGE LIMIT TO KEEP THINGS UNCREEPY SHOULD BE 33.

I swear, there are so many types of non-kindred spirit in this world.


My Thoughtful Response


I am cool with getting an f this week

I mean no disrespect but I couldn’t disagree more with your idea. I think that everyone should be able to spend their time in ways that make them feel happy and connected to their communities and other people. For some people, going out clubbing is what they’ve been doing their entire adult lives, and they haven’t lost the joy of it. I personally am 34 years old and would feel like my life sucked if I all of a sudden couldn’t take the old carcass out dancing on the weekend anymore. Although a lot of people lose energy and their taste for loud music and dancing as they get older, some people I know actually keep their stamina and fitness up by going out dancing. I do understand that as a woman sometimes older men can be creepy – but I also just feel like sometimes any man can be creepy. I don’t think you should exclude an entire group from an activity because some of them are creepy, or you will wind up with teenage girls only dance night and that comes with its own potential for creepy too. It may just be because I’m older now myself, but I think it’s kind of unfair to expect all people to grow old in the same ways. Just because some people want to keep up activities they enjoyed when they were younger does not mean that they are stuck in that timeline’s entire lifestyle. They could have three kids, a mortgage, and be taking care of their sick mom, and need to go out dancing on the weekend after the 40 hour work week to relieve some of that very adult stress. I personally think you should take creepy old people dancing as an invitation to age any way you want to, also. As long as you can still zip up the knee boots the sky’s the limit.


I ask the stars up above

February 19, 2018

I hate that going to school with my whole life means living in this limbo between really loving and savoring what I’m doing every day and trying to make the time fly by so that I can get on with the business of real work in my community.

Right now I am alternately bouncing up and down in my chair singing ‘four more weeks of school’ in a Cartman voice, and sitting still and feeling sad that I only have one more month of time with this term’s subjects.

all the games you play

November 20, 2017

I recently rediscovered the words with friends app, and incidentally the fact that I am a huge baby when anyone plays a word that I suspect exists solely for use in scrabble games.

I was on the point of refusing to play the word ‘qi’ because it smacks of desperation (and is worth so many points it kind of feels like cheating) but then I remembered this, which I have consistently depended upon throughout my life to check my instinct to do myself and nobody else any favors by clambering onto horses of superior elevation:

alone in my principles

cut my life into pieces

November 4, 2017


I’ve decided that next Halloween the dogs can go as these two.



I feel like there’s a nuance of a certain type of devotion in a religious person, where they feel required not to enjoy anything on earth too much so as to avoid loving something as dearly as they love the promise of the good believer’s afterlife. 

This adds another matchstick to the bonfire of assurance I have going here that religions were all created by extremely insecure beings incapable of healthy relationships with control and humanity.

~just a little something for god’s suggestion box~

If you love something, let it love as many things as it can. Loving stuff here on earth is the most beautiful part of being here. Don’t try to keep it from loving things by promising better stuff to love later on. Jealous nutbag.


March 15, 2017

Keep her busy in front of the mirror, and you’ll never have to worry about her anywhere else.

Begin her addiction young enough and long after natural beauty has faded she’ll worship at the altar of the bottle, the jar, the tweezer, the brush.

This is not the wand I choose. This is not the magic I claim.



One time a couple of years ago I was hanging out with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a few years, and mentioned that I was learning to cook.

You? Are learning to cook?’ he repeated, incredulity lining every word like down in a puffy vest. ‘But all you ever eat is Rice-A-Roni!’

And I was not offended, because he was not wrong.

Several years later, I am still learning to cook. I have figured out what one does with gourd, and how to keep eggplant from turning out bitter, but I still cannot slice or chop anything very well, and every time I make eggs or pancakes they turn out unfortunate somehow; a different type of unfortunate each time, too.

I am trying, but the bottom line is that I am not very comfortable cooking, and a lot of the time the stuff I make does not turn out very well.

Because I enjoy curtailing my activities to those things I exhibit a natural skill for, (not), next week I am leading a team of volunteers in cooking and serving dinner to ninety Portland people experiencing homelessness.

Every time I think about it I break out in a cold sweat on my eyebrow and upper lip hairs and I have an urge nearly as involuntary as vomiting to smoke a pack of cigarettes.

If any of you are praying people, I would appreciate a word on behalf of my efforts in the ear of your deity; the rest of you please cross your damn fingers.

Do it for the homeless. The fate of their dinner rests in my incapable hands.