While I am regularly frustrated by the fact that to obtain the degree I need to do the job that I want to there are apparently a whole raft of classes I have to take that have nothing to do with said desired job, and that if you added them all up I will have had to spend like a year of my life and an unholy amount of money completing them, I am also often grateful. Yes, this is taking a long time and I have one life to live, but…

It’s really cool to have an academic institution demand that I spend entire three month increments learning deeply about things I would have always been peripherally curious about but may never have actually put any time and effort into pursuing otherwise. My curiosity net is wide, but it’s never in the same place for long.

Unfortunately ‘making a short video cobbled together with scraps of other peoples’ stuff from the internet’ is not one of the things the academic institution has thus far stipulated, and my skills in this area are not most likely very excellent.

That being said, voila, here is one of the things I learned a whole lot about, for my sociology of natural resources class.


wonder if you can

September 30, 2017

I’m taking a class this term on critical thinking in social services.¬†Initially we’re focusing on critical thinking as a standalone concept and practice, and I was struck by this idea, which I feel is not often overtly advocated but is regularly acted upon.

It’s hard to move from the sort of mindset that identifies itself as open and compassionate and requires no legwork to maintain to one that sounds harsh and raises hackles, and means a never ending line of demanding inquiry.

Worth it, I’m thinking. (Critically). If we’ve learned anything recently as a nation it’s that making infinite space for all ideologies is actually not a great plan overall. Fairness vs equity, etc.

I allocated an entire bed to pumpkins this year, but life being the unpredictable non conforming creature that it is, the vine has grown straight out of the planter box, across the garden, and out of the fence, incidentally knocking over a trellis that was put there on purpose to keep the dog out, and bam: produced one free folk fruit. 

There are a crap ton of well behaved flowers left on the vine inside the garden, and I plan on loving all of these imminent pumpkins almost as much.

Nothing is quite so dear though as the rare thing that fails to recognize the claims of preexisting infrastructure and puts its own strange little topspin on living.

gonna glide down

September 18, 2017

I just watched a man kick his dog in public, in front of his two kids. Because I am a useful human, I immediately filled with magma rage and overflowed with tears. Across the space between us I met his daughter’s eyes. We each looked away. 

I sat there and tried to pretend I wasn’t crying, and swallowed all the murder I had inside me for his thick dull neck and his thick dull heart. All I could think of was how I wanted him dead. All I could think to say or do were venom things. And his daughter looked at me over and over and tried to keep the dog good. It’s ok, dad, I heard her say.

I left. I couldn’t think of anything to say or do that wouldn’t fuck his under ten year olds up more than I assume they already are. If you’re already managing your father’s rage at approximately nine, you don’t need the latent fallout an irate strange lady who calls him out on his brute inhumanity potentially entails. There’s nothing helpful you would learn from that sort of interaction either. You already know. 

It has taken me more than thirty minutes to really breathe. During that time I mostly willed him dead, dead as possible, as fast as can be. Amazing, I think, how inherently violence begets violence.

And now that I can breathe again I can think again. And how I wish I had a better handle on my emotions. There actually is one thing I could have done in that situation that would have helped everyone out, including me. I could have walked over and asked to pet the dog. I could have said how good it was being (and it really was, like most regularly kicked things are). I could have said how my bad dog could never be so nice in such a stimulating place. I could have looked into that girl’s eyes at my leisure, and shown her that she is not alone without putting her in a bad spot. 

And I will never forget this. Righteous indignation gets you and nobody else anywhere. And everywhere there is a chance to do something real if you can only move past your feelings and put your own violence aside.

now your calendar’s complete

September 13, 2017

I let the dog out with the cat this morning for the first time, and while the former wore the rapt beatification of a kid on the first day of school before all of those harsh realities set in, I think the latter is pissed. 

She just killed a bug and ate it looking at me, even though she knows I hate that. It always makes me feel like such a murderer; the calm, deliberate way she goes about it reminds me of selecting meats in the deli department. Sometimes I wonder why, when they were thinking up universes to create, no one took a moment to say actually Ted maybe let’s skip the one where they all have to eat each other to survive. A little dark, ok buddy? We can still totally keep the chainsaws for hands one.

*cue dirge

September 12, 2017

The damn dog has nothing if not the very best taste in shoes. 

I loved you. 


runnin through the yard

September 9, 2017

Today I began the Herculean task of ripping out the plant life from the planter in front of our house, and digging the rocks out of it.

I can’t feel my muscles anymore, but I have made good progress.

I am about an eighth of the way done.

I am going to have so many beautiful agates, and be so insanely buff.

In related news, does anyone want a thriving mature yucca plant? I am going to yank her out gently and am hoping to rehome her. She has lovely blooms.

yucca 2

yucca 3