27 February 2012

just popping in.

Yesterday I spent ten hours doing crash research for a paper I have to deliver at a conference next week (next week?!). I thought I would share with you some of the best headlines I came across in Seattle Times newspapers from the 1970s and 80s.

14 December 2011

homage to christmas past.

I’m dreaming of a #dingleballChristmas
Just like the ones we’ve had before
With the craft beers flowin’
And siblings plottin’
To ride their bikes out to the bars

I’m dreaming of a #dingleballChristmas
Just like the ones we’ve had before
With the Christmas movies playin'
And I keep waitin’
For Sarah to make her yummy scones

I’m dreaming of a #dingleballChristmas
Just like the ones we’ve had before
Where the fire’s cozy
And the cousins nosy
I love it when they randomly stop by

I’m dreaming of a #dingleballChristmas
Just like the ones we’ve had before
With the nieces dancing
And the mutt a’snugglin
There really is no place like home

I’m dreaming of a #dingleballChristmas
With every tweet I try to write
May your days be silly and light
And may all your dingleballs delight

19 November 2011

the anxious life.

image via Friends of Type

The past couple of months have been an unexpected journey. At the beginning of the school year, I went to the doctor with a series of complaints that, as it turns out, fit a particular medical profile commonly manifest in graduate students. I had to be told by my doctor that, unmanaged, my anxiety was hurting my body.

I've lived with anxiety for a long time. It's taken a lot of different forms over the years. I've dealt with it in a variety of ways. Pared down my schedule. Made incredibly detailed lists. Took months off from work. Learned to embrace being a flake. Slogged through periods of sleeplessness with the hope that it wouldn't be a permanent state. Took up reading literature before bed. Exercised. Online shopped. Kept a journal. I was surprised when my doctor intervened because I had developed so many strategies for living in this state of high strung euphoria-- with its attendant crashes-- that I had forgotten it was something I was actually living with.

I had managed to avoid medication for a long time. Every doctor or therapist that I had encountered had spoken of medication as something to be avoided at all costs. I am grateful that when the prescription was finally thrust into my hand with the promise that I didn't have to keep living like this that I had the courage to accept it. I have spent enough time reading dooce.com over the years to know that there is hope, truly, when we accept treatment. Heather Armstrong's work has touched my life in a deep and important way-- we need to write these narratives so that the stigma of medication can be replaced with people getting what they need when they need it. 

My anxiety has not gone away. There are moments when it strong arms its way into my rich and beautiful life without permission. There are instances when it robs me of my peace and tranquility and capacity to work. It takes me to low places. 

But it is not my whole life. 

There is something sacred that comes from the naming of this pain and my struggle against it. I have put off this post for a long time because it felt so intense and daunting, sharing a part of my soul that I am in the habit of hiding. I am reminded of this passage from bell hooks about the promise of healing that that comes from naming:

"Holding my hands, standing body to body, she allowed me to share emphatically the warmth of that healing. She wanted me to bear witness, to hear again both the naming of her pain and the power that emerged when she felt the hurt go away."
-bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress

I live with anxiety, and it is making me powerful.

30 October 2011

feed the balance of the people.

I was teaching Voices of Protest this week, and like my students, I was startled by the familiarity of speeches delivered 75 years ago. 

‎"How many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what's intended for 9/10th of the people to eat? The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain't got no business with!" - Huey Long

This infographic is worth meditating on as well. 

25 October 2011


I seem be having one of those "cry during Hallmark commercials" kind of weeks. I am sure this will culminate in a very messy viewing of either The Notebook, Steel Magnolias, or Beaches.

Which is why I want to share these two great moments I had reading the internet lately. I don't usually think about romance because I am such a pragmatist, and maybe a little emotionally closed off, and most obviously, singggllle, but this stuff is making me verklempt.

From my beloved Sunday Routine:
"The evening, after a movie, is a short evening because the next day is a school day, so we try to go to bed not too late. I like to go to bed 10, 10:30. My wife likes to go much later to bed, so we have to compromise. If she has to do some work, I wait for her, reading or doing e-mails. We don’t like to go to bed separately, so that one of us already sleeps and the other comes later. It’s not beautiful."
From xkcd: