All Hands on Deck

#SOL17: In Which I See The Obvious

#SOL17: In Which I See The Obvious

I miss my desk. I miss my books. I think I miss my books more. For two months, my things have sat in storage, waiting to be summoned to the new house. Poor house, with its listing foundation pillars and rotted sill plates, its mold-infested basement and muddy crawlspaces, its sewer conjoined illegally to the neighbors’, its cracked ductwork with traces of unmentionable inhabitants. It […]

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#SOL17: W&GOT, an Alt-LOL Exploration

#SOL17: W&GOT, an Alt-LOL Exploration

What is W&GOT? In this newly alt-world, it’s my alt-LOL; it stands for Wailing and Gnashing Of Teeth. Because in a stunning frenzy of whatever-the-f$%k-you-want-to-call-it, Betsy DeVos has made it out of committee and is headed to a confirmation vote by the full Senate. It was, by all accounts, procedural insanity at its finest. Here’s how NPR education reporter Cory Turner summed it up– apologies […]

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Action Report #5: Self-Care for the Resistance

Action Report #5: Self-Care for the Resistance

It’s been a tough week for action. My husband and I flew to our new city for an inspection on our (we hope) new house the Sunday after the Women’s March on NYC. While we were there, I learned, among other things, that it is hard to call east coast legislators from a west coast time zone– by the time I was ready to call, offices had been […]

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#SOL17: “In a house of this age….”

#SOL17: “In a house of this age….”

My husband and I spent about five hours yesterday in the inspection of a 90 year-old house, the house we are hoping to buy to begin the next part of our life adventure. If we heard it once, we heard it a dozen times: “In house of this age…”; “In a house this old….”; “It’s what you would expect in a house…” etc. The house is yellow […]

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#SOL17: Talk Less

#SOL17: Talk Less

“Talk less. Smile more….” For those of you not as obsessed with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton as I’ve been, this is the advice Aaron Burr gives Hamilton early in the play. I’m not giving anything away if I say this advice doesn’t work out so well for Burr in the end. But it is good advice for me, in this hour, on this day. Silence is a way […]

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Action Report #4: Facts Don’t Matter. Shift the Frame!

Action Report #4: Facts Don’t Matter. Shift the Frame!

The Personal, the Political The most important personal-political action I’ve taken in the past two weeks is to read George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate. Lakoff, a cognitive scientist and linguist, has spent a lifetime studying how our brains construct meaning. Lakoff argues that progressive folks keep turning to facts to argue against the swelling conservative movement and facts don’t matter. What […]

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TAKE ACTION: Hearings Begin for Cabinet Positions

TAKE ACTION: Hearings Begin for Cabinet Positions

The most important action we can take right now is to speak out against Mr. Trump’s dangerous nominees for cabinet positions. I urge, no, I beg you to make two calls. The first is to oppose Betsy DeVos for secretary of education. Basically, DeVos advocates an education system that fosters two kinds of freedom: freedom for people like her, who have inherited wealth, built a tax structure that makes that […]

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#SOL17: Can You Hear Me Now?

#SOL17: Can You Hear Me Now?

Every gym has its own culture. Here, in this northwest city where my husband and I will soon resettle, we signed up for a trial two-week gym membership near our Airbnb. My view of the gym’s culture came into focus from the seat of my stationary bike. Sometimes it seems like a young city. Portland, I mean. Maybe it’s that our daughter lives here and we’ve come […]

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#SOL16: Dogs in the TSA Line

#SOL16: Dogs in the TSA Line

I love when little dogs and their people stand behind me in the TSA line. Especially when their person is holding them. This morning it was Hudson, a sweet mix of poodle and Australian something-or-other. Her little nose was light pink and freckled and she wriggled all over when I rubbed behind her ears. It’s simpler to think about little dogs before this flight. Not […]

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