july 25th, 2017

The US Senate voted today to begin debate on repealing the Affordable Health Care Act. The ACA is very popular in red states and blue states. The Senate's health care plan has 12% national approval among voters. So beyond the jobs and lives that will be lost once Medicare is gutted looms the sickening reality that the Republican Congress and the Executive are behaving as if they won't be subject to future free elections.

i said to Vlad, “i'm mad at my aunt and uncle in Michigan who voted for Trmp.”

Vlad said, “he fooled them.”

i said, “no, i think my aunt and uncle wanted an anti‑abortion Supreme Court, and they didn't want Hillary, and they wanted to undo the best of Barack's legacy. And they're getting all three of those things.”

Vlad said, “did they also want to end American democracy?”

i said, “i don't think that's something they believe could ever happen. It's not possible, so it's not something they even considered. Even now, i'm sure they don't consider it possible.”

If i sever relationships with the people in my life who supported Trmp, i'll only lose extended family. i won't lose my parents or my siblings or my close friends. i won't lose my clients or my work or my artwork. i won't lose my neighborhood where multi‑lingual signs that say HATE HAS NO HOME HERE are posted on every block.

i saw my aunt in February and in May and i said nothing.

When i met a friend's girlfriend in spring 2016 and we got to talking about politics she insisted that there was “no way the electoral map” could ever yield a Trmp victory. She was maybe 50% drunk and 85% condescending.

Last November after the election she insisted that “the Republicans will stand up to him.” That time she was only about 30% drunk.

i want to ask her what her intuition tells her today. i'm afraid she'll say that everything is going to be alright.

Wax Brazilian.

july 16th, 2017

i had my first dream about jiu jitsu the other night. i dreamed that Vlad and i were walking in a city at night and someone was menacing us. Vlad took off running, and i got the guy in a sleeper hold. And i said to him, “i know a lot of ways to choke you; if you want, we can practice them all.”

Coach loved that story. “Does your husband know about this dream?”

“Oh yeah, he knows!” i said. Vlad loves his strong wife. It's good to feel strong and powerful. One of the top students at the dojo, Beth, she can do that classic jiu jitsu of using your opponent's momentum to put him on the mat. i sparred with her on Thursday and i'd come at her and she'd roll me onto my back so easily it was more like coöperation than sparring.

“Don't come at me head on, come around,” she said.

“Ok!” i said, on the mat again three seconds later.

my instincts come from wrestling my younger brothers when we were kids. They were smaller than me and i could win with raw strength, and i still default to using strength rather than quickness and leverage. So i lose a lot. But i'm also strong for my size, so sometimes this style is an advantage just by virtue of being a surprise.

i leave every class immersed in whole body physical joy. it's a combination of the workout, facing fear, the boost in physical confidence, the trust and the community. Prolly other things. i like that jiu jitsu is seeping into my dreams. i like that i dream myself fearless and funny.

We're house hunting. Yesterday we saw a house with interesting tile on the floors and walls. From the online profile i'd nicknamed it The Moroccan House. “We can pretend we're living in Casablanca,” i said to Vlad. In person it was a witch's house: Jurassic green plants in barrels out front, a crazy handmade mailbox, a dead mouse on the back porch, a cluster of flies eating it. i got excited feeling the energy. “A witch lives here!” Of course we won't put an offer on it. The mouse was a sign, and we're witches too, we heed signs.

Then there was a house that was extremely crisp and new, and another house chaotic and with ancient carpet, and drop ceilings in the bedrooms like in a dentist's office. But it had a giant and glorious backyard, so we toyed with making an outrageously low offer and spending time and money this fall renovating. And one other house that i loved but Vlad found it too dark. In particular there was a windowless room that needed to be crossed to get through to get to the backyard. i'm a mole person so that didn't bother me, but my husband is a plant and needs good light for survival.

So on we hunt.

rage cast
i'm working on a micro‑podcast idea in which i rant for a minute or so about whatever bothered me recently. Today what bothered me was a guy in Zumba class. i've seen him before. He wears shorts that are dumpy in the butt but very tight in the crotch. When i say his shorts are “tight” i mean that you can see the whole banana strapped in there. He also does a lot of hip stretching before class that involve pointing the banana around in my eyeline where i'm sitting and writing before class starts.

Today he picked a spot right behind me and i should have moved, but foolishly i stayed and found out that not only does he have poor crotch manners, he also has boundary issues. Several times in class he galloped up into my zone. When i left for half a song to pee, he took my spot entirely, and when i asked, “hey, can i have my spot back?” he didn't say sorry, or “oh sure no problem!” or even smile and nod. Like: no need to admit fault, but let's complete the social transaction. Nay. i got none of those human responses from the Banana Man. He just looked at me blankly. But he did move, so i know he heard me.

The rest of class i dared and double dog dared myself to offer him $20 to buy some shorts that fit.

vermont + boston

'Hey baby, is that a REALLY big tick that was on Hank?' 'No! That‘s a ... bean.' 'Yeah, and it‘ WALKING.' panoramic photo of my parents' garden in Vermont 'I ordered a comforter, king size, but they sent a standard double ... I think someone must have pulled the wrong one off the self at the warehouse ... oh, it‘s a robot? I hope it doesn‘t do surgery!'' collage of images from Franconia Notch and Hank collage images of Franconia Notch, Vermont, Boston Aquarium
June 2017 October 2017