Category Archives: misc.

Less is More

Today is Ellison’s 14th soberversary, and since I always post a Good Job! message it seemed like a good day to pick up blogging. It’s been a wild few months, the upshot being that we’re moving on Friday and taking the plunge to being landlords. This is a dream of mine, a long term plan to build community and provide ethical service while getting away from office jobs. And with packing and decluttering and moving, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in my life and what I want to let go. Here’s a list I made:

Clutter (physical and metaphysical)
Second guessing


I’m looking forward to building a new home, making connection with new neighbors, and having a space that better meets Ellison’s physical needs. I’m looking forward to launching a new venture that I hope will bring freedom and flexibility. I’m trying to be brave and to trust that the universe will give me what I need, and conversely that I need what the universe provides. And for all this I feel very, very grateful.

Grace and Gratitude


Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the day to day frustrations of life, and a challenge to maintain perspective. When that happens, I like to come to look at this memorial. Yesterday I found myself here after a dinner incident changed my plans and thus my route home. Maybe the universe is trying to remind me to keep it simple, maybe it was just the most direct route home. Doc was an amazing activist, always standing up for others, and always helping folks to see the big picture of intersecting oppressions. He wasn’t one to take injustice lying down, nor was he one to walk away from an intellectual debate. He was at every protest, picket, and demonstration. But like so many who give of themselves, he let his own life collapse around him until his physical and emotional pain was too much to bear. I ache inside when I think of him making the decision to leap to his death, from the mall no less. But I also hope it would mean something to know that this picture of him, this challenge to live, and this warm and infectious smile live on. His work to build a more just society lives on, though Doc no longer does.

Today the annual compost delivery is coming to my community garden. I will be thinking of Doc, of change, and of inspiration and new life as I enrich Number 19’s soil and bury seeds within her. Our nighttime temperatures have been unseasonably cold, so my peas are going in a few weeks later than normal. I’ll be planting carrots and beets today too. In the backyard I’ve got nice looking baby spinach in my cold frame, and the garlic experiment is going strong. And this week my crocuses finally bloomed. It’s been a long cold winter but spring is surely here.

If I was an oyster, this would all make a beautiful pearl.

Yesterday was a hard day in a hard week in a hard month. Marriage equality hearings bring out the nutters on both sides, and my history as a gay-for-pay has left some difficult relationships with folks. If you looked at me you’d see a mild mannered dude in a suit, knitting rapidly. But inside my head I’m the Hulk, going on some crazy rampage with a silver Sharpie and a folding chair. I took a time out in the middle of the day to do a couple runs down a sledding hill, which was super fun. I’ve never been sledding in a suit before, but a new friend made the delightful delicious suggestion a week ago, and I hadn’t gone yet. So, finished my virtual lunch with M/W, wasn’t yet ready to go back to work, and went out to live exuberantly. I got back to work with damp cuffs and snow in my boots, but it was altogether delightful.

And I realized it was time for my favorite holiday of the year: Be Nice to Jenn Day. Tomorrow. Get ready.

If you need suggestions, you can:
Send me snail mail;
Tell me a story;
Be friendly to a houseplant;
Go for a swim;
Send me a picture of something you’re enjoying;
Make me a valentine;
Wear fun socks and send me a picture;
Tell me 5 things you like about me;
Do something you really enjoy and tell me about it;
Go for an adventure;
Plan a future adventure with me;
Try something new you’ve been meaning to try;
Live exuberantly!


Auto Tune

Sunday’s graphic op-ed in the New York Times reported Auto Tune as the noun of 2009. In case you didn’t believe it….DJ Earworm has released his annual pop music mashup, featuring the 25 top hits of 2009 and TONS of AutoTune. If this isn’t enough AutoTune for you, you can always AutoTune the News.


This is a poem by Mary Oliver, from her collection Evidence. I heard it recently a the start of a yoga class, and it’s been sitting in the back of my head since.

Philip’s Birthday

I gave,
to a friend that I care for deeply,
something that I loved.
It was only a small

extremely shapely bone
that came from the ear
of a whale.
It hurt a little

to give it away.
The next morning
I went out, as usual,
at sunrise,

and there, in the harbor,
was a swan.
I don’t know
what he or she was doing there,

but the beauty of it
was gift
Do you see what I mean?
You give, and you are given.

Forest Finds

With such a wet spring/summer it’s no surprise that fungus abounds in the woods. But with 2 whole days without rain (don’t worry, raining again today) I took every opportunity to get outside, even spotting an otter “sunning” on a rock in the middle of a foggy lake.

These look like icicles to me!

These look like icicles to me!

Little mushroom cap in a patch of moss: two beneficiaries of our wet weather.

Little mushroom cap in a patch of moss: two beneficiaries of our wet weather.


After the jump, some red milkweed beetles getting jiggy with it.
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Surprise Encounters

Some time ago, I got a Facebook message from someone I went to high school with. “Do you in fact live in Providence?” it asked. “Because I do too.” We made vague plans to get together sometime, but it never happened.

Yesterday Ellison and I went to check out Number 19 and a few beds over, a fellow in a Penguins hat said, “Hey, Jenn! Long time no see!” Turns out we have plots in the same garden. Go figure.

Number 19

I have a new love in my life. I’m loaded with New Relationship Energy. When my mind drifts, it’s because I’m thinking about her. I think about what I’m going to bring her as I drift off to sleep. I daydream about our future together. Who is this new love? My community garden plot, Number 19. I hope by the end of the summer she will be bearing my cantaloupes.

Seriously, a new garden bed is like a new relationship. I think about how to condition the soil, the light and water conditions, optimal plantings, and potential, always potential. This plot is particularly compelling because Number 19 is a part of a brand new community garden. I’ve been holding off on planting because the water lines won’t be complete until this weekend, but tonight, after more than two weeks together, I finally got some plants in her. Veggie plants were donated by Deb at the Groden Center Greenhouse, a vocational program for people with autism, behavioral disorders, and developmental disabilities. Her only condition is that surplus produce be donated to the poor or homeless. If you need plants for your garden, go see her.

Ursula and RollerDerby came by to see the garden, since they live right near by. Ursula also donated a Thai basil plant he rooted from a sprig in his soup! I didn’t catch a pic of that as it was getting late and dark, but photos are after the jump.
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Go Figure

Today’s most popular search engine terms:


I Scream

Kristina has a great post about our trip to MA Sheep and Wool. Festival was meh but the weekend was great, and we picked up this little gem.