“This is the reasoning behind my manifesto, a move towards transparency in my intentions, motives and views. Perhaps this will inspire you to craft your own. And if you do, by all means to do so with enough cheeky humor and kindness to remind yourself and the reader that you fully own that you are but one fabric in the cosmic thrift store.” 


People should think about the consequences of the little choices they make each day. What do you buy? Where did it come from? Where was it made? Did it harm the environment? Did it lead to cruelty to animals? Was it cheap because of child slave labor?”

— Jane Godall (via swissmiss)

This was a very un-Monday like Monday. I felt surprisingly social and willing to interact and entertain. I felt cooperative and, dare I say, even happy to be at work. It helps that I knew is would be a short and easy day. I got home a full 3 hours earlier than I normally would and I swear it was almost better than having the whole day off.

It would have been a perfect day if it weren’t for this damn ear pain! I gave in and chatted with a doctor online through my insurance company today and was told not much could be done at this stage. Apparently an ear infection is common after an upper respiratory infection and it could take an additional 10-14 days for the infection to clear up. The plan is more Tylenol, fluids, rest, and cold medication until I’m better. It sucks but I’m glad I could be told that online for free rather than paying to go in and being sent home with nothing.

So, for now, I’m following doctor’s orders (which are actually my wife’s order’s now) and taking care of me first for a little while longer.

How the US stole thousands of Native American children // Vox

The long and brutal history of the US trying to “kill the Indian and save the man”.

Toward the end of the 19th century, the US took thousands of Native American children and enrolled them in off-reservation boarding schools, stripping them of their cultures and languages. Yet decades later as the US phased out the schools, following years of indigenous activism, it found a new way to assimilate Native American children: promoting their adoption into white families. Watch the episode to find out how these two distinct eras in US history have had lasting impacts on Native American families.

If We Were Having Coffee // My Own High Expectations Overwhelmed Me

Hello, happy Sunday and welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

It’s a bit late now for a coffee chat, I know, but I haven’t been myself today. I’m sluggish and apathetic, fatigued and unfocused. It took a lot to get my basic chores and to-do items done and I just didn’t think I had anything left to give to anyone else, but after getting through what needed to be done I had a little time and a desperate need for something I want to do.

Please, pull up a chair and grab yourself a cup. It’s late so a big cup of strong cold brew might not be a good idea, I still want to sleep tonight, but a few sips from a small cup of hot coffee from the Moka pot might be okay. Let’s talk about last week!

“You stare at your coffee hoping it gives you perspective and sanity and the ability to make sense of it all and that’s a lot to ask of your coffee.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m still not feeling quite like myself yet. My throat isn’t hurting so much and my cough is less frequent but I am still very tired and more and more my ears are bothering me. I’m worried the infection is just moving up rather than actually getting better.

I’m also worried I might have gotten both my wife, and possibly my cat sick too. Both of them have been sniffling and lethargic these past few days. I actually didn’t even know you could get a cat sick but apparently certain types of flu and respiratory infections can be spread to our little feline friends. From now on I’ll take better precautions.

Being sick meant a rough week in general. I missed a lot of work and used up half my allotted sick days for the year. I took off Monday. I tried to go in on Tuesday and was promptly sent home by my supervisor because I was sweating all over the place and looking miserable. I took off Wednesday too and went back on Thursday, the worst possible day of all.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that winter arrived this week for one day and one day only, on Thursday when I made my second attempt to return to work.

On Wednesday we had sunshine, clear skies and temperatures topping 80 degrees, but Thursday brough nearly 4 inches of snow and a 50 degree drop in the day’s high temperature. It was a miserable day. I read in the local news that there were around 300 car accidents across the city that day! No one was ready for winter to arrive so quickly.

The winter weather passed quickly though. By Thursday evening most of the snow had melted. By Friday we were back in the 50s. Yesterday we topped 60. Today we made it over 70 degrees and I hear by the end of the week we’ll see 80 again.

I’m grateful to still have so many warm days but the see-sawing in tough. Even within the same day! We’re having to bundle up for bitter cold in the mornings and by the afternoon we’re stripping off layers and cranking the air conditioning again. It’s exhausting. I almost wish winter would hurry up and arrive officially so I could settle into the jeans and sweaters and be done with it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the downtime at home and the lighten load at work meant that I did get a lot of reading and course work done. I was finally able to make it past week two of International Women’s Health and Human Rights a feat that has taken months and months to complete. The issue was the final thought question, and the required essay answer.

I was overthinking it. I was trying too hard. I was avoiding it, but this week I trusted that I knew what to say and I could say it simply and the peer-graded critiques all came back positive. I’m ready and feeling much more confident for week three’s assignment now.

I’ve got just three weeks left Modern & Contemporary American Poetry and I’m already thinking once I finish, I will start the whole 10 weeks over again. There are just so many poems I want to look at again and more I want to internalize and learn about how to read and enjoy poetry.

I’ve also, finally, passed the halfway point in the tome that is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. It’s a rough read but so rewarding too, still I’m ready to move on too. I miss fiction.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend was a good one. We wen’t out last night to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. I was incredibly anxious before the party. I always am before these kinds of social gatherings. For my whole adult life I have placed so much importance of every interaction I have, every word I say to another and I never walk away from any social event feeling like I appeared anything less than a fool.I am chronically embarrassed by myself.

But, I did have a good time and some part of me is happy I went. I like showing up for others. I like parties too, and I like being with people even though I get so anxious and weird around them. My wife, and all of my friends, have assured me many times that I am funny, likeable, and a joy to be around and part of me knows it, or is trying to know it, anyway.

Next weekend we have plans to hang out with our little couples group for dinner and at the end of the month a Halloween party. I’m doing my best not to let these little social anxieties isolate me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week will be an easy one. The schools are on fall break and that means a much lighter work load for me. Of course I have the option of not working at all but when I do the math in my head of all the hours I would be off multiplied my hourly rate, the total comes out to more than I feel comfortable passing up. I am taking two days off, for me, because there’s still a mental cost to giving up hours that could be for me alone too and I can’t forgive myself for giving them all up.

I have a couple of things to do for my family but most of the time I have will be spent in my “creativity room” making things with my hands. Last week I didn’t get any creative time, I was either resting or working, I didn’t have the energy for anything more. This week I want to get back to it.

I’m going to start a larger project. Last April my wife got a small sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project. The goal was that I would fill the pages and send the book back to be kept in their library and enjoyed by any visitors who wanted to pick it up. I was excited by the idea that people living far away and who I would never meet might pick up my book and enjoy my work, but my own high expectations overwhelmed me and I haven’t been able to start at all. I would like this week to begin to take some small step and explore a concepts and possibilities for the project.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting on past my bedtime. My ear is pounding and if I want to have any hope of returning to work again in the morning, I’ll need to go, take medication, and rest.

I hope you had a good week. I hope you made some small progress or found some small happiness, comfort, or connection to brighten your week.

Until next time.

Caribou // Home

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Today is…just ok. I feel really out of it both from the lingering sickness and from over indulging last night. I can’t focus. I barely want to move. I’m doing what I can but it isn’t enough. It isn’t what I hoped it would be, but it never is I guess, not even on the Sundays when I have the energy and the want. Still, it’s Sunday and Sundays belong to me, even the disappointing ones, and that’s more than I can say for most days out of the week.

The weekend is even harder to let go of when you don’t really have to go to work the next day. I want to stay home but I made a commitment to my coworkers, my friends, and they expect me plus, how can I pass up the easy hours? One should only play hooky on the bad days, not the ones one could breeze through with little effort or mental strain, right?

I wish I hadn’t slept in so much but I also know I desperately need the rest. I’m still dealing with a sore throat but every morning it’s a little better and today I seem to have a little more of the energy I’ve missed. We’re attending a birthday party for a friend later so I’m trying to get all of my little to-do’s done and a decent nap in before late afternoon.

My wife: Let’s start over. Something is wrong with us today.

My mood is all bad. I’m anxious and on edge. I won’t know many people at the party we’re going to and it’s making me nervous. I’m worried I will do or say something stupid. I always do, I think, but I still have to go. This is important. These people are important to us and it’s important to us to show up for them the way they have for us before.

And I know that when my mind tells me I’m going to mess up. When I think I am going to say something stupid or make an ass of myself, that it is my mind lying to me. The truth is, I will probably have a great time and people are more than likely going to like me just fine. And the truth is, despite the good time I will agonize over every word I say tonight for the next week at least, and I still have to do it.

The weather is much improved today but still rather wintery. It’s a good day though. I’m not as focused as I should be and I’m not nearly as productive as I should be either, but I’m with people that make me smile and they made me feel like I belong and some days that is just more important that the to-do lists and the goals, right?

I’m feeling better and better every day, but the early mornings and the late afternoons are hard. I wake with a swollen and sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and a bit of ear pain but as the day progresses the symptoms subside, but return after lunch reminding me I still have a long way to go toward complete recovery. I had hoped to go out tonight, and I was bummed when the plans had to be canceled, but now I think it was for the best. I can spend the evening relaxing knowing I can sleep in tomorrow and that my time will be mine for the next two days.

This weekend I have one birthday party to attend—an adult one this time—and that’s it for plans. The rest of my time will be for reading, for little blackout poems and collages, for insignificant writing, and for that special brand of procrastination that manifests as house work. I’m looking forward to it all.

I’m back at work today and feeling so much better than I have all week. I made it through the whole day with just a bit of fatigue near the end of the workday and some throat soreness in the evenings. I’m sure with another day of rest I would have been even better off but Capitalism won’t let me take that much time for myself, you know?

The weather didn’t affect me as badly as I thought it would. It was cold—bitter cold!—and it snowed but I was lucky enough to get to spend at least the morning indoors helping in the office.

Usually I hate the snow but as I walked between the buildings and in and out of the office today, I took my time. I let the soft flakes fall on my face. I watched the moisture from my own breath condense in the air. I listened to the silence, and I listened to sounds traveling from far away on the cold air. It’s actually kind of beautiful.

I’ve never felt that way about winter weather before.