Perpetual low-level fear of violence by men

I was walking along the canal with a girlfriend. It was early morning but the sun was up. We had a conversation about passers-by. She doesn’t trust them. She checked out everyone who came towards us with a quick glance over her shoulder after we’d passed them. It didn’t matter who they were, how many … Read more

You’re audible, even if you don’t know you know

On Ordinary Chaos, I interviewed three beautiful people who happen to be trans. (Listen to those here, here, and here, or wherever you get your podcasts.)  I have known all three of them for a long time—between 15 and 30 years—well before any of them transitioned. There are closeted gays I’ve loved before and after … Read more

Creating a culture of validation

Validation is a beautiful thing on any day, especially valuable on a rough day or in a rough season. Anyone not having a rough season? We often think about this in the context of an argument or disagreement where we would like our points validated, but it’s applicable to many circumstances. • You belong here. … Read more

Audio editing vs photo editing with a splash of ableism

While editing podcasts recently, I had a thought. Am I doing the audio equivalent of Photoshopping the cellulite or wrinkles off a model? In some cases, the answer is an easy “no.” The dog barks and we have a laugh about it and I cut it out. The connection fritzes for a moment and I … Read more

Riffing on the concept of ‘real’

In a podcasting workshop I took, the half-joke was that you’re not a real podcaster until you forget to hit record. I half-joke with my guests that I hope never to be a real podcaster. For the past few weeks, I’ve been trail running for the first time. (Typically, I’ve saved running for smoother surfaces … Read more

Changes in how life changes

photo of a cloth-covered journal

I’m an extremely sentimental person, especially about people. Someone recently asked, “Do you collect people?” Why yes, yes I do. If you and I have had any remotely significant relationship at any point in my life for any length of time, you are a piece of me. For better or for worse. Regardless the state … Read more

Trees as an analogy to people

photo of a tree with its top branches bare and bottom branches covered in leaves

Spring has sprung here in the Valley of the Sun, bringing flowers, leaves, bugs, weeds, snakes…  The trees growing new leaves highlights an issue we have with specific plants here—they have dead branches from the winter. Some trees that grow well here aren’t frost-tolerant, and after an especially cold winter, it’s common to see trees … Read more

Why? Why? And more why?

From my Facebook memories: Aaaaaand another assessment tool that requires written student work as “evidence.” *sigh* I was an elementary band teacher, and while some knowledge of how notation works can be assessed using traditional paper-pencil tests, “before and after” student work is what we hear. My job was to teach them to play, to … Read more