Week 42 – Congrats Justin & CC!

#290 Rains Come

16 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Ah the rain has returned in full force after taking a little summer break. My opinion will probably change when February rolls around but right now I love this so much.

Also glad we were able to make it to and from Portland twice while having to basically drive through a lake with all the flooding. On Friday night we ended up backing up on a one way road just to get out from all the water.

#291 Street Life Under a Roof

17 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“For as with Point Place, it is possible for youth to come together to create culturally expressive forms of social life not only for the privileged few, but for anyone who is looking for shelter and, along with it a sense of belonging under a shared roof.”

-Emily Margaretten

Frequently asked question… do books that I have to read for work or school count towards my personal reading goals? I say that they do if I like the book enough.

This was an assigned book for the class I’m teaching, and I’ll get to do two lectures on South Africa and street life next week which should be fun. Reading this ethnography of a researcher who lived in a youth shelter totally took me back to Jozi, even though it’s set in Durban.

#292 City Human Rights Commission

18 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Last night, I got to attend our local human rights commission meeting. I didn’t even know we had one but here’s what I saw.

A representative from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs shared a nasty courtroom experience directed at her while trying to speak on behalf of land belonging to her tribe. Everybody listened empathically.

A member of the ACLU talked about methods of police surveillance that may raise some privacy concerns and a rep from the police department acknowledged the concerns and mentioned some potential benefits of the technology in stopping child predators or kidnappings.

I know a lot of people are so over political discourse, and I get why. But I was also encouraged by what I saw. Local governance offers so many opportunities for regular people to be a part of the process that not many people take. And in a local setting, you can oftentimes have a huge influence.

When you get tired of being a political spectator, maybe try participating every now and then.

#293 Grad School: Seven Weeks

19 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

On paper, this was supposed to be a really challenging Fall for me. I had to request special permission from the University to take twenty credits (twelve is my normal) all while keeping up my freelance projects, my job hunt, and several weekends of travel for family reasons. Plus it’s also the time of year when the sun disappears and everything drops fifty degrees and it’s way harder to feel motivated for anything.

The funny thing is that we’re close to halfway through this quarter and I am loving it. So far it’s all gone by smoothly and I’m surprised often at how efficiently I’ve been able to get things done.

Here are a few things that have been real helpful this term.

Going one day at a time. It’s easy to rush it when you’re close to the finish line, but just making sure each day’s challenges are given appropriate attention.

Before most items on my to do list I ask myself who do I really have a chance to serve with this task. The answer isn’t always obvious but it makes otherwise unmotivating tasks much more fulfilling.

So far I haven’t worked a Sunday, I’ve mostly been able to slow down my Saturdays, and often finish everything by 5 or 6 pm. All that time to enjoy life and not just work through it has finally become a good habit after years of working on it.

#294 College Hill

20 October 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This summer, I came really, really close to getting what I thought could have been my dream job. I would’ve worked as a director with a really cool organization doing international work, it would’ve been work I’d enjoy doing every day, and it would’ve been in a city where I used to live that I miss a lot.

Part of me was surprised I didn’t get it because it seemed like such a great fit on paper, but another part of me just had a feeling that it wouldn’t work out. And while there was a bit of disappointment, there have been so many times this past fall where I’m glad it didn’t go through. If I got it, Deanna and I would be back living in California right now, and almost on a daily basis, I’ve been thinking, I’m glad I’m still here.

So in honor of understanding and appreciating things better in retrospect, here are a few reasons why I’m glad I’m still here.

Fall in the PNW is gorgeous. The first weather cycle, with the unending rain and grey skies can be a bit overwhelming. The next time around? I’ve fallen in love with it. Grey skies, bright orange leaves, and hygge weather… I’ve been liking this so much. I’ve also grown to appreciate having different seasons, and I’m thankful for this one.

Moving a couple weeks ago would’ve been a huge hassle, logistically. Not just with getting all our stuff and dog to California. We would’ve had to find a place to live. I would’ve had to figure out how to finish grad school remotely- which I now realize wouldn’t be easy at all while working full time. And there are some financial reasons too.

Ultimately, we really aren’t ready to leave where we are right now. Maybe we will be. Maybe soon. But I think we needed this last round to take it all in and to enjoy this stuff.

#295 One In N Out

21 October 2016 // Medford, Oregon

Living in a state with one In N Out > Living in a stat with zero In N Out.

Also, order #32’s number was just called and a family of six stood up and started clapping. Heartwarming moment of the day. There truly is good in thew world.

#296 Congrats Justin & CC!

22 October 2016 // San Francisco, California

This weekend was about as good as it gets.

Deanna and I went down to San Francisco to help our friend Justin propose to his now fiancé, Caytlin. There were tears and corgis and food trucks and beaches involved, and we got to see a bunch of our good friends again.

Congrats Justin and Caytlin- we are so, so happy for you two and we’re looking forward to you two being married!