It was the early summer of 1999. I had been living in the Stevens Square neighborhood of Minneapolis for a year, following graduation from Grinnell College. I was working part-time for Twin Cities Free-Net and spending the rest of my time absorbing the many opportunities the Twin Cities had to offer. I was volunteering with the neighborhood organization (SSCO), among other places.
It was the first week of March, 2008. I had taken the train from Fairfield to Boston for my first DrupalCon. The weather was cold and rainy all week. I was staying in a big, institutional hostel that felt very much like a YMCA. They even provided flip-flops for the showers ... I'm guessing there had been a problem with athlete's foot! It wasn't homey, but it was affordable.
When I lived in Fairfield, Iowa from 2006-2008, I had two options of veterinarians to bring my cat Simon to, and I chose the holistic one, only partly because he was closer to where I lived. Simon had had a lot of trouble with bladder crystals living in the Twin Cities, and I knew it was from the processed food, and I wanted some help choosing something less processed.
(I originally wrote this article as a submission to PermacultureNews.org, but decided it would be better as a blog.)
I don't know about you, but I was really shaken by Peter Harper's insightful critique of permaculture last summer, “Permaculture: The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” It has caused me to rethink the way I approach my urban farm, at least for the coming year. Let me explain.
Yesterday, due to a miscommunication, my parents came to visit a week before we expected them. They were only passing through for a few hours, so it wasn't a big deal, but it reminded us of a time a few years ago that makes a much better story...
I got an email a few days ago informing me that I'm in the top 5% of users of a service called Pocket -- I've used their free service to read more words on more Web pages than 95% of their users. This is a totally unpaid and unasked-for endorsement, but chances are you haven't even heard of this service, so let me introduce you to why I use it so much:
Saturday, July 14
On Saturday morning we paid our respects to the farmers' market in Forsyth Park before hitting the Interstate to Atlanta. Our first stop in Atlanta was the Contemporary Art Center, which was in a surprisingly rough-looking neighborhood -- we were pretty certain our GPS had led us astray! It doesn't help that the museum building looks kind of like a warehouse that burned up in a fire, but we had to assume that was intentional. The exhibit featured several artists who were aiming to stretch our comfort zones. There was a mostly-nude lady dancing erotically with a dead salmon, for example. And there was "Hennessee Youngman's" thought-provoking (satirical) video on "How to be a Successful Black Artist."
Monday, July 9
On the first day of the conference, we rode the ferry together over to the convention center and had an overpriced breakfast in the conference hotel; then I rode back to our hotel on the Savannah side of the river. Jessie attended an all-day workshop on image-based narrative inquiry, while I gave my successor at Prairie Star District UUA an orientation to her new tools and responsibilities. I also drove out to a grocery co-op on the far side of Forsyth Park to pick up some food for future breakfasts and moved the car to a cheaper lot for the week.
When Jessie returned to the hotel, we went for a swim and had dinner at Vinnie Van Go-Go's before attending the conference's opening reception.
At the beginning of July, Jessie and I drove to Savannah for the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) annual conference. I was excited to return to Savannah and see part of the South I had gone around on my bike trip (namely, the mountains); Jessie had not been to the South before, with the exception of Memphis.
It's been over a month now since I joined 800 other people in Biking Across Kansas. This was my first "supported ride," meaning that I was not carrying my own gear but only responsible for bicycling to each day's destination. It's taken me this long to blog about the experience because, well, I didn't have a great time, and I quit halfway through, and I needed some time to put a positive spin on the experience.