All Hallows…

Halloween, the time when the veil between the land of the living and the land of dead is at it’s thinnest. A time when we celebrate life by remembering death. While others carve pumpkins and stockpile candy I feel the rising of a deep well of sorrow. My ghosts aren’t scissor-handed or covered in gore but their power to wound seems inescapable. I am haunted by those who have left me behind. Tonight I sit, barely able to see the screen through half swallowed tears and I think about them. I miss them.

They say it is better to have loved and loss than to never have loved at all but I am fairly certain they were drunk when they said it. Only someone anesthetized by alcohol could fully mean that.

It’s true that I would never give back the precious time I had with these people. I cherish my memories. I just don’t think it’s entirely worth the trade offs. I am not sure getting hit by the knowledge that they are forever frozen behind me on the path while I soldier on is such a clear plus over not knowing their love.

Maybe it would be better to say Love is beautiful and magical, Death sucks forever, sadly they sometimes come together.

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Fortress of Solitude…

I have always been considered an extrovert. I grew up loving the energy found in large groups of people, especially at nightclubs, drum circles, concerts. I used to get energized by being around hundreds of people.

Lately I have been longing for my fortress of solitude. A place where I can lock myself away from the outside world and simply be. Parties tire me out, nightclubs leave me with a sense of ennui, and drum circles don’t fit me very well anymore. The only places I am fully comfortable these days are career oriented. I walk away from networking functions feeling energized and motivated even though I just spent an hour having small talk with a bunch of people I just met.

Maybe it’s because there is so little drama in professional events. I don’t have to worry about dealing with the myriad of petty matters that can arise when large groups of friends drink together. Mostly I just have to worry about spilling wine on my new colleague’s coat.

Frivolity doesn’t fit me very well right now, in fact it stresses me out. There is so much I need to do right now, so many different actions I need to take. I am building something and trying damn hard to make a positive difference as I do it. I want my choices to change the world, even if its only in small ways, such as parking in the church lot five blocks from work where the money I spend each day will be used to turn the lot into something beautiful for the community.  I want my actions to make a difference. I want to save species, fight injustice, and fix some of things I consider broken. My life focus is different than it used to be and I am finding very few people who share it outside of my professional sphere.

So I long for a fortress of solitude, a giant walled kingdom far away where I can hide with my family between battles for the world. (My fortress would not be made of ice and would definitely have internet. Fast internet.)

time keeps ticking, ticking, ticking away…

nearing 34, only one day left to go.
I have eaten office birthday cake.
I have been sung to, off-key, twice.
I enjoyed an unexpected handmade gift from a new friend.
I have mopped up after my incontinent dog six times since coming home two hours ago.*
I have blown out two candles.
I have cleaned up spilled milk twice.
I have eaten brownie cake from my mother and daughter and am decked out in new jewelry.
I wiped two faces and a nose.
I have responded to a work email.
I accepted tickets to an ACLU fundraiser and will spend my birthday in a business suit listening to an acceptance speech by Diana DiGette. The thought of this pleases me.

I am not feeling young and irresponsible.

I have spent most of my adult life feeling like a child caught playing dress up in my mother’s shoes. Feeling I don’t know enough to fill the roles I found myself in. Too young to take good enough care of small children, too new to take care of my clients effectively, too inexperienced to be an advocate, to silly to be taken seriously.

This year I feel old enough to take care of the world.

How can that possibly be a good thing?

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* make that nine times since coming home 5 hours ago.

Many hours and episodes of 30Rock later (I had to do something to prevent me from getting nightmares from reading “The Dark Half.”)…

I think this is the first “holy fuck” birthday year.
I am turning fucking thirty four. 34. 3-4! What the fuck is up with that? I am not 34 years old! At max I am like 30. I am totally okay with being thirty. It’s a sexy, smart, woman of the world kind of age. 34 is having to watch how much you drink because you’ll actually get a fucking hangover after three seasonal beers. It’s continuing to eat the god damned office doughnuts while reminding yourself that your jeans don’t fit as well at they used to and actually deciding that you don’t care. 34 is chin hair. Chin hair. That’s right, 34 is watching in growing horror as your tweezers, once used only to shape your eyebrows, begin to move about the rest of your face and body in a complicated tour de force before leaving a shocking pile of small hairs on the bathroom sink. It’s buying contour wear and then convincing yourself it actually does make your clothes look better on you instead of going to the gym.

I am not handling this birthday well.

This morning things look brighter…

Maybe 34 is going to be my year. Maybe it’s coming to terms with all the responsibilities I have and deciding I am equal to them. Maybe the fact that I can no longer think off the extra calories is an opportunity to exercise more and get into better sahpe. I used to exercise all the time but have become remarkably sedentary since law school. This could be the year for me to carve out time for my health.

And everyone knows bearded women are damned sexy, how bad can chin hair actually be?

Blogger Action Day: Climate Change

In response to Blog Action Day today I would like to share a victory from one of my favorite organizations, WildEarth Guardians, whose members work tirelessly to keep our air and water clean and to protect our wild places and species.

One of the many pieces in our patchwork of environmental legislation is the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act (CAA), in part, requires the EPA to identify air pollutants that are a danger to the welfare of the public and adopt nationally uniform ambient air quality standards. With an eye towards meeting those standards the CAA requires states to prepare and submit implementation plans that outline specific measures designed to assure the air quality within each state meets the national air quality standards. The CAA also requires that states whose air quality does not meet the national standards prevent significant deterioration of their already sub-par air quality.

Recently the EPA, in response to a petition from WildEarth Guardians, issued a new ruling that will dramatically and positively effect the quality of our air. Prior to this ruling Colorado failed to aggregate its oil and gas emissions, allowing pollution at a significantly higher level than should be permitted under the purview of the Clean Air Act, the Colorado state implementation plan, and the federal and state prevention of significant deterioration guidelines (PSD). Oil and gas operations consist of hundreds to thousands of component parts, and each one emits pollutants into the atmosphere. The gas drilling operation in question, for example, consists of several gas wells adjacent to a compressor station that takes the mined gas and compresses the gas for transportation through pipelines. The oil and gas companies have long acted as though each well is a single source of pollution and may emit under the permit without violating the overall permit limits. However, none of the gas pumped out of these wells would be usable for its intended purpose without the compressor station. Therefore it has been long argued that the compressor station, the gas wells, and the pipeline connecting them are interdependent and therefore should qualify as a major stationary source using the criteria set out in the federal and state PSD regulations. Without this aggregation each individual part may pollute within the guidelines of the CAA permits but when aggregated a oil and gas operation pollutes well outside the limits of the permits, significantly harming the air quality in the west and adding to our smog, environmental decline, and respiratory health problems. This rampant uncontrolled polluting contributes to the degradation of our nation’s air quality and does little to assist in our efforts to deter environmental harm and handle the coming climate change.

Under the new EPA ruling these individual component parts will be treated like a single emissions source and this continued violation of the spirit of the Clean Air Act will stop. It is expected that Colorado will see a significant decrease in air emissions, up to ninety percent. This ruling is a huge victory for air quality.

Inundated…

I can’t get free. I am trapped under piles of sloppy baby kisses, inquisitive answer seeking, purring furball love, and barking madness.
Everywhere I look there is someone who needs to be taken care of.
Every day there are countless messes to clean up.

Sometimes I feel burdened by my blessings.

Yarn is a sick person’s best friend…

I have finally been struck with the cold that plagued by family all week. As I sat on the couch making my way through the first season of 30Rock (which is funny as hell and my new addiction!) I began to feel that guilty itchy sensation that comes with doing nothing all day long while those around you pick up your slack. Since the headache and fever prevented any physical exertion I dug out my crochet needles and yarn and worked up some much needed winter hats for the kids.

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I crocheted Otter’s first even though I was fairly certain he would never use it. He can’t abide restriction and finds hats, gloves, and coats to be the most opressive objects ever presented to him. Surprisingly he took to his new hat rather well. It seems watching me make it all afternoon turned it into something cool instead of something irritating. He couldn’t wait to try it on and didn’t want to take it off.

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Once Monkey saw Otter’s hat she demanded one “exactly like it but with a poof ball.” We settled on candy cane stripes for her colors and I did my best with a poof ball on top. She seems quite pleased with it. Now I am wondering how hard it would be to make matching mittens…