A Random Love Note to Fog

One day in 2013, when I was still living in Tennessee, I drove up to Clingman’s Dome. I don’t recall what the weather was like in town that day, but the mountaintop was socked in with fog. When I got to the observation deck it was surrounded by a solid wall of gray, only broken up by the pine trees within 50 yards or so of the tower. It was amazing. It was so beautiful up there, nothing to look at but those few layers of trees, no sound but a few birds calling, not a soul in the world knew where I was at that moment. I had nowhere to be and nothing to do. It was an incredibly meditative experience.

I absolutely love fog.  It simplifies and softens a bright, loud, overwhelming world, makes everything into calm shades of gray.  Not everyone gets that.  So many people don’t know what to do with themselves in the dim and quiet realm of fog.  While I was up there at Clingman’s Dome other people kept coming up, just one family at a time, when one left another would arrive.  And they kept complaining about there being nothing to see.  I maintain that they just didn’t know how to look.

Prints of these three photos as well as others of fog can now be purchased here.

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

OMG I CALLED THE GOVERNMENT

aardvark7

If you’re an American (and even if you’re not) you probably have lots of opinions right now.  I won’t beat you over the head with mine, this isn’t that kind of blog, but I did want to tell you that I CALLED THE GOVERNMENT.  I hate calling people.  I order pizzas online so I don’t feel like I’m bothering the workers.  Contacting our senators and representatives and telling them how to vote about things is completely within our rights, after all they do technically work for us.  I’ve signed a bazillion petitions and sent all sorts of emails, but I keep reading that it’s more effective to call their offices directly, so tonight I gave it a shot.

The format for defeating the Calling-the-Government panic attack:

  1. THE CONGRESSPERSON IS NOT GOING TO PICK UP THE PHONE.  They have staff for that.  You’ll be speaking to an underling (or an answering machine) who will just log your opinion and tell their boss about it later.  That’s not so scary, right?
  2. Familiarize yourself with how this works so there aren’t so many unknowns to cause you anxiety.  Google and YouTube have an abundance of material.
    1. If you want to talk to an actual person, watch this video to get an idea of what the process is like.  The woman who answered asked him for some information but as I understand it they don’t usually ask a lot of questions and if they do you can tell them you don’t need a response if you don’t want to give it to them.  I think they do need your zipcode though, just so they know you’re in their district.
    2. If talking to humans isn’t your thing, plan to call outside of business hours so you can leave a message.  Watch this video, she’ll show you exactly how easy it is and even has a little sample script in the description.
  3. Write out your script so you’re not stumbling over yourself.  No need to rant, just a couple lines.  “Hello, my name is Awkward Globetrotter and I am a voter in zipcode 12345.  I’m calling to speak against the unlawful imprisonment of aardvarks.  Aardvarks are beautiful creatures that should roam free.  Thank you.”
  4. Find your representatives on the aptly named www.WhoIsMyRepresentative.com.  Click on their names to see their contact information and leave each one up as you go so you don’t forget whose office you’re talking to mid-message.
  5. CALL!  The first time I tried it I found out that apparently Marco Rubio doesn’t believe in voicemail, as the line rang for 2 solid minutes before going to a busy signal.  I did manage to leave a message for Bill Nelson though.  Name, zipcode, issue, that quick.  Took all of 30 seconds.

Now get out there and make yourself heard!

 

Aardvark photo from FuzFeed.

(Did you know aardvarks live in Africa?  I didn’t.  I assumed anything that ridiculous must be from Australia.  The more you know.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Racist History

 

I never really understood why we have the group-specific History Months.  Like it’s all history right?  Why the need to occasionally single out this group or that group?

A couple of weeks ago in one of my anthropology classes some guy from the department asked us to do a survey so they could figure out if we were learning the right things, and gave each of us a question.  I don’t recall the exact wording of mine, but I was supposed to define the concepts of sex vs. gender and write about a recent change in gender roles.  I picked a quick & easy topic: women entering the workforce during World War 2 & the long-standing changes that stemmed from that.  Easy.  I could write about that in my sleep.

In that moment, I realized that I have no idea what that experience looked like in any other racial community.  Like I’ve never seen a non-white Rosie the Riveter (not one of the original ones anyway).  Not once in my life have I come across a photo of a bunch of women building bombs and not every single one of them was white.  I’m sure they’re out there but I’ve never seen them.  It never even occurred to me to look for them, which says a lot about how I’ve been educated.  Chalk it up to media racism in the 1940s, ethnocentrism, whatever, it doesn’t matter, I’ve taken a zillion history classes and nobody’s ever brought it up.  We don’t talk about black people between slavery & civil rights.  Not much is ever said about Hispanics outside of colonialism and whatever happened in Texas.  Asians get passing mentions with the railroads & internment camps, maybe somebody mentions a Chinese laundry, but that’s about it.

I still don’t care much for the special History Months, but I think that’s because it’s not really an inclusive concept, plus they recycle the same history over and over.  Make all of history class inclusive.  Bring in more perspectives on a wider slice of of life.  Please!