Dirty Laundry

Alright, so this happened a couple apartment buildings down from mine, yesterday evening at 7 p.m.: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-rogers-park-sexual-assault-20140130,0,46020.story

A 24-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her apartment's laundry room. I've gone from feeling a bit sick about it - I was walking, alone, in front of that building, at 6:50 - to angry. SHE WAS DOING HER FUCKING LAUNDRY! 

I made a distasteful joke to my friend about how it's incidents like this are why I don't do laundry. Her response was, "Actually, I hope […] you have Mitchie do it. Geeze 2014 and this is how we're empowered: delegating household chores to men so we don't get raped."

And - I don't know this, but let me project - if they catch the man who did this, and if they decide to prosecute, the defense will take the following route:

Defense: Were you drinking that night?

And what if she had a beer with dinner?

Defense: Where did you get the beer? 

Possibly the supermarket. 

Defense: How intoxicated were you, exactly? 

Defense: Why were you doing laundry at that time of night?

Defense: Do you ever invite men over to your apartment? 

And so on. Regardless of how unrelated her activities were, that night, to a stranger attacking in her laundry room, the defense will pry at her life and turn it upside down to let everything fall out - all its minutia and ordinariness. And the defense will do this because what else can they do? And also because it might work. She's both victim and witness, after all - the weight of the whole trial rests on her - and the jury might find her guilty of doing anything while female. 

At some point, I really hope we as a society start taking sexual assault seriously because when we talk about gender equality, we talk about the difference in pay or about traditional gender roles. We rarely discuss the impact on women of being under the threat of violence, 24/7. We get on with our lives and take our chances. 



jan 22. brain food! #finalsweek

jan 23. i came home to fresh air and jon playing guitar. it was nice.

jan 24. solo dance party with the postal service

jan 25. volcano choir

jan 26. a jon fox breakfast

jan 27. visiting my mentor teacher

jan 28. it's been one of those days when cooking is the highlight of the day.

Sex at Dawn

There's cake in the house.

"I'm reading this book" I said, for weeks, to whoever I was with when I ran out of other things to say. I finished the book, and now its newly learned contents are bumming me out. So I'm eating the cake.

The book is Sex at Dawn by Chris Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. (I just went to their website and saw that they have some readers photos posted. In these photos, people pose nude with the book. Pretty weird. But of course, if I published a book and people posed nude with it, I'd be stoked.)

I recommend the book. It's an anthropology-ey take on what human's prehistoric sex lives must have been like, as well as their lives in general. It's engaging. There are jokes, which end up being a lot better than what you would expect from an anthropologist.

While the book does talk a lot about sex, its overarching argument, I would say, is that prehistoric people lived in a way that was different - and notably better - than how we think they did. Since the length of human history is much shorter than human prehistory, our biology adapted mainly under those prehistoric conditions. It's what "natural' to us.

In prehistoric times, Ryan and Jetha argue, people lived in small (~150 individuals) tight-knit bands where fierce egalitarianism was the law. Everything was shared - food, protection, communal responsibilities. Personal property was at a low, which makes sense when you think that everything they owned, as nomadic people, they had to carry. (Anybody who's gone backpacking can tell you how soon all that crap you packed doesn't seem to matter as much.) Adults would have several simultaneous sexual relationships going over time, which meant that sex was not commodified, which meant that women were allowed to be people rather than fiercely guarded property. Resources were plentiful, wars extremely rare, and everyone had a community to belong to.

The big bad, according to the book, was the emergence of agriculture. It cut down on the variety of foods people ate. Droubts and pestilences hit harder because people couldn't move somewhere that wasn't affected. The concentrations of people and livestock, together, was a boon for disease. Upper body strength was a distinct advantage for the first time in that it was necessary to manipulate a plow. Men sought to control female sexuality because they had personal property and didn't want to pass it on to someone else's son. On top of all that, many children were needed to maintain the farms, and with many more children, more farmland was needed in order to feed them. The population skyrocketed. Wars started to break out.

It's hitting me pretty hard, right now, because Ryan and Jetha's prehistoric world takes care of some of my least favorite parts of contemporary life:

1. The high percentage of unhappy/broken marriages.
2. Our isolation from and anonymity among one another, especially as adults.
3. That we have to go to work so goddamn much.
4. Gender inequality and the persecution of women and girls throughout the world based on their sex.
5. The negative impact we have on the environment.

As far as fixing issues 1 - 5, though, the book is unhelpful. One can't very well, at this point, start a campaign against agriculture. It's bothering me, making me sad, the ways in which life seems stacked against human happiness and how impossible it seems to change that.

It reminds me of an "Angel" episode I saw the other day. Angel is being grumpy/rampage-y, but not outright evil. (He gets a shot at complexity. Woohoo!) He rides an elevator to hell, vowing to kill evil at the source, uproot and banish it, but he finds that when he steps out of the elevator he's back where he started, on Earth, where evil is mixed up in every bit of us. He has an epiphany (and a face bruise):

But even believing that kind actions - that loving other people - is what matters doesn't make me feel better. How can I feel good about small actions and choices when what it seems like what the world needs is a huge structural shift - a trip through time to take agriculture away? I guess I'll feel better once all this book stuff fades a bit from my mind. Until then, I'll just keep eating cake for breakfast. Cake at Dawn.


Anti-Complexity: the American Way

One of the many things that one can say about this country is that we dislike complexity. So we make simple solutions to everything we possibly can even when the complex answer is obviously the correct answer or the more intriguing answer.
- Peter Gomes

Mitch and I were up late one Friday night, and we watched the pilot episode of "The Fall", a Northern Irish crime drama about a serial killer who's scary and creepy in a sad, mundane way. (Kyle Ritter says it's the most intense thing he's ever seen! Or something.) The pilot itself was enough to give us our fair share of bleakness, so we searched Netflix for a palate cleanser. 

I ended up watching some of the "Stephen Fry in America" series because I love Stephen Fry to the ends of the Earth. Mitch fell promptly asleep. The show was okay, and before this post turns into a play-by-play of what I watched on Netflix, I should get to my point. (See quote above!)

Stephen Fry met with Peter Gomes, the then pastor and professor of divinity at Harvard. 

Peter Gomes is a gay black Republican pastor who, among other things in this clip, talks about American's disdain of complexity. (As if to prove his point, the title of this clip on YouTube is "He Exists: A Gay, Black Republican" like those things were antithetical.)

It reminds me of an ad that I see at my gym which reads "Is Plate Color the Key to Weight Loss?" While color might impact our dietary habits to some (small) amount, it's pretty obvious that weight loss and dietary/nutritional health is impacted by a large number of factors. No matter what "Lose Belly Fat with this one Weird Trick" internet sidebar ads try to tell you.

Then there's also the waves of nonverbal-communication obsession that seems to ebb and flow. It's relied upon in police interrogation interviews with questionable effect. It would be so simple if our bodies gave us away when we lied, but for as often as that's been in vogue, it's proved to have little to no reliability.

Gomes goes on to say, "The notion that God could have two thoughts simultaneously [...] is hard for many Americans to believe."
Exhibit A

In the name of simplicity, Christians tend to banish large swaths of people to hell, police gather false confessions, and weight watchers buy fiestaware. But it's not just where the simple answer is wrong that's a bummer. Like Pastor Gomes pointed out, the complex answer is often the more intriguing one. In our clear cut, yes/no, way of looking at things, we're in danger of making our understanding of life rather dull.

Unless, of course, you watch "The Fall". In which case, you know that every guy you see on the street is probably a serial killer - not dull at all. Godspeed, everybody.



jan 15. meeting jon and our friend trevor for happy hour.

jan 16. watching the dress rehearsal for reader's theatre. 

jan 17. driving home

jan 18. clowning

jan 19. i guess i should use this now. #superbowl 

jan 20. eric eddy and sun and nature

jan 21. stamping books, sipping the finest, watching amy poehler

Westovar(ian) Lady Authors

Westovar(ian) Lady Authors

I was unable to sleep, so... I looked through old photos and found this gem.


2013 Miscellany

I promise we won't drag this 2013 list-making out much longer into 2014. But when Rachel, Annie, and I Google Hungout to discuss the things that we liked from 2013, we had a lot to say. Drinking was involved - when I brought up the new James Blake album for our music list, Annie threw her support behind it having thought I was talking about the Nike Drake album that came out in 1972. Full disclosure: Annie has not listened to the new James Blake. (Number seven on our list, and it's a lie!)

Well, anyway. We're not going to post the lists we had for podcasts or webseries, but I did want to share a smattering of stuff, from 2013, that was excellent and wonderful. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

Maria Bamford, Ask Me About My New God (comedy, stand up) – She’s my favorite comedian. She does a host of different voices. Her new album touches on mental illness and belief in God, among other things, and gives the double gift of making you laugh AND think. This might be my favorite thing to come out this year, period.

Kumail Nanjiani, Beta Male (comedy, stand up) – This is another great stand up set from this year. Kumail talks about the new Call of Duty being set in his home town and of defending himself and his roommates while wearing a colander. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half: unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened (book) - This is Brosh's book version of her blog. She does stories and (brilliant) pictures in a stick-figurey style in something like Microsoft Paint. Her book talks a lot about her dogs and herself as a child, and it also includes a two-part series on depression that's honest, insightful, and deeply personal. I don't think this is a work that will fade from the public consciousness any time soon.

George Saunders, The Tenth of December (book of short stories) – Saunders is the best. His stories range from bizarre sci-fi-ish to funny to cold real-life calamity. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m jealous because you still get to read it for the first time.

Caitlin Moran, How to be a Woman (book) – This isn’t quite the manual the title suggests. Brittish comedian and music journalist, Moran, writes in more of a memoir style. She’s funny and poignant. Her book is accessible and fairly light.

Richard Herring’s Comedy Podcast, guest: Stephen Fry (podcast episode) – I've heard Stephen Fry be called a British national treasure, which I think fits. On this podcast episode, Fry talks about his time in prison when he was a young man, about ongoing depression - I suppose we could call this list "Amy likes various media in which depression is discussed - and about whether or not he's ever tried to suck his own cock. Rush right out and listen to it.


"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness." ~Leo Tolstoy

"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness."
~Leo Tolstoy

I've learned that this is one of my problems (or as Sara's calls them: complexes) is that I think someone or something beautiful is good.

I was an ugly, nerdy child. I never thought of myself as beautiful. It seemed to me that every time I was about to stop being an ugly duckling, something happened: glasses, braces, bangs, braces again, chubbiness, bad hair, etc. 

Because of my appearance I hung out with kids like me: nerds, geeks, freaks, weirdos. I am happy with this decision. It made my life lovely and interesting.

However,it's left me with a blind spot. I assume beautiful people, who now want to befriend me, are good. And that is not the case. 

This is not to say beauty is bad or nerdiness is good. I've met people who worth knowing all over. What's more is that I've learned beauty is a lot more complicated then: thin, blonde, tall, etc. I find some people to be gorgeous, who don't see themselves that way.

It's a lot more about what's inside. So yeah... I need to stop assuming beauty and goodness are the same thing... And so should everyone. 



jan 08. class.

 jan 09. goodnight

jan 10. My chair doesn't have arm cushions. 

jan 11. I made Jon go for a walk with me in the worst weather.

jan 12. Katrina in her Bronco's zone!

jan 13. champagne and pomegranate seeds

jan 14. I pulled over on my way home from work to take a photo. 


Tyson's Top 10 Beers of 2013

Hi everybody. This year, over Christmas, Mitch and I got to spend time with our good friend (and Mitch's long-time friend) Tyson Baldwin, who happens to be the assistant brewer at Seven Seas Brewery in Gig Harbor, WA. This was during when the Westoverts were putting together our end-of-year lists, and I asked Ty if he would make us a Top-Ten-Beer list. (He is a serious beer nerd and burgeoning expert.) He said he would (and look! he did)! 

Just when you think you had the Westovarian figured out, we go and get a little legitimate. Okay, here's Tyson:


Note: To all who care this is a list of beers that I have discovered in 2013 for the first time. This is not necessarily a list of newly created beers from 2013 but beers that I have stumbled upon during my adventures in the craft beer world. You see the brewery’s name, the beer’s name and then the beer’s style. I’ll throw you some beer-nerd facts (if I can find them or remember them) and then a little ditty on why its great. Also, if you care about the arbitrary stat of beer IBU’s then sorry, you won’t find them from me because I don’t care about that, ask me why if you do care. Enjoy fellow beer enthusiasts and grab a pint if you stumble upon any or all of these masterfully crafted ales.

1) Black Raven: La Petite Mort (Strong Belgian Style Dark Ale)
8.8% ABV
Malts: 2-Row Barley, Crystal, Rye, Special B 
Hops: Magnum, Styrian Goldings
Yeast: Belgian Ardennes

Named after the French term for a sexual orgasm, ‘la petite mort’ or ‘a little death’, is astutely named. I for one have been in love with this style for a long time and Black Raven nails it. With a full-bodied balanced mix of dark fruit like raisin and plum as well a caramelly middle without being too much or too sweet and an nice spicy bite toward the end; this delectable fluid has quite the journey for the imbiber of fine beer. As uniquely as Black Raven crafted this one of a kind (of a style) I have to say it hits the top rung.

2) Brouwerij Verhaeghe: Duchesse de Bourgogne (Flanders Red Ale)
6.2% ABV
‘Lagered’ Ale, Aged in Oak Casks and blended with a previous batch
Water source: and ancient French Aquifer that has a superb mineral content for the crafting of beer

Sour beer is not for everyone. That said this is one of the most unique sour beers that I have tasted. The Duchesse is a smooth and well balanced Flanders ale (balance being typical to the Flanders). This ale is extremely drinkable and has a nice blend of roasty/toasty malt character to it toward the back end and a fun collection of fruit esters and a touch of vanilla that might go unnoticed. Superb! 

3) Cascade: Kriek (Kriek) 
7.3% ABV
6+ months lactic fermentation and aging in oak barrels
8 months fermented with fresh Bing and sour pie cherries

Krieks are a weird style within the brewing world and I have found very few to be exemplary. Although Krieks can be hard to describe I find Cascade Brewing has made a mark that home brewers should seek to hit if they find the urge to go crazy in their experiments. With a tart beginning and a nice rounded and yet distinct cherry character and a smooth toffee and chocolate undertone this beer is a great pair with a dark unsweetened chocolate bar… which I did try, and loved.

4) 7 Seas: Barrel-Aged Port Royal Export Style Stout (Specialty Stout)
7.2% ABV
Their year round Port Royal Export Style Stout aged 8 months in Maker’s Mark Bourbon Barrels

Although I work for 7 Seas Brewing and it might be a cop-out to add one of our beers to the list I just have to say I stopped drinking this beer because I wanted more people to taste this elixir and knew that if I had another I would have limited the supply. It’s our normal year-round stout that we plopped into Maker’s Mark barrels that helped to infuse a nice ethanol and whiskey character as well as a nice vanilla blend to the already great roasty full-bodied bear of a stout. Not to toot our horn but this was good, especially for being our first barrel project.

5) Rueben’s Brews: Roasted Rye IPA (Dark Rye IPA)
7.0% ABV
Malts: Rye, Roasted, Carmel, Chocolate

These last few years I have tried to explore Rye beer. Had bad, few good, but i’d have to say this was the best of the new. With this beer one can get a hint if chocolate layered under a nice roasted back bone and a prominent foreplay and after play of the tangy and earthy character of rye and the fun floral bitter of the hops. Another journey all who care about good beer should take.

6) Firestone Walker: Wookey Jack (Black Rye IPA)
8.3% ABV
Malts: Pale Malt, Malted Rye, Dash of Cara-Rye, Midnight Wheat from Briess, De-Bittered Black Malt (Weyermann - Germany/Patagonia malting - Chile), Dash of Wookey dust
Hops: German Magnum, Citra, Amarillo

Firestone Walker Brewing is Godsend to the world of craft brewing. I could put any one of their beers I have tried from them on this list but this was a new one for the year. The Wookey is in the style realm that I like to call the Cascadian Dark Ales. But, there’s a fun twist that is not usual to the usual take on the style. Rye, again Rye. I have fallen in love with Rye’s flavor and F’in Dubs has truly made something magical. There is a lot going on in this beer and part of me does not want to describe it… so, I won’t. Do yourself a favor and buy one. 

7) New Belgium: Pluot (Specialty Sour)
10% ABV
Malts: Pale
Hops: Target
Yeast: Brett Claussenii

New Belgium has a very special place in my beer-heart. I lived in Fort Collins for 10 months and got to spend many hours exploring their spectrum. Conclusion is that I generally do not prefer the majority of their staple year-round brews. Their Lips of Faith series however is another story. The creative mind and machine behind these fast-paced and wonderfully creative ales are in the least genius. Pluot does not overpower. Pluot does not make you taste the over ethanol bite. Pluot does not make you cringe at its apricot or plum character. Pluot does not make it a chore to summit a 22 in one sitting, by one’s self. Pluot treats me. Pluot should treat you. Grab it while you can!

8) Black Raven: Second Sight (Strong Scotch Ale)
7.0% ABV
Malts: 2-Row Barley, Crystal, Special B, Chocolate
Hops: Magnum, Mt. Hood

I have been to Scotland and I have indulged in their fine beer craft. America has disappointed me. It was not until this year that I found a Scotch Ale brewed by American brewers that came anywhere near what I once experienced in Scotland. Again Black Raven hits the list. This ale has that nice rounded character that is so easy to drink that I have dreamt about. Ever so slightly one might perceive a smokey character but there is a nice pit fruit and slight chocolate and carmel hint to this wonder of America. Black Raven, you've done it again.

Honorable Mention: These beers make the list for one reason, they are to damn good not to be present. These are out of the ‘main’ list for the fact that I have had previous versions of them before. All that to say, these are new-ish and should be mentioned.

9) 7 Seas: Hop Prophet (100% Wet Hop Ale)
5.8% ABV
Hops: Cascade and Simcoe, picked from the vine driven from Yakima and plopped into the brew.

I know, my own brewery again. Stay with me… this beer is the only beer that I have had that I have forsook all other beer for. I didn’t drink anything else except for what I had to during work. This beer captures the essence of the completely fresh hop. We did not mix it with other pelletized or dried hops, no, the hops you get are the hops from the vine. And you can tell with its unique earthy and citrusy back bone to the floral and non-danky fresh and pungent aroma. The malts lend to a velvety and smooth ride and all in all the emphasis on these unique hops has me still envious of my previous self who got to drink it earlier in 2013. 

10) Deschutes: Jubelale (Winter Warmer)
6.7% ABV
Malt: Pale, Crystal, Extra Special, Carapils, Roasted Barley
Hops: Nugget, Cascade, Willamette, Styrian, Tettnang, East Kent Goldings

Deschutes every year that I have cared about good beer has made the Jubelale. This years version of this winter warmer was fantastic. I would not be honest if I didn’t say that I appreciated last years slightly better than this years but this year’s version was unique all its own. Well rounded with a roasty/toasty side to the nice earthy and well balance hop conglomeration. It is ready to ease your cold winter heart and sure to bring a smile to your face. Make sure to share this one for it’s worth it.

The Line


I found something cool

I'm trying to figure out a way to compile all of my photos for this year's project 365. Last time I used iPhoto, but I wasn't super impressed with its features and the price tag for a book. (By November, I think my book was going to cost over 200 bucks.)

Luckily, I found this pretty neat resource that maybe you'd like as well. It's called Artifact Uprising.

You can make your own postcards, books, prints, wooden boxes, etc. of your own photos. The prices  are semi-reasonable for what you are getting, (a pack of 20 postcards of your own work for 30 dollars).

Or you can get super fancy and print one of your photos on a wood frame or on a piece of wood.

They use only recycled paper and products; read their spiel about their dedication to the environment. So that's good.


Like Ferociously

My class at Second City had auditions for our writing 6 show, a couple of weeks ago. The eight of us writers and our director had a bunch of actors come in, sing, improvise, and read sketches while we watched them and judged them. (Never, never, never become an actor. It looks terrible.) We needed to come to a consensus on the six actors we were going to have in our show. 

I thought it was going to be easy. There were clear stand-outs who I liked immediately. People with a little edge who played well with others but kept their exuberance in check. It turned out that many of the other writers didn't feel the same way. A couple of my favorite people were rejected out of hand. And actors that other people loved were ones that I voted down, easily. 

This probably isn't coming across as so remarkable to you - we disagreed on actors, so? 

In my mind, someone's likability was more concrete than that. I thought people who drew me naturally and immediately drew everybody naturally and immediately. But this was not so!

It matters because creators, editors, and audiences argue about the likability of characters. A character or person's perceived "likability" can determine whether or not they get on the air. It matters because when someone doesn't like me, I tend to assume that everyone doesn't actually like me. And it matters because the ability to like someone or thing is something of a gift. Liking people or things feels awesome. It requires a degree of connection to that person, and feeling connected can be hard. 

So what I'm taking away from this is the admonition to like ferociously. Be like a massive dog who bounds down the hallway when guests arrive and jumps all over their bodies because he's so excited to see them. Give hugs that crack ribs. Clobber people. Murder them in your elation over their existence. Like who you like, A LOT. 


Week I: Project 365

A few years ago I decided to take one photo every day for an entire year, and I was pretty damn consistent. I didn't miss a day. A month before the finished project, my computer was stolen. I was careless; I left my computer on the curb in front of my apartment. I was very sad. (And pretty stupid if you ask me.)

This year I'm smarter, prepared with multiple backup methods, but not as motivated.

For some reason I haven't really enjoyed taking the photos during the first week of the year. None of them are particularly interesting to me. (Don't you love that I'm making you look at something I don't care for!) Days leading up to the first of 2014 I put pressure on myself to start off the year with awesome pictures full of proof that my life is truly awesome and exciting. This week I kept thinking that Jon and I have to do something spectacular so I can get a good shot.  In reality, the point of this whole project is to document all parts of life, including the mundane and uninteresting. 

So here you go, off to a great start! I hope you enjoy.

Jan 01. Seattle fog trumps fireworks. 

Jan 02. Beers at the Speckled and Drake. The bar's name bugs Jon. It should be Speckled Drake. Adjectives and nouns, people. But their happy hour is definitely happy. 

Jan 03. alley way near belltown

Jan 04. west seattle.

Jan 05. I can never seem to drink a cup of coffee without dripping all over the mug.

Jan 06. Back to school= back to this beast.

Jan 07. Jon eating grilled cheese.



Mitch and I got to see Annie and Jon in Seattle over Christmas break. They got married this past year, and we were talking about marriage. The divorce rate is about fifty percent, and Jon said he hoped that that didn’t happen to any of our friends. Sometimes, though, fifty percent seems like really really good odds. Sometimes I am 100 percent sure that Mitch will divorce me someday. This is why:

Sometimes I would like to divorce me. My mind is not an exceptionally nice place to be. It’s like being on a row boat that’s sprung a leak. In comes this water – all things my senses are telling me and all these experiences I don’t understand. The only way to stay afloat is to be constantly bailing the water out. I need to pick everything apart and figure it out otherwise it’ll churn, on loop, in my brain. I have to put it all into words or I can’t get all that input bailed out of my tiny boat. Unfortunately for Mitch, in this analogy, he would be a guy in the row boat next to mine, and I’m throwing buckets of water on him.

Now, this is an unacceptable state of affairs, don’t you think? Mitch might have some rowboat leaks of his own that he needs to figure out. He’s not going to tolerate having to bail out my leaks too for very long. I wouldn’t.

So that’s why I write in here, splash some of that water on other people. But then, as soon as I post this, I’ll probably run over to Mitch, who’s sitting on the couch watching basketball, and say, “I posted something on my blog! Did you see it?!” and then bring his computer to him and sit next to him until he’s read it. Because that’s what I do. 



I have been expecting the death of my family’s dog, Littles, for years, now. I’m home at my parents’ house for vacation, and I am once more considering her demise. She’s the first and only dog my family has had. She’s a Lab-Rottweiler mix, and when she looks at me with her deep brown eyes, I think she sees me as a bad person. I…

Don’t give food.
Sometimes here, sometimes gone. Confusing.
Took her on that really hard walk that one time. Did not bring treats.
Bad person.

She’s 14 years old, and one night wandered into the room where Mitch and I were sleeping. She never sleeps in there and I think she was lost. She lay down in the middle of the floor. Lying in bed with the lights off, Littles-the-aged sleeping on my floor making weird scooting, wheezing, scratching noises, I grew increasingly anxious. What if she dies, tonight, in here?

I turned on the lights and she looked at me, horror-stricken. Maybe she could sense my unease, and it worried her. Maybe she suddenly thought she was going to be stuck with me forever. I spoke soothingly to her, but she’s deaf. I tried to lure her out of the room, and she just looked confused. I brought her bed into the room so that she’d be less scared and realize that I have purpose as a human being. She didn’t move. Mitch told me to put it back.

I had thought that I had come to total terms with the fact that she’s old and going to die soon, in several years, or whenever. I had hugged and kissed her goodbye forever each time I left Colorado. I thought that took care of it. But I realized that if I woke up with her dead in my childhood room I would not be okay. I was frightened of the prospect of death so close to me and leaving actual remains, actual evidence beyond memories and an emotional connection. That kind of death feels so creepy and crazy and unreal.

She made it fine through the night, though. And now whenever she’s sleeping, I stare at her, making sure her body is still moving with breath.  


Television of 2013

So this is coming a little late because I went to the country and there was no wifi. Dark times. Anyways: Wow! There actually are a lot of great shows that came out this year. Special mention goes out to Sleepy Hollow, Blacklist, Hannibal, and OUAT Wonderland, though they didn't make our cut.

            1. Hello Ladies- It's an HBO show about an awkward Brit, trying to find love in LA. It's a hilarious, unique take on what could be a used up topic. Brilliant, surprising writing and acting all around. -Rachel

            2. Broadchurch- BBC genius. David Tennant. Watch it. The End.-Rachel

            3. Orphan Black- Also BBC genius, though it's made in Canada. The actress is on everyone's watch list because she does amazingly. She plays clones of herself interacting with herself and pretending to be clones of herself... What?! One of the best moments comes when the house-wife clone tortures a guy in her craft closet. -Rachel

            4. House of Cards- Netflix made a name for itself with this dark, Shakespear-esque Drama. Kevin Spacey is brilliant. He's like Richard III with a Southern accent... so evil, but you still want him to succeed. It's Season 2 looks just as bloody and brilliant. -Rachel 

            5. Orange is the New Black- Also Netflix. Also brilliant. Almost all female cast. The main character goes on a huge journey from beginning to end of season and the characters are so different then what I've seen. -Rachel

            6. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. Marvel. Need I say more. -Rachel

            7. Graceland- New Police Drama on USA. It's about young, undercover agents, living together in a nice pad in Southern California. The season starts a little rough, but as the episodes go on, the story finds its footing and the characters start to gel. I'm looking forward to the second season. -Amy

            8. Brooklyn Nine Nine- Andy Samberg is great and the guests are some of the funniest characters I've ever seen. It is law without any order and a new look at the traditional cop drama. -Rachel

            9. Family Tree- A good friend recommended the show to me earlier this year and I’ve had the most fun watching it. Selfishly I hope the show doesn’t continue (gasp!) because the season ended so perfectly. The main character, (played by Chris O’Dowd, the cute cop in Bridesmaids and Jessa’s brief husband in Girls) searches for a deeper understanding of his heritage.  It’s a British comedy filled with quirky characters and the dry, witty British humor that you should love. 
Food pairing while watching: pizza and a stout of choice.  -Annie

            10. Masters of Sex- It's set in the 1950's and chronicles Dr. William Masters' study of human sexuality and how his research in a taboo subject led to the sexual revolution. It's sexy and awkward and smart. -Rachel

I also just have to say it- There were GREAT moments in existing TV shows this year. Breaking Bad Finale is the best I may have ever seen. And if you aren't watching Game of Thrones, Sherlock, and Doctor Who you are wrong. -Rachel