I try to live life like a Dar Williams song: enthusiastically earnest and good-naturedly self-aware, avoiding the twin traps of sentimentality and cynicism.
I'm a fair-trade vegan eco-socialist treehugging citizen of the People's Republic of Cascadia, heck yeah, but I'm also an anti-drug, Temperance-minded, intensely secular, pro-monogamy scientist. These things are mutually reinforcing; I get all sorts of excited about rigorously applying cost-benefit analysis and the Precautionary Principle to my everyday life, in order to hit as accurately as I can that tradeoff between Epicureanism and responsibility to myself and this Pale Blue Dot.
Like Dar, I grew up on the sheltered suburban margins of a Great Lakes state (New York for her, Chicagoland for me). I'm similar to other organisms that developed in stable environments without many natural predators: We focus on quality over quantity, and consume with the assumption that our grandkids will feel the effects of our choices. You could say I'm living like a big flightless island pigeon, but you could also say I'm living like a komodo dragon, which sounds way cooler.
For all that (and especially for someone with the bladderstraining, Golden Retriever Style extroversion that I tend toward), I'm very much a homebody. I spend most of my time investing in my sense of place, planting things and puttering about my house, tending orchids and christmas cacti. I'm yearning to settle down in a permanent home with a husband, kids, dog, and pig.
As to WHERE that home is, I'm hoping that in a year or two's time I'll be on my way to either Canada or New Zealand to begin the Next Stage - but that all depends on who I do (or don't) meet in the meanwhile.
I'm really bad at
manifesting paternal condescension, not tripping over my own feet, zippers, inside voices, and playing it cool.
I'm currently compiling that list elsewhere, and then I can link it here for anyone who cares to read it. Meanwhile, I'll use this space for something more fun:
Sixteen Places I Most Want to Visit!
*Michoacán Monarch Biosphere Reserve___________Tikal*
*Kangaroo Island___________________Aleutian Islands*
*Huon Peninsula___________Mali's Festival in the Desert*
2. My Ex Boyfriends. They're my best friends and greatest allies, always willing to give me the helping hand, witty banter, constructive criticism, or kick in the butt that I need.
3. Kakapos. Do I identify too much with a giant, naive, pudgy, leaf-eating green parrot that thinks it can fly but can't and whose mating system's major feature is its lack of success? You bet!
4. Books, because in order to make sense of the weird world that I am and live in, I need to explore other worlds through other eyes.
5. Art, even (especially?) if it's just rearranging stones and leaves.
6. The Scientific Method!
How do we build a culture resistant to both internal and external malware, within the body of a culture utterly captured by that malware?
I openly admire Dian Fossey and Thomas Huxley, and more privately admire Carry A. Nation, all for similar reasons.
I think Dan Savage is the epitome of what goes wrong when refugees from the Culture Wars colonize a place and reactionarily build a culture in defiance of their conservative backgrounds, like an island inhabited solely by angsty teens.
Along that same vein, I did not care for Shortbus.
This applies equally to all products and byproducts of natural selection: species, ethnic groups, lineages, political systems, biases, religions, commercials, pop songs, poetry, fashion, psychoses, etymologies, architecture, marriage, pictures of cats on the internet. Especially pictures of cats on the internet.
Douglas Adams was right. We've got all the answers we will ever need. Come and help me find the questions!