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our own legacies of love

I met my now-husband, Anthony, shortly before I graduated law school and moved to Japan in 2004. We hit it off, and kept in touch for the four years I didn’t live in Los Angeles County.

sai nose

Sai

When I decided to move back to Los Angeles County in 2008, I ended up in Long Beach. This wasn’t because I was especially drawn to Long Beach. I landed here because there were more apartments friendly to larger dogs, like my buddy Sai.

Anthony was thrilled to discover I’d moved to Long Beach. He’d gone to high school here and offered to show me around. He did just that, taking me on a night tour of downtown Long Beach and the shoreline.

I remember standing on a bluff with him that night. Together, we looked out at the twinkling lights of manmade drilling islands. I thought that the twinkling lights were beautiful, and felt so glad I’d made Long Beach my home.

Almost a decade later, I remain glad I made Long Beach my home. That early 2008 evening with Anthony happened because of his familiarity with this town. We now have a lovely family, and–no matter where we may someday move–Long Beach will always be the place where we began.

Those manmade islands, on the other hand, are no longer beautiful to me.

In a 2015 article entitled “What the Frack is Happening Under Long Beach?“, OC Weekly describes the genesis of those twinkling islands: Read more…

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less a nightmare, more a dream

Yesterday, I had a short but inspiring conversation with my colleague and good friend, C. At the end of our call, I told him that (1) I no longer consider “perspective” a noun, but a verb, (2) I so appreciate his skill at perspectiving, and (3) my life and perspectiving skills are both greatly improved because of how he models perspectiving.

I have the feeling our conversation shaped a dream I had last night.

In my dream, I awakened. I was in a world much like this one, but I couldn’t find my husband or sons. This world is so much like mine, there have to be versions of them here, too! I thought. I frantically searched for them, eventually falling into a weary sleep. Read more…

this choice

Last weekend, my husband and I had a conversation about choice.

I told him I’m choosing to continue eating autoimmune protocol through the holidays. He replied that I didn’t really have a choice.

I disagreed. “I do have a choice, though. I can eat all the stuff that makes me feel shitty and then feel shitty myself, or I can choose to eat well and feel good.”

He challenged the idea that this represents a genuine choice*, so I elaborated. “It is a choice, and it’s important for me to acknowledge that I have a choice. One way–I can’t eat that!–feels like a prison. The other way–no, thanks, I don’t eat that–feels like a bountiful freedom. No one is forcing me to eat this way. No one’s holding a gun to my head, saying, ‘Eat that walnut. I dare you!‘ Without anyone forcing me, I am making the choice because I want to feel good again.” Read more…

when “we” isn’t

As I parent, I have to deal with lots of stuff I don’t enjoy: poop, vomit, pee on the toilet seat, regurgitated food hidden in odd corners by my toddler, and … tax news.

Thanks to my rocky childhood, I understood “forced teaming” long before I knew there were words to describe it.

Forced teaming is one tactic predators use to soften their targets’ defenses. Wrote Gavin de Becker in The Gift of Fear: Read more…

better by the day

A couple of weeks ago, I sent my husband a celebratory text message:

fat adapted.png

“Gratz Deb!!!” he replied. Almost anyone else I texted with such a message would likely have replied with a “???” but Anthony knew what was up.

Me of five years ago sure wouldn’t have gotten it.

I first started eating clean when sustained exposure to specific toxins made me scarily ill in late 2012. After months of struggling to find effective answers or assistance, I finally discovered that I was experiencing chronic inflammation. I searched for ways to ease inflammation and found It Starts with Food, a book that outlined an anti-inflammatory food program.

I dived in, eating a little healthy fat, a little meat, and a bunch of veggies for each meal. Before long, I felt great. Read more…

Save Now, Pay Later! — No, thanks.

Did you know Exxon knew about climate change 40 years ago?

That it then poured money into promoting misinformation about climate change?

If you hadn’t yet heard about this, that’s because a small group of heavily resourced people have worked long and hard to keep you misinformed. Indeed, searching for “scientific american climate change” (for this article) yields first and foremost a corporate.exxonmobile.com ad titled, “Don’t Be Misled – Get the Facts.”

‘Cause, see, folks: You should mistrust scientists, not those with enormous financial incentives to promote divergent outcomes!*

One of my favorite authors, Gavin de Becker, aptly calls denial a “save now, pay later” scheme. As a parent, I have sub-zero interest in pay-later schemes my children and their peers will be forced to endure for the rest of their days. I would rather face terrible probabilities now, plan now, and act now as I am able, knowing my kids and their companions will someday understand I did the very best I could to ease their lot.**

When adults dismiss climate change or think “some brilliant someone else will fix it, so I don’t have to think about it,” that denial isn’t cost-free. It’s a cost deferred–to those, I’d wager, most of us least want to suffer the consequences of adults’ studied refusal to see.

* “Cui bono?” is one of the most illuminating questions you can ask yourself: “As always, the answer is in the question, ‘Cui bono?’ Who benefited from this, and is therefor likely responsible?”

** I’m not only concerned with the younger generations, to be clear. Already, there are countless evident climate migrants (aka “climate refugees”) displaced by climate change, with more lined up, figuratively, for hundreds to thousands of miles behind them.

 

 

 

Nine Octobers

Nine years ago in September, I told the guy I was dating that I wanted to break it off. He wasn’t serious enough.

Nine years ago in October, I told that same guy that being unserious with him was better than being serious without him. We got together to watch Quarantine, and resumed our occasional dating.

F201310_WedRob_130our years ago in October, I married that guy. He walked side by side with our little boy that day; I carried our second little boy inside me.

Four days ago, this October, I took a day off work to watch a horror movie with that guy. My husband. My Anthony.

We watched It. Both of us yelped at least twice. It reminded me of that day nine years ago, getting back together-ish with him over Quarantine.

October with Anthony, man.

I wouldn’t miss it.

Anthony hasn’t worked steadily in his chosen profession for a couple years. To him, on some level, this means he hasn’t really worked. Read more…

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