Remodel the kitchen or embrace what you have with gratitude and work for social justice instead? The choice should be easy, but it’s not. I admire the man in this article and his family so much, especially now that I pay two mortgages and consider daily how to remodel this new home in the Northwoods. Maybe I should buy a hammer instead of surf Apartmentherapy. How to use that hammer without succumbing to DIY culture is a whole different question, though.  

Give me gratitude or give me debt:

It’s times like these you learn to live again. I  decided to go to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico because I happened upon a table of trinkets, tchotchkes, and San Miguel folk art at the French Market in New Orleans, and fell instantly in love with the colorful merchandise. Since then, I’ve dreamed of visiting because I knew I would find my destiny there. I pictured San Miguel as the “Greenwich Village of Mexico.” It’s an apt name. It was the perfect place to reflect upon the next step of life. That step is not necessarily about a career path or a geographical relocation, butRead More →

… so slip inside this funky house. It is a fact of age that home has replaced voice as the central metaphor for my life. Lately my blog has added home as a new theme to my various motifs. “The home” has always been in my thinking and writing, but it’s surfacing differently these days. This is a year of symmetry and reckoning for me. I reckon fifty years of life, twenty five of them sober, one of them divorced. I lived in my house just a year, now, with it as mine alone. Poverty forced me into transience, from place to place for thirtyRead More →

Many years ago my ex-husband made the quirky observation: “You are like a mother alligator.” Mother alligators, like all mothers, are highly attuned to their young. Upon hearing any sound of distress, and the baby alligator has quite a distinctive voice, the mother will defy all belief regarding speed and agility by launching itself to defend its offspring. In the dark of night, when either the kid or the cat would make the slightest disconcerting noise, I would bolt out of bed regardless of how deeply I was sleeping. comfortably I was lazing during the daytime. Last night, I heard a strange gulping, whiny,Read More →

As a nation, we are ontologically insecure, yet we define ourselves as exceptional. We are ontologically homeless in a state of exception. Political theorists and pundits talk about American exceptionalism as a global stance, as a doctrinal extension of our manifest destiny. In the American Monomyth, Jewett and Lawrence elaborate on this bedrock of our national imagination. We conceive ourselves as superheroes rescuing the world. The problem is that at the end of the story, closure is attained when paradise is restored, and the hero fades into the background. American exceptionalism inherently prevents this closure. We believe we are all special snowflakes, and hence weRead More →

Smart phones have changed the easy e do business, to putt it mildly. i Swype with my druid and voice text orvoice tore sulk the tinge. Come again? Smart phones have changed the way we do business, to state the obvious. I use the Swype keyboard app or the voice feature on my Droid (not druid, though it is a druidic phone, in my opinion), so I’m forever making gross errors. I typically use the voice feature while driving – friends don’t let friends text and drive – so correcting errors is rarely an option. Worse still, voice texting ignores vocal inflection, so my textsRead More →

It is news to no one that our homes, like our bodies, can be metaphors for our psyches. My deep need to keep and remodel my home after my divorce came from having been dis-lodged so many times  in my life. I counted my moves and I have averaged once per 16 months until I moved into my current residence, where I dwell. The Occupy Movement coincided with my divorce. At the time, I began to ponder the concept of ontological homelessness and how our country’s housing crisis has caused a literal and figurative state of homelessness which has deep implications for our cultural psyche.Read More →

Usually, when I pass the self-storage places in the strip malls as I drive to work, I ignore them. They are part of the mundane aspects of daily life that blend in with the roadside trivia like payday loan shops Payless shoes, the Mall, and Office Depot, McDonalds, the gas station. None of these things stand out until I need them or they disrupt me. Selective perception, and all. Lately, I’ve observed the large amount of self-storage places. I started tracking them during a trip to New York City, where they seemed out of place because the city has no strip malls. Since space isRead More →