Where is the Outrage?

Christmas in New Haven, CT was around 58 degrees this year, which is about 30 degrees higher than normal. This past Monday, February 1 was 60 degrees, which is about 40 degrees higher than normal. Can you say anthropogenic climate change?

At the grocery store, I keep hearing people being happy about this “nice” (unseasonable), “beautiful” (unreasonable) weather. Here is the thing people: I know, I really do know, that last winter’s 9 feet of f#$%ing snow was traumatic. I remember taking 2 hours to do a 30-minute commute via the MBTA. I remember climbing mountains of snow to get from the sidewalk to the street and then, on the other side of the street, having to do it all over again.


I remember this very clearly. Like you, I still have flashbacks.

But tell me, when it is July, which is usually in the mid-80s or August, which is usually in the mid-90s, if we have 110, 120, or 130 degree weather, are you going to call it nice?

Somehow I doubt it.

The Butterfly of Regret


According to Wikipedia, “Chaos theory is the field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions—a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.[1]” So if a butterfly flaps her wings in Singapore today, Boston gets a hurricane a few days later. Or something like that.

I think of this today in part because the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) had not one but two or three Total Screw Ups (TFUs) yesterday, causing several of my colleagues AND several of our clients to be stuck underground in Central Square Cambridge yesterday for a Very Long Time Indeed in the morning and even more hilarity in the afternoon, both times when the humidity content of the air was about 200%, i.e., it was pouring rain like the ocean was coming at us sideways. And, yes, I got drenched both times, thank you very much. I can’t wait to see how the MBTA is going to handle winter, as the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a winter as bad as this past year’s or worse.

So, in the interest of keeping my part of next winter relatively less stressful, I just went with my colleague Bob to get my flu shot at MIT Medical’s impressively organized Flushottapalooza (my term, not theirs). The longest part of the process was finding a pen to fill out the form. Everything else went swimmingly, which is surprising because a) I am used to things run by the MBTA and b) there was absolutely no ocean water in the building.

I know. Right?


“Chaos Theory.” Wikipedia. 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.

Post-Modern Quilting Zeitgeist


My roommate, Jack, is, among other things, a filmmaker. So far he has made at least three short films in the apartment, which generally means that all the furniture that was in one room ends up in another for about three days. And the cat is intrigued. When he is not making films here, he is usually making films elsewhere as he and his peers all serve on each other’s films in different capacities. Aside from being a fascinating study in collaboration, this situation means that my cat frequently gets to take over his room when he is not around, and Musashi is very much for that.

When he is around, Jack tends to start conversations about writing that last for a couple of hours, usually starting with the words, “So, do you think…?” Last night, when I came home very late (thank you, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, for failing us yet again!) after a lovely dinner of Chinese food with my poetry midwife Pamela (the one I can always count on to tell me whether the ending of a poem sucks; apparently the ones I showed her yesterday do not; Huzzah!), I found Jack actually cutting up VEGETABLES for his dinner.

In my sheer amazement at this, I got into a conversation with him that lasted two hours, largely about Post-Modernism and the death of opportunity for artists to make anything new, since we are all just rehashing what has been done before. Part of this is in regard to an ongoing conversation about my rewriting the Xena narrative, which I would argue is, yes, rehashing, but rehashing to change the world, or at least myself, which is the only way we ever start changing the world, after all.

We were discussing, among many other things, the coming reboot of the X-Files with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, the coming Batman vs. Superman movie (link to the retro trailer) and other rehashings of popular culture, and he was bemoaning (no, really, he was: and how often do I get to use that word?) the state of our culture and how if we only redo what we did we will not have the time, money or energy to do new things.

He is not wrong, but I do argue that this is, if you will, not the whole story.

He described how he sees humans, with our technology that allows us to see millions of miles into space, fly at hundreds of miles per hour, and delve deep into the Earth, as godlike. But it is, as one of his friends phrased it, a prosthetic divinity. We can only do these godlike things with our fancy tools. And with those tools we can do great good or great destruction.

“Yes,” I said. “And that is the story of Ironman.”

Eventually, we agreed that archetypal stories have their place in human meaningmaking and identity production, and that as artists we can only be very intentional in what stories we tell and what stories we consume (read, watch, try to live into…).