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Mike's Thoughts

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Fall 2016 [Nov. 30th, 2016|10:14 pm]
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Too much work. Not enough words. Some pictures.
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On Giving Up Hope [Nov. 9th, 2016|10:47 pm]


trigger warnings: emotions, potentially problematic assigning of significance to dreams, furiously unapologetic boners for substantive intersectional equality

Watching Samantha Bee's characteristically superb "Let Hillary Be Hillary" was the last thing I did before bed last night. It left me with an optimistic outlook on a socially progressive future. I went to sleep just as the polls were opening in America, and looked forward to following the results the next morning from Japan. I very rarely remember my dreams, but I do remember this night’s quite vividly. I was in a movie theater sitting next to Hillary. She was wearing a fierce purple pant suit (padded for the gods*¹) and oversized leopard print scarf. We hadn’t come together, but we introduced ourselves and chatted until the movie started and then focused silently on the screen. I don’t remember what the movie was about. It might have been two hours of white noise; this was a dream after all. I like to think that it was a semi-autobiographical story by a writer-director from a different part of society who challenged us to consider familiar issues in new ways from alternate perspectives. It also might have been Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams. When the movie ended, Hillary seemed busy getting ready for a press conference from her chair, so I started off alone. She noticed me leaving and called me over for a quick hug and kiss on my forehead. I woke up relatively energized for a Wednesday morning, and made my way to school/work for class second period. Today I’d be introducing a speaking test, a culmination of our unit on the preservation of endangered languages. The kids wouldn’t be happy, but teenage groans are easy to withstand when the future seems so full of hope.

As the day went on and the results came in, the clouds in our office became darker and darker. Teachers and students all followed together in disbelief. Graduates visited from the university to spend a few jaded minutes with their high school teachers. In the afternoon I had to speak in Japanese to 250 sophomores about their junior year elective classes. Usually I feel nervous in such situations, but this time nerves were beat out by desperation. What good are two weekly hours of basic Spanish in a world so motivated by fear? The negative feelings culminated in the middle of a faculty meeting when the winner was announced. I needed to escape tonight, and vacillated between a bottle of wine and a run. I’m glad I chose to run. 60 minutes on the treadmill gave me a chance to organize my thoughts, and now I’m putting them to digital paper before my next, regrettably less optimistic sleep.

Horror and despair are natural first reactions to a tragedy of this scope, but we can’t let them last. Too many people are too vulnerable to resign our country to a Republican run triple branch death combo. As Americans, we have to step our collective pussy up by calling out hateful behavior for what it is. We have to step our pussy up so high that it can’t be grabbed by deplorables from their wretched basket. We have to step our pussy up so high that when the pendulum swings back in 2, 4, 6, 8 years, it gathers enough momentum to break the glass ceiling once and for all, showering jagged shards on politics driven by fear and ignorance. I’m sorry for not providing more specific examples of how our pussy might be stepped up. I'm not the best person to do so anyway, and honestly, I'm not even sure where to begin. I'm just sure that we will. We have to.

*¹trust and believe, mawma!
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Summer 2016 [Aug. 31st, 2016|06:33 pm]
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This has been a full and fulfiling summer of meetings with old friends, the arts and outdoor activities. As usual, I disproportionately photographed the outdoor stuff.
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All Runs (July 2016) [Jul. 30th, 2016|08:09 am]
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I like this map more than cheese, and I really really really like cheese.
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Miyagi Run: Soft Cream (and other creams) [Jul. 29th, 2016|08:01 am]
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soba, zunda parfait
black bean ice cream, hazelnut chocolate/baseball nuts yukidaruma

I don't know how I only managed to have one proper soft cream cone on this trip! I'll do my best in the rest of the summer to compensate for this egregious error.
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