Alone for the Holidays

Americans plan Thanksgiving gatherings despite health official warnings (NBC via Yahoo! News) One of the smaller details I remember from the day Mom passed away is that I’d actually bought a ticket to a Halloween party that one of my friends was putting on that evening. I’d had misgivings about that party before I’d even bought a ticket, even though I was sure that if Mom had been able to articulate anything at that point, she would have encouraged me to go. I’d basically gone…

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“Life” Goes On

[The following blog contains mentions of suicide.] I woke up four years ago today with a sense of dread, having gone to bed the previous night before any formal announcements had been made about the election, but knowing by that point what kind of news I was likely to wake up to. (Given that I’d had two Red Bulls the day before, my tiredness might have been my body engaging in an unconscious act of self-preservation.) Mom had passed away a week and a half…

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What We Leave Behind

When Bodies of Words: Stories on Skin came out last year, I finally had a chance to tell the world about the story behind the Jane Austen-inspired “Bad Girl” tattoo I got on my right arm back in July of 2017. Granted, most of that story was promoted in an Instagram image from the publisher that came out before the book’s release (which is still the most-liked image on that Instagram account, possibly the closest I’ve ever come to winning a popularity contest in my…

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Worn Out

Racial Battle Fatigue: What is it and What are the Symptoms? (medium.com) The infamous George Carlin routine about “soft language,” particularly his explanation of how the condition first called shell shock has come to be known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, has more than its fair share of merits. Its strongest point is that medical language, like other specialized language used in small circles of the broader public, tends to obfuscate and depersonalize the serious problems that the words represent. Shell shock may have an additional…

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It’s Here

Almost all of Wisconsin is classified as a COVID ‘hot spot’ (Yahoo! News) Between the time I made the final edits to last Monday’s blog, and when I posted it early that afternoon, I received word that our campus had just confirmed its first positive COVID-19 test, and that the employee who had tested positive was self-isolating at home as a result. I thought about adding that information to my blog, but decided against doing so since it didn’t feel particularly germane to the issues…

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