Why “icky” is a four-letter word

Originally published November 3, 2016

I was kind of struggling with what  I’d write about today, after a too-late night yesterday and a hard day at work. Then I got into a conversation with a friend about marine animals, and that led to me remembering this piece I originally wrote back in 2013 for a blog I never really used. At the time I was working with a wetlands conservation org in New Jersey, with part of my activities being in their aquarium. I’m not currently doing any work in a marine-education setting (though I hope I’ll get the chance to return to that), and my basic views on this remain the same. So I decided I’d polish up the language a little and finally share it as part of this project.

A lot of the education work I do is at touch tanks with children, and I love doing this. I love the opportunity to introduce them to animals and environments they might not have encountered before, to see a spark of interest as they learn something, and to share my passion for these things. I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to do this, and I’m always aware that there’s a responsibility inherent in being given the chance to provide education, even informally.

When I’m at a touch tank, I’m often introducing these kids to creatures they’ve never had exposure to before, creatures such as sea urchins, crabs, skates, and sea snails. These are all animals that have wildly different anatomy and biology than the kinds of animals they’re more likely to be familiar with, and can seem very strange when kids first touch them. It’s fairly common for kids, particularly very young ones, to react strongly to how alien these animals look or feel, and sometimes they—or the adults with them—will deem something about an animal “icky!”

My response is always to say, “No, not icky—it’s just unusual/weird/different. I don’t like to say the animals are icky.” I’m especially adamant about this with very young children, and with girls.

Words, especially descriptive words, have a lot of power. The descriptions we use can frame how we think about something for years to come. When we call an animal “icky,” we’re deeming it something negative: vile, off-putting, unpleasant, upsetting, something not to be touched or associated with, something to recoil from. And I don’t want kids associating these concepts with animals that are simply different  or unfamiliar to them.

Certainly, a lot of these creatures can seem very alien. The bodies of sea snails feel moist and squishy, and the way a gastropod’s foot moves isn’t like anything most people have experience with. Sea urchins have such distinctive anatomy that many people don’t even realize at first that they’re animals, rather than rocks or plants, and their upside-down (in comparison to humans) build is pretty much guaranteed to get some squeals from kids. (Want guaranteed reaction from a kid at an aquarium or tide pool? Tell ’em that sea urchins poop out the top.) Crabs have pincers that can be intimidating (even small ones that can’t really hurt a human) and mouthparts that are completely unlike anything a vertebrate animal has, along with multiple legs and a skittery way of moving. Skates have rough skin and a mucus coat, and the sensation of touching those can feel very odd. Even sea stars, which many children are enthusiastic about because of their shape, can be kind of wibbly-making with their tube feet and how they feed. It’s absolutely understandable that people, and kids in particular, might find all this weird. And I’m okay with “weird,” and “strange,” and “unusual” for animals that people don’t have a lot of experience with. Those words aren’t necessarily negative, and they’re an accurate reflection of how someone might regard an animal they aren’t familiar with.

But none of these animals are inherently icky—there’s nothing that makes them automatically vile or unpleasant. When kids hear an animal deemed “icky,” they start to associate that animal with negative things; they often won’t want to touch it or have any interest in it, and that association can spread to other animals and sometimes even to marine life in general. That makes it more likely that those kids will grow up having negative associations with ocean animals, and more likely that they will place less value on marine creatures and marine environments, because the only animals that live in the ocean are “icky,” right?

We can certainly make efforts to dispel these ideas with adults, and that’s part of the education work I do. Ultimately, though, I’d rather keep these ideas from taking root in someone’s mind in the first place. I’d like to help kids see that these marine creatures are not “icky” at all, but fascinating in their diversity and anatomy and biology. I’d much rather get them excited about these animals and enthusiastic about our oceans and looking after them. And thus, I will never call a marine creature “icky” or let it pass unremarked if someone else uses that term.

I also have a particular aversion to using the word “icky” with girls. There are a lot of things in this world that are more likely to be deemed “icky” for girls than for boys. This seems to particularly apply with animals that aren’t considered cute, fuzzy, cuddly balls of adorability, and with environments that involve dirt or mud. We have a lot of cultural constructs that say that it’s perfectly fine for boys to get messy when they do things, to play outside in the mud, and to be fascinated with critters that are slimy or scaly or weird, but that it’s “inappropriate” for girls to be interested in such things. Girls are supposed to be dainty and not muss their clothes and to be frightened or repulsed by animals that have spindly legs or pincers or scales or mucus. Girls aren’t supposed to do things that are “icky.”

But when we tell children this, when we set up this divide about what is and isn’t acceptable based on their gender, we limit them. When we tell girls they shouldn’t do things because they’re “icky,” we shut off avenues of interest. A girl who has been told that she shouldn’t play in the mud or sand because she’s a girl, that she shouldn’t touch animals that are slimy or scaly or weird because she’s a girl, is going to be less inclined to think of these activities in a positive way and to consider hobbies or careers that involve them. And therefore she’s going to be cut off from a huge number of opportunities to act on their interests and abilities. How many potential marine biologists or dive-tour guides or science educators were sent off in other directions because they were girls and were told marine environments and animals were “icky”? I hate to think about it.

By the same measure, when boys hear that girls aren’t supposed to play in the mud or like animals that are slimy or scaly or weird, they’re more likely to make fun of girls who do, which further reinforce those divides and the cultural constructs that limit girls and women. And when boys are told that they’re supposed to like those things, they’re more likely to feel that they’re odd and out of step if they don’t like them, and to fear that they’ll get made fun of by other kids (or even by adults) for not liking “boy” things. It’s not of any benefit to boys to reinforce this divide either.

So for me, avoiding calling anything “icky” is about removing negativity on multiple levels. It’s about normalizing these creatures with unfamiliar anatomy and biology so they’re not scary, and giving kids permission to be interested in them and interact with them—but it’s also about giving them permission to not interact with unfamiliar animals, to take time to learn more, and to not receive any shame or pressure for that reaction. Kids who are encouraged are more likely to be interested, and kids who aren’t pressured or shamed are more likely to give things another chance.

I hope every kid will find marine animals and environments as fascinating as I do. But I want that fascination to be organic, and I want it to not be shaped or tainted by stereotypes that divide their reactions by gender. For me, that’s part of the responsibility of being an interpreter and informal educator, and it’s part of what makes doing this work so rewarding.

Corvidae

Originally published summer 2003

In the evening, in summertime, just before sunset, the crows come in for the night.

They fly in over the lake.  Sometimes they come in a huge flock, hundreds of birds trailing in a black veil, and sometimes they come in waves, groups of ten, twenty, thirty birds every minute or so.  Single stragglers come in at the very end, a couple of minutes after the rest, like tardy students running to class.

They roost in the greenbelt on the on the other side of Aurora.  The first birds start at the north end, crossing over where the elder trees and English ivy have been allowed to run wild in someone’s yard.  As the trees fill up, the pattern shifts south, over the stairs, over the building due north of us, over our building.  The stragglers always come in over the building due south of us, without fail.

And as the crows head to the greenbelt on the other side of Aurora, their paths cross with flocks of smaller birds, the sparrows and finches, as they head southeast, to their own nighttime roosts–where, I don’t know, I just know they’re southeast of here.

Tonight, when I saw the first wave (tonight was a wave night), I went onto the balcony, and I watched them, watched the waves sweep in over the lake and to the north and over my head, till they were all in.  There appeared to be some cross-currents up where they were; several seemed to stop in the air, as if against a wall, for a second or so, beating their wings hard, until the air current shifted and they suddenly burst forward again.  The very last straggler had a great deal of trouble with the currents; I watched it come from high and east over the lake for a good minute or more, fighting the air the whole way.  And when it finally got the best of the currents, it went over the building to the south of us, without fail.

And now the sun is gone and the air is lavender, quickly going blue, and there is not a bird to be seen anywhere around.

Good night, friends.  I’m glad to share my city with you.

A dream in black & chrome

Originally published November 6, 2019

This piece discusses plot points of Mad Max: Fury Road. Assume spoilers.

When we found out that the Black & Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road would be playing at Cinerama, we immediately pounced on tickets. It was my favorite film of 2015, by a very wide margin, and the opportunity to see it on Seattle’s best screen, in a version that provides an alternate view of the filmmaker’s vision, was pretty much catnip.

The Black & Chrome edition, for those not obsessively paying attention to things relating to movies like I do, is the film in monochrome, and according to director George Miller, his preferred version. It’s a stark contrast to the original theatrical release, which contains intense, super-saturated colors, a deliberate decision on Miller’s part (since he wasn’t permitted to release a full B&W cut). And while I don’t know if I think Black & Chrome is the “true” version of Fury Road, it does create a profound extension of a movie that I already deeply love.

The first thing I noticed is that the removal of the color creates a diffused, dreamlike atmosphere–while the color version feels immediate, urgent, almost painfully hyper-real, this version feels like it takes place in a world outside of reality. There’s an idea in Mad Max fandom that within the world that exists in the Mad Max films, most of the stories of the films aren’t “true,” but are instead the equivalent of oral folklore: communities pass the tales of “Mad” Max among themselves, not as verifiable fact, but as tales of a mythic figure of their world. Black & Chrome makes this case very strongly, whether it means to or not; the effect isn’t so much distancing as one of being enfolded into a world that exists on a different plane, where dream dominates. Fury Road, perhaps more than any other Mad Max film, works very deliberately in the realm of myth and the power of received knowledge as compared to the solidity of fact (I remain somewhat in awe at how well the movie created its own internal mythology, as demonstrated by the beliefs of the War Boys). Creating this effect of dreaminess reinforces the sense of myth and a larger narrative.

The next thing that really drew my attention is the places where the monochrome improves the visuals. In the saturated-color version, the sandstorm is terrifying and thrilling, but in a way that feels like spectacle to be admired. In Black & Chrome, with everything in shades of gray, the sandstorm becomes visceral and immediate, with no way to tell where the storm ends and anything else begins–but at the same time, it’s stunningly beautiful, with the movement and the texture and the sparkle of the sand being highlighted more intensely; the flare drop at the end feels almost mystical. Max’s flashbacks also become more immediate, more contained within that sense of dreamtime, and therefore more effective. And I found I was better able to focus on the designs of the vehicles; with the distraction of color removed, the genius of the details and the solutions for functional concerns became much more obvious, and gave me even more admiration for both the film’s fabrication crews, and how the people of this world might have envisioned and created these vehicles.

The same effect comes through in many of the scenes focused on the characters. In the original release, I agreed with criticisms that the scene where the Wives are bathing ran uncomfortably close to objectification. In Black & Chrome, the intent becomes more clear: they’re simply women who have been in the hot, filthy cargo bin of a truck for hours who are washing away the dirt. Furiosa’s cautious glower through the grease on her face is more piercing, more foreboding; the moment where she learns of the loss of the Green Place and allows her grief full rein is made more powerful by the starkness and the lack of color. Angharad’s sacrifice, her willingness to put her body and her pregnancy between her compatriots and their tormentor, is somehow even more shocking and deeply felt, since our attention is on what happens and not on the whirl of color and motion surrounding it. And the faces of the older women–Miss Giddy and the Vuvalini–become more pronounced, where the light and shadow plays on the contours of their expressions and highlights the sense of experience they bring. 

And I found that, without the intense saturated color taking my attention, I thought more about the themes of the film, and about the way it communicates its ideas without needing to say them explicitly. With the play of color on their bodies removed, I found it more piercingly clear that the Wives aren’t willing participants in a polygamous marriage–they are sexual slaves, their role as “breeders” brutally forced on them, and reflected by the bleached, monochrome reality in which their existence is happening. The hauntedness behind Furiosa’s eyes–the sense of trauma and defiance that many survivors of sexual violence know as part of their reality–becomes a greater focus, and her rage more distilled and intense. And the lack of color punctuates the Vuvalini elegy for the Green Place; with no color, no way to imagine what it might look like, we feel the loss of it even more deeply.

Some things do work better in the color version. The lack of color lessens the impact of Max’s line about how his “world is blood and fire” in the prologue. We don’t get the illness of the War Boys as clearly when their ghostly white skin isn’t such a stark contrast to the colors around them. The moment where Immortan Joe runs through the greenhouse doesn’t have the same impact since we can’t see the contrast of the green against the stone and desert. Some of the spectacle and visual manipulation of the Citadel war party is lost without color–I admit, not seeing the Doof Warrior’s bright red union suit and the flame shooting from his guitar makes him less absurdly awesome. And the Dead Place sequence doesn’t really work in Black & Chrome; what makes it effective in the color version is the stark contrast of its darkness against the saturated colors. 

In the end, I think both versions complement each other. Either one would be a magnificent work of filmmaking, and and we’d be fortunate to have either version. But I’m grateful we have both, and to have had the chance to see both on the big screen. 

A practical guide for post-election anxiety

Originally published November 10, 2016

A group I hang out in online was having discussions this morning about how they’re dealing with the results of the U.S. Presidential election. There’s still a lot of grief and anger. There’s also a lot of people dealing with major anxiety for the first time and it’s causing them to spiral into obsessive worst-case worrying in a way that’s detrimental.

I am, as I’ve said before, an expert-level Anxious Person. Spiraling, obsessive thoughts, extrapolation of worst-case scenarios, and intrusive worrying have been unwanted companions since adolescence. (On election night I spent about five hours in a slo-mo panic attack; it only became inconvenient when the jackhammering of my heart meant I couldn’t sleep. That’s how familiar anxiety is for me.) I’ve expended a lot of energy arranging my life and behaviors to mitigate chronic anxiety. And that means that in the face of an event like this and the fear of the future that’s come with it, I actually have a set of tools that folks who haven’t spent so much of their lives anxious might not have. I told the people in my group that I would write this to help them, and I hope it can help others too.

I want to emphasize that this is not “don’t be scared or anxious” fatuous cheerleading. Being scared and anxious is absolutely understandable right now. No one is going to stop being scared or anxious because somebody else tells them to. One of the things dealing with chronic anxiety has taught me is that lack of control tends to make even very mild anxiety worse, and holy shit do we not have control over any of this. People have every reason to be scared and freaked out.

So taking control of what I can is how I help mitigate anxiety. The stuff below is a framework that can allow you to get a grip on the sources of anxiety and see what you can act on. It’s flexible and malleable so you can fit it to your needs. Using it consistently is how I’ve managed to stay functional more often than not, and I’m hopeful that it can help serve that purpose for others.

–Outline the things you’re anxious about. Anxiety is not reasonable. It’s a reaction to the perception of threat, and it can make you incapable of grasping exactly what has caused weasels to take over your brain. Creating a concrete accounting of it helps you see it all.

–Rank your concerns from most immediate/most likely/most practical to least. This will vary for everyone, but Maslow’s hierachy of needs can be a decent guideline. Right now, for a lot of people, the most likely are physical safety, finances, and medical care/insurance coverage. Nuclear war and complete societal collapse are not unreasonable fears at all, but they’re much further out on the scale of likelihood than things that impact your ability to live and survive day to day. Don’t make value judgments about your concerns, don’t get caught up in whether it’s “silly” to be scared about something; that’s a way to get yourself spiraling. Using criteria of immediacy/likelihood/practicality removes the value judgments and makes it easier to focus.

Note that this also includes care for mental health issues. If the election result has brought you to a place of crisis, of self-harm (including relapse of addiction or eating disorders) or suicide, that absolutely fits here and should be a priority, because it comes under safety. You deserve life and care and you deserve to get help. 

–Figure out plans for addressing the immediate/likely/practical concerns. This is where I was at on Tuesday night. My biggest immediate concerns are losing our income and our health insurance, so I was making lists of things we need to change about how we use our money, when/whether to look at new employment options, and setting aside things that carry too much financial risk. For others this might mean things such as self-defense classes or weapons training; getting medical procedures done before 1/20/2017; finding new sources of income or setting up new financial plans; sorting out new housing arrangements if where you are isn’t safe. Again, it’ll depend on everyone’s individual circumstances. But knowing that you can do things to address those immediate concerns can quiet the overwhelming anxiety.

–Look at what you can do for the longer-term concerns. A lot of this will be in the realm of preparatory stuff–you might not ever need it, but it’s good to have it if you do need it. Set up and organize all the legal documents you might need (and everyone should do this but it’s particularly important if you’re in a same-sex marriage, trans, or an immigrant). Get together all your medical documentation and outline what you’ll need for treatment/care for your medical conditions (including mental health). Organize emergency supplies, whether that’s a 3-day kit (recommended by most disaster planning agencies) or long-term “doomsday prepper” stocks against a possible extended calamity. Take steps to protect the security of your home, loved ones, and online activity. All of this is stuff that’s a good to do even if nothing dire is happening, but it can be particularly helpful when you’re in the throes of a specific anxiety.

–Volunteer or take civic action, if it’s within your capacity. Being directly involved in working on something that matters to you can be really helpful if you’re feeling scared or anxious about it, and volunteering has demonstrated benefits for the people who engage in it. Plus it can make a difference to the cause you invest your effort in, which can improve the circumstances that are making you anxious. Even if it’s something informal, such as providing escort for friends who might be at risk in the current climate or watching out for the safety of immigrant neighbors, giving your effort to help others will benefit both you and them.

–Giving money is always worthwhile (I say this as someone currently employed by a donation-driven non-profit), but it’s not always realistic. Give money if you can, if you want to, if it won’t disadvantage you to do so. Don’t fall into further anxiety if financial support of a cause isn’t feasible for you.

–Let yourself be joyful. It can be really, really easy to get trapped inside your fear and anxiety in a scary, uncertain time. You are allowed to have fun and be happy and do enjoyable things, and doing so will make you more effective when you have to deal with the hard stuff. Again, the specifics of this will vary for everyone depending on their circumstances. Whatever they are, they should be things that replenish you and don’t leave you feeling bad or regretful afterwards. 

Again, all of this is just a framework; it’s just tools. Everyone’s circumstances will vary, and not everything here will be practical or realistic for every person or situation. I know there’s no way at all that I can possibly have covered every circumstance (and that a lot of what I’ve said is definitely informed by my particular status and privilege). But I hope that putting the tools out there can be useful for at least a few people. I want you all to be as safe, secure, and happy as you can when we’re facing this looming horrorshow. I hope I can contribute a tiny bit to you achieving it.

When the streams cross

Originally posted November 21, 2016

I am a volunteer docent at a zoo.

I am also a long-time Doctor Who fan and I’ve helped a local PBS station with pledge drives for Classic Who for many years.

Today spouse and I were at the zoo presenting one of the programs we do as docents. We were chatting with the very last pair of visitors we planned to talk to before wrapping up our shift. I answered a question about snow leopard habitat. And suddenly one of the visitors said, “Aren’t you the one who does the Doctor Who pledge drives?”

It’s always kind of awkward when my disparate flavors of nerd-enthusiasm cross the streams.

(I acknowledged to him that I was indeed that person, and he said “I’ve been watching those shows for half my life.” I pushed past my reaction to the inadvertent commentary on my age and said I’m really glad I had been part of making that possible.) 

The long view

Originally published January 20, 2017

I was born the same year as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Voting Rights Act.

My childhood was Vietnam and Watergate, the Great Malaise and the Iran hostages and disco. It included two years spent in a majority-Muslim nation, which forever informed how I would view the world and meant I would always see shadings and subtleties in every political interaction and a profound skepticism of those who deal in demonizing and simplicities.

My adolescence was Reagan and Thatcher, the glittering false facade of grotesque wealth covering profound inequality, the sense of cruelty as a guiding force. It was the existential terror of nuclear armageddon. It was postpunk and androgyny and AIDS and the view of a world that was deeper and darker and beautiful and resistant and angry, pushing hard against the facade. It gave me a sense of where home might be for me, and what I wanted to value and cherish.

My first decade of adulthood was full of failure and missteps and figuring out who I wanted to become, even as my nation entered a period of prosperity and the fear of dying in a nuclear strike waned. I remember less about it than I should–not because of anything exciting or dramatic, but simply because I was not yet a person of full spine and spirit and I didn’t know what I was doing.

My second decade of adulthood was largely spent in the thrall of an abusive, gaslighting narcissist, who took the spine and spirit I had begun to find and pleasured himself with trying to crush and pulverize it out of me. It was also when the towers fell and our nation went with them into its own thrall of terror and endless war and the first stirrings of irreparable division and authoritarian control.

Then came the next decade, and I married a veteran of the endless war who will always bear scars from it, and rebuilt my spine and spirit even stronger than before, and learned my own foolishness and new wisdom, and watched my nation find hope and joy and love and acceptance, even as the division became ever more fraught and damaging. And I failed to listen closely enough to the noise it made, the evil hateful threatening rumble that ran underneath everything.

And then it was the night of November 8, 2016, and everything cracked and broke and the rumble was a full-throated roar crashing over everything I value.

And now it’s January 20, 2017, and there is a new President, and there is ground glass being slowly rubbed into my spirit so that the wounds will stay open and oozing for as long as this reality is in existence and I am already watching the world I value being sliced away in bloody skewed pieces and the fear is as overpowering as it ever was in the old days of nuclear peril.

I dyed my hair the color of deadly nightshade, and I wore blood-red lipstick and a skirt of repurposed fabrics in the tartans of my postpunk heritage and the homely knit of working clothes, and a pair of old stompy boots that are worn but still solid, and necklaces of various links with heart pendants for the love and the energy that must power me, and a jacket painted with wording from a film that had come to represent so much to me even before the election happened and now is a terrifying portent of what could well come.

image

Of course these things are just symbols, things to show, talismans of what I wish to be. They will not, in themselves, change anything. But like all talismans, they give me the sense of power, and the sense that I can go forward, and the image to others of what I am and what I value.

The Green Place is gone. There is nowhere for us to go back to, no space of bounty and safety and peace. We can only go through the disaster and fight together for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged and the world that we want to see instead of the one we have.

I will continue to work at my non-profit job, the honest, meaningful work that provides income and meaning and value. I will continue to volunteer and pursue my passion, connecting people with the wonder of nature and wildlife and the value of protecting it. I will continue to stand up and provide safety for those in my community who are at risk from the awful roar of hate. I will continue to speak and amplify and counter the distortion and re-shaping of reality, because I have been through it both personally and politically and I understand what it looks like. I will live my life as I can, but I will incorporate resistance and anger and every bit of skill I can bring to this fight into the life that I live, and I will learn new wisdom and try new things to the best of my ability. I am scared that I will be harmed or imprisoned and I am scared that I will fail. But I will still do it, because it must be done, and I will do it for as long as I can. I will build my spine and spirit even stronger.

I have watched a lot pass in the decades I have had so far, and I have learned so much from it. I have never seen what is happening now. Our country as it existed yesterday no longer exists, and this thing we call the United States of America is likely to end. And part of why I will fight is because I believe that those who fight will make something better, in a different shape, and I need to help us make that. And this might take the rest of my life, however long that ends up being; my remaining decades will be so very different from the ones that have already passed. But I will spend them fighting.

At one year without her

Originally published December 27, 2017

I forgot that today marked a year. I didn’t want to remember, because how in the fuck can it be that she’s gone.

I’ve grieved, in a very personal way, for other celebrities. There are still moments when my eyes fill with tears because Jim Henson is no longer here. Bowie’s death was a black hole at the core of the art and subcultures that made me, while Prince’s was a stunning slap to the face that still stings. But Carrie Fisher’s death still feels almost unbearably cruel, in a way that challenges my supposed agnosticism.

Of course Leia Organa matters enormously to me; I would not be who I am without the Star Wars universe and the saga of the Skywalkers, and Leia as a symbol of resistance against fascism is unbelievably powerful in the moment we face right now. But Carrie, with her stinging wit and her profound skill at the structure of writing and her anger and her penitence and her absolute ownership of all her flaws and failings and her refusal to accept any shit at all that anyone tried to dump on her, Carrie was who helped me find who I need to be. Losing Leia Organa is painful, but it could be borne. Not having Carrie Fisher is just such a burning, unfixable unfairness.

The moments with her I find myself thinking of most are in this video: Her, curled up in a chair next to Craig Ferguson, being hilarious and filthy and wry and shiningly herself. This interview (if you can even call it that) was a turning point for me; I was still struggling with my bigness and messiness and my writing, worrying that I didn’t have the ability to be elegant and demure and reserved in how I use words. This moment of television felt like permission to be myself, to use filthy language and be open and messy and as loud as I need to be, as long as I never let the work itself suffer. She didn’t do any of this with the intent of giving a messy middle-aged fan a lifeline to herself, and I know that. But I still hope I won’t let her down.

My spouse gave me two gifts of enormous import that represent how much Carrie Fisher mattered to my life. On the 21st, before we went to see The Last Jedi, he gave me this set of charms, from Optimystical Studios. I’m going to make a piece of jewelry with the women of the Rebellion/Resistance. The General Organa pendant I originally wanted was sold out, which was a keen disappointment; when spouse explained to Optimystical what he was trying to do for me, they made a new one especially for me.

image

And on Xmas morning, he gave me this print, by Lindsay Van Ekelenburg, and I ugly-cry every time I look at it. I’m still deciding where the right place is for it to hang, so that I can be inspired every day by that face and that middle finger.

image