notes from the year.
cool things i did this year include launch my own personal website, give an hour-long keynote address at a big statewide conference telling all these old white trail planners to give a shit about planning for people of color, concluded my tenure with Oregon Walks by coordinating a membership event with a screening of a Jane Jacobs documentary on Jane Jacobs (and a panel of badass women to speak about it afterwards!), conducted a three hour biographical interview with my grandmother, climbed a volcano with some friends and peered into the caldera, took a boozy bus up to seattle to watch Diego Valeri score on our archrivals as part of his record breaking MVP season, ate forty tacos during an extended weekend in Mexico for Sara and Dan’s wedding, held a Steptember walk to City Hall and delivered a benevolently antagonist letter with over 400 signatures saying that maybe a half billion dollar freeway expansion is a very bad use of public money, cultivated a love of film by making an honest push to go see more movies at Cinema 21 and the Hollywood Theater, sat in on local community radio a half dozen times to promote various causes, took my parents to their first door knocking canvass, got to design my own political campaign button prominently featuring emoji on it (because why not?), held a party in which we carved nearly 25 pumpkins (Dan Miller’s “fuck trump” pumpkin won best in show), rode bikeshare and found cheap eats around Philadelphia and Oakland, rode bikeshare across town in that epic winter storm here in town, rode my own bike across the San Juan Islands, to the Oregon Coast, Pickathon, and on numerous pedalpalooza rides (rooftop ride and photobooth ride were two particular favorites, and taking a huge crowd of first-timers to WNBR was memorable) and at Timur/Althea’s wedding in Portland, fixed up my old camera and got back into shooting film, acquired an automobile, gradually made slow but measurable progress to tame chronic anxiety and ADHD with therapy and meds, burrowed in an igloo we found while snowshoeing around Mt Hood, watched Jeremy Ebobisse’s first goal at that Vancouver Away match, designed some dopeass soccer kits for Vision Zero FC, watched Steve Bozzone win a well earned Weston award, screeched watching the lasik surgery folks cut Suzy’s eyes open, screamed obscenities at the Women’s March, at a snowy protest to protect Health Care, in solidarity at the May Day Protest at the Capitol, OPAL’s Climate Justice March and when that dickhead Jeff Sessions came to town, ran the eighth iteration of deathbyburnside and, oh yeah, hustled my ass off for a few blustery months to win the largest bond in state history so that Portland Public Schools didn’t have lead in their drinking water (and got Aminé to endorse it!). My favorite movies were I Am Not Your Negro, Brigsby Bear, The Big Sick, Obit, and Lady Bird; favorite live shows were John K Samson at the Doug Fir, Jalen N’Gonda, Lucy Dacus, and Charles Bradley at Pickathon.
The coolest thing of all, of course, was the eclipse, spent with my father and suzy camping in tiny Spray Oregon. that 90 seconds in which the world went dark and we listened to murmuring cows expressing skepticism about the astrological phenomena felt so discordant from the rest of the year; I think its because the precise synchronicity of the stars brought a bunch of people from across the state together to stare at the sky, together, and eat at the local Grange, and it felt so bizarrely out-of-tune with an otherwise terrible year of ugly populism, transgressions against the very values that I love and cherish about my community and my country.
As always, thanks to all the friends and family that rode bikes, played soccer, watched soccer, knocked on doors, wore buttons with me, and found ways to channel their fury at all of the repugnantly racist, sexist, classist, disgusting drivel that permeated this year into productive action to build better relationships with their families, communities, neighborhoods. We’re only going to need more of that energy in 2018; raise a glass to auld lang syne and let’s get ready to do it again next year. And if auld lang syne ain’t your jam, I’ve got just the song for you.