Time flies these days. All is well in SOS-land, generally speaking. Still writing, photographing, & editing for the alumni magazine. The edition that was just printed is by far my favorite. Every section looked just like I envisioned, and I’ve received numerous compliments on the changes I’ve made, which is great. It helps to work with a designer who is flexible and willing to implement my vision. It also helps that I have a visual communications background, so the designer and I can speak the same language when planning the magazine layout.
I’m still teaching and enjoying it more than I would have imagined. This semester I’m teaching only one class that meets once a week for four hours in the evening. They are a fun bunch, and we have a good time talking about writing and essays. I’m also taking my first computer class toward a web-authoring certificate. It’s quite nice to sit in a room surrounded by 27-inch iMacs. It makes me covet a new mac.
I’ve been meeting with some friends every weekend to discuss politics over chai tea lattes. To be honest, it’s me and RD that do most of the talking, but his wife (and my good friend) comes along, too. She’s not so interested in politics, though, but she hangs out with us. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 other people who join us, but RD and I are there on a regular basis. We come from two differing political ideologies, so we spend several hours going back and forth on various topics. I’ve never been able to have such enjoyable conversations about politics with someone who comes from a different political perspective. We’ve decided that we agree on 98% of issues, but our disagreements begin when discussing how to address those issues. It’s fun and it pushes me to keep up with the day’s political news.
When I need a break from reading/writing/editing/photographing, I watch an episode of Weeds. I am quite hooked on the show, and find myself pondering the larger, philosophical implications of the storyline. In the four seasons I’ve watched, the storyline has moved from this notion of a young widow (Nancy) living in an expensive California subdivision, and trying to maintain her and her family’s quality of life by becoming the local pot dealer to the rich folks, to her having a baby by a leading Mexican politician who is also the backer of the Mexican mafia. Of course, many other things have happened to get her from there to here, but the one thing I keep returning to is how Nancy described pot dealing to her son as a “victimless crime.” However, there is a trail of blood leading right to her door because of the decisions she has made, and the people she became involved with. She keeps trying to limit her role in the drug endeavor to marijuana dealing only. However, once she starts working with gangsters who pay her to carry marijuana across the border, she suddenly finds herself also having to deal with gun smuggling, heroin smuggling, human trafficking…really dark stuff. The storyline makes me think about the decisions we make, and how we indirectly affect others. She tries to think she’s not hurting anyone with her participation in selling/smuggling marijuana on behalf of various charismatic thugs, but that means she has to turn a blind eye to everything else the thugs do. Eventually, she makes a decision to turn against some of them, which sets off its own chain reaction leading to the torture and deaths of other characters. I initially thought I liked the main character when I first started watching the show. As the storyline has progressed, I’ve decided she’s completely reckless, delusional, and self-involved (although I think she would describe herself this way). So, as you can see, I’ve been giving this character some thought. It’s a fascinating show to watch. Netflix has it on demand.
On a completely different note, my dear friend M’s dog died on Friday. He was a Great Dane and incredibly cool. He was 11, which is very old for giant breeds, and he had a good life with M, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I went on a walk with them a few weeks ago and took my camera with me. I took this picture of him in the snow. I’ve already made a print of it for her.