she’s got me: ten for today

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I don’t like my beer with a melon-flavored after taste. I should have driven past the turn-in to my tract, straight down a half mile to my usual watering hole and gotten a right-hoppy Stone IPA with an order of stinky fries and be done with it. Instead, I made that left turn, thinking I’d just go home and enjoy a cold one at home.

But the fridge had one whole beer left, a craft something or other with a fancy label and cursive writing, all in browns and mint greens. Lovely can, but the melon after -taste…meh.

New adventures. Plenty on the horizon what with a new business and an upcoming steady writing gig that actually sorta kinda pays decent money. Not that my pay is anyone’s fault but my own. I’m learning and growing in the trade while collecting some coin on the way. It’s a journey I’m strolling through.

And the dog? The Husky pup? Well, I thought after the 20th time of her escaping and the 20th hole she dug in my tomatoes (leaving the half-chewed Romas to rot in the dirt as a testimony to her dominance and betrayal) good riddance. I’m not playing go fetch her ass from the neighbor’s yard or the playground around the corner anymore.

But here it is, not even a day that she’s been gone at the vet’s for her, you know, obligatory non-contribution to the population of unwanted animals, and…I miss her. She’s my constant companion at my feet as I write or in and out of my door when I’m trying to clean or biting my hair and mat when I try to do yoga.

She’s a presence, a dufus in the doorway, a gazelle chasing the crows down the field past the monkey bars, and a dragger of filthy, smelly, ripped-up tennis shoes into my bed.  She’s got me.

Puppies, Language and Gender: Ten for Today


September 14, 2016
 
Between classes in the adjunct faculty lounge, I researched a little for those 600-word blog posts due in a couple days and then decided to lie a bit on the couch before my class in an hour. Teaching a two-hour afternoon class and a four-hour night class, Wednesdays are double espresso shots over ice with soy milk days. It’s just too long. And with the sleepless night discovering that 5-week old Husky puppies howl like wolves when they’re small, scared and lonely at night, I almost went for a third shot. That might have made me jump up and down in class, scaring students.
 
The lounge/work station/office is usually empty when I enter with maybe one or two other adjuncts tapping keys or eating lunch. Today there were two, then just me for a stretch, until five minutes ago when the mom-toned, 50-ish, Spanish teacher came in with the young Vietnamese student. She encourages the young man with the thick Vietnamese accent in her thick Spanish accent. She is gentle. He is intent, trying to understand nuance, detail and idiosyncrasy of the language. He frets over Spanish gender words.
 
For good reason. Gender confuses me too these days. I agree with Judith Butler and many who followed after her: gender stretches out over the arced spectrum of identity, biology and psyche. Binaries are a relic from a bygone era. But the English language hasn’t caught up to reality, how people live. It lags. Pronouns shift; grammar is slow to follow. The plural “they” is now more apt a singular designation for the individual, neuter, than a plural. 
But aren’t we all a plurality of identities? Ethnicity, nationality, biology, anatomy, culture, class, IQ, ideology, lifestyle, and a myriad of other particulars–including gender? Tracking gender in language, on government forms and in questionnaires is obsolete.