Seven Year Itch

Approximately two months ago, I observed my 7 year anniversary of living and working in Olympia, Washington. One of my favorite current students, who had been taking my classes all year, brought in a celebratory cake after I made a quip about having the 7 year itch at the beginning of the summer session. Seven […]

smell the flowers

I love flowers. Thankfully, my house is surrounded by beautiful native and not-so native plants. I give you: Flowers of the ABC House. These flowers are such an intense red that my camera couldn’t handle it! And finally, my favorite: this is some sort of tropical voodoo lily variety (really- that’s what they’re called!) or […]


I’ve been living in a collective house for three years. Collective living is a difficult concept to fully understand; even if I were to explain it, it’s something that has to be participated in for a length of time to truly comprehend. It’s more than consensus-based decision making, it’s more than sharing household responsibilities, it’s […]

Rest in peace, pretty chicky.

Yesterday, one of the members of the Hard Luck Hen Collective left the ABC House for that big chicken coop in the sky. Nearly two years old, we believe Carmelita passed of natural causes. One of my housemates buried her in the backyard this morning. I couldn’t even watch. She was an Aracauna; she had […]

The Music Tapes

The Music Tapes, of Elephant 6 Collective fame, played a secret show in our basement a week ago. Julian Koster, a former member of Neutral Milk Hotel, sang the sweetest songs, played games with the audience and told magical stories for over two hours. The most touching moment of the night involved a game Koster […]

keeper of the underworld

The keeper of the underworld, of secret knowledge and mysticism (and my personal totem animal), recently made a surprise visit in the driveway after dark, just as the house was preparing for a celebratory autumn equinox party.  The barred owl had killed one of the roof rats that have been plaguing our house this season […]

closed doors

As I contemplate living in Washington another year, my sixth, I can’t help but think about ideas of history and place. The house I currently live in was constructed in 1908. Throughout the 1920s and into the early 60s, it served as a dormitory for Catholic nuns trained as nurses who tended the sick and […]