Dispatches Vol 1, 04/17/24

Welcome to the first edition of what I’m provisionally calling Dispatches. More specifically, Dispatches Vol 1. When will it be posted? None shall know the hour (probably fortnightly, possibly monthly). What will it contain? Updates, offers, cool things I’ve found on and offline. Why are you reading this? Well, you clicked on it, friend; you tell me. No but seriously, it’s so hard to reach even my closest followers anymore. Every platform is slowly being enshittified (actively made worse both for the people who use and the people who make the product for no reason other than Line Go Up), and I want a way to connect with people again.

I had thought to have this as a newsletter but if I’m honest? I don’t actually want to do a newsletter. Blogs are easier. They’re more accessible to more people. I miss blogs. Remember blogging? Where we could just write about stuff? And the people we wanted to read it would do so, and new people would find us, and we’d make new friends reading each other’s stuff? Those were the daaaaaaaays~

To give myself some structure, I’ll talk some about what I’ve been doing, important updates with News You Can Use, and three things that have caught my fancy: in my ears (music and podcasts), on my screen (things I’ve watched), and in my hands (things I’ve read). All these things are subject to change as we go, of course. But let’s give this the old college try.

Spring Is Here And So Are Changes

Film capture from a recent cherry blossom session

Children of the Sun: we got ’em. We’ve won. Triumphed. Emerged victorious. Winter has passed and the sun is returning to us, bringing with it our souls back to our bodies.

Spring also means we can get back outside for photos and not freeze! Pictured above is a recent film capture from a cherry blossom session. I put out a model call and picked a few families to join me for both wildflower and snow sessions. Well, if you’ve been in Washington this year, you’ve probably noticed the lack of snow. So we had to pivot. And I got one last cherry blossom session for the year. I also used the session as a chance to experiment with my Zenit 3M camera. It’s a beautiful old Soviet camera. I love it but it’s not exactly Ol’ Reliable. But that’s part of the fun: it’s imperfect, it’s a challenge, just like everything else in this life.

I’m currently winding down my Seattle chapter with some bucket list locations. Next up: The Gorge.

I’ll be back for sessions throughout the year, but if you want to get in on one with me this spring, now is the time to book. I’m cutting off sessions from mid-May through mid-June to focus on moving.

In My Ears: Hand in the Dirt

A gardening podcast about football — and really, a lifestyle podcast. Part of what could be called the Shutdown Fullcast extended universe, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Three dudes, all connected to college sports, talk about their lives. Gardening, raising kids, work — you name it.

It’s probably the most Dudes Rock podcast on the planet. As spring goes on and I spend more time both in my kitchen and outside, I like to have Hand in the Dirt in my ears. It’s a comfort podcast, really. The episodes are long (a recurring bit you will discover is Felder saying “just a couple voicemails and then we’re out of here” and there’s still 45 minutes left). But they never feel boring. It’s like sitting around and hearing your dad buddies just chatting away. It’s sort of slept on but it’s a gem.

On My Screen: “Bluey: The Sign”

If you’ve been following me at all, you’ve probably seen that we’re moving back to Montana. I haven’t expounded much on why, but suffice it to say that it’s a lot of everything. It’s little things, it’s big things. It’s current things, it’s future things. More than anything, it’s a quality of life decision.

For lots of reasons, my mom decided to uproot us and move from our family in Southern California to Laramie, Wyoming, when I was about 7 years old. It was a huge change. And it set off a series of moves back and forth across the country that were all Big Changes. That’s sort of where the “voyager” part of my business name comes from; my aunt once joked that my mom turned me into a nomad (she wasn’t wrong).

For us, it’s about priorities. Where are we focusing our time? Where is all our money going? Are we where we want to be? What matters to us and why? And that’s why “Bluey: The Sign” absolutely wrecked our entire family this week.

If you’ve been online at any point in the past three years, especially if you have small children or hang with the under-7 set, you’ve heard of “Bluey”. It’s a slice-of-life cartoon about anthropomorphic dogs in Brisbane, Australia. The kids get up to crazy, imaginative adventures, the parents are the sometimes unwilling participants. By the end, everyone learns a lot about living and a little about love.

courtesy of disney+

“The Sign” is a quadruple-length, Very Special “Bluey” episode about moving house and changing cities. It’s about why we make those choices and how we think about our priorities. In the first five minutes, Bandit (the dad), tells a very upset Bluey that it’s about trying to give the kids a better life. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say it’s worth a watch. My mom moved us around to try and give me a better life. We’re moving home to give our kids a better life.

There’s a line in “A Hero’s Death” by Fontaines DC that says “and if you find yourself in the family way, give the kid more than what you got in your day.” And it’s stuck with me. Especially as we think about how our priorities have changed over the years. How, the older our kids get, the more we’ve had to rethink them. And that’s the ultimate message of “The Sign”: what are your priorities and why are you making the choices you’re making?

In My Hands: “Palo Alto” by Malcom Harris

Here’s the thing: I read mostly nonfiction. Maybe it’s the years I spent in undergrad and grad reading huge books with no time for fiction. Maybe I’m just a big nerd. I did go to grad school, after all.

I saw this book pop up in new releases at a local bookshop and it immediately piqued my interest. It’s a history of capitalism told through the history of California. Specifically, told through the history of Palo Alto, from its founding to today.

Everything in this world is made up. We make the rules. And nowhere is that more apparent in the settling of California, the changing rules and shifting racial boundaries (but always to benefit white people, and white men in particular). California capitalism is exported around the globe, and — surprise! — it all ends badly.

Books like this could easily be boring. I have read many an economic history that bored me to tears, literally. But this is genuinely engaging and illuminating.

Also helps that I finally bought an e-reader, specifically a Kobo Libra 2. I’ve been doing e-books almost exclusively since having kids. Sitting with them while they calm down to sleep at bedtime is lovely, but sometimes it can take hours! And that gets boring! Shoutout to e-books.

And there you have it. Dispatches Vol 1 is at an end. I hope this format is enjoyable for you. It’s nice to just sit and essentially shoot the shit about whatever crosses my mind or strikes my fancy.

Until next time!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *