City People

We’re living in a city during a pandemic.  You live in the city for the culture. The people, the arts, the food, the sights, the energy.  So when those things all stop, what do you do?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Hearing stories of folks leaving cities en masse, yet I still feel... Continue Reading →

The Last Party

On February 29, 2020, Pete and I threw a party. We drank pints with dozens of our friends all night at Dovetail Brewery. After closing, we filled our home with friends till it was late: sitting with drinks on the floor, playing card games next to folks on the sofa, making cocktails in the kitchen. ... Continue Reading →

Amid the Horrors

The derecho hit on a Monday afternoon. I didn’t know what a “derecho” was, aside from human rights in Spanish, until suddenly I did. A hundreds-of-miles-long storm of hurricane winds tearing across the midwestern plains. Here: two hours of darkness, and winds, and rain, and trees falling across the city, onto cars and houses, blocking... Continue Reading →

Naming with Respect

In the course of a conversation recently, I told someone that I’d changed my name when I got married, a person who has only ever known me as Jamie Waters. I was totally taken aback by their reaction. I didn’t write down what he said (because it would have been rude), but here is the... Continue Reading →

A Labyrinth of Immigration

Many people, including me (though I have fewer now I hope), have misconceptions about American Immigration. They might assume that it is quite easy to get American citizenship, or that once you marry an American you are a citizen. People conflate Green Cards (legal residency) with citizenship. Perhaps they assume there is a streamlined system.... Continue Reading →

Short reflections on a year of activism

About a year ago, I started training to become a volunteer advocate with Rape Victim Advocates—a rape crisis center in Chicago. Today, after being on-call all night for RVA after well over 300 hours of on-call nights, training courses, and volunteer organization with them, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve done in the past year... Continue Reading →

Rest

As an athlete, I’ve always known that rest days were important. You need to build recovery days into your routine, so you don’t literally injure yourself. And obviously, you also take days off from work. But what about the rest of my life? Do you need rest days from socializing? From creativity? From cooking? From... Continue Reading →

Returning to Minnesota

Last weekend I visited Minneapolis to see a friend who'd moved there last spring (using the Medtronic 10 Miler race as an excuse to travel). I was born there, but it was my first time back (in my memory) since my parents moved us away from the Twin Cities to Austin, Texas when I was... Continue Reading →

Queues

Lining up, waiting in line, queuing, is vastly different across the globe. The most extreme form of orderly queuing in my personal experience is in Hong Kong. If there is a line, many people will join it just because they assume they should be in the line. At bus stops and taxi stands, there is... Continue Reading →

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