Saturday, August 24, 2019

Lawnmower: A Review

I wrote this review over on Amazon- however, I would not be surprised if it is not approved. Either way, I am memorializing it here. 

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good lawn must be in want of a large, expensive, and loud gasoline powered mower- or at least, that is the assumption in my very red-state neighborhood. Neighbors, family members, and complete strangers have voiced their opinion on how I choose to maintain my own yard, never mind their consistent values of self-determination. They seem to consistently judge me as equally liberal or foolish. Of course, this has more to do with my gender and location, than it ever had to do with the utility of my mower.

I have maintained my yard independently with this mower for the entirety of the spring and summer in northeastern Arkansas. This year, has been particularly wet and my grass has grown with wild abandonment. It has been a good mower, never failing me. The only maintenance I need to regularly pay attention to is clearing out any grass that has wrapped around the axle of the wheels. This takes me approximately 30 seconds. I can also easily heft this mower over my fence, instead of walking around to the gate. Equally important to me, I can listen to podcasts or music while enjoying the great outdoors. I do not disturb anyone-human or animal- with my mowing. No frogs or even bugs have been needlessly killed in my pursuit of an orderly yard. Furthermore, I feel a double helping of pride when I look at my yard, because I do not require anyone else's assistance.

I highly recommend this little mower, if this speaks to you. However, I am doing a disservice if I do not caution you- if you live in a place where men routinely lean over your fence, tell you that you are wrong or a filthy hippie, while spitting tobacco at your flowers, then I must tell you- something about this mower will invite new levels of derision. Of course, you wouldn't be one to find yourself on this page if such things bothered you. So, just be ready to scare them with threats of global warming and canceling out their votes as often as possible- whatever keeps you happy.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Letter to Governor Bullock

Dear Governor Bullock,

I wanted to reach out to you to offer some feedback, but I first wanted to say that I am deeply sorry for your nephew's tragic death. No family in this country  should have to go through such a heart-breaking moment. Unfortunately, far too many Americans share in that horrible grief.

In the recent Democratic debate, I heard you frame your beliefs around gun violence in this country around three things: 1. being a gun owner, 2. being a hunter, and 3.  your nephew's death. You have every right to share the story of your family's grief in the way that you feel is proper, but I think you missed an opportunity to center the reality of gun violence in this country on victims, and not those who are centering their identity on a recreational activity.

In the wake of yet another mass shooting, this time in El Paso, Texas, I kept thinking about your words. Every American who sets foot in a school, church, theater, concert, or the local Wal-Mart has more of a right to safety than the right of a gun owner to own high powered assault rifles. Democrats must be the party that gets something done to prevent our country from being one absolutely torn apart by the grief of gun violence and mass shootings.

I can empathize with your position- you sounded like someone who has had guns at the center of your cultural identity for a very long time. I understand that identify intimately. However, my beliefs have grown and evolved as I have become increasingly horrified by the blatant violence all around this country, but especially effecting communities of color. As someone running for the highest office of the land, I ask that you reconsider how you phrase that identity- will you be someone stubbornly proclaiming your highest priority is gun ownership, and that to have a valid opinion you must own a gun? Or will you be someone who honors the life of all of those who have needlessly been lost on the alter of gun violence, and speak their names and concerns first?

Thank you for considering this important issue, and respectfully,
-Ms. L

June 2020

Some context (and flowers):  When I was 16, I moved out of my parents house. My first roommate didn't stay, so I think a nine-weeks into...