September rundown

30 September 2018 on monthly and rundown. 11 minutes

Hello everyone! Welcome to my monthly blog post where I reflect on my favorite things from the past month. The categories are subject to change in the future, and suggestions are always welcome!

Also, yes, this is what Charles wanted when he asked Jim for a rundown.

Quick links:

Article | Poem | Music | Podcast | Adventure | Food | Charles update

Article or otherwise useful academic resource

This section is intended to be an interesting or thought provoking journal article or news article that I read during the month. It's also possible it will be a thread from twitter.

Pathways to Sustainability: an overview of the STEPS Centre approach

I found this article when looking for some inspiration for a fellowship application. I wasn't actually familiar with the STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre before this article, but it's a really interesting perspective about what we mean when we say "sustainability," because we throw that word around often. I think it's definitely worth a read for anyone doing research or work in or around sustainability to make sure we are questioning for whom our "sustainability" goals have been formed and how the steps taken to achieve those goals affect more than just ourselves.

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Shoutout to Claire Schwartz (@23cschwartz on twitter), a stranger who tweeted a thread of poems that, as she nicely puts it, "teach me how to care, that offer care." I know we can all use a little more care for ourselves and each other. The full thread can be found here, but I posted two of my favorites below.

An exerpt from Whereas by Layli Long Solider

Whereas is a long prose poem book written by Layli Long Soldier. A short description of this excerpt can be found here, and the full book can be purchased here.

"Ghazal for Becoming your Own Country" by Angel Nafis

Another link to this poem is here.

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NFWMB by Hozier

New music from Hozier dropped this month! It's been quite some time, and I can't lie, I was hoping for more than 4 songs, but I'll take whatever he gives us! I'm a fan of the whole EP, but this was my favorite song on first listen.

So to be real, Mac Miller's death hit me really hard this month. I still can't even really conceptualize it, and it feels strange to feel so sad for a person I never personally knew. But I guess that speaks to the power of music and artists. He seemed like a fun, kind, and genuine soul, and I'm hopeful that he has found peace now away from his demons on earth.

Watching Movies with the Sound Off by Mac Miller

An older Mac Miller song for your ears. I started listening to his music because of this album. The whole album is good.

Soulmate by Mac Miller

This one starts with Robin Williams talking, so you know it's good.

Here's a Genius article about Mac's life and career, and here is an interview he did with Rolling Stones shortly before he passed. I guess the title seems really counter to reality now, which may be a lesson. Sometimes we think we're ok or we want everyone to think that we are, but we're not. He shared this article on twitter and called it a good read, and it talks about how he was doing and how his life was more normal than people liked to make it sound.

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Finding Fixes

A podcast about finding solutions to the opioid epidemic

This podcast has released 5 episodes so far, but each of them are very interesting and only about 25 minutes long. Each episode discusses an approach or solution currently in place (often just regionally) that has some potential to help the opioid crisis on a large scale. Most of their research and interviews were completed in the Pacific Northwest. This is a hopeful and action-oriented podcast that I definitely recommend. I found it after reading this article that shows that we need a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to start making a real reduction in the number of people dying or staying addicted.

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Adventures with Zack!

Guys I got to hang out with this man 4 out of 5 weekends in September!

We went camping! All by ourselves. Without a reservation. On Labor Day Weekend! And it only rained most of the time. But it was great.

First of all I want to give a shoutout to Aengus, the Good Luck Troll, for his help in getting us a campsite. Will definitely be bringing him on all future adventures. (And thank you to my grandpa for getting everyone in the family our own trolls!)

We started the weekend by kayaking with my research group, and we only flipped the kayak once on this peaceful river float. :)

We roadtripped up to check out the state forest campgrounds around Traverse City with only the best snacks, and we had a pretty great setup. We actually found a site in the second place we looked! I was skeptical, but it turns out you totally can fit an air mattress in a Kia Soul, and it's particularly helpful strategy when it rains all night!

Day 2 of our adventure was spent exploring Traverse City and Old Mission Penninsula, which is a tiny penninsula FILLED with wineries and cool farms.

A statue in front of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, formerly known as the Traverse City State Hosptial, or the Northern Michigan Asylum.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Old Mission Flowers

We found a lavender farm and a pick-your-own flower farm. The flower Zack picked for me is pictured above in the picture with the lighthouse sign. :)

Chateau Chantal Winery

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

We did successfully feed ourselves even though our firewood got rained on and we had to buy more. (Zack get's 100% of the credit for making the fire and keeping us fed)

Favorite campsite breakfast: cinnamon rolls baked in orange peels AND bring a hand juicer to make fresh-squeezed mimosas from the oranges

Overall this was such a fun trip! 10/10 would absolutely do it again even with some bumps along the way.

Oh and I guess we also did this running thing this month. I ran my 4th half marathon, and Zack ran his first 10k!

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Recipe or dining out experience

(Some) Whole30 meals!

Zack is doing Whole30 this month! (starting mid-September and ending mid-October) Props to him. I'm not eating sweets, not drinking alcohol, and limiting the money I spend dining out in solidarity. He's doing great and documenting his journey at So none of these are recipes, but his blog is a great place to go to learn more about what Whole30 is and why anyone would want to do it.

Breakfast ft. Alexis mug

Outdoor picnic while the fall weather persists!

The best food, drink, and tv for watching football?

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Charles update

Charles is my 17 month old cat, and everyone deserves at least one picture of him per month, so I'll pick my favorites.

Very normal

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August rundown

My favorite article, poem, songs, activity, fun fact, ..., in August 2018


February mini blog

Just a playlist of music I particularly liked in February 2020 and maybe some pics