Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fish Story, Thanksgiving eve

Holiday decorations outside the Hotel Carlyle

At 10:AM this morning, my phone started ringing off the hook, as people called to tie up unfinished business before Thanksgiving. It is the start of the holiday season in the USA and many Americans will not be doing much serious work until January 15, 2013.

My assistant, Daisy Morton and I, however have made initial contact with 8 organizations in Memphis, with whom I hope to speak before arriving there to spend a few days from December 12.
Meanwhile, I will be working steadily on my dissertation, "Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism," which will lay out the theoretical basis for why I am looking at fish in the anthropocene and why Memphis in particular. Last night, I had a small panic about that work for my second chapter, when my files crashed both on my computer and a back up. Word help retrieved a relatively recent version. I have wrestled that tiger to a draw today and am moving along to wrk on Chapter 3. Chapter 3 has several GIS maps about predatory green crabs and fin fish and I just noticed one of the maps I created but have not yet published, is on the net. Not sure how I feel about that or what to do about it. I assume it got there because I had posted it a year ago on my FB page. I think the take away is that it's time for me to publish an article about biological context for healthy fish, including East coast rocky intertidal zones. But not tonight.
Tonight, I'm quitting early. I don't usually quit work till about 10: PM but tonight, it's not even 7: PM and I'm quitting work till Friday.
Tonight, I'm wishing all my friends, American or not, a happy day with much to be grateful for tomorrow, the American day of Thanksgiving. What are you grateful for this year?
This is what I'm grateful for tonight: 
1. Cease fire brokered by Egypt in Israel- Gaza
2. NYC is recovering from Sandy and talking about softscaping the margins of the island, which would be very good for everyone, including the fish.
3. Climate change is finally getting serious attention in the USA, which will make my task in Memphis a whole lot easier.
4. Romney and all those $100's of millions lost the presidential election in the USA, which means to me that you can buy some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of time but not all of the people all of the time. It also means there may be an alternative to making money by gutting and trashing the environment. There may be green jobs to be had.
5. Personal #1: I caught early stage cancer last Spring, got thru my treatments OK and found out how many friends I have.
6. Personal #2: The end is in sight for my dissertation. Word count today for Chapter 2 after yesterday's file recovery trauma: 11 851, down from over 18 000 in September, clearer and meaner. I can move along to Chapter 3. And, universe willing, will have my mind clear for Fish Story as I go into the spring.

7. Steady, modest progress for Fish Story.

When I did Ghost Nets, my most sobering lesson, was that nothing replaces environmental conservation. Fighting back from ecosystem degradation is enormously difficult and problematic. I have often been quoted as saying, the environment was destroyed by increments, it can be restored by increments. But when enormous swathes are destroyed, it's a lot harder. And for me, it seems a lot more exhausting. For now, I am grateful for the increments and the time off.

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