My jacaranda tree won’t stop pooping all over the yard, my car, my shoes, my house… (Taken with Instagram)

My jacaranda tree won’t stop pooping all over the yard, my car, my shoes, my house… (Taken with Instagram)

onetwothreefo! summer! (Taken with Instagram)

onetwothreefo! summer! (Taken with Instagram)

Today’s edition of not my best decisions:

- going to Home Depot when I’m feeling extra vulnerable and anxious about creepy, leering dudes.

- sanding plywood in my room.

It makes me angry I feel so nervous and sad, if that makes any sense. I guess it feels exacerbated because Esme’s killer is both a stranger and still out there. I end up feeling even more on edge. I figured the thing I could do to escape my head is to create. So I’m building a pedal board — creating to create. I’m stumbling along, but that’s the way I learn best.

La Maestra Esme

 Esme Barrera

I first heard about Esme Barrera’s death on New Year’s afternoon, after I had spent the afternoon having brunch and browsing a local bookstore within a mile of where her attack took place. By nightfall, I had heard from several of my close friends, all of us distraught and shaken at the thought that something so random and violent had occurred to someone within our community.

I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Esme; I moved away from Austin a few years ago. But we have many friends in common, and it is those mutual friendships that speak to me and make me feel like I have a better understanding of who she was.
In many ways, the Austin music and activist community was my family who taught me through our collective trials and tribulations what it meant to grow up. Some of us fared better at this than others, but the support and sense of community was always present. Esme seemed to have thrived in Austin, taking the time and energy to actively shape the world to be a better place.

Esme was very active in Girls Rock Austin, and if you have ever volunteered with any of the Girls Rock Camps throughout the world, you know that it is an experience that changes your life forever. It’s a challenge to shed the cynicism and wary worldview that starts to settle in over the years after so many heartaches and gossip-fueled feuds, and instead make the conscious decision to be not only optimistic, but devastatingly sincere — allowing  yourself to experience the kind of emotional honesty that opens you up to both the gain of pure love and the risk of losing it. Esme embodied that type of sincerity and unabashed love — love for teaching, love for music, love for her community. And we are all feeling that void right now.

The best thing — the only thing — I can think to do with our grief is to channel it into something creative and strive to be more like Esme. To not be embarrassed to show our enthusiasm, to drop our carefully constructed too-cool-for-school indifference, and to make sure that those special people in our lives know just how much we love them. Not just today, or when we face difficulties, but every day.

Esme’s students — both in the classroom and on the stage — were so very fortunate to have such a caring and charismatic role model. We should all learn from Esme’s heart.

If you want to help immediately, you can donate to help her family with expenses here
If you want to help Esme’s work continue, you can donate to Girls Rock Austin in her name here

Esme’s murderer has not been found. He has attacked at least two other women in the 31st/N Lamar area. Please stay alert and pass on the descriptions, and if you see anything suspicious, contact the police immediately.

I remember Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

I remember Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

How Did the Dinosaurs Die?


How Did the Dinosaurs Die?

A View Of The US-Mexican Border


American and Mexican Border in Tijuana

A small fence separates densely populated Tijuana, Mexico, right, from the United States in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector. Construction is underway to extend a secondary fence over the top of this hill and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.

(Source: all-thats-interesting)

the first thing i do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.