weekly rundown 07/02/2021

We’ve all been looking to make new friends this week. A group of beginner Spanish speakers has formed and is going to start meeting soon. 

A Druid is looking for other druids. 

And someone asked a friend to post a missed connection for her. She’s looking for a guy she met at the waterfront. He had a dog and she’s pretty sure his name starts with T. He was tall, maybe? And had dark hair, we’re pretty sure. He helped her take some boxes to her car. If only she’d described the dog, then we’d all know right away who he was. 

We’ve shared pictures of our animals. Will one of them be the next unofficial mayor? A goat is in the running. Stare deep into his rectangular pupils and give a dollar to the Old Goats Home. We shared pictures of our animals handling the heat- in shower stalls, wearing sunglasses, in pools, and sprawled on the linoleum floor. 

On the rants group, I shared a note left on my car telling me I parked badly. It said, in all caps, “not cool to park here. Be considerate next time.”

As a fan of constructive feedback, I think this note could use some workshopping. First, it doesn’t tell us what, specifically, is wrong with the parking job. Did the car block an entrance or a ramp? Was it too close to the car beside it? Did it take up two spaces? I think we need a rubric for grading parking, filled out by three judges independently. Might I suggest the following as a rough draft? 

What’s wrong with you: Score 1-5
1= frown emoji 5= smile emoji
blocking an entrance
taking up more than one spot
using an accessible spot when you don’t need to
too close to another car
Aesthetically unpleasant bumper stickers
Pretty sure you hit my car with your door when you got out. Can’t prove it though.

total score:______ 
Ready to print and serve!

Otherwise, the note reads like the spot I chose was for cool people, and I need to drive around until I find a sign that says, “Dork Parking.”

For the record, I probably did park badly. 

(Did I include my own post from the rants group to fill up space? You know it! You all need to cause more drama. I know we all slowed down from the heat, but you’re not making it easy for me over here.)

An islander has posited that people with extra cottages and mother-in-law suites should rent them as long-term rentals rather than turning them into AirBnBs. Some commenters think the market should regulate itself. Others think the market isn’t inherently perfect and should be shifted to meet people’s needs.

Here’s my take, which absolutely no one asked for: The population is growing. New housing needs to at least keep up with population growth, or else housing will get more expensive, and people with less money will either have to cram together in small places, or end up homeless. We’ve seen an increase in homelessness lately, and this is due in part to housing being more scarce and thus more expensive. Zoning laws that make areas single-family only, or that disallow multiple families to live in one house, feed into this. To house everyone, we have to be willing to build more densely in the places people want to live, and to have multiple families share properties. 

To serve vashon, and everywhere else on this planet to avoid a Malthusian hellscape, we need to change laws and zoning codes, as well as invest in building new, solidly-built housing that can withstand the horrific weather that climate change will bring our way

Since we’re all in the business of making new friends, why not invite some friends to live on your property? (Built-in friends!)

Have a lovely Fourth of July! For next week, please post picture of dogs wearing red, white, and blue outfits, or cowering under the couch.

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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