On (Loving) Pit Bulls

July 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nathan Scott Phillips-Menning

Nathan Scott Phillips-Menning, terrifying Pit Bull

Yesterday Tom Junod at Esquire published a long, thoughtful, and at moments utterly heartbreaking article about pit bulls in America. As he explains, pit bulls –a category that includes pit bull mixes– are ubiquitous nationwide, not just in the inner cities but also, increasingly, in suburban areas. One would think that this would translate to greater acceptance of the breed (or perhaps more accurately, the classification, as pit bulls aren’t really a breed as much as a mix of common traits), but nope, not so much. As he writes:

We might accept pit bulls personally, but America still doesn’t accept them institutionally, where it counts; indeed, apartment complexes and insurance companies are arrayed in force against them. And so are we: For although we adopt them by the thousands, we abandon them by the millions. The ever-expanding population of dogs considered pit bulls feeds an ever-expanding population of dogs condemned as pit bulls, and we resolve this rising demographic pressure in the way to which we’ve become accustomed: in secret, and in staggering numbers. We have always counted on our dogs to tell us who we are. But what pit bulls tell us is that who we think we are is increasingly at odds with what we’ve turned out to be.

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3 Birthdays in 1, Plus Teaching News

June 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Birthday boy!!

Birthday boy!!

Chris turns 30 today, and tomorrow I turn 31; today is essentially our joint 30th, after which point I once again become the scoreboard leader in years accrued. It’s also Nathan’s estimated birthday, so although we might be + or – a week or so, we’re treating today like the Triple Crown of Phillips-Menning spawnage. I’ve never really been much of a birthday celebration person, so it’s not like we’re doing summersaults and smashing our faces into rainbow cupcakes, but I am very much enjoying the prospect of my 31st year — not only will the book be out of my hair very very soon (not soon enough, obviously, but that’s been true for the last six years), but beginning in the Fall term I’ll be a full time Lecturer in Humboldt State’s Communication Department. The ultimate, long-term goal is to secure a Tenure Track position at HSU in Comm or English or elsewhere, and I’ll get there eventually — but one does not simply hail mary to one’s favorite university and immediately get the big prize. These things take time and patience and various intermediary steps, and I’ve been doing just fine with that, thanks.

And so, onwards! It’s a beautiful day, and I’m an excellent age. I think I’ll go buy myself a Japanese teacup & then watch some X-Files. Perfection!

Here’s the thing about my dog.

April 24, 2014 § Leave a comment


He’s pretty great, and Chris is pretty great. Some people might really like human children, and that’s awesome! Have those babies! But seriously, dogs are the BEST.



A Dog for a Son?!

March 1, 2014 § 2 Comments

Chris has been teaching himself different Photoshop tricks and treatments, and yesterday decided to tackle the “vintage poster” look. Here, for no reason other than I like it, is his first attempt, featuring an image of Nathan tucked into bed, because yes we tuck him into bed, and yes he sleeps on a pillow (see below).

ntathan dogson

Here’s another pic, because you can never have too much Nathan.

nathan sleep

All I can say is YAS, and happy weekend!

The Land of Fruit and Dog Parks

May 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

In New York, Chris and I would take Nathan to the (from our perspective at the time) mostly adequate dog park in Carl Schurz park. The dog run was about 600 square feet, and depending on the time of day would be packed with anywhere from 8 to 15 large and often aggressive dogs. That wasn’t fun for anyone, least of all Nathan — we’d go through phases where we’d take him a few times, have a bad experience with one of the other dogs and/or owners, then swear off dog parks for good. Eventually we’d worry that Nathan wasn’t getting enough exercise, and the cycle would begin anew. Here in Spokane we won’t have the same kinds of issues; see above, which is nearly 9 minutes of SpokAnimal dog park goodness, shot by doting dogdad Chris. In conclusion, by every metric, I do not understand why anyone would want to live in a big city.

Nathan’s Daily Affirmation

March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m the one getting punched in the face!

Mass Murder and Men: Modern Primate talks Gun Violence & Gender

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

My fiance Chris Menning just posted a video that addresses the connection between violence, particularly gun violence, and gender, particularly uncompromising smear-the-queer type masculinity. This is smart, and you should watch it. Also I have two cameos in this video, so that’s fun (fun is the wrong word).

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