Man…I’ve been through all types of programs ya’ll. By far, my favorite is the UW Book Club with Dr. Steve (though, we call him Dad behind his back). Every month we read a work of fiction and cull through its intended or unintended meanings. I get to gripe about fiction in general (though, I secretly love it, your girl’s a sucker for love stories), find that one error in the whole book that for some reason has become my tick (maybe because it levels the playing field because I have errors in writing?). 

Actually, it’s the people. It’s not the book, it’s the people who read them. The UW students (Dad’s students, lol!), us as inmates (obviously Dad’s kids, duh…), and of course Dad (er, Dr. Herbert). It’s Zooey and her blond streaks (who has this i’m-actually-a-complete-badass-and-if-you-cross-me-i’ll-key-your-stupid-car…boi! kind of vibe), it’s Lincoln and her always challenging thoughts, its Natalia’s vulnerability and clear wisdom that comes from living life with above average intelligence, its Marissa’s strange affinity for zombie’s and MARATHONS (seriously, super cool chick!), its Gabby who meekly sits back and then does the one two punch with some deeper meaning shit. Then of course there’s Lani (Lanie?) who is a FIRECRACKER, look, this is the kind of broad we want around on girls night in Pioneer Square when the clubs shut down…know what I’m sayin’? Then there’s Dad, who always gets us on track when we begin chatting like siblings…

It’s the guests, like Anna, poor woman…had to endure us chatty Cathy’s who no longer sit in a room as strangers but meet up as if we’re old friends at a Starbucks that just so happens to be in prison, and conveniently ran out of coffee…and food…and WiFi. Lol. 

I am so thankful and feel so lucky that I get to form these bonds that I will remember and idolize for my entire life. 

Oh, almost forgot, I have a book recommendation for anyone interested:
Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girls Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom
…Loved this book

Also, just want the world to know that Marshall and I have declared it…we are gonna give a Ted Talk, that’s our dream. Big shout out to all my book club sisters and our fearless Pa’ (Pa’ might stick…lol, he’s gonna hate it!), ya’ll are cold oxygen on a hot summer day. We need more “Every 3rd Saturdays”.

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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