Monday, January 27, 2020

Thoughts after a man throws an open drink out of his car at me


• Wow, people really hate women. And cyclists.

• Dear self, blessed be the fruit of your decade-plus of practice being an uppity nasty woman, i.e. your quick mouth and quick middle finger,

• (Is he going to get out of his car and try to fight me?)

• Random man, your inability to hit a moving target from a moving car is a sign from above that heaven and nature did not design you for persecuting strange women exercising their freedom of speech and movement, and you should Stop.

• Isn't it silly that women ever use the word "bitch" against other women?

• Isn't it silly that I spend any time at all thinking about whether or not to do things that bring me enjoyment, peace, or wellness? I feel motivated and almost delighted by the clear passion of another for my unhappiness. My inner contrarian is never stronger than in these moments.

I'm including photos of my Women's March sign, because relevant. I added the quote on the back hastily this year while en route to the march; you can read the full poem it comes from here.


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Tuesday night, watching myself

I eat some rich chocolate 90 seconds before brushing my teeth. I wear a cardigan my grandmother made for herself. I pause to listen for a second to the whisper of TV voices behind my roommate's door before hitting the thunk of the stair light switch. I file away tickets for three upcoming stage performances. I seat my ass on a block of cork on the floor for approximately 90 seconds. I become uneasy at the absence of my $60 worth of new postage stamps, write a text message about worrying that someone is stealing from me again, and find them 90 seconds later. I open a book I intend to give away as a gift and discover that I no longer want to.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Favorite books read in 2019 (part two of two)

Consequence, by Loolwa Khazzoom
A small, fearless, and genuinely inspiring volume on street harassment, sexual violence, and self-defense. A mix of memoir and casual political essay, with some profound thoughts on female autonomy. Something I think will stick with me: I read much of this on the train to and from jury selection for a sexual abuse case.

Ocean Country, by Liz Cunningham
I was expecting nature writing, and was surprised by the amount of memoir, but it really worked for me in the end. It's not perfect, but it moved me and its heart won me over. This is about loving/despairing/working/hoping for the life of the oceans.

Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, by Anne Frank, Ari Folman, and David Polonsky
Beautiful, beautiful adaption. All of the words are Anne Frank's own and the illustrations are an outstanding complement.

Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell
A classic that isn't work to read! I love the humor, most of it is centered on older single women, and it's neither long nor romance-driven.

The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
This is a book I have wanted to read for a long time - and it took me over a month to read - however, it really helped that I read the graphic adaptation (see above) first. It made the people who lived in the Annex, and Anne's humor, struggles, wonderings, etc. feel more familiar and less like I was stepping into a stranger's mind in a faraway time and place. After spending two years of her life and hundreds of pages with Anne's thoughts, she felt so familiar that reaching the end was devastating.

The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking
Cozy! Fun! Quick! Lots of pleasing ideas for enjoying winter (and life) a bit more!

SCUM Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas
Darkly hilarious and way too smart.

Hello Lighthouse, by Sophie Blackall
Lovely, evocative illustrations of life in and around a pre-electric lighthouse, many with unique compositions shaped by the interior geography of the lighthouse itself. Definitely a new favorite picture book for me.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Favorite books read in 2019 (part one of two)

To Those Who Were Our First Gods, by Nickole Brown
A breathtaking, sharp little collection of poems on the "complex, interdependent, and often fraught relationship between human and non-human animals."

Educated, by Tara Westover
I thought I would find this memoir absorbing for its rather sensational premise (her upbringing an off-the-grid, survivalist, fundamentalist family, and what followed), but I was as gripped by the author's graceful prose and reflectiveness. Took me all of one day to finish, I think. Stressful at times!

(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love, by Brooke Erin Duffy
A sociological study of fashion blogging. WOW, this was super interesting and only a little bit dry.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
I watched the movie first and liked it, and then read the book, which is as likable and much more masterful. What a rich and intelligent young adult novel.

Are You Girls Traveling Alone? by Marilyn Murphy
Delightful, engaging, and delightfully logical essays on a variety of lesbian feminist topics, previously published as columns in a lesbian newsletter.

Journey to Zelindar, by Diana Rivers
A vivid fantasy novel about a separatist female society outside a brutal patriarchal country, and a woman who escapes to live in it.

The Underground River, by Martha Conway
A historical novel about a seamstress on a steamboat theater who stumbles into working on the Underground Railroad. It built up quietly and then swiftly sucked me in in the second half.