Action shot of figure skater Alexie Yagudin during his Man in the Iron Mask 2002 Olympic long program
Action shot of figure skater Alexie Yagudin during his Man in the Iron Mask 2002 Olympic long program

When I was twelve

In my newsletter this month, one of the things I’m thinking about is the fact that the music I go back to over and over (my favorites) have been my favorites since pre-adolescence. I’ve changed quite a lot as a person since I was twelve, so this was something of a realization. It concerned me. I feel I have very little in common with my younger self in the ways that are important. So, what does it mean that as I’ve aged, my music taste has remained mostly the same?

I am a film score person…

Last week I went to Disneyworld by myself for fun. It was a strange, extremely impulsive and extravagant decision. I made it with two days notice, not stopping to doubt, not even asking myself why, now that it was finally safe to travel, was this the place I wanted to go?

Something I didn’t really understand until I was on my flight home already regretting I hadn’t found a way to make the trip longer. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t miss home. I hadn’t worn myself out as I expected. …

mostly sunken row boat in an algae-covered pond.
mostly sunken row boat in an algae-covered pond.
Emily MacDonald from Pexels

Have you bought new clothes this month? I have. In fact, the pandemic gave me far too many reasons to sit online and buy clothes that I’m just now having occasions to wear. My wardrobe is one of the big areas of my life that I don’t do great thinking about sustainability and climate change. I’ve eliminated plastic grocery bags and plastic packages, beauty and cleaning products. I’ve moved away from chemicals in my yard, on my walls, and my furniture. I compost. But green/sustainable fashion eludes me. I think some of this has to do with the fact that…

Hand reaches towards a green tinted light in an industrial, high tech background
Hand reaches towards a green tinted light in an industrial, high tech background
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

2050 is the red letter year for thinking about our future, particularly climate change. Scientists have marked this as the time when, if we don’t make drastic changes, things will start to go horribly wrong. (Here is a book review to a great book that gives you the basics if this is a new idea for you.) I’ve read several books that discuss 2050 and I always have trouble getting my head around it. So this week, I sat down and tried to figure out what exactly 2050 means in terms of time.

Its hard for humans to appreciate a…

Three frogs in a pot debating terminology. One says they’re in a pan, the other says its a pot, the third says its a kettle. The pot is labeled ‘climate change summit.’
Three frogs in a pot debating terminology. One says they’re in a pan, the other says its a pot, the third says its a kettle. The pot is labeled ‘climate change summit.’
From PenLive.com

My May newsletter goes out today and it feels dangerous. Granted, it doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’m trespassing the bounds of polite (female) society, but so much of pandemic rhetoric has been about good vibes. As though, we’re being asked to float around to Bob Marley in our heads (don’t worry, be happy).

To be honest, I’m tired of good vibes. (This is why I feel dangerous.) There are hugely important, dark, terrible things happening in our country and in the world. …

As a missionary kid, I was born in Japan where I was cooed over by elderly Japanese women and college students. I even made an appearance in a Japanese newspaper when a surgeon did work on my tear ducts. When we moved back to the U.S., my life continued to be filled with Japanese people. Eating rice for breakfast was a normal thing, and I regularly grossed my American school friends out by eating it for lunch with the seaweed-based condiment, furikake. My mother’s kitchen cabinets were nearly ruined by two young women making tempura in our house. …

Photo by Chokniti Khongchum from Pexels

As a child, I was chronically underweight to the point that my dad made me milkshakes as a bedtime snack, and I fought drinking them. I’ll repeat that for effect: As a child, drinking a daily milkshake felt like a terrible injustice. I don’t remember why, but knowing myself now, I imagine the repetition bothered me.

To this day, I cannot eat the same thing for more than a week at a time. I eat leftovers without a problem, but the daily morning smoothie that is now my usual breakfast needs to be interrupted and frequently adjusted. Some days the…

White woman sitting on the street pouring Fruit Loops in her mouth
White woman sitting on the street pouring Fruit Loops in her mouth
Photo by Criativithy from Pexels

Like most people, I have a complicated relationship with food.

In high school I experimented with skipping meals. I have an abnormal spine that effects digestion and GI functioning. This leads to various problems including nausea and untrust-worthy appetite feelings. I can feel starving after I just ate. And I can miss a meal and feel completely full.

In high school, nausea, combined with feeling full all the time, combined with the stress of ‘where am I going to college?’ and the slow unraveling of my first romantic relationship, made it seem reasonable to not eat. Or eat less. …

(Otherwise titled: The Doctor Took my Virginity and I Didn’t Notice).

Photo by Thaifilms Official from Pexels

Last week, I wrote about my experience with purity culture and growing up in the Evangelical church in the 1990’s when saving yourself for marriage became not just morality but a commercial industry. I want to continue thinking about that today, but focus less on the metaphysical rules (this is how you should live) and the actual experience of having a body in this belief system.

As long as I’ve had memories, my knowledge of my body has been troubled. I didn’t need the church to tell me my body was dangerous. The heavy worry etched on my parent’s faces…

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

This week, on What We Think About When We talk about Love, I’m thinking about the idealization of purity as it relates to women’s sexual behavior. Or in this case, the lack thereof. For most of the history of humanity, there has been an emphasize and idealization of a virginal, ‘untouched’ girl or woman. This idea is very closely related to the idea that woman is an object for men to possess.

This is an old idea, but it remains remarkably prominent in modern American culture. If you watch or read thrillers think about how many stories had missing women…

Jaye Viner

Jaye Viner knows just enough about everything to embarrass herself at parties she never attends. Her novel, Jane of Battery Park, arrives in August

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