Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1. I'm sorry that I've let so much time pass before posting about this. Sometimes I forget what things I've posted on facebook and what I've posted here.
*trigger warning*
A few weeks ago, former Amherst College student published this piece about Amherst's reaction to sexual assault. Amherst didn't deny it, they pledged to change, which is refreshing - especially since they did pretty much everything that you're not supposed to do in this kind of situation.
One good things about this is how much attention it's brought to the issue of how colleges and universities address sexual assault on campus. Amherst is not alone in mishandling this, unfortunately. Let's hope this makes people talk about these issues and demand change.
More about this case on the NY Times here,  Slate here.

In the aftermath of this article, Amherst students launched this project, "It Happens Here."

"The photographs below feature eleven men and women who were sexually assaulted at Amherst College and the words that members of our community said to them following their assaults."

2. Busty Girl Problems.

3. Backbone Zone! Words mean things. Do your best to have the words you choose mean what you want them to mean.

Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, James Whistler

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

lost keys but not advice

1. I'm pretty grateful that everyone I know is okay in the wake of Sandy. Grateful that the roof of my parents' house broke the fall of the tree, so that my dad was simply covered in insulation and plaster, not crushed. It makes me queasy to think about though. So I watch this video and it makes me feel a little better:

2. Last night we ate kale and sweet potato quesadillas, drank wine, and watched Much Ado About Nothing.  It was great.

4. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that this picture made me cry the first time I saw it. I just really love the Muppets, and Jim Henson. 

5. A poem by one of my Earlham professors, recently published in the Thrush Poetry Journal:

City of Weather

It’s all we talk about here    the way the sky
            lazy after a hot bath
            lies on us with all its weight
We change only to find ourselves damp again
Some weeks the rain comes and stays and leaves
            only to circle back again
            as though looking for lost keys
You’ll never find what you’re looking for that way
            I think
But the rain persists    interested in lost keys 
but not advice
The ground forgets what it’s for
            starts to wander off downstream
There’s nothing to hold the sidewalk in place
We close our umbrellas when we can
But here even the sun is a liquid
            sweat on the glass buildings
The night pools around our homes
The night weighs against the apartment windows
And in the morning 
We wake as though nothing
            has yet been decided 

- David Ebenbach

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Paper Bag Princess

1. Sometimes I think I should only listen to music sung by people with Scottish accents.

2. Trigger warning, but this open letter from Melissa Harris-Perry about being a survivor of sexual assault is succinct, beautiful, painful, and liberating all at once. It's under three minutes and it is a must watch.  If you don't have the ability to watch videos, part of it is quoted below the video.

3. I like this list. It's a little harshly worded - maybe the title should be "21 Things People Say or Do Regarding Weight and Food Consumption that Don't Help Anyone At All."
In summary:

4. My halloween costume! I was the Paper Bag Princess. I realized too late that I didn't get any full body pictures of myself. 
Here's what I've got:

I'm particularly proud of the crown. If you're not familiar with the Paper Bag Princess, it is a fantastic children's book about a princess who saves the prince, while wearing a paper bag (her dress was burned off by the dragon). 

5. Bros on Broadway. Typical bros go to see a broadway show and review it. Priceless. (Thanks, Natalie). 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I have strep! Let's look at some art.

Pelicans Diving by Lisel Ashlock

Machine Sabbath
 Ashley Wood

Sweet Dreams by Victor Ngai
I Refuse to be Invisible by Njideka Akunyili
On the NYC subway last week, we saw this lovely watercolor by Missed Connections illustrator Sophie Blackhall, whom I blogged about a while back. Super cute. More about the piece here.
Some details:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sorry for my absence, friends. Here are some recently likeable things.

1. I've gotten the chance to spend a lot of the past two weeks with family, both in NY and Boston. Highlights include:
- A Staab sister reunion, plus friends, in a German beer hall in Brooklyn
- My 66 year old dad, my sister, and her partner, running a half marathon.

- A trip to the Bronx Zoo, probably the best zoo.

that's a sea lion painting a picture
- Seeing a terrible scary movie, mostly through my fingers (until I walked out altogether) with Anna and Felisa in Boston.
- This exchange with Felisa when she gave me a pair of boots that don't fit her...
Anna: They match your purse, Hel!
Felisa: You have become everything you despise!
Me: Huh? I don't actually have anything against matching, I just don't really put any energy into it...
Felisa: Oh, I see I misread the situation.

2. I saw the Mountain Goats live for the first time last Thursday. In order to understand why this was an incredibly important life event for me, you have to know that they have been my favorite band since I was 17. They came to play at Earlham when I was in Northern Ireland. They came to play in Ithaca when I was out of town for work. Last Thursday, the stars finally aligned, at it was perfect. I could talk about all of the ways in which it was perfect for a long time, but I'll spare you that. Here is a pretty good review of the concert. The reviewer did get one thing wrong, though... there was a second encore, after the house lights came on and half of the people left. Darnielle played "See America Right," "No Children," and finished with "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton." The audience repeatedly sang "Hail Satan!" together before we left, the perfect end to a perfect night.

3. Very few of the Romney's Binder o' Ladies memes have been worth chuckling over. Here are a few exceptions.

These Amazon binder reviews are the best thing that's come out of all of this. 

Anton Marrast

Saturday, October 13, 2012

always imagine falling

by Lynn Melnick

It wasn’t God
with us that October.
It was something bigger than we can put into solemn books
and pray to
although I saw you praying as you stood over the falls,
your eyes shut for a while. I was praying too
which I do when I’ve lost sight
of anything human. 
I’ll admit it here:
I was embarrassed
because the scene didn’t take my breath away like I had wanted it to.
Majestic, yes, and
sure, I could imagine falling
because I always imagine falling
but there was something about the way
the lavender of the sweater you bought me
split open
the mist and the gray
that had me thinking
things don’t have to be sweeping to be beautiful,
they don’t have to kill me
to make me love them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gettin' My $7 Worth Out of That Squash

1. 20 Female Photographers (some nudity)

"Candy Cigarette" by Sally Mann
2. Gangnam Style around the world.

3. Tomorrow is National Coming Out Day. What an interesting holiday. Here's Mondo's coming out story. 

4. Woah, way to be, Expedia. 

5. While we're on the subject of coming out and parents, a quick shout out to my mom for providing tasty and nutritious snacks for the Gay Straight Alliance every week in High School, for surreptitiously leaving  queer literature on my bed, letting me use her amazon account to buy every lesbian young adult novel I could find online, and for sending me newspaper clippings about gay people having kids for my 20th birthday. 

6. I am soon to be reunited with my sisters. Pumped.

7. Got a butternut squash? In the past week, I got three dishes out of one butternut squash:
- Red lentil and butternut squash curry soup (use a whole can of coconut milk, a lot more water, a little garam masala, and toast an crunch whole spices if you can. I also baked the squash first and then scooped it into the soup - A LOT easier than peeling and slicing the whole thing raw ).
- Butternut squash baked risotto (loosely followed this recipe. Used brown rice, onions instead of shallots, no wine, and no fresh thyme. Still delicious. Again, baked squash first).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

my shoes hide in your dreams

1. Some nice people in Boston moments from last night:
- Waiting for the t, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned my head and a man was holding out a copy of the Boston Globe to me. I thanked him and took it, and he got on the train going the opposite direction. It was a good thing to have that newspaper too, cuz I was taking the t all the way to Somerville, a 40 minute ride.
- On the red line, a pair of parents and their 17 month old boy were having a rough time. He was obviously tired and grumpy, and was putting up a good fuss, when a man across from him started making funny faces and pulled him out of his funk.
- Waiting to meet Laura at Davis Square, a man with a clipboard came up to me and said "Ms, I need you." "I really don't think you do, sir..." I started to say. "I'm collecting money for..." he continued and held out his clipboard, which was titled with something about AIDs. I quickly said "I'm currently unemployed, I'm looking for a job, and I really support your cause, but right now I really can't..." He stopped me and said "It's okay." Giving me a hug, he said "You're really special, you know that?" and then he walked away to solicite some other strangers for donations. Thanks, random canvasser, I needed that.

Enric Huguet


I can't travel
away from you

rolling pine cone

Each time I go to leave
my shoes hide
in your dreams

- Cree poem, translated by Howard A. Norman

4. When you think about it, asking someone why they're still single is like asking a couple why they're not married or reproducing yet: people do it all of the time, but it is actually a really personal and kind of rude thing to ask, especially someone you don't know that well.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Makin' Memes Out of Lemons

Alright, so Obama was not so great in the presidential debate on Wednesday. But thanks to Romney's Big Bird comment, at least the internet community has something to make memes about. I'm not saying that Big Bird should become the face of the Obama campaign, I think that's pretty silly, but when the going gets tough, it's important to find humor somewhere.

The best one, in my opinion:

And just so you know, cutting government funding to PBS would neither save the economy nor put Big Bird out of work.

"In its own statement, issued after the debate, PBS said, “The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt.”
Or, as astrophysicist and PBS “Nova ScienceNOW” host Neil de Grasse Tyson put it, more pithily, on Twitter, “Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive.” — The Washington Post"

Also this gem:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

squirtin' tears on subway platforms

1. Today Natalie and I made peanut noodles with this fantastic sauce. Some changes I made to the sauce: we didn't have any sesame oil, so I just didn't put any. I also tripled the garlic, doubled the ginger. Added about a table spoon chopped cilantro (I have it frozen in ice subes). And I honestly didn't measure any of it other than the water so...
To make it a healthy meal we had it with super spaghetti (fortified with protein or something), and stir fried some onion, carrots, and broccoli (no seasonings there, since it was going to be mixed with the sauce). I added red chili flakes to my own. It was delicious and easy. Do it.

2. Good walking song:

3. Free plays! Thanks Laura!

4. Yesterday I stopped into a used bookstore near Boston Commons. Bought a little collection of poems about winter, "Mind of Winter." Stood waiting for the orange line train and read some, and misted up right then and there when I read this one (warning: death content and some potentially disturbing imagery):

Snow Day

I have nothing to day on a white afternoon
but there are candlesticks, etched,
hieratic, guarding the pane
with arching wicks; and there is the bottle of glue, and there
squirming upward, one black curlycue
succeeding another, the jungle plant on the window sill.
The life in this room is still.
There is nothing, nothing to do
about tonnage of snow in New
Haven, or
bells that won't ring downstairs at the door
or bells, in the tower, that will. 
Nothing to say, except here,
discretely, we are
shaped in the dark in a darkening room
against the snow window, against the snow day.
                                                                    And I think

of my friend, who was
not really my friend,
except for the death in her eyes, which were round
and wise like a turtle's.
I think of my friend and the snow, because
of that blank haven she found
when the Buick spun into her last snow day
on Route whatever-it-was, toward nightfall, and she
had no way to say what it was that she knew
with glass in her eyes and her mouth full of snow.

- Rosanna Warren

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive

1. Oh Tina Fey. Thanks. Just thanks.

2. The Mountain Goats' new album arrived in the mail this weekend. I preordered it, I always preorder the Mountain Goats. I figure that John Darnielle's music has meant enough to me that I ought to support it financially. 
I see this song as his version of "It Gets Better." Thanks for the life advice, John. (Lyrics here)

3. Holy crap just look at this piece of art by Bryan Christie. I'm a little obsessed with it. 

4. Thanks to my lovely cousin Malia for sharing this poem:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone. 

- Sara Teasdale