Wonderful. On comics, alcoholism, honesty, winding paths. The Fart Party's Over by Julia Wertz

Image: source. Love this, love my mom.

I haven't raved about my favorite podcasts recently, but Pop Culture Happy Hour continues to be great, and Extra Hot Great has returned, much to my glee.

Last night I finished "Flight Behavior," by Barbara Kingsolver. This was the first of her books that I've read, and came to me highly recommended by some and hesitantly recommended by others. This book drew me in quickly with beautiful language and evocative descriptions of the protagonists loneliness and longing. Really, the first page alone is worth a read. However, at about 100 pages in is became a bit of a slog - which was especially intimidating given that it's over 400 pages in length. By the end, I was pushing myself just to finish it. I have no qualms about quitting books, but partially because I bought this one (I usually check them out of the library), and partially just out of sheer curiosity and stubbornness, I wanted to push through to the end of Flight Behavior. I finished it frustrated. Heavy handed characters and conversations and parables about climate change, cringe worthy cliches, and about 6 pages of dialogue less text on ewes left me exasperated. I love a lot of what Kingsolver does and is trying to do - she has some absolutely beautiful text, and her passion for biology and the environment and exploring the desires of humans (self harming, planet harming, or otherwise) all come through. But being hit over the head every page of these 400 pages by endless metaphors about global warming and down home characters with hearts of gold and folksy wisdom is killing me. Believe it or not, I would be curious to try another Kingsolver, since she does seem to be so beloved, and there were wonderful passages, but would probably go into it slightly hesitantly.

"Trans as plot device, trans as twist ending, trans as morbid curiosity — we’re not deemed worthy of respect in life or in death. Trans as inherently fraudulent creature, trans as con artist, trans as fake — we’re not real." Parker Marie Molloy's take on the Grantland article on Dr. V.

Oof: “We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.” (from this short article: 7 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough) I cannot stop thinking about that statement!


Transgender teenager faces criminal charges after defending herself against bullies: Jewelyes Gutierrez's lawyer says the charges further victimize her client, who has experienced repeat harassment. Sign the petition if you're so inclined.

Word: I'm A Trans Woman, But Please Stop Asking Me About My Genitalia: author and advocate Janet Mock breaks down Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera's appearance on Katie Couric's talk show.

Image: source.

I don't like it, but that doesn't mean I can ignore it: Like It Or Not, Western Yoga Is A Textbook Example Of Cultural Appropriation.

Vice is usually, well, pretty crappy in a lot of ways, but this essay about Instagram and prison visits is worth a read.

Printmaking, local beers, and all for a good cause! Looking forward to this event: Studio@36 Printmaking Patterns: "For the “grown ups” out there, this is your chance to get your hands dirty and unleash your inner artist. (Berets are not provided.) Sponsored by Cape Ann Brewing Co., Studio@36 is a monthly series of art making and networking in the heart of the South End! Each session will focus on a new printmaking technique that will expand your creativity in our historic Children’s Art Centre. All proceeds directly support high quality arts education and programming for children and families regardless of ability to pay."

Prayer of Contrition sent to me by my wonderful pastor in Ashland: "Dear God, you ask only two things from us: that we love you and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. How simple this sounds! But we find the doing much harder than the saying. Forgive us for all the moments in this past week that we have forgotten you and loved other gods the more, and that we have looked upon our neighbors with irritation, anger, fear, or contempt. Thank you for giving us another week and other chances to try to meet your - and our - expectations, and for helping us do better than we did last week."

"There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want. To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet." - Alan Watts


Kiese Laymon on Trayvon, Black Manhood and Love: "I don’t know the rest. But I do know that Trayvon Martin could have taken his disrespectful profiling and beating, like a reasonable black boy. He could have lowered his head, said I’m sorry for frightening you, crazy-ass cracker, and muted the crazy-making treble in his chest. Instead, he [allegedly] unreasonably swung back. He [allegedly] connected. And he tried to live. Unreasonably. When my student Wilson asked me how I want to be loved, I was afraid to tell that I want to be loved by an unreasonable love that loves me enough to say and mean that Trayvon Martin, Rachel Jeantel, you and I are beautiful and worthy of second chances and healthy choices."

Image: source.

Punk, Parenting, and The Heart of the Revolution: John Malkin interviews Buddhist teacher Noah Levine

"Another New Year" by Natalie Goldberg, on death and life and believing our stories.

On the premise of fresh starts and "temporal turning points": "If we help people realize how many opportunities there are, they can put their imperfections behind them." Why We Make Resolutions (and Why They Fail).

Incredible trailer, amazing women - looking forward to seeing the film. "Crossing Over": A Documentary Looks At The Difficult Journey Of Trans Immigrants