Archive for June, 2013

showing jackson

We neither won nor placed. But Jackson was delighted to be at the show with the fancy horses, and we didn’t disgrace ourselves or the barn, at all. (Two clear rounds, one with one rail down and one elimination.)

For the first time I understand how horse showing can fit into horsemanship, into the kind of rider I am trying to be. The round is a snapshot of where the two of you are at that moment in time, what you can do, what you struggle with. It yields information you can take home and work on.

If the horse is the hardware and the rider the software, the show is the test.


The brilliant Sumana made this exact point to me two weeks ago:

Butler creates woman protagonists (such as Lilith in the Xenogenesis trilogy) who are seen as traitors for consorting with their enemies or oppressors. Her stories have the capacity to make the so-called traitor’s motivations understandable, often showing a willingness to negotiate as the product of a stubborn sense of hope for the future that can take the form of a commitment to nurturing a new mixed race.

From the book I cannot put down, Ann Cvetkovich’s Depression: A Public Feeling. Cvetkovich has also introduced me to Jacqui Alexander’s phrase “radical self-possession,” an idea that instantly caught fire and ran down every blood vessel and nerve in my body like music or healing grace. I asked myself what radical self-possession would look like, and Future Rach (who drops by occasionally to give me hints) said:

“Like me.”


I’m playing with Goodreads a bit – interested to see what y’all are reading, but perplexed at my own rating system.

Five stars means, this book changed my life!

Four stars means I liked it.

Three stars means yeah, I read it.

Two stars: it was bad.

One star means: it was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

This makes for some very strange bedfellows.

she cracks me up

Salome and Tym

Took home the high points ribbon :)

depression, a public feeling, by ann cvetkocich

Passages I could have written myself:

Although it was very inconvenient, the most disturbing aspect of the whole episode was the fact that I had been able to ignore the initial pain. By ignoring it, I had made it worse. I was able to recognize this as a warning sign – a notice about my inability to pay attention to the sensations of being in my own body – but I didn’t really have any idea what it would mean to live differently.

Dental care is something of a metaphor for the state of other affairs in my life. Taking care of the tooth disasters involves an act of faith that when something is wrong it can be fixed and that it’s possible to move on… Health maintenance has become for me a sign of self-love, although it also gives rise to some nagging questions about class. Regular dental care seems to be part of the secret life of middle-class domesticity that passes as normal – one of those things that no one talks about but everyone is supposed to do…

When you’re depressed, and all you want to do is sit still or curl up in a ball in bed and never get up, putting the body in motion is a major struggle and a major accomplishment.

I sometimes feel the need to touch the land of my childhood in order to remember myself to myself. I’m not recalling a lost paradise; I’m acknowledging the troubled history that led to my departure as a part of figuring out what it means to go back. My own history of dislocation connects to the histories of immigration and displacement… My “ancestral home” is the site of many histories, both happy and sad, both my own and those belonging to others.

(Note that I am not depressed right now and have not been for years. This book is giving me an opportunity to reflect.)

the standards you walk past are the standards you accept

I like to think that my grandfather was this kind of soldier.

As Jeremy points out, it’s a good basis for a more general code of conduct. Have some moral courage.

i’ve gone judi dench

Back in SF. Jetlagged as hell. Someone said not to make any big decisions but I cut off all my hair.

I cried a bit today, because of everything but specifically, I realized, over missing Alain. We spent two weeks together 24/7, including eight hour car trips and reasonably heavy physical labor, and we didn’t so much as get annoyed with each other. I love him so much. To me, he is perfect. Really not kidding about the twin thing.

the rest of the yatima cookbook can just be lush photos of me and food

I’ve realized that my cooking techniques reduce to a very simple flow chart:

Is it a salad vegetable? Eat it raw with olive oil and lemon juice.

Is it a bitter green, or possibly a whole chicken? Roast it in olive oil and salt.

Is it a root vegetable or cauliflower and DO YOU FEEL FANCY? WELL, DO YOU, PUNK? Roast it, add stock and blend it to make soup. Eat it with sharp cheddar and a spoonful of brandy.

Is it some other kind of vegetable, such as for example broccoli, or a pulse such as for example peas, corn or haricots vert? Steam it. Eat it with gobs of salted butter.

Is it a fruit? Make a compote by stewing in water. Is it rhubarb? Add a little sugar. Eat it with gobs of heavy cream.

Now have a nice glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. You deserve it!