So long, for now

Something I’ve been working on in therapy is to ask, “What purpose does this serve?” before a thought or an action. Mostly, it’s a tool to help me break negative thought patterns, to ask ,“What purpose does it serve to say that about your body?”, or “What purpose does it serve to dwell in guilt and shame over your last relationship?”, or, “What purpose does it serve to pick that fight?” etc. And today, I want to think about the purpose this blog has served and what it may or may not serve now.

I started this blog almost exactly five years ago (June 17, 2011), eager to document and reflect on my journey into critical wellness, and determined to find some sort of structure to my summer on fellowship. I would workout and/or do yoga in the morning, document my fresh juices and gluten-free “clean” meals, then work on preparing for my prelim exams, wrestling with class-guilt and against a legitimate case of summer SAD. I was partnered with a lovely man with whom I would go on to share four years of life, most of which were documented on the blog. I was in my mid-20s, imminently approaching my Saturn’s Return, and feeling restless.

The Rebel Grrrl Kitchen (as it was originally titled) served at first as an admittedly enabling platform into what I would now describe as my phase with orthorexia. The blog—although filled with body-positive aside and radical theory—was still mostly a vehicle to hold me accountable to eat “clean” and “good” food, all, at the end of the day, in the service of weight loss. I insisted that I was doing this more because of how I felt rather than how I looked, but during my cleanses—when my partner would beg me to eat solid food after nearly fainting in the living room, when I’d be constantly thinking of food because I wasn’t allowing myself to eat it, when I turned down social plans because I wasn’t eating anything more than smoothies that night—I was focused on loose clothes, not how awesome it felt to feel weak and hungry. That said, transitioning into more mindful eating and switching to an almost entirely whole foods diet did provide a foundation for feeling really great, and I was grateful that I, within a year or so, lessened the restrictions I placed on my food, and eliminated posts about “clean” food and cleanses.

I started to make friends and build community around the blog, connecting with other likeminded feminists, vegans, punks, and queers who were stoked on health and/or veganism and/or delicious food. I felt motivated to experiment with new recipes, and loved capturing the dinners I’d make for friends we’d host at our beautiful home in Minneapolis. I was working hard to reclaim the ostensibly normative situation I was in as a partnered woman who loved being in the kitchen. I loved the idea of being a sort of punk rock vegan healthy intellectual Suzy Homemaker.

I’d say my last really active year of blogging was also my last year in Minneapolis. I was on fellowship again, so the blog provided an outlet outside of my dissertation. It was a great stress relief and I looked forward to writing and editing posts 2-3 times a week. It felt easy to write about my life. I had a life that was okay to talk about out loud. I was in a committed relationship, I was on-track with my work life, I was mostly happy.

For many reasons, my blogging decreased after I left Minneapolis. I could blame it on going from grad student life to full-time professor life, a reality that left me with fewer hours to devote to my blog hobby. I could credit having to pick up a second job, teaching multiple classes a week at my yoga studio, for the lack of blogging time. But the real reason is that my long-term relationship ended. It ended in a long, messy, and horribly painful way, dragging on for months of uncertainty. It was, hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, leaving this relationship that was really wonderful in so many ways.

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sad eyes, no smile.

I didn’t write about this on the blog for a lot of reasons, prime among them, to respect the privacy of my ex. And, to this end, I will still spare the details of this very sad story, but like most breakups, trust that it was complicated, deeply deeply painful, and that I still love him, and will always love him, very much.

But privacy aside, you don’t talk about breakups on food blogs. There seems to be this unspoken rule that if you’re going to visit a food or lifestyle blog, you’re going there to feel happy. You want to see beautiful pictures and hear cute anecdotes about the blogger and their boo (usually husband) and their cat or dog, and eventually the baby they will have and document.

I threw a wrench in that formula with my choices and I stopped having cute anecdotes to share on the regular. Instead, I was living in a basement apartment (that didn’t even have an oven or stove!), alone, depressed, cooking meals for one, and slipping back into a bout of bulimia that I thought I had shook years before. I was struggling financially paying rent as a single person in Boston, I was suffering from a broken heart, I was not remotely excited about experimenting with new recipes, nor did I have space to have friends over for dinner (nor, being in a new city, did I have many friends to invite to dinner in the first place).

It was a deeply dark time. (I lost two grandparents and my childhood dog within the first year of this, too). I missed my ex, and Minneapolis, and my cat (who I lost custody of in the breakup), and my family, and my friends. I wasn’t happy, not on a consistent basis anyway, but I kept trying to create blog posts to focus on the occasional bright lights that helped me through that year. I wasn’t lying on my Friday Five “Stuff from the Week That Made Me Happy,” but those lists were not easy to make. Life was dramatically different from the early blog posts of beautiful grilled dinners on a Minneapolis summer night porch.

Jeanette Winterson writes: “When we make a change, it’s so easy to interpret our unsettledness as unhappiness, and our unhappiness as a result of having made the wrong decision. Our mental and emotional states fluctuate madly when we make big changes in our lives, and some days we could tight-rope across Manhattan, and other days we are too weary to clean our teeth. This is normal. This is natural. This is change.”

Yes, that. And so, I don’t mean to paint a picture of days that were literally unbearable, but, rather, that more often than not, they felt it.

One of the bright lights that got me through was a long-time friend, “L,” with whom I eventually began a romantic relationship. I didn’t know how to talk about that on the blog either. I was still suffering from the pain of my breakup, but also falling in love with someone new. Our society doesn’t have narratives about that. How you can be sincerely suffering in one part of your heart and also finding space to love in another. I didn’t want to write about the breakup, and I certainly didn’t want to write about L, because although it was hard to admit on the blog how sad I was, it was almost harder to admit that there was a new person who made me happy sometimes in spite of it.

I kept trying to blog without mentioning any of this explicitly. The posts felt more and more insincere, more and more surface-level.

And then things fell apart with L. There is a long list of reasons for this, about which I will, again, spare the details, but trust that it was also painful, and that it was due in part to the fact that I wasn’t actually ready to be in something new without having healed from the other breakup. (And in my open wound, I firmly believed I did not deserve happiness, certainly not after hurting my ex so badly).

Cheryl Strayed writes: “You have to say, ‘I am forgiven,’ again and again, until it becomes the story you believe about you yourself.”

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a pic of me with my beautiful boycat who I’ve been mostly too scared to feature on the blog because of how it might seem to my former cat who now lives with my ex (as though she has access to the internet and can make sense of this).          ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How do you write about that on a food/lifestyle blog? Mostly, you don’t. And so, I didn’t. I continued to talk about everything else in my life outside of the dark cloud that hung heavy over every heartbeat….

And then things got worse. I started behaving in ways that I didn’t recognize as myself, and my therapist helped me realize that I was dealing with PTSD from a host of childhood and adult trauma that I had never even attempted to resolve. This too seemed like impossible content for the blog. Can you imagine? “Hey readers! I had a panic-attack this week while remembering details from a sexual assault I experienced at age 12, but check out this adorable vegan cupcake I made after it happened!”

A year ago, during my time in England, I finally started to feel a light at the end of this two-year tunnel of hardship (thanks in part to a wonderful person I met there, with whom I also had a messy relationship, which was also too complicated to explain on the blog), but right when I was feeling like breathing was getting easier, J, one of my best friends, committed suicide. I did mention this on the blog, but again, not in detail, and I promised to get back to Friday Fives as soon as I could to keep things upbeat.

That was about 9 months ago, and this year of blogging has been probably the sparsest yet, mostly because I was just tired of the effort it took to compartmentalize when I wrote. I knew the blog wasn’t serving much of a purpose at all. I was actually coping but, although this past year hasn’t been quite as horrible as the previous two, it still felt hard to write it. After J’s suicide, L and I decided to give things another shot, and that’s been difficult but also good, and I still, nearly three years after the first breakup mentioned, didn’t know how to talk about someone new on the blog. How could I be a partnered woman in the kitchen again when ya’ll first met me as a partnered woman in the kitchen with someone else?

So why am I writing all this now on what may be my last blog post here? Well, because, empathy. And because, as Maggie Nelson writes: I will always aspire to contain my shit as best I can, but I am no longer interested in hiding my dependencies in an effort to appear superior to those who are more visibly undone or aching.”

For the past 2-3 years, I have been undone and aching more than ever, and although I contained my shit as best I could, I want to be vulnerable with you now, so you know that I’m not above being broken.

This whole journey of thinking of my life alongside the blog reminds me a lot of the beautiful series Sayward posted after a year-long hiatus she took from her blog, Bonzai Aphrodite, during her divorce. Reading Sayward’s belated account of that helped me through my own relationship’s end. And: reading other people’s accounts of financial struggle helped me through my own recent years of economic hardship. And: reading other people’s accounts of PTSD helped through my own diagnosis. Knowing other people go through the shit (and make it out to write about), helps you get through the shit. It took me three years to finally say it all out loud, but I’m doing it because maybe there is someone else who went through some incredibly messy relationships and didn’t know how to make sense of it to other people. Maybe someone else experienced deep heartbreak, and too soon new love. Maybe someone else moved to a new city and lost two grandparents and a family pet that same year. Maybe someone else didn’t confront their childhood trauma until they were 30 years old and are now left with the work of coping and being (and eventually thriving) in spite of it. Maybe it’s you, and maybe this will help.

Reflecting on the start of this blog makes me realize that I was probably not a different person when I first started writing (I’m still a charming Marxist-feminist vegan who loves cooking vegan food in high heels ;)), but I was certainly in an incredibly different place in life. I have made a ton of mistakes the past three years, and learning the lessons of them has hardened me, but also strengthened me. I have been through the shit, and I have survived it. Looking at my early posts admittedly makes me pretty sad, and definitely makes me nostalgic (that’s a given with me). Life was good and easy then, and I made hard choices that led to life feeling much less good and not really easy at all. I work pretty tirelessly to let go of feelings of regret (even while admitting mistakes were made), and trusting that these trying three years taught me things I needed to learn. But not dwelling in the “I should have done x y and z differently” is a daily challenge.

And the thing is, I know I’m not the only one who has made hard choices and coped with the consequences and found ways to live full lives anyway. It felt important to share that with you all, that I’m one of those people, and that I’m sorry for not telling you sooner, but I was in it and I think maybe I’m just now finally climbing out of it for real, and so now finally have the words and the distance to say it out loud. And I think acknowledging this and admitting that things are very different than they were when this blog started in 2011 is a step in the healing process.

Caroline Myss writes: “We are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives. By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own transformation. We overlook the greater gifts inherent in our wounds—the strength to overcome them and the lessons that we are meant to receive through them. Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of other people. They are meant to teach us to become compassionate and wise.”

I don’t know if there is a future for Rebel Grrrl Living. As I said, RGL (RGK, really) started at a different time and I don’t know if it feels right to document such a different chapter here. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but for now, I will remember RGK/RGL as evidence of a lovely chapter of life in Minneapolis, and as the posts got vaguer and more infrequent, as evidence of a trying chapter that I survived and found pockets of happiness in anyway.

I love writing and I love connecting with people and I love food and health and so I don’t think my time in this blog world is done, but I don’t know when or what that will look like in the future. I do know that I’m grateful for the purpose this blog has served in the past, and even in these recent years, when it helped me realize how much I wasn’t really coping or working through the issues at hand.

I am so grateful to all of you who checked in on a regular basis (and so grateful for all of you who just checked in once or twice!). I am grateful for the friends and community I made and will forever cherish my time in this little corner of the internet.

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Thank you for eyes and your hearts. Stay rebels, friends.




PS: If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider checking out my podcast, Feminist Killjoys, PhD! I’d love to keep the RGL community thriving there! <3

Friday Five!

Hey gang! I’m back with a new FF! February and March have been wildly busy, but I’m so stoked on staying connected to my non-official-work stuff right now, so I totally want to make time for this and my new podcast (which I’m shamelessly featuring in the list today, so more on that in a sec).

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Here we go!


What Women Find in Friendship that They May Not Get in Love 

This article in the NYT by Rebecca Traister is admittedly very heteronormative, but also has some good things to say about female friendship. Traister explains, “As women live more of our adult lives unmarried, we become ourselves not necessarily in tandem with a man or within a traditional family structure, but instead alongside other women: our friends.” She goes on to discuss how these friendships play a role in our lives even if and when women go on to get married (see, very heteronormative). But as someone really loves and values the lady friends in my life, I really liked this read. (Also, this is one of a handful of articles we’re discussing at my feminist bookclub tonight, and I’m excited to discuss it with my lady-friends IRL!)

Feminist Killjoys, PhD podcast

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Shameless self-poromotion alert! In case you missed my last post about it, one of my best friends from grad school, Melody, and I have been talking about starting a podcast for over a year, and we finally got it off the ground. In it we discuss politics, pop culture, and more through an accessible, feminist lens. We also talk about stuff we’re reading and music we’re digging every ep. We are kind of a hoot and also smarty pants (if I do say so myself) who care about social justice pretty deeply, so you should totally listen and let us know your thoughts on the things we discuss. We want to make a space for folks (especially marginalized folks) to share their opinions on things that matter, because we live in a world where the only opinions who have weight seem to be those belonging to mostly rich white dudes. The most recent episode is about women with tattoos. Give us a listen, like our Facebook page, (and then subscribe to our iTunes when that’s up and running). We hope you’ll join us! xo

Nina Simone’s Face

Ta-Nehisi Coates has done it again with this beautiful and important essay about, as the title indicates, the importance of Nina Simone’s face, and how casting Zoe Saldana in the new biopic fails the legacy of the singer. Coates writes, “It’s difficult to subtract the choice to cast Saldana from the economics of Hollywood—Saldana is seen as bankable in a way that other black women in her field are not. It’s equally difficult to ignore the fact that, while it is hard for all women in Hollywood, it is particularly hard for black women, and even harder for black women who share the dark skin, broad nose and full lips of Nina Simone. This fact is not separable from this country’s racist history, nor is the notion of “darkening up” a lighter skinned black person… It’s possible that the producers were not, themselves, personally racist. This has no bearing whatsoever on anything. In America, racism is a default setting. To do nothing, to go along with the market, to claim innocence or neutrality, is to inevitably be a cog in the machine of racist hierarchy.”

Cauliflower Cheese Sauce Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 

I am always up for a new twist on a stuff sweet potato, and I love the sound of this cauliflower cheese sauce fro Green Evi. It looks spicy, filling, creamy, and delicious! Adding to my list of recipes to make asap!


Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy

starting the week brunching with a dear friend visiting from out of town; recording and releasing ep 2 of the podcast!; plus all the other podcasts i listen to and love including Lacy’s new podcast with her boo, Adult Crash, about being 30+ punks (it’s so good guys—the money episode just had me feeling all the feelings); seeing more wonderful old friends who were in town for a conference; having a good friend here that offers to drive me places sometimes (because getting around Boston is a fucking nightmare and triggers the crap out of my anxiety); my delightful black cats; when a Sculpt student of mine asked me when else I taught because she said my classes were her favorite :); seeing the growth the yoga sculpt teacher trainers have already experienced in week 1 of the training I’m co-leading; sunshine; listening to Against Me!’s “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” as a St. Patrick’s Day tradition; that eating green on St. Paddy’s day was so easy because my daily life involves spinach, green tea, and kale; these two videos of badass dancers dancing to “Formation” and “Work,” respectively; feminist book club tonight; and being on SPRING BREAK!


What made you happy this week? xoxo


In lieu of today’s Friday Five, I cordially invite you to check out the new podcast I’m hosting with my feminist, cat-lady, vegan, tattooed, feminist, punk, yogi, Aquarian, sister-in-the-struggle, Melody. We released our first episode on Tuesday and are so excited to bring you weekly feminist rants. We are patiently awaiting approval for our iTunes station, so in the meantime, enjoy us on Soundcloud!

Friday Five!


Wow, a whole month since my last post. I’m not surprised—February was a real doozy. The past month involved leading an intensive bootcamp program at my yoga studio, teaching, working on two new research articles, oh, and making the second hardest decision of my life. Making heavy life-decisions is so all-consuming; the emotional labor I had to do to get through navigating it really took a toll on me physically and mentally. And I just didn’t have it in me to muster up a blog post.

But everything is okay! All is really well actually. And I do plan to do a post explaining more about that sometime in the near future… But today I’m fighting off a bad cold, so I’m going to get right into the FF!


5 Ways to Share Your Fitness Life on Social Media More Thoughtfully

I’m super interested in your reaction to this piece by Melissa A. Fabello, which focuses on the ways in which gym, yoga, and any other fitness-related photos on social media can be potentially harmful to people in ED recovery. I admit to having very mixed feelings about this. There are certain forms of this fitness-sharing that I find personally triggering, and I’ve definitely unfollowed people who encourage that reaction from me. But other forms of this I find to be legitimately empowering and inspirational. I usually post a fitness-related selfie about once a week (the day I teach a double, when I have some alone-time in the studio in between classes!). I enjoy putting my body—a body that is not a traditional zero-body-fat fitness model body—on display in a way that affirms my queer, femme, punk relationship to yoga and exercise, but I can totally see how that could inspire some eye rolls (at best) or triggers (at worst) from particular people. I also think about this a lot in relationship to disability; singing the glories of how fitness has changed our lives can be problematic not only for ED’d people, but also for disabled folks who can never use their bodies in those ways.  I’d love to know your thoughts about this!

Closing the Loop

I was so into this Aria Dean piece on The New Inquiry. In it, Dean dissects “selfie-feminism,” which she identifies as reflective of the version of post-feminism that exists today. Dean asserts that of course selfies can be empowering, but we have to ask for whom? Dean writes, “Intuitively, the selfie still feels valuable, but the compounded male, white, and colonialist gazes that work so hard to blur Black women and femmes into oblivion have too much force behind them to leave me with enough agency both to politicize a topless mirror selfie and to believe in that politicization one-hundred percent. Since it has been made abundantly clear, of late, that photo or video documentation proves very little and changes even less, simply documenting the Black female body falls short. Maybe a selfie comes close to proving that you exist – that you are at least firmly situated in time and space — but it proves nothing else conclusive about you: this is to say that, self-documentation of Black life still seems unable to contend with the “mass of images” produced by anti-blackness’s aggressive and distributed media campaign.” It’s worth reading the whole piece and I’m totally going to assign it in a class next semester. 

How to Choose Self-Compassion 

I had bookmarked this article knowing I’d need to revisit it, and I’m glad I did. Carly Hauk provides accessible and practice tools to make self-compassion a habit, or at least a practice to incorporate in moments that it’s most needed. I’ve needed to learn a lot about self-compassion over the past couple years, and I found myself needing a reminder after I was feeling down on myself for getting sick this week and not getting as much done work-wise as I’d hoped. Self-compassion is helping me remember that being sick is not a sign of  bad character and to remember that I can get back to work as soon as I’m well again!

Coconut Rice with Turmeric Kale 

Surprise! Another turmeric recipe on the blog! Does this recipe from Naturally Ella not sound and look completely delicious?! It also seems relatively simple too. Just cook rice and kale with a little more flavor flare. I’m in.


Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy 

i started the week with my mom in town, watching the Oscars, as is our tradition every year! i had some friends over and enjoyed talking about all the socio-political implications of the evening over champagne and vegan apps!; voting for a self-identified socialist on Super Tuesday (i don’t think bernie is perfect, but he’s the candidate i’ve agreed with more than any other, in the history of presidential candidates); having a TA this semester so staying home from work for a sick day didn’t totally throw my class off-schedule; my adorable kittens; yoga and sculpt and intention-setting; green tea; reading Andrea Gibson’s words every night before bed; having self-compassion with myself and allowing my body to rest when it’s unwell; the giant pot of healing soup I made this week; and this New Order cover!


What made you happy this week? xoxo

Purple Cauliflower & Roasted Chickpea Dip

IMG_9087.jpgA few days ago I had a conversation with a friend about the lack of variety in my diet. One of the handful of reasons I don’t do many “What I Ate…” posts is because nine times out of ten, those posts would look exactly the same. I know what I like, I know what makes me feel good, and I stick to it.

But the conversation got me thinking about how it might be a good practice to shake things up a bit. And I decided to take a baby-step in the direction of a more diverse collection of foods in my meal repertoire by making a slightly different version of my standard hummus.

To add some extra and more divergent veggies to my belly this weekend, I picked up a beautiful head of purple cauliflower. As I was preparing those to roast, another new-to-me idea struck: Why not roast the chickpeas too?

The cauliflower florets and roasted beans led to a much thicker and chunkier result, so this became more of a dip than a standard hummus. And so was born, roasted purple cauliflower and chickpea dip! It wasn’t a dramatic departure from my usual fare, but it was fun (and delicious) to go a bit outside the box.


Purple Cauliflower & Roasted Chickpea Dip 

1 small head purple cauliflower, chopped

1 can chickpeas

3 T tahini (generous Ts)

1 T olive oil 

juice from one small lemon

2 t cumin 

1/2 t cayenne 

1 t salt

coconut oil spray and/or olive oil 

additional salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop cauliflower and rinse and drain the chickpeas. Spread the cauliflower on one large prepared baking sheet, and the chickpeas on another. Lightly coat the beans and cauliflower with oil (I use just a bit of coconut oil spray). Sprinkle salt and pepper over each. Place in the oven and roast for around 25 minutes. (The chickpeas may have to come out sooner, so keep an eye on those). Allow the chickpeas and cauliflower to cool.

Place the cooled cauliflower and chickpeas in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Blend. If it’s not getting smooth enough for your preferences, add more liquid (tahini, oil, or water) to your liking!


It didn’t stay as purple as I’d hoped, so it’s not exactly the most attractive dip out there, but it sure did taste good!


Happy Monday! 


Friday Five!


Hello and happy Friday! I’m gonna go ahead and use this space as a friendly PSA/reminder: Everything is temporary! Sad feelings don’t last forever! It’s gonna be okay!

So, for some context, I sat down to write the intro to FF last night and I was in a really heavy place. I had had some miscommunication/unmindful communication with people in my life that led to hurt feelings, I was feeling overwhelmed playing catchup at work after having been out of town for a job interview (on my birthday no less), and was just intent on focusing on all the generally imperfect stuff in my life (heart stuff, money stuff…there’s always stuff, isn’t there?). I had gone to yoga, but even that just acted as a vehicle for feeling those feelings more deeply (which is totally fine and necessary sometimes!). So, as a result, I wrote a pretty bummer intro. (It was all, “Sigh, this week is heavy, I’m glad it’s over” kind of deal).

I still had a couple more things to edit on the post this morning, and so I didn’t hit publish before leaving to go teach my first volunteer yoga class at LARC, a substance abuse rehabilitation center for people living with HIV/AIDS. Getting to the center was super stressful and difficult, and I was still feeling pretty cranky and down about things. But wouldn’t you know it, an hour teaching the folks at the center, and all that stuff that felt so heavy and hard to deal with? Yeah, those feelings dissipated almost immediately.

What I am not saying is that I used the community members at LARC as a way to say, “Omg, things could be so much worse, these poor people!” What I am saying is that, for one hour, I got to share space and solidarity with humans overcoming obstacles, and we sat and breathed together and reminded each other that we could make it through hard times with lots of kindness and compassion. We were sharing a human moment and being present and that was enough for all of us, at least for that hour.

And so when I got in the car to come back home, I promised that I’d hold onto that feeling. And I have. And I sat down to publish the FF and I knew I had to rework the intro. And I had to take this time to remind myself publicly that we don’t have to stay stuck in the blue. (Though, it’s okay to feel that stuff!…It’s just also okay to release it.)


So anyway. End PSA. <3


no mud, no lotus.

And now, the Friday Five…


Chani Nicholas Interview with Babesquad

I’ve linked to Chani Nicholas astrology readings on here before, but this is an interview with the woman herself! I absolutely adore Chani’s commitment to combining astrology and social justice. At one point in the interview she remarks: “So I’m white. I’m Jewish. I’m queer. I’m not trans…I’m interested in how I can utilize what I’ve been given to promote spaces where healing and justice can occur. How can I be a part of that dialogue? Because astrology, if it’s interesting, is going to be about humankind, human nature, and life on the planet. So if astrology is not speaking to what is going on in many different communities, in my communities, in my life and with my friends and my partner—like, if it’s not addressing the violence, and difficulty, and oppression; if it’s not talking about the systems that are causing harm and possible creative solutions to build a new way of being with each other—it’s not interesting to me.” The interview also includes great reflections on being a person who has made a career of astrology, her future podcast, and more!


Flint’s Bottom Line

The water-crisis news from Flint is devastating. This article from Jacobin’s John Patrick Leery provides an important analysis of the economic climate that led to a disaster like this to take place. The privatization of what should be public services is a key factor in situations like this. Leery notes: “[Governor] Snyder is fond of referring to Michiganders as “customers” of the state government — a designation that also applies to corporations. When one of Michigan’s wealthiest customers — General Motors — found, a few months after the water switchover, that Flint River water was destroying its tooling and auto parts, it simply stopped using it. Some customers can spring for the premium stuff. But other customers are left with the municipal equivalent of expired meat at jacked-up prices, harassed and humiliated if they protest.” There are ways to prevent these crises—and challenging neoliberal capitalism is chief among them.

10 Years After Rabbit Fur Coat, A Love Letter To Jenny Lewis

Omgeee, this was so many feelings for me! I do not know how, but somehow the album that got me through my junior-year-of-college-breakup is TEN YEARS OLD. This is also totally bonkers to me because I literally heard a track from said album at the coffee shop THIS WEEK, before I saw this article, and was like, “Oh wow, I love that Rabbit Fur Coat album.” And then I found this article and just.could.not. So okay, I’m being really rambly. Here’s a more succinct version: I love Jenny Lewis. Rilo Kiley will probably forever be in my top-ten favorite bands of all time. Jenny’s first solo album is celebrating it’s ten year anniversary, and Ilana Kaplan takes time to pay homage to the woman and the album, and includes nods [and video links] to some of Jenny’s greatest hits. If you too feel like no line ever understood you more than, “I’m a modern girl/but I fold in half so easily,” or just want to remember an album that, as Kaplan notes, “dealt with finding a way to love yourself despite your flaws,” please go read this tribute. “It’s bound to melt your heart.” <3

Roasted Carrots + Rice with Zingy Turmeric Broth

I always love Laura’s recipes on The First Mess, and this one is no exception. This sounds like such a grounding and nourishing dish, and it’s beautiful to boot. I think ya’ll know how much I love my turmeric, so this recipe is definitely getting added to the repertoire.


Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy

little kitten snuggles and LITTLEST kitten snuggles (littlest kitten=foster kitty that Diesel and I have been hosting for the past couple weeks!); yoga at LARC; yoga and sculpt at CPY;  getting to the other end of a tough conversation with a friend and feeling the friendship strengthen <3; some awesome comments from my students in class this week (e.g., “When the ruling class wants to conquer, it divides, and finding ways to marginalize sex practices is one of those ways.” YES GURL HAY!); more bday cards in the mail; anticipation for a secret trip L is taking me on for valentine’s day (don’t know where we’re going, but i’m getting very excited!); emails and calls with long-distance pals; podcasts; excitement for feminist book club tonight!; kind of crushing a 13-hour interview (not even exaggerating, folks. #probablydontbecomeaprofessor); my turmeric kale carrot soup; fizzy water; champagne with M; & therapppyyy.


What made you happy this week? DO YOU ALSO LOVE RILO KILEY?!  

Reflections & New Intentions


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This is very belated, but I still wanted to get a New Year’s Resolutions post up before January was over. I feel like people are heatedly divided about the value of resolutions. There are lots of people who think they are at best foolish and inevitably broken,  and at worst, another tool of the anxiety-producing capitalist patriarchal surveillance state.           ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m not part of that camp. I understand those critiques, but I reject them. I think resolutions, like any sort of goal, can be an entirely positive practice. There’s nothing wrong with setting an intention and using a ritualized holiday to help concretize it. I believe there is significant energy in a practice that includes millions of people all engaging in the same activity around one day. What a powerful foundation to set us up for success!

Before I begin sharing my intentions and goals for 2016, I wanted to borrow One Raw Bite‘s idea to share her 2015 Resolution post and reflect a year later on how she did. I wrote the following resolutions in this post on December 31, 2014:

1. Connect more with people. Avoid small talk if I have the option to exchange more meaningfully; have longer conversations in person, ask people about their feelings and opinions about things that matter.

I kind of crushed this. A few days after I originally wrote this, I started a conversation with another coffee shop regular (I do 99.9% of my non-campus work—-lesson planning, writing/researching– –at coffee shops), Mark, who became one of my best friends in Boston. We totally bonded about movies (he’s a filmmaker) and music, and he’s a super solid dude. I also met Louie this year, in England, a person who I shared a very deep connection with and who I am very grateful to have in my life. I was also more vulnerable with the people in my life who I already knew—it was a tough year, and I was willing to breakdown, be weak, ask for help, and give the hard-to-talk-about details to friends I let myself trust. It was terrifying–and also one of the most powerful aspects of my year.

2. Continue grounding rituals. Lemon water in the morning, self-care books and journaling/gratitude lists at night. Daily yoga practice, exercise that feels good, green smoothie or green juice for breakfast. Deep cleaning and de-cluttering; practicing the one-in/one-out rule.

I am a creature of routine, so this was sort of an easy one to stick to. I think I *almost* stuck with the one-in/one-out rule, but I still need to get rid of more clothes. I was and continue to be somewhat inconsistent with journaling and gratitude lists, but I did better last year than ever before. I am going to re-commit to that practice this year too.

3. Eight hours of sleep as much as possible. Lots of water.

Mostly solid! I still struggle with getting to bed early, but it’s certainly gotten better, thanks in large part to the fact that 2015 was the year I agreed to teach 6am yoga and bootcamp classes at my studio. 6am is not usually a time I witness, but the class forces me to wake up when it’s dark and see the sun rise. I actually really love being an early riser and am excited to continue on this early-to-bed/early-to-rise path.

4. Doing more for others. More care packages, more phone calls, more helping out. Complimenting people (mindfully) more often. Getting back to volunteer yoga teaching (ideally in the juvenile detention center I’ve been in contact with in Boston, but really anywhere that works out). And getting back involved with organizing and activism in whatever form best serves the struggle.

I did okay-ish on this, but there is room for improvement here. Never made it into a detention center to teach yoga, but I did get involved with Black & Pink, had a prison pen pal, and have done some jail visits. I also made it out to several #BLM protests and marches. Doing good work for our world is not a one-time resolution thing. This is a life’s work, and I’m eager to continue to devote my time and energy to justice. <3

5. Writing for me (blog, creative personal stuff, maybe a zine!) at least a few times a week, and writing for school/work at least a little bit most days of the week.

Not so great. Blogging fell by the wayside, and nothing creative ever really came into fruition. Still working on this!

6. Pausing. Really pausing before I react to things. Breathing during that pause, remembering what my words and actions mean in the world. Contributing more kind energy than hostile energy into the world (interpersonally, anyway…I’ll still probably be pretty hostile about social injustice). Practicing lovingkindness towards all beings (including myself). Saying and living, everyday: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. 

Learning how to re-channel the emotions I was dealing with because of repressed trauma was a major theme of 2015 and although this is a never-ending practice, I have a really good handle on it. (#iheartmytherapist)

7. More music. It’s always been a big part of my life, but it’s taken different forms. I’d like to devote some dollars to seeing more shows, I’d like to make more mixes for myself and others, I’d like to go dancing more. And maybe, just maybe, playing some music again, too.

I did indeed get to more shows this year, and it ruled! Still haven’t played any more music, but I’ll always be open to being in a band again someday! (I’m ready universe, assemble me a gang of musical riot grrrrls!).

8. Start a podcast (already in the works with one of my fave ladies!).

So my dear friend Melody and I actually did start and record a podcast. We got our theme, a website, and one epsiode on the books. But then we realized we needed a lot more technological savvy and decided to put it on hold until we bought some better equipment and learned some audio editing stuff. And we’re still in that stage now. :/ But the dream is not dead! We are still gonna make it happen. Be ready: 2016 will see the official launch of Feminist Killjoys, PhD!

9. Finding a way to honor my priorities so that the academy doesn’t run/ruin my life and so I don’t start to resent a job I love. Maybe this means turning down opportunities that seem best for my career. Maybe it doesn’t, but I am committed this year to making decisions that serve me best, and if moving halfway across the country again doesn’t serve me, I won’t do it. (Whoo, that’s a really scary thing to write!)

Still in process. I stayed at the school I’m at now for another one-year contract and am currently in the process of trying to figure out next steps. I feel like I’m ready to practice this, but stay tuned….

10.  More laughing. More tattoos. More turmeric root.

CHECK, CHECK, CHECK. I laughed a ton (miraculously; it was a really dark year, but thankfully the laughs still came). I got sweet new ink. And I ate raw turmeric probably at least 300 days of last year. I will continue to crush all three of these in 2016. :)


As for 2016, I will continue the above, and I’ll do some other things too: I will stop holding on to the past in ways that foreclose the future (this is maybe the biggest challenge of my life). I will continue to forgive myself. I will stay present. I will not only say, but actually believe, “Body, you are beautiful!” I will take risks for the love that is in my life, and I will trust it. I will drink more water and more champagne, and less of everything else. I will say yes to new adventures and believe in the process. I will practice acceptance. I will write a poem (or several). I will paint my nails a color I’ve never worn before. I will regularly and gently remind others of their value and worth. I will keep trying to land a handstand. I will snuggle my kitten and place kisses on the noses of any dogs who will let me. I will maintain good bangs and treat myself to a massage. I will blog more and read more and talk to friends more and feel stuck less. I will plant some seeds and make some magic. I will love and care for myself and others, with every inch of me, with every chance I get. I will be happy sometimes and sad sometimes and angry sometimes and full of uncompromising joy sometimes…and I will be grateful for every bit of it. <3


love you guys. what are your intentions for the new year? xoxoxo