Friday (Saturday) Five!

EDIT: It is Saturday, I know it is Saturday. I really thought I was going to get this up yesterday, then it didn’t happen. Please forgive the delay and enjoy the “Friday” Five. ;) 

This week flew by for me, probably because it’s my last week off before I’m back on campus. I have been working tirelessly to finish my Communication and Social Change syllabus, and I think I finally have an outline that I’m content (ish) with. Most of my fellow professor friends agree that there is never a point when a syllabus feels 100% ready, but school starting forces us to go with what we have. So, anyway, it may not be perfect, but I am hopeful that it will allow for a generative semester!

Speaking of social movements, and in honor of this Monday, here is a picture of MLK and Tich Nhat Hanh. <3


“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”


In other news, I am officially one week away from turning 30. Anything I should try to squeeze in before I hit this milestone? Bucket-list ideas? Gimme, plz.

And now, here’s the Friday Five!


Let’s Talk Seriously About Why Cyclists Break Traffic Laws


 I used to be a bike commuter, then I became a public transit commuter, and now, sadly, I have to get around by car. I remember the mix of terror and liberation I felt commuting on my bike on the streets of Chicago and, for a short time, in Minneapolis. It’s an amazingly awesome thing to get around using your body and a form of transportation that doesn’t hurt the environment, but it’s also very dangerous because, as Emily Badger points out, of our society’s car-centric infrastructure. This article talks about how when biker’s break road laws, it’s often out of self-defense. But Badger asks an important question: if the infrastructure was better, would bikers be more law-abiding? A sociology study is seeking to find that answer (there’s a link if you want to participate!). It’s a good read and a good thing to pass along to any drivers you know who get misguidedly angry at the bicyclists. I know I have a lot of bike commuters in my life that I love, so please help keep them safe!

What’s Wrong with “All Lives Matter”? 

Any fan of Judith Butler probably found it impossible not to think of her theory of “livable/grievable” lives amidst #AllLivesMatter, the backlash to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In this interview with the Times, Butler takes her theory and applies it to the lives of black people in the US. The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s a really important snippet: “When some people rejoin with “All Lives Matter” they misunderstand the problem, but not because their message is untrue. It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter which is precisely why it is most important to name the lives that have not mattered, and are struggling to matter in the way they deserve.”

The Power of 29: An Ode to Being Almost 30 

Allow me to be a bit self-indulgent in my last eight days as a 29 year old, yes? This article is all about women who are my age. Ann Friedman writes, “But even for women who realize they still have a lot of things to figure out, around age 30 a sense of acceptance begins to settle in. It’s when many of us experience our first big career payoffs, and allow ourselves to exhale a little because for once it doesn’t feel like we’re building our lives from scratch. On the cusp of 30 — in stark contrast with prior milestones like college graduation — you’re set up to finally start living your best life, or at least a realistic approximation of it. You realize you’ll never be a wunderkind, and you’re okay with that. In general, you give way fewer fucks.” Now, granted, it’s erasing a whole bunch of women (low-income women and other women who may not ever have “career payoffs”), but I think the idea of acceptance and giving fewer fucks is pretty universal. What say you, 29/29+-ers?

French Lentil & Vegetable Salad


For as much as I love lentils, you’d think I’d eat them more, but really my lentil-ing is pretty infrequent. That’s why I was drawn to this recipe from Shira at In Pursuit of More. This is dish is full of so many favorites: lentils, yams, and brussels sprouts! Topped off with a balsamic and served as a warm salad…how delicious!

Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy

getting back to juicing; seeing this delightful film; yoga; sculpt; reading even more of this book for tonight’s (!) feminist book club meeting (saturday update: feminist book club meeting! so fun!); feeling really good about my syllabus and the upcoming semester; kitten snuggles; turmeric root (#cantstopwontstop);  this precious video of a cat interrupting German news anchor’s weather forecast; watching the Golden Globes with MP and GS; when my work colleagues came to my sculpt class; baked apples & almond butter; friend phone calls; hugs; seeing the sunrise over the river on my way to teach an early AM yoga class and feeling like in that moment everything was perfect…


What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xoxo

8 thoughts on “Friday (Saturday) Five!

  1. saraheclement says:

    I am almost 33 now, but I agree with the general sentiment in that article. The 30s are awesome, and they really are when you give far fewer fucks! Even though I started my PhD at 29, it was actually the result of a career payoff (a professor we worked with offered me a position working on a well-funded project). Sitting here a few months away from finishing, I recognise that 30-something Sarah is an entirely different (less neurotic) student than 20-something Sarah. It was also after I turned 30 that I stopped fighting with my body so much, and just accepted that this is the body I was given, and I needed to stop trying so damn hard to make it look different than it wanted to.

    Also…that cat video. Amazing.

    (This is my first comment on your blog, btw, after finding you through a very eloquent comment you wrote on Farmers Market Vegan. So nice to read a blog with this particular mix of topics – a bit of veganism, a bit of health, a bit of politics and feminism, etc.)

    • raechel says:

      Sarah, thank you so much for this comment! I am definitely feeling more acceptance/giving fewer fucks the older I get. I’m feeling pretty hopeful that 30 will bring even more of that (especially hopeful that the last of my body fighting will peace out).

      I clicked on your blog and it looks like you’re not writing as much anymore, but it’s always cool to meet another academic who gets being in that world, but is also interested in other things! Thanks for reading.

  2. onesonicbite says:

    Thanks for sharing that article about biking and breaking the law. I have to say I think they hit it on the nail. I thought about when I would blow through red lights in the city and it was because A) I thought it was safer to get ahead and B) It was in the middle of the night and I would be alone and thought how silly it was, I mean no one is going to pull me over. But I was lucky to bike in Philadelphia, which is a very bike friendly city, and now have bike lanes pretty much everywhere. But when I moved the burbs, I found biking really frustrating since cars didn’t follow rules when they saw me. They would stop when they had the right away, or tell me to bike on the sidewalk… actually people would tell me to do that in the city, which I thought was funny since there was so much foot traffic. XD

  3. FoodFeud says:

    Love that photo of MLK and TNH. To peace.
    As you maybe remember, I recently turned 30 after a long-term relationship ended and I am 100% okay with where I am now. My job isn’t always what I want it to be, but I am grateful for it, for my health, for my friends, and so much. I don’t necessarily feel like I “give fewer fucks,” maybe I’m interpreting it slightly differently. I want to keep striving for better things, but that probably doesn’t have much to do with my age. But I do generally feel calmer and happier, which is wonderful. I even looked at myself in the mirror today before showering and was like, “you know what, I look pretty good” which is CRAZY – it’s not something I EVER remember telling myself before. IN ANY CASE, happy happy birthday to you! Hope you have a wonderful celebration and continue to come into the lovely person you are.
    The lentil dish looks fantastic. I might have to make that soon.

    • raechel says:

      Maud, thank you for commenting. I do remember you recently turning 30, and I was wondering if not seeing G’s name on the blog anymore was a sign of an ended relationship (I don’t remember you mentioning that explicitly though?). Obviously, I can relate to that, and I’m really glad to know that you are feeling okay about everything as a strong 30 year old woman! I love knowing that you loved your reflection in the mirror. I want more and more of those days in my life. Calmer and happier are both really wonderful things.

      Hey, I might see Sleater-Kinney in NYC on the 27th, any chance you’ll be there?

      Thanks again, friend. xo

  4. lysette says:

    A very happy – soon to be – birthday to you! Being in my mid thirties ‘giving less fucks’ definitely resonates and is one of the best things about it. Turning thirty for me meant starting at ground zero becoming a trades person – no career pay off there, buying a beat up old house in my home town and adopting an elderly dog. Watching all my friends start having babies while confirming my resolve to not bear my own. Taking my health and well being seriously and striving for a simpler way of living. I feel more like I can stand and bend with the wind rather than being blown around by it – that’s how my thirties feel. It’s an exciting time, a hell of a ride; welcome to the threshold of your next journey!

    • raechel says:

      Thank you for this, Lysette! I definitely relate to being surrounded by people doing things very differently than you (settling down, getting married, having babies, all while I’ve been doing the opposite). I love your metaphor of bending with the wind. I am going to hold on to that. Thank you again. <3

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