Friday Five!

Hello friends, it’s been a while! The past few weeks have been very busy, and a little bit heavy, but also in some moments very light. It’s been finishing grading final papers, attending commencement ceremonies, teaching and taking a lot of a yoga and sculpt, and doing tons of things to prepare for my impending trip to England. It’s been laughing and crying and reflecting and loving and missing and celebrating and honoring. You know, life stuff.

Here is a picture of some nature I walked through on Sunday. The weather has been beautiful and I’ve been trying to take more walks, just for a walks’ sake. Not walking somewhere, just walking….


And now, the Friday Five!


Feeling Is Not a Weakness: Sadness, Mourning and Movement

This is a beautiful piece about the role of sadness and grief in movement organizing. About how, when it comes to resisting oppression, we shouldn’t be afraid of our pain or our vulnerability.  It’s worth the whole read, but here is a particularly poignant passage: “The same qualities that make the state overwhelming are the ones that, in fact, make it weak. An unfeeling devotion to profit, to the grotesque amassing of resources, at the expense of community, people and planet, is not strength. There is, in fact, nothing sadder than believing in the sacrifice of life for material, control, and power. The most intense violence—which we are seeing ramp up—the intentional erasure of history, the use of militaristic force, solitary confinement, the reneging of basic rights, assault, abuse, will never stop our communities from feeling. It will never end our love for our own lives, for the lives of our ancestors, for the lives of our children. It will never dissuade us from fighting back.” 

Tea as Consent

So this video manages to make something as serious as sexual assault into a metaphor about tea, and manages to do it successfully and poignantly. It’s a great teaching tool and one that rightly puts the onus on potential perpetrators rather than victims to eradicate sexual assault and rape culture.

Colds and Exercise

Okay, this one is for those of you still read this thing for fitness-y stuff (which I’ve been neglecting covering on the blog as much). I always end up googling “exercising with a cold” when I get sick because I always *want* to exercise but never know if I should or not. I always seem to find conflicting advice (and usually end up going for it, sometimes for better sometimes for worse). That’s why I was glad to see this summary of a collection of actual scientific studies over at Fit Is a Feminist Issue. The short version is that it is safe and sometimes can make symptoms feel better, but there is no conclusive evidence that it actually does anything to eradicate the cold. And rest is proven to help a cold. So, it’s still a bit fuzzy, but at least these things are from science and not my usual browsing of responses to this question from the weird gravatars on Yahoo Answers.

Quinoa, Carrot, and Spinach Salad with Spicy Carrot Chili Vinaigrette 

Tis the season for simple salads, and naturally Gena from Choosing Raw has created a great one. I love love love the sound of this spicy dressing!


Stuff from the (Past Few) Week(s) that Made Me Happy

yoga; Sculpt; facilitating a really amazing discussion about race, gender, and sexuality at a community youth organization called Movement City; being at that same event and getting to meet this fabulous 13-year-old out-gay Latino student who was just dropping fierce knowledge about intersectionality, and I just felt like there is so much hope and amazingness in our world and in our youth and it was very inspiring (!); taking nature walks; friend phone calls, texts, skypes, and gchats; real-life friend time too!; planning for and getting more excited about my trip to England; finding out that students had been writing letters to try to get the school where i work to figure out a way to keep funding my job, and getting a letter one of the students wrote, and just having all the tears and all the feelings because apparently i’m pretty okay at this teaching thing; this video of laura jane grace & miley cyrus singing “true trans soul rebel”;  the turmeric/kale/ginger soup that i had for dinner literally every night for a week because it makes me feel like a million bucks and helps soothe my (physical&emotional!) aches and pains; podcasts (thanks LD for the new one!); feminist book club; kitten snuggles (so many snuggles!); connecting with a friend about new buddhist practices for healing; DIY clay mask self-care time; getting a new letter from my prison pen-pal; seeing my seniors graduate at commencement and feeling so proud and excited for them; karaoke-ing two of my favorite songs at one of my favorite bars in my neighborhood with good pals; lady talk over wine on a warm-night porch; & new springtime jams.


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

12 thoughts on “Friday Five!

  1. Molly says:

    Thanks for sharing! I ran around the arboretum to see the lilacs in full bloom…the smell is intoxicating!

    With regard to the pen pal, do you work through an organization that matches people to offenders? I’m really interested and I would love more information!

    • raechel says:

      I did go through an organization, yes! It’s called Write to Win and it focuses on trans and gender non-conforming prisoners. There are quite a number of letter to prisoner organizations though, I bet if you google it you can find one that has in-need pen pals!

  2. lacy j. davis says:

    thanks for sharing! the whole tea thing is so simple and obvious, and of course the whole sex thing is, too! Glad you shared such a simplistic parody.

    I am so excited for you to go to england and so curious to hear how your next year is panning out. You’re awesome, lady, and youve totally got this <3

    • raechel says:

      I forgot to write that there are carrots in it too, whoops! I boil 3 carrots, chopped up, put it in a high speed blender with fresh turmeric root and fresh ginger root and kale (+water), blend it all up, then garnish it with a little salt and tahini. That’s it! : )

  3. frugalveganmom says:

    I was going to comment asking for the soup recipe too!
    In the middle of the mess that is my life (not discussed on my blog, unfortunately… I should start a new anonymous blog called divorced vegan mom…) still managed to have lots of great moments.
    -Realizing over and over how much love I have in my life, and how lucky I am to have such support, even though that one person I thought loved me apparently does not.
    -Getting a text from an old friend out of nowhere “Just sending you a text of affirmation. You are great!”
    -Springtime/hanging outside with friends and kids/lots of baby smiles and snuggles

    • raechel says:

      Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through such a difficult thing. And yeah, it’s not easy to fit that into a blog. I’m glad you’re finding ways to focus on the positive, but also, it’s totally okay to let yourself be mad and sad too. I’m thinking of you friend. I’ve never gone through a divorce, but my last two breakups might as well have been given how bad they hurt and how deeply they fucked with me. Sending you lots of strength.

      (soup recipe above <3)

      • frugalveganmom says:

        Thank you. I hate not being able to write openly about it, but it’s a sensitive subject, obvs, and a lot of family doesn’t even know yet. But, the more people I tell, acquaintances, etc., the more I find out what sort of deep shit lots of people have been through. And then I feel fake writing on my blog and not saying what is really going on, ya know? Oh, problems of the internet!

      • raechel says:

        Yes, totally. I felt the same way about blogging during my breakup. Felt really fake. It’s weird and awkward. But empathy is so important right now, so I’m glad you felt comfortable sharing in the comments. Lots of love. <3

  4. lysette says:

    Your students plea to keep you on faculty makes my heart swell up for you, you are undoubtedly a bright light in their academic lives :) Warm porch nights with friends is one of my favorites too! I feel relaxed just thinking about it.

    • raechel says:

      My heart swelled too, thank you!

      I’m glad you have been having warm porch nights too. I agree, it literally slows the heart rate being on a porch… <3

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