Monday, March 4, 2013

New and improved

Big news! Writings in the Raw has a new home on my brand-spanking-new website. I owe a huge thank you to Heather Reed of Creative Fuel, an enhanced web design and development firm based out of Santa Cruz. More exciting news to come. Check out the blog's new home here. Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Still Life

Monday evening still life:

My aunt April gave me these wonderful sock puppet gloves with button eyes and blue noses. Occasionally they'll get separated, as they are now, one on the hassock, one on the sofa, its button eyes staring up at me, imploring.

A road map of the U.S. pinned to the wall with two different routes highlighted, one in orange, one in pink.

Blue and white lights curled around our standing light, making the corner glow.

A solitary orchid perched by the window. There's only one flower left.

The gift Ryan's grandmother gave us for Christmas: a small candle holder with four cookie cutter horses suspended above it, ready, as always, to spin once the wicks are lit.

The sound of light rail humming down the street: an urban murmur.

A paper chanukiah still taped to wall, three months later.

And, barely visible from my seat on the couch: Ryan pulling hot macaroni and cheese out of the oven.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

In case you missed it...

...the wonderful, amazing A Practical Wedding reposted my "Miracle of the Latkes" piece on their blog yesterday. A Practical Wedding is a truly useful resource for anyone considering marriage -- everything from the intricate details of event planning to the bigger political and social questions that relationships imply. Reading APW has helped me own the excitement of getting engaged and offered a cajillion helpful ideas for honoring personal aesthetics, setting a budget, including family and friends, and acknowledging the marriage equality movement.

Thanks APW!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Culture jamming

Our third floor at work has these pristine erasable walls that no one seems to use. Last week, on my lunch break, I left my mark.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Yesterday was a beautiful, sparkly day, a cold day, the day before the Pope resigned, the Lunar New Year. Yesterday I ran 6 miles, programmed my first website, made lasagne with Ryan. I thought about the blood in my veins and how, after twelve years with diabetes, I still see it - every day. And how trivial that seems. And how funny it is to get used to adhesives on your stomach. And how, over time, you grow to really love those little sticky patches, because of what they do for you. And how tiresome this narrative must be, the preexisting-conditioners-speak-out-story, the let-me-show-you-how-tough-I-am story.*

I saw a new endocrinologist for the first time in several years. While reviewing my blood sugar charts he said something about a common trend toward hyperglycemia after meals, and completely without prompt, I burst into tears. He waited a beat and then said, "I certainly hope this isn't causing you psychological stress."

There are a lot of ways to interpret that. What this man doesn't know is that I am a master at interpreting things a thousand different ways. It is, at times, my job to do just that. I looked at him and said, "This shit is frustrating." Because the truth of it is, no matter how boring that narrative gets, it's there for you like any terrible reality tv show or late night drama. Yes, the last twelve years have been amazing. I have gotten to travel the world and study things I care about and work with really interesting people and live in beautiful places and spend time with my family and friends and fall in love and go on adventures. And on a good number of those days I've been downing Gatorade on my bike or waking up shaking in the middle of the night or taking an injection because my site doesn't work. I imagine other people's bodies as these machines that tick involuntarily; mine is a watch that must be wound, every two days, using a 7cm needle.

Know that this is not a call for sympathy. This is an acknowledgement that days can go by and years can pass and we can accomplish great things while still honoring, for one day, that nine or ten or eleven or twelve years ago our lives were unaffected in a way that they no longer are. That this is, for better or worse, a reality, one that occasionally causes stress, but one full of awe, and honesty, and true, real love.

So that was yesterday.

*I want to mention, too, that when other people living with, well, whatever it is we humans live with, share their stories about their own conditions, I feel a kinship and compassion so strong that I know this narrative will always have its place.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dudebros and red pumps

I bought my first bridal magazine yesterday. I couldn't help myself; I had to editorialize a little. This is how the intro paragraph to my wedding would read:
The perfect dazzling white gown lacey vintage short dress, hair and make-up that make her feel every inch a princess an awesome badass woman, from the tip of her tiara crown of flowers to the toes of her bejeweled slippers red pumps, a fabulous grand ballrooman open night sky, and of course a handsome prince responsible yet spontaneous dudebro. It's a timeless dream for most women, as it should be.

I've never been one for fairy tales--it seems to me that a wedding is about celebrating the raw humanity that is real life, real love, and real people. That, and sexy dudebros, and an entire happy crew and family and friends, and red pumps.