Showing posts from 2016

Lines of Credit and Debt Collection

He wasn't supposed to be there. He was supposed to be in India, but his visa was denied, and so there we were in a bar in Bangkok listening to Beatles covers. So much hurt had come up between us, but the last time we'd connected it was sweet, life-giving, even. How wonderfully weird and novel to see him half a world away from our homes.

The music was loud and he sat close, telling me stories and catching up. His friend suggested that we all go play pool. My friends were tired and wanted to go back to the hotel. They got in a tuk tuk. I would catch up with them later. Just as they were out of sight, he turned to me and asked, suddenly so irritated, why I hadn't left with them? I should've left with them. But wait...what? Aware of my unresolved feelings for him but still entirely guileless, I stammered that I thought we were going to play pool...? We were not, he said, as if all this was obvious and I was that willfully obtuse. We are fighting on the street of a foreign…

Finding Some Fucks To Give: A Primer on Empathy

This piece began a while ago when some white folks hit Twitter to complain that the Netflix production of Luke Cage is racist because it doesn't feature enough white people for their liking. Never mind that entertainment has all but ignored people of color, going so far as to utilize white actors to represent characters meant to be people of color (I'm looking at you...Ghost in the Shell/Aloha/Doctor Strange/Gods of Egypt/Argo/etc etc etc). Luke Cage is a story about a black hero rising up out of a black community. Harlem is gentrifying, but it's still a black neighborhood. When I lived in Harlem, I was the only white person I ever saw on my block. Luke Cage accurately represents the Harlem I know.

This critical response, and so much of what is happening right now, highlights the need for us to pay respectful attention to stories that are unlike our own, of which we have no part. If one is open, you can learn from these stories and enjoy the wider perspective that they ma…

The Ahh Eww That Lives In You

Over the summer I went out to see some live music. The performer was talented, even a bit over qualified for the small venue in which he played. He had solid showmanship, quipping between songs and telling little stories. Many of his stories centered around women that had done him wrong. While I, too, am guilty of using romance as fodder for writing, I also know this talented performer and his romantic life over a period of years. One night a girlfriend of his did too many drugs and I had to babysit her while she told me her numerous stories about him. Wrong doing is often a two way street. I see you, broseph.

A long time ago my mama taught me something valuable about personal responsibility: If you have similar problems with a variety of people, YOU are the common denominator in every situation. It's not them, darling. It's you.

One particularly heady autumn evening years ago, my friend Rebecca and I met a handsome stranger on the streets of San Francisco. I was immediately a…

I'm Queer, Y'all.

Happy National Coming Out Day!

This will undoubtedly be a surprise to some, seeing as how I've never dated women. It's easy to fly under the radar being femme, and considering that "bi-sexuals" don't get much support from either side, not particularly appealing to make it public. However, it's become very important to make friends with every part of myself. Choosing not to come out is a subtle rejection of the part of me that is gay and always has been. Remaining quiet about this has also continued to afford me hetero privilege which I feel increasingly uncomfortable receiving.

So today in front of the Creator who Loves me as I am, and the Internet, I stand with my community as a proud Queer woman. I love the whole of who I am, and I love the whole of who you are, too.


All That We Owe is Our Joy

I want to live a life of joy with you.

It's all I can think about these days. It's summer in New York and I live in the cutest, most neighborhoody neighborhood in Brooklyn with the cutest dog and the best flatmate, and beautiful light that daily pours through my high up treehouse windows. I've never been quite this happy or healthy. Suddenly, having sort of unexpectedly arrived here, nothing else matters but continuing to live this well.

I want to live a life of joy with you.

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my dear friend Lauren Marie Fleming, author and revolutionary in the art of decadence and #bawdylove. She's working on her second season of podcasts and we talked about following our bliss.

A yoga teacher at some point may have told you to Follow Your Bliss, and even if you're not particularly salty or jaded, you may have wondered exactly how one accomplishes this. Where is My Bliss going? Will it leave a trail of breadcrumbs to follow? As w…

The Lies We Believe, or, Shit Colored Glasses

Where to begin it? At the beginning, when the formation of identity began.

We learn who we are and what we're worth by the way we're loved as little people. Little people require an enormous investment of time and attention in order to develop properly. In fact, babies who are not held and loved on enough will stop growing and eventually die. Intimate connection and gentle touch are literally vital to human survival.

My upbringing was largely very loving, but it was also chaotic- marked by addiction and all the behaviors that accompany that. Children of addicts often grow up believing that there is something wrong with them, that they are the cause of the chaos and their parent's behavior. Children are egomaniacs who believe that everything is an extension of them. Some people get taller but never stop believing that. I digress.

My egomaniacal baby brain did a gross misread of my childhood family life. It interpreted the chaos as being caused by some fundamental flaw in my…

Notes From The Road: The In Between Places

'Franz Kafka, the story goes, encountered a little girl in the park where he went walking daily. She was crying. She had lost her doll and was desolate.

Kafka offered to help her look for the doll and arranged to meet her the next day at the same spot. Unable to find the doll he composed a letter from the doll and read it to her when they met.

"Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write you of my adventures." This was the beginning of many letters. When he and the little girl met he read her from these carefully composed letters the imagined adventures of the beloved doll. The little girl was comforted.

When the meetings came to an end Kafka presented her with a doll. She obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: "my travels have changed me... "

Many years later, the now grown girl found a letter stuffed into an unnoticed crevice in the cherished replacement doll. In summary it said: &quo…

Whore. Slut. Hoe.

The Internet comments section should almost always be avoided. With few exceptions, these forums are filled with virulent nastiness, and horrendous grammar and spelling. Despite knowing this, I allowed myself to be engaged in conversation (if you can even call it that) on a recent post by Texts From Last Night. For those unfamiliar, TFLN receives submissions of text messages and posts them on social media. The texts almost always cheekily detail drunken misadventures and sexual exploits.

In the text in question, the author writes about coordinating their various dates- one for a spanking and one for sex. Despite the text being wholly gender neutral, the comments section exploded with a long stream of slurs accusing this *obviously* woman of being a slut, among other things. It could just as easily have been a man, but aside from a few reasonable people, everyone immediately decided that this 1) was a woman and that 2) her sexual choices should be judged with incredible harshness.


Hellooo Laydee!: Navigating the Cambodian Wild

Between Laos and Cambodia I had a day to reset in Bangkok: reup on antibiotics, swap out currency and research my next border crossing. The internet is full of insight into traveling the Kingdom of Wonder and I read a lot of lists of the top ___ things I should know about Cambodia. The first and most important thing is that while riel is still used in the country, Cambodians deal in US dollars with riel only being given for small change in transactions. Some ATMs in Cambodia give you the option to take out riel, but almost all give you dollars and while merchants will take riel, things are usually listed in dollars. Riel is actually a closed currency and unavailable outside the country for exchange.

What does this mean? If you live in a country with a poor exchange rate to the USD, sorry! Cambodia is going to be expensive for you. Cambodia is actually kind of expensive for everyone. It's possible to spend less money there, but it's also very easy to spend a normal-ish amount o…

Notes From The Road: Decompressing Laos at Home in BKK

The heat tonight in Bangkok is a languid, wet blanket. I love not being cold so I receive this sweaty, sweet, liquidair hug with gratitude. Rachel and I are back in Thailand and survived Laos despite getting very sick in the capital, Vientiane, at the end of an otherwise incredible time in a highly underrated country.

Laos is wildly beautiful and I'm grateful to have jumped into the journey there although I didn't know anything about it beforehand...for instance, Laos is a communist country and has a national curfew of midnight. The United States bombed the shit out of Laos during the Secret War, and children and farmers continue to find active, unexploded bombs in the earth to tragic ends. The Lao people refer to their country as Laos, and themselves and their food/culture as Lao
not "Laotian." (We asked around.) The boundary between public and private life in Laos is even blurrier than it is in Thailand. We ate a lot of delicious home cooked meals in restaurants …

Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang, Slowly

Rachel and I have now made it over the border and into the chilled out jungle town of Luang Prabang, Laos. Like all cute places, I'm already in love and considering staying forever. The journey to get here was long and stressful, though, due largely to the fact that we didn't plan ahead very well, and information on how to do it isn't very good. Things do change rapidly here, and information isn't disseminated very well, so its understandable. However, I'm going to map out our research and how we did it so you don't also end up nearly getting stuck in the sticks on a Laos roadside like we did.

The first thing you should know is that there are two bus stations that service Chiang Rai. There is the old station (Station 1) in the city center which is currently under construction and kind of a cluster. There is a new station (Station 2) outside of the center which you pass on the way in from Chiang Mai. Not all buses got to both stations, so be aware of which stati…

Notes From The Road: BKK and CNX

Sa wat dee kha from Thailand, where, in a hilarious turn of events, we are having a nasty, wet cold snap. No part of the Asian continent has been spared; it's so cold in Shanghai that the water pipes have frozen. So much for skipping winter! Luckily my friend and travel partner, Rachel, had previously visited Thailand and warned me that it might be cooler in the north, where we now find ourselves shivering in the outdoor restaurants in which we were sweating a couple days ago. Still, I'm layered up and having the time of my life!

Thailand is beautiful and wild, rich with daily devotion in the form of big, ornate temples and tiny ancestral shrines which dot the streets outside businesses and sometimes stand alone, seemingly random yet well maintained. We began our journey in Bangkok, which possesses the manic magic of New York City but with far more interesting street life. Because Bangkok is so consistently warm, so much life is lived outside. We stayed in Chinatown, which is…

Spiritual Fitness: NYC Edition

People who are interested in beginning a practice in yoga often ask me for advice- how to get started, where to go? Yoga has been a part of my life for 17 years and the amount of yoga selfies I shamelessly take in all manner of places make it obvious that I'm a little bit smitten. I will certainly grow old with yoga and it will stand as the longest intimate relationship of my life. (The traditional 17th anniversary gift is furniture. Yoga and I are registered at Pottery Barn.)

Yoga serves different purposes in my life. It's a spiritual practice, for sure, but the classes I've been taking lately barely have so much as an OM. They are slower and full of rich, technical instruction. As I grow up in my practice, I'm far more interested in the Why behind the poses. I've become a big fan of good alignment and intelligent sequencing. Since my constitution also demands that I move vigorously, I take powerful, fast paced flow classes. The commonality in all my movement is …