Thursday Thoughts Vol. 5

1. First and foremost, I need to share this image. Myra posted it on Instagram yesterday and I was all fist-pumps and YAS KWEEN the moment I read it. I'm so tired of hearing these insulting, off-base, ridiculous claims made of people who care about others: "lib-tards," bleeding hearts, piss and vinegar, yadda yadda yadda. I don't care about humanity because I have a special snowflake complex. I'm not out of touch with reality because I know that an educated, healthy population is what's right, and what's good for a society. Treating people with kindness, recognizing those who struggle, and aiming to lift ALL members of a society to their fullest potential does not make us weak. And I'm honestly fearful of those who are only in this life for themselves. Who can only feel successful, strong, empowered when they are holding someone else down. If the Women's March showed us anything, it's that together we are stronger.

2. Tangentially related, I just finished a book and when combing through my Goodreads for my next pick, I realized woefully few black authors in my lists. I want to blame part of it on my inability to read much of anything lately, and my feeling drawn to lighter reads that have been recommended to death by the internet and friends. I read more articles than books these days and on certain topics I do seek out black and minority writers specifically, but I know how different a novel is from an article, and if my years-long study of literature taught me anything, it's the power of fiction and that literature doesn't exist in a vacuum. I took a few classes in college that had me reading exclusively or mostly black or other minority authors, but I haven't done enough on my own to continue that since. I've placed a few holds at my library for novels by black authors and am hoping to make my next fiction read one that adds some much-needed diversity to my virtual bookshelf. In the meantime, what are your favorite books by authors of color? Recommendations, please.

3. One of my first items of business after moving to the city (I'm from North Jersey. New York is and always has been referred to as "the city." By pretty much all of us. Apparently there is only one city as far as we're concerned.) was scouting out a new place to get my stretch on. I've been practicing at a cool yoga studio in Harlem for the past two weeks and sampling teachers. For my daily practice, I tend to gravitate toward vinyasa flow, the type of yoga that I teach and have mostly practiced, that focuses on building strength and flexibility while incorporating other limbs of yoga. This studio offers flow, core, and alignment classes, but I've just been craving that sweet, flowing movement of vinyasa so I've been sticking to my preferences there. So far I'm really enjoying the studio, but there are so many more I'm dying to try. Checking out a hot (as in, temperature) studio downtown today and I have more on the list for next week! A girl's gotta have options, right? 

4. Tuesday it was gloomy, rainy, windy, and really cold. Wednesday, it felt like a spring day with a high of 60 and brilliant, bright sun. And then a blizzard. This weather is giving me serious mood swings and I haven't felt fully "healthy" in weeks. Is there any REAL correlation between weather and sickness, especially the flip-flopping of weather? People always reference bizarre weather and getting sick but I wonder if it's more attached to mood than anything else.

5. The only thing I feel able to say about the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary is that it is an utter disgrace, and the senators who voted in favor of her should be ashamed of themselves and do not deserve their seats. 

6. One more on politics: Elizabeth Warren is bae. She has been banging that drum for years, and she is one of the most authentic and important political voices of this era. As opposed as I am to having children of my own any time soon, I hope little girls (and boys—and you know what? Grown women and men too) all over the world are watching and listening to her. "Nevertheless, she persisted."

6a. An idea from my friend Marian:

7. Back to la la land. Because of a crazy, back-and-forth move-in weekend and a long-planned trip taking up my and David's last two weekends, this Saturday and Sunday will be David's first WHOLE WEEKEND HOME in our place. I feel like we haven't spent a weekend together in ages, between work travel and things keeping us in our previous respective cities. I could be aspirational and say we'll spend Saturday brunching at any of the many places within blocks of us, but if I'm honest, we'll probably have coffee in bed and not put shoes on until midday at least. And iiiiiiiiiiiiii can't wait.

8. Did anyone watch Reba when it was on the CW? I don't know if I ever watched its original airing but I definitely saw a lot of it in repeats and something about it just tugs on my heartstrings. Hulu to the rescue; that's all I've been watching this week. It's been a nice break from reality during a time where all I want to do some days is bury my head in the sand. I never realized how many boldly feminist messages that show delivered back then! 

9. I've joined the 21st century and placed my first order for grocery delivery. As someone who hates grocery shopping, and whose best option for real grocery shopping (not the sweep through Duane Reade that some New Yorkers think is an acceptable way to food shop) is the Fairway (👏) a few minutes' walk down (and more importantly, back UP with grocery bags) a big-ass hill (😡), this is a god send. But I have a serious question: how are you supposed to order produce this way? Look, I don't know how many pounds of onions and peppers I need. I need three big green bell peppers and two medium yellow onions. I know they price it by pound, but does anyone actually buy it by weight? Am I the only weird one who doesn't know this? So here was my solution: I put all the big/heavy/packaged stuff in the delivery order, and am just going to go to Fairway tomorrow to hit the produce section. Obviously.

And I think that's gonna take us to the weekend. These days it seems all I can manage are once-a-week posts, but what can ya do. I'm still settling in, catching up, and finding my groove, so thanks for bearing with me. Have a great weekend!

Linking up with Joey.


  1. When I was stationed in GTMO, Reba used to play on the TV Guide channel and I would watch the shit out of it. I love Reba! She's so sassy and awesome and does not care.

  2. I used to way overbuy produce, even in person. Now I estimate conservatively. It's a feel thing!

    Winter is coming. Yes to every belief in #1. I had that image in my post for today and removed it in favor of hellfire. #ShePersisted.

    I'm not typically a one off book recommender but check out The Mothers (newish) and Song of Solomon (older).

  3. I loved that picture when Myra shared it, too. I'm so sick of all the "snowflake" stuff when people (and we know what kind of people I'm talking about here...) are boycotting Starbucks for hiring refugees and upset at a Coca Cola ad for singing in multiple languages. Things that trivial don't bother me. What bothers me is inequality of ANY kind, Betsy DeVos being in charge of our schools, our president having business dealings with countries he conveniently didn't ban, and on and on and on. But, I'm not boycotting Coke due to an ad (also I work for Coke so I literally can't even if I wanted to LOL).

    Also, I've never watched Reba in it's entirety but always get a kick out of it when I have!!

  4. YES! This weather is nuts. Also, I just finished Behold the Dreamers about an immigrant family in NYC in 2008. I loved it.

  5. I love Reba. I don't know how much I watched it when I was first airing, but I love watching re-runs. I feel like I've seen most of the seasons at this point. haha

    Love the picture/quote that your friend put on Facebook about "snowflakes." It's absolutely true, and I hate when people try and use that term and others as an insult. *shakes head*

    As for favorite books by authors of color - have you read Zadie Smith? I need to read more by her but I LOVED NW.


  6. What a great quote/image you shared from Myra. I'm so exhausted of people making sweeping ignorant generalizations about everyone. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, haha, but I think there's something between the extreme changes in weather and getting sick- I at least know it makes my sinuses all kinds of angry. I've been intentionally trying to expand in what I'm reading and the All the Books! podcast by BookRiot is awesome with recommendations in general, but they also talk about a certain % of diverse books, I can't think of the number off the top of my head. The Mothers and Homegoing are two books I really loved. I just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. The Hate U Give is on my TBR list, along with Lucky Boy & Behold the Dreamers (I've heard both are really good).

  7. Hey. This is a great post. We watch Reba on freeform. My 9 year old daughter loves it. My fave episodes were when Barbara jean was at the gym & Reba met her instructor. My other fave was when Barbara Jean had a hamster & she kept hitting Brock when he slept. I know some of the episodes aren't too appropriate for my daughter. I try to delete those 1s. She tapes it every day, so we have 70+ episodes.
    I really like Elizabeth Warren. I am originally from MA. She seems so real & compassionite.
    I want to get into yoga more. I have fibro, so it's suppose to help. I do some stretches throughout the day. But want to get a routine together. It sounds like fun to be doing yoga in Manhattan.

  8. Book recommendations: I loved both Nadia Hashimi's (an Afghan American writer) books that I read: The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon is Low. I read my first Toni Morrison book last year (The Bluest Eye) and intend to read more. I have a girlfriend who has recommended to me that I should read Zadie Smith's White Teeth, and that friend rarely steers me wrong when recommending a book.

  9. I can't with politics, but I do support and agree with #1, 5 and 6.
    I didn't realize I haven't read many minority authors either, but Ishmael Beah's "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" gave me all the feels and was really good. I also love Jhumpa Lahiri's work.
    Weekend coffee in bed with my person is one of my favorite moments of the week- enjoy!

  10. Love that image and honestly might steal it for the gram. Good luck settling into New York!

  11. I spent a lot of time watching Reba during the summer between college and the real world. Like you said, it was a nice escape from reality! It was on Lifetime back then.

  12. ha! i love that picture, winter is coming. fabulous! so freaking fabulous. just call me a snowflake too.
    i honestly don't pay attention to the colour of my authors.. that sounds horrible, i know it's just as ignorant and a privilege for me to say 'i don't see that' (read jodi's new book already!) and i'm trying to make more of an effort as well. i know i do read some authors of colour, i just don't do it on purpose if that makes sense, and i want to. i love elizabeth warren. you obviously know my last name and if we have a daughter, her name will be elizabeth - unrelated, but still freaking cool i think. i love reba. i haven't watched her show in full but i've definitely seen repeats. i might watch it from the beginning because why not. go reba.

  13. I found this list a couple weeks ago with a ton of reading recommendations: (hope it's okay leaving links in the comments!)
    I'm the same way; I never paid much attention to the race/ethnicity/background of the authors I read, but I'm trying to make more of an effort now.

    Also -- I grew up in the Bay Area and when I say "the city," I mean San Francisco. Same thing, different coasts. And I've never really watched Reba, but my grandma watches reruns every single day while she's making dinner. She loves her.


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