Recently, I got fed up with being a lady on Facebook. The marketing. The advertisements for empowered baby clothes (“she’s a rocket scientist!”) and faintly healthy food (“try three papaya-sweet corn bars for only $12.99!”).
I tried adjusting my ad settings, denying my prior interests in travel, science, and art. But I was still getting advertised to on the broadest of parameters: a female aged 18-55 in America needs… baby clothes. For me, it was bemusing.
For my infertile friends, it was heartbreaking: every scroll a reminder of the child they would cherish but could not have.
The only way around this, I realized, was to change myself. And so, I tweaked my profile and became a 55-year-old man living in the middle of England. (more…)
After far too many pages of verb tenses, K and I left our study abroad classroom for a late-afternoon lunch in southern Kazakhstan. She was surprised at the sheer size of the margarita, and I was delighted with her expression.
Above, you can see how I progressed:
Sketching in pencil over an ill-fated flower painting.
Blocking in the color.
Starting on facial expressions and hair.
Dear Lord, what’s happened to this face?
I widen the face, and add white eyebrows, apparently. I got fed up and left it for a week.
Honestly, I should have stopped here. It’s beautiful. But it doesn’t look like my friend. So I forged on.
Just as things were shaping up, I realized the eyes, nose, and mouth all needed to move left. Oops.
I got the teeth and eyes… and I don’t want to mess up anything else! So I may come back and even out the shadows a bit, but I’m pretty happy with it.
“Do you need this?” I ask, holding up the ballerina music box.
“…And this?” I hold up a handful of seashells and a crushed sand dollar in a plastic baggie.
Julie shakes her head. I quickly sort things into piles, pulling her back into the room when she starts to wander out and look for the TV.
Some of my fondest memories, in fact, are of cleaning my friends’ bedrooms… although inviting over a stern eleven-year-old Super Organizer was probably not how they’d envisioned their birthday sleepovers turning out. (more…)
When I was living in Kazakhstan a few years ago, my generous friends Penny, Christina, and Catalina paid for me to join them in taking acrylics classes. The wonderful Gaukhar Iskakova was our teacher, and this was my favorite project: a portrait of my Grandma Char. (more…)
As you know, this blog is named for tasty, tastydumplings. So to make sure it’s not false advertising, I occasionally post some dumpling recipes. Below, a recipe for barbecue-glazed pork dumplings that I recently made with friends, with pictures:
Barbecue-Glazed Pork Dumplings
Ingredients (makes 45):
8 oz red cabbage, very finely chopped
2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 lb fatty (80/20) ground pork
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (from bacon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Bottle of barbecue sauce
One pound package of 4 to 5 inch round dumpling wrappers, room temperature
1. Finely chop the cabbage and cook up bacon to get the bacon fat.
Last fall, I co-led a biweekly reading group on race and procedural justice for my local community. Our participants included a pastor, scientist, software engineer, writer, librarian, mathematician, and startup employee—a range of Asian and Anglo middle class folks (more…)
Are you thinking about applying to library school? Wondering how to get into the field? I’m summarizing some of the advice I’ve passed along to mentees and prospective students here, with tips on places to look for more on libraryland.
Start reading blogs in the field.
Get a sense of conversations in the field, especially around technology, privacy, diversity, trends in librarianship, the costs and benefits of library school, and ways to prepare for the workforce. Some blogs where multiple authors contribute:
My grandfather Bob Fischer passed away today, just shy of his 81st birthday. A few years ago, I asked him to tell me about his childhood, his working life, and his family life. Our conversation is long, but I’d love to share it with you. I’m happy to pass it along as a word document as well.
1. Growing up in Brook Park
Could you tell me about where you grew up?
I grew up in Brook Park, Minnesota, in a small town. The sign when you come into town, it says 120 people living here, and that’s about what it was when we were there—maybe 50, 60 houses.
We were a poor family when we boys were growing up. Dad knew it and was so happy he could leave money for us boys when he and mom were gone. We lived on three farms around Brook Park and rented the first two. He bought the third farm on which the house burned down.
And what did you do as a child?
I remember picking blueberries as a family activity off somewhere in the bog country north of Hinckley. I think we had a blueberry patch in a bog near (more…)
This week, Sarah Bessey sparked a twitter conversation that rapidly took flight among Christian men and women. Women continue to share painful and even surreal experiences under the #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear hashtag– some of which I’ve reflected on here.
Yet the conversation has quickly taken a hopeful note, as both men and women share #ThingsEveryChristianWomanShouldHear.
So listen in. I hope you’ll absorb and share some of these fabulous dreams for what a rich, supportive Christian community could look like, for both women and men: (more…)