Life as an Extreme Sport

I Don’t Wear Scarves (Memoriam: Mom)

It was warm and hazy when I woke up this morning, the room oddly yellow for the time of year, motes floating lazily through the dayspring light. Blinking sleepily, I saw Mom laying next to me, saw her smile, saw her stroke my hair and say hello, good morning, get up, you’re going to be late, goodbye, don’t let the bed bugs bite. I blinked twice. She was gone. Don’t cry, there’s always a way Here in November In this house of leaves we’ll pray

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Human Beings are Cruel Things–The Internet Didn’t Create That

There seems to be a new, public wave of hand-wringing over technology changing us, making us mean or cruel. People cry out that the only reason women receive rape and death threats online is because of anonymity; there’s belief that bullied kids would never kill themselves before the internet; there’s a panic over the shaming that many (especially white men) face for revealing their racism, privilege, bigotry. But as Tabatha Southey points out, we–we humans–are cruel. We have always been cruel. We almost certainly always will be cruel. Lately, humanity has been flattering itself that it was better and kinder before the Internet – as though we never slipped anonymous notes through locker doors in high-school hallways that were echo chambers in themselves, as if we never wrote on actual walls. I had a growth spurt at 10; by 11 I’d reached menarche and developed breasts–the first out of my

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Childless: My Joy is Another’s Grief; Don’t Conflate the Two

This morning, CNN[note]Thanks, Tara, for bringing it to my attention. Or, “thanks.”[/note] ran a piece on misunderstandings and stereotypes of childless women called “Check your ‘cat-lady’ preconceptions about childless women.” Naturally, it’s full of preconceptions, misunderstandings, and stereotypes of childless women. In particular, the women are still discussed by their relationship to/with children, and the voluntarily child-free are conflated with the involuntarily childless and uncertain. Let’s take a quick walk through the women interviewed for this story: Grell Yursik, 35: she and her husband have not decided whether they want to have children; Laurie White, 43: refers to herself as “accidentally childless”; Melanie Notkin, 45: says she has circumstantial infertility because she’s single and discusses “the pain and grief over not having children,” promotes maternal instincts of childless women; Kitty Bradshaw, 35: heeded advice to wait to have children (portrayed as bad advice in the story), still dreams of having

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Dear @Twitter: I don’t want your head, but can I borrow your ear?

As just about everyone who uses Twitter is likely aware, on Thursday the company attempted to roll out changes to the “block” feature. Instead of the previous policy, which didn’t allow blocked users to follow you or interact with your Tweets, “block” was going to function more like “mute”: blocked users would still be able to follow you and interact with (RT, MT, favourite, etc) your Tweets, you’d just never see it happening. What ended up happening was a Twitterstorm of the likes Twitter itself has never faced (itself a bit of a remarkable thing, all considered). In the face of considerable backlash, Twitter quickly rolled back the policy to their previous one, which they say is: Blocked users cannot: Add your Twitter account to their lists. Have their @replies or mentions show in your mentions tab (although these Tweets may still appear in search). Follow you. See your profile

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