Nikki, New Bedford Harbor

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Week in photos (215-219)

215/365
215/365. Lemon-vanilla cupcakes.

216/365
216/365.

217/365
217/365. Luggage concepts. Sorry, I made this late at night.

218/365
218/365.

219/365
219/365. Sitting by the Bay with Sui.

Lunch break / inside a sculpture

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Hayes Valley.

Now in serious Australia preparation mode


Currently requiring myself to learn the dance that begins at 1:33; feel free to join the endeavor. Performances granted to Australians upon request.

Week-ish in photos (203-214)

203/365
203/365. Contesserate's backyard.

204/365
204/365. JFK.

205/365
205/365. Chai and naan with my Chicago girl come to visit.

206/365
206/365. New (old) toy.

207/365
207/365.

208/365
208/365.

209/365
209/365. Current reading material. My great-grandmother's, from when she was twenty.

210/365
210/365. Sui.

211/365
211/365.

212/365
212/365. Homegrown chives, which please me exceedingly well.

213/365
213/365. Makin' soup with tiny pasta stars in it.

214/365
214/365.

Dancer and mansion and drooping pine

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I like dancers, the things you catch them doing in in-between moments. It's like they're speaking in verse while everyone else is stuck in prose mode. This is my newlywed friend's sister.

Pre-wedding van errands, New Hampshire

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Read in June 2012

1. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
An enjoyable one-night read. Reminded me of the young adult fantasies I loved in middle and high school.

2. True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Succinct reflections on mindfulness and love, from a Zen perspective. A beautiful little volume.

3. Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, by Gail Dines
A feminist sociological account of the modern porn industry. She traces its history, beginning with the nude magazines of the fifties, to explain how it came to its current internet-based, multi-billion-dollar form. Her descriptions of the brutality of today's porn  the blatant misogyny and racism, as well as the sexualization of children via "pseudo-child" or "teen" porn  are highly disturbing, but crucial to her discussion of how porn affects its viewers and society at large.

4. Nativity Poems, by Joseph Brodsky
Of the multiple translators who put these poems into English, I certainly prefer the style of some over others (things like how they preserved rhyme and meter, etc.). The poems of his younger Christmases were more compelling and beautiful to me, but I can't remember much else beyond a few passages that glow in my memory.

5. Mastiff, by Tamora Pierce
Not up to her usual standards, e.g. the twist did not work for me, but still enjoyable for nostalgia's sake. Oh, and the romantic interest is too perfect, by which I mean, actually too perfect.

6. There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate, by Cheri Huber
Deep and deeply useful, accessible insights. More Zen.

7. The Terrible Girls, by Rebecca Brown
There is an odd flavor to these short stories, at times evocative and profound (re-readable to be sure), at times dry and head-scratching strange. The prose is definitely not the main dish here. And the subtle connections between the stories are genius to me.

8. From Housewife to Heretic, by Sonia Johnson
The memoir of a second-wave feminist excommunicated from the LDS church for her pro-ERA activism. She is a likable, engaging narrator; her passion and down-to-earth-ness are infectious and her story is compelling. I'm looking forward to reading her later works.

9. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
This was a happy complement to the movie, which I very much enjoyed. Another one-night read — just as fast and gripping as I'd heard it was.

10. Translation is a Love Affair, by Jacques Poulin
A small novel, vivid and refreshing to taste. I like the narrator-protagonist a lot. I like the book for its wisdom in what it does not attempt as well as for its success is just being lovely and pleasant.

Week in photos (196-202)

196/365
196/365. Pacific.

197/365
197/365. My first time spending the night in an airport.

198/365
198/365. Zeke the poodle.

199/365
199/365. Once more to the beautiful hippie attic of beautiful sisters.

200/365
200/365. Setting up for the wedding.

201/365
201/365. Bridesmaid bracelets and The Dress getting the wrinkles steamed out of it.

202/365
202/365. A tree I thought beautiful in New Bedford, MA.

Backyard, southeastern Massachusetts

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7000 miles later

I went to Southern California to see my dad's side of the family at the beach, and then I went to New England to see Anna get married.

So many hours of driving, airports, plane seats, train stations, trains, buses, and extroversion... I made do, to my pride, mostly with what I could carry in my backpack — my phone broke, my planned wedding wardrobe failed me, and I left my wallet 120 miles behind me at one point — but the scenery was gorgeous, and my friends, as well as their families, are unfailing and wonderful.

I am currently taking enormous pleasure in being back in my city and in my introvert cave.

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