A look at life at the intersections of wellness, culture, and current events

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Advice on making a lifestyle instead of a diet

Advice on making a lifestyle instead of a diet

In 2009, Michael Pollan published a book called Food Rules. It’s a relatively short book that has 64 bits of advice on what to eat and how to eat. Some of the advice is useful, depending on what your life circumstances are. Some of the […]

CONFIDENTIAL: Why everyone needs to have a secret project

CONFIDENTIAL: Why everyone needs to have a secret project

Today I’m working on a secret project. I’m very excited about it, and I’m putting a lot of effort into making it, but it’s a secret. None of you will find out right away what it is. Some of you may never know what it […]

WIRTW Roundup – July 7, 2017!

WIRTW Roundup – July 7, 2017!

Yikes, it has been a while since I’ve posted anything, yeah? I’ve been busy *and* unmotivated so that’s fun. On the bright side, I became scrimmage eligible in roller derby recently and got to see the Deftones and Rise Against this past weekend!  I’ve also done a bit of reading, so here are some articles and pieces I’ve read that I think are worth reading.

4:43
From the same woman who gave you the Lemonade Syllabus, Candace Benbow comes with a response to the recently released 4:44 album from Jay-Z. Jay-Z comes with the apologies, but what are the lasting effects that women have to deal with concerning men who continue to hurt and disappoint? This is definitely worth a read.

Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability
I was on tumblr the other day and came across a quote from a keynote speech given by Mia Mingus, prominent disability activist, in 2011. This speech calls us to think about why (mainstream) desirability means so much to us through the lenses of queerness, disability, and being a woman of color. Mia wants us to embrace the ugly – check out the article to see why.

The Shrimpmonger’s House
“There she is – my beloved. Still in the pullover they’d call a chemise, its color a sweet red they’d call cyclamen, and the voices around us would cut out.”

This is the first fiction writing I have featured on this blog, and I really wanted to share this story I found looking through Guernica. It’s by Sait Faik Abasiyanik, a Turkish writer who is well known for his short stories. This particular part is from his 1951 novella A Cloud in the Sky. It’s beautifully written and I think you (you lovely reader, you) would enjoy it.

Racism is Everywhere, So Why Not Move South?
This opinion piece talks about why so many black millennials are deciding to move South in a type of “reverse Great Migration.” For some, they find it a way to reclaim Southern roots, to connect with a larger black community with opportunities, or to not be seen as just “the black person” in an area. I’ve recently moved from the South and I’m still observing what the differences are between being out West and down South. I’d love to hear what the experiences are of some of my friends who moved to the South from a different region of the country.

The Arts Don’t Need New Audiences. They Need Communities.
This is a feature from Zacolo Public Square on how people interact with each other through art. It’s not just one article, but several articles highlighting communities around the world and how art is brought to communities, how communities engage in art, and how art cannot exist without the people. There’s over a dozen articles in the feature – any one of them would be worth your time reading.

Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods: A Roundup
I’m sure that everyone is aware that Amazon recently announced its purchase of Whole Foods, since it’s a pretty big deal. In light of this new acquisition, Marion Nestle rounded up a few articles that explains how Amazon came about purchasing Whole Foods and the potential implications of this capitalistic venture. Personally, I’m on the fence about this purchase. On one hand, it could mean that Whole Food’s prices could come down, and healthy food could become more accessible to people who live in food deserts. On the other hand, corporations are prone to exploitation (Amazon has had several complaints about labor exploitation in the past) and who knows who this new deal with actually benefit. We’ll have to see.

This roundup is relatively short, but it’s something right? See you soon for some more original content!

My Size Does Not Determine My Athletic Capabilities

My Size Does Not Determine My Athletic Capabilities

I get two types of responses when I tell people that I do roller derby: “Wow, that’s so awesome! You’re such a badass for doing derby!” Or, “Wait, you do roller derby? But you’re so tiny!” I find it amusing that people assume that my […]

WIRTW Weekly Roundup – June 14, 2017!

WIRTW Weekly Roundup – June 14, 2017!

Hello everyone! June seems to be flying past much faster than I expected, but I still have had time to find some good articles around the internet! How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Eat the Damn Eyeball This article talks about a Korean-American man’s […]

How I Fixed My Relationships in My Sleep

How I Fixed My Relationships in My Sleep

We are very different sleepers. I’m a light sleeper, and he can sleep in until noon. I like to sleep on my side, and he needs to sleep on his back, otherwise he’ll be in pain. I tend to have dreams all the time, and he has cycles of dreamless sleep and then really intense dreams.

Dreams helped me fix our friendship when I felt that I couldn’t be close to him anymore.

Before our fiasco, we would tell each other our dreams. I might have four dreams in a night, or he would have one that was emotionally upsetting…no matter what the content of our dreams were, we would talk about it. On the nights after either of us had a nightmare, we would send each other “good dream vibes”  for the next night. We had to specify good dreams, because once he sent me “interesting dream vibes” and though the dreams I had were interesting, they were also really freaky.

It was really nice to have this thing that we did, as a method of mutual entertainment and as a way to have another way to share ourselves with each other. When we were in the middle of our vague drama (which I refuse to detail here), it became very difficult to communicate. I always felt sad, or I couldn’t talk about certain things with him anymore. I felt like there was a chasm between us and it would take a long time to close that gap. Furthermore, I didn’t know how to, since we were so busy with our respective lives that we couldn’t see each other often. For the most part, all we had were text messages and other digital ways to communicate with each other.

Then he told me about a dream he’d had. I think it had been a while since we last had any dreams to share with each other. It might have been the dream where he had rescued a kitty and also was trying to survive an alien invasion at the same time. It may have been a different dream. Either way, it was an uncomplicated topic that we could just talk about without having any of our real world drama get in the way. Then the dreams kept coming.

I looked forward to having dreams to share with him in the morning, and wondered if he had any to share with me.  In a way, it’s like having a human dream diary. We laughed and had discussions about our dreams and what they may have meant. There was something stable in our lives that didn’t have to be misinterpreted or a big deal. Slowly things got back to normal between us.

I’ve read (today) in some questionable sources that keeping a dream diary can be beneficial to you. Among the 2,220,000 results from Google, purported benefits of keeping a dream diary include a greater understanding of your self conscious, it stimulates your brain, and it’s apparently it’s a method to master lucid dreaming. For me, sharing my dreams was a way to build back trust and comfort in our friendship. It’s got to mean something when you share parts of your subconscious to others, right?

Perhaps the moral of this story is that finding a simple way to communicate and connect can have a large impact on fixing your relationships.

I found mine in my sleep.

WIRTW: Gulp by Mary Roach

WIRTW: Gulp by Mary Roach

Flatulence, and fistulas, and fecal matter – Oh my! Last week I read Gulp by Mary Roach, a novel looking at the science of the alimentary canal (aka, the digestive tract). I’ve wanted to read Gulp since seeing her interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart  years ago […]

Coming Soon: Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017!

Coming Soon: Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017!

For once in my life, I am thankful for targeted advertising on a social media website. While scrolling through Tumblr, an advertisement showed up on my feed for the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017.  Immediately I got excited and my day improved by 1000%. You may […]

A Review of Never Alone (video game)

A Review of Never Alone (video game)

Earlier this year I came across the 2014 game Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) produced by Upper One Games- the first indigenous-owned commercial game company in the United States.

That day, I entered a stream of the game in progress on Twitch and had no idea what was going on. All I knew that there was snow, occasional winds that blew back a little girl and her fox companion across the land, and some spirits that would help the girl and the fox across distances that were too far for them to cross on their own.

At first I thought the game was strange. It had a certain type of quietness and tone that I didn’t typically experience from video games, but that tone is what drew me in.

Photo from GameChurch

The storyline is largely based on traditional stories from the Iñupiat, an Alaskan Native people primarily located in Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska who have lived in the Alaskan Arctic region for thousands of years. One of the stories, titled Kunuuksaayuka, details a young boy’s journey to discover the source of a fierce blizzard preventing him from hunting caribou to feed himself and his mother. The story in its entirety is available by visiting the Never Alone game website (click here for part one of the story). In the game, you play as Nuna and her fox companion who traverse the arctic and encounter several entities from different Iñupiat stories.

I was thoroughly impressed by how the creators involved the indigenous community in the game’s development and production. As you play through Never Alone, there are Cultural Insights you can find which lead to videos featuring the Iñupiat people speaking about aspects of their culture, including the weather, the bola used by the little girl, and more. These are optional to watch, but hey, why not opt to watch them?

The game itself involves platforming and puzzle solving, and some slightly tense scenes as you escape from dangers you encounter in the wild. Never Alone also utilizes teamwork to progress through the story. As the player you can switch between controlling the girl or the fox, or have the two characters move in tandem. I really like how you have to use both characters and one is not just “dead weight” that you have to carry around throughout the game. Something else that struck me as interesting is the realistic relationship between the Nuna and the fox–if either of them die while trying to go through the stage, the other expresses and feels tangible grief at their loss. It’s enough to give anyone with a soft spot for animals the feels.

Photo from Girls Get Gaming

I can’t tell you how difficult Never Alone is to play or if you’ll enjoy playing it but overall I had a good experience watching the gameplay and storyline. I loved learning more about the indigenous cultures of the North, and it made me think about the relationship of man and nature as a relationship of respect and spirituality.

Click here for the trailer to the game.

Click here if you’re interested in playing the game yourself.

 

WIRTW Weekly Roundup – May 25, 2017!

WIRTW Weekly Roundup – May 25, 2017!

Welcome to the first What I Read This Week Roundup! If you were looking for something interesting to read, you have come to the right place! Below are some articles that I found worth my time this week. My Family’s Slave Writer Alex Tizon recalls life […]