Book Reviews – “The Hidden Life of Trees”, by Peter Wohlleben; “Shrill”, by Lindy West; “Amateur”, by Thomas Page McBee

“amateur” completely wrecked me tbh.

it’s a memoir by the first trans man to box at madison square garden. he talks about manhood and masculinity and what it means, exactly, to Be A Man, and how to be a good man; it included touching on some stuff that is really close to the bone for me (i cried hard at the first time he scares a woman by running behind her, and also when he talks about touch and intimacy between men, and also when he talks about how scary it can be to be a trans man hiding among cis men and how much of manhood is predicated on who isn’t a man, and what that means for trans men).

part of why it really got to me honestly, though, was a really simple thing — i don’t know that i’ve ever really read a description of the masculinizing effect of T that talks about it being beautiful? a thing i struggle with, as part of communities for bi women and lesbians, there’s a LOT of rhetoric about how men are gross and ugly and hairy and thank goodness we’re not attracted to that. there have been people in my life who have talked about the potential changes happening to other transmasc people with such disgust and entitlement that it really knocked me sideways when i started The Juice. even now, you know, i often think of transition as something i had to do (which is not inaccurate; i honestly started getting serious about transition when i realized i’d have breasts for the rest of my life, and i’d rather die than deal with that), as something i’m doing because i wasn’t “good enough” to make it as a girl. reading someone talk about the changes to his body with love and happiness and appreciation for how beautiful it made him was really good for me, i think.

anyway, it’s real good. i am not able to separate out my emotions from it enough to give it anything resembling an objective review, but my cis hetero male coworker recommended it to me, so at least two data points say: it’s good.

Continue reading “Book Reviews – “The Hidden Life of Trees”, by Peter Wohlleben; “Shrill”, by Lindy West; “Amateur”, by Thomas Page McBee”

bad news

so i’m gonna have to find a new job soon :’)

my whole section of my company is getting shut down. it’s about the nicest possible layoff, in that i have literal months to get a new job and management is actively trying to help us all get new gigs, but also: jesus, welp. i really really liked working here and all the people i work with and the fact that i got to work with an office filled with gay people who were supportive of my transition?? so basically, i’m super gutted and decided to do a bit of woo to see what my emotions actually want to do.

Continue reading “bad news”

sports writing

i enjoyed these articles; you might too

The Hike: John Muir In a Week, by Michael Lanza

one of my niche interests is reading about other people doing ultralight backpacking trips, and then not doing that.

To Win an Ultramarathon, You Need a Devil to Chase, by Colin Daileda

i love reading about ultramarathons. i love listening to people talk about ultramarathons. “it sucks, you’ll want to die. love it, can’t wait for my next!” perfection.

The Sea of Crises, by Brian Phillips

i know i linked this just like a day ago, but: seriously, even if you don’t care about sumo or japanese history, read this anyway, it’s that good

A Sampling of the Gross Shit That Has Happened to My Body Since I Started Running, by Erin Gloria Ryan

this is absolutely my favorite piece of writing about running i’ve ever read (also check out How to Look Beautiful While Running a Marathon)

Raising the Dead, by Tim Zimmermann

about cave diving and the draw of sports that will kill you

Surviving an 8,000 Foot Fall, by Joe Spring

despite the title, i had to walk away from this one for a minute bc my hands were sweating too hard

some things to read from the internet

The Crane Wife, by CJ Hauser (tw for abusive relationships) — about leaving behind a relationship, and about studying cranes

Here is what I learned once I began studying whooping cranes: only a small part of studying them has anything to do with the birds. Instead we counted berries. Counted crabs. Measured water salinity. Stood in the mud. Measured the speed of the wind.

It turns out, if you want to save a species, you don’t spend your time staring at the bird you want to save. You look at the things it relies on to live instead. You ask if there is enough to eat and drink. You ask if there is a safe place to sleep. Is there enough here to survive?

Wading through the muck of the Aransas Reserve I understood that every chance for food matters. Every pool of drinkable water matters. Every wolfberry dangling from a twig, in Texas, in January, matters. The difference between sustaining life and not having enough was that small.

If there were a kind of rehab for people ashamed to have needs, maybe this was it. You will go to the gulf. You will count every wolfberry. You will measure the depth of each puddle.

Continue reading “some things to read from the internet”

creative writing

I DID IT, I FINISHED MY LONGEST FIC EVERRRRR 58k words baybee!!! jjba, part 5, giomis, a heist and also tons of pining B) i’m very, very proud of myself!

i originally wrote this as a nano novel in 2017. i did actually finish the rough draft in november; the remaining year and a half was editing, with breaks for things like “quitting my job and blowing my life up” and “being very sad a bunch”. i learned a lot of things while writing this, and i’m proud of it, even if there are things i would change in retrospect!

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i’m slowly going Full Woo, so today i did my first tarot spread!

i did a simple 3-card spread around problems

the nature of my problem:

9 of pentacles, inverted — self-worth, over-investment in work. that sounds about right — one of the bigger issues right now is my inability to chill out and work in a productive way that doesn’t burn me the fuck out.


the tower, inverted — personal transformation, fear of change, averting disaster. my last job was Real Bad and has given me some fucked up habits, including the terror i’ll get fired at any second; in general, my fear around this career change and what it means, and my defensiveness over every job related thing spells DISASTER, makes work a real exciting adventure in fear instead of what it is


the world, inverted — seeking personal closure, short-cuts, delays. if i want to get better i’m going to have to genuinely release the past and make my peace with the fact that i’ve left this old job. there isn’t a quick and easy shortcut to becoming a Real Software Engineer, i’m just gonna have to keep plugging! stop trying to take a shortcut to Becoming A Real Software Engineer


i need to learn to shuffle better. also, i really have to stop being so weird about my job — i mean, i’m not wrong in thinking that a big helpful thing would be to stop acting like my job is going to transmogrify into my old terrible job. …also practice more ruby.


my body is doing its best to figure out wtf to even do about getting cut open and reshaped; it’s been coping really weirdly.

for a while i was getting what felt like mild electrical shocks while my nerves knit themselves back together; that’s mostly finished up, but it was WEIRD AS HELL. it didn’t hurt at all, but i could feel them creep their way along my chest.

that’s mostly stopped, and for the most part what i feel is just the tightness and pulling of my scars — they’re not as flexible as the skin around them, so i can feel pressure and tugging when i move my arms in certain ways.

today, though, i’ve been nauseated and pukey all day; it’s the weirdest fucking feeling to feel nausea in your scar tissue?? it’s like — somewhere between feeling my pulse and just feeling pressure/heat/cold/tingling along the seams as my body deals with being sick. very, very weird!