Conversations With Various of My Body Parts

Scene: midnight, my bed. Me: Cut it out Brain: What do you mean cut it out I don’t know what you’re even saying to me right now Me: I said cut it out. I want to go to sleep and you keep talking Brain: Okay okay okay. That’s chill. I respect that you have thingsContinue reading “Conversations With Various of My Body Parts”

The Thymes They Are A-Changing: A Few Thoughts on Recipes

A few months ago, I had a Girls’ Night Out with my friends. Digression: for us, “Girls’ Night Out” means three things: wine, food, and pants with elastic waistbands. While not actually going out. In other words, it’s pretty much this:               On this particular night, we went toContinue reading “The Thymes They Are A-Changing: A Few Thoughts on Recipes”

Yours, Mine, or Ours? The Centuries-Old Debate over Public Lands

I grew up in Humboldt County, California. It’s known for a lot of things, but mostly for marijuana, great coffee, and gorgeous landscapes like this:                   Sadly, Humboldt County is also known for sometimes violent battles that pit economic development and conservation against each other. So IContinue reading “Yours, Mine, or Ours? The Centuries-Old Debate over Public Lands”

Five Expert Tips For Sucking At Writing

NUMBER ONE. Write in a café. There’ll usually be someone saying something incredibly weird and/or offensive. Once you tune in, you won’t be able to concentrate anymore, but you’ll be cool with it because it’s all fodder for the novel. So far, I’ve overheard the following conversations:  A man, staring soulfully into the eyes ofContinue reading “Five Expert Tips For Sucking At Writing”

Libraries Matter, No Matter What

In May 2007, all four branches of the library in Josephine County were closed due to lack of funding. More than 82,000 people were left without access to any library whatsoever. (Over eight years later, I still feel a little shocked writing that.) A past library levy had been absorbed into the county’s general fund.Continue reading “Libraries Matter, No Matter What”

Wigging Out: Mrs. Corlyon’s Method for Extracting Earwigs From The Ear

So I wrote this post for The Recipes Project to answer the perennial question “What do John Donne and Taylor Swift have in common?” (Spoiler #1: no I didn’t–it just worked out that way) (Spoiler #2: earwigs) Wigging Out: Mrs. Corlyon’s Method for Extracting Earwigs From The Ear    

Laughing at History

Yesterday the website The Mary Sue published a post of mine, a short, lighthearted little thing about the malady known as green sickness. After it was published, I committed the cardinal internet sin of reading the comments. Normally I don’t do that, but The Mary Sue’s readers are savvy and smart, and I was curiousContinue reading “Laughing at History”

The Spitting Image

I came across this image while browsing in the online collection of the Wellcome Library (heaven only knows what my search terms were). Even in the often-bizarre world of the Wellcome’s collection, with wood engravings of eyes swollen shut by a witch’s curse and pictures of possessed men spitting up nails, this image stood out. Regurgitating,Continue reading “The Spitting Image”

Scratching “The Itch Infalable” at The Recipes Project

I wrote this blog post for The Recipes Project: Food, Magic, Art, Science, and Medicine about a 17th-century anti-itching recipe: Scratching “The Itch Infalable”: Johanna St. John’s Anti-Itch Cure On the downside, you may get psychosomatic itching after reading it, much like in 5th grade when you watched all those educational movies about lice. OnContinue reading “Scratching “The Itch Infalable” at The Recipes Project”