You’re not a burden

The New York Times has done it again. First, they invited a racist senator to write an op-ed, didn’t read it before printing it, and were surprised that a) it was racist, bellicose, and badly written; and that b)  people were actually upset. Then, on June 9th, The New York Times magazine’s column “The Ethicist” ran a story  with the title: “is it ok to dump him because of his medical condition?” The questioner had met an amazing man, whoRead more

Pandemic Reading: Travel Writing

It’s week 3 of the social distancing. I am still working, doing what my school calls “Distance learning Delivery”, that is something of a hybrid form of online teaching. I usually drop a recorded power point, or a screencast for my students, together with exercises and check in with them on Thursdays. There have been bumps in the road, but I think all in all it has been working as good as it could have. Still I wish I knewRead more

A Pandemic Diary

  Gradually, over the last week, the reality about COVID-19 has seeped in. A week after I started a new job (I am a long-term substitute teacher at a local high school), school was closed, and instruction was switched to online. I was bummed out, because I actually really enjoyed working with the students and teaching again, as teaching is something I like to do, and I something I am good at. I guess this is a fast-track to learningRead more

Fitness instructors: Stop saying these phrases

I like exercise. I haven’t always liked it, and I have written about why. I am far from being an athletic person, but going to yoga and barre and running occasionally are fun and contribute to my overall feeling good. I have also observed a noticeable shift from how fitness instructors introduce themselves. Instead of drill sergeant attitude, instructors in the places I go to tell you to listen to your body, don’t overstretch yourself and do what’s good forRead more

Earthquake Supplies for People with IBD

Throughout the years, I have lived in several places that were prone to natural disasters. New Zealand is earthquake territory, so was California (even though to a lesser extent), and Indiana has tornadoes (thank god, I never had to experience one). The earthquakes I did experience were really small, a little rumble. Now however, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where within the next 50 years, a major quake (around 9 on the scale) is about to hit, another great Cascadia Earthquake.Read more

May the Force be with you: My twenty years and twenty days too late review of Episode I-III

On Dec 30, 2019, I flew back to Portland, after a lovely break with my family in Germany. During my 12 hour flight to SF, I wanted to make my Disney+ subscription pay for itself, and also to fill my knowledge gaps, so watched Star Wars episode 1-3 (aka prequel trilogy, consisting of “The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones”, “Revenge of the Sith”). They are truly awful movies, and I hope no one sends the die-hard Star Wars afterRead more

My 2019 Lists

It’s the last day of 2019. I thankfully was stable health-wise, so there isn’t much to share about my health year. I can share books, podcasts, and TV shows that I consumed though, in the hope that they may be entertaining to some of you. Books I’ve read (sometimes re-read) and enjoyed in 2019: “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. I read this with students, and truly enjoyed it, especially the outside perspective on the US, from 20 years ago. “TheRead more

New Year’s Resolutions for People with Chronic Illnesses

If you’re anything like us, you probably spent a good chunk of 2018 dealing with your chronic illness, adjusting to new developments and learning from the hard knocks along the way. We’re not big believers in New Year’s resolutions, but we like to make lists and bring visibility to chronic illness, especially of the invisible variety. These New Year’s resolutions are an accumulation of some insights and hopes for the new year. We know that different conditions require different handling and that not all of these resolutions will work for everyone. We all have different experiences and life situations and that’s cool! But we want to share these resolutions to show solidarity, help allies support friends and family and let others with chronic illness know: you’re not alone.Read more

Minimalism and my Discontents

Does item x bring me joy? Does its energy weigh me down, or is the chi trapped in the room? If so, get rid of it. Box it for a while some say, then get rid of it.

Simplicity. Clarity. Think of what you need, not what you want. What could be wrong with it?Read more

Here’s why people who “don’t look sick” use the disabled toilets

  This one is for the bathroom police, that is, those who feel compelled to tell others that they can’t use the disabled stalls, because they don’t deem them disabled. One would think in the year 2018 and with 117 Million Americans suffering from a chronic disease, this shouldn’t happen anymore, but it happens. All the time. It has happened to me (and ended badly for the other person), it has happened to friends of mine, and while I don’tRead more