A wild sheep chase

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Selomé Samuel   

This week
These days, when I find myself in the rare position of speaking with a total stranger, I talk fast. I'm so excited to be interacting with a new person that I can't get the words from my brain to my mouth fast enough. I am an awkward child again, mispronouncing words I've only read in books and asking questions on top of statements on top of questions. I notice it especially in contrast, when I talk with someone whose words are extremely considered and deliberate.

That's how I felt interviewing Tara Houska for the podcast this week. She is an Ojibwe activist and attorney who's been working to prevent the construction of an oil pipeline across her homeland. I loved slowing down to speak with her about wild rice harvesting, whiplash code-switching, protesting in a pandemic, and fostering personal connections to the Earth.

I'm reading
Every love is a long-distance love. We have now spent a year in sweatpants—and the people who make them are being paid less than ever. The celebrity fixer who gets compromising material off the internet—or into the hands of the highest bidder. Black history month and women's history month are the same season. A sculptor is paving the way for prosthetics in darker skin tones. On police violence, race-based trauma, and mental health among Filipina/x/o Americans. The Catholic dissident on a crusade against clergy sex abuse. What happened when Venezuelans lost access to contraception. Women are giving birth in prison, alone. Why did we ever believe teen girls could hold all the power? "Our worth is calculated crudely, so when we do measure up we’re overflowing at the brim, excessive, taking up too much space." The energizing potential of Asian American mediocrity. How the Kardashians changed the way we see beauty. A rare, delightful interview with Frances McDormand. Martha Stewart is the original influencer. What "terminal lucidity" teaches us about life and death. The rise of the wellness app. A free food forest in Atlanta. For several decades, Southern Oregon was the heartland of lesbian separatism. What does it really mean to be nonbinary? I welcome Mx. Potato Head.

Pie chart
Pie chart: What do we have in common with Baarack the Sheep? 35% Persistent feeling of heaviness, 25% wearing a shocking amount of fleece these days, 15% Have skipped our annual physical maintenance, 13% Kind of crusty, 12% Resilient hooves
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I’m looking & listening
Appearances, an absolutely enthralling podcast that blurs the line between fiction and memoir. It's a story about a woman who wants to be a mother and so is grappling with her relationship with her own mother and to the Jewish Iranian American community of her upbringing. I've been writing to Yusuf Lateef's Eastern Sounds. How am I just now learning that the Pointer Sisters covered "Dirty Work"?! And I'm loving Michelle Tea's new podcast Your Magic.

animated gif of wind blowing the red dust on the rocky dry surface of Mars, from the Perseverance Rover's landing
Mars is a beautiful hellhole, and it's making me feel a little better about Earth.

I endorse
Some turns of phrase that have delighted and inspired me as of late:

"assuming" rather than "passing." - Angelica Ross. I love this radical flip of the script: Instead of referring to someone as "passing" as a certain race or gender, what if we called this phenomenon what it is: an assumption made by others?

"hard pants" - Kat Aaron. A term for jeans, trousers with a zipper, any non-soft pants. As soon as I read it I felt the truth of this term in my bones, which are, by now, very accustomed to being swaddled in sweats. 

"the Jonathan panDemme" - Hunter Harris (and, earlier, Jean Grae). For when you're tired of calling it a panini, panorama, or panzanella. I laughed so hard when I read this, and have been recalling it and chortling to myself all week.

The Classifieds

Learn how your unexplored fear of loss contributes to systemic racism—and what to do about it. When most of us think "grief," we think of a singular event. But grief is bigger than our past, and it's bigger than concrete loss. Download an excerpt of Breeshia Wade's Grieving While Black to learn more.
Want to learn a song on piano while learning about yourself? Tap into your creative personality and develop your piano skills by studying with Kelsey.
I help multi-passionate people do everything they want. Subscribe to Possible Things for weekly inspiration and motivation to get you unstuck.

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Are you about that #NapLife? Me too, sis. Join me weekly for sound healing, sleep hygiene, and mental health tea. See you in the inbox, Jacqué

Divest from distraction. Reinvest in your self care. Instead is a card deck for people who want to scroll less. Pre-order the deck on Kickstarter, and support a Black woman owned business.

Smithsonian Presents: Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham discuss Afrofuturism and what it means "to be Black and alive right now". Virtually March 11

Wow, how great are all these advertisers? Give them a click. If you've been thinking about joining them, today's a great day to get your ad.

"Dear @annehelen, your newsletter is less a flare sent out into the darkness than the campfire that draws us all in and says, "join me, sit down, get warm, listen..." -Nick Childs. I am pretty sure this is referencing my intro to last week's newsletter even though it's @ Anne Helen Petersen. God let's hope she didn't also write about flares in the darkness and I somehow missed it, because if this testimonial really was intended for her I will be deeply embarrassed! (On a related note, AHP's newsletter is excellent.)

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Older messages

Proof of life

Friday, February 19, 2021

Surprise me View in browser February 19, 2021 a still-life oil painting of a basket, bread, melon and assorted fruits Luis Meléndez, The Afternoon Meal (La Merienda) This week I'm sending

I just kind of gave up and stayed as a potato.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Surprise me View in browser February 12, 2021 A person with brown skin and brown hair sits on a couch reading a book. There is a window behind them and a plant next to them. Anita Tung This week, a

Whisked forward

Friday, February 5, 2021

Surprise me View in browser February 05, 2021 Textured oil painting of a blue sky with a bank of clouds, a field of white in the background, two cabins in the foreground, and a few people in the yard,

This week's Thing

Friday, January 29, 2021

Surprise me View in browser January 29, 2021 600x300 Kat Schneider, Crying During Covid. This week The internet has settled into a predictable rhythm for me. Monday - I see a Thing on TikTok or in a

Ongoing resistance

Friday, January 15, 2021

Surprise me View in browser January 15, 2021 A fuzzy frosted spiderweb captured by Bridget Sicchio This week I dug up some notes I made to myself around the time of Trump's inauguration. I was

Ashley Graham's curl trick is so, so cool

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

GEL MOISTURIZERS Ashley Graham's Go-To Curl Cream Is Also Her Fave for Her Toddler Here's Why You Should Use Less Products on Wash Days Can You Have an Allergic Reaction to Hair Color? 10

Hunter Schafer is rocking a chic blonde bob with bangs, and it’s everything

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Jupiter is entering pisces View this email as a web page HelloGiggles HAIR FOR IT Hunter Schafer is rocking a chic blonde bob with bangs, and it's everything CLAPBACK QUEEN Billie Eilish clapped

These Anti-Skinny Jeans Are Officially 2021's Must-Try Pants

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Here's how the fashion set is styling them. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ TZR logo The Zoe Report 05.11.21 A few weeks ago I hopped on a Zoom with Sofia and Nicole Richie to talk about their

New from Tim — Interview with Jacqueline Novogratz, Q&A with Tim, and "How to Improve Your Relationship — Tools for Communication, Conflict Resolution, and More" Video

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Hi All, Please find your weekly roundup email below. The "5-Bullet Friday" newsletter is coming on Friday, as always. Here's what I've published in the past seven days or so... 🎧 New

This "Ugly" Nail Polish Color Is Majorly Trending Right Now

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

It's surprisingly chic. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ TZR logo The Zoe Report 05.11.21 (Beauty) Now that we're only a month and change away, I officially can't stop fixating on summer

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Books Noted Live, The State of Poetry

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Support Poets.org May 11, 2021 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month with this collection of poems: “I Want the Wide American Earth” by Carlos Bulosan “

Let's Stop Pretending Those Viral Recipe Shitposts Are Real

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Last night, as I was trying to wind down, I saw a tweet that read “what a normal and ultimate... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ Do everything better Tuesday, May 11, 2021 Rants Let's

You've Been Microwaving Food Wrong Your Entire Life

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

How to Microwave Food Get the Magazine Real Simple Daily Recipe You've Been Microwaving Food Wrong Your Entire Life Read More An Essential Baking Tools Set, a Better Cheese Board, and More Clever

A powerful autobiographical novel from award-winning author Francisco Goldman [sponsored]

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

This is a promotional email from Literary Hub. “Enthralling... a tour de force” from award-winning author Francisco Goldman (O Magazine) Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman “Monkey Boy tells what it means

The Clock-out Cure

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

What's new today on the Cut — covering style, self, culture, and power, plus interviews, profiles, columns, and commentary from our editors. Brand Logo TUESDAY, MAY 11 SCIENCE OF US The Clock-out