This Week's Mostly-Indoors Report

I’ve been keeping up my regular mutual aid shifts and started training for jail support work in Brooklyn later this week, trying to find ways to support my community in medium- and long-term ways in addition to the ongoing protests.

The NYC Chapter of Black & Pink formed its current iteration in February 2019. They work towards prison abolition through pen pal matching, mail processing, reentry support, by providing solidarity packages to their inside members, and organizing with community partners in advocacy campaigns.”

It’s good to feel like I’m developing real roots here – I’ve thought of myself as a Californian for so long, but I’m so moved by the connections I’ve been able to make in Brooklyn and the ways I’ve been able to be useful and start to develop relationships with long-term residents. It’s a helpful antidote for feeling stuck, especially when I’m indoors so much of the time.

I’m reworking last month’s “Prodigal Son” short story into a longer fiction piece coming out later this year, which has been really invigorating. More details to come!

Jesus continued. “There was a man who had two sons, and the younger one said to his father, ‘I’m thirty.’ And the father said, ‘That can’t possibly be right. Thirty?’

And the man’s wife, the sons’ mother, said, ‘Thirty? That can’t be right.’ 

And the father said, ‘It can’t be thirty. Perhaps you meant fifteen. I might be willing to go as high as sixteen, but no further.’

‘Not sixteen,’ the mother said. ‘Surely not that high.’

And the elder of the two sons said, ‘Get a load of this asshole, calling himself thirty.’

I’ve been listening to Andi Murphy’s podcast Toasted Sister this week after seeing this writeup in New Mexico Magazine:

New Mexico’s unique outdoor ovens are just one of the aha moments that Murphy is bringing to listeners across the U.S. and Canada. The Albuquerque-based foodie is also a producer for the national Native America Calling radio program, a freelance writer, and the one-woman force behind Toasted Sister, which focuses on Native American food, chefs, and culinary traditions. Since releasing the first episode in January 2017, she’s drawn raves from UproxxCowboys & Indians magazine, and The New York Times. “That was pretty cool,” she says of the Times. “I’m not really used to people asking me questions and looking to me as some sort of expert or mouthpiece for this Native food movement. But my role is as a storyteller.” 

Murphy is Diné, and, through her firsthand understanding of the cultural erasure that took place beginning with colonization, she wants to help indigenous people come back to their culinary history and traditions. That makes her part of a movement that’s gaining traction through Native-owned restaurants and back-to-basics growers throughout the nation. “I talk to chefs and farmers and foodies who are working for food sovereignty in Native communities and non-Native communities,” she says. “We never get the spotlight anywhere. It says a lot when I say, ‘Toasted Sister is the only podcast out there about Native food’ when there are thousands of podcasts about anything.” 

Murphy creates every detail of Toasted Sister, down to the punky illustrations on the podcast’s web page. “I like the autonomy of it,” she says. “I like how I control everything, from the way it looks to the way it sounds to who is next to who I talk with, editing it ... everything.”

A lovely review of Something That May Shock and Discredit You at the Telegraph.

Reading excerpts from the Amarna tablets online because I’ve already read the one popular history book on the Bronze Age collapse.

To the king, my lord, hath spoken Abdi-hjba, thy servant: At the feet of my lord seven times and seven times do I fall. I have heard all the words which the king, my lord, has sent...[Behold] the deed, which...has…what shall…brought to the city Kilti. Let the king know that all lands have leagued in hostility against me j let the king therefore care for his land. Behold, the territory of Gazri, the territory of Ashkelon, and the city of La[chish], have given them oil, food, and all their necessaries. Let the king therefore care for the troops! Let him send troops against the people who have committed a crime against the king, my lord! If in this year there are troops here, then will the land and the local ruler[s] remain to the king, my lord; but if there are no troops here, then there will remain no lands and no local rulers to the king. Behold this land of Jerusalem neither my father nor my mother gave it to me; the mighty hand of the king gave it to me.

In other news, I’ve convinced Grace to watch the first three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy after we finish The Good Wife. She’s going to get to meet Addison and Christina for the first time. I’m thrilled beyond words. What have you been up to? Gotten the chance to interrupt any municipal Zoom meetings and ask pointed questions of public officials? Found a good sandwich?