Here, There and Everywhere

Archive for March, 2014

Review of Falling Into Place

9780807009925Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home
by Catherine Reid
Review by July Westhale
23 March 2014
Lambda Literary

Borges says, in his literary theory, that there are more or less six themes that authors write about, six stories they tell, though the narratives may vary. All have to do with the human condition: how we love, how we live, how we make a life for ourselves, how we interact with the physical/metaphysical/spiritual, our literal and figurative place in the world. Following this metric, Catherine Reid’s newest collection of nature-centric essays, Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home, is the perfect example of how the personal becomes global through familiar tropes. Utilizing her relationship to her home in the Berkshires as well as the deeply-crafted life with her partner, Reid juxtaposes her identity as a native New Englander with her otherness as a lesbian woman to create lyric tension that sustains the ambivalence of the narrative.

Such careful, intimate consideration of place is difficult to do in our day of technology. It is more common to see visitors experiencing the world through the lens of their iPhones or digital cameras than navigating nature through their known memory, as vessels (the body) contained in larger vessels (the natural universe). Reid manages to skillfully connect with the art of physically and primally knowing a landscape, as an animal might. Everything from her deep connection with the water (and thus, the scarcity) of her home to the catastrophes that have occurred over time (as in the story of the oil spill that would have wiped out an entire ecosystem within one river had it not been for the skillful navigation of a select beaver population), demonstrates the careful and intentional consideration of place as a character in the larger narrative of Reid’s life.

Read entire review and more at LAMBDA LITERARY

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Without Clean Water

Girl_in_WaterFor a five-year-old child in Syria, peace is not even a memory.

Her childhood has been consumed by violence. As the conflict enters its fourth year, she may wonder if war is all the world has to offer her.

It’s not.

We can give this child hope – in the form of the most basic of necessities. Food. Medicine. And, crucially, clean water.

In war-torn areas in Syria, the supply of clean water has fallen by two-thirds. Millions of children are at risk of losing something we all take for granted.

Make your gift to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF today and help ensure that children in Syria and around the world have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Without clean water, children are vulnerable to deadly diseases like cholera. What they drink is a matter of life and death. Nearly 1,400 children die every day from unsafe water or poor sanitation.

It’s so easy to save these children’s lives. A water purification tablet costs less than a penny. A packet of oral rehydration salts that can save the life of a dehydrated child costs ten cents. A pump that can provide an entire community with constant water – just a few hundred dollars.

UNICEF has the infrastructure and expertise to deliver clean water and water treatment equipment to nearly any place on earth – whether by boat, by truck, by plane or by foot. Last year, UNICEF helped provide clean water to 10 million people in Syria – nearly half of all Syrians.

But countless more children need clean water and other essentials right now. Conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic are straining resources. UNICEF needs your help. A thirsty, sick child needs your help.

Save a child’s life with a donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF today.

Together, we can make sure no child dies because she does not have a simple glass of clean water. Thank you for your compassion and generosity.

With sincere gratitude,

Caryl M. Stern
President & CEO
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Indiscriminate Killing

dolphin_FOIA_bycatchOff the coast of California, giant mile-long fishing nets are left to “soak” overnight. In the morning, fisherman pull up their catch – and that catch often includes dead dolphins, with water in their lungs and netting dug into their skin.

These dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and whales struggle to escape, but the nets are so massive and strong that it’s nearly impossible. Trapped, they struggle until they run out of air.

For the fishing industry using these walls of death, dead dolphins are just another part of doing business.

Enough is enough. Oceana’s new report has identified these drift gillnets as among the top offenders in the nation – and now it’s time to hold them accountable and change these devastating practices.

Our new report on the needless waste and death of marine wildlife revealed some truly horrifying numbers. Nine U.S. fisheries fish so indiscriminately that they have to throw out almost as much as they bring to shore, and much of this wasted catch dies before or after being tossed overboard.

These fishing practices irreversibly harm our precious ocean ecosystems, indiscriminately killing animals big and small, and leaving millions of edible fish like cod and halibut sinking dead to the bottom of the sea.

Simple changes—like switching from giant nets to selective harpoons—would make a huge difference, and we need the help of ocean-lovers like you to make them a reality. Your gift today will help Oceana push for stronger enforcement and better regulations to minimize wasted catch, put pressure on these fisheries to do the right thing, and protect the amazing animals who call our oceans home.

But stopping them won’t be easy. We will need to influence legislation, put people on the ground, and keep the story in the press to get these fisheries to clean up their act. Put simply, we won’t be able to do it without people like you standing behind us.

Please, help make the difference for dolphins and sea turtles. Chip in by midnight on Friday to join Oceana in the fight to protect ocean wildlife in the U.S. and around the world. »

These fisheries are driven by profits – not what’s right. Changing their ways is going to take time and money. Your help is critical to keep up the fight so that we can continue to put pressure on the worst offenders and the federal government to enforce stronger common-sense regulations.

I’m so glad we have you with us for these critical fights.

For the oceans,
Susan Murray
Deputy Vice President, Pacific
Oceana

Darcy’s Pineapple Delight

Darcy’s Pineapple Delight
by Gabriel Constans

As our daughter, Darcy, exclaims, “This breakfast drink is sweet, sweet, sweet. It fills my mouth with joy!” Pineapples are high in vitamin C and rich in potassium and calcium.

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Yield: 4 cups

2 cups soy, rice or almond milk
2 medium bananas
6 slices pineapple
4 tablespoons protein powder
1 tablespoon honey, agave or brown rice syrup

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium for 30 seconds.

Pour into cup or glass and let it fill your mouth with sweet sweet joy.

Kate Delafield in High Desert

9781935226659The Return of Kate Delafield
Posted on 19, March, 2014 by Victoria Brownworth
Lambda Literary

Some old friends you only see occasionally, but when you do, you realize how much you have missed them. I feel that way about Kate Delafield. It’s been years since I’ve seen her (eight, to be exact), but when I ran into her again in Katherine Forrest’s new novel, High Desert, I was very glad to see her.

Katherine Forrest is one of our iconic lesbian mystery novelists and Kate Delafield was our first out lesbian detective.

With nearly a decade since Forrest’s last foray into the seamy world of the LAPD, it may have seemed as if we wouldn’t see Delafield again.

But–she’s back. Not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with a full-throated cry of foul at the various hands she’s been dealt since we saw her last.

High Desert, the ninth in Forrest’s Delafield series, opens anomalously, sans crime. The detective is re-arranging herself in her own living room as she awaits a visit from her former lieutenant, now a captain, Carolina Walcott. The smooth, tough, driven, no-nonsense African-American Walcott is visiting a subordinate for a very specific reason:

She needs Kate’s help finding Kate’s former partner, Joe Cameron.

There’s no crime. Well, no new crime. There is, however, the ghost of an old case, one of those cases that breaks a detective. That case–Tamara Carter’s murder–has haunted Joe and by extension, Kate.

Captain Walcott needs to find Joe, who’s disappeared while on a leave of absence, and fast. Kate is now forcibly retired and she has issues. Her longtime partner, Aimee, has left her. Again. Alcohol has become her best friend. Another actual best friend, Maggie Schaeffer, owner of the Nightwood Bar that was the scene of one of Kate’s early cases, is dying of lung cancer in hospice care. And now the remnants of Kate’s life are all around her in an ugly, untidy, possibly unfixable mess.

Walcott’s visit is unsettling in the extreme because it rips right through Kate’s thin veneer (more like mask) of complacent retirement. After a quarter century on the job, the 60-something Kate is at a loss. Every time she thinks about what she should do next, the most obvious answer lies in a nearby bottle, of which she has many.

Walcott suggests therapy with Calla Dearborn, who may or may not be Walcott’s lover.

Like every loner addict, Kate is infuriated by the suggestion that she needs help. After all, she’s the one who has helped others all along. She wants to shove Walcott out the door, but the tantalizing lifeline that Walcott has tossed her can’t be ignored. She takes Dearborn’s card. And agrees to help Walcott find Cameron.

High Desert is proof there is life in the old gal yet–both Forrest, who is hitting 75 next month–and Delafield, who remains the complex and engaging character she always was.

This is solid detective fiction of the page-turning sort. If the early chapters feel too caught up in Kate’s personal turmoil, that’s essential to what comes next. As Kate takes on Walcott’s mission, we see how her detective skills have not diminished one iota.

Read entire review at: LAMBDA LITERARY

No Means No – Not “I do.”

W1403EAWMN1This month, lawmakers in Mozambique will debate revisions to the Criminal Code that would allow a rapist to escape punishment – by marrying the woman he attacked.

No means no – not “I do.” It forces survivors to endure the unthinkable.

If you were a woman or girl in Mozambique, not only could this law greatly increase social pressure to marry your rapist, it would actually prevent police from launching an investigation unless you (or a parent or guardian if you are a minor) made an official complaint.

It’s a gross violation of women’s rights.

Shine a light on this draconian bill and help Amnesty stop it before it becomes law.

Morocco had a law like this. It was repealed in January.

Why? How?

Because of outrage over the case of Amina Filali. She was forced to marry a man whom she said had raped her. In 2012, Amina lost all hope and swallowed rat poison and died shortly afterward.

She was just 16 years old.

When we raise our voices together, we can make a difference. Raise a furor over this bill – take action with Amnesty.

Thank you for standing with women and girls in Mozambique.

In solidarity,

Cristina M. Finch
Managing Director, Women’s Human Rights Program
Amnesty International USA

Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar
by Gabriel Constans

This smoothie is great for breakfast or as a mid-morning pick-me-up. It provides you with lots of energy to face the day, and its sweetness will put a smile on your face!

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Yield: 4 1/2 cups

1 banana
2 cups filtered water
1/3 cup cooked oats
3/4 cup firm tofu
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons plain yogurt

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium for 30 seconds.

Pour into bowl or wide cup. Use a spoon or drink it up.

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