Books, Lists, TV
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Three Things No. 8

Today, we’re going to be doing this by some sort of theme, which is: stuff I have enjoyed or moved by that was made possible by women of colour. Amazing theme as any, I say. It’s still going to be a bit of a jumble of things… which is okay, I think. I contain multitudes, etc. etc.

By the way, I started writing this on the 5th of May. What even is time anymore?

01 Never Have I Ever

So, I have loved Mindy Kaling since always. Ever since she put Michael Scott in his place on that second episode of the first season of The Office, “Diversity Day.” I know not a lot of people will ~relate~ to her humour or find it ditzy and dumb, but underneath the veneer of actual ditzishness lies the intelligence of a truly funny woman. (I think so, anyway.)

I kind of fell off the wagon when it came to The Mindy Project, even though I did follow it through to the end. What was enthusiastic support became a lackluster endurance test made possible by attachments formed and reasonable investment. I thought I was over the Mindy brand of comedy, but I realised, through Never Have I Ever, that that wasn’t true. I probably just needed someone else’s story told through her voice.

For many people of colour, there is definitely that pressure to be someone that people look up to, to be someone who “represents” an entire fucking race in a more or less favourable light. That is, on some level, true for me, at least. I love that Devi, the main protagonist of Never Have I Ever is fucking ridiculous and often incredibly annoying the way that teenagers have some room to be. There are underlying issues of grief and insecurity and a rejection of a culture and heritage that is both intertwined forever with who you are and yet something that feels out of reach and endlessly foreign. Plus, it’s funny as fuck. I love that the main characters are varied and diverse: a truth of our reality that isn’t often played out effectively on screen without it becoming an issue that makes it seem like a move to have diversity, just for diversity’s sake. Here, it feels natural, real, honest.

I mainlined all of the episodes during my winding-down time, right before bed, when I knit and avoid thinking about my own life. This was a great distraction and I cannot wait for the next season, because that cliffhanger? Mindy.

02 Know My Name by Chanel Miller

I’ve had this on audio book ever since it came out, but I just haven’t had the heart to listen to it, knowing what ended up happening to Chanel Miller’s sexual assault case. If you’re unfamiliar with her name — and it is unsurprising, as it was only revealed with the publication of her memoir — then you might remember her rapist’s: ex-Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner.

I initially wondered how a book could possibly come out of such a short-lived ordeal. It wasn’t a history of sexual abuse. She wasn’t raped by someone she had already known or even met. But the book revealed the truth that sexual assault has many lingering aftereffects that echo through a person’s life. Such was the case with Chanel.

It may interest you to know that Chanel has been thriving after the whole ordeal, and while she certainly does not owe anyone any updates on her life or anything, it does make me happy to see some aspect of her on her Instagram (and in the numerous interviews she has given since releasing her book). Much of what she struggled with afterwards was the upending of her identity and her life, which is the case for many survivors of sexual assault. It’s terrifying and sad to have your trauma define who you are, and so to see this story turn out much better than many, in the end, where her life and her person are no longer defined by a violence that what was done to her by a complete stranger, is amazing.

We don’t deserve this gift from a person whom we can only reasonably expect to try and survive what has happened to her, and yet here we are. And what a generous, profound gift it is.

03 Qing Fibre

Look, we all know that I love yarn. But I didn’t know I could love yarn this much. I feel insane. I think I maybe am.

This jumper-in-the-making (in the header) is actually also from a pattern by Qing called the Mochi sweater. Look at this lush yarn. It’s called Melted Baby Suri and the colourways are Mussel (blue bits) and Salt Marsh (the body). How good is that?

I’ve since tried other bases, like the merino singles and super soft sock. Layla of Qing said she started the small yarn company whilst looking for funner colourways. And good for meeee. Because I love all the yarn I’ve received thus far. The colours, even the one with a more subtle shift in shade and hue, are still so beautiful. It’s even made me appreciate a little splash of neon in my knitting here and there.

Anyway, that’s it for me today. I anticipate to be back soon. I wasn’t really looking to write this, but figured I should get it out of the way for now. In case you care: life has been okay. There are pockets of frustration, in that the life I have expected to live this year is so different from what is happening, but such is the case for most of us. And I’m lucky and blessed, healthy and whole, and that is, I have to remember, more than enough.