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Things I've written about birthday

A believable truth

I never get much reading done unless I’m sleeping elsewhere. Most often, I associate sleeping elsewhere with having time off, and having time off means I’m away from a computer screen. This frees up time for reading.

Anja had booked a suite for my birthday at Okura, and six months after I turn 33, Covid measures are finally so mild that we actually get to do it. It’s on the sixteenth floor, overlooking the Amsterdam Centre and West Side. We eat like royalty, and fall asleep watching the sunset from our California King. I’m feeling like a million bucks.

Whenever we sleep elsewhere, I get overwhelmed with the endless possibilities of the things I can read. Usually, I manage to sneak five books into a suitcase, but for this weekend, I’ve limited myself to one: Mary Magdalene Revealed.

It’s a remarkable read, particularly given that the author Meggan Watterson got an MDiv and not an MFA in writing. Her words flow like a river, entirely sure of where she’s going. Every now and then, I’ll read a portion aloud to A, to share the joy of reading a theological work that is as inclusive and self-aware as it is unreserved and educational.

As I share snippets of insights, revelations in sweat lodges as well as things I never knew about the beauty of early Christianity, A asks me: “Don’t you find this book a bit… The Da Vinci Code-esque? I mean, all this talk of Mary Magdalene’s special relationship with Jesus, alternative plot lines… It’s like it’s all one big conspiracy theory, wouldn’t you say?”

A’s not the only woman who has made such remarks about this book. Isn’t it peculiar that feminists would rather deem femininity-inclusive gospels closer to possibly the worst book in the English language that has emerged in the past decade than to a perspective on Christ that could cure our heartaches?

33 things

Below is a list of thoughts, opinions, ideas, and tips that I’ve gathered in my 33rd year on Earth.

  1. Working from home does wonders for my productivity and mental health
  2. I like the term “Torah-observant Catholic” for me
  3. Shaving my head has been one of the finest decisions I’ve made in life.
  4. I wish I could just answer ‘Wit Huiswerk’ to most Dutch statements I hear about racism
  5. Got my first tattoo in June
  6. I listened to ‘Girls’ by girl in red 208 times this year 🤦🏽
  7. We got COVID-19 and it was terrifying, even without a hospital stay
  8. It’s very liberating to say “I don’t talk about that” when people ask small talk questions about my family or past
  9. This bolognese sauce from Smitten Kitch produces the best lasagna I’ve ever had
  10. I found a new job at a company that does great things for the world
  11. My favorite part of the pandemic, after Tiger King, was Trump’s campaign team sending out a newsletter every 40 minutes on Election day
  12. It’s okay
  13. This acoustic version of Mama Kin’s ‘Rescue me’ is so nice
  14. I don’t know how to speak with a Jewish family member who has become convinced that there is a satanic cabal injecting corona through 5G
  15. I will not forget the empty shelves
  16. Got my second tattoo in December
  17. I missed Paris in 2020
  18. This pen is this year’s favorite
  19. My father died
  20. I bleached my hair
  21. I joined the leadership team of Vine & Fig and it is so very baller
  22. Ate Fluff for the first time
  23. My man Kit built and opened a restaurant
  24. I didn’t watch Killing Eve until now
  25. I’ve begun drinking decaffeinated coffee. It makes me feel old, but less headache-y
  26. Took part in a wonderful webinar on the Pope and the queer community
  27. Trending this year was “OH MY GOD, my back”
  28. Carmen Maria Machado
  29. Found my new favorite rosary from Olvera Street Rosary
  30. No matter which turn I take, I always end up right back at plain text files
  31. ‘How to respect my ethnic name’
  32. Listen to Bedouine
  33. Despite my academic background in linguistics, I was never really a language snob until this