There are three physical things about Catherine that I miss during the long stretches I now have to go without seeing her: the amused way she stares at you while she pulls out her tangled hair and discards it on the floor, the creepy way she makes intensive eye contact while chugging an entire vessel of water, and the way she blows her nose that somehow involves her entire face. How well do you have to know someone––that you’re not sleeping with––to have a list of the physical things you miss about them? I don’t think I could make a list like that for half the people I have slept with, but then again I didn’t know any of them as long as I’ve known Catherine. Or maybe it’s not how long you’ve known a person but specifically the fact of intimacy that isn’t accompanied by sex that makes you more observant of them––the intense sense of noticing is the platonic equivalent of physical intimacy.

I remember outfits worn (gold tights, red jacket, meeting at Union Square) and songs listened to (at the coffee shop in our college town, the playlist for the seven nights she spent with me in the hospital when I was sick) and I remember very particular things she said, and text messages from phones long lost or defunct. I remember stories from her childhood (what she wore for Halloween one year, her freshman year boyfriend), although I didn’t know her then, and I think sometimes that I remember her past better than my own. The more I commodify my own past, parcel it into chapters and give it away, the more it means to be privy to someone else’s life like this, a private one, in a way my most important one. Incidentally, ours has been the one relationship I’ve had the most trouble writing about, the only one I haven’t really put up for public consumption.

People seem surprised when I tell them that being with my best friend feels like being in love, even though it’s distinctly different––platonic––but how insufficient a word that can seem when our conversations can become deeply intimate without prelude, or when we wake up with the similar sighs to greet the world, one of the many habits––those oofs and ahs––that you acquire from the person who has been present for your entire adulthood, your entire becoming. Catherine is the person who taught me to make a roux, to cut my bangs, to interrogate every decision and desire in a way that is productive but not neurotic––and though I’ve met many people who can do the former two, I have met very few who do the latter, and who understand that a life left uninterrogated is not one I want to live. She promised years ago, before it seemed like I’d even move to Iowa, that if I did she would come visit, and how miraculous it is that she did, but also somehow not surprising at all.


Kinky Tapestry: by Erin M Riley

Using traditional tapestry techniques, Erin M.Riley weaves images of women in states of undress or exposure, personal objects or landscapes that are related to destruction and death. With her work, she is examining the honesty of sexuality but also how courtships, pornography and sex is changing as a result of the mass depiction of these intimate moments online.

The artist states: “My work is the culmination of research into addiction, sexual experimentation, popular internet culture, the effects of single parent households, socio-economic status’ etc. I am drawn to the images taken for private exchanges that become littered on the internet. I am using my own images that I have sent to lovers as well as the objects that I have formed psychological attachments to, objects that have impacted people’s lives, displays of arrests, deaths, addictions.”

(via pleasantdistractions)

So I ask the American commentators, please stop announcing that Landon Donovan is the “all-time U.S. leading goal scorer.” He is not. With 57 international goals, he’s not even in the Top Five.

The all-time U.S. leading goal scorer is Abby Wambach, with 167 goals, followed by Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (130), Michelle Akers (105) and Tiffeny Milbrett (100). In fact, Abby Wambach is the all-time leading goal scorer in the world, among all soccer players, male or female.


Malcolm Venville. The Women of Casa X.

The British photographer Malcolm Venville has made a searing photographic record of a deranged reality. Complementing Venville’s photographs is a series of astonishingly candid interviews with the women of Casa X by the well-known Mexican writer Amanda de la Rosa. These are the portraits and testimonies of thirty-five survivors of the monster of the City, with much to say about life in a slum in Latin America: about the Mexico that horrifies, about sex, poverty, love, and the darkest side of human nature.

One night in Mexico City, Carmen Muñoz, sex worker, was roaming the streets looking for customers. Unexpectedly, she found two colleagues, both over sixty years old, sleeping on the street, covered by newspapers. After almost forty years of giving service to butchers, porters, refuse collectors and criminals, they were now long forgotten by their families and society. Carmen was confronted with what would be her own fate, like most women of her profession. Striving for dignity for all of them, she organised her colleagues and led a group that resolved to find a home where they could spend their last days in safety and warmth.

In 2006, after twelve years of work, and with the support of Mexican intellectuals and artists, the government gave them a seventeenth-century mansion, where Carmen founded Casa Xochiquetzal - Casa X. Around sixty women, all over fifty years old, receive shelter, food, and medical and psychological care. This is not just a retirement home - most of the women who live there still walk the streets. But Casa X is the only refuge for prostitutes in Latin America.

Casa X is located in the heart of the notorious district of Tepito. Although only eight blocks from the historic centre of Mexico City, Tepito is a micro-universe, where life is lived in a unique fashion. For nearly 500 years it has been a place of impunity, crime, smuggling, violence and prostitution. The neighbourhood did not submit to the Aztec Empire, or to the Spanish conquistadors, or to the current authorities. Tepito has an identity that goes beyond its boundaries. It has its own social organisation, myths, heroes, slang, and even its own local deity, La Santa Muerte (Holy Death). The women of Casa X are stuck at the bottom of the ladder of this world, and keeping the memories of it in their bodies.


(via tarts)