Rachel Khong

Rachel Khong is a writer living in the Bay Area; her novel, "Goodbye, Vitamin," was published in 2017.
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01    Object (new): a new object that held significance

Dangling feathers on a fishing pole are my new cat’s favorite toy. As of June 24, we have a three-month-old kitten named Bunny. We visited the shelter on a Saturday morning. She was the kitten who seemed the most awkward — wasn’t proficient in playing with others. She seemed like the cat for us. When we asked to meet her, the SPCA volunteer said, “There are no rabbits here.” “No, she’s a cat named Bunny,” we had to explain. We spent the rest of the day mulling it over. On the walk home there was an empty bag of Bunny-Luv brand carrots. “A sign!” I said. We returned to the shelter on Sunday, and took her home. She started out in the bathroom but acclimated quickly.

02    Object (old): an old object that took on new/different kind of meaning

Objects Bunny loves: dead leaves, corn husks, cardboard boxes, any kind of packaging, really.

03    Utility: describe an occasion when you felt useful.

At my friends’ Fourth of July barbecue, helping to light the charcoal grill.

04    Story: What’s the best story you heard?

The story of Betty Soskin, a Bay Area hero. Age 96, she’s the oldest National Park Service ranger in San Francisco. She’s dated Jackie Robinson, owned a gospel records shop, been a songwriter, was involved with the Black Panthers, faced terrible racism as a black woman living in the Bay Area. She still gives regular tours and I want to take one!

05    Nature: An encounter with the natural world

When I took Bunny to the park I saw it in a way I hadn’t before — as though I were small and tentative, like her. She smelled everything and met two little girls who asked her name, repeated BUNNY, and ran their hands all over her face; she didn’t mind. Here she is [photo at right] among jacarandas.

06    Minor secrets: Describe something you did in secret.

It turns out I’m now a person who reads self-help books. Recent reads: "The Artist’s Way," "The Law of Divine Compensation," "You Are A Badass At Making Money," "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity." This is who I am now, I guess, and I’m fine with it!

07    Proportion: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe; that you are part of a greater whole

Taking a train from San Diego to Los Angeles, the Pacific Surfliner, which runs right along the ocean. I was miserably hungover in a way I hadn’t been in a while — too much sauvignon blanc at my college roommate’s wedding. Which meant that I was painfully present, though not in the way people usually mean. Every detail was excruciating, from the beautiful wild raspberries at the train station to the surfers bobbing, so tiny, in the water.

08    Culture: A list of front-burner interests from the last month

- Still Processing’s two-part series on being Asian American in America
- Rose tea
- Holika holika aloe vera gel
- Brit Bennett’s tweets
- Bonito flakes as cat snacks
- Enneagram quizzes
- “These Poems” by June Jordan; just learned we share a birthday (July 9)
- Vermicelli noodles, my chosen summer noodle jam (Cha ca va long! Bun cha!)
- Cherry tomatoes and this chicken milanese recipe
- Doing a fistpump to that little song they play after you finish a New York Times crossword online
- "Rabbit Cake" by Annie Hartnett
- "Emergent Strategy" by adrienne maree brown

09    What was missing last month?

Honestly, reflection. Until now! And good reading. I was working my through a looong book that wasn’t good and will not be named (I can’t abandon books). But I’m done with it now, much to my relief, and ready to move on to a better one.


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A cat named Bunny

A cat named Bunny

BBQ proficiency&nbsp;

BBQ proficiency 

Ranger Betty Soskin

Ranger Betty Soskin

Bunny amid jacarandas

Bunny amid jacarandas

Chả Cá Thăng Long

Chả Cá Thăng Long