Something Good

1. This sprinter ran through a rainbow tunnel for Pride Month. (video) In related #BlackGirlMagic news, Not only is this young girl taking on the boys in motocross, she’s on her way to becoming the first-ever champ from Africa. (video)

2. Immigration horror stories: Reporters Visit Another Texas Facility Where Children Are Kept In Cages, and Worker at Migrant Kids Shelter Quits After Being Told to Enforce No Hugs Rule, and Texas now has a tent city for immigrant children separated from their families at the border (video), and ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody, and Congresswoman: Migrant Mothers She Met In Detention ‘Have No Idea’ Where Kids Are, and Farmworkers In California Fearful After Immigrant Couple Dies While Fleeing ICE, and Trump keeps blaming Democrats for his own policy of family separation, and How Trump’s family separation policy became what it is today, and The Government Has No Plan for Reuniting the Immigrant Families It Is Tearing Apart.

In related news, Trump Administration Launches Effort to Strip Citizenship From Those Suspected of Naturalization Irregularities, and this related Twitter thread, and this video of a recent White House Press Conference, and America has a haunting history of tearing apart non-white families (video), and ‘Barbaric’: America’s cruel history of separating children from their parents.

If you are as outraged as me, Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border, and How To Help Families Separated At The Border, and Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border, and Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of a federal detention center to demand Trump stop separating immigrant families (video).

3. People being assholes to other people: ER Doctor Suspended After Mocking Patient Suffering From Anxiety Attack, and Florida Police Officer Resigns After Being Caught on Camera Calling Black Man a ‘Piece of Shit [N-Word],’ and This man harassed a Black mother vacationing with her 5-year-old daughter about hygiene because he was concerned about diseases in a hotel pool (video), and Video Shows Border Patrol SUV Hitting Native American Man, Then Driving Away on The New York Times, and Man harassing people in the Beacon Hill Community in Seattle (video), and White Man Who Trashed Homeless Black Man’s Belongings Arrested on Suspicion of 1st-Degree Robbery, and Florida (St. Petersburg) Republican Mayoral Candidate Paul Congemi just left his constituents speechless with this disgusting rant (video).

4. Why whyte women terrify me: Trumpism Finds a Safe Space at Conservative Women’s Conference on The New York Times, and Missouri Waitress Fired Over ‘N-Word Hunting’ Video Swears She Isn’t Racist, Claims to Have Black Friends.

5. Stephen Miller is the latest insufferable liar and bigot on Team Trump.

6. An Editorial Cartoonist Was Fired For His Anti-Trump Art, Here Are The Cartoons His Paper Refused To Publish.

7. Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession.

8. In secret, an imposter signs up for Boston Marathon… when a race official finds out he immediately attacks. (video)

9. My friend Susie made this beautiful painting (video), “I woke up today completely despondent about our country, and the current situation at our border with Mexico. Families are being ripped apart. This is not the first time our country has perpetrated this kind of horror and harm on people who are ‘other’…other than white, other than affluent, other than privileged. And it offends me and breaks my heart and makes me feel completely impotent. So today I went to my easel to paint out my pain.”

10. Spiritual White People: Do we really want to help heal humanity? Or are we full of sh*t?

11. Watch Painfully Shy 13-Year-Old Singer Slay On ‘America’s Got Talent’. I’m such a sucker for these videos.

12. These kinetic wind sculptures will hypnotize you (video).

13. 35 LGBTQ Wedding Photos That Are The Definition Of Pure Joy.

14. Artist Searches For Her Childhood Bully On Facebook, Doesn’t Expect To Find This.

15. The Journey Through Loss and Grief, a TED Talk. “In her brutally honest, ironically funny and widely read meditation on death, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” the late author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal gave her husband Jason very public permission to move on and find happiness. A year after her death, Jason offers candid insights on the often excruciating process of moving through and with loss — as well as some quiet wisdom for anyone else experiencing life-changing grief.”

16. Someone Is Tweeting Hilariously Wrong “Wheel Of Fortune” Answers, And We Can’t Get Enough.

17. Summer recipe I want to try: Honey Mustard Chicken Salad.

18. Mother Dog Is So Happy To See Her Puppies All Grown Up. (video)

19. ‘Queer As Folk’ Cast Reunites For The First Time In 13 Years. cried so hard when this show ended, loved the British version too.

20. High school pitcher holds off celebrating so he can console childhood friend.

21. LISTEN to this 13 year old boy sing this song. (video)

22. Watch Cameron Esposito’s Rape Jokes. “Rape Jokes is a standup special about sexual assault from a survivor’s perspective. Proceeds benefit RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization.”

23. Setting Free The Sacred Cows Of Writing Advice from Chuck Wendig.

24. 10,000 Buddhas and Counting on Lion’s Roar. “Inspired by ancient Buddhist artwork on cave walls, Amanda Giacomini set out on a mission to paint 10,000 Buddhas all over America. Lilly Greenblatt tells her story.”

25. How far behind? from Seth Godin.

26. 4 Powerful Strengths of the Introverted Teacher.

27. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

But it’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for this is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

28. Wisdom from Francis Bacon, “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.”

29. Resisting Fatphobia (A Social Justice Perspective on Size) from Isabel Foxen Duke.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Sam is up to a 2.5 mile walk in the morning, so we’ve been going together more often, all four of us, then one of the humans takes Ringo a few more miles.

2. Blooms, in our garden and elsewhere. Decades ago someone made the decision to plant climbing roses below our front window. It makes no sense and every year, I cut them way back and swear I’m going to try and move them or just get rid of them, but then they bloom and I don’t have the heart to do anything but thank them. The tall white irises below were given to me by my friend Ann, moved from her garden to mine the summer before she died. It makes me stupid happy to see them thriving, coming alive and blooming every year. And my garden goal of having something blooming from the beginning of the season to the end seems to be almost fully achieved.

3. Practice. Saving my life, keeping me sane, calming me down, helping me to cultivate courage and compassion.

4. Sam and Ringo. Sam is slowly and surely getting better. I still can’t tell if he’ll go back to being able to run 10 miles, go on a 14 mile hike, jump into the back of the big rig with confidence, or if I’ll ever stop watching him so close, trying so hard to keep him from getting hurt again, worrying about him, but I’m so grateful that he’s not in as much pain and he’s able to get around like a regular dog. Ringo is a contradiction of sweet and crazed, and I love that about him even as he’s driving me crazy.

5. Eric. He’s the best. He made a pie yesterday, spends every morning watering the garden and weeding, takes such good care of all of us and makes me laugh.

Bonus joy: a robin made a nest in our lilac bush (see picture below), swimming lessons, aqua aerobics, napping, strawberries from our garden, an afternoon thunderstorm, Wild Writing, texting, reading, good TV, going to the movies with Eric, clean sheets, catching up with the laundry, a pay raise at work, butterflies, sitting in the sauna, going out to lunch.

Something Good

Throwback to the year that robin made a nest in one of the trees in our backyard

1. RIP Anthony Bourdain. Anthony Bourdain, Renegade Chef Who Reported From the World’s Tables, Is Dead at 61 and Tony Was a Symphony’: Friends and Fans Remember Anthony Bourdain on The New York Times.

2. Stretching, wisdom from Seth Godin.

3. Listen to ‘Dear Sugars’: Trust Your Body — With Hilary Kinavey & Dana Sturtevant on The New York Times.

4. Why The Audacity of White Feminism Is The Core of White Supremacy.

5. A Life of Peacefulness on Zen Habits. Also, A Guide to a Life of Purpose.

6. Summer reading assignment from Austin Kleon.

7. 4 INFJ Needs That You Shouldn’t Ignore.

8. Is It Wrong To Shame Shamers? from Dances with Fat. Because this, “People are allowed to believe whatever they want. But when they try to turn their personal beliefs into actions that harm you and/or harm others, you have every right to speak up and fight back.”

9. 5 ways Buddhist communities can take part in social change on Lion’s Roar.

10. Morcheeba has a new album out, Blaze Away. Their album Big Calm is still one of my favorites.

11. People being racist assholes (and this was just this week, just a sampling): Racist Missouri Waitress Fired After ‘N——r Hunting’ Video, and Racist lady attacks Hispanic woman at the mall because she dared to have blonde hair (video), and Racist lady harasses Hispanic shoppers checking out at the supermarket (video), and Star Wars has a white male fandom problem, and Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran faced so much racism and sexism that she had to leave Instagram (video), and and Trump’s deportation force was just exposed using a trick right out of the Nazi playbook, and A family was separated at the border, and this distraught father took his own life, and Woman Describes Border Patrol Agents Abuse Of Power After Ugly Confrontation On A Bus, and UPS Employee Fired After Posting That Black ‘Thugs’ Deserve Police Violence, and Florida Man Sets Black Neighbor’s ‘Flashy’ Car on Fire, Calls Him Racial Slur: Report, and Student From Iowa Killed 3 Weeks After ICE Sent Him Back To Mexico, and Food Truck Worker Hurls Bottle, Racial Epithet at Black Woman After She Tries to Pay With Change, and Ben Carson Backs Off Newest HUD Plan, Which Would Raise Rent for Poor Households by 20 Percent, and Chicago Police Defend Handcuffing 10-Year-Old Boy Mistaken For Armed Teen, and When My Neighbors Called the Cops on Me, and White Teacher Makes Instagram Post Mocking Black Elementary Student’s Hair, and CrossFit’s Spokesman Fired After Saying LGBT Pride Is A “Sin”, and ICE agents went undercover and offered gardening workers doughnuts before arresting 114 people (video), and A Trump supporter spat racist vitriol at this Asian-American woman on the Metro (video).

12. The Night My Parents Had Me Kidnapped.

13. This 6-year-old helped over 1000 dogs to find a home. (video)

14. 13 Diverse Authors Nominated for PBS’s ‘The Great American Read’.

15. This is the moment a jogger dismantles and tosses the belongings of a homeless man into a lake. (video)

16. Cute babies. (video)

17. Restaurants Boycott Brooklyn, NY, Army Base After Guard Called ICE on Deliveryman. This is what resistance looks like.

18. 6 Things White People Can Do To Reach Friends and Family Members to End Racism.

19. Take a Peek Inside Neil Gaiman’s Library.

20. Roxane Gay: ‘No one is guaranteed love or affection.’ “The author of Bad Feminist and Hunger has strong words for ‘incels’, harassers in publishing and diet gurus.”

21. “Little girls don’t stay little forever…” (video)

22. Five Spills, Six Months in Operation: Dakota Access Track Record Highlights Unavoidable Reality — Pipelines Leak.

23. Metropolitan Museum Creates Residency Program for Artists Committed to Social Change.

24. Georgia Cop Fired for Ramming Fleeing Suspect With Patrol Car Gets New Job as Sheriff’s Deputy in Neighboring County. This is so disgusting, infuriating. The sheriff who hired him had “known him since he was a baby” and “In talking to Saulters the first question he asked was if our citizens supported law enforcement. Without hesitation I assured him they did and that we have excellent people that live in our county. I have no reservations about Dep. Saulters serving this community. As a citizen of Oglethorpe County you will find the wisdom of this decision in getting a deputy of this caliber. If you still have concerns I will discuss them with you if you contact me. If you are not an Oglethorpe County resident, I wouldn’t worry about it.” Fuck you, Sheriff David Gabriel.

25. Florida Stopped Background Checks On Concealed Weapon Permits For A Year. “The employee responsible said she couldn’t remember her information to log in to a national database that keeps track of criminals.”

26. Philadelphia Police Department Changes Trespassing Policy After Starbucks Incident.

27. Chelsea Manning’s tweets prompted police to perform a “wellness check” … with their guns drawn. (video)

28. Arizona Man Beaten By Mesa Police Makes Public Statement. (video)

29. For homeless people in Eugene, Oregon, these tiny homes can be the difference between life and death. (video)

30. These Tweets About Kids Renaming Random Things Prove That Kids Are Way Smarter Than Us.

31. This super dad-erina came to rescue his daughter when she broke in tears on stage. (video) My favorite part of this is when a guy comes from the side and offers to hold the baby, and the dad is like, “I’ve got this.”

32. Dambulla is home to Sri Lanka’s largest cave complex. But hidden inside these caves is a spectacular series of sprawling temples. (video)

33. A Thank-You Letter to Kim Kardashian for Proving White Privilege Is Real.

34. When a volunteer hunts for likes on social media. (video)

35. 4 Reasons People of Color Can’t Cater to White People’s Guilt – Or Their Tears.

36. Former Fox Analyst Calls Network “Propaganda Machine”. Things for me that are indicators we won’t agree about much of anything: you watch Fox News, you voted for Trump, and you don’t read books.

37. Body Positivity Is a Scam. “How a movement intended to lift up women really just limits their acceptable emotions. Again.”

38. Digital creator Dylan Marron has plenty of online haters, but he doesn’t consider them trolls. Instead, he started a podcast where he engages them in honest, offline conversations. (video)

39. Sleepy puppy. (video)

40. The government made an anti-fascism film in 1943 – and it’s horrifyingly relevant in 2017. (video)

41. Watch President Obama’s final White House remarks honoring Pride, since our current president still refuses to recognize it. (video)

42. How Current Eating Disorder Discourse Fails The LGBTQ Community. And How We Can Change That. “Treatment needs to be a gender diverse and an inclusive environment.”

43. Ann Widdecombe lashes out at transgender ‘lunacy’ in Express column.

44. This candidate for governor drove through a parade in an American flag Jeep with a fake machine gun mounted on top — and he called the negative backlash a ‘snowflake meltdown.’ (video)

45. Musician and political commentator Akala confronts three statements he says are used to ‘shut down’ discussions about race. (video)

46. We Can’t Wait to Read Fatventure Mag. “After a successful Kickstarter, the first issue will feature fat-identified women and nonbinary writers and artists.”

47. Texas Teen’s Story About Being Abducted and Assaulted by White Supremacists Was Not True, Police Say.

48. ‘My dog thinks he’s an opera singer.’ (video)

49. In case you need some encouragement today, here’s a video of a little girl jumping off the diving board for the first time as the entire pool cheers her on. (video)

50. She locked herself out of her house, but her dog was able to get her back in. (video) Good by, Sam!

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. As I mentioned, they’ve been a different route because there are too many mosquitoes by the river. Ringo and I spent this week walking around the City Park Cemetery trying to find the nest with two baby owls. We haven’t found them, but it’s a nice place to walk — lots of shade from huge trees, quiet, and right now there are so many peonies blooming there.

The light though…

2. Peonies. We’ve had such hot weather the past few days that the season is almost over already, but I’ve been cutting them and bringing them in the house, have a vase in almost every room.

3. Practice. It keeps me from giving up, when so many sad and awful things are happening in the world and I’m so tired and don’t know what else to do.

4. Teaching yoga. I subbed three classes this week. I don’t want to teach that much all the time, at least not right now, but in a short burst it’s really lovely.

5. Strawberries. We are getting a TON from our garden this year. Eric even made a pie this week. It’s one of the things he’s the best at, making pie. Eating it is one of the things I’m the best at. 🙂

There really is pie under there somewhere

Today’s harvest.

6. My three boys. I love just being home with them, taking naps and hanging out.

Bonus joy: San Pelligrino Orange Sparkling Water (there’s something wrong with how much I crave this), Wild Writing with Mikalina and Chloe’ (although, not much writing happened today), air conditioning and a whole house fan, all the work Eric does on our garden and how well it’s doing, Sam getting better from his injury but getting old all at the same time, Ringo getting to make friends when he’s out on a walk by himself, swimming lessons (I did SO GOOD this week!), the privilege of summer vacation, clean sheets (which I’m heading to put on right now).

Something Good

Peonies from our garden

Peonies from our garden

1. 5 Reasons Why INFJs Might Struggle With Depression. This is scarily accurate. Like so much so that the next time I feel depressed, I should read it to remind myself of the why — which sometimes helps. In related news, You Can’t ‘Fix’ Introverts Because We’re Not Broken.

2. 10 Truths to Keep You Going When Everything Goes Wrong.

3. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up. I’ve posted this before, a few times, but it’s worth repeating.

4. Yes, Fat People Have the Right to Exist from Dances with Fat.

5. Understand Ramadan from Wall of Us.

6. The Bare Podcast with Susan Hyatt and guest Sonya Renee Taylor, the author of The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.

7. My name is Wil Wheaton. I Live With Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. I Am Not Ashamed.

8. Why Did We Ever Leave Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood?

9. Oldest European Tree Found—And It’s Having a Growth Spurt. “A Heldreich’s pine discovered in southern Italy has been thriving in a remote part of a national park for 1,230 years.”

10. When a whale swam up to this woman and wouldn’t leave her alone, she was freaked out — until she realized he was saving her life. (video)

11. Early ‘Nature’ Highlights of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. It’s a beautiful world.

12. Trump taps hate group fellow Ronald Mortensen for important post dealing with refugees. It fills me with a particular kind of rage knowing that there are still people who deny that our president is a white supremacist, a racist. Oh, and he’s also homophobic: Trump fails to mark Pride Month…again.

13. Moving Our Bodies From A Place of Joy, Or Not from Dances with Fat.

14. The Problematic Whitewashing of Eating Disorder Recovery.

15. Almost 40% of peer-reviewed dietary research turns out to be wrong. Here’s why.

16. A new Lucas The Spider video.

17. Racist people doing racist things: Drunk hipster fired after spewing racial slurs outside bar, and This woman who loses it in front of her kids (video), and ‘You don’t look like a legislator’: Security stops black, female lawmaker going to work in Ohio, and Georgia Teen With No Prior Record Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Stealing a Pair of Sneakers When He Was 15, and According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 8 white nationalists are currently running for federal office, more than ever before (video), and White Man, Furious That Jack in the Box Employee Wouldn’t Accept Coupon for Free Burger, Threatens to Send Her ‘Back to Mexico,’ and Professor targeted by right for teaching course on “white racism,” and Family of Black Man Killed by White Cop Awarded Just $4 By Florida Jury, and This man tormented his Black neighbors for years — now he’s facing 2-4 years in prison (video), and A teen killed a black man with his truck — then called him a racist slur online, police say.

18. Mind Your Own F**king Business! (video)

19. Why we must legalise cannabis now for the sake of public health.

20. Jimmy Fallon’s moving speech to Parkland’s graduating class. (video)

21. Three years ago, this beach was covered in trash. This year sea turtles were able to return to nest. (video)

22. Woman Tweets This Dog Owner’s Hilarious Reaction To Her Dog Escaping The Yard.

23. When Spiritual Bypassing Meets Racism Meets Gaslighting.

24. Curvy Yoga: A Sequence for Feeling at Home in Every Pose.

25. Beautiful LGBT Wedding Photos Showing That Love Knows No Boundaries.

26. The brilliant Robert Webb tells the Hay Festival audience why he has a problem with the traditional concept of masculinity. (video)

27. This fawn got so scared crossing the road it just lay down and wouldn’t move, but mom came to the rescue! (video) Reminds me of Ringo Blue at the vet! 🙂

28. Starbucks Anti-Bias Training “Missed the Mark Completely,” Say Two Philly Baristas. #notsurprised

29. BitchReads: 15 Books Feminists Should Read In June.

30. Congressional Candidate In Virginia Admits He’s A Pedophile. Welcome to America.

31. Watch this pastor put police officers in their place for unnecessarily taking a Black woman’s car. (video) Spoiler alert: they don’t arrest, harm, or kill him.

32. Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker Who Turned Away Gay Couple on The New York Times.

33. The Big Heart of America’s Smallest Pride Festivals.

Gratitude Friday

1. My peonies are blooming. I love them so much. The two bushes with the least blooms are coming in first, and there’s at least 20 blooms each on the two bigger ones, so FYI: there are going to be lots of pictures until they are done.

The ants and ladybugs love them too

2. Morning walks. Because there are so many mosquitoes out by the river right now, we’ve been having to walk to City Park and the lake instead. It’s a nice walk, but I miss the river already.

3. Swimming lessons. I took my first one yesterday. I put my face in the water a bunch of times, and only panicked a little lot. I think once I can get past that part, the rest will be easier, more fun. I have a good teacher and the willingness to try, and that seems like a good place to start.

Me after my lesson and ten minutes in the sauna

4. Joyful movement. Aqua aerobics, Pilates, yoga, and walking with Eric and the dogs. For so many years, exercise was about what I should do, about punishment and discontent. I’m so grateful I found new things that I enjoy and feel good doing.

5. My tiny family. I really would rather be with them than anywhere else.

Bonus joy: strawberries from our garden that taste like sunshine, good books (I’m reading Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler right now – so good), good TV (I just watched the first two episodes of season three of Queen Sugar), sleeping in, napping, clean sheets, air conditioning, clean water, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, texting, not checking my work email.


Three Truths and One Wish

Strawberries from our garden

1. Truth: I am in a strange fugue, a liminal state. This happens every summer vacation, for at least the first two weeks, but if the year was worse (like this one) it can linger. I’ve made the to-do list — things like painting the house and cleaning out the garage and buying new bras and getting a haircut — but only a few things have been done and crossed off. This summer it feels particularly strange because I know when I go back next year, it will be my last (had I told you that yet? It’s not official, but it is for sure), and I already am really clear about what I’m going to to next but can’t start yet. It’s a weird place to exist.

2. Truth: I’m not purposely trying to bum you out, it’s just that everywhere I look things are bad. I can see the good too — I mean just look at that bowl of juicy strawberries that came out of our garden — but I refuse to deny the bad just because it’s difficult or uncomfortable or fucking depressing. The reality is both — tender and terrible, brutal and beautiful. I feel myself tipping towards the dark, feeling the overwhelm of the awful, but I haven’t given up and it doesn’t keep me from seeing the good.

3. Truth: Tomorrow I’m taking my first swimming lesson. Not the first of my life. I took swimming lessons when I was younger, but was a scared, timid, nervous kid who was tormented by teenaged instructors who thought, for example, that it was funny to push a kid who was crying and afraid to jump in the deep end into the water from behind or to meet fear with anger and bullying. I sort of learned to be in the water, but more so learned to be terrified. I’d like to change that, and tomorrow I’m going to start trying.

One wish: That no matter where we find ourselves, we can keep our head above water, keep swimming, keep trying.