Something Good

1. Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed by Ijeoma Oluo. Another great read from Ijeoma is I’m So Tired of Being Told that my Fat Body is Going to Kill Me.

2. Stinginess in the connection economy from Seth Godin. This makes me think of that great quote, “When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence.”

3. Is There a Mindfulness Bubble Waiting to Burst? An interesting article.

4. Recipes I want to try: Burrito Samosas (which Eric called “Samosadillas” after I said the recipe was like if a quesadilla and a samosa had a baby), and Crusty Baked Shells and Cauliflower, and Chopped Kale Power Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing, and Veggie Spring Rolls with Kamikoto, and Apple Fritter Bread.

5. Casa Patas, Flamenco en Vivo #277, a really great video of some amazing (and some tiny) dancers.

6. The Personal-Essay Boom is Over from The New Yorker.

7. SeaWorld Sent Salon Talk Baby VIP Tickets Because She Deserves It.

8. This Gecko Can’t Stop Smiling When He’s Around His Toy Gecko, And Their Pics Will Make Your Day.

9. ‘Disgusted’ Women, Minorities Criticize Viral Atlantic Story ‘My Family’s Slave’, and 3 Must-Read Reactions to Alex Tizon’s ‘My Family’s Slave’ Essay. In related news, the original article, My Family’s Slave.

10. This Website Lets You Travel Around The World If You Agree To Take Care Of Other People’s Pets.

11. Self-Care Means Acknowledging That Structural Racism Exists.

12. For Allies Who Feel “Shot Down.” “Black people — or any minority — do not owe you anything. That is not why you’re an ally. You do not do it to improve your relationship with a certain group you are abstracted from, but rather because you have seen injustice and hope to fix it.”

13. Dear volunteers in Africa: please don’t come help until you’ve asked yourself these four questions.

14. Floral Designer is Turning NYC Trash Cans into Giant Vases Overflowing with Flowers.

15. How to write a love letter to yourself from Writing Our Way Home.

16. 7 Simple Ways to Be More You from Be More With Less.

17. Small Actions, Huge Impact from Zen Habits.

18. by any other name — and to what end?, a great discussion started by Karen Walrond’s question(s), “So I’d be interested in your thoughts on this: how do you reconcile the tension between great craftsmanship (art) and great hustle? Do you find you’re good at one and not the other? And which one should win out?”

19. More than 100 students walked out on Mike Pence’s commencement speech — here’s why.

20. Life goes like this, the perfect illustration from Marc Johns.

Gratitude Friday, on a Saturday (again…)

It happened again. It was another unusual Friday morning — it had SNOWED all day Thursday (campus was even shut down at 12:30 pm) and the sore throat that started on Monday turned into full blown crud. It was still snowing on Friday morning and I still felt yucky, so I decided that rather than working from home I’d take a sick day. I spent most of it on the couch, even accidentally slept through Ringo’s last nosework class of this session. I slept in the spare room last night so as not keep anyone awake with my coughing, and here I am using what will most likely be the only burst of energy I have today to write this post — then back to the couch for the day. Every one has been so sick this year, lots of strep throat and even pneumonia going around, and I’d been doing so good to stay healthy in that regard, but it finally caught up with me — the real issue is that I’m supposed to be on summer break right now but I’m working on a big project instead. It’s kind of like meeting someone running a marathon at the finish line and telling them in that moment of relief and collapse that they have to run another two miles to finish. I have nothing left, but I’m giving it all I’ve got anyway. That’s a recipe for disaster.

1. Sick days. And health insurance, a partner who will take the dogs out in the miserable mess, and dogs who are happy to keep me company even when I’m boring. Emergen-C, Advil, sinus rinse, Kleenex with lotion, a hot shower, clean pajamas and sheets, and even that two year old expired but I’m going to take it anyway cough syrup from the last time I was so sick.

2. Texting. For various reasons it came in handy this week, allows me to be connected even though I’m stuck on the couch or really really really far away from what’s going on.

3. Flowers in the bathroom. It’s a luxury, a privilege, totally unnecessary, but I love it anyway. Hopefully my peonies have survived the snow and the next batch will be from my own garden.

4. Sam and Ringo, keeping me company, being so sweet and well behaved when I can’t handle anything else.

5. Eric. Taking care of me, doing the stuff I can’t, worrying about me and loving me, texting me cute pictures of the dogs.

Bonus joy: Good tv, a comfortable couch, down pillows, being caught up on the laundry, the privilege of doing nothing, my good health (I haven’t really been sick since that last time two years ago), a weekend with no plans, healthy dogs, a healthy partner.

Something Good

1. The middle of everywhere from Seth Godin. This is kind of blowing my mind.

2. Wisdom from Alexandra Franzen,

Your words, your actions, your art projects, your efforts, every small, tender, beautiful thing that you put forth into the world matters so much. So much more than you may realize. Every single day, as you go about your work, you have no idea whose life you could be impacting for the better—often, in ways you can’t even imagine.

3. It only takes a moment to make someone’s day, the story behind the Daymaker (“A person who performs intentional acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place”) project.

4. 18 Ways to Start the First Page of a New Notebook.

5. Women Behaving Badly from the wicked smart Rachel Cole. “When we are in an allied relationship with ourselves we trust our hungers and seek to feed them. When we are in an oppositional relationship to ourselves we mistrust our hungers and seek to numb, deny or minimize them.”

6. Feast On Your Life: A New Group for Not Doing, good stuff from Jena Schwartz.

7. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

8. Recipes I want to try: Curried Carrot Salad and Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Blender Muffins. In related news, How to Make Salad: a Guide by Julia Moskin on New York Times. P.S. If you have any tasty vegetable recipes, send them my way!

9. To Stay Married, Embrace Change on The New York Times. After close to 25 years with the same person, this sounds about right to me.

10. These Southern Black Women Turned Old Rags into Masterpieces. “The people of Gee’s Bend, Alabama faced slavery, share-cropping, the Great Depression, flood, and a racist sheriff who cut off essential ferry access to the community. Nevertheless, the community persisted.”

11. Two good causes, Burg related: A Burgfectly Lived Life and Burg’s Place.

12. Maria Bamford’s New Special Is a Kind of Inspired Gibberish on The New York Times.

13. Japanese patience and precision By Kutani Choemon.

14. 20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You. This is an older post I’ve shared before, but it’s worth another visit.

15. Wyoming Passes “Indian Education for All” Legislation. This is a great idea.

16. This Twitter Thread Perfectly Breaks Down How White Pop Stars Use Black Artists.

17. Dear straight allies, please don’t come to pride until you’ve understood these 6 things.

18. On Being Black, ‘Woke,’ And Dating White People.

19. The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy.

20. I Know a Woman from Jena Schwartz.

21. Lia Kim Choreography. #movementgoals

22. Our Lady of Complicity, “The first daughter fails the Turing test with her self-help book.”

23. 20 slimdown diet tips! Lena Dunham on Instagram. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about her, because she does some pretty dumb stuff sometimes, but then she does something like this.

24. 6 Ways My Parents Unintentionally Taught Me Disordered Eating.

25. Dear White Progressives…

26. The psychological importance of wasting time. And in related news, Happiness research shows the biggest obstacle to creativity is being too busy.

27. Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts? I’ve always wondered, and this post gives some pretty good answers.

28. A Responsibility to Light: An Illustrated Manifesto for Creative Resilience and the Artist’s Duty in Dark Times.

29. Debunking the ‘Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps’ Myth.

30. Cary Grant: how 100 acid trips in Tinseltown ‘changed my life.’ “At the height of his fame, Cary Grant turned to LSD therapy for help. He later claimed the drug saved him, but did it also spell the end of his career?” I had no idea.

31. These rare color photos of Paris were shot 100 years ago, and they’re amazing.

32. Fresh Air’s 10 Favorite Terry Gross Interviews. “This week marks 30 years since WHYY first took Fresh Air With Terry Gross national in the form we know today: a daily, hour-long interview show featuring an array of artists and newsmakers…To commemorate the occasion, I asked Gross for a list of her personal favorite interviews.”

33. Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined.

Gratitude Friday (a day late)

Trash day, i.e. let’s stand at the window and yell a lot.

Friday was a bit unusual this week. I went to my morning yoga class instead of sleeping in because my friend Mitch was going to be there, for one of the last times (he’s finally moving fulltime to his house in the mountains, selling his house in town so he won’t have a reason to come back). Then we didn’t have Wild Writing class because Laurie was in Boulder seeing her oldest daughter graduate from college. Even though I usually work from home on Fridays, I had to go to campus to interview a couple of people applying to be interns in the fall, and I had to stay after that to get a few other things done. After that, I came home and crapped out on the couch until it was time to take Ringo to his Nose Work class. I knew it was Friday, but I completely forgot to post until my mom sent an email today asking about it. Oh well. It’s never too late to be grateful.

1. Morning walks with the dogs. On Thursday morning, we saw two deer, two heron (or one, two times), THREE families of geese with babies, and ducks. With all the rain last week, the river is much higher.

Big river, little dog.

2. Kitchen counter love notes. It’s really kind of amazing that with all the ones Eric has made, he’s never done the same design twice.

3. Ringo. In his nose work class this week, he was a superstar, which made me realize the past two times weren’t flukes — he’s really really good at it. He went to the vet this week for his annual checkup and shots. He is such a confident dog, but when you take him to the vet, suddenly he’s terrified. He just wanted to hide under my chair the whole time.

4. Surprise gifts in the mail, just because. Eric sent me a card, and his mom and dad sent us a really nice food processor. At first we had not idea who it was from. It was a ordered through Amazon, addressed to both Eric and I, but it had no note. We had no idea who sent it or for why! Anyone who knows us well would know it’s something we want that we’d most likely never buy for ourselves, but we couldn’t figure out who sent it. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday or anything, and we couldn’t figure out who knew us well enough to know we didn’t already have one, would order something online to send, and had that kind of extra money to send such a nice present “just because.” Turns our our niece helped them get online and order it when they were over at her new house.  We sent them a surprise snowblower this winter, so that probably explains the why.

5. Aimee Mann. She released a new album earlier this year, and came to Boulder last week. I got to buy tickets early because I’m part of her fan club, so we were in the 2nd row! I think we’ve seen her about five times now, at least three of those in Boulder. I’ve loved her since I was 16 (the moment in the Voices Carry video where she’s in the opera hall and she loses it because she can’t take being told to keep quiet anymore summed up how I felt at that age), and I only love her more now, and am so lucky Eric likes her too.

Bonus joy: getting back to the gym, yoga with some of my favorite people, tart cherry juice, how sweet Sam can be, good books and the authors who write them, poetry and the poets who write it, good TV, podcasts, breakfast burritos from Mugs Coffee, the Ace Hardware store in Old Town Fort Collins, clean sheets, a cold glass of clean water, a warm shower, indoor plumbing — so so so much privilege, both access and means.

Something Good

This is happening in my garden right now

1. 23 ‘Small’ Signs That You’re A Highly Sensitive Person, alternatively titled “Everything You Need to Know About Me.”

2. Recipes I want to try: Bob Armstrong Chile Con Queso Dip and Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches. Also, I need to go buy some tortillas here, Stop at this Fort Collins bakery for authentic Mexican food.

3. Salon talk. A mom and her wee one are impossibly cute.

4. Sarah Silverman breaks down why she stopped calling things “gay.”

5. The Borrowed Words of Ivanka Trump. “The ‘inspirational quotes’ of her new book, Women Who Work, function as their own, tidy versions of the alternative fact.”

6. This Emotional Wedding Photo Is Bringing The Internet To Tears. So beautiful.

7. Wisdom from Elizabeth J. Andrew, “The ‘Who cares?’ question assumes writing to be a product, valuable inasmuch as others are willing to consume it. But writing is a product only at the tail end of a long and arduous process. The writing process, like any spiritual journey, is worthwhile for its own sake. The only answer to the ‘Who cares?’ question that really matters is whether or not you care.”

8. What you need to know about the House vote to repeal Obamacare. In related news, Republicans Celebrate Taking Healthcare Away from Millions, and In Rare Unity, Hospitals, Doctors and Insurers Criticize Health Bill, and See the full clip of Jimmy Kimmel’s powerful opening from last night, where he wasn’t just a TV host, but a father and a citizen.

9. Artist Creates Giant Wood Sculptures and Hides Them in Copenhagen Forests.

10. Powerful Comic Perfectly Captures the Hypocrisy of White Feminism.

11. Save the Holiday Twin Drive-In. “Re-new the drive in infrastructure to preserve this Fort Collins treasure for generations to come.”

12. Illustrator Draws Queer People of Color Doing Everyday Things.

13. Help save Everyday Feminism. It’s such a great resource.

14. W. Kamau Bell Unmasks Industry Racism in This Excerpt From His New Book. “In this excerpt from his new book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell, the comedian describes a White show business figure’s duplicitious and patronizing treatment.”

15. Trump supporters forced this man out of a rally — after mistaking him for a protester. In related news, A Woman Is On Trial For Laughing During A Congressional Hearing, (but also this I’m facing jail time after laughing at Jeff Sessions. I regret nothing.) And, something else you might need, How to Stay Sane if Trump is Driving You Insane: Advice From a Therapist.

16. The Eating Disorder Community Has A Fat Phobia Problem. Because this, “A thin-obsessed world perpetuates eating disorders and fat phobia. A world that acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of body sizes, and that focuses on access to weight-neutral mental and physical healthcare for people of all sizes (rather than focusing on trying to make everyone the same size) is better for everyone’s health.”

17. Bodhi Hanna Kistner (88): “Only After Sixty My True Life Began.” Stories like this are such a relief to me, to know that there is still time, as long as I get to stick around for awhile.

18. These Los Angeles dancers are changing the way people protest.

19. We Belong to a Planet That Bends Towards Healing from Adreanna Limbach.

20. What is Cultural Appropriation? In related news, What’s Wrong with Cultural Appropriation? These 9 Answers Reveal Its Harm.

21. In one powerful tweetstorm, this woman demolishes the hypocrisy of fat shaming.

22. Maria Bamford Wants You to Know You’re Doing Great.

23. Pink’s IG Picture is Not Body Positive from Dances with Fat.

24. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup, “Every mother-being wants to be happy, just as a thirst-tormented person wants water. Most beings, however, have no idea how to secure happiness. Confused, they grasp at anything that they think will be rewarding. But they go about it in the wrong way—through grasping, attachment, obsession, or aggression. At best, they are chasing rainbows. At worst, they end up hurting themselves, like someone who tries to lick honey off the sharp edge of a knife.”

25. A New Map on Allowing Myself. Justine is writing some really amazing stuff about being a new mom, when she gets the time and space to write, cause you know — new mom.

26. There’s No Such Thing as “Good Police.”

27. Outdoor Recreation Isn’t Free – Why We Need to Stop Pretending It Is.

28. One Strike, You’re Out: Fucking It Up With Your Friend of Color.

29. Neil deGrasse Tyson Warns: America ‘Is Already Kind Of Fading.’ “The famed astrophysicist says “there’s no future” for a country that ignores science.”

30. Why White Lady Sisterhood Needs to Evolve.

31. Advice for the recent graduate from Austin Kleon. I would argue that this is good advice for anyone, at any time.

32. 100 questions to spark conversation & connection, an oldie but a goody from Alexandra Franzen.

33. Avoiding Activism Burnout from Dances with Fat.

34. (It’s Great to) Suck at Something.

35. Guardians of the Planet:12 Women Environmentalists You Should Know.

36. Aimee Mann Tiny Desk Concert.

37. Guy Hides Camera In Bucket Of Water To See Who Comes To Drink, And Result Doesn’t Disappoint.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks with the dogs. It’s light so early now, and everything is that particular bright early spring green. There are even baby geese in the ponds and news of baby foxes.

Not a great picture, but since the dogs were with me I couldn’t get too close

2. An award. I was joking at our English department awards ceremony last week that I wanted my friend Aparna to give me an award. A few days later, this lamp that used to belong to my friend Leslee was presented to me in a sweet little unofficial ceremony, and is now officially the weirdest thing in my office, (title previously held by me).

3. Ringo and Sam. With Burg being sick (the final diagnosis is an aggressive type of leukemia, with a prognosis of two weeks to three months), and Dexter’s birthday being this week (he would have been 14!), I am appreciating even more than usual the company and good health of these two goofballs.

4. Women who are creative, smart, kind, and funny. The ones who came to my Storybowl, the ones who couldn’t, the ones who make music and poetry, the ones who write with me, the teachers and the moms and the artists, the ones trying so hard to heal and make things better.

My living room waiting for Storybowl to start. Some day we really will get our floors refinished.

5. Eric. Always my date, making me dinner, walking the dogs, sharing private jokes with me that no one else would understand or probably think were funny, laughing with me, itching that spot I can’t reach, letting me rant about the same thing for the millionth time, helping me clean the house and then leaving so other people could come over and enjoy it, texting me in the middle of the day to see how it’s going, leaving love notes for me on the kitchen counter.

Bonus joy: flowers in the bathroom, lilacs, fresh chives, clean laundry, clean sheets on the bed, Aimee Mann’s new album, good TV, so many good books, poetry, Wild Writing, yoga, physical therapy, the internet, a cold glass of clean water, how green everything is right now, blooms and birds, clean sheets (just noticed I put this on the list twice — I must really really like clean sheets), getting the laundry done on Friday, sleeping in, taking naps, crunchy apples and crunchy peanut butter.

Three Truths and One Wish

Art and poetry by Rupi Kaur

1. Truth: Life is suffering. This isn’t something I made up. It’s the first noble truth in Buddhism. We all know this to be true, if we can be honest about it. Sometimes suffering means simple discomfort, like a room that is too hot or loud, or an itch that won’t go away, but sometimes it’s full blown “I don’t know if I can survive this” kind of pain — the kind of pain Jordan Edwards‘s family and friends are feeling right now, or the kind of pain Amy is feeling about Burg.

2. Truth: Everything can change in an instant. No matter what we do to plan ahead, protect ourselves, or prepare, we can’t control or predict the way things will actually turn out. There are just too many causes and conditions for us to have much control over outcomes. We think we are doing just fine, and BAM, the worst thing happens — we leave a party early and don’t make it home, or an ache that won’t go away or a tiny lump turns out to be terminal cancer.

3. Truth: Loving and being loved is an antidote to suffering. No matter how much we love each other we can’t keep each other from suffering but weirdly that means we should just love each other that much more. I keep saying it, but it is still true: life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open. And expect it to break, again and again. That’s the good news and the bad; as big as you love is as much as you are going to hurt. Do it anyway.

One wish: Even knowing how much we are going to hurt as a result, may we continue to be generous with our love and attention, may we keep our hearts open in the midst of suffering and chaos, and may we find comfort in our connection to each other, in the shared weirdness that is being human.