Monthly Archives: September 2017

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Fall is here. As the weather got cooler, we started getting a few berries again. Not many, but I am appreciating their big taste, especially knowing they are the last of the season. A bonus joy this year is the painted lady butterfly migration. For some reason, there are way more, and for a few days when you would go outside, it was like walking through a butterfly pavilion — they were everywhere!

2. For some, fall means pumpkin spice, but for me it’s salted caramel. This sauce would be good on ice cream too, but I mostly use it in coffee (decaf).

3. Farmer’s market flowers in the bathroom. These are the final weeks. I have loved them so much, the ritual of going to the market and picking out a bouquet, chatting with Joan. I am hoping she’s back next summer and I get up the guts to ask her for a tour of her garden.

4. Sleep. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but we are redesigning our website at work. It has been a huge project, and I’m responsible for much of it, so I’ve been working myself ragged. In order to stay healthy and sane, I’ve been prioritizing sleep — going to bed early, taking whatever I need to help me sleep comfortably (my knee still gives me trouble at night), sleeping in, taking a nap whenever I can fit it in. It makes such a difference.

5. My tiny family. Eric took these great shots of the dogs up at Lory State Park last week, then filtered them with Prisma. It was too muddy from the rain for them to walk too far, but the pictures are worth it.

Bonus joy: a new fence almost finished, Wild Writing, a breakfast burrito from the farmer’s market, good neighbors, a cold glass of clean water, a warm shower, our new bed, cuddling with Sam, the way the top of Ringo’s head smells, pay day, a crispy Gala apple, ibuprofen, the swimming pool at the gym, good books, good TV, a washer and dryer in my house (it’s been years, but I still remember what a pain it was to drag all my laundry to a second location and the constant hoarding of quarters to run the machines — having my own in my own house is such a luxury), a good pen that writes fast but doesn’t smudge, an umbrella when I need one, texting, laughing with Eric, a hug when I really really need one.

Something Good

1. This picture of Prince by Herb Ritts is fall.

2. How Did You Do That? interview with Laurie Wagner. “HOW DID YOU DO THAT? is an interview series where we get to hear the REAL story behind someone’s success—not the polished, neat and tidy version.” Laurie truly is one of my favorite humans. I love her so much it makes me cry sometimes just to think about it.

3. Dharma Podcast with Natalie Goldberg, “Down to the Marrow.”

4. At home in Adelaide from SF Girl. This space is so peaceful.

5. Ibram Kendi, one of the nation’s leading scholars of racism, says education and love are not the answer.

6. The Real Story Behind Frida, The Rescue Dog in Mexico Gaining Viral Fame.

7. “I just choose to not listen”: why Trump supporters are tuning out the scandals. “Motivated ignorance, explained.” In my Buddhist practice tradition, we call it willful ignorance. Speaking of willful ignorance, A university president held a dinner for black students — and set the table with cotton stalks and collard greens.

8. Colin Kaepernick is Patriotic, American—and Right. In related news, Trump calls Colin Kaepernick a ‘son of a b*tch’ during Alabama stump speech. “Stump speech” is a nice way of saying “white supremacist rally.”

9. We Need To Talk About Donald Glover. (video) When I was still doing water aerobics at the Senior Center pool, one day we played a game where we asked questions like “what’s your favorite breakfast spot?” or “what would you bring to a bbq?” and when we were responding to “who’s your favorite leading man?” and I said “Donald Glover,” no one knew who the heck I was talking about, even after I named all the things he’d done.

10. ICE agents profiled, followed, and harassed this man. He’s been a U.S. citizen for 20 years. (video). You know, just because we have a collection of jerks and fools making up lots of rules about things doesn’t mean we the people, no matter what our profession, need to be jerks and fools too. We can choose to remain decent human beings. We do not have to comply.

11. Dear Stephen Colbert: Sean Spicer At The Emmys Is Why We Struggle To Trust White People. When I heard that Sean Spicer was at the Emmy’s, I assumed they meant Melissa McCarthy had showed up dressed as him and done a skit. The truth of the matter was a really, really bad decision.

12. Recipe I want to try: Apple Fritter Stuffed Pull-apart Bread.

13. Recipes I did try recently that all turned out yummy: Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce, and corn, cheddar and scallion strata, and Crispy Roasted Parmesan Potatoes.

14. Cat & Dog First Aid Online Training.

15. Introduction to Critical Race Theory.

16. National Museum Of African American History And Culture Celebrates 1 Year.

Gratitude Friday

1. Practice. I really appreciate the capacity my practice has to calm me down, take the edge of my anxiety, give my despair and rage and sadness a soft place to land.

2. Farmer’s Market. There aren’t as many flowers and they don’t last as long, but there are hand pies and breakfast burritos and apples and fresh bread.

3. A new bed. We’ve been meaning to buy one for a while now, but just never got around to it. Last weekend, we went shopping and were determined to not come home without a new bed. It’s a memory foam mattress, which is new to us, feels a bit like sleeping on a hard marshmallow, but so far so good, (and we have four months to sleep on it and return it to trade for another one if we don’t love it).

Ringo and Sam were pretty sure we should keep the old mattress and let them use it — the biggest dog bed ever.

4. Women. My favorites are funny, smart, creative, and kind. I got to hang out with my very favorite ones this past week — eating, talking, laughing, and writing.

5. My tiny family. I know we don’t get to stay together forever, but I’m sure enjoying the time we have right now.

The sky was on fire

Bonus joy: Recipes I’d been wanting to try turning out yummy, Tums, my toaster oven (which when Eric gave it to me for Christmas seemed like a weird present, but we’ve gotten so much use out of it), cheese quesadillas, fresh farm eggs, clean water, no more yellow jackets, good TV (the latest episode of Better Things was so good), good books (I’m reading The Hate U Give), getting in the pool at the gym, cooler weather, a warm shower and a clean towel.

Something Good

1. What’s present now? from Jamie Greenwood. (video) “A quick journaling exercise to help you write your way to calm, clarity and inspired action.” She’s also running another round of her Just F*cking Journal Class, September 25th-30th, “6 days. 6 fresh prompts. 6 ways to reconnect with YOU.” It’s a great class, AND it’s FREE!

2. Speaking of journaling, 10Q starts again Wednesday, September 20th. “10Q emails you a question a day for 10 days. Afterwards, you send your answers to the secure online vault. One year later, your answers are unlocked and returned and the process begins anew.”

3. this is a love song, not an apology: in praise of quitting from Isabel Abbott. So good.

4. Do Something, “5.5 million young people making positive change, both online and off.”

5. Soul Fever, wisdom from Rachel Cole. “For most of human history, we didn’t have television or the news. Reports of what was happening around the world took time to travel. There was no 24/7 play-by-play of natural disasters or moment-to-moment death counts. We’re not designed to handle this much human suffering in real time.”

6. 7 Lessons White People Can Learn From Bodega’s Apology.

7. 10+ Rare Photos Of 9/11 You Probably Haven’t Seen Before.

8. I am white. That’s all you know about me. Am I privileged based on that alone and assuming I am, should I feel guilt and what should I do about it?

9. The Roots of White Supremacy are in Our Bodies.

10. How Knowing This One Date Will Change How You Look at Work Forever.

11. Edgar Allan Poe Was a Broke-Ass Freelancer.

12. New Hampshire Investigates Wounding of 8-Year-Old as Possible Hate Crime from The New York Times. In related news, Interview: Mother of 8-Year-Old Nearly Hanged in NH Speaks Out on Moving Forward With Her Son.

13. Amber Tamblyn Pens Open Letter to James Woods. “Only you and your darkness know who you are. Only you and your actions know what you’ve done. That means you and only you have the power to change your behavior.” In related news, Asking Questions Louis C.K. Doesn’t Want to Answer on The New York Times.

14. ‘What Were You Wearing?’ exhibit at KU takes aim at sexual assault myth.

15. This Groundbreaking Summer Camp Lets LGBT Kids Be Who They Are.


16. Support the Arreguin Family.

17. Steve Irwin’s Son Is An Award Winning Photographer And These Photos Show Why.

18. 10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To In The Era of 45.

19. People Getting Surprised With Puppies.

20. This restaurant owner opened his doors to anyone in need during Hurricane Irma. (video)

21. Understanding White Supremacy, and how to defeat it. (video)

22. Times My Doctor Didn’t Listen To My Pain. (video)

23. Recipes I’d like to try: Chicken & Dumplings (video) and Veggie Wedges 4 Ways.

24. The portrayal of black men on Queen Sugar is unlike anything else on television. (video)

25. Black people built this country. (video)

26. Jemele Hill is Right.

We can argue all we want about what is or isn’t appropriate for a sports talk show host to comment on or whether Hill’s Tweets were abrasive to some, but that’s a fruitless diversion; it’s just talking around what we should be talking about here. It’s disingenuous for supporters of this President to feign offense at Hill’s tone or her bluntness. If they really want to call out vile hatred, stereotyping, and bullying—they need to check his recent resume again. That white people are more incensed by her comments than by Trump’s body of work, is exactly why we have a problem here.

27. Wild Mystic Woman Podcast, Ep010: Andrea Ranae On Coaching As Activism.

28. Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes, (video).

Day of Rest

This poem is on my mind, especially the opening and closing lines.

by Mark Nepo

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

Gratitude Friday

1. Farmer’s market. This was the haul from last week. It just makes me really happy to buy directly from who made or grew it. I also love the ritual of going downtown early in the morning at the beginning of the weekend and walking around.

2. Getting help with a nasty nest of yellow jackets. I find no joy in killing anything, and yet, once these mean little dudes (did you know they have TEETH, and they can chew through concrete?!) got inside our house (the crawlspace), it became them or us. I was really happy to find someone who not only could take care of it, but was a decent human being and made me feel better about the whole thing.

3. Practice. When it’s hard to breathe because I’m so anxious and heartbroken, this is always a soft place to land.

4. Morning walks. I love where I live so much — the access to green space and trails, the sky and the water.

5. My tiny family. It can be hard to manage everyone’s health and happiness (including my own), but the pay off is so worth it. And p.s. Eric takes such good care of all of us.

Bonus joy: Wild Writing, water aerobics, my not new anymore but still feels new to me car, a warm shower and a clean towel, a cold glass of clean water, watermelon, fresh corn, strawberries, remembering who I am, good TV (I’m watching The Sinner and it is the guiltiest pleasure, also One Mississippi and Better Things are back), good books (I’m finishing up Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates), clean sheets, cooler weather.


Something Good

Image by Eric (and Prisma) from our morning walk

1. The Hurricane Harvey Edition: Make Light, Episode 06.

2. The Hummingbird Whisperer: A UCLA Researcher Cultivates a Community of 200 Hummingbirds Outside Her Window.

3. A Pop Quiz for White Women Who Think Black Women Should Be Nicer to Them in Conversations about Race. In related news, 10 things every white teacher should know when talking about race, and White People — We Can’t Dismantle Trump And Racism Without You, and The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy, and The First White President, (this is long, but so worth the read or listen).

4. Corona del Mar teen selected as one of the nation’s top 5 young poets.

5. We need to put an end to fatphobia in woke spaces from Melissa Toler.

6. Flying Spatulas and Holy Donuts from Jena Schwartz, because this:

And such is the reality of our world. All of the simultaneity — the very thing I felt like “my” movie was about when I was young, rushing up like high tide. Life is a crushing collision of epic normalcy and nuance and tragedy and love stories and teenagers and crickets and donuts and heroes. We are all bad guys and good guys at one time or another, and if we dare to be creative, maybe, just maybe, what we find interesting and worthy of our attention will catch the light for someone else, too. Will alter their way of seeing or being. The thing is, we often never know — and must keep going (living, creating, loving, writing, being, working, learning, giving) on faith.

7. Photographer Finds Locations Of 1960s Postcards To See How They Look Today, And The Difference Is Unbelievable.

8. Woman Witnessed Teen Tossing Firecrackers Into Gorge: “There Was a Whole Group of Kids Who Found It Funny To Do This.”

9. Surreal Book and Lamp Installations by Rune Guneriussen Illuminate Norway’s Forests.

10. House flippers triggered the US housing market crash, not poor subprime borrowers.

11. Stuff That Scares Black People, Ranked.

12. LANGHORNE SLIM – “Never Break”, a song he wrote the day after the election.

13. What It’s Like to Be Trapped by a Category 5 Hurricane on The New York Times.

14. Why forests and rivers are the most potent health tonic around.

15. Truth in Jest? “Louis C.K. would rather ignore those assault rumours, but at this point, he can’t just let his art do the talking.”

16. Tara Hardy – “Is Rejoice”, filmed at the LGBTQ Open Mic at the 2017 National Poetry Slam in Denver CO. (video)

17. Depression is a physical illness which could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, scientists suggest.

18. Just a bat, eating a banana. (video)

19. Remembering Khadija Saye. The artist who tragically died in Grenfell Tower. (video)

20. Mars Candy Spends $1Billion on Climate Change. (video)

21. Recipes I want to try: Crispy Roasted Parmesan Potatoes and Thai Drunken Zucchini Noodles with Spicy Honey Chicken.

22. Art project for train passengers. (video) “The art project ‘Bewegtes Land’ transformed Germany’s Saale valley into a 30 kilometer long stage, entertaining passengers in passing trains. Some 500 residents and volunteers took part along the Jena-Naumburg route.”

23. 8 Podcasts Hosted by WOC to Make Your Commute Breeze By.

24. A Poem so that the Weight of this Country does not Crush You by Yosimar Reyes.

25. Black Lives Matter Just Won Sydney Peace Prize. It’s Time To Stop Calling It A Hate Group.

26. That Moment You Realize You’re Gay. This story is so beautiful.

27. Wisdom from Seth Godin: Common traps, worth avoiding and Toward cooperation.

28. Remember, from Patti Digh, on the anniversary of 9/11.

29. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (2017) – Official Trailer. So timely.

30. Google’s most-searched “how-to” questions capture all the magic and struggle of being human.