Monthly Archives: October 2017

Something Good

1. The Community Fridge – Helping Those In Need. (video)

2. I Talked to 150 Writers and Here’s the Best Advice They Had.

3. By D Grace of God. (video) “When Ben was contacted by an internet scammer named Joel, he had two choices. He could ignore him or knowingly take the bait. Ben decided to lead the scammer on in hopes of wasting his time. However, when he started to do that, things took a totally unexpected turn.”

4. Racists were afraid to attend their own hate speech rally in Murfreesboro Tennessee. (video)

5. A Chicano Community In San Diego Is Outraged Over A White Woman’s Attempt To Open A ‘Modern Fruteria.’ No, Jenny. Just no. You too, Becky. Just stop it.

6. The deadlier drug crises that we don’t consider public health emergencies. “Alcohol and tobacco kill far more people than opioids. Should they be considered an ‘epidemic’?”

7. Why you should give money directly and unconditionally to homeless people.

8. Women accusing Trump of sexual harassment are lying, says White House. White hot rage is all I feel in response to this.

9. ICE agents are out of control, y’all. Because this: Border Patrol Hauls 10-Year-Old Away IMMEDIATELY Post Surgery. (video) And this: Oregon ICE Agents Enter Home Without Warrant. (video) And in seemingly related news, this: This is a disgraceful abuse of power. (video) And this: Assistant Principal Placed on Leave After Pinning Student to Ground. (video)

10. The Skeleton Key: Dismantle is an offering to white cis-women to begin to dismantle the white supremacy we carry in our own bones.

11. how sza became the definitive sound of 2017. I didn’t think anything could come anywhere near to how much I love Solange’s “A Seat At The Table.” Then came SZA with “Ctrl.”

12. Roxane Gay Lists 13 Rules for Female Friendships.

13. C.D.C. Panel Recommends a New Shingles Vaccine from The New York Times. These vaccines are all recommended for those over 50 or even 60, but the majority of people I know who’ve had shingles are women in their 30s, and many of them have recurring, ongoing outbreaks.

14. Ever wonder why some history textbooks look more favorably on the South after the American Civil War? Meet the United Daughters of the Confederacy. (video)

15. The Adjunct’s Guide to Teaching College Composition on McSweeney’s.

16. Andrea Gibson: exploring chronic pain. (video)

17. More Than 800 People Have Been Shot To Death Since The Las Vegas Massacre.

18. Recipes I’d like to try: Healthier “Bacon” 4 Ways and 5-Minute Vegan Sauces (video).

19. 2017 Sony World Photography Best Photos Will Take Your Breath Away.

20. The Flint water crisis inspired clever 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao to develop a new water testing kit.

21. This Man Asked A Simple Question Online That Shut Down The Whole Anti-Abortion Argument.

22. All the Beautiful Humans. The story of a bad day that turned out to be a reminder of “all the beautiful humans.”

23. How to Engage a Fanatic from The New York Times. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

24. “That’s Racist Against White People!” A Discussion on Power and Privilege. An older post, but worth repeating, since apparently so many people still don’t understand how this works.

25. Photos Show Rituals Of Womanhood In Remote Tribes Around The World. Stunning.

26. Students call for professor’s firing after he hosts ‘female or shemale’ quiz during class.

27. To The White Woman I Can No Longer Be Friends With. This is hard to hear, but we need to hear it.

28. Stuff Black People Need.

29. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry at the human predicament. Here we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and—without even knowing it—we cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurity. Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.”

30. Aaron Lee, the “Angry Asian Buddhist,” has died, age 34. I can’t stop thinking about this part (read his whole post here),

In his last year, Aaron shifted his focus from activism towards creating “refuges,” which he described as spaces where someone can feel safe, supported, and nurtured. In a blog post, he wrote, “In the hospital, I found my speech and actions could become refuges for my family and caregivers — providing them with a space where they could feel calm, positive and helpful.”

31. All Hands on Deck, a poem by Jena Schwartz. P.S. She did an unplanned, impromptu reading of this at a coffee shop last week. Just got up and read it out loud. I already look to Jena as an example of how to be a writer on the page, but she’s also a good example of how to live as a writer off the page.

32. Cambridge University moves to ‘decolonise’ English literature curriculum adding more black and ethnic minority texts. As I read this, I can’t help but hearing Queen Whitney Houston singing in my head, “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”

33. Samoan fire crew sings beautiful hymn amid Northern California wildfires.

34. The Absence Of Empathy, which says at one point,

We’re trapped in a doomed 4-step program:
Step one: The president is challenged in a way that pushes him toward unbearable feelings inadequacy.
Step two: He responds by saying something despicable, usually projecting his weakness and corruption onto someone else.
Step three: He gets blasted by media, politicians, etc.
Step four: His followers experience this shaming as proof of Trump’s infallibility and redouble their allegiance.

35. Why people keep dieting despite logic or rationality from Isabel Foxen Duke. “The fantasy that we can diet our way into safety, love, power and acceptance—and diet our way out of judgment, powerlessness, oppression or rejectionunderlies all body-image or “food issues” to some degree or another.”

36. 12 Things Introverts Absolutely Need to Be Happy. I need to keep this somewhere I can refer to it often, as a reminder to get out of my own way.

37. 31 Things That Will Happen When You Finally Decide To Live Your Dreams. I want to go to there.

Gratitude Friday

1. The Colorado sky. This morning (pictured above) the clouds were moving so fast and pattered in such an odd way, the sky looked like water.

2. Morning walks with the dogs. It’s the time of year when it’s dark for most of it, but yesterday we saw a fox and the sunrise, and it’s so quiet out.

3. Eric and the dogs going hiking. Even if I only get to see pictures, I love that they get to go.

4. Working from home. Getting the laundry done. Being able to work in my pjs and hang out with the dogs, cook some real food or take a nap if I want to.

5. My tiny family. I’m not sure if I’d want to keep going without them.

It’s really Sam’s couch, but sometimes he lets Ringo have an arm

I give up trying to convince either of them that the ottoman isn’t a dog bed

Bonus joy: Wild Writing, shows at the Lincoln Center (we saw Take Me To The River last night, Mike Birbiglia last weekend) and how when they are over it only takes us five minutes to get home, giving myself permission to not, biscuits, good TV (the second season of Stranger Things just released this morning), good books, good interns, aqua aerobics, a warm shower and a clean towel, clean sheets, being okay with the dust and piles of stuff in my not so clean house, sleep, my dogs reminding me it’s time for lunch.

Something Good

Image by Eric

1. Holy shit, being an ally isn’t about me! “How I learned being a white liberal doesn’t make me a good ally.” In related news, 5 Truths About White Privilege for White People from John Pavlovitz.

2. The Question of Cultural Appropriation. “It’s more helpful to think about exploitation and disrespect than to define cultural ‘ownership.'”

3. To Mayim Bialik: The “Luxury” Of Not Being A “Perfect 10” Did Not Prevent My Rape. I’d take this “I can only hope that the culture you wish to change begins with showing our children that a man or woman only has to say NO once” one step further and add that a human needs to have also said “yes.”

4. Tamika Mallory, Co-Chair of Women’s March on Washington, Says American Airlines Pilot Kicked Her Off Flight Over Seat Dispute.

5. The Art of Activism: Hard Conversations Book Club “reads a book each month that will illuminate a path for accessing, reclaiming, and deepening our shared humanity. We will spend this year learning things we have not known, so we can respond to other human beings from a place of knowing, and not from a place of fear.”

6. Processing negative reviews from Seth Godin.

7. Relative from A Design So Vast. “I’ve always hungered to understand how the absolutely singular experience I’m having on this planet relates to the universal. I think we all do.”

8. Technology, peace, and sanity from Alexandra Franzen. “Deep down, though, we all crave meaningful human connections. We all crave serenity, peace, and space to breathe and think. We all crave less clutter, less noise, and more beauty. Technology can help to deliver these things. Or technology can hinder these things. It just depends on how we choose to use it.”

9. Weight Bias is Not In Your Head…and that’s probably not a reason to diet from Isabel Foxen Duke.

10. It’s Okay To Disconnect From Toxic People To Protect Yourself. This is a good article about what it’s about, but it also gave such a clear description of who I am… *sigh*

I’m a highly sensitive INFJ personality type. I need to feel emotionally safe and supported before I can express my true thoughts to anyone, and I also need more time than most to speak in front of a group (even if it’s only three people). I’m also an empath. So, when people around me go from zero to 10 on the anger scale, I pretty much immediately get gut-punched by all the negative energy. And because I’m an intuitive introvert, I see almost every different side to any issue. Black and white doesn’t exist for me. I live in the gray area.

11. PHOTOS: Trees That Tell Stories About The World We Live In.

12. Lego’s New Space-Themed Set is a Studded Celebration of Women in STEM.

13. Wedding Thoughts: All I Know About Love a poem from Neil Gaiman.

14. People think it was just Nazi Germany that operated concentration camps. “Britain used them in South Africa, Russia, Ireland, Palestine, Malaya and Kenya.” (video)

15. Practicing yoga in prison is completely reshaping these inmates’ lives. (video)

16. 27 Tweets That Are Too Good For This Cruel World.

17. Recipes I want to try: Veggie Hash Browns 4 Ways and miso sweet potato and broccoli bowl.

18. Weinstein Isn’t The Only One: Screen Celebs Who Abuse Women or Children. In related news, President Donald Trump has been accused of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault by these women. (video)

19. “The Florida Project” Is A Heartbreaking Movie About Living In The Shadow Of Disney. This looks so good, in that way a movie about bad things can be good.

20. 10 Black Female Poets You Need To Check Out.

21. Photographer Spends Eternity Waiting For Museum Visitors To Match Artworks And The Result Is Worth The Wait.

22. The #MeToo campaign is actually 10 years old — and this is the woman who started it. (video) In related news, The ‘Me Too’ Campaign Was Created By A Black Woman 10 Years Ago.

23. I need to talk to spiritual white women about white supremacy (Part Two) from Layla Saad.

24. This Cafe In Edinburgh Is Building A Village For The Homeless Community. (video)

25. Companies That Employ The Formerly Incarcerated.

26. Burger King Takes on Bullying in Viral Ad.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks, especially when we all get to go together.

2. The colors of fall, even when they are spilled all over the front step, (squirrels love to eat our pumpkins). I also am totally in love with my dog Buddha a friend got me a few years ago.

3. Flowers in the bathroom, even though they are from the grocery store now.

4. Get together time. Hanging out telling stories with friends, Wild Writing, yoga class, video chatting, texting, going out for a meal, taking a walk together — I have really good people in my life and I love spending time with them.

5. My tiny family. Talking a walk or a nap or hanging out in the backyard together are some of my most favorite things.


His happy place

I either need a bigger couch or a smaller dog

Bonus joy: a new supply of dog poop bags, a whole weekend where I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to, good books, good tv, good podcasts, falling asleep on the couch, black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, sleeping dogs, massages, starting a new notebook, my favorite pen, computer glasses, donuts, a clean glass of cold water, a warm shower, clean sheets, birds singing, a soft blanket, being done with the laundry, slippers.


Something Good

Fall on the Poudre River, from one of our morning walks this week

1. With all the recent disasters, I’ve been loving when there’s good news. Like this, Dog missing after 6.3R earthquake returns home when school bell rings, or this, Dog stranded by wildfire waits for her family at burned-down home, and this, Guy Drives Across The Country To Adopt A VERY Special Dog.

2. Recipes I want to try: 5 lunch recipes that only require 3 ingredients, and butternut squash and caramelized onion galette, and “Healthy” Fried Rice, and Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Buttery Pecans, and Apple Pie Cookies, and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake.

3. The model in the controversial Dove ad speaks out: “I am not just some silent victim.” In related news, 9 Shockingly Tone-Deaf Ads That Should Have Never Happened and Black-Owned Skincare Brands to Support Instead of Dove.

4. From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories on The New York Times. In related news, What If We Just Believed Women? “One of the reasons Harvey Weinstein was able to allegedly prey on women for 30 years is that victims were afraid no one would hear them out if they came forward.”

5. Dear White Co-conspirators. “Stay with the discomfort and repeat to yourself: I do this in solidarity with my fellow people of color who have had to live in this discomfort, still do, without the privilege or luxury of walking away from it. I do this in solidarity. This is a vital part of dismantling racism.”

6. #NamaSlay: How Black Women Are Using Trap Yoga as Spiritual Resistance.

7. 15+ Of The Most Beautiful Bonsai Trees Ever.

8. Come For The Fat Girls, Get No Girls At All. “Whether they’re whining about women playing leading roles or trying to tell us that we should keep kids away from fat people, we don’t have to put up with it.”

9. The Faceless: On Whiteness & Emotional Assassination. “White people consistently break the softness of my heart — because Whiteness is brokenness, and to be close to it, is to be broken by it.”

10. My life has been marked by sexual harassment – just like all women.

11. 12 Amazing Highlights from the 2017 Nat Geo Nature Photographer of the Year Contest.

12. Growing Up In A Fatphobic Household.

13. This Video of Young Girls Dancing to Beyoncé’s ‘Freedom’ Will Give You Chills.

14. The New Midlife Crisis. “Why (and How) It’s Hitting Gen X Women.” In related news, How Philosophy Can Solve Your Midlife Crisis.

15. There Is No Middle Ground Between Racism And Justice.

16. 3 Things America Doesn’t Want To Tell You About White Terrorism.

17. The Airport Bomber From Last Week You Never Heard About.

18. Conversation with Laurie Wagner about Creativity as Medicine with Sherry Belul.

19. Curious Arctic Fox Pups Destroy Hidden Camera In The Most Adorable Way.

20. On Fragility. “White or White adjacent fragility isn’t just annoying…it’s a power grab. It’s dangerous and it seeks to harm people who speak up and out. Fragility and centering is employed daily…and it’s designed restore the desired position of power or feel ‘safe’. It’s both unconscious and intentional simultaneously.”

21. 6 Simple Personal Commitments to Overcome Low Self-Esteem. “Even though you know that you can be so much more, deep down you have a nagging feeling that you are not worthy of greatness, accolade, pure joy, and happiness. Low self-esteem is keeping you from living your life to the fullest.”

22. How to take a nap.

23. So You Want To Fight White Supremacy.

24. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.”

25. A great offer from Rachel Cole, “The world is hurting so much and sometimes the best thing we can do is to help those most local to us. During the month of November if you book a consultation with me (90 minutes, one-on-one) I will donate 75% of your payment to organizations that are supporting the North Bay fire recovery effort. I’d love to help you while also helping others.”

26. A UMD lecturer received a racist voicemail after he was on Fox News. I sent him an email of support today. If you’d like to as well:

27. 11 new essay collections by women that you need to read if you haven’t already.

28. How To Practice Self-Care Amid All The Harvey Weinstein News, Because The News Cycle Can Be Really Overwhelming.

29. This Is The Anti-Gay Pamphlet Handed Out At The Values Voter Summit. In related news, Values Voter Summit: Whose Values?

30. Andrea Gibson: ‘Genderqueer is a Constant Coming Out.’ I have tickets to see them in Boulder in February. Yay!

31. #ExpressiveWriting Prompts to Use If You’ve Been Accused of #WhiteFragility #SpiritualBypass or #WhitePrivilege. Hall created this resource for free. If you recognize the value of her effort, you can pay her: “ It’ll say Arbisys. That’s the name of my holding company. But it’ll get to me.”

32. My Book Is About Race. Of Course It Is. from Ijeoma Oluo. Can’t wait to read it!

33. Meet the Black Women Named MacArthur “Geniuses.”

34. The Game is Rigged from Chuck Wendig.

Just be aware of this stuff, People Like Me. Elevate voices that aren’t your own. Listen to those voices. Hear them. Pass the mic. Boost the signal. When you see the system working for you and against others, say something. Try to do something. Don’t worry about perfect, just be better, for Chrissakes. Stand tall for people who can’t, for people who will be crushed underneath the machine. Get out of the center of the universe. Give money to good causes. Vote for interests other than your own. Find empathy and critical thinking. Do something. Don’t just sit there and be the casual, happy recipient of love and favors. Share the road. And see the game for what it is, and how someone has cheated for you on your behalf.

35. This artist put Trump quotes on sexist ads from the 1950s and it’s frighteningly realistic.

36. President Trump has made 1,318 false or misleading claims over 263 days.

37. 15 Bad-Ass Latina Activists.

38. What happened when a poet was sent to the biggest US mall to write for shoppers. “Brian Sonia-Wallace was selected to pen poems at the Mall of America. In a shrine to consumerism, he regularly brought visitors to tears.”

39. 10 Books by Indigenous Authors You Should Read.

40. Buy Native, a list of Native owned businesses.

Gratitude Friday

1. Practice. It keeps me sane, and as a teacher, it feels like something worthwhile I can share.

2. Fall color. Even when it’s competing in my backyard with an early trace of winter.

3. Kitchen counter love notes. It’s the best thing about coming home from work, that and how excited the dogs get. Oh, and being able to take off my bra.

4. Texting. Even when it means getting a picture of your boys, happy after a hike, when you are sitting at your desk working.

5. My tiny family. They saved me this morning — I was scheduled to sub a yoga class at 7 am, but somehow I got the dates mixed up in my head and thought it was next Friday, so I slept in this morning, but Eric came back from walking the dogs at 6:30 and woke me up, which gave me enough time to get to the gym and get set up, and I don’t think anyone even realized that I taught a class I planned right there on the spot. That last part is something to be grateful for too — to have taught yoga long enough and enough times that I can just show up and teach, no worries.

Waiting for the dad to come home

The look he gives me when I won’t share my lunch

When it’s too crappy to play outside

My date at Chelsey and Jon’s wedding (Jon dancing with his mom in the background)

Bonus joy: Wild Writing, texting with friends, laughing with Eric, sweet potato and black bean quesadillas, sunshine, our new fence, no more yellow jackets or mice in our house, saying “no,” sleeping in, napping, clean sheets, our new bed, snuggling with the dogs, how worried Sam gets when I run the washing machine, how Ringo thinks he needs to yell at anyone he can see from our front window no matter what they are doing or who they are, a thin soft wool sweater, computer glasses, my Kindle, aqua aerobics.

24 Years

I wrote on the card I gave Eric this morning: “24 years?! How does that even happen? How does it happen SO FAST?!” I have no answers for this. Here we are, just living our lives like it’s no big deal — making each other laugh, getting irritated about stupid stuff that doesn’t even matter, doing the laundry and making dinner and walking the dogs — and suddenly we’ve been married for 24 years.

At Chelsey and Jon’s wedding reception this weekend, Eric said, “do you think if we could go back to that day and relive it knowing everything was going to work out, we’d have enjoyed it more?” I said, “you didn’t enjoy our wedding?” He laughed and said that wasn’t what he meant, but rather he remembers being 24 and just starting out, anxious about how things were going to go, wondering if it was going to be okay.

This morning I read this great article from Susan Piver, The Truth About Marriage Vows: Five Promises you Can Keep. She talks about the “not knowing” we enter into when we commit to another person. We can’t be sure, we can’t know, but we dive in anyway. She ends the post by saying,

Here’s something else I’ve learned about a relationship: Okay, so it’s not what you think it’s going to be, the feelings are always changing, and you’re going to have to say goodbye someday. But when you find your love, there is something inside that simply and inexplicably says hello to him. Yes to him. Of course to him. Certainly. Obviously it’s you. There is no choice. I do.

I’ve written a lot about us over the past few years. Here are three of my favorite anniversary posts:

When I officiated the wedding of some other friends last year, I said that “marriage isn’t a commitment you make just once. Rather marriage allows you the opportunity to choose that person again and again. This can happen in moments of joy, such as today, looking at your partner and feeling overwhelmed by love, knowing this is your person and you are hers, and choosing to commit publicly and legally to your partnership. This choice also happens in some of the darkest moments, when things are hard. Over the course of a long marriage, there are many opportunities to choose. You commit yourself to this person over and over again.”

Today, 24 years in, I choose Eric again. I can’t help it. He’s my favorite.