Monthly Archives: January 2019

Something Good

1. This video. “Welcome to the wild borderlands connecting Arizona and Mexico, where puma, coati, javelina and foxes meander a creek bed that is at times dry, then snow covered, then running with precious water. Our borderlands in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico are one of the biggest ecosystem complexes in North America, with some of the most remote and important wildlife habitats remaining on the continent.”

2. Happy Birthday, Fiona! (video) “Cincinnati’s favorite baby hippo will enter what her care team hopes will not be her ‘terrible twos’ tomorrow! This is another major milestone for the preemie that almost didn’t make it, weighing a fifth of what a normal baby hippo would weigh when she was born on January 24, 2017. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable moments of her first two years!”

3. 3-year-old found in woods says he hung out with a bear.

4. Ivy’s still teaching yoga at the age of 87. (video) #teachinggoals

5. This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Hate Your Job.

6. Orchid Mantis. (video) Nature is so cool.

7. Feminist and Sociology Professor Tressie McMillan Cottom. (video) “Alicia Menendez sits down with renowned African-American feminist and sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom to discuss her new book, Thick: And Other Essays.”

8. Elizabeth Gilbert on the struggle of watching the person you love die. (Thanks to The Moth). (video)

9. Thich Nhat Hanh’s health “remarkably stable,” despite report in TIME.

10. A pair of bobcats on a winter’s day in Colorado. (video)

11. Kappa Alpha Psi Brother Opens Wellness Studio in Brooklyn That Helps Black Men Deal With Anxiety and Depression.

12. Believe the grin of white supremacy from Renegade Mothering.

13. The Spiritual Legacy of Mary Oliver on Tricycle.

14. Woman Keeps Trying To Rescue Dogs Chained Up Outside. (video) ***Spoiler alert: There’s a happy ending.

15. 50 Times That People Spoke Words So Profound, They Literally Changed Lives. My favorite is, “Don’t be a d*ck to your dog. He’s a few years of your life, but you are all of his.”

16. Baby elephant taking a bath. (video)

17. The Double Dose of Fyre Festival Fail Docs Led to a Blessing as Caribbean Caterer Raises Over $160K.

18. White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It’s not.

19. 3 Newborn Endangered Right Whales Seen After Year With No Births on The New York Times.

20. Avon Pulls Marketing Materials After Jameela Jamil Slams Company For Shaming Women.

21. You can’t be productive without routines and rituals. Here’s why.

22. “My black Lab ran away last night, he returned this morning with some friends in tow.” (video)

23. Four Volunteers Convicted for Leaving Food and Water Near Border as Four More Await Trial.

24. 1 Second Of Every ‘Office’ Episode May Be The Best Time Of Your Life.

25. Buddhism in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter from Lion’s Roar. “We need to update the traditional narrative of the Buddha’s life, says Pamela Ayo Yetunde, for people who know suffering all too well. She offers some alternative stories for the time of #BlackLivesMatter.”

26. Recipe I want to try: Amish sugar cookies.

P.S. This is my 365th Something Good list. 365. Three hundred and sixty five. That’s one list for every day of an entire year! Thanks for being here and letting me share, kind and gentle reader. ❤

Day of Rest

Today in my Facebook memories, a post showed up from two years ago, a list of the reasons behind what I post and share. It was particularly interesting to me because I’ve been thinking a lot about the how and why of my social media use. I was surprised to see that how I explained what I was doing two years ago is still quite accurate today. Nothing’s really changed.

20 Reasons Why I Post/Share Things

1. Because I’m a teacher and thus compelled to share what I learn in the hope that it will be of benefit to others.

2. Because I’m outraged or horrified and need company with that so I don’t give up, run and hide, sink into despair or shrink in terror.

3. Because I want to make it clear what “side” I’m on.

4. To dare someone, anyone to disagree so I can practice my dialogue skills (which are weak, I must admit).

5. To instigate a dialogue because I’m unsure or confused.

6. So I can easily find the info later.

7. To curate a collection of things for my weekly “Something Good” list (so far there are 365 of them, the same number as the days in a FULL year).

8. Because I want you to like me, think I’m cool.

9. To feel like I’m doing something.

10. To cheer you up, encourage you, share joy.

11. To motivate, inspire you.

12. Because I’m bored.

13. Because I need attention.

14. Because I’m overwhelmed and need you to help me “hold this.”

15. Because I’m trying to find my people.

16. Because I think I should.

17. Because it’s so funny or cute and I think it might make you laugh or even cry.

18. Because I think it’s going to go viral and I want to be “first.”

19. Because I’m getting paid to (I’m in charge of the social media accounts where I work).

20. Because I haven’t in a while and I want you to know I’m still here.

Gratitude Friday

1. Flowers in the bathroom. I bought these daffodils and the very next day it snowed. We’ve had a really mild winter so far this year, but it’s still a little cold and a lot dark so I’m craving sunshine, warmth, citrus, and flowers.

2. Tuesday was my last first day of the semester at CSU! I feel pretty good about it. I had a realization this morning that if the expectations about the quality and quantity of work are going to so far exceed the compensation for said work, I’d rather spend my days writing and teaching yoga, meditation, and writing, and spending more time cooking, reading, swimming, working in my garden, and being with my husband and dogs. And yes, I absolutely understand that the only reason I can make such a choice is because of my big fat privilege.

3. Four years ago yesterday, I taught my first paid yoga class in my friend Stacey’s basement. That group of humans is still one of my favorite classes ever. They brought laughter and love to something I easily could have taken too seriously. Feeling some major gratitude – for them, for that opportunity, for my practice, for the privilege of teaching, for all my students who show up just as they are and allow me to hold space for them, for how far I’ve come and hopefully how far I will still go.

4. Facebook memories of the first month with Ringo. Some of the memories aren’t happy. They are about how Sam was sick and we didn’t know why or if he was going to make it, and others are about how hard it was to have such an energetic, demanding, mouthy, smart puppy and all the things I did wrong. But everything else is all “look at how cute and tiny he was!”

5. My tiny family. They really are the best thing, as essential for my survival as sleep or water.

Bonus joy: tea, treats, and talk with a friend who can make me cry and also laugh multiple times in the same conversation, aqua aerobics, sleeping (a regular night, sleeping in or a nap, doesn’t really matter), all the good TV and books and podcasts — there is not enough time for all of the goodness!, Pilates and how much I laugh in those classes (it counts as core work), teaching yoga, yoga teacher training, good people, buying groceries (this is one of the times I am most aware of how privileged, how lucky I am), bran muffins with dried raspberries, butternut squash soup, split pea soup, tomato bisque soup (I am on a soup kick right now), our new Instapot and all the yummy stuff Eric is cooking with it, a good internet connection, seeing Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo last night (watch their documentary, it’s so good).

Something Good

1. I am a little too fat, I’m a little too generous. I think I know why.

2. Powerful Photos From the Indigenous Peoples March on Washington. In related news, Indigenous People’s March highlights environmental decline, violence against Native women, amid optimism.

3. RIP VD Saklani: This Legendary Freedom Fighter, Conservationist Planted 50 Lakh Trees. Just to be clear, 1 lakh is equivalent to 100,000.

4. Anti-Racism Resources, a great list from Rachel Ricketts. Also from Ricketts, The Year I Gave Up White Comfort: An Ode to my White “Friends” on Being Better to Black Womxn.

5. Honor {Don’t Appropriate} Yoga, a free online series.

6. Why Farming Is an Act of Defiance For People of Color. “In her new book, Farming While Black, Leah Penniman offers a guide to reclaiming food systems from white supremacy.”

7. A beginners’ guide to the Non-diet / HAES approach.

8. The Comedy-Destroying, Soul-Affirming Art of Hannah Gadsby on The New York Times. “Creating the furious stand-up special ‘Nanette’ was an act of self-preservation for the Australian star. The result has been a sensation ‘beyond my comprehension.'”

9. Mary Oliver’s Poems Taught Me How to Live on The New York Times. “It is no exaggeration to say that Mary Oliver gave me the blueprint, the road map, for the rest of my life.” In related news (and also one of the most heartbreaking headlines ever), Beloved Poet Mary Oliver, Who Believed Poetry ‘Mustn’t Be Fancy,’ Dies At 83.

10. Artist Illustrates His Battle With Depression as a Mystical World of Spirit Animals, (i.e. spirits of animals, not spirit animals in an indigenous sense).

11. Roxane Gay is Not Sorry. “Playboy profiles one of the most important and accessible cultural commentators of our time.” In related news, My 2018 in Reading and Writing by Roxane Gay, and Roxane Gay: ‘If I was waiting for confidence to write, I’d still be waiting.’

12. I’m struggling from The Bloggess. “If you are struggling and think that your life is not important, please trust me when I say that you are so wrong. You are so important and there are people waiting to meet you and find the magic in you. Please reach out to get help. Do not trust your lying brain. And know that the darkness you feel can be conquered….sometimes over and over again…and that you are special and unique and your brokenness can lead to a kind of empathy that will save the world. Don’t deprive us of that. We need your magic. We need you.”

13. Pine Ridge – Government Shutdown Assistance. “The government shutdown has especially hurt Indigenous people. Please donate to this fund to provide direct assistance to people on the Pine Ridge Reservation who are being impacted by the shut down.”

14. Why Is NBC News Afraid of the Word Racist? Why Does CNN Want Us to Give Bigots a Pass? [Update: NBC—Never Mind].

15. Generous Colorado landowner returns ancestral land to tribe. In related news, After Two White Colorado Women Unearthed The History Of Their Slave-Owning Ancestors, They Turned To Reparations.

16. Muslim Man Posts On Twitter How His Jewish Co-Worker Treats Him Every Day. It’s not what you think.

17. Powell’s Q&A: Dani Shapiro, Author of ‘Inheritance.’

18. This Woman Who Couldn’t Afford Food Explains Why She Spent $25 On Candles And Her Story Is Heartbreaking.

19. Moccasins En Pointe. (video) “Moccasins En Pointe was a collaboration between Colorado Ballet and Colorado’s Native American community. Moccasins En Pointe is by Keya Clairmont, the 2016 Denver March Powwow Princess. The work integrates Native American Fancy Shawl Dancing with classically trained ballet dancers, joining together these two long-standing cultures and dance forms.”

20. Thirsty pigeon gets helping hand from human. (video)

21. Federal workers tell us what it’s actually like being shut down. (video)

22. You’re never bored when you’re a parent. (video)

23. Great shot of a moose and her calves in Denali National Park! (video) We may not have giraffes or elephants here, but we have moose.

24. People all over the world have been triggered and offended by the recent Gillette advert. (video) “Seems the world is lacking a bit of common sense. So me, our lass and me boys decided to give them a little bit of help in getting their message across more clearly. Please SHARE so we can get the message across and stop triggering the triggered and offending the offended.”

25. The Hingham Middle School Junior Choral Spectrum surprised their teacher, Mr. Christopher Landis, at his wedding rehearsal brunch just a few week ago. (video)

26. Never underestimate the power of music. (video)

27. “That’s poetry, whether you like it or naw.” (video) On the poetics of cussing.

28. Women Weigh Themselves On Camera For The First Time. (video) Hint: it’s not what you think.

29. The King Philosophy. “The [Martin Luther] King Philosophy includes the Triple Evils, Six Principles Of Nonviolence, Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change and The Beloved Community.” In related news, Dear White People, Before You Post Dr. King Quotes To Make Yourself Feel Good…
30. Bad Body Day Toolkit from Be Nourished.

31. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: You do not have to be good and A good time to be a pack rat.

32. There’s always a simpler way from Alexandra Franzen. Also Today is not over yet and You’re doing a great job.

33. where attention goes, energy flows from Karen Walrond.

34. When White People Are Uncomfortable, Black People Are Silenced.

35. Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life, a new book I can’t wait to read.

36. By the Book a feature on The New York Times, “Writers on literature and the literary life.”

37. You Can’t Meditate Wrong.

38. Work for the Long Haul from Jena Schwartz.

39. In this week’s edition of People Behaving Badly: Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School junior, regarding incident at the Lincoln Memorial (Nowhere does he mention his hat and what that represents. MAGA gear = oppression, fascism, misogyny, racism, etc. As Son of Baldwin said, “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist”), and Yes, the MAGA Hat-Wearing Students Are Teenagers. That Doesn’t Exempt Them From Responsibility, and Outrage as non-Native youth wearing #MAGA hats taunt and disrespect Native elder, and and Bulldozers to soon plow through National Butterfly Center for Trump’s border wall, and Racist Shows Up to Harass Black Woman at Press Conference Announcing He Won’t Be Charged For Harassing Black Woman, and People Are Throwing Away Their Gillette Products After The Company Releases A Controversial Ad (The fact that an ad promoting caring about each other and doing the right thing is “controversial” is exactly the problem. The fact that we celebrate companies for using “wokeness” to try and sell us stuff when those same companies continue with unethical business practices that are actively causing harm is actually the bigger problem), and ‘Fox & Friends’ Host Offended By Gillette Ad That Makes ‘Men Feel Horrible’, and Republicans Rebuke Steve King but Face Vexing Question: Why Not Sooner? on The New York Times, and Animal Rescuers Left In Shock After Finding 110 Bull Terriers Locked Up In Cages (video) (If you are going to buy from a private breeder rather than rescue, please, please, please go visit the site where the animals are being kept and cared for, to be SURE they are actually being cared for, and if they aren’t, REPORT THE BREEDER!).

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Because it’s been so dry and Sam has been walking further, we’ve been going by the river and around the ponds this past week. I can’t wait until it gets lighter in the morning again so I can get some good pictures. For now, the sun is only just coming up when we are on our way back.

2. Yummy food and company. I’m heading over to a friend’s this afternoon for tea, and I’m bringing snacks.

3. Sweet Sam, and Red Sage Vets. With their help, Sam is up to walking five miles a day, and he seems to not be getting as stiff or sore. He’ll probably never go for another 10 mile run, but I’m happy he can go as much as this.

4. Ringo Blue. I’m super jealous that he loves Eric more than me, even though Eric has totally earned it.

5. This guy. A few years ago we started buying packages for the Lincoln Center where you pick five shows from their full season. Usually there is one we really, really want to see, one that we didn’t really care about that turns out to be amazing, a few more that are good, and one that’s just “meh” or even a dud. Portland Cello Project this year was brilliant, and this one (Friends! The Musical Parody) was “meh” – I have a complicated relationship with the original show and much of the cast had either just graduated from theater programs or previously worked cruise ships (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but there were other people in the audience losing their minds with joy. Eric and I have a nerdy tradition of taking selfies with the programs and texting them to our good friend to prove we really do leave the house and go out at night.

Bonus joy: a big glass of clean cool water, sleeping in, yoga, aqua aerobics, swimming, Pilates, sitting in the sauna with Eric, good TV (I’m embarrassed to tell you what I’ve been watching lately – so bad, it’s good), meditating and writing in the morning, orange juice, our new Instapot (mostly because Eric keeps trying new recipes), a really soft tshirt, computer glasses, owls hooting, having dear friends whose houses are within walking distance, having dear friends who are just a text or Zoom call away, the growing appreciation for the privilege of having a car I can get in and go anywhere I want any time I want, reading in bed at night before I go to sleep.

Something Good

1. Drag Queen Story Hour sashays into Windsor with popularity, controversy.

2. A 76-year-old man and his wife have transformed a barren Chinese mountain into a vast forest. (video)

3. This wildlife artist captured an incredible amount of animals using the same fallen tree trunk as a natural bridge. (video)

4. Sea turtle rescue. (video)

5. Hula dance is being taught in San Quentin State Prison for reform. Here’s a video of the same story.

6. This little guy is so grateful when he gets his favorite treat. So cute! (video)

7. Woman Captures London’s Most Beautiful Front Doors.

8. When you realize you’re in a word problem, and the train is traveling at 2 double rolls per apple. Hilarious. (video)

9. How do two 17 year olds dial a rotary phone? (video)

10. Kid playing with light sabers with his dad is the cutest thing. (video)

11. “Stop working and play, human!” (video)

12. This Syrian refugee opened a small falafel shop in Tennessee. It was just named the ‘nicest place in America.’

13. Fat Patients’ Bias Epidemic. “Beyond the “obesity epidemic,” fat patients face another public health crisis — bias, disinterest, and misdiagnoses.”

14. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, speaking truth to power. (video) “I rise today in opposition to the occupant of the White House. Mr. Trump, you took an oath, just as I did five days ago, to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people. Sir, you dishonor that oath.”

15. Here’s how farmers in Iceland are using volcanoes to grow food all year round. (video)

16. Woman Offers To Show Up At People’s Funerals For $50 And The Responses Are Hilarious. “If you pay me $50 I’ll show up to your funeral but stand really far away, holding a black umbrella regardless of the weather, so that people think you died with a dark and interesting secret.”

17. This little girl is mesmerized by the magical notes. (video)

18. Inspiring dancer. (video)

19. Health care in America: This father lost his health insurance just before finding out his toddler had cancer. (video)

20. Neighbors won’t tolerate church’s anti-LGBTQ sign & they’re taking to the streets over it.

21. This viral thread on what people can and can’t say due to ‘political correctness’ is gold.

22. What we gain from keeping books – and why it doesn’t need to be ‘joy’.

23. Showing some simple variations for yoga. So cool! (video)

24. Neuroscientists Discover a Song That Reduces Anxiety By 65 Percent.

25. This Muslim Youth Group Stepped Up To Help Keep Our National Parks Clean During Trump’s Government Shutdown.

26. Why Is It Still Controversial to Call Trump a Racist? “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Anderson Cooper that there’s “no question” where Trump stands; Cooper appeared confused.”

27. The BoPo-Washing Of Weight Watchers (& The Weight Loss Industry).

28. When White People Are Uncomfortable, Black People Are Silenced by Rachel Cargle.

29. The Difference Between Introverts, Empaths, And Highly Sensitive People. I am all three. In related news, 8 Honest Truths From A Contradictory INFJ.

30. Oh no we’re still us from Austin Kleon.

31. Does It Pay to Be a Writer? on The New York Times.

32. Are White Westerners Culturally Appropriating Yoga?

33. 10 Vows to Not Make Things Difficult.

34. The Great Escapers, a TV series available streaming on Netflix. “From villas to vineyards, bars to boat charters, this series follows a wide range of different business and their ambitious British owners as they look to establish a brand new life.” This show is seriously making me consider moving to France.

35. U.K. Bridal Boutique Celebrates Wedding Dresses And Wheelchairs.

36. Contribute to the Capital District Women of Color Committee. “Citizen Action of New York Capital District Women of Color Committee is joining with other groups and organizations to present the Capital District Women of Color Brunch, March and Rally on Saturday, January 19, 2019. To be able to provide for 200 Women of Color from across the Capital District to participate in the brunch, we are asking for support from individuals, corporations and organizations to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of the venue, speakers, food, drinks and supplies and other costs for the brunch as well as the larger march and rally.”

37. Poet Jane Kenyon’s Advice on Writing: Some of the Wisest Words to Create and Live By.

38. Black Lotus Healing Arts. This is a local practitioner, but she does sessions via Skype too.

39. 4-year-old Junior Park Ranger cleans up Cuyahoga Valley National Park amid government shutdown.

40. 48 Books By Women and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019.

41. Little Caesars Posts Sign On Door After Finding Homeless People Eating Scraps From Dumpster.

42. Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low.

43. This week in People Behaving Badly: Canada is evicting Indigenous people to make way for a mega-pipeline (video), and Joshua Tree National Park has been trashed in the shutdown. Now visitors are cutting down trees, and Government Shutdown Curtails F.D.A. Food Inspections from The New York Times, and Kroger Manager Accused of Racial Profiling After Calling Cops On Black Teens Buying Snacks, and It’s Not a Government Shutdown. It’s a Right-Wing Coup, and R. Kelly Is Reportedly Working On A Website Titled ‘Surviving Lies’ To Discredit His Accusers, and Shutdown Leaves Food, Medicine and Pay in Doubt in Indian Country from The New York Times.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks, although this morning’s wasn’t quite as long or as much fun – what was supposed to be snow was a whole lot of rain.

2. Teaching yoga. I subbed twice last week, started another module towards my 500 hour teaching certification, and saw my regular weekly class again after a two week break.

3. Being certain. As my final days of working at CSU get closer and closer (about 17 more weeks left), I am more and more sure that this is exactly the right choice. Sure, I still feel anxiety arise about the uncertainty of the future, but it doesn’t overwhelm me. I know it’s a natural response to a very big shift in my life.

4. Eric. One of the hardest things about going back to work after a long break is I don’t get to see him as much.

5. Ringo and Sam. I think we’ve reached their golden age — that brief moment when no one is a baby and no one is dying. It doesn’t last long enough.

Bonus joy: orange juice, a good rain jacket, computer glasses, a dependable car, slippers, a house that has electricity and running water and heat, reading in bed at night, CBD oil, Pilates, sitting in the sauna or under my infrared heating pad, yoga, cancelling plans.