Monthly Archives: March 2019

Gratitude Friday

1. Flowers in the bathroom. Those two white ones though…*swoon*

2. Morning walks. I’m loving all the bird song. This week really felt like it was finally spring here.

3. Only 6.5 more weeks of work at CSU!!! I had a bit of a meltdown this week. Something small triggered it, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Even though I’m leaving CSU on fairly good terms, there’s some grief and rage I’m processing too. Being at my breaking point was actually a good thing, and I felt so much better about everything when I went into work the next day.

4. This guy. He needed a new head shot the other day for an award ceremony he’s going to, so he asked me to take one really quick after got back from walking the dogs. I think I’m the only one who knows him well enough to know some of those freckles on his forehead are actually dirt from the walk. He’s a good one – made me bran muffins while I was at yoga teacher training, held me and talked me through it while I melted down, and urged me to do something that would be good for me when I was considering skipping it because it “cost too much.”

5. My two boys. Sam is doing really well lately, walked almost eight miles the other day and didn’t wreck himself. And Ringo is as big of a jerk, comedian, and cuddler as always.

Bonus joy: Hanging out with Mikalina, bran muffins with dried raspberries that I didn’t even have to make, pizza, getting enough sleep, knowing that lowering the bar is a perfectly viable option, having the money I need to take care of myself, yoga teacher training, fresh squeezed orange juice, good TV (am finishing up part two of The OA, so weird and good), getting the laundry done on Friday, grocery shopping.

 

Something Good

1. Virgie Tovar is claiming that episode four of Shrill plagiarized her story. It’s not true. Read what Ijeoma Oluo had to say on Twitter about it. You can also find another version of the discussion on VT’s Facebook page, which included this very interesting clarification:

2. Can We Start & Never Stop Talking about Samantha Irby?

3. Here’s How You Can Help People Devastated by Cyclone Idai from The New York Times. In related news, a GoFundMe fundraiser: Cyclone Idai Zimbabwe Relief.

4. ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ Navigates The Challenges Of Existing While Black. “Damon Young says he’s spent much of his life waiting to be called by a name we won’t repeat, even though it appears in his new memoir — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker — a lot. His essays are pointed, ruminative, often barbed and funny reflections on how the fact of his skin color has posed particular lifelong challenges, questions, and anxieties.”

5. ‘I Loved Myself for the First Time’: Women Prisoners Heal Trauma with Dance. “High percentages of incarcerated women suffer from untreated PTSD. One quickly expanding program is successfully using dance to help them move forward.”

6. 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained at Border for 30 Hours Despite Being a U.S. Citizen from The New York Times. In related news, ‘A nightmare’: flight attendant with Daca status held after flying for work.

7. Jury Acquits White Former Police Officer In Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Black Teen.

8. Instructions on Not Giving Up by Ada Limón. Because this,

Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

9. Good stuff from Seth Godin: How big is your unfillable hole? and The minimum viable audience.

10. Is the Guru Model Broken? from Lion’s Roar. “Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Lama Rod Owens, Lama Rigzin Drolma (Anne C. Klein), and Lobsang Rapgay discuss the guru model in the Tibetan tradition, in which the teacher is central to the path. From the Winter 2018 issue of Buddhadharma.” In related news, My Spiritual Teacher Committed Sexual Assault. And He Saved my Life. What Does that Mean Now?

11. The magical thinking of weight loss. “On major weight loss & praying at the altar of thinness.”

12. The Message of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths on Lion’s Roar. “The message of Buddha’s Four Noble Truths is that paying attention and seeing clearly lead to behaving impeccably in every moment, out of love, and on behalf of all beings.”

13. Cocteau Twins ~ Heaven Or Las Vegas ~ Full Album (video playlist). Austin Kleon’s newsletter this week reminded me how much I loved this album.

14. Thanks, a poem by W.S. Merwin. In related news, Poet W.S. Merwin, Who Was Inspired By Conservation, Dies At 91.

15. Women’s Tennis Association Rules Serena Williams Can Wear All The Catsuits She Damn Well Pleases.

16. Hundreds of US cities are killing or scaling back their recycling programs. “China stopped importing trash from other countries. Now, many cities in the US are facing a recycling crisis.”

17. Drag queen story time organisers quit over Christian death threats.

18. Gregg Breinberg (PS22 Chorus Director) on Facebook. The videos of his kids singing are the best.

19. 20 Must-Listen To Black Women Podcasts for 2019.

20. Knowing the Right Time to Say Goodbye to a Pet on The New York Times. “End-of-life decisions for animals are difficult. A veterinarian has developed a scale to help clear up the confusion.” In related news, Study Shows That Losing A Dog Can Be As Hard As Losing A Loved One.

21. Just like we can destroy our planet, we can also choose to restore it, (video), “And that is what this Brazilian couple did!”

22. The Do-Nothing Farmer’s Guide to a Perfect Harvest on Lion’s Roar.

23. ‘What we’re witnessing around the world is the death rattle of white supremacy.’ (video) “This Muslim journalist is warning Americans against ‘white ISIS,’ a ‘racist’ president, and the rising global ideology of hate.”

24. Buddhism Is Not a Treatment for Mental Illness on Lion’s Roar. “A new article in The Atlantic says more Americans with mental illness are turning to Buddhism for mental health treatment. Experts might advise otherwise.”

25. Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello takes her own life. In related heartbreaking news, Leaders react and take steps after second tragedy at Parkland and Sandy Hook Victim’s Father Dies in Apparent Suicide in Newtown on The New York Times. Please don’t give up. Please don’t give up. Please don’t give up. Please don’t. Please.

26. FL Senate gives right to grow veggies in the front yard a green thumbs up.

26. New Zealand reformed its gun laws less than a week after a mass shooting. (video) “This gun reform advocate is wondering why the U.S. hasn’t done the same.” Nobody is trying to “take your guns,” just the ones there is no reason to ever have unless you are planning to murder large numbers of people quickly.

27. Rick Steves Wants to Save the World, One Vacation at a Time.

28. A Virginia Police Officer Serving a Majority Minority High School Has Been Identified as a White Nationalist.

29. Ahead of C2E2, a look at Chicago’s new wealth of black female comic book talent.

30. 6 Reasons Why Introverts And Pets Are Perfect For Each Other. #6 is the story of my life.

31. If You Really Love LGBTQ People, You Just Can’t Keep Eating Chick-fil-A. Not sure why we have to keep repeating this, but there you go.

32. Peloton is being sued for using music without permission in its video fitness classes.

33. CBD-infused jelly beans are *finally* here. (video)

34. The shopping mall where everything is recycled.

35. ‘Lady Liberty’ Patricia Okoumou Will Not Go to Prison for July 4th Protest.

36. 12 Things People Do That Actually Mean ‘I’m a Highly Sensitive Person.’

37. The Referee Who Forced A Black Wrestler To Cut His Locs Is Suing For Emotional Distress. Nope. Just, no.

38. St. Louis Store Asks Whether New Zealand Mosque Shooting Was Tragic or ‘Fucking Great.’

39. The Trap House-Busting Vigilante of Pine Ridge Reservation. “After Julie ‘Mama Julz’ Richards’s own family was nearly destroyed by addiction, fighting back against meth became a personal crusade.”

40. This 60-year-old single father has adopted 7 boys, after growing up in a foster home himself. (video)

41. 5 Powerful Reality Checks For Survivors Of Narcissistic Abuse.

42. Roxane Gay on the importance of taking up space and being heard.

43. Auntie Maxine on Mueller Report: ‘This Is Not the End of Anything’.

44. ‘A State of Emergency’: Native Americans Stranded for Days by Flooding.

45. FAT!SO?, “FAT!SO? has been a ‘zine, a website, a book, and it’s always an attitude. This is the online version.”

46. 11 Books By Phenomenal Black Women That Should Be Required Reading For Everyone.

47. This 19-year-old delivery driver was tackled to the pavement and arrested by plainclothes police because he parked his scooter in the wrong place. (video)

48. Hundreds of businesses have bought these genius gender neutral bathroom signs. (video)

49. A rare Tengmalm’s owl is seen in Shetland, “in what is believed to be the first sighting in 100 years.”

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Flowers in the bathroom. The way the light hit them one afternoon was especially nice.

2. Signs of spring. Crocuses blooming, birds singing in the morning, the dogs lounging in the backyard.

3. Morning walks. This past week, we’ve had to reroute a lot for the deer since we are out in the dark again. They can be so stubborn and unafraid, don’t want to move (or maybe they are afraid and their instinct says to freeze, stay still and hope nobody sees them), and with the dogs I can’t get too close.

4. Spring break. It was lovely being home this week, resting and hanging out. We had plans to do some fun stuff but Eric got food poisoning and has been on the couch for the past few days. It’s going to be so hard to go back to work, but only 7.5 more weeks!

5. My tiny family. That includes the ones here and the ones gone — Obi and Dexter, our shadow dogs.

Baby Sam and sweet Dexter, nine years ago

Ringo, Dexter’s echo dog

Bonus joy: Dinner and ice cream with Stacey and Heather, listening to Put Your Hands Together while lounging, reading on my Kindle at night while the boys sleep, my little rental car, meditating and writing in the morning, sleeping in, staying in my pjs all day, grilled cheese sandwiches, an amazing loaf of sourdough bread given to me by one of my yoga students, having last weekend off from yoga teacher training, dinner with Chelsey and Jon, heated car seats when it’s cold outside and you are eating ice cream, toast with butter and marionberry jam.

Something Good

1. Shrill, available streaming on Hulu. This show is SO GOOD. I loved the book it’s based on, Samantha Irby is one of the main writers for the show, and Aidy Bryant does an amazing job as the lead character. In related news, Aidy Bryant On ‘Shrill,’ ‘SNL’ Thrills, And Not Feeling Bad About Her Body, and Lindy West Talks “Shrill” On Hulu, Abortions On TV, And Fat Representation, and In ‘Shrill,’ Lindy West Made The Body Positive Show That She Never Had, and Big as Life: Hulu’s Shrill Upends Pop Culture’s Fat Narrative, and Hulu’s Shrill is a quietly tender portrayal of learning how to love yourself, and Filling A Plus-Size Fashion Void On ‘Shrill.’

2. WordSmith Deck, “WordSmith Cards were designed to put you back in control of your creativity. Now, inspiration strikes when you tell it to. Inside your deck are 100 prompts that will help you get something, anything down on that blank page. They’re also particularly useful for people who are new to journaling and want to build a habit of writing every day. Keep your WordSmith Cards on your desk or wherever you do most of your writing. When you’re stuck, draw a card, read the prompt and write the first thing that comes to your mind.”

3. Campaign Zero. “We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”

4. Meeting the Buddha, one of my favorite poems, by Craig van Rooyen.

5. Rainbow Yoga For All Ages, a fun sequence from Yoga with Adriene.

6. Why Entrepreneurship Might Be The Best Career Path For Introverts.

7. Take Refuge in Your Body, “When the storms of life hit, your body can be a place of refuge and healing. Cyndi Lee says it starts with making friends with your body.”

8. The Man-Made, Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca. “Lake Titicaca in Peru is a lagoon made up of approximately 70 man-made islands. The central island serves as a hub, home to over 500 residents. Living afloat isn’t for everyone, but the Uros, a small South American tribe, have created and maintained this unique lifestyle for many years. The platforms are made using dried reeds and can be moved away from the mainland at any time. Home to the old and the new worlds, Lake Titicaca is a floating paradise welcoming visitors from around the globe.”

9. Napping is actually really good for your health, science finds.

10. Court ruling: Trump administration must take responsibility for all children it separated. In related news, A Honduran Father Is Reunited With His Daughter, 10 Months After Being Separated.

11. Activist EXPLODING at Sacramento City Council “after they ordered riot police to attack non violent Black Lives Matter protestors after the acquittal of the police officers who shot Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man.” (video)

12. White Shamans & Plastic Medicine Men [1996]. (video) “This award-winning documentary deals with the popularization and commercialization of Native American spiritual traditions by Non-Indians. Important questions are asked of those seeking to commercially exploit Tribal rituals and sacred ceremonies…and those vested with safeguarding sacred ways. The film represents a wide range of voices from Native communities, and speaks to issues of cultural appropriation with humour, righteous anger, and thoughtful insight.”

13. Son Shares Photo Of His Dad, Sad That No One Is Coming To His New Donut Shop, It Goes Viral And People Flood The Shop.

14. White Supremacist Podcaster Fired From Job As EMT In Virginia.

15. Kratu running agility at the UK Kennel Club. (video) I AM Kratu.

16. These Heartwarming Illustrations Show That Dogs Make The Best Roommates. I wish this artist would make an animated film, one specifically for introverts where nobody gets lost or hurt. It’d be the best.

17. The most cost-effective way to help the homeless is to give them homes.

18. Science proved you and your dog fall in love when you look in each other’s eyes.

19. Celebrity College Bribery Ring Draws Attention To Incarceration Of Black Parents For Lesser Crimes.

20. When Civility Is Used As A Cudgel Against People Of Color.

21. Basically Good. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama on good heart, awakened mind, the causes of happiness and other basic principles of Buddhism.”

22. Micro prairies: No yard is too small to go with earth-friendly native plants.

23. 47 Things I Wish Other People Knew About Me As An INFJ.

24. This veteran lost both his legs in Iraq but found a sense of peace through teaching yoga.

25. Netflix Cancelled “One Day At a Time” Because “Not Enough People Watched.” Yeah, cause nobody wants to watch TV with good writing and acting that deals with important topics and makes you laugh…

26. New Zealand mosque attacks and the scourge of white supremacy. “Shootings at Christchurch mosques are only the latest on a long list of acts of white supremacist terrorism in the West.” In related news, On this heartbreaking day, Waleed reflects and calls for unity, (video), and Christchurch mosque shooting: The faces of the victims, and Christchurch mosque shootings: Who were the victims?.

27. Family Claims Bodycam Footage Shows Slain Rapper Was Asleep When Cops Killed Him. In related news, Florida Cop Relieved of Duty After Video Emerges of Police Violently Arresting Black Woman Who Called for Help, and ‘My Trust Is Completely Broken’: Dyma Loving, Brutally Arrested After Calling Police for Help, Speaks Out.

28. High school coaches gave cheerleaders awards for their breast and butt size at a banquet with parents. (video)

29. It’s Okay Not To Talk To Toxic Parents.

30. How I Feel As a Native Woman When Trump Idolizes Andrew Jackson. “OG History is a Teen Vogue series where we unearth history not told through a white, cisheteropatriarchal lens. In this piece, Cherokee Nation citizen, scholar, and writer Adrienne Keene talks about how history, and Donald Trump, have been too kind to Andrew Jackson.”

31. Couple brings food to stranded drivers. (video) “After they made it home from a three hour traffic jam, this couple hiked back to the freeway the next morning to bring food and water to motorists who were still stranded.”

32. These 21 Things Stress Out Highly Sensitive People The Most. Just reading this list stresses me out.

33. 7-year-old boy rescues hundreds of dogs. (video)

34. Kids singing. (video) So good.

35. A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform.

36. Dog discovers a clam. (video)

37. Dad creates interactive sheets for kids in hospitals. (video) “After visiting a friend’s child in the hospital, Kevin Gatlin was inspired to make interactive sheets to bring a little joy to sick children.”

38. My boyfriend Roman makes a smoothie. (video)

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. With Daylight Savings Time, it’s back to being dark for almost the full walk.

2. Snow day! Not sure if you heard about the “bomb cyclone” storm we had this week. There didn’t end up being more than about 4-6 inches of snow, which isn’t much for here, but the wind made for blizzard like conditions and the whole place shut down. And Spring Break is next week — which means I only have 7.5 weeks of work left at CSU!!!

3. Signs of spring. I’m not in a particular hurry for the seasons to change, but I do love the sound of bird song in the morning and can’t wait to start working in the garden.4. Me. I can’t say I necessarily like this picture of myself (other than the fun Prisma filter), and yet it so accurately reflects where I am in my life right now. I’m looking forward to coming home to myself again.

5. My tiny family. Still my favorite. I can’t wait to hang out with them a bit more next week.

Top: five years ago, Bottom: two days ago

Bonus joy: Tanka bars, hanging out with Mikalina, orange juice, naps, sleeping in, good books (I just finished The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden and am reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang), good TV (they just released Shrill and Catastrophe), good films (yesterday I watched Puzzle and Free Solo), sitting in the sauna when it’s snowing outside, aqua aerobics, Pilates, getting all the laundry done and put away on Friday, a massage, a weekend off from yoga teacher training, crossing a bunch of stuff off my to-do list, a big glass of cold clean water.

 

Something Good

Frozen morning river, image by Eric

1. The Super Bloom in Pictures on The New York Times.

2. Together Rising. “Together Rising transforms collective heartbreak into effective action…100% of what Together Rising receives from every personal donation goes directly to an individual, family, or cause in need – not one penny we receive from individual donation goes to administration costs, unless a donor specifically authorizes that use.” A recent project was to find 90 families who’d been separated from their children when they came to the U.S. seeking asylum and reunite them. Here’s a video of a recent reunion they were able to facilitate. In related news, After Hours at the Border, 29 Parents Separated From Their Kids and Deported Take Step Toward Asylum, and Hundreds of migrant children are taken from families despite rollback of separation policy.

3. 30 Of The Best Responses To #Trashtag Challenge. “People are challenged to take a before photo of an area that is in need of intense trash clean-up, followed by an after photo of the beautified area.”

4. Wabi-Sabi for Writers, “A Weekend Writing Workshop with Laurie Wagner and Maya Stein, May 3-5, 2019 | Nutley, New Jersey…a weekend writing workshop that will engage participants to discover and celebrate the wobbly journey of embracing the stories that want to be told, and telling them truthfully. We will write and we will read. Led by seasoned facilitators and frequent writing partners Laurie Wagner and Maya Stein, we’ll dive into the troubled waters of the writing practice, and learn how to loosen our process – rather than confine it – to take deeper risks with our voice and give our work new clarity and strength.”

5. Between Two Pines, Upaya Podcast with Natalie Goldberg.

6. Is sugar (un)healthy? It depends.

7. So you care about white supremacy? Do something. An older post, but still so relevant.

8. Mini Trucks in Japan Are Being Transformed Into Enchanting Tiny Gardens.

9. Deep down I’m enormously lazy from Austin Kleon, which links to this great excerpt from Ross Gay’s new book.

10. It’s Not All Love and Light: Why We Can’t Ignore the Dark and Just “Be Positive.”

11. Rethinking Food Addiction.

12. Our Bodies are Basically Good, “Non-diet dietician Jenna Hollenstein’s new book Eat to Love paves a Buddhist path toward transforming our often troubled relationship with food and body. Lilly Greenblatt spoke with Hollenstein about how her revolutionary approach can guide us away from chronic dieting, food anxiety, and disordered eating with mindfulness and compassion.”

13. 4 Ways To Reduce Plastics And Other Single-Use Disposables In Your Kitchen.

14. Sorry, I’m Back My Letter to the Mipham.

15. Hard Pill Talk: What White People Must Do to Fight Racism. (video)

16. Bow Down! 65 Boundary-Breaking Black Women Who Have Paved The Way.

17. 60 Stunning Photos Of Girls Going To School Around The Globe.

18. Why I Won’t be Pursuing Weight Loss as a Solution to my Chronic Pain.

19. Go Fund Me: Marcia’s fight against Cervical cancer. I was just saying to someone this morning that every middle class family in the United States is just one medical emergency event away from losing everything.

20. This woman created the Free Black Women’s Library to foster a space that celebrates the work and incredible lives of Black women. (video) Check out their Tumblr site to see how to help.

21. The Dharma of the Princess Bride, “In The Princess Bride, outcasts and loners find true friendship. Drawing on the classic film, Ethan Nichtern offers Buddhist teachings on how to make friends with yourself and others.”

22. The Drop: Amanda Palmer Tackles The Long Walk To Abortion in “A Voicemail For Jill.” I’ve never had to make this decision but I’m pretty sure no woman ever WANTS to have an abortion. And if you think things wouldn’t be different if men got pregnant, open your eyes. Open your heart.

23. Fans Rally to Save Netflix’s LGBT-Inclusive Sitcom One Day at a Time. This show covers important topics, is high quality writing and acting, and makes me laugh — what more do you want from a TV show?!

24. 2,000 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in March: Enroll Today.

25. Grief Becomes You call for submissions from Maya Stein, “I am very pleased to announce an open call for your stories and images around the subject of grief. I am asking for submissions by May 15.” I really, really want to submit something to this, but I’m afraid I’m too busy to do it.

26. This Woman Set Up A Photo Booth For Birds In Her Yard, And The Results Are Extraordinary.

27. Colorado Police Hold Black Student At Gunpoint As He Picks Up Trash On His Own Property.

28. University Dean Resigns Over Chick-fil-A Campus Ban.

29. New Hampshire Republicans Wear Pearls To Mock Moms Who Oppose Gun Violence.

30. Is this the fastest 7-year-old in the world? (video) “Meet Rudolph ‘Blaze’ Ingram — one day he hopes to smash Usain Bolt’s 100m World Record.”

31. This world-class chef won a $250,000 lottery prize — he’s using the money to hire people off the street and feed the homeless. (video)

32. How to Cope with a Toxic and Estranged Family Relationship.

33. Detroit man sues three white women who called police on him for ‘gardening while black.’

34. 5 Documentaries to Watch for Women’s History Month (or Any Month).

35. The Politics of Productivity: 7 Ways to Undo Societal Pressure to Constantly Perform.

Gratitude Friday

1. Snow. Winter waited until February this year to arrive, and the way it’s acting it might stick around through March.

2. Morning walks. I love these few weeks of winter before Daylight Savings time when we get to the river just when the sun comes up.

3. Practice. Yoga, writing, meditation. The opportunity to teach, the chance to learn, balancing effort with ease.

4. 8.5 weeks left at CSU! My three interns this semester are awesome. There are other people I’ll miss running into in the hallway or having them stop by my office for candy. There are situations and humans that are uncomfortable, difficult, and not something I’ll miss even for one second. I’m working harder than ever right now, but there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel, and I can SEE it.

5. My tiny family. Because we worked so much this week, had after hours stuff some nights, Eric and I hardly saw each other, and I have yoga teacher training all weekend. I have been working from home more often, so I at least get to see the boys. I’m looking forward to spending more quality time with all three of them.

I got up to go to the bathroom and they stole my spot.

Bonus joy: orange juice, my infrared heating pad, napping, sleeping in, teaching yoga, Pilates class, being rowdy and laughing way too much in Pilates class, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, a warm shower, clean pjs, getting the laundry done on Friday, my rental car (for a little cheap car, it has done amazingly well in the snow, or maybe after 20 years in Colorado I’m just really good at driving in it), getting nice feedback from a person I wrote an article about (“You are very good at what you do”), having friends I can talk through the big stuff with, knowing that being good at what I do doesn’t mean I have to always do everything well or that I have to keep doing it when it’s no longer fun or meaningful for me, being able to quit and still have health insurance and a roof over my head, a partner who loves me and takes care of me when I need it and makes me laugh.