Monthly Archives: October 2019

Something Good

1. Irresistible Book: Prince’s memoir The Beautiful Ones. “In Prince’s cosmology, there are really only three reasons to pen a book that purports to flirt with autobiography: further demystification, education or deconstruction. While we will never know which of those goals Prince would have come down on, the book we have is somehow, and thankfully, all three.”

2. A Collection Of Zora Neale Hurston’s Lost Writings Will Be Released In 2020.

3. ‘I had to buy it and finish it’: Why 1,000 people offered to crowd-stitch the quilt of a dead woman none of them knew.

4. Is ‘Modern Love’ Only for White Women? “The omission of women of color as love interests in the new Amazon series is more than an oversight.”

5. The cost of leaving an abusive relationship.

6. Us Too on Lion’s Roar. “Sexual misconduct and abuse by Buddhist teachers — some high profile, others under the radar — are hurting women, splitting communities, destroying people’s faith in Buddhist practice, and damaging Buddhism’s reputation. Buddhist teacher Trudy Goodman looks at the history, the harm, and what we can do to stop it.”

7. How to Give People Advice They’ll Be Delighted to Take on The New York Times.

8. Pages from a finished diary from Austin Kleon.

9. Panic in Pakistani City After 900 Children Test Positive for H.I.V. on The New York Times. “Health workers say the reuse of syringes drove the outbreak in the city of Ratodero.”

10. How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Pursue Actual Health. “The real data behind weight loss research points to a radically different approach to healthy living.” This article is a year old now, but it’s worth a reshare. In related news, and also now four years old but still relevant: Scientists now think that being overweight can protect your health.

11. A police officer has been sacked after he allegedly branded parents of trans kids “lunatics” and suggested they should be shot.

12. “A man of noble and good heart”: Read Barack Obama’s eulogy for Elijah Cummings.

13. Someone Sick Of Hearing Anti-Vaxxers’ Stupid Arguments Creates 31 Scientific Posters That Completely Destroy Their Logic.

14. Why Water Aerobics Should Be Part Of Your Fitness Routine.

15. Lynchings, 1921 Tulsa massacre, and 8 other things school didn’t teach you about race in America.

16. Tally of children split at border tops 5,400 in new count. In related news, More Than 700 Women Have Disappeared From A Texas ICE Detention Center And Their Lawyers Don’t Know Where They Are.

17. Impeachment Inquiry Catch-Up: Bombshell Testimony And Revelations From The East.

18. Muslim Student Athlete Disqualified From Race for Wearing Hijab on The New York Times. Compare that to this: After a soccer player’s hijab slipped off during a game, her opponents paused mid-play to huddle around her.

19. How to Be an Antiracist: A Conversation With Ibram X. Kendi. “In his new book, the professor challenges traditional definitions of racism, and who can be racist.”

20. Toxic Parents And Absent Parents Produce The Same Kind Of People. “…when children are raised with negative feedback, constant criticism and devaluation, they not only fail to develop a positive sense of self but learn to maintain the negative one.” *sigh*

21. How I got revenge on a plantation tour.

22. Summer Walker went from housekeeper to R&B it girl — and she’s still a mystery.

23. Ex Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Is Set to Appeal Her Murder Conviction in the Shooting Death of Botham Jean.

24. Fired for Repeating Racist Slur, School Guard Will Get Job Back, Union Says. “A student directed the slur at Marlon Anderson, who then repeated it as he was trying to explain why it was offensive.”

25. This came up in my Facebook memories this morning. (video) “This American Life asked Sara Bareilles to imagine what President Obama might be thinking about the 2016 election and Donald Trump, but can’t say publicly. Leslie Odom Jr. performs the song.” This seems like a million years ago, and 1000 times more heartbreaking than the first time I heard it.

26. A Critique of Byron Katie’s The Work. “Is Byron Katie’s method known as The Work harmful? Some believe so. There are numerous instances of Katie on stage blaming sexual abuse victims, denying racism, stifling efforts for social change, denying the reality of abuse and accusing people of things they didn’t do. It’s all done under the guise of spiritual growth. Katie claims to haven’t had a thought in 26 years and says she could walk into a gas chamber knowing it’s an ‘amazing day.'”

27. Two of the best Halloween costumes, ever: Dog dressed as ambulance complete with his own siren and this baby dressed as Elton John.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Yesterday we startled something in the tall grass and trees by one of the ponds, but I have no idea what it was. It’s dark almost the full walk this time of year. We leave early and are on our last mile when the sun is coming up. With Daylight Savings Time, that will shift, but it only lasts for about two weeks before we are back in the dark again. That doesn’t mean we’ll ever wait and go later, when there’s more light and other people with their dogs and cars. Even in the dark, it’s nice to feel like we have the world all to ourselves for a bit.

2. Finishing my Yoga for All teacher training. One down, one to go, (I have a bit left for my Curvy Yoga certification, but the plan is to finish that by the end of next week). One of the things we had to do as part of our final was to share our biggest “a-ha moment” or the most impactful thing we got from the training. I answered in two parts: “First, I realized taking this training how excellent my teacher training experience was and how much work I’ve done on my own to learn more — basically, I was pleasantly surprised how much I already knew. The thing I’m taking directly from this training that has the potential to have the most impact is that there are lots of resources and support available for me and my students, but the best resource is our students and their awareness of what they need and what isn’t working. Helping our students cultivate that awareness and self trust and being open to supporting them however we can will have the biggest impact on their experience of yoga. They have so much to teach us.”

3. One year anniversary teaching at Red Sage. The commitment these humans have to caring for themselves and in turn our furry ones is such a gift. I’m so lucky to teach them, to practice with them. I mean, seriously, they are generous and kind and funny and almost every class, there’s a dog or two close by. It’s the perfect gig for me.

4. Random love notes. This one is on the side of some construction equipment working in our neighborhood.

5. Trying new recipes. Last night I made breakfast burritos using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I’m really enjoying trying new stuff, the time spent chopping and assembling and especially eating.

6. My tiny family. Sam went to physical therapy yesterday and is doing so well, we finally stopped giving him all his pain meds. Fingers and paws crossed that there’s no impact, but even if he needs to go back on a low dose, I’m so happy he’s recovered so well. In the next few months, he’ll turn 10 years old, which means he will most likely end up being our oldest dog yet. Ringo is turning six the day after my birthday next month and I’m only just now getting used to the idea he’s not a puppy anymore. Last but not least, Eric and I are going to do a float tank and infrared sauna together this afternoon — one of the things from our “25 things for 25 years” list we made on our anniversary last year that we still hadn’t done.

Bonus joy: Hanging out and writing with Mikalina, Chloe’s new niece, good TV (Modern Love on Amazon Prime was sweet), good books (I thought I was almost done with the autobiographies of Maya Angelou, but I just started the final one last night, which means I’ll need to watch the documentary about her next), getting all the laundry done, a massage on my schedule, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, watching TV and “trading some” with Eric, trusting my body and honoring what it needs, an appointment with my new therapist, a clean-ish garage (thanks to Eric), a yummy new essential oil, sitting under my infrared heating pad and my favorite blanket after a long walk on a cold morning, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs are asleep, stretching out to press my feet into Eric’s just before we get out of bed in the morning, kitchen counter love notes.

 

Something Good

From our walk

1. The digestive system from Austin Kleon, in which he explains why he does what he does in his newsletter and on his blog, in which he says something I feel like I could have written:

The longer I write this blog and the newsletter, the more I try to focus on what I genuinely love. The stuff that really nourishes and feeds me. I could probably grow a bigger “audience” with the most recent creativity tips and life hacks or whatever, but that’s not why I started doing this. I started doing this to find my people. The people who care about the same things that I do. In other words: You. Thanks for being here.

Thanks for being here, kind and gentle reader.

2. The limits of technique, wisdom from Seth Godin, in which he writes, “It’s possible that you no longer need to get better at your craft. That your craft is just fine. It’s possible that you need to be braver instead.” Oh snap…

3. Celebrating Genocide – Christopher Columbus’ Invasion of America. WHY can’t we be honest about who we really are? WHY do we continue to refuse to take responsibility for the things we’ve done? We would all be so much better off if we started telling the truth. Things will never change if we don’t. We will never ever ever “get over it.”

4. Photographer Spent Days Waiting For Museum Visitors To Match The Artworks They Observe, And it Was Worth It.

5. Adults Can Swim With Tiny Otters At This Animal Preserve, And The Photos Are Adorable.

6. Get Your Flu Shot Now, Doctors Advise, Especially If You’re Pregnant.

7. Cher Offers to Pay Legal Fees for Black Security Guard Fired for Telling Student to Stop Calling Him N-Word.

8. Watch: Pema Chödrön sits down for new Oprah interview; addresses Shambhala scandals.

9. Breakfast Burritos recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I’m making these this week. I want to try this one too, miso sweet potato and broccoli bowl.

10. Woman Broke The Plank World Record By Planking Over 4 Hours. I start to shake at 30 seconds, could maybe hold one two or three minutes on my best day, but FOUR HOURS?!

11. Standing Rock rancher runs nation’s largest native-owned buffalo herd.

12. The Whitewashing of “#WhitePeopleDoingYoga.” “My artwork was about appropriation. San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum tried to appropriate it.”

13. As A Black Man, Here’s How Yoga Helped Save My Life.

14. California Can Expect Blackouts For A Decade, Says PG&E CEO.

15. Summer Walker: Tiny Desk Concert. SO good.

16. Hear Prince’s Acoustic ‘I Feel For You’ Demo, Fresh From The Vault.

17. Five Indigenous Speculative Fiction Authors You Should Be Reading.

18. Fort Worth Officer Charged With Murder for Shooting Woman in Her Home. “Aaron Dean, who killed Atatiana Jefferson while she was home with her nephew, resigned hours before he was going to be fired.”

19. Elton John On Music, Addiction And Family: ‘I’m Proud Of Who I Am Now’.

20. The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI. “Body Mass Index has been used in recent decades as a referendum on individual health. But it was never meant to be.”

21. Police arrest black family twice for ‘loitering’ in their own front yard. TWICE.

22. The ‘Wellness Influencer’ Lifestyle Can Be a Gateway to Disordered Eating. “The corner of the internet that chronicles meticulous diets and ‘clean eating’ regimens is still a petri dish for orthorexia.”

23. Khalid – Fast Car (Tracy Chapman cover) (video)

24. The Tricky Argument That Dieting Makes People Fatter on Dances with Fat.

25. Kalen Allen’s on a mission to represent queer kids fighting to be seen.

26. He Traded Single Life To Be Foster ‘Pop’ To More Than 50 Kids.

27. Highly Sensitive People Have a Special Bond With Animals. Have I told you lately I’m a hsp?

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. This week we heard an owl, saw some deer, ran into Ringo’s nemesis (don’t act surprised that he has one) and lots of garbage trucks. It’s so dark right now in the morning that the sun only starts to rise when we are on the way back home and I need my headlamp on for almost the full walk.

2. The color of the Colorado morning sky, particularly in winter and fall. Something about the moisture and cold makes it especially magic.

3. Practice. Still keeping me here. Sometimes Sam “helps” me meditate. It makes me so happy that he just wants to be with me.

4. Finally finding a new therapist. I have more to say about this, but for now I’m just grateful.

5. My tiny family. Kitchen counter love notes, cooking together, laughing together, watching Guy’s Grocery Games with Eric, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs are sleeping, the way Ringo and Sam come in and guard me while I take a shower, the summer red still in Sam’s coat, the way Ringo catches a frisbee, how both Sam and Ringo decide who they love and who they don’t like and that pretty much will never change, seeing Sam and Ringo playing in the backyard (it’s been at least a year since they have), being able to spend so much more time present with them.

Bonus joy: getting all the laundry done and folded and put away in one day, clean sheets, Broccoli Slaw, Sweet Onion Upside Down Broccoli Cornbread, taking a day off from the gym to work on finishing my Yoga for All teacher training and realizing as I work my way through it that I already know a lot more than I realized, planning something fun with Eric, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna on a cold day, my infrared heating pad, good TV, good books, good podcasts, a really soft sweatshirt my brother gave me, wool socks, down blankets and pillows, writing in the morning with my HappyLight, gold and red leaves, smelling a skunk but not running into it, teaching yoga.

 

Something Good

From our walk

1. Adding the wrong words from Austin Kleon. “My 4-year-old leaves so many drawings lying around that sometimes I steal them and add my own captions.”

2. This remix of Ellen’s pathetic defense of George W. Bush is devastating.

3. Initiative from Seth Godin.

4. Victoria’s Secret Hires Anti-Fat Plus-Size Model from Dances with Fat.

5. 5 No-Fuss Self-Care Ideas For Introverts.

6. hilariously, clumsily, grossly visible, a really great post about patiarchy from The Collected AHP (Anne Helen Petersen).

7. Wisdom from Ronna Detrick’s Notes From Her: “I kept myself busy with so many responsibilities. I took them on because they needed to be done, but more, because they seemed like the best way to keep from feeling crazy. When I slowed down, when I rested, when I stopped, my mind fought against the silence, the space, the calm. But, in truth, silence, space, and calm was what my heart wanted most; what I needed most. It took time, but I learned that it’s not in working harder, faster, or smarter; but in sitting, resting, and leaning that feeling crazy eventually vanishes, that transformation comes, that love shows up.”

8. Yoga For Writers | Yoga With Adriene (video)

9. This Daily Truth from Melody Ross about choosing the path that’s right for you, making your own decisions. “The messages are often conflicting, confusing, frustrating, and they can make us feel small and inadequate. Sometimes we feel so confused that we are just paralyzed and instead of making decisions, we just stop doing anything at all.”

10. Imagine a Pine Tree on Lion’s Roar, “Thich Nhat Hanh answers a retreatant’s question on what to do in the face of suffering.” My favorite line of this piece is, “The basic thing we can do to help the world is to be healthy, solid, loving, and gentle to ourselves.”

11. 10 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Your Plastic Use Right Now from Sandra Pawula.

12. Fort Worth Officer Kills Woman In Her Bedroom In Response To ‘Open Structure Call.’ In related news, Where Are the Good Cops?

13. Honey Bees Complete Mixed Media Artworks by Building Comb Around Embroidery Hoops.

14. Prince’s Estate Condemns Trump’s Use Of ‘Purple Rain’ At Campaign Rally.

15. How Mainstream Body Positivity Has Failed Us.

16. Florida Man Who Killed Black Father Over Parking Space Will Stand His Ground in Prison for 20 Years.

17. Power Is Gradually Restored To Thousands Of Californians After 2nd Day Of Outages.

18. ‘If you can’t make jokes without hurting people, maybe you’re no good at it’, “Marc Maron reacts to claims ‘woke culture’ is killing comedy.”

19. White Women doing White Supremacy in Nonprofit Culture.

20. Wisconsin Spice Company Spends More Than $100K On Pro-Impeachment Ads. “Wauwatosa-Based Penzeys Spices Behind Only Trump Campaign In National Spending.” This company makes a good product, then takes some of the money they make from that and does good things in the world.

21. Get a Dog, Live Longer? on The New York Times. “Benefits of dog ownership may be particularly pronounced in those who have already had a heart attack.”

22. Forty-three new women came forward to describe assault and harassment by Trump. Newspapers ignored them.

23. Matt Lauer Issues Victim-Blaming Letter In Response To Brooke Nevils Rape Allegations.

24. Why Veggies Won’t Save Healthcare in Real Life. “Is maintaining a healthy lifestyle one’s responsibility, or a privilege? It’s time to start asking the harder questions, and recognize the health care disparity that exists in real life.”

25. Meatless meat is becoming mainstream — and it’s sparking a backlash.

26. What It’s Like Growing Up as a Highly Sensitive Child in a Chaotic Home.

27. I threw out 10 years of journals. Just to be clear, I’m sharing this because I want to reinforce the fact that if we aren’t ready to let go, even if we never are, that’s okay too.

28. With Abortion Rights On The Line, Planned Parenthood Announces 2020 Push.

29. Trump Administration Says It Won’t Comply With Impeachment Inquiry.

30. 15 Ways White Women Avoid Accountability On The Internet.

31. On Finding the Freedom to Rage Against Our Fathers, “Minda Honey Tells the Story of a Daughter Who Refused to Walk on Eggshells.”

32. Columbus Day Or Indigenous Peoples’ Day? In related news, I’m Dreaming About a Modern World That Doesn’t Erase Its Indigenous Intelligence.

Gratitude Friday

1. Kitchen counter love notes. The ones Eric tucked in the card he made me for our anniversary took up so much space I had to stand on a chair to get them all in the picture. He said when he started making them, he underestimated how long it was going to take. I remember when it was our 6th anniversary and I thought that was so amazing because I had never been in a relationship that long. That was 20 years ago.

2. Feeling just a little better. Coming here and telling you all that I was feeling confused started to shift things just a bit for me. I also finally found a therapist who is taking new patients and works from the perspective I was looking for and on the issues I have. I’m meeting with her on Tuesday to see if it’s a good fit. Wish me luck!

3. Yup, it snowed. It dropped 20 degrees overnight, bringing lightening, hail, and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard before the snow came. I am sad the garden is officially done and some of the trees that were just starting to turn gold lost most of their leaves in the storm, but the sky the morning before was amazing and I made sure to savor the gold before it was all gone.

4. Comfort, in all the various ways I find it: good friends, laughter, good TV, texting with my brother, cooking, getting in the pool, sitting in the sauna, meditation, writing, teaching yoga, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, feeding myself what I want for no other reason than that’s what I want, a big glass of water, a warm shower, cuddling with my dogs, sitting on the couch under my infrared heating pad and favorite blanket my niece made me.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

He’s a tough guy, but he hides under the chairs at the vet

Bonus joy: trying a new restaurant, going to a show where I know I’m going to laugh my face off, spending time with good people, having access to the care and services that keep things running smoothly, setting up my new printer and having it be easy, new shoes that feel good on my feet and my feet feel good in, morning walks with the dogs, the magic weirdness of having such an intimate relationship with a whole other species (seriously, sometimes I look at our dogs and say to Eric, “isn’t it weird that there are animals inside our house right now, just hanging out like it’s totally normal?).

 

26 Years

26 years ago, we eloped, both wore green, got married in a mountain town called Evergreen. The only reason we even have pictures is our roommate showed up with a disposable camera. Four years ago, I wrote a Facebook post that I thought for sure I’d turned into a blog post and shared here, but I can’t find it, so…

Something you might not know about me: I got married for the first time when I was only 18. He was my boyfriend the last few years of high school. He loved me and wanted to marry me, was moving to Arizona for school and wanted me to come with him. I loved him enough, wanted out of my parents’ house and away from the small town I’d grown up in, so I agreed to it, the marriage and the move. We were actually a terrible match, and what I never told him, what almost no one knows, is I almost bolted on our wedding day, would have if I’d had the guts.

I was thinking about it this morning because there was a short piece on NPR in which they played clips of songs by Crowded House and The Psychedelic Furs, music I still love (am listening to as I write this). I loved bands like Depeche Mode, Erasure, The Cure, and Tears for Fears. That first, failed husband’s favorite band was Iron Maiden. We were doomed. We only lived together about a year and a half before my beloved Auntie T offered me an out and I left.

Some years later, I met Eric. He listened to the same bands I did, and introduced me to reggae and musicians like Jimmy Cliff. He had earrings, wore patchouli, and read books. He felt like home. This is all making me think how sometimes it can take a really long time, many failed attempts to find the right fit, to land in the place that is home. Sometimes it seems like it will never happen and we lose our will to keep going. I can’t tell you what to do, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up.

In the past few years, I’ve written a few posts about being married to Eric:

  • Committed, where I described what I think it means to find the right person. “I can’t say what might work for you, don’t mean for this to be some kind of advice or set of rules to be married by, but these are the things that have kept me in it, all in, for the past 18 years.”
  • 20 years, one of my favorite posts, in which I wrote about how Eric makes me laugh and comforts me when I don’t feel like laughing.
  • Day of Rest, where I tried to describe what love is.  “When you are together for a long time, there’s more than one marriage. Hard things happen, and you have to work through them. You get remarried over and over because you keep choosing each other, continue to recommit. And Eric and I have had hard things, and we know that those things will keep coming. Just because we’ve been together a long time doesn’t mean things get easier. You don’t reach a point where it’s simple and you don’t have to try that hard — or at least we don’t. What does happen is you start to relax your agenda about how things should be, and instead work with what is. You relax with what is, you soften, and you find that in being with what is, you can be content, that in this moment there is more than enough. This is love.”
  • 21 Years, in which I said, “I’m not even sure how that happened, how living our life together day by day has already added up, amounted to that…He makes me laugh, he’s my comfort, my soft place to land. He’s my favorite, my family, my best friend, the problem I chose to have, the choice I make over and over, day after day.”
  • Day of Rest: 23 Years In, in which I shared, “Not much has changed in 23 years, unless you count just about everything. At the beginning, I thought by this point that if we made it this far together things would be easy. I didn’t understand that adulting would be so hard, that so many awful things would happen, to us and around us. I thought I was stronger, saner. I thought if I was with him, if we were together, the ordinary magic of that would surround us, protect us from the bad stuff. And yet it has, in a way. I’m not sure if I’d still be here if it weren’t for his love and support, the way he makes me laugh. The partnership, the rub of having someone always there, can at times be irritating, but it’s also the glue that keeps it all from falling apart.”
  • 24 Years, in which I wondered, “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.”

And here we are, 26 years later, still choosing each other, still taking care of each other, still making each other laugh.