Love this. "These images are from a set of 1,075 photographs — shot over five days last year for the book and exhibition, 'Contraband' — of items detained or seized from passengers or express mail entering the United States from abroad at the New York airport."

I've no need for this Typography App. But who cares? Want.

Image: source.

I spent two weeks in Varanasi and thought it was amazing, so I always enjoy reading about other people's experiences there.

Classic Pearl Jam. Loves it. And some Black Keys for good measure.

I love mail and I love this mail art (although I'm surprised some of it made it through the postal service).

I was impressed by this basic article on 20 Civil Liberties Laws Every American Should Know. It's true, everyone *should* know those laws.

Since moving back to Oregon, where medical marijuana is legal, I've learned a lot about the workplace and housing discrimination faced by MM users. Here's yet another interesting intersection of rights: "Jackson County sheriff appeals ruling that says medical marijuana users cannot be denied a concealed handgun permit: Sheriff Mike Winters says granting the permit would violate federal laws prohibiting drug users from legally possessing guns."
Heard this read by Tara Brach today. Great.

- - - --

Tired of Speaking Sweetly
by Hafiz

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a "playful drunken mood"
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.


ColorLines infographics combine good info and good design, including one on SB1070. I like. (Added bonus: infographic on bottled water consumption).

Obama Administration Wants to Make Domestic Surveillance Power Grab: "The White House wants to add just four words to the law that empowers the government to collect information on you w/o a warrant. But it would represent a huge expansion of the what the government could (legally) collect on you."

Kanye West joined Twitter and at first I didn't care,
and then it was love.

Image: source.

Hospice, or "end of life," care isn't something that I had thought a lot about, however in the last few years it has become quite important to my mom (who volunteers tons of her hours towards the local store Hospice Unique Boutique - the proceeds of which go towards hospice care in the Rogue Valley). Subsequently, of course, it has become more important to me. This article, by Atul Gawande in the New Yorker, is quite informative, well written, and moving. He's going to be in Fresh Air today speaking with Terri Gross.

"May whatever circumstances that arise in this life serve the awakening of this heart and mind, and may this life be of benefit to all human beings." - yet another great talk from Tara Brach
Really interesting: Sex Workers' Rights Are Rights For All Women. "Women are brought up to think of sex workers as "bad women". It prevents them from copying and taking advantage of the freedoms sex workers fight for, like the occupation of nocturnal and public spaces, or how to impose a sexual contract in which conditions have to be negotiated and respected."

A Collection A Day appeals to both my pack-rat and cataloguing instincts.

Image: source.

This teeny-tiny Catskills cottage is the stuff of dreams.

Mad Oregon love! I want that iPhone skin...

I signed up today for a triathlon. Just a "sprint" one (0.5 mi swim, 12 mi swim, 3 mi run), and I've done one before (about 7 years ago) but it's still intimidating and will involve some training. I have about 6 weeks to get ready, which is perfect. I already do cardio about 3-5 times a week, as of today I'm adding in swimming 2 twice a week. Wish me luck!

"Never underestimate your ability to transform hardship into growth and loss into gain." - Source.

“You can practice mindfullness because there is forgetfullness; but you cannot practice awareness, because there is only awareness. In mindfullness, you pay attention to the present moment. You try to ‘be here now’. But pure awareness is the present state of awareness before you try to do anything about it. Trying to ‘be here now’ requires a future moment in which you will then be mindful; but pure awareness is the moment before you try anything. You are already aware, you are already enlightened. You might not be always already mindful, but you are always aready enlightened.” - Ken Wilber


"The Economic and Political Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in all 50 States." I looked at Oregon, check out your state!

This piece on impatience and the pace of life unfolding really spoke to me. Good stuff. "On Perfect Timing: When Things Aren’t Happening Fast Enough"

Image: source.

Finally! Congress Reduces Cocaine/Crack Sentencing Disparity: "The House passed a bill (already passed by the Senate) to reduce a relic of '80s-style freak-out legislation: reducing the massive disparity between powder and crack cocaine prison sentences."

More awesomeness from the wonderful Yee-Haw.

“Beginning today, make the decision to love and accept yourself just the way you are. Say your name followed by the words “I love you” and make this your daily mantra, repeating it often, especially during times of stress. Let it be your first thought upon arising and the last you think before falling asleep at night. This simple act of self-courtship can profoundly change your world. Try it for yourself and see. Make a personal decision to be in love with the most beautiful, exciting, worthy person ever - you.” - Wayne Dyer

I miss seeing these guys live so much! <3 to Steve and Co


An outrage. "The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) requires that funds do not go to sex workers or those who work with sex workers, and has done so for years." US continues to discriminate against sex workers, not provide HIV care.

The long list for the 2010 Booker Prize is released...and my "to read" list continues to grow....

Interesting discussion of "child-free spaces."

I admit that I was initially a little thrown off by these photos of a sleeping baby posed by her mother (maybe I have an Anne Geddes hang over that ruins posed photos of babies for me), but now I am 100% charmed and enthralled. Mila's Daydreams.

"Art when really understood is the province of every human being. It is simple a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing." - Robert Henri (The Art Spirit, 1923)


Just watched this movie, Herb and Dorothy, about an elderly New York couple of art collectors - it's quietly fascinating to see this couple explore their (mutual, and largely self-taught) life long love of art and see how two people with not much money threw themselves into the world of American art.

Image: source.

Oh, darling, let your body in,
let it tie you in,
in comfort.
What I want to say, Linda,
is that women are born twice.
- Anne Sexton

“that aching feeling that we walk around with, that we try to fill with food and sex.. and business, drugs and whatever.. is.. our homesickness.. for ourselves.”
Ridiculous, but just TRY to tell me this didn't make your day a little better.

Image: source.

Interesting: Is the U.S. Law School Curriculum (Partly) to Blame for Mass Incarceration?

From the Economist: "America locks up too many people, some for acts that should not even be criminal"

"Put it down, come down, Feet on the ground, Where you're at's where you stand / Hell, I'm free to sell all I am, Move where I can, and be as I happy as I can be" - Sean Hayes, "Diamond in the sun"
"The first Saturn Return is famous because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built their life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with his or her true values, the Saturn Return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him or her to jettison old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and reevaluation. But the Saturn Return is not all about painful endings. During this time astrologers note that goals are consolidated and people tend to gain a better vision of where they are going in life. There are added responsibilities and a person may reap the rewards from his or her hard work."


I just found out Sean Hayes is playing in Ashland in August - and got my ticket immediately. Every time I get to see him, it feels like such a huge gift from the universe. What an amazing soul, an amazing artist. His work means so much to me. (Another favorite, tugging at my heart: f*cked me right up)


This reinterpretation of Ferris Bueller blew my mind.

Check the new Feministing site (launched by the amazing Command C)

Left: I'm loving the work of Jori Baldwin. Doesn't hurt that she's a fellow Captain Picard fan.

Mortal Combat in stop motion....with construction paper. Thrills me.

Frightened Rabbit announces tour dates! Hope to catch them in Portland, or SF, or Boston....

Yurt love!

"Three decades after the Supreme Court ruled that immigration violations cannot be used as a basis to deny children equal access to a public school education, one in five school districts in New York State is routinely requiring a child’s immigration papers as a prerequisite to enrollment, or asking parents for information that only lawful immigrants can provide." NYTimes.

Love for the Umpqua River.
PD James is not only a great mystery novelist, but also the namesake for my childhood imaginary friend....

Provence is definitely one of those places I had little interest in, because it had been hyped so much....but then exceeded my expecations. The light! The food! The fields of lavender and sunflowers!

"we must be strong. you exist, & it is extraordinary."


Groups Sue Virginia Prisons for Unconstitutional Banning of Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook: The Jailhouse Lawyer's Handbook is a great resource (for anyone interested in prisoners' rights work, but especially for incarcerated individuals). The idea it would be banned from a prison is outrageous - although I do believe that people find it threatening that prisoners know their rights. God forbid!

David Byrne on what it means for a city to be "liveable" - Mr. Byrne, urban planning, and he throws in Jane Jacobs? Swoon!

Image: Frida. Just 'cause.

A few articles on the state of mental health care in Oregon - an all too familiar story.

Sleeping porch? I love both of those words.

"Vintage Car Culture + Chet Baker = Heaven." Agreed. Wholeheartedly.

“There are three happiness killers - doing work you do not love and are not passionate about, surrounding yourself with people who you do not really like (someone who just fills time), and living somewhere that does not let you be you. Just stop it. Life is far too short.” - Richard Florida


I wanna stay in a tree house hotel!

Just saw the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it was great - some scenes were definitely hard to watch, but over all it was a faithful adaptation of the books, and a well shot and well cast movie. Recommended.

Image: source.

Love for the Rogue River - and for Oregon's great breweries.

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” - Howard Zinn


Support Legal Aid programs! As more and more American families and individuals enter foreclosure and unemployment, they will need the support of (the woefully underfunded) civil legal services.

Finally, a comprehensive (and English for lame non-Spanish speakers like myself) article on the current state of things in Puerto Rico "University of Puerto Rico Student Strike Victory Unleashes Brutal Civil Rights Backlash."

Excellent! "CA Formally Endorses Immigration Rights for Same-Sex Couples: Today the State Senate passed a resolution with a 23-12 vote that included bipartisan support, endorsing a federal law that would permit U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor a same-sex partner for immigration."

I admit that I am one of the ex-Olivia Munn fans (I got burnt out on her faux "one of the boys" act, agree that her comedic timing is terrible, and found her recent comments about not being a feminist etc really obnoxious), but I really appreciated this run down of criticisms lodged her way.

“Turn on the television. We have a wedding channel on cable TV devoted to the behavior of people on the way to the altar. They spend billions of dollars, behave in the most appalling way, all in an effort to be princess for a day. You don’t have cable television? Put on network TV. We’re giving away husbands on a game show. You can watch The Bachelor, where thirty desperate women will compete to marry a 40-year-old man who has never been able to maintain a decent relationship in his life. That’s what we’ve done to marriage in America, where young women are socialized from the time they’re five years old to think of being nothing but a bride. They plan every day what they’ll wear, how they’ll look, the invitations, the whole bit, they don’t spend five minutes thinking about what it means to be a wife. People stand up there before god and man even in Senator Diaz’s church, they swear to love honor and obey, they don’t mean a word of it. So if there’s anything wrong with the sanctity of marriage in America, it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right and have abused it for decades.” - Diane Savino, NY State Senator


Truly amazing! "This Picture Was Taken 24 Miles In the Air With A Crappy Camera Attached To A Balloon."

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Could you pass the test to become a citizen of the US?

TrackYourHappiness.org is an interesting project - I'm participating and am curious to see if I learn anything.

Image: source.

Can't wait to read David Mitchell's new book - Cloud Atlas is one of my all-time favorites.

““Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain”

Sigh. I'm so guilty of this. "When pitching an idea: 'Should I just write something and send it? Do I have to tickle the balls? I want to write, dammit.' Or: 'I'm sure I'm going about this all wrong...' Guess which one is a woman."

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But, it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.” - david orr


Happy 4th everyone. I appreciate NPR's tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence aloud.

From my awesome friend LG's blog, a great poem from the departing poet laureate (Kay Ryan) and a welcome to the new one (W.S. Merwin).

Image: source.

"To take what there is, and use it, without waiting forever in vain for the preconceived - to dig deep into the actual and get something out of that - this doubtless is the right way to live." - Henry James (from the first pages of Anna Quindlen's "Living Out Loud," which I'm currently reading. I need more inspiring lady mentors in my life, hoping she can be one from the pages....)

“How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make? Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions? Will you follow dogma, or will you be original? Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure? Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions? Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize? Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love? Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling? When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless? Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder? Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?” - Jeff Bezos

Image: source.
An old favorite. It tells me something new every time.

by Mary Oliver

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman’s boot,
with a white belly.

If you asked for a picture I would have to draw a smile
under the perfectly round eyes and above the chin,
which was rough
as a thousand sharpened nails.

And you know
what a smile means,
don’t you?


I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,

whoever I was, I was

for a little while.


It was evening, and no longer summer.
Three small fish, I don’t know what they were,
huddled in the highest ripples
as it came swimming in again, effortless, the whole body
one gesture, one black sleeve
that could fit easily around
the bodies of three small fish.


Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don’t we?



the dogfish tore open the soft basins of water.


You don’t want to hear the story
of my life, and anyway
I don’t want to tell it, I want to listen

to the enormous waterfalls of the sun.

And anyway it’s the same old story - - -
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world.


And look! look! look! I think those little fish
better wake up and dash themselves away
from the hopeless future that is
bulging toward them.


And probably,
if they don’t waste time
looking for an easier world,

they can do it.


Image: source.

Thunder Only Happens When It's Raining

So in love with everything about this - a *bike tour* of *tiny houses* in *Portland, OR*! Win win win!

I'm not married so my expertize is limited, but I found this article about marriage counseling interesting. It does seem true that in most relationships people put off getting external help - or even addressing things personally - until things build up. The idea of counseling while things are still going well, or regular "check ins" really appeals to me.

Image: source.

Weed Arrests A 'Civil Rights Issue,' Says NAACP: "In what drug policy reform advocates are calling a "landmark moment", the California NAACP announced its support yesterday for Proposition 19, a controversial ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in the state."

(Oops, published this post without a few of the links! All fixed now....ps we are back up at NKSS as well, slowly but surely....)