4.30.2011

Eugene Marathon 2011

Well, it's finally here! In about an hour I'm hopping in the car with my parents (my mom, my stepdad, and my dad, who flew down from Alaska!) and we are driving up to Eugene. Today I'll be meeting up with my ladies at the Expo to get our race bibs (is that what they're called?) and check everything out. The race begins in almost exactly 23 hours! I'm still super nervous but, luckily, also getting excited. One of my bootcamp ladies (there are 6 of them running the half marathon tomorrow) sent around this poem/blessing, and it was just what I needed to calm my nerves and get in a good mindset:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.

Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us
.


See you all post-(my first) marathon!

4.28.2011

Delta Spirit Go Vintage on The Zombies’ “She’s Not There”

More straight talk on street harassment.

Training: I had gotten excited about the marathon but now I'm just nervous and stressed. I went for a jog yesterday and didn't do anything today. Tomorrow is bootcamp. I'm just a bundle of nerves and it's not enjoyable. So much so that when I went to my acupuncturist today instead of doing the "endurance" treatment she had planned, she did an anti-stress and low energy treatment. Hoping it helps. It's definitely never been this bad before a race before.

Image: source.

Just heard this song on local public radio and liked it, Serena Ryder "Sweeping The Ashes"

"Thomas Roberts spoke with Josh Vandiver and Henry Velandia, a married binational same-sex couple facing a deportation hearing on May 6 about the need for immigration equality legislation and a stop to these kinds of deportations."

"The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck"

Sorry for the huge quote but I was so struck by the truth and power of this piece. Long but worth the read.

"I don't hate men.

It would, however, be fair to say that I don't easily trust them.

My mistrust is not, as one might expect, primarily a result of the violent acts done on my body, nor the vicious humiliations done to my dignity. It is, instead, born of the multitude of mundane betrayals
that mark my every relationship with a man—the casual rape joke, the use of a female slur, the careless demonization of the feminine in everyday conversation, the accusations of overreaction, the eyerolling
and exasperated sighs in response to polite requests to please not use misogynist epithets in my presence or to please use non-gendered language ("humankind").

....This, then, is the terrible bargain we have regretfully struck: Men are allowed the easy comfort of their unexamined privilege, but my regard will always be shot through with a steely, anxious bolt of
caution.

A shitty bargain all around, really. But there it is.

There are men who will read this post and think, huffily, dismissively, that a person of color could write a post very much like this one about white people, about me. That's absolutely right. So could a lesbian, a gay man, a bisexual, an asexual. So could a trans or intersex person (which hardly makes a comprehensive list). I'm okay with that. I don't feel hated. I feel mistrusted—and I understand it; I respect it. It means, for me, I must be vigilant, must make myself trustworthy. Every day."
Listening to: Dawes, "My Way Back Home" Also, Daytrotters Best of 2010 (especially Caitlin Rose's "Own Side.")

Love it: a collection of essays that were rejected by Modern Love.

Image: source.

This Sunday the UCC national celebrates Immigrant Rights Sunday 2011, and provides some moving Liturgy and prayer materials.

Is depression actually good for you? Experts now believe that mild to moderate depression may be good for us – and even help us live longer. (thanks, PC)

Amy Poehler’s Awesome Time 100 Acceptance Speech: "When it was her turn to speak at the Time 100 Gala, she didn't pay homage in her speech to any of the usual suspects...Instead, she thanked the dedicated women who help take care of her children, allowing her to pursue the career she always wanted. She spoke for all working women 'that get to do what you get to do because there are wonderful people helping at home' saying, 'on behalf of every sister and mother and person who stands in your kitchen and helps you love your child, I say thank you — and I celebrate you tonight.'"

This totally got me teary. Youth taking charge! "Arizona's attempt to dismantle Tucson's ethnic studies program was dealt a blow Tuesday when students rose up and took over a school board meeting where a resolution to determine the fate of the program was up for discussion."

MA lawyers and law students, listen up: The Mass LGBTQ Bar is organizing lawyers and law students to sign a very simple petition in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill. The petition is online here. Please consider signing, and pass this along to other lawyers and law students in Massachusetts.

"This Moment" by Eavan Boland

A neighbourhood.
At dusk.

Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.

Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.

But not yet.

One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.

A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.

Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark.

4.27.2011

Love this song (Pete Yorn, "For Nancy (Cause It Already Is)"), it defintely made the marathon play list....


Image: source.

Training: Great bike commute yesterday. Didn't got to bootcamp today, but planning on doing an hour in the pool after work.

Eeee! So excited: Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon: What to expect on race day

From Shambala Sun: k.d. lang talks “inner conflict” on the subject of meat eating.

“Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral. … Every now and then I ask myself, ‘What is it that I want said?’ I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

4.26.2011

Yes, yes yes yes: I Don’t Need Kathryn Stockett’s "Help." This book made me so uncomfortable and I cannot, for the life of me, understand it's success (except I guess the author of this piece perfectly explains it's success: "It's pretty simple: because these narratives allow white folks to feel good and satiates their guilt, while failing to challenge their racialized worldview.")


Training: biked into work today, it was great, as always (and I've got it down to an hour even). Will bike home tonight (obviously) and either make it to Bikram (it might be too tight, time wise) or do Jillian Michaels in my living room. 5 days till Marathon Sunday!

"Activist, poet, mother, writer, Jewish woman, pacifist—it’s hard to pick what defined Grace Paley. Born in the Bronx in 1922, Paley went on to publish award winning works of poetry and fiction, to be an active member of both the anti-war and women’s movement, to teach writing at Sarah Lawrence, and used her poetry as a weapon well into her eighties."

4.25.2011

I've seen a few bloggers recently who have made lists of "Goals For The Summer," or some variation, and, well, I love a list! Here goes:

1. Try some raw food recipes (I've always been curious about raw food but just figured it was too weird and I was too picky to try it. Well, I've gotten a lot better at cooking and trying new foods this past year, and I know that the less processed the food is, the better I feel so....I want to give raw foods a try.)

2. Do my first Half Ironman Triathlon (This is already on the calendar, Lake Stevens, WA, August 14th! I'm super nervous, especially about the swimming portion, but that's sort of why I'm doing it.)

3. Stick with Bikram Yoga twice a week, even though (or, because!) it's so hard for me (so hard).

4. Incorporate more vegan meals into my rotation (maybe go for a a few weeks - or month - totally vegan?)

5. Plan and plant my garden for the fall (so excited by the progress my tiny chard and kale and carrots are making!)

Image: source.

6. Run my first 50K (I know I haven't even completed my first marathon yet but....I'm crazy. It's already on the calendar - Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run, July 9th)

7. Bike my first century (Also already on the calendar - CASA's Ride Through Paradise, July 23rd. And it's raising money for a great cause!)

8. Plan a Fall trip down to San Francisco and/or LA (I have no money. But I love SF and I have loved ones in both cities and I want to get down to at least one of those cities in the coming year).

9. Follow through with this plan I have for some community education/discussion around immigration issues (more to come....)

10. Top Secret Birthday Related Plan! (Can't tell you yet)
An interesting 2010 article from Philip Gourevitch in the New Yorker: Can you provide humanitarian aid without

Yes, my brain all day has been: marathon, marathon, marathon....I've listened to some of my current favorite running songs, and keep thinking, "I can't wait till I'm in that zone, I can't wait to just run for 5 hrs, to just be present in my body for 5 hours...." Guess I've got the running bug for sure...

Image: source.

Wow. Outrageous. F**k you, Texas: Texas May Ban Transgender Marriages: "Texas lawmakers are trying to repeal a state law that allows transgender people to legally marry spouses of the opposite sex. Not only would this prevent trans people from marrying their partners — some worry it might invalidate existing marriages."

"What the history of the word OK can tell us about American concision, psychology, and language."

I not only disagree with "Secure Communities," it also seems to be ineffective: Noncriminals swept up in federal deportation program: "Secure Communities, a federal program launched in 2008 with the stated goal of identifying and deporting more illegal immigrants 'convicted of serious crimes,' has netted many noncriminals or those who committed misdemeanors."

Hafiz, "The Gift"

We have not come here to take prisoners
But to surrender ever more deeply
to freedom and joy.

We have not come into this exquisite world
to hold ourselves hostage from love. Run, my dear,
from anything that may not strengthen
your precious budding wings,

Run like hell, my dear,
from anyone likely to put a sharp knife
into the sacred, tender vision
of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend
those aspects of obedience
that stand outside of our house
and shout to our reason
"oh please, oh please
come out and play."

For we have not come here to take prisoners,
or to confine our wondrous spirits,
But to experience ever and ever more deeply
our divine courage, freedom,
and Light!
The decision of Paul Clement to leave King & Spalding following the firms withdrawal from the DOMA case is a fascinating storm of questions about the ethics of representation. Although I'm obviously very much not in support of DOMA, I do think there are some potentially serious issues with K&S deciding to withdraw because of public pressure. First of all, they knew what they were signing on for, so what changed? Only public pressure, I assume. And is public pressure enough reason to sever representation of a client? I wouldn't think so....

Image: source.

Easter As a Story of Criminal Injustice

Training: this morning I took a fairly leisurely (although largely uphill) 5 mile walk up to and through the Park. A relaxing and (gently) invigorating start to the day. 6 days till the Marathon!

Today I finally withdrew from a volunteer obligation that had been stressing me out for months. While I enjoyed the experience itself, I found myself repeatedly stressed about missing the appointment, preparing for it, not having time for it, etc. Eventually I had to pull the plug. It's one part of an ongoing issue I have, which I like to call: "Overcommit, Underperform." I find that my enthusiasm makes me want to do Everything! But then I take on too much and end up not doing a great job at anything....and being stressed, and feeling guilty, letting people down, and generally not getting anything out of the experience. So, I'm trying to change that. Trying to be more careful with what I take on, and managing my own (and others') expectations. Not easy. Such is adulthood!

4.24.2011

From the WSJ: Can Needles Soothe Wounded Warriors? "Military doctors in Afghanistan are using acupuncture to treat brain injuries, with promising results"


I want a standing desk!

"From 344 pounds to a 4:08 marathon."

Image: source.

Training: I tried to go to the gym today but it was closed for Easter. Then, I got dressed for a hike, and it started pouring. Thwarted again! So I decided it was the perfect time to try out the Jillian Michaels DVDs I got recently. Somehow I figured out how to work the TV (seriously, I've never seen such a confusing set up as the one at my current house), and I did the Level 1 workout from 30 Day Shred - and it was great! It's only 20 min long and she alternates between a few minutes of cardio, a few of strength, and a few for abs. It moves quickly, she's motivational, and you can make it more or less challenging based on your fitness level. A good choice for when you just need to fit in a short workout. Tonight I'm heading to Bikram, which never ceases to be a daunting prospect...it's so challenging, physically and mentally.

“I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It is important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through the rain.” - Audre Lorde

"A hundred years ago, little boys wore pink and little girls wore blue—if their clothing was gendered at all. It wasn't always. In fact, a heavy emphasis on gendered clothing for children under the age of 6 is a relatively recent phenomenon."

Interesting discussion of "Morality, Happiness, and Self Esteem": "Is it healthy for modern parents to be focused on their children’s self-esteem? [A recent column] wonders whether our culture’s intoxication with self-esteem and being 'special' is eroding our ability to be good citizens."

Image: source.

I'd heard good things about Friday Night Lights for a while, and I don't know why I never watched it before. But one of my good friends has gotten hooked recently, so I decided to check it out. And, woah, I'm addicted! Sort of embarrassing to admit but....I'm on my 5th episode in a row, as I type.

Last night I cooked up a batch of Creamy Curried Veggies from How It All Vegan. Hoping it makes for good lunches this week.

Training: Friday was bootcamp and then an hour of zumba after work. Yesterday, I ran 10 miles this morning, my last long-ish run before the marathon next Sunday. I'm starting to get really nervous about it (still excited but....nervous).

"Logan Guzman likes to pretend he’s a superhero. One week he’s Spiderman. The next he’s Batman. Whichever hero he embodies, the 4-year-old’s goal is always the same: He wants to save his father. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Logan’s dad, Pedro Guzman, 30, in front of the family’s Durham, N.C., home on Sept. 28, 2009. Logan and his mother, Emily, could only look on. 'I was scared, but in the back of my mind I just felt like everything would eventually be OK because I was a citizen and he was married to me,' said Emily Guzman, 33, a mental health therapist who was born and raised in the U.S. Nearly 19 months later, Pedro Guzman is still in immigration custody."

4.23.2011

"For years, artist Sarah Hughes has been traveling around the world photographing women (and a few men) in the outfit in which they feel safest and the outfit in which they feel sexiest. Broadly speaking, she found that in places like Sweden, which ranked high for gender equality, the difference between the two outfits was small. The photographs and the interviews alongside them are a way to talk about how persona and sexuality get asserted in public space, and how external considerations like safety and judgment affect them."

Image: source.

Interesting review of Tina Fey's new book with some very good points. I'm definitely a Fey fan, but I appreciate this reviewers critiques and observations about the way Fey often uses self-deprecation to make herself less threatening: "In a culture where powerful women are often perceived as calculating harpies or shrews, Fey presents herself as an outlier. Yet somehow the message for girls looking to follow in her footsteps seems to be: if you are disheveled and anxious enough to appear totally unthreatening to the men who run the show, perhaps you’ll be allowed to join them. Fey is certainly eager to please, but bossy she is not."


Oversimplifying Sex Slavery: Demi, Ashton, and Badvocacy: "If you haven’t yet watched the 'Real Men Don’t Buy Girls' campaign from Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s DNA Foundation, do. And be prepared to scratch your head, or maybe weep a little bit. Others have already have already pointed out the confusing and offensive messages of the campaign, which feature hunky celebs delivering messages of what real men do (i.e. laundry, cook, iron, read directions, etc.) to suggest what they shouldn’t (i.e. buy girls). Sadly, what surely began with good intentions has become an even better example of what is wrong with celebrity aid today."

4.22.2011

Women and anxiety: "Women are twice as prone to anxiety as men...it’s not just that women are actually more anxious because of cultural factors; they’re also perceived as more anxious even when they display the same emotions as men."

Beautiful (and very informational) cooking blog I've been drooling over: My New Roots.

Totally a minefield we've all struggled to navigate, I think: How To Make A Friend Without Benefits.

Image: source.

Training: great bike rides to and from work yesterday, beautiful and full of nature and just wonderful bookends to the day. Today I went to bootcamp - I almost skipped and slept in, but I'm glad I didnt. 9 days till Marathon Sunday!

My local, beloved, co-op gets a shout out in Gadling!: "Ashland Food Co-op, Oregon: Located just over the California border in the Rogue River Valley, Ashland is famous for its Shakespeare Festival. It also deserves props for the co-op, with its selection of carefully curated local produce, deli, espresso bar, and delicious baked goods. Hippie haters may cringe at the earnestness of the patrons, but grab a seat on the patio, and enjoy the show. The Railroad District neighborhood boasts galleries, artist studios, shops, and restaurants."

4.21.2011

Beautiful! Fifty Nests and the Birds Who Built Them.

Wow, fascinating: high school student fakes pregnancy as social test about stereotypes, rumors

I'm about halfway through "Three Cups of Deceit," John Krakauer's detailed and brutal unmasking of "Teagate" - it's pretty enthralling stuff.

Image: source.

I biked into work today, for my second week of bike commuting (since it takes me about an hour each way, and for some other scheduling reasons, I can only do it every Thursday....but I'm trying to at least adhere to that!). The people who went with me last weekend couldn't go, so I was on my own. I was a little nervous that I would wimp out, but I hauled myself out of bed and onto the road (or, bike path, rather) and I'm glad I did - it was a great, quiet start to the day, an hour with nothing to do but watch the birds and listen to the rushing creek. I'm already looking forward to the ride home tonight (even though I'm sore as heck from bootcamp yesterday....)

My mom and I went to see the new Jane Eyre last night. It was good - beautifully filmed, and the lead actress was great (with an excellent smaller role by Judi Dench), but overall we both felt like something was missing. We were a little unconvinced by the actor who played Mr. Rochester and, overall, preferred (the very sexy) William Hurt and this version better (I also just love staring at Charlotte Gainsbourg's face). Still worth seeing if you're into that sort of thing (which I am).

4.20.2011

"April 20 (4/20) -- the date unofficially recognized nationwide as marijuana day -- is probably as good a time as any to explore how marijuana arrests in the Unites States exemplify racially skewed policing tactics."

Image: some of the beautiful artwork over at Story Of A Seed.

Amazing. Chrissie Wellington is widely acknowledged as one of the best triathletes ever, breaks records right and left, and still continues to be this positive, humble, and awesome: "As I have said before, my goal is for self-improvement, to do justice to my hard work (and the support of the amazing team of people who surround me) and to continue to challenge my own limits. I never expected to break the World Record at Ironman South Africa, and in doing so I have challenged my own preconceptions about what is possible. I don’t find it easy. I endure highs and lows just like any other athlete, there are times when my body is screaming, when I don’t know if I can finish, and when I question why on earth I am actually putting myself through this torture. But that’s where the mind takes over, and I draw strength and confidence from people who inspire me."

My last meeting today was with a wonderful 17 year-old girl who was brought to this country when she was only a few months old. She's hard-working, responsible, is starting college next year (the first in her family), has never lived anywhere else...and there is NO way for her to work legally, or to become a resident or citizen. She must continue to live in fear, with extremely limited options for her future. Yet another living, breathing example of why this country needs true and comprehensive immigration reform.

"Fill your bowl to the brim / and it will spill. / Keep sharpening your knife / and it will blunt. / Chase after money and security / and your heart will never unclench. / Care about people’s approval / and you will be their prisoner. / Do your work, then step back. / The only path to serenity." [Lao Tsu]
Basically my thought process these days is: "marathon, marathon, marathon, marathon...." I just want to do it! At first I wanted to do it because I was worried about something happening between now and then, or because of fear, but now I'm just excited - I love racing, I love being surrounded by people all working towards a goal, I love running (WHAT???), and I love the feeling of having achieved a really freakin' hard goal. 10 days to go till I achieve the goal of a lifetime!

Training: made it to Bikram last night - as always, it was a challenge to my body and brain, both. This morning: bootcamp.

Image: source.

Street Harassment: The Uncomfortable Walk Home: "This epidemic has serious consequences: University of Connecticut researchers found that “the experience of street harassment is directly related to greater preoccupation with physical appearance and body shame, and is indirectly related to heightened fears of rape.” In a country where one in three women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime, such fears are not unfounded. Unfortunately, the average street corner catcaller is oblivious to this reality. Recently, a young man on a bicycle followed me up my own street. When I asked him to leave me alone, he was surprised and seemed even embarrassed, as if it had never occurred to him that a woman wouldn’t enjoy being chased at night. Though many catcallers don’t have nefarious intentions, they don’t put themselves in our shoes. Too often, it’s a long, uncomfortable walk home."

The HIV ban, the lack of options for gay immigrants, the overwhelming bureaucracy...."Eighteen years. It took Andrew Sullivan [of the Daily Beast] eighteen years to legally immigrate to the United States . . . Sullivan explains living in the U.S. with such uncertainty: How do you live somewhere for a majority of your existence and still not know if you could remain for another year, another month, as each visa was sent for adjudication and each trip abroad became full of foreboding. And as the time went by, as the stakes grew, as I put down deeper and deeper roots of work, of friends and of family, the fear actually intensified. It isn’t a huge leap to imagine his plight without an immigration lawyer, without the means to pay the lawyer and the exorbitant fees. Just an average person, trying to make a living for themselves and their family in the most prosperous place in the world. The system is broken and Sullivan’s story is an understatement of that fact."

4.19.2011

From The American Prospect: Deporting the Lowest-Level Offenders: Newly released records show how often immigration officials deport people for minor offenses.

The complete list of 2011 Pulitzer Prize winners.


Image: source. So true.

The always entertaining and brilliant Geoff Dyer tells us what he's been reading.


Training: spin class this morning, Bikram tonight (and boy do I need it).


“In order to arrive at what you do not know / You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. / In order to possess what you do not possess / You must go by the way of dispossession. / In order to arrive at what you are not / You must go through the way in which you are not. / And what you do not know is the only thing you know / And what you own is what you do not own / And where you are is where you are not.” - T.S. Eliot, from his poem “East Coker”
Yes! Oh my god, yes. Men Explain Things to Me, Facts Didn't Get in Their Way By Rebecca Solnit. So much truth.

"Yes, guys like this pick on other men's books too, and people of both genders pop up at events to hold forth on irrelevant things and conspiracy theories, but the out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they're talking about. Some men. Every woman knows what I'm talking about. It's the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence."

"Being told that, categorically, he knows what he's talking about and she doesn't, however minor a part of any given conversation, perpetuates the ugliness of this world and holds back its light. . . On two occasions [...], I objected to the behavior of a man, only to be told that the incidents hadn't happened at all as I said, that I was subjective, delusional, overwrought, dishonest -- in a nutshell, female.

Most of my life, I would have doubted myself and backed down. Having public standing as a writer of history helped me stand my ground, but few women get that boost, and billions of women must be out there on this six-billion-person planet being told that they are not reliable witnesses to their own lives, that the truth is not their property, now or ever. This goes way beyond Men Explaining Things, but it's part of the same archipelago of arrogance.

Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don't. Not yet, but according to the actuarial tables, I may have another forty-something years to live, more or less, so it could happen. Though I'm not holding my breath
."
































Image: source.

4.18.2011

"I'm Not Tired Because I'm Still Mad"

From Smiley & West, "Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury makes the links between mass incarceration, ...the struggle for equality," and a "politics of vengeance."

The Whole Foods/HiLo debate in JP (Boston) makes the WSJ (albeit in a pretty one-sided, biased article): A Whole Foods Fight in Boston: "Grad students and hipsters protest the organic market, but many Latino residents are happy about the new shopping option and the jobs."

Image: source.

National Geographic on ultra running. So badass. Also, a little crazy. (Oh, and you can see she has a number from the Lithia Loop Marathon here in Ashland! I'm signed up for that this fall...)


I have upcoming trips for work conferences to Seattle (in May) and San Diego (in June) - suggestions of things to see and do welcome! (I won't have a ton of free time or money, but still, I'd love to hear tips).

"New figures show the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the developed world, while ranking ninth worst in social spending. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States imprisons 760 of every 100,000 citizens, more than five times the OECD average."
Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
A cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
This is the best season of your life.

[Wu-men]
A powerful short essay about the "anniversary" of being sexually assaulted, and moving on.

Happy Tax Day! Did you know that undocumented immigrants pay taxes too?

An article from the Boston Globe about the roots, and existence, of altruism.

Image: lovely banner from here.

Despite the piles of delicious ginger and garlic I added, my stirfry lunch for today ended up woefully lacking in the flavor department. I'll have to doctor the remaining batches up with some peanut sauce tonight...

Training: yesterday I walked/hiked for about an hour and half in the morning and took it easy the rest of the day. Today I did sprint intervals for about an hour at the gym (3.6 mph at 3.5 incline for 5 min, 5.6 at 1 incline for 4 min, 6.6 at 0.5 incline for a minute, and repeat), and then swam laps for 20 minutes.

‎"Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry." [Susan B. Anthony]

4.17.2011

Been listening to tons of Sharon Van Etten (who I'm clearly more than a little bit in love with). Her song "A Crime" is such a great breakup song, one for the ages.

Loved this essay about yoga (usually I'm not interested in reading about it but this one resonated with me): “The best part is: you brought yourself here. You did this.”

Horrible. And we wonder why so many Mexicans come here looking for a better life? Mexicans Look For Missing After Mass Graves Found: "At least 116 bodies have been discovered in mass graves over the last week in San Fernando, in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Hundreds of people have come to check if a missing relative or friend is among the dead. The local Catholic bishop says gangs are terrorizing the area."

Image: source.

Ugh, in so many ways, today was great - a long walk/hike in the morning, church, grocery shopping and cooking for the week, and my mom and stepdad helped me rearrange my office so it would be more comfortable. But then I had to deal with some tax stuff, and....bummer. I know I have it easier than a lot of people, but being almost 30 and working a legal aid job that barely pays the bills is...well, it's stressful. And, as with a lot of people, it's hard for me not to take it as a moral failing. Money is such a messy thing. Anyways...onward.

On the plus side (I'm trying!) my first garden is making progress. It's been rainy here, and I've just tried to ignore my seeds and let them do their thing. Well, today I went out and saw beautiful little chard and kale leafs, in tiny clumps, glistening with rain drops - pretty awesome. I can't believe I'm actually going to eat food I grew from seeds!

4.16.2011

Interesting discussion about finding queer communities in small towns v. big cities: Building Queer Community (or The Queer Migration Myth, Redux)

Hm: Are Organics A Healthier Option? Perceptions and Evidence

Image: source.

Training: I did my last long pre-marathon run today, 20 miles! It actually felt pretty good - usually I hate the first few miles but I took it slow and steady and felt ok. The last few miles though I felt a little sick to my stomach. Maybe I'm still getting used to eating while running (a Shot Block every 4 miles or so), something I'm trying to perfect before the big day...

Last night I had dinner (Mexican, yum) and a movie (Lincoln Lawyer) with my wonderful friend Jill. I thought the movie was pretty good, actually, and I'm not even a Matthew McConaughey fan.

On a somewhat related note, I notice that I'm finally getting comfortable with socializing sans alcohol - it's harder than you think (or maybe you would think it would be hard - many people seem horrified at the idea). Not because I'm necessarily reliant on alcohol to be social (although it helps), but because so many people in their 20s and 30s (and probably older), focus most of their hanging out around drinking. It's been a great excercize to really look at what sort of time I want to spend with people and what I want to be doing - I do a lot more activities with friends now (biking, movies, etc), instead of just sitting together and drinking, which I enjoy. It remains to be seen how this will work when I start dating again, however. (There was actually an article about dating sans alcohol in this months Marie Claire, which was cool to see.)

"Stand Still" by David Wagoner

Stand still.
The trees before you and the bushes beside you are not lost.
Wherever you are is a place called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

4.15.2011

Great column: A Gay Former N.B.A. Player Responds to Kobe Bryant: "I challenge you to freeze-frame Bryant’s face in that moment of conflict with the referee Bennie Adams. Really examine the loathing and utter contempt, and realize this is something with which almost every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person is familiar. That is the sentiment people face in middle and high schools, in places of worship, work and even in their own homes across the United States."

Image: source.

Blogs recently added to the ol' Google Reader: p.s. I Made This, and loving. living. small.

"On Thursday, New York City Rep. Jerrold Nadler and over a 100 cosponsors reintroduced the Uniting American Families Act, a bill which would allow same-sex couples to sponsor their partners for legal residency in the U.S. The U.S. only recognizes married hetero couples right now. Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced a Senate version as well."

Ugh! "DEA head: A thousand dead children means we're winning war on drugs; Michele Leonhart, our top drug cop, has a funny definition of victory"
I'm reading the second book of the Hunger Games series right now, and never cease to be amazed at how intense (but not graphic, really) some of the violence and overt political discussion is, for a YA book. Great stuff, I think. The NYTimes had an article on the series last weekend.

Interesting article: Is it Time to Take the Anonymous Out of A.A.? "Anonymity is a bedrock tradition that once protected alcoholics from stigma...Of course, any individual is entitled to maintain his or her anonymity. But as public perception of alcoholism and addiction begins to change, shouldn't A.A. change as well?"

More on the current state of immigration law for same sex couples. Also, "Camilo Godoy's photo series depicting an image of his boyfriend juxtaposed with an image taken in the same location after his boyfriend was deported."

Image: source.

Great week of training. Between spin class and commuting to and from work, I got in 3 hours of biking yesterday! I was sore as heck but felt wonderful. My co-bike commuter said he thought it would be a good mental break between work and home, the hour on the bike path, outdoors, and he was right. This morning I went to bootcamp (a great circuit training) and then did 30 min of laps in the pool afterwards. I have big plans for this weekend too....





Image: source.

4.14.2011

Listening to: Florence + the Machine, “You Got the Love (XX Remix).”

I don't remember how I found Lady Journos! but it has proven to be a great source of really diverse and quality articles.

This hubbub over a photo of a woman painting her son's toenails pink is beyond ridiculous.

Image: source.

Training: Did a brief 20 minutes of laps in the pool last night. This morning I did what I'm hoping is a new Thursday routine - 1 hr spin class, then biking into work (which takes another hour). It takes some coordinating to make it work, but it saves gas money, is good for the environment, gets my day off to an invigorating (if chilly) start, and is really the only way for me to get in three hours of biking on a week day. We will see how I feel about biking home at the end of a long day....

She is so badass: "Chrissie Wellington is such a record breaking accomplished Ironman athlete that sometimes important and crazy records go down without much of a fuss. That was certainly the case a few days ago in South Africa at the recent Ironman when Chrissie demolished the run course record to win the race...What is really noteworthy is that Chrissie ran the fastest marathon of the day. Period! Let's be clear...not the fastest woman's race marathon but the fastest marathon of the race in a time of 2:52:54." And she smiles while doing it!

4.13.2011

Listening to Sharron Van Etten's Tiny Desk Concert (at the recommendation of my bff, who just made me three of the best mixes ever).

From the NYTimes, Is Sugar Toxic?

Image: source.

Training: after taking a record two days off, I pushed myself out of bed today and got my butt to bootcamp this morning. Although I think I need those times where I just lay in bed and read and don't force myself to excercize, again and again I am reminded that even just an hour of physical activity helps me so much. I've felt very agitated these past few weeks, and had a lot of anxiety, so I guess now's not the time to scrimp on the physical activity. I'm planning to head to the Y after work to get in a swim.

Last night I finished reading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. It was sort of an odd reading experience, and I still don't know quite what make of this book. The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking "I've read this before" which I think I have, and yet the fact it remained so vague to me seems to say something. I feel like I should like this book more than I did. Maybe part of the reason I didn't is because people keep referring to it as a mystery. Are there some unsolved mysteries at the heart of the book? Yes. And yet something about approaching it as a mystery contributed to my feelings of disappointment, I think. I don't know. Everything is there for the book - good writing, mysteries I wanted solved, and yet I just didn't really enjoy it.

4.11.2011

Stop playing into their trap, stop mislabling things abortion: "Since the anti-choicers are getting so much leverage out of conflating STD testing and treatment, contraception, and cancer screening with abortion, we can expect that the pressure to use “abortion” when describing STD testing and treatment, contraception, and cancer screening will only intensify. This is no excuse to give in. We must, as journalists, use the proper words to identify things. If a medical service is not a pregnancy termination, it is simply wrong to label it “abortion.” No matter how much pressure we face to do otherwise from the right."

Image: source.

Training: 10 mi race on Saturday, 2 hr (road) bike ride yesterday, taking today as a rest day.

Yesterday I saw my last two AIFF films. It really has been an amazing experience to get to see all these films - thanks Mom and Rocky for getting me the tickets! Also, it's just been a great community - people chatting in line about favorite films, swapping tips, etc. I hope it brought in a lot of business to Ashland, and continues to grow in the coming years.

The two films I saw yesterday were both about activism and both absolutely wonderful. The first, Better This World, was about two young guys who got arrested during the Republican National Convention in 2008. But really its about much more - activism, government obsession with "terrorism," use of informants and plea bargains, etc. A heartbreaking but wonderful film. The second, If A Tree Falls, tells the story of one ELF (Earth Liberation Front) activist. Another great portrait of a young person struggling to figure out how to make this world a better place, and the sometimes heartbreaking consequences. I recommend both.
Loved this essay on the flaws and wonder and importance of Paul Simon's Graceland: "Details of its making and initial reception or controversy aside, today Graceland is the kind of album that, when a friend posts the question 'Don’t I know you from the cinematographer’s party?' as her facebook status, within an hour there’s a comment thread 20 lines long. 'There’s a girl in New York City who calls herself the human trampoline,' someone writes. 'And sometimes when I’m falling, flying and tumbling in turmoil I say, ‘Oh, so this is what she means,’' writes another. 'Aren’t you the woman who was recently given a Fulbright?'chimes in a third. The concluding comment hung for days in the virtual air of my facebook homepage: 'Losing love is like a window in your heart. Everybody sees you’re blown apart.'"

Image: source.

From the NYTimes, an article on an important issue, important case: A Lawsuit’s Unusual Question: Who Is a Man?: "What is a man? For El’Jai Devoureau, this is not a rhetorical question. Mr. Devoureau, who was born physically female, is a man at the Motor Vehicle Commission, at the Social Security office, at home, at job interviews. But what about at the urinal? In a case with a truly unusual set of factors, Mr. Devoureau filed a discrimination lawsuit on Friday that could break new ground in New Jersey and across the country, turning on the question of who is or is not a man. An employer fired Mr. Devoureau because it said only a man was allowed to do his job: watching men urinate into plastic cups at a drug treatment center."

Ridiculous and infuriating: people suggesting that Gov. Patrick nominated the very qualified Judge Lenk only because of her sexual orientation. "Fortunately, Patrick isn't giving in to this nonsense. Lenk is 'more than qualified, and I think the fact that she’s going to be the first openly gay member of the court is an add-on.'"

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone." [Thomas Merton]

4.10.2011

Ha! Hilarious and so true: 5 Artists You Should Never Listen to at Work.

Currently in the middle of watching The Art of the Steal at home, going to see a final two films at the AIFF this afternoon and evening (will report back, of course).

Image: source.

From Fresh Air, what it’s like to defend death row inmates. "Attorney David Dow explains why he’s made a career of defending prisoners sentenced to die: 'The person that we’re executing is simply not the same person who committed the crime that landed that person on death row in the first place.'"

Prison Sexual Assault Reforms Won't Cover Immigrant Detention Centers

Why Are We Denying Mothers on Welfare An Education? "As a new report from Legal Momentum makes clear, it remains extremely difficult for mothers on welfare to access the kind of education and training that lead to good jobs, the kind that pay a living wage and come with benefits such as paid sick leave and health insurance."

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” - Anne Sexton

"Sweet Darkness" by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

Image: by the awesome Erik Drooker
Whew, long but great day yesterday! First up was the Pear Blossom 10 mile run. It was crisp and cold out, which was actually perfect for running. I didn't keep track of my time or pace, but I was thrilled to check the results and see that my overall pace worked out to be 9:47. Generally I aim for about an 10:30 or 11 first mile, a 10 min mile the miles after that, and hopefully a push at the end. But, like I say, I don't monitor it (I still want to get that awesome watch/hr monitor I've had my eye on, but it's just not a priority money wise). I've gotten to the point where I can feel if my body is at the right pace, which is pretty awesome. Also awesome was running the race would about 10 of my amazing bootcamp ladies. One of them has overcome a lot o challenges in her life, and seeing her daughters hold signs that said "You're amazing mom" while she ran her first ever 10 miler was very emotional.

After the race I rushed over to the parade. It was sort of a shitshow. They put the pride group as the VERY LAST so we stood there waiting for almost 2 hours, and then people were already leaving. I couldn't stay for the whole parade but marched for about an hour. The response was mixed but not horrible. Some people said, "I hate gays!" or booed, but nothing extreme, and there were people who clapped and cheered as well, so....onward. The best part was just standing with other families and kids and people who were determined to show the Rogue Valley that being queer (or having queer family members) is nothing to be ashamed of. I don't usually post personal pics on here, but I thought y'all would get a kick out of seeing my sign (with some new friends I made).

After the parade, I raced back to Ashland to see Hood To Coast (below), an awesome movie about a super long relay across Oregon. I would love to do it someday! (You have to enter a lottery to try to get a spot, and they are very limited....and it would require considerable funds for logistics - you need two vans, etc)

All in all, an exhausting but ideal day - what better way to spend a Saturday than being active with people you care about, standing up proudly for what you believe in, and taking in some awesome art! Thanks for all the love and support from you folks out there.

4.09.2011

AIFF: Hood to Coast

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

Saw this today - so good! I laughed, I cried....The perfect afternoon activity after a 10 mile race (and an endless parade).

4.08.2011

No Right To Despair

Saw a few more docs today, some better than others. First up was Hot Coffee, a very well-made film about the civil law system in the US and "tort reform". . . but I promise you it's WAY more interesting than it sounds! If you have any interest in consumer rights (or journalism, or big business control of politics), you should see this film!

Then I saw Living For 32 about the killings at Virginia Tech. It follows one of the survivors of the shooting who, while an interesting young man, wasn't really compelling enough to drive an entire film. It was beautifully shot but sometimes it felt like it relied too much on how good looking the main character was, and the over-all aesthetic of the film, and didn't really dig deeply enough into either the shooting or the main issues. It was a great sort of intro into some of the problems with gun control in the US but just didn't impact me as much as some of the other films.

Next up was The Fence, about the border fence. I wasn't really a fan. I felt like the filmmaker was too focused on being sarcastic and witty and ironic and it just fell flat for me, and felt like it made light of the whole situation a bit too much.

Sin Pais, however, was wonderful. A fairly simple and short film, but it really shows the humanity of one family forcing deportation. I cried a number of times, probably because it reminded me so much of my clients. I accosted the filmmaker afterwards to tell him about some of the pending legislation here in Oregon, in the hopes he would spread the word in his upcoming post-screening Q&As when people ask, "What can we do?"

Finally, over dinner between films, I started reading Howard Zinn's autobiography, You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train (great title, also the title of the wonderful movie about him). Towards the end of the intro, he talks about being asked how he can possibly be hopeful when things seem so dark. He talks about what he has overcome in his life and the friends who have died and says, "And so I have no right to despair. I insist on hope."

So true. I have no right to despair. I was born into such privilege and luck and love. I have no right to despair, regardless of what I see. I insist on hope. Onward.

Image: source.

Small Town Life

I knew when I moved back to my small rural hometown, things would be different than the city I had been living in for 4 years (and the liberal upstate New York haven I had been in for 3 years before that...and the liberal arts campus for 4 years before that).

In the last year since I moved back, I've thought a lot about what it means to be a liberal person, a progressive activist, a queer feminist in a place where most people don't agree with my point of view. Growing up and attending a small Catholic school for middle and high school, I got used to being in the minority. We weren't allowed to talk about homosexuality or abortion, and we were taught that there were 3 lifestyles to choose from: single with no sex (but heterosexual urges), married with unprotected sex for the purposes of procreation, or a celibate life of the clergy. My best friend was threatened with eviction from the school when she started dating a female classmate. When I shaved my head at 16, someone threw a can at me from a passing car, yelling "fag" (fascinating, since I'm female and was wearing a dress, but whatever.)

But all in all, my life was easy - I lived in the more liberal town in the area (15 miles from my high school), my parents are awesome and supportive (my mom loved my shaved head), and I had the sort of best friend that anyone would be lucky to find once in a lifetime. Still, as soon as I could, I left for a crazy liberal college thousands of miles away, living in an anarchist vegetarian (or vegan or macro, depending on the week and someone's diet) co-op, and being a part of communities where I was considered mainstream (or even conservative!) for the next decade.

So why did I move back to a place where gay kids and other minorities still live in fear, where a Pride group is denied entry to a parade, where Craigslist posts about the float issue devolve into calls for violence against the marchers? Because I love this place. And because I believe in people.

I love the physical beauty here, I love the fresh air, I love the people working hard to create safe and creative and successful communities for their kids and friends and neighbors. I want to believe that you don't have to live in a big city to be progressive, to be sustainable, to be creative and relevant. When friends on the East Coast or in big cities rip on small towns and "middle America," I get pissed, and I get defensive - hey, dudes, f*ck you! It's easier to go to a co-op on your bike if there's one 2 blocks away and a good public transportation system. It's easier to be out and proud, and active and progressive, if all your friends feel the same way and your workplace doesn't threaten to fire you because of your views. Sometimes it's a privilege to be opinionated, to live your life in line with your values.

And yet there is a reality there, too, and I get the anger, and I feel the anger. Most of the people I interact with every day don't agree with me. I spend a lot of time helping people get citizenship and the right to vote, and the large large majority of them will register as Republican. Sometimes I look at my clients, at casual acquaintances, at the people sitting next to me and think, Do any of my clients give a shit that I couldn't marry a woman I loved? Would they step in if they saw me being the victim of a hate crime? Would they defend my right to an abortion? I don't know. I know that many of the people in my community wouldn't vote to protect these rights, or to fund programs I care about.

But I just can't base my work, or my life, on that. I guess I believe that what I choose to do, professionally or personally, cannot be because it benefits me - it has to be because I believe it is the right thing to do, because I believe that everyone has the right to access systems equally, even if they use those systems against me.

Sometimes I wonder how much longer I can believe that.

(Image: one of my all-time favorites, by Eric Drooker)
From the Poetry Foundation: "What I Wanted Was Your Love, Not Pity," a documentary on the life and work of June Jordan.

More of the amazing documentaries I saw last night at the AIff: The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back, and Killing In The Name.

I'll be honest with you, I'm nervous about marching in the parade tomorrow. I'm not a march person, really (despite all those protests in college...) and I'm not great with confrontation (remember that incident with the Planned Parenthood protestors? Yeah.) But I know I have to march, both for my own sense of pride, and for any kid out there, watching the parade, who feels like they will always be stuck in this town, surrounded by people who tell them to stay in the closet - I want to show that kid that it's possible to be out and healthy and happy. Wish me luck. (My best friend had a great idea for a sign I could carry: "Gun-toting, church-going lady-lover.")

Image: source.

"And who will join this standing up
and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing
back into the mountains and
if necessary
even under the sea:

we are the ones we have been waiting for."
- June Jordan

Ashland Independent Film Festival: Poster Girl





A very very powerful film. Not easy to watch, but, I think, necessary to see.

Ashland Independent Film Festival: Strangers No More

Strangers No More Movie Trailer - Bialik Rogozin School from Simon & Goodman Picture Co. on Vimeo.

Saw this last night and cried like a baby. Highly recommended.

4.07.2011

a selection from Poem about My Rights by June Jordan

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’t do what I want
to do with my own body because I am the wrong
sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
or far into the woods and I wanted to go
there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
about children or thinking about the world/all of it
disclosed by the stars and the silence:
I could not go and I could not think and I could not
stay there
alone
as I need to be
alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
body and
who in the hell set things up
like this

full text of the poem here
Cornel West, The Examined Life....

A friend just told me about this Warrior Dash and I think we're gonna do it! It's just over 3 miles but don't let that fool you - you have to contend with fire, rock, water, and all sorts of semi-secret obstacles! Luckily it's after my marathons and triathlon, so I won't have to worry as much about getting injured.

My semi-embarrassing country fixation continues, with this little ditty: Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, by Thompson Square. It's sort of the perfect summer romance song. Now, we just need summer (after being 70 here last week, it SNOWED today!)

Image: source.

I've added some sugar back into my diet recently, and I'm really happy to say that taking some time off from sugar entirely seems to have had a lasting impact - I'm able to eat a few cookies and stop there, I don't crave sugar after every meal, and I am able to notice the (not great) feelings I have after I eat sugar (I get almost immediate really hot, bloated, cranky, and sort of agitated). The goal of taking a break from sugar was exactly this - to add more variety to my diet, to become more aware of the effect that sugar has on me, and to break my feeling of addiction to sugar. Those goals seem to have been achieved and I think I will continue some mix of going for days/weeks at a time sugar free, and indulging occasionally otherwise.

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." [Attributed to St. Francis]
Update on SO Pride's entry into the Pear Blossom Parade. I'm not much of a parade person, but I plan on marching with them this Saturday, and showing I'm a proud part of the queer community in Southern Oregon.

From NPR: "The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) says for too long, states have focused on incarceration at the expense of education . . . Between 1987 and 2007, the report shows that higher education spending grew by 21%, compared with a 127% rise in funding for corrections."

Why you should Date A Girl Who Runs (pretty cheesy but whatever)

Training: last night after work I ran for an hour and then swam for 15 min. Today might be a day off - we're swamped at work and I'm seeing two films at the film festival tonight, so it's a good day to not try to wedge in a workout....

Image: source.

Sometimes little bits of Mary Oliver get stuck in my head...always a welcome thing, and always something I try to pay attention to (who knows what the recesses of my mind are trying to remind me of?). Today it was this:

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.

4.06.2011

So, the Pear Blossom Festival is a big deal here in Southern Oregon - it's the biggest local, annual parade, also a race (which I was supposed to do tomorrow), and a pageant (not my cup of tea, but whatever, it provides scholarships), etc. Apparently yesterday the Pear Blossom Festival Association denied the Southern Oregon Pride organization entry into this weekend’s parade.

Today, after bad publicity and, apparently, rumors of an investigation by the District Attorney, they changed their minds. But my anger and heartbreak at the initial decision, and comments made in connection with it, remain. Festival President Darcey Mann-Self was reported as saying, “[w]e want to try to get everybody in as possible, because it’s a community event . . . I don’t wanna talk about it on TV. I’m not going to go into any kind of a confrontational thing on TV, because the parade isn’t confrontational." Further, she "explained" that the board felt that Southern Oregon Pride’s entry “doesn’t quite fit” this Saturday’s family affair, and capped it all off by adding, "There’s a parade for them in Ashland." [She is referring to the annual pride parade in Ashland (where I live, known as the liberal town in the area).]

Wow, where to start? Great, they changed their minds, but only because of pressure. It doesn't change the fact that their initial response was (a) that "family-oriented" means no queer presence (right, 'cause gay families aren't families? Gay kids aren't kids? Gay parents aren't parents? Gay grandparents aren't grandparents?), and (b) the comment about the parade in Ashland, a parade for "them." That killed me. Oh, "them." Us. The queer members of your community. Or aren't we? It's a community event, but not for us, not for that part of your community? Not for the gay people who sit next to you at church, teach your kids, drive your buses, make your food, work to make your town a wonderful place to live?

I just feel so ill over this. So sad and heartbroken and angry. You would think that homophobia and bigotry wouldn't even surprise me anymore, and yet somehow it does.
How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs: "As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system."

Image: source.

Training: I made it to Bikram last night - it was really challenging (physically, but especially mentally - 90 minutes of struggling to stay present) but, as always, I was glad I went. This morning was bootcamp with the ladies. I'm sort of bummed - we all signed up to run the 10 mi Pear Blossom race this weekend but for some reason they aren't showing me as registered. Maybe I forgot? I've signed up for so many races recently, it might've slipped my mind. Oh well, I will show up and support the ladies anyways, and get in a run on my own. I'm just SO ready for the marathon! I just want it to be here already, so I can stop worrying and start running....

I've been listening to some country music recently, which is unusual for me. My current rotation includes Miranda Lambert's Heart Like Mine (love it) and L0ve Is Looking For You, Blake Sheldon's Honey Bee (so cheesy), and Sara Evan's A Little Bit Stronger.

2011 National Magazine Awards Finalists announced - my "to read" list continues to grow....

4.05.2011

Best Coast present their garagey cover of The Beach Boys' "In My Room"

Training: took yesterday off, after a pretty active weekend. Today I went to spin class in the morning (using my clipless shoes - sweet action!), and then jumped in the pool for about 15 min of laps. Hoping to make it Bikram tonight, I know my tight little muscles need it (as does my overactive brain). Things have just been crazy at work, and I know I need as many breaks from thinking as possible...

Image: source.

Juliana Swaney, especially the birds (of course).

The always awesome Southern Poverty Law Center takes on farmworkers and sexual harassment.

Recipes I want to try: this "Energizing Protein Power Salad," and these "Leek, Potato, Zucchini Pancakes."

"[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy." - Vandana Shiva [such an inspiring woman]


Always, always, always
Awesome: Gov. Patrick to nominate first openly gay justice to Mass. high court

"On April 1st, [street artist] Ron English hit up the concrete portion of the Texas-Mexico separation wall. He says he’s the first street artist to do so and there were two border patrol vehicles within 60 feet."

Image: source.

Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power: "Many believe that learning more than one language from birth confuses children. But researchers say the evidence to the contrary is quite strong: Being bilingual is a form of mental exercise that is beneficial for the brain."

An article from Hampton Sides (the author of the wonderful Hellhound On His Trail, which I'm still reading), on remembering Dr. King with all his (numerous) imperfections.

Science? Geology? The age of the universe? Sounds confusing! Have no fear, the adorable, brilliant, and charismatic Dr. Phoebe Cohen is here to break it down for you! Video: Geologic Time: The Ticking of Our Planet’s 4.6 Billion Year Clock

"And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" - Kurt Vonnegut