Honduras: Human Rights Situation Deteriorates under U.S. Militarization, written by two wonderful friends with decades of involvement with and connection to Central America.

Awesome! Support cultural exchange, bring Shakespeare Iraq to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (in my hometown of Ashland, OR)! Kickstarter: Shakespeare Iraq by Peter Friedrich

Will Self on why walking is political: "Year on year, the number of journeys taken on foot declines...The contemporary flâneur is by nature and inclination a democratising force who seeks equality of access, freedom of movement and the dissolution of corporate and state control."

Horrifying. House GOP: Rape Prevention Measures an Unreasonable Luxury (Also: really frustrating that a lot of this language and discussion imply that women are the only victims of rape).

"Worst case scenario, and also a very likely one: the universe decides you don’t find a forever partner. You date around. You focus on your career. You have a child on your own. You adopt one. You do shit you want to do, for yourself, and you don’t spend time forcing things, forcing people, forcing issues. Maybe for some people having a bad or mediocre relationship is more important than being alone. And that’s fine. But if that’s not your first priority, I think quitting dicking around with bullshit sounds like the best option." source.

Educate yourself: 9 Facts about the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Transgender Individuals

“We [poets] may feel bitterly how little our poems can do in the face of seemingly out-of-control technological power and seemingly limitless corporate greed, yet it has always been true that poetry can break isolation, show us to ourselves when we are outlawed or made invisible, remind us of beauty where no beauty seems possible, remind us of kinship where all is represented as separation.” - Adrienne Rich


YES. Tiger Beatdown: When anger is all I have and why anger is my feminist stand.

RIP Adrienne Rich. "I came to explore the wreck. / The words are purposes. / The words are maps." Her obituary in the L.A. Times.

From New America Media: Transgender Immigrant Detainees Cut Off From Legal Help

Portland couple blogs quest to pay down more than $69,000 in student debt.

Interesting and well-said: Barefaced and Beside the Point: Appearance Anxiety in Eating Disorders

I Will Always Love You” (Live) – Chris Cornell

Image: source.

"Denying grief its power squelches your vitality. You can dream and laugh and march on, but until you swallow the bitter tea that Grief has brewed, things won’t be as vibrant or grounded as they could be. And that’s half dead. Recognize where you are numb. Notice the memories that ouch the most. This is the beginning of response-ability." source.
Final Notions
by Adrienne Rich

It will not be simple, it will not take long
It will take little time, it will take all your thought
It will take all your heart, it will take all your breath
It will be short, it will not be simple

It will touch through your ribs, it will take all your heart
It will not take long, it will occupy all your thought
As a city is occupied, as a bed is occupied
It will take your flesh, it will not be simple

You are coming into us who cannot withstand you
You are coming into us who never wanted to withstand you
You are taking parts of us into places never planned
You are going far away with pieces of our lives

It will be short, it will take all your breath
It will not be simple, it will become your will
Amy Ray stopped by my local public radio station! Love love love "I Didn't."

What Everyone Needs To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)

Image: Happy Birthday week to Cesar Chavez!

Wow. Anti-Gay Marriage Group Recommends Creating Tension Between Gays and Blacks: "An internal memo from one of the country’s leading anti-gay marriage organizations [Nat'l Organization for Marriage] outlines a plan to defeat same-sex marriage and create division among Democrats by creating tension between gays and blacks over the issue....'The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,' reads a portion of the memo, describing an initiative called the 'Not a Civil Right Project.'"

"It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity." - Cesar Chavez


New addition to the podcast rotation: Extra Hot Great. It's like Pop Culture Happy Hour, but maybe slightly less NPR-y and more Canadian? Can't wait till bike commuting starts up again (possibly as soon as next week!) and I get a solid 2 hours a day to listen to all these great shows.

An awesome line up of "small cool" spaces.

Loved this list of gender bending cover songs.
An out, queer CrossFitter made it to the Regionals - I'm loving this! Get it, girl! I'm proud of you already.

Listening to: Eddie Vedder's "Ukulele Songs." I admit that I was hesitant because ukulele makes me think twee annoyingness, but it's a great album (and a good at work listen, not always easy to find).

Feeling pretty discouraged and angry about the world (I guess it goes in phases/waves, because who can stand to be horrified and saddened every day?) Anyways, I was a HUGE Ani fan in my teenaged years, but don't listen to her much anymore. However, these three songs have felt really powerful and necessary recently. If anyone has suggestions for songs they listen to when they need help continuing to fight the good fight, or when they need to hear someone eloquently say what they are feeling about how f-ed this world seems, I'd love suggestions...


A powerful first person account: 'We Have No Choice': One Woman's Ordeal with Texas' New Sonogram Law: "The painful decision to terminate a pregnancy is now—thanks to Texas' harsh new law—just the beginning of the torment."

More on the absoluately devastating murder of Trayvon Martin. White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin and from Mother Jones, The Trayvon Martin Killing, Explained: "How did a kid armed with Skittles and an iced tea get gunned down by an overeager neighborhood watch captain? And why didn't police detain shooter George Zimmerman?" and What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012).

Image: source.

It's been hard to think about other things, less depressing things. But here are a few from the vaults, in case you need a breather: (1) Tiny Watercolor Paintings of Nostalgic Clothing; (2) StoryCorps 240: Women of a Certain Age; (3) beautiful: Bicycle Portraits: "Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler are publishing the best 162 portraits and stories of the over 500 portraits of cyclists they’ve photographed during their 2 year journey around South Africa"; and, (4) adorable: Mini Piñatas DIY.


The Whole30

Today marks the 30th day of my Whole30!

What is Whole30 (and the Whole9)? The program's creators describe it this way: "Whole9’s original program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food." It's a free program (although there is a good "Success Guide") you can purchase on their site, which has a lot of helpful info.

Why I Did It

I chose to do it for a few reasons. One, while I was in Nicaragua a lot of my eating habits were disrupted - and that was a good thing! I may not have eaten super well there, but it at least broke my habits. However, when I returned I started to fall right back into them - lots of sugar, no cooking for myself, calorie counting, etc, and I didn't feel good about that. Also, a number of people at CrossFit have done the Whole30 (many of them more than once), and had positive experiences. Finally, ever since attending my first CrossFit class in November, I've totally fallen in love with the sport. I have so many goals I want to reach - consecutive toe to bars, one unassisted pull up, dead-lifting over 200#, getting my double unders down, and much more! - and I hoped that Whole30 might help me become more of the lean, mean, CrossFit machine I dream of becoming.

Some Thoughts On My Experience With Whole30:

* For me, I think the best part about Whole30 has been the change in my morning routine. I've always loved breakfast foods (in college I used to eat 6-9 donuts a day - true story), and I've always had carb-y sweet things in the morning. In fact, on day 3 or 4 of Whole30 I actually had a moment where I woke up and thought, "Why bother getting out of bed, I don't get to have donuts/scones etc" - yikes, hello sugar addiction! While on Whole30 I made eggs every morning for breakfast, usually scrambled with spinach and chorizo. On the few days I haven't been able to do this, I really miss the protein. So this is something I know I will keep doing, saying to myself, maybe you'll have a scone later, but you cannot start the day with inadequate protein and a sugar rush.

* For someone like me (like a lot of us) who will always be in recovery from a life time of disordered eating, Whole30 was a great way to help me break my addiction to counting calories, and the fear a lot of us have of eating fat.

* It wasn't as brutal as it seems. I had to cook and plan a little more, and it can definitely make socializing tough, but for the most part it wasn't as hard as I worried it would be. Well, until......

* One thing I didn't see mentioned but would tell any woman thinking of doing it, is be aware of where you are in your cycle. You do not want to try to battle with PMS cravings and emotions at the same time as you start the Whole30. I didn't have as many sweet cravings as I thought I would, but when PMS arrived in Week 3 I was a real brat. I got cranky and wanted to just roll around in a vat of donuts and eat them all until I died a sweet sweet maple frosted death. So, you know, maybe start the Whole30 right after your period or something.

* Other physical benefits. I was really "regular" if you know what I mean. Also, my skin got better, and zits cleared up.

* Not riding that damn sugar roller coaster was great - I realized that when I eat sugar I get hot all over and flush, how quickly I would crave more, etc. And, of course, realized that most of the time I craved sugar it was because I was bored, sad, stressed, or something else unrelated to actually enjoying the food I was eating.

* One hard part: as an ex-vegetarian (and ex-vegan) who still struggles with my love of meat, sometimes it was hard to eat so much meat. The Whole30 people really stress eating hormone free, grass fed meat, which is awesome, and I tried to buy mine local as well. But having meat twice a day every day (at minimum) was sometimes hard for me to get used to, and I think it will continue to feel that way. (They've recently come out with more resources for vegetarians who want to try Whole30, but I think that would be very very difficult.)

* I like that I became much more aware of food labels. Previously, I had just looked at them to check out calories (truth), but when I started looking to see if they included any of the dozens of forms of sugar, I started to quickly put anything down with more than a half dozen ingredients. This was cool. I would pick something up and think, I don't even know what half of this stuff is - I'm not putting this in my body! I liked that.

* Finally, although the Whole30 crew instructs you not to weigh yourself during Whole30 and warns against our dependence on the scale generally, for many people weight loss is a motivating factor. I won't lie - it was attractive to me as well. Some people have incredible weight loss, like 20 pounds or more in a month, and people have such incredible testimonies (the weight fell off, everything in my life improved!) that it's easy to get your hopes up that the Whole30 will basically fix everything in your life. Unsurprisingly, that wasn't my experience. Weight loss wise, I lost a few pounds in the first week and then just maintained there. I definitely felt less bloated and more firm within the first week, which was great, but I didn't have huge weight loss and I think that's for a few reasons:

(1) I did as they say, and didn't monitor calories at ALL, which I think is good, and the ONLY way to really break your sugar addiction (which I did - yay!), but I think that some people who lose a lot of weight "break the rules" and limit their food intake/calorie count.

(2) I ate a ton of nuts and dried fruit (they recommend limiting your fruit intake, which I finally did the last week, but otherwise I was like, forget it, it's fruit and I'm already monitoring so much.

(3) I was working on building back all the muscle I lost in Nicaragua, so in reality I probably lost more than a few pounds of fat, but I added muscle (which is what I wanted, but it doesn't translate to scale #s).

They recommend doing body measurements before you start and I really wish I had done that, because I think that progress would be more noteworthy than the scale. Also, lifting weights and changing my mindset via CrossFit has definitely given me a more "f the scale" attitude - I've been thinner in the past, but fatter, if that makes sense, and now I'm relatively heavier but leaner, etc.


Of course, the Whole30 site has a TON of good info (although it took me a while to find my way around, and, to be honest, I get sort of bored reading all the science stuff, or hearing people talk about how cave men ate, etc).

These aren't Whole30 specific sites, but a lot of them have done the Whole30 or are paleo (which is close to Whole30 but less strict. And people get really into "paleo treats" (like paleo "donuts" etc) that you are supposed to avoid during Whole30): The Clothes Make The Girl, TGIPaleo, A Girl Walks Into A Bar(Bell), Civilized Caveman Cooking.

Day 31:

Now what? This post does an excellent job outlining some of the challenges of finishing the Whole30. I have definitely had a lot of these thoughts; while I don't want to be Whole30 or Paleo forever, I will admit that I'm a little nervous about reintroducing stuff into my diet and losing all the (mainly mental) progress I have made. I love what they write about the tendency people have to get attached to a strict diet, and the importance of dealing with making your own choices, and living a healthy life. I think it's really important to trust yourself to make decisions, to not feel totally "all or nothing," or live in fear of "slipping." I also thought this post was great - if you find yourself having a nightmare about eating something "bad," it's time to reassess. I really appreciate that they address the fact that Whole30, as with any eating plan, can become unhealthy if taken to an extreme.

I will definitely continue eating protein packed breakfasts. I will continue to read labels, and throw back things that have lots of ingredients, and things I don't recognize. I will be mindful about seeing how my body responds to dairy, grains, and sugar. But, to be honest, I'm still not sure how Whole30 will change my eating habits in the long run - I'm certainly planning on eating donuts again at some point in my life! The creators of Whole30 suggest doing it a few times a year to "reset" and I really like that idea (OK, I'll admit it, I'm a crazy planner and already have a second round of Whole30 scheduled for July).

Anyways, I hope all this is helpful. If anyone has more questions, or comments about their experience with Whole30 I'd love to hear them!


Listening to: Sharon Van Etten, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012

A great article about ending your Whole30 (and generally about avoiding over dependence on a strict diet, and learning to listen to your body).

Image: Manny Quiles is a “former pro boxer from Connecticut, now an addict living in a homeless shelter. Manny’s career ended after several injuries left him with a right eye that is unable to focus. Unable to fight, with little other skills, he found himself homeless and turned to heroin.” from Portraits of Addiction in the Bronx.

Not a big fan of Amazon (support local bookstores!), but this is fascinating: Amazon's new HQ in Seattle.

This American Life tweeted today: "We are retracting the episode "Mr. Daisey & the Apple Factory." We devote this week's show to the retraction." Huh. That was a very powerful episode, I'm definitely interested to hear about the retraction.

Our local film festival is in it's 11th year - and I'm volunteering for the first time! So excited for the ashland independent film festival, it really is an incredible feat and just a wonderful week of films and community.

My CrossFit family, Rogue Valley CrossFit, was featured in the local news!


By Laura A. Hughes, Executive Director of the Ruth Ellis Center: "Homeless LGBT Youth: Living on the Streets at the Dangerous Intersection of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, and Class"

From the NYRB, Why Finish Books?

Image: source.

Love this, CrossFit has definitely helped me change my ideas about health and heal some of my body image issues: Embrace Them Thighs: "But seriously, being a woman is pretty cool in itself, but being a strong CrossFit woman is wicked cool. We get to prove to ourselves daily that nothing scares us. We walk into our CrossFit gym with a glowing confidence, all because we know that when we hear “3..2…1…GO” WE are the ones in control of that moment. WE are the only thing standing between us and that barbell. And WE have the capability of changing our own lives, right then and there. And that’s some pretty powerful sh*t."

Latinos make up potentially powerful, if dissatisfied, voting block in west: "Many Latinos who are eligible to become citizens, aren't taking the time to go through the process. And many who are citizens aren't bothering to vote. That dilutes what should be a powerful voting block, but activists are trying to get them to become more politically engaged."

A great article about "January mode" v. "February mode": "Geneen Roth would say that no food should be forbidden and I know what she means but I have not yet figured out how to sledgehammer my own nature into a more spiritually enlightened shape when it comes to moderation...Most of all, I’d like to be my best January self . . . without that ever-present nagging feeling that the REAL me, the February one, is barely being held at bay." (h/t to Amy at Just A Titch!)

The New Song, by W.S. Merwin

For some time I thought there was time
and that there would always be time
for what I had a mind to do
and what I could imagine
going back to and finding it
as I had found it the first time
but by this time I do not know
what I thought when I thought back then


there is no time yet it grows less
there is the sound of rain at night
arriving unknown in the leaves
once without before or after
then I hear the thrush waking
at daybreak singing the new song


Happy (day after) International Women's Day! 20 Photos of Female Activists Throughout History

Resistencia, the film: "The film follows 3,000 landless farming families as they occupy the palm oil plantations of Miguel Facussé, the richest man in Honduras. Over their two-year-long occupation, they've been threatened, jailed, beaten, had their homes burnt down, and more than forty farmers have been killed by Facussé's guards, the police, and the military, all of which work together to try and push them off the land. Despite this constant violence, the families are still there and they're not going anywhere."

Image: source.

Although comparisons to Nickled & Dimed make me worry it has the same problems (for instance, instead of an upper middle class white person pretending to be poor for a year, maybe we could actually talk to the people who are...) (although Ms. McMillan goes out of her way to present argue against the assumption that she comes from the middle class), I'm still adding this book to my "to read" list: "Planting, harvesting, processing, displaying, and cooking that vast hoard of grub, of course, requires veritable armies of workers. Keeping it cheap and plentiful for consumers, while also profitable for the food industry, means those workers generally get paid very little. The 11 million people who staff the nation's restaurants earn average wages of just over $10 an hour. The 230,000 people who plant and harvest our crops would consider that an improvement; their average pay is just $9.64 an hour. Meatpacking workers are, relatively speaking, the aristocrats of the system: the 83,000 men and women who slog through the blood and guts of our meat supply get $11.60 an hour for their trouble. In all of these occupations, workers bring home average annualized wages that land them below or just above the poverty line for a family of four....In her important new book, The American Way of Eating, Tracie McMillan illuminates this murky yet vital sector of our economy. In her year of research, she embedded herself in the Big Food trenches and (to paraphrase Kafka) scribbled down what she saw among the ruins. She worked undercover stints in California farm fields, at two Walmart stores in Michigan, and at an Applebee's in Brooklyn, living on the wages she eked out, often alongside the people with whom she toiled." source

Another great one from StoryCorps: A Mom Becomes A Man, And A Family Sticks Together.

"Here’s what Dr. King got out of the Sermon on the Mount. On Nov. 17, 1957, in Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the “loving your enemies” sermon this way: “So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you: ‘I love you. I would rather die than hate you.’ ” Go ahead and re-read that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say." from Radical Love Gets a Holiday by Sarah Vowell

"Knowing how to be alone is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape." - bell hooks


You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

by William Stafford

image: source.


Listening to: Bryan Stevenson (founder and ED of EJI): "We need to talk about an injustice": "In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness."

In church this past week, Rev. Pam spoke about the incredible rate of environmental destruction we are wreking on the planet, and the need for immediate and serious changes in the way we live (driving and flying less, being aware of how far away the things we eat and wear and buy are being shipped from, etc). She said, "We fear that what is needed will make our lives diminished. But what if we can save the world by living even better lives than the lives we’ve got? What if the changes we make, make us happier? What if they build richer lives and healthier communities?" I loved that, and have been thinking about it ever since....

Image: Mary Daly

Recently read & enjoyed this article. The title is a it misleading - it's less about parenting then about ideas of "happiness" generally. I liked this quote:"Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing. But happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.” How to Land Your Kid in Therapy: "Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports."

“Loneliness is not lack of company, loneliness is lack of purpose.” - Guillermo Maldonado


From Dissent: Growing Up Slowly: Ladyblogs, Womanhood, and Extended Adolescence in the Internet Age

Image: source.

Particularly interesting to me because of the Whole30 - I've definitely noticed the effects of sugar on my mental and emotional health for a long time: Do Carbs Make You Crazy?: Evidence that blood glucose and dietary carbohydrate affect mood.

Oddly taken with this poem: Lift Your Right Arm by Peter Cherches

The Vanishing Mind: Dealing With Dementia Among Aging Criminals: "At a California prison, prisoners doing time for murder are caring for inmates with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia."

From Flavorwire: Tiny Libraries, DIY Reading Rooms, and Other Micro Book Depots

Recently read and enjoyed in the NY Review of Books: Willard Mitt Romney, and The New World of William Carlos Williams.

Last night a friend and I watched "Beginners," and I cannot reccomend it highly enough. My big warning would be that it is somewhat challenging to face life once realizing that I'll never be Melanie Laurent, that Christopher Plummer isnt my dad/bff/roommate, and that I don't own that dog....Seriously, though, great movie.

Edible rooftop school garden! So many things to love.

Love these self irrigating planters, might have to give them a try (potentially perfect if you don't have a great space for a garden.)

“People sometimes ask me, ‘If things are so bad, why don’t you just kill yourself?’ The answer is that life is really, really good. I am a complex enough being that I can hold in my heart the understanding that we are really, really fucked, and at the same time that life is really, really good. I am full of rage, sorrow, joy, love, hate, despair, happiness, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and a thousand other feelings. We are really fucked. Life is still really good.” - Derrick Jensen