Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Photo Challenge: MEDITATE

It feels like so long since the Pope was here that I'd forgotten the reason for the prompt. Had to meditate on it for a minute. Heh.

Our Cindy makes kayaking look perfectly meditative. I think one person kayaking would be. My limited experience with canoeing tells me that steering with more than one person is less relaxing.

I love Our Janet's deep collection of poppets and tiny personalities and the way she records their lives. Jack Sparrow surely benefits from some dedicated mindfulness time.

What I love about New England girls like Our Alisun is that they have a grasp of the classic. This chills me out to no end!

I don't know. This guy seemed meditative to me.

I'm having a hard time with the seasonal change. Seasons aren't going to change the way they change just because I'm having a hard time, though. I'm going to use this prompt to help me deal. To help me ACCEPT. OK?

Please enter by 9am Tuesday October 20th for posting on October 21st. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and ACCEPT. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

This Day All Over Again

Yesterday Alison and I went to Sean Casey to walk Bear (pictured, left). Viv had generously given us a harness to use with him and the results were marvelous. We saw a lot more of his personality since he wasn't choking himself to get to the next smell.

While we waited for someone to be able to take him back downstairs we saw Sean in the store holding a German Shepherd on a leash and talking to a man.

I thought, "Oh. Oh yeah."

I moved Bear down the way because he isn't a big animal lover so Alison is the one who overheard the conversation. We aren't sure but it seems like the shepherd was being surrendered right then and there. He (or she) was beautiful.

I said "Oh" because today, you see, is the sixth anniversary of my deciding it was time to help Emily die. Turns out this day still sucks.

It helps some to have other dogs around. My dog, Bear, that German Shepherd...

I was supposed to volunteer at a big dog-friendly event all day today. It was a coincidence that it fell on October 3rd but it seemed like a nice way to honor her memory. Unfortunately the weather was crappy so, for our safety, it was canceled.

Instead I spent the day hanging with Ed. We went on a long walk, he got a huge pig ear, we napped hard, we went to the pet food store, we took another walk, and now we're torturing the cats. Well, one of us is.

When I sit on the couch Ed sits in the middle, right up near my feet. It's been cold so he's really been snuggly, even begging several times to sit on my lap. Emily had her spot at the very far end of the couch. She only slept in the middle when two humans were here. There was plenty of room here on the couch for her today but she wasn't here to fill it.

She will never again be here to fill it.

So, as we do every year, please have a treats for everyone day in her honor. Not, sadly, solely in her honor.

Please read this wonderful tribute Nancy Davis Kho wrote to her late co-worker. Also, please send your love to Our Audra who said goodbye to one of her beloved shelties, Wylie Coyote, pictured below.

Love them as fast and deep as you can. It'll be over before you know it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Updating Here or, actually, There

I updated my Performances and Appearances Page. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Photo Challenge: STEP

A lot of funny choices here. I can never predict what will show up for a prompt. That's the very best part.

Our Bethany offered several options and I chose this for the humor and the history.

Our Lisa has been hiking her butt off for a couple of months. So many steps!

You should see Our Janet's other entry because it's really gorgeous. I'm a sucker for Dave's goofiness, though!

I am powerless against the cute of tiny feet. Did Our Cindy know this?

I went super symbolic on this one. The step was doing this photo shoot and working to build my business.

The Pope is coming to my town tomorrow. I will not use pray as a prompt. I will use MEDITATE, though. That's a compromise I can live with.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday October 6th for posting on October 7th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and MEDITATE. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Saving It All For You

I've been saving articles all over the show but never sharing them with you. Let's get on that!

It's nice to lead off with something light. Tom Hardy is a big dog lover. This basset hound confirms.

Some misguided (and ridiculously repressive) parent in TN is called to have The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks banned in her kid's school. Our Cindy, an actual scientist in the relevant area, took that on gloriously.

I learned something about Madeline Kahn and Clue I never knew before.

A brave and courageous abortion providing doctor has added some information to his patients' paperwork. Added information. Surely that's against the law in TX.

The short version of John Oliver's review of a particular sex education curriculum is "Learning nothing would have been better than learning that."

Fellow LTYM team member, Deborah Goldstein, lays out some critical information about interacting with lesbians if you're not one. There are too many great lines for me to give you a quote to start. Just go read.

I have been bitching and moaning about cyclists in NYC more and more lately. Even though some of a native New Yorker backing me up in my slightly conflicted but genuinely angry view.
my best friends are cyclists (yes, I know what I did there). I'm glad to have

I never really framed my difficulty in living with other people like this but it's so true. I understand why it was not enraging but exhausting for me to live somewhere that leftovers never survived.

"I'm so tired but I can just go home and eat that last serving of beans and go to bed."
"I ate those."

So a woman ran a marathon while menstruating and without wearing feminine hygiene products. I have run into some widely differing views on this one. I don't think it'd be for me but running a marathon isn't for me so that's not surprising. Also, I thought there'd be more blood.

I have been listening to the Nerdist podcast a lot and so hearing some stories about terrible fan interaction. Some of them have made me feel bad about my, mostly very normal, interactions with people I admire. Neil Gaiman, as usual, makes me feel better.

Maggie Mason's short recollection is delightful in so many ways.

In news time this happened ages ago but let's bring it back to the front. Hillary Clinton met with some Black Lives Matter members after the excitement where a Bernie Sanders rally was shut down and not handled very well. There are videos of the H Clinton meetings.

A Tumblr highlighting everyday activists. Very cool.

By the way, if you really wanted to see the Stonewall movie please know how the story has been altered.

Brett Easton Ellis gets properly taken to school in 140 characters or less.

I'm still thinking about Sandra Bland. I hope that you are, too.

At BlogHer in July one of the keynotes included a pitch session for women starting charities and businesses. A woman named Majora Carter stole the show! She valued her passion, her intelligence, and her vulnerability and it paid off. It was amazing to watch.

Let's end on that  up note, too. Well bracketed. Whew!

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11 Straight From The Camera....Phone

Now a tradition.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Photo Challenge: SAVOR

You should really hit the Flickr pool for this one because there are ones I couldn't include that are indeed mouth watering.

Today is (I think) the first day of High School for this busy lady. I savor every moment she can spare.

Our Janet has titled this one "Savor Your Friendships." That says it all, don't you think?

Our Cindy savoring coffee, The Highline, her vacation. Looks like bliss!

How come we have not seen more pictures of this guy (girl?) from Our Alisun? So sweet.

There is nothing, I think, like watching a dog savor something. Our Laura clearly has the scritching down to an art.

As today is the first day of school for kids in NYC I think STEP is the challenge. Do with it as you will.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday September 22nd for posting on September 23rd. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and STEP. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Photo Challenge: INTERRUPT

I have been interrupting myself all week. All month maybe! It's not a terrible thing but it keeps things from going in a straight line. Sometimes that's good, like when we're interrupting racist assumptions. Sometimes it's not great, like when we're interrupting an explanation before the important part is revealed.

Be a good interrupter.

After you check these pics out and see the new prompt below, of course.

Our Cindy INTERRUPTed herself! I think this would have made a spectacular poster for Girl, Interrupted.

I love to take candids but when you're taking portraits the candid part can't be the focus. That's why I love the outtakes of Our Sara's portrait session.

Have you ever seen something so fascinating? I follow Our Janet on Facebook and it feels as though she see 6 things this fascinating before breakfast every day!

Oo, oo! I've got one! SAVOR. Even though I don't get the summer off like a kid I still count it as my favorite season and one that I hate to see go. The man-made end of summer, Labor Day, approaches. Let's SAVOR what we have left in photos.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday September 8th for posting on September 9th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and SAVOR. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Centering the Conversation

This was written over a week ago. All time references are therefore skewed. 

Up until a few days ago I hadn't found myself at odds with anyone I know about the political things I post on social media. Ok, not with anyone who engages about that information. Then some folks from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted Bernie Sanders at one of his political rallies.

In the last 2 days I've discussed race, racism, Black Lives Matter, US History, and the way they all intersect more than I have possibly in my whole life to that point. Not because I'm good at it necessarily but because I wound up in a place where it felt like I couldn't not speak so I did.

Someone I like and trust. Someone I wouldn't think would ever disagree with me (perish the thought!) politely asked me to cite my sources. At first, I'm not afraid to tell you, I felt a flush of anger/fear/panic. I madly slammed my keyboard grabbing links before I took a break and realized, "You have sources. You're not bullshitting. Why so defensive?" I gave links and kept talking and we're not precisely on the same page but we're definitely in the same classroom now and I feel good about it.

Like a floodgate suddenly more people were asking me about my sources and since I felt less defensive I was able to have conversations. However, I was spending half of those conversations hopping around the internet pulling up the sources. I'm going to put them here in case I need them later. You should feel free to use them, too, and to add more in the comments.

I've been starting with this piece by Ijeoma Oluo because it's short, simple, and the people who are asking me for information often come back from it saying, "Those are a lot of the things I was wondering about." My friend, Sarah, has been starting with this Facebook post by Dominique Hazard which addresses the same blocks people are putting up.

The reason I'm not asking those questions this week is because I've been following Elon James White on Twitter for about a year now (since Mike Brown's death) and he's been very clear about how he's not jumping on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon. He's also been generous with his reasoning behind that so it's been an opportunity for me to learn.

White interviewed one of the interrupters on his radio show. I have not listened to the show but I'm told she addresses the interest in her previous backing of Sarah Palin and her religion.

Alicia Garza, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter responded to many of the concerns surrounding the interruption even though she was on vacation.

This article by Imani Gandy is more strongly worded than most of the things I've posted so far. You might find it difficult to read. It is well worth it for her words and for the many links she provides for further study. Consider this one of many vital quotes in it, "The bottom line is this: #BlackLivesMatter activists simply do not have time to deal with white fragility. It may sound harsh, but Black lives matter more than white feelings. We are dying in the street. 314 of us so far since the killing of Mike Brown on August 9, 2014. Our community is in crisis."

Here's Heather Barmore chronicling the way her feelings changed as she learned more about the Seattle Sanders Interruption.

If you wonder why I keep using the word "interrupt" you should read my friend, Aaryn Belfer's, viral post about how to be an interrupter. That is her white person's guide to activism.

Now this is new writing so the timeline changes. Surprise!

Aaryn wrote another piece and I got into more conversations on social media about that! Keep your eye on Belfer, she'll help you stay informed, too.

Before I list a few other folks I follow on Twitter I want to lay out what I've learned from them. The color of one's skin does not automatically require them to teach you about the equality movement and their experience of it. If someone is generous and able often they will teach but do not go charging over to these folks asking questions like your education is their responsibility. Be kind and realize where your points of privilege lie. If you are a member of a marginalized group (like me, I'm a chick) do not play that card as if it's going to win you the World Series of Inequality Poker.

So, people I'm learning from every day are Feminista Jones, Karnythia, Nettaaaaaaaa, Deray, Bev Gooden, A'Driane Nieves, Kathryn Finney, Ava DuVernay, Ms. Packyetti, Colorlines, Antonio French, BrownBlaze, Vandalyzm, Kelly Wickham, and Prison Culture but to name a few.

While you're at it you can always check out these hash tags, too. #YouOKSis, started by Feminista Jones. #WhyIStayed, from Bev Gooden. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, by Karnythia (Mikki Kendall). #BlackLivesMatter.

Lastly, if we come from a place of privilege (and if you have time to sit around reading a blog you probably do to at least some extent) we're going to get this wrong once in a while. It's inevitable. If we learn from that and try to keep our stumbling to a minimum while staying in the game I think we can count our efforts as good.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

5 Years & Forward

Today is what Mimi has dubbed our Ed-iversary. Five years ago today I was eavesdropping on my colleague's calls to her husband about a lost dog and around 3pm decided I had to act.

I was going to recount that whole day for you (AGAIN) when I got a message from Karen requesting a Treats for Everyone post. What better way to commemorate a day when I'm so grateful to have been found by my Little Lord Fauntleroy than to honor the end of another family's commitment.

This is Rudy.

He lived in a family with four other greyhounds and, from what I hear, held his spot as the class clown.  He fell and broke his leg, revealing cancer and was gone soon after. That is almost exactly how Teatown Jenny left us. Such a terrible shock. While we can be glad Rudy's suffering was short we know that his people's suffering has just begun. I'm glad they have other hounds to keep them company through this loss.

In accordance with tradition, please give your pets some extra special love, attention, and food today in Rudy's memory. Just for a little while don't make them work for it. Consider breathing, standing, napping, smiling, walking beside you enough to warrant the gift of something delicious.

I'll be treating the heck out of this guy as I wonder what our next five years can possibly bring.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Photo Challenge FRESH

Apparently this one was inspiring! I think the photos we got in response are inspiring, too. Enjoy these and scroll down for the inspiration of a new prompt.

Our Alisun provided the only photo (that I chose, check the group for other examples) not of food.

I don't know what this is but Our Sara says it tastes just like poppy seeds!

Two of this week's photos are from the same photo walk a few weeks ago. I remember watching Our Cindy take this one.

The true art of Our Bethany's shot is that she's somehow managed to upstage the bacon with peaches. How I do not know.

Our Janet's shot looks like fresh paint to me. I love the crispness of the entire composition.

This is the other shot from that photo walk. I interpreted the prompt somewhat more sarcastically.

In honor of my friend, Aaryn's, recent viral article I'm going to say let's use INTERRUPT. I don't know what the heck that's going to look like in pictures but I want to find out.

Please enter by 9am Tuesday August 25th for posting on August 26th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and INTERRUPT. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have any questions. The  appropriate email for that is Kizzbeth117 at gmail dot com.