Saturday, October 29, 2011

Current Events.

Kind of awesome.

Last night Nathan & I hung out with two of our college buddies. We just sat around and talked, eating homemade bread. We ended up on the topic of Occupy Wall Street. We discussed its complexities and strengths, and had a wonderfully engaging conversation. Then this morning I went to a social justice committee meeting, where I typically just quietly listen to the powerful things others have to say, and the entire meeting was devoted to the Occupy Nashville movement. My biggest apprehension about the movement is its lack of color. The Black community has been dealing with a LOT of these struggles, largely unnoticed, for decades. Not until middle-class white majority felt the sting of corporate greed did it ever gain attention as being problematic. Nonetheless, the Occupy movement has shown that the people of our nation still have a moral compass & the ability to stand up against an unjust system. Even if not everyone can quite articulate what the movement is "supposed" to accomplish, they are together in solidarity to acknowledge that something is wrong in our system. I see it every day with the people I serve. They bear the brunt of corporate greed, but they likely won't be at Occupy Nashville because they have more pressing needs- food, health, medicine.

Nathan & I have a peer that recently was arrested during the Occupy Nashville protests. She is an admirable, educated, compassionate, strong Black woman, and I am proud of what she is doing. I agree with what she stands for, and I think her message is a profoundly powerful one. She also organized a march for Troy Davis a few weeks ago. Basically, she's what I want to be when I grow up (but she's my age, whatever).

Another of Nathan's Vandy Div classmates getting arrested.

I know there are flaws in the Occupy movement. But I think the more important thing is that there is finally movement. I hope I can find the time & emotional energy to be actively involved in the movement. Right now though, I've got to do some self-care & prioritization.... I'm trying to focus on the new job, the new marriage, that whole thing. I think Nathan & I are a part of the movement, but in a service model rather than an action model. Nathan's helping get healthy food to folks in food deserts & revolutionize the way we think about food & health. I'm working with the folks most adversely affected by our current social system to get them the things they need day-to-day to succeed against the odds, including empowerment and choices. I'm not patting us on the back or anything; rather, I'm just reflecting on the various roles within the broader social justice movement that is happening across the nation.

I really loved this article & video about the Freedom Riders' support of & reflection upon the Occupy Nashville movement. Please read/watch! And my friend Keith & his daughter are in the video at the beginning. hehe. =)

That's all. I know it's a controversial issue, and I know a lot of people have different opinions. I certainly don't think I know all of the complexities of the issue or anything. I hope that, if nothing else, the Occupy movement generates conversation among the American people & spurs us toward justice & equality.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm just sitting here on my lunch break at work, thinking about all of the many things for which I am thankul. Things are hard but good, and I'm learning new things every day about what it means to be a wife, a partner, a friend, a caregiver, a woman, an adult, a citizen, an advocate, and a human. I have so many things in my life that bring me such joy. Here are a few of the many things I'm thankful for in my life right now:

  • Healthy, happy cats with bellies full of food and coats beautifully groomed (I've seen a lot of sick animals at work recently, and it makes me so thankful that mine are healthy & happy).
  • Feminist movie nights with some new friends, watching empowering documentaries and sharing life together... meeting new people who embrace me immediately & share in my passions & interests.
  • The fact that my husband is awesome enough to come to some of these female-empowering documentary evenings. =)
  • Laughing with co-workers and realizing I'm actually doing a pretty good job.
  • Going to bed early (but still struggling to wake up in the morning?).
  • Having an amazing movie night with a dear new friend & discovering the powers of When Harry Met Sally
  • My parents. They came to visit last weekend and it was the best weekend I've had in a long while. They're awesome & I adore them.
  • My sister.... she is kicking ass in Miami, and I'm so proud. How are we related? She's surfing & taking acting classes.... two things I would never have the guts to do. Love her.
  • Waking up early on Saturday mornings to talk about social justice in Nashville & to learn from empowering Black leaders.
  • Going to Yoga a few times a week at the YMCA. For 90 minutes of my day, I get to feel strong & in control. And hopefully also trim down those glutes.
  • Hearing people's stories. I have met so many amazing people who have devastating but such empowering stories to share. They are amazing people & I'm honored to learn from them, whether clients at work, community members in the social justice committee, students at Vanderbilt, etc.
  • The fact that Christmas is only a few months away. I can't stop thinking about getting our first little Christmas tree & putting it in the corner of our living room for our cats to destroy. It's going to be so adorable/frustrating/hilarious/maddening/awesome. Can't freaking wait.
  • Oh, and did I mention my husband? He is so supportive, I can't even believe it. He believes in me more than I ever believe in myself. He listens to me blabber because he knows it's important to me to share stories with him. He lets me disagree with him & invites me into conversation so we can learn from each other (which, let's be honest, I'm benefitting from that one since he's got all this crazy Vandy Div School knowledge to share with me!). Also, he looks really cute in sweaters. =)
Basically, I'm thankful for a lot of things.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Tonight we had a much-needed night in. Part of our relaxing night was playing a fun game of Appletters. And, Fiero tried to play! Just watch:


He's the cutest thing ever. Thank goodness for my sweet husband and my cute cats. And for my comfy bed. Yeeeesh.

And there are even cute photos from the night:

Playing Appletters!

Checkin' me out.
Emo Fi-Fi.

Considering his options.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Tonight was a good night. I've had a kind of emotionally draining weekend (and "kind of" for most people means "incredibly, overwhelmingly" for me). I don't deal with emotional stress well. It's a struggle I'm working through. But it takes time. Whatever.

 Anyways, the point was that I had a great night because I got to talk on the phone with one of my best friends, Amy. We grew up together in Knoxville, though were weren't close friends then. We became friends in college & I've considered her one of my best friends since. She recently moved to Denver, and though I'm selfishly wishing she had just stayed in Nashville, I am SO proud of her. She is a wonderful woman & has always been there for me through thick & thin. I love love love Amy, and the past week or so I've been really reminiscing on our 5-week stay in London together. I miss it so much. I wish I could relive that experience. Especially the much older Italian chaperon that was totally into her. And our obsession with that one karaoke bar. And being super friendly with some local college students in order to sweet-talk the wi-fi password from them. And when we literally jumped-for-joy in a little B&B in St Andrews, Scotland. We literally jumped, not metaphorically. And that time we randomly saw a fashion show at a free museum. And our kitchen-StrongBow-homework parties. And our obsession with that article in a British magazine about vaginas, because we all know that American magazines really just can't show plaster-cast images of random women's vaginas.  Oh, and especially this:

She found it in the bushes at the college. NOT KIDDING.

There was also this gem of a night:

They matched. Mostly in the fact that they were both being ridiculous.

And this photo, from one of the best weekends of my life:

At the B&B, where we met one of the most wise, wonderful Scottish women of all time. And also, we jumped out of joy.

And Amy, if you're reading this, get back to Nashville. Enough of your goofing off in Denver ("graduate school"... likely story). We miss you too much here. Actually, forget Nashville, let's just go back to London. Deal? Love you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


My cats are literally the cutest cats ever. No argument there. Shoot.

Playing. And being one of the two cutest cats in the universe.
Rubbing her face, and evoking tears of joy from her mom (me).
Being a loaf. Not quite as cute, but freakin' hilarious.
Doing what he does best- sleeping. And being one of the two cutest cats in the world.

I mean, c'mon, how could I not be obsessed with them? sheesh.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Women, War, & Peace.

Please, please watch this video, and take part in watching PBS's five-part series on Women, War & Peace.

I watched the first installment of the series this week, and my heart was broken, saddened, filled with hope, and empowered all within 50 minutes. The world needs to know the stories of these women. The world needs to know the serious atrocities of rape throughout the world. The world needs to know how incredibly strong & inspiring the women of the world are. And Americans, particularly, need to see the struggles of other nations & other cultures and to be educated about such. I cannot believe that I grew up knowing literally nothing about the Bosnian war and the dehumanization of Muslim women and girls through sex-camps while their husbands starved and were murdered in concentration camps, in the name of ethnic cleansing. How does this happen in the world in which I live? I can't comprehend, and I am seriously angered that I never learned about this conflict in my public school education. I genuinely hope and pray that the Bosnian war was not overlooked because it involved Muslims. I know our nation and culture is not particularly welcoming toward Muslim individuals, but I sincerely hope we would not stoop to the low of ignoring this conflict just because of our own religious leanings as a nation. Sheesh.

Anyway. Please tell everyone you know about this series. It makes me damn proud to be a woman, and gives me hope in a better world, led by women. THIS is why I call myself a feminist; not because I hate men or don't want to shave my legs (though at times I really don't want to shave my legs...).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Local Radio!

Today I volunteered at Nashville Public Radio's fall giving campaign! It was super awesome being inside the WPLN studio, and everyone there was SO NICE. I actually had a lot of fun doing it. And, though I always change the station once they start talking about pledging, I really understand the importance of campaigning for community support, rather than being privately owned or selling advertisement time. I can put up with one week of campaigning to never have commercials. =)

And, regarding the WRVU "scandal," I understand both sides of the story, but it hasn't changed my opinion of WPLN one bit. WRVU was going to sell regardless, which is something often left out of the story. They were going to sell to someone, and I'd much rather it be a locally owned & operated radio station than anything else. I hate the WRVU shut down, and I do think it is a genuine loss for the Nashville community, but I'm glad that of anyone who could've taken it over, it was WPLN. I talked to one of the WPLN staff about it, and they were very humble and honest about the whole situation. They didn't try to convince me to think one thing or another, and they seemed genuinely bummed that WRVU had to shut down. And, to be completely honest, in terms of actual radio content, give me a 24/7 classical station over WRVU's stuff... sorry, but really. (Just so we're clear, I wish WRVU could have actually stayed on the air... though I love WPLN/NPR, it's not the same as local programming and locally-run radio shows. I get that, and that is why I, too, am sad about the loss of WRVU. But I'm glad that WPLN took it over instead of the many other things that could've happened to it.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy B-day, Desmond Tutu!

This is one of the most joyful, amazing photographs I've ever seen. And I'm obsessing over it right now:

The Dalai Lama watching Desmond Tutu dance in his chair. Oh my gosh, perfect. Two of the most incredible world leaders of my lifetime. Oh how I love them both. =)

Here's the full NPR article about South Africa refusing the Dalai Lama's visa application, thus preventing him from coming to Tutu's birthday party.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Week.

It's finally, really, truly FALL, which just happens to be my favorite season. And this has been a seriously wonderful week. I've loved it. Here's a quick recap:
  • Started out the week with an AMAZING yoga class on Sunday evening. Seriously such a healing and challenging work out for me. And I'm still sore (on Thursday... 4 days, for real). 
  • Got to spend Monday evening with my dear Stephanie, making dinner (with our favorites- pasta w/vodka sauce, roasted asparagus, bread, and wine) and watching Jane Eyre. If you haven't read the book, read it. If you haven't seen the new movie featuring Mia Wasikowska, see it. 
  • Tuesday afternoon Nathan & I took the most epic, relaxing, cuddly nap on the couch, and then sat around the house watching 30 Rock (our newest Netflix obsession). 
  • Wednesday we went to an OnStage concert at the Schermerhorn, hosted by the Nashville Symphony! I got two tickets through work, which was a huge score. The musicians told us all about their pieces and the instruments, and it was an intimate setting for appreciating music. Plus, there was free wine & cheese. And, Nathan got to meet some of my co-workers. 
  • After the Symphony, Nathan & I went to eat at one of our favorite restaurants to splurge at, Maggiano's. A nice, relaxing date. 
  • Today (Thursday), I participated in a really fun "flash mob" with my Park Center co-workers and members at the Nashville Farmer's Market food court to raise awareness for Mental Illness & to fight against the stigma of such. It was so great! We got a lot of excitement and response from the crowd, and it was an awesome way to have fun with my coworkers. We passed out flyers about Mental Illness Awareness Week and were even filmed by a local news channel! 
Park Center's development director being interviewed!
  •  AND, my boss let us leave early today... yay! 
  • Tonight, I went to my first ever Zumba class and officially had my butt kicked. Ouch. Seriously, my butt really hurts. 
  • And after Zumba, Nathan & I went to check out some of Nashville's "Artober" events around town. First we stopped by the Edgehill library where Park Center has member's art on display! Then we headed to Hillsboro Village for the Art Walk. It was a really fun night of art and Nashville life. Loved it. 
  • And this weekend is Octoberfest in Germantown, dinner with Stephanie & some other friends, a visit to the Frist Museum of Art with Nathan, and of course Yoga again! 
 I think I'm finally starting to get a hang of how to handle life with this new schedule. And I'm quite liking it. Except that having free time to enjoy somehow seems to usually involve spending money. Oh, rats. Haven't figured that one out yet. Haha.

In other news, my wonderful Mom & Dad come to town in a couple weekends! Yayyyy! I'm excited. =)