socks matter.

He took us up to his conference room, sat us down, and gave us a piece of advice.

“Now i’m not going to tell you how to parent your child,” he said, and then proceeded to tell us about an article written by two ex-coaches (now youth athlete advocates) who surveyed hundreds of college athletes, and when asked what their worst memories were as youth & high school athletes, their most common answer, by a landslide, was the car ride home.

About forty-five games later (between club and school teams), with our first season under our belt, I wanted to press pause and, more for myself than anything, capture my simple observations on being a “basketball mom.” With a camera.

1) Your kid doesn’t hear you when you yell at them from the stands.

I’ve done multiple studies on this.  My focus group?  KIDS IN MY CAR AFTER THE GAME.   Here’s how the conversation goes:

Me: Hey guys, so when all the parents are yelling coaching tips to you during the game, do you hear them?

Them: No.

Me:  No really, like when we see exactly what you should be doing on the court and we yell at you that you should be doing it, do you hear it?

Them: No.

Me:  OK, but let’s say that we were the best coaches on the planet, over there in the stands, and we yelled out that you should move your feet and get the rebounds and maybe even shoot, isn’t that of HUGE value to you?

Them: Are we at Red Robin yet?

2) Don’t be afraid of black & white.

Gym lighting sucks.  It’s not the gym’s fault.  It’s the fault of the so-called lighting experts of every gymnasium in the world (I was going to say universe, but i’m not sure if there are other gym’s out there yet) for not putting the photographer’s needs over those of the athlete when making light choices.

Lesson in this is be not afraid to default to black and white.  In most instances, it creates an even more powerful image.

clutchvaloha32

clutchv5thquarter65

clutchvaloha34

clutchvteambalance59

3) I’m not particularly fond of coaches that never sit down and scream at their players the entire game.  

I don’t know… I mean i’ve never actually been a coach. But i’ve definitely been a youth/high school/college athlete, and I think I can speak first hand on this one as well.  I  love watching the coaches that trust their players to execute, and just sort of “dial in” the game as needed.  The athletes practice a lot, really hard, and I loved watching the coaches that let the players play.  Help ‘em from time to time, sure.  But the crazy pacing on the sidelines (and sometimes on the court!) and the loud barking and the mad arm waving… seems a bit much for kids not even in high school yet.  I dunno.

4) Find moments when they are alone in their thoughts and point your camera in that direction.

clutchv8thgradeMagic9

clutchvbalance1

clutchv5thquarter37

ClutchvTriplethreat70

clutchfun5

clutchfun6

clutchfun9

Those moments just might give you a photo you’d miss if you were just shooting the game.

5) Yelling loudly at the ref for a bad call doesn’t actually help.

I’m no expert at human operating systems, but it’s been my observation over the course of all the games this season that, say, if a kid travelled, and the ref doesn’t call the travel, yelling TRAVEL!!! THAT’S A TRAAAAAVEL REF!  COME ON!!!! doesn’t change the call.  It’s not like he’s gonna stop the game, go, “you know, you’re right. That WAS a travel and I’m not even worthy to be reffing this game.”

6) Find your fools.

Don’t judge this word.  It’s an honor.  I am a fool.  It’s the archetype I am most proud of.  Fool’s dissipate tension.  Fool’s know when laughter is needed.  Every team has one, and every team needs one.  As Caroline Myss says, a fool “fearlessly reveals emotion. Helps people laugh at absurdity and hypocrisy.”

clutchvteamconcept43

seattle17

clutchvaloha17

seattle29

clutchvaloha19

7) Socks matter.

Or wristbands. Or lucky underwear.

Point is, if it matters to her, it matters to me.

socks

8) Love the huddle.

It’s in these moments, a timeout, when at first I stood up and stretched, ran for a drink of water, or even more pathetically checked my email.  Yet it’s in these moments where a strategy is going down. Or better yet, a simple tactic needs execution (I keep a journal of quotes that I encounter throughout my life, one of my favorites being, “Strategy is knowing what to do when there is SOMETHING to do, tactics is knowing what to do when there is NOTHING to do.”).

Anyway, capture them, they’re quite powerful.

clutchv5thquarter41

clutchvgametime35

clutchvprarie32

clutchvteambalance42

9) You’re kid is still a kid.  Embrace the moments because they pass in a flash.

ClutchvTriplethreat86

clutchvaloha61

clutchvaloha63

clutchvaloha67

seattle13-2

clutchvTNT44

10) If you think that the conversation in the car on the way home doesn’t matter, IT DOES. (<- read that). 

You read that, right mom & dad?  Cousin, niece, and uncle?  Grandpa?

It’s priceless advise our daughter’s coach gave to us parents before the season started, that very first day in his conference room, and I’ve since saved it in my pocket.

We DON’T ask. We give our kid her ride home. We blast music and sing.  And if she wants to bring up the game, then she guides the conversation.  If she doesn’t, the music stays on.

It’s her present, it’s her future.

It’s her game, not ours.

To relishing the game, to supporting our children within it.

Peace,

AC

Posted in basketball, Nike Basketball, parenting, photograhy tips, photography, sports parent, sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

shoot.

I have two disclaimers heading into this post.

Disclaimer no. 1: This posting incorporates some of the worst photographs I have ever taken.

Disclaimer no. 2: There is some extremely violent & graphic language in a few of these photos. You have been warned.

This is a story I never thought I’d be writing, simply because I couldn’t have imagined I’d ever wander into Vancouver, B.C.’s Downtown East Side (DTES).

But with incredible foresight from the International Women’s Forum, I did.

The DTES is known as “Canada’s poorest postal code.”  It is home to about a third of Vancouver’s injection drug users, and we were in the thick of it.

Walking down the main “corridor” of the DTES, along Hastings Street, I could not have stood out more obviously had I had a giant panda bear on my head.  Decked out in a bright red Nike sweatshirt, bright multicolored Flyknit running shoes, face hidden behind Ray-ban aviators, and my high ponytail swinging,  I walked quickly amongst the crowds of zombie-like meth, heroine, and alcohol addicted people.  Men and women, some who appeared no older than 12, others no younger than their 80’s.  Though age, while walking along this street, seemed irrelevant.  The outward, visible effects their addictions had taken on them proved true the evil shadow side of the cliché “age is just a number.”

My heart was beating quickly, I believe due to to my “flght or flight” senses kicking in, and then it happened.

I made the choice to slow down.

I made the choice to look up.

I remember saying to myself, “you will never get this opportunity again.  Do not miss it.”

I decided to trust these people, the environment around me, and that if I allowed myself to be curious rather than afraid, these people just might feel that energy, and know that I was there to possibly learn something that somewhere, some how, might help their future.

Our first stop came rather quickly.  We ducked into an alcove of a building next to a door with a graphic of a huge hypodermic needle on it.

blog insight door

We were at Insite, a supervised intravenous drug injection site designed to be accessible to injection drug users.

It is North America’s first and ONLY legal supervised injection site.  The only one.

It operates on a “harm-reduction” model (a phrase I would come to hear many times throughout the afternoon in the DTES), which means it “strives to decrease the adverse health, social, and economic consequences [of dirty needle use] without requiring abstinence from drug use itself.”

As we talked with the Coordinator of Insite about their extraordinary program, I watched, through the glass door, as dozens of users walked through, picked up their wrapped, clean needles, and went into the back to self-inject under the supervision of medical personnel.  The woman working at the front desk did not ask for one bit of information, and more extraordinarily, looked at each of them, smiled, welcomed them, talked with them, and, with her eyes wide open, cast absolutely ZERO judgement upon them.

I took a few stealth, blurry photos, but under reflection and upon advisement, I have chosen not to post those. Their privacy and dignity comes first.  But I was able to take a couple shots of the signs they had posted.

blog insight od sign

blog warning

There is so much more about this program worth knowing, so instead of hearing my interpretation of what we learned in those 30 minutes, I humbly ask you to learn more here if you are interested.

So we walked on… passed the dealers, this time, selling items, both stolen and found, on their blankets along the Hastings Street sidewalk.  Looking down trying to arouse little suspicion, I saw Apple headphones, old baby shoes, watches, hair bows, used coffee filters (with the coffee grinds), and a man pulling raw meat out of a bag, selling it packaged in its grocery store plastic, hidden from public view.

We entered United We Can, “a charitable organization established to support environmental, social, and economic improvement in the inner city of Vancouver. The mandate is to create economic opportunities for people with multiple barriers living in the Downtown Eastside, through environmental initiatives. One of UWC’s key missions is improve working conditions for binners by ensuring they receive the full deposit on all their bottles and cans and have access to a working environment into which they are welcomed.”

The smell was crazy.

A strong combination of piss, beer, and weed.

And a rousing “HELLO GUESTS!” from a tall, toothless black man carrying two huge bags of garbage towards his binning station.

blog hi guy

our guy was the one in the striped sweater. i wish i had the photo of him greeting us, but i had not yet received permission to take photos.

“What are y’all doin’ here?” he asked, with a smile that extended cheek to cheek.

“This is a group of women leaders from around the world who have come to learn more about the DTES, sir,” said Ken, the retired police officer escorting us. I was totally taken aback by his honest answer.  This one thing has stuck with me… he could have said anything to this guy… “oh, just a group wandering through…” or “none of your business,.”

But instead he met this man’s question with honesty, detail, and respect.

I was able to take pictures inside this facility, here are a few of them:

the binners hard at work sorting recyclables from trash.

the binners hard at work sorting recyclables from trash.

these are the cans people choose not to recycle...you see what's happening here?

these are the cans people choose not to recycle…you see what’s happening here?

I got photo-bombed by a binner!  yeah!!!

I got photo-bombed by a binner! yeah!!!

Next time you see someone sorting through trash to pull those cans, know that this place exists, and that there are others out there, and it is GOOD.

Then we walked a couple blocks and entered ARCO, a single residence occupant (SRO) hotel.

It is home to those that live on welfare, many of them addicts.  Some of them sex workers.  All of them expected to be responsible and respectful of everyone living in the unit.

At the entrance to the Arco,  I saw these:   (WARNING:  VERY GRAPHIC)

blog redlight

blog warning1

Yes, they’re blurry, but I had to take the photos, if only to remind myself that this was not an illusion.  This is a reality for these women.

The hope?

That the community is coming together to help each other.  To warn these women what cars to watch for, what markings on men to notice to help catch them.  Or to at the very least avoid being sexually abused by them.

Then this next to it.

blog rigs1

rigs, FYI, means needles.

and this, as another reminder, in case you didn’t see it in the entrance:

blog steps

And finally, at the front desk of the ARCO hotel, just in case a resident thought they had a valid excuse for entering the building:

blog rules

The rooms were tiny, but they were rooms.

The rooms were infested with bed bugs, but they were rooms.

The rooms were nowhere anyone reading this blog would ever spend even one night. They had no elevators, with zero access for anyone with physical disabilities,

But they were rooms.

And this, according to our escorts, “was one of the nicer SRO’s.”

this is Ken, the retired Police Officer who patrolled the DTES for decades, and gave us TREMENDOUS insight on the plight and hope for the DTES.

this is Ken, the retired Police Officer who patrolled the DTES for decades, and gave us TREMENDOUS insight on the plight and hope for the DTES. He is standing in one of the rooms at the ARCO we were able to see.

Our group finally made it to our final SRO, a recently renovated one that, based on what we had seen, made these rooms feel like the Four Seasons.

It is for women only, with 12 rooms dedicated to women with visitation rights to their children.

After visiting their harm reduction room,

blog harm reduction

blog needles

a safe place to dispose of used needles so they are not shared...

a safe place to dispose of used needles so they are not shared…

blog condoms

and food bank kitchen, we toured the kitchen, laundry area, and the beautiful rooms with luxuries these women have possibly never imagined… an elevator, a fully functional kitchen, a coffee maker, and very importantly, an object that you and I quite possibly take very much for granted: a mirror in the bathroom.

They grew their own food in their community garden, and even choose what to grow:

blog plants

blog plants2

They have cooking classes, and they self-injected with zero judgement, with treatment options available when and if they ever decided it was “time,” with a 16 step, non-religious based program (12 step offered as well) ready for them.

As the elevator doors opened for us to head down to the lobby of the building, a woman stood alone in the elevator.

She was hauntingly thin, had scabs along both arms and all over her cheeks (the bleeding ones covered with bandaids), track marks on her veins, sunken eyes, and thinning straight strawberry blonde hair.

“May we ride down the elevator with you?” asked the operations director of the hotel giving us the tour.

“uhhh, yea.” She said, hesitantly.

So 8 of us, in our NIKE gear, Christian Louboutain boots, Louis Vuitton bags, and Burberry jackets piled into this elevator with this woman, and rode down with a meth addict.

Yet I left full of hope.

Because I knew this woman would be safe, for the moment, from contracting or spreading needle infected diseases, would have food to keep her from going hungry, had a mattress that had been treated in bed bug ovens, and lived in a place where her dignity came first.

So maybe her next choice will be to try to clean herself up.  Or maybe not.  But the point is, she’s got a choice.

I don’t know what my “actions” will be after visiting the DTES.

But perhaps, just by writing this story, I already have taken the first one.

The learning for me was this… we need to UNDERSTAND those things that we question.  Or even those things we never knew existed.

We are all we have, people. Let’s be careful of what we judge when we are not educated about the topic before we do so.

And in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,

“We must comfort the troubled, and trouble the comfortable.”

Trouble me.

Peace,

AC

Posted in International Women's Forum, heroin addiction, DTES, Insite, Drug addiction, self injection, B.C., United We Can, homeless, hope | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

In the wake of a duck.

Disclaimer:

If you are a duck connoisseur or if you hate Portland, I’ll probably offend you with this post.  You could instead read my cat porn blog, that way we avoid this whole potential conflict all together.

So this all started Saturday when a friend asked me to take some photos of Portland for an amazing 3 day wine tasting event this November that benefits the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.  And for those of you who have given me any love over my blog writing years, you KNOW i hate cancer like a motherfucker, so naturally I said yes.

So in my head i’m all, “wow, cool… i am going to shoot the big reindeer sign and the bridges on the river and some weird people! I’ve got this Portland photo shoot NAILED!”

then this happened:

pdx21

If you scrolled over this photo without reading the fine print on the poster, you have missed the BEST SIGN IN THE UNIVERSE.

and i’m like, “move over, reindeer sign, we’ve got new plans.” 

So i’d like to share with you, if you’re still with me and not over on my other blog watching my cat lick herself, my version of what I found interesting and meaningful on a 3 mile jaunt with my family around Portland on Saturday.

Image

The church on Alder.

We started at Cheryl’s on 12th (important to be well fed before walking), and this was the view from our outside table.  It’s significant that i shot this, because I love this church. It is my proverbial True North, though not in a religious sense (c’mon guys, it’s ME, here), but in a “where the crap is that bridge that takes me over the river?” sense.  If it weren’t for this church, I would NEVER know which street is Alder, which is the main road I take to cross the bridge to Yoga, or to get me to my naturopath.

Both activities, as a Portlandian, you just DO.

So we began walking down near the Waterfront where we used to live, and ran into this guy.  He’s kind of famous.

pdx3

Murphy the potential Police Horse that was found on Craigslist and had no chance in hell of making it as a Police Horse but he defied all odds and did.

I’m pretty sure “Police Horse” is the completely wrong term for those awesome horses that roam our streets.  All i know is that every Sunday morning i begin my day with coffee and The Oregonian, and i’ve followed the plight of this goddamn horse since the story began, and when we walked by him, I felt like a 12 year old seeing Liam or one of the other boys with perfect hair from One Direction… i’m a big fan of this horse.  Sadly, all he wanted was food and despite every attempt of me shoving his headshot in his face, he refused to sign my photo.  something, he said, about opposable thumbs.  Whatever, Murph. 

pdx2

Murphy’s colleagues (or whatever you call the horses with whom you work).

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again (ok, that’s not true, i’ve never actually said this, but it IS true…), i’ll pay whatever tax dollars it takes to keep these beauties on the streets of Portland.  Once we lose the horses, all we have is…cars. So we continued walking along the riverfront and it is… special. I kid you not, we ran smack into a couple of ducks having a SUPER intense flirting session:

pdx9

a couple of ducks having a super intense flirting session

I’m not really sure the sex of these ducks.  My husband thought they were both female because they both had such cool markings, and  his theory goes, “the chick ducks are always beautiful, the boy ducks have no color.”

So then I was thinking how completely awesome this would be if these were two chick ducks flirting with each other (this is the part where, if you are a duck connoisseur, you are probably thinking i’m the dumbest human on the planet).  I mean, either way, either sex, same or different, these two ducks have chemistry.  And the one on the left is TOTALLY having duck sex with the one on the right tonight. (how ducks have sex i have NO clue, i’d love some help here).

So anyway after we left Sasha and Kris (we needed neutral names for them. I mean, we just didn’t know…), we kind of decided to look up and see what was happening on the river.  There were a lot of barges.

pdx10

a barge. wait… this is a barge, right? is there better term for exactly what this is? I AM NOT UP ON MY BARGE KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE!

pdx12

a tugboat pushing (not tugging) a smaller barge in front of a bigger barge. it’s not fast action stuff, by any stretch.

So after the cool barges, I thought i should probably take a couple photos of the bridges, being all famous and stuff in Portland, but it just didn’t work for me.  So we went under the bridges, and i got a few cool shots, this one in particular i sort of loved:

pdx18

and another one, which happens to be the one my friend has chosen for her wine event:

pdx20

We kept walking, the ducks kept following, and finally we ended our jaunt along the riverside…

pdx22

…and landed at the uber famous Saturday Market. Now every Portland guide will reference this, as it should.  There is a lot of really cool shit you can buy at the Saturday Market, not the least of which is some extraordinary additions to your wardrobe. More specifically:

pdx26

one of eight hundred stands… c’mon, it’s Portland.

pdx27

tie-dye is a wonderful option for cute kids. And the henna stand and dog butt are Saturday Market “must haves.”

oh, and the t-shirt stands are fabulous.

pdx28

a great alternative solution to “my parents when to Portland and all they got me…”

So we finished our walk, full of totally cool cats, flirting ducks, mounted police horses (ok, i looked up the term on the internets by the time i got here), barges, bridges, and the finest wardrobe choices PDX had to offer.

Here are a few more I took:

pdx6

we'll call him Louis.

we’ll call him Louis.

pdx14

I think we should turn these negatives into positives. Yes, you are welcome to carry your skateboard instead of riding it, lest people judge you as hoodlums vs. athletes. Yes, you may carry your cigarettes in your pocket and THANK YOU for not lighting up and killing people with your second hand smoke!!!

I just liked this.

I just liked this.

pdx25

The line at Voodoo donuts for a penis shaped something or rather or bacon covered awesomeness.

The line at Voodoo donuts for a penis shaped something or rather or bacon covered awesomeness.

ok, ok.  fuck it.  I had to do the sign.

ok, ok. fuck it. I had to do the sign.

Yet as I got home and looked through the hundreds of photos i took that day, my mind kept going back to one of them.

It was, yes, a duck.

And this duck was just swimming along, minding his own goddamn business, paddling along by himself.

pdx4

i couldn’t scratch the image from my mind.  The ripples it was creating, i could imagine them hitting the shore, and in an immeasurable way eroding the shoreline, which in turn would lead to an entirely different Portland millions of years from now.

It’s ripple effect was real, yet it just didn’t know it.

But we do.

We create ripples every day.

By every action we make and inaction we choose not to.

And the downstream effect of both can have either beautiful or catastrophic consequences.

So i finished the walk thinking… What if, with every decision we made each day, we were acutely aware of the ripple it created.

wouldn’t that be something.

Peace, AC.

Posted in animal photography, beauty, Christian Louboutin, gross things to eat, overexposing, Portland Saturday Market, Portland Walking Tour, wedding, wedding dresses, Western Medicine, Wildfang, wine, wishes, Women's Ski Jumping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hooded, too.

TJ.

Image

Charlie

Image

Eleana.

Riordanhoodie

Courtney

Image

Gretchen Johnson (G-Money.)

Image

Hadley.

Image

Dorsey.

Christian

Christian

 

Image

Jackson.

ImageShay and her baby girl.

David.

David.

Image

Millie.

hoodieapvhoodiesimonhoodieremcohoodiejasper

Andrea, Simon, Remco, and Jasper.

Image

Liz and Jake.

hoodiecarl

Carl.

Elle, Raven, and Shawn.

Nikki.

Nikki.

hoodielucie

Lucie.

hoodiemichaelhenryparker

Michael, Henry, Parker.

hoodiesavannah

Savannah.

hoodiejack

Jack.

hoodiemeagan

Meagan.

hoodiemaddie

Maddie.

hoodiekim

Kim.

hoodiejax

Jax.

Darin and May. Payton and Jackson.

Darin, May, Payton, and Jackson

On March 28th, 2012, one month after Trayvon Martin was killed, i asked my friends to join me in support for justice to Trayvon via a photo in our hoodies.

And we are here again today.

In that the jurors did not convict George Zimmerman of either second degree murder or manslaughter, there rests, with many of us, an unrest.  Therefore we are still standing, peacefully, with the family of Trayvon Martin.

It was my original intent to put words and captions with the people in these photos, but upon reflection, the decision that feels most right is to allow the reader to see them for themselves.  An ability to go deeper exists within those hyperlinked.

Know that these beautiful people, all of whom are still very much alive, love,

fast choo-choos, basketball, an extraordinary piece of art, dancing, skateboarding, design, being cancer free, raising children, photography, being in a band, marrying whomever they love, playing soccer, collecting bugs, speedgolf, gardening, running trails, playing a mean guitar, and storytelling.

And we all stand in support of the family of Trayvon,

Peacefully.

AC

Posted in beauty, controversy, Corradini Photo, embrace, Freedom, guns, Hoodie, hoodiesup, Hoody, photography, Sandy Bodecker, Trayvon Martin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

While there are still rose petals.

Originally posted on throughbrowneyes:

So pretty much i fucking hate inappropriate use of hashtags.

that’s the #winetalking, #sorry #parents, didn’t mean to #offend your dislike of your #daughter using #swearwords, especially #fuck.  But it’s really important to #sendthemessage that if we are to all #getalong, that the use of #hashtags simply can no longer be #abused (oh man, can’t wait to see where that last one leads us…).

it is a SEARCH ENGINE, people.

Anywho…(and this all makes sense at the end, i freaking hope),

So i’m on my run this weekend, and wanted to finish it off with a few sets of stair runs, at the most gorgeous location in PDX… the #summitstairs. They are a hidden set of 157 steps that will skyrocket your heart rate on the way up, and ensure you can’t walk from quad pain the next day from the way down.  Seriously.  If you doubt me…

View original 974 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

While there are still rose petals.

So pretty much i fucking hate inappropriate use of hashtags.

that’s the #winetalking, #sorry #parents, didn’t mean to #offend your dislike of your #daughter using #swearwords, especially #fuck.  But it’s really important to #sendthemessage that if we are to all #getalong, that the use of #hashtags simply can no longer be #abused (oh man, can’t wait to see where that last one leads us…).

it is a SEARCH ENGINE, people.

Anywho…(and this all makes sense at the end, i freaking hope),

So i’m on my run this weekend, and wanted to finish it off with a few sets of stair runs, at the most gorgeous location in PDX… the #summitstairs. They are a hidden set of 157 steps that will skyrocket your heart rate on the way up, and ensure you can’t walk from quad pain the next day from the way down.  Seriously.  If you doubt me, i challenge you, if you are not a stair officionado, to own up to 8 sets up and down.  then call me.

But the best part of these stairs is their stunning setting.  They are divided into 3 sets of hellish beauty, a tiny respite of a platform before the next set. It’s not a stadium, it’s not a park.  It’s a hidden gateway from the bottom of one street to the top of another that is so beautiful, i’ve actually photographed one of my favorite ever families there...

So Sunday, I ran about 5 miles and arrived at the stairs.

And the bottom of them, I looked up, and simply said to myself, “let’s just do 4 sets, fast as you can, then finish the run.”

What i didn’t expect was what was waiting for me.  On the top third, laying right on the concrete, next to the mossy walls, were these magnificent pink rose petals.  SO stark against the gray, it caused me to STOP.  right there. in that moment.

and the first thing that came to my mind, without even thinking, was, “AC… appreciate these while there are still rose petals.”

We’ve reached record high temperatures this summer.  Death Valley, 127 degrees. Las Vegas, 115 degrees. Phoenix, 119 degrees.

All around us.  More hurricanes, more tornadoes, more flooding.  Record setting heat, record setting glacial melt. We are hitting the extremes, and we go through our day complaining about it, watching reports on the news and thinking, “oh, those poor people.”

People, WE are the people.

Who can change this shit.

So i took a photo of those rose petals, because they simply took my breath away.

And then my dumb-ass social media mind went directly to “hmmm, wouldn’t that be a clever hashtag, #whiletherearestillrosepetals?”  I bet not a single soul has hash tagged that!

BECAUSE HASHTAGS ARE A SEARCH ENGINE, YOU DUMBASS.

However all i could think about was how to engage in a global conversation around our grandchildren actually seeing rose petals in real-life vs. in a museum.  And social media seems to be our avenue.  Perhaps our only one?

So, I began listing it out, halfway between set 2 and 3:

Here are my individual contributions to saving the rose petals:

1) No more fucking plastic bags.  I’ve been on this one for over 3 years, and i can confidently say that we don’t EVER use them intentionally.  EVER.  If we forget our reusable bags, we hand carry our shit out.  When i see someone at the grocery store buying bottled water, then putting that bottled water in a plastic bag to carry to their car, I want to cause them suffering, my feelings are THAT strong.

2) Per above, no more fucking bottled water. I’ve been on this diligently for the same number of years, since i got a clue and saw a sailboat. We have these things, called “sinks,” and these other things, called “water bottles.”  And if we don’t have a sink, they’ve invented this new cool thing, called the “drinking fountain.”  Fill your goddamn water bottle.

3) I’ve gone vegetarian.  Cow farts are the #1 contributor to global warming.  It is proven. There are so many sources, it’s conclusive.  here is just a taste:

“With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority. Methane is produced by a number of sources, including coal mining and landfills—but the number one source worldwide is animal agriculture. Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane a year. And this source is on the rise: global meat consumption has increased fivefold in the past fifty years, and shows little sign of abating. About 85% of this methane is produced in the digestive processes of livestock, and while a single cow releases a relatively small amount of methane, the collective effect on the environment of the hundreds of millions of livestock animals worldwide is enormous. An additional 15% of animal agricultural methane emissions are released from the massive “lagoons” used to store untreated farm animal waste, and already a target of environmentalists’ for their role as the number one source of water pollution in the U.S.

The conclusion is simple: arguably the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products. Simply by going vegetarian (or, strictly speaking, vegan), , , we can eliminate one of the major sources of emissions of methane, the greenhouse gas responsible for almost half of the global warming impacting the planet today.”

4) I buy local, in season stuff.  Yeah, i’d love to make my morning juice with a pineapple, but not if it was imported from Hawaii 4 months ago on a ship that used 11 billion tons of fuel to get it to my kitchen so I could say, “wow… love the taste of pineapple with kale!”

5) no grass in our yard.  only native plants.

6) giving the stink-eye to every leaf blowing neighbor i see.  This is not as effective as I would like, but i get the sheer pleasure of looking at them as if they are the stupidest people on the planet, moving a leaf from HERE to THERE.

It’s not much, just a few simple things I do.  And holy hell I am far from perfect.  I still own a gas guzzling car.  I still run my AC in the record Portland heat.

But wow…

if we combined all the few simple things we could each do, every day, in choices we make…

perhaps our grandchildren will still see rose petals on their steps.

Which, really, is all that matters.

IMG_6015

Thank you, as always, for allowing me the platform to vent, and your patience to get to this final word,

#gatheryerosebuds.

Peace,

AC

Posted in cow farts, environment, global warming, methane, plastic, rose petals, Uncategorized, vegitarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SMH at JKSIS

corradiniphoto:

like-bloggers unite. Let’s help out a school that needs a bit of a lesson in authenticity, shall we?

Originally posted on the girl with the ONJ tattoo:

Last night I hopped on Facebook per usual to see if anything new was happening. The first two stories in my newsfeed were shared links from my alma mater – the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver – announcing that President Bush is receiving the “Improving the Human Condition Award” at the 16th Annual Korbel Dinner. Needless to say, I did a double take and my jaw.freaking.dropped.

Let me take a minute to be less than classy here, but still safe for work:

What the holy freaking f*** did he f***ing improve?? Surely JKSIS can’t be talking about the same Dubya as we are! Nope, they are: http://www.du.edu/korbel/dinner/

I, along with several of my fellow alumni find this absolutely reprehensible. Having received my Master’s in International Human Rights from JKSIS, one of the top 10 schools in the world for international studies, I am…

View original 547 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment