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

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:

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…

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Freedom or Free, f*ckers.


All day, i have had this quote in my head.  Replaying, like a song on repeat you can’t stop singing.  Over and over… “it’s not my freedom or free.”

“it’s not my freedom or free.”

“it’s not my freedom or free.”

where did this come from?

Being crazy busy at work and off the internets all day, i didn’t have a chance to google it. Which doesn’t really matter.  The point was less about from where the quote came, than the fact that it implanted itself in my head in the first place.

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately, mostly around the ones we have covered in our First Amendment.

Mainly because two events happened just following my daughter’s birthday this last May that involved a both a douchebag and a lost soul.

So i’d like to break it down, if you have a few minutes to listen to the story.

Because at the end of it, i’m going to need you’re help.

Let me back up a second.  Set the stories in their context.

First, let’s cover the douchebag.

The birthday part is important.  She’s 12, my daughter, and whereas in years past she may have asked for Apples to Apples, an iPod Touch or a kitten, this year, she just wanted fun clothes.  She’s a tween-ager.  Don’t judge. It’s not like she’s going to ask for money to give to a non-profit instead of gifts.

So her grandparents sent her gift cards to a place they know she has loved in the past.

It just so happens that two days after receiving these gift cards, an insane article came out around Mike Jeffries, the totally plasticized 69 year old CEO around which the kingdom (and queendom) of Abercrombie & Fitch revolves.

In an article exposing the consumer he aspires to buy his moose-reindeer looking logo, he explains why it’s only the “cool, good looking people” he’d like to wear his brand:

“Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people.  We don’t market to anyone other than that… Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.  A lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes), and they can’t belong.  Are we exclusionary?  Absolutely.”


Just want to put a face with the quote here.  Y’all can come to your own conclusions.

And this plastic surgery laden 69 year old ass-wipe outwardly refuses to offer clothing over a women’s size 10 lest that consumer represent an icon that they so vehemently work to disavow.

He can openly discriminate against overweight, unattractive, unpopular women, and his right to do so is completely and utterly protected by the Constitution of our United States.

He has done nothing wrong.  Legally.

So, my daughter, in support of the not-so-cool-kids, now has cleaned her closet of every existing piece of A&F clothing and has $100 worth of gift cards.  And no idea how to dispose of them.

Can we not do something, socially, to send a message to this CEO?


He’s lost one of his core consumers.  That’s a start.

And he should worry about that.

Now onto the lost soul.

The same weekend the story about Mr. CreepyFitch broke, we were in LA, visiting family.  After a day at Universal Studios, my daughter and her friend wanted to hit Hollywood Blvd, see the star studded sidewalk.  Not much more on which to expand here… I think they were hoping at the very least to find Michael Jackson’s star, and at the most, spot a celebrity or two.

We spotted this, instead:


a poor soul, indeed.

or maybe not.  I don’t know, who the hell am I to judge? He may be the happiest dude on the planet, son of a millionaire, a trust fund baby.  I don’t know his backstory.

I only know that my daughter passed him and asked me, “can he say that, mom?”

Yes, he can.


He can say whatever he wants on that scrap of cardboard, lest it not infringe upon the rights of another person in the process.

So i stealthily took the picture for her, my baby girl, to soft copy the moment in her life she learned a little about our First Amendment.

It’s not surprising, now, why that quote is stuck in my head, “it’s not my freedom or free.”

It’s a Tony Morrison quote.  It is written in her book The Big Box. I now remember that I used to read it to Savannah over and over and over and over before bed.  The lesson:  if we define freedom to our children by our own standards, then it is simply not their freedom.

Let them experience the evil CEO’s.  The stoner dudes on the corner that tell us to go Fuck ourselves.

It is a brilliant generation, our children.  At the end of the day, she DID ask for gifts to non-profits from her friends, in the form of donations to the Children’s Cancer Association, which is exactly what she received.


It is a gift, our First Amendment.  And these kids GET IT.

And it is an honor to celebrate and mourn those that defend it with their lives.

If you have made it to this sentence, you’ve read far too much of my rambling, but i’m so humbled you have done so.

Bringing it back to the $100 worth of gift cards sitting on our counter for A&F… any ideas?

As always,



Posted in Abercrombie & Fitch, CEO's, Children's Cancer Association, Constitution, Constitutional rights, daughters, First Amendment, Freedom, Memorial Day, Mike Jeffries, plastic, Toni Morrison | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

These are a few of my (really warped) favorite things…

Oh man, am I in a bad way.

A super shitty mood.

This doesn’t happen often, so i’m a bit thrown here.

I ran a beautifully fast and fun half marathon on the other side of the US of A yesterday with 20,000 other women and a handful of utterly insanely brave men, and yet.


Disclaimer:  I am beginning this post after 2 glasses of wine.  By the time I have finished it (the post, not the wine), i shall have finished it (the wine, not the post).

I wish I could blame this mood on something other than what it really is.

I wish I could blame it on the following things:

That I just found out that unicorns don’t exist.

That Ricky Gervais stopped posting on Twitter.  (“If you want to know why I don’t believe in your god, just ask yourself why you don’t believe in any of the other gods. Hope that helps.”)

That I couldn’t RUN anymore.

That I just found out that FOX news always had it right (see: unicorns, above).

That “happy baby” was never actually a legit yoga pose.

But no.

These are not the reasons.

I actually can’t pinpoint what it is.  And I find myself really pissed when i’m pissed.


I am an extremely healthy woman with more than enough means to pack up shop, move to the mountains, and live happily ever after.  I have no debt, no (known of, as of this posting…) illness, no pain, no heartache. I have never cheated death.  I have never felt the terror of an attack.  I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry, I have never been profiled.

I have lied, I have cheated, and I have stolen.

And only on one of those three have I been caught.  But it’s when I was 10.

So coming home and being angry, quite honestly, is taking it’s toll on my attitude.

I’m going to correct it right now.

With this.



So I’m already in a bad mood, and I’m thinking… “what better way to exacerbate this crappy mood than to fold laundry?”  I wander into the dryer, and about 8 billion socks fall onto the floor.

I smile.

Because they all belong to my 11 (soon to be 12) year old daughter. A basketball obsessed female tween. In a sport where men get too much of the glory.

So for fun (since she is out playing Clutch basketball tonight), i pull out all her socks.


that’s 22 pairs. of socks. for basketball.


It’s disastrous.  I’d probably only use it if the choice were between me using it and killing a unicorn.


I’m just so happy that there are still people in this world who use this font.  And i’m not the only one.


If you know, you know.


I’ll go ahead and post the photo first.


Please note a few things:

_the iPad for constant music entertainment.

_the hair-straightening spray.

_no attempt at folding clothes.

_the 20 or so brands of lotions, soaps, and face creams.

_glass of wine with fruit soaking in it (ok, that is MINE.  had to put is SOMEWHERE to take the photo).

_the shoes that were in fact mine, but she has now claimed as her own.


I was in such a pissy mood, i needed some music that would make me happy. If you know me, you know i am a HUGE John Denver fan.  I can play just about every one of his “greatest hits” on guitar (as defined by me, NOT his label).  My all time favorite, (if you were born, say, before 1995 you may know this.  If you were born after that – or maybe before… I don’t know the John Denver statue of limitations on knowing his songs by heart – you might not know one lyric at all, so for that, only I am smiling for this bullet point tonight) is “Wild Montana Skies.”  On Greatest Hits, Vol. 3.


I learned this word from my stepmother’s cousin yesterday. And of COURSE learning a new word is cause to smile.

But because learning a new word is a big deal (not when you are 11, as that’s not a big deal at all. But at 42, that’s a bigass deal), I have asked my sister, a blogger herself, to help me use it in a sentence.

And, as usual, she prevailed.

here we go:

a) “Mitch McConnell was in a swivet when John Boehner tried to kiss him.”

b) “My sister (that would be me) was in a swivet when she finished her last bottle of Chardonnay (it was Pinot Gris tonight, but alas, it was finished and I was in a swivet).

c) “Fox news was in a swivet when Tsarnev’s constitutional rights were upheld.”

does this help?  indeed, it should.


We got this amazing wallpaper last week, and it just makes me so happy.  It’s got bats and venus fly traps all over it.  Probably nothing Julie Andrews would sing about.  (“The hills are alive… with the sound of baaaatttsssss.”). Nope, not so much.



These women are entrepreneurial geniuses.  They work hard, they play hard, they love hard. And they sell a necklace (amongst many other in-fucking-credible things) that has a harmonica attached to it.  That actually plays music.


and then, when I ordered a bunch of these from them for all of my girlfriends, they sent me a handwritten thank you letter, which i’m pretty sure nobody does anymore.  They even said i was a Badass, which i’m pretty sure, at 42, is impossible, but just because they took the time to do that, and write it on a card, and put it in the mail with my order, diminished almost the reminder of my surly mood.


I also, because the lighting allowed it, tried to do a unicorn, just because i thought that was just as nice as the letter.  But because i am not a shadow puppeteer, and i’ve had, now, a full 3 glasses of wine, it turned out more like a beluga whale that has mated with a unicorn and had a “belunicorn” baby-child.



I am already lighter.  There are too many good things, day after day, that happen.  And all too often we don’t even give our energy to them. My number 1 thing is obvious.

to me.

And for you, it’s a totally different thing.

Which is good.

So here’s the thing.

Dirty bathrooms are worth a laugh, not a nuisance.

Imagining a belunicorn could exist is dreamy.

providing socks for my daughter is not something I should take for granted.

Whatever kind of over-the-top shitty day you’re having, don’t let it get you in a swivet.

With all the post attack amputations, nuclear threats, potential chemical warfare, and suicide bombings…

it’s simply wasn’t worth it to end my day in any other way than with grace and gratitude.

and so it is ended.




Posted in Elite sock, Fox news, John Denver, top ten lists, unicorns, Wildfang | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Everything Exists.

I have an insane idea for a mashup. It came to me on a run this weekend.

If you’ve got a connection to Jay Z, Timberlake, Rihanna, or B, you might want to take note, because i am going to make you INCREDIBLY fucking rich with this idea.

But before i do, before i divulge my genius idea, let’s just backup a hot minute.  and define what a music mashup actually IS…

So i’m going to the source. The only credible source in the universe.  Wiki.

“A mashup or bootleg (also meshmash upmash-upblend, and bastard pop/rock) is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.”

Any questions, up to this point?

I thought not.


So to continue backing up for a second, let’s go back to the most important part of this blog post…


Yea, i’m going to be selfish for a hot second.

Because my mind works in kind of not-quite-circular-and-somewhat-squarish ways, and when i’m on a RUN, well, any kind of shit can happen (no, not literal, unless this were an actual marathon, which, if you have not done one, DO NOT JUDGE.  shit happens).

So, back to me.

When i run, i get some crazyass ideas.  I am superwoman, where nothing can penetrate my boldness, my femme fatale, my absolute willingness to take total risk.  Running is my superpower.

The hour after is where self-doubt leaks in, my kryptonite shows its ugly self.

It’s where my idea of the “ultimate mashup” no matter how completely AWESOME it was on my run, strumming air guitar along the Wildwood trail, becomes a complete farce.  A whimsical moment between mile 6 and 7.


Between mile 6 and 7, a few months ago, is where i achieved complete clarity on the cover of  a photographical journal I was to publish of my friend May’s beautiful journey through breast cancer demolition (that’s a harsh word, but she did.  she DEMOLISHED these mother-fucking cells).

And the moment i knew a book was in store came to me when she said to me, “AC, I’m scared about my hair falling out.”

So we shot a series of photos of her beautiful black hair and dark brown skin against the white wall of my home, with nothing other than my handheld Canon Rebel T3i, and thus, the cover shot of Come what May was made:


and since we published, I haven’t given the luck of the beauty of that shot a second thought.

I just assumed I was lucky.

So today, this rainy cold-ass Sunday evening, I asked my 11 year old daughter to put on a tank top, get in front of the same wall, and see if i could get ANY of the same results that I achieved with May.

For if I did, it would be great news.  It would mean that any of you, with a white wall, could create magic with nothing more than a handheld camera.

So here’s what we did.

The same hair flipping motions that May did to achieve the amazing cover photo we got, above.

And what a result.

Here is the lesson: with a camera, one that has any sort of fast motion lens, and a bit of desire to edit them (I use Adobe Lightroom, you could use anything that allows a black and white setting with exposure options), you can make a mashup happen.

A mashup that uses the color of the personality of the individual with the black & white filter.





so you see, it’s super simple.

have your person, be it your son, your daughter, your mother or father, your sister or brother, your friend or foe, flip it.  In front of a white wall.

then crop it, put a black and white filter on it, and publish it.

it will be amazing and it will be YOUR vision.

And if, by chance, you happen to have “The Rose” by Bette Midler playing as I did during my run, you might have the come to Jesus moment i did that a mashup of that song with whichever current popular icon wants to attack the challenge.  They can pay me royalties later….

I digress.

It is what it is.

Everything exists.

Except for the things that don’t.

So if they are important to you, make them happen.




Posted in beauty, breast cancer, cancer, Corradini Photo, daughters, Lightroom, overexposing, photograhy tips, photography, portrait, skin cancer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


A couple weeks ago I asked my black lab, Kelby, what his plan was.

My sweet dumbass dog was begging to go outside, and I, thinking he needed to pee, was slightly put off when he kept wandering about the bushes, sniffing, with no leg lift occurring.

“KELBY!” I yelled, “what’s your plan?”  Oh, the sweet tilted facial response i received in return (you have a lab, you know).

And then it clicked.

I’ve lost it.

I’ve got to listen to that inner voice, stirring in my head, that life needs to get bigger.

So since my last post I’ve been thinking about exposing myself.

Not in the trench-coat-flasher-creepy kind of way, but in the way where i’d like to take a hard look inward and really reflect upon where my boundaries are, then flex them. Discard those things that make me feel like shit and invest in those that make me feel like i’m an invincible warrior, free from the “you should” conundrum.

And all of this aligned with my favorite day of the year.

It’s a day better than Christmas (aka “Target-day” thanks to retail and consumer behavior shifts over the last, oh, 15ish years), better than my birthday (no one defines my age mindset!!), and definitely better than Halloween (ugh, the pressure of coming up with a costume, although my best ever borrowed idea was the cheap long slip I bought from JC Penney and wrote phrases such as “penis envy,” “superego,” and “oedipus complex” on it – guesses anyone???).

It’s the day we change our clocks for an hour more daylight in the evening.

We come home, exhausted after a day of work, open a bottle of Pinos Gris, sit on the couch with our family, and witness – for one extra hour! –  the rotation of the Earth that results in the perception that the sun is actually setting. It’s magic and it will last for the next six months.

So let’s celebrate new light, and what that means when it comes to photography.

In my book (not my literal one… my proverbial one), overexposing a photo is the best trick there is.  Juergen Teller has been using it forever. I’ve always been drawn to him… when you see his work, you know it will be bright, crisp, and perhaps tinted with a slight yellowish twist.

It doesn’t matter what editing software you use.  It can be as simple as your Instagram options on your iPhone, perhaps slightly more technical as you get to an app such as Camera+, or maybe you love fooling around, such as i do, on a more advance form of software such as Lightroom.  All of them have an option for overexposure, and I’m in for it.

So i’m no Juergen, but i’ll ALWAYS vote for an overexposed photo.  Do nothing more, and your photo is already more amazing… in my humble opinion.

Below are a few examples of photos I’ve taken in their raw state, then afterwards with the overexposed filter.

Do with this what you will, and take it for what it is…

A single persons approach to editing her photos as she would aspire to live her life.


To light!






















Posted in animal photography, beauty, Corradini Photo, dogs, editing photos, Juergen Teller, overexposing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

It is said that love is blind. Friendship, on the other hand, is clairvoyant.

Philippe Soupault said that, back in 1897.

And yesterday, I received a text from one of my (i am so honored to say this next word) closest friends which said, “do you sleep?”

This text came from a woman who just LIVED through her battle with breast cancer, May Shelstad.


And the reason she had reason to send me this text is because i was peppering her with questions, at all hours of the night:

“What is the name of your oncologist and plastic surgeon?”

“Do you think your doctors would mind being photographed or named in a book?”

“Time period between your double mastectomy and half marathon was six weeks, correct?”

“Can you summaraize the quote from your plastic surgeon the day he found out you ran 13.1 miles that soon after surgery?”

“May i use one of your radiation photos on Instagram?”

“Have you got any favorite quotes or poems or sound bites that kept your faith up during last year, or continues to do so?”

“Are you in the Portland area tomorrow? I think we really need to capture the radiation photos.”

All these questions and so many more were the journey that May and I took together over a 10 month time period.  Her, being diagnosed with breast cancer on April 5th, and me, getting an e-mail from her on April 10th giving me the news and asking, humbly, for me to photograph her journey as she admitted to me that “losing my hair and getting cut up is causing me some anxiety.”

so we photographed everything.

Midway through her battle, I wrote this.

Yet from her diagnosis day to her days getting chemotherapy to her double mastectomy surgery to her radiation to her victory over cancer, after hearing the words from her surgical oncologist, “May, you are cancer free,” I felt her whole story needed to be told.

I have written about her before, but today I publish a book of 50 pages of photography of her journey.

It’s my first true publication, and quite hilarious, as i’m a total amateur photographer.  All of these photos were taken with my Canon Rebel XTi and edited in Adobe Lightroom 3.  No special lenses, no props to provide extra flash or reflection.  They were taken in my bathroom, against my white wall, on the Summit Steps, and most poignantly in the surgery ward of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, OR.

This book is expensive, self publishing is not something easy to do.

So my ask is this:

If you have $79.95 that is merely a drop in the bucket, i guarantee you will see pixels that will bring you to tears… she is just that beautiful.

It is in TRUE disclosure that the $79.95 price tag covers the cost of publishing the book ($74.95) + $5.00 profit to go to a NON-PROFIT to which May will decide to donate. It’s that simple and that costly.

If you find that too much of a stretch (and to those of us experiencing self publishing for the first time… wow!  understood, it’s expensive!!!), my ask is to spread the word of this book.

here’s how:

Pull up this link, preview the entire book, and share it on your website, FB page, Twitter feed, google+, Path page, Linkedin, or Email to your friends.  hashtag it #comewhatmay and #cancersucks.  We want to spread the word of May’s journey to any woman, mother, sister, or daughter that has just been diagnosed.

Give her a ray of hope.

Send her the message that beauty can exist through all the stages of conquering this horrific diagnosis.

May had the foresight, let her story be told.


as always,



#cancersucks #comewhatmay

Posted in breast cancer, chemotherapy effects, female African American bald, female bald, mastectomy, photography, radiation effects, self publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

the letter.

More than anything, i wish i could go back to a particular moment in time.

Now that i know the facts about her death.

But i can’t, right now… go back, that is.

Because the place is Syria.

And the moment in time is the summer of 2010, when we were able to cross the border (albeit somewhat frighteningly, even in a time of peace) from Lebanon, and on our way to Aleppo, visited the Krak des Chevaliers, an 11th century medieval castle, one of the most well preserved castles in the world, so rich is its history.

Rich in our family history, as well.

More on that in a minute.

My mother, brother, and I crossed the Syrian border, and proceeded to drive about an hour onwards and upwards to this glorious site.  We knew the story, but up until today, we didn’t know the full version.

We arrived, greeted by camels, to the main entrance.  It was more than a castle – it was a veritable fortress.  Piles of massive heavy round stones piled up, ready to be catapulted upon the enemy at a moment’s notice.  Long slits carved out in stone, able only to fit a rifle’s long barrel, the walls, thus, protecting the soldier.

And perhaps most magnificent of all were the holes.

Holes that were deep, who’s sole purpose was to allow sunlight to filter through to the tunnels.  Or holes that were wells, so as to allow access to underground water. Holes that, in 2010, were protected, for tourists’ sake,  with iron rods.

But on November 22nd, 1949, they were not.

Which is why,  on that date, my great grandmother fell through one of them and died.

This is why my mother took us there.

We thought we knew roughly the whole story.  The story of how our great grandmother died. That she fell through a hole at the Krak de Chevaliers.

But today I learned more.

Today my brother and I got an email from our mother who found, in a storage unit, the letter my grandfather – a minister, theologian, and President of Aleppo College in Syria from 1954-1958 and President of the Near East School of Theology in the year of this incident, 1949 – wrote to friends of his mother, Bessie McMullen, on the details of her death.

Below i have re-typed the letter (i so wish i could have attached the original in it’s beautifully written form, but alas, it is too faded and thus difficult to read) that my grandfather wrote the day after the death of my great grandmother.  Please note that anything in parenthesis are my own additions.

American Mission, Beirut Lebanon, November 23, 1949:

To the dear friends of Bessie McMullen,

Through the cables sent early this morning you know of Mother’s sudden and tragic death yesterday.

She left early (5:30) Sunday morning on a trip to the Krak des Chavliers.  The trip was one of many which are sponsored annually by the American University of Beirut to points of interest in the Near East.  Neither Marie Louise (his wife, my grandmother) nor I went on the trip as I was scheduled to speak at the Univeristy Chapel in the early evening.  But in the two busloads of people which comprised the party were several older people, including particularly two American women, two doctors, and two nurses.  Mother perhaps felt a bit lonesome at first but soon found a happy companionship with the two women.  We heard that she had a gay and happy morning as the buses went north to Tripoli and then turned easterly for the two hours further to the finest of the ancient Crusader castles.

The group spent some time going over the castle, then had lunch.  After lunch Mother and one of the other women were apart from the rest of the group.  In one of the dark places in the castle Mother stepped off into a deep, abandoned well.  The others immediately rushed to her aid as she lay helplessly and severely hurt at the bottom.  She had landed on her feet which were both badly fractured.  Her left arm was broken, the lower part of her spine, and she had internal injuries.  She remained fully conscious, however.

As the castle is in a rather desolate section of Syria, no private cars were available and there was no alternative but to lay her on the back seat of one of the buses and start an agonizing trip back to the mission hospital at Tripoli.  Fortunately the two nurses were at  hand to make mother as comfortable as possible.  The two doctors who had walked back along the road some distance were picked up later.  One of them, on an impulse, had brought along a few drugs and was able to give Mother some medication.  But the trip back to Tripoli required four hours due to the terrible condition of the road, and the care needed to make the journey as easy as possible.

Mother was able to sleep a little with the medication.  She manifested great courage and good spirit, despite her pain.  She didn’t want me to be told of the accident until after I had finished the service.  Her last words were, “I’m going to die now.  Say good-bye.”  Then she went to sleep quietly just five minues before reaching the hospital.  Her heart could not withsand the shock.  That was at seven o’clock.

Word arrived at the University Chapel about 7:20 and I received it just after I had finished speaking, some five minues later.  The suddenness and violence of Mother’s death stunned us.  Yet God has upheld us.  He has been very tender and full of loving kindness.

We are grateful for the happy months which Mother had here (in Lebanon) with us all.  She was thrilled with the voyage over and she found rest after several years of arduous labor in their trip to Jersualem.  And to see Gary (my uncle, deceased in 2010) and Deedee (my mother) again, to be with our precious little Laura (my aunt) climaxed her joy.

We are grateful for her devotion to Jesus Christ and the consequent depth and earnestness of her spiritual life.  She was sustained through some difficult years by her faith. As a mother she gave of herself without stint to her children, cherishing only the hope that growing up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord they might serve Him all their days.  She labored in the church, of her meagre substance in those latter days she gave generously to others in greater need.  She found it difficult to spend for herself what she knew others needed more.

When mother left New york last June she embarked on a longer voyage than she knew.  But she also ventured on to a more glorious place. She is reunited with Dad. And they are with God.

Our thoughts are with you all.

I don’t know what more to write, as my grandfather, my Jiddu, Horace “Mac” McMullen, wrote so much more fluently and compassionately than i could ever imagine.  He worshiped God, and i struggle with my faith in Him.  He wrote this a day after his mother’s death, whereas i don’t know where i would muster the strength to write such a letter would that have been my mother.

I sit here, tears streaming down my cheeks in sheer awe of the reality that we can always learn more about the blood that binds us.  I am an agnostic, yet the words my Jiddu wrote above send me to my knees to pray.

Is it a sign?

Or is it a lesson.

I am richer, fuller, deeper in my faith surrounding my place in this world after having read this letter.

I am so proud to be the great grand daughter of Bessie McMullen, the Granddaughter of Horace McMullen, and the daughter of Deedee McMullen Corradini.

May we all, in our time of death, be celebrated with a letter such as this.




one of the dozens of holes that were once unprotected when tourists came to the castle.


one of the slits through which one could fire a weapon.


underneath one of the holes that provided sunlight to the tunnels in the castle.


my brother and me in the compound.


view from one end of the top of the castle.


like ruins, now.


so much still purely as it was centuries ago.


my brother at the pulpit.

Screen shot 2012-12-09 at 9.01.27 PM

the pathology report showing the extent of her injuries and ultimate cause of death.


Bessie McMullen.

Posted in generations, grandparents, Krak de Chevaliers, Middle East, Syria | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

a simple solution from a complicated man.

My 8 minutes of terrorizing fear happened in this way:

We walked into a McDonalds, so that he could get his habitual (to my chagrin) 8 billion oz. of Diet Coke that his mind yearned for every morning.

The restaurant (if we can call it that) was at the end of the Corniche – a beautiful stretch of Mediterranean seaside that runs along the city of Beirut where the palm trees are ridden with bullet holes, and shaggy rocks host men bathing in swim trunks whilst their wives sit and watch, covered head to toe in their Burqa’s.

We entered, he ordered. In those 30 seconds, as we were waiting, an SUV pulled up outside.  I remember it with absolute clarity.  It was a mid 90’s Pathfinder, and i know that because i owned almost the exact same model after graduating from college.  However this one was gun metal grey, but not shiny… a matte grey, as if it didn’t want to attract attention to itself.  The windows were darkened, the car itself had absolutely NO discernable marks.  In fact, it seemed almost TOO shelled out, if that makes sense (and if not, it’s ok… life really doesn’t make any sense anyway).

Out of it, three men emerged.

They were Middle Eastern.  Full dark heads of hair.  Long scruffy beards.  Clothing consisted of jeans, shirts, light jackets… even in the intense heat…it was odd.

I was watching them, not because i had reason to, but because i was by the window and my intuition asked me to.  I was in the Middle East, in an American restaurant, and i judged.  I felt very real fear.

I asked myself, in this moment… “is one of these men a suicide bomber?”

So i said to him, “Hey… look at those guys.  Do we need to worry?”

“No.” he said.  But i knew there was more… because with him, there is ALWAYS more.

“How do you KNOW,” i asked.  Shaken, not yet stirred.

“There’s a list of telltale signs,” he said, “I remember them from a book.”

of course he did.  because he remembers EVERYTHING.  that he’s EVER learned.  like a photographic memory bathed in a sponge-like brain that never forgets.  basically the opposite of the ‘learn-it-for-the-moment-then-if-not-needed-for-the-moment-then-forget-it’ me.

First, he said, if they were suicide bombers they would be shaven.  it avoids suspicion. So you would see a paler chin… a tan line, if you will.

Check.  These men, as i mentioned, had full beards.

Second, he said, their lips would be moving.  Praying to Allah.  Their final prayer.

Third, they would be stiff, albeit robotic… staring ahead, not wanting to make eye contact with potential victims.

these men were talking amongst themselves, engaged with one another. Not smiling, not relaxed, but certainly not satisfying the above criteria.

Fourth, “they would be wearing super big coats, as the bombs they wore would need to be well hidden,” he said. And these men just had light jackets over their shirts (still too much in the 90+ degree heat, but nothing that could conceal something more).

So i relaxed, as did the hairs on my arms.

And we got his Diet Coke, and we left.  And then he said it.  “I’ve got it,” he said, “how we solve it.”

Back up a second.

The prior 4 days, he and I had been together walking the streets of Beirut.  We had seen the rich, protected by gunmen in front of their apartment buildings (threatening us for loitering too long), and we had seen the poor, begging in the streets for just a few Lebanese pounds.

We saw beautiful graffiti (street art?) lining the concrete walls in the city, giving way to political persuasion.

We meandered into a beautiful Lebanese “Patisserie” where the most succulent baklava was handmade and readily available to taste.

We heard bullets ring through the skies in celebration of an elected official, one of them (bullet, not official), landing on the hood of a taxi in which friends of our family were passengers.

And finally, the day before we went on our walk to McDonalds, we visited a Palestinian refugee camp.

The children… so sweet and innocent and beautiful in their youth.  Not yet capable (how dare i assume to know that?) of judgement of their Israeli counterparts.

We walked, as Americans, through the alleyways of this camp, witnessing tangled wires to allow for electricity.  It was, truth be told, a full commercial network – food, clothing, electronics.

We witnessed an extravagantly ornate bench for two, sitting alone on a rooftop, awaiting the bride and groom that would say their “i do’s” amongst their imprisoned friends.  No passports, no home to call their own but this camp.

But still yet walled into a city into which these people were likely born and more likely would die.

We found ourselves in a community center in the center of camp, where NGO’s made a difference… providing art, music, craft, and counseling.

It was in this NGO we met with a filmmaker, born into the camp, but had escaped, only to return, with his children, to this refugee camp to document the struggle within.

Coming home from a day at a Palestinian refugee camp is inexplicable if you come from a life of relative ease.  It gives reason a chance to pause.  And it stays with you.

So we talked, this man and I, following our trip to the camp.

Why such fighting?  Why cannot all these people drop their guns and live in peace?  Is there no solution?  Is there no hope?

So we started to think, over the next couple days, as we experienced Lebanon.

We went to the home of my mother’s childhood… where we found nothing but overgrown weeds and ruins of her past, all due to the Lebanese Civil war.

We found ammunition shell casings, right on her property where she and her friends used to play capture the flag.

We questioned everything.

“What if women were in power?  Would men be willing to lay down their guns?”

That was the best we had, yet it was a sorrowfully weak argument, having seen the role women played in the society – subordinate and passive.

“Why can’t our US government solve this?” we laughed.  Not possible, what with all our insanely problematic partisanship.

So we walked.

And walked.

And on the last day, he needed his Diet Coke, so we walked to McDonalds.

And my 8 minutes of fear happened.

And then, on our walk back, he said it.

The Solution.

“I’ve got it.”

“what? ” I said.

“The solution to all this,” he said.

and i didn’t say a word.  Because i thought a diatribe was coming.  A very complex, very incomprehensible babble of political theory that even i, as a political science major, would not understand.

But i was wrong.

Instead, he said this.

“Integrate the schools starting from kindergarten.  Because when you have circle time with your brother, how can you then turn around and kill him?”

And that was it.  That one sentence.

And truly, it might just be the solution to it all.

So i ask.  How do we make this happen in the Middle East?

How do we get men to unstrap their guns and wallets from their midsection (from which all their testosterone emanates) and put those in power with different solutions?

and by those, i might just mean women.

Because we would integrate those Palestinian and Israel babes.  And those girls and boys would grow with so much love for each other they would not conceive of fighting as an option.  Because they would grow as brothers and sisters, living together on land that has enough space for them all.

Yes, maybe he’s bat shit crazy.

But to hear that simple sentence from a man that is arguably the smartest one i know, it all, in a moment, made sense.

That walk to McDonalds will never be forgotten.

Because i took it, literally, with MY brother.

HE’S the man.

To all of you in the Middle East,



La Corniche… upon which we walked morning and night.

Palestinian refugee camp boys smiling sweetly for me!

how can this Palestinian boy hold anything but love?

Twin girls at the refugee camp, Burj Al-Barajneh.

a beautiful old Palestinian woman, birthed here, will die here, at this refugee camp.

crossing the border into Syria – an unimaginable feat today. how lucky we were to say “we entered peacefully.”

a beautiful Palistinean girl. no passport. no home.

the massive complication of wires in a self sustaining society within the refugee camp.

more complex wiring.

bullet ridden holes on the sides of so many of the buildings we walked passed.

the incredibly filmmaker that escaped the camp, only to bring his wife and children back into it, so that he could document the story he wished to tell.

all of us with the group of women associated with the NGO that helped this refugee camp.

casings we found scattered throughout our journey to the Middle East. This one in particular on the grounds of the home in which my mother was raised.

Mom outside a home in her neighborhood in Lebanon where she spent her youth.

The field where mom and all her friends ran around playing… you couldn’t walk 6 feet without finding a bullet casing from the Lebanese Civil War.

Mom’s home. completely destroyed, yet beautiful to see.

Mom, my brother, and me, outside her shelled out home in Lebanon.

Posted in arabic, Burj Al-Barajneh, Middle East, Middle Eastern Crisis, refugee camps | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

way to burst my bubble, Queenan.

Hello again.

Ok, here’s the baseline.

We’ve already established, if you’ve read any one of my blog posts, that i am not and should not be considered an “intellectual.”  I read a lot, i have a very good education, and i come from a family of SUPER smarty pants. So let’s just say i’m very curious, often wrong, yet well educated.

Good?  good.

So because i’m curious, and i like to learn stuff, when i’m in the car, my radio is tuned to  NPR.  And when i’m at home, i read a lot of books.  So when a story comes on NPR about books, my ears perk.  I listen.

So here’s this guy, we’ll call him Joe Queenen, who was interviewed by Robert Siegel last week.

Joe reads a LOT of books.  About 125 a year.  Somewhere between 6000 and 7000 total.  I only know one guy who even comes close to that, and he’s my brother (i’m recalling memories of our youth where i would be out in the neighborhood playing kick-the-can or jumping on the trampoline, and he would be home from the library with another stack of 7 or so books that would be finished in a matter of days).

So i was keenly interested in what he felt qualified as “great” books.  the best he’s ever read.  And lo and behold… (i’ve never actually used that phrase in a sentence), he said two things that really pissed me off.

First is this.  James Patterson does not write his own books.

Now i don’t actually read James Patterson, but hold the phone, that’s not the point.

When i pick up a book, and i see an author’s name, i assume that author wrote the book.  So WTF James Patterson?  You’ve got co-authors?  I did not know this.  It actually, like eating a Lemonhead, was a pretty dull reaction at first, then BAM, it hit me… you are pushing out 10 books a year.  You’re kind of like the Duggar Family of the book world.  So i should have known, i should have guessed it, and i suppose it’s all good, but PUT THEIR NAMES ON THE BOOK!  I mean seriously.  If i were to do this same practice with my blog, it would go something like this:

Me:  Hey, co-author, here’s an outline of a blog i want you to write on how Dr. Ablow is an asshole.

Co-Author:  ok, cool.  Can i swear?  This guy is whacked.

Me:  Fuck, yeah… he’s an asshole!

Co-Author:  ok, so what i need you to do is find someone who can come up to your house, in, like, and hour, and take pictures of you shaving your daughters face.

Me:  come again?

Co-Author:  it will be great.  then we’ll post those photos, and i’ll write a script around how she is the future of our world, nay, our universe, and that you would be totally fine with her growing up gay, transgender, WHATEVER she wants, because shaving her face, like Jenna Lyons painting her son’s toes, will not require years of therapy to ensure they are heterosexual, because being anything else is just wrong, according to Dr. Ablow.

Me:  i love it.  But don’t say “nay.”  That’s totally going to give away the fact that i didn’t actually write this, and i’m not going to give you any credit, so it would seem weird.  But i’m sure that’s cool with you, because for sure you being my co-author will lead you to bigger and better things.  So keep that in your pocket.  You rock, co-author.

Something like that. Even though i’ll never make millions publishing blogs, nor do i fancy myself to be any kind of talented writer, at least every single stinking word is my own.

James, if you want to be a BRAND, then call yourself that.  Like Christian Louboutin.  Or Ralph Lauren. We all know they employ a plethora of talented designers, but their names are a brand, so we know they don’t design them all.  When i am at the SLC airport at 6:40 am and pass by the “Simply Books” and see your latest monthly publication sitting at #1, i assume you wrote it!

I don’t know… is it the same thing?  An author and a designer using their own name? I just can’t come to terms with the fact that it is.

Help me here, people.  I feel shafted.

OK. The second item up for grabs that threw me sideways was Queenan’s perspective on Book Clubs.

In that they suck, in his opinion.

And i quote:

“They’re just stupid. They’re just ridiculous. My problem with book clubs … is one week they discuss something like Anna Karenina and War and Peace and the next week they discuss the stupidest book imaginable. They just discover whatever book Anita Shreve just happened to write or something like that. There’s no theme.”

and then this.

” … The other thing is that when … you read Oscar Wilde or you read Moliere or particularly Shakespeare, I would consider it an invasion of their privacy for me to express any opinion about their work. The market has spoken. There’s nothing that we can add to this conversation. Someone once said about Emily Dickinson: The correct way to approach Emily Dickinson is on your knees.”

OK, here’s the thing, Mr. Queenan.  I have never joined or been part of a book club in my life, but i find your statement completely insulting.  How can you say that a discussion of a book amongst a group of readers could not unearth something new?  Could not prompt a person to re-visit a longstanding POV they’ve held onto because it’s “how their mother raised them” or “it’s just what we believed in our family?”

I don’t know the answer, but i DO know that your statements bothered me, so on a long run this morning, i had this thought:  If reading a book were akin to photography, then one would argue that every awesome picture of Fall leaves had been taken.  That if a group of amateur photographers posted their work, it would be no better, or offer no different angle than those that have already been taken by the others.

It would not even be worth TAKING the photo in the first place.  Leaves turn every Fall.  Don’t share your photos, we’ve seen it all.

OK, maybe i’m stretching here… but just go with me, ok?  Because i grew up in the Rockies, where the turning of Aspen’s was so breathtaking that to this day i see those reds, yellows, and oranges and i need to reach for my inhaler.

so this Fall, in Oregon… i have witnessed the most amazing colors that i’ve ever seen.  And i’ve seen SO many iterations of what this has meant to others, that i just felt compelled to share some photos.

Not by professional photographers, mind you, but from my pals.  my posse.

And this whole train of thought started yesterday on my long run through Portland.  I must have stopped 20 times to take a picture, the leaves were THAT amazing.

My favorite, you ask?


followed by this:

then this:

and then this:

more of this:

and finally, to end my run, this:

and then… i got home, and after a long hot shower, took a long meandering walk through Instagram, and found the most amazing photos from my friends… none of them pro’s.  It was like we all belonged to a proverbial “photo club” of autumn leaves and wanted to discuss, despite our amateurishness.

From James:

From Liz:

and alas, from my pal Elizabeth, a cyclist in her own right:

immediately followed by soon-to-be-mama Marijo, this beauty taken at the Japanese Gardens:

and then, from my friend Darin, who knows how much i cannot freaking STAND leaf blowers, and posted this gem of his little man:

so seriously, how could the 6 of us not form our own little “Fall Leaves Photography Club” and discuss the emotion, the thought behind why each one of us took that second to hit our “shoot” button on our iPhone, and find something in that conversation that has not been discussed before?

I simply am trying to relate this to Mr. Queenan’s theory, hoping ya’ll are following the idiocracy of his statement.  It’s ok if you’re not.  It’s just where my head is at the moment.

And for the record, when it comes to books, i generally alternate between fiction and non-fiction, just to make sure i’m shaking it up a bit, but lately that ratio has become about 3-1 the former to the latter.  I read The Age of Miracles by (and ergo actually WRITTEN by) Caren Thompson Walker, which then led to a recommendation from two amazing friends of mine to read The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, which i couldn’t put down, and then another book fiend friend of mine recommended Gone Girl, which was done within two days.  After those three, i meandered into my office, and there was a book waiting for me from one of my favorite people on the planet, and i’m currently grounded in it:  Infidel: my life, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  And i believe next on my list will be May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes, only because one of my favorite book homies just texted me, saying, “I’m on page 22 and my head is spinning it’s so good and dysfunctional.”

No, none of these are Shakespeare or Austen or Dostoyevsky, but they are GOOD books, and i would open a bottle of wine and discuss them with any of my book loving posse anyday, as i’m sure somewhere in between the literal and the figurative, we’d find something never before discussed.

End of story.



*if you want to see what Queenan’s list of “must read books” are, here you go.  But don’t you DARE discuss them… “the market has spoken.”

Posted in Book Clubs, Christian Louboutin, Corradini Photo, environment, gay, James Patterson, Joe Queenen, photography, shaving, transgender | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

thick skin.

“Your epidermis is showing.”

This, the earliest memory of scorching taunts from my highly intellectual brother.

Clearly, i was in perpetual fear that some sort of body part was lurking outside it’s clothed boundary.  And in the 70’s, i couldn’t exactly google it.  So after hunting down my Webster’s, i learned the meaning, and shortly thereafter he moved onto the next form of sibling torture.

But this memory stays with me.

It stays with me because i like to be liked.  And liking to be liked is a hard game to play in life.

Because it means you need to watch your words.  Not be too controversial.  Always be optimistic, careful in the times you cast doubt, lest you lose your facade of being an overly optimistic, but seldom harsh, individual.

Contrasting with that is also my utmost need to create chaos and be overly melodramatic.  It’s true, and i have done the testing to prove it.

So on a daily (if not hourly) basis, the “pleaser vs. chaos” left shoulder/right shoulder forces are hard at work on my soul, and somewhere in the middle my brain makes a decision.

Usually chaos wins.

But lately, my latent pleaser has reared her ugly head and really challenged my ability to speak my mind.  It has taunted me, fearsomely, with the consequences of being judged harshly – namely, that it sucks.

The result?

I stop writing this blog, something out of which i get such JOY.

I choose my words carefully in the world of social media, so that not one of them can be spun out of context.

I warn others of their words (three times, just this last week!), for fear that they, too could be harshly criticized by others.

So i needed a proverbial kick in the ass.  I needed that “thing” to expose my skin, to test it’s thickness.

And i got it.

Attending the 2012 International Women’s Forum World Leadership Conference this last week.

The subject, “Ideas Remaking the World – In a New Age of Discovery.”

The 2 day meeting kicked off with a panel on “Radical Openness.”

Out onto the stage walked Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.  Donned in a patchwork plaid jacket and jeans, he spoke openly about “authorship,” the neutrality of Wikipedia, his extraordinarily influential role in social media…. And (thick skin) about his stance on Wikileaks.

which is this…

If we do not promote openness in Government documents, then the government itself will fear that it will be hacked (which inevitably someone will have the ability to do), and the result of that “non-recordness” – in that they will cease to create documents – will be at stake.  The very foundation of how we trace history will be lost.

(disclaimer:  i am TOTALLY summarizing what he said in terms of my brain retention, i did not – for fear of hacking ? – write down his exact words).

Another disclaimer:  the above disclaimer shows my “pleaser” side – so that in the 1/1,000,000 chance Jimmy actually reads this he does not rail me for incorrectly summarizing him.

Then Ben Keesey walked out, and was asked the lesson he learned when a video goes completely bat-shit viral when published on You Tube.

He said, “make sure that when it happens, you have more than a single intern as your PR department.”

the Ben/Jimmy handshake. Told you the former wore and awesome jacket.

The second thick skin moment for me happened during a panel on female founders rising in the world of entrepreneurship.

Skyping in was Ann Miura-Ko, basically known as the single most powerful angel investor of Silicon Valley.

If you want to start a company, she’s “da proverbial bomb.” And on stage for the panel were three other extraordinary women (a shorter blog is a better blog, and i still have a lot to say, so please google them, they are mind-blowing. i have supplied the link), Leah Busque, Mariam Naficy, and Pooja Sankar).

The big learnings from this panel?

_if you have an idea, but you merely “like” it vs. LOVE it, you won’t survive the inevitable downs of being an entrepreneur.

_Just because you’ve been unsuccessful at something in the past, does NOT mean you won’t be successful at the very same thing in the future.  (that comes with facing your weaknesses head on and dedicating yourself to mastering them).

_no one knows what you are capable of more than yourself.

_ NOT BEING LOVED IS A REALITY.  Minimize your operational risk, and accept there is a whole new form of “social” risk.

_women need more access to information flow.  That means access to conversations that happen over happy hour, on the golf course, at the freaking URINAL.

_Gender neutral is good.  Invest in the best talent, the best Founder, period.

And throughout all this, something broke in me.  for the good.

A layer of thick skin started to once again become porous.

And it is the reason i am writing again today, after almost 3 1/2 months of silence.

So i’m just going to put a few things out there – thoughts that enrich my chaotic side and dampen my pleaser side.

Firstly is this.

I don’t believe in God.

I do believe that when one dies, there is something more.  And i believe this because of actual testimony from those who have spent extensive time “dead,” and come back to life.  A light, A force, A source. There is something there.  But to believe in a God that created the world in six days, in my opinion, is absurd, as one cannot dispute the science behind the creation of the Universe.  And if we all follow the bible, then my gay and lesbian friends cannot wed each other.

Furthermore, i don’t want to have to live my life in a way that assures i have a super awesome afterlife.  I WANT to make some incredibly BAD decisions.  I want to mess up so horribly that if Hell existed i just might qualify.  Not through intent, but through the premise that failure makes us better.

So what comes when i die?  I don’t know.  But the Bible does not “tell me so.” I’ll find that out when i get there.  I have faith that it’ll be alright.

So i’ll take science any day.  And i will quote from a tweet from Ricky Gervais last week that said, “Dear Religion, this week i safely dropped a man from space while you shot a child in the head from wanting to go to school.  Yours, Science.”

need i say more?

Secondly, what the hell is up with people who still use leaf blowers?  Honestly, we may all as well be driving around town in Hummers.  To move a leaf from HERE to THERE with a machine that uses gas is fundamentally arcane.  It’s a leaf.  You won’t trip on it. So if it bothers you, if it makes your perfectly manicured lawn suck, rake it.

Thirdly, social media is for everyone.  It’s not for those who are experts in a particular subject.  This comes as i have read a few status updates from friends admonishing those who are not totally schooled in the subject on which they are speaking.

Come on.

I am not an expert in ANYTHING i say.  But that is the beauty of a democracy, of our Constitution, and face it, of the premise of social media.

To exclude a voice because they “don’t know what they’re talking about” is to turn Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, et al, into sites only for the uber-intellectual, which hurts us all.  It’s bullying.  All voices, no matter how far off base, are at the crux of our civil liberties, and quite frankly, need to be heard.

Fourthly (a word?  YES!), capital punishment, and legalization of marijuana.  I’ll take this point by point.

Capital punishment – go for it.  For those that are found unarguably and completely guilty of the most heinous of crimes, you should be DEAD.

Legalization of marijuana – I support.  In the most basic and uneducated terms (see “thirdly”), and having been under the influence of both this drug, and that of alcohol (does that sentence negate me from ever running for public office????  shit!!!), i can say with all due respect, and in my humble opinion, that i find the latter leads to much worse offenses than the former.  And, per my gun control comment, those who want drugs will find them regardless, so the legalization at least warrants a discussion on control and regulation should my daughter ever wish to experiment.  “Under the market” is more dangerous than “over the market”.  period.  (and i may have just made up those terms)

And finally, this.

I am not a bleeding feminist liberal.

I am a female liberal, who’s proverbial and literal blood will run if my skin is cut.

And in that, i do not fundamentally understand how, as a woman, one could vote for our Republican nominee for Commander in Chief.  So my theories, for those females that are voting for him, are the following:

1) You are a LDS female, and your faith runs deeper than your politics.  It’s cool.  He exemplifies the Mormon faith, and having grown up in Utah, i don’t agree with it, but i see how that is possible.

2) You are a female living amongst the 1% and want more. Be that a corporation or an individual. You worked hard for your money, and no government is going to take that away from you, goddamnit. And i say this as an occupant of the 1%. But i don’t die with it, so what the hell?

3) You know Mitt.  You have worked for him as a female, and found him to be a GOOD man.  A strong leader.  A guy who can balance a budget.  And abortion isn’t really something that will affect you.  Generally, what is decided upon for you on the control of your uterus is something that is not important in everyday life. You probably have not been impregnated from rape or have ever needed the services of Planned Parenthood (and you cannot try to defend his stance on that… he has overtly stated that if elected he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade). 

4) You believe that global warming is bullshit.  That coal is our friend. That all that plastic in the ocean is not a big deal so what the hell with plastic bags.  Really, we should really worry more about other issues, because all that undisputed evidence around our planet not being able to sustain our abuse of it is just left wing scientific theories with no basis, and you know that because big oil is telling you so.

At this IWF conference of a dear friend of mine and fierce environmentalist, David de Rothschild, referenced R. Buckminster Fuller’s analogy that we all live on “spaceship earth.” OK, so it sounds crazy.  but give me a second.

Nature is our airplane. It is the vessel on which we live.

So who is flying the ship? Me?  you?  who?

NATURE.  That’s who flies it. It OWNS us.  The hurricanes, the tsunamis, the earthquakes, they pilot our ship.  Nature doesn’t back down if we ask her politely to do so.

When our spaceship is going down because we are causing it to crash, we can’t just ring the call button and ask for more “champagne and nuts.” The pilots are dying, the flight attendant is passed out.

WE have to be the agents of change.  All of us.

So… yeah.

Just a few things in the 3 1/2 months i’ve been dormant.

It’s time for chaos to rule, the pleaser to go back to 7th grade where “mean girls” was a reality.

In all my posts, i have only taken down one.  It is safely tucked away, taken off the internet due to direct threats to my family.

And each post teaches me something, not because of the words I write, but because of the words YOU write in response.

So come after me.  Test the thickness of my skin.  Make me squirm, fry, wish i regretted every word.

Because here’s the thing.

Life is short and life is big and life is about expression and life is about showing every single skin cell.

We are alive for a second, and Darwin deemed it so.

So call me a bitch, call me a liar, call me whatever you are compelled to write.  i can handle it.  I love my epidermis.

and it IS showing.



Posted in 2012 Presidential Election, angel investing, Ann Miura-Ko, Ben Keesey, Constitutional rights, Corradini Photo, David de Rothschild, Delta Gamma, environment, eye for an eye, gay and lesbian marriage, International Women's Forum, Jimmy Wales, Leah Busque, Mariam Naficy, Pooja Sankar, Ricky Gervais, Roe v. Wade, thick skin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments