Friday Falafel* Five

Here is this week’s offering of great posts that I’ve read. I hope you’ll click through and give them a read or a look.

ADD and Autism (autism awareness) (depression) (ADHD in girls)


Kindness and Love (kind photography) (you deserve love) (making connections is what it’s all about)


Creativity (make a change, if necessary)


Equality, Freedom and Poverty (equal rights in marriage (video)) (equal rights in gender) (photos of poverty in america)


*The falafel is in there because it makes about as much sense as me continuing to say FIVE every week.

Five on friday (vagina stuff 🙂 )  (ADD leader stuff 🙂 )  (passion and truth in business 🙂 ) (equality stuff 🙂 )  (more equality stuff 🙂 )

“Five” for your Friday

So here are some things I gathered this week.

On loving ourselves and each other: (shame is not a tool that allows for change) (Imagine a world without hate) (I don’t hate my body) (a rare ceasefire in snark was called on Cracked because of Mr. Rogers)

On politics and Dying:

On Rape and Rape Culture:

(I assume these will be triggering for some. [too many]) (a spoken word poem about staying silent) (when a friend won’t let you drive drunk, but will let you rape) (we need to hear more men like this)



We watched the Olympics avidly this year. My son is a sports nut so we are definitely interested in watching the best athletes in the world compete at the top of their games in these games.

Those Olympics were full of stories about athletes that had come from bad childhoods, poor neighborhoods, struggling countries to somehow overcome it to make it to the Olympics. We love the story of the underdog winning in the end. At the Olympics we take a little time out from being spoonfed our daily ration of sensationalized news and reality TV. For just a little while we get to watch some really sensational reality on TV. People who work hard, train hard, and dedicate their lives improving themselves. This is the reality I want on my TV. The first ever double amputee to run in the Olympics? How many times did we hear that story? We loved it. We love it still.

We watched athlete after athlete swim faster, run harder, win more medals than ever before. When it was all over I looked ahead to the Paralympic Games to show my son what overcoming adversity and triumphing against long odds really means. We want to celebrate these athletes just as much, if not more, than the first bunch. But we won’t be given the opportunity. The sad fact is that someone, somewhere decided that we really don’t want to see much more inspiration. That we’re just not that interested in the Paralympic Games.

I read this article ,and a few others, about how little coverage that the US is getting of the Paralympics.

I am saddened and shamed by this.

The coverage of the Olympics was extremely extensive. I had 9 hour and 5 hour long recordings on my DVR every single day and we still didn’t get to see everything.  According to the article, ” NBC announced its U.S. coverage would only include video content on the U.S. Paralympics YouTube channel and five and a half hours of pre-recorded coverage airing on broadcast television.”

Five and a half hours total.

I saw nearly three times as much every day of the Olympics as will be aired for the entire Paralympics.

For shame, NBC. What are you telling these athletes, these people about their worth? What are you telling them, and us, about their place in society? You are telling them that they are less than. That they are not deserving of the same attention as “regular” athletes.

You are telling my son that his dad who is a disabled veteran who struggles everyday just to do regular things is not enough. Please don’t use any more disabled people or wounded warriors in your commercials to sell your products if you can’t offer them the decency of your attention in return.

Thanks for making it harder to teach my son that we are all equal.

Thanks for making it easier to explain what discrimination is.

We can

and should

do better than this.

UPDATE: I got mad enough to send an angry email to NBC Sports. Here it is:

To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter to find out why we are being so limited in coverage of the London Paralympics. I was dismayed to read that there is only going to be 5.5 hours of coverage offered here in the US. In total. I think the disparity between the coverage for the “regular” Olympics and the Paralympics is truly unconscionable. 
Are we so accustomed to our sensationalized reality TV that we aren’t able to recognize sensational TV in reality? I like to think that that is not the case, but somewhere, someone in your hierarchy decided that we aren’t interested. That America’s Got Talent trumps talented Americans. I am ashamed of this discrimination against these athletes.
I am so angry right now.
What are you telling these athletes, these people, about their worth? What are you telling them about their place in society? You are telling them that they aren’t worthy of your, and our, attention. You are telling them that they are Less Than. You are telling them that they are not enough.
Broadcasting companies are quick to use a wounded soldier or triumphant disabled person to sell their products by tugging on our heartstrings to reach our purse strings. Please, put your coverage where your mouth is. 
I am trying to show my son that we are all equal. I am trying to teach him that his dad, a disabled veteran who struggles everyday just to do regular activities is not less than. I am angry that you are undermining those teachings.
Thank you for making it easier for me to teach my son about discrimination.
Brook Hewitt
and a petition on that you can sign if you’re interested and angry like I am.

What you don’t know won’t hurt you. Right?

You may or may not know that there are protesters gathering in the streets of New York (and elsewhere) to protest the greed and corruption of the 1% of Americans who have the money and power.

The reason why you haven’t heard about it?

Your guess is as good as mine.

But it’s possible that those same people who control the money also control the media and don’t want you to know it’s happening. It doesn’t really even matter if you agree with anything about the protests. What matters is that you aren’t being given the information. You cannot form your own opinion about it if you don’t know about it.

Here is a link to their website.

In case you want to know.

Banned Book Week

Today I was running around trying to get ready to go to school. We started up today. I was looking for a shirt that I like to wear, but I couldn’t find it. (In the time allotted. 🙂 ) Failing to find that shirt, I decided to wear a shirt that was my mom’s. Luckily she liked to wear baggy clothes so some things fit me. I was looking for that shirt (which is black) when I noticed a black shirt on top of a stack of shirts on the shelf in the closet. I grabbed it thinking it was the shirt I was looking for. It was not. It was a different shirt of my mom’s.

Which reminds me:

It’s Banned Books Week!

September 24 – October 1, 2011

Thanks, Mom! I would totally have forgotten. ♥

I remember

I remember

I remember

I remember

I remember, like most of us do, where I was when I heard about it. On the radio in our truck on the way home from dropping off my husband at work. I went home and turned on the TV and watched the world as we knew it come crashing down.

I remember

I remember Carol Duvall coming on HGTV and saying that in light of what had happened, they weren’t going to keep frittering on about crafting and whatnot. Out of respect, they stopped broadcasting for a couple days.

I remember

I remember bravery. I remember heroes.

I remember sorrow.

I remember sorrow.


Most of all, I remember how tenderly we treated each other. For a brief window of time we set aside our petty squabbles with each other and came together to grieve and try to heal each other. There was an incredible outpouring of love and support toward each other. Even if you weren’t one of the many who volunteered, people just had more manners toward each other. In our daily lives in the aftermath of the attacks we were not so quick to respond negatively to every little transgression on the street. For a little while we were able to see the bigger picture.

Loss on such a grand scale (and on lesser scale as well) has the effect of putting things in their proper perspective. It’s a devastating, jarring realignment back to center.

And then, slowly, the tap, tap, tapping of the daily living starts to chip away at the focus. We look up and find that we are angry and hurting and somehow, somewhere, sometime, we loose our tender hold on each other. We let it slip away.

I hope that we can grab hold of each other and try to regain some of that love and support.

I remember the victims.

I remember loved-ones.

I remember the heroes.

Don’t lets let the terrorists and hatemongers win.

Let’s remember the love.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” ~ Saint Francis of Assisi


As we spend this three-day weekend camping and grilling, let’s take a moment to bless these animal sacrifices as offerings in honor of the sacrifices made for us.

I’ve been trying to reconcile the meaning of Memorial Day with the fun and frolic of the “official start of summer” and all that goes with that. This is what I came up with. In lieu of saying, ” Happy Memorial Day,” which I find odd to say, I think I’m going to say something more along the lines of: Hope your Memorial Day is Special. (I’m still open to suggestions on that. It’s the best I’ve come up with so far).

I believe that we, as a culture, as a species, need to be more mindful.

Mindful of our words.

Mindful of our food and food sources.

Mindful of each other.


Mindful of our history.

Oh, here’s another:


More Adventures in Synchronicity

In my Art History/Literature class we are reading Zoot Suit, a play about the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles.

I had never heard of these riots and I grew up in L.A. But I guess I left before they got to the real history stuff–assuming they did. But it casts an entirely different light on the song Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Who’s that whisperin’ in the trees?
It’s two sailors and they’re on leave
Pipes and chains and swingin’ hands
Who’s your daddy? Yes I am

Fat cat came to play
Now he can’t run fast enough
You’d best stay away
When the pushers come to shove

Zoot suit riot

throw back a bottle of beer
Zoot suit riot

Pull a comb through your coal black hair

According to the article on wikipedia

 “The Zoot-Suit Riots sharply revealed a polarization between two youth groups within wartime society: the gangs of predominantly black and Mexican youths who were at the forefront of the zoot-suit subculture, and the predominantly white American servicemen stationed along the Pacific coast. The riots primarily had racial and social resonances although some argue that the primary issue may have been patriotism and attitudes to the war.”

My teacher showed a bit of the music video to show what a Zoot Suit looked like.

And that was my morning class.

So then I went over to my Dancercize class and we started our section on Swing dancing and guess what song we were dancing to?


Zoot Suit Riot!

Now isn’t that a riot!


P.S. if you need a Zoot Suit

you can find some on this site that I found:

An Ode to Equality

I wrote this as my final “essay” for my Gender and Race class.

An Ode to Equality

As we draw down to the end of the term

It’s time to assess what we might have learned.

That can feel like a rather difficult task.

But here is a brief tour of our term that just passed.

What do you get when you take a book on race, another on gender

and add movies, discussions, personal experience and articles to the Blender

Then mix it around and shake it up a bit?

You get a whole host of new ideas and thoughts from it.

For me, the meat of the class was the emphasis on connective tissue.

We can draw a thread through seemingly disparate issues,

Sewing together this piece with that part

In order to create a new fabric, or paradigm, from which we can now start.

Start to move forward and onward and up

Away from the old ways; the unfair, the unequal, the corrupt.

Hopefully we take from this class a feeling for how very lucky we are living in this place, in this time, in this skin.

The challenge, of course, is to not get too comfortable in this privileged situation we’re in.

But, from my own perspective, and as pointed out in the class readings

Every person can probably find a minority and majority group in which to find seating.

I am privileged to be white in a system that favors the lightness of your skin.

I have the honor, but perhaps not privilege, to be a woman in a system that favors the brawn without over the heart within.

Perhaps we are short, when the world likes us tall.

Perhaps we are big, when our world favors the small.

Yes, the media and, by extension, our culture favors the tall, skinny, blond woman with big boobs and a small intellect.

But, more importantly our culture wants the woman to be quiet and unaggressive; circumspect.

If I speak out in favor of more equal distribution of this nations bounty of rights and riches,

Then you know I’m probably one of those FemiNazi Bitches.

I don’t have a daughter, but if I did I would teach her about strength of character, body and mind.

I would show her every strong female role model I could find.

If she wanted to be a princess when she grows bigger

Then I would show her examples of the depth of the job, the importance, the rigor.

Because the point is not whether you want to be a princess or not.

The point is when the one cookie cutter image of a princess is all we’ve got.

But since I had the good sense to create a tall, slender, white male child in this particular society,

I will just have to teach him to love and respect women and people of all varieties.

I’ll have to help him to see the fallacy of the media’s portrayal of masculinity as angry, violent, stupid, and muscle bound.

I will seek out other definitions of manly and strong wherever they can be found.

My plan is to teach him and help him to grow into a man who is strong, respectful, smart, considerate -worthy of

The strong, respectful, considerate, smart woman who would be worthy of sharing his life and love.

And then there’s the issue of race

That’s now, thanks to this class, staring us right in the face.

I’ve been exposed this term to some of the subtle discriminations that are hidden in our supposedly nondiscriminatory system.

These are the kind of things that are quietly subverting true equality and as a member of the white race it’s so easy to miss them.

Or even to dismiss them.

Because on the surface it appears that we have eradicated discrimination based on your skin color

And those of us who aren’t prejudiced are tired of being blamed for the actions of others

We are weary of hearing how it’s still going on even though we have made so many strides and come so far.

This weariness, I think, leads to a reluctance to honestly look at the way things were and still sometimes are.

Or maybe we do look and we get overwhelmed by the systemic codification of discrimination and stereotyping that is far too often present.

How can we possibly root out these subtle and pervasive inequalities? This feeling can lead to apathy and even resentment.

The problem stems mostly I think, from a lack of honest and frank conversation about race and discrimination.

It seems as though sometimes it’s hard to have a talk without fear of some kind of retaliation or recrimination.

But, the real solution for our racial situation and indeed, I’d hazard, pretty much all of our societal woes.

Is free exchange of ideas and the honest baring to each other of our souls

I really responded to the article we read describing the symptoms of Attachment disorder and its effects.

I believe that we as a culture suffer from a form of cultural attachment disorder that leaves us distrustful and treating each other as suspect.

We, as a group, are guarded trying to protect ourselves from some real or imagined hurt.

This is perhaps understandable, but doesn’t often work.

All that happens, really, is that we create greater divides separating us.

We create more opportunity for misunderstanding when we treat each other thus.

I hope that in the next little while (because I can’t stand to wait very long)

We are able to sing a new, brighter more positive song.

The trick to the writing of this brand new song is, however,

That we must find the harmony so we can sing it together.

There is room within the music for everyone to sing their individual parts.

And music is the language that speaks directly to our hearts.

I know many people are nervous to get up and sing.

But the best part of music is that you can come to it with your own thing.

Can’t sing a note? Perhaps you play an instrument.

Not that either? Just hum or clap along with it.

From the information in this class I could probably come away feeling sad and wearing a frown.

I choose not to focus on how far we still have to go, but instead on the fact that we are on the journey; and pretty far down.

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