July 31, 2015

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Kimmy Schmidt, The Bunker and How What Is Wrong With You Can Help Make It Right

Here’s a headscratcher.

Sooner or later, it dawns on you that your greatest assets are also your most vulnerable liabilities. It is just true. And one of mine is kind of a superpower with built-in Kryptonite.

I am the Great Pretender.

On my second re-watch of Kimmy Schmidt, I am struck once again by my similarities to her (comedic) experience of being kept in a bunker, having swallowed hook, line and sinker, that the world had crumbled into a toxic heap. At one point, Kimmy and her boss (Jane Krakowski as “Jacqueline Voorhes”), utilize a technique Kimmy taught herself while in captivity. They are both desperately trying not to be a writhing mass of insecurities and they decide that the way to self-improvement is through the “outside-in.”

This isn’t novel of course, but what makes it so incisive is that Kimmy’s coping mechanism is to “smile, jump up in down and say, ‘I’m not really here, I’m not really here.’” It is the most accurate depiction of my superpower, ridiculous and searing.

I grew up in physical, emotional and spiritual violence. My father was a well-respected, innovative Southern Baptist minister with many secrets. That he was abusive seems like the least of it, but it isn’t. That my mother didn’t see a way out is important to note. That my brother did his dead level best to avoid all of it. That I tried equally as hard to stand up to my father. As a matter of principle.

Despite whatever demon was loosed on me at home, three to four times a week…it was up to me to dazzle and soothe at school and at church. There were many times when on the way to church, there was screaming, hitting and all sorts of humiliating, and it came to a complete and utter stop as soon as we hit the church parking lot.

Almost every serious relationship I’ve ever been in has reflected this history of pain and disguise.

I learned to put my face on, bury myself and play a role. Lots of roles. Most of them impressive. I have hauled (despite my best efforts of SO MANY THERAPISTS and books and medication and meditation) all of these patterns with me, even as I curse them, I reinforce them.

It is infuriating.

You see me through your phone. I am a kaleidoscope, a rollercoaster, a goofball. These things are true. What is also true is that I battle with myself underneath. When my mind is quiet and I look around, I am back in the bunker. I’m smiling, jumping up and down and saying, “I’m not really here! I’m not really here!”

It “works.” I can disappear into the world, loving its tastes and expressions. I can disappear into people, their fascinating cruelties and aspirations. I can disappear into music and nature and art and politics. I can disappear into the ever-elusive allure of the scrolling timeline.

The problem is that I disappear from myself. I vacate the premises and am woefully disconnected to my body. I cannot sense danger or opportunity in the same ways. Hiding so much, for so long made me wistful for escape. Hungry for open roads (and tabs as it turns out).

Following clicks like magpies follow a shine.

Owning up to my affection for the Kimmy Smile, Jump & Vanish when I get to the hard parts is not easy to spot while I’m doing it. Lots of people like when I smile, jump and la-la-la-la my way along.  And I like it when people like me. (ß ugh).

I’ll be damned though, aren’t I the one who should consciously determine my flights of fancy? Is this life mine or does it belong to the bunker?

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June 25, 2015

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Among homelessness and drugs, Shadid Muhammad found himself and a purpose when he found art

Kristen Chapman Gibbons:

#MeetMyFriends

Originally posted on Neat Nashville:

Ashshahid Muhammad, 39, originally from Memphis, grew up in the streets for many years, before eventually finding himself through art.

At the age of 13, Shadid, as most call him, was involved in a robbery. He was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison but only served six.

He said once out, he continued the street life of selling drugs until one day when things didn’t go as planned.

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June 19, 2015

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My Plea to My White Friends and Family in South Carolina

If you are friends with me IRL or online, my political leanings are not in anyway hidden or tamped down. They rarely have been. I’ve been opinionated and passionate about politics for almost forty years (true story). There are many of you who do not agree with me politically about very much. Typically, we just avoid confrontations with each other, because the relationship adds more than it subtracts. I’m grateful for those friendships.

In the last two weeks, I’ve unfriended about six people for remarks about Caitlin Jenner and/or Charleston. Yesterday, I had to BLOCK someone I’ve known for 30 years. He called me a “race-baiter,” because I insisted ON THE FACTS that the person who committed this crime STATED CLEARLY on several occasions that he hated black people. There really is no ambiguity in his motive. The person I’m no longer associated with is a minister in SC. I assure you, usually I try to forge bridges, but that bridge was no longer safe for travel.

South Carolina is my home. I love it through and through. My entire family has been there since we came over the ocean. I return as often as I can. Those mountains and waterfalls are in my bones.
Friends and family in SC, I urge you to get very vocal and very visible about what kind of state you want to live in. I am very, very proud of my heritage and find lots of ways to honor it. I don’t need a hateful symbol to represent my heritage. My heritage is bloody, sure…complicated and there should be no sugar-coating the vicious racist past (or present).

Coming to terms with our own ongoing internal racism is a LIFELONG effort. You don’t wake up one day and not be racist anymore. That isn’t how pervasive ideologies work. They seep into structures and into our subconscious realities. They must be actively expunged over and over again. It is exhausting and painful. And if you are an ethical person (religious or not), you have an obligation to engage. There is no ambiguity here either.

When President Obama won the SC Primary. I wept for hours, proud that my state had come so far. I want to believe that there are enough South Carolinians ready to be in the street in solidarity against white supremacy — its symbols, its heroes and its “innocent” jokes and remarks. I need to see you white friends and family. I need to hear you confront this head on.

In one elementary school I attended in SC in the 70’s, we celebrated Robert E. Lee’s birthday. The narrative (and pride frankly) concerning the secession of SC is a strong one still. I grew up with it and it was as normal as fried apple pies. In my own home, my mother (and Sesame Street) worked hard to instill a love of diversity. I was raised to believe that racism was sinful and evil. To dishonor a child of God was to dishonor God. I am very thankful for my mother. She modeled the love she espoused.
I’ve been wrestling with racism — what it means, how it is propagated, where it lives in dark corners, for most of my life. Every time I think we’ve rounded a corner, it seems we are right back in the dark.
Friends and family…please be in the light with me. Let us form a chain of hands extended back in to the darkness. Let us pull one another from the corners. I beg you.

‪#‎CharlestonShooting‬

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Donate to Mother Emanuel

Jon Stewart once again verbalizes where many of us are in the country. Lord I’m going to miss him.

Tweets of note:

https://kchapmangibbons.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/playing-dead.png”>playing dead

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Rulesrules1

bing

not about you

From my immensely talented friend Herb Williams 11063498_10153065629931799_8273684554128908549_n (1)

#charleston #whenwillitend#hatepushesusbackfiftyyears

Must reads in my view: 

Great roundup here, a lovely piece by my friend Jennifer Bailey, Washington Post gives an in-depth look at the victims and the unfolding situation, a helpful Storify from my friend Jessica Luther about talking to our white kids about racial violence, a powerful plea to the white community, and finally a piece I read several times, because it resonated with me.

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June 18, 2015

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What Twitter Taught Me About The Charleston Shootings

Originally posted on The Boeskool:

Last night, nine people died while worshiping in church. The church was Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest black congregations in the country. An unknown man, described as a white man in his early 20’s wearing a hoodie, went into their Wednesday night prayer service, prayed with them for a bit, and then stood up and started shooting people. There are multiple reports that one of the people who was murdered–or assassinated–was South Carolina Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. Senator Pinckney was also the pastor of the church. It is a church was an amazing history. This is his picture:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.05.09 AMThis post is from Twitter from a news anchor named Preston Phillips. People have known this for a while now, but it turns out that if you want to really know about a current news story, Twitter is where you go. Especially if that news story is about and act of terrorism…

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May 26, 2015

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I Remember: The Understory

Kristen Chapman Gibbons:

As always, my friend Cary’s roundup of the evenings stories are a masterpiece of deep listening.

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:

Raise a glass

In remembrance of

Fire and strip poker and getting away with it,

The parents that raised you and the parents that gave you life.

Here’s to forest floors and downtown bars

To women and their stories,

The defiantly political and the depth of the personal.

Those who came by dust and water, nourished by figs and bees

Remember grandfathers

And wars, cold wars,

In memory of the chaos after wars

And personal wars,

And burning the past:

Here’s to rehab, recovery and strength.

In remembrance of trains and schnapps and naps

Here’s to the sound of choirs and standing in the rain.

In memory of worn lace and the soft security of comfort,

Of mothers. And of magic.

For lost words, last words,

Last chapters, final scenes:

For stories and understories

The told and the untold,

In reverence,

We remember.

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May 26, 2015

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I Remember How I Became A More Compassionate Activist

Last night, Tenx9 Nashville hosted nine storytellers in Nashville, sharing around the topic: I Remember. This is my contribution.

*I consulted the Oracle (Google)and discovered that Gloria Steinem isn’t the origin of the phrase “the personal is political.” I did say I was late to feminism.

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May 26, 2015

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Jeannie Alexander – A Bee’s Dream

Kristen Chapman Gibbons:

A beautifully written story shared last night by Jeannie Alexander.

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:

At Tenx9’s “I Remember” night, Jeannie Alexander spun a masterful narrative about remembering her grandfather–his grace, words, and beekeeping. 

I remember my grandfather’s smell. It is my first memory. My second memory is of being carried by my grandfather through his backyard. So carefully we considered the apple trees, muscadines, figs, and plums, but far back in my memory we first considered the mud puddles.  My grandfather was a brick mason and he and my grandmother made their home in Stone Mountain GA where both of their families for several generations before had planted their homestead; the modest dreams of sharecroppers. Their plots of land were stitched together like a quilt: my great grandmother Annie-bell’s home, my great aunt Irene’s home, my great grandfather Doc’s home, my grandparent’s home, my great uncle R.L’s home, and Uncle Pete’s home. One winding twisting piece of property divided into artificial plots. A geography…

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April 9, 2015

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An Urgent Message From My Overwhelmed Brain To Yours: Love Your Amygdala

I really suck at writing for more than 140 characters lately. In fact, I am just doing what I have to do every day, just to get to tomorrow. I am stressed.

I could blame Twitter or the pressures of my life (I’m a Social Worker in my day job, have a side hustle or two, three kids, a stubborn husband and an unwell mother), but the truth is that digging in and hanging on to a thought or feeling, following it where it goes and not clicking on the next shiny thing is hard for me. Flitting around the Internet or flying from one obligation to the next is way more exciting than prolonged attention. The disease of the quick and the busy has been swallowing me whole for months. I have just started a new position, so I am cutting myself a bit of slack. But…I suffer in invisible ways when I do not slow down long enough for reflection to sink in.

My mood darkens. My patience (what little I had in the first place) is nonexistent. And my normally buoyant personality gets brittle. I don’t like myself very much and I’m pretty sure my family isn’t really thrilled with me either.

Me, when I come home from work or spend too many days in a row stuck at home with my progeny.

Me, when I come home from work or spend too many days in a row stuck at home with my progeny.

Even though the concept and practice of self-care is not a new one to me, I am still struggling with learning when I need to nurture myself and how. When I’m stressed, (you too) my brain just doesn’t have the best judgment. Our brains get flooded with stress juice (this is my non-technical explanation) and our limbic system goes a bit haywire.

What happens in your brain?

Once your brain has decided there’s a danger, it sends immediate nerve signals down your spinal cord to your adrenal glands telling them to release the hormone adrenaline. Once released, adrenaline increases the amount of sugar in your blood, increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure (and has many other actions).

 Your brain’s remarkable hypothalamus also sends signals to your pituitary gland at the bottom of your brain, telling it to release factors that within a few minutes have travelled through your blood stream and stimulated your adrenal cortex to produce a stress hormone – cortisol.

Cortisol is very important in your stress response – keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure up to help you escape from danger.

We want to run or hide, fight or eat tacos. Well, that last one is just my response. When the brain has prepped our bodies to be ready to deal with perceived stressors, we literally can’t think straight. If we’ve experienced trauma that is unresolved, or if we are chronically stressed, our brains can shrink, restructure pathways and make us even less able to manage pressure. According to this article in Huffington Post:

When you stew on a problem, the body continuously releases cortisol, and chronic elevated levels can lead to serious issues. Too much cortisol can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, produce acne, contribute to obesity and more.

It’s almost like our brains think we are constantly at risk, so the brain’s ability to respond appropriately to danger…to decide what is worth flipping out about, gets damaged. Our amygdalas (this is my absolute favorite body part and it gives me a little thrill just to say this word out loud and I will be your friend forever if you can spell and pronounce it properly) start acting like one of those tennis ball launchers that is shooting out balls too quickly to hit.

When this deluge is upon us…we pretty much suck at life.

One thing I have learned is that there are some shortcuts for me that reduce my stress immediately. A huge one for me is music. I’m going to share three songs that I simply cannot get enough of right now…three songs that take me to beauty, frustration and joy, in that order.

What is your go-to stress relief? People tell me that exercise is good for stress relief, but I’m not really into sweating, so I don’t know about it firsthand. Of course, good nutrition and sound and adequate sleep are also essential. And sex helps. As does chocolate and regular massages. These are things I know about.

Whatever it is you do…remember your brain needs you to come to a state of rest on a regular basis. It resets us and prepares us for the next response. And because I don’t want that response to be yelling, crying, hitting or otherwise being a terrible human being, it is imperative that I am aware of stress on the daily and am respecting its function (and watching for dysfunction).

Modern life has us chasing clicks and appointments, seeking near constant stimulation. Even when fantastic things happen in our lives, our stress levels elevate. Over time, chronic arousal of hormones changes the way we can react to stimuli. It takes away our ability to see the choices in front of us and evaluate them honestly. And frankly, it makes us miserable. And I for one refuse to go done with a scowl.

.

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March 26, 2015

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When The Narrows Came On Me Like I Was In the Trash Compactor In Star Wars

I shared this story at Douglas Corner Cafe in Nashville on March 23, 2015. This was my 13th story at Tenx9 Nashville. When The Narrows Came On Me Like I Was In the Trash Compactor In Star Wars The year: 1997. Around two years since my last road trip out West. If you are a […]

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March 17, 2015

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Tweet of the Day: You Can’t Handle the Ruth

Omg yes – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is holding this shirt up. Need it. pic.twitter.com/U2UdhdccdH — Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 17, 2015

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March 11, 2015

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Why Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Is My New Favourite Series

Originally posted on This Seems Dangerous:
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the new Netflix original show, and it’s actually AMAZING! It’s completely insane and hilarious, and weirdly uplifting, and it gives great life advice, AND the theme is catchy and sing-a-long-able! What more could you POSSIBLY want from a TV series?! By the way, I know…

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March 9, 2015

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Morning Song – Black Is The Color

Originally posted on MassCommons:
“Well, it’s the kind of thing [where] if you’re going to do something that’s been covered a million times, you want to do it differently, and you want to kind of put your spin on it.” On the list of reasons for why the First Rule of Cover Songs* is, in…

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February 25, 2015

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Stories From the Streets of Nashville

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A 5 year-old kid wandered in our office today. By himself. Saying he was hungry. We fed him from all the things we had brought for our own lunches. Our office is in the projects off Lafayette and yesterday I took a woman grocery shopping. She had fifteen dollars to spend for the next 7 […]

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February 25, 2015

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This Guy Paints Random Characters Into Old Thrift Store Paintings

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Originally posted on TwistedSifter:
? David Irvine is the talented artist behind the Gnarled Branch. The self-professed illustrator and crafter is known for his whimsical furniture, his Gothic sculptures and what he describes as ‘Re-Directed Paintings’. Featured below is his ongoing series of re-directed paintings where Irvine finds old and/or discarded thrift store paintings and…

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February 13, 2015

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Beckyonce: Single Loser

Is this ok Kanye?

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February 9, 2015

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Raised Online – Self-Efficacy in the 5th Grade

This is not a post about the evils of children being online too much, or how dangerous it can be or even a post lamenting shorter attention spans and a lack of real-world adventure. This is a post about how my oldest son Riley has benefited from the internet in ways that were unthinkable when […]

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February 6, 2015

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Tweet of the Week: Vaccinate Your Damn Kids Edition

Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa. — Elnathan John (@elnathan) February 1, 2015

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February 6, 2015

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Help Me Raise Money Cheeses!

Originally posted on Rileys Backpack:
I know no one is going to get the Cheesy amount, but I can try! All the info is on this website Link To Fundraiser

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January 29, 2015

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Can’t go out to the pub? How about bringing the pub to you! THE INFLATABLE PUB

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Originally posted on #LoveBelfast:
Can’t go out to the pub?  How about bringing the pub to you!  This inflatable pub has room for a full bar and can be put up on any level surface. Measurements are 33ft Length, 16ft Width and 18ft Height. Its the First of its kind in the whole of Ireland.…

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January 27, 2015

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Tunes for Tuesday: Björk’s Stonemilker

Originally posted on Anibundel: Pop Culturess:
Björk released Vulnicura last week to rave reviews. A break up album from a relationship ten years in the collapsing, the opening track “Stonermilker” (11 months before) is a haunting opening to the slow demise of the safety of a known world.

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January 27, 2015

1 Comment

Creating a Space Where There Was None

Tenx9 Nashville hosts monthly storytelling events in Nashville and around the world. I am deeply honored to be a part of this community of people. Our motto is an Irish saying, “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” The joy, insight and beauty of true stories leaves my heart larger […]

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January 2, 2015

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19 Reasons You Should Hire Me

The cover letter/resume combo pack is a tedious relic, providing only the factual framework of a person’s accomplishments and features. Of course, most of the time, this is no indication of whether or not the person will be a good fit for your team. Some of this “fit” is really about identifiable characteristics like “outgoing” […]

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November 7, 2014

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Your Brain Said It Was Ok To Stretch It

I spoke with your brain privately, and one message was unmistakable: Feed Your Noggin. Hacks for Start-ups: https://twitter.com/GrowthHackers/status/530512536974921728?s=09 Help with navigating grammar: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/530443200834830336?s=09 Go to college or graduate school…for free: https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/530432044388872193?s=09 And if knowledge fails, at least smell good. https://twitter.com/DangerMindsBlog/status/530442397004886016?s=09

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October 20, 2014

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Strategy. Story. Social.

What Matters: Doing Digital Right Telling a good story Sharing it smartly Retelling it interestingly Resharing it differently Recognizing the audience you have Getting them to be ambassadors Growing your audience Deepening online connections Finding natural allies Collaborating effectively so that everyone wins Whether it is a project, an event, a campaign or an idea, […]

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October 19, 2014

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Damon Albarn says new Gorillaz album coming in 2016

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
Photo by Amanda Koellner In the run up to his show at Melbourne, Australia’s Palas Theatre, Damon Albarn sat down for an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. While talking up his debut solo album, Everyday Robots, Albarn revealed that his next record could come from one of his most beloved group projects:…

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October 17, 2014

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LA MEDIA NARANJA

Originally posted on Margaret Ellis :
There is an expression in Mexico, “La Media Naranja.” Literally this means half the orange, but like most things in español, it isn’t a literal translation. It simply means, the better half, or soul- mate. It sometimes seems that the world is full of people who are looking for the…

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October 17, 2014

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Kate Bush’s Top 10 Songs

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
“Before the Dawn”, Kate Bush’s recent run of shows at London’s Eventim Apollo, saw the unique singer/songwriter/performer return to the stage after a 35-year break. Her 25-song set featured two expansive song cycles, The Ninth Wave (from Hounds of Love) and A Sky of Honey (from Aerial), with a…

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October 15, 2014

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BE WARNED: This is a Process Blog Post.

Here is your all-important BACKSTORY:  In July, poof! There was no more job that I love (coordinating ongoing content for small businesses). My position and department were eliminated. And I have three wonderful kids that expect to eat regularly. You wouldn’t believe how often they are hungry. In August, my beloved Papa passed away after […]

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October 8, 2014

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The War on Drugs has got to end: Ethan Nadelmann speaks at TEDGlobal 2014

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Originally posted on TED Blog:
Ethan Nadelmann speaking at TEDGlobal 2014. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED “What has the War on Drugs done in the world?” asks Ethan Nadelmann, the founder of the Drug Policy Alliance. He namechecks just a few of its results: cartel violence in Central America, a ballooning global black market, packed prisons throughout the…

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October 2, 2014

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Call It A Gift — Wandering Off Is Not So Terrible

Wandering off isn't so terrible.

I’m prone to inevitable flights of fancy. Call it what you want. I get carried away. It cannot be helped. Neither psychotherapy nor medication have quelled my intermittent love affair with being alive. And my willful experience of being entirely human. Each time someone dies, we are brought to our knees with awareness of the […]

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October 1, 2014

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October is EVERYTHING

Why yes, it is my birthday month. And the Nashville AIDS walk, the Nashville Zombie Walk, Halloween (!!!!!) — complete with pumpkin spiced anything and everything. It is also Artober. I am a fan of all of these things. The weather is perfect. PERFECT. Here are some handy dandy guides to help you maximize THE […]

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October 1, 2014

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Kate Savage – Nashville

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is the lively story on Occupy Nashville from Tenx9 newcomer Kate Savage. ?

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October 1, 2014

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#Nightshift: Excerpts from an Instagram Essay

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:
Jeff Sharlet | September 2014 | 12 minutes (2,802 words) 1. Snapshots Dunkin Donuts, West Lebanon, New Hampshire The night shift, for me, is a luxury, the freedom to indulge my insomnia by writing at a Dunkin Donuts, one of the only places up here open at midnight. But lately…

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October 1, 2014

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Eddie Vedder releases cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” — listen

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has released a cover of John Lennon‘s “Imagine” to benefit Heartbeat.fm, an organization that uses music to foster peace between Israel and Palestine. The song is now available for purchase via iTunes. Calling it “the most powerful song ever written,” Vedder covered “Imagine” for the…

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September 29, 2014

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The Good Things

I’ve been on the hunt for some relief, some silliness, some funky reframing of what otherwise is…here are some of The Good Things. This is probably the most amazing Tolkien book cover of all time. pic.twitter.com/MRGBhHtzMr — Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) September 29, 2014 WOMEN LAUGJING WHILE EATIG SALAD COSPLAY pic.twitter.com/GPdLodm00X — a real dinosaur (@SparkyROAR) […]

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September 27, 2014

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Omagh’s ‘Shawshank Husband’ Dug Tunnel From Bedroom To Pub Over 15 Years

Originally posted on Tyrone Tribulations:
Kerr re-enacts tunnel movement An Omagh plumber tunnelled a hole from under his bed to the local pub 800 feet from his house over the course of 15 years, a court heard today. Patsy Kerr had been summonsed to Omagh County Court after it emerged he had been the cause…

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September 25, 2014

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Lord I Love This Song

  “you blow a fuse zing boom the devil cuts loose zing boom so what’s the use wow bam of falling in love…” Bonus: check out a young and goth Norman Reedus in this Bjork video:

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September 24, 2014

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Listen to Hurray for the Riff Raff’s New Song “Everybody Knows”: Premiere

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Originally posted on TIME:
In the tradition of protest songs like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” comes “Everybody Knows,” from Hurray for the Riff Raff. “I wrote this song last year, on February 26th, one year after Trayvon Martin was shot…

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September 24, 2014

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Tenx9 Nashville: “Nashville” Summary

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is the summary of Tenx9’s September theme “Nashville,” written by the brilliant Cary Gibson. This is the story we all told of our city.  ? This is Nashville. It’s a place where saving face is an art form. And, according to the late Miss Addie, it’s where a…

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September 24, 2014

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9/25 at EXIT/IN: Turn Up for Turnout —-> Gun Sense Votes Get Your Groove On #Nashville

Turn Up for Turnout! is an event dedicated to gun violence prevention and voting with gun sense. Join us for a night out with live performances by Grace Weber and other Nashville artists. Admission is free for all Gun Sense Voters — all you have to do is click here to RSVP! What: Turn Up for Turnout! A Night […]

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September 24, 2014

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Tenx9 — Stories About Nashville

The theme from last Monday’s Tenx9 storytelling event was “Nashville.” My humble entry is about my on-again, off-again love affair with the city, that began in 1986. This video misses the first and last sentence of my story. But, that’s ok, because I’m pretty confident you can read. “When I was a Junior in high […]

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September 24, 2014

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Tweets Worthy of Display and Fawning

Recent savory nibbles from Twitterverse. This sawfish is judging you. http://t.co/n81hHG6Hnl pic.twitter.com/olPWcFcNYZ — Meredith Frost (@MeredithFrost) September 24, 2014 Halloween is coming. Don’t subject us to this kind of hell. Circus peanuts are some of the weakest candies ever — Misogynique (@MissZindzi) September 24, 2014 In the “Mostly True Department”   Kids wanna be adults, […]

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September 23, 2014

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Tuesday Tunes: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Polica — Courtesy of KEXP in Seattle (and plenty of love for other independent, community-supported radio)

Three bands that have become instant staples and a salute to the independent and community-supported radio stations. Find the one you love. Shower that sucker with love. It’s the right thing to do. A few of my favorites: WDVX WNCW WFMU Wrecking Ball Radio KEXP Who have I missed? What radio stations do you love? […]

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September 23, 2014

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Bracing For A Punch: Or Why I’ve Been a Bad Blogger Lately

Never Not Losing, Never Not Gaining My body is sore from bracing punches. The near-constant rush of dark waves has left me shrill, wordless and unsure. It seems this year has reduced me to a perpetual defensive position, making any agency seem out of reach. It isn’t just me, although losing my grandfather and my […]

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September 19, 2014

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The Gift of Petty Grievances

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Originally posted on Knight Stivender's life in full:
Thursday night I was the second to last parent to pick up my daughter from the middle school football game because I went first to the wrong school and sat there in the crowded parking lot while I talked to her on her friend’s cellphone, wondering…

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September 18, 2014

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In Which I Spill My Secret History With Rivergate Mall

“Tenx9 Nashville‘s next night of true personal stories is September 22. Our theme is “Nashville.” We are looking for 9 true stories of our city. What have you experienced in Music City USA, Davidson County TN that you want to share with us? What strange stories of Nashville will you tell to a room full […]

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September 17, 2014

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Tweet of the Day: Hump Day Ha ha’s

Twitter is almost always good for a laugh, but these next few tweets have really broken through the noise…enjoy! Breaks my heart that pirates spend their whole lives following a map, when the real treasure is the friendships they build along the way. — Jason Lastname (@JasonLastname) February 16, 2013 Those who do not learn […]

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September 17, 2014

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Bob Clark – “Jimmyitis”

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is a great story from Bob Clark. He shared this at August’s Tenx9 “I Was Never the Same Again.”   Jimmyitis On September 10, 2007, a Chicago court extended my emergency guardianship powers over my eighteen year old, autistic nephew, Jimmy, allowing me to take him home to…

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September 17, 2014

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Your celebrity-like employees: Gauging happiness and anger before they quit

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Originally posted on psychologistmimi:
Your celebrity-like employees: Gauging happiness and anger before they quit ? As a manager you have to be attuned to the emotional ups and downs of staff. At least the good managers are. Recently, I noted to another manager colleague that I believed certain people were unhappy and would quit. That…

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August 25, 2015

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Ending Year One

Originally posted on POVERTY & THE ARTS BLOG:
Poverty & the Arts started as a dream to bring community members together. It started as a way to connect Nashville’s rich with Nashville’s poor. It started as space of creativity  for Nashville’s most vulnerable citizens. The language of our mission and programs have changed throughout our time…

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July 23, 2015

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Watch: ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ First Full Trailer

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Originally posted on Variety:
Jennifer Lawrence dominates the first full-length trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” as Katniss Everdeen and her allies storm the Capitol with the aim of taking down Donald Sutherland’s thoroughly evil President Snow. “My dear Miss Everdeen, make no mistake,” he tells her early in the trailer. “The…

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June 1, 2015

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An Open Letter To All Of My Friends Who Take Selfies

Originally posted on The Belle Jar:
Dear Friends Who Take Selfies, I want you to know that I love it when you post pictures of yourself. I know selfies get a lot of bad press, but I think they’re rad. They give me a little window into your life, and you’d be amazed at how much…

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