Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Noms, Sexual Health, Music, Rainbows, Rowntree, Stick Figures

1. I continue to love Hannah Hart as much as I can love a person that I only know through drunken youtube videos, twitter, and some interviews.

2. Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited (which meant it was free) to go to Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes' 43rd Annual Celebration. It was great to hear about the work that Planned Parenthood is doing, even while under attack from politicians. The keynote speaker was Leslie Kantor , who gave a great talk about the potential to improve sexual health education in our country. The whole thing made me want to be more actively supportive of Planned Parenthood. You should support them too, if you can. Donate, volunteer, be an activist, or simply be one of the millions of people that utilizes their resources.

3. Before going to the above mentioned event yesterday, I was a little anxious. I knew there were going to be a lot of people there, and that I wouldn't know anybody, and would have to either stand in a corner by myself or actually go up to strangers and talk to them. Both horrifying prospects. But as I was driving, this, my favorite song by the National (and my theme song for every fall), came on the radio:
Please note, I have idea what is with this video. Just listen to the song.

4. It rained a lot yesterday, but there was this lovely rainbow:

5. I got home last night to find a huge package from Chez. I didn't know what could possibly be so big, until I opened it and found Teddy Gunn, mascot of Rowntree House. He sure was a sight for sore eyes.
My unparalleled joy.
Teddy Gunn with the Rowntree portrait.

6.  Draw a stick figure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I like anything!

1. Everyone should have a pep talk with their mirrors in the morning.

2. Clothe Yourself in Righteousness! A wonderful musical project by Quaker artist Jon Watts. Check out this video, and consider buying the album and/or the pamphlet about earlier Quakers going naked as a sign. Quaker music can be so much more than singing the George Fox Song over and over.

3. An interesting article about the teenage brain. What do you think?

4. Sometimes you just gotta google image "otters."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

(the goal of living is to grow)

 1. I may have the best job ever, but I can still be tired out at the end of the day. It's nice to come home to this:
Home made carrot ginger soup, bread with goat cheese, fresh salad,  Smuttynose's Star Island Single, and the sunset over Cayuga Lake.

2. We Are the Youth, an awesome project giving voice to Queer youth. Also, represent New Ro!

3. Susie's Seitan. Ithaca-made seitan available in Wegman's! It comes in all different varieties, my favorite is curry flavored.

4. Fall is here but we can still remember spring.

in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses (who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me 

- e.e. cummings

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis

I had plans to post many things that I like today, because everyday my life is filled with joy and many blessings. There are joys and blessings in all of our lives, but I need to acknowledge that many of my joys are due to my innumerable privileges. There are many people in our country that do not share these privileges, for whom something as basic as their race can lead to wrongful imprisonment and execution.
It's hard for me to think of much else today other than Troy Davis. Today I go about my joyful life and at 7pm, Troy Davis' life, which has been spent in prison for the past 22 years, will be ended using American tax dollars. Davis will be executed for a crime for which he was wrongfully convicted, as seven out of the nine witnesses that testified against him have now recanted, and there is no physical evidence for his presence at the crime scene.
The only way to frame this horrendous injustice on this blog where I'm supposed to stay positive is this: I like that we live in a country where I am free to blog about this without fear of persecution. I like that hundreds of thousands of people have exercised their freedom of speech to speak out about this case. I am hopeful that this will be the catalyst for a movement to address injustice and prejudice in our legal system, and to put an end to the death penalty in all states.
Davis said in a letter to his supporters earlier this month:
"Remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated."

Learn more about Troy Davis:
- NY Times article about his being denied clemency.
- Interactive site with information about all of the parts involved in the case.
- Amnesty International has links to a lot of resources with more information.

Learn about how to get involved in the movement to end the death penalty:
- State by state database of death penalty information, see where your state stands.
Acting locally is a powerful first step. If you are involved with a religious group, try to find out if they are already involved in anti-death penalty work. Google your home town or the nearest big city with "anti-death penalty" and see what comes up. Specifically look for a "Peace Action Committee." These often are named for the place they're located + PAC (where I grew up, it was WesPAC, for Westchester Peace Action Committee).
- Campaign to End the Death Penalty
- Amnesty International has information amount international movements to end the death penalty.

If you have any more resources that you've found helpful, regarding either Troy Davis for the anti-death penalty movement, please post them in the comments.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top 50 Favorite Songs

Here it is, my top 50 favorite songs. I've divided them haphazardly into categories. I made the decision not to include songs from musicals, cuz that gets into a completely different realm. I tried not to just think of songs that I really love now, but songs that I've loved a lot in the past and that still hold some significance for me now, if only because of my previous affection for them.

Some of them have a little explanation as to why they're one of my favorites, some don't.

A note for Annabee: the songs that I want played at my memorial service are italicized, since you asked "Do you have all the songs you want played at your memorial service on a playlist in your itunes so that we can find them?" Any of these songs are fair game for memorial services, though.

Songs We Sang
For most of these songs, my association is not with a specific recording, but with singing it with friends or family.
1.     Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – African American Spiritual
Sung to me as a lullaby when I was little. My favorite.
2.     His Eye Is On the Sparrow – Hymn, written by Civilla D. Martin and Charles H. Gabriel
I used to love this song when I was little, and always requested to sing it. At one point, my sister Laurel said “We can sing this song this one time, only if you promise that we won’t have to sing it for five more years.” At the time it seemed like a fair deal, so I took it. I don’t think I’ve sung this song since.
4.     Angel From Montgomery – written by John Prine, 1971
5.     River – written and performed by Bill Staines
      Powell House
6.     Let It Be – the Beatles
If I were to really give you my favorite version of this song, it would be a recording of my friend Chez singing it at my college meeting for worship. I don’t have a recording of that, unfortunately. The original is lovely and so is the version in Across the Universe.
7.     Oh Danny Boy - Fredrick Weatherly
This isn’t so much a song we sang as a song I played on the trombone when I was younger. The high note (tis I'll be HERE in sunshine or in shadow ) was just enough of a challenge to reach that I was inspired to practice my scales diligently. 
Here's a lovely trombone quartet playing the song.
The version of this song that I like is on a cassette tape given to my sister by our aunt a long long time ago. I guess the Pete Seeger one is okay too.
9.     By the Rivers of Babylon - by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton
I couldn't find a version of this that I liked on youtube. Sorry.
Before My Time Favorites (Songs that came out before I was born)
10.  Sounds of Silence – Simon and Garfunkle
I memorized this song word for word when I was six. 
11.  American Pie – Don McClean
Powell House tradition, plus Don McClean was from New Ro. 
12.   Obladi Oblada – the Beatles
Used to sing along and dance with my sisters to this one. 
13.   500 Miles – Peter, Paul, and Mary
Another one from Mom and Dad's record collection. 
14.  Redemption Song – Bob Marley
15.  Wild World – Cat Stevens
It may be condescending, but I still love it. 
16.  Don’t Think Twice – Bob Dylan
Possibly my favorite song of all time.
17.  Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
18.  Cry Baby – Janis Joplin
19.  Total Eclipse of theHeart – Bonnie Tyler
The music video is the most important part. 
20.  I Held Her in My Arms – the Violent Femmes
21.   Fire and Rain – James Taylor
22.  These Days – Nico
23.  Do Right Woman, Do Right Man - Aretha Franklin
24.  I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – the Proclaimers 

Everything Else (I’ve run out of categories, roughly in chronological order of when they came into my life)
25.  You Had Time – Ani DiFranco
This is from Out of Range, the first CD I ever bought with my own money, when I was ten years old.
26.  Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox
27.  Jolene - Cake
Big Cake phase in middle school.
28.  All Over You – Live
"Borrowed" this cd from my sister and listened to it quite a bit at age 12. 
29.  Shower Head – Eve6
Another middle school favorite.
30.  Advance Cassette – Spoon
32.  Comptine D'uneAutre  L'apres Midi – Yann Tierson 
From my favorite movie, Amelie. 
33.  In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
34.  Delilah – the Dresden Dolls
Have to acknowledge my high school love for all things Dresden Dolls.
35.  One – Johnny Cash
So much better than the original.
36.  Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
For a glorious few months, this was my ringtone. 
37.  Don’t Die in Me – Mirah
38.  Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie – Joanna Newsom
39.  Straight Down – Huntsville Space and Rocket Center
An Earlham band, unfortunately not on Grooveshark...
40.  Last Stop: This Town – Eels
I would like to acknowledge the genius of this entire album: Electro-Shock Blues. As you will find if you clickey that link, it's an album about the suicide of his sister, and the death of his mum. Some of the lyrics are actually taken from his sister's journal. Depressing, yeah, but this album has some of the most poignant descriptions of the experience of mental illness and loss that I've ever come across. The song listed above is also super catchy!
41.  The World’s Greatest – Bonnie Prince Billy
 This is a cover of a song originally written and recorded by R. Kelly for the movie Ali (about Mohammed Ali). I like this version a lot, and it used to help me get ready to face Experimental Psychology in the morning.
42.  Nongqongqo (To Those WeLove) – Miriam Makeba
43.  I’m On a Boat – Lonely Island
Don't even front, you love it too. 
44.  Daylight – Matt and Kim
Possibly my theme song. 
45.  Hysteric (Acoustic) – the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
46.  Fake Empire – the National
My fall theme song.
47.  Helen – Horse Feathers
I don't like this song only because it has my name in it (I don't know any other songs with my name, though), but because it's quite pretty.
48.  Speechless – Lady Gaga
This song does not get as much attention as it should. 
49.  I Be Your Water – Sweet Honey in the Rock
50.  Never Quite Free – the Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats have been my favorite band since I was seventeen, so I have many favorite songs, but this may be my very favorite. Maybe.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

what that ever got me


As the Bruises Fade, the Lightning Aches
Richard Brautigan
As the bruises fade, the lightning aches.
Last week, making love, you bit me.
Now the blue and dark have gone
and yellow bruises grow toward pale daffodils,
then paler to become until my body
is all my own and what that ever got me.


3. The ambulances in Ithaca:
That's right, they're called "Bangs Ambulance"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My love of rubber cement ctd.

1. A good book that I read this summer: Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
I also think that it's a fantastic cover.
2. Another view from my back yard:

3. I've written before about my love of rubber cement. It's the best. I recently started experimenting with using it to save white spaces when doing watercolor. You can buy fancy and expensive products to do that, or you can use rubber cement!

more things exploding by Alan Sailor here
5. I've been watching Skins lately, the original UK version. It's a sleezy teen dramedy and it's not particularly great, but it's not the worst and it's on Netflix watch instantly. And as is the case with many mediocre things, it has some moments of grandness. One such moment occurred in the season finale of season one, when a main character's strict Muslim father finds out that his son's best friend is gay.
He says:
"It's a fucking stupid messed up world. I've got my God. He speaks to me everyday. Some things I just can't work out so I leave them be, okay? Even if I think they're wrong, because I know someday he'll make me understand. I've got that trust. It's called belief. I'm a lucky man."

Friday, September 9, 2011

I can hear the waterfall from my room.

1. You enter in what you have, and what you definitely want to exclude, and they give you recipes you can make.

2. the Self Evident Truths photo project.

3. Miru Kim's "Naked Cities." Not work safe.

 4. I got into Pottermore! It's not actually all that exciting, but it was exciting to get my wand and get sorted. My wand is 14.5 inches, quite bendy chesnut with a pheonix feather core. I was sorted into Gryffindor.

5. We had a lot of rain on Wednesday. So much that roads and schools and pretty much everything was closed for a lot of Thursday. The waterfall behind my house is out of control.
For those of you who can't watch videos.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


1. I am currently involved in two musical projects that I'm pretty excited about.
- The first is making a running playlist for my sister, who is going to run a marathon next month. It's an interesting challenge, because my musical taste is not often rhythmically influenced, but for running you want a good beat. I've been learning all kinds of things about my music that I'd never thought about before  - some of the songs that I think of as being the most energizing actually have really slow rhythms, and some folksy acoustic ones are actually quite fast paced. Do you run? What music helps you keep going?
- My wonderful friend and music buddy Ben Self has a lovely tumblr, and recently posted a list of his top 50 favorite songs. Inspired by his detailed and thoughtful list, and my own love of making lists, qualifying & quantifying the things I love, I'm working on my own list. It's fun and challenging and pretty revelatory.

2. I hung out with Baby and an 11 year old girl yesterday, and it was great. Also on the subject of hanging out with younger folks, last week I watched Bring It On with a 12 year old, and it was like watching it for the first time. Fantastic.

3. Art by Alice Arisu (not work safe).

4. I'm learning how to cook for just myself, stay healthy, and save money. I'm incredibly lucky to have a CSA share left over from my previous job, which keeps me in good vegetables. So far my main strategy has been to cook a large amount at the beginning of the week and eat that for lunch everyday, and then have a lighter simple meal for dinner. I have given myself a grocery budget of $50 per week, so I invest in one or two favorite ingredients at the beginning of the week (nice cheese, asparagus, seitan), and use it as many ways as I can. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.
This week, lunch is Orzo with Garlic-Ginger Vegetables (I added more garlic, more ginger, and cayenne pepper, and didn't do the whole chicken broth deal). I've determined that orzo is overrated and don't plan on spending money on it again.
I got this wonderful wok from my sister for Christmas. The brand is "Helen Chen."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wine, Dine, Fashion, Moss.

1. I went on my first wine tasting tour yesterday, and it was a blast. It didn't matter that I don't know very much about wine, the people were all very informative, and I snuck some grapes off the vine.

2. Finally moved in an unpacked in my new home. There are many wonderful things about it. Last week Laura and I made dinner and ate it on the ledge overlooking Fall Creek waterfall at dusk. I'm sorry to say that none of my pictures of the waterfall came out very well. I'll try again some other time, but here are some others to give you a sense of how nice it was:
Laura, the food, and the view.
The food: pasta with pesto, asparagus, yellow squash, sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, and some bread.
The view: looking out on Cayuga Lake.
3. Two history and fashion related videos:

4. Moss graffiti! If you google it you can find instructions on how to do it yourself.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wanna-Be Thought Blog

Sometimes I wish I had a thought blog. I have so many thoughts! Today I will share with you some things that have made me think, without telling you what they made me think exactly. What are your thoughts?

1) Text from
"In late 2008 filmmaker Rob Spence, caught our attention when he announced his plan to jam a video camera in his skull to replace an eye he lost to an unfortunate accident. Instead of connecting the camera to his brain, Spence sought to become a so-called "lifecaster," recording the feed on an external device. Now his bionic eye is up and running, and he's even partnered with a little company called Square Enix to create a documentary about state-of-the-art prosthetics and cybernetics. The short film, embedded after the break, was commissioned to celebrate the launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But, this isn't just some over-long commercial for a game, it's a serious exploration of cutting edge leg, arm, and eye replacement technology. Check it out below, but be warned -- there are a few image that might not sit well with weaker stomachs"

2.  Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.

3. Text about video below here. All I will tell you about my thoughts on this story is that the mother's response to her child's being trans made me tear up.

For those who cannot view videos, there is a transcript here. Sorry for the awkward format, but it was the best I could find.

5. No Surprise for Bisexual Men: Study Indicates They Exist

6. This bumper sticker: