Category Archives: Link Love

Ten for Tuesday

Let’s get right to it.

1. On “Thoughts and Prayers”

Another mass shooting, this time in Texas, means another mass of posts on social media from various perspectives. My friend Roy posted the following yesterday and it spoke to me:

Amen.

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2. “Thoughts and Prayers,” part 2

After the Las Vegas shooting–yes, that was only a few weeks ago–I read the following on a friend’s Facebook feed about “thoughts and prayers” in Islam. It spoke to me:

Today, my actions include spending a few hours at a nearby polling place, handing out literature for the candidate who I believe is the best choice to be our governor.

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3. Noticing Kairos Moments

My improv buddy David Westerlund reflects on time and presence:

In an improv scene if I’m worried about what I didn’t say five seconds ago; or overthinking what might happen, I’m missing what’s happening right now, I’m missing the dynamic now, of what is unfolding as I tune into my scene partner.

The now-ness of improv is one of the things I love best about it… and why I’m a constant student of it, because I often miss the now in my daily life!

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4. Press Play (TED Radio Hour)

Speaking of improv, this edition of the TED Radio Hour talks about the importance of play, for all of us. I suggest that in these fraught times, play is even more vital.

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5. Working to Disarm Women’s Anti-Aging Demon

Aging is harder for women. We bear the brunt of the equation of beauty with youth and youth with power — the double-whammy of ageism and sexism. How do we cope? We splurge on anti-aging products. We fudge or lie about our age. We diet, we exercise, we get plumped and lifted and tucked.

These can be very effective strategies, and I completely understand why so many of us engage in them. No judgment, I swear. But trying to pass for younger is like a gay person trying to pass for straight or a person of color for white. These behaviors are rooted in shame over something that shouldn’t be shameful. And they give a pass to the underlying discrimination that makes them necessary.

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6. Five Important Women of the Reformation

We recently celebrated the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, an event that has profoundly shaped history whether you are religious or not. Here are some women you should know.

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7. David Schwimmer praised in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal for offering female film critic a chaperone

David Schwimmer has been on my Nice Guy list for a while, since producing a series of thought-provoking PSAs about sexual harassment. But this was a very interesting story in the wake of #MeToo:

[Journalist] Nell Minow, in response to the disgust felt at Hollywood behaviour, has spoken of her meeting with the Friends actor in 2011, when he was promoting Trust – the film he directed, telling the real life story of a young girl preyed upon by an online abuser.

The restaurant they were due to speak in proved noisy, and so the Friends star hesitantly broached the notion of going up to his room. Schwimmer said he could ask a third person to be present in the room.

“I haven’t thought of that since it happened but the Weinstein stories made me not just remember it but remember it in an entirely different context as an indicator of the prevalence of predatory behaviour and as an indicator of Schwimmer’s integrity and sensitivity,” she said.

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8. Female Shark in Seoul Aquarium Eats Male Shark Because He Kept Bumping Into Her

Because sometimes you have just had ENOUGH.

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9. How to Build Resilience in Midlife

In honor of my ‘baby’ brother who turned 40 last week:

Remember Your Comebacks. When times are tough, we often remind ourselves that other people — like war refugees or a friend with cancer — have it worse. While that may be true, you will get a bigger resilience boost by reminding yourself of the challenges you personally have overcome.

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10. Astros!!!

It was so wonderful to watch the Astros capture their first World Series title in franchise history. I shared this video on my FB feed, which was my favorite moment from the celebration.

But this was a close second.

Ten for Tuesday

A little of everything this week. Some made the rounds, some I hope will be new to you. Onward!

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1. Guy Photoshops Himself Into Childhood Pics To Hang Out With His Childhood Self

These are oddly poignant, and if I were Conor’s mother I would absolutely treasure these.

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2. Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Painting Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes

Fight back with beauty… and wiseassery.

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3. & 4. Don’t Yuck My Yum! and Now Playing: the Theo Tacos

A two-for-one deal–twin reflections from the wonderful Mary Beene about the recent workshop I co-led with Marthame Sanders at Columbia Theological Seminary on improvisation .

God is, in fact, quite playful. When you study Greek, you begin to see how Jesus was very funny much of the time.  There are so many little inside jokes in both the Old and New Testament, that I feel completely confident in saying that spiritual formation may be one of our most serious undertakings – and it is also one of the places where we are least served by taking ourselves too seriously.

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5. Turns Out, UPS Drivers Have A Facebook Group About Dogs They Meet On Their Routes, And It Will Make Your Day

UPS Dogs is a nation-wide network of canine-loving ‘big brown truck’ drivers who post pictures of the pups they become acquainted with along their delivery schedule. Some of them have known their clients’ dogs for years, and have worked out complex treat-exchange systems with them. The group has been going strong for 5 years now, and is still moderated by McCarren himself. “It’s a good example of the relationships our employees build with their customers, two- or four-legged,” a UPS spokesperson told Buzzfeed News.

I love it. Click through for some pics and stories.

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6. Technology Overuse May Be the New Digital Divide

According to a recent survey, children who come from low-income households spend 3 hours and 29 minutes a day on screens, on average. That’s almost double the 1 hour and 50 minutes of daily screen time that a child from a higher-income home experiences.

Big picture:

Clark cautioned against judging low-income families for allowing their kids so much screen time. “You need to understand what is actually happening. Is screen time a better option than sending them out to play outside where it’s not safe?” he asked. Higher income families can pay for more childcare, sign their kids up for activities or allow their kids to run around a backyard.

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7. Recipes Organized into Component Parts in Food Styling Photos by Mikkel Jul Hvilshøj

So satisfying, so enjoyable to behold.

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8. Tom Hanks Considers The Cosmos, Nora Ephron, And A Man Dressed As A Shrimp

This 30-minute interview is so worth the time. I love what he has to say about bucket lists. (He doesn’t have them. Instead he describes an approach to life and creative projects that sounds a whole lot like improv.)

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9. “Stop Following Others. Be More Like Yourself.” Dan Blank Interviews Windham Hill’s Will Ackerman

Along those same lines, this expansive interview with the founder of Windham Hill records is a treasure trove of wisdom about pursuing a creative life and following your own instincts and path. Also features a frank conversation about Ackerman’s bout with depression. If you’re a fan of Ackerman, but even if you aren’t, it’s a good listen.

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10. The New Yorker Cover That’s Being Replicated by Women Surgeons Across the World

Thank you ladies for being awesome.

Nevertheless she persisted.

Ten for Tuesday: “Clearing Out the Attic” Edition

It’s been about a month since my last Ten for Tuesday. I’ve been collecting links, but just haven’t gotten around to posting. Some of these are stale by Internet standards, but hey, it’s good to stretch our attention spans to two or even three weeks! Gasp!

1. I Walked 64 Miles Around the [DC] Beltway. What Was I Thinking?

You were thinking that is a dare-to-be-great situation, that’s what!

The one true moment of perspective on the actual city of Washington came when we crossed the Wilson Bridge over the Potomac and looked back up the river. It was the only time DC’s downtown and skyline were visible to us during our circuit, and from the bridge you could see how the city was nestled in the crotch of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers—in a way that made more sense from that vantage than from any other. As the bridge vibrated beneath our feet (much more than we had expected), we looked in toward the District and tried to imagine what it all had looked like before the city existed, when the port in Alexandria to our left was the biggest game in town.

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2. Losing My Hand: A Rant

I wish I could remember who first shared this, but it’s just darn good writing. And good improvisational theology:

People tell me I’m strong and brave—I’m not strong and brave, I didn’t choose any of this to happen. I claw my way back up the surface, only to be knocked back down again, and again, and again. Each time I wonder where and how will I find the strength to keep enduring this vicious cycle? And for what? With no end in sight of when and to what extent I’ll regain function, it’s so easy to slip into feeling overwhelmed and lost. Then, after all is said and done, why? Why of all things my hand? The one part of me that allows me to carry out what I love most.  I’d recognized that the only way out was through. It’s true. At some point, I learned to stop asking questions and wait it out. What other choice do I have?

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3. Praying

Speaking of good theology, this reflection by my fried Blair Monie, who is undergoing cancer treatment, is worth looking at. What happens when we pray? Are prayers answered, and if so how? “If the shrinkage of my tumor is an answer to prayer, what about those whose tumors have grown? Have they not been prayed for–enough or in the right way? I cannot believe that.” Deep good thoughts here. (You may need to log in to CaringBridge to read this one.)

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4. The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1

This story got shared like crazy a few weeks ago and I kept putting off reading it. If you too have been putting it off, now is the time. This is nothing short of astounding.

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5. Unendurable Line

An oddly satisfying video:

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6. Artist Debra Rapoport’s Powerful 111-Word Philosophy of Living

Click through for this simple whimsical wise statement. Want to be her when I grow up:

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7. 8. 9. Our “Hope for the World” Section. These three are related and all are must-reads:

Man removes Nazi swastika tattoos after unlikely friendship

I wanted to understand why racists hated me. So I befriended Klansmen.

and a call to action, from the Times of Israel:

When they kick in your front door, how you gonna come?

A meditation on the biblical king Saul and modern-day sacred resistance.

We learn in the Gemara (Shabbat 54b), “whoever is able to resist the sins of even the entire world and does not is implicated in the sins of the entire world.”

So, should we ever be faced with a paranoid and erratic ruler like Saul], who is quick to capitalize on divisions in our country and threatens vulnerable populations, we are called to resist.

How? Read the article. Again, I can’t remember how this came to me–I think it was through my Jewish friend M. Long and powerful.

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And sneaking in a personal #10, I’m in Atlanta this week, teaching about improv and playing Wednesday night in a show at the Basement Theater. Are you in town? Learn more and get tickets here.

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Until next time!

Ten for Tuesday: Fight Back with Beauty. Also Mom Jokes and David Brooks TP

The links are suuuuper random this week. And maybe that’s OK, in a week of hurricanes and earthquakes and 9/11 memories and more more more. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or the organization of your choice. Write a letter. Reach out to a neighbor.

Read. And yes, laugh. Onward:

1. In 8 Words, Uber’s New CEO Gave a Master Class in Leadership

Those 8 words:

I have to tell you I am scared.

Love it. As the article says, “Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill.” Indeed.

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2. Moms with a Sense of Humor

The other day I asked if there was a difference between mom jokes and dad jokes. No conclusions reached, but there is some silly, funny stuff here. Nothing particularly high minded, just enjoy:

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3. David Brooks Toilet Paper

This is similarly silly, but I’m sharing it because my disdain for NYT columnist David Brooks is so legendary that several friends sent me a link to this product. (It’s all in good fun, folks.)

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4. If you’re right about your fat friend’s health.

I just finished Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, which was beautiful and painful to read. This blog covers similar territory, in short form.

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5. A boy told his teacher she can’t understand him because she’s white. Her response is on point.

“We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before.

Empathy, empathy, empathy. It’s just that easy and just that hard.

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6. I Saw His Humanity: ‘Reveal’ Host On Protecting Right-Wing Protester

Speaking of empathy:

About 150 members of anti-facist groups — also known as antifa or black bloc protesters — also were there, marching in formation with covered faces. Then a couple of people from the right-wing did show up.

That’s when Al Letson, host of the investigative radio program and podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, saw one right-wing man fall to the ground, and some left-wing antifa protesters beating him.

Letson jumped on top of the guy to protect him, because, he says, he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.

“And you know, in retrospect, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t see my humanity, what matters to me is that I see his. What he thinks about me and all of that… my humanity is not dependent upon that.”

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7. The Confederate General Who Was Erased

Some years ago, I went to a conference in Charleston. During a free moment, I strolled down to an old marketplace where I browsed the shops — all of which, it seemed, specialized in Confederate memorabilia. In search of a small gift for my son, I wandered among stacks of toy rifles, piles of Confederate belt buckles, and displays of battle flag bumper-stickers. At some point my eye caught a large framed lithograph of Robert E. Lee and the officers of the Army of Northern Virginia entitled “Lee and His Generals.” Inspecting it, I saw that something — or rather, someone — was missing. I was looking for a tiny, bearded, Major General, a divisional commander who was with Lee at Appomattox and who shared in the decision to surrender that April day in 1865. I was looking for General William Mahone of Virginia, and I did not find him because he was not there.

A native Virginian, a railroad magnate, a slaveholder, and an ardent secessionist, Mahone served in the Confederate army throughout the war. He was one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s most able commanders, distinguishing himself particularly in the summer of 1864 at the Battle of the Crater outside Petersburg. After the war, Robert E. Lee recalled that, when contemplating a successor, he thought that Mahone “had developed the highest qualities for organization and command.”

How did such a high-ranking Confederate commander wind up missing in action in a Charleston gift shop? Not, I think, by accident.

Read more about this fascinating figure, and what his lack of prominence among the statues of the confederacy might say about the motivations behind their existence.

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8. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg re-enact sensual ‘Ghost’ scene (with cake!)

More silliness… BUT the friendship between these two gives me a giddy sort of hope for humanity.

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9. Huntsville woman fights hate left in disturbing driveway deliveries

This week’s Fight Back with Beauty story. If I’d written the headline, I would have put “swords into ploughshares” in there somewhere. Here’s a Facebook post about it:

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10. Top 10 Suggestions for Being Human

A top 10 list to close out a top 10 list. Thank you Jan Edmiston.

Be late for that next meeting if it means helping a stranger in trouble.  I love this story about the bus driver – risking his own job – who ensured a little girl wouldn’t be late for her first day of school.

 

Ten for Tuesday–I Have a New Website! Edition

Back from my epic trip, and it’s been so good to sleep in my own bed, run on familiar streets, and make oatmeal just the way I like it.

Onward!

1. ZOOM! Coaching has a website!

My side hustle of personal and professional coaching and running coaching has a web presence now. Check out zoom.coach — yes, I got one of those funky new domains. It’ll be a work in progress, but please share it with any interested folks you may know.

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2. Why We Fell for Clean Eating — The Guardian

Long but interesting article:

For as long as people have eaten food, there have been diets and quack cures. But previously, these existed, like conspiracy theories, on the fringes of food culture. “Clean eating” was different, because it established itself as a challenge to mainstream ways of eating, and its wild popularity over the past five years has enabled it to move far beyond the fringes. Powered by social media, it has been more absolutist in its claims and more popular in its reach than any previous school of modern nutrition advice…

It quickly became clear that “clean eating” was more than a diet; it was a belief system, which propagated the idea that the way most people eat is not simply fattening, but impure.

I have a friend who did one of those Whole-Whatevers that included the elimination of gluten, and now that she’s done with the challenge, she can’t eat it anymore. I have another friend who has legit celiac disease. So what do I know? I eat as many colors as I can, consume good percentages of protein, carbs and fats so I can run well, and try to manage portions and frequency on junk calories, because life’s too short not to eat an occasional Butterfinger.

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3. The International Space Station just pulled off the photobomb of a lifetime

SO COOL:

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4. Hymn by Sherman Alexie

A raw, fierce poem of resistance following Charlottesville.

Why do we measure people’s capacity
To love by how well they love their progeny?

That kind of love is easy. Encoded.
Any lion can be devoted
To its cubs. …

But how much do you love the strange and stranger?
Hey, Caveman, do you see only danger

When you peer into the night? Are you afraid
Of the country that exists outside of your cave?

Hey, Caveman, when are you going to evolve?

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5. Resist and Persist

Speaking of the above, my friend the Rev. Yena Hwang preached this sermon full of love and power on Sunday. Wish I could have heard it. She had me at Brene Brown and Voldemort.

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6. What Obligation Do White Christian Women Have to Speak Out About Politics?

Speaking of the above again, I wish I’d had this interview to hand over to every parishioner (and now, every friend on Facebook) who wants the church to stay out of politics. I agree we should avoid partisanship whenever possible. But if you want the church out of politics, you need a new Bible.

I suspect that [the silence of evangelical women] their silence doesn’t just emerge from a place of fear, although I think it’d be crazy to say that’s not true. Being on the wrong side of the evangelical machine is terrifying and punitive. But I suspect that most of those women in leadership simply don’t want to alienate the people that they’re trying to lead. If there was any check in my spirit, anything that would’ve held me back, it would be that. At the core of our work, we want to be able to lead women spiritually. When we enter into fragile spaces like [politics], we are going to rock the boat, and we’re going to lose some people, and we’re going to make people upset or defensive or confused or disappointed.

The problem is that politics and controversy are inherently human. At the end of every policy is a human being. So I almost don’t know how we stay out of this—it’s actually a luxury of the privileged to stay out of it.

I honestly believe that being uncomfortable is a great deterrent of the church in our generation—that, for whatever reason, we have elevated the majority’s comfort over justice. The truth is, those days are behind us. If we are unwilling to stand by our friends on the margins, then we have no business being leaders.

Boom.

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7. Nick Ulvieri’s Chicago

I love Nick’s Instagram feed, and he has some great shots of the air show in Chicago this weekend:

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8. A controversial California effort to fight climate change just got some good news

If you, like I, needed some good environmental news.

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9. Michael Wardian becomes the second runner to complete the Leadville 100 and Pikes Peak Marathon back-to-back

This guy is a DC local and… wow. Just… I can’t.

Pulling off this rare double entails running 100 miles with an average altitude above 10,000 feet of elevation around Leadville, Colorado, and finishing it quickly enough (about 22 hours or faster) in order to have time to get into a car and drive two hours to the quirky mountain town of Manitou Springs to reach the starting line of the Pikes Peak Marathon at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

…the Pikes Peak Marathon, of course, is 13.1 miles up… and 13.1 miles down. A mountain. THE mountain.

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10. Adam Hillman’s Geometric Obsessions

One last Instagram feed I love. His work is whimsical and satisfying… and frequently delicious.