Thursday, September 22, 2016


life, black lives matter, advocacy, raising my voice, standing with friends, showing support, unity, #saytheirnames

I wrote this post yesterday. Or maybe more like over the past few days. There has been a lot of rewriting and a lot of adding more words to it. I'm lacking words, and yet I have oh-so-many. Where to begin? Our country is struggling. The cracks in the foundation are shifting in visible ways. My words may not be enough, but I need to say them and share them anyway.

Facebook tells me this morning that today is the International Day of Peace, or something like that.

Facebook obviously has not been paying attention to the news.

Or my wall.

Or much of my feed.

Or anything at all, maybe.

Because there's no peace happening.

Not internationally. Not nationally.

It's just. Not. Happening.

Yesterday I started writing. I started thinking. I started breathing in the hurt and pain of many of my friends. Another black man lost his life. Another black man lost his life at the hands of a police officer. Someone who took an oath to serve and protect.

Please - please know this - there are men and women in blue I respect. I trust. And I know. I have known and loved - love - many an officer - family, friends. I've known in my heart that what they do is essential. What they do is put their lives on the line so the rest of us can live ours. If you know me you know that I've lived most of my life in New York. Worked for over a decade in New York City. Went to school there. Lived through 9/11. Watched it unfold. Watched the first responders save lives. Lose their own. This? This is not about that.

I struggle with my words. I don't want to lose anyone here. This is not headed where you think it is, please stay with me. I need to say this - want to say this - because there are many people I know and love who love men and women in blue (or whatever color they wear to represent their service). And I know that some of them may believe that any word against any of them is against them all.

It's not. It's just not.

I can't stress that enough.

But you can't go into a situation like this and say NOT ALL. Because it invalidates what people are experiencing. It's like those social media shares about men harassing women on the streets. #notallmen - Sure. OF COURSE. Not all men. Nobody is saying that is IS all men. Just as nobody is saying that it is all officers. And if anyone IS? I'll stand with you, right beside you, saying that they're wrong.

But there's a disconnect somewhere. I don't know where. I don't know why. What's happening. Happened. But it's there. Something is wrong and we can't ignore it.

And while we're on the subject of "not all" and misinterpretations, saying black lives matter doesn't mean other lives do not. It's black lives matter, TOO. The too doesn't need to be there, just put it in your head if it makes you feel better. Please.

But coming into a discussion about BLM and saying WHAT ABOUT-? "_______" insert other race, culture, community, religion here. Takes away from the discussion.

Do you really think that someone who says black lives matter does NOT think that ALL lives matter? But you see - the point is - that until black lives truly matter all lives CANNOT matter. Because black lives are a part of all lives.

Why do people just not get this?

It's so simple. So easy.

Why is it so insulting to you - whoever you are? - to hear people advocate for the causes that matter to them?

What are you afraid of?

I'm so sad this morning. So terribly sad. I don't even know where to take this.

Yesterday I started writing and asked why people get more upset over a television character dying than an actual person. And then? When I didn't post that right away - I ended up laughing - because the Brangelina break-up was all over the news. And social media. And so. There you have it. One thing surpasses another.

I'm a celebrity gossip addict. I am. I confess it. Admit it. I'm not ashamed. When Brad and Jennifer broke up I called my sister-in-law and woke her and my brother up because I was in shock. I was. truly. It didn't really MATTER to me. It had no impact on my life. It was celebrity news. That's all. And I was affected by it anyway.

And so. When I look at all the senseless deaths. Of men. Women. Boys.

It doesn't truly impact my day-to-day.

I'm being honest.

I'm a white woman in the state of North Carolina. How impacted could I be?

I have the privilege of not being touched by all of this.

I can be scared. I can weep. I can ache. But this is not my reality.

I don't worry when my husband comes home late that maybe he's had an incident [that word is so severely lacking] because of the color of his skin. Sure, I worry. And sure, I live with anxiety and so I do come up with worst case scenarios. But they usually go in the direction of - oh, G-d, I hope he wasn't in an accident - NOT - Oh, G-d, I hope he didn't get pulled over by the cops ... or shot for no reason ... or that he's laying on the street somewhere while someone is recording his final moments - or whatever else. Whatever the eff else.

And I know. I KNOW that not every single individual is perfect. Not every single individual is innocent. Sure not. But they're presumed to be. Aren't they? Isn't that how our country works? And when they're apprehended they should walk out with their lives. Intact.

It can be done because we see it done every day. Men and women of law enforcement DO apprehend peacefully. But there's a problem there. It's not the same for ALL people. It's not the same at all. It's off. Different. It's statistically wrong. It's a scenario where the color of our skin matters. And that's wrong, my friends.

There are some words you'll see tossed around, words you think don't apply to you and the people you love. And I hope that's the truth. We all do. Always. But they're out there.

Prejudice. Bigotry. Racism.

It's happening. Not behind our backs or under our noses, but in front of our faces and right before our eyes. See it. You must see it.

And if you cannot understand that, and if you cannot see why it is important to raise our voices? I know not where to take this with you. I don't know what else to say. Some of you may be people I know and love. People who feel like you're family. And I don't know what to do with that. I don't know what to say. I hope we can find a way through this. Can find ways to understand one another. I hope you're still with me. Reading. Listening. Thinking. Processing. Because lives are depending on it. So so many lives.

And for those of you who do not know me? Who do not know my friends and have much to say about why all of this is wrong? Why all of this is just not so?

Your colors are showing, and they're not accepted here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, Luvvie Ajayi

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of I'm Judging You prior to the release date! I had the pleasure of meeting Luvvie Ajayi at BlogHer in California. Luvvie (I'm not being presumptuous here, most people call her Luvvie) was at the expo at BlogHer and we spoke briefly. She seemed genuine and real, and although we didn't become besties or anything I was very excited to dive into her book.

I'm Judging You was an enjoyable read. It was fun, entertaining, and lighthearted in many ways. It was also intense, real and raw. If you've read Awesomely Luvvie you know the things she tackles. You know the things she speaks about. And you know how she keeps it extremely real.

If you have never heard of her before, well, I suppose that I must warn you. It's not called The Do-Better Manual for nothing.

Luvvie Ajayi expects you to do better. She expects that you'll walk away from her book with a mind filled with things that need to be changed. It's not wrong of her to think this. She's laid it all out for you - and there are many takeaways. So, go forth. Read. And take them away.

I'm Judging You is broken down into four parts.

Part I. Life

In this section there are two chapters that are honestly quite possibly my favorite of the book.

Why Must You Suck At Friendship 

Luvvie talks about friendships. The kind of friend you should be, the kind of friend you often are, the kind of friend she wants to keep. She talks about the SOS Pal. The SOS Pal is exactly what she sounds like. She's the friend who makes it all about her. The one who never asks how YOU'RE doing. Whew. That friend is taxing. Draining. Don't be that friend.

She talks about the Frenemy. The frenemy is the mean girl. Why are you friends with her?

Then there is the Holy Roller. The friend who disapproves. Have a friend you feel is always judging you? Yeah. There's a difference between judging you in the realm of this book - and being made to feel awful by someone who is supposed to love and care about you. That friend isn't gonna make you feel good any time soon. Think about it.

Weight a Minute

If you know me you know that I have issues with my weight. And when I read this chapter and saw Luvvie wrap it up with "I really wish we could love ourselves more," well - that hit home. Hit home with a sledgehammer. Her openness about being made to feel too thin, and defending those of us who have to shop in the "curvy" section of the store that's hidden wayyyy in the back and labeled in ways that make us feel like mack trucks. Yeah. That's so much fun. 

Part II. Culture

From racism to rape, this section speaks the truth. Feminism. Privilege. Rape culture. Racism. 

Part III. Social Media

Hashtag abuse is a serious thing, y'all. I've been known to be guilty of it myself. I'm the one who sometimes can be found hashtagging a complete sentence. #sorrynotsorry

But the people who can be found hashtagging every word of every sentence. omg. And the basic words? Like, #the #of #for - - EEK. Luvvie hits this nail on the head in a big way. I laughed through the entire section. Thirty-five hashtags in one post. DYING.

Part IV. Fame

Sex tapes. Fame on the Internet. Celeb status. Luvvie talks about ALL THE THINGS. 

I do want to let you know that Luvvie has a bit of language going on throughout the book. It's not the kind you're expecting me to reference. The pages aren't littered with filthy words, I promise. But this language, well, some people may not get it - may not like it - but she uses it in on her site and in the book. Words like iSweaterGod. Say it out loud and you'll probably figure out what it means. And talmbout. This one might not be as easy for some. Talking about. 

There are footnotes included for those of us who might miss a step and be unsure about one or two of these words. They're fun, they don't bother me one bit - but you might not know about them - so I'm telling you in advance. 

Now, go forth and get yourself a copy of I'm Judging You.

And in case you've been seeing JudgeyPop floating around the Inter-webs, I got myself one, as well. Here's my very own JudgeyPop side-eyeing traffic as we made our way home from Maine to North Carolina this summer. Ehem. Some of y'all need to pay more attention to the other cars on the road. #justsayin


Monday, September 12, 2016

A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir In Four Meditations, Christine Hale

This book was provided to me by TLC Book Tours. All opinions are strictly my own. 

book, review, reading, book review, nonfiction, memoir, goodreads, amreading

A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir In Four Meditations by Christine Hale is a powerful read.

Hale is a crafty wordsmith.

She pulls the reader into a perspective we never expected to experience.

We drift back and forth from her roles of daughter and mother, and sometimes even wife. Or ex-wife.

While the cover of the book does not have her face - we feel her before us. Open. Real. Raw.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Take Care Of Holiday Shopping With Groupon Goods

This is a sponsored post. All expressed opinions are strictly my own. 

Did you know that you can actually go shopping for products ON the Groupon site?

Groupon Goods is another aspect of Groupon that you'll want to have a look into.

I'm sure you're already familiar with their discount purchases, and I've introduced you to their coupon site, so now let me tell you about Groupon Goods!

Friday, September 2, 2016

One Full Year

If you've been with me for a while you'll know that I'm the kind of person who writes fairly personal posts now and then.

I have shared my struggle through grief after losing my father unexpectedly several years ago, I've opened up about my anxiety - postpartum and every day, and I've spoken fairly freely about my struggle with my weight, including trying over and over again to establish some sort of fitness regimen that works for me.

I can't say I've made it to a point in my life where I've got it all figured out. I don't think any of us ever really DO reach that point. Not as far as I can tell, anyway. But I do want to fill you in on what's been happening with me over this last year of my life.

A year ago yesterday I started my first round of Whole30.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...