Monthly Archives: May 2009

Quiet Space and Texting

Two headlines this week:

Excess Cola Can Cause Super-sized Muscle Trouble
Texting May Be Taking a Toll
[on health]

Did anyone ever think that drinking Coke or texting incessantly were going to be good for us? C’mon people.

Recently, a friend who’s my father’s age shared frustration with blogs and things like Twitter. He cannot keep up with the flow of information. It’s a complaint many people of a pre-computer generation have. This phrase of his stuck: The onslaught of information invades “a quiet space.”

I cut my texting plan in an attempt to cut costs. When my little brother visited me last month, he expressed his profound shock and irritation at not being able to text me: “Who are you? What do you mean you can’t text? That’s impossible.” So, I told him to email me, since I have a blackberry leftover from my former job. One evil swapped for another… or, just trying to stay on the wave. I’ve never like the idea of doing what everyone else is doing, but in this case, at my tender age of 29, unless I plan to divorce myself from society, I should probably be onboard with email (which I am) and cellphones (which I am) and maybe even texting (which I’m not at this point). Why? Continue reading


Filed under Career/Life, Environment, Health, Orienting

Toxic Ties

Therapy Thursdays


Filed under Relationships, Therapy Thursdays

Through Movement We Find Health

I am not a gym person. I was a member for a while, but I would always get headaches while I pumped the elliptical or spinning on the recumbent bike and read at the same time. I could feel the connections between my mind and my body snapping, and though my body was in better shape, it was not fun at all.

If I’m going to move my body, it had better be fun. Swimming, cycling outside, S Factor, dance. For me, it’s non-negotiable. My health *is* my joy — if it doesn’t bring me pleasure, I’m not likely to do it.

In exploration of this desire, I took my second Nia dance class this morning. I took one quick class two years ago, and I remember feeling liberated by the lack of formal “moves” – the goal is not to be perfectly synchronized with the other dancers in the room, but to feel, to enjoy the natural movement of your body. Nia blends nine movement forms, including aikido, modern dance, yoga, t’ai chi, and Feldenkrais.

What I didn’t remember was how vigorous the movement is. This class was about an hour and a half long, and I was sweating and hitting my wall in the first 30 minutes. (My wall tends to be easy to hit. My instinct is usually to move as slowly as possible.)

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Filed under Beauty in a Wicked World, Health

Look Out for Precious

I’ve heard that THE film to watch in the next year is going to be Precious, based on the incredible novel Push by Sapphire. It won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award and is set to storm Cannes soon. The trailer was just released by Lionsgate:

It will hit theaters in November. I can’t wait.

For more on the director, Lee Daniels. And yes, that’s Mariah Carey as the social worker.


Filed under Generation Overwhelmed, Movies, Race

Boal: Hero of the Oppressed

With all due respect for the original intentions of this holiday, I’d like to draw attention to the world’s loss of different type of hero earlier this month. Augusto Boal was a chemist from Rio de Janeiro, who began studying theatre in the midst of his research at Columbia University and wrote and directed his first play in New York in 1955. Boal returned to Brazil the next year, where he began creating what he called Newspaper Theatre– political shows packed with audience engagement, performed in the countryside for the purpose of addressing local problems. By 1971, Brazil’s military dictatorship began to see Boal’s theatrical activities as a threat. They imprisoned and tortured him for three months.

Boal complained of knee pain at a plush hotel in Hollywood, but then laughed and told me that he wasn’t sure if it was from the torture or because he was in his 70s. His smile was contagious. His bravery unimaginable. This particular workshop, led by Augusto Boal and his son Julian, was not only on Theatre of the Oppressed (his first book and life’s work) but also on Legislative Theatre. Imagine if before voting, Congress watched a short play about the possible effects of the law they are about to pass. Now imagine Congressmen getting up on stage to explore other outcomes and to express their ideas. Twenty laws were passed this way in Rio De Janeiro when Boal was a City Councilman.

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Filed under All The World, Art, Politics, Theater

Brag Round-Up for Monday, May 25

Courtney Martin

  • This Saturday, May 30, Courtney, along with Gloria Feldt, Kristal Brent-Zook, and Deborah Siegel, holds a conversation on feminism and the economy at Princeton University. Click here for all the details.
  • “Honoring Military Families with Adequate Healthcare” on The American Prospect Online.

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Filed under Brag Round-Up

Amphibians, My Human Condition and Derrick Jensen

When amphibians start to die-off, it’s a sign of a degrading environment. They literally absorb the environment.  These sensitive creatures sound the alarm bells. I learned this from a zoologist friend in New Zealand, as we padded around a remote island looking for endangered frogs. I was reminded of it in Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker article, “The Sixth Extinction?” She writes:

“Though it’s difficult to put a precise figure on the losses, it is estimated that, if current trends continue, by the end of this century as many as half of earth’s species will be gone.”

Here’s my reaction, thoughts in order of appearance.

1. Whoa.
2. That’s so upsetting. Half? Really?
3. Ugh.
4. Okay, end of century, (quick mental calculation). Phew, I’ll be dead by then.

Much to my shock, that last thought actually happened–fired itself through my brain and some part of my heart. It’s an embarrassing and horrifying thing to admit.  I’m an environmentalist. I live simply. I believe in working hard to preserve the future of humanity. I mean, I believe this in the marrow of my bones, in my very core.

Not only did I privately think this thought, I later admitted it out loud to two friends, who… Continue reading


Filed under Environment, Orienting