Protesting Misogyny in Music

This amazing performance piece by student Madiha  speaks for itself:

Originally Posted on Facebook by Usamaa Babar.

The Search for Basho I

“Ballet in the air…
Twin butterflies until, twice white
They Meet, they mate”

Matsuo Basho, Japanese Haiku


(I studied Matsuo Basho’s poetry in college, and there is one poem that left an impression on my soul, but I’ve lost it along the way. I am searching for it. In the meantime, I’ll post new favorites, like this one.)

Pixabay photo by claude05alleva

Bullies and Burdens: Six Links of Separation

The more I write this blog, the more surprised I am at how many times random ideas, links, people, and events connect and come around, full circle – like the film Six Degrees of Separation and the parlour game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Bacon’s charity

Here is my latest “six links of separation” story from my last blog:

1. Visiting my husband at his work, I saw a clipped article from 5280 Magazine taped to the desk of one of his co-workers and, after reading it, it stuck with me (not literally – I left it taped to the desk).

2. When I started writing a blog, I remembered the article and thought I could write a post about it, so I got an emailed copy of the clipped article – no headline or byline – and put it aside.

3. In the meantime, I wanted to write a post featuring a clip from the film Amelie, in which the main character receives advice on sassy comebacks from a man whispering through a basement window, but I couldn’t find that particular clip on YouTube. Instead…

4. I found “Young Amelie Gets Her Revenge” which was even better (go back one blog and watch it again!). Then I remembered the article. I pulled up my email, loved the quote all over again, so I went to the 5280’s website and searched for “gas lighting”.

5. The whole article appeared, and I could reference it properly. To my surprise, I recognized the author: Laura Pritchett is not only an award-winning author, 5280 columnist, editor, & parent, she is also a University of Denver professor, and she taught one of my creative writing classes when I got my Masters. I remember her because she was creative and kind and generous – wonderful attributes in anybody but particularly appreciated in creative writing instructors.

6. I made a donation to  – an homage to the connections and coincidences that make this large world seem slighter smaller and more familiar.


Resolve, Rewrite, Reform, Relax

My New Year’s Resolutions:

5. Write morning pages. Every day would be a stretch. Twice a week would be good. Julia Cameron, author of the extremely influential The Artist’s Way, explains:

4. Revise 2 manuscripts. This requires the strength of 500 resolutions. Revising these projects is going to be like climbing up Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro. Taking a swim in the English Channel. Orbiting the Earth. Inhabiting Neptune.

3. Don’t give up on Crossfit. Or pull ups. Or wall balls. Or burpees. Or pull ups. This video will encourage anyone making any kind of resolution, or even thinking about making a resolution, crossfit or otherwise, to try and keep it.

2. Write this blog. It comes and it goes. I’d like to keep it coming.

1. Improve my chi. Although it is rumored that my wonderful husband steals my chi, I don’t think we can ever have enough goodwill, karma, and life energy to share with others. So once again I will work on being a better person.

(Maybe I’ll buy great smelling tight leather pants, too)

Top 5 Favorite Xmas Carols

I could have listed my top 50 favorites, but I managed to narrow it down to 5. Happy Holidays!

5. Silent Night by Lady Antebellum. Old song. New twist.

4. The Roches sing We Three Kings. They give this worn out carol some atmosphere.

3. Love Came Down at Christmas. This version is much different than Shawn Colvin’s, which is what I sing along to in the car, but the City of London Sinfonia’s version is quite beautiful. Side note: the lyrics come from a Christmas poem by English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) who was opposed to cruelty to animals, slavery, and underage prostitution. She also wrote the lyrics to another carol, In the Bleak Midwinter.

2. Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas. Acapella + homage to 80’s Toto’s Africa + sense of humor = my devotion.

1. The Osmond’s Christmas Medley. We sang this relentlessly when I was in high school show choir and I still sing it today, although it doesn’t quite sound the same as a solo.