Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rev. Jimmy's gift...

"What I believe is that (marriage equality) is a movement of God in history toward community, justice and freedom, and equality, toward the wholeness of the human person and the community, and I don't believe it can be resisted. I don't think even the Church can resist it. ...I do believe that this movement is of God and God will prevail." Thank you, Rev. Jimmy Creech- Author of Adam's Gift.

I attended a lecture today given by Rev. Jimmy Creech. It was moving and affirming and I thought I might share that above quote here because it made me feel hopeful. While I'm not a United Methodist, I think this speaks to more than Methodism and more than just the church's stance on this issue.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Civil Wars

Nice way to finish off the day...
The Civil Wars performed a short 3-song set at Good Records in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

French Braids

I try not to think about the things that haven't happened for me, the way they have for others. But, lately I've been feeling nostalgic. Weird. I know.

Yesterday I stopped at a crosswalk where two little girls were crossing with their dad, and one of the girls had her hair in a kind of sideways french braid, kind of diagonal. It was loose and rogue hairs had escaped during furious play. But it was mostly intact. And it made me think of how long she had to sit still that morning as her mother threaded and and braided her hair. And that made me think of the times my sister would herringbone braid my hair, or roll it in pink sponge rollers before bedtime. Family. Swim meets and little league and chasing fireflies in the front yard. Safe schools and safe neighborhoods and walking in Poland Woods through the blue belles. My blue two-wheeler with the banana seat. I thought about how old my siblings were when they had their first children. And how most of them were long-since parents by the time they were my age. They had long been french-braiding the hair of little towheaded girls.

My life is different. I have time to myself and I get to choose my schedule and I don't have to worry about how I'm going to take care of anybody else but me (and Libby). It's wonderful, and it's also hard sometimes.

I babysit a little girl, she's precious and about to turn two. Her mother is younger than I am. Sometimes I feel old and young all at once. I relate to the mom like I'm younger than her, like we're not even or on the same playing field. It's strange. Because we could be equals. She's only a few months my junior. Sometimes I feel old and young all at once. I know I said that already, but it was worth saying again.

I feel like there was a major thoroughfare running straight through the middle of town, and well, I wandered off through a path in the wood. Nearly everyone else was clamoring down the main road and getting married and having families. I'm still wheedling through the woods. It's not bad. It's quiet and I can hear myself think and I can read books and write and study and do whatever I want to. It's not an unequal path, for its goodness and it is at least as enjoyable at times as the thoroughfare.

I should really get to some point. But I think we smile at those on the other road - we listen to their stories of diaper rashes and first steps and children in the front yard, of first houses and vacations where families play at the beach. I listen to all these and other stories and I have no idea what that's like. Sometimes I feel like an alien in a married universe. ...and sometimes I take naps just because I want to... in the middle of the day... on a weekend. When's the last time you did that, moms? I try to remember that my life is no less full, despite the fact it has considerably less drama.

And I think about the day I'll french braid my own child's hair... or at least a that of a niece or a friend's daughter. I should get practicing. I'm all thumbs when it comes to braiding other people's hair.

Thanks sis, for the braids and the curlers and the times spent that make me winsome for times gone by, and times yet to come.

Monday, June 27, 2011

a lateral move

So about 5 weeks ago, I came home from work to a notice on my door that the apartment complex was being torn down and I and all my neighbors had a little less than 2 months to vacate.

I chose to follow the managements' suggestion and keep my lease with them and for all intents and purposes, merely transfer up the road to a sister property. In the end it was the least expensive option and also required the least amount of time looking for another apartment (an activity I loathe beyond belief).

As you can see, I've been packing...

I'm okay with the move. I've gotten over the initial worry over where to live and how much it's going to cost to move and get set up in a new place. The movers come Friday, and I will be the happy renter of a different apartment, owned by the same management company, with exactly the same square footage as my last place, for exactly the same price, with an only slightly different floor plan. Oh, and it's a half mile (at most) from my current home.

I remain hopeful that the new place will offer the same critter-free luxury as my current abode, as I'm still (unsuccessfully) trying to block out memories of the Casa Villa days.

I don't recommend making 4 apartment moves in 4 years, although it does keep the clutter to a minimum. Here's hoping at the end of my six-month lease, I am utterly compelled to stay and I find that I've never loved an apartment complex more. ...or that I'm at least moderately satisfied. ;)

I want a house.

I want to live in one place for longer than 2 years.

I want to NOT have to box up everything I own again and again and again.

but, I survive a vagabond for the time being... and play the Lotto.... and hope.


What I'm reading:

The Warlock: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (Book 5)
Michael Scott

Monday, April 4, 2011

tenbyfourteen progress report

13.5 hours down... who knew I had it in me to exercise this much in a week? I'm pretty much sore all the time, now - but I'm getting used to it... and I'm looking forward to the day when I don't get sore as quickly, because that will mean I've gotten stronger.

Sleeping has also become an issue, mostly because of the soreness and endorphins. I'm finding it difficult to get myself back down to an attitude of rest after the evenings spent in African Dance. But - I'm also hoping my body adjusts to this over time. The hours I do spend sleeping are very restful... but oftentimes I wake up 5-6 times a night, now.

The eating went well, but I do know now that I need to be a bit more cautious about snack foods. There was an incident involving a goodly portion of a bag of yogurt-covered raisins in class the other night. I have a difficult time staying awake in class, and while the snacking helped to keep me alert - I really had more than I should have. This week I will pack a correct portion size, and not be tricked into bringing the whole package into the classroom. ...Maybe a protein shake will help with the sleepiness.

It rained this morning. We needed the rain, desperately ...but it did keep me from my morning stroll with the pooch. So, I already owe myself (and the Libster) an hour at some other time during the week. But, I'm confident I can make this up. I've scheduled it for Saturday

So - this week it will be more of the same:
Mon: African Dance = 1.5 hr.
Tues: Walk, Water fitness, Cardio-kickboxing = 3.0 hr.
Wed: Walk, African Dance = 2.5 hr.
Thurs: Water fitness, Cardio-kickboxing = 2 hr.
Fri: Walk, Water fitness = 2 hr.
Sat: Make-up walk from Monday = 1 hr.
Sun: African Dance = 1.5 hr.

Total ~ 13.5 hours

I'm hoping for one more piece of validation for my birthday celebration... I want to be in my next-size-down jeans. I'm currently in-between, in that "ugh stage" where the current jeans are definitely too large, but the next-size-down jeans look like they've been painted on, and that ain't a good thing... So... ten more days, a few more pounds, several more hours of exercise... and another size. I got this on lock, baby.

If I knew getting healthy was this much fun, I'd have done it years ago!

Monday, March 28, 2011

tenbyfourteen - setting new goals

So, lately I've been off to the races with my workout schedule and I have found a new rhythm with my eating plan - so it's been exciting to see the scale moving in the downward direction. Also exciting is fitting into clothes better and having my co-workers ask me if this is a new suit, and being able to tell them that it's just one I haven't worn in a while. ...and not having to add why, but knowing why inside, and smiling.

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks... 18 days or whatever, but who's counting? And I'm not trolling for celebrations, but what I am doing is making a goal for a birthday gift to myself. I want to lose ten by April 14. I want to stick to my eating and exercise habits for the next 18 days and hope to goodness that I can see the results in time to have some Amy's Chocolate Cake to celebrate. I might even go all out and have TWO servings. It will be my birthday, after all. And I know - ten in 18 days is a lot. I promise to be happy with whatever number comes flashing up from beneath my feet on April 14, as long as I can stick to the eating plan and exercise... if it's not ten, I can still feel great about sticking to it!

So - here are my exercise goals for the week:
Walking: 1 hour per workout, 4x/week - 4 hours
Water Fitness: 1 hour per workout, 3x/week - 3 hours
Cardio Kickboxing: 1 hour per workout, 2x/week - 2 hours
African Dance: 90 min. per workout, 3x/week - 4.5 hours
= ~13.5 hours

....I'm putting my game-face on, and thinking about making 33 the best year yet.
woop woop!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Color Wash

Dark night for a dark
man with darkest intentions
not sinister or base
but sweet and rich like
velvet on my

I want to wrap my arms around your darkness
pull you into me
color wash my soul

I said to you as you pulled on your coat, “If nothing else, we’ve got great stories.”
But what if I want
something else
something more
all epilogues being one great story that lingers and continues…
its heady scent growing stronger over years

as you - I - we color wash this life.


I wrote this a few months ago, and just happened upon it again today. I think I like it. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

West African 101

The first day my body
didn't want to move that way I was
all knees and elbows flailing tripping
tripping over feet both my own and others

I slapped a girl
It was hand to hand combat on the too small wood floor
warped cracked boards tearing
at the soles of my feet with every
twist twist turn
and down right left down

but I was beaming
my heart like to explode with some
combination of adrenaline and joy

I am a dancer
a very poor dancer
but the rhythm is in me

Monday, February 14, 2011

listening to the drumming within...

I'm all about women's empowerment lately.
Mostly I think this has to do with too many times giving up my power, and being delighted to see women in my circle living out theirs. I want that. to embrace my power, and live in it.

West African Dance is part of that.

These are our drummers. They are amazing.
I am having a blast learning West African Dance, and I even garnered my first compliment from the instructor last night while learning a new step. Surprisingly - I picked it up the first time out. So - while I still have along way to go before I consider myself a dancer... marked improvement is being made. I signed up to perform in the studio showcase in a few months, it should be a good time.

My grad class is also going well, I'm taking a humanities course on Aboriginal Religious Life. We spent the first few weeks studying this book:

Daughters of Copper Woman

by Anne Cameron

It's a bunch of creation myths and stories from a group of Northwestern Indians. They are very matriarchal, and all of the stories are woman-centered. It's an interesting read for those willing to open their minds to other perspectives on creation. I wholeheartedly enjoyed it. ...and I will not be selling it back to the bookstore at the end of the semester - which is always a good test of a textbook, I think. And, I like that it gives us a break from the androcentric viewpoint.


I need to write.
There, I said it.
I've been pretty happy of late, and as per usual, my contentedness has led to less need (and/or perhaps less time) for creative outlet. But, that said, I need to write.
I'll let you know when that happens.

The next books on my list:

The Way of the Shaman
by Michael Harner

...for my grad class


Monday, January 3, 2011

A letter to 2011

Dear 2011,

It's me, Amanda. I don't need to tell you that your friends, 2010, 2009 and 2008 have not been all that nice to me. Sure, we shared some laughs and we made it. But, when the chips were down, they just didn't come through. And I'm not necessarily looking to lay blame, because I didn't hold up my end of the bargain either. But, that was then and those days are behind us. So, 2011, you and I, I think we really got something. And it's worth fighting for.

So, let's fight together for every ounce of joy ahead of us.
Lets suck the marrow from this year and squeeze every drop of sweetness from the vine.
Let's hold nothing back and leave it all out of the field.

So, here's our song, let's sing it loud:

Gloria (Michael Franti & Spearhead)

When many little people in many little places do many little things,
then the whole world changes. But sometimes not fast enough for me.

You see I'm just a little man, trying hard to understand
What kind of living is a life if I can't stand on my own two feet.

You see we are looking for the same thing, and we are trying to survive.
But I know each day in life don't get much easier than the last,
So today I'm just glad to be alive.

And I'm singing:Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, stay by my side.
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, I'm glad to be alive.
I'm glad to be alive.

I think that life is a blessing, and every step, every lesson,
You offer love and protection to those in need.

To all my mothers and fathers and all the angels who saved me,
I'm so glad to be alive.

Seems like there's never enough time to do the things I wanna do
And it never ends. But at the end of the day I might not have no money to count or spend,
But I know I can count on all my friends. (call on me)

See we are looking for the same thing
And we are trying to survive
And I know each day in life with you gets better than the last
So today I'm just glad to be alive

And I'm singing: Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, stay by my side
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, I'm glad to be alive
Glad to be alive

I'm just trying to find a way to say
I'm just trying to find a way to say
Don't you ever, ever, ever go away

When many little people in many little places
Do many little things, then the whole world changes
But I just want you next to me

And I'm singing: Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, stay by my side
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, I'm glad to be alive
Glad to be alive

Singing: Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, stay by my side
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, I'm glad to be alive
I'm glad to be alive
I'm glad to be alive.


So, 2011 - - whats say you and me take it to a whole 'nother level?
We got this.
It's gonna be a great year.

Peace and Love. lots of both.

What I'm listening to:

Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Sound of Sunshine

What I'm Reading:

Meeting the Family
Donovan Webster