‘Round the Web: February 2015

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Wow, February flew by. Is it just me, or does the 28 days versus 30 or 31 make this month feel an entire week shorter? It seems I just posted January’s ‘Round the Web, and here we are again. Anyway, I’ve got the goods, friends. These links cover everything from Tindering to parenting to psychedelics.

Side note: I know I’m just one of many, many people who were devastated when Jon Stewart announced his upcoming departure from The Daily Show — hence the image above, in tribute. I don’t use the word devastated lightly. Stewart makes American politics bearable, in a Thank God I’m laughing so I don’t cry’ kind of way. The man is irreplaceable. But I respect his choice, summed up by what he said in this interview following his announcement: “You shouldn’t stay somewhere just because you can.” A good reminder not to get complacent, no matter what level of success you’re at.

Onto the links…

* Rolling Stone breaks down 9 things they learned from Stewart’s post-announcement interview on the Employee of the Month podcast, including #1: He’s not retiring.

* Wow. Did you see this incredible dance piece by Sergei Polunin, to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church?”

* What you learn in your 40s. “There are no grownups . . . there are no soul mates.” Wise, witty article by Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé.

* The Trip Treatment. Fascinating, in-depth read at The New Yorker on new research into psychedelics for treating effects of illness.

* I like this idea of a Capsule Wardrobe. Who doesn’t want only things they love to wear in their closet? Here’s how to do it.

* Whoa. Maybe I’m just an out-of-touch married lady, but Tindering in New York sounds nuts to me: “Except for ordering their drinks, none of the people I was with that night spoke to any other actual human beings . . . Each of them had six or seven Tinder chats going simultaneously.” Insightful piece from the New York Times.

* What a cool kitchen makeover in this California home. The transformative power of paint always blows me away.

* 300 Awesome Free Things for entrepreneurs. If you ‘re a freelancer/blogger/internet user of any kind, this is a pretty amazing resource. I especially love the huge list of free stock photography sites…invaluable!

* Whatever you do, Keep the Channel Open.

* Empowering Kids with Our Trust. A thoughtful piece on what I imagine is one of the toughest parts of parenting, written by my friend Sarah Conley.

* Because it’s Valentine’s month, after all: 5 Ways to Rekindle the Sexual Fire in Your Relationship.

* How do you guys get your news? I mentioned The Skimm in my Flash of Life post last week, but it’s worth recommending again: “The daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content.” Founded by two female news media veterans. (Thanks, Dianna!)

* Lastly, this image won the World Press Photo of the Year 2014. Progress.

And that’s a wrap. See you in March, everyone.

~C. xx

ps. If you enjoy these links, feel free to share the love and pass this post on…through facebook, email, twitter, secret handshakes…whatever moves you :) I appreciate it! Thank you, as always, for reading.

Line Break: ‘Gargoyles’ by Susan Glickman

steamSunlight in the window
a cup of lemon tea.
Nothing is about to happen.
This moment is mine —
I hold it in my hand and say
Yes, this is a new day,
I don’t believe we’ve met before,
then lean on my porch,
pretending to be a man in shirtsleeves, smoking,
or a grandmother resting her years.

I can feel myself fitting into the long corridors
of balcony-loungers all over the city:
we are the gargoyles of the great cathedral.
It is our scrutiny which brings pink
to geraniums, red to the tiles of the roof,
a vivid blue to the ribbons
in a little girl’s hair.

It is our vigilance that fills the air
with breakfast smells, and the memory
of last night’s rain. We are
the attentive ones, the guardians,
drinkers of tea
in the cup of the day.

*photo by Zugr via Unsplash

Postcard: U Bein Bridge, Myanmar

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I’ve always loved this photo Joe took when he was travelling solo through Myanmar in the summer of 2012. Built in the late 1800’s (with reclaimed wood from a royal palace), U Bein Bridge spans a lake called Taungthaman, and is thought to be the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world.

In Joe’s words: I took this picture from a rowboat. On one side was a small town and on the other side was a really elaborate temple with mirrored mosaics. The rower stood on one end with double oars. We went around the lake and there was a little island with a chicken farmer. We went under the bridge a few times to get different views of it. The posts that held the bridge up were so rotting it looked like it was going to fall over. Locals still use that bridge every day. There was a constant stream of people —carrying food from the farms, riding bikes, Burmese tourists, and monks.

Flash of Life: Half Past February

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How are you guys doing? The cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Portland, and I have to say I feel extra lucky to live in this part of the world right now, with spring already showing up. Joe and I took a day trip to the coast on Sunday, and it was so mild kids were playing in the sand in shorts!

I enjoyed doing this “Flash of Life” writing exercise last month — did any of you try it? After I posted it, a friend wrote to say she had been feeling really blocked with journaling/writing, and doing this helped a lot, which I was happy to hear. She also had the idea that this could be a great conversation tool with your partner. What do you think?

You can find a blank list at Pip’s blog here for any of you who want to copy it and give it a go. The fun part is you can modify the list however you like, just choosing the word prompts you feel inspired by.

Making: Final touches to my new portfolio (will be publishing it on the site soon!)

Feeling: Grateful for sunshine

Sipping: Chai lattes

Thinking: It’s time to tune up (and dust off) my guitar and learn this song

Wondering: What our next home will look like (no rush, just daydreaming)

Hoping: For a two-bedroom bungalow

Reading: Tiny Beautiful Things (almost finished), the awesome news source The Skimm

Deciding: On an epic camping trip we might take this summer

Cooking: Honestly, we’re really into baked potatoes these days (with cheese, beans, plain yogurt, and salad)

Watching: Transparent, the incredible (Golden-Globe winning) show about a transgender woman and her family. (Available in Canada on Shomi.) Also…The Bachelor.

Wanting: New Converse sneakers

Loving: Weekly classes at The Yoga Space

Remembering: Travelling through India, almost three years ago

Hope you’re all having a great week :)

xx~C.

*photo by Rula Sibai via Unsplash

Tiny Beautiful Things

Tiny Beautiful Things

Four different girlfriends recommended this book to me last year, so I’m guessing many of you may be familiar with it as well. Have you read it? If not, a little background: Tiny Beautiful Things is written by Cheryl Strayed, who had me in tears within the first few pages of her bestselling memoir Wild.

Strayed used to be the anonymous advice columnist of “Dear Sugar” from the online literary magazine The Rumpus. Though she’s not a therapist (making her, in her words, “totally unqualified for this gig”), she’s a pretty masterful storyteller. Her approach to giving advice includes sharing pieces of her own life — raw, wise, vivid recollections that illuminate the advice-seekers problems, and show them ways toward resolution. Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of letters from the column: the questions posed to Sugar, and the responses she offers.

My friend Lesia lent me the book a couple weeks ago, and it’s been trumping the other book on my nightstand. You know when that happens?

One of the most striking aspects of  Tiny Beautiful Things is Continue reading

48 Hours in Seattle (Not Your Typical City Guide)

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Two unexpected things happened while Joe and I were in Seattle: We visited a store called Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop, and I enjoyed watching a football game.

Quick backstory – January was a pretty stressful month. My mom’s health is in rough shape, and on New Year’s Eve she took a bad fall in her apartment (her third fall in a month) and was admitted to the hospital, where she spent two weeks recovering from an infection and undergoing tests and physical therapy. A few days before she was discharged, a specialist told her she likely has one of two rare neurological disorders causing her balance issues, but that there is no definitive test for diagnosis, because neurology is “the black hole of medicine.”

Since my mom is in Victoria and I’m in Portland, I had several phone conversations during her hospital stay with nurses, a hospitalist, a social worker, her assisted living coordinator, her psychiatrist, and her mental health case manager, some of which were helpful, most of which were frustrating. I didn’t want to ruin our Seattle trip by feeling tense and edgy the whole time, so I got my butt to yoga class the morning before we left, and had a skype with my best friend Melissa that afternoon. You know when you realize you’re not just crying as your friend listens, but sob-crying? Like, so loudly it startles her baby? That was me.

So when Joe and I walked into a vintage shop in Seattle’s Capitol Hill the next day, which turned out to be full of weird taxidermied ducks and was run by an old bearded dude who smelled like weed, I thought, hmmm…weed. That would be nice.

Continue reading

Song to Stop For: Basia Bulat, “Tall Tall Shadow” (Live in Paris)

What a stunning voice Canadian singer Basia Bulat has. This video is a live performance she did in Paris in September 2013.

Have any of you seen her perform live? I’d love to catch her show the next time she comes to Portland…keeping my ears open.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

ps. Basia’s recent interview and acoustic session on The Strombo Show.

‘Round the Web: January 2015

photo-1415226556993-1404e0c6e727 It’s the end of the month, and that means link time, friends. You in? Have a cup of coffee/glass of wine/comfy seat?

For my second edition of ‘Round the Web, I’ve rounded up a pretty diverse list that I hope is fun and interesting, but also informative and useful. If you missed it last month, this is a new monthly series in which I share the stuff online that’s caught my attention lately.

Let’s dig in. 

* How to launch a podcast.

* Fascinating interview with Chaz Ebert. (She still talks to Roger after his death.)

* Would love to wake up here.

* Angelina Jolie’s op-ed on the Syrians and Iraqis who can’t go home. “I have visited Iraq five times since 2007, and I have seen nothing like the suffering I’m witnessing now.”

* Holy sh-t. A truly riveting birth story. (A long piece, but worth it.)

* This simple pasta sounds really good.

* In praise of notebooks. “A diary is an accounting. A notebook, by contrast, is to record details that reach out as you pass, for reasons not immediately apparent. A notebook is full of moments from days that have yet to become something.”

* Are you online dating? Alexandra’s advice is a must-read.

* Why oil prices keep falling.

* For writers: Literistic will send you a curated list of submission deadlines each month.

* Joe and I are hooked on this web series about a New York pot dealer and his clients. It’s smart, funny, and the acting is excellent. (Each episode is just 5-7 minutes, and the first season or two are free.)

* Found! The perfect pair of grey jeans. (Wearing them now.)

* The ladies from SNL kill it in this parody of The Bachelor.

* Lastly, “Please don’t punish yourself.” A powerful reminder.

I had fun compiling these. Let me know if anything speaks to you!

xx~C.

ps. My post on our Seattle trip is in the works. It’s a long-ish one, coming next week.

Photo by Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

Line Break: ‘Song’ by Leonard Cohen

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I almost went to bed
without remembering
the four white violets
I put in the button-hole
of your green sweater

and how I kissed you then
and you kissed me
shy as though I’d
never been your lover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(From The Spice-Box of Earth, published in 1961. Cohen was 27.)

Said It: Anne Frank, On the Power of Writing

Anne-Frank

“I can shake off everything as I write;

my sorrows disappear,

my courage is reborn.”

Last night Joe and I and our friend Kaci went to a wonderful reading series called Tell It Slant, which was held at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. The reading was in collaboration with the museum’s exhibit ‘Anne Frank: A History For Today’. I was particularly inspired by this quote from Anne Frank. I don’t think I read her diary when I was young, but have put it at the top of my reading list for this year.

If you are in Portland and interested in this Anne Frank exhibit, it’s on until April 14, 2015.

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