Thursday, November 16, 2017

Image result for kitten

Ya'll.  I didn't know I needed this in my life.  And now I have it.

This post will be added to every so often.  Short form, I found this website that "rewards" you with fresh kitten pictures every time you write 100 words.  ...  We all know there is a lot of shit going on right now.  We can all use some extra kitten loves.  And so, I started wrtiting a story for pictures.

Here's today's 100 words:

One day, I was walking to school and I saw a unicorn.  It was my first unicorn, and honestly, I was a little surprised, because I thought unicorns only appeared to girls younger than me.

My surprise must have shown on my face, because the unicorn calmly looked at me and said "Come on now, you know we exist.  What's the big deal here?"

I blinked slowly, twice.

Now, not only was I seeing a unicorn, I was seeing a talking unicorn?!?!?!

I mean, don't get me wrong, I knew they existed, sure.  But nothing could have prepared me for the fact they talked! 

One day, I was walking to school and I saw a unicorn.  It was my first unicorn, and honestly, I was a little surprised, because I thought unicorns only appeared to girls younger than me.

My surprise must have shown on my face, because the unicorn calmly looked at me and said "Come on now, you know we exist.  What's the big deal here?"

I blinked slowly, twice.

Now, not only was I seeing a unicorn, I was seeing a talking unicorn?!?!?!

I mean, don't get me wrong, I knew they existed, sure.  But nothing could have prepared me for the fact they talked!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Secret Cancer Awareness Nonsense

I have been made aware that it's the time of year when people on social media play some coy tee-hee "just for the laydeez" nonsensical breast cancer "awareness" game. So let me rant out how I feel about this before it gets started:

1) FFS. It's not for breast cancer awareness if you don't tell people it's for awareness. "Secret" awareness campaigns are literally not a thing. I HATE this shit so bad.


3) Hey here's an idea, let's talk about PANCREATIC CANCER which is almost ALWAYS FATAL Pancreases aren't as sexy as tits, are they? What about thyroid cancer? Or liver cancer? Oh, nope. Of course not, they are not as sexy as breast cancer.

4) And let's "raise awareness" for it instead of donating to an actual fucking research institution? NOPE. Big ole NOPE.

Look, you want to help? Donate time, money, or resources. Donate blood for blood cancer patients.

Here, I’ll even get you started with some places:

Pancreatic Cancer:

Blood Cancers:

Children’s Cancer:

So you want to help? Then help. But don't think playing a secret game on fb helps anyone. It doesn't. It doesn't even give anyone any actual info on how to help. Can we please just not?

~post written and researched by Reesa GrahamBecky Courington and Whitney Rowlett. And yes, it is shareable.

Know your unemployment rights!

Hey every pony! I want to have a quick talk about unemployment of all things, sparked by this article about the fiasco that was/is the Fyre Festival:

There is a lot of assumptions going on both within the article and within the commentary of it that assumes that because he is not firing these people, they are not eligible for unemployment. 

This is the important part in a know your rights kind of way.

That is incorrect. If you have "good cause" or "just cause" for quitting, you can still receive unemployment. There is a list of common "good causes" and guess what's on the top? Yep! Non-payment! 

Do NOT stay in a job that isn't paying you. Just don't do it. Quit. Explain to the unemployment board you weren't being paid. You will be eligible for unemployment.

Don't believe me? Here's more info from an HR person. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wombat Day!

Today is World Hairy-Nosed Wombat Day! So I present to you, Wombats, A primer!


They are the BEST!

Some fun facts: Wombats are marsupials! But unlike most marsupials, wombats pouch opens in the back. (more on that in a sec). For the moment, click this link to see hilarious pics of baby wombats in their pouches framed by their mama’s bums:

Speaking of babies: Wombats are pregnant for less than a month! 20-21 days (they have really won that game). Joeys are born at around 2 grams, and as with most marsupials, are VERY underdeveloped. Thus the pouch. They are born hairless, blind, and hearing-less (oh, or deaf, that word is deaf). The sniffer works though, and that gets them through for a while. After birth, they wonder into Mama’s pouch, where they find a nipple and start eating. Mama’s nipple swells, and sorta locks it into babies mouth. This keeps them fed AND keeps them in Mama’s pouch. Once there, they develop for another 4-10 months, depending on the joey, but normally about 8 months. They are fully weaned around 11-15 months. Wombats stay with their mother’s for about two years, before being fully grown and ready to move on. The average life span of a Wombat is around 5 years, though there are tales of wombats up to 30 years old. (And Patrick the Wombat, who was the world’s oldest wombat who living wombat, died April 18 at 32 years old).

There are three kinds of wombats:

The hairy nosed wombat has a snout like a pig or a bat. ( ) They are separated into the Northern Hairy Nose and the Southern Hairy nose. The Northern Hairy Nose wombat is an endangered species – with only around 200 left in the wild. (more info on that here ) The Northern Hairy Nose is the largest of the species. The Southern Hairy Nose is the middle, and can still weight up to 68 lbs!

And while I do donate to place like Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary to help with the Northern Hairy Nose Wombat, they aren’t my favorite wombats.

My favorites are the Common Wombat or Bare Nosed Wombat (Pics here: ) I love them bc they are adorable and ridiculous!

Wombats are an Australian animal that has one thing in mind to do: Dig. Wombats live in burrows that they make with their strong paws (with crazy claws). Their stout and heavy body helps them dig in the ground. (Also, this digging is why their pouches are back facing. Then they can dig without filling the pouch with dirt. What a great design!) They prefer to live in forested areas with slopes because it’s easier to dig. They have up to 12 burrows in their home, with 3-4 main burrows. A main burrow can house a network of sub-tunnels and sleeping areas.

Wombats short squat body not only helps them dig, but also helps them butt things and push things around as a defense. If you've ever seen a billy goat push other goats around, it's sorta like that.

Wombats are nocturnal. (I mean, they live in dark burrows, of course they don’t like the sun – duh).

Wombats are crazy smart! They also have crazy slow metabolisms – it takes about 2 weeks for them to fully digest their food! They are designed to eat grass and roots, but are also known to steal carrots and other vegetables from humans and their gardens.

Speaking of food and digestion: one of the cooler facts about wombat is that they poop square! They use the square poop to mark their territory from other wombats. (pics here: ) As of yet, no one is really sure how their poop comes out square, with various idea poised by different scientists.

Contrary to popular belief, wombat’s are not rodents. Their closest living relative are kangaroos, wallabies, and opossums.

October 22 is officially World Wombat Day. May 11 is Hairy-Nose Wombat Day through the Wombat Foundation. ( )

Wombat even have their own comic!

One day, I will go to Australia and meet a wombat (or 12) and I will have a panic attack of joy and it will be miraculous. Until then, I visit Lily the wombat at the Houston Zoo on my b-day. The Houston Zoo is one of only 5 zoos in North America to have a wombat at all, so I feel pretty lucky to have access to one.

There are lots of adorable youtube videos on wombat, including this one of the most angry corn eating on the face of the planet:

And this one, which is just adorable wombats being adorable:

I hope you have enjoyed this primer on my favorite animals: WOMBATS! Let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fuel Friday - Earth Week with Activist Alliance

Fuel Friday: Let’s talk petroleum – easily the most commonly used fossil fuel currently on the market (though not the only). About 76% of petroleum is in some form of fuel: gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, heating oil and others. That leaves about 24% that becomes other things: plastic, asphalt, tar, paraffin wax, and others – even elemental sulfur can be produced during the refining process.
That means oil is everywhere and in everything we do. It’s estimated that, barring new technology, we have enough fossil fuels to support current consumption through 2040. 2040 – that’s 23 years from now.

We have to find more sustainable energy sources. And we have to do it for several reasons.

1) We will run out. And that deadline is coming very soon.

2) What we’re doing is already wreaking environmental havoc in the form of pollution with long term real repercussions in terms of the our health and the planet’s health. (Fun fact: air pollution from the burning and refining of fossil fuels kills 200,000 American a year.)

3) Sustainable energy isn't just better for the environment, it's also better for pocket books and the economy. Currently, there are twice as many jobs in the solar energy field than in coal. And coal is not as economically viable as solar - it costs more money to make less energy. Also, places like Georgetown and Fort Hood have become green cities/bases solely because it is cheaper to be so. Going green can save you money!

4) The United States is losing the sustainability race. Currently, China is the world leader in clean energy, and is poised to be the leader in climate plans as well. (Currently, China holds 3.5 million of the 8.5 million jobs in clean energy worldwide (that's about 41%), The United States holds 769,000 (that's 9%)) 

Don’t worry though, you can help:

1) As has been mentioned throughout the week – limit plastic intake and use. And recycle what you do use. Plastic is pretty toxic to the environment and every little bit that doesn’t go into our oceans helps here.

2) Find ways to limit fuel consumption – can you commit to riding public transit for at least a day a week? No public transit where you live? Can you commit to car-pooling and having one less car on the road? (And bonus! Public transit and/or car-pooling is cheaper than driving!)

3) Write to your congressman. Lobby for sustainable plans and alternative energy. Ask them what they are doing to help move the country away from fossil fuels.

4) Spend your money in places that have a low carbon footprint and are actively looking for ways to step away from fossil fuels. (Here’s a list:… ) 

5) Find a carbon calculator online and find out what your carbon footprint is the largest - is it travel, food, commuting. Make a commitment to shrink that footprint by even 1%. (Here's one: )

6) Talk about it. Did you know that around 75% of people talk about climate change less than 3 times a year? Make a commitment to make that 6 times a year, or even once a month, for yourself and increase those numbers. 

Happy Earth Week with Activists Alliance! Post by Activists Alliance member Reesa Graham.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thirsty Thursday - Earth Week with Activist Alliance

Coming off of Wellness Wednesday, we designate today as Thirsty Thursday to highlight the importance of water for life on Earth, ranging from habitat to hydration to hygiene to providing a healthy dose of fun.

Water availability and conditions vary in different regions so look at your local guidelines first to inform yourself. The included links have been selected to broaden and further the information you have to make conscious choices in how you use water and treat it as a resource. Happy Earth Week with Activists Alliance!

Post by Activists Alliance member Victoria Sagitta.…/env-freshwater-whycare

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Welness Wednesday - Earth Week with Activist Alliance

Today is Wellness Wednesday.

When we think of climate change, our minds probably wander to the large scale environmental destruction posed by this phenomenon. Rising sea levels, soaring temperatures, polluted air, melting glaciers, decimation of natural habitats, etc. These instances are not new to us as they have become the outward face of the problem in the mainstream media.

On the one hand, these calamities cannot be ignored. They have the power to wreak havoc on billions of people, upending societies as their force pummels the planet. On the other hand, how often do we stop to consider the closer-to-home impact of a warming planet?

The articles below highlight the health and wellness challenges posed by climate change. When the rest of the world is thinking big scale, we're asking you to think local and think about yourself.

On Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to take some time to enjoy the natural and sustainable beauty that is around you. Plan a trip to your nearest national park this summer. Go for a run instead of working out on the elliptical. Meditate in an urban or rural green space. Check out your community's local garden or farmer's market. Walk to work.

Whatever your action, be mindful of how these spaces contribute to your personal wellness and how their instability could undermine your health. Happy Earth Week with Activists Alliance!

Post by Activists Alliance member Sydney West. Please copy and paste on your wall to spread the word about Wellness Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tupperware Tuesday - Earth Week with Activist Alliance

Did you know that the average American throws out 185 pounds of plastic a year? Plastic is useful, but ignorant or flagrant use of it has harmful consequences.

Today on Tupperware Tuesday, we invite you to take the No Plastic Challenge, and go the whole day without using disposable plastics, such as saran wrap, straws, one-use water bottles, plastic utensils, and plastic shopping bags.

Bring a reusable bottle to work today. Pack your lunch in reusable tupperware and bring silverware from home, or reuse your plastic utensils instead of throwing them away. Buy in bulk, use fabric bags to carry your groceries home, and when you stop for coffee, bring a reusable thermos (it’s not only a great way to cut down on disposable cups, but you oftentimes get a discount)!

Also, you can avoid using face wash or soap that contain microbeads, which pollute our water and poison animals. For more ideas on how to cut down your plastic usage, visit…/10-ways-reduce-plastic-pollution.

Here is more information on microbeads:
When you look at the ingredients of your healthy-beauty products, you won't see "microbead". Look for polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate.

As you can see, it IS possible to mitigate your impact on the planet regarding what you consume and then produce as waste with easy choices

Monday, April 24, 2017

Meatless Monday - Earth Week with Activist Alliance

Today is Meatless Monday!

Whether you're a vegetarian, an animal rights advocate, or simply someone who loves variety on your plate, incorporating more meatless meals into your repertoire is a great thing to do. Producing meat under the factory farming model has enormous costs in terms of resources, environmental impact, and both human and animal health. 

And while many people around the world choose not to consume any meat, there's no reason you can't support more ethical and sustainable farming while remaining omnivorous! 

Even reducing your meat consumption by one meal a week can reduce your carbon footprint and water usage. Add another one or two meatless meals, and you can take the money you save and use it to buy local and/or ethically raised meats for the rest of the week. 

For more information, check out Meatless Monday's official site ( Happy Earth Week with Activists Alliance!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sustainability Sunday - Earth Week with Activist Alliance

On Sustainable Sunday, we’re sharing some concrete steps you can take to live more sustainably and eco-consciously. Do you have ideas or suggestions for living more sustainably? Share them in the comments!

1) Find a composting program in your local area. Keep your egg shells, banana peels, and food scraps in a bag in your freezer, and then bring it to a local drop-off site, or arrange for a program to come pick it up. You’ll be cutting down on waste, and supporting local community gardens and parks!

2) Be mindful of the energy you use at home. Turn off the lights when you’re not in a room, unplug chargers when you’re not using them, and turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth.

3) Recycle, recycle, recycle! 

For more ideas on how to live more sustainably, check out this article. Happy Earth Week with Activists Alliance!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Color Purple on Broadway

Hi all!

I know, it’s been awhile.  A long while.  I was away.  But I’m back!  Call it a New Year’s Resolution!  (Or not.  NYR’s only survive 20% of the time, so maybe don’t call it that.)

A couple of things, there is a format change coming.  A move away from just seeing plays into more of the work I have done, want to do, and the work of my friends.  There will also probably be political posts.

And, hopefully, posts about my new podcast!  (Debuting in late Feb! More details soon!)

But, having said all that, this post is still show related. 

Last night, I finally saw The Color Purple.  Ya’ll, it was so good. 

José Quintero was once asked (while in a theatre) why he didn’t attend church.  His response was to gesture around the space he sat and say “oh but I do, because here is my church”.  The Color Purple reminded me of that.  In fact, my direct quote (via text to an out of town friend who is still mad at me for getting to see it) was: This show reminded me of the majesty and the power of theatre.

First, it lived inside its own theatrical reality: one in which a plain white sheet was a pregnancy belly, and a baby, and a picnic blanket (if you wanted to track a sheet’s journey through the play).  There are plenty of other moments of theatrical reality, but I’ve spoken about it before in other shows (like here, here, and here and especially here ) so I’ll lay off it here.

I also loved the amount of team work and safety that the cast showed towards each other.  In small things, all the time.  The clearest one is that every time someone stood on a chair, someone else was behind the chair making sure it didn’t tump over.  And, it was part of the choreography, so it just looked natural.  It wasn’t until the third or fourth time it happened that I was like – wait, is this happening?  And then began to look for it.  (Spoiler alert, it was happening).  Whether it was the choreographer, director, cast or some combination I can’t tell you. I can tell you that, as a safety conscience director, it was nice to see.

But all of that is aside from what I really want to talk about.  And that is:

Why art?  Or more, why live art?

This show reminded me of one of the many reasons I love theatre.  Because theatre (and, arguably, most live art performances)  builds community.   The community maybe temporary, but it is tangible.    
It starts with the excitement of all being gathered together for the same reason – to see a story.  We’ve all decided that, of all the things we could be doing, this is the thing I want to be doing right now.  And we all have our various reasons for being there, but make no mistake, we have all decided that it is a worthwhile way to spend a Tuesday evening.

(Side note – I love going to the theatre by myself.  I love it because I get to have the experience and take my own journey in whatever way I want to.  And, because of the sense of community that builds within the space of the theatre, people will talk to you, strangers will talk to you, if that’s what you want.  And if it’s not, then you are not forced to talk while you process through whatever emotional journey you’re on. )

Here’s why that side note is so awkwardly placed, because I have a million stories of the friends I’m made in the liminal communities of theatre, but today, I want to talk about the ones I made last night. No, I never know their names (ok, rarely, I have made some actual friends out of theatre before).  But what we do have is a shared lived experience.

And in that shared lived experience there are moments of connection: the woman crying next to me, while I cried – both of us trying, and failing, to be quiet crying.  The couple who sat in front of me, from New Jersey, so excited to have driven in to see that show, so desperate for connection and to talk about what they had just witnessed that the reached out with a smile and a need to everyone who made eye contact with them – resulting in a 10 minute conversation about the show in the aisle after with 7 or so people – my part ending with 6 people wishing me luck in unison as I braved the crowd to get to the bathroom.  The spontaneous applause from all of us when one of the leads stopped singing to tell the man in the second row to put his cell phone up.  The man from Manchester England, on holiday for his big 4-0 birthday, telling me the story of his blokes getting him a single ticket to the show because of how much he wanted to see it.  He was so excited to be in NYC, so excited to see the show (he loved the movie and the book!), he was even so excited that his friends hadn’t come because “they wouldn’t have liked it anyway, they don’t like musicals.  Now I get to have dinner with them and tell them what they missed.  They’ll like it better this way!” His enthusiasm for the show, for NYC, for life contagious, easily sharing his smile and laugh. (If you, Manchester Man,  ever read this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY by the way!)

These moments, and all the others I don’t have time or space to write out, these moments are some of the many reasons I love theatre.  Because it bonds us.  Because in this space, we are one community.  And it doesn’t matter if I don’t know you, or will never see you again, because in this space, we are the same, and we are community.  We rise and fall as a group, sharing experiences and laughs and tears and thoughts and journeys and wants and needs and…

And right now, with everything that is happening in the world, maybe we need a little more community.  A few more reminders of the good that humanity can and does do, how fast people can become community.  Because maybe that’s what we need.  More listening, more understanding, more watching another’s journey.  And definitely we need more community.