Motivational Mondays-Reverse Psychology

I’m amazed by this.  As someone who loves libraries and public literacy, this project is awesome.

Got a Pocketful of Sunshine (Award)

First of all, a huge thank you to Sara of Project Sara for nominating me for this award.  I love Sara’s blog and want to meet her in real life.  She reminds me of my roommate, with her funny anecdotes and sharp social commentary.  On the subject, thank you roommate, for being awesome and helping me deal with numerous blog induced panics.  Because my roommate is awesome.  Also, if you’re reading this, I will replace the soy milk I borrowed to put in my coffee.  Sara, if you’re ever in the Philadelphia area, I will gladly take you out for beverages of your choice.

Anyway, back to the blog and blog awards.  The Sunshine award is an award given to bloggers who inspire other bloggers.  It’s so easy to get frustrated, and I’m flattered to be a ray of sunshine in someone else’s day.  That’s actually one of the reasons I started this blog; I was frustrated and reading about feminism and inequality made me angry.  I wanted to change, and I didn’t know how.  So I decided to start profiling awesome people who were inspiring, or to show people easy activism, “social justice to go,” if you will.

I”m thrilled to receive this award, now to fulfill the requirements of the award, I’ll answer the questions about me and nominate ten other bloggers who inspire me.

Q&A:

  1. Who is your favorite philosopher?  Whoever I’m not reading for class this week.  Sorry, I’m not much for philosophy.  Ask me about my favorite author, my general worldview, etc, and I’ll write you a novel.
  2. What is your favorite number? 42.  It’s a nerd thing.
  3. What is your favorite animal? -Owls.  I’m a night owl and they’re beautiful, powerful, and strong creatures.  Plus, the owl was the pet of ancient Greek goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom.
  4. What is your favorite time of day?-Nightime.  I love the contrast between soft lights and stars.
  5. What are your Facebook and Twitter?  I use Facebook to see pictures of my cousin’s really adorable kids, and to check up on my old classmates.  A surprising number of them have babies, and I wonder if I’m getting old.  My twitter account is affiliated with the blog, and that’s pretty much all I use it for.  Not much of a fan of Twitter, honestly.  I just don’t have the time.  Plus, the format is #annoying.  I am on Pinterest though.  Check me out.
  6. What is your favorite holiday?-Hands down Halloween.  I love costumes, dressing up, creativity, and free candy.  I was a bat as a child, I’ve been a gypsy, a stewardess, Pokerface (out of cards), sixties girl, and when I was little a ballerina/fairy/princess.  In my defense, i was five and liked all the pieces so I wore them together.
  7. What is your physical favorite activity?-Kayaking.  I’m terrible at it, but I love the feeling of being close to the water, powerful and one with nature.  I’ve kayaked on lakes, rivers, and in the ocean.  It’s so much fun, especially ocean kayaking.    I’d love to learn to surf, but i can’t balance to save my life.  I also love ice skating and wish that I hadn’t quit gymnastics before I learned who to do handsprings and tucks.
  8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?-Coffee. (You couldn’t tell from my blogger ID is cafeaulait (coffee with milk) or my blog’s name; Confessions of a Latte Liberal?)   Slit my wrists open and I will bleed coffee.
  9. What is your passion?-reading, feminism, writing, drawing stick figures, and historical fashion.  Fun fact, when I was younger, i wanted to be a costume designer for the BBC period dramas.
  10. What is your favorite flower?-Sunflowers.  They’re tall, proud and strong.

I’m honored to receive this awesome award.  So I’d like to pass the award on to:

    • Reasonable Conversations -the author describes issues well.
    • The Dancing Professor– an academic mix of history, privilege and real life.  Plus, she teaches at the University I attend, so I especially get her posts.  Full disclosure, I’ve never taken her class.
    • Make Me a Sammich: Rosie, you are awesome beyond words.  I love this blog, its design, content, and style.  It has serious discussions of feminist issues, complete with Rosie the Riverter imagery.   Nothing says we can do it like Rosie the Riveter.
    • Online Dating-While I’ll Soon Be a Crazy Cat Lady: This woman is hilariously chronicling her exploits in online dating.  I read her blog just to laugh at all the crazy people in the world.  Especially when I blog a lot about serious issues, it’s always nice to have a funny anecdote to read to brighten your day.
    • End Rape Culture: Exactly what it sounds, and it profiles people who are fighting and tells about what they do.
    • Captain Awkward -Love the advice style format.
    • BroadBlogs: Broadblogs has a really good combination of serious theory with real life examples.  I like her links and she doesn’t despair or rant.  She explores the issues with a critical eye and is definitely worth reading.
    • Small Girl, Big City-Blogmistress Meg is delightful, and has been really supportive of me.  She is really cheerful and writes about living in Paris.  Remind me to catch the next plain to Paris, so I can have un cafe au lait, sil vows plait.
    • Damn Right I’m a Feminist: This blog is amazing.  Although the blog mistress swears, she has great feminist songs of the day, feminist quotes of the day, and is always to the point and inspiring.  She finds the best material.
    • Shakesville-for anyone who doesn’t know the magic of Shakesville, I’d highly suggest reading it.  It’s a safe space with clearly written articles that articulate all the little things that bother you..   Best of all, it includes suggestions for activist men, and a healthy community for discussions.
Not a nominee for the award, but I just want to also recommend Prego and the Loon.  I love her blog, about escaping an abusive relationship and as a survivor, I emphasize with her.  She is a powerful writer, and I want to share her strength.  Warning: her writing is gritty, real, and sometimes dark.  It’s well worth the read, but not a sunshine inspiring blog.  Sorry, Prego, I really do love you.
Other shout outs include: The Human Rights Warrior, who profiles international efforts for justice.  She always has new issues to learn about and is a role model.
Happy blogging, and check out the awesome work these bloggers have already done.

Motivational Monday-Use Your Right Words

Toddy Dog

Toddy Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I had asked my friend to stop using the word “rape” to describe exams, classes and schedules.  I was so happy to hear that him say that he had no idea that it mattered.  I was pleased, but secretly, I was afraid that he was only humoring me.  What if I was deluding myself that I had made a difference?  Would what I said stick?  I didn’t know, but I chose to hope.

Today, I overheard him say, “This class is a (bleep).”

I looked at him and asked, eyes wide and feigning confusion, “This class is a dog?”

He looked back at me, paused for a minute, and then I saw it sink in.  “Hard.” He looked at me apologetically.  “This class is hard.”

Mission accomplished.

Motivational Mondays-Random Acts of Literacy

As a child, I loved to read.  So much so that my parents had to institute a rule that I was not allowed to read before school, or I would be late.  So I’m a huge advocate of childhood reading.

But not everyone has books in their home like I did.  I’ll never forget the response I got when I asked one of the students I was working with what books she read at home.

“I don’t have books at home, Miss Cafeaulait.  Books are for school.”

Books are for school.  This attitude limits the options available to my doe-eyed, mischievous student.  That’s why I’m a huge advocate of Random Acts of Literacy, a plan to give books to children on public transportation, and in parks and schools.

For the story that inspired this post, go to: http://thenotebook.org/blog/114260/sharing-joy-reading-during-daily-commute

For more information on the project, or to help out, go to http://www.randomactsofliteracy.org/index.html

Motivational Mondays-Lessons from the Woods

I spent this weekend camping with some friends.  We had a delightful time, and we spent most of the time laughing about how funny it was that city-girl, twenty-somethings were camping. 

Normally, campers don’t say, “Pass the avocado, please.”  Or “Are these vegan dogs going to fall apart if we roast them on the fire?”  Or, “No, seriously, you got this deli-market tofurky at Walmart?!”  Needless to say, the vegan hot dogs were fantastic, and the tofurky was amazing.  It was an amazing trip.

Every trip to the woods seems to inspire something profound.  So here, in honor of Motivational Monday, is my profound moment: 

       I’m stressed because I feel like people are judging me for things that I ought to have done.  If I just did what I was supposed to do, I wouldn’t be stressed.

Far easier said than done, I admit, but if we can keep our words, and honor only the commitments we can afford to do, our lives may be less stressful.  And that’s your vegan-friendly camping food for thought.

On Blogging Well

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Joan Didion

When I write down the words to describe what I’m thinking about, I see the words, the patterns I couldn’t see when the thoughts were playing pinball in my brain.  Writing helps me clear my mind, and writing to a larger audience helps me see connections and ties that I had never seen before.  I don’t have all the answers, but nor did I ever claim to.  I only hope that we can figure it out together.