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‘Tis the season to make a wish list of gifts that you really, really wish someone would buy you because you would never spend your money on that for yourself. In the spirit of the season, here are a few things that I think are beautiful, adorable, or just plain cool:

Goes with anything, pretty, reminds me of the dance of life. I love jewelry. I don’t love fine jewelry, because I’m brutal on it and tend to lose or break it. But I love good costume jewelry and handmade beadwork.

Wish List

From Cultural Elements. I would wear this every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cap’n Reynolds, Zoe and the rest. Great company for a winter day or two. Firefly just makes me feel good. And determined that good shows like this one get a good run, instead of a few measly episodes.

Wish List

Curling up in front of the TV with my Husband watching these? Any day.

 

Klimt‘s Three Ages of Women. Just Lovely. I have a gallery of women’s images in in office at home, and this would be right at home there. Okay, ‘gallery’ may be too strong a word. ‘Collection of random art with female images that I almost can’t see through the clutter’ might be a better way of stating it.

wish list

One of my favorite bits of art. Would love for my office at home.

Wish list

Xperience Days offers a walking tour of New Orleans flavors in the French Quarter.

Oh, and this. Oh my god! This. Unfortunately, this is the largest image they had on the site, but really: Walking around New Orleanson a food tour? I’m in! (Followed by some serious blues searching after dark? Magnificent!)

I am in love with the company that offers this tour, Xperience Days. They sell interesting experiences, everything from spa days to skydiving to driving a race car, and their packages start at under $100. There are a couple of local packages I intend to try very, very soon.

 What is on your wish list?

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Originally published at Am I the Only One Dancing?. Please leave any comments there.

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anger and forgiveness

Tbird is the guest author of this post about anger and forgiveness. She recently completed her conversion to Judaism after years of study. Originally from New York, she now lives outside Denver Colorado and has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She has also been my friend for many years and is a constant inspiration to me. I hope you find her as inspiring as I do. 

Many belief systems call on us to seek out one another’s humanity, even in the darkness of people. We are asked to find a spark in the people who would hurt us or others.

The Quaker belief is that every life has value.

Universal Unitarianism holds the principle of “affirming and upholding the inherent worth and dignity of every person” at the top of their list.

As humans in the West, we are constantly told to be good, be polite, be kind to strangers, know compassion, let go of anger, and forgive. This is hard to reconcile when we know there is evil in the world; there are people who hurt children, murder neighbors, or think it’s a good idea to barbecue live kittens. How are we supposed to be nice, to affirm the inherent worth of such people?

In Judaism, the good and the bad both have a place. There is room for both anger and forgiveness.

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The Essential Thanksgiving

 

Turkey, despite all rumors to the contrary, is not essential to Thanksgiving, even in the US. Blasphemy, right? Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, and of course the fruits of harvest are important to the festival, but it is more than that. The essential Thanksgiving doesn’t require particular foods or table settings, but these ideals. 

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Twisting Love

Buy at Art.com

Twisting Love by Megan Aroon Duncanson
Giclee Print
Buy From Art.com

Beautiful, isn’t it? A friend linked to another of the artist’s prints on Facebook and I got curious. Thinking of buying this one for my office at work.

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Cover via Amazon

Gretchen Rubin has the enviable ability to make her readers want to know her personally. This has been demonstrated both through her blog and her book, The Happiness Project.
I’ve been wanting to read this book since I heard of it a couple of months ago, and once I picked it up and started reading, I was very glad I had.
daisies by countryboy1949 at flickr
The Happiness Project reads almost more as a memoir than a self-help book, which I think is part of its charm. It gives you an intimate portrait of Rubin’s attempts to find deeper and broader happiness within the context of her life, and her ongoing and daily struggles with integrating what she was learning.
Rubin tells a story early in the book about getting a terrible review from a reviewer and, even though she (privately) took it very personally, she composed herself and wrote a calm email in response, thanking him for his feedback. She talks both about how difficult it was to take that step and how wonderful it felt when she did it (and doubly wonderful when she got a gracious response).

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The full article that inspired this post is here at Sociological Images

The author of this response, Beau Sia, has posted an excellent performance piece on the basic concepts of privilege and prejudice, in the voice of Alexandra Wallace of UCLA, without mocking her for being female, or for having large breasts. It is very refreshing to see a response that doesn’t rely on misogyny.  Watch the whole piece.

His piece does not only apply to Asians in the library, but to young Black men at the grocery store, or women at the construction site, or Muslims at the high school.  This is a fundamental bit of education, done in an entertaining fashion, that applies to the concept of privilege more broadly than the original prompt.  Beau Sia’s YouTube bio lists him as an Oklahoman who currently lives in New York City and is a slam poet, whose parents are Chinese immigrants from the Philippines.

This also goes back to the series that Chally at Feministe is doing about origins, titled Where Are You From (parts 1, 2, 3 and 4), and who really belongs someplace.  I am a Caucasian American, and most places I’ve been, I felt like I belonged, with one exception.  In the deep south, when visiting, I was clearly a Yankee, and it was made clear to me that if I lived the rest of my life there, I would never belong.

Beau Sia makes a poignant case (as does the Feministe series) that many, many Americans never have the experience that I have, that I am automatically accepted as belonging.  In some cases, as in the ever increasing hysteria on the Right regarding Hispanic Immigrants and Muslims, the ‘not belonging’ of it all is vicious hostility.

This has been perennially an issue for African Americans and women, two groups (among others) that wake up every day with the sure knowledge (conscious or unconscious) that the world they live in wasn’t built for them and doesn’t reflect their values.

Unconscious privilege is an insidious trap, and it is easy to get caught in it.  This makes Daniel Jose Older’s piece “Beyond Manning Up”, in Racialicious all the more astounding.  As an EMT, Older describes the process he went through as he realized, slowly and gradually, how normal violence against women is in our society, how utterly banal.

He compares the stages of understanding privilege to the stages of grief, and it is an apt description.  When you have been raised to believe in a “level playing field”, which is a truly wonderful ideal, to allow yourself to stop believing that it exists is a deep loss. He rightfully concludes, however, that getting to the final stage, understanding, is only the beginning.

I can only hope that Miss Alexandra Wallace at UCLA learns a similar lesson, and that the rest of us can take something from her example, the fine response of Beau Sia, the series by Chally at Feministe, and the excellent article by Daniel Jose Older.

 

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