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Must See Summer Classics

For me summer is all about block busters – films with grand film scores, giant monsters (literal and figurative), brilliant action sequences, and breakout performances.  I lean toward action and sci-fi genres because these genres often portray women as empowered or going through the journey toward empowerment.  In these genres women play with gender norms and often have more fully formed character arcs.

  • “Jurassic Park” – the car scene with the night goggles?!  The velociraptor pack?!  Jeff Goldblum as a sex symbol?!!  Brilliant.
  • “Raiders of the Lost Ark” –
  • “Star Wars” – the original trilogy were all released during the summer from 1977 – 1983.  I suggest hosting a marathon with friends ESPECIALLY friends who have never seen the original three (side note: HOW ARE THERE STILL PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER SEEN THE ORIGINAL THREE?!  And why would you call them friends?!)
  • “Independence Day” – Will Smith’s debut as an action hero and again, Jeff freakin’ Goldblum
  • “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” – Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Conner emerging as a badass from the asylum is empowering.  Plus, her wardrobe if phenomenal.  And Robert Patrick’s T-1000 is terrifying.

“Queer Eye” Makes Me Believe Again

The most positive, encouraging, and uplifting thing in this shit storm right now is the reboot of “Queer Eye.”  Chalk full of acceptance and personal growth, these five gay men guide a straight man in each episode to leveling up his grooming, style, culinary, home, and self-confidence game.

This season all takes place in Georgia and I curious to see how they dealt with different worldviews from more traditionally-minded folk.  I was pleasantly surprised to see wonderful exchanges on perspectives and respectful discourse on issues such as police brutality, gender norms in gay relationships, and religious intolerance of gay folks.

While I might not agree with the perspectives shared, what I found most insightful was how they modeled engaging in a difficult dialogue.  So often (especially in the traditional South) people shy away from engaging in conversation on controversial topics such as the ones mentioned above.  The problem avoidance creates is ignorance.  While experiential learning feels gross, it is one of the best ways to transform the dysfunctional ways we see the world.

Challenge: think about how you engage in dialogue.  Do you ask questions?  Do you assert your viewpoint?  What are ways you can cultivate conversations with people who have a different viewpoint than your own?


Fast Fashion: Cladwell’s Shift

Now, truth is I find myself wanting to buy more clothes when I feel like my life and my body are out of control.  Between expenses piling up and binge eating it’s clear I’m  running away from the ick I feel.  In fact I caught myself last week cruising cheap clothes online to get my quick endorphin fix.

And then, I remember Cladwell.  Cladwell’s mission is to reduce the number of clothes we have and beat perpetual fast fashion consuming our lives.  The encourage folks to have fewer, higher quality clothes.  They have this amazing app I use to get dressed. Yes, the app is $7.99/month but well worth it if it keeps you from buying more clothes.  They also have a blog offering styling help to get us thinking more creatively with what we already own.

Listen here to founder Blake Smith’s vision on how to break our consumerism and feeding into the lie that we’re somehow incomplete.

Little Free Pantry Meet Over Bake Section

About ten years ago I lived in a shed in a friend’s grandparents’ backyard.  I didn’t have enough money or support to take care of myself so they let me live there rent-free for nine months to get back on my feet.  During this time I became lactose intolerant because I didn’t have a way to refrigerate food.  I primarily lived off carbs, fruit, water, and veggies via shift meals at the restaurants I worked.

My life is a lot different now and I definitely have a lot to be grateful for: I own my home, have a steady job (a few actually), a great partner, and generally okay fur babies.  I still remember what it was like to scramble to figure out how to feed myself and the way I give back is bread donations to the many Athens’ Little Free Pantries (LFP).

Thinking you don’t have enough money to donate bread?  You do!  Almost every grocery store with a bakery has an over bake section.  When I grocery shop I swing by the over bake and grab the healthiest bread they have.  Usually this doesn’t cost me more than $2 to purchase.  (See the pic above?  This bag cost me $0.99 for 4 whole wheat bollilo rolls, aka demi baguettes).

If you have more than $2 to spend head over to the reduced cost section where items have passed the expiration date, one item in a pack is missing, or the store is phasing something out.  I try to grab items that don’t need to be heated or refrigerated in case the person grabbing the item doesn’t have access to hot water or a refrigeration system.  Baby food, grab-and-go oatmeal, protein shakes, and canned veggies are all great options.

We have many Little Free Pantry locations in Athens to drop these items off and all of them usually need materials.  I recommend the LFP in front of the Athens Area Homeless Shelter on Barber Street as it’s typically empty.  Happy giving!