I made this for you!


This will be a short list.

For those of you who, like me, were checking twitter feeds from the Grammys last night, saw some reference to Kristen Wiig being awesome, watched the video, and then proceeded to fall into a Sia wormhole. Which included the original video for Chandelier, the weird follow-up video for Elastic Heart, and this awesome interview about taking performance art to the masses. I won’t judge you if you spent the rest of the day listening to her latest album on repeat. Because that’s what I did, too.

I love when artists do artsy stuff like this.

Owning the Conversation

[Trigger warning: all of these links are about sexual assault. Definitely not the norm for this blog.]

Our happy little town is taking a lot of heavy hits this fall. Or, perhaps more accurately, our entire community has been forced to acknowledge the secret things that have been happening all along. I’ve been impressed by the courageous way people have stepped into these conversations, demanding change, wanting to act, looking for better answers.

This list will only be a brief snapshot of what one person has seen written over the past few days. There’s so much more. More than we can engage with in a short period of time. But my hope is that there isn’t an expiration date for learning to be a better human, to become a kinder community, to listening to these voices. Students will leave Grounds for Thanksgiving, and will carry these conversations to other cities and towns, to other people who need to learn the same lessons. This isn’t a problem unique to our town, but right now we’re the center of a conversation, and I hope we can continue to speak with wisdom and compassion on this topic even when the spotlight has moved on.

A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA (the article that kicked off the larger conversation)

Universitybot Responds: Gang Rape as “Sexual Misconduct” (response from a professor to the initial statement from the President of the University)

Sexual violence and the law: what you need to know (written a year ago by one of the students interviewed in RS article)

A UVA Student Responds

Friends of rape victim comment on Rolling Stone article (local news story)

UVA Community reacts with shock and fury over Rolling Stone story on campus rape (Cville Weekly, whose cover story from a few weeks ago was related to this topic)

What one UVA rape victim wants you to take away from the Rolling Stone article (Cville Weekly speaking to one of the students interviewed by RS)

The student newspaper is totally crushing it:

What I didn’t know then (a frat party from a first-year woman’s perspective)

Inter-Sorority Council response

A few articles that friends and community members have shared in response to this particular situation:

A Tiny Police Department in Southern Oregon That Plans to End Campus Rape

Why Are So Many Boys Leaving High School Thinking Rape Is Funny?

35 Things We’d Better Tell Our Sons About Harassment, Assault, and “Boys will be Boys.”


More variations on the theme, from other places, from earlier dates (my list of links to share is over a month old now)…
Street harassment in NYC. Following-up with the creators. Continued commentary.

CONSENT BRO! (This is a great article, specifically about educating fraternity guys about what constitutes rape.)

I made this for you!

Oh, friends, I should share these links more than once every two months. I have an email chain 62 messages long!

Though, to give an accurate picture of the process, here’s what six of those messages look like:

Screenshot 2014-10-22 08.34.09

(I have no idea what I meant by that Schrödinger’s Cat reference.)

Here’s the article that led to all of those ramblings. I love the way it ties something modern to something classic and leaves you wanting to read (or re-read) both. The Gawker Review of Books is a new-ish venture, and I would recommend staying away unless you want to be paralyzed by the number of great books you haven’t yet read.

Now…where do I start?

Roxane Gay released another book, and there were so many wonderful pieces and interviews released to promote it.
The Price of Black Ambition
The Books That Made Me Who I Am

How do you deal with the criticism, and how do you decide which notes to ignore?
I want to respond to things when they really hit me on a gut level. If you announce what your value system is and then your actions don’t necessarily align with it, like, you have got to hear [those criticisms]. That is calledgrowing, and I think if you are in touch with yourself, you can feel on a pretty deep, gut level when somebody points something out, and you can feel that you have betrayed your own sense of justice. And so if something hits me on that gut level, then I am going to respond to it, and I am going to respond to it as best as I can. People don’t want to look like hypocrites, they want to look like they are like perfectly considered in all their actions from morning to night. But I am just one person moving through the world, and the best that I can do is be open to change. I was a really stubborn kid, and I feel like I am, like, making my way out of that as an adult and doing it in a public way, which can be challenging. –from a conversation between Roxane Gay and Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham ALSO released a book in the past few months, and every interview I read increased my enjoyment of and respect for her.
Don’t Love or Hate Lena Dunham. Create More of Her.
Between Girls

Lonesome Road
Missing Church, Not Religion: Why I Read Marilynne Robinson

Somewhat related tale of homelessness and the church: Searching For Home

The Importance of Friendship Diversity – by Ann Friedman, who sends out a delightful and thought-provoking weekly email newsletter, if you’re into that sort of thing.

What riding my bike has taught me about white privilege. (I may have posted this before. It’s worth re-posting.)

The Only One: A Talk With Shonda Rhimes
Related: 14 Incredible Web Series Created By and Featuring Black Women

When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person. This is so well-written.


Are you still with me? Here’s a glimpse of fall in Virginia from a few weeks ago, on Cole Mountain. The views are spectacular.

Of course, this was OUR view from the top:

2014-10-12 11.47.01-1

It was still a good weekend.

Okay, back to the links.

-Abby Pratt touches on what’s happened in our small city and one way it’s impacting the residents. We’ve all got trust issues now. (I just want to give everyone a hug. I also want to live in a world where that instinct is a safe one.)
-My old housemate Ebony has been dropping truth on her blog about the work she’s doing in Richmond. You should probably read everything she writes.
Get That Life: How I Became an Urban Farmer – Kate Daughdrill isn’t local anymore, but we’ll always claim her as one.

Articles I found on the internet that talk about how the internet fails to connect us:
Using Technology to Connect
Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram, Move to a Village

To Siri, With Love

A few interesting things happening in the garment industry:
closed-loop textile recycling
a garment made entirely from recycled cotton
“field to garment” movement

Something Borrowed, Something Blue – investigating the authenticity of the Madewell brand

And now we’re down the last few, which are completely unrelated but still worth sharing:

Don’t say goodbye. Just ghost. (I prefer ghosting – what about you?)

How to Be Polite. (Constant note to self.)

Put Yourself on the Pride Board (Remembering to encourage ourselves.)

Understanding Your Story with Dan Allender

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy (!!!)

A Better Way to Introduce Friends at Parties (Shoutout to people with boring jobs!)

And, finally, because the weather is getting cooler and I will always remember, fondly, the winter I finally fell for Wendell Berry: Faith and fears in Wendell Berry’s Kentucky

I made this for you!

It’s been a heavy couple of weeks, hasn’t it?

(I’ve been putting this off, waiting for the moment when there’s resolution or momentum in a forward direction or when we’ve all figured out how to get along…but it turns out that sort of moment isn’t going to happen after a couple of days. Do we even know if it could happen in our lifetime? Either way, let’s delve in.)

Let’s talk about race.

Men without a country.

To bind up the nation’s wounds.

The case for reparations. (Broken into sections so you can pace yourself.)

What I did after the police killed my son.

What policing looks like to a former investigator of misconduct.


Different rules apply.

Meanwhile, just outside of Ferguson…


So I started watching Land Girls recently, and not only is the show adorable, but somehow now I want to wear vintage coveralls.

If you’re in the market for non-toxic nail polish, look here.

Tavi is now an adult, and is going to continue to be more interesting than the rest of us.

10 things I wish I’d known when I started sewing.



Roxane Gay

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

“If you call it a value but you don’t act on it, it’s not a value, it’s a conceit.”

John Oliver

Zozia Mamet

Andrew WK

Andrew Keegan (This list started with a theme, but there were a lot of random celebrity tidbits, and where could they go? This article is hilariously strange. You might be into that sort of thing.)


The infinite list.

If “well-read” means “not missing anything,” then nobody has a chance.

What if you woke up two hours earlier

Tricking yourself to do things.


When friends came to town, we ordered pizza. A lot. We watched the sunset and got ice cream at Nemo’s and nobody freaked out that there weren’t vintage postcards and little bags of old-fashioned candy on their nightstands like there used to be, back in the old years, when I was being very responsible.

Thoughtfulness, maybe?

Asking the right questions in relationships.


The scourge of relatability.

The Pope’s tips for a happier life.

Makers gonna make! (Mark your calendar for this local event.)


I made this for you!

Photo Now for the fun part.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, right? Well, since I still send myself dozens of links to articles I’d like to read/share/reference, and since I’m always thankful for the link sharing of others, I thought I’d bring it back.

File under: musicians being ridiculous/incredible.

Have you noticed that every time Kanye speaks he says things that come across as ridiculous but, after closer consideration, are profound statements about the human condition? Does a commitment to rap/poetry train the brain to succinctly summarize these complex yet universal problems?

This is my favorite quote (he’s talking about Jay Z)…

He’s the poster child of winning. And I think I was the poster child of, like, fighting and winning. But you always saw the fight. And with Jay, you always saw the win.

(I’ve started organizing musicians in my mind with economists, physicists, and philosophers aka People Who Think They Can Actually Find Answers to Everything.)

NEXT: Though I find Iggy Azalea fascinating, I’m really into Charli XCX right now.

File under: people doing amazing/mundane things and being inspirational.

I’d not heard of this photographer before his TGD interview, but I love his humility and his hustle.

Do you know who Emilie Graslie is yet? Have you seen any of her amazing Brain Scoop videos? Did you wonder how she ended up doing what she’s doing? Turns out she just followed her curiosity, with tenacity, and people/opportunities responded!

File under: random nerdy/intelligent things.

An essay about the history of smiling in portraiture. Also, if you’ve never heard of this website, which I hadn’t until recently, it is focused on celebrating works in the public domain, and asks experts to help them explore the collection. (Bonus: old timey animated gifs.)

Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter. They’ve been writing these for the whole HP series! I love how these absurd literary mash-ups help clarify themes. Mostly, I love the way intelligent humor helps me learn critical analysis.

File under: intentional awesomeness.

(I haven’t used that term in quite some time, but Andrea knows it’s always happening.)

The Importance of Spontaneity

Another local artist has challenged herself to make something every day for 40 days. She’s posting progress and challenging thoughts on tumblr. I love a shared process!