Sunday, January 28, 2007

Good Women

Can I tell you, I love being a good woman.

I have often had conversations where I bemoan my good girl tendancies and wish I had it in me to be a little more bad. What would life be like, I have thought, if I just allowed myself to really mess up. To just not care about morals or reprecussions. I realize as I lay here in bed enjoying the comfort of my room and thinking about my week, that I my friends, am full of shit. I love being a good woman and I doubt I would ever trade it for anything else.

Last night, I went out with a group of gal pals. We went to this place called Tunnel Top. It was a fun bar, good male to female ratio (depending on whether you were asking me or a guy there) and there was this group of men from out of town. They were a funny group of guys and as we started to make conversation with them, one of my friends however, pointed out the shiny glint of wedding bands on all of them. I had a laugh, let them buy me drinks, joked around with them. But there was a point in the night where lines were being crossed. I could see some of my gal pals folding on some of the pieces that I know usually would matter a lot.

I sat there for a good second, a married mans arm around me, thinking, how big of a deal is this? And that is when I backed away. I knew in that moment, no amount of validation, alcohol, male appreciation, would ever make any line crossing okay.

Please understand, this is not a knock on the women I was with. I mean I get it. It's tough in those moments to really back away. You've loosened your inhibitions, you are feeling like being appreciated as a woman, and its nice. Each of us has to find the line. I just love that for myself, the line is so clear and that my heart really speaks up loud in those moments. I think, for myself, I felt more beautiful walking away then I ever would have staying. And for that, thank you heart, for taking me down the paths that honor who I am.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Change lives, create social change in just four days.

Hi guys,

So the deal is that I've been volunteering for an organization by the name of College Summit for the last 5 years. Every summer its been one of the best experiences I have all year.

The way they work is that they bring together groups of 50 kids in the summer at different workshops across the country. The kids are all low-income, with GPA's between 2.0 and 3.0 for the most part. In four days, these kids, rising seniors, get all the materials they need to apply to college. Its a life changing experience and for a lot of them its their first time believing that they can make it.

The reason I'm posting this is that the volunteer application is up. The position of writing coach lets you work with 5 students, you get totally trained to do it, and its the most fun you'll have with a group of kids all year. It's four days and you'll get a $150 stipend if you so choose.

I swear it will be something you will be glad you did. I am attaching a PDF that tells you a little bit more about the organization and what they do. I really hope you apply. I think you'll find that the four days doesn't just change the lives of the kids you work with but your's as well. Go now to

All my love, admiration and esteem,


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Freedom Writer

I sat in a movie theater yesterday and watched the movie Freedom Writers and couldn't help but feel certain emotions stir in me. I had long tired of the "great white hope" comes in and changes the ghetto kids genre, but this movie was definitely different. It was done with a dignity to the students that Erin Gruwell served in a way that was befitting of their struggles. I loved that for once asian kids were not isolated from the world of violence many kids live in, the story was more about the kids then the teacher, loved that the main latina character struggled with a lack of moral absolutes.

But I was still mildly bothered by the whole thing. When do the stories about us, for us, by us get told? It's been almost 20 years since Jaime Escalante and Joe Clark took the screen. And it bothers me that our stories, teenage or otherwise, are not just happening in the classroom, but really that is the only place they ever get played. And don't tell me that "Take the Lead" is supposed to cut it. I mean real emotion. Stirs you that you identify, regardless of color with the character, even though the man/woman so happens to be a minority. Anyone in the mood to challenge me could give me a list of movies with characters of color that should shut my mouth, but really, its a mere handful and how many of those movies had a producer that understood what it was like to grow up not as a part of mainstream culture.

See when I started writing this, I was about to apologize, I'm aware that my blogs have been a lot about race lately. Why its been a hot button issue with me as of late I don't know. But I was ready to apologize to this non-existant reader for the effect of not seeing myself on a screen. And then I stopped myself. I won't apologize for a structure that I see consistantly doesn't raise our kids the way they deserve.

I realized that its time for me to start writing faithfully again. And by faithfully, I mean putting my story down on pages. I have no right to complain about what isn't out there if I have yet to add my own contributions.