Favorite Things, Vol. XIII

Having an extra weekend day is always a wonderful thing, but WOW does this Tuesday feel like a Monday. It's looking as though I'm going to be very off this week. Thankfully Chicago gave us a glorious Memorial Day weekend, and I got outside as much as possible, so I'm feeling ready to go. (A feeling which, I'm sure, will be gone in a matter of hours.)

A quote from Omid Safi's wonderful article from the On Being blog, linked below.



Why We're More Creative When We're Tired, And 9 Other Surprising Things About How Brains Work:  Another incredible find from my friend Luke's weekly newsletter (which you too can get by signing up here) - I wholeheartedly agree and can attest to so much of what this article has to say. The amount of creativity my brain shoots out between 10:30pm and 1:00am is astounding, and yet very inconvenient with my day job, which means waking up at 6:00am. Now I'm on the hunt for how to redirect this creativity to a more convenient time, or how I can rearrange my days.

Shine A Light On The Good And Beautiful: I've found in this season of my life, which at times has felt overwhelmingly difficult, that I've clung to optimism and hope and beauty. Not in a naive way, pretending that pain and heartbreak aren't real, but in a if-I-don't-try-to-seek-these-better-things-out-I-will-succumb-to-a-series-of-very-dark-places kind of way. Omid Safi, a consistent favorite of mine on the On Being blog (but let's be real, I love all the writers on the On Being blog) puts this idea in a really stunning and thoughtful way: "So, friends, let us stand next to one another, shoulder to shoulder, mirroring the good and the beautiful. Shine a light on the good. Applaud the good. Become an advocate of the good and the beautiful. Let us hang on to the faith that ultimately light overcomes darkness, and love conquers hate. It is the only thing that ever has, ever will, and does today."

Weird Girls: A lovely piece from the ever-wonderful Lenny Letter on parenting and expectations and communicating and standing up for what you and your humans need and deserve. Whether you're a parent or not, whether you engage with children in your daily life or couldn't tell a child from a puppy, this is an important read.

What The #MoreThanMean Viral Video Didn't Tell You: In case you missed it, there was an incredible video recently of men reading actual tweets directed at two female sportswriters, Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro. The tweets smacked of misogyny and ignorance, and some of the men reading them reacted in a very visceral way, at times even apologizing to the women, even though they themselves had not written the tweets. This article from Julie DiCaro gives some takeaways and suggestions on how we move forward from this, and how we can each contribute to a more inclusive world for females in the sports world. 



The West Wing Weekly: I listened to an OBSCENE amount of this podcast over the weekend. Like, I started on Friday and am nearly caught up. As a total West Wing nerd, this is my dream come true - getting to hear from some of the actors and obtaining information about the background of the show and being far too familiar with all they are saying. New favorite podcast OBTAINED.

A Collection Of My Favorite Commencement Speeches: I have long been an enormous fan of commencement speeches, and when talking to a friend lately, these three were the ones that came to mind. The first two are from this year, so they're pretty fresh in my memory. First up is Sheryl Sandberg's address at UC-Berkeley - if you can get through this one without tearing up, I will have no option but to assume that you are a robot. The way in which she goes about discussing the loss of her husband and her lessons on resilience are both astoundingly powerful. Next up is Lin-Manuel Miranda's address at the University of Pennsylvania, which covers all sorts of things and makes me even more in awe of him and all the work he does. Talk about someone who writes like they're running out of time. The final one (for now) is Amy Poehler's speech at Harvard's Class Day in 2011. She is a queen, she is the most hilarious, she is kind and smart and witty as hell, and please can she just be my fairy godmother already??



Lift Off: Donovan Livingston, a student speaker at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, gives one of the most powerful spoken word poems I've seen in awhile. It covers race and education and dreams and how we do or do not support one another and EVERYTHING, and will leave you blown away by the power of words.

Side By Side Dance Company at Urban Paradise 2015 Front Row: My friend Haylie had posted this video awhile ago of some of her megaridiculouslytalented dancer friends performing an incredible piece, and now I've lost track of how many times I've watched it. One of the dancers recently launched a Kickstarter for a really interesting new project - definitely check it out, and if you feel led, send them some financial support. 

427: Ten Years Without Jen, Twenty-Six With: Be warned - tears are pretty imminent with this piece. But it isn't your normal piece on grief and loss. Matt Zoller Seitz shares his experience with losing his wife unexpectedly in a very human and vulnerable way, from the more classic stories of grief to his stories of his grief, which contain all the feels. I couldn't recommend this piece enough.


May your weeks be filled with creativity at convenient and inconvenient times, good words whether you're a recent graduate or you can hardly remember your commencement, and the reminder that we are in this life together.