Fuck That Sexiest Shit!

Some may find it offensive, but I think this YouTube video by apparel company FCKH8 is pure fucking genius. At times hilarious, other times sobering, this video makes a very bold statement about sexism in our country:

It’s near impossible to get people to truly listen about sexism, especially because the ways in which we still experience are not as obvious as they once were. Yes, women can vote. Yes, we can hold just about any job.

But, we still aren’t making equal pay across the board. We get raped in numbers that are staggering, and are almost always blamed for the attacks made upon us, if we’re even believed about the assault at all.

“Runs/throws/cries like a girl” are phrases that pepper everyday conversation, and the worst thing a man can be called is a “pussy” insinuating that he’s weak and womanly. Boys and men who display “female” characteristics or who, even worse, want to become female, are targeted for brutal, sometimes deadly, violence. Men are taught to hide their emotions and follow harmful stereotypes. Sexism doesn’t just hurt women y’all, it hurts us all.

As my favorite little girl in the video says, “Fuck that sexiest shit!”

Hearing about these issues in real talk from little girls cuts through the bullshit. For some reason, when little kids say the same exact thing a grown up might say, it has a lot more impact. For that, I applaud this campaign and give it my full support.

33.

“It takes a long time to become young.” – Pablo Picasso

Child's Hands with Balloons in the Sky

Today I am 33.

This isn’t a remarkable achievement, and yet I feel remarkable. There is a significant stretch of life behind me and a much more significant stretch laid out ahead. I feel so deliciously between the two – that perfect moment when you awake in the early morning, realizing there’s more time to sleep, your bed and blankets forming the most miraculous cocoon around you, and you feel irrationally happy to be alive just to be so comfortable, so unrushed, knowing that once you rise from your indulgent slumber that there is a whole day, alive with possibility, to wake to.

This year has brought me tremendous growth. Growth beyond all reckoning, exponential in it’s ascent, thrilling and unexpected. As with any growth, sometimes excruciating. Lessons learned but not followed were relearned with harsh authority. Things broke and had to be reassembled in different shapes. I broke, at points, and pieced myself back together in new configurations. Shifting, adapting, learning, hurting, healing. I don’t recognize the girl (woman?) in the mirror nowadays but I think it’s me. We are meeting for the first time.

I am the oldest I’ve ever been and yet I feel completely reborn, new; a bow drawn back, a breath held. I understand Picasso when he says, “It takes a long time to become young.” 33 has brought me youth beyond my comprehension. There is joy, curiosity and hunger burning in my chest everyday, so sweet it hurts.

I feel balanced, solid and stable; poised on the edge of unexplored potential. I’m leaping into 33. No longer concerned with restrictions or boundaries, I’m testing every one. I’m not scared to bump into limitations, only curious to find out where they are and if they’ll change. I will run, reaching, until I’ve touched all four walls, and I’ll patrol the perimeter all over again to see if it’s gotten bigger. I bet you it will.

Ballerina poised on a rock

Don’t ever believe you are too old, or that anything has passed you by. It hasn’t. I was so afraid. Every year tacked on, you guys, crippled me. By 32, my knees were buckling under the weight of my anxiety. For some of us, youth is not liberating. For some of us, youth can be an exhausting minefield, a heavy yoke around our tender necks. Some of us need time. We need to learn how to navigate this glorious but noisy, violent, demanding world. We need space between us and the things that hurt us. We need to survive before we get the chance to thrive. It took me 33 years to realize that my life didn’t start big. It had to be built up.

It’s here. It’s all here waiting for us to be ready. And when we are? Everything old falls away and the newness is a thundercloud. Suddenly, everything is exactly how and where it should be. The uncertainty vanishes, replaced with so much quivering, electric peace.

Whatever you are trying to do, whatever you dream, whatever age you are. It’s all here. It’s here for us, all of us. I haven’t achieved anything I set out to do. That used to kill me, a little bit, every single day. I know you. I am you. I promise when you’re ready, it’s all here and it’s even better than we ever dreamed. I may never do those things but I finally understand that that just means I’ll do other things. At whatever age I am when I do them. And it’ll be perfect, whatever it is, whenever it happens. I hope this makes sense to someone out there. I hope this gives you hope.

Today I am 33. Today I am limitless.

first photo credit: Camdiluv ♥ via photopin cc

Finally, A Vegan Rap Anthem!

Vegan Toronto-based rap artist Chokeules has penned the first vegan song that I would (and will) gladly play at a party:

If you like what you hear, you can follow Chokeules at https://www.facebook.com/chokeules. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to read a pizza it’s burial rights….

Farm Sanctuary Fundraiser a Huge Success!

“Being vegan is a principled refusal to add to the violence of the world, and an intention to be a witness for something better.” -Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary

Collage from Farm Sanctuary Fundraiser Oct 2014

Farm Sanctuary Fundraiser

I hosted a fundraiser for Farm Sanctuary at Modern Times Brewery in Point Loma on Wednesday, October 15. Garden Grill provided amazing vegan food, an art student taught painting lessons, we had
a killer raffle, and there was, of course, amazing vegan beer on tap!

(Sidenote: Modern Times is a completely vegan brewery! All their beers are vegan AND they only invite in food vendors that serve 100% vegan fare. On top of all that, the venue is gorgeous! So, if you’re a vegan in San Diego, go check ‘em out!)

Success!

We raised more than double the amount of money that I had set as my goal! I was blown away by everyone’s generosity. The raffle was , and made possible by donations from local businesses. The art student, Claire, donated her time to teach the painting sessions for free so we were able to keep all the proceeds from the ticket sales. And Garden Grill donated a portion of their sales for the night as well. The night was a success because everyone believed in it, and everyone put their hands in to help.

It reaffirmed for me that the vegan community is full of kind, generous people who care and are willing to take action or make contributions toward change. I am so honored to be a part of this movement and am touched beyond belief by all the people who came out to support my efforts. As Gene so wisely states in the quote listed above, being vegan is an intention to be a witness for something better, and I truly felt that in the room that night.

Farm Sanctuary

For those of you unfamiliar with the organization: Farm Sanctuary was established in 1986 and has since helped thousands of rescued animals life comfortable, happy lives. The individual stories of these animals can be heartbreaking. I was particularly moved by the story of Thatcher, a goose, who was recently rescued by Manuel, a 9 year old boy who saw some adults dumping a box of goslings (baby geese) into a yard for a dog to eat. Brave Manuel reached through the fence and was able to save a single gosling, Thatcher. He cared for the goose until Thatcher was brought to Farm Sanctuary, his forever home.

I hate geese, they’re territorial as fuck and birds are not my jam, however, I don’t want any harm to come to them. Reading about baby geese being fed to a dog made me very upset (for both the geese and the dog) but reading about Manuel’s compassion and drive to act filled me with hope. Knowing that Thatcher will live a full, happy life because Farm Sanctuary exists makes me even more motivated to increase my fundraising efforts for them over the next year.

Donate to Farm Sanctuary

If you want to help Farm Sanctuary and all the beautiful rescued animals they care for, like Thatcher, consider making a donation to my San Diego Walk for Farm Animals donor page! There’s just a few weeks left :)

Thank you to all of our generous donors!

I’d like to thank all the raffle donors. Without their gifts, the raffle would not have been such a wild success: