The Best Coat I’ve Ever Owned

I receive a lot of press releases and story pitches in my day job. Lately, companies seem to be eager to tell me how consumers are more likely to be loyal to brands that take a stand, have a conscience, and are good corporate citizens. I want to write back, “Yeah, I know. Let me tell you about my coat.” But, since that would be weird, I’m going to tell you about my coat. Continue reading

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced by Senator Mitch McConnell during debate over Jeff Sessions nomination as Attorney General. Because Seantor Warren is a badass, she just went on Facebook Live and read the letter from Coretta Scott King she was going to read in the debate. Then McConnell gave women the mantra we’ve been looking for. I had to meme it.

Feel free to steal and share!she-was-warned-she-was-given-an-explanation-nevertheless-she-persisted

Political Podcast Picks


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m addicted to podcasts. And lately my listening tastes have leaned toward the political.

Here’s the thing, skimming your Facebook and Twitter feeds isn’t really informing you. Even if you’re clicking through to actually read some of those articles, they can only do so much. Sometimes you need more insight or analysis (preferably not of the screaming talking-head variety)…or you just need to have a laugh along with your political chat. That’s when I turn to podcasts.  Continue reading

5 Reasons to Keep Shopping at L.L.Bean

My boyfriend is hard to buy gifts for. Not because he “has everything”–in fact, it’s just the opposite. He makes an effort to shop ethically, which, mostly means not supporting brands that use sweatshop labor. For the first year or so of our relationship this meant he mostly shopped at second-hand stores or bought things made in America. That’s not easy these days. But over the past few years a handful of brands have made their way onto his “approved” list, and–for whatever reason–they are mostly outdoorsy brands, like Patagonia, that have a commitment to the environment and the workers in their factories.

L.L.Bean is one of those brands. There’s a store not far from my home, and at first, he was skeptical. He knew the company makes their Bean boots in Maine, but couldn’t quite wrap his mind around how the company keeps prices reasonable without exploitative labor practices. Then he had the chance to ask an actual employee, who explained that because Bean doesn’t sell merchandise through third parties and goes direct to consumers it can keep its prices down. Meanwhile, it stays committed to making some of its most popular products in the U.S.  Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving: No Hard Feelings

I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately, and have yet to get through it without shedding a tear or two. I’m a sucker for a simple song of gratitude. I hope it brings some joy to your day–which may be spent arguing about politics with your family.

And maybe, when you’re done, give some thought to the folks at Standing Rock. Set aside, for a moment, the problem with the pipeline and what it would mean for the environment on a global scale, not just for the people at Standing Rock. It is a national disgrace that indigenous people-or any people–are still being treated this way by the government. If you can’t get away from work to help support them in person, please consider donating.

Gun Owners, the NRA is Conning You


If you believe this is necessary, you’ve been conned.

A while back I wrote a post called “Get Scared, Buy Stuff” which was about the way marketers scare you into thinking you’re ugly to buy make-up, and into thinking a nuclear holocaust is coming so you’ll become a doomsday prepper and put a bunker filled with MREs and grenades in your backyard. I started thinking about this again, thanks to the National Rife Association.

I often wonder what world people live in that they think they need semi-automatic weapons to protect their families. The truth is, they live in the same world I do… they’ve just bought into the BS marketing tactics of the NRA (and the weapons manufacturers that are their bread and butter). Continue reading

In the Face of Fear

When I was 19, I jumped out of an airplane. So it might surprise you to hear that I’m afraid of heights.

I don’t like standing near windows in tall buildings, and when I’ve had seats in a suite for an event at the Civic Center, I stay toward the back of the box — because somehow it seems like I’m less likely to fall out if the whole box goes crashing into the crowd below. Driving on mountain roads near cliffs is…torturous. I don’t generally mind planes just because you’re so far removed from the earth, it’s kind of unreal.

Jumping out of the plane, though, that was a new level of terror. I didn’t really do my homework, so I found myself having to climb out onto a wing of the plane rather than just throwing myself out of a door. My leg barely reached the strut so it flapped in the wind while my stomach did somersaults. Eventually I managed to get out onto the wing, and my tandem instructor and I were flying in the face of every shred of common sense I ever had. I immediately curled up into a ball and started screaming!! After I saw the earth-the sky-the earth-the sky go by me a few times, I realized I was panicking and doing exactly what I wasn’t supposed to do.  Eventually I regained my composure and we tumbled toward the ground in a more orderly fashion. Continue reading

Trayvon Martin, American Paranoia, and the Decline of the Neighborhood

Seriously, which one of these people would you be more afraid of if you encountered them on the street?

This morning I listened to a story on NPR about “the talk” one mother had with her teenage sons. It made me sadder than anything has in a long time.

Here is the gist:

BRITT: The talk is what many black parents have with their sons and daughters – but probably more often their sons. It’s a preparatory explanation and a warning, to let them know what’s out there for them. You know, when they shift from the adorableness of childhood into, you know, their early preteen and teen years where they can perceived as dangerous, as threatening, as things that most of them really aren’t. Continue reading

My Favorite Vegan: Bill Clinton

I owe my friend Tracy big time. Last fall I heard that President Bill Clinton was coming to the CT Forum, and because Tracy and I G-Chat pretty much all day, she got to hear me (read me?) whine about how I wanted to go. As I had just bought a house and Christmas was right around the corner, disposable income was not at an all-time high. But Tracy is one of those people who hears you mention something and makes a mental note. So, frankly, I wasn’t all that surprised when she announced I had to clear my schedule for March 16, 2012. My Christmas present was a ticket to see Bill Clinton.

A quick check of your calendar will reveal that last night was March 16, and so you’ve probably guessed that I saw the 42nd President of the United States last night.

I won’t lie, I get really angry about term limits when I think about Bill Clinton leaving office. I keep my fingers crossed that Hillary will some day be our president just to get Bill back into the White House (not that she isn’t awesome in her own right). And I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this:

Continue reading

Obama Impeachment: Ludicrous

Justin Sloan, Flickr Creative Commons

I’m getting excited to go see Bill Clinton at the CT Forum this Friday. It’s rather coincidental that there is an impeachment bill sitting in Congress as I type:

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., has introduced a resolution declaring that should the president use offensive military force without authorization of an act of Congress, “it is the sense of Congress” that such an act would be “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”

I’m not even going to bother arguing the merits of this “impeachment” or how ridiculous it is when opponents of any president try and use impeachment to un-do the will of the people. (As far as I’m concerned only the people should be allowed to impeach the president they elected — you know, like those recall elections the states have.) What really bugs me about this is how useless and wasteful it is. Continue reading