Friday Link Love: Distress Signals, Current Protest Culture, and a New Podcast for West Wing Fans

Link Love BadgeA collection of interesting things I found on the web this week.


How Facebook Live Became Our New Global Distress Signal

I love how this article begins with a story; a metaphor that helps us understand the significance of this moment in time and how technology is once again poised to save lives. It used to be that inner city black men disappeared and no one outside their universe knew it. But today, in this moment in time, technology like Facebook Live makes it possible for anyone to send out a distress signal.  It’s the tide that raises all the boats, so to speak.

“…She did not trust the justice system to investigate it,” the article says. “She used the only tool at her disposal — she turned her camera on not to share her pain, but to cry out for help. ‘I wanted everyone in the world to know that no matter how much the police tamper with evidence, how much they stick together … I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that the people could see.'”

For Philando Castile, Social Media Was the Only 911

“Victims of police shootings have no authorities to call, no higher-ups to summon. In these situations, police are witness, assailant, and first responder—all three. Throughout history, that fact has left victims with little recourse.”

“…But Reynolds’ live video was different. Not just a documentation of what happened, it was also a real-time cry for help. Unable to call the authorities as she watched her loved one slip away, Reynolds instead called on the public.”

Fresh Air Interview With Kenya Barris, Creator of Black-ish

I listened to this podcast while on a walk last night. I particularly loved his comparison of his generation’s approach to protesting with that of his kids’ version of protesting. Here’s a quote:

Now, my kids and their generation … [when the] Trayvon Martin incident happened and my daughter came in and I was like, “How do you feel about this?” and she was like, “We’re really upset. Kids I know are protesting.” I’m like, “That’s awesome. What are you doing?” And she said, “Look, we’re doing it on Instagram.”

And she shows me this Instagram picture and it’s just a black frame … and I’m like, “OK, so where’s the protest?” She’s like, “This is it. Look how many people are putting black on their Instagram.” I realized, this must be the most low-rent protest I’ve ever seen in my life. I was like, “I can’t get a small trash can fire? I don’t know, like,anything?” It really showed me the generational difference.

“I can’t get a small trash can fire?” Both funny and not funny at the same time. Also the reason I never change my Facebook profile photo to “show support” of whatever current event we’re sad or angry about in the moment. It feels trite and disrespectful to the seriousness of the situation.

The West Wing Weekly Podcast

Okay, now to lighten it up a little in here. THIS PODCAST! I discovered it just today and listened to three episodes while I did some painting at our rental property. It’s hosted by Josh Molina, who plays Will Bailey, starting in season 4, and another guy named Hrishi who’s a fan and a friend of Molina’s.

It’s literally an episode by episode recap and commentary on the show, with special guests and insider information, AND IT’S AMAZING. If you’re a “Wing Nut,” as Molina calls us fans (himself included), you have to listen to this podcast. It’s a delightfully fantastic break from real life.

Photo Credit: @HrishiHirway
Photo Credit: @HrishiHirway

Friday Link Love

Link Love BadgeFresh Air Interview with Tony Hale
I started watching VEEP on Netflix this year. I’m only on Season 2, though, because the characters on the show are so awful I can’t handle watching more than a couple episodes at a time. In this way it reminds me of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — hilarious and awkward and OHMYGAWDTURNITOFFALREADY.

Bryan sent me a link to this interview because I love the Vice President’s body man, David, played by Tony Hale (who also played Buster on Arrested Development).

(As a side note, Terry Gross had never heard the term “body man.” But DUH. Charlie was body man to The West Wing’s President Bartlett, and Marissa was body woman to The Good Wife’s Alicia Florrick.)

In this interview with Gross, Hale talks about the anxiety of being between jobs and having nothing to say when someones asks, “What’s next?”

Bryan and I used to joke about this, how it’s less awkward in social settings to say you’re currently “freelancing” rather than admit you’re unemployed. In both scenarios you’re looking for work, but freelancers are better story tellers.

modern day cowboy

Hale also talks about contentment in a way I relate to. Here’s a quote from the interview:

When I was on “Arrested Development” – I really learned a massive lesson from “Arrested Development” because here’s a show that was so well-written and so funny and the cast was so great and I really did love being there. But I remember getting it and it’s all I ever wanted. And I remember it not satisfying the way I thought it was going to satisfy.

And it really freaked me out because it was my dream.

And then when I got it, and I’d given that thing so much weight and it didn’t satisfy, it really woke me up that if you’re not practicing contentment where you are, you’re not going to be content when you get what you want. And it really scared me.

Raise your hand if you relate!

*raises hand*

This American Life: Tell Me I’m Fat
Lately I’ve been struggling with the tension between acceptance of my 40-something never-going-back-again body and wishing my “real body” would return. Do I care about my weight? Or do I just want to be healthy? In this episode of This American Life, both questions are addressed, and you also get another dose of the contentment vibe.

red yellow yellow

Follow the lighted dots on the floor. Your color code is red yellow yellow—whenever you’re assigned a path to follow, it will be red yellow yellow, three dots side by side—go where those lights indicate. What’s your color code, boys?”

“Red, yellow, yellow.”

“Very good. My name is Dap. I’m your mom for the next few months.”

The boys laughed.

“Laugh all you like, but keep it in mind. If you get lost in the school, which is quite possible, don’t go opening doors. Some of them lead outside.” More laughter. “Instead just tell someone that your mom is Dap, and they’ll call me. Or tell them your color, and they’ll light up a path for you to get home.”

— excerpt from Ender’s Game

I think Jesus could learn a few things from Ender’s battle school.

For one thing, a well-lit path telling me where to go would be nice – preferably one in different colors than everyone else’s path so I could tell which path is mine to follow.

Why I Love Body Art

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a tattoo. In fact, I almost got one in 1996, but my friends convinced me to get my nose pierced instead.

That was a good move by my friends, because in the 90’s I would have ended up with a tattoo I created in Word Art.

Re tattoos, I typically hear opinions from two camps: Those who see it as an expression of personal art, and those who think tattoos are for people who flip burgers for a living.

If you watch this four minute documentary by our friend Mike Folden, you’ll understand exactly which camp I fall into.

It’s about a local tattoo artist named Bryan Kachel. I love his passion for creating custom art for everyday people, his views on embracing mortality through body art, and the joy he expresses about his daughter tattooing her stuffies.

That last part is especially endearing to me. If you know me in real life or follow the antics of my kids via social media, you already know how much Ruthie loves to “tattoo” herself, both with ink and stickers.

Body art may not be for you or your kids, but it’s the most carefree way I’ve seen Ruthie express herself, so I not only embrace it, I encourage it.

Like that time I helped tattoo her eyelids…


Friday Link Love

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Why You’ll Win In The End If You Make Character Your Career | Storyline Blog.
“You might have the most impressive ideas and work ethic in the world, but I don’t think you’ll be truly successful until you can get a handful of people around your kitchen table to say they trust you. Because regardless of our personal ambition, we need others to help us reach our full potential. No man is an island.”

Behind the Scenes of a Midlife Crisis | Conversion Diary
This post was so spot on for what I’ve been feeling lately about being 42…

“…it wasn’t until my little mid-life crisis that I realized just how much hope I placed in having options.”

9 Qualities of a Servant Leader | Leadership Insights
I read a lot of startup and leadership blogs, and the good ones always strike a cord in multiple areas of my life outside of work. This is one of those posts that shot through the heart, as the great Bon Jovi once said. As a mom, I was pretty horrified to realize I lack 8 out of 9 of these qualities. Blerg.

Ask The INFP (And I’ll Try To Remember Your Question)

Even though the number of people who read this blog regularly could fit in my kitchen, I still like checking my stats every now and then to see what search terms cause random web surfers to land in this space.


So… if you arrived here because you are or know an INFP and wonder if you or your loved one will ever make it out of that paper bag without getting distracted, please know this is a safe place for you.

It seems you have questions. Listed below are some common search terms leading to this post, and I hope you’ll find comfort in my answers:

Your Common Questions About Being An INFP

  • logical infp (Not sure I understand.)
  • are infps good at anything (YES! We can…What was the question?)
  • i’m not crazy im an infp (But you SEEM crazy to 99% of the population.)
  • infp disorganized (Isn’t it a beautiful mess?)
  • infp irrational (WTF does that mean?!)
  • infp never calls (But I INTENDED call every day.)
  • infp woman in bed (The one place we finish what we start. *cough*)
  • what people do infp’s belong with (The Bible calls them long-suffering.)
  • shit infps say (I KNOW, RIGHT?)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Friday Link Love

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Candy Chang: Before I die I want to…
Really great TED talk about a public art project in New Orleans. And it’s only six minutes, so you should watch it. I loved her point about using public art as a way to “understand your neighbors in new and enlightening ways.”

Who Is the Typical Entrepreneur?
“There’s a blackout age for female entrepreneurs. According to the report, female entrepreneurs are most represented within age groups 18-29 and 50-55–with smaller percentages of women founding businesses between ages 30 and 49.”

This issue came up at a women’s event I recently attended. I typically hear this in the context of women getting held back from success because they start having babies.

I’m tired of that conversation. Make an educated decision about your priorities, then make it happen. It’s not a weakness or a hinderance to pause and raise a family. If that decision was right for you, then you’re not being held back from success, but defining what success looks like for you.

Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Time
“Stop believing the secret is to just “follow your passions.” People will tell you that and you’ll believe them. But it’s not entirely true.

Because if you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.”

Friday Link Love: New Year’s Edition

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When You Don’t Want a New Year but a New You
In theory I embrace failure as a learning experience, but in reality I see it as FAILURE. This was such a good read.

“We are all going to botch it somedays. We all sometimes get the notes wrong. But the song only goes wrong when we keep thinking back to the wrong notes.”

“When a piece starts to fall apart — fall forward. Fall forward into the next bar. Moving forward is what makes music.“

Don’t Despise the Day of Small Things
The struggle with discontentment doesn’t go away in new circumstances. A young mom who’s discontent in the daily mundane of diaper wrangling will likely also struggle with the daily mundane of a 10+ year marriage.

“Then in the midst of all this I had that dark, poisonous thought that I would be happier doing or being something else.”

Gloria reminds us that Jesus is better than whatever we think we’re missing out on.

4 Reasons New Years Resolutions Don’t Work
Because of this post, I approached goal setting differently this year by choosing a theme to set my narrative context.

“Goals like “lose weight” or “decrease debt” are vague and uninspiring. Goals work much better when they’re set within a narrative context. Frodo would not have gone on his journey unless the fate of Middle Earth depended on it.”

Friday Link Love

What Every Husband Should Know About Stay at Home Moms
I think the title for this post could be stronger. If I hadn’t seen the link posted by folks I respect, I would never have clicked.

That said, it’s a great post that encourages husbands to support both the outer chaos and inner chaos his wife faces daily. Sometimes we need help clearing the outer clutter before we can face the deep well that is our inner thoughts.

I’m thankful for a husband who supports my outer chaos and pastors my inner chaos well.

Etan Patz, My Children, and Me.
This article resonated with me. I grew up in a neighborhood with tons of kids, and we ran wild until after dark. I miss those days. Now I get dirty looks from parents when I allow my kids to play unsupervised in the neighboring parking lot.

She’s right in that we live in a culture of fear and anxiety that is largely based on perception. In reality, out of 800,000 children who disappear each year – a staggering number, by the way – only 115 are taken by strangers. Even one child taken is too many, but the point is, there is likely not a monster on the corner waiting to gobble my child.

Thoughts On Turning 30 In the Tech Biz
Well written thoughts by Donald DeSantis that apply to any age. These last couple years have been all about The Crazy, and I regret nothing.

Friday Link Love: Top 5 Posts of 2011

I noticed that Staci Eastin over at Writing and Living listed her most-viewed posts of 2011, which prompted me to look up what my top 5 posts were last year.

Even though I only have about 30 readers these days (you think I’m kidding), I was still beaming when I saw these posts rise to the top of the list – they’re my favorites, too!

  1. You wanna do WHAT at Qwest Field? – The post about me getting out of God’s way when it comes to my kids’ faith.
  2. Books: Where Do Babies Come From? – This post is actually from 2008, so clearly I know how to tap into the Google juice.
  3. All My Favorite People Are Broken – a tear-jerker!
  4. You May Call Me Mrs. President – about the best birthday present ever.
  5. The Seattle Nice Is Alive and Well In Portland – about a hilarious evening out on the town in Portlandia.

By the way, you should read Staci’s book, The Organized Heart – a really great book on organizing that addresses the heart rather than the methods.

Friday Link Love: Lovely Posts

I loved this post – Beware of the List – over at Writing and Living. I, too, am a non-list person surrounded by list people (*cough* Bryan *cough*). I could make a list all day long of what I need to do, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to look at it.

Seems to me like lists are best used by List People.

However, I’m turning into quite the List Hacker.

For instance, I use a daily Bible reading plan, but I’ve been working on the same one-year plan for three years now. It gives me structure, but I don’t obsess over it religiously.

I loved Staci’s book, The Organized Heart, because it reminded me that organization isn’t about making lists and following rules, but about worshipping God in everything I do.

Also read Bare Minimum Mode over at Conversion Diary about being intentional with your seasons of downtime. I get in this mode often, but I usually find myself here, rather than making a conscious decision to pull back.

When I’m in Bare Minimum Mode the priority tasks important to my family are: laundry, grocery shopping, and family dinner. The bathroom may be gross and the living room full of clutter, but by George we’ll have clean clothes and a hot meal.

What are your priority tasks when in Bare Minimum Mode?

I’m terrible at making transitions. I don’t know anyone who is, really. Are You Wearing Bungee Cords? is a great post about living in the moment and fully crossing the bridge into whatever is coming next.

Friday Link Love: Conversion Diary

No, son, the F-word actually won’t make your life better : Conversion Diary.
I would not have chosen this particular battle with my own kids – I’d much rather they just know the word and eliminate all the mystique. HOWEVER, I fully appreciate the whole Garden of Eden drama thing.

My son immediately mistrusted my motives. The more he thought about it, the more the word seemed better and my intentions seemed worse.

Knowledge is power. Isn’t that how the saying goes?

I totally saw myself in this post. I’m pretty quick to mistrust motives and question intentions. Especially when it comes to Bryan, who, ironically, has never displayed any evidence of malicious intent (though he can sometimes be a jackass by accident). I also need to know every detail of What Went Down – I’m never content with a conversation summary because there just might be a detail I need to know!

And my son? Oh boy. He takes it personally when I don’t know the answer to one of his (very complicated and insightful) questions, like I’m out to sabotage his ability to know.

It’s very easy to get caught up in a need for knowledge, but the desperation of it can be poisonous to our faith in the One who knows everything. Really appreciated this post.

Friday Link Love: The Danger of Moralistic Parenting

The Danger of Moralistic Parenting | The Resurgence.
I loved everything about this post, then realized at the very end that it’s an excerpt from a book I just ordered on the Kindle. WIN!

An excerpt from the post:

Certainly the faith that has empowered the persecuted church for two millennia isn’t as thin and boring as “Say you’re sorry,” “Be nice,” and “Don’t be like them.” Why would anyone want to deny himself, lay down his life, or suffer for something as inane as that?

I really struggle in sorting out my role vs the Holy Spirit’s role when it comes to my children’s conscience. My parenting style is built on a solid foundation of being a control freak, so I end up requiring some sort of proof that the kids are really truly sorry for what they’ve done.

This has turned them into great actors – Ruthie especially. She gets that striking George Clooney gaze from the top of her eyes thing down really well. And sadly, this often satisfies me. I know it’s highly possible she’s just telling me what I want to hear, but in my lazy moments I’m okay with that.

(If I haven’t mentioned this before, parenting is hard. It requires effort. I don’t always feel like doing it).

It’s only recently that I’ve admitted to myself I’m not actually the Holy Spirit.

I wrote that last sentence before I found this post from THREE YEARS ago, so I guess this is something I’m fairly slow at learning (ya think?!). Here’s an excerpt:

My first instinct when Ruthie gets this stubborn is to make her life as miserable as possible until she cries UNCLE and repents. In my imagination we play a game of chicken to see who lasts longer – me or her. Forcing behavior seems to be what I am most comfortable with, though I know intellectually it’s the worst way to parent.

I had a revelation awhile ago. I realized that Ruthie is a person, not merely an object I own or control. She is a person with a conscience who can feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Or not. I realized there are more consequences to our actions than just the circumstantial ones, that she is growing up not only in body, but also in faith. I realized that I won’t always be able to make her feel sorry, that sometimes she will rebel against repentance and have a hard heart, and that there’s not really anything I can do about it in the moment.

I’m ready to be over the whole control freak thing. It’s what makes me take things so personally and respond with unholy anger. I’d much rather just parent obediently and trust Jesus with the outcome.

I can’t wait to read the whole book!

I’m just glad someone else did all the legwork.

What happens when you let your children have it all their own way?.
A friend posted this to Facebook and a discussion ensued. It’s an interesting experiment, but I think it spoke to me more about my own bitchyness than it did my kids’ ability to govern themselves. After all, it’s our job to shepherd them in the right direction, but we can’t do that if we let them do whatever they want.

I’ve seen first hand the logical conclusion of that lifestyle.

But I think this mom had the same realization I would have had – that I say NO a lot simply because I’m lazy or inconvenienced by my kids’ request. I can’t say YES all the time, but I know I could say it more. Here’s an excerpt:

Experiment nearly over and I feel I have proved a point — one that is very interesting to all of us.

For a start, by the end of the week the children are imploding. My acquiescence to everything has meant that they are not only buzzing with e-numbers and sugar, but are exhausted, too

But I have also learned some important lessons. The hassle of clearing up the kitchen after they have made a cake is nothing compared to the joy I feel when I hear them laughing so freely.

They just wanted to have fun, to laugh more; to not have every request quashed by a negative.

They also, I think, really started to understand why I create boundaries in their lives, because as much as they don’t like them, they are lost without them.

Christ, with six eyes, four beards, & a flannel shirt.

A Portrait of Christ from Jeremy Cowart on Vimeo.

This video is around 6 minutes long, but watching it is well worth the time if you have even a jigger of appreciation for art.

It’s pretty crazy how I stumbled into writing and producing animated web videos, because while I’m a great writer*, I don’t know a lot about how the animations are actually, well, animated. I should say, I know generally how they’re made, but I don’t know the specific strokes and clicks.

So even though the medium is different from what I create, it was jaw-dropping to see it all come together.

p.s. I found the video via Don Miller’s blog.

*Don’t you love how I stuck that in there so nonchalantly?