24 November 2014

We were strangers once, too...

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.” 

—President Obama  during his speech to announce executive action on immigration

03 November 2014

Basic Purpose

view of the Potomac from The Kennedy Center rooftop 

“Each individual is capable of: 
– both great altruism and great venality. 
He has it within his means to extend the former and exorcise the latter.

– both great compassion and great indifference. 
He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.

– maintaining great societies and staging great holocausts. He has it within his means to fortify the former and avert the latter.

– ennobling life and disfiguring it. 
He has it within his means to assert the former and anathematize the latter.

If he recognizes that his basic purpose is to justify his humanity, he will have no difficulty in addressing himself to these choices. 
Basic purpose and human destiny do not lie outside him, but within him.”

 quote from Norman Cousins book, The Celebration of Life

01 November 2014

reality is politically incorrect

This powerful video has gotten SOOO much attention and I love that because I'm VERY anti Catcalling, but now the new headline has been made into a racial one, which I find annoying because yes, it's also part of the ugly truth, minority men ehhhhHem, blacks and latinos in my personal experience, are THE WORST offenders.

NPR came out with an article : 'Video Calls Out Catcallers, But Cuts Out White Men' to continue the conversation. And what it said the regular blah blah blah, but then the first comment I read below the article was spot on!

David Golann •

" I have lived in New York City for 5 years and I can tell you that cat calling is worse in minority neighborhoods. It just is, and the video reflects that. It's the reality of the situation. The video is going to be politically incorrect because reality is politically incorrect.

The reasons why there is more catcalling in minority neighborhoods are complex. It is obviously not due to the racial ancestry of the people involved. To believe that would, in fact, be racist. Instead, it is a complex cultural issue that is largely above my paygrade.

I think working class men anywhere are more likely to catcall than white collar men, who express their misogyny in more subtle ways.

The problem is that white working class men have departed from most of the inner boroughs of NYC. You don't see white working class men in the video any more than you hear the old working class white accent "fugghedaboudit" anymore. They are just gone.

The white people in the inner boroughs of NYC are now educated transplants and gentrifiers, who just don't catcall that much. I don't claim these white gentrifiers are all good people or feminists. But generally they don't catcall. "

30 October 2014

Long live freedom of speech and expression!

  1. Human Rights Watch reported last week: " Saudi's top Muslim cleric has said Twitter is nothing more than "a source of lies and evil". "If it were used correctly, it could be of real benefit, but unfortunately it's exploited for trivial matters,"complained Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. The Sheikh's comments promptly caused a huge Twitter storm in the Kingdom, and there are unconfirmed reports that Saudis immediately began uploading cat videos and over-sharing lunch photos."
  2. 1. Once again, I'm made aware of how important twitter and fb and all other types of social media are to freedom. Freedom of speech and express is a very powerful Human Right. Saudis know it and the ol' Mufti knows it too...
  3. 2. I had to laugh out loud when I read that upon hearing this declaration by the Mufti, Saudis immediately responded by uploading CAT VIDEOS and over sharing LUNCH PHOTOS!!! haha that's just funny to me. Get 'em Saudi tweeters! 

28 October 2014


“In recent decades, by accepting the flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law in the name of combating terrorism, American leaders have eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend. They have again set an example that will be followed by others; only now, it is one that will be used to justify the use of torture by regimes around the world, including against American soldiers in foreign lands. In losing their way, they have made us all vulnerable.”
“From around the world, we will watch in the coming weeks as the release of the Senate findings on the United States torture program brings the country to a crossroads. It remains to be seen whether the United States will turn a blind eye to the effects of its actions on its own people and on the rest of the world, or if it will take the necessary steps to recover the standards on which the country was founded, and to once again adhere to the international conventions it helped to bring into being.”
—A letter to President Obama from 12 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

20 October 2014

treat others...

"We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life." -- Edwin Markham

08 October 2014

re-blogging myself?

Reflections of a Volunteer with We Are Family 

I moved to Colombia Heights after living in Latin America for the past 4 years. Many who live in the DC area know it’s difficult to get that feeling of community. I was looking for a solution and delivering food to elderly in need with We Are Family seemed like a perfect way to meet my neighbors. 

At 10am a group of 30 plus volunteers gathered together to unload a van full of grocery bags, receive a list of names and addresses, load up a shopping cart, and deliver! (Kinda) In between the loading and the delivery of bags, Mark, the Co-Director of We are Family had all the volunteers introduce themselves, say where they were from, where they wanted to go, and where they had served if they were returned Peace Corps volunteers. 

My DC mentality kicked in and I thought, “Seriously??? This is going to take forever!” 

But then I realized, this is it, this is what its about -- community. 

This set the stage for the 26 or so doors our grocery delivery team would be knocking on during the next couple hours. Some of my neighbors where not home, others only opened the door a crack, while a few invited us is in and even offered candy, showed family photos and told us about the history of the neighborhood. It was a beautiful day, and I’m so glad to be serving in my home country. 

This blog post was written by RPCV/W Member Krystal Atha, who served in El Salvador from 2010 to 2012. The project was organized by RPCV/W Community Service Director Allison Nye O'Donnell, Honduras 07 - 09. 

Low battery = one bar closer to humanity

I"m fighting the good fight to stay connected. But the longer I'm in the US with our 4G constant connections the harder it becomes.

07 October 2014


Love her Show,
Love her spunk,
Loving these videos,
and hopefully, I'll get the book and love that too!

05 September 2014

"breakdance is an art and a sport." - bboy chiky

Check out this awesome breakdance video of my friend B Boy Chiky! A year ago he was in a coma now he's back spreading his positive attitude to all he encounters. For the non-spanish speakers, you can skip to the end to see the sick moves! 

03 September 2014

Sam Smith : Stay With Me

My end of Summer Jam

4 day work week = higher productivity & greater happiness = Winning!

I'm a HUGE fan of the corporate culture shifting towards integrating both the Living to work and working to live mentality. Its not one or the other, its both. We want meaningful work but we also have a life outside this work. And both are important.

Much of my knowledge started with learning about Google Company Culture and their flexible work week,  casual dress, free food on site, extracurricular activities, game rooms, nap rooms, etc... insane right? nope. Its not just google anymore. Its spreading. Whole foods is transparent about salaries! whoa. that's awesome. The Motley Fool has unlimited vacation days, lets you bring your dog to work, has not policies but rather figured out a way to create a culture around desired behaviors.

Now I work from an office in DC that has free PBs&Js! Coffee! sodas, beers, wine, and occasional lunches provided along with a treadmill desk people can sign up for to get the blood flowing, and for that 3pm slump a number of spaces where comfy couches can pull you thru those last few emails of the day.

And these places are not doing this just because they are saints or like free food or bringing their dog to work but because it's actually better for business.

>>> This Salon Article <<< spells it out, but here are the cliff notes:

1. Makes workers more productive.
2. Good for the environment.
3. Makes employees happier.
4. Creates a healthier workforce.
5. Brings America into the 21st century.

19 June 2014

word of the day: Ossify

Ever since having to study a book full of vocabulary for the verbal section of the GRE I've been a word smith.

ossify |ˈäsəˌfī|
verb (ossifiesossifyingossified) [ no obj. ]
turn into bone or bony tissue: these tracheal cartilages may ossify.

(often as adj. ossified) cease developing; be stagnant or rigid: ossified political institutions.

Today's word used in a sentence:

"The District has been struggling with rampant poverty and crime for decades now, and due to an ossified local government, that's not changing any time soon."

Vice writing about Washington D.C. and why its a hell hole. Now I disagree with that statement BUT in some ways I don't. My power went out last night, and it was a bit stuffy after 7 hours w/out power and that means no A/C. 


17 June 2014

Shakey Graves - Built to Roam

Another one for ya daddio!

 I'm feeling this guy's voice and his unique suitcase drum.


mean tweets BBall edition

I enjoy the Kimmel Mean Tweets series.
Although, I can't pretend to know any of these guys... its still funny and I'm sure my dad does.
Soooo.... this one goes out to you daddio!

30 May 2014

happiness in ...

the little things in life.


“A healthy attitude is contagious but dont wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” 
~Tom Stoppard

22 May 2014

Welcome to America series: TROLL (INTERNET)

After my extended time abroad it's no secret I have much to learn being back in the states.

I guess between 2010 and 2014 a phenomenon that existed has now been named.
It first came up when I tried to join a women's tech group. I had heard so much about it and was excited to join and meet amazing women etc. etc.... I went to the website to sign up for their newsletters that I had up until then, only been receiving as a fwd from a friend who was already "in".

I signed up and then was informed there was a backlog waiting list kind of thing and I would have to wait...gasp!
" WHAT? WHY? I DON'T UNDERSTAND??? this model is ridiculous. Is this the equivalent of a night club creating a line outside the door when really it's empty inside just to create some illusion of awesomeness?" I huffed to my friend and later to the founder of the women's group in the ladies aisle of Target weeks later...

It's then when the ladies gently helped me remove my foot from my mouth as they kindly explained the concept of "trolling" and how they carefully vetted those who were accepted into the group as to create a safe and inclusive environment. Apparently they had problems in the past and these TROLLS are everywhere!
So I waited, and a couple days ago, I was ACCEPTED! and it's glorious.
But I digress....
for those who may have been living under a rock, or just in the warm bosom of Central America like I was for the last few years, here is the TROLL skinny.

TROLLING as defined by wikipedia:

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

And to drive home the point, I've added Jimmy Kimmel's great series "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets"