Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me. Take a look at all the things captivating me lately. Much of what I think is important to share has to do with politics and how we can become be a better community. And hello, AUTUMN!
ACL Festival and Portugal the Man
Did you go to ACL this year? I went Sunday on weekend one because I might still be tired from last year. 😉 We saw Portugal the Man the night before at their late nite show, and at the festival, we saw Milky Chance, AJR, The Head and the Heart, Vance Joy, and The Killers.
Life is funny. I spotted this yellow smiley face flag at one of the stages. I last saw this flag at Free Press Summer Fest four years ago and as I vaguely write in that post, I was going through a sad time in my life after a break-up. Seeing that flag made me happy to remember that sadness doesn’t need to last forever and I’m thankful for all the growth I’ve had since then!
Read: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Option B is a great read about how to respond to grief (your own or someone else’s) and how to move forward. The book centers around the experience of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband unexpected death but also gives stories of how others overcome adversity, including workplace failures. I like that it addresses multiple “elephants in the room.” What do you say or not say to someone who is grieving? It addresses all of these things and issues I haven’t thought about because I haven’t been in deep grief. We face grief and people who are going through grief, so I think everyone should read this book to get a better understanding.
It’s a social media manager’s nightmare to accidentally post to your company’s account when you mean to post on your personal account. (Knock on wood, hasn’t happened to me!) Someone at NPR posted about ‘Ramona’ (his child) and it actually was a happy accident because sometimes the internet is curiously kind. I loved the follow-up post with the photo!
Museum for Experiences
This was a very interesting interview with the 25-year-old creator of the Museum of Ice Cream. The mindset of the “museum” is what can easily be categorized as Instagram-worthy rooms. The interview made me feel a little uneasy because our society is so drawn to selfies but I’m glad people are interested in these creative experiences. What do you think?
I’m Nitrox Certified!
The next step in my diving adventures after getting my open water certification and advanced open water certification was being nitrox certified. Nitrox is oxygen-enriched air, which means there is more oxygen than nitrogen in it. Regular compressed air is 21% oxygen while nitrox has 34% and above of oxygen. Breathing nitrox means diving longer (but not deeper), shorter time in between dives, reduced risk of decompression sickness, and less tired bodies. What’s next? Down the road, I could get Rescue Diver and Master Diver certifications but until then (maybe a couple of years?) I’ll be diving any chance I get!
65 Million Refugees
Over 65 million people in the world today have been forcibly displaced from their homes. A new documentary by activist and artist Ai Weiwei called Human Flow is coming out and I think there will be tears. Here’s the trailer:
On social media this month, you might have seen #MeToo flood your feeds. People were calling attention to the fact that they too had experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault. From catcalling, physical touch, offensive language, and more, forms of sexual harassment have become normalized because the perpetrators respond that it was a joke or wasn’t intentional. Why are these discussions (or any discussions, like the ones I talk about later) coming up now? Because we know and want better. This article from The Everygirl about why women stay silent about harassment was informative. I also respect actress Lupita Nyongo for writing this New York Times piece. Moving forward, I think it’s good to acknowledge our societal faults (allowing this behavior) and find solutions. I see you, I hear you, I believe you.
Is it Creepy?
I followed Sophia Bush and Ruthie Lindsey on Instagram way back when and now they are besties and is it creepy that I’ve never met either of them and I follow their friendship? My point is, it was Ruthie’s birthday recently and Sophia posted this about it. May we all find people who are this passionate about community and friendship as this!
Now Listening: Music
- Adore by Amy Shark
- Slow Hands by Niall Horan
- Passion by AWOLNATION
- Take It All Back by Judah & the Lion
This short Facebook video was insightful to understand the disconnect between lawmakers and the people they serve. Did you know 31% of women take birth control because of menstrual pain? Did you know 28% of women take birth control to regulate their flow? Did you know 14% of women take birth control to control their acne? As hard as you try, you’re not going to stop people from having sex. But you can decrease teen pregnancies and relieve pain. The last fact in the video about Viagra makes me roll my eyes!
Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
I’m looking forward to watching this new documentary about how we can change the way we buy, cook, recycle, and eat food. Some of the world’s biggest chefs team up to show us how and tell us why. Here’s the trailer:
Trying to Understand + Braving the Wilderness
This year is the most I’ve been vocal about political-related issues. It’s hard to avoid the conversation and it’s a privilege to be an active citizen. I think it’s healthy to voice your beliefs, have civil conversations, and to keep talking about issues even when it’s not a presidential election year. It’s crucial to keep talking about the issues of race, economy, environment, guns, and mental health because we’ll be starting all over when we decide to bring it up again and it’ll likely be more heated than now. We have to move forward and not stay stagnant.
I read Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown this month (I recommend it!) and it was eye-opening and comforting. America has an ugly history. It started with taking things from indigenous people and slavery. We’re also a big melting pot of cultures, beliefs, values, and traditions, which makes things beautiful but messy. Our history and who we are today has a lot to do with the tensions today.
In the current, tense state of our world, I surround myself with people who think and feel like me. These people post articles I agree with and stand up for things I do. This makes the gap between me and people who do not think and feel like me greater, which dangerously makes interactions heightened. We on both sides have so much pain that we are quick to anger and judgment. We forget that we shouldn’t stereotype groups (ie: Republicans vs Democrats). We forget that even though someone is on the “other side” he/she can be/is a good person. So, I’m trying harder to understand where people are coming from and what pain they are feeling. Maybe that will not only help communities but our sanity.
Read: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
How is American history a result of how our country sees race today? This book might break your heart. But if you want to understand racism and its cost a little, this book will help. There are no words really, only the desire to stand (or kneel) alongside those who have lived this fight their whole lives.
Maybe we should think about this in a different way to bring change. Read this opinion piece from 2015 and let me know what you think. It’s sad to see that no change has happened since it was written after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
The Rohingya people are an ethnic group of 1.1 million people, majority Muslim, from Myanmar, a country that is predominantly Buddhist. Since 1982, this group has been denied citizenship. They have been raped, tortured, and murdered. Their homes have been burned down. In 2016, the UN accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing of this group. Refugees of the Rohingya have been pushed back from neighboring countries. A photojournalist documented the crisis. The UN and human rights groups are trying to help. As with any world issue, I think rallying the most powerful (rich) countries in the world to care and back the UN’s efforts will bring change. Here’s an article to learn more.
A woman who received a heart transplant ran her first marathon with the father of the woman who gave her the heart. TEARS! Organ donor stories always get me. It’s a beautiful thing to give another human being the ability to live on. If you’re not an organ donor, consider becoming one.
My check engine light came on this month. My car is eight years old and recently hit 100K miles so I had an inkling that things might go downhill. Well, a visit to the mechanic told me it would cost $2300 to fix the problems. The thing that frustrated me the most was that it’s assumed that I need to get a second opinion to make sure they weren’t scamming me. People should be fair and not shady anyways, right??! I gave them the benefit of the doubt and hope karma will take care of them if it wasn’t deserved. I felt so defeated that night I found out that instead of cooking the vegetables we had for dinner, Boyfriend said, “let’s just go get margaritas and eat bad food.” Chili cheese curly fries, wings, and ribs didn’t fix the problem, but it reminded me that I was thankful for savings that will cover the repair costs, a car that has kept me safe and efficient for so long, a partner that’s on my team, and the privilege of the life I live.
Would you have hidden Anne Frank and her family? Would you have risked your life for people who were being discriminated and more?
Secret to a Happy Marriage
This feature on Jane and Terry is the sweetest!
Chicken Shit Bingo at Little Longhorn Saloon – an Austin Gem!
You probably won’t find these many people concerned about an animal’s droppings outside of a farm. A decades-long tradition at Little Longhorn Saloon, bingo happens every Sunday from 4-8pm. You buy a $2 or $5 ticket with a number on it and hope the chicken poops on your number. The winner gets about $120 or $300, depending on if you bought a $2 or $5 ticket. Also, as we sadly found out, there is a ticket with the word “line” on it so no need to judge whether there’s more poop on a particular square; line wins! I’m glad I finally experienced it. Another Austin bucket list item checked off.
A few quick points to make your experience better.
- Parking is tricky. Try surrounding businesses that are closed or side streets.
- Bingo happens outside around the back of the bar but you can also listen to the band and order drinks inside.
- We were there for two rounds since they sold out of tickets the first round. A round takes about 10-20 minutes, depending on how long the chicken takes. 😉 They play four rounds every week.
- There are no formal instructions or set schedule. Get there early, hang out, and be ready to jump in line. There are only 55 tickets available for each ticket price so get in line quickly!
- There’s a cash-only bar with a limited selection outside. There is usually a food truck.
It’s happening again! Mark your calendars for THIS Saturday, November 4th for the next Austin Bakes fundraiser. This is a citywide bake sale to raise money for all the disasters that have happened recently. Our bake sale last month for Hurricane Harvey relief raised $20,000! Get more info about it here.
What’s captivating you lately? Did you dress up for Halloween? Read any good books lately?