15 Easy Things You Can Do To Help When You Feel Like Shit ~ Maritsa Patrinos

1. Get a drink of water.

Get a drink of water.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

You could be dehydrated! Your body needs water. Not juice, soda, or alcohol – get a tall glass of water and make yourself drink all of it.

2. Make your bed.

When you have a lot to do and it feels overwhelming, making your bed can be the first step in getting your life on track. It will also (hopefully) discourage you from getting back into it.

3. Take a shower.

Take a shower.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Life feels different when you’re clean! And it can give you a burst of energy if you’re feeling lethargic. Wash your hair and give yourself a head massage.

4. Have a snack – not junk food!

Did you eat enough today? It’s super tempting to eat junk food when you feel like crap. If you don’t feel like making a whole meal, maybe just a piece of fruit. Something you can burn throughout the day and not in a burst of five minutes.

5. Take a walk.

Take a walk.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

You might need some fresh air and not even know it. Give your body some natural light, breathe some different air, move your legs a little, even if it’s for just five minutes. Allow yourself to think some different thoughts.

6. Change your clothes.

Even if you aren’t going to leave the house today, put on real clothes. Or, if you’ve been wearing the same uncomfortable clothes all day and feel restless, change into your sleepy clothes and slippers and relax.

7. Change your environment.

Change your environment.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Staring at the same four walls day after day can be drudging. Can you work from a cafe, a library, or a friend’s house? If you can add going somewhere to the list of things you did today, you may feel more accomplished.

8. Talk to someone, not on the internet – it can be about anything.

If you don’t feel like talking through your troubles, that’s okay. Visit a friend, talk to them about a movie you saw. Call your mom and see how she’s doing.

9. Dance to an upbeat guilty pleasure song.

Dance to an upbeat guilty pleasure song.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

NOT ELLIOT SMITH! Pick something high energy and bump it. Dance like a rock star for one song to get your blood pumping again.

10. Get some exercise.

Do some cardio, work up a sweat. If you don’t have the time for a whole workout, look up a sun salutation on Youtube and stretch for as long as you have time for. Do some push-ups or sit-ups at your desk.

11. Accomplish something – even if it’s something tiny.

Accomplish something – even if it's something tiny.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Do you need to grab some groceries? Schedule a doctor’s appointment? Reply to an email? If you can’t get to the big stuff on your list, focus on the small stuff, and don’t forget to congratulate yourself for getting something done.

12. Hug an animal.

If you don’t have a pet, can you visit a friend’s? Or can you go to an animal shelter?

13. Make a “done” list instead of a “to-do” list.

Make a "done" list instead of a "to-do" list.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

Instead of overwhelming yourself right now, start feeling better about what you did get done. You can add “brushed teeth,” “washed dishes,” or “picked out an outfit” to your list. It doesn’t matter how small the task, prove to yourself that you’re effectual.

14. Watch a Youtube video that always makes you laugh.

I personally recommend this one.

15. Give yourself permission to feel shitty.

Give yourself permission to feel shitty.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

You’re allowed to have a shitty day, and you don’t have to fix it all right now. If you try to fix it and it doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Give yourself the time and space you need to feel what you’re feeling.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/maritsapatrinos/15-easy-things-you-can-do-to-help-when-you-feel-like-shit#.rqvmdX4vY3

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Next Time Someone Tells You “All Lives Matter,” Show Them This Cartoon ~ German Lopez

One of the most common responses to “Black Lives Matter” is “all lives matter.” But that response misses the point, as this great cartoon from Kris Straub at Chainsawsuit demonstrates:

"All lives matter" is wrong.Kris Straub/Chainsawsuit

The point of Black Lives Matter isn’t to suggest that black lives should be or are more important than all other lives, but instead that black people’s lives are relatively undervalued in the US (and more likely to be ended by police), and the country needs to recognize that inequity to bring an end to it.

Reddit user GeekAesthete made this point in a thread explaining why the phrase “all lives matter” is offensive:

Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

Straub’s cartoon echoes this point: If a house is burning down, you’re obviously going to focus on putting out the fire instead of watering a house that’s just fine. In this analogy, black lives are the burning house, and everyone else is living much more comfortably in the house that isn’t burning down. Clearly, one is a bigger problem.

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http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=FzdHh1cDrUEzrAqqJZ-O-PyQD4m0Pb6Z&pbid=a637d53c5c0a43c7bf4e342886b9d8b0

Two Poets Just Called Out The Black Men Who Hate Black Women ~ Zeba Blay

“These black girls need to watch out, ’cause white girls is winning.” 

Thus begins the viscerally honest poem, ‘To Be Black and Woman and Alive,” performed at the  2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational finals in April.

College students Crystal Valentine and Aaliyah Jihad teamed up to recite the poem, and Button Poetry posted a video of their performance to Youtube on Sunday, July 19.

“Puerto Rican, Italian, Bajan, Thai — I know they want me to be everything I’m not,” the poets powerfully recite together at one point during the performance explaining the misogyny, colorism, and constant pressure to be more “exotic” looking that black women face. 

The poem perfectly encapsulates the reality of being a black woman, highlighting how ironic it is that while black men make black women feel undesirable, black women are also on the front lines of civil rights issues that affect black men — and rarely getting any credit for it. 

One of the last, powerful lines in the poem: “I grew up learning how to protect men who hate me…learned how to be the revolution spit-shining their spines.” 

Jihad and Valentine (who also performed the profound poem “Black Privilege” at the event), were part of a six-person team of poets representing New York University who eventually went on to win the competition.  

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/two-poets-just-called-out-the-black-men-who-hate-black-women_55acfb79e4b0caf721b325b0?

27 Stunning Works Of Art You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photographs ~ Heben Nigatu

1. Omar Ortiz – Oil on linen

Omar Ortiz - Oil on linen

2. Paul Cadden – Small drawing pencil on paper

Paul Cadden - Small drawing pencil on paper

4. Gregory Thielker – Oil on canvas

Gregory Thielker - Oil on canvas

5. Lee Price – Oil on linen

Lee Price - Oil on linen

6. Ben Weiner – Paintings of paint

Ben Weiner - Paintings of paint

7. Ron Mueck – Sculpture, mixed materials

Ron Mueck - Sculpture, mixed materials

Photo © Thomas Salva

Photo © Gautier Deblonde

8. Kim Ji-hoon – Pencil

Kim Ji-hoon - Pencil

9. Christina K – Drawing on tinted brown paper

Christina K - Drawing on tinted brown paper

10. Ray Hare – Acrylic painting on canvas

Ray Hare - Acrylic painting on canvas

12. Alyssa Monks – Oil on linen

Alyssa Monks - Oil on linen

13. Pedro Campos – Oil on canvas

Pedro Campos - Oil on canvas

14. Dirk Dzimirsky – Graphite on paper

Dirk Dzimirsky - Graphite on paper

15. Thomas Arvid – Limited edition Giclée on canvas

Thomas Arvid - Limited edition Giclée on canvas

16. Rafal Bujnowski – Black and white paint

Rafal Bujnowski - Black and white paint

“Bujnowski painted a photo-realistic self-portrait in black and white, had it photographed and enclosed the picture as his official photo in the U.S.A. visa application form. The consulate workers failed to notice the manipulation and, eventually, the artist received a passport with a replica of his own painting.”

17. Paul Cadden – Pencil on paper

Paul Cadden - Pencil on paper

18.Robin Eley – Oil on Belgian linen

Robin Eley - Oil on Belgian linen
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Poet Aja Monet Confronts Police Brutality Against Black Women With #SayHerName ~ Maddie Crum & Irina Dvalidze

“Melissa Williams,” Aja Monet reads, “Darnisha Harris.” Her voice is strong; it marches along, but it shakes a little, although not from nerves. She’s performing a poem that includes the forgotten names of girls and women who’ve been injured or killed by the police. She finishes forcefully, then pauses, exhales. “Can I do that again?” she asks. “It’s my first time reading it out loud, and … ” she trails off. 

Monet had written the poem — a contribution to the #SayHerNamecampaign, a necessary continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement focusing on overlooked police violence against women — earlier that morning. That evening, she’d read it at a vigil. Now, she was practicing on camera, surprised by the power of her own words. 

As a poet, Monet is prolific. She’s been performing both music and readings for some time — at 19, she was the youngest ever winner of New York City’s Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam — and her work has brought her to France, Bermuda and Cuba, from where her grandmother fled, and where she recently learned she still has extended family. Next month, she’ll return to visit them. But first, she wants to contribute to a campaign she believes in.

Though she’s disheartened that a hashtag is necessary to capture people’s attention — “I think #SayHerName is the surface level of the issues but beneath that there is the real question of, ‘Why?’” she says — Monet wields her art to achieve social and political justice. While discussing political poetry with a fellow artist in Palestine, he observed, “Art is more political than politics.” “I feel him,” she says. “I think he’s right.”

Can you explain #SayHerName in your own words?
It is us calling out the lack of attention on women of color also affected by state violence. We recognize the power of our voices and so we raise the spirits of our sisters by daring to utter their names.

A recent Washington Post write-up said it’s difficult to even quantify police brutality against black women. How will #SayHerName honor those whose stories are lost? 
I can’t speak for what a hashtag will do in the actual hearts of people but I know that anything worth paying attention to these days in America has to be sold and marketed as if worth buying into. We recognize that the attention span of our generation is so short: How else do we make the issues we care about accessible and also relevant? This is what activism has come to. This is where we are at in the age of the Internet. We must be honest with ourselves about how human interaction is now only affirmed or confronted based on the projected world we live in through screens. 

I think #SayHerName is the surface level of the issues, but beneath that there is the real question of “Why?” Why do I need to make saying her name a hashtag for you to pay attention? The goal is to use this as an opportunity to redirect the attention of people, to hopefully get folks researching the names and stories of all the women we’ve lost. To educate themselves so we are all more informed on how policing works. Black women’s bodies are the most policed bodies in this country. 

Also, I didn’t read the Washington Post write-up, but it seems silly to me. Like, of course it’s difficult to quantify any brutality against human beings. It’s not more difficult when it comes to black women, I think it’s just easier for us to ignore them because if we acknowledge them then we must acknowledge all of the women affected by violence and brutality, not just by police but by an entire patriarchal, racist system. We keep scratching the surface of these issues and neglecting the root, which is this country never loved black people, and of course that meant black women. We who birth the men they also hate. We are an extension of each other. 

aja monet

What inspired this poem, and what inspires your poetry in general?
I was at an event where I read a poem in solidarity with my Palestinian brothers and sisters, and Eve Ensler was in the audience. We spoke briefly after and she admired the poem I read. I was honored and she gave me her email. I followed up immediately the next day and informed her that if she ever needed a poet at any point, I’d be there, no questions asked. 

She responded with this vigil for #SayHerName and asked if I’d be willing to read a poem. I have been meditating on this issue of women of color affected by police brutality, but the poem hadn’t quite come to me yet. I started writing a piece for Rekia Boyd but it just isn’t ready to be done yet. So I woke early the morning of the vigil and forced myself to write this poem. I sat with all the names of the women and I asked them that I may find the words to do justice. They came to me hours before I had to meet with you all to record. 

And maybe they’ll change, but the process of inspiration is a strange thing. For the most part I call on my ancestors. Not to be all, “I call on my ancestors,” but it’s true. I know I’m not the only one writing when I write. I also know that more times than not inspiration is subjective. You can find inspiration in anything if you pay attention. If you’re careful enough to notice how divine this world is and we are, to be here together, creating.

aja monet 2

Obviously you appreciate overtly political art — why do you think political art can be powerful?
I met an artist in Palestine who said “art is more political than politics.” I feel him. I think he’s right.

I think being an artist, you are in the business of telling it like it is. You create of the world you live in, unapologetically. What that means is you aren’t catering to an eye or group or specific niche so much as your own truth as you see fit. Politicians, on the other hand, are constantly determining their worth and issue relevance based on approval ratings and polls. They are always campaigning, which becomes less about the issues we need to be dealing with and more about who can be bought to speak about what you want them to speak about. It’s an ugly game I want no business in. 

Art that addresses the business of politics recognizes its power and influence. It unveils the mask of “politics” and gets to the people we are fighting for. It does the difficult work of reaching people’s hearts and minds. No great change takes place without art. It’s necessary. 

Who are some fellow poets you currently admire?
Since we are in the spirit of saying her name, here’s a few names: Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, Carolyn Rodgers, June Jordan, Audre Lorde and, of course, my sister, Phillis Wheatley. 

aja monet

Monet’s two books of poetryInner City Chants and Cyborg Ciphers and The Black Unicorn Sings are available online.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/21/aja-monet-say-her-name_n_7345358.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

One Photographer Is Using Social Media To Celebrate ‘Queer Icons’ Of Color ~ Katherine Brooks

queer1

Jahmal. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

Icons are an essential part of the visual history of religions, including those of the Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox Christian traditions. From the familiar Mary and the Archangel Gabriel to the more obscure Saint Menas or Theotokos of Vladimir, iconic depictions venerate the figures we consider holy or miraculous, marked by a defining saintly feature — the halo.

For artist Gabriel Garcia Roman, the halo is a particularly mesmerizing aspect of spirituality. Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, he immigrated to Chicago at the age of two. There he grew up in a Mexican household heavily influenced by Catholicism and religious imagery. As a kid, Garcia Roman recalls being transfixed by halos in fresco paintings, which, to him, combined suffering and strength on the dark walls of his church. “I saw the halo as a badge of nobility and selflessness,” he explained to The Huffington Post. “So I try and bring that feeling into my work. I want the viewer to be mesmerized like I was as a kid and still am.”

His work, “Queer Icons,” consists of wildly vibrant portraits that mimic the splendor of religious iconography, with one very important caveat. His subjects are not centuries-old saints. His subjects are very real individuals who identify as QTPoC (queer and trans people of color).

queer

Sonia. 2015, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle and silkscreen, 11×14, image size 8×10. Image by Gabriel Garcia Roman. Poetry by Queer Icon Sonia Guiñansaca 

Inspired by a desire to show the diversity of a population that often goes underrepresented, Garcia Roman renders friends and friends of friends, whether they are organizers, activists, poets or artists, in saturated colors and decadent patterns, halos always in tow. Much of his series highlights QTPoC “icons” — “people who are working at gaining visibility with issues or simply the identity of being a Queer person of color,” Garcia Roman said.

“The subjects in ‘Queer Icons’ are people of color, who maintain separate, individual identities within the queer community,” Garcia Roman writes in a statement on his website. “These explorations of the edges of genders take place in the nuances of the contemporary urban world. A simple eye shape, an angle of a mouth, the tilt of the head — indicate a queering of conventional forms and roles … Much like traditional religious paintings conferred a sense of safety, calm and meditation into a home, the works in this series aspire to a similar sense of refuge, drawn from the inner grace of the subjects out onto a world that might not always be safe.”

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Mitchyll. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

Drenched in deep purple and electric pink, his contemporary icons incorporate sprawling text and geometric backgrounds that set them apart from the icons of yore. To create them, Garcia Roman first photographs his subjects, then silkscreens colors and patterns onto the printed photos using a chine-collé technique. The artist has described his icons as a combination of martyrs and warriors, made distinct by their penchant for fearlessly staring down the viewer. Like the portraits of American painter Kehinde Wiley or South African photographer Zanele Muholi, both of whom Garcia Roman cites as influences, his work is defiant and uncompromising. 

“I’m absolutely inspired by the stoic portraits of Jan Van Eyck and Albrecht Durer too,” he added.

For some of the portraits, especially those that depict poets or spoken word artists, he allows the subjects to take part in the process, providing them with a Sharpie and tracing paper and instructing them to hand write some of their work around their image. “I wanted to give them a canvas to speak about their identity,” Garcia Roman told Mic. “I wanted to amplify their voice.”

queer2

Kathy. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

Garcia Roman posts the finished products online, on his Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr pages. “I am very active on social media,” he said to HuffPost. “Right now my Tumblr page is getting a lot of hits and I get excited when I get a notification that one of my images got re-blogged because I know that it’s being seen by people outside of my own circle.”

His goal: to ensure that young people come across his images and see these “icons” as examples of powerful leaders. One way he’s achieving this outside of the Internet is by making inexpensive digital reproductions, “so that people who can’t afford to own an original piece can have access to them.”

See a preview of the series here:

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    Hiroshi. 2011, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Matsuda. 2011, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Kim. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Kenny. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Bruce & Tenzin. 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Giselle, 2012, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Gerardo. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Jairo. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Sidra. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Julissa. 2014, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle and silkscreen, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman
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    Bakar. 2015, From the series Queer Icons, Photogravure w/ Chine-Colle and silkscreen, 11×14, image size 8×10. Gabriel Garcia Roman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/19/queer-icons-gabriel-garcia-roman_n_7313708.html

The Skeleton Twins Movie Review by Brett Myers

The pain of sudden family tragedy cuts deep and in Craig Johnson’s The Skeleton Twins the cuts go deep enough to bring two siblings back together after 10 years. Many films have portrayed brother-sister relationships as lovingly dysfunctional, mostly for the purpose of comedy. Skeleton Twins portrays Milo and Maggie, played by Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig respectively, as broken siblings only with happy childhood memories together. And that’s okay.

Openly gay Milo has been living in Los Angeles trying to make his way as an actor and Maggie never left upstate New York, working in a dentist’s office and married to the upbeat but boring Lance (Owen Wilson). On the same day, the twins escape death as they both attempt suicide with Milo ending up in the hospital and Maggie taking him into her home. Despite being apart for an entire decade, both of them still retain what connected them so well as children, while also both slowly and aggressively falling apart. Keeping crumbling emotions bottled up must run in the family as their father committed suicide when they were young and they ponder over this event’s effects throughout the movie.

The film follows them as they try to repair themselves and each other by reconnecting with images of their youth. This subject matter has served as the plot for many clichéd movies, but Nathan Larson’s script presents these clichés as realistic mechanisms for Milo and Maggie’s road to recovery. The most impressive example is their shared sense of humor. Several scenes have little purpose except to show how the two make each other laugh. Their thought-out deadpan characters combined with their natural chemistry and improvisation background, set their relationship apart from other brother-sister movies, during certain scenes where they don’t break into laughter despite sarcastic statements. One scene shows Milo getting angry with Maggie for potentially spoiling the end of Marley and Me which he had almost finished. He throws the book aside and she apologizes, but Milo turns back to her and says, “I know what happens…It’s the book where the dog dies. Everyone knows that.” While their comedic cynicism keeps the two of them connected like only family can, it also leads them farther down the path to destruction.

Like her character in Bridesmaids, Kristin Wiig’s character is the portrait of a perpetually sad woman unwilling to admit she’s falling apart for other people’s happiness. However it’s more damaging here than it is funny and she’s angry with herself more so than with others. She values the feelings of others more so than her feelings in a too matter-of-fact manner. She doesn’t ask how to please them, she just does. No matter how damaging it may be. And little by little, the consequences slip out. She sleeps with her scuba instructor in a moment of weakness, feeling undeniably unsatisfied with her husband who is head over heels in love with her. These snaps in judgment, in all their possible forms, ultimately lead to her destructive actions.

Those most familiar with Bill Hader from SNL will be surprised to see this realistic character from him. His portrayal of Milo captures the bitterness embedded in many members of the LGBT community due to judgment and oppression. His constant criticism of everything around him leaves him unable to live with his own thoughts as his attempt at suicide that begins the movie is implied to come after a breakup. Additionally, his emotions come to a boil each time he gets drunk, a time when anyone’s true thoughts come to the surface. Other than the comedic banter with his sister, the only time he shows excitement is when he sees his ex-lover Rich (Ty Burrell) who was his English teacher when Milo was 15 years old. The thought of reuniting with a past and problematic lover seems to be the only thing keeping him uplifted during his visit home.

This quiet gem of a movie may have initially served as a reel for Wiig and Hader’s talents toward heavy material, but it’s one that shouldn’t be forgotten when award season comes around. While a few of the heavier plot points come from left field for a possible tug at our hearts or a gasp, the actors handle them with grace and vulnerability, blending them in to the story as character development. Very little is resolved at the end of the film. In fact, they may be back where they started with the roles reversed. But in the least cliché way possible, all they need is each other. “Nothing’s gonna stop [them] now.”