Dear Internet

Dear Internet,

I think I say this pretty often, but maybe not often enough.

Thank you for challenging me to not let my initial reactions and emotions be the first thing that I show in a debate. You have helped me learn that when I feel angry or vulnerable, to not lash out defensively but to retreat and think about why I feel these things before deciding whether or not to engage.

You have taught me to listen, to let others talk, that my opinion is not always needed in a conversation.

[Read more…]

Mr. Paul Aints vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes

This past Saturday evening, the Hubby and I went to see a baseball game at the new CHS Field in Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood. We’re not really sports people, but this Saturday was a special event – it was the third annual Mr. Paul Aints game!

Photo of the CHS Field Jumbotron. Advertising is on the borders, the main central portion shows the Aints logo - beginning with a large red capital "A."

The Saint Paul Saints is the minor league baseball team in the Twin Cities, but on Saturday the team donned special jerseys and hats and became the Mr. Paul Aints. Minnesota Atheists and Foundation Beyond Belief came together to sponsor the annual atheism visibility event. Soles4Souls partnered with us to collect gently used shoes from attendees; the promotion was called “Leave Your Soles at the Gate.” We had our boxes filled by the start of the game! [Read more…]

Dear FSM, it’s time for a link dump

Holy shit – I still have the RD Foundation and JREF on my list of links.

Wonder Woman looking done with your shit and the text "Aw HELL no."

It is time to clean house!

While I’m doing that, if you know of or run a blog or site – especially if it pertains to atheism, freethought, LGBT, feminism or secular philanthropy – that I should be promoting, leave ’em in the comments and I’ll take a look. And don’t be shy – I want to know about YOUR blog or website, too!

Talking Points from Planned Parenthood

As a Planned Parenthood volunteer, I have been impressed with the communication coming out of the volunteer coordinator’s office about the recent attacks on the organization. They have sent several emails out to us with offers to provide information about the attacks and reassurance about this organization that we support with our time, money and efforts. They’re doing their due diligence even though most of us – and the mainstream media – are moving rapidly away from this embarrassingly incompetent and transparent attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood.

[Read more…]

Happy Atheist Moments

I’m an atheist.

Those words used to be difficult for me to say to people in casual conversation. I grew up believing that God is a fact, and that everyone believes in God. Even after I made a conscious decision that gods aren’t real (except for Thor. Thor can be real. As long as Thor is Marvel and Chris Hemsworth), even after being an Atheist On The Internet, those were some deep feelings to shed. And knowing that “atheist” is a naughty, eye-widening word for many people, a word that gives some a warped sense of justification to judge, that can also make it a hard word to claim in mixed company. But it’s gotten easier* and I find myself coming out as an atheist more often and in more types of situations. I’ve stopped minding that people might not want me – an atheist – around them and settled into the comfortable space of not wanting them if they don’t want me for such a crap reason.

[Read more…]

Did you get yours?

If we combined all of our collective energy that we will tonight be using to unbox and gleefully flip through the card art, we could probably power a small village for a…well, a decent amount of time.

A blue cardboard mailing box with the words "Exploding Kittens" and a drawing of a small white cat


Fresh from the post office

Storytime: Rift Park

From my 500 Writing Prompts bookWhile at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it?

“It’s just over this hill.”

“How can you be sure, Michael? It looks like the last eighteen hills that we passed.”

“It’s only been three.”

“Felt like eighteen.”

“There! Jeff – do you see it? Oh, Jeff, we’ve really found it this time!”

“Well hell, Michael. We could have found it a heck of a lot sooner if we’d taken the map at the entrance. The ranger said it showed walking paths and a parking lot just a half mile from here.”

“Whatever. This was more fun. An adventure for an adventure!”

“You’d think speaking to people on the other side of the world by bottle would be adventure enough.”

[Read more…]

Speaking at MVUUF this Sunday

I – along with my partner in abortion advocacy, Niki – have been invited to speak at the Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship church this Sunday. According to their website, we’re actually doing a sermon!


Well I’ll be.

As the sermon description implies, we’ll be talking about our experiences as clinic escorts and how to support access to abortion (although what happens on the sidewalk is not a picket line, and we escort for Whole Women’s Health, not Planned Parenthood…but close enough!) This is the second time that we’ll be doing this talk together; the first was for Minnesota Atheists and it appeared to be well received.

So I guess this weekend I’ll be putting on some Sunday finery and heading down to church to spread the good word. Whodathunk?

Writing for Fun

Tonight I went to Barnes and Noble and brought home quite the diverse haul: a collection of Lovecraft stories, a SparkChart on the Bible, a book of origami paper, one of them trendy “adult” coloring books, Carl Zimmer’s Science Ink. And this:

A simple red book entitled "500 WRITING PROMPTS"

I’ve recently attended several fiction-focused conventions and have been talking about writing and thinking about writing and social media-ing about writing. And so maybe I’ll do some writing.

[Read more…]