Claire's Tumblr

I'm a geek, musician, student, writer, reader, and scribbler.

This tumblr is a mad collection of my art, my life, my hopeful-travels, and all of the wonderfully nerdy things therein!

Say hello! I promise, I don't bite, and I enjoy making new friends whenever I can!

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Lilo and I share a trait of being both small and large depending on how we feel. I fluctuate emotionally between three feet tall and ten feet tall on any given day. They say dogs resemble their owners and this is one of the many ways Lilo resembles me. She is a lap dog when she wants to be, and giant when she feels she has to be. 

This is another list post

  • I was disturbed by the death of Robin Williams. I was eleven the first time I seriously contemplated suicide. I slept with a knife under my pillow for several days before my mom found it, confiscated it and then grounded me. We didn’t talk about why I felt that way. I didn’t hear anyone use the words suicide or depression until Robin Williams talked about his childhood depression and struggles with suicide. It gave me hope. I felt like less of an outcast with his words pounding in my chest, telling me it was alright to be weird, to have these thoughts, to fight this fight. When he felt that he could no longer fight, it was like a twenty-one year old balloon in my chest deflated. Most people mistakenly think that depression is a mood, but it’s not. It can exist in the heart or mind when you’re happy. It can be there when you’re successful. It’s a shadow that follows you and can reappear, even on the sunniest days. I empathize: sixty-three years old and it reappears and it’s the same shadow that’s followed you since childhood. I feel that way in my thirties. I know it’s the same shadow. We all have so much strength, and Robin’s gave out. It frightens me. It sends me back to think about how I’m doing. Am I underestimating my depression, this age-old battle I fight? Am I forgetting that it’s not just a mood, and giving it too much ground again when days get harder and it gets easier to slip into?
  • All this reminds me of the scariest, saddest Hans Christian Anderson short story, "The Shadow." If you haven’t read it, and you like the fairy tale neuroses of Anderson, you have to read it. 
  • I was sickened/am sickened/will continue to be horrified by the militarization of police around the country and their blatant disregard for the lives of young black men. We’ve all seen the posters of the white psychotic maniacs who’ve been taken alive compared to the young men who’ve been shot in the back of the head, unarmed, on the ground, because they were black and the officers pulling the trigger weren’t. While I haven’t been posting about it here  (I haven’t done any serious blogging in weeks,) I have on Twitter, and to say it’s been making me sick is an understatement. Some departments will welcome reform, some obviously won’t. If you’re too bureaucratic with calling for oversight or reform, change can’t occur fast enough to save more innocent lives. If you’re too aggressive, then what happens when you try to take power away from these problematic forces?  How do you de-militarize without creating a militia? That’s been the thought plaguing me. We need widespread overhaul of our domestic police force, regardless.
  • On that note, is everyone registered to vote this fall? Mid-term elections are more important than presidential ones. If you don’t aggressively vote for pro-Obamacare senators and congressmen this fall, for example, a lot of seriously ill people who’ve received care this year will cease to get medical attention. There’s another post that’s been in the works all this year, but if you’ve followed me for a while, you know I have a disease that I’ve barely been able to treat the last seven years because it was considered a pre-existing condition. This year that’s changed, and I daresay it’s the only reason I’ve been able to function in this demanding role on the film, let alone get better and begin to actually live life well again. The loss of Obamacare, if the GOP gains any more ground in either section of Congress, will result in the loss of healthcare for millions who, regardless of wealth or stature in society, are very sick and have been denied healthcare by companies looking to make a buck, people who have it much worse than me. 
  • I am reading Edan Lepucki’s California right now and it is undoing me with it’s wonderfully sharp, bright, dark, and funny prose as a couple struggles to hold on in the wilderness of post-collapse America. She puts you in the forest with the main characters. It’s enough space for the imagination to really go wild, and enough description to let you know the limitations they face. Claire reminded me that in a post-apocalyptic era, she and I probably won’t survive because we need certain medication to live. The thought is making me a little panicky during parts of the book and has, more than once, sent me to the weirder parts of the internet to see how to treat certain diseases homeopathically. I like to think about what I would do post-collapse, but now that I’m reading a story set there, and have had my own limitations pointed out, I’m realizing I’d be darwinistically winnowed out with so many others.
  • My strategy: Enjoy life now. Enjoy life ecstatically. Fight the shadow, tell good stories, feed your soul the things it needs to thrive, and help others thrive too. If the world ends soon or thousands of years from now, we can, as individuals, still go too quickly and without warning. Until that moment when things transition from here to not here, live this quote: I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. —Jack London. If I do these things, then no matter how long I’ve got, no matter what darkness I contend with, I’ll love the life I lead, and those I live it with.
  • Vasant and I have finished the bulk of our traveling for the film and we’ve been home now for a little over two weeks. While things have not been calm-there have been more shoots, script deadlines, funerals to attend, and work for our Samudre Media clients-it’s been so good to not have to leave town. We’re only a couple weeks away from wrapping production and we’re a month into post-production. This has allowed for us to catch up on rest, business, and as of right now, catching up on Tumblr. We’re still hard at work on the film, but it’s amazing how much more energy I have to tackle a myriad of projects if I’m at home and not traveling. 
  • I finished an essay this last week that I’ve been working on for years. I worked on it for the first time in four months last week to get it into its final revision. It was amazing to have time to write again. I’m so excited to send this film off into the world not only for its impact, but I’m excited to dive into my own prose again. I’m hungry for it.
  • The Seahawks are having an amazing pre-season. It’s going to be us versus the Patriots this next February. Calling it now. Barring any huge injury to Russell, we’ll be there again and I think we’ll be facing Brady this year, not Peyton. The game of the year won’t be the SuperBowl, though. It’ll be the NFC Championship, like last year. It just remains to see whether or not Arizona will be there facing us, or if it will be a healthier version of the 49ers than what they’re starting the season with now. 

Just had to end this list on a subject of importance. of which I know you all care about deeply. 

Little Groot dancing

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High School Reading List

Back in May, the #weneeddiversebooks campaign lit a fire to fulfill the desperate need for diverse books in children’s literature. Behind the Book has always championed efforts to find diverse authors and protagonists that will appeal to students since we serve communities of color. For your enjoyment (and enrichment), we’ve created an epic list of diverse books to reflect the diversity in our city; here’s our list for high school students.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Drown by Junot Diaz

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

The Living by Matt De La Peña, a Behind the Book author

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell: a Novel by Nadia Hashimi

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri

The Book of Unknown Americans: a Novel by Cristina Henríquez

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Naughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

For descriptions, click the read more!

(Click the following links to be directed to the Kindergarten, (early) Elementary and Middle School lists)

Read More

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Saturday in Ferguson. Aug. 23rd. 

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want this moment burned on my eyelids


want this moment burned on my eyelids

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Ferguson, Missouri Update

Ferguson Round-Up (8/19)

Ferguson Round-Up (8/18)

Ferguson Round-Up (8/15)

Ferguson Round-Up (8/14)

Ferguson Round-Up (8/13)

Ferguson Round-Up (8/12)

Outburst interrupts night of peace in Ferguson (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) 

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said 47 people were arrested and three loaded handguns were seized during the protests Tuesday night and early today. In a news conference that began at about 2:15 this morning, Johnson said officers interrupted criminal activities and prevented violence. “Protest crowds were a bit smaller, and they were out earlier,” he said, noting that no Molotov cocktails were thrown or bullets fired by protesters. However, he said some “criminals and agitators” threatened police, threw glass and plastic bottles — some filled with urine — at officers and hid behind members of the media covering the protests.

Shooting Accounts Differ as Holder Schedules Visit to Ferguson (New York Times)

As a county grand jury prepared to hear evidence on Wednesday in the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer that touched off 10 days of unrest here, witnesses have given investigators sharply conflicting accounts of the killing.

Ferguson Turmoil Continues With Another Shooting, More Arrests (TruthDig)

The face-off between police and protesters in and around Ferguson, Mo., continued Tuesday, with tensions further kindled by reports of another police shooting and by more details about slain teenager Michael Brown. President Obama sounded a note of empathy for “young men of color” who are “left behind and seen only as objects of fear” and called for calm as the National Guard made its presence known on the scene and Attorney General Eric Holder announced his plans to travel there Wednesday.

Nobody Knows How Many Americans The Police Kill Each Year (FiveThirtyEight)

Earlier this month, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting and the response have reignited concerns about racial profiling, police brutality and police militarization. The incident has also drawn attention to a remarkable lack of knowledge about a seemingly basic fact: how often people are killed by the police. Some reporting has put forward one of the only figures available: the approximately 400 “justifiable police homicides” each year since 2008, according to the FBI’s annual Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). That data point has appeared with heavy caveats in a string of media reports, including in USA Today, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Washington Post. The statistic might seem solid at first glance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Justice Statistics — independently of the FBI — also estimate the number of police homicides per year at around 400.

Police Misconduct Costs Black People Their Livelihood Even When It Spares Their Lives (Think Progress)

As anger and frustration continue in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer, which appears to be a result of the use of excessive force, attention must also go to the excessive economic coercion used by America’s police. Frivolous traffic stops and coercive threats allow police to extract money from citizens through tickets, fines, and court costs. Economic intimidation via petty stops, searches, and seizures is a national problem that finds particular resonance in minority communities like Ferguson.

Police mistrust still prevalent years later (Associated Press)

rown’s death is the latest illustration of deep divisions between minorities and police that have simmered for generations. Concern about the events playing out in Ferguson has coursed all the way up to the White House. President Barack Obama said Attorney General Eric Holder would go to Missouri this week to check on the independent federal investigation into Brown’s death. “In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement,” the president said.

‘Outside agitators’ worsening unrest in Ferguson, Mo., residents say (Kansas City Star)

“People of Ferguson are getting punished for the actions of outside agitators,” said Kenny Murdock, 47, who hosts a show on a St. Louis radio station. Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who had been documenting the protests and the security response on social media, pointed via Twitter to a small group of people who “cannot be defined as protesters/demonstrators. They are more like fighters/rebels/insurgents.” The crowds at night are younger and rowdier, said Laparasena Gandy, 25, who protested Monday across from the Ferguson Police Department. 

What was THAT? A guide to the military gear being used against civilians in Ferguson (Vox)

The extremely militaristic police response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, which have occurred nightly since a police officer shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown to death on August 9, has shocked many Americans. In its tactics, appearance, and especially equipment, the security operation looks more like it belongs on a battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan than in the streets of an American suburb. Armored vehicles, tear gas, full combat gear, rifles — what is all that? From LRADs to MRAPs, here’s a brief guide to the equipment being used against civilians in the St. Louis suburb.

This Is The Most Important Reform Ferguson Can Enact To Give Its Black Residents A Voice (ThinkProgress)

If you compared the racial makeup of Ferguson, Missouri’s population as a whole to that of its government, it would be easy to mistake the city for an enclave of Jim Crow. Although nearly 70 percent of Ferguson is black, 50 of its 53 police officers are white. So are five of Ferguson’s six city council members. The mayor, James Knowles, is a white Republican. Ferguson can help ensure that its leaders more closely resemble its population, however. They just need to hold their elections at a time when voters are actually likely to show up.

#FeedFerguson raises $71,000, keeps going (KSDK)

A school teacher from Raleigh has helped raise more than $71,000 in just four short days for the children of Ferguson, according to Julianna Mendelsohn, 33, started a Fundly campaign on August 14 with the aim to raise $80,000 for the St Louis Foodbank. The teacher cited the fact that many children in the U.S. rely on school to get what could be the kids only meal for the day.

View of #Ferguson Thrust Michael Brown Shooting to National Attention (New York Times)

For people in the news business, Twitter was initially viewed as one more way to promote and distribute content. But as the world has become an ever more complicated place — a collision of Ebola, war in Iraq, crisis in Ukraine and more — Twitter has become an early warning service for news organizations, a way to see into stories even when they don’t have significant reporting assets on the ground. And in a situation hostile to traditional reporting, the crowdsourced, phone-enabled network of information that Twitter provides has proved invaluable.

Ferguson Unrest Shows Poverty Growing Fastest in Suburbs (Bloomberg)

Six days of violence and protests in a town outside St. Louis are highlighting how poverty is growing fastest on the outskirts of America’s cities, as suburbs have become home to a majority of the nation’s poor. In Ferguson, Missouri, a community of 21,000 where the poverty rate doubled since 2000, the dynamic has bred animosity over racial segregation and economic inequality. Protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9 have drawn international attention to the St. Louis suburb’s growing underclass.

Ferguson Police Militarization: Cash Flowed To Lawmakers Who Voted To ‘Militarize’ Police (International Business Times)

As local law enforcement has deployed martial tactics against those protesting the police killing of an 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, a debate is suddenly raging over how municipal police forces came to resemble military units. A new report suggests the trend may, in part, have to do with campaign contributions to congressional lawmakers.

Photos: 1 (Source); 2 (Source); 3 (Source); 4 (Source); 5 (Source); 6 (Source); 7 (Source); 8 (Source); 

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Shaving your legs? More like yoga in the shower with razor blades.

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modern day peggy and steve sketch

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Here have some Sam/Steve [ X ]

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the point of pouring a shit ton of ice water over yourself is because when one suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) one of the effects the disease has is a numbness throughout the body, as well as struggling to breathe, and both these are meant to temporarily happen when doused in freezing water. It’s to raise awareness of what ALS feels like and encourage donations towards research and cures.

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What they won’t show you on CNN tonight: Ferguson residents line a parade of roses down W Florissant, leading to where Mike Brown was taken from this world. #staywoke #powerful #insolidarity 

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