This is the Force Awakens review you’ve been looking for

Harper wanted to do a review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on our YouTube channel.  Actually I think she wanted to say “spoiler alert” a bunch because she just learned what the phrase means and it makes her feel like part of the zeitgeist.

So if you ever wanted to get your movie reviews from a 6-year-old, here you go…

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The myth of the perfect Christmas photo family

There’s a story behind every Christmas card photo. This is ours…

Our car looks like something Santa would drive. It has a red body, capped with a white top. Soon that white top will have a green tree strapped to it. At least that’s the plan. We’re on our our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm where we also hope to get the perfect family picture for our Christmas card.

I tune the radio to the Christmas channel. I’ve become that cheesy Chevy Chase dad who tries too hard to instill a little extra energy into moments in an effort to build childhood memories.

I’m about to join the chorus when a little…

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Why you shouldn’t delete your friends who like Donald Trump

Donald Trump is an idiot, but your friends who “Like” him on Facebook aren’t. At least not all of them . . . probably. At least all of mine aren’t.

It’s easy to find out which of your friends “Like” Trump on Facebook, just type in “Friends who like Donald J. Trump” in the search field at the top.

I have 28 Facebook friends who “Like” Trump. There are some really good folks who I think a lot of.  I mean, maybe, they just “Like” his page to keep tabs on him. A “Like” isn’t necessarily an endorsement of all his policies. I’ll listen to Rush Limbaugh from time to time just to see what…

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Suffering in the shame of silence after another mass shooting

Another mass shooting and I’m left feeling the same–ashamed.

As I wrote about the Syrian refugee crisis, empathy should be our default setting, and it’s where my heart and mind go every time I hear news like that of the mass shooting in San Bernardino or [insert the most recent mass shooting].

What if that were my son, daughter, wife, brother, sister, mom, or dad gunned down simply for showing up to work or to school or to church that day?

My daughter is in first grade and several times a year the school has active shooter drills. They don’t call them that. She just knows to hide in the corner or in the bathroom and be really quiet.

What if that weren’t…

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Beanie-to-briefs in ethical brands for less than a pair of boots

(Rocking my Krochet Kids beanie)

Most folks think shopping for clothing with your ethics is a privilege that few can afford. I’ve been writing about being an ethical and engaged consumer since I traveled around the world to meet the people who made my clothes.

Since writing Where Am I Wearing? I encouraged folks to wear one thing a day they knew was produced in a way that treated people and planet fairly. I reach a lot of college students and thought that a whole outfit in such clothes would be unaffordable.

That’s what I thought . . . until today.

Today, I decided to do a little online shopping experiment: I…

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Join my #BlackFridayFast

For the past few years, I’ve fasted on Black Friday. I don’t consume anything–no shopping and no eating for at least 16 hours.

If you’d like to join me, I’ll be doing it again this year from 12AM – 6 PM on Black Friday. You can follow and/or suffer along with me using the hashtag #BlackFridayFast.

Sixteen hours really isn’t that long. I once did it for 30 hours, and while it sucked, it wasn’t that bad. I wrote about the experience at the end of WHERE AM I EATING? (you can read the excerpt at the end of this post). Sixteen hours is plenty of time to accomplish what I want to accomplish through the fast.

How to get your hangry on

If you are pregnant, a hobbit, or suffer from chronic,…

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Painting by Austin Peay State U student Toni Agee

APSU students are awesomely talented. I only saw the winners and honorable mentions of their creative response assignment for WHERE AM I WEARING. The fact that student Toni Agee’s painting was neither is just a testament to how awesome these projects were.

Behold…

When we work it may look like we are concentrating on the task at hand, but often we’re focused on more important things, such as why we are working in the first place. Even the person who makes your clothes has a rich inner life.

Well done, Toni!

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I see my son dead on a beach: How I think about the Syrian refugee crisis

A few things have shaped the way I see the Syrian refugee crisis. I thought I would share them:

#1: The photo of the boy on the beach

The pictures of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi lifeless on the beach have haunted me for months. You should see them. They are here.

I can barely handle seeing the photos. I see them and I see my own son, which is terrifying and exactly how we should see the world. I see the shirt I helped him put on, the shoes we bought him. When confronted with a harsh reality, we should see ourselves and our family members in the mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters impacted by that reality.

Empathy should be a our default setting.

When I look at the Syrian refugees, I think about what…

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My British filmmaker friend who taught me about the American town that has been on fire since 1961

The small appalachian town of Centralia, PA, has been on fire since 1961. Last month NBC announced that Centralia will be the focus of a new pilot. Deadline.com describes the show:

“Centralia is a dark character-driven genre soap based on a real town in central Pennsylvania where an underground mine fire has been burning for over 50 years. The remaining few residents of this ghost town are determined to preserve their homes butremain unaware of the evil that is slowly making its way to the surface.”

I’m not sure what the “evil that is slowly making its way to the surface” is, but it can’t be more disastrous and sinister than what actually happened. Few people have focused on the environmental…

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A Liberal on Lazy Liberalism & Faux Outrage

I’m no anthropologist, but I like to think that my degree in anthropology has instilled a certain level of cultural sensitivity and empathy that fuels my work. That’s why I was shocked to receive an email that painted me as anything but culturally sensitive.

By holding up my Jingle These Christmas Boxers, I was sexual harassing the entire audience.

By saying, “the worst thing isn’t that we live in a world where child labor exists, but in a world where a mother who loves her child just as much as your mom loves you and my mom loves me sends that child off to work for the day because they have to earn an income,” I’m offending any audience members who don’t have mothers or mothers who loves…

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