Resistance Reading List 2

#Resistance reading list! My ongoing pursuit to read more work by women, POC, immigrants, refugees, and LGBTQIA:

"Bird by bird" - Anne Lamott (funny how to on writing)

"Crumbs from the Table of Joy" - Lynn Nottage "poof!" -Lynn Nottage "Por'knockers" - Lynn Nottage "Mud, river, stone" - Lynn Nottage "Las Meninas" - Lynn Nottage (Amazing Must Read Play)

"God's Ear" - Jenny Schwartz (few things as cool as opening a play and seeing your friend thanked in the forward - looking at you Raymond McAnally)

"Born a Crime" - Trevor Noah (if you are interested in learning more about apartheid this is a good source)

"My Own Words" - Ruth Bader Ginsburg (heavy read but the RBG is blow your mind impressive)

And because I'm a dorky Sherlockian:

"Mycroft Holmes" - Kareem Abdul Jabbar & Anna Waterhouse (sigh. I had a few issues with this -the Holmes boys do not fall in love! But all in all it works. Yes, like the basketball player. He's clearly a dork as well.)

For those that gave me suggestions last time I will be reading those next! I already had these stacked beside my bed.

 

Resistance Reading List 1

 

My reading list since the election:

Ta-Nehisi Coates - Between The World and Me (MacArthur Genius Grant Winner) Lauren Gunderson - Silent Sky (play, made me cry) Lauren Gunderson - Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight (genius, play) Jessica Dickey - The Amish Project (play, made me cry) Jessica Dickey - Charles Ives Take Me Home (play) Lynn Nottage - Ruined (play, wow) Maria Semple - Today Will Be Different (funny) Suzan-Lori Parks - Topdog/Underdog (KY-woman, play) Joan Didion - The Year of Magical Thinking (play) Jen Kirkman - I Can Barely Take Care of Myself (funny)

This is why:

2016 has been an overachiever of a sh*%^& year (there aren't enough 4 letter words). Repeatedly, whether talking about personal stuff or politics I said it couldn't get worse, and then 2016 would go above and beyond and find new/creative/unpredictable ways to be an absolute cluster.

That being said... I am not letting this happen again in 2017. And I'm going to work hard to make sure next year is a better year for other people as well.

I'm paying more attention to the voices of women, minorities, LGBTQ, refugees, etc. With that in mind for the last month and a half of this bullsh*& I've been reading like my life depended on it. Maybe it does.

I would recommend any of the works above.

Please suggest more books.

Volunteer Journal #103 - Sponsor A Girls Education

One of the coolest things I've done this year is sponsor a student through Razia's Ray of Hope.

RRH set up a girl's primary through high school in rural Afghanistan and now a college, which trains midwives. This is incredibly important since there were virtually no health professionals in the area before the school opened.

This week I got a little hand written note from the girl I'm sponsoring. Notice the penmanship and excellent drawings!

To sponsor a girl just go here:

https://raziasrayofhope.org/sponsor-a-girl.html

It will possibly be the most fun you will have this year. #educategirls #spreadtheword

My SuperChangeYourLife Interview

I just did an interview with Stanley Bronstein from Superchangeyourlife.com . We talked about what gets me up in the morning, my favorite groups I've worked with, what happens when it all goes wrong, what poverty looks like in America, and much much more...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMCxqG5X3t0&feature=player_embedded

Raegan Payne SuperChangeYourLife Interview

My Wish List for the 100

Me & My Buds In Alaska! I’ve only got a few projects left on my way to 100. As I’ve suggested before I have no idea right now what I’m going to be able to do or how I’m going to finish this list.  It will get done though.

These non-profits are on my wish list both national and international. I’d love to work with them someday:

Green Bronx Machine - - Stephen Ritz is an inspiration. Teaching kids how to grow their own vegetables in school and helping them become entrepreneurs in the process.

Living Lands and Waters – This Illinois group travels up and down the Mississippi cleaning up the river.  It reminds me of Huck Finn.

Surfrider – I’ve worked with Heal the Bay lots (technical term), but haven’t gotten to this national ocean saving organization yet.

Always Vote TheGoodMuse

Best Friends Animal Society – the Utah Sanctuary – They originated the Puppy Mill Protests I participated in years ago.  They rehabbed the Michael Vick Dogs.

Gleaners Community Food Bank in Southeast Michigan – I’ve worked with Food Forward in LA, but this group feeds the needed of Detroit with really innovative programs.

The Taos Land Trust http://www.taoslandtrust.org/pages/volunteer_info.html - Because much of my family has settled around this haunting beautiful section of New Mexico.

I’d love to work with Veterans in Murray Ky – Serving meals, telling stories, whatever they need.  This is where my grandfather hung out before he passed on.

Be the Match – Marrow/Stem Cell Donation – After 3 years on the donor list I’m a possible match for a 57 year old woman.  Will find out in a few months.

And the international groups:

Goonj – The ULTIMATE REUSE REDUCE RECYCLE ALIEVIATE POVERTY group in India – they are doing brilliant

Hi!

Mercy Ships -  These ships are all over the world.  They bring medical relief to remote villages who might not otherwise see a doctor.

Royal Canal Cleanup – In Dublin, Ireland. I was suppose to work with them while I was there last May, but got one of my notorious May sinus infections.  They still send me emails.  I still want to help.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - Because what little girl doesn't want to be a pirate?

Volunteer Journal #87 –LA Green Grounds & Ron Finley

TED 2013 superstar, Our new crush. Last year when LA Green Grounds sent out a call for volunteer gardeners 5 people responded.

Then in early March 2013 a founding member of LAGG, Ron Finley, gave what is arguably one of the best inspirational speeches ever delivered on the famed TED Long Beach stage.

He spoke about planting gardens in South Central LA - making gardens, local food, and growing your own sexy and gangsta.  Ron’s TEDTalk went viral.

In early April LA Green Grounds sent out a notice for volunteers – in less than 4 hours they had 300 responses. And inconceivably enough, for any group of do-gooders, had to turn people away.

The before digging picture

Sensing this would be the case after I watched the speech 20 times I:

a) Contacted Ron Finley directly.

b) Set the LA Green Ground email as a special alarm on my phone so I could jump as soon as I got the volunteer request. I did jump – unfortunately while I was baking rosemary crackers, which burned.  I responded within 5 minutes and got into the April 21st LAGG Earth Day “Dig In.”

It’s a great world we live in when planting a garden in South LA is a harder ticket to obtain than a red carpet event.

For the April 21st Dig In LA Green Grounds renovated a yard and 3 sections of parkway – turning them into an edible garden.

http://youtu.be/4PO9CvnmZTQ

I dragged my friend Sara along – reminding her we had committed to 7/8 hours of work.  And work we did – we shoveled, and pick axed (in truth I’m not great with a pick ax), moved brinks, shoveled more, picked out weeds, put in baby plants, and shoveled some more. We had a fantastic time, though both of us had trouble lifting our arms that night.

Not to disappoint Ron Finley showed up and so did cameras. Lots of cameras.  A virtual paparazzi followed his every move whether demonstrating the proper use of said pick ax or pulling baby beet plants apart.

All the ladies with shovels say hey!!

While catching his breath near the mulch pile he told me the biggest difference in the last two months is that he slept before the TEDTalk.

The cameras, and all the attention are a bit odd to him. They are a bit odd to the entire tight knit group of LA Green Grounds founding members.  They were a renegade-grassroots-group-of-garden-graffiti-artists, and friends, that challenged the LA City Council. Now they’re rock stars. Almost overnight.

They’re learning. They’re growing. They all get they’re hands dirty. They’re trying to not let it get to their heads.  They’re still going to need you guys so don’t stop requesting to volunteer, find a renegade garden group in your town, or better yet – start your own.

To contact LA Green Grounds go to their website, be patient, and set an alert on your email. It's worth it!

 

See Me Speak Tonight in Santa Monica 7:30 pm!

Raegan Readers Digest ArticleHello Lovelies! I am spinning a yarn (southern for telling a story) tonight at the Santa Monica YWCA at 7:30 pm as part of their SHINE event.

Feel free to swing by and say hi!  I'd love to meet more of my readers.

Here's the announcement in the Santa Monica Daily Press (at the bottom).

And here's the link to SHINE's Official Website.

Should be Good Times!

ANovelQuest.com Features TheGoodMuse Story

IMG_0568Ms. Monique Muro, Writer, young renaissance woman writes about me! stating: "This is the very first post in a weekly feature called the Passion Series…enjoy!

Raegan Payne is on a mission: volunteer for 100 charities by the end of 2013. (And I thought my quest was intense.)

Perhaps the first sentence that caught my eye upon reading this lovely lady’s blog was in her About section: “In the coming years Raegan sets her sights on writing more stuff and someday being cool.”

I love it. She’s a writer, like me. We cyber bonded. Okay the bonding was..."Read Full Article on ANovelQuest.com

Seriously - go read it - she's a fun writer and give her some love! Twitter and Love that stuff! So sayth me Raegan TheGoodMuse

For the Children of Sandy Hook Elementary

True - When I was 16 there was a shooting in my high school as we were changing classes. I remember it sounded like a book being slammed on the ground. I was walking up the steps and a teacher behind me started yelling, "Go go go..." We were pulled into whatever classroom we were near and locked in until the first responders arrived. We hid under the desks.

Every day after that my fellow classmates and I had to walk through metal detectors. And yet, after that, another friend of mine was shown a loaded handgun in English class. That's the reality of what it is like going to school in America. It's a little difficult to focus. It makes the sound of a door slamming or book being dropped a whole different experience. It sits in your gut. I don't think children, anywhere, should live with that kind of fear.

Newtown, Aurora, Columbine, Virginia Tech... The list goes on and on.

This is unacceptable. We have failed to protect the innocent. Many of the Newtown children killed were 6. 6 years old. And many others watched their classmates die.

"We can't tolerate this anymore.  These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change... Surely we can do better than this." - President Barack Obama

The Joy of Raw Cuisine with Chef Gum

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing raw/vegan chef Kirsten Gum work her magic at the Gourmandise School of Sweet’s and Savories in Santa Monica, CA.

She made a chocolate pudding using avocado as the base, which I swear on my favorite French recipes, was better than any chocolate pudding I’ve ever had.

And so I began to think that adding more raw and vegan options to my own diet might not be such a bad idea. In fact, it might be enjoyable.  So I quizzed Kirsten a bit about the raw/vegan diet, it’s relationship to the environment, and tips on yummy food choices.

She was kind enough to humor me:

Raegan: The terms "vegan" and "raw" are really scary, even for me and I've been a vegetarian for 16 years. I picture lettuce eating rabbits when I think raw and vegan.  What do you tell people about the diet so that they are willing to try it?

Kirsten: HA, HA!! YES, THE TWO WORDS USUALLY BRING TERROR TO THOSE WHO EAT "S.A.D"raw foods - THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET, WHICH IS FILLED WITH MEAT AND CHEESE AND LOTS OF PROCESSED FOOD.

I CALL MYSELF A PLANT-BASED CHEF BECAUSE MY GOAL IS NOT TO CONVERT EVERYONE TO RAW, BUT TO RECONNECT PEOPLE TO THEIR FOOD, TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES BY INTRODUCING THEM TO NEW PRODUCE, NEW SKILLS, NEW RECIPES AND VERY WISE AND VALID NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION.

IT'S STARTS WITH GETTING REAL WITH YOURSELF - DO YOU DRINK ENOUGH WATER? DO YOU REALLY ONLY EAT MEAT ONCE A DAY? MOST PEOPLE ARE SO "FUZZY" IN THEIR THINKING - I TRY TO GET THEM TO FOCUS AND CONSCIOUSLY EAT.

MY COMPANY EXPERIENCE RAW IS ABOUT ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH CONSCIOUS CUISINE... NOT ABOUT CONVERTING ANYONE. SUPPORT IS THE BEST WAY OF HELPING, AND GIVING THEM THE INFORMATION THEY NEED TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES.

R: What's your favorite raw ingredient?

K: THIS QUESTION IS EASY FOR ME - MACA!!!!  I DISCOVERED MACA WHILE LIVING DOWN IN ECUADOR AND PERU A COUPLE YEARS AGO.  IN THE STATES YOU GET MACA IN POWDERED FORM, BUT I HAD IT GROWING ON MY LAND IN ECUADOR.

IT IS A PERUVIAN ROOT, WHICH LOOKS LIKE A TURNIP OR WHITE CARROT. MANY NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES INCLUDING THE MAYANS AND THE INCANS USED THIS ROOT AS A SOURCE OF ENERGY AND ENDURANCE IN TIMES OF WAR BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU STEADY ENERGY.

raw foodsHERE'S THE KICKER... IT GIVES BOTH MEN AND WOMEN A BOOST IN THEIR LIBIDO. NO JOKE, JUST A COUPLE TABLESPOONS OF MACA IN YOUR MORNING SHAKE WILL KICK-START YOU SEX LIFE. YOU'LL NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE IN JUST A WEEKS TIME. IT HAS THE AMAZING ABILITY TO HELP BALANCE OUT HORMONES. ANYONE SUFFERING FROM PMS, CRAMPS, MENOPAUSE ALL CAN BENEFIT.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE AFTERNOON SNACKS IS A MACA-CHACA SHAKE. 1 FROZEN BANANA, 2 CUPS ALMOND MILK, 2 TBS. MACA, 1/2 RAW CACAO POWDER,AND JUST BLEND!

R: I'm going to ask you the most frequently asked question I get as a vegetarian and one I know you get bombarded with. Maybe people will read this and then we don't have to answer it anymore:  How do you get your protein?

K: PROTEIN EXISTS IN EVERYTHING IN NATURE.  PLANT PROTEIN IS EASILY RECOGNIZABLE TO OUR BODIES. UNLIKE ANIMAL PROTEIN, WHICH IS HARD TO DIGEST AND MAKES THE BODY WORK OVERTIME.

ITS MOSTLY FOUND IN DARK LEAFY GREENS LIKE KALE, NUTS AND SEEDS.  IN THE RAW/VEGAN WORLD THERE'S ONLY 3 SECTIONS TO THE FOOD PYRAMID - FRUITS AT THE TOP, VEGGIES IN THE MIDDLE AND NATURAL FATS AT THE BOTTOM, WHICH INCLUDE NUTS, SEEDS, COCONUTS, AVOCADOS. I ALSO EAT LOTS AND LOTS OF QUINOA, A PERUVIAN GRAIN, WHICH HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST PROTEIN LEVELS PER GRAM.

R: Why no to GMO's?

K: PLAIN AND SIMPLE...  CORPORATIONS ARE MESSING WITH OUR FOOD AND WITH MOTHER NATURE. GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS MEAN THEY ARE ALTERING THE DNA OF CERTAIN PLANTS AND ANIMALS.

I AM FIGHTING WITH MILLIONS OF OTHERS TO MAKE SURE THE GOVERNMENT MAKESraw food IT MADATORY FOR GROCERS TO LABEL WHAT IS GMO. WE SHOULD HAVE THE CHOICE TO EAT A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT, OR SOMETHING IN ITS PURE FORM. THAT'S WHY PROPOSITION 37 [in CA] IS SO IMPORTANT!

R: You said your Kale salad is better than my favorite Kale salad at The Misfit in Santa Monica, CA (which made me start eating Kale in the first place).  Care to share the recipe?  Or tips on making the best Kale salad.

K: HA, HA.. I DON'T REMEMBER SAYING THAT. I MUST GO TRY THE KALE SALAD AT THE MISFIT!

KALE IS A VERY BITTER GREEN AND NEEDS TO BE MASSAGED IN ORDER FOR IT TO RELEASE ITS NATURAL JUICES. MANY PEOPLE FORGET TO MASSAGE THEIR KALE, WHICH LEAVES SOMEONE CHEWING FOR 5-10 MINUTES JUST TO GET IT DOWN.

STRIP THE KALE OFF THE STEM, MASSAGE IT TILL IT TAKES ON A COOKED APPEARANCE, ADD SALT AND LEMON JUICE (THIS HELPS BREAKDOWN CELL WALLS AND MAKES IT SOFTER), ADD A DASH OR TWO OF OLIVE OIL AND YOU HAVE THE PERFECT BASE SALAD. WHAT YOU PUT ON IT AFTER IS UP YOU!

R: Why is a raw diet or at least dedicating part of your diet to raw foods important for the environment?

K: I LOOK AT THE RAW DIET AS THE KINDER/GENTLER WAY OF LIVING.

raw foodsWE MUST GET BACK IN TOUCH WITH OUR PLANTS AND ECO SYSTEM, WHICH THRIVES ON BALANCE. WE ARE SO CLOSELY RELATED TO PLANTS. WE NEED OXYGEN, WHICH THEY GIVE OFF. THEY NEED CARBON DIOXIDE, WHICH WE GIVE OFF.

I COULD GET INTO ALL THE STATISTICS OF THE GASES THESE BIG SLAUTERHOUSES GIVE OFF AND HOW EXPENSIVE IT IS TO COMMERCIALLY FARM ANIMALS FOR US TO EAT, BUT I CHOOSE TO STAY ON THE SHINY SIDE OF LIFE.

R: What's next for you?

K: LOTS  GOING ON. I FEEL MORE PEOPLE ARE READY TO CHANGE UP THEIR EATING STYLES AND START TAKING THEIR HEALTH INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.

I LOVE TRAVELING AND WANT TO BRING RAW/VEGAN KNOWLEDGE TO THOSE AREAS THAT DON'T HAVE EASY ACCESS TO IT. I'LL GO TO ANY TOWN OR CITY IF THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LEARN.

I'M HEADING TO MICHIGAN TO TEACH SOME RAW FOOD CLASSES AND CATER AN ALL RAW DINNER. I ALSO AM CATERING A RETREAT IN ARIZONA IN A FEW WEEKS FOR HEALTH EDUCATOR DAVID WOLFE AND VISIONARY DAVID WILCOCK.

I'M DEVELOPING SOME PRODUCTS TO PACKAGE SO THAT MORE PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO YUMMY PLANT BASED FOOD. I'M ALSO IN THE PROCESS OF FILMING SOME ONLINE COURSES, SO AGAIN, I CAN REACH PEOPLE IN THE FAR CORNERS OF THE WORLD AND HELP THEM, ONE BITE AT A TIME.

I highly recommend visiting Kirsten’s website for tips on Raw/Vegan tips and that yummy chocolate pudding recipe .

My Radio Interview with Holly!

Here is my first radio talk show interview for Holly’s Advice 4b2c. http://hollysadvice4b2c.com/raegan-payne-the-good-muse/

AND here are some behind the scenes stories to make the listen more interesting:

The entire thing was recorded by SKYPE on my MacBook while sitting on my bed. It was incredibly fun after I got over my nerves. Holly is a very warm, professional, and forgiving host.

Listen for the points in the interview where she accidentally calls me Megan and then Rachel.  I was trying not to laugh.  It was an honest mistake, she knew my name, but it’s a good thing I answer to almost anything.

The first few minutes are composed of me pausing and saying, “ummm…” and “like…” a lot because I was so nervous.  True, I did have a radio show in college for 4 years called “Bitchkittens” but no one wanted to hear me talk. I played music.

She calls me a high paid actress at one point and again I almost spit the tea across the room.   I am high paid in comparison to the average Bangladeshi. If we’re talking third world earning potential then yes.  I love to act, but I’ve been mostly a stage actress. For a minute, I thought maybe another actress was also on the phone.  See if I cover my momentary confusion.

I screw up and say I helped “undeserved” children and then quickly say, “Underserved.”

All in all a good first showing.

http://hollysadvice4b2c.com/raegan-payne-the-good-muse/

The groups mentioned are listed below.

TreePeople

Food Forward

Lange Foundation

Operation Gratitude

Burton’s Chill Program

Best Friends Animal Society

The Red Cross

Bringing the Farm Out of Retirement

The University of the South, a tiny liberal arts university tucked on a 13,000 acres campus in the mountains of Tennessee, is turning their environmental record around - in part thanks to the 100 year old farm they are bringing out of retirement.

In 2007, the University of the South, commonly referred to as Sewanee, became a signatory to the Presidents Climate Commitment. A “D” rating in sustainability forced the University to evaluate it’s environmental commitments and come up with some inventive new plans.

Sewanee made a... Read Full Article at Celsias

Green Bronx Machine: Fighting Poverty

Stephen Ritz noticed the kids in his class were getting heavier and heavier. Three generations had pass through his Bronx classroom; obesity and diabetes were on the rise.

He needed to engage his students, to make them responsible for their health and education.

He started with a simple class project – they would build an edible wall. The kids sorted seeds, planted the wall and it grew. They named themselves the Green Bronx Machine, and adopted the slogan “We are Amer-i-CANS.” They got support from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and people noticed.

The kids were invited to Boston to install an edible wall on the George Hancock building. They were invited to South Hampton to install green roofs. They came back to the Bronx, installed more living walls and began earning real green.

The students got licensed and bonded in trade, they now build affordable housing, and their gardens easily produce 25,000 pounds of vegetables a year. They donate some of their fresh vegetables to seniors. “Brook Park feeds hundreds of people without a food stamp or a fingerprint,” says Ritz.

When Mr. Ritz’s kids became the first in their family to... Read the Rest on Celsias and watch the video.

Volunteer Journal #75 (UK Edition) – Thames21

Sometimes the greatest thing about volunteering is the people you meet.

I worked with Thames21 in London, an organization dedicated to cleaning up the waterways in and around the British capital.  Specifically, I got to use a log carnival-like hook to pick plastic pieces out of Regent’s Canal (which is celebrating its 200th birthday!).

During the muddy fun I met Ben Fenton, Thames21’s Big Waterways Clean Up 2012 Coordinator. Because of his service to the country, Ben was also one of 8000 people picked from 64 million British citizens to carry the Olympic torch. A cool personal fact like that, combined with his high spirits in the muck while dragging up plastic bags, coke cans, toys, etc. meant that I had to interview him.

How did you get involved with Thames21?

5 years ago I gave up my job as a photographer and moved to London, I wanted to do something worthwhile and work outdoors. After several unsuccessful interviews at Thames21 they realized they couldn’t get rid of me and created a job for me.

I’m still here, and still enjoying it, I have coordinated a wide range of projects for Thames21 including creating a community garden with volunteers with mental health problems, developing an online map of waterway ‘treasures’, researching inclusive volunteering, engaging 16-25 years old volunteers and running the East London project.

You studied Environmental Science at university - Why get involved with the waterways rather than other environmental groups?

I have always been interested in water, I find it fascinating and relaxing. London lacks wild places, but I think the waterways are veins of wilderness and hugely important for Londoners. Many people don’t know they exist and I love taking them to these places for the first time. Additionally, we do a range of work, so I don’t get bored; one day I’m canoeing, and the next planting reed beds!

 

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of the job is definitely the people. Every event brings new faces, as well as the regulars who are a great bunch.

What's the strangest thing you've ever pulled out of the river?

We’ve pulled out all sorts: wedding rings, guns, messages in bottles, and thousands of mobile phones. I’m not sure of the strangest but my favorite find was an Anglo Saxon Spearhead from the 9th Century!

What's it like to be chosen to carry the Olympic torch?

 

What an honor! It was an amazing experience, and one I will never forget. I am very very honored to be nominated amongst such an amazing group of people.

Many congrats to Ben! Go to the Thames21 Facebook page to see the Olympic torch action.

Thames21 has regularly scheduled cleanups, so if you live in the London area I highly recommend spending a morning cleaning up with the crew.  I’ve volunteered with 75 different projects and this was the first time pedestrians stopped to say thank you to the volunteers as we cleaned.