November 20, 2018

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Inside Out
I talk a lot about happiness and kindness and positivity. And I promise I'll continue to do that. But a bigger part of that conversation, a necessary part, involves talking about sadness. A lot of times we try to rush through the icky feelings: fear, loneliness, anger, grief. They're uncomfortable. They're sad. However, I'd argue, that it is through knowing, or rather feeling, these emotions that we are able to truly feel and experience their counters: joy, hope, gratitude, contentment. 

I was watching Inside Out the other day (what a great movie!) and I started thinking about the character development in the film. I was fortunate to see Pete Docter of Pixar (and Minnesota) speak a few years back about his life as a writer and animator. And as Pete spoke about Inside Out he noted a particular 'epiphany' as he was plotting the story. "Joy, as much as we all want it in our lives, is not the answer. The answer is actually sadness.

We've all been sad. The key, I think, is to embrace it. When we hold in our negative or scary or sad emotions they manifest in our minds and bodies in weird ways. Let your sadness be cathartic. Lean into it. Be gentle with it. Learn from it. Then let it go.  As much as we practice happiness and kindness and positivity, we know them and appreciate them because we know and can appreciate the contrary. 

Wherever you're at today, feel it. Honor it. Create with it. Be with it. And then get on with it. 

I'm a fan of panna cotta. If done correctly, it's a simple, delicate and delicious way to end a meal. This past week I enjoyed one of the best meals I've had in a long time at Hyacinth, a new restaurant in St. Paul. It ended with a vanilla bean panna cotta with late harvest apple cider vinegar. It was perfect. Honestly, I've thought about it every day for the past week. So what did I do? Well I made another reservation at Hyacinth, but I also tracked down a basic panna cotta recipe. Dress it up as you'd like (some favorite combinations: rosemary + honey or blackberries + lemon) and make sure to savor it, too. 
Art I Like 
Célestin Krier is a Parisian illustrator. She combines prehistoric style and imagery with vivid colors to create bold prints and graphics. Check out her website or peep her IG for her portfolio.
A Song I Like

Oxnard is finally here. Spin the whole album, but play "Anywhere" back twice. Anderson .Paak, Snoop Dogg & The Last Artful, Dodger on the same track? Yea. That's a future classic right there. 
What did the big flower say to the little flower? Hi, bud!
Did you know that crying can be good for you? It detoxes your body and can restore emotional balance. Check out 7 more benefits of crying and then let it all out if ya need too. 
Another Song I Like

Gonna rewind to the beginning of November when Vince Staples dropped his third studio album, FM!  In line with his previous work, it's packed full of bangers, including this track, "FUN!" A mesmeric beat with quintessential Vince verses. 
From a Friend
My mom reads more than anyone I know. I always look forward to snagging a book from her house when I go to visit. Most recently I picked up American Like Me by America Ferrera. It's a collection of short narratives and essays from prominent American figures like Issa Rae, Roxanne Gaye, Jeremy Lin and Kal Penn, among others. A quick read, American Like Me offers thoughtful and honest commentary about the complexities of growing up American and between cultures.
One Last Thing
The NBA is a different NBA then the one I fell in love with back in the 90s. And I'm not sayin' for better or worse, just different. And that's totally okay. I still love it. Maybe even more. It's just that in the 90s and early 2000s it felt a lot more raw. Probably because players were getting drafted straight out of high school. One of those players was Darius Miles. 

Miles started his career with the LA Clippers in 2000 and moved around the league over the next nine years. From being signed to Jordan brand to navigating injury and loss, I highly suggest taking time to read about Miles' experience in the NBA and mental health as a black man, in his own words.

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Jennifer Universe