A Sequence con Sequence

1. I read this article and watched the video.

2. Then I read this article, which is part of this book.

3. Then Reilly and I watched this movie.

4. Then Reilly put the book on hold at the library. Then he checked out the book when it became available.

5. Today, I finished the book. I wrote this little review on Goodreads:

Conversational, thoughtful. Balanced; I forgive the author because she admits her biases. Covers and interweaves three main discussions: bullying, being a good parent/concerned adult/assertive innocent bystander, and mental illness. There’s also an exploration of solutions and encouragement of ongoing conversation, which I wholeheartedly support.

6. At 12:05pm, I decided to write the author of the book. Because that’s what I sometimes do.

Ms. Bazelon,

I finished Sticks and Stones about ten minutes ago, and I found it fascinating. And infuriating. And heartwrenching. And, at times, relieving. I appreciate your huge undertaking of a project such as this, your first, book. Yay!

Your interview with Stephen Colbert (as featured in Slate–about time somebody made him cry 😉 ) piqued my interest in the book, but first I watched the 2012 Weinstein documentary you happened to mention, Bully. So many times people or media want to point a finger at something more concrete, more visible, such as bullying. But when I hear of suicide, I almost always think first of mental illness as a possible cause. I’m glad you explore this subject, and as I read Phoebe Prince’s case, I was disappointed that the right people didn’t consider her psychological issues. It’s always more complicated than people usually perceive.

On the other hand, the ones who were able to pull through–the ones who found new friends or went to new schools or where school administration implemented effective bullying prevention–those kids were became incredibly insightful, self-aware, and empathetic. The way they grew up really impressed me.

Anyway, I loved the book. There’s so much more I could mention! Congratulations on your success, and may we all continue in courage to have these important conversations for our families, society; humanity.

7. At 1:39, I received this reply:

What a lovely note–thank you so much! If you’re inspired to share your feelings on Facebook or via email, please do–I need ambassadors! And I am up for calling or Skyping into book groups, for parents or teachers or anyone.

All the best, thanks again,

Emily

Replies do not always happen, and I was thrilled when the message landed in my inbox.

Thing is, as I read the book, I couldn’t help thinking of the young man who took his life in front of his schoolmates just north of here. I wish there were greater awareness; I wish people weren’t too scared to acknowledge and address mental illness and to examine all the causes of bullying and not just label these kinds of events “bullycide.”

It would be great to have a constructive discussion about this. Because my husband is a school teacher, I would love to organize something to see what steps are in place in local schools to help reduce bullying. It would be so wonderful to set up a call with Emily and maybe some school administrators and some ladies at church to have a heartfelt conversation about safety for our community’s children.

I always feel drawn to the underdog. It’s getting harder just to stand by and do nothing, and feeling helpless is no longer an excuse.

8. – ∞

A Short Email Exchanged Related to the Last Post

This morning I sent:

Thanks for the photos. I’m sorry if it’s hard for you to comprehend how cute I am.

The recent reply:

Hey May,

For the record, your full-sized (okay, not saying much) snowshoeing photos are our new wallpaper here at [apartment number].

Thoughts on a comeback?

It’s Almost 2am

What am I doing up?

I’ll be heading to bed soon.

A certain department head sent me an email this evening, and it was a delightful little surprise. It came at midnight.

What was she doing up?

Anyway, the other night after the talent show, while I was waiting for the bus, I saw her running across the street to the parking lot.

Yes, running. And of course it amused me, because in my head, the French don’t run.

Band Log, 5/14/09

I could subtitle this post, “The Company I Keep.”

So, our band came up with a list of possible songs to cover. Again, these are just possibilities:

1. Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog
2. Skinny Love by Bon Iver
3. Postcards from Italy by Beirut
4. Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver
5. Closer to Fine by Indigo Girls
6. Ice Cream by Sarah Mclachlan
7. Samson by Regina Spektor
8. Creep by Radiohead
9. A Cake song
10. Some kind of jazz song
11. Love Shack by the B52s
12. Apologize by One Republic
13. Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bob Marley
14. I’m All Out of Love by Air Supply
15. Come As You Are by Nirvana
16.Wonderwall by Oasis
17. Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel
18. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
19. Good Riddance by Green Day
20. Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman
21. Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
22. Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega
23. Songs by Becky 🙂
24. Songs by Eleece 🙂

Let’s also not forget songs by Alicia. Because seriously, that girl can write a song.

A band member sent this list to the other band members, and the following short email thread resulted. Be warned, the content might be offensive. But it also might be funny. Also, I’m keeping names out of this one. Also, “Reply to all” is a very useful feature.

Message 1: We all know (or if we don’t then we do now) that i am not a Muppet fan but i am willing to do whatever.. but…we all do realize that by covering this song we will instantly be known as the mechanical lesbos….right? bahahaha which hey, i’ve got a boy toy so i can defend my sexuality to the masses…because oh there will be masses…we’re going places ladies…and we’re getting there fast!!!! boooyaaaaa!!!!  rainbow connection here we come!!!! maybe we could change our name to the mechanical rainbows….i’m just sayin,….

Reply 1 to Message 1: Let’s not forget the lesbos who’ve covered this song, like Sarah McLachlan. And Jason Mraz. I didn’t even make the gay connection to the rainbow part of the rainbow connection, because my mind is too far caught up in the nostalgia of the song. I had a crush on Kermit when I was younger. And up through last week. Of course we can scratch the song completely. Goodness knows we don’t want to get called to perform it at a wedding, say, in IOWA.

Reply 2 to Reply 1: sarah mclachlan is a lesbo!? i’m so out of the loop… i don’t even know who jason mraz is….

Reply 3 to Reply 2: Sarah WAS a lesbo. I think pre-Lilith Fair and during. Then she got married to her drummer and had a kid then got divorced. Totally kidding about Jason Mraz. Because men can’t be lesbos, unless they’re women dressed as men who like women. We don’t need to be sexuality apologists; we’re way too cute to be lesbos. I mean, who cares if our conversations are riddled with innuendo and we tend to touch each other a lot?

Reply 4 to Reply 3: i’ve got it…. our name should be the asexual rainbow that likes mechanical violets.  cause i’m asexual… there i said it…

The End. I’m not sure you could put together any other combination of LDS single women in New York City and get the same dynamic. It’s fascinating and scary and thrilling and wonderful and blessings abound and burst into my beating, grateful little heart.

So, does anyone have other suggestions for song covers?