All posts by Denise

Five on Friday :: February 27, 2015

I wrote a stream of consciousness blog post on my flight on Wednesday. Complete with photos. And my WordPress app on my iPad ate the post. Poof. Gone. No coming back. So here are the five photos that I had for that post, with a little bit of context thrown in so I don’t feel like my time spent writing a few days ago was for nothing.

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1.

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Ready for take-off… Skipper, Starbucks and Southwest

2.

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Bye Nashville… see ya in a few weeks!

 

3.

Chasing sunlight... never to catch it.
Chasing sunlight… never to catch it.

 

4.

See... I really was writing a blog post on the plane. Sipping a Chai Tea Latte. I should have had a double shot of espresso instead...
See… I really was writing a blog post on the plane. Sipping a Chai Tea Latte. I should have had a double shot of espresso instead…

 

5.

Welcome to ATX!
Welcome to ATX!

 

Wooly-Hat@LowHave a great weekend!

 

Five on Friday :: February 20, 2015 (late)

I opted to write on Friday about a topic brought up in the #WomensLives initiative. As such, I’ve bumped last weeks Five on Friday back a couple days so that post could stand on its own for a little while.

fiveonfriday2015

I periodically do an “about me” list. Past ones can be found here, here, here, here and here.  Yeah, okay so I’ve done five of them… but I’ve been writing this blog for around 8 years now. So I don’t think that’s too excessive.

1. I have my degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University. (I start with this because it recently came to my attention that some people don’t realize this fact. So since its a pretty big deal to  me I start here.) This statement is two-fold.

One, I actually attended Texas A&M. I’m not a t-shirt fan (does A&M even have those?) and it’s not just about football for me. I got an amazing education there, and the entire experience of being an Aggie is special.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTwo, I have a degree in Journalism. I spent the last 5 years as a bartender, and I’m actively working towards opening my own bar.  I love the bar business more than I EVER thought I would. But this does not change the fact that my formal training is in journalism, and I still use much of that training today. I’m very, very proud of my degree, even if I don’t work in a newspaper or tv station or radio. I often say I walked away from the field, but in reality it never left my heart. I still have a lot of interest in it, and, who knows, I may go back into it some day.

2.  I miss taking photographs for fun. I’ve become so focused on making money doing it, that I’ve forgotten what I love to do. And that is to just take great pictures!  So for Lent this year, I am once again doing a photo-a-day that runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.  I love the challenge of finding something to photograph each day, and its reminding me what I love about this art all over again.

3/47: Red rose in snow

3. I thoroughly enjoy page design. I think if I’d gotten to do more of that when I worked at the newspaper, I’d have been more inclined to stick with the field. I recently made a flyer for an event, and it gave me such a thrill to do. At the end of the day, I didn’t care if the flyer actually got used or not… it just reminded me how much I love doing it. And perhaps I should put forth the effort to do it more, because it left me on such an amazing high.

4. Tequila may make some women’s clothes fall off, but for me it is like taking a sleeping pill for me. OKay, I should clarify. Cheap tequila is like taking a sleeping pill for me. I’ve discovered if I pop for the good stuff, I get to enjoy the taste without the narcolepsy. But if I can’t sleep? One margarita or tequila sunrise and I’m OUT. I know they say alcohol to help you sleep does not result in restful sleep… but sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. And for me its tequila.

299: Margarita Monday

5. I sincerely love helping others. If there’s a way I can reach out a hand and help, I will. I often don’t have the money the give, but if I can give my time or donate things like, well, making flyers, or organizing something, or taking pictures, or bartending a few hours, then I want to do it. I want to help. Seeing someone else be lifted up is like a million dollars in the bank to me. I think if we all just helped each other more, this whole world would be a much better place. And… maybe I can’t change the world, but if I can help make my little piece of the world better? Well. Then I’m going to do that.

That being said, if you’re in the Nashville area, please swing by Tin Roof on Demonbreun tomorrow night from 7 pm – 1 am and give a little love to Tom & Julianne Drennon who lost their home last month to fire.

Orange-Juice@Low

Have a great week, everyone!

#WomensLives :: Unifying voices through #TellYourStory

If there is one thing you should know about me and social media, its that I place Twitter at the top of my list of must-use social media tools. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and spend way too many hours a day on it, but its Twitter that I turn to most for day-to-day information. It’s helped me get through traffic back-ups, severe weather and lets me feel not-so-far-away when something happens back home in Texas.

So needless to say, when the headline, “In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard” came across PRI’s Across Women’s Lives, it jumped out at me. It talks about the  Twitter campaign #sendeanlat — or #tellyourstory — started in Turkey for women to tell their own personal stories about experiencing violence, or in many cases their attempts to avoid the violence.

It came on the heels of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan being raped and stabbed to death by the driver of her bus. She was on her way home from college to visit her parents in southern Turkey when her life was cut short. According to women’s rights activists in Turkey, the tragedy was just one story of women being harassed, raped, beaten and killed with little-to-no consequences for their attackers.

Through the #sendeanlat / #tellyourstory hashtag, the stories of women going out of their way to avoid violence are just as staggering as the harassment they experience despite their best efforts. Through the hashtag(s), there is a wonderful strength in numbers, and I hope authorities are listening.

Three that jumped out at me, one from the article, two  I found reading the hashtag feed myself:

 

Why did these jump out at me? Because they all read like something I would do/have done. Right here in America. Because even if the law is far more strict regarding rape, murder and other violent acts, it doesn’t mean women here don’t still feel the need to be proactive against potential violence.

I used to keep an empty can of husband’s chew on the dashboard of my truck at all times. I’m not entirely sure when I quit doing that. But my hope was it would keep the truck from looking like a woman drove it. I’d often keep a baseball cap in my truck. When I drove home from going out late at night, I’d often throw it on so that perhaps my silhouette would look a little less feminine. I doubled that focus after a Central Texas woman was run off a rural road, kidnapped, raped and beaten in 2006.

When my husband goes on the road, I go out of my way to try to hide the fact he’s not home. I’m careful to keep certain things about my day the same, whether he’s home or not. I refuse to go to the grocery store at night alone. When I was bartending, I loved that most of our regulars refused to let us bartenders walk to our cars alone after closing.

Meanwhile, a tweet like this also stood out to me:

Not long ago, I had someone who left me feeling endlessly uncomfortable. Someone who left me literally sobbing my heart out driving home a few times, because he was so oblivious to how he kept “crossing the line” with me. It got to where I wanted to dress up to go out with my husband, but I’d find myself dressing way down just to avoid comments from this person about how I looked. I almost threw out my favorite pair of boots, because he felt it okay to make leering comments about them.

That’s not okay! That’s NEVER okay! Not here, not in Turkey, not in any country. And perhaps if we can all step up and tell or stories, we can empower each other and open other’s eyes.

Won’t you join in… Please. #sendeanlat … #TellYourStory

#womenslives#WomensLives is a media partnership between Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, BlogHer‘s parent company, aiming to change the portrayal and coverage of women in media. I felt our standing up for ourselves fell right in line with this initiative. 

In Turkey, sometimes it takes a hashtag to be heard