Best H.S. Valentine’s EVER.

comment | February 15th, 2013

2 hearts

(A friend sent us this Valentine's from the head of the Santa Monica HS PTA to their students.  Best Valentine's ever.) Dear Santa Monica High School Students, We love you. But today, it's not enough that we love you; it's important to tell you that we love you and why we do. We love you because you're trying hard. Because you're all different. Because you're perfect the way you are. Because you're our future. We love you because you make us happy.And we love you because you make our community whole. It doesn't matter whether anyone outside our community doesn't love you, or wants to change you, wants you to be something you're not, or wants you to listen to what they say no matter how offensive or ignorant it is. In our community, you are welcome, you are accepted, your opinions count, your beliefs are sacred, and you can love whomever you choose. You're one of us, and we love you for that.Take this message from this love letter: we don't want you to change, but we want you to grow. Just the way you've been growing, in the same directions and with ...

The Fierce Urgency Of NOW

11 comments | January 18th, 2013

King and Son Walking Up House Steps

By Seth Matlins (We first posted this piece on Father's Day 2011.  In honor of MLK Day, we're reposting it now.)  A father walks down the path to his house with his son.  A simple and quiet moment captured, that stands in relatively stark contrast to the images of MLK we all know so well. Dr. King was a parent; sometimes we can forget that about him. A person and a parent who looked at the world and knew he needed to stand up and speak up for change, for justice, and for truth. For a lot of people.  For his children. And Dr. King didn't just have a dream, he had a timetable.  The changes he spoke for, dreamed of, and fought to create, needed to happen "now".  He didn't just urge us to end discrimination and economic injustice, he urged our embrace of "the fierce urgency" of the moment. As we look at this picture of Dr. King walking up the steps to his home with his baby boy, we're reminded that life changes quickly and sometimes irrevocably, sometimes ...

#chestismsThe Department of Redundancy Department

10 comments | January 15th, 2013

cloudy talk burst

(by Mir) I have something of a reputation when it comes to words. What, that I always know just what to say? That I'm prolific and insightful? Nope. It's more like... there's nothing that can be said in 15 words that I can't turn into a 1,000-word block of text. I'm loquacious. Verbose. Not prone to self-editing. Pick your adjective or descriptive phrase; basically, I like to Make With Many Words, and---as a person who also Has Many Feelings---I often have more than the strictly-necessary number of words to share on any given topic, because this is how I not only express myself, it's often how I process things. (Do not get me started on that whole thing about learning that different people process in different ways. When I'm processing, I'm talking or writing. When my husband is processing, stuff is happening inside his head where no one can see it. I think that's weird, but apparently it's normal. Whatever.) In my younger days, there was no topic about which I didn't natter on endlessly, if it held some sort of interest for me. So if, say, you liked pie and ...

#chestismsImportant Lessons for the New Year, Via Football

13 comments | January 8th, 2013

chestist soup

(By Mir) I tend to think of myself as a fairly introspective person---heck, my navel-gazing is known to reach epic proportions---but the problem with always feeling many feelings and then examining those feelings in depth is that, well, it's not actually LIFE. Life is the stuff that happens all around you and to you and the stuff you DO. The way you feel about it is important, sure, but it's not life itself. This epiphany is brought to you by potato chips and onion dip. More specifically, it's something that occurred to me as I sat on my couch on New Year's day, watching football, and stuffing my face with Appropriate Football Food. The end of 2012 had completely wiped me out. Dragging chips through the dip bowl and then lifting them to my mouth felt like all the activity I could handle. After a full year of tragedies and crises and challenges and deaths, we capped it all off with an emotional week-and-a-half of family members reuniting and trying to find our footing with each other all over again. I was completely spent. It was in my exhausted state that conventional ...

#chestismsWhat He Said.

7 comments | January 3rd, 2013

Sketch 2011-02-07 18_09_36

This one of our all-time faves here, and it's 46 years-old.  We first posted this on February 8th 2011.  Here's hoping we all learn to do what Sol says....   "Learn to say 'Fuck You' to the world every once in a while.  You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, gasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose-sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eying, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding grinding grinding away at yourself.  Stop it and just DO."  - Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse, 1965

#chestismsLove, Light, and Vinegar

31 comments | December 18th, 2012


(by Mir) I can't---rather, I suppose, I won't---try to address the recent school shooting. You don't need me to, anyway; Facebook, Twitter, every blog in existence, and every news outlet is busy making sure we can't think about anything else. Violence is terrible. Violence during the holiday season somehow seems worse. Violence against children is unthinkable. Violence on this scale... it's almost incomprehensible. Which is why, I think, everyone rushes to express their feelings from every possible angle. Sadness, disbelief, anger, and then, of course, come the Discussions We Need To Have before anyone's even had a chance to finish processing all of those overwhelming feelings. For once, I found myself silent. I don't want to say anything. It's too much, and if I try to join the conversation which I so desperately wish wasn't happening, never had to happen, I fear I will get sucked down into a darkness from which I might not be able to escape. So I didn't say anything. I turned off the television (or turned it on only to channels like Food Network, where I wouldn't be subjected to news alerts or the president crying). I ...

#chestismsLife Changing Moments

4 comments | December 10th, 2012

exploding flowers

(via Salon.com via Smithmag.net) We bumped into this article in our travels across the interwebs, on our never-ending search for that which will enthrall and intrigue you, and provoke your thought (how we doing, btw?). The Smithmag piece features the stories of authors known and not, recalling the moments in their lives that changed them, defined them, made them who they are and aren't. We were inspired. And so we ask you, are there moments in your life on which you look back and think "that one changed me"?  Which ones are they?  What happened and why did it matter?  Did you realize its importance at the time?  Let's talk life-changing moments, shall we?  You share yours and we'll share ours.  XO, FMB

#chestismsRaise Your Effing Hand

11 comments | December 8th, 2012


This was submitted anonymously, as a comment to another reader's story about "Playing It Much Too Safe".  Here's how we got it:

I won't lie, this quote is a little harsh; but goddamnit, it's true. It's by an author named Christopher Gutierrez. He's amazing.

"you know that feeling when you're in class and you want to raise your hand to disagree, to add to the discussion? that nervous energy that prevents you from raising your hand and hearing your own voice? the one that makes your heart race? that nervous energy wins when you keep your hand safely on your desk and miss the opportunity to add your two cents. thats what failure feels like. thats the feeling of you giving up a little more of your life. thats when you throw away your votes. and unless you want to take your place in the list of billions of fakes, sheep and ****, the next time you have something to say, raise your f*cking hand." {end story}

Doesn't matter how long it's been since you've been in class, or a meeting, or at a dinner with family and friends, or riding on ...

#chestismsDefine happiness. What Do You Need to Be Happy?

19 comments | December 6th, 2012


Nope, there's no article, no story - just the question in the headline. Let's think about it...what do we (that means you too) need in our lives to be happy?  What do we WANT in our lives to be happy? Deep stuff, right?!  But what question could we ask ourselves where the answer could be more important, more essential, more fundamentally our happiest version of ourselves? Throw down, Chestists, throw down.

#chestismsJump, a Chestism

9 comments | December 4th, 2012











"It's when you make the decision to jump, that the net appears." (Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way)

We've about worn this chestism thread bare over the years.  You agree or disgaree with it?  Is it inspiring, cock-eyed and foolhardy optimism that's bound to get someone hurt, or...what do you think?  is there a decision you need to make (or not make) that feels like a jump?  Why not make it?

The Secret of Thankful

23 comments | November 20th, 2012


(by Mir) I don't know about all of you, but I'm spending a good part of this week getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner. For me this entails a complicated process of meal planning, grocery shopping, pre-emptive experimentation and ahead-of-time cooking, more grocery shopping, house cleaning, freaking out about cooking, looking for the serving pieces I only use once a year, running to the grocery story for that last thing I need, and finally, the meal itself. Does that sound like I'm complaining? I'm not, not really. Because this year, I am absolutely at peace with all of it. We talk a good game, most of us, about being thankful. This month, in particular, with Thanksgiving coming up, I see many of my friends and family doing a "daily thankfulness" practice on Facebook or their blogs. The idea is that when you stop to be thankful, you are happier overall and more grateful for the good things. And that makes sense, I guess, though I worry that making it a "thing" makes it yet another exercise rather than a true spiritual practice. But I've done my fair share of this; said grace before a ...

The Strongest Woman

3 comments | November 14th, 2012


(by Theresa) Someone whose opinion I respect a great deal recently told me I am the strongest woman she knows. I wanted to tell her she was wrong. How could I be the strongest woman she knows? My mother was the strongest woman I have known, and she to my knowledge never had a panic attack. In fact, I don't think anyone in my immediate family has. I can remember the first time I had a panic attack. I was at a band rehearsal after school, struggling with one specific measure in the music. I was also in college credit courses and working at Wendy's, so I had a lot on my mind. When it came time for me to play the measure, I flubbed it badly and got a lot of what I perceived as negative attention. I ended up in tears, hyperventilating, and shaking so bad the section leader told me it was ok to go home. I felt like a failure and that added to my panic. How could I be considered strong? My mother never to my knowledge battled depression. My brothers seemed impervious to those demons. Sure my biological ...

#chestismsTime Is What We Make Of It.

2 comments | October 6th, 2012

annie dillard1

We pretty much love this.  Succinct and to the point.  Oh, and right too.  What do you think?  How are you spending your days, and what would you do differently - now that you've stopped to think about it????

Love & SexSex and Happyness

7 comments | September 28th, 2012


(story by FMB, on repeat, via dailymaiil)











Want to get happier?  Get busy.  That's the implication of a study from the U.K. (they're so far ahead of us on so many things).  Check it:

"Making love boosts our happiness more than anything else."  Yup, according to this study of 45,000 iPhone users, having sex is the best way to help yourself feel good.

So, we've got 2 questions.  One, is this true for you?  And 2, what if the sex is only meh?  Let's #discuss.

(Read more)

Happy MakingQ: How Do You Handle Conflict?

11 comments | September 27th, 2012


(by FMB)

Conflict's as inevitable a part of life as...pooping and peeing (you probably thought we were going to say death and taxes.  Nope, not us.)

How we handle conflict can have a lot to do with how we feel.  Some of us run head first into it and some of us run away from it like a coming storm.

What about you - do you deal with it head on; let it fester; swlallow it whole and never address it?  Does it matter who the conflict is with?  Are you more or less likely to deal with it if it's at hom,e, a friend, at work?  Any tips from any of you guys on how you deal with it productively?  Conflict...let's #discuss.