Kids’ History: Christmas Edition

I wrote, produced, and directed a new Christmas short film for my church!

TGC Park Slope – Kids’ History: Christmas Edition from Trinity Grace Church on Vimeo.



Me Too

I hesitated to write this post because I’ve “only” experienced sexual harassment and not sexual assault. I felt guilty. Like I would be taking attention away from the more important problem of sexual assault. But I’ve realized that while assault is farther across the line, harassment is definitely on the same side of the line as assault — give an inch; they’ll try to take a mile. So while assault is very much not okay; I’m acknowledging that harassment is certainly also not okay.
And so, me too.
I’ve also realized, as I’ve thought about this over the last few days, that the sexual harassment I’ve experienced has legitimately affected my self image, my behaviour, my clothing, my life habits, and my health. It was “simple” sexual harassment, but it had far-reaching effects. And that is very much not okay.
So yeah, me too.
For much of my life, I have felt cursed with a “too feminine” body. Early on, I began to realize that my body shape seemed like an invitation to strangers — boys and men — to approach me. Literally just because of the shape of my 5’8″ teenage body. As I grew older, I became angry about my body shape. I felt that it was betraying me. The only thing I could think to do was dress it like a boy. I felt safer dressed more masculine. Dressed in baggier clothes, I felt hidden. I didn’t want to wear clothes that accentuated my shape (even modest ones!), because I felt that I’d draw unwanted attention! I stopped wearing skirts.
Me. Too.
And now, after having two babies, as I’ve come to the place where I’ve more or less matured and generally healed from that fear and hurt, moving into a place of experienced indifference, I don’t have that body any more. And I feel the loss of having wasted so many years on those fears. Fears of men not being able to control themselves and approach me with lewd language and vile invitations. Fears of men placing their hands on my body when they have no right to. Fears of men becoming angry and violent when I politely reject their unwanted attention. I feel the loss of the time when I could have been enjoying being feminine, enjoying wearing skirts and dresses, enjoying being myself.
Me too.
I have lived in fear of my own body and of men’s reaction to that body for far too long, and I’ve now realized that sexual harassment has been and is a “little more” than just irritating; it has affected my whole life.
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too,’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. #MeToo

“You’ve Got Skills”

I’ve just watched Season 1: Ep. 11 of Luke Cage and I need to talk about this scene between these two awesome powerful women.

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After handcuffing Shades to the pipe, Claire collapses onto the barrel. Misty turns.

Misty Knight: You’ve got skills.

Claire Temple: You too.

Misty Knight: My father.

Claire Temple: My uncle.

They laugh together.

Now, ordinarily, I’d be delighted at a scene like this. The two women just worked together with some scrappy but skilled fighting to take down one of the baddest men around. He was in prime condition, and they were both at the end of their ropes, with Misty even having lost so much blood she’d nearly passed out. So I can forgive that it was two on one.

But the thing that bothers me is that they reference two male figures that taught them to fight. Why not their mothers, or aunts, or older sisters? Why not, “High school wrestling team.”? Perhaps it’s a generational thing. Perhaps in twenty years we’ll have female characters that fight well and cite their mothers’ teaching. For now, I suppose I should be pleased enough that these women are sensibly clothed and fighting at all.

Even so, I think they missed a great opportunity. Misty could have said, “My father.” And Claire could have replied, “My mother!” Which would be neat, because we, as an audience, have met her mother, who, while she’s on the small side, is certainly a spitfire. So it would’ve been a nice reference that made sense.

But enough complaining; I’m off to teach my daughter how to punch.

Manger Things

This past summer, I wrote a Christmas short film, a spoof called Manger Things, and in the Fall, I produced it with Elisa Booker, the Children’s Director of my church here in Brooklyn, Trinity Grace Church Park Slope. The young guys over at Infinity Finite on YouTube, Ethan and Christian Locy, directed and shot it. Ethan directed. Christian shot it.

Check it out, right now!

If you’d like to read more about how this was put together, then read on!

Continue reading

Back to Air Squats

This might be small to some, but it’s huge to me. I can do air squats again.

I used to be able to back squat 135 lbs. The very first day I started Crossfit, I did 88 air squats in a row, after 45 minutes of other stuff. But in the worst of my recent health issues, my leg strength bottomed out. I couldn’t get up off the ground using only the strength in my legs. I couldn’t get up off the sofa without using momentum or pulling myself up.

My recovery plan sounds simple. I started more specific-to-me supplements; I worked to decrease stress and improve my life habits; and I’ve been getting substantially more and better sleep. I also started rowing in the morning. It’s low impact. After months and months of new life habits, supplements, and better sleep, and after rowing for a few weeks, I started to think it might be time to try doing a few air squats. The first day, I did five. They felt weird and hard; but I did them. Then the next day I did 10. The next day, 12. And today, I did 18.

I was skeptical though, because all of those were after warming up on the rower.

So tonight, at dinner time, I told Ryan, with a hint of excitement in my voice, “I can do air squats again.” “Yeah? Show me.” “Okay.” I had to psych myself up. I wasn’t warmed up. The last time I tried to do an air squat in the kitchen it hurt like hell and it took me a good five seconds to do it. I hadn’t been ready.

But this time, I did two. And then two more.

I was so happy, I cried.

And before I finished writing this post, I got up and did three more just to prove to myself that it’s really true. I can do air squats again. The strength in my legs has returned. I’m on the mend.


Jerry & Diane

Chris Domig and Margaret Copeland Hunter star in my not-so-romantic comedy short about a guitar lesson gone wrong, Jerry & Diane, which premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival at the Tribeca Cinemas on November 9th, 2014.

Jerry is a desperate ‘guitar teacher’ hoping to ‘take it to the next level’ with his favorite student, Diane. Diane is planning to quit her lessons because she’s discovered a dirty little secret.

I wrote and directed it. More credits here:

4.5 Weeks Postpartum Confession

I just got out of a shower at 3:30 am where I had a good cry. I am 4.5 weeks postpartum with my son and I can’t sleep.


Why was I crying? Lots of reasons.

I was crying because I am still carrying baby weight.
I was crying because I can’t get back to sleep.
I was crying because somebody said something mean-ish to me on an online mommy forum.
I was crying because my baby still fights latching on and I can’t figure out why.
I was crying because I feel like I am failing my little girl.
I was crying because I feel like I am failing myself.

Some are silly reasons. Some are not so silly.

I’m writing and publishing this post because I need to remember what it can feel like at 4.5 weeks postpartum. And I need you to know what 4.5 weeks postpartum can feel like.

I cognitively know that I will make it through these trying first few weeks and first few months, and I will get fit again, and I will sleep again, and it doesn’t matter what someone I don’t know said in a forum, and my baby is going to love nursing and chill out eventually, and I haven’t actually failed my little girl, and she still loves me, and I have lots to be proud of and lots more still to accomplish.

I cognitively know these things.

But at 3:30 am, when your baby fights to latch, and you’re exhausted, and you know it’s going to be hours before you sleep again, and because of that you’ll be a lazy mama to your beautiful toddler the next day instead of a engaged, involved mama like you envisioned yourself to be, it’s hard to stay positive. And so you look for a good place to cry. And because you stink (since you haven’t showered in a day and a half), the shower seems like a good a place as any. And I didn’t wake anyone up.

I’m not publishing this for pity (although I will take a bit of grace), and I want you to know, people have brought food and checked in on me. I have support.

I’m publishing this because the postpartum experience needs to be shared, not private.

This shit is hard.

My mother always remembers how with each new baby, her mother had a girl from their small farming community who came in to help. I had my mother here for three weeks, and then my mother-in-law and father-in-law for another week after that. And on the day after they left, meals from our friends began. Some via delivery, some brought with a welcome visit. Both are awesome.

So, there it is.

I am usually a confident, outspoken, organized leader. Accomplished. But when I am in the depths of the postpartum season, I feel like a slob. Like a blob of lazy. Like it was a mistake that I have these two children and what was He thinking giving them to me.

It can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter what her prenatal self was like. The postpartum season can be confidence-shattering. And it takes time to rebuild.

And sometimes rebuilding involves a good cry in the shower.