Issue 23.04: 2016 Primaries

By : Jake Stevens
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#wearewithher: Watermark’s presidential primary endorsement along with some other candidates and races to watch in the coming months, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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On Watermark’s anniversary, founder Tom Dyer reflects on two transforming decades

By : Tom Dyer
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When I started Watermark back in 1994, my goal was to share—and encourage—the richness of the local LGBT experience. Looking back, I see now that I had only the slightest idea what that meant.

In the last 20 years, Watermark has been my entrée to unimagined people and experiences—and I hope yours, too. We’ve stood up to discrimination in its ugliest forms, been patient as friends and representatives evolved, and discovered a real—almost cocky—pride in our uniqueness. And we’ve laughed with, and been inspired by, legends of this unique time in history.

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Readers respond to Watermark’s story remembering Paul Wegman

By : Jamie Hyman
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It was ten years ago that Central Florida lost an entertainer who was both a force and a friend – Paul Wegman. In Issue 21.10, we published an article that was a tribute to Wegman’s life and legacy.

Several readers took to the comments section to post their own memories of Miss P. Read what they had to say after the jump: 

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Lizzie Borden… bound for Broadway?

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Gather all your friends with useless knowledge
Ivanhoe Village is teaming with the Hammered Lamb for a weekly trivia night to benefit the Ivanhoe Village Main Street. Winners can expect prizes every Tuesday’s from 6- 8:30 p.m. at the bar located at 1235 N Orange Ave., Orlando. Trivia games will consist of three rounds with two questions each night to focus on the neighborhood. Ivanhoe Trivia Knight is hosted by Scottie Campbell, Executive Director for Ivanhoe Village. For more information, call 407-704-3200 or visit HammeredLamb.com

Could the second time around be the charm?
For the second year in a row, Orlando’s own Chantel Reshae will fly to Atlantic City to complete for the crown in the 2013 Miss’d America Pageant Saturday, Sept. 21 at the House of Blues Atlantic City at Showboat. More than 2,000 people are expected at the event, which raises money for the The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance and the Schultz-Hill Foundation. Reshae, an 18-year drag veteran, is the only Florida-based contestant. The Miss’d America Pageant was started in 1991 the Sunday after the Miss America Pageant (which used to be held in Atlantic City) as a fun, but very competitive way to raise money for local LGBT charities. For more information, on Miss’d America, visit Acglbt.org

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Savoy under new ownership

By : Jamie Hyman
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Savoy’s new owners bring decades of bartending experience, a vision for upgrading the nightclub and a desire to increase Savoy’s community outreach.

Chris Hannay, Brandon Llewellyn and Patrick Razo purchased Savoy on April 1, a transaction that’s been in the works for a year. Hannay and Llewellyn continue to work behind the nightclub’s bar, while Razo enters the equation as a big fan of Savoy.

“I just spent my time there,” Razo said. “I purchased the bar previous to purchasing the bar.”

SavoyUnderNew1He’ll handle the business side of Savoy while Hannay and Llewellyn hope to enrich the venture with their bartending experience – 11 years apiece. Razo has owned two other companies, “a subcontracting company for a new home builder and a real estate company back in Illinois.”

The trio purchased Savoy from original owners George Butler and Randall Lambright who established it in 2004.

“We’re already changing drink specials, our nights throughout the week,” Razo said. “We are going to be making some cosmetic changes, freshening it up, making it more exciting.”

That makeover includes a renovation of the attached Tattoo Lounge, which will reopen as a sports bar called “Locker Room at Savoy.”

SavoyUnderNew2Some things will stay the same, though. They’re keeping the name “Savoy,” because “It’s a very well-known brand,” according to Razo. They’re also hanging onto their bartender staff.

“It’s an Orlando staple we want to make better,” Hannay said. “It was stagnant for a while; it needed a little fresh look. The additions we’re planning to make are going to make it significantly better, I believe.”

He said the feedback from the community has been good.

“These are nice guys and that’s a positive for our neighborhood,” said Scottie Campbell, executive director of Ivanhoe Village, the neighborhood where the bar is located. “They’ve already reached out to see how they can be more involved with the community.”

Razo said they’re going to “thank the community by giving back to the community” and an AIDS Walk team and presence in the Come Out With Pride parade in October are in the works.

*Skaters spread around the track and coaches demo each skill, allowing skaters 2 mins to practice each:
Stationary and in derby form, lean forward until you feel like you will fall, then pull yourself back to derby form. Vary your stance (feet together, feet shoulder width, feet wide as possible) to find the position that allows you to lean forward the furthest without falling.
Do the same, but lean to each side.
Do the same, but lean backward.
Close your eyes and lean forward, sideways, and backward. Remember to vary your stance to find the position that allows you to lean furthest without falling.
Stand on one foot and lean forward, sideways, and backward.So, that takes us to teaching the transition activity. Remember, we have to divide them into groups of 4 and talk them through it and there will be questions – I’d give that till at least 8:50.

8:50-9 Crossover/hopping. It’s brilliant that these are quick – why the hell do we always do stuff like this for like, 10 minutes? Boring. About 2 min/each, done. I’m confused, though, by what you mean by “Phoenix drill.” Are you talking about that strength/balance thing she took us through?

Trans/H2O

9:03-9:20 Hip blocking/arm swinging

Trans/H2O

9:23-9:45 Jammer on the Outside

Trans/H2O

9:48-10 Recycle

Trans/H2O

10:03-10:10 Greenbay toe stop drill

Trans/NO WATER

10:12-10:18 Fast skate to music, PERFECT DERBY STANCE

10:18 – 10:25 Group Stretch

Orlando: Night of the Living Queen

By : Anonymous
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Powerful Pink 
While most of the guys were glued to Oscar on Sunday night, the gals descended on Amway Arena for a sold-out Pink concert. And it appears with this tour the stunningly athletic singer has entered super-stardom. For opening number “Raise Your Glass,” Pink demonstrated that she has charisma – even when dangling upside down. And for her latest hit, the powerful anthem “Try,” she began suspended in a harness above the ecstatic audience. Reviews were glowing. “Pink was amazing, and I’m spent,” Sue-Bee Laginess posted on Facebook immediately after the show. “It was nice to see every girl I know – and every gay boy – in one place!”

Paint the Town Dead
Beginning Thursday, February 28 Madame Peevira of Orlando Fringe fame will host her own ghoulish take on Elvira’s Movie Macabre. Night of the Living Queen,” a weekly horror drag show at Hammerheads Beer & Wine, will feature deadly drag, campy horror-ible films and special contests. This month, Madame P will screen the original black and white classic Night of the Living Dead. Along with special performances, there will also be a zombie costume contest! For more info on this cinema carnage, visit facebook.com/madamepeevira

Brokeback Goes Broadway
The second edition of “Brokeback Mary’s at Cheyenne Saloon” on Feb. 17 was a huge success. Attendance doubled to around 450 people, and the extravagant Broadway performances had the audience raining money for Orlando’s effort to host the 2018 Gay Games. The Minx and Watermark WAVE winner Ginger Minj hosted this fundraiser. Fellow WAVE winner Chrysanthemum offered a crowd-pleasing rendition of Jessica Lange’s “The Name Game” from the American Horror Story: Asylum TV series. This past Dec. 30, Hamburger Mary’s Orlando owners Mike Rogier and John Paonessa opened the historic locale for a night of larger-than-life production numbers followed by a street dance. After number two, the plan is to make it a regular monthly event.

Local Artists Make Good    
Dawn Rosendahl and Brendan O’Connor received two of just eighteen coveted Artist Development Grants from United Arts of Central Florida. The winners, announced earlier this week, were chosen from more than 50 applicants. Rosendahl worked as an artist at Disney before opening a scenic design studio with partner Cheryl Turner. She is a sculptor and painter, and currently has a show at the City Arts Factory. O’Connor is also a painter, sculptor and all-around creative guy. He’s responsible for the eclectic chairs that pop up at bus stops throughout Orlando, and for many of the whimsically painted electrical boxes. He lives with partner Scottie Campbell in the Mills 50 District.

Monday Ripples: Hounding Snakes in the Glades

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â┚¬Å”Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them.â┚¬Â -Albert Einstein

Have you ever given thought to prayer? Like a bunch of thought, I mean. I'm asking because I've given much thought to it. For me, it isn't about whether prayer works or not â┚¬â€œ I know it does. Instead my thoughts are about semantics, I guess you would say. For most, the word is charged with religious baggage, so they try not to use the word or deny any power in the practice.

Words alone have no meaning. A word is a jumble of different shape lines that we give meaning to â┚¬â€œ are you with me? This fact is one of the secrets to the craft of acting for me: the word is a boat, the water it floats on is the emotion and life the actor puts under it. Well, before I completely lose you, let me put it another wayâ┚¬Â¦

Indulge me by keeping your mind cracked open a bit as I state my brief case. Wishing someone happy birthday is a prayer. Visualizing how you will close a sale is a prayer. Saying you're sending your love to some is a prayer. â┚¬Å”I'll keep you in my thoughtâ┚¬Â is a prayer. A get well card is a prayer. I hope you see where I'm going with this.

Prayer probably gets a bad rap from the practice of people believing it's magic. A prayer without work is unlikely to do much. You can pray you'll play trumpet with a jazz band in New Orleans until you're blue in face, but you're going to have to learn to play the trumpet â┚¬â€œ and practice a hell of a lot â┚¬â€œ for it to actually happen.

Discretion will not allow me to reveal why prayers are on my mind right now. I have a friend who is in my thoughts, and for me the energy I'm sending his way is my prayer. Today's Monday Ripples are dedicated to him.

Shall I belabor the point and mention that each Ripple is, in its own way, a prayer? No, I don't think you need me to do that.

Moberlous
Cash Mobs, the Anti-Groupon, Are Coming to a Store Near You
It's funny how things happen sometimes. Today I received a Facebook invite from the owner of local ice cream/gelati business about an event called Cash Mob Ivanhoe Village. I instantly loved this grassroots method for getting cash into the local economy without taxing the marketing budget of a local business. Then I checked my e-mail inbox and found this article from Good; I just knew it had to be a Ripple. I've recently started a job working for Ivanhoe Village â┚¬â€œ more on that as the blogs go by, I'm sure â┚¬â€œ after being on its board for almost a year, so I was particular excited to see Orlandoans in my own backyard embrace this trend.

Pooches: A Python's Worst Nightmare
Man's best friend thwarts environmental enemies in the Florida Everglades
I know you've read about the issue we're having in the Everglades with Burmese Pythons eating everything. These snakes were purchased as pets, then released into the wild when their owners no long wanted them. This irresponsible act is wreaking havoc on this unique ecosystem and causing untold damage. I you're a fan of dogs, as I am, it probably won't surprise you to find out that part of the solution is our four legged friends. In fact, this article was the first real glimmer of hope I ran across in this reptilian conundrum.

Pin Your Hopes
Pinterest for Nonprofits: Promoting Your Cause on the Fast-Growing Social Network
The other day a social media expert gave me the run down on Pinterest complete with graphic results of how helpful it had been for a non-profit he is helping. That evening, I created my own account and several hours later I was still scouring the site to find things to pin on my imaginary bulletin board. Of the social media outlets, I've found Twitter to be the most helpful and engaging. The â┚¬Å”conversationsâ┚¬Â strike me as more intellectual and informing than say Facebook. It's also interesting that celebrities seem to feel safe to frolic about. While I'll use Pinterest for entertainment and as a tool, the jury is still out on its effectiveness for me.

Where’s Scottie?
Like on Facebook | Follow on Twitter 

Monday Ripples: When the Toilet Paper is Brown

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â┚¬Å”We have it in our power to change the world over.â┚¬Â – Thomas Paine

Before we set sail on our Monday Ripples, I wanted to cordially invite you to a Special Leap Year Edition of The Do-Gooder's Coffee Klatch on Wednesday, February 29 at 11:00 AM at the Coffee House @ Downtown Credo, located in College Park. If you're out there doing good, we might be able to help! Just click here to tell us a few things, so we know you're coming.

Now here are four links I hope will inspire you in the week ahead. Click, read, and pass along. Your small act will create a ripple and, who knows, it might wind up a wave on the other end.

Brown is the New Green
If That Toilet Paper Is Brown, It Must Be Green
An interesting read from Utne Reader regarding eco-marketing. It seems like only yesterday that the selling point of green goods was the fact that they are green goods, now it seems companies feel they need to reach out to us subliminally (and maybe they do). Let me know your thoughts on the suggestion at the end of the article.

You Better Walk
Walk while you work? Many employees join healthful trend
For the past year or so, non-traditional work environments have been on my mind. I think it started with articles I read on standing while you do things â┚¬â€œ like work â┚¬â€œ being healthier for you than sitting and, surprisingly, even more so than exercising. I've taken a high table at home and converted into my desk â┚¬â€œ I'm standing while I write this. Greg Dawson's article shows how some workplaces are taking things a step further â┚¬â€œ exercise while you work.

Getting Rid of Ten Pounds
I am going to donate Ԛ£10 a month to a charity. Which Charity should it be?
I'm kind of a geek for social media. I'm constantly amazed at the things I've discovered through someone's random tweet. So I was a little surprised when, in discussion, someone lumped in Quora with all the big social media players and I had never heard of it. I'm still not completely sure what to think, but I didn't like this discussion I found and it may be a good example of what Quora is all about. A person is donating Ԛ£10 a month to charity asking the community (world-wide, at that) for suggestions.

Making the Flintstones Proud
Dutch Kids Pedal Their Own Bus To School
This is worth a click just to see the adorable picture! How much can you say about this idea? There's exercise involved, a positive environmental impact, and a teambuilding spirit. With this vehicle, you also have a bike big enough to get motorists to take notice. My thoughts turn to seeing kids from schools in downtown Orlando walking from place to place holding onto a rope to keep everyone together. I hope De Café Racer sells the idea so it can be mass produced and we'll see it everywhere.

Delayed Ripples: Most Important Thing You’ll Read in 2012

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â┚¬Å”No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.â┚¬Â â┚¬â€¢ Madonna

The past weekend was the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and I participated for the second year in a row. A wonderful, positive event and â┚¬â€œ please keep this between the two of us â┚¬â€œ I wasn't in the mood for it.

I have no idea what was up my butt, but couldn't wait to make the trek around Lake Baldwin and hop on my bike to get home. Every conversation I overheard sounded like the most inane dribble to me; I'm sure I made record time around the lake as I tried to get away from various pockets of chatter. A group of elementary school teachers who would have been right at home backing up Moon Zappa on â┚¬Å”Valley Girl,â┚¬Â a cluster of ex-frat boys who talked loudly about â┚¬Å”Eye of the Tigerâ┚¬Â as they played it a little too loud (â┚¬Å”Who doesn't like â┚¬ËœEye of the Tiger'?â┚¬Â Uh, present.)â┚¬Â¦

I could go on, but why give further evidence of what a giant ass I was being? Participating in a suicide prevention charity event, trying to resist the urge to flippantly mutter â┚¬Å”I'm going to stab myselfâ┚¬Â is an embarrassing thing to confess â┚¬â€œ in fact, I'm not sure why I am admitting it. I took my vile disposition home immediately after the walk, even foregoing the traditional releasing of the doves which, you might recall, I loved last year.

Out of the Darkness raised over $25,000 and $115 of that was from me. As I rode my bike home, hoping to leave my attitude alongside Corrine Drive somewhere, my thoughts were consumed with how to raise more money next year. I had intended to raise $500 and falling short didn't sit well with my Mr. Poopy-Pants within.

Take a look at some photos from the walk here. To find out more about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and their important work, click here.

You're used to Rippling on Monday, so I hope this doesn't completely throw your week out of whack. I wish I could say I'm so important that I didn't have time yesterday, but the truth is I just didn't budget my time well. These Ripples are too good to wait until next Monday, so let's get to it.

Sam Branson is Smokin' Hot
Antarctica log 11 – Occupy World Street
If I were filthy rich, I would want to be like the Branson family of Virgin fame. They live a great life, but also do an admirable amount of good with their money. Here's an illustration Sam Branson (@BransonSam) recently tweeted: â┚¬Å”100% of all Virgin Atlantic’s profits are invested into research and development of clean fuels. We’re trying very hard to make it clean.â┚¬Â Richard Branson is blogging about his current trip to Antarctica to learn more about climate change; in this posting, he relays an idea from same to create an Occupy World Street movement.  An excellent idea that should be embraced, before it's too late.

29 is the New 30?
Love in Action
I’m getting this to you a bit late, but there’s still most of the month left. Take Part has a cool project that you can join in on. For each day in February, they provide you with a task that will make the world a better place. You can even receive a text letting you know what the task is for that particular day. Along the way, you may find activism a bit more exciting than you anticipated â┚¬â€œ you'll buy condoms, you'll say F*ck on Twitter, and the world will be better for it. I am a little confused as to why it is called â┚¬Å”30 Ways in 30 Daysâ┚¬Â when there are 29 days in February 2012. If you figure it out, let me know.

Forget = Death
AIDS Memorial Park
I was unaware that there is a movement afoot to create an AIDS Memorial in New York City, ground zero for the epidemic in our country. The winning concept, called â┚¬Å”Infinite Forest,â┚¬Â has been selected by a panel that includes the likes of Kenneth Cole and Whoopi Goldberg. Knowing of it now, I will follow its progress and look forward to absorbing its energy one day.

A Must Read
One Town’s War on Gay Teens
This fantastic piece of journalism from Sabrina Rubin Erdely in Rolling Stone may be the most important thing you read all year. An incredible account of how homophobia has taken a deadly toll on the youth of one town. As with any good slice of the journalism pie, this piece couldn't be more timely. Think of what our raging debates about marriage equality is saying to our youth. Politicians spewing sound bites of homophobia that half the time I figure they don't even believe. What are the long range effects of that hate? If you only read one Ripple this week, read this one, and share it.

Carl Hiaasen Visits Rollins College

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â┚¬Å”Whether it's literary or not, it's my own damn story.â┚¬Â â┚¬â€œ Carl Hiaasen

My alma mater, Rollins College, has an inspiring event each year called Winter With the Writers. Four renowned writers conduct masterclasses, participate in a presentation with a reading and interview open to the public, and just generally create a buzz around campus. No matter the writing style â┚¬â€œ novelist, poet, journalist, etc. â┚¬â€œ the event is invariably interesting.

A classmate coaxed me to my first WWW. I rarely attended on-campus functions because, as a theatre major working full-time, I rarely had time for them, but Kathy caught me in an uncharacteristic moment of not being able to concoct a believable excuse and I tagged along. They've tried to disguise the auditorium in Bush Science Center â┚¬â€œ a window-free, bomb shelter of a building â┚¬â€œ but it is as much a lecture hall today as it was on that day. So you can imagine how unsuspecting I was to have a significant spiritual moment while listening to Kiowa-Cherokee Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday.

â┚¬Å”That's the first time I turned into a bear,â┚¬Â said Momaday during his speech. My breath went away as I instantly got tunnel-vision. Shapeshifting was completely foreign to me. As a concept it is hard to wrap your mind around, but I can tell you, with confidence, his statement remains the truest thing I've ever heard spoken.

See what I mean? Interesting.

Last Thursday, Carl Hiaasen was the featured writer, kicking off the 2012 edition of this festival of literary arts. Hiaasen is from Florida and, whether he is writing one of his popular novels or penning his Miami Herald column, he approaches his writing with a wicked sense of humor.  True to form, he kept the audience in stitches whether he was reading, teaching, or commenting.

He read the first chapter of his first book Tourist Season, but confessed an aversion to reading his stuff aloud. His reaction to his own words, he explained, vacillates between thinking a sentence he wrote was the most poorly constructed he'd ever seen, to feeling what he wrote was brilliant, bemoaning the fact that he no longer writes that well. In fact, he couldn't resist commenting on the chapter as he read it.

Hiaasen followed his reading by going through some real Florida new stories to demonstrate how difficult our crazy state makes his job as a satirist. A sex plane getting hi-jacked and an unlicensed plastic surgeon using injections of cement and fix-a-flat were among the items that made Hiaasen jealous he didn't think of them first.

â┚¬Å”When I'm writing these novels, I don't care about plausibility, because I'm in Florida.â┚¬Â

When asked about messages in his books, Hiaasen declared that he didn't approach his stories with a message in mind and asserted that such a practice would be â┚¬Å”deadlyâ┚¬Â for a writer. For all their humor, Hiaasen's books are flavored with messages â┚¬â€œ sometimes as liberally as Paula Deen uses butter, so I was a little thrown by the statement, at first. Activism gets into the stories because Hiaasen is passionate about the environment, and it's impossible to write without getting your self seeping into the mix. (A point he made himself in the course of the event.) Hoot is the most overt example as the story came from actual events in Hiaasen's childhood when he and friends actively (sadly unsuccessfully) tried to confuse construction workers to save owls.

My activist fix was nicely sated during the question and answer session when an audience member asked him about recovering Florida lost environment. Hiaasen launched into a calm rant about our elected officials in Tallahassee and assured the audience this current bunch is not there with our best interests in mind. His words elicited a rousing round of applause, which I found comforting in a crowd that I guessed had a high percentage of conservatives.

For the writers in my readership, I wanted to cover a few key things that Hiaasen said that might be helpful in your own scribbling:

Persistence & Volume. Hiaasen said he is far from the best writer he knows, but the difference has been that he has kept at it and that he did it often. A writer can have natural talent, but that alone won't make him a successful writer. In support of this, Hiaasen spoke of the book he is currently reading, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which speaks of a â┚¬Å”10,000 hours ruleâ┚¬Â â┚¬â€œ a theory that successful people have put 10,000 hours into their craft prior to success. (Incidentally, I found a quote from Momaday while researching this post that echoed Hiaasen's persistence advice.)

â┚¬Å”Writer's block doesn't exist.â┚¬Â This bit of advice comes from Hiaasen's years as a journalist. When your editor tells you to have 800 words on something by a certain time, your reply isn't that you need to wait for your muse or for the stars to align a certain way. You make it happen.

Revisions. Hiaasen sends his agent and one or two others his writing in clumps of chapters, rather than giving it to them as he goes along. This gives him the opportunity to have a solid hold on the story before hearing outside opinions. He estimates he goes through a chapter 30 times before sending it to anyone.

Outlines. Hiaasen doesn't use them. Basicaly, he feels that the outline will stifle the growth of the story. He quotes Elmore Leonard who once told an audience, â┚¬Å”Why would write them, if I knew how they were going to end?â┚¬Â

To learn more about Winter With the Writers, go here.

Monday Ripples: Plastic Eating Fungi

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â┚¬Å”I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.â┚¬Â â┚¬â€œ Douglas Adams

I turned 45 a couple of weeks ago. Weeks prior to the big day, I had all these grand deigns for marking this lustrum with celebrations. Little did I know that my birthday would be flavored with my third lay-off in as many years, and planning celebrations seemed more stressful than joyous. The actual day was marked with an impromptu gathering at local gay dive instead of a big potluck and, to be honest, it was still pretty damn joyous.

One birthday plan that did come to fruition was volunteering for Keep Orlando Beautiful and Green Up Orlando on their annual Plant Seedlings for Civil Rights event, honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Here, too, the things not going according to plan theme played out: I had romantic visions of planting trees in my head and instead picked up garbage along the street. I'd love to write a Volunteering for Dummies book one day and one of the things covered would be that you should be ready to do whatever is needed.

My other surprise was pulling up to the church for volunteer check-in, anticipating about six other poor souls ready do their service to the community, and instead I found 200! Among them was our friend Cynthia and she and I joined a pod of people and got our assignment cleaning up a stretch of road that branches off of busy John Young Parkway. Clearly a low-income area, it was also a neighborhood I hadn't been to in my 25 years in Orlando.

It wouldn't be until later that it would dawn on me how fitting it was that Cynthia and I were the two Caucasians in our pod of six. This fact isn’t one that we overthink these days, and I think that is a great testament to the work of Dr. King. 

Here are your Monday Ripples. I hope you find something worth sharing and pass it along to everyone you know. Yes, everyone. 

Ready for Your Close-Up
Playbook Guide: YouTube for Good
When it comes to building a social media platform, it's unusual for marketers to not include YouTube as part of the plan. If you're a do-gooder, you'd do well to check out this link to Playbook Guide: YouTube for Good. In just 24 pages, YouTube gives you tips that usually take people a buttload of trial and error to learn.

LincVolt Speaks
Under the Hood
Whether we're fans or not, we all know Neil Young is a musician â┚¬â€œ he's a household name, after all. What you might not know is that he's a bit of an environmentalist. He loves driving his 1959 Lincoln, but isn't too keen on what it was doing to the environment, so he has taken to converting it into a hybrid. Another layer of coolness is added with this blog that documents the endeavor.  The car, who goes by the nameLincVolt, apparently writes the blog.

You Going to Eat That?
Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic
This Wired article and the amazing photograph that accompanies it renewed my anger at how we treat our oceans. We're killing things we don't even know exist with our selfish, short-sighted needs. Same feeling occurred when I read this article about Yale students discovering a fungi that eats plastic and needs no air to survive. Here's a solution to a puzzle we've created for our planet and it came ironically came from a place we're slowly destroying â┚¬â€œ the rainforest. 

This Saturday, I'm walking in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to help prevent suicide. I hope you'll consider supporting me with a small or large donation. Thanks, in advance. Donate Here!

A Suicide Survivor’s Brave Story

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â┚¬Å”Love — not dim and blind but so far-seeing that it can glimpse around corners, around bends and twists and illusion; instead of overlooking faults love sees through them to the secret inside.â┚¬Â â┚¬â€¢ Vera Nazarian

I'm participating in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk again this year. You may recall that I did it at the last minute last year, but still managed to get $250 from you fine folks to help the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention of Central Florida. This year, since I've got a little more time, I'm doubling my goal. I hope you'll considering helping, if you can.

You may be familiar with the adorable Davey Wavey. He blogs and vlogs about gay issues, fitness and nutrition and sometimes about happiness in general (usually with his shirt off, which makes me happy). In a post from today, he shares a young man named Connor's coming out story. Connor is also a survivor of suicide. As Davey points out, Connor is mighty brave to share this story and the importance of doing so cannot be overstated.

My life has been deeply affected by the loss of someone I loved. It has been almost 15 years since he took his life and it still haunts me. Last year, I collected money with a goodie-two-shoes optimism and didn't expect to find a healing experience in the act of walking around Lake Baldwinâ┚¬Â¦but I did. As I walked around the Lake Baldwin's beautiful conservation buffer (more of the City of Orlando, please) with friends, I felt strength in our number and the combined energy.

Please don't let this happen to others, we prayed silently. Please help me to not be angry. Please help the missing to be easier, but help me to never forget.

What is most important about Connor's story is also what haunts us: there might have been something we could have done. That is not to say that we claim to be at fault. It is to say we should be aware of our actions. Give lots of hugs â┚¬â€œ you never know how well timed it might be. Love and accept love. Be kind and accept kindness.

None of us are getting out of this alive, but let's at least squeeze it for all it's worth.

Donate to my Out of the Darkness Community Walk fundraising page here.