Svaha Spirit Series ~ Say Something Nice

A few folks at Improv Everywhere constructed a custom wooden lectern with a megaphone holster and an attached sign that read: “Say Something Nice.” The lectern was placed in public spaces around New York and then left alone. What would happen when passerby’s were given the opportunity to amplify their voices to “say something nice”?


Tips for Packing a Suitcase

Bonnie Johnson's PostBy the time you read this I will already have left for my trip.  I’m off to New York and then Tampa and I’ll be away for ten days.  Unless you are planning on coming to rob my house, then I’m not really away at all.  You should also know I have a big mean dog, alarm system and neighborhood watch.

I am about to start packing and this time I will try and be smart about it for once.  I used to be a flight attendant and had the whole packing thing under control. That was a long time ago however and lately my bags have gotten ridiculously heavy and usually stuffed with items I never even wear.  Most airlines are now charging for checked bags that weigh over 50lbs; sadly many charge a fee for all checked baggage.  What has become of the airline industry? Don’t even get me started about the food and service I used to provide and don’t get a hint of now that I’m a passenger.

I have learned over the years that bags belonging to my husband or me tend to plan a different itinerary than the one we have.  Sometimes we don’t meet up for days and sometimes we never see them again.  Carry-on bags therefore must contain some essentials and most definitely anything of value.

So here are some gathered tips that I plan to follow and that you may find useful for your next trip away.

  • Gather all the garments you may need on your trip, then edit down your choices so you don’t over-pack. Put together whole outfits for each day you will be away.  Pack double-duty garments, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas.
  • Don’t put things straight in the suitcase; this makes editing tricky.
  • If you’re going somewhere warm, take two light layers that can be worn together: a sweater and a blazer, for instance. Then, if you leave or arrive on a chilly day, or if it rains the whole time you are in Maui…well you get the point.
  • Tightly roll softer, wrinkle-resistant garments, like T-shirts and cotton pants, and place them along the base of the bag. Jeans should be rolled, too.  (I’m big on rolling almost everything – it really works against wrinkles)
  • Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag.
  • Protect clothes from leaks by placing toiletries in a plastic freezer bag.  Freezer bags are a heavier plastic and they seal tightly.
  • Pack essential toiletries in a carry-on bag. Include your toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, medication, expensive jewelery and other important items.
  • Stuff socks inside your shoes.
  • I always put my lacy girly intimate things in a clear plastic bag.  This serves two purposes; it keeps them together and easy to find and it ensures the creepy baggage checker isn’t sniffing handling your delicates.

luggage stuffingBonnie


What Can Everyone Learn from Gay Pride?

TracyTracy’s Take~

Pride Parade is today in Vancouver!

I think everyone can learn from those who blaze the trails before us.  Gay Pride has shown me that with your voice however small it may seem, mountains can be moved.

When you live your life proud and authentic you are miles ahead of those who judge.  Being Gay has not been an easy path for many.  Those who are Proud of being Gay make me smile. I have never understood how someones sexual preference is anyone elses business but the two who love one another.  Love is love whether it’s experienced with a man or a women.


Think of the world for a moment without those who are willing to stand up for the rights of human beings.  These individuals do this knowing they will be judged by many.  They have chosen a lifestyle that is not understood or accepted STILL by many.  I find it heart breaking that there are young souls in the world who are afraid to confide in their families for fear of being shunned and not loved.  No soul should have to endure such conflict just to live their life how they feel drawn to.

I celebrate along side of all the Gays, lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders who are living truthfully and are setting examples for those who are not yet ready for that journey.  I embrace each soul I meet with open arms and an open mind.  I accept and don’t judge how each one chooses to live their life.  After all it is our life to live!  We can all learn from one another.  What have you learned from Gay Pride Ladies?

jacquieJacquie’s 2 cents~

This is a bit more difficult for me to answer because I don’t have a lot of first hand experience dealing with prejudice of this sort.  I don’t remember my gay friends in high school being treated any differently from the rest of us and I certainly didn’t see anything hurtful going on.  Was I naive back then and just thought all was okay?  Probably.  It does make me sad to think of what some might have gone through and that they needed more support than was offered at the time.

To me the parade allows young people of every sexual orientations to  see that they aren’t alone and they do have a community that accepts them as they are.  To be honest, I sometimes think it goes a bit too far and becomes more of an exhibition than necessary, but that can happen at a typical Mardi Gras parade as well. Call me a prude, but I don’t think you need to bare your body in order to show your pride.  I think I learn more about the actual issues from watching American politics than I do from the parade,  but it is an excellent platform for many people who would otherwise feel they aren’t given the chance to be heard.  I totally support that.  If the parade can enlighten even a handful of people then it’s a success.  Cheers to everyone participating and attending this year!

Bonnie Johnson's Post

Bonnie weighs in~

I agree that those trail blazers have indeed moved mountains and should always be remembered for their dedication and perseverance.  I believe that is part of what the LGBT Pride Parades are all about as well as a time to celebrate diversity.  The parades send a message for change to those in our societies that still cannot accept all others.  Social acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender beings is slowly coming but there are still 80 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal and in 9 of those countries it is punishable by death!

During the holocaust  gay men were marked with a pink triangle and lesbian women were marked with a black triangle for “antisocial” behavior,  rounded up and sent to concentration camps.  In 1969 when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, the patrons fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and the ensuing riot  has become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

One of my hopes for the near future is that all communities will accept that all sexual orientation and gender identities have sacred worth and will one day be fully included, celebrated, and affirmed with their chosen faith traditions.  To me, this is what the Pride Parades all over the world hope to teach.