Today I...

listened to jazz
took my jeep to a carwash
finally threw away the birthday flowers I dried to preserve
checked my bank account
laid on my couch staring upward for an undetermined amount of time
dusted off the blades of my ceiling fan
listen to HRC's new book while washing dishes and cried
cleaned out my kitchen cupboards
returned all the dog stuff I'd hastily bought at Target last week
listened to HRC's new book while scrubbing my shower and cried
watered my barely-surviving plants
felt blue
realized, while showering at 4pm, that I hadn't spoken to another person all day
sent some emails
dusted off my mandolin, tried to remember any of the three chords I once knew, returned it to its case
felt inspired
wrote this blog entry


Feeling ALIVE

This video has 17,999,407 views, and I'm pretty sure at least a couple hundred are from me. It makes me want to travel and move and explore and LIVE. It also makes me want to buy a GoPro so I guess it's a pretty effective ad.. Dare you to watch and not be addicted to this song and prompted to contemplate quitting your day job.


Girlfriends > Boyfriends

I've been striking out hard on the boyfriend lottery, but with girlfriends I've hit the freakin' MOTHER LODE! I think that maybe I lucked out so much with the women in my life that the universe was like, "oh, we better stick her with some asshole dudes to even things out." And honestly, if that is the case I think I'll take it. Men can break me, as long as I have women to put me back together. These last few weeks my lady pit crew has been doing just that.

CH and TR brewed me heartbreak healing potion (essential oils) and LJK and CH sent me snail mail with pep talks and self-care recommendations. HR suggested books to read and music to listen to. LS checked in throughout the day and the week, letting me cry and analyze about the same 10 things over and over again. LJK suggested a trip, listing ideas of foreign cities and other future adventures. PD brought me pho and red wine and sat on my couch listening while I recanted every blissful then painful memory I could think of. MA and NS went on walks in parks with me because I couldn't sit still. SS and HR read email draft after email draft with thoughtful feedback and support.

When boyfriends leave you, girlfriends show up more than ever. They speak tenderly of your heartache and profanely about the idiot who caused it. They tell you they're so mad at that dickwad that they thought about messaging him themselves, asking "What the f*ck is wrong with you?!" Girlfriends tell you you can call them any time, and they really mean it. Sometimes you need to. They carefully navigate the oh-so-cathartic but kind of misogynistic ritual of shit-talking the other woman (you keep each other in check though--it's not all her fault). Girlfriends proofread emails and tell you if you should actually send them or "maybe wait a few days." They remind you of past heartbreak when you didn't think you'd survive, but then you did. They promise you will this time, too.


Stars, to me

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
   and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
   much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.


When Your Father Dies

Shifting the Sun
by Diana Der-Hovanessian
When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn't.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.
When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.


Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same

By: Robert Frost

He would declare and could himself believe
That the birds there in all the garden round
From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
Had added to their own an oversound,
Her tone of meaning but without the words.
Admittedly an eloquence so soft
Could only have had an influence on birds
When call or laughter carried it aloft.
Be that as may be, she was in their song.
Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
Had now persisted in the woods so long
That probably it never would be lost.
Never again would birds' song be the same.
And to do that to birds was why she came.


Is this thing still on?

I've been on quite a writing hiatus in the past year. There have been so many big and little things to write about that when I sit down to put fingers-to-keyboard, I usually just end up checking my bank account instead. I don't know why I do that; it is not fun.

Anyway, here's what's been happening lately: 

I've been getting into fender benders and ignoring my gym membership almost entirely. It's been 9 months since I've had a soda, 4 months since I started my job, and 1 week since I've seen snow. I watch way too much CNN and I don't read enough books. I feel really badly about that second thing. I have a new sheet set that is out of this world, I mean it. The A/C in my Jeep is out. I need a haircut. I've been eating a lot of animal crackers. I'm going to New York in a few weeks to visit some of my favorites. I'm excited to eat bagels and wear lipstick without worrying about breaking the "Colorado casual" dress code. I possibly have a seltzer addiction. I've been really happy lately, and I've been using the heart eyes emoji a lot. I'm feeling grateful for people who have come into my life, but also so sad when they have to move on. I've been binging on Tim Tams to deal with this. So that's where I'm at right now, on my couch eating Tim Tams.  

More on all of this later. 


OK Ladies Now Let's Get In Formation

A year ago I wouldn't have used words like "political," "activist," or "protester" to describe myself. A year ago I was an optimistic and complacent American citizen who thought that as long as I was kind to people, the rest would work itself out. I thought I'd let Washington deal with the big stuff, like laws and policies, and I'd focus on the small stuff, like donating to non-profits and holding the door open for people. But in the past 12 months I've realized that it's not enough to hold doors open for people, and it's not enough to be kind. The truth is, I wasn't really participating in democracy. I was avoiding uncomfortable conversations about conflicting candidate choices, and I was assuming that the election would reflect my values and the values of most of the people I know. But I wasn't doing anything.

But now all that has changed. If I have to think hard (really hard!) about one good thing to come from this election, I guess it would be this-- I'm awake now.

Now I see that if an issue is important to me (ie, immigration, climate change, healthcare, etc.), that I can talk about it, even if it makes for an uncomfortable situation.  It's okay to be uncomfortable. That's how growth happens.

I know now that I can't rely on support for causes I care about, but I need to voice that support every chance I get. Even better, I need to provide that support myself. Translation: I need to put in some work volunteering. I need to show up.

So today, the first full day of the Trump administration, I'm waking up at 6AM to buy donuts for a group of women (and 1 man!) who are meeting at my apartment before we march at the Capitol of Colorado. Today I'm participating in democracy. I'm likely making some people uncomfortable, even angry, I'm voicing support for the issues I care about, and for the first time, maybe ever, I'm not afraid to make a political stand.

Ok ladies, now let's get in formation.


On repeat for the next 1453 days...

Donald Trump & The Mean Reds (not a ska band, I wish)

It's been one week post-election, and man I'm still feeling so. blue. More than blue, I'm feeling what Holly Golighly in Breakfast at Tiffany's calls the "mean reds." She explains, "the blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" That's precisely how I've been feeling these past 7 days, with the only difference being that I know exactly what I'm afraid of. 
  • I'm afraid that the Marriage Equality Act is going to be repealed, taking away what I consider a basic human right for gay Americans and a lot of my closest friends. 
  • I'm afraid that Donald Trump is going to deport or incarcerate 3 million illegal immigrants, including children, (as he has promised) thus ripping apart families and ruining the lives of some of America's hardest workers and some of my best ESL students.
  • I'm afraid of the consequences of losing women's health programs such as Planned Parenthood (Did you know 97% of services are mammograms and preventative health??).
But most of all, I'm afraid to be living in a country so filled with fear and hate, racism and sexism, and with a leader who won because of that. I have friends and coworkers and family members who voted for Donald Trump (maybe you did too), and I don't think that they are all racist and sexist and full of hate, but I do think there is something seriously fucked up about the fact that they voted for someone who is. 

I am a heterosexual, educated, middle-class white woman, so the truth of the matter is, no matter how afraid I feel right now it pales in comparison to my brothers and sisters of different races, religions, and sexual orientations. And what's even more upsetting is that the fear I have felt for the past week isn't new to those who this administration is going to hurt the most. My fear just started but theirs just got worse. That is what it means to feel the "mean reds."

Even though it all went wrong/ I'll stand before the Lord of song


Why I'm Voting for Hillary Clinton

I've debated writing this post primarily because I don't consider myself a very political person. I watch the news and I proudly wear that little sticker when I vote, but when it comes to politics, I'll admit that I could use a refresher of my 11th grade government class. There is a lot that I don't know. But, there is also a lot that I do know. And that is this:

Immigration reform is important to me because immigrants are important to me. I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at a multicultural center in South Dakota where our mission was "Welcoming the Stranger," and I've tried to live my life that way because we have all been strangers at some point. I have worked as an ESL teacher in South Dakota and in NYC, and I want a world of bridges, not of walls. That's one reason I'm with her.

I earned my bachelors and my master's degree at a state school, and I had scholarships, and teaching assistantships, and part time jobs. I worked really hard to ease the burden of the cost of higher education, and yet, I have a lot of student loan debt. I want future generations to have less. And that's another reason I'm with her.

I love fishing on lakes in South Dakota, picnicking in parks in New York City, and hiking in mountains in Colorado. Protecting the environment and recognizing the real threat of global warming is important to me. That's another reason I'm with her.

On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, and I watched as America virtually erupted in love. Some of my closest friends were given a right that I think they should have had all along, and I want the LGBTQ community to continue to feel the support and celebration of that day. That's another reason why I'm with her.

I am an imperfect woman with an imperfect body, but it's my body and it shouldn't be belittled or exploited or grabbed without my consent. It's not ok when derogatory language is used by a stranger who walks past me on the street, and it's definitely not ok when that kind of language is used by a presidential candidate. That's another big reason I'm with her.

At the end of the day, it matters less to me how Hillary Clinton's personality translates on TV or what arbitrary level of "trustworthiness" I think she displays. I value what she values, and I really believe that what's in my heart is what's in hers. 

Last thing: it was important to me to write this without mentioning Donald Trump's name (well except for just now). I think his mention often turns positive messages into negative ones, and I want this to be free from fear and hate and negativity. I want that in our next President too. That's why I'm with her.