Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pomp and Greed

This morning, I'm thinking about humans and how they need the definition of circumstance. Humans love to build a ritual, a standard, a set of rules or actions, that define how things are handled in the world. We see it everywhere and when it's not followed, people notice.

Like taking a knee during the anthem.

Or, say, not placing your assets into a blind trust when you get elected.

If only one of these inflames you, and it's not the second one, why are you here? What is it about America you want to protect and admire?

Think about it... when you have access to all the keys and you have a business empire, there will be conflicts of interest. The people who are on the other side of the issue WORK FOR YOU. There is no way, if you are in a dispute with the GSA over the rent on a building you rented and your are the GSA boss's boss, that there won't be pressure and you don't stand to gain.

Who loses? Taxpayers. We get to pay and pay and pay.

There are a myriad of ways to loot the Treasury and none involve a Fast and Furious dream team.

Tax troubles? Hire the right guy and they're gone. Stupid environmentalists messing up your bottom line? You're fired! You're hired! Done. All of these entities are there, in some form or another, to preserve the nation's wealth and keep it for the people. This is about to change.

We're racing towards a fuck-you to the good old days and ways to a level never ever seen. Literally, everything that is our ritual and circumstance for how we conduct our government is about to get tossed because some of us picked a President who never cared about any of it... unless there was an angle he could play. We are leaving the land of measured response and jumping blindly into tit-for-tat, outright stealing, graft, and corruption. It breaks my heart that our venerable super power government was so easy to break.

We need rituals to check greed.

Everything I believed we were, solemn, intelligent, patient, capable and strong, is breaking apart. I thought Trump was a buffoon but I thought he was an American. Turns out, he is quite willing to take down a superpower in a single election. The world is right to be appalled.

I understand people were feeling unheard. I do. There aren't going to be any take backs here, though. The depth of your anger is now matched by the world's despair, and neither will see respite. You'll stay angry that the America dream is dead, and our interconnected global economies will free-fall taking all of us along, angry and lashing. WWIII just opened a sleepy eye and smiled.

America has no ritual to stop this march. Pomp and circumstance, meet chaos and greed. They're here to stay.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Today I read that our President-Elect added an Ant-Semite to the Nazi and the Former RNC Chair who make up his cabinet. World policy is not my long suit, but I'm not unread, and for the life of me, I don't see the end game with this guy.

Piss off Israel? Make Europe irate? What is the purpose? Cause rifts with our Allies, pony up to Russia?

This is not our usual rodeo.

Usually, my gut reaction is to question who benefits from the action. I know none of this would be happening if Trump didn't see a benefit to himself and his enterprises. I wish I knew the connection.

Comments are on for this one. I'm willing to listen to any theory.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I crossposted yesterday's post to Facebook. After all, that's the platform that was under siege, so it seemed appropriate to push it out in that arena. Expectations were low... I was writing about angry people. I highly doubted that the response was going to be positive, and I wasn't entirely sure I wouldn't get my ass handed to me by a mob.

Each of us is a pebble, though, and it's easy, in the turbulence, to forget your power to ripple.

I did. And, I'm ashamed that I didn't think the people in my life were thoughtful enough to hear me and to say, support, self-reflect, and choose loving responses. This is what swirling in negativity does... it changes how and what you see, and mutes who and how you love. It changes you in a million little angry ways; it crowds the air right out of your chest and darkens your view of humanity.

My friends and acquaintances are generous with their respect and acceptance. I'm blessed to have them and am glad I threw my pebble out there so this lesson could be re-learned.

Mostly, it's amazing how much nicer my feed is today. I think a lot of pebbles are sailing, and that feels pretty great. Sometimes, we just need to reset one another after we get angry. Calm in a storm, or right after, when ire is high and stamina is low, is difficult; reminding each other that we care for one another is the burst of glory, shining across the ripples, in the morning.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Social Obit

I like facebook. It keeps me connected with music and bands that I support, let's me promote and plug local venues that support live music, helps to make plans with friends on where to go and who to see, and talk about current events, dog videos, and my kids.


During this election, it got pretty politicky, and I'm ok with that... because I walk those paths with some insider knowledge. Bernie Sanders appealed to me and my core values and I supported that campaign. When he didn't win, I knew, because I have kids, I would vote for HRC. I had zero interest in discussing that so I posted that I was not going to discuss politics on facebook. For the most part, I didn't. For me, other than the down ticket races, the election was over.

Doing this kept it social.

As I wrote before, my plate is full, and I need to stay aligned with a peaceful, grace-filled path. Yammering over ugly political positions will spill over onto my mother and my kids, and that's not fair. Now that this election is over, the sheer amount of vitriol on facebook is killing the site for me. I have unfollowed many, in the interest of limiting how many nasty screeds and gotcha comments I read, trying to avoid the foot on the head of my enemy mindset that leaves the conversation dead and the feelings red hot.

Today I read how to take my account down. If this is the new definition of social, this joyless shit-pile of hate, I may just fade away for awhile.

You see, I equate social with interaction that edifies, lets your endorphins rock, and your laugh bubble up. Social is sharing, and connecting and helping and emoting. Social is finding something wonderful and telling others about it. It's celebrating all the cool groovy things that rock your world, and giving that information, that beauty, that hilarity away. It is, at its core, a giving medium.

It's why there's a share button. So you can push more beauty, laughter, and your joy out to your ever growing circle. If we get back there, we'll be better for it.

I may tough it out, I may close up my shop, and if nobody notices, then that's probably for the best. In the long run, living gently and with positive optimism is best, and I can do that anywhere in the real world.

In the social realm, not so much.

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Weather and Feathers

A couple of maxims are taking up space in my head. Fair weather friends, and birds of a feather.. and it's fairly obvious, in these days of division, that both are pertinent.

I'm single, and currently dabbling in dating, but not really. My marriage was one of unlike minds and during the debut and meteoric rise of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, and the hating Rush wannabees, we left the arena of support and traveled a path of mockery for my ideals. This is not a good recipe for marriage. Mine did not survive it.

I grew up in a home where unlike minds (politically), got along well, enjoyed the debate and exchange of ideas, and supported differing ideals. It was, perhaps, a bit unusual for husbands and wives to be like that in the 50s and 60s... I have no other marriage of that era to compare it to, but it worked, for a long time, in my family.

Personal norms and in-the-world norms are different birds.

In this heyday of America polarity, dating is sketchy. Especially if your background includes a bomb crater like mine. I don't have it in me to step around ideals that appall just to make it work, and I resent the inference that I'm the one that has to step. In this newly charged atmosphere, it'll be a time of long deserts and short oasis.

Which, frankly, cheats everyone.

The avoidance of strife means there is no seeking of the middle. Without that movement, the new and bitter stereotypes of what one's politics equates to in terms of their belief system is never tempered with gentle discussion and listening. Stereotypes are built off behavior extremes and easy labels; they do a colossal disservice to being a better human.

Beyond dating, I sense a drawback from friends and acquaintances that I suspect is wholly politically driven, and this sucks. These are the spaces where the best conversations, ones that promote thinking and contemplation, middle ground and growth, happen. It's sad that they're leaving, but they can if they need to. Friendship is valuing another's essence.  It doesn't require one of the parties to chase and change in order to stay friends. Love, friendship, and simple human interaction are not political acts; you can pollute them with that... but their true form is based on love and appreciation of the individual.

I'm choosing to remain thoughtful, fully liberal, and loving. I don't know how to be anything else. But I will not tamp myself into someone else's mold, nor will I embrace fear over love, or practice mockery and derision. I know the pain of that path, first hand.

WYSIWYG, in all things, including weather and feathers.

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Kitchen Fodder

So, today I am cooking. When the kids were smaller (and money tighter) I could get a pretty awesome groove on in the kitchen. Masses got fed with good healthy food, and there was dancing, bad puns, and worse song parodies to keep it interesting.

Feeding young adults is different. Their schedules are insane, they like all the crap I never dreamed of feeding them when they were small, and they cook until my kitchen looks well bombed.

Eventually, they'll be out in the world, the dishes will be theirs to deal with, and efficiency and economy will reign. Until then, why not chocolate chip pancakes at 10 pm and everything brownies for breakfast? (Well, not everything, I suppose. We're a long road from the 70s, in more ways than one.)

I'm a bit more organized when it comes to the sustenance plan. Yesterday I made a ham, and today I've got split pea soup and a pot of lentils with tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onion simmering down that will go into the freezer, and there will scalloped potatoes for supper. I need to feed my family, but I also need to feed me, and the simple pleasure of cooking does that.

Sometimes, all you can do is strip down to the simple. There's a point where nothing is better than something. Declutter the house, declutter your mind, feed the body, tune the soul.

The path to well begins in the kitchen. Let's dance, and taste, and laugh, and heal. Hallelujah.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016


Balance is important. Where I walk currently, I carry three kids, a parent, a job, a house and myself. My mother has been in my care full time for five years, and another three were me propping up her independent existence by driving 25 minutes to her home and doing everything, at least three times a week, For the past two years, she's been bed bound. This is much harder on her than on me, and I am grateful that she is home and we are making it work.

But, this plate of mine is pretty full.

One of my coping mechanisms is swimming and another is dancing. I rarely care if I'm the first person on the dance floor if the band is good. When I dance, the music changes and charges me. The beat drops into my hips and a joy permeates throughout my body. I never dance for anyone but myself. Checking in with myself on this intimate level resets me. When I dance, I joy.

So last night, I went to my usual haunt and their reliable house band, ready to, needing to joy. Emotionally, I was whipped, This has been a hard week for idealism. I suppose I should take a little segue here to mention that places have vibes and I sense and value them. My favorite hole in the wall had joy de rigueur... its vibe grabs you and lifts you to a wonderful, comfortable, beloved place. But, last night, it was different. There was a film of something not quite sad, not quite like regret, that covered the place.

The band played.
People danced.
Beer flowed, dinner consumed, chatting occurred...

and it felt surreal as hell.

It wasn't just me who noticed it. Several friends shared they felt it too. A few people I am fond of came up to me and talked around politics without saying anything about politics. I wondered if seeing it in the micro, via the kinds of conversations happening in social media, was driving their desire to reconnect, but with disconnect.

So fucking weird.

So muted.

But the casualty of the night was joy. I never reached my Nirvana place, where I'm reset, sweaty and beaming. It felt like puppet dancing. No Pinocchios, hard strings. I woke up this morning and thought, I did not joy last night.

I don't think anyone did. This is not a pain of losing an election, but of sensing, in real time, what the true cost of embracing our divide will take from us. While we process this, and perhaps decide the cost is too high and some middle ground must happen, we are not tuned, not playing with passion, and not connected. We're letting situations drive us, steal our celebration of one another, shape our view, and tamp down our humanity; all to feed an anger that is insatiable and like most anger, unkind.

We are joy, on mute.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Forestry 101

Bear poking is not advised.

Poking a bear, especially a grumpy one, will not bring you the outcome you desired.

Persisting in poking a pissy bear lets the bear know you think you are better than the bear. Bears, as a rule, are quite good at being bears, while bear poking, at best, is a low skill pastime.

Woke bears can be scary. Telling a woke bear to settle down is akin to poking.

Telling off a woke bear in the middle of the bear's habitat is not a playing field tilted to your advantage.

In summary, you need the economics of large American cities in order to survive, and they are PISSED. Let them be, and stop showing your ass every five minutes. And, for God's sake, stop poking, pontificating, and acting like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. We've all seen the videos, heard the tapes and see the graffiti. There are no angels in the forest.

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Hard Truths, Bitches

I remember taking a stupid little poll, on Move-On, probably, asking who you wanted to run for the Democratic nomination... and I picked Biden, Sanders, and Warren. This was long before the actual hats hit the ring and the subsequent shenanigans, and I made those picks based off a list of about 15 names.

Not choosing HRC was deliberate. I'd actually seen her in Chicago in 2007, and I heard a lot of her policy and approach positions. While I admired her a great deal, I didn't catch fire. 

Fire matters.

You can't create passion from policy papers, it's a heart thing. And this brings me to the rant. From the very beginning, there was a cadre of older women voters who WOULD NOT LISTEN. This was their time, the culmination of all the misogynistic bullshit they endured their whole lives, and this was non-negotiable. Getting a woman in was the goal. Not the best person, or the most nuanced choice given the times and tides, but a woman. Period. Fuck you, don't talk to me, this is our shining moment in the sun, the anti-penis... well, you get my drift.

And now, our gender is going to pay, see the set-back of years of effort, and frankly, it wasn't necessary.

The coronation of HRC so early on rankled a lot a people, female people, like me, who actually believe in the process of weighing, debating and choosing. Bypassing that process because it's your turn felt like we were running Bob Dole, a horrible candidate whose platform consisted of "it's my time". Um, nope.

The world never stops changing, and yeah, it sucks that your candidate missed that crucial bus and the electorate needed a different message and skill set to inspire it. It's like training for the Olympics your whole life and peaking one year too soon. It slams you in the gut.

That said,  you militant ladies who were unwilling to even think of what the rest of us in the party wanted, needed, and how the tone of the country had changed, thanks for grabbing us by the pussy. We didn't get to say no, either.

This party whose values and ideals I love is due for a major shake-up. You want to win, look around. Look at the people who despise the DNC, the tits for tat, the games, the money, the disassociation of from the grungy, struggling, un-moneyed base. HELLO. 

There are zero parties in this country that are actually interested in the people, and only one who can possibly get that back. The other one lies disingenuously, proficiently and astonishingly. If the Dems want to build this thing, they need to tack back to being scrappy and defiant. Kind of like Bernie, but perhaps 30 years younger. Where are those people? Put them in charge and let's raise some hell. 

But, for God's sake, never, EVER, tell us, process be damned, who you've decided is Queen.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Letter to my Daughter

The sun, on its second rising post election, has me thinking of women and our simple quest to be human in a world determines to keep us as other.

I have a lovely, accomplished, brilliant daughter. She's headed to college this fall, and her world is full of promise, college applications, and dreams of a freshly minted adult life where she makes her choices, determines what she does with her time to create her future. She wants, has the aptitude and grades, and the passion to be a research scientist. Her future, as Tom Petty sang, is wide open.

As a parent, I study campus rape statistics, eye the Brocks of the world, and talk to my daughter about living fully, yet safely. This should be her right, to move and be safe, to contribute to society and be safe, to add to the collective brain trust of our nation, and be safe.

Now we have President Pussy, and it's difficult to see that her four years are now moved into a culture where assault in green lit from the top.

Our beloved American daughters are as human and valuable as our beloved American sons. We are failing to hold, keep and promote that belief. As a population of parents, half the nation blew this sacred trust.

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