Tuesday, March 28, 2017

the darndest things

I found a small notebook and a pen and keep it handy. Whenever she starts to sing un-self-consciously while wrapped up in coloring or Lego blocks or dressing and rearranging her dolls and toys, I write down her lyrics. Where does she get this stuff? So adorable.

-- M's Songbook --

January 24, 2017
And you see the sky
And you know how to stay
And you see the fall
And wherever you go, finish and come here, Baby
And you see the light and the summer day
But it's cold, no fun this winter
Besides the winter song
and the sun ever misses us
If you ever say your whole life
When the stain is gone
So I say, the stain is gone away for a couple years
And the world of mistakes and the stains, just stay
 January 27, 2017
Feel the moonlight
More moonlight
Because we love the night
the moon and our earth
We lie down
A new direction
The Earth spins, Africa to America
We are all right here
Here we are in this city
This is our home
January 28, 2017
fun in the sun
fun in the sun
it's great to have fun in the sun

fun in the sun
fun in the sun
we're having a great time in the sun

i love to have great time and fun in the su-un
we love to have a great time in the sun 
fun in the sun
February 17, 2017
I only know what you know
Habit habit hahaha
Next time have something to say
I only know what you know and say
Stop it. Stop. Stop.
March 10, 2017
There's only one choice
There's only half a day
I don't care
I don't even have to stay
And one of the knives
It's the feel of the stare
I understand
I understand
There's no one else to see
March 17, 2017
Nothing to say
Nothing to say
At the center of it
OK to stay
Oh hey, is the day
And the final stay of that is tough
Of the end of feeling
Oh, hey
March 28, 2017
I love you
I love you forever
Until the sun goes rising
I love you
Oh, I love you, oh I do
And I don't have any clue what to say
Oh, oh
I love you
I have no fears
I'll let us say
We go by one, we go by other, another and another
Oh I have no fears
I'll let us say
What you say on all your fear
you gotta stand and stay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

pillowesque: 10 reasons why I got a boob job

i finally experienced life as a woman with a B cup when i was pregnant and nursing. previously i had come to a happy balance with my lean frame and perky As, but buying my first B bra at age 32  was so much fun! having them made me laugh and experiment and be a different version of me that finally felt right, so i could...
  1. have the experience of trying on a whole bunch of different clothes
  2. which made me look in a mirror more, marvel at my body and all of the beautiful ways it was changing
  3. which made me know myself a little bit better and be less critical because women's bodies are fierce
  4. which made me love myself a little bit more for my strength and capabilities
  5. which made me want to masturbate just a little bit more because i deserved joy and everything was on overdrive
  6. which made me very happy
  7. which made me want to have sex a lot more more
  8. which made my relationship stronger, more intimate (and more jiggly, despite this awkward belly in the way)
  9. which, from a strong foundation of emotional and physical intimacy, made me feel supported, safe, and capable of being unafraid in the world, accepting intimate friendships, embracing insecurities and finally having the confidence to trust - in myself and my strength, and in others 
  10. which allowed me to open my arms, wide, embracing my people and knowing we will all be ok because we have one another.
it's not that those lessons went away - the boobs, the pregnancy, the transformation, the motherhood - they just were part of the journey i took to become the person i am today.

i never thought about getting an augmentation as becoming more beautiful or attractive. i have been more focused on how it felt to physically change when I was pregnant. to have this real, full body that felt so natural and mine. 

after childbirth, i had so much more pride in what my body, and what all women's bodies, are capable of. 

but in my case, the jiggly part went away. And I missed it. It they were terrifically fun. so it was  time for me to make that big embrace just a little more pillowesque.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

required reading

There have been so many great articles and stories shared about the results of the election. My favorite, of course, is this video with my favorite guy and my favorite other guy (had Obama walked in....slide off the chair).

There is only one real issue that needs addressed after this election, and that is the question of whether we as a nation will find our moral center, embrace our strength through diversity, step outside of our echo chambers, and commit to democracy, truth, and the pursuit of the common good. I have been reading Breitbart.com every day since last Sunday, and it horrifies me. I think likely in the same way that Salon.com horrifies me (less so because it's an echo chamber, but as a journalism student, it's still quite horrific).

We need to stop spinning, sound biting, and drowning in punditry. It's yellow journalism gone dayglo. We need information, not spin. We need facts and science and social sciences and conversations. Here are the conversations, mostly blogs, that I've enjoyed the most. If you don't like them, take this quiz.

Voted for Trump? I have only one plea.
"Here’s what I am saying: You’ve said all along that you disagree with the ‘inelegant’ things Trump says about all kinds of groups of people. You’ve agreed that his statements about women are abhorrent. You say you like him because he gets stuff done, not because of the way he speaks. And I believe to my core that you agree that all people should be treated with decency. So, now you get to prove it. It’s actually so simple: Demand that it end. Demand that he finally, vociferously reject the KKK and other white supremacist groups. Every single time he or his surrogates says something over-generalized about any group of people — “all Black people live in inner cities and their lives are hell”; “all/most/many refugees/immigrants/Muslims/whatever are dangerous”; “that woman is only a 7” — hold him to the highest standard you have. Contact him and tell him, “I support you, I voted for you, and I demand that you stop saying these things.”
5 Ways to Disrupt Racism

"Intersectionality. The concept of Intersectionality recognizes that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not privileged in others. There are many different types of privilege, not just skin color privilege, that impact the way people can move through the world or are discriminated against. These are all things you are born into, not things you earned, that afford you opportunities others may not have. 
And listen, recognizing Privilege doesn't mean suffering guilt or shame for your lot in life. Nobody's saying that Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Males are all a bunch of assholes who don't work hard for what they have. Recognizing Privilege simply means being aware that some people have to work much harder just to experience the things you take for granted (if they ever can experience them at all.)"

When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression

I'm a Costal Elite from the Midwest: The Real Bubble is Rural America

How Half of America Lost Its F**king Mind

The Origins of "Privilege"
"But what I believe is that EVERYBODY has a combination of unearned advantage and unearned disadvantage in life. Whiteness is just one of the many variables that one can look at, starting with, for example, one’s place in the birth order, or your body type, or your athletic abilities, or your relationship to written and spoken words, or your parents’ places of origin, or your parents’ relationship to education and to English, or what is projected onto your religious or ethnic background. We’re all put ahead and behind by the circumstances of our birth. We all have a combination of both. And it changes minute by minute, depending on where we are, who we’re seeing, or what we’re required to do." [emphasis mine]
The Cinemax Theory of Racism

You voted for racism. Accept that fact, and then let's make steps together to eradicate it. You can't kill an enemy you can't see. We see it. Save the party of Lincoln.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

the strong protect the weak

Someone reposted my post about glue, and someone interpreted in a more literal vein than I intended.

Simply put, both extremes on both sides "can't go high" because they're blinded by the idea of what the "other side" is and wants.

The middle ground from both coalitions has a hard time understanding where the other side is coming from. Living in a liberal stronghold, I know that many people around me are dicks about rural America and truly what people are going through.

This article is by far the BEST article I read, it really resonates with me when I am home in rural Oregon, talking with my friends about the desperation and anger at the arrogance of the liberal elites. They are not fucking wrong about the arrogance and general asshole-ish behavior. And that article nails it - when people don't have a voice, they lash out. 

So, we hear you. But don't forget that many of us don't understand you back. Don't make the next four years as some sort of evening of the score type of new dawn. Don't be arrogant rural elites. Go high. Embrace the values of Jesus Christ, if he is your personal savior or not, because his teachings are fucking incredible.

For the past eight years, Obama and the Democrats have done everything in their power to do what they believe is right for all Americans. The GOP has fought hard to do what they believe is right for all Americans. But there is a bigger problem that, in general, most Americans don't understand or accept what politics is and how it works and how it has functioned as part of human history to keep a check on power. And when you simplify the rhetoric and sell it on the media in soundbites and make concepts that are complicated into hashtags, the anti-intellectualism grows and the train derails and the democracy gets sick.

Unfortunately, the particularly hate-filled rhetoric from the Trump campaign captured the headlines from the past year and continued to obscure from any meaningful policy discussions - but maybe lancing the wound and releasing the hate IS the message, as well. 

There is a significant faction within the GOP coalition that is racist and misogynistic (among other things), and I believe strongly that if you voted alongside them and turned a blind eye to those words and tweets and the "locker room talk" because of policy differences, then you did a great disservice to many Americans. 

The policy differences in a checks and balances system are, and will continue to be, negotiated ad nauseam. But, I believe that so many GOP voters allowed, by their silence on these issues and the unwillingness to say "That's RACIST" or "That is WRONG" or demand accountability or an actual sincere apology from the candidate, they allowed the worst among us to openly step forward, validated, in their limited perspectives on women and people of color and the LBGT community, among others, and now those people believe they have a mandate. 

And that is where we need to build bridges, be the glue, just know one another and share our common humanity. We need a purple movement, so we can become strong and push out the riotous tantrums from the left and the vitriol from the right. Set an example that neither extreme is welcome in our democracy. This leading Republican voice speaks to me. She is what I want in a GOP presidential candidate in 2020.  Or this man. 

Take back the GOP, friends. Take it back for what I remember it being when I was growing up in a ruby red stronghold, daughter of a card-holding union blue Democrat, and I was raised to respect and see both sides. 

In a way, it's good that this racism is out in the open. Now we can all be the glue - the blue and the red among us - and stand up and purge it from our nation. The GOP is where it lives right now, unfortunately, and there is no pressure from the outside that will correct that course. It must be driven out by the strong, compassionate conservatives that need to stand up and demand respect. 

What can we all do every day? 
I have a lovely friend, she's brilliant and she's 25 and she's "brown" and she has helped me learn about what it means to her to be a person of color and a woman in America. She said once that the most horrifying thing that happens on a day to day basis is that someone - anyone - will say something so obviously racist, in mixed company or in an all-white crowd, and no white person speaks out. It's like they feel that it's the minority person's obligation to do it (or no one if it's an all white group). That's bullshit. 

Defend those from bullies precisely because they are being victimized. If woman is being raped and a man walks by, he can't just do nothing because it's the "woman's responsibility to not be raped." Fuck that. People in positions of power and respect need to ALWAYS speak up on behalf of those who feel afraid to do so and because it's the right thing to do. You don't need to get into an hour-long argument about white privilege or even political correctness or a debate on whether a joke is a joke. If you know it's racist, just fucking say it. That's racist. That's sexist. That's hurtful. That's limited. That's unacceptable. That's not setting a good example for our children.

And that is all. Don't even say it with condescension. Literally, gently remind people that we can't accept racism and misogyny and hate speech, even if it's casually tossed about as a half joke. 

Privilege is real, but it doesn't have to be anything aside from acknowledged and used to help protect people who are marginalized and to stand up and help end hate. And that goes for "white trash." Fucking end that. It's rude and classist, if not racist, too. 

As for me, I am here in the most liberal place in the country, and people around me are afraid, truly afraid for their physical person. I am afraid for my daughter's African American classmates and their parents. I am afraid for my nanny and her husband, both from Mexico with gorgeous Mexican-American children. I am afraid for my neighbors who have adopted a beautiful baby boy and raising him in a loving, same-sex household. I am afraid for my daughter and her innocence and how her self confidence and physical being may be casually violated by another child who thinks "grabbing by the pussy" is just a thing we should try on the playground one day because the President of the United States said it on TV. 

There is NO ONE who can step up and protect women, people of color, LBGT families, children, persons with disabilities MORE than the people who step into the next four years with a mandate. 

I implore all of my conservative friends and family members, please, step up and show us that you are about love and hope and the glue, not about hate. 

Support your policy aims, and we will respectfully fight back when we disagree, but please protect me, my friends, my families, and the vulnerable and afraid. 

You have inherited a great responsibility with this victory. Let's make all of America great.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


When something breaks, there needs to be glue. Our hearts are broken, and America is broken in half, and our friends who voted for the other party may not even know that they're broken because they don't feel a part of our whole.

We are the glue that brings us back together.

As I walked my daughter and her best friend through the warm rain to preschool this morning, I thought: "Maybe this happened because the they simply can't be the glue. Right now, they literally can't go high."

They can't see beyond their own justified despair at what has happened in rural and suburban America. They are suffering and sick and underemployed and living in little ghost towns. They're scared. And they have been led down a path by profit-driven media that stokes the fires of hate and rage and fear. At this point, they only have one another, and don't have the rich, colorful fabric of communities like ours. And today they feel strong, standing tall on the broken foundations of our Democracy, only seeing what divides us, as the other half weeps.

Let them feel strong today, and let us take this day to heal our broken hearts with our glue, together, as we can.

And tomorrow, let us get up and be the glue that America needs. If we would have come out victorious, the rift would only grow and the intensity of hate would have scorched us all. It's the gift of our love that will both allow them to have their voices heard, and allow us to step in the role of glue, so we can all heal together.

I don't know what it means, but I know that I want to understand how we can heal as a nation. Maybe we need to become modern day Freedom Riders. Buses full of pantsuits and men and women of color and children from our cities and suburbs, and we go out to our neighbors in the ruby red strongholds and hug them. Pray with them. Play on the same playgrounds as their children. Share our food with them. Our languages. Show them that we are broken, too, and, yet, we hear them. And we want to heal together.

Love must trump hate. I don't think they are ready to be the glue, so we must. It's a much harder job than being the one with the hammer.

We must do something to tie us together with bonds so tight that a rupture of this size, in this, the land of dreams, never, ever happens again.