Weekend & Witchery

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Pals, I’m feeling a bit better. I had a decent week. I think I’m through brooding (for now). The weather is lightening up too. It’s been springlike the last few days and that always makes me feel better. Maybe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder; who knows.

On Friday night, we went to Allison’s to hang. We had Chinese food and did a spell at midnight with the rest of the internet’s witches to bind Tr*mp from doing any harm. It was pretty fun.

On Saturday, we lazed about all day and then took Shirley to the dog park in Lyndhurst. It was heaven to watch her run around with all the other doggies. It was so nice out too. When she started getting tired, we took her to the pet store to pick up some cat and dog food. We also bought her two Nylabones; one that is purple and shaped like an ice cream cone and the other one that looks like a pork chop. Then we went to the hardware store next door and bought a shovel and an overflow plate for the tub. Kristyn’s YouTubing her way to becoming a first rate plumber. THEN we did a weird thing. Because I wanted to stay out but in the car (because it was supposed to rain), I suggested that we go through the Burger King drive-thru so we could eat fries and feed the birdies that hang there. It started to pour while we were sitting there and it was so nice in the car that we laid back and took a nap. Did I mention that we were just around the corner from our own house? Haha. It was fun. When we got home, we drank blush champagne and watched a documentary about the Loving family. Then we started watching 4 Little Girls and I fell asleep against my own will.

Today, I was supposed to go to an open house for an MA program I’m interested in but I got the times mixed up and ended up staying home. It’s nice though because Kristyn’s parents stopped over and brought us rolls from Brother’s. I’ve been watching I Love Lucy all day which is fun. I think I’m going to draw or sew today and then watch the Oscars tonight.

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Impotent

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Image borrowed from here.

Pals. I feel stuck. Impotent. Frustrated. Let down. Deflated. Uninspired. Without a goal. I’ve had a setback and I honestly 100% do not know what to do. I am always looking at the future and trying to think of where I want to go but right now it’s in overdrive. Ugh, I’m so impotent right now that I don’t even know what I want to say about this. I’m writing this as catharsis and I feel like I can’t spit out what I want to say.

I have a sticker that says “Be the Leslie Knope of Whatever You Do” on my laptop. It’s a daily reminder to me to care, to do, to perfect, to systematize, to be a force of good. I’ve recently been re-watching Parks and Rec and have been really inspired by Leslie. That inspiration has been completely deflated and I don’t know what to do.

I’m sorry for posting such a bummer post but it is what it is.

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Image borrowed from here.

I think that my focus has been all wrong. I think that maybe I’ve forgotten that friends and waffles are what’s important in life and that “work has to come third”.

That Man fires Acting Attorney General over Muslim Ban

That Man fired US Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates today because she made a public statement about the “travel ban” aka Muslim ban:

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” Yates wrote. She wrote that “for as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

For posterity (because I know I’ll forget), this past Friday, he wrote an executive order banning people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the country (even if they have green cards or are dual citizens). The Acting Attorney General wrote the above statement to the Justice Department in order to tell them that they didn’t have to defend the order.

Sources:

NY Times

The Washington Post

Fox News

CNN

MSNBC

 

What are we gonna do?

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“I’m terrific at estimating crowd size. It looks like a dozen, maybe two dozen women at most.” By Tom Toro in the New Yorker

Pals, I feel very frustrated. I think a lot of people do. Too many things are happening way too fast for anyone to keep track of. I have been thinking that I am going to start keeping track of what’s going on in the world. I’m going to start keeping track of what I’m doing to combat it and what I’m NOT doing. I’m going to start keeping track of ways that other people can help the world. I am learning that  I am a visual thinker and in order for me to keep track of things, I need to be able to see them. Although this has always been a personal blog, and will remain one, I think that doing this will make me feel a lot better. I always feel better with a plan; even if I stray from the plan.

Also, here are some pictures of us at the Women’s March in DC last weekend:

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Curvy Yoga and Some Fun Stuff

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We’ve been having a few good/weird weeks. The above picture is us on Thanksgiving before we were going to go home. On that particular day, someone in my town created a petition to change our town’s holiday tree lighting to the “Christmas Tree Lighting”. It was some petty “War on Christmas” crap and it irked me so I created a counter-petition  using their exact words. Holy crap that started a town wide FB fight that lasted two full weeks but a few good things came out of it:

1) We attended the tree lighting and it was beautiful! I’m so glad we went. They had kids from the schools singing, dancers, a talent contest, and then a little street fair. I’m going to go every year from now on! Meanwhile, the original petitioner or her cronies didn’t even go.

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2) We ended up going to the Town Hall Meeting after the event and addressing the Mayor and Town Council to ask whether or not a petition could change the tree lighting even to favor one religion over another. The answer is no. The reason it’s called a “Holiday Tree Lighting” or “Town Tree Lighting” is because the tree is considered a secular symbol, then there’s a manger, and a menorah. We’d been meaning to start attending Town Hall Meetings anyway so this whole thing actually is making me a better citizen!

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Also, we went to go see White Christmas in Montclair last weekend on the big screen. It was gorgeous. God, I love that movie. I think I might love Holiday Inn better (except that scene, you know which one).

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This weekend we kept a pretty low profile. We ran some errands and today Kristyn went over her brother’s house. I’m doing things around the house this weekend. I’m decorating, cleaning, and cooking. It snowed for the first legit time today. I also made weird pumpkin, peanut butter, dark chocolate cookies. They’re good in a really weird way. I also finally did Curvy Yoga! It felt so good. I had better GTFO. There’s a lot to do before this day is out.

Also, I’m going to start updating more here. I have just been very very sidelined. As per usual, I’m giving myself too many projects. I wrote them all out and I’m flabbergasted with my own optimism.

A Great Weekend

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This movie was awesome.

I think we’ve been being way too precious about our time. Because we’re busy, we tend to feel like we need a lot of time at home to “rest” or that our only way to be “productive” is to be at home. This leaves us feeling frustrated and stagnant a lot of the time. This weekend, we were pretty busy and it felt good. On Saturday, Kristyn did an interview, stopped by a party, and picked me up so we could go out. We went to dinner at The Stack, then to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, bought some champagne, and then watched the fourth Harry Potter movie. Busy day!

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I forced Kristyn to take this picture. You can see the excitement in her eyes.

 

It felt really great to get out of the house and do stuff. If we’d made a big deal out of going to the movies or like “planned” to go to the movies, we would have dragged our feet all day long and wouldn’t have gone. Instead, we just said, “Do you wanna go?” and went. We have problems. Life should be simpler for two adults with no kids haha.

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Powered by The New School and Sunday morning delirium.

This morning, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to the New School’s Grad Expo or not. Both Kristyn and I happened to fully wake up at like 6am though so we figured that we might as well just do it. We got ready, went to Bagel Bistro to have onion bagels with scallion cream cheese, and then drove into the city. We got street parking which was nice. It was absolutely frigid outside; so windy and downright cold. It was surprising.

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Here we are in the auditorium.

I’m glad we went. The day was inspiring and showed me that it’s the kind of place that would be in line with what I’m looking for. I’m stunned by how beautiful the school is. I have a lot of thinking to do about it. While I was paying attention in this seminar, Kristyn wrote a proposal for Queer Newark. Win win.

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This intro seminar was particularly interesting to me.

After that, we went to eat at Umami Burger and had portobello mushroom sandwiches and truffle fries. We came home and I intended to go right back out again but instead I fell asleep for three hours. While I was napping, Kristyn wrote a personal statement for a college application. Win win.

After we got up, we ate dinner and then drove to Whole Foods in West Orange. We make an annual pilgrimage to that Whole Foods because we need to pick up a Tofurkey and mushroom gravy. We always end up buying a ton of weird stuff we don’t need but seems entirely relevant at the time when we’re there. For example: I bought three bars of organic, vegan soap (two almond and one eucalyptus), a bottle of essential oils (Himalayan musk), organic shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion (Meyer Lemon scented), gluten-free cookies (peanut butter ones and ginger ones), two cases of La Croix (coconut and lemon), and a bunch of other decadent things we did not need but hurt so good when it came time to pay. Oh also, Kristyn bought a llama stuffed animal that she is naming “Meemaw”. We do have our fun.

 

It’s Too Much

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Us at the Jacob Javits Center on the night of what was supposed to be Hillary Clinton’s election.

Pals, Kristyn and I have a pretty great life. We both do work that stimulates us, we are able to go participate in things that interest and excite us, we have interests, our curiosity, our health, some friends, our pets, and tons of books. HOWEVER, my brain is in a constant cyclone of confusion, anxiety, worry, and hope.

I’m confused by this election. I’ve been trying to keep away from the media too much because I absolutely drowned myself in it prior to the election and it really burned us all. I am also finding it disheartening to find all the horrible things that our President-Elect “That Man” is already doing; hiring white supremacists, misogynists, homophobes, anarchists, HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, and rabble rousers to be in his transitional committee. Okay so I have been paying attention because I’m really mad and scared but I won’t turn on MSNBC or CNN right now because I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear them on an endless cycle babbling about how every little thing is BREAKING NEWS and farting into my earholes about That Man. If the rest of the country can be ignorant, I too, can take a couple of weeks off to live my life. Ignorance is bliss they say? Let me try it out.

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Us at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts; standing in front of his studio for our three  year wedding anniversary.

I’m anxious about our future. Partially because of the election. Largely because I’m always anxious about mine and our future. An interesting thing that I’ve learned in the last two weeks is that I’m surprised to find how comfortable and hopeful I was before. What a startling realization to understand that we were living in a cocoon and we legitimately thought that cocoon was going to go on forever. It’s weird to feel this seismic shift underneath me that we might not  be alright after this. I’m, as always, thinking about grad school and if I want to do it and what I might do if I did and where would I go and what would it cost and how would it benefit me, etc. I keep going in different directions with it and I’m not sure what is the most “me” direction to go in so I buy classes to take online but then I forget about them and don’t do them. See above: confusion.

I am worried that people are going to stop caring soon. I think that the “can’t everyone just stop with all the negativity” Facebook people have finally quieted down after hearing a resounding “NO” from all of us. They’ve probably just hidden us but whatever. If they’ve done that though, they don’t care to learn and THAT is scary. I think we’re ALL just stressed out over this election and have all been in that state of high stress for 16 months. It’s been a LONG slog.

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Us Upstate with Swirlie recently to close up the trailer. That was one month ago and it feels like an entire lifetime has gone by.

I am hopeful that this long national conversation we’re having will lead to change. Maybe if Hillary had been elected, THEY would be the ones organizing and instead we are. Maybe this constant conversation about civil rights that we’re having will open people’s minds. (I’m aware of my naïveté right now but I NEEDS IT RIGHT NOW.) When That Man was elected, I wanted to lay down and die. Now I don’t feel like that. I feel more connected to people than I did before the election. I know that I can’t just hide out in a bubble by myself and figure it all out on my own. I need to go out and connect with humanity. In fact, I helped to organize an LGBT party in NY this week. It was a gathering of the LGBTQ pride organizations in a few of the big tech companies and 85 people showed up which is unprecedented. Everyone had fun and I’m so glad that we did it. Here is a picture of me and Kristyn at the event:

img_3249The rest of the pictures that I took are pretty low quality and dark so I won’t torture you with them here but rest assured that That Man’s constituents would be apoplectic to see so many “East Coast Liberal Elites” in one room together. Kristyn will punch me in the face for saying “East Cost Liberal Elites” in this paragraph because she loathes that phrase. I keep using it because it makes me chortle that even Bernie Sanders would say that we are “East Coast Liberal Elites” and not working class. Ugh. Anyway, that was a thrill in a two week solid block of fuckery.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with my weekend and it’s 10:30 am on Saturday. The things I’d love to accomplish this weekend are: going to the Montclair Museum, going grocery shopping, cleaning up this dump, and attending the New School’s MA Open House. Will she do any of them? Likely yes but not likely all of them. She’s hoping that she can surprise herself. Yes, she has slipped into the third person. She’s slowly going mad so it’s to be expected.

Okay, have a great day, pals!

 

Treading Water with Snooki and JWoww

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Image from here.

In the past week, I have watched four seasons of Snooki & JWoww. It’s been the only thing keeping me sane.

In October, the internet burped up a video of Snooki (Nicole) surprising JWoww (Jenni) with the fact that she got a boob job. I almost didn’t click on the video but curiosity and an old fondness made me do it.

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Image from here.

Unlike a lot of other people from New Jersey, I unabashedly loved watching the Jersey Shore. We were in California when the show began to air so it was nice to home from across the country. I grew up going to Seaside every summer and it was the highlight of my year. I have always loved people watching down there, too, so watching this show was just another version of that.

Anyway, when I watched the clip, I was struck by a few things: the hypnotic, calming quality of watching them interact, and their comfortable friendship. The weekend before the election, I was a nervous wreck and needed something to distract me from the constant political commentary that I was subjecting myself to via the internet, MSNBC, and CNN. I remembered Snooki and JWoww and noticed that they had a show on Hulu. I put it on.

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Image from here.

Pals, I got sucked in immediately. They just love each other so much. The show is clearly manufactured non-drama but it’s not common for TV to show such strong, genuine, supportive, non-competitive female friendships.

On the Wednesday after the election, I worked from home. I worked from 8:30am to 10pm and I watched it the entire time to self-soothe. Since then, I come home from work, read horrifying things on the internet and put it on to avoid reality.

I’ve seen things in this last week that are unforgivable posted by people I thought were my friends and allies. People telling us to be quiet in our fear. People being blatantly dismissive of our concerns and ridiculing our grief. People engaging in respectability politics and calling us disrespectful for not immediately falling in line with their vision of America. I’m embarrassed for these people. If they could see themselves through my eyes, they’d be horrified.

I’m watching it now so that I don’t tell someone in particular off. It’s the internet version of sitting on my hands and zipping my lips. I also wanted to pay homage to Nicole and Jenni for getting me through this difficult time. They are an important part of my story (LOLercopter). Thanks pals!

Nicole Polizzi Hosts A Joint Birthday Party For Her Children Lorenzo And Giovanna

Image from here.

Brain Drain

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Image from here.

I don’t know how this country failed Hillary Clinton so badly. I mean, I do; racism, homophobia, transphobia, ablism, ageism, anger, and fear. The majority of Americans voted for this dedicated public servant who would have been the most qualified person to ever be elected to this office. Instead, because of the Electoral College, and the aforementioned darkness, we now have the most virulently cruel President-Elect in our nation’s history.

I’ve been all shades of defeated, depressed, apoplectic, and hopeful over the past few days. I’ve been (like so many others) in total fuck it mode, just arguing with people online outraged that people could be so uncaring and/or apathetic. It honestly  made me feel a lot better because I’ve been veritably meek for the entire year + of this election; not wanting to get into fights or be a poor winner. Boy were we mistaken. That was the absolute wrong way to go. We should have been this vocal and angry all along; but honestly, I don’t think my heart could have taken that. As it is, I’ve been stressed out over this election for over a year and I barely got into one fight over it. Although, had I, maybe I would have gotten some of that aggression out that made me feel so good this week.

I’ll calm down eventually; I already am beginning to. I have been researching and taking action on ways to engage with my community. I don’t want to talk about the things that I’m doing just yet because I have a tendency to stop working on things the second I mention them. I’ll just say that the things that I’m working towards are incredibly positive and inter-connected. I have a good feeling and am feeling inspired.

Before I go skipping off into positivity-land though, I want to say that the third party voters or liberals who skipped voting are the people who are pissing me off the most. Someone told me that I’m “just like those on the far right” and I agreed with her in that we both have something we believe in. That’s why I’m not as mad at the people on the far right. They legitimately BELIEVE that they did the right thing. Although I find it absolutely abhorrent, I can’t argue with that logic because I, too, believe that I’m on the side of right. What I have seen in this election is misogyny in action both from the right and the left. Oh the horrors that a woman might out-qualify every male candidate in the race. Lots of gaslighting in this race from the Bernie bros. They convinced a generation of liberals that Hillary Clinton was basically a far right republican. I’m horrified.

The other thing that is unsettling to me is how little I have to say to get a huge reaction out of people. They aren’t used to us speaking up at all so every tiny pushback is like I burned their house to the ground. They literally cannot hear how abusive they have been all this time and aren’t used to being challenged so when I treat them exactly how they’ve treated me, I’m “rude”. I’ve been called worse, too. I don’t care though. None of that matters right now.

The beautiful thing that’s come of this is that I’ve seen people making connections, too. Kristyn and I have heard from people that we normally do not. Connections have been forged where there didn’t used to be. We are uniting around a cause and maybe if we’d done it a little sooner, Hillary would be our President. It’s too late to wonder about that now; we just have to look forward and not get so complacent again. It’s just the first time we’ve lived without fear in our lives and it felt GOOD. Now we’re back to the drawing board and I am hoping that we can connect and move forward together.

What do I want for my Birthday?

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Us in front of the foggy river. I’m intentionally making my head the smaller one which could not be farther from the truth. It’s why we’re LOL-ing in the picture.

This year, I turned 37. It was kind of a weird transition for me. I’m not bothered by age but for some reason, this one sort of did. I guess it felt very, definitely, adult. I don’t often feel “very, definitely adult” so that was odd. Normally, Kristyn and I go on a road trip for either of our birthdays. This year, all I wanted to do was go Upstate and relax so that’s what we did. It was perfect. It rained all weekend and all we did was lounge around and read. I finished two books and read two others. I painted and crocheted. We watched Maude and drank tea. We napped while the rain tapped on the roof of the trailer. Oh! We went to the drive-in movie theater and saw a double feature (something about a pet dragon and Life of Pets). We also took an extra day off of work to make it a long weekend. It was everything I wanted. Also, Kristyn gave me great gifts: Clue on DVD (which we watched), a little Holtzman doll from Ghostbusters, the first Babysitter’s Club graphic novel (which I read), and a Fitbit Blaze (which I’m currently wearing). It was awesome. She also gave me an ice cream cake and balloons which was really sweet.

I have had sort of a difficult year. I say “sort of” not to downplay it but to give it it’s proper due. Objectively, it’s been a good year with some bumpy patches. I’m having difficulty with some relationships with people who are close to me. Something about the way they left things with me made me see them in a very different light. I’ve realized that I’ve been entirely too accommodating to these two people; to my own detriment. I am suddenly feeling very clear-headed about the situation and that makes me feel better but it also makes me sad. I feel better because I have realized that theirs isn’t a burden that I need to carry. I think now that I’ve realized that, I ought to be able to make better decisions for what I need. It makes me sad because it’s going to take a lot of work to defend my boundaries in a calm way. I think it’ll be worth it though. I definitely can’t keep going the way that we were.

In my 36th year, I allowed myself a lot of self-reflection. I am still working on that too. Mostly, I freaked out a lot because I finally finished school and didn’t have a clue what to fill that time up with. I let myself enjoy reading again. I (sort of) got back into being creative. I started exercising for the pleasure of it. I started treating my body a lot better (though there’s work to do there yet). We got a doggy. We spent a lot of time Upstate relaxing. I put a lot of energy into my job. We started socializing more. I think it was a productive year.

In my 37th year, I want to take action on my interests; no more time for reflection, just action. Amanda Palmer said that some years are “inhale years” and other years are “exhale years”. My 36th year was an “inhale year” after several “exhale years”. I owed myself at least one. I suspect that part of 37 will also be “inhale” but that when I’m ready to exhale, I’ll know it and the winds will blow everyone’s hats off.

I guess that “what I wanted for my birthday” was peace. I want to clear my mind, body, and soul of negativity and toxicity. This year, I had a lot of space for thinking. It’s the first time that I’ve had that in a long time. It was maddening sometimes. Life is a lot easier with multiple distractions so you never have to think, feel, or make decisions. I’m grateful for it though. I hope that 37 is an exciting year.