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State of Chaos

I realize that my Facebook feed is a bit of an echo chamber at the moment.  I haven’t deleted anyone, but I suspect I’ve been blocked by plenty who are tired of my posts and memes and anger.  So the majority of my posts, and by extension this blog, are seen by those that agree with me and are sick with what’s going on in our country.  But that doesn’t mean I should be quiet.  Because for the first time in my life, I can’t stand down because it might not align with someone.  I can’t stay quiet because some don’t agree with me.  I just can’t. 

Mitch McConnell unwittingly gave a great phrase to the “movement” the other day.  “She was warned, she was given an explanation, and  nevertheless, she persisted.”  That certainly wasn’t his intent.  But it’s a great catchphrase.  We can put it on shirts, and change our profile pictures, and it’s an amazing exclamation in the resistance against an administration that doesn’t stand for us, an administration we don’t believe in.  And here’s the thing. It’s an awesome rallying cry.    How many women, throughout history, didn’t want to rock the boat?   Didn’t want to put their beliefs out there for fear of being too much, too over the top, too feminist, too everything?  The fact that we are, even if its in a small way, mobilizing, is amazing.  This is how shit gets changed. It doesn’t happen when we say nothing.

But we don’t want to think.  We don’t want to think too hard about what’s actually happening.  That this adminisration is slowly and quietly dismantling society as we know it.  I know.  You think I’m being extremist.  That I’m exaggerating.  Give him a chance, is the rallying cry.  Let’s see what he does. You know  what?  He lost his chance.
He lost his chance with his whole, “Grab them by the pussy,” comment.  He lost his chance when he was tweeting about Nordstrom dropping his daughter’s clothing line in the aftermath of the raid in Yemen.  He lost his chance when he continously made it about him, and his hurt feelings, and not everyone else.  When he signed orders that put men, women, and children at risk – and regardless of your thoughts on immigration, when he threw the entire country into fucking chaos, he lost his chance.

Donald Trump has made a portion – a large portion – of America believe that media, actual, vetted media, which has been around for decades, isn’t real.  There is no underestimating how dangerous this is.  When we stop believing the media, the legit media, and start believing the words of a man on a power trip, we’ve lost.  This. Is. How. It. Starts.  Do not tell me I’m overreacting.    To me, this is the biggest loss we’ve faced.  His supporters no longer believe true media sources, because he has told them not to.  Our media has never been perfect, nor is it without fault.  But find me an example where CNN has falsely reported anything – aside from what this admistration has said – before this.  Have there been mistakes?  Yes.  Is the entire source – and I’m using CNN as an example here – therefore not credible?  Because by that logic Sean Spicer is literally the SNL joke that he’s become.

Here’s a quote regarding the inauguration.
“the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
People?  This just flat out isn’t true .  It’s not a question, it’s not a media thing, it’s not a joke.  It. Isn’t. True.  It is quite literally unfathomable to me that the White House, the United States government, felt the need to issue a (completely, utterly, false) statement regarding how many people witnessed the inauguration because the President of the United States of America got his panties in a bunch when the disparity of his inauguration crowd in comparison to the previous one.

This is not okay.

His statement that his reversal of the DAPL decision “wasn’t controversial,” and “he hadn’t received one phone call about it.”
There were literally thousands of protests.

His administration’s willingness to stand behind a woman who, A) invented a massacre that didn’t happen and B) provided a mini-infomercial for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from the White House.
That’s illegal.

His refusal to disclose his business interests and taxes after leading the charge for transparency against Obama in the completely unfounded demand for his birth certificate.
The President cannot benefit from business interests in other countries.  This is also illegal, if he has them.  If he does not, in the interest of that transparent government, there is no reason this isn’t public information.

His absolutely embarassing display at the time-honored prayer breakfast, during which he pimped out his television show.
Here’s a tip – saying “What the hell!” to a priest at a prayer breakfast anywhere is tacky.  At the White House, it’s downright shameful.

His appointment of an Education Secretary with literally zero experience, either publicly or as a civilian, with public schools, which, you know, should be a cornerstone of this country.
Betsy DeVos and her family donated money to literally every single person that voted her in.  Do not tell me she didn’t buy that job. This is not coincidence.  Also, and this may be personal opinion, but anyone who “can’t remember” if they donated 200 million fucking dollars to something probably doesn’t have a super solid grip on what parents in Chicago who are sending their kids to public schools deal with.

Speaking of Chicago, what exactly is he doing here?  Because I seem to remember this city being a big part of the whole “tough on crime” portion of his campaign.  He could fix Chicago in a week, he talked to “top people” in CPD, he would send in the Feds if the “carnage” isn’t stopped.
Spoiler alert: he hasn’t fixed Chicago, nor made any attempt to do so.  The “top people” he talked to don’t exist, according to CPD, and when our mayor responded, “Send them,” to the Feds statement, there was a deafening silence that I can still hear.  Also, side note?  Defunding our public schools and Planned Parenthood?  Probably isn’t going to help.  (But that’s another rant.)

His horribly disjointed Black History Month speech.
I can’t even.  I can’t.  Aside from the Frederick Douglass comment, which I know was the big takeaway, reading the entire transcript literally made my brain hurt.  This is the President.  If he’s unable to draft a coherent speech that properly addresses the weight of what he’s talking about, he needs to at least surround himself with people smart enough to do so.

THIS. IS. NOT. OKAY.  Say it with me.

And that isn’t to mention countless other instances – Sessions and Bannon with their blatant, obvious, and clear racist backgrounds, the national security questions he dealt with in front of his public at Mar-A-Lago, the civilians killed in his raid that was without proper intelligence, his complete dismissal of the 2 million people that marched against him the day after his inauguration, the complete and utter disregard for the terror, fear, and inconvenience the Muslims  – or anyone that happens to “look Muslim” – in this country now face.  The LGBTQ couples worried about their marriage status and the incoming legal discrimination against them. Oh, and Russia.  Everything about Russia, from the election to the dossier to Flynn – everything.  It literally could go on and on, and keep in mind that I am only touching on the most publicly known instances of discordance.

But my question (and point) is this.  I need to know why the Republican party is party over country right now.  I want an explanation as to why they’re willing to let these absolute insanities roll off.  I truly cannot fathom that this entire Senate is behind this; that there is no one that’s willing to go against the madness.  I believe it’s just going to take one.  Once one stands up and says, “Wait a second, this is a fucking crazy person,” others will follow.

Until then, we keep resisting in whatever way we can. Keep calling and keep emailing and keep showing up and most importanly – keep voting.  Pay attention to your local elections.  To your senators and your representatives.

Is it making a difference?  I certainly hope so.  It doesn’t always feel like it to me.  But staying quiet is not an option.  Not anymore.

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Imagine

At this time last week, I was standing in my living room, tears in my eyes, watching the Cubs win the World Series.
Five days ago, I was standing in the middle of Michigan Avenue, tears in my eyes, watching the five million fans celebrate a victory.
At this time about eighteen hours ago, I was sitting in my living room and burst into tears, watching the results of the 2016 Presidential election.
At this time three hours ago, I was standing in the middle of Dearborn St., outside Trump Tower, tears rolling down my face as I watched protestors storm by.

It’s been one hell of a week. 

I have seen things this week that America has never seen before.  I’ve cried more this week than I have than I can ever remember in my adult life.  For me, it’s been a series of highs and lows unprecedented in my life.  I have a really happy Cubs post that I was planning on writing this week, but that has to be put on hold right now.  Because Donald Trump is going to be my President.  And I can’t handle it yet.

It’s not that my candidate lost.  My candidate lost back in the primaries, when Bernie Sanders lost to a political machine.  A machine, I must add, that I wasn’t a fan of.  As a woman, it hurts to say that.  These past few months should have been a celebration of the possibility of the first female president.  I will not lie; love, hate, or indifference, we had a chance to make history yesterday, and part of me really wanted it solely for that reason.  Watching the debates, and seeing little girls watch this woman, this strong woman, this politician, make history in so many ways – it made me want it for her, and for me, and for those girls.  But my optimism, my idealism which I will not apologize for, wanted Mr. Sanders to be up there.  Call it what you want, but I believed in him and his ability to beat this Republican monstrosity we found ourselves with.  That being said, that Republican monstrosity, in my opinion, needed to be defeated no matter what. And if Secretary Clinton was the other option, to me, she was the only option.

I’m hearing a lot today that we’re being overdramatic.  This isn’t the end of the world.  Get over it.  He won, you lost, it happens every election.  But I don’t think we’re being overdramatic.  This is unprecedented.  Never, in the history of the process that we are bound to uphold, has there been a candidate this divisive.  I don’t need to go through it again.   His racism.  His mocking of the disabled.  His misogyny.  His careless talk of sexual assault.  His platform based on division, and hate, and fear.  Do not tell me that these things aren’t true.  Don’t. If you think that this man has not made his platform based on fear and hate, you’re kidding yourself.  It surely worked for him, don’t misunderstand.  But he has found our weakness, America, and it is fear, plain and simple.  He just exploited it, and did it spectacularly.

Fear of the unknown.  Fear of the different.  Fear of the loss of the fragile security we are desperately trying to hold onto.  Fear that our piece of the pie, which wasn’t big enough to begin with, is going to be snatched away by that political machine.  So no, I don’t need to go through it again, but to lend it no credence is doing a disservice to everyone.  The fact that there are children asking their teachers if they’re going to lose their families; the fact that gay couples wonder if the progress they’ve made is gone; the fact that Muslim families that have lived here their whole lives are now terrified and being taunted at schools. The fact that an acquaintance of mine, who is deaf, was accosted by someone today that came up to them and actually said, “Get out of here, retard, Trump’s President now.”  The fact that this is the rhetoric that’s acceptable right now.

So no, this isn’t because we lost the battle, America.  It’s because right now, we’re losing the war.

So we need to take it back.  The war that women have fought, for their own rights, to their own bodies.  The war that minorities have fought, for their life, for their own rights.  The war that the LGBT community has fought for years.  The war against the rape culture that is so acceptable that even this little bleeding heart liberal has questioned it.  The war that the disabled community has railed against.  The war that that shouldn’t be an issue in 2016.   Black people shouldn’t have to fight in 2016.  Women shouldn’t have to fight in 2016.  The disabled shouldn’t have to fight in 2016. Gay people, trans people – they shouldn’t have to fear for their status in 2016.   Muslims shouldn’t have to declare themselves in 2016.  Mexicans should not have to defend themselves in 2016.  We. Are. Better. Than. This. America.

Not all Trump supporters believe this pared down version of his rhetoric.  I know that.  And I have to believe, in my heart, that Mr. Trump himself doesn’t believe this.  I have to believe this, because I cannot believe otherwise.  As I stood today, watching the protestors, tears rolling,

that’s what I thought.  It sounds trite, but love needs to trump hate.  It has to.

This is who we have.  This is who our process has elected, and as an American, I can be embarrassed, and I can be sad.  I’m allowed that.  But.  (Deep breaths) This is our President.  We cannot divide any further.  We need to rail against the divisiveness.  We need to be stronger than this rhetoric, because we are better than this. 

For better or worse, we have elected Donald Trump as President of the United States.  It might be for worse, but we have to hope that it will be for better.  We have to keep fighting for it to be better. We got our change, America.  Let’s make it worth it.

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Well, This Could Be Fun

In the back of my head, I had a whole post planned about the GOP and the orange man with the small hands for today.  But then today was super irritating and then Kasich dropped out and the orange man is likely going to be an actual Presidential candidate and I’m too scared and angry and plus, I just saw a GIF of Cruz’s face morphing into Grandpa Munster and I’m still too disturbed by the whole thing to write anything productive.  (Seriously, look it up.  It will haunt you.)

I was recently talking to some co-workers about online dating and it got me thinking about how much more difficult dating has to be now than it was back in the days when I was single and there was (thank you baby Jesus) no internet or Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat.  I wouldn’t have been a good internet dater.  For one, I am an anxious person.  If you don’t immediately respond to my text, please know that my brain has decided you have finally remembered some minor transgression from two years ago that in reality, wasn’t a transgression at all but just something I’ve obsessed over for twenty four months like an offhand comment about a dress.  For two, I would have been a stalker.  There’s no sugar-coating it.  Oh, you wanted to stay home and watch your favorite movie, “The Godfather,” did you?  I would have been the asshole combing through your social media, trying to find any reference to said movie, looking for any proof that you had ever referenced said movie.  I would have been “that girl.”  I’m not proud of this, mind you, just telling it like it is.  (Also, the fact that the first movie that came to mind was Godfather should tell you that I’m also old and have only been to a movie theater five times in the past ten years.)

Anyhow, I did some Googling – I love that this has become a verb in our lexicon – and came up with a list of questions that might be on dating sites, a getting to know you type quiz, if you will.  Which brought me back to my favorite MySpace pastime, (I told you I was old) which was answering a bunch of questions about myself.  Let’s have some fun and forget about the fact that a sexist megalomaniac is about to be a formidable nomination for the PRESIDENT, shall we?

Do you have any pets?
Yes.  I have two cats.  Ramon recently scratched a hole out of my face and Potato peed on my shoulder while I was on the phone.  They’re super cute, if you’re a masochist.
Name three things that are physically close to you?
My phone, because it is physically attached to my right hand, a vodka seltzer because I saw a meme that said it has less calories than a banana and I’m nothing if not health conscious, and a solid bronze statue of a monkey holding a bucket that I put a votive candle in.
What’s the weather like right now ?
Well, it’s Chicago and it’s May, so it’s forty degrees and stupid.
Do you drive ? If so, have you crashed?
No.  The last couple of years we had a car, I turned into everyone’s great aunt Sylvia whenever it snowed, there was traffic, it was wet, or it was too sunny.  It’s better for everyone that I’m no longer in charge of anything on wheels other than my bike.  Which, incidentally, I almost got killed on yesterday when an aggressive John Hancock Shuttle Bus driver broke many laws on Wacker Dr.
What time did you wake up this morning ?
Well, I woke up perfectly rested at 7:30.  But because I am bad at being an adult, I forced myself back to sleep until my alarm went off at 8:30 so I could rush around like a crazy person and have to run to the bus.
When was the last time you showered ?
8:42 – 8:44 AM.
What was the last movie that you saw ?
I think we rented the Minions a couple of months ago after many drinks.  It took us WAY too long to be sure that they weren’t actually speaking English.
What does you last text message say?
“A pop if it’s not too late!  My RC is nothing but ice water…”  From Tony, in response to me asking if he needed anything from the store.  He had left a two liter of RC in the freezer overnight because he is also awesome at adulting.
What is your ringtone ?
I have no idea.  My Fitbit vibrates when I get a call and I am incapable of not answering immediately.
Have you ever been to a different country?
I went to Canada once on a choir trip?  My friend Steve fell in Niagara Falls and lost his bandanna.  (Yes, that’s my main memory of Canada.  Other than that they have black squirrels.)
Do you like sushi?
I wouldn’t know.  I hate fish cooked and the idea of it raw makes me want to never stop vomiting.
Where do you buy your groceries?
Well, I finally discovered Aldi and was enthralled, but – as things tend to go in my life – it immediately closed for renovations for eight months.  So I’m back at good old Cermak produce, where I have to frantically count in Spanish while at the deli counter trying to figure out my number because no one speaks English there.  As I can only count to ten and the numbers are usually in the seventies, I spend a lot of time smiling and holding my ticket up.
Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster?
Does whiskey count?  If so, then yes.  If I have a cold, whiskey and Theraflu is my jam.
How many siblings do you have ?
One younger sister who did me the massive favor of being awesome and having a gorgeous child so I don’t have to.
Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
A tablet.  (See?  This wouldn’t have even BEEN a question in the nineties.)
How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
38.  Apparently my 20 year high school reunion is this year, but that’s impossible because only old people have 20 year high school reunions.
Do you wear contacts or glasses ?
I have both.  But I’m lazy and like to tempt fate, so I wear my contacts 24/7 until I get an eye infection.
Do you colour your hair ?
Oh yes.  I’m pretty sure the phrase, “Dirty/dishwater blond,” was invented to describe my natural color.
Tell me something you are planning to do today:
Well, I’m going to finish this vodka seltzer and eat an entire head of cauliflower for dinner.  Because I like to party.
When was the last time you cried?
A couple of weeks ago when I saw a picture of a German shepard puppy on his first day on the job as a police dog with the caption, “It’s my first day!  I hope I do great!”  Seriously – he looked so excited and proud!  (Side note, I may have been pre-menstrual.) (Side side note, apparently that doesn’t matter because I just teared up again thinking about it.  If this were a dating site, I would for sure be gone by now.)
What is your perfect pizza topping?
Doesn’t really matter.  Pizza is just a vehicle to get bread into my mouth hole.
Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger ?
Cheeseburger.  Because there’s when there is an option for cheese, you should always take it.
Have you ever had an all-nighter ?
This is where one would assume that I’d have some crazy college story – or not, because I probably come off as pretty fucking boring, but I did have some all-nighters in college, being a professional procrastinator and all – but my most recent all-nighter was at my niece’s second birthday party.  Because that’s what one does at a toddler party.
What is your eye colour ?
Green?  Hazel?  I never really thought about it.  That’s something I should know, right?
Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
What kind of terrorist can’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi?  That’s madness.

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So yeah, I think we can all safely assume it’s a good thing I stopped dating in 1999, because otherwise it would for sure be just me and these stupid cats until one of them killed me.

This Might Be Why Other Countries Hate Us, America.

I’m sorry, but isn’t there a relatively important election coming up?  Did the East Coast not just get hit with the biggest storm that it has ever seen?  Are there not millions of people without power?  Isn’t Honey Boo Boo still on television?  I must be misinformed, because according to the trending topics on Yahoo, we have much bigger things to worry about.  The top five trending topics, as of 8:15 CST on 10/30/12, are a pathetic mishmash of search terms.  I’ve listed them below.  You are hurting my feelings, Yahoo searchers.

“Lil Wayne Scolded.”

First of all, the use of the word “scolded,” in this title makes it seem innocuous and silly to me.  By whom?  His mother?  Because I feel as though a mom is really the only one that scold appropriately.  But no, this wasn’t his mother.  Instead, a judge is apparently upset with Lil Wayne as he was too busy having seizures to attend his ongoing trial regarding a dispute around his music.  Two things to note here – I do not know if Lil Wayne is at fault here because I refuse to look further into it.  The other is that I use the term music loosely here, as I don’t understand how this guy has the following he has.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a big fan of rap.  However, muttering a lot of words really quickly completely unrelated to the great beat behind you does not make you a rapper.  It makes you annoying.  And apparently gets you scolded.

“Ian Ziering.”

The fuck???  Is it 1997?  Am I in Hewitt Hall, bemoaning my 10AM class and waiting for Papa John’s pizza?  Because I’m pretty sure that was the last time Ian Ziering was relevant to anything.  He was the least liked character on an extremely popular TV show in the 90’s.  It’s IAN ZIERING. How many people could possibly care that he’s expecting another child?  I mean, I wish them all the best and such, but folks?  The last episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 aired in 2000.  If your last film credit is more than 12 years ago, as far as I’m concerned, you are no more famous than my cat.

“Kelsey Grammer Baby.”

So, Kelsey Grammer has a 3 month old baby.  Whom he decided to bring, along with his wife, to a Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion over the weekend.  According the very busy, opinionated, vicious mongers who spend inordinate amounts of time commenting on Yahoo’s top stories, this was a grievious, disgusting error that is going to take years of therapy later on in baby Faith’s life to overcome.  Folks?  A little perspective here?  Faith doesn’t know she has feet.  I sincerely doubt she’s going to remember sleeping through a party.  The fact that she was conceived when her father was nearly sixty and her mother was barely out of her twenties is probably going to fuck her psyche up a lot more than being in the same room with Hugh Hefner as an infant.

“Donald Trump.”

I hate Donald Trump.  I hate his smugness, I hate his hair, I hate his T.V. shows.  But most of all, I hate his recent disgusting attempt at making it look as though the President would forgo a charity millions of dollars.  Wait, I take that back.  Most of all, I hate that he used a hurricane to try and resurrect his ridiculous publicity fail.  You sir, are not God.  Nor are you the President.  You are filthy rich and an extremely successful businessman. Last I checked, that does not give you the power to play reindeer games with the leader of the free world.  You will never be that powerful and I hope someone shaves your stupid head in your sleep and hacks your Twitter account.

“Cloud Atlas Flop.”

Whaaaa??  A multimillion dollar Hollywood film fell ridiculously short of expectations?  That never happens!!!  I’m not opining on the movie itself because A) I haven’t seen it and B) I think it looks kind of cool.  (A bad sign for Cloud Atlas.  I also loved every second of Twilight, have never seen Star Wars, and can recite every word to Billy Madison and Mallrats.  I have horrible taste in movies.)  Regardless – again – who cares?  Tom Hanks and Halle Berry are probably going to rebound.  I say that’s what you get for trying to sell a powerful love story that spans multiple fantasy worlds to an audience that watches an unlikable child, rich housewives, and a show called “Duck Dynasty” on a regular basis.  What did you expect, Hollywood?  We’re too dumbed down for this.

The internet is making us dumber, friends.  There’s such an abundance of information that we get caught up in the completely trivial and overlook the important, not vice versa.  Unfortunately, as I just looked at the five most recent Yahoo searches on my phone and they are, “Key and Peele,” “Rules to Shitter,” “Angel Cubs 2003,” “Mike Jersey Shore,” and “Famous Song by Don Henely,” I’m in no position to launch stones out of my glass house.

Off to hang my head in shame somewhere.  At least go vote next week, okay?