In an effort to stay somewhat sane in this post-2016 election world, we have joined forces to create this blog. This will be a safe space where we can share our thoughts and feelings as we navigate through our marriage, raising our kids, surviving this world where we now find ourselves. Maybe if we share more of our life together, people will be less willing to jump on the bandwagon of “rolling back that marriage equality thing” and more able to see that love is love.
I was looking around in a gathering of coworkers the other day and realized that I was the only one among the 40 or so that marched in the Women’s March. Looking at them my mind started doing calculations about which ones voted for the precedent (that’s the only name I can bring myself to call “it” right now). I could tick off about half of them that I’m pretty damn sure went to the dark side, a fourth of them were resistance fighters against the imperials, and a fourth of them are a mystery to me. I find myself doing these calculations whenever I am in a group of people these days. Maybe a matter of morbid curiosity or a dive into self-preservation and protection mode or a test of my ability to judge the content of a persons character, which I admit I have been wounded in that category since the “great unveiling of hate” that was the whole election circus. But I digress.
I was the only one. But at the March, my soul was lifted and my spirit was filled surrounded by 20,000 others who think and feel and act and believe and hope and despair like ME. I often wondered as a child sitting in a Southern Baptist Church watching the ‘holy spirit fill the believers’ exactly what that would feel like. Their faces would get this excited but peaceful look and their eyes would tear and their raised hands reached for something I could never see or understand. Not to sound all ‘blasphemy’, but I kinda get it now. I could feel the layers of doom, gloom, despair, depression and agony lifting. Seeds of inspiring hope and peace along with ideas of how to take steps forward to bring about change filled me up. We were chanting and even started singing as we walked and my eyes began to tear as I looked around. Fired up! Ready to go! to singing We shall overcomb someday.. (insert sense of humor here) to walking past a very angry man with a Trump/Pence campaign sign chanting Love Trumps Hate, it made my spirit soar, my fear melt away and my soul fill with pride and hope.
Our first march of many more marches to come. As a good friend of mine said, “no hiding, we’ve got work to do.”
Did you know that Joni Mitchell who wrote the song Woodstock was never at the event? Nope, her agent double booked her and she couldn’t attend. So she wrote the song after being flooded by emotion while watching the footage on television. She said her bird’s eye advantage was probably the reason the song was so powerful.
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me…
Nearly 50 years later, nearly 100 years since our right to vote, and only 3 since my right to marry, we are headed to our first Women’s March at the state capitol.
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m gonna try and get my soul free
I’m a fan of Celebrity Apprentice. I know, I know just the memory of ole Mao Tse-Orangatung in the board room is enough to make you puke in your mouth a little. But the creative challenges mixed with real business excites me and the social/interpersonal element is the real entertainment. It’s Survivor in the concrete jungle. Can you rise to the top while sending one “friend” after another to their death?
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Anyway in the last episode Schwarzenegger (The Governor) told a little story about how Lincoln was famous for bringing his opponents into the White House when he needed to make a big decision. He felt his convictions became stronger when he was forced to look at all sides of things.
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
And then today after engaging with a teabagger acquaintance of mine I stumbled upon some stats about backlash. We’ve most recently heard the term white lash that is credited with forming the tea party and neocon/alt right/neo-Nazi movement. He was spouting off about the outrage and how REAL America’s voices were finally going to be heard!
I don’t know who l am
But ya know life is for learning
I found out that historically whenever there is a majority rule leaning too far to one side and making unpopular decisions there is a backlash of people that come out of the woodwork. So those we know are driving the Conservative party, the very rich, very patriarchal Christian right went out and shook the sticks and out they came. “I’m not a racist but I hate Obama.” Why? “I don’t know.” Or insert some sound bite they heard on hate radio or Fox News. I thought, what an amazing country this has been going on FOREVER. It is exactly how change happens and it is exactly why we’re the greatest country in the world. It’s like a car stuck in the snow rocking back and forth in a rut and then friends come to push you forward, *cough or backward.
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
So yeah, if you can remember those early Tea Party images of a crowd of white men dressed as Minutemen or Paul Revere and holding a copy of the constitution in their fist, imagine their faces when they see a sea of women taking to the streets of every city on Saturday. These are not going to be the nicely tucked up Republican women who agree they have their place and it is quietly beside their man. These are educated, emancipated, independent, fierce mothers, grandmothers and daughters.
By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
These women have wiped your ass, your snot, your dishes, your tears and probably your bad credit score. They’re not pissed that we’re not following the constitution OR the bible to the letter. They’re pissed because you’re coming after them and worse, their children. God help you indeed. Go ahead, try some of that knuckle dragging, chest pounding discourse on them. They’ve seen it, raised it, fucked it, worked for it and watched it join the ranks of those that seek to keep them down.
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation
These women have dealt with Trump their whole life, at home, at school, at parties, on dates and most certainly in the board room. In four years this prick is gonna get fired. In the next decade this car is gonna get rocked, FORWARD. And in another hundred years we just may get ourselves back to the Garden.
We are stardust
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
“Why are you going to the Women’s March? I mean, it seems like a pretty dangerous thing to do.”
What do you say to that question to a person that you really don’t know very well and don’t have time or energy to give a huge explanation. I think I probably just said “well, ah, because I want to”, or something to that effect, and walked away. Geeze, people.
Of course, as always, I have since thought of so many great answers that I SHOULD have said, if only my brain would of shifted into Drive instead of Neutral. My best rebuttal so far: “My life is a pretty dangerous thing to do, especially for the next 4 years, so I may as well”.
Let’s just start with my job as a career educator. Public school fine arts educator. Betsy Devos, I assume, will be the new federal Secretary of Education and she is totally against public education. For-profit conservative Christian religious (which I’m not) charter schools is what she has thrown her considerable billions behind for many, many years. This liberal, career public educator, non-religious, lesbian is not going to find a place in the new world order of segregated, both racially and socio-economically, intolerant of LGBT adults, teachers and students charter schools. Wary, helpless and hopeless? You betcha.
But wait. There’s more. The republican take over of NC has now given us a brand new 33 year old lawyer as State Superintendent of Public Schools, again against public education and all about for-profit charter schools AND doesn’t believe in arts…….wait for it…….education! There, my friends, is a republican “fuck you” double whammy that I’m sure must of been created just for me.
But wait, aren’t there some job protections for me? Well, in a word, no. North Carolina’s HB2, the now infamous “Bathroom Bill” that wrote discrimination into law, has taken care of any pesky job protections, just for me! It made sure that “sexual orientation” was not included as a category of job protections, thus making it possible for me to be fired for being married (legally thanks to Obama) to my wife.
Looking more like a triple-whammy.
And that is just my job issues. There are more issues, but I’ll save those for another post. I told someone once in a moment of despair after the election results that I felt like the forward steps that were made are all falling apart right on top of me and that the only way that republicans could hate me more is if I were an immigrant, Latina Muslim. It is a pretty crappy way of telling myself that it could always be worse, and I’m so sorry to any lesbian, career public arts educator, liberal democrat, Latina Muslim out there, if you exist. I feel your pain.
So, why am I marching? Because it is one thing that I can literally DO. It’s a physical expression of resistance of the pile of suppression that has landed on me. It’s a longing for being part of a group of women (and men) who share MY pain and grief about the election. It is standing up for myself and holding my head high with pride and love for myself, my life, my career, my children, and the love of my life – my wife.
Sure wish I could of said THAT.
Facebook, it’s over. I wish I could say it was me, not you, but the truth is that it was both of us. You see, I’m very disappointed in you. I guess I put too much faith in you, much more that you deserved. I suppose that is on me, not you. I thought that all those informative articles that I posted, all of those funny memes that I found, all of that over sharing of personal information would have some effect on people. Boy, was I wrong.
You see, in my deep, dark, overwhelming depression and disappointment in the human race after ‘merica voted for the orange baboon reality tv star to lead the free world, in my search for what the hell was wrong with people to have so much stupidity, racism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia, I came to a surprising conclusion. After much looking outward in search for what was wrong with the 75% of the voters in this little town of mine that voted against their own interest for a billionaire who pretends to be ‘for the little guy’, I started looking back at myself. What did I do to stop the spread of misinformation and the ‘fake news’ that spread like republican wildfire? What DID I do? That was when it hit me like a load of Faux News bullshit falling out of the penthouse in Trump Tower.
I shared stuff on Facebook.
Let that sink in for a moment. Now I have to live with that for four long years.
So, Facebook, it’s over. I have to stretch my wings and actually do something worthwhile with my time, energy and outrage. Instead of complaining about congress, I’m calling and writing to actual congressmen. Instead of hoping that ‘someone’ will do something, I’m going to actually do something. I know, crazy talk here, but I think I will actually be better off without you, but you are going to miss me.
Just watched the new Star Wars movie “Rogue One” today, December 27, 2016. The last word that is spoken in the movie, or at least the last word that I heard, was Princess Leia who said “hope”. It was like being kicked in the gut. Hard. The tears, more sobbing beside me from my daughter, it was just too much.
Too much 2016, you asshole of a year, you hateful, horribly hopeless year. Fuck you 2016.
This year can kiss my ass. This year needs an exorcism. The demons have taken over.
Not enough that this is the year that I have lost faith in humans for electing the worst candidate in the history of the world, except for Hitler maybe, as president. No, this year also has to be the year that Prince, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, George Micheal, to name a few, and now Carrie Fisher have left us.
Hope. That beautiful face of Princess Leia as she turned toward the camera and said “Hope”. I’m trying to hang on to that moment.
Thank you, Carrie Fisher, and Godspeed.
“Happy Holidays!” was my parting call to a co-worker who promptly rolled her eyes at me and said with a look of, well, irritation and intolerance. “Merry CHRISTMAS” she managed to croak out. “That too” was the only reply that came to my stunned mind. I thought of many more as I drove away, like ‘what the hell is wrong with you, you miserable moron’. But that will be for another day. For now, it’s all about the bubble.
When did this happen? Am I more sensitive now that the world has been turned upside down? My short peaks into social media and local/state news shows nothing much new, still hatred, still a horrible orange idiot trying to get us all killed, still Rev Barber and the NAACP leading the good fight, but one new thing stood out. North Carolina has been rated as no longer a democracy. I knew this, many people knew this, but now the world knows and still, nothing has changed. This co-worker isn’t someone I have to work closely with, definitely someone I do not socialize with, but what has changed to make it ok for her to not have the decency and tolerance to just reply ‘Happy Holidays’ back or even ‘Merry Christmas’ back without the ugly grimace and irritation?
During a conversation not long after the presidential (lower case on purpose) election about when the wide divide between the far right and the left began, I added my theory and I think it’s a good one. Growing up in rural NC in the late 1960’s – ’70’s with only three channels on the TV and only one TV set in the house, we had little choice of news sources. We read the local newspaper that was delivered once per week and we watched the local television news at noon, mostly for the weather report and the farm report, and at night we watched the nightly newscast at 6:30. Period. We were the norm, not the exception. Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Harry Reasoner told us what was going on in the world and at home, and we believed them because we trusted they were telling us the truth. We never thought otherwise. We sat down, we watched and listened and then we went on with our lives. When cable news shows began and we stopped having one place where we all got our news, the divide began. When cable news shows started using racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic newscasters and shows to raise their ratings and compete with the other 100 news shows and the hate radio shows that they spawned, the divide was well on its way. The internet, well we know anything you read on social media and the internet is true, right? Now, they call it a post-truth era? People believe their own version of the truth based of what show they watch/listen to/read and then…POOF, the bumbling orange idiot becomes president.
I know what happened to this person Somewhere, on the hate radio or “faux news” shows this particular co-worker subscribes to, someone was spouting nonsense about the ‘war on Christmas’ or how horrible it was that our President sent a family Christmas card that says “Happy Holidays” or whatever the particular hateful piece of information they were spewing, and she internalized the rhetoric and vomited it all over me. In the parking lot. As we were leaving for the holidays. Nice, huh? What I SHOULD have said was “I acknowledge that you are a Christian and you celebrate Christmas, but being Christ-like is an attribute of your religion that you should strive to emulate. I know that there are more than one holiday this time of the year and chose to be inclusive instead of exclusive. That does not give you the right to be intolerant and downright mean to me.”
So, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, Happy Las Posadas, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, dammit!!!!
I’ve just discovered the television series “HAPPYish” and the main female lead (wife, mother) played by Kathryn Hahn has the motto “Don’t fuck with my bubble”. I’m stealing that and I’m creating a family bubble. My bubble will be filled with time spent on that long list of house projects, both inside and outside. And cooking those recipes I have been wanting to try but never found the time to devote either getting the ingredients together and/or allowing for cooking time before the “I’m starving” looks start shooting my way. And reading, my bubble is going to be chock-full with a long list of books that I have waiting for me from sci fi to some great southern fiction to some historical fiction. The dogs definitely need longer walks and so do I, my bubble will be full of long, sometimes meandering and sometimes meditative walks. Work will even be in my bubble, but work that I am motivated to do. More music will be in my bubble for sure, in many ways. The dusty guitar in the corner and the piano in the other corner, the french horn that I haven’t played in years and that little Ukulele waiting for me on the table, ALL in my bubble. Even some extra time to play ’20 questions’ with the 14 year old to try and extract any information or conversation, in my bubble. Long talks over many different types of wine with my wife, way in my bubble. I am going to have the most wonderful, creative, loving bubble EVER.
Nothing is allowed in that will fuck with my bubble. No Facebook. No North Carolina politics. No national politics. Not the dismantling of public education, not the raping of the environment, not the possible wars that we are sure to “tweet” into, not the even mention of the Orange Baboon, not allowed in my bubble. No homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, racism, misogyny or nazi-loving republicans are allowed in my bubble.
The feeling that I need to DO something before the GOP completely ruins this state and this country is so depressing and overwhelming that I just can’t internalize the impending disasters and the soul crushing resulting depression. There IS nothing I can do at the moment. I have a job that I can’t afford to be fired from, and being arrested for protesting at Moral Monday or in Washington D.C. will surely do that. Hell, using a swear word on social media will do that, oops. See? I just don’t trust myself to not lose my temper if surrounded by a bunch of knuckle-dragging idiots, because I will throat punch and cuss like a sailor. Hard and loud.
It’s either Xanex or my bubble. I’m not a addictive pharmaceuticals kinda person, so I will go with my bubble.
Help me out. Don’t fuck with my bubble. Wish me luck and good luck making one of your own.
I didn’t look at Facebook or listen to NPR for two days. Cold turkey. My once progressive state has the most evil GOP super majority that instead of finally accepting that Roy Cooper was going to be the democratic Governor of NC, they lost their ever loving minds and passed all kinds of legislation while protesters were arrested for singing, humming and reminding them of their lost humanity. I just couldn’t look at it anymore. This is happening more frequently now that our democracy is almost dead. I also shut FB down immediately after the “election”, which is also when this joint blog between me and my wife was born. Now, after my native state of North Carolina has lost all sense of the democratic process, I had to take another break. It may be a long break. Depends on what happens tomorrow.
Tomorrow the Electoral College of the USA votes. Now that we have an official CIA report of Russian hacking in order to get tRump elected, and the FBI agrees with the CIA. We now know that The Don Reality Show cabinet is in every instance the antithesis of the job which they are entrusted. The orange one continues to tweet insults to magazines (Vanity Fair), citizens (Union President), comedy shows (SNL) and even goading China (unpresidential? Why, YES! Your ARE!). To be sure I am not the only one who is mortified beyond belief and worried for the safety of our children in a future world where this bumbling idiot is sure to get us into a war via a tweet? Right? I mean, the ELECTORS must be reasonably intelligent people who are also looking at the end of the world as we know it, definitely the end of democracy and beginning of a kleptocracy? At what point do the Electoral College members look at everything combined, even without the CIA and the FBI saying that Comrad Putin is fully in charge, and have a heart? Could it be? Is there a small glimmer of a possibility that the madness will end tomorrow and sanity begin to retake this country?
“Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then, the true meaning of Christmas came through and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinch’s, plus two!”
We made it through Thanksgiving. Not just any Thanksgiving, but the now infamous 2016 post-election Thanksgiving. Not only did we make it through, but we did it without one argument. To add to the great feat of surviving Thanksgiving 2016, lets also add the stress of being the designated sibling to take my 86 year old dementia-impaired mother who has extreme anxiety when leaving her farmhouse to a family gathering which was a 3 hour car ride, each way. A family gathering where only two admitted Trump voters were present, but we were admonished to NOT discuss politics. Did I mention that she doesn’t really know we are married or that her daughter is a lesbian? Oh yes, let’s just through that right on in the pot with the rest of the muck and stir it up. Can we sprinkle a helping of the 14 year old gender fluid kid with long bright red hair that was also in the car? When I say ‘car’, I mean subcompact: Wife #1 (me), Wife #2, Red-haired 14 year old and 86 year old who wasn’t sure of the identity of 14 year old kid or Wife #2 about 50% of the time. Thanksgiving 2016. Oi vey.
We made it. We endured by not making eye contact with said Trump voters in an attempt to not temp fate and the limit of my tolerance for stupidity. We made small talk and doted on the children, we stuffed ourselves silly with some seriously good collards, turkey with dressing and gravy, all the good stuff one would expect. We answered all the same questions from my mother over and over again and tried to not sound annoyed in doing so. Then the most amazing thing happened on the car ride home. When my mother was questioning wife #2 yet again about who she was, she added a few different questions. She asked if we lived together, to which wife #2 replied ‘yes’. Without missing a beat, my 86 year old dementia suffering mother said, with perfect clarity, “I’m glad you two have each other.” It was as close to a blessing as we may ever get, and my eyes are full of tears right now remembering that moment. I’m glad we have each other too, Mama. Me too.
We got her home, warm and cozy-comfy in her own house and said our goodbyes. She was back to not knowing the correct season or holiday, but she was happy. And so were we.
So, we made it through Thanksgiving ’16, a Thanksgiving not to ever be forgotten, for many reasons but mostly for that one moment of clarity and unconditional love. We are truly blessed.