Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Media

Finding Myself In Television Shows

Am I the only one who looks at a good deal of my life through a Sex and the City lens? I think if you fall in a certain age range (pretty much anyone born between 1970-2000), there’s a good chance this show occupies a corner of your life. Maybe you were an adult when it came out and watched it as it mirrored your life. Maybe you discovered it because your mother/sister/college roommate was obsessed and insisted you’d love it too. Maybe you stumbled across it like I did, back when Netflix DVDs were still a new and amazing facet of life.

In case you hadn’t heard, last week was the 20th anniversary of the premier of the show. Since I loved it so much in college, I’ve been doing a deep dive. I read old Sex & the City columns for the first time. I read a young Cosmo’s writer take on “living like Carrie.” And I read think pieces arguing about how groundbreaking it was, how it lacked diversity, etc., etc..

I think time has done Samantha well. People appreciate her sex positivity. They love that she didn’t give a damn what anyone thought of her. I think time has been less friendly to Carrie. Look at what came up when I googled “Carrie Bradshaw was trash.”

I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. An article all about it popped up on my google feed not too long ago. You can read it for yourself here.

As much as I wanted to binge-watch the entire series over in celebration of the 20th anniversary, it ain’t gonna happen. I’m not putting myself back in the frame of mind that made me grateful for the diversity crumb that saw Jennifer Hudson cast in the SATC movie. No thank you. I’d rather wait for the next season of Insecure to premier (August 12th!!).

But still there’s this:

It’s a piece of “art” I bought on “the street” years ago. I think it was back during one of my first trips to NYC. I drove here, on a rather impromptu road trip with my girls, for an in-person job interview. My husband wanted to move to NYC, and so I wanted to make his dream a reality. I even have a picture of that evening in Times Square when I bought the picture that still hangs on the wall in my bedroom. Want to see it? Of course you do. I looked like I fell out off of a Forever 21 mannequin display and was proud of it. Perhaps the shades of lipstick I used to choose are the reason I was less confident in a bright red lip back then…

Well, the internet has me convinced I do NOT want to be a Carrie, haha. She was far too vanilla for me anyway. The heteronormativity and the barely hidden homo- and biphobia irritate me to no end. And the way she would have these moments of silence (read: silent judgement) whenever one of her friends’ stories got too extra was the worst. Besides, these four white women aren’t the only friendships shown on TV. There are plenty of others for me to figure out which archetype I am.

There’s Living Single:

There’s Girlfriends:

There’s Insecure:

I’m gonna figure out which one of those I am instead on continuing to fuss over SATC. Too bad there aren’t any handy quizzes out there to help me learn if I’m a Joan or a Maxine or an Issa. But wait! There is! Sort Of! Not for Living Single (does the show pre-date Buzzfeed? That’s prolly why), but there are quizzes for the other two.

This 8-Question Quiz Will Tell You Which “Insecure” Character You Are. This quiz covers all the characters, not just the women, but I’ll take what I can get.

Which “Living Single” Character Are You?. Same. All the characters.

Okay, I’mma go off for one quick second. See this is what the fuck I mean about intersectionality! Y’all so busy lumping us into the women category or the black category, there’s no space for black women. I’m looking for the space for just us, but nope, we gotta get in where we fit in. And Buzzfeed tells me that separating me from my brothers isn’t an option. Surprise, sur-fucking-prise. Whatever. Here’s my quiz results.

Nope, not giving you my quiz results yet. What the fuck is this question?!?!?!?!?!?!

Do I need to talk about how the only two options with white folks are “chic and sophisticated” and “preppy and minimalist”???? Really buzzfeed, y’all couldn’t find no black people on Getty Images to represent those styles?? This, ladies and gentleman, is what is referred to as a microaggression. Ugh, okay, back to my quiz results.

Trying not to be irritated by this intergender quiz because my results are actually quite spot on, lol. Whatever.


All Marvel Cinematic Universe Properties, In Order!

If you aren’t into comic books in general or the Marvel Cinematic Universe specifically, this post isn’t for you.

But if you consider yourself an outsized MCU fan and are interested in every single one of their properties, please, join me.

Have you ever asked yourself, “what order should I watch MCU properties in?” Or, “can I get a list of all the MCU properties in order?”

I did something last night. I spent a few hours organizing, in chronological order of release, every MCU property.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Why didn’t you just google it?”

Yeah, I tried. And if you want to watch the MCU (all TV and film) in the order the events happened, I’d suggest you head on over to CNET’s post about it. CNET’s post is mostly up to date, as far as I can tell. And that’s because I’m assuming the first half of Season 5 of Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking place right where Season 4 left off, therefore it would be before the events of the Punisher. Oh, and it’s way more pleasing to the eye than what I’m about to post below.

But if you’re like me and for some crazy reason want to consume everything in the order it was released, I can help. I did a deep dive on Wikipedia, and as long as no trolls managed to edit the locked sections, we’re good. My list is better than Wiki though because I meshed the films, short films, TV shows, and comics together for your consumption. For the comics, the release dates I found online don’t always agree; also I focused on the comic’s (not the graphic novel’s) release date.

Why do I even care about seeing things in the release order? Well, Marvel is very meticulous about release dates. So I want to start from the beginning and take everything in the order they intended.

I warn you, this is a long ass list. I’ll name the property, then the release format, then the release date (for comics/tv episodes with multiple dates just the first release date is mentioned), and I’ll also name (when applicable) a link or release association.

Marvel Properties in Chronological Release Date Order

  • Iron Man, Film, May 2, 2008
  • The Incredible Hulk, Film, June 13, 2008
  • Iron Man: I Am Iron Man! (Issue #1-2), Comic, January 27, 2010.
  • Iron Man 2: Public Identity (Issue #1-2), Comic, April 28, 2010
  • Iron Man 2, Film, May 7, 2010
  • Iron Man 2: Public Identity (Issue #3), Comic, May 12, 2010
  • Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Single Issue), Comic, September 1, 2010
  • ****The MCU Wikia seems to think the following three comics are their own individual part of the MCU. However, the link for Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. includes them all of you just keep going forward (and if you have Marvel Unlimited).
  • Captain America: First Vengeance (Issue #1-4), Comic, May 4, 2011
  • Thor, Movie, May 6, 2011
  • Captain America: First Vengeance (Issue #5-8), Comic, June 8, 2011
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, Movie, July 22, 2011
  • The Consultant, One-Shot, July 22, 2011, associated with released of Thor movie
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer, One-Shot, October 25, 2011, associated with release of Captain America: The First Avenger Movie
  • The Avenger’s Prelude: Fury’s Big Week (Issue #1-8), Comic, March 7, 2012
  • The Avengers, Movie, May 4, 2012
  • The Avengers: Black Widow Strikes (Issue #1-3), Comic, May 12, 2012
  • Item 47, One-Shot, September 25, 2012, associated with the release of The Avengers
  • Iron Man 2 (Issue #1-2), Comic, November 7, 2012
  • Iron Man 3 Prelude (Issue #1-2), Comic, January 2, 2013
  • Thor (Issue #1-2), Comic, January 16, 2013
  • Iron Man 3, Movie, May 3, 2013
  • Thor: The Dark World Prelude (Issue #1-2), Comic, June 5, 2013
  • Agent Carter, One-Shot, September 3, 2013, associated with the release of Iron Man 3
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Ep 1-6, TV (ABC), September 24, 2013
  • Thor: The Dark World, Movie, November 8, 2013
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (Issue #1), Comic, November 6, 2013
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Ep 7-10, TV (ABC), November 12, 2013
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (Issue #2), Comic, December 11, 2013
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Ep 11-12, TV (ABC), January 7, 2014
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier infinite Comic (Single Issue), Comic, January 28, 2014
  • All Hail the King, One-Shot, February 4, 2014, associated with the release of Thor: The Dark World
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Ep 13-16, TV (ABC), February 4, 2014
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic – Dangerous Prey (Single Issue), Comic, April 1, 2014
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, April 2, 2014
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Movie, April 4, 2014
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Ep 17-22, TV  (ABC), April 8, 2014
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude (Issue #2), Comic, May 28, 2014
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Movie, August 1, 2014
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Ep 1-10, TV (ABC), September 23, 2014
  • The Avengers (Issue #1), Comic, December 24, 2014
  • Agent Carter Season 1, TV (ABC), January 6, 2015 
  • The Avengers (Issue #2), Comic, January 7, 2015
  • Avengers: Ague of Ultron Prelude: This Scepter’d Isle (Single Issue), Comic, February 3, 2015
  • Ant-Man Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, February 4, 2015
  • Ant-Man – Scott Lang: Small Time (Single Issue), Comic, March 3, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Ep 11, TV (ABC), March 3, 2015
  • Ant-Man Prelude (Issue #2), Comic, March 4, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Ep 12-16, TV (ABC), March 10, 2015
  • Daredevil Season 1, TV (Netflix), April 10, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Ep 17-19, TV (ABC), April 14, 2015
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron, Movie, May 1, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Ep 20-22, TV (ABC), May 5, 2015
  • WHIH Newsfront Season 1, Digital Series, July 2, 2015 
  • Ant-Man, Movie, July 17, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep 1-2, TV (ABC), September 29, 2015
  • Jessica Jones (Single Issue), Comic, October 7, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep 3-8, TV (ABC), October 13, 2015
  • Jessica Jones Season 1, TV (Netflix), November 20, 2015
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Ep 9-10, TV (ABC), December 1, 2015
  • Captain America: Civil War Prelude (Issue #1-3), Comic, December 16, 2015
  • Agent Carter Season 2, TV (ABC), January 19, 2016
  • Captain America: Civil War Prelude (Issue #1-3), Comic, December 16, 2015
  • Captain America: Civil War Prelude (Issue #4), Comic, January 27, 2016
  • Captain America: Civil War Prelude Infinite Comic (Single Issue), Comic, February 10, 2016
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep 11-17, TV (ABC), March 8, 2016
  • WHIH Newsfront Season 2, Digital Series, April 22, 2016
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep 18-19, TV (ABC), April 26, 2016
  • Captain America: Civil War, Movie, May 6, 2016 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep 20-22, TV (ABC), May 10, 2016
  • Doctor Strange Prelude (Issue #1-2), Comic, July 6, 2016
  • Doctor Strange Prelude Infinite Comic – The Zealot (Single Issue), Comic, September 7, 2016
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 1-2, TV (ABC), September 20, 2016
  • Luke Cage Season 1, TV (Netflix), September 30, 2016
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 3-6, TV (ABC), October 11, 2016
  • Doctor Strange, Movie, November 4, 2016
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 7-8, TV (ABC), November 29, 2016
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Slingshot, Digital Series, December 13, 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 Prelude (Issue #1-2), Comic, January 4, 2017
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 9-15, TV (ABC), January 10, 2017
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, March 1, 2017
  • Iron Fist Season 1, TV (Netflix), March 17, 2017
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 16, TV (ABC), April 4, 2017
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming Prelude (Issue #2), Comic, April 5, 2017
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 17-20, TV (ABC), April 11, 2017
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Movie, May 5, 2017
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep 21-22, TV (ABC), May 9, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, July 5, 2017
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming, Movie, July 7, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok Prelude (Issue #2-4), Comic, July 19, 2017
  • The Defenders, TV (Netflix), August 18, 2017
  • Inhumans Season 1 Ep 1-7, TV (ABC) September 29, 2017
  • Black Panther Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, October 18, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok, Movie, November 3, 2017
  • Inhumans Season 1 Ep 8, TV (ABC), November 10, 2017
  • Black Panther Prelude (Issue #2), Comic, November 15, 2017
  • The Punisher, TV(Netflix), November 17, 2017
  • Runaways, Season 1 Ep 1-4, TV (Hulu), November 21, 2017
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Ep 1-8, TV (ABC), December 1, 2017
  • Runaways, Season 1 Ep 5-10, TV (Hulu), December 5, 2017
  • Avengers: Infinity War Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, January 24, 2018
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Ep 9-10, TV (ABC), January 26, 2018
  • Black Panther, Movie, February 16, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War Prelude (Issue #2), Comic, February 28, 2018
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Ep 11, TV (ABC), March 2, 2018
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp Prelude (Issue #1), Comic, March, 7, 2018
  • Jessica Jones Season 3, TV (Netflix), March 8, 2018
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Ep 12-14, TV (ABC), March 9, 2018
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp Prelude (Issue #2), Comic, April 2, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War, Movie, April 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp, Movie, July 6, 2018

I’m stopping here because I don’t have release dates after the first few episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. But I will continue to update this if 1) I remember and 2) I feel like it.

Also, let me know in the comments if something looks wonky, it’s hard to accurately edit a list of 90+ items.

 


Thoughts All Over The Place

I have started three different posts in the last month, and I just can’t. I don’t quite have Trump fatigue yet, but what I can I say that isn’t already being said? Not much. On Twitter and Instagram, I like and repost a lot of stuff that I think others need to see. I DVR and eventually watch every episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It’s good for my soul, like chicken soup.

I thought about something the other night. I was out with my husband and some of our best friends in New York. We were, of course, at a jazz club. In the middle of our friend’s set, playing some amazing music, we were conversing about Trump. One of our friends and his wife are Canadian, and they are worried about a number of things: visa renewals, NAFTA, whether a quick visit home could turn them into illegal immigrants. Shit is bananas. Then another of our friends started speaking about the rise in anti-Semitic attacks and threats. Shit is bananas.

It hit me that at this moment in life, I kind of feel the least under attack, at least compared to some others.

I’m worried as shit about what Trump is doing and how many people I know and don’t know that it will affect. But in terms of my body and life, there isn’t much he can do to me. I look at my husband and I worry about Trump reducing funding for arts and possible re-instating Stop & Frisk. I look at my in-laws and worry about Trump’s immigration policies. I look at my friends we’ve met since moving here and I worry about anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, hell I worry about generalized xenophobia.

I’m not trying to have any babies, but if I did get pregnant, my husband and I would roll with it, and I’d do my best to match the enthusiasm he and our parents would have. My healthcare comes through my job and is not at the mercy of stock markets and whatnot. People are always going to need/get organ & tissue transplants. My pension also goes through my job. My husband and I have really good healthcare (medical, dental, eye, & pet insurance) through my job.

I’m American born and raised, and I live in a city that’s very multicultural, and people look at me and assume I’m from here. I occasionally have people assume my parents are from whatever country they’ve come from, but they always assume my parents came from said country to America, then had me. They’d be wrong because my parents, and their parents, and their parents, etc. are all American born, but that’s not really important.

My point I’m finally circling back to is that Trump can sign into law that will mess me up any more than I currently am. I live in Brooklyn, where all the cops don’t yet have body cameras, but they can somehow afford to have those airport do-you-have-a-bomb scanners. I got stopped on my way to the A train so they could swab my bookbag-style purse and lunch tote. I had the thickest attitude about it, and the cops were all don’t-hate-me-I’m-just-doing-my-job. And I was all fuck-you-and-your-job-aren’t-you-the-same-ones-who-are-going-to-be-harassing-one-of-my-neighbors-for-being-male-and-black-and-outside-in-a-few-hours?

Ugh, I’m so irritated at everything right now.

Well, not everything. There are moments of wonderfulness. Nights at Smalls Jazz Club are my favorite. That place is like home to me. Literally, I walk in and I feel as comfortable as I do in my favorite places on this planet. Obviously, there’s the caveat that I have to wear pants, but still. And including tonight, I’ll have gone to to Smalls three times in 8 days, so that always gives me happy vibes.

And then there’s the Sims 4. I love me some video games in general, and the Sims in particular. I’ve made time to play more in recent weeks, and that has led to more writing and reading SimsLit. I’m telling you, these little computer generated people & aliens provide a great escape from everyday life. One of my sims fell in love with a man who was young enough to be her son, but she gave him a chance because he’d had a crush on her since he was in high school. They hit it off and she got pregnant. When she told him, he confessed that their child would have a sibling the exact same age. He’d slept with his sister’s fiancee on the night before their wedding, and she got pregnant too. The family’s plan was to raise the children as cousins, not siblings. I promise you that the only thing I had a hand in was letting my Sim sleep with the guy who’d loved her forever. The rest happened on it’s own (with the help of a story progression mod).

And there’s my volunteer work. I finally felt useful this past week. I was helping a high school girl with a ridiculous Algebra II project based on Angry Birds. I dug the movie, but does anyone even play angry birds anymore? Fucking parabolas man. I lost 35 minutes of my life because neither she nor I could remember that the vertex of the parabola is halfway between the two x-intercepts. But it’s cool because we figured it out and she got Part 1 of the project done. I don’t often feel useful tutoring those particular kids, but I really felt useful this week.

I wish I had more cohesive thoughts for this post, but I don’t. Sorry, not sorry.

People, at least black people, aren’t outraged because her feet are on the damn couch, even though that is trifling as hell. If you think the outrage is about feet, then you CLEARLY don’t watch porn, didn’t hang out with black guys and white grls in college, are naive about the politics/optics/history of black men/white women and white people/black people as a whole and are unfamiliar with the basic socialization of women and body language. I won’t call her a thot. But is she thotting? Well. 💅🏾 Get ya damn feet off the couch and close your legs, ma’am. At least TRY to look like a professional woman. You’re supposed to lean in, not bust it open. Part of what’s so infuriating of this is her casual comfort like this room of college presidents is the damn help. It’s like, you’re changing and half naked and a servant walks in, no biggie. They’re like living furniture. You’re changing and someone that actual matters to you comes in, you get embarrassed and throw something on. That she can be so casual and without f**ks and sitting in f*** me formation in the presence of White House guests, and guests of such note at that, or even her boss, is mind-blowing. Also, she is absolutely, 💯 percent putting her ***** on Orange’s sideburns. #kellyanneconway #whitehouse #potus

A post shared by Demetria Lucas D’Oyley (@demetrialucasdoyley) on Feb 28, 2017 at 3:10pm PST

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So… This Ban… Y’all Know We’re Being Gaslighted, Right?

[EDITED TO REFLECT A RECENT ARTICLE I READ LIKE 5 MINUTES AFTER POSTING THIS, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE]

IF YOU’RE READING TO SEE WHAT I’VE GOT TO SAY ABOUT THIS BAN, SKIP TO THE NEXT ALL CAPS SENTENCE. I’M GETTING ALL PERSONAL BLOGGY FIRST.

Okay, personal stuff first. Did I tell y’all I am going to a bridesmaid for the first time ever this year? My girl Toya (we grew up next door to each other, and she’s thankfully not marrying the boy next door, lol) is getting married in May. She’s one of the only people on the planet who could get me to go to Florida right now.

Chris and I haven’t been to Florida since George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin. That Stand Your Ground law is such utter bullshit that we decided we would do our best to not go back until it was changed. I’m making an exception for this wedding, then the travel ban is back in place.

Being a bridesmaid is such a mind fuck. It’s like being trolled by my own thoughts. Budget worries, body worries, logistics, etc. To put it more simply, trying on bridesmaid dresses has made me get my whole life together. If I’m going to wear a strapless gown at a beach wedding and get photographed in some forever pictures, I need to do better than what I’m currently doing.

Luckily, this feeling coincided with Chris wanting to be healthier too. So for the past couple of week’s we’ve both been way more committed to exercise, and I’ve been cooking 5-6 times a week. it’s better for the budget and the waistline. Simpler meals (if blood orange & herb glazed baked ribs with mushroom rice and roasted butternut squash counts as simple) have been the goal. So far, it’s going well.

We’ve just hit that point where that initial burst of energy because we’re working out 6 days a week is starting to fade. We still have all our regular life responsibilities and we are tired, man. We are committed to pushing through and getting our bodies used to this new pattern. We just gotta get over the hill. I’m grateful that we have each other for support.

We support our goals, and also our mental well-being. We discuss all the crap going on the world, then watch SNL and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for catharsis.

HEY Y’ALL, HERE’S WHERE I SWITCH TO POLITICS, WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH SYNONYMOUS WITH SOCIETAL GASLIGHTING THESE DAYS.

So, unless you’re living under a rock or know literally no one affected by this travel ban, you’ve heard that there are new levels of dickishness that can be reached with each passing day.

That fucker in the White House spent his first week signing executive orders left and right like he was Dolores Umbridge taking over Hogwarts.

The most recent one that has caught everyone’s attention is this immigrant/refugee ban. If you need a breakdown about it, I got you. CNN explains it relatively well here, here, here, and here.

The people responded strongly and swiftly. If  you need a breakdown about that, I got you. The New York Times covers it pretty efficiently as of two days ago, and you can read that here.

I was all on board for grabbing my pitchfork to join the townsfolk to protest this newest outrage. If I didn’t have crazy work hours (also see above for newfound commitment to not having a terrible beach body), I would’ve trekked out to JFK to join the protests the first night they happened.

For the most part, I’m still on board, but I’ve seen this and I really have to share it with y’all.

If you’re like me and you simply open all links in new tabs to be read after you’ve read the main article (or not at all), I’ll sum it up for you. Shaun King, journalist and activist extraordinaire tweeted a Facebook post by political historian Heather Richardson. If you open no other links in this blog post, READ THIS ONE.

If you’re still refusing to open the link I’ve put in ALL CAPS, well fine, you’ve twisted my arm. To make a long story short, Professor Richardson describes this fuckery aka ban as a “shock event.” If you don’t know what a shock event is, well, just click on the word shock event in the previous sentence. Seriously folks, I’m spoon feeding you here. It can’t get much easier than this… unless you’re reading on a browser that won’t let you open in a new tab and won’t save where you left off on the previous screen, in that case, well, I understand.

Okay, back to this term called shock event. The idea is to do something shocking, that will both distract and divide the people. They are focused on this shocking thing, and they have knee-jerk reactions for or against it along expected lines. You know, for example, like instituting an unreviewed ban on immigrants from seven seemingly random countries who haven’t sent us jihadists.

While the people are still in disarray, mounting their response of protest or support, you sneak in the back door (that’s what he said) and enact your real agenda.

Right now you may be thinking, if he is such a badass, usurping the will of the people, why bother with the bait and switch? Well, I’ll tell you why. Because he doesn’t actually want complete anarchy. He wants the people in disarray so they can’t mount an effective defense. It’s in his best interest to keep them from unifying. He knows his true objective is NOT in the interest of the people, and if they knew what he was truly up to, they’d try and stop it. But if they’re too busy fighting over who loves Muslims more than the next person hates Muslims, they won’t notice that he’s about to fuck them all over for something that benefits only a select few.

Let me put it this way. Those fuckers who have confederate flags covering every surface they own, their wives still wearing t-shirts that say Jail the Bitch, their children bullying yours in school to go back to “where you came from,” their preachers condemning all your gay best friends to hell, their healthcare they swear they don’t want being paid for by your taxes, you know them? Can you imagine protesting along side them when whatever Bannon and Trump have planned is revealed?

I for one have a hard time imagining the same people who’ve had vitriolic responses to the protests since Inauguration Day standing beside me to fight against the complete decimation of our tax/healthcare/education/transportation/energy/housing/banking/regulation/immigration/you-name-it system, or whatever the hell their true target is.

But if Professor Richardson is right, we gotta be vigilant y’all. We CANNOT let this man and his puppeteers take away any of the few things that happen to matter to most of us.

Thanks to historians (yay education!) we have an early warning. We’ve got several jobs to do. One of them is to continue to protest the individual acts of fuckery, like this ban, as they pop up. But today, right now, move one waaaaaay up the priority list.

YOU NEED TO FIND A WAY TO STOMACH WORKING WITH THOSE YOU DISAGREE WITH ABOUT DAMN NEAR EVERYTHING.

YOU NEED TO FIND A WAY TO STOMACH WORKING WITH THOSE YOU DISAGREE WITH ABOUT DAMN NEAR EVERYTHING.

YOU NEED TO FIND A WAY TO STOMACH WORKING WITH THOSE YOU DISAGREE WITH ABOUT DAMN NEAR EVERYTHING.

You still with me? Good. Hear me out.

I’m not saying get ready to invite the Klan to your family reunion. I’m not saying continue to work with these fuckers people after the fight is won (see what I did there? I’m already growing. grow with me). I’m saying that when the shit goes down, which those smarter than us are pretty sure it will, do not let ideological divides keep you from fighting together.

I don’t know how much time you need. But do some self-assessment and figure that shit out. I don’t know how much time we have. But take some time, do some meditation, and make peace that you may one day march alongside a white nationalist against a common cause.

Take a moment right now. Breathe. It will be okay. If/When that moment comes that we all need to join together, you gotta be ready to do this with us, you can’t let it take you by surprise. If this ban really was a shock event… Don’t. Let. It. Work. On. You.

Stay strong. Resist. Take care of yourself and those you love.

EDIT: So…. I think the big move may have been started already. I think it might’ve been Trump nominating Bannon to the National Security Council. Keep an eye on this one. For a quick rundown, read this opinion piece by the New York Times Editorial Board entitled, “President Bannon.”.

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Climate Change, Panty Raids, and Toddlers (not all at once, that’d be gross)

So apparently there’s this ice shelf in Antarctica that’s about to break off and fuck us all up. It’s “hanging on by a thread” according to climate scientists. When this happens, sea levels will raise 4-ish inches. Goodbye Boston. Goodbye Venice. Good riddance most of Florida.

I don’t know about you, but that definitely reorients my travelling priorities. I’m really glad that after we go to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in October, we’re heading to Malaga, Spain after that for a week trip with my mother-in-law in her time share. I’m hoping to pop across the Strait of Gibraltar (technically the Alboran Sea) to visit Morocco as well.

Based on their coastal locations, I can assume these cities will be altered if a giant ice shelf raises water levels by inches all over the planet.

Thinking about all of that (and puppy mills, ugh, thanks Rolling Stone), I started to consider other places I want to visit. I have the plan to visit all 50 states at some point before age 50. But I also want to go to Italy and visit Venice and Naples. I want to visit Mubmai in India and Osaka in Japan. And I still haven’t been to Boston. I really love New Orleans, and I’m looking forward to visiting again. But these cities are fucked.

I’m glad that 21 people under the age of 21 filed a suit to stop this shit. And I’m really glad this district judge has this to say:

“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken

Things like this give me hope. Hope for these folks born after 1990 who I rarely time the time to acknowledge as useful. Hope for my future travel. Hope that though the immediate present ain’t great, the future is salvageable.

On another note, I was in Chicago this past weekend. I visited my family for my mother’s 60th birthday. Here’s what I learned.

  • My grandmother is refusing to do what she said she’d do when starting this experimental treatment, so she’s getting worse while she’s getting better.
  • My parents’ college friends are even better than I remember. They are hilarious. And panty raids in college are a real thing, not just in movies.
    • I’m thinking I really really want to name names for who participated in these panty raids, but all the guilty parties are not yet retired, so I’ll wait for now…
  • Living in New York turns you, and people you know from back in Chicago, into whiskey drinkers.
  • Bridesmaid dresses were not created to look good on anyone.
  • My mother has chosen a theme for her sixties. She turned “50 with a snap.” But her sixties are all about being cool. There’s a hand gesture that goes along with it. I made it up, my mother is now to cool to have done something like that.
  • My entire family need to start going for walks. We are NOT maintaining a basic standard of health, myself included.

And lastly, I’m considering what drastic measures to take in preparation of my friend LaToya’s wedding in May. Is vegan too far? It probably is. I mean, I had a terrible experience with some beef lasagna that I assume was delicious but couldn’t put in my mouth in Paris that made me think vegetarianism isn’t too far off in my future.

I just can’t help thinking of 2010 me. I was unemployed, which wasn’t great, but I went no carb, hardly-no-sugar and had just discovered hot yoga. Maaaaaaan, let me tell you, I was in the best shape of my life that year. But that level of time and diet commitment is just… hard. I probably could’ve maintained it had I kept one of the two going.

I dunno. But I tell you what I do know. I’m not about to go through what bridesmaids all over the world go through. I will make sure that I can fit into the dress I ordered. I decided to order a size that will fit me today instead of some aspirational size. Hopefully I’ll have the problem of needing to have it taken in…

Switching gears again. Do you play the Sims 4? I do, and I’m losing my mind that I won’t be able to play with the toddlers until Thursday night of this week! I’ve downloaded the update, but between visiting Chicago, my work-volunteer-yoga schedule, and going to see a taping of the Harry Connick, Jr. show, there just won’t be time before then.

Seriously, how freaking cute are these toddlers?

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Christmas Fail and Harry Potter Praise

So we didn’t get the tree. I wish I could say I was surprised. In a stunning group effort, my husband Chris did not get the addresses for people he wanted to mail cards to, and I didn’t even purchase the cards had we had somewhere to send them. We are not good at Christmasing, y’all.

There’s a lot more I want to say, but I’m still finding the line for how personal I want this blog to be. Instead, I’ll completely switch topics.

Any Harry Potter fans out there?

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I’ve never been to Europe before, but I’m going next fall to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in West End. Or is it on West End? I would say I was seeing a play on Broadway, not in Broadway. Is is the same for West End in London? Somebody help me please.

Anyway, being the huge Harry Potter fan that I am, I am so excited to get to see it in person in London before they bring it to Broadway in 2018.

Does anyone remember when Michael Jackson died? I do because it was June 25th, the 5th anniversary of the day my boyfriend from freshman year of college died. I bring him up because I remember how upset I was when his This Is It tour was announced to be NOT coming to America.

At the time, I couldn’t wrap my head around travelling to Europe for just a concert. Well, that tour never happened, and Michael currently tops my list of entertainers I regret not having had the chance to see perform live when I had the chance. Luther Vandross is a close second.

I know that ever had I purchased tickets to the concert, obviously I still wouldn’t have seen him. But just accepting the lost opportunity had an impact on me. I promised myself that if it were in my means, I would never miss another important (to me) culture event if I could help it.

That’s why I waited 15 hours in an online queue to get tickets to see the Harry Potter play.

Why did I bring up Harry Potter? Well, I’ve just finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

LEAVE NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS, and now a random picture to fill up some space you don’t accidentally read what I’ve got to say on the matter.

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That’s me and my friend Corey, both very liquored up, at my favorite NYC jazz club: Smalls Jazz Club.

Back to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Albus Severus Dumbledore is such a fuck up.

And Voldemort plus Bellatrix?? Ew. And her husband was fine with it? Double ew.

And all those magical effects? I can tell you there won’t be many high school play productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. *smirks*

The people who said it was hard to follow because it was a stage play? Bullshit, y’all folks don’t have imagination. Almost every set was one from the books (and movies), use your imagination, or if you don’t have enough of that, use your memory! You know what Godric’s Hollow looks like. You know what the edge of the Forbidden Forest looks like. You know what Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom looks like. Come on y’all.

The British are bracingly realistic. The resolution of the relationship between Harry and Albus (both of them, come to think of it), was so messy. Messy, messy, messy. Just like real life. I suppose that’s why so many people, myself included, deeply love these characters. They’re so freaking real.

I’m so excited to see this play. Reading through all the books in a row has perfectly prepped me for watching all the movies in a row. Then it’ll be back to the books, likely next summer, before I go see that play.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them SIDENOTE.

Yoooooooooooo! When they revealed Grindelwald, I was like whaaaaaaaaaa?!?!?!?

I’m so excited about the actor they’ve cast for Grindelwald. I’m really pleased with the choice. Because of Pottermore, my perception of Grindelwald is a flamboyant genius, whose charm belies his true intentions, and they’ve chosen perfectly to fit my vision of him.

Knowing that this story ends in 1945, presumably with the big duel between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, well, I’m so excited for, let’s say 8 years from now, when they finally put out the fifth movie. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll do a movie a year, but I just don’t think that’s very likely. It took 10 years to put out 8 movies for the regular series, and those characters only aged 6-7 years (depending on their birth date). These characters are covering 20-ish years. Oh the possibilities…

Harry Potter is a wonderful distraction from everyday life.

I’ve just acquired a 2009 edition of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. If you’re up your Harry Potter canon, you know this version of the book (originally published in 2001) is no longer canon. They have recently released the screenplay, which is still not the correct version of the book, though it is with the movie series. The correct version of the Hogwarts textbook will be released in March of 2017.

Lots of chances to give J.K. Rowling all our money!

I’ll certainly be giving her mine. I’ll own the Kindle or physical copy of all her books, even the Pottermore books, which are just gathered assorted writings about the wizarding world. Let’s just be happy I haven’t gone off the deep end and purchased full blown Quidditch robes, lol.

Anyone who’s still reading care to share their favorite escape? Some other escape options for me include: Leverage (TV Series), The Sims 4, and all the DC Comics and Marvel Comics TV shows on Netflix, ABC and the CW.


Fighting The Ughs In My Personal Life And My Politics

Anytime I see the word trump in the news, capitalized or not, I just get… ugh. Yeah, that’s the word. I get ugh.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got some personal things happening right now in my life that for the first time ever make me feel prolonged sadness. I feel very ugh almost all the time now.

But, there are some things going down that are fighting the ughs.

Personal

  1. I finally booked an Airbnb for the Paris portion of the trip my husband and I are taking to Europe for New Year’s. Nothing like having somewhere to sleep so you don’t end up in a hostel to make you smile.
  2. I have started playing Sims 4 again, and writing stories about my Sims. The SimLit community is fantastic and I’m so happy to rejoin them after a long hiatus.
  3. I’ve finally got my younger cat Jasmine on my side! She seemed to barely tolerate me since we moved to New York, staring at me with contempt every time I dare to show affection to my husband or older cat Belle. But yesterday morning, she climbed into my lap and sat there purring while I petted her. Chris and Belle were just as confused as I was.

Political

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  1. The protesters in North Dakota triumphed! Read about it on NPR. CNN has this picture on their website that is just so powerful to me. It reminds me of the interconnected struggles of all marginalized communities. I’m hopeful that all the naysayers who swear protesting does nothing will now shut the entire fuck up. If you’ve been under a rock, and you don’t know about #NoDAPL, well, all you need to know now is the Army has agreed to reroute a pipeline that had the potential to damage the groundwater and desecrate the burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Army backed down from the latest in a series of violations of a treaty signed long ago. The celebrations that are happening today are heartwarming. It is so much better than what we thought would happen. December 5th was designated as the day they were going to forcibly remove people from the land to setup a “free speech area”, supposedly “for their safety.” So much bullshit and gaslighting went into that concept, but it matters not! Instead of that crap, December 5th is now a day of celebration for everyone who supported their cause.
  2. Yesterday was the anniversary of the day Fred Hampton was murdered in 1969. You may not have heard of him, but you should go learn about him. He died for the cause and is an example of what you must be willing to sacrifice for progress. Today is the anniversary of the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. You likely have heard of that, but you should still learn more about it, and the Freedom Riders too. These sustained protests are examples of the economic power of the oppressed, as well as their ability to fight against unjust laws. Looking back on the significance of these days informs our present and future. The varied forms of protest as well as the varied outcomes leave me with pride, courage, and resolve. And believe it or not, it also helps me push the ughs away.
  3. In the context of history both decades and hours old, I look forward to what’s coming next. For me, that is the Injustice Boycott. In just over an hour after this post publishes, we will get details of who the boycott targets are. I grew up hearing stories about how economic protests made Montgomery, Alabama integrate their city bus system and how all the major national African-American organizations boycotted Arizona until they observed Martin Luther King Jr Day. I’ve always believed in the power of protest to affect change. I was on board with protests against Chick-fil-A and other companies that have been associated with discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, and I’d like to think I’m a good ally for that community, ever learning and evolving to be an even better ally. I’m just glad that now I get to engage in a protest that helps my own community. Once they put up details about the protest, I’ll probably put up another post explaining how I’ll participate.

I’ve been struggling as of late to stay positive and happy and optimistic about the future. But on days like today, there are glimmers of hope that the darkness won’t last.


I Enjoy Less Because Feminism

The patriarchal cisgendered norms of my worldview have been buffeted by intersectional feminism.

In case that sentence was gibberish to you, let me break it down.

Patriarchal: When I use this term, I’m referring to the second definition, which refers to a society controlled by men.

Cisgendered: When I use this term, I’m referring to people who identify as being the same gender they were assigned at birth.

Intersectional: When I use this term, I’m referring to the concept that the problems of marginalized communities are interconnected, and cannot be separated.

Feminism: When I use this term, I’m referring to the belief in and fight for the rights of women based on the belief in their equality to men.

Intersectional feminism: When I use this term, I’m referring to an idea that the fight for equality for women is a fight for all women and femmes, crossing racial and social and economic and age and gender lines.

Having defined those terms as I am currently using them, let’s say that first sentence again using a lot more words.

The world defaults to the best interest of men, particularly those who were assigned the male gender at birth, and I was raised with those same patterns of behavior and views. In learning more about the world around me, particularly as it relates to the equality of all people, and the way all marginalized communities are connected, I no longer view the world that way.

I notice this in ways small and large. It has affected the way I see things, and changed the things I used to take for granted. I count myself lucky because I was raised by parents who taught me to be independent and decide for myself how I view the world. They taught me that even if I disagree with everyone I love, I must think, feel, and do what I think is right.

Some examples:

  • I can no longer watch TGIT with my mother because she and I disagree on the normalcy of the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve been visiting Chicago a lot recently for my mother because my grandmother is sick. This last visit, I watched Grey’s Anatomy, Notorious, and How to Get Away with Murder with my mom. Every show that night featured characters engaging in homosexual behavior. Each time my mother would say something along the lines of, “they’re so gay.” Her tone and redundancy bugged me, and I expressed my dissatisfaction. But aside from learning to not voice certain things, I don’t think much can be done to fix this situation. I no longer enjoy watching television with my mother. I am no fan of Raven-Symone, but I was so irritated when over the summer my mother spoke of her sexuality while we watched an eipsode of The View.
  • I can no longer attend church services at the church where I grew up. The last sermon I sat through there was a ranting mess about how gays and Muslim immigrants and bankers were responsible for the economic hardships. I was completely fucking floored and done with the church after that. The pastor of the church wasn’t there that day. The preacher who gave that awful ass sermon is now the pastor of another church, thank God. But his departure doesn’t change the reaction of the congregation during the sermon. I was horrified, openly horrified at that sermon, and I seemed to be the only one. The people who were actually listening, and who managed to follow his bullshit line of reasoning were responding as if it were any other barely mediocre sermon. I cannnot attend a church where they think blaming marginilized communities for our community’s problems is okay.
  • The song Hallelujah is one I have always loved. That mournful tone and the way the music swells as it builds to its peak have always been so beautiful to me. But the lyrics maaaaaan… The second verse is all biblical references normalizing a lot of crap towards women. It gets real rapey and hateful in just five lines. Pretty much the only version of the song I can listen to these days is the one by Pentatonix. I can easily listen to the beauty of their voices without the lyrics penetrating.
  • Eminem, who I would call one of my favorite rappers, says some awful things about women, homosexuals, etc. I don’t really love rap to begin with, and that is now tested even more. His song Rap God, which I used to listen to on repeat, now is like a slap across the face every time he uses the word faggot. It’s just not the same now that I no longer make excuses for the use of that word in music.

Those are just a few, but there are many more. Obviously, a lot of the issues I have come as a consumer. Music, television, even news articles just fall flat to me when they aren’t doing enough to fight for progress.

Several articles in the Washington Post recently address feminism, but they do it in such an incomplete way, that without a good knowledge base, you’d think they hate feminism and have never heard the word intersectional. I know feminism has a lot of problems, mostly that it tend to leave out those are aren’t white, cis, middle class, career-focused, American women. But these articles, which you can read here, here, and here, seem so limited in their scope. They seemed to make the point that there is feminism and there is black/poor/non-white feminism. In my opinion, they are not helping the cause.

The unity that is essential to resisting future overlord DJT feels like it’s being attacked from all sides. For any Harry Potter fans out there, remember that sucky speech Dolores Umbridge gave at the start of year feast when she was Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? Basically she spoke a lot about preserving some traditions and pruning others. Just like DJT’s narcissistic ass, she sought to only keep the “traditions” that forwarded her and the Ministry’s selfish aims, damn those who are hurt in the wake.

If we are going to properly resist what’s coming (and already happening), we can’t let mainstream media twist and/or make light of important movements. And you can’t let the constant stream of music, online videos, television and movies (white-washed Dr. Strange, I’m looking at you… “Celtic” my ass…) shape and re-shape your perception of what’s normal–and what isn’t.

If you believe in equality, if you believe in progress, then pay attention. Learn their code words, and learn your code words. When I hear the word urban come up in politics, I know what they mean. It catches my ear and puts me on alert because what follows the use of that word is almost always some bullshit, and almost always is an attempt to harm my community.

I’m paying attention. And when the time comes, I’ll be ready.

Listen. Progress. Resist. Thrive.


Everything Is Awful! A Song That Definitely Wouldn’t Make The Oscars

If you have small children or great whimsy in your life, you know about the song Everything is Awesome. It was liked so much, it was used as one of the performances for the 2015 Academy Awards.

I think about this song because it mostly makes me feel happy/amused/smiley, but the song itself is represents a way to fool the masses into falling in line and distracting them so they don’t question authority. I wonder if a song about fighting the power would make it to the Oscars.

For the past several posts, there hasn’t been much happy in my life, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. I will say that the title of this post is hyperbole. Everything is not awful. Just a lot of things are.

So what awful thing am I talking about today?

I was walking in to work this morning, checking notifications that came up on my phone when I saw the news that Florence Henderson had died. This made me really sad; I immediately thought of her on Dancing with the Stars, and when she visited this past season for Maureen McCormick.

I will never get tired of seeing celebrities break out of their molds on this show.

I will never get tired of seeing celebrities break out of their molds on this show.

These days, I have very little patience for white-washed TV shows like the Brady Bunch. But this show came out before I was even born, so I was watching reruns on Nick at Nite as a child before I knew better.

I remember a holiday episode where she sang O Come All Ye Faithful, which for years I wrongly remembered as her singing O Holy Night. It’s an absolutely absurd plot, but I loved it. The kids contemplating cancelling Christmas because their mom couldn’t sing is likely a contributing factor to why I don’t want kids, lol.

I wonder about Florence Henderson’s political beliefs. Is that weird? I’m not sure if she’s on record having voiced an opinion about women’s rights or race relations or LGBTQ+ equality or the Dakota pipeline/Flint water crisis or any of today’s pressing issues that I care strongly about.

I’ve been keeping a running tally in my head for a few different lists:

  1. Wholly Against Us
  2. Suspiciously Quiet When It Matters
  3. Too Little Too Late
  4. Oh, Now You Wanna Speak Up When It Affects You and Yours
  5. I See You Making Efforts, But It’s Not Good Enough
  6. Social Media Warrior, Okay, Okay, But What Are Your Actions?
  7. I See You Speaking AND Acting, You’re Down for the Cause
  8. You Should Definitely Be Considered a Leader of the Movement
  9. It’s Like This Isn’t Even Happening In Your World

Florence would definitely go on list #9. Most people seem to speak highly of her, she was an amazing woman by all accounts. My perception of what makes a person amazing, however, is evolving. I don’t know that I can consider someone “amazing” who isn’t helping the fight for equality move forward.

Today is particularly rough at work too. A lot of the deaths we’re getting in are under suspicious circumstances, very sad, and hard for even the doctors and medical examiners to deal with.

I’ve got a lot of conflicted feelings. For instance, there’s this article in the NY Daily News: NY Daily News: Sorry, America, but ‘The Brady Bunch’ was a lousy show. The tweet for this article was even worse:

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It feels a bit disrespectful, no? It’s not so much the sentiment because I was basically just saying above how a show like this would do nothing but piss me off were they making new episodes today.

For me, it’s the language. “No disrespect…but..” I mean, come on. Only dedicated assholes say things like that. And yes, maybe the show does suck, and maybe that’s been this journalists opinion since he was a little kid. But to decide that today is the day he must share his opinion with the world is a bit tone deaf.

Florence Henderson spent a lot of time defending the show from critics with very real and accurate criticism of the bubble in which the show existed. So confronting her stance on the show is… I guess… fair game. Kinda like when you review someone’s legacy after death, it’s usually okay to point out the parts you specifically agree with.

But the article didn’t address anything she’d ever said about the show. It was just an opportunity to crap all over a show he clearly never liked. This was in poor taste.

I was genuinely sad at the news of her passing this morning, but I think focusing on it today is helping me cope with some personal issues, as well as the continued craptastic current events (Jill Stein getting hinky with the recount money, Dakota Access Pipeline injuries and assaults at the hands of police continuing, more black folks dead at the hands of hateful white people, more minorities assaulted by Trump supporters).

Seriously y’all, how fucking long until 2016 is over? I swear something moderately bad could happen 1/1/17 and I will be less bogged down by it that if it happens on New Year’s Eve.


When You Forget How To Enjoy Life

Do you ever forget how to enjoy life? I don’t mean sinking into a full depression where nothing holds the same joy. I’m referring more to when responsibilities and relationships and work and bills and politics and injustice take over most of your brain power, and you forget to make time for things that suddenly feel a bit trivial.

I wasn’t even sure what I was thinking or how to articulate it, but then Twitter came through for me. A write for The Establishment, Ijeoma Oluo posted a piece today that targets a lot of what I’m feeling. If you’re not familiar with her, Google her, she’s got a lot of great things to say.

ijeoma

Her piece today is called, “What I’m Doing To Get My Black Ass Ready For The Next 4 Years.” I read it and so much of it resonated with me. In it was a call to action, and a reminder for self-love. Seeking out community as well as allies is essential.

In case you don’t understand, the worry of the next four years is almost entirely about Trump. In just the two weeks since he was elected, the ugly underbelly of America has shown it’s ass. A lot of people aren’t sure how to respond.

Here’s what I’ve personally been doing:

  1. Putting my money where my mouth is. I make monthly contributions to Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood. I also have donated money on different fundraising sites to help different causes such as Get Rodricus Crawford Home! and Baton Rouge Legal Defense Fund. And I’ve taken out a subscription for Mother Jones, independent news outlets will likely be our only hope in the coming years.
  2. Adding my name to the roll. I’ve signed a number of online petitions, and I’ve made a number of phone calls to elected officials to make sure they know at least one additional person cares about what bills and policies they support.
  3. Reaffirming for myself what’s most important. I have to be in a position to protect and support those I care about. Making sure my priorities are in order a useful bit of self-care so I won’t have to make hard choices later.
  4. Maintaining my health and wellness. Continuing to try and live healthy and happy will keep my body and mind fortified for what’s coming. And I signed up for more volunteer work, it benefits me just like it benefits others.

When Trump is sworn in, will the sky fall? Maybe not for all of us, but definitely for some of us. In just the month of November, he’s both promised to indict Clinton and backed off from that. He’s promised to build the wall between USA and Mexico and later spent a lot of time talking about everything but. He’s completely full of crap in almost every way possible. The only thing he’s been clear on is his business interests and his need for constant praise.

Trump settled the Trump University lawsuit for $25 million and has an upcoming rape trial. A lot of that is too hard to even process for most people still in election shock. This is all just what’s happening now, while the executive branch is still in transition. No one knows what policy positions he’ll actually land on for anything.

We must remain vigilant because there is no telling what he will do.

I have a lot going on in my personal life, so focusing on both the big and small pictures will be hard for me. Worrying about myself and those closest with me will not always line up with worrying about the world around me. But I’m not going to stop trying to do both.

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I borrowed this image from Ijeoma Oluo’s article. It’s such a powerful image, and it strengthens my resolve every time I look at it.


Life Goes On, But Don’t Let That Fool You Into Complacency

Unless you are an undocumented immigrant, or a Muslim immigrant whose visa is about to be up for renewal soon, chances are you are not one of Trump’s immediate targets.

Do the rest of us have things to worry about? Hell yes we do. But when six months pass and the sky has yet to fall on your head, you may begin to think, “hey this Trump presidency isn’t so bad, I’m living and thriving and no one I personally know has been affected. Maybe we were being hyperbolic to be so damn afraid back in November.”

To that I say, “nah.”

We gotta stay woke out here. History’s great dictators, demagogues, and assholes didn’t attempt to burn the world down all in one day. No, they slowly ramped up their awful behavior until suddenly everyone looked around and realized the hellscape had been there all along.

As usual, I’ve fallen down several rabbit holes on Twitter. I’ve come across some amazing threads that everyone should read to understand where your focus should be. I have them posted at the bottom.

But first:

Am I suggesting you forgo living your life to sit on your porch, vigilant with a shotgun, waiting for the Trump-induced apocalypse? Mmmmmmmm, no…. Not unless you’re independently wealthy, a confirmed bachelor, and willing to raise the alarm to the rest of us as soon as that shit comes over the horizon.

Seeing as how those descriptors describe very few people, what are the rest of us to do? You must keep living and finding joy in life so that anxiety doesn’t take over the world. But you can’t put your head down and stop paying attention.

  1. Re-read Trump’s policies and consider how those policies will affect you personally. Seek out allies who are already building a coalition to fight those policies.
  2. Ask your friends, families and colleagues to do the same. Then discuss how those policies will affect each of you. Become each other’s allies. You may not have to worry about deportation, but you’d be surprised how many people you love have close family members or friends who worry deeply about it.
  3. Stay vigilant and raise the alarm. Don’t stop talking about damaging language or behavior.
  4. Resist the draw of mainstream media. Resist the words of people you admire who are asking you to do things and saying things that don’t make sense. For example, Oprah suggested Trump’s body language shows winning the election has humbled him. To that, I say a giant WHAT THE FUCK, and OH HELL NO. Have any of you ever seen a humble Trump? Even when he’s proclaiming how humble he is? I didn’t think so. Don’t let the people you admire most lead you down a dark and confusing path.
  5. Learn what gaslighting is. Begin to practice real techniques to combat it. Your sanity may literally depend on it.
  6. Lastly, find specific ways to keep life as happy as you can. I suggest exercise, sex and travel, if you can afford it. The steady stream of endorphins, along with constant exposure to different parts of the population will keep you balanced (no Fox News) and keep things in perspective.

At some point in the near future, I’m not gonna make every single blog post about how I’m feeling post-election. Right now, I’m still smack in the middle of stage two: anger.

They say you don’t necessarily reach all five stages in order or at all, but I haven’t come anywhere near bargaining. I can’t think of shit I could’ve or should’ve done that would have prevented this outcome. And I’m certainly not interested in compromising with Trump. I’m looking to resist his dangerous policies at every turn.

Right now, the only thing I can think of to support that he wants to do is improve infrastructure around the country. My main issue is concern for how he’s going to do it.

One of my best friends has this term I love to hear her use: pissed-tivity. It’s usually mentioned as a scale. For example, right now I have a high level of pissed-tivity for folks trying to normalize Trump.

I’m still going to live my life. I’m currently shopping for an external charger or perhaps a charging case for my phone because life. My husband and I are going to Paris for New Year’s Eve next month. We have to start planning activities to try and enjoy our vacation and perhaps plot becoming illegal immigrants somewhere in Northern Europe (I kid, I kid, we’d of course get tourist visas before we’ve worn out our legal welcome).

But trust that I’m maintaining a high level of pissed-tivity, even after I’ve moved past the anger stage of grief. It’s my best way to stay alert and keep motivated for this long fight we have ahead of us.

Now, please see below three amazing Twitter threads you really should check out.

This is from an Iranian American feminist. She knows what it’s like to live under a dictator. Heed her warning about how easy it is for the reality to become commonplace.

This guy is great, and if you love comic books and feminism, you’ll love him even more. This thread isn’t about politics. It’s about the place of black women in comics and media and their imperfect allies, or lack thereof.

Matt McGorry, who I love as an actor and activist, has a lot to say about how to be a better ally, He is a dedicated ally of Black Lives Matter and NoDAPL.

To sum up everything above: stay vigilant, keep living, prepare for the fight, actually fight when the time comes.


Race Baiting. Let’s Talk About It.

Oh yeah, I’m going there.

I spend a lot of time on twitter. Every time one black activist or another posts literally anything about race issues, someone responds with hateful awful language. They usually spout the worst stereotypes anyone has heard about whatever group being discussed.

Sometimes that activist retweets the words or responds to them, usually highlighting the bigotry, prejudice, or outright racism of the language.

Inevitably, a third person responds, accusing the activist of race baiting.  Every time I see that accusation show up on some activists timeline, I get confused.

My first thought always is: how is it race-baiting to simply talk about and acknowledge that race issues exist? How is that activists to blame for some awful language of some random online troll?

The mere mention of possibly settling Syrian refugees in their home state makes many an online troll express dangerous and scary views. I’m an American born and raised, and the words are frightening to me. I can’t even imagine how those words land in the world of a refugee, simply here to make a better life for themselves.

But then, the part of me that is always looking to try and understand the sliver of logic that usually exists in even the most fucked up arguments kicks in. I think: Do I know anyone who unreasonably lashes out at a culture they don’t understand the second they perceive a threat from that culture?

The unfortunate answer is I do.

In black American culture, there is a lot of intolerance towards others who don’t follow traditional black (read: protestant/intolerant Christian) views. The stereotypes towards the LGBTQ+ community, Asians, Latinxs, and women are damn near intolerable to my ears. They are mostly rooted in ignorant stereotypes because of how segregated so much of the American black population is from the rest of the country.

I think about the communities I don’t hear a lot of aggression towards: indigenous Americans, refugees, disabled people, vets. I’m not sure why those people have escaped widescale ridicule in the black community. Or maybe they have and I just don’t know those people.

Let me finally get to my point.

In the times of life where I’ve been present for one of these ignorant rants against another community from the mouths of black folks, their justification is usually along the lines of, “well, if you didn’t bring it up, wouldn’t have to share my crappy views with you on the topic.”

They literally accuse whoever mentioned the touchy subject last of being at blame for their toxic language. It’s the same though pattern that produces such gems as “I don’t care if you’re gay, I just don’t wanna see that shit” and “This is why the black family isn’t intact, feminism is tearing apart black men and women”.

For the record, I’m not saying that ignorance in the black community makes it okay for the white trolls on Twitter. The ignorance of both makes me sick to my stomach.

What I am saying is that because this toxic pattern of behavior touches closer to home for me, I think I understand this thought process a little bit.

That’s how I know it can’t be tolerated. This gaslighting bullshit cannot go without challenge. I’m not suggesting getting into an online fight with a Twitter troll, but I’m suggesting confronting it when you hear toxic language come from the mouths of your friends, family, and colleagues.

You may not change someone’s mind, but we can at least restore some decency in terms of what is okay and NOT OKAY to say to and about others. Free speech is one thing, but targeted hate speech and menacing is on a whole other level.

Even if you can’t get through to someone, you never know who is listening. Maybe the person overhearing your defense of what is right will come around.

Don’t let the accusation of race baiting back you down from talking about marginalized communities. If your words precede someone spewing toxic language, that’s not your fault. If merely the mention of someone different makes someone go off like a crazy person, that’s not your fault. Don’t let them drag the fight down to their level.

Keep standing up for what matters to you. Keep fighting. Keep speaking up. Continue to fight for your own community and work harder everyday to be an ally to other communities.

Don’t let racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and misogynists turn your words of power into bait.

If you’re looking for a sound argument against gaslighting, particularly in light of the results of this most recent American election, check out this Twitter thread.

twitter-gaslight


I’m Officially in the Second Stage of Grief

There are 5 stages of grief.

Starting pretty much from 10pm Tuesday night, I was in stage one. Full blown denial and isolation. As it became increasingly clear that Clinton was not going to be our next president, I folded in on myself.

My husband was so upset and wanted to talk about his feelings, as usual. The folded-in-on-myself version of me listened, but not really, as usual. I had empathy for what he was going through, but I had trouble getting out of my own head. I fell asleep on the couch with CNN loud enough to wake me up every time they played their Breaking News ominous music. He finally went to bed around 2am. Neither of us slept well.

I didn’t get much consistent sleep as I watched headline after headline say in different ways the Trump was going to be the next president. It was a dark night.

At work yesterday, everyone was commiserating, some people joking to get through the day. I was sitting quietly at my desk for most of the day, and people kept noting that I didn’t look okay. Some even asked, “are you okay?” With a firm answer of no, the conversation didn’t go much further than that. People aren’t used to someone claiming something other than being “okay.” But yesterday, I gave zero fucks.

I was in full blown isolation + denial. But the events of the rest of night helped push me into the next stage.

My husband Chris and I went to the Knicks game last night. We bought those tickets a while ago, excited for the chance to see the Knicks play the Nets, some new version of a cross-town rivalry for us I guess. I decided to root for the Nets because I love Jeremy Lin, but unfortunately he was out with an injury, and also Derrick Rose and his poor understanding of consent made it hard for me to root for the Knicks.

Neither of us paid close attention to the game. I fell down the rabbit hole that is Twitter. I was reading account after account of people being harassed, threatened, and menaced by Trump supporters. These people were female, trans, black, Muslim, Hispanic, Latinx, Asian, immigrants, Jewish, or some combination of those identifiers. And they were terrified. Their accounts terrified me.

If you have some time to read what happened, you can check out Shaun King’s twitter timeline, he’s done a pretty good job of tweeting and retweeting accounts of what’s happened in just the first 24 hours after Trump was elected. He’s also tweeted messages of hope as maligned communities and allies posted messages of support and reassurance to those feeling fear.

Chris was in a text message discussion with a woman he’s close to. They were in a disagreement about the appropriate reaction to someone who’s voted for Trump. To Chris, a vote for Trump was an unequivocal vote for his bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic positions. A person who’s voted for Trump gets no benefit of the doubt, no olive branch extended.

I’m sure I know a bunch of people who voted for Trump, they just aren’t saying it. Those are people I have to deal with professionally and where I do volunteer work, likely even where I go for yoga. But I sure as hell am not going to be friends with anyone I know voted for Trump, nor anyone I know doesn’t vehemently rebuke those who have voted for him.

This woman felt like Chris wasn’t being understanding of how difficult it is to have one set of beliefs, but then to make compromises to that for the sake of peace in the family. Right as he was relaying her statement to me, I came across this on Twitter.

twitter-bad-allies

He tried explaining to her that she was being an inconsistent ally, choosing her comfort over the struggle of the communities she claims she supports. In that moment, he realized that she ain’t really down for the cause. She’s not where she needs to be yet if she’s going to be a real ally. Their conversation is still ongoing with no resolution in sight.

The game ended with the Knicks winning by a bunch of points. I headed home to get some sleep before work today. Chris headed to Trump Tower to join the protest. I was so proud of him in that moment. I made sure he unlocked his phone, and my info in his phone could be searched by looking for the word wife, just in case.

He came home safely, and now he’s messaging me to tell me about how the protest was. I didn’t expect to move past denial so quickly, and there are moments where I flicker back to that stage and think: is this really life?

But for the most part, I’m in full blown anger right now. Every time I read about some poor woman who’s accosted by someone trying to rip off her hijab, I get angrier. Every time I see some member of the liberal establishment tell me we need to “unify” and “give Trump a chance to lead,” I get angrier. Every time I read the word nigger in some tweet from someone with an egg or a frog for a face on Twitter, I get angrier.

Supposedly this anger is healthy. I wonder how long I’ll feel this way before moving on to bargaining.


Numb Is the Best Word Here

I’ve been barely paying attention to social media. I’ve learned that Clinton is probably going to win the popular vote. I’ve learned that white women are to blame for Trump’s win. I’ve learned that I don’t really care about everyone’s anguish right now.

I’m numb. I’m at work, and dealing with a lot of crazies. It’s like a full moon out with all the weirdness abounding here.

And my mom is texting me about what I’m thinking. And my husband is messaging me about how I feel.

I feel meh.

I’m numb. And I think the only thing that might make me feel better again is finding a school to go to for my MBA, a school outside of this country. So I don’t have to be here for a Trump presidency.

Maybe if I can make that happen, the pollsters will have learned how to properly poll Latinos and the Rust Belt by the time I get back.


Live Blogging My Way Through Election Day

00:09 EST

I have to work in the morning, I’m done for the night.

23:59 EST

Over at Trump headquarters in NYC, they are ecstatic. All I can think is there there is one black guy and one Hispanic guy in the room. Everyone else is white.

23:57 EST

Clinton headquarters in NYC is a grim place. Their faces look like how I feel. Stunned disbelief.

23:49 EST

That bottle of champagne is gonna be in my fridge for a long time. If she loses, I won’t have much to celebrate. 2016 really is the worst fucking year.

23:38 EST

She can’t lose another vote she was expected to win. Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, come on y’all.

23:31 EST

Evangelicals man… They don’t think a woman should be in charge. And misogyny, xenophobia, and racism won’t make them not vote for you… Good to know.

23:21 EST

Just took a nap helped by the food. This shit is not looking good. People are saying the polls having been properly polling the Rust Belt and that’s why they got it wrong.

It looks like Clinton is going to lose. This is so depressing.

21:55 EST

Clinton just pulled ahead in Virginia.

Whew!

Current heart rate according to my Gear Fit 2 is 87 bpm.

21:50 EST

Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida. these four states are KILLING me right now. she’s supposed to win three of the four.

The polling this cycle apparently sucked.

21:47 EST

I’m feeling a certain amount of despair. These vote counts remind me of 2008, when Obama was leading in many vote counts. His opponent never made up the numbers. Now I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping a miracle can be pulled off for Clinton.

Nate Silver, my statistics boo, still shows Clinton winning. I really hope he’s right.

I know people who chose not to vote today. They think no matter the outcome, they won’t do well. They weren’t thinking of the people of different groups who will NOT do well with a Trump presidency.

I can’t even right now.

21:32 EST

There are a lot of votes. CNN says are too early to call. But Trump has the lead in most of these states. This is so nerve-wracking. My two home states, New York and Illinois, did their part. The rest of the country is fucking up.

21:05 EST

Trump ahead in Florida and Ohio and North Carolina. I can’t.

20:45 EST

It didn’t even occur to me to watch these results somewhere other than my own home. Why would I? This is where all the good booze is. Plus, I don’t need pants here.

On CNN, they’re showing New Yorkers watching on a rooftoop. It looks like they’re at 230 Fifth. I don’t love that rooftop, but that gathering looks fun.

Nah, I’m happy to be on my couch, agonizing over Florida in the comfort of my own home.

20:43 EST

Clinton isn’t supposed to win Ohio. She is supposed to win Florida. Those vote totals so far are upside down right now. This is upsetting.

20:30 EST

South Carolina & Alabama to Trump. No surprises there. Tons of states are too close to call. It’s still early, I’m trying to remain calm.

20:28 EST

My husband is so drunk. He’s thinking he’s attracted to Dana Bash now, lol. I get it, she looks great tonight.

Ugh, Trump is still up in Florida. This is no bueno.

He’s also currently winning in the popular vote. Clinton is winning in the electoral college vote so far. I wish they wouldn’t mention states until all the votes are in–no I don’t. I’d be so impatient if they weren’t giving me regular updates.

20:14 EST

Now Trump is up by 700 votes in Florida. Ugh. This shit is too close.

20:11 EST

Most people think they can’t drink alcohol in any order. They would be wrong. You can’t drink excessively in any order. My husband doesn’t have the strongest stomach. But tonight, he started with beer, then he drank rum (and coke), now he’s drinking wine.

You too can drink in whatever order you’d like. As long as you have a chemist on your side guiding your way, lol.

Ugh, these results are coming in now Early voting in Florida is not making me happy. We’ll see what happen though because right now Clinton is in the lead. 86% is in. And Clinton is only ahead by 11,000 votes ahead.

This is some nailbiting shit…

20:07 EST

Clinton on track to win Florida… Lord please…

19:55 EST

Trump wins West Virginia, duh.

I’ve finished the Sancerre and the beer. On to Beaujolais. That is a wonderful wine I know about because of Wine School in the New York Times last year.

19:43 EST

Ohio’s Secretary of State says that they will start reporting results soon. Republicans don’t win the country without Ohio.

Conversely, they have won Ohio without winning the presidency.

I guess we’ll see which way this will go.

19:37 EST

Nate Silver (my statistics boo) thinks that Trump will easily win Vigo County, Indiana. He thinks their bellweather status is no more because of love for Trump.

I take back what I said about understanding angry white people.

19:33 EST

Florida keeps going back and forth between Trump and Clinton.

This is nerve-wracking.

My husband can’t believe this is even a competition.

I know never to underestimate angry white people.

At least dinner was good. Chris ate so fast, he got the hiccups, lol.

I’m really really hoping Clinton wins Florida.

19:14 EST

Trump is ahead currently in Florida. This doesn’t make me happy. But at least she’s ahead in Florida, but the votes are so tiny in number right now. Taking a break to eat.

food

19:06 EST

Goodness. Bellweather county in Indiana is pissing me off. I hope Vigo County is wrong this year. Right now, it’s leaning Trump.

It’s time to eat, so at least there’s that.

19:00 EST

CNN projects Donald Trump will win Kentucky and Indiana. No surprises there. Hillary Clinton will win Vermont. No surprise there.

Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina too early to call.

My husband and I toasted and took a drink our of our glasses about Vermont.

Chris: “I’m drunk!”

Me: “Join the club!”

18:57 EST

Eric Trump violated New York election law by posting a picture of his ballot, lol.

I get it though. I took photos of my ballot when I got to vote for both my mother and Obama in the same election. It was an amazing moment for me. Of course, I knew better than to post it online.

Dummy.

18:48 EST

I’m watching Ana Navarro on CNN. This woman gives me life. This Nicaraguan-born American woman makes me so happy!

18:41 EST

Classic CNN. They’re watching the counts in Indiana. We know Indiana is going for Trump. Do we really care about the last 70,000 votes coming in from there? No we don’t.

My husband and I are going to Paris and London for New Year’s. We’re pretty damn sure that if Trump wins, we’re not coming back. When we first moved to NYC, we said we were gonna be here for three years then move to Europe.

I’ve been looking at job opportunities in London in my same industry. And I’ve been looking at the visa process in the U.K. It’s very possible for us to go over there and not come back.

We each feel better knowing we have an escape route, just in case…

18:31 EST

Every time I turn to MSNBC, they piss me off. I was just trying to check on Rachel Maddow’s eyelashes, but nope. They had an awful commercial on that made me turn back to CNN before I could see her. Fiat is at peak appropriation right now, ugh.

My husband is now drinking a very strong rum & coke I’ve made him. I’m finishing the beer, half of which I’ve poured into the italian sausages.

The first part of the food is almost done: squash, yellow rice, italian sausages. Gonna be so good!

18:24 EST

I’ve been trying to do more situps as a part of my regular workout. I prolly should’ve done those earlier today… before I started drinking. Oh well, I’ll do them tomorrow before I go to work.

18:21 EST

CNN is cracking me up with these “KEY RACE ALERTS”

I’m just glad none of the alerts are surprises thus far.

18:14 EST

My chicken still isn’t completely defrosted, so I’ve got it running under cold water now. But the rice is cooking and so are the italian sausages. So at least we’ll get dinner. The chicken may end up being our lunch for tomorrow. Gonna cook the squash and broccolini soon. I’m about to open a beer for the sausages.

And drink the rest!

This food smells so amazing!

18:08 EST

I can already tell I’m gonna be so annoyed when she wins. People keep referencing how only 100  years aho women didn’ t have the right to vote. I’m just like, “white women!!!”

Yelling at my TV is not useful.

But CNN is happily distracting me. Results from Kentucky are rolling in. Donald Trump currently holds 87% of the vote with 1% of the vote in. No surprises here. Poor white people have a long history of voting for people who don’t do anything for them. Those coal workers who can’t even afford the Trump ties made in China think Trump will get their jobs back.

At least I’m getting the results I expected. As long as I see Nate Silver’s (my statistics boo) map fill in as expected, I’ll be happy.

18:00 EST

I’ve never been an angry drunk, but I’m finding myself yelling at the TV. Every time they say something I disagree with…

But I’m still my normal happy drunk self. I’m giving my husband lots of kisses and hugs. I’m sure he’s amused by my current behavior.

17:48 EST

Drunk confession? I’ve been fussing in my head that half the damn screen is being taken up by CNN having all this info scrolling at the bottom. And I’ve also been fussing that they haven’t been releasing the exit poll results yet.

#drunkfail

The info scrolling at the bottom IS the exit polling results!

Duh…

That’s my bad. So, I’m gleaning no useful information from those results. Things like, 68% of American are ashamed to be American doesn’t capture a proper picture. I’m sure that large number encompasses those who are ashamed that xenophobia, racism, and misogyny is such a driving force for Republicans and large amounts of it aren’t enough to make someone lose the vote of the base. But I’m also sure that a large number encompasses those who feel America has gone too far away from it’s values and we’re doing too much to embrace immigrants and the gays and the Muslims.

For the record, I’m all about embracing all the newness every wave of immigrant brings. In my job, every shift, I struggle to understand the nurses and doctors who call us to report potential donors. I hate that I don’t have a good ear for accents. I know life would be so much easier at work (and when I call customer service for almost any company) if every had an American accent. But so the fuck what? I prefer this melting pot. I love that I live in a city where I can get authentic cuisine from almost any culture made by people who are from there, wherever there is.

I don’t want the world Donald Trump wants us to go back to. i want to move forward. Even if that means I’ll never clearly understand another doctor or nurse ever again. The American dream doesn’t mean shit for me. The least I can do is welcome the people who it actually exists for.

17:41 EST

My husband is home! He’s amused that I’m tipsy. But I’ve given him a Brooklyn lager, so he can start catching up. He didn’t bring me butternut squash. He brought zucchini and yellow squash. I would’ve preferred the flavor of butternut squash tonight (with brown butter sauce, drool), but at least he brought me the easier squash to prepare. #drunkbenefits #blessed lol, definitely crossing the line from tipsy to drunk

17:25 EST

I finally heard a Trump support talk about real things, like actual reality for Trump. He pointed to a number of counties in Florida where the voting is up, counties that traditionally go for Republicans. He spoke (of course with no details) of plans that Trump has to fix a lot of problems for blue collar workers.

They should’ve had this guy out a lot more speaking for Trump. I mean, his words are falling on deaf ears for me, but there are bound to be people he could’ve resonated with. Maybe some middle America white folks with half of a college degree, a high level of pragmatism, no black friends, and a ton of family members that are factory workers or police officers. Surely those people would love his message.

Of course, those folks are probably already voting for Trump. Plus this guy isn’t very attractive. I dig his facial hair (and eyes, and voice and style), but he isn’t classically handsome, and we all know Trump hates to send out people who aren’t 10s to talk for him.

17:15 EST

I’m definitely tipsy. I keep trying to fast forward through commercials because DVR is how I watch most TV. At least my nails are almost dry. I’ve only messed up one of them. This is the benefit of dark nails, you can’t really see the blemishes.

Unless I’ve missed it, we still don’t have any exit polls results. Still 45 min away from the first polls closing. Soon after that, we’ll start to get results. My anxiety is building, but it’s starting to feel like an anxious excitement.

Watching CNN is helping, believe it or not. To see all of Trump’s supporters choosing to suspend reality as their candidate’s only path to victory is reassuring. I’m not saying it’s impossible for Trump to win. I’m just saying that his own supporters don’t seem to think the reality we all currently share makes it likely.

17:02 EST

Waiting for the results of the first exit polls to be released. First polls on the East Coast close in an hour. Starting to get nervous. My heart rate is up according to my Gear Fit 2.

Hillary Clinton’s camp is reporting that she is working on two versions of her final speech tonight. I’m hoping the victory speech is the one we’ll hear.

I’m still on my first, admittedly large, glass of wine. I’m gonna check to see if the chicken and italian sausage are defrosted.

heart-rate

16:48 EST

CNN is giddy because Clinton’s motorcade is leaving Chappaqua, NY to head for the city to setup camp to hear tonight’s results.

Also, women are gather by Susan B. Anthony’s grave to put their I Voted stickers there. They’re hoping tonight is the culmination of her fight. A white woman will hopefully be president. Don’t mistake my focus on color for a lack of support for Hillary Clinton. I want her to win. I’m just not foolish enough about history to forget that the fight for women to vote didn’t include women that looked like me. My anniversary of voting right’s ain’t the same as Clinton’s.

16:44 EST

Nails are drying currently. and I’m a bit tipsy, lol. Sounds like a good time to start cooking, right? Luckily I cook while drunk often. But I gotta wait until my husband gets here with the veggies for tonight’s dinner.

Meanwhile on CNN, the anchor is mocking Trump for not knowing the difference between country and county. Peak Trump… it’s in his best interest to get facts wrong.

The dark blue nails are so fall, don’t you think?

blue-bails

16:06 EST

They’re talking about how both candidates are having their parties tonight in Midtown Manhattan, which has never happened before. As a New Yorker, I think it’s kinda cool too. I’m just even happier that I’m safe in Brooklyn today.

I feel badly for my co-workers who have to work today though. My office is on 34th & 10th, which is so close to the Javits Center which is on 34th & 11th. Security and traffic over there is gonna be crazy.

Painting my nails now, so I gotta take a break from the keyboard so I don’t fuck up my right hand.

16:00 EST

CNN pissed me off for a second white white people and their dogs. But now we’re back on track. Interviews with people at the polls, and opinionated responses from the panel.

And more ridiculousness and separation from reality from that black guy who’s there for Donald Trump.

Let’s be honest here, there’s a chance Trump can win today, but it’s not happening by secret black and brown voters. His only chance is uneducated white men showing up in large numbers.

And more wine for me.

15:52 EST

Geez, now they’re interviewing Russians on their opinion of the possible outcomes of this election?!?! I know they have a lot of hours to fill today, but geez. Who cares?! I guess we’re back to CNN to see if they’ve finished talking to that Trump woman.

15:40 EST 

As soon as I turned to MSNBC, those fuckers had that video of Jimmy Fallon mussing up Trump’s hair on his show a few months ago. Ugh, this guy. I loved Jimmy Fallon before he decided sticking his head in the sand about politics this year. I get it, it’s not your jam, but it is my jam, so you can go off my TV screen.

Ole making-Trump-look-amusing, focused-on-the-wrong-damn-thing, why-is-he-even-on-your-show-in-that-case, would-rather-be-silly-than-focused self. Ugh, I need wine.

As I’m watching MSNBC, I’m not familiar with these anchors, I’m used to watching later in the evening with Rachel Maddow and them. And now I’m hoping Maddow has a better stylist this year. She always looks great, but she had Snuffleupagus eyelashes going four years ago. Don’t do that to her again tonight guys!

There is good news from my fridge though. I found the rest of my bottle of Sancerre, I thought that was finished when out mothers visited last week. But it wasn’t!

wine-1

15:36 EST

I just checked Twitter and 538.com says their prediction model is locked. No more new information in there. The prediction I have screenshotted below is what the polling model Nate Silver (my statistics boo) setup says about who will win tonight.

At 7pm Eastern, the map will change to begin to reflect the polling results as they come in. I wonder what effect results from earlier states have on the voting of later states, if any. With so much early voting these days, I’d be surprised if it has a huge effect.

Okay… Lara Trump just showed up to CNN to be interviewed. I honestly could care less about her opinions of what life has been like for Trump in these final days. Heading over to MSNBC.

15:23 EST

Of COURSE Trump is trying to say the votes are rigged. And his team have already filed in Nevada about the polling place staying open, which they are required to do by law. Anyone already in line when the polling place closes still get a chance to vote. Gladly, the judge threw out his claim.

But seriously?? Saying that ballots that were filled out for the Republican candidates switching over to Democrats? Um…. that’s a big no. As usual, no actual evidence, no actual specific polling sites mentioned, no actual people this has happened to.

I pity the people who believe him without question. If he were winning, he’d swear the electoral process was perfect.

15:13 EST

My husband just messaged me that he’s jealous because I’m drinking and he’s not. I have no sympathy, lol. I made sure I had today off from work, he didn’t do the same. He had a rehearsal today for a new band he’s gonna be playing with every other Thursday.

While I was chuckling and thinking of which drink my husband will go for first when he returns home, Paris Dennard started speaking on CNN about Trump’s chances for winning Michigan. He’s saying the same bullshit that Ben Carson was.

Why does every Trump supporter say, “let’s throw out the polls”? It’s because they all need to suspend reality to give their candidate a chance to vote.

And why the hell do all the black men supporting Trump sound like Stepford wives who’ve taken 3 Xanax in less than 3 hours?

15:01 EST

CNN is going over whether or not polling places have had glitches. A few have, and they are requesting the ability to stay open later as a result. Mostly at places with electronic voting. When I voted this morning, I used a paper ballot with a pen filling in bubbles, and then it was fed into and counted by a machine. There seemed to be no glitches, so that was nice for my polling place. We’ll see what happens in other polling places.

I’m thinking of painting my nails. It used to be my Monday night therapy while watching Dancing with the Stars before I started doing so much yoga. But I think I could use it today. I’m going for a nice sparkly turquoise shade of blue.

I think before I do that, I’ll pop over to fivethirtyeight.com and see what they think about who will win today. Nate Silver, my statistics boo, was 100% right in 2012. Will he have a repeat performance this year?

538-prediction

14:41 EST

There is a reporter interviewing two people outside of an election place in Orange Country in Florida. A lot of people see that is a decisive county that may decide if Clinton or Trump win that state.

The New York Times says that Trump can’t win without winning Florida. Fingers cross that there is some truth to that.

Back to these two voters. This woman said that she was voting for Trump because she wanted change and no more Clintons. I can understand that sentiment. But I would like it a lot more if those words didn’t come out of the mouths of people who can’t articulate what change they’d like to see.

The reporter asked the woman how she felt about the first woman voter, and she was basically like, “meh.” When asked about friends of hers who might be excited about the first woman president, she said, “yeah, I have women friends.” What does that even mean? I’m guessing it means this woman has zero male feminist friends. Surprise, surprise.

14:35 EST

Watching Ben Carson talk about how black people are called Uncle Tom if they are publicly supporting Donald Trump. Then, he follows it up with repeating all the Republican tropes of black people. Babies out of wedlock?!?! Really?!?!

I’m just glad I was able to stay awake in spite of his zzzquil voice.

14:25 EST

Love that damn near every episode of The Flash ends so emotionally. All the feels. Glad to have this moment of happy heartedness before heading into the trenches of election coverage.

And my tea is done!

tea

13:44 EST

Now I’m getting antsy and I’m wondering what the pundits are saying about early election returns. This is a great episode of The Flash.

I love seeing Draco Malfoy all grown up but still wonderfully British-ly snotty. But… I’m itching to see what’s going on over at CNN.

I’ll probably make myself a hot toddy then head over on to CNN after this episode finishes.

13:38 EST

Why is the scary guy on this show black? Ugh, at least he’s a smart science guy.

13:34 EST

I could scream that they’re let another Wells into their mix on The Flash. These multiple Harrisons are NEVER up to any good. They always turn out okay, or develop enough of a bond with the other characters to not want to kill them completely or whatever. But damn, not on any Earth does Harrison Wells have pure intentions.

And they all keep voice diaries, lol. This may make me start drinking sooner than CNN will.

drink-options

13:06 EST 

Hi everyone! I’m sitting on my couch, having just watched Lin-Manuel Miranda’s monologue on SNL for the thirtieth time–escapism! I told myself that after I voted and stocked up on wine, I’d start watching CNN for election coverage.

after-voting

But… I just cant do it yet. I’m catching up on the DVR, watching The Flash right now. I haven’t started drinking yet, and all I know about the election is who’s been posting on IG that they voted. Oh, and Clinton won Dixville, New Hampshire shortly after midnight.

Let’s see where the day takes me.


“We’re All Gonna Be Okay, No Matter What,” She Says

Tonight was like many Monday nights I’ve had. I didn’t have to work today, so I spent most of the day on the couch, catching up on the DVR.

There are so many shows on TV, new and old, that I absolutely love. Pitch, Rosewood, NCIS, Bull, Modern Family, The Good Place, etc. are all so good. We really are in a new golden age of TV. But I digress.

Back to my night. When I’m off on a Monday, I go to vinyasa yoga at 6:30p and aerial yoga at 7:45p. I’ve been doing these back to back yoga classes for a few months now, and it really gives me life.

I have so many endorphins running through my veins after two yoga classes. But tonight, there is something battling the endorphins: anxiety.

I’ve been feeling a continuous low level of anxiety for a few weeks now, keeping my baseline heart rate higher than I’d like. I’m not sure what’s going on with that yet, but the anxiety at least lessens when I’m in the middle of yoga class.

The election is tomorrow. The country will decide whether our next president will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The thought there are enough people in this country who are thinking of voting for Trump to give him a chance of winning the presidency gives me chills.

And anxiety. It gives me anxiety.

Then tonight in yoga, the teacher said, “we’re all gonna be okay, no matter what.” She was talking about the outcome of the election.

I thought about how many different privileges went into her making that statement so wholeheartedly. This woman, who is one of the few people I’ve met in Bed-Stuy that I liked immediately without knowing well, has got a lot going on in her world where she can say something like that so casually.

She said this right at the beginning of class, so I spent most of the class swallowing my responses to her statement. I’ve been trying to teach myself to pick and choose when I share my unrequested opinions. I felt like this wasn’t the time.

But I was thinking of Ana Navarro, who finally decided to vote for Hillary Clinton. This woman has a lot of good reasons why we aren’t “all gonna be okay” if Trump is the one who wins.

Then I was thinking of Shaun King, who made a deeply personal plea for for voting against Trump. This man has a target on his back, and he’s not crazy to think it’s only going to get worse in a Trump presidency.

For me personally, not too much in my life would change in a Trump presidency. I’m not a member of the media. I’m not an immigrant, though I did marry into a family of immigrants. I’m black, and I live in what probably counts as a gentrified inner city, but I fall smack in the middle of the middle class.

Heading into tomorrow, I can’t think of only myself. I have to think of all the groups of people whose lives really would be made worse under a Trump presidency.

I wonder who the “we” is that my teacher was thinking of when she said that. Maybe she doesn’t know any immigrants. Or Muslims. Or female journalists. Or black activists. Or Native American activists. Or military reservists who aren’t interested in being sent to go and get Iraq’s oil on a whim. Or every part of the population who would suddenly get targets on their back with a national stop and frisk policy.

She was trying to be reassuring, that much I know. It just so happened to have the opposite effect on me.

I will feel much better in about 24 hours. In 12 hours from now, I’ll be back home on my couch, watching CNN or MSNBC, having just cast my vote for Hillary Clinton for President (alone with some other important down ballot votes). In another 12 or so hours after that, hopefully we’ll have enough election results to have a new president.

Even though my vote won’t help her win New York (that’s happening no matter what), my vote will add to the total number of votes for Clinton. I’m hoping the margin of victory for the popular vote is very large.

Once she wins, I’ll feel better. Even then, we won’t all be fine. There will still be work to do, policies of hers that need changing and evolution. But at least she won’t be a demagogue who is a real threat to innumerable numbers of global citizens.


Thoughts on Getting Millennials to Vote

Do you know who Representative John Lewis is?

He’s a rather inspiring man who currently serves in the US Congress. He is an old head civil rights activist whose name is in the history books, and one of the few alive today to tell the tales of what really went down in the fight for equality for African-Americans in education, voting rights, and housing back when my parents were just children.

He thinks young people need to get out and vote because people fought and died for their right to. Because he fought and his friends died, young people today need to quit thinking whatever they’re currently thinking and go exercise their right to vote.

I happen to agree with him that everyone should vote. But his line of reasoning….. um…. I don’t think it’s effective. And it definitely can come across as a bit out of touch.

A lot of older people are dismissed as being out of touch with younger people. They try to appeal to younger people based on values (perhaps values of days gone by) that are no longer shared. Young people respond with some variation of, “I don’t appreciate your set of values because I’ve been taught something different. Where were you when the teaching was happening?”

When it comes to Rep. John Lewis, I can happily say that he has tried to be a part of the voice of education for youth. He reaches out in ways big and small to try and make sure some of his values and beliefs are seeds sown into the next generation.

In spite of the ways he works so hard to reach younger people, I still think his closing argument needs work. I say that while also believing that the reasons that he and his friends and colleagues fought for their rights and our are unimpeachable.

They fought for a better tomorrow. They fought so that I can vote and theoretically not be discriminated against for my color. A lot of people died so I can go on a 15 min morning date with my husband to the polls on Tuesday morning. That argument resonates with me because of the values I was raised with.

For those not raised with that set of values, it’s a harder argument to hear and have resonate with you. Honestly, the reasoning that made sense to them then and still makes sense to them now is… well, it’s about them. It’s about their fight and their legacy and their opinions of themselves.

It’s no wonder that younger Gen Xers and millennials (and whatever they call those born from 1975-1979) give that argument the side eye. We are the royalty of navel-gazing, self-focused, introspective, thinking-about-me-before-you, personal-happiness-above-all-else thought processes.

If you wanna reach more of us, you’ve gotta answer the question:

What’s in it for me?

I don’t have the answer on what to say. I haven’t been successful in getting people who don’t plan on voting to change their minds. But I’ve seen engagement work in some instances.

There is success in some areas by actually talking to younger people instead of at them. Engaging people my age in a conversation about why it’s important to vote (and to vote in the interest of yourself and those you care about) is not easy. There is no one tweet or tweet thread that will get the job done.

That level of engagement has to happen in small conversations. But they’re powerful conversations. Not a lot of millennials understand the electoral process and fewer get or even care why it’s important. Giving them that small bit of knowledge works, as long as it’s followed by one important question:

What’s in it for you?

If you can get a real answer back, you’ve just gained an engaged citizen, who will hopefully take part in many elections over the course of their life.

John Lewis and his books and crowd-surfing can’t get it done alone. If you believe in our democracy and our electoral process and you know younger people who don’t, bone up on the basic facts of how elections work and what decisions elected officials are in charge of at the local, state, and national level.

After you’ve done that, talk to young people. Share what you know. Pass on the knowledge. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be personally responsible for helping continue the legacy of equal voting rights that so many fought and died to get.

 


Empathy versus Me Me Me

Why is it so hard to empathize with people who are different? I’m sitting here listening to some of my co-workers fussing about early voting.

I’m so confused. If you’re not going to early vote, and if you’re lucky enough to have a job where you can take the time out of your work day to go vote, why the hell do you care what provisions are in place for other voters?

Just to be clear, these people aren’t worried about voter fraud or anything like that (we all know that’s a Trump supporter problem anyway), they’re just irritated that they have to hear about the statistics of demographics of early voting.

This got me thinking about empathy, or lack thereof. How easy is it to see things from the perspective of someone else? To put yourself in their shoes and show compassion for their situation? Does having that ability make you any more likely to accept policies at home, work, or elsewhere that don’t directly benefit you?

Maybe it’s human to get that sense of injustice or to feel like something isn’t fair when things don’t directly benefit you. Or maybe it’s just a chance to stare your own privilege in the face and realize everything doesn’t have to benefit you to be important to the world around you.

But one can dream. If the world revolved around me:

  1. My co-workers wouldn’t all take lunch at the same fucking time and leave me on the phone by myself.
  2. My bosses would fix the schedule so I never worked on a short-staffed shift.
  3. Maids in NYC would suddenly start giving out “You Don’t Have Time To Clean, You Poor Thing” discount coupons.
  4. My yoga studio would consult my work and volunteer and travel schedules before scheduling vinyasa and aerial yoga classes.
  5. No one would call my husband for gigs between February 5th and February 15th.
  6. Subway platform elevators would never again smell like pee or vomit or shit or armpit or ass crack or perfume.
  7. People without children would get to vote on which section all the people with children sat in on the plane.
  8. The vending machine at work would never run out of cheesy poofs.
  9. Everything Colin Kaepernick says about the state of blacks in this country would immediately be turned into a bumper sticker and refrigerator magnet.
  10. You could subscribe to Colin Kaepernick’s refrigerator magnets, and all proceeds would go to make the Know Your Rights Camp national.
  11. My mom and dad would move to New York.

The world doesn’t revolve around me. I get it. It’s why I have to go to yoga smack in the middle of the afternoon on my days off, when I least feel like putting on pants.

That being said, I empathize with my aerial teacher, who is able to schedule her yoga classes around her other job(s) and auditions and whatnot.

And also, I love statistics. Who gets irritated about statistics? Nate Silver, my statistics boo, could make anyone love statistics. Well… I know that’s not true, but I wish it were true.


And Now I Have Four Sets of Headphones

Maaaaaaan, of course my same day delivery didn’t come on the same day. They didn’t even attempt the delivery. I wasn’t at work for the next couple of days, so it got delivered at some point.

I had originally ordered replacement headphones for my cell phone because the volume buttons on the headphones weren’t working. Then I noticed they were selling them in a two pack and figured that would be a better purchase because it was close to the same price. I don’t really lose headphones, but it couldn’t hurt to have a second pair, right?

Well, I ordered the headphones, then realized I’d chosen free two-day delivery when I meant to choose same day delivery. So I ordered them again for same day delivery.

And now I have four sets of headphones.

And the volume buttons still don’t work.

I figured out it was due to the phone being messed up. One lousy little half-empty travel-size bottle of Listerine and everything goes fuzzy.

Well, not literally. The phone’s functionality has almost completely returned. That makes me very happy because I love my phone and I’ve finally got the settings just right. Fingers crossed that this phone will last until the newest Samsung Note 6 (or Note 7 Edge if the internet rumors are to be trusted) comes out.

So maybe I have to restart my phone to get the microphone on the headphones to work.

And maybe the S Pen is a little temperamental.

And maybe the phone mutes itself for no reason out of nowhere.

And maybe the phone turns itself up to the loudest possible volume for no reason out of nowhere.

But it’s my phone and I love it. And it’s really not in the budget to replace it right now.

That money has to go towards the laptop. Eventually it will stop working because I spilled a glass of red wine on the keyboard.

And Chris was just saying how I’m less clumsy with all the aerial yoga…


Grey’s Anatomy Character Ages

I don’t know why my previous post on this topic, from years ago, is so popular, but I decided to bring that information over into a new post so all the updates and edits read a bit clearer. If you want to struggle through the old post feel free.

I am estimating that in this 12th season, the show has covered just under 9 years of real time. This includes a five year surgical residency for the main core cast (of whom only Meredith and Alex are left), then various career paths that add up to just under 4 years of time. Wikia disagrees with me and thinks it’s been just under 5. You can see my detailed explanation of how Meredith spent her time to see exactly how I’m adding it up.

I wrote the original post in December 2011, during Season 8, right after Derek & Meredith officially adopt Zola. At that time, I estimated Meredith to be around 36 years old.

For this update, I’ll also focus on Meredith Grey. I’m going to say more than I will for the other characters, so you get an idea of how I’m tracking the passing time: Her residency class finished residency and became fellows or attendings in the start of Season 9, where Grey is already 3 weeks pregnant with Derek Bailey Shepherd. She has that baby at the end of Season 9. It seems that she carries her baby to almost-if-not-definitely full term, so Season 10 begins 9 months-ish after Season 9.

We’re to a full year later during season 10 when Matt & April almost get married in the Season 10 mid-winter finale. Derek and Meredith struggle through the rest of Season 10, with her realizing she doesn’t need him, but she wants him. Not too long after that is when Derek comes home for a few weeks/months early in Season 11, then dies a few episodes before the Season 11 finale. In those last few episodes of Season 11, Meredith is gone for the length of a full term pregnancy, let’s just say 9 months because it obviously take a while to find out she’s pregnant, returning to her mother’s house in the season finale.

Season 12 starts approximately 3 months after that.  We lost a few months here and there in single jumps due to Penny showing up, Meredith getting attacked in the ER, suddenly April is 12 weeks pregnant, etc. Total time since Dec 2011:  just shy of 4 years (really like 3 years and ten months), so I estimate Meredith Grey to be 40-ish.

Please see below for the character list, mostly transferred over from my previous blog post about this topic.

CURRENT CAST MEMBERS

Ellen Pompeo: plays Meredith Gray; actual age is [46]; character’s age is around 40-ish (completed college at 25, did nothing for 3 or so years, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, just under 2 years attending, just under 1 year “sabbatical”, currently in her 1st year as general surgery chief)

Justin Chambers: plays Alex Karev; actual age is [45]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 2 years fellowship, few months with Dr. Butthole, currently in his 2nd year as a pediatric surgical attending)

Chandra Wilson: plays Miranda Bailey; actual age is [46]; character’s age is around 41 (completed college at age 24, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 6 years as attending, currently in her 2nd year as chief of surgery)

James Pickens, Jr.: plays Richard Webber; actual age is [61]; character’s age is around 62 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, {1 year residency pre-sleeping with Ellis Grey} + Meredith Grey’s age – 5)

Sara Ramirez: plays Callie Torres; actual age is [40]; character’s age is around 41 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 2 years peace corps, 5 year surgical residency, 6 years as attending, currently in her 2nd year as chief of orthopedic surgery)

Kevin McKidd: plays Owen Hunt; actual age is [42] ; character’s age is around 46 (completed college at age 23, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, joined the Army after 9/11/01, discharged in 2008, 4 years as attending, 1-ish year chief of surgery, currently in his 2nd year as chief of trauma surgery)

Jessica Capshaw: plays Arizona Robbins; actual age is [39]; character’s age is around 38 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, 2-3 years that we know of at Seattle Grace as an attending, currently in her 4th year as pediatric surgery chief, including <12 months accelerated fellowship with Dr. Herman )

Sarah Drew: plays April Kepner; actual age is [35]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, currently in her 4th year as a trauma surgery attending, including sabbaticals to do some Doctors without Borders type situation for at least 12-15 months total that I can calculate)

Jesse Williams: plays Jackson Avery; actual age is [34]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 1-2 years plastic surgery attending, currently in his 2nd year as plastic surgery chief )

Caterina Scorsone: plays Amelia Shepherd; actual age is [34]; character’s age has to be at least 38, more likely 40 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, 5 year surgical residency, 2 year neurosurgical residency, 1-3 years teaching fellow, 2-5 years as neurosurgeon on Private Practice, currently in her 2nd year as neurosurgical chief)

Camilla Luddington: plays Jo Wilson; actual age is [32]; character’s age is 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, currently in her 4th year as a surgical resident)

Jerrika Hinton; plays Stephanie Edwards; actual age is [34]; character’s age is 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school,, currently in her 4th year as a surgical resident)

Kelly McCreary: plays Maggie Pierce; actual age is [34]; character’s age is 32 (completed college at age 17-ish, 3 years medical school, 5 year surgical residency, 3 years cardiothoracic surgical fellowship, 2-3 years cardiothoracic surgical head at some other hospital, currently in her 2nd year as cardiothoracic surgical chief… AND we know her actual birthdate)

Giancomo Gianniotti: plays Andrew DeLuca; actual age is [26]; character’s age is at least 28, no more than 31 (completed high school at age 18, 1-4 years as EMT, 4 years college, 4 years medical school, currently is his 1st year as a surgical intern)

Martin Henderson: plays Nathan Riggs; actual age is [41]; character’s age is anywhere between 44-47 based on time spent with Hunt in med school (completed college at age 22-24, 4 years medical school when he met Hunt, 5 years surgical residency, some time with Hunt as an Army trauma surgeon, some time with Kepner while doing her Doctors without Borders thing, currently in his 1st year as a cardiothoracic attending)

Jason George: plays Ben Warren; actual age is [44]; character’s age is around 38-ish (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, 4 year anesthesia residency, came to Seattle Grace from Mercy West as an attending, so let’s say he was an attending for 2-ish years, then attending at Seattle Grace for 2 years, 1 year surgical residency at UCLA, currently in his 4th (I think…) year surgical residency after the transfer home)

OLD CAST MEMBERS

Sandra Oh: played Cristina Yang; actual age is [44]; character’s age is around 36-ish (completed college at 22-ish, somehow completed her PhD and MD in 6 years, she was 28 during her intern year, 5 years surgical residency, 1 year attending, 3rd year as director of hospital in Zurich).

T.R. Knight: played George O’Malley; actual age is [43]; character died at age 29, would be 35 had he lived (completed college at 22, 4 years med school, made it to, but not through his 3rd year of residency).

Katherine Heigl: played Izzie Stevens; actual age is [36]; character left the show at age 30, would be around 35 had she stayed (completed college at 23, 4 years med school, fired during her 3rd year of residency, doing who-the-hell-cares-what is the 6 years since)

Isaiah Washington: played Preston Burke; actual age is [52]; character’s age is 50-something (all they ever mentioned about the character was he is 40-something, and that was during casting, so presumably he’s 50-something as we’re now 9-ish years later in time)

Patrick Dempsey: played Derek Shepherd; actual age is [50]; character died at age 45, would be 47 had he lived (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, then got married in 1994, 5 year surgical residency, fellowship , etc. Age as of late 2015: deceased at age 45-ish)

Kate Walsh: played Addison Montgomery; actual age is [48]; character’s age is around 48 (completed college at 22, 6 years college + PhD program, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, and some other stuff, but she was 39 in the season 8 finale of Grey’s Anatomy in 2006, which matches her supposed birth year of 1967, and technically another 7 years have passed in time since that season which was basically residency year 2, sooooooo weird timing there, just ignore it) [also, I’m not considering her character as really gone from the show, she could come back for a crazy surgery to assist Arizona at any time, it could happen people!]

Eric Dane: played Mark Sloan; actual age is [43] character died at age 44, would be 48 had he lived (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, basically the same age as Derek and Addison, he ad Derek were friends as kids)

Brooke Smith: played Erica Hahn; actual age is [48]; they never quite got around to her age, but I estimate her as 50-something (completed college around age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, and she was in the same year of school as Preston Burke).

Chyler Leigh: played Lexie Grey; actual age is [34]; character died at age 27, would be 31 had she lived (completed college at age 19, 4 years med school, made it to but not through 4th year surgical residency).

Kim Raver: played Teddy Altman; actual age is [47]; they don’t say her age, but her character was at least 40 when she left the show, would be 45 had she stayed (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, 2 years fellowship, joined Army after 9/11/01)

Gaius Charles: played Shane Ross; actual age is [32]; character’s age is completely a guess at 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school 2+ years surgical residency at Seattle Grace before leaving with Yang, currently in his 4th year of surgical residency at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research)

Tess Ferrer: played Leah Murphy; actual age is [30]; character’s age is a guess at 28 (they identified her birth year as 1987, which makes her four years younger than Pierce, so she completed college at age 21-ish, 4 years medical school, fired during her 2nd-ish year of surgical residency, hopefully working in that research Webber sent her to since then)

 


Who Needs Sleep? I Do, But Whatever! Part 2

I’m just going to pick up right from where I left off yesterday. I was telling a very long-winded story about my week of going out.

Tuesday, I was back out. This time I was at Moca Lounge. It is my spot on Tuesday nights because they have a poetry set that’s always great. A couple of drinks, some laughs, and always at least one poem that leaves the room speechless.

After Moca, I headed to Small’s Jazz Club. One of the best friends we’ve made since we moved to New York, Corey, had a gig there. His group, the Dubtet, plays and leads in the jam session every other Tuesday night. It just so happens to be the Tuesday I work in my 2 week work shift rotation. I hardly ever go because that means being awake for almost 24 hours straight.

2015-11-18 00.38.432015-11-18 00.42.202015-11-18 00.42.482015-11-18 00.43.272015-11-18 01.46.03

But I stayed out, and I’m glad I did because his girlfriend Allyson came out. And our friend Noah has his girl out, I was happy to meet her as well. Noah’s so sweet, so of course his girl is too.

I gave her a crash course on what it’s like to get thrown head first in the jazz world simply because you’re with a musician. She seemed interested, so that was a great sign for Noah. And me and Allyson too because we hardly ever see them women from the rest of the guys in the crew.

I think I got to a point where I could barely keep my eyes open, so Chris made me leave. I’m glad I listened to him because I’m no fun when I’m that tired.

Wednesday was my day off, and it takes a lot, a whole whole lot, to get me to leave the house on my day off. I do much better when I’m already out because of work or volunteering. But my friend Dericko, who I used to work with before he switched industries, invited me out.

I haven’t seen him in months, so of course I said yes. His company was having an event at Taproom 307, and there was a lot of beer to be had. I got there super late, as is my way, but I still had time to sit and have one great beer with him and his friends.

We caught up and had a lot of great laughs, then Dericko decided he had to head home because he had work in the morning. We decided to try and grab a quick bite before leaving.

One Google search later, we were at this place called Dos Caminos. This was not a quick bite, it was a full sit down restaurant. Didn’t mean to end up there at all, but I’m so glad we did. I’m not sure if that area counts at Gramercy Park or Flatiron District, but either way I would recommend it.The environment was perfect for a date or drinks out with friends.

2015-11-18 22.21.21

And the food was great. Freshly made guacamole anyone? My only complaint was the way they sliced their skirt steak. A few degrees in the wrong angle while slicing, and you take a perfectly tender bite and make it chewy. But everything was delicious, and it was great to get even more time to catch up with Dericko, and to get to know his new friend Liz.

The best thing to come out of the night was finding out that he moved into a new place. He said his place is large enough to accommodate all the people Chris and I have invited for Thanksgiving. Chris and I will probably take him up on that. We’re going to combine Friendsgiving with the McBride Thanksgiving for Traveling and Wayward Musicians.

Our tiny ass apartment was going to be really pushing it, but if his place is really big enough, that will take a big worry off my shoulders. I’ll probably still cook at home, where I’m familiar with the oven, but transporting the food over to his house shouldn’t be a problem.

Even though my DVR is busting at the seams, and I still haven’t unpacked from my visit to Chicago and St. Louis two weeks ago, I’d say it’s a fair trade off. I had a great time this past week.


Heading to Times Square, After Some Prayer

I thought I’d have a funny story to tell for my first consistent blog post in months. My girl is in town with her cousin for her birthday. They’d never been to New York before, so she wanted to visit.

I know her  through some degrees of separation. My best friend joined a fraternity in college. Her husband is one of his line brothers. The first time we all hung out is when he brought a very pregnant her to their fraternity’s annual party called The Champagne Sip (don’t worry she didn’t drink).

We did have a laugh-filled night at The Waffle House though after the party. And they cemented themselves as the favorite couple I’d met through my best friend. Over the years, we’ve had some good times though we don’t see each other nearly often enough.

This couple now has three children, all of whom call my best friend godfather. There have been many gift-help-picking-out moments over the years, which always result in something fun & educational… and maybe noisy.

But I didn’t see my girl last night. She arrived to her hotel in Times Square yesterday and we planned to meet for drinks at my favorite bar in Times Square, Havana Central.

But then I started hearing about everything happening in Paris, every terrible detail as it arrived in a push notification to my phone from CNN.

I said a prayer for the people of Paris, and decided I wasn’t going out.

Since Chris and I moved to New York, I’ve been more aware of what it means when a major city gets attacked,

I know Chicago is a major city, so is L.A., and a few others. But when I worry about American cities, my first two thoughts go to D.C. and NYC.

Whenever there is a concern for the safety of major cities, my first thought is to stay in/immediately head to Brooklyn. Manhattan is where I spend a bunch of my time, but I live in Brooklyn.

I don’t know if I was overreacting, I just know that I live in New York now.

The world kept turning, people kept coming together in Paris to deal with a tragedy, and I went home last night.

At the time I’m posting this, ISIS has claimed responsibilities for the attacks in Paris last night, Belgium has already begun to make arrests, and Paris is still treating the over 300 people who got injured.

It’s hard to wrap my head around what’s happened, to just continue with a normal day knowing that so much has changed for so many people.

But I’m going to try because that’s what we do, right? We say a prayer, put something supportive on social media, donate some money to a fund, then… keep it moving.

It never seems like enough, but I don’t know what else to do. There’s power in prayer, I do know that.

I’m going to go see my friend today. In Times Square. They say it’s safe. I hope they’re right. I’m definitely going to pray some more before I go.


The Whole Reason We Moved to New York

You wanna know what I did Tuesday? If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you already know what I did Tuesday. But for everyone else, I’ll tell you what I did.

I went to the Tribeca Film Festival. This is such an NYC event. Wikipedia tells me (and no one has corrected it) that this Festival was started after 9/11 with the goal of economically reviving downtown. In the years since, they have, of course grown.

This is the corner of the building where the event was held. I was so excited, I looked it up on Google Maps to make sure I had the right entrance. Image from Wikipedia.org

 

This year, they put together an amazing evening in honor of Frank Sinatra, who’s 100th birthday would’ve been this year. There was a movie, of course. Following the movie, there was a concert consisting of singing, tap dancing, and a big band. My husband Chris (along with our friends Corey and Noah) got called to play in the big band, so of course I wanted to go.

I was able to get a ticket, and I was very happy to be all, “I’m with the band.”

Since it was a Tuesday, I had to put in for PTO for a few hours at the end of my shift. I didn’t have time to go home and change, so I got ready at work. So of course, this particular Tuesday, everyone from the CEO to multiple department directors were still there past 5:30pm.

Luckily, no one thought too much of me switching to a floor length gown, pinning up my hair, and strapping on high heels. The people in my office even helped me decide between two pairs of shoes. I hopped in a cab and headed to the Festival.

The movie they showed was On the Town. It’s a musical, adapted from Broadway, and it’s adorable. Chris sat with me for the first half of the movie before he had to go backstage to get ready for the concert.

I switched into critic mode, which is what I call it when I’m half taking notes for possible future gigs of Chris’s and noting what worked and what didn’t work about the event.

During the  movie, I noticed the higher sounds (the treble) were a bit too bright. One of the characters in the movie, who simple has to be related to Heather Matarazzo, had a voice higher than the other women. She sounded so shrill during the film, and there’s no way she actually sounded like that. So I was suspicious of the sound man, and wondering why he didn’t notice and fix this issue.

It was still an issue when the band was playing. As a result, I couldn’t hear above middle C on the piano well, the bass sounded clearer than the guitar, and the trombone clearer than the saxophone.

Good thing the musicians were all so amazing that the band still sounded great.

There was also a cameraman who I believe was queuing up the multimedia videos and whatnot accompanying the concert. And he was loud, like super loud. Halfway through the second song, I was chuckling along as each queue was either mis-timed or drew the attention of everyone further back than row M.

But what was amazing was the other cameramen. They didn’t miss a beat There were two large screens on either side of the stage on which showed video of what was happening on the stage. It looked like clips from a documentary or made-for-TV concert.

It turns out they were recording to make some sort of movie/video out of the event. I heard someone say they expected to see a turnaround of only 3 weeks on the first draft. I hope whatever they make is available to the public because I’d love to see that.

As much as I was fussing about the sound mixing, I sort of understood why they did it when I watched my video back. I thought both Ne-Yo and Brandon Flowers sounded so good in my videos. But then Chris said he thought they sounded better live. I wish I knew what the difference was that our ears heard. Knowing that would help bridge the gap in what the sound man was aiming for.

That is Ne-Yo, who I was so pleasantly surprised sounded this good to my ear live. I’ve seen him on Dancing with the Stars, and that is live, but still. He was in the same room and sounded fantastic.

That is Brandon Flowers and Alice Smith (along with Ne-Yo and Lea Delaria). They’re singing New York, New York. It’s the perfect finale song for such an event as this.

There has to be a way to make it sound both amazing live and on video though. I know it’s possible because that’s what happened when we went to go see Stevie Wonder in concert. Maybe the size of the venue makes a difference?

I wish I had the key to make a uniform sound in person and video. Someone tell me I don’t have to go get an additional degree for this.

I’m taking notes and learning with each of these events. The one thing I’m pretty good at already is the schmoozing that comes after. They had a room for the performers and assorted guests. That room had a bar in it. That was a pleasant surprise because this was a “dry” event thanks to the Lincoln sponsorship and car on the premises.

After eating my tiny bag of dirt flavored popcorn– I mean my white truffle cheddar popcorn– wrapped in the loudest plastic bag available for purchase– I mean wrapped in plastic and tied with an adorable red bow, I was ready for something to wash it down with.

I had been looking forward to my flask that Chris brought for me, but now I didn’t need it. I was happy to drink whatever red wine they were serving. That meant the flask was free to pass out to people who were very interested in taking a swig of Bulleit Rye Whiskey.

Chris and I were called “cute” and “adorable” and “fun” multiple times by people with varying levels of familiarity. That’s a sign of success. All of my upbringing as the daughter of the man in charge at work who’s also a deacon at church, the daughter of a judge who’s also Superintendent of Sunday School at church, the sister of a preacher who runs a school, the granddaughter of a Congressman who used to run a newspaper, the niece of a professor who was president of the national organization for education professors, has quite fully prepared me to the be the wife of an amazing musician.

I care very much about standing alone with my own name, not the __________ of someone else. But I’m damn good at being the daughter-sister-wife of my people.

I am also getting very better at being not-Fan-Girl when I meet these people. Aside from a likely scarily-large smile when I met Ne-Yo, and a moment where I begged Lea Delaria to tell me where I knew her from (not Orange is the New Black), I feel like I did pretty good.

Brandon Flowers is cool as hell, and I felt like inviting him over for a dinner party after talking to him for only a few moments. He’s just one of those people with a really warm spirit, you know?

After finishing all the whiskey, checking out the gift they gave everyone, and schmoozing, we headed out to a favorite bar of mine called Nancy’s Whiskey Pub.

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I took our friends Corey and Dericko there on a whim one day, and we’ve loved it since. It’s the type of place where you walk in and everyone eyeballs you suspiciously, but then 3 minutes later everyone’s laughing and recommending food and drink options.

We weren’t the only ones there from the event. We met a publicist, a video guy, and a venue planner. It was very cool to have people come up to the table, tell the band how much they loved them, then exchange business cards.

It’s moments like this that we moved to New York. We toasted to that like 5 times Tuesday night.

I can’t wait for the next big event. But in the mean time, there are hundreds of smaller New-York-awesome things to do. I can’t wait for those either.

Tony Bennett, Ne-Yo, Lea Delaria, Savion Glover, Brandon Flowers, Alice Smith and the JC Hopkins Biggish Band are who all participated in the tribute.


Video

It’s Official, I Make Video Blogs

Yessir, you heard it here first. I finally got over my fascination with the imperfections with my teeth. After some fiddling on my phone and Microsoft Live Video Maker (or whatever it’s called), I have a video I’m ready to show the world.

It’s basically a one-take video with some random ass captions, but I like it. I think. I’m pretty sure it’s as good as is going to get.

I’m actually really excited for the opportunity to share this new hobby. I think it’s a great way to add some videos, which I’ve already said I was eager to do.

I reserve the right to immediately regret this and then do my best to scrub any evidence of this from the internet. Then I’ll go on back to Wine School with my tail between my legs, mournful for every trying to step outside of my bounds.

Hopefully, this is just the start of something beautiful. My best girlfriend and I have been discussing the 30th bucket birthday list (which I promise to update on how it went very very soon), and how inspiring it was. We decided to make another bucket list. This one will be for the entire year of 2015 and not tied to a specific age.

One category we are discussing is Creative Project. She’s thinking photography, and I’m thinking these vlogs will be it for me. We shall see.

I know you could just scroll to the bottom to see the video, but hopefully you read all this stream-of-consciousness stuff leading up to it.

I case you want to just see the videos I make on my channel, you can use this link: Cocktails with Chicago-Style Girl. Otherwise, I’ll embed the videos here and you can see them in the context of a blog post.

Thanks for reading! And now for the visual learners…

What do you think?