Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - just act normal

1. If you are down because you feel like people you know or mutually know through someone are spending more time defending Nazis and racists than denouncing them, sneak in a quick visit with your smart and funny almost two year old niece for a hug and stickers.

2. My poor Geege has a mild case of aspiration pneumonia. HousePaws mobile vet came yesterday and he got a chest x-ray right in the comfort of his own home. He's on meds now and hopefully on the mend. Meanwhile Cheech and Chong had to go to an actual vet last night for a pre-dental surgery checkup. These dogs are killing me.

3. Do you know how much money I have spent on hand soap this year? I leave soap at four sinks for new renters every Saturday, and I hate shitty soap so I buy Method or Mrs. Meyers and it adds up. So I finally said fuck it! I'm making my own. And I did. And it's foamy. Whenever I make a cleaning or household product in my kitchen I feel like a magician or Bill Nye the Science Guy.

5. My Dad & Carol are down the shore this week...thankfully since a fire alarm needed to be replaced in the main house and as a former fireman I trust my Dad with that replacement much more than I trust myself. Shore this weekend with Jana and Jody, college girls! It's been over 15 years since the three of us were together. I'm very excited.

6. Does anyone remember being in school and literally only having a sip of water from the water fountain after recess and nothing else all day? I was discussing this with my knottie girls yesterday and have convinced myself this is why I am always thirsty and petrified to go anywhere for five minutes without water.

7. How freaking awesome is Gladys? She sent me a kindle copy of Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams. I will cross that off my August list soon. I'm dragging ass through a book right now. I broke my brain reading over 30 books between June 13 and August 8 and I am now in recovery. Don't worry. I think I'm going to make it.

8.  I cannot stop thinking about what happened in Charlottesville this weekend. Actually not so much what happened this weekend, but how people responded. I know not everyone shares their opinion on social media, but I've been blown the fuck back by people who do that devoted a sentence against Nazis and eleventy billion sentences that somehow defend or protect them. I am drinking big cups of let that shit go in an attempt to be zen in my approach to challenging people who are defending this in any way because while discussions with brick walls are tiresome and maddening, sometimes the only tool we have to put a small hole in the wall is a dinky motherfucking pen. But we scrape away because when we don't challenge these old notions they poison the water and nothing ever changes, here comes another generation of it and no. just fucking no. the time for racist nazis is fucking over now, okay? This image included below is some person's facebook status and damn if it doesn't say exactly what I'm thinking (thanks Stacey for sending it to me). Thank God for the leaders of the armed forces, it's good to know some people at the top of the game are not out of their fucking minds. Especially the United States Marine Corps - constantly on the front lines fighting for the ideals of liberty and justice for ALL so we can try to live up to them. pssst: we're failing right now. Also, for those singing the "the tolerant left is intolerant" song, read up on the Paradox of Tolerance, a philosophical principle coined in 1945, spurred by, you know...Nazis.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week: 

Once again, it's my Friday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Do better: America 2017



Understanding freedom of speech
Freedom of speech protects you from the government - not from the consequences of what other people think of what you say or how they mobilize against you. Do I support the right for racists and Nazis to assemble on the street? Yes - but without guns and goddamn torches because if any other group assembling did that they would be mowed down immediately. Do I also expect the entire fucking world to rise in opposition? Absolutely.

They look like mediocre white boys to me
So I guess they are blaming the world for their mediocrity? Whatever they look like to you and me, they themselves think they are an army and that they have brought about war. How do I know this? I spent some time reading through their bible, the Daily Stormer website. Do not recommend. I do recommend this 20 minute video. It's insane when you hear a known white supremacist say the same things people on facebook that you know are saying.

Really seeing and processing the differences in how angry white men were treated over other groups
What would happen if 200 black males walked the streets with torches and guns under the cover of night? What happened when Indigenous people held their ground with prayer and sage and literally bothered no one? There actually are two sides to this: people who are  racist Nazis and people who are against racist Nazis. There is no in between. This guy in the photo in the middle who is armed with a large rifle and dressed in fatigues is NOT an agent of the United States Government, but is doing his best to look like one, isn't he? Why do you think that might be? He's a militia member.

Call it what it is
Nazi. Racist. Domestic, white, or white christian terrorist in many cases. Not soft and deceptive white nationalism or alt-right. People throwing around the term nationalist like it's something to be proud of should read up on how Hitler used nationalism to rise to power. If you love your country you are a patriot. If you insist on being a nationalist you're something else entirely and it's not something good. Save your breath trying to convince me otherwise.

Get the fuck out of here with your whataboutism
If your response to Nazis on the street in America in 2017 is engaging in Whataboutism - what are you even fucking doing? What about you stop deflecting. Get the fuck out of here comparing Nazis in the streets to the Black Lives Matter movement or invoking Hillary, Obama, or black on black crime to shift the conversation away from Nazis on the street in America in 2017. When you attempt to deflect the conversation like that, it makes me think you're a racist. Are you? Tell me the truth. p.s. you also might be racist if you say I'm not racist but.

Things to read without getting butthurt
Being part of the solution instead of part of the problem takes an awareness of the privilege we have as white people. If you are kicking and screaming against the term white privilege or you truly don't understand what it is or how you have it, let's talk. When you start to read this stuff, it feels bad. And it should, because it is bad. But the key is not to take it personally, read with an open mind and heart, don't read to refute, and don't look for people of color to absolve any feelings of shame or guilt you might have. They need not take time out of pursuing justice to pat the backs of people who have benefited from their oppression. We'll need to put our big girl panties on and deal with that privately.

We have always lived under systemic racism. Most of us have contributed to it or supported it. We've participated in it. Discomfort is not an excuse for remaining silent. No one is perfect and no one is being asked to be perfect or dwell on things in the past. Everyone is being asked to move forward with equality and equity and dismantling systemic racism in mind. It's not wrong to be white, it's not bad to be white, but it's bad to be pissed when other people just want the same opportunities and reception our skin color affords us that we never even think about.

Nice White Ladies - dedicated to bringing white folks up to speed on the racial justice conversation
Dear White Women: This is Definitely Us - why we should not be saying "we are better than this" but concentrating on BEING and DOING better
Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement - Here's What You've Missed - Expect no coddling
Safety Pin Box - if you are serious about being part of the solution

Do you have resources to share? Please do.

The Blame Game
White people, we need to confront our crazy cousins and not just let them go on as they are because they've always been like that. No. The buck stops here. We cannot leave these hateful idiots for people of color to deal with. This has remained a stain on this country because we have not collectively told the racists in our lives to go to hell with their bullshit because we don't want to make waves or hurt feelings or because we were not as evolved or bought into the systemic racism or we're really fucking uncomfortable or a million reasons but we can make the decision at any moment to do better and to be different.  White supremacy is still a thing and will always be a thing as long as other white people ignore it and purposefully or inadvertently protect it or attempt to explain it away. White supremacy will have a seat at the table as long as we continue to invite it to dinner and excuse its poor manners. Fuck not making a scene or causing tension. 

For those butthurt that the president is taking blame for this, I say he must assume responsibility. He has at least three out and proud known white supremacists on his staff - Bannon, Miller, and Gorka, all who are still on staff - and refused to say white supremacy when he initially addressed this. Like he didn't mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. See a pattern? White supremacists themselves think he is their person and his unwillingness on more than one occasion to be really fucking clear that he's not has perpetuated a situation. The left photo below is from the Daily Stormer, the hate filled place these dicks with ears organized their hateful march and use as a platform to spew their propaganda. By the way, they don't only hate jewish and black people. They hate women too. Sorry ladies. If you'd like to see some of their propaganda for proof, let me know.
I guess at least some citizens are happy with the president's response? File under: company you don't want to be in.

Things to do
Stop thinking this is about politics. It is about human beings.

Read Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide by Southern Poverty Law Center.

Talk to each other - and children - about equality - and EQUITY. For all of us. ALL.

See the ninth point under the Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement piece. It is not your fault  that you were born with white privilege but if you are serious about making a change it is your responsibility to use that privilege in a way that will advance this work. Or you can just tell a racist to sit the fuck down even if it does cause tension at the family barbecue. Whatever you do, do something. Say something. I am sure I am not saying the right things but I'm trying.
Rays of Light
It's easy to get crushed under the weight of this over the past few days, right? Imagine how non-white people have felt crushed under oppression for a few hundred years. As always, good stuff is happening though.

-Crusading internet people got the Daily Stormer moved off of quite a few platforms yesterday.
-People are making statements out loud that they have not made before.
-Conversations are happening - hard ones, dirty ones, but necessary ones.
-Yes, You're Racist on twitter
-The next white supremacist rally scheduled for Texas A&M was cancelled by the university. They're not done though. Not until we shut them down.
-People of all faiths are standing together.

If you think bills introduced by government representatives to protect drivers who hit protesters are bullshit
And a violation of the First Amendment, let me know. I have some phone numbers, emails, etc. You can get your calls in today. Rest in peace, Heather Heyer.

Did you know the president retweeted a pic showing a CNN journalist being hit by a Trump train days after a white supremacist ran his car into activist Heather Heyer, killing her? That's where we are.

We must set aside differences and address fascism in this country
Take it away, Linda.



Things that have sat with me that I don't want to rely on you to click so I'm going to copy and paste and it's going to be long but please read both if you can: 

"If I speak out, people will call me a liberal"
If you don't, they will call me a n***er.

"My child may be ostracized if I'm vocal about oppression"
My child may be killed if you aren't

"I'm afraid of what people will say about me"
I'm afraid of what people will do to me

"I'd rather focus on the beauty in the world"
So would I, but while you focus on the beauty, the ugly is shoving itself in my face

"We need to just drop all of the labels dividing us"
It has never mattered what they called us, the meaning was always the same. The label isn't the problem.

"My father is just old-school like that. He doesn't mean anything by it"
My father has had to live with your father's 'old-school' actions all of his life.

"She's really a good person at heart"
I'm less interested in her heart than I am in her actions.

"This isn't the time to discuss this"
I promise you that when they follow through on their threats, it won't be at a convenient time.

"Just pray about it and have faith"
I did. And I was reminded that faith without deeds is dead.

"Bullies just want attention. You're giving them what they want"
I just want to live. We'll discuss their motives when the threat has passed.

If your ancestors had spoken out against injustice, we would not be in this situation today. Are you going to leave the work for your children to do or are you going to accept the burden as yours? Are you going to continue making excuses or are you going to start making changes?

"Imagine if these people ever faced actual oppression.

Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry. Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for 'male health care.'

The law never:

Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed

There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote.

There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to 'proving' their intellectual inferiority.

There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly.

Their churches were never burned. Their lawns never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors never hung from trees.

Their mothers aren't being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won't be forced to leave the only country they ever knew.

The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.

They are chanting 'we will not be replaced.'

Replaced as ... what?

I'll tell you.

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena. Replaced as the only life that matters.

THIS is 'white people' oppression: We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone.

THIS is 'oppression' of white Christians in this country. Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged, now it's not.

I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.

Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can't say Christmas. A world where the name "Geoff" on a resume puts it in the trash.

Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.

Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they're kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really is.

Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out."\

In Sum
the story of the photo on the left's resurgence is interesting (it's from 1992), the artist on the right is Meyer
Apologies for being all over, but I had to purge some thoughts from my head. Maybe you'll find something amid the rubble that speaks to you.

I think the majority of us are not racist idiots. But the majority of us are silent which makes it look like white people on the whole are racist. We can't be the silent majority any longer. Ignoring it won't make it go away.

I find myself more than a little undone. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

TWTW - the one at the lake

A three day weekend to relax in the company of some of my favorite women.

Dock time, snacks, cupcakes and shopping, magazine reading while dogs snored in my ear, floats, flags, coffee, strong women and social conviction talk, mimosas,
lake time, reflections, sunshine, tomato sandwiches and grilled corn a la Jack, country road rides, gas experiments, selfies,
new bracelets from Debbie Rae Designs, bonding time with women I love, quiet serenity, and wet your pants funny Cards Against Humanity.
And dogs. Always, always dogs, including Lori & Jack's newest lady Layla the puppy. Thanks to Lori for hosting and welcoming all of us, human and furry.
Weekly food prep: breakfast is breakfast burritos from the freezer. Lunches are baked chicken thighs over pasta salad. Dinners are corn on the cob, grilled barbecue chicken drums and thighs, potato salad, and pasta salad. Snacks are plums and peaches and sliced tomatoes.
Nails are Essie S'il Vous Play, mood is fucking pissed. If you attempt to deflect conversations away from Nazis on the street in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017 to discuss how Black Lives Matter is wrong, you might be a racist. I might address this more tomorrow if I can do it in a way where I can avoid a self-induced aneurysm. Otherwise, my Saturday thoughts on it here. I am not suitable for public consumption right now.



How was yours?



Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Five: August and everything after

Except that I'm just going to talk about the remaining days of August and nothing after, okay? I wanted to use an intact name of a Counting Crows album in the title. Sue me. I thought it would jazz up this quick five jobby to do list for the next three weeks.

1. Get my hands on a copy of Cocoa Beach, the newest by Beatriz Williams.

2. Eat at Hula Grill and Del's and try Aunt Betty's (new to me ice cream place).

3. Pull photos for my sunrise coffee table book.

4. Bike over the bridge from Ocean City to Somers Point.

5. Girls lake weekend - this is cheating because it's happening now but it's my list and I do what I want. 

Not summer related but shit that still has to get done this month:
- Measure dressers and TV stand at the shore so I can begin hunting for replacements in thrift shops.
- Get rid of the loveseat in the basement.
- Research stand alone water cooler (anyone have recommendations?)

Happy happy birthday to my stepmom Carol today! Love you!
Have a great weekend, Bs.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - in full FI mode

1. My attitude this week, for no specific reason aside from a possible link to the summer Fuck It Phase:

2. I am a 40 year old woman who consistently gets zits in the same two spots. The latest in my attempt to throw money at the problem. I got a great deal and honestly? I've always felt like I was washing my face poorly. This has a timer like my Sonic toothbrush. It's like learning to care for yourself all over again as an adult who should already know this shit. 

3. Things that have annoyed me on my neighborhood facebook groups this week: eleventy billion people reporting that their trash has not been picked up to all of us on facebook but only seven to 10 people actually reporting a problem to the city (Philly page); eleventy billion people asking what to do with kids on a rainy day at the shore (OCNJ page, question has been asked and answered 203948203948023948 times in the history of the page). You?

4. Immediately after I said I haven't watched TV forever last Thursday I started watching Ozark. I have one episode left. I love Jason Bateman and really like Laura Linney in this too. I can't recall loving her in anything in the past. Everyone in town is crazy or has a sneaky side hustle or weird secret. My kind of show. 

5. I've already purchased a new sweatshirt, pair of leggings, kicking around shoes I can wear at work, athleisure shoes, and old lady black comfortable enough to commute in shoes for the fall. If you can't tell, I'm turning over all of my shoes right now and those that are not comfortable for old lady feet must go. Aside from a new sweater or two, I'm probably set for the season though thanks to some good Nordstrom sales. Someone remind me of this later when I want to buy shit I don't need because it's pretty.  

6. Is anyone else concerned that two man toddlers are in a pissing match over nuclear war and we have no one working our State Department right now? In a world where everyone has nukes, we need diplomacy. Not threats to use them. A president must be able to de-escalate conflict, not disregard advisers in favor of doing and saying whatever the fuck he wants in public to ramp it up and endanger the world. That's what Kim Jong-un does. We're so worried about him because he's crazy and unpredictable. Those traits describe our own leader. He is unhinged and mentally unfit to hold the office. It is time to invoke the 25th Amendment. But never mind this paltry shit. Let's go back to discussing her emails. I'm alarmed by how many people seem A-ok with nuclear war. You guys, what are we even fucking doing?

7. Two things to keep your eye on: a) State TV is coming your way soon via Trump TV - just like North Korea and Russia, you will hear what the government wants you to hear! Have you brushed up on your 1984 lately? I see many of you have. If you don't like the sound of any of this, you can call the FCC at 1-888-225-5322. B)  The U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report that this inept administration will undoubtedly try to label as fake news being that they are science deniers is out for you to peruse.  

8. I never thought I'd be an avid reader of a pastor blogger but damn if John Pavlovitz has not been resonating with me, one of the least religious people on earth. Take some of these excerpts (below) from a recent blog post about why he opposes Donald Trump - I feel like they were written from my own heart, especially about the reasons why I continue to call out what I see and how this goes far beyond one man and even beyond politics in general. And this reverberated so fiercely within me: I'm probably not going to apologize for being passionate about people. Me neither, John. But in my case make probably definitely. That's a promise.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week: Some weeks. Like this one. LOL

Congrats to Christy P for winning my $60 six year anniversary giveaway

Today is my Friday.
shanananaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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