Category Archives: rants

Haven’t done this in a while

God, how long has it been since I’ve blogged? Since the election? Since I started my new job? I’d have to check, and it’s taking enough effort for me to even write this thing, so, I’m going to say it’s been at least seven months or so.

I’m going to try to get back into blogging at least 1x per week from now on. After the election, the plan was to wait until the rage-and-despair-fueled fire burning in the pit of my soul subsided before trying my hand at this blog again, but then things got even worse, so, like, fuck it, whatever. I like to be funny in this space, y’all, and not much has seemed funny for the last six months, but I’m just gonna have to make some lemonade out of the shitty, moldering, Russian-grown lemons Cheetolini has given us in lieu of a future for Americans’ health care and, you know, the planet. First, though, an update on my life.

I started a new job eight days before the election. The job is great, but twice since 11/8/16 I’ve dipped into suicidal-ideation-level depressions. Twice. In six months. That’s not good. I’ve just come out of one of these troughs, so now’s a good a time as any to make this thing work.

That’s…kind of the whole update. I got a new job, been working, been depressed, been trying to make it through each day without bursting into tears and/or making a papier-mâché Trump and burning it in effigy in front of my apartment. Also been eating way too much and not working out enough/at all. WOOHOO ISN’T THIS UPLIFTING AF?

I’m better now, though. I swear. I hope. Please, God, let me be better. I mean, I feel better today, but that might be the rosé wine and Carly Rae Jepsen combo I’m jiving to right now. Also, I bought new cleaning supplies for my apartment and that always makes me feel awesome (I’m not kidding. I love cleaning supplies.). I walked 10K steps each of the last three days. I ate, like, a salad yesterday, with minimal cheese in it*. These are all good signs, right? Honestly, I feel like I accomplished a lot more this week than Donald Trump did in Europe. Like, at least I didn’t insult and alienate the United States’ closest allies and follow the rest of the G7 leaders around on a golf cart like a toddler who’s overdue for a nap! See, lemonade!

Depression is pretty funny though, I have to say. Like, last week I broke down and collapsed in a ball on the floor because I dropped a towel on the floor when I meant to hang it up on the hook on the back of my bathroom door. This was apparently more than my sick mind could bear. I just lost it, and sobbed uncontrollably as I stared at it for a moment before bending over, picking it up again, and finally managing to hang it on the hook. I was convinced that I was a terrible, disgusting, evil person because I had a moment of clumsiness and accidentally dropped a towel, which, in case you’ve never encountered one, is a soft, unbreakable object which is not spoiled from resting on a moderately clean hardwood floor for 3.5 seconds. Honestly, I should have been celebrating instead of crying– in getting that towel on the hook in only two tries, I still accomplished more for the good of our nation in one day than the President has in 130 days, so I’m just going to go ahead and pat myself on the back for that one.

Maybe I’ve been looking at this “our president and his entire posse are traitors” thing the wrong way – really, this guy just gives all of us a pass to be our most incompetent selves at all times. I mean, my dog puts more effort into shitting on the lawn than Trump puts into leading a nation of 330 million people, so let’s give that (literal) bitch a gold fucking medal, right? RIGHT!

Huh, I feel even BETTER now. More rosé! More Carly Rae Jepsen! Depression, go fuck yourself.

Till next week!IMG_20170528_193437

*minimal cheese means a lot of fucking cheese but whatever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orlando, Guns, and Love: I’ve had wine so here we go

FYI: If you think it’s totally okay for private citizens to be able to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles easily in the United States, you might as well go find another blog post to read because you will not like this one. Have fun!

Okay.

So here we are again. The worst mass shooting in modern American history. At least 50 dead, dozens more injured, countless families destroyed, law enforcement in Orlando stretched so thin they can barely handle it, endless twitter and facebook posts with prayers for the dead and injured, Presidential speeches and political rants.

Prayers and thoughts are nice, but they aren’t keeping AR-15s out of the hands of evil assholes, misogynists, terrorists, and homophobes like this asshole who did this today. They aren’t teaching our children to resolve feelings of anger and hatred in therapy instead of with violence, or to see all humans as worthy of respect and life even if they are different from them.

Here’s some shit I am doing now in light of this and other mass shootings. If you think that human life is more important than some asshole’s need to carry his AR-15 to the Chipotle or some douchebag’s discomfort at possibly having to pee in a shitty Target bathroom next to someone whose birth certificate says a different gender than the one they currently identify with or some religious fanatic’s fear of the power and value inherent in women and LGBT individuals’ existences, I hope you’ll do some of it, too.

  • Donate: I’ve just donated a small amount each to these two organizations:
    • Fund for Victims of Pulse Shooting via Equality Florida (
      GoFundMe): https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund. Equality is the official LGBT civil rights org in Florida and they’ll be working with their attorneys and other organizations to distribute these funds to the victims and their families.
    • The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: a decades-old organization dedicated to common sense gun control and ending gun violence! http://csgv.org/
    • Obviously there are other organizations as well, but these are just a couple, so if you have a spare $1 or $10 or $100 give to groups who are fighting common-sense gun control.
  • Read/get informed: 
    • I followed @igorvolsky on Twitter; he is the Deputy Director for the Center for American Progess action fund. He is tweeting the names of members of Congress who have accepted money from the NRA so you know who NOT to vote for in November or future elections if you care about stopping these mass shootings regardless of motivation.
    • This article also details the members of Congress (mostly Republicans, but some Dems in there too!) who voted AGAINST the act to include perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities as protected classes under existing federal hate crimes law. The law passed, but not easily. If your Senator or Representative is on this list, and you give a shit about LGBT and disabled people, do not vote for these asshats in the future, and call them up and tell them why!
  • Vote based on this information: 
    • This Fall, I’m voting for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States, not only because she is NOT a giant sentient Cheeto with a yellow wig who spews racist bullshit on Twitter every 3.5 hours and wants to have sex with its daughter, but because I strongly agree with her on many issues- especially women’s reproductive rights and gun control. She has an F rating from the NRA, which is the best failing grade someone can get if you ask me!
    • I’m a California voter, and so will also be voting in the Fall for Democrat Kamala D. Harris for US Senator to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. Her opponent in the race is also a Democrat, Loretta Sanchez, but Sanchez voted in 2005 FOR a bill that would shield gun manufacturers from responsibility in some lawsuits when gun sales result in tragedy. Sorry, Sanchez, that was one mistake you’re not gonna live down with this voter!
    • That’s just me; whatever state or district you live in, use the information in the section above and your own research to vote for candidates who support making and enforcing laws that will keep assault rifles, which are, you know, for ASSAULTING PEOPLE and not to hunt quails or whatever because COME ON, out of the hands of dangerous people. Also vote for candidates who speak of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender/gender orientation, sexual preference, age, etc. with respect. People don’t pick up an assault rifle, a pistol, a knife, or even their fists in a vacuum. The Planned Parenthood Shooter spoke of “baby parts” after storming a Colorado PP and killing three people, including a police officer; according to some reports, the piece of shit who murdered fifty people this morning was angered by seeing two men kiss in Miami months ago and had a history of domestic violence. That kind of homophobia and misogyny and anger isn’t all innate; these messages are reinforced by both private figures in our lives and, yes, public figures, too. What our elected officials say matters. When someone insinuates that all gay people are evil sinners, or all abortion providers are murderers, or all Mexicans are rapists, or all black people are thugs, or all Muslims are terrorists–people listen to this shit, and it poisons them. We can’t control what a given individual learns in their home growing up or from their friends or their place of worship, but we can control, to a certain extent, what our elected officials say to their constituents and their children. Vote for people who don’t say racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or other terrible shit.

So that’s what I’m doing and thinking. What are you doing? Seriously, if there are major things I’m missing, please tell me, because I want to do more. I’m sort of tipsy from drinking anger-wine tonight to dull the pain of this shitty world, but I’m fired up and want to do things because I am sick of this. I don’t even know if I’m going to have kids, but if I do, I want them to grow up in a better country and world. I also know there’s a huge mental health angle to all this, but it’s something that’s hard for me to tackle because I HAVE a mental illness and there’s so much to unpack with that all I can say for now is that the vast majority of people with mental illness do not hurt anyone and are non-violent (the same way that the vast majority of Muslims or white guys or anti-abortion people do not ever hurt anyone). That being said, it’s still something to discuss–I just don’t know how to do it tonight. If anyone has any resources, I would love to read them.

Finally, I’m just so, so, so sorry for the victims in Orlando and their families and friends, and for the global LGBT community. I love you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

 

Jackie’s Foolproof Process for Furniture Assembly and Losing Your Soul

Occasionally, despite my college education and now 31+ years of experience living as a Human on the Planet Earth, I make a Life Errorso gargantuan that it shakes the very fiber of my being and makes me doubt whether I am worthy of success, happiness, or love.

I order self-assembly furniture online.

I know, I know, but it wasn’t my fault! I am A WRITER, DAMN IT, and writers need desks. I could write while sitting at my kitchen table, but it’s cold in the kitchen. I can also go to a coffee shop, but a coffee is two bucks MINIMUM and it’s much cheaper to just make coffee at home. The obvious solution was a small-ish desk that fits into the bay window nook in my warm-ish bedroom with the cheap homemade coffee only feet away!

So I went on Wayfair and ordered a desk. Five days later, the desk arrived. And thus began my descent to the ninth level of hell, where I joined Brutus, Judas, and…Cassius (is he the third guy? too lazy to google) in being chewed in the giant maw of Satan.

The process began auspiciously when the FedEx guy cheerfully offered to haul the giant desk-containing box up three floors to my apartment. I immediately set out to assemble the desk, whereby I rediscovered Jackie’s Foolproof Process for Furniture Assembly and Losing Your Soul:

  1. Using a knife, cut through the tape along the edges of the box.
  2. Attempt to open box, and discover that there are apparently three more layers of taped-up cardboard between you and the desk.
  3. Hack through these layers while dripping sweat everywhere. Finally remove all the cardboard to discover the furniture is encased in a sarcophagus of styrofoam, which is all stuck together with a kind of tape that is probably used to seal airlocks on the International Space Station.
  4. Hack at the styrofoam, getting bits of it all over your apartment and inhaling a good 20% of it into your lungs.
  5. After 30 minutes of chopping at styrofoam, reveal the desk. Take a water and stretch break and realize that if you can’t open a box without getting breathless that you might want to sign up for the gym.
  6. Using the included mini toolkit, attach the four legs to the desk. Easy peasy! You’re 90% done- the last step is attach the knobs to the two little drawers that are built into the desk.
  7. You go to pull out the drawer. The drawer falls apart in your hand:wp-1452825930873.jpg 
  8. Ok, you can fix it! Get out your hammer and nails to see if you can cobble the drawer back together.
  9. OH MY FUCKING GOD HOW DID I HAMMER THREE FINGERS ON MY RIGHT HAND ALL AT ONCE OH GOD OH GOD IT HURTS AGHHHHH!!
  10. Breathe through the pain, breathe through it. Ok. You’ve got this.
  11. Go down the block to the local hardware store and buy superglue. Return home, glue the drawer back together, let it set for 20 minutes per instructions. Huzzah! It looks great! YOU ARE A GODDESS!
  12. Lightly touch the drawer with one finger to test the strength of the superglue. The drawer explodes.
  13. A single tear escapes your right eye. You remove the drawer and put the desk right-side up. The desk leg lands awkwardly and stubs your right toe.
  14. You burst into tears because ARE YOU KIDDING ME I WENT TO YALE I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER A FUCKING BUCK FIFTY DESK AND MY HAND HURTS AND MY FOOT HURTS AND I’M SWEATY AND IT’S RAINING AND THERE’S STYROFOAM ALL OVER MY APARTMENT AND I’VE BREATHED FIVE POUNDS OF IT IN AND NOW I’M GOING TO DIE OF STYROFOAM LUNG CANCER WHY AM I EVEN TRYING TO BE ALIVE IF I’M TOO STUPID TO SCREW TOGETHER A FUCKING WAYFAIR DESK sob sob sob.
  15. Call your mom, who is bewildered but manages to calm you down.
  16. Ashamed at your outburst, you try to go online to request replacement drawers for your desk, only to discover that the new Comcast set-top box that Infinity made you install earlier that day has DESTROYED THE INTERNET and the only network in range is called “We Can Hear You Have Sex” but it’s fucking PASSWORD PROTECTED.
  17. Cry.
  18. Remember that your phone has internet, and use that to request the parts. Ok, they’ll be here in a few days. It’s all good.
  19. Go out to a friend’s open bar birthday party to destress and consume three of these:
    wp-1453430097079.jpg
    Yeah, that’s a shot that gets poured into it in addition to the rum.

     

  20. Go home and vomit up everything you ever ate or drank, but because you’re an IDIOT you throw up in the shower and not the toilet, and so when you wake up at 3 am and go in the bathroom you discover that you have to clean up a hell of a mess. You go back to bed and at 6 am you clean up and hydrate and go to the laundromat when it opens to wash your vomity clothes. Call Comcast, fix the internet, and wait for your replacement drawers as you recover your dignity.
  21. A few days later, the drawers arrive, in perfect condition! You replace them and the desk looks GREAT! HUZZAH! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WOOOOOORRRLD! wp-1453430169027.jpg
  22. Decide to take a walk to celebrate. Pull out your headphones so you can listen to some TUNEZ while you traipse through the park.
  23. FUCK
wp-1453430176319.jpg
Ain’t it always the way?

 

 

Last. Self-assembly. Desk. Ever.

Politics of Petty Negativity: Oh, Jeb(!) Edition

So on Facebook this morning I posted a rant about Jeb(!) Bush(!)’s latest gaffe, in which he said, in a Town Hall on Saturday in South Carolina:

“Universities ought to have skin in the game,” the former Florida governor said at a South Carolina town hall with Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy. “When a student shows up, they ought to say ‘Hey, that psych major deal, that philosophy major thing, that’s great, it’s important to have liberal arts … but realize, you’re going to be working a Chick-fil-A.'”

“The number one degree program for students in this country … is psychology,” Bush said. “I don’t think we should dictate majors. But I just don’t think people are getting jobs as psych majors. We have huge shortages of electricians, welders, plumbers, information technologists, teachers.”

There is so much to unpack here, it’s insane.

Understandably, a LOT of people were upset about this bullshit he spouted, myself included.  My initial anger was due to the insult aimed at psychology majors in particular.  I feel very strongly about this, because:

A.) I know many psych majors who have gone on to land important, wonderful, and even high-paying(!) jobs, from medicine, to HR, to clinical psychology and research, to labor work, to writing…the list goes on.  To imply that psych majors have no career options is just wrong and shows that he doesn’t know what the ever-loving fuck he’s talking about.

B.) Dismissing psychology as a valid field of study is dangerous.  People who struggle with mental illness have to overcome enough stigma and red tape to seek psychological assistance (therapy, etc.) as it is, and for a major political figure to imply that this is an unimportant area of study doesn’t help matters.

C.) On a personal note, psychology saved my life.  My therapist (who, yeah, has a job!  It’s therapy! He gets paid and everything!), one of those lowly psych majors, helped me out of a major depression and suicidal episode earlier this year and continues to help me.  His is an essential profession, so to hear a major candidate say something that might dissuade others with an interest from pursuing it…well, it rubs me the wrong way.

As I re-read Jeb(!)’s comments in a later moment of relative calmness, however, I was struck by something – I agree with one of the statements he made!  I KNOW, RIGHT?  I’m all #FEELTHEBERN and #HILLARYROCKS and #OMALLEY…EXISTS but I agreed with a statement Jeb(!) Bush, of the Bushy McBushes, made.  Here it is:

“We have huge shortages of electricians, welders, plumbers, information technologists, teachers.” (implying, of course, that students should pursue these fields)

Jeb(!) is right!  There are millions of jobs opening up in the trades!  These jobs can be well-paying and are essential to the American economy and our everyday lives!  People should consider these jobs!

We also have a teacher shortage!  Teachers play an essential role in American life and the economy!  More people should be teachers!

SO WHY NOT JUST SAY THAT?*  THAT IS A GOOD THING!  JUST SAY THAT!  COME ON!

GOB COME ON

Why, Jeb(!) do you have to insult psychology majors (and, for that matter, philosophy and other liberal arts majors) to make that point?

Why, Jeb(!), do you have to insult the dignity of food service workers (he makes working at Chick-Fil-A sound like the worst possible fate a human being could have**) to make that point?

If you are trying to encourage young people to follow certain career paths, Jeb(!), why not just extoll the benefits of those paths instead of insulting others?  Why engage in negativity when positivity will get the same point across?

The answer to this for Jeb(!) personally is, I’m sure, complicated, and, ironically, would necessitate an in-depth examination of his psyche and how his upbringing in a rich, entitled family which has already produced two US Presidents affects his worldview.  But in general, I believe that Jeb(!) and other politicians engage in negativity politics because they believe it wins elections, and it’s become their default setting, even when trying to make a simple point encouraging young people to study the trades at a town hall.  Get that insult in, these politician’s aides constantly say to them in greenrooms and hotel suites and on tour buses, and people will start paying attention!  That’s what will get you the votes!

The good news for normal people is this hasn’t held true for the last two US presidential elections.  Say what you will about Obama, but he didn’t win in ’08 by denigrating college students and women and fast food workers – he won because his primary message was one of hope (again, whether or not you agree he has delivered on that is an entirely different post).  And in 2012, Romney guaranteed his loss the minute he called 47% of the country moochers.  The lesson? LOOKING DOWN ON REGULAR PEOPLE DOES NOT WIN NATIONAL ELECTIONS ANYMORE, GUYS!  WE HAVE TWITTER NOW!  WE WATCH JOHN OLIVER! WE WILL KNOW IF YOU SAY MEXICANS ARE RAPISTS, AND EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE LOTS OF RACISTS IN THE US THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH OF THEM TO KEEP YOU AT THE TOP OF THE POLLS!

I would love to see a day when politics (on both sides of the aisle, the GOP is not alone in this) leaves petty negativity entirely behind.  We’re not there yet, and who knows if we ever will be, but I do know that, after some blinding rage this morning, I’m feeling a little more mellow and sympathetic towards Jeb(!), who just doesn’t get that his politics of negativity is only going to bite him in the ass!  He’s so oblivious, it’s almost sad.

If only he’d taken a psychology course, you know? 😉

*To be fair, the reason he won’t say that is because he actually has no actual interest in helping anyone get any job through educational assistance and training in the trades or any other field.  He’s not been super great for education or teachers.  He mostly doesn’t care.

**Of course, no one, including Jeb(!), would feel like they could insult food service workers if they were paid a living minimum wage, but Jeb(!) would prefer to eliminate the federal minimum wage altogether, so…yeah.