Category Archives: Uncategorized

We Won’t Calm Down

“Calm down.”

“Take a breath.”

“Don’t get upset, that won’t solve anything.”

The above are some of the most infuriating phrases in the English language. I’ve been on the receiving end of them many a time, and they never fail to make me more upset, stressed, angry, or agitated than I was to begin with because of their disingenuousness. People say these things not to ease your mind or soothe you, but to help themselves, particularly when you are a woman. “Calm down, upsetting yourself isn’t going to help,” is really just code for, “Your blatant display of emotion is making me uncomfortable, and I’d like you to accommodate me by being quiet so I don’t have to help or address your concerns.”

We all occasionally get upset over nothing. It’s part of being human, and sometimes a blatant display of emotion isn’t helpful. When you getting worked up over a minor typo in an office email, or when a waiter gets your order wrong, or you can’t get cell reception, or you spill tomato soup on your brand-new white shirt, “calm down” is an appropriate, if ineffective, sentiment.

Now is not one of those times.

Over the next several weeks and months, Senators, Congresspeople, media pundits, men (and women) on the street, newspaper columnists, elite “thinkers,” people on Twitter and Facebook, and pretty much anyone in any position of power are all going to be beaming the same message out to the people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, indigenous and native peoples, and anyone else who dares to be angry, agitated, stressed, sad, or otherwise non-accepting of the tragically corrupt confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to SCOTUS: “Calm down!”

“You’re being unreasonable,” they’ll say from their podiums and pulpits. “What’s done is done; there’s no use being upset about it,” they’ll sneer to protesting crowds. “What a dangerous time for our sons!” they’ll lament from verified Twitter accounts followed by dozens of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists and PUAs. “Things aren’t that bad; they’ve been worse before,” they’ll write condescendingly in their Medium columns catering to Bernie Bros. “So just calm down.”

No. I will not. My anger, and the anger of so many of my fellow citizens, is warranted and righteous. My fear and stress are reasonable. My wariness of a president and a party who confirmed a partisan hack to the Supreme Court while mocking sexual assault victims and complaining that freedom of speech and to protest, the concept upon which this nation was founded, is “embarrassing” is more than justified. I will not be gaslit. I am a grown-ass woman, and I’ve seen enough to know that we are going in the wrong direction much more quickly than anyone would have thought possible twenty-four months ago. If my rage and fear at our slide into fascism make you uncomfortable, well, that’s just too bad, because I’m not going to back down from expressing them. I’m not going to let anyone tell me or any other woman or survivor or marginalized community member that we’re being unreasonable.

This post is a reminder that I’ll come back to when I’m doubting myself, or when a pundit or a neighbor or the guy on the bus implore me to just chill out. Remember: they’re protecting themselves, not you, from guilt or laziness or facing their own privilege. And that’s their problem, not yours. And if they don’t like it, they can calm down.

 

Night Three

Here I am. It’s Night Three: the third night in a row of the wild swings, from giddiness to despondency in moments, that characterize my depression and anxiety. I am twisting and writhing, trying to fit myself into a world that I’m sure doesn’t want me. I am worthless, stupid, ugly. Wasted space, wasted potential. I should have been better, different. Somebody else.

The refrain from that chorus of voices, the youngest parts of my psyche: Why can’t you just be somebody else? Somebody normal? You’re broken. We’re broken. Fix us. Fix yourself. Be better. Please. Be better. Please.

Be better. Please.

I know these are defense mechanisms formed in my early years. Parts of me saw the world and how shitty and unfair it was — fuck, were they in for a surprise in 2017 — and figured the only way to survive was to internalize ALL the bad and make it my own. Make it me. If I was the bad thing, I had some control. I could improve me — the world, not so much. But I could be better — had to be better — or the world would swallow me and spit me out like so many others who couldn’t “handle it.”

God only gives you what you can handle. I don’t believe in god, haven’t for many years, but that saying still makes my stomach sink like a stone before the rage bubbles up into my chest where it burns red-hot. You only give us what we can handle? Do I look like I am handling this relatively easy life to you, you vindictive, omnipotent fuck-face, lying on the floor in a heap of tears and snot and sweat? How can I handle anything with this useless, broken brain you saddled me with? And don’t even get me started on those who have it worse. You accept their prayers while killing their kids and destroying their homes and tearing holes in their bodies and devastating their souls. Either make yourself useful for the first time in thirteen billion years, or go back to your cloud palace and leave us the fuck alone, you gossamer-winged douche canoe. Also, your wine fucking SUCKS.

Okay, that felt a little good. For a moment.

Still: four years of steady therapy and sixteen years of every medication under the sun feel worthless tonight, on Night Three. I’m exhausted to the point of collapse, but when sleep comes, I dream in rapid, flickering images, full technicolor and too well-lit. Vignettes of violence and humor and fear and love and death and that British lizard from the insurance commercials. Snippets of songs and whispers and horns and sirens and bad-movie dialogue.

I wish I could say that I had a good reason to feel this way. There isn’t, though. It’s just me, and my brain. It’s not Vegas, or the Orange Fucker, or work stress, or life stress – though none of those things help. It’s just me, and the voices.

Be better. Please. 

My therapist says to be nice to these voices – they’re only coping mechanisms, after all. They’re trying to protect me. And they are asking politely.

But I cannot be better right now, tonight, or really anytime. At 32, I am mostly baked – I am doing my best, and I am not going to become a superhuman anytime soon. I also cannot control the shitty, unfair world we are stuck in. But I do have work tomorrow, so, voices, here’s my offer: calm down, shut up, and go the fuck to sleep. Be better at being my psyche, will you? Please?

Here’s to a better Night Four.

 

 

Dear GOP Senate: the first black POTUS still beat you. Twice.

Dear every GOP Senator who voted today to move forward on repealing the ACA,

Barack Obama still beat you.

Twice.

That’s right. The guy with the funny name and the big ears and the brown, brown skin.

He beat you. He beat you good.

You know who I’m talking about, right? That guy. The one with the beautiful, blacker-even-than-he-was (gasp!) wife who committed the great sin of trying to get people to take a stroll and eat the occasional vegetable. You recall him, I believe? Unlike Kislyak, he’s easy to remember. You know: the tall, handsome one, with the cute kids and the broad smile and the extensive vocabulary?

The one with the Ivy League degrees earned without the help of family money or a legacy name?

The one who won more votes for president than any other person in American history?

The one with the truly impressive inauguration crowd photos?

Yeah, that guy: Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, you sure adored emphasizing that middle name of his! It was your little wink-wink, nudge-nudge, on Fox News or CNN (pre “Fake News!”). You enjoyed needling him with the name he was proud of, the name his father gave him. That gave you a little thrill, didn’t it?

He still beat you.

Twice.

Let’s be real – you stopped giving a shit about not-rich and not-Russian people years ago, but you’d be far less anxious to repeal a now-popular-with-your-constituents, landmark healthcare bill that saves thousands of lives a year if it had been signed by a Democrat with appropriately lily-white hands.

But you still can’t get over it that this brown nobody, who wasn’t groomed for Capitol Hill (or at least the Alabama State House) from birth, whose parents’ interracial marriage used to be illegal in many US states, beat you.

Twice.

And people loved him. Love him, still. They cheer him wherever he goes, with his crisp shirt unbuttoned at the neck, revealing his well-earned vacation tan. Still in his fit fifties, he has years of accolades and humanitarian work ahead of him, while you all have one foot in the grave and the other tied up in the twisted old Confederate flag Bree Newsome tossed defiantly into the sun-baked dirt.

He was, and is, better than you. He changed history, regardless of what you do to his bill now. He changed the conversation. He raised expectations. He made us better, while you drag us down and try, with hand over heart and a word or two about God uttered with a glance up at the dome, to kill the meekest among us.

He was not, and is not, perfect. God, far from it. But he is, above all, a decent man: no sleaze, no scandal, not one opening for you to jab in the knife of, “Him?! An example for our kids?” 

Because he is an example, for all kids. Regardless of color or creed or gender or age.

That’s the future, you know. We’re starting to live in it. A world where your grandson may come home from sports practices one day and tell you he wants to grow up to be as good an athlete as Serena, or where your millennial niece may tell you she decided to become an activist because of John Lewis. A world where your son’s decision to join the armed forces is inspired not by John McCain’s sacrifice, but by Tammy Duckworth’s.

You lost the future years ago. You’re losing it every day. As narrow-minded and cruel as you are, you must be scared. It’s scary when everything you’ve ever known to be true about your own innate superiority is shown to be a lie. I’d almost feel sorry for you, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re actively working to harm or kill anyone who looks or thinks or loves or worships differently from you.

I’m sure many of you will go to sleep tonight contented with the days’ work, grateful that your esteemed colleague’s newfound terminal cancer diagnosis hasn’t deterred him from his goal of taking healthcare away from millions of his fellow human beings. But as unconsciousness overtakes you in your soft beds in your D.C. townhouses, I hope one final recollection rises to the surface and echoes softly in the back of your minds:

Barack Obama, the first black president, is better than you. And he still beat you.

Twice.

Sweet dreams.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s our turn to fight

I haven’t written in a long time because I was job-hunting. I have a new job now. So yeah, I’m back.

And this is my election post for the day (also found on FB).

Last night I was despondent. For a few moments, my depression reared its head in the ugliest way. I barely slept.

This morning, I realized a few things:

I am white
I am well-educated
I have an amazing job with amazing benefits
I have an amazing support system
I am cis-het
I live in California

Barring a national overturning of Roe v. Wade or an uptick in assault on women in general nationwide, my rights and I are ok for the foreseeable future. Which is why it is now my job to fight for others.

For people of color, ESPECIALLY women of color
For those who don’t have the chance to go to college
For the unemployed, under-employed, and disabled
For the uninsured or those soon to be uninsured
For the poor
For the LGBT community
For people in places like Flint (STILL NO CLEAN WATER Y’ALL) and Ferguson and Standing Rock.

If you are like me and you enjoy many tremendous privileges, it is also your time to fight.

In municipal politics
In state politics
In national politics
In our communities
In our homes

I’m scared tbh. But I know I’m not nearly as scared as those in the marginalized groups above. So it’s on me. It’s on us (that mostly means you, white people).

I start by setting up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood, which will be crucial to the well-being of women and girls and even men in the coming months and years if the ACA goes down. And then I research my next steps.

To 2018 and beyond.

Much love.

i’m exhausted.

Powerful, essential. This is real life.

Tears. Sweat. Sea.

I am tired. I am really fucking tired. I am emotionally, physically, and mentally worn out by the world that we are living in today. I spent all of this weekend immobile, barely able to walk around my apartment, because I couldn’t deal with all of the shit that is going on in this world. I didn’t know how to handle being a black woman in America. This burden is heavy, and I don’t want to carry it anymore. I can’t carry it anymore.

And yet, it gets heavier. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, and saw this link.  The KKK. Here in SF. And recruiting. In my fucking backyard. The girl who received their recruitment flyer literally lives an 8 minute walk from my house, in a spot that I pass by on a weekly basis. I’m terrified, and I’m angry. I’m so fucking angry. It is 2016 and this racist bullshit is…

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WordPress Meet and Greet – All Bloggers Welcome

Reblogging this dude–he is a prolific blogger and is great at fostering connections between bloggers. I highly recommend leaving a link if you’re trying to connect with other writers and content creators, or at least checking out what others are posting 🙂

HarsH ReaLiTy

Well this is the third post I have done like this so far and I have seen some great connections. I’ll keep doing these off and on and I think they provide a great way for “active bloggers” to network. This post now has over 2,000 active bloggers waiting to connect in it. I encourage anyone looking for new blogs to view or people to converse with to browse through the comment section and network.

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Broken feet and good brothers

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the struggle is real

I did not have the best weekend. On Friday night, I fell on the sidewalk outside my apartment (YES, I had been drinking juuuuust a little) and twisted my left foot HARD. As I screamed in pain and melodramatically wailed that “I WAS DYYYYING,” my little brother, who had come earlier in the week to visit me from Los Angeles and is an ex-college football player with his fair experience of injuries, calmly ascertained that I did not have any bones sticking through my skin. He then hoisted me up on my good foot and half-dragged me back to my building and up the three-and-a-half flights of stairs to my apartment to deposit me on my bed, all the while ignoring the creepy stares of half-a-dozen street kids who were looking at me in disdain (I was crying and being very uncool).

The next day, he spent over four hours with me at UCSF urgent care, wheeling me to get xrays and fetching me Starbucks (yay!) and purchasing and setting up my new crutches (ugh). When they told me I’d fractured a bone in my foot and sent me on a wild goose chase to purchase a special boot to wear, he took me in three different Ubers to two different medical supply stores, one of which may or may not have been a front for the Russian mob. While we waited for the second Uber, he let me lean on him while I cried, swore, and sweated–the first store we’d been referred to was unexpectedly closed and I did not take it well. “I HATE MY LIFE!” I screamed, drama queen that I am, as he smiled apologetically to frightened passerby in the Richmond.

Once we made it back to my apartment on Saturday evening, he helped me elevate my foot, ice it, got me food, and has spent the last forty-eight hours helping with everything from picking up prescriptions and doing the laundry to lifting my spirits and entertaining me. I am especially grateful for him to introducing me to the unholy experience of watching “The Room” sober:

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YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!

In short,  I am THE WORST at being sick/injured, and my brother has been an absolute fucking angel. I’m desperately grateful that he’s here–not just that he happened to be around on Friday night (that was more than lucky), but that he’s here on the planet at all. I love my brother to death, but I never realized until this weekend how lucky am I to have him. He is one of a handful of people on Earth who could have witnessed my ridiculous and childish depressed behavior in the face of an obnoxious and inconvenient–but hardly calamitous–injury over the past few days and still been patient and helpful throughout. He is also the only member of that select group of family and friends who would still like me after this weekend who is strong enough to help carry me up three flights of stairs, which is convenient.

So, yeah, being injured has sucked, and will continue to suck for a little while (we find out tomorrow if I need surgery or not–fingers crossed for not!), but if nothing else, it’s reminded me how lucky I am to have such a wonderful sibling. Thank you, Bryan*, I love you. And to those of you who have great brothers or sisters, hug them or text them “I love you” tonight on behalf of my own broken foot, as well as the medical supply store on Clement that may or may not be a front for the Russian mob. Mobsters or not, it’s obviously run by a close-knit family!

*I would include a picture of Bryan here, but he deleted his Facebook years ago and prefers to remain elusive on the internet, as far as I can tell. If you want to picture him in your mind, just imagine what if James Franco and Seth Rogen had a third best friend who was in all their movies together with them, but that best friend isn’t Jay Baruchel or Jonah Hill and is in his late twenties and wears gap button-down shirts with cargo shorts and needs a haircut desperately. ???

 

The millennial’s guide for how to vote for the “right” candidate in the primaries

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Primary season is upon us! If you’re lucky and not being voter suppressed and are able to get away from work/childcare/other life duties and actually vote in your state’s upcoming primary or caucus, you have an important decision to make: who will you support for your party’s nomination for President? I know it can be daunting, especially for millennials who don’t have decades of experience in becoming apathetic and exhausted by our disastrous political system voting. Fear not, fellow twenty-and thirty-somethings! I have put together the following guide to help you exercise your most cherished democratic right and duty.

Step 1: Ensure you can properly name and stereotype each candidate. For Democrats, this is easy! You only have Crazy Socialist Old Jewish Dude and Feminazi Wall Street Lover Vagina-haver to choose from (Mr. Pleasant-faced Generic White Guy already peaced out; RIP Pleasant-faced Generic White Guy!). For Republicans, you’ve got Crazy Billionaire Who Wants to Bang His Daughter, the Guy Who Doesn’t Know How Hoodies Work, the Sleepy Surgeon, the…oh, who am I kidding. If you’re a millennial you’re probably not voting Republican. If you are, I wish you well–may the powers that be help you in choosing a candidate from among these clowns!

Step 2: Do your research. Remember, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, so you have to dig deep to make sure you’re getting the real scoop on what issues each candidate will prioritize once in office. Examine their voting records in Congress, read their books and writings (going back to college and graduate school, if possible), watch their public addresses and speeches on YouTube, read the endorsements of various newspapers and organizations…

Step 3: …Shit. That’s A LOT more work than you thought. Both of these assholes have, like, decades of service under their belts, and they’ve both done good and bad things during that time! I mean, obviously income inequality is a big issue, but so is gun control…I guess they both support reproductive rights, but Hillary got Planned Parenthood’s endorsement, but Killer Mike likes Bernie, and…wow, this was a lot easier four years ago when there just wasn’t a democratic primary and you hated Romney a lot.

Step 4: Don’t panic and read Facebook. Luckily for you, most of your Facebook friends are politically-minded! They’re sharing really interesting pieces from writers big and small on your feed, from all perspectives: the LGBTQ community, feminists, activists of color, political giants, foreign policy specialists, small business owners, you name it. Dive in, and prepare yourself to be informed up the WAZOO! Your choice will be easy as pie once you take in this information.

Step 5: Wow there is some SERIOUS shit going down here on Facebook. Huh. You’ve only clicked on one article your friend from college posted and people are having some REAL STRONG REACTIONS in the comments. Someone just called someone else a bitch, and that girl just said that other guy is a “berniebro,” and now everyone is talking about false narratives and apparently if you vote for Hillary it’s only because you have a vagina, but if you vote for Bernie you are betraying your vagina, and maybe our political system is now dependent on the votes of our genitalia? How would voting genitalia even work? It seems like voting machines would have to be majorly redesigned…

Step 6: Something something Supreme Court nomination. Holy shit, Scalia died! Wait, Mitch McConnell says Obama can’t nominate a successor? What is this shit? Also people are saying OBAMA should be the next justice, but like he is already President…oh, after he’s done being Prez, you mean, and either Hillary or Bernie could nominate him…but doesn’t Obama deserve a vacation from this crazy country after the past 8 years? Oh God, Scalia is dead, after all! Am I being disrespectful of the dead? This think piece says I am, but this other one says I’m not, and this one says the election is now turned on its head, and this one says the Zika virus is turning the world into Children of Men, and THIS ONE says that Bernie is actually an alien, and THIS ONE says Hillary is an Ewok, and THIS ONE says #OscarsSoWhite, and THIS ONE says…

Step 7: Descend into madness. HOW DID BOTH OF THESE CANDIDATES BECOME EVIL ALL OF A SUDDEN? WHAT THE FUCK? WAIT WAIT WAIT A COUPLE YEARS BACK EVERYONE WAS SHARING BADASS MEMES OF HILLARY ON A PLANE TEXTING BUT NOW SHE HATES BLACK PEOPLE AND LOVES BANKS? AND BERNIE IS LOVABLY GRUFF AND HATES CAPITALISM BUT DIDN’T LISTEN TO VERMONT’S BLACK LEADERS AND ALSO MAYBE LIKES GUNS? HILLARY LOVES HEALTHCARE BUT MAYBE HATES BEYONCE? WAIT, DOES BERNIE HATE BEYONCE, TOO? CAN WHITE PEOPLE LIKE BEYONCE? DO I EVEN LIKE BEYONCE? SHOULD I JUST VOTE FOR BEYONCE? AM I ALLOWED TO LIKE “FORMATION?” WHAT ABOUT KANYE, IS HE CRAZY OR WHAT?

Step 8: Cry. sobsobsobsobsobsobsobsob can’t we just have Obama for a third term?

Step 9: Have a stiff drink. God damn it, get yourself together and make a God-damned decision! YOU ARE AN ADULT YOU CAN MAKE THIS ONE CHOICE.  

Step 10: Call your most bigoted, sexist, “The Civil War was really the War of Northern Agression” relation and ask them which candidate they hate the most. Vote for that one. 

BOOM! DEMOCRACY, I OWN YOU! YOU ARE MY BITCH! HUZZAH!

You’re welcome, millennials!

 

 

 

Happy Nom Nom Nom Day!

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Every year on this day, people across the country gather in living rooms and bars, beers and margaritas in hand, and eat a ridiculous amount of junk food. I am happy to contribute to our national day of gluttony with one of the four things I can cook – mexican layer dip. NOM NOM NOM.

Oh, yeah, and there are sports, too. GO SPORTS!