10 (or 11) things…

IMG_5458The menu was laid out on a clean, light green background. It screamed “healthy and delicious” so effectively with its thin, smooth font choice and vibrant wording. It was as though it was giving me an emotional “thumbs up” with every menu option. Phrases like, “A tofu and carrot mix” and “fried to perfection” dotted the page alongside, “thick vegan mushroom gravy” and “complimented with a bed of pico de gallo.” There is nothing like eating vegan when its done with such grace and skill…except for maybe a thick, real beef burger, medium rare…and fries, real fries, made from evil white potatoes and deep fried until my arteries shudder at the very sight of them.

I try. I really do. I want to be better. I want to live a long and healthy life. I buy organic, I avoid gmo foods, I ban high fructose corn syrup from my pantry…mostly. The truth is that I’m exhausted. I feel like Sarah Conner’s son in Terminator 2, tired of training for the war. I just want to have some fun for a change.

Sometimes I just want a burger. In fact, sometimes I just want an awful burger and fries from a fast food restaurant, the same sort of burger in the pictures everyone passes around to illustrate the “non food-ness” of such fast food.

I’m 46 years old and it’s time to come clean about a few things.

Ten (or 11) things I need to admit:

1) I like fast food, sometimes. I don’t live for it and it certainly doesn’t do much for me. It’s the friend I avoid for as long as possible, the one that pains me later but in the moment, has the best, most dangerous ideas of what to do for fun.

mcdonalds decompose

2) I hate kombucha. Hate is a strong word, I know. I’m probably the only person in my healthy circle of friends who hates it though I suspect it’s more likely I’m the only one who is willing to say it out loud. I don’t care for the flavor no matter how good it is for me and if it’s an acquired taste then that’s something but honestly, I don’t have energy for acquiring it. I just want a milkshake.

3) Milkshakes make feel nauseated an hour after I drink them. I drink them anyway…because they are delicious. It’s worth it, especially if they come from Margie’s Candies in Chicago. Trust me on this.

4) I’m not going to stop drinking coffee. I’m not even going to cut back. From time to time I think to myself, “Self, maybe we’d be better off without these cups of liquid love in the morning…” and then I slap my own face, like Cher slapping Nic Cage in Moonstruck and I feel better.

moonstruck_1632500_GIFSoup.com

5) I like sugary, girlie, coffee drinks. The more sugar, the more whipped cream, the better. Not everyday or even every few days but I like them and I’m not ashamed to admit it. When I order the non fat milk in my grande toffee nut latte (you know, just to balance things out) and the Barista asks if I “still want the whipped cream” sometimes I order extra just to make a point.

6) When I’m at home, I’m going to use that fake, sugary creamer. I’ve tried to switch to the “soy” creamer or the “coconut” creamer or plain milk. It takes all the fun out of that cup of liquid love and I resent that. They say resentment is a relationship killer so I’m going to stick with the fake, sugary creamer because as I stated, I’m not going to stop drinking coffee.

7) “Diet” versions of anything gross me out. Next.

8) Sugar replacements taste like chemicals to me. I know everyone says it’s because they’re just far far sweeter than real sugar or even high fructose corn syrup but you know what? I think that’s a lie or it’s possible that my taste buds are just whacked out. It’s possible.

9) Quinoa. I know people who can cook it beautifully and it tastes nice, not awesome, but nice. Don’t tell me I just don’t have the right recipe because I’ve tried more than you know. I have never been able to duplicate this and believe me I’ve tried to do it over and over for health’s sake because it’s supposed to be a power food, mystical and magical. You know what’s magical? Chocolate cake.

10) Trendy eating habits are killing my soul. Paleo, Atkins, Eat to Live, HcG…doesn’t matter. I’m not going to live forever. The clock’s ticking here and I’m tired of spending time trying to figure out which way of eating is “correct.” So from now on I’m subscribing to what my friend Sarah calls the “delishitarian” diet. If it’s delicious, I will eat it.

and 

11) I woke up a little cranky today.

Sorry.

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loving the belly…

I love my belly. I have to remind myself to love my belly but I do love my belly. I have to remind myself not to make that heavy sigh when I sit down and see it peeking out at me over my low rise jeans.  When will high rise jeans come back into fashion? That’s what I want to know.

I have to remind myself to love my belly whenever I get those side ads on my Facebook page giving me ideas on how to get rid of my “muffin top.”

I have to remind myself to love my belly whenever I get emails telling me the best way to reduce my waistline or increase my bustline or Lord knows…

There is no legitimate get rich program for the body. All the changes in my body took place over time, over meals, over snacks, over couch sitting, over baby sitting, over baby making. All the changes that take place in my body took time to build and if I want to make a change in my body I have to do it over time and with a lot of patience.

And patience? Patience comes with the reminder that I love my belly.  Maybe it’s not like this for you, maybe you have to choose “action” first and belly love second. You know yourself a lot better than I do, better than anyone does, really.  I have to remind myself to love my belly not because I never want to “get rid of my muffin top”  but because this is the belly I have now and forever, no matter how much of it falls over the top of my low-rise jeans. I have to start with loving the body I have because when I love the belly, I take better care of it. Reminding myself to love my belly or my thighs or my flabby arms reminds me that it is worth my attention, worth my consideration, worth my care. I am my belly and my thighs and my flabby arms.  I am worthy of care.

stasis…

Stream of consciousness…grab a paddle…

WordPress informed me that it was just around 7 years ago that I moved into this space. It’s my 7th blogiversary and rest assured I hate that I just typed out that non-word.

I admit I’m feeling a little weird today, not because I was reminded that I’ve been putting words up on this spot for 7 years but more because I delivered my first full length book to the editor last friday. I’ll get it back in the next few weeks/months of course, for rewrites and such but for the most part the bulk of the work is behind me. The process of publishing can be long and winding and, as I am discovering, a kind of emotional roller coaster in my case. The oddball feeling I have been sporting since I pressed “send” last Friday feels, strangely enough, more like grief than celebration. I told someone recently that writing memoir is like doing an emotional striptease, taking off one piece of protective clothing at a time over the course of months and months. I worry sometimes that perhaps I’ve told all of my stories now and I’ll have to wait another 46 years before I write a book again.

Which brings me to another chink in the emotional armor. Today’s my birthday. I’ve traveled round the sun 46 times now. I hope I’m getting better at it but honestly, I’m never really certain. I’d forgotten it was today until I woke to a chorus of affirmation on Facebook. I love that. Facebook birthday affirmation makes pretty much every annoying thing about social media bearable in my opinion. I’ll take it.

Most likely in the next few days I’ll see people live and in person. Most likely they’ll ask me what I “did” to celebrate my birthday. I’m not big on the “doing things” celebration aspect of my birthday, preferring instead to gather myself in, pile the in person and online affirmation around me like sand on the beach, letting it stick to my skin, some sliding away, some traveling home with me in my shoes and my hair.

Then issue of “self-care” sidles up next to my stream of consciousness canoe and I let it drift away, carried by the current. This might have to be the year I get serious about the care and keeping of me. It’s alright. We’ll catch up.

On the left bank of this stream of consciousness I see how the landscape changes, low hanging branches  dipping into the water give way to clearings and sand bars. I hadn’t expected all the transitions this year would bring-buying and moving into a house, delivering my first book to a publisher, sending all my kids to school, gray hairs…sometimes they show up in my eyebrows, long and wiry, nearly white. I’ll pluck them out with some curiosity, some precision and a little fear, a little anxiety. It’s strange to wake up and find that my body has been secretly aging without my noticing. The skin’s a little more saggy, the baggage under my eyes growing heavier, the effects of gravity becoming apparent, that downward pull, that aching back.

I drank three cups of coffee this morning. That extra cup was to work against the cold medicine hangover from last night. The process of the head cold never fails to astound me. It begins with that all over shiver, even on a hot day, head becoming cloudier than usual, a small tickle in the throat and maybe a sniffle, maybe not. By the end of the day I’m dragging, the virus having made its way around the whole of me, and I lay down and let my white blood cells gear up for battle. It’s my side of the battle that causes the material discomfort of clogged nostrils and headache and coughing. I try to remember that as I lay in bed and close my asbestos lined eyelids. I never nap. That’s how the boys know I really am ill. They pile into the bed with me, unafraid of the germs because in truth, that’s how the virus found its way into the house to start.

In the dream I am looking in the mirror because my teeth hurt. When I check my gums I find that they have receded so far that I can see the bone of my jaw and I panic but then I wonder about the miracle of modern dentistry and I leave it alone. I venture out to a writer’s conference with a friend and she tells me that we can enter the conference but that once there we’ll have to stay the whole weekend, we cannot leave “campus” for any reason until it is over. It bothers me but I go anyway. In the dream I am sitting with my daughter, we are out at a nice dinner and talking about life things- rough waters, calm inlets, tributaries and lagoons. We are both so beautiful. The moment is breathtaking and then I wake up.

I drank that third cup of coffee this morning to shake off the cold medicine hangover and it worked pretty well. I won’t take the medicine tonight, opting instead for hot steamy showers and eucalyptus essential oils- letting the natural cure bat clean up for a change.

It surprises me sometimes how few people still call me Angie.

It may be because I almost never introduce myself as “Angie” anymore. I guess I’m Angela now because I’m a grown up and stuff. Still, if anyone were to ask, I’d gladly answer to Angie. It seems like a long time since I thought about it. The idea only coming to me as I check my Facebook greetings again and count how many “Angie” and how many “Ang” and how many “Angela.” I’m all of these. I can almost date the length and depth of my friendships by the name I’m called. Almost. There are some exceptions- Dave still calls me Angela, as he always has done. My good friend Paula calls me Angela, usually when she’s laying wisdom on me in that way she has but sometimes I’m Angie to her, sometimes I’m Ang. She’s got all sides of me. That’s a comfort.

Paddles in the water, floating over, moving on.

I wrote once about how birthdays are like little Easters and I do still believe that. I still cling to the idea that we’re getting better, that we’re filled with moments of redemption and restoration. Today as I consider my 46 years on planet Earth and the effects of three cups of strong brewed coffee on a stuffy head I find some strange degree of stasis, an even-ing out, cups balancing on hands turned upward, cups waiting to be filled, waiting to be served, waiting to be placed carefully along a long and winding road that runs along the banks of this stream of consciousness. Though I meander and muse and branch out like tributaries and inlets and lagoons I do arrive finally at shore to say that I am grateful, profoundly grateful. I sit on the sunny shore of this stream, listening to water licking and spitting along stones, making music and mayhem and wonder and I am struck by the goodness of this life I hold within me and around me. I close my eyes to drink this in and I locate this, I am grateful, tremendously grateful.

Letting go…

All four of my children will be in “real” school starting Monday. I’m having a bit of a freak out about that, I have to tell you. After receiving an email from the principal for my oldest son’s school, welcoming us, encouraging us, I broke down. It’s hard to let go.

We have been homeschooling in one way or another since about 2003. We brought our oldest home after a rough year in Kindergarten. She’s always been outgoing and friendly. She loved preschool and she liked Kindergarten, excelling in reading and math and general awesomeness but she got teased every day on the playground. She liked to play alone and the other girls in her school gave her so much grief about it she cried every day when I picked her up from school. Teacher meetings, parent meetings, long talks with my daughter, “grin and bear” it moments, all came to nothing. We’d already changed schools once going from the Montessori school to a school closer to our house. It was too late to apply or get into a third try for the coming school year, so we brought her home, always thinking we’d make a switch the following year.

All in all, it’s gone well, I have to say. As we added kids we just slid them into the homeschool routine. It worked well when we traveled, when we moved, when we were living on 18 acres in the middle of nowhere. We hung out, we asked questions, we made observations, we argued and we struggled and we cruised for a long time. For as long as I was holding things together it really was a phenomenal time and then life changed up and they all seemed to need different things, things I could not deliver with any expertise or consistency. Last year, my daughter, having been home for most of her educational life finally stepped into High School, real school, art school, as a sophomore. She loved it and it loved her back.

I wrote last year of my decision to send Henry to school. It was grueling. His way of learning was so different from my way of teaching and long story short, I was leaking out all over the place where homeschool was concerned anyway. I was losing my mojo, not keeping up with Henry’s needs, falling apart in the bathroom because I felt I was failing them. I finally enrolled him at the neighborhood school so that we could both get what we needed. He loved it and it loved him back.

We tried a “real” school with Chet last year too, thinking the “game theory” approached they offered at the Chicago charter school would be perfect for him but you know, there is no perfect and he had trouble adjusting. He did great with the work but the classroom was overwhelming for him and often the chaos in the classroom kept them all from doing the work, which was the only thing Chet really wanted to do anyway. He did not love it and it did not love him back so we brought him home and I spent last year swimming in the guilt of being unprepared, questioning everything I tried, worrying about the present and the future and the past and all the while poor Miles cruised along doing his own thing, a little lost in the shuffle.

As the youngest in our family, Miles has the cushiest position and yet the strongest opposition to falling into line. His reading lessons probably sounded like I was driving spikes under his fingernails because he hated it so much. I was already burned out and he was getting the dregs of what I had left to offer and the guilt about that gnawed at me daily. I knew I’d put them all in school this year and the pressure ramped up then to “get them ready” for it but the more the deadline approached the worse we seemed to do. It remains to be seen how things will roll when Monday comes. Even so, when I questioned him on it this week he said, groaning, “Geez, mom. I’ll adapt. I always adapt. I’ll be fine, you have to let go sometime.”

And so, there it is. I am letting go a little, reluctantly, expectantly, with great fear and trembling and excitement because I have no idea what this year brings for us all. I imagine it will be a new kind of struggle and a new kind of joy and a familiar struggle and a familiar joy too. I imagine we’ll have moments of great regret mixed with moments of great relief. I imagine that I will adapt and that I will be fine because I have to let go sometime. It’s what we do as parents. We wish for them and we hope for them and in it we are always teaching them how to be their own people in the world. Parenting is letting go, a little at a time- crawling to toddling to walking to running- hair blowing in the warm wind, face to the sun, into the future.

Leaning…

I’m pleased to have a piece up on the Ruminate Magazine blog today to help support the theme of this quarter’s issue, “Not Forgotten.” The struggle to be in relationship with a family member with Alzheimer’s is hard to articulate. No matter how prepared any of us might think we are for whatever lies ahead, life is quick to show us how little control we have. We felt as though we were always playing catch up with Chester. We were always one step behind the progress of the disease. This essay shows a brief moment of light, a glimmer of something eternal.

I hope you’ll take a moment today to check out the piece and if it hits you someplace, share it, comment, join in the conversation:
Leaning

 

Mother’s Day

REPOST: This essay was originally posted May, 2010. Since that time, I’ve found my perceptions of Mother’s Day have shaped to reflect the true spirit of the day. I read this one myself from time to time to remind me of the passion and the courage that originally fueled the real version of “Mother’s Day.” 

————

I know it’s been a few days since the US celebrated it’s own particular brand of “mother’s day” but it still feels important to post about it.

I hate “mother’s day” as I think I expressed last year at this time. I know many of my friends and readers love it, have awesome days of pampering and what not but frankly i just get cranky. I never USED to be cranky…it was not until after I became a mother that this started. I always thought it was the shallow nature of this “day for mother’s” that was so openly sponsorted by Hallmark. This idea that this ONE day of the year, a nice card or phonecall and maybe some flowers could really fill this weirdly empty spot in me. It didn’t. Nothing was “enough” for me. I dunno. I’m cranky. I just am cranky sometimes.

and yet.

I wonder if all along I knew there was more to it…and it turns out, there is.

Julia Ward Howe gives me my first real mother’s day this year…read her words, written to rouse the women of the civil war era, around a cause for justice, a clarion call for mothers to come together in the name of peace. Tired of seeing their boys killed and maimed, Julia began the first “mother’s day” in this country. It was not a day for “thanks mom” cards or flowers or gifts or pedicures…it was a day to remember their lost sons, to stand up against the brutality of oppression, the horror of war. This is what mother’s day is actually about in it’s inception. How I wish it were so now.

by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

saving grace…

Your Saving Grace is your self-awareness which prevents you from sliding into self-indulgence and bad habits. Your honesty with yourself may prevent you from deteriorating further. Become aware of your Saving Grace today. (Understanding the Enneagram, 90)

 

The enemy of my self is my ability to bypass reality and move swiftly into the non events of my imagination. When things are good I make this a separate place in my head with a door and a latch. When things are chaotic or transitional the door is gone, the latch is a faint memory, the floor space spills out into reality and hopes and expectations. My focus is cloudy, my boundaries are muddy. The enemy of my self then becomes indistinguishable from the rest of me, the snake in the garden, the tree from which I should not eat- both God’s creation, both pronounced “good” in those early days of the Garden.

This bit is important, both God’s creation, both pronounced “good” in those early days of the Garden.

I’ve never really written fiction. Apart from a couple of screenplays I still toil over from time to time I just never developed the voice and the skill and the passion for fiction. I have a number of great ideas but little time and less energy to follow through. And then in the middle of even writing that I think about the old joke about eating an elephant, one piece at a time. In pondering the elephant and the novel and the trees in Garden I’m left with this idea that I’m not so sure I’d even fancy elephant. I’ve never been much of a meat eater. I’ve never really written fiction.

It is here the lines cross, the metaphors mix and I’m left with this indeterminate feeling, this nagging in my noggin that perhaps the enemy to my self has been grossly mischaracterized in my psyche all these years. The enemy to my self is not outside of me, it is not separate place; a coach house, a rusting car in my yard, an uninvited snake wrapped around a valuable tree in the garden of my self. It’s all me, and perhaps, in the right context and the redeemed spirit, it is all “good” after all. Perhaps it is not the enemy of my saving grace at all.

Below is an excerpt of the first couple hundred words of a novel I’ve begun. It’s going to take freaking forever to complete. You may never see another entry, I’m just warning you of that. Even so, having written this small bit, the enemy of my self became a friend and I pronounce that “good.”

——————-

Whenever there are sirens everyone stops. Everyone stops and watches or they close their eyes and they bow their heads. Some pray, if they remember how to pray. Everyone waits for the machines to pass and the sirens to fade away and then things move again.

 

Gaia says that before the Fall they did this not out of respect for the siren but because the vehicles of that time could not pass otherwise. Gaia remembers so many things about what the world was like before the Fall. Gaia says that now we wait and we pray, if we remember how to pray, as some kind of unspoken thing, some tribute we don’t recall but that our spirits recall and so everything stops, everyone stops, whenever there are sirens.

 

Gaia remembers what life was life before the Fall because she was young then. She says that the world was dirty, people would throw whatever they did not want into the road. She said that the air was hard to breathe and that the people spoke harshly to one another. The world she speaks about makes our heads hurt and our hearts heavy. The world was strange before the Fall.

 

She is very old now and she can hardly move. She tells me that she sits still and breathes slowly so that she can live longer, so that she can see me grow up and see how the world will be for us next. Gaia may be the last one living who remembers it all and because I am always here with her she asked me to write it down. Gaia has said that there was a time when the people did not have to fear “the poisoning” but they feared it in any case.  She said that a touch could not make us sick. Calvin does not believe her but then Calvin has been the emissary of the Governors a long time.

 

in light of writer’s block…

Oh, blank page. You scare me. Every time I sit down to write and see you there, staring back at me, I break into a cold sweat. I check my email. I update my Facebook status. I answer the telephone. No matter, though, you are there waiting, sporting that blasted blinking cursor and an absence of words.

And so I dutifully put down words, just anything really, anything to fill the page. This is the exercise, running toward the cliff with no real idea of what lies below. Running toward the cliff with no real idea of whether or not I packed a parachute. Running toward the cliff with no shoes on, in skinny jeans, and a white tee-shirt and an oversized purse which may or may not contain my cellphone and car keys. Running toward the cliff.

There is no cliff. That’s the lie.

But, it’s a lie that gets us out the door and running or at least walking fast, somewhere unknown, somewhere we fear, we loathe, we long for, we desire for reasons we cannot remember when the dust kicks up and the sweat starts. We run into the blank page. We run into the blinking cursor. We run into

the brick wall.

It only hurts for a minute. That might leave a mark…or a meandering…to check the mail, the dirty windows, the empty refrigerator, the absent-minded snacking, the shredding of paper and chewing of pencils and juicy fruit. Then I’m back to running, toward the cliff, the character, the participles dangling with subjects unwilling to lend a hand no matter how dire the circumstances. The writing was never the risk. Just getting out of bed in the morning is a victory-

kids dressed,

breakfast made,

teeth brushed,

lunches packed,

homework checked,

laundry started,

floor swept,

coffee drunk

and the blinking cursor pounding loud as if to say, “what the hell is your point?”

Stupid, bossy, cursor.

parenting practice…

As I rambled on about this new idea I have for a book my daughter nodded absently. I tried to catch her attention with some buzz words and interesting angles. She looked up from her phone and smiled. “That sounds great, Mom” she responded and then she was gone again. I recognize that look. I recognize that tone.

I know I have said things like this; all covered in that absent tone, that false attention. I panicked a little and caught her eye again. “Can you put down your phone a minute?” I asked and she complied. “You’re not really interested in what I’m telling you, huh?” I pressed. She sighed and patted me on the back. “It’s great Mom, I’m interested.”

It isn’t that I thought she was lying. I know she is interested at some level. And I remember the when I discovered the world outside too. I remember when I went to my first party, heard my first Dead Kennedys album, drank my first beer. I remember when I became more me and less my parents. It’s exciting, being a teenager. It kind of sucks to be the parent in the scenario.  I get all misty eyed and then I get a little narcissistic. Beating back thoughts like, “I used to be cool.”

This happens, this growing up thing. It seems as though we’re always letting go.  That’s what we’re made to do as parents. From the moment they arrive in our household via adoption or conception, raising that child is all about teaching them to live their own lives, teaching them to live outside of our body, outside of our yard. It’s a risk, you know. A grief filled, ego crushing risk.

Be warned, I may do a lot of this wistful grieving over the next few….well, years I guess. Unless my Henry makes good on the promise he made when he was 7 or 8 to “always live in Mom’s basement” then I guess I’ll have to continue to practice letting go for a while yet.

guns and ammunition…

This is a rant. It’s all I got.

Another shooting today, this time in New York City. The Empire State Building saw bloodshed this morning and after the initial “newsy” tweets came the barrage of finger-pointing and sarcastic remarks and thoughtless, souless jokes and I fell to tears because it was all I could do. Sitting alone today, two kids at school and two kids away on a trip with their dad I fell to tears in the wake of yet another shooting and another wave of commentary, speculation, wry connections to political parties and religion and left or right wings and I fell to tears because it was all I could do.  Perhaps it is all any of us can do, really. Smug remarks won’t fix our broken spirits. Sarcastic retorts won’t keep this from happening again. There is no “perfect” candidate to vote into office.  There is no “perfect” solution to what ails us. What ails us is too deep, too rooted in mistrust, anchored to an absence of hope and an abundance of apathy.

“Us” is a big term, unwieldy, unmanageable. I can only speak for myself perhaps. I can only answer for my own part in how things unfold. It is all about being “local.”

I’ve tried posting about intelligent discourse where politics is concerned. I’ve tried to curb my own tendencies to fall into being a smart alec when confronted to non intelligent discourse. It seems to fall on deaf ears and I admit, often I don’t take my own advice when it comes to curbing my outrage when the news cycle revs up. It’s a struggle, there is so much machine to rage against.

It seems as though the only goal I can set for myself these days when it comes to political discussions and news of the world is simply this, “Try not to be an asshole.” Whatever I post, whatever I respond, whatever I think or feel I’m working the hardest to just not be an asshole toward my fellow man where politics is concerned. Heaven knows I am prone to fail at this and for that I am most truly apologetic because after all is said and done no matter who gets elected I really want to keep the friends I have and I’d prefer they didn’t think I was an arrogant asshole.

Lord knows, the discussion won’t miss the opinion of one more asshole.

I fell to tears today in the wake of the anger and infighting and loss of life. I fell to tears and prayers of “Lord, have mercy” because in the end, it feels as though it is all I can do. In the name of compassion and kindness, we fall to tears.