Positives and Negatives

So, we are on a once a month plan now, is the way it’s shaking out, I guess? Hi, June!

Part of my deal right now is that nothing is really going gangbusters for me except work and some activisms, and don’t nobody want to read a blog about me on my work grind, and my activisms may also kill you dead with boredom, so. Yeah. Um. This is kind of my life right now? (cricket sounds)

My mom, sister, and half the total number of nieces and nephews I have left yesterday for a month long trip to visit fam in Fiji and in case you haven’t noticed I didn’t include someone called MS. ME in the list of trip-goers. BOOOOOOOOO. This is not only a major bummer because I am not on the trip, but it is also a major bummer because I talk to my mom a lot and talking on the phone from Fiji is really not an option for us and so I don’t get to talk to her for a month. Let’s say it again: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I am a grown ass woman but I already miss my momma.

As long as we are talking about things that are boo-worthy, let me complain about the following: why my favorite people all gotta live so far away? UGH, YOU GUYS, MOVE HERE, I AM LONELY.

Also, I am mad at public restrooms that make a loud sound when you unscroll the toilet paper. Why do other people have to know how much teepee is being unfurled? This should be a silent transaction.

See, I have all kinds of complaints, from large to small.

Let’s turn this frown upside down though! SOME POSITIVE SUNSHINE NEWS, PLS.

I have a new niece! All shiny, right out of the packaging, and she is fer-reaking cute.

Delium came to visit us from his new home in Arizona (where they apparently can’t even fly planes out of anymore because it is a fiery hellscape?!?) and we yukked it up. He’s only been gone a couple months but gotdammit it was nice to have him around for a weekend.

I have been listening to this podcast and guffawing on the train on the way to work, with snorts.

Sza’s new album! So delish.

I’ll get my equilibrium back soon enough, y’all, and blogging will pick back up I am sure. I hope you are taking care of yourselves and each other out there.

Home. Town.

OH HI. You thought I forgot about you, huh? No, in fact it is a true statement that I think about you pretty much every day. But life keeps going fast, filling up every dang minute, and this is it, May, before I blinked. “This is it, this is it! This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball!”

If you read that and knew it was the One Day at a Time theme song, we are still friends. If you don’t know what One Day at a Time is, I won’t say we have to break up, but we may need to have a talk to realign our hearts. And the procedure for realignment may include watching One Day at a Time episodes.

I have many things to catch you up on, dear friends. Mainly, I TOOK A WEEK OFF. I am terrible at taking time off for the past couple years all of a sudden (WHO HAVE I BECOME) and it is straight bullcrap of the highest order. So many people don’t even have the luxury of such a thing as vacation days and here I am just letting them sit there. For Pete’s sake. More egregious than For Pete’s sake, actually. For Pete Gallagher’s eyebrows’ sake. Anyway, I did take a week off last month to go visit my homies in the homeland of Flint. First of all, my dear friend Map was celebrating her wedding anniversary and her kids threw her and their dad a surprise party for it. The entire party was a surprise, but me and my other friend Ali showing up from out of town was the surprise within the surprise. The goop inside the Freshen Up gum, if you will, only less disgusting. I have been to surprise parties before but this one was by far the best. First of all, because Map and her dude were HELLA SHOCK. It was so satisfying. And then, when she saw me and my dude and Ali, she was DOUBLE HELLA SHOCK. I mean, she looked stunned and she cried and was just speechless. I felt, in that moment, what it must feel like for Oprah. Just walk in and make someone lose their shit, you know? It was fun being Oprah.

Seeing those ladies fills up my soul. I am definitely a Friends-for-Life sort of person and if you are in my circle I give it my all, like FULL OUT, and if I am honest my Seattle friend-life has been sort of lonesome these days. It was so beautiful to be around these people that love me so unabashedly and unconditionally, the way I love them. THOSE LADIES! Love them like the dickens, for real. Plus, just the week was really blissful overall, hanging out with my beloved mama and tooling around town. It was perfect spring weather and flowers were blooming and everywhere we went we felt that Flint friendliness piling on. Seattle is cool but it doesn’t love me like that place does. My dude loves Flint as much as I do and we walked around my mom’s neighborhood and tried to figure out if it could be feasible to move back there somehow, because shouldn’t one live in a place that loves you back? We just couldn’t make it add up for now, for various complex reasons that are boring, and truth be told I know in my heart I would be singing a different tune if I got a taste of those ridiculous winters there again. I don’t have what it takes to live in an ice-based environment, as a person who is sitting here typing this while it is 65 degrees and wondering where my blankie at.

Anyway, dear Flint, thanks for making me who I am, and for still being there for me. I know part of it is that I am now an Old that feels almost nothing but nostalgia for better days, when my dad was here and my Flint friends were always there for me and I danced every day and the world didn’t seem as cruel overall as it does now. But I also love it for the parts that aren’t about me at all: so much beauty and dignity and fight there. I cherish that place, y’all, and will always be back. And my Flint ladies: until next time. LOVE YOU 4EVER and I wish I could Oprah you every day.

Stereo up and the windows down. Same old city, still driving around. It’s the only place I clear my mind. Passed the 7-11 and the neon signs.

Hold me close, then hold me tighter cause the world I know is falling apart, the world I know is falling apart 

–Michigander, Nineties

Run away with you

I am sorry to start off with mega banality but a few days ago it was warm and so I retired my puffy coat and I could not have been more excited to wear lighter non-puffed outerwear and then I went to work and the weather was like SIKE and I froze my patoots and so now I am back to Sean Puffy Coat. Until we meet again, spring jackets. We will be together someday.

Everyone I know seems to be in a funk these days. How y’all doing? I hope you are taking care, and taking care of each other. I continue to burn the candle at several ends but the upside is that I have been sleeping the sleep of the mummified at night which is a new thing for me. My nighttime self really wants nothing whatsoever to do with anybody or anything these days. It’s like the click of the bedside lamp happens and my brain says “DEAR WORLD, NOPE” and that’s that. How’s that for a bright side?

Last weekend was the anniversary of the day that my dude and I met each other and it was kind of a big one in terms of number and it’s sad to say but neither of us could get our shit together enough to plan one gotdamn thing for it. We got up on Saturday morning and looked at each other over breakfast and I was like “fuck dude, I am so depleted” and he was like “fuck it, let’s get in the car and drive” and I was like “fuck yes” and he was like “fuck off Seattle” and we left. We got to Portland and HEY SEATTLE PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHERE THE SUN IS? IN PORTLAND. Those emeffers had all the rays, it was like Arizona except green and full of artisanal items. The first day we just walked and walked and talked and talked and by the end of the day I think I started to thaw my funk-ass heart a little. STRESS, SHAKE OFF. LIKE, BEGONE. We had a lovely dinner and then: oh sweet elixir of life, we got a pint of ice cream, laid up in a fancy hotel bed and watched HGTV and maybe idk smooched a little bit and that was thaaaaaa best. Oh hi, Chip and Joanna, Jonathan and Drew, fixy uppy flippy floppy tiny housey ALL OF IT. Now that we no longer have the cable tvs at home this was truly a treat and a half. The following day was a freaking delight and you know what really heals my heart? Looking at that dude of mine and holding him by the hand. I love him with all of my gutbones. Glad I found him all those years ago back in dinosaur times. Good job on that one, me. See how I turn it around and make it about congratulating myself? That’s just how I be sometimes. The point is, good anniversary time was had, love was felt, I am a lucky dingus.

On a related note: THIS SONG.  ❤

Runaway, Tay Walker

Sad song self care

Remember a couple posts ago when I went on and on about self care? Well, you know what I say to that person, who wrote that post? HA HA YOU SO CUTE BUT WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT IT GO ON SAY MORE ABOUT IT YA DANG GENIUS.

I have been sucking at the self care lately, friends. Badly. I don’t know what happened! I used to have it figured out! But now! It’s all gone! Where it go? Why it gone? Sheeeeeeeeeeeet.

I have always been a busy person, a fill-up-my days person, a why do three things when I can do seven things person. So quantity is not my issue, I don’t think, at this point. But these days, it all just feels different. I feel like I have been living inside of a hurricane, and not the middle calm part, but rather the spinny part, and not the spinny part in the fun Right Round Baby Right Round Like a Record Baby part, but rather in the make it stop or else I may puke part. I had a dream one night that I was in a protest and my protest sign just said “U S A! I D K!” Which kind of sums it all up, in a way. There is so very much IDK all around that I am grasping to hold onto the knowns. The Known Knowns, as a certain villain of the past used to say. I want to say that I am tired all the time, but I have always been a person that is tired all the time. I haven’t really slept well since my early 20s so ain’t no thing but a chicken wing when it comes to tired. But these days, my tired at the end of the day is a hazy, glazy tired, where I just feel like what? What happened? Who now? What then? How come? Who dis?

Anyhoozle, on top of all that, I have had a hankering for melancholic music, the kind that has a heaviness you can feel in your guts. Before everything spins into the air, a heavy guts song can be just the thing. Take me down, Ye.

FML, Kanye West

 

We Three

When I was a teen, I met a guy. I dated that guy for a quick minute until we realized that what we really should be for each other was homies. So homies it was, shoulder to shoulder, just thick as mothereffing thieves. When my actual dude came along eventually and I paired up with him, my kindred homie inducted him into the BFF-ness as well. The three of us moved around the Midwest for a while, never far apart from each other. When Seattle came calling, we answered together. The two of them roomed together Oscar and Felix style until it was time for me and my dude to room together Coach and Tami style. My guy and I bought a house and our homie bought one just down the way. We hung out pretty much weekly for two decades. Our friendship never failed, never flagged, never fizzled. Tried and true. That’s my dear Delium, who I call Delium because one time he got mail addressed to him as “Delium Ulrichter” which is not at all his name but I wanted it to be so I made it so.

My dear Delium changed up his job and life and stuff and part of that deal was for him to move to another state. Which he did. This past weekend. Leaving a Delium shaped hole in my life. Like, it doesn’t compute that he isn’t just down the way no more, waiting to hang with us this weekend. I really cannot comprehend it. His final night in Seattle, the three of us went to dinner, and it all felt normal, us just yukking it up with our usual nonsense, because having him around is so normal; he’s like one of the main pillars that holds up the house that is my life. WHOA WHOA POETRY TALK, TAKE IT EASY. I am just saying, when you live for so many years with a friendship in your face, it becomes like air. They are just what you breathe, until one day, you don’t.

As we walked out of the restaurant and said our goodbyes, I gave him a hug. And when we started to unhug, I all of a sudden could not let go of him. So I hugged him, and cried, and hugged him some more, and cried some more.  And he cried, and my dude cried, and it was truly awful. I know we are still homies and he is just moving away and this may sound dramatic to you, but whatever. It felt awful. I know a part of the awfulness is because, in the past few years, huge parts of my life have fallen away and although I have worked hard to let them leave gracefully, I have disliked every last bit of each time. The holes that those pieces have left have yet to be filled in and maybe they never will be. Maybe the way life goes is we walk around with gaping holes in us, I don’t know. At any rate, letting go has become a practice, and I could feel my Letting Go muscles flex, and I hate those muscles, you guys. I never really allow myself much time to think about how much I hate it, because what good does that do? It doesn’t stop the leaving from happening. But this time, I let myself feel it. Outside of the restaurant, freezing our butts off, on Delium’s last night in Seattle. Our little family unit tearfully held on, held on, held on for the last few minutes of an over-twenty-year streak. And then. We let go.

 

Dance card full up

Time, as Steve Miller would say, keeps on tripping tripping tripping into the future. WHY AM I QUOTING STEVE MILLER IDK THE APOCALYPSE IS HAPPENING THIS IS ONE OF THE SIGNS. If I start saying Jimmy Buffet things, please proceed to your panic rooms and don’t come out.

All I am trying to say is, honestly, I do not know how my days can get any thicker. I am packing the everloving shit into each and every waking minute, y’all. I feel like there will be a breaking point, but so far the seams are holding. The density of days is contributing to this feeling where time is simultaneously moving slow over the longer term (only one month since inauguration day? HOW?) yet at lightning speed within each day. Can we just take a moment and congratulate ourselves on filling the days to the gills, please? How are we making time expand to fit it all in? To keep up with work, and organizing, and friends, and fam, and community, and projects, and you know, desperately doing all the things to stop that fire hose of garbage spewing at us ? I know that whatever I am doing is never really enough, but let’s not focus on that for just one second and focus on the fact that I am LEGIT HUSTLING, and if you are too, GO YOU. If this shit goes down the crapper, it’s not because we didn’t work our fucking asses off, right? At least we can say that.

I just realized that the lyric is time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future. I think? Dipping? Flipping? Quipping? OH PLEASE I WANT IT TO BE QUIPPING. This makes it more appropes to me.

Anyway, just checking in to say WHEW, and OMG, and CAN YOU BELIEVE THESE TIMES, and, especially to you if you are hustling your hardest: WE GOT THIS OR MAYBE WE DON’T BUT WE ARE DOING ARE GODDAMNEDEST SO YAY YOU.

Let’s go, quipping into the fyootch, friendlings.

 

Self care

Can we talk about self care for a quick sec?

If you were to ask me: should we take care of ourselves? My answer would be, unequivocally, yes. Eat healthy, get some shut-eye, breathe. I was brought up by parents who worked hard AF and never complained a day in their life about it, and so I inherited some, well, let’s just call them (non-judgmentally, please) tendencies in that vein. But I also received from them the beautiful gift of living with a lot of joy and unapologetically loving myself, which means that I think taking care of The Me That Is On This Adventure (to quoth Martin Blank) is important. Not a bad combination, really.

Given this, why do I find some talk about self care helpful, and other talk about it low key annoying? For a long time, I did not know. I just thought maybe it was the fact that the activities that people talked about when they talked about self care were hella corny. Wine, bubble baths, walks on the beach, pampering. Who am I, Mariah Carey? I know, unfair, but I’m trying to say that when I listened to a lot of the convo about self care, I just was not vibing with it.

Recently, there was an article that was going around the bookfaces and other social medias that was talking about self care during these trying times, as people embrace activism with new or renewed fervor. I figured I would give it a read since, although I have been at the activism table for a while, if there was ever a time to make sure we are all healthy in our soul guts, it would be now. Shit be stressful as we near End Times, you may be surprised to hear. Thus, I re-opened my mind to the self care chitty chat.

Y’all, I still can’t get down widdit! Ugh! It kind of made me feel like a ninny all over again. And to be clear, I am not saying it’s not for you. Like, I don’t find it wrong. I just feel like it’s a conversation that alienates me. That’s the bad news. The good news is, I figured out what my deal is. I now know why come this convo isn’t my convo! Wanna hear about it? Allow me this navel gaze. Perhaps we have the same navel and this will help you too. (Sorry, look at me, always Making It Weird).

One premise of the dominant self care talk is that it’s about getting away from the things that are causing you stress. Unplug, tune out, netflix and chill. Basically, the theme is, think about something else. Give the old noggin a break. And listen, I am not going to sit up in here telling you that I don’t like to Hulu the shit out of an eve, because you have met me and you will object. But, the things that are usually stressing me out, as a woman of color in a public servant type career, living in these United States at any time but especially these times, are: well, being a woman of color in a public servant type career, living in these United States at any time but especially these times. And so, fundamentally speaking, I don’t really tune out much. Like, it doesn’t seem doable most of the time, even if I wanted to. When I am Netflix and Chilling? I am not unplugged, because, hi, have you met our entertainment industry at all? Oh pick anything. Mad Max, Fury Road. I am that person sitting there, enjoying the movie, while also thinking all the thoughts about representation. I can’t stop myself. You know this about me. Remember when I got mad about Game of Thrones? And it’s there even when I am not mad. When I am watching The Good Wife, part of my brain in on constant OMG KALINDA I LOVE YOU LOOK AT YOU GETTING IN EVERYONE’S FACE WITH YOUR BROWNESS I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING ON TV LOVE LOVE LOVE. If you think this is pathological, I have exactly uno thing to say back to you: it’s the system of racism that is pathological, actually, so don’t hate the player, hate the game.

There is an argument out there that, if we don’t learn how to unplug, to fall back into some state of comfy amnesia for just a little bit of time, that the result is that eventually, the awfulness of the world will be normalized. And that anti-normalization is foundational to opposition to the awfulness. Said in a less ridiculous way: if it becomes normal, we will stop fighting it. In response to this idea, my gut wants to Randy Jackson you and say: wow, dog. Wow. Let me get this straight. Experiencing something in an unrelenting way = normalizing it = getting comfortable in it = no more fighty fight? But the thing is! You know who experiences things in an unrelenting way? Marginalized people. You know who is not comfortable in it? Samesies. You know who keeps fighting anyway? Yeah, now you’re getting it.

So, why do marginalized people keep up the fight despite the historical and current normalization of systems of oppression? Because the stakes are different. That’s all. The power relationship between marginalized people and these systems is different. So, perhaps, the self care conversation needs to be different too.

Am I saying that the conversations about self care, as I see it happening in dominant culture, are wrong? Nope. Am I saying that people should feel bad about that walk in the woods, or their yoga class, or their manicure? Nope. Am I saying that marginalized people don’t feel refreshed by these things also? Nope. OMG GIRL WHAT ARE YOU SAYING THEN MAKE A POINT. My point, quite simply, is that I wish that conversations about self care would consistently acknowledge that stakes are different for different people, and that power is always in play in the ways we take care of ourselves. Yes, I want that in every self care conversation, every time. Because if it’s not said, we perpetuate the idea that power and positionality don’t matter. Which is an act of oppressive power in and of itself.

While we are talking about positionality, let’s just go straight to the article that I mentioned earlier that was being passed around the sosh meeds, which made me balk six ways to Sunday as I was reading it. One of the things in pull quotes was “you don’t have to suffer to make a difference.” Although I understand the point that the writer was trying to make, and I agree with it in certain ways (if I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution and all that biznass), let’s think about this for a second. “You don’t have to suffer to make a difference” assumes that you are not suffering to begin with. That your suffering may be the very state that propels you to try to make a difference. Also said in the article: do not let anyone shame you for being new to activism. Again, I can see what the writer is going for, and the example used (if you didn’t protest Obama you shouldn’t be protesting that new guy is indeed dum dum talk) makes sense. But most of the “shaming” (a word I wouldn’t use in this context) that I have been around has been very real, very raw critiques from marginalized communities to newly arrived, more privileged activists, sharing how they have felt resentment over not being supported before now. These critiques are valid, and necessary, and are not about shaming. They are about honest feedback on how we can do better as we move forward. Maybe part of our self care should also be about building up our ability to not be so fragile.

So to wrap up this unplugging business. My problem was that I did not understand it, because the conversation isn’t talking to me. Y’all are talking about unplugging and I am all, where is the plug, even? This seems to me to be a fully integrated system from which there is no plug/outlet relationship. There is no off-switch type space for me to inhabit, and further, this is not something I seek, even if I could. And so when you are talking about the plug and unplugging, by all means, go for it. Just at least acknowledge who has plugs and who doesn’t.

What does all this mean for me and my own self care plan? For me (PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT PHRASE “FOR ME” IN CASE YOU DIDN’T NOTICE IT MEANS IT IS FOR ME NOT NECESSARILY FOR YOU DO NOT GET MAD) what I need is reciprocal self care, which is a term I just made up. This style of self care has three parts.

  1. WHO’S GOT THE POWAH (please say this to the tune of the song by Snap, thank you)

My self care needs to be grounded, really overtly, in the power dynamics that are at play for me and others. This doesn’t mean that I have to live inside a mindset of deficit at all times. I hope I don’t need to remind us that residing in our current sitch means an awareness of oppression and privileges but it also means an awareness of our resilience, strength, and joy. Acknowledging power means acknowledging that power runs in many directions. Greater than the things lost to me because of intersectional racism by far is the love I feel for my own brown woman’s body/mind/heart.

2. DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEEEEEEEEEE (to the tune of Do You Hear What I Hear, Whitney Houston version only, please)

I need self care that is grounded in seeing. Much of my woc life consists of experiencing things that dominant culture either doesn’t want to acknowledge or actively gaslights, and I spend a lot of time simply demanding for those things to be seen AS THINGS. That’s why unplugging and/or “getting away” as the central idea of self care seems off to me. Not that I don’t need time to quiet my thoughts or be alone. But I can tell you this: every time there is a racialized incident, large or small, in my life, the first thing I do and have observed other poc do, is to find each other and say: well. That is a thing that happened, huh? Sometimes this occurs just via locking eyes across a room, or a nod on a crowded bus. It is resistance based on realizing that a fact is indeed, a fact. That just happened. Confirmed. Those instances feel more to me like self care than the most Gwyneth of strawberry facials one could get. In other words, stress isn’t interrupted, for me, from trying to create a neutral space. It’s interrupted by creating an oppositional space.

3. CAN YOU FEEL, THA LUV, TOO NAHHT (say it in that accent Elton John uses when he sings)

Most of all, my self care is centered in loving relationships. Living in a racist system is lonely, y’all. It is isolating. It seeks to break our bonds with each other. The work to oppose it is difficult, and heart wrenching, and full of so much weight. But, as I have done this work in the ways that feel the most right to me, what has come out of that are deep, soul nourishing communities of people that inspire me, make me think, and affirm everything that I am fighting for. Many of those communities face challenges that I have never had, and have so many more reasons to “burn out” than I could ever imagine. But I see, every day, how they meet those challenges with so much energy and vision. I do not feel fatigue when I am around these people. I feel the opposite of fatigue, because I feel accountable to them in a way that nourishes me. Rejuvenation means turning toward them whenever I feel low. I love them, and love is power.

All of that said, I will not say no to a Gwyneth strawberry facial. Just to be clear.

Clumsy

Within the last week, the following things have happened:

I slipped on a wet spot on the ground and fell down in front of a long line of people waiting to get into an event. I managed to not fall completely on my ass, instead ending up in a sort of bended-knee-proposal position. None of the people in line looked at me like they wanted to marry me.

The following day, I slipped and fell down again. Somehow, the only thing that hurt afterwards was my right index finger.

My dude, when coming home, tripped up our front stairs and scraped up his hand.

My dude, while walking on our sidewalk with a box of pizza he was bringing home for dinner, dropped the pizza box in just such a way so that the top flew open and the pizza came out and landed in the gutter.

My computer decided to stop working. After that was fixed, my printer stopped working. Both of these events made me late for things.

Once my computer was working, I sat down the following evening and knocked my glass of water over with such force that it soaked my computer.

I THINK THERE IS STRESS HAPPENING AROUND HERE, IDK GUYS

The Magnificent Seven

I watched the newest Magnificent Seven. I have exactly and only seven thoughts about it.

1. I have really been having a Denzel renaisaance lately. A Denzelaissance. I had kind of forgotten about how mesmerizing he is. Given that, this should have really just been the Magnificent Uno, because I just wanted him to be on the screen the entire time. YOU GO ‘HEAD AND SMOLDER, D.W.

2. Is Chris Pratt turning into Snide-Remarks Guy in movies? I do not wish this, please and thank you. Chris Pratt without the underlying sweetness is just two steps too many into Brolandia for me.

3. Ethan Hawke was the sensitive one because of course he was. He has that face that looks like a post-sneeze and/or imminent heartbreak at all times. DENZEL GET BACK ON THE SCREEN I MISS YOU.

4. So much shooty shooty, like even for a western. The final fight scene was, according to my internal clock, around thirteen days long.

5. Byung-Hun Lee was good but I have said it before and I will say it again CAN THERE BE ONE ACTION MOVIE THAT HAS AN ASIAN CHARACTER WHO DOES NOT HAVE GINSU KNIFE SKILLS THANKS IN ADVANCE.

6. Martin Sensmeier is a Comanche that actually speaks the language, which is a first. Also, the POC characters don’t all die by the end! THEY ACTUALLY GET TO LIVE. *applause*

7. Peter Skaaaaaaarsgaaaaard (I never know how many a’s so let’s go full phonetic-pirate spelling) is the bad guy and his name is BOGUE. GET IT? BECAUSE HE IS SO BOGUE. And he really is. Whenever he does an evil deed, yell out SO BOGUE, DUDE. It will make your movie watching so much better.

I would not really call this The Maginificent Seven. More like the Pretty-Good-to-Medium Seven.

The Sound of Music

I watched The Sound of Music the other day to get myself out of the grumps. This is a movie that I probably could act out for you, all the parts, because of how many times I saw it in my petite bebe years. Before last week I don’t know when I have seen it as an adult though, and it is BREAKING NEWS kind of a great movie. Let’s combat my grumps by talking about my Sound of Music thoughts, pot pourri style, shall we?

First of all, I have beef with the name. Sound. Of. Music. Ok, sure. There is sound. That sound is often music. But Rodgers, Hammerstein, honeys, come on. Could we have picked a more boring name? We have so much to work with here. Let me suggest. Sing and Run, Because Hitler. Whatsa Haps, Von Trapps. Nuns vs Nazis. There are a million options.

As the movie opens, we find Maria the nun twirling on a mountaintop in that iconic first shot. Or, as my mom said as we watched it together: “Woo! Here we go, Maria’s being weird!” Turns out the thing that I never realized as a child is that Maria is a straight up weirdo! Like, she is ODD. Just running around enjoying her twirly skirt on a mountain, talkinbout larks learning to pray. Uh, ok, girl. You do you.

Turns out Maria is late for bell-ringing time at the convent, and no one can find her. Instead of being alarmed (I guess she goes missing a lot, so NBD) these nuns start singing a song about how they think she’s a frigging nightmare. MEAN GIRLS IN THE NUNNERY. They call her a headache, a pest, a flibertyjibbet (which, if you ask Snoop Dogg, def means something not great), and a DEMON. These nuns! Horrible. Don’t believe me? They bring this song back on MARIA’S WEDDING DAY Y’ALL. She is walking down the aisle to “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” You get her married up, that’s how you solve it, apparently. Her problem was lack of government-church-sanctioned sex partnership, which makes people prone to mountain twirling. PUT A RING ON IT TO STOP THAT SHIT STAT.

Speaking of which, the President of the Nuns tells Maria she has to go be a nanny, and Maria responds by singing her guts out on the bus ride there. She arrives and meets Captain Von Hotness, who has this whole dom thing going on with a weird whistle and stuff. The kids are mildly terrible, but not really that terrible (those former nannies must have been severe milquetoast ladies), and before you know it they are singing about their Favorite Things together, one of which, weirdly, is doorbells.

But first! Liesel the teen goes out to the makeout gazebo to meet Rolfe, who is CLEARLY ICKY. They sing a song to each other about how he is going to mansplain his way into her knickers but he spends so much time mansplaining that nothing happens. Good! Get away from him, Liesel, you in danger, girl.

Maria then makes clothes out of the curtains in her bedroom, which, IDK, it seems like one would get permission from one’s employer before doing that, and they all run around Salzburg learning to sing. When they return the Captain is there with Uncle Max and his gf the Baroness. I BECAME KIND OF IN LOVE WITH THAT BARONESS. I mean, she was fabu. The problem is that she is not traditionally maternal though and therefore, in the Musicals Rule Book, we know she is doomed. Although I am absolutely sure, dollars to donuts, that the Baroness would tell Liesel straight up to get the hellfire away from Rolfe. The Baroness ain’t playing that shit, it’s obvs.

The Captain gets mad that Maria has taken the kids out on the town in curtains, which actually seems kind of reasonable in terms of being mad, and fires Maria. The kids sing a song and melt his heart and he unfires her. THAT WAS AN EVENTFUL FIVE MINUTES.

Max is a sort of Simon Cowell type person I guess and he wants the kids to sing for dollar bills. Then he says that, in this time of the rise of the Nazis, the most important thing is to get along with everybody, and Captain Von Hotness is like “I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU SOMETIMES MAX” with an anti-Nazi steel stare and OH SNAP THIS MOVIE JUST BECAME ABOUT CURRENTLY NOW, THAT’S WEIRD. Think about that, for a quick second, you folks out there that are peddling the idea that empathy with people who suffer from the racisms (AKA ECONOMIC ANXIETY POTATO POTAHTO) is the answer. I stand with Captain Von Hotness on this one. SORRY MY GRUMPS ARE COMING BACK, MOVING ON.

Then they do this really long puppet show about goats, because why? I do not know. Like, what was that whole thing for? To release the pressure from the Nazi talk, I guess.

Then the Baroness is like “Hey Maria, you and my dude are kind of feeling each other, I can tell,” which you may think is a bitch move but to that I say WHERE IS THE LIE. Maria is like “oh my goodness, the only thing left to do is GHOST THIS JOINT” which she does.

The kids sing sad songs and try to play ball with the Baroness but they don’t even throw the ball straight so she can catch it and then have the nerve to roll their eyes at her. You don’t have to chase that dang ball, Baroness. I would wife you even if the Captain won’t. And, turns out, he won’t.

Maria goes back to the nunnery and tells the President of the Nuns why she peaced out. President Nun is like: wait, you did this because you were afraid he would get up in your twirly skirt? And Maria is like, yes. And then Pres Nun sings “Climb Every Mountain,” which WHOA. CLIMB EVERY CAPTAIN IS BASICALLY WHAT SHE IS SAYING, MARIA. That song is about seizing the day, even if the day equals Captain Von Hotness. SEIZE IT.

Maria shows back up and she meets the Captain in the same makeout gazebo that Liesel and Rolfe used. Ew. Get a different makeout gazebo, mom and dad. They actually do makeout unlike the kiddos, except Maria keeps talking about the President Nun, to the point where the Captain says, while he is kissing Maria, “WHAT ELSE DOES THE REVEREND MOTHER SAY?” You guys, he says it right into her mouth. That is some freaky deaky shit right there. Climb every mountain, tho.

They get married and then the Nazis come for the Captain and he is like IMA RIP THIS NAZI FLAG, and Liesel asks Maria for advice on why come Rolf doesn’t want her any more and Maria is like, don’t worry, you are still young, more fish in the sea, etc. Instead of HE IS A NAZI which really should be the only message.”Lo and behold you’re someone’s wife, and you belong to him” is a line that Maria also sings here. I just ask you, would the Baroness being peddling that tripe? Nope.

They get out of town, partly, but then go to Salzburg Idol as a diversion. They sing a medley and win the competition but choose to escape instead, which, good choice. They hide at the nunnery where the Captain confronts Rolf who remains horrible, and then they make it to the mountains. I assume the same mountains we started with. No more twirling, the mountains are for resistance now.

THEEEEEEEEEEEEE END

That helped me ungrump a little.