Author: Allison & Rekha

Presidential Suspensial

I understand why having voting day be a holiday is a good thing for all the social justice type reasons and the get-out-the-vote type reasons but this year, the reason I am wishing for that to be the case is for the I AM FREAKING OUT reasons. Ugh, so much anxiety, y’all. Can’t we all just use the day to vote and then sit down and breathe? Well, if you are lucky enough to be able to slice it up that way, which maybe you are not because you live in a disenfranchised area whereby you apparently have to stand in lines that are hours long to vote. Anyway, I am stressed out, is all I am saying. Not just at what the results may be, but also about what happens after the results. I feel like some very scary things have become normalized, and by scary I mostly mean things in the racisms and the sexisms family, among other isms of which I am not a fan. These are not isms that should be normalized and increased. We should instead be increasing the feminisms and the anti-racisms. WE ARE NOT DOING GREAT WITH THE CORRECT ISMS IS WHAT I MEAN I KNOW IT’S NOT ARTICULATE BUT DID I MENTION ANXIETY IS HAPPENING.

Not to expand upon the bummerness, but I really wish that my dad was here to vote for a lady prez. He would have been so excited to do that and I would have been so excited to talk to him about it. My parents grew up in a non-democracy situation (LOL what a way to describe colonialism A NON DEMOCRACY SITCH) and when the Brits first started letting us brown people hold local elected office, my dad ran and won in his town, becoming the first democratically elected mayor of that town and among the first in the country. Voting was never taken for granted by him. Add in my mom, a dynamo in her own right, kicking patriarchy’s ass and taking names, and I came up in a politically engaged family where the isms were in the right place. There is something about growing up with a feminist mom and there is a different something about growing up with a feminist dad, and I am so happy I had both. And I wish he was here for this. Then again, I wish he was here for everything.

I have voted in several presidential elections thus far in my life, and here are some snapshot memories I have of them. Ready? Ok.

  1. When I was in elementary school there was a mock vote and I remember that some of the kids were running around saying that the democrats would make us all go to school on weekends so don’t vote for them. THIRD GRADE PROPAGANDA MACHINE, Y’ALL.
  2. There was a vote for prime minister in Fiji one year and we were there that summer and I asked my older cousin who she was voting for and she WENT OFF. Apparently there it is truly a secret vote in that people don’t ask each other who they are voting for. People talk a lot about politics and are engaged, don’t get me wrong. But asking someone how they will vote? DO NOT EVEN.
  3. Maybe my all-time favorite election moment was the year I was watching the Democratic National Convention and everyone in the crowd was doing the Macarena (democratically uncool is how I vote on that) and lo and behold THERE WAS MY FRIEND ALLISON’S MOTHER MACARENAING HER HEART OUT.
  4. The first time Obama was elected all of my neighbors ran out into the street to celebrate in spontaneous joy and the kid directly across the street from me was about 8 years old and he busted out his trumpet and played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in a very wobbly but loud and jubilant fashion. (That kid is pretty much grown up now HOW DID THE TIME PASS SO FAST)
  5. My parents used to take me to the polls with them when I was a kid. I loved the old ladies that staffed the polling places. I loved that my parents dressed up to vote. I loved hearing them talk about it with each other. I had no idea what they were really voting about but I just loved the feeling of voting day.

The voting part is a big thing. The bigger thing, especially this time around, is all the work we need to do after the voting is done, no matter what happens. Let’s stay excited about the voting thing for today though. A lady could be president tomorrow. A LADY COULD BE PRESIDENT TOMORROW. Just think! And the thing is, my Dad would have loved to see it, but more than seeing it himself, he would have wanted me to see it. So I’m going to see it, and know it, and let that fill me up. Pretty great, right Dad?

Everybody Dance Now

Oh hai. I have not been to blog town for a little while because my computer went kaputs. I have had that dang thing since grad school so it was clearly ready to go to ‘puter heaven, but RATS  NOW DO I HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER COMPUTER? I do not wish to. Both because I don’t want to drop them hundos, but also because I really don’t need that extra thing in my life, do I? I can sit here and type on my little teensy tablet screen, right? I do not need several devices that basically do the same thing like I’m a gee dee Rockefeller/Roc-a-Fella. I mean, sucka please.

The things that I have been occupying my time with these days are a deep sense of foreboding that never quite goes away (thanks, presidential election!), and…actually that’s about it. I punctuate that with as much fun as I can pack in around the constant checking of Nate Silver’s website, but the site checking is solidly in the center. BUT LET US NOT DWELL ON THE APOCALYPSE BEING NIGH BECAUSE THAT AIN’T WHY YOUS COME HERE. Instead, let’s talk about that other stuff.

I went dancing the other week, which is something I would do every damn night if I could if not for two things: one, I have other things like snoozy responsibilities to take care of in life, and two, places with dancing are also places where dudes hang out who implicitly want to rub their weiners on you later in the evening and will try to buy you drinks or dance with you as a way to open the door to said weiner rub. I used to think that the solution to that last one was to only dance in gay-based venues, but it turns out that many of the places that I know of are now being infiltrated by heteros which: boooo! (Feel free to Alanis Morrissette me –ISN’T IT IRONIC– for being mad that there are too many hets in gay clubs because I want to go there myself as a dumb het. NOTED).

The thing that I would like to pitch is this: just as we now have karaoke joints that consist of renting rooms whereby you can warble in front of your handpicked auditory victims rather than a room full of strangers, why can we not have the same deal for dance times? Rent a room for you and your closest pals to go on down to get-down-town. Entrepeneurs of America (preferably the greater Seattle metro area); please make this happen. My friends and I would be most grateful customers. And think of something good to call it. “Private dancing” doesn’t have the right, well, ring to it, if you get my drift.

To recap: I will not spend my money on a new computer. I will happily spend my money on dancing with my friends in comfort. Sounds about right.

(Y’all what is happening in this vid?) Tina Turner, Private Dancer

Days off

Whenever I have a day off/weekend, I have a friend at work who says, when I come back, because it’s what you say if you are polite and have had good home-training: “How was your day off?” The other day, when I replied, she said: “can I ask you what the HECK you are doing on your days off? Because every time I ask you, you are all ‘IT WAS THE BEST DAY OFF EVER OMG SO GREAT.'”

Homies, I was mortified. I am being tres obnoksh about my days off! But the thing is, the love, it is real. I DO love my days off, and rock them hard like a, like a, I don’t know, a Day Off Rocker. This is how I rock a weekend day off. I am not saying it is for everyone, I mean, you do you, but for me, it works so well that I scare my co-workers with enthusiasm and wet-eyed nostalgia when I return to work. I challenge you to make a list of items that make your days off perfect, and then recreate. Self care, y’all.  Here’s mine.

  1. I do not sleep in. I KNOW I KNOW I HAVE LOST YOU ALREADY. I do have an inner Chris Traeger sometimes, and I acknowledge it can be annoying. But if you wake up you can cram more fun in, is the thing.
  2. Ok so I wake up early, but I lollygag in the bed. Reading in bed on a day off morning is the best and worth waking up for. Also, if one has a bed-mate, you know, one could snuggle them or something. I’m just saying, I don’t know, have some adult touching time. I feel like you are getting uncomfortable with this part so MOVING ON.
  3. There is a spot in my living room that catches the sunlight just right on a cold, crisp morning. This is where I have my morning tea. If it is gloomy and raining, I have a corner section of my couch where I can park it. In the summer, I go outside on the deck. I know where I am parking my butt for morning tea according to weather, is I guess what I am saying.
  4. I love a fancy breakfast on a day off! Make some pancakes, do up an egg sandy, go out to a breakfast joint.
  5. I make some space to do something productive, but I BOOKEND IT. Need to do house chores? Go to the grocery store? I set aside a specific couple of hours and KNOCK IT OUT AND THEN I AM DONE. I do not spread it out or let it hang over my head. Just do it, fast and scheduled in a block.
  6. Speaking of household chores, I couple that up with some audiobook/podcast time. Makes folding the laundry something I actually want to do.
  7. Make a social plan. I am a solid ambivert. I like to be around people, and I also like my solo time. This means I try to make space for both. For me, two social plans with friends per weekend is a chill minimum amount. Plus one outing of some sort with the dude. (My dude, not The Dude).
  8. Take a walk, read a book, stare out the window. Gots to have the unstructured solo time. So luxurious.
  9. 30 minute nap! More than one of you want! This helps if you, like me, stay up late and wake up early. Warning: more than an hour nap and I risk feeling like a groggy froggy.
  10. If at all possible, (I know, sometimes you gotta, but) DON’T DO WORK WORK. ESPECIALLY EMAILS.

This is my own personal recipe for a great weekend, according to me. A Me-kend. Y’ALL I JUST SAID ME-KEND. I should go now. Ok, going now. Bye.

From Sun to Sog

Whereas Hayden’s love for the city of LA might be described as Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail where she is like “I really do not like you, Tom Hanks, except wait, what is happening, now I am up close and OMG I LOVE YOU,” my love for LA is more along the lines of Maria in West Side Story, being all in from the get go, just “My hands are cold, you’re so warm, so beautiful…TONIGHT, TONIGHT LET’S MAKE THIS ENDLESS DAY ENDLESS NAAAAAAAAAAHT” Yeah, I know those are New York movies, whatever.

I had a gorgeous, beautiful, perfect birthday in LA. To sum it up, for my birthday dinner I got a gigundo plate of potato/mushroom tacos for five bucks while a dj spun a re-mixed “I’m Free” by Kenny Loggins, and my dude was there, and my dearest Hayden and her beauteous fam and some new friends and I was wearing a sundress and sandals in October. I VOTE YES ON THIS EXPERIENCE.

Now, we are back in Seattle and it is like someone is wringing a gigantic wet sponge over the entire city and the sunlight has been turned off. So. A little contrast, you might say. Plus it is really hard on my no-gortex fashion policy. I probably shouldn’t joke, since we keep hearing that shit could go really bad for us over the weekend, like 100 mile an hour winds and stuff? Sheeeeeeeeeeeet. Wish us luck.

Day of Birthington

So I don’t know if you heard, what with us being so super chill and quiet about it, but it was my birthday last week. I know! We really should talk about it, considering we have basically kept it a secret up til now.

There was, as is my habit, a lot of Taking Stock around my birthday. Bless my heart, I love to have a What Does It All Mean convo with myself and having a birthday gives me permission to let it rip. One of the things I kept thinking about was how my life has turned out as a grown ass lady. I had very specific plans for myself as a youth and not one thing about it has come to pass. NOT ONE THING. Hey kids, planning is for suckers. Let’s break it down.

First of all, the fact that I am not making a living in some sort of artistic endeavor CONTINUES TO BLOW MY MIND. How did this happen? I live in the heart (sometimes the balls) of Libraryland now, probably for the long haul. When I think of the hours, days, weeks, years that I put in, painstakingly learning and practicing artisms, and how much joy that gave to me and how got-damned sure I was that that would always be my life? Nope, none of that. I really called that one wrong.

Second, this relationship stuff? WHAT. I was a kid who never pictured myself partnered up. All the way up into my 20s I was so not into that idea. I mean, ugh, WHO NEEDS DUDES, am I right? Who wants that shit getting in the way? NO THANKS. Except, um, there does seem to be this dude here now, and who has been here for many years, and has not brought any trifling Dude Shit into my life in any way, and I sort of love him more and more all the time. Huh. Look at that. Go figure.

Third, and this is sort of related to the No-Dude policy that I had, but I really thought I would be living in some sort of lady-pal utopia. Like, I would have this group of lady friends and we would all be super tight and hang out all the time and be each other’s family and eat cheesecake late at night like the Golden Girls and talk every day like the ladies on Girlfriends. Instead, what I did was move to a city of introverts where dropping by unannounced is Just Not a Thing and talking more than once every couple of weeks is Out of Bounds (y’all I love you if you fall into this category so don’t be mad about me calling it out but YOU KNOW I’M NOT LYING. RHODA AND MARY TYLER MOORE WERE ALWAYS UP FOR THE HANGOUT IS ALL I AM SAYING). So, no BFFs living next door for me. Booooooo, adulthood.

However, here’s the thing you guys. My life? It is the Greatest of All Time, ie the GOAT. Turns out I am pretty good at this library thing, and I get to work with amazing people and learn new things constantly and advocate for social justice, and I can be proud of myself for bringing integrity, and kindness, and humor, and collaboration to my work every day. I know we aren’t supposed to say these things, but I’m gonna. I work really hard, and I feel good about what that work is doing in the world and how I’m conducting myself in it. And I have this amazing person partnered up with me in life who supports my being my most authentic self, respects my personhood, and always, and I mean always, has been kind and unconditional to me with incredible consistency each and every single day since dinosaur times. Plus we laugh until our guts bust up and he’s sexy AF. Not sure how this happened, because I certainly wasn’t in the market for it, but there you go. And I may not have my little group of ladies to hang out on the lanai with every day, but I have my soul sisters all over the country who sustain me via phone calls, visits, texts. From Michigan to Illinois to California to New York to Wisconsin to DC to yes, Washington State, they create a patchwork of beautiful support that comes my way when it counts, and I love them with all my heart and they love me.

I have friendship and love and an awesome fam and meaningful work and laughs and comfort and energy and experiences and and and and and. I don’t sleep a lot because I have so much living to do in my days, I cannot WAIT for it happen. I get up early and go until I run out of steam and then go again and again and again. Some people in my life think I should slow down (that’s an argument for another time) but how can I when there’s so much life to be lived? I know that sometimes I can seem like I have rainbows shooting out of my ears and I can imagine how annoying this can be. But honestly. This life is so exquisite. It takes my breath away if I think about it. And I do think about it. Who knew things would turn out this way? My 15-year-old self was wrong on all of her predictions, but she (omg talking about myself in the third person STOP) was right at the core: she wanted a life full of love and creativity. What that love looks like and how that creativity happens turned out to be very different than expected, but the hope was the same.

A co-worker asked me the other day why I always get up so early and I said “FEAR OF DEATH, TBH” and it was a joke but really it wasn’t. We are only here for a short while, my loves. I want to be awake and doing something for as much of it as I possibly can, no time to fuck around, for serious. It’s a beautiful life that I’ve made. Maybe that’s the best kind of art I could’ve done.

 

(Madonna, Ray of Light)

You’ve Got a Friend (Cuz I said so)

Two things are becoming clear. One, Hayden thinks that I should be on the Bachelor. I know this because she has used the universal language across all Bachelor seasons that signifies a good contestant: she has deemed that I “put myself out there.” This is a phrase that is most often used to dismiss a bad contestant– “she just didn’t put herself out there”– so to say that I am doing the opposite means that at the very least I am still in the running to be offered a rose. This a great news! Two, I think that she has added data to my growing data set that for those most important to me in my life, I boss them into being my friend. I bossed my dude to hang out with me when we first met, even. If you are a close friend to me, think about it: how did we become friends and is it because I kind of made you? Aggressive friendliness: it is a common practice in Flint, where I grew up, and a cultural hallmark of Fiji where my family is from. I have significantly tamed this impulse in Seattle, where people do everything they can to not cultivate friends, and I will boss you only if you seem like you want me to. Most people I know are hanging out a figurative shingle on themselves that says “I MAY HANG OUT SOMETIMES IF I REALLY HAVE TO BUT DON’T GET ANY CLOSER” and I am good at heeding that sign because ain’t nobody got time for that BUT if you seem like you kinda want to be for reals friends? BOSSYPANTS ARE READY TO BE WORN. I am glad Hayden is ok with my predatory friendship ways.

Subject change! I went to see my nephew in his very first crew race this weekend and I don’t even understand what I saw, y’all. I was a very disciplined teen myself, what with the dancey dance and all, but the fact that he has chosen, of all of the things in life, to do a thing that requires him to get up at the crack of ASS really does not make sense to me. I did not wake up early as a teen unless someone was making me. Ok, well, I take that back- my friends and I used to sometimes get up at 4 or 5am to go get a fricking hashbrown at McDonald’s before school and hang out but that’s only because we often never went to sleep the night before, so I don’t know if that counts but ANYWAY. This kid is getting up early to exercise. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THAT. I mean, I get up at 4 or 5am nowadays but I am an old crone that no longer requires sleep because I have my life regrets to fuel my brain. In fact, I have that to get back to right now. Very busy.

Swift Modesty

Ok, WHAT.

Hayden not only pops back up into the bloggy but then starts saying lovely things about me? I SWEAR SHE IS REAL AND A SEPARATE HUMAN PERSON FROM ME AND I AM NOT JUST PRETENDING TO BE HER AND POSTING BRAGS ABOUT MYSELF HONEST. I guess you will just have to take my word for it. I feel your skepticism.

Ok, about that Kardashian thing that Hayden said and how I stopped her from going on about it at our presentation. The thing is, that was not me being embarrassed. I am not the person who gets embarrassed about my Kardashian knowledge: I am the person that brings up Kardashians at parties and starts fights with people about them. Embarrassment is not part of my Kardashian lexicon. So now I must reveal to you that what actually happened that day was me being FALSE MODEST. So like, let’s pretend that Hayden had said up there: “this is the thing that most people don’t know about my co-presenter. She has a PhD in saving baby bunnies. She has singlehandedly invented a tiny defibrillator that helps these little sweeties live and…” You know what a genius does, in that situation? They pretend to be embarrassed and say “oh my goodness! I can’t believe you are bringing up this miracle invention of mine. Oh, I am so flustered, do stop, you generous flatterer!” We all know this. We learned it, if nothing else, from T-Swizz (sorry to have to bring her into this but I would very much like her to be included in this narrative):

tswizz

(the face says: y’all are too kind! the brain says: I FUCKING INVENTED THE BUNNY DEFRIBBER)

It just so happens that, in my case, I didn’t invent anything, but I DO love to break down Kardashian lore using an intersectional feminist lens that includes a nuanced reading of performative gender roles as well as a critique of capitalism. I will talk about this at the slightest invitation, no shame. I don’t do a lot of things well but I mos def got this one. But when someone points out your genius, you say: aw shucks, so embarrassed! Please, stop! So mortifying! This is what I did. Now you know. That audience was just lucky I didn’t add “AND ALSO SISTER WIVES ON TLC TOO.”

Consumables #157 Watching: Spock and Weiner

Fall has fallen y’all! Do not get me wrong, I like fall, but I have never been a person who gets excited about the idea of a season. There are the WOO AUTUMN people who get revved up for sweaters and cider and pumpkins and there are the WOO WINTER people that get revved up for hot chocolate and holiday music and snow. I feel like there aren’t really WOO SPRING people. And summer is exciting if you associate it with vacations? I am jealous of the seasonal revver uppers, is all I am saying. I do not understand them, but I envy them. I am a fan of getting jazzed about stuff! I want to be jazzed at the sight of a gourd! But alas, my only season-adjacent question is: is it warm enough for me to not be an icicle? Yes or no? For lo, I am but a simple lass. All of this is to say CONGRATS WOO-AUTUMN PEOPLE! You must be very proud. If you could talk to your autumnal gods and tell them I would like to be warm as much as poss, that would be awesome.

I watched a couple of movies about a couple of dudes last week. These dudes did not have a lot in common, aside from having a bio-doc made about them. So pardon the coupling up of these two. They don’t really go together but they hit my eyeballs contiguously and thus they are paired.

I Am Spock.  That’s the name of the movie; I am not coming out to you as Mr. Spock, although DAMN that would be a plot twist!  If you are a Trek person, you probably have some love for Leonard Nimoy. He was very lovable, both as Spock and also in life. In interviews he always seems like a genuinely good dude, with smarts and gentleness and a desire to make things better in general, and a sense of humor about himself. All things to give a thumbs up to, or a Live Long and Prosper Hand, whichever. And this movie was not terrible, but it didn’t delve deeply into all the quirky goodness that was available. Like, they waste time talking to Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban who, ok, they are in the new Star Trek movies and they probably knew Nimoy a little bit, but where’s my Original Recipe Star Trek people at and can we hear more stories from them?  Also, Nimoy lived a rich artistic life both inside of Trek stuff and outside of it, and I wanted to hear about that bidness. Like, check out this article about Nimoy’s Full Body Project. I wanted a deep dive on stuff like that, and this movie wasn’t it. It was fine though. A solid fine.

Weiner. That’s the name of the movie; I am not calling you a weiner. This doc chronicles the period of time that Anthony Weiner ran for mayor of New York. His first set of sexting scandal already done (the doc does summarize this part of the story), he sets out to mayor it up. This movie surprised me a little bit. Did I like him? No. Did I feel for his wife? Yeppers. Did I find his behavior with ladies skeezy? Sure. Would I be friends with him? Nah. Would I date him? Hells no. But the thing is, when I was watching this movie, as much as I wanted to think: what is wrong with this dude? What I really was thinking was: what is wrong with us? Like, I don’t want to say that how this person acts has absolutely no bearing on anything, but honestly? We care kind of too much about something that to my eye seems private to him, his wife, and the ladies he was involved with, who– at least as much as I understand it– were all engaged in legal, consensual activities. But we all got obsessed with it, which, when I really think about it, is weird. We are a weird people.

Spock and Weiner- one to make you feel pretty good about things, and one to bring you back down again. To boldly go, as it were.

Keep moving

I’m about to make it not about the chuckles, for once. You know I do that every now and again. If you come here for laughs, today’s not that day.

I have a lot of privilege in my life. I have a secure place to live that I can afford, I am able to communicate in the dominant language around me, I am cishet, I am literate, I was raised by parents that stoked my agency and respected my autonomy, and the list goes on. And yet, the ways that I move through the world can sometimes feel like a barrage of experiences that tell me that I am not welcome and that I am Other. Race, gender, nationality, ethnicity: these are the ingredients in my particular cocktail that I drink day after day, week after week, and are all signifiers of some of the ways I choose to love myself and some of the ways that I am made wary of the world around me.

When I went to college, it was a culture shock. The manner in which my higher education spoke to me about myself were demeaning and the mostly-white cohort consisted, with some exceptions of course, of well-meaning but racially illiterate peers. Not to say that this was not present in my younger years, but the weight of it and the size of it in my first year of college was unexpected. As a new adult, I did not know how to hold it nor how to beat it back. My freshman year I kept a small notebook, in which I would log each and every aggression, (some micro and others larger) that came my way. Reading it now, it runs the gamut. From the time my professor incorrectly explained to me in front of the class the meaning of my own name, to the time a guy told me that he “likes dark skin on white” as he asked me out, to the time a girl in my dorm told me that white girls could wear colors that were “spring, fall, or summer,” but that all women of color were “winter,” to the time a classmate shoved me into a chest of drawers, causing it and me to fall onto the floor just after calling me a fucking sandnigger (part of being ethnically ambiguous and people not understanding history or geography is that you get all of the slurs used against you). I didn’t talk about any of these things to anyone. I just wrote it all down. It wasn’t a journal. I didn’t write how these things made me feel or what I thought about them. I just logged them, like a police blotter. It’s hard to explain why I did this, but the closest I can come is to say that the little notebook may as well have just said, over and over again, on every page: this happened. I didn’t imagine it. I didn’t make it up. It’s real. It’s real. It’s real. There is a tiny part of me that understands when some people don’t believe that racism, sexism, etc, is true. Even when it’s happening to me, it can feel unthinkable.

Yesterday, I was walking down the street with three co-workers, who are also my friends. We were talking to each other, and a man walked toward us. I saw him see me, and within a fraction of a second, I knew something was coming. As he continued to approach, he yelled something racist about 9/11 and me, as if the link between the event and my identity was self-evident and I bore some blame. As he came nearer, he spit. I heard the saliva hit the ground inches away from my pant leg. Then he kept walking, as did we.

I barely acknowledged that anything was happening. I kept talking with my coworkers, I didn’t look at the man, I didn’t flinch away from the act of being spat upon. Whatever I was saying to my friends right before he approached had been light and jokey, and my tone did not change. Soon after, one of them said to me: did any spit get on you? and I just said, no, and then another said wait, he spit at you? I didn’t see that, and I just said yeah.

Here is what happened inside of me in that event, in three parts. There are actually more like a hundred parts, but ah well. Three will do.

  1. As it was happening, I was terrified, but in that bone deep way that many of us feel who are used to feeling threatened, like when a guy aggressively hits on you on the bus and then gets off at your stop. Scared, but normal scared. Let me say that to myself again to hear the absurdity of my own words: scared, but normal scared.
  2. As soon as I was sure that the man wasn’t going to stop or do anything else, I felt thankful. I had just been yelled at, spat at, and my humanity insulted, and I was thankful it wasn’t worse. Gratitude for debasement because at least he didn’t physically hurt me. It was hours later before I thought to myself: these are the choices? This is the spectrum of dignity allowed?
  3. I feel sure that had he felt a little bolder, the man might have actually physically assaulted me. I do not pretend to understand what people who act this way have in their hearts and minds, but I do suspect that part of what they seek is for their targets to tremble and wobble, to de-center their sense of self. And them main reason why I kept talking, kept joking, kept walking, kept steady, was to not let that happen. Look at me, you rabid, detestable person. Watch me not flinch. Watch me not waver. Despite your attempt to use me as the tool for your garish display of brutishness, in this moment, I will only see myself. I belong here, with these people, on this street. I will not stop.

Consumables #156: Watching Nostalgia

I am sorry to be that tiresome dingus who constantly talks about the weather but it was in the mid-90s for the past few days in this city of reptilian vampires and people were Fer-eaking Out. I did my utmost to keep my glee to myself, and I have done well with that, but I will tell you, my close personal peeps, that it was glorious to me. As my dear Mary Berry would say on the Great British Baking Show, I am getting an even bake through and through and it’s quite delightful.

Aside from evenly baking, I have been having an attack of the nostalgias lately. There is something about hot weather that makes me think of childhood summers when I lived in less mild places, so maybe that is why. It also just so happens that I have watched, read, heard some nostalgic things as well. Such as what? Such as these.

Stranger Things: Has there ever been a piece of art that is so meticulously constructed to pluck a certain generation’s nostalgia bone than this? Methinks not. However, I have a confession to make, and it is this. I did not, even as a kid, like Stephen Spielberg movies. Not ET, not Goonies, not even Stand By Me. BEFORE YOU THROW YOUR TOM-AH-TOES: I am not saying I actively disliked them. I thought they were fine. As an adult I can look back and deconstruct that perhaps this was because Spielberg wasn’t really connecting with my arty POC girl heart, but that could be hindsight. All I know is that I was a little girl that was starved for representation, and when I say starved I mean I was WRINGING rep where there was none to be had. Like, I decided Jaclyn Smith was my favorite Charlie’s Angel because she was the most tan. Also, when I read the Anne of Green Gables books I was FIXATED on the fact that Diana had black hair. OMG BLACK HAIR IT SAYS SHE HAS BLACK HAIR I HAVE BLACK HAIR ALSO PLEASE KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE BLACK HAIR. There was not a brown person to be found hardly anywhere so I was grasping at straws. Most of the time, again due to lack of options, it was hair-related. I can name off for you all of the pop culture black-haired touchstones of my youth (Dear Veronica from Archie Comics: in the words of Whitney Houston IIIIIIIIIIII-eeeee-IIIIIIIIII will always love yoooooooooo). Anyway. My point is that although the nostalgia in Stranger Things definitely worked on me, it was a weird feeling. Like, I loved it because it reminded me of being a kid, but also I felt that same disconnect. The same one that I feel with John Hughes movies, by the way (DON’T THROW THOSE TOMATOES I SAID).

Don’t Think Twice: This is that one starring Mike Birbiglia and Keegan-Michael Key, et al and the first thing that I have to say about it is that I can NEVER REMEMBER the gee-dee name of this movie. I keep wanting to tell people to go see it but I’m like: Stop Thinking Now? Who’s Thinking Twice? Twice Thinking Tales? Stop Thinking Sense? Thinks and Thinksability? Ugh, my brain. So, a thing you may have forgotten about me because I am decripit and can barely remember my life before librarianship anymore so why should you remember it, is that there was a time, in my youth, where I was a bonafide theater person. I worked in the THEE-AH-TAH, like in a for reals way, and trod boards and was pretty good at it and comedy was my thing and I loved it with all of my heart. Maybe not as much as I loved the career I had before that as a tippy toe dancer, but pretty dang close. It was such a beautiful time in my life, I could cry if I think on it too much, which I kind of don’t. This movie is about people who love that stuff too, and how some of them succeed and some of them don’t and some of them just decide to quit. It’s the Some of Them Decide to Quit part that pretty much ripped my guts out. OH HI, MIDDLE AGED REGRETS MOVIE, WHAT, NO I AM JUST CUTTING ONIONS IN THE MOVIE THEATER, NEVER YOU MIND.

The Get Down: I put off watching this because honestly I wasn’t convinced that I needed to know what Baz Luhrmann wanted to say about hip hop. However, given the setting, the topic, the actors OF COURSE I was going to watch it. I am only two episodes in and it is a hot melodramatic mess, but sort of in a good way, I think? I guess I don’t care about the story that much. I do care that the 70s hip hop fashion is on POINT, and I do care that there are dance battles, and I do care that there is a sort of Kung Fu wielding graffiti superhero, I guess? These are things that will make me happy, despite how much scenery is being chewed every second of the dang thing. I am going to stick with it, at least through the first season. It makes me want to wear bell bottoms and halter tops, which in my parlance is an endorsement.

That’s a lot of nostalgia items, is it not? Let’s add one more. A jam from the turn of the 21st century, still on heavy rotation on my current playlists. Takes me back. So good.

Angie Stone, Wish I Didn’t Miss You