All We Have To Do Now

Remember when we used to write about pop culture and artsy farts and stuff? Those were good times. Are we ready to do that again? I say yes, because here’s the thing. This weekend, I had all these plans that I had made before the election, and on Wednesday I was thinking about all those plans and my soul felt like a little kid who has had enough of their day and just decides to go limp. You know how they do that? Just, wilt sag nope I am done I can’t oh the humanity. But many of those plans were with other people, and I didn’t want to be wilty cancellation lady, so I did all the plans. And it didn’t make me all the way better, but this is what it did do.

On Thursday night, I went out for karaoke, and I mean to tell you my ass was dragging all the way there, as grumpy as could be. But my friends and a whole slew of strangers had a religious experience to the tune of You’re So Vain and My Prerogative and Footloose and so many more. Strangers were hugging after songs, everyone was dancing to every song, and there was a point during Freedom 90 by George Michael where we were all throwing up our arms into the air, throwing our heads back and shout-singing ALL WE HAVE TO DO NOW, IS TAKE THESE LIES AND MAKE THEM TRUE SOMEHOW, ALL WE HAVE TO SEE, IS THAT I DON’T BELONG TO YOU, AND YOU DON’T BELONG TO ME, FREEDOMMMMM YOU’VE GOT TO GIVE WHAT YOU TAKE and I felt like maybe things would be ok if there were people like these just out here in the world, and I almost cried.

On Friday I went to see a performance of several Jessica Lang Dance Company pieces. One of the pieces was based off of interviews and artwork that was done by a group of veterans and another one was danced to a set of Shakespeare sonnets and they were the kinds of dances that I just wanted to go on and on and live inside of. When each dance ended and the lights went down, the audience would let out a soft, collective “oh!” My dear Delium said “It’s as if we all got gut punched at the same moment.” True, true, true. Didn’t we just, though?

On Saturday my dude and I went to see Moonlight, and it was so beautiful, and sad, and loving, and cruel, and kind, and delicate, and majestic, and stunning that I started crying fifteen minutes in and I didn’t stop all the way through, not even when the lights came up or when we walked out of the theater. We wrapped our arms around each other and went home, holding on tightly. That movie reminded me of everything that is important, and I am not kidding.

Time to get back to it, everyone. In all the ways.

Freedom 90, George Michael

Take care

It has been a hard, raw week in our world, my darlings. How are you all doing? I hope you’re taking care, and that goes double for my POC brothers and sisters. It’s a traumatizing time and the shit just keeps coming, and for those who see times like these and galvanize, organize, and push even harder for positive change, please take some time to decompress, take care of yourself, lean on your loved ones, clear your head as much as you can.

It can be a fraught thing to have a little project like this here blog, whose reason for existing is pure silliness, during times when nothing feels worthy of lightness. I kept thinking about writing, but I didn’t want to because of the heaviness in my own heart, so this week just went by without any drafts being started. It’s been a busy week anyway- my niece came to visit from the east coast, plus I had a nasty cold all week at the same time, and interwoven into that was what felt like a frenzied loop of checking twitter and other sources for news, reading, checking in with friends, writing legislators, making calls- all the things we do to try to push back against the wave of despair and worry that are so much larger than any one of us at times like this. Why would I take any time out of my week to write you some ha has about Veep, or whatever? It seems absurd.

Today was a day that I took some time for myself to try and stop the cycle of reading, checking, doing, and acting and remember that it’s ok, and healthy, to try to think about something else. Unplug from the news. Take a walk. See a movie. Hug and kiss someone. Watch lots of car karaoke on youtube, if you must know. We need that.

So, in that spirit, I’m posting some things that I took in today, and yes, my goofball tone will stay in tact. I flatter myself I am sure, but I’d like to think that checking in with this corner of the internets could function as a sliver of that self-care space that you might need. We’ve got a lot of work out there in the world to keep ourselves informed and moving forward, but in between, I am here for a few seconds of dippy joy.

Love and Basketball: I love this movie so much that I don’t even care that it has sportage bouncey ball at the center of it. Monica is a basketball star who falls in love with her childhood neighbor Quincy, a basketball hotshot in his own right. I think what is missing for me in most romantic movies is the sense that the couple are truly friends, equals, and partners in their relationship and this one has this in piles without losing any sexiness. Plus! Sweet 80s and 90s hip hop and r&b soundtrack is just TO DIE FOR. Watch it and feel better about things.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: This memoir by Padma whats-her-face from Top Chef gave me the rep sweats (THANK YOU NPR’S CODESWITCH FOR GIVING ME THIS PERFECT TERM. Rep sweats = that anxiety you get as a person from an underrepresented group who sees someone on tv or movies that is from your group and you want them to be great SO BADLY). I could have gotten past a lot of things for Padma, but you guys she went and insulted Fiji, where my folks are from. An Indian-American lady (yay, I identify with that!) takes time out of her life to make a very specific reference to Indians from Fiji (gasp! a level of specificity that never happens! REP SWEATS ENGAGE, WHAT WILL SHE SAY), and then all she does is talk about how people from Fiji are coarse, speak terribly, are embarrassingly backward, hate women (WHAT) and beat their children (DOUBLE WHAT). EXSQUEEZE ME PADMA BUT YOU NEED TO SHUT UPPPPPPPPPP. Ignorantly shit-talking an entire culture is the sign of a horrible person, so Padma, my rep sweats were warranted. You are an epic, epic fail.

Clue: Tim Curry as the butler, Michael McKean as the nerdy scientist, Leslie Ann Warren as a Susan Sarandon doppleganger, ALL GREAT. If for nothing else, watch this just for the line where Madeline Kahn talks about how mad she is.

2 Dope Queens podcast: I could not love it more and am now just mad that I listened to them all too fast and I have no more to hear. SAVOR THEM.

Hip Hop Family Tree comics series: Chock full of hip hop artists from mega stars to deeper cuts, this will make you want to make playlist after playlist.

Mr. Robot: Despite the feeling that comes over me when I am watching this that it could’ve been written by a really smart but overly serious ex-boyfriend of mine in college (IT’S ALL CORPORATE CONSUMERISM, MAN, WE ARE ALL PAWNS, NO LISTEN) this enjoyably conspiracy-ish world of smart weirdos who are all half terrible but not wrong about things (oh hey, like that ex-bf was) is fun to binge, just in time for the next season to come out later this month.

Refill your souls, friends.


A Summer Disregard, A Broken Bottle Top

Oh my GOURD, you guys. I HAVE MISSED YOU.

Time has had a squeeze around my bony little neck these days and I don’t really even understand why this is happening. I have to get this shit IN HAND like, immediamente. There are several things that are an indication to me that I need to look at the Man in the Mirror and ask him to Make a Change, and here are some of them.

  1. I do not have 15 minutes to write a blog post? Sucka please.
  2. Several times in the past month I have been the a-hole that doesn’t respond to a friend’s text. I do not want to be that a-hole, but alas, I have done it.
  3. I, without fail, talk to my mom on the phone every day. Except, I have to amend this statement to “I, with fail, talk to my mom on the phone every day.”

So this is me, having an intervention with myself. Self, I am concerned. Don’t be defensive, self. But you kind of need to get over yourself, because this has left Ridiculous and entered Dumb. I am here to help you. You can do this. If you do, I will promise to stop calling you Self. Because that is weird, self. Stop it.


Consumables #131 Reading: The Girl on the Train

After that whiney post from last week (sorry dudes), you will be happy to know that I spent the weekend whipping my shit back into shape. MY SHIT IS NOW IN SHAPE, people. Let’s change the term from “shipshape” to “shitshape” in honor of this feeling. HOW IS EVERYONE DOING? SHITSHAPE, CAP’N.  Consider the phrase coined.

Did you all read and/or see the movie Gone Girl? I did both, and although I can’t say that I disliked either, I wasn’t a goner for them either (see what I did there?). (Don’t worry no spoilers here for those that haven’t read/seen it). There was something about the psychotic stuff that was just too over the top for me. Like, I know it is heightened reality but the height was just a touch too much. It went from cray-cray to cray-cray-cray and that’s one too many crays. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, has gotten lots of comparisons to Gone Girl for good reason: there are crappy, dysfunctional marriages, everyone is worthy of the reader’s suspicion, there is a girl who is gone. However, this one maintained the heightened reality stuff to a degree that I could handle. The main character is a woman who experiences alcoholic blackouts which makes for interesting unreliable narrator bidness, and the pacing is just the right combination of slow/eerie with punches of fast action. There are themes of motherhood and fertility and femininity that play out that were not my cup of tea but if they’re yours, you’ll be in hog heaven.

Tick Tock and It Don’t Stop

Ok ok ok ok ok here’s the thing that you should know about me. When I am feeling mid-level whiney times, I tend to shut up. My feeling is, no one needs to hear my whining. No one, that is, except maybe my dude because he sort of has to. And so this is why it has been hard for me to get up the gumption for blog times lately. I AM TOO TIRED (whine whine). Also I JUST WANT TO WHINE ABOUT BEING TOO TIRED (meta whine whine). This does not make for great blogging.

The thing of it is, I have been working a lot. Like, more than I really should be. Quitting time seems to come and then go and yet there I sit, working myself stale, like a first class chump. Add to that the fact that Fixy McNordic Boy works even more than that. Like we are talking pulling 16 hour days like they are going out of style. I’m worried about that guy, and it’s stressing me OWWWWT. I also have other worries that are feeling a bit heavy and our lives have been so frantic that they have gotten really small, like I haven’t really reached out much, and where are all my friends again? I know they’re out there but we’re too busy running around like our asses are on fire and also my mom went home on her own again and I miss her but also am worried about her and then also I have some sort of grumpy cold that causes severe sniffles and grump symptoms and on top of that I busted my phone and when I transferred all my shit off my old phone to the new one all of my saved voicemails from my dad got erased forever and I hadn’t even listened to any of them since he died and I certainly wasn’t ready to do that soon anyway but I thought that some day there would come a day where I would want to hear those again and it was like I was saving them because I thought that when I was ready to listen to them I would then know that I am no longer devastated with missing him so anyway I was saving them and now they are gone and also AHHHHHHHHHHH

What I am saying is that this past month or so has had a frantic quality to it. I DO NOT LIKE IT. There’s never any time. I feel like life is getting away from me, days are going by like frames in a movie, flick, flick, flick, and I’m just like: wait! What was that? Go back! Can I see that part again? I missed it! And time is like suck it, sister. Why is time being a jerk? Time used to be my friend.

This is why I haven’t been blogging. This past week though, I have been turning my shit around. I MEAN IT. Come on, lady. Honestly. Get it together.

Mid-level whiney times OUT

Oh hi

A bloggie break that was almost a month long had me thinking it was maybe time to close up shop, but I’M BACK HOMIES. Time has just not been on my side, on many levels, but whatever, you don’t need to hear that, everyone is busy, nobody cares, I know.

In a nutshell, this past month has consisted of work, work, work, work, and work. I need to TONE IT DOWN. Forget that, I need to Tony! Toni! Tone! it down. Also, my mom had been staying with us for a few months while her home state became an iceberg, but she left a couple of weeks ago in time for thawing. That’s the main biss-niss. Other than that, life continues apace.

Let’s see if I can stop being a first class wanker and bring the blog back to life.

Feels Good by Tony!Toni!Tone!

2014 Finito

2014 is about to go into the garbage can, fellas! Ima do this year end quiz one more time. Uno, two, trois, go!
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I had my first tarot reading ever, and it was full of surprising and auspicious predictions, which I thoroughly do not believe in yet I was stuffing it all right into my brain and heart and guts because even though I am not superstitious, I still don’t need to be suspicious about stuff that is auspicious. That was fun to say. Let’s throw some more in. Wishes, fishes, bootylicious.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I actually, for the first time maybe ever, made resolutions last year! 100 books read? CHECK. 100 movies watched? I think I saw maybe 40 movies this year. Two-fifths CHECK. Take a photo a day? Not every day, but I did take a butt-ton more photos this year. BUTT-TON CHECK. 100 dates with people I like? NO IDEA. How did I think I was going to track that without being psycho? Uncheck.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No? Can that be true? I feel like there have been babies popping out everywhere every year for many years now. Was this the first baby-less year? I sort of can’t believe it. I must be having tot amnesia right now.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but there was an extremely close call earlier this year that was effing awful and scared the living bloomers off of me.
5. What trips did you take?
All the usual suspects: Michigan, Chicago, New York, Bay Area, Portland. Plus I was dipped in the nutbarn that is Vegas, and I am never to be the same again.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Remember that whole Anger Potato thing I was talking about before? Yeah, I was mad about some stuff earlier this year. Like, stifling mad. I am glad to say that the anger potato has passed, finally, and I am hoping for less of that crap next year.
7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Fixy’s birthday was super duper fun in 2014. We rode a ferris wheel! We had a warm day in January! We went to the opera and watched a lady kick the bucket while singing her face off!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
This year was a rebuilding year, after the shit show of 2013. I took a lot of care of myself and healed a lot. It was slow going.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Eh, I don’t want to talk about it.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really, although I took two falls this year. One was at the beginning of the year when I somehow convinced myself, against my better judgment, that ice skating was a good idea, which anyone can tell you is wrong if you just think about the dumbness of strapping razor like blades to one’s shoes and then locomoting onto ice. I mean, what kind of bull-feces is that? Second time was just a few weeks ago, so apparently 2014 was brought in and out with my ass kissing the floor. What does this symbolize about the year? Hmmm.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our spontaneous decision to fly to California to see Baryshnikov perform was kind of the best. Aside from being amazing and fun, just the fact that we up and did it last minute when we really had no business doing anything of the sort was pretty sweet.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I had lots of work-related hoo-hah that was celebratory-worthy.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
See: anger potato.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Building our deck! Our lovely, monstrous deck! Our Tyrannosaurus Decks! It was built too late in the year for us to really use, but 2015? YEAR OF DECK PARTAYS AND HOE-DOWNS.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Chicago to see Alli and Map, my homies who know mes.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Cool Kids, by Echosmith, for many reasons.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Way happier. WAY WAY happier. Like, happier times a kajillion.
ii. thinner or fatter? Well, my mom is in town and stuffing my face with baked goods, so probably fatter?
iii. richer or poorer? Richer, just a touch.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Hanging out with my peeps, especially Biogirl. She moved to the burbs and it was like we had to have passports to get to each other.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Mowing my yard.
20. How did you spend the holidays?
With my mom, bro, sister-in-law, nephew, and dude. It was hella fun. I am lucky to have a rad fam.
22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Oh that dude of mine makes me so gushy.
23. How many one-night stands?
This question is so DUMMMMMMB
24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Good Wife and John Oliver. How can The Good Wife just keep getting better and better like that? How can John Oliver make me laugh at depressing news items? These are the mysteries of tv times.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
Women in Clothes. I wanted to EAT THE PAGES I loved it so much.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don’t know- lots. I liked Sylvan Esso a bunch. Also that Lemonade song by Danity Kane was sort of my jam for a while. I am sinking in to the new D’Angelo. FKA Twigs. Just, lots.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Lunchbox got me squarely in my innards.
29. What did you do on your birthday?
Not much on my actual birthday, but right around then, I took a trip to New York. I cannot even tell you how it made me feel. After the hellish festival of horrible that was 2013, I had been feeling better all year, bit by bit, but right around my birthday was the tipping point in my year where I needed a balls out fantastic time to remember myself fully. My beloved pal Maddie plus my beloved NYC made it happen. The. Best. Time. Sewed up my soul.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The other day I was at a meeting and we had to go around the table and, as an ice breaker, tell the group an interest we have outside of work. One person, clearly a for reals genius, said “sleep.” I was so taken with this person and this answer that I sort of stared at them for a minute. THIS IS A PERFECT ANSWER. I think she thought I was mean-mugging her, I was looking so thunderstruck. Anyway, to answer this question: more sleep.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I love apparel. This year my fashion concept stayed much the same (I am choosy as a Jiffy-choosing mom when it comes to fashion) but I did expand my repertoire a bit. Like for instance, pants. I branched out into pants! This is a huge broadening of horizon for me. 2014! The year I joined The SIsterhood of the Wearing of Pants!
32. What kept you sane?
My guy. Or maybe he kept me insane. One of those.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I spent an inordinate amount of time contemplating the Kardashians. I have theories upon theories about them. I feel like a Kardashian savant. Literally no one in my life cares about this, much the way you must feel right now.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Events in Ferguson and all intersecting issues around it.
35. Who did you miss?
My dad.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I met another blog friend- this time it was Aine from the UK, who swung through Seattle and contacted me to say hello. She was a frigging delight.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Healing takes time and patience, and some things can never heal, but instead may just change. Sounds trite, but it’s true.
38. A song lyric that sums up your year.

Breakfast, by Kelis:

Sometimes it’s just so dark/And I can’t see past my hand
But you’re solid as a rock/You’re everything I love
And I done all that I can/You told me still stand
When it’s said and done/I am just what I am

So much of who we are/Is from who taught us how to love
So much of who we are/Is from who first taught us how to love

This is the real thing
The real thing about us
Welcome to the world

Happy New Year, everyone. Love to you in 2015.

One thousand blah blahs

A few posts ago, I got a little alert telling me that I had successfully posted one thousand times. Whoo! I typed out mil blah blahs! I certainly have never had any claim on quality around these parts, but I have stuck with writing (and I use that term as loosely as is humanly possible) posts for a long time, which is something, I guess. There have been lots of times that I have questioned why the heck I keep doing this, when most of the blogging community that I had found when I first started have all quit (and like, literally, they have almost allllll quit, and I have such fond memories of them and I miss reading them even now). I loved that community. It was so cool to meet people in blogland, and there are folks who I met from that in real life that I consider lifelong pals now, but of those, I can only think of two that still blog. So if not to exchange blah blahs with that community, then what? I have always had a very disconnected idea about who was following my blog; I am not one for looking at blog stats or numbers of followers, so it all seems a bit hazy to me. I feel like there are probably three people out there reading regularly at any given time, but that never bothered me none. So if not to gain followers, and if not to be part of a community, and if not to churn out quality, then what? The longer I do this, the less the external particulars matter. Which is akin to the way I feel about life in general, come to think of it. The older we get, the more we understand how little we know in terms of particulars, but there’s wisdom in that not knowing somewhere, even if it’s just wisdom about our own ignorance. Oy, papi, look at me trying to get hella deep! I promise you I have not been huffing a doobie.

Anyway. One thousand times, I’ve written a little message and thrown it out into nothingness. A very few times, those messages ping with someone and they send me a little message back via a comment. Even more rare, the message hits someone, they comment, or email, and out of that grows a friendship. But by far, most of the time, my little messages just get hurled out there and I never see them land anywhere with anyone. Like a bottomless pit or those freaky scenes in “Gravity,” they just go out, and disappear, and for all I know they just float sleepily with no readerly eyeballs to nudge them awake. To me, the landing of these posts is not a given, but I just keep lobbing. To throw, without expectation of a catch on the other end, is a muscle that is important to me, I guess. A thousand times over, at least.