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?

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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.

IRCM: Travel Edition

Rekha can plan the hell out of a travel day, you guys.

I just got to go to LA with her. I have only been to LA a handful of times, and every time, before I go, I think, “I am probably not going to like this.” LA seems like the kind of place I wouldn’t be into: I don’t like cars and driving very much, really hate strip malls, and although I do love the sun, I can only be out in it for a few minutes at a time without more or less bursting into flames.

But you know what? LA is awesome. It’s strange and silly, and even the strip malls are filled with cool shit. Rekha planned the itinerary below.

Santa Monica Pier

 

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Photo taken from atop the ferris wheel, natch.

A good example of the FABULOUS CHEESINESS that is the greater LA area. I love a ridiculous miniature amusement park in any setting, but put it on a beach and I am SO in.

 

Also it was 90 degrees the day we were there, so it it was nice to stick our feet in the water after wandering the pier.

Also it is possible that my family discovered that this pier is lousy with Pokemon.

 

The Gettygetty

Whoa this place is awesome.

First of all, it’s FREE (what??) except for parking. We didn’t even make it to the amazing art collections – there’s a beautiful garden, a sculpture park, great views, lots of fancy architecture.

Next time I go to LA, this place is getting a full day.

 

Griffith Park Observatoryimg_4632

LOOK AT THIS SCIENCE EXHIBIT. Behold, for it is a timeline of the universe displayed in BROOCHES AND OTHER COSTUME JEWELRY.

LA IS AWESOME CASE CLOSED.

 

And in that way, it is very similar to Rekha.

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Hooray for Hollywoo

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)

International Rekha Celebration DAY!!!

WOO HOO IT’S HERE, THE DAY WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! REKHA’S ACTUAL BIRTHDAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I missed a couple of days of posting, so here are some Rekha facts to get caught up:

  1. Rekha is really good at getting rid of stuff, and her home always looks lovely and feels orderly as a result. I read Marie Kondo’s book, but when I’m trying to decide whether or not to get rid of something, I ask myself if Rekha would keep it around.
  2. Rekha understands why Sister Wives is a good and important television program.
    sister-wives

    Sister Wives: We have hands

    (Speaking of which: WHATTT??? I gotta get caught up on my SW news.)

  3. Girl has kind of a crazy job – like one of those jobs that asks you to do about 20% more than you possibly could. (20% is an underestimate really.) BUT she still manages to conduct herself as a person, rather than the walking stressball I would be if I were her.

So! Hey! Birthdayyyy!!!!

I know lots of y’all have been reading this blog for a while. Maybe today leave a comment with a reason why? I’m sure you’ve got a million of them!

Happy birthday, Rekha. I sure am lucky to know you, and excited to continue the celebration of you all month long.

 

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.

IRCM: More about my stuff than I intended

I don’t fully remember exactly how Rekha and I became friends – it was a gradual process through which she changed from someone I admired from afar to someone I admired from a lot closer up.

I do know that she made it happen – I am kind of crap at making new friends, although it’s something I continue to work on. I have always been SUPER shy, although now, after decades of practice, I can do a pretty good impersonation of a not-shy person. To the extent that people who’ve known me for a shorter time  are often surprised to hear that I’m an introvert. (It’s because I now talk too much, to compensate. Middle ground, very elusive!) But the place where my shyness especially still lingers  is in forming new friendships.

Anyway! This post is about Rekha, not my neurosis. The point is, she put in some legwork and started inviting me to stuff, and over to her house, and for walks, and before I knew it we were friends. Rekha is the kind of person who puts herself out there. People like that are kind of scarce.

IRCM: Fashionings

Rekha has mad fashion sense, and is known throughout our workplace as a fashion leader. Granted, we work in libraries, and sometimes the bar is not that high. BUT STILL. SHE LEAPS OVER IT. On the rare days I don’t see Rekha at work, I wonder what outfit I missed.

Obviously I also miss her delightful personality. But I’m in it, like, 20% for the shoes.