Sunday, January 22, 2017

Million Women March

Yesterday I marched on Washington. 

I, along with what felt like a million other people peacefully walked the streets of our nation's capitol taking our first steps in what will be the longest walk of my life. We are in for a constant battle against our new/current administration, and this past week of attending my first ever rally and my first ever protest march offered me the first moments of relief since TinyHands was elected President. I felt inspired instead of defeated. I felt a tiny morsel of hope. And I felt grateful to be surrounded by people who felt the same. 

I just read a blog post by a woman named Chi Nguyen who attended the march and rally in DC yesterday as well. She writes about how disappointed she was that so many people were disrespectful during the rally. How angry and hurt she feels that the attendees gave the impression that they only cared to hear from the white presenters. And you know what? She isn't wrong.

My friends and I braved the masses and somehow, by the grace of accidental turns, we found ourselves at the rally. At the very back of the rally, but at the rally nonetheless. We missed the first couple hours, and we were almost all the way at the back - seemingly miles away from the stage - and as far away from one of the jumbotron monitors as we could have been without touching the one behind us, but we were there. Unfortunately this meant we were equally far from the speakers, so hearing what was being said was difficult.

The first few chants of "March! March! March!" came during breaks between speakers and I joyfully joined in. I was eager to move - eager to march - inspired by the energy of the day and wanting to expel it in a way beyond just standing still. I am embarrassed and ashamed to say that I also joined in on the chants during a few speakers as well.  It was over an hour and 15 minutes passed the time when the marching was supposed to have taken place, and the people behind me could hear even less than we could so I understand the frustration of non-movement, but today I realize how inappropriate and rude we were, and I am sorry for the handful of "MARCH!" es I added to the mix. 

When Janelle Monae came out to speak, I was excited (I JUST saw Hidden Figures - see it at once) but had an almost impossible time hearing her speech.  When she started her song I understood that she was talking about all of the lives lost to unspeakable police brutality.  By this point in the rally the masses in front of us had grown restless and turned around.  I am so thankful to my friends who stayed firmly planted facing forward - so I followed suite.  During her song, the names of each individual were chanted by their family member and we yelled "say his/her name!" in unison.  A woman in front of us, clearly ready to leave the confined non-moving area asked what was happening and my friend explained to her why we were yelling back at the stage.  To me, this was the moment I really realized how big this movement needs to be. We ALL have to be on board.  

As a white woman I work hard to be open, thoughtful, aware, and woke.  But I fail sometimes.   

I've been having a lot of conversations since the election about how I don't understand how people voted for TinyHands.  I especially don't understand how women could have voted for him.  And I will never understand how women who are my age thought he was a better choice.  I have been talking at length about how we can work to educate and make these supporters aware of how dangerous he is.  How we can educate and awaken them.  And today, on the train ride back from DC to NYC, while reading Ms. Nguyen's post I realized that I need to educate and awoke myself.  I need to listen more.  Be an active participant in the Black Lives Matter movement.  I need to be educated enough so that the next time someone doesn't understand why we are asking Trayvon Martin's mother to "say his name" again, I can be the one to speak up and educate them.  I need to be more patient.  I need to be better.   

A friend's poster at the march read "We all do better when we ALL do better".  At the time I was just thinking men/women, republican/democrat - but it's bigger than that.  Women can't march in unison if we are not united.  We cannot fight only half of a battle.  We cannot demand equality with men, if we do not respect each other to be equal amongst ourselves.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Life changes.

I once read somewhere that you should never do more than one major life change at a time. That it is too hard.  Too much.  Too overwhelming.

This past month I found myself unemployed (major life change), single once again (another life change) and about to turn 35 (which I understand doesn't really qualify as a life change, but fuck you I'm unemployed, single and about to be 35 so I am going to count it) and it is a lot.  But honestly, I can't say that any of this would be easier just one at a time.  I say if you're going to shake things up do it all at once and then collect the pieces as they fall.  At least, that's what I'm saying now as I collect what's left of my dignity and try to sweep it into a pile that somewhat resembles a human adult.

I have had a full time job almost my entire adult life.  Finding myself with free time during the work day has been incredibly hard.  I don't know what to do with myself - and yet, I've been unreasonably busy.   The thing I've lost that caught me most off guard is losing my sense of time.  If it's not written down in my day planner I honestly cannot tell you when something happened.  Pre-unemployment or post... those are the time keepers now.  Also, do you know how many people don't work during the week?  SO. MANY.  My lazy little dog who has no interest in going for walks has been getting so many walks because #Iain'tGotaJob and there are a million people who just aimlessly trot around during the day.  How are they paying their rent?

Being single again seems the easiest of changes because it's something I'm used to.  I'm actually good at it.  I like being able to go to bed whenever I want, eat on my schedule, and only drink on Wednesdays - the Lord's drinking day.  I am sad and grieving the loss of what I had hoped was there, really sad actually.  But I am a good single person.  I like myself and I like my life.  So while going to weddings alone sucks, I happen to be a pro at it.  And you can drink for free at weddings, even if they're not on a Wednesday.

And 35.  I knew you were coming.  Like an curmudgen-y knight on a lame horse I've watched you amble toward me for a long time.  And while I'm not happy you're only three sleeps away from me, I have accepted the inevitable.  So what if I live in Queens in a fourth floor walk up?  So what if I have a roommate who shreds more magazines in a month than you will ever read in a year?  So what if I have to cobble together an income?  So what if I have a tiny dog who hides under an armoire when I cry? My life is what it is and I am going to be okay.

You hear that stupid cluster of life changes?  I am going to be okay.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Order for Pick UP

You know that episode of Sex in the City when Miranda orders Chinese food and the guy makes fun of her for ordering the same thing she always ordered, so she yells at him for laughing?  And then later she chokes on a piece of chicken and freaks out about the potential of dying alone in her apartment and her cat eating her dead body? I remember watching that episode from my sheltered mid-western life and thinking it was so hilarious.  

I don't think it's very funny anymore. 

There's a sushi place across the street from my apartment. I am not a huge sushi person but there are a few rolls that I love; sweet potato roll with no eel sauce and an Avocado roll with peanut. I occasionally get edamame to spice things up. But only when I'm really hungry.  Last night i called, gave my number for an "order for pick-up", and then ordered my old stand by rolls.  She actually, out loud laughed at me.  "Same as usual, then?"  Uh, yeah.  Same as usual.  

Also, if whatever I ordered last time and the time before that and the time before that comes up on your screen once you type in my phone number and you see that it is EXACTLY the same order everytime, why make me say out loud that I'd like to continue the monotony?  Why must I say out loud the words "no eel sauce" when you can see damn well that I don't want any.  

Now, she has made comments before about the boring repetition of my orders - but only ever upon pick-up.  And since she does so between compliments or questions about my tiny dog, then I'm usually more amenable to her judgement.  But to openly mock me while I'm ordering crosses a line. 

Is this a line that I will never cross again?  Probably not.  But still.  It's the principle of the matter and I will boycott for as long as I can.  So, TJs - you're out a customer at least until November. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Poison Ivy

I got poison ivy on my face. Nearly healed and dwindled down to soft red splotches on my cheeks and jaw line, but last week i was not so lucky.  Last week I looked like a leper- or like i had peeling psoriasis all over my face. Neither are a fun option when you live where I live. On the train i could feel people staring. Half of them were trying to figure out what was wrong and the other half just trying to get further away from me in case it was contagious.

The saddest part of this is that this is not the first time I've had poison ivy on my face. Not the second or even the third. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson. 

The summer I adopted my dog I took her up north and she was playing in woods that were poison ivy ridden. I washed my hands like crazy that week - but never thought to wash her. I got PI all over my nose. Big itchy blisters on the tip of my nose. It was super un-awesome.  

My last or second to last year of being a camp counselor I got Poison Sumac on my face. All over my face. It was bad. I looked like a burn victim. I looked like I was wearing a mask of dead schluffy skin.  I had to get multiple steroid shots in my ass that month before it cleared up.  I remember feeling so bad for the parents of the campers who had to try to pretend like they weren't worried or staring as they dropped their daughters off for two weeks of living with the Phantom of the Opera.  

Now please excuse me while I go scrub my face with poison to kill the poison. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

No. I don't like that.

I had an early morning rehearsal last saturday and I stayed out drinking on Friday night. Gone are the days when I could roll out of bed after a night of boozing and still look like a non-zombie. Surprisingly i got to rehearsal before my cast mates and like anyone with a hangover can tell you was craving a sausage egg and cheese sandwich. I went on the hunt for a deli. Much to my wobbly legged delight, there was one on the corner but standing just outside the door was a man. Seemingly normal- probably mid 40's and maybe 6 feet tall. He saw me coming and opened his mouth to leer openly at me. When I got closer he made some disgusting noises and said something along the line of "yeeeeeeeah gimmmme sum a that". 

I am a strong independent and fierce 34 year old woman. And this gross man creeped me out so bad that I shirked away and didn't actually go inside. I made a face of disgust and fear at this man and walked to the end of the block. I turned back and got my sandwich (that didn't have sausage btw and was not satisfying at all). 

I am so disappointed in my reaction to this man. I am constantly aware that creepy crazies can get dangerous at any moment so sadly. We always have to be cautious. But doing nothing? Making a face and running away? This man wins. 

I told some of the girls about what happened and was so sad that all of us have had similar encounters so often that we couldn't decide which stories to share. And all of us came up lacking with appropriate and semi-helpful comebacks.

One gal though said that her sister had taken a self defense class. In this class they had to practice a lot of things- but the most practical was saying very loudly "No. I don't like that." All the time. Someone touches you at a club? No. I don't like that. Someone catcalls you from their car? "No. I don't like that." Someone leers and looms at you outside a deli at 8am on a Saturday morning? "No. I don't like that." 

I love this idea. The trick apparently is saying it loud enough that other people hear and turn to look. The point is to say NO. The point is to safely take back control of your personal space. The side benefit is the hoped for embarrassment for said creep when his nastiness isn't ignored in silence. No more shrinking away with discomfort. 

"No. I don't like that." Not one bit. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

ALIAS over-load

Last night I dreamt that Jennifer Garner and I improvised a song together. A song about putting my phone in a bowl of rice. (I had dropped my phone in a lake.)  

 This dream told me a few things:  
  1. My rhyming game is getting way better. Three years ago if I was able to set up a rhyme in a song that didn't end with an "ay" it would most likely have been an accident.  
  2. I should get insurance from Verizon -just in case I do in fact drop my phone in a lake.  
  3. I have been watching too much ALIAS. I have only binge watched a few shows in my life but over the course of the last week I watched seasons one thru three of ALIAS.  
Shortly after I saw Legally Blonde on Broadway, they aired it on MTV. My roommate and I tivo-ed it and I must have watched it a dozen times. I also listened to the soundtrack on repeat for months. FOR MONTHS; In the car, at home, on the treadmill - I "oh-my-god, oh-my-god-you guys" thru all parts of my life. When the music permeated my dreams I knew it was time to take a break. 

So, Sydney Bristow - we shall meet again, but for now I'm just going to Wikipedia how your story wraps up and join you again another time. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I left for a work a little earlier than normal today.  The only nice thing about that is that the trains are less crowded and fewer people are on the platforms. As the doors were opening on my train an older white man literally shoulder checked me to enter the train first.  Normally this would irritate me, but as I was carrying my dog and she was also aggressively jostled, I was really irritated.

How dare this mussed and too skinny man shove his way into the half empty train car before me when I WAS HERE FIRST!  There was another man waiting for our doors and he and I locked eyes after I was checked out of the way and he was also clearly bothered by it as well.

Neither of us said a thing.

This man, I shall call him THE MAN, raced to an open seat and shoved his way into it.  Uneccessarily so as THE MAN was very thin and could have easily fit into the open seat without bothering the people on either side of him.  I sent my angriest stares at THE MAN and now am so glad I was glaring because I watched him pull a notebook out of his breast pocket, stare at his watch for what felt like eternity and then furiously start writing.

Because I am nosy and because THE MAN made me mad, I got closer and snooped.  This notebook was filled with times.  At the top of each page (and I know this because as we moved along and he finished his entries he flipped back thru the pages of not just one but two of these pocket-sized notebooks, the words "I left..." were written.  I assume from watching him check his watch every stop and write the time down that THE MAN needs to keep obsessive track of the time and how long everything takes.

What a terrible life that must be.

How do you get to a point in your life where the only solution to what ales you is to shove strangers our of your way and write a million numbers and times in a tiny DuaneReade notebook?

It took us 19 minutes and 27 seconds to get into Grand Central Station.  Now get out of my way, I need to get off the train.