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Digesting Some Thoughts on the Election

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I got the news as I was out shopping for birthday gifts for my niece. I had just pulled into a Mobil station to get gas and a Wild Cherry Pepsi. My phone dinged with a new email. It was from Rolling Stone magazine. "Joe Biden is the President-Elect" read the headline. Immediately, I felt like a weight (a racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist/xenophobic/misogynistic/climate change-denying weight) had been lifted from my shoulders. I finished filling my tank and headed inside to grab my Pepsi. I don't drink coffee but I was in need of some caffeine. There was no one inside except the clerk. Suddenly, I became Mrs. Extrovert. "How are you?!" I asked. Then, when I was checking out: "I love your nail polish!"  Back in my car, a scene from Toy Story 2 popped into my head. Remember the flight attendant Barbie in the post-credits scene? I posted a meme of Barbie saying "Buh Bye Now" on Facebook with no caption. On my way to my next stop, I called my

My visit to the Twilight Zone - er, Oklahoma

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Now that I've laid bare my angst over remote learning, let's chat about my wacky trip to Oklahoma. Is it a weird time to travel? Yes. Did I go anyway? Also yes. My youngest sister and her family already had COVID so visiting them didn't feel super risky (to either party). I was also visiting my mom and stad, which was certainly scarier. They confirmed that they definitely wanted me to come, with my mom saying, "Well, you gotta drop dead sometime." I think we've all developed this sort of gallows humor now.  I boarded a flight at the crack of dawn on October 21st, "enjoyed" an extended layover in Denver, and then arrived in Oklahoma City by mid-afternoon. My flights were fine (it's nice that Southwest is keeping middle seats open at the moment), though I definitely developed a new appreciation for people who have to wear a mask all day at jobs and such. When I landed in OK, it was roughly forty degrees warmer than the weather I'd left that mor

I have been one acquainted with the night

I slept on the couch last night. I wasn't mad at my husband. It wasn't because he snores (he does, but so do I). More and more, I find myself up at night. I go to bed at a reasonable time, and fall asleep fairly easily thanks to Tylenol PM, but then my eyes pop open in the wee hours and my brain says, "Game on." Last night it reminded me about an email I'd received earlier in the day. My daughter's social studies teacher sent me a missive to let me know that my child is failing the class. As if . . . as if I didn't know. I know he's just doing his job, but still, it stung. I responded and let him know that alas, I'm well aware. I check the parent portal a few times a day. It's all there in stark terms.  Sometime after midnight, I started dwelling on that email and spiraled from there. Keep in mind that I get up at around 5 a.m. so anything after 11:00 seems late in my world. I didn't want to keep my husband up with my tossing and turning, s

Sisters in Ink

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For some time now, I've been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo in honor of my two sisters. Having sisters has always been one of the very best things about my life. I also got very lucky in that department because they are both kind, creative, funny, and smart. Beautiful, too!   I struggled to land on a design idea that fit my personal aesthetic. Finally, fish sprang to mind so I pursued that idea. I placed an ad on Fiverr and connected with a great artist who understood what I was trying to do. She was fabulous to work with.  Now, I know some of my friends and relatives will shine a frowny face in my direction, not because they disapprove of tattoos but rather because I got one during a pandemic. I can assure one and all that extremely strict protocols were followed and that it was no different than a doctor's appointment - in my mind, anyway. Getting my new tattoo was considerably less, um, invasive than my recent visit to my gynecologist.  So, here 'tis. The fishi

Rx: Toes in sand, stat

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I want to start this little blog post by saying how truly humbled I was by the support I received after my last post . I feel like my spirit has been buoyed by those around me, and I have been particularly grateful for my faith community. My friend Annette (a fellow Unitarian Universalist) sent me a wonderful letter in the mail (a real live letter!) She closed it by saying: "Just hold on to the love that all of us feel for you. We will hold you up until you are ready to stand on your own." Wow wow wow.  It's not easy to admit that your mental health has been in shambles, but I've felt nothing but support from friends and family alike. I'm feeling sturdier every day.  Gaston ("My, what a guy, that Gaston!") is around four months old now. He's an absolute lunatic who is determined to use up most of his nine lives before his first birthday. The little dude is fearless. He'll jump into a kitchen sink full of knives and then climb the nearest window

The one where my worst fear came true and I tried to fix it with a kitten

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My daughter got her hair cut last week. The appointment was supposed to be for my hair but I gave the time slot to her. Mindy, our kind and beautiful stylist, cut off about 5 inches. My daughter's hair is thick and curly and amazing. When she asks me to pull her hair into a ponytail, it's all I can do to get the elastic around those combative curls. When I twirled her hair into an updo for her recent prom adventure , I actually broke a sweat from the sheer force it took to get all of those bobby pins in place. Later that day, after her haircut, my daughter said, "I like my hair a little shorter like this. I feel like it makes me look a little older and more mature." I must have hesitated for the briefest of seconds. The corners of her mouth turn slightly downward. "You don't like it," she said. "Oh!" I quickly responded. "No, I love it! Your hair looks beautiful." I had hesitated because the first thought that popped into my m

Taking back what was lost

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COVID-19 has taken so much from so many. I don't even know how to articulate that without it sounding like a massive understatement. On a global scale, the virus is cutting a catastrophic swath, of course. On a smaller scale, it leaves countless disappointments in its wake. Sometimes I think about some of the major historical events of my lifetime: the Challenger explosion, the fall of the Berlin wall, the attempted assassination of President Reagan, 9/11, and so many others. COVID-19 seems to eclipse them all, and I can only hope that the future holds nothing worse. I am sure it will always loom large for the younger generations. As far as disappointments go, I think I felt the most sympathy for the Class of 2020. I mean, you can say it's no big deal and that they won't dwell on what they lost, but I'm not so sure. I remember being a senior. After all those years of hard work, I was rewarded with a senior locker (at my high school the upperclassmen got bigger lockers