There are no jobs on a dead planet

Well, another week and another round of the accustomed shock in reaction to the current administration. We can all assume at this point that our president is going to dismantle any policy that doesn’t directly bring America (or more specifically, “his people”) monetary gains. You know, because it’s only important that we work to become the most rich and powerful—to hell with the future generations.

I just do not understand. Well, maybe I do, but I don’t want to. How can our leaders choose corporate kickbacks and financial gains over the future of our planet? Do we really have a party that exists to deny science and essentially MOE (money over everything) it up in our government? It definitely appears so. Message for all of those narrow-minded, not-working-for-the-people jack-wagons working in our government, seated in the pockets of Trump’s made-in-China suits: Money cannot buy you a clean planet and THERE ARE NO JOBS ON A DEAD ONE.

I heard the address Trump made when he declared the U.S. was abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement. It was a whole lot of excuses. “The people in other countries around the world were cheering after we signed the agreement, because they were so happy they could take more of our jobs”—You kidding me? We have now joined Syria and Nicaragua as being the ONLY three countries not a part of the Paris Agreement. Were those—two—the countries applauding us because they would have something to gain from our agreement? Or was it all of the countries because I’m pretty sure they were applauding the fact that the agreement would ensure a global dedication to a sustainable future.

I heard Trump complain about the agreement’s impact on American workers and the threat that the agreement would send more jobs overseas. Pathetic. I am SOOOO tired about hearing about the jobs issue. You talk to those coal miners in the Pennsylvania whom Trump was promising to bring back jobs for. He hasn’t and I don’t see how he himself can. It is not in Trump’s power (or is it?) to tell power plants what energy to use. Fact is, more power plants have adapted to other sources of energy instead of coal (as they should). To bring miners their jobs back, maybe those companies should be expanding their realm of energy to other sources such as wind-power, waterpower, and solar. Also, those miners are likely to lose their health benefits under Trump’s healthcare repeal.

It’s painfully comedic to me to see these things happen and not even feel bad for those people that believed in his campaign; those people that actually thought that Trump would work for them. I think of the woman who voted for Trump because she wanted immigration reform. And then she was shocked that ICE arrested and deported her husband (whom of which was an illegal immigrant), saying that she thought Trump would only deport criminals. Well lady, under law, your husband is a criminal. It’s sad, I feel terrible for her family that now is torn apart, but the irony is worth noting.

I am still calling my senators and my representatives–asking that they consider the facts backed by science; asking that they see through the lies of our president; asking that they they work for the people and not for their pocketbooks.

I could seriously go on and on about how fucked up this state of affairs is. For that, I am going to keep this short. As I feel my point has been clearly made again and again throughout my blog that I am disheartened by the current state of affairs. I really hope that we can get an objective investigation into the Russian hacking ordeal and some more transparency in our government. Right now, I’m afraid we are in for a long, long term of lying, propaganda, ignorance, and entitlement. It’s getting old—already. The only good thing to come out of this mess is SNL. There are some people I am OK with making money at the expense of the taxpayers—not the politicians—the comedians.

 

Stay woke, people.

 

Image Credit: Union of Concerned Scientists

Forming a Political Backbone

Watch out, I’m honing my political compass!

This past election has stirred a dormant, but passionate, activism within me.  I am disgusted with myself that I haven’t been politically active sooner (Although, I can say that I have voted in ever primary election I was able).  I am shocked everyday (but not so much anymore) by what I am seeing out of D.C. and Commander-in-Chief Dumbass.  So, I’ve been getting to work in my downtime (which is unfortunately few and far between) harassing my senators, our governor, and attending as many marches as I can.  In fact, I’ll even be going to a march in D.C. in a couple of weeks!

IMG_20170121_121101984-ANIMATION
Women’s March.  Des Moines, IA

I’m struggling with the feeling of retro activism–that by this point, there is little we can do but hold on for the ride.  I feel discouraged by what I hear on the news everyday but I will keep persisting nonetheless.  I am a stubborn woman, and this is not an exception.

I’ve been sending e-mails, leaving voicemails, typing up things that I should be sending into the opinion sections of local papers..  At work, I have been an advocate for programs like Meals on Wheels and Section 8 housing–I see programs like these keep people in their homes and out of the hospital everyday.  But the Trump Administration would have us believe that these programs are not working and are too expensive.  Well, simple math, one day in the hospital for a senior on medicare is waaaaaaay more costly to the taxpayer than a $9 meal and <$20 for rent each day.

I’ve digressed a bit.  I am equally passionate about what I do for work, though.

Email 6 of 7:

Senator Joni Ernst,
I would like to offer you some advice, in contrast to that of our president—IF the senators of Iowa choose to approve the President’s new American Health Care act to replace the Affordable Care Act, without seeking revisions, I will do my upmost to ensure that you, and your fellow senator representing the people of this state, are not re-elected.
In addition to my fears of losing medical care for our most vulnerable, I am in great free of the President’s plan to defund programs such as Meals on Wheels. Please, show the President local statistics that disprove his assertion that these programs have no benefit.. This program keeps our seniors in their homes, and out of nursing facilities, healthy, and out of hospitals, and connected with people in our community who check in on them and will direct them to other various resources as needed.
Senator Ernst, I have no problem paying taxes to pay for the care of the proportions of our most vulnerable. I do, however, have a problem paying taxes paying for the salaries of our elected officials who are not standing up to this circus President.
Thank you for your time,

In closing, I am a happy progressive.  And the more I think about what it means to other people (bleeding-heart-liberal, hippy, uninformed, etc.) and to me (forward-thinking, open-minded, all-inclusive) the more I see how deeply divided we as a people are.  We have those that want “the good old days” back.  And those, like me, who see “the good old days” and cringe.  Which is why I’ve been saying how irrevocably cyclical history is.  Can the cycle be broken?

Perfume Commercials

Nothing frustrates or confuses me more than fragrance advertising.

Seriously.

Now I think I have a renewed distaste for the holiday season.  I am so damn tired of seeing these sexualized, vague, and celebrity-riddled perfume commercials.  I don’t understand the allure they bring when all I can do is spend the entire commercial guessing what it’s advertising.  And perfume commercials are always hard to call! There’s one they have featuring Julie Roberts. It begins with her walking away from a group of people and “pushing” through 3 walls until there’s the Eiffel tower in the background. Then, in a sultry french accent, it says something something about life being beautiful. Like, what the fuck just happened? What does all of this have to do with smelling a certain way? Does perfume make life beautiful?

There’s another I’ve been seeing more frequently with Johnny Depp in it. He basically looks like Jack Sparrow, but without the pirate hat and dreads, in a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-type setting. He pulls his car over and digs a hole and then the sun sets. Again, what the fuck did I watch? How is this in any way relevant to a fragrance? These companies are really grasping for straws it seems. Or do people solely buy this product because of a celebrity endorsement? Ugh.

But the absolute worse are the ones that are super sexualized. Dolce & Gabbana are the notorious frequent offenders in this category! Anytime I see a commercial with a scantily clad couple, giving each other looks but not talking, whilst some deep crooner with an Italian accent seductively sings in the background, I assume it’s a Dolce & Gabbana fragrance advertisement.

I think I am generally really bothered by perfume advertisements because they are so clearly sexualizing, womanizing, male dominating, and “rape culture-ific”. I can’t remember what class it was in college, but during one of them, we dedicated 6-10 hours of class time just to discussing and analyzing rape culture perpetrated by the media. And no where is this perpetration more loud and clear than when it comes to fragrance commercials.

End rant.

 

“You don’t know what you got–til it’s gone”

The title of this post alludes to having to do with a sensitive matter.  A longing for something that is no longer present.  With the cold, has come a nostalgia for something I have lost.

My long hair.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally enjoying the easy hair styling that comes with short hair (now I can dedicate more of my time to make-up, whereas before, it was reversed). But there’s something wholesome about having long hair. I wore it like a trophy.  I was proud of it (even if my ends were VERY damaged). But I took it for granted–like I always do.

I was looking at some old pictures capturing the many different styles I’ve embraced over the years.. Hippy-chic, rock girl, lazy college student, athletic, etc. But something seems to have remained a constant for me.. I’ve always had long hair.  Now that it’s cold, I miss it even more than losing the hassle of tangles and care.

So here’s a little throwback in honor of my long locks.  And a little trip down memory lane.

I used to joke about growing my hair long enough to wear it.  That I’d tie a string around my hair beneath my chest, to keep my hair in place and to cover up the lady bits, as to make a “hair halter top”. I don’t know that I will ever be that bold, even in joking..  But I sure hope Sylvia can let this mama enjoy having long hair again.  Even if I am only able to wear it down every once in a blue moon.

Then I’ll have to buy a “Long hair, don’t care” shirt.
(sighhhh)

When the Unimaginable is Inevitable

Well, looks like come January, we’re going on a little trip through the twilight zone.. destination 1950-something.

Like more than half the country, I am very disheartened at the results of this election. At this point, it is very likely that the first president Sylvia will remember will be Donald Trump—a man that has incited violence, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and mocked disabilities. And I say “likely” because his track record makes him a great candidate for impeachment or a forced early resignation because of business conflicts, because of unethical ideologies, etc., etc. Is it too soon to hope?

I am still reeling on how to even handle this outcome. I’ve been moping around the past couple weeks and I know I need to find post-election peace but I’m not sure how. Before, I joked that I would “conscientiously object” his presidency and we’d move out of the country. But that’s entirely unrealistic, as natural as that response comes. (Fight or flight is an alive and well phenomenon, yo). Besides, where does that leave our country? Without balance and full of the very people that elected him—Without tolerance and with prejudice—Without love and full of hate.

So I will stay and I will worry but I will voice my resistance for anything but modern and progressive ideologies.

 

I don’t think Trump, his platform, his policies, or anything he’s said warrants me to give him any benefit of doubt. I hear people say, “Give it a chance”, “He won’t be able to do everything he says he will”, “He’s just being personable—not a politician”. I’m not buying any of it. He’s failed to even try to be presidential. He’s spewed racist, xenophobic, misogynist, ethnocentric, and homophobic rhetoric his whole campaign. Can you imagine if this election were an actual job interview? The hiring manager would’ve laughed in his face and turned him right out the door. But apparently we have a huge double standard in our society. One that allows people with power to do and say whatever the hell they want.

 

I am left with more questions than answers.. What am I going to tell my children? How are parents able to find exceptions, for our president, to the rules and norms that we teach our children? What were the deciding factors in people’s voting? To what end are people able to justify the actions of our now president-elect? What is going to happen to all of the citizens in this country that are not white, upperclass, and male? What does this all mean for foreign policy?

It’s not surprising that there’s recently been the largest uptick in racially fueled crime since 9/11. Not to me anyway. But this is just the beginning. DJT hasn’t even taken seat as president and already, as he picks his cabinet members, I am disheartened. The worse is absolutely yet to come.

I find peace in knowing that I am my own person. I am pro-choice, pro-LGBT, pro BLM, pro equality in general. I’m anti-intolerance. And I don’t condone his behavior, his policies, anything really—about him and I doubt ever will. I haven’t yet seen any silver lining and I don’t anticipate that I will if I haven’t already. I’m building a network with other like-minded people I know and I’m definitely relieved that I am not alone.

I’m getting together a resources stockpile (with a little help from my friends) to help to empower myself in the hopes of not giving up on my moral compass and feeling powerless to do anything. If you too are feeling helpless to do anything in light of the recent election, I urge you to take a look and take even a silent protest by not shopping at Hobby Lobby or the like.

https://www.thedjtr.com

https://itsgoingdown.org/trumptheregime-resources-ongoing-resistance-trump-far-right/

http://www.stophatedumptrump.com

https://mic.com/articles/159147/boycott-alert-here-are-companies-and-executives-that-supported-donald-trump#.enPyVakQp

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/11/how-should-trump-protesters-organize-themselves.html

Trump-spiracy Theories

I’m convinced that the racist Cheeto has some agenda other than a quest for presidency, and thereby world domination. And honestly, some lame quest this is. What other candidate could get away with this kind of publicity? This infamy? Historically, none. Futuristically, well, I can only hope it won’t happen again. I try and solve this puzzle all the time. I’ll be honest, I probably think about it more than I should. And I’ve lost respect for a lot of midguided, ignorant, bull well-intended fellow citizens of mine. You might mean well, but I can’t tell.

I have formed a number of theories as to why a man with great success in his career as a business mogul might try to expand his niche to one he’s got no experience with. Drum roll please..

1. He’s bored. Let’s be honest, a man born into that kind of money doesn’t want for anything. He’s had his hand in a lot of buckets over the years—reality TV, pageants, books, casinos, etc. He’s a socialite, I don’t care his gender, and it’s the right way to describe him. Prior to 2012, he was becoming non-existent in the mainstream media. He had already peaked and was headed down from the climax in his life. Most men would retire happy with the kind of achievements and wealth Trump has amassed. But it’s not good enough for a man that has everything. Trump has the name, he’s had the publicity (good or bad), and all he needed to do was align himself with some die-hard ‘mericans. Not a problem for a man with a reputation in reality television.

2. He’s the ultimate troll. Well, he is. But I’m referring to trolling the Republican Party so damn well as to assure Hillary wins in a landslide. I think back to things I’ve read from the 90’s about how Trump loved the Clintons and considered them to be some of his closest political allies. Not to mention how Trump loves pointing out that Hillary has avoided fixing tax loopholes during her time as a senator (not that she alone has the power to do so, but that’s Trump’s thought at least) to benefit the very wealthy like Trump. Not a clear connection, I know, but both are/were part of the powerful elite in New York and no doubt about it they spent a lot of time getting to know one another.

3. Someone and so many stroked his ego too hard. I think Trump confided in some hooty-dooty friend or business partner of his, over some drinks and hors d’oeuvres, “Our country is going to shit. I could do a better job. I make millions and I could do it for America. Everyone loves me. I’d be the best president, ever.” And this friend of his had to have said “Oh hell yeah you’d do a better job. President Trump has a ring to it like that of the liberty bell.” And a dream was born.

4. He’s promoting his book. My husband mentioned this early on in the campaign season. Apparently, he campaigned a little in 2012 and he had also just released a book. And apparently, he used the publicity to promote the book and it’s sales did pretty well. I’m still not sure why a man with so much money would spend so much time to promote book sales. So, I can only thing it has something to do with the next conspiracy theory I have.

5. He’s actually broke AF. Think about it. He’s not releasing his tax returns. He’s been using a lot (last reported amount I saw was something like 300k) of his campaign donations toward personal purchases. He’s fired publicists, authors, and other people in his inner circle who try and put a dollar value on his wealth (It’s been said that the Trump brand wouldn’t retain it’s value if it were to be publicly known that he’s not as wealthy as he says he is). All public information regarding his tax returns has shown that his debt totals something like 450 million. He’s spendy and doesn’t seem to be very wise and trustworthy in his business practices. I think he’s bluffing. I think he thinks that becoming president might forgive all of his debts because who wants to be that guy that makes the POTUS repay his debts from when he was a shitty businessman? And by shitty, I mean unethical.

But my personal favorite, and the one that seems to be the most clearly true..

6. Because he can. Seriously, so many people have groomed him and have given him pass to get this far. He’s somehow played the whole politics game like his very own season of House of Cards. It’s impressive; I’ll give him that. But it’s not because of his incredible knack for politics. It’s because of the RNC’s incredible “stup-ability” to choose a household name over credible candidates.

 

It’s frankly frightening that it’s gotten this bad. But..

 

This is what happens when we allow a businessman to align his ideas with some of the most racist, fearful, close-minded, dark matter in our society.

This is what happens when we downplay questionable behavior of those who should be modeling the most honorable and dependable behavior.

This is what happens when a party’s majority backs a man with absolutely no experience in politics.

You all knew it would become a shit show. Don’t act like only recently you’ve found deal-breakers.   You gave him the power to be where he is and I hope no one lets you forget that. I hope it ruins your political and personal reputation, as it should. You are not to be trusted.

And I am extremely baffled that some people are still “undecided” in this election. I sure hope your indecision is in picking between Hilary and third-party candidates. God, I sure hope so.

A-ha, I’m an Introvert

It’s actually impressive that the concept of introversion was mostly unbeknownst to me until the past couple of years. Not one time in my whole childhood, teenhood, or early adulthood did anyone suggest that my shyness, anxiety, or aversion to social situations (without alcohol in the equation) might be due—at least partly—to my being an introvert. I am happy and relieved to have an explanation for my faults now. I embrace being an introvert now. I feed my hunger for alone time and I reset a couple times a day. And I can now say that I’ve been able to all but solve my panic attack problem in doing so. But growing up, it was hard.

I grew up forced into a lot of social situations that made me really anxious. But I didn’t have an explanation and for over a decade, I struggled in school and all other social settings. Presently, I’ve been reading “Quiet” the past month or so and I have honestly never had so many “A-ha!” moments! After learning about the need for introverts to have opportunities to “re-charge” between social activities, I am saddened when I think back and realize that that never happened for me until I started cutting class in middle school. By then my anxiety had gotten so bad that bathroom breaks didn’t ease my mind anymore. Until then, I only came by some peace and quiet using the bathroom and the short 3 or so hours at home before I went to bed. It sucks to realize even more now that I am mother.

But, I don’t think parents, teachers, daycare teachers—anyone really gave any thought to the symptoms of introversion back then and making accommodations for a child. It wasn’t considered “normal” behavior. So kids were (and majority are still) forced to be social and do sports and they will eventually burn out. I know I did. It took awhile, but it happened and by then I had a whole lot more on my plate than just managing my introvert tendencies. I’m sure that’s all well-established at this point if you keep up with my blog. But I mention it so often because it has really shaped who I am. And the way I view the world. And parenting. Everything.

What was once really difficult (finding time to re-charge throughout the day) has evolved to be plentiful. But I still struggle when the holidays come around, or when I work too much. So I take caution to take care of myself more. I learn to be selfish and not overbook myself. I turn down open shifts even if I know I could wing it. I decline plans if I haven’t had a quiet night at home in a couple of days. I’ve seen the darkness of not taking care of myself and I want to do all that I can to not let myself revert back to that.

 
What I do find difficult is being able to balance being a mother, friend, wife, and worker while taking care of myself and not feeling like I’m being avoidant of my friends. I realize that I don’t spend nearly the time with them that I did a year ago and I often wonder if I’m being a piss-poor friend by keeping my down time dear to me. I know my husband struggles to understand anxiety and introversion but I do hope that he can notice the correlations between having downtime and less stress. I think it’s hard to understand for a lot of people. And probably appears like excuse behavior. But I guess fuck those people.