we’re all in this together.

umbrella

In 2006 I was at Austin City Limits music festival with my kids, the youngest of whom had turned 6 days earlier. During Tom Petty’s set it started pouring rain and G got really upset, we packed up and headed out, my tiny, frightened, child crying not-so-quietly beside me in the large crowd of people leaving the event. A woman gave her her umbrella- “it’ll be ok” she said “we’re all in this together”.

her kindness, and those words specifically, were so powerful – I can’t get enough of them.

I’m noticing them more and more. They’re even popping up in articles about preparing for Coronavirus.

Here we are, three years into caged kids, separated families, klan marches, love letters to dictators, alternative facts, fast food award lunches, judge threatening, lawlessness. And we are here in part because 17,000 people in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania forgot that we are ALL in this together and voted like they were alone.

votetogether

Maybe we can get those people back, maybe we can’t. The goal should be to reach the people alienated by those votes, by votes in years past, by gerrymandered districts, by racist voter ID laws, by purged voter rolls. We have to show them that WE know that we are all in this together.

Am I going to stop trolling the current resident of the White House on twitter? HELL NO. He stands in opposition to EVERYTHING that makes us WE.

I’m getting off track… Disney.

I was in Disney last month and even when I’m in my happy place my anxiety about the world doesn’t go away, if anything it intensifies. Surrounded by the cutest happy babies, the most cranky overtired toddlers having 6pm meltdowns, grumpy adults who missed their naps… Surrounded by tourists from all over the world who still want to spend their money and their time in our country despite everything going on here. While America is working on becoming as tribal as possible Disney is the melting pot.

aside: Unfortunately the Disney melting pot excludes the poor and less privileged. We need a living wage, universal healthcare and child care! We need to stop insisting that our baristas have bachelor’s degrees with 100,000 in student loans, and start encouraging people to explore the trades. We need to make it ok to completely change careers in midlife, if we can’t course correct we are lost.

Getting off track again – back to Disney. We were in EPCOT and I was standing in line in a restroom. A stall had come empty and the lady at the front of the line didn’t notice, a woman who was headed outside did notice and walked the lady to the empty stall. A little girl in front of me said “that was really nice!” and the woman said “sweetheart, we’re all in this together”.

I walked out of there and said to my husband: “remind me to write a blog post about all being in this together”

so here we are.

sinks

 

If we’re all in it together in the BATHROOM, and we’re all in it together in the rain, can we all please be in it together when we go vote? When we talk about people who are different than us? When we talk TO people who are different than us? When we think about educating our kids, or keeping them safe with gun laws that make damn sense? When we talk about immigration and refugees and the homeless and our treatment of veterans? (and in the most wealthy country on earth we CAN take care of all of them) Or when we think about the climate crisis?

 

Say it- every day- to yourself or to someone else, make them believe you, believe it yourself: “Sweetheart, we’re all in this together.”

 




 

allinthistogether
it is important to end with the OG “all in this together”      Go Wildcats!  (also read THIS fun little homage to HSM)

 

 

 

Yup, Rhode Island Still Sucks.

 

schoollunch

back in December there was a news story that caused me heart palpitations and much rage – I wrote about it here – Cranston Rhode Island school district hired a collection agency to chase lunch money from parents, and their kids were being fed an alternative lunch than their classmates because of non-payment.

well today I read that starting next Monday Warwick will be serving kids with overdue lunch money cold sandwiches while their schoolmates eat hot lunches.

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 8.41.00 PM
the NBC news story is linked here

but wait, there’s more.  evidently a Warwick restaurant owner offered to donate towards paying down the debt and the school system said no, that they should take applications from people and decide on which debts to pay that way.

FORK YOU, RHODE ISLAND. your roads are SHIT so you’re obviously not using tax money to fill pot holes, use it to feed your children.

I don’t know, maybe we can start funding school lunches and stop funding golf trips to Mar-a-lago?

ugh.

 

xoxo

two favorites thursday, zombie edition

it is thursday, right? and no, I’m not really planning to talk zombies, it has just been a LONG time since I posted 3 favorites so it feels like I’m raising it from the dead. but speaking of raising things from the dead….

 

 

numberone

ladiesmcu

popular damn culture last week. between The Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones: Battle of Winterfell – there could be some, you know, raising the dead. kinda. but no spoilers.  but the best parts of those two things weren’t even the big emotional moments – they were the BADASS FEMINIST MOMENTS. tiny tangential rant here – tell me that scenes with all women being amazing feels “forced” one more time. do it. (don’t really do it, I’ll stab you with a cheeto and then I’ll never talk to you again)  Do scenes with all men being awesome “feel forced” or does it just feel like, I don’t know, EVERY GODDAMN MOVIE EVER? I’m willing to have badass women kicking ass feel forced until it feels normal. So hopefully those dudes will just stop crying their incel tears and start living in the 21st fricking century. Girls can run for president now and everything. Gee.

womencandidates

 

 




 

yesterday I mentioned a vision board and now I’m OBSESSED with having one. but more than wanting another physical thing in my life – knowing what my end goal is is incredibly helpful. at least with the peripheral things – the giving things away, the selling things, the not acquiring new things. The actual WORK, though? how to get there?  scaring the shit out of me right now and also confusing me a fair bit. I am a little bit afraid that Local Solutions isn’t going to be the pathway to prosperity that I was hoping it would be. I might have spent most of today crying about it.

But the point- the vision board and Disney. the point was Disney, the point is always Disney. People make a living doing things that highlight their love of fricking Disney. How? I want to do that! How do you get from “I love Disney” to “I sell monthly boxes full of Disney Park Snacks for 60$ each”? It is genius. Because you know what you have to do to be able to sell park snacks every month? GO TO THE PARKS! genius. and I know Disney is trying to curb the Personal Shoppers but consider that as well – people are Personal Disney Shoppers. What the hell am I even doing with my life?! Not being a Personal Disney Shopper, that’s for sure.

Which brings us to…

 

rosegold2

there is a badass tattoo artist who is also a vintage style pinup jedi who specializes in DISNEY. FRICKING. TATTOOS.

AND. and. she (SHE!) puts hidden Mickeys in them.

so that goes on the bucket list immediately. look at her work. look at it! ugh. there are talented artists all over who could give me a great Disney tattoo but she GETS IT. because she loves Disney too. you can tell. also she has a giant tattoo of Walt on her upper arm.

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 6.29.41 PM

go follow her on instagram. https://www.instagram.com/missmaelaroux/ 

 




 

 

 

and I’ll be honest, I cried so many times today I forgot what the third thing was supposed to be. so I’m going with two favorites this week. and considering that it has been MONTHS since my last three favorites post — two will have to do.

 

xoxo

sending collectors after lunch money in the richest country on earth

deep breath…

Cranston Rhode Island has announced that they have hired a collection agency to go after families of students with unpaid lunches over 20$.  According to the Cranston School District page one week of lunches costs 16.25 for middle and high school and 12.50 for elementary school. So we aren’t even talking about two weeks worth of lunches.

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 9.50.33 AM
screenshot from the Cranston public school page…  one child at a time — as long as they’re not hungry?

from the article:

The current unpaid balance is $45,859.

Votto says the school district has tried to collect unpaid balances in the past without much success. He says the lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue.

Votto says the collection agency will send a letter to parents who owe $20 or more and who haven’t paid their balance within 60 days.

In this article from CBS Boston which reported on the hiring it is mentioned that: “Students who owe money will receive the same lunches paying students receive.”

but that doesn’t fit with the policy from the Cranston Public Schools unpaid lunch page:

4.     Once a student has charged five (5) meals (middle\high school $16.25 & elementary $12.50) and no payment has been received, that student will receive a lunch consisting of a sunny butter sandwich, fruit, and milk in place of a hot lunch. This meal maintains the USDA standards surrounding reimbursable meals and will be charged at full price to the student’s account.

am I reading this correctly where the kid who has the lunch debt gets the prison lunch which still costs the same as the regular lunch? because THAT IS BULLSHIT.

and speaking of prison lunches, those are free, paid for with your tax dollars, so if we can pay prison lunches (which we should, and the prison thing is a whole other conversation for another day) we should sure as hell be paying for our children to eat some damn lunch.

Transworld Systems is the company that has been hired to do the collecting.

I HATE the idea of a gofundme to get this paid off, I think crowdsourcing government services which should ALREADY BE FRICKING PAID FOR is crap. But I’m not sure what the alternative is.

I don’t have a solution or a plan, I just have this rant, and some time on my hands and smart friends, so… I like our chances.

 


 

also – I looked – there is already a gofundme set up with a goal of 10,000$.


 

xoxo

 

I only really like my cervix if I don’t have to think about it.

obgyn

Due to an atrocious OBGYN several years ago who equated every single problem I had with my weight I had a Soviet Era copper IUD that was old enough to vote. It wasn’t really Soviet Era, it WAS pre-9/11, and to be fair it voted Democrat but it still had to go.

The removal process 9 days ago was hellish. Hellish. I yelled at one point, out loud, and then started crying. I mean… she stuck a needle in my cervix. Without any warning. I don’t recommend it. It made half my face go numb and my nose bleed. That’s some fucked up reverse acupuncture FOR SURE. Leading up to this she had given me a prescription for something that was supposed to soften my cervix to make the thing easier, and in my defense the pharmacist didn’t mention that it was supposed to be inserted – the instructions were “take one tablet night before procedure”. Also it said “take with food”. These made me think that I should eat something and then swallow the pill. I was wrong.

I have a very high tolerance for pain. Like really very high. 36 hours of back labor followed by delivery without any drugs. Kidney stones without any drugs. An injection in the cervix without any drugs. rooting around in my uterus looking for a little piece of copper without any drugs.

The insertion process wasn’t much better, because evidently there are corners and switchbacks involved because it turns out that my uterus is literally upside-down and backwards and on its side, and in an entirely different building, the pathway looks like Lombard St, which isn’t something that anyone felt the need to tell me, the owner of the uterus. I said: “oh, so is that why I only had back labor?” and she said “yes, I can’t believe no one warned you”. My youngest is 18 so it’s been too long to be feeling THIS DAMN SALTY, but no, no one told me. Why would anyone tell the terrified 23 year old what is causing her pain?

Where am I going with this? I don’t remember. But today I’ve got a shiny new IUD, loaded with hormones that might even help with my The Shining Elevator style periods I’ve been having for the last 15 years. Which, coincidently had NOTHING to do with my fucking weight.

disneyholiday

and in case you’re wondering – once I get home and put on the most comfortable damn joggers in the WORLD (which yeah, I do think are worth the stupid high price tag.) I’m going to shop alllllll these feelings away in the form of Disney Holiday Decorations. (and vanilla milkshakes with butterscotch schnapps. #butterscotchberns )

 

bucket-list my feelings. archaeology edition.

y’all. all I ever ever wanted to be growing up was an archaeologist. or paleontologist. or anthropologist. or a combination of those three. I didn’t, because…  reasons… some having to do with a super conservative upbringing where women have a specific role and it doesn’t involve digging in the Valley of the Kings. and also an enormous lack of self confidence. and a general fear of getting the thing that I want. and my college counselor telling me she would’t write me a recommendation to the schools with the good archaeology departments.

“why would you want to do all of that work, when you’ll know all the answers when you get to heaven anyways?”  (not a quote from my guidance counselor, just a thing I was told growing up.) but what the actual fork?!

ancient-architecture-camel-931881
Photo by Simon Matzinger from Pexels

 

the point – I’ve stopped listening to MSNBC in the car, and while I miss Nicole Wallace and the righteous rage of Steve Schmidt I don’t miss the anxiety or Joe Scarborough’s pompous snark. So what have I been listening to instead? Glad you asked. I’ve been listening to National Geographic’s: The Great Courses.  Specifically Archaeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites. Which, I did NOT pay 234.95 for, I used a single Audible credit. (14.95) And while I feel a little jealous when he is obviously showing images to the camera I also feel like I can put the $220.00 that I saved towards my Nile River Cruise in 2022.

it is a FANTASTIC listen, and one I highly recommend. Chapter 10 is “How do you excavate at a site?” and he goes into specific things like tools (Marshalltown Trowels, everyone should bring their own) to pick axes. (provided at the site).  at one point he says something about how his dig volunteers are mostly students but they’re not all students. sometimes they’re retired doctors or people who want to check ‘archaeological dig’ off of their bucket list. at which point, 5 minutes from the office, at 7:30 in the morning, I’m crying in my car.

I can do that! I’m 42 and the fact that I’m not an archaeologist is 100% on me now and next year we will have 2 kids in college so volunteering on a dig sounds about my speed.

You can come with me if you want.

ancient-archaeology-architecture-631339
Photo by Frans Van Heerden from Pexels

Happy Halloween! xoxo

sunday morning coming down

as I start this it is 8:19 AM. I’ve put my sheets into the wash because I found a giant dead wood beetle UNDER WHERE I WAS SLEEPING this morning. (sunday is bedding day anyways but I was hoping to put it off while I watched some netflix and wrote this post, but no, I’m a beetle murder in my sleep so new plan…) it is raining so I have some hope that it will stay bleak enough to facilitate day-watching of Haunting of Hill House while I clean in anticipation of the housekeeper.

before ALL of that, before I’d ever gotten out of bed, while the beetle was still in pieces beneath me (AAAAAAAH) I had already read three things:

  1. a text from my mother asking why my daughters “dumped (her)” – they left a group chat that she put them in with my sister, nephew, uncle and myself. They didn’t ask to be put there but she was spending 2 weeks in Disney when she did it so I think they thought it was a way to share her Disney experiences, which, you know, we are ALL about. Yesterday out of the blue she sent us this text: “M is reading a book about Trump and he has a weekly Bible study at the White House. Soooo perfect! I can trust anyone who wants to serve God!!! You can too.”  — OF COURSE I FUCKING RESPONDED!  I have avoided having this conversation with her for two years, I never wanted to have it. But now it’s out there, and so I had to ask the question that burns in my throat whenever a “Christian” talks about their president.texttomom


  2. the first thing on my Facebook feed this morning – super appropriate to thing 1 on today’s list. This piece about Religious Trauma Syndrome which explains my life from 7 when I was praying I would be a martyr because I knew I was already an undeserving sinner and there didn’t seem like ANY other way into heaven.  Until the day my youngest daughter asked me about this statue at Epcot (everything happens at Disney) in the Germany pavilion where St. George is slaying a dragon. I said “that’s Saint George, he’s killing a drago….” and that was it. I wasn’t taught that that dragon was a metaphor, I was taught it was an ACTUAL DRAGON. And I believed it. So my 20s were especially fraught as I tried to figure out who I was and what I believed and where, as a loud, smart, independent but married, woman, and mother, my place in the world could be.  So that was the second thing I read today.



  3. the third thing I read today is about beer. (<<<read that, it’s very interesting, a little frustrating, but good)  and also ‘men’s rights activists’ because if there’s anything men in this country are lacking, it is equality. amirite. I’m not a giant beer drinker – I like red ales and Kolsch and lagers and pilsners. though plenty of guys have told me that Kolsch isn’t actually beer, that real beer tastes like carbonated stomach bile – like the acid you use to strip your car battery. No thank you. not for me. but some people are into IPAs and porters and stouts and that’s cool, more power to you sister. So in LA, Ting Su, cofounder of Eagle Rock Brewery started a Women’s Only Beer Forum, to help the ladies explore their beer love. Like a wine class, which apparently we can have endless numbers of, but for beer. which is obviously only for the mens.  Anyways, Ting Su started this super-sexist-against-poor-men-who-don’t-get-to-do-anything group and got sued, by a professional plaintiff, and now she’s defending herself. And there’s a Go Fund Me.

    I want to go there and drink these! talk about GREAT packaging design. Also the word Manifesto is something I hold near and dear going way back to the early days of the Patriot Act. But there’s a conversation to be had here about beer, and equality and safe spaces and douchebros who can’t even pay for sex.

Which brings us back to Trump. (kidding) it brings me to 10:15 AM and I need to put my sheets in the dryer.

 

Prost, xoxo