Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Thanksgiving Refrigerator Conundrum

Thanksgiving evening my husband went to bed early while I stayed up to do some writing. While I was writing I heard a noise in the kitchen and, upon investigation, found that our refrigerator had died. It has been on its last legs for a while so this wasn't surprising, and because Black Friday sales were going on and promised free next day delivery I went downstairs and shook my husband awake.

"Honey, wake up!"

"What is it, hon?"

"Our fridge just died. Are you okay with me buying a new one online and having it delivered tomorrow?"

"Yeah, that is a good idea."

"Okay, thanks. Go back to sleep. Goodnight babe!"

After confirming the purchase with him I went and measured our refrigerator and then purchased the most affordable one available online and arranged for next day delivery. Patting myself on the back for solving this problem in literally just a few minutes, I mentally leveled-up my Adultness and headed down to bed.

The next morning, however, I was awakened by a firm shake and my husband's angry voice, asking me why I felt the need to buy a refrigerator without consulting him, especially since our current refrigerator seemed to be working just fine. Confused, I sat up and explained the conversation I'd had with him the night before, after which he burst out laughing and explained that he didn't remember a single word I'd said because he wasn't really awake when we had spoken. After we had a good laugh I stopped and said, "Wait, our refrigerator works again?"

Yep, apparently our refrigerator came back from beyond the grave (and is possibly now being worshiped by the other household appliances) and we don't actually need a replacement at all.

Yeah...that was a fun call to make to the customer service people. "Why do you want to cancel your order?"

"Well, let me explain..."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sam Loves New York - FREE through 11/24!

Great news! For the next 5 days my children's book is free to download on the Kindle. Please take advantage of this awesome offer by clicking the link below and download a copy of the book to read to your won't regret it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stop Saying Everyone Is Racist, Please

Donald Trump won the election yesterday and is officially going to be the next president of the United States. But even though this is a tragedy, a Trump presidency isn't the worst thing that has come from this election. The worst part of this entire ordeal is the blanket accusations of racism and sexism being thrown about by ardent Hillary Clinton supporters, as though anyone who could ever have a problem with the idea of her being our president could only have come to that conclusion because they are bad people.

This started more than a year ago during the primary, where HRC and her entourage were quick to create a "Bernie Bro" label for anyone who supported Senator Sanders for President. They designed an image of a straight, white, rowdy frat boy who hated women and painted everyone on Team Sanders with it, whether they were a 22-year-old white guy or a 65-year-old woman of color. Any mention of Hillary's vote for the Iraq war or her votes against LGBT marriage and equality until 2013 were brushed aside as excuses for misogyny. Bernie Sanders talking about her taking millions of dollars from the oil and gas companies was spun as an attack and he was told to tone it down, despite the fact that Clinton was the biggest recipient of oil and gas money of anyone involved in the election. Any mention of anything negative about Clinton was deftly spun as a hatred of her because of her gender, no matter how accurate the statement might have been.

Then, after winning the primary, Clinton began her campaign of "I'm Not Trump!" and started slinging mud at his supporters. They were racists. They were deplorables. They were nuts to support anyone other than her. When they responded that their towns had no more jobs because they had all been taken by NAFTA they were told not to worry, because that was better than voting for Trump. When they said that they didn't want a corporate politician who was going to let the gas companies build pipelines through their towns they were told not wanting to die in an explosion or deal with daily earthquakes from fracking made them racist. When they said that the recession of 2008 had gutted the few employment options available to them and that all of the economic growth went to the people at the top they were told that didn't matter because they now had the opportunity to vote for a woman and not voting for her would be sexism.

Obviously, her strategy of telling us that anyone who doesn't support her is an awful person didn't work. But just because Hillary Clinton lost doesn't mean that the liberals and progressives of our country also have to lose. We can move forward and fix the biggest problems in our nation. We can address inequality and climate change and all of the important things united together, but we can't do that if we don't look at why the Democrats lost this election. They lost because they refused to address any of the problems the people in our nation are dealing with, instead opting to try and shame everyone into voting blue. Let's move forward and try to create a political environment where we listen to each other instead of trying to shame one another into doing what we think is right.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Nuts To This Election

Two days ago I stopped being able to taste food. I mean, it had a flavor and everything, but my mouth and brain were no longer capable of sensing anything from it. My favorite foods no longer gave me any joy and foods I don't particularly like no longer had any appeal at all, not even when I was really hungry and would normally eat anything.

After thinking about it for a bit I realized that the stress of living with this election garbage had stolen my ability to taste things. I was so stressed out that I lost one-fifth of my senses. Sweet, buttery fuck, how did I let it get that bad?

So last night I quit the stress. I watched three hours of Russell Howard stand-up comedy and read hilarious Buzzfeed lists about nothing in particular. It was wonderful! Today, much like Stella and her groove, I got my sense of taste back. We went out to a wonderful restaurant with about 50 different flavor combinations and I enjoyed every bite.

Our political system is so broken it is actually breaking people. I hope we find our way back to where we need to be before 2020, but until then YouTube comedy and taking a moment to breathe are going to be the way I manage to get through life. Come join me, won't you?

Friday, November 4, 2016


A few years ago I took the second most memorable nap of my life. This was pre-parenthood, so naps were a thing that still existed in my world and since I suffer from insomnia I'm never one to turn down sleep when the opportunity presents itself.

I put on my most comfy jammies, fluffed up the pillows, and climbed under the blankets. The room was a nice, cool temperature. Everything was quiet. It was perfect. I drifted off into a tranquil slumber, knowing it might be days before I was able to properly fall asleep again.

I awoke only a few minutes later to something cold and wet being pressed against my lips, causing me to howl like I had been stabbed by serial killer. I jerked awake and sat up screaming, convinced I was dying in some horrible way.

Fortunately I was completely safe.

Unfortunately I scared the shit out of the cat after he had jumped up in the bed and pressed his cold little nose against my lips. I screamed. He screamed. We both jumped. I sat and blinked several times, breathing slowly to calm my nerves which were jangling like a telephone in an old-timey cartoon. The cat moved to the foot of the bed and fell asleep immediately because he wanted to rub his ability to fall asleep instantly in my face for screaming at him like a crazy bitch when all he wanted was to love me.

After a quick glance at the clock I figured out I had managed to sleep for approximately 6 minutes.

I can hear you thinking - a six minute nap that ends with screaming and an angry cat? How can that be your SECOND most memorable nap? Because my most memorable nap happened a year or two later.

I was snuggled into the bed and completely covered in animals. I had two cats and a dog at the time and they all seemed to think that sleep was only possible if they were touching me. My husband is allowed to sleep unmolested but I am forced to be buried under a blanket of fur at night and if I try to move them away or make them sleep in another room they scream like they're being haunted by ghosts that attack them with electric shocks.

As I slept I dreamed of a huge lumberjack murderer. He was wearing red flannel and slowly walking towards me while revving a chainsaw over and over again. He said, "I have only one chainsaw!" and waived it about, the noise getting louder and louder. When I woke up I felt our french bulldog snuggled against me on my pillow, snoring loudly right next to my ear.

Yep, that's right, I turned animal snores into a murderous, chainsaw-wielding killer.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

When I Was Homeless

In 2010 my husband and I moved into an adorable little 2 bedroom apartment in Manhattan. In 2011 I gave birth to our daughter and we lived happily in that space for several months. On April 1st, 2012 (oh, the irony!) while I was home with my daughter there was a knock on the door. When I opened it I found a police officer, a fireman, and two Red Cross representatives standing on the other side. They told me that the city had declared our building to be unsafe and all of the residents had 7 hours to evacuate.

I got out my cell phone and called my husband to tell him he had to come home from work and help me pack up some things so we could get out of the building, to which he reasonably responded that this was not a funny April Fools prank. After a few minutes of convincing he hopped on the bus and came right home, but now we were stuck on the sidewalk with a baby, a dog, two cats, and nowhere to live. It turns out the reason the Red Cross was there was to provide housing to the 112 newly homeless people from our building. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Luckily my mother-in-law lived close by, so we moved all of the people and animals from our apartment into her 5th floor walk-up on the other side of town. This lasted about 3 weeks until she couldn't tolerate us in her space any longer (a small apartment is not meant for 4 people and three animals, after all) and we went from there to my husband's aunt's home in Connecticut. Luckily she had a huge house that was big enough for all of us while we figured out what was going on with our apartment. While were in this state of flux we found out that support beams in the building had been removed and nobody would be allowed back indefinitely. We started house hunting but that didn't work out either, so in September we hired an apartment finder (the only real way to find an apartment in New York City) and paid a princely sum to move into a new place in Manhattan again.

My period of homelessness lasted 5 months and I spent most of that time living in a million-dollar beach house in Connecticut. Short of Hef volunteering to move out of the mansion and having all of his bunnies boarded so we wouldn't have to share the grotto there aren't many better situations to be in when facing homelessness, but it was still one of the most miserable times in my life. I had an infant daughter I was responsible for and the universe had conspired to take away the roof I had worked so hard to put over her head. I was forced to be an intruder in the homes of the people I cared about most. I was forced to put all of my things in storage and sleep in a strange bed in another person's home. It was a far cry from having to give up my pets and live at the Red Cross, but still a situation you couldn't pay me to repeat a second time.

I live in Massachusetts now and I take the train into Boston for work. Every day I pass the same homeless man who is begging on the street and at least twice a week I give him something - an apple, a sandwich, a toothbrush, etc. - because I know that, but for the grace of some higher power, I could very easily have been that man. I've seen the looks people give me for supporting someone who is living on the street, judging me for not judging him, but I don't care. I know that without family nearby, without the money for an apartment finder, and without the good mental health to deal with the stress of it all I might have been raising a baby in a homeless shelter just a few years ago.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A (Sort of) Horror Story

This is the time of year when we gather around to tell spooky stories designed to give people a fright and, often, warn people so that they can avoid succumbing to the same terrible fate as the poor saps in the story. The tale I am about to tell you is absolutely true and should serve as a warning to everyone that reads it about avoiding...cheese-filled chicken nuggets! *Insert spooky music here*

One crisp, cool day in the fall of 2010 I walked the 5 blocks from my apartment in New York City to the neighborhood grocery store. I loaded my folding cart full and slowly worked my way back home, careful not to catch a wheel on a crack in the sidewalk lest I be thrown over my cart with such force that I appeared to be tossed about by an invisible giant. After getting my cart back inside of the apartment I began to unload my groceries when I noticed that I had accidentally grabbed the wrong container of chicken nuggets from the store freezer. My husband and I always made sure to have some type of easily nuked foods in the house for those days when you are in no mood to figure out what to pack for lunch the next day, and in my haste to fill the cart I had accidentally grabbed a brand of chicken nuggets that were stuffed with cheese. That still sounded appetizing enough to me, so I didn't think anything of it when I shoved the box in the freezer. And, as everyone who has ever gone grocery shopping knows, once you've put in all the effort to shop and haul and put away groceries you certainly aren't in the mood to prepare a meal, so I threw some chicken nuggets and veggies into a ziploc bag to take for lunch at work the next day and made myself a sandwich for dinner.

The next day seemed normal enough. I worked from 8:30 to 12:30 and then took my lunch break, microwaving my simple meal and reading a book in the break room for 45 minutes. I went back to work, completely unaware that anything had changed until about 2 hours later when I noticed a terrible smell. It was foul, as though rotted meat and sweaty socks had been left to ferment in the Bog of Eternal Stench for a few weeks before being hauled into my office. It took about 20 minutes to figure out that I was the culprit, with farts I had thought were tiny and discreet but in fact turned out to be enormously awful. I had never in all of my life produced a smell like this and I was horrified that if anyone figured it out I would be fired.

I rushed home, totally embarrassed, and told my husband what had happened. He was very comforting until the first time I let one rip in his presence, at which time he loudly exclaimed that it smelled like my insides had died. Because he is a bit of a joker he was having a grand time mocking me until he started having the same problem a few hours later. After some probing I figured out that he had eaten some of the chicken nuggets after he got home but before I arrived, so we quickly became cellmates in our prison of stench. I'm surprised no one in the building called the fire department to report a toxic leak.

But the next day we still had to get up and go to work again. Luckily my intestinal fortitude had returned by the morning, but since my husband was about 4 hours behind me in eating them he was about 4 hours behind me in recovery time as well, which meant taking his topsy-turvy insides on the subway. After a few minutes on the train I thought we were going to be okay, until I saw the face of the woman standing next to him, as though she had been shit on by a vengeful god and couldn't understand why she was being tortured in this way. I picked it up a few seconds later, and at the next stop we ran off of the train and waited on the platform for the next one to avoid someone murdering him and later claiming it was justifiable homicide because of the smell.

That night when we got home we threw the package in the trash and vowed we would never, ever buy them again. So far we've kept that promise, but every so often when one of us does something the other doesn't like we will threaten to go find another package of those cheesy chicken nuggets and eat the whole thing before bed just to torture them. We've also talked about trying to convince the government that these things are so potent when they hit the human digestive system that they could be weaponized, but as we haven't seen them for sale in years I guess the manufacturers learned their lesson too. But if you should ever see a package of them in a freezer at your local store consider yourself warned - run far, far away and never look back!

**Both links listed above are Amazon affiliate links**

Saturday, October 1, 2016

New State Mottos

I thought up a new motto for each state, just in case they want to consider changing things up.

**Due to popular request, I've put a few of these slogans on mugs, stickers, etc. for sale at where I will get a small royalty for every purchase.**

Alabama - First in the nation! Alphabetically, at least.

Alaska - No matter how many times you try it, moose do NOT want to be ridden

Arizona - Like Nevada without all of the fun and profitability of Las Vegas

Arkansas - We'd like to officially apologize for Wal-Mart

California - No, we don't want to read your screenplay

Colorado - Skiing and pot - we have all the ways to get high!

Connecticut - You forgot about us, didn't you?

Delaware - Drive straight through in half an hour

Florida - Mickey wrestles a gator every day at 4:00

Georgia - Gone With the Wind makes us look good

Hawaii - You're welcome for all the pineapple

Idaho - No, you da' hoe! I'm about something about potatoes?

Illinois - Big city crime and small town poverty, we've got it all!

Indiana - Seriously, Notre Dame is here?

Iowa - Corn, right? Oh wait, that's Nebraska.

Kansas - Come for the Wizard of Oz references, stay for the economic destruction!

Kentucky - Bourbon and horse racing, together again!

Louisiana - Visit soon, we'll be completely under water in ten years!

Maine - We're not really haunted, no matter what Stephen King tells you.

Maryland - Our seafood isn't as good as Massachusetts

Massachusetts - Come for the lobstah, stay for the speech impediment

Michigan - If the shootings don't kill you, the water just might!

Minnesota - Land of 10,000 hot dish recipes

Mississippi - We make Alabama look good

Missouri - We've got the big arch and not much else

Montana - The "M" state you can never remember

Nebraska - America's belly button

Nevada - A vacation spot for people who want to sin more efficiently

New Hampshire - A Libertarian blanket fort

New Jersey - The answer to, "What's that smell?"

New Mexico - Where Texans go for porn and booze

New York - Thank you for your tourism dollars. Now get the hell out!

North Carolina - We care where you pee!

North Dakota - The big heads are in the other Dakota

Ohio - Be nice to us, we control who gets elected President

Oklahoma - Where the fracked gas comes sweeping down the plain

Oregon - Washington's conjoined twin

Pennsylvania - The West Virginia of the North

Rhode Island - Massachusetts' soul patch

South Carolina - Nothing could be finer! Well, that's not true, but still...

South Dakota - Lots of snow and 4 big headed politicians

Tennessee - Country music is the sound a guitar makes if you pour BBQ sauce on it

Texas - Jesus would've shot you for that, you know.

Utah - Where an entire religion took their ball and went home

Vermont - America's biggest supplier of ice cream and hippies

Virginia - Home of tobacco growers and d-bag politicians

Washington - We were smart enough to know the rest of you would pay $5 for a cup of coffee

West Virginia - Getting pay checks and black lung disease at the same time

Wisconsin - We love cheese and hate teachers, apparently.

Wyoming - The world's biggest purchaser of cowboy hats

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

A few months ago Netflix was streaming the movie The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio and I absolutely fell in love with it. If you haven't watched it and you want to avoid spoilers, you can click the link above to buy it on Amazon and watch it before reading. (Fair warning, this is an Amazon Affiliate link.)

This is the true story of Evelyn Ryan, a mother and housewife in the 1950's who was forced to use her wit and talent with the written word to keep her family fed and housed because her alcoholic husband was unable or unwilling to prioritize family over addiction. We get to see her writing jingles, ad slogans, and poetry to win prizes from big company contests, and at one point we see her win a grocery shopping spree - she gets ten minutes to fill an empty cart and everything inside of it when they call time is hers to keep. She decides to use this as an opportunity to give her kids a taste of things they would otherwise never have, filling the cart with lobster tails, European chocolates, expensive cuts of meat, exotic fruits, etc. This particular scene has kept me up at night more than once, contemplating the decisions she made as part of the spree.

We see elsewhere in the movie that they have times where the cupboard is literally bare. We also watch as her husband clearly feels emasculated by his inability to care for his family and his wife's success contesting for profit. Knowing these things, why in the world would she opt for decadence and a high price tag when she could have been filling that cart with household staples and canned goods? Every bite of shrimp or pineapple was just a reminder to her husband of what a failure he was as a provider and her kids were not interested in capers and caviar. But at the same time, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to give her family a taste of something they would otherwise never have. How could she not use the only opportunity she is ever given to expose her children to the finer things in life?

This one scene is a perfect example of the tightrope walk that is making decisions as a parent. For example, do you scrimp and save, doing without pricey vacations or dinners out so you can send your kid to private school? If you decide to make private school a priority and sacrifice for your children will they really benefit from it or will they end up with a mediocre education and teachers who are later discovered to be child predators? If you decide to pass on private school so your kid can have steak dinners and trips to Disney World will they still get a solid education or will they be overlooked in the ever-growing class sizes and ever-shrinking school budgets? How can you know which decision is right and, more importantly, how can you avoid beating yourself up for every horrible thing that happens as a side effect of the decisions you chose to make? Do you try the stay-at-home mom thing or do you work full time? Do you buy the nicest house you can afford in a less affluent neighborhood or do you buy the tiny house in the ritzy part of town? Do you enroll your kid in every possible after school activity or do you let them play and explore on their own with no structure?

I spend more time than is probably necessary or wise running that ten minute shopping spree over and over again in my head. Did she contemplate every item she put in the cart, weighing the value against bags of flour and jars of peanut butter, or is this the curse of the modern parent alone, worrying that everything we do might be utterly wrong? I suppose we can only do our very best and hope that it will be enough, which is a talent Evelyn Ryan seemed to have mastered, much like the written word.

Letter to Hillary Clinton

My friend Patrick Hopkins wrote this, but it is a perfect explanation of a lot of my beliefs as well and superbly written, so I figured I would share it here.

Dear Hillary Clinton, from a millennial(ish):

Hillary, I just read, and I have a serious question for you:

Exactly how stupid do you think I am?

From the first line, which is supposed to appeal to my still-fading teenage desire to be misunderstood, you(r ghostwriter; pneumonia or not, let's both agree one of your people wrote this based on notes, not that it matters overly because everyone at your level of politics has writers for this sort of thing) walk into one of your many, many missteps this campaign season:

"We hear a lot of things about the millennial generation."

I remember hearing something from Secretary Clinton about -- wait, that's you. And remember what you said? We don't do our own research?

If you're going to talk to us (and I'm either barely outside or barely inside the millennial window), your first step is to remember/pretend that we remember a lot and walk that line of malarkey back.

So we start with bad, but the bigger point is that we start with the basic notion that nobody understands us. Beginning thus is a rhetorical device designed to compliment us and make us similar to you, O great misunderstood person (who's been under scrutiny for decades). Another writer did something similar several months ago (

"Even so, I see benefits in searching for common ground and greater civility during this overly negative campaign season. That’s why, in spite of the fact that he often misrepresents where I stand on issues, the senator should know that we do agree on at least one — an issue that resonates with people who feel that hard work and making a contribution will no longer enable them to succeed."

That writer was misunderstood. Millennials are misunderstood. You, Hillary Clinton, are misunderstood. See a rhetorical pattern?

Some readers won't. I do. The writer I just quoted is Charles Koch. That was the second paragraph of his letter about Bernie in the Washington Post from February.

Hillary, you and I don't agree on a lot (starting with the very basic notion of I think you're evil and incapable of consistently making good decisions and you think you're good and it's everyone else's fault), but I hope we can agree that if your appeal to us feels like Charles Koch's, and if that appeal also hearkens back to that time you insulted us and our preferred presidential candidate, you've made a bad decision.

But we move on. Your first paragraph is a dumpster fire. (Maybe spend fewer than 19 years before admitting that?) Your second paragraph is a lie:

"Here's what I have learned: Your generation is the most open, diverse and entrepreneurial generation in our country's history."

You can just pick whichever article there as your starting place for the data-driven fact that my generation is starting the fewest businesses since either George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan was in charge of the launch codes.

We're not starting businesses. Most of us are saddled with medical and/or student loan debt if we're not also getting paid garbage wages, and while it's super spiffy that you're now proposing incremental reform to address those problems after having had a mere 16 years to shape domestic policy, a lot of us kind of don't believe for one single second that you'll fight those battles as hard as you've fought to keep secret your Wall Street transcripts.

"From the first days of this campaign, you have shared the problems that keep you up at night and the hopes that get you up in the morning."

Again with the flattery. Another problem with this is that you've said the revolution -- which is what you're talking about if you're talking about the largest group of us -- didn't change you one bit. Your policies and stances never changed at all. That was you in June (

"Interviewer: [C]an you name one idea that he's put forward that you want to embrace?

Hillary: Well, it's not that so much as the passion that he brought to the goals that--his campaign set. I share the goals."

Since you vacillated between finishing the job on universal health care and not wanting to have a debate on a bill that would never, ever pass (among many, many campaign flip-flops), please allow me to express my dubiosity at your sincere concern for my problems:




"And you've come of age during two deadly, costly wars in the Middle East."

Yeah, about your Iraq War vote.

"You've fought for some of the most important accomplishments in our nation's history, like the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality."

The first one came about as the direct result of Obama caving on single-payer without a fight after torching you among my generation in the primary -- so thanks for that reminder of incrementalism.

The second one came in spite of you, unless you count as some kind of serious ally cred that video you released soon before oral arguments in Obergefell. Gerald frickin' Ford came out for equality under the law before you.

So are you just really bad at this, or what? We KNOW about your many, many, many mistakes. If you're going to remind us of them, have the sense to apologize for being wrong so much. Maybe explain why you changed your mind (again and again and again). But all this? This just makes me think a millennial should be running for president, not you.

"You've come together to challenge our country to protect human rights and strengthen families by fixing a broken immigration system"

Whereas you supported sending Central American refugee children back to their dirt farm, economically despondent countries. Then there's your support for a border fence.

"reforming our criminal justice system"


"and ending the era of mass incarceration"

Three Strikes Law.

Companies profiting from that contributed to your campaign, by the way:

"In another report filed Sunday night, the campaign disclosed that Richard Sullivan of Capitol Counsel—until recently, a Raleigh, N.C.-based federally registered lobbyist for the for-profit prison operator GEO Group—bundled $69,363 in donations for Clinton in the fourth quarter, bringing his total for the year to a whopping $274,891.

"That makes Sullivan the second-most prolific lobbyist-bundler for the Clinton campaign, beaten out only by D.C. lobbyist Heather Podesta, who's tallied up $348,581 so far."

So basically, we're trying to undo your mistakes. Yay for us! (But boo for you. Why'd you have to get so much wrong?)

"Around the time I graduated from college, our country was in its own moment of soul-searching.  We were mired in a war in Vietnam, and reeling from the shooting of peaceful protesters at Kent State and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy."

Man, isn't it horrible to be mired in a stupid and unnecessary war on another continent?

... oh. Right. But still, as long as you don't seek a warmonger's counsel.

... oh. Right. So I guess it's good that you've at least been sensitive when discussing assassinations, right?

... oh. Right.

"At the same time, we were making progress on important fronts. The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, and the Voting Rights Act broke down barriers that prevented too many people of color from casting their ballot."

And you campaigned for Barry Goldwater, making you ... a supporter of an opponent of civil rights legislation.

So to recap thus far:

You were and have been on the wrong side of history. We have been on the right side of history, and we'd have had an easier job changing our country if you hadn't opposed us.

Are you sure this is the draft of this "hey millennials you should vote for me" article you meant to write? It looks more like a satirical version of that article.

"Today, many of you have told me you feel [that all of America is struggling to decide who we are going to be]."

Yes. Democracy (Bernie) or oligarchy (you).

This has to be satire.

"We've seen the rise of a presidential candidate who pits Americans against each other and traffics in prejudice and paranoia."

You, 1996:

"superpredators ... bring them to heel."

You, 2004:

"I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman."

You, 2008:

“found how Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

Your party's CFO, 2016:

"It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist."

Yup, definitely seeing the rise of a presidential candidate who pits Americans against each other and traffics in prejudice and paranoia.

"When he talks about making America great again, it's code for taking America back to a time when many of us — women, people of color, immigrants, LGBT Americans, people with disabilities — were marginalized, ostracized and treated as less-than."

Whereas you want to take superpredators, immigrant children and the LGBT folks whose marriages you opposed and just have us believe you've magically changed into not a bigot.

You do not have the standing in my eyes, or in the eyes of many of my friends, to take anyone to task for their treatment of minorities.

"But that's not what our country is made of. And it's not what I see when I look to your generation. In large part because of all of you, I am convinced that America's best days are ahead of us."

Again, you say we don't do our own research, you say we can't have nice (or even life-sustaining) things, you fight us on progress and ... how is this supposed to be good for you? Sure, we're spiffy, but ...

"To make it happen, we need to change both hearts and laws."


NAFTA. DOMA. DADT. Glass-Steagall, Iraq War. Libya. Bankruptcy bill. Welfare bill. You were there for all of that. You helped it all happen.

And now we get into the promises. One reminder: You said Bernie couldn't get any of this done. That was you saying Bernie was making his followers (hi! In case you couldn't tell) believe magical things could happen. You also said that about Obama. So this is me reminding you of what you said about the minimum wage when you write:

"Second, everyone should be able to get a job that pays the bills and can support a family. And not only that, you should be able to do work you love and find meaningful. So we'll create more good-paying jobs, raise the minimum wage and guarantee equal pay."

First, not for one single second do I think you'll upset the Wall Street apple cart by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, which would pay the bills and support a family. Are we talking a living wage or not? Anything less is just starving more slowly.

Second, how is the most long-time divisive politician in recent memory, and possibly since Nixon, going to get that done with a Republican Congress? Vote them out? Because that worked so very well for your husband -- and he was charismatic.

You can't even inspire people to vote against someone who's woken up the Ku Klux Klan!

"Many of you have shared with me that it feels like you're out there on your own — like no one has your back."

Including you, circa forever until you started using populist words about a year ago.

"But I can promise you this: I'll never stop fighting for you."

Fighting for us, or fighting us? Because most of this is your greatest misses, and the rest is words.

I don't believe the person who helped ship hundreds of thousands of jobs out of this country has the backbone or interest in rebuilding a labor base -- a base she wants to underpay.

I don't believe the person who was for the "gold standard" TPP before she was against it.

I don't believe the person who declared that she would go to war with Iran if elected president will keep us out of unnecessary wars.

I don't believe the person who said "Now, back to the issues" thinks black lives matter.

I don't believe the person who gave up on health care is now going to hold Congress hostage until we get single-payer.

I don't believe the person who takes every last penny Wall Street throws at her is going to break up the big banks or reinstate Glass-Steagall or anything else.

I don't believe the person who pretended Donald Trump's kids were the reason college shouldn't be FREE is actually going to work hard to make it free.

What I do believe, 100 percent, completely and totally, is that your team is scared pissless that a generation of woke voters is seriously losing interest in you (

"A national Quinnipiac poll showed Clinton capturing 31% of the vote among voters 18-to-34 years of age and a slim 5-point lead over Trump. In August Clinton had 48% of that vote and a 24-point lead over Trump."

Now, what happens when you start hemorrhaging support in a group is you pander to that group. Well, your speechwriters do.

Problem: We tasted the real thing, and you're not it. You're not even close. You're like if someone poured soy sauce into a soda bottle: It's dark and all, but all you have to do is smell it and you know something's wrong. Don't even try drinking that stuff. Just pour it down the drain.

Pandering and fear might work with some of us. I doubt it will work with enough. And when you pair your horrendous record (thanks for reminding me of how often we've disagreed, by the way!) with the DNC email leaks and the DNC response to the email leaks (Trump! Russians! Republicans please don't use these documents!), we have a presidential nominee who needs to change the message.

Message changed. We're the future. We've been fighting you for decades.

But you're not the answer. The closest thing to an answer we have this year is Jill Stein.

Or have I been thinking about this all wrong? Is it that you'll do whatever we want you to -- you just want to have the title of president? To be the first?

That's nice and all, but I don't want a president I have to remind every day about a living wage and health care and not shipping someone's job to a Malaysian orphan who'll work for 8 cents a day.

I don't want a president who'll do what the most passionate person wants -- or what the loudest person wants. I want someone with a discernible backbone, and you don't have one.

See, the idea, to me, isn't oh hey let's elect someone who can use populist words and then make sure she's got her pen uncapped and in hand at the right times.

The idea isn't let's give her a daily briefing on the positions she's not supposed to advocate for.

The idea is you've got a solid foundation in the principles of not hurting people.

Well, the president. You? That horse left the barn, Hillary.

You can't just be President un-Clinton.

You can't be President Follower. That's not leadership.

In the next four years, some big issue we can't foresee is going to come before the president.

If your judgment consists of "ask the millennials what they want," you're not making the hard choices. You're delegating them.

The hard choices are the job, Hillary.

love and kisses,

A former Democratic Party voter (though not member) who will be going Green this year

Sunday, September 18, 2016

More Articles!

I had two new articles published!

You can read them here:

I'll be back with more actual writing soon, but in the mean time please enjoy my work elsewhere!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Stranger Things

Have you watched Stranger Things on Netflix? If not, go do that. It is excellent and you are missing out by not watching it. Also, spoilers below!

I feel a great kinship with Winona Ryder's character, Joyce Byers. Not that a demon has ever sucked my child into The Upside Down or anything, but as an environmentalist I feel a connection. She spends the first five episodes trying to convince someone, anyone, that her son is still alive and there are monsters that have taken him. Nobody listens. They hold a funeral for a boy who isn't dead and accuse her of being crazy, her ex-husband even pointing out that there is a financial payout for their son's death and that money can be put to good use for their family. Eventually several other people stumble upon this same truth and they all end up having to work together against the massive company that is causing all of this mess to rescue her son.

I feel like I've been through a similar ordeal.

"Hey, this fracking is causing environmental damage! It is destroying people's water supplies and causing earthquakes!" I scream.

"You're nuts, nobody would do that! Besides, if that was true I'd see this stuff on the news."

"What about that earthquake from 3 days ago?"

"Meh, history is full of earthquakes. That doesn't prove anything."

"What about people who can light their tap water on fire because of fracking waste dumping?"

"They're doing it themselves to get on TV.! Besides, the news would tell me if these things were bad for me."

"But all the advertisements on the news are paid for by the fracking companies! These huge companies don't want you to know they are killing you!"

"You don't know what you're talking about!"

Sigh....I just want to hang Christmas lights all over the house and take an ax to my wall, or whatever the environmental equivalent would be, to show people the demigorgon of environmental damage.

But seriously, fight against fracking and watch Stranger Things. You won't regret either decision!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bariatric Surgery

I have been asked if I have considered weight loss surgery a few times over the last few years and my answer is always the same – after careful thought weight loss surgery is something I am not willing to consider. I know about 15 people who have been very open about their weight loss surgery, everything from the gastric sleeve to roux-en-y, and by and large the people I know who have done it follow the same pattern. 

1.    Go on multiple diets and fail at all of them, become depressed.
2.       Talk to doctors about weight loss surgery, pick which one they think is right for them and go under the knife
3.       Post-surgery recovery goes great, start losing lots of weight and exercising a bunch
4.       Start discovering all of the downsides to ripping out your fully functional internal organs – must now take vitamin injections or double/triple amounts of vitamin supplements because they can’t absorb them the way they used to, shitting themselves without warning if they eat the wrong thing, requiring subsequent surgeries to fix problems that developed because of the weight loss surgery, severe malnutrition, etc.
5.       Power through all the problems to look and feel pretty great for a while. Become a walking advertisement for the surgery, talk about how “it saved my life” online. This is usually the 18 month mark, but it can come a little sooner or a little later.
6.       Yay, an important new thing happens in their life! New job, new baby, etc. They find that the time they used to spend dedicating to shopping for and preparing special foods is gone. They find that the time they used to spend exercising is gone. They find themselves sliding back into old, comfortable habits regarding food and movement.
7.       Start gaining the weight back.
8.       Panic and start trying the same old weight loss gimmicks – slimfast, appetite suppressants, etc.
9.       Lose a little bit of weight.
10.   Discover that their body cannot handle this type of abuse any longer and force themselves to give up the gimmicks because they physically hurt them now.
11.   Regain at least half the weight lost. This is usually between the 5 and 8 year mark.
12.   Quietly stop mentioning that they ever had weight loss surgery. If people ask about it they defensively reference the weight they managed to keep off, as though they would gladly have paid tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket and gone through surgery to lose such a small amount of weight.
13.   Start dealing with the long term side effects of weight loss surgery – gallstones, osteoporosis, 5 times higher suicide rates than the average person, etc.

After seeing this so often I'm not willing to go through with an expensive, invasive surgery that doesn't seem very helpful long-term. I know that there are people out there for whom the surgery was successful, but so far I've not seen that in any of the people I know personally.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2016 Election Cycle

I am so physically ill at the thought of this election. Both political parties have shifted hard to the right, and if we continue this way 20 years from now the general election will be Martin Shkreli vs. David Duke with both of them pushing us to vote for the “lesser evil” yet again.
Not all, but most of the people insisting that everyone must vote for Hillary Clinton because she is the only way to stop Trump are the same people who are going to pull the lever, sigh loudly in relief that they’ve done all they can, and go back to not participating at all in our nation’s political system.
Participating is difficult, especially for people with a full time job and family commitments, and for most people voting is already a big enough hassle in their lives that they can’t always be bothered to do it. People aren’t avoiding voting for senators, mayors, sheriffs, and other people in power because they don’t care, they are avoiding it because it takes time and effort to research the candidates and schedule time to get to the precinct and all of that jazz. So they’ll throw the switch for Hillary and occasionally yell at the broadcaster on their TV because, true to form, she abandoned her progressive platform and did what the people who pay her want her to do.
They'll natter about how there shouldn’t be money in politics and how we should clear out all of these corrupt politicians. Maybe they’ll even go vote for their local congressional representatives (straight ticket, of course, with blind trust that the blue candidate is obviously the better choice and no consideration paid to whether or not there is a green candidate or a libertarian candidate even running for the position) but that is where their commitment will end. Then they'll be outraged when the next presidential candidate is someone even more corrupt than Hillary, and they’ll wail and gnash their teeth until it comes down to the wire, and they’ll throw the switch for the next candidate that they hate slightly less than the other guy. In 20 years, as Shkreli and Duke (or their equally horrible equivalents) push people to get out and vote, we’ll look back and wistfully talk about what could have been done to change things, but moan about how in that moment we have to vote for the lesser evil. And so it will go all over again.
What a miserable way to run a nation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

March Against Spectra

“People Over Pipelines" March Demands Climate Action from Baker and Legislature
Groups march 43 miles along Spectra Energy’s proposed pipeline projects to MA State House to highlight local opposition.
WHAT: Over 300 Massachusetts residents have pledged to march 43 miles along the route of Spectra’s proposed pipeline projects arriving at the Massachusetts State House to demand that Governor Baker and state lawmakers take a stand against new gas pipelines and the proposed “pipeline tax.”
WHERE: Medfield, MA, to the Massachusetts State House through Walpole, Sharon, Stoughton, Canton, Norwood, Dedham, Weymouth and neighborhoods of Boston.
WHEN: Thursday, July 14, to Monday, July 18
GREAT VISUALS! Scores of marchers including students, families and elders will carry a 10-foot-wide banner reading #PeopleOverPipelines, white sculptures of the iconic number “350” and a giant paper-mache pipeline. Upon arriving at the Massachusetts State House, marchers will gather on the Grand Staircase to demand action from Governor Baker and the state legislature.
The Baker administration is moving forward with a proposal to charge Massachusetts ratepayers for Spectra Energy’s new natural gas pipeline project “Access Northeast.”
The "People Over Pipelines" march will highlight local opposition to Spectra's proposed gas pipelines and Baker's pipeline tax.
For more information about street routes and stop times, please visit