Time Goes Way Too Fast

Sometimes I feel like I just started this blog.

Then I look back and am like OMG HOW HAS 5 YEARS PASSED ALREADY

Same thing happens with my friends’ kids. Like OMG COLLEGE WHAT and YOU WERE JUST A BABY WHY ARE YOU TAKING THE BUS ON YOUR OWN and other reactions of that nature.

It really starts getting to me, though, when I realize how long it has been since I came up with a story idea that still has not been written. It’s not just shock but that weird creepy shame feeling, like I’ve let myself down, like what the fuck have I been DOING all this time? I can’t justify that there is a really interesting story that has been waiting since 2003 for me to complete it.

But what do I do about it? Mostly nothing.

I will say that I’m really glad I have the commute I do, now. Amtrak quiet car is the BOMB. I’ve actually done real writing. My commute now gives me 2-plus hours per day to write, and hopefully this means I can get some stories into the world. Because it’s been waaaaaaay too long that I’ve been getting in my own way. Hopefully that era is ending.

All fingers and paws crossed!

Happy September

Though, uh, not THIS week, ffs. Our block is enduring some massive construction to fix some pipes, and the streets are torn up and our road is closed. But that’s not the really rough part. The rough part is that things keep going wrong.

Monday – We had a marvelous TRUCK parked right outside our bedroom window starting at 12 am, idling incredibly loudly alllll night long. It spent until about 5 am with its roof flashers/beacons on, which by the way, is still visible as a kind of slow strobe effect with one’s eyes closed.

Even if it is reflected off the wall through the small break in one’s blackout curtains.

It was a beautiful night, temperature-wise, so we had left the window open… but I had to close it because not only did the sound come in but the exhaust did too.

Later that day, somewhere between toweling off the dog and making dinner, I lost my wedding ring. Looked for it; didn’t find it.

Tuesday – First, we were woken up 2 hours before our normal wake-up time by a truck running its alert flashers, announcing REALLY loudly that our street was closed and any cars parked there would be towed.

Over and over and over again.

Then, not only was it the anniversary of one of the worst days – for some reason that morning there were LOTS of people talking about it on social media in ways that brought up all the memories. Particularly relating to the dogs.

And THEN, due to the digging on our street, we lost internet a bit past noon… an hour before I was supposed to leave for a meeting. (Luckily it went out after I finished my webinar.) Jon spent over an hour and a half on hold with Verizon to get assistance. We were told we’d need to wait until Weds morning for a tech. And apparently my data plan is low on the AT&T priority list, because even Google didn’t work well on my cell phone browser, and apps were being badly hiccupy. I could have gone to Whole Foods to use their wifi, but when I had walked by there after my meeting all the tables had been full. Standing on concrete is NOT my jam.

The next wonderful thing? My prescription insurance didn’t work for the 2 scripts I had called in. So I had to do without my allergy meds until I could call my insurance company.

… aaand when I went to my latenight reading, I discovered had forgotten to download the next book in the trilogy I was reading to my Kindle. *headdesk* I didn’t WANT to start a new book. N.K. Jemisin’s writing is too good for that.

I never thought I’d miss the days of broadcast TV.

Wednesday – The Verizon tech came around 10:30 am and confirmed that there was nothing she could do, since our outage was due to the construction on our street. She told Jon they’d get another department out to fix it, and to call her back if it wasn’t on before 6 pm.

OMG, 6 pm. We were both so incensed. (Not at the tech, though. She was great.)

But the phone data? Still messed up. I couldn’t connect to another conference call I was supposed to attend, and the app wouldn’t work. Plus my insurance was STILL messed up, since the CS rep told me to give them 48 hours to get the right information in, so I was itchy as hell and my breathing wasn’t the best.

I spent the day alternating between looking for my damn ring and burying myself in a video game. *rolls eyes at self*

The internet went back on at 9 pm.

It’s now Thursday. I have to go get allergy shots soon. I have taken two Claritin and am keeping all fingers and paws crossed that the wrongness of the week has dissipated, and that I will NOT have any worse effects than I normally do.

But dammit, I still want my ring.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment

It’s been a fucker of a week. Lots to say over here. But I’m going to start with the respawn of the gun control/gun sense debate in the wake of the horrific shooting in Parkdale, Florida.

I’ve been really annoyed by people who regurgitate old, already-debunked talking points like “What about Chicago” (not the gun murder capital of the US, people) and “It’s not about guns it’s about mental illness” (no, it’s really not) and then say the 2nd Amendment must be protected.

Thing is?

The 2nd Amendment is already not being followed because we don’t have any well-regulated militias. That’s what the damn amendment STARTS with. It’s supposed to be part of the whole dynamic.

Because of that, when talking to 2A proponents I’m gonna REALLY put the 2nd amendment in their faces. So – you want a gun? I propose you join a militia. I propose militias be legal entities registered with the Department of Defense, which would be put into play during disasters in their local areas, helping clean and protect people who have lost walls and locks and whatnot. Anyone can start a militia… and this means even a new Black Panther party. (The number of concealed carry license applications are up for Black women in Chicago, so I can totally see women starting their own militia.) Gun purchase would require proof of current well-regulated militia membership in good standing. Any gun carry requires valid and current militia membership card, and any citizen who sees a civilian carry is entitled to demand they show their card. Militias would be responsible financially for ANY collateral damage one of their members inflicts or suffers…. including paying for toddlers’ funerals. If someone goes off the rails, the militia is fined for not regulating their membership and no one can buy, use, or carry a gun for the next however long. Militias are not allowed to lobby, and no one is allowed to bring a gun to a political protest where emotions will run high.

Let’s tell the 2A proponents we’re making this as obvious as asking someone for their keys when they’re too drunk to drive – asking someone for the keys to their gun safe when they’re angry or frightened, and assure them they’ll have protection from the rest of the militia.

And since that’s all in alignment with the 2nd amendment? the NRA should be on board, right?

 

CW: Sandy Hook

This is a little bit personal, even though I knew no one directly affected. I knew someone peripherally affected, though, and I had an insight into a person accused.

.

You’re warned.

Five years ago today, I was working at Pitney Bowes in Stamford, Connecticut. I remember this day very clearly, because a coworker of mine got a call in the morning.

“No, I haven’t seen the news.”

In 3 minutes, he broke down at his desk. The crying was a shock in our usually humming open-plan office. This was a gregarious, vivacious person who had never been anything other than positive about anything. It was a bit of a shock. And then he left.

I also remember when the shooter’s supposed ID was first publicized, the wrong person was blamed, and I thought “this guy who trained his cat to sit and beg can’t be a shooter….

 

can he?”

(These are the moments where I sympathize with people who defend horrible people – the instant of “do I adore a monster?”)

But Ryan Lanza was innocent – completely – and it took too long to find that out.  I want to call that out because as much as I have faith in our media’s intentions, that wasn’t right. None of what happened here was right.

The next day, my wonderful gregarious coworker was calling people to talk about memorials and funerals.

For a week, I got to overhear snippets of arrangements.

…. It didn’t take more than a year before I started to hear about the conspiracy theorists.

I post about this because Sandy Hook hit me hard. And close. Even though I only knew one person peripherally associated.

I will never forgive Alex Jones. Or any other person who doesn’t believe the parents. Ever. Ever.

Sudden Descents

Image Desc: A black and white image of half of a face. The subjects eyes and forehead are obscured with black lace.

You know those days… you’re minding your own business and doing housework or working on a project when suddenly Anxiety, Depression or Misery grabs you by the shoulder, whispers (or yells) “Time For An Adventure” and whisks you off somewhere until you’re looking at the world through their veil, or up at a distant light from the pit they dug for you.

Or both.

With all the triggering stuff going on in the world right now I am not surprised this happened to me. The news and how it’s presented is kinda violent for survivors, and I’ve had some unpleasant reactions to a bunch of it.

But DAMN do I want some kind of mechanism where I can get back up to that light, or out from under the veil, just as fast as they can swoop me down.

“A Real Catastrophe”

Lin-Manuel Miranda was right. 44.5 IS going straight to hell.

He’s the real catastrophe.

Between that awful, evil statement about Puerto Rico today and this article on Vox, I might explode from rage. And I don’t even have any relatives there – just an ex-coworker from there. I can’t imagine what folks who have family/friends there are feeling right now. Particularly since they’ve been in budget crisis for years, so this is the worst of all possible scenarios.

I send anyone affected all my love.

So Much Going On In the World

It’s the time of year when sorrows overflow. Hurricane season is beating up the coasts, from the Caribbean and the US southeast to South Asia on up to freaking Nepal. Brutal forest fires line the whole West Coast of America. Rohingya refugees flee from Myanmar to flood-wracked Bangladesh. Earthquakes in Mexico. We’re fighting real Nazis here in America, as well as people who claim they’re just conservative but who are really Nazi-adjacent. They’re like Vichy America.*

Finally, there’s 44.5 and his bullshit over DACA.

Seriously. If a group of politicians really wanted a better replacement for something, they would not suggest repealing it first. They come up with a bill to modify or replace, and submit that fucker to Congress.  44.5 tried the whole “get rid of it then we start over” with health care and no one bit.

These kids are amazing, extraordinary kids. They’re *paying* to stay here; they’re not getting anything for free. This has been as much their home as anyone who grew up here. For most kids, we don’t think of home as where our passport is from – we think of home as where we went to school, or learned to ride a bike, or first realized that that kid on the swingset with us was our best friend.

This jackass up there in the seat of power doesn’t care how cruel he is. And I’m seeing a lot of similarities in the people who support him.

In the middle of all the other devastation happening in the world, I can’t even wrap my mind around why.

 

 

* More about this one later. It’s been wriggling around my mind since Charlottesville.