Friday, November 11, 2016

What Is Right Or What Is Easy

I haven't written one of these in awhile, almost a year in fact.  I don't know if they'll be regular again, but I'm feeling like I need a place to speak.

Earlier this week Presidential Elections came to a close and the results weren't what I wanted, it wasn't who I voted for.  I needed a few days to process what this election means, not just for me, but for so many people across the country and the world.

This election has empowered a long quieted group of people, white people. I know what you're thinking, white people haven't been quiet ever, and you're right, but there's a group of White People (the capitol letters necessary about this particular subset of white people), who have been long quieted because progress has left them behind.  They haven't had a candidate who said what they were thinking about the minority groups they so desperately want out.  White people feel that they've lost control of their country because they wrongly believe that it's their country.

This election cycle has incited a very real and justified fear in minority and marginalized groups, a fear that did not end on election night and no matter who won, that fear stays because it's not all about the candidate, it's about what the candidates have inspired in people.

The country is the most divided that I have ever seen it.  I'm scared for my friends of color, I'm  scared for my immigrant friends, I'm scared for the LGBTQ+ community, I'm scared for women.

But I'm struggling to find my place in this new in country because I had two options:

1. I could hide behind the color of my skin, I can hide my sexual identity because as a bisexual, I can keep quiet about my struggled with anxiety and mental health, I can let men decided what is to be done with my body, I could hold my tongue about sexual assault, I could sit back and watch while minority groups are harassed and scared for their lives because that is what's easy for me.

But that's bullshit.

I think that J.K. Rowling put it best when she said,  “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right." I've never been one to sit ideally by and watch as bad things happen, the easy road doesn't really appeal to me. 

So that leaves number two.

2. This option is harder, but in my experience doing what is right isn't always easy. I will stand by my friends of color, in the LGBTQ community, with disabilities, with vaginas (because it's a reproductive organ and not a bad word), who are immigrants, who are Muslim, who are Jewish.  I will stand for anyone who is fearful for their safely because the last three days have seen a rise in hate crimes and hateful language. 

There are times where I wish that I was blind to all of this, that I had my head in the sand, but then I think about all of the people that I love who are directly effected and it strengthens my resolve. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm here for a fight.  I'm here to stand tall and not back down. I"m here to be an amplifier for the voices that are being shouted over. I am here and I'm not going anywhere. 

I want to end with a message to my fellow white people.  Do not devalue someone's fear because you are not afraid.  The color of your skin protects you from a lot of the current climate, but that doesn't mean the fear isn't real. 

Since election night there have been countless reports of hate crimes and of hate fueled vandalism. The fear that minorities feel is real and cannot be overlooked merely because you don't understand it. Don't believe me, look here, here, here, here, here, or simply Google, hate crimes since election. 

I am aware that Donald isn't the one out there committing these crimes, but it is the people that he inspired with his hateful, fear mongering, racist, bigoted language. 

This is the time for white people to step up.  When you step back and watch you become part of the problem.  This is your call to action.  When you see hate being spewed, intervene. Prove that you're better than bigotry, prove that America truly can be great if we all work together to move forward, not back. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Forgive my absence

Hello Dear Readers - Please forgive my absence the last couple months, life has been crazy.

Since we last spoke I have really been trying to get myself in order.  I did booze free Januray, which has lead to me mostly not drinking anymore.  I joined a gym and it was the best decision I've made in a long time, I feel healthier than I have in years.  I also started cooking and experimenting a lot more.

So, the gym is basically my new home, I'm there 5-6 days a week and it's just a great atmosphere.  I didn't really join to lose weight, I just wanted to feel better, but since I joined on January 1 I've lost 26 pounds and I feel so good inside and out.

The gym isn't the only change I've made though, my cooking, which I always did, has gotten a lot healthier and I've started trying to cook new things.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I am a freaking goddess in the kitchen.  I love it, I cook to relax now.

I have also accepted a position as a leader next year, so I'll be sticking around Spartanburg for another year, but I think it's a really good move for me both professionally and personally.  I'm excited for the next chapter, but I still have a few more months of this one.

One of the biggest reasons that I haven't been writing on this blog is that I've been doing a lot of fiction writing.  I'm pretty far into a novel that I've been working on since November, like 80 pages deep, and it's kind of consumed my life in the best possible way. I'm really hoping to have it finished by the summer and then I'm going to look into how to get things published (ahh, this is real life).

I've also been busy yelling at my computer about the current election cycle. I may write a post dedicated to my feelings about it, but for now I will leave you with this.

Dump Trump.

Thanks for reading, hopefully I'll be back soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Let's Talk About SCOTUS Baby


(PS there are sources at the bottom of this post for all my facts and quotes)

Alright, puns aside, let's talk about the Supreme Court of the United States, the American Constituion and how frustrating the American political system has become over the last 250 years. 

Here's a fun history lesson.  Since 1969 (almost 50 years ago) the longest vacancy on the Court was 391 days, this was due to the first two appointees being rejected.

If you look at the past 30 years the longest vacancy was 237 days, again because the first two people selected were rejected.  

The average time to fill a vacancy on the Court is under 80 days, but let's not forget that we're currently in an election year and that means one thing - people are going fucking crazy. 

People *cough Republicans cough* are saying that if President Obama nominates a replacement that it would be a lame duck appointment. For those of you who don't know, a lame duck is a person who has been voted out of office but still has time left on their term.  To clarify, Obama has not been voted out of office, he has reached his term limit.  Also to be clear, the elections for his replacement haven't even begun, we are still in the primary phase of the 2016 election cycle and nominees for each party won't be officially selected until this summer. 

A quick breakdown of the timeline:
There are just under 11 months until Obama leaves office. 
There are just over 8 months until the general elections are held. 

There are months until candidates are officially selected.

Even if the new president nominated someone to the bench on their first day in offices, by the time the hearings and the vetting process is over it would mean there was a vacancy on the bench for over a year.  That's unacceptable.  The Supreme Court is the last line of defense of the Constitution and we are asking them to rule on cases that will determine the future of this country without firing on all cylinders.

The majority of the  Senate GOP is currently saying that they will reject anyone that Obama nominates, citing a speech Joe Biden made during the 1992 Presidential Elections about Bush Sr. appointing someone to the bench.

There's why that's a bullshit reason to reject an appointment: BUSH WAS RUNNING FOR RELECTION IN 1992.  THERE WAS A REAL CHANCE HE WASN'T GOING TO BE RELECTED (spoiler: he wasn't). 

Obama isn't running for reelection.  Obama is serving the last year of his 4 year term and he can't be reelected.  He isn't a lame duck, he is a sitting President with a Constitutional right and duty to appoint someone to the court. 

“This is his moment,” Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor, addressing the president. “He has every right to nominate someone. Even if doing so will inevitably plunge our nation into another bitter and avoidable struggle, that is his right. Even if he never expects that nominee to actually be confirmed but rather to wield as an electoral cudgel, that is his right.”

> Hey Bitch McConnell, here’s a thought - you have the power to actually hold a hearing for the fucking qualified candidate that the President nominates, if you have legitimate issues with the candidate's qualifications or ability to rule then don't approve him or her.  You know damn well you’d hold a hearing if it was a Republican president you narrow minded, party lined,  anti-choice, anti-progress, bigot. <

Republican's, such as Mitch McConnell (R KY) and John Cornyn (R TX) are refusing to even meet with a candidate, saying they think it would be pointless as they won't hold hearings for them. Oh, I'm so sorry Mitchy, is doing the job you were elected to do TOO MUCH TO ASK?  Refusing to even consider a candidate is absurd, at least have the decency to do what the Senate Democrats did to Nixon in the 1960s and block the nomination.

“What is remarkable is the opposition is not to a particular candidate or even to the notion Obama will only nominate someone too extreme, but that he should not have any right to have a nomination considered,” said Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

Let's recap.  Mitch McConnell (my mortal enemy) said that the President has every right to nominate someone (good job Bitch McConnell, someone read you the Constitution) but that if Obama did nominate someone the Republicans would refuse to even meet with the nominee and would not hold hearings. But any animosity and struggle would be Obama's fault for even nominating someone, not the Senate for reusing the hearings.

AND BY THE WAY - ever Supreme Court Nominee since 1875 has received a hearing or a vote.  

The Senate isn't fulfilling its Constitutional duty to hold hearing for Presidental appointees.  It isn't Obama's job to sit on his hands for the last 11 months of his term, it isn't the Senates job to intentionally create more animosity in American politics, it isn't Mitch McConnell's job to decide who does and doesn't deserve the right to nominate someone.  The American people decided who had that right and duty in November of 2012 - sorry you didn't like the outcome. 

Oh, and in case you were wondering what the cases the Supreme Court is ruling on this year that will greatly affect millions of lives check out this list.   I'll save my angry pro-choice rant for another time. 




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Surviving Snow In South Carolina

As someone who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and went to college in Buffalo, New York I've learned how to handle myself in the snow.  I drove a rear wheel drive SUV through the snowy streets of Buffalo for two winters, my first car was a boat of an Olds Mobile that did not handle the snow like a dream, I know how to deal with snow.

One time I was driving on the thruway at 2 a.m. coming home from work in the middle of some pretty serious snow and I managed to hit a patch of black ice, spin out and regain control of my car all within about 6 seconds (though I will admit it felt like time slowed down and I considered singing 'Jesus take the wheel').

 So when I got a text at 9 on Thursday night of last week telling me the office was closed because there was going to be snow I spent a solid 5 minutes laughing and then looked out the window to see it hasn't started snowing yet.  Now as previously mentioned, I'm from the great northern part of our fine country so I know that sometimes snow doesn't start until late at night and can accumulate quickly.

When I woke up on Friday morning there was maybe an inch of snow on the ground, MAYBE. I promptly laughed until I cried and went to Walmart to see if they had sold out of bread and milk.  (Side note: Why do people buy milk before impending weather disasters? There's a change you'll lose power and it'll just go bad.)

Walmart was running with a staff of maybe 5 people, no deli, no bakery, no pharmacy, one open checkout lane.

The best part of this entire experience was that the main roads were salted and plowed by the time I left my house around 8:45 in the morning.  It stopped snowing by like noon and it was just raining.  I will admit that's when the roads got dangerous since it froze over and then it was icy as hell but still.

So that was my first 'winter' experience down south.  They close basically everything if there's going to be even a flurry, you watch out for ice because that's what you'll actually find, two days later it'll be 60 degrees.

Oh yeah.  It's was 60 degrees yesterday.

Winter in the south from a northern perspective.  It's funny to watch, but get's super boring.  You're welcome for this blog, it was pointless, but probably a little funny for all my northern brethren.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hannah and the No Good, Very Bad, Start to 2016

Do you ever have one of those days, or weeks, where nothing big goes wrong but nothing seems to go right?

You snooze your alarm one too many times so you miss breakfast, you hit traffic on the way to work so you're late, you can't get a word in edge wise at a meeting even though you have a good idea, you're computer at work is slower than usual, you forget your lunch so you have to eat the three emergency granola bars you have in your desk, you spill water all over your shoes and pants, you forget your shoes for the gym, you go to make dinner only to find your potatoes you bought 5 days ago have sprouted, you're car has a recall and is acting funny, the wifi has been our in your apartment for almost a month, you drop your phone off the machine at the gym and the screen cracks.

That was my week as of Wednesday and that was how I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in the parking lot of Planet Fitness.  It was just a pair of shoes, they don't really matter.  Any other day I would have just gone home, gotten the shoes and gone back but yesterday it felt like the end of the God damn world because it was just one thing after another.  I sat in that parking lot, listening to Adele and crying for almost 45 minutes and when I left I felt a little better until I got home and the damn potatoes had sprouted.

I don't think I'm a particularly pessimistic person, I'm more of a realist, but I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel after last night.  I went in to 2016 so excited.  I was ready to kick ass and take names and just rock the year out and there I was, only 6 days in and I felt like the world was ending.  When I got home I did the only thing I could think of, I sat on my couch and ate ice cream right out of the carton and listened to my 'Sad Songs' playlist on Spotify, It wasn't my greatest moment.

I feel like I should add here that I gave up coffee for the month of January and anyone who knows me at all knows that coffee is basically the blood of life for me so I'm like 90% sure that I was in caffeine withdraw on top of all of this other shit.  So last night I went to bed feeling totally and utterly defeated, my head pounding and feeling like I had lived a month in three days.

But something weird happened when I woke up this morning, I woke up before my 6:50 alarm.  When I got out of my bed the apartment didn't feel like the inside of a refrigerator and with a glance out my widow I discovered that my car wasn't covered in frost.  I managed to find an outfit for work without having to go through my hamper, my hair cooperated with me when I put it up into my standard bun(it's not really standard anymore since it's just recently long enough to go into a bun again but whatever, it's my blog I can say what I want), I thought I was out of tooth paste but it turns out I had enough for this morning.

I dropped my car off at the Ford dealership and there wasn't a line, I got into work and my computer started up without any problems, I had coffee (IT'S MY LIFE I DO WHAT I WANT OK?). I remembered my lunch and it was SO GOOD. Today as been a good day (so far, oh my god I jinxed myself didn't I?)

But here's the point of this entire post, I might have just come up with it at this very moment but who cares, I'm in a good mood and I do as I damn well please.  The point is, sometimes things suck and you just need to cry and let yourself wallow in self pity.  You need to call your best friend and just cry, you need to eat ice cream for dinner and wrap yourself in your favorite blanket.  That's okay.  It's okay to have a bad week and let yourself reach that low as long as you don't stay there.

When I went to sleep last night (at 10:15 which should have been a sign that today would be way better than yesterday) I told myself that everything would feel better in the morning, everything looks better after a good nights sleep (that sage advice is not mine, I won't take credit, that came from the wonderful Doug Burry when I was in the 8th grade)

And I should have learned by now to never doubt that advice since today I woke up and I felt good.  It's a new day, it's one week into the year and the week from hell had to end eventually, so why not today?

It's okay to wallow in self pity and be sad as long as you don't stay there.  I'm not staying there, and even if Ford needs to keep my car for the weekend I'll be alright since I had my meltdown already, I got it out of my system.  Today is a new day and goddamn it I'm making it a good one.

January 7th 2016 marks the end of the No Good, Very Bad Week.  (I HOPE) (( OMG DID I JINX IT? ))

Shout out to the following people who had to deal with me while I was wallowing/in the worst mood ever (this is in no particular order): Katie, Kelsey, Mom, Celly J Baby, Katie (again since seriously she got the brunt of it, poor roommate), Dana, every single one of my coworkers, myself (since I was pretty hard on me).

Here's to a better week 2 of 2016.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Be Resolute, Don't Make Resolutions

Resolute - admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.

Resolution - a firm decision to do or not to do something.

First and foremost, I'd like to wish all my readers (do I have readers anymore? It's been awhile since I've been able to post since I was sans wifi - technically I still am without it at my apartment, but hey, what are lunch breaks for if not for writing?) a happy new year.  It's frightening to think that we're only four short years from 2020. 

I have long since abandoned the idea of making a 'New Years Resolution' because inevitably by May I've completely forgotten about it and then when the new year rolls around again I'm disappointed in myself.  I've decided that I won't be making any new years resolutions for 2016, instead I am going to make life changes in my 23rd year, or is it my 24th year since for the first year of like you're not really a year old but you're in the first year of life.  I'm rambling, let me get back on topic. 

Here are 13 things that I'm going to be doing in my 23rd (24th?) year on earth.  These changes have been thought out, these things I am not changing are things I admire about my life, and they are not changed because it's a new year, but because Blink 182 tells me that no one likes you when you're 23 and I figure that as long as I like myself that doesn't matter. 

13 things for 23
I'm putting all this out on the internet because if I do, there's a much better chance of me holding myself accountable. 

1. Join a gym 
2. Actually go to said gym because I'm paying real money for that membership and I'll be damned if I waste any money on my current income.
3. Drink less beer (and vodka, and wine and really any alcoholic beverages) 
4. Drink more water.  There's this great app called Plant Nanny that my personal Yoda, Dana, told me about and it's great for keeping me on task with drinking water. 
5. Put down my mother-bleeping phone and look around. I mean it this time, I've been trying, really trying.
6. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour.  This means being asleep midnight on weeknights Burry.
7. Don't beat myself up when I slip up.
8. LET GO. The past is passed and it's about damn time that I start leaving it there. 
9. When opportunities present themselves, take them, don't just sit in my super comfy bed and let things pass me by.
10. Fight for what I believe in, not that I don't do this now, but I just want to keep it up since that seems to be one of the few things that has remained constant in my life.  
11. Read more. The lack of wifi has really pushed that on me, but I'm so glad since somehow I forgot how much I love reading.  That should never be forgotten.  Reading is the best. You heard it here first folks, reading rocks. 
12.  When I'm mad take ten seconds and breathe before responding, let it settle, really listen to what was said before responding.  Remember that sometimes responding isn't necessary. 
13. Keep it up.  I have truly fallen in love with myself in the last year and I want that to keep happening, I want to keep loving myself the way I did when I was 22. 

So there it is.  I won't call that a list of resolutions, even if that's what it might seem like.  That's a list of things that I am holding myself accountable to.  I'm going to make 23 my best year, even if no one likes you when you're 23. 

Here's the thing, being 23 makes me feel like an official adult.  My roommate and I had a talk about what makes people not like you when you're 23 and we came up with a pretty decent theory.  

When you're 22 you're still a kid in your own eyes, in the eyes of most of your peers and in the eyes of adults.  You're probably just finishing up college and starting out on your own.  You still have that safety net of adolescence.  22 tastes like freedom, but you know that it's not really that yet.  It's a weekend at home with home cooked meals and a weekend away with too much alcohol and fun. 

When you're 23 you're probably out in the real world, or trying to be, you've moved out on your own, you're responsible for your own well being for the first time ever since there's no dining hall or dad to make your meals.  23 tastes like pinching penny's and wishing you hadn't spent ten dollars on drinks while you were in college. 23 is the first cold gust of reality, of life without that comfortable safety net.  It's also the cold gust of wind that chills you to the bone and you know you won't be warm again for awhile since you can't afford to turn the heat up over 61.

So here's why no one likes you when you're 23:  All the kids (I'm talking 22 and under here for the most part) don't see you as one of them anymore, you're an adult in the real world doing real world things and you're not a part of their club anymore.  All the adults (Let's say 25 and up here) don't think of you as one of them yet, you're still a kid in their eyes even though to the kids you're an adult.  No one likes you when you're 23 because you're in the no man's land between adolescence and adulthood, no one knows where to place you so they just discount you.

Well, I feel like I just spewed so much at you, so I'll leave it here for today.  Hopefully I'll have wifi again by next week and I can post regularly again (okay, so it was never regular) So maybe just more frequently.

Happy New Year, make it a good one.

Friday, December 4, 2015

What's my age again?

This is my last blog post as a 22-year-old and that's a little bit scary but also a little bit exciting.

Let me give you a quick recap of my twenty second year of life:
- I graduated from college.
- I broke up with a guy I had been dating for a while.
- I moved in with my parents for a month.
- I got staples in my head.
- I moved to South Carolina and started living at the poverty level.
- I started this blog.

That's 22 in a nutshell for me, I mean there was more, but that hit the big parts.

I was thinking about things that I want from my twenty third year, but I'm drawing a blank.  I'm kind of terrified that I'll be 23 because 23 feels like real adulthood, you don't hear that someone is 23 and think 'aw they're just a kid' because when you're 23 you've usually graduated from college, moved out on your own and gotten a job (or at least you've tried).

So that's what 23 is going to be for me.  It's going to be my first year of real adulthood.  22 started it, when I moved down to South Carolina, but this year I'm going to be fully an adult.  There's no college classes, there's no living with my parents.  Turning twenty three marks my first time as a full fledged adult and I think I'm ready.  (I'M NOT READY)

But no one is ever ready.  If I've learned anything in the last year, it's that no one was ready when they entered the real world, we're all just really good at faking it.

So tonight at midnight, when it stops being December 4th and starts being the 5th I'll turn 23.

To quote Blink 182, no one likes you when you're 23.  Let's see if that's true.

Oh, and for anyone who reads this, I'm sorry there hasn't been an update in awhile, I haven't had wifi at my apartment for the last 3 weekends and I can't post when I don't have wifi.  I'm actually sitting at Panera right now since the wifi is down again.

That's an entirely different post though.