Let Liz Speak

Okay, okay, okay, I swore that the next time I posted it would not be about politics and, come to think of it, that’s probably why I haven’t written anything in like 3 months, because, honestly, what the fuck else is any sane, thinking human being preoccupied with right now?!?!! So I decided to hone my outrage to one specific thing and that thing is motherfucking patriarchy! Specifically the atrocious and hypocritical treatment of Senator Elizabeth Warren during the Senate debate over the confirmation of Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

On Tuesday Senator Warren attempted to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King. The letter had been sent to then Senator Strom Thurmond regarding Jeff Sessions’ nomination for a federal judiciary seat in 1986. In her 1986 letter the widow of the Civil Rights leader details how Sessions had continually made efforts to suppress the votes and voices of Black Americans in the State of Alabama. King laid out, in very measured language, how Sessions attempted to abuse the power of his office at the time in his “eagerness to bring to trial and convict three leaders of the Perry County Civic League…despite evidence clearly demonstrating their innocence of any wrongdoing”. Sessions was not confirmed for that Judiciary seat in 1986 by a vote of 10 to 8. Did you guys hear that? This guy was deemed too racist and polarizing to be  judge….IN 1986!!!!

Not once, in her letter, did King resort to name-calling, speculation or rhetoric. She simply recited history from an eyewitness point of view. So it was kind of slightly odd when Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell stopped Senator Warren in the middle of her reading this letter to say that she was “impugning the character of a fellow Senator”. What happened next is straight out of my college journalism class where I would raise my hand to answer a question, get called on by my flagrantly sexist Indian journalism teacher (yeah, it was community college so he definitely does not get to be called a “professor”), provide the correct answer to his question only to have him tell me I was wrong, then call on the boy sitting next to me who said THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING AS I JUST SAID and was told he was correct. It was literally like being in the Twilight Zone. I audibly said, simultaneously addressing everyone in the class and no one in particular “Isn’t that EXACTLY what I just said?!?!” which was met with general murmurs of confirmation and agreement.

McConnell interrupted Senator Warren’s remarks about Sessions and she was then reprimanded by the Senate Majority Leader. Warren was then gaveled down by Republican Senator Steve Daines (Montana) and told to “take her seat”. McConnell then cited rule XIX which prohibits debating senators from ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” Which is pretty much a bullshit rule to begin with and one that no one has ever paid attention to until it came time to shut up an outspoken woman on the Senate floor. When asked about the silencing of one of his colleague McConnell responded by saying “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted.” and now Mitch McConnell will have to live the rest of his short, miserable life knowing that thousands of feminists are at this very moment getting his words tattooed across their ribcages. Take that, patriarchy! Mitch McConnell’s very concise history of the Women’s movement was quickly turned into a meme because of course it was and #ShePersisted became one of the most awesome things on the internet for a few hours because that’s pretty much the shelf life of sensationalist internet memes.

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Sadly, the fact that Senator Warren was censured, reprimanded like a disobedient school girl, ordered to sit down and shut up, and ultimately blocked from speaking by her male peers comes as no surprise. What was slightly more surprising and very irksome was that just a few hours after Senator Warren was ordered off the Senate floor Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon picked up Mrs. King’s letter and read it in its entirety, uninterrupted by McConnell or his cronies. So to recap, it’s okay for a dude to violate rule XIX but not for a lady? Is that the lesson I was supposed to learn from watching C-SPAN yesterday? That my voice, because it issues from a body in possession of a vagina, will never be as valuable as the voices of my male peers and colleagues? Because THAT is shit! To be clear, I applaud Senator Merkley for picking up where Warren left off and using his voice to convey the messages that she could not. I just think it’s supremely fucked up that he had to do that in the first place.

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Then there is the hypocrisy that goes along with all this shit. The fact that male Senators have, on record and on the Senate floor, called other colleagues horrible names and definitely impugned their characters but were never censured and rule XIX was never officially invoked. It was not invoked in May of last year when Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas had this to say about then Democratic Senate Minority leader Harry Reid:

“I’m forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the minority leader,” “Normally, like every other American, I ignore them. I can’t ignore them today. . . . When was the last time the minority leader read a bill? It was probably an electricity bill. … This institution will be cursed less with his cancerous leadership.”

It was not officially invoked when, in the Summer of 2015, Republican Senator Ted Cruz called Senator Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. It was not invoked when Senator Harry Reid called his Republican colleagues “puppets” in 2007. It was not invoked when, in response to Reid’s comments, Republican Senator Arlen Specter fired back with the implication that Reid was not qualified enough to do his job. It was not invoked in the initial 1986 hearing when Senator Ted Kennedy called Jeff Sessions “a disgrace” (although Sessions was not then a sitting Senator). It was not invoked in 1979 when Republican Senator Lowell Weicker (Connecticut) called his colleague, Republican Senator John Heinz (Pennsylvania) “an idiot” and “devious”. Have you noticed anything about all those who were warned about Rule XIX but were not forced to “take their seat” or forced to “shut up” or ousted from the Senate floor? If you guessed they were all dudes you get a gold star for paying attention.

This serves to reinforce the idea that it is far more uncomfortable and outrageous when a woman is being tough and outspoken. I actually just read an “article” (those are my sarcastic air quotes) on the clearly bipartisan website Restate.com (nice name guys) about how liberals need to stop whining about Warren’s treatment and that “the Republicans treated Senator Ted Cruz much worse” for the comments he made about McConnell’s being a liar. That is just patently false. Cruz was never told to sit down and shut up. Cruz was never voted off the floor by his colleagues and to suggest that he was “treated much worse than Warren” is irresponsible, false and incendiary (and maybe someday we can talk about how right leaning news outlets feel the need to lie in order to maintain their narrative that the left are a bunch of nazi hypocrites who are also, somehow, hippies and whiners and cucks and stupid and elitist all at the same time but that conversation is for another day). Even if one scrolls down to the comment section on the C-SPAN video of Warren’s hour-long speech “impugning” Senator Sessions the majority of the comments are about how Warren is a mouthy bitch who needs to be put in her place. This despicable rhetoric is just being reinforced by those in the Senate and in the current White House who are more concerned with protecting the speech of Neo Nazis, white supremacist, anti-feminists and basically just racists and xenophobes of every stripe than it is concerned with hearing facts and history recited back to them by a well-respected sitting Senator.

My point, and I do have one, is to ask my Senate why it is okay for a man to call his fellow Senators names (idiot, cancerous, liar, bitter, devious, vulgar, disgrace etc.) but when a woman dips her toe into that territory she is immediately voted off the floor and told to “take her seat”? Did she not earn her Senate seat in the same manner as her male colleagues? Did she not work as hard or spend as much money (because honestly) to get where she is today? How can you say out of one side of your mouth that you “cannot understand why women think they need to march” while simultaneously exploiting your station to keep a woman silent? Do you not see what you’re doing? If not, let me assure you that we see what you’re doing and we’re not going to forget it….you useless, wrinkled, old, limp-dicked, fascists! (I threw in that last part for any Republicans reading this post [HA!] or anyone who wants to tell to “go high” because fuck that!)

And here is a link where you can buy your very own “Nevertheless She Persisted” T-shirt and a portion of the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood! 

I had a Pinterest Wedding….

….and I totally survived. And kind of pulled it off!

Okay, first of all watch this…because I have writer’s block or more appropriately I have writer’s boulder. A boulder that is comprised of mtihril and adamantium. And this video, from those geniuses, Kristen and Jen at imomsohard, kind of takes up a little bit of space on the page and is a fairly accurate representation of my love-hate relationship with Pinterest.

This was supposed to be an embedded video but Facebook is busy eating a bunch of dicks and making my life difficult. In any case if you click on this link, you’ll get to where you need to go…just don’t forget to come back. XOXO

If you have been hanging around here for a while you may beware of the views that I have expressed in the past regarding Pinterest. They have been…unkind. Call me crazy (because why not? I pretty much am) but I don’t think you need to spend $800.00 on craft supplies and 72 man hours of labor to throw your 2 year-old a birthday party…THAT THEY WON’T EVEN REMEMBER! Are you really gonna go through those pictures with your child when they’re in their twenties and explain to them that you loved them so much that you spent three weeks, sleeping only 4 hours each night so that they could have a handmade, hand-dyed, locally sourced, free-range, artisanal unicorn pinata filled with homemade, certified organic, cruelty-free chocolate candies, individually wrapped in compostable rice paper of which you had to make 17 batches before you got the recipe to mold properly? Because if you are going to do that chances are your now twenty-three year-old child probably stopped talking to you 5 years ago and has already moved far, far away from you and may god have mercy on your soul.

But why Pinterest is awful is not why I’m here today, shockingly enough. I wanted to talk about why it’s kind of awesome and sometimes even a lifesaver! Last year, when my now Husband proposed, like many brides-to-be the first thing I did was make a Pinterest board, titled “Holy Crap! I’m Getting Married!!!” so that I might try to keep track of and catalog all the things about which people expected me to have an opinion. And I was expected to have an opinion about EVERYTHING including shit that I had no idea even existed or least of all mattered! People wanted to know dates, colors, theme and I’m like “theme?” I thought the theme of wedding was that it was a fucking wedding! It pretty much comes with its own built-in theme!

But no, people have Disney weddings and 1940s weddings, and superhero weddings and Dr. Who weddings and Star Wars weddings and Pokemon weddings (yes, two people who loved Pokemon enough to have a Pokemon themed wedding have actually found one another and are old enough to legally marry one another without thinking that it’s icky…that has happened, just ask the internet) and Legend of Zelda weddings, Steampunk weddings, Harry Potter weddings, even Walking Dead weddings. These are all things that adults choose to do with their life. I’m not saying I am too cool for fandoms, and little bits and pieces of our own fandoms did make cameo appearances at our wedding, but we chose to just stick with “wedding” as the general theme for the our wedding. And I am pretty sure we saved a ton of money by not having a Star Wars/Avengers/Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Indiana Jones themed wedding cake specially commissioned for the occasion.

As a matter of fact, thanks to Pinterest, we did not have a wedding cake at all, we had wedding Cannoli! And it was excellent, inexpensive and actually got eaten unlike most wedding cakes which are obscenely expensive and crafted largely to look good and don’t really taste that great. And that sort of sums up my feeling about wedding planning in general; I’m not about to do something just because that’s the way it’s always been done. I’m going to do something because it’s cheap, easy and seemingly practical because I am incredibly lazy and incredibly poor.

That being said I also found Pinterest very helpful because I did not have to remember anything or explain things to people. People would start asking me things like what I was going to do with my hair and usually my words would start to fail me, mostly due to the insanity creeping up on me because I was getting married in a matter of weeks but sometimes, admittedly, due to the fact that my mouth was full of Lucky Charms, and instead of having to respond to them with a coherent description using not-made-up vocabulary like a normal adult would have, I was able to just pull a picture up on my phone and shove it in their face. It worked like a motherfucking charm! And seriously, how does my spell check not have “motherfucking” in its dictionary by now? I swear to actual god!

I never thought I’d actually say this but, in this case, Pinterest was kind of a life saver. It was there when I needed cheap or free decorating ideas, inspiration for what to do with all those damn mason jars and white Christmas lights my Mom kept buying, and there when I needed to figure out what to do with my unimpressive hair whence it was given over to an actual professional stylist (who, by the way, worked miracles, that’s Christine at 1630 Hair Artisans in Renton and I am not just giving her a plug because she stood up with me, I’m doing it because she did an amazing job on my hair and my makeup and she deserves it, also she’s super nice, like a My Little Pony, but not Rainbow Dash…Christine is like Fluttershy). Because I had Pinterest to catalogue my thoughts, my thoughts seemed less like incoherent nonsense and just a little bit more like coherent sense which is what I need everyday….obviously you knew that if you made it this far into this post.

Someone should totally invent an app that makes me less crazy and totally capable of doing things like waking up to my first alarm , keeping the bathroom clean and the sink empty of dishes, folding the laundry, and not drinking too many margaritas and gorging myself on empanadas. I want my best people on this shit, right away!

This post was supposed to have a bunch of side-by-side photographic examples of all the Pinterest-y (I could literally not bring myself to use the word “Pinteresting”) ideas that were actually employed at my wedding but, let’s be honest, that’s something you might expect from someone who has a modicum of their shit together. And we all know, that ain’t me. Love you guys! Thanks for hanging out and wasting some time with me! XOXO

And just for shits and giggles, here are a couple pics from the wedding:

I am not sure how Josh ended up wearing two different hats and just so we’re clear, no one got around to taking a picture of the cannoli before it started to get eaten so in that picture it is in a state of actively being devoured. It was fucking delicious!

P.S. Also, I would like to formally request that people who have never played Scrabble in their life stop making cutesy wedding crafts out of Scrabble tiles, it’s insulting to the real nerds, it’s nerd-cultural appropriation and it needs to stop, thank you.

 

The Power of Positive Drinking*

*Originally Published as “I am an Achiever” which was a thinly veiled Big Lebowski reference

ACTUALLY I wrote this over a ago and it was first published on May 17th, 2015. I did, however, add some things to the list so there are a few new/updated bits! Enjoy!

I wrote this a few weeks ago and read it at the live reading we did at the beginning of the month, but even if you came to the reading there are some extra goodies at the end of the post. Thanks for reading and I love you guys!!!

I took my son to the park the other day and, granted it was a mild Sunday afternoon of which we do not get many in April in the great Pacific Northwest, I saw 5 pregnant women there…5!!! Oh wait, it gets even more interesting from a sociological and anthropological stand-point (said no one ever…except for maybe Oliver Sacks)! Of all the pregnant women every single one was there with their already existing child/children. And of all of the families at the park that day the pregnant moms were making up nearly half of the moms! Now, I am fully aware that it is rutting season and we are coming out of winter wherein the humans hunker down and procreate, mainly to stay warm and have an excuse to shave, but this just seemed excessive to me. As I watched the the gravid parade of moms waddling slowly from one end of the playground to the other chasing after their rapidly swelling broods, I realized that two of the five already had four children to their names!!!! That means each of those two women were currently gestating a fifth child!!!!

I can’t be the only one who becomes immediately suspicious of anyone who voluntarily has, just an unreasonable shit ton of kids, right (I say voluntarily because I am just assuming that since I saw these ladies at the park neither of them has been chained up in a basement being forcibly and repeatedly impregnated by their captors, but stranger things have happened, GO CLEVELAND)? I mean there are only a few reasons why anyone has that many kids; 1) to repopulate the planet with ready-made, home-schooled evangelical cult members 2) their religious beliefs prohibit the use of birth control (see also reason 1) and 3) sheer stupidity (see also reasons 1 and 2). All this reproduction just seemed excessive to me. I mean these ladies were clearly trying to compensate for something because they were totally overachieving in the baby-making department; they were reproductive overachievers!!!

In the face of all this extravagantly superfluous and even a little show-offy propagation of the human species I started to feel a little bit like a reproductive underachiever with my one measly kid. I will allow that I do have a pretty top notch baby (yes, I realize that he is four and no longer a baby but he will ALWAYS be my baby so shut up about it, okay!), with whom I am desperately in love. But every now and then, as I imagine all mothers do, I get sort of nostalgic for the days when he was a tiny little thing who smelled amazing and never ran away from me in the parking lot of Target. Then I quickly remember what it was like breastfeeding or staying up all night or cleaning feces off his neck and I am quickly ripped out of the land of newborn nostalgia and firmly back on earth where the worst of our problems consist of the DVR always missing the last two minutes of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” no matter how many times I try to record it from Sprout.

Besides I may be a reproductive underachiever but there are plenty of things at which I totally overachieve! Here is a bulleted list of those things in no particular order:

  • examining my pores in the mirror for hours at a time (okay, half hours at a time, but still)
  • anxiety
  • turning anxiety into chin acne
  • binge watching “Daredevil” on Neflix (and can I just say I’m on episode 10 already and he still doesn’t have a goddamn costume! WTF)
  • oral (full stop) hygiene
  • finding spare change in the car seats while waiting in line at the drive-through for a Blizzard
  • eating an entire pound of grapes in one sitting
  • WINE!
  • sleeping in until 10 o’clock
  • eyeliner
  • plucking my chin hairs
  • angrily screaming “SUCK MY DICK!” at street harassers
  • makeup in general
  • thrift store shopping
  • cussing people out while driving
  • Simpson’s trivia
  • being continually blown away by the size of my son’s poop
  • Boggle
  • neuroses
  • remembering all the names of the characters from the “Transformers” cartoons
  • “Big Lebowski” quotes
  • moping
  • always having a corkscrew
  • laughing at my own jokes
  • stick shift (also not a dirty metaphor)
  • getting kicked in the tits while trying to put shoes on a shrieking four year old
  • scalloped potatoes (I seriously make awesome scalloped potatoes)
  • sarcasm
  • inevitably being that person in the crowded bar who is saying something embarrassing or wildly inappropriate when the music suddenly dies down
  • forgetting to put tampons in my purse
  • scheme hatchery
  • “forgetting” to pay for the items I put on the bottom of the cart (and this is just a karmic reach-around to which I am not looking forward)
  • whiskey
  • insomnia
  • always picking the line at the grocery store that will take the longest no matter how few people are in front of you.
  • reciting the plots of all the episodes of “Ultimate Spiderman” when called upon to explain what the fuck my son is talking about and why he is trying to lock you into some sort of mental combat wherein he is the “Grandmaster” and you are the “Collector” and you each have to pick a team of heroes or villains to battle for the fate of New York City,  and how you should ALWAYS pick Kraven the Hunter because Kraven the Hunter is tits, but I mean, c’mon people, this is day one shit.

I could go on, but I don’t want to toot my own horn. But you see, there are plenty of things I do well, in addition to making fabulous, if not a little free with the nudity, babies! These are the things I have to tell myself in order to sleep at night when wading through the long list of all my inadequacies…also, whiskey helps a lot with that too.

P.S. Yes, I am perfectly aware that there are people with tons of kids who are NOT actually religious fanatics….as I had to point out to a friend of mine who busted my balls the first time this was published. But if I never blew anything out of proportion, never made broad, sweeping generalizations, and avoided hyperbole and sarcasm at all times, this probably wouldn’t be a very fun blog to read, now would it? So you can refrain from emailing me to tell me about all the perfectly normal atheists you know who just happen to have 7 kids because I already know that this is a thing that happens in real life, thank you. XOXO