#AtoZChallenge: Ooookay…

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By Anton Bielousov (Own work: Grouse Mountain) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

You know that feeling when something is presented as cold, clear reality, but facts demonstrate otherwise. Or when someone says something so outrageous, you simply don’t have words for it. Except the one.

Ooookay…

It is a beat; it is a non-reaction reaction. And I’m starting to feel as though it is the underlying rhythm of this alternate universe in which we seem to find ourselves lately. Four election machines are stolen in Georgia on Sunday, just ahead of today’s special election for Tom Price’s seat, and the person from whom they were “stolen” didn’t report it until the eve of the election?

Ooookay…

Ivanka Trump receives provisional trademarks from China after the state-ish dinner with President of China, Xi Jinping, apparently leveraging her amorphous White House role and likely her enigmatic security clearance for personal financial gain?

Ooookay…

Trump, in an interview, refers to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un solely as “this gentleman” — as though he doesn’t know his name — and says both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama handled him poorly. Only Kim Jong Il was ruler during the Clinton years. And most of Obama’s first term. He died in 2011. But nuclear weapons are still on the table.

Ooookay…

And the GOP seems pretty thumbs-up about all of it.

OOOOKAY…
I don’t know how we turn this ship around and venture back into the safety of reality, where so-called presidents don’t launch bombs to distract from their likely involvement with foreign powers to influence elections. I don’t know how we stop living in the time stub that disappears when the hero arrives in her time device to save humanity from its ultimate doom.

So until then, we are left with just one thing.

Ooookay.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Oh Right. My Blog

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OK, so this blog. I know I’ve been absent, pretty much since the election. It’s tough to continue our lighthearted exchanges about life and writing and exercise and weird dreams and blah days.

Well, maybe the blah days are still easy.

Still, I’ve found I cannot prevent myself from writing about politics. This doesn’t see like the right place to do that, so I’ve started writing at Medium. You can even follow me there.

You can also click the links in the sidebar.

Everything I write there will be political, so be forewarned. Or intrigued. I prefer intrigued.

I’ll be trying to pop in here, and write the kinds of things this blog talks about, but the world has changed, and my focus seems to be changing with it.

I’ll keep you updated, though, on books and other such goodies, and I anticipate something in that regard in the not-too-distant future.

Hope everyone is doing well or handing in or coping. Onward we go.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

Red and Blue, We’re the Colors of the Flag

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Hi Members of the Electoral College,

We don’t know each other. Probably. I mean, if we did, it would be quite a coincidence, so let’s just go with we don’t know each other. We likely live in very different parts of the country. Where I am buildings rise high next to a lake so large you’d swear it was a sea, a goaty curse was broken, and I hear people like our pizza.

That’s my America.

Different colors and shapes of faces when I walk to the grocery store; the warmth being sucked out of the air as December goes on while a wind with teeth bites your face; the heaviest coat in the coat wardrobe making its seasonal debut.

That’s my America.

I’ve visited some of your America, too. The otherworldly loveliness of the Florida Keys; the quiet, rolling beauty of Wisconsin; the unexpected hills of southern Indiana; Louisville’s spanning bridges; the sudden mountains of Pennsylvania; the open skies of Iowa; the long, straight roads of Ohio that have their own kind of silence.

That’s your America.

I’ve driven and I’ve flown, and I’ve never felt like a stranger in this country. I’ve chatted with servers and people in the line at the supermarket; hotel guests in an elevator and the clerks at the front desks. I’ve held the door for you and you for me, and perhaps we shared a smile or a nod.

That’s your America.

And the one thing I’ve never questioned, even if I knew that your secret inside color was as red as my secret inside color is blue, is that we are all still colors of the flag. Red next to blue; blue next to red; we are America.

This is our America.

We cannot permit this country that we love, this country that is made of all those moments of driving through and staying and visiting and moving and living and families and acknowledging the thing that makes us all the same, we cannot permit it to be lost to a foreign power with plans of its own.

This is our America.

I understand that secret red inside you, Moral Electors, is a strong force. It is a defining force. And it might make the decision you must make feel difficult. We understand, we really do.

But now is not the time for our blue and red to stand, separated. Now is the time for us all to be the colors of our flag, to rescue our nation from the precipice, to tell a foreign power that there is no room for interference between those swathes of red and blue, blue and red.

History will remember you, Moral Electors, for your service to your country when you reject Russia’s candidate, when you reject Vladimir Putin’s candidate.

When you think about me in my corner of our country while I think about you in your corner of our country (probably with jealousy if it’s a warm corner of our country). History will remember you when you stand with the popular vote, stand with the person that Russia fears so deeply, so completely, that Putin would go to this length to stop her. History will remember you, Moral Electors, when you reject Donald Trump and cast your votes for Secretary Hillary Clinton.

United we stand, red with blue, blue with red, and simply tell Russia “no.”

This is our America.

[This piece originally appeared on Medium]

A Country that Would Bully a Child in a Wheelchair

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Today I was planning on sharing with you the pictures I took from the Cubs World Series parade. And at some point I will. Granted sooner would probably be better for my views of said pictures, but some things are more important than views.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve become pretty vocal about politics. I’m actually very political, but I keep it off of my blog. As long as you treat others with kindness and respect, no matter how they differ from you, everyone is welcome here.

But that’s why this post is necessary. Kindness and respect. During this election cycle, I’ve seen a side of my fellow Americans I naively thought had died decades ago. A seething mass of hatred and anger, of suggestions of violence doled out as punishment for existing in a different kind of body, for exercising the constitutional right to vote, for exercising the constitutional right to free speech or for freedom of the press.

It gets so much worse, though. Here’s the thing I just can’t shake.

I’ve seen a candidate for President of the United States mock a person with a disability on a national stage. And when I thought it couldn’t get more horrendous than that, that same candidate ejected a child with cerebral palsy from his rally. A child who needs an electronic device to speak. A 12-year-old child in a wheelchair.

Apparently the crowd even began pushing/kicking the chair. Imagine that, being a child in a crowd like that, a child who does not have full control over his own body, and the crowd starts to interfere with your only means of autonomy.

Ever since reading about this incident, it has haunted me. The adult targets of irrational hate, we can fend for ourselves, as we have for centuries. We can fight back through the system, and when the system fails us, we create our own systems, and we survive.

But we are talking about a child with a disability who was bullied and intimidated not only by mob of mouth-foaming adults, but an actual candidate for the highest office in this country. How can we accept that?

We, the adult targets of hate and non-targets of hate alike, have a responsibility to that child, as we do to all children. Even if we can’t prevent bullying by peers, we can decree that adults bullying children is not acceptable.

The best way to say that is to refuse to elect a bully as our next president.

I’ve found this election so sad, as I’ve learned how many other Americans are willing to fully embrace hatred, or turn a blind eye to hatred, or flatly deny the blatant hatred in front of them exists.

Please don’t be such an American. Please vote for an America where everyone has value.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Sorry. I have to talk about it

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So Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died this weekend. While I try to stay away from anything political here, it is such an enormous event, it’s impossible not to acknowledge it. Particularly as I am a former attorney.

I know that most of my posts are about the small things, the close things. The day-to-day living things. And believe it or not, Justice Scalia’s death impacts exactly those things.

If his dissenting side had won the Obamacare decision, I probably wouldn’t have health insurance right now. Why? I’ve actually used my health insurance this year, and in the past, before the health care act, in the Wild West of the individual health insurance market, my insurer could have dropped me just for the risk that I might actually obtain services in exchange for my premiums. Any health problem — even an abnormal pap smear — could be used as a reason to deny coverage. The law may not perfect, but it’s better than what was.

Friends of mine can make the most intimate decision and marry the person they love now. Again, not because of Justice Scalia, but in spite of him. They can decide what their families will look like and receive equal treatment under the law.

The concept of the Court seems so remote for most people. It seems lofty, as though it has nothing practical to do with us.

But in reality, the Court has enormous power to dictate to us the minutiae of our day-to-day existence, or give us the room to simply live our lives. It is the Supreme Court that decides whether money is speech, how much religion is permissible in public life, what “privacy” means and how much of it you can expect from your government. It is the Supreme Court that decides what is fair when you are accused of a crime and what is fair if you’ve been convicted of one. It is the Supreme Court that can determine whether the way you have sex is legal.

No really. Michigan just passed an anti-sodomy law, despite a Supreme Court ruling finding them unconstitutional.  You’d think Michigan would have other things to worry about (uh water), but there it is.

So while what is likely to be an epic fight over Justice Scalia’s replacement gears up, please don’t tune out. Don’t glaze over, don’t shrug your shoulders and dismiss this as politics as usual. It isn’t.

This choice could literally change your life.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!