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politics Things that piss me off

Donald Trump and Late Term Abortion

October 20, 2016

If you watched the final presidential debate last night, the one between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, then you know that Donald Trump and Late Term Abortion are terms that don’t go together. In other words, Donald Trump has no freaking idea what is going on with regard to late term or third trimester abortion.

Last night Donald Trump blathered on and on about how how late term abortions are performed. He kept repeating the word “baby” as if that made the process even more tragic than it already is.

I can tell you for a fact that women are not lining up outside abortion clinics so they can terminate a healthy pregnancy hours before they would otherwise give birth.

I know this because when I asked my ob/gyn to terminate my pregnancy at 36 weeks he told me he could not do so legally and suggested I go to Planned Parenthood for the procedure.

At 36 weeks gestation I learned that the baby I wanted so badly would die either shortly before or shortly after it was born. A girl it turns out. She had both spina bifida and anencephaly. There was no way she would live outside of my womb. No way. Period.

You can read more about my daughter here.

Only the base of her brain had formed, she lived because of the umbilical cord that connected us. Once it was cut, she would be unable to live on her own.

While I desperately wanted to terminate the pregnancy, because it was so emotionally painful to be pregnant knowing she was not going to survive, I was not in any hurry to end my connection with my daughter. And, truth be told, I did not want to cross the picket lines that were so common at abortion clinics in my town. I had escorted a friend or two for their abortions (first trimester abortions even though it is nobody’s business) and knew I was in no position to withstand the abuse that would be flung at a woman with a full term belly.

I decided to tough it out.

And by tough it out I mean by drinking, smoking and crying for two weeks.

When I reached 38 weeks gestation I was told we could induce labor. I had to wait two weeks to induce labor for a pregnancy that was going to fail. I’ll repeat that – I had to carry a baby that was going to die an extra two weeks because a bunch of men making the rules in a city so far removed from me felt it was my moral obligation to continue this pregnancy.

How fucking insane is that?

I probably should have said this earlier, but I tend to lean to the right politically speaking, just not on this or other social issues. If the republicans want to ever win another presidential election, they need to stop sticking their noses in something that is none of their fucking business.

While I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton, I stand with her with regard to abortion:

“Under Roe versus Wade, women have this right to make this highly personal decision with their family in accordance with their faith, with their doctor.” 

“I think that the kind of late-term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity. And, therefore, I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision.”

Until Trump (or any politician) is pregnant with a baby that cannot live outside the womb, he needs to shut the hell up about the very difficult choice that thousands of women face each year.

 

 

Advice Dumb Shit I Do People politics Things that piss me off WTF?

OMG Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

October 12, 2016
Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

For the love of Pete, stop unfriending each other!! Every five minutes someone is challenging their Facebook friends and followers to unfriend them if they hold a different opinion about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

If you support that lying, misogynistic, groping dumbass – well just unfriend me now“, or “If you think she actually supports women then you can just unfriend me right now, in fact, I’ll do it for you“, or “if you’re planning on voting for this douchebag, I want you to unfriend me” and on and on.

picard

Additionally, people keep posting how so much more qualified Hillary Clinton is compared to Donald Trump, as if that is even a consideration.

Let’s Break it Down

Let me first say — I don’t like either of them and I’m not supporting or defending either’s behavior — but here’s the thing:

It’s not about their qualifications or their experience.

You can argue it should be, and you would still be wrong.

It’s about their agenda and what path they want to lead this country on.

People aren’t supporting Donald Trump because they also want to grope women without permission, they are not supporting Trump because they are racists (though it is certain that some racists support Trump, just as some of them support Hillary Clinton), people support Trump because they don’t like the direction they think Hillary will take this country.

Conversely, Hillary’s supporters are not women haters and they are not necessarily liars (though, again, there are probably many people who support Hillary who lie), it isn’t that they are liars that make them want to support her. They support her because they like the campaign promises she is making and foolishly believe she might be able to keep them.

 

via SIZZLE

They’re Both Deplorable!

This is an interesting campaign because usually the candidate’s qualifications are pretty equal. At least they both, usually, have some experience in public office. Here that is not the case. Here we have a candidate who is probably more qualified than any candidate in history running against someone who has absolutely no political experience.

This is why many people can’t understand why anyone with a brain might vote for someone like Trump (among a whole bunch of other issues). It’s not even that they don’t like Hillary (even though so many people have some really intense negative feelings about her), it’s that they don’t like the policies she plans on putting forward.

It is precisely because they have different agendas (and different parties) that they can both be deplorable and people will still vote for them. Their actions don’t matter. It’s disgusting, but it’s the truth.

Here’s an excellent article about why people will vote for Trump.

Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

Telling someone to unfriend you because you don’t agree with them on one subject is incredibly arrogant. Do you really think you have that much clout that you can wave your Facebook friendship in front of them and believe it will motivate them to change their deeply held beliefs? Are you that self absorbed? Are we still in middle school?

God, it’s like Facebook has turned into Mean Girls. Do this or you are out of the club!

Unfriending someone because they don’t like Hillary or because they plan on voting for Trump is a waste of time, though it will cull your friends to a more homogenous list. And I suppose that’s always more fun – to have friends who think the exact same way that you do.

Events politics The Walking Dead Things that piss me off

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

October 5, 2016
The anticipation is killing me

The anticipation is killing me. I’m not even sure that’s the right word, but I simply can’t wait much longer to find out who will win this election. Sure, I’m almost 100% certain it will be Hillary Clinton, but by the way the internet is acting (and her surrogates and the media are overreacting) one might get the impression the race is a lot closer than it really is.

Each day there’s something different – Hillary is sick, Trump says something horribly offensive to everyone. The email scandal becomes the news, for a few days at least, with each email dump from Wikileaks, Trump’s old tax returns are dug up. Pay to play, Trump Foundation, Parkinson’s, small hands, immunity, bankruptcy, Benghazi, Russia… the lists go on and on (you can see both of their scandal sheets here and here.

The thing is, nothing ever sticks to either one of them, they never have to explain anything, we all just forget about the last scandal as soon as the next one becomes breaking news. Both of them are deplorable.

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

I notice that one of them pulls ahead in the polls after a debate or news dump and I think to myself “great, there’s no way they can win the election after this”. I’m happy for a few minutes and then I realize that means the other one will win, and then I’m nervous again.

This election, especially the last few months of it, has been just like waiting for find out who Negan killed in the last episode of season 6 on The Walking Dead.

I’ve spent months trying to discern who it is that met his or her bloody death at the end of Lucille*. I’ve read numerous blogs, watched the show over and over, and I’ve even started hanging out in forums to see if I can’t read the room. Certainly there must be some indication somewhere of what’s to come?

Except there probably isn’t. The writers fucked with us all season 6, even faked Glenn’s death once, presumably so they could kill him again at the end of the season**. For all we know, they haven’t even shot the scene where the victim is revealed yet.

And just like the election, it doesn’t matter who. Whoever it is, it’s going to suck.

*Lucille is a baseball bat used by Negan, the baddest of bad guys in The Walking Dead, who wrapped it in barbed wire and likes to bash people to pulp with it to prove who’s in charge.

**I’m not really sure why I thought that one needed a footnote, anyway, I’ve forgotten it now.

Minnesota People Things that piss me off

No Closure for the Wetterlings

September 6, 2016

While Jacob Wetterling’s remains have been found, there will be no closure for the Wetterlings. Over the weekend news sites and social media have been filled with articles about Jacob Wetterling. Jacob Wetterling’s remains were found this past weekend when the man who is suspected of abducting Jacob led authorities to his remains. I know better, but I looked at the comments. All of the comments were condolences to the family, many of them included the word “closure”. As in “now that he has been found, the family can have some closure”.

There will be no closure for the Wetterlings, or anyone else who suffers such a tragic and senseless act. Closure is a myth. The Wetterlings know what happened to their son, but I’m not sure that’s better than not knowing.

In the days to come we will learn how Jacob died, if he was sexually assaulted, if he was tortured, and how long he may have lived with the monster who abducted him. I spent all weekend thinking about Jacob. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know any of these details. Jacob has always been a happy boy wearing a bright yellow shirt and smiling for the camera. I don’t want to imagine him terrified and cold as he must realize what is going to happen to him.

I don’t want to know and yet I feel it is my duty to know. As a parent, a Minnesotan, a human being, it is our duty to learn the details of Jacob’s death. Not out of morbid curiosity, but as a show of support to his family. We must attempt to carry some of the pain caused by this monster, Danny Heinrich. The Wetterlings have given so much over the years, it is the least we can do.

As I write this there are reports that Danny Heinrich has accepted a plea deal and has given accounts of what happened that day 27 years ago.

From Kare11

The defendant described how he handcuffed Jacob and put him in the passenger seat of his car. Heinrich had a police scanner in his vehicle, and after hearing police respond to the kidnapping he decided he’d better drive back to Paynesville. He recalled Jacob at one point asking him, “What did I do wrong?” He took a series of backroads that wound through small central Minnesota communities until he reached a sewage pond road and drove to a gravel pit by a grove of trees. There, he forced Jacob to disrobe and masturbate him until the boy told Heinrich he was cold.

Jacob asked to be taken home, but Heinrich recalls telling the boy it was too far. On the way back to the car he noticed a police cruiser on the road nearby. Heinrich said he panicked, pulled his revolver and put two rounds inside. “I raised the revolver to his head, clicked once with no bullet in the chamber. Shot him twice after that. ” He admitted firing into the back of Jacob’s head after asking the boy to turn around so he could go to the bathroom.

The details got worse. Heinrich described how Jacob was still crying after the first shot, so he fired again. 

Knowing what happened doesn’t make it all better. Finally knowing Jacob won’t be coming home ever, doesn’t provide closure.

As a mother I can only imagine what the Wetterlings are going through now that they do know Jacob will never come home. The constant questioning – Could we have done more?, Could we have prevented this? – those questions will haunt them now as it has these past 27 years.

There will be no closure for the Wetterlings, they’ve just entered a new kind of hell. Now that they know what happened they will likely play out that scene in their imagination when it’s quiet and they are not occupied. I hope they can find the necessary support to help prevent that from happening. As a mother my imagination is vivid. To this day I replay an accident my son had when he was 3 years old. One in which I was not present. I cringe each time because I was not there to prevent it or to comfort him in his pain. I have to actively push the thought out of my head – and it isn’t always easy, in fact it rarely is. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Jacob’s parents.

We parent differently because of what happened to Jacob. I was 23 when Jacob went missing, I was engage and about to start my own family. In fact a few years later I would meet Patty Wetterling. Her mother was a patient of my father and Patty escorted her mom to the appointments. I worked in his office and was pregnant at the time, I recall marveling at Patty Wetterling’s grace and generosity.

She smiled, she was friendly, she chatted with other patients and the staff. She was not some tragic figure, she had a mission – to find her son – but she also learned that life keeps moving. When the child I was carrying died, I would think often about Patty Wetterling. If she can get through each day, I thought, certainly I can too.

My daughter died of natural causes and yet there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and wonder if there was something I could have done differently to prevent her death. While Patty and Jerry have a deep well of memories to draw from of Jacob, the what-might-have-been probably will always cast a long shadow.

There is no closure, and I’m not sure anyone who loses a child or suffers a similar loss, would want it. Closure might work at the end of a marriage, but I don’t see it as even a desirable thing in this situation. Closure means to let go, to move on and move away. It means forgetting even if the things remembered are excruciatingly painful. As a parent I would want to hold on to all of that, even the horrible things, because that is all that is left.

We don’t have to look for Jacob anymore, maybe that’s what they meant by closure? But the fight isn’t over. The Wetterlings have made many positive changes for families who have children who go missing. They helped create the Amber Alert that has saved so many kids from terrible endings. I assume they will continue with this work even though they no longer have to search for their child.

I hope they can find peace, I hope they will continue to smile and laugh and find joy in this world.

 

 

 

Events Minnesota politics Things that piss me off WTF?

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

September 5, 2016
We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

They say this decade, the 2010s, has been pretty crappy for those who came of age during the 80s, we’ve lost so many of our icons. If that’s true, then this summer has truly epitomized that sentiment, especially for Minnesotans.

This Summer We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

Summer 2016 has been a roller coaster ride. While not officially summer, it was warm (and that’s close enough for those of us who spend 6 months of the year shoveling snow and enduring temperatures below freezing) when we learned that Prince had died of an opioid overdose, alone, at Paisley Park. It was a horribly senseless and tragic death. Wasteful. So much talent wasted due to addiction. That he was trying to get help when it happened made it even more tragic. We mourned, with the rest of the nation, for all the gifts he gave us. We sang and we danced, and we grieved.

(from Wikipedia)

(from Wikipedia)

Many superstars have passed during my lifetime, some of the biggest in recent memory including Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, but none seemed to sting as badly as the loss of Prince. While the rest of the nation, and world for that matter, moved on, in Minnesota we continued to honor Prince with tribute concerts and celebrations. On August 26th, we celebrated Unite in Purple at the Minnesota State Fair, a night of music, dance and fireworks to celebrate the life of a legend. A few days later The Revolution gathered one more time at First Avenue to pay tribute to Prince.

This summer our presidential election was in full swing. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raced to the bottom of the election. They have both lowered the bar to unimaginable depths. It’s a sad state of things when you have to choose the lesser of two evils, you’re still choosing evil. God help us come November.

Two days after we celebrated the birth of our nation Philando Castille was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop that was anything but routine. The aftermath was posted live on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as her daughter tried to comfort her from the back seat. Protests, mostly peaceful, led the news this summer. Traffic was shut down on I-94 and in front of the Governor’s residence on Summit Avenue as people tried to change the world.

justice for Philando

(Jennifer Brown)

Ironically, it was a video game that got all of us outside this summer. Pokémon Go got the kids, and adults out from in front of their computer screens and into the streets looking for digital monsters. It has been decades since neighborhoods had been filled with kids outside playing. It was wonderful, and poignant.

Labor Day weekend we learned that Jacob had been found. Jacob Wetterling had gone missing 27 years ago.  A parent’s worst nightmare, he was abducted at gun point while riding bikes with his brother and a friend October 22nd, 1989. Jacob was one of the reasons kids didn’t play outside anymore. If a kid could go missing in America’s heartland, no place was safe. We kept our kids close.

We’d gotten our hopes up many times in the last 27 years, so many of us were skeptical that he had really been found. Sadly, within hours his mother, Patty Wetterling, confirmed what we had feared all these years.

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“Our hearts are broken, we have no words.”

There’s a chill in the air, winter is coming.

Dumb Shit I Do Pets Things that piss me off

No One Ever Said there Would Be this Much Cat Vomit!!

August 15, 2016
cat vomit

Lately I’ve been thinking about all the crap I’ve cleaned up in my lifetime, and it’s a lot. And while cat vomit is not technically crap, it falls into the same category of things I’d rather not touch with my bare hands, which puts it at the same level as doo-doo.

No one ever said there would be this much cat vomit.

Dini, our 13 year old cat, was stung by a wasp this past spring. I posted this update on Facebook after it all went down:

Last Sunday Maddie and I were having lunch when Dini the cat started to hock up a furball. Dini was on the porch at the time so I just shut the door and let her get it out of her system while we finished lunch without having to hear and see the whole thing.

Except it wasn’t a furball. When I opened the door a couple of minutes later Dini was lying on the ground, all flattened on her side and breathing rapidly. She was clearly in distress and unresponsive. 

Dini was in anaphylactic shock.

We scooped her up in a towel and got her down to the Animal Emergency Hospital where they immediately gave her some epinephrine. They weren’t sure if she was in shock or had thrown a clot because both presented similarly but the epi wouldn’t make the clot worse (and a clot had a really poor outcome) so they hedged their bets and were right.

Her breathing regulated and she was given some steroids which I was sent home with in pill form. 4 days later and a shredded arm from giving pills to her and today she finally ate some real food (instead of the baby food I was using to giver her crushed up pill in.)

The doc thinks she ate a bug on accident or got stung. It happened so fast and thankfully we were home and she was near us. If she had been in the basement we wouldn’t have known what was going on. She didn’t make any noise. 

Cats don’t present with a swollen face like dogs do, they just go down. If you see your cat suddenly vomit, lose their bowels and start panting rapidly get them to the animal hospital as fast as you can.

It was scary, and I wasn’t sure we’d be bringing the cat home. Dini is pretty much an outdoor cat. She has been going outside at night since we got her, at least during the warm months. In the winter she stays inside and just skulks around the house hating on everything. Dini isn’t a cuddly cat. She hates Zelda and tolerates the dogs. She does not like to be picked up and only wants to be pet in one place, though that place changes as she sees fit. Basically I feed her and stay out of her way.

At least that’s how it was until she got stung. Ever since that time she hasn’t been able to hold down most food. I had been feeding her dry food, but she couldn’t hold that down at all. I switched to wet food, but soon found that any texture to it would make her vomit. I started buying wet food, not really paying attention to the brand. I purchased Fancy Feast because it was in a smaller can than the other cat foods, but I also knew she liked the Friskies shreds so I picked up some of that, too. At first she could only keep it down if I pureed a mixtures of the two in my Nutri Bullet.

Pureeing cat food in the Nutri Bullet isn’t really pleasant. Cleaning it is even worse. So, I started pureeing several cans at a time and storing it in a container in the fridge. The problem was unless I planned it right I’d run out of pureed food in the middle of the night, not something I wanted to do half asleep. I gave some Fancy Feast because I had half a can opened in the fridge, leftover from Zelda who will and can eat any kind of cat food. Turns out Dini could keep it down!  She can only tolerate the Fancy Feast Classic recipes, not the grilled, chunky, roasted or other variations, just the classic. I started buying Fancy Feast in bulk when it came on sale at the pet store and at Sam’s Club.

If she just ate the Fancy Feast, all of our problems would be solved. Well, most of them anyway.

If she were to work with me and just eat the Fancy Feast, I wouldn’t be writing this post. She doesn’t do that. It doesn’t matter that now Zelda has to eat canned food, she doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter to her that now I have to feed the cats like 12 times a day because you can’t leave wet food out for too long and they only eat a tiny portion of their food at a time and then the dogs eat it.

The dogs, specifically Stanley the Bassador, actually eat more cat food than they do dog food.

Sigh.

I’m in a constant state of feeding someone, putting up gates and then enduring the dance that Stanley the Bassador does when he knows there’s food leftover on the floor with his name on it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Because you see, even though Dini can keep down the Fancy Feast (and I am grateful for Purina for making the one food she can keep down), she still tries to eat other things like the dog food and small rodents she kills outside.

This morning I woke up to a bloody mess of vomit in front of the back door. I only noticed it because I smeared it all over the floor when I went to let the dogs out.

I know I’m supposed to be empathetic to this cat. It has to suck that she can’t keep food down, but dammit she needs to work with me on this. I either need to get those pet food bowls that close when the wrong animal is using them or get everyone on a schedule of when they have to eat and take the food away when the time is up. No more put-everyone’s-food-out-and-let-them-sort-it-out, because Dini will crunch up the huge dog food kibbles (and then puke them up on my window ledges, on the couch, dining room chairs, in the laundry room where the light is really bad and have I mentioned if you are barefoot and you step on it you can literally glide across the floor and if planned properly do a triple lutz?). She could care less if I tell her not to, she’s going to do what she wants.

Because she’s a cat, dammit.

I’d be cool with the cat vomit, I actually said to a friend – “I’ve gotten used to the cat vomit, it’s just something I do before my morning coffee” the other day, but Stanley has been leaking a lot lately too and that’s just more than I can stand. Twice this week, I’ve had to take apart the couch and wash it because he got on it and must have sneezed or laughed too hard at something on TV (wait, that’s me). I don’t know why he leaks, he’s 13 or 91 in dog years. Either way, it’s a huge pain in the ass to clean up all of this crap. This afternoon, I noticed some dirt on the kitchen floor, it looked like the dirt that comes out of my sneakers – mud that gets caught in the tread and then dries and falls out onto the floor. There were some chewed up dog kibbles as well so I swept it up. Except it wasn’t dried and it wasn’t mud. Someone’s butt leaked poop. I don’t know who it was, and I don’t care, I’m just sick of cleaning it up.

If someone had told me there would be this much cat vomit I might have never had kids. You see my kids are the cat lovers, not me. I’m a dog person or a cat-who-thinks-she’s-a-dog-person. It’s been 10 years since my youngest kid was in diapers, and it’s also been 10 years since I had to change my mother’s diaper (thank goodness she’s in a wonderful care facility), I thought I was done with all this crap. I don’t think it ever stops. I have come to understand that life is just about cleaning up crap from those you love.

politics Things that piss me off

The GOP Better Get Their Shit Together!

July 6, 2016

The GOP better get their shit together, and fast. It should have been no surprise to anyone that there will be no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for the very careless handling of classified information, and unless the GOP really prefers Hillary to Trump, they need to get their shit together. And fast.

Hillary was never going to be indicted. Never. The woman is a Clinton and that means she too, is teflon. Nothing will stick to her. Even when James Comey, the F.B.I. director, who spoke yesterday about the F.B.I findings said that she acted extremely careless in using a private email server he also stated that “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

The sticking point seemed to be the word ‘intent’. The F.B.I couldn’t determine that it was her intent to act recklessly.

Not that it was ever an issue with other people facing similar charges. Basically, the law was reworded because … I don’t know why.

Maybe it had something to do with the meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch?

Maybe the powers that be are so afraid of a Trump presidency that they will do anything to have a viable candidate in the race against him. God knows the people already pissed off about Bernie Sanders and how he was screwed over. Maybe they realized they couldn’t bring in Uncle Joe without a revolt and thus decided it was simply safer to keep Hillary on the stump?

Maybe the F.B.I really doesn’t think they could reasonably prosecute such a case? Other cases have been dropped for the same reason, even when it is clear the person is guilty as sin.

Worse yet, it probably wouldn’t make any difference. She’d probably still win the election because the people willing to vote for her are already willing to vote for her.

Email, shmemail!

The GOP Better Get Their Shit Together!

On the same day it was announced charges would not be filed against Hillary Clinton for careless use of an email server and passing on over a hundred classified emails (even though she said she did not), Hillary Clinton and President Obama we on the campaign trail. The Obama campaign machine is getting fired up and the GOP better get out of the way because even though they had 8 years to prepare for this, they aren’t.

Nope, the GOP has been fighting losing battles about principle and doing the right thing and following the rules (everyone following the same rules), while the DEMs have been treating their constituency like idiots for decades. And it’s working. Dumming down society has been a brilliant plan for the left. It doesn’t matter that many of the core policies they push have done nothing to help the people they are meant to help. Though they certainly keep politicians employed.

The GOP needs to start using the left’s playbook if they want to win. Or, they should just let Trump completely off the leash.

Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t stand the idea of a Trump presidency. But Hillary is not the lesser of two evils in my eyes. She’s actually no different than Trump. While Trump seems to revel in the chaos he creates, he never backs down about who he is. He’s proud of what he has done in business and in this political race. As he should be.

Success used to mean something different than it does now. It used to be okay to be successful, in fact it was something most of had great hopes of achieving. Not so much anymore.

It’s okay for Hillary to be successful because she’s a public servant. It’s not for her, it’s for the kids.

Because Trump is in it for himself, his success is bad.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I did not expect criminal charges. I remember the 90s all too well. I remember driving through the Black Hills of South Dakota listening to the impeachment of Bill Clinton and thinking to myself – while this is horrible for the country, we should not tolerate an elected official who believes he can lie to the American people without repercussions.

I don’t know what the GOP should do, but I do know if they don’t get their shit together and fast they are going to be steamrolled by Hillary and the Obama machine just like they have for the last two elections. There’s no more whining, no more licking their wounds, no more excuses. Unless you want another 8 years of lies, carelessness and recklessness it’s time to get real about this election.

 

 

Events Minnesota Music People Things I Really Like Things that piss me off

On the Passing of Prince – From a Minnesotan

April 23, 2016
Death of Prince I35W Bridge Purple

I was in the car with my daughter Thursday morning when we heard the news that Prince had died. We were going to Ikea, driving along 494 through Burnsville, Mn. My daughter is in charge of the radio while we drive and had just switched from satellite radio to a local station, Cities 97 if you’re wondering, when we caught the tail end of the DJ talking about how someone had died. You could hear she was holding back tears. I said to my daughter “the only death that could bring a Minnesota DJ to tears is Prince”, but that seemed unthinkable.

(For an in depth read, from another Minnesotan, about the music, the style, the talent of Prince, click here)

My daughter grabbed my phone out of my purse to see who it was. She didn’t even have to open the phone, it was right there on the lock screen.

Prince dies at 57.

I was pulling off the exit towards Ikea at this point, but was so distracted that I missed the exit and continued on to the Mall of America. While stuck at a light I tried to search through my phone for any details, but got shut down by my daughter. Already, a digital billboard had a tribute to Prince.

It was real.

We continued on to Ikea, the daughter wants to update her bedroom and needed a few items. My heart was no longer in it, and neither was hers. My daughter was upset too. No surprise really, she grew up being embarrassed by me dancing and singing to all the Prince tunes. When David Bowie died earlier this year she wasn’t the least bit interested in listening to his music with me. She didn’t want to listen to me go on and on about how cool he was and how experimental his music was. But then Bowie wasn’t a Minnesotan.

As we walked through the parking garage we could hear other groups talking about his death.

My son was now texting me about Prince’s death.

How could he be gone (I can’t type dead, it’s too final)?

I’d first heard of Prince when I was 13 or 14 from my friend Stella. She’d heard I Want to be Your Lover on the radio and had to get the album. Stella, Stephanie and I listened to Prince after school each day. Stella sang that song ALL.THE.TIME.

The music was amazing, the album cover was titillating with his bare chest, flowing hair and intense stare, and that he was from Minneapolis made him incredibly real. For a 13 year old it was a little unsettling and exciting at the same time.

And thus began the soundtrack of my younger years.

I just can’t believe
All the things people say, controversy
Am I black or white?
Am I straight or gay? Controversy

My dad was gay, closeted and married to my mother who discussed their issues with me,  while he was out at the Townhouse bar on University Avenue. I was terrified people would find out about my dad (even though they all knew, I just didn’t know they knew) so would much rather have people discussing Prince’s sexuality than my fathers.

We don’t care
It’s all about being there
Everybody’s going Uptown
That’s where I wanna be
Uptown

When we were a few years older we’d go to First Avenue to catch of glimpse of Prince on stage or the dance floor or just on his way to the bathroom. If you’re a Minnesotan, you have a story of literally bumping into Prince at one time or another. He didn’t hide away in some ivory tower, he was part of the party.

My high school years were challenging, for a variety of reasons I went to three different high schools and was forced to spend my senior year at a new school. I went to St. Paul Central that year, a large inner city school with a population four times what I was used to. Prince’s discography played at every single school event, after event party and was constantly playing on the Walkmans all the kids were wearing. Sometimes Michael Jackson played.

Let’s pretend we’re married and go all night
There ain’t nothin’ wrong if it feels all right
I won’t stop until the morning light
Let’s pretend we’re married and go all night, tonight

Prince was playing when I had sex for the first time (though it did not go all night), and many times after as I am sure is the case for most people my age. It was the most sexually explicit music available and yet it didn’t seem dirty. Okay, it was really dirty, but in a damn good way.

‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own

That summer, 1984, Purple Rain was released. If you know me, or have read my older posts, you know how I struggled through those years due to my dad’s closeted lifestyle and the affect it had on my mother who had been disabled years earlier. Prince helped me through those years. When the movie was released soon after and we got a glimpse into his early years I knew he understood all that I was dealing with. And, as I Minnesotan, we all knew he was goofing with Apollonia when he tricked her into jumping into the Mississippi river.

What’s the matter with your life
Is the poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U ’round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else’s box?

My first apartment – my roommate and I tried to drown out the relentless Bruce Springsteen that was played downstairs, with Prince music.

“Oh, I got a live one here!”
Get the funk up!
BATMAN

On our first date my ex husband and I saw the movie Batman at the Grandview theater on its opening night. The packed house erupted when Prince’s credit filled the screen.

If I gave you diamonds and pearls
Would you be a happy boy or a girl
If I could I would give you the world
But all I can do is just offer you my love

We married that fall.

It was my ex husband’s decision to bring his girlfriend to Paisley Park for one of Prince’s more intimate concerts that made me realize the marriage couldn’t be saved. While he was dancing to Prince with some 21 year old I was in the hospital with our infant son who was dehydrated from an ear infection.

When I found a necklace with Prince’s symbol on it, a souvenir from the show, next to our bed, I knew it was time to move on. I would have liked to blame Prince, but that would have been foolish. Our marriage ended when our daughter died a year earlier. Not unlike the way Prince’s marriage ended to Mayte Garcia shortly after their son died of a similar malady.

I’m not a human
I am a dove
I’m your conscious
I am love
All I really need is to know that
U believe

Yeah, I would die 4 U, yeah
Darling if you want me to
U, I would die 4 U

Life moved on and Prince continued to churn out album after album. 39 in total. Prince was texting decades before it became a thing. I only knew one person who didn’t like Prince’s music and I think that was because his music was so raw it could be scary if you weren’t willing to just fall into and let it take you wherever it was going.

We live in a global world now, because of the internet I have friends who live all around the world. When Prince died I got text messages from people asking if I was okay. I was not  a super fan, but I was a fellow Minnesotan and it stung just slightly more, I think, that one of our own left this world. A Minnesota friend who has lived in NY for decades learned of his death before me and was afraid to mention it to me on Facebook, preferring not to be the bearer of bad news.

I visited my mother in the nursing home on Friday. Mom has been delusional for some time and it was nice to see that Prince had worked his way so quickly into her delusions, I spent half an hour listening to her tell me how he and my father were more than just friends.

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look for the purple banana
‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!

Minnesota has been awash in Purple since his death. The I35 bridge bathes in purple light during the night. First Avenue is alive with all night dance parties to celebrate his life and gates of Paisley Park are festooned with purple mylar balloons and flowers. It is spring here in Minnesota, early because of El Niño. This week all the azaleas bloomed. Drive down Summit Avenue, Highland Parkway or along Mississippi River Boulevard and you can’t help but see all the purple flowers blooming — seemingly for Prince.

Honey, I know, I know
I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out
For something new, that means you too

You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain

Prince Purple Rain

The Walking Dead Things I Really Like Things that piss me off WTF?

The Walking Dead Cliffhanger Sucked and Damn, Negan is Hot! SPOILERS

April 4, 2016
The Walking Dead Season Six Finale

This is about The Walking Dead Cliffhanger that sucked so there are lots and lots of SPOILERS.

If you haven’t seen the Season 6 Finale of The Walking Dead, you really aren’t missing anything. Most of the 90 minutes episode was Rick and his gang driving all over the backroads of Virginia trying to get Maggie to the Hilltop for medical treatment.

There were a ton of commercials, too.

This was one of the stupidest episodes of The Walking Dead so that they turned it into a cliffhanger is really no surprised. They basically painted themselves into a corner and now they have 7 months to figure out how they’re going to get out of it.

Episode Last Day on Earth Recap

Maggie is cramping and they are worried she is going to lose the baby so they take her to see the doctor at the Hilltop community. Of course Rick knows the Saviors are probably going to come for a fight so what does he do? He piles all the key characters into the Winnebago and hits the road. This is with the full knowledge that his best fighters are out looking for Daryl, and Morgan is out looking for Carol. Rick is not aware that Daryl, Rosita, Michonne, and Glenn have been captured by Dwight and that Daryl has been shot by Dwight.

So by all means take your best warriors, the pregnant woman, the kid with one eye and the coward of the county on a joyride through the woods when you know the baddest motherfucker is out there waiting for you and your people because you’ve slaughtered two groups of their people already.

Negan is Hot

They could have delivered the last 20 minutes of the show and it wouldn’t have taken anything away from it. Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is a long winded villain. He goes on and on about how he has to kill one of the Alexandrians. He over explains himself but appears to be scaring the crap out of Rick who really does look like he might wet his pants. If he weren’t so hot I’d have been upset about his long winded speech.

Did I mention Negan is hot?

In the final minutes of the show Negan makes his choice and splatters the brains of one of our people all over the camera lens. We just don’t know who it is. In the final scene the camera takes the point of view of the charactered who is killed and it looks like whoever it is can see Abraham in his view, as if he is sitting across from him. I’ve tried to find the scene online but it’s been cut out of the ones I’ve found.

Based on who was sitting where it could be Eugene, Glenn, Daryl or Michonne (I think). I have no idea who it was but whoever it was that was killed by Negan last night, its impact will be completely diluted after waiting 7 months to find out.

I’m actually hoping it isn’t Eugene since he seems to be about the only one who has any brains in the group, though clearly not enough to stop anyone from piling into the RV and meeting their fate head on.

Do you Care?

It’s a good thing they chose Jeffrey Dean Morgan to play Negan because really, he was the only thing worth watching last night. In The Talking Dead Scott Gimple gushed about what a great episode it was and how it set up season 7 so well. Maybe, but the death that he says the season is built upon has lost any impact it might have had. This season may or may not have been about screwing with the audience, but the storytelling is lacking.

That said, I thought it was a great season and maybe they just overhyped this episode and there was simply no way to live up to it. Still, either hubris or just plain stupidity seems to have done in one of the main characters.

Oh, and Morgan finally killed someone.

Who do you think Negan killed with his baseball bat last night? Do you care who he killed? Will you keep watching the show?

Advice politics Things that piss me off

The Trouble With The Republicans

February 12, 2016
the trouble with Republicans, Republican symbol, Elephant with flag

The trouble with the Republicans is – OMG there are so many problems with the Republicans, and Donald Trump isn’t the worst of them. I’m not a political expert. For the most part I don’t really know what they are talking about a lot of the time. I believe I pay more attention to politics than the average American but my grasp of foreign policy and economics are severely lacking. I worry that I am a low information voter. And yet I’ve watched enough of this campaign to believe that I can actually offer some insight into winning if anyone is interested. The problem with the Republicans is that they take themselves way too seriously and they have no understanding of public relations. They’re wasting so much time preaching to the choir about issues that are irrelevant when it comes right down to it.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Trouble With The Republicans

Donald Trump

Let’s start with Donald Trump… While he may not actually be a conservative, he’s certainly stirring the party up. Currently he’s way ahead of the rest of the pack in the polls. I’m not the only one who thought he’d be out of the race by August, and yet here he is going stronger than ever. I’m still not even considering giving him my vote, but I do love that he is shaking up the party and the process. He’s going to ensure that another Bush does not occupy the Oval Office and for that I am grateful. I am a little saddened that he’s been given so much attention and because of that some of the really decent candidates have quit. I’m mostly talking about Rand Paul. Other than that, I’m enjoying the panic and anxiety he’s causing to the party and the other candidates on both sides of the campaign. The RNC can’t control Trump, and that is how it should be. It’s just too bad that you have to be a billionaire to consider a run for office of the President of the United States.

Republicans are Namby Pamby

I’ve spent a fair amount of time watching the debates, and so far not one of them has come up with an interesting or original idea. They are towing the same conservative line – blah blah blah defund abortion, blah blah blah repeal Obamacare, blah blah blah Ronald Reagan…etc, etc, ad nauseam. I want to know how they are going to get people who have left the job market back into it. I want to know how they are going to fix our broken public school system. I want to know if they really understand why affordable health insurance is such a clusterfuck in this country. We have a race problem in this country and so far only Rand Paul was willing to address it. I get it, it’s a scary thing to discuss, especially for a bunch of middle aged white guys, but it seriously needs to happen. And while I know this will never happen, I’d really love to hear one of them say “Hey, that was a good idea that  my opponent had, let’s see if we can’t explore it and implement it because it could help a lot of people.”

Republicans have a PR Problem

The Republican candidates are great at talking about reducing welfare or defunding Planned Parenthood. The problem they have is they never give reasonable explanations for why those might be good ideas. They have allowed the left to define them on issues such as minimum wage and welfare reform. Because they have allowed the left to define them they come off sounding like bigots and misogynists. I’d like to see one of them talk about the difference between a hand out and a hand up, and then work really hard at offering that hand up to those in need.

Pandering

All politicians pander, that’s not news. I’d just really like it if someone didn’t. Trump and Sanders come closest to not pandering to the voters, but that’s only because they haven’t practiced it enough like the rest of the candidates. As the race gets tighter both of them are now beginning to promise things that even they look like they’d have to hold their nose to accomplish. Thankfully, most campaign promises never come to fruition.

Boring

The campaign is boring. So far the most exciting thing about the Republican campaign has been Donald Trump calling Cruz a ‘pussy’ and the fact that Cruz hired a soft core porn star to be in one of his commercials.

Hypocrisy

And then they fired her. They fired her because she had a job for which they didn’t approve. The Republicans are all about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and working for a living – except if it gives them a hard on. You’d think the Republicans were all celibate based on their fear of sex. If the Republicans want to win Presidential elections they’re going to have to stop obsessing about everyone else’s sex lives, and just get on with worrying about their own business. I believe if they could just do that one thing, they’d be an unstoppable force.

Next week – The Trouble with the Democrats.

 

Things that piss me off WTF?

Perimenopause Is So Much Fun!!!

January 14, 2016
Fremont Troll, Menopause, Perimenopause

When I was about 9 or 10 there was this book called What’s Happening to Me?, it was one of those books about puberty. It was an iconic book. An x rated comic book about boobs, penises and pubic hair. Everyone had a friend who had one of these books and we all took turns paging through it and giggling at all the silly drawings of plump, bumpy and fairly hairy preteens as they make their way through puberty. It answered all the questions no one wanted to ask their parents and that the gym teacher was to terrified to address in a co-ed class.

When I was pregnant, there was a book called What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s still a New York Times Best Seller, probably in it’s 30th printing. It too, was a book about getting through a terrifying part of life, explained with drawings of things many of us (mostly my husband) wasn’t ready to see in a book or in real life. It went week by week and laid bare exactly what to expect when pregnant and right bloody after.

There was a follow up book about what to expect with an infant and toddler but I was too busy and too tired to read it.

Why isn’t there a cute book with adorably drawn women as they manage their way through mood swings, hot flashes and irregular periods?

I’m almost fifty years old, I have access to the internet and have been Googling what to expect from menopause for a while now. I have asked women who I assume have gone through the change only to tell me that it was a breeze or that it hasn’t happened. I asked Facebook about hot flashes and what they felt like and no one could give me one, agreed upon answer. Everyone has such a different experience that I am not sure if I am suffering from hot flashes,  bad Chipotle or maybe a little flu.

The thing about menopause is that once you’re in menopause, all the excitement of mood swings, cravings, and hot flashes are over. It’s the getting there – the up to ten fucking years of mood swings, cravings, and hot flashes – that no one really talks about. We suffer in relative silence.

Today I was driving out to see my mother. That in itself is a bit of roller coaster emotionally but today I wasn’t expecting anything. She’s had a lot of trouble with her teeth in the last couple of months but we seemed to weather the dry socket and infection from the removal of 6 front teeth without too much drama. She’s been feeling pretty good even if her delusions are casting their short shadows again.

The drive to my mother’s nursing home is long, it’s at least half an hour. Plenty of time to think, rock out or listen to the news. Today I chose to listen to music.

I was singing along to the Go-Gos when a song came on that I used to play as I attempted to rock my son to sleep when he was colicky. Before the first chorus tears were streaming down my cheeks.

Why was I crying? Because the love between a mother and child is so pure, so amazing and so special, that of course I would get caught up in it.

Or, it was the fucking hormones.

I saw my mother, stopped at least three times on the way home to pee and then stopped at the grocery store to pick up chocolate and French bread. It it had been later in the day I would have picked up wine, too.

Yesterday, I waited at a stop sign for several minutes waiting for the light to change.

I don’t know how long this lasts, I just wish there was a cute, animated book with boobs, penises and grey pubes I could read with my friends and giggle over until wine squirted out of our noses.