My little thunderstorm


, ,


It occurs to me I haven’t written about Jax in a long time, so I have to tell you about his obsession with thunderstorms, and maybe commit to sharing a funny or adorable Jax story on a more regular basis. There are, after all, zillions from which to choose.

Jax has always been a little jumpy about thunder. A couple weeks ago, it started thundering while we were eating supper. Our kitchen table is directly in front of a big bay window overlooking the back yard, with woods behind it, so we started to see some lightning and the first drops of rain. I checked my weather app and sure enough… Continue reading


Just a quick reminder about how badassly powerful we are


, , , ,



Last Friday, 45 pulled his disastrous excuse for a healthcare bill after learning he didn’t have the votes to pass it via a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

This is what victory looks like. Or rather, this is what incremental victory during would-be-apocalypse looks like.

I don’t know how many calls and faxes I made to my representatives in defense of maternity leave, covering those with preexisting conditions, keeping Medicare intact, etc. etc., but I made them. I was deeply concerned about accessibility to affordable healthcare for all Americans, and I spoke up, along with millions of you, and look what we did. Continue reading

#Mustread: “Resistbot Turns Your Texts Into Faxes to Elected Officials”


, , ,

botYou guys gotta try Resistbot!

Also, we all should be reading more Teen Vogue, for real. Last week, this mag featured an article about a tool called Resistbot, and it sounded interesting so I bookmarked it and promptly forgot about it until sippin on a hot toddy last night after putting kiddo to bed at the end of a particularly patience-draining day of another kind of resistance (i.e., preschooler to mother about EVERYTHING). I was scrolling through my bookmarks and whoa, hold up, you can text a message through Resistbot and it will fax it to your reps for you?

Yep. Resistbot is a thing. I just used it to fax Casey and Toomey about (again) opposing the new healthcare monstrosity legislation.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading

TV, teen girls, and feminism matter, or, still wiggins about my Buffy essay pubbed at Salon


, , , , , ,

buffy over twilightAny time you can transform hundreds of hours of binge-watching your favorite TV show into a paid byline, life is grand.

Last week, my essay about Buffy–edit, my word-geeking about the greatest show to ever feminism–was published at Salon. I’ve never been published at Salon before. I’ve never had work published anywhere with as much reach. The fact that I hit such a milestone on the hem of one of Buffy’s still-fabulous leather trenches is delicious.

But honest to god, it was just so fun to write. Continue reading

Some (more) thoughts on trigger warnings


, , , ,

traffic-sign-160659__340TW: brief mention of domestic violence

I have been very outspoken in my support of trigger warnings in the past. I believe it is crucial that we don’t shut trauma survivors of all kinds out of conversations and readings. I believe warning people about the content they are about to consume is not enabling avoidance, but choice. I believe no one else but me should decide when I read or view something that might disturb me. I believe trigger warnings are shows of compassion.

At the college where I work, there was recently a guest speaker who talked about trigger warnings. I couldn’t go, but a colleague gave me the run-down. She said this speaker was adamant that “trigger warning” is an insufficient label, and it really made me think.

A trigger is not necessarily a word or phrase or topic. Triggers are multi-sensory. Continue reading

Must read: “If They Should Come for Us”


, ,

flame-1013280_1920No think piece must-read will do this week. We should all read this poem by Pakistani, Kashmiri, Muslim American writer Fatimah Asghar, “If They Should Come for Us,” from the March issue of Poetry. God.

my people I follow you like constellations
we hear the glass smashing the street
& the nights opening their dark
our names this country’s wood
for the fire…

When I’m weary of the headlines, I get the same news, the same humanity and inhumanity, from my overcrowded bookshelves and the literary web.

Sometimes poetry is the only way to hear things that we can’t and shouldn’t un-hear.

When it rains warm and cleansing, it pours chill: Success and the demon of doubt


, ,


Photo by Flickr user allison rose (Creative Commons license).

Good things are happening to me, left and right. A development in my professional life, to be announced soon, is so big and incredible and affirming that I sometimes sit back in my desk chair and beam upon remembering with a jolt, a dozen little such jolts each day, that this thing is happening. Forgive my vagueness.

I recently had a big breakthrough in a writing project I’ve been working on for at least two years now. The proverbial aha moment where the pieces click into place and a title comes and oh hey, this is what a book looks like just before it’s born.

My volunteer work is fulfilling. My resistance work, the bit that I can do and manage with two jobs and that pesky need for sleep, is fulfilling. My relationships, even those that have been troubled lately, are fulfilling. My son is a magnificent brilliant sensitive alien star-fire gift of love and being his mom is The Fulfilling. I am healthy. The bills are (mostly) paid and the car started this morning.

And still. Past trauma + current political climate says, hold on there, mama. Too self-assured, too solid. Here, have some anxiety about it, about all of it. Have some self-doubt. Remember who you are. Continue reading

Must read: “Why I don’t like white women”


, , , ,


Intersectional or bust.

You wouldn’t believe the response to an article posted first on Medium, then on The Huffington Post, that until recently ran with the headline “Why I don’t like white women.”

The headline appears to have been changed to “Befriending Becky: On the Imperative of Intersectional Solidarity,” though the first line of the piece is still “I don’t like white women.” OK. I’m a white woman—and one, it should be said, who used to work in news, knows the writer doesn’t always write the headline, and despises clickbait—and I liked the old headline better. The author is DiDi Delgado, and I’m now following her on Medium because it was a great read, my must-read for this week.

Maybe you would believe the response to it. Continue reading

Must read: “Protecting your inner life in times of political turmoil”


, , , ,


Photo by Flickr user James Petts (Creative Commons license).

I have said before that there are many different kinds of resistance. I listed some of them. I practice as many as I can.

But the one action that you might not think of as resistance is what poet Marie Howe calls “protecting your inner life.”

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie sent me this link earlier in the week, and it’s the best thing I’ve read in a while. It goes deeper than simply “practice self-care,” of which I am of course a huge advocate. Howe wrote her piece for Literary Hub, and she says:

We live in an economic system where everything, almost everything is commodified—everything can be sold for a price. And almost anything can be threatened. But there is a place within us no one can ever know. Within that place we hold all the books we’ve ever read, the music we’ve listened to, the paintings we’ve gazed at, the plays we’ve watched, the poems we’ve read. All the important conversations. We have within each of us a great library, a concert hall, a cathedral, a temple, a mediation space, and a field…before and after political action, I want to remember to protect and preserve that space where moral action (and poetry) begins.

I needed to read that this week. I wish you a weekend full of time spent nourishing your inner life, that part no one can take from us.

Must read: “Republicans push anti-protest laws”


, , ,

megaphone-1468168_1280I read headlines like this, like “Republicans push anti-protest laws,” and my gut reaction is a deluge of expletives so severe as to make truckers cringe.

And then, I smile. Because, and this is an important thing to remember, and I’m starting to remember it almost immediately, my gut reaction is starting to revise itself: They would not be trying to make our dissent illegal if our dissent did not matter.

I’ve been saying this a lot lately on social media. I want all my resistance colleagues to take that thought to heart. Not because it makes it any less maddening, but because it’s evidence that our efforts are getting attention. They can’t ignore us. Even when it seems like they’re ignoring us, they aren’t.

And there are so many ways to protest. Can’t legislate against em all.

Still, read the article I linked to above, which appeared Tuesday in ThinkProgress. Continue reading