Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Up on the soapbox ...

Y'all, I wrote a rant on Facebook and then turned it into a piece for the good people of Rewire!

Check it --> Mental Health and Guns: Journalists Aren’t Asking the Right Questions.

Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support their research, reporting, and analysis. Donate if you are able.


Friday, November 03, 2017

Poetry is the gift that keeps on giving...

... and Lucille Clifton is one of my favorite poets.

Happy Friday, y'all.

won’t you celebrate with me
Lucille Clifton, 1936 - 2010

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Recap from Halloween 2017 …

Happy Day After Halloween, y’all!

As usual, the House of Bitchitude prepared for Halloween by prepping several large bowls of candy and toys/games for wee ones with allergies and such. A rather witchy C-Money decorated our porch and displayed a seriously creepy plastic skeleton on the lawn.

Knowing us, these items will remain up through December.

After double checking our treat distribution strategy, searching in vain for the scary noise maker, and getting our outdoor house light (inside joke for Ellen, Alex, and Tim Jr. - some people call it a sconce!), we sat down and waiting for crowds of children to knock on our door.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Finally, the first wee ones … as usual, the toddler crews came out first … gave us a knock.

Adorable and super polite young humans escorted by excited parents taking pictures!


Following the early trick or treaters, turnout was low but those who made the effort were super excited by the temporary tattoos, coloring book packet, and creepy finger toys C-Money insisted were a necessary addition to our Halloween offerings.

Best dawg costume goes to my neighbor’s badass Corgi who showed up in a snazzy lobster outfit. She got a scritch … okay, she got several and then was off to make friends elsewhere.

The Most Amusing Parent Escort award goes to the man who was either tipsy, exhausted, or both … lumbering behind his crew of two and sporting a long coat, holding a large coffee mug, while half-heartedly admonishing his kids for negotiating hard over which comic book packet they wanted.

Me, after praising their cute-as-hell costumes: “Would you like a coloring book and candy or some creepy scary fingers and candy?”

Tick or Treater #: “Wow! Um, I’d like a coloring book and candy!”

As I hand over the loot, Trick or Treater #2 tosses out: “Wait! You don’t even like Pikachu! Give me…”

Father, gesturing casually with mug while standing on the sidewalk: “Oh, no … here we go again. C’mon ***mumbles child’s name***, let’s not…”

ToT#1: “But …”

Me, visibly confused: “Well, you can have a … what was that, again ... you can have a Pico de Choo Whatnot … which one is it?”

ToT#1 and ToT#2 fix shocked eyes on me and gasp in shock.

ToT#1, speaking softly and slowly as if she’s realized that she is now standing in front of some sort of alien: “Picachu is THAT one.”

I hand it over.

She takes is without taking her eyes off me.

Father: “Alright. Okay. Now say thank you and let’s keep this moving.”

ToT#1 and ToT#2, back up slowly, mumble their thanks and then turn and run to the next house with their parent strolling along after them and shouting behavior expectations.

I closed the door and shared the story with C-Money who explained that Pikachu is a very popular Pokémon.


I learn something new every day, y’all.

Every damn day.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Zelda Bear and Lars Dawg
Halloween devil and angel costumes

I love this time of year, y'all! 

I love the chill in the air, the sounds of leaves crunching under my feet when I walk Ms. Zelda Bear, and the smell of wood burning in fireplaces at night.

And yay, we also get to visit with neighborhood kids tonight as they trick or treat!

In keeping with the St. Louis, Missouri tradition, we will be asking for jokes at the door. Last year’s crop of kids had some great jokes, so I’m hopeful that kids bring their A game again tonight.

I hope y’all have a safe and candy filled Halloween!

Lars Dawg and Zelda Bear will have to settle for biscuits …

Monday, October 30, 2017

A quick update …

***blows dust off blog ... cough and sneeze ... blink and then prepare to share***

Shall we?

Longtime readers know that my sister and I share guardianship of our older brother who has autism. Bill is doing great, thank the goddess. Over the past several years, we’ve managed to patch together a weekly routine and residential plan that he truly enjoys. He’s in a good place. Medicaid and our beloved father’s Social Security death benefit make this good place possible. We cover dental expenses and extras, but the cost of providing necessary care for a 47-year-old man is not something our family can float on our own. Knowing that in our new political reality is a terrifying thing, especially now.

Like millions of other people, I’ve been dealing with the fallout from last year’s election. I’ve been juggling work and tons of related travel with time with calls to Congress followed by calls to my state legislature followed by calls to my brother’s community program administrators followed by calls to my brother’s residential team followed by more calls to Congress all balanced off by tightly scheduled time-slots reserved for staring blankly at a random spot on the floor.

God bless that random spot on the floor. I seriously look forward to staring at it hard after sharing why Medicaid cuts are a horrible idea with half the damn Senate.

***pause … raise glass and salute random spot on the floor … continue***

This is our new reality. We share it, give or take a few specific details, with millions of other people. Somehow that is both comforting and alarming as hell.

Also ...

What most of y’all don’t know is that my sibling-based family now has an additional concern. Earlier this year, our 76-year-old mother required placement in a skilled nursing facility. We’re not sure what’s going on, but it may be dementia or something along those lines. Whatever it is, she is no longer able to live on her own nor is she able to live with family. My mother requires skilled care … and, as we already know, care requires funding.

So, I added another name to my script, edited it to include Medicare, and continued to call Congress and my state legislature and then Congress again and again and again because they keep playing politics with Medicaid and Medicaid and Social Security again and again and again.

This new role is complicated. I’ve been estranged from my mother for over a decade. Estrangement was a hard move to make, but it was the right one for me. Trust that it took a lot of inner work for me to decide that participating in organizing her care and advocating for its funding was the right thing for me to do too. But I arrived there and now here we are.

***pause … take a big breath … continue***

Yep, here we are.

That’s what I’ve been up to in my personal life. Check out Reproaction.org for more information on what I’ve been up to on the work side of things.

Stay tuned for bitchitude ...