2017: To Blog Or Not To Blog?

WELL. Here I am, finally, some two months or so since my last blog entry. For the handful of you who actually follow me, I sincerely apologize. To say I hit a “rough patch” would be putting it mildly. Sometime in early November, I sort of had a “come apart”. The fact that my hero, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by some 3 million votes but lost the election to TRUMP is not a coincidence. Combine that with the anxiety I felt trying to write a novel in  30 days for the National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) and I just sort of fell to pieces. No novel was forthcoming. No writing of any kind was forthcoming, not even in my personal journals. I just froze up. I was dead inside. All because of an election, you say? Well, yeah, kinda. It was the most important election of my lifetime, I believe, and it was a disaster. In 10 days, a lying, racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, narcissistic , moronic  blowhard will be sworn in as President, despite proof of Russian hacking in the election, despite, Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote (because even though we complain about the electoral college every election year, we never do anything about it!). 2016 was a rough year. It had it’s bright moments. We should all count our blessings, of course, But it was a long, arduous election cycle, and the celebrity death count was unprecedented. People die all the time, of course, famous and not, but there seemed to be an unusual amount of big names on the In Memoriam lists for 2016. I won’t run through them all, but the most traumatic for me were Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Prince, Harper Lee, and Carrie Fisher, though I admired many of the others.

Alan Rickman: a gentleman in real life and often onscreen, though he will probably be remembered for his starring role as the cold, brooding Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies. That gorgeous bass voice will forever haunt me. I have a recording of Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native narrated by him, and I treasure it and listen to it when I have trouble sleeping.

Glenn Frey, founding member of the Eagles, one of the all-time greatest rock bands. Lead singer of so many classics of my youth, like “Take it Easy”, “Heartbreak Tonight” and so many others. I regret I never saw the band perform live.

PRINCE….What can one even say about this genius? He was just the best. He wrote his own music, his own lyrics. He could play every instrument. People tried to compare him with Michael Jackson. I’m sorry, but NO. Just NO. His was my coming-of-age music. I had put him away for awhile but since he died I’ve been listening to him every day. I just can’t say goodbye.

Harper Lee. Her death wasn’t such a shock. She lived a good long life. She wrote one of my favorite books, one of the greatest books in all of literature, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was adapted into a wonderful film and she rested on those laurels for many years and no one thought she would ever write another book. But about a year before she died, a second book was released, possibly against her wishes. Her state of mind was unknown. I read Go Set a Watchman and wish I hadn’t. It had some of the same characters as her first book but they were too different. I don’t believe she really wanted that book published. I believe someone took advantage of her to make money. A sad situation. But that can never erase the wonderful legacy of To Kill a Mockingbird.

And dear Carrie Fisher. I identified with her so much. She was open about her struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction. It’s easy for me to talk about being bipolar because I’m not trying to maintain a career. But she was in Hollywood, an actor and also a writer. She was very brave. And had such a wicked sense of humor. She and her mother were so close, it reminded me of my relationship with my mother. When her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died within a few days of Carrie, I thought, “She just couldn’t make it without Carrie, ” and I could imagine my mother doing the same. Or me, if my mother died. So close we don’t know where each of us begins and the other ends.

So this is what all has been on my mind during the time I haven’t been writing. Death and disaster. I want to be optimistic for 2017, but it’s hard. The question I have now is: To blog or not to blog? If so, why? What is my purpose for keeping this blog going? I don’t have a huge readership. I can barely get my friends and family interested, and often not even them. I think I started just to be writing SOMETHING. Well, now I am writing something. I have a memoir project I’m working on and I’m outlining a novel, both potentially paying projects. No one is going to pay me to write this blog. This is sheer vanity work. This is just  getting my name out there (I guess. Is it really?). It’s a place for me to blow off steam. That was especially useful during the election year. It’s my place to share my opinion. Bur really,  who cares about my opinion? Not that many people, really. So I don’t know how much time I will be spending here, honestly. I’m committed to resisting the Trump regime so I may write about that. But I mostly intend to work on other writing projects, so if I’m in here, that means I’m procrastinating. I thought this would be a good forum to talk about bipolar disorder and maybe help others who suffer mental illness but I’m not convinced I’ve done any good. I think I may have just spilled my deep, dark secrets in vain and now everyone knows I’m crazy and thinks I’m a narcissist who can’t stop talking about herself.

Maybe I’m just in a mood. I don’t know. I had a medication increase recently and it should start helping soon, I hope. The fact that I’m even at my desk, on the computer, typing a blog is an improvement. Maybe I’ll come around and think of some brilliant new blog topics to dazzle you all with. Who knows.

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Trump’s America

I just watched the cursor blink for several minutes with that headline above it, willing it to disappear, wishing I could change it to something more joyful, more victorious. But I am a realist, and this is our reality now. Donald J. Trump will, barring any unforeseen  accidents or acts of God, become President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017. That is a cold, harsh fact , that I and tens of millions of Americans are struggling to accept today. Some are not accepting it. #NOTMYPRESIDENT has been seen all over Twitter and t-shirts and many have taken to the streets in protest. I have mainly just taken to my bed. I wasn’t sleeping well before the election and not that it’s over, I am still struggling, but am sleeping a little better so I am hitting the sack every chance I get. Not just to sleep, but just to get away from news and social media. I haven’t turned on the tv since before the election. I have been on Facebook, but I read a few posts, made a few posts, and left. Too depressing. Everyone is talking about the voters and their reactions and their feelings. I am wondering about Hillary Clinton, and her family and friends and staff. I read that everyone was weeping during her concession speech. Except for her, of course. I’m sure her tears came later. I hope they came because they needed to come. All that time, and work, and effort, and putting  herself in the public eye, and being constantly grilled by the media and being professional and pleasant while being constantly scrutinized and slandered and being promised that this was her time. The convention, and the debates. Oh, the debates, where she outshined her competition so brightly that no one doubted that she had this election in the bag. Sure, it might be close, but there was no way America was really,  SERIOUSLY going to elect TRUMP, the loud-mouthed, overbearing, belligerent, sexist, bigot. Right? But they DID. Nearly 60 million Americans. My faith in the American public is BLOWN, not that it was ever strong.  SIXTY MILLION PEOPLE voted for this man, who is openly racist, sexist, and xenophobic. Who doesn’t believe in climate change, doesn’t have a clue about foreign policy, doesn’t have a clue about anything, really, that doesn’t pertain to him or his companies or family. I bet Hillary cried. But I bet she cried more for America than for herself. Because she knows what a disaster has been initiated. In a little over two months, our nation is going to be at great risk, if not already. Our allies and our enemies have taken note of what has happened here, and we will no doubt be tested. Will our allies stand by us? That depends on what kind of relationship Trump forms with them, and who knows what that might be? He’s rude, arrogant and self-centered, so, we’ll see. All the plans Hillary had for her term in office….gone. Obamacare won’t get fixed. No communication between communities and law enforcement for better race relations and criminal justice reform. Certainly nothing in the area of climate change. No common sense gun regulation. No immigration reform. No, he will just be focusing on that wall around Mexico he promised and making us pay for it. Trying to punish women for miscarriages and abortions. Promoting private prisons for profit. Deporting peaceful law-abiding Muslims for being Muslim. Restart torturing prisoners at Guantanamo. That’s just his short list. He’s shown himself to be an impulsive thinker. Whatever mood strikes him each day may dictate his next move. And “dictate” is an apt word,  for he plans to act as a dictator. He has no idea of how government works, no concept of checks and balances. He just knows he’s the boss. He plans to rule over America with his tiny little fist. Unfortunately, he’s got another almost 60 million Americans that voted for Hillary that are very unhappy right not and are not heeding the calls for “unity” and “open mind”.  I, for one, am not going to join the #NOTMYPRESIDENT crowd. It was a democratic election. We all voted. He was elected. He’s the new President. I despise him, but he will be my President. I will be ashamed of him, but he will be my President. I will most likely write about his foibles and faux pas daily in my blog, but he will be my President! That’s right. I will openly embrace him as President Trump, because I am going to be following his every move and providing commentary here on my blog every day until one of us dies or he is impeached and do everything possible to make it go viral. I’m sure I’ll be just one of many, but I’m going to do my part. Why? First of all, I voted, and that gives me the right to complain. And secondly, I intend to show Trump fans just what they voted for. Rub their noses in it? Maybe, just a little. I’d rather they read my words than have highly unpleasant conversations in person. I am Southern, after all. I can handle confrontation, but I don’t like it. It’s so unladylike, and it makes me perspire. Heavens!  Is this the Christian thing to do? Well, most Republicans don’t even consider me a Christian, so that is a moot point, but as it turns out, I am a Christian (God knows, and that’s all that matters.) and I think God wants me to use the talent he gave me for putting words together to good use and I think keeping people informed of the doings of their dictator/president is a good thing in a free society. And I’ll be watching the doings of the followers of this dictator/president, too, and reporting on that. But more on that later. 

But back to Hillary. Poor, poor, Hillary. Yes, she will enjoy a wealthy, comfortable retirement. No need to pity her too much. She has Bill and Chelsea and grandchildren and time to relax or travel or do whatever she has always wanted to do besides be the most powerful woman in the world. But I grieve for what could have been. We will have a female president one day, but I wanted it to be her. I feel that she has earned it. I think she is almost overqualified for the job. But it is not to be. She is still my hero.

Presidential Debate #2: “Locker Room Talk”

Everyone waited with bated breath to see how Donald Trump would squirm his way out of questions about the recent video comments unearthed of his from 11 years ago in which he gleefully described groping and grabbing women, unaware, apparently of a hot mic that was on . He talked about trying to have sex with a married woman and told NBC’s Billy Bush that you have to “grab them by the pussy”, among other tidbits of advice. Prior to the debate, many top Republicans came out against Trump, withdrawing their support, stating that they could not support a candidate who made such statements about women, as if this was the first time he showed himself to be sexist. Supporters were starting to scatter. How would he handle it? As only Donald could. He doubled down on it. When Anderson Cooper asked him the question, did he think his comments about women equaled sexual assault he dismissed it all as “locker room talk”. Simply, “locker room talk”. Which, I assume, is some code for, ” perfectly  acceptable”. In a split second he turned that over into talking about what was wrong with the country and ISIS and what he was going to do and everything except what the question was about. He finally admitted, yes, he said it, yes, he had been embarrassed, but look at what’s happening in the world with ISIS!! Heads being chopped off and whatnot. He really wanted to talk about ISIS. To be sure, ISIS is very important, but it’s highly unlikely they are going to be brought down by Trump alone, though he would have us all believe it so.  And that to him was really more important than any offensive language he had used about women or even any offensive behavior he had engaged in. All across America, athletes looked at each other and their coaches and asked, “Locker room talk?” I’m sure in a few locker rooms, that may be the case. Or by a few individuals in locker rooms across the country. But I would not insult all of our young men by saying, “It’s just a thing.” I’ve heard many women on the right in recent days try to dismiss Trump’s disgusting dialogue as “just guy talk”. UM, NO, MA’AM. Not every guy talks that way. Guys have dirty mouths sometimes, there’s no denying it. If you are in a relationship, you may enjoy your guy talking dirty to you.  But the average guy does not go around talking about doing things to women without their consent. That’s what we call rape culture, and that needs to STOP. Guys, when you hear it, you need to step up and say, “HEY. NOT COOL.” Ladies and gentleman, we all need to remember the  Word of the Day, and that is CONSENT. If you do not have consent, then you do not have sex. That is the rule. ALWAYS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

A lot of other things were said in the debate but I think I decided to focus on “Locker room talk” for this blog because it is so vitally important in our society as men and women continue to navigate their roles in our society and attempt to communicate with each other. Hillary performed admirably as usual, maybe not quite as in control because of the town hall setting, but she held her ground. But she stood up to Trump’s bullying well, with all his lurking about behind her, pacing and sniffing and playing to the crowd, threatening to throw her in jail. She was tough, as always, which even he admitted at the end.

But back to “Locker Room Talk”.  People need to learn to talk openly about their needs and desires in a dignified way, asking for what they need or want, not just grabbing and taking by force. In the meantime, we have a President to elect and one of them is a sexual predator.  Yes, I said it. In case you didn’t hear or have forgotten, Donald Trump is charged with the rape of a 13 year old girl, and is set to go to trial soon. His “friend” whom he used to spend time with in the company of young girls, is a convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein. This is a man we are SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING FOR PRESIDENT. Liar, sexist, racist, cheat, etc. So many labels I can pin on this man. In every way he thinks he is above the law. He doesn’t pay taxes.  I could write for hours about how unfit he is for the presidency. But I just have one question. DO YOU WANT A RAPIST FOR PRESIDENT?  

Presidential Debate #1: She’s Got This

This is going to be short and sweet. Hillary Clinton arrived on stage, radiant in red, the color of power. Donald Trump showed up looking and sounding like an angry bull and sniffed and snorted his way through the debate. He was cranky, cantankerous, an old man with kids in his yard and worse. He had no sense of humor. He had no manners. He was rude to Hillary and to Lester. I was amazed he got through it without using profanity. It seemed imminent. I think he did say “hell” once. He lied and denied, and lied some more. And exaggerated and embellished and twisted and stretched. And sniffed. He sniffed A LOT. What was up with that sniffing? Some called it “sniffling” but it was not like a  cold; it was definitely sniffing. Was he sniffing something before he came onstage? We may never know. But down to the brass tacks. What did he actually say? A lot of angry, negative things. Mostly about Mexico, and China. He seems obsessed with those countries and almost more concerned about them than about America. But to hear him talk about America, the state of our economy, and infrastructure and jobs, and “law and order”, we are on the brink of utter ruin and only he, he alone, can save us. It was very grim, and hard to imagine anyone wanting to vote for someone with that message, but I know some people will. Hillary, on the other hand, was calm, cool, collected, and PRESIDENTIAL. She spoke like she was already President. She even took the time to assure our allies that everything is OK. Our word is good, despite the confusion of the election campaign. She was organized and had her plans laid out for the economy, for race relations, criminal justice reform , trade, Isis,  climate change, jobs, and more. She was positive and upbeat. She smiled, and even laughed. She laughed when Trump insulted her and turned it back on him . Once he criticized her for taking off a few days to get ready for the debate and she acknowledged that she had and had also done so “to get ready to be President.” Cheers from the crowd. The jaw dropping moment for me, though, was when he went on one of his tirades and accused her of not having the right temperament for the job, all the while seething with rage and no trace of irony. She actually laughed and the crowd did, too. He didn’t get the joke. He never does. 

Politics vs. Prose

I should have seen it coming, in retrospect. My anti-anxiety medication, which I normally take on an “as needed” basis, and hadn’t been needing all that often,  I was taking the maximum dose at bedtime every night for months, and wishing for more during the day. I was tense and having trouble sleeping and watching the news obsessively and living on Facebook, posting meme after meme after meme about Trump, Hillary, and all things political, not caring who I offended or bored. My husband was perplexed, to say the least. He tried to reason with me. “Why do you care so much? Why does it matter to you?” I couldn’t come up with an answer, only a question. “Why don’t you care?” He does care, but “they’re both criminals”. And this nation is going to hell and yada yada yada, I can’t discuss this with you, don’t you have a headache, anyway? Seriously, he told me, “You are only one person. All you can do is put your message out there and sit back and wait and see what happens. We are not driving this train.” And my therapist agreed. She asked me  how much attention I give to politics and I explained to her that it was about as much as I would give a job. She said, “That’s a little obsessive.” And I realized she’s right. I’m on disability because too much stress makes it impossible for me to hold a job with my illness. And here I am heaping stress on myself on purpose. But I love politics. It’s in my blood. Perhaps I could take it down to a part time job? This seemed like a good suggestion to the therapist. More drugs is not the answer. I’m already medicated to the max. A change in lifestyle is required. And besides, I’m supposed to be a WRITER, not a political strategist. Whatever happened to that? OH YEAH, that. Not just a blog now and then, but the real writing. What’s going on with that? Well, not much, frankly. I’m working on a memoir project, but I haven’t touched it in two weeks, so I can hardly say I’m “working” on it. I have an idea for a novel, but I have been procrastinating outlining it, probably because deep down, I know it’s a dead end. In fact, when I pitched the idea to the therapist, she laughed and said it sounded like one of those “what do you call it, that channel with all the movies with women in trouble?” And I said, “Lifetime?”  “Yeah, that one, ” she chuckled. (BURN!!!! OUCH. Truth hurts!) And I have a ton, quite literally a TON of reading to do. Just got in three new books and I haven’t gotten through the last two months yet. Who assigned these? Why, I did, of course. I’m doing a DIY(do it yourself) MFA (Masters in Fine Arts degree) program on my own and it requires a lot of reading. It’s legit. Look it up. DIYMFA.com. It’s for people who can’t or don’t want to spend the money and time going to school and have the self-motivation and discipline to create their own program of reading, writing and building community. So I signed up for that and I have a plan, but I haven’t been working the plan very hard. I’ve been obsessing over Hillary and Trump and I’m afraid the next few months are going to be even worse. But I am going to make a very concerted effort to STOP THE MADNESS. Yesterday, as I explained to my husband when he got home from work, I took a mental health day. I did laundry. I never turned on the news. I got on Facebook and shared a few things but mostly stayed away from politics and edited and managed my profile and photos and chatted with a few friends. It was a peaceful, quiet day, and I remained calm and anxiety-free throughout.

In the interest of full disclosure I have to confess that I have recently added well over a hundred, probably close to two hundred new Facebook friends based on politics alone. Just went down the list and added people with Hillary profile pics, building myself a support army for the coming months. It’s lonely being a blue girl in a red state. Also I deleted a few people based on political differences, and I don’t feel one whit guilty about it. One posted “BS” when I posted a pic of Obama wearing a hat that said “I’ve already made America great”. She was an old friend and coworker, and I felt a little twinge but then….nah. The other was a person I liked quite a lot but who unfortunately fell victim to some Hillary conspiracy theories and she was getting a bit psycho and hysterical. If she had been in the room, I would have slapped her just to get her back to reality. I couldn’t deal. She had to go.

I made two commitments. One, to defeat Trump, and two, to get Hillary elected.  So, although I’m sure I’ll have my moments, and I’ll depend on you all to call me out, expect to see a little less of me and my obsessive rampaging on Facebook. Oh, I’ll be there. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. I’ll be skulking about. Just dialing it down a notch, that’s all. I’ll be around. My work is not yet done. 😉

 

God Bless Donald Trump!

I’ve been under the weather lately, physically and spiritually,  and I’ve had trouble getting going in the mornings, which is disappointing, because I had been showing some improvement after a long time of being down. I had a newfound enthusiasm glowing within me, and the main reason was because of my sweet husband, Steve, creating my writing space in our living room, a place for me to finally get serious about reading and writing and not spending all day in bed depressed. (Of course, this coincided with the onset of a new medication regimen, so it all works together, you see.) Bursting with joy (literally giggling uncontrollably) at the sight of my own desk and chair and books and computer, and bolstered by the right combination of pharmaceuticals, over a period of weeks I began to feel better. I stopped sleeping all day. I slept half a day for a while, then gradually, I eliminated almost all day time sleeping except for days I had migraines or stomach problems. Steve got used to seeing me at the desk when he came home instead of in bed, something I know had to make him happy. He told me once that coming home to find me in bed was kind of like coming home to an empty house. I remember thinking how sad that was and that I had never considered what it was like for him. How lonely it can be sometimes, to be the loved one of a depressed person. I made up my mind to try to be more sensitive to his needs after that, but I’m sure I have failed, as having a mental illness renders you quite self-absorbed. But I try. I know when he vowed “in sickness and in health”, he did not know then what he was agreeing to endure. But now he knows, and still, he endures.

I think this started out being something to do with Trump. OH YES! Trump! GOD BLESS DONALD TRUMP!! Why, you say? I hate Trump, don’t I? Well, hate is a harsh term that I hesitate to use. I really don’t like hate. I don’t consider myself a hater. I believe in love. I love all of God’s creatures. I catch spiders and bugs and throw them outside instead of killing them. Seriously, I do. OK, I have killed a few. But I try to save the ones that aren’t attacking me. I don’t like Trump, and if you follow my profile, then you know all the reasons why. First, he’s an imbecile. He’s just not bright. He thinks he’s a genius, but he’s not. He speaks on a fourth grade level and probably reads on an even lower level. He’s a racist. He’s against African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, basically anyone who isn’t white. He’s a sexist, chauvinist pig. He hates women, treats them like animals, considers them disgusting. He’s a pathological liar. He lies just as naturally as he breathes. At some point, I may devote a blog simply to his lies. Trump’s Lies. He cheats in his business dealings. He has ruined many a small business just to avoid paying his bills and bankrupting and he won’t release his tax returns. He has a violent temperament, completely unsuitable for President of the United States. He has no class, no honor, and no soul. He is wholly UNFIT FOR DUTY AS COMMANDER -IN-CHIEF.  BUT GOD BLESS HIM!!

Because of Donald Trump, I have a reason to get out of bed every day. There are still weeks to go to the election and the polls are showing Hillary Clinton with a sizable lead over him, but that doesn’t matter, because this is American politics and anything can happen here and as long as there is the SLIGHTEST chance that this IDIOT, this raging, tiny-fingered, Oompah Loompah might get elected, my work is cut out for me. As an active member of Facebook, it is my duty to peruse the newsfeed each day and see what new trifling nonsense about him has been posted for the masses to read. As I read, I have on MSNBC news in the background, listening for headlines and snippets. Because as clear as it is to me what Trump is, apparently millions and millions of people out there think he’s simply WONDERFUL!! ( I know. Go figure. ) Facebook does not disappoint, because Trump speaks often and the media loves him,  no ,  ADORES HIM, and prints something every time he opens his mouth no matter what comes out! I’m gonna build a wall! No more Muslims! Hillary is crooked! Where are her emails? Hey Russia, can you find them? I like soldiers that weren’t captured. I want a Purple Heart! I get along great with “the blacks”. I mean, the stuff he says, it should be enough to bury him with, but people hear it, and they still say, “Yup.voting for Trump!” Like it’s something to be proud of! Or even better. “Not as bad as Hillary.” As if Hillary has ever said or done anything remotely close to anything Trump-like. I consider it my duty also to promote my candidate, Hillary Clinton. But mostly, I feel duty-bound to discourage as many Trump voters as I possibly can between now and Election Day. Why? Everyone has the right to vote their own mind, their own conscience. But my conscience will not rest until I have swayed as many people as possible AWAY from voting TRUMP. This is the vote of a lifetime. Several Supreme Court justices could ride on this vote. This man is more than just a moron. He is a DANGER and a THREAT to our country and our way of life. He has no clue about foreign policy, no idea how to handle foreign leaders, except for his “buddy” Vladimir Putin. He will almost certainly get us into war with Iran, and probably other places as well. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAR. Let me say that again. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAR.

So what’s the latest? Now he’s trying to discredit the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization that has done so much good, raised millions and created hope where there was none, something he wouldn’t know about with his own “foundations”. Trying to make Hillary out to be the crooked one. Projecting much, Donald? And trying to work up some bogus bad health information about her after her own doctor has already cleared her as fit and ready to serve. Weak, Donald. Give it up, already. She’s gonna crush you like a bug in November. You know it, and I know it. But I know you won’t give up. That’s why I’ll meet you back here tomorrow morning, ready to take on a new day and all the crap you bring! BRING IT, DONALD! And God bless you!! Goodnight!!