An Open Letter to Donald Trump

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Donald,

Can I call you Donald? I hope so because I won’t call you Mr. President. I don’t know if I should feel sad or angry today. Or just horrified. How do you feel? Do you feel? I sometimes wonder. I mean there is a right side and a wrong side of history, and you ARE the wrong side. Do you get that?

I’m a NASTY WOMAN. I’m talking horrid. Super Duper Nasty. I’m disgusting! And this Nasty Woman isn’t scared of little boys like you. And there are a lot of us. Hillary. Michelle. Beyoncé. Samantha. Megan. We are legion, and we are a helluva lot stronger than you are. We are daughters. We are wives. We are mothers. We are fighters.

And we’re not scared of you.

That’s right. We’re not scared of you. Not even a little. You are a tiny man who used the most undereducated voters to win. You used fear. Good for you, you clown. People like you try to scare people like me. But it doesn’t work. Because I’m smarter than you. I read books. Lots of books with words… all the best words. 

“The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.” ― Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

If you understood that, then you’ll get why the entire country is pissed today. Because we just put a fascist in the White House. You won because you pandered to the Americans who think they are being ‘displaced’. You pandered to people who are scared to lose their guns, lives, homes, money, country…anything…

But like I said. That’s not me. I don’t scare easy, and it takes more than a big, orange molester to scare me. I’ve gone up against men scarier than you. I can do it again.

I’m not scared of you because… You are a bigot. You openly hate people based on the color of their skin, or where they were born. That is something ignorant, stupid people do. Smart people look to those different to see what they can learn. Smart people think about how differences make us stronger. Not you. You want to build walls and deport people and assault women and who knows what else since you never really laid out any actual plans. Idiot.

I’m not scared of you because… you are scared of women. That’s right. You are scared of us. You called Hillary a nasty woman because you are scared of her. Of all of us. Of what our power, together, united could do. Will do. You judge women based on their looks. How “Hot” they are to you. (Good thing for you voters didn’t do the same. You fat, ugly, incoherent windbag.)

American women have been putting up with dickheads like you for decades. At home. At work. Walking to work. At the store. You name it. We get told about ourselves all the fucking time. (Just ask all of your ex wives! Two out of three being IMMIGRANTS, I might add.) Now we get to deal with a self-loving, woman hating, dickhead in the White House. And after Obama! He loved us! It sucks, but we’ll manage. Because we are not afraid of you. Hillary Clinton wasn’t scared of you. She’s smarter than you. You know it. She knows it. We know it. Her husband knows it. And speaking of Bill… please, PLEASE stop pointing out that Bill Clinton cheated on her twenty years ago. You hit on your own daughter in public all the time. You don’t deserve my respect. Or my fear. Just my vomit.

I’m not scared of you because... you are not intimidating. You are a joke. You mock people. You make little “jokes” at their expense. (Here’s a clue. A joke is supposed to be funny) You mutter under your breath like a child in trouble. Being afraid of you would be like being afraid of a three-year old.

And finally I’m not scared of you because I won’t let you take my rights aways from me. Or any woman. I won’t let you step on the constitution and I won’t let you try to hurt my immigrant brothers and sisters. My LGBTQ friends and neighbors. I won’t let you forget that BLACK LIVES MATTER. That WOMENS LIVES MATTER. That my body is MY BODY and if you even think of grabbing me by the pussy you’ll regret it.

So Fuck you, Donald. I don’t respect you now and I won’t when you are sworn in. You are a liar, a cheater, an idiot, and a bad salesman. And a bad writer. Your book is a piece of shit just like all of your businesses. Which You’ve bankrupted. And now you get to be in charge of Fucking Over America and our Daughters. And our Sons. You’ve set this country back decades with your bullshit machismo. With your blatant racism.

We had a chance to keep moving forward but collectively chose to move backwards. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

And it’s all your fault.

 

Sincerely,

Alicia

An Open Letter to America About Guns

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Dear America,
In the wake of a disgustingly violent weekend, and I’m just talking about the two incidents in Florida, I have no choice but to say a few words. Ask a few questions.

First off, what’s wrong with Florida? On June 10th IN ORLANDO, a 22 year old singer named Christina Grimmie was shot in a crowd of her fans after one of her concerts. The man who killed her had TWO HANDGUNS and a KNIFE. On June 12th, IN ORLANDO, 49 people were killed and 53 injured when a man opened fire in a gay night club. THAT’S 50 PEOPLE DEAD IN TWO DAYS. BY TWO MEN. WITH 2 GUNS, EACH. IN THE SAME CITY.

If we don’t see the problem by now America, we are as blind as we pretend Justice is.

The problem is a simple one: GUNS. If you are one of those assholes American’s who claim otherwise, let me break it down for you. Your right to bear arms is NOT more important than ANY human life. Period. I don’t care if you disagree with someone about what god they choose to believe in (A CHOICE!) or who they love (NOT A CHOICE!) We are off balance. We value guns more than the life of a human being. If it was otherwise, we wouldn’t be the WORLD LEADER IN MASS KILLINGS.  It’s obvious that we don’t care about each other. If you disagree with that statement, you are either Donald Trump, my brother, or an ignorant asshole. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to let any of the aforementioned assholes get us off track. We are smarter than they are! The problem isn’t a religious one. Guns have nothing to do with whatever god you decide to worship. The problem is guns. WHY doesn’t matter. I don’t give a shit WHY that asshole went to a pop concert and shot a talented, young woman to death. It won’t change the fact that he did it. With ease. Knowing why won’t help to stop the next asshole. Because he’ll have a different why. That fuckwad who killed my gay brothers and sisters during PRIDE MONTH had his own fucked up reasons for killing. Stupid, ignorant reasons. All HATE CRIMES are based in ignorance. As long as we are focused on the WHY, we won’t fix or change anything.

AS LONG AS THERE ARE GUNS, PEOPLE WILL MAKE EXCUSES TO KILL.  

GOD. SATAN. RAGE. VOICES. RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION. MY DOG TOLD ME TO DO IT. MY GOD TOLD ME TO DO IT. I WANTED TO SEE HOW IT FELT. I AM RIGHT. YOU ARE WRONG. YOU WON’T LOVE ME. I WANT WHAT YOU HAVE. IT’S MINE.

As a society… as a country we need to keep the focus where it belongs. On the problem. Which if you haven’t been paying attention is GUNS. Donald Drumph would love nothing more than to help you forget that the man who killed 49 people in a nightclub had AN ASSAULT RIFLE. He WANTS YOU to think of ISIS and Muslims. He wants you to FORGET that this was an attack on the Queer community which was COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE. Why in the fucking world are regular everyday citizens allowed to have military grade assault weapons? Why? There ARE no good reasons.There is never a good enough reason.  Only bad excuses. And those need to stop. The bullying by those in power needs to stop. The name calling and degrading needs to stop.

Our country has turned into one of callousness. We care for the moment and then return to our daily lives of selfies and Snapchats. We ignore things we don’t like, and people we don’t like. If we don’t like what we see or hear, we block it out. None of my concern. The shooter at the nightclub has an ex-wife who describes him as abusive. His colleagues said he used racial and sexual slurs. At work. His family described him as homophobic with rage problems. The FBI looked at him in 2013 for threats to a co-worker. Yet the motherfucker had TWO conceal and carry licences. How many people in this man’s life felt he was off his rocker? A LOT! And yet…

How did someone like that slip through so many cracks? It seems to me that he could have been stopped from harming people years ago if more people had spoken up. Silence is the accomplice here. Our collective silence. We Tweet. We Instagram. We publish our collective outrage to FaceBook. BUT THAT IS’NT ENOUGH.

We, as Americans need to be vocal. All the time. And I’m not talking about changing your profile picture, or wearing a ribbon. I’m talking real action. In my life, when I see someone being mistreated, I fucking say something. Sure it gets me into trouble, but at least I can feel alright at the end of the day. When you’re with your friends hanging out, and someone starts talking about building a wall, or excluding people – SAY SOMETHING. When you hear someone use a racial slur, or homophobic language – SAY SOMETHING. Don’t be scared! That’s how ignorance wins. Trump, ISIS, any of those terrorists – are just big, fat, bullies with a big fat mouths. And big fat GUNS. They scream over people, use ignorant speech, and when that doesn’t work they shoot guns. They want to drown the rest of us out. Don’t let them.

Write letters to your congress-people and Senators! They pay attention because they want to keep their jobs. And they only do that when you vote for them. Be vocal. Get involved. 

Here:

http://pushprofile.com/congress-fax-numbers/

http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Thanks for listening, America.

The Girl.

Let Freedom Ring! (Unless you work for Hobby Lobby)

hobby-lobby-reality-check-Miss-R.EVOLuntionaries-FBI’ve never been a very patriotic person. Sure, I love being back in America, but I am not naive enough to say “It’s the greatest country in the world!” It gives me hives to see families wearing matching American Flag outfits, probably purchased at Old Navy, knowing they were made in Cambodia under sweatshop conditions. We certainly have a knack for celebrating freedom yet not actually believing in it. Woman in America are watching their rights be stripped away. Gays can’t legally get married. (There are 18 countries in which it IS legal, including So. Africa and Uruguay. But not America.) Let freedom ring! Throw on that flag shirt and light up the grill!

And that’s the America that I know and love. It’s the country that boasts the loudest and the proudest. With not much in recent memory to boast about. Let’s see… in 2014 we were number one in divorce rates, 23% of us can’t read, we are number one in defense spending, we make about the same amount of money as folks in Ireland, and we die just like everybody else does. And don’t get me started on maternity leave. We are not special, and we certainly are not the greatest country in the world. We just shout louder. We belittle those who disagree with us. We shun and disgrace the poor. We are pompous and arrogant. We don’t care about gays. Or women.

It’s hard for me to want to celebrate The Fourth of July when just last week the Supreme Court declared (in a 5-4 ruling) that for-profit companies can use religious objections to avoid paying for contraception coverage required under Obamacare. Hobby Lobby is a corporation. Corporations get certain benefits that people, actual human beings don’t: protection from criminal charges, tax breaks, etc. If Hobby Lobby would like to be a PERSON with religious beliefs, then Hobby Lobby should not get the protection of a corporation. It’s a case of you can’t have it both ways.

First off, The Hobby Lobby claims to be a christian company with conservative beliefs when at the same time they sell products made in China. This is straight up hypocrisy. The companies that HL deals with in China that have a reputation for labor rights violations and rock-bottom wages. Employees often end up working ridiculous hours in conditions you would never even dream of working under. They will never earn enough money to escape the cycle. Not to mention China’s dark ages, one child policy. This policy leads to the arrest of women and forced abortions. Not very Christian. Yet HL turns a blind eye to this.

tumblr_n816mzyt111r83d7lo1_500HL also invests in companies that make the morning after pill. This from a company who claims to operate in a manner “consistent with Biblical principles”. Whatever that means. Hell, Hobby Lobby cited their religion as defense to explain why they don’t sell Hanukkah decorations. But I digress. Hobby Lobby’s founders have made it clear that any abortion and certain contraceptives are unacceptable in their eyes. Yet HL invests in numerous companies that manufacture birth control (like Mirena and ParaGard). Can all companies claim religious beliefs as reason to deny coverage of other health care needs like blood transfusions, vaccines, or organ transplants? No. According to the decision, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, it’s really just about preventing women from accessing certain health care coverage.

‘Merica! ‘Merica! ‘Merica!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote a descent and it is well worth the read. She says it better than I ever could. This ruling will impact millions of American women who don’t share their employers beliefs. This ruling tells me that some beliefs are more important than others and that men are still deciding what women can and cannot do with their own bodies. Some women take birth control to help them with blood pressure or acne. Some women need that medication. And you know what? It isn’t anyones business why they need it. Nobody is going through Sam Alito’s medicine cabinet deciding which medications HE should or should not be allowed to use. “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield,”Ginsberg said. And she’s correct.

So have a happy Fourth of July. Enjoy your grilled hot dogs and potato chips. Enjoy the freedom’s that this country decided you could have, but remember all of us who don’t get the same consideration. We still live here too.

Life Hacks: How to Be Interesting

interesting_lifeWhat makes one person more interesting than another? While “being interesting” might be a little subjective, I think that we can all agree that Twelfth Night is more interesting than Twilight. We know interesting when we see it. In my years wandering this earth I have met a ton of interesting people, and about two tons of uninteresting people. These folks are not bad people, just a little on the dull side. If all you have to talk about is how annoying your co-worker is, how cute your kid/dog/cat is, or your new high score on Angry Birds (guilty) – you might be uninteresting. Here’s how to fix it.

  1. Do something. Anything. – The first thing you notice about interesting people is that they are doers. So get off your ass and go do something! Take a walk. Ride a bike. Dance. Sing. Draw. Knit clothes for your cat. Volunteer. Clean. And by the way, discussing the moral ramifications of last night’s of True Blood doesn’t count as doing something.
  2. Go out and explore – I’m not saying you have to take a trip to China, I’m saying go forth and discover new things. Read books by authors you have never read. Talk to people who have different opinions than you. Live in a new city, or country. Boring people stay stagnant. Don’t be that guy.
  3. Take risks – T.S. Elliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” I couldn’t agree more. If your idea of taking a risk is ordering beef instead of chicken, then you need to ask yourself when you became so… blah. I bet you used to be an adventurous person, someone who enjoyed roller-coasters and skinny dipping. What happened? Stop playing it safe and get out there. 
  4. Share your adventures – Interesting people are interesting in part because they tell great stories. Not everybody can go out exploring with you, so it is up to you to share your adventures. Sharing lets people know you a little better and it helps you become a better story-teller, photographer or even writer!
  5. Let your freak flag fly!be-brave-ribbonI’m weird. I know and understand that. It doesn’t bother me in the least bit. I don’t think anyone is normal, so why not celebrate your weirdness and individuality? The quirky things about you are the exact same things that make you interesting. So go ahead and make that bracelet out of bottle caps. Paint poodles. Embrace your weird.
  6. Show your passion – Interesting people care about others. Let people know what matters to you and then back it up with action. I am a big supporter of women’s rights & gay rights. I march in parades and I write letters to congress people. I am as active as I can be in Texas.
  7. Don’t be a dick – Right. So you have a super awesome life and you do amazing things daily. You poop rainbows and your farts smell like roses. Do you have to be a dick about it? Remember that the ego gets in the way of what really matters – people and ideas. Share the great things in your life when people are open to hearing about it.
  8. Leave your comfort zone – One way to become a more interesting person is to get out of your comfort zone. Moving from the US to The Czech Republic was a huge step for me. Leaving the Czech Republic for Mexico was even harder. Leaving Prague for Texas was the hardest of all. Getting out of your comfort zone is good for you, and it is the only way to grow.
  9. Don’t be a sheep – If you are just now hopping on the proverbial Bandwagon, then you are already late to the party. Interesting people don’t follow the crowd, they do their own thing. Be yourself and maybe folks will hop on your bandwagon. It’s always more fun (and more interesting) to lead than follow.
  10. BE BRAVE – If you want to live life by your own terms then you need to be courageous. If you are not brave, you’ll be hanging around with your friends talking about the woman who actually is. That could be you.

People I find interesting: Julia Child, Mark Twain, Hedy Lamar, Richard Feynman, Vincent Van Gogh, Amelia Earhart, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Steve Martin, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Prince, Elvis Costello.

People I find less than interesting: Kirsten Dunst, Lena Dunham, Mitt Romney, Brett Ratner, Lady Gaga, Michael Bublè, Glenn Rush Bill Beck Limbaugh O’Reilly.

Moment of Joy

New-Yorker-Cover-468x640I’m sure you have seen the now infamous Bert & Ernie “New Yorker” cover. It shows the two roommates hanging on the couch watching what looks like the supreme court on the old boob tube. They look to be in a quiet celebration of the Supreme Court’s overturning of DOMA on a 5-4 vote. Most people saw this cover and smiled because, let’s be honest, we all know that Bert & Ernie are gay. (Sure, the creators say things like “They are pre sexual” or “just friends” but we all know whats up. Hello!? Batman & Robin!?) Most of us felt happy seeing this image because now maybe they can just be a normal couple like Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy. Who are far more freaky as a couple, by the way.

The Twitter-verse exploded with comments both positive and negative. Over 12,000 of them! I couldn’t believe it. How could this possibly be offensive to anyone? They are Muppets! I didn’t see this sort of uproar when Big Bird made the cover of Time, or when Beaker & Honeydew graced the cover of Wired. I didn’t notice a national meltdown when Animal was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. I guess the reason why people are upset is because many American’s still think Gay = Bad. Well, it doesn’t.

Being offended at homosexuality is over. OVER. You are not cool if you are offended by gay people. You are just offended. And go ahead, be offended. That is your choice. (Unlike being gay, by the way.) You could choose to ignore it, or you could choose to enjoy it. You can even choose to let it ruin your day. That’s all on you. But whatever you choose, just remember gay people are not going anywhere. So, get used to it. There will be more gay people on TV, and not limited to “very special episodes”. There will be gay comic book characters, super heroes, and princesses. The closet doors of America are swinging open whether you like it or not. So, think about how you want to handle this new reality.

Oh, and saying “The gay thing doesn’t offend me, but the use of children’s characters to promote a political side is just wrong…” is a total cop out. There is nothing “wrong” with Bert & Ernie being gay. There are gay people in the world, and most kids already know a bunch of them. They probably have gay teachers and gay friends. That’s right, there are even gay kids out there. Wouldn’t it be nice to let THOSE kids have role models too? We need to do more than just “teach” kids about gay people. It marks gay as different which needs to stop. Just think, if it were Kermit & Piggy on that cover, would it have upset anyone? I doubt it.

Gay people have put up with tons and tons and tons of “straight” imagery over the years. They’ve seen magazine covers with Posh & Beck, a naked threesome (of bloody bad actors) from True Blood, Tom & Nicole, Tom & Katie, Tom & Penelope… you get the idea. I bet some of them were even offended. But, gay people aren’t allowed to get offended at straight couples because straight is “normal”, normal for straight people. We need to remember – not everyone in the world is straight, or christian, or smart, or awesome.There are people out there who disagree with everything you believe in. And that is 100% O.K. Believe what you like, and let me do the same. It’s when you start trying to restrict the rights of those different than you that you start to get into trouble.

I’ll be honest, I am offensive sometimes and I am totally ok with it. I don’t mind offending people, they’ll get over it. Being offended isn’t the worst thing in the world. Personally, I try to only take offense at things that actually matter. Like civil rights denied a group of people for centuries. That offends me. The idea that children need to be shielded from homosexuality – THAT offends me. Preaching “christian values” while villainizing millions of men and women –THAT offends me.

Seeing a couple of Muppets in a cuddle? Well, that just makes me smile.

Slacktivism

tumblr_mke3vsTpkr1qkd1ybo1_1280I am usually not a supporter of “Slacktivism”. I find it rather silly and doesn’t do one bit of good for whatever cause you think you are supporting. How is posting the color of my bra as a status update supposed to show that I am fighting for a cure to breast cancer? How is changing my profile picture to anything count as ‘activism’? It doesn’t. Not usually. That’s why they call it “Slacktivism”. It’s activism without doing anything, thus Slacktivism.

But I did change my profile picture to the red equal sign, and I’ll tell you why. First off, the sign is from the Human Rights Campaign, and it is to show congress that America – ALL OF AMERICA – supports marriage equality. It was a genius campaign of peer pressure that resulted in 13 members of congress showing the sign.

Peer pressure can be an effective tool for enacting change in people who are too dumb to do it on their own. Every single argument that has been made to “protect marriage” has been dismantled. Seeing all the red out there is inspiring. It’s making me think that maybe this will inspire people towards REAL activism. Maybe this will inspire people to speak up when they hear someone say “…that’s so gay…”, or attend the next Gay Pride march.

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At the very least, the red equal sign has hushed the idiots. Maybe seeing all that red made people think twice before posting a derogatory slur. Maybe it inspired one asshole to change the way he thinks. Even if it only got one person to stop and think about human rights, and what it means to be human, then it was worth it. 

ANd it can’t end there. I challenge you to prove you are not just an armchair warrior. If you were one of the millions of people who proudly changed your profile picture to a red equal sign, I challenge you to take it to the next level. Get off your ass and become an activist. Don’t be scared. You have already taken the first step! You were outraged enough to publicly state “I demand change!” That’s a good thing. Now all you have to do is get out there and show the people you mean it. Talk the talk. Walk the walk. Find a fun event taking place in your city that supports the LGBT community. Write a letter to your congresswoman or man. Donate money to the Human Rights Campaign.

Change starts when you let it. Let it.

An Open Letter to the President: Congratulations!

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations! <High fives you> Well done sir. I’m sure you are still busy celebrating with the wife and kids, and Mr. Biden is probably passed out drunk on your sofa but that’s cool. We all deserve a celebration in honor of America finally standing up for itself. It’s been a while. I mean it has to be a little satisfying to hear Lemmy from Motorhead stand up for you.

I’m really excited about the next four years. I expect you are as well. So much to do! But, I suspect it will be easier than the last four years have been. The country seems to be turning a corner when it comes to gay marriage, and for equality in general. You helped with that. You have also been very helpful with the rights for us ladies. And I thank you for that. I shudder to think what would have happened if Mr. Romney had taken office. I’m thinking it would have been a return to the days of back alley abortions.

You are a President of the people, and for the people. I feel like you get me. Okay, not “me” personally, but me as an unmarried woman. I still count as a human being in your eyes. I kind of don’t count at all as far as Mr. Romney is concerned. I am not a practicing christian, I am not married and I don’t have children. I think as far as Romney is concerned I am not a “real” woman.

But you don’t think of me like that. You think of me as someone who might benefit from cheaper health costs, and from FREE contraception. You think that if I get raped I should be allowed to have an abortion without an ultrasound. You believe that my choices should ultimately be made by me.

And that’s why I voted for you sir. You trust me. So, in return I am going to keep on trusting you. I believe in you. And that’s why I know you are going to stop signing laws that put us in jail. I swear, it is my only real criticism of what you are doing over there in the White House. You know what law I’m talking about, right? The National Defense Authorization Act? Yeah, that one. The one that lets you put American citizens in jail without a trail. It sucks dude. What were you thinking there? Why did you do it? It isn’t really you, you know? It’s like on Buffy when Buffy started acting all weird and her friends were all, “what’s up with Buffy…?” and then they realized she had switched bodies with Faith. Like that. It’s like someone forced you to do it. The Barack Obama I know would have never done such a thing. You get me? So fix it man. Do whats right. Be yourself again.

Anyway sir, congratulations. I am a happy and proud American today. Keep up the good work, and please go on The Daily Show a few more times because that would be awesome. Oh, and could you please tell Michelle she is a total badass for me? Thanks.

Loving your work,

Alicia

 

Politics as Usual

Politics usually brings out the worst in people. The reason being that most of us have some very strong feelings about things like the economy, drugs, rights and freedom. Most of believe we are right, but pretend to have an open mind about “the other side”. If you are on Facebook then you probably know what I am talking about – post after post after post about how this candidate is a jerk, and that candidate is a wimp. My side is right and your side is wrong.

And I can handle that. I often post articles that are pro Obama. His views and policies line up pretty well with my own. We both believe that gay people should have the right to marry. (Mitt Romney does not.) We both believe that a woman should have full control over her own body. (Mitt Romney does not.) These two areas are so important to me that the other issues take a back burner. It’s not that they are not important, it’s that I cannot, and will not vote for anyone who doesn’t believe in equality for all people. Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in equality for all people, so I’m voting for the other guy.

I’ve gotten into a few Facebook arguments about the election. Most of these online debates were about things like the economy or social security, and at least once over whether or not Romney was animatronic. I think I won that one, but anyway… Fighting about politics is fine, but what do you do when the statments start turning ugly? What do you do when profanity is introduced, or when the conversation goes from being cordial to personal attacks? I stop engaging.

But what do you do when you are related to the person who said the comment and the comment was racist? Yep, racist. This happened to me this week. I was looking at the FB page of a relative of mine and saw a blatantly racist comment about the President. And it wasn’t the first time. I didn’t know what to do. Do I say something? Will they listen? I mean, it was embarrassing for me seeing it out there and quite honestly it was pissing me off. I couldn’t delete the relative because they are my relative. But I couldn’t NOT say anything because I would say something to anyone else who thought that kind of talk was alright.

Race has nothing to do with which candidate will make the best President. Your decision should be based on facts and your own personal beliefs, not on which candidate looks most like you. Using derogative language instead of a person’s name is mean and pointless. And it just makes you look like a jerk. Like an ignorant jerk!

I ended up sending out a brief private message basically saying what I said in the last paragraph. It probably won’t make a difference, but at least I’ll be able to sleep at night knowing I stayed true to myself. I guess the moral of the story is – be careful with what you say, and how you say it. You never know who might be reading it.

 

Ten Commandments (according to me)

I’m not religious, at least not anymore. Like most kids growing up in the USA I was forced to attend church every Sunday with no explanation aside from “It’s what we do.”  I went to the Presbyterian Church which was also called the “cool” church. (My definition of cool is somewhat different nowadays, but I digress.) We read from the bible, sang songs along side hip dudes in their twenties who, for some reason or other wanted to spend their time showing high school kids the ways of Jesus Christ. We had social gatherings and trips to do fun stuff, but when all was said and done – it was still a church.

There was nothing necessarily wrong with my church, but as I got older I began to understand that church wasn’t any place for a free thinking woman like myself. I stopped going when I was a senior in High School because I thought telling teens that they would “go to hell” if they drank or had sex was not only mean, but a big fat lie. And yes, I was told that. Verbatim. And when I asked for proof in The Good Book I was told “later…”. Right, because it doesn’t say that anywhere in there.

The fact that I am happily not affiliated with any organised religion doesn’t mean I am not a woman of faith or spirituality – I am. If there is a god “up there” I don’t think that he/she cares about churches or tithes. I don’t think that god, or buddha or whatever prophet you belive in cares if you drink caffeine, beer or water. I don’t think that deities take notice of whether or not you have kids or if you smoke weed. I think if there is a big someone watching over all of us they just care about one thing: Are you a douche, or not? The following are the Ten Commandments I live by. Or try to.

  1. Thou shalt not be an asshole. It’s easy. If someone has their signal on in heavy traffic and they are trying to merge, LET THEM. When you go to the cinema turn off your phone – completely – people can still see when you text. Don’t stand in the express line with a full cart of groceries. You get it, right? Don’t be an asshole.
  2. Practice forgiveness – This applies to yourself as well as to those around you. Did you break the first commandment today? Yeah? Well, forgive yourself and try a little harder tomorrow. And if someone has “wronged” you in some way? Let it go man. No good comes from holding a grudge, and it give that person a whole lot of power in your world.
  3. TRY – It seems simple, but somewhere along the way I think we forget to just try. Try new food, new clothes, new hair colors, new languages, new places, new people and new books. Hell the harder something looks the harder you can try. Trying is what helps keep us young and alive.
  4. Thou shalt not judge – How hard is this? Really fucking hard. I try to remember how I feel when people judge me and then try not to make other people feel like that. I think when I feel like judging it is just insecurity coming out and that kind of sucks. So instead of looking at that… um… person with different political beliefs and calling them say… liberal fascists or maybe even communists we should think about it first and wonder why we felt the need to lash out.
  5. Don’t take it personally – This is my favorite of all my commandments. If you can master this you will lead a happier life by at least 1000%. If (and when) someone says something negative to me (or about me) I can shrug it off pretty easily – because it’s not about me, it’s about them. We take things personally when we think we are the center of the universe, when it’s all about us. Life is a whole lot simpler when you take yourself out of the equation. I get news for you: Nothing anyone does is because of YOU. I promise. It’s all projection. So take a load off and relax. Become immune to both insults and compliments and you’ll be a lot happier. I don’t need to hear that I am good at work, or pretty or a good singer. I know it. When someone says I suck? Great, thanks for sharing.
  6. Don’t take the good stuff for granted – Do you have an awesome family, or girlfriend or husband, or garden or job? Then show some appreciation! Do one of the chores you sweetie HATES doing. Take your family to the park or zoo just because. Bring some doughnuts to work. Just be outwardly appreciative and everyone will feel happy.
  7. Thou shalt not assume – We all know what happens when you assume… but really. When you assume you are robbing someone of honesty, and that someone is you. Assumption is the close cousin to judgement, and we all know that thou shalt not judge. It’s hard for me not to assume that every dude in his twenties wearing khakis and drinking a Bud Lite is NOT a douche bag, but I have to try.
  8. Thou SHALL Dance! – At least once a month I have private little dance parties… in my underwear. It helps me to relieve stress and remember what a total badass babe I am. I do it alone and I turn the music up LOUD. It’s nice to act like a dork with full freedom to do so. It also helps with the “not giving a shit what people think about you” parts.
  9. Thou shalt Sing Out… Louise – I mean this both figuratively and literally. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I tell it like it is. If you want my opinion, I’m more than happy to give it to you. But you should know that I am going to tell the truth. I’ll call you out if I see you acting a fool, and I’ll call you awesome if you are acting awesome. I also fully advocate singing at any time.
  10. Thou shalt not be selfish – I’m a school teacher so telling people to share is a daily thing for me. But I work with kids, they need to be told. Adults should fucking know better. If you are acting selfish then please stop it. And you know if you are being selfish. Are you asking to cut in front of a dozen people in line because you only have “a few” things? That’s being selfish. Anytime you put your own needs and well being in front of others then you are being selfish. Is there a time and place for it? Absolutely. But the time and place is usually not when you want something that others are opposed to. Try being flexiblle and see what happens.

10 Things I think are Cool – Right Now

A few of you have made comments, or sent emails to me accusing me of “hating” everything, and asking why I always seem to find the negative in everything. While I take offense at the mere idea of me actually hating everything (see the tab on this blog called “My Favorite Things“? Yeah, that’s a big list of shit I DON’T hate…) I will admit to being down on a lot of stuff I see lately. Maybe it’s the reverse culture shock. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of stuff is stupid and deserving of harsh criticism. Or maybe it’s the fact that most of you seem to enjoy my critical posts… a lot. Whatever. To appease the masses, here is a list of 10 Things I think are Cool… RIGHT NOW.

1. This Guy

2. American Ninja Warrior: If you haven’t seen this, get ready to be wowed. These guys and gals are super badass, and compete in the world’s most difficult obstacle course. It’s so hard that no American has ever completed it. One Japanese dude did it last year. The Olympics have nothing on this. Check it out. 

3. Major corporations backing Gay Rights/Marriage Equality: This is a no brainer. I think more companies need to come out of the closet and start speaking out for civil rights. For those of you who think the whole “Chick-Fil-A” thing was a little much, think about it like this. What if the owner of said restaurant had made the same statement – except instead of gays he was talking about minorities. Would that be alright? No, it wouldn’t. It’s no different from the civil rights movement of the 60’s. We need to stand up for ALL people, not just the people who look like us, act like us, and go to the same church as us. Would you eat a restaurant that forced black people sit in a separate section, or claimed that it supported segregation? Of course you wouldn’t. So don’t support places that are anti-gay. It’s the same thing.

4. Breaking Bad:  If you are not watching this show you are missing out on some awesome television. Screw “Game of Thrones”. If I want to see battles and kings and small folk, I’ll just watch LOTR. Watching Walt (Bryan Cranston) feed his ego and his greed gets better and better with each episode.

5. MILKSHAKES:  I don’t know if it’s because the Czech Republic is severely lacking in milkshakes, but I can’t seem to get enough of them. Actually, the Czech’s don’t really know how to make them properly. Most places don’t even use ice cream – just milk. Nope! The better the ice cream, the better the milkshake. So far I have enjoyed a strawberry shake, a vanilla shake, and an extremely delicious espresso-chocolate-something shake. I don’t know what all was in there but it was divine. Do yourself a favor and have a milkshake today. You’ll be glad you did.

6. The Obamas:  Just so that there is absolutely NO confusion here, I am a Obama supporter. Has he been perfect? No. But I bet you aren’t perfect at work either. All in all I think he is a stand up guy who is trying his darndest to point America in the right direction. And I adore Michelle Obama. How can you not? She is smart, sassy, sexy, funny and totally down to earth. The best part about them is unlike other Presidential couples, these two people seem to actually like and LOVE each other! That’s the best example a President could possibly set.

7. Toddlers & Tiaras: As both my boyfriend and former flatmate can attest to, I love this show. I love everything about it. I love the crazy moms and dads. I love the crazy kids who may or may not enjoy getting dolled up for a beauty contest. I love the way the show edits Mommy telling the camera what an angel her little girl is while showing footage of that little angel screaming her lungs out. This show should be watched by all parents as a “What Not To Do” example. And I have to say, I feel really awesome about the way I live my life each time I watch this show. 

8. This Aphttp://www.unbaby.me/ It takes all those pesky baby pictures from FB and replaces them with pictures of cats – or whatever you want. YAY!

9. Hamburgers:  I have a theory. When you live in Prague for long enough you just convince yourself that the food you are eating actually tastes better than it does. Prague is a great city for a lot of things, but food just isn’t one of them. As much as the foodie culture is trying to catch on in the CZ, it never will. Why? Because Czech’s don’t really give a shit about good food. It wasn’t until I had a hamburger at Beaver’s in Houston that I realized I had been lying to myself for the last six years. I missed GOOD hamburgers.

10. Goats: Specifically goats screaming funny things. My friend rachel and I have spent several hours watching youtube videos of animals doing funny things, but none are ever as funny as the goats. Watch this video twice and listen for the second goat.