As 2016 winds down I'm excited to say farewell to this shitty, shitty year, but at the same time, I'm in no hurry for Inauguration day. So torn.
However, I do have an addition to my ongoing Mir's life Mix Tape the first in quite a while. I think this song accurately covers this absurdity of this year with the appropriate level of dread. It's not terribly personal but it does capture how I feel reading the news ever since the election.
Though it feels like I'm sitting here writing about banal shit paying no mind to the house fire I'm sitting in, there has been stuff going on before and after the election that I feel I ought to mention for memory's sake. In particular, I've gone to a couple of shows and the Schmee's gala & auction happened. Lots to tell.
On the Saturday before the election--yes, this is how we measure time now, Before Trump Elect and After Trump Elect-- I had tickets to see Dylan Moran at the Neptune. This was my 4th time seeing my favorite comedian this time on a very wet Seattle night. Early on in the show Moran was all "don't worry we'll get through this very quickly, I want to see what other kinds of rain you have."
The show itself was great. I mean I love him, he's my favorite. But it was one of the weirder comedy outting experiences I've had. Dylan Moran was talking about how, getting olde,r he can't have his favorite things anymore and there was a joke about having a picture of a chocolate chip cookie in his wallet. A little later, he was in this bit about being in Germany and looking for veggie soup. He was in maybe the last third of the bit, building up to the punchline and this girl just walked up to the stage and interrupted him by giving him a cookie. It totally threw him off and messed up his train of though. He almost immediately went to intermission. How freakin' rude and attention seeking of this chick. I was pissed off because this girl I think robbed us of jokes.
There were a couple of other things that were weird about that night, completely unrelated to Moran's routine, but I don't think writing about it will do those stories justice, or I'll look like a jerk. It was all topped off though when the girl in front of us throughout the show complimented Andy and me on our laughs. Like genuinely I don't think she was being facetious or anything. So that was kinda nice...but odd.
So on the Thursday after the election, while Seattle was still in shock and mourning, Andy, Raye, Ryan and I had tickets to the Descendents again at the Neptune.
Andy, Raye and I got there kinda early. Despite the mood being sullen going in, I was listening to some quality punk to help release the pent up anxiety about the election. The three of us sat upstairs for the opening bands and Ryan eventually joined us. Before the Descendents went on we went down to the floor and were standing right in the center of the crowd so of course once the show started we were tight in the pit. I'm a pussy when it comes to getting pushed and squished in the pit so that shit only lasted for one song before I made my way to the side. We lost Ryan but the the three of us found a good vantage point out of the pit. The amazing thing about this show is that people were stage diving and crowd surfing. Of course that's not weird for a punk show but it is very unusal in Seattle. Venues in this city are so uptight with liability that usualy when someone first tries it security usually nips that shit right in the bud. Not at this show. Raye got too hot in the crowd and was having problems with her shoe so she went back upstairs pretty soon. I stuck around on the floor with Andy until after I heard "Suburban Home" then went up to join Raye where I could get a good view of the crowd as well as the band.
Andy has way more stamina than me when it comes to shows and he stayed on the floor. I stuck around for the first encore but I missed the last two and in doing so totally missed my oppertunity to see my husband get up and stage dive/crowd surf. Goddamnit! Wen Raye and I reconnected with Ryan and Andy they were both drenched in sweat. It was a good night and needed escape from the sadness of the election result.
On Nov. 12 the Schmee had our annual auction which raises funds for the year. Usually these are at the theatre but a lovely couple donated a venue, Escalia, for us which was all fancy and only a couple blocks away from the Schmee. It had a grand staircase, a chihuly, a huge bar and a sweet deck with outdoor fireplace, which would have been in more use if it weren't such a blustery night. Raye, Angie and I bartended and in addition to all the schmee folks Dani, Sam & David were there. It was kind of a mascarade theme so I got to wear my princess dress I haven't worn since Puerto Rico.
The theatre did well in raising funds and the venue was very happy with us becasue we were very good at cleaning up after ourselves and they would be happy to have us back! Sweet. And here I was a little worried about getting folks to give money after the election but it all went well.
I saw a thing
My mum bid on a thing in the silent auction that she was hoping to get out-bid on but did not. So she ended up winning tickets to Celtic Thunder at the Paramount. She asked if she couldn't get anyone else to go with her if I would go. I don't even know what this was but I wasn't interested. However, I can't say no to my mum so I agreed to go with her on Wednesday to this ridiculous thing.
Andy looked this group up and no it's not river dance. It's like a boy band for old ladies. It's like the Irish Backstreet Boys only not really for young people nor Irish people. They sing some Irish folk song but also popular songs that are older or palatable to old people. Andy teased me relentlessly for going to this ridiculous thing. He teased me the night before with YouTube videos of these guys and the next day when I was at work, Andy was emailing me memes teasing me.
Andy even got his co-workers involved and prank called me during work hours pretending to be Celtic Thunder. To which I emailed him "SERIOUSLY?!"
The things we do for our moms. I met up with my mum at the Schmee and we went and had a light dinner and cocktails before heading over to the Paramount. I was shocked to see so many people outside teh venue. The one cool thing about these free tickets was that they were VIP so we got to bypass the crowd and go in a special side entrance and we were given access to a special VIP area with free food and a full bar.
The minute we got into the theatre I was hit by the overwhelming smell of old lady. We made our way downstairs to the VIP area. This was the best part of the evening. I could get used to going to shows this way, if only I could afford it. Like I say there was free food -- Tom Douglas, too, fancy!-- and there was a bar that not only had no line but for the same price the plebs were paying upstairs I could get a good pour in a proper glass like a grown up. I had white Russians 3 & 4 in the VIP area, getting properly liquored up to face whatever was ahead.
We took our VIP seats in the balcony, I'd say the average age of the audience was probably 60 with a few outliers of "young people" around my age. The backup band came out and the music started and there was this ridiculous voice over "Thousands of years ago..." blah blah blah "..the sound..." you think they're gooing to say "of thunder" but instead it's "of drums" and the drummer began drumming and the music swelled. Eventually the Celtic boy band came out and the crowd lost it's fucking mind. My mum just looked at each other and laughed. They sang this dramatic song.
Song #2 was a song about a boat, I know because the projections were so damn literal. They wouldn't want anyone to miss the point that it's a song about a boat. Annoyingly but also a source of hilarity for me was the fact that their art director only programmed about 30 seconds worth of film in the projections so you just see the same boat footage replayed over and over again. I tried to stifle my laughter.
Song #3 was about a horse and the projection was all these wild horses running thorugh Irish landscape and I fucking lost it. As soon as my brain went to Father Ted and "My Lovely Horse" song, I couldn't be held responsible for my laughter. They brought me to this.
Don't worry I won't go through each song but song #4 was about gypsies and, again, 30 seconds of Irish gypsies on the screen and all I could think of was the line "I fucking hate pikies" from Snatch.
I survived the first half, of course they closed with a U2 cover, perhaps only slighlty annoying those around us with my laughter but I had remained mostly respectful to the fans of the rediculous thing that I swear does NOT get performed in Ireland at all.
Back in the VIP area more white Russians and there were salted caramel chocolates. We came back for the second half, even though I thought very honestly about skipping the second half. In the second half, the guys tried to be funny but it all fell flat. To me they were way more hilarious when they were taking themselves seriously. When they were trying to be funny I was annoyed with how un-funny they were but the old ladies just ate it up.
When the show finally got out and everyone was filing out of the theatre I noticed the big black security guard, who was the only face of color in a sea of old white people. That pretty much says it all about Celtic Thunder. At least I didn't see any granny panties being thrown on the stage, which honestly I expected.
- Current Music:The Descendents
And that's fine. Maybe? Because perhaps posting on FB my thoughts and opinions is just adding to the cacophony of liberal smugness that my opinion fucking matters. It goes against what I was trying to get to in the first place.
Besides a lot of people on my FB feed are still in an angry place. There are some articles and podcasts and the like calling out the left for our smugness in the election and our closing people down by saying they are racists and therefore the reply is, I'm sorry I won't support racists by engaging with them.
And sometimes that response feels fucking valid because while us white folks in our liberal bubble point fingers at who is to blame--racist hillbillies, Hilary, Bernie-bros--on the ground for our POC this is happening....
and when I see that I think, Jesus, the 'other side' are fucking monsters. Maybe the people shutting them out are absolutely right in doing so.
Our side doesn't want to think If we shut each other down and close the debate, close the communication, how the fuck are we supposed to end this? You can't just call people monsters and block them out and they'll come around. Or once you block them out they don't just cease to exist. They're still there and they'll never come around without discussion. If anything they'll increase their racism because they'll feel justified, too.
Further, I've seen folks on my side say that 'anyone who voted for Trump, supports this'. We have to remember, that, if that is the case, then it has to work both ways. In which case, anyone who voted for Obama supports drone strikes. We have to come to terms with that on our side. Especially the folks who were gung-ho Hillary, because that shit was sure as fuck going to continue with her.
It's interesting in the past two days I've seen the left use the words to describe the swath of people who voted for Trump, the rural poor, with the same words racists use to describe the urban poor, (code for black). The most interesting word being 'entitled'.
Maybe we should recognize that entitled is, in the right context, not a bad word. We all, as Americans are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is supposed to unite us. We are all entitled to that much. The minute you deny that from your fellow Americans, you are out of line.
I feel like we are at a head right now. What ails the people in middle America that voted for Trump is what ails communities of color in the city, poverty. The wealth is going too much to the top. We have to come up with a viable solution to poverty or easing poverty. The right, the monied, are not going to fucking do that. The neo-liberals are not going to do it either. It is our responsibility on the left to come up with that solution. We have to sell that solution to the very folks that many of us have cut off from our lives right now if we want to see a change.
It is all up to our side to do this.
But we are not going to be able to do so if we remain indignant and smugly disregard half the population like they don't matter and like they're not struggling.When Hilary said "when they go low, we go high" we, and her campaign, didn't even live up to that! We just smugly disregarded them. Now we really have to go high, and be the ones to try to solve this problem and we can only do that by listening, discussing We have to do that while on top of defending and fighting for the rights of people of color, Muslims, immigrants, women, and the LGBTQ community. That's a lot of responsibility for us to take on the left. Of course, it's going to be twice as hard because we'll also be fighting off the Trump administration (*vomit*) who will be trying to pull back the progress that we have made thus far.
There's option B where we continue being divided. Close each other out. Move away. Try to break from the union, or, hell, things come to a head, Civil War, the sequel. In which case, times will get very tough because they're the ones who are heavily armed for one and they're from the place where our food comes from.
So we'd be wise to use our best talents, our diversity, our education, our open-mindedness and find again our empathy and compassion in order to solve the problem. That is our charge in the century.
Perhaps that's me doing the optimistic American thing. History shows, however, when fascism rises, so does violent strife and uncertainty to chaos and horror.
I just realized that this is how I deal with stressful situations. I get this from my mom. When bad shit comes up and everyone around me is going "woe!" or "RAGE!' my instinct is to go, "okay, there's no way around this, what's happened has happened, let's take stock of our options and figure out what action to take. Suck it up and figure out how to cope." That's totally what I'm doing right now as I write these blogs.
These might be all scrambled. I might just start and then trail off. Please excuse me.
This is a somewhat familiar feeling to what was felt in 2004...only worse. So much worse. I mean Bush was bad but this is bad and so surreal.
I feel like my adult life, since I've been of roughly voting age (I was just a month too young to vote in 2000), I have watched this country fall deeper and deeper into a strange dystopia. The towers fell, we went into war that no one wanted based on a lie, hurricane Katrina made it clear that the USA is a 3rd world country. Sure Obama's run gave us some hope, but from the Tea Party, to Trump's Birthers, to just congress in general, he had to face so much obstruction, much of the progress we wanted was not achieved. Plus we live in this world where facts have become meaningless in forming policy. Its a scientific fact that yes, climate change is definitely happening, and yes, it's totally our fault, to which many people still retort "why should I believe scientists? Look at this show ball." Opinion apparently holds more clout than facts and data. Worse! Uninformed opinion holds more clout than that of expertise! Satire is fuckin' dead now, you realize. Donald Turm is going to be the god damned president...
Since undergrad I've been interested in the historical period of the early 20th century and in past months I've been reading historical fiction set in this time as well as revisiting Howard Zinn's Peoples History of the United Sates on Audible focused on the chapters of this time. The labor strikes, the Wobblies (IWW), the suffragettes, the robber-barons, socialists, anarchists, unionization. It was a time where the struggles of many eventually earned us the things that we take for granted today. 5 day work week, 8 hour days. The end of child labor. The right of children to attend public schools. The right for women to vote. All of these things that we have taken for granted were won (many as a compromise, mind you) because of the fight of a lot of organized working class folks. People fought. People spent time in jail. People were beaten by the police (claims at that time too that the US was a police state, I think were valid). People died. Let's not forget too, and I don't advocate this but there was domestic terrorism then in this country by the far left and the anarchists. I'm sure with all that was going on everything seemed so tenuous. This question of "if everything is changing and the system crumbling what is the future going to look like?" was part of the zeitgeist.
Here we are again at the dawn of a new century and things are strikingly similar. We have modern robber barons (some, working under the corporate name avatar of their historical counter parts, J.P. Morgan/Chase Bank comes to mind). They and their public office, politician rent boys have been, since the Regan era, stripping away at these gains of labor has worked so hard to leverage; public safety nets, institutions of education and care, and fair distribution of the wealth. Again today the global economy is changing and the working class person, especially in rural areas is being left out. Hell, even with Obama's bounce back from the great recession, the guys at the top saw far more of the benefits than the working man.
People are mad, the future is uncertain and this time, apparently the people have been duped that the right, or I guess Donald Trump, is going to be their savior and fix thier problem. Instead of going the route the of the organized working man 100 years ago, these guys have veered far right and (ironically, as if 100 years hasn't passed) with a terrifying flair of xenophobia, racism, and sexism. Oh yeah and that domestic terrorism I mentioned of the far left 100 years ago, of course, these guys are armed to the teeth, thirsty for blood, violent at Trump rallies and even shooting up polling places.
However, the ultimate irony of all of this is--because this is 2016 and black is white, up is down, and facts and figures don't matter--they elected a Robber Barron elite to be their savior! Un-fucking-believeable!
Though I technically have a couple of years on the one I've got, I need to replace my IUD before Mike Pence regulates my fucking uterus. Because clearly I can't be trusted to make decisions that affect my own body and life...
Before the election, I was thinking to myself that the echo chambers the internet has given us might lead us to fascism. Or rather help us into fascism, and that we would go willingly. I've been seeing it on the right an on the left. I'm lucky that my family members in the fly over states don't post about politics too much, or if they do have it filtered so I don't see it. But every now and then I find someone who I see engage in an argument, usually a stranger to me but a friend of a friend, and then I lurk on thier page, becasue I'm attracted to the crazy that I can't wrap my head around. The far right have thier own blogs from which they post their "facts" and "news." None of which is credible. Of course in my own echo chamber on the left, I've been trying to be more conscientious about articles I share in an effort to not do the same. i have forsaken "addicting info" and other left-wing political click bait type blogs whose articles take little information and blow it out of proportion. I try to stick to proper journalism from, albeit lefty news outlets like the Guardian, Atlantic, etc.
On my lefty side there are echo chambers uppon echo chambers of anit-Hilary, pro-Hilary, and the far, far left. One thing I have noted, especially on the far far left is how prone people are to shutting down alternate views. Last week I got so upset by a thread on a friends page where the term "be safe" (in the context of saying to anyone going to Standing Rock to support) was being called out as being "a toxic microaggression" and a peer who argued--SUPER politely I might add, he was very respectful--got the "please message me to let me tell you why you're wrong" comment. How quick we've come to squashing anyone who disagrees with us because, see earlier point, ONLY OPINIONS SEEM TO MATTER. The left is just as guilty of this as the right is.
I wanted to write about this earlier about and how I was sure this was going to play into the election somehow but time did not allow for it but I had no idea just how much this played into the election.
Trumps win, you could say, is a product of the left's echo-chamber turning dangerous. The pro-Hilary people thought they had this in the bag (I was shocked to learn she didn't even visit Michigan!). Though all of us on the left were scared we all underestimated the angry rural people and have chosen to make fun of them at our own peril...and theirs.
I'm totally guilty of this, but throughout this election process, we laughed about the GOP imploding on themselves since that Donald Trump spanner was thrown into their works. How bitter it is to remember that laughter now that the GOP will take the house, senate, and white house. Oh my fucking god.
Now I'm seeing a lot of posts of "shocked [or not shocked] that half of the country are xenophobic, racist, misogynist bigots." "Fuck them, by voting for Trump they have denied my humanity so I have nothing more to say to them" And I totally get that. As I've said before I'm a victim of rape and I was sickened that the republican female vote only went down 6% for Trump. What the actual fuck!
But at the same time I think, as we lick our wounds, we need to to "take the high road" in a different way. We are supposed to be the side that cares about people, all people, and that needs to include those who we can't wrap our heads around. We need to be less smug. We probably should have listened to them more instead of laughing at them. This is what Michael Moore was saying. We need to recognize their humanity and try to understand why they've done this. Because if we don't look at the facts and figures and historical and present context we can't win them back.
And to the left that say, "fuck them, we don't want them anyway" I implore you to look at the historical context. The disillusioned people who voted for Trump in this century are the same working class white folks that used to be on the left fighting for socialism 100 years ago. The establishment, from WWI on, has gradually and effectively crushed that effort to where socialism is now a dirty word. Though I think Bernie would have faired better with this disillusioned class than Hilary for sure, I don't think he would have necessarily won either, because of that. We on the left know that it is foolhardy for this populace to vote against their own interest by siding with the party and electing the robber barons. They don't have any answers for how globalism affects the working class poor in middle America.
There's a belief that reaching out to them, to just listening is justifying racist, xenophobic, misogynist attitudes but it's not. It's called empathy. Empathy is supposed to be a characteristic of our side. But when it comes to the other side, we turn it off. Well, this is what happens when you don't listen. This is what happens when you take them for granted. I know that it's hard for us to argue that we should pay more attention to white men, when white men are usually the ones with all the power. For me, I'm guilty of being aware of the argument reading the Michael Moore article and the David Wong article but perhaps not heeding it enough. My friends within my liberal bubble who have more conservative friends or rural ties were saying this as well. It's my/our own smugness that didn't head the warning signs and continued to laugh. This class of people just used what little power they had and it has fucked us all. We need to understand why, instead of just dismissing them. Like David Wong said in his article about these people, you can't shame people into agreeing with you. (Again I feel I have to say, for fear of being slammed I'M NOT JUSTIFYING THEIR RACISM I'm just saying that you cant fight or work with what you refuse to acknowledge or try to understand.)
We can't heal this unless we try to understand and we have to come up with solutions that work for that group. I think after last election, when this group voted for Obama, we thought Republicans were just old bigots we had to wait to die off, and for more latino votes to come in our side and this whole GOP thing would be a thing of the past. That was us taking this former unionized group of working poor for granted. There is a problem. We have to show that we can fix it. Because Trump's promise of "throw out all the immigrants" and "build a wall" is simply not acceptable.
To my friends abroad. I am sorry. I'm well aware, that it is a privilage on my part just to be embarassed by this, but there it is. I'm embarassed. I am fearful for those who will bear the worst brunt of this; people of color, muslims, LGBTQ community. I promise to stand by them. I'm also worried about the inveitable recession this is going to cause (look at UK after Brexit and the markets have already gone down). I'm worried about the people who are going to go back to not having health care after they repeal the ACA. I'm worried about the health care of my parents, as my dad is dealing with health issues that are costly and my folks live on a one person income. I'm even worried about Trump pissing off the wrong people with nucluear weapons, who are capable of turning my city into glass. (Is that another way he's supposed to be making America great again, reviving cold war nuclear anhiliation anxieties?) I know that sounds like I'm being hyperbolic but only time will tell.
I'll leave with the parting words of a journalist who questioned the a fascistic tide in the government by saying...
Good night. And good luck.
- Current Mood: scared
- Current Music:Tom Waits
The process for this month on my end went pretty well. I was a little ahead of the game early in the week so I wasn't stressing as much as I usually do. The ticket sales were also looking pretty good so I wasn't stressing too much on that end.
In addition to our guests being in character, our cast were in costumes. Phill was groucho, Ray was a fork in the road (which he turned into a schtick that he milked during the show), Ian was Number 2 and David was David Bowie (yeay!)
It's too bad that we didn't get to properly record this month's show. There just wasn't time. I knew there was going to be certain things that were good and The Red Sun doing Precious Things was one of them.
When I was on the bus to the theatre Phill informed me that there was an emergency and he wouldn't be able to make the show. We asked Sarah, who was coming to see the show anyway, agreed to fill in, or should I say Phill in. :P It worked out, as it was the costume show she dressed up as Phill, with a blazer and a tie, and we didn't change the slides or anything and it was it's own kind of joke.
I also had a surprise in store for Saturday night show. We had a surprise game about the Victorian couple from Port Townsend. This has been a subject that has got David and Ray riled up on Facebook and it's always great when Ray goes off on a rant on stage so this surprise was going to be promising. Now, I don't bemoan people for living how they want to live. You want to dress in Victorian clothes and whatever, that's fine.You be you. However, what is so irksome about this couple is their smugness about their lifestyle choice. They act so superior and as the person who had to do the research for this game and read their blog for material I can tell you that they have a certain holier than thou attitude and despicable white privilege that I feel opens them up to ridicule.
It was another segment I knew I wanted video of but it's a bit long, I'm having difficulty uploading it. Maybe later.
Both nights were good houses although Saturday was actually a bigger house. According to the rough numbers, this was our most profitable show. We've had larger houses but I think due to very few comps this month made it more profitable. Also a lot of new faces in the theatre as well, which is great.
So the shows were absolutely hilarious. The Red Sun was amazing, Dach'Yan (pronounced Dianne, LOL) was a funny and unique character, Bernie Sanders was spot-on and freaking hilarious and Mr. Rogers was not only on point but actually kind of warmed my heart while also making me laugh. If you're in the area check these guys out. They are amazing. Two really great shows. A good turn out. The theatre made money. And despite a couple of hiccups, it all went well. So yeah. What a great way to have a second anniversary!
So on Monday morning I was considerably tired after a long, sleepless night. I was walking from my bus stop to work when I witnessed a tragic and traumatic accident.
I was on the block of my work, walking northbound on 5th Avenue, walking towards Wall Street. About 20 to 25 feet ahead of me, also walking north on 5th Ave, was a person walking their dog. The person walked into a crosswalk, crossing Wall street, right in front of a car. I didn't see who had the right away. For a split second, I thought the car was going to hit the dog but the dog jumped back. But then I saw the care hit the person in the crosswalk. I thought this would be a moment of the car hits the person but the stops and the person and the driver exchange expletives. You see that sort of thing plenty of times, in the city, especially in the intersections around my work. But, unfortunately, it was not that at all.
I watched as the car kept going forward and pull the person underneath it. I started to yell "Stop! Stop! Stop!" as I hurried forward. It was like the car was gobbling up the person, like a monster in a movie. I saw the person go under the driver-side tire and disappear under the vehicle. It seemed to happen slowly but quickly at the same time. I kept thinking, 'oh my god back up, back up what are you doing?' The person had let go of the dog's leash and as I ran up to the car, I grabbed the leash, so the dog wouldn't run out into the street.
The driver, a rich, yuppy-looking guy with slicked back blonde hair, jeans, a white dress shirt and a navy blue blazer with a pocket square and shiny brown shoes, got out of the car (he was driving an Audi). He was afraid that he had hit the dog. He didn't seem to realize that he had run someone over until I said "They're still under there" and pointed to the car. Under the car was darkness but you could see the person's hand and part of her forearm underneath the driver's side door, he could have stepped on it getting out. The driver turned around and bent over, then quickly dove to the ground to look under the car.
"Oh my god!" He understandably started really panicking. Still, holding on to the dog's lead, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and tried to call 911. I've learned that I'm a bit rubbish in emergency situations. At first, I kept pushing the wrong app on my phone. Two or three times I kept pushing the camera app then trying to back out of it, only to push the camera app again. I've got a picture of the street as well as video of the ground and me breathing heavily and grunting in frustration. I finally dialled 911 but I couldn't hear anything when I put the phone to my ear because I had forgotten that I still had my headphones plugged in (Headphone that I had ripped off my ears when running to the car). I hung up and I saw red and blue lights.
By amazing fucking happenstance it seemed the car behind him, a brown Chevy SUV, was an unmarked police car and out stepped a plainclothes officer. At least, I think it was the car right behind hum during the accident, I could be wrong, I wasn't paying attention to the car behind the one running over a person. It could have just showed up in the chaos. I'm not sure. The officer came out of his car, looked under the vehicle then went back in his car. I pulled the headphone jack out of my phone and called 911 again, this time getting through. I reported the accident but as I was on the phone, I could hear the sirens on their way. Luckily, the Belltown fire station is just a block away so the rescue team was here very quickly.
Soon it was very, very busy with firemen, more police officers, and the odd person from my work lingering around to see what the commotion was about. (I told a co-worker to inform whoever was in the President's Suite that I was a witness and would be late for work.)
When I saw the accident happen I couldn't tell if the victim hit was a man or a woman. Though I saw the person go under, and can still see it in my mind, in the morning haze I couldn't tell the gender of the person. As it turned out it was a woman. I could tell when I saw her arm poking out from under the car. The firemen used the wooden block to hold up the car and pull her out. I only saw her legs when she was on the gurney being taken to the ambulance. Again, kind of like a movie that was censoring violent content, there was always something or someone obstructing my view of her body. This is probably for the best.
I stood back against the building still holding the dog's leash while the emergency response crew did their work. The driver of the car had sat against the wall beside me in shock. The dog had kind of walked around him so the driver was between me and the dog, the leash kind of in the driver's face, but the driver just petted and held the dog for comfort. Eventually, the police asked the driver if he could hold the dog, and he stood up and did so while I pulled away for a moment and the police asked for my ID and phone number. They didn't take a statement or anything. All they wanted to know was if I saw who had the right of way. I did not. I told them a bit more but it wasn't really notated.
After they took my information I went back to where I was standing and they pulled driver away to ask him some questions. The driver handed the dog leash back to me. The dog--a grey schnauzer that reminded me an awful lot of The Webbs' dog, Bowser--was very well behaved. It didn't bark or pull away but it was clearly concerned about its owner. And this is where I have to try real hard to write this without crying because every time I think of that dog, I lose it.
Eventually, a female police officer came up to me and informed me that they had contacted a family member to come and collect the dog and that I was free to go. Feeling protective of this dog I was all "are you sure?" and She nodded. I told her I worked right in that building and i would make myself available if they needed me at all. I started to walk up Wall street to the entrance of my building. I looked back at dog and the lady police officer waved me off. I think they were trying to secure the area from gawkers. Of course, I could see the street if I looked out of the window from the President's suite. Which I did on occasion.
The police never contacted me that day. There was a lot of buzz about what had happened and word had gotten 'round that I saw everything. My boss and my colleague encouraged me to go home and get some rest but a feeling of not knowing what to do with myself, my sense of duty and wanting to work to take my mind off of seeing the image in my mind of her getting pulled under the car again and again, I held out at work until noon before catching a lyft home. . Before I went home, though I was spying on the situation from the window in the President's suite kitchen. I saw the driver being dismissed (about 11:30) and he went away with what looked like his wife or girlfriend (clearly the Audi was going to be impounded for a little while) By the time I went out to get my Lyft, Wall street was all clear like nothing had happened.
Of course, when I got home I gave Sparky a big hug before letting him out. I made it home just in time to greet the guy coming in to look at our furnace but that's a whole other story. Andy came home that afternoon too and did a good job of cheering me up. We still talked about the accident and I explained it to him.
So yeah, that was my Monday. I have included some pics behind the cut with explanations should my writing not paint a clear enough picture. Please feel free to skip.
There's a reason I take the route I do to work every day. I avoid crossing 5th Ave at Wall because the drivers are always so aggressive, they frighten me. This guy, I don't know if he was distracted, looking at his phone, or what because he was clearly unaware that he had hit someone, despite the fact that she went under the driver's side front tire. I don't drive so I don't even know how that is possible that he couldn't see her but he seemed legitimately shocked to discover he had run over a human and not a dog. All of my class issues aside, and regardless of who was at fault he was obviously in shock and horrified and I feel for him as well well as feeling bad for the victim. As for the victim I saw her status go from "critical" to "life-threatening" in the news. I don't know if she pulled through but I emailed the SPD and they say that they haven't received word that the victim has passed so that's promising. I can remain hopeful that she and her pup will be reunited.
Sunday night, though it was after midnight so technically Monday. I was in bed unable to sleep. The furnace, we discovered that night, was not blowing air. I had showered so my hair was wet and I was cold. However, it wasn't the cold that was keeping me awake. It was memories replaying in my head and rage that was keeping me awake into the wee hours of the morning.
This election is so ugly. I don't feel like I need to rehash current events for anyone who might be reading right now, but for future Mir, looking back, I think it's important to note. On Friday the tape of Trump's "grab the pussy" conversation hit. He tried to pass it off as "locker room conversation" On Sunday, before the debate, Trump paraded the woman accusing Bill Clinton of rape. I didn't watch the debates but I saw coverage of this political stunt some douche bag orchestrated to detour attention away from Trump's casual views on assaulting women. Assault on women, rape and rape culture has become a trending topic. I mean it's been a hot button issue this whole election cycle and with the Brock Turner story it has been part of the media conversation. Something about it this weekend, though, really struck a chord with me.
I was in bed and I was thinking about all the stories women were sharing on Facebook of times they were assaulted as a collective force to illustrate how commonplace it is. I couldn't think of the first time I was assaulted in such a way. There was the memory of the perv in the window of his apartment masturbating to us kids playing in the sandbox when I was six. That was traumatizing. I wasn't sure if that would have counted. That rabbit hole of thought lead me to think about the time that I was raped...and it I couldn't stop and I couldn't sleep for hours.
( Details behind the cutCollapse )
So fast forwarding the wee hours of Monday morning, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't stop thinking about all the other times I had put myself in danger out there in the world only to have it have it happen to me at my own home, in my own bed, only feet away from all my friends.I grappled with how for years I equated being a "strong woman" with not putting myself in a situation where that could happen to me and how, in turn, that puts the onus on me for it happening. I thought about how the incident itself made me feel dehumanized, reduced to nothing but a hole, and then discarded like I was nothing when the person was finished made me feel terrible. However, the internalization, the same, the believing myself to be worthless was a product of cultural conditioning that it was my own fault for being "that girl" who let emotions and drink get the better of her.
I thought about how rape culture made me feel like I was the weak one, but, at the same time, I hate how in conversations about the topic in the media victims are said to be "ruined" "scarred for life" "forever traumatized" from their experience. I mean, since this affected me at the time and affected me as I sat up all night thinking about it seven years later, clearly, yes I have been traumatized to an extent. However, I'm a perfectly functioning human being who goes on her daily life not thinking about it. I struggle with this sometimes because the worst thing to happen to me was the catalyst to one of the best things that happened to me. The depression from the event, the dissatisfaction with life, drove me to step it up and really make going to grad school in London a reality. There's no way of knowing if the bad thing didn't happen if i wouldn't have still made it Goldsmiths but it was definitely a turning point, a motivator for getting the hell out of Seattle. So I take issue with the narrative that victims of rape are "ruined" but that's not to say that I'm going to thank the person for shaking me out of my comfort zone and driving me from my home, either. I wanted to prove to myself that I was a strong woman who could handle taking on the world by herself.
I'm glad calling out rape culture is part of the conversation. I'm glad we are moving forward collectively to correct victim blaming and calling out attitudes that normalize assault. It's just not an easy conversation to have. Over the years this conversation and shift in attitudes has really helped me absolve my own self-loathing on the matter. We victims are probably the harshest victim blamers because once you've been dehumanized, it's easy to impose it on yourself. Still, when the entire media is focused on the subject, you can't check your Facebook feed, or read the paper of watch TV without rape and sexual assault being the focus, it's easy for all those thoughts and memories to come roaring back and in my case, bouncing around in my head all night.
While we were sitting at a table together, we were talking about how we wondered if there was going to be a bouquet and garter toss. Sam is 3 for 3 on catching garters at weddings, or actually 4 for 4. Sam was telling this story about how at Elana's wedding he caught the garter and this little girl took it from him and he told her that little girls who steal the garter will never get married. We laughed at how he may have scared her, that she may grow up to be forever single because she recalls being cursed by the evil gay wizard, which became the on-going joke for the night.
The food was BBQ fare, which I didn't get too much of was I was still pretty full from lunch. We ate, drank and were merry for the wedding. Dan and Kristen seemed very happy and I, again, cried during their first dance (Kristen broke and that made me loose it) and during the speeches. Andy made a speech about his friendship with Dan and how Kristen has brought a calm to Dan that Andy has never seen in him before. Again, the water works. We even got a little face time with the bride and groom. Oh yeah and Dan did this silly dance which has some inside joke I'm not privy to but I'm sure it solidified, in case Kristen didn't know, that she was marrying a big dork. They're the best kind. :)
Everyone pitched in at cleaning up and my only disappointment was that the bride and groom didn't depart from the wedding on horseback because that shit would have been fucking rad. [Important contextual backstory Kristen owns and rides a Fjord horse and is quite the equestrian.] Congratulations, Dan & Kristen! Mazel tov!
We clean up pretty well!
Me & Raye
Sam's evil gay wizard face!
I've been lucky enough to have gone to a couple of fun shows the past week and a half. Last Saturday I got to see Maria Bamford at the Moore, which was super fun. Tuesday I got to see the Specials at the Showbox which was awesome. The funny thing about The Specials show was that, although the show was not all ages, the audience sure was. There were folks there from their 20s to probably their 50s or more, like the original fans from late 70s early 80s. To see older people, still dressing up like rude boys and semi-slam dancing was an amazing sight to see. Also, with the older crowd there was far fewer cell phones being held up. The audience felt present. I didn't take a picture until they mentioned it was the last song and I was like, "oh shit, yeah." It was a very fun show. They played all the songs I wanted to hear. Terry is a bit of a grumpy puss while Lynval is more upbeat, I guess as expected. Lynval mentioned that he had moved the the US and there were some jokes about Brexit and Trump that the audience was all on board for. However, I was really disappointed in the Seattle crowd for their lackluster cheer for his statement about Black Lives Matter. Though, yes the audience cheered, it was definitely not at capacity or it didn't sound like the majority of the audience was as on-board as I would have liked in the predominantly white crowd. That bummed me out. Otherwise, the show was sensational. And it had been a long, busy day for me at work and a bad day for Andy, the show turned moods right around!
Sept 21 was our 3 year anniversary. On the day we didn't do too much. After work, I had to feed my parents cats while they were out of town. Traffic was really bad and it took me an astonishing hour to get home just from Dravis after I was done feeding the kitties and I came home to find Andy taking a nap. We had dinner and watch some more Orange in the New Black.
On Saturday, though, we had reservations for a fancy-pants dinner at El Gaucho. Neither of us had been to El Gaucho and we were warmly welcomed with a card and rose petals on our table for our anniversary. We went all out getting the table side caesar salad and oysters and scallops and i had venison for the first time in years and it was amazing. Andy got a fillet oscar but with lobster instead of crab. Yum. We got bananas foster as a desert and so got some tableside flambe going on. It was pretty delicious. It was similar to Court of Two Sisters meal in NOLA but of course not quite the same, no southern dishes like turtle soup, and of course not as beautiful as that outdoor patio that makes you feel like you're dining in a Renoir painting.
Anywhoo, there was also a celebrity sighting at the restaurant as well as we have a clear view of Seahawks defensive lineman, Michael Bennett, dining in one of the private rooms. That's the Seahawk who started a team book club! That was pretty neat.
- Current Music:The Specials "Friday Night, Saturday Morning"
After a quick binge on Stranger Things (loved it!) Andy and I finally joined this decade and started watching Orange is the New Black and are totally addicted. Addictive is an apt term for it. Since we started there has only been one day that we haven't watched at least one episode. Dishes have gone undone for a while, the recycling was piling up. The opening title song would be stuck in my head all day long until it was time to come home and watch some episodes. Actually, I had a prison theme going on last week as we got into OITNB and the Audible book I was "reading" was 'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness' (highly recommended). I was already on board with the thesis before reading the book. Clearly, the War on Drugs and our inflated incarceration population is a terrible blight on this country and our legal system and the legal discrimination of felons makes for a catch 22 that traps people in the criminal justice system. One knows that there is a problem however, it's another thing to learn the history and the specific laws and Supreme Court rulings that brought us to this place. The author also points out a few ways in which our culture turns a blind eye to this, that I honestly had never noticed before and found very interesting, albeit infuriating and depressing.
Andy and I finally heard back from our rep at the property management company. We ended up lucking out and only had to swallow a $100 rent increase. That was a huge relief and a weight of stress off our shoulders. Another year in our home, another year of gardening and documenting spooky shit (it's been quiet as of late) and we don't have to freak out until this time next year. And, yes we will freak out again. Unless we come up with a plan to come up with the down payment for a house (unlikely).
I'd be remiss if I didn't post a gardening update. The summer is waning. The plants were producing like crazy, faster than we could keep up but it's slowing down now. I made eggplant parmesan with the eggplant that we grew, that was pretty neat. The cucumbers were growing so quickly we were pawning them off on co-workers and Dani. But we've noticed the green beans are getting a bit tougher. The Zucchini aren't coming to fruition. The tomatoes are doing well, but before long I'm going to miss going out and just picking a fresh tomato off the vine when it's time to make a sandwich or something. I'm bummed that, due to our former tenuous situation with the rent increase, we missed out on planting autumn gourds. (I wanted butternut squash, boo). However, we did plant some autumn plants--cauliflower and broccoli--so we still have something to experiment with and care for in the next few months, as well as the brussels sprouts which are very slowly coming along. And of course, the good news about the rent means next year we can learn from this year's hits and misses and try again/try new things.
Harvest and carrots in love.
So I had my review and it was all good. It was the same feedback that I got a couple of months ago. In short, I'm awesome. I'm so awesome that my boss wants to aid my career development and support me in any kind of career development projects I want to take on in this position. I just need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. My goal was to figure that out this summer. However, thanks to the housing scare and going down that whole buying a house rabbit hole, I didn't really come to any conclusions on the bigger picture with the career question. (Though, the housing issue was kind of related in the should we stay or should we go question.)
I'm still struggling with this question. I want help even though I know full well that I'm the only one who can answer it Most of my life the answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up" has been easy to answer. "I want to be a writer." That is the dream I pursued in my education. It is the dream that I have since learned the complications and uncertainty of this time of the interwebs and a dying print medium. It's a dream I have honestly been distracted from as comedy has taken over much of my spare time. I've not worked on a short story or anything in a while. (bad Mir)
I fell into admin work because a girl has got to have a day job. Things I like about it is that it offers a variety of things to do, usually. From creating sexy self-tabulating spreadsheets, to flexing my editing muscles, to actually getting a bit creative on occasion with document creation. I think it's fair to say I'm a damn good admin in the right position. (I've already established why I have no interest in supporting, say the President or the Board, on account of it seeming to business orientated and I have my class hang-ups.)
There's a part of me that thinks that if I were to be more career-oriented that it would come at the cost of my artistic outlet (be that writing or producing a comedy show). That might be my own hang-up, a fear that it's like giving up (read: FAILING) on my artistic aspirations. Not to mention those artistic outlets are necessary to my psychological well beeing.
Perhaps that fear is warranted if I choose a certain career direction. For example, if I chose to teach, since I know I would like to stay in education. Teaching is beyond a full-time job. If I choose this path I would use my employer to help me learn how to teach. So I'd have to take some classes and training in that area first. Taking a class on top of producing the show I could probably do, but it would be exhausting and maybe difficult at times. Then there is the amount of time teaching takes in and of itself, reading, critiquing, discussing, etc.Then if I were to teach a class here, wouldn't that commitment would probably be on top of my current job and more time outside of my 40 hours a week of my "day job". And who knows how long it would take for that to be sustainable. Would that even make me more $$$ than being an admin?
I also have other hang-ups regarding teaching. Clearly, I would be interested teaching English/writing. (With a Master's I'm qualified to teach community college level, at the kind of University I work at it would most likely be courses on college writing for mostly ESL students). However, I'm not confident enough in my knowledge of grammar to teach with authority. Despite my degrees, there's a reason that I have a grammar handbook that has followed me from my Freshman year in college to my desk at every job I've had, as well as across the pond for grad school. That's because often times I look at something I'm editing or writing and I'm just not sure what is right/what the rule is. I have to look it up. How would that look to a student if they asked a question and I didn't know the answer off hand? (Teacher friends maybe you have a trick you can let me in on for this). Also, though I have a fair share of irony in my life, it would be another irony that I would be helping students improve their academic writing, the kind of writing I was so pleased to never have to do again. (However, when I was doing homework help volunteering in Columbia City, I actually enjoyed helping the kids write their five paragraph essays. Even though they tried their hardest to try to get me to write it for them, it could sometimes be like pulling teeth to get them to commit to writing their original ideas).
One might ask about going back into marketing? it's honestly something I've been soured to in my last experience at the Travel agency. I think even if you were to separate all the bad stuff, I did get bored with writing about the same subject all the time. it got a bit tedious trying to find new ways to say the same thing over and over again. Although, it was fun at first to write articles and advertorials. But it still got old. i worry that writing in the day job sours me to writing for myself.
Then the other thing I wonder is it so wrong if maybe I were to stick with Admin work? I mean. I like it okay for a day job. I like varied projects. I like the feeling of helping people. Is that so bad? However, since I am kind of particular about where I enjoy my admin work, then is this as good as it gets. Say we move to a different town, a college town, do I just gotta hope there's an admin opening in academics or assistants to the provost? You know.
And there you have it. Around and around my mind goes on the subject, finding no definite answer to help me move forward in any one direction. I'm seriously considering seeking some career counseling and have already tried a couple of tricks of career counselors, like taking the Myers-Briggs test again. (One of the many ironies of my life, like working at the career Development Center of Seattle U after being so anti-career counseling in high school). Apparently, I'm an INFP now. (Though i give this test little stock as I was an INFJ when i took it in high school and an INTP in college. I mean I guess people change over the years, so maybe that's not fair.) Actually, the career explanation for the INFP is almost too on the nose. "First and foremost is seemingly every INFPs' dream growing up – to become an author. While a novel is a classic choice, it is rarely an accessible one." Then it goes on to say some of the things I've been talking about, I want to be creative and helpful and meaningful. Despite it being on the nose, I'm not sure if that helps. I could have told myself that.
Maybe I just need to talk this out. If anyone has any advice or anything, I'd listen. That is, assuming anyone actually made it to the end of this crazy long, rambling blog which is probably unlikely.
- Current Mood: contemplative
- Current Music:Dalek, I Love You