Political Detox

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I’m definitely happier, more present-minded and productive when I abstain from news watching.

In fact, I’ve substituted it with comedy watching:

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Brooklyn 99

Any John Mulaney stand-up program…

#WhatNationalBoard

 

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Variety.com

I’m on a hunger strike until racism is over.

I did not think I’d like this show.  But I’m hooked. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle had a vision and made it come true – despite many obstacles.  The title might refer to boys/men, but the show is ALL girl.  Erskine and Konkle are Executive Producers, writers, actors and creators of the show. Check them out on Hulu.com.

Their story reminds me of Seth Godin’s quote:

“Don’t try to be the ‘next’. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new. “

Kids and Pets Part I

The Setting: Summer School with eleven 2nd graders, 8:45am.

We do an ice breaker: How many of you have pets? I ask.

Sam* raises his hand. 

“I have a little dog, he’s part…”

Poodle?!” Adam* interrupts.

“No, he’s part…”

“Beagle?” 

“No, he’s part hot dog dog and…”

“Terrier?”

“NO! He’s part hot dog dog and chi…”

“He’s a chihuahua!”

“NO! I HAVE A CHIWEENIE!”

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Losing “Everything”

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Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out of the closet in 1997. She was at the top of her game at the time, starring in her popular “The Ellen Show.”

Why did she take the risk? Because she felt it was important -and healthier – than living in fear or denial of who she really was. The “secret” made her feel as if she was wrong and she knew she was right.

So she came out as the real Ellen and then had her character come out on the show.

What happened?

She lost her show. No one would call her. She got no gigs.

Three years.

For three years, she was stripped of all the external factors of identity: no career or the benefits that come with it. Not only that, some of her previous fans berated her and judged her. Christian groups picketed her studio and mentioned God while acting very un-Christian. Studios wouldn’t touch her.

You realize who you really are when you don’t have anything. – Ellen

And then “Finding Dory” came along. Ellen also got her own new talk show. She’s immensely popular all over again. Only now, she has no secrets.

Does she regret coming out?

NOT AT ALL.

“It’s the best -because I’m free.

I’m completely able to be exactly who I am.”*

 

*http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/TV/2011/10/04/DeGeneres-doesnt-regret-coming-out-as-gay/74651317701340/

 

A “Fitting” End to the Day

Yesterday was a busy day. In addition to a full day at school, my daughters had an orchestra rehearsal which ran from 6:30 – 8:30pm an hour away from home. This requires planning of dinner, commute and homework.

Our two teenagers are more interested in snapping and editing selfies than looking out the window or talking to us, their parents. They read their instant messages and scroll Instragram. They laugh and trade one-liners that I don’t understand. I’m not privvy to their virtual world. When I try to understand and ask questions, I am met with sighs and sarcasm. I’ve learned how to adapt: I basically talk to myself every morning or sing to the radio as I drop one off to high school and take the other one to work/school.  At 13 and 14, my daughters are physically beautiful specimens – fortunate with the gene pool (1/2 Korean, 1/2 German-Scottish-French). They are blissfully ignorant of their luck in aesthetics and parents. Heck, they totally take it for granted. They take everything for granted.

I’m (nearly) 48. I take care of myself and exercise regularly. But my Morning Mirror Time is a fraction of theirs. I apply light makeup and give my hair a quick brush in a matter of 5 minutes. Literally. I just can’t be bothered. Yet, I consider myself above average in appearance. You can tell I was once very pretty, just by looking at me.

In any case, I’m a teacher and I dress for the job. I have a very comfortable dress, v-neck, that goes just below my knees. Here it is:

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It looks better on.

I bought it at a boutique shop near my house. The salesperson ooh’d and aah’d when I modeled it for her. I thought maybe I looked a little frumpy. No, she said, you look perfect. I have not had anyone ooh or aah in several years despite my augmentation following breast cancer surgery 6 years ago. Cancer gave me the chest of my dreams: from 34A to 34C.

Well, I wore this dress yesterday. All day. I’ve worn this dress at least 10 times before for various occasions. No one has complimented me, but that’s OK. I don’t need compliments. I’m almost 50 for Pete’s sake. I don’t dress for others, I dress for ME!

My daughters and I were eating dinner before their Phoenix Youth Symphony rehearsal. Food that I ordered by phone. Food that I ordered and picked up and brought to them, lovingly. As I got up to throw trash away, the 14 year old sighed heavily while eyeing my dress.

“What?” I looked to see if there were food stains on it.

Another sigh. Exceptionally heavy. “Mom, I just wish…I just wish you’d wear something….better.”

Suddenly, she gets all Tim Gunn on me. Really? I’ve worked all day with 90+ students. Attended an IEP meeting before school started. Ordered food with my bare hands…and now this?  I expect her to follow it with (in gay voice), “It doesn’t even work conceptually.

“Why do you say this to me AFTER I’ve worn it all day?”

She looks up at her father who has just entered the room. As usual, she completely disregards my question, my feelings.

“What’s going on?” He asks.

“Mom’s dress.”

All three give me a hard look. Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum and Michael Kors, all are staring at me. Judging me. I feel bloated.

Tim speaks.

“Her dress, it looks like a Powerpoint.”

All concur.

I drive home. My hands, gripping the wheel, smell like Greek chicken and tzaziki sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Gunn