30 November 2016

Nine Years of NaBloPoMo

I looked at my NaBloPoMo tag on my blog and realized I had 299 posts with that tag. Today's makes 300. Divide 30 days in November and that would mean I've been doing it for 10 years? I just checked and nope. I must have tagged more than just the first post of the day, because I started in 2008, so this makes the ninth year completed. Weird to have completed exactly 30 extra posts. (Here's my first NaBloPoMo tagged post.)

This may have been the hardest year to do NaBloPoMo. Everything is just so awful and terrible. I say that knowing full well 2017 will bring even bigger, more awful challenges. I hope I'm still able to write next year!

I also realize in some of my ranting posts I don't cite or link sources. My journalistic muscle is rusty maybe, or I'm also realizing that no one cares about facts or the truth or more information. NO ONE CARES.


I have been on two big vacations with my inlaws. We went to Dollywood in Tennessee and to the Outer Banks in North Carolina in summer 2014 and 2015 respectively. This year the area we stayed in North Carolina received a major flood, and just this week the area we stayed in Gatlinburg is burning.

I think for the sake of the places we'd go visit I should never go on vacation with my inlaws again???


My health is improving. I still cough a bit in the night, but not as much. There's hacking up junk in the morning, but it's not green anymore. (TMI?) My back is still sore, but the pain isn't debilitating anymore. I should still see a chiropractor.


When I was in college a friend from church called me "Governor" a lot. I was a smart kid and just all around promising I guess. I certainly had a superiority complex (mixed with an inferiority one!) and this surely fed into it. I've been thinking about it recently, whether running for office is something I could consider doing. I'd be a terrible direct-ask fundraiser, and I am not the best at talking to people. I hate giving speeches or being in front of a crowd. Probably a behind-the-scenes job would be better. And my communications skills and journalism training should be useful in a political situation. Basically I am thinking by typing ... considering what I might do after my girls are in school or otherwise cared for enough that I could jump back into the working world. I know I don't want a "normal" job anymore. There's going to have to be political meaning, and frankly I'm going to want to spend my time RESISTING what's coming (and which by that time will be fully entrenched).


Hold me!

29 November 2016

Not Ready to Make Nice.

I really liked this post, No, We Don't Have to "Get Over" Anything.
I’m not okay with this.
I’m not getting over it.
I’m not going to accept it.
I’m not going to move on.

I’m not going to shut up.
I’m not going to make nice or give the benefit of the doubt or hold my tongue or fake unity or pretend that my eyes don’t see what they see. They see clearly, and that of course is the source of my burden. I don’t want to see this, but I do.
Day by day new crazy things happen. Each new appointment brings a new awfulness to the scene.

(The Secretary of Education is particularly troubling, and we need to call and write our members of Congress to express our displeasure. She has no experience and is anti-public schools. If you have kids who go to school or did go to school, if you are a public school teacher or love a public school teacher, or if you just care about how we educate our kids in the U.S. this should matter to you!)

We also learn more about the admitted corruption in DT's past -- the foundation, the Trump University settlement -- and they pile on so fast that they get glossed over and kind of disappear in the mist. And we are seeing the corruption and wrongheadedness coming on our future. The future wherein our president uses his office and our nation to make himself, his family and his loyalists even richer at the expense of our nation's interests and safety. I still can't get over people voting for this. Even more baffling is people STILL insisting this will be a good thing. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Also the weird tweets and retweets. Are they sign of instability? Sign of regret (because doing this kind of thing with ANY OTHER JOB would get a person fired)? I certainly question the random tweets about flag burning becoming punishable by a year in jail or LOSING YOUR CITIZENSHIP?!?!?! (Supreme Court ruled it's a form of protected free speech, see the First Amendment.) That's wrong and scary. And the tweets came about after a segment on Fox News about flag burning -- this is what our country has come to. The president-elect watching cable news and tweeting while turning away actual national intelligence briefers.

What's ironic to me is that the correct way to retire a flag that is tattered and torn is to ... BURN IT in a special ceremony. I know that's not what protestors are doing and they're giving the finger to America by burning our flag. It's not something I would do myself, and I go around chasing Jane with her little flags from school making sure they don't stay on the ground once dropped (Girl Scout training alert!!!). But I still believe it's just a flag and it isn't magic.

So I'm still boiling over with anger about the election results. With terror. And trying to come up with actions and to gear myself up to actually call my representative and senators, all of whom are white, Republican men who vocally support DT and his policies. I am sure the staff would be polite, but I don't like using the phone for anything ... let alone something this big and important. It's anxiety leveling up.

I assume DT supporters aren't getting the same information or are choosing to interpret things differently? I just don't understand how support doesn't waver in a rational person's mind? But then I didn't think rational people could actually vote for him in the first place, as they voted against their own interests (unless their interest is white supremacy and/or no material support for poor people).

I hate everything about this.

28 November 2016

Read: Murder in the Bayou

Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? by Ethan Brown

This book is kind of terrifying, chronicling the unchecked power held by parish sheriffs. I'm sure not all are corrupt, but the author has revealed illegal actions in this parish's department. This isn't close to where I live in Louisiana, but then it's not a very big state.

As far as the book itself I could have used more details about the victims. I read another reviewer say something similar. There was just nothing personal about them. So they were drug users and sex workers, that was certainly repeated frequently. But what else? In most cases we didn't even know their races. I found this troubling throughout the book to not know the races of most of the people being discussed. Pictures of the victims would have been helpful too. And thinking about some of them left children behind ... maybe a count of how many motherless children there now are thanks to the criminal enterprise that, if not run by was at least condoned by the law enforcement of the parish. Just because the killings have stopped doesn't mean the illegal behavior has -- dope for sex, etc.

And woah, Boustany's involvement. I'm so glad he didn't make the run off, although I'm none too thrilled about creepy John Neely Kennedy. I'm a Foster Campbell voter, even though he doesn't align with my political ideals perfectly either. The allegation of Boustany's visits to prostitutes who were later killed was damning. I'm not sure I heard anything about it while he was in the primary. But I tuned out a lot of it. Yuck.

Anyway, a timely read even if it did make me feel bad.

View all my reviews

Edit to add: wow, this is my 1600th post.  

27 November 2016

Crocheted Blue & Orange Dino Hat

Yesterday I finished a dinosaur hat for a friend. It's his birthday today -- he is 3! I still might add braided ties to the ear flaps, although Jane says they aren't needed and I kind of like the hat how it is. I still need to wash it to rid it of any lingering cold germs.

I hope I'll get to see the friend later this week to give him the present. Last month I'd babysat for him and his siblings (I had five kids for about an hour -- including two babies -- and I survived!), and I'd asked him if he'd like a dino hat and if yes what color. He chose blue with orange spikes.

We weren't invited to his party even though his mom told me about it -- it was weird because we always come to his older brother's (he and Jane are the same age/long time friends). We met at the park a couple weeks ago and were comparing notes on renting bounce houses. She told me they were getting one for little brother's party, where they were having it but not exactly when/what time. So I didn't push it or ask anything else. Kind of a delicate social awkwardness that I find myself in plenty...

Excuse the mess in the background -- good grief.

26 November 2016

This is 36

In its short hair, filtered, no-makeup glory.

I had a rough night with chills and hot flashes. I feel some better this morning, but not great. I need to be healthy tomorrow to go to church. I'm reading the Scripture. D'oh.

I've lived away from Indiahoma as long as I lived there (approximately). I moved away when 18, and it's 18 years later. That includes living in Stillwater for school and coming home for summers. I guess it's not fully true until the same time I left, which would be next August. But the symmetry of 18 and 18 feels significant anyway.

We don't have plans today. Not sure if we'll do anything. I don't have a present to open, although Jane has been drawing me pictures and Shawn made me a card with pictures of the girls. I didn't even buy myself anything this year!

Edit to add: My mom DID leave me a present to open! I just didn't know it was there. xoxoxo

25 November 2016

Phoning it in

I finally got a hair cut today -- just before I turn 36. My back is a little better, but I'm still pretty sick with my flu symptoms. I have aches and shift from chills to hot flashes. My head hasn't stopped hurting and I have a fever. Can't imagine how I'd be feeling if I weren't taking ibuprofen at every chance I can.

Thank goodness for the world's best husband picking up the slack. The house may be crumbing around us, because I was behind on cleaning anyway. I can't imagine getting out the Christmas stuff or dealing with that, but I hope when I feel physically better I will.


24 November 2016

Generation Catalano

I have the flu or something. And I hurt my back while making Thanksgiving lunch. I moved my heavy Kitchen-Aid, but didn't notice anything. A bit later I was hunched over rifling through a drawer of our dining room hutch for a gravy spoon and OUCH. I stayed hunched. I powered through lunch and then fed Livi, took a rest with her until the sun woke us up. Then Gingie (thank the Lord for Gingie) watched the girls while I laid on a heating pad for an hour. (Shawn was out of town/coming home from a family funeral.)

I'm still pretty sick and my fever has spiked to 102. Advil should bring it down ... I hope? I don't know. I feel like crap. And my back still hurts.

Hey - I wrote about wanting my insides to match my outsides ... but I guess this is more like my insides matching my other insides (physical and emotional)? Ugh.

One good thing I read on Twitter today: The Agony & The Angst: An Oral History of My So-Called Life.

Proud to be generation Catalano, but I was sad that the interview didn't include Claire Danes, Jared Leto or A.J. Langer. The first two are too popular now I guess to talk about something they did so way back, and Langer married someone in another country and is out of the public eye basically.

SO - NaBloPoMo complete for today. Really hoping I get well enough to get a hair cut tomorrow afternoon.