#RIPCarrieFisher

#RIPCarrieFisher

Princess Leia redefined what it meant to be a Princess. No more leaving glass slippers behind, pining after a Prince, or being a prisoner in a tower. No. Leia was a badass. She was the leader of the Rebellion. She stood up for what she believed in and didn’t apologize for it. She chose to do things her way. She had Force power, but never chose to use it. She didn’t need it. And as she matured, she didn’t become anyone’s Queen. Hell I don’t even think she married Han. Wife? Nope. She remained an Organa. Never taking the Skywalker name, she made her own name. She became a fuckin General. The best role model to little girls everywhere. She showed us you can wear a dress and still take out some storm troopers. And you can trade that dress in for boots and a vest. Respected above any man in the Galaxy. Luke is just a “story” to the younguns of the Galaxy, but General Organa is a real life Legend. As was Carrie in real life. She went through so much in her life and she was unapologetically honest about it all. She tried to help others with the same afflictions. She was funny as hell. And not ashamed to be herself. Thank you for you, Carrie. Our Princess. Our General. Carrie is one with the Force. The Force is with Carrie. #RIPCarrieFisher

Sorry, did I accidentally step into 2003?

Sorry, did I accidentally step into 2003?

<—Winter:

If I were to rank the Gilmore episodes, the bookends were the best and the middle was ok. Spring and Summer have their moments, but for me, they fell a little flat.

Spring felt like a parade of throwbacks mixed in with very little plot movement. It gives us some funny therapy moments with Lorelai and Emily; particularly a moment when Emily accuses Lorelai of sending her a nasty birthday letter and Lorelai insists it never happened.  We get to experience the full on crazy of Naomi as Rory is trying so hard to make sense of this woman, what she wants and what this book is going to be about. The biggest highlight for me was probably the 30 second cameo of Mr Kim. HE EXISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rory’s still hanging out with Logan and they run into Logan’s Dad. Mitchum manages to make Rory feel small every time she encounters him. He offers to call Conde Nast for her and also reveals that Logan is ENGAGED. Engaged. Logan is engaged. My tolerance for Rory and her bad decision making is waning thin. Rory ends up having to leave Logan’s earlier than she wanted to because the fiance is coming to visit. Rory is awful. Oh and she’s still dating Paul.

There’s a fun Town Meeting scene where Taylor berates Lorelai for The Dragonfly hosting B list actors filming a movie the next town over. Michel will later on complain about this as well. Something about Matthew McConaughy reading the paper and never bagging Jennifer Lawrence. We find out TJ and Liz have accidentally joined a cult. Because of course they did. I have to say, I was glad they didn’t appear on screen. The phone call was enough.

Kirk debuts his 2nd short film at the Black, White, and Red movie theater, which features Lorelai’s house and Lorelai who is not paying attention. During this, Emily calls to invite Luke for dinner. Upon arrival at said dinner, Emily repeatedly mentions that Lorelai wasn’t invited. She takes Luke into Richard’s study and talks to him about making sure he has a will so Lorelai will be provided for when he passes away. She also reveals that Richard left money in a trust for Luke to expand the diner.

Rory and Paris return to Chilton for Alumni day which features an entirely hilarious Paris freak out in the bathroom about her divorce from Doyle and her empty briefcase. Francie walks in for a snark session with Paris where we learn that Paris is an MD, a lawyer, an expert on Neoclassical Architecture, and a dental technician to boot! This whole scene was great, Paris at her best. But it was prompted by a Tristan sighting… which was… weird. So first of all, it wasn’t Chad Michael Murray and if we weren’t bringing Chad back, then why did we bother. Second, I found myself confused as to why Tristan would be invited to a Chilton Alumni event considering he was kicked out and sent to Military School (to go be Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill) sooooo yeah.

The Chilton Headmaster offers Rory a teaching job at the school, even he can see shes floundering in the wind. He mentions that he’s read all of her work in The Atlantic and Slate and so we are once again mildly touching on what Rory does, though I’m still not sure I fully grasp what she’s been doing for a decade. Rory and Paris end up back at Paris’ house, we get a quick scene of Doyle in his t-shirt and jeans, he’s a screenwriter now, a nice nod to Danny Strong’s current profession (He writes and produces Empire). There’s this whole funny gag about not wanting to lose a Nanny because she has to walk up 5 flights of stairs and there’s no elevator. I can’t help but wonder if none of them were wearing heels, this hike up and down the stairs might not be so awful.

After receiving a call from Naomi’s lawyer dissolving the book partnership, Rory calls Logan and asks if his Dad can make that call to Conde Nast and she ends up in a meeting with Jim. He talks about this piece on Lines. People stand in lines all over NYC… what’s the angle on this?  This story seems awful and so obviously other people haven’t wanted it. Rory is desperate and calls Jim later on saying she wants to do the piece. This leads to Lorelai coming down to the city to wander around with Rory while she researches lines. This was such a poorly done part of the episode, I thought. Rory is running all over NYC is a skirt and heels? She sits down on one of the lines and falls asleep, but no one steals the cell phone from her hand. Oh and we had to parade cameos through this. The most annoying being Mae Whitman. The only reason for this is so Lauren Graham can have a scene in which she’s standing next to her 2 tv daughters. I care not. This is Gilmore Girls, not Parenthood (more on that later). At the end of this, Rory returns to the hotel room she’s sharing with Lorelai and proclaims she slept with a Wookie and shes all upset about it. So I have A LOT of problems with this scene. First of all, Lorelai and Rory aren’t snobs, they love quirky stuff and I feel like they would love comic con’s and people dressing up, so Rory being all horrified she hooked up with a dude who was previously wearing a Wookie costume was dumb. Then Rory tells Lorelai about Logan and Lorelai doesn’t even flinch. She says NOTHING about the sitatrion. She isn’t upset that Rory has been lying all this time. She says NOTHING about Rory dating Paul for 2 years while sleeping with Logan on the side. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It was bizarre and completely out of character. She even tells her that what she’s doing with Logan is “way sluttier than a one night stand”… I… but… what?

This episode gives us a few of the chef cameos, apparently since Sookie left all different celebrity chef’s have been cooking at the Dragonfly for 2 weeks at a time. Rachel Ray makes an appearance talking about Sammies, flailing her arms around distractedly and reminding me why I can’t stand her and why I’m suddenly annoyed shes infiltrating Sookie’s kitchen. Michel is visibly annoyed with Lorelai because she keeps firing the chef’s and Lorelai becomes concerned that Michel is going to leave.

Rory goes to a meeting at SandeeSays, the website that’s been hunting her down to come work for them. She meets with Sandee (the chick from Bunheads… again. This is Gilmore Girls, not Bunheads. I don’t care about these dumb cameos), and she has absolutely nothing prepared. NOTHING. Sandee gets annoyed at her, rightfully so. Whether she wants “Rory Gilmore’s voice” or not, she’s not about to just hand over a job to someone and Rory is pissed. She’s annoyed that Sandee “wasted her time” and I’m looking at her like WHO IS THIS CHICK???? Is she serious? How do you go to a meeting for a potential job and have absolutely nothing to say? No ideas? Nothing? It’s a bit ridiculous. And I can’t help but feel like if Rory was 23 years old and this was the storyline, I could believe it. But 32 year old Rory doesn’t know this simple job search etiquette? And it just made me want to punch her in her face. Of course this is all a plot device that will lead us to Rory having to sit down with Jess while he tells her what her life should be, because heaven forbid Rory ever make a decision on her own. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Emily quite therapy on Lorelai, but Lorelai stays and doesn’t tell Luke. Luke goes all over town looking at expansion places with Emily, but doesn’t tell Lorelai and a chasm between them begins to form. What I found most interesting in this episode was Lorelai alone with the therapist after Emily attacks her for being nothing more than a roommate with Luke because they aren’t married. Lorelai reflects that she “doesn’t do things like her mother” but that “its was always supposed to be Luke” and we get a little insight into why Luke and Lorelai aren’t married after all this time. There was a lot of flack given to this by reviewers and I just took it that, Lorelai knows marrying Christopher was the wrong decision. She was supposed to marry Luke and she ruins that by marrying Christopher and so I think she won’t allow herself to marry Luke or bring it up because getting married has been tainted. Tainted by Christopher and tainted by Emily. We do get to hear about how Richard died. It was a massive heart attack and his last words were to the nurses, “get away from me. This is not how Richard Gilmore goes down”. Lorelai laments that neither she or her mother got that goodbye moment with him.

About the grief: Lorelai is making the most strides. She’s opening up in therapy and beginning to admit that all she ever really wanted from her father, that “I love you Lorelai, I love you Dad” moment will never come. Emily is stuck in denial mode. She’s moving about, trying to be Richard, do what Richard wants her to do. Rory is painfully Rory. She’s also in denial of her failure and hasn’t quite yet begun to grieve her failing career. She’s pretty angry at the end as she moves back home.

I Smell Snow

I Smell Snow

So the Gilmore Girls revival is upon us and we’ve all had a week to digest it and watch it multiple times. I have watched each episode twice. The first time to enjoy, the second to take notes and catch things I may have missed the first time. Also, once you see the end, the entire 4 seasons are under a different microscope which I will discuss later. What I have enjoyed immensely about this experience is the coming together of the fans to embrace this and discuss it. I listened to the Gilmore Guys podcast for the first time. I’ve discovered Gilmore fans I didn’t even know existed among my friends. I’ve read countless articles and reviews of the episodes and it’s been fun to soak in all the opinions. What I find most fascinating is the lens with which an individual watches and takes in something. I have yet to come across a perspective quite like my own and I know exactly why and where mine comes from but its a curious thing to me. So here we go:

I don’t know how to begin this, dissect each episode in order, just rapidly give opinions across the board, or something in between. I may break this up into multiple posts. So we’ll just begin and see where this takes us. I’m not going to recap every thing that happens in each episode, because I am assuming you watched it. My biggest take away from this whole revival was it wasn’t so much (for me) A Year in the Life of the Gilmore’s but A Year in the Life of Grief. Every single story arc for Emily, Lorelai, and Rory is propelled by grief and its funny to me that no one “picked up” on that, or has discussed it. My father died 5 years ago and as I watched the revival, to me, it was more about their individual movement through the grief than just a “life journey” happening at this point in time. And maybe that wasn’t the intention, but that’s how it came across to me. I’ll go further into this later, but Emily is grieving her husband. She’s grieving the life she had and the person she thought she was always supposed to be and is no longer. Lorelai is grieving her father and all of the unresolved feelings that existed in their relationship. She even says “we didn’t get that moment” to the therapist. When my father died, devastated as I was, I could say goodbye to him without a slab of guilt resting on my shoulders because I can tell you that we said everything that needed to be said. We always said ‘I love you’, we always talked about things and so I didn’t have that weight, but Lorelai does. Rory is grieving what she thought her life was going to be. She’s grieving the career she’s wanted since she could talk and she’s trying to mull through “what happens next” which is what all 3 of our girls are doing.

Winter: It opens with a black background and sound bites from the original series, ending with “I smell snow” and we pan to Lorelai sitting in the gazebo waiting for Rory. I start sobbing the second those sound bites begin and cry on and off for most of this episode. Rory shows up, she and Lorelai have a fun back and forth and we are treated to a little nod of “haven’t done that in a while”, “feels good”, “it feels like years”. By the end of the segment, I am transformed. We are back in Stars Hollow, we are back with our girls and it feels almost like time hasn’t passed. Which is how Amy Sherman-Palladino sort of writes this entire revival. She acknowledges the time but it feels very much like our characters have been a bit stuck in Groundhog Day since we left them. But we, as an audience, have to accept this because it’s been so long, this was never intended, and Amy is determined to write the ending that was always supposed to be (even if that ending would have worked far better with Rory as a 22 year old than it does with Rory as a 32 year old).

My favorite Luke and Lorelai scene of the entire revival occurs in this episode when they’re getting ready for bed. “Where are my pajamas’s?”, “Drawer”, “ugh Felix”, “Oscar” and then Luke goes through the DVR reading off all the horrible lifetime movies Lorelai has recorded and its classic Luke and Lorelai and so adorable.

Also in this episode is one of my favorite Rory and Lorelai moments as we get treated to them alone in the kitchen late at night having one of their chats. Lorelai feels “her mortality”, she was considering a cruise and then she “broke a hip”; Lauren delivers this with such perfection. Rory asks if shes feeling this way because of Richard and it is the first time Richard’s death is mentioned (I AM NOT READY YET). I scream “OF COURSE” at the TV because when someone close to you dies, especially a parent, you end up thinking about your own mortality. It’s natural. When my father died, I bought us all cemetery plots.

Luke’s is fairly unchanged except now he has wifi and keeps giving the customers the wrong password (which is hilarious). Equally hilarious is the sign behind the counter which reads: NO Texting While Ordering, Man Buns, Taking Pictures of Your Food, Headphones, If I can hear your music through your headphones, WHY ARE YOU WEARING HEADPHONES. It’s so Luke and so funny.

Back at the Dragonfly, we see Michel, whom I love and Yanic doesn’t miss a beat as this character; hes MARRIED to Frederick and Frederick wants a baby which will be a highlight of Michel complaining this entire series, its perfect. We learn that Sookie is working with Dan Barber at Blue Hill Farm and I pause and scream because I’ve been to Blue Hill Farm and eaten there and its so cool to me that it gets mentioned. Meta moment of my life!

Emily. Kelly Bishop is the greatest gem of all gems and she is perfection. The girls arrive for Friday night dinner (without Richard- sob) and we find a GIGANTIC portrait of Richard. This moment gives some of the greatest reactions from Lorelai and Rory and leads us to a flashback of Richard’s funeral. I will say I was very grateful that Amy gave us 30 minutes of wonderful before pulling us into the inevitable sobfest of acknowledging Richard’s death and subsequently Ed Herrmann’s. The aesthetics of the funeral scene at the cemetery are beautiful and seeing this is just oh so sad. Just knowing how important Richard is to them and Ed was to the actors. A few things struck me about this and it’s Lorelai’s recollection of it and so maybe we have to give some leeway because I can tell you I remember a good portion of people that came to my father’s wake and funeral, but I’m sure I don’t have a clear recollection of it, BUT… no Christopher? Christopher. Is. Not. At. Richard’s. Funeral. Christopher has always been trash and one of my most loathed characters in the entire series, but seriously? No show? Also, Logan? And I say this only because of the significant role he plays throughout this revival. Now… maybe he was there, again this is Lorelai’s recollection. Digger makes an appearance. An awkward and unnecessary appearance. But there he is, asking Lorelai if she’s happy. At her father’s funeral. Anyway, lets not spend time on him. What Rory ends up missing, because shes always flying off to do… work… or something is that Lorelai drinks her weight in scotch and draws a blank when Emily asks her to tell a nice memory of her father. Instead, she ends up word vomiting some awful story about being locked in a steamer trunk and Richard finding her having sex in the pool house. Emily is CLEARLY pissed and this brings us to an Emily/Lorelai confrontation in the kitchen, so reminiscent of the pilot and as Lorelai will say “full freakin circle”. Emily accuses Lorelai of not caring her father is dead, Lorelai tells her shes horrible. What I found interesting during this dragging that Emily gives Lorelai is that I didn’t entirely disagree with what she says. I love Lorelai, but she has created this bubble of hers in Stars Hollow where everyone loves her and everyone thinks shes just so great and no one ever points out her flaws and she is actually a semi-selfish person. She is very stubborn and unwilling to budge on anything. Many times throughout the series, I get mad at Lorelai because it’s like, just admit you’re wrong. She creates almost all of her own problems because she lives in her own world where she’s doing things her way or not at all.

How have I not mentioned Kirk yet? Kirk, always loveable has some great moments in this. His Ooooober, not uber, car service; which Lorelai takes to her mothers because her car is at Gypsy’s. When he’s just at the dinner table at Emily’s and then asks to go outside and play soccer with her maid, Berta’s kids (aside: how long did it take you to figure out who was playing Berta?). We can always count on Kirk.

Luke awkwardly standing at the table because he can’t sit in Richard’s seat was so funny, but I found myself wondering where the 6th chair was. Surely Emily doesn’t have an incomplete dining room set. Wouldn’t the chair be there? Little things. But it made for a funny Luke and Emily moment. This dinner also brings up the Rory career situation. It is explained that Rory has moved from her place in Brooklyn and she has boxes of her stuff scattered between her Mom’s, Lane’s, Emily’s, and Logan’s (really she shipped boxes to London?) and so she has no permanent address. Rory is so cool with this because this is when she gets to sow her oats and go where the story takes her or some such babble and I’m paused on this because… what exactly does she do? Oh she’s a journalist. Does she work somewhere specifically? She wrote a piece for The New Yorker. Slate and The Atlantic get mentioned. Um, ok. So she has had no permanent job all this time? I’m just confused. Maybe I don’t understand journalism correctly, but my understanding is MOST write for a particular publication and then branch out and as they become more well known, they write free lance or whatever. Rory’s situation is weird though because it’s suggested she is known (I think, maybe) but she can’t really seem to latch on to any permanent situation career wise. She has a meeting with Conde Naste that keeps getting pushed and she’s writing a book for this Naomi chick who provides much comedy throughout. But I’m still kind of confused as to what exactly Rory does… or what it is she’s been doing. This, for me, is problematic the entire 4 episodes.

(It has occurred to me at this very moment that this is already LONG and so I will be breaking these up by season LOL)

Luke and Lorelai have a talk about kids. Did they want another one. Did Luke want one.. and we find them at Dynasty Makers. Owned by PARIS GELLER!!! Liza Weil is just perfection. Everything Paris in the whole revival is great. Her talking about assessing Luke’s balls was one of the most hilarious moments in Gilmore history. I kind of wish this had been more of a plot throughout. It gets dropped oddly later on. Paris brings buy some “prime meat” for Luke to check out and that leads us to Rory and Paris heading over to Lane’s (LANE LIVES IN SOOKIE’S OLD HOUSE) and also lends for this odd “Lane, you remember Paris?” interaction which I thought was soooooo bizarre.Remember Paris? Of course she remembers her. Like. Just weird. It’s clear that Rory and Paris are still friends, so does she never mention her to Lane? Does she not speak to Lane as much? It’s just weird all around. Also. I’ll take this moment to comment on the lack of Lane on the whole in this is SEVERELY DISAPPOINTING.

Rory is worried about Emily and Lorelai drops by to find her mother in JEANS AND A TSHIRT with various folks (all related to Berta) cleaning out the house. Emily tells Lorelai she read this book about going through everything in your life and if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. Lorelai reminds her mother that right now, nothing is going to bring her joy and she suggests Emily see a therapist to help with her grief. Everyone freaked out about Emily in jeans and I wasn’t so struck because I recall Emily wearing a tracksuit in the original. Weird to see her in jeans, yes. But not quite the earth shattering moment for me. Emily does decide to go to therapy and talks Lorelai into going with her.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, Rory flies back to London to meet with Naomi about the book. The restaurant scene with Naomi stealing all the food going to other tables was hilarious. Rory goes back and forth to London a lot and I find myself wondering how she pays for it. Does she have a lot of miles? She has no permanent job and we find out later is too broke to buy underwear, but she has money for $1,000 flights to and from London. I suppose we’re not to question the logistics of this. Anyway, the introduction of Logan was great, I thought. Rory is talking to someone about Naomi and we don’t see who for like a good solid minute or so and then we see its Logan. And they kiss. And what? And now I have sooooo many questions. How long have they been together? Always? Was there a break?  Wait but Rory has a boyfriend.. whom HILARIOUSLY, I took not one note about and completely FORGOT to mention until I started writing this paragraph. Oh how appropriate. Paul. Paul shows up to dinner earlier at Lorelai’s and this whole gag that neither her nor Luke can really remember him and Rory forgets about him all the time. They’ve been dating for 2 YEARS! It’s funny. In Winter. It becomes a running gag throughout the entire series and its not funny. At all. Not even a little bit. It makes Rory look like such a piece of shit person. So, she’s cheating on Paul, the boyfriend she doesn’t like and can’t remember, with Logan. She and Logan have an “arrangement”. Vegas. When they’re together, they’re together. When they’re not, they’re not.

So I know a lot of people love the townsfolk and Stars Hollow and there was a little complaining about there not being enough of that and them. I LOVE Stars Hollow, I wish I lived there. I love Kirk, Ms Patty, Babette & Maury, Gypsy, and Taylor and the whole lot but honestly for me this story is and always has been about Emily, Lorelai, and Rory. If this entire revival existed as a series of Friday night dinners with the girls, I would have been happy. Not really, but you know what I mean. I thought this episode was lovely. It was the perfect jump back into the story, into this world. I felt very satisfied and excited at the end of this episode. And I realized during this episode, second viewing, that Berta is played by the same actress who plays Gypsy.

About the grief: Emily is in this maintenance phase. She is in defense mode and she’s trying oh so hard to maintain the life she always led now that her compass is gone. She’s still trying to keep up the whole “thing” of it. By the end, she’s feeling sad and restless and unsure and that’s why we find her searching for joy. Lorelai is beginning to question herself and her motives. She trying to be introspective about herself and her relationship with Luke. She sees her mother who lived her whole life for Richard and she’s questioning whether she does that with Luke and if she should or if she wants to. The baby stuff is all about her making sure she isn’t suppressing Luke’s feelings or wants for her own; the way she always did with her father. Rory is in denial. She’s in denial that she’s essentially failing for the first time in her life, across the board and so she exists in this “everything is great” zone.

Spring –>

Final Thoughts. Election 2016.

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As I leave the voting booth today, after casting my vote in what I hope will be a historic election, I have some final beliefs I’d like to share.

I believe in the process. I believe in democracy. I believe that, no matter the outcome, it is a reflection of our society. And it is not rigged. I hope that our society is one that believes in progress, humanity, and love. I hope that we are not a society of racist, misogynistic, bullies making decisions based on fear and hate. I hope that whatever the decision is at the end of the day, it is the right one. I hope it is the right one for this country and I hope that if Hillary doesn’t win, that I was wrong about Donald. You see, I want nothing more than to believe that the vitriol that spews from his mouth isn’t what he actually believes, but what he knew would rally a certain sect of people behind him. I want nothing more than to be wrong about this man.

I believe it is healthy to admit fault or failure. It keeps us humble. I have no problem saying “hey maybe you’re right” and so to my friends and family that may be voting for Trump, I say, I hope you’re right. And I hope that you will afford me the same courtesy should the election end in Hillary’s favor. The tenure of this election makes me feel as though the snarky, finger pointing won’t end today and if we do chose to move forward that way, we will only continue on this divisive path. Take a day to mourn your loss and try to come together. Try to pray that the outcome is what’s best and we can all move on. Together. Because we are stronger when we are together.

I believe it is important to have convictions. I have been more vocal this time around than usual. Perhaps, because I’ve reached a point in my life where I no longer care whether or not other people approve of my thoughts and feelings. I don’t mean to offend and you should take no offense. We can agree to disagree and move on. Or not. And that is your choice. If you feel after all of this that you cannot look at me the same, that’s ok. Perhaps this election proved to us all what is really important to ourselves. I’m sure we learned things about one another we never knew. Maybe didn’t want to know. I hope that we can all come to the end of this with love in our hearts for one another. But, I refuse to silence my beliefs. They are mine and I am entitled to them. I consider myself a learner. I enjoy gathering new information and educating myself. If I don’t know or understand something, I seek the facts and answers. I wish to understand different points of view and there have been many times in my life where I began thinking one way and came out the other side thinking differently. We all have different life experiences. We all have different things that are important to us for different reasons. Remember that everyone is fighting a silent battle we know nothing about.

I believe in our men and women in uniform. I have friends who are police officers and I pray every night that they come home to their families safe and sound. I know they are good people. I know they don’t abuse their power. But I also know there are a small percentage that do. And those people need to be weeded out. There needs to be change. That doesn’t mean I can’t support the men and women in blue. It just means I’m realistic about the situation.

I believe in our military. I have generations of family that have served in our armed forces. I am extremely proud to be an American. I stand for our flag and our national anthem. That doesn’t mean I believe we are perfect and above criticism. That doesn’t mean I can’t try to understand why someone would feel so failed by our systems that their pride in our country is slipping. I believe that it is a tough job to protect our country and the people in power make decisions every day based on threats and Intel. Sometimes those decisions seem like the wrong ones, but remember that we are not aware of every threat or decision that gets made. While we saw 4 individuals die and many see that as a failure, remember its possible that a decision made that day saved 400 individuals. I have lost people close to me. Grief is strong and debilitating, I am not taking away the significance of a loss, but remember that these are possibilities and circumstances of the job. This is a reality.

I believe in equality. I have friends with different skin colors than my own. They are not thugs, rapists, criminals, terrorists, or bottom feeders. They just happen to be a different shade than I am. Their life is just as important as mine. White privilege does exist and the sooner we recognize that, admit that, and strive to do better, the better off we will all be. Remember we live on land that was occupied by brown people long before it was occupied by white people. No one human is more important than another.

I believe in labor unions. My father belonged to one. My brothers belong to one. My best friend belongs to one. Blue collar workers are what built and continue to build our great nation. The middle class citizens of this country deserve to be able to live without fear of their home being taken away, or taxes being raised to a point that they have to leave their homes and relocate.

I believe we need to raise the minimum wage. It was always meant to be a living wage; if you worked 40 hours a week at this rate, you could live. $7.25 is not a living wage.

I believe in the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms. I also believe that the current state of the nation and weapons advances means we need to be more strict with guns and gun laws. No one is taking your guns away. Safe. Practical laws.

I believe in freedom of religion and speech. No one should tell another human being how they can or cannot worship, can or cannot speak as long as it isn’t harming other people.

I believe that the government has no business telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. We have separation of church and state and so the moral argument of what god wants or what god believes doesn’t apply. No one is telling you to have an abortion. No one is telling you to agree with people who have an abortion. But you don’t get to say whether or not a woman can have one. That is her choice and hers alone. So often we hear about the morality of it all. Jesus taught us to love one another, to help one another. Instead of shunning a person for a decision you know nothing about, help them find another way.  Maybe it’s leading them to a path of god afterwards, maybe it’s not. But it is not your place to judge, that alone belongs to the creator. Also, late term abortions are not a thing. “Ripping the fetus from the womb at 9 months, on the final day” is called birth. Do your research before you climb aboard that soap box. Recognize that the safe and intelligent path is one that encourages birth control and offers more alternatives to young women instead of shunning them. Also realize that pro-life means all life, not just a fetus inside of a womb. Life means the child that is born, the baby a young mother needs help raising, the young man or woman who grows up “in the system” that can only better their life if we help them to do so, the person who commits a heinous crime and is sentenced to death. Those lives matter every bit as much as a fetus does and so if you are going to be pro-life, you should be pro-every life, not just the convenient one.

I believe that the haves should help the have nots. Not everyone is grateful or deserving, but most are. We invoke the name of Christ so often except when it matters most. Jesus taught us to help those less fortunate than ourselves. That we are all brothers and sisters. It is our civic and moral duty to help one another. You do not get to use your religious beliefs only when it serves your argument.

I believe that love is love. Two people fall in love and want to get married. That is their right. You or I have no business telling them they cannot. Two men or two women getting married does not actually affect your life in any way. Let it go. I just read a post from a friend on Facebook that he and his fiancé are going to run to city hall and get married if Trump gets elected, because he knows that right will get taken away. That’s not fair. They are amazing people, a great couple. They deserve to be married just like any one else.

I believe that climate change is a real thing and we need to address it. Our environment is dying. The Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed. Glacier National Park was once home to more than 150 polar ice caps, now there are less than 30. The current rate of global temperature rise puts 25-35% of animals at risk of extinction. Alternative fuel sources are a must! They are produced domestically, reducing our dependence on imported oil. They produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel. Also. “There is no such thing as clean coal, that’s an oxymoron”.

I believe that with time and some tweaks, Obamacare will be a great thing. I’ve had it for 3 years and it’s gotten better each year. These things take time. Myself and 11.3 million people who didn’t have healthcare before, have it now. Remember, it took Medicare and social security years to get right.

I believe the children are our future and they all deserve a great education. The best we can give them. All of them.

I believe we should make obtaining citizenship easier for immigrants. Is immigration reform necessary? Yes, of course. But to turn our backs on immigrants? Shut them out? No. We are a nation of immigrants. Built by immigrants. People risk their lives, die trying to get here to have a better life for themselves and their families. They deserve the same chance our ancestors had. The same chance we have.

I believe in our political system, it is flawed and in need of reform, as many things are, but I find this disdain for career politicians puzzling. You know Political Science is a major in college, right? You don’t say to a teacher “ugh these career teachers. I want someone new with no experience”. If you have brain surgery, do you want the neurosurgeon with 20 years of experience or the medical assistant doing your surgery? I fail to understand why a lifetime of public service is a bad thing. UPDATE: Let me clarify “career politician”, I support term limits. Politicians should move around, do different jobs, hold different offices, lobby for certain issues; they should not sit in a Senate seat for 40 plus years.

I believe that history has taught us a great many things and we should learn from it. We are not a perfect country and we have made many mistakes. We pat ourselves on the back for helping to end World War II,  bringing an end to Hitler’s reign and ending the Holocaust. We forget that we were forced in to that war. We forget that we were well aware of what was going on in Germany and chose to ignore it. It wasn’t until our hand was forced that we entered the war. And we ended that war with a catastrophic decision in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 129,000 people died, mostly civilians. We like to forget about the 127,000 Japanese-Americans we shuttled from their homes to concentration camps because of fear they were loyal to Japan, most having been born here. Let us not allow irrational fear and hatred to guide us down these paths again.

I believe we are already great. “Make America great again” infers that the past is better than the future. That the old way was the right way and I respectfully disagree. Because I believe we are great and can only be greater when we work together. I have deep respect for Republicans and Democrats. Republicans once fought a great and important war to end slavery and preserve our union. We need a country of conservatives and liberals coming together for the betterment of our nation. Finding ways to make decisions that benefit the majority.

I believe in us. I believe in Her. I always have. I’ve believed in her since 1996, when I first read “It Takes A Village”. I believe that she is the right choice. I proudly cast my vote for her. I’m sorry if you do not agree with my choice, but it is mine.

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?”

2016 Presidential Election or as I call it Rangers VS Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final

People love a good metaphor, particularly a sports metaphor. Most folks are uncomfortable taking the time to learn all that “political mumbo jumbo” and would much prefer to use click, bait headlines to formulate their opinions than to actually do any kind of research. So, when given the opportunity to break it down in a way that your average non-political reader can grasp some small understanding of the issues at hand, we must take it. And who doesn’t love a good sports comparison.

So here we go. Let’s for a minute pretend that being the President of the United States is akin to the Stanley Cup Final, cause lord knows even if you win your conference final, you still have to suffer through 7 more games of torture to get the real prize. The 2016 Election process is the Eastern Conference Final and playing in this years race is the New York Rangers vs the Pittsburg Penguins. Let’s take a look at our MVP’s.

The New York Rangers- Goalie Henrik Lundqvist: Well spoken, suave, good looking man who is arguably one of the best goal tenders to ever step foot on the ice. He began his career in Sweden, working his way up, making a name for himself in the hockey world. In 2013, he became the highest paid goaltender in the NHL, and why not? He’s worked hard. He trains more than most in the game. He meticulously picks himself apart to make himself better. And gosh darn it, he deserves it. During press conferences, he tends to speak politely to reporters and answers questions. He often takes all of the heat for a loss and is expected to do amazing things on the ice, even when his teammates seem to be napping somewhere around the blue line. In the Eastern Conference Final, it will be expected of him to do acrobatics in the goal, standing on his head at times to prevent any scoring from the opponent. And even if he turns in a flawless performance, he still might not win the game.

The Pittsburgh Penguins- Center/Captain Sidney Crosby: He really likes himself. So much so that his jersey number is the year he was born, because, of course. A stellar talent from the beginning, he is very good at what he does and he knows it. When he first started out, he was young, and behaved as such. A lot of people couldn’t get on board with someone who was whiny and immature regardless of his ability to find the back of the net. He often looks for a call if you so much as brush up against him. That is not allowed because he had a concussion once and will immediately begin crying about how you’re trying to kill him. He often gets the call because of his skill level and comes off looking like a whiny douche. His douche-ness often rubs off on his teammates who at one time or another were perfectly nice young men. When his team wins, we all groan and roll our eyes (except for his fans who proceed to run up and down the street shouting “HA” in your face, because, you know, that’s mature).

So your choices are charming Lundqvist who has worked hard his whole career and despite many setbacks, still manages to come back year after year with a plan; or Crybaby Crosby. I’ll let you decide who’s who. 😉

An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,

I felt the time has come for me to address the discord between us since you ran for office. I’ll be very honest, I follow politics in a mild form and mostly pay close attention during election years and not so much in between. I do my due diligence and research candidates during Presidential Elections, which mostly means I’m cramming for the test when I could have been studying the whole 4 years.  I’m not one to keep a watchful eye on local politics and I am aware this is counterproductive. If anything, I should spend more time and energy focusing on my local politicians than anything else; as they are the ones who directly affect me and my family. When you came on to the scene, my only interaction with you, if you can call it that, was a passing mention of Rory Gilmore joining your campaign on the series finale of Gilmore Girls. So when you came into the fold and threatened to steal the Democratic Nomination from Hillary Clinton, I responded with side wards glances, eyes rolling, and vocal distaste for you. This wasn’t fair. I didn’t know you. I was being the equivalent of today’s Bernie Bots. My candidate didn’t get the nomination and I threw a temper tantrum. My bad.

It wasn’t until Bill Clinton gave a convincing speech that I said, alright fine I’m convinced.  Still, I begrudgingly clicked your name in the ballot box on Election Day and 4 years later, I did it again. Mostly because I had zero confidence in the candidates the Republicans presented. I am and have always been a Democrat. I still believe very deeply in the mission of the Democratic Party and after many years of questioning myself and my beliefs, I know I will always be a Democrat.  I didn’t believe so much in you in the beginning and for that I offer my deepest of apologies.

You promised great change and many have felt that you failed us. What you and the rest of us weren’t expecting was the Great Recession. People blamed you, which isn’t fair. Recessions don’t come out of nowhere. I became one of those people that read half assed articles and fed into the media hype that you would be remembered as one of the worst President’s in the history of the United States. I’ll be honest again. I didn’t dig very deep. I didn’t formulate my own opinion. I placed blame on you without really looking to see what you were doing or trying to do.

Upon reflection, I know and understand that while you have the best intentions, governing is a difficult job. Democracy and bureaucracy can drain you of every ounce of intention. I know how government works and how painstakingly you fought to get things passed and were shot down again and again. But you did make many changes. Not that I need to tell you what you accomplished, but I read this fascinating list of 371 of them. With citations. http://pleasecutthecrap.com/obama-accomplishments/

People complain constantly (and I’ve been one of them) about the Affordable Healthcare Act. What I can say about it is, nothing is perfect. It took almost a decade for Medicare to get itself right and it can still use some help. The truth is that everything and everyone can always improve. Obamacare was not the best at first. But. But. It was better than nothing. Four years ago, I didn’t have any healthcare. My job didn’t offer it and I couldn’t afford to pay privately. So when I went to the doctor, I had to pay. Three years ago, I signed up for healthcare on the marketplace. And it was a disaster. I picked the wrong plan. The doctors that were on the list as taking it weren’t actually taking it. I was “forced” to find new doctors. But you know what? I had healthcare. If something happened to me and I needed to go to the hospital, it would be covered. The second year I tried picking a more expensive plan and it was a little better. Third times a charm. This year, I chose a better and cheaper plan that last year. People seem to know more about the plans and can offer better assistance in choosing one. 7 months in to the year and so far so good. So it took three years, but WE got it right. And I’m not concerned about finding the money to pay for a hospital visit anymore. Is it perfect? No. Does it need some revisions? Of course. Is it an improvement from before? Absolutely.

Many have claimed you don’t really care about our country. That you’re not Patriotic. In the past 2 years, I’ve paid close attention to you. And from what I’ve seen, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You believe in the values this country was built on. That ALL are created equal. You don’t give in to hate and fear mongering. You believe that our differences are what make us unique and that together we are stronger. People claim you are divisive. You are the exact opposite. The only people who think you are divisive are the ones who believe you are secretly an Islamic Terrorist (insert eye roll emoji) or that you put your “blackness” before your humanness (facepalm).

You spoke eloquently the other night about our country and all we are facing. What I saw was a man who cares. A man aged more in 8 years than most. A man who is very Patriotic. A man who will be in our history books not just because he was the first black President; because he was one of our best.

So I offer you my gratitude for 8 hard years of working your ass off to make our country a better place. For making tough decisions. For doing a thankless job and accepting enormous criticism. I offer my apologies for not believing in you at first and I wish you well in your future. I can only hope that your predecessor will do as good a job as you have.
Sincerely,

Michele A. Curran

Charles Kinsey. 

I try to not speak much on this topic because people get very passionate (understandably) about it, but please explain to me how this is ok? This man is clearly lying on the ground, hands in the air, posing no threat, HELPING a disabled person… What makes me sad is this particular police officer shines a negative light on all the amazing police officers out there. This particular incident is one that makes people attack police officers and it’s not fair to those who do their job and do it well. What I don’t understand is why there is this insistency on not being able to admit this is wrong. I understand it’s a brotherhood and you’re not supposed to snitch on your boy… But your boy is making YOU look like a scumbag. No one is above reproach. No one is above review. Yet, no one is allowed to say “hey you know something’s wrong here. Maybe we should do something about it.” Cause if you say that then obviously you’re a cop hater 🙄. One of my dearest friends is a police officer and I know he’s a good person and would never do something like this, but I don’t want him getting shot one night bc people refuse to admit there is a clear problem amongst SOME police officers who use and abuse the power given to them. As with anyone in this world. We’re quick to criticize every single profession in the world, but police officers are off the table? No. It doesn’t work that way. You don’t get an Asshole Pass just because you wear a badge. I salute you for choosing this job, it’s not one I would want to do and bless you for doing it, but maybe, for some, it just isn’t for you.
Black Man Says He Was Shot By North Miami Police While Lying On The Ground