Five Problems With Social Media

This popped up in my social media (ha!) feed today, and I figured why the hell not. I’ve been ignoring my blog; I should probably give it some love.


As you can see, the first prompt is “Five problems with social media.” So, let’s have at it.

1. The Echo Chamber Effect. 

To quote wikipedia,

In media, an echo chamber is a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.

Basically, most social media either employs algorithms to show us the shit we like, or we self-select into following only things we like.

For example, on my FB feed, I tend to “hide” spiritual or woo-heavy posts. I dislike them. FB, realizing I dislike them, adjusts their algorithm so I don’t see posts that reference scriptures, religion, prayer, etc. FB wants me to spend more time on their feed, so they fill my feed with the sorts of things I click on and read–Science, politics, writing jokes, and the occasional funny meme.

Twitter is full of posts from people I’ve followed, and it has an algorithm to suggest “similar” posts. Again, keeping me in my ecosystem.

Even Reddit, which is user-upvoted content, ends up being a bit of an echo chamber because I choose which subreddits to populate my feed with and which to ignore or silence completely.

In order to combat the echo chamber effect, I have to intentionally leave my comfort zone and seek out information sources and points of view I disagree with. I do this, but I don’t like it. It’s like taking medicine, and it is rage-inducing. However, I feel it’s necessary, because otherwise I end up assuming that my views are very mainstream, and the information/ news sources I prefer (not to mention my interests!) are the default. If I don’t broaden my horizons, it makes understanding the perspectives of others more difficult.

2. The Difference Between On-Line and Off-Line Personas.

Have you ever met someone in person and you’re like, whoa! They’re kick-ass! How cool! and you love hanging out with them? They’re witty and compassionate and knowledgeable about all types of shit, and you just enjoy their company?

Then you friend them– or accept their friend request– and it’s like a totally different person. Just so different. Maybe they’re one of those people who are agreeable in real life, but argumentative on the internet. Or maybe they seem totally rational in real life, but their social media is full of anti-vaxxer memes. Or maybe they were low-key and chill in person, but their social media is just post after post of scriptures and prayers, or politics galores.

We all have buttons we prefer not to be pushed, and what is one person’s relaxation or uplifting thought is another person’s irritation trigger (I’m lookin’ at you, ‘Spirit Science‘). When someone’s online persona is severely different from their offline persona, it does kinda make me look at them different. I have unfriended a few racists and sexists that I thought were okay people … until I saw the shit they posted online.

I have no doubt people have learned things about me from social media that they never would have learned in real life (or only after years of acquaintance), and it completely changed their perception of me.

3. Vaguebooking, and Complaining About Vaguebooking

Ugh, vaguebooking is the worst, right? Yes. Yes, it is.

Yet we’ve all done it at some point. Everyone fails. Everyone occasionally gets a little passive-aggressive. Sometimes everything just sucks, and you’re mad but you don’t wanna trash-talk your SO or your kids or your friend or whatever, so you vaguebook.

Obviously, constant vaguebooking is a no-no. It’s annoying and whiny and needy, and nobody likes it. But goddamn, have a little compassion for the occasional slip-up. Some of these vaguebookers just need to vent. Or they’re fucking teenagers/ early-twenty-somethings, who are kind of notorious for courting drama. Or maybe they’re in a hurry because shit is going down, and they didn’t mean to vaguebook. I suppose that’s a possibility?

4. Comparing, falling short, and hating yourself.

When I was 21, I got pregnant. Over the course of the next year, I was introduced to what I consider the scourge of any parent: Parenting magazines. These curses in print awaited me at every doctors office, every WIC office, and in every checkout line. As my belly swelled with the life inside me, they blared headlines like, “Are you eating too much? Exercising enough? Beware this toxin! Don’t eat tuna! Check your medicine cabinet!”

Then my son was born.

“Breast vs. Formula! Cloth vs. Disposal! Circumcised vs. Uncut! Why your crib could kill your child! Top Ten Lists of Parenting Advice (Are You Doing Everything Wrong?)”

I read the articles hungrily at first, perusing them like I could find the antidote to my new-parent fears. I thought that surely, somewhere in these pages of arguments between experts, I would find the answer to raising a strong, happy, emotionally secure child. But all that happened was self-doubt. My husband and I began trying for another child, and I would lay awake in bed at night staring at the ceiling and planning what I would do different with a planned baby.

I would breastfeed. Cloth diaper from birth. Co-sleep, maybe. Definitely use a sling instead of a Baby Bjorn. Teach my baby sign-language. Do a natural birth, definitely. Maybe even a water birth. I’d make all the baby food from scratch.

On and on and on, until one day it hit me: I was planning a do-over, not a baby. I tried to imagine this second baby as a toddler, and I couldn’t. I tried to imagine them as a child, a teenager, an adult. I couldn’t. I tried to imagine the things I wanted to teach this child, the world I wanted them to explore … and all I could think of was the things I’d failed to do for my son, because I was young and scared and I followed my doctors advice. And what? I had a healthy, happy child. Why was I so focused on doing it “right”? What was the big fucking deal?

The next day I told my husband I was no longer interested in a second child, and he breathed a huge sigh of relief (turns out he wasn’t, either). After that, I stopped reading the parenting magazines with their contradictory, alarmist headlines, and just focused on my family.

Sometimes social media reminds me of those magazines, with their perfect, air-brushed families and top-ten lists of things you need to buy or do to raise a perfect child. If you end up on certain pages or feeds, there’s an unattainable perfectionism that permeates them. A parent can get to feeling pretty inadequate. Or a creator can feel pretty unimaginative and lazy. Or a teenager can feel ugly and useless. Or a friend can feel unwanted and unloved. And this brings me to my final point.

5. That Everyone Thinks Social Media is a Problem, or an Obligation. 

Basically, social media is a tool. Wield it wisely. Familiarize yourself with the privacy settings and check them at least once a year (preferably more often). If you don’t like drama, unfriend/ unfollow people who cause it. If you do like drama, admit it and stop complaining about it. If you’re worried about your boss or grandma not liking the shit you say, then try:

  • not friending your boss or grandma,
  • watching the shit you say, or
  • putting your boss or grandma in a closed group so they can’t see the shit you say.

Don’t bitch about your SO online. It’s the equivalent of bitching about them to your family: If you end up making up, you’re going to feel embarrassed and everyone in your family is going to think you’re married to a douche. So just don’t do it.

Don’t embarrass your kids online. That’s some fucked up psychological trauma right there. They’re independent human beings with their own personalities and long-term psychological growth to worry about. Don’t be humiliating them online.

Say what you mean and mean what you say, but also recognize that people (including you!) change and grow over time. In some ways, we become more narrow-minded. In others, we soften and become more compassionate and easy-going. Regardless, everyone shifts in their values and worldviews, whether they realize it or not. It’s part of being human, and as long as you can stand by your actions and behavior and defend (or apologize!) for them, you’re probably cool.

Finally, like so many other things, the people you surround yourself with affect your experience for good or ill. This is just as true online as it is in real life.

I swear, it feels like every time I break my personal rule (don’t start a series still in-progress) it’s 11th grade and The Wheel of Time series all over again. I just want closure! I just want the end! 

I know books take a long time to write and it’s hard to force creativity and life is busy and there are all these other commitments eating up their time but I just




I just want to know who wins the Game of Thrones. 

I just want to know if book!Jon Snow survived the stabbening. (I mean, probably yes, obvs, but some written confirmation would be great). 

And while I’m on the topic, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson are breaking my heart, too. I mean, c’mon, Rothfuss! It was 4 years between Name of the Wind and A Wise Man’s Fear, and it’s been six years since with a single novella that isn’t even from Kvothe’s POV, an announcement of a video game and TV show, and NOTHING on the pub date for The Slow Regard of Silent Things? 


And Sanderson. Gods. Sanderson. So prolific. So inspiring. It’s reassuring, honestly. I mean, you look at the sheer amount of books and series he’s got published (completed and in progress), and the publication dates– every year, another book or three– and it’s like, oh, it’s safe to start one of his series. This won’t be a decades-long exercise of agonizing, suspended satisfaction.

I made the idiot mistake of starting The Stormlight Archive, which (like WoT, GoT and TKC) is set in a politically and socially complex world with a large cast of characters. It’s great. It’s meaty and in depth and breathtaking. 

And the first book was published in 2010, the second in 2014, and the third is slated to be published this year (a promise I’ve heard before–I’ll believe it when I see it). 

So in the best case, it’s a 3-4 year wait between books (but they’re getting written and published, so yay!), or, if it’s anything like what happened with Jordan and has been happening with Martin and Rothfuss, it’s pushing back publishing dates, delays, announcing aaallllllllll these other spin off projects, and just … endless waiting. 

And I feel awful for being impatient, I really do. I get that these are humans with lives, not entertainment machines to dance for my pleasure. Rothfuss and Martin have both historically reacted really poorly to expressions of fan impatience, which I do kind of understand– I can’t imagine the pressure of fame and contract. And, I mean, they’ve got all these other projects going on. Plus, I understand at least one of these guys (I think Rothfuss) is actually the stay at home dad to an infant/ toddler, and I know what a distraction that can be. 

But still. At the end of the day … the spin off projects only exist because of the fan base from the original (unfinished) book series. 

I understand success must be a unique frustration and pressure in and of itself, especially for a writer (who, generally speaking, is not like the actor or comedian in seeking the limelight; the writer hides their face behind the page, and sometimes their name behind pseudonyms), but I also think it’s valid for fans who just want story closure to express frustration at the incredibly visible decision (because of the interview circuit and blogging and vlogging and tweeting about it) of authors to dedicate the vast majority of their time and resources to all these other projects.

I mean, it kinda feels like their books aren’t getting completed or published because they’re not getting worked on very often, and their anger at their fans when asked about publication dates is borne (in part) of defensiveness. 

I’m not saying they aren’t getting worked on at all– Rothfuss has posted video of him writing to refute such accusations, and Martin has released sections on his blog. I’ve never thought they just gave up. 

I’m saying it’s more like …  I have a goal of writing 1,500 words a day, 5 days a week. The days John is working. In a good month, that’s 30,000 words. Except I usually write more in the range of 2,500 words on an uninterrupted 5 hr writing day (John works 8 hrs, but Kiddo gets out of school n dinner won’t cook itself), so that’s more like 50k/ words per month. 

Obviously, I’d prefer daily output to bump that up to around 70,000/ month, or almost a complete draft. And if I had the resources (like, say, a best selling series), I would probably make arrangements to sequester myself for one or two months of the year to do exactly that.

But I don’t have those resources. And I do have a lot of demands on my time. Housework, meal prep, subbing, budgeting, research, and high-priority household projects with deadlines (taxes, applications, disputes, etc). And there are only so many hours in a day, and my family wants to spend time with me too, so my average writing output is around 3k a month.

That’s a huge difference. I’m still working on my book, but there’s no world where you can argue I will realistically have a manuscript to submit to a literary agent by 2018 when I’m working at a snails pace of 3k words per month. And that’s the situation I think Martin, Rothfuss, and (to an extent) Sanderson find themselves in. Too many balls in the air, not enough hands to juggle.

The worst part is, I actually have reading guidelines I try to stick to. I started this stupid fluff series in 8th grade that just ended after book 3, no continuation or resolution, and I promised to myself then that I would never read an unfinished series again unless:

  1. Each book can be read as a standalone (eg, Vorkosagan Saga)
  2. It was nearly complete (1 or 2 books away from resolution).
  3. The author has demonstrated publishing consistancy and it’s a really good book.

Even with this, I often bite off more than I want to. The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain? Yeah, when I began reading that, I wasn’t married and it was supposed to be a trilogy. The sixth book was published in 2016, and honestly? Good writing, not a lot of closure. Felt like it was still laying plot lines for another book.

But I was okay with that because I had Harry Potter, and J.K. Rowling met the requirements of Rule 3, and (for the first few installments), Rule 1.

A lot of times when I pick up a book to read, I’m not even looking to “get into” a series. That’s how I got hooked on both the Stormlight Archive and Kingkiller Chronicles. At the time I read the first book in both of those, they were the only one published, and I didn’t realize they were the first books of planned series. 

I only started reading Maas’s Throne of Glass series after quick research reassured me that a) 5 out of 6 books were completed; b) she published on a steady schedule; and c) book 6 was slated to release in 2017. 

GoT, though, that’s all on me. 

In my defense, I started reading it in 2010, with 4 books published and the 5th slated for a 2011 release, after hearing it was originally planned to be a trilogy but ended up with two extra books because the author wrote himself into a Gordian knot. So I thought the series was all but wrapped up, and it wouldn’t be this big emotional cliffhanger of falling in love with a story that won’t commit. 

Should’ve known better. Hate to say it, but male authors, dude. They’re like bad boyfriends. They have the sweetest words, but just keep disappointing you.

Alma mater

Shit has apparently been hitting the fan at Evergreen. It came up in my FB feed the day of, and I’ve been kinda watching the news/ keeping an eye on developments/ cheering for the protesters. 

At first, I was kinda lost about why this was news. I don’t mean why there was a protest; I mean why off-campus news outlets were giving a fuck. Evergreen has been doing Day of Absence/ Day of Presence for years— I’m not sure when it started, but I started in 2012 and it was a tradition. 

Basically, on Day of Absence/ Day of Presence, minority students retreat from the campus and don’t participate. For DoA/DoP, “minority” has generally included, as I understand it, both POC and LGBTQA persons. The purpose is to highlight their value and impact in our communities, and the effect (loss) to the community felt by their absence. It’s also to honor the memory of lives taken too early by persecution and discrimination, as well as (I always felt) a quiet reminder that we cannot take the danger threatening the lives of our POC/ LGBTQA classmates and professor’s lightly, and must fight to protect their rights and safety.

I lived off campus and was a night/ weekend student, so I wasn’t exactly in thick of campus culture. I learned about this, literally, after the first DoA/ DoP while I was a student. I had no forewarning. Just one day there were these signs and banners about Day of Absence/ Day of Presence, and some of my classmates weren’t in class. 

When I asked what the Absence/ Presence thing was and it was explained, I thought it was pretty fuckin’ cool. Like the 1975 Women’s Strike in Iceland, when 90 percent of the women refused to go to work, cook, clean, or mind the children; and the men felt the impact of that intentional absence.

Now, the thing is DoA/DoP has always had it’s share of controversy and detractors. Apparently one of the debates that came up when I was there was about staff and faculty participation– some of the POC/LGBT staff and faculty wanted to participate– staff by not coming to their shift, and faculty by either cancelling classes, holding classes off-campus, or going off-syllabus for the days classroom discussion. Really cool and totally in the spirit, right? Except nope. 

Apparently a bunch of whiny (white) assholes (students and staff) got butthurt at the idea of their needs not being served for one fuckin day and decided to complain on behalf of aaallllllllll the white ppl on campus about how unfair it was to pay for services and tuition and classes (on campus thankyouverymuchsir) etc etc and then not receive them for even one day. It was the height of injustice, the very height. To even imagine. Gasp. Horror. Oh, and also, apparently some (white) students felt it was unfair their minority classmates “got” to skip, and thought they should be penalized, and some (white) professors (like Weinstein, I’m guessing) agreed and would penalize students for missing class or failing to turn in work without a valid excuse.

Hearing about all this after the fact was one of those times I was like damn, I wish I was more of a regular/ involved campus student, bc that’s some bullshit.

Anyway, so when I first heard about Weinstein, I assumed his complaints were more of that vein: “Wah wah, minorities aren’t catering to me for a day, oppression, wah wah!” and my only real confusion was why the usual campus tension had blown up. And yeah, I read the linked Weinstein emails, but it still wasn’t initially clear to me. 

I had this one image/ experience of DoA/DoP in my head, and nothing I was reading clarified what was different this year to precipitate all this, until this article in The Olympian: In wake of race protests at Evergreen, one lawmaker proposes to make it private.

So, basically, (I’m guessing bc all that white butthurt protest about any effective action by minorities to absent themselves from campus neutured the impact of the day) the organizer said (more or less), “Fine. You won’t let us leave campus on our terms for one day? Then how about this: you leave for the day. Go do your thing and let us have the campus to ourselves for a day without any racism or persecution fucking up our learning/ teaching/ working experiences. 

One day for Evergreen POC/ LGBTQA workers, students, and teachers to spend an entire day without having to deal with the bullshit. The cafeteria staff employee who pretends they don’t notice the exaggerated, fake accent that one white student uses “as a joke” when he orders while his friends laugh? He gets a day off from that bullshit. The black teacher who’s constantly being challenged by white male students half her age who are convinced they know the material better than her, even though she’s got a PhD and a career of experience? She gets a day off from their mansplaining, racist bullshit. The LGBTQA student with a white classmate or professor who insists on misgendering them, or joking about their identity? One day off from it.

One day to move through a small slice of the world with freedom and peace. One day where, instead of having doors closed to them, they close the doors.

Beautiful. Beautiful and heartbreaking and challenging and not nearly fucking enough.

Unless, apparently, you are Weinstein and/ or Manweller (the GOP fucker who wants Evergreen to go private as punishment for practicing free speech on the public dollar– btw, anyone else seeing the hypocrisy exposed here? Aren’t conservatives the ones beating the drum on the ills of the public dollar and the value of privitization? Isn’t DeVos trying to privitize public education nationwide? But Manweller goes straight to privitizing as a proposed punishment? Huh.).

Look, I actually agree with Manweller’s statement that when a public university (or, really, any publicly funded institution) sends the message either directly or indirectly that someone is unwelcome based on  skin color, a line has been crossed. It’s just that the asshole obviously doesn’t realize that is the fucking point of Day of Absence/ Day of Presence! Because the message has been and continues to be sent, overwhelmingly and disproptionately, that POC and LGBTQA students are unwelcome, and that crosses a fucking line! 

Recognizing that discrimination, inequality, and disparate impact exist and acknowledging it does not translate to white people being persecuted, wtf.

Also, what the FUCK is up with with white mainstream conservative christians co-opting historical persecution against religious and/or racial minorities to justify their narrative? That’s so fucked up. 

The Nazi’s were white christians who persecuted Jews, POC, Romany, LGBT, and the disabled, y’all, but Manweller actually fucking compares the POC, LGBTQA, and white ally protestors to Nazi Brownshirts. Like wtf, dude. Maybe don’t.


After a long, wet slog of a winter (and a horrific windstorm which may or may not have been a mini tornado; accounts differ), summer has arrived. 

In early summer, I wake at 5 a.m. without an alarm, roused by sunlight and birdsong. Eventually, I’ll adjust and begin sleeping in until 7 or 8 am. For now, I’m waking an hour before my alarm, to a long stretch of warm, golden hours, and the air smells of honey and fresh cut grass.

Yesterday we were coming home from a doctor’s appointment when something kind of upsetting happened. We’d stopped for some medicine, and as we were getting back into our car to leave, noticed the Kia Soul (Eco/hybrid model) parked in the spot next to us with two small dogs inside– like, very small, chihuahua-size– and the windows were barely cracked, with  vehicle parked in full sun with temperatures in the upper 70s/ lower 80s. 

Over the roof of our car, my husband told me we should call animal control. 

Well, the owner was actually nearby– apparently they’d just parked and were within hearing range, and when they heard my husband say that, the guy got very angry and confrontational. I’ll just call him Tryinta Killadog, since I never got his actual name.

Mr. Killadog stormed back, yelling, “You don’t think my dogs are safe? Look at them! Look! The windows are cracked!”

They’re barely cracked– so infinitesimally, it’s hard to see the gap of air against the rubber track cushioning the window frame. Less than a fingers width. My husband points this out.

Mr. Killadog protests they were “barely” going to be in the store, and would be out in less than 5 min. Note: He was going into Costco– tell me the last Costco trip that took less than 15 min, max. Even a 15 minute trip is either  just browsing or a lucky fluke with no lines, which you can’t count on!

For reference, temperatures inside a car can increase by 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 min; 30 degrees in 20 min, and so on. So while the outside temp may be a balmy 70 degrees (or 75, as it was yesterday morning), inside the car it can quickly reach temperatures in excess of 100. Dogs also have a higher body temperature than humans and a different thermoregulation biology, both of which put them at increased risk in hot vehicles.

Mr. Killadog storms up to his car and jabs an angry finger at the Eco/Electric insignia, almost frothing at the mouth as he screams, “It’s electric, you morons! The air conditioner is on! They’re fine!”

The a/c was not on, btw. First, and most obviously, even an electric motor makes noise– it’s not the distinctive growl of a carburated motor, but anyone who’s ever used any sort of electric motor or cooling unit (think computers, gaming consoles, pool pumps, etc) knows they aren’t absolutely silent. Quieter than carbureted engines, sure. Absolutely silent, to the point you can’t tell if they’re on or not? No.

Second, if it was on, why was that Mr. Killadog’s third response/ defense? First he pointed to gapped windows, then the brief time he claimed they would shop, and then he flailed to the a/c defense.

Third, what kind of idiot runs their a/c with the windows cracked? If the a/c was on, why crack the windows at all?

Anyway, so Mr. Killadog’s companion (apparently waiting at the store entrance) appeared at this point to take the membership card from him, then left. Mr. Killadog invited us to go ahead and call the police, saying he’d wait with us, and got into his car. He rolled down the window and turned on the a/c (we heard the hum of the electric motor and the a/c compassion pump kicking on). 

Well, there’s not much to call the cops about at that point, other than the concern that as soon as we leave this asshole will lock his dogs right back up in that hot oven of a car. And since Mr. Killadog clearly thinks treating his dogs like this is harmless, and is loudly mocking us while filming us from his vehicle, we go ahead and make that call.

The police promise to send someone out, but also advise us to leave the immediate situation and not engage with the confrontational, angry man, which makes sense to me. So we drove away, with Mr. Killadog yelling, “Oh, oh, where you going? Huh? I thought we were waiting for the police? Huh? Where you running off to, huh?”

But instead of actually leaving, my husband circled around the building returned to parked a few rows behind the car. That was at 11:48 a.m. The initial confrontation began approximately 9 minutes prior.

Mr. Killadog stayed in the car, windows now up, for a few more minutes. Then he exited the vehicle and began pacing around it. He leaned against the driver’s side window, back to us, apparently scanning the parking lot. 

At 12:04, he straightened up, apparently spotting someone, and left the vehicle to meet his companion. 

In other words, as angry as Mr. Killadog was about our “invasive” and “unnecessary” intervention, it probably saved his dogs’ from heatstroke (at minimum). 

The shopping trip–even (presumably) curtailed due to our influence, still lasted 16 minutes if you’re counting by the timeline most forgiving to Mr. Killadog; the one which begins some 10 min after he initially locked the dogs in the car and walked away. 

If you start from when we first noticed the dogs, at 11:39, that’s a 26 minute shopping trip– nearly half an hour the dogs would have been in a sealed car when it was 75 degrees outside.

The only reason the dogs had a/c and fully cracked windows during that time was because we spoke up, and their owner (angrily, defensively, mockingly) complied with our objections to prove he had his dogs best interests in mind.

It was uncomfortable and upsetting. I dislike interfering in other people’s affairs, being yelled at, and being filmed/ photographed without my consent. Everything about the interaction was extremely uncomfortable and anxiety inducing for me. 

But it was also the right thing thing to do. We had no way of knowing how long the dogs had been and would be in the car, and even after the owner returned, his belligerent aspect and manner implied he did not believe there was any risk to the dogs’ health.

I don’t think anyone has any idea what to do here.

I’ve been developing a theory about why people (on both sides of the aisle) are so slow to submit articles of impeachment on Trump.

Article II of the United States Constitution states in Section 4 that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Impeachment isn’t just reserved for the president. It can be done to nearly everyone in the administration tainted by this Russia thing, or the data-analytics/ psyops vote-tampering campaign manipulation tactics being covered by The Guardian, or who engaged in collusion and obstruction of justice, and really, I think it’s obvious that almost his entire administration is corrupt and inept. Even those Trump appointees who came on-board with no previous involvement to either the Russia thing or the Mercer data analytics psyops voting manipulation thing are now tainted by the administration-wide efforts to obsfucate, conceal, and impede the investigations.

And the thing is … we’ve never dealt with that. It’s unprecedented. There’s no blueprint. 

Nixon was impeached (resigned to avoid impeachment, whatever), near the end of his term, and replaced by Gerald Ford, who seemed to have been generally unpopular guy, and failed to win a consecutive term as the incumbent candidate.

Clinton’s whole drama wrapped up right at the end of his presidency, and we just transitioned from a Clinton administration to the Bush administration.

So what’s the replacement protocol when an incoming adminstration has failed to fill a majority of the necessary positions of government, and of the appointments they filled, nearly universally chose unqualified persons based on nepotism or other dubious connections to Trump, Russia, and/ or the Mercer family? 

I don’t think Congress or our Senators know. I don’t think anyone does. A US president has never been impeached just 6 months into office. A US presidential administration has never been impeached, ever.

Maybe that’s why our politicians are hesitating to move on submitting articles of impeachment? 

Because think about it: who’s supposed to lead the government while Trump is impeached and his adminstration cleaned up?

Are we supposed to give Pence a pass? Let Trump’s VP pick– the stalwart Trump apologist and ready spin machine, who’s colluded in the White House obstruction of information? I don’t think so. He’s just as culpable as Trump and the rest.

Thus far, presidents have only been replaced by vice presidents. The current presidential line of succession provides for 17 high office appointees after Pence, and they’re all compromised in some way. Those untainted by Mercer/ Russian/ nepotism issues prior to their appointments have spent the last 6 months colluding with the administration in their efforts to subvert the Russian investigation and obstruct justice through talking points and minimization. And one–Ellen Chao–isn’t even eligible to be president, as she’s not a natural born citizen, which shortens the list by one.

Then there’s the issue of the GOP-dominant House of Representatives. They might be convinced to agree to impeach Trump, but definitely not the rest.  

With their hands tied, knowing that submitting the articles of impeachment will go nowhere in the current House, Dems might be hoping to flip enough seats for a Congressional majority in the midterm elections, and then submit the articles of impeachment for a vote.

The GOP might surprise everyone and start the impeachment of Trump themselves. It would go a long ways to redeeming them politically with moderates, and there’s a possibility it could satiate the resistance enough to diffuse (temporarily) the loudest protests. Correctly timed, the sacrifice might even preserve their Congressional majority.

Hypothetically, if we went ahead and pushed for a full administration impeachment, who would oversee the government until a new president is elected? Would we have a midterm presidential election?

A logical compromise seems like an interim bipartisan council-led leadership, with a midterm presidential election, but is that a good idea when we don’t know if we have adequate protections against the psyops/ data analytics manipulations of voting behaviors that landed Trump in the White House? 

And who would form the leadership council? Former (living) presidents? Have Senators draw from a hat? 

I think the most obvious solution is to impeach the administration, pass an amendment which dissolves be the electoral college with a clause stating the amendment applies retroactively to it’s passage up to a specified amount of years, and install President Clinton, the winner if the popular vote.

I also think the GOP would cry foul at that and run around screaming like they’re chickens with they’re heads cut off. Weird how they’re totally chill–like, stoned levels of cool–when the GOP president spends every weekend at a golf resort, alienates allies and praises dictators, causes a crisis a week, and unnecessarily riskes the lives of intelligence agents, special ops forces, and US soldiers … but freaks out by a democratic president being polite to international allies. (Anyone remember “apology tour”? Fuckin’ GOP.)

So, yeah. I think part of the reason nothing’s happening is because the entire Trump administration is corrupt, and no one quite knows how to go about replacing e an entire government less  than 6 months after it replaced the last guy. And we can’t even bring Obama back as the gap/ interim president, both because that’s against the law and the GOP would freak.

So instead everyone just basically watches as Trump has a pressure-induced meltdown, and I honestly would not be surprised if this ends with Trump having a heart attack mid-tweet tirade, or hanging himself in despondent self loathing when he finally realizes how unpopular he actually is.

Glad game

I think I’ma do this once a week. I’m not good at remembering to post nightly. But I’ma stay with the whole person/ place/ thing format, because that’s easy.

So. This week, as I play the glad game, I find myself thinking about how glad I am for …

Person: My husband. Aww, you knew he was gonna end up on this list eventually. He always does. I’m particularly glad for him this week, because my latest venture into the (contract position) workforce started with a 3-day position that covers two of his days off. So he’s been doing sahd-stuff, manning the fort and handling chores and making dinner and dealing with the hours of non-adult interaction. It’s been nice to come home and the chores are done. I really like it.

Place: Leavenworth. I like the town. I like the architecture, the shops, the kitchsy German feel of it … I dunno. I just like it. I think it would be fun to stay there for a weekend. Or a month. I like the mountains, too, and the whole pretty landscape. The place just makes me happy.

Thing: My parent’s Matryoshka doll. I’d forgotten her, but there’s a little Russian shop in Leavenworth that reminded me–my sister and I used to spend so much time taking her apart and lining her and all her sisters (babies?) up in a row, then nesting them one inside the other. I’d always try to line up the edges of the painted flowers flawlessly.  My parents had steamer trunks of treasures from across the sea: matryoshka dolls and dirndls, bunads and lederhosen, tyroleon hats and real woollen Norwegian sweaters. There were treasures from the past, too: black and white photographs, or those 60’s color tinted ones, of a young and unrecognizably playful couple; a handful of political ribbons and a too-big button saying NIXON; a black and white photograph of a gangly young teenager, smiling at the camera from the 1950s; an armful of cured buckskins from real live deer that had been hunted and shot and skinned by that smiling boy from so long ago. It was always a treat when they opened those trunks and revealed the mysteries of such foreign lands as overseas, or the past. I loved it. I guess that’s more of a memory than a thing, since I don’t have the matryoshka doll, but that’s okay. It’s still a thing that makes me happy 

Friday glad game

Person: Blu, who showed me what to do and where to go on my first day, and was patient with my questions.

Place: My happy place only exists in my imagination, like Cosette’s castle on a cloud. Mine is no castle, though– sometimes it’s a rambling beach house with a wraparound porch, the whitewashed rooms open and bright with natural light. There are windows everywhere, and wooden floors, and it is sparsely furnished. The taste of salt spray lingers in the air, and the crash of waves is a drumbeat on the shore. Sometimes it’s a little cottage in the mountains, cozy and snug, nestled in a glade of evergreens where the tips of the trees meet far overhead in a delicately tracery of branches criss-crossing like a star against the pale glow of the sky, and a stream runs clear and bright behind. 

These are my happy places. They may only exist in my imagination palace, but I’m glad of them.

Thing: Mom had an embroidered flower pin brooch she used to wear to church that ended up with me after her death. I turned it into a necklace. Every time I wear it, I remember sitting on the corner of Mom’s bed, watching her get ready for church. Watching her carefully pin that brooch to her blouse, just above her heart, and the way she would catch my eye and smile at my reflection.  

Today I am glad for …

Person: For my son, who played the glad game with me while we did errands. What a cool kid, right? The topic of grandparents came up, and we talked a little bit about my mom– he wishes he could’ve known her. He asked me if she would like him, and I couldn’t help laughing a little. I was like, “Yes. She would adore you, and she’d love watching me raise you. I bet she’d get a real kick outta that.”

Mom used the parent’s curse a lot: “I hope you have one just like you!” 

Welp. I did. Bet she’d love that. (She actually would, and not like in a sarcastic way).

Place: I am glad I have​ a comfortable living situation. Our rent is affordable, our neighborhood is quiet, we have a cute backyard and some pretty trees, and when something breaks, we email the property manager (who’s a fantastic landlord– timely and responsive when needed, and otherwise makes herself scarce). 

Sometimes I miss the house, but it’s curious– it’s never home ownership I miss. I don’t miss fixing things (or paying for it, haha), or dealing with the bank or mortgage company. 

I miss things like the way the sun came through the kitchen window in the morning and washed the entire room with a soft glow, or the warm colors of the wood parquet flooring, or the dog darting across the vast brightness of the backyard when freshly mowed in spring. I miss the airy, open feel of 1500 sq ft in the early spring, with the windows open and a honeyed breeze wafting through the rooms.

But those are moments, flashes of memory that really have nothing to do with whether we owned or rented. And I prefer the storage options in our new place (no hall closets or linen closets in the old place; none!), as well as the neighborhood, schools, town, location (good walkability, close to shops, freeway access) and vastly shortened commute (House=40 min one way. Rental=5 min one way).

Just really glad we live here. It’s a good place.

Thing: A thing I am grateful for … hmmmm. I’m pretty grateful for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the constitutionally-appointed Supreme Court currently doing their best to stop some moron from pissing all over them.

Wednesday gratitudes 


I have two amazing women in my life who are great friends and inspirations to me, and I’m pretty lucky because they’re my Unbook Club pals, too– I can pretty reliably count on the pleasure of at least one of them accepting an invitation to Unbook Club, so I don’t feel like all alone. Of course, the beauty of Unbook Club is that you’re never really alone among fellow book-lovers– I have to say, I’m glad I found Unbook Club, and met the lovely regulars.


Keeping with the bookish theme, I do like the wine bar Unbook Club is held at. It’s got a nice, casual vibe to it– laid back and welcoming. The food is good, the menu is affordable, and the few wine flights I’ve tried are pretty nice.


Going three for three, I am glad for books and publishing. I’m glad to live in this era, when literacy is common, it’s acceptable for women to read, and books are both plentiful and affordable. These are all things that make me happy.

Glad game (x2)

I forgot to do this yesterday, so I’m going to do two for each entry.

A person I’m glad to know:

  1. My son. He’s a pretty cool kid, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to have him in my life and watch his personality develop. He’s intelligent and compassionate, sometimes a little impatient and possessed of a firefly attention span … but he is always a joy in my life, and sunshine to my heart.
  2. My sister in law. The road we’ve traveled hasn’t always been smooth, but it’s been worth the journey. Having a friend who is also family– a sister, even– is a truly valuable and precious thing, and our friendship is definitely a source of gladness in my life.

    A place that makes me glad:

    1. Hmmmm. Pioneer farms in Ohop. Yup. I fuckin’ loved that place as a kid, and as an adult I’ve had the opportunity to return a few times with my own son, my niblings, and with visiting friends who want to entertain their kids. I still love it. Grown-up me is just as enchanted by the tour as child-me was (albeit slightly disappointed I can no longer dress up in the far-too-small pioneer costumes available). I love that place, and every part of the tour. It makes me happy.
    2. Ocean shores. Icy cold the water may be, with waves like a kicking shock to your skin, but this is the coast I grew up on. These damp, firm-packed beaches are what comes to my mind when I hear, “sand”. I love the chill of the Pacific Northwest, the bracing bite of the wind off the waves. I love how even on the hottest, sunniest day of a Washington summer, the waves numb so cold that you can’t stay in more than 20 minutes at a time. It’s great– I can’t help grinning like a fool whenever we head out there, because nothing beats it.

    A thing that brings me gladness.

    1. My Nook Reader. Look, I love physical/ traditional books. Always have, always will, as the books accruing on every surface of my house can attest. But I also love being able to fit all my books on a slim device that fits into my tank bag or purse or backpack. I love not having to pick and choose which books to pack when traveling (because what will I be in the mood to read when we arrive in our destination? It’s a completely different place!). And it makes me really fuckin happy to not be supporting Amazon. 
    2. My KitchenAid mixer. It’s KitchenAid red, because my mom’s favorite color was red and after she died I sort of adopted it as a theme color in my life. My husband bought it for me as a gift a few years back. Apparently some of his coworkers tried to warn him I’d be mightily offended by a gift like this– thank the gods he ignored them! I grew up learning to cook with a KitchenAid mixer, and for years felt half-crippled in the kitchen without one. I use it damn near every day; definitely every week. It’s my primary kitchen tool, and one my favorite therapy aids. Stressed out? Bake a cake!

    glad game

    There’s a bit much negativity in my world lately, and I want to practice noticing the positive. So I’m gonna Pollyanna it up in here and play a bit of the glad game for a bit (I’m shooting for a month), with my own spin:

    1. A person I’m glad to know,
    2. A place that makes me glad,
    3. A thing that brings me gladness.

    Today … hmmmm.

    Person: My kid sister. I’m very glad we’ve grown up to be friends. She’s a really cool person, and conversations with her often light up my day.

    Place: I love the town I grew up in, honestly. I love the familiar curve of the freeway around the lake, the tall evergreen trees spiking up along the hills, the marshy lowland estuaries. I love the pale, washed-out blue of the sky in spring, half-covered in fluffs of white, and the heavy slate grey skies of winter. I love the brighter sunny blue of summertime, stretching over honey-scented air and green hills, with the purply-blue of snow-capped mountains jagged on the horizon. I love the familiar shape of the houses and neighborhoods, the businesses I’ve grown up shopping at, the streets I learned to drive on, the parks I used to play in, the lake I used to swim in. I love this town. Every corner has a memory.

    Thing: I have a TWSBI fountain pen, and I fuckin love that thing. I mean, I love a nice smooth inky glide on a pen regardless–huge fan of gel-tip ballpoint pens–but holy Zeus and Loki, fountain pens are amazing. I can write by hand for hours, and my hand doesn’t get all clenched and cramped from pressing down to get the ink (or pencil) on the paper. Love it!