Breaking

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I am an ordinary person. My ego is average (or at least I like to think so). My intelligence is average as well. I am terribly creative, and I own that. Even though I operate this sporadic blog, I do not over-seek fame or recognition, which I also have to own, as that has often led to the stagnation of my career and ambitions. I share all of this so that it is understood where I’m coming from. I’m just a girl.

 

My country is breaking. It is being destroyed from without and from within, by ugly ignorance and by ugly individuals. All the perpetrators of injury to America are wrong, but our elected officials who choose to damage our country are the worst. There is no excuse for their continued behavior and they should absolutely be held accountable and in certain cases, prosecuted.

 

In 1968, president-elect Nixon committed treason, but his actions were hidden and he was never charged for that crime. (Look it up – dag.) Now, 50 years later, we find ourselves with another treasonous president at the helm. Too many of our elected officials have jettisoned morals, values and reason in exchange for god knows what from this president. Looking at the downward spiral of my country, it would seem we are incapable of learning from our past. I fear we are doomed to make the same if not worse mistakes. I am more than sad and I am also terrified.

 

I am inspired by the Womens March and its efforts. I am inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe in peaceful protest and efforts toward decency. In short, I believe in decency. I actually believe there are more decent people in America than not. But if they’re anything like me, they don’t know what to do right now. They don’t have a clue how to help move the United States away from hate and ignorance, and toward love and kindness. Those words are incredibly simple, I know. But they’re good words. They matter. Or at least they should.

 

On inauguration day in January of 2017, I began wearing a black armband. I did this because I was in mourning for my country. With only a handful of exceptions, I wore it all year. During the last few weeks of 2017, I put the armband aside. I had begun to feel that the act of wearing it was casting a shadow over me. That my mourning was adding to the depression I had felt since the previous presidential election. Depression is hard to carry. It’s dark and it’s unhealthy. If taking off my armband might ease my depression, I was willing to take it off.

 

Now it’s February 2018. The depression hasn’t lifted and I’m quite certain the source is the horribly ugly person occupying the White House, along with the shameful people who choose to do his bidding. The willful ignorance expressed by the most vocal among us is incomprehensible. What’s more, it is un-American to my thinking. So-called party loyalty that outweighs all else deserves no respect. Having lost respect for many people has also added to my depression. Some of those individuals show no signs of willingness to reclaim their decency. That’s heartbreaking.

 

All of this leads me here, to writing you. I don’t know your name. I have likely never met you. But I am asking you to dig deep and lead us. Us – the good, decent people of America. We need guidance, we need a plan. We need someone to show us how to peacefully move our country out of ignorance. We need someone to provide us with practical ideas for action. A yearly march is wonderful. Kneeling during anthems that don’t represent all of us is brave and patriotic. I’m all for these things. But what about every day? How can I show my disdain for this administration while supporting my country’s potential for decency? How do I function in my day-to-day life while making it clear that my moral compass is functioning fully?

 

The armband counts, but I know exactly two people with those, and one of them is me. My mind goes back to the suffragists and their wearing white. I know I could make this choice, but I’d also have to spend money to update my wardrobe. That isn’t exactly practical. I’m asking you to come up with something – anything – that I and others can do to show who we are, to each other and to the world.

 

I know I’m not making a lot of sense here. I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never been an adult during a leadership crisis of this magnitude. I’ve never witnessed such heinous people tearing apart my country. I am at a loss. I can do my part, but I’m not the gal to lead us through and out of this, before it’s too late. I’m hoping, praying, for the right person (or persons) to step forward and guide us. Through love. Through peace. Through integrity.

 

For now, the black armband is coming back. It is still a representation of mourning. But now, for me, it is more. It is a show of my defiance of the chosen hatred of the few. It is a sign of love and respect for the good America can be, even if we’re wandering in the dark right now. I’m going to wear it, even if some don’t like it.

 

So – dear person – I’m waiting for you. I’m hoping for you. I need you. America needs you. The world needs you.

 

Thank you.

 

Mikki

Just a Girl

Los Angeles Women’s March 2018

 

Womens March 2018 - Still Protesting

 

The day after our ridiculously inept, single-party-led government failed to keep the lights on (way to go, fuck-sticks), I and 600,000 of my tribe got together in downtown Los Angeles for a march. We numbered about 150,000 fewer than last year’s march, but we still felt mighty. And so we were.

 

Womens March 2018 - 5 Girls on the Subway

 

Mister and I again took the subway down for this year’s march. But unlike last year, we started early. We did this because it was a flippin’ nightmare boarding a too-crowded train last year, and we wanted to maybe not be all up in someone’s breathing space during the hella-rough flu season we’re having. And, we wanted to relax. The early departure worked. We were comfortable and even met these 5 lovely teens, with their awesome signs. A couple of them are on the verge of voting status. I’m counting on them to show up at the polls in November.

 

Womens March 2018 - Breakfast of Champions

 

Since we arrived downtown with time to spare, Mister and I headed over to Grand Central Market for some breakfast. And some beer. Because, you know, we’re grown. Then we moseyed toward the designated gathering area.

 

Womens March 2018 - DTLA

 

Without meaning to, we found ourselves immobile in just about the same spot as last year, near the march’s starting place in Pershing Square. I had a brief moment when the immense crowd began to overwhelm me, but I looked up at the sky and tried to dig deep. I pulled myself together, toughed it out and stayed strong. A dude nearby wasn’t so lucky. He had an anxiety attack and hit the bricks. Nearby folks did all they could for him, and he seemed to be coming around after a while. Once the crowd started moving toward City Hall, the guy looked much better.

 

Womens March 2018 - Wild Feminist

 

Like last year, the mood was peaceful. Some signs were funny. Some were terribly sad in their honesty. The crowd was mostly female, but all comers were welcomed and plenty of males attended. I was happy to see so many fathers there with their young daughters.

 

Womens March 2018 - A Patriotic Pink Panther

 

After morning turned to afternoon, Mister and I did something we did not manage last year: we met up with friends. And it was lovely. Then we all made our way to our respective homes and collapsed. Well – that’s what Mister and I did anyway.

 

Women March 2018 - Vaginas Will Vote You Out

 

Only after we got home did we hear our numbers. Only then did we hear that, like last year, no arrests were reported. It had been peaceful. It had been powerful. It had been inspirational. I and my tribe will be focusing on getting out the vote during the coming year. We’re so completely over the racists and the sexists and the bullies and the liars and the cheaters and the predators and every other ugly asshole out there. I heard Samantha Bee say something about how women are like elephants in that we never forget. She’s right. We don’t. We won’t. And we are absolutely pissed off. We’re also more hopeful than ever before, and more committed to bringing about change than the assholes can even imagine. I would say to the incompetent prigs running for re-election “you’ve been warned,” but they’re too superior to listen.

 

Womens March 2018 - Womb Tang Clan

 

Those November mid-terms… Can’t hardly wait.

 

Womens March 2018 - Dog in a Pussy Hat

Bitch, It’s Saturday!

 

 

It’s been one full week since the world (the whole beautiful, fucking world, I might add) marched in support of decency. The world also marched in protest of indecency. And though there are more of us (the decent) than there are of them (the indecent), there’s still too much ugliness. My tribe will continue to combat this, though. We have to. But I digress.

 

After last week’s stunning democratic displays, I read something about a scene that occurred during the march in D.C. It’s short, so please click here and check it out. I’ll wait for you. After reading the piece, I’ve not been able to get it out of my head. “Bitch, it’s Saturday” pops up several times a day, sometimes appropriately, sometimes not.

 

And I’ve decided that if I should ever be stricken with Hodor disease (if you don’t watch “Game of Thrones”, I can’t briefly explain that one to you. Sorry.), I’d like my version to be Bitch-It’s-Saturday disease. Someone asks what day it is? Bitch, it’s Saturday. Someone cuts me off in traffic? Bitch, it’s Saturday. I’m exhausted and finally able to put head to pillow? Bitch, it’s Saturday. I’m pretty sure I could use that phrase in just about any situation. Might not be the perfect words to say, but I can imagine them fitting through laughter and tears. Mostly laughter. Just typing up this post has brought me more glee than you can imagine. To that I say, Bitch, it’s Saturday.

A Break In The Clouds: L.A. Womens March

 

 

It started on Thursday. Actually, it started a few weeks ago, when I decided I would make myself a pink(ish) hat to wear to the march. As I sat there, surrounded by yarn and crocheting away, Mister asked if I planned to make a hat for him. I didn’t even know he was thinking of going with me to the march, let alone wearing a pussy hat – a symbol of the march. I got more yarn.

 

 

But I digress. It’s been raining here in Los Angeles. A lot. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m just saying. On Thursday, there was a beautiful break in the clouds. I knew that if Mister and I were going to indeed take the train downtown for Saturday’s march, I needed to make sure our rider cards were loaded and ready to go. You see, we’ve had the ugly experience of arriving at the train station during a crazy-busy time (Rams home game), only to realize our rider cards held no credit. That day, as I recall, we waited in line for almost an hour to re-load the danged cards. It wasn’t pretty and I did not want a command performance. So when I looked outside and saw that beautiful blue sky peeking through those heavy clouds, I decided to get in a little exercise and walk to the train station to take care of business.

 

 

I was in a shitty mood. I knew that the next day would see a lying, unqualified, bully of a sexual predator sworn in as president and I was heartbroken. My sunglasses hid my tears from passersby, but I knew I was crying. And I didn’t know how to stop. That’s when she popped into my head – my great grandmother. She’s been gone nearly two decades, but she planted herself in my mind and I decided to let her visit for a while. I started telling her all about our outgoing President, and how I bet she would have loved him. I told her how intelligent and decent he is. How quick-witted and kind he is. I told her about his beautiful family and how they’ve all been incredible role-models for what a loving family can be. She kept asking questions (she was always curious) and I kept answering. Before I knew it, I had arrived at the train station, re-loaded our rider cards and walked all the way home. Granny Vera kept me company the whole time. Focusing on President Obama had dried my tears and lifted my spirits. I spent the rest of the day thinking of my Granny and the greatest President I will likely ever know. I slept well that night.

 

 

On Friday, the rain returned. I woke to find a couple of emails from a British buddy. He let me know that it was Tom Baker’s birthday (the 4th “Doctor Who”) and that the Brits were thinking of us on our day of gloom. (Actually – I think he used the word “doom-ly”. It was completely apt.) He also sent a link to a UK piece tying the US inauguration of a cheeto to “Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy” and it was hilarious. Those thoughts got me through the day and I was grateful. That night, Mister and I decided to watch Hitchhiker’s Guide. I laughed my ass off (thank you, Sam Rockwell) and the movie reminded me of the beauty of this planet. I needed that. Then Mister and I turned in, hoping to get an early start for the next morning’s march. You know – just in case it turned out to be crowded.

 

 

The L.A. March was scheduled to begin at 9am. Mister and I got to the train station at 8, beneath a sunny sky. The first thing we saw was a huge crowd, waiting in line to get their rider cards. (Crisis averted on that front!) We then went downstairs to the station platform. We immediately realized our timing wasn’t early enough. I thought we’d have to wait for at least another train or two, but Mister said he thought we could squeeze into a crowded car. By the grace of other riders, we wedged ourselves against the train’s door and stayed there until we reached the designated stop downtown.

 

 

I’m not claustrophobic. Tight quarters don’t rattle me. Crowds, on the other hand, are not my jam. Being around scads of people has become challenging for me. This discomfort began last summer, during the ugly rallies in support of Drumpf. The hatred, the bile and the vitriol shown in videos of those gatherings was disgusting and pathetic. Those pitiful, duped attendees were sad and ugly. After seeing far too much of that, I became hesitant to attend large gatherings. I can’t explain it. But it came to pass that I began staying away from big crowds when I could. Which brings me back to Saturday morning on that downtown-bound train. The photo of me kissing the train doors is a bit of a joke, but not by much. I spent my entire train ride with my face against those doors, thinking about where I was going. And why. Thinking about Mister being beside me, wearing his pussy hat. Thinking about the joyful camaraderie of the standing-room-only crowd in the train car. I was doing a pretty good job of staying calm, though my lip was sweating and my hands were shaking. Then I heard the prerecorded train announcement: “The next stop is Pershing Square.” The train roared with glee. We were almost there.

 

When the doors opened, I said goodbye to the friendly doors I’d been pressed against and joined the throng as we made our way upstairs. That’s when Mister spotted the “Impeach” button on a rider’s backpack. It made me think about Georgia, and I wondered how many people would show up to march in Atlanta. Still a little shaky from the ride, I moved slowly up the stairs, with Mister by my side. We were talking about how crowded the train had been, then we emerged into daylight and holy shit! We were blown away.

 

 

I won’t lie. I was still feeling a little crowd anxiety. But it was abating. Oddly enough, the more people I saw – people joining the march, people smiling at strangers, people introducing their children to Democracy – the calmer I became. And there was this vibe. It caught me by surprise. It also overwhelmed me. And that vibe’s name was Zen.

 

 

Seriously. The energy of the crowd was just beautiful. Because we were all packed into a street, there wasn’t a lot of room to accommodate a whole lot of bodies. People occasionally bumped into one another, or accidentally stepped on someone’s feet. But it was all acknowledged and forgiven. People of every gender, color, age,religion, nationality – all were welcome. It was calm and lovely. It was kind and inclusive. I was amazed and comforted. More than once, I cried happy tears. I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

 

 

The signs were a treat, too. Some were expected, some not. The tone of the signs was varied, and I appreciated that. (One of my favorites from the day read, “Honestly – I Would Have Preferred An Actual Swamp.”) A lot of feelings are floating around out there, which is completely understandable, given president cheeto’s hateful rhetoric. People are afraid. And they should be. This administration is hell-bent on creating hell-on-earth. We all knew it, too. But we didn’t wallow. Instead, we roared. Mightily.

 

 

Some of the signs were hand-made. Some were printed. Others were unique and ran the gamut from simple to not-at-all simple.

 

 

This one may have permanently affected my rods and cones. I’m not sure my eyes will ever be the same…

 

 

Being me, I wasn’t tall enough to see everything going on around us. Mister had to be my designated tall person, so he was able to tell me how far the crowds reached down streets in all directions. Here in L.A., our numbers exceeded all expectations and the march’s route had to be amended on the fly. We were slated to march down only one street. We took over three, if not four. (I know about 3, for sure.) As the march moved peacefully and slowly toward city hall, the assembled chanted and chatted. We took photos as we took it all in. I think we knew we’d be taking it in for some time.

 

 

I still don’t know just how many of us showed up. March organizers were putting the numbers north of 700,000. Personally, Mister and I knew loads of people who attended, but we didn’t cross paths with even one of them. I guess that’s what happens when you’re hanging out with 700,000 of your tribe members. And make no mistake. We were definitely with our tribe.

 

 

In the afternoon, Mister and I looked at each other, smiled and knew it was time to go. We walked to Union Station and made our way to the train platform. This time, it was even more crowded than when we’d started out in the morning. But we knew we could handle it. We’d fared just fine getting to the march. Getting home wouldn’t be a problem.

 

 

I wondered if the crowded train would hold the same positive energy we’d experienced in the morning. At first, I didn’t think so. Then the crowd of riders began to talk about the day. I watched the smiles return. I heard people offering to squeeze one more person onto a seat. Children, tired from the day, fell asleep in their seats or in their parents’ arms. And as we approached the end of the line, the train’s operator spoke to us all over the intercom. He said that, though he wasn’t supposed to comment on anything political, he was willing to take the risk. He said how much he admired what we’d done that day. He said that in all his thirteen years of working for Metro, he’d never seen such numbers. He thanked us for our patience in dealing with the filled-to-capacity trains and wished us well. We, the riders, thundered with applause. It was a beautiful way to end the day. I hope I never forget it.