Not Doing the Thing

You know how you have a blog and you want to write on the job but then things happen and you don’t write for many many months and when you come back you feel like you have to write a long explanation of everything that has happened since your last update?

Yeah…I’m not doing that.

But here’s a picture of my cat!

Poppy face!

Trying New Things

One of my biggest issues with our current socio/political environment is just how f*cking fast everything happens. I’m working on a few larger stories but in the meantime on this here blog? Even the crickets have gotten bored and moved on.

This, as you all already know, really bugs me. I’m super active on Twitter but when it comes to sitting down and taking the time to type out more than 140 characters at a time? Somehow that never ends up happening. I mean, if I’m writing I might miss a breaking development! There are, like, half a dozen a day now! I have to keep up!

Okay, look: I know I really don’t. And I’m working on cutting the cable news cord a little bit at a time. It’s sort of like trying to cut through a super well-done steak with a plastic spoon but I’m trying.

…I feel like there could be a super witty marrying of that simile and the spoon theory but I probably won’t think of it until about an hour after I hit publish on this.

Last night I realized that, like so many projects I take on, I am making all this way harder than it needs to be. I’m stressing out about creating original content on Twitter. And original content on Medium. And original content here.

WTF, Self. Why not just work once, post thrice?

One of my current favorite Twitterers (Tweeters?) is @AlexandraErin (and if you’re not following her you really need to fix that. She’s amazing). She writes primarily on Twitter, creating these awesome threads full of insight and information. Sometimes she writes long-form too but she’s very open about her preference for Twitter.

I spend most my time on Twitter too, but I’m also very conscious of the fact that Twitter is not everybody’s jam. So, I’m going to try something out for the next couple of weeks: I’m going to try creating posts out of the things I tweet. Sometimes it will be pretty basic, like what you’re about to see. Other times I might add some context, summation, long-form friendly stuff. I don’t really know yet. Let’s see how this goes first. Ready?

Here is my Twitter coverage of today’s White House Daily Briefing via Storify because I wanted to try that out and see how it went.

 

 

Fundraiser Update!

I published a quick update on the fundraiser itself (have you filled out your form yet?) the other day but wanted to write something longer here.

Thing The First: I’m Moved!

The day after the (fully funded within 24 hours holy crap thank you!) fundraiser launched, I went over to my new landlord’s office and signed my lease. The day after that I moved in!

Thing The Second: The New Place

The new place is four-ish blocks from my old place so I didn’t move far, but this new apartment is worlds different than the old apartment:

  • Building is far more secure: key fobs, on-site security, etc.
  • It’s around 200 sq ft bigger (a change that has been a surprisingly tricky adjustment).
  • I finally have a view! Instead of looking directly into my neighbor’s living room (old place) now I look out at Marquam Hill (where OHSU lives). My apartment gets natural light! I don’t have to leave my apartment to see the sky anymore!
  • Instead of hoarding quarters, the laundry room in this building accepts debit cards and the machines will text me when they’re done. The laundry room has easily three times as many machines, too.
  • The building has its own gym for residents! I have big plans to use it. Y’know, later.
  • Regular bathtub! Claw footed tubs are gorgeous but getting into and out of them when you’re short? I do not miss it.
  • SO MANY ELECTRICAL OUTLETS. My old apartment had five electrical outlets, total. I have more than that in my new kitchen.
  • Radiator instead of tiny forced air heater.  I don’t have to use it much because the building is well insulated so I stay pretty warm (I’m wondering how this will pan out in summer).
  • Full sized refrigerator and stove/oven! The foodies will be disappointed to learn it’s electric and not gas, but meh. I can make more than three cookies at a time!

Price-wise, I’m not paying that much more for the new place than I was for the old place. The difference works out to about $50ish, depending on how the utility costs shake out.

None of this would have been possible without all your help. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for helping me get out of what turned out to be a not great place and into somewhere safer and better. And that brings me to the very best thing about this new place.

I loved my old apartment. I really did. It was a weird old building and my apartment definitely had its share of quirks and I think that’s part of the reason I loved it there. Probably the biggest reason I loved that weird tiny place so much is because I worked hard and saved up and found it/afforded it all by myself. I’d never been able to do that before and accomplishing that goal made me feel really proud of myself.

I’m going to love this new place more. Not because it is so much better, amenity-wise, but because when I look around this space, I see you. Which sounds cheesy, but stick with me. My living here is a direct result of an amazing and supportive community having my back. It is literal and physical proof that I’m not and don’t have to be my own little self-sustaining island. This is something that I’ve known for a while now, but as someone who with a brain that likes to tell some really mean lies? Being able to see proof that my brain is lying? Is a really big deal.

So, again: Thank You. Times a millionty billionty googleplexes infinity squared. Forever and ever, amen.

Now fill out the form so I know what to make for you!

Traditional New Year’s Day Post!

via GIPHY

2016 is over and I feel like I should be super happy about that, but I can’t quite let my guard down just yet. While I’m not a horror movie fan, I’ve seen enough to know that this is likely the part of the movie where everybody gets all giddy because they’re “finally safe” just before the monster pops back up for one last ultra-gruesome murder. I guess the good news is that usually after that happens everybody gets serious and kick ass and, unless the movie makers have hopes of a franchise (which, let’s face it, most do), go flipping nuts in their zeal to kill the monster. They go full scorched earth on its ass and while I don’t want to lose anybody or anything else to one of the worst years ever, I do kind of want to kick last year’s ass in a big way.

Starting with this blog post.

Just kidding. It’s New Year’s Day. I’m tired. And in the middle of doing laundry. And I’m hungry. But it is the tradition among those of us who make things or aspire to make things that we take some time on this day to talk about what we did last year and what we want to do in the following year. So, without further ado…

(Every time I say that, the Looney Tunes theme plays in my head.)

Let’s talk about 2016.

2016 was an epic poonado of a year. We lost so many and so much. Every loss hurt more than the last. I’m not going to list them all here because we’re all well versed in our losses and rehashing them here won’t help anybody.

Plus, 2016 did have some goodness in it. Beautiful art was created and hilarious jokes were told. Relationships were started. People I love got married. People I love got engaged. People I love created new people to love.

After almost a decade apart, I got to spend time with both of my older brothers this year and good conversations and adventures were had.

I did some merch. I went to some shows. I saw a few movies. I read a bunch of books and discovered some new authors to follow. I went back to school (very part time).

And though I lost many heroes, I found some new ones too.

Probably most importantly this year, I finally found…my calling? My purpose? I guess? It seems super weird to call it that. But it kind of fits. In less pretentious terms, I got fed up with the major media outlets totally fubarring their election and policy coverage and decided to do it my own darned self. I did this primarily on twitter though I did manage to eke out a few blog and Facebook posts along the way. And you all helped support this sloooooooow ongoing shift from “if it pays me I will write it” to “I’m a political writer and independent journalist.”

So. That’s 2016. It was a rotten year in so many ways, but it’s important to remember that some wonderful stuff happened too.

So. 2017. What’s Next?

My biggest hope for 2017 is that there is more good than bad. The challenge here is absolutely going to be remembering that “good” does not always look simple or happy or even make us smile. This year “good” is going to be ugly. It will look a lot like fighting. And shouting. And demanding. And sometimes it will feel terrible and it will hurt. We’ll have to remind ourselves over and over again that Stephen Sondheim is right: Nice is different than good.

For my part, I’m hoping to contribute more. And because I think we should all play to our strengths when we’re figuring out how best to defeat the dark side, for me that means more words on pages. It means using the time I spent mired in “the other side” to inform and educate and not just shoving those memories down and hoping to forget them. It means getting comfortable with my discomfort. That part is going to suck, but it will be worth it. Hopefully.

Personally? Yes, I did make resolutions thank you for asking. I don’t always make them but this year I thought it might be a good idea.

–More outside, less in.

–More water, less soda.

–More movement, less sitting.

–More reading and music, less TV.

–More blogging, less retweeting.

–More facts, less speculation.

–More people, less screens.

What are you hoping for this year?

And now for all the self promotey awkwardness! Here’s my Twitter. Here’s my Facebook. Here’s where you can send monetary support, if that’s a thing you want to do. Please follow, like, share, all that good stuff!

A Great Big Thank You

Around this time last month, I was having a really rough go of it. Like, the worst depressive episode I’d had in over a year levels of rough. Like, on the verge of not being able to take care of myself rough. Literally all I could do was sit on my couch, cry, and obsessively watch social media. I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t work and, yeah. It was bad.

Normally a few days of not being able to work shouldn’t be that big a disaster, but because the run up to the election had been so hectic and I’ve been so bad about finding a way to reliably fund this whole independent political writing/journalism thing…let’s just say the situation was Dire.

If you’ve known me for more than five minutes you likely know that I am not good at asking for help. I have almost a pathological aversion to it. This is not hyperbole. I have friends who will back me up on this.

But last month, there weren’t any other options. So, I asked. And then I cried a lot and called myself a bunch of terrible names because I’m supposed to be able to take care of myself all time no matter what. Forever and ever amen.

Before I could finish my laundry list of terrible names and reasons why I suck, though, you all started responding and the responses were overwhelming. So many people pitched in to help me and to let me know that I was cared for and supported. And the responses kept coming. So, I cried some more but for a wholly different reason.

I should have written this sooner but I wanted to take a moment to say a Great. Big. THANK YOU. Thank you to everybody who responded and for every way you responded. Even a month later, I’m overwhelmed by how quickly you jumped to help me and I will forever be grateful to you for it.

Thank You!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you!!