Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, May 14, 2021

Just Breathe

Two years ago today, I was in France with my husband.

We were visiting my 1st cousin Pascale and her son Xavier who I had never met. We hit it off and it was the time of our lives. The town they lived in was quaint. Lovely.

My cousin Pascale and I would spend hours, chatting, drinking espresso. We would just sit and talk. Bonding. 

We would start talking early afternoon until the sun set (sunset was at 830 pm or so in France that time of year). Then we would drink a couple bottles of wine and eat crackers and cheese. Talking more. 

It forced me to slow down and be in the moment. We took walks, canvassed through Rouen. Strolled Dieppe. 

I tried to chillax and listen. Patience has never been my forte. I'm always doing something, always on freaking task.

This feels like so so long ago. Yet, not. Similar to our trip to France, the pandemic changed me. It, too, forced me to slow down. I stopped traveling. I worked hard but also made dinner many nights. Started a podcast and took a MFA class. Finally, yes finally, spent the weekends finishing my memoir and then writing a new book. 

Then the last couple weeks at work have been so insanely busy and stressful that I started back into my old habit of just doing. Going hard. At a cost. A cost to me.

Today, I'm taking the day off, and will be reflecting on who I am and the kind of person I want to be. Do I want to be the most efficient person? 

Or do I, perhaps, just perhaps, want to be at ease in life, letting go, and just be me. Fun JEM. Cool JEM. And yes, busy and organized but also just in the moment. No more anxiety or stress energy. Just there to be me and let my self shine. At work and at home.

Last night, I realized that I had my work computer but that I forgot my laptop cord when I was at court and the office. 

How was I going to check email? Then I realized, it's 6 pm, why are you worried? Of course I soon realized I could use my other cord to charge but still, let it go, I told myself. You are not tethered to a computer or to your phone. 

You are tethered to your husband, family and dogs. To your art. That's what sustains you.

Then I took a deep breath and sat and listened to others perform for two hours. I laughed so hard at one piece that my stomach hurt. Wiped tears from my eyes. Breathed.

Life was good.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Zen Pen

 It's 10:30 pm. I can't sleep. Everyone is asleep but me. Chewbacca, my spoiled shih tzu, is snoring. So is Adrian. Frodo is downstairs because he can't do stairs.

I love my blog. It's where I capture the day to day. During the pandemic, it became my lifeline, my diary and my solace.

Writing is very solitary. For the last three months, I've been working on my latest project almost every weekend. I've been in a kind of isolation. Just me and my keyboard. Working on some footnotes on Wednesday evening about did me in. My eyes burned after as if I'd been in a fire. 

But blogging is different, at least usually. It's more laid back. I write these blogs quick and on my phone. I post and edit and re-edit. Then I let them go into the universe. It's a freeing form of writing in a way. Not so formal. Plus, it's great practice writing like this. Making your brain find the words quick and then, putting it all together. Zen.

The thing I realized over these last ten or eleven years of blogging is that writing is a muscle. You must do it everyday. And all weekend if you can. It's something that needs to be flexed often. 

Over the years, by writing this blog, I've become disciplined. People often ask how I do it all: the full time job, writing, and podcasting. Truth is, I'm always working either at my job or at my writing or podcasting. Always. And I rest by reading. The thing is that I enjoy the writing. I really do. But what I really like is reaching out to the world with this blog.

So here's my proverbial writing hand reaching out to you. Let me know what you practice at: yoga, cooking, watching movies, or maybe reading? Everything is fair game! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Whirlwind

I've been writing a lot lately. Editing. Creating. 

Yet, my writing was not predestined. It was a choice to focus on my writing. A choice to start a creative writing Masters program. A conscious decision to finish my books. It is late nights. Early mornings. Lots of coffee, less beer.

My career as a deputy public defender was also a choice. A choice to follow my passion. My heart. My quest for a better world.

We all live with constraints. Some of these constrains are those society imposes on us, but there are those we put on ourselves. We think we "need" all of these possessions. We think that our worth is valued monetarily rather than creatively.

For me, art defies commerce. If I make money from my art great, but if not, that's OK too. It's not that I don't want to get paid, I do and think it's crucial that creatives demand to be paid. But I also am just grateful that I have the economic privilege to have support for my art through my lawyering day job.

The older I get, the more the veil falls. I see the man behind the curtain. This is all an illusion in a way and intentions matter. Just the imagining of a creative endeavor helps and urges the universe to create it.

There are times it is magical. I believe one can make things happen with visualization and hard work. This is not delusion. I'm the evidence. Exhibit one. I've been a dreamer my whole life. I've imagined myself as a lawyer, a writer and a performer.

And here I am. I'm all of those and more. A whirlwind is coming. We're all in it. Create. Create. And create some more. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Remembering

This morning, I thought to myself, I'm lucky. So so lucky. I have a home I love, my husband, my sisters and mom, my spoiled shih tzus and a good job. I have my education, my writing, my school and my podcast.

What I don't have that I have wanted: a child, my books published and contentment. The books being published will happen, the child is unattainable at this point age wise, but contentment, now that's the tricky one.

Contentment has always been the hardest thing for me. I am never ever content. It's part of what drives me. "Slow down!" my husband says. "No," I retort back in my no nonsense voice adding, "Never."

What are we here for? That's a question that may be rolling around in your head too. Especially after this roller coaster ride of a year. The pandemic has made many question their lives, including those truly. Inching my way toward middle age has also made me think. What is truly important in life? 

Is it accomplishments? That car you drive? The way you look? The house you own? 

No. 

I would argue that we are a sum of what we create in the world. The family and relationships we have, the  lives we touch, the people we help and the creative endeavors we engage in. 

In short, who we are is what we are. But it's more ephemeral than that. How you will be remembered is who you are. We are memories.

And because I write memoir, and love spinning gold out of the dust of my own memories, I'm remembering who I am and who I was. But most of all, my writing allows me to keep reminding myself of who I want to be.



Friday, April 23, 2021

Vacation all I ever wanted

There's a lyric by The Go-Go's that says, "Vacation all I ever wanted/Vacation had to get away". That is how I've felt for the last year. I've been yearning to get away. To "get up and go" (to name another Go-Go's tune). So I'm on vacation. And happy. 

I spent my morning reading and listening to all of my favorite chill out tunes by The Flaming Lips and The Shins. With some X and Sex Pistols thrown in to wake me up.

To vacation is to relax. To chill. To decompress. To read in bed staring out the window. Vacation for me is room service, jacuzzis and lounging on a pool chair in the sun.

Since the pandemic hit, we've all been cloistered indoors. My vitamin D levels were alarmingly low. Pale and bloated, my skin and weight suffered. 

During the early days of Covid, I was stuck inside all day and would work early morning to evening without taking a break to even change my clothes. I bought three sets of satin pajamas and used them interchangeably. 

My dogs were happy to have me home but I have to say, it wasn't healthy. I don't do boundaries very well even during healthy times and my home life and work life became so blurred that I couldn't get away. For some reason, I couldn't stop myself from opening my computer on the weekend to try and get ahead for the week. And I would lose hours and hours and emerge blurry eyed from my den.

The thing that saved me (and by "saved" I'm not exaggerating because my mental health was at risk) was my writing and podcasting. It gave me something to focus on. No matter what, every week I had my master's creative writing class homework due (I'm taking one class a semester for now on the 5 year plan) and every month, a podcast to plan. My creative work gave me an excuse to disengage from work after putting in much more than my required hours. It allowed me to focus on my creative side which is restorative. It gave me a pause from my taxing job where I'm trying to save people from a cruel system of injustice.

For us creatives, that is everything. For some, writing may be a chore but for me, writing is everything. It gives me a place to put everything going on in my head. I never stop, as my husband often tells me, but writing allows me to breathe and gives me space.

Back to my vacation, I'm sitting here writing this staring out the hotel window at the desert view listening to Bowie. 

I have to say, there's nothing I'd rather be doing. I think I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and doing what I love with those I love. Isn't that what life is all about my friends?


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Today and a list

Today is a day. It's just another day. I am up at 4 am and I've been up since 2 am after falling into bed exhausted at 7 pm. 

Reading through some blogs from the last year, I realize that I've documented a journey. A journey that was not always pleasurable. Yet, I'm glad I've written it. So here's a list. I love lists.

A list of things I've realized during the pandemic:

I am prone to wearing the same thing every day.

A house dress is my preferred attire after satin pajamas. 

Pajamas are for day, a punk rock tee and shorts are for bed.

I like to cook breakfast but not dinner. I'd rather order in or eat toast.

I use a lot of ink cartridges and my printer hates me.

My home office has become my work space and my bed and couch my creative space.

I have some serious intestinal issues.

I drink way too much espresso and left to my own devices, with no one checking me, I will finish a huge box of nespresso in a couple weeks (don't ask me how many pods that is because you don't want to know).

My dogs sustain me while also concurrently driving me insane.

My voice is my own.

 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Dogs in my space

My two shih tzus, Frodo and Chewbacca, are awake and tussling with one another as usual. I break it up. Frodo has a back issue, so he can't wrestle like he used to. They growl and circle one another in their dog like way. 

Chewie jumps on the couch and snuggles up against me, his caramel eyes beseeching me to feed him.

When I took Frodo outside this morning, I watched as he tried to lift his leg to pee. I put my hand out to balance him, but his leg collapsed and he leaned against the bush and stumbled as he regained his balance. 

Frodo turned his head and glared at me. I said aloud, "Frodo you did good, it's ok." Frodo ignored my cheerleading and turned and walked in the house. Chewie followed him inside.

It's 6 am and it's time to feed them their meds. Chewie is on multiple heart medications and Frodo is on multiple medications for his back. Every morning, I wrap their meds in ham and beg them to take it, but at least half the time, Frodo is somehow able to find the pill and spit it out. 

For most of my life, I was a cat person. Then, one look in Frodo's deep black eyes, and I was hooked. Frodo was a small ball of black and white fur that sucked on a blanket and growled like an Ewok. He still sucks on his blanket some thirteen years later. 

Chewie came into our lives a year after Frodo did and soon, he became my little duck, following me around wherever I went. They are my loves, my pet soul mates. 

As they get older, it gets harder. Frodo's back issues make me weep because he just wants to run and can't. It's heartbreaking to watch him struggle. Chewie has rallied and has been doing well on his meds.

Truth is, I want them both to live forever. They are my everything. These dogs in my space keep me present and remind me to live in the moment. They remind me to not get lost inside of my head. They show me what is important in life. And that sometimes, happiness is simply a bowl of food and a pat on the back. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Friday

It's Friday and I'm in our jacuzzi listening to music of those who have passed. DMX and Bowie. Prince. Too many too soon.

It makes me sad to think of how fleeting life is. How for many, it's full of sorrow. It doesn't matter how much money you have. Life is hard. And for those without, it's even harder.

This morning, I woke up and thanked the universe for being alive. At court yesterday, I was trying to be extra present for my clients. There is so much sadness. My job is hard but I'm always there for my clients. And their families.

I'm so frustrated by the criminal system. People don't  understand how it destroys lives. Even after my clients restore and plead, they're at the state and probation's mercy. Do this. Do that. If not, incarceration. The rest of my clients, those who can't get out because of incompetency, are trapped at the jail or state hospital.

Scream it out, I think, maybe someone will hear. Most of my clients are in what must feel like a hopeless situation, trapped in a cage, while I write this. I can see the moon and stars but they can't. I can breathe fresh air, they can't. 

Tears well up and I swallow, my lumpy throat packed with too many of my own melancholy thoughts. I don't know how much longer I can do this work. My clients need me but I need to find the light in this darkness.

Every day, a little piece of my soul rips off by even participating in this horror of a criminal system. I want to do something in my life that brings joy into the world. Because as I said earlier, life is short, fleeting and all too precious.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Poem at midnight

 Poem at midnight


I'm side sleeping

But not sleeping

Not yet 

Benadryl breath 

Breathe breathe 

Headphones 

Touch pillow

Neck cracks 

Breathe in

Out remember

It's ok

You'll fall

Eventually into

Nothingness 

Waiting 

Laying 

Mind flits 

To quiet 

Ears still

Covered by

Headphones 

Waiting

Not so 

Patiently

To dream



Upside

The upside to waking up at 4 am is that I'm writing this piece. I had to take a short break from my blog due to the demands of work and school. It seemed like I took a week off but it's been a month. Time moves by so fast, like a car on the freeway that flies by you. That's why a consistent writing practice is so key. 

Relaxation is also important so I took the day off Wednesday and went to the beach to hang out with my twin sister Jackie who was staying out in Ocean Beach with her gal pals. I kinda just popped in, something I rarely do, but I was desperate. I'd been working extreme hours at work and then all weekend on school. 

My brain was tired. I had bags under my eyes. I was grumpy and exhausted. I'd had a form of tunnel vision with everything at work and school along with my writing and I simply could not disengage from my computer or phone. In short, I needed some beach time. 

The beach was lovely. I'd never been to Ocean Beach. It reminded me of Newport from when I was a kid, before it was so bougie. Or Venice. Jackie and I walked to get avocado toast. We walked the vendor stalls in masks with her dog Lizzy and then just sat on the beach. I couldn't relax but I did my best. 

Water has always been my zen so I went into the ocean up to my waist and let it take away my anxiety. The waves came at me. I pulled back and let the water lap and wrap my legs.

We walked the city which helped. I felt like I hadn't walked in a year. Jackie was very kind to me. That helped. I breathed in and out. In and out. Over and over. That helped too. 

I kept thinking to myself, when did I stop having fun? When did I stop being fun? Why am I so tense all of the time? Why do I live in my head and not in the moment? Why am I always time checking myself and on task?

We both love to eat so Jackie and I had huge shrimps at the marina with cocktail sauce and crackers. We shared a cup of clam chowder. We chatted and walked her dog again. Then I got on the road to beat traffic. Almost three hours later, I walked inside my house. (Guess I hadn't left early enough.) I said hello to my husband and mother in law. My dogs kissed me all over. 

At 8 pm, I fell asleep, the imagined sound of the waves from earlier in the day lulling me to sleep.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Work in progress

I'm a work in progress. I'm up, it's 5 am and I've been up all night. After a stressful day at work and a night of finishing my homework, my brain refused to turn off.

While laying in bed, I made lists in my head. Thought of my "to do" list and scratched off tasks, added others. I created a promo for my podcast. I read an article and scrolled Facebook. 

At some point, I fell asleep for a couple hours, but was up again at 4 am. I thought to myself, if I could just clone myself. Or add more hours to a day.

My dogs whined. I got up and padded downstairs. Today, like most days, I have client visits early from home. It gives me so much anxiety to do these early morning but it's a necessity right now in these pandemic tinged times. It's still too dangerous to visit the jail.

Watching my dogs lick their paws, I vowed to be mindful today. To be grateful. To be content, despite my looming deadlines, where I am.

Right here. At home. Watching the sun rise.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Saturday hydration

It's Saturday and I'm relaxing. Finally. I know I have to work on my homework and my book projects, but I have Monday off so it's a little less stress. Still, staying on task all the time is hard.

It brings to mind an Audre Lord quote. She says:

“It is never easy to demand the most from ourselves, from our lives, from our work."

She's so right. Excellence is hard. And exhausting. 

Yesterday, I had a stressful day at work starting early, after weeks of the same. Then, after lunch, I crashed. My brain would not process information. I felt as if I was moving a car through fog, hence the term "brain fog", squinting to see. My eyes kept closing and I was nauseous and dizzy.

It turns out I was pretty severely dehydrated. I have been drinking a lot of coffee and not enough water. My husband made dinner and I ate and went upstairs. I couldn't work on anything so I watched TV and slept off and on. My husband urged me to hydrate.

After drinking 3 Gatorades, I felt better. By 9 pm, I was wide awake. My hydration had rejuvenated me. We watched TV and drank hot tea with steamed milk. 

This morning instead of turning on the TV to watch my newest Netflix show, I put on 50s and 60s music and started rolling around the floor with my two shih tzus. They licked my face and I rubbed their furry backs listening to the crooning of Roy Orbison.

Then, I danced in my living room with my coffee. And I remembered to drink a glass of water. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Hey

I have always been an early bird. A morning dove. One who gets the worm.

To my eyes, the sun rising in the sky is one of the most beautiful natural wonders. We all take it for granted. That it rises I mean. 

It's 5 am and I'm up writing. I'm also multi-tasking by starting laundry, and the only sounds are the lull of the washer filling with water and my shih tzu Chewbacca whining.  

In a couple of hours, I do video visits at the jail and my work day begins. 

My cup of espresso's bitterness is cut by one sugar cube. My bitterness is not. I'm grumpy having had a restless night sleep-wise. When I can't sleep I read articles and essays, some legal and some literary, and some both. I also plan my podcasts.

My brain never turns off unless I fall into music. I've found focus is best while listening to ambient music, but my mood is best listening to Bowie.

This morning I'm just here to say "hey". To capture that which cannot be captured. Like trying to write about a sunrise, it's difficult to capture early morning meloncholy in words. 

So this morning, this "hey" is from me to you. It's recognition. I see you. I hear you. I feel you. 

We're all here living lives of "quiet desperation" as Thoreau once said. What I want most is to be a woman who lives a life of purpose and contentment. I'm not there yet. My ambition is a thorn in my side at times. I want too much. I'm overextended and overwhelmed. I'm not content. 

I'm not always kind. But I'm trying. I really am. 


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Dreamer

I am up early on Valentine's Day listening to the Bowie station on Pandora and Stevie Nicks' voice comes on. I think of the lyrics to her song "Dreams" and sing them in my head.


"Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself
It's only me who wants to wrap around your dreams
And have you any dreams you'd like to sell?"


I have always been a wanderer and dreamer of sorts. I believe in the mystical. In spirituality. In prophecy and fate. In traveling to find yourself. In muses.


Lately, this need to be my truer self that I was has been haunting and hounding me. I am in the house more than I've ever been and I'm restless.


Sleep is a poor substitute for wandering and traveling. I feel asleep early last night and dreamt of Paris. In my dream, my husband and I are wandering the streets and parks of Paris holding hands like newlyweds. 


Then, my dream jumps and we're in the cemetery wandering and staring at gravestones. In my dream, I'm dressed like Stevie Nicks in a flowing skirt with purple scarves circling my neck, pink flowers in my hair and I'm dancing by Jim Morrison's grave. I'm twirling and the wind is whipping my hair.


I awake to the growling of my shih tzu and gingerly crawl out of bed. I want to stay in my dreams of other places. Of other universes. 


I want to be in a different and parallel world where I can drink my espresso in a beret and pretty dress instead of satin pajamas.


Hopefully soon, this pandemic dream/nightmare will end and I can take that trip and be the dreamer and wanderer that I was.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

JEM in the IE

The pandemic seems to be waning. People are vaccinating and the world seems a bit more, dare I say it lest I jinx it, hopeful.

It's been almost a year. I keep thinking of that so I don't forget. How reality can change in an instant. One day you're flying for a writing conference and a couple of weeks later, lockdown.

I remember the days when I would meet up with my besties on a regular basis to drink, eat and commiserate. I've been rewatching the series "Sex and the City" and what I love about it most, and what I miss the most right now, are my female friendships and bonding. The show is a guilty pleasure because in some ways what seemed risqué is now passé, and Samantha clearly needs therapy. But I love it despite all that. 

I've always said, I'm a mix between Carrie and Miranda, a writer and a lawyer. Free spirited and quirky, along with somewhat neurotic and controlling. I've always been drawn in by the start of each episode of the series, with Carrie writing and discussing a piece for her column. 

I also appreciate them showing how hard it is to be a writer, all of the financial instability, the writer's block and the deadlines. Then last night, I was watching the episode where they turn Carrie's columns into a book and all I could think was, lucky girl! If only it was so easy!

The other thing I love about the show is that it's a love letter to New York. There is literally an episode about Carrie's love for her city (the one with the sailors). Geography and my love for my hometown are so much a part of me, my life and my writing that I can totally relate. 

And it made me think, is a hometown that you love a healthy tether to the past or a way to avoid a new future?

I guess, we are where we are. And right now, I am where I am. And that's here, getting up and putting on a punk rock tee and sweats to drink coffee in the IE. It's not sexy but it's my city.




Friday, February 5, 2021

It's Friday and I'm tired

It's Friday and I'm exhausted. There's a recent article in HuffPost talking about how we're all hitting a "wall" in these pandemic times. 

See https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/coronavirus-pandemic-wall-mental-health-104500279.html

After reading it, I realized that I'm in pandemic burnout. It's taken months and months of this work and worry existence and I'm burnt toast.

This has gone on much longer than anyone anticipated. It has been almost a year at this point. How did we get here? It seems as if it was an inch by inch creeping of a lockdown and then extension after extension of the shutdown. 

At this point, I know we all just want it to be over. It's terrifying to see how quickly I've become reconciled to this agoraphobic type existence. Some weekends, I do not leave the house. It feels safe and comfortable inside. 

This is coming from the lips of a girl who is, or should I say was, a social butterfly. What will it be like when I'm allowed to go out into the world to see a concert again? Will I feel as if it's all too much effort? 

To live life fully is difficult, it shouldn't be deadly obviously, but even in a non-pandemic, traveling was always anxiety inducing. I do not sleep well on vacation, but even with my anxiety issues, it was always worth it. 

To have seen the Louvre was like a dream and to stare at the Eiffel Tower from my Paris hotel balcony was magical. A walk to get French pastry in the morning after waking up in my cousin's house near Rouen is something I'll never forget. Traveling with my husband to the wine country in Mexico and finding a Frida winery was the best of times along with watching the Super Bowl with my sisters in Rosarito.

Then, making my way to San Antonio for a writing conference. Meeting a friend for a drink. Watching the keynote address of Helena Viramontes. Doing my own reading at a tiny bookstore and hanging out with my writing friends after at a bar. Eating breakfast tacos in the morning with my roomie.

Those times are from my life before this pandemic. They are memories of a different time, one I hope to get back to soon. 

Soon. Soon. Soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A new day in the best way

Yesterday, I felt hopeful for the first time in months, years really. Almost giddy, I watched the inauguration. I cheered for Harris, clapped and raised my arms in joy at Biden's honest sincerity and cried when Amanda Gorman spoke her beautiful poem, The Hills We Climb". 

It felt so real. So true. Years of the surreal and manufactured realities has made me appreciate truth. It has made me appreciate bipartisanship and civility.

On January 6th, insurrectionists tried to take our democracy away. They tried to break us with their fury. But we won. We won.

There is still a lot to do. As someone who sees the broken criminal system firsthand (I try and no longer call it the criminal "justice" system), there is so much change that must happen. Systemic changes. Changes aimed at the very foundations of a criminal system that is based on retribution, and perpetuated by racism and denial of its inequities. Poverty is taking over and home and food insecurity is rampant. Mental health issues are on the rise. And the pandemic has made the problems even worse.

Where do we go from here? Here's what we do. We push our leaders to do more. We ask for a true democracy. Where everyone is treated equally and with compassion for all. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Messy days

I'm a mess. I'm wearing inside out pajama bottoms and a torn punk rock tee. My hair is ratted and matted, and my curly locks are jumbled together like my thoughts. I am sans shoes and bra and have a leopard handkerchief around my hair to hide the gray.

It's a county holiday but I'm underwater at work. I have to put in at least a few hours to get ahead for the week. I go through my calendar, and start documenting files and reading reports. 

The pandemic has created a backlog and this week I will pay the price. I started working on this mammoth week on Friday. I had anxiety all weekend about it so decided to work today to alleviate the stress. I have a new tactic where I put emails in drafts to send out later. It allows me to prep without seeming like I'm too far ahead.

I decide to go for a drive to my favorite coffee shop to get coffee and avocado toast. Blasting Sledford Mods, I roll down the windows and sing along. Speeding down Glen Helen Parkway, I feel alive and free.

The traffic light turns green and I make a right on Sierra. Pulling into Klatch Coffee's drive-thru, I look in my rear view mirror and it's worse than I thought. I look a fright. 

But fuck it. We're in a damn pandemic and I need coffee more than I need to impress anyone. Embrace the mess, I think to myself. And I promise myself to brush my hair later. 

I guess the point of all this is to show that I, like many of you, are struggling to keep it together. But I am keeping it together. One day and one espresso at a time.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Strange days

The limits of written discourse are clear here. There is really no effective way to convey how I feel typing this out in tiny characters on my phone at 5 am.

The house is quiet. All I can hear is the dripping of the faucet.  This has been a strange week and I am in a strange mood. I've had a rock made up of anxiety and fear in my stomach all week. I feel as if I am in a nightmare of a fairy tale and swallowed a poison apple whole.

When things happen of a historic nature, I don't think we can always process them as historic. All of the shocking and horrifying moments on Wednesday, January 6th, felt surreal. They felt like the plot of a bad Netflix show. Yet, they were our moments. History in the making to use a cliche. And us, all of us, sat staring at our televisions in our small pandemic lockdown worlds. You might have even ordered a pizza or downed a beer. I just sat there. Mute. Transfixed.

It's hard, even days later, to reconcile the events. They seem not quite real. Did that really happen is a question we might even ask ourselves in the future. 

Yes, it did. It really happened.

Everything still just seems so unsettled. With the transition looming, I still worry for our country. 

The one thing I realized this morning is that this last year since March has been a long car ride of worries. It's as if we are on a train to somewhere unknown. And as I lay here, I think to myself, I hope everything goes OK. By everything I mean the transition and inauguration as well as the pandemic and vaccine.

I'm sure that I, like all of us, just want this mess all to be over. I want to go back to the days pre-pandemic and pre Capitol riots when the world felt less chaotic and scary and not so tumultuous and unnerving. 

But I also realize that for many, especially for those less privileged than I, the world has always been this way. 


Thursday, January 7, 2021

A day of infamy

Yesterday was an unbelievable and historic (in the worst way) kind of day. There are really no words. I was working from home when I finished prepping my calendar for court the next day. I had celebrated the Dems winning in Georgia. Then, taking a break, I saw a news alert that a mob had attacked the Capitol.

The rest of the afternoon, I was transfixed to the news. I couldn't tear myself away. I texted my husband who had no idea what was going on. When he got home we watched the news together. All night.

I had never watched a live certification before. It was tedious and also fascinating. I admired the senators who withdrew their objections and shook my head at those who persisted. I listened to the speeches. Some Senators had the courage to make impassioned statements defending liberty. And I marveled at the fact that, mere hours after an attack on democracy, our democracy was back at work.

Can you believe it? Our Capitol was overrun with insurgents and domestic terrorists. The security and police just fell apart and did nothing. It must be said, this was not protest. These people were armed and had an agenda. Where was the security? How did these people get in the halls? That will be an ongoing question.

But really, is it that surprising that this occurred? The President fanned the flames just hours before. He told them to go to the Capitol as did Giuliani who told them to engage in "trial by combat". As a lawyer in criminal defense, I see their conduct as incendiary. They instigated this riot. They should be held culpable.

I do not trust that this all ends here. We need to protect our democracy. 

I believe in laws and the Constitution so let's implicate them and Vice-President Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment at this point and take over. Even if the outgoing President objects, which he almost certainly will, Congress can delay a vote and leave VP Pence to oversee a peaceful transition. 

This needs to happen and fast.



 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Let love rule

Finally, we have put 2020 behind us. It was a year of chaos and unimaginable upheaval. It was a year of sadness. But as in most dark days, there were unexpected moments of joy and light.

The question really remains, where do we go from here? After months of this pandemic, who are we as a nation? After the protests highlighting police brutality and social injustice, has anything changed? After the defeat of a tyrannical leader, what will the next administration bring?

I think what I have realized this last year is that I, and by extension we, can achieve anything we put our minds to. And I mean anything!

My live podcast is something I never could have imagined doing before the pandemic. Years ago, really decades ago, I considered a career in broadcasting journalism, but was too insecure with my speaking abilities and weight issues to really go for it. But now, as an almost fifty year old woman, I don't give a fuck anymore what people think. 

I am me. In all my voluptuousness. In all my loudness. In all my volume and my laughter. In all my assertiveness. In all of myself. 

I love myself dammit, as exactly who I am.

That is my last thought and resolution for us all. 

No matter what 2021 brings our way, let's love ourselves and others.

Let love rule my friends.