bounce (61/99)


Hillary Clinton - Balloons

After watching four nights of what was a truly spectacular Democratic National Convention, an event that culminated in one of the most incredible moments in history with Hillary Clinton being the first woman nominated as a candidate for President of the United States, I feel … well … kind of hopeful.

It’s an odd feeling.  Hope almost feels like it’s too strong of a word for an election season that has become the equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Maybe it’s the Clinton effect and the nostalgia conjured up in me. Some kind of wistfulness for the glory days of stuffing envelopes for Clinton/Gore in the fall of 1992 while watching Murphy Brown’s smackdown of Dan Quayle on TV with other volunteers in the Clinton campaign office.  Traveling down memory lane by remembering splurging on two $20 bus tickets to travel with those volunteers to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration.

Trust me, $40.00 felt like a crazy ridiculous amount of money when you’re 22 and making $18,000 a year in your first job out of college — in a recession, no less — and staring down a shit-ton of student loan payments that you didn’t have any hope of paying off until 2015.  A date stamp that initially seemed like a million light-years in the future arrived as if only a nanosecond had passed. Ironically, these days $40.00 is still a crazy ridiculous amount of money for our family, albeit for different — yet still similar — reasons.

Yet, despite how terrified I am about a potential Trump presidency and the dire implications of what that would mean, I’m letting myself feel this wave of post-Convention hope because I need to.  It doesn’t erase or negate the fear related to all the struggle in our lives, both on a very personal level as well as on a national and global stage.  It doesn’t dismiss the the fact that exactly one week ago I penned a post (“the day after”) comparing a Trump presidency to a nuclear holocaust. Those fears and those threats are still very real, as evidenced by the news that Trump’s BFF these days is none other than Vladimir Putin.

I am rarely hopeful these days, for these and many other reasons. Hope is not always visible, regardless of where we look.

But on Thursday night I saw a future that’s right within our reach — a strong, courageous, tough leader who is, in the words of President Obama, the most qualified person to run this country. I didn’t see a dictator or someone who embodies gloom and doom.  I saw acceptance, inclusion, compassion, love.

I saw hope.

Many people saw something very different, and I’ll have a few things to say about that in upcoming posts. But for today, my personal convention bounce of hope minimized for one shining moment the anxiety and the worry that often overwhelms me these days.

I know this won’t last. If Trump gets elected, it will vanish completely. Which is why for now it’s a feeling I’d like to hold onto for as long as I can.

99 Days of Summer BloggingThis is post #61 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project. 


living history

Hillary Clinton - DNC

We lived history tonight, my friends.

Regardless of what side of this election you’re on, this has been a momentous evening. Hopefully, November 8 will be another one and believe me, I’m going to do whatever I can to make that happen.

I live-blogged during tonight’s Convention, but my comments seem to have been hacked by the Russians so I’m left with these two photos from my living room.

It’s almost 1:00 in the damn morning. I’m hoping to have more coherent thoughts later in the day.

For now, cue the balloons.

Hillary Clinton - Balloons


Live Blogging the DNC, Day 3

Obama speech DNC 7-28-2016

Obama and crowd - DNC 7-28-2016

Obama TY signs - DNC 7-28-2016

Obama and Clinton - DNC 7-28-2016

Live Blogging the DNC, Day 2

Bill Clinton DNC 7-26-2016

I got a bit of late-start with the Convention festivities since my girl and I were at an author event at the library earlier in the evening.  We were home by 8 p.m., though, with plenty of time for me to post in real time on Facebook.  I still haven’t quite figured out how to do it on here, though.

I was looking forward to Bill’s speech all day long and while it was certainly a good speech, I don’t think it was among his best.  (He knocked it out of the park four years ago for Barack Obama, in my opinion. Tonight he seemed a little off his game.)  The stories of meeting and marrying Hillary and their young parenthood years with Chelsea were charming — and incredibly important because as much as I still need to remind myself that isn’t 1993 anymore, sometimes I need to remember that there’s a whole generation who didn’t live through the Clinton administration.

And that’s who that speech was for.  Not for people like me, who volunteered with The Husband for the Clinton campaign in ’92 and who stuffed envelopes and who went down to Washington for the inauguration on a frigid January day.  Whose best years — financially and professionally speaking — were the Clinton years.   We know Hillary Clinton.  We know what she’s done.

So, yeah, not for me.  As long as it brought a few others onboard, I’m OK with that.

Here’s the live-blog from the night’s events:

10:58 p.m.
Good speech, but definitely not one of his best. His speech at the 2012 convention for Barack Obama was much, much, much better.
And what fresh hell is THIS godfuckingawful rendition of “Fight Song”?
No. Just no.
And with that, I’m done (for the night).

10:48 p.m.
Now he’s cookin’ with gas.

10:43 p.m.
I’m glad I got a snack before this.

10:39 p.m.
He’s going to name every state in the United States.

10:32 p.m.
Twenty minutes in, and we’re only up to 1984.

10:31 p.m.
We’ve heard these stories for 25 years, and Bill still makes them sound like we’re hearing them for the first time.

10:17 p.m.
“He’s funny.” – The Girl, listening to Bill Clinton
And he’s snagged another one.

10:11 p.m.
You can tell he’s miserable up there. 🙂

10:09 p.m.
Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol playing.  Apropos lyrics.

The anger swells in my guts
And I won’t feel these slices and cuts
I want so much to open your eyes
‘Cause I need you to look into mine

Tell me that you’ll open your eyes
Tell me that you’ll open your eyes
Tell me that you’ll open your eyes
Tell me that you’ll open your eyes

Get up, get out, get away from these liars
‘Cause they don’t get your soul or your fire
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we’ll walk from this dark room for the last time

10:08 p.m.
I have the kids watching. This is a pivotal moment in history, a former President nominating his wife for President. History.

10:05 p.m.
Here we go! It’s showtime. Bill is in the house and has a few things to say. And I believe he is going to hit it out of the park. Their entire relationship comes down to this moment. He owes her bigtime. I am on the edge of my seat.

I hope he comes out to “Don’t Stop.”

Show ’em how it’s done, Bubba.


10:02 p.m.
“He has already done damage by just RUNNING for President.” – Madeleine Albright

9:59 p.m.
Am I allowed to say that I’ve also known Hillary Clinton for 25 years because Hill and Bill sent us Christmas cards every year during the Clinton administration? ‪#‎TrueStory‬

9:56 p.m.
Here’s what I’m thinking, my friends. If Hillary loses this election, I don’t think we will see a woman President of the United States.

Not just in our lifetimes.

Not ever.

9:39 p.m.
Have I mentioned yet how tired I am of Elizabeth Banks?

9:23 p.m.
I’m sorry, but I’m getting a little tired of Elizabeth Banks.

9:15 p.m. 
Lauren Manning is an inspiration. I remember following her story and have often wondered how she was doing. Incredible to see this toughness and passion tonight.

8:50 p.m.
“He’s making America hate again.” – America Ferrera

8:34 p.m.
Oh, my God, Andra Day is next. I love her. Yep, there’s only one song for her to do. ‪#‎RiseUpLikeTheDay‬

8:29 p.m. 
Say their names. 

8:24 p.m.
I’m a goddamn mess just watching these mothers.


Live Blogging the DNC, Day 1



11:22 p.m.
“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight.” – Bernie Sanders

11:11 p.m.
“Think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump will nominate.”

11:06 pm.
“Hillary Clinton must become the next President of the United States.” – Bernie Sanders

10:52 p.m.
Larry David should have introduced Bernie.  (h/t to The Husband)

10:48 p.m.
Is this Convention in Minnesota or Philadelphia?

9:56 p.m.
And THAT is how you give a speech.

9:55 p.m.
During the 2004 convention, when we watched Senator Barack Obama speak, I said to Bill that we were watching a future President of the United States.
We’re seeing another one right now.‪#‎CoryBookerWillRiseToTheWhiteHouseMarkMyWords‬

9:50 p.m.
PREACH IT, CORY BOOKER. What a hell of a speech this is.

9:23 p.m.
This is stepping into shitshow territory.

9:21 p.m.
I have just never liked Sarah Silverman.

9:17 p.m.
Sarah Silverman should not be on that stage.

9:13 p.m.
Um, no. Bad choice of songs there with “Billy, Don’t You Lose My Number.”
Who the hell’s idea was that???!! Seriously??!!

9:07 p.m.
“Donald Trump doesn’t hear me and he sure doesn’t speak for me.” – Anastasia Somoza, International Disability Rights Advocate

9:07 p.m.
As absolutely uncomfortable as it was to watch Trump’s mocking the reporter with a disability (and I admit, I had not seen this before now — only the coverage of it), I can only imagine how horrible it was for that reporter. And I am SO GLAD they highlighted this in prime time during the convention.

8:54 p.m.
Al Franken’s speech is comedy gold.

8:08 p.m.
Oh, my God, that kid … I’m practically in tears.‪#‎KarlaOrtizForPresident‬

sunday salon/ currently … the heat is on edition

Sunday Salon 4With apologies to the late Glenn Frey, the heat is definitely on — both on the street with temperatures well into the 90s for several days of a heatwave and in my head with a migraine that has been lingering for most of this weekend.  No doubt, one definitely has to do with the other.

I need to make today’s stop in the Salon on the short side, since we have once again gone over our allotted Internet data usage here on the home front. The price will be a surcharge for our data consumption, but to avoid that becoming too excessive, I’m going to need to curb my time here in cyberspace.

Reliance, IllinoisMore time for reading, I suppose.  Right now I’m in the midst of Reliance, Illinois, a historical fiction novel that I spotted on the new releases (May 2016) shelf at the library. I’m only 55 pages into this sophomore novel by author Mary Volmer (Crown of Dust, 2006) whose writing has really pulled me into this story about Madelyn Branch, a 13 year old with a port-wine birthmark on her face and down one side of her body.  Set in 1874, Madelyn and her mother Rebecca move to Reliance, Illinois after her mother answers an ad in the Matrimonial Times in hopes for a better life.

Rebecca purposefully declines to mention Madelyn in her response to Mr. Lymon Dryfus, her future husband, and instead passes Madelyn off as her sister. (“Mama decided. We both agreed. Better to make explanations as they became necessary.”) Although Madelyn agreed to this deception, that doesn’t lessen her hurt and betrayal, which is a main theme of the novel. From reading the Goodreads reviews, women’s rights (reproductive, suffrage, etc.) is a strong theme as well, which certainly makes it a fitting read these days.

I need to prep some make-ahead dinners for The Husband and The Boy this week. The kitchen is an area where the heat ISN’T on. Not only don’t I feel inclined to cook during this heatwave, but something is wrong with the oven.  It’s taking forever to pre-heat — like close to an hour — so my response is to ignore it and not use the oven at all, which is easy to do in this weather.  I suppose we need to get someone out here. Between the refrigerator, a part needing to be replaced on the air-conditioner, and now the oven, this has seriously become The Summer of Broken Shit.

It’s a busier than usual week ahead: The Girl is attending a painting camp this week at the library. On Tuesday evening, she and I have tickets for a young adult author event with local Pittsburgh authors Siobhan Vivian, Nick Courage, and Jonathan Auxier.  Then on Wednesday night, I’m hoping to catch another author event with Mary Louise Parker.  Dear Mr. You was one of my favorite books of 2015 and of course, she was part of the incredible miniseries “Angels in America” which is one of the most powerful productions of all time, in my view.

There’s more I could say, but since I can practically hear the Internet ticking, probably best to sign off for now.

Hope your Sunday is going well.

99 Days of Summer BloggingThis is post #56 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.




Weekend Cooking: Farmers Market Bounty (55/99)

Farmers Market 7-22-2016

This week’s bounty from the farmers market.

Weekend Cooking - NewWeekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page.

99 Days of Summer BloggingThis is post #55 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.