Star Date: 2/9/17

Today I had an excuse to wake up at 5:15am, but Cindy and Julia didn’t get enough sleep so yoga has been postponed until 9 or noon, whichever is more reasonable. I took it as an opportunity to start my day. The earlier you rise, the more you, theoretically, get done. And since I naturally woke up around 4:40am, I think my body was trying to tell me something. I’m reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He talks about Resistance and how it rears its ugly head to distract us from our work. It takes the form of fear, procrastination, people, etc and it keeps us from achieving all the practical goals that take time and effort and all the creative endeavors that require our skill and attention. It’s 100% true and I see myself in every page. But we’re going on 6am now. So far today, I’ve woken up, gone back to sleep, woken up again, went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, laid wide awake in bed with Terry for 5 minutes, put on some lounging clothes, got my computer, my sketch pad, my planner, The Art of War by Steven Pressfield, my One Line A Day book and a Sharpie Pen and came down stairs, planned my day with my planner, opened my computer to work on my new website for the jewelry biz, and got completely distracted with my morning free-write. 

Why ‘Make America Great Again’ was the worst political slogan ever created. Thanks, Reagan.

I wasn’t old enough to witness Reagan’s presidency, but my dad was. He said, and I quote, “He wasn’t that great.” But he was an actor, so there ya go.

It was the 80s. People didn’t give a shit about anything. Except for like, doing cocaine or whatever. And I think Reagan’s presidency, and stupid slogan, was about bringing back the 1950s era American Dream. I assume because that was when he was a popular actor, and also, because male dominance over women was much more widely accepted. And what misogynist wouldn’t want to go back to a time when women could be mothers or have careers, but not both. And couldn’t apply for their own credit cards without their husband’s or father’s permission. It’s nice to be needed.

Yes, I’m calling Reagan a misogynist. But I’d call anyone a misogynist, and a couple of other things, who thinks that our country was better for people in the past rather than in the present. I know it’s not perfect. It never will be, but the goal is to always get better, to give people more liberty, more freedom. So when you say you want to go back to a time when people had less of that, specifically women and people of color, that worries me. Because let’s face it, white men, America has always been great for you. It was created for you, by you and with your best interests in mind. There’s literally no denying that because it’s 100% true.

But I’m going to give Reagan, Trump and anyone who actually says this dumb thing, without being ironic, the benefit of the doubt. I think there are a lot of Americans out there who have felt their government hasn’t been doing anything for them over the last 8 years. Which is funny because every Republican I know goes on and on about how the government should stay out of their lives. Except when it comes to abortion. Government should totally be in women’s vaginas. But I digress.

People didn’t know it yet, but when Reagan was campaigning in 1980, they were yearning for a simpler time. After the Vietnam War, after disco died, after doing lines of coke while roller skating, they wanted to get back to their American Dream. They wanted to own houses and raise families and go on exotic bi-annual vacations to places like Disneyland and Cuba. I mean, no, not Cuba. Mexico! Maybe Europe when the kids got to college and could really appreciate it. Maybe all that culture would keep them off drugs. Cocaine in particular. You did it, and are fine, but your kids really shouldn’t. Reagan-era parents just hid their marijuana stash as best they could, and went out to mow the lawn or something. It was a new decade, and what better way to counter 10 years of rampant excessiveness than with a slogan that implies we had to go back in order to move forward.

Cut to 2016, the age of misinformation and millennials*. Trump, in his infinite wisdom, asks himself, “Who is a Republican president everyone loved, and what was his campaign slogan?” Answer: Ronald Reagan. Make American Great Again. “Kellyanne, can we rip off Reagan? Let’s do it anyway. People will love it. It’s gonna be ‘uge. I’m the greatest, and I have a very smart brain. Look at me go, Kellyanne!”

Have you ever heard that saying, ‘Good artist copy, great artists steal’? And it actually worked. It actually fucking worked. Amazing. It’s just too bad that we’ve come too far to go back this time.

Like, this American Dream bullshit. What the fuck is that? I don’t want to own a home. First of all, I can’t afford it. And if I borrow money from my parents, I just get shit about being an entitled millennial. Plus, when I was in college, the housing market crashed. It doesn’t really seem like a safe investment when you knew 25-year-olds who filed for bankruptcy and moved back in with their parents because they lost their jobs and could no longer afford the home they’d bought just a year prior. Anyway, the only people I know who buy houses these days are friends who are married, getting married, or accidentally got pregnant. And they move, almost exclusively, back to the neighborhoods where we grew up. Closer to family, perhaps? Maybe it’s what their parents recommended and could afford for them? Who knows. And why the hell would I want to have a baby? So it could inevitably become my parent’s responsibility? Because I can’t afford them either. And I really don’t want to start a cycle of poverty.

Is there anything else that we can tack on to this “dream” so that it even somewhat applies to me? So that ‘Make America Great Again’ doesn’t feel like some old cliché that’s as rung out as a dirty sponge living under your kitchen sink? Retaining my human rights. Being financially independent. Not having debt. Those are my dreams.

So I’m getting my IUD, and I’m writing, writing, writing, hoping that someone in the world notices me and says, “Hey, you can write for us. We can pay you half of what you’re asking for.” And I say, “Okay.” Because that’s usually how it goes. Then I empty my menstrual cup, go make dinner and think about where I thought I’d be at 29.  

*All information presented in this article is potentially incorrect. But who gives a shit about fact-checking? 

Nasty Lady Problems

Today I have my period. I’ve had it all week. I’ve been physically uncomfortable, but this morning my cramps were out of control. So I did some restorative YouTube yoga with Adrienne, and I feel much better.

It also cleared my head from the disaster that was the third and final presidential debate. I’m sure most people who’ve been watching share my sentiment: Thank god this is almost over. But here are a few gems from last night to reflect on as this election comes to a close:

“Bad hombres.” (Sigh) I literally threw my hands over my eyes when he said this, as if to shield the rest of my senses from Donald’s casual racism.

“No, you’re a puppet.” This was hilarious.

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.” Oh, shut up.

What’s most irritating about the debates, and Donald’s campaign in general, is that he’s treating it like he’s on a reality television show – keeping us “in suspense” about how he’ll handle defeat, talking over his opponent like a child in a tantrum, and throwing in one-liner jabs for cheap laughs and quick thrills, which his supporters grossly mistake for victory.

I’m sorry, but on what planet did Donald Trump win last night’s debate? Just because this is the best he can do, doesn’t mean he won. Almost every poll I’ve seen has stated that Hillary came out ahead, and by decent margins.

But it’s not just Donald’s personality that annoys me. It’s his politics.

  • I hate his ideas about the economy. I just don’t think larger tax cuts for the wealthy will trickle down like he says. 
  • It should not be easy to buy a gun in today’s society. I don’t care how you interpret a constitutional amendment that was written over 200 years ago. Guns are far more sophisticated than they used to be. The same rules don’t apply.
  • And women’s reproductive systems are their business. I think I can handle my own vagina, thanks.

That last one really got to me. Trump said that if elected, he would appoint pro-life, conservative justices to the supreme court who he assumes will overturn Roe v. Wade, among other horrible things, because he seems to think the constitution has no room for growth or flexibility, and should be taken as is. Yikes. But I digress.

After the debate, I took to Facebook.

Although I’m constantly discussing my political views with friends, family, and any of Terry’s buddies who I’m meeting for the first time, I almost never take it to social media. But I figure, what the hell. Everyone else is doing it.

Jokes aside, I need to be extra clear on this point. I cannot give my vote to someone who I don’t believe has my best interests in mind. Screwing with my reproductive rights is not in my best interests. My body is my business. And I don’t like the idea of other people telling me what I can and can’t do with it. And to anyone who tries, including and especially Mr. Trump, I will say this: Stay out of my vagina.

I understand that abortion is just one of many big issues that are on the table this election, and that it’s a particularly sensitive one that people come at from a range of perspectives and experiences. And I think that’s good. Different perspectives help us make well-thought-out decisions. But I also think it’s important to have empathy when we’re hearing each other. And with this issue specifically, maybe we should be most empathetic towards women who have had, or are having, or have the possibility of making tough choices about their reproductive health.

Maybe we should take a look at the other issues surrounding abortion as well, like proper sex ed in schools, free birth control in all forms, adequate parental leave for new parents, and equal pay for women. Because if we’re going to insist that women and families have children that they’re not prepared for, we should at least set them up for success instead of perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

I’m sure for my liberal audience, this is nothing new. And for my conservative friends, this rant will send me to a fiery hell. But I hope that if anyone reading was on the fence, maybe I got you to see this election through the eyes of a woman. Not all women. Just this one. And if I’ve achieved none of that, at least I got to talk about my vagina, my period and Donald Trump all in one post. 

How to kill plants and ruin your life.

Plant tags make excellent little tombstones. 

Plant tags make excellent little tombstones. 

It’s one of those rare, absurdly hot days in San Diego. The kind of day where it’s hot in the shade. The kind of day where you turn on the air conditioning. The kind of day when you don’t run, because dealing with heat and hills means you might as well be running through central Texas during summer. It’s the kind of day that you give your plants some extra water and your worms some extra cold food. I’ll comment on the latter in another post, but today, I want to talk about how I took my sad, fleshy-colored thumb and turned it into a green one.

Even before we got to San Diego, I had big dreams of starting a vegetable garden. We would work the land and eat our own homegrown, organic food; tomatoes, peppers, all sorts of herbs. I even researched how to grow potatoes in trash cans and citrus trees in pots.

Little did I realize that growing a couple of low maintenance plants on the window sill of your one room apartment in Chicago is nothing like trying to start a garden in drought-stricken southern California.

Insider Tip:
Not a gardener? Get plants that look like these–––>


A few weeks after we settled in... 

I went to a Co-Op grocer in our neighborhood and impulsively bought three different types of peppers, two types of tomatoes, a squash and a melon starter. They’re all dead now.



My first basil and cilantro plants are also in my garden graveyard. Those deaths weren’t really my fault though. The basil was one of those living herbs that you’re supposed to keep in water. I somehow screwed that up. And some sort of cat, or possum, or coup of ants ate all this cilantro.

Gone in one night.  

Gone in one night.  

Anyway, if you really want to kill a vegetable garden in southern California, don’t water it. That was the mistake Terry and I made. Not that we didn’t water it at all, but we certainly didn’t water it enough. That little circular garden actually holds 6 to 7 very large bags of dirt. It’s kind of huge. And we’d just take the hoes on the sprinkler setting, get the top soil wet and call it a day. Idiots.

When our plants started shriveling, we brainstormed what the culprit could be.

“It’s the soil,” Terry suggested. “There’s something wrong with it.” There was nothing wrong with it. Terry thought I had bought cheap dirt, or weird dirt, or the wrong kind of dirt for the vegetables we were growing. That’s the advertising industry for you. We’ve manipulated people into thinking they can get dirt wrong. Either way, he took it upon himself to buy two additional bags of a different brand of soil and add it to the garden. This did nothing except add more soil as we added the same amount of water, further starving our poor plant babies.

I thought maybe he had a point about quality and suggested we try a fertilizer. This helped in the most insignificant way. The plants did appear to bounce back, but for a short-lived “last gasp” as they say. It was too late. They were too far gone. Had we gotten them to start growing again, they likely wouldn’t fruit.

I decided to give up on this year’s sad little harvest and try to grow a few herbs in pots. Maybe I jumped the gun, I thought. Pots have a nice control to them, much more forgiving of beginners and the dumb things they do. And so far, with the exception of that thief who stole the cilantro, and another who was interested in sage, things have been going great. Basil is on point. Cinnamon Basil is just bursting. Bee Balm is in full force. And to tell you the truth, Sage is bouncing back, slowly but surely.  

I’ve also focused on my cactus and succulent plants, which are doing quite well. You might be saying to yourself, “Of course they are, Mary, you live in a semi-arid climate,” but why don’t you just back off and be happy for me.

Key Take Aways:

  • Just because you are a human cactus doesn’t mean your plants are. Unless they are. Then you’re golden.
  • Understand the soil to water ratio of your garden.
  • When in doubt, just use pots.
  • If you can’t manage any of this, get a cactus and call it a day.
Honoring those who are still with us.  

Honoring those who are still with us.