I’m in my final semester at UMass Amherst in the Union Leadership and Activism program. I have a remote semester in January in which I do my capstone project and then I graduate with my MS. Why am I telling you this? Because today we launch our 4 day fundraiser to fund our scholarship program.
I’ve benefited from this scholarship as have many of my fellow classmates. This year we’re spreading a donation link out among our social networks to see how much we can raise to enable the next generation of union leaders to attend this program. If you are not able to donate I ask only that you pass along the link.
The people who are making unions more diverse, inclusive, accessible, and just are coming from this program.
Joe Biden was not my first choice as the Democratic Presidential Nominee. He wasn’t even on the list to be honest. But I will vote for him and Kamala Harris on or before November 3rd with my last breath if necessary. Anyone who is a registered voter in the US who does otherwise is a fool.
There have been a lot of people writing think pieces both before and now after the DNC about how Joe is reaching the “middle of the party” and Kamala is reaching out to the “Black vote” and how that “will heal the party”. I’m also personally seeing a LOT of folks on twitter and elsewhere who are angry. They’re angry that out of a field of Democratic candidates that included LGBTQ and BIPOC candidates for the top of the ticket we ended up with yet another old white guy.
I get that. And yet I’m still going to do whatever I have to in order to make sure that my vote for Biden/Harris is counted for November 3rd. This isn’t quite a hold my nose a vote situation, but it isn’t far off.
Here’s the thing, our country is literally and figuratively on fire right now. We’ve got nearly 200,000 dead of COVID-19, a number that could have been So. Much. Smaller. had we a competent administration in office. And that number, which is likely wildly low thanks to intentional failures of reporting in lots of states, doesn’t including “unrelated” but absolutely caused by COVID deaths such as suicides, domestic violence, overdoses, and the like.
Millions are out of work, the rights of humans all across this country are being stripped away in myriad ways, people are marching in the streets to try and, as I saw someone say the other day, “Legalize Blackness” and yet actual Nazis walk free in this land that fought to bring down the Third Reich. We have white supremacists and Nazis in our highest offices in the government and they’re enriching themselves and their billionaire friends at unprecedented rates all at the cost of the rest of us.
And yet I hear people saying that they won’t vote for Biden/Harris because, “she’s a cop” “he’s a white man” “he wasn’t my top choice” “I would have preferred X” “I can’t vote for someone who put black people in jail” etc, etc.
Here’s the thing. Biden/Harris are not gonna save us, they’re not gonna fix it all. No administration in the history of ever has done that. Not in one term, not in two, not in three.
But another term with Trump will kill us. That’s a fact.
And sitting in a position where you put your personal distaste of Biden or Harris over the good of this nation is a position of extreme privilege.If we expect the Republicans to put country over party then we should expect the same of ourselves, especially right now.
I want ranked choice voting. I want more than 2 parties. I wish it wasn’t this way. But right now, this is how it is. Right now, is not the time to try and make those things happen. Right now we’re voting for our very survival. We’re voting for our lives.
People are dying. If you don’t know someone who has died of or been ill with COVID, just wait. You will. And another 4 years of looting the American public, deaths en mass, and a destroyed government infrastructure is going to be the least of our worries if Trump isn’t beaten in a landslide.
Trump and his cabal are the greatest danger to our country, to each of us individually, and to the world any of us has seen in our lifetime. Every vote for anyone other than Biden/Harris is a vote for Trump. Hold your nose and and do your job as a citizen of this Republic and vote to save it.
After filling out many applications for many different dogs, Kelly and I were finally approved for adoption of a lovely little girl.
Everyone, meet The Baroness Nymeria Frieda von Hopkins-Michael. Her friends call her Nymeria. She is a short-haired dapple red boar mini-dachshund weighing about 8 pounds with startling blue eyes. She came from a rescue called Out of the Woods Rescue.
Dash and Nymeria enjoy a sunbeam together in our kitchen near the door to the deck.
Like her dearly missed older sister, Thumbelina, she is a puppy mill rescue. Nymeria comes from Pennsylvania, in Amish country. She did not even have a name, just a tag that said “11”.
She was born in September 2016 so she is about 3 1/2 years old. So she is by far the baby of the household now, which is kind of ironic since she has had a litter of puppies every heat since she was able. This poor little girl lived in a rabbit hutch with a wire floor for pretty much her entire life, until she was rescued.
Still, she seems to be in pretty good shape considering all she has been through. She has her appointment with our vet scheduled this next weekend, but her foster mom, Chrissy, and the good folks at Out of the Woods did an amazing job with her initial shots, her spay, and her dental in which she lost17 teeth!
She is full of energy and has a great sense of curiosity. So far she gets along well with all the other animals. Just this weekend she touched noses with Violet, which was a huge and pleasant surprise. There were cats in her foster hom who she apparently ignored, but Violet was very concerned upon her arrival. But she doesn’t seem interested in chasing them, and so far she has only had a passing interest in them at all.
She and Dash LOVE to play together, and it’s great because now he will be worn out enough to go to bed without much fuss, the way he would after a long day of walking around at Brimfield.
She is named after Nymeria, one of the direwolves from ASOIAF/Game of Thrones, and after Frieda, a character from Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
The good folks at Out of the Woods Rescue sent us home with food, medicine, toys, and so much more. I can’t tell you how thankful we were for their treatment of our still scared but wonderful little girl. If you are so inclined, please celebrate with us by making a donation so they can continue their excellent work.
This weekend is full of great things happening in and around Boston. Take a look at what’s happening and please come join us.
Tomorrow from 10:00am – 3:00pm Geoff and I will be at Endicott Park in Danvers, MA for the 2nd Annual A Day in the Park Fair. There will be more than 50 craft and other vendors. The park itself has an unbelievable amount of things to do. This is an ideal day out for the family, including the dog. Dogs are welcome at the fair and in the park as well. Plenty of parking is available. Directions are here.
Musically, Teri and the good folks at Meravelha are going to be busy this weekend and next.
Experience the magical sounds of the Middle Ages in a relaxed setting accessible to all ages! Bring the kids, a pillow or blanket to sit on, and/or arrange the chairs to suit your group.
Members of Meravelha will talk through the songs in English, show slides with medieval images that relate to our music, and provide an early instrument petting zoo following the show and answer questions for inquiring minds, both young and old.
Coloring pages and crayons will also be on hand for young ones who like to listen while doing something with their hands.
About the program:
The Road Most Traveled features music from several stops along the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and explores the both the lighter and more ponderous aspects of the religious journey, culminating in the celebration of arrival. The music includes Cantigas de Santa Maria, selections from the Codex Las Huelgas and Codex Calixtinus and features exotic melodies and dance-like rhythms that will get your head bobbing and toe tapping!
Sunday, May 28 at 5 PM – 6:30 PM
Church of Our Saviour, Brookline 25 Monmouth St Brookline, MA 02446
General: $20, Student/Senior: $15
Children 12 and under: $10, 2 for $15, 3 for $20
Children 3 and under: Free
Barbara Allen Hill
Josh Schreiber Shalem
Additional Performances (of the usual quiet, adult variety): May 20, 2017 8pm
Church of the Good Shepherd 9 Russel Ave Watertown, MA
I have two shows coming up, one is this weekend! If you’re in the greater Boston area you’re in for a treat. I’m vending as a part of North Shore Vendor Events tomorrow and in March. These shows feature people with handmade items, like me, and also people that own and run small business. That means I’ll be featuring a LOT of “new” vintage items I’ve been collecting, fixing, and curating over the past few months.
This is reblogged from medium.com. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a better description of not only my own experiences with bullies, abuse, and stalkers, but also of just how to not be an ass on the internet. This popped up on Twitter today, probably because in this age of Nazis in the White House, JCCs and Jewish cemeteries being defiled, and children being attacked in Anaheim this kind of actual straight talking is sorely needed. Please read this, Sara is writing from a place of experience and wisdom.
Here’s a primer on how to behave with regard to the human people otherwise known as “women.”
Hi folks. The following is a good guide for how to treat women on the Internet, whether you are a dude, a lady, a genderqueer person, or a unicorn who somehow gained the ability to read English (JK we all know unicorns can read any language they damn well please.) I’ve seen men engage in some of the practices I describe unfavorably, but guess what? I’ve seen gals do it too.
This is not about one instance in my own life but a series of many instances in my own life and in the lives of other folks online. Some of you don’t like what you perceive as “p.c. bullshit.” This ain’t about your notion of political correctness (which is usually code for “being a decent human being,” but whatever, I’m not here to quibble with you on that and I’m a blasphemous broad myself so I get your frustration when you feel you’re being cramped.) But this is about acting like a good person and not a damn fool.
I’m laid up sick with an upper respiratory infection and yet I’m still doing this kind service because stupid behavior on the Internet exhausts me. And I want to be able to just link folks to this where necessary. Feel free to do so as well. Let’s go.
If you get blocked or unfriended, do not ask why. Do not approach. We did it for a reason (probably not drunkenness, although that is possible!) If we want to tell you why, we will. Go be a good person and imagine it’s just because we were having a bad day. Or ask yourself why and really look at why we might’ve decided not to engage with you further. If you want to say to yourself, “What a dumb bitch!” I guess do that? Whatever. Just don’t say it to us. Stay away.
If you DM us on Twitter and we don’t respond, don’t DM us again. This is simple.
If we tell you to take us out of a thread on Twitter or elsewhere, do it.Don’t ask why. Ever. There may be someone in that thread of whom we have grown weary or with whom we stopped engaging a long time ago. It’s quite likely they’ve harassed us and we’ve blocked them, but when you respond to all of us, we still get the tweets clogging our feed. Alternately, we may simply be busy and not have time to keep up.
Just do it.
Imagine we asked if you could move your car so we could back out of the driveway. You’d just do that, right? It’s easy. Okay, just do this.
You know when Eliza in “Hamilton” (c’mon bro, you’ve listened! your bro has!) says, “I remove myself” from the whole story? She’s in a situation that is too painful and sad so Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is a certified genius for real, gives her the out. Later she jumps back in of her own volition. That’s us. Except we don’t have a wonderful dude doing it for us, because we’re writing our own narrative here. Be an ally or just a decent person and respect that choice.
Do not respond to every tweet, every Facebook status update, every post we create anywhere on the web. Being a fan is a fantastic thing. I’m a fangirl myself. Love the fangirls and the fanboys of this world. But this goes beyond fandom. When you give the impression that you seem to think you’re in a constant conversation with us, it feels creepy to us. Often, this is an issue of you having trouble recognizing boundaries, and that’s not always your fault! We are all wired differently and we have gifts and difficulties, sometimes around perception. So if you’re a person with a good heart who may perceive things differently than most, you’re still probably going to respect a boundary once it’s explained to you.
But there are others who are not that way.
There are others to whom I say: why do you have all the time in the world to do that? Go look at other cool stuff too. Art, music, politics, your kids’ homework. Buy a Solange album. Yes, the latest is fantastic but she’s always been great. Never afraid to experiment. Revels in evolution and progression. Did you know? Go listen. (And don’t bother Solange. She deals with enough.)
If we never respond to you, we probably muted you on Twitter or unfollowed you on Facebook but stayed friends with you so as not to enrage you or upset our mothers because you still live in the small town where we grew up and our moms have to deal with you at the grocery store. The muting or unfollowing may be because you’re annoying or you have terrible opinions or horrific taste in furniture and yet you won’t stop posting photographs of your awful furniture.
Don’t ask us if we muted you.
It may be because you seem unstable and we don’t want to further inflame you by blocking you. (Did you know that this is how we have to deal with folks online for our own safety? It’s true. Usually the folks with whom we have to contend in this manner are men. Not always.)
Do not make sexual or flirtatious comments on the social media of a woman you don’t know. If you do know her personally IN A SEXY WAY and you make such a comment and she checks you on it, back off. You’ll know if she wants to fuck you because she’ll fucking fuck you. Until then, exercise some restraint. It’s better for your soul and your dong in the long run. I’m giving you strategy here, dude: if you want to shtup us, shut up and be a good person. We find mystery exciting! (That’s not always true, it just sounded like something that would be in a Maxim article from 1997.)
If we block a person or unfriend someone, do not ask why. Do not say he’s a really great guy and look, he’s really sorry.
HE IS NOT A REALLY GREAT GUY. WE DO NOT BLOCK OR UNFRIEND GUYS WHO’VE BEEN REALLY GREAT TO US.
There are people to whom I will never speak unless absolutely necessary and with whom I will never work unless I have to, and it’s specifically because they thought it was time to play Cupid for creeps. You have no idea what we deal with and what we hear privately. It’s not your business.
Your nice guy friend who is nice to you and is so nice to your daughter and has never raped a woman in front of your face and who maybe says he’s super sorry? Yeah, he may be a serial harasser, a rapist, or a dude who punched us in the face one night in a drunk blackout. You don’t get to know that information unless we want to tell you. You don’t know the shit we know about him and we’re not telling and you and he should be so fucking thankful for that. Is he married? Oh, be a thousand times more thankful. You know a tiny bit of the story, and it’s all filtered through him.
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but YOUR BOY IS AN UNRELIABLE FUCKING NARRATOR.
And if he’s pleaded with you to be the intermediary and you actually did it: congrats. You fell for it. He’s an abuser trying desperately to draw his prey back in. He’s using you for that purpose. Stop being stupid.
And get better friends.
If somebody says mean things about us elsewhere, do not tell us unless you genuinely fear for our safety. Then tell us. We can choose whether we wish to alert the authorities. You win zero points with folks you want to love you when you say, “Look at this stranger talking shit! Look at me defending you! I’m such a great person!” Oh really? We see right through that. “Mean Girls” came out a long time ago. This ain’t high school. Go away.
Do not give out our contact information without asking our permission.Some of us have websites and places where that information is readily available, because we’re happy to engage with requests we can honor. Direct them to these places if necessary. And if we don’t respond? Sometimes it’s a safety issue. Sometimes it’s simply an “I’m busy” issue.
Women get endless requests for help and assistance in various ways at various times. Everybody in the world thinks they have the right to our time, our money, our emotional labor, our business contacts, the works. This is true whether you are A Gal Of Note On The TeeVee or A Gal Who Is Awesome And Definitely Of Note With Zero Interest In Having Her Name In the Newspapah. We can field those requests with grace if we wish. Or we can ignore them. That does not make us rude. That does not make us ungenerous. That does not make us bad people.
I gave up nice a long time ago. Nice did me no good as a woman. Niceness is a lie they teach you to keep you sweet and compliant while you’re screaming inside. You know what I picked instead? Kindness. I chose to be kind. Kind means I respect your boundaries and you respect mine.
When we speak about abuse and we don’t use names and we don’t give clues, there is a reason for that. Do not DARE question our choices to tell our stories and to use anonymity and discretion to protect ourselves and the people we love.We do not owe it to you to name names. We do not owe it to you to be the heroine. We are not cartoon characters. We are not fairy tale princesses. We are not imagined fearless, flawless brave warrior women sent from on high to do battle with dragons while you sit from afar and say, “Yeah girl, get it!”
Look, you wanna know why we don’t name names, beyond “discretion” and “etiquette” and “not wanting to get sued for saying something that’s true but that we can’t prove because nobody was in the room when it happened?” Because we don’t want to get hit, slapped, raped, beaten, or killed.
If you do not know how present that is in our lives, even in my own privileged life, this is my invitation to you to listen the next time a lady says, “He…he wasn’t…I mean he tried to be a good person, I really think he’s a good person but…you know…there were issues.” and then looks away uncomfortably. What’s her body language saying? You might consider saying, “I’m here if you need to talk. I don’t expect you to and I’m not pressuring you to. But know that I won’t tell anybody and I won’t judge you.”
And then, for God’s sake, honor that commitment to your friend, your colleague, your sister, your mom, whoever. And if they don’t wanna chat, leave it. Leave. It. Alone.
And by the way? THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD TREAT EVERYBODY. I drew you in with that “ladies” headline but this is actually about treating human beings with dignity in physical space or online space.
You are part of a collective whole and I am addressing the whole. If you and I have had a personal interaction in which I have expressed displeasure, do not approach me about this. Just do better in future.
If you have had a personal interaction with a woman who is not me and she has told you to go away, stay away. Don’t go back and say, “I’ve changed!” unless you’re working a program that asks you do so, within reason. Your amends should not be her burden. She may not wish to forgive you now or ever, and that is her right.
Good people make mistakes. I know I do, all the time. But we apologize unless it would be stressful or dangerous or offensive to the injured party. We move forward and we do better. Just because you’ve violated certain boundaries of politeness and ideal human behavior does not automatically make you a monster person, okay? So don’t go into some shame spiral.Shame is useless unless it prompts better action. Take this information. Think on it. Do good things in the world.
I’m going back to being physically ill now. Share this with friends and neighbors and the aforementioned magical unicorns who can read everything. Not that unicorns need this information. They’re born compassionate and polite. The rest of us can often use a little help with that.
As we are about to watch these United States pass into the hands of a fascist demagogue who will likely attempt to roll back historic gains for minorities of every kind, let us take a moment and celebrate the, “… rich and diverse experiences within the transgender community.”