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Fact: Less than 20% of the American people actually cast a vote for Trump.

Alternative fact: Trump represents the American people. #altFact

 

Truth: People are standing up to oppose him at unprecedented levels.

Alternative truth: Get over it. He was elected, so give him a chance. #altTruth

 

Reality: The people of this country are divided around many issues, and always have been, which is good generally when healthy debate can be had, and people can find common ground to work together on issues that are important to all.

Alternative reality: Memes, internet trolls and name calling will make it all better. #altMeme

 

Reality: We all live in our own bubble. It’s called life. We have all lived a different one. Our perspective is shaped by experience and interactions and the pursuit of knowledge, among many other things. Give the person next to you a chance first, before making sweeping generalizations.

Alternative reality: I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m smart, you’re dumb. #altReality

 

Disclosure: I did not vote for Trump. I did not agree with his policies before the election, and more so now. I will stand up against things that I believe are fundamentally wrong and things that I believe will hurt me, my fellow Americans, and those that immigrated to America, which is all of us – just at different times (yes, even Native Americans immigrated here – a long, long time ago). It does not mean I am automatically at odds with people that voted for Trump. I know many that are good people.

Alternative disclosure: I like kittens more than puppies. #altPets

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I wrote this in the hours after the US Presidential Election. It may not rise above platitudes or say anything that hasn’t been said a million times already, but it represents how I feel and what I was specifically thinking a week ago.

And heck, this is my blog, I can post whatever I so desire! Right?

 

Dear Citizens that Voted for Trump

On behalf of liberal, college-educated voters, that have friends and family that may not be White or American or Christian, who are apparently out of touch with the realities of our country, who don’t see the blue-collar working class perspective, who don’t understand the anger and hate, who try to value everyone equally and embrace diversity and respect women, who care about our country and take pride in its success and hurt when it fails, I would just like to say:

Point taken. You have our attention. We hope you know what you’re doing.

Fresh off the election, it doesn’t seem like it. We always have tomorrow. So now it’s your chance to help us understand, for tomorrow’s sake.

Please don’t say you hated Hillary. Spite and hate are not acceptable reasons to vote for a man of Trump’s character and values. You represent and believe in more than that. You must. Tell the rest of us what you believe in. Only us, the citizens, can make it a reality, not Trump.

One Confused American

 

Dear Citizens that Chose Not to Vote in this Election

Don’t let apathy guide you anymore. Do something to make amends, because you have failed this country.

One Pissed Off American

 

Dear Citizens that Voted for Clinton or any of the 3rd Party Candidates

This is no time to falter or lose hope. Our voices can still be heard. All voices will be heard. Our country has persevered through worse obstacles, and though as a country it is not always pretty and doesn’t always work, it’s still ours to make of as we can.

Eyes are open wide now. Don’t joke about moving out of the country, be present and do something.

One American Standing Tall

 

Dear Citizens that Cannot Vote in this Country (for whatever reason: age or people who have been incarcerated, etc.)

Your voice matters now more than ever. Use it for change. Use it to influence others. Use it, because a vote is not the only way to express your beliefs.

One Adamant American

 

Dear People that Immigrated to this Country and Have No Vote

Trump does not represent the America I want to live in. He does not represent me or my beliefs. Do not believe that, as a whole, Americans can be pigeon-holed as one thing or one issue. We do have different views over a range of issues. We are free to choose, we are free to speak, we are free to disagree. That is why you came here, and that is why you are welcome here.

We are again at a very divisive moment in our history, but a moment that doesn’t represent the end, only a continuation of the struggle to be a better place to live. This election may be a step back, on many fronts, but I believe it will lead to many steps forward, because we will accept nothing less.

One American Standing With You

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Kuma’s Last Day

On Friday, October 17th, my best buddy, Kuma, passed away.

Anybody that knows me or has read this blog, will recognize Kuma. I post photos and write about him frequently.

It was huge shock. One that I still can’t believe. I don’t know what it means yet to be without my dog.

His back had been bothering him, something that has come and gone over the years. Miniature dachshunds are prone to back problems.

The solution is to have him chill out for a time, and to not jump on things or climb steps. Sometimes he would take pain meds. We’ve managed this before.

But on Friday he wouldn’t eat. If you know Kuma, that’s a huge warning sign. He eats everything. All the time. He was also pacing and laying down in the middle of floor. Only to get up two minutes later and lay somewhere else. He was lethargic.

I took him to the vet. His temperature was 94.5 (98 to 103 is normal). He had pale gums. They rushed him up for X-rays and blood work. X-rays showed a mass in his abdomen. Blood work showed low white blood cell count. They took a needle to his abdomen and discovered he was bleeding internally.

He had no option but immediate surgery. Best case scenario would be a benign tumor on his spleen. But it didn’t look good.

We had to get to the Friendship Emergency Hospital in Friendship Heights. During rush hour in DC.

They performed surgery. A Hail Mary.

He had multiple bleeding tumors. Worst case scenario.

Nothing could be done.

One of the worst days ever.

I had to get that off my chest.

I will honor Kuma in a later post.

 

 

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Assessing the Damage

While walking the wiener dog around the block after Hurricane Irene, you could instantly see the havoc shrewn about in the form of whole sticks and leaves. Even some weak branches fell victim.

So far estimates are between $7 and $13 billion of damage in the wake of the hurricane. Washington, D.C., consider ourselves lucky. Now get out the brooms.

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A Fearfully Insane Rally

I sashayed down to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (October 30th) on the National Mall, wondering how many people would actually be out causing mischief. I can report that indeed a hefty number of citizens came. Either curious, confused, confident, carefree, cautious, calculating, crazy, or Colberted, they were in force to…well, to see what was going down. To be able to say, ‘I was there’.

By the time I got there, the crowds were so dense that it was impossible to get on the Mall anywhere before 9th St NW (the stage was on 3rd St NW). I got caught in the throng multiple times, but by the time I was ready to leave, it took 20 minutes of pressed-together shuffling to walk between 9th and 7th.

There are three pieces to this rally puzzle. The crowd, the show and the message.

The crowd – as mentioned, the Mall was bursting at its flabby seams with humanity. Many of these rallyers were adorned with Halloween costumes and most were carrying some type of sign, 97% of which could be considered ironic, funny or had a clever twist on not acting insane.  They other 3% were from some truly crazy nutters. Do a search on Flickr or Google and you’ll find scads of them. My favorite is below. The mood was largely positive, but you could the read the furrowed brows of confusion on the many just trying to figure out where to go. It was crazy and there was not a lot of organization. Clearly more people came than expected.

The show – first things first. I heard nothing. I saw nothing. Whatever comedy and music they were doing on stage, I assume was dryly ironic or funny because it true. The sound system didn’t reach the people in the way back. e.g. Me. Whole sections of the crowd chanted, “LOUDER. LOUDER. LOUDER.” The jumbotrons were too far away to see clearly. I eventually gave up trying to see the stage, and focused on the real show; the crowd. Then I left.

The message – for anyone that is familiar with Stewart and Colbert, you knew it would be a comedy show, skewering, making fun of, and chastising the loud, the overtly partisan, and the just shy of insane pundits, media and politicians. At the end of the rally (which I watched from the comfort of my couch), Stewart gave a nice speech that I recommend you watch. He goes for a few laughs, but mostly makes his point. (Stewart’s closing speech)

The message is clear – disagree but listen, respect other’s opinions, don’t shout, believe strongly but tolerate, don’t let fear and insanity win (unless it’s wearing a beard).

Fear the Beard

Crowds of humanity

This that the stage?

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Here are some more photos. I am too lazy to write lately, true, but at least I can’t be accused of not giving you something to ‘oooohhhh’ and ‘aaaahhhh’ about.

These represent the 47 billion and 44th (47,000,000,044) through 47 billion and 51st (47,000,000,051) photos taken of the Washington, D.C. Tidal Basin during the cherry blossom season. But as you can clearly see, these photos are the best ever.

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You actually believe that I would offer up something useful? So gullible. You’d be lucky to get a single pointless tip out of me. Actually, here is a pointless tip…

Writing Inspiration

Often, while trying to sleep, I get a burst of inspiration. I throw aside my covers, jump up, crack my knee, blindly look for illumination and glasses, grab a pen that doesn’t work, fumble for paper, scratch said paper with said non-working pen, curse, scramble for another pen, and finally scrawl down my idea.

When I wake up the next morning, I’ve forgotten all about it. Except for the throbbing knee. Later (sometimes days), I will find some random scrap of paper laying about. I look at it from different angles, but for the life of me, I can’t decode the chicken scratch. Who wrote this? Then, much like a 3-year-old, I get frustrated and petulant. Maybe I throw something. Maybe I kick and scream.

After awhile, I chuck the paper and strike the thinking man’s pose. (Photos available) Then, explosively, I land on the perfect idea. Simple. Elegant. Brilliant.

I furiously play at the keyboard like it’s an out of tune piano. I try to wrestle this fresh idea into some semblance of sense. Letters, words, whole musical sentences, wildly careen off my fingertips and magically appear on the screen. Then I pause. I catch my breath. Now is the hard part. I must break this idea like a stallion, so it will be tame and pliable. Taking a deep breath, I jump back into the fray. Soon, it’s all over but the crying. I own that idea. Now I can shape it. It’s like silly putty. I give it a few more tweaks, slap on a witty retort, add a period (or not depending on my mood), and voilá…perfection. I have just crafted the Pulitzer blog post of the century. I click ‘save draft’ and go grab a beer.

Sometime later (usually sobered up), I peek in on my wonderous idea. My jaw drops open. What utter, useless crap! Bollocks! Did my dog puke this up?

I fall back in my chair, pursing my lips for an epic curse. But I refrain and simply click ‘publish’. I’ve got other things to do.

peace

“Of all the fatiguing, futile, empty trades, the worst, I suppose, is writing about writing.”Hilaire Belloc

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