Thursday, September 24, 2020

 The World Trade Center

For a few more weeks I'll be looking at the World Trade Center as I go to work. Pretty soon I'll be commuting in the opposite direction, away from New York city. It's funny because in the last almost month I've been working in Hoboken, I haven't taken much time to look around and notice things. I've been so caught up in the stress of this place and the pace of everything, so caught up in my anxiety and the pressing to do lists in my head, that I haven't noticed even the most spectacular things.  I finally find myself looking around now like I'm coming out of a haze and noticing a world so foreign to me and everything unique about it. I see the balconies of high-rise luxury apartments. I see the entire Manhattan skyline. I notice just how very close it is to where I am and wonder how I missed that all this time. I wonder how much, if at all, that kind of world will play a part  in my life.

#hoboken #manhattan #worldtradecenter

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Adventures in Hoboken

Manhattan skyline from Hoboken. 

Life in the city is a different world entirely from what I'm used to. I love my quiet, my nature and green and space. I've definitely had to get used to a next level degree of stress and driving and people and noise in this region, but it's forcing me to up my a game with regards to how much anxiety I can push through and overcome. My adventures in Hoboken are only temporary, but they have changed me just the same. Had to pull out my inner beast to conquer my fears for this one.

Had another little escapade this morning. When I got to the street where my garage is for work, the police had barricades up blocking access to the road. I ended up basically ignoring the barricades and driving right around them. When I got to the construction workers and cops in the middle of the road, I rolled down my window to talk to them, heard the one guy say, "how'd she get past that?" LMAO. Sheer will, Sir. Plus that huge gap you left on the left hand side. Might want to rethink that layout a little. 

They were very nice, surprisingly...let me get into my parking garage. Moved a crane for me and everything. ;) 

That's my act of rebellion for the day. 

P.S. The bagels here will blow your mind

Monday, June 22, 2020

Leaving Seattle

Whatever else havoc and stress coronavirus and layoffs have caused, at the same time I've seen that life has a flip side to its coin. I've had amazing things come up for me in the music world and I know it's time to embrace them entirely.

I've been surrounded by an incredible community of people supporting my performance goals in ways I could never have seen coming, and I'm thankful for these new friends. I'm also beyond grateful for my old friends, who are like sisters to me and always will be.

My dream to move across the country and live close to my little sister and real opportunities in the New York area has come to fruition. I can't believe that in August I'll be leaving the Pacific Northwest. But it's real, and it's happening, and life keeps pushing me toward my dreams at more and more of a breakneck pace.

It's such a crazy time. None of us know what safety and certainty even feel like anymore, but I've been fighting to turn sand into a pearl and I'm thankful that some really good things have still happened in spite of everything. I'm definitely going to be documenting the move and everything I do afterwards. I'm sure I will need the moral support to keep taking those brave leaps!

My mind boggles at life's insistence upon changing, but I'm ready.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Upheaval Brings Change

I just read an open letter written by a white, male officer seeking sympathy for everything he has seen and gone through in the line of duty and how much "hatred" he is receiving from Seattle residents. He calls himself one of the "good ones", and the whole letter reads like a massive pity party. It's all personal hurt feelings, but no real higher perspective.

Here's the thing. It doesn't fix the larger issue if there are "good ones" mixed into a hugely flawed system. That doesn't change the need for dramatic and historical police reform and change. The cop felt Seattle police had come a long way, he felt they were trying to change. But even if that's what he thought, the truth is he is wrong. It would never be enough left in the hands of an institution that didn't believe in its own prejudice. Humans resist real change for as long as they possibly can until they are forced to do differently. Humans hate change.

Sometimes huge things like this have to happen. Sometimes, in history, there must be a massive shift in thinking, action, and the way we run our society. Does that mean we end up abolishing the way we used to do something and reinventing it? Yes. Absolutely. Will there be hurt feelings and backlash on an individual level within the institutions that need to change? Absolutely. Does that negate what has to be done? Absolutely not. There have been cops that have stepped down and left the police force because they understood this. They get it. They didn't cry victimhood because they knew, even if they had been trying to do all the right things, their larger institution was broken and refusing to be fixed. They were sad about the whole thing, but they got it

We've had to rise up and protest for the right thing across the course of our history several times, from an end to slavery, which took a damn Civil War, I might add, to finally allowing women their right to vote and an end to segregation. Just because you feel like you are acting with dignity within a very flawed institution, doesn't mean that institution should remain in place, nor does it mean that said institution deserves only praise and fawning. If you are a cop who feels they have lived an honorable life and done the right things, take that to heart and confidently know that about yourself. Maybe it's very true. If so, I commend you on a personal level. But try to see the bigger picture. It takes swallowing of the ego and a larger perspective of history. I know that won't be possible for most cops. It's too personal for them. But it will be for some. And inevitably, given enough history gone by, it will be for most.

Sometimes, anger and overhaul is necessary, even if it offends some people, even if it's hard to watch. The bigger picture is more important. For those caught up in defending individual cops with good character and using that to vilify protesting and the movement toward actual, significant change, you're not seeing the forest for the trees. Wouldn't it be nice if human nature had evolved enough that we need only ask for justice and it would be done? But we all know that's not the case. Our desire to remain comfortably the same means that, in order for any significant changes to happen, it must be insisted upon--especially in stubborn American history. Maybe you can't see that right now. But your grandchildren will.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Racist Logic Vs Reality– Holding a Mirror Up to the Numbers

Lately I've had to take a cold hard look at whatever racist belief systems I might have running in the background of my psychology. It's not fun, and it's not comfortable, but it's also not helping anyone if I don't, as a white person, identify and root out whatever programming I have that helps to perpetuate the ongoing pain of an entire faction of the citizens of my own country.

I would urge you to examine your own inner racism. Think about your reactions as a white person.  How many times have you been afraid and locked your door when you saw a young man of color nearing your car? Got nervous on public transportation when a black kid who was dressed a certain way sat close to you? When did you feel subconsciously threatened because of skin color? Police are not the only ones who practice profiling and stereotyping according to race. 

Most white people do it. Even if you're not intellectually thinking it, you are instinctively feeling fear. The problem is that we aren't examining that fear when it happens, asking all the important questions of ourselves as to how it got there and why. Is it logical? Is it even true? Because those fears don't hold up in the face of the facts. No matter what you learned from your family, from television and movies, from media, our racist fictional narrative is not the same as statistical human reality.

If you need the statistics to prove it, I've got them. From a few years ago on the United States FBI criminal database.

If you need a reality check about who commits the overwhelmingly vast number of violent crimes in the United States, white people need only look in the mirror. There's your answer. Statistically, I ought to be far more frightened of a white man approaching me than anyone else.

Black Lives Matter - Why We Obviously Need to Say It

I'm really shocked that anyone still takes issue with the simple phrase, black lives matter. I still see some people counter angrily with, "all lives matter"! Well... I mean....duh. Of course they do. But what's that got to do with anything?

You'd have to be sooome kinda foolish not to understand this most basic concept and phrase. You'd have to be stunningly unintelligent to look at the phrase "black lives matter" and think somehow that means ONLY black lives matter. That would be an impressive degree of missing the point.

If somebody's raising money for depression awareness and says, people with depression matter, do you run up to them and scream in their face, all people matter! I mean, of course you don't. Because pointing out the worth of a struggling group when folks are not treating them with dignity, does not take away somehow from the worth of anyone else. When we say foster children matter, and remind people to adopt and sponsor children, are we also saying that ONLY foster children matter? Of course not. But this is basic. This is just basic logic.

As for  those who seem to misunderstand it... for those who seem to have a visceral,  rageful reaction to it, the truth is, I don't believe you're stupid at all. I don't believe it's ignorance. I believe it's an undercurrent of something a lot darker. And for folks who take issue with simply stating a heart-wrenching reminder that black lives matter as they continue to be murdered in front of our very eyes, I would ask you to search your soul and your heart for the truth behind that reaction. If you're brave enough. Why this phrase? Of all the thousands of similar sayings or sentiments about any other group that you clearly take no issue with, why this one? I think you know the answer.

Monday, May 25, 2020

We Must Be Better People

I keep seeing the memes about what 80s babies have gone through as far as 911 + a recession + pandemic, etc. As an 80s baby, I cannot disagree. It's been a crap ass generational set of experiences! But I also know that the stuff folks went through back in the Spanish Flu + polio + World War 1 + depression + World War 2 era was juuuust as bad if not much worse. And yet the incomparable degree of sacrifice they had to make without whining, without rebelling, without protesting, is in stark contrast to our pathetic, selfish modern culture. when our people today can't seem to get it together and do what they need to for ONE major disaster, for the greater good of our people, it makes me extra disgusted and Hulk Smashy.

So many people utterly lack character now. Our culture is largely narcissistic, and it shows in everything we do, everything we refuse to do. It shows in the leaders we elect and the celebrities we admire.

I really miss my grandpa. I always have. But I can't help thinking, with his compassion and perspective and goodness, having served in World War II and been raised during a time of such poverty that communities didn't blink about supporting each other, that he would be ashamed of Americans today. And for that I'm sorry. I can only hope I act in a way, personally, that would make him proud in order to try and make up for that.

We must be better people. We just must.