7/8 – Year of Mercy: Reconcilation

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​On this, the second to last weekend of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, I had scheduled my topic as reconciliation. I wasn’t sure quite what I was going to write about, but there the word said in my planner:

Nov. 13 – 7/8 Reconciliation

It kept getting pushed back and I wondered why. It seems G-d had other plans for this post, which is good because the act of reconciliation, of confession, is still not an easy one for me. I just don’t know how to do it or what counts. Do I ask forgiveness for cursing when I will continue to curse? I don’t know. Perhaps one day it will come to me. My priest is a very patient man.

Today, however isn’t about the Catholic rite of reconciliation, but of reconciling two sides, two passions, two opposites that must come together now or risk tearing it apart forever. Finding mercy for ourselves and for others.

Almost one week ago, on Tuesday, I went from thrilled to happy and excited to numb. When I went to bed at 2:30am nothing was decided, but I knew. The outcome was clear.

What I didn’t know was if I could face the morning of Wednesday. How would I explain this new world to my daughter? Even my son was worried before bed and I reassured him not to worry; that Donald Trump would not become our president. Our country was too strong for that.

As I said earlier today, this isn’t about my candidate losing. It’s about what we allowed to happen over the last fifteen months. Journalists can never give a pass again.

But right now, in the aftermath of an election where in reality apathy won, it is time to stop and breathe and reconcile.

Regardless of where we stand on any one issue, we still must work together. We still must move forward. Together. We don’t have to like our president – Republicans proved that for the last eight years, but we do need to work with him and I can promise you that we will work more cooperatively with him than his party worked with the last president. Cooperation and not obstruction. Maybe we can teach them a thing or two about humanity and grace and dignity. We will stand up for what’s right.

We will reconcile our feelings, our emotions and make sure that we are all on the side of ALL Americans no matter their party or race or religion or gender or any of the other things that make us individuals.

We are all in this together and we can be the example that we talk about setting for our children and our neighbors and our friends.

I have faith in us.

50-38 – Chinese Food

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While I love a good macaroni and cheese (Kraft blue box original), probably my next best comfort food is Chinese. It could be take-out, eat in, buffet, I don’t care. It is the best food in the world. It might even be my first go-to comfort food.

When I was a kid, we used to go to this place near our apartment. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was on Horace Harding Blvd. in Queens. It wasn’t brightly lit. That’s how we kids knew it was a fancy restaurant. My one vivid memory is being dressed up, so it may have been for some kind of school congratulatory meal. I remember the owner knew my parents. He’d greet us at the door and show us to our table, talking to my parents the whole time. My Dad was a friendly guy, and everyone loved him. It was like going to Cheers. 

We would sit at a large round table, covered with a white linen tablecloth. My parents would order: two from column A, one from column B, duck sauce and mustard. My mother put a dab of hot mustard in her wonton soup. I have never dared. Everything was put in the center and we shared, serving ourselves. This was the one place that no one ordered soda. We had a glass of water and of course, the hot tea. I loved those small tea cups, and I would put in more sugar than I should have. I think that was where I got my love for drinking tea. For dessert it was always either vanilla ice cream or pineapples with a fortune cookie. I would get the pineapples, but I think I only got them because they came with a toothpick that I used to pick up the small chunks of pineapple.

We used to bring Chinese take-out to my grandmother’s house sometimes. My grandmother’s house was kosher, so she never ate any of the food, and she made us eat on paper plates because we couldn’t put the non-kosher food on hers. We had to sit in the dining room and eat, and then clean up and take all of our leftovers with us.

As an adult, it took us a couple of years to find our perfect Chinese take-out place in our new town. My barometer is the fried rice, the egg rolls, and the spare ribs.I like really fried rice, brown in color with nice chunks of pork. My egg rolls also need to have little bits of pork in it and a nice crunchy shell. Spare ribs – the more burned, the better.

There is something warm and comforting about the smells and tastes of Chinese food. I really don’t know what it is.

My husband’s family has a tradition of eating Chinese take-out on Christmas Eve, and so we’ve adopted that for our family. We even have a Chinese take-out box ornament for our tree. Our kids know it, and look forward to it each year. It is a really nice tradition and ritual for them. They get a new pair of pajamas; we eat Chinese take-out, and we bake cookies for Santa.

It’s warm and wonderful.

Grief and Anger: Where Do We Go From Here?

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​This is my first time sitting at the keyboard since the results of the election were made clear. I’m still in the anger stage of grief. Well, actually, I’m alternating between anger and depression.

Anger at the Republican party/Trump’s lies. Anger that people fell for it. Anger at having a vice president so out of touch with today’s America that he gives fetuses more rights than women in his home state of Indiana. Not to mention conversion therapy. Going from VP Joe Biden, who authored the VAWA to these misogynists makes me weep; sick. Anger at James Comey and anger at the Clinton haters who did not have any other reason for voting against her other than she sucks. How’re you feeling now?

This is not the first time that my candidate did not win the Presidency, but I have never felt this way about an election in my entire life. I trusted George Bush (and the other two candidates in recent years) to do the right thing. They wanted what was best for America even if I didn’t agree with them. I’m worried about Donald Trump.

I’m worried for Donald Trump.

Regardless of my feelings, on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will represent all of us and we must stay watchful. We must look at the reaction to the Obama Presidency and not replicate that, lest we be hypocrites. And Republicans need to acknowledge that protests are okay; at least, we didn’t grab our muskets as threatened by an actual Congressional Representative [Joe Walsh] and supported and encouraged by the Trump campaign (publicly even). 

I will pray for and wish him success. His success is ours as well. I will not shout out for his impeachment unless he does something impeachable. To be honest, I’m more worried about the Senate and Pence.

For the names I’ve seen floated for various Cabinet positions, I’m terrified. It’s not that I disagree with their policies but they are superiorly unqualified (not even under qualified) for the job:

Sarah Palin as Sec’y of the Interior.

Dr. Ben Carson as Sec’y of Education. Call me crazy but the Sec’y of Education should be an educator and someone who, you know, believes in science and evolution. By the bare minimum standards, I’m more qualified. I at least have a teaching degree.

Ted Cruz as Supreme Court Justice. Wow. There are no words.

Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. While technically qualified, the fact that he continued to go after Hillary Clinton’s email issue as a legal issue should disqualify him simply on incompetence.

A climate change denier for EPA.

I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life. Attacks on minorities have already begun. There was a Confederate flag in a Veteran’s Day parade in California, a state not of the Deep South. Swastikas.

Where do we go from here?

For me, I’ll be speaking out. I’ll be keeping track and keeping informed. I’ll be sending my financial and emotional support to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for a start. John Oliver had a pretty good list of suggestions, which I will share later in the week.

Acceptance is still a little bit away. It could be weeks; it could be months.

In the coming days, I will get back to writing and posting. I still have thirteen pieces to post before my birthday in almost three weeks. Nineteen days.

Today will be two more posts. The first was supposed to be on what the safety pins aThis is my first time sitting at the keyboard since the results of the election were made clear. I’m still in the anger stage of grief. Well, actually, I’m alternating between anger and depression.

Anger at the Republican party/Trump’s lies. Anger that people fell for it. Anger at having a vice president so out of touch with today’s America that he gives fetuses more rights than women in his home state of Indiana. Not to mention conversion therapy. Going from VP Joe Biden, who authored the VAWA to these misogynists makes me weep; sick. Anger at James Comey and anger at the Clinton haters who did not have any other reason for voting against her other than she sucks. How’re you feeling now?

This is not the first time that my candidate did not win the Presidency, but I have never felt this way about an election in my entire life. I trusted George Bush (and the other two candidates in recent years) to do the right thing. They wanted what was best for America even if I didn’t agree with them. I’m worried about Donald Trump.

I’m worried for Donald Trump.

Regardless of my feelings, on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will represent all of us and we must stay watchful. We must look at the reaction to the Obama Presidency and not replicate that, lest we be hypocrites. And Republicans need to acknowledge that protests are okay; at least, we didn’t grab our muskets as threatened by an actual Congressional Representative [Joe Walsh] and supported and encouraged by the Trump campaign (publicly even). 

I will pray for and wish him success. His success is ours as well. I will not shout out for his impeachment unless he does something impeachable. To be honest, I’m more worried about the Senate and Pence.

For the names I’ve seen floated for various Cabinet positions, I’m terrified. It’s not that I disagree with their policies but they are superiorly unqualified (not even under qualified) for the job:

Sarah Palin as Sec’y of the Interior.

Dr. Ben Carson as Sec’y of Education. Call me crazy but the Sec’y of Education should be an educator and someone who, you know, believes in science and evolution. By the bare minimum standards, I’m more qualified. I at least have a teaching degree.

Ted Cruz as Supreme Court Justice. Wow. There are no words.

Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. While technically qualified, the fact that he continued to go after Hillary Clinton’s email issue as a legal issue should disqualify him simply on incompetence.

A climate change denier for EPA.

I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life. Attacks on minorities have already begun. There was a Confederate flag in a Veteran’s Day parade in California, a state not of the Deep South. Swastikas.

Where do we go from here?

For me, I’ll be speaking out. I’ll be keeping track and keeping informed. I’ll be sending my financial and emotional support to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for a start. John Oliver had a pretty good list of suggestions, which I will share later in the week.

Acceptance is still a little bit away. It could be weeks; it could be months.

In the coming days, I will get back to writing and posting. I still have thirteen pieces to post before my birthday in almost three weeks. Nineteen days.

Today will be two more posts. The first was supposed to be on what the safety pins mean, but they’ve already been co-opted by the alt-right as white supremacists are encouraging their members to wear them to fool marginalized groups thinking they’re safe. Disgusting.

Instead I will post a 50 reflection on Chinese food that spans childhood through adulthood.

The second, my penultimate Year of Mercy reflection, appropriately on the act of reconciliation.

I spent last night curled up in a chair with macaroni and cheese, half a chocolate eclair and an extra long episode of The Walking Dead. I woke up this morning to sunshine and blue sky.

Tomorrow is a new day. The sun will rise and we will rise with it. All of us.

We have work to do.

Politics, Man…What’re Ya Gonna Do?

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Well, I’m going to write and do art.
Today will have a multitude of posts and topics. I have another 50 Reflection, a political post, perhaps two, but I’m not sure I’m that ambitious, and the Year of Mercy post that was postponed from yesterday.

In the meantime, enjoy my two pieces of word art:

This was inspired by a friend, and I have to be honest, it really was cathartic and motivational to get me more politically involved to be ready for the midterm elections in two years. (c)2016

A stained glass window with the Scripture paraphrased by Hillary Clinton in her speech Wednesday morning. It is based on Galatians 6:9. (c)2016

6 Writers on Why we Need Art Now