Mental Health Monday – Avoiding Politics

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Politics are everywhere these days. I’m a political junkie, and even for me it can be a little exasperating. In the US we have an unhinged narcissist who can’t control his Twitter fingers and the media who used ot have journalistic integrity churning out pieces on his nicknaming habits, no follow up questions for outrageous lies, and more twattle than I thought humanly possilble. In the UK, Brexit is a disaster, no one gave a thought to Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Theresa May has resigned. The EU is in the middle of elections and fascists are everywhere. The Austrian government has basically fallen apart. And of course, there’s Iran and North Korea.

Amid this frenzy, I offer five ways to bring your blood pressure down and cope with the news of the day, no matter your normal comfort level:

1. Turn it off. Turn off the television, turn off your phone notifications, take a break from Twitter.

2. If you must stay on Twitter, only read Lin-Manuel Miranda exclusively. He is positive and uplifting and always says the one thing you needed to hear. Monday through Friday, he has Good Morning and Good Night tweets for his followers.

3. Read a book. NOT The Handmaid’s Tale. NOT 1984 or Lord of the Flies. Try Bill Bryson. Or James Martin, SJ. Or Becoming by Michelle Obama.

4. Treat yourself to a movie. Avengers: End Game is still in theatres. Other options: A Dog’s Journey, Aladdin, Detective Pikachu, and in the coming weeks: Men in Black and Toy Story 4!

5. Try a new podcast: The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe wherever you get your podcasts. I listen on Player.FM.

Everything is Fodder for Writing

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Including arguing about whether the writiing is relevant to the non-writing and whether the argument about whether the writing is relevant to the non-writing is relevant fodder for a third party’s writing. Or none of those things.. 

This, posted at 6:17pm EST on the 15th of February, 2019 was the tweet heard ’round the world. At least the world of food blogs everywhere. Before historian Kevin M. Kruse tweeted this, innocence had hung over the Twitter world, that global place for the polite exchange of ideas, but after… after, the cacophony that some wanted to laugh at while others were weeping shook even the most innocent of bystanders.

I don’t know who I’m making fun of, although I include myself in that. Never have I felt the both sides of an issue as I did with this tweet and the responses that followed.

Having “enjoyed” Twitter since 2009, I laughed at the original tweet. Not a haha good one laugh, but a what have you done FTLOG laugh. I could see what was next a mile away and it didn’t take long for my foreknowledge to be realized.

I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of it was mostly how fucking dare you?!?!

I saw this storm form quickly as the clouds darkened and the winds gathered. As I said, I can see both sides because I am both sides.

I’m a writer. I want people to read my writing and with most writing, every word has its place, its function. I want it all read.

I also blog about food, share recipes, and post food pics here and on Instagram. It’s one of my, let’s call it niches. 

I also search for recipes online.

There are days, like last week. In the middle of cooking dinner, our oven broke. I needed to finish baking the cornbread. I searched online and when I found a microwave recipe, I skipped over everything to get to the very end of the directions for how long to microwave it. It took a little longer than stated because our microwave is older and smaller than the average microwave available today.

Other times I read the narrative to get clues as to taste and texture; what needs to be followed perfectly; what can be tweaked.

And there are times when I post a recipe that I post a narrative alongside it. Some kind of how I discovered this or my daughter came up with this or some other family story or anecdote that I find relevant.

For Christmas, in fact, I wrote a ten recipe cookbook for my church’s food pantry/Christmas basket program. One of the most often compliments that I’ve received about the booklets was about the accompanying narrative that I included for some of the recipes. These included origins, where some were adapted from, links. Next time, I’ll add photos, but the narrative was received just as well as the recipe itself. In fact, one of the gentlemen who I’ve always thought of as dour, smiled, thanked me, and informed me that he sent copies to his two daughters. This was high praise indeed.

So while it would have been easy to be pulled into a Twitter fight between (favorite) historian and a band of incensed food bloggers, I stayed far away, but still checking in to see how both sides held up and where the argument would end. I mean, it is Twitter after all. I did leave one tweet, and I’m sure that I didn’t help anyone on either side.

Families Belong Together

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Some Twitter resources for today as well as throughout this election year. None of these accounts are affiliated with the federal government or official accounts of the departments they talk about.

Immigration

Jacob Soboroff (journalist covering the border crisis)

RAICESTEXAS (helping reunite families)

Alternative Dept. Homeland Security

Alternative Homeland Sec

Ireallydocare.com (not a Twitter, but a list of non-profits helping (also listed below))

Al Otro Lado – serves indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana & Los Angeles

https://www.alotrolado.org


The Florence Project – providing legal & social services to detained immigrants in Arizona

https://firrp.org/


Neta – a Latinx-run progressive media platform telling the stories of what’s happening on the border

https://www.netargv.com


Innovation Law Lab – working in immigrant detention centers and hostile judicial districts; keeping the definitive list of kids being held

https://www.innovationlawlab.org


Fuerza Del Valle – organizing workers & immigrant communities in the Rio Grande Valley

http://www.fuerzadelvalle.org/


The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights – promoting the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children

https://www.theyoungcenter.org/


We Belong Together – women for common sense immigration policies

https://www.webelongtogether.org/


United We Dream – the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country

https://unitedwedream.org/


Womens Refugee Commission – advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution

https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/


ACLU – fighting attacks through the legal system

http://www.aclu.org


Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) – protecting unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney.

https://supportkind.org/


Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project – providing asylum seekers with legal aid and community support across the country

https://asylumadvocacy.org/


Human Rights First – helping refugees obtain asylum in the U.S.

https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/


La Union del Pueblo Entero – founded by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, a community union that works in the Rio Grande Valley from the grassroots up

https://lupenet.org/

Committee for the Protection of Journalists

Indivisible Team

Rogue Senior WH Advisor

Alternative National Parks Service

Rogue NASA

Alternative Forest Service

Alternative EPA

Alternative DoJ

Alternative NOAA

Alternative National Parks Service

EPA Facts

Ungagged EPA

Not Alt World