Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Dear America

I need to tell you that we are in an abusive relationship. Probably several, but we have to talk about guns. They are literally killing us. They kill us in schools, movie theaters, our own homes, in the streets, in churches, in bars, at concerts, in hospitals, and I don't know how to end this list because every time I start to I think of another, offices, craft stores, gas stations. 
I know, it's in the Constitution you want to say. I will respond, first they are talking about a militia. I am always fascinated that people who claim to be strict readers skip right over the militia part. Second, it's an amendment for a reason. The amendments were designed to be parts of the Constitution that could be more easily altered. We have done it before, we can do it again. 
I do not want to live somewhere I can't promise overseas friends they can safely visit. I do not want to teach children and co workers battle triage so that we can go about our daily lives. 
The woman I had worked with this year who was murdered along with her co-workers in her office had been to shooter training at her church. Her church is the same flavor of mine and our congregations have started doing that because we had an active shooter situation ten years ago in a Tennessee church. 
I know people who have been evacuated from their offices due to shooters. This doesn't have to be our reality. 
We have the power to fix this. Yes it won't be easy. Yes the guns are just part of it. But our continued head in the sand approach is just leading to more death. 
I know the list of bad things is long, there are folks being detained in camps, there are areas struggling to survive various natural disasters. 
But we keep pretending our relationship with guns makes us special. It doesn't. It makes a lot of people dead who didn't have to be. And that has to stop. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Here's What Gives Me Hope

I watched this year as tons of ridiculous obstacles occurred when people tried to vote. In DC, in my area, the polling places are so numerous that I walk past one on the way to mine and I only have to walk about six blocks to a polling place in an ADA compliant library. We have early voting and day of, so while I know DC has work to do (getting rid of closed primaries for one) the act of voting works pretty well. 
Oh yeah, and we have paper and machines, and the machines print out your vote for you to do one last check. 
I saw stories about people who had their polling place moved some distance, who got there to discover the polling place couldn't open on time because poll workers were late or machines were malfunctioning, or a variety of reasons. I can't imagine trying to decide if I can afford to wait four hours in line to vote, and of course you wouldn't know it was four hours at the start, so if you called your office or other obligations. And of course this is on top of new restrictions lots of places out in place, folks discovering they had been purged for not fixing the dash on one piece of government paper because fixing dashes takes time and money. 
So to hear that more people voted in the midterms than in quite some time gives me hope. It tells me that we have in fact gotten out the vote because I know some of those folks who got purged weren't able to get it fixed in time. I know some of those people who arrived at a polling place to discover none of the voting machines worked had to leave. Couldn't afford to wait. So for the numbers to look that good with all the people we know it couldn't include, is incredible. 
Voting shouldn't be that hard. The hard part should be your research. But I'm so pleased that more people are showing up in the face of whatever obstacles their region puts in their way and hope they continue to do so while we work to make voting a less arduous process for everyone. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. The Capitals dressed a women's hockey coach as their emergency goalie.  (Warning link autoplays a video, even though the story is in text.) I enjoy the various folks these teams apparently have on a list in case of emergency. 
2.  I am thrilled for Elizabeth Acevedo's Poet X winning the National Book Award.  This review of the night also includes emcee Nick Offerman's great and a smidge bawdy words about the power of books. 
3. This story of a toy monkey that escaped World War II with its owner only to help reunite some family members is part of a two parter. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Jasmine Guillory at Politics and Prose

On Thursday, Petra Mayer of NPR and other such things chatted with Jasmine Guillory at Politics and Prose's Wharf location. They chatted about the dude who proposed mid-New York marathon, with Jasmine mentioning that now everyone sends her every public proposal ever. She talked about how with The Wedding Date she found fake dating was fun because it let you skip past some of the pretense you engaged in and get to know the real person underneath faster. 
They talked about covers, and the fun of reading romance because it promised you a clear ending. They talked about how fun Royal watching and reading jewelery blogs are, even if monarchies are an outdated system. 
It was a great event, and I look forward to reading the book. 

Friday, November 09, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1.  We all know teenager does awesome things is my jam, so here is an 18 year-old mayor.  
2. Katherine Locke gave a wonderful speech about how much of kidlit, and lit in general is about refinding or reconstituting home
3. Deb Perelman had some thoughts about bake sales