Category Archives: politics

Welcome signs

I went on an excursion into Boston today with my mother (visiting from California) and my son. My son has a school project this year for which he is encouraged to visit various historic and culturally significant sites in Massachusetts. We went to the State House (just the outside), hit a few more landmarks on the Freedom Trail, and then headed to the Boston Public Library. Getting out of the T station at Copley, we were greeted by banners at the beautiful Old South Church proclaiming: “Love thy (Muslim) neighbor as thyself.” I was very heartened by this message of love and inclusion, what I see as an overt and beautiful response to the islamophobia that is running rampant among many in this country. (And which is sickeningly encouraged by the President-elect.)

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I have been running behind in my enumeration of gratitude, which I had intended to post here daily this month. However, tonight, it is easy for me to say that I am immensely grateful to live in Massachusetts: a state not only rich in history, but which has frequently shown itself to be on the right side of history. While not everyone in the state feels the same way I do, Massachusetts voters by and large choose social progress. And there are many, many people in Massachusetts speaking out loudly for these ideals.

Still processing.

I’m still in shock about the election results. I have oscillated between feeling defeated and deflated, and feeling resolve to roll up my sleeves and get back to work and do more. I think I will need a bit of time to recover.

Today, I was very grateful to have my children here with me. Really, I am grateful for them in so many ways. This morning they helped me to pull myself together, because I didn’t want to pass on to them the levels of fear and despair that I was feeling.

I voted.

I voted today. I didn’t have an appropriate pantsuit to wear, but I did carry my Woman Card in my back pocket. Now, watching the election results roll in, I am sick with worry. I am baffled that things are this close. I’m going to have to go to bed and hope for the best.

Today, I am grateful for the right to vote. It was a hard won right, and I don’t take it for granted.

The 2016 Republic of Pants election

The time has come once more for the Pants Republic to change its pants. Another 4 years have passed since the re-electon of Corduroy O’Bloomer to the Seat of the Pants government after his first election 8 years ago. This year, after another embarrassing fashion show, the Pants Republic’s two major fashion houses have chosen their candidates: Pantsuit Linen and Doubleknit Trousers.

Pantsuit Linen is a garment of a feminine cut as yet not seen covering the Seat of the Pants Republic. Pantsuit Linen is well known to the public eye, known first nationally as the First Raiment to previous Pants President, Twill Linen. Pantsuit, as her supporters like to call her, has also had other important roles in the National Pants Governement, both as elected garment, and as an appointee to the O’Bloomer Wardrobe. Pantsuit has long fought for the representation of skirts and shorts in the Republic’s wardrobe, as well as access to laundry care for all.

Doubleknit Trousers is known to the public eye for more for his showiness and his attention-grabbing appearances in commercials and catalogs, rather than for any material contributions to Pants society. Trousers boasts of having deep pockets and the best tailoring, but his claims have been unsubstantiated due to his refusal to show either his pattern or content tags. Many are unimpressed by the flashy gold stitching of Doubleknit’s style. While his fans claim his tendency to come unzipped in public show that his pants are relatable, others have been embarrassed and offended by what lies behind the zipper. It has been shown on many occasions that Doubleknit’s orange polyester fabric is threadbare, that it snags easily, exposing the tacky and often indecent fabric of his lining. His tendency to come unravelled at the slightest provocation is not only unflattering, but has demonstrated that his cut is unfit to cover the Seat of the Pants Republic.

Both candidates have been accused of breeches of decorum, and many rumors fly. Doubleknit was responsible for weaving rumors that O’Bloomer is a muslin and was sewn abroad, in spite of the manufacturing documentation to the contrary. Doubleknit has further torn the Pants of the Republic apart through giving priority to Pants of the traditional cloth and color of the Old Chaps Club, and devaluing pants of more diverse origins and hues or imported styles. On the other leg, many Doubleknit supporters question the integrity of Pantsuit’s construction, in spite of decades-long inspections of her fabric, thread, and stitching. Pantsuit’s sturdy tailoring has stood up to many attempts to shred her fabric, but she has not shown herself to be impervious to stains on the fabric of her character. Many feel that she has revealed too much of the warp and weft of the Pants Nation’s Undergarments, and much attention has been paid to her Briefs. Her biggest detractors argue that she should be belted.

Overall, the Pants of the Republic are stretched thin and uncomfortable around the waist, and all are ready for this election to be over. Shopping for pants is often demoralizing, but it has never been harder to for this nation to find a pair of pants that fits all.

Tonight I am grateful for laughter, and thankful that I can still find humor in these stressful days of the US election.

history has its eyes on me

My life is busy, and my life is full, but these days it is hard to think of things beyond the upcoming US election.

I have a lot of thoughts on this election, but I want to cut to the chase and say that I am appalled and embarrassed that one of this country’s major party nominees is…and I can’t even type his name without a turn of the stomach…Donald Trump.

I am appalled by his bigotry, his offensive words and actions. I am horrified by the way he has demonized muslims, and spread fear of refugees. I am disgusted by the way he treats and talks about women. I am largely baffled by the way a shockingly high percentage of my fellow Americans are unfazed enough by his words and actions that his candidacy is still considered viable. (And this doesn’t even cover his lack of competence or relevant experience.)

I am, quite honestly, nervous about the results of this election. I know that the world is watching nervously. And I can only wonder how future generations will look back on this time. I am exhausted and don’t want to get into fights, but I don’t want to risk that the future take my silence as agreement with policies and attitudes that are antithetical to my worldview.

Tonight, I am grateful that I live in a country where free speech is protected.

broken bottle bill

The election returns are coming in for Massachusetts, and it looks like there are many tight races. It does appear that some of the ballot questions have been settled, though, including one on the expanded bottle bill. A 5 cent deposit per bottle is currently mandated in the state for soda and beer sold in bottles, but not for water, sports drinks or juices. I’m rather frustrated that the bill fell through, since bottles without a deposit more frequently end up in the trash, or as litter. Not only did the bottle bill fail, but it appears to have done so by a wide margin.

It’s been a very tiring election season, what with the flood of gloom-and-doom emails and onslaught of phone call and mud-sling push polls. I just somehow though this one issue was more cut and dry for my left-leaning state.

The photo above is one I posted back in April. Given the topic of this post, I suppose it’s fitting that it is recycled.

I voted.

Voting makes me feel rather misty-eyed. When I think about what so many in the past went through to win the right to vote, and when I think of all those around the world who still don’t get to enjoy this privilege, I feel profoundly thankful and lucky.

I also find myself feeling a part of history, thinking of presidential elections past, present and future. I realized that in another 12 years, Phoebe will be old enough to vote. (And another 14 for Theo.) I think back 4 years, 8 years and 12 years (oh, that one was stressful!) and the memories are fresh in my mind. (Those of 16 and 20 (20!) years ago are much fuzzier.) I think of how far we have come in the years since I became an adult, how much technology has advanced, and the many signs of social progress we’ve seen, and I am heartened. (Then again, I also see the ravages resulting from our environmental abuses, and I am discouraged.) Above it all, though, I feel the importance of speaking out for my beliefs, and working towards the future I want to see.


We all went to the polls together in 2008. Look at little 2-month-old Theo!


Tonight, I brought Phoebe with me. (Theo wasn’t feeling well, and John voted earlier in the day.) This photo amuses me, since it looks like the “vote here” sign is pointing to the bush. (Or to the shrubbery, if you prefer.)


Here is Phoebe, in 2008, reminding us that her future is in our hands.

This excessively sentimental post was brought to you by a build-up of election-related tension, a bottle of micro-brewed ale, and some good quality dark chocolate.