November 23, 2008


I totally blew it and forgot to post yesterday. Well, I knew I wasn't going to make it through the whole month anyway, seeing as how I won't be home for two days over the Thanksgiving holiday. Forgive me, NaBloPoMo-ers for my grievous error! Better luck next year!

November 21, 2008


I swear, I've become a total house-wife. I can't tell you how much this simple fact motivates to be vigilant and tenacious in my job search. I just wasn't cut out for this.
While The Nurse was washing the girls' dirty coats last night, the washer did that thing it does — and refused to drain any water. So today I had to lug the soapy wet coats to the laundrette. I've spent quite a bit of time there lately. I was sad to see that their 99 cent special was over and that I'd have to pay $4.30 per load, but relived that the place was relatively empty and I didn't have to fight for a washer and dryer.
And then I spent the rest of the afternoon sweeping and dusting and washing things. Yay me.

November 20, 2008


I had one of those job interviews today where everything just seemed to click. It reminded me so much of the interview that led me to my last job — it was just clear that we shared a set of values (both personally and in terms of the organization) and that I would be a good fit. Sometimes this can be even more important than possessing the skills that a place is looking for. They want to know that you want to be there and will find the work rewarding. Midway through the interview, she stopped me short as I was showing her my portfolio and let me know that they were at the end of the the first phase of interviews and had asked a couple of people back for a 2nd interview. And then she asked me to come back and interview in front of the rest of the collective. So, I've got a 2nd interview with this place after Thanksgiving and a decision will be made that same week. I've got a really good feeling about this one. I plan to have them eating out of my hand....

November 19, 2008

Winter Wednesday

It was about 45 degrees all day today, just lovely. I told The Nurse that I wished every day of Winter would be exactly as warm as today. She said it was this warm because it's Fall, not Winter. So basically, I wish that Fall would replace Winter. But I know that Winter is coming.
To prepare a little today, we finally took the air conditioner out of the kitchen window and The Nurse, in her infinite generosity, bought me a new pair of Winter boots. They're as comfortable and furry as house slippers.
Today the kiddos brought home their report cards — and it was all good. The Nurse owes Big M some big bucks as a result of the deal they struck for bringing home A's and B's. It seems the motivation of cold hard cash has proved to be quite effective.
I'm pretty exhausted from running around all day. Big job interview tomorrow too. Gonna turn in early tonight and enjoy my flannel sheets. G'night.

November 18, 2008

101 Things About Anima Sola

1. I carried around a picture of Anima Sola for many years.
2. I finally decided to get it tattooed on my right arm.
3. Anima Sola means "Lonely Soul." It represents the soul in purgatory.
4. My real name is Valency.
5. It is pronounced VAL--en--cee.
5. I was named after a character from a made-for-TV movie that aired the year I was born, called The People.
6. The People starred William Shatner.
7. The movie was based on the sci-fi book series by Zenna Henderson.
8. A college professor of mine gave me a copy of the book. I lost interest about half-way through.
9. The character Valency was an alien.
10. I was born in San Francisco in 1972.
11. My parents were hippies. They were married 2 weeks after I was born.
12. They divorced when I was 6. I was raised by my father.
13. I have a younger brother, with a completely "normal" name. Also, a half-sister and half-brother from my Mom's remarriage.
14. My mom is a red-head. I have brown hair like my dad, but I got my mom's freckles.
15. I get a sun-burn after about 15 minutes in the sun.
16. I went to six schools between Kindergarten and 1st grade.
17. I skipped 2nd grade. But then I got put back toward the end of the year because we got a new principal who didn't believe in grade skipping. I transferred to a Catholic school.
18. I had 10 years of Catholic school, the last 4 at an all-girls Catholic high school.
19. I begged my dad to send me to the all-girls school, because I was sick of boys.
20. After high-school, I took a year off to follow the Grateful Dead. I hitch-hiked with two girlfriends to New Jersey. We went to a truck stop in Indiana and got a ride with a trucker. He ditched us in Ohio when he realized we weren't "those" kind of girls. We got another ride with a real gentleman.
21. I imagined I was a whirling dervish when I danced at Dead shows.
22. If I could relive any time from my past, it would be following The Dead that summer.
23. I got married when I was 23. It lasted for 10 years.
24. Part of the reason my marriage ended was that I realized that I was a lesbian.
25. My mom and her mom are also lesbians.
26. I wonder which one of my two daughters might be a lesbian.
27. I was also a practicing pagan for 15 years. I started attending a Catholic church again to get the parishioner discount in order to send my oldest daughter to Kindergarten at the parish school.
28. I was hooked when I heard Delle Chatman give the Gospel and Homily one Sunday morning. I knew that my parish had gone renegade!
29. When I heard Delle speak, I cried. I swore I saw a halo above her head. I knew I had found a spiritual home and that I had to get to know this woman.
30. She became a spiritual-mother to me.
31. I began this blog in her memory. She told me that she thought I was very talented and should write more. She passed away two years ago after a 4-year battle with Ovarian Cancer.
32. The tagline for this blog, "Your chains are broken darling, so why are you still standing here," I heard Delle say to me a few months after her death.
33. I don't often hear the voices of dead people, so I took this as an important message.
34. I am a graphic designer by trade, but I also have a few articles published.
35. I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer when I was in high school.
36. I inherited my artistic ability from my mother. She can draw a straight line without a ruler, perfectly.
37. It took me nine years to get my BA in Graphic Design. I worked and went to school part time, and took time off whilst having children. I scheduled my second child to be born during summer break.
38. Both of my children's names start with the letter M. I didn't do that on purpose.
39. I currently live with my partner (aka, The Nurse) and her daughter, who is the same age as my youngest.
40. We call our house "The Estrogen House of Doom."
41. We generate an enormous amount of laundry, which is my absolute least favorite chore. I don't mind the washing part, but the folding and putting away part is horrid. Matching all-white socks will be my punishment in hell.
42. Along with the smell of tar. If I'm going to hell, there will be lots of burning tar.
43. I think I'm going to heaven, along with everyone else I love.
44. Otherwise heaven would not be "perfect."
45. A grade school teacher told me that Heaven IS perfect, and that if everyone I love wasn't there, then it meant I didn't really love them. I knew she was full of it when I was 9.
46. I've never stopped questioning authority. I have a finely-tuned bullshit detector.
47. Unless my 11-year-old is lying to me. She's good. But not good enough to get past The Nurse.
48. Although I attend a Catholic church, I consider myself "christo-pagan." I don't image a solely male Deity, and I am keenly tuned into the wheel of the year. But I also feel a deep connection to the Mass, the saints, and the rituals of the Church.
49. Most pagans and most Catholics don't see how I can reconcile the two belief systems. I found it to be quite easy and natural.
50. I haven't found any religion that has a monopoly on truth. But seeds of truth lie in all of them.
51. I fainted when I got my first Holy Communion when I was 9. Some of my friends joke that this makes me a "mystic saint." I'm no saint, but I definitely tend toward mysticism.
52. I don't think I would continue to worship in the Catholic church if not for the many like-minded people I have encountered in my parish, particularly gay families and advocates for women's roles in the church.
53. I am a hard-core lefty. As in, I am left-handed and politically far left.
54. I worked as a graphic designer for the Communist Party for 3 years. I didn't join the party though, because I'm not THAT far left. I found their philosophy to be naive.
55. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. I voted for a Republican once for Governor. My vote was validated when the Governor halted executions in our state. I am firmly against the death penalty.
56. I have been unemployed for about a year. Which is why I have time to write this. I have applied for over 200 jobs and been on about a dozen interviews. I'm still hopeful that something will come along soon.
57. Writing this list is harder than I thought it would be.
58. I haven't been on a vacation in over 3 years. I can't wait to work again so that I can take some time off and travel!
59. When I was a baby, I went to Hawaii and lived in a tree house for about a month. I'm not kidding. Did I mention that my parents were hippies?
60. The only time I have left the U.S. has been to go to Canada. World travel is on my list-of-things-to-do-while-I'm still-young-enough-to enjoy-it.
61. I would like to visit India, Ireland and Paris, just off the top of my head.
62. I believe in Reincarnation. I have had Past-Life Regression, and it revealed two past lives.
63. I don't like to exercise. But I enjoy biking. My bicycle was stolen out of my backyard two summers ago and I still haven't replaced it.
64. I spent a great deal of my time this past summer collecting sea glass.
65. I also collect crosses and Mary's. I love Catholic kitsch.
66. In addition to the Anima Sola tattoo, I have two others. The first one is a blue crescent moon with a sunburst over it. The other one is a pink and blue closed lotus flower, which symbolizes transformation.
67. I don't wear earrings or have any piercings because I am allergic to nickel.
68. I have a fetish for finding out about people's allergies, particularly if they are lethal.
69. I also have an odd fascination of cults and Free-masonry.
70. I think I would get a Masters of Theology degree if I thought it wouldn't be a total waste of money.
71. I think I'm very lucky to have found my passion in life and the ability to follow it (thus far).
72. Money isn't very important to me. It would be great not to struggle financially, but I can think of dozens of things that I value more than money.
73. My favorite magazine is Adbusters. For years I fantasized about moving to Vancouver and becoming the Art Director for Adbusters. Now I think that Vancouver is too far and too cold.
74. I am a total type-geek. I can usually point out fonts by name when I see them, and wax poetic about typographical characteristics. I am wild about em dashes. I'm told that Emily Dickinson had a thing for them too.
75. I designed my own font and named it after my daughters. It is a lowercase only font called "m & m."
76. Now that I am sorta-step-mother, I wonder if my step-daughter will think I am evil.
77. I had an evil-step-mother. She was married to my dad for 3 years. She used to give me the finger when no one was looking when I was 7 years old.
78. I swear a lot. My parents didn't care if we swore, and I ended up with a mouth like a truck-driver. I tell my kids that I don't mind an occasional bad word so long as it's in the right context: you can swear if you drop a jar of mayonnaise on your foot, but you can't call someone a name.
79. The hardest part of being unemployed has been staying around the house all day. I crave constant human interaction. I'm totally extroverted and feel anxious when I'm alone for too long.
80. When I'm alone, I see it as an opportunity to sneak a hot bath. There are few pleasure in life as fine as a hot bath.
81. In winter, I take a hot bath almost every day. I can't stand being cold.
82. Although I hate the cold, I think Chicago is the best city that I've ever been too. The only other city I've seriously entertained living in is Boston — which is arguably colder.
83. Whenever I'm in Boston, I visit Salem, Mass. I have the odd sense that I've lived there before in another lifetime. The first time I was in Boston, I walked all around the city by myself (which is not at all on any kind of grid) and somehow knew I couldn't get lost there. In Salem I felt the same way.
84. Music is one of the most important things in my life. Nothing grounds me better or feeds my soul in the same way that music does.
85. I already have the music picked out that I want played/sung at my funeral.
86. I am increasingly fascinated with death, but not at all in a morbid way. I am interested in death as a process and spiritual transformation — something that we all must surrender to someday. I am more afraid of losing the people I love than I am of my own death.
87. I think that I must have been Middle Eastern in another life, because I could eat middle eastern food every day.
88. I also love sushi. And Ethiopian food.
89. I can't stand the taste of anything grape or cherry flavored. It reminds me of cough-syrup.
90. But I like real grapes and real cherries.
91. I'm allergic to red wine, but I drink it anyway. Some types don't affect me while others give me a 24-hour migraine that begins after just a few sips. I continue to experiment.
92. If I'm drinking hard liquor, it's likely Vodka. Anything other than Russian Vodka is swill.
93. I am very opinionated and I talk too much. But I strive not to be judgmental. I've learned over the years how to admit when I'm wrong, too.
94. I am very smart. Most of my friends are even smarter.
95. I pray every day. God answers, always. I've had strong faith since I was a small child, though neither of my parents were religious. My grandma used to take me to church with her occasionally when I was little. When I was 7, I asked my dad if I could become Catholic, and signed up for CCD classes.
96. I don't exercise every day. I wish I did. It's a personal failing of mine that I hope to remedy sometime before I keel over. I keep telling myself that if I just do it, I may grow to enjoy it. But I seldom do it.
97. If I had to guess, I would say that I'll probably die of Cancer. It runs in my family.
98. Family is pretty important to me. There are a lot of things that I hope to pass down to my kids. I'm pretty traditional in that regard.
99. I was born on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini. I thought I was a Gemini my whole life, with clearly more Gemini traits. But as I get older, I see quite a bit of Taurus too.
100. I can't really believe that I'm in my late 30s. I still feel like I did when I was about 17 most of the time.
101. I am fabulous.

November 17, 2008


Not 10 minutes after I got back home from taking my re-test at The Staffing Agency, I got a call with my test results: I aced it. Very high score. She said that they'll rate me as one of their top production artists and a highly qualified graphic designer for publishing. Can't wait for the phone to start ringing with some work! I have another interview lined up for Thursday of this week, so there definitely seems to be some things moving in the right direction. Phew!

November 16, 2008

Re-test for Dummies

So I bombed that test at the staffing agency; the good news is, I can take it an unlimited number of times, but they won't send me out on any jobs until I bring my score up. Today I went out and bought InDesign CS4 for Dummies so that I can brush up before I take the re-test tomorrow. I'm glad I have the book because it's crucial that I keep on top of new software in my line of work, or risk my skills becoming obsolete. Wish me luck!

November 15, 2008


It's been the bittersweet and not-often-talked-about election result that still has me reeling: that over 50% of the voters in California don't think that I am entitled to the same civil rights as they are. Even more stunning to me, that the black community voted 70-30 against preserving civil rights for another minority. I didn't make it downtown today for the protests, but I was there is spirit.

Here's my personal take: I think it's all a matter of semantics for most people. Fine, good, let the religious folks keep "marriage.' But then EVERYONE else who wants the same civil rights entitled to them should be able to acquire a "civil union,' whether they're gay or straight. I just really wish that the LGBT community had thought out their strategy better before this got onto the ballot. This is a huge separation of Church and State issue and a Civil Rights issue, period.

November 14, 2008

Childhood scars

"You should wear with pride the scars on your skin — they're a map of the adventures and the places you've been."
Poi Dog Pondering

It's been another tough day among many tough days. I had a good conversation with a dear friend today who found a little work for me to do around her office while I'm struggling to make ends meet. It seems that the financial mess is catching up with a lot of people these days, while I have been immersed in it for quite some time. We talked about our struggles and our life experiences and being up and down over the years. It got me looking back over the course of my life and particularly my childhood. The Nurse didn't have an easy childhood and neither did I — albeit that our struggles were completely different. But I can remember being dirt poor, having to live with my Dad's sister after my parents split while my dad scrambled to figure out how to support two kids on his own. Always wearing hand-me-downs and looking like a ragamuffin. We were mostly shielded from his worry and poverty in those days, but there were plenty more that I can easily recall. My dad worked hard and provided the things that we needed but we had to go without a lot. Being the "poor kids" at the Catholic school was tough at times, but I'm extremely grateful for the education that I had.
I started wondering how my own children are perceiving our struggles. We've done our best to shield them from it too, still managing to scrape together another month of tuition for their private school, still managing to pay for extra-curricular activities most of the time. But I also do want them to be aware of the struggles, and hopefully, to be grateful for all that they do have. There are so many more who have so much less, with so few opportunities available to them.
Today as I left my friend's office, a toothless woman approached me and asked me if I knew where she could go for some help. She described her desperate circumstances: homeless, mother of two, needed a little cash to pay for one more night at the apartment hotel. Sadly, I didn't even have any change to give her but tried to direct her to a shelter just a few blocks away. I considered going to the bank and getting out a little money to give her, which would be charitable at best, irresponsible at worst. Her story being highly questionable for a few reasons, I didn't return but felt incredibly guilty nonetheless. Even if she was an alcoholic with a made-up story about kids, I knew that my circumstances, no matter how desperate, were infinitely better than hers, and I wanted to give her whatever I could. I have an education, a college degree, marketable skills, family and friends who love me, three job interviews next week and lots of things to be hopeful about. I have my health, plenty of food to eat, a roof over my head. I know that this too shall pass. That God will provide enough. That there is abundance in the universe. I even know that the fact that my kids are so disconnected from the reality of our situation is probably a good thing, nevermind that I'm sometimes speechless at their seeming ingratitude. But if these struggles are for something good, I pray that they make our children as resilient as The Nurse, and as grateful as I am for all that matters. A childhood with a few scars might just be exactly what God has in mind....

November 13, 2008

To the ballroom

Crazy day today, so this will have to be one of those super lame-o short posts. Big M is performing in a ballroom dance presentation at school tonight — doing the Jitterbug and Tango. I think what is making me most nervous is that I haven't yet seen the high heels she'll be dancing in, that her father's friend provided. Given that said friend has a predilection for pole-dancing, I'm worried.

November 12, 2008

A future not our own

I just found out that Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been threatened with excommunication if he does not recant his belief that women should be ordained. Fr. Roy, a Catholic priest and SOA Watch founder participated in the ordination of a woman down in Lexington, KY a few months ago, and gave a homily at the Mass. If excommunicated, the action would come just before the annual protest at Ft. Benning where Fr. Roy is scheduled to lead the mass and protest.
Roman Catholic Women Priests issued a statement of solidarity to accompany Fr. Roy's letter to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Both letters rightly point out that exactly ZERO priests who abused children — nor those who helped them cover it up — were even THREATENED with excommunication. It's really just a travesty, but I can't say that I'm surprised.

I'm again reminded of the homily attributed to Fr. Oscar Romero about how change comes about so very slowly:

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

November 11, 2008

This is a test

Happy VD, er, I mean Veterans Day. I went to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce B2B breakfast meeting today to network. I didn't even know such a thing exsited, so I was glad when my friend invited me. I also didn't know I'd be having to get up in front of the whole room and speak. It took about 20 minutes to return to normal and stop shaking after that. Or maybe it was just the coffee. It was good to meet people in the community and get a little practice shmoozing and selling myself. Tomorrow I've got an interview where I'll be tested on Adobe InDesign. I'm going to go check out some tutorials so that I'm a little more confident with it. Peace.

November 10, 2008


It was a tough day today, not particularly horrible but not very good either. Some bad news came for The Nurse, which really set the tone for the rest of our day. When I picked M&M up from the bus stop today, Little M announced that she had a "very bad day," and Big M looked like she'd been crying for an hour. " I just want to be left alone," was all she said. Everyone seemed so down by the time that dinner was served. It was Little M who, in a stroke of spiritual insight, suggested we all go around the table and talk about what we were grateful for. It was sweet to hear things like, "friends, family and mashed potatoes make the list. When it was my turn, I remembered the homeless man who approached me at the bus stop today as I waited for the kids. Speaking only broken English, he said that he'd be leaving Chicago in only one week, but he needed work to survive for the next 7 days. He'd been sleeping in the park and looked weak, cold and hungry. He was asking us if we knew of any work he could do around the neighborhood. I told him I gave him a couple of ideas, like raking people's leaves, but really didn't have a lot of good advice for him. As the bus pulled up, I reached into my wallet and gave him the last two dollars I had on me. I really needed that money, but he needed it more in that moment. I looked him in the eye, shook his hand and wished him good luck. I'm grateful I had the money to give, grateful that I don't have to sleep in the park.

November 09, 2008

Potluck hangover

It looks like I've come full circle and have to steer clear of red wine again. The last several attempts at drinking it has resulted in a 24 hour headache. Last night I headed over to the 2nd Grade Parents Potluck where the wine was a flowin'. The Nurse met me there and we made the rounds. It was good reminder to me of how accepting our community is.
My head is still throbbing and I'm really just looking forward to going to bed at this point. G'night.

November 08, 2008


As it sit here looking out my window at 10 till 4 in the afternoon, it looks more like 6pm outside. It's getting dark already, the wind is howling, and a gentle rain is falling. Snow is threatening later tonight, but just flurries. As dreary as it is outside, I managed to put a little pluck in my step today as I headed downtown for a job interview. It seemed to go well, but I have to concede that after 11 months of unemployment, I may not be a very good judge of these things. All I can say is that I did my best and that I'm confident that I am qualified for the position. As soon as I got home I slipped into a hot bath and then my fuzzy pj's -- planning to laze around under a blanket and watch TV. The Nurse called and reminded me that we RSVP'd to a "2nd Grade Parents' Potluck" tonight and though neither one of us feel like going at this point, I'd feel too guilty if I didn't at least put in a brief appearance. I had to spend about 20 minutes hunting for eight quarters (I had three in my wallet) to do the minimum laundry requirement to make going out even possible. I feel bad, because in my hunt, I "borrowed" big M's Oklahoma quarter that I found on her dresser, though I'm certain she was saving it for her 50-state collection. If anyone I know runs across a shiny new OK quarter, hook me up, k?

November 07, 2008

On this day...

Delle at Aunt Lossie's 1
Continuing the tradition for this anniversary:

Dear Delle,
It gets jumbled up in my mind sometimes exactly how long you've been gone. Two years. It's been only two years but your absence is felt so deeply it feels like it has been much longer. This year I asked that your cobalt blue glass be put on our Ofrenda honoring Dia de Los Muertos at St. G's. It was nice to see it up there, along with the picture of you and Ramona dancing. I think you'd like Fr. Grassi. He gave a great homily last week about how losing people we love is something that we all have to experience — and that they continue to beckon us to new life with them in heaven. It makes me think of my grandpa, and how many funerals he had to go to in his 94 years, burying all of his friends.
Last weekend I went to an ordination held here in Chicago by Roman Catholic Womenpriests! I actually sang in the choir, if you can believe that. I remember you telling me that I shouldn't be afraid to sing if I enjoyed it, and well, the opportunity presented itself and I just couldn't pass it by. I wore your green scarf and pinned it with my Mary Magdalene broach. A woman from St. G's, Barbara Zeman, was being ordained, along with 3 other women who became deacons. It was awe-inspiring. I know you were there with us.
This last year has been a real struggle. I've been unemployed for 11 months now, just barely scraping by. Each month looks more and more disastrous. I remember you telling me how you'd cry out in your despair about bills, "Lord, I just know you're gonna take care of these bills," and somehow at the end of the month, things ended up ok. So I'm trying not to think about all the bills I don't see a way to pay. I'm counting on God to deal with it. And I'm not giving up on my career goals. It sucks being a starving artist, but it's too sustaining in so many other ways to give up. I know that I've got the talent to make it. Things will turn around.
Delle, I know you'd be shedding more than a few tears about our election results. Isn't it wonderful? I remember when Obama came on the scene and you predicted that he could be president some day. Some day is here! How can we help but feel hopeful with this stunning and historical development. This is a real opportunity for America. I sure hope we continue to rise to the occasion.
Things are going pretty well with The Nurse and the kiddos, all things considered. We are super stressed out, but we're striving to find ways to support each other and cherish what we have and avoid the flare-ups and stress-triggers that we end up taking out on each other. We're living on our dreams right now, hoping the future can bear some of them into reality. Have you got anyone's ear up there? The tough times are going around and I know you'll do what you can on your end to get the grace flowing. I went to Mass this morning and thought of you. Wondered if you've gotten to have any good conversations with St. Terese yet. We miss you. Little M was remembering you and Ramona last night. I hope that she is doing well, and I'm certain that your gaze is upon her always. We miss her too at St. G's. Send her our love, will you?

November 06, 2008

Wonderfully grateful

I've been sending out 10-20 resumes a day and the phone isn't ringing. Now that we've elected the "change" candidate, how long do you think we'll have to wait until the change actually materializes? It can't come soon enough for my family. Today I'm grateful that no matter what happens, I've got friends and family who care about us and will do whatever they can to help us out. Makes me feel a little like George Bailey.

November 05, 2008


I've waited nearly all day to blog because:
1) I'm exhausted and really drained emotionally after the election night excitement
2) I've been busy and out of the house all day

But mostly, because I'm not sure what to say. Personally, the Obama victory is extremely edifying and as a native-Chicagoan, I'm especially full of pride. Finally some politics for our city to be proud of.
Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet. Or maybe it's because now we just have to wait till Obama is actually inaugurated. Or maybe it's because I'm just that impatient and want things, particularly in my own life, to change right now.

Quite possibly my hesitancy to write too much is due to the venom I've been subjected to — or heard about others being subjected to — in the last 24 hours. So the McCain supporters feel sour. Well guess what: I've felt pretty sour for about eight years now so get over it! So whether you're a buddy of mine from back in high school who some how became a gun-toting racist and irrationally corelates that with military experience and a tour of duty in the Middle East — or maybe you're Nurse McNazi, who grills your nursing students on their political affiliations and belligerently explains to them how proud you are that there are still people left (like your husband) who are willing to assassinate him — not because he's black, but because he's a Muslim — I just have one thing to say. Your kind is a dying breed in this county. America has spoken loud and clear and you shouldn't feel so comfortable publicly spewing your racist hate speech — because today I can say with a little more certainty than I could at any previous time, there are more of us than there are of you.

November 04, 2008

My prediction

I am superstitious, but the groundswell is SO huge, that I'm going to go ahead and predict an Obama victory. The polls haven't closed anywhere yet but turnout looks high. And when the people vote, Republicans lose. I'll be waiting intently for the returns from Pennsylvania because if McCain doesn't win it, I think it's all over at that point. And having been a former resident of Indiana, I'll pop the bottle of champagne that's been sitting in the back of my fridge since last Christmas if it flips Dem. Mimosas at midnight anyone?

First, a little mood music....

I'm glad my gamble paid off this morning. I ditched out of the early voting line (probably about 45 min.) last week remembering that there has never been a line in my precinct on Election Day. I was right. Only a handful of voters in front of me and I was in and out quickly. I've got a busy day today and I'm off and running, with a promise to blog later today and tonight as I ponder (and panic?) the election returns. Enjoy Barack's Top Ten Favorite Songs:

Barack Obamas Favorite Music Playlist

November 03, 2008

Our political sense of humor....

When it comes to politics, The Nurse and I discovered that few share our sense of humor. Reminiscent of the year that I dressed as Monica Lewinsky on Halloween at my new Insurance company job, The Nurse took a similarly tasteless approach to Halloween and dressed as Ashley Todd. You know, the mentally distressed McCain volunteer from Pittsburgh who falsely claimed that a large black man attacked her for being a McCain supporter and scratched a "B" into her face while commanding her, "you WILL support Obama!" Heh.
Problem is, The Nurse cruising the neighborhood all made up with black eye, backwards "B" and McCain/Palin pin, it became very clear very quickly that no one was getting the joke. It became a question of safety, and the uncomfortable looks and comments she was getting made her ditch the costume after only an hour or so. WE thought it was hilarious anyway....
So one day before election day, lets make sure the joke is on McCain this time. Be sure to get out and vote tomorrow if you haven't already. But if you're in Chicago, don't be afraid to "vote early and vote often," if you catch my drift. Kidding, kidding. Well, sorta. I plan to vote tomorrow no matter how long the line, but I'm counting on a short wait. We shall see.

November 02, 2008

Music, Muertos, and Matriarchs

Whew. The Nurse and I got about 12 hours of sleep last night. Thats exactly how wiped out we were. We used our extra hour very constructively as Daylight Savings Time ended. Oh how we love our bed....

At Mass this morning, our parish traditionally sets up an ofrenda to Celebrate the dual holidays of All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos. The names of those that have died this year are read. The Nurse and I both placed mementos and pictures of our loved ones on the altar and dwelt in their presence on this day when the veil between life and death are thin.

Later we went to see the ever-lovely J (aka The Closet Choir-Girl) perform with The Apollo Chorus of Chicago at a local church. She's kept her talent hidden from us all for too long. Her secret is out now. The Closet Choir-Girl is an amazing singer! There were a few key moments when the music moved me to tears and I felt chills come over my whole body. Particularly beautiful and meaningful on this day, the final movement of Requiem, In Rememberance:

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight-ripened grain,
I am the gentle morning rain.
And when you wake in the morning’s hush,
I am the sweet uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

I've just got to say a little more about the Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordination ceremony that I attended yesterday afternoon. As a woman and as a Catholic (with pagan leanings mind you), it was edifying and soul-enriching to see so many ordained women at the altar and in the congregation! Not only those that con-celebrated the Mass, but those that traveled from all over the country and world to be a part of this historic event. The most powerful moments were when the ordinands prostrated themselves as the Litany of the Saints was sung and when the selected members of the community were asked to come forward for a Laying on of Hands. Because I was in the choir, I was just feet away watching all of this unfold, and there was one moment when Barbara Zeman was overcome with tears as one ordained woman came forward and lightly touched her head. It's as if I could actually see the Spirit transferring from one woman to another. Very powerful. It all seemed so perfect and natural (right down to the praying to "Our Father and Mother for the Lord's Prayer) that it's hard to wrap my mind around what a truly historic event this was. But more than historic, this was an act of disobedience that I was happy to play a role in. Our church remains in a state of hypocrisy as long as it refuses to acknowledge the call of women to the priesthood and Holy Orders. We must continue to disobey and challenge the patriarchy until we right this wrong. Being there made it clear to me that there is a paradigm shift on the wind. And it's blowing toward Rome, whether they like it or not.

November 01, 2008

Singing down the patriarchy

Happy All Saint's Day! This one was remarkable for me. I was honored to be a part of the RCWP ordinations that took place in Chicago today. A woman from my parish was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest! And I sung with the choir — something I haven't done since high school! It felt great to sing, but I forgot how hard it really is. Thank goddess my friend J joined me (HipMamas rock!) and was an amazing and powerful alto that I could follow.
I promise to write more about the experience tomorrow. (The Nurse made me promise not to write that last sentence in my blog. Shruggs.) It was amazing and I was warmed to see several familiar faces in the congregation. I literally had a front row seat — just a few feet from the ordinands and the Bishop during several key parts. I had to choke back tears more than once. I sung my little heart out, wearing Delle's scarf around my neck, fastened with my Mary Magdelene pin. I know she was with us there.
But after two days of choir practice and a 2.5 hour Mass, I'm BEAT.