Thank You, Mississippi, Ohio, Arizona & Maine!   8 comments

I was up until 1 a.m. on Tuesday night, not following the various vote counts like a socially, politically invested person should. Instead, I was writing posts, researching, reading sites, and taking a walk around the block; writing another scene for my new novel, typing it up, printing it out, and immediately marking it up with pen (I hate to waste paper, by god, but I love holding my work and reading it—I think I edit better that way, for whatever reason. Sorry, tree).

I woke up on Wednesday, the alarm invading my skull precisely at 6:30. Luckily, that morning my daughter was none too communicative, so I could remain in my muy cansada fog and hope that grinding the coffee beans would rattle me alert, ’cause the sound usually really pisses me off (for no rational reason). No. It didn’t wake me up. Yes. It did piss me off.

I barely managed to pack my girl’s lunch—fruit, veggies, sandwich, yogurt. Hmmm…no yogurt. Oh, yes, there’s one far in the back past some sticky stuff on the shelf that I really should clean someday. Greek yogurt with açai and blueberries. Expired three weeks ago. Hmmm…well, it is yogurt. Isn’t it naturally sour and kind of funky on a good day, anyway?

Bowl, spoon, Cap’n Crunch Berries. Glass of milk. All thumped onto the coffee table to await above-mentioned daughter. I keep saying that we need to find something different for breakfast. She says, Nah. Since she started her gluten-free diet because of stomach pains we couldn’t explain, she has hooked on to the Cap’n ’cause she says it’s gluten free. For some reason, “gluten-free” made me think “healthy.” Hmmm. Mom’s learning curve. Behind the curve. I did make gluten-free pancakes last weekend. They were tasty. Rather more crêpe than traditional American pancake, which made me feel that maybe I’d lose a few pounds, as long as I discounted the slab of butter melting in my pool of warm syrup. Yeah, my daughter licked her plate; she promises me that she doesn’t behave like that in public. I said, thank you. Better a Neanderthal at home than a Neanderthal in public. Plus, I was too tired. I licked my plate, too.

Back to Wednesday (see, I’m still tired and rambling). Finally, I have to throw on clothes, make a pass at my face (eye-crud, drool cake, etc.), brush my teeth, give three brush strokes to the hair (sides and back), grab the keys, remember my purse, switch out glasses for sunglasses and go take my daughter to school—officially stepping into the day. Sometimes, my daughter will start to open up, talk a smidgen, I figure out how to put a sentence together and within three minutes we’re laughing and having the a.m. sillies. I like that.

Many times, my morning fog takes a while to lift, which is okay since many mornings, my girl listens to her music with her headphones on and we’re quiet. Sometimes, the start of the engine sets off an assault of left-wing talk radio, which transports me to my happy place; her, not so much. She’ll snap off the button and race through the FM dial (which feels a bit like hearing the coffee grinder). If she stops on a country song or some techno beat, I gauge how far we are from school. If I only have 60-90 seconds to go, I’ll sweat it out. If I have 91 seconds or more, I quite clearly and succinctly say, “Uh-uh.” She may throw me a look, even pop the dial to turn it off, but she won’t fight me (and that’s all that matters in that time and space continuum).

Either way, her school eventually appears. “Goodbye” is thrown both ways, sometimes with spring in the delivery, sometimes as flat, heavy and dull as a cast iron pan. Sometimes I get an “I love you” from ten feet away and I smile that she’s not too self-conscious about letting everyone know it and hear it. Yeah, I may be sluggish, sloppy, groggy bear-mom this morning, but that pretty and bright girl right over there (see, that one there), she loves me, and let you all know it. Ha! Okay, getting loopy. I need more coffee.

Home. Coffee in hand. Warming hand. Yummy, strong and creamy. Click on main page. Whaaa…wait…huh?…whoa…you have got to be…Holy Crap City…really? Really, really? Oh, yes! Thank you, thank you, America, thank you! Adrenalin is spiking, caffeine is coursing, fingers now flying, eyes now consuming, body tilted forward in full engagement mode—bring it! Feed me! This is delicious!

And what was creating this reaction you ask?

Mississippi voted down the “personhood” amendment to their state constitution that would have declared that the millisecond a human egg became fertilized it was to be considered a real person and as such was guaranteed all the rights and protections afforded actual real persons (who actually have brains, heads, limbs, nervous systems, beating hearts, breathing apparatuses—and not just the potential to have them). The amendment would also have banned abortions even in cases of incest and rape. I believe in the right of a woman to have a choice, even though I’m not sure I personally could make the choice to have an abortion. But, I’ll be damned that if my girl gets raped and becomes pregnant as a result, that she’s going to be forced by law to carry it to term and give birth. No effing way. Ain’t happening.

Ohio restored collective bargaining rights for 350,000 of their public employees. Yes, I think we should let the men and women who chase criminals, race to save our lives, race into burning buildings, dedicate themselves to teaching our children—yeah, I think cops, medics, firemen and our school teachers deserve the clout they can achieve as a group to negotiate the best salaries, contracts and pensions they possibly can. When we live in a capitalist society that’s like Pavlov’s dog when it comes to profits, we need something in place to level the playing field. So, thank you, unions. Thank you, Ohio.

Arizona, for the first time in their history, recalled a state senator. Russell Pearce is the “lovely” gentleman who authored S.B. 1070 which was passed in 2010 (prompting a lawsuit from the federal government) and would have allowed the police to stop and ask for someone’s immigration papers even if there was no overt sign of a law being broken. The prerequisite used for this was “Goddammit, I wanna stop every brown person as far as the eye can see and see if we can kick their butts to the other side of our border cuz that will solve all of our problems.” Oh, no, sorry, that wasn’t it. The prerequisite was “reasonable suspicion.”

(Psst, my daughter’s pretty mocha-colored. Thankfully, we’ve seen the Grand Canyon as I’ve been adamant that Arizona will not get on my short list of holiday destinations anytime soon. Hopefully, this recall is a sign of sanity restored because, well, I kind of dig AZ.)

Maine restored same-day registration voting. Ah, good ol’ Maine. Hail, rain, sleet or snow, ya can’t stop them folks from casting their vote. Thank you for coming out.

Faith restored, my adrenalin-caffeine buzz leveling out, my quiet joy and satisfaction held the corners of my mouth in a pleasant place for hours and hours. It was a good day.

© 2011 article by Kat Ward

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8 responses to “Thank You, Mississippi, Ohio, Arizona & Maine!

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  1. I am holding to the belief that logical stands strong and one day people wake up and support ‘Coexist’ and their mantra.

  2. I am glad you are pumped Kat but for Az thats like drop in a bucket here. youd have to live here be married to a person of color as I am and also have no money to realise that nazis run this place and that lil vote really made absolutely no difference, now get the governor and the sherrif OUT and that would make things truly change but I am of a mind that the voting is now completly fixed in most places anymore and they throw us a bone like Pierce to make us think its not. Maybe considered by most a jaded outlook but then I live it everyday.
    As for the rest, sounds pretty good but this country has to improve a lot to even get a third of the way humane and decent that most of the civilised countries in the world are to their people now. Maybe I shouldnt have commented, :(

    • hey, you’re living it Samantha, a lot more than me. Please never stop yourself from commenting. I did hear on the Thom Hartmann radio program that the Democrats have trained 8,000 volunteers who will start gathering signatures to recall the governor—they can’t legally begin until 11/14. I’m hopeful that they will gather the signatures they need and he will be recalled. You have every reason to feel cynical; I don’t blame you a bit. I just wanted to cuddle with these small successes for the day!

  3. Kat I felt you all the way through this post. I was one also cheering the next day.

    Hugs hon!

    • Thanks, Cat! It was such a nice a reprieve, feeling hopeful for our country for a day, a moment, thinking that okay, maybe we’re not going to plunge into this extreme, reactionary world to which I cannot even begin to relate. Maybe we do have stable, sane, caring, thoughtful minds who will actually cast their vote.

  4. On bad days, yeah, pins of darkness. Somedays, I just have to see more streams of light and hope. Not easy, eh? Headed now to check out your new blog. Thanks.

  5. I agree. Pins of light in the darkness. Hey, Kat, this is my new blog (I saw that you signed up for the old one, 3 to 9 travels). Cheers!

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