I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

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Can you hear the tumbrels? 

This morning, in a high school parking lot, I saw a giant “Trump, Pence: Make America Great Again” decal in an old pick up with new paint, new rims, new tires and of course, a great big lift kit.  I wanted to quit being a 44 year old mom, find a marker, and write “make America stupid again” over it. But my grown-up and cynical self behaved and just went on with her day. 

Until I came in from hanging out with my chicken posse and found that my friend Alicia had summed up exactly how cynical I feel about being an American these days in a post about (and I can’t believe I’m typing this) The Kardashians.  I am not a fan. I don’t know why we continue to make stupid people famous. But, I didn’t need to be a  fan to appreciate her words.   I’m passing them on in hopes that you’ll do the same:  

Look out, I’m getting my rant on.  I tried to ignore it but I’m just so irked.

“Ms. Kardashian West, a reality television star, was robbed at gunpoint of jewelry worth at least 8 million euros, or nearly $9 million. She was alone in a luxurious apartment in the Eighth Arrondissement” NY Times. 

Others estimate the haul at $10 million.  That’s the number I’m going to play with -you know I’m riled up when I break out a calculator.  One ring was 4.5 million. One.  And we won’t even go into where diamonds come from or how they get to her finger. 

This woman, who is rich for nothing more than being famous and marrying someone equally rich for just as little, was robbed.  She was travelling with $9-10 million dollars in jewelry.  That’s just what she packed for her trip.  How much jewellry do you pack when you travel and how much do you leave at home?

Let me show it to you in real people numbers.  The average American salary is about $52,ooo/year. I don’t come close to that, do you? I help people for a living!  That’s 192 working people’s annual income-neighbors, relatives, friends buying homes, raising families, saving for retirement.  The average student loan debt is $35,000 (mine’s almost twice that).  That’s 286 educations in pretty rocks.  286 teachers, nurses, plumbers, people who actually contribute to and directly impact your life.  

She went there on a private jet (how does one even google that price tag?), stayed in an ultra exclusive hotel that costs I’m guessing about a year’s average american income, to attend  fashion week, the apex of conspicuous consumption and the jet set.  This doesn’t include her clothes or luggage.  

When her husband heard about this he walked out of his show – where he gets about, low end, $250/head.  He immediately hopped on a private jet, and flew to France himself.  

I was trying to ignore this because quite frankly I believed these people need to be ignored. But as I typed those words it occurs to me they are a symptom of a disease, a serious disease, and therefore should not be ignored.    We have parasites!  This is Versailles and every other out of touch dynasty that was rightfully (albeit brutally) smashed.  I’m not satisfied with entertainment “cake.”   This is bullshit. 

–Alicia Dohn (Sheesha❤)

We are Americans!  I don’t know how it happened, but we’ve found ourselves under the thumb of a bored aristocracy again. (If that confuses you, ask a history teacher, and enjoy your wall.) No, we don’t have a monarchy with a court of attendendents and hangers-on hoping to be granted a favor from a royal. Instead, we have a group of people that we’ve deemed important by virtue of their beauty, fame, athletic prowess, record sales, and wealth.  This aristocracy 2.0 runs around with their crews, posses, homies, fams, BFFS, entourages, etc. doing anything they want, hurting anyone they want, not respecting or valuing anything but their own wants and needs.  This new aristocracy  is the 1%: the ones whose net worth is so large we can’t even fathom it; the ones who couldn’t survive a week on what most of us do in a year; The ones so many admire as if they were actually royalty! I have to agree with my friend, Kim and Kanye may as well have “let them eat cake” tattooed somewhere where the paparazzi will be sure to see it, because I hear a rumbling in the distance. 

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Fun while getting back on my feet

AND this is how I spent the day instead of finishing the shopping or the tree 🙂  I made a very nice one at Wordle.net (Thank you seven- year- old daughter) too but it refuses to link to this for some reason.  Ruined Christmas

I have an interesting relationship with the holidays.  Mostly this relationship involves large debts and larger amounts of champagne.  AND too many in-laws. I hope to be back at the writing again come January.  Merry Christmas or whatever (happy champagne season!) to the 3 people who occasionally see this thing.

For me this is really pretty good

Soooo I was very motivated to write every day for NaBloPoMo, even though I started on the 5th instead of the first.  And I did write most of the weekdays (ok, I slept all day last Thursday) but then the weekend rolled around and I had things to say and I had no computer to say them on.  How frustrating is that?  We are supposed to be a two computer household! We have been a two computer household WAY longer than that has been considered normal.  Everquest launched in 1999 and I would guess we started using two computers shortly after that because I was still a student then, and we couldn’t have homework–or childcare– interfere with a raid so husband upgraded and I got his old computers and that became the way of things.  For awhile this year, thanks to two elderly laptops, we were a four computer household but that didn’t last very long (it was a brief moment of peace, sort of like the Arab Spring).  We have moved many many times over the years, and since ’99 the computer has always been the last thing packed and the first thing unpacked.  And of course we had internet hook-ups BEFORE we moved in.  This is a house where a gaming addict lives.  I have been through numerous emotions regarding this but now I’ve just sort of settled on that being the way of things.

December 14.

Just found the above.  Sigh.

More advice for younger me

So I’ve decided to continue the theme of giving advice to my past/younger self.  She was really not working with all the information she should have had and should The Doctor show up with his TARDIS (9 or 10 please–sorry Matt Smith, you’re just not my type) I’d like to be prepared to pass on some of my hard-won wisdom and maybe help her avoid some of the worst experiences, or maybe just help her HAVE some experiences.

Younger Julie:

You should travel.  I know you are a weird eater sometimes, but get over it and see the world.  Your parents will make this difficult because they see the possibility of death and dismemberment everywhere.  Travel anyway.  Because life without seeing the world is its own kind of slow death and they have warned you about every danger except the one right in front of you.

Don’t be so trusting.  Not everyone is nice.  Most people aren’t.  That’s the danger your parents didn’t warn you about and it is a lot scarier than the possibility of a car crash.  I don’t know if they thought being surrounded by Lutherans/Christians would keep you safe but it didn’t.  It won’t.  Bad people like to hide at church, it gives them a sense of power.  Trust your gut.

You are adopted and that comes with identity issues.  You grew up in a town of 2000 so no one talked about any of that, but it’s perfectly normal and it should have been addressed.  You are allowed to have questions.  You are SUPPOSED to have questions.  Telling you nothing is NOT protecting you as much as everyone thinks it is, because you are different from your parents and your sister (and your brother, who is even more different than you are and who also should have been told more).  It is not a crime to be an extrovert.  And it is not a bad thing to be prettier than your sister.  You can’t help it and you shouldn’t have to feel bad about it.  And you will if you don’t accept the fact that being adopted does matter.  Try not to be too angry; it was a different generation and your parents were following the wisdom of the day.

You love fashion: clothes and hair and make-up and jewelery.  You have style and you are not appreciated in your town or by your family.  Try not to let it get to you.  And more importantly try to find a way to make a living with that love.  Maybe you aren’t great at sewing (although try harder at this, you’ll thank yourself later) and you aren’t great at drawing–it doesn’t matter.  There are a million jobs in fashion that you haven’t heard of yet and you shouldn’t give up.  And loving clothes doesn’t make you shallow or vain.  I know what you’ve been told and you need to just ignore it.  You’re allowed to love what you love and not be judged by anyone.  Trust me when I say stifling yourself will have consequences later in life.

You are easily swayed by others.  Knock it off.  There is nothing to gained by being a people pleaser.  If you stay on this path you will stop liking people altogether.  You won’t believe this, because you think all people are fascinating and have an interesting story to tell and you love meeting people.  If you want to keep that sense of wonder, stop trying to make everyone happy and worry about making yourself happy.  The only way to love others is to love yourself.  You’ve been called vain and selfish a lot of times, so you’ll find that hard to believe, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one.

It is OK to be alone.  You must learn to do things by  yourself.  You do not need a best friend or a boy friend to go everywhere with you and do everything with you.  You are a perfectly capable person all on your own.  This fear of being alone is going to come back and bite you later (husband and kids way before your ready) if you’re not careful.  Get out there and enjoy your own company.  You’re fun!

Love,

Your 40 year old self