Category Archives: Uncategorized

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Jim Rob’s not here, man” edition

Went to Freeperville this weekend, and got this on a splash page:

FR Forum Down for Migration!
IMPORTANT: Free Republic will be down all night tonight for migration. Will be going down at 8:00 pm (Pacific) and should up again within about 12 hours.

Sorry, can’t be helped. We received notice from our provider that they were closing their San Jose data center on May 15, 2021 and that we could move our equipment to their new center when it’s ready.

We thought we’d have months to prepare, but they recently moved the deadline up to Nov 15 (tomorrow).

John scrambled and has a new home set up for us and is going to get a clean backup tonight and install it at our new location. Should be up and running by morning. Our IP address will be new, but hopefully everything else will remain the same.

See our group pages on facebook for messages.
Jim Robinson (11/14/2020, 7:20 PM Pacific)

Of course,  as of this morning, they’re back up –  me, I’m going back to bed.

You Want In the REAL LIVE VAN on Tuesday?

Then send an e-mail to me at athenae25 at yahoo.com and I will send you an invite to First Draft’s first LIVE election night party.

ZOOM THE RESULTS, BITCHES. I can’t do this alone and you shouldn’t have to.

You’ll get an invite the morning of Tuesday.

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Not Everything Sucks: British Muslim Charity Edition

Finsbury Park’s getting fed: 

Finsbury Park is a neighbourhood often characterised as ‘superdiverse’ or noted for its ‘working-class flavour’. Right in the centre of Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency, the smallest in the country by area, it is dense with successive migrant communities – most notably Irish, Afro-Caribbean, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, Turkish, Kurdish, and more recently Somali and Algerian. Now a hub of the North African community, the area has been experiencing rapid gentrification thanks in part to its position as a transport hub, the patchwork shops and restaurants of Seven Sisters Road and the surrounding estates now standing in the shadows of City North, a ‘landmark cosmopolitan development’ next to Finsbury Park tube station.

For many of those receiving the food – either picking up or being delivered to – as well as the volunteers from the mutual aid group, this was their first interaction with Muslim Welfare House and the community it typically serves.

People are so good and true. They deserve leaders worthy of that, who will uplift examples like this instead of telling them who to be angry at and who to blame.

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Final Debate Live Coverage Breaking CRACK VAN

Thank God it’s almost over, I’m back to hourly panic attacks again:

THANKS FOR COMING ALL. SEE YOU IN THE VIDEO VAN ON ELECTION NIGHT.

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Not Everything Sucks

Jennifer Wheeler is cooking and posting videos: 

“It’s not just about cooking a meal and having the meal for lunch or dinner, but it’s about connection with our ancestors and how they have been so resilient and strong,” said Jennifer Wheeler.

Jennifer Wheeler, a Navajo language teacher, posted a series of videos on her Facebook page showing her making traditional foods like blue corn much and kneel down bread. Her videos have been shared across the platform tens of thousands of times.

“I didn’t even imagine the response that I’m getting now,” she said.

BRB adding to my “watch and then try to cook it” list which is currently 4,000 recipes long.

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Fuck Him Up, Kamala, With the Crack Van of Loooooooooove

I might already be drunk. It’s been a day. Is it ever not, but especially today.

Van closed! Thanks for coming and be here for the NEXT presidential debate, if it happens, who the fuck knows, I’m really drunk.

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TEACH US HOW TO DOUGIE

I told you I’d be posting pretty much nothing but Democratic mash notes from here on out. You were warned.

UGH, GOD, GET A ROOM.

Seeing a dude in these roles is always a really interesting prospect to me. Like 2/3 of the charm of a Hillary presidency would have been seeing First Gentleman Bill Clinton handling the Easter Egg Roll and all the other extremely gendered shit we expect the First Spouse to do. I’ve said often that the only thing I find relatable about Melania is her wanting nothing to do with the ceremonial stuff that the Sally Quinns of the world will tell you is EVERYTHING.

Shake it up, Dougie.

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First Debate Crack Van!!!!!

VAN CLOSED. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. I could not do that alone. Jump into the comments and tell me what you think of the new van. Transcript highlights later!

Like I was watching this shit alone.

Pick a name and come on in! We don’t have the sound effects anymore but we do have a stable platform that works with WordPress and it won’t crash your browser 7 times in an hour.

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Happy Biden Things

SUNGLASSES:

According to Biden, he’s been wearing Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses for most of his life. “My lord, I’ve been wearing aviators since I was a freshman in college as a lifeguard,” he told the Skimm in 2016. 

An image search for “Joe Biden sunglasses” does not disappoint and turns up some B. Barry Bamz as well if that’s your kink, I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to serve you political crack and if you don’t know that by now, you are in the wrong place.

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Not Everything Sucks

Ferret edition: 

This little critter may only be 8 months old, but that hasn’t stopped him from raising thousands of dollars for charity.

Over the course of just two and a half weeks, Bandit the pet ferret managed to complete a full marathon by taking the challenge in his tiny stride and completing several miles per day alongside his owners.

I love my cats, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I really miss my ferrets. Pictures at the link are priceless.

Via NancyDrewed.

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Here You Go

I heard this in the car and somehow it was just what I needed, and maybe you need it too:

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Not Everything Sucks

Did we know this was still a thing? I DID NOT KNOW THIS WAS STILL A THING!

I am a huge OLD who assumes everything good from my childhood, like making homemade IEDs in the woods out of coke bottles and firecrackers, is long gone, so when I find some small part of it preserved nothing could be more delightful.

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Not Everything Sucks

Born in 1920, she’s still dancing: 

Rogers was twisting for her loved ones and neighbors who came out to celebrate her birthday Thursday.

Born June 18, 1920 in Biloxi, Mississippi, Rogers has called her ranch house on the 6800 block of South Champlain Avenue home since the 1970s.

A surprise parade and block party at the house was organized by members of Rogers’ Washington Park church, the Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, and the Andrew Holmes Foundation, whose “Club 100” throws grand celebrations for Chicagoans’ 99th and 100th birthdays.

Dozens of attendees made the celebration “out of this world,” said Preston Allen, whose wife Lizzie was Rogers’ longtime co-worker.

He didn’t expect the gathering to be as large as it was, but said it made sense considering how long Rogers has been alive and her care for those in her circle.

“This is just Mama; this is our play-mother,” Allen said.

Click through for the photos and the video especially.

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Fights That Shouldn’t Have to Be Fights

Aimee Stephens, heroine:

Stephens’ lawyers argued her firing was a clear example of discrimination because of her sex, and the 6th Circuit agreed.

“The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer’s stereotypical conception of her sex,” the court wrote in a 49-page decision.

“Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII,” the court said. “It is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex.”

Stephens told Vox last year she hoped her lawsuit would encourage others to “always strive to be who you are” regardless of the case’s outcome.

“Deep down you know who you are and don’t let anyone else tell you any different,” she said. “Hold your head high and keep marching forward. It will get better.”

 

I hate that these things have to be fights. I hate that people who’ve already gone through so much stress and trauma couldn’t even feel safe in a job, a job that had nothing to do with their gender identity or sexuality. Life is hard enough, everything is an unending automated phone tree of bullshit, why does it give people pleasure to fuck around with the lives of those who are already at risk?

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Not Everything Sucks

Nina Simone existed, and her music still does: 

Looking at Nina Simone’s statue in downtown Tryon, I recite the end of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” which reads, “for here there is no place / that does not see you. You must change your life.” Rilke wrote the poem while staring, entranced, at a headless statue from Auguste Rodin that dazzled him to the point of imperative transformation. Now, almost exactly one hundred years later, I am standing in front of the eight-foot bronze statue of Nina Simone.

I find most of the music I really love through books or stories about it online; I found Nina Simone through Joyce Maynard’s book Where Love Goes. As with everything Maynard writes, the book isn’t great but parts of it are. It was a review copy sent to the paper where I worked; I ripped out the pages I liked and kept them. They’re in a box somewhere. Maynard’s main character loves Nina Simone, and since I loved the character, I went looking for what she loved.

(I found Leonard Cohen through fanfiction, read him as a poet before I heard him sing.)

The first time I heard Sinnerman I listened to it on repeat for four days. Then I watched the documentary about her life, I watched her interviews, I watched every performance I could find. We find the words we need when we need them and oh, we are going to the devil and he is waiting.

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A Product of Their Times

Apropos of being reminded of the existence of an acquaintance I’d memory-holed but apparently forgotten to unfriend, nothing makes me crazier than the idea that someone was just A PRODUCT OF THEIR TIME. Oh, he’s an old man, let him be racist and sexist and garbage and shitty to you and in front of you, he’s a product of his time.

You know who else was a product of their time?

Sophie Scholl.

Sojourner Truth.

Fred Hampton.

Every single goddamn Freedom Rider.

Ida B. Wells was a product of her time.

Nellie Bly, too.

Every last one of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Dick Winters was a product of his time.

Crispus Attucks was a product of his time.

My friend Bob is 100 years old. The last time I saw him and we talked about current events, he stood up and said, “I was antifa before Hitler came to power.” Also, a product of his time.

The problem with the story that we are helpless in the face of the events that shape us is that there have always been people who can see through that crap and who have said that’s enough. That’s why we get better, Jesus, because people decide they’ve had it and want change.

When I was researching one of my books (more on that later today) I came across people who protested for open housing and what we now call marriage equality — in 1910. There have always been people who realize there’s only one rule and it’s if you have power you can use it to crush or you can use it to care for.

We just don’t usually idolize those people until they’re dead. Until WE need them, to make ourselves feel better or justify our complacency because they already won the fight we’re still in the middle of.

Everyone is a product of their time. That’s not a validation of us, it’s an indictment of the times, and it’s never, ever, ever an excuse to hurt anyone else, in word or deed. Because if people could stand up for one another when it was necessary, not just when there was a critical mass of people to protect them, then what is our excuse?

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Not Everything Sucks

Can’t stop the celebration signal: 

A huge part of Ramadan is about the community, Ismail said. Not just getting together with family and friends for iftar meals to break fast at the end of the day, but eating with strangers and gathering with large groups to celebrate in the mosque. He wanted to try to emulate that in a game that has been so appealing to people in quarantine precisely because of the community aspect.

He put out a call on Twitter, offering to host people to celebrate Ramadan on his island, and very quickly got a lot of responses from friends, internet acquaintances, and complete strangers. There was so much interest that he had to create a sign-up tool to ensure everyone could be distributed to different meals throughout the month (Animal Crossing only allows eight people to visit an island at one time).

Ismail decided to start hosting iftars and suhoors (the early morning meal before the sunrises) on Animal Crossing. He said so far he’s had 70 to 80 people visit his island for Ramadan, which began on April 23.

Eid Mubarak, everybody!

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ps. I do not have Animal Crossing, you cannot sell me any apples or whatever, but you do you.

Not Everything Sucks

The bees on the roof of the library are okay:

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Distance

Here are some numbers.

My mother had me when she was 21 years old.

I had my daughter when I was 38.

For most of their lives, my mother lived six blocks away from her mother, who was 35 years old when my mother was born.

Since I turned 17, I have never lived closer than 70 miles from my mom.

This past fall I flew 800 miles to be at the wedding of a girl I love like my own daughter.

I left my own daughter behind, in the care of my mother. For four days we were those same 800 miles apart.

There is twice as much space time between me and my daughter, as there was time space between my mother and me. Two generations, not one.

It was 40 feet from my daughter’s room to mine, in the condo that we lived in when she was born. From the day we brought her home from the hospital she refused to co-sleep, wouldn’t rest unless she could put that space between us. Forty feet, when she’d rolled and twisted underneath my heart, inside my body, caged by my ribs.

I looked at her in those early days and felt — love, pride, awe, fear, but not knowing. Not known. I had imagined a child would be many things. Not on my list, that she (her pulse inside mine, however briefly, an echo and an answer) would be a stranger.

A stranger to me, and I to her, and so we still are.

Strangers who like one another. Strangers who enjoy spending time together. But strangers, always. We love who we think the other is. We love the assumptions because we have to love something and we can’t know the truth.

I was reading last week about encouraging older children — she is so much older, in a week, than she was in a month last year — to write about this time, to draw about it, because they’ll remember. I say to myself, ten times a day, when we talk about someone we know being sick or something we can’t do anymore: She needs you to be calm.

She needs you to tell her how to feel about this, that’s how we learn. Human psychology, all of it, is based on projection. We do lessons at the dining room table. We do crafts, go on nature walks, I’ve been dealing with health problems for decades and sometimes I wish she had a mother who didn’t need to sit on the bathroom floor for 20 minutes in the morning and breathe until she can manage getting some toast and coffee and feeding the cats.

My mother tells me, “She doesn’t even see that.” But I don’t know what she sees. I don’t know if she’ll need me to tell her about the spring we stayed inside, about the months she didn’t see her friends. I hate that she has lost half of her kindergarten year. I barely remember kindergarten. It’s the hardest thing to reckon with: You don’t get to choose what your children remember, or how they remember it.

It’s the hardest thing to reckon with, as a mother, as a daughter: Our children don’t belong to us. We belong to them. We only think of our ownership because we are large and they are small. We are old, and they are young. We think once claimed is claimed forever, that love imparts some unspoken wisdom, that we know. A mother knows. A mother is supposed to know.

A mother doesn’t know. A mother has no idea.

At her wedding, the girl I love like my own daughter caught my hands up in hers and I tried to tell her, stumbling a bit after two glasses of wine, how important she was to me. I work with a lot of kids; none of them invited me to their weddings, until her. When she was thousands of miles away in war zones working I would check on Facebook, make sure she’d been active in the past day. The past hour. She flew to Chicago for my daughter’s first birthday.

No matter how much time passes between us talking, she could call, in the middle of the night, say I need a shovel and an alibi. I’d go.

It’s not a phrase that had been invented, in the 21 years between my mother and me: Ride or die.

Of course you’d die for your child. That’s easy. It’s chemical, it’s instinct, it’s survival, it has to be. You love them before you know them, so that you keep them alive. Can you still love them, once everything that has ever happened to someone has happened to the both of you? Once you’ve happened to each other like a speeding train happens to a car stalled at the crossing, like a tornado happens to a town?

Are you ride or die, then?

What does it mean to ride? Does ride mean feed you, keep you safe, put you in a carseat and cut your grapes in half? That’s easy enough, for all our mommy-martyrdom. Is that all it means? Does it mean piano lessons? Does it mean until you’re 50? Are you ever done? There are people who are, who would be. Streets the world over are homes for children whose parents were done with them. The reverse, to be fair, as well.

I shudder at the very idea of I would do anything, forever: You are giving the gods a middle finger. Your future is out there waiting and it hears you. I shout it out just the same. Anything isn’t a hangnail, isn’t just showing up for a class play. Sometimes it’s involuntary commitment to a mental institution.

I don’t question love. What’s the use? But I question time space. I question years and miles. Not if they exist, but what they mean. What they might mean to me and mine. What I get to call mine: the girl I love like a daughter is not my daughter, feelings don’t give you rights, and all the love I bear my child, who knew my voice before she had a name, doesn’t obligate her to anything. I will keep saying this until I believe it the way I believe gravity: She does not owe me.

We are commanded by every deity we have ever invented to love the stranger. We think it means the scraggly homeless man who screams obscenities behind the trash cans in the alley, the twitching pale hitchhiker who needs a ride in the rain. I’ve begun to think it’s something else: Everyone is a stranger. The faces across the breakfast table, every single morning come ruin or rapture, the faces that need feeding and washing and kissing before school. Something happens and we say, how could I not have known?

How could you have, ever, known?

Does any of this make sense? I’m trying to say we don’t make sense to each other, mothers and daughters, and I’m trying to say I think it’s all right, that the chasm isn’t as important as the bridge we’re stringing across it, which will hang there until it’s needed. It’s 21 years and 70 miles wide, that bridge, between my mother and I. It’s two floors, in the house my daughter and I inhabit now, and 38 years, and a single breath when I hear her stir in her bed, in her warm safe bed at night.

My grandmother died at 91. My mother-in-law, two years ago. My daughter asked me, after her Nana’s funeral, how long do people live? How much time will there be, between us?

I didn’t have an answer for her.

All I had were numbers.

I hope that someday she’ll tell me what they mean.

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Not Everything Sucks

If you want happy in your inbox every day subscribe to this. I’ve learned a ton about skincare and online consignment and country music and it got me into Hadestown which is maybe not the HEALTHIEST musical to be obsessed with at the moment but it’s giving us something to listen to in the house that isn’t Disney.

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