Category Archives: Posts

Another Dispatch from the Hideout

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu

It seems that I’ve retreated to the hideout again. For those not familiar with my earlier post, the hideout is a virtual one, described as follows, “I don’t have a cabin in the woods, or a bunker in the basement, I only have my home, a 645-square foot apartment. It’s where I wake up in the morning, retreat at the end of the work day, hideout on the weekends when I’m writing or feeling introverted, and end my days, often falling asleep on the couch watching TV. Yeah, I’m that girl. I live alone and most days I’m happy with that choice.”   Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: Unhappy Anniversary

Note: This is the sixth installment of The Toilet Zone, a commentary series on the Trump presidency.  

“You can’t move forward until you look back.” — Cornel West

First, let me go on record. I resisted writing another opinion piece about the Trump presidency. This past week marked the year anniversary of the election — and for many of us — Trump’s startling, shock-wave inducing, tear-filled, head-shaking victory, followed by intermittent denial, and expressions of WTF!  Every day since the election, I’ve consumed more than my fair share of news and commentary on Trump’s presidency and the state of the world. I’m more awake than I care to be most days. Continue reading

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Remembering Jane

Jane Rowe 3/25/1932 -10/19/2017 

Jane was many things to many people. To me, she was a friend, the mother of a friend, Michele, the spouse or partner of friends, Carol, Bea, and Elthea, a mentor, a member of a fellowship we shared, and my first sponsor in that fellowship. Together with other women we founded a peer support recovery center WISH (Women in Support and Healing) which continued to sponsor meetings after the doors closed. I had the privilege of recording Jane’s oral history interview for the University of Wisconsin – Madison Libraries Oral History Program, LGBT Community, 1960s-Present. Continue reading

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Me Too — DAMMIT!

Trigger Warning: This essay contains firsthand memories of sexual molestation and harassment.

From my memoir, Perfectly Flawed:

“It was during one of those occasions I lay napping on the guest bed at my maternal grandmother’s house, on the chenille bedspread under the picture of the geese taking flight from the marsh, Charlie came into the bedroom to wake me.  As I struggled to gain consciousness and understand what was happening, I could feel Charlie’s beard stubble scrape my cheeks like sandpaper. His beer and cigar-soaked breath was at my ear, breathing heavily. Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: Tipping Point

Note: This is the fifth installment of The Toilet Zone, a commentary series on the Trump presidency.

“There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.”

This week I reached my limit, the tipping point. I momentarily went off the rails, posting on Facebook, using social media as my primal screen therapy, echo chamber of sorts. It was in response to this past Sunday, when a crazed white male gunman, domestic terrorist, lone wolf (you choose the descriptor) massacred innocent people attending an outdoor country music festival, 58 dead, almost 500 wounded or injured. My nephew and his family live and work in Las Vegas. My nephew John is a Metropolitan Las Vegas Police Officer, one of hundreds of first responders and heroes, including concert-goers who stepped up to help save lives. Continue reading

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Battle of the Sexes Redux

It’s just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let’s start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences. — Billie Jean King

“I wanted to use sports for social change.” — Billie Jean King

“You’ve Come a Long Way Baby.” — Virginia Slims cigarette slogan, first sponsor of the women’s tennis circuit which later became the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association).

Each generation experiences firsthand a series of events which become mile markers and touchstones for our lives. The past two weeks, I was reminded, while watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s riveting PBS documentary series, The Vietnam War, of being a baby boomer who came of age from preteen to young adult during the Vietnam War. Beginning last year, and continuing this year, I watched documentaries and narrative films about the anniversaries of Civil Rights protest marches, riots, and tragedies, most recently the film Detroit. On Friday, the reminiscing continued when I saw the new film, Battle of the Sexes, chronicling the $100,000 tennis television spectacle between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, billed as the “battle of the sexes,” women’s libber vs. chauvinist pig.  Continue reading

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Hotel Bar

“A recovering alcoholic walks into a hotel bar…”

You may be surprised on how this story ends. I’m the recovering alcoholic — that’s not a surprise to most of my readers — yet soon I will be scouting locations for my new web series, Hotel Bar. No worries, I won’t be drinking anything that contains alcohol during my site visits, but I will ultimately tell a story or two about a subject I know about, bars, bartenders, and the stories they hear. Continue reading

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Seasons/Change

“Memories recycle of seasons past
of people absent and places far away.
I soothe myself with the solace of ritual.
There is comfort in repetition
and wonder in change.” — From the poem, The Solace of Ritual, Linda Lenzke

It has been and continues to be a hellavu week, a reminder of the power of nature the relationship of the sun, moon, and earth and how it impacts the weather. Beginning this past Monday in North America, we witnessed the total or partial eclipse of the sun, depending on where we landed on, or near, the path of totality. Continue reading

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Three Things I Don’t Need (or Want)

Why I still think like a baby boomer…

As a person who falls somewhere in the middle of the continuum between fogey and creative innovator, I find myself at the threshold of the past and the future — again. As a baby boomer born in 1950, I was a late adopter to technology — though I’ve embraced many of its tools, often following some initial resistance — I’m now dependent on devices and software that enables communication, commercial and bureaucratic transactions, access to media, intellectual content, navigation, and social networking. On the flip side, most days I still enjoy direct person-to-person interaction. I’m not as fond of autonomously-powered tools or systems which rely on AI (artificial intelligence). I’m not sure how many robots I’d like for roommates. Did you hear that Cortana, Siri, and Alexa? Continue reading

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Dispatch from the Hideout

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”― Albert Camus

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

For me, the past week has been one of introspection and retreat. It began with the 18-month anniversary of my mother’s death, counterbalanced by joyful anniversaries and celebrations of the living — birthdays, graduations, and more, of family members and loved ones — grief and gratitude. This unfolded during a critical period in the political landscape when our leaders were charged with designing and implementing a promised healthcare plan, first, repeal then replace, which when brought to a vote in a number of forms, failed again, and again, and yes, again.   Continue reading

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