The day Joe saved me 

The Senate had two types of elevators back in the day–staff, and Senator. We never went in theirs and they always popped up in ours. I’d like to think most encounters in the public elevators were pleasant, but I know better. 

Before I get to the time I shared an elevator with Obama, there was the time I was sent to deliver a note to the Senate floor. Like Game of Thrones, you never broke the wax seal of death, aka, the licked envelope of my boss, and so off I went, eager to pass off this note to the slaves on the floor so I could go back to answering the calls of insane yet colorful people like Prior, calling to complain about the red dress my boss was wearing on a Friday.  Honest to God, it was a thing. 

It was a nice day, I remember because I wore no coat as I took off to the Capitol. It was nice and I hadn’t tried to kill anyone that day, all indications of a successful week. 

The elevator opened on the bottom floor as planned and I lit up with the hope it’d take me to the desired floor w no family tour interruption. I was poised, ready, and anxious to get back.
The elevator door heavily slid open on the Senate floor, and before I could step outside, flashes of bulbs flashed and flashed and flashed and the amount of blinking I did was uncalled for but called for and I wanted to just hit close and go back down until a firm and guiding hand grabbed mine, pulled me out and whispered, “Hey kid, they’re out for me, not you. C’mon.” Bogart type shit.

I stopped blinking, looked up, and found my face in the attention of Joe Lieberman.  He winked, pulled me out, and tossed me along to the floor, gave me a quick wave, and off he went. He had nice hair. White hair, but nice, and a smile to match. 

I dropped the note on the Senate floor, ran outside to the driver pickup spot, lit a cigarette and told the drivers the story. I was ignited by meeting JL, and they laughed, knowing all too well the stories of leadership, and before I could realize what happened, Joe came out again, slipped into his car and went to leave. 

I went to toss my cigarette quickly, so he didn’t see me smoking, but heard his joyful bellow,

“You again?,” he smiled. “Better get back before they find you.”

And with that, he pulled away. 

Kennedy was more insulting, Obama so much more fun. Guess we’ll have to do this in batches. 

A true American hero–Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” —MLK Jr.
 
There are leaders. Quiet warriors, driven to protect, to serve, to fight for the underdogs, to exemplify all that is red, and white and blue. Educated, inspirational, hard working, determined, selfless, empathic, and kind. Kindness, maybe fundamental kindness, is the unsung characteristic of a true leader.
 
In a day where we are faced with our own leaders filled with hate, destruction, corruption, contempt, lies and laziness, it is today, this weekend, that is important to recognize those who have led, who have actually struggled, who looked fear in the eye and stared back unwilling to let hate win and conquer a people who have the potential to be so good, to be so brave, to trail blaze the living fuck out of the wrong this world is filled with today.
 
Remember this month, as we face a true mockery of American leadership, undeserving leadership, lacking qualifications, morals and the ability to unite our country that has not been as divided as it is at this very moment in a very, very long time.  Remember, there are leaders who have faced imprisonment, defamation and ultimately, death–all in the name of fighting for what is right in this world, for patriotism.
 
These men, Martin Luther King Jr., our most recent President, and many, many others, they carried on with a quiet selflessness and courage that I hope my children will always remember, embody and continue in their own lives. These are the men that I want my boys to know rose up and faced challenges head on, united people, lit sparks of hope that could not be put out, and asked for nothing in return, not fame, not fortune, and certainly not thanks. These are who I want my boys to know.
 
We are better than what we are about to witness take over this month. We are better than hate, and venom, and the incitement of fear and the bullying. We are Americans, we have risen from the ashes of those seeking to destroy us, and we will do it again. It is sad that this moment in time is unique in that the destruction comes from within our borders, in our own House, from people we hoped we could trust.
 
The circumstances, we cannot change those. But the future, we can, and we will, and we will all be better people for it.
 
The spark that MLK Jr ignited in 1963 with I Have a Dream, burns on. It’s up to us to ensure it lights new flames filled with optimism and hope, and that it never, ever goes out.
 
You were one of a kind, MLK, and you will be remembered forever.

Happy 2017!! Advice, goals and encouragement

Every New Year, I say I’m going to stop saying swear words and drink more water. Fucking lies, I know. So, this year, instead, I’m going to tell you what I wish for myself, how I’m going to try to represent myself daily, and I hope you make a similar pledge, something you write true to yourself, something that makes you ready for 2017.  And obvious disclaimer, I’m not perfect, not even close. I’m pretty awful most days. But, every new year is a time to do something new, bold, memorable and FUCKING AMAZING. And if nothing else, I’ll try to do that. Anyone with me?

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Here we go, Happy 2017!!–
Talk to everyone, not just the person you think it’ll impress. Being kind is far more superior than being popular. And everyone, remember, has a story.

Remember a name, and never forget someone’s story. They told it to you for a reason.

Eat all the weird things.  Some weird things are nice. And if you hate it, spit it on a napkin quietly, throw it out when you pee, and make yourself a sandwich when no one is looking.

Hug everyone who looks like they need it, and maybe, those who don’t. A hug holds far more magic than you could ever imagine. And hugs are free. And sometimes, they save a soul.

Stop judging each other.  No one is as rich or smart or fancy as they make seem on social media. A size 6 in one place is a size 4, 8, 13, and 16 in another.  Everyone’s children are awful,  and they all, at one time or another, smear shit on walls or siblings or us when the rest of you aren’t looking through The Facebook. Your lawn is not better kept than mine just because you took a picture the one day a year you had it mowed.  Your picture with your painted toes on the lawn chair, on the beach, with the ocean in the background does not imply that you did not miss confessional (again) or that your child doesn’t eat rocks or that you wouldn’t trade a paycheck for a month’s worth of childless and husbandless naps.  Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and all of THE INTERNETS is just a fucking lie.  We’re not who we are in our posts.  Unless we’re talking about the posts of filled wine glasses that I post on days that end in Y that I post for moral support.  Those are legit fucking real.  Anyway.  We all love a good filter, me included, but let’s let it stop there.  We aren’t all our filter selves, and no one should expect us to be.

A cheers to celebrate a drink is a universal sign of acceptance and friendship. Never be afraid to cheers a new friend–you’re probably making one for a lifetime.

Smiles are as free as hugs, though, don’t ask the Germans because they say the reason they never smile is BECAUSE SMILES ARE NOT FREE. This is why we don’t listen to Germans. However, smiles ARE FREE, and, sometimes, someone has been waiting for one for a very long time. Give them freely and honestly, and with love. You’d think they are carelessly tossed away, but for some, they’re not, and they’re the difference in the world.

Travel to the one new place you can afford to get to.  You don’t need to go to Japan, Africa or Cancun to make a difference in your life.  Sometimes, even that quiet piece of woods two towns over becomes the comforting slice of heaven you’ve been needing for all of time.  Water, sunshine and lots of dirt can cure far more things than money can buy, I promise. Get dirty and find your new place.  Maybe you’ll realize you have a new safe place you never thought you needed.

If you love someone, right or wrong timing, tell them–drunk OR sober. 🙂 There’s only one exact time in life for love, and it is always now, right now. Once you’ve blinked, it may be too late, and no one, no one ever, has been worse off in this life for being loved too hard or too much.

Stop hating women and empower them. I’m not going to get political, but this goes for men and women. If you are a woman, be proud and help another woman. Don’t be jealous and and spiteful in playgroups and social media or the workplace. Raise each other up, help each other with your families, be a light of hope and kindness and not a loud voice full of judgement and snark. And men? You have been surrounded by women who loved you your whole life. Love your own and make a good example of yourselves for your family. It’s hard to believe I need to add this to my goals in 2017 but can we just fucking love women in general and move the living fuck on?
Do that hobby that makes you happy. Shake, sweat, create, write, yell, run, build, snap, work hard, bust ass, paint, glitter, fix, nurture, love, cook, study, learn. Never stop. You only have until that last breathe and we never know just quite when it will come, do we?

Love the person that tells you they love you for your mind.  That person is the 1%, and that person means it, and you’ll maybe never find that person again.  Also, be the person who tells someone else this.  Lipgloss and gym memberships can be bought.  Crazy, bold and wild minds cannot be bought or tamed.
The world is only a better place if you participate in it. Stop complaining. Stop making noise. Meet people, read a book, donate money or your time. Try your inside voice instead of your shouting voice. Really, it’s going to be a tough year, and we all need to reach out. If you haven’t found something you love to support and be proactive in, give it a try. There’s a cause for everyone, and this world can’t hold up without us all trying.
Learn from your regret and mistakes and make the world blaze from your lessons. Stand tall in your hurt and shout from the highest of highs the lessons you’ve learned. You earned it. You deserve it. And no one can make you a better person than you can.

Forgive.  Maybe most important and least used lesson each year.  I don’t know what YOU need to do, what you need to forgive or forget.  So I’ll give you the short list of what I need to forgive, and maybe you’ll see something along my spewing that makes you think maybe you should do the same.  What would I forgive? Myself, for all of these: Being so very imperfect, for not giving a fuck, for expecting people to order respectable beers, for not toning it down, for expecting the world to make sense, for hating people who ask for steaks well done, for expecting people to not act like back woods idiots during an election year, for not asking for an apology for my life, for not giving the apologies I should have and meant to but never got around to, for not saving lives, for not using my inside voice, for not being a perfect parent, for not writing enough, for not listening enough, for not napping enough, for not eating chips and cookies and butter every last chance I ever had, for not caring if my jean size was smaller than my shoe size, for swimming in public w no clothes on, for not drinking more gin because I know gin is just awful for me but actually magic but seriously awful for everyone involved, for not learning how not to give non verbal cues in the workplace and public where people don’t appreciate the accidental looks that I can’t (or don’t try to) control w my face, for not learning how to clean a house, for not learning how to cook meals like chicken finger salad or grilled cheese which APPARENTLY DO NOT COUNT, for singing too loudly and off-key because I think Adele and I basically have the same talent but I’m just not discovered yet, for wearing my jeans unwashed for 12 days at a time or just sweatpants 217 days a year because seriously, FUCK PANTS.  For pretty much everything I do on a daily basis, so let’s be real, it’s The Year 2017, and I’m probably close to being a lost cause already and it’s Day One.

So, as my hours in the First Day draw to and end, I’ll leave you with the above .  Hopefully, if you made it through this post, I’ve helped you with your goals, worked you through your issues and geared you up for another fulfilling and amazing New Year.  It’s going to be a great one, friends.  It’s just what you make of it.  Don’t you dare fucking let me down.  🙂