Author: Stephanie

On the matter of the Parkland Shooting


I’ve been at a loss for words the last few words these past few days. Which, for me, is a strange place to be. I  want to write about that racist elf, Jeff Sessions, I want to write about Black Panther and how I can’t wait to see it and it’s disheartening to see white people either fetishizing or saying it’s “too political”. I want to write about the latest indictments and what that means…but I cannot find anything in my heart right now, no snarky, funny take on anything.

All I hear are those gunshots  and screams ringing through the classrooms and halls of Stoneman Douglas high school. All I see is the bloodied broken bodies of children, barely beginning their lives, laying on the cold tile floor. I see these brave teens picking up the mantle and publicly calling out grown-ups who have failed them.

Jennifer Ansbach tweeted “I’m not sure why people are so surprised the students are rising up. We’ve been feeding them a steady diet of dystopian literature showing teens leading the charge for years. We have told teen girls they were empowered. What, you thought it was fiction? It was preparation. ” It’s true. They know this story. The adults have led us into a dysfunctional and cruel world and it is up to the teenagers to pick up the fight and put it right. These are the kids who grew up on Hunger Games, on Divergent. And if school shootings are the Hunger Games then Emma Gonzalez is Katniss.

A strange thing happened when I became a mother, I suddenly felt like all children are mine. And so, though she isn’t mine, I worry about Emma Gonzales. Who’s immediately historic speech has placed her front and center in this fight. She is now the face on the poster, the tough young woman on the news, the subject of slander on the internet already. I want to step in and protect her, all of them, from the blaming and trolling. I want to give a verbal kick to those who are grief policing them. They’re not mourning properly. They’re not grieving properly.

This is how they are mourning. This is how they are dealing. This activism and taking on the world is how they are honoring their fallen classmates.

We aren’t home with these children when it is quiet, when the sun goes down. We don’t know how a loud noise may send their pulse racing. How they may have nightmares, or be unable to sleep at all. We don’t know if they are constantly on edge or if at the moment they are numb. We don’t know how they may feel when they are all alone. We don’t know.

What we do know is they are not alone, students all over America agree with them, they don’t want to be slaughtered at school. And they will vote, sooner rather than later. I cannot wait till the entire Stoneman Douglas Survivors succeed in making our world a safer place.

I will listen to those who cry that having their guns taken is more tragic than having their children ripped away violently.

I will be happy to send them my thoughts and prayers.

Guns, my father, and knowing sometimes people don’t come back.

My dad. My middle, Huckleberry, sits and waves just like this.


The gunshot, the blood, the murder itself is a heavy stone dropped from a great height into our lives. Immediately everything is violently displaced. Though we continue existing, though what has been displaced settles… the ripples pullulate outward for decades. Generational repercussions lessening until it’s simply family lore. And even then, there is still pain.

A gunshot ended my father’s life when I was a young toddler. A blank canvas exists where my memories of him should be. My father figures pieced together from television shows and friend’s father’s over the years. I can’t recall his smile or the scent of him as he held me close. No sound of his voice rings in my ears. I am left with no wise words or funny dad sayings to repeat to my children now. He is a story. A tale of death.

My mother and grandparents, and aunt and uncle- the first ripple- don’t speak of him. Not much anyway. More now, that decades have passed. For survival, I believe they detached. We do what we have to to keep going. I grew up knowing very little of him. Perhaps it was too painful to share him, to see his pictures, to keep any part of him with us, so for their survival he was banished. His body cremated so there is no grave, in fact, I do not even know what happened to his ashes. This hurts. I would like to know. I searched for things to make him REAL when I was young. And there was nothing. Nothing but a violent death, a trial, a man living in a prison responsible. As I grew older and wiser I searched out more and more details on the one thing I had; his death. I know too much of what happened to my father, and not nearly enough of what made my father my father.

I was raised in the aftermath of a tragedy, a news story, a made for Dateline murder. I wasn’t shot. I feel the ripple effect every single day.

When his murderer was executed; a new ripple was created for me. For this was the first tangible thing that happened to prove my father was more than a story. And what a horrible thing that was.

As a child I often felt detached, a watcher of a movie of my life. It took a kitten, stray and depending only on me to break that barrier. Now I have children and there is no barrier and they feel a ripple everyday. They are far too young to know the details of their grandfather’s death, but they know he is gone since I was a baby.

They know they will be told I love them every time we say goodbye, they know I have hugs and kisses and reassurances for them every I drop them off at school. Even on days when a school shooting isn’t in the news. (Do those days exist anymore?)

I try to lessen the effect on them. The ripple. I try to give them the I love yous, without telling them every time I let you go I think I will never see you again. Because I grew up with that. Everytime I said goodbye to anyone I simply assumed it would be the last time I ever saw them. Because it happened. Because it happens. Because yesterday parents said goodbye to their kids and they will never see them again. Because yesterday 17 children said goodbye to their parents, to brothers and sisters and they will never see them again.

The one thing I have is knowing that my father died standing up for what was right. There is a clear, specific cause and effect for us. I ache every time someone says these tragedies are senseless. These children, these deaths…they’re not senseless, we simply choose to be blind. We refuse to tackle the perfect storm of toxic masculinity, supremacy, lack of mental health care and being able to buy an assault weapon at Walmart easier than getting a driver’s licence or adopting a rescue pet. There is sense behind their deaths. It’s a terrible sense.We must not look away.

These children’s deaths will ripple for generations, those who did not die are still wounded, their children will be, their grandchildren will be. And unless we do something, soon everyone in America will be caught in the maelstrom.

And no offence, but I don’t want you here. I don’t want anyone else here with me.


Opinion: Everyone Should Move On From Telling Hillary to Move On.


Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Another day, another OpEd telling Hillary she should go away. It is so annoying that she reminds us constantly by existing that we elected a maniac. I mean we already told her to get lost and start knitting. It’s winter and we all need socks, so what is she doing with her free time? Then again, knitting is kinda cool, so it’s too good for her. She should really go somewhere with high humidity and only be allowed to wear a hair shirt.

Why does she insist on being so here and literate, and now that she is unleashed from campaigning she is funny and charming? What is that about? The nerve of that woman, I swear.

Another thing, how dare she even think that Comey or Russia or the gutting of the Voter Rights Act or unconstitutional gerrymandering have anything to do with her loss? I mean, sure we have all the data and male pundits and statisticians have said it, but how dare she not simply take all the responsibility? She should get herself to a nunnery for some solid soul searching. Where is her mea culpa? Why won’t she lay prostrate and let us abuse her and blame her for letting us down? When will she walk through the streets like Cersei while we cry shame! You let us down by 79,000 votes in the exact right districts! SHAME!

Who does think she is giving inspirational speeches encouraging us and raising money for down-ticket Dems? Encouraging women to run for office? Honestly. Its almost as if she thinks she still has something to contribute even though she isn’t president.

Now comes the paragraph with the qualifiers; because the rules that are you are not allowed to like, speak, or write about Hillary Clinton without qualifying. Hillary: Perfect, no. Late on marriage equality, yes. Wrong on Fracking, yes. That Crime Bill when she was First Lady, am I right? Etc etc etc.  She was, as will no doubt be included in her obituary, a “flawed candidate”. Something, by the way, every single person who ever has or will run for president will be.  Thomas Jefferson purchased a 14-year-old girl for a” love” slave, Donald Trump bragged about sexual assault on tape, Nixon was a crook, Bill got a BJ. But do go on about how flawed Secretary Clinton is. Again and again, she is expected to be perfect and to be punished for falling short. For being human.

She should go away. If you lose the presidential race you simply disappear. Like John McCain, Mitt Romney, Al Gore and John Kerry. They were never heard from again. Ghosts.

Knitting from the beyond….

Hillary Clinton has something to say. If you don’t like it, change the channel, but I myself and tired of being told to be quiet, so I am here for her voice.


Doritos for Girls!



I wanted to write some funny bit about the lady Doritos, cause let’s be honest there is so much comedy there, I mean come on.


The least of which is that non-crunchy doritos are just corn tortillas, and I will eat those bad girls wrapped around taco junk like WHOA. And I will eat them in fluffy slippers while weeping over the Notebook, hidden in my pink bedroom with my canopy bed and and write in my journal. I’m also making a fake Facebook account so I can stalk that one  high school boyfriend. OH! I super hope they make pink lady Doritos (Doritas? Dorititas?) for Breast Cancer Awareness month! The only thing better than delicate girly corn chips is pink girly corn chips!

If you make ANYTHING pink we will buy it. Right ladies? We are like pink hammer? Gimme! Pink TV’s? I am a grown up so YES! Oh! Can it have a bow? Maybe kitty ears. We love animal ears on everything! Or Pom Poms!

But as an eating disordered woman, one who is healthy now, this just hits me right where it counts. I remember distinctly seeing Scarlett O’Hara being told to eat before she goes to the barbecue at Twelve Oaks. Because the men can’t see you eat. (now, this is probably the LEAST horrible thing in that flick but stick with me) Order a salad, don’t finish your meals on dates, we are taught. By the 4th grade most girls on are on a diet or believing they need to diet. Skipping lunch becomes the norm as the only thing worse than being weak enough to need food is the shame of letting people see how weak you are. Your shame is compounded if you make noise.  A Diet Coke and a cheese stick for strength is all any girl needs.

We teach our girls to be small and quiet, complacent and pliable. To watch our tone and to not be too loud, too angry or in general too much. Now you want to tell me that eating Doritos is an affront to femininity?  Their marketing idea is making chips easier to hide and quieter to eat? Hard pass on that. Junk food already has shameful connotations, sneaking a chip, we shouldn’t be eating this, etc. etc. etc.

It may seem like a cute gimmick, well a stupid gimmick but it reinforces a very strong force on us and our girls. And it sucks.

So you’ll forgive me if the idea of non-crunchy secretive doritos made to fit in your purse doesn’t fill me with glee. Did they not fit in purses before? Are mini bags a secret only mom type women are privy too? I have three kids, at any given time I have a bag of chips…somewhere. Ladies without children, lean in, let me tell you a secret…Doritos come in little bags. You can get them at the store or even in vending machines. I know right, this is BRAND NEW INFORMATION.


We don’t need feminine chips. We do need feminine products for lower income girls. We need workplaces free of sexual harassment. We need female leaders who will speak for us. We need male leaders to view us as humans.

The idea that we eat Doritos too loudly and we should be ashamed of that?

We don’t need that.



Let me fat in peace


Yesterday Cardi-B took to instagram to comment on her weight. It was the insta heard round the world. Her video clip will certainly go down in history as it contains one of the greatest sentences ever uttered by a human.


It will be entered in the quote hall of fame along with:

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Let me fat in peace.

While it’s true that as a performer Cardi-B’s image is in play with her career, but only female artists ever field questions about weight, and of course if they gain weight surely it must because they are pregnant. Cardi-B speaks for us all when she says, hell no, let me fat in peace. Even in the midst of the #MeToo movement and #TimesUp she gives us a good reminder (and a comeback I wish I had thought of, to be honest) of how every day women’s bodies are still for public consumption. I heard a lot of comments on Justin Timberlake last night, some valid, some hilarious and so wrong, but not one on his body and whether it was in and of itself acceptable. Women artists are not given the same respect. Cardi-B’s worth as a performer or a person is not lessened by an extra 5. Let the woman fat in peace!

For now, body shaming-along with slut shaming, which Cardi-B is also no stranger too, is the first weapon in the arsonal when women are too strong, too powerful too…much. There is nothing a woman can do that a man must comment on.


May we all fat in peace. May we all thin in peace. May we exercise in peace or relax in peace. May we all wear tie die or Chanel in peace. May we wear make up or not in peace. May we run households or countries in peace.

And pass the nachos cause right now, I am gonna fat in peace. And I dare anyone to say anything about it…

When they tell us to ‘smile’

Feminist Baby knows how to deal with this aready.

By now it has happened to you, if not it will. Some man or even the White House Press Secretary will deem your face unacceptable and insist you rearrange it to their liking. 


You might be walking down the street, to school or to identify a body – whatever, and some man will suddenly cry “Smile! You’re too pretty to frown!” or some variation of the same theme. It doesn’t matter if you’re dressed to the nines or in sweats and Ugg boots, men always feel free to comment on our appearance and how it somehow should be altered to make their world a prettier place.

It won’t even matter if you are at the Women’s March, some man will say “Free fuck Trump souvenirs! All you have to do it give me a smile!”

You may want to punch him in his smug probably unshaven face, a completely valid emotional response, or perhaps just scream an obscenity at him. You’d certainly be warranted. Maybe you, like most of us, give a small reflexive smile, all while wishing you had a foam capsule hidden in your cheek to suggest you have rabies and he is next. Despite the fact commenting on someone’s appearance is rude to begin with, we have been trained to take it, lest we ourselves appear rude. But enough with that. I suggest we all take a deep breath and employ all the weapons in our arsenal. Including our smiles.


To get you started, here are a few inspirational come-backs you can use.


Go for the gut:


-It’s just that smell…is that you?

-It just seems wrong to patronize the socially challenged.

-I don’t smile at ugly people

-Your fly is down, and there is nothing there you want to show off.

– Drop and give me twenty.

-Your mama must be so proud! Be sure to tell her when she tucks you in tonight.


Dark responses :


-Smiling feels wrong when I am about to kill you

-I lost my smile in the war

-Sorry, you remind me of my uncle that  touched me in the bad place

-I am just waiting for the results of my biopsy.

– Give them a big creepy smile with dead eyes and just stare at them. A little too long is just the right amount.


Hit him with TMI:

-Sorry, it’s just that my dog died and these infertility hormone shots are just making me crazy. Plus I feel like I am going to puke at any second, and I can’t eat anything but all I want is a tuna fish sandwich. Do you like Tuna? You seem like the kind of guy that like tuna but rarely gets it….

-It’s just that my uterine lining is sloughing off and it feels like the physical embodiment of that time this guy that looks a lot like you made me sit through a Lord Of The Rings marathon.

-I have nerve damage in my face. I was rendered incapable of smiling by men who think I am here to make their world more aesthetically pleasing.

– *Burst into tears*



-Why, are you gonna give me a cookie?

– That never occurred to me!

Smile big, start skipping and singing

-What? What? (pretending not to hear)

– Thank you for reminding me I am only here to please you.


Depending on my mood these are the two favorites I use on a weekly basis:


-*Waving hand like Obi-Wan* I am not the woman you are looking for.

-Awe. Bless your heart.


Then go buy yourself a latte or a bloody mary. You deserve it for not burning it all down. And if you want to smile a self-satisfied smile while you drink it, go for it. 

Be a voice for those with prisoner tongues

“Be a voice for those with prisoner tongues.”


This phrase from Halsey’s breathtaking poem at the Women’s March keeps ringing in my ears. Be a voice for those with prisoner tongues. What a sentence. What a call to action. It’s not a new one, by any stretch, which makes it all the more aching.

I’ve been thinking on what it means to be a white woman in America right now, because we are at a crossroads in this country and women who look like me need to get it together. We white girls are raised with a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, I have been a prisoner of it my whole life.  But mine is a gilded cage. My chains are societal norms, cultural conditioning, and generations old misogyny, indoctrinated and internalized.  What I specifically needed to break out of my prison was knowledge and the confidence and belief that I could.


Mine are not physical constrainments. Jails and schools are set up to kneecap white girls but not destroy them. It is not this way for others in this country. It is simply not. It’s far past time for us to recognize facts, let go of our defensives and shame over this and deal with it.

I can do nothing about the past. Today I can do something about. It costs me nothing to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and yes, even the part my ancestors may have played in that. (Full disclosure my family arrived in 1631 and settled North. As of now I don’t know if any of my ancestors owned slaves, but we sure didn’t treat Native Americans all that well) I cannot change that. What I can do is honor the sacrifice others made. I can loudly amplify and validate voices crying that systemic racism is real. I lose nothing by doing so. This country was, and still is built on the backs on black and brown people. This is the truth and if my saying it upsets you more than it happening, well then…well, I am gonna keep saying it until the actual events are more upsetting than the words.


So now I personally have reached the point where I have realized I could walk about of my prison on my own (And not all white women can, but I could…and whatever we go through women of color have that plus a million more obstacles) Like Dorothy, I had the power all along. I just wasn’t aware of it. I feel a frustrated empathy for white women who aren’t there yet. Who don’t know yet. We are wasting precious time.

I am learning every day more and more and one thing I know I must learn more.

As white women we are taught to be gentle, decorative and to feel blessed that any good fortune comes our way, especially a good man. Thankful for scraps. I am done with scraps, I want a full course meal and I want EVERYONE to have a full course meal. And it starts with making sure everyone has access to all the same opportunities. What we do with those opportunities is up to us. I have squandered many a one myself. But I had them. So many don’t.


So many have prisoner tongues. Prisoner souls. Prisoner bodies. I found my voice, and I am always testing it out, getting it right more often than not, sometimes saying it wrong. Always willing to learn more.

I will be a voice for those with prisoner tongues. Both publicly and in person one on one.

If someone had done that for me when I was a girl, if just one person had spoken up, if one person had…what might the world have looked like for me? What might it look like for a girl who has all the same problems I had plus those girls of color are born into? We can change this. We must realize that those with prisoner tongues are not less than.

Like anything else, the first step is admitting it is a problem.  It is.

Cecile Richards said “I’ve been privileged to be a troublemaker my whole life, I was raised by a troublemaker… Rep John Lewis said, good trouble, I hope. ”

There it is. She had the privilege to be a troublemaker. So many do not have the privilege to speak up, to speak out. She does. And I am claiming mine. I have the privilege to do so, I won’t waste it.


I want to be a troublemaker and I want to raise trouble makers. Good troublemakers.


(Some of my favorite pictures I took at the 2018 DC Women’s March. )

So, let’s talk about those pink “Pussy” hats.



I was recently told “Not good enough. Dig deeper” on a Facebook thread about the infamous Pussy hats. Immediately I felt confused,  defensive, and upset. But then I really thought about it. Sometime  our privilege can blind us to seeing farther than our own noses. I had stated that the hats were great last year, pink was for planned parenthood and has been the default color for girl for ages…but things take a life of their own and  while it was empowering to be in a sea of women of all skin colors (though admittedly a touch heavy on the white chicks side) But I will be wearing something else this year.  And then I snidely remarked that if anyone  thought that hat was a true representation of a vagina…well, I don’t even know.

It was a FB comment, short and not containing all I wanted to say. I thought perhaps my message was clear but it wasn’t. So I spent an hour reading op-eds and articles about the start of the pink hat movement and now. The tone has really changed.

Everything happened fast and furious and the pink hats were something that could be shared on line. They were quick and easy to mail, a way to show our upset and unity against Trump.  They made a powerful visual. A sea of pink so deep and wide we couldn’t even actually march because there were too many of us to move!

A year has passed, and while our wounds (well, mine anyway) are re-opened every day by some new fresh hell of a program being cut, or an abuser gas-lighting a nation and his ilk feeling emboldened to bring blatant racism out into the open, some things HAVE changed. One of those things is the meaning and value of the pink hat. Many people don’t feel that the pink hat is inclusive to them.  Women means ALL women. Of all colors. Of all orientations. Cis or trans. Many of them are saying these hats do not represent them. And while we may argue “it’s just a hat!” and “that’s not what we meant!” is the pink pussy hat really a hill to die on?

I sure don’t think so. The pussy hat is safely in my closet with all my other memorabilia from the march and from seeing Hillary, I’ve put it away for my daughter. Maybe she will think it’s a cool show and tell. Maybe she will roll her eyes and think I am ridiculous for saving every little thing, including but not limited to a gold press on tattoo of a uterus. I think fondly on that day, packed like sardines surrounded by a million women and more than a few men, protesting. Sometimes I look back on that moment when I feel alone and need to recharge.

This year we march again, all of us, arm in arm as we watch our democracy slip dangerously into banana republic territory and I want to make it clear I am with all women of all colors, shapes, sizes, orientations, cis or trans. I AM WITH HER.

To do this we must accept that there was racism in feminism. While white women fought for rights, women of color watched their children, cleaned houses and were not allowed to fight alongside them. and in fact were quite vocally excluded from benefits white women were hoping to reap. We cannot go back in time and fix that, it’s past. But there is much we can do now, and an easy one is listen and put away the hat. What does it cost us, as white women, what do we lose as white women to acknowledge the past and work to make our current movement inter-sectional? We lose nothing and we gain everything.  We are, ahem, stronger together.


That means so much more than a pink hat. So let go of what the hat meant last year, honor it. It really meant something to me, then but it served it’s purpose.  The resistance, the people are what matters, are what create change. Not a hat. So I will be there in DC marching, and I won’t be wearing a pink pussy hat. I ordered a Mueller Time hat. I hope it comes in time.

For many of us the Women’s March was our first protest, and it was amazing. It was inspiring and inspirational, but the pink pussy hats aren’t like the best souvenir from the best concert we ever went to. Women are in peril in this country. Starting with marginalized women. It is on us who occupy the center to pull focus to them. If they are saying loudly “these hats don’t represent us and in fact make us feel excluded” it costs me NOTHING to say. No hat, got it. I don’t take it personally, I just take off the hat and double down on plans to be vocal in my support of women and their causes. All women.

The real question is does our love for a pink hat supersede our love for our fellow women?

There is only one correct answer to that. No.

Then grab a blue wave hat, or a rainbow hat, or an RBG or whatever you want, and meet me on January 20th.

Cause we have work to do.



2017 was the year I became Fucking Furious.

2017 was the year I became fucking furious.


I am Fucking Furious. And I left all my fucks to give about it in 2016 when defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory and we unleashed a serial sex abuser, liar, and all around evil maniac on the world at large. I’d like to say I got angry right away but it took a good long while from the time I tucked my daughter into bed telling her the world would be different in the morning and the morning when I woke her up and it sure as hell was, just not as we had hoped.


And I am Fucking Furious.


In every way, so far, my day to day life has not been practically affected. No one has come for me, my children, my friends or -and this is my son’s biggest fear- no one has come to cart away his friends. My home life is the same. I shop at the mostly same stores, I do the same things. But every day, though this hasn’t yet landed on my shore, I fight. I call. I resist. I speak out. I am petty AF and tag Susan Sarandon on twitter with “I AM SO ENERGIZED!” when one year olds are separated from their parents by ICE, when a young man adopted as a baby is sent back to a country he has never known, ripped from his family here in America and promptly commits suicide. Super energizing, right?

I know it’s not enough.


I am Fucking Furious at the media who still insists on publishing “Who knew it would be this bad?” op eds. WE KNEW. EVERY HILLARY VOTER KNEW. WE FUCKING KNEW AND WE TOLD YOU.


I am Fucking Furious that a candidate who got the second highest popular vote win margin all while fighting misinformation, lies, conspiracies and OMG HER EMAILS, is still labeled a ‘flawed candidate.” All candidates are flawed. Human beings are flawed. But even if she didn’t get to shatter that glass ceiling (adjusts tinfoil Hillbot hat and whispers “I bet she did win and it will come out eventually”) she is still not given her due. I am furious  that sexism and misogyny played such a significant role, and that fact is denied in countless ways even as male reporter after male reporter is fired for sexual harassment or abuse…including more than 10 who helped shaped the negative narrative around our first female major party nominee and popular vote winner, ignoring her policy and plans opting to shame her for emails, interrupting her at every turn all while lobbing softballs at a man who brags about grabbing women by the pussy.


I am Fucking Furious.


2017 was the first time I finally understood the urge to scream “NOT ALL….” because white women elected Trump. Finally, I understood the desire to not be in that group. Because, I worked my ass off to make sure that very thing wouldn’t happen and it wasn’t enough. I am Fucking Furious at white women for so many things. And I’m unbearably rage shaking at the way we raise girls in this country. Because I know all too well that being raised a white girl is to be raised with Stockholm syndrome, identifying with our captors, feeling grateful for scrap. Because there are large areas of this country where information is still controlled and filtered and so many women don’t even know the damage of internalized misogyny. I am Fucking Furious about that. How do we fight that?

I am Fucking Furious that Time named #MeToo the Person of the Year and didn’t have the founder of that movement Tarana Burke front and center on the cover. It’s not that fucking hard, Time.

I am Fucking Furious that making a statement like “Nazis are bad” or “White Supremacy is wrong” are controversial. They should be the baseline of existence. I am fucking furious that Black Lives Matter is compared to terrorist organizations when truly it’s more like Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. Black lives DO matter, and it needs to be said loudly and often because right now in this country black bodies are piling up at an alarming rate due to police violence, and how to we all take a breath, step back and fix this? I am Fucking FURIOUS that a Baltimore officer stepped up to speak truth about this and hey! What do you know…he was murdered before he could.

I am Fucking Furious at purists who set us back decades because progress is slow. I am speechless at what is happening in Puerto Rico and how our news cycle is a veritable Jackson Pollack of disasters and lies. I am Fucking Furious that LGBQT people are being ushered back to the sidelines while “very good people” march with tiki torches.

This year I read the quote “They didn’t burn witches to silence the ones they burned. They burned them to silence the ones who watch.” That hit me. The collective ‘they’ has been trying to burn me since I was 14 and yet here i am. Like Hillary Clinton, I won’t burn. I don’t burn. You can call me names and send me threats on twitter. That’s just like every other Tuesday if you’re a woman.


I am Fucking Furious, and 2018 better look the fuck out. Cause I am not the only Furious Woman.

A Life Of Yes

22089035_10154741332530876_2540192492880392141_nShe looked over her trashy magazine at me and said “I don’t want to say I’m pissed you haven’t written anything; but I’m pissed you haven’t written anything.” A few moments later she slapped my thigh, asked if I knew how to swim and challenged me to a cannonball contest. It was a hot July day in what I had declared “The Summer of Yes” and after two summers at the pool together, she has  to ask if I know how to swim. Clearly the previous summers had been a little less yes and a lot more that water is cold and I don’t like to get my hair wet.


She whooped me in that cannonball contest. But it was so fun. And the kids, especially my kids were absolutely delighted I was in the water. I got in the water every single pool day after that. Every single day.


SUMMER OF YES, DULLI! She would scream at me, long after the summer had ended, whenever I hesitated, second guessed myself or was scared. Summer of YES.


Kristen Gorman was True North. If she said something was messed up, it was messed up. If she deemed something good, it was good. Her moral compass was impeccable, yet she was loving, forgiving, her negative judgments were not handed out easily, but she had no time for toxic people. She did, however, have infinite time for those growing and learning, whether they were 6 or 60. But man, she called it like she saw it, and she was always right.


I don’t remember meeting her. I remember her telling us how she saw Max at age 3 at the ELF school picnic and thought “that looks just like a guy I went to high school with! And there he is…” One of the luckiest events in my life was that Max and Riley were placed in the same class.


You cannot think of Kristen without thinking of family. Above everything, Kristen loved her family. Not only are they fiercely loyal to one another but they have the incredible ability to extend their family at will. We all want in on that Riley action, because there is almost no where else in this world you can feel as a part of something great, something GOOD. They opened their home, their table, their hearts to me and mine, Kristen had claimed me and so without a moments hesitation, Bill, Bridget, Shannon, Jackie and Pat let me in.


When we had a house fire Kristen was there the next morning with cupcakes for the kids and a fountain Diet Coke for me. There is nothing like a fountain Diet coke.

When my daughter was born she was there that evening, with steak tacos and champagne. Popping the cork work my tiny newborn baby and scared her. Kristen joked she would always be traumatized by her auntie KG.


Kristen had an innate ability and an endless energy to BE THERE whenever she was needed. Weakness of any kind was not her thing. Accepting help and letting us comfort her, to have us be the ones to show up with cupcakes or tacos was hard for her.


Wisely, Kristen told me she had cancer in a public setting. Whispered over the fire pit in her parent’s driveway. Shannon nearby, came over to help explain. As always, Kristen was positive. I laughed as they cracked jokes, because she said she didn’t want me to fall apart, though even if she hadn’t said that, I wouldn’t have in front of her. Her job at this time was not to take care of me. I shook it off, there were kids who needed hamburgers and can they PLEASE have a sprite? Miss Jackie said they could! I also solemnly swore I would not google Thymic Cancer.

None of us believed I would keep that promise and I did not. I did however promise myself that I would be the friend who brought the funny. That’s kind of my specialty. “are you going to make me shave my head?” I asked, as she said she was out-shedding her dog, Dyson. “I mean, I will. In a heartbeat, but I have to tell you, you will rock the bald head. You’ve got the noggin for it. I’m going to look like that woman from Total Recall.” She laughed and told me I could keep my hair. But I would have shaved it in a heartbeat. I would now if I could have her back. I have no regrets. I talked with her about how hard it was to have others in pain over her health. I was able to give her perspective on how powerless we all feel. How could the inimitable Kristen Gorman be sick? Neither our brains or hearts could understand. She vowed to let people help. But as many times as I tried to bring her milkshakes post chemo or come visit she would always say the same thing “I’m coming to you, Dulli, while I can!” She meant before chemo really knocked her down and surgery sidelined her for a while. A week or two, she said. She was walking down that aisle, for Shannon’s wedding.

It was incredibly important to her that her cancer not overshadow Shannon’s day. No cancer talk at the shower, she insisted. No cancer talk at the wedding.


That’s a promise I can keep.


My last text to her before her surgery was that I loved her. I did. I do. I always will. It never occurred to me we wouldn’t be texting one another ridiculous gifs (or just beaming them from our brains, whatever it ends up being) when we were 90.

I was going to being her a Fountain Diet Coke as soon as she could have visitors. We held our breath all day during her surgery, only breathing when we got the text that she was out, most was gone, but radiation would do it. I think all of us, channeling KG thought,  let’s do this. But cancer had other plans.

“where is your book? I’m waiting for your book?” she nudged past my fears, yet again.


They always say those who go early have too much life in them. Kristen was full of life. And life was joyful. Kristen is my third friend to be gone too early due to cancer. And like both Carrie and Susan, she was full of life. Full of joy. The world is a darker place for the wont of Kristen Gorman.


Her last text to me was that we have a life of yes to get too. I can’t believe I have to do it without her, but I cannot think of anything I could do more to honor her life is live a life of yes. To pick up the mantel. To be there when others need me, without being asked. To spread joy. To nudge others past their fears. To stand up for what is right, but to make room for those who want to learn and grow. Maybe even learn excel, she loved a good spreadsheet.



To live a life of yes.