Author Archives: Katie

Song of the Moment: “She Used to Be Mine”

This is my favorite song from Waitress. It comes at a low point for the main character, and the lyrics hit me right in the feels. At times it feels like it could be my life anthem:

She’s imperfect, but she tries
She is good, but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy, but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone, but she used to be mine

I love how Jessie Mueller, the original Jenna, sings “She is lo-o-onely most of the time” so delicately.

Right now, happiness feels absolutely impossible. But I do love this song.

When Love Doesn’t Trump Hate

“Love Trumps Hate.” People started chanting it almost immediately after the election, and it’s a nice thought, that the hatred that now seems synonymous with Trump and his supporters could be overcome.

I wish I could feel that. Instead, ever since the election, I’ve felt absolutely overwhelmed with hatred. Hatred for everyone—like, literally EVERYONE, no exceptions—who supports Trump. And that feeling has only intensified in the aftermath of Charlottesville. I truly, honestly cannot see any value in the lives of those who support a president who says, completely seriously, that there were “some very fine people” MARCHING IN A NEO-NAZI RALLY. It’s hard for me even to think of them as people.

The logical antidote to hatred would seem to be dialogue and attempts at understanding. Unfortunately, every attempt I’ve made to try to understand where Trump supporters are coming from results in me hating them even more. When I read Arlie Russell Hochschild’s  Strangers in Their Own Land, about white conservatives in Louisiana, I felt zero sympathy for the people she portrayed—just frustration at their stupidity and inability to look at actual facts that disproved their beliefs. When some of my more patient friends engage their Trump-supporting friends in dialogue on Facebook, I am, again, aghast at their friends’ willingness to believe “alternative facts” if they support their pre-held beliefs. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why my friends don’t end those friendships. And I hate it when people bring up people from struggling, economically depressed areas when the evidence actually shows that the majority of lower-income people did not vote for Trump. From my viewpoint, Trump voters are my dad’s businessman friends and my friend’s younger brother, who graduated from a good college. They’re just selfish, stupid, and awful.

I know nothing productive can come from this intense hatred and anger. From a religious perspective, I know it’s the opposite of what I should be doing and feeling. But, as the Charlottesville events demonstrated, there seems to be no difference between Trump supporters and Nazis—and if you wouldn’t love or defend Nazis, why would you do that for Trump supporters?

I don’t know what to do. Channeling rage into supporting worthy causes doesn’t do anything for me, either. The anger and hatred remain. I don’t like feeling this way, but as long as Trump supporters continue to exist, I can’t imagine feeling any differently.

Do I Love My Country?

Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day, when people are supposed to celebrate their love of the United States of America.

I can tell you, I definitely love Boston. I love Massachusetts. But do I love the US as a whole?

…Eh. It’s okay.

It’s kind of like that old, cranky, racist relative whose presence you don’t enjoy but whom you can’t bring yourself to disinvite from Thanksgiving. Or the apartment that has bad water pressure and a terrible landlord and no air conditioning and heat that barely works, but that you don’t move out of because it’s cheap and convenient.

Speaking of moving, if you’re thinking that if I don’t love it, I should leave, chill. I didn’t say I hate it. But love is a strong word, and while I tolerate America enough that I’m not actively trying to leave, I wouldn’t say I love it.

And if you’re indignantly thinking that people have fought and died for the right for me to say that I don’t love this country, I agree that freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. In fact, so do several other countries. It obviously doesn’t exist anywhere, but it does exist in just about every other developed country. Same for freedom of the press and freedom of religion. It’s great that we’re not, say, North Korea or Syria, but why are we comparing ourselves down instead of up? Why not compare ourselves to Canada or New Zealand, which have all those great freedoms but also have universal health care, guaranteed maternity leave, and less gun violence?

It’s hard to love a country that’s so full of stupid people—or, if I’m being generous, willfully ignorant people. In any case, no one who voted for Trump is smart. I do think that’s a pretty fair statement. Take a look at this Facebook group, which I sometimes read when I want to see how the other side thinks. Or, rather, doesn’t think. Seeing the things that Trump voters believe written out in their own words make it impossible for me to have even the slightest bit of empathy for them.

We are a country that finds value in ignorance and inexperience—hence, the election of Trump, the denigration of educated people as “out of touch” when they’re the ones with more information, the clinging to beliefs in things that are easily disproven—“alternative facts,” if you will.

We are a country that disregards an overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is man-made and that our county is the biggest perpetrator of the pollution that causes it, all because people don’t want to make sacrifices and work for the well-being of the world.

We are a country that clings to the Second Amendment—which refers to a “well-regulated militia” rather than the individual right to bear arms, and which was written when it was impossible to perpetuate mass shootings with the types of weapons that existed then—despite overwhelming evidence that there is less gun violence in countries with stricter gun laws, all because people are too selfish and fearful to pass any laws that would make it even slightly harder to possess a weapon that’s much more likely to hurt you or a family member than to be used in any sort of self-defense.

We are a country that regards life-saving health care as a privilege rather than a right, a country where many people would consign their fellow citizens to medical bankruptcy or death because they’re afraid that they might have to pay a bit more in taxes to prevent that from happening.

We are one of only three countries TOTAL that does not guarantee paid maternity leave to new mothers.

We are a country where cops are constantly getting away with unjustified shootings of innocent black people.

We are a country with an alarming tendency to disregard inconvenient history in the name of patriotism. It’s true that every country has shameful things in its past, but we have people who take pride in having ancestors who fought for the Confederacy—ancestors who were traitors to their country out of a desire to preserve slavery and white supremacy—and defend public Confederate monuments. We have people who whitewash the horrors of slavery, people who defend horrific things in our history like Japanese internment, people descended from immigrants who were discriminated against who nevertheless would reject refugees fighting for their lives because they’re not from the right country or don’t follow the right religion.

It’s funny how things have changed in the seventy-odd years since World War II, when we fought against a genocidal German regime. Now Germany, which has sheltered many of the refugees we’ve been rejecting, is a moral leader for the world.

And us?

We’re the bad guys now.

So I’m very grateful to live where I do, a place that’s less ignorant than most places in the US. But until the attitudes of much of the rest of the country change, until we acknowledge and reject the worst parts of our history while embracing the best parts, like our welcoming of immigrants from all over the world looking for a better life, I can’t say I love this country as a whole.

A Hard Time

I am having a hard time right now thinking of anything to write about.

To blog about, first of all. I think about things in my life I can blog about and then remember that I already have. I could blog about my trip to New York over Memorial Day weekend and how I saw Come From Away, Waitress, and Anastasia, plus ate some great food, but would that post really be much different from this post, or this one, or this one? I guess I can always do my Song of the Moment and Playlist of the Moment posts and pick up I Read Books again. I suppose there will always be movies and TV shows to write about. I could keep doing the Links of the Week, and I’m sure at some point I will, but those will inevitably include current events, which are just depressing me right now.

It’s a too-familiar feeling, this type of depression. What’s happened, you ask? Well, nothing. Nothing is happening. I still don’t have the three things I want the most. I still fear things staying the same. I still wonder if I really deserve love. I’m still not a very nice person. I’m still lonely. I’m still searching for someone to tell my stories to.

It’s all been done.

I’m having a hard time thinking of anything to write about outside of this blog. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I became a writer who doesn’t write. I’ve lost confidence in the ideas I have, lost faith in the idea that I could ever really write something that other people would enjoy.

I am having a hard time making myself do the things I know I should do: write, cook, exercise, go to bed early, socialize. I am having a hard time accomplishing any of the goals I’ve set for myself. I am having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror, or at happy couples I see in public. I am having a hard time being happy for anyone who finds love or has a baby. I am having a hard time taming the negative thoughts raging inside me.

I am having a hard time right now.

Song of the Moment: Trolley Wood

I recently rediscovered this song: “Trolley Wood” by Eisley. It’s insanely catchy, and I’ve recently found myself humming it to myself.

I’ve also puzzled over the lyrics. Is it a metaphor for an experience that’s impossible to replicate? Is there some kind of significance to the surreal concept of a wood with trolleys rolling around the hills, or is it just a cute but nonsensical term that rhymes with Hollywood? In any case, have a listen.

A Thought

One thing I’ve heard multiple people in relationships say is that when you’re in a good, happy relationship, you’re the best version of yourself. That it’s ideal to find a significant other who brings out the best in you, makes you want to be your best self.

What I’ve never heard anyone say is this epiphany I recently had: the opposite is also true. When you feel chronically unloved, it turns you into the worst version of yourself.

Links of the Week

Ready for another week of links?

The suffering of children in Syria is so terrible, they need a new term for it. Also in Syria, an article about a Jesuit doing some good work there.

I have been saying from the beginning that Trump voters are not worthwhile human beings- I’m actually not sure we should even consider them human beings at all. You absolutely should not keep Trump-supporting friends and family members in your life. On that note, this.

When everything is so crazy, it’s hard to figure out how to measure the crazy. This is a good guide for that.

I’ve had a really hard time trying to figure out why so many Trump voters refuse to believe real, verifiable facts. This is the first thing I’ve read that actually clicked for me and helped me understand why some of them are that way.

I AM NEVER LEAVING MASSACHUSETTS.

Wednesday was International Women’s Day. While feminism on the Internet often infuriates me, some feminists do say things that really click with me, and one of them is the great writer Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie.  Also, here’s how so many unqualified men end up in positions of power.

I’d never heard of Charley Parkhurst, a stagecoach driver in the 1800s who was born Charlotte and eventually ended up living as a man, but his story is fascinating. I looked it up this week after a friend told me it had come up in a reading she did with her fourth-grade class.

Okay, this is pretty funny.

I am SO excited to see Come From Away in May! Even more so now that I’ve heard the whole cast recording.

Tom Hanks is the man.

I love cursive, and I almost always write in cursive rather than printing (I mean, it’s faster! You don’t have to lift the pen!) so this is welcome news.

This is beautiful and romantic and touching.

This, though? This actually really disturbed me. I mean, if it makes that woman happy, great, but the idea of being in a similar situation is horrifying to me.

Dating is hard and awful, but it sounds like it might be even worse in the cities this writer visited.

I will have to try this.

A couple of links more personal to me- my old high school had a lot of cool murals done by students over the years, and turns out there are pictures of most of them online. Also, here’s a nice article about Stacy DeBroff, whom I interned for in college. (I walked, though, so I wasn’t one of the ones clogging up the driveway!)

Some food for thought:

Yep. Hate is the coat we wear to avoid the cold.

A post shared by Glennon Doyle (@glennondoyle) on

 

And let’s end with this- a cool, bizarre, surreal animated short that was nominated for an Oscar a few years ago:

 

 

 

 

Playlist of the Moment: 1997

I’ve been hearing a lot on social media this week about how it’s the 20th anniversary of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show. I never watched Buffy (vampires aren’t my thing), but it occurred to me that the 20th anniversaries of a lot of other things I loved as a teenager will be coming up.

How was 1997 twenty years ago?

This Buzzfeed article is all about the music that came out that year, and I just cannot believe it’s been that long. While I muse about how old I am, I will post this playlist of the songs mentioned in the article, which Buzzfeed somehow neglected to provide.

Links of the Week

The Oscars are tonight! I’m super excited- I’ve seen seven out of the nine Best Picture nominees. I’m not all that invested in who wins, but it was interesting to read the Boston Globe’s annual “Will Win/Should Win/Was Robbed/Shouldn’t Be Here” list.

I laughed so hard at this and I don’t know why. Maybe because my friend who teaches fifth grade is a Lego robotics coach.

In other foreign head-of-state-related news, it’s like Canada is taunting us with Justin Trudeau.

It makes me so angry to hear about the awful way some women are treated at work.

This is a really sweet essay about a nontraditional family.

I recently read Big Little Lies and loved it and started watching the new miniseries next week. I was surprised to hear that the author of the book, Liane Moriarty, is more popular in the US than in her home country, Australia.

This is a fun interview with Hamilton‘s conductor and orchestrator, Alex Lacamoire. I had no idea he used to perform on the Spirit of Boston, the boat where we used to have our office holiday party!

 

I don’t ever want to become desensitized to the plight of migrants. This is horrible. And for the Christians among us, this is a good reminder. (I freaking love Jim Martin.)

This map of Massachusetts stereotypes is pretty funny, and as a lifelong Masshole, I agree with it.

This headline made me do a double-take.

No one can accuse John Green (who’s actually been in Boston this weekend for NerdCon!) of refusing to answer hard questions.

 

 

I can’t believe I’d never heard about this.

Not funny.

The week in Trump: there’s this, from a Muslim White House staffer who quit. Gabby Giffords is braver than all the Republicans in Congress put together. And I agree with this– Trump voters are worthless and reaching out to them is a waste of time.

And while it was kind of nice to have unseasonably warm weather this week, I’m feeling this– I could use a little more snow before winter ends!