What Do I Say?

I don’t know.

I’ve been trying to write since Tuesday. I really have. Other than that short piece I wrote for here that originated on Twitter. I’ve been coming up empty. But I want to get my punk ass moving. So here goes: my rambling thought process over the past week.

Everyone, I’m so sorry. An overwhelming number of white people voted for Donald Trump. I saw someone say (I can’t remember who, so if you know, please let me know so I can accurately credit them) that “you can’t ridicule not all men for years and then say not all white women”. And that’s true, you can’t. I have to own what white people have done, because if I don’t, then I can’t even begin to protest, and I don’t deserve to.

This apology isn’t enough, I know. I need to donate to charities. I need to protest. I need to make my voice heard. But I believe that the start of fighting back is acknowledging who fucked up this election. And I’m doing my best.

And trust me, I intend to donate. I intend to protest. I intend to exercise my right to free speech as long as I goddamn have it. I will not be one of the people crying “give him a chance” or “he won, settle down”. I will not settle down. I will scream at the top of my lungs until I no longer can, and even then I will do my best to shout.

The night of, I went to bed not by the time it was declared, but late enough that I was 99% certain of the outcome. I woke up the morning after, checked the news on my phone, and held back tears. I got ready for school. I sobbed into my mother’s shoulder. I fell into a deep despair.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on WordPress before (I’m certainly not shy about it on Twitter, Facebook, & tumblr), but I’m bisexual. I am terrified of what Trump and Pence will do to people like me, LGBT folk who have finally started to be granted certain rights and may now have them taken away from them.

I spent most of the week in a deep depression. I struggled through school, the grades on my daily homework slipping. I sobbed most of Wednesday, cried in occasional fits on Thursday, made it through Friday only teary. Yesterday I became angry and motivated and determined.

Today I am a mixture of both. I had a panic attack today because of everything in the world. I feel like I have nowhere to run to, even though I want to stay and protest. I feel lost and scared and tired.

But I’m still angry. I’m angry all the time.

I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to say it. Everyone has been so much more eloquent, so much wittier than I can be. All I can do is apologize again and again, and promise to try and educate people to do better.

I’m so sorry.

(If you’re a POC and I said anything here that is wrong or ignorant, let me know, I want to know better)

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Ten Things on the Fallout the Day After (Please Note: I Voted for Hillary Clinton Yesterday. Giving Me Shit For Doing So Will Not Be Tolerated)

I made a similar version to this on Twitter.

One: Everyone who is making jokes about the election right now to cope- I understand you. I understand you and I get you and I more often than not am you. But I’m not quite there yet myself. Please understand.

Two: Last night’s fury towards third party voters (as seen last night if you follow me at all on Twitter) has subsided. I still believe it contributed to splitting the Democratic vote, but in the light of day it is far too irrational to blame this on third party voters alone.

Three: This was, when you get down to it, the fault of white Americans. Both white men and white women came out and voted overwhelmingly for Trump. It’s easy for many to sweep the fact that white women were heavily involved under the rug while saying “oh, it’s all the fault of old white men again”. But it’s not true. White America, we must own up to what we’ve done.

Four: Do what you have to do to protect yourself right now. No one is going to judge you for doing what you must to stay safe, and if they do judge you, then their opinions never really mattered in the first place.

Five: Protect and love each other. Now more than ever.

Six: I won’t be here every moment of every day. But if you comment here needing someone to talk to, or message me on Twitter @cipollakate, I will get back to you.

Seven: Since yesterday evening, I’ve seen a lot of reactions from people ranging from rattled to traumatized. If you need it, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

Eight: It is acceptable to take today to lie on the floor and cry. Lord knows that’s what most of my day has looked like.

Nine: I am still learning. If I’ve said anything wrong or insensitive here, please correct me. I want to be educated.

Ten: To everyone who is/will be negatively affected by the results of this election- you are so strong and so brave. I love all of you.

able, but not willing

A while back, the podcast for Cracked.com (I can’t remember which one, sorry) suggested an idea for a Superman movie. I loved the idea, and wrote a short story around it. I worked really hard on this, and I hope you like it. DC, please don’t sue me.

                               “IS GOD WILLING TO PREVENT EVIL,

                                                 BUT NOT ABLE?

                                    THEN HE IS NOT OMNIPOTENT.

                                    IS HE ABLE, BUT NOT WILLING?

                                       THEN HE IS MALEVOLENT.

                                 IS HE BOTH ABLE AND WILLING?

                                  THEN WHENCE COMETH EVIL?

                             IS HE NEITHER ABLE NOR WILLING?

                                    THEN WHY CALL HIM GOD?”

                                                  –EPICURUS

I was five years old when the last of the ships left. I watched them go with the rest of the Library Shelter, just white streaks in a gray sky.

“They’re pretty,” I whispered to Ma’am Estella, who had her hands on my tiny shoulders as she too gazed up at the ashen roof of the Earth that the silver veins were so close to breaking through.

In retrospect, Ma’am Estella of course knew exactly what the departure of the ships meant, but she didn’t let on to the children. She just clasped my shoulders a little tighter.

“Very pretty, little one,” she murmured. “Very pretty.”

Continue reading “able, but not willing”

An Open Letter to Saturday Night Live’s Second Presidential Debate Sketch

To Saturday Night Live-

Let me start off by saying I’m a big fan. I can’t remember when I started saying cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger Pepsi no coke, and even though I was only twelve during the 2008 Presidential election, I watched your election coverage religiously. I knew another twelve year old who loved to imitate Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, so much so that when running around fields and playing with him, you could hear him bellowing I CAN SEE RUSSIA FROM MY HOUSE as loud as he possibly could.

This year is no exception. Your political sketches have been incredible. Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin have been nailing it. The real proof of how great you guys are doing is in Donald Trump’s tweet about how unfunny you guys are. Donald Trump saying you’re terrible (or “nasty”, if you will) is generally a sign that you’re doing something right.

Which is why a certain joke in your Second Presidential Debate sketch disappointed me so much.

In the sketch, Baldwin’s Trump brings up Bill Clinton’s “mistresses” and how he brought them to the debate. McKinnon’s Hillary pretends to be horrified and grief-stricken until she says “get real, I’m made of steel, this is nothing. Hi girls!”

But here’s the thing- they’re not his “mistresses”.

These women are saying that they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Bill Clinton.

When you say “mistress”, you’re stating that the sex was consensual. You’re saying that both parties were willing to sleep with each other, and that’s what happened. But what these women are saying is not that both parties were willing. They’re saying Bill Clinton violated them.

In the sketch, Baldwin’s Trump goes on to say the women who are accusing him of sexual assault need to “shut the hell up”. It gets laughs, and normally I would be laughing too, except you can’t do that.

Listen. I absolutely loathe Donald Trump. I think he’s a racist, sexist pig. I think him becoming President would not only be a national embarrassment on the part of the American people, but would be a disaster for this country. I am not a Make America Great Again person, and nothing could make me become one.

However, these jokes raised the hairs on the back of my neck, because you cannot attempt to play both sides of the issue. You cannot ignore the allegations made by a group of women against the husband of one candidate and then bring up the allegations made against the other candidate. It displays favoritism, in an unpleasant manner.

One of the reasons I was so disappointed is because I know that you’re better than this. You have been so good with your points about this election. You have been relentless about both Trump’s many scandals and Hillary’s emails. You are so much better than that joke. You didn’t have to make it. But you did, and while it doesn’t exactly break my heart, it plummets my stomach in the saddest sort of way.

Sincerely,

Kate Cipolla.

Good Things #2 & #3

I missed yesterday because I made a cavalcade of bad decisions that resulted in me being extremely tired and busy. So here’s the one I missed and the one for today.

Good Thing #2: My Dog

This is my dog, Harley (Quinn).

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We didn’t know her name for a while. She came to us as Sadie, during which I called her Sadie Parker Doyle after the Thrilling Adventure Hour. Then we tried calling her Asta, from The Thin Man. Then we actually, y’know, checked her paperwork, discovered she’d originally been named Harley, and we’ve called her that ever since. It helps that Harley is the only name she’s responded to yet. I called her Harley Quinn, which stuck. My mother found out only later that Harley Quinn is a comic book character, and has been giving me shit ever since.

My dog is the best goddamn sausage. I’m not kidding, she looks like a sausage. She is a fat little dog. We believe she’s hound/lab mix. The lab would explain all the neediness because holy shit is this dog demanding. She comes up to you and noses you under the hand until you pet her, and if you stop she does it more aggressively.

She’s so weird, too. She likes to roll on the floor once everyone comes home from their separate ways, sometimes if just one of us does. Then occasionally she’ll just lie on her back. Just lying there, chilling. She did it for four minutes once. We timed her.

She is weird and she is fat and she is a little crazy and she is mine. I love her very much, and she is super duper a Good Thing.

(FYI my brother’s Instagram is almost entirely photos of this dog. He’s doing Instagram right)

Good Thing #3: That Scene Where Rey Wrecks Kylo Ren’s Shit in The Force Awakens

It’s almost been a goddamn year, so if you haven’t seen this by now, that’s on you, buddy, not me.

Okay, go watch this and come back here. 

Okay, so holy fuck wasn’t that great.

The lightsaber flying past Kylo Ren to Rey while that music plays is, first of all, goddamn iconic.

Secondly, the female protagonist kicked his ass but good.

Chewbacca may come in the Falcon to save her and Finn afterwards, but during that fight, fending off Kylo Ren, Rey doesn’t need anyone swooping in to save her. She destroys him all on her own. How often do you see that for women?

She is barely learning the scope of her powers, but she takes down Ren anyway, someone who’s been established as powerful in the Force. That’s how strong she is. Rey doesn’t know what she’s doing, not really, and she’s strong enough in the Light Side to win anyway.

Get fucking wrekt, Kylo Ren.

 

grab em by the pussy

women-

trust not men who shrug and laugh

and say “i’ve said worse than that”

they are snakes clumsily cloaked as friends.

 

women-

trust not the man who heckles you every day

chanting slogans with an ugly smirk

he is danger loosely clothed in human skin.

 

women-

your breasts, your bottom, your vagina,

these belong to you

no matter who tries to take them from you.

 

men-

take our outstretched hands

offering a single finger

grab those.

Good Things #1: An Explanation and Furiously Happy

Mild self-harm thoughts in the third paragraph, trigger warning, danger Will Robinson

So, I had the worst week of my life.

I’m serious, everything about my life blew. I’m not going to go into super specifics, but here’s an overview: I’ve got Bipolar II, and sometimes it looks at my life and goes “you know what would be great? throwing a wrench into everything that is important to you.” The wrench beans me in the head each time. The bipolar, the stress of school, and switching medications over (“the changing of the guard”, I dubbed it, even though my medication does not march or wear funny hats) turned into a hurricane of a shitstorm, totally messing up my head.

This morning, I woke up okay for the first time in a week. It was amazing. No anxiety in the pit of my stomach, no weight on my chest, no urge to cry or scream or stab pens through the palm of my hand. Figures that my self-harm thoughts would be just as weird as I am.

But this weekend, when I wasn’t okay, I made a decision. Every day this week I’m going to post something that is important to my life. Something excellent in the w0rld. Something that makes me happy. I’m going to post a Good Thing.

Whether this lasts just for a week or for longer, I don’t know. But it definitely starts today, it definitely goes on for the next five days, and I’m definitely going to ramble about it.

So, here goes.

Good Thing #1: Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson.

furiously-happy.jpg

 

This book is something I wanted to read more than sleep.

This sounds like a bad recommendation. Lemme explain.

When I’m depresssed, there’s nothing I want more than to sleep. This is actually true of most of my life due to the sleep apnea, but it’s especially true when I am depressed. After school almost every day last year, I would come home and crawl into bed, passing out to music.

My mother’s boss recommended Furiously Happy to my mother, saying she thought I’d like it, so I picked it up from the library at my college. I haven’t had the energy to read for a while (thanks, bipolar! it is appreciated), but it was recommended to me, and I knew I’d feel bad if I returned the book without reading it and Mom’s boss asked me what I’d thought of it. So I started reading it.

I couldn’t stop.

I laughed like a maniac in the library, my hand pressed over my mouth as tears leaked from my eyes with the effort of not losing my shit too loud. I texted all my friends HOLY SHIT I’M READING THIS BOOK AND IT’S INSANELY GOOD I HAVEN’T BEEN THIS HAPPY IN AGES which I’m sure they appreciated. Actually, they were probably just happy that I was happy. My friends are pretty awesome.

I was also mildly irritated, but in the best possible way. I’m currently writing a book about being crazy and was before I started reading the book, and it is set up exactly like Furiously Happy is. So if I ever get my book published, I’m going to have to email Jenny Lawson and say “hi, I’m sorry, I didn’t actually try to rip you off or anything”. Which will be awkward, cause I always ramble too much in emails and she will think I am a weirdo.

Which I am.

But still.

Anyway, I get home from school, and I head back to my room. I curl up in my bed and queue up a playlist on my iPod. And the weirdest thing happens. I’m tired, but I don’t want to sleep. Not remotely. What I want to do is go over to my backpack, fish Furiously Happy out of it, and keep reading. So that’s what I do.

This book is one of my be-all, end-alls for books about being mentally ill. This and Wishful Drinking are pretty much my Bibles when it comes to that. My mother bought me my own copy and I have underlined the passages important to me. I gave a copy to a friend as what I called “the beginner’s manual for being crazy”. The other day, when I desperately needed to listen to a human voice but couldn’t stand to talk to any of the actual humans in my house, I listened to the audiobook until I went the opposite direction and couldn’t bear to listen to a human voice unless it was singing. Mental illness is weird, man.

There’s lots of reasons this book appeals to me. Jenny Lawson is tough as hell, so funny it’s crazy. So many books about mental illness are designed to feel almost condescending in a way, to comfort and coddle you. Lawson doesn’t do that. She lays bare all sides of mental illness, from the funny to the devastating, the awkward to the ugly.

Reading some mental health books feel like someone is trying to say “this is what is in your head and here is how we will try to fix you, take deep breaths and think about trees”. Lawson explains mental illness in a way that feels like someone is saying “hey, I get it. It’s fucked up, right?”

And sometimes, that’s all you really need.

Find Furiously Happy here on Amazon.

Diana Was Still Alive Hours Before She Died

inspired by searching for strange headlines.
hours before diana died, she was alive.

her lungs sang with air

and her cheeks were stained red

blasted by the chill.
in the hours before diana died, she still was alive

alphabetizing the nonfiction in the bookstore

only deviating her concentration

when her boss asked if she could tackle biographies next.
in the time frame shortly before diana was abruptly deceased, she continued to breathe

heels snapping along the wood floors

until the toes locate a tiny crack in the wood

large enough to send her flying to the ground.
her knees hit the floor

her chest soon follows

her head cracks back

and it is over before her sightless eyes 

are able to gaze dully at the ceiling.
in the minutes after diana was alive before she died

her lungs are not singing

they are not even crying for last whispers of air

and her cheeks are stained with white roses

a color slowly spreading across her body.