Election Aftermath

Last week, I heard that anything could happen. This, of course, was in reference to the Cubs winning the World Series, but I was hoping that it would also lead to me waking up to news of the first female president in the US after Election Day. That’s not what happened. Rather, I woke up to more reports of Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election.

 

Why is this wrong?

 

Our nation has just voted to elect a racist, sexist, xenophobic, incompetent individual to serve in the most important position in the world. Not only does he have very little knowledge of foreign affairs and how our government works, but he also has proven to be racist throughout his entire campaign. Also, as a woman, I can’t support this man who was caught on tape discussing the times he sexually assaulted women. Plus, Trump’s ideas on immigration are exceedingly limited. He doesn’t understand how difficult it currently is to get to the United States. As an immigration advisor at a college here in the US, I’ve realized that I have a stronger understanding of our immigration system than our newly elected president. That’s just disturbing.

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Trump’s views on immigration are just terrible. Why has this country elected an isolationist president?

I, like many others, have looked at the possibility of moving to Canada to avoid this ridiculousness. So many folks thought the same as me that the Canadian immigration site crashed last night. If a mass exodus of non-Trump supporters were to occur following this election, you know what would remain in America? An openly White supremacist society with KKK ideals and isolationist policies. I truly believe that waking up to the news of Donald Trump as the president-elect this morning is the worst “current event” of my lifetime.

 

This is not okay. America, we deserved better. We deserved to elect a leader. Trump can’t lead because he doesn’t understand the office of the president. I am fearful for these next four years and you should be too.

Diary of a Housesitter

“Tia Rece, is staying here like being at boarding school for a long time?”

Huh. “I guess,” I answered.

As my niece left this house yesterday, I chuckled to myself. I’ve been housesitting for my former boss for several years. Back in the day, it made sense. I was living with my parents for a while and getting out of the house to have some “me time” was important for my sanity. These days, it doesn’t make much sense. I have my own place about an hour from here and I don’t really have friends up near where this house is. Granted, my folks live up here and when I plan to spend extra time with them, staying here is convenient. Plus, I always appreciate the extra cash. This makes me wonder though, I will there ever be a day when I’m so “together” with my finances that I would turn my nose to the idea of making some extra cash by staying here with the regal kitty cat.

Housesitting is more than a job. It’s a way of life. When you’re housesitting, you cast off all the comfort of your routine and surroundings to play house in another place where you have chores. The duties involved in housesitting could include taking out the trash, waiting around for package deliveries, playing with the cat, paying the gardener, and eating food out of the refrigerator to make sure it doesn’t spoil. You think your job is tough? This is much, much more intense.

Nah. Not really. But in my experience, there comes a point when playing house loses some of its charm and all you realize you really want is to be at your own house sleeping in your comfortable bed dancing around as you please. Because that’s the real point you become a grown-up, right?

Tata for now.

Rece

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not a New Year’s Resolutions kind of girl. I think I tried it once. I was a little kid and I was at my aunt’s for the New Year’s celebration. Aunt Kathy gave each of us a 3 by 5 note card and told us to write down our New Year’s Resolutions. I didn’t know what she was talking about. Like a typical baby of the family, I walked around the house trying to find out from each of my siblings what they were writing down and how this applied to me. I’m pretty sure I didn’t find my answers but probably copied what my sister Shelli wrote down: “I will make connections with the local theater troupe to push myself towards a career on Broadway.”
 
Nah. She didn’t really write that, but when I look back on life, I really think she should have because then we’d be in New York rather than hanging out in Dayton, Oregon singing the words to songs from Enchanted all of the time.
 
Now back to my point. I’ve never really been good at New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of doing this, I make goals. Goals are smarter. It’s more likely that I’ll work towards them and goals are something you can continue to work towards. Rather than a New Year’s Resolution to work out that you fail within the first month, why not make an achievable goal to do two sets of squats during the first week of the New Year. Once you accomplish that, maybe you’ll be more likely to try the next thing?
 
You think I’m full of crap don’t you? For some reason, you don’t see the difference between new years resolutions and goals? Well, let me spell it out for you with an example.
 
New Years Resolutions 2016:

  • I’m going to be a nice person in 2016.
  • I’m going to lose weight in the New Year.
  • I’m going to meet and marry the man of my dreams in 2016.

 
2016 Goals:

  • I will go grab a beer with my annoying older brother for his birthday in January to help myself slowly become a nicer person.
  • I will work on finding a suitable weight for me by joining a weight loss program thus creating a support network for myself.
  • I will ask that guy at work on a date so I can start “getting out there.”

 
Do you see any difference? The goals are a bit more specific and because they are, it’s probably more likely that I’d know how to do them thus increasing my chance of success. So you see, I didn’t write New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve just got some pretty rad goals.
 
Cheers, folks.
 
Rece
 

 

The movie that makes you wonder, “Did that just happen?”

My cousin Kristine used to be obsessed with Tom Hanks. As a kid, I didn’t get it. I had crushes on Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Rick Moranis. You don’t see what those three have in common? Charm, folks. Come on now!

It took me years to really understand that movies were about more than the cute boys and dance party scenes. Movies are really about amazing stories that move us to tears and challenge our ways of thinking. They make us happy, sad, unsettled, and frustrated. Movies are a form of art that help us make meaning of our existence.

My view of movies may be a tad idealistic. I’m starting to realize that some movies have absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Horror movies, for example, have no value. I know, I know. The macabre is fascinating. But real, what about 90s horror films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream? The only purpose of those movies was to keep teenagers from doing drugs and getting pregnant. And though it may have worked for smarty pants like me, statistics show that those films didn’t keep the kids from my high school out of trouble.

Fortunately, there are many films and many actors who play in amazing films. When Tom Hanks played in Castaway for example, he showed the raw reality of what a person would go through living completely on his own for several years. I, for one, would probably shrivel up and burn my skin so badly before throwing myself to the fish. Even in Sleepless in Seattle, his performance brought romance back to thousands of marriages across the nation. There is one of his films, however, that leaves something to be desired. Joe vs. the Volcano is a film with absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Even I, a woman who can make meaning out of paper found in the recycling bin, have trouble making any sense of this Warner Brothers disaster. The Burbs has more to say about life than Joe’s brain cloud disaster. I had my Eureka moment about The Burbs just yesterday and I texted my brother-in-law to share: “After watching The Burbs for the 50th time, I’ve figured out the moral of the story: paranoia and judgment of one’s strange neighbors is always legit AND anyone with a basement should be put under surveillance.” He totally agreed with me. One can’t miss out the brilliance of classic Hanks. But the brain cloud nonsense and the big fake out about death and jumping into a volcano… Did I really just spend an hour and forty minutes of my life watching that… again? I did. For some reason, even though I know it is a terrible movie, I’ve watched it several times. I don’t know if it’s the pure ridiculousness than reels me in or if it’s the fact that they ride a raft next to a giant moon, but time after time, I borrow my parents’ old VHS and throw it in my VCR for another round.

There’s definitely more to life than this. I’m just going to have to get rid of my own brain cloud to figure it out…

Tata for now.

Rece

Movie Review: Bridge of Spies

Unadulterated hatred. It fueled the Cold War. It took rational thought from the minds of lawyers, politicians, and even the everyday American. Fear overtook a nation and created an intense paranoia that led to injustice, inhumane acts, and a legacy of distrust towards people from the eastern parts of Europe.

Watching Bridge of Spies was an emotional experience for me. I don’t mean that I cried or that I laughed. The emotions the film brought out in me are from my core. It brought out my values – equity, inclusion, harmony, and justice – and they were on the line. A few people have told me that my values conflict with one another. That may be, but I believe in the magical Utopia where human beings live together as friends and neighbors rather than competitors or even worse, enemies. This magical world does not exist. Reality is more like the Cold War depicted in the film.

Bridge of Spies is set in the 1950s, in the middle of the Cold War. Rudolf Abel is arrested as a spy. At the time, all Americans were teaming up to hate the Soviets and the general consensus among the people was to put Abel to death. In order to save face and pretend to be just Americans, James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is recruited to defend the “traitor.” The story that ensues is one of justice, negotiation, critical thinking, and a better world. I don’t know if Matt Charman and the Coen brothers got all the facts straight in their script, but I found the film incredibly believable.

At times, we claim to be a nation above the rest, that we are the most developed country, and that we know how to treat people the best. But then we take one look at history and can see that we are an imperfect nation, full of fear, cowardice, and bureaucratic political moves. To be honest, we don’t even have to look very far in our history. We can just read the daily news.

Bridge of Spies is worth the full price of admission. Heck, I might even be swayed to go watch it in theaters again. I highly recommend that people who care about justice, history, action, and critical thought go see this film. And afterwards, let me know what you thought.

Tata for now.

Rece

Pirate Day

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is September 19 every year. I know this because when I was in college, my chaplain would stand up in front of us and preach like a pirate. This is a bit of an oxymoron because pirates don’t really preach or pray or really recognize a god other than gold and rum. Perhaps I’m generalizing a bit too much. I’m sure some pirates prayed to god right before they’d light fire to villages and slit throats and such…

Captain Rece

Captain Rece

I’ve always thought pirates were pretty groovy. I think this is because I grew up with pirates as a mascot at school. Either that or I was just super jazzed about riding on a giant pirate ship like Captain Hook.

Today, I am dressed like a pirate. It’s been sort of embarrassing, what with wearing my striped tights on a public bus, but it’s also been kind of fun. My office, part of the Student Affairs Division on LBCC’s campus engaged in the campus Halloween festivities this year. Apparently, it’s a very big deal. I feel sort of out of place with the hat and giant cape I borrowed from my sister, but I’m also super excited to be part of a group of people that really engages in the quirky things in life. However, I have learned from Seth Meyers that Halloween costumes are inappropriate for people over thirty. Though I totally believe Seth has a point, I’m embracing the weirdness of the situation and wearing my pirate costume with pride. I mean, when I look this good in a pirate costume, why wouldn’t I?

Tata for now, maties!

Arrgghh!

Rece

Third Space Boise

Have you heard about a third space? According to a quick Google search, a third space is: “in community building, the third place (or third space) is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (“first place”) and the workplace (“second place”). Examples of third places would be environments such as cafes, clubs or parks.”

My third spaces tend to be coffee shops, friends’ houses, places with swing sets, or parks with statues. I sort of have “a type” of third space. This type usually includes alternative music, men with beards or light facial scruff, cool art, and plug-ins for my computers.

Third Space Boise Snacks! Yum!!!

Third Space Boise Snacks! Yum!!!

This morning, I spent some time in my “third spaces” in Boise, Idaho. What are the places I love? You wonder. There are two: the delicious Guido’s pizzeria and Flying M Coffee House. I’m not really sure how legit these count as third spaces because I’ve never actually lived in Boise, but still – they’re my favorite places in the capital city of Idaho. I discovered these delightful spaces when I was a college student at Northwest Nazarene University.

I spent four years of college in the city of Nampa. In case you’ve never visited Nampa, let me tell you a little bit about it. It is very… churchy. Though today downtown Nampa has its own Flying M Coffee Garage, when I was in college, there was only one cool coffee shop in town. It was called One More Cup and the owner played Christian music inside. I hung out there once, but no more.

Well, because Nampa didn’t have a whole lot for us to do, during my freshman year, my RA took us to her hometown of Boise to show us the town and teach us about life. Did we go out to bars and use fake IDs? No. We went to eat pizza, drink coffee, and drive in circles blasting music from our old cars. We were awesome. And we stayed out of trouble. Those random, ridiculous nights out in Boise became the highlights of my college experience. If I weren’t doing that, I would be studying: writing papers or reading books. And if not that, attending Bible study. My life, of course, was the stuff you see in movies… not.

I tried to explain the significance of Flying M and Guido’s to some work friends this week. They didn’t get it. Boise has great bars and beers downtown, they told me. That’s great, I tried to reason, but… Guido’s and Flying M are so… me. They take me back to ten years ago when I was a sweeter, less intelligent, much more naïve version of myself. Those places are full of memories and dreams and when I go back, I can’t help but feel at home.

I’m sure Boise has other great haunts and I know one day I’ll need to check out the great beers they’re serving downtown, but for now, I’ll keep my two third spaces close to home. Because really, when you have a third space, it’s yours to keep.

Tata for now.

Rece