Voter Suppression: A Stacey Abrams Fantasy

I live with Stacey Abrams. Well, I don’t technically “live” with Stacey Abrams. Man, that would be sweet. To be Stacey Abrams’ roommate. Or BFF. Or wife. Whatever, I’d take any of the above. Anyway, I live in DeKalb County, Georgia and I’m always on the lookout for her. Down at the Corner Cup, or over yonder at the Target. I keep waiting to bump into her so I can scream, “OH MY GOODNESS, YOU’RE STACEY ABRAMS!” Then in my mind, we’d sort of run toward each other and embrace. Except, Covid, so we’d probably just awkwardly stand there and she’d be all, “Hi, nice to meet you,” then I’d run here and tell you all about it.

I’m off topic.

Voter suppression is real and rampant. Yes here in Georgia, but in other places too. Like: Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma which are the three states that require you to notarize your absentee ballot.

You may not know, but a couple of months ago I became a Notary Public. I did it for one reason: My husband consistently needs a Notary for his work and we have one friend who does it and we were probably running her nuts (even though we were keeping her in a steady supply of wine) and so he suggested I just become one so I can sign his work “shit.” Don’t worry, it’s totes legal. It would be illegal for me to notarize like, his will, or something else personal, but if he is signing on behalf of a company, I can notarize it for him.

That’s all to tell you that I took the oath at the DeKalb County Courthouse to do all the things and then was automatically signed up to receive these weird newsletters from the “Notary of America” or some shit like that. I promise we are getting to the point. It’s about to come full circle. Wait for it… wait for it…

Yesterday I got once such newsletter that was to help us notaries when it comes to notarizing ballots. Of which is required in those three states and I was like, well sonofabitch, that seems like voter suppression, ya dig?

I think Stacey would agree. She’d tell me I was correct over a glass of wine on our back porch, as our mini poodles ran around chasing a squirrel and I would laugh and say, “I know, honey. You’re so smart. Why don’t we go into the bedroom and…” Hold up, my husband just came into my office and he has something important to tell me.

Okay, I’m back and it wasn’t important enough to take me from a Stacey Abrams fantasy, and honestly he should be ashamed of himself.

Anyway, notarizing a ballot is serious business, according to the notary newsletter. First, you can’t charge anyone to do it. It is just part of your public service. We took an oath, remember? To protect and serve. Oh, no wait, just to serve. Anyway, it also talked logistics, all about checking ID’s, how to tell the real ones from the fake ones, where to find your state’s laws, etc, etc. Boring shit. But! Important shit.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, should need to get their damn absentee ballot notarized. That simply puts a barrier in place for people. Plus, what if you don’t even know? And do you even know a Notary? Right now pick two notaries you know, in your state, one to do it and then one to be a back up if the other can’t. Got them? No, I didn’t think so.

Hmpf.

I’d love to talk more about this but I think Imma head over to the courthouse to turn in my absentee ballot today. I’ve heard, if you linger around the absentee ballot boxes long enough Stacey Abrams just sort of appears, kind of like the Tooth Fairy. I gotta go put some make up on.

Vote. However you can, Honey.

M.

Mr. Charlie is Okay

A few days ago I shared a scary thing that happened in the ‘hood. Mr. Charlie and Ms. Loretta called an ambulance last week and a couple showed up with a patrol car. I wasn’t too worried because the medics didn’t seem too worried, but then we didn’t see Mr. Charlie or Ms. Loretta for a couple of days. Then Jerimiah ran to grab some dinner on Friday night and when he came home Mr. Charlie was back puttering around in his well-maintained front yard!

Jerimiah stopped to say hi and make sure he was okay. M. Charlie very much appreciated the visit. He told Jerimiah that he has a problem with his legs that is very painful and although he takes medicine for it, it became too intense the other morning so he wanted to get checked out just in case. They kept him for a bit, but all is fine.

Whew.

He came in and told us and Jackson ran off to see Mr. Charlie! Jackson adores Mr. Charlie and the feeling is mutual. They chatted for a bit near Mr. Charlie’s crepe myrtle and that night we all slept a little better.

So there you have it, no more worries, y’all. Mr. Charlie and Ms. Loretta are okay. So is Mrs. Kim, and Ginger, and Cookie, Dale’s chocolate lab. Cul-de-sac is back to normal, in case you were wondering.

M.

Monday Musings

Not sure what happened this weekend. Had big plans. Didn’t do them. Spent a lot of time talking about what I thought I should do, did very little of the “doing.” Hopefully this weeks pans out better. BUT we did make it to the pool for one last hurrah! The pool has been a life-saver (bad pun intended) for us the last couple months. We had high hopes early on that school would be back in person, and when it wasn’t, well it was nice to still have Jackson around people his own age.

The pool is a relatively “low risk” outdoor adventure. You are basically swimming in bleach, and generally, generally the kids can maintain a safe distance. Though this “pool crew” is all really good about not going places, and all these kids take Covid-19 very seriously. You know you found your people, for instance, when one of them have a dog named “Bernie Sanders.” 🙂

Anyway, one of the mom’s organized the neighborhood ice cream truck to swing by and hilarity ensued! We were missing a couple of families, but for the most part this is our pool crew and we are so sad for the season to be ending and we can’t wait for next year! Enjoy the pics of children having a blast and eating ice cream. We made it until the rain come!

Hope you have a fantastic day. It’s the “official” first day of fall for us!

M.

Civic Engagement Platforms

Listen, I’m not an idiot, but my junior state senator Kelly Loeffler assumes I am, which really sorta pisses me off. Hmm, let me back up. I use what are known as “Civic Engagement Platforms” to reach out to my public officials here in the great state of Georgia, because walking out on my front porch and screaming, “Brian MotherFucking Kemp is a piece of shit!” toward I-285 seems to not get me very far. So instead, when I get a text from a Civic Engagement Group like, “Black Lives Matter” or “Move On” in relation to something I feel passionate about, I use those platforms to send emails because it is much easier for me to do than to find each public figure and send a separate email. Like when I sent Rep. Lucy McBath an email from a “Civic Engagement Platform” last month to ask her to support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement and she wrote a lovely letter back about how she plans to do all she can for #BLM. Thanks, Rep. McBath. Then Kelly Loeffler’s racist-ass office sent me a note back this week.

In her letter she thanked me for letting her work for me. No need to thank me, Kelly. I didn’t give you that job. Governor Kemp did. I didn’t vote for you. Matter of fact, no one did. You were governor-appointed.

Then she said, “While she treats all correspondence equally and with the utmost urgency,” she just wanted me to know that my communication had been sent through a “Civic Engagement Platform” and those tend to “reach out to officials on your behalf, with your information, but not your consent.”

Bitch. I know how this works.

I also know fear mongering when I see it. Turn off Fox News, Kelly! You’ve been brainwashed.

Now this happened to be on Friday, at the same moment that I got an alert to tell me that Trump was in town. Again. STOP COMING TO ATLANTA! You’re literally wasting your money and your time, and you’re wearing us out, man. I went to Kelly’s Twitter page to see what was up and I saw this tweet:

Ugh. She’s the worst y’all.

In her email she suggested that I contact her office directly if I had concerns. So I sent ANOTHER email, to explain that I didn’t need her to explain “Civic Engagement Platforms” to me, instead I needed her to talk about the real issue with me, which was that the Senate should wait to confirm a new justice to replace #TheLateGreatRBG until after the election. But, I don’t think she wants to discuss that cause she already discussed it on Twitter, so like, why would she need to talk to her constituents about it?

The. Worst.

She isn’t a politician, obvi. She’s a business owner. But you know how that goes, money begets money. That’s how she landed her job. Money. Speaking of:

Oh, what about this?

This?

This is real life in Georgia, y’all. And this isn’t even the “CRAZY FEMALE GEORGIA POLITICIAN!” The “Crazy Female Georgia Politician” is Marjorie Taylor Greene, the qanon quack. No shit. Google, “Crazy Female Georgia Politician.”

I can’t y’all.

Please vote in November.

M.

A Pre-teen’s Birthday Week

As you know, we celebrate birthday weeks round these parts. But because life has been bumpy, we decided to celebrate longer for Jackson this year. So we did the 12 Days of Turning Twelve, and we are on day seven today and my has it been fun! Jackson has been on a tech-break on account of some butthole behavior toward some friends (he still can’t read a room to save his life), which means he’s been hanging with us waaaay more and we have had an awesome time. It’s hard to explain to a sixth grader that you miss his company. He just rolls his eyes and says, “Okay, Boomer.” Then I have to politely remind him that, “I’M NOT A BOOMER!”

Anyway, yesterday we gave him a new t-shirt hoodie to rep his new middle school, of which he hasn’t actually been inside of (but I made him pose for pics outside of) and he was actually pumped about it. Apparently t-shirt hoodies, hoodies in general, are always cool. Who knew?! Not this non-boomer.

The hard part was (gulp) Jerimiah and I were looking through the rack of them at Target (we normally buy from PTA, but it’s been a tough year and this was super easier) and we pulled the men’s size small out because duh, and didn’t think twice about it. Then when Jackson put it on we were like, “Holy shit!” Inside our heads of course. To him we said, “How does it feel? Do you like the size?”

“It’s perfect!” He said with a smile.

So we moved on. But how did my kid just grow into and almost out of a men’s size small and I didn’t even notice?!

Well obviously I had a meltdown and now here I am. Enjoy pics of him in his new shirt and the ones I forced him to take in front of his middle school earlier this summer. I’m gonna go drink wine and cry now.

M.

Code Blue

A couple of night’s ago Sir Duke Barkington woke us up by barking and running wild through the house. I assumed that we had an intruder who was skilled enough to bypass the ADT system and was there to murder us all. As one does. But it turns out that he was alerting us to something outside. Jerimiah went downstairs and that’s when he saw the red and blue lights streaming through the window. He peeked out and saw two ambulance and a patrol car parked across the street. He wasn’t sure if they were going to our neighbor Ginger’s house or Mr. Charlie and Ms. Loretta’s, so he watched for a bit longer and noticed a stretcher being pulled into Mr. Charlie and Ms. Loretta’s.

He came upstairs and told me what he saw. I jumped up and ran to my office window for a better view and I too saw the lights There had been no sirens. Duke was alerted only by the lights streaming through the window.

I took note that the medics did not seem to be in a hurry, and that a couple were just standing around talking. The cruiser switched his lights to just show blue, which brought to mind a code blue, which brought to mind the time I was a “Code Blue.”

When I was giving birth to Lydia she slipped out of my body unexpectedly. The doctor had not been prepared, just came to check on me. She had nothing, no gloves, no help, so she reached, with one hand on my daughter’s small frame, toward a button on the wall. Suddenly a “Code Blue” was issued to the whole labor and delivery floor, and half a dozen nurses and doctors ran into my room.

It’s been two days. I never saw who was wheeled out, and I also have not seen Mr. Charlie out in his yard. There’s been no mowing. No pulling figs off the tree. No open garage where his American flag hangs proudly next to his Haitian flag. I haven’t seen Ms. Loretta either. Just a car, which we think belongs to one of their children, a couple of times in and out, and a small light on in the kitchen.

I hope you are okay, Mr. Charlie and Ms. Loretta. Until I see you both again, I’ll be keeping an eye out.

M.

Post Office

A weird thing happened at the post office the other day. I stopped in to mail a package to a friend, when I noticed a guy in front of me with a stack of flyers to be mailed. He had what looked to be small (just bigger than a postcard) stacks of the flyer separated into bundles most likely by zip code. I don’t know what the flyers were for, but they looked very organized, as did he, and they were nice looking. They appeared to be, from what I could see from six feet away, printed on thick, glossy paper. Some money had went into them. Maybe it was a lawn service, I wondered.

When he was called to the next plexiglass station, he said he needed to get these out, and pushed the stack across the desk to her. It seemed to be a normal transaction. It never occurred to me before, but I suspect when businesses send out mass mail this is how they do it.

The postal clerk smiled and said no problem. She kept them all bundled together and weighed them. After she weighed them she started asking him a series of questions. The questions were asked in that standard post office kind of way. Like when you’re shipping a box and they rattle off a list of questions they have memorized while they click through screens. I don’t remember them because they seemed inconsequential and repetitive, then she asked, “Are these political in nature?”

She stopped. He looked confused, and said they weren’t. They were for his business. She never took her eyes off her screen and said, “That’s weird. Has anyone ever asked you that before?” The man shook his head no. “I’ve never seen that before,” she mumbled, then she frowned and clicked away.

The man paid, they exchanged pleasantries and he walked out. She took the stacks and set them in a bin next to her and yelled, “I can help the next person,” and I walked up.

“That was so weird,” she said, as I approached. I sent her a quizzical look. Then she smiled as I slid my package over and she asked, “Any explosives, liquids, fragile materials…”

M.

Well Hello!

It’s time to reintroduce myself! I have a bunch of new friends and I gotta ask, what the hell is your problem? Just kidding, but really though. I’m Missy and this here is my blog. I have a minimal amount of writing talent, I crack myself up, I’m an MFA student, and a mom to a human child and two asshole dog kids, and I have a husband, so, umm, I have a lot of bullshit to deal with everyday and I write about most of it here.

I also made a pact to myself to write everyday this year, so honestly some days this here blog is a stretch. A streeeeeetch.

Some days it’s educational.

Some days I complain about washing dishes

Some days I spill secrets.

It’s a crapshoot really.

But welcome, new friends! I hope you find something here you like, and if not trust me, I get it.

Be well, safe, and sane, y’all!

M.

Tuesdays Round Here

Excited for this day, I mean who wouldn’t be? I have a dentist appointment, a therapy appointment, and back-to-back Zoom classes this evening. Woohoo! Living the life! Okay, I might be overcompensating for my actual lack of enthusiasm, but if not for that where would I be? Sneezing into my coffee and crying as the world slowly falls apart around me.

Whew! I’m sad today. Sorry about that, y’all. Sometimes, these days, I’m wishing I hadn’t made that pesky New Years resolution to write everyday. Cause some days I think I write myself into a bad mood. Does that make sense? Let’s try to combat this! But how?!

Cupcakes!

I have a cupcake downstairs and I’m going to eat it. After the dentist. Okay. Today might not be so bad after all. Wishing you all cupcakes in the near future!

M.

Mondays, Hmpf

I mean, the hurricane is gone but things are still wild down here in Georgia. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things I did this weekend:

  • Bought a fabric shaver
  • Gave both dogs a bath
  • Threatened to stab both dogs
  • Finished a project for a friend’s birthday
  • Listened to Adele and cried
  • Played Tony Hawk
  • Told my son all about RBG
  • Ordered 30 cupcakes for a pool party on Saturday
  • Cancelled pool party on account of weather
  • Ate 10 of the cupcakes
  • Read “Memorial Drive” with Jerimiah and cried
  • Watched the movies “Coneheads” and “Twins” with Jackson
  • Finished off the last of the Chinese takeout
  • Sat in the hot tub with the jets on high
  • Took a lot of naproxen
  • Checked my absentee ballot status, all good
  • Cleaned the floors
  • Hired a housekeeper
  • Googled pics of RGB’s family and cried
  • Watched four episodes of season two of “Pen15”
  • Ordered more birthday presents for Jackson
  • Finally fell Asleep

Yeah, it was a long weekend. Hope yours was just as, uhh, productive as mine.

M.

Rest in Power

I was excitedly texting a friend Friday night about the new season of “Pen15” when she wrote, “Fuuuuck.” I Haha-ed it and she said, “No. RBG.” “What?!” I texted frantically. “Yeah,” she wrote back. “CNN just reported.” And then the curtain sorta fell. Only it didn’t, because Jerimiah and Jackson had downloaded the new Tony Hawk and were pumped to play it with me. So we played Tony Hawk, while my phone lit up. Text after text. “Can you believe it?!” And “Now what do we do?” I turned my ringer off and tried to master a Kickflip.

I haven’t had the bandwidth to process this and I’m not sure when I will. But it will come. Until then, we answered Jackson’s questions the best we could today. We talked about standing on the steps of the Supreme Court a couple of years ago. Jackson remembered the “big, bronze door” and how we waved to the building, hoping RBG was looking down at us. We watched the RBG documentary on Hulu as a family tonight, then we watched “Twins” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, because sometimes you have to laugh when you want to cry.

Jerimiah reminded me not to say Rest In Peace to RBG, after all she’s Jewish, wouldn’t care much for it anyway. I told him I’ll say rest in power then. But the important thing is just that she rests. She did her job, one hellava one at that. And we are so appreciative.

Rest in power, Notorious RBG. We’ll be down here picking up where you left off, and waving like crazy. I hope you can see us.

M.

Why Are You Wet?

Hurricane Sally did a number on us this week. We are lucky, of course, to be four hours inland, and not near the Gulf Coast (some of our Mississippi and Louisiana friends weren’t so lucky) we’ve just had a ton of rain. So much in fact that I’ve been running around screaming, “Why are you all wet, you assholes?!” To the dogs, naturally.

And in true Duke and Winnie fashion, they refuse to answer me, instead they jump on top of my couch and roll around, or jump in my bed and roll around, or jump on top of me and roll around. Why is there always so much rolling with the wetness?

Then, you know what, go ahead and add the mud to that. They’ve been digging, if you recall the “Remains” story from the other day, and digging in wet dirt is called digging in mud. Which apparently they are both big fans of.

All of this to say, that the dogs are still alive. I haven’t killed them. We are safe from storms. And my whole house reeks of wet dog.

How’s your week?

M.

Fri-Yay?

I love Fridays when I don’t have a million things to do. But on Fridays before say, my son’s pool party for his birthday in the middle of a global pandemic where he desires very particular cupcake toppers and there is a 40% chance of rain and I need to order enough pizzas to feed all the kids and how many kids are actually gonna show up anyway and is this even safe I mean chlorine kills germs but not when a kid sneezes into my face and did I order the right color frosting and what about that kid with a gluten allergy, well those Fridays aren’t my absolute favorites.

We actually didn’t think we’d be able to have a party to celebrate Jackson turning 12 this year and I was okay with it, but it happens that we go to a pool and we met a lot of new friends at the pool this summer who also belong there and Jackson asked if he could have a pool party this year with those friends. And since our pools down here are open until the end of the month, and Jackson’s October 1st birthday doesn’t normally lend itself to a pool party, and because of the aforementioned global pandemic I said sure thing, kid! But then I remembered I’d have to plan it.

Bleh.

I used to go all out for his birthdays. In a “rent an old-timey fire truck to deliver pizza to an outdoor venue decorated in replicas of burning building and kids equipped with “hoses” to put the fires out” kinda way. For sure. Birthday number five. But I’ve tampered down my birthday enthusiasm over the years, between dying paper, drawing pirate maps on them, then setting fire to the edges to look “realistic” to ordering pizza and Sams Club cupcakes to throw on a freshly Lysoled table by the pool. Maybe I haven’t tampered down anything, maybe the world did all the tampering down. Either way, here we are.

So yeah. Normally Fridays are good. But this one has some work to do.

This Gal Is Fucked, y’all.

I mean, TGIF, y’all!

M.

Make-up

Make-up days. Make-up tests. Make-up sex. There’s a lot of make-ups round here, but not any actual make-up. Like, nah, I’ll pass. Here’s the thing, I want to wear make-up, I do. I wish I was one of those ladies who lived and died by whatever her particular eye liner brand is, but I just don’t. I never have been and I can’t imagine I’ll ever be. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, and there are too many books to read as it is. I’m not saying I think wearing make-up is bad, not at all, and to all my friends who can’t get through a day without putting your face on, I salute you. I admire you. I adore you, you beautiful creatures. But please make no mistake, even though I don’t wear make-up doesn’t mean I don’t have things I have to do to feel good about myself everyday. And please don’t think I never feel good about myself. I do.

I, for instance, have to take a shower every, single day. I’m amazed and awed by people who can’t remember the last time they showered or who have “hair-washing” days. Gasp! If I couldn’t wash my hair every day I’d be okay crawling into a ball and dying, right there. Dead.

Dramatic? Maybe. But I’ve heard people say that about doing their make-up too. Also dramatic for that, but seems to be tolerated better. I think washing everyday just doesn’t seem so important to people because if I smell good, and my face is pretty for people to look at, then what different does it make if I showered? Maybe that’s the different? I don’t take a shower to make other people feel better, I do it so I can feel better.

It’s like why I also have to get enough sleep. Somewhere around ten hours is best for me, every, single night. That’s the best way for me to have a good day. Some people think 10 hours is nuts! Well I feel the same about six hours. How do you even function?

I dunno why I was thinking about make-up today. Or showering, or sleep, or things we do to make ourselves feel better. Maybe I’m taking stock today of trying to feel better. Probably I’m taking my mind off the fact that I’m headed to the rheumatologist this morning and I feel scared and sad and not my best.

Maybe some make-up will help? 😉

Have a fantastic day, however you have to get it.

M.

Friend Funk

Jackson and I have been in a friend funk lately. We’ve been missing our friends, I mean. While we’ve made new ones from going to the pool this summer, the only outing we feel safe doing with other people, we’ve been missing our friends who aren’t near us. Last week Jackson reconnected with a friend from Charlotte, a little girl he went to third and fourth grade with. He was happy and excited, then a little mopey. I asked what was up and he said he misses his Charlotte friends. I agreed and we mourned our losses for a bit and moved on. Well, he did.

I, of course, can’t let it go. I miss my best friend, whom I haven’t lived in the same town with since we were on college. I miss my friends on Lake Norman, I miss my Ozark friends, and I miss my Charlotte friends. I miss my friends I’ve met that have moved far away, living in Rhode Island, in Arizona, in California. This isn’t new, this missing, for me anyway, but it seems exasperated when times are a bit more trying. And I think that’s happening for Jackson now too.

The school board met this week. Decided to keep going virtually for the time being. We are still in “red” as it were. So we wait longer to see people, to make new friends, to reunite with old ones. And we keep missing.

M.