The Ten Year Challenge

It happens every year or so… all your friends on social media jump on the hashtag bandwagon and post side-by-side photos of themselves from 10 years ago and now. I’ve done it; I bet you have too.

We’re told that these “challenges” help in refining facial recognition software, etc, etc, and more nefarious motives. Somehow I doubt it, and in fact, this year, it even made me think.

I posted on Facebook: “Here’s an idea for a real 10 year challenge:Who were you then and how have you changed for the better?”

I love my friends. They played along, and one even thought to ask me how I would answer. Since in posing the question, I was preparing to write this post, that was my answer.

First, are we talking 10 years before the year we just completed, or the one we just started? Because 2011 and 2012 were very different years for me, while 2021 melted into 2022 almost indistiguishably (at least so far). But for the sake of argument, let’s go with 2012… mainly because I have this great photo of the epic 12-12-12 birthday.

At the Algonquin, December 12, 2012

In 2012, I was doing work I loved at the wrong place, and learning some hard lessons about letting go. And that applies to so many areas of my life.

That place that makes you unhappy? Leave.

That activity that everyone says you must try? Only if you want to.

That friend who can be wonderful but with some regularity is not? Stop chasing that dream.

Those expectations that were unrealistic from the start? Take a hard look at them and move forward.

In 2022, I’m working. The work is interesting and important and keeps me close to the creation of theater, even if I do sometimes feel that I’ve failed.

In 2022, I’m making smarter choices: about what I do and why, about who is in my life, and about where I want to go from here. (Okay, that last I’ve not figured out yet, but it sounds great, doesn’t it?)

And I look damn cute in a mask.

On the A train, one day in 2022. Or 2021. Or March 673, 2020.

2 Days

Thanks to my old friend… TWO DAYS!


Anger and pain has been carved in my soul
Seared in my memory, a loss of control

The corruption, the greed, the callous neglect
By those who have sworn an oath to protect

Anguished by family separation
Carried out with heartless calculation

Tormented by names of Black lives cut short
Philando, Breonna, Rayshard, and George

Plagued by the deaths from COVID-19
Still no federal plan to dispense the vaccine

The cruel disregard for human life
Each passing day plunges deeper the knife

Republicans denying all they have wrought
Ignoring the cries of a nation distraught

You can’t see the marks if you look at our faces
They’re buried deep down in the darkest of places

Shock turns to outrage, anger to fears
My body holds the scars of the last four years

But a growing bright light begins to emerge
With hopes that we’ll finally end this scourge

When Biden…

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All The Reasons to Choose Kamala Harris

This. All of this.

Kamala News Network

As we near the end of the selection process, it becomes increasingly clear that Kamala Harris the best choice for VP. Unfortunately, the clearer it becomes, the more resistant many folks get towards the idea. Despite their opposition, Kamala Harris is clearly the most qualified, most experienced, and most competent choice for VP.

1. Vertical and Horizontal experience in all levels of government.

Kamala Harris has spent her entire career in public service. She has literally dedicated her life to The People. Currently, she is the only Vice Presidential candidate being considered who has not only worked in all 3 vertical branches of Government (Local, State, and Federal), but also all 3 horizontal branches (Judicial, Legislative, and Executive). As a prosecutor and later District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, Kamala Harris prioritized victims, and notably went after abuse and harassment perpetrators. She worked within the judicial…

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“What Will Cure Society In Its Aftermath Is Art”, Or I Believe In Theater

Is it just me, or are others who work in the theater frustrated with the pushing back of live performances in traditional venues by a few months at a time?

Would it be better to look further out for our traditional model (since I honestly think “further out” with lots of yet unseen progress is what we will need to go back safely), and to focus right now on how to create and monetize new online content? In fact, I keep thinking it might even be possible to create content together, in person, in a “quarantine pod”.

Go ahead, say it, what the hell do I know? But many of y’all “in the business” do know. And those who have worked with me know I love problem-solving, plus, it’s the most creative thing I have to think about right now.

A friend shared this quote with me, part of which titles this post, and I think it’s spot-on:

“While the creation of a vaccine and anti-viral drugs will cure this pandemic, ultimately what will cure society in its aftermath is art.” ~ Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director, Stratford Festival

Shouldn’t we start working on that cure for the “aftermath” now? I think so. And I believe in us. We can do this.

(Yes, in many ways, I am the eternal optimist – I even own rose-colored glasses – but I also know we need creative and realistic optimism now more than ever.)

I Love You, Nancy, But You Hurt Me… And Many Others

Nancy Pelosi has always been one of my personal heroes… but she blew it commenting, especially the way she did, on 45’s weight. I know, she’s human and has flaws, but she seems to be oblivious to the harm she’s done.

And you – if you’re okay with Speaker Pelosi’s comments and the fat shaming that followed, please read this piece and sit with it.

Fat-shaming is a soft bigotry that even the Democratic establishment condones.

None of this is a surprise to my fellow fats: You wake up in the morning and you know what the world has been telling you every moment of your life. That I am considered less-than because I am more-than has permeated every moment of my life from birth; even in dreams, I’m not free of the weight — not my own physical weight, but the internalized hatred from a thousand sources and voices, woven into every square inch of our culture, as natural as breathing…

If I could say something to all the thins, I’d say: Stop and listen. Millions of fats read and heard the awful bigoted garbage about Trump, and about fat people, that Pelosi’s words unleashed. There’s a desire in too many of us to use those words, to express that hatred of fat people, to silence and punish fat people for existing. That impulse has always been in our culture, and as thins you don’t seem to see it. Please try to stretch yourselves to see how it affects us, to feel the simple empathy that can make all of us better to one another.

Besides, there are many glorious ways to insult Donald Trump that do not belittle and demean anyone but him. Use those.

And to my fellow fats: Hey, here we are again. You know all this stuff already; I’m tired of it, too. I can’t believe we have to explain it all again, either. But this is the work, I think — to try and be seen, so that our worth can be counted as equally and fully. Even I once had to be persuaded that my life as a fat [woman] had worth. And in my life since I realized that, I’ve seen a few people listen, and then a few more. Maybe it takes a lifetime. Thanks for being here with us for yours.”

Please do NOT comment until you have read the entire piece (not just the quote above).  And then, read this piece also.

Ali and others saw a more insidious effect:  that no matter the intention, the comments normalized fat-shaming even at the highest levels of government.  “You can mock him for so many other things,” he says.  “She could have left it at, he was unhealthy.  But perhaps she unconsciously went there.”

The message it sent to everyone watching, Ali says, was simple:  “This country really hates fat people.”

If you disagree… think twice about what you say. (Any cruel comments will be deleted promptly and the commenter blocked.)   If you’re someone with thin privilege (yes, it’s a thing) and you’re not speaking out against this fat shaming (and fat shaming whenever you see it), you are part of the problem, and you have a responsibility to become part of the solution.

One thing that is making me extra sad and mad and deeply hurt about this… In the last few years, I had actually begun being more comfortable with my size (I’ve written about my journey on this blog, in fact), though I work at it and at my size, for my own reasons.  Those reasons, BTW, are not “doctor-ordered”. Since people often fat shame by talking about health, let me head you off. My doctor jokes that I am the healthiest sick person (sick referring to my Sjogren’s) that she knows.

And this just made me realize again that no matter how I feel about myself, there are so many people who look at me and all they see is “fat”. And think less of me for it, while knowing nothing about me.

Finally, I’m not looking for people to reassure me about my size, though I do appreciate it if you thought of doing so.


Unpopular Opinion Of The Day, Or Thank You For Coming To My TED Talk

While I truly feel for Elizabeth Warren’s supporters, and I agree that it’s a travesty that this race came down to two white men after such an encouraging start, I have to ask…

Where was all the sympathy for the #KHive when Kamala Harris suspended her campaign? (Also, for supporters of Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar, to be sure.)

Where were all the media tears over how they were treated (yes, Rachel Maddow, I’m looking at you, though not only you)?

Where was all the praise for how smart, talented, and qualified Kamala, Kirsten, and Amy are?  Spoiler alert:  they are.  And I’m not going to argue who is “better”.  Suffice it to say all four of them are awesome.

Where were the posts suggesting her supporters deserved time to grieve before being pressured to “move on”?

Why were we expected to listen to others talk about how right it was for the other women to drop out, because they wanted to tell us “flawed” each was?

Why were were supposted to find it encouraging that _maybe_ Kamala could be AG (a job she turned down when Obama offered it) or _maybe_ one of these women could be VP?  or in the Cabinet?


No, I don’t think this means we’ll never have a woman President, though I do agree it’s possible the Republicans will do it first, because they don’t have the absurd problem with purity testing that we inflict upon our candidates and those candidates inflict upon each other.  But I think we need to look at how this is being discussed and reported, and remember that for the next time.  Because there will be a next time.

In the words of HIllary Rodham Clinton, when she ended her 2008 Presidential campaign:  “Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”

Also in the words of Kamala Harris, on Election Night 2016:  “Do not despair.  Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves, and fight for who we are.”

Thoughts On The Democratic Primary

Today, March 5, 2020, the last woman standing suspended her run for President of the United States.  After a primary that was the most diverse in history, including four – FOUR – women who would have been excellent at the job, Democrats will be choosing between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren

I was all in for Kamala and with the #KHive from the beginning. I did the research.  I pushed back against the attacks, including writing about her here and here.  I donated when I could.  I still wear the t-shirt.  I was devastated when she suspended her campaign.  The misygnoir had been obvious.

And yes, the misogyny was obvious when Kirsten was taken to task for what we say we want, believing women (and arguably, Chuck Schumer was far more directly responsible for Franken’s resignation than she).  And yes, it was obvious in the attacks on Amy for being a “mean boss” and in the attacks on Elizabeth for essentially being “overprepared”.  We all saw and read more of those attacks than I can bear to repeat, so I won’t.

While I believe all of the Democrats have essentially the same concerns (#notyouBernie), I was more closely aligned with other candidates in the race.  You may or may not have seen the “quiz” in the Washington Post (which I took on February 21).  It asked various questions and then gave you a grid showing where you agreed with each candidate.  My “matches”, out of 20 questions, were Biden (15), Bloomberg (15), Buttigieg (14), Klobuchar (14), Warren (7), Sanders (6).  (I know that’s not everyone, but you get the picture.)

Then, in the lead-up to Super Tuesday, some were saying that not supporting Warren demonstrated “internalized misogyny”.  That if she were a man, everyone would align behind her.  That her plans were being discounted based on her gender.  And I agree, there are people for whom all of those accusations are true.

But while I understand the sadness, anger, and frustration at Warren’s suspending her run, we should not assume that everyone supporting a male candidate is a misogynist.  My left of center/more moderate views are not in line with Warren’s thinking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a kick-ass female president, and I would happily have fought for her had she become our nominee.  It also doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what Warren brings to the table, the work she has done, and the work she will continue to do.  I also respect and stand behind my friends who supported her, and today I feel their pain.

In fact, all four of these women are awesome and we are lucky they are willing to continue working in government after this primary. Any one of them would have had my support and my vote as our nominee.

As I’ve said, my first choice was Kamala.  I didn’t have a second choice, so I decided to wait and see where the base of the party cast their votes in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday.  #VoteLikeBlackWomen is more than just a hashtag; it’s a way to recognize the base that is trying to hold this party together and may just save us all from four more years of 45.  So I am now supporting Joe Biden.  It’s Hobson’s Choice.  He is the best of what’s left.

But even if we disagreed on which woman was the best candidate, I think we are all dealing with massive disappointment that none of them are still on the ballot.  It sucks.  So It’s time to be kind to each other, and also to give each other time to grieve.  Then I’ll do what women always have to do.  Get back up, dust myself off, and keep fighting.  Hopefully with all y’all by my side.







I got the sweetest text today.

See, as a pre-teen and teenager, I loved physical activity. Actually, I still do.

So starting when I was about four, my sisters and I all went to dance classes and rode horses, but by junior high, it was sports.  We had a basketball hoop over our garage door (didn’t everyone?) and we played in the driveway.  We played soccer in the front yard.  We walked over the nearby elementary school and played pickup softball.  We swam.

In seventh grade, the options for team sports at my school were quite limited, so I (and a friend) joined the boys’ soccer team – soccer wasn’t my first choice, but my big sister played it and was awesome at it, so why not?

The summer before eighth grade, there was a basketball camp at the high school.

That summer…

Three girls went – of course, I was one of them – because we were getting a girls’ team!  I don’t remember anything odd about there only being three of us with the boys.  Maybe it was the coach.  Maybe it was the boys.  Maybe it was us.  Or maybe it was just our love of the game.

In eighth grade, and then ninth, I played on the girls’ team.  I wasn’t good, but I played.  And my knees objected.  So by the tenth grade, when we had a new coach (thank God, as we had gone 2 – 18 the previous year), I didn’t make the team.  I just couldn’t keep up anymore.

But I loved basketball.  I loved my friends.  So I became the scorer and kept stats for the team.  I felt like I was part of the team, even though, really, I was a hanger-on.  Or I thought so.  Until today.

Today, I heard from my oldest friend (we have known each other (ahem) fifty years now).  She was a star on that team.  She texted me from her daughter’s first game:  “seeing the girls at the table taking stats and keeping score and it makes me think of you! So I just wanted to say thank you for doing that and being part of the team!! Probably never said thank you back then so saying it now🤗thank you❤️”

So I realized… I wasn’t a hanger-on.  I was part of that team, even if they didn’t say so.  And I learned, for the first time though far from the last, that lemons can become lemonade, and a disappointment is not always an ending.



Be A Lady They Said

No wonder we’re often so conflicted…

Writings of a Furious Woman

Be a lady they said. Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go.

Be a lady they said. Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Don’t be too large. Don’t be too small. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat…

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Being “Hillaried” Is A Thing, But We Can Fight Back

I wrote this.

Kamala News Network

It’s so sad that the way Hillary Clinton was attacked for years, and especially the way she was treated during the 2016 Presidential election, has become a verb.  But it has, and right now the target is Kamala Harris.

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 9.12.06 AMIt wouldn’t be too, too surprising if you haven’t noticed, as her mentions are not indicative of her support nor of her endorsements.

And after her extraordinary speech in Iowa, C-Span initially did not even include her in the video list of those speaking.  For over thirteen hours, every candidate (including some I bet you forgot were running) were listed.  But not Kamala.  In case you missed it, you can watch her speech here.


C-Span also left her out of a photo that purported to include all the candidates.  I won’t link it as I don’t want it spreading any more than it has.  Instead, here’s my new favorite Kamala…

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