All posts filed under: Culture

Have a cocktail, meet a friend, see some art, cuddle up and watch tv

Why I Vote: TueNighters Share Highlights from the Polls

The 2020 election has seemed endless, but we’re almost to the finish line (we hope). TueNighters across the country were among the nearly 100 million voters who’ve already gone to the polls or dropped their ballots in the mailbox. Some brought their kids who were voting for the very first time, others honored the long, bloody fight against voter intimidation and suppression, and some felt a responsibility to fulfill their civic duty. Check out some of the photos and messages TueNighters shared of casting their votes.  

Violet Sky

Meet Violet Sky, the 19-Year-Old Living Like It Is 1985

For those of us around in the mid-80s, we may have a fondness or nostalgia (or deep cringe) for teased perms, forearms of black rubber bangles, fluorescent-colored tops and off-the-shoulder ripped sweatshirts. Such stuff as MTV dreams were made of — and probably not a look we wore every day.  Enter Violet Sky, or GlitterWave80s as she’s better known to her 90K followers on TikTok. The 19-year-old New Yorker has dedicated most of her life to living as if it were still the 80s. As seen in her Day-Glo videos, using a static-filled “VCR-style” filter, Violet sports enormous permed hair, shellac-ed bangs, light blue eyeshadow and REALLY high-waisted acid wash jeans. Glimpsing behind her, you’ll see a room plastered with posters of Duran Duran, Rick Springfield (my actual first concert), VHS tapes, a cassette-tape boombox, a record player, Keith Haring socks and white Reebok sneakers in the corner. Girl has done her research. This is no Halloween gag; this is something she’s been doing for four years. I had many, many questions. Mainly, I wanted …

Nina & Margit September Pop-Culture Roundup

Every month (almost) Nina Lorez Collins of The Woolfer and Margit Detweiler (of this here thing, TueNight)  get together for a chat about anything and everything pop culture. On the regular they talk about what they’re reading, watching, listening to and loving.  Here are this month’s recommendations: Margit’s Picks What I’m Listening To: Norma Tanega Kamasi Washington H.E.R. TV playlists like this and this Stream these stations: WXPN; WFUV; KUTX; KCRW Podcast: Nice White Parents AND if you’re a TV buff and want to discuss the shows you’re watching join our group T/N Spoiler Alert on Facebook!  What I’m Watching: What We Do In The Shadows Lovecraft County The Vow  Nina’s Picks What I’m Reading: Raven Leilani, Luster Elena Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults Sigrid Nunez, What Are You Going Through Sue Miller, Monogamy Louise Penny, All The Devils Are Here  What I’m Watching: The Bureau — THE BEST! French, stylish, gripping, spies! Run, don’t walk! Borgen — think Madame Secretary but more intellectual and in Danish! Away — Astronaut Hillary Swank leads a crew to Mars! What I’m Listening To: Dear Joan & Jerica If you missed their live convo, …

Summer Book and Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

We’re giving one lucky winner a $100 Amazon gift card and two “literary fans” book packages that feature three titles from Penguin Random House: Mary Gaitskill’s This is Pleasure, Edwidge Danticat’s Everything Inside and Nazanine Hozar’s Aria.  Contestants must be over 18 and from the United States. To enter, you must log into the Sweepwidget module below, and sign up, visit, follow or share before the contest closes on July 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Update: This giveaway is now over and the winner has been notified.

Lift Every Voice And Sing: A Q&A with Activist and Singer Abby Dobson

In this January 31, 2017 interview,  shortly after the Women’s March, journalist Angela Bronner Helm spoke with activist and singer Abby Dobson about protest, the persistent disconnect between women of different races and backgrounds, and the importance of amplifying Black women’s voices. In Abby’s words, we find powerful insights and calls to action that are relevant and necessary right now. The night before Donald Trump’s inauguration, two black feminist icons — Alice Walker and Angela Davis — spoke at the annual Peace Ball in Washington, D.C. offering two key messages about the intersection of art and activism. Walker revealed that the creation of art was one of her five tools of resistance. Davis noted that right now, “We need art, we need music, we need poetry.” Davis and Walker both understand the healing power of art, especially for women who feel under assault under the current administration. Jamaican-born Abby Dobson is a vocalist who carries with her both the activism of Angela and the art of Alice in her song. Dobson says she uses her gifts …

That Time Simon LeBon Worked in My Office

Like many 13-year-old girls in 1984, I often dreamed that Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon would one day randomly show up at my door. Unlike most of those girls, however, that actually ended up happening to me. And the story is nuts. In the early ‘00s, I worked at Rykodisc, an independent record label. If you are “of a certain age,” you may remember Ryko for its David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Frank Zappa CD reissues and/or its trademark green CD cases. The Business Affairs office, where I worked, was located outside of Philadelphia in Main Line suburban Bryn Mawr, PA, in a nondescript compound: Ryko had the building in the front (an old 1920s-era stone mansion), while RuffNation’s successor company occupied the two brick stable buildings in the back, which they had renovated and converted into offices and a state-of-the-art recording studio. One day, our office manager (we’ll call him Eric) brought some payment approvals or something upstairs to my office for signature. Eric was about 6 years younger than me, in a pop …

TueNight 10: Barbara Rushkoff

Age: ‘Old,’ as my kid says. Actual: 58. Feels like: 12 on a good day. Basic Bio:  Barbara Rushkoff is a former ’zine editor (Plotz), fact-checker (People) and music writer. Her latest project is under the guise of yr_resting_stitchface on Instagram where she makes embroidery stitch art of people who have made a creative impact on her life. Beyond the Bio:  “I’m a perpetual late bloomer, so having a kid in my early 40s made a lot of sense. I live in a small town just outside of NYC, where I am pretty sure no one cleans to post-punk music or remembers most of the people I’m embroidering. I recall that time in my life when music was so interesting and new and people connected with each other through live shows, record stores and making mixed tapes for each other. I miss that. Mid-life crisis through music and memory? Maybe. But I’m enjoying the people I’m connecting with on this new level.”  What Makes You a Grown Ass Lady: “Acceptance. Just accepting where I am right now, and …

Get Tix to Our Next Live Event “Risk” 1/28 at Luminary!

Tickets are on sale for our next event on January 28! Get all the details and BUY TICKETS HERE! For our Winter edition of TueNight Live we’re taking RISKS – telling tales of life after the leap. One of the upsides to getting older is that the math of “If not now, when?” gets just a little bit more insistent, prompting us to consider big changes and small ones that 10 years ago would have been unimaginable. We will be in the stunning space Luminary in Flatiron — a premier collaboration hub for women and women-identified who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. As always, we’ll have wine, delish snacks and fabulous stories from women who have been there/ done that. GET TICKETS NOW — We won’t be selling tickets at the door. Our storytellers include: Bridgett M. Davis (@bridgettmdavis) is the author of the memoir, The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life In The Detroit Numbers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She is also the author of two novels, Into the Go-Slow and Shifting Through Neutral, shortlisted for …

I Sent My Anxieties Downriver — On a Grapefruit

A scene from the sacred Loy Krathong ceremony in Thailand A hand reached out of the darkness to give me the pomelo. The hand belonged to my 12-year-old son; the pomelo, a Southeast Asian grapefruit, was mine. On this night, alongside an urban creek with the sounds of rush-hour traffic rumbling in the distance, that pomelo was about to become something magical. I tried to act casual — as casual as is possible for a 51-year-old woman standing in the dusk holding an outsized fruit stuffed with four carnations, a small candle and a scrap of paper. I don’t know whether it’s legal in America to float a flaming piece of citrus fruit down a creek. But I wasn’t going to ask. I had one shot at this, and it mattered. I couldn’t wait a whole year for this opportunity to come again.  A man peered at us through the moonlight from a public bench, watching as we approached the rocky edge of Pine Creek. I pulled a book of matches from my pocket and …

Make America Great Again: The Canadian Edition

When I was a kid, coming to “the States,” as we called it, was the shit. I mean, you guys had everything. I had never seen that many types of breakfast cereal in my short, Canadian life. The soda aisle alone blew my 9-year-old mind… PURPLE SODA? America the beautiful, indeed.  But other than those occasional Sunday family drives to Plattsburgh, New York—and the obligatory trip to Disney World, when I was 4—my primary exposure to the U.S. as I was growing up was via TV and the news. American presidents are so present and powerful when you live just next door. You almost feel as if they are your president, too. But mostly, the States was just fine—like an annoying older brother, always around, obligated to protect you, much stronger than you, and a little less refined. I certainly had no grand plans to live there.  But, life intervenes: 25-year-old girl meets boy, decides to find a job in a different country, and moves there to see if it will all work out. In …

TueNight Live: Photos from SECRET

All photos by Erika Hokanson. Shh… Sometimes our stories are for select ears only. But for this Spring edition of TueNight Live we were ready to reveal our most clandestine tales. Our theme was “Secret” and we had six readers tell all. As part of the Invisible Dog Art Center’s Open Studios week, we were proud to pack the house with more than 100 “grown-ass women” and feature artwork by many of the ID’s women artists. Here are some fabulous photos from the evening’s festivities. MIngling before the show. With wine and snacks in hand and friends met, we were ready to start. Margit kicks us off. Hitha Hertzog disclosed the first secret of the night: as a closet conservative, she was reconsidering her loyalties. Alison Mazer detailed her quest to find a discontinued lipstick:. Bringing joy to the audience. Financial planner and sponsor Stephanie Genkin, CFP®, also known My Financial Planner, introduced our next secret reader. Thank you Stehanie! Diane di Costanzo talked about our financial lives and the significance of talking about them — …

A Onetime “Closeted” Republican Decides to Come Out — and Slam the Door.

The term “closeted” has been used to describe many marginalized groups. It rarely has been used to describe a brown woman who is a Republican.  Let me explain.  Growing up I was the girl version of Alex P. Keaton. When Family Ties would air during prime time, I would beg my mother to let me watch. Not because I loved the snappy one-liners of Justine Bateman’s character. I loved how Alex would use Socratic method to lay out conservative arguments with his parents. I took copious mental notes.  My divorced Indian parents were split down the middle when it came to politics. My mother was Elyse Keaton while my father was a skinnier, browner, better dressed Archie Bunker. My mom would host ACLU meetings at her house. My dad would play golf with rich, white, old guys secretly hoping he would become one of them.  In 1996 I was excited to cast my first vote. Because of my age, I had missed the 1991/1992 elections by two years.  During his campaign, Bill Clinton came out like a lightening …

TueNight Live: SECRET

Tickets are on sale for our next event! Get all the details and BUY TICKETS HERE! For our Spring edition of TueNight Live we’re spilling SECRETS — some of our deepest, darkest, nearest and dearest. You won’t want to miss this one! Our crew of fabulous grown-ass women tells all. We’ll be back in the art-filled Invisible Dog gallery, with wine, snacks and salacious stories. Our storytellers include: Ada Calhoun (@adacalhoun) is the author of the memoir Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, named one of the top ten memoirs of 2017 by Wmagazine; and the history St. Marks Is Dead, one of the best books of 2015, according to Kirkus and the Boston Globe. She has collaborated on several New York Times bestsellers, and written for the New York Times, New York, and The New Republic. Her book Why We Can’t Sleep, based on her viral Oprah.com article “The New Midlife Crisis,” will be out from Grove/Atlantic and Audible in January 2020.  Mary Lee Kortes (@MaryLeeKortes) toured the world both as a headliner and opening act for Bob Dylan and other notables, expanded her creative work to include what she calls …

TueNight Live: Photos from our Birthday Party!

We turned five, y’all! With nearly 100 of our BFFs in attendance, we celebrated our first TueNight half-decade remembering our favorite pieces from the past and listening to brand new ones. We also noshed on some delicious “pencil” cake, raised $1500 for VoteRunLead and connected with TueNighters old and new. All photos by Simon Courchel. The Invisible Dog Art Center filled up quickly as we got the evening started. Margit reminded us of the TueNight origin story and the piece she published on Medium that started it all: Dinosaur Jr. — On Entering the Puberty of Old Age. She thanked our sponsors Ruth Ann Harnisch, MedAmour, Hint Water and Brandless. And then kicked off our first storyteller, Tamar Anitai. Tamar read her 2013 story that has resonated with so many of you — and a bit controversial at the time she wrote it —  being a grown, married woman who planned to live a child-free life. A lot of nodding heads in our midst. Watch Tamar read here! Susan Linney, one of our founding editors, contributing …

My Struggle With God Ended on a Plane

It was my best friend, Brenda, who introduced God and me. I was four. She was eight and lived in my grandparent’s trailer park with her mom, dad, several rabbits and a dog that scared me. To say that I worshipped her is to put it mildly. She knew everything, and, if I were lucky, she would teach it all to me. When Brenda fell in love with Shaun Cassidy, I was determined to fall harder, even though I still thought boys were sweaty and full of cooties. When she picked out cowl neck sweaters and velour V-necks from the Sears catalogue, I begged my mom for the identical style and color. And in the summer of 1977, when Brenda signed up for Bible Camp, I tagged along without hesitation. Before school started up again that fall, we were both saved. Jesus was our new crush, and we competed to be his biggest fan. We never swore, never took the Lord’s name in vain, always respected the Sabbath by going to Sunday school and always, …

Happy Birthday to Us! Get Tix to Our Live Event, 10/23

We can hardly believe it’s been five years. But as any TueNighter knows… Age is something to CELEBRATE. For our birthday edition, we’re bringing back excerpts of some of our TueNight faves — from Dodai Stewart bonding with bodywork professionals, to Susan Linney’s brave “Bottles Down” chronicles, to Tamar Anitai’s “Silly Things People Say When I Tell Them I Don’t Want Kids.” We’ll also have Deb Copaken and Michele Carlo with new stories and Cindy Gallop on why we need to shout our age from the rooftops. Hell yeah.  We’ll walk down memory lane with old friends and introduce some new ones. Plus, CAKE. TICKET PROCEEDS WILL SUPPORT VOTE RUN LEAD Buy tickets here!

TueNight Live: Photos from “FLASH”

On September 25, TueNight Live steamed things up with our latest issue —  FLASH. Braving the (appropriately named) flash floods outside, we cozied into the couches of Industrious to talk flashbacks, hot flashes, fevers and desert orgies. All photos by Erika Hokanson. Margit introduced the evening and a flash of skin. Dig her “Trouble Maker” temporary tattoo from Tattly. Alixandria Arungah, community manager for our sponsor Industrious Brooklyn, welcomed us into her comfortable space. Activist Sara Berliner describes her organization Vote Like a Mother, as one that promotes acceptance, equity, justice and love. Tracey made us laugh with a tale of her first hot flash in the five Kübler-Ross stages. Jen reads her story of getting pregnant, going through menopause and learning the ukulele.  We were delighted to witness her first public performance, adapting Peggy Lee’s Fever into a hilarious (and also poignant?) meditation on menopause and aging. TueNight newsletter editor Karen Gerwin introduced her good friend, Sue Kramer. Sue brought us stories from her past bodies — from the Playboy mansion to Paris — and …

A Warped Tour: One Lunachick’s Life on the Road

It was 1999, a full-on, hot and sweaty Summer. We were getting ready to go on the infamous Vans Warped Tour that is ironically — or un-ironically — touring for the very last time this year. By “we,” I mean me and my BFF’s — three friends from Laguardia High School with a big sister from another mister who, in 1987, started an all-female band called the Lunachicks. We did it for shits and giggles, but it became an accidental career. All of our favorite local bands had broken up, died from heroin overdoses, or other accidents, or literally just disappeared into the ether. (That happened, but that’s another story.) So we figured we’d just make our own thing. Each one of us — Squid, Gina, Sindi and me — all had good, diverse musical tastes. We liked everything from Funkadelic to The Runaways to The Stooges, to Black Sabbath to KISS…. Just for starters. And we just thought playing in a band would be a good time. By 1999 we had been doing it …

Yada, Yada, Yada: Why My Seinfeld Shorthand Is Still Relevant Today

“Potato Salad!” That’s the first phrase I remember my sister saying that made us both crack up so hard that we were both in tears. She was telling me a story that involved a friend of hers in a bunch of crazy scenarios, and after about 15 minutes of detailed explanation, she just stopped and shouted “POTATO SALAD!” We both just fell out and laughed our asses off, because I knew exactly what she meant – which was that this friend of hers was nuts, and possibly a homeless guy wearing a bad toupee while running around Manhattan while pulling a rickshaw. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you could even give me a quick but full synopsis of the episode, “Kramer’s Rickshaw Adventure.” My sister Addye and I are BIG Seinfeld fans and we speak “Seinfeld Shorthand” to each other just about every day. We’ve been doing it since the show first came on, waaaaayyy back in July of 1989. There were a lot of great shows …

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9 Lessons I Learned from My 9 Favorite 90s Shows

(Photo courtesy of doug.wikia.com) Oh, 1996: The time in which my eighth year of life on this Earth came to an end and my ninth began. I had begun to take school seriously (#honorrollgoals), spent most of my time in dance class and didn’t care about too much more than my coke bottle glasses and whatever new sneakers were coming out for the week that I could sport on casual Fridays (the perks of being a private school girl.) The year was also a pretty fantastic time for television. I still frequently hear that television kills brain cells and that it’s an idiot box, but I have always begged to differ. Like any kind of media you consume, it can be either imbecilic or informative and, though a balance is best, there’s absolutely no reason why you cannot take any major keys from the telly. I’m still gleaning some epic lessons from television and fondly remember the messages I received from the good old year of 1996. Here are a few from some of the …

Rise: The Midlife Mixtape

Numerous studies show the link between a high-energy playlist and the uplift in mood it can inspire. And when it comes to songs that play on the word “rise,” there’s no shortage of tunes that remind us to get up and keep trying, no matter how dark things seem. A RISE playlist may not be a cure, but if all it does is help us uncurl from the fetal position and take stock of what we do next, that’s a pretty good place to start. “Rise to the Sun” – Alabama Shakes. Sometimes it’s a victory just to get up and power through your day. It’s especially daunting when your goals feel infinity miles away, or as Alabama Shakes sing, “Well, my eyes are full of stars, But I just can’t reach ’em… oh, how high they are.” Take comfort in knowing you’re in good company in the struggle, and take heart in the fierceness of Brittany Howard’s vocals. “The Rising” – Bruce Springsteen Off his 2002 album of the same name, this Bruce Springsteen …

Why Don’t We Trust the Institutions We Create?

In June of 2017, the Gallup organization conducted its “CONFIDENCE IN INSTITUTIONS” poll, which it has been conducting pretty much every year since 1973. And this year, despite what you might expect would be some sort of pre-apocalyptic low water mark in America’s trust in institutions, our trust in general went up. Specifically, it went up 3 percent. The poll measures confidence in 14 major public institutions — from public schools to banks to labor unions to the Supreme Court to police to big business to small business to newspapers to television news to churches to the military to the medical system and, yes, measuring trust in Congress and the presidency as well. The fine people at Gallup found that in 2016 just 32 percent of the American people on average said they trusted these institutions. A year later — this is THIS YEAR — we now trust these institutions 3 percent more or a WHOPPING 35 percent. Now, you may be thinking — as I was when I encountered this data — that WHOA, that 35 percent …

The Best Voice in the World Is… Need You Ask?

For the most part, I don’t trust most people’s taste in music. To debate a musical topic or question with someone is to know for sure that you and your opponent have a shared music-listening lineage and appreciation or, at the very least, the two of you share a mutual understanding and interest for the music that one of you likes that the other person doesn’t. For me, someone with a baseline understanding of many musical genres, the mutual understanding thing is tricky, especially when the mutuality is to be established with: 1. A non-black person — especially a non-black person who hasn’t spent much time around black people. 2. A black person who hasn’t spent much time around non-black people 3. A much-younger person — any race, doesn’t matter. 3a. Case in point: my much-younger white coworker who didn’t know Bananarama’s “Venus” outside of the razor commercial (which until writing this piece and being schooled by our beloved EIC Margit I didn’t know was originally sung by the Dutch garage band Shocking Blue) 3b. …

Hygge and Kisses: Even the Danes Couldn’t Save My Relationship from Trump

During the last few months, there has been a lot of anger shown toward the Trump Administration, coming from both sides of the political spectrum. Whether it has been a deep frustration with his attacks on the mainstream media and the court system, a true hatred of his immigration and healthcare bills or outright shock at his administration’s too-close relationship with Putin, 80 percent of America seems to have a gripe with the president. I’d like to add another complaint to the list: I blame Donald Trump for ruining my romance this past winter. His election — and the chaos that it has wrought — has caused so much stress and anxiety that, during the first three months of his presidency, it was just too difficult to find love. My relationship with Debbie started out promising. We met at a dinner party a few days before Trump was inaugurated. Our hostess was worried about the night being successful and fun, so she warned her guests that “no one can talk about politics.” After dinner, Debbie …

How I Went From Aspiring Joker to Joker’s Wild Champion

My sophomore year of college, I took a leave of absence from NYU Film/TV after my sophomore year and set out for LA with dreams of becoming the next Freddie Prinze (minus the suicide). One of my best friends from high school and I had made a pact: We’d find an empty office on the Universal lot, set up shop like Steven Spielberg and take Hollywood by storm. I was the advance team and flew out via PEOPLExpress (one way just $99) to couch surf with an ex and her sister in Orange County until I could find a place. My arrival coincided with the reign of The Night Stalker Killer, and, as it turned out, my ex’s sister’s place was this latest Satanist’s favorite stalking grounds. The very first night, after the girls went out clubbing (leaving me alone clutching a broomstick), I was shocked awake at 3 a.m. by the phone ringing. On the other end, the most menacing (although not-particularly inventive) obscene caller told me how much he’d like to make me …

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How Do I Feel About A Midlife Crisis? Whatever.

Last spring, I celebrated my 50th birthday. Some might say I’ve finally reached capital-M Midlife, but I’ve always contended that Midlife started back when I turned 39. I mean, I harbor no unrealistic dreams of longevity, based solely on the amount of chemicals I put away in the ‘70s in the form of Tab, Bubble Yum and Pop Rocks. Then again, I’m a Gen-Xer, for whom dry-eyed pragmatism is a generational calling card. And it’s exactly that deeply ingrained bias against bullshit that I think means my cohort and I are going to totally rock middle age. Let me explain. At 46 million members, Gen X is small, wedged between some 80 million Baby Boomers and 78 million Millennials. We have classic middle child syndrome — ignored and overlooked and stuck between two hulking siblings who’ve taken up all the legroom and media attention on our 78-year road trip around the sun. Demographic shorthand for Americans born 1964-ish to 1980-ish says that most of our parents were divorced and distracted, leaving their latchkey offspring to …

10 Ways We Remember When Music Was a “Thing”

 Remember when music was a physical object — before it was just an ethereal file floating from one digital device to another? There were technical snafus, social mores and some heavy lifting that went along with the era of vinyl and magnetic tape. Herein, a few: 1. Using a pencil to fix an unraveling cassette tape. 2. Moving boxes and boxes of LPs from dorm room to apartment to apartment (Sorry, Dad.) 3. Merging record and CD collections with your partner. My rule: Do not merge until married. (And even then, Dave Matthews is never allowed to mingle) via GIPHY 4. Taping over someone else’s mixtape. The ultimate diss.  5. Using Scotch tape as a cassette-tape wonder tool. By taping over the little notches on top to record a mixtape over an unwanted cassette. 6. 8-Track Tapes And that satisfying sound of the 8-track tape clicking and connecting into its gears in your parents’ Buick Regal car radio. 7. When people actually cared about speakers. via GIPHY 8. Losing the 45 spider Aka that little …

A Stranger on the Road: A Syrian Woman Finds a New Home in Connecticut

It’s been a volatile time for refugees trying to get to America, especially since January 27 when Donald Trump signed an executive order banning entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. But the judicial system’s fast reversal of the ban created a window of opportunity — and something of a roller coaster ride — for refugees who had been previously cleared for entry. Syrian refugee Fradh Alfaawri and her four children rode that roller coaster last week. The back story: Alfaawri escaped war-torn Syria in 2013 after her husband died in police custody. The family lived in a Jordanian refugee camp for four years before they heard the good news: The U.S. would accept all five of them as refugees. But less than a week before they were to leave, Trump imposed his ban, leaving them stranded, “shocked and very, very sad,” Alfaawri told the press through an interpreter. And then another phone call: If the family could board a plane in three hours, they would, they were told, be admitted after all. Some days …

Why I Marched: 9 Women Across The Country Share Their Reasons

Planned as a protest in Washington, D.C. to the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States the day before, the January 21st  Women’s March on Washington surpassed all expectations of size and scope. Millions of people showed up in D.C. and in cities all over the country—and beyond that to all seven continents—to march, chant, and listen to speakers, united in focus on resisting Donald Trump’s agenda. Many of the women wore the famed pink knit “pussy hats,” although headgear was entirely optional, and most carried signs with pro-woman and equality, anti-Trump and fascism messages.  I talked to several women about why they marched, what steps they plan to take next, and if they consider this day the birth of a movement. Sandie Angulo Chen, writer Maryland I marched in Atlanta while attending the American Library Association’s annual midwinter conference. I marched because as Rep. John Lewis reminded us, we can’t afford for our nation to take even one step backwards when it comes to human rights, civil rights, women’s rights. Since then, …

My Proof God Wants Us to Keep Laughing

When I was a kid attending church with my family, the worst offense we could commit was to laugh in the middle of the service. Which is why my siblings and I regularly prodded each other into laughter so forceful that it seemed to emit from our mouths, noses and ears. My brother and sister and I were regularly reshuffled to opposite ends of the pews by parental glares set to “SALT PILLAR” until the moment Miss Smith arose and called the kids to follow her out for Sunday School. The lesson was driven home at an early age: God and humor do not mix. So I was so delighted, as an adult, to find a church in my adopted hometown in NorCal where a) our priest is an accomplished stilt walker and never misses a chance to explain a parable from ten feet overhead; b) the send-off gift to newly ordained seminarians as they head to their first big jobs is a flaming Bible (to be used ironically, of course); and c) when a …