Shakes Head, Again (and Again)

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I wonder how many times this year I’ve said “Are you fucking kidding me?” Probably at least a thousand, and 95% of them are in reaction to something I’ve read or seen about Donald Trump or other Washington happenings. Every day I think to myself, it can’t get much worse or more ridiculous. But then, dawn breaks and guess what? It actually does get more ridiculous and there’s something out there that is even worse than the last worst worse. Sometimes I feel like we’re all living in the Truman Show. Who’s watching us and laughing their asses off as they play puppeteer and orchestrate scenarios that are making us a nation full of people riddled with anxiety, fear, and divisiveness?  And can we please just roll the credits already? Good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight!

Here’s the latest in my “are you fucking kidding me?” lineup of moments. It’s a little excerpt from the super articulate, confidence-instilling dialog between Lou Dobbs and Trump during Wednesday’s interview. I’m going to totally gloss over Dobbs telling Trump that he is “one of the most loved and respected” presidents “in history” (because: bahhhh bahha bhaa haahaaa ha. Ha.) and skip to the really enlightening parts:

On China, in response to Dobbs question about his relationship with President Xi- TRUMP: He’s a powerful man. I happen to think he’s a very good person. Now with that being said, he represents China, I represent the USA, so, you know, there’s going to always be conflict. But we have a very good relationship. People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also.

Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president. But we have a very good relationship and that’s a positive thing. And it would be good to have that relationship with Russia and other countries, too.

On border relationships, sovereignty and our economy (in response to this question): “How in the world are we going to be able to deal with all of these issues if you — if you cannot bring the Republican party together?”  TRUMP: I really think they’re coming along. I really do. I think they are coming along. One thing you didn’t mention which you will mention and I know you talk about it is the power of the pharmaceutical companies.

DOBBS: Oh, yes.

TRUMP: We pay so much more for the same pill, prescription drugs than other countries. You go to Canada — people go to Canada to buy prescriptions.We pay for the exact same pill, made from same plant, the same company, we pay in many cases, many, many times more than they’re paying in other countries. So we’re subsidizing the world in terms of prescription drugs. It’s ridiculous. And it’s going to stop.

The problem I have is these companies give so much — I mean the contributions are massive, just massive, the amount. But we do have — there are a lot of good people that are seeing what’s going on. And I think we’ll be successful in that. Next week, I’m going to be declaring an emergency, national emergency on drugs.

The opioid is a tremendous emergency, what’s going on there. The drugs pouring into the country have gotten — and I tell you what, we’ve made a big impact. But still, we need the wall. You know, part of the reason we need the wall is for drugs.

On Tax Reform (in response to this question): “What do you expect the impact to be for working men and women, the middle class, those who aspire to be in the middle class?”  TRUMP: You know, we’ve done so well. Pretty much record-setting, certainly record-setting for nine months in so many different ways. Nine months of a presidency. But you look at the market, how well it’s doing, so you’d say well why do you have to do anything. We can actually do better. And I think we will do better. We are going to have so many jobs created by what we’re doing. And you know, we’re going to have companies that aren’t going to be leaving our country anymore.

You look at what’s happened over the last 25 years, you go down and take a look at Mexico—and see how many car companies have built these massive factories in Mexico. Not here. We want them built in Michigan, and Ohio, and our places. And they just leave, and they fire everybody, and they go and open up plants. That’s not going to be happening anymore, plus they’re going to be penalized in many different ways if they do it.

And here he explains how he spends his time when he should be focused on actually getting shit done (note major eye-roll on the shout out to Fox, Sean Hannity and of course loyal Lou): 

TRUMP: And the good thing about social media is that I have so many millions of people, so many — I guess, 128 million. You could add up — you know, you add up all the different platforms — massive social media. At least I can put out — it’s not that I want to do that. I’d rather not do it. I would love to not do it at all. But at least I can put out the truth. And I can put out the real word. And people agree. And if you look at the level of approval of the — of media — of general media —

DOBBS: Right.

TRUMP: if you look at it from the day I started running to now, I’m so proud that I have been able to convince people how fake it is — because it has taken a nosedive. —

DOBBS: Yes. And —

TRUMP: Except for your show, of course — and Sean, and a few of them. Right?

DOBBS: Yes.

TRUMP: There’s some very good ones. And I have to say, Fox has treated me fairly. And I don’t mean good, but they’ve treated me fairly. I don’t want to be treated good. I just want to be treated fairly.

Gah! NONE of these answers make any sense.  They are either completely off topic or completely incoherent, or just totally inaccurate. If he can’t even answer questions that were lobbed at him by one of his most loyal and enthusiastic supporters, how can he address or provide thoughtful and effective solutions to any of the other pressing issues we’re facing as a nation and a world (ahem, North Korea)?  ALSO: I remember back in November when people were saying “Oh give him a chance, he’ll become more Presidential”. Ok, it’s been almost a year. He’s had lots of chances. When is this miraculous transformation going to happen? Someone–anyone–please tell me. And, answer my question directly and concisely. Is that too much to ask?

 

Runcation Destination: NYC!

Last weekend my friends I ran the Brooklyn Rock n Roll half marathon.  We could have picked a race closer to home, but we’d heard good things about this one and well, if we’re being perfectly honest, we’re more about the party that happens after than the actual running part of the race, so making a weekend of it was too hard to resist.

Runcations are perfect because you get in a really good workout, you feel really proud of yourself and amazed at what your body can do when you insist on it, and then you go out and indulge for the entire rest of the weekend and not feel bad about it. The afterglow of personal glory lasts for at least 24 hours and you can use your caloric deficit to hit the town running (figuratively speaking, of course, because obviously, you do more than enough running at the race). Plus you can button your skinny jeans! Always a good way to start the night.

Anyway, the Rock n Roll series happens all over the country, and though there were many tempting options we chose Brooklyn because we could drive there and because we all love NYC. Usually, when we go it’s all fun and no run so even though we make a habit of hanging out there whenever we can, this trip was something new for us. I’ll tell you about it in pictures:

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We hit the road at around 1:00 after a frantic morning of trying to fit eight hours of work into four. No time for lunch. Good thing Tina brought the Skinny Pop.
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Oh yes we did, obviously.
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Have you ever tried to drive to the Javits Center at rush hour? Let’s just say it’s not a good idea. Plus there’s nowhere to park. We made it to the expo to pick up our race bibs with like 30 minutes spare. My friends weren’t sweating it, but I was having a heart attack.
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Hudson Yards is pretty amazing. We got to take a nice long look at it as we sat in gridlocked traffic.
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Hi there, New Yorker. Thanks for perfecting the art of the 19-page article.
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We finally made our way to the Upper East Side, where we were staying with a friend (a lovely, tolerant friend who doesn’t mind when you invade her space with way too much shit for 2 days). This restaurant on 2nd Ave is a gold standard if you like German food, but don’t worry we didn’t eat there (brats+running=bad)
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We went to The Penrose instead. They have good beer (carbo loading!!) and we had fun watching the after-work pickup scene in action.
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We had quite an adventure getting to the start from Marisa’s apartment because we had the misfortune of picking the one cab driver in Manhattan who had no idea how to get to Brooklyn. How is that even possible? And why didn’t we just get an Uber?  But, no worries- we made it with plenty of time to take this all-important before pic. Thumbs UP!
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We’re here…now let’s run.
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This is the only picture I took during the race, and I think it was an accident.
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13.1 DONE! Let’s share this moment with everyone on our social media feeds! We usually keep our shirts on for our selfies, but clearly, others have different ideas.
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It was only a Mich Ultra, but it was beautiful.
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We look like badasses don’t we? Also, I’m happy to note that I remembered to put on deodorant.
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We hung out with Tina’s crazy friend who flies all over the country to run Rock n Roll Halfs with 30 other crazy people. They flew to NY Friday night, ran Brooklyn, chugged a few beers and then hopped on a plane bound for Denver where they were going to run another half on Sunday morning. As I said, they are crazy.  I would say “goals” but this actually would never be a goal of mine.
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Though that medal is pretty sweet.
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That’s the Hollis Brown Band behind us. They were really good and they have gigs all over so you don’t actually have to run 13.1 to hear them play.
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After the after party we hobbled out of Prospect Park and headed over to wander (slowly) up and down 5th Ave in Park Slope. We found this place for lunch (Gristmill), which had really great food and the people were so nice. Like really, really nice.
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How can you say no to farm fresh gelato that’s as good as nature?
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Actually, I did say no because what I really wanted was some caffeine. Kos Kaffee had just what I was looking for- excellent coffee and super nice people. Again with the nice people. Is that a thing in Brooklyn?
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I really appreciated the fact that the only pumpkin anything in here was an actual pumpkin. I’m so tired of the pumpkin spice craze.
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After we relaxed for a hot minute back at Marisa’s it was time to hit the town again. Amy went to see a friend and Tina and I drank cocktails at a rooftop bar.
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We take our cocktailing very seriously.
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Next up dinner: Is it sad that we care more about the ambiance than the food? We settled on Zia Maria in Chelsea. It was pretty, and the food was good too- so win, win.
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It’s too bad that we don’t have any fun together…
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After dinner, we decided to go study Millenials in their natural habitat so we went to The Biergarten at the Standard.
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When in Rome…or a Biergarten.  When we first arrived we thought we had the stamina to last all night, but alas, this boot was the end. Come to find out, we’re not as young as we used to be.
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Sunday morning we needed to head out early, but luckily we had enough time for coffee.
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Mellow Yellow Coffee and Vibes– honestly could there be a better place for a rainy Sunday morning hang when you’re sore, a tiny bit hung over and not really ready for your 4 hour drive?
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One thing I LOVE about races is the camaraderie and good spirits you share with fellow runners. We met a lot of really great people and were reminded time and time again over the weekend that there is still so much good in the world. We just need to channel that and work together to preserve and protect it.  Does that mean we need another RnR run? I think, yes! Where will we go next? Well, stay tuned…

 

Everything we need to know, we learned in elementary school.

240_F_126465296_ieANptdMpgI8ozuUVbqAWKkWVQREIF1rMy son is in fourth grade. At his school when one kid does something wrong, it has the power to change policies for every child in that school (or in a particular classroom at least). For example- remember the fidget spinner craze? Well, in the beginning, kids were allowed to bring them to school as long as they didn’t play with them during class. And the kids were all happy, heading off to school with fidget spinners nestled comfortably in their pockets. But then one day one kid just couldn’t help himself and he took his out during math which caused a disruption and ruined the lesson. The teacher got annoyed and guess what? No more fidget spinners for any kids in school at all, even the ones that followed the rules.

The same thing happens in the recess line when one kid breaks the no pushing rule, or on the playground when one kid violates the no tripping policy. It means all kids lose playtime, or all kids have to refrain from playing soccer on the blacktop. It seems unfair, but there is a reason behind it.

Kids know this. They know that the rule is good until someone breaks it and then it has to be re-evaluated. The rules are put in place to protect ALL the kids, and when even one kid threatens the safety of other students or damages the learning environment with his or her actions, then the rules are modified so that they can continue to offer the intended protection.

In Las Vegas on Sunday night 59 people were brutally murdered and more than 500 injured by a 64-year-old rich white American citizen with an arsenal of guns he bought legally. He had the right to own and bear these firearms because that’s the current law.

My question is, if we change the law of the land for a fidget spinner violation, why can’t we consider changing the law of the land when we suffer devastating loss of life like we did in Las Vegas (and Orlando, and Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, and all the other in-betweens)? Why, as Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, is now NOT the time to talk about gun control? Why? It seems to me like the perfect time. The LAW as it currently stands is not working.

The Second Amendment was drafted in a long-ago era when society was vastly different than it is today. I understand the importance of and agree with preserving citizens personal rights but I do think it’s time (way past time actually) to layer that with reasonable restrictions designed for modern day society that protect people as a whole. There is no good reason why any civilian citizen needs an automatic weapon or assault rifle. No. Good. Reason.

The best way to stop gun violence in America is to drastically reduce access to guns in the first place. How can you argue with that? Less guns=fewer deaths by guns. It’s a simple equation. Read this article if you need a little convincing of that. And, if you still don’t agree, ask me for more. There are many, many studies that show that stricter gun control translates into significantly fewer homicides, a lower suicide rate, less domestic violence and fewer incidences of violence toward police.

My heart aches for the victims and their families and I’m so sad for all of those who lived through the horror of that night. A night that even though they survived will forever change them (believe me, I know).  And the sickening reality is, this is not going to be the last time it happens.

Next time it might be me, or you, or your neighbor. Your child. What do you have planned this weekend? Something fun? In a public place? Will there be guns?

Think about it. And then, take action. It’s a small step and we have a huge mountain (of NRA money) to climb, but at least it’s a start.  #actionforlasvegas