Election

One year ago many were aghast at the presidential election results as they unfolded.

I remember staying awake wondering how I was going to tell my daughter the news. She’d studied the election and had come to support Hillary even though she couldn’t vote.
There were some pretty strong emotions the day after. Tears. Sadness. Anger.
And I remember coming back to this idea, “Looks like we’re going to have to fight harder than we thought for what is right.”

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Progress. Positive change. Moving forward. Whatever you want to call it doesn’t come easy. Nor does it comes swift. It takes persistence and patience. There will be setbacks. There will be defeats and frustration and anger and “Fuck this bullshit it is not worth my god damn fucking time and I am a fool for ever having invested any of myself in the cause.”
That passes.
The veil lifts.
Anger is replaced by determination and frustration is replaced by courage previously unknown. We do not learn who we are through triumph. We learn who we are through defeat.

Election Day 2017 we saw a hint of that resolve.

Virgina voted for the nation’s first openly transgender candidate, Danica Roem who unseated 26-year veteran and self-titled “chief homophobe” Bob Marshall for the Virginia state legislative body. This is the same Bob Marshall who wrote the anti-trans bill that cost Virginia money as well as dignity.
Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. Closer to home in Minneapolis, Andrea Jenkins was elected to city council. She becomes the first openly transgender woman of color to hold public office in the country. I could go on as there were other victories of a similar nature.

Well then. Perhaps the progressives have a little fight in them. I’m not sure who we have to thank for this. Maybe Millenials aren’t so bad after all. Or maybe Gen X finally stopped slacking long enough to put something together. I don’t know and I don’t know if I care.

What I do care about is this. We are a nation of diversity. We have always been a diverse nation though historically we have done a tremendously awful job of acknowledging that. We want to whitewash everyone and everything. That’s not who we really are as a nation. That’s not how democracy works (though truth be told I don’t believe we’re really a democracy but we’ll leave that topic for another day).
If you want to be a white dude who listens to Hank Jr. and works on your car and prefers Old Style over craft beer, great go for it. But if you’re a black trans woman who wants to be on Minneapolis city council, great too. Go for it. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all of that is a dream still not fully realized.

Let me end with this, Donald Trump was right about one thing. I want to make America great again. But not the way it was great last time. Great in a new way that even I can’t even fully imagine. There is a long way to go before the end and there will be more struggles ahead but for the moment, I’m going to celebrate.

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PH24

One week from right now I will be in the middle of riding the Powderhorn 24. Solo.

Twenty four hours of riding solo but not by myself.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why would I subject myself to seeing how far I can ride in 24 hours by myself?

I don’t know what is wrong with me and I suspect that would take some time to explore and explain. But I do know why I’m going to see how far I can ride in 24 hours by myself.

It is a celebration. A celebration of community. Of cyclists. Of neighbors and friends.

There is part of me that is nervous and sweating all the details. There is another part of me that says, to hell with it. Go. Have fun. Pedal your ass off.

I’ve already done 24 hours in the woods where I ran out of light in the middle of a night lap. Won’t make that mistake again.

That’s all for now. More later. I’ll leave you with this.

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Easy like…

Hello and happy Sunday patient readers,

I do hope this missive finds you all well. We are halfway(?) through summer.  Where the hell does the time go? I swear I have 100,000 things I need to get done and I have yet to begin most of them.

Ah well, these things they happen. Some things get done. Many remain undone. But as long as I am surrounded by those I love, the beer is cold and I have a bike what does the rest matter?

But it has been difficult lately to remember that. It has been nearly impossible to take it easy. Relaxation is not something I’ve never been good at taking it easy but come high summer and it is an exercise in futility. This most recent Saturday V and I chilled and I couldn’t help but be racked by guilt for ‘being lazy.’

Most days I aim for balance. A bit of work and play. I don’t want to waste my time just to have a clean house and a perfectly manicured lawn. Also I can’t just go on endless bike rides. 

So I strike a balance. 

Funny thing about balance is it doesn’t feel all that great sometimes. It takes steady work. It is a heck of a lot easier to just concede and be imbalanced. 

Funny thing about imbalance is I can’t live like that. Well I can but it isn’t a life worth living.

So here I sit practicing balance daily.

And on that I must rest. Good night, take care and be well. 

It was a dark and stormy January

It has been dark days.

Partially because of the time of the year. Grey weather. Not really any snow to enjoy. Did I mention grey weather? No sun (Twin Cities National Weather Service says we haven’t seen the sun since January 18).  Gross. 

2017 is off to a rocky start as well. I don’t want to go into the details in this space but suffice it to say life could throttle back on the bad news front. A week without bad news would be divine. Hell even a day right now would be superb. 

So what do I do? What can I do?

Sometimes I have zero control and just have to admit that. Sometimes I do have control. And the hope is that I am smart enough to know the difference.

And lots of taking it day by day.

It is all a good exercise in patience, persistence, perspective and priorities. 

Plus it is a good reminder that I’m not dead yet.

Take good care out there and be well. 

XsOs 

PS – It is Friday. The sun is out and blue skies abound. ❤️💛💚💙💜

It’s all just in your mind anyway 

The words won’t come. 

The thoughts are there. But the right words won’t come. It is a damnable thing.

It is similar to having all the pieces for a project but not the tools to assemble it. 

Or at least not having the correct tools. Having a fistful of nuts and bolts while all you have is a hammer is frustrating.

However the good thing about hammers is they are a good tool to be persistent with. Just keep beating away and something is bound to give. 

Until next time. Godspeed. 

Here we go

I’ve done this blog thing off and on for a spell. I had one for a while. Then shuddered it for a few years. Then I did the Livejournal thing for a spell but that wasn’t my speed.

Now I’m here.

And now I’m adding another location. Check it out.

https://storybehindthephoto.wordpress.com/

I’ll be releasing it later today to the “masses.”

As always, if you have feedback, please give it to me. I would love to make this new site a dandy little number.

Xs Os

JMo

Three hundred sixty five

Right now, 27 August, 2016, I am 42.

On 28 August 2016 I will be 43.

Yes. It is my birthday. Not a subject I am incredibly fond of discussing, even among my closest friends and family.

It isn’t that I hate my birthday. I actually enjoy my birthday. However it is so incredibly uncomfortable for me to bring it up. I mean, other people go out of there way to wish me well, drop me lines of happiness and positive thoughts. Why the hell would anyone do that?

However, this year let’s talk about it.

It is uncomfortable because it means talking about myself with others. That is something I am not particularly good at and even less comfortable with. You want to talk about the weather? GREAT! Did you know that the record high for this day is 99-degrees Fahrenheit set in 1926.  The record low was less than half that at 42-degrees F which occurred back in 1887.

Let’s not go there.

Instead, I am reflecting back over the past four-plus decades I have been on this planet and I know that I’m where I want to be at this moment.

Today I spent my day with three of my absolute most favorite humans ever. I also spent the day with a bevy of other humans whom I love spending my time with and we made our little slice of the world slightly better. On top of all that I shared beer and laughs with a crew of souls so incredible that I consider myself highly fortunate to be alongside them. Oh, that reminds, today, I also had beer today.

In short, from the moment I woke up until the moment I fall asleep (which will be as soon as I hammer this out) I got to spend my entire day with people I love and care for.

Wow.

I’m floored. Stunned. Flabbergasted. Blown away.

Grateful.