Next August – one hundred years

Next year on August 18th the U.S. will celebrate 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. A couple of Western states had given women the right to vote already in 1910. Idaho and Utah had given women the right to vote at the turn of the 19th century.

Lucretia Mott socks
I have socks with Lucretia Mott‘s likeness, which I wore with pride on election day this year. 

It is hard for me to imagine the changes in democratic consciousness that have taken place in the last 100 years. Generations of women and men began to understand that true democracy could not exist until more people could exercise their right to representation.

Granted, some people probably wish we had gone back to a world where men were in charge and women were property. I don’t tend to hang out with people like that for obvious reasons.

I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next year with various candidates. I’m hoping we winnow down to less than 5 options by February caucus season. I would like to follow election politics but right now it’s hard to take any candidate too seriously. Unfortunately we do not regulate campaign spending very well in this country. So the people who raise the most money tend to dominate the airwaves.

Given the shock and trauma of the election 3 years ago, and the disastrous result of electing someone who has openly bragging about assaulting women, I am ready to help with GOTV efforts. Let’s make it a celebration! 100 years – can we imagine some new leadership? I say YES WE CAN!






Liverpool to Glasgow

Hiya friends,

We left Liverpool on Thursday to come to Glasgow, Scotland. On Friday we have a tour of Loch Ness, Glencoe and The Highlands scheduled.

Liverpool, England
Liverpool, England – taken Sept 12, 2018

I wish we had planned for more than one day in Liverpool. It was fascinating and a very picturesque city. We visited the International Slavery Museum. It was a sobering reminder of the history of mistreatment and dehumanization based on color and national origin.

I shall have more to say about that in the future but at the moment, I am suffering a little trip fatigue. Two long days of train travel and then being in charge of the tour and transportation set ups have left me a bit tuckered out on Day 8 of 14. Thankfully I think the “arranging” is mostly done. We have 2 days in this AirBnB so a little rest from luggage hauling.

I love travel, but all the decisions can be a bit taxing. Two long days of train travel in a row took more out of me than anticipated. At least Friday, getting to the tour company start is the only arrangement we have to make. With Uber restored on my phone, that should be do-able.

Happy Friday, friends! I will share some photos this weekend if we get some good ones.


Saturday Share on holiday

Hola peeps!

Saturday share is on holiday while I travel for 2 weeks in the U.K. I will continue to share some blog love and favorites after my return. Here is a photo I took yesterday of Victoria Palace, where Hamilton (and American musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda) is playing. Awesome.

Photo taken by mexi-minnesotana on September 7, 2018. Use with attribution only.


Saturday share – Eating Alone — Longreads

I really enjoyed this piece from Longreads.  Of course, it’s on a theme I enjoy contemplating. It made me want to dine alone in public now and then, even though I have little objection to room service when I am traveling alone.

We’re eating alone more often than in any previous generation. But why should a meal on our own be uninspired? Why shouldn’t the French saying “life is too short to drink bad wine” still apply?

via Eating Alone — Longreads

The good old days

If you have not listened to the Hidden Brain podcast, this one will really get you thinking. The episode that aired on October 16th on “nostalgia” really got me thinking. The concept of nostalgia was originally treated as a mental/emotional disorder, people who are stuck in the past and cannot move forward. 300 years ago it was a brain disease of demonic cause. Marketers started using the concept in order to help sell things early in the century, because evoking emotions is an effective “hook” for people.

There is this feeling of sadness and loss, but also a sense of sweetness or fondness for something that used to be a certain way. Of course, our memories tend to be edited by our minds. The harder things fade into the background but the redemptive portions of the memories are what survive into the future. Nostalgia involves some re-writing of the past, in a way that tells us a story we can make sense of, that helps define who we want to be. There is always a shaping of our own narratives, a selection that allows us to make sense of our lives.

Donald Trump capitalized on some sense of nostalgia during the “Make America Great” campaign. For some of us who were horrified at that idea, we think of the “good old days” when powerful men could demand sex with their employees without ramifications, or when black people could be denied a seat on a bus. The good old days for some of us were not exactly good. We are grateful that social movements and history have moved us forward.

good old days

The nostalgic urge is something that the Donald has manipulated and used very effectively is something we need to understand. It is a psychological phenomenon that is very key to how the election was one. Clay Rutledge, a psychologist interviewed on Hidden Brain, explains that nostalgia serves a function. It actually applies to people who are experiencing a certain amount of distress, and that it may help people restore some type of psychological well-being.

To me, this is a topic that bears understanding, because it obviously had a tremendous impact on the election, and has impact on people’s purchasing decisions, and the ability to manipulate our “collective historical nostalgia.” While recollections of our past are inevitably edited, and do not have all the details of the negative parts of that. History is often “whitewashed.” Nostalgia does actually have a function toward orienting us toward the future, and it mobilizes people. If nostalgia is as widespread as it seems, there may be a function that is protective for individuals and communities. I know I will look to learn more about this, and will share some thoughts in a future post.

Happy Saturday, friends! May you stay firmly rooted in the present, even as you look back fondly, and keep your sights on the future.