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Money Talks

Two hours.  We are two hours away from another, entitled white male cog in the wheel, passing another GOP lined gaunlet into the Supreme Court.  I have no surprise or disbelief.  The rock that sits inside me like dead weight gets bigger, but that will continue to happen for I don’t know how long.  And here’s the thing.  It’s not even because of how this effects women.  Though it does.  It’s not even about how it effects our so called democracy.  Though it does.  It’s not even about how it further divides this country, my town and my friend circle.  Though.It.Does.

It’s that the reason behind the insanity is talked about as an afterthought.  Because Trump is not the problem and neither is Kavanaugh.  Republicans are not the problem.  Gender equality, #metoo, gay rights, gun control, just immigration, climate justice…none of it is the problem.  These are all manifestations of the problem.  The ones that keep us busy and anxious. The ones that engage more of us than ever before to phone bank, call legislators, take to the streets.

And not that it matters, but that calendar thing is bullshit. In the early 1990’s the restaurant I worked for got audited.  All of the servers were in the hole for tens of thousands of dollars of undeclared tip income.  A couple of old calendars scrounged up by my friends along with a bucket of different pens and a few hours got my total down from $6000.00 down to $1500.00 during my IRS investigation.  My Hispanic friends were too afraid to do this for reasons I couldn’t possibly understand in my

conclusion-of-the-contract-3100563_1280twenties.  So the money they were sending to their parents and siblings to help pay for food and education didn’t happen for a while. True story.

The problem is and has always been campaign and related contributions.  It is Citizens United v FED.  It is big faceless corporations having more power than any person or party ever can.  And it always will. Until those laws are changed, you and I and Dr Ford don’t matter enough for justice to prevail. Even if Kavanaugh is voted down, we don’t win the war.  Just a little battle far away from the main frame.  In the meantime I’ll still be on the streets and the phone.  Until there’s something better to do.

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Stress/ful Solutions

The other day, one of my massage clients asked me about my Instagram account.  She follows it and thinks it’s hilarious (I sort of do too, however,  I’m very very biased), but was wondering why it has my business name when it’s mostly about non related massage stuff.  She’s right.  It’s not.  And here’s why.

A few years ago I figured I should check out this Instagram thing and that it might be a great marketing tool.  I put up a few posts… got a few followers.  And that was cool, but the people who liked my stuff weren’t anywhere near me so not likely to jet in to cranium-2099120_1280Haverhill, MA for a massage.  So I abandoned the account for a while and turned back to FB where I have both a personal and a business page.  Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but FB isn’t really fun anymore.  It’s kind of stressful.  Way back when, it was a great way to connect with people that I had lost touch with and to stalk ex boyfriends.  But as time wore on, we somehow managed to use our FB settings and tools to forge a direct pipeline from our brains to our fingers and keyboards…not a great idea.  There’s a beauty to our thoughts which is that we have the freedom to think whatever we want.  Isn’t that amazing?  Anything at all and no one ever has to know.  EVER.  It’s a stunning concept.  But in our FB frenzy, we replumbed the system so all these thoughts that were never supposed to see the light of day started hemorrhaging into our FB feeds.
And I have a business named Stress Solutions.  So in an effort to solve my FB stress, I trotted back to Instagram and found it full of hilarious creative people from all corners of the globe.  And though I tried to make my posts massage-ey, I found mostly what came out of me was about my kids and my messy life and coffee and stuff I love.  So sometimes my posts are health/work related because that’s super important to me too, but mostly not because I’m more than my career.  I’m so many things and so is everybody.  Part of my job is to connect people to themselves and their bodies and the essence of who they are so they can become who they were meant to be.  And along the way, some of the aches and pains and stress of life fade away. And humor? It’s crucial to survival.  If we can laugh about IT whatever IT is, we can survive and thrive it. Laughter shape shifts stress into colorful sparkly glitter.  The kind that doesn’t even need to be cleaned up – bonus!
So feel free to check me out at @Stress_Solutions on Instagram for a glimpse at my quirky way of seeing the world.  Or visit http://www.StressSolutions.biz to book a massage session at my office in Haverhill, MA.  Or I still frequent the business FB page Lorryn Kinkaid LMT to post health articles and local resources.

I’m glad he didn’t ask.

But should I help the little ones? girls-462072_1280

I’m sure glad my son didn’t ask  me this question as we sat in a cafe yesterday enjoying a snack.  We were talking about the pros and cons of trading in our family car, ideas for summer vacation. And his school’s lock down procedure in the event of a school shooting.
          I have no interest in eliminating the 2nd amendment.  I have no interest in owning a gun or having one in our house.  I have no problem with hunting – I would rather eat fresh venison any day over factory farmed meat.  I have no interest in doing the actual hunting. I do have interest in learning how to operate a gun for many reasons.  1. It would be fun in the same way I like shooting BB’s at scouts with my kids and liked archery back at summer camp. 2. I don’t want to be intimidated by the word or image of a gun. 3. In this culture where there are so many guns around me, I feel it is my responsibility to know how to safely use one.
I’m so glad my son didn’t ask me if he should help the little ones.
          I heard a story today of an eleven year old who was talking to her mom.  Her teacher had been going over lock down and active shooter procedures with the class.  If they were able to safely leave the building, the children were told to run to the edge of the school property, climb the fence and meet at the local Dairy Queen.  At home later, the girl asked her mother, “But should I just keep running or help the little ones who might not be able to run as fast.” I don’t know how her mom answered.  I’m glad it wasn’t me.
          My son and I talked about what his lock down procedure looked like; locking the doors and hiding.  We discussed options like running away if possible.  Zigzag or straight?  Zigzag if an active shooter and you can’t hide. If there are bodies dropping around you, drop as well and pretend to be dead.  Don’t move.  I decided not to tell him to use a dead body as a shield.  I decided not to talk about helping anyone else. He didn’t ask and I wouldn’t know how to answer.
          If he did, I think I would have told him that there is no right answer because there are so many different ways the situation could happen.  I’d tell him there’s no way we could plan ahead for every one of them.  I’d say that, in the moment, I believe that instinct would take over and that either he would run for his life or grab someone to try to save them and that neither choice would be right or better or the only one.  That I would love him no matter what and never judge him in that kind of situation.
          I’m glad he didn’t ask me.
I know it could happen to him.  Or my other children.  Or your children.  Because it has.
          But it doesn’t have to.

Yet another New Year.

resolutions

 

Yes, yes, well here we are again.  I just love New Year’s, don’t you?  So full of hope and goals and cookies from this past week. Now is my chance to get thinner, eat better, be a better more patient parent and wife.  I’ll plan play dates for my kids and cook better meals.  I’ll organize the entire house and keep it that way. I’ll organize my business better and be more consistent with marketing. I’ll exercise regularly, meditate daily and get together with my besties more often. I’ll get more involved in social action for worthy causes…

Who am I kidding?.  I can’t even stay on top of the laundry or dishes.
So, what’s the alternative to New Year’s Resolutions?  Don’t make any? Don’t strive to be ‘better’? Maybe pledge to get more comfortable with the chaos of life? Or maybe pick one – just one – aspect of my life to work on. One little piece that’s like a key that could unlock some of the doors standing in the way of everything else.
Why aren’t I more organized, patient, creative and engaged in self care? Well, usually because I’m so tired all the time.  And I’m tired so often because I don’t go to bed early enough because I crave some time alone after the kids go to sleep.  But if I went to bed earlier, I wouldn’t snack as much which would help the expanding waist line thing AND might give me a little more patience during the day and a little more energy for everything else.  What if I just tried for like a week – not a whole year – and then check in with myself to see how it’s going?
See, I think that most of our problems could be solved by little changes that have really big effects.  Like sleeping.  Or drinking water. Maybe moving our bodies a little more. And being kind.  Just a little bit more than usual.
beach-193786_640
So, this year, my official resolution is to be kind enough to myself to get more rest on a regular basis.  At least for a week.  Let’s resolve this year to pick one small thing we’d like to change for a small amount of time. And let’s resolve to do our best and be kind to ourselves if that doesn’t go so well.  We can always try again next week, next month or after lunch.

Berning Down the House

I’ve been a little overwrought lately.  For the last seven days, to be precise.  I knew how much I would hate this election.  I also knew that it would be worse, no matter who won, the day after.  And the day after that.  And maybe even for a few more days.

I hate politics.  I really do.  But I really love living in the United States.  And I’d like to keep it that way.  I know there’s room for improvement.  Ok.  A LOT of room for improvement.  Kind of like my house.  I really love it, but it’s kind of messy.  There is lots of room for improvement.  It’s cluttered.  We have way too much stuff.  I keep trying to fit things in that just don’t fit – in drawers, under the bed, in cabinets…

Speaking of cabinets, I’m sure I can fit in a few more boxes of cereal, maybe some spices, an extra roll of paper towels.  You know what I can’t fit in?  A white supremacist.  I don’t believe there is any room in anyones cabinet for an “alt right” leader.  Not even a tiny one like the size of an expired canister of baking soda.  cabinets-426385_640Not in a drawer or under the bed.  Not in the rain or on a train,  with a mouse or in the White House. And I don’t know what to do about this kind of shit.  I. just. don’t.

So, I called Bernie Sanders today.  Because I figured if anyone knew what to do, it might be him.  Unfortunately he wasn’t available to take my call personally, but his office staff ably answered my questions and provided guidance along with validating that mine was not the first call like this, but that the phone had been ringing off the hook from people all over the country just like me.  She is keeping track of all the calls coming in which will be reported to Mr. Sanders.  She said that Bernie is currently advising us all to stay informed, stay together and to get involved in the issues that are most concerning to us.  Within a few weeks, he will be posting what he is specifically working on and how.  It will be posted on his website under press releases under ‘newsroom’: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom

While I’m waiting for his action plan, I wrote to my 2 senators and 1 house rep:

Kelly Ayotte: https://www.ayotte.senate.gov/?p=contact

Jeanne Shaheen: https://www.shaheen.senate.gov/contact/

Frank Guinta: https://guinta.house.gov/contact

My email said something like:

Dear ___________,   I am a NH resident who is very concerned about the results of this presidential election.  I respectfully ask that you urge President Elect Donald Trump to rescind his appointment of Steve Banner to Chief Strategist to the President of the United States of America.  Sincerely, Lorryn Kinkaid

If you don’t know your people in the White House, google links for your state senators and reps in the US House of Representatives.  Copy and paste my letter or write your own.

Think no one hears your voice?  This article in the Times Magazine is promising and proves they are listening.  At least Harry Reid of Nevada is.  http://time.com/4572395/harry-reid-speech-donald-trump-stephen-bannon/       Let’s hear your Senators speak up on your behalf.

 

On my agenda for democracy are a few action items.  This isn’t set in stone so I might revise from time to time as needs arise.  Like laundry could quickly top the list when we run out of socks. But for now:
1. abolish the electoral college
2. abolish super delegates
3. campaign reform

A brief and mostly factual history of the electoral college.
Started in late 1700’s due to lack of internet.  It was difficult to get people to know what what going on politically so people were delegated to fill them in – according to region to represent and vote for them in their best interests.  As the dissemination of information became easier, these delegates weren’t as helpful or needed, but were kept on because the amount of them was based on the population. The higher the population of a region, the more electoral college votes just like it is now.  As people started realizing that slavery was insane, population shifted. door-1781593_640 Numbers were much higher in the south because there were way more slaves there even though neither slaves nor freemen in the north were allowed to vote.  So more votes for the south and they liked that so electoral college stayed.  According to several sources I found. “there have been more proposed constitutional amendments to change the Electoral College than any other topic (700 proposals in Congress in the last 200 years!). Gallup reports that only about a third of Americans support keeping the institution.”  from fivethirtyeight.com  It’s not easy to change.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and continue to try until it happens.  SO…


Here’s what I accomplished today to eliminate the electoral college.  You can do the same.
1. I signed a petition on change.org that would tell the Electoral College to change their vote to the popular vote which would allow Clinton to win.  This is frowned upon, but legal.  They don’t cast their votes until December 19th.  I don’t love this idea, but support it because the popular vote should be the deciding factor.  This is the link:
2. Go to: http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/ and click on ‘Easy Way to Write Your Legislators’.  Fill out the form and emails will automatically be sent to your State Reps.  You can also request contact info on your State Reps that you can use in the next step #3
3. Write emails directly to your local legislators.  To find you State Reps for your area go to:
http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/  Then write an email to each one of them.  It can be the same email – just don’t forget to change the name if you’re copy/pasting.  This is the letter I wrote.  Use it/change it/ write your own.
Hi Debra,

I am a Plaistow resident who is very upsetin light of this week’s election.  I am wondering if you support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which would allow presidential candidates to win the election based on the popular vote.  I firmly believe that the Electoral College needs to be eliminated, but this would at least be a step in the right direction.  If you have not currently supported this, what can I do as a citizen to help.  Is there someone else I should contact aside from the 4 Reps for Plaistow?  Can I start a citizen’s petition?
Any guidance would be appreciated,
Thank you,
Lorryn Kinkaid
76 Old County Road
Plaistow, NH 03865
4. I will write an update when I hear back from my reps. Perhaps they will have further advice.  If you want further help with doing this.  If you want to, but it seems overwhelming, I will hold your hand and walk you through it.  I will find your reps, help you word letters, provide you with moral support and email addresses.  Really and happily.

My Country Tis of Thee

All memes aside.  Emails (legal or not) aside.  Tax evasion (legal or not) aside.  What I want to know is how have you come to your decision?  Who have you spoken to?  What have you read? What are you basing your decision on?


Who are your heroes?
What at the qualities of your heroes that you admire?  What are the goals in your life and to what values do you aspire?  What would make you a better person, wife, father, brother, partner? Or did you lose your faith in humanity and yourself so long ago that it no longer matters.statue-of-liberty-500700_640

What do you read?  DO you read?  I do.  I read a lot.  I mean really a lot. Like I read the 200 redacted pages that the FBI released.  I’ve fact checked every. single. thing. that I’ve seen on Facebook that seems implausible – from BOTH sides.  I know more about Benghazi and tax laws and email servers and super pacs and Trump’s wives and children and Bill Clinton’s affairs and Evangelicals and the KKK and the second amendment and Roe v Wade than I’ve ever wanted to know.  I despise politics.  But this election is important.  More important than any other I’ve voted in.

You know why?  Because I’ve also read Mein Kamph by Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr’s autobiography and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela and Profiles in Courage by John F Kennedy.
I will soon vote for the first female candidate for POTUS not because she is a woman though I am moved beyond my expectations at it’s historical significance.  I will vote for her because despite her flaws, despite any wrongdoing, she is the best choice we have for upholding a country and democracy that we hold so dear.  Our country has a long way to go, but it is undoubtedly the land of the free and the home of the brave to every single one of us who are privileged enough to live here. Is it so horrible that we should elect a man who has no experience and who has gained popularity ONLY by tapping into the anger and fear that is inherent in the human experience.  You want change?  Fantastic.  I’m all for positive change.  You know, the kind that will help us to be better people and offer the more people a shot at a good life with the most opportunities possible. What does that look like to you? And how do you think Trump will manifest this in your very own life?  In the lives of those around you?  In the lives of those who need support the most? Please have an answer to these questions before you cast a ballot in his direction.

What I know is this: Clinton will not repeal the second amendment or any amendment.  She will attempt to tighten background checks and gun show loopholes.  Clinton has a lifetime of experience in politics and helping others.  Clinton has not been convicted of any crimes.  Neither has Trump.  Clinton has used poor judgement at times.  So has Trump. Trump has no experience and has marginalized, polarized and insulted many many parts of our society. The KKK endorsed him.  He engages the support of those who support violence.  Not all of his supporters are violent by any means, but the hate crimes that have recently emerged are in his name.  He is the brunt of national and international comedy.  He is denounced by many in his own party.  Listen to these facts.  If respected GOP leaders don’t trust him, why would you?

I will never, ever know how I would feel if Clinton was Republican and Trump was a american-flag-1109393_640Democrat.  I wish I did because I believe that our party loyalty runs nearly as deep as reason itself and definitely as deep as emotion.  It’s a loyalty that runs through our families and upbringing and home on a visceral level.  And would my reason allow my beliefs to change if that’s what was needed?
I don’t know for certain that Trump is dangerous and will destroy our country, but I’m not willing to give him that chance.  I have seen and read nothing that leads me to believe he has the intellectual ability and emotional stability to run our country.  Am I the least bit curious?  Of course I am.  In the same way that I’m curious to see exactly how the tiger will tear the gazelle limb from limb when it gets caught.  I might route for the gazelle, but I’d place my bets on the tiger.

And like I said, I’ve read a lot.   Have you?