. . . when you’ve got not only New York City cab drivers, but also friends who work for the White House?
I’ll get back to my latest taxi conversation — along with a video from Pinky & The Brain, and a plea for an environmental VETO by Governor Cuomo — but first, my White House insider’s report.
So, Friday I was texting my friend who works for the Executive Office of the President. We’ll call this friend “X.” X has been through a few different administrations, in what I’ll call a production job. X’s office is a few blocks from the West Wing, but X works for the President. That is, if the current President would get it together enough to put X and colleagues to work. Talk about your human waste.
Here’s our conversation, starting with X answering my question: “How it’s going down there in DC?”
Wave to your tax dollars, everybody! People you’re paying for are patiently waiting for the Transition Team to give them something to do!
It’s nice having a good friend like X. I’ve seen the Oval Office (during Obama’s time), and even sat in the President’s box at the ballet once. POTUS and FLOTUS were out of town that weekend, but talk about cool!! I remember when X and I stepped into the box from the Presidential private lounge (stocked with champagne and M&Ms), and all heads turned to look at us. And then turned away, unimpressed.
On Election Day morning (yesterday, as I write this), I walked through a crisp, sunny NYC, with a skip in my step. We were voting in the first woman President!!
A homeless man on my street, pushing his shopping cart past me, shouted out and showed me his Hillary t-shirt with a big smile. On the subway platform, I spontaneously sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in four-part harmony with three older black men when they wrapped up their busking on the train. I asked Mai, the woman with the flower stand on Hudson Street, and popped in to ask Jenny, who studied for her US citizenship while running her nail salon, if they were voting. Yes! they said. I didn’t think I needed to ask for who, and as Chinese immigrants with children, I assumed it was Hillary.
And then last night happened. I had about ten friends over, to eat homemade vegetable soup, watch the returns, and cheer our candidate with champagne. My friends left around 2 a.m.; the champagne bottles are still in my fridge.
As a woman, I’m devastated. As an environmentalist, I’m devastated. As a compassionate human, I’m devastated. I can’t imagine what it’s like today for my gay friends (we not only got Trump, but also Pence), and my friends of color.
For a while now, I have been seeking a way to have a positive impact on this world. Every day I struggle to find the strength to trust that I can, and to figure out how to use my specific gifts to do it. To surmount the negative beliefs that I have about myself, ingrained so long ago, that freeze me up. I’m a few months away from finishing a Certificate Program in Environmental Sustainability at Columbia University, and from somehow translating my learnings into helping to make the future sustainable for the 7.4 billion living, breathing people on this planet. I now feel even more . . . hopeless? Crippled? I can’t find the right word, but I don’t have enough tissues to catch my tears.
Hillary and Bill wore mourning colors for her concession speech this morning. Today I cry. And through my tears, I will try to embrace what Hillary quoted in her speech: Read More…
When we last left off, I’d just gotten back to Montauk from a little day trip to Block Island, exploring its recycling center and new off-shore wind farm. And also riding my friend Anna’s bike around, sampling the local food, talking to random strangers . . . Totally fun day.
When I got home early that eve to the house I was sharing “out east” for the summer, the shopping bag that I’d left for my housemates to put their recycling in had grown quite a bit. Ya see, information had previously been circulating that we just had to put our recyclables into the garbage with everything else, and it would be sorted at its final destination.
Well. I was suspect. Hence the bag.
The next day, I went on a mission to the Montauk dump — or more accurately, the Montauk Transfer Station — to find out the truth.
Borrowing Anna’s bike again, I put my beach towel and my 800-page copy of Moby Dick into my backpack; then put the bag of recyclables into a plastic trash bag (which I later re-used) and tied that onto the backpack. The big Poland Springs water jug went into a nylon shopping bag tied to the handlebars. Here’s me, ready to go (and for all you #nomakeup girls, you can kiss my unadorned arse, ’cause this is the real deal): Read More…