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Saturday, May 2, 2020
It Should be Kentucky Derby Day
It’s another Saturday in this new Pandemic World. I am fortunate to have somewhat of a schedule for newclevelandradio.net during the week, recording and preparing podcasts. However, most weekends seem to zap me of energy as the days drag on with little to do. However, today is different. My husband and I did some closet cleaning in the studio/office this morning as we are attempting to do some reorganization. Now if you have ever been in the home studio I will tell you that my husband is a pack-rat, not a hoarder. I think we have three or four end of life computers in the closet and one set out in the room. As my hubby would say, you never know we just may need parts from one to fix another. Did I mention parts that go back to a Commodore 64? If you have no idea what that is, you are very young indeed.
Additionally, I have two podcasts today and both should be fun and interesting. The first is with Just4theSpellofIt.com, lead by Gary Moss my big brother. Isn’t it interesting that we call an older sibling our big brother or sister, and the truth is I am as tall as he is or maybe taller? Gary’s podcast is all about words and Scrabble™, yet the techniques he uses teaches and creates to become a better Scrabble™ player, any one of us can use to become better at anything we want to achieve. The second is with Rick Bolton, musician extraordinaire.
Currently, I am trying to achieve patience with the #StaySafe #StayAtHome orders. I agree with the orders and I would rather be safe and struggle financially than get this horrid virus and possibly die. I understand the need to get back to work, earn a living, and feel accomplished at the end of the day, but COVID19 has invaded us and it will linger and combust again in the Fall.
Earlier today I posted ion Facebook that I feel like I am in a time warp, that each day is the same, nothing changes, and yet the slogan #WEAREINTHISTOGETHER continues to play through the media. Together but alone and that is what is warping my senses. I need to chill and breathe and make it to the tomorrow and the many days after that when it is safer to spin out of this feeling.
Have a Happy!
An open letter to my niece Sue (and to all of you too.)
Life is not fair you say, and at times I must agree with you but there are somethings we are responsible for in keeping the deck clean and cutting it fairly. Sue, your zayde used to remind us when we complained of kvetched (no I am not insinuating you are,) that we have to choices in life to live or to die. The luckier we are to live through the SHIT STORMS provides us with wisdom to make tomorrow (or today) a better day.
COVID19 is nondiscriminatory, although if you ask the male or Afro-American segments of this global pandemic they might disagree. However, we have seen the very young as well as the geriatric community become infected, and most recover but millions are still dying. All we can do to survive is to follow the #STAYATHOME rules, #WASH_OUR_HANDS, #WEAR_A_MASK, so we stay out of harm’s way.
You are one of the lucky ones. I know MS is not a “walk in the park” immune disorder. However, you have fought it with all your might and we are blessed you are still here to shout and scream about life not being fair. As the mother of twins both born on the spectrum, you have given them life beyond birth. You believe in their strengths and they have developed into young adults who we can all be proud of. It has not been easy for you or them but nothing in life that comes easy reaps the rewards. Your loving husband Joe also has medical ailments that put him at high risk for the virus. Although we may not remind you of our concern and love is not to say we are unaware and non-caring. However, as he follows the protocol we know that is all you and he can do at this time.
When I say you are lucky, you found a sister, best friend with Liz who is a second mom to your children. Often when we get divorced like the two of us, it is not common to hear that both moms are friends. But you with your heart of gold found the good in Liz and she in you. I truly admire the two of you for the relationship you have. Both you and Liz have made the lives of your children better for it. I can’t thank her enough for helping both Wylie and Hayley transition through this as she did. You are one blended family!
Another lucky star or stars in your life is finding your birth family and developing a relationship with them. Not everyone is as blessed to find their birth parents and siblings but you have and you all embraced each other when often the opposite is the result. The parents who raised you encouraged you to follow the path to seek your birthright and now you have a circle of life embracing you. (I could go into what seems like Millions of Friends, but that for another time.)
However, yesterday, when Liz tested positive for COVID19, life felt unfair and you lashed out at those who don’t want to believe in the FACTS of this insidious disease. I applaud you for telling people how sad, frustrated, and anxious you feel! When this hits close to home especially to a front line worker (Liz is a nurse,) it seems even more unfair. However, we have no control and all we can do is feed Liz positive vibes, keep her family (her daughter, the twins, and her husband,) in our special prayers and thoughts. As a cancer survivor, she is at a higher risk, but as a survivor, she has the will and stamina to get well again!
Isn’t it time for all of us to wisen up and realize if we do not prepare for the worst when it happens, and it will, we will be blown away in the wind. The devastation from COVID19 could have been so much less if some in our government would have had the BALLS to get involved in stopping or slowing down the spread of this horrific disease. However, DJT did not, he, in fact, called in “Fake News.” Now we are living and struggling with the fallout.
To Sue and All, we cannot allow this to define us, we must define ourselves and become the best of our best. That includes taking all the safety precautions to keep ourselves and others safe. I ask you to keep Liz, and all the VICTIMS of this VIRUS close to your hearts and let our energies help to send healing powers.
I am adding Liz to my list of those I know who have recovered because, #IBelieve
How about no more disaster movies or bad reality shows with hosts who become Presidential candidates and decide to march us into hell, how about no more limited TV series that fill folks up with fear & worry & shaking in their boots – keeping humans under the covers for days on end. Please, no more crap about the end of the world and who’s gonna save us – fuck, man, no more of that. Please, no more dreck about millions of folks dying from pandemics and the apocalypse and for the sake of all fuck, no more movies where people are trapped in buildings and elevators and homes and cruise ships for weeks & weeks & weeks on end wishing they could see and touch and hug their loved ones. No more of that shit. No more. No more spending hundreds of millions of dollars on movies and TV series that could be spent on bringing humans joy and love and truth and a few hours of glory and grace into their hearts. There are so many fucking Heroes and SHEroes and Warriors and Goddesses and Mensches and WOmensches in the real world, so many, real ones, humans who put their lives on the line every single fucking day and none of them, not one of them, wears a cape. Those folks are wearing humanity straight out. Make movies about redemption because who the fuck doesn’t need to believe that their mistakes can turn into their mission – who doesn’t need that? Find those folks, make those movies. Make movies about the human condition – folks who scale mountains of rejections and piles of sorrow and make it to the other side and stand up tall and inspire the rest of us that we too can fulfill our dreams. People need to be inspired and encouraged – to believe in beauty and goodness again, to have hope, to find love; folks need to sit in a movie theater – or stare at their massive flat TV screen – and think: holy shit that IS me up there, that IS me. Make movies that fill humans with the belief that they too can change the world not because they need to be SuperHeroes but because they are SuperHearts.
Reality TV gave us trump, dumped him in our living rooms where he was firing folks without even so much a care in the world and look what he’s doing now – the same exact shit except we’re all paying the price of his cruelty and ignorance, and all those disaster movies – look, look… we’re all sitting in our homes wondering who we know who will die next from this horrific unbearable pandemic that is giving us all the heebie fucking jeebies, so how about throwing some compassion & hope our way, some good sexy humor, ROMComs and love stories where yes the people up on the screen are in their 50’s and 60’s and 70’s and the lines on their face are the lines we remember because they are us, how about making movies about the human spirit and the irrefutable magnificent power – the superpower – of humanity.
How about giving us some of that?
Best & warm,
Today was an amazing day, the first of many Sherapy: Therapy with Sherry Amatenstein. Sherry is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author. Her podcast is a little unconventional for some. Still, it is becoming more traditional, especially to Millennials, as well as working professionals who want to participate in therapy but are limited on time and travel. Each episode of Sherapy is a 50-minute therapy session. The aim is to demystify and destigmatize psychotherapy. Too many people in distress still suffer silently. None of the participants are her private patients. On Sherapy, a person can receive complimentary therapy and remain anonymous. If interested, please contact Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so excited to have Sherry Amatenstein on our podcast show real she may be heard by clicking on https://newclevelandradio.net/sherapy-real-therapy-with-sherry-amatenstein-3/real-therapy-with-sherry-amatenstein_podcasts/ – choose a streaming service to listen to this podcast.
Sherry Amatenstein (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) is the author of The Complete Marriage Counselor: Relationship Saving Advice from America’s Top 50+ Couples Therapists; Love Lessons from Bad Breakups; and Q&A Dating Book.
She writes advice columns for www.womansday.com, www.thirdage.com andwww.brides.com, and is frequently called upon to give relationship advice on many national radio and TV programs, including The Today Show, Early Show, Inside Edition, GMA Live, CBS News, and HuffPost Live.
I hope you will enjoy the show and learn more about yourself by listening to others share their journeys.
For my friend Amy:
The post below from a few months ago. Bella is now at the Vet/hospital, getting ultrasounds and x-rays and all sorts of tests because she’s begun to disappear right in front of our eyes. I’m hoping for a miracle, but more than anything – I write with tears falling on the computer keys – I want her to be at peace and no longer in pain.
Here, the post from back when, a little about the beauty named Bella:
She chose us.
Ken wanted the sexy blonde cat. I was partial to the misfit. The crazy-ass misfit with a beauty mark right on the tip of her nose. Ken tried everything in his power to get the blonde cat chick into the cat carrier; promising her a cat collar made of catnip.
I told him he was wasting his time.
“Really?” he asked.
“She’s just not that into you,” I said, paraphrasing/borrowing a great line from Sex in the City, or another HBO series.
While we were bickering the misfit walked into the cat carrier and sat down as if to say, “Hey humans, I’m yours now and I’m not letting you go.”
Her name is Bella, and she is struggling right now with her health and Ken believes it’s because we’re all struggling so very much and she is, after all, named after the great and amazing and feisty as all fuck Bella Abzug, and he believes she – our Bella – is fighting for all of us.
Would you please send her some good love.
Thank you so much.
What is a podcast? Why Should I list? Why would I want to create one?
A podcast is a digital recording. Here at newclevelandradio.net, we have several podcast hosts who record with us and place their recordings on our site that where it is distributed to various listening platforms such as iHeart, Spotify, Google, Spreaker, etc. Each podcast has a host, and I (Karen Hale) produce, engineer, and develop social media for each program.
Check out https://newclevelandradio.net/podcasting-line-up/
Gary Moss (https://newclevelandradio.net/jftsoi-taking-you-on-a-journey/) suggested to me that this would be an ideal platform for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to share their legacy/life journey.
When Gary began podcasting with us, he had just started his 77 Sunset Trip, driving cross-country to play Scrabble™, meeting up with friends and family from the past as well as finding new and exciting individuals along the way. One such individual was a mechanic who fixed Gary’s car during his travels for under $5 (who would have thunk?)
This is when our proverbial wheels started to turn. We all have so much to share (not the FAKE NEWS,) but the journeys we have taken in life and our experiences that have helped influence us and others. So with the assistance of Gary in Southern California, and specifically in his Senior Citizen community, we are offering this service to YOU!
What a great holiday gift this is for your family as well as for others.
Too often, we forget that our elders have the wisdom to share by leading us down the path they have traveled. The stories they will bestow will enlighten as they explore their past. The history recorded will allow them to leave behind their thoughts and wishes. A podcast will provide them the venue to remember and share their memories guiding us all through our tomorrows.
Contact email@example.com for more information or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray, thank you for allowing us to post the link to your story https://medium.com/@rayngoldberg/the-three-stories-where-i-have-to-deadname-myself-644985dc26eb
You are an amazing individual that I am proud to call friend, and almost MISPACHA (family.) As we approach 2020 many changes in our world/society are evolving and if we are lucky we can journey in life that makes us feel whole. Too many of us have traveled down many paths taking right turns when we felt the urge to turn left, or going straight when we saw something on the horizon to our right. It takes courage to climb a mountain but when we do and we reach the APEX we can agreed that the sight is beautiful.
I hope your beautiful story will enlighten and encourage others to live life and dance as if no one is watching!
Hey reader, I have a question for you. What is it like, being cisgender in the tech industry? What sort of challenges have you faced? Do people treat you well? It must be really scary, being yourself in such a competitive and high-speed environment.
If you’ve never been asked these questions before, then congratulations; you are not an out transgender person who works in tech. In fact, it’s possible that you may have asked somebody else these questions in the recent past. That’s OK! It’s natural to be curious, and I’m sure you want to be a good ally to your trans coworkers. How will you know how to act if you don’t ask questions, right?
Today’s your lucky day, because I am going to tell you the definitive answer to “what does it mean to be transgender in the workplace?” After you read this, you will never have to ask another trans techie about their experiences, because you will already know the answer, and will be able to act accordingly.
Are you ready?
Being a transgender person in the workplace means having this exact conversation, over and over and over, forever. The question can only be answered by the question itself, ad infinitum. We often spend so much time justifying our presence to others that it begins to feel like our reason for being there in the first place. Why are we here? We’re here to tell you why we’re here.
I’m not here to make you feel bad for asking these questions. Well, maybe a little bit, but I want you to understand when your well-intentioned allyship stops being helpful and starts being intrusive. The fact of the matter is that we’ve got a job to do here, same as you; we just have a few more obstacles to maneuver around as we do it.
If you are serious about making your office a more inclusive environment, remember that changing these things is hard work. Your LGBTQIA+ coworkers will probably want to help or advise you, but it’s as unreasonable to expect them to do it all for you as it would be to have employees with mobility issues to commission handicapped parking spots. We can do it, but it’s not in our job description, and it’s an unnecessary amount of physical and emotional labor to demand of us on top of the actual work we are there to do.
With that in mind, here are some easy steps you can take towards making your workplace welcoming to transgender people. This list is by no means exhaustive, but you’ll find that even these small changes can have a remarkably positive effect on morale, engagement, and teamwork.
First and foremost, respect people’s pronouns. Yes, including the singular “they”, and yes, including ones you haven’t seen before. Consistently misgendering people is the fastest way to make them feel that they are in a hostile environment. Model correct pronoun use yourself, and reprimand cisgender employees who refuse to do so themselves.
Will you get pronouns wrong? Almost certainly. Contrary to what the media may tell you, transgender workers can tell the difference between mistakes and malice. When you do slip up, apologize, correct, and move on. Dramatic mea culpas do more to make us uncomfortable than using the wrong pronoun now and then ever could, because it makes us feel like the jerks in the situation.
An easy way to head off these confrontations is to normalize including pronouns when introductions are called for. This might seem odd to you; one complaint I’ve heard several times from cisgender people is “but my pronouns are obvious.” Good for you, but this isn’t the case for everybody. If the only employees in your company that introduce themselves with their pronouns are transgender, then that’s a way they are othered, a marker that they are separate from everyone else. By making pronouns a default part of introductions, then this barrier between cis and trans workers is torn down.
Does this seem like a lot? It really isn’t, but be prepared for pushback. For some people, even this small amount of consideration will be far too much. The people who push back hardest will probably surprise you; some of them will be people you’ve worked alongside for years, people whose politics you thought you understood. Transphobia isn’t limited to any side of the political spectrum, and can be found in even the most empathetic and liberal individuals.
This leads us to a harsh truth. Transphobia cannot be tolerated in the workplace, whether it manifests as refusing to respect a coworker’s pronouns or harassing them for using the correct bathroom. When it occurs, if you really are serious about fostering an inclusive environment, then your transgender employees will look to you for support. Be prepared to offer sensitivity and diversity training to employees who exhibit transphobic behavior. Stricter disciplinary actions may even become necessary.
Being an ally isn’t easy; as somebody once told me, it’s a verb, not an adjective. It means putting yourself out there, to serve as a shield between your marginalized employees and those that would harm them through actions and words. It also means being open to criticism, and accepting that you do not understand transgender people’s experiences the way you understand your own. If you have the strength, humility, and empathy, then you can make your workplace a beacon of inclusion.
Today I get to read about my mom here at Writers Conference – thank you so much Victoria Zackheim – and I want to share with you how I came to know that I had become the woman she always wanted to be.
It was the last time I saw her. She was in an Assisted Living facility; I now refer to our last visit: Assisted Loving.
I went to spend 10 days with her. I stayed at a hotel nearby, walking distance. Our visit was hard. Some days she was feisty and difficult and irritable, and on others she was tender and frail and gentle. Some days she had no idea who I was, one others I was her Amy; some days she was filled with rage and howling noises, other days she was silent and watching cartoons – her favorite. She wore a soiled nightgown and her hair, once coiffed weekly and curled, was now full on gray and stick straight.
She had once been a beauty – a beauty queen – she was now small and shrinking into her own skin; disappearing physically and emotionally.
I spent time down at the bar at the hotel I was staying at, and went back to my room. Undressed, washed up, got into bed, called Ken and chit-chatted for a while. In the middle of the night I got up to pee. I stopped at the full length mirror, and I looked at myself – full on – naked; and I saw myself: a woman who never had kids, a woman who followed her heart even when her heart was cracked & chipped & yes, broken; a woman who was feisty and crazy-ass and yes, often testy and impatient; a woman who went for her dreams and never gave up even when it felt wholly fucking impossible, a woman who chose a creative path – writing; a woman who chose unconventional and rebellious and shaky as her foundation; and as I stood there looking at my body – a body that was slender but not tight, a body that was strong but not muscular, a body that had so many hidden scars that had turned into stardust, and I knew in that moment, in that hotel, in front of that mirror that I had become the woman my mother always wanted to be.
And in that moment, in that hotel, in front of that mirror I let go of much of the anger & much of the disappointment & much of the bitterness I held onto for so very long and replaced that with a profound appreciation that she – a woman who gave up all of her dreams of being an artist and all of her hopes of living a creative life and her desire to be unconventional – that she brought me into this world.
***Thank you Amy for these beautiful words. They reflect so much that is in my heart about my own momma!”