My happy season

happy season

Thanks to the game last night, my happy season is back

As a Met fan, baseball season often turns into something of a sports Bataan Death March (no, not really but you get the point). For years, my happy season was football season. I am also a 49er fan. (I was born in San Francisco and grew up mostly on Long Island but spent a good deal of time in the Bay Area). By winning their game against the Rams, my happy season is back!

When I was a little kid, I was daddy’s little girl all the way. He loved the Mets and 49ers, so I did, too. He also loved the Oakland Raiders and I grew up loving them as well (that ended when they left for Los Angeles). He may also have been a Jet fan but I hated the Giants and Jets (I have no idea why). I only think he must have liked the Jets because I found a bunch of glasses with the Jets helmet on them. I gave them away.

Last week, I went out to watch the Niners play because I couldn’t watch it at home and I was pretty confident they would win because of who they were playing. This week, I was grateful I could watch at home because I don’t like to watch big games where my team isn’t in the best position. I wasn’t convinced they could win yesterday.

And what a game! I know it is too violent and have mixed feelings about the game in general but football can be a beautiful game. Last night, it was amazing! Now, I may not feel that way when they play the Cowboys (I hate the Cowboys!) but right now I am super happy.

Squirrel Montana & Moose Wilson

I love watching sports and getting all worked up over the games. I feel like it is very cathartic. During the pandemic in 2020 when there were no baseball games, I didn’t think it bothered me but I wasn’t sleeping well and then baseball was back. After watching one game and getting all worked up, I slept like the dead. As the narrator in Fight Club said, “Babies don’t sleep this well.” I think that movie offers a lot of insight into what people get from watching sports.

When describing the fights in Fight Club, the narrator says, “When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered. We all felt saved.” Watching sports is kind of like that for me. I get really into it. I love and hate passionately but when it is over, it doesn’t matter. If my team wins or loses, nothing in my life is different. I am different.

There is a quote that is often attributed to the Dalai Lama, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” In addition to the pain we all experience, life is annoying. There are so many things that happen in our lives that just add aggravation. When I first watched Fight Club, the thing that attracted me to the story was the everyday annoyances we all experience that lead to violence. I was working as a temp at the time. Between the annoyances that accompany that job, dealing with the Metro, looking for a full-time job, etc. I could relate to the need to blow off some steam. No, I never got violent because that’s what I have sports for.

I watch and get really into the games. I ride the roller coaster that is a baseball season for Met fans because it is so cathartic. It’s also why my cats are named after athletes. Joe Montana and Mookie Wilson. Both had a huge impact on my youth.

Watching horror movies and reading scary books provide a similar experience. For many people, and this is one reason this genre is so popular, these stories give us all a chance to face our demons in a safe environment. The killer is always defeated (even if only temporarily) and the emotional release is great. Now that I am thinking about it, and it may have already been obvious to you, that is why people ride those roller coasters I referenced in relation to the Mets.

Back to life, back to reality

The holidays are officially over and people around here are taking down their holiday decorations. That makes me sad, as it does every year because it is so dark here so early. Having said that, I need to get cracking on my resolutions. One is to work harder on my writing but the other is to work against genocide. You can read more about both goals here.

Walking in a winter wonderland…

it's winter in Stony Brook

Our first snow of the winter!

I used to love snow. It was pretty and fun to play in and sometimes, I got the day off from school! Now I am not such a fan. Back then, I didn’t have to deal with the roads or shoveling or, well, shoveling is the worst part.

One winter, when I was a little kid, the house next to my grandmother’s (where I live now) was used as a mental hospital of sorts. A psychiatrist had her patients in the mansion next to my house. One of the patients got a knife and stabbed another. The injured man ran to our house and rang the bell. I am not sure what happened then. What I do know is that I was not allowed outside and when we left the house I had to go out the back and walk to Bennett Lane to leave because it had snowed and the snow in front of the house was bloody from the stabbing next door.

I didn’t know about any of this then. Judy, my grandmother told me about it all much, much later.

The Internet’s a crazy place…

I was looking for info on the house next to mine when I found this. My mom was in the Peace Corps back in the early 1960s. I had never seen this before today. Crazy!

Got plans for tonight?

If you are on Long Island and ready to have some fun, you won’t want to miss this show.

Tonight, January 8 at 9:00 pm (doors open at 8:00), Round Two Pub in Ronkonkoma!

Goin to the city, gonna do a lot of comedy

This is not comedy

Hosting a mic at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club

This is one of my favorite places to do comedy and the producer, Steve Aarons, is one of my favorite people in the city. I am trying to make myself go out and about even when it is super cold and tomorrow, it will be super cold. Of course, I will be outside only a little bit. I will walk from the subway to the club and then back to the subway. I will also stop off at a pizza place for a slice. Or maybe at a sushi place for some of that (I have eaten pizza three times in the last week).

Either way, it will be a lot of fun! If you are going to be in New York City today (Tuesday, January 4, 2022), head on over to 99 MacDougal Street. You’ll thank me later!

Still fighting for Paul Rusesabagina

This fall, No Business with Genocide joined the Hotel Rwanda Foundation and #FreeRusesabagina campaign and delivered tens of thousands of your petitions to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking them to do more to bring Paul home. Now we are asking Dr. Biden to use her voice to help. In September, Paul was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His heath continues to decline and he is still being denied access to his lawyers, medicine, and any documents related to his case.

Multiple groups have denounced the trial and the verdict. Both the Clooney Foundation and the American Bar Association have said it was neither fair nor just. Please sign and share our petition to Dr. Biden.

For more information about Paul Rusesabagina and the situation in Rwanda:

Sometimes when I post about Paul, I get messages about the crimes he was accused of. I don’t normally respond but I am going to respond now.

  1. I am not convinced the crimes Paul was accused of happened. At least not the way the Kagame regime says. I say this becauise, Kagame accused Paul of the same thing in 2010 and it seems unlikely that the same crime was committed twice.
  2. If Kagame had real evidence, he could have gone the legal route. He took similar accusations to the U.S. and Belgian governments back in 2010 and neither found the charges to be credible.
  3. More recently, if the evidence was credible, it would have been presented in court. None was.
  4. If there was a real case against Paul, the Rwanan government would not have had to infringe on his civil rights. He was denied access to his lawyers, legal documents and the paperwork he needed to file an appeal.
  5. If this was a legitamite case, the witnesses would have been sworn in like at every other Rwandan trial. None were.

If a permanent resident of the U.S. who is also a Belgian citizen and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient can be kidnapped by the leader of another country, who is safe? No one.

Are we finally at the end of the American experiment?

This is also not comedy but I think it is important. As we near the anniversary of the almost coup, I am reminded of something I wrote a while back. On January 18, 2021, I wrote a piece for the website Addicting Info. That no longer is around but I found my piece on the Way Back Machine (which moved to Canada when Trump moved into the White House).

In Goodbye American democracy, you had a good run I quoted Abraham Lincoln who warned the country would not be destroyed by outside forces but from within.

Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

President Lincoln at the Young Men’s Lyceum in 1838

I ended the piece:

When we start destroying the foundations of our government (the DOJ is not alone, the State Department is also being decimated from within), we are participating in a kind of cannibalism. When our government acts only to get one side ahead of the other politically and we live in a time when each side lives by a different reality, how can anything positive come from that?

For decades, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union sought to weaken, if not destroy, the United States. Lincoln was right. They should have saved their money. We are going to do it for them.

From, Goodbye American democracy, you had a good run

Both sides of this debate think we are facing an existential crisis. People on my side (including Congresswoman Lynn Cheney) think if Donald Trump gets back into the White House, democracy is dead here. People on the other side, like Dan Bongino (conservative pundit and talk show host) think if he isn’t returned to power, our republic is lost. The main difference is I am not sure how clear-headed Mr. Bongino is. Trump has attained a cult-like power over his people. They think he was draining the swamp but was thwarted by the deep state.

I guess we’ll see what happens but hold onto your hat, this is going to be a crazy year.

New Year’s Resolutions?

Resolutions to read

Anyone have resolutions for 2022?

As usual, I have some. As usual, the first two are to get more exercise and to eat healthier. In 2021, I changed my diet to a mostly plant-based diet and bought a bike. For a while, I was walking every day (usually down to Stony Brook Village) but that tapered off. To keep me more accountable with my resolutions I am posting some here:

  • Eat better
  • Get more exercise
  • Start a podcast (by the end of February)
  • Put up a TikTok video every day
  • Put together a packet for the late night shows
  • Write every day
  • Perform every day

Looking for something to read? How about this awesome book?

My friend, Nicole Willson published a novel in 2021. I bought it to support her but I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed it. (The cat enjoyed chewing on the cover) Tidepool renewed my interest in horror fiction. I used to love reading horror but moved away from the genre as my life calmed down. Nicole is a great writer. One of my favorite pieces by her is The World Spinner. If you have “read more” on your list of resolutions for 2022, I cannot recommend this writer enough. Once I started Tidepool, I could not put it down. That is a the telltale sign of a good story and good writing. Check. It. Out. You’ll thank me later.

I am still working to end #genocide, will you help?

We made real progress in 2021. Here are a few things we accomplished:

  • Progress for Myanmar: Kirin Beer and Harry Winston stopped helping the Burmese military. Facebook shut down some of their accounts and Chevron cut some of their payments (more needs to be done on both fronts). The Burma Act of 2021 was introduced (it still needs to pass and be signed into law).
  • The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act became law.
  • Several cities passed anti-genocide resolutions. Educating people about #genocide and other mass atrocities is crucial in this fight. No Business with Genocide is working with other localities on passage of more of the same.

You can read more about my work in this area and how you can help here.

A look back at the year that was 2021

2021 sucked as much as 2020

Before we all leave 2021 behind, it is good to reflect on everything that happened

For a lot of reasons, the last few years have sucked. In February 2020, I did a great show in Greenwich Village (at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club) and thought This is going to be my year! Three weeks later, everything in New York shut down and 2020 was no one’s year. Unless you count Covid 19, it was its year.

Things seemed to be looking up at the start of 2021. Joe Biden would be coming into the White House and Donald Trump would be leaving. There were a number of covid vaccines about to be approved. Sanity had prevailed and maybe the pandemic would end.

On January 6, pro-Trumpers rioted on the mall and stormed the capitol building. No one could have known at the time that the year was going to be decided that day. Chuck Todd once called the era we are living in the “post facts” era. He was right. Trump supporters believe that he won the election. One told me Trump received 81 million votes (that was Biden’s number). I have no idea what right-wing site he was reading but when I pointed him to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), he told me that the FEC is a leftie organization and couldn’t be trusted.

Justice made a comeback this year

There were some really good things that happened. Police officers Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter were convicted. I was surprised in both instances as cops in the past have gotten off when they kill people. The men who stalked Ahmaud Arbery and killed him were convicted. Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s second in command, was convicted. R. Kelly was convicted.

These convictions don’t undo the wrongs committed. George Floyd and Arbery are still dead. The women and girls tormented by Maxwell and Kelly still have to live with what happened but it is a start.

George W. Bush was right about pandemics

How often do I tout things Dubya said? Rarely.

If we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare.

George W. Bush in 2005

In 2005, Dubywa went on vacation and read John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza. He was so taken by the book and its message that he set up the office of pandemic preparedness in the White House (Trump effectively closed it down when he moved in). Bush saw the message of the book wasn’t “the 1918 flu was really bad” but that pandemics can happen anytime. I know people who blame the Chinese government for the current pandemic. While they are not blameless, this was a long time coming.

Back in 2006, I started worrying about bird flu. It wasn’t until 2013 that I blogged about it. I have read The Great Influenza and other books about deadly flu outbreaks. Most start in Asia. A pig can harbor a bird and a human virus at the same time. Viruses in pigs can mutate and now you have a deadly flu that can infect people. This is what scientists think happened in 1918 flu (if you are wondering why it was called the “Spanish Flu,” that is because this was during WWI and media outlets were banned from reporting on the disease everywhere but in Spain).

So things started opening up in the spring and then the Delta variant hit. I was vaccinated in April/May. By the fall, I thought things for vaccinated people were looking up. Then Omicron hit and the world started shrinking again. Now I had to cancel an event I was planning for Paul Rusesabagina. I am very sad about that.

We made progress against genocide in 2021

It is easy to only see the bad things that happen. In December, I delivered some petitions to Harry Winston asking the jeweler to stop sourcing #GenocideGems from Myanmar. Ten minutes after we left, they announced they would do just that. In February, Kirin Beer ended its relationship with the Myanmar military.

A few weeks ago, President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law. There are good reasons to think Secretary Blinken will declare what has happened to the Rohingya is a genocide. Gainesville, Florida passed an anti-genocide resolution. We are working with other localities and cities to get more of these passed. No government should profit from or fund genocide.

So, by 2021. I really hope 2022 is better.

PS. You can still lower your tax bill for 2021 AND help me fight genocide by donating to this.