To kick off the holiday season, we’ve added the Road Trip, Wedding Bells, and Gossip shows to the podcast. Enjoy.
At this moment I’m at the office, catching up after spending yesterday working as an election judge in my ward in Chicago. During breaks, and when I eat my lunch, I read updates from friends on Facebook, check Tumblr for news and analysis shared by the folks I follow, and on Twitter I retweet tweets about the day that just was.
I am a college educated Asian white collar worker living in Chicago. Chicago is, like New York City where I grew up, is a very blue city in a very blue state. I don’t feel immediately fearful, and for that I am profoundly grateful. Especially since Illinois is sending Tammy Duckworth to the Senate.
But I have a lot of loved ones who have very real fears about what may happen as soon as Trump assumes office, and the GOP-controlled Congress intends to do when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. A family with three children, two of whom need the ACA to pay for comprehensive mental health care. My parents both rely on Medicare, and my younger brother, who has private insurance through his employer, does still require the financial assistance of Medicaid to pay for kidney dialysis.
I am having many feelings, maybe too many, about the number of women, the number of White women who voted for Trump. I’m not nearly smart or thoughtful enough to unpack that at this moment. I reckon that when that day comes, it will not be a good one. Maybe that’s unfair but I’ve been a woman of color in the United States. If there’s anybody who knows about what unfair is, it’s definitely me.
When it comes to taking action and next steps, I’ve already begun. Working as an election judge was an eye opening and empowering experience for me. I would encourage more citizens to do it, if only to see what politics looks like at the very local level, and understand the importance of civic engagement all the time, not just during campaign season.
At the moment, I’m gonna get back to my job, continue to make (possibly inappropriate) jokes with my brother because humor is how I cope when I’m not stress-eating, and send notes to my precinct captain, alderman, mayor (yes, it’s Rahm Emanuel, but better or worse he’s what I’ve got to work with), state representatives, congressmen, Senator-Elect Tammy Motherfuckin’ Duckworth and Senator Dick Durbin to thank them for the service and ask one very important question:
This is unbelievable to me still, and it shouldn’t be. The country showed its face yesterday, and I could not turn away. I was at a bar with friends when the votes were being counted, and felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach: He’s going to win. He’s really going to win. I can’t believe he’s going to win. I got uncomfortably drunk (sorry Sean), went to bed, and woke up to a terrible dream.
I am white and middle-class and college-educated. I grew up in cities, I live in a city now. My family is liberal — we butt heads on some things, but politically we are more or less on the same blue spectrum. My boyfriend’s family is similarly minded. Trump is not nor has ever been my America, but he is America. My white face and tech job and close circle of like-minded friends have let me shove this thought to the side, under the rug; the inconvenient truth that a significant and voting portion of the country does not think like me, and does not share my values.
My boyfriend has health insurance for the first time in forever. My friends and family are queer, Muslim, people of color. I really like having control of my reproductive freedom, it’s pretty sweet. There is more, a lot more, but I can’t think about it or I won’t move. I am trying not to be alarmist, but I am afraid. There’s a cold pit in my stomach when I think about what’s next. I am scared for the future.
I donated to Planned Parenthood. I reached out to my loved ones. Miss Spoken will continue to be a safe space for women, trans people, and their stories. We know what you’re saying is important, we’re here for it, and we will always believe you. We’ll provide that space, you provide the voices, and we will listen.
That’s a start, I guess. I don’t know how to change hearts and minds, or educate people (and maybe that’s not the answer), I’m bad at intentional uncomfortable conversations (I think that is part of the answer). But I’ll do it. We’ll do it. We have to. It’s going to be a long, shitty four years, and there is so much work to be done.
This Wednesday, we’re talking about you. The theme is Gossip and the readers are Jasmine Davila, Anjali Waikar, Josephine Yales, and Takelya Weathers. You heard it from them first.
Jasmine Davila is the fast-talking, thoroughly charming co-host of “Vital Social Issues and Stuff”, a podcast about pop culture from a lady’s point of view. She has read in venues small and medium sized for shows such as Tuesday Funk, 20×2 Chicago, That’s All She Wrote and this very show. You can find Jasmine on the web by Googling “Jasmine Davila” and on Twitter as @jasmined.
Anjali is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Chicago after living on the east coast for the past two decades. She was a member of a comedy improv troupe in college until she quit to play Division 3 tennis until she quit to join a hip hop dance troupe until she quit to volunteer in Guatemala until she quit to find herself. She believes in trying everything once. She’s a virgin storyteller to the stage, but regularly practices the art of storytelling in her day job as a lawyer.
J[osephine]. M. YaLes is the author of ‘A Coven in Essex County’, a writer, a poet, and ex-museum educator. She currently lives in Chicago after a life time in Wisconsin and a brief stint in Utah.
Hailing from the south side of the city, Takelya “TK” Weathers is an eternal dreamer with the heart and soul of a poet. She’s an avid writer who can oftentimes be found with a pen and paper in hand. While writing and theater are her first loves, she comes to us as a graduate of The French Pastry School’s L’Art du Gateau program and a lover of all things deliciously sweet. In her spare time, she works on building her MsBijou Sugar Artistry brand, being a student of the Second City Theater Training Center, and dreaming in full, living color.
Happy 2015! It’s a whole new year and we’re a whole new show. Sort of. It’s definitely a new year, and we have some fresh faces ready to bring you through the dragging gray of late January with tales of their Worst New Year’s Eve. Wednesday, 1/28, Gallery Cabaret, 7pm. The year might have changed but our time and place remains eternal, or until they kick us out. Bring your whole new you or old salty self to the show.
Jac Jemc’s first story collection, A Different Bed Every Time, is newly out from Dzanc Books. Her novel, My Only Wife was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. She is the poetry editor for decomP and nonfiction editor for Hobart.
Liz McArthur was born, raised and then set free from St. Louis to attend Columbia College. Since graduating a million years ago, Liz has been writing/performing/improving/stand-uping/sketch comedying all over the place. If you have a time machine, you can see Liz perform with OneTwoThree, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy or hosting SMUSH open mic at Stage 773. Currently you can see her performing with Bye Bye Liver, the Chicago Drinking Play at The Public House Theater. There’s more but she’s not even sure you’re still reading this, so now she is just going to list things she likes for her own records: potatoes, Mike Patton, the dude she’s married to, her cats, and the way her bedroom is currently arranged.
Fruzsina Eordogh was born in Budapest and escaped the evils of Communism at a young age by way of an Italian refugee camp. She grew up on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, where she played street hockey, buried a pet in a traffic circle and never learned how to drive. She now resides in Albany Park with her mate and her cat and makes a meager living writing about technology and Internet culture for a variety of media outlets. On most days she doesn’t get dressed until after 1pm. Leisurely activities include thrifting, playing video games, and watching way too much anime.
Erin Watson is a Southern person living in Chicago and on the internet at torridly.org. She is very enthusiastic about poems, Sleater-Kinney, and affordable housing policy, among other things. New City named her one of the best emerging poets in Chicago in 2014. It’s unclear what, exactly, she is emerging from, so do her a favor and imagine that it’s a really awesome cocoon.
Dear Friends of Miss Spoken,
Seasons greetings! Thank you so much for coming out last week for Body Hair. It was a great show. We donated $70 to Open Books, and the stories were touching, uncomfortable, and awesome. From Maya Marshall’s meditative piece on taking things off to Alyssa Sorresso’s brief musical number and Lisa Frank references to Samantha Irby’s hilarious poem, plus everyone in between, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to carry out the year.
That’s right, we’re taking a break in December. You will have to find alternate plans on 12/31 – we trust you’ll figure it out. We’ll be wintering in the balmy twin paradises of suburban Chicago and medium-sized metropolitan Michigan, having a baby (Carly), eating enough Danish butter cookies so as to seem like she’s having a baby (Rose), and otherwise preparing for next year’s show. A couple of announcements:
- We’re still looking for readers for our late January show. The theme is “Your Worst New Year’s Eve”. Hit us up if you’ve got a good story.
- Carly’s taking a break from co-hosting to raise an infant. She’ll still be posting on the blog and otherwise involved. While she’s doing that, Jasmine Davila will be standing in at Gallery Cabaret. Jasmine’s pretty awesome and we’re super-excited. A little more about her:
- Jasmine Davila has been oversharing on the internet since 2000. She has read for the likes of Solo in the 2nd City,Tuesday Funk, That’s All She Wrote, and 20×2. Please tweet all the cute corgi pictures to her at @jasmined.
- That was pretty much it.
Best to you and yours,
That sucks. You should probably come to the next one. In the meantime, here are two of our participant’s stories. For your reading pleasure: