Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Without Question, This is the Best Ad Ever Posted on Juneau Buy Sell Trade

Let's start with the price, which surely must be a typo. 

*Extremely Austin Powers Voice* 124 MILLLLLION dollars? For a set of silicone workout balls for your vajazzle? Like I'm pretty sure you could buy Jennifer Lopez's Malibu estate for that. (And it comes with free Kegel balls!)

Then there's the qualifier that they're "brand new" which we must further clarify means she "didn't try them out [her]self.”

This is a relief, since prior use would obvs be kind of a deal-breaker. Like there are some things you can buy used no problem. For example: a dresser, a car, a rug, or a kitchen table. 

Then there are other things. Things that go in intimate places. Things that are really a one-time and/or one-person only use-type situation. Underpants, mattresses (arguably), butt plugs, syringes, Q-Tips, and anything else that has encountered bio-hazardous substances or “areas” of any kind. IMHO, Kegel weights fall into this category.

Next, there's the Kegel weight--or ball(?)--itself. 

I'm trying to remember when I first realized the Kegel "workout" existed. It was definitely before "pelvic floor" became a trendy target-area of yoga, but sometime after male gynecologist Henry Arnold Kegel “invented” it. It might have been on my first visit to the gynecologist at fifteen, or it might have been something my mother told me about. 

Regardless, I recall being surprised at discovering this superpower which had so many surprising uses. The pelvic floor muscles could be flexed in secret right there in Mr. Rapapport's earth sciences class! Just for fun! They could be deployed on command in . . . erm . . . "intimate settings." They could be used to stop pee from leaking into my Haines Her Way cotton bikini briefs every time I coughed, jumped, or sneezed post-babies! 

Basically these exercises were a miracle.

Finally, there's the idea that there is a “beginner" and "advanced" course of study and practice for Kegel exercises WITH the Kegel weights themselves. Until I read this ad I'm not sure I knew there was a weight system for doing these exercises at all, much less different levels of proficiency. I also read it as "Kegel bells" and not "balls," kind of like barbells or dumbbells which I think is actually a way better name.

All of which leads me to a Christmas song about Kegel bells, based on Silver Bells. You're welcome!

Kegel bells, Kegel bells
It's toning time for your Kitty
Make ‘em squeeze 
It’s a breeze 
Soon you’ll have a strong vajay!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Don Young Thinks a Good Jew With an AR-15 Would Have Stopped the Holocaust, Apparently?

Ah, good old Don Young.

To some, Alaska’s lone Congressman and Dean of the House is a colorful state treasure who tells it like it is and represents the last vestige of the Good Old Days When America Was Great.

Those raucous, heady days of Big Oil pipeline construction when men (REAL men, by the way—not these libtard Beta PC snowflake cucks who think they’re a man one day and a woman the next) hopped in their Chevy pickup and hauled ass up the AlCan from parts unknown with nothing but the plaid shirt on their backs, their Daddy’s .22, and a fifth of cheap whisky to build a cabin in the woods outside Fairbanks and find themselves a Good Woman.

To others, though, Don Young is a misbegotten artifact of a not-quite-bygone-enough time when men who “spoke their mind” often spoke it to the detriment of everyone but other men who shared their narrow vision of manhood, which of course has at its bilious core murder of one sort or another.

So it’s no surprise that Don Young, a board member of America’s wealthiest, bloodiest gunrunning lobby and the second most NRA-funded member of Congress—will genuflect before his corporate overlords at every turn.

What IS surprising—even for a swashbuckling, bloviating old coot who’s done everything from blame suicide on food stamps to brag about almost cutting a colleague’s throat at work—is that Fossil Don is now invoking the Holocaust to save the NRA money.

Per APRN reporter Liz Ruskin, at a speech delivered right here in my very own hometown of Juneau, Don Young “argued against gun control by suggesting Jews might not have died in the Holocaust if they had been armed.” 

“How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?” he asked rhetorically (I guess).

The answer is zero, thanks for asking!

I’m probably the last generation of American Jews who grew up with the specter of the Holocaust--knowing family members who either were interned or died in the Holocaust; raised to instinctively fear the sound of the German language and the bark of German Shepherds; shunned the consumption of German products or German music. 

I don’t think my kids will live under that same shadow, but still, my first reaction to reading Don Young’s comments was to whisper in his hairy old ear that he needs to get the name of my people’s genocide out of his mouth and find another way to do his employer’s greedy, disingenuous, constitutional-defender-pretender bidding.

The assertion that reasonable restrictions on semi-automatic rifles led to WWII and will lead to a Nazi-esque takeover of America is a favorite canard of 2A wingnuts, but it’s particularly rich coming from the figurehead king of a political party that courts, consorts, and flirts with neo-Nazis on the reg. 

It is also a convenient (albeit preposterous) retort by the corporate gun lobby’s number one bottom bitch to teenagers who are out here in these streets trying to make school shootings a tiny bit less fatal and are getting death threats from NRA “members” for their efforts.

But okay. 

Thomas Jefferson said it’s our God-given right to keep an atom bomb in our basement because tyranny, it took the allied forces and military arsenals of quite literally the entire world to end the Nazis, and yet my relatives had to hide in barns and died in the gas chambers all because they weren’t packing an AR-15 in the Russian shtetl.

To paraphrase some gallows humor from a friend of mine, if only the Nazis didn’t come from broken homes, watch violent video games, and struggle with homosexuality and mental illness, we could have prevented the Holocaust.

Seriously Don. Go fuck yourself.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Can't Complain!

I was standing in a long lift line at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Sunday with a fellow east coast transplant to Alaska—one of my treasured Juneau sister wives. She was making small talk with an acquaintance, and when she asked the guy how he was doing, he replied cheerfully, “can’t complain!”

We got on the chair and immediately turned to each other.

“I love it when people say that,” I told her. We observed that this represented a big cultural difference from where we grew up, where almost everyone managed to find a reason to complain about almost anything every day of the week.

So when people say happily that they “can’t complain!” the response I give (in my head) is TRY HARDER.

Which is not to suggest that complaining is good. Quite the opposite, complaining—especially petty complaining—is REALLY bad. It’s a terrible, annoying trait, and I hardly ever indulge in it. If it’s one thing my brief forays into food service have taught me, it’s that my friends who work in the hospitality industry are fucking HEROES.

Anyway, on this particular day, the entire ski hill—myself included—was armchair quarterbacking the operation of this and that chairlift and this and that terrain, but I chose to keep my complaints to myself (or within a small circle of fellow whiners) and enjoy the moment I was in.*

I’m just interested in language, is all. 

So when someone says they CAN’T complain, I want to cheer them on and say that no, really, they CAN! There is SOOO much to complain about, as you learn growing up in New York City.

Like here’s a non-exhaustive list of ACTUAL things I’ve heard people complain about in the course of my upbringing: 

The sushi is not at room temperature; the train is five seconds late; the wineglass has a tiny spot on it; the rental car is not the exact car ordered ahead of time; the parking lot refurbishment is taking too long; the air conditioning is broken; the elevator is out of order for half a day; the Christmas tree is tacky; the rug is a trip hazard; the water is too hot/cold; the air is too humid/dry; and so on, ad infinitum.

The art of complaining no longer has geographic boundaries thanks to Yelp and the rest of the internet, but since I hail from the OG 'Hood of Complaining, I feel I am in a unique position to encourage people who claim they “can’t” complain and let them know that they are selling themselves short. And if they just try super hard, they will find something--ANYTHING!--to complain about.

So whenever you’re tempted to answer with “can’t complain,” what you're really saying is that you're an unimaginative slacker who can't come up with a gripe, and therefore you should just change that “can’t” to “won’t.”

I believe in you!

(*But seriously WTF is up with the Black Bear chair lol jk??)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Trump Basically Wants a GoFundMe for His Military Parade So I Wrote the Pitch

According to FAKE NEWS CNN as reported by Talking Points Memo on 2/19/18 (so take this with a grain of salt):
The Pentagon is considering soliciting donations to fund the President’s requested military parade, which could cost between $3 million and $50 million, according to preliminary estimates from a defense official who spoke with CNN.

Because there is currently no money set aside for a parade in the military budget, the Pentagon would likely use those private donations to offset the cost of the non-military components of the event, according to CNN. Budget director Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday that he estimates the parade could cost between $10 million to $30 million.
(Side Bar: Yesthis is the same Mick Mulvaney who wants to send SNAP recipients a "Blue-Apron-Style Harvest Box" of "shelf-stable milk" and Skippy peanut butter, thanks for asking).

In the pre-Trump world, we'd be roasting this for weeks, but because Trump operates at a 67:1 scandal-to-day ratio, it's hard to keep up. 

Still, we don't want to forget that Trump at some point wanted--and at some point probably will want again--a Banana Republic, Fidel-Castro-style military parade on the Washington Mall. 

Since Congress failed to budget for this boondoggle, we're going to need to raise $30 million to make Donald happy. So I took the liberty (PUN INTENDED) of writing the GoFund Me pitch:

Greetings My Fellow Humans,

On the morning of November 9, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected 45th President of the United States. This came as a BIGLY surprise to everyone (except Vladimir Putin and a coder named Gucifer 2.0), but no one was more surprised than Donald himself.

Donald was NOT expecting to get such a big important job all of a sudden. His plan was just to be more famous and make more money so he could quickly divorce his third wife with a giant payout and non-disclosure agreement. 

But now--tragically--he has found himself in WAY over his corn silk weave-covered head.

Aside from being really mean and knowing nothing, the main problem with Donald is that he is very sensitive and his feelings are easily hurt. 

He watches a lot of TV and if anyone says anything bad about him on TV he immediately goes on Twitter, presses the caps-lock key on his unsecured Android, and starts screaming about CROOKED HILLARY and the RUSSIAN HOAX and NO COLLUSION and FAILING FAKE NEWS CNN and TERRIBLE RATINGS. And it's all very scary for all of us because—as he has reminded us—he has a BIG BUTTON and his button WORKS! 

Not to put too fine a point on it, Donald can explode us all tomorrow if he wanted to. 

So you see, it's very VERY important that we make Donald feel good about himself and remind him that he is a Very Stable Genius (TM).

We must never ever say his hands are tiny, and we must always say his crowds and ratings are yooge. We must continue to reinforce the idea that he is the richest, handsomest, smartest, and most beloved and admired man in the whole entire world. 

And the absolute pinnacle of that is an expensive, garish, tacky despotic parade that will ensure our Dotard in Chief knows just how loved and respected he is by each one of his loyal subjects and by the Mighty Army that He Alone Commands.

Please consider donating today! The life you save may be your own.



Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Two Biggest Obstacles to Learning

This week, I had several different opportunities to ask myself,"what have I learned from this moment?" 

I don't need to get into the specifics of any one of these to share their common conclusion. Which is that there are two big obstacles to learning new things, and those two obstacles--at least for me--are assumptions and defensiveness.

Assumptions are defined as "a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof." 

When our assumptions are challenged, it can feel frightening and destabilizing. We all need certainty and a set of common operating principles to function. We need a narrative arc for our lives and a vision of ourselves that is grounding, and in turn the world around us has to fit within that structure.

The problem is that the case for ourselves and our world is often quite binary and inherently subjective. And when the binary nature of that case or its objectivity is challenged--when our assumptions are challenged--it feels emotionally overwhelming, and we become defensive.

And when we're defensive, we can't learn. 

We're too busy reacting to our upended assumptions by raising a defense for our life's case, whatever that case may be. We have visions of ourselves and of other people and their motivations that chart our course through life, and it's not easy to examine those paths too closely, lest we discover they are more subjective and less stable than maybe we thought.

But when we do, we can learn a lot. The truth is that allowing my assumptions to be challenged while letting go of needing to defend them is the only way I've ever actually learned anything. 

I often fail at overcoming these two obstacles, but when I do, it's always worth it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Denali is Covered in Shit, You Guys

And if there’s a better metaphor for 2018, I don't know what it is.

North America’s highest peak and the tallest land-based mountain on earth—the mighty majestic Denali, land of the Koyukon Athabascan people, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, elusive, mercurial, mysterious—

She’s covered in turds, y’all!

According to Sam Friedman’s report in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, climbers have been dropping their physically well-conditioned, lentil-fueled deuces all over the West Buttress route, and the Khalitna glacier has failed to magically grind them into invisible deuce dust as hoped.

As it turns out, in climbing as in life, shit don’t stay buried; and now the federal government has been forced to intervene. 

No more will climbers be able to crap all over Cassin Ridge and just deposit a steaming pile like a labradoodle in your backyard. 


They’re gonna have to scoop their own poop into special biodegradable bags, freeze it into heavy poopsicles, LITERALLY buy it an airplane ticket to Talkeetna, and take it right on home as a souvenir!

If you get to Camp 4 though, you can stash your poopsicles in a special designated crevasse. 

Side bar: do you love how I’m just throwing these names around like I know what I’m talking about? Meanwhile I haven’t been anywhere near Denali in over a decade. I don’t know a belay from a banana. And I’d sooner eat a cyanide and strychnine quesadilla than try to climb a wall of ice with a rope; it would be a much quicker death for me.

Like this would not be a problem for me at ALL. I’d get to the bottom of Denali and shit my pants before I even got one crampon on my foot, so maybe I’m not in the best position to bemoan the shitty condition of God’s Majesty.


It seems a little sad and oh so apt. Also on mountains as in life, shit rolls downhill, and the breathtaking spiritual beacon that is Denali is no exception to the rules of gravity and tough luck.

Shit-spackled Denali, you guys. We have quite literally reached Peak 2018.

20 Things Every Parent Says or Asks Every Day in Vain and Without Fail

1. Why is this wet?

2. What’s that smell?

3. How did this get here?

4. That’s not what that’s for.

5. Why is there glitter on this?

6. Are you gonna clean that up?

7. What are your whispering to each other?

8. Open this door.

9. Well, where did you last see it?

10. How did you manage to lose THAT?

11. I assume you’re planning to clean that up.

12. That doesn’t go there.

13. Where did THIS come from?

14. You’re kidding me, right?

15. When was the last time you took a bath?

16. Do NOT speak to me that way!

17. We’re not buying that today.

18. We don’t have the ingredients to make that.

19. We’ll see.

20. Can you take it down a few notches?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

And a Child Shall Lead Them: Watching Kids Tell the NRA to Go Fuck Itself is BEYOND Delectable!

Okay, so I know I threw a mini-temper tantrum, upended the metaphorical chess board, and said I was taking a blogging break. But then the NRA went ahead and made me SO FUCKING MAD--and what high school kids did to them made me SO FUCKING HAPPY--that I had to come out of temporary hiding.

Plus, the truth is that I’m a born and bred New Yorker, and we have a different sense of time. Have you heard of a New York Minute? In New York Minutes, my two day long-form blog break was practically a year, and also New Yorkers can’t shut up for more than 48 hours or we explode like an IED.

But most of all, there is a reason I returned early from fake-blog-hiatus and that reason is the need to express the unmitigated JOY I feel at watching the NR fuckin’ A and their simpering indentured servants in Congress squirm all week long under the piercing questioning of high school-aged activists, or as Alex Jones of Infowars would call them, "crisis actors." 

Like it’s hard to find words to describe how happy this makes me.

Understand that I live in Alaska and every single person I know with virtually no exception owns multiple guns. Understand that our lone congressman is the second most NRA-funded member of Congress after Paul Ryan. But also understand that every gun owner I know ALSO hates the NRA. 

Why? Let us count the ways.

It's because the NRA is not a nice "civil rights" organization. They know full well that reasonable gun regulation up to and including an assault weapons ban is constitutional and necessary to save lives. But they don’t care about human life or safety, of course. They don't even care about gun owners or the Second Amendment. Their sole mission is to prey on fear and abuse democracy to make it rain blood money for gun makers. 

Gun owners know this. EVERYONE knows this.

Like Big Tobacco before them, the NRA promotes a product that harms the public health and is trying to hide it. Profit first, public second. It’s the American way. There is a LOT of money on the line, and John Wayne LaPierre’s fear-mongering cowboy act this week reveals that fact with more clarity and more raw, naked shamelessness than ever before.

As usual after mass shootings, the post-Parkland NRA repeated the same tired ass talking points which all boil down to one thing:  


It's almost like the NRA wants kids to die so that they can ... wait for it ... sell even MORE guns and make MORE money. Wait wait wait ... it’s ALMOST like they are literally profiting from mass murder and don’t actually give two shits about the Second Amendment? Just putting that out there.

Well, it turns out that NRA gunrunner corporate thugs and their enabling conspiracy theorists and goons compounding mass murder with the cyber-bullying of child survivors and activists is not a good look.

This time is different. 

This time, the NRA is being publicly dunked on like never before by a generation with the energy and will to stop the carnage. 

Kids are going on television and dragging Senator Rubio. They are making Dana Loesch squirm in her chair like the complicit, mendacious paid shill that she is. They are giving the lie to the NRA's bullshit myth that their "five million members" will thank them to facilitate unfettered access to military-grade firearms and turn their kids' schools into a barricaded prison camp where no one succeeds but Remington.

The jig is fucking UP for the NRA. We are onto you. The KIDS are fucking onto you. We know you are greedy, venal, corporate whores to the military industrial complex and you don't give a shit about who lives or dies, including any one of your five million members whom you supposedly love so much.

You’re going down like Big Tobacco, and you’re taking all the elected officials whose balls you have in a vice grip right along with you. 

Thoughts and prayers, motherfuckers. Thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Alaska 360 Head Swivel Should Be an Olympic Event

How is this even a thing? That’s the question I ask myself every couple of years when I watch the Winter Olympics. 

The Summer Olympics, not so much. Swimming and running. Okay, I get that. Even parts of the Winter Olympics are familiar. Ice hockey? Sure, I've seen a few NHL fist fights on TV, with the whole jersey-over-the-head thing. Figure skating? Who could forget Tanya Harding and Blades of Glory? And Juneau is a skiers town, if not exactly a ski town.

Okay, fine. 

But curling, luge, and aerial ski jumping? How is that a thing that people get into? Like for real what is the process? 

Take aerial ski jumping. 

First, I assume you have to be wealthy, because skiing almost everywhere is expensive. Then you have to have a lot of time to practice hurtling yourself 200 feet into in the air over and over and over again. Then you also have to somehow not become paralyzed, which after basically ONE fuck up, that's exactly what you are.

By the time you get to the Olympics as an aerial ski jumper, you're almost guaranteed to win at least bronze because there are only three people left on earth who aren't broke literally or figuratively by now. 

Basically what I'm saying is that you're one of a tiny handful of people on EARTH with enough time, money, and intact vertebrae to continue doing this year after year, all for five seconds of pseudo-fame (and an adrenaline rush, I guess).

Is that actually how it goes? Probably not for everyone. Like I'm sure there's some up-by-the-bootstraps story of an unlikely Columbian aerial ski jumper who was sponsored by the Gates Foundation and won 12 gold medals and they made a Lifetime Hallmark ABC After School Special about him, but let's not kid ourselves: 

Aerial ski jumping is by and for rich ass Aryans and everyone knows it.

Here's one sport that's a bit more universal, at least if you live in Alaska, and it's sort of an all-season event. I call it the Alaska 360 Head Swivel and here's how it goes.

[Scene: Two friends in a busy coffee shop in downtown Juneau or really any other part of the state]

Friend 1: [Leans in to whisper] So did you hear about [insert name of friend/legislator/relative/divorcing couple]
Friend 2: [Eyes widen, conspiratorial whisper] NOOOOOO what happened?!
Friend 1:

Okay, sorry just checking, you know, JUNEAU.
Friend 2: Oh yeah,TOTES.

Cue the Olympic theme music, because Friend 1 has just fucking OWNED the Alaska 360 Head Swivel, which is a required element for all smack talking and tea-spilling routines in this state. If you live here long enough, it's happened to you. On an airplane, in a bar, at a coffee shop. That sinking, "Uh oh, he's right behind me, isn't he" moment.

It hasn't happened to me in a long time, and why? Because I'm the Michael Fucking Phelps of the Alaska 360 Head Swivel, that's why. 

See you in Beijing.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Vagina Wigs Are a Thing That Now Exists

And that says all you need to know about 2018. 

Vagina Wigs made their debut at New York Fashion Week courtesy of South Korean designer Kaimin. Per Post reporter Charlotte Willis a Vagina Wig is--
Also known as a merkin, as Urban Dictionary informs us. It turns out the spiked hair extensions, which look exactly like mini mohawks pointing out perfectly from the crotch, were worn by prostitutes beginning in the 1600s after shaving their pubic hair for various health and maintenance reasons.
Various. Health. And. Maintenance. Reasons. FASCINATING! I can't for the life of me imagine the true history of this trend, and I'm not really interested in researching it for fear of what it will do to the cookies on my browser and the amount of spam I receive. 

So I'm just going to make it up. 

I guess sex workers (not PROSTITUTES, Charlotte. Get with the times), must have decided that pubes were gross because . . . um . . . contagious crabs that they'd get from all their customers. But the full-on vaguely pedophiliac-creeper-esque Brazilian look was not yet on trend, nor was the "landing strip." And they didn't want to disappoint anyone, so they had to make their junk look like Pat Benatar.

I encourage you to zoom in on the picture because it's amazing. A vagina wig is basically nipple pasties, but for the vagina, and it's very hard for me to picture any situation in which I would wear a Vagina Mohawk. 

Like really, here's what would have to happen, followed by the chances of these things happening on a scale of 1-10.

1. I would have to shave my junk bald (0)
2. I would have to decide I needed a wig for my vaj (-6,000)
3. I would buy a wig for my vaj (-8,000)
4. I'd decide I needed that wig to look like a mohawk (7)

Please understand that at a certain point in my life, I pretty much gave up on hair maintenance in that "department," absent a beach-related emergency, which is rare in Alaska. As far as I'm concerned, it takes enough time and money to maintain the western-beauty standard of hair that people actually SEE--like on my head, face, and occasionally legs and armpits. 

I simply don't have the bandwidth for the rest of it. 

But if I did, I CERTAINLY wouldn't go through all the trouble to get rid of my pubes only to cover up the nice clean job I'd just done and make them look exactly the same again. 

At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, this is very similar to a custom I've never fully understood in ultra-religious Judaism, in which women shave their heads only to don a wig—called a sheitel—that looks exactly like regular hair.

That's what this is. It's a cooter sheitel. Kaimin has put the hot cooter in Haute Couture, and I am seeeeriously not here for it.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Ask a Bot: An Advice Column

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I'm getting toward middle age and my career has stalled out. What can I do to reboot it and start feeling fulfilled again at work?

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Dear Bot,

Lately I've noticed that my boyfriend has been acting distant. When I try to talk to him about it, he says nothing is wrong. What shouldI do?

BOT: Hello, I am Theresa Williams After being in relationship with Anderson for years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4 pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much.

Dear Bot,

I'm a little insecure about my masculinity. I know I shouldn't be, but I can't help it. What do you suggest?

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I have a family history of breast cancer. I try to eat well and exercise, but how else might I reduce my chances of developing this disease?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dear Sarah, I Am Sorry

Dear Sarah,

I don’t know you, but I am sorry.

I’m sorry the grownups who are in charge of this country didn’t protect you today. I’m sorry your friends had to die. I’m sorry we have not done better and fixed this mess.

I’m sorry that Congress is bought and paid for by the NRA. I am sorry the adults who are supposed to protect you value the so-called “right” of firearms manufacturers to sell assault rifles to teenagers over your rights and your friends’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I’m sorry that you will relive this awful day for the rest of your life, and feel the trauma and pain of it. I am sorry because I’m an adult and a mother and I have failed you. I have failed you, and we have all been failing you for too long.

But I am also hopeful.

I'm hopeful because you are strong and brave, and you are the future of America. Not Trump. Not Wayne LaPierre. 


I am hopeful because you are already using your voice to speak up and say what you know is right and true. And you are going to make this country a better place one day because of it.


An Admirer in Alaska

Realistic Valentines Cards

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

10 Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases Explained in Limerick

MARBURY v. MADISON 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) (1803)

It kind of all started right here
When Chief Justice John Marshall made clear
That the courts get to glean
What the law says and means
In con law this case has no peer.


“Separate but equal” is crap
Segregation just got knee-capped
It’s the law of the land
And the bigots be damned
Integration is now on the map.

MIRANDA v. ARIZONA, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

If you find yourself locked up in cuffs
Do not let the cops call your bluff
You need not say a word
‘Til your lawyer has heard
All the evidence, charges, and stuff.

LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)

Black and White couples can marry
To say otherwise will be contrary
To equal protection
And the State’s interjection
Will not get the court's sanctuary.

TERRY v. OHIO, 392 U.S. 1(1968)

Cops do not need your permission
If they have a well-reasoned suspicion
They can stop you and frisk you
Without any risk to
The Fourth Amendment's two key prohibitions.

ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

A woman can have an abortion
And Texas was out of proportion
The due process clause
Does not let states make laws
That allow reproductive extortion.

LAWRENCE v. TEXAS, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)

What two adult men do in bed
Is a place that the law may not tread
Gay men have due process
Regardless of undress
And Bowers v. Hardwick is dead.

GRUTTER v. BOLLINGER, 539 U.S. 206 (2003)

Affirmative action is good
A law school did just what it should
To promote its diversity
There’s no legal adversity
Nor a threat to the White livelihood.


Corporations can spend lots of dough
To get people elected, you know
The First Amendment makes plain
He who makes the most rain
Will have Congress tied up in a bow.

OBERGEFELL v. HODGES, 576 U.S. __ (2015)

Same sex couples may walk down the aisle
Though some may consider it vile
Well that’s really too bad
For it’s now ironclad
That gay marriage is not a “lifestyle.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

My Family Literally Has the Same Conversation Every Weekday Morning and This is How it Goes

[Scene: Typical weekday morning car shuttle clusterfuck in which we all drive to school and work together. Geoff drives. He drops off Paige, then me, then Isaac. Don’t ask why we do it this way. We just do. Suffice it to say it’s not my idea and I’ll leave it at that because to explain it would take a whole other blog post I don’t have time for right now]

Geoff: Holy shit. Who was the last person to drive this car? [Turns to me]

Me: I assume it was me; I’m the only other licensed driver in our household.

Geoff: How short are you?

Me: The same height I’ve been for 26 years.

Geoff: Every time I get in this car after you drive it the radio is blasting top 40, the seat is pulled up practically into the windshield, and the seat warmer is set to 175 degrees. [Turns to Isaac and Paige]: Do you guys have your backpacks, jackets, and lunches?



Geoff: I believe I’ve said MANY times that the price of admission to this vehicle is your backpacks, lunches, and jackets. I don’t understand how we do this every day and why no one ever lis—

Paige: But I left my skating bag back there and ha—

Geoff: Don’t interrupt me! Just go get your stuff!

[Isaac and Paige both get out of car and get the shit they know they are supposed to get every single morning before this part of the conversation happens, then get back into car]

Geoff: [Turns radio to NPR]

Isaac: Can we listen to Mix 106?

Me: Yeah, can we? It’s like for whatever reason every time I want to hear the news there’s a 15 minute human interest story about some guy who just fulfilled his lifelong dream of building a combination yurt/rowboat. Like I just don’t give a fuck, ya know?

Geoff: Fine.

Isaac: [2 minutes into a Katy Perry song]: Why does she "ride him like a roller coaster?”

Ugh you’re so STUPID, Isaac!

Isaac: Mom, Paige called me stupid!

Me: [Grateful for distraction from the roller coaster question] [To myself quietly]: Why do they play songs about Katy Perry riding Juicy J at 7:45 a.m.? [To Paige]: Paige, don’t call your brother stupid.

Geoff: Here’s that seven inches of snow we were supposed to get that’s actually half an inch. Why is there no snow? I can’t believe there’s still no snow. This winter is so fucked.

Me: Dude, you have to stop talking about it. It's so annoying. Talking about how little snow there is isn’t going to make more snow appear. Also, you're kind of in denial about global warming.

Geoff: Dude you have to stop picking your face with that thing. Do you have any idea how dangerous it is to tweeze your eyebrows in a moving vehicle on ice? Why can't you just sit still? Why do you always have to be doing shit with your phone or the tweezers or whatever? Instead of retweeting Trump’s status update, how about you use that phone for something useful and tell us when the snow is coming. [Pulls into roundabout at Paige’s school] I don’t understand all the people who park in this circle. You’re not supposed to park here. It’s a very dangerous situation. Everyone thinks the rules don’t apply to them. All of these fucking parents are out here running up mountains every weekend and kayaking around Douglas and they can’t park in a fucking parking lot to walk their kids 50 yards into school? They have to park their giant pickup truck in the fire lane like the sign says "FIRE LANE EXCEPT FOR [NAME REDACTED]?" Honestly some of these
 hippies are the most selfish people on earth, it’s kind of ironic. [Turns to kids]: If I ever catch you guys acting like the rules don't apply to you I'm gonna be PISSED.

Paige: [Gets out of car]

Me: Bye honey!

Paige: Bye Mommy!

Me: [To Geoff] So say something to the school.

Geoff: No way. I’m not going to be THAT guy.

Me: Then why do you have to keep mentioning it then?

Geoff: Can’t you just let me mention it? Is it really that horrible for you?

Me: Do you really want me to answer that?

Isaac: I have to pooooooooooop.

Geoff: Isaac, how many times have we discussed that you should poop BEFORE we leave the house in the morning?

Isaac: But I didn’t have to go then!

Me: Don’t worry, we’re almost at my work, you can poop there.

Isaac: But there’s too much traaaaaaaaafic. I’m going to exploooooode! I’m the unluckiest boy in the WOOOOOORLD!!!!

Me: Yes, you're right out of a Charles Dickens novel. 

Isaac: Haha, you said "DICK," mom!

Geoff: [Driving up Main Street toward the Capitol Building] [To pedestrian]: GO GO GO GO OH MY GOD JUST GO!! I don’t understand why pedestrians never want to take the right of way. It’s a very dangerous situation – like you have the right of way. Take it! And why is this guy out here with his dog off leash in the middle of downtown on a weekday? And how are all these people walking around in these shoes? And who thinks this is a good place to pull over? Is this person on fucking quaaludes? I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I just don't get it.

Me: You realize you sound like a grouchy old man, right? [Takes Isaac inside to poop, then back out again].

Geoff: Don’t forget we have [insert whatever thing we have] tonight. See you at 5, love you, bye!

Me: [To Isaac]: Do good work in school, love you [Tries to make physical contact]

Isaac: [Cringes in revulsion] NO KISS!!!!! NO KISS!!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

OMG Please Let Me Explain Due Process 101 to President Trump!

I can’t tell you how glad I am that President Trump asked a question that sparked one of my all-time favorite topics of convo: 

Constitutional law! YAASSSS QUEEEEEN.

In defending dudes accused of domestic violence and sexual assault, the President asked: “is there no such thing any longer as due process?” It’s actually a good question, so let’s discuss.

First we need to understand the constitutional origins of “due process.” I’ll do what Trump didn’t do, and go to Wikipedia:

Here’s the basic difference between traditional “procedural” due process and the more complicated "substantive" due process:

Procedural due process comes directly from the text of the constitution, whereas substantive due process has developed and evolved through Supreme Court case law over the years.

A good example of substantive due process at work is Roe v. Wade. Another is Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 case in which SCOTUS held that the government may not criminalize intimate homosexual conduct among consenting adults. In basic terms, the Court's decisions here were grounded in a substantive due process personal autonomy/liberty theory.

But I don't think Trump was talking about substantive due process, because here is what he tweeted:

Here we can assume that Trump is referring to procedural due process, which is what most people mean when they throw around the term "due process."

In simplest terms, and as you can conclude from the above, procedural due process requires three things: (1) state action; (2) notice; and (3) an opportunity to be heard prior to the government depriving someone of life, liberty, or property.

For the people whose lives are being "shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," we first need to ask ourselves a threshold question: was there even state action? 

The answer is likely no. 

It's hard to say for sure without knowing who exactly Trump is referring to, but given the timing of his tweet, we can assume it was White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned when it was revealed that he beat up two of his wives and cold-cocked one of them in the eyeball (ALLEGEDLY). 

He wasn't fired, he resigned. So the government didn't deprive him of his job, to the extent he had a constitutional property interest in a high-level executive branch job like the one he held. He certainly was not deprived of life or liberty by law enforcement or the court system. 

So that pretty much ends the due process inquiry. But let's ask the "notice" and "opportunity to be heard" questions anyway. 

You can say Rob had "notice" of his little "problem" because his DV rap sheet was holding up his security clearance and everyone knew it, most of all him. It was not a surprise. As far as an "opportunity to be heard," there were no charges brought and certainly no trial, so, um, we don't really even get to that point, either.

As far as all of these Hollywood guys and other media executives who have fallen from grace since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, guess who doesn't have to comply with the due process clause of the constitution? 


Yes, it's true. Private companies can hire and fire whoever they want and they don't need to worry about the constitution! 

To be sure, there are usually other laws like statutes and contracts at issue that must be reviewed and adhered to in such situations. But there is no constitutional "due process" problem when a private company decides to hand the pink slip to someone accused of sexual assault. 

As far as I know, there is still such a thing as due process, so the answer to the President's question is yes, for now. 

But it’s all a bit academic, isn’t it, since none of the people Trump cares about were ever actually subject to state action such that they need to ask that question at all, much less worry about infringement of their due process rights.

The Constitution does a lot of things, but it does not protect men's reputations. There is no "DUE REPUTATION" clause in the constitution.

Full stop.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

One Fist, Two Fist, Black Fist, Blue Fist

One fist
Two fist
Black fist
Blue fist

Tight fist
Closed fist
Left Fist
Right Fist

This one was a rising star
This one drives a fancy car
Say, what a lot
Of cops there are!

Some are old 
And some are new
Some are lies 
But most are true
Where is all THAT process due?

Some dudes are sad 
And some are mad
And some are very, very bad.
Why are they sad and bad and mad?
You’ll have to ask 
Their moms and dads.

Some are thin
And some are fat
Some shoot guns 
And some wield bats

From there to here 
From here to there
These violent men
Are everywhere!

Here are some 
Who like to run
They run for office
And they spend a ton!

Oh me oh my
Oh me oh my
All these wives 
With blackened eyes!

Some have two victims
Some have four
Some have six
And some have more

Where do they come from?
I can't say
But they get away with it
Every day!

Some are high 
And some are sober
They're all exactly like each other
You’re warned about them
By your mother

Look at his court file
One, two, three
How many protective orders
Do I see?

One, two, three, four
Five, six, seven,
Eight, nine, ten,
He has eleven!

This is nothing new
Here come the "reputation" defenders
Right on cue!

I Wish I Could Have Been in the Room Where That 1989 Juicy Fruit Gum Ad Was Written

I don't mean to brag, but I was on the cusp of puberty in 1989 when this commercial for Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum came out, and all I can say is that this 30-second ad for chewing gum has LEGIT the most suggestive jingle and shots EVER WRITTEN! 

The commercial comes in two versions--a snow skiing and a water skiing version I believe-- but here are the lyrics:

Get your skis shined up
Grab a stick of juicy fruit 
The taste is gonna move ya
Take a sniff, pull it out
The taste is gonna move ya when you pop it in your moooooouth
Juicy Fruit is gonna move ya
It chews so soft 
It gets right to ya
Juicy Fruit
The taste the taste the taste is gonna mooooooove ya

Like here's how I bet the first meeting went.

JUICY FRUIT EXEC: Okay, so here's what I'm thinking. Sex sells, as we all know, so here's what we think the commercial should say. [Takes paper out of pocket--remember, this is the 80s]

Get your dick lubed up
Grab your junk out of your pants
And come and get a blow job
Drop that fly, pull it out
You're really gonna love it when I jizz inside your mouuuuuuth
Chew this gum, you'll get a blow job
A really good and awesome blow job
Juicy Fruit
The gum the gum the gum that gets you bloooow jooooooooooobs!

AD AGENCY: We like it. BUT, it's a little explicit, I'm afraid. Can we rewrite it to be, um, a little more subtle?

JUICY FRUIT: I don't know. I'm not sure anyone will want to buy this gum that tastes like fake fruit for three seconds and then like cardboard the rest of the time unless they think it will somehow result in sex or at least a blow job.

AD AGENCY: I think I get what you're saying. Let us work on this and develop a few more signals and suggestive shots and concepts and let's see what we think. It'll be a huge hit!

JUICY FRUIT: Okay, sounds good.

And the rest, my friends, is history.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The One Treasured Thing that Always Deserves the Most Honor and Protection

Let’s talk for a minute about reputations. 

Specifically the male reputation. More specifically the white male reputation. Even more specifically the wealthy white male reputation. And more specifically yet, Rob Porter’s reputation.

Because the extent to which the recently-resigned White House staff secretary's reputation is being protected and defended by two of the most powerful men on earth merits a deeper dive into how and why the wealthy white male reputation is so protected, so valued, and so coddled by our society.

Rob Porter, in case you missed it, is the White House staff secretary who was forced to resign when public allegations surfaced that he’d physically assaulted two of his ex-wives. Talking Points Memo has a good timeline of who knew what when. Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, had receipts in the form of photos of black eyes she said Porter gave her. 

Porter resigned, and President Trump (himself the target of multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct) deemed the resignation “very sad,” “absolutely wish[ed] him well,” and chided us that “he says he’s innocent and I think you have to remember that.”

But it wasn't this run-of-the-mill, so-predictable-as-to-be-boring "innocent-until-proven-guilty-even-though-that's-actually-not-the-standard-except-in-a-criminal-trial" canard from a known sleazebag that warrants scrutiny. 

It’s Chief of Staff John Kelly’s quote. He said:
There’s no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. I accepted his resignation earlier today.
So let’s break this down.

The sad fact is that there is a place for domestic violence in our society. A big one.

In Alaska alone, a 2015 study funded by the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and conducted by the UAA Justice Center showed that a full 50% of adult women had experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or both in the course of their lifetimes. 

But—as the Chief of Staff said—“every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation.” By “individual” he means “man,” and by “their” he means “his,” because that’s the real source of Kelly’s grief. 

The damage to Porter's "reputation."

Not the bodies or the allegations of Porter’s ex-wives. Those are just self-serving embellishments—if not outright lies— that are causing a political and administrative headache for John Kelly. This is not the Rob Porter he knows, and therefore that Rob Porter is presumed not to exist. 

And, most importantly, we must protect and defend with all the mighty resources at our disposal Rob Porter’s precious “reputation.”

You see, in our society it’s easier and more instinctive to be horrified by the wounds inflicted on men’s “reputations” and “lost opportunities” and career potential than it is to acknowledge or seek justice for the physical and emotional wounds these same men have freely inflicted, and the opportunities and potential that they have stolen, from their victims through their own actions.

This also seems as good a time as any to point out that the only person responsible for destroying Rob Porter’s reputation is Rob Porter. 

For a group of people that's constantly touting accountability and self-sufficiency, powerful white men sure have a knack for abdicating those principles entirely when it comes to their own conduct.

Maybe if we placed less value on defending the male reputation, and more on protecting women’s bodies and contributions to society, there wouldn’t be so many men whose reputations needed defending in the first place.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Have Alllllll the Questions for That Woman Who Flushed Her Emotional Support Hamster Down an Airport Toilet

My dudes. MY DUDES! 

I have AAAAAAALL the questions for Belen Aldecosea, the 21 year-old college student who was allegedly told by Spirit Airlines to flush her emotional support hamster down the toilet, rather than being allowed to take it on the plane from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale.

Please permit me to postpone my Q&A of Belen for a brief throat-clearing digression.

Before I went to law school, I worked for a city agency called the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigated public complaints of police misconduct against the NYPD. And in my two years in that job, I learned pretty quickly--and any good lawyer will tell you this--that there is always ALWAYS more to the story. 

I recall one woman in particular who came downtown to our offices with a claim of force and discourtesy against a patrol cop who’d arrested her in the South Bronx. 

"I was just standing there with my linguana [iguana] on a leash, and next thing I know? I'm at Rikahs!" [Rikers' Island jail], she said indignantly in a thick Nuyorican accent. 

"Now wait a minute," I said, putting a hand up. "Something must have happened in between the cop approaching you to ask about your iguana on a leash and ending up on Rikers' Island? No?”

All of which leads to my many--MANY--questions for Belen. 

While the reporter did a good job of making a viral internet story on the click-bearing heels of "emotional support peacock-gate" and O.H.M.'s very own "emotional support giraffe" post, he didn't ask NEARLY enough questions.

Doesn't she have better things to do than a deep dive into Emotional-Support-Hamster-Flushed-Down-the-Toilet-Gate?, you might be asking yourself. And you'd be right to ask that question. 

But no, would be the answer. 

So without further ado, I give you quotes from the original Miami Herald article followed by all the questions the reporter should have asked, and that I certainly hope Belen's lawyer (she has retained one in this matter, of course) will ask, both of Belen and all the other people involved in this whole sordid, furry affair.

With her only friends hours away at campus, Aldecosea was stuck. She says an airline representative suggested flushing Pebbles down an airport toilet, a step that Spirit denies. 


Now this is a classic case of "she-said-he-said-she-should-flush-a-pet-rodent-down-the-toilet/he-said-he-never-said-she-should-flush-a-pet-rodent-down-the-toilet." 

And my question is, is there any record of this conversation, either orally or in writing? If not, I'm afraid the only two people who will ever know the truth about what exactly was said in that fateful exchange are Belen and the unnamed representative of Spirit Airlines.

And as will soon become clear, however, Belen arguably has a *slight* credibility problem.

Panicked and needing to return home promptly to deal with a medical issue, Aldecosea unsuccessfully tried renting a car and agonized for hours before doing the unthinkable. She flushed Pebbles. “She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea said. “I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.”

Was Belen's medical issue clinical stupidity and lack of resourcefulness? Is that in the DSM IV? If not, Belen’s case proved that it should be. 

And HOW promptly was promptly? In the ten minutes that Belen and Pebbles were mutually scared in this Shakespearean toilet murder, did she ever stop to ask herself, “How have I made it to the age of 21 just doing what some random customer service rep tells me to do? How have I not jumped off a cliff yet? Should I follow my GPS into a lake like in that episode of the Office?” Maybe a lemming should be Belen’s next pet.

Aldecosea, 21, of Miami Beach, is now considering filing a lawsuit against Spirit over the conflicting instructions that wound up pressuring her into making an anguished decision with a pet certified by her doctor as an emotional support animal. She shared her story with the Miami Herald weeks after the story of an emotional support peacock — denied entrance to a United Airlines flight — went viral on the Internet.

Ah, you accidentally revealed the real reason you wrote this, reporter-guy, didn't you? It's okay, I get it. From one click-whore to another, I get it. Believe me. But at least ask all the questions, can't you? 

Like was Belen really "pressured into making an anguished decision?" Like was this REALLY a Catch-22? Was there really NOTHING Belen could have done other than flush the very creature she so desperately needed to the point that she got a fucking DOCTOR'S NOTE saying she needed a rodent for EMOTIONAL SUPPORT down the SHITTER? I mean, she couldn't have needed him THAT much?

I've had boyfriends I've treated better than this!

This case is much different, said her South Florida attorney, Adam Goodman. “This wasn’t a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers. This was a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of her hand,” he said.

My question here is for the lawyer, Adam Goodman. Based on his name, Adam is a fellow traveler in the Tribe of Israel and we are probably related, if not through DNA then through American Jewish Geography. 

So from one Jew to another: What would your mother say about this? You know she thinks hamsters are disgusting, so good job overcoming your own genetic disgust to represent this worthy cause. 

But are you sure you've asked your client everything? Everyone thinks their case is a "much different" special snowflake.

How do you know Pebbles couldn't endanger other passengers? Maybe he had Hamster Plague? Would a jury find Pebbles tiny or cute? You'd better anticipate that. What is your cause of action here? What are the damages? A gift certificate to Petco? You gotta think these things through before you go running off to the courthouse steps, my dude.

Aldecosea says Pebbles was a true comfort animal and she had her doctor’s letter certifying the rodent. Dwarf hamsters grow no more than four inches and weigh less than two ounces. A typical cellphone is longer and twice as heavy.

But a typical cellphone doesn't shit and piss in your hand, right? There's not an app for that, at least not yet? Is there?

A Miami Beach High grad, Aldecosea played volleyball at Barry University before transferring to Wilson College in Chambersburg, Penn., last year. It was during her first lonely semester there that Aldecosea developed a painful golf-ball size growth in her neck, leading to a cancer scare. Frazzled that fall, Aldecosea decided she needed a distraction. At a Pennsylvania Petco, she bought calm and quiet Pebbles. The hamster lived in her dorm room in a small plastic cage with a green spinning wheel, always scurrying to the front of the cage to greet her owner. “She was so loving. It was like she knew I needed somebody,” said Aldecosea.

Wow. Lots of questions for Belen here. 

They let you graduate from high school? And they let you into not one college, but two? Do you think you were maybe lonely because you couldn't figure out how to operate a doorknob? Was Pebbles really so loving? Do you think she was maybe just using you for your lettuce? And if not, why did you betray her by, I don't know, DROWNING HER IN A MUNICIPAL SEWER?!

In November, Aldecosea learned the growth was benign, but it was still painful. Withdrawing from school and going home hoping to have it removed, Aldecosea booked a Spirit flight from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Fort Lauderdale.

Okay. Critical plot point in the case (listen up, Adam). The growth was benign (although Belen's idiocy is malignant, unfortunately). So Belen was going home to have the growth removed, leading to the natural conclusion that it was not an emergency after all, so again I ask, could she not have gone back to her dorm to figure this out?

“They gave me the wrong information more than once,” said Aldecosea, now a student at Texas State University.

A THIRD college?

After hectic discussions, an outraged Aldecosea accepted a flight later that day to try and figure out what to do with Pebbles. But she had no friends or family in town to pick up Pebbles. It was then, Aldecosea insists, that an employee suggested letting Pebbles go free outside or flushing her down the toilet.

Wait wait wait wait. How do we know that wasn't just Belen’s brain giving her one kinda stupid option and one really stupid option?

For hours, Aldecosea said, she struggled with what to do. She contacted at least six rental car agencies, but no cars were available during the busy holiday season and she wasn’t old enough to rent a car anyway. A Greyhound bus would have taken days to get to South Florida.

Okay, but ... Once Belen figured out she wasn’t old enough to rent a car, why did she THEN contact FIVE more rental car agencies? 

With her flight boarding soon, she pondered whether to just let Pebbles free outside. She said she considered it more humane to end her life right away, and not let her run around scared in the cold, only to die getting hit by a car.

What made Belen think that Pebbles wasn’t smart enough to avoid getting hit by a car? Like pretty much every small rodent escapes death by car, if they’re spry enough, and if not, well, that’s just evolution for ya. Belen could have started a breed of feral super-dwarf hamsters. Total missed opportunity here.

“I didn’t have any other options,” she said.

I'll end on a statement as opposed to a question, and I'm going to say Belen is right. As a general rule, Belen does not have any other options.