The Dread Pirate Buttercup

A Voyage of Existential Comfort



On Halloween day, after roughly a month of planning and saving (doubling as our anniversary celebration) DH and I packed up the car and armed with plenty of candy and a curated playlist “Time to BOOGIEgieg” and drove from Saint Paul to Des Moines to help rally support for @PeteButtigieg at the Liberty & Justice Dinner 2019.

My Husband was in charge of choosing and arranging our accommodations. I made the playlist 🙂 He’s NOTORIOUSLY shaky at planning, I however enjoy solid Masters-level playlist skills. One Mexican food truck and a magical split-second stop at Lake Coffee &Ice Cream (it bears repeating MAGICAL) in Clear Lake IA later we arrived in Des Moines, slightly behind schedule and practically vibrating from sugar and caffeine.


Checking in with the endlessly charming hotel clerk, he asks, “What brings you guys to IA?” ”We’re Barnstorming for Pete Buttigieg” Big smiles “Neat! Just gotta pick out a room for you *click click* this is a good one.” 
He told us about breakfast in the morning and the view from the bar upstairs.

Tradition for us, Hubs brings up bags, I put bags away. Yes I am one of those People.
So when he came in looking wild-eyed, dropped our bags and proclaimed “I just met Pete in the hallway, he nodded, said hi and I said hey back ” I absolutely looked at him like he was insane & had sprouted two heads “I think Pete is staying in the room across the hall from us and I think I rode the elevator down with Lis Smith.”

I would love to tell you what went through my mind – I partially thought my husband was trolling me but something told me he wasn’t – So I took a second and tried to remind myself politicians are just people. I would however help my DH get the rest of the bags.


I DID NOT meet Pete that night. I did see Liz and confirmed to my husband that it was indeed her in the lobby. We rode the elevator many times over the weekend with Staff. EVERY SINGLE ONE was lovely and or chill & all made a point to say something, a thank you or a compliment on our Pete swag or just joking around with us. We missed the Pumpkin Pete up but DH shared a chat w/Pete’s mom about his shirt at breakfast.

Here’s where I admit we NEVER approached anyone & we breathed NOT A WORD even to the other few supporters in the hotel. Maybe they knew too, idk. We didn’t want to cause problems for Pete or the staff & were happy to get to (unexpectedly) spend our weekend among the team. We may have gotten in a bit of trouble for hanging a Pete sign on our room to which we were treated to a note slipped under our door asking us not to do that for security reasons and signed “The Staff”. When you’re traveling/a public figure, your hotel is your safe space – DH and I agreed to keep it to ourselves until the weekend was over, and we still won’t give out the name of the hotel JIC. While I don’t have selfies or even more than brief interactions, it made our weekend that much more special.


Standing in the freezing rain for hours should’ve been miserable but it wasn’t. It was a delight to hang with so many supporters. Watching how kind Team Pete was warmed me up – all that laughing and dancing and waiting. We stood with a group of women who were a straight up blast. We swapped Pete Staff love (Jess O’Connell) while one woman shared hand warmers and extra mittens she brought. I heard not one complaint in those hours. Ben Harper was amazing, Pete made me cry, and later we would find out 2300 Pete supporters were at that rally in the rain and 2300 of us marched Pete, Chasten and Mom’s further than any other candidate (5 Blocks) to the doors of the LJ dinner.

We were in the overflow room. I’d tried to get tickets in the 11 minutes they were available but the site crashed and they sold out. Bummed as we should’ve been, we were happy to be inside, warm and surrounded by Barnstormers and supporters from all over. We talked to people from Iowa committed to Caucusing for Pete, supporters who flew in from Portland, a hospitality worker who had saved up and flew from Martha’s Vineyard.

We lucked into some tickets last minute (literally) and had to run to the convention hall and up to our seats. 
I cheered and chanted myself hoarse. I re-inflated my thunder sticks twice and I sat politely and listened to almost every other speaker. It seemed fairly clear we had won the night in terms of numbers if not also in sheer energy output. It was, absolutely, one of the best moments of of my whole weekend. I will remember it for years – the feeling in that stadium in those minutes while Pete was on stage and we poured out all the hard work, love and energy that had gone into getting there.


This is where I point out that organizers like @Barnstormersforpete and Iowa staff Organizers (like the one I sat with) should be given no end of praise and accolades. I have worked many an event and this was impressively done by any standard.

Exhausted, still damp from the rain and starving we headed to the after party. We took a 30 minute detour while my husband tried to find my Pete beanie w/ ALL MY BUTTONS on it. But after looking everywhere including our seats and the overflow, I cut our losses (all my amazing buttons) and headed for the party. When I got there I realized I didn’t have cash for the cover and I was still irritable about my hat. So I told DH I wanted to go and at least change so we left.

I just missed Chasten all weekend (I believe he must have some teleportation device because I saw him absolutely everywhere but by the time we got there he was somewhere else!) So when I entered the hall to our hotel peeling off glow sticks and damp Pete gear I must have looked crazy. I also considered that I was simply hallucinating. He seemed to register me roughly the same time I did him and floated towards me, flashing the most magical smile, clearly amused and probably knowing what hadn’t quite occurred to me yet, Chasten glided by thanking us and as staff flowed around us Pete rounded the corner. He never stopped moving, though he was not rushing he did not slow down either. His grin was huge and his eyebrows shot up – I don’t think he was expecting to encounter anyone in that moment. Again we didn’t stop him and I managed to lamely get out a “You did great tonight! NAILED IT” as he approached.
 I wasn’t nervous exactly and its true how calming a person Pete is he looked right at us and in the most sincere, genuine voice thanked us both for the night and what we were doing.

I suppose I could’ve tried to get him to stop, shake his hand, ask a question or take a selfie or maybe even invite him to play Mario kart lol. I didn’t, we didn’t. We wanted to be respectful of their space and the kind of temporary neighbor agreement that takes place at a hotel. We finished our night with as good a burger and shake as I have had at Zombie Burger. We rehashed our brief meeting and how if I hadn’t lost the beanie & left the party we wouldn’t have had it at all. Worth it I say! The cost, one hat + some honestly cool buttons so be it. DH and I discuss the finer points of what Mario Kart with Pete/Chasten/staff would be like and canvassing in the morning. We observe the groups of Yang and Harris and Pete supporters hanging out.


Once back at the hotel we promptly pass out. Due to a previous injury exacerbated by the day before I had to skip morning canvassing. And I still didn’t get to meet Lis (not all dreams lol).

My Husband and I came out to Barnstorm for Pete because we believe in him and his vision and like so many others Pete has called out to the best in us. I’m a stay-at-home Mom on disability who has struggled to get out of the house. I haven’t done grassroots in roughly a decade. I have often felt unable to find my place in the world a place to feel useful again especially after moving from GA to MN a year ago.

So when I say this weekend I felt seen, heard and like my presence mattered it’s not said lightly. Politics has been a passion since I was 16 stuffing envelopes and knocking on doors. Barnstorming for Pete this weekend I got to pour my passion and skills into helping create a place of belonging not just for others not just for Pete’s message but for myself. And it was worth it every minute, every tear, every lost beanie and button. Every penny was worth it.



The Honey ,The Bee and The sea


I was a Bee to my Honey 

I was afraid of the Sea.

      Still he kissed me


tentatively .



he replies



We have all our lives

to harvest

blooms perfectly.


Fret not over


Or watery banks

the Dark Clouds

that threaten



Delight of the breeze


That carries

with ease

the seeds

that will someday







The Five Worst Things You Can Say to a Blogger

I would have to add to this (and since I am New to blogging and defiantly do not know the answer) the one that bugs me the most is… “What is your Blog about?” The others on here are great as well. Though My mom doesn’t read my blog 🙂

A Morning Grouch

So, I’m no blogging genius.  When I first started blogging I had zero idea of the etiquette, cultish followings, or blogging cliques that existed.  I pretty much started this as a procrastination tool.  I’m still half-assed and hardly an expert; I have been dragging my feet even getting my self-hosted site up and running (does that even make sense?) because I have almost zero clue where to start (but dammit, I will learn, eventually.  I will).  But even with all that, I am starting to get some idea of what the blogging world is all about.

There are some phrases non-bloggers may or may not realize are not a good idea to say to someone who blogs:

1.  I read your blog. With no follow-up.  Oh. Thank you? You read it. But you didn’t say what it was exactly that you read. Or if you liked it. Or hated it. Or if it…

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Tabula Rasa

We must all conquer these things. An article for the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!

Sips of Jen and Tonic

quote, fear, success, failure, starting over, self-improvement, carl bard, inspirationalHave you ever felt like something (a thought, an idea, a situation) kept popping up all around you? I believe in the power of The Universe. I believe it’s always trying to guide us, and I believe in its infinite wisdom.

Recently I’ve been confronted with a series of situations and conversations centered around the idea of being undeserving. With one person it was being undeserving of success, with a few others it was being undeserving of happiness.

Tabula Rasa is a Latin phrase roughly translating to “blank slate.” It is the philosophical idea that humans are born with empty minds, and it is only through perception and experience that they gain knowledge. Basically, we’re all empty canvases when we’re born, and that canvas gets scribbled on throughout our lives.

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27 Nights

What Happens to Us

The 1st night, Evan asked Kendra when she had first been attracted to him.

“About three seconds after I saw you,” she said as she ran her fingernails through his chest hair.

The 2nd night, they were walking around the mall.  Holding hands was their new thrill.  Evan was holding hands with a therapist.  He was holding hands with a leggy brunette.  He told her about Kim Philby, the MI5 agent who had betrayed all of England by passing all their secrets for over 20 years to the Soviets.  She told him about Alice Miller, who had developed a theory about the gifted codependent child.  They were giddy but tired from having slept only three hours.

IMG_6627 smaller biggerThe 3rd night, Kendra sat down and calculated that they had been together for 56 hours straight.  It was like being drunk without drinking.

“My life is going to hell,” she…

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So, Here Goes: I Am Ugly

Writing Bravely .. Much respect!!

Fatshion Hustlings

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long while now, because I think it is something important that is worth saying, both on my part and on the part of anybody else who feels this way about themselves, and to anybody who finds that this way of thinking is a sad thing that denotes low self-esteem, when it actually has more to do with self-identification and wanting to self-identify in whatever way we want.

So, here goes:

I am ugly.

Naturally, this is not the first time I have said this. As somebody who has had the severe misfortune of being a teenager before, I used to declare myself ugly all the time, just like pretty much everybody else around me. Back then I said it primarily to gain sympathy and maybe a denying comment or two. “You’re not ugly Gillian, what are you saying?” “C’mon, I’d kill…

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How Feminism Hurts Men

Well said. The writing choice casts a very harsh light on the truth of Feminism today1. Anti- feminist sentiments have taken very passive aggressive turns.This writer seems to hit the nail right on the head with a simple reversal.

To an Impervious Man


To hell with the longing of the old,

The impermanent lusts of


Greece and Rome.


Bring me new craving


Bring me unfiltered passion


The unbroken fusion of

Mind and body.


No purely transient touch will do.


I want to tremble from breath to brain.

I want to lose consciousness

From tongue to toe,

Satisfaction through

Satiation of all-over stimulation.


No more Sex for the herd,

One on one.

No eyes,

No constraints.

All hands,

All head.


I want to redefine foundations,

I want to start fires,

I want to create


New math,

New sound.


I want to change

The physical makeup,

Exhaust every nerve in my body,

Overload my senses.


The Alpha-Omega

Of passion

To satisfy

My bodily addictions



Fast and hard

Into dreams.

The You generation


Your words lack the texture

the grit

the grain

of a thought- filled speech.


They flow through

a shallow mind.


There is nothing to hold onto here.


Your body lacks

the Art

the History.


There are no bruises




No enlightened organ

lies beneath

perfect flesh.


Your mind lacks wanton thoughts.


A personal Knowledge

of the darkened corners.


Your time is misspent

appealing to the masses.


True to the form of your



You create

a culture of

infirmity and youth.






of smooth perfection.


A situational comedy.

A predictable tragedy.

4 Reasons Why You Should Write

I really loved this post on writing. I think there are often so many reasons to write that are overlooked for the easier “being creative” answers that are more obvious. So often the “tortured writer/ artist” is the story that gets passed around. I love the practical and yes optimistic tone. The reasons are quite true to me as well. For me the crowning achievement here is, This article gets to the the heart of a better question. WHY not write? When it has so many advantages and little to no downsides. Then WHY NOT?